Author Topic: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with  (Read 29077 times)

Offline FinalFrontier

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The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« on: 12/07/2009 03:17 PM »
(Opening Edit by Chris - as the poster completely misrepresented the news)

NASA has NOT announced STS-135. WE ran an article on the possibility:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/12/nasa-evaluating-sts-135-addition-to-shuttle-manifest/

Carry on ;)
==================================================

Hopefully we will see more additions after this in the near future   :D  . In the mean time, there is still the issue of the HSF gap.
1. How long do you think the gap will be? (that is to say, do you think STS will be extened (looking more favorable for this) and if so until what year?)
2. What should fill the gap? Ares 1 (if it was possible), EELV commercial launcher (falcon 9 with dragon or:, delta 4 with fastracked orion, or atlas with fast tracked orion), or Jupiter 130 direct (or similar SDLV)?
« Last Edit: 12/08/2009 05:23 PM by Chris Bergin »
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Offline dad2059

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #1 on: 12/07/2009 03:24 PM »
So today nasa has announced the possible addition of STS 135. Hopefully we will see more additions after this in the near future   :D  . In the mean time, there is still the issue of the HSF gap.
1. How long do you think the gap will be? (that is to say, do you think STS will be extened (looking more favorable for this) and if so until what year?)
2. What should fill the gap? Ares 1 (if it was possible), EELV commercial launcher (falcon 9 with dragon or:, delta 4 with fastracked orion, or atlas with fast tracked orion), or Jupiter 130 direct (or similar SDLV)?


At this point one guess is as good as another, unless someone has reliable insider info.
NASA needs some good ol' fashioned 'singularity tech'

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #2 on: 12/07/2009 03:30 PM »
So today nasa has announced the possible addition of STS 135. Hopefully we will see more additions after this in the near future   :D  . In the mean time, there is still the issue of the HSF gap.
1. How long do you think the gap will be? (that is to say, do you think STS will be extened (looking more favorable for this) and if so until what year?)
2. What should fill the gap? Ares 1 (if it was possible), EELV commercial launcher (falcon 9 with dragon or:, delta 4 with fastracked orion, or atlas with fast tracked orion), or Jupiter 130 direct (or similar SDLV)?


At this point one guess is as good as another, unless someone has reliable insider info.
True but there are many on this forum that appear to know far more than you or I (for example read the direct v 3.0 thread under advandced concepts, it appears to be dominated by engineers.)
3-30-2017: The start of a great future
"Live Long and Prosper"

Offline bad_astra

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #3 on: 12/07/2009 03:38 PM »
So today nasa has announced the possible addition of STS 135. Hopefully we will see more additions after this in the near future   :D  . In the mean time, there is still the issue of the HSF gap.
1. How long do you think the gap will be? (that is to say, do you think STS will be extened (looking more favorable for this) and if so until what year?)

Depends on how you define space. If we count suborbital human spaceflight, therer will never be a gap. In fact in the next few years there may be more human space flights than at any time in history.

But orbitally, five years at least. Barring some vast change in politics. It's not about the engineering, it's about the money.

Quote
2. What should fill the gap? Ares 1 (if it was possible), EELV commercial launcher (falcon 9 with dragon or:, delta 4 with fastracked orion, or atlas with fast tracked orion), or Jupiter 130 direct (or similar SDLV)?


"Should" doesn't matter much, anymore. It will be Soyuz. The only way to reduce the gap now is to give decent funding to CCDEV with an emphasis on crew.
"Contact Light" -Buzz Aldrin

Offline William Barton

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #4 on: 12/07/2009 03:44 PM »
It's all about politics and funding now, rather than technical merit, but here's my take:

If SDLV (either DIRECT "inline", Ares V "Classic," or SD-HLV "sidemount") are chosen, I would extend STS to some time between 2012 and 2015, depending on how the COTS/COTS-D/CRS/CCDEV decisions shake out.

If SDLV is *not* chosen, for whatever reason, I would extend STS to the limit of ET availablility, which I gather is about 4 more tanks. That would take the program to late 2011/early 2012. After that would be a gap. If it's until Ares I/Orion, it will be a minimum of 5 years.

