Author Topic: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1  (Read 82857 times)

Offline Proponent

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #20 on: 02/15/2017 10:45 PM »
It's 1968 and I feel young again...

I don't think this is anything like Apollo 8, if that's what you're thinking.  With Apollo 8, NASA took a risk for a major historical and geopolitical accomplishment.  Crewing EM-1 to, at best, fly a poor man's version of Apollo 8, would be largely about making the Trump administration look good.  It's a terrible excuse for risking a crew.  That this is even considered is a sad reflection on the Trump administration and NASA's leadership.

It's reminiscent of the tragic flight of Soyuz 1.  Political pressure to pull off a space spectacular in time for the 50th anniversary of Russia's Communist revolution led to the death of a cosmonaut in a spacecraft that was not yet ready.  NASA in recent years has acknowledged the large risk it took in flying a crew on STS-1.  For it to now seriously to consider crewing EM-1 would be a sign of dysfunctionality.

EDIT:  Removed extraneous "is" in 1st sentence of 2nd paragraph.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2017 11:41 PM by Proponent »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #21 on: 02/15/2017 10:50 PM »
It's 1968 and I feel young again...

I don't think this is anything like Apollo 8, if that's what you're thinking.  With Apollo 8, NASA took a risk for a major historical and geopolitical accomplishment.  Crewing EM-1 to, at best, fly a poor man's version of Apollo 8, would be largely about making the Trump administration look good.  It's a terrible excuse for risking a crew.  That this is even considered is a sad reflection on the Trump administration and NASA's leadership.

It's reminiscent of is the tragic flight of Soyuz 1.  Political pressure to pull off a space spectacular in time for the 50th anniversary of Russia's Communist revolution led to the death of a cosmonaut in a spacecraft that was not yet ready.  NASA in recent years has acknowledged the large risk it took in flying a crew on STS-1.  For it to now seriously to consider crewing EM-1 would be a sign of dysfunctionality.
That was sarcasm... ;)
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Offline Proponent

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #22 on: 02/15/2017 10:54 PM »
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.

So how come Congress has never complained?

Offline Proponent

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #23 on: 02/15/2017 11:00 PM »
I really think this is essentially a way to answer a demand from the transition team and nothing more.

If that's what it were, I don't think Lightfoot would have announced it.  He'd have simply quietly appointed a team to study it.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2017 11:01 PM by Proponent »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #24 on: 02/15/2017 11:12 PM »
If ASAP goes along with this, they will be exposed as fraudulent.
It's going to make them swallow their own "self licking ice-cream cone" that they are... Thanks to the two Chris's for the space news-making article of the year thus far! :)
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Offline Mark S

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #25 on: 02/15/2017 11:24 PM »
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.

So how come Congress has never complained?

My guess would be because their goal of getting NASA moving in the general direction they wanted was accomplished, even if it varied significantly in the details. It's one thing to set direction and policy goals, quite another to publicly question the results of NASA's technical recommendations.

Offline dglow

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Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #26 on: 02/16/2017 12:35 AM »
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.

Correcct, congress didn't ask for ICPS. Congress asked for an aggressive schedule and ICPS was chosen as a way to meet that schedule. Recall the 'SLS as backup for ISS crew rotation' discussions?

Now we're down to a single flight for ICPS and its associated GSE. A lot of effort to discard after one flight. In retrospect (always 20/20), NASA would have been better off going straight to EUS. IMO, of course.

Offline SWGlassPit

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #27 on: 02/16/2017 01:14 AM »
I really think this is essentially a way to answer a demand from the transition team and nothing more.

If that's what it were, I don't think Lightfoot would have announced it.  He'd have simply quietly appointed a team to study it.

By announcing it, NASA gets to control the story. Keep it quiet (not easy, given how much work this involves), and it would leak out eventually.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #28 on: 02/16/2017 02:38 AM »
I have troubled believing that NASA would decide to send Orion to the ISS. That mission would likely happen after commercial crew has already started ferrying astronauts to the ISS. It wouldn't be a very exciting mission for SLS and Orion in my opinion. Not the kind of mission that would make NASA great again...
« Last Edit: 02/16/2017 02:45 AM by yg1968 »

Offline jongoff

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #29 on: 02/16/2017 03:13 AM »
My take on this is that it's much like the original 2016 initial flight goal, and the Ares-I-X flight before that. A stunt to try and show enough "progress" before a new president gets in* that they hopefully can be made to think the program is farther along than it really is. This flight would be using refurbished shuttle engines and booster casings, an interim upper stage that may only fly once, and a European SM for Orion that may only fly once or twice. The whole SLS/Orion system would likely not be operational for another several years, and if anything pulling up the manned flight date is likely to push out the actual regular operation date. I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than a stunt.

~Jon

* And yes, I'm implying that the people pushing this may be betting on Trump being a one-term wonder.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #30 on: 02/16/2017 03:18 AM »
I really think this is essentially a way to answer a demand from the transition team and nothing more.

If that's what it were, I don't think Lightfoot would have announced it.  He'd have simply quietly appointed a team to study it.

By announcing it, NASA gets to control the story. Keep it quiet (not easy, given how much work this involves), and it would leak out eventually.

