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HLV / SLS / Orion / Constellation => Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLV/SLS) => Topic started by: Rocket Science on 02/15/2017 04:14 PM

Title: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/15/2017 04:14 PM
From update thread:
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)

Decision to study:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/investigating-potential-crew-sls-maiden-flight/

Decision not to go for it:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/nasa-em-1-uncrewed-costs-main-reason/
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
Post by: Mark S on 02/15/2017 04:27 PM
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)

This is about making SLS Exploration Mission 1 a crewed flight, not an unmanned lunar flyby.

Are you thinking of a mission to visit the Lagrange point EML-1? Otherwise, I'm not sure what SpaceX has to do with it.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
Post by: DOCinCT on 02/15/2017 05:54 PM
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)
SpaceX has never claimed that a Dragon2 would be suitable for an extended manned flight.  There is no equivalent of a service module.  Elon has said he has no real interest in lunar missions. 
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 02/15/2017 06:14 PM
The secret is out:

https://twitter.com/clownShowPony/status/831879711580160000

holy shit robert lightfoot just said we're going to investigate putting a crew on EM-1

--

Was a 9am memo to the NASA workforce. Will write it up when someone stops laughing and sends me it.
Well. Investigate equals study.

Prediction time: When the study is done the conclusion will be that it cannot be done for a whole lotta reasons. And that will be the end of it.

After which everyone returns to their regular (jobs) program.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 02/15/2017 07:13 PM
While I would love to see crew on EM-1 it is neither feasible (without large delays) nor the most efficient path forward. (and I say this as someone who supports SLS)

To get crew on EM-1 would require a delay of a few years (human rating ICPS, giving Orion fully functional life support etc.), resulting in a launch around 2020ish. If ICPS is used NASA then has to change the GSE equipment to be compatible with EUS and Block IB afterwards, which will result in more delays.

Better options IMO:

Launch EM-1 as planned and scheduled. Increase funding for EUS, Orion, and necessary changes to GSE for Block IB to close the gap between EM-1 and EM-2.

Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB. This will result in delays as well but conceivably given enough funding EM-2 could launch around the same time as this proposed version of EM-1 but with the benefit of having all the GSE changes done so there won't be a large gap in between the first flight and subsequent missions.

Both of these options would give a crewed mission around the moon within the horizon of the current Presidency and would bolster the programs stability and effectiveness going forward.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: GWH on 02/15/2017 07:18 PM
Half baked idea, but what if EM-1 was launched without crew where an LEO rendezvous with a commercial crew vehicle would transfer over crew to Orion if all systems checked out?  At least the risk of a completely untested launcher could be removed.

Stage duration of ICPS would of course be a limiting factor, according to the Delta IV users guide duration is 2.3 hours and can be extended to 7 hours with additional hydrazine and batteries.
ULA's IVF could extend this duration of course, and last update I saw a 2018 in orbit test was planned.  Implementing to ICPS would no doubt be an expensive rush program, but in comparison to flying a crewed first launch could appear to be the least bad scenario.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/15/2017 07:27 PM
Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB.

Not likely to happen, but your sentiment is on point. ICPS, intended as a time-saver to appease congress, has morphed into an expensive liability.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Toast on 02/15/2017 07:30 PM
Launch EM-1 as planned and scheduled. Increase funding for EUS, Orion, and necessary changes to GSE for Block IB to close the gap between EM-1 and EM-2.

Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB. This will result in delays as well but conceivably given enough funding EM-2 could launch around the same time as this proposed version of EM-1 but with the benefit of having all the GSE changes done so there won't be a large gap in between the first flight and subsequent missions.

Both of these options would give a crewed mission around the moon within the horizon of the current Presidency and would bolster the programs stability and effectiveness going forward.

I still think there's an issue with these plans--the "then what?" problem. There just aren't any missions requiring Orion (or SLS for that matter, with the sole exception of Europa Clipper). If the goal is to bolster the programs stability and effectiveness going forward, the only thing that can do so is designing missions and payloads to utilize SLS and Orion. Without a "why" the "how" is irrelevant.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
Post by: guckyfan on 02/15/2017 07:33 PM
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)
SpaceX has never claimed that a Dragon2 would be suitable for an extended manned flight.  There is no equivalent of a service module.  Elon has said he has no real interest in lunar missions.

I don't know why you bring SpaceX into this, but as you did, I reply:

A loop around the moon with 3 people is not an extended manned flight.

There is the equivalent of a service module. It is integrated in Dragon unlike other vehicles where it is separate.

Elon is not interested in lunar missions. He is not willing to invest in it. But when well paid for a limited amount of engineering, why would SpaceX not do it?
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/15/2017 07:39 PM
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)

This is about making SLS Exploration Mission 1 a crewed flight, not an unmanned lunar flyby.

Are you thinking of a mission to visit the Lagrange point EML-1? Otherwise, I'm not sure what SpaceX has to do with it.
My thought was that he could do a crewed flight after spacecraft and heat shield testing... Elon runs his own space agency and can do whatever mission he feel like with his money...
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 02/15/2017 07:45 PM

I still think there's an issue with these plans--the "then what?" problem.

I agree that SLS/Orion need defined missions and goals but there are plenty of ideas on how to use them effectively in the near future. NASA needs to convince the President and Congress to just go with one and fund it effectively. Personally I like the idea of using SLS/Orion to build and crew a cis-lunar outpost with a reusable lunar lander. From what I understand it has a lot of support within NASA and ESA.


There is the equivalent of a service module. It is integrated in Dragon unlike other vehicles where it is separate.

Quite correct, although it is not clear how much in the way of consumables Dragon can hold in its integrated SM. Would be very interesting to know.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Craftyatom on 02/15/2017 08:08 PM
The most worrying thing in my mind is this line from Lightfoot's memo: "I know the challenges associated with such a proposition, like reviewing the technical feasibility, additional resources needed, and clearly the extra work would require a different launch date." (included in SpaceNews' article (http://spacenews.com/nasa-to-study-launching-astronauts-on-first-sls-mission/))

Yes, it will be a challenge to get the ICPS man-rated.  Yes, it will be a challenge to get EM-1's Orion outfitted with ECLSS.  But these issues are secondary to the idea of crew safety - which is not mentioned at all in Lightfoot's memo.  Surely the first thing one should say about this idea is that it is inherently more dangerous?  To make it as safe as a crewed Block 1 EM-2 (which obviously isn't happening, but as an example) would take a ridiculous number of man hours.

I don't think this proposal should appear anywhere without the caveat "but doing so would be quite dangerous."  If NASA decides to accept that risk, then so be it, but that is something that should be explicitly stated.

One day, a crewed first launch is going to bite someone in the rear (Soyuz 1 almost counts, but there were technically test flights - they all failed to the point where there would've been LOC, though).  I'd hate to see that happen to a vehicle whose design and construction took so much time, effort, and money, at which point this would not just be about crew safety, but program safety as well.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal fo EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 02/15/2017 08:53 PM
The secret is out:

https://twitter.com/clownShowPony/status/831879711580160000

holy shit robert lightfoot just said we're going to investigate putting a crew on EM-1

--

Was a 9am memo to the NASA workforce. Will write it up when someone stops laughing and sends me it.
Well. Investigate equals study.

Prediction time: When the study is done the conclusion will be that it cannot be done for a whole lotta reasons. And that will be the end of it.

After which everyone returns to their regular (jobs) program.

I really think this is essentially a way to answer a demand from the transition team and nothing more.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/15/2017 09:10 PM
I agree that SLS/Orion need defined missions and goals but there are plenty of ideas on how to use them effectively in the near future. NASA needs to convince the President and Congress to just go with one and fund it effectively. Personally I like the idea of using SLS/Orion to build and crew a cis-lunar outpost with a reusable lunar lander. From what I understand it has a lot of support within NASA and ESA.

NASA is a government agency that works for the President.  They do what they are told by the President to do, or funded by Congress to do.  NASA doesn't lobby Congress on it's own.

I know that sounds harsh, but we have to make sure we don't anthropomorphize NASA, or make it sounds like it controls it's own destiny - it doesn't.

As for this EM-1 proposal, considering all the angst and discussion was raised over how SpaceX plans to fuel their rockets for crew launches, I would imagine that NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) is going to have a lot to say about flying humans on the first flight of the SLS and the first flight of a working Orion.

And this is a risky proposal for NASA, since if the flight has a failure, even if it doesn't result in loss of life, that could set the program back further than if they flew the flights without crew - you know, like in a proper test program.

To me this discussion about flying crew early is driven by money and politics.  Money, because test flights of the SLS are extremely expensive, and politics because without a robust manifest of things to fly the SLS has to show that it is accomplishing something to justify it's continuing funding.

Not sure if we know if this is a Trump led effort or something being generated from within NASA, so we'll have to wait and see.  But it will raise a lot of questions for a while...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 02/15/2017 09:11 PM
If ASAP goes along with this, they will be exposed as fraudulent.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/15/2017 09:37 PM
Those in L2 know we've been looking into this for a while, but now it's out there.... I've done some additional asking around for leading options. EM Hybrid is cool.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/investigating-potential-crew-sls-maiden-flight/
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Darkseraph on 02/15/2017 09:48 PM
I fear this will be a dangerous one off stunt that superficially achieves the appearance of progress in Human Spaceflight but delays EM2 and the acompanying EUS which are more useful for a BEO HSF.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/15/2017 09:59 PM
Given enough money and enough leadership - NASA could pull this off. Whether they should is going to be a matter of debate, now. In a sensible - not perfect - world, there would be an all-up unmanned test flight first of the SLS/Orion system. Two complete SLS Core Stages and booster sets and three Orion spacecraft should be readied before operations begin. The first test flight; I would make it unmanned and carry out EM-1 as originally planned - around the Moon via SLS. Then, it that went well, put an Orion aboard a Delta IV-H and send it unmanned to the ISS. It docks with ISS, a crew of two board it and carry out a 'shakedown' cruise of Orion manned systems before returning the crew to Earth.

The third and final test flight is a crewed SLS/Orion mission to high Lunar orbit, or Distant Retrograde Lunar orbit, with 4x Astronauts for a full week or so.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Mark S on 02/15/2017 10:25 PM
Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB.

Not likely to happen, but your sentiment is on point. ICPS, intended as a time-saver to appease congress, has morphed into an expensive liability.

Congress never asked for ICPS, that was all Charles Bolden. Same with the under-powered core stage with only four RS-25 engines, when all previous studies (ESAS, HEFT, RAC) indicated that five RS-25 was optimal for the very stretched SLS core.

The NASA Auth Act of 2010 called for the core components (core + boosters only) to have a launch capacity of 70 tons (or more) to LEO. Then NASA was to increase total capacity (IMLEO) to 130 tons (or more) by the addition of an "integrated upper earth departure stage". The wording was awkward, but the intention was clear. Of course there was enough ambiguity for NASA to go all crazy with what they were given, and they did.

Now they will have to spend three years re-arranging many of the components on the ML tower, basically everything above the core stage, to accommodate the EUS for Block-1B. After one single launch using the Block-1 configuration with ICPS. Not a good use of time and resources.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 02/15/2017 10:37 PM
An ISS docking mission could involve the SLS sending an Orion and a Deep Space Habitat (DSH) to the ISS for space testing. The ISS is there as a life boat, if something goes wrong with new hardware the crew rush back into the ISS.

The crew could go up separately if the Orion's ECLSS is not ready. The Block 1 SLS being used as the world's biggest cargo launcher.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/15/2017 10:45 PM
It's 1968 and I feel young again...

I don't think this is anything like Apollo 8, if that's what you're thinking.  With Apollo 8, NASA took a risk for a major historical and geopolitical accomplishment.  Crewing EM-1 to, at best, fly a poor man's version of Apollo 8, would be largely about making the Trump administration look good.  It's a terrible excuse for risking a crew.  That this is even considered is a sad reflection on the Trump administration and NASA's leadership.

It's reminiscent of the tragic flight of Soyuz 1.  Political pressure to pull off a space spectacular in time for the 50th anniversary of Russia's Communist revolution led to the death of a cosmonaut in a spacecraft that was not yet ready.  NASA in recent years has acknowledged the large risk it took in flying a crew on STS-1.  For it to now seriously to consider crewing EM-1 would be a sign of dysfunctionality.

EDIT:  Removed extraneous "is" in 1st sentence of 2nd paragraph.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/15/2017 10:50 PM
It's 1968 and I feel young again...

I don't think this is anything like Apollo 8, if that's what you're thinking.  With Apollo 8, NASA took a risk for a major historical and geopolitical accomplishment.  Crewing EM-1 to, at best, fly a poor man's version of Apollo 8, would be largely about making the Trump administration look good.  It's a terrible excuse for risking a crew.  That this is even considered is a sad reflection on the Trump administration and NASA's leadership.

It's reminiscent of is the tragic flight of Soyuz 1.  Political pressure to pull off a space spectacular in time for the 50th anniversary of Russia's Communist revolution led to the death of a cosmonaut in a spacecraft that was not yet ready.  NASA in recent years has acknowledged the large risk it took in flying a crew on STS-1.  For it to now seriously to consider crewing EM-1 would be a sign of dysfunctionality.
That was sarcasm... ;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/15/2017 10:54 PM
Congress never asked for ICPS, that was all Charles Bolden. Same with the under-powered core stage with only four RS-25 engines, when all previous studies (ESAS, HEFT, RAC) indicated that five RS-25 was optimal for the very stretched SLS core.

So how come Congress has never complained?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/15/2017 11:00 PM
I really think this is essentially a way to answer a demand from the transition team and nothing more.

If that's what it were, I don't think Lightfoot would have announced it.  He'd have simply quietly appointed a team to study it.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/15/2017 11:12 PM
If ASAP goes along with this, they will be exposed as fraudulent.
It's going to make them swallow their own "self licking ice-cream cone" that they are... Thanks to the two Chris's for the space news-making article of the year thus far! :)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Mark S on 02/15/2017 11:24 PM
Congress never asked for ICPS, that was all Charles Bolden. Same with the under-powered core stage with only four RS-25 engines, when all previous studies (ESAS, HEFT, RAC) indicated that five RS-25 was optimal for the very stretched SLS core.

So how come Congress has never complained?

My guess would be because their goal of getting NASA moving in the general direction they wanted was accomplished, even if it varied significantly in the details. It's one thing to set direction and policy goals, quite another to publicly question the results of NASA's technical recommendations.
Title: Re: Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/16/2017 12:35 AM
Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB.

Not likely to happen, but your sentiment is on point. ICPS, intended as a time-saver to appease congress, has morphed into an expensive liability.

Congress never asked for ICPS, that was all Charles Bolden.

Correcct, congress didn't ask for ICPS. Congress asked for an aggressive schedule and ICPS was chosen as a way to meet that schedule. Recall the 'SLS as backup for ISS crew rotation' discussions?

Now we're down to a single flight for ICPS and its associated GSE. A lot of effort to discard after one flight. In retrospect (always 20/20), NASA would have been better off going straight to EUS. IMO, of course.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 02/16/2017 01:14 AM
I really think this is essentially a way to answer a demand from the transition team and nothing more.

If that's what it were, I don't think Lightfoot would have announced it.  He'd have simply quietly appointed a team to study it.

By announcing it, NASA gets to control the story. Keep it quiet (not easy, given how much work this involves), and it would leak out eventually.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: yg1968 on 02/16/2017 02:38 AM
I have troubled believing that NASA would decide to send Orion to the ISS. That mission would likely happen after commercial crew has already started ferrying astronauts to the ISS. It wouldn't be a very exciting mission for SLS and Orion in my opinion. Not the kind of mission that would make NASA great again...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jongoff on 02/16/2017 03:13 AM
My take on this is that it's much like the original 2016 initial flight goal, and the Ares-I-X flight before that. A stunt to try and show enough "progress" before a new president gets in* that they hopefully can be made to think the program is farther along than it really is. This flight would be using refurbished shuttle engines and booster casings, an interim upper stage that may only fly once, and a European SM for Orion that may only fly once or twice. The whole SLS/Orion system would likely not be operational for another several years, and if anything pulling up the manned flight date is likely to push out the actual regular operation date. I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than a stunt.

~Jon

* And yes, I'm implying that the people pushing this may be betting on Trump being a one-term wonder.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: yg1968 on 02/16/2017 03:18 AM
I really think this is essentially a way to answer a demand from the transition team and nothing more.

If that's what it were, I don't think Lightfoot would have announced it.  He'd have simply quietly appointed a team to study it.

By announcing it, NASA gets to control the story. Keep it quiet (not easy, given how much work this involves), and it would leak out eventually.

I think that it's also in order for SLS and Orion to keep up with the commercial companies that either have or will propose alternate missions before November 2020: for example, SNC proposed servicing Hubble with crewed DC in that time frame.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: redliox on 02/16/2017 04:21 AM
I don't see this happening anymore than ARM will happen.  If it does happen there will be numerous forced smiles on the engineering staff, and forcing this to happen probably would end up derailing things to 2020.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ricmsmith on 02/16/2017 10:32 AM
Whilst it would look great if everything went to plan, what we learned from the Space Shuttle program and many other space flight programs is that often things do not go to plan.

There was a reason for an unmanned test flight, that of validating what the designers thought would happen, would actually happen. If things do go wrong and they loose a crew on a maiden flight, it will risk setting NASA, human spaceflight and research back years, maybe even decades. This all smacks of political interference in what should at the moment be an engineering exercise.

Space flight is risky and dangerous, it will be along time before it is anything like routine but taking risks that are not required to achieve specific goals is a different matter all together. Be brave yes, but do not be rash, that more than anything should be the lesson we take from our space flight history.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 02/16/2017 11:12 AM
FWIW, if I'd been planning the SLS missions (which I wasn't), I would have worked in a few LEO missions launched by Atlas-VH, uncrewed and then crewed, to test Orion in LEO. This would have had at least two significant advantages:

1) Orion is crew ready before the first BLEO mission;

2) Limited and slow-production SLS inventory can be reserved for actual operational missions rather than grandly-named partial-equipment test flights.

