I agree with adding the LM to the list, but I would still like to have a finger left over for Mike Griffin....
That is what OTOH is for.
On The Other Hand....
Because if you use the thumb and three other fingers, that other finger you want to use would mean nothing if used on the same hand. :rolleyes:
And unfortunately that other finger is also sort of my opinion of Orion (Previously CEV, which previously was OSP) and Ares-I, and also pretty much the basic concept for "Constellation".
If the idea is go to Mars, then GO TO MARS. Everything else is a waste of time and $, and greatly increases the chances of the whole thing being cancelled part-way thru. See all the other "Shuttle Replacement" Programs. Also the Shuttle ASRM motor facility in Tennessee (better shuttle SRB’s, replacing Thiokol in Utah), that was nearly completed at $2 Billion then never used. Non-NASA, also the Commanche Stealth Helicopter (at least $10 Billion over 20 years!) and the "Super Collider $1 Billion hole in the ground (OK, big, big circular tunnel in the ground).
I have said for years that if some Think Tank was given the political task of coming up with a long-range plan for the US Manned Space Program to come to an end, knowing they could not make it happen FAST, then the "Constellation" Plan would seem like just the kind of solution they might come up with. A slow death, nobody realizing it at first. I have had that opinion for years, and sadly year by year I have seen it come more and more true. No, I am not saying it has been an actual conspiracy, by an actual Think Tank. I am saying the concept seemed so poor and uncertain, and execution has been so flawed from the earliest days, that it never sounded realistic to me that it would come to fruition.
edit - Before "Constellation" with its the grand plan for going to Mars ("but we won't really build anything to go to Mars for decades"). There was the "Shuttle Replacement", called Orbital Space Plane, or OSP. I knew something was fouled up when one of the candidates for the "plane" was a capsule (Otherwise they should have called it Orbital Space Vehicle or something like that). Below is a link to an announcement just a little over 6 years ago, on how OSP was originally to be flying by 2010, but NASA was going to "accelerate" the schedule to make it fly by 2008.
It is also interesting that several of the "Space Plane" candidates were planned to be launched onboard of a Delta-IV Heavy. But for Orion, alternative existing vehicles as the Delta-IV were ruled out because is was not "man rated" from the first day it was originally designed. That was the justification for Ares-I. Seemed more politically derived than true rocket science derived, because one of the TOP lessons to have been learned from the shuttle program should have been NOT to use solid boosters for any future manned launch vehicles (For those who are not aware, the Delta-IV Heavy is all liquid)).
- George Gassaway