HEFT, Lies…

and videotape. The HEFT team should be disbanded, and the soil sown with salt. It’s worse than useless.

[Update a minute or two later]

Senate to NASA: “Stick to the script.”

Update a while later]

In commenting on Paul’s post, Keith Cowing expands on my comment the other day, and gets more specific than I was willing to, but this kind of info is available from multiple NASA sources, on background:

During its recent deliberations the HEFT II activity look at a variety of scenarios, reference missions etc. One of them, DM1, actually meets the costs and schedule specified by Congress. DM1 entails creation and use of an in-space propellant depot and refueling capability. It also makes use of EELVs and other commercial launch assets. But forces within NASA ESMD personnel – led by Doug Cooke – have purposefully sat on such ideas and have made certain that they were scrubbed from presentation charts and reports to Congress and other “stakeholders”. Charlie Bolden is aware of this tactic.

…How does this make the White House look when they approved a report that NASA presented to the Hill last week – one that Congress has said it finds to lacking in its ability to meet Congresional intent – intent signed into law? This tactic of misinformation and subterfuge was done with the blessing of its Administrator.

So why does Charlie Bolden still have his job? He’s sabotaging the White House. Dick Truly was fired for something similar. It’s up to the White House to decide whether it wants its policy executed or not. Unfortunately, space is unimportant, in this administration or any other.


…has issued a press release on the wilfully wasteful spending by NASA, at Congressional insistence:

On October 11, 2010 President Obama signed the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, which provided $10 billion to fund existing contracts for Ares and Orion over the next three years. Nonetheless, NASA delivered a report to Congress this week that concluded that it still can’t build a rocket that “fits the projected budget profiles nor schedule goals outlined in the Authorization Act.”

The Orion space capsule has already cost the government $4.8 billion, requires another $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2011, and will not be operational until 2014. As WESH in Orlando has noted, commercial providers have already demonstrated the same capabilities at one tenth of the cost of the still in development Orion capsule.

“Taxpayers now recognize that President Obama and his congressional allies will say anything to sound fiscally rational, but their actions tell a different story. The spendthrifts in Washington, D.C. cannot continue to sink tax dollars into this black hole; the Constellation program should be a prime target for the new Congress as it seeks ways to cut wasteful spending and reduce the deficit,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz.

But it won’t be — too many phony-baloney jobs at stake.

A nit — Dragon hasn’t really (yet) demonstrated the same capabilities as Orion. Or rather, what Orion’s capabilities will be if it is ever completed. They really have different requirements. But they’re not different enough to justify the difference in cost, and it’s actually much greater than stated — Dragon is much less than a tenth of the cost of Orion.

[Update early evening]

Just to clarify, Congress is insisting that NASA waste money, not that CAGW issue a press release. Though maybe that’s their subliminal desire. They can be kinky that way. I probably should have left out the comma, to decrease the ambiguity. A practical grammar lesson.

I Don’t Love Lucy

And I’m gratified to see that Lileks shares my opinion:

It’s not funny. I’m sorry to Lucy fans, but it’s not. When Lucy and Ethel start to wail, when Reeky gets an idea and decides to foool Loocy, and Fred pitches in – gawd, it’s contrived and strained.

I laughed at it when I was a kid, but I got over it by the time I was eight or so. One can only watch shallow, star-worshipping empty-head ditzes so much. She made me embarrassed for womankind.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!

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