Onto the subject of this thread, I'm expecting NASA to kill a forest to prepare and print out a study the conclusions of which can be summarised thus: "Bad idea; let's not do it." That said, this is about salesmanship and making a statement about the United States' national virility. It might not be decided on whether or not it is sensible, safe or scientifically justifiable.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: High Bay 4 on 02/16/2017 11:23 AM
President Trump has an event planned in Melbourne, about 45 miles south of KSC on Saturday.  Part of his speech is supposed to concern early accomplishments and "future plans".  Might this present an opportunity to test the waters for his SLS EM-1 plan before a pro-HSF audience?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 02/16/2017 12:04 PM
I have troubled believing that NASA would decide to send Orion to the ISS. That mission would likely happen after commercial crew has already started ferrying astronauts to the ISS. It wouldn't be a very exciting mission for SLS and Orion in my opinion. Not the kind of mission that would make NASA great again...

Not to mention risking a $100B facility and six crew by rendezvous with an untested spacecraft.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/16/2017 01:18 PM
As for the aforementioned WH occupant, he may be lucky to "finish" the current term in office ...
Let's not make predictions here about how long a president will serve. Jim once did that (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=19989.msg524293#msg524293) and afterwards had to admit (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34270.msg1181814#msg1181814) he had better not made that prediction.
That's why I use the word "may"... ;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 02/16/2017 01:31 PM
My take on this is that it's much like the original 2016 initial flight goal, and the Ares-I-X flight before that. A stunt to try and show enough "progress" before a new president gets in* that they hopefully can be made to think the program is farther along than it really is. This flight would be using refurbished shuttle engines and booster casings, an interim upper stage that may only fly once, and a European SM for Orion that may only fly once or twice. The whole SLS/Orion system would likely not be operational for another several years, and if anything pulling up the manned flight date is likely to push out the actual regular operation date. I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than a stunt.

~Jon

* And yes, I'm implying that the people pushing this may be betting on Trump being a one-term wonder.
This is an example of the political "circus" stunt that I've been writing about as a distraction. Huge expense and risk for low return. As for the aforementioned WH occupant, he may be lucky to "finish" the current term in office ...

I think this is closer to the poker 'call' where the new administration wants to see SLS/Orion Project's hand.  If buckets more money are requested and still no way to get even first crew flight (safety aside) by 2020, then the bluff will be revealed...

Could still go forward with this craziness, but I doubt it.  Political circus indeed!
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 02/16/2017 01:42 PM
Echoes of Soyuz-1 - Echoes of Soyuz-1.

And no this would not resemble Apollo-8 in any way, shape or fashion. Both the Saturn-V rocket and the Apollo spacecraft had already flown and been tested. This is a really, really risky thing to do.

Lightfoot made the announcement so we know he is on board with this. But speculation about whether or not the Trump administration was part of this and how long the President will stay in office is not only unfounded, it is exceptionally *far* off topic. This is a really good topic for discussion. Don't screw it up by going there or I promise I will light up the Moderator's complaint boxes every 30 seconds.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/16/2017 02:09 PM
Echoes of Soyuz-1 - Echoes of Soyuz-1.

And no this would not resemble Apollo-8 in any way, shape or fashion. Both the Saturn-V rocket and the Apollo spacecraft had already flown and been tested. This is a really, really risky thing to do.

Lightfoot made the announcement so we know he is on board with this. But speculation about whether or not the Trump administration was part of this and how long the President will stay in office is not only unfounded, it is exceptionally *far* off topic. This is a really good topic for discussion. Don't screw it up by going there or I promise I will light up the Moderator's complaint boxes every 30 seconds.
I was the president that told Prof. Brinkley that he had big plans for NASA and now this "may" be it...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: wannamoonbase on 02/16/2017 02:14 PM
Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB.

Not likely to happen, but your sentiment is on point. ICPS, intended as a time-saver to appease congress, has morphed into an expensive liability.

These time-savers tend to do that.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/16/2017 02:27 PM
My take on this is that it's much like the original 2016 initial flight goal, and the Ares-I-X flight before that. A stunt to try and show enough "progress" before a new president gets in* that they hopefully can be made to think the program is farther along than it really is. This flight would be using refurbished shuttle engines and booster casings, an interim upper stage that may only fly once, and a European SM for Orion that may only fly once or twice. The whole SLS/Orion system would likely not be operational for another several years, and if anything pulling up the manned flight date is likely to push out the actual regular operation date. I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than a stunt.

~Jon

* And yes, I'm implying that the people pushing this may be betting on Trump being a one-term wonder.
This is an example of the political "circus" stunt that I've been writing about as a distraction. Huge expense and risk for low return. As for the aforementioned WH occupant, he may be lucky to "finish" the current term in office ...

I think this is closer to the poker 'call' where the new administration wants to see SLS/Orion Project's hand.  If buckets more money are requested and still no way to get even first crew flight (safety aside) by 2020, then the bluff will be revealed...

Could still go forward with this craziness, but I doubt it.  Political circus indeed!

At this point, however, is there a faster way to get to cis-lunar HSF? Canning Orion leaves Starliner and Dragon, neither of which have the longevity or performance to do lunar orbit insertions. And even if those got upgraded service modules, Atlas-Centaur can't put Starliner through TLI.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 02/16/2017 03:03 PM
Quite an interesting proposition.  Funny how NASA has gone from wanting to move past ICPS and not man-rate it to save money and time, to now the very opposite.

Those concerned about crew safety, I don't have the slightest inkling that NASA would allow the first batch of BLEO astronauts into a unsafe vehicle.  If they do their study and find it feasible, I'm on-board.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 02/16/2017 03:34 PM
Those concerned about crew safety, I don't have the slightest inkling that NASA would allow the first batch of BLEO astronauts into a unsafe vehicle.  If they do their study and find it feasible, I'm on-board.

This whole thing is about pushing a schedule to make SLS Orion look more relevant than it is, and just like Ares-IX, it's a stunt. As for your contention about NASA not putting astronauts aboard an unsafe vehicle, we should all remember that it was NASA leadership that insisted that Challenger be launched - to meet a schedule - in spite of the fact that the engineers made it completely clear that to launch in those temperatures was creating an unsafe condition. NASA leadership ignored them. That "safe" vehicle went on to kill 7 astronauts just 73 seconds after liftoff.

It is exactly the same situation as the premature and unnecessary launch of Soyuz-1 - again, to meet a schedule - that killed Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. How many times do we have to kill our finest before we learn that safety is not a buzzword?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 02/16/2017 04:11 PM
Those concerned about crew safety, I don't have the slightest inkling that NASA would allow the first batch of BLEO astronauts into a unsafe vehicle.  If they do their study and find it feasible, I'm on-board.

This whole thing is about pushing a schedule to make SLS Orion look more relevant than it is, and just like Ares-IX, it's a stunt. As for your contention about NASA not putting astronauts aboard an unsafe vehicle, we should all remember that it was NASA leadership that insisted that Challenger be launched - to meet a schedule - in spite of the fact that the engineers made it completely clear that to launch in those temperatures was creating an unsafe condition. NASA leadership ignored them. That "safe" vehicle went on to kill 7 astronauts just 73 seconds after liftoff.

It is exactly the same situation as the premature and unnecessary launch of Soyuz-1 - again, to meet a schedule - that killed Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. How many times do we have to kill our finest before we learn that safety is not a buzzword?

I respectfully disagree comparing NASA of mid 1980's to today's NASA.  Schedule pressure will always be present, but I stand by that if NASA of today completes their study and finds launching astronauts on Block I first flight, I'm on-board.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: muomega0 on 02/16/2017 04:40 PM
The purpose of the study is to *change* the SLS into a cargo launcher first.
The first few flights of SLS will not fly crew and the reasons are quite obvious.
The study will conclude that at least 3 flights are required prior to crew.
The EMs will morph away from crew and SLS will launch the inflatable habitats.
The 3+ EM test flights will be considered dev. costs and the last EM flight will be 1 yr prior to the first mission.
No partners on critical path....interim cryo stage cancelled.

CisLunar and Beyond missions will be proposed with the goal of 2020s and Mars by 2030s, but the cost of Mars is 250B (of course it would be much less without SLS/Orion see alternativefacts.com )

The first SLS science missions will be in ~ 2025.
Its launch costs will be 0.5B, regardless if the mission launches on time.

SLS/Orions main goals are to help protect cislunar from China and the fallacy of a cislunar economy (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38767.msg1626530#msg1626530) to support 'the base', and oh, to have some plans for Mars in 2030s and some way to include commercial providers but not on the critical path.

Increasing the flight rate of commercial to reduce launch costs to create Earth markets is not the goal.

----
Mars is about 200mT/yr and is the largest mission set. 
Only two providers could provide this mT/yr with 5-10 launches of a 10-20mT LV.
With the goal of reuse to provide demonstrated reliability, even smaller LVs are required.
It makes little sense to certify a LV that will be retired, has solids, and RD-180s coupled with US engine by 2019.
With two 100mT launches, SLS completely eliminate a path forward for Economic Access to Space.

NASA was required in 1958 to conduct long terms studies and provide the benefits so that the taxpayer could make informed decisions. These programs in place are usually from outsourced think tank studies with narrowly defined requirements, and when the Act of 1958 is compared to performance, the outcome has been poor (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42254.msg1641292#msg1641292)

SLS/Orion have and will continue to compromise every path forward for BEO, but let's inspire the kids with plans.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/16/2017 04:47 PM
The purpose of the study is to *change* the SLS into a cargo launcher first.
...

How do you get that out of a study looking at putting crew on the FIRST flight? Even if they decide it is not feasible, crew would still go on EM-2.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 02/16/2017 04:54 PM
Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB.

Not likely to happen, but your sentiment is on point. ICPS, intended as a time-saver to appease congress, has morphed into an expensive liability.

These time-savers tend to do that.

The old adage, "nothing is more permanent than a temporary fix," comes to mind.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: muomega0 on 02/16/2017 05:25 PM
The purpose of the study is to *change* the SLS into a cargo launcher first.
...

How do you get that out of a study looking at putting crew on the FIRST flight? Even if they decide it is not feasible, crew would still go on EM-2.
Because NASA will do an honest assessment of a new LV with solids, and it will conclude SLS needs test flights in a test as you fly mode and will follow the commercial crew standard.
https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/504982main_CCTSCR_Dec-08_Basic_Web.pdf

But now you need a reason to keep SLS around to maintain the base and provide spoils to the victors.  Look who played major roles in the last few months. Rather than get started on that

LV independent architecture based on reuse with common configurations for Class A to D payloads to provide demonstrated reliability (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35839.msg1271161#msg1271161) to find that unknown unknown and allow LVs to incremental improve their designs, where the only risk is launching dirt cheap propellant as payload, which is 80% of the NASA mission mass, and include inclusion of new technology and missions for the future generations.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Toast on 02/16/2017 06:56 PM
It is exactly the same situation as the premature and unnecessary launch of Soyuz-1 - again, to meet a schedule - that killed Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. How many times do we have to kill our finest before we learn that safety is not a buzzword?
I respectfully disagree comparing NASA of mid 1980's to today's NASA.  Schedule pressure will always be present, but I stand by that if NASA of today completes their study and finds launching astronauts on Block I first flight, I'm on-board.

I think the core of the disagreement is that you're operating under the assumption that NASA has signed off the plan. I would argue that there's no way that NASA can complete an honest study and still approve putting astronauts on untested flight hardware (and for ostensibly political purposes, no less). I think the overwhelmingly likely outcome is that NASA will review the concept, and reject it. If, on the other hand, NASA reviews the plan and approves it, I would strongly suspect that they compromised their review for reasons of political pressure.

EDIT: Borked the quote tags.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/16/2017 07:37 PM
...but I stand by that if NASA of today completes their study and finds launching astronauts on Block I first flight, I'm on-board.

Studies can be made to have any conclusion you want them to have.  Remember the study Griffin came up with to show that EELV's couldn't be used to launch crews because they had black zones?  Yet they neglected to ask ULA about it?  And there wasn't really an issue?

NASA is being pushed to do manned tests because it's very expensive to do unmanned tests.  If it was free then NASA would probably fly at least three unmanned tests flights, since that is their standard for certifying launchers for science payloads.

Which if one wanted to look at this situation cynically, would mean that some in NASA consider humans less important than science instruments.  Not that I think anyone does, or that they are meaning to, but the argument could be made about their logic...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 02/16/2017 10:28 PM
...but I stand by that if NASA of today completes their study and finds launching astronauts on Block I first flight, I'm on-board.

Studies can be made to have any conclusion you want them to have.  Remember the study Griffin came up with to show that EELV's couldn't be used to launch crews because they had black zones?  Yet they neglected to ask ULA about it?  And there wasn't really an issue?

NASA is being pushed to do manned tests because it's very expensive to do unmanned tests.  If it was free then NASA would probably fly at least three unmanned tests flights, since that is their standard for certifying launchers for science payloads.

Which if one wanted to look at this situation cynically, would mean that some in NASA consider humans less important than science instruments.  Not that I think anyone does, or that they are meaning to, but the argument could be made about their logic...

Ron, you don't need to bring your hyperbole to every SLS thread.  Stating NASA considers humans less than science payloads has no business being on these threads.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/16/2017 10:50 PM
Whenever we get threads like this, I monitor the back-and-forths keenly and always seem to come to a sad conclusion... :(

Whatever mission concept comes up, in whatever combination of launcher and hardware; there's always someone who says it's a bad idea, or it wont work etc... So an uncrewed mission to Lunar orbit - waste of time and money. A crewed mission to Lunar orbit or DRO - waste of time and money. A Cislunar space station to support a Lunar Outpost or learning long duration, deep space operations - waste of time and money. Landing humans on the Moon again; this time to stay - waste of time and money and 'been there, done that'. And; the Moon is a distraction for the real goal - which is Mars. Or; Mars is too far and too expensive - a waste of time and money and a bad idea that we'll never be ready for....

So - it's all too hard and all just no good, and all too expensive. Okay - I got it... >:(   ::) :'(


...Isn't it any wonder I have the signature line I have?!
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 02/16/2017 11:01 PM
If the same person holds all those points of view, Mattblak, then you have a point. If not, then welcome to the internet!
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: brejol on 02/17/2017 12:21 AM
Its good to feel a bit of leadership and drive for once.  Its been a while.  And it seems that fantasy land is opening up again (closed since the death of Direct),   But at least the rocket is real, though funding and profitable flight rates dwell in middle Earth.  So, cynicism  be gone.  Anticipating the announcement of a lander soon.  2022 would be a good year.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/17/2017 12:29 AM
Its good to feel a bit of leadership and drive for once.  Its been a while.  And it seems that fantasy land is opening up again (closed since the death of Direct),   But at least the rocket is real, though funding and profitable flight rates dwell in middle Earth.  So, cynicism  be gone.  Anticipating the announcement of a lander soon.  2022 would be a good year.
There are better designs than Altair... As always, show me the money...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/17/2017 12:40 AM
If the same person holds all those points of view, Mattblak, then you have a point. If not, then welcome to the internet!
I've been doing the 'Space Blog' thing since the mid-1990s. Very little changes :( Scientist and Space commentator Jeffrey Bell (whatever happened to him?!) used to call all this babble 'The March of the Space Cadets'. Read the link below to see what he thought back then - and just look who he quotes in the article...  :-[

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/oped-05zzb.html

There are plenty of folk around to tell you what they don't like - that pretty much everything is no bloody good; that we are all misguided, wrong-headed fools who don't know what we're talking about... Only; on this fantastic website, at least we are mostly polite about it! As I said; plenty of folk to tell you what they don't want to see - and I wont name names - but then in the same breath they wont offer what they do want to see.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/17/2017 12:46 AM
Its good to feel a bit of leadership and drive for once.  Its been a while.  And it seems that fantasy land is opening up again (closed since the death of Direct),   But at least the rocket is real, though funding and profitable flight rates dwell in middle Earth.  So, cynicism  be gone.  Anticipating the announcement of a lander soon.  2022 would be a good year.
There are better designs than Altair... As always, show me the money...
Whatever is the most basic up-and-down 'Taxi' that gets 2 or more Astronauts to the Lunar surface and back should be unarguably the way to do things. It starts out as expendable, but can evolve to a reusable Block II. Land surface Habitats and/or Transportation separately. One vehicle shouldn't be the do-it-all vehicle - unless of course some clever bugger can work out how to do that.

Do the above basic craft and surely that would fit the bill?! Or will some folks only be happy with Sci-Fi, 'magic beanstalk' technology that no one wants to pay for, or always remains 20 years in the future?!
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/17/2017 01:12 AM
As I said; plenty of folk to tell you what they don't want to see - and I wont name names - but then in the same breath they wont offer what they do want to see.

I want to see something sustainable that is part of an overall cadence of activity that expands humanity out into space.  I'm not as concerned with the pace, just that we are steadily increasing the number of humans in space over time.

What I don't want to see with my tax money is gimmicks and tricks, and fake dates that try to present the impression of progress, but are in reality not.  In other words, I don't like my taxpayer money being wasted for non-valid reasons.

And speaking just for myself, I'll go along with a plan if there is broad consensus, since broad consensus for space stuff is pretty darn hard to achieve.  But that doesn't mean plans shouldn't be revisited as conditions change, and we've certainly had a lot of changes since the SLS and Orion were first mandated by Congress to be built.

As to the topic at hand, the GAO report for the Commercial Crew program is finally out and it talks about NASA wanting SpaceX to have a stable Falcon 9 flight configuration before it starts crew testing (i.e. Block 5), and obviously they want to see some flights of that configuration before NASA crews fly on the Falcon 9.  They don't even give a pass to the RD-180 engine for the Atlas V just because it's been flying payloads, and want to see certification data from the Russian manufacturer (which Boeing has not been able to get).

So NASA is already being very stringent about the requirements for crews to fly on commercial rockets that will have already flown in the same configuration crews will fly.

