Author Topic: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser  (Read 68180 times)

Offline Lars_J

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #20 on: 08/18/2014 11:01 PM »
It could be argued if you can only fund 1 then that should be Boeing, as they have had the most full awards and are least likely to continue on their own funding.

That would be an excellent strategy to follow if your main goal was to shoot yourself in the foot.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #21 on: 08/18/2014 11:52 PM »
I'll keep my eyes out for those dancing unicorns...
That's an understandable PoV but consider BO have developed a 100 000lb LO2/LH2 engine.

No one does that (especially the LH2 part) just as a pleasant diversion to pass away the afternoons.  :(

Something is in the works, the question is what (and when)?

I've always found it curious that BO have felt the need to be so secretive about things, other than occasional public missives they really don't say much about their progress or otherwise.

Flight tests next year, suborbital I think. With the goal of offering commercial sub orbital flights. Orbital flights around 2018.

« Last Edit: 08/18/2014 11:53 PM by TrevorMonty »

Offline mr. mark

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #22 on: 08/19/2014 01:33 AM »
I'm expecting SpaceX to be the odd man out. Boeing has flight heritage and big lobbyists. Sierra Nevada has wings and that's something NASA wants it seems. That leaves SpaceX holding the bag. I am one of SpaceX's biggest supporters but, I'm not sure that this wind is blowing in their direction. If not, they'll stay busy with cargo, commercial satellite launches and reuse for now. In the end, they become as know to the general public as Sea Launch sad to say. Without manned flights, SpaceX looses it's appeal.   
« Last Edit: 08/19/2014 01:46 AM by mr. mark »

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #23 on: 08/19/2014 01:49 AM »
In the end, they become as know to the general public as Sea Launch sad to say. Without manned flights, SpaceX looses it's appeal.   

Haha, makes me think of when I tell people I worked for Loral and the usual response is, the cosmetics company?  :)

Offline Prober

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #24 on: 08/19/2014 01:57 AM »
I didn't say Boeing would be interested in that. I agree they wouldn't be. They have stated quite clearly they have no intention of self-fundning this without a clear path to an ROI. Which they don't have without NASA.


and that point still remains the problem with this whole program....Partners.   The slack in costs was to be picked up by "partners" and that's clearly not been the case with the program.   The number say this is a NASA funded design program.   So, let's stop playing games with it.  Pick a winner, fully fund it and get her done as quick as possible.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #25 on: 08/19/2014 02:16 AM »
I'm expecting SpaceX to be the odd man out. Boeing has flight heritage...

What flight heritage?  The last spacecraft they designed and built was last century.  I'd be surprised if any of those employees even work on the CST-100.

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...and big lobbyists.

You must be assuming that NASA awards contracts based on bribes?  That technical merit and superior business models have no influence?  If that were true then Boeing deserves to be chosen...

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Sierra Nevada has wings and that's something NASA wants it seems.

I do agree with that, and I think most of us want Sierra Nevada to get fully funded.

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That leaves SpaceX holding the bag.

Interesting that you claim Boeing has some sort of flight heritage, but forget that SpaceX is the only contender flying human-rated and NASA certified spacecraft that they designed and built.

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Without manned flights, SpaceX looses it's appeal.   

Not sure if you've heard of this Elon Musk guy, and his goal to reach Mars?  And how he is currently dominating the news without having flown any humans?
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 Jim

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #26 on: 08/19/2014 02:32 AM »

What flight heritage?  The last spacecraft they designed and built was last century.  I'd be surprised if any of those employees even work on the CST-100.


Quite wrong.  X-37 and ISS and they did Shuttle sustaining engineering.  They have quite a lot of experience.  Not to mention leftovers from OSP and Spacehab.


Interesting that you claim Boeing has some sort of flight heritage, but forget that SpaceX is the only contender flying human-rated and NASA certified spacecraft that they designed and built.


It is not human rated.  It can be human occupied.


