Poll

Which of the following will fly first?

SpaceX Crewed Lunar Flyby
122 (75.8%)
SLS EM 1
35 (21.7%)
Neither Will Ever Fly
4 (2.5%)

Total Members Voted: 161

Voting closed: 03/28/2017 03:32 AM


Author Topic: What will happen first: SpaceX Crewed Lunar Flyby or SLS EM-1  (Read 7979 times)

Online Eagandale4114

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What do you guys think?

Offline Endeavour_01

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I voted for EM-1 (assuming that it remains unmanned). Just like RD has been moved back two years I believe LD will be moved back to the late 2019-2021 timeframe. It could be close though.
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 jongoff

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I'm usually on the skeptical end of the SpaceX fanboy spectrum (still a fan, just a cautious one). But I think they have a good shot of beating EM-1 around the Moon, even if EM-1 stays cargo only.

If EM-1 stays cargo-only I'd give SpaceX a 60/40 shot of being first--it would only take one more launch failure or other setback to delay it just far enough that if SLS doesn't keep slipping EM-1 could win. But if EM-1 switches to a manned flight, I'd give SpaceX a 70/30 chance of beating them. I don't think SpaceX will make 4Q2018, but I think it is likely to fly before the end of 2019.

~Jon

Offline IanThePineapple

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They will probably beat EM-1 there, EM-1 will probably get pushed back, I think to mid-late 2019, and the SpaceX mission getting pushed back to early-mid 2019.
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Offline zappatosin

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There are too many NET dates on the SpaceX schedule for them to beat an un-manned EM-1.

Although there is some political interest in returning humans to the Moon, there is not nearly enough political capital to man-rate EM-1. I am curious if the Moon specifically will be mentioned in Trump's address tomorrow.

Offline bad_astra

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They'll both be pushed back but EM-1 will be pushed back and may in fact never even happen.
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Offline Robotbeat

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It's possible SLS/Orion will go first around the Moon uncrewed (though it will have been beaten by China in 2013 and again this year). But the first crew will be launched by SpaceX.

SpaceX is actually pretty close to this.
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Offline Lar

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Missed this, but... SpaceX of course. :)
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Yes SLS EM-1 may never happen but even if it does I expect notably more delays than SpaceX from this point.

Offline mme

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I missed the poll, but my bet is unmanned EM-1 first but it they decide to put crew on it, then SpaceX first.
« Last Edit: 03/13/2017 09:38 PM by mme »
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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MMMMM

With Michoud facility tornado damage the NET Nov2018 SLS date could be a NET Jan 2019 date. If NASA decides to switch geaers and do a manned EM1 then definitely even a delayed 2019 SpaceX LF would be first.

But unless EM-1 is manned it is not in the same class as the SpaceX LF even though the SpaceX mission is automated with the passengers nothing to do. A manned SLS/Orion would be very much the same although this point is rarely talked about. The key here is not all the hardware is even being tested on EM-1 for a manned flight in order for the flight to meet the scheduled NET Nov 2018 date.

An SLS/Orion non-maned EM-1 even if it launches first will not be considered significant in the public's eyes. But a manned SpaceX LF will be! In this case SpaceX would technically beat SLS/Orion manned flight by 3-4 years (EM-2 2021/22/23?) even if it launched in late 2019.


Offline Lar

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By request this poll was reopened and set to our more or less standard close date of more or less a month after it was set up. It was also changed to our more or less standard "show votes only after voting" to skew the herd influence a bit downward.

So now I voted. (you get one guess which way I voted, LOL)
« Last Edit: 03/14/2017 02:34 AM by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Online Eagandale4114

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Missed this, but... SpaceX of course. :)

By request this poll was reopened and set to our more or less standard close date of more or less a month after it was set up. It was also changed to our more or less standard "show votes only after voting" to skew the herd influence a bit downward.

So now I voted. (you get one guess which way I voted, LOL)

Well...........   :D :D :D :D :D

Offline cro-magnon gramps

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By request this poll was reopened and set to our more or less standard close date of more or less a month after it was set up. It was also changed to our more or less standard "show votes only after voting" to skew the herd influence a bit downward.

So now I voted. (you get one guess which way I voted, LOL)

Just in case some people think that Lar just opened this up to 1000+ posts of guessing his choice, think again!!! :D
So SUB COOL your Jets and lets keep this thread on track  ;D

Gramps
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Offline RocketmanUS

Voted
SpaceX Crewed Lunar Flyby

Would not need FH. Could be done with F9 with in-space refueling and modified US.
( Modified US, EDS and tanker versions , prefer new fuel as LCH4. )
This could lead to a horizontal Lunar lander.
Mars and beyond, human exploration
The grass is always greener on the other side. When you stand on top of the hill you see both sides!

Offline jongoff

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It's possible SLS/Orion will go first around the Moon uncrewed (though it will have been beaten by China in 2013 and again this year). But the first crew will be launched by SpaceX.

SpaceX is actually pretty close to this.