But that does not appear to be the case with the SLS, where crews are now being considered to fly on a rocket that has never flown, in a spacecraft that has never flown either.

Excuse me if that seems like there are two different standards being used for safety at NASA, not one.  Which seems fishy to me...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: EE Scott on 02/17/2017 01:27 AM

..snip...

Excuse me if that seems like there are two different standards being used for safety at NASA, not one.  Which seems fishy to me...

It is very much a double standard, plain and simple. Quite audacious (and not in a good way) if you think about it.

These are very strange times, getting stranger all the time.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/17/2017 01:34 AM
One is a NASA designed and owned system, the others are not... It's NASA's sandbox and they decide who and how they play in it...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 02/17/2017 02:28 AM
One is a NASA designed and owned system, the others are not... It's NASA's sandbox and they decide who and how they play in it...

So flying the SLS+Orion with crew on the first flight counts in political terms as a 'brave decision'.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 02/17/2017 05:10 AM
One is a NASA designed and owned system, the others are not... It's NASA's sandbox and they decide who and how they play in it...

But that also means that whatever NASA issues about something being "manrated" isn't worth the paper it is printed on. Some people have a very idealized view of NASA.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 02/17/2017 08:26 AM
One is a NASA designed and owned system, the others are not... It's NASA's sandbox and they decide who and how they play in it...

But that also means that whatever NASA issues about something being "manrated" isn't worth the paper it is printed on. Some people have a very idealized view of NASA.
Indeed. It would be very strange if man-rating standards would be different between NASA-developed-and-owned systems and hired-by-NASA systems.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/17/2017 08:32 AM
Not to mention risking a $100B facility and six crew by rendezvous with an untested spacecraft.

Its the same risk of the first flight of ATV, HTV, Dragon and Cygnus and the upcoming first flights of Dragon 2 and CST-100. In my opinion, this risk is small and far outweighs the reward of proving Orion safely in LEO before going into deep space. Flying crew on EM-1 is where high risk occurs and I think not worth the reward. If you want to speed up the first crewed flight and do it safely, I think the following is a better path

1) Increase the SLS and Orion budget from $4.3B to $6.3B without cutting other programs (a 10% increase in NASA's budget).
2) Crew rate ICPS.
3) Develop EUS.
4) Develop LM.
5) Fly EM-1 as is (2019).
6) Fly Orion to ISS on Delta IVH without crew. Transfer crew and do a two week checkout in LEO (2020).
7) Fly EM-2 with crew using crew rated SLS Block I (2021).
8) Refurbish High Bay 3 for Block IB.
9) Refurbish LUT to Block IB. All future flights are Block IB.
10) EM-3 with Boilerplate LM to LLO. (2hf 2023)
11) EM-4 with crewed Orion to LLO. Rendezvous with Boilerplate LM. (1hf 2024)
12) EM-5 with LM to LLO. Performs uncrewed landing on Moon. (2hf 2024)
13) EM-6 with LM to LLO. (1hf 2025)
14) EM-7 with Orion to LLO. Orion docks with LM with crew performing landing (2hf 2025).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/17/2017 10:36 AM
One is a NASA designed and owned system, the others are not... It's NASA's sandbox and they decide who and how they play in it...

But that also means that whatever NASA issues about something being "manrated" isn't worth the paper it is printed on. Some people have a very idealized view of NASA.
I'm only stating what "appears" to be the case... Not my endorsement of it...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/17/2017 10:41 AM
One is a NASA designed and owned system, the others are not... It's NASA's sandbox and they decide who and how they play in it...

So flying the SLS+Orion with crew on the first flight counts in political terms as a 'brave decision'.
Or a "foolishly expedient" one by politicians who aren't risking their own lives...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 02/17/2017 11:14 AM
I see the decision to fly a crew on the first flight of a new vehicle as a risk/benefit decision.  On Apollo, despite the Space Race, and the wish to honor Kennedy's pledge, NASA felt it was too risky to launch crews until after the Saturn V, CSM, and even the LM had all been proven in flight.  Even then, if you read Krantz's book, there was a near LOM/LOC/LOCV incident on most (all?) lunar flights. 

With STS, the risks were rather poorly understood and very underestimated, and NASA had designed a vehicle that required crew to fly, so STS-1, with (according to Feynman) estimates of LOCV of ~one-in-hundreds, and post hoc LOCV probability of, what was it, 1:12?, carried two crew members.  By the end of the STS program, the LOCV number was estimated at about 1:90 (https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20100005659.pdf), yet it was decided after STS-107 that finishing ISS was so important that the risk of another accident was accepted, though the STS program was destined to be closed down once that task was completed.

SLS-1 will be the first, all-up flight of an untested vehicle, with an untested capsule and untested service module.  From the way it looks to this outsider, the Orion that flew on the Delta IV was approximately a boilerplate, flown with at best a partial ECLSS and not, IIRC, the final GNC system (wasn't the GNC handled by the DIV upper stage?).  The Orion for SLS-1 will share the same OML, but not even the same heat shield design, and most of what goes inside will be new.  And NASA can say they're using known and proven systems, but a 5-live-segment SRM hasn't flown, and the ATV-derived service module hasn't flown, and the core stage hasn't flown, and the software won't have proven itself in flight, etc.

If there were some really important and pressing need, with absolutely no other way to respond to the need, accepting the risk of launching crew on SLS-1 could well be reasonable, or even prudent.  But no such need is readily apparent.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SimonFD on 02/17/2017 11:26 AM
I just can't see this as anything other than a response to a request from the new administration.
I also can't see the response from NASA being anything other than "Nope" albeit reworded and supported by a thick stack of supporting evidence.

This IMHO is the interim boss doing due diligence
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/17/2017 12:58 PM
Commercial crew is supposed to achieve 1/270 LOC. This crewed EM-1 may be lucky to achieve 1/27, though there's no way to prove that due to the tiny sample size.

I actually like it. It's okay to take big risks, and we haven't left LEO for 45 years. But one thing: what's the point of this? Does it actually build a stepping stone to later flights and accomplishments that advance the footprint and improve the future of our species, or is this purely a stunt? If the latter, then the cost is too high as well as the risk.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/17/2017 12:59 PM
I just can't see this as anything other than a response to a request from the new administration.
I also can't see the response from NASA being anything other than "Nope" albeit reworded and supported by a thick stack of supporting evidence.

This IMHO is the interim boss doing due diligence
There are some in NASA who see this as SLS/Orion's chance to put up or shut up.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 02/17/2017 01:16 PM
I just can't see this as anything other than a response to a request from the new administration.
I also can't see the response from NASA being anything other than "Nope" albeit reworded and supported by a thick stack of supporting evidence.

This IMHO is the interim boss doing due diligence
There are some in NASA who see this as SLS/Orion's chance to put up or shut up.
I can understand that sentiment. But that does not change the fact that this proposal, when turned into reality, is nothing more than a political stunt.
It serves no purpose other than making the Trump administration look good.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 02/17/2017 01:50 PM
That requires for someone outside the specialist publications to report the price tag and, quite frankly, I can't see that happening. Most news agencies would see that as too technical a detail to interest their customers! ::)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: butters on 02/17/2017 01:59 PM
Launching a crewed Orion before the ECLSS is ready seems like a bigger problem than launching crew on the first SLS. Everything I've read suggests that ECLSS won't be ready until 2021 and that's the long pole in the Orion development schedule. Has this changed?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/17/2017 03:57 PM
I would remind people that ranting is frowned upon around these parts. Mods can trim, but I think we need a warning.

I don't want to have to come back here!!

(OK, I will be coming back here, but I hope it's not because of report to mods! ;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SimonFD on 02/17/2017 04:53 PM
I would remind people that ranting is frowned upon around these parts. Mods can trim, but I think we need a warning.

I don't want to have to come back here!!

(OK, I will be coming back here, but I hope it's not because of report to mods! ;)

Rant removed - apologies to all
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/17/2017 06:00 PM
From yesterday's committee hearing, retired astronaut Tom Stafford didn't feel that putting a crew on this flight was any riskier than STS-1... Don't shoot the messenger...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/17/2017 07:15 PM
From yesterday's committee hearing, retired astronaut Tom Stafford didn't feel that putting a crew on this flight was any riskier than STS-1...

Stafford's statement does not seem unreasonable to me.  I would, however, argue that

1. STS-1 was very risky; and
2. The major purpose served by putting a crew on EM-1 would be boosting the political fortunes of the Trump (or Pence) administration; that is not worth the risk, not nearly.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 02/17/2017 07:35 PM
Stafford's statement *IS* unreasonable. There is a *HUGE* difference between STS-1 and EM-1.

STS-1 required a crew in the same way that the first flight of any new aircraft requires a crew - there was no way to fly it without a pilot. A flight crew was required to start the APUs, deploy the landing gear, drag chute, and air data probe among many other things. None of these could have been done automatically on STS-1, or any of the other Shuttles for that matter, until much later in the program. For most of its service life the Shuttle fleet *required* a pilot.

EM-1 on the other hand does *NOT* require a crew to do anything. They would simply be along for the ride. Neither the SLS nor the Orion would need any human intervention at any point in its flight. This is a pure political stunt, needlessly endangering the lives of anyone NASA asks to fly it.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 02/17/2017 07:40 PM
There is a *HUGE* difference between STS-1 and EM-1.

STS-1 required a crew in the same way that the first flight of any new aircraft requires a crew - there was no way to fly it without a pilot. A flight crew was required to start the APUs, deploy the landing gear, drag chute, and air data probe. None of these could have been done automatically. The Shuttles did not have this capability until much later in the program.

EM-1 on the other hand does *NOT* require a crew to do anything. This is a pure political stunt, needlessly endangering the lives of anyone NASA asks to fly it.

A bit premature to be saying this until they've completed their study.  All we know is that they are looking at options, which isn't a bad thing.  What it ultimately ends up being is anyone(s) guess at the moment.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/17/2017 07:45 PM
STS-1 was far more risky. No flight heritage, no test flights, no launch abort.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Toast on 02/17/2017 07:57 PM
EM-1 on the other hand does *NOT* require a crew to do anything. This is a pure political stunt, needlessly endangering the lives of anyone NASA asks to fly it.

A bit premature to be saying this until they've completed their study.  All we know is that they are looking at options, which isn't a bad thing.  What it ultimately ends up being is anyone(s) guess at the moment.

I disagree. EM-1 has been designed as an uncrewed mission since the beginning. Looking at options that don't increase mission capability in any way but do put crew at risk is a bad thing.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: High Bay 4 on 02/17/2017 08:01 PM
If this were proposed in 2016 during the final year of the Obama administration, with all of the technical and schedule challenges essentially the same, would we still be viewing this proposal as a "political stunt"?  Is there a chance that this is just a new administration trying to give a slow moving, big-ticket program a "kick in the pants" you might say?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/17/2017 08:01 PM
If they do put a crew on this I wonder who would be up for flight since the Shuttle days...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 02/17/2017 08:25 PM
If they do put a crew on this I wonder who would be up for flight since the Shuttle days...

NASA astronauts have been flying to ISS on Soyuz during all those years. STS is unrelated to whom would be selected.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/17/2017 08:30 PM
If they do put a crew on this I wonder who would be up for flight since the Shuttle days...

NASA astronauts have been flying to ISS on Soyuz during all those years. STS is unrelated to whom would be selected.
It does when you are the commander and pilot on a NASA spacecraft Tom...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: vulture4 on 02/17/2017 09:12 PM
The reliability of a launch vehicle is not a constant. It increases with time as problems in the design are identified and corrected. So the first flight is the most dangerous. But more important, the reliability of a launch vehicle on its first flight cannot be accurately predicted by analysis, because most major launch vehicle contingencies are the result of unanticipated failure modes. In the case of SLS the boosters, core stage, upper stage, and service module are all untested. The interim upper stage is currently only planned to be used for one or two flights. No amount of numerical analysis can predict the reliability of such a system on its first flight, and indeed most major launch vehicles reach an optimal level of reliability only after several successful launches.
See Chang, pg 23 in: http://aerospace.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/crosslink/V2N1.pdf for background

As noted before, the planned EM-1 mission is intended to demonstrate the vehicle performance and reliability. It's not clear there is any EM-1 mission objective which requires the presence of a crew, and it would certainly ignore some of the most fundamental lessons we have learned, at great cost. As George Santayana famously said, those who do not remember the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them.

What I would really like to know is, who actually came up with this bizarre idea?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ncb1397 on 02/17/2017 09:29 PM
I have troubled believing that NASA would decide to send Orion to the ISS. That mission would likely happen after commercial crew has already started ferrying astronauts to the ISS. It wouldn't be a very exciting mission for SLS and Orion in my opinion. Not the kind of mission that would make NASA great again...

Not to mention risking a $100B facility and six crew by rendezvous with an untested spacecraft.

HTV and ATV didn't have non-rendezvous test flights.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ncb1397 on 02/17/2017 09:50 PM
Stafford's statement *IS* unreasonable. There is a *HUGE* difference between STS-1 and EM-1.

STS-1 required a crew in the same way that the first flight of any new aircraft requires a crew - there was no way to fly it without a pilot. A flight crew was required to start the APUs, deploy the landing gear, drag chute, and air data probe among many other things. None of these could have been done automatically on STS-1, or any of the other Shuttles for that matter, until much later in the program. For most of its service life the Shuttle fleet *required* a pilot.

EM-1 on the other hand does *NOT* require a crew to do anything. They would simply be along for the ride. Neither the SLS nor the Orion would need any human intervention at any point in its flight. This is a pure political stunt, needlessly endangering the lives of anyone NASA asks to fly it.

Well, the Orion has a parachute, so if an astronaut can be required to push a button to deploy a drag chute on the shuttle, I am sure that an astronaut could equally be required to push a button to deploy the parachute on the Orion capsule. Anyways, are we really suggesting that Shuttle couldn't be commanded to deploy its own landing gear? Sure, the implementation in software may not have been done, but that is just because it wasn't something they ever had a need to do.

Regardless, STS could have done an expendable test flight if the Shuttle couldn't land itself which would still be the equivalent to an uncrewed EM-1.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/17/2017 10:21 PM
The reliability of a launch vehicle is not a constant. It increases with time as problems in the design are identified and corrected. So the first flight is the most dangerous. But more important, the reliability of a launch vehicle on its first flight cannot be accurately predicted by analysis, because most major launch vehicle contingencies are the result of unanticipated failure modes. In the case of SLS the boosters, core stage, upper stage, and service module are all untested. The interim upper stage is currently only planned to be used for one or two flights. No amount of numerical analysis can predict the reliability of such a system on its first flight, and indeed most major launch vehicles reach an optimal level of reliability only after several successful launches.
See Chang, pg 23 in: http://aerospace.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/crosslink/V2N1.pdf for background

As noted before, the planned EM-1 mission is intended to demonstrate the vehicle performance and reliability. It's not clear there is any EM-1 mission objective which requires the presence of a crew, and it would certainly ignore some of the most fundamental lessons we have learned, at great cost. As George Santayana famously said, those who do not remember the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them.

What I would really like to know is, who actually came up with this bizarre idea?

Do you have any examples of a launch failure caused by heritage hardware flying in a new configuration? Particularly a catastrophic launch failure?

The only recent example I can think of is the maiden DIVH launch.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 02/17/2017 10:25 PM
Regardless, STS could have done an expendable test flight if the Shuttle couldn't land itself which would still be the equivalent to an uncrewed EM-1.

A Shuttle *expendable* test flight? Are you kidding? ::) :o
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Jim on 02/17/2017 10:26 PM
There is a *HUGE* difference between STS-1 and EM-1.

STS-1 required a crew in the same way that the first flight of any new aircraft requires a crew - there was no way to fly it without a pilot. A flight crew was required to start the APUs, deploy the landing gear, drag chute, and air data probe. None of these could have been done automatically. The Shuttles did not have this capability until much later in the program.

EM-1 on the other hand does *NOT* require a crew to do anything. This is a pure political stunt, needlessly endangering the lives of anyone NASA asks to fly it.

A bit premature to be saying this until they've completed their study.  All we know is that they are looking at options, which isn't a bad thing.  What it ultimately ends up being is anyone(s) guess at the moment.

There is no rational outcome that says it is ok to put a crew on the first mission.
The only positive thing they can do is confirm that it is a stupid idea.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ncb1397 on 02/17/2017 10:32 PM
Regardless, STS could have done an expendable test flight if the Shuttle couldn't land itself which would still be the equivalent to an uncrewed EM-1.

A Shuttle *expendable* test flight? Are you kidding? ::) :o

Safety first.... :P. I mean, you wouldn't put crew on the first flight of an unproven launch vehicle would you? Especially one with brand new engines, new orbital maneuvering engines,new solid boosters, new heat shield and the like? Endeavour cost 3.5 billion in today's dollars to build. Doesn't seem really that big in the grand scheme of things. Just admit it, the NASA of today would do an uncrewed STS flight test. Not only that, the STS-1 uncrewed test flight would have gone fine and the final count of deaths with the uncrewed test flight would have been the same: 14.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Bob Shaw on 02/17/2017 10:57 PM
There is a *HUGE* difference between STS-1 and EM-1.

STS-1 required a crew in the same way that the first flight of any new aircraft requires a crew - there was no way to fly it without a pilot. A flight crew was required to start the APUs, deploy the landing gear, drag chute, and air data probe. None of these could have been done automatically. The Shuttles did not have this capability until much later in the program.

EM-1 on the other hand does *NOT* require a crew to do anything. This is a pure political stunt, needlessly endangering the lives of anyone NASA asks to fly it.

A bit premature to be saying this until they've completed their study.  All we know is that they are looking at options, which isn't a bad thing.  What it ultimately ends up being is anyone(s) guess at the moment.

There is no rational outcome that says it is ok to put a crew on the first mission.
The only positive thing they can do is confirm that it is a stupid idea.

