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The Ares I rocket passed the first of many tests before it can launch into space carrying Orion

The NASA Ares I rocket, which will ferry Orion into space, has passed internal preliminary design reviews after 24 engineers signed off on the review.  NASA has $3 billion per year set aside for development of the Ares rocket and Orion space capsule over the next three years.

“This is a critical step for development of the Ares I rocket,” said Rick Gilbrech, associate administrator of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate in Washington. “Completing the preliminary design review of the integrated vehicle demonstrates our engineering design and development are on sound footing, and the Ares I design work is taking us another step closer to building America’s next mode of space transportation.”

NASA has not had to carry out preliminary design reviews since 1973, when the current generation of space shuttles had its design review approved, NASA said in a statement.  Even though most of the rocket has not been constructed, these early tests are to ensure the design, plans, and software necessary for the rocket are able to meet strict safety procedures.  The team developing Ares are next going to try and figure out if shock absorbers should be added to help reduce excessive vibrations that take place during launch.  

Once the rocket is further along in development, there will be another test that is scheduled to take place in March 2011.  It will undergo its first unmanned test sometime in 2009, NASA wanting to launch the test in either June or July.

"It is an important milestone in the progress of the exploration effort," said Doug Cooke, deputy associate administrator for the NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate.

NASA hopes Ares and Orion will help the U.S. space agency return to space by 2015 and to the moon by 2020.  There will be a five-year window where the U.S. government and NASA are trying to figure out if they are going to pay the Russian space program millions to help ferry NASA astronauts and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).

Recent political tensions between Russia and Georgia, in which Russia launched airstrikes and sent tanks into the country, has caused U.S. politicians to reconsider if it wants to put its trust into the hands of the Russian space agency.  The recent turmoil has caused some people within the space industry to look into the plausibility of extending the current shuttle fleet's deployment a couple more years.

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Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Fnoob on 9/11/2008 8:23:50 PM , Rating: 5
Why not? Why spend billions on a new design? It's a solid, heavily tested, reliable design that has already been there and done that many, many times.

Besides that, it's just FN awe inspiring to watch launch.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By cheetah2k on 9/11/2008 9:42:07 PM , Rating: 1
Obviously the "if it works, why change it" principle didn't apply here


RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Garreye on 9/11/2008 9:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure they thought about these things and they're probably going to be using design components from other shuttles. I think some changes to the shuttle design have to be made if NASA wants to go to Mars in the not too distance future. Even the name Ares (Greek god identified with Roman god Mars) suggests the Ares shuttle might be used for going to Mars. It may not be this particular shuttle, but perhaps it will be the basis for another shuttle design which goes to Mars.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By rtrski on 9/11/2008 10:11:50 PM , Rating: 3
The shuttle has never been more than a LEO transporter. It isn't even remotely capable of going to the moon, much less Mars*. And a 'glide reentry' vehicle like the shuttle wouldn't make much sense going to either place, well, either. :)

Ares is not a 'shuttle' but a the launch vehicle for the Orion, which is to be the crewed module. The Ares is however at least somewhat descended from shuttle designs.

*well, strap enough external thrust on it and it might (eventually) get there, but not in any meaningful time and with any sort of a live crew, much less arriving on surface resembling its original shape for that matter.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By GaryJohnson on 9/11/2008 10:56:54 PM , Rating: 3
What you could do though is use the shuttle to ferry people to LEO to assemble, board, and disembark from a mars capable craft that doesn't need launch fuel and never needs to survive earthly re-entry.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By fictisiousname on 9/12/2008 12:25:38 AM , Rating: 2
Even LEO assembly of Spacecraft is old, as it was proposed in the 60s prior to the Aollo Program.

Nevertheless, if America spend on the Spaceprogram what one Nuke Sub costs...

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By porkpie on 9/12/2008 12:42:50 AM , Rating: 1
if America spend on the Spaceprogram what one Nuke Sub costs...
Then we'd have one less nuclear sub. We might need it one day.

