Author Topic: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread  (Read 252554 times)

Online gongora

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #920 on: 08/01/2017 09:30 PM »
Just listened to the Commercial Crew update from the recent NAC HEO meeting.  Thought it was interesting that they noted the fit of the SpaceX pressure suits are more customized for each crew member than the Boeing suits.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #921 on: 08/02/2017 03:26 PM »
They also noted that the first 4 Dragon2s will be brand new (qualification unit, uncrewed demo, demo, PCS1).

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #922 on: 08/04/2017 12:02 PM »
Here is a link to the NAC presentation on commercial crew:
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/ccp_nac_july24_2017.pdf

Online gongora

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #923 on: 10/24/2017 07:58 PM »
The latest ASAP meeting minutes are out:

Quote
Commercial Crew Program
Lt Gen Susan Helms reported on the Panel’s discussions with CCP management. She noted that the ASAP continues to be impressed by the Program Manager, Ms. Kathy Lueders. Lt Gen Helms commended the Program, noting that it is “doing a fabulous job” raising the bar of excellence on what is a challenging paradigm—two providers with a commercial-type contract, where “human-rating” is one of the most difficult design challenges. The closer they move toward implementation of this Program, the more impressive the team appears to be. The ASAP reviewed the CCP’s launch dates. The official dates, as reported at this meeting were: for SpaceX, April 2018 for an uncrewed, flight-demo mission to the ISS, and August 2018 for a crewed flight to the ISS; for Boeing, August 2018 for the uncrewed flight test, and November 2018 for a crewed flight test.

Lt Gen Helms addressed the safety discussions pertaining to both providers. The ASAP believes that NASA is judiciously continuing to address the risk drivers with the providers for the most serious scenarios through continued analysis, modeling, testing, and design development. It remains challenging. Nevertheless, the focus on worst case scenarios has driven positive design decisions for both providers, as well as other aspects such as increases in systems testing for some of the systems that carry notable risks. As reported at the last quarterly, micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) continues to be the prime risk driver for both providers by a significant margin. Lt Gen Helms emphasized that one should not put a disproportionate emphasis on exact numbers at this point in time. The modeling of MMOD is a very challenging analysis, and there are notable uncertainties in the calculation. NASA is continuing to work on the modeling problem through proposed MMOD sampling experiments on the International Space Station (ISS), which is an outstanding use of the vehicle for this type of analysis. The team is also working on some unique defect testing with the Dragon cargo mission to recover and study the Dragon after it returns to help reduce modeling uncertainties on MMOD damage. In other words, defects are being deliberately placed on Dragon to try to simulate some of the MMOD scenarios. The operational mitigations, such as on-orbit inspection, are obviously prudent to consider, and NASA is doing so. The focus is on better understanding the risks of the space environment in advance and the design of the provider vehicles in the face of those risks.

Lt Gen Helms discussed some other major risk drivers common to both vehicles that were highlighted in the CCP’s report. Both providers continue comprehensive parachute test plans to help refine the nature of parachute risks. Related to other prominent risk drivers for both vehicles, NASA will begin to adjudicate launch commit criteria for launch day weather and sea states in support of normal flight sequencing, especially abort modes. Given that the staging events of the vehicles have been evaluated to have a notable contribution to risk, launch day weather will be a fairly critical element of risk management. NASA is about to embark on developing criteria that will provide both mitigation to abort staging risks while still providing some reasonable time for launch opportunity. The Panel also had a discussion with NASA about authorities. The Panel has been very focused on the level at which risk is accepted and by whom. The ASAP was informed that the NASA Associate Administrator level or higher will make the decision on certification for both designs.