Um. Buran? If the US wanted to do it, they could have.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 02/18/2017 12:06 AM
The reliability of a launch vehicle is not a constant. It increases with time as problems in the design are identified and corrected. So the first flight is the most dangerous. But more important, the reliability of a launch vehicle on its first flight cannot be accurately predicted by analysis, because most major launch vehicle contingencies are the result of unanticipated failure modes. In the case of SLS the boosters, core stage, upper stage, and service module are all untested. The interim upper stage is currently only planned to be used for one or two flights. No amount of numerical analysis can predict the reliability of such a system on its first flight, and indeed most major launch vehicles reach an optimal level of reliability only after several successful launches.
See Chang, pg 23 in: http://aerospace.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/crosslink/V2N1.pdf for background

As noted before, the planned EM-1 mission is intended to demonstrate the vehicle performance and reliability. It's not clear there is any EM-1 mission objective which requires the presence of a crew, and it would certainly ignore some of the most fundamental lessons we have learned, at great cost. As George Santayana famously said, those who do not remember the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them.

What I would really like to know is, who actually came up with this bizarre idea?

Do you have any examples of a launch failure caused by heritage hardware flying in a new configuration? Particularly a catastrophic launch failure?

The only recent example I can think of is the maiden DIVH launch.

Delta III, all three first (and only) launches
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: IanThePineapple on 02/18/2017 12:20 AM
Delta III, all three first (and only) launches

The Delta III was horrible, but was a good idea, and would probably be in service today if it worked.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: texas_space on 02/18/2017 01:13 AM
Isn't this proposal DOA as long as extra money isn't made available? I find it hard to believe an extra year or two would provide enough cash to finish out all of the required systems (with what is left to develop).

The new administration seems interested in cutting spending just about everywhere.  It is extremely doubtful that extra cash will be forthcoming.  Couple that with the increased risk of launching an unproven rocket AND payload, I don't think NASA can reasonably launch a crew on EM-1 if they want to claim astronaut safety is a concern of the agency.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/18/2017 01:47 AM
The reliability of a launch vehicle is not a constant. It increases with time as problems in the design are identified and corrected. So the first flight is the most dangerous. But more important, the reliability of a launch vehicle on its first flight cannot be accurately predicted by analysis, because most major launch vehicle contingencies are the result of unanticipated failure modes. In the case of SLS the boosters, core stage, upper stage, and service module are all untested. The interim upper stage is currently only planned to be used for one or two flights. No amount of numerical analysis can predict the reliability of such a system on its first flight, and indeed most major launch vehicles reach an optimal level of reliability only after several successful launches.
See Chang, pg 23 in: http://aerospace.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/crosslink/V2N1.pdf for background

As noted before, the planned EM-1 mission is intended to demonstrate the vehicle performance and reliability. It's not clear there is any EM-1 mission objective which requires the presence of a crew, and it would certainly ignore some of the most fundamental lessons we have learned, at great cost. As George Santayana famously said, those who do not remember the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them.

What I would really like to know is, who actually came up with this bizarre idea?

Do you have any examples of a launch failure caused by heritage hardware flying in a new configuration? Particularly a catastrophic launch failure?

The only recent example I can think of is the maiden DIVH launch.

Delta III, all three first (and only) launches

I thought of that, but the first failure was due to avionics software and poor vehicle modeling, the second due to entirely new hardware (the 4 meter DCSS), and the third was claimed to be a success.

The avionics are obviously a critical untested component on SLS.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Brian Mc on 02/18/2017 02:08 AM
Jim's statement is right on.

"There is no rational outcome that says it is ok to put a crew on the first mission.
The only positive thing they can do is confirm that it is a stupid idea."

That brings me back up a few posts to vulter4's question,

"What I would really like to know is, who actually came up with this bizarre idea?"

Do we know? Did it really start with Mr. Lightfoot? Has it been kicked around for a couple of months by him or did he get a sudden phone call.

Do we at this point know where this truly all started? Why the sudden desire to speed up? If the program doesn't benefit, who or what does? Are we suddenly in a space race I didn't know about? Have latest spy photos indicated that China is building a large launch pad...?

Sorry to go on and on but there seems to be a desire to speed up with no equivalent need to speed up. What changed?

Waiting for the other shoe to drop...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: yg1968 on 02/18/2017 03:29 AM
There is a *HUGE* difference between STS-1 and EM-1.

STS-1 required a crew in the same way that the first flight of any new aircraft requires a crew - there was no way to fly it without a pilot. A flight crew was required to start the APUs, deploy the landing gear, drag chute, and air data probe. None of these could have been done automatically. The Shuttles did not have this capability until much later in the program.

EM-1 on the other hand does *NOT* require a crew to do anything. This is a pure political stunt, needlessly endangering the lives of anyone NASA asks to fly it.

A bit premature to be saying this until they've completed their study.  All we know is that they are looking at options, which isn't a bad thing.  What it ultimately ends up being is anyone(s) guess at the moment.

There is no rational outcome that says it is ok to put a crew on the first mission.
The only positive thing they can do is confirm that it is a stupid idea.

For the commercial crew program, NASA did not require an uncrewed test flight. Boeing and SpaceX ended up proposing one (SNC also proposed one) but it wasn't an actual requirement.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 02/18/2017 03:37 AM
One is a NASA designed and owned system, the others are not... It's NASA's sandbox and they decide who and how they play in it...

So flying the SLS+Orion with crew on the first flight counts in political terms as a 'brave decision'.
Or a "foolishly expedient" one by politicians who aren't risking their own lives...

According to the 'Yes Minister' TV program a "brave decision" is a foolish action for which the minister will get the blame.

President Trump can order NASA to put astronauts in the first SLS+Orion flight but IMHO every journalist will be told this is not normal procedure - see CCDev. The big rocket blowing up just before the election will probably hurt Trump's re-election chances.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/18/2017 04:19 AM
In a variation of what we've discussed before; how feasible would it be to use the most complete Orion & Service Module available soon to do an unmanned test flight with a Delta IV-Heavy? Not a mere repeat of EFT-1, but a fully fueled, all-systems Orion to accomplish an unmanned shakedown flight of the spacecraft in L.E.O. - propulsion and re-entry and recovery? How far along is the second, man-rated Orion in it's assembly? Has a go ahead been given for a second SLS core stage and booster set yet?

What sort of delay would we be looking at to have the second, full-system Orion/SM ready for a crewed flight around the Moon for the first manned flight with SLS? Would it be feasible to do the manned lunar flight around the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 in July 2019?

Does anyone think it would be a better idea to do the first SLS as a test flight with either a boilerplate mass simulator, or carry out EM-1 as planned with a 'live' but unmanned Orion? Shades of Apollo 4 & 6... :) So many questions. For what it's worth in my opinion (very little) I would still advocate having the first manned Orion flight be an unmanned Delta IV-H launch of the spacecraft to ISS, dock with ISS, transfer 2 Astronauts to the Orion and perform a shakedown flight of the spacecraft in LEO for about the length of time it would take to do a free return trajectory to the Moon and back. Then, on the second manned Orion flight - undertake the EM-1 mission as a relatively cautious flight to the Moon with the new EUS with a crew of again, only 2x Astronauts.

If there's an EM-3; send a crew of 4x Astronauts to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit and carry as a payload supplement an 'Exploration Augmentation Module' - basically, a small Habitat. Have the crew stay as long as possible out there, but with sensible consumables margins. 21 day mission? 28 days? Either way; a fairly good deep space 'soak' for the deep space craft.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 02/18/2017 04:46 AM


Well, the Orion has a parachute, so if an astronaut can be required to push a button to deploy a drag chute on the shuttle, I am sure that an astronaut could equally be required to push a button to deploy the parachute on the Orion capsule. Anyways, are we really suggesting that Shuttle couldn't be commanded to deploy its own landing gear? Sure, the implementation in software may not have been done, but that is just because it wasn't something they ever had a need to do.

Regardless, STS could have done an expendable test flight if the Shuttle couldn't land itself which would still be the equivalent to an uncrewed EM-1.

Err not quite.  Apollo could deploy it's parachutes automatically.

In the case of the Shuttle, astronauts were concerned with the possibility of the shuttle deploying it's landing gear in  orbit via computer error so no connection was made to the computer. Post Columbia NASA was concerned with getting back the Orbiter in case the shuttle suffered damage to the TPS and was not safe(for the crew) and modifications were made to allow the Computer to deploy the landing gear when the crew connected a cable on Orbit at the ISS(so that if TPS damage was not as bad as suspected the Orbiter could be saved). 


The Shuttle was expensive per unit and meant to be reusable so an expendable test flight was not an option. .

With this flight capsules don't need crew to fly or to land and have been capable of automatic flight since the 60ies. It is needless risk to put a crew on this flight and in the case of the shuttle, Columbia suffered two problems that could have lead to loss of crew.  Tiles falling off and the flap getting overstressed by the noise of launch due to the sound suppression system not working as expected.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 02/18/2017 12:29 PM
In a variation of what we've discussed before; how feasible would it be to use the most complete Orion & Service Module available soon to do an unmanned test flight with a Delta IV-Heavy?

My suspicion is, that option is not politically viable, even if DIV-H can lift a fully outfitted and fueled Orion and SM (and I don't know the answer to that off the top of my head).  It threatens the very reason for SLS in the first place.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/18/2017 02:10 PM
Yes; but most everybody knows that neither the Delta IV-H nor the coming Vulcan/ACES could send the Orion beyond Low Earth orbit. SLS, of course was never designed for Orion-to-LEO, nor was Ares V. My suggestion was merely for an unmanned test flight first, so as not to risk the crew nor a very expensive vehicle on it's maiden launch.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/18/2017 02:23 PM
For the commercial crew program, NASA did not require an uncrewed test flight. Boeing and SpaceX ended up proposing one (SNC also proposed one) but it wasn't an actual requirement.

Of course, NASA itself proposed an uncrewed test flight for Orion/SLS.  What reason is there now other than political expediency to revisit the decision?

EDIT:  And, of course, Boeing's and SpaceX's crew vehicles will be flying on well-tested launch vehicles, whereas EM-1 will fly on a brand-new vehicle, albeit one with heritage.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Danderman on 02/18/2017 02:32 PM
Yes; but most everybody knows that neither the Delta IV-H nor the coming Vulcan/ACES could send the Orion beyond Low Earth orbit. SLS, of course was never designed for LEO, nor was Ares V. My suggestion was merely for an unmanned test flight first, so as not to risk the crew nor a very expensive vehicle on it's maiden launch.

Saturn 1B could not launch a fully fuelled CSM + SM, either, but it had some utility in testing the modules in LEO.

A rational program would probably have some Delta-IV launched orbital tests, as well, before the spacecraft were sent beyond LEO with a crew.  Unfortunately, our Congressional leaders have chosen a funding path only for development and construction of SLS, rather than funding a program.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/18/2017 05:03 PM
In a variation of what we've discussed before; how feasible would it be to use the most complete Orion & Service Module available soon to do an unmanned test flight with a Delta IV-Heavy? Not a mere repeat of EFT-1, but a fully fueled, all-systems Orion to accomplish an unmanned shakedown flight of the spacecraft in L.E.O. - propulsion and re-entry and recovery? How far along is the second, man-rated Orion in it's assembly? Has a go ahead been given for a second SLS core stage and booster set yet?

The original EM-1 plan was to do an unmanned flight of the Orion around the Moon, using an SLS.  Both on are track to be ready for that flight, which was planned to be late 2018/early 2019.  So switching to Delta IV Heavy would not provide any real benefit, and would likely add more cost to the program.

Quote
What sort of delay would we be looking at to have the second, full-system Orion/SM ready for a crewed flight around the Moon for the first manned flight with SLS? Would it be feasible to do the manned lunar flight around the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 in July 2019?

You seem to be ignoring the fact that the SLS and Orion programs were already working as fast as they could to get to operational status, and I think at this late point in both programs that it is unlikely they can be accelerated much - even if Congress provided more money.

I'm not sure where the suggestion is coming from to accelerate the first operational Orion test, but in the weeks and months to come I think we'll hear that even if the risks of flying crew on an untested rocket and spacecraft are ignored, that it won't be able to happen before 2020.

Quote
Does anyone think it would be a better idea to do the first SLS as a test flight with either a boilerplate mass simulator, or carry out EM-1 as planned with a 'live' but unmanned Orion? Shades of Apollo 4 & 6... :) So many questions.

Being a manufacturing scheduling professional I can tell you that doing these type of "What If's?" is not easy, PLUS it stops people from working on the current schedule to figure out if this alternate schedule is possible.  It's very disruptive.  There better be a good reason why they are asking to make such a big change to both programs...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Archibald on 02/18/2017 05:14 PM
My own take ! Send the whole Orion + ICPS stack to ISS, with a crew. Dock through Orion ring. Unload the crew at ISS.
Then undock the stack, fire the ICPS and send Orion around the Moon, unmanned (of course)

Everybody's happy, et voilà !

 No ?

Quote
The first option has been touted in numerous iterations of the CONOPS as a hangover from the defunct Constellation Program (CxP).

Known as “LEO_Util_1A_C11A1: International Space Station (ISS) Back-Up Crew Delivery“, this mission would involve SLS and Orion conducting a crew rotation mission for the ISS, as was the initial plan for Orion during the CxP era.

However, the CxP plan involved Ares I, a far less powerful rocket when compared to SLS.

The power difference becomes almost comical when the official NASA documentation cites tons of “ballast” would need to be added to the upper stage to pull back on the reins of SLS.


This. SLS to ISS is a very stupid idea, unless the 25 mt Orion is augmented / ballasted with 45 mt of Cygnus / HTV / Dragon 1 / MLPM / ATV / DreamChaser

Dreamchaser as ballast, now that's an idea. Back in '72 Dryden suggested to load one of their lifting bodies in place of the LM aboard a Saturn V.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: brickmack on 02/18/2017 05:48 PM
In a variation of what we've discussed before; how feasible would it be to use the most complete Orion & Service Module available soon to do an unmanned test flight with a Delta IV-Heavy? Not a mere repeat of EFT-1, but a fully fueled, all-systems Orion to accomplish an unmanned shakedown flight of the spacecraft in L.E.O. - propulsion and re-entry and recovery?

*snip*

Don't see any big showstoppers here. Orion is light enough to do a LEO flight on Delta IVH with a couple tons of margin (could even use it as an ISS supply flight). Aerodynamically its already been proven by EFT-1. And the interfaces should be pretty similar since iCPS is a modified DCSS. It would be almost as expensive as inserting another SLS test flight, but I guess at least it wouldn't waste those precious surplus engines that are in short supply

Yes; but most everybody knows that neither the Delta IV-H nor the coming Vulcan/ACES could send the Orion beyond Low Earth orbit.

Well, ACES could with refueling. Beats even SLS block 2 on TLI payload capacity actually

This. SLS to ISS is a very stupid idea, unless the 25 mt Orion is augmented / ballasted with 45 mt of Cygnus / HTV / Dragon 1 / MLPM / ATV / DreamChaser

Dreamchaser as ballast, now that's an idea. Back in '72 Dryden suggested to load one of their lifting bodies in place of the LM aboard a Saturn V.

Would probably make the most cost sense to carry something lacking its own propulsion capability and tug it to ISS as a new module. Refurbish one of the remaining MPLMs, or one of Boeings cislunar module proposals, or simplified variants of B330 or the Axiom core without independent propulsion, or something like that.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 02/18/2017 08:39 PM

There is no rational outcome that says it is ok to put a crew on the first mission.
The only positive thing they can do is confirm that it is a stupid idea.

Um. Buran? If the US wanted to do it, they could have.

The US did not want to do it. Buran was designed from the outset to fly autonomously. Shuttle was not. NASA didn't want it.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 02/18/2017 08:45 PM
You seem to be ignoring the fact that the SLS and Orion programs were already working as fast as they could ...

If that were true it would have become operational quite some time ago.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Danderman on 02/18/2017 08:48 PM
My own take ! Send the whole Orion + ICPS stack to ISS, with a crew. Dock through Orion ring. Unload the crew at ISS.
Then undock the stack, fire the ICPS and send Orion around the Moon, unmanned (of course)


No can do.

That stack does not have the capability of mating with ISS (an Orion with an ICPS attached at the back), nor would the ISSPO allow a fueled rocket upper stage anywhere near ISS, nor could the "Orion ring" as designed handle the docking loads without loads of analysis.

There is nothing wrong with the baseline of sending an uncrewed Orion on SLS around the Moon. Once adding crew is added as part of requirements creep, then there should be more LEO tests, such as an all up Orion on Delta IV flown to LEO.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/18/2017 10:18 PM
You seem to be ignoring the fact that the SLS and Orion programs were already working as fast as they could ...

If that were true it would have become operational quite some time ago.

Apparently not at the funding level Congress has been willing to fund them at.  Time does = money.

And let's remember that NASA never had a chance to create a budget or development schedule for either the SLS or the Orion before Congress told them to build them, so Congress never knew how much money or time was required to meet any date, including their own for the SLS:

"S.3729-11, SEC. 302. (c) (2) - Priority should be placed on the core elements with the goal for operational capability for the core elements not later than December 31, 2016."

If anything there is a distinct lack of requirements for the SLS and Orion programs, mainly due to a lack of a cohesive plan to use them once operational.  So without "customer" need dates, the development schedule is being used to create some sense of urgency.

And while one could point to the Europa payload launch mission as a "customer need" for the SLS, the Orion does not yet have an operational mission it's required to support.  Which makes pulling this crew test forward in time seem even more suspect - what is the legitimate requirement that is driving this sense of urgency?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Brian Mc on 02/18/2017 10:37 PM
For the commercial crew program, NASA did not require an uncrewed test flight. Boeing and SpaceX ended up proposing one (SNC also proposed one) but it wasn't an actual requirement.

Of course, NASA itself proposed an uncrewed test flight for Orion/SLS.  What reason is there now other than political expediency to revisit the decision?

Exactly.

Is there a timeline on this investigation/study as in a due date etc.? When should we expect to hear more from Mr Lightfoot and Co?

