Author Topic: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?  (Read 12440 times)

Offline Proponent

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If you think the Orion/SLS is a good idea, what new information would make you change your mind?

Same question for those opposed to Orion/SLS.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2017 05:12 PM by Galactic Penguin SST »

Offline Ictogan

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Re: What would it take to change your mind?
« Reply #1 on: 07/21/2017 08:44 PM »
A fairly significant mission for SLS/Orion that couldn't be done with other available launch vehicles. Right now SLS just seems like a slow and expensive path to nowhere.

Offline mme

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Re: What would it take to change your mind?
« Reply #2 on: 07/21/2017 09:01 PM »
A fairly significant mission for SLS/Orion that couldn't be done with other available launch vehicles. Right now SLS just seems like a slow and expensive path to nowhere.
Agree.

A fairly significant, funded, mission for SLS/Orion. Which means that an Administration, House, and Senate would need to be on the same page.  At least long enough to write a mission into law (if that is even possible.)

But if New Armstrong, the NQSBFR and/or the BFR become reality, it will be harder to convince me that SLS is the right choice.
Space is not Highlander.  There can, and will, be more than one.

Offline jtrame

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Re: What would it take to change your mind?
« Reply #3 on: 07/21/2017 09:14 PM »
I am more inclined to support SLS as a cargo only vehicle.  Commercial should take over the job of placing men aboard the DSH, MTS, or whatever ends up on the plate. These co-manifested flight proposals are old school IMO. But realistically, that may be the only way to get the deal underway for a variety of reasons.

If ITS were real, that would change my mind.  Right now it reminds me of the ship in "When Worlds Collide."  And just about as real.  At this point when propulsive landing of Dragon is cancelled and Falcon Heavy is a difficult birth, ITS seems like a bit of a stretch from that.  The money required just won't be there.  IMO disclaimer of course.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: What would it take to change your mind?
« Reply #4 on: 07/22/2017 06:02 AM »
My main objection against SLS is price. If they would actually fly at $500 million including fixed cost and in numbers big enough to do some big projects I could come around. I would be willing to forget the enormous development cost and not include them in that price.

That is assuming that SpaceX and BO turn out to be not successful in providing much cheaper lift.

Nothing can change my mind on Orion, ever. It should go as it has no function compared to commercial alternatives.

At present price level I would agree with Donald Trump. Spending that money on fixing potholes will do more for spaceflight than SLS.

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: What would it take to change your mind?
« Reply #5 on: 07/22/2017 06:29 AM »
My Objections are price, lack of missions/low flight rate and the effect it could have on future rocket development/spacecraft development.  I am a big supporter of commercial spaceflight because it allows for faster development. When contracts end or when new contracts are awarded it is an opportunity for new systems to be developed. Those new systems can be cheaper or more capable than the old. Because the rockets and spacecraft remain in private hands they can be upgraded and changed far faster than in a where all funding for changes must come from Congress. Also with luck they can find new roles or missions. 

SLS is much more limited in this respect. NASA can’t so much as change the paint job without funding from Congress and direction from the Administration.  Space X, Orbital, and ULA have made major changes without it. I think if we sit around waiting for another Kennedy or for that magic leadership to come from the White House and the funding behind it to come from Congress we will be sitting around waiting on getting off this planet for eternity. Direction, development, and funding(at least some of it) must come from elsewhere.

I might tolerate SLS if there were missions that could never ever be done in no way possible by private rockets but so far I have not seen any.

Offline jgoldader

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Re: What would it take to change your mind?
« Reply #6 on: 07/22/2017 12:01 PM »
I would get behind SLS/Orion (albeit with muttered grumbling about high cost) if there was money appropriated for missions and payloads that made good use of the system.  Instead of being a rocket designed for a mission, SLS continues to *search* for a mission, the Gateway (to where, using what lander?) being the latest thing thrown at the wall to see if it sticks. 
Recovering astronomer

Offline Mr. Scott

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Re: What would it take to change your mind?
« Reply #7 on: 07/22/2017 04:09 PM »
The big problem is that we change our minds a LOT.  Too often.

Last week we don't have the funds to go to Mars.  This week we don't have the funds to go to the Moon.  SLS/Orion is too expensive.  But it is the only course to launch crew that may be eventually qualified.