Instead of eyeing national defense, why don't you b**ch about all the money we spend on entitlement programs like welfare, medicare, social security, etc? Thats about five times more a year than the entire Defense Dept gets.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By chrispyski on 9/12/08, Rating: 0
RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By GaryJohnson on 9/12/2008 2:55:03 AM , Rating: 3
Let me tell about a friend of mine. Her name is Etta Munsen. She's 94, she's a widow living on Social Security in Sparta, Tennessee. Etta was born with only one kidney. She also suffers from polio, spinal meningitis, lung, liver, and pancreatic cancer, an enlarged heart, diabetes, and a rare form of cystic acne. Now, several recent strokes, along with an unfortunate shark attack, have left her paralyzed and missing her right leg under the knee. Just last week she woke from a coma to find that, due to a hospital mix-up, her left arm had been amputated, infected with syphilis, and then reattached.

As you can imagine, Etta's prescription drug bills are staggering.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By chrispyski on 9/12/2008 3:15:05 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry Gary, forgot to add:


(In the future I will avoid posting while watching the Colbert Report)

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By ViroMan on 9/12/2008 3:16:55 AM , Rating: 2
well.... they say "you have to know hell in order to know heaven." Im sure shes gana have a wonderful time in heaven.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By JustTom on 9/12/2008 3:59:00 AM , Rating: 2
Lordie, now that was a long time ago. Of course, it wasn't funny in '00 either...

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By porkpie on 9/12/08, Rating: 0
RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By spuddyt on 9/12/2008 11:21:14 AM , Rating: 2
go play bioshock, which, although exaggerated, is not far off what would happen I suspect then come back and say that a lawless society is a good thing....

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By porkpie on 9/12/2008 11:39:30 AM , Rating: 3
Who said anything about a "lawless society"? Law doesn't imply massive redisistribution of wealth.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By mindless1 on 9/12/2008 7:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
There'd be laws still, but utter crime and chaos once those starving people decide you're not going to keep your stuff. Did you think you could wall off yourself from those who end up doing whatever it takes to survive? Certainly whatever it takes should include getting a job if unemployed and healthy enough to work, if we can someone magically make the jobs they'd get pay well enough that they can live off of the income.

Truth is, a lot of people do work these low paying jobs and that is a massive contribution to society which depends on everyday things that don't command high pay. The idea "get a better job" is a nice one and many do but those better jobs are in lesser supply so inevitably some need medicare, social security, and other programs unless yo advocate just shooting them when the day comes that they can't meet their bills. (or should we just let them die and rot, or when they commit crimes to survive do we imprison them and pay for that instead? Apparently imprisoning and paying that bill is the other alternative we choose).

In today's society you have more modern conveniences and luxuries than the average person ever had in history. If you can't deal with that reality it is a problem with you, not the system.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By onelittleindian on 9/12/2008 12:16:49 PM , Rating: 5
The "pity the old lady" argument is a distraction. Most of those old ladies spent their lives paying taxes. They're not the problem.

The real problem is the welfare moms. I know one who isn't even thirty yet, and has five kids: four of which she had AFTER going on welfare. No telling how many more she'll have.

Her oldest kid is only 14, and he's already been arrested twice.

I'm paying for this entire mess, including food, shelter, clothing, school, and the eventual $50,000 a year prison bill for each of those kids.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By mindless1 on 9/12/2008 7:22:02 PM , Rating: 2
It the problem really welfare moms? Most women tend to want men they have sex with to stick around. Isn't it possible we could blame the men that left, or even blame employers that don't pay a wage high enough that these men can support a family?