 
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 02/18/2017 11:31 PM
For the commercial crew program, NASA did not require an uncrewed test flight. Boeing and SpaceX ended up proposing one (SNC also proposed one) but it wasn't an actual requirement.

Of course, NASA itself proposed an uncrewed test flight for Orion/SLS.  What reason is there now other than political expediency to revisit the decision?

In the same vein, here are the imposed requirements that NASA decided were essential for crewed flight:


https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/504982main_CCTSCR_Dec-08_Basic_Web.pdf

5.2.2 The CCTS shall safely execute the Loss of Crew (LOC) requirements specific to the NASA Design Reference Mission (DRM). The Programs shall determine and document the LOC risk when DRMs are specified. The following are current:
a. The LOC probability distribution for the ascent phase of a 210 day ISS mission shall have a mean value no greater than 1 in 1000
b. The LOC probability distribution for the entry phase of a 210 day ISS mission shall have a mean value no greater than 1 in 1000
c. The LOC probability distribution for a 210 day ISS mission shall have a mean value no greater than 1 in 270

5.2.3 The CCTS shall limit the Loss of Mission (LOM) risk for the specified NASA DRMs. The Programs shall determine and document the LOM risk when DRMs are specified. The following are current:
a. The LOM probability distribution for a 210 day ISS mission shall have a mean value no greater than 1 in 55
b. A spacecraft failure that requires the vehicle to enter earlier than the pre-launch planned end of mission timeframe shall be considered a loss of mission

All they need to do is evaluate when SLS/Orion will be ready to meet the equivalent requirements (as modified for a mission around the Moon -- which I'm sure NASA has generated for their own risk reduction processes) and how much it will cost... then tell the new administration.

Easy.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 02/19/2017 03:07 AM
In a variation of what we've discussed before; how feasible would it be to use the most complete Orion & Service Module available soon to do an unmanned test flight with a Delta IV-Heavy?

My suspicion is, that option is not politically viable, even if DIV-H can lift a fully outfitted and fueled Orion and SM (and I don't know the answer to that off the top of my head).  It threatens the very reason for SLS in the first place.

Yes; but most everybody knows that neither the Delta IV-H nor the coming Vulcan/ACES could send the Orion beyond Low Earth orbit. SLS, of course was never designed for Orion-to-LEO, nor was Ares V. My suggestion was merely for an unmanned test flight first, so as not to risk the crew nor a very expensive vehicle on it's maiden launch.

But a fully disposable FH based on F9 v.1.1 Block 5 could. NASA could jump directly to SLS Block IB in the meantime. I don't remember the thread, but ISTR that even without cross feed, such an iteration of FH can get close to 70 mt to LEO. Using both SLS Block IB and FH could help NASA move forward on their own terms. Putting cross-feed and a Raptor US on a disposable FH would create an even more robust LV. This would also allow NASA time to modify the tower for Block IB and have more time before using up the RS-25Ds and booster casings on SLS. Once F9 is man-rated and flying DragonV2, how much modification would it take on three used man-rated cores to put together a man rated FH? I know SpaceX does not want to stray too far from what they currently have planned, but this could provide them with revenue while it also provides a way for NASA to show progress.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/19/2017 04:00 AM
A Raptor powered upper stage for FH is still only speculative at this point and sadly, a little unlikely. Would be easier to widen the second stage to 5.2 meters - to match the payload fairing - and uprate the upper stage Merlin 1D still more. An increase in thrust and propellant load, whilst still using the superchilled LOX, would move a fair way towards approaching the performance of a Raptor upper stage, without needing to increase the height of the launcher or paying the new Raptor stage's cost. With this 'beefier' LOX/Kero upper stage; the FH in full expendable mode might top 60 tons into LEO. That's not to be sneezed at, for the prospective price.

Dual launches of this booster type could get you a fairly good tonnage for lunar missions into LEO.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/19/2017 04:01 AM
Block 5 Falcon Heavy won't even get close to putting Orion through TLI (est. 16.5t to TLI, Orion mass 25+ t). A Raptor upper stage might just barely get there (est. 25 t to TLI), but I don't see how that could happen any sooner than a second Block 1 flight with crew.

A larger kerolox Mvac doesn't gain much. The Falcon upper stage is already too heavy, it needs thrust more than anything else. ~60 tonnes expendable is probably feasible going that route.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 02/19/2017 04:37 AM
Block 5 Falcon Heavy won't even get close to putting Orion through TLI (est. 16.5t to TLI, Orion mass 25+ t). A Raptor upper stage might just barely get there (est. 25 t to TLI)

SLS faces so many hurdles in the long run: tower modification for Block 1B, developing RS-25E  by flight 5 and Dark Knights by flight 11. Let's say you added that Raptor US AND you put cross-feed on a Block 5 disposable FH, how much do you think it would get through TLI and do you think a dual launch architecture using Orion would make a viable lunar program?

I am no rocket scientist. I do have to wonder if tweaking FH to its max in this manner, coupled with Vulcan/ACES, New Glenn, New Armstrong, and ITS makes SLS obsolete. I'm sure many would say that SLS was obsolete from the moment it was proposed. I just have to wonder if this ultra tweaked FH wouldn't be a better choice to allow NASA to pursue a Lunar program while SpaceX takes on Mars.

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/19/2017 04:51 AM
The Falcon 9 & F.H. upper stage is friction stir-welded and uses aluminium/lithium and composite structures - I find it difficult to believe they could trim it's weight much more?! But with a propellant load increase and more engine thrust, this would increase payload performance without designing a whole new stage. Two ways to increase the prop. load; stretch or widen the stage. The whole length of the rocket is already pretty long and skinny, so I don't know how much more of that it could tolerate. Widening the stage to 5.2 meters strongly implies an extensive redesign or even a nearly clean-sheet design altogether - but you'd get quite a lot more propellant in there. Widening it to 5.2 meters also does not help to squeeze a second engine in there; the nozzle extension is already huge and takes up most of the interstage space.

So; perhaps the 'easiest' solution is a slight propellant tank stretch and uprating the Merlin 1D (1E?) to get about 250k of thrust with little or no impact to it's specific impulse. Managing to increase the total burn time of the second stage even by a mere 30 seconds or so can reap benefits.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/19/2017 05:08 AM
Block 5 Falcon Heavy won't even get close to putting Orion through TLI (est. 16.5t to TLI, Orion mass 25+ t). A Raptor upper stage might just barely get there (est. 25 t to TLI)

SLS faces so many hurdles in the long run: tower modification for Block 1B, developing RS-25E  by flight 5 and Dark Knights by flight 11. Let's say you added that Raptor US AND you put cross-feed on a Block 5 disposable FH, how much do you think it would get through TLI and do you think a dual launch architecture using Orion would make a viable lunar program?

I am no rocket scientist. I do have to wonder if tweaking FH to its max in this manner, coupled with Vulcan/ACES, New Glenn, New Armstrong, and ITS makes SLS obsolete. I'm sure many would say that SLS was obsolete from the moment it was proposed. I just have to wonder if this ultra tweaked FH wouldn't be a better choice to allow NASA to pursue a Lunar program while SpaceX takes on Mars.


Falcon Heavy, Vulcan/ACES and New Glenn will give America a launch fleet second-to-none in the world and launching a 'salvo' of one each of these vehicles from three different pads would put a considerable tonnage into Low Earth Orbit - assembling a decent tonnage for a Mars Expedition would be relatively straight forward with 2x launches of each of those vehicles. About 320 metric tons - enough to send a small crew into Martian orbit to visit Phobos or Deimos. With 3x launches each of this launch fleet - about 500 tons - manned landings on Mars. The development and operational costs of these launchers should be a relative bargain, compared to Block 1B SLS - leaving enough money for actual payloads. Which is why I said from the start that if SLS were going ahead; they should have been shooting from the start to field the most powerful and capable configuration they could, giving that so much hardware was going to be thrown away each time. A 140 tonne capable SLS working in concert with a couple big commercial launchers would give enormous capabilities.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/19/2017 05:17 AM
...But being as EM-1 is not going anywhere other than on an SLS; quite a bit of this discussion is merely academic...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 02/19/2017 06:07 PM
How does a thread about crewed EM-1 turn into SpaceX Falcon Heavy sending Orion to TLI (which it can't)?  :o

I wonder if a more likely scenario is EM-1 goes on as planned, but EM-2 will also be Block I (ICPS), and flies in 2020 with crew?  This obviously defers Block 1B out, but you could complete design phase of Block 1B before modifying ground infrastructure.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Archibald on 02/19/2017 07:19 PM
My proposal was definitively tongue in cheek :p
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 02/20/2017 12:14 AM
AIUI, a big long pole is the Orion ECLSS, so any talk of Orion flying people before that's ready is moot.  Is there anything solid and public about the current state of that system?  I don't remember if the GAO/etc. has talked about it recently.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: JohnF on 02/20/2017 10:57 AM
Yep, scrap ICPS, go straight to updating GSE and to Block 1B, as is now ICPS and GSE will be a waist of money for only one flight.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: guckyfan on 02/21/2017 09:35 AM
AIUI, a big long pole is the Orion ECLSS, so any talk of Orion flying people before that's ready is moot.  Is there anything solid and public about the current state of that system?  I don't remember if the GAO/etc. has talked about it recently.

This is a serious surprise for me. I know that the first testflight did not have an ECLSS. But is it really that far off still? For 2019 there would be at least 2 years to get it ready.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 02/21/2017 10:26 AM
AIUI, a big long pole is the Orion ECLSS, so any talk of Orion flying people before that's ready is moot.  Is there anything solid and public about the current state of that system?  I don't remember if the GAO/etc. has talked about it recently.

This is a serious surprise for me. I know that the first testflight did not have an ECLSS. But is it really that far off still? For 2019 there would be at least 2 years to get it ready.
No funding "bump" means that NASA has to make do with what they get. The original plan was to fly Orion at least twice unmanned. So ECLSS, not being needed until the first manned mission, was put on the back-burner, given that there is only a limited amount of money available.
To accelerate the development of the Orion ECLSS system will require additional money.

That's why this whole proposal for a manned first flight of SLS is pretty much academic IMO. Unless Trump is able to convince US Congress, into coughing up a LOT of additional funding for SLS and Orion, this proposal will never become reality.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 02/21/2017 02:40 PM
Even if they cough up a lot of additional money, it will likely make very little difference in the schedule at this point.  Funding makes the biggest difference early in the design cycle.  After a certain point, especially when you're building hardware, adding more money doesn't help anything (and may even hurt, depending on how the money is spent).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/21/2017 02:53 PM
In the committee hearing last week no real increase should be expected...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/21/2017 04:29 PM
Congress never asked for ICPS, that was all Charles Bolden. Same with the under-powered core stage with only four RS-25 engines, when all previous studies (ESAS, HEFT, RAC) indicated that five RS-25 was optimal for the very stretched SLS core.

So how come Congress has never complained?

My guess would be because their goal of getting NASA moving in the general direction they wanted was accomplished, even if it varied significantly in the details. It's one thing to set direction and policy goals, quite another to publicly question the results of NASA's technical recommendations.

In 2017 NASA appropriation which just passed the Senate (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39540.msg1644014#msg1644014), NASA is directed to continue to develop SLS, which is explicitly defined (Subsec. (2)(11)) as the same vehicle defined in the 2010 Authorization Act: 70 ton(ne)s to LEO with no upper stage and 130 ton(ne) with one.  I'd say the Senate is somewhere between not knowing and not caring that NASA is not developing the rocket it was told to.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 02/21/2017 04:44 PM

No funding "bump" means that NASA has to make do with what they get. The original plan was to fly Orion at least twice unmanned. So ECLSS, not being needed until the first manned mission, was put on the back-burner, given that there is only a limited amount of money available.
To accelerate the development of the Orion ECLSS system will require additional money.

Even to me, it seems that an ECLSS expected to work for some weeks, packed into a capsule, would be a tough nut to crack.  That the program might have let that wait until late in the game strikes me as a significant unforced error.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 02/21/2017 04:48 PM
AIUI, a big long pole is the Orion ECLSS, so any talk of Orion flying people before that's ready is moot.  Is there anything solid and public about the current state of that system?  I don't remember if the GAO/etc. has talked about it recently.

This is a serious surprise for me. I know that the first testflight did not have an ECLSS. But is it really that far off still? For 2019 there would be at least 2 years to get it ready.
No funding "bump" means that NASA has to make do with what they get. The original plan was to fly Orion at least twice unmanned. So ECLSS, not being needed until the first manned mission, was put on the back-burner, given that there is only a limited amount of money available.
To accelerate the development of the Orion ECLSS system will require additional money.

I continue to be stunned by how a project that has been going for ELEVEN years (CEV then Orion) with a yearly budget of more than $1 billion is considered starved for funds. Is Lockheed Martin just burning cash in the back lot?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: smfarmer11 on 02/21/2017 05:01 PM
Does anybody know if the potential cubesat missions that were slated for launch aboard the second stage of EM-1 would be pushed or canceled? As the whole point would be that they flyby the moon and the proposed manned hybrid or ISS options would not allow for it.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/21/2017 05:18 PM
Congress never asked for ICPS, that was all Charles Bolden. Same with the under-powered core stage with only four RS-25 engines, when all previous studies (ESAS, HEFT, RAC) indicated that five RS-25 was optimal for the very stretched SLS core.

So how come Congress has never complained?

My guess would be because their goal of getting NASA moving in the general direction they wanted was accomplished, even if it varied significantly in the details. It's one thing to set direction and policy goals, quite another to publicly question the results of NASA's technical recommendations.

In 2017 NASA appropriation which just passed the Senate (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39540.msg1644014#msg1644014), NASA is directed to continue to develop SLS, which is explicitly defined (Subsec. (2)(11)) as the same vehicle defined in the 2010 Authorization Act: 70 ton(ne)s to LEO with no upper stage and 130 ton(ne) with one.  I'd say the Senate is somewhere between not knowing and not caring that NASA is not developing the rocket it was told to.

They are developing the 70 tonne rocket (ICPS is part of the 70 tonnes delivered to LEO). The 130 tonne version is still very lacking though.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jtrame on 02/21/2017 05:48 PM

No funding "bump" means that NASA has to make do with what they get. The original plan was to fly Orion at least twice unmanned. So ECLSS, not being needed until the first manned mission, was put on the back-burner, given that there is only a limited amount of money available.
To accelerate the development of the Orion ECLSS system will require additional money.

Even to me, it seems that an ECLSS expected to work for some weeks, packed into a capsule, would be a tough nut to crack.  That the program might have let that wait until late in the game strikes me as a significant unforced error.

I don't see how they can do it without an addition hab module of some kind.  Many of the proposed missions involve bringing along a hab, extracting it Apollo style from the EUS.  Of course, that's not started either.

At this point in time, wouldn't they have to deconstruct the EM-1 Orion and then reconstruct it as a manned spacecraft?  They seem to be pretty far along with construction of an unmanned EM-1 Orion.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/21/2017 06:30 PM
I continue to be stunned by how a project that has been going for ELEVEN years (CEV then Orion) with a yearly budget of more than $1 billion is considered starved for funds. Is Lockheed Martin just burning cash in the back lot?

And Lockheed Martin isn't even developing the service module!
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 02/21/2017 06:41 PM
AIUI, a big long pole is the Orion ECLSS, so any talk of Orion flying people before that's ready is moot.  Is there anything solid and public about the current state of that system?  I don't remember if the GAO/etc. has talked about it recently.

This is a serious surprise for me. I know that the first testflight did not have an ECLSS. But is it really that far off still? For 2019 there would be at least 2 years to get it ready.
No funding "bump" means that NASA has to make do with what they get. The original plan was to fly Orion at least twice unmanned. So ECLSS, not being needed until the first manned mission, was put on the back-burner, given that there is only a limited amount of money available.

To accelerate the development of the Orion ECLSS system will require additional money.

That's why this whole proposal for a manned first flight of SLS is pretty much academic IMO. Unless Trump is able to convince US Congress, into coughing up a LOT of additional funding for SLS and Orion, this proposal will never become reality.

Accelerate?
Wasn't it supposed to be operational in 2016 (crewed ISS service calls)?

Is there a phrase for 'un-kicking-the-can-down-the-road'?

Edit: I did find a lessons learned from the Constellation program (where the CEV/Orion was first supposed to fly by 2010) that pertains:

The most interesting "lesson learned" was:

3.2 Schedule Creep and the Fixed Base — The Law of Diminishing Returns
 - Basically how a large organization such as NASA that is intent on maintaining its "base" reaches a point were no money can be saved by pushing the schedule to the right - no matter how far it is pushed.

I just hope the *right* lesson is learned. (i.e not just "we need more funds")

I guess it wasn't... (learned)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 02/21/2017 06:48 PM

I don't see how they can do it without an addition hab module of some kind.  Many of the proposed missions involve bringing along a hab, extracting it Apollo style from the EUS.  Of course, that's not started either.

At this point in time, wouldn't they have to deconstruct the EM-1 Orion and then reconstruct it as a manned spacecraft?  They seem to be pretty far along with construction of an unmanned EM-1 Orion.

Right, there's no ECLSS for the as-yet-undeveloped-or-funded hab module either.  But your point about rebuilding EM-1 is significant and also goes to the argument that putting people on EM-1 is quite problematic.  Does anybody know if EM-1 was going to have control panels, displays, seats, etc.?  Or would the CM have been filled with developmental instrumentation?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 02/22/2017 10:40 AM
Accelerate?
Wasn't it supposed to be operational in 2016 (crewed ISS service calls)?

I don't think that was ever achievable with the technical details of the rocket and capsule in question as well as the culture of the contractors. It was a 'fossil objective' that made it sound like SLS wasn't a development project without a reasonably foreseeable IOC date.

