Guys, I figured it out. Here’s how we can make everything work out between the conflicting launch of Dawn to the asteroids and Phoenix to Mars. It’s a brilliant plan and totally lacking in technical feasibility. I think it could work. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen? Just launch the thing and figure it out later.
Here it is.
Keep Dawn on the launch pad. Send it to Mars.
Put Phoenix on the launch pad as scheduled. Send it to Ceres.
Everyone’s a winner! Especially Dana, who wouldn’t have to stay in Florida until Dawn’s September launch and can come to the party at his own apartment tomorrow night.
Errr… not really: NASA Mission to Asteroid Belt Rescheduled for September Launch. But, just taking it off the top of the Delta II rocket and putting it in the National Air and Space Museum instead of stowing it until a September launch — someone will just drop a wrench on it in storage anyway — is thinking one step ahead of the game. Dawn doesn’t want to launch.
However, the real question on everyone’s mind: will Dana still be at the Cape next weekend doing reverse I&T on Dawn or will he be back here for the Frenchy Bob Bastille Day party with his roommates?
Update: Since Dawn has been loaded with (poisonous) hydrazine, it can’t be displayed in a museum. Fine. Here’s another idea: chuck it.