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About Chet

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  1. Halsfury and Hodo have posted, WITHOUT ATTRIBUTION, a photo of the Chrysler Corporation Space Division • General Dynamics Convair Division conceptual cover art of their proposal for the C/D Phase of the Space Shuttle Program. Note the Dodge pickup truck. The orbiter with manned reusable booster was judged technically superior, but was an unaffordable solution in the post-Saturn/Apollo acquisition budget. (While it had a higher acquisition cost than Rockwell, it met ALL of the initial technical requirements, and had the lowest life cycle cost...go figure.) Rockwell's shuttle was much smaller and did not meet the initial requirements established for the program, but it was cheapened up to meet the latest less rigorous technical requirements. The Chrysler/GD orbiter had a HOMOGENIOUS ablative heat shield, which could be rapidly scraped off upon her return to earth, and a new one rapidly applied - allowing one week turn arounds...NO TILES, glued on by migrant workers at Rockwell, and no Columbia diaster. The selection of Rockwell removed Chrysler; Von Braun's synergistic partner in the Redstone, Jupiter, and Saturn I/IB Programs; and turned the future of NASA over to the Air Force. I was on a business trip when I watched, on airport TV, the fate of the Challenger. I called my mother at my parent's home. "Thank God it's not your father's shuttle" she told me. I then called my father "I would never launch a man with a SRB" he sadly and angerly told me. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.