Author Topic: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip  (Read 7407 times)

Offline okan170

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #40 on: 06/30/2017 05:15 PM »

Nobody with any pull in Congress is interested in spaceflight in the slightest. They are only interested in keeping the jobs going as long as possible at the centers and contractors. That gets votes for the next election campaign. It oughta be a crime - but it isn't. Sad - so very sad.

Yes, Congressmen and women should work against the interests of their constituents!  If only the world worked logically like this!

Online Lars-J

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #41 on: 06/30/2017 05:19 PM »

Nobody with any pull in Congress is interested in spaceflight in the slightest. They are only interested in keeping the jobs going as long as possible at the centers and contractors. That gets votes for the next election campaign. It oughta be a crime - but it isn't. Sad - so very sad.

Yes, Congressmen and women should work against the interests of their constituents!  If only the world worked logically like this!

I believe this is called a straw man argument, okan170.  ::) You can do better. Note the "only" part of his text. Nowhere was a claim made that they should *never* work for the constituents direct interests.

Offline gospacex

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #42 on: 06/30/2017 05:43 PM »
Since we can't go back and unspend money already spent then the cost of NASA going forward is where we should make the changes.  It only matters going forward.   If no changes are made, then more of the same.  Congress should separate out the funds going to the contractors and the funds going to NASA.  Cut the latter.

Thats right, lets get that nasty nasty government out of the way of those poor noble companies and just make it a money-hose directly to them since they will always make the right choices!

As a person who lived in both systems of society, one where everything is done by government, and the other where most things are done by "evil greedy capitalists", I'm telling you: "evil capitalists" work better. Not ideal, but WAY, WAY better. Not because they are noble, but because those which underperform eventually go bankrupt.

I know that many people in the West are very much not appreciating this fact, because they never tasted the alternative.

Offline Lar

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #43 on: 06/30/2017 06:41 PM »
This isn't space policy .. .let's not veer too far in that direction. Thanks.
"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

Offline tea monster

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #44 on: 06/30/2017 07:54 PM »
Yes, Congressmen and women should work against the interests of their constituents!  If only the world worked logically like this!

Ignoring the obvious sarcasm for a moment, if they had flown Shuttle C, then all the usual suspects apart from the shuttle refurb crew would have continued to be happily employed and there would even be some development work to be shared out.

Apart from that, we would most likely be flying by now, not in the Monty Python position we are in at the moment of cancelling Ares V, renaming it SLS, designing it again, and then waiting till 2019 to fly the thing. That, with the expectation that it will soon be cancelled yet again, and we will have another five to ten year wait while they come to yet another design that they may or may not actually fly.

I'd like to ask a real question here. I've followed various rocket programs since the early 90s (mid 80's if you want to count Shuttle II). In each and every case, the program has been cancelled, sometimes during flight testing (CRV). Why can't this country get it's act together? Why have their been so many? Why are they all cancelled before they fly? Why has it taken this long to get nowhere? When Obama shelved the shuttle, there should have been at least one replacement already flying.

Online Lars-J

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #45 on: 06/30/2017 08:28 PM »
I'd like to ask a real question here. I've followed various rocket programs since the early 90s (mid 80's if you want to count Shuttle II). In each and every case, the program has been cancelled, sometimes during flight testing (CRV). Why can't this country get it's act together? Why have their been so many? Why are they all cancelled before they fly? Why has it taken this long to get nowhere? When Obama shelved the shuttle, there should have been at least one replacement already flying.

Two reasons, IMO, both budget related:
1. Early development is always cheap, but at some point you have to spend real $$$ to bring a project to completion. This is where most are cancelled.
2. Tribalism within NASA/Congress. While shuttle was flying, there was never in a million years a chance that another crew transport would be completed. Shuttle consumed a large part of the HSF budget, and any other vehicle was viewed by some as a lethal risk to the Shuttle program budget. The CRV being a great example - had it been completed there would have been studies for launching it directly on an EELV, thus providing cheaper access to ISS than Shuttle. So due to the risk of this to the Shuttle budget, this could not (IMO) be tolerated.

