No You Ditn’t: NASA’s Hanley Responds to Blog’s Diss

Maybe NASA Watch didn’t mean any disrespect when it said in an editors note a couple of weeks ago that,

"Sources inside the development of the Ares 1 launch vehicle (aka Crew Launch Vehicle or "The Stick") have reported that the current design is underpowered to the tune of a metric ton or more. As currently designed, Ares 1 would not be able to put the present Orion spacecraft design (Crew Exploration Vehicle) into the orbit NASA desires for missions to the ISS. This issue is more pronounced for CEV missions to the moon."

But Jeff Hanley, the manager of NASA’s Constellation Project which is responsible for developing the rockets and spacecraft the United States is building to replace the space shuttle and return to the Moon, took it as a "Yo Mama" joke gone too far and responded to the allegations as if the blog had broken his slide ruler just for the fun of it.

As he said in an email sent Nov. 13 and circulated far beyond NASA in the hours that followed:

"[M]any who carp from the sidelines do not seem to understand the systems engineering process. They instead want to sensationalize any issue to whatever end or preferred outcome they wish."

Ooooo, how do you like ‘dem apples NASA Watch?

According to a Nov. 15 Space News Interview, Hanley wanted to make sure that the critics of the program (e.g. that trash talking NASA Watch) got his message.

"I thought it was important that we set the record straight on some of the external stuff that’s been going around. I don’t want people to think that because they don’t see us responding to it on a regular basis that has any basis in truth."

For their part, Space Watch editor recognized the effort Hanley went to to make sure they got his message… and see it as a pretty chump move.

"Jeff Hanley went to great lengths to make certain that I got his email. The way he did so (I have the original distribution list) makes me wonder why he was so eager to use other people to get his thoughts to me – but not do so himself – either directly – or through PAO. Moreover, if Hanley holds PAO- accredited news sources such as NASA Watch in such distain, one wonders why he’d even bother to reply in the first place. Just one of life’s little mysteries, I suppose."

Awww, snap. Who said NASA wasn’t a little like high school?

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