Author Topic: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1  (Read 82855 times)

Offline Rocket Science

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SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« on: 02/15/2017 04:14 PM »
From update thread:
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)

Decision to study:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/investigating-potential-crew-sls-maiden-flight/

Decision not to go for it:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/nasa-em-1-uncrewed-costs-main-reason/
« Last Edit: 05/12/2017 07:29 PM by Chris Bergin »
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Offline Mark S

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
« Reply #1 on: 02/15/2017 04:27 PM »
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)

This is about making SLS Exploration Mission 1 a crewed flight, not an unmanned lunar flyby.

Are you thinking of a mission to visit the Lagrange point EML-1? Otherwise, I'm not sure what SpaceX has to do with it.

Offline DOCinCT

Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
« Reply #2 on: 02/15/2017 05:54 PM »
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)
SpaceX has never claimed that a Dragon2 would be suitable for an extended manned flight.  There is no equivalent of a service module.  Elon has said he has no real interest in lunar missions. 

Offline woods170

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
« Reply #3 on: 02/15/2017 06:14 PM »
The secret is out:

https://twitter.com/clownShowPony/status/831879711580160000

holy shit robert lightfoot just said we're going to investigate putting a crew on EM-1

--

Was a 9am memo to the NASA workforce. Will write it up when someone stops laughing and sends me it.
Well. Investigate equals study.

Prediction time: When the study is done the conclusion will be that it cannot be done for a whole lotta reasons. And that will be the end of it.

After which everyone returns to their regular (jobs) program.

Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #4 on: 02/15/2017 07:13 PM »
While I would love to see crew on EM-1 it is neither feasible (without large delays) nor the most efficient path forward. (and I say this as someone who supports SLS)

To get crew on EM-1 would require a delay of a few years (human rating ICPS, giving Orion fully functional life support etc.), resulting in a launch around 2020ish. If ICPS is used NASA then has to change the GSE equipment to be compatible with EUS and Block IB afterwards, which will result in more delays.

Better options IMO:

Launch EM-1 as planned and scheduled. Increase funding for EUS, Orion, and necessary changes to GSE for Block IB to close the gap between EM-1 and EM-2.

Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB. This will result in delays as well but conceivably given enough funding EM-2 could launch around the same time as this proposed version of EM-1 but with the benefit of having all the GSE changes done so there won't be a large gap in between the first flight and subsequent missions.

Both of these options would give a crewed mission around the moon within the horizon of the current Presidency and would bolster the programs stability and effectiveness going forward.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2017 07:15 PM by Endeavour_01 »
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Online GWH

Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #5 on: 02/15/2017 07:18 PM »
Half baked idea, but what if EM-1 was launched without crew where an LEO rendezvous with a commercial crew vehicle would transfer over crew to Orion if all systems checked out?  At least the risk of a completely untested launcher could be removed.

Stage duration of ICPS would of course be a limiting factor, according to the Delta IV users guide duration is 2.3 hours and can be extended to 7 hours with additional hydrazine and batteries.
ULA's IVF could extend this duration of course, and last update I saw a 2018 in orbit test was planned.  Implementing to ICPS would no doubt be an expensive rush program, but in comparison to flying a crewed first launch could appear to be the least bad scenario.

Offline dglow

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #6 on: 02/15/2017 07:27 PM »
Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB.

Not likely to happen, but your sentiment is on point. ICPS, intended as a time-saver to appease congress, has morphed into an expensive liability.

Offline Toast

Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #7 on: 02/15/2017 07:30 PM »
Launch EM-1 as planned and scheduled. Increase funding for EUS, Orion, and necessary changes to GSE for Block IB to close the gap between EM-1 and EM-2.

Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB. This will result in delays as well but conceivably given enough funding EM-2 could launch around the same time as this proposed version of EM-1 but with the benefit of having all the GSE changes done so there won't be a large gap in between the first flight and subsequent missions.

Both of these options would give a crewed mission around the moon within the horizon of the current Presidency and would bolster the programs stability and effectiveness going forward.

