Ares 1, the space advocacy community, and the media #NASA

Ares 1-X Test flight

While initial results from the Ares 1-X test flight appear promising, the vehicle is still subject to misunderstanding or misrepresention by the media and space advocates. Credit: NASA

A lot of incorrect and misleading information about Ares 1 has been floating around the space advocacy community. Jeff Foust recently commented about space advocacy dysfunction (see “Dysfunctional space advocacy”, The Space Review, November 23, 2009). My comments are primarily directed to both of these issues.
The commentary I have encountered, covers a spectrum of opinion and intensity from outright attacks all the way to raising reasonable questions that deserve answers and discussion.

That misinformation about Ares 1 has contributed to incredible vitriol and incivility directed toward people connected with the program. For example, Harrison (Jack) Schmitt has exchanged communications with various space advocates about the Ares program that is characterized by insults, questioning of motivations, and agendas of its proponents by some advocates, and basic courtesy and civility on Jack’s side. I will comment further about this divisiveness near the end of this article.

I discussed a few of my observations about the Ares 1 first stage static test in a previous article (see “Taming the fire: the Ares 1 first stage development test”, The Space Review, September 14, 2009). I will follow up by mentioning some of the inaccuracies and misleading information being discussed about the recent Ares 1-X flight test.

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