In either case, I would apply whatever accelerative funding was available (or could be absorbed by the principals) to COTS/CRS/COTS-D. Promise SpaceX ISS crew delivery until at least 2020, OSC cargo for same, and let SpaceX know they could have any "overflow" cargo OSC, ESA, Japan, and Russia can't handle for the same time period. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't illegal. Congress and President can make any rules/laws they want, subject only to the limitations of the US Constitution, as interpreted by SCOTUS. I think this could reduce the gap to 2 - 3 years (say from early 2012 to late 2015 at the outside). I have faith in SpaceX and OSC. They're not big, but they both have shown they can develop and fly LVs.

And if it were my call, following a decision *not* to have a true SDV HLLV, I'd probably give BoLockMart the BEO program, maybe starting with EELV/ACES/Orion and pressing on  (funding dependent) to an advanced EELV HLLV solution.

YMMV, as always.

Offline dad2059

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #5 on: 12/07/2009 04:10 PM »
It's all about politics and funding now, rather than technical merit, but here's my take:

If SDLV (either DIRECT "inline", Ares V "Classic," or SD-HLV "sidemount") are chosen, I would extend STS to some time between 2012 and 2015, depending on how the COTS/COTS-D/CRS/CCDEV decisions shake out.

If SDLV is *not* chosen, for whatever reason, I would extend STS to the limit of ET availablility, which I gather is about 4 more tanks. That would take the program to late 2011/early 2012. After that would be a gap. If it's until Ares I/Orion, it will be a minimum of 5 years.

In either case, I would apply whatever accelerative funding was available (or could be absorbed by the principals) to COTS/CRS/COTS-D. Promise SpaceX ISS crew delivery until at least 2020, OSC cargo for same, and let SpaceX know they could have any "overflow" cargo OSC, ESA, Japan, and Russia can't handle for the same time period. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't illegal. Congress and President can make any rules/laws they want, subject only to the limitations of the US Constitution, as interpreted by SCOTUS. I think this could reduce the gap to 2 - 3 years (say from early 2012 to late 2015 at the outside). I have faith in SpaceX and OSC. They're not big, but they both have shown they can develop and fly LVs.

And if it were my call, following a decision *not* to have a true SDV HLLV, I'd probably give BoLockMart the BEO program, maybe starting with EELV/ACES/Orion and pressing on  (funding dependent) to an advanced EELV HLLV solution.

YMMV, as always.

Quote
Congress and President can make any rules/laws they want, subject only to the limitations of the US Constitution, as interpreted by SCOTUS.

Is Congress obliged to follow the President on this, or is it possibly contingent on Congress controlling the purse-strings also?

If there's a lot of congress-critters behind funding Ares I (despite its flaws, over-budgeting and what-not), what would that do to CCDev and commercial HLLV funding if that's what Obama and Bolden wish to do?

Just a dumb question.
NASA needs some good ol' fashioned 'singularity tech'

Offline dad2059

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #6 on: 12/07/2009 04:14 PM »
So today nasa has announced the possible addition of STS 135. Hopefully we will see more additions after this in the near future   :D  . In the mean time, there is still the issue of the HSF gap.
1. How long do you think the gap will be? (that is to say, do you think STS will be extened (looking more favorable for this) and if so until what year?)
2. What should fill the gap? Ares 1 (if it was possible), EELV commercial launcher (falcon 9 with dragon or:, delta 4 with fastracked orion, or atlas with fast tracked orion), or Jupiter 130 direct (or similar SDLV)?


At this point one guess is as good as another, unless someone has reliable insider info.
True but there are many on this forum that appear to know far more than you or I (for example read the direct v 3.0 thread under advandced concepts, it appears to be dominated by engineers.)

Agreed. Perhaps the engineers here do know more.

But as William Barton notes, "It's all about politics and funding now..."

And 'politics' is the wild-card that throws everything into speculation.
NASA needs some good ol' fashioned 'singularity tech'

Offline bad_astra

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #7 on: 12/07/2009 04:46 PM »
Some of it is speculation, but in other ways options will become more clear regardless before long. There will reach a time where shuttle extension is not possible, and that is coming soon.
"Contact Light" -Buzz Aldrin

Offline dad2059

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #8 on: 12/07/2009 05:01 PM »
Some of it is speculation, but in other ways options will become more clear regardless before long. There will reach a time where shuttle extension is not possible, and that is coming soon.

Agreed.
NASA needs some good ol' fashioned 'singularity tech'

Offline HIPAR

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #9 on: 12/07/2009 05:14 PM »
Only a schedule slippage will extend the shuttle past next year.