Lt Gen Helms continued with the status on the individual providers, beginning with SpaceX. She reported that there has been good progress on composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV) analysis, resulting from the accident late last summer. There is a very cooperative SpaceX/NASA team pursuing additional analysis, testing, and investigating cause. The COPV 2.0 development continues. A subgroup of Panel members visited SpaceX last month and heard more about how the development is proceeding. NASA appears to be taking a prudent risk reduction step and a possible alternative parallel path—a different design—that would be a form of insurance. Lt Gen Helms noted that NASA is good at working additional options. Throughout the COPV work, the team has been pushing state-of-the-art of this COPV technology for everyone. This has been one of the positive outcomes of the accident, and everyone will benefit from this cooperative relationship between NASA and SpaceX. With regard to the parachutes, there has been great progress on the test program. Several more tests are coming up, focused on reducing the uncertainty in the parachute reliability analysis and also to help facilitate lessons learned in the design. Another special topic that was a “good news story” was the blade disk and engine improvements for the Merlin. The turbine wheel crack mitigation operational changes have been implemented and robust testing continues to support the validity of the improvements. Again, this will not only benefit the CCP, but all potential customers—both government and commercial—who intend to use the Falcon 9.

CAPT Christopher Saindon reported on the Boeing status. The Panel had a good discussion with Mr. Chris Gerace from CCP regarding Boeing’s path forward toward Flight Test Readiness Review for both the orbital flight test and eventual crewed flight test. Boeing and the CCP team have been conducting detailed probabilistic safety analysis (PSA) modeling with an eye toward reducing overall risk. This has been a primary focus area for Boeing, and the results of these ongoing risk analyses have influenced design, development, test, and evaluation (DDTE) activities significantly. As with Space-X, the greatest risk driver remains on-orbit MMOD vulnerability and recovery parachute systems performance and certification. The CCP did note that both partners had effectively
used the PSA analysis results to identify primary risk drivers. SpaceX and Boeing have used that data to develop focused mitigations including vehicle design and operational protocol changes. Nevertheless, at this point in the Program, there are only a few design changes that will likely result in substantial risk reductions.

In terms of operational changes, the CCP has identified additional opportunity to reduce risk. Specifically, this includes operational approaches to mitigate unacceptable abort weather criteria—primarily unacceptable recovery sea-states—through tailored launch commit criteria (launch rules) as well as strategies for on-orbit MMOD inspection. While more work still remains in both of these operational mitigation strategy areas, they represent solid, safety-focused, risk decisions being made collaboratively between CCP and the providers to improve the overall risk profile of the Program.

Mr. Gerace also discussed the CST-100 abort capability certification strategy. The CCP shared with the Panel how they have developed a stringent abort system performance requirement intended to ensure a continuous ascent abort capability. The requirement did not obligate the CCP providers to demonstrate a live, in-flight or pad abort test. However, Boeing has elected to conduct an actual pad abort test, and they will rely on extensive subscale wind tunnel testing for the in-flight regime testing. For the in-flight abort wind tunnel testing, Boeing has been working to validate abort performance working with the aero-skirt design to alleviate non-linear aerodynamic properties associated with the “hammerhead design” of the crew module/service module/launch vehicle interface.

Mr. Gerace led a discussion about the specifics of the CCP’s development of the Abort Certification Roadmap, which has been developed to identify key gaps that drive risk in abort system capability and certification. This effort identified some issues with integrated testing and eventually led to identification of potential gaps. To date, only two gaps remain, which Boeing is working diligently to resolve with additional testing, including high Mach parachute testing. Mr. Gerace also reviewed the ongoing structural test article (STA) shock testing related specifically to the recovery parachute deployment system. Again, there have been some unknowns discovered in that testing, and CCP and the provider are working to achieve an acceptable solution.

Mr. Justin Kerr discussed the details of the Boeing parachute testing plan being conducted at White Sands with a boilerplate model vehicle. Boeing added six parachute tests to ensure that there is sufficient hard data to define in-flight abort envelope. The test plan consists of three boilerplate static balloon drops, followed by three “lawn dart” tests (a more dynamic test of the parachute system).

