Comments
NASA Orion Space Capsule Has Surprising Brain
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
David F. Carr
100%
0%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
7/22/2014 | 10:09:35 AM
What do you think of NASA's computer budget savvy?
Interesting to see the agency stepping carefully away from custom-designed computing for flight systems. The time when the agency had to invent everything that flies aboard a spacecraft is past.
tekedge
50%
50%
tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
7/22/2014 | 4:32:01 PM
NASA Orion Space Capsule
Interesting read. It is commendable how fast technology is changing to accomodate even space travels....
David F. Carr
50%
50%
David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
7/24/2014 | 5:25:50 PM
GAO questions whether rocket booster for NASA's Orion is on track
The General Accountability Office is questioning whether NASA's Space Launch System, the booster assembly that's supposed to be mated with Orion, will materialize on schedule for a planned 2017 trip to the Moon (preparatory for deeper space voyages). The December test flight I talk more about in this story uses an existing booster, sufficient to get the vehicle into space for an automated test flight and reentry (test of the new heat shield). If Orion is flashback to the Apollo capsule, SLS is the new Saturn V, so without that Orion won't be going very far. You can read the GAO report here.

Space Launch System: Resources Need to be Matched to Requirements to Decrease Risk and Support Long Term Affordability

It does strike me that the GAO is faulting the program for lack of long-term planning for what the SLS/Orion missions will be, which is kind of a Catch 22 for NASA. Grander, more detailed plans for deep space exploration tend to get shot down because the price tag runs too high. Orion and SLS are part of a more incremental approach to developing the capabilities for deep space travel. Once they prove they can shoot big payloads farther and faster into space than ever before, there will be more room to get serious about specific missions to the asteroids or Mars.

Instead of planning a grand expedition, they're starting with baby steps. If the GAO was a parent, it would be telling the baby, "It's great that you've learned to crawl and pull yourself up on the coach, but until you know where you're going to go in 20 years I'm not sure you should try to walk across the room."

Or maybe I'm just trying too hard to believe that NASA is going to get back into the business of flying manned spacecraft somewhere beyond low Earth orbit.


The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest September 18, 2014
Enterprise social network success starts and ends with integration. Here's how to finally make collaboration click.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
The weekly wrap-up of the top stories from InformationWeek.com this week.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.