Author Topic: OpEd - Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs  (Read 8414 times)

Offline jongoff

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Re: OpEd - Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs
« Reply #20 on: 04/24/2012 01:28 AM »
Got to ask, has it always been like this, even back in the 60s?

"That Von Braun's come up with a monster rocket, we don't need it!"?

Hmmm...there was a pretty decent battle between Houbolt's group at Langley and von Braun's group on LOR vs. EOR/Direct Ascent...but I think others would have a better idea of how the light to heat ratio stacked up then versus now.

~Jon

Offline Proponent

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Re: OpEd - Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs
« Reply #21 on: 04/24/2012 02:36 AM »
Got to ask, has it always been like this, even back in the 60s?

"That Von Braun's come up with a monster rocket, we don't need it!"?

Before JFK's end-of-the-decade goal was announced, the lunar plans of von Braun and many others envisioned relatively small rockets coupled with assembly or re-fueling in LEO.  The focus on big rockets came once it was clear that time was much more important than money.

Today's environment much more closely resembles the pre-JFK one than the post-JFK one.

EDIT:  "other" -> "others."  And when I say "relatively small rockets," I don't mean the Saturn V, even though it was smaller than the proposed Nova.  I'm talking about things like Project Horizon, in which several launches of 30-tonne-class vehicles were envisioned.
« Last Edit: 04/24/2012 05:11 AM by Proponent »

Offline anonymous1138

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Re: OpEd - Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs
« Reply #22 on: 04/24/2012 02:50 AM »
http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Space-Launch-System-is-a-threat-to-JSC-Texas-jobs-3498836.php

This article did hit on a point I've been thinking about for a while.

When you look at NASA's internal expertise in mission operations vs. its expertise in launch vehicle development, it's pretty clear that its expertise in mission operations is far more valuable and unique than its launcher development. There are several industry groups with a far better demonstrated track record of recent launch vehicle development (LM/Boeing/ULA, Orbital, SpaceX, etc), but almost nobody with experience comparable to what we're losing at JSC and with USA being dissolved.

Why are we throwing most of the NASA HSF money at saving the most redundant part of NASA's manned spaceflight capacity (launcher development), while sacrificing the truly unique part (manned operations)?

~Jon

Absolutely agree. I've always thought that the institutional expertise held in the people and processes at MOD is unique and irreplaceable.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: OpEd - Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs
« Reply #23 on: 04/24/2012 03:16 AM »
Got to ask, has it always been like this, even back in the 60s?

"That Von Braun's come up with a monster rocket, we don't need it!"?

Haha, another case of history being written by the victors. von Braun was the biggest skeptic of the F1, which was actually under development since the 50s!

His focus was on reusability, and he preferred space storable propellants like N2O4/UDMH because density makes reusability easier and stockpiling propellant is easier when it doesn't boil off (on the ground, or in space).

The Saturn vehicles were one hack on top of another.. only the engineer's mother could love them. As was the entire Apollo stack.. it was a "rush job" from start to finish and represents the bottom of the rung to mature technology, not the top.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Online Chris Bergin

Interesting posts, thanks! The thread has turned into an educational event for Chris! :)

Offline spectre9

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Re: OpEd - Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs
« Reply #25 on: 04/24/2012 07:10 AM »
Everybody at NASA is very intelligent and very capable and they know how to fight for their slice of the pie.

Every government agency is the same. When the cuts come some people are getting laid off and others aren't and the scrambling starts.

NASA just gets very badly shafted by budget cuts because their projects are large, require high paid labour forces and take many years which can pass through multiple election cycles.

The unfortunate reality with NASA is they can't do too many concurrent programs. If they try it they get slaughtered. It's time to start winding things back.

Kraft is anti-SLS. He must have seen the special prop depot study that is being kept hidden by NASA. I'm sure there's a good reason rather than just favouring JSC jobs over MSFC jobs.

Edit : Just saw the JSC depot study thread lol
« Last Edit: 04/24/2012 07:19 AM by spectre9 »

Offline mike robel

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Re: OpEd - Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs
« Reply #26 on: 04/24/2012 11:25 AM »
This whining, sniveling, and complaining is a direct result of NASA botching Constellation and not understanding - in my layman, outside opinion - that they failed to properly execute both booster and spacecraft design in a manner that would have an effective replacement flying before the shuttle program ended, which was known nearly a decade in advance.

It also reflects a JSC view that they are the "only" center that matters in HSF.  In a conversation I heard between Guenter Wendt and Gene Kranz, Kranz was espousing that view when Wendt said words to the effect of, "Gene, you don't have a job till we do our job.  And we don't have a job, until everyone else does their job."