You know one welfare mom with five kids. Yes she needed to practice a little birth control instead of milking the system (if that's what she intended, to have more kids to get more money, but without any further info for all we know she might have been in a different situation. Who thinks as a child, "when I grow up I want to be on welfare"? Something happened between then and now, something that might've just as easily happened to your mother or mine at least when it came to the first child.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By mindless1 on 9/12/2008 7:09:36 PM , Rating: 2
You're overlooking one crucial detail. The society that allowed you to do that work for that pay and have the stuff you have is the same one that also has features that benefit someone else in different ways.

You are simply being greedy, instead of appreciating what you have. By all means, move to another country and quit whining about it.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By MrPoletski on 9/14/08, Rating: 0
RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 9/12/2008 11:22:09 AM , Rating: 2
yea, but has she undergone any "real" challenges in life. ;)
Seems to much to be really. If it was my friend I'd have to nickname her Lucky.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By BansheeX on 9/12/2008 1:14:10 PM , Rating: 3
The poor can work or get help by voluntary charity, and the everyone should be responsible for their own adult finances. No coercion or government involvement necessary. The consequence of not saving is your own to bear, not someone else's. Not that social security or medicare are sustainable anyway, they're essentially ponzi schemes whose taxrates have increased many fold since their inception and will continue to until a revolt or collapse. At which point everyone made dependent on these welfare programs will be in 1000x worse shape than a society in which they had been allowed to keep and invest their own money under a hard-money system. Rather than a system in which the government uses all kinds of tricks to not actually pay you.

First it takes the money throughout your whole life, paying off current beneficiaries and then spending the excess on itself without actually investing it on something with a real productive return. Then it steals its purchasing power via inflation, so despite meeting its nominal obligations, prices of everything in dollar terms goes up. They changed the way inflation was measured in the 90s to understate how much they were actually doing it. Since social security payouts are adjust for these measurements, they lowered their obligations that way. Then they will raise the retirement age so that more people die before getting payouts. Or they'll do means testing so that you only get a payout if you need it, regardless of whether you paid in.

Isn't it fun being absurdly trustful of government programs to help people?

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By fictisiousname on 9/12/2008 10:33:44 AM , Rating: 1
if America spend on the Spaceprogram what one Nuke Sub costs...
Then we'd have one less nuclear sub. We might need it one day.

Instead of eyeing national defense, why don't you b**ch about all the money we spend on entitlement programs like welfare, medicare, social security, etc? Thats about five times more a year than the entire Defense Dept gets.

************************************************* *

First, before you blast me about "b**ch"ing, you should have done basic research on the US budget. Making up facts such as "entitlement programs like welfare, Medicare, social security, etc? Thats about five times more a year than the entire Defense Dept gets." when one can EASILY check that US Defense is over 50% of the yearly budget only makes YOU look like a fool. Social Security was self funding, BTW, until LBJ used the surplus to fund the Vietnam war. Sadly, neither party has the conviction to overturn the laws that allow the Government to RAID these funds since then. Google is your friend.

Second, while you are googling this information, you MIGHT be interested to know that the US Space program - (Apollo going to the Moon as one example) returned more than 8 times the investment in the 80s ALONE, because of the spin off industries. Products such as Teflon were invented as a solution to engineering challenges encountered. The Space program, as well as the military, helped to develop some of the components inside the computer you now sit behind.

Third, I make my living in the Aerospace/Defense industry. And yet, even someone as biased as I am can recognize the fact that there are items in the US Budget we need, and items we don't. What is YOUR problem?

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By porkpie on 9/12/2008 10:47:51 AM , Rating: 2
when one can EASILY check that US Defense is over 50% of the yearly budget only makes YOU look like a fool.
No, it makes you look ignorant. You are looking only at DISCRETIONARY spending. Non-discretionary spending is the majority of the federal budget, and its almost all spent on entitlement programs.

Here's a chart, you can learn something and stop embarrassing yourself. US military: $632B out of a total budget of $2,800 billion. The "nondiscretionary" entitlement programs are $2,200 billion:

you MIGHT be interested to know that the US Space program - (Apollo going to the Moon as one example) returned more than 8 times the investment in the 80s ALONE
No s***t. Why do you think I'm here advocating we stop blowing money on welfare and spend more on space?

