16 thoughts on “The NASA OIG Audit”

  1. Couldn’t they just get some Apollo suits back from the Smithsonian?

    Meanwhile, the ISS crews are in their capsules, read for an emergency, because Russia conducted an anti-satellite test that sent debris everywhere.

    1. There’s a lot of elastomers in a spacesuit that don’t age well- consider a ten year old rubber band. The old suits are already crumbling to dust, they are inherently ephemeral.

  2. Meanwhile, the ISS crews are in their capsules, read for an emergency, because Russia conducted an anti-satellite test that sent debris everywhere.

    I’d say the Space Treaty needs an update to include a ban on this kind of testing. If you want to throw a net over one of your birds, well ok. Blasting it to bits, no no no. Fits along the lines of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty…

  3. “Given the time needed to develop and fully test the HLS and new spacesuits, we project NASA will exceed its current timetable for landing humans on the Moon in late 2024 by several years.”

    “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.*”

    https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/59595main_jfk.speech.pdf

    *… assuming access to Space is not denied us by orbital debris.

  4. “Given the time needed to develop and fully test the HLS and new spacesuits, we project NASA will exceed its current timetable for landing humans on the Moon in late 2024 by several years.”

    I always thought that’s why they moved the target date up from 2028. If you want it by 2028 you’d better tell NASA to have it done by 2024.

    1. JWST was approved in 1997, and was supposed to launch in 2007, for a total lifetime cost of under $500-million.

      Today, it’s still on the ground (supposed to launch next month, unless it slips again), and the lifetime cost is over $9-billion.

      With NASA math and program management like that, HLS will launch in 2055 for a mere $7.2 Trillion

  5. Delay the suits and do telerobotics. Put some pressure on NASA to get their shit together. You don’t get to go outside and play if you don’t do your chores.

    1. NASA would be able to do at least a little better if they got the full funding they needed to achieve the objectives that Washington has assigned!

        1. I’m not at all in favor of projects being conducted with government efficiency!
          But at the same time, if they insist on doing it that way, and not resourcing it adequately, this is the inevitable outcome.

      1. I partially agree with you but also don’t think giving them more money would solve the problem.

        For example, I think congress is more than willing to spend money but they don’t always think any one thing deserves money at a specific time. They want to see progress or proof and if they do, then give more money.

        I don’t think most programs are run in a way that allows them to play this way. They can’t deal with the future uncertainty and so spend the money they do get inefficiently, trying to cope with the prospect of not getting more money later. They need to go all in and take the risk their program might not exist and use all the resources they have at the moment on the work they need to do at the moment. To me, it seems like they try and use the money to hedge against not getting more later and that prevents them from doing the most with what they have. I’m certainly wrong on some of this, it is just my perception as an outsider, but I’m sure there is an element of truth to it as well.

        1. Sounds about right. If you have program A, B and C, but this year you only get a little bit of money, you end up spending it on preliminary studies of the first stage for each program.
          By the time the studies are done for all of the programs, circumstances have changed so you end up redoing the studies. Or the money has to be spent in e.g. North Dakota because of logrolling, so you have to do a prelim study using people there.
          Etc.

  6. I find myself wondering exactly how old the existing EMUs are. Evidently, 18 suits were ordered in the 1970s, and that 11 EVA-worthy suits still exist from that order, but it’s hard to say when those 11 suits were actually manufactured. One thing we do know is, they have all periodically been returned to the ground for repair and refurbishing, first on the Shuttle, then Dragon 1, now on Cargo Dragon 2.

  7. The other thing I wonder is whether you could design a suit using a Boston Dynamics robot as a starting point. Build a powered exoskeleton like in “Starship Troopers” (the book, not the movies and cartoons). Either that or a bottle suit with giant spiderlegs…

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