Sometimes it is interesting to look back four years ago and figure out what we were saying then, and figure out what changed this mindset.

Here is a quote from NASA Admin Bolden four years ago:

Quote
“I don’t know how to say it any more plainly,” he concluded. “NASA does not have a human lunar mission in its portfolio and we are not planning for one.” He warned that if the next administration tries to change course again back to the Moon, “it means we are probably, in our lifetime, in the lifetime of everybody sitting in this room, we are probably never again going to see Americans on the Moon, on Mars, near an asteroid, or anywhere. We cannot continue to change the course of human exploration.”

http://www.spacepolitics.com/2013/04/05/back-to-the-moon-not-any-time-soon-says-bolden/


Offline RonM

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Re: What would it take to change your mind?
« Reply #8 on: 07/22/2017 04:30 PM »
I complain a lot about SLS and Orion because of the high development costs. They are typical government projects funded at the whim of Congress. That causes delays and greatly increases the cost.

If there were more payloads to launch and a higher flight rate, then SLS and Orion would be a good system. I don't mind spending money as long as we get something for it, like going somewhere.

If and when private companies can compete with SLS, such as Blue Origin or SpaceX, then SLS should be canceled. However, these alternative rockets are not flying yet, so we need to stay the course with SLS or we might end up in the mid 2020s without a large launch vehicle.*

Short answer: Give SLS more payloads like DSG and I'm for it. Once commercial space has operational rockets in the same class, cancel SLS.

* Assuming we really need rockets this large. Since Blue and SpaceX are working on such monster rockets, I think the answer is yes.

Offline Nomadd

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Re: What would it take to change your mind?
« Reply #9 on: 07/22/2017 04:59 PM »
 I kind of lost hope when I discovered the insane method for making Orion's heat shield. Not what I'd call a shining example of cost control and efficiency.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

As I now see SLS/Orion as an interim vehicle to reach beyond LEO as potential commercial BLEO transport solutions ramp up in the 2020s (in fact in such a scenario, most of the SLS/Orion flights would be flown in tandem and in co-operation with the test flights BFR et al.), I think it would take something in the magnitude of SLS/Orion 1st flight slipping beyond 2022 (5 years from now) and plans of Musk et al. completely falling through to really push me into the cancellation camp.

Anything less than that and I think it is worthwhile to keep the program and spend those billions until BFR et al. are in constant operation for at least several consecutive years, because I simply do not believe that anything other than a smooth, uninterrupted handover of transport responsibility from the US government will stop the usage of rockets and such human spacecraft as "pork" (*). Similar programs will, IMHO, re-create like zombies if, say, SLS/Orion is closed right now.

This requires (and encourages) the direct co-operation of both sides in a co-operative program (say, scout missions to the Moon or Mars) with both systems running at the same time.

Ironically it was the successes so far by Musk in the past few years that caused me to stand in the "keep SLS/Orion for now" camp - had no one else rose to the challenge of reaching beyond Earth by 2017 I would have swayed to the cancellation camp by 2015 or so!

(*) And even in the best case, I simply think that "pork" will only be diverted to things like maybe a US government Moon Base/Aldrin Cycler/O'Neill Cylinder/<insert your favorite idea here>. This however is better than nothing.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2017 05:35 PM by Galactic Penguin SST »
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Offline Jimmy Murdok

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Re: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?
« Reply #11 on: 07/22/2017 05:48 PM »
Will support SLS when Orion is cancelled and a contract cargo style is proposed for a lunar lander with an APAS for the commercial spaceships.

Offline Lar

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Re: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?
« Reply #12 on: 07/22/2017 05:51 PM »
(fan)
Change my mind? The MIC deciding, out of the goodness of their heart, to refund 90% of what was spent on SLS/Orion.

That's not happening, so...

(mod)
I wonder how long this topic will last before going off the rails completely. (yeah, my fan post didn't help.) No I'm not starting a poll ,l but let's see if you all can surprise me...
« Last Edit: 07/23/2017 01:34 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

Offline butters

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Re: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?
« Reply #13 on: 07/22/2017 06:30 PM »
I'll support SLS when the commercial launch companies decide, "You know what? Developing large reusable launch vehicles is a silly idea. Instead, let's develop planetary science hardware and launch it on SLS."