Finally, Ms. Dayna Ise led a discussion with the Panel on the ongoing certification efforts for the RD-180 engine. In the Panel’s view, this was a good news story, since there has been a great deal of uncertainty regarding the path forward toward certification of that engine. While the CCP is still carrying certification of the RD-180 as a top-level programmatic risk, Ms. Ise highlighted some significant and promising forward progress in light of the challenges related to obtaining granular design and component level data from the engine designer.

Boeing is tracking numerous DDTE milestones as they work toward certification for flight. Quite a bit of work remains on verification and closure notices (VCNs), and the Panel reviewed the burn down chart and the plan to achieve critical milestones. Undoubtedly, it will be a challenge to work through all the VCNs and address any unknown unknowns that result from the ongoing test and evaluation program. It was clear to the Panel that Boeing, the CCP, and safety and mission assurance (SMA) were fairly well aligned on their assessment of top program and safety risks.

CAPT Saindon concluded his report with a brief mention of the Panel’s open recommendation regarding SpaceX and Boeing providing verifiable evidence of rigorous systems engineering and integration (SE&I) principles in support of the NASA certification and operation of Commercial Crew Transport (CCT) services to ISS. The Panel believes the NASA CCP Office and the providers are making good progress toward meeting the intent of the Panel’s recommendation, and the discussions regarding testing and resultant design changes are indicative of that progress.

Lt Gen Helms made a final comment regarding the schedule. The Panel appreciates the sheer volume of work by NASA’s Program team and the providers—under fairly unique circumstances—in getting two vehicles off the ground in the same timeframe. It is clear that NASA will be receiving a great quantity of provider products. The Panel has reviewed the schedules for the providers, and they are very ambitious to meet the official launch dates. Behind the provider schedules are the NASA schedules to assimilate, process, adjudicate, and approve the products and activities for the NASA readiness review. It is a lot of work. This process has begun and it will get more difficult as the team moves closer to the launch readiness dates. The Panel encouraged support of the CCP to ensure they have all the resources to accomplish the work judiciously and safely. Lt Gen Helms noted that this is an important ASAP “watch item.”

Dr. Donald McErlean, who has had extensive experience with propulsion items, commented on SpaceX’s remanufacture of a new “blisk,” which is a combination of a blade and disk in one single forging. The recent  insight visit to SpaceX provided an opportunity to examine that new device. This is an example of a “spin-off” that comes from NASA programs. This complex forging is unquestionably a state-of-the-art in manufacturing technology, and that technology is now contained within American industry. It was very gratifying to see the technology, which is encouraged by NASA’s programs, leading to a great step forward for SpaceX and its future customers, both government and commercial.

Mr. John Frost added emphasis to Dr. McErlean’s point on spin-offs. The NASA mission is to improve our knowledge of the universe. Many people think of that in terms of discoveries about other planets, and while that is certainly true, the technology that is developed in obtaining that goal is worth its weight in gold. For
example, the research being done on COPV to fully understand the physics of failure of that important technology is state-of-the-art. Mr. Frost observed that when applying the brightest minds to the most complex issues, the solutions and advances in technology can be remarkable. During the tour at JSC, the Panel also looked at the human performance work regarding eyesight degradation in low gravity, which is advancing the medical world. The public needs to understand that NASA spin-offs are more than Tang or Velco—there are important breakthroughs, and they are one of the major benefits from what NASA does.
« Last Edit: 10/24/2017 07:58 PM by gongora »

Online meberbs

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #924 on: 10/26/2017 02:41 PM »
The latest ASAP meeting minutes are out:
I haven't really seen much from ASAP other than things on this program and SLS, but out of everything I have seen, this is the most positive "things are going well" message I have seen from them.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #925 on: 10/27/2017 05:58 PM »
Post from Wayne Hale:
Quote
I made this prediction 7 years ago. We are about to find out if I was right to be worried.
https://twitter.com/waynehale/status/923909619654774784

Quote
The coming train wreck for Commercial Human Spaceflight

Quote
As with all good government bureaucracies, NASA believes that improved processes (read:  increased bureaucracy) is the answer to preventing future problems.  So NASA writes longer and longer specifications and requirements, and demands more and more documentation and proof.  Somewhere along the line, we have crossed over the optimum point to ensure safety and just added cost and delay.

