Rich Bettin (NASA QE&A) ha recentemente partecipato ad una riunione tra managers NASA e Lockheed Martin in cui si è parlato del reale stato di Orion, in seguito ha inviato una mail interna per rendere noto l’argomento trattato.
L’Orlando Sentinel ne è venuto in possesso e rivelerebbe che secondo l’azienda costruttrice, Orion potrebbe già compiere un primo volo in LEO nel 2013 e circumnavigare la Luna nel 2015.
Ecco la mail intera:
From: Bettin, Richard
Sent: Friday, February 26, 2010 8:47 AM
Subject: Orion all hands
Good Morning All,
Yesterday I attended the Orion all hands hosted by Mark Geyer, project manager NASA, and Cleon Lacefield, project manager LM.
Orion plans to execute as if “we will fly” the contract is still there and will be carried out. The feeling is that money will be available through Jan/Feb 2011 by way of a continual resolution of the budget. The hope is that some parts will survive and options are being discussed with the customer. Congress is being lobbied to consider an “Orion Light” that would incorporate the basic design but may have less capability. The project believes there will be some sort of compromise and are willing to take a more flexible path. [W]as stated that LM has an option by law to 2013 and may propose a leaner Orion. The feeling is that LM is far ahead of any other company for delivering a man-rated vehicle. LM believes they will be ready to fly in 2013 and could circle the moon in 2015.
The project believes it is extremely important to continue to show progress and professionalism. Stay with the guiding principles and work safe. Key milestones continue to be met. Some examples were PA-1 will launch in late April or early May. GSE test articles are being delivered to Michoud. Orion has a PDR design and is “very close” to completion. Heat shield installation tool due to be delivered to KSC in early March. CEV work station to arrive in April and the super station sometime this summer.
It was also mentioned the project has not done a good PR job. The public has a perception of regressing to an Apollo era. The facts are the reason for the design is that physics do not change. Orion incorporates the latest technological advances and materials. If there are any questions I will do my best to answer or get an answer.