Sunday, November 30, 2008

COMMENT: Obama considering canceling Aries & scaling back Orion?

According to a recent gizmodo article: President elect Obama has sent a very detailed questionnaire focusing on the feasibility of the Aries / Orion space craft. The questionnaire goes as far as asking if NASA could redesign the Orion spacecraft so it could be launched by the European Ariane 5 or the Japanese H2A:
  • Estimate the feasibility of designing a resized Orion capsule that could be launched by international launch vehicles such as the [European] Ariane 5 or the [Japanese] H2A.
Now I know some of my comments in the past have been critical of what seem to me to be grave errors in design and engineering. That's because some of the craft design papers show little innovation and an over reliance on what would appear to be 40 year old Apollo tech while throwing out probably the greatest achievements in heavy lift rockets while patching flaws in the present designs with for all intents springs and rubber bands.

I know the president elect is asking the same questions we all are, however I really have to stop at having our space efforts handled by the third party is ludicrous and extremely short sighted. Redesign if we must but keep the US space effort, like any ther countries efforts, in our own hands.

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Paulo said...

Why do you think it should be a one-country effort? Look at the LHC. I don't think that's something that could have been pulled off by one country alone. Cooperation may be what we need to escape planet Earth.

Beam Me Up said...

Paulo, I DON'T feel it should be a once country effort! But no one decries China's unilateral effort or India's. Russia has never been belittled for taking nationalistic pride in their effort. Having pride in one's nation of origin's scientific endeavors should not be a bad thing. I am proud that my country is supporting the international space station. Should there be the same effort to reach Mars or beyond, I would hope that there would be enough support in the US for just such a multinational effort. But we can not be schizophrenic in our approach either. If we are going to return to the Moon and possibly Mars as a national effort, then so be it. The suggestion as it reads now is much less of a multi-nation effort and ever so much more of hiring the job out. That's sad.

Paulo said...

Ah, well said.