Friday, April 4, 2008

Dumbed-down summary of thrust oscillation fix, GAO criticisms for Ares I

Dead center of this image taken by ESA's SMART-1 is a good spot for landing, if you want to investigate that swath of acreage along the one-quarter of the depths of Shackleton Crater that isn't ever touched by the sun. I really hated the stock images that have accompanied these dumbed down articles about the Ares 1, so I decided to post this important, if stark, CCD still instead.

The Houston Chronicle ("The Orlando Sentinel of the Johnson Space Center") has a pretty good story for the deliberately ignorant summing up NASA's apparent problems in the past few days, on today's front page, written by By Mark Carreau and Bennett Roth.

Who actually uses a term like "moonship," nowadays, anyway? At least they didn't make the mistake CNN did, in it's faux sophisticated piece on this thread published yesterday. Ares 1 isn't a moon-ship, it's supposed to be a LEO crew launcher.

From The Chronicle Story, April 4:

"NASA officials said Thursday that they are developing special shock absorbers for a new moonship to stop potentially fatal vibrations.

"The design of the space shocks, theoretically similar to the equipment used to lessen the shake, rattle and roll on an off-road pickup, should be ready by fall for the Ares 1 rocket. The rocket, which also is in the design stage, will carry the Orion moon capsule into orbit by March 2015.

"Space agency officials outlined their strategy to dull the vibrations Thursday following congressional hearings in Washington and the release of a critical report by the Government Accountability Office. Lawmakers at a House subcommittee's hearing joined GAO auditors in expressing new concerns about the rocket's design and development. Some questioned whether the agency can realize its goal to return astronauts to the moon by 2020.

"In the Senate, some Republicans joined Democrats in calling for a $1 billion increase in the space agency's budget. They said the funds were needed to help NASA overcome technical obstacles and ensure the agency maintains a focus on climate studies, robotic science missions and aeronautics."

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