Thursday, April 23, 2009

Report that EELV is viable as Ares alternative 'not accurate,' Coppinger reports

Delta IV Heavy

NASA via Rob Coppenger @ FlightGlobal's Hyperbola, following good journalist practice, has posted a correction to reports first headlined by The erroneous conclusion drawn from the Areospace Corporation study was then picked up by Lunar Pioneer Research Group's blog Lunar Networks and has since been withdrawn.

"NASA managers are reviewing an independent analysis," NASA told Hyperbola Wednesday.

Headlines had appeared reporting Areospace Corporation's study concluded that Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) boosters were adequate to support NASA's Constellation, program, "(u)nder evaluation was not accurate," NASA told Coppenger. "The Aerospace not finished."

Lunar Network reported yesterday that a study "by the Aerospace Corporation "conducted at the request of NASA to disprove the viability of an option to switch Orion to an alternative Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) has found both the Atlas V Heavy and Delta IV Heavy are capable of launching Orion on both ISS and Lunar missions."

Lunar Networks, especially on behalf Lunar Pioneer Research Group, regrets the error.

Coppenger recommends a more thorough reading of theAerospace Corporation's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel 2008 annual Report.

"While is says nothing about EELV suitability for launching Orion, " Coppenger writes, "there is one entry that is very interesting. Acting (NASA) administrator Christopher Scolese is quoted as saying, when asked by the (Panel) "what was harder than you expected."

"Designing Ares and Orion to have improved operational characteristics over our Shuttle and EELV system," Scolese is quoted.

Coppenger also recommends reading former NASA Administrator Michale Griffin's answers to the Panel's question picked up in their Annual Report.

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