Sorry, this is not the sixties environment.   There's currently no cold war politically driven space race accelerating space program developments.

So,  if it's Ares or some other lesser developed concept, the gap will end when developments, manufacturing and testing are completed many years from now.

---  CHAS

Offline ares-mojo

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #10 on: 12/08/2009 12:36 PM »
1. How long do you think the gap will be?
2. What should fill the gap?

People seem to ignore the most realistic scenario:

1. STS program will end in FY2011 with STS-133 (or with STS-135).
2. Test flights of a full-up Ares I/Orion will fly in FY2014/FY2015 (Orion 1)
3. First manned test flight of Ares I/Orion in FY2015 (Orion 2)

The reason why this is the most realistic scenario is that there just aren't any alternatives at the moment. And the actual gap will be only about 4 years, if NASA budgets enough for Ares I/Orion and delays HLV development while thinking about Ares I for the first exploration missions (e.g. through use of fuel depots).

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #11 on: 12/08/2009 12:45 PM »

2. Test flights of a full-up Ares I/Orion will fly in FY2014/FY2015 (Orion 1)
3. First manned test flight of Ares I/Orion in FY2015 (Orion 2)

The reason why this is the most realistic scenario is that there just aren't any alternatives at the moment. And the actual gap will be only about 4 years, if NASA budgets enough for Ares I/Orion and delays HLV development while thinking about Ares I for the first exploration missions (e.g. through use of fuel depots).

The gap is likely to be seven years. This was stated at the Augustine Commission numerous times.

For the last year or so, IOC has been March 2015, with FOC in March, 2016 - so your numbers are out of date.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #12 on: 12/08/2009 12:59 PM »
For the last year or so, IOC has been March 2015, with FOC in March, 2016 - so your numbers are out of date.

If STS-135 were to fly in March 2011 (which certainly seems like a possibility), then an FOC in March of 2016 would mean a 5 year gap, wouldn't it?  It's still horrible and disastrous and it makes my blood boil however long it is over 1 year.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2009 12:59 PM by Lee Jay »

Offline ares-mojo

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #13 on: 12/08/2009 01:06 PM »

2. Test flights of a full-up Ares I/Orion will fly in FY2014/FY2015 (Orion 1)
3. First manned test flight of Ares I/Orion in FY2015 (Orion 2)

The reason why this is the most realistic scenario is that there just aren't any alternatives at the moment. And the actual gap will be only about 4 years, if NASA budgets enough for Ares I/Orion and delays HLV development while thinking about Ares I for the first exploration missions (e.g. through use of fuel depots).

The gap is likely to be seven years. This was stated at the Augustine Commission numerous times.

For the last year or so, IOC has been March 2015, with FOC in March, 2016 - so your numbers are out of date.

1. The final Committee report itself notes that Orion 1 (first full-up Ares I/Orion flight) is still scheduled by the Ares program for September 2014 (page 58). This is still FY2014.

2. IOC is Orion 3 and is in March 2015 with the Orion 2 being the first manned test flight earlier in FY2015. This has not changed as of today.

3. The Committee notes in its report that under the currently envisioned constrained budget there will be a likely delay of up to 2 years of the Orion/Ares I schedule, with a remote possibility of a delay until FY2019 for IOC (page 59). The Committee assumes in its constrained budget analysis that Ares V development is started as planned even though Ares I/Orion is underfunded.

4. The Committee however notes two things about the Ares I/Orion schedule:
I. "The Constellation Program has identified measures,
such as ongoing content reduction, deployment of
stimulus funds to address high-risk schedule areas,
and program management actions to mitigate major
risks, that suggest that the first launch of Ares I and
Orion could occur in 2017 if those measures are suc-
cessful." (page 58)
AND
II. "As assessed by the Committee, this case (unconstrained budget) delivers Ares I/
Orion in late 2016,..." (page 83)

The Committee thus suggests that a slip of 18 months is possible with certain changes in the program and changes to funding (e.g. shifting of HLV funds to Ares I/Orion).