I think that it's also in order for SLS and Orion to keep up with the commercial companies that either have or will propose alternate missions before November 2020: for example, SNC proposed servicing Hubble with crewed DC in that time frame.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2017 03:21 AM by yg1968 »

Online redliox

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #31 on: 02/16/2017 04:21 AM »
I don't see this happening anymore than ARM will happen.  If it does happen there will be numerous forced smiles on the engineering staff, and forcing this to happen probably would end up derailing things to 2020.
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Offline ricmsmith

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #32 on: 02/16/2017 10:32 AM »
Whilst it would look great if everything went to plan, what we learned from the Space Shuttle program and many other space flight programs is that often things do not go to plan.

There was a reason for an unmanned test flight, that of validating what the designers thought would happen, would actually happen. If things do go wrong and they loose a crew on a maiden flight, it will risk setting NASA, human spaceflight and research back years, maybe even decades. This all smacks of political interference in what should at the moment be an engineering exercise.

Space flight is risky and dangerous, it will be along time before it is anything like routine but taking risks that are not required to achieve specific goals is a different matter all together. Be brave yes, but do not be rash, that more than anything should be the lesson we take from our space flight history.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #33 on: 02/16/2017 11:12 AM »
FWIW, if I'd been planning the SLS missions (which I wasn't), I would have worked in a few LEO missions launched by Atlas-VH, uncrewed and then crewed, to test Orion in LEO. This would have had at least two significant advantages:

1) Orion is crew ready before the first BLEO mission;

2) Limited and slow-production SLS inventory can be reserved for actual operational missions rather than grandly-named partial-equipment test flights.

Onto the subject of this thread, I'm expecting NASA to kill a forest to prepare and print out a study the conclusions of which can be summarised thus: "Bad idea; let's not do it." That said, this is about salesmanship and making a statement about the United States' national virility. It might not be decided on whether or not it is sensible, safe or scientifically justifiable.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2017 11:13 AM by Ben the Space Brit »
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Offline High Bay 4

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #34 on: 02/16/2017 11:23 AM »
President Trump has an event planned in Melbourne, about 45 miles south of KSC on Saturday.  Part of his speech is supposed to concern early accomplishments and "future plans".  Might this present an opportunity to test the waters for his SLS EM-1 plan before a pro-HSF audience?

Offline AncientU

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #35 on: 02/16/2017 12:04 PM »
I have troubled believing that NASA would decide to send Orion to the ISS. That mission would likely happen after commercial crew has already started ferrying astronauts to the ISS. It wouldn't be a very exciting mission for SLS and Orion in my opinion. Not the kind of mission that would make NASA great again...

Not to mention risking a $100B facility and six crew by rendezvous with an untested spacecraft.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #36 on: 02/16/2017 01:18 PM »
As for the aforementioned WH occupant, he may be lucky to "finish" the current term in office ...
Let's not make predictions here about how long a president will serve. Jim once did that and afterwards had to admit he had better not made that prediction.
That's why I use the word "may"... ;)
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Offline AncientU

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #37 on: 02/16/2017 01:31 PM »
My take on this is that it's much like the original 2016 initial flight goal, and the Ares-I-X flight before that. A stunt to try and show enough "progress" before a new president gets in* that they hopefully can be made to think the program is farther along than it really is. This flight would be using refurbished shuttle engines and booster casings, an interim upper stage that may only fly once, and a European SM for Orion that may only fly once or twice. The whole SLS/Orion system would likely not be operational for another several years, and if anything pulling up the manned flight date is likely to push out the actual regular operation date. I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than a stunt.

~Jon

* And yes, I'm implying that the people pushing this may be betting on Trump being a one-term wonder.
This is an example of the political "circus" stunt that I've been writing about as a distraction. Huge expense and risk for low return. As for the aforementioned WH occupant, he may be lucky to "finish" the current term in office ...

I think this is closer to the poker 'call' where the new administration wants to see SLS/Orion Project's hand.  If buckets more money are requested and still no way to get even first crew flight (safety aside) by 2020, then the bluff will be revealed...

Could still go forward with this craziness, but I doubt it.  Political circus indeed!
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Offline clongton

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #38 on: 02/16/2017 01:42 PM »
Echoes of Soyuz-1 - Echoes of Soyuz-1.

And no this would not resemble Apollo-8 in any way, shape or fashion. Both the Saturn-V rocket and the Apollo spacecraft had already flown and been tested. This is a really, really risky thing to do.

Lightfoot made the announcement so we know he is on board with this. But speculation about whether or not the Trump administration was part of this and how long the President will stay in office is not only unfounded, it is exceptionally *far* off topic. This is a really good topic for discussion. Don't screw it up by going there or I promise I will light up the Moderator's complaint boxes every 30 seconds.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2017 01:43 PM by clongton »
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #39 on: 02/16/2017 02:09 PM »
Echoes of Soyuz-1 - Echoes of Soyuz-1.

And no this would not resemble Apollo-8 in any way, shape or fashion. Both the Saturn-V rocket and the Apollo spacecraft had already flown and been tested. This is a really, really risky thing to do.

Lightfoot made the announcement so we know he is on board with this. But speculation about whether or not the Trump administration was part of this and how long the President will stay in office is not only unfounded, it is exceptionally *far* off topic. This is a really good topic for discussion. Don't screw it up by going there or I promise I will light up the Moderator's complaint boxes every 30 seconds.
I was the president that told Prof. Brinkley that he had big plans for NASA and now this "may" be it...
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