March 24, 2007

Rand has been liveblogging this weekend's Space Access Conference...too many posts to link, just go here and work your way up.

Fascinating information -- makes me wish I'd been there myself.

What caught my attention was the recurring tone of resurgent anger and disdain coming through as regards NASA -- the agency generally and Constellation in particular. The honeymoon regarding the VSE is finally over, and the consensus appears to be that the whole effort is irremediably botched.

Which may indeed be the case (Thanks, Mike! Hope Ares I was worth it!). But really, did anyone who has watched NASA over the past twenty years really expect any different? It's the nature of the beast (and working on Orion while knowing this is, admittedly, the triumph of hope over experience).


It made me chuckle to catch this whiff of resentment in the midst of so much reporting on so many different emerging alternatives to NASA. Maybe it's just me, but given these alternatives perhaps the right attitude towards Constellation's inevitable implosion should be indifference...or perhaps impatience towards getting it over with so the new space companies can pick up the pieces.

From my own perspective, it's win-win. Either the project I'm part of right now succeeds, or it fails and I take the (useable) knowledge and experience gained from it to one of the many new companies aiming to shove NASA aside. It's nice to know that if Orion gets cancelled (or completed, for that matter), there'll be other appealing alternatives waiting.

Posted by T.L. James on March 24, 2007 10:17 PM | TrackBack


the whole effort is irremediably botched.

I've been saying things much like this for a while. And, no, I didn't expect anything different; this sort of thing is, as I've also said, a near-deterministic consequence of the culture and organization of NASA and the constraints it functions within. No shifting of deck chairs or changes in leadership will make much difference.

It would be useful for those for which this was a let down (as it wasn't for me, since I never was very 'up') to identify where they went off the rails, so they don't get conned the next time around.

Posted by: Paul Dietz at April 4, 2007 01:07 PM