5. Considering how conservative the Committee has been with regard to other options (all HLVs not before the early 2020s even with an enhanced budget), we can safely assume it has also been conservative when looking at the Ares I/Orion program. A slip of less than 18 months under a priority-Ares I/Orion program (more funding) seems thus likely. This would put a still conservative estimate of the first launch of Orion I still in FY2015 and Orion II and III in the first half of FY2016. With a Shuttle-extension to the end of FY2011 with STS-135 added this results in an effective 4 year gap.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2009 01:07 PM by ares-mojo »

Offline William Barton

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #14 on: 12/08/2009 01:07 PM »
It's all about politics and funding now, rather than technical merit, but here's my take:

If SDLV (either DIRECT "inline", Ares V "Classic," or SD-HLV "sidemount") are chosen, I would extend STS to some time between 2012 and 2015, depending on how the COTS/COTS-D/CRS/CCDEV decisions shake out.

If SDLV is *not* chosen, for whatever reason, I would extend STS to the limit of ET availablility, which I gather is about 4 more tanks. That would take the program to late 2011/early 2012. After that would be a gap. If it's until Ares I/Orion, it will be a minimum of 5 years.

In either case, I would apply whatever accelerative funding was available (or could be absorbed by the principals) to COTS/CRS/COTS-D. Promise SpaceX ISS crew delivery until at least 2020, OSC cargo for same, and let SpaceX know they could have any "overflow" cargo OSC, ESA, Japan, and Russia can't handle for the same time period. Contrary to popular belief, this isn't illegal. Congress and President can make any rules/laws they want, subject only to the limitations of the US Constitution, as interpreted by SCOTUS. I think this could reduce the gap to 2 - 3 years (say from early 2012 to late 2015 at the outside). I have faith in SpaceX and OSC. They're not big, but they both have shown they can develop and fly LVs.

And if it were my call, following a decision *not* to have a true SDV HLLV, I'd probably give BoLockMart the BEO program, maybe starting with EELV/ACES/Orion and pressing on  (funding dependent) to an advanced EELV HLLV solution.

YMMV, as always.

Quote
Congress and President can make any rules/laws they want, subject only to the limitations of the US Constitution, as interpreted by SCOTUS.

Is Congress obliged to follow the President on this, or is it possibly contingent on Congress controlling the purse-strings also?

If there's a lot of congress-critters behind funding Ares I (despite its flaws, over-budgeting and what-not), what would that do to CCDev and commercial HLLV funding if that's what Obama and Bolden wish to do?

Just a dumb question.

Congress and Executive are co-equal branches of the government, and are not "obliged" to follow one another in anything, other than what's specified in the Constitution. So the President can't spend money not enacted by the legislature, and the legislature can't force the President to spend money it does enact. If either one tries, the third co-equal branch, the Supreme Court, can intervene, but not proactively (someone has to carry forward a legal case). The President's remedy for a recalcitrant Congress is Veto. Congress's remedy for a recalcitrant President is Override. Or, failing in that, Impeachment. Sadly, both Impeachments to date were political theater (and, notably, failed to result in conviction and removal). The Founding Fathers understood a paralyzed government is better than a hyperactive government. Polticians have been trying to overcome this wise limitation ever since.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #15 on: 12/08/2009 01:24 PM »

2. Test flights of a full-up Ares I/Orion will fly in FY2014/FY2015 (Orion 1)
3. First manned test flight of Ares I/Orion in FY2015 (Orion 2)

The reason why this is the most realistic scenario is that there just aren't any alternatives at the moment. And the actual gap will be only about 4 years, if NASA budgets enough for Ares I/Orion and delays HLV development while thinking about Ares I for the first exploration missions (e.g. through use of fuel depots).

The gap is likely to be seven years. This was stated at the Augustine Commission numerous times.

For the last year or so, IOC has been March 2015, with FOC in March, 2016 - so your numbers are out of date.

1. The final Committee report itself notes that Orion 1 (first full-up Ares I/Orion flight) is still scheduled by the Ares program for September 2014 (page 58). This is still FY2014.

2. IOC is Orion 3 and is in March 2015 with the Orion 2 being the first manned test flight earlier in FY2015. This has not changed as of today.

3. The Committee notes in its report that under the currently envisioned constrained budget there will be a likely delay of up to 2 years of the Orion/Ares I schedule, with a remote possibility of a delay until FY2019 for IOC (page 59). The Committee assumes in its constrained budget analysis that Ares V development is started as planned even though Ares I/Orion is underfunded.

