Author Topic: Is there still a way to close the gap?  (Read 10729 times)

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #20 on: 12/24/2009 03:56 PM »
The US could annex French Guyana (is after all in "the Americas"), then have the Soyuz facilities upgraded for HSF and eh voila, no gap IF of course Russia sells Soyuz capsules + Soyuz-FG rockets.

Commit an act of war to get something the Energia/ESA would be glad to let us lease.  Wow, Ares advocates always find the cheapest ways to do things.  ;)
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Offline Nascent Ascent

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #21 on: 12/24/2009 03:57 PM »
it was clearly a JOKE.   ::)
“Why should we send people into space when we have kids in the U.S. that can’t read”. - Barack Obama

Offline HIPAR

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #22 on: 12/24/2009 04:07 PM »
i dont understand...  if you're going to bite the bullet and make new components to stretch out the shuttle into 2012, why not bite a little harder and make a bit more and stretch it out to 2015 or even further?

why the self-imposed deadline?  the shuttles are performing very nicely now with a minimum of problems and in the big scheme the extra cost would seem to be a drop in the bucket (well, considering how much we're spending these days - just increase the debt ceiling by only .001 percent should cover it).

The operative shuttle concept is the remaining manifest .  Unfortunately, Every passing day precludes making new shuttle parts.

I agree with you on the relative budgetary impact of space projects but the Washington political establishment isn't as sympathetic.

---  CHAS


Offline Patchouli

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #23 on: 12/24/2009 04:10 PM »
i dont buy it. you would have all the design, testing, prototyping, etc to do. all that work for something that would only fly for a few missions/years?  it probably would cost 75% of Orion.

it would be less costly and make more sense stretch funding to the shuttles and to accelerate orion.

Orion and Ares themselves are something that probably would only fly for a few years before ending up in a museum.

Constellation is pretty much Apollo all over again and we all know what happened to Apollo.

Offline Nascent Ascent

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #24 on: 12/24/2009 04:19 PM »
i dont buy it. you would have all the design, testing, prototyping, etc to do. all that work for something that would only fly for a few missions/years?  it probably would cost 75% of Orion.

it would be less costly and make more sense stretch funding to the shuttles and to accelerate orion.

Orion and Ares themselves are something that probably would only fly for a few years before ending up in a museum.

Constellation is pretty much Apollo all over again and we all know what happened to Apollo.

Only if we lack the vision and commitment to a long term goal.  I mean that was the whole purpose of ESAS.  I think we forget that and get all hung up on the hardware details.
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Offline SpacexULA

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #25 on: 12/24/2009 04:41 PM »
i dont understand...  if you're going to bite the bullet and make new components to stretch out the shuttle into 2012, why not bite a little harder and make a bit more and stretch it out to 2015 or even further?

why the self-imposed deadline?  the shuttles are performing very nicely now with a minimum of problems and in the big scheme the extra cost would seem to be a drop in the bucket (well, considering how much we're spending these days - just increase the debt ceiling by only .001 percent should cover it).

Because the next time the shuttle systems fails, there will be hell to pay politically for NASA.

I would not want to be in the room when Congress investigates NASA for a LOC event during a shuttle extension only implemented for appearance reason (just to close the gap).

Once ISS is completed the Shuttle NEEDS to be canceled.  Let NASA run out it's ISS construction flights in the safest manner it can, not artificially hurried or stretched, then put the orbiters in the museum.

The gap is not an engineering issue, its a funding issue, and at this point it's not worth the extra money it would take to close it.  Luckily the cold war is over and the US can buy seats on Soyuz, and there is an outside change commercial crew transport might come online before Ares.

All that said, the funniest thing that could ever happen is we shut down Shuttle, and go to Soyuz only, then Soyuz has a LOM (or god forbid a LOC) event and get's shut down for a year or more for investigations by both NASA & RSA. 

Interesting question, if Soyuz has an LOM event, and has to be shut down, and Soyuz is the only human access to ISS, how long can ISS function with no new crew?
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Offline Downix

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #26 on: 12/24/2009 04:50 PM »
i dont understand...  if you're going to bite the bullet and make new components to stretch out the shuttle into 2012, why not bite a little harder and make a bit more and stretch it out to 2015 or even further?

why the self-imposed deadline?  the shuttles are performing very nicely now with a minimum of problems and in the big scheme the extra cost would seem to be a drop in the bucket (well, considering how much we're spending these days - just increase the debt ceiling by only .001 percent should cover it).

