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Abort, Abort!

May 7, 2010
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So NASA ran their Pad Abort 1 test today, the abort system for the Orion vehicle. It’s pretty frickin’ ridiculous. Given Obama decided to cancel the Ares Launcher program, the rocket that would actually take us in to space, and the “Orion vehicle” is no more than a cabin for the crew with a bailout mechanism and lander, I’m not sure what the point of testing this cabin is.

Of course the pork-hungry people over at Lockheed are somehow managing to keep this overglorified box in the budget saying it could serve as a bailout vehicle for the International Space Station, but that’s pretty unrealistic, would likely require a lot more investment and testing, and if we’ll be using Soyuz rockets to get into space than likely the astronauts would leave on that not some flimsy little box, and more than likely if there was a true catastrophe and need to bail out this option would take too long. In order to actually cancel the Ares program (in which Alliant Techsystems, Rocketdyne and Boeing all have a hand; apparently their lobbyists aren’t as well connected as Lockheed’s) Congress would have to approve it in the new budget.

So please. Write to your congressmen. Tell them we need a rocket capable of carrying people into space and beyond. We’re already cancelling the Space Shuttle program, which is understandable given its age and wear, and we can’t be relying on the Russians to get us into space for the next decade. Funding banks and extending unemployment is only going to get this country so far. We need to spend money on science and development. The technology we build for NASA supports good companies and in turn that technology can be developed for other commercial operations that create jobs as well as the funding to these companies can enable more development on their part for new products and designs that will create jobs. Plus, the Ares is one baaaad motherf- shut your mouth!

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