4. The Committee however notes two things about the Ares I/Orion schedule:
I. "The Constellation Program has identified measures,
such as ongoing content reduction, deployment of
stimulus funds to address high-risk schedule areas,
and program management actions to mitigate major
risks, that suggest that the first launch of Ares I and
Orion could occur in 2017 if those measures are suc-
cessful." (page 58)
AND
II. "As assessed by the Committee, this case (unconstrained budget) delivers Ares I/
Orion in late 2016,..." (page 83)

The Committee thus suggests that a slip of 18 months is possible with certain changes in the program and changes to funding (e.g. shifting of HLV funds to Ares I/Orion).

5. Considering how conservative the Committee has been with regard to other options (all HLVs not before the early 2020s even with an enhanced budget), we can safely assume it has also been conservative when looking at the Ares I/Orion program. A slip of less than 18 months under a priority-Ares I/Orion program (more funding) seems thus likely. This would put a still conservative estimate of the first launch of Orion I still in FY2015 and Orion II and III in the first half of FY2016. With a Shuttle-extension to the end of FY2011 with STS-135 added this results in an effective 4 year gap.

You're skirting around the confidence levels - even a year ago - on the IOC and FOC dates.

You also keep saying "right now" - well right now the shuttle program is ending Sept, 2010. You can't assume an extension and then say "right now" for Orion's IOC and FOC dates in order to manufacture this four year gap claim.

Right now there's a very low confidence rating for making the FOC date for Orion of March 2016. That's where the "may slip" notes come from.

Do not forget Ares/Orion has slipped almost in tandem with its years of development, from 2013 to 2015 in around two to three years. You're assuming they magically won't slip anymore, when their documentation shows they can't accelerate before 2015, and the goal is to try and increase confidence (nevermind achieve) in the current IOC and FOC dates.

Offline ares-mojo

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #16 on: 12/08/2009 01:54 PM »
You're skirting around the confidence levels - even a year ago - on the IOC and FOC dates.

You also keep saying "right now" - well right now the shuttle program is ending Sept, 2010. You can't assume an extension and then say "right now" for Orion's IOC and FOC dates in order to manufacture this four year gap claim.

Ok, then let's say "right now". Right now, as you say, STS ends in Sept 2010 (pretty unrealistic but that's the schedule). Right now Orion I is scheduled for Sept 2014 (also probably unrealistic, but it's still the schedule). That is 4 years.

Quote
Do not forget Ares/Orion has slipped almost in tandem with its years of development, from 2013 to 2015 in around two to three years. You're assuming they magically won't slip anymore, when their documentation shows they can't accelerate before 2015, and the goal is to try and increase confidence (nevermind achieve) in the current IOC and FOC dates.

I am not assuming anything. I am looking at the assessment of the Augustine Committee. The Committee says we can safely assume STS has to be extended into the middle, if not late FY2011 for a safe fly-out. If STS-135 is added (as suggested in the OP) it might even be early FY2012.

The Committee also says with various changes to the Program of Record an 18 to 24 months slip is what they think will happen to Ares I/Orion. So we got Orion I in late FY2016. That would then be 4-5 years.

Oh and regarding Ares I/Orion slipping in tandem with its development, not true. The internal target date for Orion I has been pushed back by Constellation exactly one time and one time only. That was in 2008 when it was pushed from Sept 2013 to Sept 2014 where it still is right now. The official IOC date has been no later than 2014 from the start of Constellation altogether and is now officially March 2015.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2009 01:57 PM by ares-mojo »

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #17 on: 12/08/2009 02:44 PM »
Whoa, hold on there :)

 STS-135 - as is currently proposed - is late 2010, early 2011 (and no later UNLESS there's an extension). You can't extend shuttle via a manifest stretch and 135 into FY2012 without an actual extension, in which case you may as well add flights.

 That'd be great, but requires extra money.

 The first flight of Ares/Orion - Orion 1 - was 2013. It's slipped to March 2015. Of course its true, and documented, and factual, that the program has slipped practically after every PRM review. To say it's not true is completely incorrect, fact. The first FOC flight of Ares/Orion is March 2016. Both have a very low confidence rating (and thus that's where the threat of a 18 to 24 month slip came from).

 That's not a four year gap any way you swing it.

 Now to get to your four year gap - and let's face it, even four years is bad - you have to have the following fall into place:

 1) Shuttle stretches to March 2011 (very possible).
 