Because the next time the shuttle systems fails, there will be hell to pay politically for NASA.

I would not want to be in the room when Congress investigates NASA for a LOC event during a shuttle extension only implemented for appearance reason (just to close the gap).

Once ISS is completed the Shuttle NEEDS to be canceled.  Let NASA run out it's ISS construction flights in the safest manner it can, not artificially hurried or stretched, then put the orbiters in the museum.

The gap is not an engineering issue, its a funding issue, and at this point it's not worth the extra money it would take to close it.  Luckily the cold war is over and the US can buy seats on Soyuz, and there is an outside change commercial crew transport might come online before Ares.

All that said, the funniest thing that could ever happen is we shut down Shuttle, and go to Soyuz only, then Soyuz has a LOM (or god forbid a LOC) event and get's shut down for a year or more for investigations by both NASA & RSA. 

Interesting question, if Soyuz has an LOM event, and has to be shut down, and Soyuz is the only human access to ISS, how long can ISS function with no new crew?
You realize that the gap is more than a funding *or* an engineering, it is a staffing gap as well.  No shuttle flights == nobody to support those flights == nobody to manage the follow-on system == total USHSF collapse.  No staff means no US launches for human space flight.

chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline Nascent Ascent

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #27 on: 12/24/2009 04:54 PM »
That was my point.

We're going to be losing so much by the early termination of the shuttles.

Hell, if the shuttles are that unreliable then why fly them at all?  I think a few more flights for each shuttle until 2015-16 is a reasonable risk that would maintain continuity. The shuttles are safer now than they have ever been.

We'll have to spend the money we saved eventually when it comes to restaffing, etc.
« Last Edit: 12/24/2009 04:59 PM by Nascent Ascent »
“Why should we send people into space when we have kids in the U.S. that can’t read”. - Barack Obama

Offline Downix

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #28 on: 12/24/2009 05:04 PM »
That was my point.

We're going to be losing so much by the early termination of the shuttles.

Hell, if the shuttles are that unreliable then why fly them at all?  I think a few more flights for each shuttle until 2015-16 is a reasonable risk that would maintain continuity. The shuttles are safer now than they have ever been.

We'll have to spend the money we saved eventually when it comes to restaffing, etc.
There is an alternative, if we do a hybred DIRECT/EELV approach.  DIRECT->Ares V Classic, can be flying X flights in 2014, minimalizing workforce gap, but does not minimalize HSF gap.  For the HSF gap, man-rate one (or both) of the EELV's.  I am very much into redundancy, no single point of failure.  I'd even like to see production of the AIO Gemini as a backup capsule in case of Orion issues.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #29 on: 12/24/2009 05:10 PM »
You realize that the gap is more than a funding *or* an engineering, it is a staffing gap as well.  No shuttle flights == nobody to support those flights == nobody to manage the follow-on system == total USHSF collapse.  No staff means no US launches for human space flight.

But the Staffing issue is more political than real.  All programs but Direct will lead to a MASSIVE staff reduction.  And Direct becomes less likely every day.

The only thing that would save a good portion of the jobs lost after shuttle retirement would be another HLV sitting on the pad the day the orbiters ride off to museums.  There is nowhere near the budget out there for something like that.

The Gap has been a known factor since the day shuttle retirement was announced, but we have not chosen to make the hard decisions to eliminate it.  Now that we are nearly within a year of the last Shuttle flight, it's a little late to try to close the Gap.

"No shuttle flights == nobody to support those flights == nobody to manage the follow-on system == total USHSF collapse"  You are likely right, but that is what we have been choosing to happen for the last 5 years, we are sort of stuck with it now.
No Bucks no Buck Rogers, but at least Flexible path gets you Twiki.

Offline Antares

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #30 on: 12/24/2009 05:31 PM »
Humanity has an almost limitless capacity for achievement.  All that stands in the way is money and politics.

Fixed that for ya.  Money is merely the means of translating your achievement to my achievement and vice versa.  Politics is a money sink that produces no achievement.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline mrhuggy

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #31 on: 12/24/2009 08:44 PM »
The easiest way would be to give NASA the money they need and tell them to get it done any way nessceary. The way i see it most of the mess is from a lack of funding and people keep changing things.