Third, I make my living in the Aerospace/Defense industry.
You obviously don't make it in any field that involves math.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By fictisiousname on 9/12/2008 11:34:01 AM , Rating: 1

Amazing how you point to a chart that includes SSI and Medicade, especially when I mentioned earlier that these are self funding. Are you aware that receipts by which they operate are off budget (or were until LBJ raided them)? Are you aware of WHY they are considered off budget?

I'm not climbing down in the mud with you. Have a nice day.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By porkpie on 9/12/2008 11:38:26 AM , Rating: 3
Of COURSE they're supposed to be "off budget". WTH do you think "non-discretionary" means? And nice way to cover you being wrong. We spend much more on entitlement programs than we do on the military.

Calling them "self funded" is a little game also. They're paid for with taxes out of my paycheck, just like anything else. Just because the tax has a different name doesn't change things. Personally, I'd LOVE to pay a "Nasa tax" of a few thousand a year, if I wasn't already spending half my salary on other taxes.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Samus on 9/12/2008 8:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
The Ares and Saturn are similar designs (tri-axis gimbal guided shaft rockets) and I'm sure the Ares borrowed much of its design from the Saturn program. However, you can bet it was re-designed to be cheaper to produce, more efficient, and more environmentally friendly. The Saturn is extremely costly to launch and has a huge emissions envelope, 3 times that of a shuttle launch (which has more weight, go figure)

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By sigilscience on 9/12/2008 11:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
and more environmentally friendly.
You got to be freakin kidding me. Like those few rocket launches even matter. One large patch of termites will produce more carbon emissions that a year's worth of Saturn-V launches.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By masher2 on 9/11/2008 11:08:53 PM , Rating: 5
> "It isn't even remotely capable of going to the moon, much less Mars*."

It could easily reach the Moon. You simply need a couple preliminary missions to launch fuel into LEO, then refuel the Shuttle while in orbit. Several NASA engineers have proposed just that, in fact, most memorably after NASA's outrageous statement that a return mission to the Moon at present time would take half again as long as the original Apollo program did.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Dove2Three on 9/12/2008 12:40:03 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why you were rated down but you're correct. The Artemis Project did a writeup on a shuttle to moon mission years ago. You'd have to fudge up some in-orbit refueling system but otherwise its a no brainer.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By FoundationII on 9/12/2008 3:21:50 AM , Rating: 3
How would the shuttle land on the moon? Doesn't it need a runway to land on?

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By masher2 on 9/12/2008 10:49:22 AM , Rating: 2
It couldn't possibly land. You've have to carry some sort of lander in the cargo bay.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 9/12/2008 11:29:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yea, but if doing several trips. How hard would it be to build a "good enough" runway and then how long would it have to be? I would think these steps would have to be completed if in time we wish to build a moon base.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Hare on 9/12/2008 12:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
And since the moon doesn't have an atmosphere, how could the shuttle glide to the surface? No atmosphere = no lift = wings are useless, so is a runway.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 9/12/2008 1:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
So it would have to be aircraft carrier style? Catch cables and catapults...

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Hare on 9/12/2008 1:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
The moon doesn't have an atmosphere but it definately has gravity (1.622 m/s²). Drop a rock from a skyscraper and look what happens. Picture the same scenario, but with ~1/8 the acceleration... You can't land without slowing down considerably. Re-entry to Earth is easy because the shuttle glides back but it can't do that on the moon. You would have to have thrusters to negate the gravity so that you wouldn't fall down at incredible speed and become a huge crater...

Btw. How would you take off... This discussion is quite pointless. You just can't use the shuttle for these things.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By masher2 on 9/12/2008 3:23:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well, if you want to consider truly hare-brained ideas, you could theoretically use the SSMEs for a vertical landing.

