Friday, January 15, 2010

NASA safety panel strongly backs Ares I

NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Board has released its 2009 annual report.

Read the report HERE.

Some of the critical safety findings in the 18-page report, according to a press release:

- No manufacturer of Commercial Orbital Transportation Services is currently qualified for human-rating requirements, despite some claims and beliefs to the contrary.

- To abandon the program of record as a baseline for an alternative without demonstrated capability or proven superiority is unwise and probably not cost-effective.

- Extension of the shuttle program significantly beyond the current manifest would be ill-advised. The panel is concerned about discussions regarding possible extension of shuttle operations.


space man said...

It is safer then riding on a 40 year old Russian made space craft.

Anonymous said...

I found the report to be insightful, logical, thoughtful, and most of all, accurate. Much moreso than the Augustine report.

Anonymous said...

The Shuttle is still safer then an 40 year old Russian made space craft.

JimMcDade said...

The following text from the ASAB report will bring a bitter response fro the Ares I haters, particularly the "unsubstantiated claims" part:

"NASA’s follow-on “program of record” identifies the Ares I launch vehicle as the vehicle selected to send future astronauts into orbit. The Ares I vehicle has been designed from the beginning with a clear emphasis on safety. Its architecture was selected by NASA’s Exploration System Architecture Study (ESAS) team because of its potential to deliver at least 10 times the level of crew safety as the
current Shuttle. The launch vehicle configuration has been developed to provide the best possible allowances for crew escape in the event of a launch failure. The independent launch escape system pulls the capsule clear of the launch pad and any attendant explosion or fire. The demonstrated
high reliability of the solid rocket booster (SRB) suggests a low likelihood of first stage failure on ascent, but the launch escape system would cover even this low probability of failure.
To abandon Ares I as a baseline vehicle for an alternative without demonstrated capability nor proven superiority (or even equivalence) is unwise and probably not cost-effective. The ability of any current COTS design to “close the gap” or even provide an equivalent degree of safety is
speculative. Switching from a demonstrated (design approach proven by Apollo, use of heritage hardware, and Ares 1-X flight success), well designed, safety optimized (ESAS) system to one based on nothing more than unsubstantiated claims would seem a poor choice. Before any change is made to another architecture, the inherent safety of that approach must be assessed to ensure that it offers a level of safety equal to or greater than the program of record."

Anonymous said...

Makes sense to wait until something of higher capabilities is developed to retire the existing one.But, we need the money to pay for healthcare reform! Now that the Haitians have suffered a disaster we need money for that also.
However, space exploration is not a luxury or a humane thing to do it is a necessity! unless we want to end up depending on other countries...Nah! that is not for the US citizens who created this country because what we want is our FIVE FREEDOMS!

Florida no fault insurance said...

I would rather be in the Shuttle than in a 40 year old Russian made space craft.

Anonymous said...

Soyuz is a 40 year old name for Russian space craft. But the Soyuz vehicles that the Russians fly today are new and improved.

Anonymous said...

Good to know! Thank You Florida Today for keeping us informed!
We need space exploration programs to continue to lead the world in Space.US citizens want the Space program to succeed!

Anonymous said...

The ASAP states that the Shuttle was perfectly safe last year and will be perfectly safe for the next year, but cannot be extended a day longer because numerous parts, which the authors admit they have been completely unable to even identify, will then mysteriously wear out en masse, despite rigorous inspections and maintenance. Where is one shred of real engineering data to support this? The report also says Shuttle cannot be extended becasue experienced personnl will leave and spare parts will run out. Spare parts will run out only because NASA has stopped buying them, and experienced people are leaving because they are being laid off. These are management decisions, not design flaws.