Ares I is not dead: review could mean more studies says NASA Shuttle manager

by | Jun 24, 2009 | Ares, Constellation, exploration, NASA, Space Shuttle, Technology | 18 comments

Speaking to NASA Space Shuttle programme office manager and shuttle derived heavy lift vehicle proponent John Shannon today he expressed views on the outcome of the Norman Augustine led review that could cheer some but perhaps concern a lot more

“There is not enough time to do this super detailed review and I really don’t expect them to come out and say you should build this rocket. What I suspect is that they will have a ‘NASA should go look or consider at these options with this architecture for this budget number’ and we’ll go work that with Congress and White House and whatever budget numbers we get will define a lot of what happens next,” Shannon told Hyperbola, the implications of which are that NASA will continue working on Ares for some time to come just as it is already while the Review of US human spaceflight plans is ongoing

More uncertainty extending into 2010 would surely be the worst outcome? More delay and more studies would simply make the situation worse for the likes of Kennedy Space Center and the wider industry if, as Shuttle retires, there is doubt about the new vehicles and all current work was abandoned – love or loathe Ares I its keeping capability and jobs alive come 2011

A post-Augustine technical investigation could, paradoxically, ensure Ares I wins by default because by the time any such study concluded the maturity of the crew launch vehicle design and propinquity of the 2015 target date could close the book on other proposals

Shannon gave a presentation on the Shuttle derived heavy lift vehicle on 17 June at the first public meeting of the Review of US human spaceflight plans committee in Washington DC

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