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  Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
  John Young: Ares I won't work

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Author Topic:   John Young: Ares I won't work
E2M Lem Man
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posted 04-23-2007 07:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At the premiere of the movie The Wonder of it All last Friday, April 20, in Newport Beach, Ca., astronaut John Young, a six-time veteran and adviser to NASA on the Constellation program, startled the crowd, saying flatly "On May 23, we are gonna find out that the Ares I booster isn't powerful enough to get [the Orion spacecraft] into orbit."

On Saturday, during his Earth Day speech, I followed up with him and he said that the "Orion is too big and heavy a spacecraft. It isn't like the lightweight six-person crew exploration vehicle we proposed. I don't know why we will know more on May 23, but that is when they tell me we will know." Continuing, he said that "the torque and loads that they expect mean we have to get another [launch] vehicle."

I asked him if he thought that they should shift the manned flights to an Ares V stack, resembling the Saturn V and he said "I don't know, I don't get invited to those meetings anymore, they kick me out when I bring up that stuff."

I guess we shall find out on May 23.

Jim Busby

cspg
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posted 04-24-2007 12:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, I hope his book will be in the same vein as his comments!

Begs the question: A man-rated Delta, Atlas or even Ariane? That would be an interesting project.

Chris.

KSCartist
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posted 04-24-2007 07:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm not a rocket scientist but if what John Young says is true - then we should start getting our existing fleet man rated at all possible speed.

I don't want to cut back on the capabilities of the Orion spacecraft to "make it work" with the Ares 1.

Tim

cspg
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posted 04-24-2007 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
I don't want to cut back on the capabilities of the Orion spacecraft to "make it work" with the Ares 1.
Me neither. It's solid-fueled based booster but if the aim is to continue using existing technology (which from a taxpayer's point of view makes a lot of sense), then drop it. In any case, for lunar bases and/or Mars missions, you'll need large spacecraft (you're not going to use Orion for Mars [remember: 3+ year trip]) to be orbited by large boosters and here the SRB will come handy.

Chris.

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posted 04-24-2007 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for CJBINCO   Click Here to Email CJBINCO     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Very interesting... And very surprising that Capt. Young would 'spill the beans' in this manner. But no surprise this is happening. I suppose those wind tunnel tests have revealed an inherant flaw not only in the mass liftin world, but also the vehicle launch stresses as well. Atlas-5 or Delta-4? Take your pick a the present moment...

mjanovec
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posted 04-24-2007 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you look at his Novaspace video clips from January 2007, he was saying Orion was too heavy then. Although he didn't say Ares I wouldn't be able to get it into orbit... but one could read between the lines (especially in retrospect).

E2M Lem Man
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posted 04-24-2007 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Captain Young, who is famous for his memos about safety issues, may just be trying to tell us something important.

When I asked about manning the Ares V (or IV depending on who you are talking too) he dodged that in response. The idea of more payload weight per booster has to be considered since we don't have the shuttle capabilities after 2010. What do we use for new modules or equipment to ISS?

Jim Busby

spacecraft films
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posted 04-24-2007 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacecraft films   Click Here to Email spacecraft films     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim, I first heard talk of this about a year and a half ago when recording the commentary for our Liftoff DVD set. Our propulsion consultant who was doing the commentary mentioned that Young was rattling cages by bringing this unfortunate fact up.

As I understood things, he's correct.

Mark

mjanovec
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posted 04-24-2007 04:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder what the more practical solution is... going with a different launch vehicle or lightening the Orion spacecraft?

Perhaps that's why they are waiting until May 23 to make an announcement... in order to have decided upon a solution before breaking the news. It's easier to deliver bad news if a fix is presented at the same time.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-24-2007 04:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Based on conversations with various people working under Constellation, Orion is already at its limits, so much so that mission capabilities are now being threatened. The talk ranges from reducing crew size to limiting the types of tools and equipment that could be delivered to the Moon.

As the contract for Orion has already been awarded, while Ares I (at least its upper stage) is still being competed, I would think that changes to the launch vehicle are more likely and would be in line with Young's comments.

quote:
What do we use for new modules or equipment to ISS?
For better or worse, this is no longer our concern. After 2010 and the retirement of the space shuttle, the U.S. has no intentions of supporting new modules for the ISS. Equipment will be delivered by Russian Progress vehicles, ESA's ATVs and Japanese HTVs.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-24-2007 04:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
By the way, this thread has spawned conversations on several other websites:

Ray Katz
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posted 04-24-2007 06:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ray Katz   Click Here to Email Ray Katz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't like any boosters with SRB used for manned flight...even the Shuttle. We made a mistake there, although accidents were rare because it was often (but not always) managed well, and we were sometimes lucky.

