By day, the engineers work on NASA's new Ares moon rockets. By night, some go undercover to work on a competing design.
These dissenting scientists and their backers insist they have created an alternative rocket that would be safer, cheaper and easier to build than the two Ares spacecraft that will replace the space shuttle.
They call their project Jupiter, and like Ares, it's a brainchild of workers at the
The Jupiter design is being reviewed by a team of 57 volunteer engineers, from line engineers up to NASA middle managers, Tierney said. Those numbers are dwarfed by NASA's Ares workforce, which has thousands of government workers and contractors...
The debate reflects disagreement over the direction of
Besides being a simpler, more powerful system, backers say, the Jupiter rockets would save NASA $19 billion in development costs and another $16 billion in operating costs over two decades.
I read this yesterday with excited disbelief. Apparently some NASA engineers whose creative urges have not been crushed by NASA’s bureaucratic demeanor have been spending their spare time developing Jupiter, a rocket design to compete with NASA’s own Ares rocket.
First of all this shows what man’s mind can do when unencumbered by government (or bureaucratic) groupthink: lighter, faster, safer, and cheaper. Second, as I’ve said before, anything with the word ‘administration’ in the name is bound to be woefully inefficient and uninspiring. NASA wants to return man to the moon by 2020? We’ve already done that. In 1961 JKF challenged us by saying:
It is a most important decision that we make as a nation. But all of you have lived through the last four years and have seen the significance of space and the adventures in space, and no one can predict with certainty what the ultimate meaning will be of mastery of space.
I believe we should go to the moon.
Eight years later we were there. And we did it with the equivalent computing power of the typical $3, four-function pocket calculator. Now NASA’s goal is 12 years from now (and billions of Dollars in red tape) they want to repeat a mission? No thanks, I’ll put my money on the moonlighting geek team. Lastly I’ll leave you with some words from The Moody Blues for you to consider:
Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colors from our sight
Red is grey and yellow white
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion
Ed, What the heck is going on over there? This is practically in your backyard.