However, the shuttle doesn't have attitude control for such a maneuver under gravity, nor do the engines have the structural strength or shape to support the shuttle weight in such a vertical configuration. So you'd have to do significant reengineering to solve these problems, including adding some sort of landing cage.

Furthermore, I don't believe the SSME's can even be throttled back far enough to allow descent in the moon's shallow gravity well, meaning you'd have to cut them out early and used some beefed-up version of the OMS thrusters for final landing.

Basically, it's just not practical at all. Either you carry a lander or you start from scratch.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Hare on 9/12/2008 11:16:29 AM , Rating: 2
Like Masher said, the shuttle has wings so it's designed to glide back to earth. Since there's no atmosphere on the moon it doesn't matter if it has wings or not. It would fall down like a rock and since there are no landing thrusters there's no way to land that thing without gliding.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By fictisiousname on 9/12/2008 10:38:06 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm. I didn't know the Shuttle was capable of going to the moon. Looks like I need to do some googling of my own ;-)

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By rtrski on 9/12/2008 12:05:42 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the correction - I thought I'd covered enough in my ampersand disclaimer, but I guess not. I was certainly thinking ON ITS OWN the shuttle system (STS current configuration, tank, boosters, and orbiter, in a single launch) couldn't reach the moon - once it's in orbit though if you scab extra stuff on it to provide the missing resources or functionality, all bets are off.

But in all honesty I was really thinking in terms of it being properly shielded for high/lunar orbit, having enough onboard resources for the trip and any way of making a "landing" once you got there, for which its clearly not suitable. Nor did I think it would have enough carrying capacity for a lander, but if you presuppose earlier launches to provide the fuel and fueling station, I guess that too can be lofted in bits or ahead of time, so it wouldnt' matter if it became a big piggyback carbuncle vs. fitting inside the bay entirely.

After a bit of googling myself it seems it would be fine on at least the shielding concern after all, and it does carry resources for a couple weeks at at time. And I suppose there'd be some sort of way to re-enter earth orbit and step down gradually (rocket braking, again needing more resources) vs. trying 'reentry' from the lunar return trip directly, for which the heat shield clearly isn't designed.

Thanks again. Learn sumthin' new, and its a good day.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Poximex on 9/12/2008 2:14:13 AM , Rating: 3
Yes, but the Ares 5 rocket will be bigger!

Although the true advantage lies in the weight savings and efficiency. The crew vehicle will be launched on an Ares 1 rocket (a modified SRB from the shuttle). The lander and stage for the Trans-Lunar Injection will be on the Ares 5. This means that the Ares 5 can carry more weight, ie, longer moon missions with more stuff. It makes inherent sense.

I agree that the Saturn V was awesome, but we're going in the right direction.

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Staples on 9/12/2008 12:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe because it did not get us to the moon last time :)

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By Fnoob on 9/12/2008 4:50:03 PM , Rating: 2
Apollo 17 was the last mission, and it did indeed take off via Saturn V, and did land on the moon.

What am I missing?

RE: Resurrect Saturn V !!!
By MamiyaOtaru on 9/12/2008 5:23:29 PM , Rating: 2
conspiracy theories

Damn politics...
By quiksilvr on 9/11/2008 7:39:59 PM , Rating: 5
Whatever happened to the days when people traded together and worked together regardless of what their administration did or what their government was doing? Now U.S. are seen by the world as blood soaked Yanks with nothing better to do than to start wars and kill innocent people. Russia is seen as fire starters and ruthless. Afghanis are seen as terrorists. The French are pussies. The Germans are Nazis. Chinese are communists. I pray for a day when we aren't labeled by what our government and for once just learn to work together without these political constraints.

RE: Damn politics...
By aberdeen5 on 9/11/2008 7:52:23 PM , Rating: 2
Well.. it is a government funded program so things like politics are going to play a role.

