“The first rocket is now about 80% assembled, and we’re going through the detailed system integration,” he said. “These are very complex, sophisticated machines, so the technology itself is a challenge. I think it’s manageable. It’s work we know how to do. But it’s tough, challenging work, and we have to do it in a way that ensures safety in the end.”
Muilenburg said having consistent political and funding support for such a big space project was at least as challenging.
“We’ve seen that to date on the Space Launch System,” he said. “If we’re going to get back to the moon by 2024, we can do that, but we can’t if we don’t have stable, consistent support and funding. So the political and funding side of this, I would say, is actually the greater risk.”
The notion that SLS hasn’t had “consistent political support and funding” is beyond mendacious.
While I think that we could do a lunar return for far less than NASA estimates, if allowed to do so without having to use SLS/Orion, or the Gateway, I certainly agree with the second point that Wayne Hale (new head of the NASA Advisory Council) makes, as he takes more than one page from my book.
During the past week I’ve spoken to a number of skilled and experienced observers of the region, and every one them is hard put to make sense of Iranian motives.
In the absence of a rational explanation, let me offer this one: The mullahs are nuts. I don’t mean that they are nuts in the way that a power-mad tinpot dictator is nuts, but rather that they are world-historically, existentially, and metaphysically nuts. Their character and circumstances, that is to say, impel them toward actions that would be irrational for another character under other circumstances.
The treatment of Iran by the Obama administration was probably the biggest (among many) of its foreign-policy disasters.