Quote
Now NASA has released a draft (dated Oct. 8, 2010) of its requirements CCT-REQ-1130 ISS Crew Transportation and Services Requirements.  I’d like for you to read it but it is behind NASA’s IT firewall and you must have an ID and password to access it.  I have read it and I’m disappointed.  The document runs a mind-numbing 260 pages of densely spaced requirements.  Most disappointing, on pages 7 to 11 is a table of 74 additional requirements documents which must be followed, in whole or in part.  Taken all together, there are thousands of requirement statements referenced in this document.

https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/the-coming-train-wreck-for-commercial-human-spaceflight/

« Last Edit: 10/27/2017 06:03 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #926 on: 10/27/2017 07:17 PM »
From the ASAP meeting minutes, for SpaceX they only identify two areas of active concern, which are MMOD and vehicle risks related to aborts and landings (parachutes, weather criteria, etc.).

They do talk about the work related to COPV's, which indicates that between NASA and SpaceX some really great development is happening, but the issue of whether fueling the vehicle before crew is loaded or after crew is loaded is not mentioned.

Do we know if SpaceX and NASA have agreed on when the Falcon 9 launch vehicle should be fueled for a crew flight?
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online abaddon

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #927 on: 10/27/2017 07:21 PM »
Post from Wayne Hale:
Quote
I made this prediction 7 years ago. We are about to find out if I was right to be worried.
https://twitter.com/waynehale/status/923909619654774784
Not sure I understand a tweet (now) referencing the blog post from 2010.  The post was talking about increased cost and schedule creep due to over-burdensome regulation.  The risk ("the coming train wreck") clearly referred to that.  We've seen exactly that to be sure - and yet, here we are now in late 2017, and it seems the program is very close to achieving first flights in the coming year.  "We are about to find out if I was right to be worried" makes no sense at this juncture at all.  Is he worried about further changes to requirements slipping the program even further right than they are now?
« Last Edit: 10/27/2017 07:22 PM by abaddon »

Offline raketa

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #928 on: 10/27/2017 07:22 PM »
Quote
requirement statements referenced in this document.

https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/the-coming-train-wreck-for-commercial-human-spaceflight/

It took more time, then originally plan, but  it gives Spacex time to learn and if they bring us to Mars in 10 years.
It will be similar to NASA plan in 60 to land in 80 on Mars, for 1% of original planned budget. Worth of any penny.

Offline Wayne Hale

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #929 on: 10/30/2017 07:39 PM »
My worry:  both providers are getting ready to have their Design Certification Review - that is the point at which the NASA independent technical authorities will give them approval or send them back to the showers for additional work.  If NASA has not changed, you can expect significant delay for the providers to have to do much more work (tests, analysis, maybe even redesign).  Watch what happens over the next couple of months.

Online abaddon

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #930 on: 10/30/2017 07:52 PM »
Thanks for coming by and clarifying what your concern is, Wayne.  I can only hope you're wrong; that would be terribly dispiriting.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #931 on: 10/30/2017 09:59 PM »
My worry:  both providers are getting ready to have their Design Certification Review - that is the point at which the NASA independent technical authorities will give them approval or send them back to the showers for additional work.  If NASA has not changed, you can expect significant delay for the providers to have to do much more work (tests, analysis, maybe even redesign).  Watch what happens over the next couple of months.


The Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract was issued under Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Part 15 and is Firm Fixed Price (FFP). Can NASA impose more than a trivial amount of extra work without providing extra money? Is such money in the 2018 budget?