My personal solution is 2 contracts for HSF. One for LEO human access ie a space taxi to ISS and a second contract for BEO human access capable of sending a orion class system to beyond Earth orbit.

That way there would be 2 different systems and a backup.
Chris Hugman
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Offline butters

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #32 on: 12/25/2009 12:52 PM »
Humanity has an almost limitless capacity for achievement.  All that stands in the way is money and politics.

Fixed that for ya.  Money is merely the means of translating your achievement to my achievement and vice versa.  Politics is a money sink that produces no achievement.

However, money is created (and destroyed) by banks.  Depending on how you look at it, governments and banks are both financial institutions or both political institutions.

When you have an idea to do something, you either lobby a banker or a politician to get the money to do it.  The banker lets you spend depositor money, and the politician lets you spend taxpayer money.

If money were just a medium of exchange, then the explosion of progress in the past 300 years would not have been possible.  Money is also a bill of debt, allowing people to spend money that they didn't earn.

It's true that governments and banks aren't productive in their own right, and they often allocate money quite recklessly.  These days they bail each other out as if they're really a single entity.

Because they are.

So the question is: can we prosper without governments any more than we can prosper without banks?

Offline khallow

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #33 on: 12/25/2009 01:57 PM »

However, money is created (and destroyed) by banks.  Depending on how you look at it, governments and banks are both financial institutions or both political institutions.

When you have an idea to do something, you either lobby a banker or a politician to get the money to do it.  The banker lets you spend depositor money, and the politician lets you spend taxpayer money.

If money were just a medium of exchange, then the explosion of progress in the past 300 years would not have been possible.  Money is also a bill of debt, allowing people to spend money that they didn't earn.

Money remains just a medium of exchange. Debt is different than money. It's an obligation to provide something of value in the future.

Quote
It's true that governments and banks aren't productive in their own right, and they often allocate money quite recklessly.

Who is productive in their "own right"? Almost nobody in a modern society is strictly self-sufficient. Also cooperation generally improves the efficiency of effort. So you can be productive, but more productive when cooperating with someone else. Banks are a relatively extreme example in that their value is in enabling other parties to access capital that they wouldn't be able to reach otherwise (in orders, they loan money for a living). If nobody wanted to borrow money, then a bank wouldn't exist.

Quote
So the question is: can we prosper without governments any more than we can prosper without banks?

There are certain roles that a government has. The most important one is an insurer of last resort. That is, if something really bad happens (your region gets invaded, big asteroid hits, supervolcano erupts, etc), then it is the responsibility of the government to fix it. Nobody smaller has the resources or power. They also have a role as relatively impartial mediator. Now certain aspects of governments (such as the monopoly on its authority in a region) might be unnecessary, but someone has to fill those roles in a modern society and they become a government as a result.
Karl Hallowell

Offline carmelo

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #34 on: 12/25/2009 11:29 PM »
Quote
is there now any practical way to close the gap?


Yes sure,
the way is more money.
"No bucks,no Buck Rogers".
With appropriated funds NASA could back on the moon in 2018 with a Shuttle flight extension for until that year.
Or,if you prefer,with appropiated funds could built an "Shuttle phase-II" in five or six years.
Ah,wait a moment,in addition at many bilions of dollars would too the full support of the taxpayers.
But  i have fear that both this things are pure science fiction (if not fantasy).
« Last Edit: 12/25/2009 11:30 PM by carmelo »

Offline phantomdj

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #35 on: 12/26/2009 01:35 PM »

Because the next time the shuttle systems fails, there will be hell to pay politically for NASA.

I would not want to be in the room when Congress investigates NASA for a LOC event during a shuttle extension only implemented for appearance reason (just to close the gap).

Once ISS is completed the Shuttle NEEDS to be canceled.  Let NASA run out it's ISS construction flights in the safest manner it can, not artificially hurried or stretched, then put the orbiters in the museum.


The Shuttles are safer today than they has been over the last 28 years despite their age.

As long as the ISS is in orbit it will need a heavy lift capability.  One of the biggest problems is upmass.

With the likelihood of the ISS being extended to 2020 a virtual given, what vehicle is going to supply spare parts, supplies in bulk and possible large replacement parts?  Let's say a solar array or water purifier has to be replaced, there is no vehicle other than the shuttle that can carry these large heavy items.

