August 23, 2006

Decision #002 - Orion contract assignation

I think that "competition" is a good word and a better practice (to lower costs and boost efficiency) when applied to "common" private and public contracts like the choice of a computer's manufacturer (for an office hardware contract) from a list of 10+ competitors, but NOT for the choice (from only two competitors) of the Orion contractor!

Orion is the most important part of the entire ESAS plan since it will host the astronauts for half of the moon travel and at the very crucial earth-direct reentry phase.

Then, it's design MUST BE PERFECT to avoid any problem that may result in a mission fail or (worst!) a loss of crew!

Unfortunately, after the Apollo program end in '70s great part of the experience about a moon mission/hardware is LOST and must be recovered.

I've read that NASA has recalled many (retired) "Apollo's grandfathers" and takes a look at the original Apollo's hardware in museums...

But this is not sufficient and I think that ALL the experience and knowledge about capsules and spacecrafts must be used to design and build the Orion.

Well, since the two Orion contract competitors (Lockheed-Martin and Northrop-Grumman/Boeing) may (both) develop MANY useful things to make a better Orion, "my" DECISION at ghostNASA is to assign the contract to BOTH (joint) competitors (with the same total amount of funds, of course) since that decision will have (at least) FOUR advantages:

1. join the experience and knowledge of the best brains of both teams to have the best design, solutions, performance, reliability and SAFETY for the Orion

2. share the design engineers of the two teams to develop and build a (better!) Orion in less time without any compromise about quality

3. save (or "don't lose") ONE year (or more!) waiting for the choice of the CEV contractor... oooh, sorry... NASA has ALREADY lost it...

4. don't pay the (multimillion$$$) allowance to the company that loses the Orion contract competition.