The current climate with multiple commercial vehicles in development was only possible because
A) Shuttle was cancelled, and
B) Orion was tied to Ares/SLS

A fortuitous set of circumstance, IMO.
« Last Edit: 06/30/2017 08:49 PM by Lars-J »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #46 on: 06/30/2017 08:45 PM »
Yes, Congressmen and women should work against the interests of their constituents!  If only the world worked logically like this!

Ignoring the obvious sarcasm for a moment, if they had flown Shuttle C, then all the usual suspects apart from the shuttle refurb crew would have continued to be happily employed and there would even be some development work to be shared out.

Apart from that, we would most likely be flying by now, not in the Monty Python position we are in at the moment of cancelling Ares V, renaming it SLS, designing it again, and then waiting till 2019 to fly the thing. That, with the expectation that it will soon be cancelled yet again, and we will have another five to ten year wait while they come to yet another design that they may or may not actually fly.

I'd like to ask a real question here. I've followed various rocket programs since the early 90s (mid 80's if you want to count Shuttle II). In each and every case, the program has been cancelled, sometimes during flight testing (CRV). Why can't this country get it's act together? Why have their been so many? Why are they all cancelled before they fly? Why has it taken this long to get nowhere? When Obama shelved the shuttle, there should have been at least one replacement already flying.
Ending the Shuttle program was under the orders of George Bush closing down the supply chains needed. We were lucky to get an extra flight to orbit during the Obama years...
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Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #47 on: 06/30/2017 09:38 PM »
I'd like to ask a real question here. I've followed various rocket programs since the early 90s (mid 80's if you want to count Shuttle II). In each and every case, the program has been cancelled, sometimes during flight testing (CRV). Why can't this country get it's act together? Why have their been so many? Why are they all cancelled before they fly? Why has it taken this long to get nowhere? When Obama shelved the shuttle, there should have been at least one replacement already flying.

When Boeing built the 747 it was because the current generation of aircraft and airports had reached a temporary limit as to how many passengers they could carry. So the 747 addressed a growing market limitation, and it was built with input from potential customers.

The Shuttle was an attempt by the U.S. Government to create a space transportation system that everyone would use. Kind of a space railroad or subway. Which at that point in our history was probably a good idea at conception, but reality turned out to be different than what was envisioned - for many reasons.

So even though the Shuttle made it to operational status it had many advantages going for it that other "from scratch" transportation systems didn't, like a soon-to-be-idled Apollo workforce and no competition.

But I think what ultimately doomed those canceled transportation programs is what the SLS is currently struggling with - the lack of a real market need. Remember the 747 example above, where it was a market need that drove the need for a "super-heavy" passenger aircraft. But the SLS was not created to satisfy a comparable need.

Plus the SLS was created by Congress without NASA input, which is why the EM-1 flight is "slipping". In reality NASA was never asked how long it would take to build the SLS, nor was it asked how much it would take, so it's impossible to say that NASA is behind schedule or over budget because NASA never controlled either of those factors.

Senator Shelby had an interesting interaction with the acting NASA Administrator regarding the current Administration budget request when he asked if there would be more cost increases on the Commercial Crew program. Acting administrator Robert Lightfoot responded "I think it's a fixed price contract; I don't expect any more cost increases". Shelby didn't ask the same question about the SLS program though, since he knows the SLS contract is a cost-plus contract, and companies in his state benefit from that work. So obviously political support is required also...

My $0.02
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Lar

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #48 on: 06/30/2017 09:58 PM »
This isn't space policy .. .let's not veer too far in that direction. Thanks.

Nothing has changed since I posted that.
"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

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #49 on: 07/02/2017 08:01 AM »
At the risk of thread derailment; could it be argued that Falcon-9 and New Glenn represent a second attempt to create a 'railroad to space' that has learned from the technical and conceptual failures of STS? A more robust form of reusability and a clearer focus on what parts can be reused and what parts it is worthwhile making the expense and performance compromises necessary to do so.