Odds of that happening: approximately zero.

Orion has a very specific use-case and certainly isn't the most cost-effective potential solution for this application. But if we're genuinely going to have a cislunar gateway architecture, then it's hard to deny that Orion is the superior cislunar passenger shuttle as compared to Dragon. Mini BFS hasn't fully taken shape yet, so it's hard to say whether there are any near-term commercial alternatives to Orion in a cislunar passenger transport role. For the moment.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2017 06:30 PM by butters »

Offline DarkenedOne

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Re: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?
« Reply #14 on: 07/22/2017 06:54 PM »
I think most of the posters here did not read the OP very carefully.  He said "if you think the Orion/SLS is a good idea."  Most of the posters seem to believe Orion/SLS is a bad idea, and are describing what it would take to change their minds.

Offline Ictogan

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Re: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?
« Reply #15 on: 07/22/2017 07:01 PM »
I think most of the posters here did not read the OP very carefully.  He said "if you think the Orion/SLS is a good idea."  Most of the posters seem to believe Orion/SLS is a bad idea, and are describing what it would take to change their minds.
If you think the Orion/SLS is a good idea, what new information would make you change your mind?

Same question for those opposed to Orion/SLS.


Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?
« Reply #16 on: 07/23/2017 06:09 PM »
I am also an SLS/Orion supporter. What new information could change my mind?

1. Massive increase in costs or delays. (e.g. double what they cost now, delay of EM-1 to 2024)

2. Appearance of reliable commercial rocket/spacecraft that can do all SLS/Orion can do. (e.g. same or greater payload capacity than SLS/BEO capable capsule with same or greater delta-V than Orion)

3. Cancellation of SLS/Orion would not remove their budget from NASA. (i.e. Congress would agree to fund something else NASA related instead of just pulling the SLS/Orion funding completely)
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 spacenut

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Re: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?
« Reply #17 on: 07/23/2017 07:21 PM »
I have a hard time supporting SLS due to my taxpaying cost.  NASA could have developed the AR-1 or in house building of the RD-180 and built a large expendable kerolox booster that would be Nova class at 12 million lbs thrust and could get 175 -200 tons of usefull payload to LEO vs the same amount of money spent on SLS to only get 100 tons to LEO.  Makes no sense.  They could also have built a Nautilus X type exploration vehicle for beyond earth orbit using existing launchers and assembling in space for the same amount spent on SLS. 

Face it, solids are very heavy and expensive for the amount of payloads to LEO they can get.  Yes they are very reliable, but so has Atlas V with RD-180 has been at the time this all began. 

Another option that was discarded but we would still be flying is sidemount for cargo and kept the shuttle flying.  Then later adding 5.5m 3 RD-180 engine boosters to replace the solids for even greater payloads. 

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?
« Reply #18 on: 07/24/2017 08:03 AM »
I have a hard time supporting SLS due to my taxpaying cost.

According to link below, the average US taxpayer paid $14,654 tax per year in 2015. SLS/Orion/GSDO budget in 2015 was $3.2115B out of $1,454B. That works out to $32.37 tax for SLS/Orion/GSDO the average US taxpayer paid in the entire year! That will only buy you about one cup of coffee every six weeks. I wouldn't worry about how much SLS is costing. Now just imagine what NASA could do with one cup of coffee a week!

https://www.fool.com/retirement/2017/03/04/whats-the-average-americans-tax-rate.aspx

As to what would make me change my mind? That would be an ITS-16 or New Armstrong sitting on the pad.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2017 08:07 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online yokem55

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Re: What would it take to change your mind on SLS/Orion?
« Reply #19 on: 07/25/2017 09:33 PM »
1) Realistically flying SLS 4 times a year at $500 million/flight.
2) Competitively contracting the advanced boosters at a fixed price.
3) Switching the EUS for a more quickly developed ACES.
4) A SMART style reuse plan for the core's engine bay.

Obviously there need to be payloads to justify all this, but these items would go a long way to making SLS worth it.

As for Orion? Take 1/10th the money and figure out how to put the ESA's service module on a dragon or a starliner.

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