But I wish we wouldn't repeat the mistake.

cspg
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posted 04-25-2007 12:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Makes you wonder why so much money has been spent on a project only to throw it away when it's completed (what about the Mars trip?). But I guess there's nothing new here. The ISS will follow the Saturn launch vehicles, Apollo, Skylab and Shuttle.

If there's a "vision of space exploration", a pair of glasses might help.

Chris.

cspg
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posted 04-25-2007 01:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ray Katz:
I don't like any boosters with SRB used for manned flight...even the Shuttle. We made a mistake there, although accidents were rare because it was often (but not always) managed well, and we were sometimes lucky.
Mostly because they are reusable... I don't like those either.

Chris.

mjanovec
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posted 04-25-2007 09:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ray Katz:
I don't like any boosters with SRB used for manned flight...even the Shuttle. We made a mistake there

While I somewhat agree with you there, one thing to remember is that Orion will have an escape system (unlke the shuttle). So hopefully the rare failure of an SRB would still be survivable.

Aztecdoug
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posted 04-25-2007 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a stupid question. Is the CEV reusable like the Shuttle or a use once and ship to a museum like Apollo?

P.S. I saw John at the same two talks that Jim described above. Jim's description of JY's thoughts are right on. May 23rd is the magic date according to JY.

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Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-25-2007 11:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Orion crew exploration vehicle is designed to be re-flown up to ten times. Its ablator heatshield will be replaced between flights.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-25-2007 12:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In response to this thread, Chris Bergin of NASASpaceFlight.com has learned that May 23 is NASA's next scheduled Ares I Program review meeting, and that "a two week Constellation wide stand-down [is] coming, as per official NASA notes."

E2M Lem Man
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posted 04-26-2007 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dr. Wernher von Braun first warned many years ago that solid rocket motors would be too hazardous and uncontrollable for manned space vehicles. Now that we have been working with them for twenty six years on Space Shuttle, we have managed to get some level of reliablity. But what astronaut ever said he didn't wish for a better escape system or escape tower for emergencies?

I really think that the Aries V 'stack' would be more likely the way to proceed. You could go with the new 5 segment improved SRB's and RS-68 powered core stage and have the boost capability to put up whatever is needed.

Unless the government invests in Elon Musk's upgraded Falcon 9 booster with F-1 type engines that is all we have for heavy lift, and heavy lift capability is what is needed for going to the Moon and Mars.

Either that or get midget astronauts and lightweight tools and circus cars for rovers. Excuse me 'short people'!

Word is on the street that a lot of things are in "stand down mode until the Administrator is dismissed". Which 'they' expect 'momentarilly'. This is a sad state of affairs, as Mike Griffin was the best man we have had in many years!

Jim Busby

cspg
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posted 04-27-2007 01:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by E2M Lem Man:
Word is on the street that a lot of things are in "stand down mode until the Administrator is dismissed". Which 'they' expect 'momentarilly'.
Jim, any more info on this? Dismissed is the politically correct equivalent to fired. If so, on what grounds? I would have expected a new administrator after the presidential election, but why now? did he do something wrong? did I miss something here?

Chris.

mjanovec
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posted 04-27-2007 09:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm waiting for a brilliant pencil pusher at NASA to say, "We can lighten the load for Ares I if we remove the launch escape system."

Joe Holloway
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posted 04-27-2007 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Holloway   Click Here to Email Joe Holloway     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If Administrator Griffin's departure is, in fact, inevitable, I believe it will be NASA's (and the Nation's) loss. He has always seemed to be a stand-up guy and a real straight-shooter.

Not to increase the ongoing speculation, but it will be very interesting, indeed, if an EELV takes the place of Ares I as the CLV. Manned launches from Pad 37 or Pad 41? What a concept!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-27-2007 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Chris Bergin (NASASpaceFlight.com) has spoken to "high level Constellation people" who have said "that it is business as usual and there is no cancellation of Ares I/Orion pending."

According to Bergin, they dismiss Young's comments, saying "John is just being John".

