A gap money can’t fill

NASA officials, and the agency’s supporters in Congress, have argued that adding up to $2 billion to the agency’s budgets over the next two years would allow NASA to accelerate the introduction of the Orion crew exploration vehicle to as early as late 2013 (although noting that more money would not close the gap any further.) However, Constellation program manager Jeff Hanley appeared to backtrack from that yesterday, Florida Today reported, indicating that additional money would not substantially close the gap:

Jeff Hanley, manager of the NASA moon-shot program, said he is encouraged by Congress’ move to increase the agency’s funding.

However, he doubts increased funding can accelerate the rockets and spaceships envisioned to replace the retiring shuttles.

Even with extra money, a gap would remain between the end of the shuttle program in 2010 and the first crewed flight of the Orion spacecraft, which is targeted for 2014 at the earliest.


“There’s only a limit to which I can accelerate things once I’ve slowed them down,” Hanley said.

It’s possible that Hanley was repeating earlier statements and simply noting that even more money wouldn’t further reduce the gap. Of course, given the failure of previous efforts to win additional funding for NASA, and the likelihood that NASA will spend a substantial part of the next fiscal year on a continuing resolution, this may all be a moot point.

15 comments to A gap money can’t fill

  • gm

    no, more money can’t accelerate the program, since, the new (bad) 5 (or 5.5 or 6) segments SRB will be ready to fly in 2013 (or LATER) the J-2X around 2014 (or LATER) and the first manned Orion/Ares-1 in March 2016 (or LATER if further delays will occur) with a manned flights’ GAP around SIX YEARS (or GREATER if other delays will occur) then, since all complex plans/projects/vehicles always HAVE delays, the (optimistic) date of the first manned Orion launch could/should be in 2017-2018 (or LATER) … the only way to cut this GIANT delay/gap is to SCRAP (both) the new SRB and the new J-2X from “the plan” and go develop something simpler using ONLY ready available engines and motors… as I’ve already suggested TWO YEARS AGO in this post of my OLD ghostNASA blog:
    of course, the “right choice” can’t be the hobby-lobby (FAST-SLV-like but FOUR months LATER) “Direct” (that can’t meet the ESAS specs) but something BIGGER and BETTER, like the Ares 5+ (or “Ares_33″)

  • gm

    every day more, the Ares-1 evolves towards MY design (suggested MONTHS ago) with an underside-LAS ( ) and some FINS ( ) placed on rocket’s top… :) :) :)

  • Me

    Nothing but unsubstantiated drivel from gm. Underside LAS is not workable and the LAS is not evolving towards it. MLAS has been put on the back burner.

    Also 3 SRB’s are not workable.

  • gm

    “MLAS has been put on the back burner.”
    NO, “Me” (or Keith?) … the MLAS will have a test flight in october 2008 (and the latest Orion/SM/Ares-1 drawings have lots of fins…)

  • gm

    “Also 3 SRB’s are not workable.”
    you’ll see it’s workable when it will FLY… :) since it’s the BEST, FASTER and CHAEPER solutions for the Ares-5

  • gm

    post edit: “CHEAPER” (not chaeper) of course… :)

  • Exawatt

    Of course money can fill the gap. Just a lot more money than Congress would ever consider adding.

  • gm

    sorry :( wrong link posed, this is the right link:

  • me

    “Also 3 SRB’s are not workable.”
    “you’ll see it’s workable when it will FLY”

    3 SRB’s will never fly. They can’t fit on the pad and they can’t be attached to the tank.
    Only a fool would propose such a vehicle.

  • gm

    “3 SRB’s will never fly. They can’t fit on the pad and they can’t be attached to the tank.”
    your problem is that you like/want/hope that Ares-1/5 and EVERY other alternative will NEVER work so your loved Direct hobby-lobby can sell its flawed design to NASA…
    but, unfortunately for you and the Direct-guys, the ONLY design that is SURE will FAIL (or ALREADY failed, according to the NASA study) is your Direct….
    it’s to understand that (both) “problem” you claim are unexisting since the pad will be modified to hold two 5.5 (or 6) segments SRBs (then, it’s easy to modify for three standard SRBs that have a similar weight) and much more easy will be to attach the standard SRB to the new core stage’s tank, since, the latter doesn’t exist now, so, it can be designed AS REQUIRED (no matter if the choice will be for two SRB5.5, two SRB6, three SRB4, etc.)

  • […] During his remarks, and a brief question-and-answer session that followed, he expressed his concerns about the gap between the retirement of the shuttle and the introduction of Constellation and the several thousand jobs predicted to be lost at the Kennedy Space Center. “As a nation, a five-year gap in spaceflight is just too long,” he said. “It isn’t right, is isn’t what America’s about. So I would love for us to somehow find a way to shrink that gap.” He didn’t specify how that gap should be shortened, but did say, “if we were to add a billion dollars to the NASA budget, we could substantially shorten the gap.” (He may want to check with Jeff Hanley about that.) […]

  • […] Space Politics » A gap money can’t fill […]

  • Me

    Clueless gm,
    The flame trench at the launch pad can’t accommodate the spacing of the 3 SRB’s.

  • Vladislaw

    well gosh ME, gm is all about saving money, so we will just toss a few billion at it and have gm build us a NEW flame trench… see how easy he solves problems.

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