Not sure how it makes sense to reward the company that has received the most money but is the least committed to creating a critical service.


Not a consideration.
« Last Edit: 08/19/2014 04:41 PM by Jim »

Offline mr. mark

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #27 on: 08/19/2014 03:20 AM »
I'm expecting SpaceX to be the odd man out. Boeing has flight heritage...

What flight heritage?  The last spacecraft they designed and built was last century.  I'd be surprised if any of those employees even work on the CST-100.

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...and big lobbyists.

You must be assuming that NASA awards contracts based on bribes?  That technical merit and superior business models have no influence?  If that were true then Boeing deserves to be chosen...

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Sierra Nevada has wings and that's something NASA wants it seems.

I do agree with that, and I think most of us want Sierra Nevada to get fully funded.

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That leaves SpaceX holding the bag.

Interesting that you claim Boeing has some sort of flight heritage, but forget that SpaceX is the only contender flying human-rated and NASA certified spacecraft that they designed and built.

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Without manned flights, SpaceX looses it's appeal.   

Not sure if you've heard of this Elon Musk guy, and his goal to reach Mars?  And how he is currently dominating the news without having flown any humans?
I am pretty sure Boeing will be one of the two. As for Elon Musk, a tiger's bite only hurts if he has teeth. Not many people are going to have Occupy Mars shirts if it takes SpaceX five years or more just to fly their capsule to orbit. Losing the NASA contract would be a HUGE blow to their plans. I think Musk is talking it down but, we all know how hard it would be to field a capsule without adequate funding from NASA.
   

Offline Lar

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #28 on: 08/19/2014 03:33 AM »
I am pretty sure Boeing will be one of the two. As for Elon Musk, a tiger's bite only hurts if he has teeth. Not many people are going to have Occupy Mars shirts if it takes SpaceX five years or more just to fly their capsule to orbit. Losing the NASA contract would be a HUGE blow to their plans. I think Musk is talking it down but, we all know how hard it would be to field a capsule without adequate funding from NASA.
I am not sure "we all know" that. At the end of this round much risk will be retired and Musk may well choose to stay the course.
"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
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #29 on: 08/19/2014 03:37 AM »
I am pretty sure Boeing will be one of the two.

They are certainly in the running.  We'll know soon.

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As for Elon Musk, a tiger's bite only hurts if he has teeth.

You keep alluding to politics being a consideration in who is chosen for Commercial Crew.  Do you really believe that NASA is choosing the winner or winners based on the strength of company lobbying efforts versus the merit of their bids?

That NASA is that corrupt?
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 mr. mark

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #30 on: 08/19/2014 03:52 AM »
In the end Ron, I hope I'm wrong. It's hard to go up against well established contractors and win especially when you are the little guy. Elon has said that himself many times. I think I should not have said lobbyists as my intent was not to say NASA could be bought. Maybe I should have said experienced instead. We'll see soon enough. 

Offline john smith 19

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #31 on: 08/19/2014 08:20 AM »
I'm expecting SpaceX to be the odd man out.
Me too, as they are after all the only entrant racking up orbital flights now. Full mission cycles going up and coming down, which is useful experience to have if you're planning to carry humans.  :)
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Boeing has flight heritage and big lobbyists.
When was the last time Boeing built a capsule? Or do you mean their "heritage" through McDonal Douglas? That's what 3,4,5 decades in the past?

You're right about the lobbyists. They have an army of those to (specially) plead their case.
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Sierra Nevada has wings and that's something NASA wants it seems. That leaves SpaceX holding the bag. I am one of SpaceX's biggest supporters but, I'm not sure that this wind is blowing in their direction. If not, they'll stay busy with cargo, commercial satellite launches and reuse for now. In the end, they become as know to the general public as Sea Launch sad to say. Without manned flights, SpaceX looses it's appeal.   
I've noticed that when people start off "I am one of XXX's biggest supporters..." they're not going to say anything positive.  :( Thank you for demonstrating my point.