Yeah, I ran into a SpaceX friend of mine at an event in DC last week, and he was telling me that when they took a first-pass look at the mission (once the customers approached them with the money), they found that the mission requirements were within the capabilities of FH and Dragon V2 as designed. So yeah, I think that there's a decent chance SpaceX will win this one, even if both end up delayed to some extent.

~Jon

Offline deltaV

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If EM 1 remains unmanned I think it will be first. If EM 1 is switched to manned I think SpaceX lunar flyby will be first.

Offline subzero788

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I think the SpaceX will face delays with crewed Dragon, pushing their lunar flyby into 2020....but am predicting  they still beat a crewed Orion around the moon.
« Last Edit: 03/16/2017 11:11 PM by subzero788 »

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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MMMMM

With Michoud facility tornado damage the NET Nov2018 SLS date could be a NET Jan 2019 date. If NASA decides to switch geaers and do a manned EM1 then definitely even a delayed 2019 SpaceX LF would be first.

But unless EM-1 is manned it is not in the same class as the SpaceX LF even though the SpaceX mission is automated with the passengers nothing to do. A manned SLS/Orion would be very much the same although this point is rarely talked about. The key here is not all the hardware is even being tested on EM-1 for a manned flight in order for the flight to meet the scheduled NET Nov 2018 date.

An SLS/Orion non-maned EM-1 even if it launches first will not be considered significant in the public's eyes. But a manned SpaceX LF will be! In this case SpaceX would technically beat SLS/Orion manned flight by 3-4 years (EM-2 2021/22/23?) even if it launched in late 2019.
Voted!!!
SpaceX Crewed Lunar Flyby ;D

Offline Comga

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I think the SpaceX will face delays with crewed Dragon, pushing their lunar flyby into 2020....but am predicting  they still beat a crewed Orion around the moon.

Pretty much agreed, although I hope the SpaceX lunar flyby is not delayed beyond 2019.
An unoccupied Orion might go first, but the longer NASA studies the crew option, the lower the probability.
We could use a 2-D bingo poll on which year people think Dragon AND Orion will carry people beyond the moon.
I'd probably pick 2019 for Dragon and 2021 for Orion.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline clongton

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While I appreciate and look forward to every new SpaceX event, like Jon I too am on the Skeptical fringe of being a fanboy. Every time they announce a date for some event or flight my first response is always "yea, right. I'll believe that when I see it", and I pencil it on my calendar. They're getting better at that but there is still much improvement needed. I believe the NET dates for both SpaceX and EM-1 will slip but NASA has a long established history of slow-walking even programs that are progressing. Granted that is not entirely their fault, subject as they are to the Congressional pork-barrel funding profile and their reliance on the military/industrial complex to bend their metal. Couple that with an obvious "it'll happen when it happens" attitude and I don't see how EM-1 stands a snowball's chance in hell of beating SpaceX's around the moon flight. SpaceX's date *will* slip, for sure, but NASA's will slip more. I'd put my money on SpaceX doing it first.
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Offline clongton

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I'd probably pick 2019 for Dragon and 2021 for Orion.

If SLS/Orion EM-1 unmanned goes past 2020 it'll be SpaceX alone. I honestly don't believe SLS/Orion survives the 2020 election cycle, regardless of outcome, if it hasn't flown by then.
« Last Edit: 03/22/2017 03:07 PM by clongton »
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Offline rockets4life97

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The word seems to be out of the bag that SLS EM-1 will have crew. I have to think this delays EM-1 into late 2019, if not 2020 (or beyond). I think the SpaceX crewed lunary flyby is now a good bit more likely to happen first.

Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon. No crew on EM-1.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2017 03:12 PM by rockets4life97 »

Offline Star One

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The word seems to be out of the bag that SLS EM-1 will have crew. I have to think this delays EM-1 into late 2019, if not 2020 (or beyond). I think the SpaceX crewed lunary flyby is now a good bit more likely to happen first.
Isn't it just as likely that Space X will move later as well.

Offline rockets4life97

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The word seems to be out of the bag that SLS EM-1 will have crew. I have to think this delays EM-1 into late 2019, if not 2020 (or beyond). I think the SpaceX crewed lunary flyby is now a good bit more likely to happen first.
Isn't it just as likely that Space X will move later as well.

For sure, the SpaceX date will slip. But they aren't facing a major mission redesign. FH and Dragon 2 look to be in track from their debut in Q4 of this year. Getting those two flying is the major prerequisite for the lunar flyby and they look much closer to me than SLS.

Offline envy887

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The word seems to be out of the bag that SLS EM-1 will have crew. I have to think this delays EM-1 into late 2019, if not 2020 (or beyond). I think the SpaceX crewed lunary flyby is now a good bit more likely to happen first.
Isn't it just as likely that Space X will move later as well.

For sure, the SpaceX date will slip. But they aren't facing a major mission redesign. FH and Dragon 2 look to be in track from their debut in Q4 of this year. Getting those two flying is the major prerequisite for the lunar flyby and they look much closer to me than SLS.