 2) Constellation recieves billions extra (or more so, gains the money it lost via funding cuts), or continues to gut its test schedule, or both. Changes its schedule to reduce the gap between IOC and FOC so that Orion crew rotates the ISS in March 2015 (which is a year ahead of what it current is set to do on the schedule - a schedule with low confidence).
 
 3) Hope they don't slip again - which you're pinning hopes on, somehow, when there's a 101 lead items like the J-2X that all have to fall into place to keep a schedule that is targetting a date five years away. That's no slight on CxP, that's basic knowledge on how schedules slip.

 And also, there's a big point you're missing. Ares V. The POR is not viable at present, as stated by the Augustine Commission, because we're building a LEO vehicle that will only have the ISS to go to for a few years (even if the ISS is extended to 2020). The lunar program - which is practically mothballed - is not even close to 2019 now, it's years and years away from that.

 So there's the problem. Do you spend billions to try and get CxP to within a viable goal of 2015/2016 for operational flights to the ISS, when the ISS is - at max - going to be around to 2020. And then have another gap between ISS and Lunar?

 This is all documented and stated in the Augustine Commission and a basic reason it was called for.

Offline ares-mojo

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Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #18 on: 12/08/2009 04:38 PM »

 STS-135 - as is currently proposed - is late 2010, early 2011 (and no later UNLESS there's an extension). You can't extend shuttle via a manifest stretch and 135 into FY2012 without an actual extension, in which case you may as well add flights.

Currently 5 Shuttle launches are scheduled within 7 months. This is very likely not going to happen. That means, whatever is currently planned with the end of STS, it's probably not going to be the end of FY2010.

I said that if STS-135 is added (as the OP suggests), the manifest will likely have to be stretched out further.  Whether to add further 2 further flights is a NASA management decision that they have to decide upon. However it's in no way a clear cut decision that 2 more flights should be added only because the schedule slips and STS-135 is added and we find STS' end going into mid to end FY2011.

And yes, it will require extra money. The Committee assumed 1.5 billion in extra cash even if no flights are added just because a safe flyout will be stretching into FY2011.

Quote
The first flight of Ares/Orion - Orion 1 - was 2013. It's slipped to March 2015.

Again.

The initial unmanned testflight of full-up Ares I/Orion was scheduled to be Sept 2013 back when the development contracts were first awarded (back then this was called Orion III - Orion I and I were non-orbital test flights back then) with the first manned Ares I/Orion test flight in Sept 2014. The first operation ISS missions was scheduled for May 2015. Here is your own article on this from 2006: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2006/10/nasa-sets-orion-13-for-moon-return/

In 2008 this internal schedule was revised. The first unmanned orbital testflight of a full-up Ares I/Orion was pushed to Sept 2014 (now dubbed Orion I) and the first manned testflight of Ares I/Orion to March 2015 with the first ISS flight end of 2015 or early 2016.

This means we have a 1 year respective 6-month slip in Ares I's development history up to now - at least from the currently used internal (and official) schedule.

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 2) Constellation recieves billions extra (or more so, gains the money it lost via funding cuts), or continues to gut its test schedule, or both. Changes its schedule to reduce the gap between IOC and FOC so that Orion crew rotates the ISS in March 2015 (which is a year ahead of what it current is set to do on the schedule - a schedule with low confidence).
 
 3) Hope they don't slip again - which you're pinning hopes on, somehow, when there's a 101 lead items like the J-2X that all have to fall into place to keep a schedule that is targetting a date five years away. That's no slight on CxP, that's basic knowledge on how schedules slip.
2. very unlikely. The most likely scenario is to shift prospective funds from HLV development and other Constellation elements to Ares I/ORion with no Constellation budget increase in total.

3. Yes, as with every large scale development project you hope long lead items don't slip. You identify the problems and work them as best as you can. If there still is a slip, then so be it. That's reality. But reality also is that Ares I/Orion hasn't actually slipped as far behind as people assume.

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And also, there's a big point you're missing. Ares V. The POR is not viable at present, as stated by the Augustine Commission, because we're building a LEO vehicle that will only have the ISS to go to for a few years (even if the ISS is extended to 2020). The lunar program - which is practically mothballed - is not even close to 2019 now, it's years and years away from that.

I have said above that the most realistic thing right now is no magic budget increase and a shift from the HLV development funds to Ares I/Orion. A way out for exploration is e.g. to use Flexible Path and work with Ares I alone and enabling depot technology as a 60-page internal NASA memo outlines. Doug Stanley has recently given a presentation on the subject in public.