Weren't Sea Launch a Boeing joint venture? Outside of their ULA subsidiary they don't seem to be doing very well in the launch business.
Haha, makes me think of when I tell people I worked for Loral and the usual response is, the cosmetics company?  :)
Ouch.  :(

I really thought they had a shot with Aquarius.  :( I saw them like Apple after the Apple II and the Lisa. A solid company that had taken a bit of a battering. I though Aquarius would be their "Macintosh." A pragmatic approach to lowering the launch costs for all that payload that's not a $bn satellite that took a decade to build but is more likely to be a big mound of toilet tissue and ready meals.  Both of which become pretty important around meal times.  :)

Obviously a job in aerospace industrial forecasting did not beckon with that sort of insight.  :(

Not sure how it makes sense to reward the company that has received the most money but is the least committed to creating a critical service.
Simple. If you have limited resources (as NASA has) and you wanted to keep the maximum number of players in the game provided  each launch is competed. Over time the truly committed players will stay. The rest will drop out.  :(
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And wouldn't the flip side of that be that NASA would be able to spend less to create the same level of service with one of the other competitors?
Compete every launch. No "block buys."

But please note. I wrote could not should.  :(

Personally I dislike people who whine.

I really dislike multi $Bn corporations who whine even more.

Some of Boeing's behavior has been giving me that "dentist's drill" feeling  :(
« Last Edit: 08/19/2014 08:55 AM by john smith 19 »
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #32 on: 08/19/2014 09:06 AM »
It is not human rated.  It can be human occupied.
A fair point but it does give SpaceX current experience of the real issues around linking to a NASA certified human carrying facility in LEO.  Once you can meet those requirements the upgrade is for an ECLSS that can handle the worst case launch to docking time when running, on orbit storage and the amount of time to return to Earth coming back.

IOW's Dragon 1 has cracked the core  issues of building a vehicle solid enough and safe enough to be coupled to the ISS for the standard period of time. I'm sure Boeing and SNC can be made to do so also but the fact remains they have not done so yet.

Quite wrong.  X-37 and ISS and they did Shuttle sustaining engineering.  They have quite a lot of experience.  Not to mention leftovers from OSP and Spacehab.
Well yes and no. X37 and Shuttle use various types of reusable TPS. CTS-100 uses an ablator. I'm not if they have any experience of this material since Apollo.

So no actual capsule design experience for several decades but quite a lot of sub systems work?

TBH that sounds like they are on an equal footing with SNC, without the flight tests.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline AncientU

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #33 on: 08/19/2014 04:25 PM »
If closing the 'gap' and stopping the $70M/seat payments are NASA (political) goals near the top of the list, wouldn't significant criteria be who will be ready first and cost the least?  SpaceX seems to win in both categories, and has a really nice pad being developed at the Cape to ice the deal.  Not a great time for a NASA slapdown/footshot by selecting all but SpaceX.
« Last Edit: 08/19/2014 04:31 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Jim

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #34 on: 08/19/2014 04:47 PM »

So no actual capsule design experience for several decades but quite a lot of sub systems work?


Not, actual human rated spacecraft  ISS, OSP, etc and other reusable spacecraft X-37.
The fact that it hasn't been a "capsule" is meaningless.

The type of TPS is one of the lesser issues.
« Last Edit: 08/19/2014 04:48 PM by Jim »

Offline Scylla

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #35 on: 08/19/2014 04:57 PM »
If closing the 'gap' and stopping the $70M/seat payments are NASA (political) goals near the top of the list, wouldn't significant criteria be who will be ready first and cost the least?  SpaceX seems to win in both categories, and has a really nice pad being developed at the Cape to ice the deal.  Not a great time for a NASA slapdown/footshot by selecting all but SpaceX.
Boeing has expressed doubts about moving forward if they are not selected. SNC will probably move forward if not selected, but probably needs the money more than SpaceX. SpaceX has stated they are moving forward no matter what happens.