Additionally, I would argue that such developments (dependent as they has been on NASA funding and support at several points) would never have reached fruition without the historical coincidence with the shut-down of the shuttle program. A replacement crew access and cargo launch & recovery system to the shuttle was needed so what would have otherwise been serious institutional opposition wasn't as pronounced or even absent (I'll bet that ISSP tend to view Dragon as 'their' new crew and cargo delivery and return system).

Thread relevance? Orion/SLS ("I can't believe it isn't Ares-V-Classic") doesn't have that advantage that Dragon has - The perception of being a capability needed to maintain an ongoing program (ISS, specifically). Orion/SLS is not something 'needed now' and thus can slide along at a slow, slow rate without anyone really feeling that it's threatening anything by being indefinitely postponed.

FWIW, I suspect the DIRECT team's proposal of the Orion & SSPDM (Space Shuttle payload bay-derived Payload Delivery Module)/Jupiter-130 would have probably done a lot better in being perceived as 'something needed now' and would have probably enjoyed faster development. Whether it would have been possible to develop it fast enough, even if perceived by all HSF programs at NASA as a priority, is a question for speculation; we'll never know.
« Last Edit: 07/02/2017 08:17 AM by Ben the Space Brit »
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Offline Hog

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Re: NASA preparing letter to Congress to explain EM-1 slip
« Reply #50 on: 07/03/2017 04:52 PM »
There are a few good things that NASA can report to Congress.
1) The Astronaut Transfer Van has approx. 26,500miles on it, and its maintenance schedule has not slipped. The 1983 model year modded Airstream Excella motorhome came into service back in November 1983 with STS-9-Columbia as the larger crew numbers came into use after the first few smaller crew sizes.

     "The seats are equipped with lift-out sections to accommodate the ventilator units used to circulate cool air through the astronauts' bulky orange launch-and-entry suits.

"This is the only place that they have liquid air. And liquid air is really, really good. We have this cooling garment that circulates water cooling and in the hot Florida sun it's nice to have it," explains Ferguson. "But they plug that liquid air into you and it just blows this cool air throughout your suit, and it's really nice because it actually dries you. It's like a special treat on launch day."

2) NASA barge Pegasus is standing at the ready to transport the largest rocket core stage in history from Stennis Space Center to Kennedy Space Center.  In order to accommodate the massive core stage and her 4 RS25 engines, Pegasus had a 115 foot section cut out of her which was replaced by a 165 foot section in a process referred to as "jumboisation".
(The largest ship ever to roam the seas was the Seawise Giant, later Happy Giant, Jahre Viking, Knock Nevis, Oppama, and finally Mont. She was cut into two sections and had a longer section inserted into her. Her final "jumboized" length was 458.45 m (1,504.10 ft) and displaced 81,879 long tons light ship and 646,642 long tons with a full load.  When fully loaded, her 29.8 m (97.77 ft) keel depth and 24.611 m (80.74 ft) draught made it impossible for her to use the English Channel.)

3) Crawler Transporter- Hans and Franz have been supporting space American space launches since 1965. For SLS the 6 million pound beasts have undergone retrofits allowing their capacities to be increased from 5,400,000 to 8,200,000 kg (12,000,000 to 18,000,000 lb).

To Congress: rest assured, NASA has the knowledge and the hardware, to move Astronauts and launch vehicles wherever they are needed.  Be it the 9 mile trip to from the Operations and Checkout Building to LC-39-B or  the 900 mile water voyage from Stennis to KSC. 
Please give us the funding and more importantly the DIRECTION to allow for that great 900 million km return  trip to Mars. We choose to go to Mars by the mid-point of this century, not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Empower your agencies to "Make it so!"


Looks like I need to change my hotel reservations, again.


Pic#1 Interior of Astrovan
Pic#2 Pegasus at 260ft length being towed by Freedom Star with ET-119 inside
Pic#3 Pegasus in drydock at Conrad Shipyard LLC in Morgan City, Louisiana
Pic#4 in 2017 at her full 310ft length
Pic#5 Jahre Viking fully loaded
Pic#6 Jahre Viking empty
Pic#7 Crawler Transporter having some work done on one of the trucks
Pic#8 Crawler Transporter pictured in front of the Vehicle Assembly Building
Paul

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