As reported by Space News‘ Amy Klamper, at a luncheon hosted by “Women in Aerospace” and the “Washington Space Business Roundtable” on October 20th, Air Force General Lester Lyles made the following statements concerning the Ares I and Ares V programs,
“I’m a rocket engineer, a rocket scientist. I’m a big, big believer in the need for rocket technology, so I personally want to see Ares 1 going and the program going as it’s currently structured,” said retired Air Force Gen. Lester Lyles, a member of the White House-appointed Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee led by former Lockheed Martin chief Norm Augustine.
Lyles, who led the Augustine panel’s subcommittee on interagency and international cooperation, said while it may be prudent to study other options, he would not want to “disrupt” what he considers a successful program. “When I say successful, I mean they’re meeting most of their milestones, if not all of them, and seem to be technically doing the right thing,” said Lyles.
“We found all the programs to be viable,” he said. “There are advantages and disadvantages with any of them, when you look at it. The current program of record [Constellation], in my opinion, seems to be the right one.”
To the critics of the Ares program, this can only make them reach for the Pepsid Complete. Such individuals must also be feeling a bit besieged given the good news from the Ares I rocket motor test on September 1oth, which demonstrated that the 5-segment SRB motor that forms the first stage of Ares I will not be the bone rattler that critics said it would be.