RE: Damn politics...
By Some1ne on 9/11/2008 8:20:44 PM , Rating: 2
But that doesn't mean that they should play a role.

RE: Damn politics...
By Ringold on 9/12/2008 3:52:15 AM , Rating: 3
Certainly they should, because hopefully we're all adult enough to realize we can't wish away the reality that our interests deviate significantly from those of China, Russia, etc., and no one will ever look out for our own interests except ourselves.

Given that NASA is a huge, tax-payer funded project, it is only natural that local politics dictate how the money of the people is divvied up, and seems natural enough to me that we should bring in international partners only so far as it benefits ourselves as well.

Sorry we don't all live in unicorn land, but until Putin, McCain/Obama, Mugabe, Brown, Hu Jintao, Donald Trump and the poorest guy from a Kenyan slum can all get together, hug each other and fall in some sort of groupthink hippy love, then I think it better we just face reality.

RE: Damn politics...
By Felofasofa on 9/12/2008 5:21:08 AM , Rating: 2
I think it better we just face reality.

Yep, you've got a big dose of that coming your way. 29% of US mortgage holders have negative equity. Govt bailing out Freddie/Fanny, Bears Stearn, so much for the land of free capitalism. Federal Reserve flat out printing script. The hit being taken to US wealth is incredible. Maybe you should ask the Chinese to underwrite NASA, they're sitting on the US deficit, actually they probably already are.

RE: Damn politics...
By Master Kenobi on 9/12/2008 10:16:48 AM , Rating: 2
Speaking as an employee of one of those companies, I can tell you that Russia, and Japan own far more US backed mortages and securities than China by a long shot.

RE: Damn politics...
By masher2 on 9/12/2008 1:08:15 PM , Rating: 1
> " 29% of US mortgage holders have negative equity."

No. I think you've confused a statement that 29% of recent US mortgage holders have negative equity. But that's a small percentage of the total.

RE: Damn politics...
By Ringold on 9/12/2008 4:51:22 PM , Rating: 2
Masher already pointed out the 29% part, but beyond that, there are very few Western nation's doing better than we are. Europe's economic indicators are crashing harder than ours have. Ireland, Spain, UK and others have the same housing surplus issue as the US. The Euro zone's unemployment sucked even during the economic expansion, it could get even more ugly. Meanwhile, I'm hearing through the grapevine professionals aren't having too rough a time finding work here. Despite all our troubles, the economy still manages to expand.

Also could make the argument that 'Freddie Pae' wasn't bailed out, because the markets never treated them as a private entity anyway. The shareholders and preferred stock holders got annihilated. The Fed's also turning a profit on the Bear "bailout," which wasn't really a bailout. And where is this inflation you're hinting at? Oil going from almost 150 to dropping to $99.x today.. I don't see it there. The recent dollar rally, hmm, don't see it there either. Maybe core inflation? No, not there either.

Able to reference any direct data, or just felt like trolling the same old tired doomsday rhetoric?

RE: Damn politics...
By Felofasofa on 9/14/2008 8:13:11 AM , Rating: 2
Able to reference any direct data, or just felt like trolling the same old tired doomsday rhetoric?

You know as well as I do that references to US economic malaise is in your own financial pages every day of the week.
Comparing the US to Europe is like saying whose cancers worse. Debt binge on cheap credit is symptomatic across all western economies, even down here in Aussie, although our "Sub-prime" loans are of a much higher quality than yours. We never gave Gas Station attendants and check-out chicks 300k+ loans to buy houses. BTW these same people also bought cars and Big Screen Tellys on tick adding Billions more to the debt problem.

Unfortunately any sort of entity with a large portfolio, such as all our Banks, local councils, Pension funds, etc all have exposure to crappy US debt, so we're caught up in it as well. If you think interest rates are going to remain low in the US, I think you're in for a rude shock. The credit taps have been well and truly turned off and the ability to do any business has been turned off with it. Banking is fundamental to Capital economies, thus a Banking crisis means an economic crisis. Tough times are ahead and I think you're in a state of denial if you think otherwise.
I'm hearing through the grapevine professionals aren't having too rough a time finding work here.

