A constellation of shooting and falling stars

by | Nov 19, 2007 | Constellation | 2 comments

Following Flight’s exclusive on NASA’s own reporting of ongoing problems with its Ares I crew launch vehicle in an internal emailed newsletter, NASAWatch.com has published detail about one difficult issue the Ares project office is having to wrestle with

At the same time NASASpaceflight.com has published an interview with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s Ares I first stage element manager Alex Priskos about trade studies for nozzle redesign and expendabilityand other stuff. Interesting answers but elsewhere in the Blogosphere alleged Lockheed Martin Orion crew exploration vehicle development team member and blogger T.L. James is not so enthused by “the stick”

But one area where Ares I is progressing is placing those juicy contracts and Ares I first-stage prime contractor Alliant Techsystems (ATK) has announced its latest contract award

The Lunar Lander is another of the Constellation programme’s many stars and our sister title New Scientist reported on progress with a potential rocket engine for that extraterrestrial spacecraft

And ATK has also made known it has completed work on a potential ascent engine for the lander

However Mr X over at the Chairforce Engineer blog is not so assured

For those of you who can persuade NASA you’re supposed to be there, there is always the forthcoming lunar lander industry day, woo hoo!

In the meantime NASA has been conducting Ares first-stage recovery parachute tests, fired off another four-segment solid rocket booster and the agency has also started on its launch abort system launch pad but even still T. L. James is not a happy bunny

Developing all these fancy new rockets and landers is not cheap and NASA’s head honcho Mike Griffin has been doing his best to get the cash from the US Congress but sadly the initiative to give the cash strapped agency more dosh has not worked

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