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So there's the problem. Do you spend billions to try and get CxP to within a viable goal of 2015/2016 for operational flights to the ISS, when the ISS is - at max - going to be around to 2020. And then have another gap between ISS and Lunar?

Yes, you spend billions to get Ares I/Orion flying as this is NASA's crewed spacevehicle/rocket replacement for Shuttle. And yes, supporting ISS is key, as this is the biggest operational human spaceflight project NASA has going right now.

And when the ISS program nears its 2020 end date there is still a possibility to think about another ISS extension for 2-3 years. In any event, exploration does not fit inside the current NASA budget for the next few years. It might fit in there again in the future, but right now the most prudent way to move forward for politicians is to not make drastic changes. And just maybe, from a programmatic viewpoint it's the best and safest way forward as well.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: The HSF gap and what to reduce it with
« Reply #19 on: 12/08/2009 05:20 PM »

In 2008 this internal schedule was revised. The first unmanned orbital testflight of a full-up Ares I/Orion was pushed to Sept 2014 (now dubbed Orion I) and the first manned testflight of Ares I/Orion to March 2015 with the first ISS flight end of 2015 or early 2016.

This means we have a 1 year respective 6-month slip in Ares I's development history up to now - at least from the currently used internal (and official) schedule.


Ok, we're getting somewhere on this four year gap claim now, which raised my eyebrows (I'm enjoying the conversation, however!)

The problem I have is you're citing potential (yes, expected) schedule for shuttle, and the official schedule for CxP (which is fluid).

Due to the confidence level - and you clearly know CxP (and might be CxP ;)) well enough to know the confidence level of the cited official schedule for Ares/Orion IOC and FOC is very low. But let's separate the two.

Right now (repeating I know, but in an attempt to boil this down a bit):

1) Shuttle is Sept, 2010 - Ares I/Orion IOC is March, 2015. FOC is March 2016. That's the official schedule.

Agreed, neither will stick.

How it's likely to be:

1) Shuttle to March, 2011 (would love it to be longer, but for the basis of more likely). Ares I/Orion IOC - per Augustine - as far as 2016. FOC 2017.

Now we can argue about that. I'm basing it on CxP's own confidence levels. Ideally they'll get their funding back in new monies to bring the confidence levels back up, but they themselves have said they can't accelerate due to long lead items. They've studied this, they can't do it.

I would also counter your claims about the lack of slippage in the CxP schedule. Renaming the test schedule flights and "which" flight is IOC and FOC (which was Orion 4) does not hide the fact that the VSE had Orion ready to go in 2013. It's now ready to go in 2015 (2016 if you work on actual functioning role replacing the Soyuz flights)....and threatening to slip beyond. It had already slipped by the time I wrote that late 2008 article, and it slipped again afterwards via the PMRs.

Contracts, reduced funding and continued baseline changes due to technical issues to blame for the above (poor Orion's been put through the millstone on the changes due to Ares I for instance (Documented, Lockheed Martin)). No one is slagging CxP off for that, and the concern is the crucial issue has already been mentioned (ISS transport, Lunar schedule).

Now don't get me wrong on this. I'm not some "let's go commerical" fanboy, far from it, as I seriously question their ability to do this 'faster' - and I'd much prefer US HSF to be NASA's charge and its priority. The issue I have is based on the realism of cost and schedule, where NASA is throwing away a reasonable Lunar return target (and pre-cursor for Mars) for the sake of trying to save Ares/Orion's schedule to support the ISS for just a few years, via a gap that will be disasterous for the Agency and Contractor skill set.

And there's a problem with the extending, even stretching to a point, of the shuttle manifest to close the gap from the left. Ares I - supposedly a SD vehicle - isn't compatable with a shuttle extension. It lost most of its compatability by design, when the ESAS Ares I was changed due to performance etc (Five seg, delete SSME US etc, etc). Only a true SD vehicle, like the SD HLVs are capable of working in tandem with an extended shuttle manifest.

That's a big problem that was found by Augustine, and pretty much confirms that with Ares/Orion you have a seriously long gap. Four years is too long anyway, but four years is very much pushing it based on what we know, to the point I'd claim - as I have - it's not even close to four years.

You disagree, that's totally your entitlement, and we'll probably have to beg to differ on this.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2009 05:26 PM by Chris Bergin »

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