Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Update: ULA weighs in on Ares debate

A news report Tuesday said an Aerospace Corp. analysis commissioned by NASA had presented United Launch Alliance's heavy-lift boosters as more viable alternatives to the agency's proposed Ares I rocket for launching crews to the International Space Station and the moon.

Asked about the analysis, ULA today offered the following statement:

"United Launch Alliance is aware of the public discussion of alternatives to Ares I and speculation regarding the use of Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles to support NASA crew launch requirements. We believe that at the current time these evaluations are most appropriately conducted within the government. Accordingly, we have responded to data requests from NASA and the Aerospace Corporation and will continue to do so to support any government evaluation. We are not prepared to discuss the data publicly."

You can read yesterday's blog post and comments from readers here.

1 comment:

Charles Boyer said...

In other words, ULA has decided that while it will not lobby publicly for replacing Ares-1 with its fleet of boosters, it will be more than happy to cooperate with NASA and the other germaine agencies and has done so when asked. A key question arises, however: when were you asked for data? The answer, were it forthcoming, could be an indicator of the seriousness of the high level review of the Ares project.

What ULA's statement doesn't say seems to tell us more: they never said that they wouldn't lobby within the agency privately.

One thing is for certain: the space press and the space enthusiast community won't have all of the facts that NASA has.

It would be a good time for a definitive statement regarding the path forward to be made by the administration, whether it is to continue with development as planned, review or switch gears to another launch platform. Americans deserve to know that much because they are the ones who are funding our space ventures. That definitive statement should come a new administrator, which the Obama team almost seems loathe to name. That is almost inexcusable given the time in one of the government's most publically visible agencies.