Author Topic: NASA oversight of CCDev-2 Partners reveals progress milestones  (Read 16703 times)

Offline Hop_David

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Great article Chris!  I have one question though....

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Such a rocket-assisted landing also allows for the potential for landings on the moon and Mars, without the need for additional hardware, or additional vehicles, such as landers.

Does this mean a Dragon could be used without modification (other than perhaps chutes) to land on Mars?  Sounds too good to be true.

Here's an article about using Dragon as an MTV and ERV. I can't tell if it's written by Michael Stolz or if Stolz is posting an article by Zubrin.

Three Falcon heavy launches (each 53 tonnes to LEO). This gives an MTV, an ERV, as well as an MAV.

The article seems to suggest using aerobraking rather than LAS for EDL.

The whole thing seems optimistic in the extreme.


Offline yg1968

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Objective news content here.

You are more objective than most but I wouldn't say entirely/100% objective. For example, your recent SLS articles have added some introduction comments that were critical of the administration's foot dragging in making a decision for the SLS. It's obvious from the tone of these comments that you are pro-SLS.

But being pro-SLS doesn't mean that you are anti-commercial. The compromise that was reached in the NASA Authorization bill allows for some people to be pro-NASA Authorization bill (i.e. pro-SLS for BEO exploration and pro-commercial for LEO). I would put you more in that camp. Incidentally, it's also pretty obvious that you have a soft spot for the "baby Shuttle" (Dream Chaser).  But I am pro-Dream Chaser too. So that's fine with me!
« Last Edit: 08/02/2011 02:26 PM by yg1968 »

Online Chris Bergin

Great article, Chris. One quibble - you mention the BA Sundancer station in the CST-100 section, but Bigelow has cancelled that module. His station now uses the BA-330.

Good note, thanks!

Online Chris Bergin

Objective news content here.

You are more objective than most but I wouldn't say entirely (100%) objective. For example, your recent SLS articles have added some introduction comments that were critical of the administration's foot dragging in making a decision for the SLS. It's obvious from the tone of these comments that you are pro-SLS.

But being pro-SLS doesn't mean that you are anti-commercial. The compromise that was reached in the NASA Authorization bill allows for some people to be pro-NASA Authorization bill (i.e. pro-SLS for BEO exploration and pro-commercial for LEO). I would put you more in that camp. Incidentally, it's also pretty obvious that you have a soft spot for the "baby Shuttle" (Dream Chaser).  But I am pro-Dream Chaser too. So that's OK with me!

Fair enough comment! I doubt anyone can be 100 percent objective, unless they were - for example - a copy editor who was detached from caring about the subject. I know, as I used to write production line style copy during my sports reporting days ;)

On SLS, the article was so negative I felt I needed to add a bit of context into the problems. Yeah, I'm a big fan of massive expensive rockets, so I'm not going to say I'm against SLS, but I was more careful than I might of gotten away with on that, as that is what the NASA guys tell me, so it was fair game to report. PS I'm a fan of the rocket, but not its current situation.

Dream Chaser was always going to get some affection from me, and I'd say that's fine, so long as I didn't then go and write about "boring capsules" when writing about CST-100 :D

Offline demorcef

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Chris,

Thank you once again for providing us with great detailed information in one of your excellent articles!  If it wasn't for you non-insiders like myself would be left in the dark.  Keep up the good work you amazing guy!

It sounds like there are too many commercial options going on, however.  Shouldn't more resources be poured into flight-proven vehicles such as SpaceX's Dragon? I know you are a fan of the Dreamchaser, but to me it sounds like it will need the most development work and will be the last to fly.

Thanks again!

NASA (from my reading of their CCDev2 decision, anyway) wanted to fund a lifting body as well as capsules, and Dreamchaser also made a good business case, which is the whole point of the program. 

They've also said they can be orbital by 2014, you can decide for yourself whether to be skeptical of that date.

Great article anyway Chris, I look forward to following their progress on the site for years to come.

Point well taken!  I hope to see all of the above lift off and return to the Earth in the near future!

Offline Bill White

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Heh!

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I can just type a bit and know some people.

I know some reporters I gotta share this with. Great line!

Anyway, Chris, it seems you do know a lot of people and you type rather well.

Great article!
EML architectures should be seen as ratchet opportunities

Offline AlexP

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Point well taken!  I hope to see all of the above lift off and return to the Earth in the near future!

100% with you there :) Shuttle is going to leave a big void (technically and emotionally) in human spaceflight, we can only hope for as much as possible to get up and running in order to help fill it!

Offline Jason Sole

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Sorry Chris, was in a bad mood and I knew you'd take it on the chin and respond. Love the Englishness in that response too ;D

Offline gladiator1332

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Great article! Exciting years still ahead with all of this commercial stuff!

Offline deskpro590

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It's exciting to see these programs move forward.  I wonder how many ex-NASA (Unite Space Alliance...etc) folks have been absorbed by these firms?