That statement has less value than the time it takes to read it. So called "Professional" salaries are also going to drop big-time, especially in the Anglo economies. For example, the Head of GM (which makes cars people don't want to buy) is on around $10 million, whereas the Head of Toyota, who does make cars people want, is on less than a million. The old adage, "you pay peanuts and you get monkeys" is absolute bollocks. Executives salaries are way out of control and we still get monkeys. BTW Japan's fu*ked as well, market share over profitabilty is not sustainable in the long run, they're a house of cards.

Predicting doom is not rhetoric, it's a grim reality my friend.

RE: Damn politics...
By Felofasofa on 9/15/2008 6:59:41 AM , Rating: 2
Ringold, Masher and Kenobi, I just found this and I thought you might like it. It's written by a Chap called Tesla Foil Hat, who posts on A rather inspired piece that impressed me immensely. Context, - news of Lehmans, impending bankruptcy, AIG, Washington Mutal etc. . .

enjoy :)

The fat lady has NOT sung

But she's gargling stage-left...

The Fed is bending-over and spreading it; shooting out 100billion dollar stools, and popping laxatives at the same time... the upshot of which is a classic don't-nest-defecate-own hypocrisy...

and the end of central bank 'engineering' popular for the last decade+ through an all-thumbs-no-fingers regulation style.
Intervention is now killing the meagre confidence left; angering the bear...
Watch him eat 10% of the market this evening, and then another 5-10% over the week.

UBS is probably next, then MerrillL, GoldmanS.
Then, probably citibank, BoA... we've only just begun <*cue The Carpenters*>

Cynically, Congress could revisit SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) and weaken the compliance reqs for the 'effected' I expect, attempting to lessen the slide... It will make little impact now...
The Big Train Wreck has begun..actually, probably when BearStearns exploded.
Buts its not the smash thats the issue; its the aftermath.

Global fin/share markets reactions in the next few days will be devastating and long term.
A succession of hundred point savagings on the indices will seal the deal...
the vacuum should quickly be filled (and as quickly vacated) by the asian markets, but their bubble is about to pop too; so, maybe just a cat-bounce...

The bear is roaring loudly; And US merc banks/financials are covered in honey.

For the moment it seems to forming a short-term, perfect-credit-storm that will shift global fin dominance/centralism out of the US forever.

RE: Damn politics...
By dragonbif on 9/11/2008 8:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
It is about the money always about the money. Who gets what cut of the tax dallors. If you can shoot down another project there is a chance of getting the money.

RE: Damn politics...
By rtrski on 9/11/2008 10:02:04 PM , Rating: 3
Please point out what period of history you're referring to with such nostalgia. I can't seem to find it in any of my books.

RE: Damn politics...
By JustTom on 9/12/2008 12:39:16 AM , Rating: 4
If I was religious I'd say it was the part before Adam bit that damn apple...

RE: Damn politics...
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 9/12/2008 12:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the time frame, just it was the Forbidden Fruit not an apple. Apple's are good they keep the doctors away. Forbidden Fruit is bad, it brought us, well us. :)

I wouldn't get too excited.
By ziggo on 9/11/2008 8:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
Preliminary design reviews are from a very high level. All the general design decisions are made, but the devil is always in the details. This ensures that the planned direction is capable of meeting the system specifications, but the actual design is not complete. On a project of this size it could be quite some time before the "Critical Design Review" when the actual design is complete and ready to send for manufacturing.

RE: I wouldn't get too excited.
By Fnoob on 9/11/2008 10:19:02 PM , Rating: 3
the devil is always in the details.

Yep. Hopefully everyone is using the same measurement system (ie, metric) this time...

