Here’s the latest straw man:
A lot of people are confidently predicting the death of Ares 1 just becaus [sic] the Second Augustine Commission exists.
I’m not aware of anyone who predicts the death of Ares I on “just” that basis. Can Mark point to someone in particular, or is it one of the mysterious and always unnamed members of the “Internet Rocketeer Club”?
We (or at least I) predict the death of Ares I because its schedule continues to slip (expanding the dreaded “gap”), its technical problems continue to mount with no obvious solution, its budget has ballooned to two and a half times the initial estimate, with no signs of coming under control, and it turns out that NASA has been less than truthful about the competition, and put a thumb on the scale when it did its trade analyses to get the “right” answer. The existence of the Augustine Commission is simply a recognition of this reality by the administration. And Mark can take comfort from Rob Coppinger’s whistling past the Ares deathbed if he wishes — the ultimate disillusionment will simply be all the greater when the plug is pulled.
[Late afternoon update]
Imaginary friends, and imaginary behavior:
Rand Simberg screams and leaps again at my analysis…
Hilarious. One wonders how many moons orbit the planet on which he resides, from whatever alternate universe he posts this insanity. I neither “screamed” or “leaped,” as anyone can see, above.
And what “analysis”? He did no analysis. He never does an analysis. He’s simply incapable of it, not understanding the things he’s “analyzing.” He just pointed to a post by Rob Coppinger.
And then there’s this:
…repeating some of the standard conspiracy theories concerning Ares and its alternatives.
Mark, it is not a “conspiracy theory” that the schedule is slipping to the right. It is a fact, documented by the GAO.
It is not a “conspiracy theory” that Ares I development costs have gone from fourteen billion to thirty-five billion, by Steve Cook’s own admission. That is a fact.
Facts are stubborn things. Though not as stubborn, apparently, as Mark.
He seems to suggest (though likely, being Rand, he will deny it in retrospect) that Augustine could actually report that Ares is still the best alternative but it will ultimately fail anyway.
I only “seem to suggest” that to someone who has difficulty parsing out plain English.