Offline woods170

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #932 on: 10/31/2017 06:16 AM »
My worry:  both providers are getting ready to have their Design Certification Review - that is the point at which the NASA independent technical authorities will give them approval or send them back to the showers for additional work.  If NASA has not changed, you can expect significant delay for the providers to have to do much more work (tests, analysis, maybe even redesign).  Watch what happens over the next couple of months.


The Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract was issued under Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) Part 15 and is Firm Fixed Price (FFP). Can NASA impose more than a trivial amount of extra work without providing extra money? Is such money in the 2018 budget?
Firm Fixed Price contracts usually come with a "fixed" scope of work as well. However, the CCtCap contract does allow for a limited amount of additional work above-and-beyond the contracted scope. If and when NASA demands additional work outside the scope of the contract, than the contract will have to be re-negotiated.
When such a scenario plays out NASA will likely have to go back to US Congress for additional funding because the requested CCP funding levels are for the currently contracted scope of CCP work.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #933 on: 10/31/2017 03:45 PM »
NASA can argue the safety standards set are not met and the contractor needs to fix whatever NASA points to at their own cost.

Offline woods170

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #934 on: 10/31/2017 05:49 PM »
NASA can argue the safety standards set are not met and the contractor needs to fix whatever NASA points to at their own cost.
No, NASA won't.
NASA has already been priming ASAP and the HEO - NASA Advisory Committee to except the fact that the originally set LOC/LOM numbers will not be met. That is being done by putting doubt on NASA's own theoretical models for calculating LOC/LOM. Just carefully read the ASAP minutes and HEO - NAC presentations and one can clearly see what is going on: a waiver will eventually be granted for lower LOC/LOM capabilities.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #935 on: 11/02/2017 03:50 AM »
NASA can argue the safety standards set are not met and the contractor needs to fix whatever NASA points to at their own cost.
No, NASA won't.
NASA has already been priming ASAP and the HEO - NASA Advisory Committee to except the fact that the originally set LOC/LOM numbers will not be met. That is being done by putting doubt on NASA's own theoretical models for calculating LOC/LOM. Just carefully read the ASAP minutes and HEO - NAC presentations and one can clearly see what is going on: a waiver will eventually be granted for lower LOC/LOM capabilities.

I understood that these LOC/LOM numbers would not be met while in-orbit because of the hard to quantify micro-meteorites and orbital debris hazards but the numbers still need to be met for other hazards.

Offline jpo234

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« Last Edit: 11/02/2017 04:27 PM by gongora »
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline AncientU

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Offline Kang54

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #938 on: 11/02/2017 06:24 PM »
There's also this new article:
NASA Human Spaceflight Scenarios - Do All Our Models Still Say ‘No’?
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170008892.pdf

I have only read the introduction so far, and I'm not quite sure if it fits in this thread, but there are some interesting mentions of furthering the public-private partnerships to beyond LEO.

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Re: Commercial Crew (CCtCAP) - Discussion Thread
« Reply #939 on: 11/02/2017 11:22 PM »
NASA can argue the safety standards set are not met and the contractor needs to fix whatever NASA points to at their own cost.
No, NASA won't.
NASA has already been priming ASAP and the HEO - NASA Advisory Committee to except the fact that the originally set LOC/LOM numbers will not be met. That is being done by putting doubt on NASA's own theoretical models for calculating LOC/LOM. Just carefully read the ASAP minutes and HEO - NAC presentations and one can clearly see what is going on: a waiver will eventually be granted for lower LOC/LOM capabilities.

If lower LOC/LOM for capsules are genuinely important then damage when docked to a spacestation can be handled at a system level. Docking bays designed to protect visiting vehicles against debris can be added to the ISS (and DSG). A Kevlar or equivalent wall will do this. Air tight doors are not needed because spacecraft are happy to stay in vacuum providing they are heated.

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