Friday, December 05, 2014

It's 1965 All Over Again

     If you ask me, the staff of NASA's Orion program owes Elon Musk a drink.  Once all but shelved, the closer SpaceX's Dragon capsule comes to man rating, the more interest NASA's brass has had in Orion. 

     NASA has launched an unmanned Orion spacecraft, successfully so far, and though it is often compared to the Apollo capsule, the thing is at least as much a "Big Gemini," and NASA's manned space program has reset the clocks to the 1965-66 time frame.  

     Maybe this time they can arrange to stay where they go.

     N.B.: Tam thinks I'm three years off.  She's got a point.


Jess said...

One small step for man; one huge step backward for NASA.

It's a tad better than hitchhiking to space, but not by much.

Tam said...

I swear I hadn't read your post title! :o

Roberta X said...

Nor I, yours; so it goes.

JayNola said...

The heavy lifter portion of the program is more exciting to me than the people mover portion. May be short sighted but slinging huge components up seems more important long term than the method of delivering your workers. The shuttles reusability was very important but the new system should help reduce the cost per pound, especially with the private sector pushing from behind. YMMV

Ken said...

Competition spurs innovation? The deuce you say! ;-)

My dream scenario is still this:

2019: Orion on the Moon

"Houston, we have a problem."

"Roger, Orion, what is the nature of the problem?"

"Virgin Galactic doesn't validate parking."

Anonymous said...

I write as one with no direct memory of the time, but it strikes me that the '60s were very exciting times for the US space program. Oh, NASA had its eye on the Moon, but the USAF had its own plans (DynaSoar, MOLAB), atomic rocket engines were being tested, and missions to Mars and a permanent station on the Moon seemed just around the corner.

What happened??? What the hell happened???

I wonder how much we've paid here in 2014 for (re)development of what we could already do reliably by 1969?

Joe in PNG said...

Doc- Hippies and Nixon happened.

Hippies wanted more social spending, and Nixon wasn't too fond of carrying out JFK's legacy.

RandyGC said...

Watching it this morning on the news I was thinking 1966 or 67 myself. I guess it depends if you were thinking of Little Joe or Saturn Ib.