Understand that I'm not an SLS hater. I just feel that the way that the project was executed and the details of the rocket that they chose in the end made the 'ISS access in 2016' objective self-evidently a negotiating ploy that would be dumped as soon as the wheels were in motion.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 02/22/2017 10:49 AM
I continue to be stunned by how a project that has been going for ELEVEN years (CEV then Orion) with a yearly budget of more than $1 billion is considered starved for funds. Is Lockheed Martin just burning cash in the back lot?
Several reasons:
- Standing army (for eleven years)
- Ares 1 development trouble
- CxP cancellation
- Moon becoming Mars
- Cost plus contracting
- Ares 1 replaced by SLS
- Etc. etc.

And Lockheed Martin isn't even developing the service module!
NASA and LockMart (and it's subcontractors) spent an approximate $ 0.5 billion on R&D work for their service module before NASA handed the job to ESA. And thanks to ITAR none of the unpublished work could be transferred to the European contractors. LockMart could only give "hints" as to what was needed.
The only reason why ESA can do the ESM fairly quickly and fairly "cheap" is that many (if not most) of the ESM systems are direct derivatives of existing systems: Structure, tankage, plumbing, avionics, RCS, secondary propulsion, thermal control, power supply, deployment systems, etc, etc. Almost all of them have their roots in ATV. Supplier base is basically the same as well.
Basically, Orion is being helped by the fact that ESA spent approx 1.5 billion Euros two decades ago on R&D for ATV.

That is also the reason why, IMO, it is appropriate to barter the ESM for ESA's continued presence on the ISS. You see, the ESM is derived from ATV. And ATV in itself was intented, from the beginning, to function as a supply vessel for the (then planned) "Freedom" and "Colombus" space stations. Freedom and Columbus merged into the ISS as we know it today.

But, I digress.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/22/2017 11:02 AM
I continue to be stunned by how a project that has been going for ELEVEN years (CEV then Orion) with a yearly budget of more than $1 billion is considered starved for funds. Is Lockheed Martin just burning cash in the back lot?

And Lockheed Martin isn't even developing the service module!

And, just to add to the wonder, Congress, or at least the Senate, seems very happy with Orion, for the 2017 NASA appropriations bill that's passed the Senate says (Para. 421(a)(1)): "NASA has made steady progress in developing and testing the Space Launch System and Orion exploration systems...."
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/22/2017 11:13 AM
Congress never asked for ICPS, that was all Charles Bolden. Same with the under-powered core stage with only four RS-25 engines, when all previous studies (ESAS, HEFT, RAC) indicated that five RS-25 was optimal for the very stretched SLS core.

So how come Congress has never complained?

My guess would be because their goal of getting NASA moving in the general direction they wanted was accomplished, even if it varied significantly in the details. It's one thing to set direction and policy goals, quite another to publicly question the results of NASA's technical recommendations.

In 2017 NASA appropriation which just passed the Senate (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39540.msg1644014#msg1644014), NASA is directed to continue to develop SLS, which is explicitly defined (Subsec. (2)(11)) as the same vehicle defined in the 2010 Authorization Act: 70 ton(ne)s to LEO with no upper stage and 130 ton(ne) with one.  I'd say the Senate is somewhere between not knowing and not caring that NASA is not developing the rocket it was told to.

I have just noticed that Congress's cognitive dissonance goes further still:

Quote from: Senate 2017 NASA appropriations bill, Para. 421(b)(2)
Congress reaffirms the policy and minimum capability requirements for the Space Launch System under section 302 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010 (42 U.S.C 18322).

Yet not a word that I can find about the fact that NASA is not building the rocket that Congress ordered.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 02/22/2017 01:21 PM
Do we even have the simulators and trainers (electronic and human) needed to fully train a crew on Orion and its systems and SLS launches yet?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 02/22/2017 02:02 PM
Do we even have the simulators and trainers (electronic and human) needed to fully train a crew on Orion and its systems and SLS launches yet?
Mostly only (early) development stuff for that at this point in time.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: psloss on 02/22/2017 02:10 PM
"Systems deferred from EM-1 to EM-2" table (albeit very high level) from the GAO report (16-620), originally posted over in another thread:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38410.msg1564070#msg1564070
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/22/2017 10:11 PM
I continue to be stunned by how a project that has been going for ELEVEN years (CEV then Orion) with a yearly budget of more than $1 billion is considered starved for funds. Is Lockheed Martin just burning cash in the back lot?

And Lockheed Martin isn't even developing the service module!

And, just to add to the wonder, Congress, or at least the Senate, seems very happy with Orion, for the 2017 NASA appropriations bill that's passed the Senate says (Para. 421(a)(1)): "NASA has made steady progress in developing and testing the Space Launch System and Orion exploration systems...."
Of course they're happy, it's their rocket... ;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 02/22/2017 10:54 PM
From the latest article regarding RS-25, there was a nice tidbit at the end that said the RS-25E would be completing certification test by 2021.  Presumably you could have flight ready RS-25E by 2023, much earlier than I thought.  This would support a higher flight rate for SLS.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: psloss on 02/22/2017 11:32 PM
From the latest article regarding RS-25, there was a nice tidbit at the end that said the RS-25E would be completing certification test by 2021.  Presumably you could have flight ready RS-25E by 2023, much earlier than I thought.  This would support a higher flight rate for SLS.
I wouldn't draw that conclusion in the near-term; I think it more likely they will stick to the timings in the Justification for Other than Full and Open Competition document.  They also need to demonstrate the affordability of the production changes (like additive manufacturing) they are introducing as part of restarting production.  Certifying those changes operate safely and predictably for use doesn't necessarily measure whether they hit their cost targets.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 02/23/2017 07:18 AM
"Systems deferred from EM-1 to EM-2" table (albeit very high level) from the GAO report (16-620), originally posted over in another thread:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38410.msg1564070#msg1564070 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38410.msg1564070#msg1564070)


Note the magic line in there: funding constraints
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: JohnF on 02/23/2017 10:33 AM
This will be funny to some I'm sure, but.....Sell space station to commercial space (Space X, New Horizons, Boeing etc.) put the money towards getting Block 1B going sooner, launch in 2020     slightly used space station for sale, it's a peach !
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 02/23/2017 10:42 AM
Yeah... the thing is? The ISS is the sort of thing that could only function as a state-funded state asset. Literally no non-state actor or group of non-state actors could afford to maintain its required ground-side support organisation.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: JohnF on 02/23/2017 11:04 AM
Yeah I know,    figured Mr Draxx (ooops Elon) and Boeing etc. together might be a way to get block 1B more money is all.....    congress needs to get off their ass and gets this thing flying, the only way this will happen is more money, period, 'No bucks, no Buck Rogers"
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 02/23/2017 05:55 PM
Yesterday, I recorded a podcast about this feasibility study and the challenges that lie ahead with WMFE, the local NPR (National Public Radio) radio station in Orlando, FL.  Great fun!

http://www.wmfe.org/to-crew-or-not-to-crew-that-is-the-question/70139
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Davp99 on 02/23/2017 06:17 PM
Almost feeling sorry for NASA, still in these late Stages, still grasping at Straws err Missions..This is only the latest 'Stunt' ..
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/23/2017 06:27 PM
Yesterday, I recorded a podcast about this feasibility study and the challenges that lie ahead with WMFE, the local NPR (National Public Radio) radio station in Orlando, FL.  Great fun!

http://www.wmfe.org/to-crew-or-not-to-crew-that-is-the-question/70139

I HIGHLY recommend listening to this interview.  Chris is SUPER informative about this topic, and provides LOTS of detail - about 20 minutes worth of him describing what the different plans are and the challenges that come with them.

I probably could have used more CAPS...   ;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 02/23/2017 07:14 PM
This will be funny to some I'm sure, but.....Sell space station to commercial space (Space X, New Horizons, Boeing etc.) put the money towards getting Block 1B going sooner, launch in 2020     slightly used space station for sale, it's a peach !

Several years ago (gasp) appropriating more funding toward Block 1B might have had an impact. However that is no longer the case. We are so close to everything being done that it would likely only slow everything down as the contractor tried to figure out a way to spend the extra money. They are really just slow-walking the program now. We gotta remember - contrary to what people would like to think, it's not about the rocket - it never has been. It's about the jobs and how long they can stretch the program out.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: okan170 on 02/23/2017 11:18 PM
This will be funny to some I'm sure, but.....Sell space station to commercial space (Space X, New Horizons, Boeing etc.) put the money towards getting Block 1B going sooner, launch in 2020     slightly used space station for sale, it's a peach !

Several years ago (gasp) appropriating more funding toward Block 1B might have had an impact. However that is no longer the case. We are so close to everything being done that it would likely only slow everything down as the contractor tried to figure out a way to spend the extra money. They are really just slow-walking the program now. We gotta remember - contrary to what people would like to think, it's not about the rocket - it never has been. It's about the jobs and how long they can stretch the program out.

I know I'm going to get dog-piled here, but the other way of keeping the jobs going is to... order more rockets to be built... its not all a conspiracy to never build anything.   ::)

But again, I know what the forum has already decided.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: RonM on 02/23/2017 11:42 PM
This will be funny to some I'm sure, but.....Sell space station to commercial space (Space X, New Horizons, Boeing etc.) put the money towards getting Block 1B going sooner, launch in 2020     slightly used space station for sale, it's a peach !

Several years ago (gasp) appropriating more funding toward Block 1B might have had an impact. However that is no longer the case. We are so close to everything being done that it would likely only slow everything down as the contractor tried to figure out a way to spend the extra money. They are really just slow-walking the program now. We gotta remember - contrary to what people would like to think, it's not about the rocket - it never has been. It's about the jobs and how long they can stretch the program out.

I know I'm going to get dog-piled here, but the other way of keeping the jobs going is to... order more rockets to be built... its not all a conspiracy to never build anything.   ::)

But again, I know what the forum has already decided.

SLS/Orion could have been a robust NASA exploration program if Congress gave it enough funding early in the program. Order more rockets and order some payloads to put on the rockets. Lots of jobs for contractors for decades.

Unfortunately, Congress has encouraged a slow and drawn out program. Instead of being NASA's BLEO program for decades to come, the lack of funding will eventually result in cancellation.

Congress should stop with the jobs programs for their favorite companies. They're very bad at it.

It's probably too late to make EM-1 crewed and have it launch this decade. Too many key components of Orion were delayed.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: okan170 on 02/23/2017 11:55 PM
SLS/Orion could have been a robust NASA exploration program if Congress gave it enough funding early in the program. Order more rockets and order some payloads to put on the rockets. Lots of jobs for contractors for decades.

Unfortunately, Congress has encouraged a slow and drawn out program. Instead of being NASA's BLEO program for decades to come, the lack of funding will eventually result in cancellation.

Congress should stop with the jobs programs for their favorite companies. They're very bad at it.

It's probably too late to make EM-1 crewed and have it launch this decade. Too many key components of Orion were delayed.

No argument with any of that.  I may support SLS and giving it more missions but putting crew on EM-1 is a terrible idea that NASA should rightly reject.

(Though separately, the concept of jobs programs has quite a lot of merit and will probably become increasingly relevant as automation becomes much more prevalent.)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/24/2017 12:43 AM
SLS/Orion could have been a robust NASA exploration program if Congress gave it enough funding early in the program.

The SLS and Orion are transportation elements, not exploration elements.  For instance the car you use to drive to your vacation destination is transportation, not part of your vacation.  The SLS and Orion just move material and people to/from the destinations where exploration is being done, but other hardware are the exploration elements.

Quote
Order more rockets and order some payloads to put on the rockets. Lots of jobs for contractors for decades.

Ignoring the jobs part of this, the way to make the SLS and Orion useful is to identify a long-term effort that Congress is willing to fund that requires sending large amounts of over-sized mass and some number of people no-less-than once a year to some destination in space.  Then the need for the SLS and the Orion will be justified, and their cost will be folded into the total cost of whatever the goal or goals are.

Building a number of SLS and Orion, and hoping they have to be flown, is not a formula for success.  Unless the goal is jobs of course...

Quote
Unfortunately, Congress has encouraged a slow and drawn out program.

Regardless the perception of what the funding levels should be, directing a transportation system to be built without knowing the scope of the overall need is not a good idea, since the "customers" are the ones that normally fight to keep all the elements they need on track funding-wise.  And the SLS and Orion lack a big customer champion in Congress - all they really have are champions for supporting their development.

This study for EM-1 is kind of indicative of a lack of customer direction, since if there was a big customer waiting for the SLS and Orion they would not allow risk to be added into the schedule - and there is lots of risk with sending humans up on an untested rocket and spacecraft the first time they fly.

Quote
Instead of being NASA's BLEO program for decades to come, the lack of funding will eventually result in cancellation.

Again, the SLS and Orion are just transportation elements that support programs requiring people and mass quantities of large-sized mass moved to destinations beyond LEO.  The SLS and Orion are, at least at this point, being developed far in advance of any continuous need for their capabilities.  That disconnect is because of Congress, not NASA, but overall it's a national problem since it's taxpayer funded.

Quote
Congress should stop with the jobs programs for their favorite companies. They're very bad at it.

Maybe the proposed National Space Council will stop that from happening?  Congress doesn't like to give up their powers of the purse though...

Quote
It's probably too late to make EM-1 crewed and have it launch this decade. Too many key components of Orion were delayed.

I think that was apparent a couple of years ago when the Orion schedule started firming up with ESA.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/24/2017 06:13 AM
Some updates from Jeff Foust:

Quote
Jason Crusan, NASA: study for crewing EM-1 mission will look at risk posture and budget realities; due in late March or early April.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/834921045861744641 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/834921045861744641)

Quote
Crusan: depending on how things work out, could put a crew on EM-1, but still have a long break before next crewed mission.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/834921280650477568 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/834921280650477568)

Quote
Crusan: since Orion for EM-1 already being built, may have to undo some of the work on it to add life support systems for crew.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/834921609978863617 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/834921609978863617)

Quote
Crusan: had plans for co-manifested payloads on EM-2 in “trunk” of rocket; could be affected if accelerate putting crew on EM-1.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/834922256996450304 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/834922256996450304)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 02/24/2017 07:09 AM
This will be funny to some I'm sure, but.....Sell space station to commercial space (Space X, New Horizons, Boeing etc.) put the money towards getting Block 1B going sooner, launch in 2020     slightly used space station for sale, it's a peach !

Several years ago (gasp) appropriating more funding toward Block 1B might have had an impact. However that is no longer the case. We are so close to everything being done that it would likely only slow everything down as the contractor tried to figure out a way to spend the extra money. They are really just slow-walking the program now. We gotta remember - contrary to what people would like to think, it's not about the rocket - it never has been. It's about the jobs and how long they can stretch the program out.

I know I'm going to get dog-piled here, but the other way of keeping the jobs going is to... order more rockets to be built... its not all a conspiracy to never build anything.   ::)

But again, I know what the forum has already decided.

It's not the fault of this forum that more rockets haven't been ordered. Blame Congress and NASA for that.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 09:08 AM
Nice set-up for the dreaded "go fever"...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jacqmans on 02/24/2017 01:16 PM
February 24, 2017
MEDIA ADVISORY M17-023

NASA to Hold Media Teleconference Today on Study to Add Crew to First Orion, Space Launch System Mission


NASA will discuss plans for an ongoing study to assess the feasibility of adding a crew to Exploration Mission-1, the first integrated flight of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, during a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EST today, Friday, Feb. 24. The call will stream live on NASA’s website.

The teleconference participants are:
•William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator of NASA’s Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington
•William Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development in Washington

To participate in the teleconference, media should email their name and affiliation to Cheryl Warner at cheryl.m.warner@nasa.gov or call 202-358-1100 by noon.

Last week, NASA’s acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot asked Gerstenmaier to initiate the study, and the assessment began on Feb. 17. It is expected to be completed in early spring.

Listen to the media call live online at:

https://www.nasa.gov/live

Read more about the Space Launch System at:

https://www.nasa.gov/sls

Learn more about Orion at:

https://www.nasa.gov/orion

-end-
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: okan170 on 02/24/2017 03:49 PM
This will be funny to some I'm sure, but.....Sell space station to commercial space (Space X, New Horizons, Boeing etc.) put the money towards getting Block 1B going sooner, launch in 2020     slightly used space station for sale, it's a peach !

Several years ago (gasp) appropriating more funding toward Block 1B might have had an impact. However that is no longer the case. We are so close to everything being done that it would likely only slow everything down as the contractor tried to figure out a way to spend the extra money. They are really just slow-walking the program now. We gotta remember - contrary to what people would like to think, it's not about the rocket - it never has been. It's about the jobs and how long they can stretch the program out.

I know I'm going to get dog-piled here, but the other way of keeping the jobs going is to... order more rockets to be built... its not all a conspiracy to never build anything.   ::)

But again, I know what the forum has already decided.

It's not the fault of this forum that more rockets haven't been ordered. Blame Congress and NASA for that.

I was implying directly that its Congress' fault for that, not the forum.  Especially since its their rocket.  (The forum's response to anything SLS-related is well-understood.)  I was saying that from Congress' point of view, one the least-disruptive and most pork-friendly paths is to order more rockets.  As an alternative to the concept that they're keeping the development program continuing perpetually with no intention of flying anything ever.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 04:47 PM
SLS Presser comments to be posted in here. Let's all add what we hear of interest as it's very hard for any one person to cover it all. Duplicates are better than omissions :)

https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: yg1968 on 02/24/2017 05:03 PM
The presser has started.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:07 PM
Benefits: Test systems in a rigorous way.

