So the Orlando Sentinel has discovered something that could have been seen in a Boeing simulation of the Ares I crew launch vehicle (CLV) back in 2006
Let me explain. At the 2nd NASA/AIAA space exploration conference in Houston, Texas I was invited by Boeing to see a software package of theirs and to have an interview with one of their executives
Beyond the executive’s admission that he didn’t know when Boeing would announce its team to bid for the CLV’s upper stage following the ATK, Lockheed Martin Team Ares annnouncement (Boeing did announce its team eventually in March 2007) that chat was a bit of a bust story wise and at the time the software seemed pretty incomplete too
After an initial demo of the software I was asked to play around with it. But it crashed, twice, within minutes leading me to abandon any attempt to trial it as embarressed Boeing personnel blamed me, jokingly, for being cursed
What struck me as odd during the demo was seeing the Ares I move sidewards just as it lifted off. “But that’s what it does,” said the Boeing manager giving me the demo, “that’s based on the data [NASA] gave us.”
Wondering if Boeing’s IT monkeys had punched in the data incorrectly, or if this was another software glitch, I ignored the rocket’s odd translation and left to play around with the kewl Honeywell Orion CEV simulation
Just goes to show, as a journo, if you see anything that is at all odd, follow it up!