April 5, 2018 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast

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Embedded below the fold in two parts.



  • Richard Malcolm

    One niggle on the SLS/Orion boondoggle discussion (which does indeed capture well the insanity of the program’s organizational structure) as it relates to Constellation…

    It’s true that, on all evidence, Obama was motivated to kill off this particular Bush legacy. But that said, Mike Griffin handed him some big caliber weapons with which to terminate it. Stacked or not, the Augustine Commission did not have to resort to skullduggery to conclude that Constellation was way behind schedule and way over budget, even *before* it had begun any real development on its two most expensive components, the Ares V and the Altair lander.

  • Localfluff

    Unfortunately, Constellation was replaced by a worse program. Atlas V was to have its (three not four) main engines on the side of the fuel tank. Like they were on the Shuttle, saving reconstruction of the launch pad, and maybe simplifying the rest of the rocket by using a familiar set of three main engines, and of course lower the engine costs by 25%. And launching the crew separately on a single solid booster with upper stage, Ares I. Now they will mix crew and cargo, not making the most out of the solid boosters (Russia flies its liquid former Energia boosters as individual launchers), and they’ve skipped the Lunar lander and with it any meaningful use of SLS+Orion for human space flight (other than launching a Skylab style space station, but no one talks about that, SLS+Orion is otherwise too expensive and risky for LEO).

    What did the Augustine committee actually recommend, going forward? Hardly this!

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