Gerst still working original EM-1 for late 2018 - but MAF tornado damage is under evaluation. Orion ESM is still a schedule consideration.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:08 PM
Gerst: EM-1 Crew would be a schedule slip and would require more money.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:09 PM
Hill: Ruled out accelerating EM-2. Believe EM-1 crew is "within the realm of possibility".
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:11 PM
Hill: EM-1 Crew Orion would require rework to change some systems. (Appears they do like EM-2 Hybrid option for HEO checkout of Orion).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:12 PM
Gerst ICPS would be the stage. Looking at the changes for human rating/reducing risk via abort. EUS would be human rated from the start.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 05:13 PM
9 day free-return trajectory...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:15 PM
Looking at the Abort System (Current EM-1 AA no good) and MMOD protection for the ICPS as part of the crew safety elements.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:17 PM
AA-2 test can go ahead of EM-1 in this plan, early in 2019 ahead of the new EM-1. Allows for fully up LAS on new EM-1.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:18 PM
There's a current 33 months gap between EM-1 and EM-2 (and that gap would remain as they have to go to the SLS Block 1B at some point).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 05:22 PM
Dodged question about if flight was PR related...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:25 PM
Washington Post asks the burning question: Do you think it's a good idea? Gerst bats it away like we'd expect.
Hill: I'm undecided. It's going to take a significant amount of money.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:27 PM
The awful Orion to ISS mission is more authorization act than study level. Would be challenging. Orion is designed as a deep space vehicle.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 05:27 PM
Let the data drive the decision making on this flight...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:30 PM
Gerst and Hill playing up EFT-1 as they learned about a bag that didn't inflate and how to recover the capsule from the drink.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/24/2017 05:31 PM
Let the data drive the decision making on this flight...

Which begs the question: if there's possibility it's a good idea, why didn't you consider it before?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 05:31 PM
SLS/Orion is capable for ISS but made for deep space, Moon and beyond...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 05:34 PM
WH asked for this study...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:34 PM
Gerst: Won't speculate on what the astro office thinks about this new EM-1 plan.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 05:36 PM
Lot of testing for Orion systems done on ISS..
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:36 PM
Gerst: Prelim findings in a month. Then it goes into the budget considerations (more studies).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 05:38 PM
Astronaut Office asked for opinions on flight...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:39 PM
I'm no mindreader, and Gerst is always rather deadpan, but they didn't sound thrilled about this crewed EM-1 political request.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: copper8 on 02/24/2017 05:43 PM
Not too surprising that they wouldn't be thrilled.  Changing a plan is rarely something that will make it go faster.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2017 05:44 PM
As I said, I'm no mind reader ;D

Eric Berger ‏@SciGuySpace  4m4 minutes ago
More
 @NASASpaceflight Not my sense. I think there is a general desire among Gerst and NASA managers to move forward.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: yg1968 on 02/24/2017 05:47 PM
As I said, I'm no mind reader ;D

Eric Berger ‏@SciGuySpace  4m4 minutes ago
More
 @NASASpaceflight Not my sense. I think there is a general desire among Gerst and NASA managers to move forward.

I got the impression that they wanted to do this crewed flight also. But Gerst said that if can't be done in 2019, then it's not worth doing at all (i.e., it's better to wait until EM-2 at that point).   
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: yg1968 on 02/24/2017 05:51 PM
The awful Orion to ISS mission is more authorization act than study level. Would be challenging. Orion is designed as a deep space vehicle.

That's the best news of the teleconference. It would be a stupid idea (especially at this point).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 05:55 PM
What I heard was from Gerst is they always look for the opportunity to get more data from testing: ie. outfitting Orion with crew couches, mannequins... Not specifically crew on board...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: yg1968 on 02/24/2017 06:00 PM
Here is a recording of the teleconference:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEoiWTo0E9Y
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/24/2017 06:02 PM
9 day free-return trajectory...

I'm wondering why NASA is talking about a 9-day trajectory.  If it's in the Earth-moon plane, that puts perilune at over 10,000 km (see 26th page of the report attached to this post (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31487.msg1043318#msg1043318)).  I'd have thought you'd want as short a flight as possible.  The trip would be a couple of days shorter with a perilune of, say, 100 km.  Maybe the idea is to be able to brag about going deeper into space than ever before?  Even so, I'd thought it not necessary to go quite that far out.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/24/2017 06:26 PM
What I heard was from Gerst is they always look for the opportunity to get more data from testing: ie. outfitting Orion with crew couches, mannequins... Not specifically crew on board...

Yes. Gerst also said a non-crewed EM-1 would allow them to exercise the vehicle more rigorously.
It's curious to me that returning to two ICPS flights, and putting humans on the second, isn't being considered.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/24/2017 06:28 PM
There's probably no way of meeting the 2020 deadline that way.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/24/2017 06:31 PM
2019 if you listen to what Gerst said.

Argh, it's depressing. Shuttle flew three flights in its first 12 months of operation.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Mark S on 02/24/2017 07:15 PM
They should just plan on multiple flights with ICPS while EUS is under development. And ask for the budget to do so. That would get rid of the 3-year gap between EM-1 and EM-2 with EUS. Just make EM-2, -3, ... use ICPS, and let EUS be ready on its own time line.

At the same time, outfit a second VAB high bay for SLS (with mods for EUS). And build a secod ML and tower, also fitted for EUS.

NASA could come up with lots of missions for SLS with ICPS, short of landing on the moon and going to Mars.

I never liked ICPS. I thought it would screw up future plans, and it's not what Congress asked for in the Act of 2010. But now that they have it, they might as well use it, and not block the schedule waiting for EUS.

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Basto on 02/24/2017 07:33 PM

At the same time, outfit a second VAB high bay for SLS (with mods for EUS). And build a secod ML and tower, also fitted for EUS.


This reminded me of the movie Contact and made me chuckle.

"First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price?"
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Mark S on 02/24/2017 07:47 PM

At the same time, outfit a second VAB high bay for SLS (with mods for EUS). And build a secod ML and tower, also fitted for EUS.


This reminded me of the movie Contact and made me chuckle.

"First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price?"

Well, the thing is, both VAB HB-3 and the existing ML are being outfitted for SLS Block-1 (with ICPS). They will both need to be extensively modified in order to accommodate SLS Block-1B (with EUS). So it's not just a matter of waiting for EUS to be designed and built. The whole infrastructure will have to be updated. Better to just start flying missions with ICPS (otherwise what was the point of it in the first place), and let EUS not be on the critical path.

Then, once EUS becomes operational, (with NO SLS flight gap), then start reworking HB-3 and ML-1 to work with Block-1B. When that is complete, NASA will have the ability to stack more than one SLS at a time, and the ability to launch two SLS in rapid succession. With only one HB and one ML, all operations are highly serialized and I don't see how they could ever get the number of launches needed for a Mars mission in a reasonable period of time.

The key point is to not block missions while waiting for the next new thing to be developed. Fly with what you have, and learn what you will need in the future from the experience of doing so.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 09:03 PM
Here's a good one... Jake Trapper on CNN just reported that the president just instructed NASA to go to Mars in 2019 if approved... :o ;D I guess we better get on the ball here on NSF! ;) ::)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: IanThePineapple on 02/24/2017 09:11 PM
I think Trump should pull a Kennedy and challenge NASA to get 3 or more humans to Mars and back before January 1st 2030. At least that's what I'd do
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/24/2017 09:23 PM
I think Trump should pull a Kennedy and challenge NASA to get 3 or more humans to Mars and back before January 1st 2030. At least that's what I'd do
He's only interested in what can get done during his term, thus the expensive joyride proposal for a few civil servants... Gotta give the people a "huge" show! ;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 02/24/2017 09:31 PM
They should just plan on multiple flights with ICPS while EUS is under development. And ask for the budget to do so. That would get rid of the 3-year gap between EM-1 and EM-2 with EUS. Just make EM-2, -3, ... use ICPS, and let EUS be ready on its own time line.

At the same time, outfit a second VAB high bay for SLS (with mods for EUS). And build a secod ML and tower, also fitted for EUS.

NASA could come up with lots of missions for SLS with ICPS, short of landing on the moon and going to Mars.

I never liked ICPS. I thought it would screw up future plans, and it's not what Congress asked for in the Act of 2010. But now that they have it, they might as well use it, and not block the schedule waiting for EUS.

They do not have the money for those flights or for another ML or for refitting another bay. On top of those expenditures is the fact that they run out of RS-25D engines after four flights as well as SRB casings after 10 flights; that means even more money to begin early development of RS-25E and Dark Knight advanced solid boosters. Also, it would be silly to continue flying ICPS without crew. You have to pay to man rate the thing. Also, this LV is underpowered and not really capable of going anywhere other that ISS, and it is true overkill for that purpose. Sorry, but this is a very bad idea for many reasons. There is a total of zero reasons to pursue this course.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: montyrmanley on 02/25/2017 12:59 AM
He's only interested in what can get done during his term, thus the expensive joyride proposal for a few civil servants... Gotta give the people a "huge" show! ;)

The people are paying for it; they should get something for all the money they've poured into this boondoggle over the years, it seems to me.

The SLS is too expensive to cancel (by design in order to retain aerospace jobs after the Shuttle's cancellation), but is proving too expensive to fly either. Talk of flying it to the ISS is just ludicrous; SpaceX or Boeing will be able do that job for a fraction of the cost. It wouldn't even be a decent engineering test of the SLS/Orion stack -- it would be like using a drag-racer to run to the corner store.

Even after all these years of watching first the Constellation program and now the SLS program stagger along, soaking up billions in taxpayer dollars, I'm still wondering what the rocket (or capsule) is for. What pressing national need or purpose does it serve? As a vehicle, the obvious answer is "none"; the only rationale that remains is that of a make-work aerospace jobs program. This latest suggestion that astronauts be sent up on the first flight is ridiculous becase a) NASA is far too risk-averse ever to do it and b) doesn't have the money (or frankly the management skill) to do it anyway. I have little faith that the SLS will fly in any configuration in 2018, much less as part of a crewed mission. I wouldn't be surprised to see EM-1 get pushed all the way to 2020, and that's without crew. Hell, it may not fly at all -- it's a ripe target for cancellation, and the rationale for saving it from the budget axe is nearly non-existent as far as I can tell. (Sunk costs are not a good reason to keep it around.)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/25/2017 01:17 AM
They do not have the money for those flights or for another ML or for refitting another bay. On top of those expenditures is the fact that they run out of RS-25D engines after four flights as well as SRB casings after 10 flights; that means even more money to begin early development of RS-25E and Dark Knight advanced solid boosters. Also, it would be silly to continue flying ICPS without crew. You have to pay to man rate the thing. Also, this LV is underpowered and not really capable of going anywhere other that ISS, and it is true overkill for that purpose. Sorry, but this is a very bad idea for many reasons. There is a total of zero reasons to pursue this course.

I agree with much of what you said. If NASA concludes (or is enticed?) to 'launch crew sooner' they'll need to man-rate ICPS anyway.

The evolution of flight plans, stage designs, and slips is worth a trip down memory lane. I'm going to attempt a summary; others, please check my work.

1) NASA plans on three shake-down missions: EM-1, -2, and -3. Of these, only EM-2 is to be crewed as EM-1 and EM-3 will feature first-flights of new hardware.

2) It is determined that to achieve first flight by the congressionally-mandated date of Dec. 2016 (or the project-determined date of Nov. 2017), SLS will temporarily use an upper stage based upon an existing design; thus ICPS.

3) The plan is for ICPS to be man-rated in advance of its first flight. Recognizing that the first mission is uncrewed, that plan changes. (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/04/evolving-plans-human-rating-icps-sls-em-1-mission/)

4) Some begin to ask: why man-rate ICPS for a single flight? (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/03/nasa-examines-options-flight-paths-sls-em-2/) Instead, accelerate EUS and use it for EM-2, saving $millions.

5) A catch: this means the first flight of EUS will be a crewed mission, a situation which had previously been avoided. Also, moving to EUS requires time-consuming rework to GSE and other infrastructure, to the tune of >2 years, pushing back the date of EM-2.

The tradeoff: accept HSF risk against an un-flown component of the stack, in order to avoid expenditure toward a dead-end component.

6) Today: the new administration asks whether EM-1 can be crewed.

The tradeoff: accept HSF risk against an entirely un-flown stack, in order to ... (?)


If they follow this path NASA will be taking two steps backward; forcing itself to man-rate a single-use component after modifying their schedule to avoid exactly that. And they're still left tearing out ICPS infrastructure after but a single use.

If time machine:
Travel back to 2013/14. Recognize the likelihood of slips. Abandon ICPS. Man-rate EUS and fly it from day one.

If no time machine:
Return to two ICPS missions. Focus on accelerating the second. Fly EM-1 as planned today, followed by a crewed EM-2 within 12 months.
This puts a crewed mission up by early 2020, well within the administration's first term (and occurring during an election year no less).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: montyrmanley on 02/25/2017 01:38 AM
The tradeoff: accept HSF risk against an entirely un-flown stack, in order to ... (?)

I expect the answer is some variant of the "national greatness" argument, and as far as it goes, it's not a bad one -- announcing our ability to send human beings back into space without having to rely on the Russians would gladden the hearts of many Americans, I'm sure. Especially in these fraught times. It's a specious argument, of course, but no more so than it was during the Apollo era.

Of course this argument falls flat the moment that SpaceX or Boeing achieve the ability to send humans into space on their (much less expensive) launch systems.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Mark S on 02/25/2017 02:52 AM
They should just plan on multiple flights with ICPS while EUS is under development. And ask for the budget to do so. That would get rid of the 3-year gap between EM-1 and EM-2 with EUS. Just make EM-2, -3, ... use ICPS, and let EUS be ready on its own time line.

At the same time, outfit a second VAB high bay for SLS (with mods for EUS). And build a secod ML and tower, also fitted for EUS.

NASA could come up with lots of missions for SLS with ICPS, short of landing on the moon and going to Mars.

I never liked ICPS. I thought it would screw up future plans, and it's not what Congress asked for in the Act of 2010. But now that they have it, they might as well use it, and not block the schedule waiting for EUS.

They do not have the money for those flights or for another ML or for refitting another bay. On top of those expenditures is the fact that they run out of RS-25D engines after four flights as well as SRB casings after 10 flights; that means even more money to begin early development of RS-25E and Dark Knight advanced solid boosters. Also, it would be silly to continue flying ICPS without crew. You have to pay to man rate the thing. Also, this LV is underpowered and not really capable of going anywhere other that ISS, and it is true overkill for that purpose. Sorry, but this is a very bad idea for many reasons. There is a total of zero reasons to pursue this course.

1. They will never have the money unless they make a plan and make the justification for it.  A new ML would be about $0.5B, and outfitting another HB should cost less than the one they are finishing now. 2. They would soon run out of RS-25 and booster segments under any reasonable flight rate (1+ per year). So that has to be addressed either way. 3. I am saying they should fly ICPS with crew. 4. ICPS is enough to send Orion around the moon, or to various Lagrange points. 5. The reason to pursue this course is to have continuous deep space capability, with no extended gap between Block-1 and Block-1B. You can disagree with the reason, but you can't say there's zero reason.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 02/25/2017 07:06 AM
You can disagree with the reason, but you can't say there's zero reason.

But of course I can. There is zero reason to pursue such a course. It accomplishes nothing of value in any way.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/25/2017 10:24 AM
9 day free-return trajectory...

I'm wondering why NASA is talking about a 9-day trajectory.  If it's in the Earth-moon plane, that puts perilune at over 10,000 km (see 26th page of the report attached to this post (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31487.msg1043318#msg1043318)).  I'd have thought you'd want as short a flight as possible.  The trip would be a couple of days shorter with a perilune of, say, 100 km.  Maybe the idea is to be able to brag about going deeper into space than ever before?  Even so, I'd thought it not necessary to go quite that far out.

I've thought about this a bit more, and it occurs to me that the moon's perigee can be as low as 356,400 km and apogee as high as 406,700 km (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon).  So, just flying a free-return trajectory with a perilune higher that that of any Apollo mission in no way guarantees that apogee will be higher than that of any Apollo mission.  Maybe that's the reason for studying a relatively high and slow trajectory for a crewed EM-1?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/25/2017 10:41 AM
But of course I can. There is zero reason to pursue such a course. It accomplishes nothing of value in any way.

But unfortunately a significant part of congress does see real value in government money keeping jobs in certain districts. That is what determines what's happening and, very regrettably, not value for money from a space development/exploration point of view.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 02/25/2017 11:26 AM
Other schedule problems as noted is the NET date for the new Rs-25's. They at current budgeting will not support Flights before 2026. So there are only enough engines for 4 flights total before 2026.

EM-1 in 2018
EM-2 in 2022
Europa mission in 2023
Then another Orion in 2024 or 2025

Making EM-1 manned makes some sense and also some nonsense. The technical problems could cause EM-1 to be delayed past 2020 in order to man-rate the ICPS, validate the launch abort system, and validate the crew environmental systems.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/25/2017 11:35 AM
They should leave EM-1 alone, as it is as unmanned! What they should be trying to do is speed up EM-2 so it only takes about a year to fly after EM-1.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: eric z on 02/25/2017 11:55 AM
 Matt, that would make too much sense. :P
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 02/25/2017 12:51 PM
Benefits: Test systems in a rigorous way.

Gerst still working original EM-1 for late 2018 - but MAF tornado damage is under evaluation. Orion ESM is still a schedule consideration.

Tornado??? 2018 was off the table long before the wind rose. (GSE late, software way behind, green run delays...)
Gerst might have a fine standing among the members here, but this is nonsense.