I still think there's an issue with these plans--the "then what?" problem. There just aren't any missions requiring Orion (or SLS for that matter, with the sole exception of Europa Clipper). If the goal is to bolster the programs stability and effectiveness going forward, the only thing that can do so is designing missions and payloads to utilize SLS and Orion. Without a "why" the "how" is irrelevant.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
« Reply #8 on: 02/15/2017 07:33 PM »
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)
SpaceX has never claimed that a Dragon2 would be suitable for an extended manned flight.  There is no equivalent of a service module.  Elon has said he has no real interest in lunar missions.

I don't know why you bring SpaceX into this, but as you did, I reply:

A loop around the moon with 3 people is not an extended manned flight.

There is the equivalent of a service module. It is integrated in Dragon unlike other vehicles where it is separate.

Elon is not interested in lunar missions. He is not willing to invest in it. But when well paid for a limited amount of engineering, why would SpaceX not do it?

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
« Reply #9 on: 02/15/2017 07:39 PM »
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)

This is about making SLS Exploration Mission 1 a crewed flight, not an unmanned lunar flyby.

Are you thinking of a mission to visit the Lagrange point EML-1? Otherwise, I'm not sure what SpaceX has to do with it.
My thought was that he could do a crewed flight after spacecraft and heat shield testing... Elon runs his own space agency and can do whatever mission he feel like with his money...
« Last Edit: 02/15/2017 07:41 PM by Rocket Science »
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Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #10 on: 02/15/2017 07:45 PM »

I still think there's an issue with these plans--the "then what?" problem.

I agree that SLS/Orion need defined missions and goals but there are plenty of ideas on how to use them effectively in the near future. NASA needs to convince the President and Congress to just go with one and fund it effectively. Personally I like the idea of using SLS/Orion to build and crew a cis-lunar outpost with a reusable lunar lander. From what I understand it has a lot of support within NASA and ESA.


There is the equivalent of a service module. It is integrated in Dragon unlike other vehicles where it is separate.

Quite correct, although it is not clear how much in the way of consumables Dragon can hold in its integrated SM. Would be very interesting to know.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2017 07:45 PM by Endeavour_01 »
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline Craftyatom

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #11 on: 02/15/2017 08:08 PM »
The most worrying thing in my mind is this line from Lightfoot's memo: "I know the challenges associated with such a proposition, like reviewing the technical feasibility, additional resources needed, and clearly the extra work would require a different launch date." (included in SpaceNews' article)

Yes, it will be a challenge to get the ICPS man-rated.  Yes, it will be a challenge to get EM-1's Orion outfitted with ECLSS.  But these issues are secondary to the idea of crew safety - which is not mentioned at all in Lightfoot's memo.  Surely the first thing one should say about this idea is that it is inherently more dangerous?  To make it as safe as a crewed Block 1 EM-2 (which obviously isn't happening, but as an example) would take a ridiculous number of man hours.

I don't think this proposal should appear anywhere without the caveat "but doing so would be quite dangerous."  If NASA decides to accept that risk, then so be it, but that is something that should be explicitly stated.

One day, a crewed first launch is going to bite someone in the rear (Soyuz 1 almost counts, but there were technically test flights - they all failed to the point where there would've been LOC, though).  I'd hate to see that happen to a vehicle whose design and construction took so much time, effort, and money, at which point this would not just be about crew safety, but program safety as well.
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Offline SWGlassPit

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
« Reply #12 on: 02/15/2017 08:53 PM »
The secret is out:

https://twitter.com/clownShowPony/status/831879711580160000

holy shit robert lightfoot just said we're going to investigate putting a crew on EM-1

--

Was a 9am memo to the NASA workforce. Will write it up when someone stops laughing and sends me it.
Well. Investigate equals study.

Prediction time: When the study is done the conclusion will be that it cannot be done for a whole lotta reasons. And that will be the end of it.

After which everyone returns to their regular (jobs) program.

I really think this is essentially a way to answer a demand from the transition team and nothing more.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #13 on: 02/15/2017 09:10 PM »
I agree that SLS/Orion need defined missions and goals but there are plenty of ideas on how to use them effectively in the near future. NASA needs to convince the President and Congress to just go with one and fund it effectively. Personally I like the idea of using SLS/Orion to build and crew a cis-lunar outpost with a reusable lunar lander. From what I understand it has a lot of support within NASA and ESA.

