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CEV pushed back another year
ilbasso
post Aug 12 2008, 03:04 AM
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Now won't fly before September 2014....
CNN article


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dvandorn
post Aug 14 2008, 04:10 AM
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All I'll say on the topic of the thread is that no one ought to be surprised that a manned vehicle development program is taking longer than the initial work flows had projected. Not a single manned vehicle has met its initial flight readiness dates -- I know that this includes the Americans and the then-Soviets, and I suspect it's also true of the Chinese.

Mercury flew manned two years behind schedule. Gemini flew a year and a half behind schedule. Apollo flew two to three years behind schedule, and Shuttle flew between two and three years behind schedule. Skylab was between one and three years behind schedule, as well, and I imagine the early Salyut program flew behind its initial schedules, too.

I actually thought that Mike Griffin did a good thing by setting the 2013 internal goal. His mission is to get Orion flying by 2015; the 2013 date is pretty much what you had to set in order to actually meet the 2015 date.

I'm sure there are any number of people here who have worked on managed projects with deadline dates. Haven't you all been on projects where the deadlines are set well ahead of the true drop-dead dates, just to ensure that the *real* dates could be made?

There are still some sticky technical issues to be overcome, to be sure. But I don't get the feeling that this news is either a critical blow to the program *or* unexpected.

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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JRehling
post Aug 15 2008, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE (dvandorn @ Aug 13 2008, 09:10 PM) *
Haven't you all been on projects where the deadlines are set well ahead of the true drop-dead dates, just to ensure that the *real* dates could be made?


I think that only works if the soft deadlines are known to be soft, or if this is the absolute last time the manager in question will work with the workers in question. Because as soon as they know that Deadline X means something else, their activity will cut to fit.

But the real thing I worry about is that when a program is "defended" in some way that cloaks shortfalls, it opens the door to a catastrophic problem of one sort or another. Consider Shuttle+ISS as one example: Way behind schedule, way over budget, and way without purpose; called a "mistake" by the current head of NASA.

Now consider JIMO as another example. It died early in its funding life with strong suspicions that it was simply impossible.

What I'm worried about with masked deadlines and measures that shelter the project from harsh realities is that it may *deserve* those harsh realities. I'd much rather have a JIMO situation that's over before it started than SS+ISS which is going to have a lifespan from 1972-2013 when it's all said and done, with very little to show from it.

I'm worried that the Big Three of Men-to-the-Moon, Men-to-Mars, and Mars Sample Return are going to hit us with a triple whammy of catastrophically failed programs. I can't possibly assess their feasibility on my lonesome, but it worries me if the management style is to bet the house that they can't fail, and to push the hard decisions to the other side of massive funding outlays.
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nprev
post Aug 15 2008, 06:27 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Aug 15 2008, 09:48 AM) *
I'm worried that the Big Three of Men-to-the-Moon, Men-to-Mars, and Mars Sample Return are going to hit us with a triple whammy of catastrophically failed programs. I can't possibly assess their feasibility on my lonesome, but it worries me if the management style is to bet the house that they can't fail, and to push the hard decisions to the other side of massive funding outlays.


There's that, and there's also the phenomenon of "projectitis". Getting things built rapidly & reasonably just doesn't happen anymore. Every petty bureaucrat or Office of Whatever seemingly has to carve his or her mark on any given program, and it just leads to conflicting and/or expensive requirements & delay.

IMHO, product development for space needs to be one hell of a lot more autocratic. That's not how I generally roll--I think that everyone's opinions are valid & should be heard--but pragmatically speaking we need to become far more goal-driven with inflexible constraints to get stuff ready for launch.


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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