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posted 04-27-2007 12:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA leadership was to a large extent incentivised to use solids on Ares 1 not because it made good technical sense but to sustain national production of solid propellant at economical cost. Collectively DOD and NASA are the big customers for solids with NASA utilizing something like 40-45 percent of solid propellant production - mostly for Shuttle. The balance goes to missiles. Deactivating Shuttle (without offset through Ares I) would have had the tangental effect of overall reduced demand - making it less econmically viable to sustain our national capacity to produced/advance this important technology.

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Robert Pearlman
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posted 04-28-2007 08:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by E2M Lem Man:
Word is on the street that a lot of things are in "stand down mode until the Administrator is dismissed".
Though I have heard some of the same chatter on the 'street' and from NASA rumor sites, the work going on inside the NASA centers would seem to negate any type of stand-down en masse, for any reason, let alone a change in management.

There's a lot of behind-the-scenes work being done on Orion and its subsystems, as well as Ares and its related facilities. Much of it parallels the early development of Apollo in such a way that, for those privy to it, it's been described as history coming alive again...

...which, while bringing this thread full circle, is why NASA has involved the Apollo era engineers and astronauts in the process (some, admittedly, more than others).

Gordon Reade
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posted 05-02-2007 12:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gordon Reade   Click Here to Email Gordon Reade     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I never understood the reasoning behind the Ares I. The Delta IV Heavy has the muscle to do the job and it has flown. One of the reasons why Mercury and Gemini were so successful is that they relied on existing launch vehicles. Why can't NASA do the same thing with Constellation?

E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-02-2007 04:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have no new info as such. My contact was in Florida. My take on this is that Mike Griffin is a good, honest dealer and I hope he doesn't get the axe. Can he take the strain from legislators? I hope so.

As for John Young, he has always said what he believes is right. I wonder if the Columbia accident would have happened if those in control would have listened to him, before Jan. 2003.

Jim Busby

mjanovec
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posted 05-02-2007 04:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Reade:
Why can't NASA do the same thing with Constellation?
I'd be curious to know how man-ready the Delta IV is. I think it warrants some investigation, especially if it has not been considered before.

I wonder what kind of G's the astros would experience on top of the Delta IV.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-03-2007 03:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think that the Delta IV's or Atlas V have the capabilities to do the job we are asking.

They might put men into ISS orbits, maybe even fulfill the Ares I plans for rendezvous and docking in Earth orbit, but I still think that we need to look elsewhere. I haven't looked at weights of Orion w/escape system yet.

mjanovec
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posted 05-22-2007 05:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, tomorrow is supposedly D-Day for finding out about Ares. Is there any current word that this will still happen or will the day come and go without any major announcements?

I guess we wait and see...

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-22-2007 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All background indications point to no big announcements, tomorrow or in the near future. That however, doesn't mean that Young was wrong in what he said.

Tomorrow is the start of a NASA Ares I review meeting. Taking what Young said into account, it stands to reason that in its current configuration Ares I cannot launch Orion (in its current configuration) and therefore changes are needed. It's a fair assumption that this inequality will be discussed at the review meeting but whether or when we, the public, will learn the details is unknown.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-23-2007 02:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A lot depends on what John Young heard and when he heard it. Apollo had a long history of being overweight at times and they had 'competitions' to get its weight down and get the boosters energy up. Cash rewards were even offered to employees who came up with ways to do it. The Saturn second stage and LM had some famous weight problems. Wernher von Braun knew there would be problems and that is why his team put the fifth F-1 in the center of the first stage.

The last Apollo/Saturn V had (I believe) about a 20% thrust to weight improvement over the first (Apollo-4).

I am not backing off about what I heard, nor Captain Young's interpretation of data, but that's what testing and evaluations are for. Have they solved their problems now?

Tomorrow marks the planned test firing of another Solid Rocket booster stack in Utah for Orion evaluations. Every day we test and learn.

Lets hope for the best!

J.M. Busby

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-24-2007 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Reviews Document NASA's Progress on Next Human Spacecraft

NASA this week wrapped up six months of system requirements reviews for the Orion spacecraft, the Ares launch vehicles and other support systems, bringing together the Constellation Program's list of basic capability needs.

The Constellation Program is developing a new space transportation system that will take astronauts to Earth orbit, the moon, and eventually to Mars.

The basic program architecture for design, development, construction and operation of the rockets and spacecraft remains unchanged as a result of the reviews, but it now has a firmer foundation built through extensive requirements allocation, reconciliation, analyses and validation testing.