NASA is a government agency that works for the President.  They do what they are told by the President to do, or funded by Congress to do.  NASA doesn't lobby Congress on it's own.

I know that sounds harsh, but we have to make sure we don't anthropomorphize NASA, or make it sounds like it controls it's own destiny - it doesn't.

As for this EM-1 proposal, considering all the angst and discussion was raised over how SpaceX plans to fuel their rockets for crew launches, I would imagine that NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) is going to have a lot to say about flying humans on the first flight of the SLS and the first flight of a working Orion.

And this is a risky proposal for NASA, since if the flight has a failure, even if it doesn't result in loss of life, that could set the program back further than if they flew the flights without crew - you know, like in a proper test program.

To me this discussion about flying crew early is driven by money and politics.  Money, because test flights of the SLS are extremely expensive, and politics because without a robust manifest of things to fly the SLS has to show that it is accomplishing something to justify it's continuing funding.

Not sure if we know if this is a Trump led effort or something being generated from within NASA, so we'll have to wait and see.  But it will raise a lot of questions for a while...
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Online Lars-J

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #14 on: 02/15/2017 09:11 PM »
If ASAP goes along with this, they will be exposed as fraudulent.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #15 on: 02/15/2017 09:37 PM »
Those in L2 know we've been looking into this for a while, but now it's out there.... I've done some additional asking around for leading options. EM Hybrid is cool.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/investigating-potential-crew-sls-maiden-flight/

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #16 on: 02/15/2017 09:48 PM »
I fear this will be a dangerous one off stunt that superficially achieves the appearance of progress in Human Spaceflight but delays EM2 and the acompanying EUS which are more useful for a BEO HSF.
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #17 on: 02/15/2017 09:59 PM »
Given enough money and enough leadership - NASA could pull this off. Whether they should is going to be a matter of debate, now. In a sensible - not perfect - world, there would be an all-up unmanned test flight first of the SLS/Orion system. Two complete SLS Core Stages and booster sets and three Orion spacecraft should be readied before operations begin. The first test flight; I would make it unmanned and carry out EM-1 as originally planned - around the Moon via SLS. Then, it that went well, put an Orion aboard a Delta IV-H and send it unmanned to the ISS. It docks with ISS, a crew of two board it and carry out a 'shakedown' cruise of Orion manned systems before returning the crew to Earth.

The third and final test flight is a crewed SLS/Orion mission to high Lunar orbit, or Distant Retrograde Lunar orbit, with 4x Astronauts for a full week or so.
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Offline Mark S

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #18 on: 02/15/2017 10:25 PM »
Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB.

Not likely to happen, but your sentiment is on point. ICPS, intended as a time-saver to appease congress, has morphed into an expensive liability.

Congress never asked for ICPS, that was all Charles Bolden. Same with the under-powered core stage with only four RS-25 engines, when all previous studies (ESAS, HEFT, RAC) indicated that five RS-25 was optimal for the very stretched SLS core.

The NASA Auth Act of 2010 called for the core components (core + boosters only) to have a launch capacity of 70 tons (or more) to LEO. Then NASA was to increase total capacity (IMLEO) to 130 tons (or more) by the addition of an "integrated upper earth departure stage". The wording was awkward, but the intention was clear. Of course there was enough ambiguity for NASA to go all crazy with what they were given, and they did.

Now they will have to spend three years re-arranging many of the components on the ML tower, basically everything above the core stage, to accommodate the EUS for Block-1B. After one single launch using the Block-1 configuration with ICPS. Not a good use of time and resources.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #19 on: 02/15/2017 10:37 PM »
An ISS docking mission could involve the SLS sending an Orion and a Deep Space Habitat (DSH) to the ISS for space testing. The ISS is there as a life boat, if something goes wrong with new hardware the crew rush back into the ISS.

The crew could go up separately if the Orion's ECLSS is not ready. The Block 1 SLS being used as the world's biggest cargo launcher.

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