RE: I wouldn't get too excited.
By Solandri on 9/12/2008 12:54:18 AM , Rating: 2
The aerospace industry is entrenched in English units, including NASA's engineering arm. NASA's science arm (and the U.S. Army for that matter) uses metric. Airbus is trying to shift to metric, but it's hard when everyone else in the industry uses English units. Russia is about the only major player where everything aerospace is (and always has been) metric.

Speaking as an engineer, it really shouldn't matter. Every number should have a unit attached to it (unless it's dimensionless like Mach number, in which case it should be labeled Mach number). Not labeling a number with a dimension is just sloppy work.

RE: I wouldn't get too excited.
By Amiga500 on 9/12/2008 5:18:10 AM , Rating: 2
Airbus are metric.

Bombardier are both.

Boeing are Imperial.

Embraer are metric.

Its spread out a bit. Obviously as you know working with base 10 is much easier than base X.

By MrPoletski on 9/14/2008 9:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
I do all MY engineering work in Binary.

By Oroka on 9/11/2008 11:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
It will undergo its first unmanned test sometime in 2009

Is this a complete system, or a test firing of a rocket motor?

What baffels me is that this rocket will use tried and true Shuttle SRB, sooooo... why the need for billions per year to modify an existing system? I know Orion is a new system inspired by Apollo, but the SRBs exist and are still in production. I am not an engineer, but damn, do they REALLY need $10 000 000 000 to rehash a old design?

RE: Whua?
By grath on 9/12/2008 2:37:59 AM , Rating: 2
To characterize it as an 'unmanned test' seems to imply a launch rather than a ground test firing. That assumed, the only thing I can imagine being ready for a flight test is the new extended 5+ segment SRB, which I expect theyll launch topped with a dummy upper stage just to test the SRB and flight controls.

The upper stage of the Ares I, the Orion crew capsule, and the integration of the stack with the SRB are what needed to be designed almost from scratch. While the Ares I second stage fuel tank is based on the shuttle external tank, it is still quite a task to reengineer aboth a scaled down version for the Ares I and a scaled up version for Ares V. The LH2/LOX engines for the upper stage are a revival of those used on the Saturn V upper stages, and bringing a 40+ year old design up to 21st century standards and man-rating it is no small task, so again its not quite as off-the-shelf as they would lead us to believe.

RE: Whua?
By Solandri on 9/12/2008 2:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
What I heard was that they were originally going to just use the SRB. But at some point they decided to add another segment for additional thrust (the segments of the SRBs are separated by o-rings made infamous by Challenger). Unfortunately it's not just a simple matter of adding an extra stage. An extra stage gives more output, which changes the burn characteristics, necessitating an entire redesign of the inner hole and nozzle, possible structural redesigns, new tests, etc.

By Staples on 9/12/2008 12:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
There are some who argue that the space program has been a huge waste of money and I am on the wall. I am not very educated on the subject but it does not seem like we have been doing anything of value in space for the last 20 years. I am all for exploration (like going to the moon and Mars) but I hardly think we have gained any new experience or tips on how to get to Mars by going up to space, orbiting a few time and then coming down. Can someone shed some light on why we are so worried about not getting to go to space for a few years? Are we really worried about not being able to waste money?

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 9/12/2008 1:06:07 PM , Rating: 2
"but I hardly think we have gained any new experience or tips on how to get to Mars by going up to space, orbiting a few time and then coming down."

Think of it this way. There is a 6 foot tall brick wall in front of you. You are running at full speed from the cops (troubles). Do you run at it and jump it blindly, or should you have come out the day before a charted some escape paths?

Bet you anything the guy in this story wishes he knew the area better before committing to his actions:,2933,421001,00.html

By Davelo on 9/14/2008 5:28:29 PM , Rating: 2
It's sad to think Nasa is basically about where they were 40 years ago, building another rocket to the moon. So much for progress.

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