A "baseline synchronization" on May 23 followed individual systems requirements reviews, or SRRs, by the Constellation Program and the Orion, Ares, Ground Operations, Mission Operations and Extravehicular Activity (spacewalk) projects. The synchronization effort was designed to identify any conflicts or gaps between and among the projects and the program and to establish a plan for resolving those issues.

"This has been an eventful spring, known as the 'season of SRRs,'" said Jeff Hanley, Constellation Program manager at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. "This summer will bring a new season of rolling system definition reviews that will finish our requirements for initial mission capability and set us up for our first preliminary design reviews."

The Constellation requirements work was completed at the same time the program was dealing with other significant challenges, including development of an integrated test schedule, a mission manifest and a budget profile that will support its next 20 years of work.

The program also closely followed the work of NASA's Lunar Architecture Team, which is formulating the requirements for a lunar surface outpost development and scientific research activities. A lunar architecture system requirements review is expected in spring of 2009. "This is an impressive accomplishment in a short period of time, and I'm pleased with the dedication and cooperation across projects and attention to detail that has gotten us this far," said Chris Hardcastle, Constellation Program systems engineering and integration manager at Johnson.

The next series of reviews will begin with the Orion system definition review in August and continue through another Constellation Program baseline synchronization in March 2008. System definition reviews focus on emerging designs for all transportation elements and compare the predicted performance of each element against the currently baselined requirements.

The next significant milestones for the Constellation Program are a preliminary design review series in summer 2008 and a critical design review series in early 2010.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-24-2007 04:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Florida Today:
Moonwalker launches Apollo monument push
One of only 12 humans to set foot on another planetary surface, Young noted that he is consulting with NASA on its so-called Crew Exploration Vehicle - an Apollo-style capsule that will ferry U.S. astronauts back to the moon by 2020.

"It's a very nice vehicle and there are only a couple of problems with it," Young told a group of 50 community leaders and Apollo program veterans gathered on the esplanade of a new city park where the monument is being erected.

"One, it's too large. Two, it's too heavy. And three, there's no money to build it," he joked. "But other than that, it's okay."

cspg
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posted 05-25-2007 04:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So we're back to square one.

Orion is "too large, too heavy" says Young. So the problem still lies with Ares I, not powerful enough to lift Orion (as mentioned at the beginning of this thread). But then the question arises: is the problem really Ares or is it in fact Orion? I thought it was planned for a crew of six, are we going to see a scaled-down version with a crew of 3-4? And since "there's no money for it" (LOL), what would be the cheapest way to proceed: upgrade Ares I (how?)- or change lift vehicle- or redesign Orion?.

We're not out of the woods, yet.

Chris.

E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-25-2007 01:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thats correct. But we need a vehicle to carry up large crews for Mars, lunar and station missions, so it has to be big. Heavy comes with big so, we need to uprate the Ares booster.

Somehow...

Dwayne Day
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posted 05-26-2007 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dwayne Day   Click Here to Email Dwayne Day     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by E2M Lem Man:
I am not backing off about what I heard, nor Captain Young's interpretation of data, but that's what testing and evaluations are for. Have they solved their problems now?

Well, you also spread unsubstantiated rumors that Griffin was going to be fired. Are you sticking with those comments too?

E2M Lem Man
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posted 05-30-2007 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dwayne - this is off the subject but I will respond to this. We both have worked in reporting this field a long time. You know the drill. My 'contacts' still stand by that. But frankly I disagree with them.

NASA IG questions of inpropriety aside (and if ANY of these are true, I would agree that he should be removed) I think that under the circumstances Mike Griffin has done a fair job with what he has been given. But face it - he hasn't been given much and been told to make twice as much with it.

If his only crime is that he should be removed because he hasn't been able to do everything with such a small budget, then this is our fault for not supporting him and the NASA to our national representatives.

NASA gets the money from the national representatives (executive and legislative branch) and we, the people... are supposed to let them know if we think this is a good thing, or not. Then the representatives fund it as they see fit based on our input. At least that is how it is supposed to work.

When was the last time any of us wrote to congress and told them we support the national space exploration efforts?

How many of us could take being in Griffin's position?

I hope he hangs in there, as long as he doesn't do anything illegal!

J.M. Busby

E2M Lem Man
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posted 06-28-2007 04:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for E2M Lem Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I haven't read this report yet, but here is the link. This is the report that we have waited for from last May 23. Happy reading!

J.M. Busby

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