Author Topic: MAF in major push to bring SLS production back to full thrust  (Read 3881 times)


Offline David93

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Wow. That was probably twice as long as I like, but it kept me hooked. Calm, factual and really helpful to understand.

Offline Khadgars

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Fantastic article.  Some teething issues for sure, but have to love the professionalism of NASA and Boeing working through them.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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It is a excellent illustration of the "double whammy" which is one pole in the slip tent. Without the tornado damage they may have been able to keep on schedule. But the extra couple of months of delay plus a few days here and there for storm damage not yet found causing brief delays, there is no hope of keeping to the original schedule.

The use of LH2 (S/N 2) as a manufacturing proof article is a good strategy that may lower the schedule risk for future manufacturing problems such that they are fixed prior to affecting the STA or flight tanks manufacturing schedule.

In all the earliest possible flight date for EM-1 based on just this data and no padding for additional problems causing delays is Feb 2019. Hopefully they do not encounter any additional problems/damages with the STA and Flight articles and able to remain on this new schedule.

Unfortunately we are entering into Hurricane season and many of the buildings in use with the manufacturing and assembly process going forward have only temporary fixes. Even just a strong thunderstorm could cause damage to temporary building fixes and possibly endanger flight hardware. But the other piece in this puzzle is the costs of repairs vs the addition funds appropriated by Congress to do the repairs: Costs $300M, additional appropriations for repairs $100M. The shortfall would come from the SLS regular funds producing a funding shortfall for 2017 of the expected amount of funds for SLS of $200M.

This last could hurt the SLS schedule more than the technical problems encountered during manufacturing the first articles. $200M is 10% of the SLS budget for 1 year. Thiis can cause overall a lengthening of schedule by 1 month (13 months to do the previously scheduled 12 months of work due to lack of funds).

So now we are at a NET of March 2019 still without any schedule pad. Now add the recommended schedule padding of 4 months for large project that have only just started into the build and test phase and then you get a NET of July 2019 for EM-1. Remember this is an estimate based solely on this segment of the SLS (EM-1 mission) program work.


Offline Heinrich

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Nice to keep track about the progress. Great article.
What happens in the pot room?

Offline psloss

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Nice to keep track about the progress. Great article.
What happens in the pot room?
The foam insulation is mixed there for spraying on the prop tanks in the cell next door.


Offline Dante80

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A bit more on core stage musical chairs:
http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/06/msfc-decides-to.html

The article does not make much sense. President Trump's first term ends on Jan 2021. EM-1 is scheduled somewhere inside 2019.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 12:20 AM by Dante80 »

Offline Lars-J

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A bit more on core stage musical chairs:
http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/06/msfc-decides-to.html

The article does not make much sense. President Trump's first term ends on Jan 2021. EM-1 is scheduled somewhere inside 2019.

I guess internally they might be unsure of 2019. I certainly wouldn't be shocked if EM-1 could slip past Jan 2021.

Offline AncientU

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A bit more on core stage musical chairs:
http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/06/msfc-decides-to.html

The article does not make much sense. President Trump's first term ends on Jan 2021. EM-1 is scheduled somewhere inside 2019.

I guess internally they might be unsure of 2019. I certainly wouldn't be shocked if EM-1 could slip past Jan 2021.

Internally they are certain 2019 is off the table -- if they were to use flight tankage that was qualified according to the original plan.  Sounds like that baby has been tossed out with the bath water.

Quote
...accelerating hardware originally intended for EM-2 such that it could be used on EM-1 would not be ready in time.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 01:17 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline psloss

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Update from NASA with pictures, touching on some of the things covered here: the flight intertank has completed structural assembly and is headed towards Cell G, one of the LH2 tanks is pathfinding in Cell E, and VAC welding is finally resuming after the LOX aft dome mishap.  (Turns out the dome is still usable.)
https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/core-stage-production-continues-for-rockets-first-flight

(Also notes that flight engine section has completed structural assembly, but my reading of the long image of the floor is that it appears to still be the structural assembly jig.)
« Last Edit: 06/23/2017 04:17 PM by psloss »

Offline psloss

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Update from NASA with pictures, touching on some of the things covered here: the flight intertank has completed structural assembly and is headed towards Cell G, one of the LH2 tanks is pathfinding in Cell E, and VAC welding is finally resuming after the LOX aft dome mishap.  (Turns out the dome is still usable.)
https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/core-stage-production-continues-for-rockets-first-flight

(Also notes that flight engine section has completed structural assembly, but my reading of the long image of the floor is that it appears to still be the structural assembly jig.)
Some accompanying B-roll (video) here:

https://images.nasa.gov/#/details-MAF_20170610_V_SLS%20Core%20Stage%20Interank%20Completes%20Structural%20Assembly_Video%20File.html

https://images.nasa.gov/#/details-MAF_20170613_LH2%20Move%20to%20Cell%20E_V_Video%20File.html

Offline Khadgars

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That is some welcome news. 

Quote
While the mishap investigation is still wrapping up, NASA and Boeing fully inspected the impacted dome and found while the hardware sustained minor damage, it is usable for its original purpose as part of a structural test article. The infeeder tool did sustain some damage during the incident and repairs to the tool are complete. Welding is resuming to finish construction of the liquid oxygen test article by adding the aft, or bottom, dome.

When do we expect to see SLS tested at Test Stand 4693 & 4697?
« Last Edit: 07/03/2017 12:03 AM by Khadgars »

Offline psloss

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When do we expect to see SLS tested at Test Stand 4693 & 4697?
Probably still 'to-be-determined.'  They have to ship up to Marshall first and there are some significant production milestones to reach at Michoud before the first prop tank STA (LH2) is ready to do that.

Offline Khadgars

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When do we expect to see SLS tested at Test Stand 4693 & 4697?
Probably still 'to-be-determined.'  They have to ship up to Marshall first and there are some significant production milestones to reach at Michoud before the first prop tank STA (LH2) is ready to do that.

Ah ok, Understood.  I thought the LH2 STA that used the "bad" welds was completed and going to be used anyway since it won't be fully pressurized.  Or is it that tank is still in production?

Offline psloss

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When do we expect to see SLS tested at Test Stand 4693 & 4697?
Probably still 'to-be-determined.'  They have to ship up to Marshall first and there are some significant production milestones to reach at Michoud before the first prop tank STA (LH2) is ready to do that.

Ah ok, Understood.  I thought the LH2 STA that used the "bad" welds was completed and going to be used anyway since it won't be fully pressurized.  Or is it that tank is still in production?
Yes, it's incomplete -- it's still bare metal. 

It needs a primer coat, then the foam TPS applications -- both of those will be done for the very first time on a hydrogen tank with this article, so it should take a while.


Offline Khadgars

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When do we expect to see SLS tested at Test Stand 4693 & 4697?
Probably still 'to-be-determined.'  They have to ship up to Marshall first and there are some significant production milestones to reach at Michoud before the first prop tank STA (LH2) is ready to do that.

Ah ok, Understood.  I thought the LH2 STA that used the "bad" welds was completed and going to be used anyway since it won't be fully pressurized.  Or is it that tank is still in production?
Yes, it's incomplete -- it's still bare metal. 

It needs a primer coat, then the foam TPS applications -- both of those will be done for the very first time on a hydrogen tank with this article, so it should take a while.

Awesome, thank you for the clarification.

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