From bad to worse to unrecoverable

Ares I and launch tower

Ares I and launch tower

Is NASA’s Ares doomed?

First was the discovery that it lacked sufficient power to lift astronauts in a state-of-the-art capsule into orbit. Then engineers found out that it might vibrate like a giant tuning fork, shaking its crew to death.

Now, in the latest setback to the Ares I, computer models show the ship could crash into its launch tower during liftoff.

Murdoc’s no rocket scientist, but he’s never been convinced that the SRB-based pogostick made sense.

The Space Shuttle is an albatross around the neck of American manned space flight.


  1. Yep, Nadnerbus is right. Von Braun believed strongly in the ‘albatross’: his early designs always showed a re-usable, winged vehicle, rather than the spam in a can which seems to be the retro trend now in vogue.
    There’s probably a high pitched whine coming from his grave as he spins in it.

    That the shuttle needs replaced, or at least seriously upgraded, no argument. We know how to make better heat shields since the shuttle came on line decades ago, and we certainly have better computers and flight control systems (I never understood why the computers haven’t been upgraded). Airframe tech has taken major strides, as has power plant development. And yet, the Shuttle MK 2 didn’t even make it off the drawing board.

    The original shuttle was NEVER supposed to be in service this long: NASA and the government never funded the development of a replacement, as was the original plan. Instead, they muddled along, expecting the shuttle to be the ‘DC-3’ of the space program, until we lost people, at which point they decided on a replacement using ‘proven’ tech, which won’t be able to do what the system its replacing can. Its like having two accidents in a Peterbuilt semi, and then deciding to replace it with a ’63 Chevy station wagon.

    Who said this isn’t a government program?

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