This failed execution hsa me thinking NASA needs a top to bottom clearning out of management and engineers, the shut down and combinationof several centers could result in better communication and teamwork and less stovepiping of function, and close congressional oversight (if there is such a thing) to ensure it can manage its HSF mission.  In particular, the building of a new headquartes at this time, even though it may be needed, leads one to believe that they still have their priorities wrong.

Having said that, remember there was a six year gap in independent (actually any) US spaceflight between Apollo-Soyuz (July 1975) and the first flight of the space shuttle (April 1981).  Even though we have outsourced our HSF capability to Russia, there are still US Astronauts in orbit.

Offline muomega0

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Re: OpEd - Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs
« Reply #27 on: 04/24/2012 01:00 PM »
Got to ask, has it always been like this, even back in the 60s?

"That Von Braun's come up with a monster rocket, we don't need it!"?

Haha, another case of history being written by the victors. von Braun was the biggest skeptic of the F1, which was actually under development since the 50s!

His focus was on reusability, and he preferred space storable propellants like N2O4/UDMH because density makes reusability easier and stockpiling propellant is easier when it doesn't boil off (on the ground, or in space).

The Saturn vehicles were one hack on top of another.. only the engineer's mother could love them. As was the entire Apollo stack.. it was a "rush job" from start to finish and represents the bottom of the rung to mature technology, not the top.

Engineering is tradeoff.   

von Braun allowed *parallel* efforts on multiple components and made decisions not in 60 day studies, but rather, at the right time. 

So with your great wisdom, please provide the calculations that justify your propellant choice of hypergolics. 

Please state your assumptions. 

The amount of thrust and duration is a driver.  So are costs.  Perhaps you are referring to GEO stationkeeping?

Strictly from a performance issue, higher ISP wins on lowering IMLEO and hence costs for the kinds and numbers of NASA missions envisioned for the future.  It is not even close on cost either.  If this assessment is wrong, please provide data or references.

-----

The two remaining issues are boiloff and AR&D risk.

On the former,

*If* boiloff is an issue, then more propellants are included in the trade space.

It can be shown that launching a stretched upper stage tank *empty*, with a 4 layer conical shield in a POP orientation, at an altitude 4X higher than ISS, then the boiloff may be reduced to maybe 0.1%/day passively.

Simply add power, some pumps, spin the depot and one arrives at a LEO ZBO depot that provides NASA the ability to reduce the LV size *and* eliminate boiloff as a concern--the two big cost drivers.  The hardware will last 10 to 15 years and will not be *expendable* like block 2 cps.  The transfer stage can now shed the mass and increase performance.  Further, perhaps it can serviced, if necessary.

So if you have an issue with boiloff, please bring up your concerns, in detail.  It is what most of the NASA community enjoys:  solving problems, especially when it comes to safety.  If the issue(s) is a showstopper or it changes the technology, then fine.  Better to have the issue worked now.  But out of the blue, Block 2 CPS surfaces as the *depot*. ???

--
The other concern then is AR&D risk.  As was shown during ESAS, all architectures above 3 AR&Ds were eliminated from contention based on what appears to be a 1 in 97 failure risk at the low end, but rates depend on the event.

On a cost basis, since Ares V was willing to boiloff 700M of propellant for one Mars mission, it would appear that one or two AR&D events during propellant delivery that required replacing a depot would be way less expensive.  What about using a rate less than 1% risk like ISS?  What about berthing?  Quite a few fun design challenges in the depot design. :)

But is all this depot risk worth providing more dollars for mission hardware?  All the data and design requires the review of the NASA community, just like it reviews SLS.

From a ten mile view, Kraft considered the data that was *not* included in ESAS, Constellation, or SLS decision processes and said there appears to be a better way forward for JSC, and likely NASA.

NASA did *not* abandon shuttle hardware lightly.  The US gave the technology a chance for about a decade longer with Constellation/SLS.

The economics of LEO access will not allow a HLV architecture.  The LEO depot enables exploration by reducing LV size and boiloff and hence costs.

The architecture now has changed. 

Offline muomega0

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Re: OpEd - Space Launch System is a threat to JSC, Texas jobs
« Reply #28 on: 04/24/2012 01:03 PM »
Edit : Just saw the JSC depot study thread lol

Can you please explain if a key finding is in error?

Also,  can you point the humorous part...can always use a good laugh :)

Thanks!

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