This Is Kind Of Cool

But also rather sad and a little pathetic

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Like vinyl records and skinny ties, good things eventually come back around. At NASA, that means looking to the Apollo program for ideas on how to develop the next generation of rockets for future missions to the moon and beyond.

Young engineers who weren’t even born when the last Saturn V rocket took off for the moon are testing a vintage engine from the program.

How far NASA has fallen.

4 Responses to “This Is Kind Of Cool”

  1. mojo says:

    Saturn V had 8 engines, all told.

  2. I don’t know how they are going to square this with their Muslim Outreach Program™…

  3. JeffS says:

    I agree that NASA has fallen, but their studying (i.e., “testing”) the Saturn V rocket is a sound approach.

    The Saturn V worked, and worked spectacularly well. I suspect that we lost a lot knowledge in the design of rocket engines, given how we reach a plateau with the Shuttle and satellite programs; many of the skilled engineers and technicians have retired, and are either deceased, or too old to work. And they weren’t able to mentor the next generation as well as they should have been able to. R&D in those areas have been limited to a few small companies, and foreign governments (e.g., China).

    So it’s worth studying, to (re-)learn a lot of tricks and techniques that aren’t in books, especially given the advances in materials and manufacturing. That’s what makes engineering look simple — you avoid the mistakes of the past. College trained engineers need a lot of mentoring to unlearn somethings, and learn the tricks of the profession.

    It sounds like some of the middle management remain scientists and engineers, and not butt kissing politicians like the senior levels. There’s some hope for NASA.

    If the politicians stay out of the way.

  4. major dad says:

    There has to be another Wernher von Braun out there somewhere…

Image | WordPress Themes