If a NASA long term goal is to maximize competition to create a variety of capabilities and across the board cost reduction, wouldn't SpaceX be the obvious one to drop if NASA can't take all three forward?
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #36 on: 08/19/2014 05:22 PM »
Boeing has expressed doubts about moving forward if they are not selected. SNC will probably move forward if not selected, but probably needs the money more than SpaceX. SpaceX has stated they are moving forward no matter what happens.

From the latest Aviation Week article about this topic (http://aviationweek.com/space/nasa-closes-commercial-crew-selection):

- Sierra Nevada Space Systems President Mark Sirangelo says the company is committed to the Dream Chaser orbital test flight in November 2016, regardless of a negative decision.

- Dragon 2 program manager Garrett Reisman says if Space X’s capsule is not selected, “there would be a lot less resources, and we’d have to bear all the development costs, so things would change. But we are not going to stop.”

- Boeing Commercial Space Vice President John Mulholland says, “it will be difficult to support the business case” without a NASA contract for CST-100.


Just as an observation, both Sierra Nevada and SpaceX have been building hardware that has either flown or will fly soon, and Sierra Nevada has even bought an Atlas V launch.  Boeing, though they have completed their CDR, has not built any full-up test or flight hardware, nor have they reserved an Atlas V flight.

Based on all of that it would be hard to argue that Boeing has shown the most commitment and the most sense of urgency for Commercial Crew.

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If a NASA long term goal is to maximize competition to create a variety of capabilities and across the board cost reduction, wouldn't SpaceX be the obvious one to drop if NASA can't take all three forward?

Not sure I understand your logic.  I see it this way:

A. Dream Chaser + Dragon = 2 different launch vehicles and 2 different spacecraft types with unique advantages

B. Dragon + CST-100 = 2 different launch vehicles but both vehicles are capsules that don't provide cross-range and low g-force advantages of the Dream Chaser

C. Dream Chaser + CST-100 = 1 launch vehicle and 2 different spacecraft types with unique advantages

So for the most redundancy in launch vehicles "A & B" would be the choices, and for the most diversity in generic vehicle abilities "A & C" would be the choices.  The best combination of the two would be "A", which is Dream Chaser and Dragon.

No doubt other factors play into the ultimate decision, but I think this highlights some of the important ones.
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 yg1968

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #37 on: 08/19/2014 05:32 PM »
Actually, Boeing has essentially said recently that it would continue its program at least until CRS2 is awarded:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32438.msg1244429#msg1244429

Offline dcporter

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #38 on: 08/19/2014 05:32 PM »
If a NASA long term goal is to maximize competition to create a variety of capabilities and across the board cost reduction, wouldn't SpaceX be the obvious one to drop if NASA can't take all three forward?

Not sure I understand your logic.

Scylla's point was that if SpX is the most willing to continue without funding, then NASA could get that bit of competition for "free" if it funds the other two companies instead.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #39 on: 08/19/2014 05:35 PM »
IOW's Dragon 1 has cracked the core  issues of building a vehicle solid enough and safe enough to be coupled to the ISS for the standard period of time. I'm sure Boeing and SNC can be made to do so also but the fact remains they have not done so yet.

You mean the ISS that Boeing built and operates?

TBH that sounds like they are on an equal footing with SNC, without the flight tests.

Sirangelo was saying at AIAA that they still don't know how many thrusters the RCS will have. We also know they just changed the MPS to an entirely new system. (Boeing/AJR is through CDR on their propulsion, did a whole bunch of tests).

What flight tests? They had one drop test and they damaged the test article. Boeing has done a whole bunch of drop tests. Yeah Boeing broke stuff the first time around, but they fixed it, and successfully retested years ago.

If every little bit of experience is so important, why do people support DC?



We'll get an announcement soon. If CST-100 gets an award, I'll be ecstatic. The only result I'd be really unhappy with would be SNC getting an exclusive or the primary award in a "1.5" because I think it's a recipe for serious delays.

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