Offline Namechange User

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It's exciting to see these programs move forward.  I wonder how many ex-NASA (Unite Space Alliance...etc) folks have been absorbed by these firms?

About 10. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline deskpro590

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It's exciting to see these programs move forward.  I wonder how many ex-NASA (Unite Space Alliance...etc) folks have been absorbed by these firms?

About 10. 

Offline Namechange User

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Let me clarify to some extent.  There are a handful of USA personnel involved in a couple of these vehicles.  Boeing has been able to retain some (a relatively small percentage) of its people for work on CST-100 (but also told they cannot guarantee anything for the long term). 

I know of only a few instances where USA, Boeing, etc have actually got onboard directly with these companies.  While we have all heard the various rumors, etc of a "stigma" (which is load of *&%# and hope they are just rumors) I know in reality it is not the fault of any these companies because it is simply NOT possible to hire the vast amounts of people, and the experience and knowledge that goes with it, without totally destroying their cost structure (not to mention where they would get the money in the first place). 

Most people are leaving the space industry and likely will never come back.  A lot of folks are going to Boeing commercial in Seattle or South Carolina.  Some have are going to work in energy/chemical/oil/gas.  Some are just going here or there.  A good number don't have anything yet from what I can tell. 

That's what is so frustrating about all of this and why somehow, someway I believe there is more going on here.  SLS is being kept even from viewing a picture.  There is no plan for anything else and with no plan there can be no contracts and no work, etc.  So it all just evaporates. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Online Chris Bergin

Sorry Chris, was in a bad mood and I knew you'd take it on the chin and respond. Love the Englishness in that response too ;D

No worries ;)

Offline grr

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Great article, Chris. One quibble - you mention the BA Sundancer station in the CST-100 section, but Bigelow has cancelled that module. His station now uses the BA-330.

Good note, thanks!

Lack of talking about it != cancelled.

It is possible that he will run the sundancer down the 330 line and have uses for it. For example, it might be interesting for running around in LEO as a real taxi/truck between space stations. It can handle 3 for a long duration, but can handle more for short durations. Likewise, this might be a good way to send water/fuel between moon and earth.

Offline demorcef

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Let me clarify to some extent.  There are a handful of USA personnel involved in a couple of these vehicles.  Boeing has been able to retain some (a relatively small percentage) of its people for work on CST-100 (but also told they cannot guarantee anything for the long term). 

I know of only a few instances where USA, Boeing, etc have actually got onboard directly with these companies.  While we have all heard the various rumors, etc of a "stigma" (which is load of *&%# and hope they are just rumors) I know in reality it is not the fault of any these companies because it is simply NOT possible to hire the vast amounts of people, and the experience and knowledge that goes with it, without totally destroying their cost structure (not to mention where they would get the money in the first place). 

Most people are leaving the space industry and likely will never come back.  A lot of folks are going to Boeing commercial in Seattle or South Carolina.  Some have are going to work in energy/chemical/oil/gas.  Some are just going here or there.  A good number don't have anything yet from what I can tell. 

That's what is so frustrating about all of this and why somehow, someway I believe there is more going on here.  SLS is being kept even from viewing a picture.  There is no plan for anything else and with no plan there can be no contracts and no work, etc.  So it all just evaporates. 

What if everyone who had anything to do with the Manhattan Project had been laid off and had to fend for themselves.  Talk about a brain drain...
« Last Edit: 08/02/2011 08:39 PM by demorcef »

Offline Jim

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What if everyone who had anything to do with the Manhattan Project had been laid off and had to fend for themselves.  Talk about a brain drain...

No,  post Apollo is a closer approximation.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2011 09:03 PM by Jim »

Offline erioladastra

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It's exciting to see these programs move forward.  I wonder how many ex-NASA (Unite Space Alliance...etc) folks have been absorbed by these firms?

About 10. 

A lot more than 10....but way, way too few.

Online Ronsmytheiii

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No. You need multiple vehicles. You need back-up. Unless you wish to be grounded for years after every mishap, such as Challenger or Columbia. It costīs NASA more money, but still it is cheaper then solely government development of one vehicle. And you get 4 different approaches, so your chance for success is higher.
After all, the more players, the more competition.

You might not be grounded for multiple years on the US side, but one cannot simply flip the switch and increase production if something happened on one side of the contracts.  That might even cause a crew reduction on the ISS side, especially if Falcon 9/Dragon were one of the systems.  So yes in terms of sole source failure things would be better, but the ISSP would still suffer if there was some sort of incident with a Commercial crew craft.
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline marsavian

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Great article, Chris. One quibble - you mention the BA Sundancer station in the CST-100 section, but Bigelow has cancelled that module. His station now uses the BA-330.

Good note, thanks!

Lack of talking about it != cancelled.

It is possible that he will run the sundancer down the 330 line and have uses for it. For example, it might be interesting for running around in LEO as a real taxi/truck between space stations. It can handle 3 for a long duration, but can handle more for short durations. Likewise, this might be a good way to send water/fuel between moon and earth.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15581.msg776733#msg776733

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