Today's first test flight of the Orion spacecraft, launched by a Delta IV heavy, was a complete success in every respect. Well done, chaps.
Richard Hoagland, guesting on his girlfriend's awful internet radio show, went into hyperbole mode even before the flight was over. "This changes everything," he gushed. "It will save the world." Just as I was thinking his narration of the test flight -- officially designated EFT-1 -- was reasonably accurate, however, he revealed his ignorance once again by looking forward to the days when Orion will take men to the Moon to rediscover the technology of that ancient Lunar civilization he dreams about. The one destination Orion does not have is the surface of the Moon -- the Augustine Commission plus President Obama (well, his advisers, anyway) nixed that.
Orion is all that we have left of the cancelled Constellation Project, and it will eventually be launched on the all-new Space Launch System toward asteroids and the planet Mars.
I'm just bummed that we'll have to wait until September 2018 for the next Orion flight -- a trip around the Moon and back designated EM-1. Even then, it will not be manned. The manned asteroid rendezvous is projected for 2021-ish. But, you never know -- if the Chinese start doing very visible things with men (and women) on the Moon, the US Congress might have an epiphany.
Hoagland took it up a notch by appearing in the news segment of Coast to Coast AM last night. Evidently the slight feud between Hoagland and Noory is over, and we can look forward to more bullshitnote 1. Last night he took most of his allotted time recounting how a 22-year-old Hoagland attended a NASA press conference in January 1967 and got to ask The Great Von Braun a question. Just as he had earlier on the freedomslips show, he misinformed the audience about Orion's mission, and made the crazy statement that Orion was the technology of the 22nd century. Dear Richard: The 22nd century is 86 years away. Nothing will be left to show for Orion by 2100. I promise you.
Since I'm annoyed that he got back on the air, I'll nit-pick by saying that his reference to the mighty Saturn V rocket was wrong, too. A January 1967 press conference at the Cape would have been about AS-204, later designated Apollo 1 -- the tragic mission that killed Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee in an oxygen firenote 2. The rocket was a Saturn 1B, not a V.
 Specifically, bullshit about comet 67P Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Hoagland said he would blow Noory's mind with his revelations about what Rosetta's cameras revealed. Here we go again -- Nike sneakers, apartment blocks, motels....
 Hoagland himself would, many years later, make the inexcusable claim that the AS-204 fire was no accident, but something contrived by NASA management. His evidence? Astrology.