It is my understanding this is one of the reasons that one of the MPLM's  (Leonardo, Raffaello or Donatello) will be packed with supplies, upgraded with extra shielding and left on the ISS as an extra room on one of the last shuttle missions.  No other launcher can bring the upmass.  So either the shuttle should be extended or vehicles like the J-130 or 140SH would be a perfect contingency launcher for any possible crisis onboard ISS, bring new research experiments, backup future commercial crew launches and a test vehicle (ala ARES 1-X) for the J-246SH.
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Offline phantomdj

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #36 on: 12/26/2009 01:44 PM »
You realize that the gap is more than a funding *or* an engineering, it is a staffing gap as well.  No shuttle flights == nobody to support those flights == nobody to manage the follow-on system == total USHSF collapse.  No staff means no US launches for human space flight.

But the Staffing issue is more political than real.  All programs but Direct will lead to a MASSIVE staff reduction.  And Direct becomes less likely every day.

The only thing that would save a good portion of the jobs lost after shuttle retirement would be another HLV sitting on the pad the day the orbiters ride off to museums.  There is nowhere near the budget out there for something like that.

The Gap has been a known factor since the day shuttle retirement was announced, but we have not chosen to make the hard decisions to eliminate it.  Now that we are nearly within a year of the last Shuttle flight, it's a little late to try to close the Gap.

"No shuttle flights == nobody to support those flights == nobody to manage the follow-on system == total USHSF collapse"  You are likely right, but that is what we have been choosing to happen for the last 5 years, we are sort of stuck with it now.


Gaps in US launch capability of a year or two can sustain the work force without the brain drain that would normally occur.

As I wrote in another thread:

A Wallstreet Journal article stated:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126135372896199409.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLETopStories

"The Obama administration appears set to chart a new course for U.S. space exploration by promoting the use of private companies to ferry astronauts into orbit, according to people familiar with the matter.

"But even as it moves to outsource major components of the space program to private industry, these people said, the White House is planning to hedge its bets in various other ways. One likely option is to ramp up funding for certain in-house rocket programs that over the next few years could serve as a technical safety net, and eventually provide the families of more-powerful boosters required for longer-term exploration of the solar system."

This seems to imply that they are open to using a J-140SH type vehicle to hedge their bets as a safety net and be scalable to the heavy lift (J-246) they really want for exploration.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #37 on: 12/26/2009 01:55 PM »

It is my understanding this is one of the reasons that one of the MPLM's  (Leonardo, Raffaello or Donatello) will be packed with supplies, upgraded with extra shielding and left on the ISS as an extra room on one of the last shuttle missions.  No other launcher can bring the upmass.


Incorrect, EELV's can lift the same mass. 

Offline cro-magnon gramps

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #38 on: 12/26/2009 04:23 PM »
That was my point.

We're going to be losing so much by the early termination of the shuttles.

Hell, if the shuttles are that unreliable then why fly them at all?  I think a few more flights for each shuttle until 2015-16 is a reasonable risk that would maintain continuity. The shuttles are safer now than they have ever been.

We'll have to spend the money we saved eventually when it comes to restaffing, etc.

Sadly the Shuttles are NOT unreliabale, it is a FUD, to promote a political decision, to help fund the POR, just as the decommissioning of the ISS in 2015, is a political decision to release more money to the POR; NASA has been underfunded for so long, that it is cutting 'muscle off the bone' to fund future projects; this is not the way to run a successful Space Agency, by cutting it's most successful aspects to move others forward; we should be using the Shuttles for the foreseeable future, until a new LV is up and launching to the ISS and where ever; the way it is run now, is insanity; the inmates of 'Bedlam' are running the show;
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Offline phantomdj

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Re: Is there still a way to close the gap?
« Reply #39 on: 12/26/2009 04:52 PM »

It is my understanding this is one of the reasons that one of the MPLM's  (Leonardo, Raffaello or Donatello) will be packed with supplies, upgraded with extra shielding and left on the ISS as an extra room on one of the last shuttle missions.  No other launcher can bring the upmass.


Incorrect, EELV's can lift the same mass. 

You are picking nits.  You know there is more to it than just lift.  The shuttle is the only vehicle that can bring such heavy payloads to the ISS else the EELV’s would have done it during the times the shuttles were grounded. 
1 percent for NASA.  We spend more than twice that per year on soda.

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