So now we know why Atlas was shunned by Augustine

by | Dec 3, 2009 | Seradata News | 7 comments

It did seem odd that despite there being two operational Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles, namely Atlas and Delta, that only the Delta IV was being considered during the Norman Augustine led review of US human spaceflight plans

And then yesterday at the House of Representatives’ subcommittee on space and aeronautics we hear Jospeh Fragola, Valador Inc vice president and Augustine committee engineering analysis support team member, state that the United Launch Alliance Atlas 431 (watch an Atlas V 431 launch here) had been studied by the Orbital Space Plane programme and been rejected. Three solid rockets strapped to a liquid first stage was deemed a bad idea apparently

Have they not seen the Ares V Lite design? A liquid core with two solid rocket boostersThis blog agrees with others that championing the Ares I first-stage, that is using an untested five-segment evolution of the Space Shuttle four-segment solid rocket booster (SRB), while questioning the reliability of an Atlas SRB that has never failed in the full knowledge that the Augustine report recommended a crewed Ares V Lite is a bit odd

And this blog had thought that the issue with Atlas was its Russian first-stage engines. And maybe it really is

The turn of events at the hearing has given rise to the view that the Congressional panel had already decided what they wanted to think and that Ares I was the better option

Hyperbola was struck by the apparent lack of knowledge of a number of the subcommittee members, when they should have been the experts as far as Congress was concerned. While Californian Congressman Dana Rohrabacher was the only subcommittee member to push on the EELV alternative his questions were easy for the anti-EELV witnesses to bat away

Meanwhile NASA’s Wayne Hale takes a swing at the commercial crowd in his latest blog posting

Hyperbola had concluded recently that Ares I’s days really were numbered but having watched the subcommittee, if this group has any real sway then Ares I really might not be dead after all

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned Seradata database. Trusted by over 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, Seradata is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles




nasaspacexecoreviewsissesaArianespacevideochinaFalcon 9v1.2FT Block 525virgin galacticULAfalcon 9RoscosmosevaDGAspacewalkaviation weekaressoyuzIGTInternational Space StationRocket LabBeidouawardsBlue OriginspaceStarlinkSatellite broadcastingrussiamoonAirbus DSboeingISROCargo Return VehiclemarsblogresearchOneWebspaceshiptwojaxaorionmarsimpactdelayhyperbolaEutelsatdemocratrocketlunarhypertextobamagoogle lunar prizelaunchVegaSESbarack obamaconstellationtourismnorthfiguresthales alenia spacespaceflightIntelsatnode 2fundedRaymond Lygo2009Lockheed MartinExpress MD-2Elon MuskAtlas Vromess2dassault aviationaviationLucy2008wk2sstlukradiosuborbitaltestmissiledocking portexplorationAriane 5 ECAVirgin OrbitinternetLong March 2D/2sts-122SLSNorthrop GrummanChina Manned Space EngineeringAriane 5missile defensenewspapercotsgalileospace tourismflight2010ElectronLong March 4CspaceportExpress AMU 1buildspace stationaltairsoyuz 2-1aProton Minternational astronautical congressshuttlespace shuttlescaled compositesIntelsat 23European Space AgencyLauncherOneCosmosnew yorkrulesAriane 6hanleybudgetatvVietnamshenzhoucongressMojaveboldennew shepardLong March 2CInmarsatOrbital ATKcnesiaclunar landerGuiana Space CenterLong March 4BUK Space AgencySpace Systems/LoralKuaizhou 1AlawsApollokscUS Air ForceprotonILSTalulah RileydarpaElectron KSFalcon 9v1.2 Block 5Vega CeuAstriumSkylonpicturebaseusaastronautdragonlanderfiveeventTelesatNorth KoreaSSLAprilSNC50thinterviewLong MarchSea LaunchfalconWednesdaycustomerlinkatlantissuccessor

Stay Informed with Seradata

Stay informed on the latest news, insights, and more from Seradata by signing up for our newsletter.