Dragon is supposed to fly with crew in 2018. Orion in 2021. Dragon's schedule slipping right is fairly easy to imagine, but Orion moving left much less so.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Estimates for Orion schedule moved right at least a year to 4Q 2019 possibly even 1Q 2020 for EM-1 and NET ~1Q 2023 for EM-2.

I think the voters caught on that the SLS/Orion program was in schedule trouble.

So the SpaceX flight could slip almost a year and still occur before the EM-1 flight. But for Manned cis-Lunar would occur even if it slipped a year would be more than 3 years previous. If it doesn't slip it will be 4 years ahead.

How many additional Lunar flights might SpaceX have before 2023?

4? -> 1 a year?

How many would NASA purchase a ride on? Astronaut training flights for cis-Lunar travel?

Offline Zed_Noir

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....
How many additional Lunar flights might SpaceX have before 2023?

4? -> 1 a year?

As many as there are paying customers with the cash. Think you could have 1 flight per quarter. So a possible maximum of 16 flights. More likely about 7 to 9 flights.

Quote
How many would NASA purchase a ride on? Astronaut training flights for cis-Lunar travel?

Kinda of pointless for training IMO. Since the systems and operations between the Dragon and Orion are so dissimilar. AIUI the Dragon is fully automated with the possible exception of the ECLSS under normal operations.


Offline TaurusLittrow

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One thing is for sure, SpaceX has a much better chance of circumnavigating the moon with a crewed vehicle before NASA does.

Offline Darkseraph

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One thing is for sure, SpaceX has a much better chance of circumnavigating the moon with a crewed vehicle before NASA does.

They would have a better chance at circumnavigating the moon before NASA, if it were not for a certain watch company objecting to Musk starting up TimeX!
:D 

All humor aside, I wouldn't be dreadfully surprised if the proposed SpaceX moon mission is significantly delayed also given their past history of overoptimism on schedule.  Red Dragon got bumped two years to the right shortly after being announced. Falcon Heavy is years behind schedule. There are doubts that commercial crew will be fully operational before 2019. Racing SpaceX to the Moon is not really a valuable thing for NASA to be doing either, it ought to be focused on turning SLS/Orion into a robust and safe architecture that allows for long term missions to be performed at the Moon and beyond. 
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Online ncb1397

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One thing is for sure, SpaceX has a much better chance of circumnavigating the moon with a crewed vehicle before NASA does.

Not really. They are late by 50+ years.

Offline jtrame

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One thing is for sure, SpaceX has a much better chance of circumnavigating the moon with a crewed vehicle before NASA does.

Not really. They are late by 50+ years.

And it was all up, orbit vs. flyby.  Oh well, another day, another time. 

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Many of the reasons why certain other projects have been delayed (slipped to the right) has been that they were dependent on FH and on spending SpaceX's own money. The Lunar flight is completely paid for by a customer. So SpaceX is only dependent on CC and FH to make the flight. CC is fully funded mostly by NASA and FH has 2 1st stage elements already. They need the third "used" booster to complete the booster part of the FH. Then they need the LC39A pad mods which is dependent on LC-40 operational status. The last is the biggest pin in the schedule.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Suggest practice in integrating FH is/has been the pin. Too bad you just can't use SuperGlue...

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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No they just need pins that stay stuck in the scheduling board without falling out on the floor.

Added comment:
When I originally wrote this I was thinking about SpaceX and FH schedules. But after thinking about it it also equally applies to NASA and its SLS/Orion program.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2017 09:47 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline darkenfast

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We seem to have a race (in reverse!), with the two contestants being SpaceX Time Dilation Effect versus Government Pork/Bureaucracy/Revolving Door Syndrome.  Given recent reports out of Michoud regarding the tanks and domes, I think SpaceX is in the lead right now.  If they can avoid blowing up another rocket, I believe they will send the two mystery people around the Moon before the SLS gets itself off the pad.

Offline Mader Levap

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Asking "who will be first" is wrong question.

"Who will slip the least" is right question.

It is true turtle race.
Be successful.  Then tell the haters to (BLEEP) off. - deruch
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Program schedule risk assessment:
Lunar Dragon:
Funding risk:
Low to none

Technical risks:
FH demo - Medium risk (first time the use of three cores side by side).
CC demo - Medium risk (some systems first time use, other inherited from earlier Dragon).
Dragon BEO -Medium risk (First time Dragon BEO)

SLS/Orion:
Funding Risk:
High
Sources of risk in order highest to lowest
  Congress
  President
  NASA
  contractors

Technical risk:
SLS - very HIGH (first time any elements ever launched, even considering many are Shuttle derived it will be almost a decade since last Shuttle launch)
Orion - High  (lots of new hardware and software without much use of any proven systems [EFT-1 was more of a concepts proof than a hardware proof], specifically the reentry shield)


NOTE: This is an assessment of the risk to the schedule due to the sources, not about whether the flight will be successful.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 01:56 AM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

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