…it’s how you place the blame. Or at least that’s how a friend of mine at NASA once put it.
Apparently, in the wake of yet more news leaks about severe technical issues on Ares I, Mike Griffin decides to play the blame game (hat tip: Space Politics):
A: Let me get down to the bottom of it. There were winners and losers in the contractor community as to who was going to get to do what on the next system post shuttle. And we didn’t pick (Lockheed Martin’s) Atlas 5, in consultation with the Air Force for that matter, because it wasn’t the right vehicle for the lunar job. Obviously, we did pick others. So people who didn’t get picked see an opportunity to throw the issue into controversy and maybe have it come out their way.
I’m sure the guys in Denver are getting a hoot out of this. Of all the people who have a reason to be upset at the massive waste that is Ares-I/Ares-V, the LM/ULA guys I know have actually been rather politic about their complaints.
You see, they’re too busy working on making a vehicle that’s safe enough to fly people and affordable enough to do so entirely on the private market, without needing multi-billion dollar sole-source contracts from NASA. Of course, Mike may actually have a point though. If there is anyone outside of NASA HQ who is to blame for making Ares-I look bad, it probably is the Atlas V guys…
Just not in the way Griffin is insinuating…
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