This tendency of NASA to blame anyone/everyone else, even nature, is telling. 
Look in the mirror, folks!!!
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: montyrmanley on 02/25/2017 01:02 PM
But of course I can. There is zero reason to pursue such a course. It accomplishes nothing of value in any way.
That's not strictly true: it has significant PR value. And this is no small thing when the taxpayers are footing the bill for the project. This effort could be likened to the Apollo 8 circumlunar flight in 1968. It was meant to serve as a shakeout cruise and engineering test of the components (absent the LM, which wasn't ready yet), but it was also a PR effort. Showing progress on this seemingly-endless development program may save it from the budget axe, and I call that a result.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/25/2017 01:26 PM
But of course I can. There is zero reason to pursue such a course. It accomplishes nothing of value in any way.
That's not strictly true: it has significant PR value. And this is no small thing when the taxpayers are footing the bill for the project. This effort could be likened to the Apollo 8 circumlunar flight in 1968. It was meant to serve as a shakeout cruise and engineering test of the components (absent the LM, which wasn't ready yet), but it was also a PR effort. Showing progress on this seemingly-endless development program may save it from the budget axe, and I call that a result.
I believe Tom is speaking of value from an engineering flight test perspective and as Gerst tactfully alluded to having a crew on board would may hider a max stress test on the vehicle...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/25/2017 01:31 PM
Two questions I wish a journalist had posed:

1. If there is a significant possibility the putting a crew aboard EM-1 is a good idea, why hasn't it already been studied?
2. Will you consider the possibility of asking American industry to propose a means of flying a circum-lunar mission with crew by 2020?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/25/2017 03:16 PM
I found this presser a little odd... ??? NASA had all the assembled media a few days ago for the CRS-10 launch at KSC and 1/2 hour over the phone lines was a little lame for such a controversial potential mission... Just my 2 cents worth...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisC on 02/25/2017 04:20 PM
Here is a recording of the teleconference:  https://youtube.com/watch?v=OEoiWTo0E9Y

Thank you yg1968 for doing this!
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: JohnF on 02/25/2017 04:55 PM
Might as well add a crew, if for no other reason to finally get this program moving, the previous admin had put Orion/SLS on a very slow roll, to do their social justice wealth redist. scheme, now we may have a shot at getting  real funding to finally get this thing going, seems there's been way too much talk from about everyone and not much action, time to poop or get off the pot so to speak, and yes there's risk, they are astronauts, there's always risk,  if you ask them I'm sure they say lets do this.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/25/2017 05:02 PM
Might as well add a crew, if for no other reason to finally get this program moving, the previous admin had put Orion/SLS on a very slow roll, to do their social justice wealth redist. scheme, now we may have a shot at getting  real funding to finally get this thing going, seems there's been way too much talk from about everyone and not much action, time to poop or get off the pot so to speak, and yes there's risk, they are astronauts, there's always risk,  if you ask them I'm sure they say lets do this.
What real funding? As far as SLS/Orion was concerned, congress always made sure they got funded as opposed to Commercial Crew... Stay away from the "fake new" sites and get your facts here at NSF...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/25/2017 05:28 PM
What real funding? As far as SLS/Orion was concerned, congress always made sure they got funded as opposed to Commercial Crew...

The Obama administration never wanted more than a basic level of funding for developing SLS/Orion, and Congress provided more funding more than requested. If the administration had requested funding for either faster development or viable payloads (or both), it's not implausible that Congress would have provided more and the program would be at least on schedule for EM-1 later THIS YEAR and actually going somewhere in the future.

More funding now won't make a large difference towards launching in 2019. But it will have a huge effect on whether the program is still viable 5 to 10 years from now.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/25/2017 06:14 PM
... the previous admin had put Orion/SLS on a very slow roll, to do their social justice wealth redist. scheme ...

Stop that, it only amounts to trolling. Please go elsewhere to toxically debate our politics.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/25/2017 06:17 PM
More funding now won't make a large difference towards launching in 2019. But it will have a huge effect on whether the program is still viable 5 to 10 years from now.

Assuming everything works as designed (by no means a certainty), surely the key thing for longer term viability is how much each launch costs?

Accelerating or not the first crew flight will have minimal impact on the cost of each subsequent SLS and Orion. It is those very high costs that in my view means there is no long-term future.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/25/2017 06:17 PM
What real funding? As far as SLS/Orion was concerned, congress always made sure they got funded as opposed to Commercial Crew...

The Obama administration never wanted more than a basic level of funding for developing SLS/Orion, and Congress provided more funding more than requested. If the administration had requested funding for either faster development or viable payloads (or both), it's not implausible that Congress would have provided more and the program would be at least on schedule for EM-1 later THIS YEAR and actually going somewhere in the future.

Hang on a minute, I think you misremember: the Obama administration didn't want SLS at all.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/25/2017 06:21 PM
A general question for those assembled here: why will the move ICPS to EUS take 33 months? That number was cited on the call yesterday. It's stunning to me, but rather than being shocked I'd like to better understand it. What about EUS and its associated ML+VAB changes requires nearly three years of effort?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/25/2017 06:33 PM
What real funding? As far as SLS/Orion was concerned, congress always made sure they got funded as opposed to Commercial Crew...

The Obama administration never wanted more than a basic level of funding for developing SLS/Orion, and Congress provided more funding more than requested. If the administration had requested funding for either faster development or viable payloads (or both), it's not implausible that Congress would have provided more and the program would be at least on schedule for EM-1 later THIS YEAR and actually going somewhere in the future.

Hang on a minute, I think you misremember: the Obama administration didn't want SLS at all.

That is not mutually exclusive with what I said.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: JohnF on 02/25/2017 06:37 PM
Might as well add a crew, if for no other reason to finally get this program moving, the previous admin had put Orion/SLS on a very slow roll, to do their social justice wealth redist. scheme, now we may have a shot at getting  real funding to finally get this thing going, seems there's been way too much talk from about everyone and not much action, time to poop or get off the pot so to speak, and yes there's risk, they are astronauts, there's always risk,  if you ask them I'm sure they say lets do this.
What real funding? As far as SLS/Orion was concerned, congress always made sure they got funded as opposed to Commercial Crew... Stay away from the "fake new" sites and get your facts here at NSF...
More funding means more money, some ?, agree be good to have Orion/SLS flying sooner, no ill will intended. Sorry.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/25/2017 06:42 PM
More funding now won't make a large difference towards launching in 2019. But it will have a huge effect on whether the program is still viable 5 to 10 years from now.

Assuming everything works as designed (by no means a certainty), surely the key thing for longer term viability is how much each launch costs?

Accelerating or not the first crew flight will have minimal impact on the cost of each subsequent SLS and Orion. It is those very high costs that in my view means there is no long-term future.

Advanced booster, RS-25E, and large payload development have to be accelerated, or we'll be 10 more years down the road with the program still going nowhere. Kicking development costs down the road makes it harder to buy launchers and payloads later.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/25/2017 06:49 PM
What real funding? As far as SLS/Orion was concerned, congress always made sure they got funded as opposed to Commercial Crew...

The Obama administration never wanted more than a basic level of funding for developing SLS/Orion, and Congress provided more funding more than requested. If the administration had requested funding for either faster development or viable payloads (or both), it's not implausible that Congress would have provided more and the program would be at least on schedule for EM-1 later THIS YEAR and actually going somewhere in the future.

Hang on a minute, I think you misremember: the Obama administration didn't want SLS at all.
Slight correction... The previous administration wanted to meet the actual requirement to rotate ISS crews domestically with the Commercial Crew Program and wanted a 5 year re-evaluation for the CxP/SLS...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/25/2017 06:50 PM
What real funding? As far as SLS/Orion was concerned, congress always made sure they got funded as opposed to Commercial Crew...

The Obama administration never wanted more than a basic level of funding for developing SLS/Orion, and Congress provided more funding more than requested. If the administration had requested funding for either faster development or viable payloads (or both), it's not implausible that Congress would have provided more and the program would be at least on schedule for EM-1 later THIS YEAR and actually going somewhere in the future.

Hang on a minute, I think you misremember: the Obama administration didn't want SLS at all.

That is not mutually exclusive with what I said.

Okay. It seems odd to fault an administration for not requesting more funding than Congress provided, for a rocket it neither asked for nor designed.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/25/2017 06:54 PM
Hang on a minute, I think you misremember: the Obama administration didn't want SLS at all.
Slight correction... The previous administration wanted to meet the actual requirement to rotate ISS crews domestically with the Commercial Crew Program and wanted a 5 year re-evaluation for the CxP/SLS...

Yes. They wanted to invest in technology development before designing a new rocket. They certainly didn't want SLS/Ares V-lite. 
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: JohnF on 02/25/2017 07:03 PM
And then some (not all) of the media outlets when talking about Orion/SLS will actually say it's a program the previous admin proposed, halarious, now that is fake news.     Now back to topic "Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1"
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/25/2017 07:11 PM
Agreed. Anyone willing to entertain my question from above?

For those assembled here: why will the move ICPS to EUS take 33 months? That number was cited on the call yesterday. It's stunning to me, but rather than being shocked I'd like to better understand it. What about EUS and its associated ML+VAB changes requires nearly three years of effort?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/25/2017 07:21 PM
Okay. It seems odd to fault an administration for not requesting more funding than Congress provided, for a rocket it neither asked for nor designed.

That merely reflects a lack of vision for deep space exploration on their part.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: eric z on 02/25/2017 07:34 PM
 Why didn't the previous administration say "You get your rocket, but I need my r & d, or I'll veto" ?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/25/2017 07:44 PM
Okay. It seems odd to fault an administration for not requesting more funding than Congress provided, for a rocket it neither asked for nor designed.

That merely reflects a lack of vision for deep space exploration on their part.

Come on. That's cheap and inaccurate. A different vision, perhaps, but not a lack of one.
I suggest we cease this back and forth; I'm sure others are growing tired of it. Deal?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: JohnF on 02/25/2017 07:46 PM
Agreed. Anyone willing to entertain my question from above?

For those assembled here: why will the move ICPS to EUS take 33 months? That number was cited on the call yesterday. It's stunning to me, but rather than being shocked I'd like to better understand it. What about EUS and its associated ML+VAB changes requires nearly three years of effort?
  Yes, be interesting to hear why 33 months
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/25/2017 08:02 PM
Advanced booster, RS-25E, and large payload development have to be accelerated, or we'll be 10 more years down the road with the program still going nowhere. Kicking development costs down the road makes it harder to buy launchers and payloads later.

That assumes that accelerating the crewed flight just brings spend forward rather than increasing overall development costs (e.g. by being less efficient, schedule compression etc). My guess is that overall costs will increase if they try to accelerate to this extent.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: RonM on 02/25/2017 08:30 PM
Agreed. Anyone willing to entertain my question from above?

For those assembled here: why will the move ICPS to EUS take 33 months? That number was cited on the call yesterday. It's stunning to me, but rather than being shocked I'd like to better understand it. What about EUS and its associated ML+VAB changes requires nearly three years of effort?
  Yes, be interesting to hear why 33 months

EUS is longer than ICPS and the umbilicals on the ML will have to be moved and or replaced. The VAB will have to be reconfigured and perhaps new platforms built. Everything will have to be tested.

I'm sure the 33 month schedule is based on the current low level of funding for ML and VAB. Throwing some money at it should help by at least hiring more people to work on the conversion.

If Congress had given the program more money early on NASA could have gone straight to designing and building EUS instead of the stop gap ICPS. ICPS saved money early, but costs more money in the long run. Pretty much like almost every federally funded project.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/25/2017 08:41 PM
Okay. It seems odd to fault an administration for not requesting more funding than Congress provided, for a rocket it neither asked for nor designed.

That merely reflects a lack of vision for deep space exploration on their part.

Come on. That's cheap and inaccurate. A different vision, perhaps, but not a lack of one.
I suggest we cease this back and forth; I'm sure others are growing tired of it. Deal?

Sure, not a good look for this thread.

But there's a lot of disdain on this forum for Congress wasting money on SLS while not funding payloads... without recognition that it's not Congress' job to direct how to use SLS. Congress explicitly delegated that job to the President, and the President chose not to request funds for those missions.

Now there seems to be some surprise that the President is investigating how to best use SLS. That's his job.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/25/2017 08:54 PM
Okay. It seems odd to fault an administration for not requesting more funding than Congress provided, for a rocket it neither asked for nor designed.

That merely reflects a lack of vision for deep space exploration on their part.

Come on. That's cheap and inaccurate. A different vision, perhaps, but not a lack of one.
I suggest we cease this back and forth; I'm sure others are growing tired of it. Deal?

Sure, not a good look for this thread.

But there's a lot of disdain on this forum for Congress wasting money on SLS while not funding payloads... without recognition that it's not Congress' job to direct how to use SLS. Congress explicitly delegated that job to the President, and the President chose not to request funds for those missions.

Now there seems to be some surprise that the President is investigating how to best use SLS. That's his job.
And that's how we got ARM under the previous administration... Only this thread is about putting crews on a engineering test flight which which NASA deemed best be un-crewed  So we have political science trying to "trump" rocket science in order to get some good video footage for a re-election time-frame...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/25/2017 08:57 PM
IMHO if we are not going to discuss engineering pros and cons about crews on board EM-1 that all rest needs to be on the "space policy" thread...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/25/2017 09:25 PM
EUS is longer than ICPS and the umbilicals on the ML will have to be moved and or replaced. The VAB will have to be reconfigured and perhaps new platforms built. Everything will have to be tested.

I'm sure the 33 month schedule is based on the current low level of funding for ML and VAB. Throwing some money at it should help by at least hiring more people to work on the conversion.

If Congress had given the program more money early on NASA could have gone straight to designing and building EUS instead of the stop gap ICPS. ICPS saved money early, but costs more money in the long run. Pretty much like almost every federally funded project.
That leaves me with 4 questions:

Could a second Block 1 be ready for crew (including human-rating ICPS) by mid-2020?

How much would it cost?

How much funding would Orion ECLSS need to be ready by mid-2020?

How much would it cost to parallel-path the EUS in a different VAB bay so Block 1 to 1B transition is less than 1 year?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/25/2017 10:04 PM
EUS is longer than ICPS and the umbilicals on the ML will have to be moved and or replaced. The VAB will have to be reconfigured and perhaps new platforms built. Everything will have to be tested.

I'm sure the 33 month schedule is based on the current low level of funding for ML and VAB. Throwing some money at it should help by at least hiring more people to work on the conversion.

If Congress had given the program more money early on NASA could have gone straight to designing and building EUS instead of the stop gap ICPS. ICPS saved money early, but costs more money in the long run. Pretty much like almost every federally funded project.
That leaves me with 4 questions:

Could a second Block 1 be ready for crew (including human-rating ICPS) by mid-2020?
Great question.

Quote
How much would it cost?

How much funding would Orion ECLSS need to be ready by mid-2020?
Eric Berger reported that for crew-on-EM-1 "a preliminary estimate of these costs is about $500 million. (https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/02/nasa-measuring-risks-and-significant-cost-of-crew-on-maiden-sls-launch/)"

Quote
How much would it cost to parallel-path the EUS in a different VAB bay so Block 1 to 1B transition is less than 1 year?
Parallel-pathing means spinning-up a second ML too.


edit: fixed link to article
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Mark S on 02/26/2017 01:43 AM
Quote
How much would it cost to parallel-path the EUS in a different VAB bay so Block 1 to 1B transition is less than 1 year?
Parallel-pathing means spinning-up a second ML too.

Yes, which is what I was advocating for further up-thread. I was told there was "zero reason" to do so. I think NASA should start flying manned missions with Block-1, while the development of EUS and its associated GSE (VAB HB, ML) are kept off the critical path. A 3+year gap is unacceptable. This may require an increase in the Exploration budget, but NASA needs to at least make the case for it, even if it is eventually not approved.

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Eric Hedman on 02/26/2017 03:21 AM
Why didn't the previous administration say "You get your rocket, but I need my r & d, or I'll veto" ?

Because it wasn't that high a priority for them.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: EE Scott on 02/26/2017 03:34 AM
Agreed. Anyone willing to entertain my question from above?

For those assembled here: why will the move ICPS to EUS take 33 months? That number was cited on the call yesterday. It's stunning to me, but rather than being shocked I'd like to better understand it. What about EUS and its associated ML+VAB changes requires nearly three years of effort?
  Yes, be interesting to hear why 33 months

Think about it, how likely is it that NASA will be able to make the move to EUS - a stage that doesn't exist yet - in just 33 months. I'd be curious if anyone here has confidence that NASA can develop, build, and launch a new, advanced, high-performance upper stage 33 months after EM-1 - assuming that EUS will have to wait to be funded until the money can be freed up from other parts of the program.

In my opinion there is no way that NASA is going to accomplish getting EUS implemented within that time frame. Look at how long everything else is taking, even with the "advantage" of using legacy hardware with the SLS core stage and ICPS. Whatever the schedule says now, count on that being stretched to the right significantly.

I guess I just want to point out that EUS is a non-trivial exercise and an absolutely crucial part of SLS. It's going to take a lot of work to make it happen. Let's not underestimate that piece of the puzzle.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/26/2017 03:52 AM
Why didn't the previous administration say "You get your rocket, but I need my r & d, or I'll veto" ?

Because it wasn't that high a priority for them.

Because the two were mutually exclusive. The point of the R&D was to advance technology – such as new engines or, say, reusability – upon which new vehicles/architectures could be based.

Congress was concerned that such a gap in production/development would threaten the industrial base connected to NASA and its associated jobs.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 02/26/2017 12:21 PM
How much would it cost to parallel-path the EUS in a different VAB bay so Block 1 to 1B transition is less than 1 year?
Parallel-pathing means spinning-up a second ML too.

Yes, one designed from the outset to better handle Block 1B, in stead of being an Ares 1-to-SLS mash-up like the current ML is.
So, that means an all-new design. The basic structure alone (platform and tower) will be at least as expensive as the one for Ares 1 was. So that's $ 800 million. Add all the stuff needed to turn the basic structure into a functioning ML for SLS block 1B and that's another $ 800 million (at least).
Basically, a second ML will be costing (IMO) at least somewhere between $ 1.6 Billion to $ 2 Billion. Probably even more.

This whole discussion about crewed flight for EM- 1 is not so much about technical feasibility. It can be done. But can it be done within the proposed time-frame? How much is it gonna cost? And the real question is: WILL U.S. CONGRESS COUGH UP THE REQUIRED ADDITIONAL FUNDING?

But that final question is very much OT for this thread, as it is not even part of the study being performed right now.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/26/2017 03:22 PM
Congress was concerned that such a gap in production/development would threaten the industrial base connected to NASA and its associated jobs.

There wasn't an industrial base to save - there is no significant Shuttle jobs or industrial base being used for the SLS, and certainly not for the Orion.

For the Shuttle, after the orbiters were built, the only active production lines were for the External Tank (ET) and the Solid Rocket Motors (SRM).  Of the two, only SRM's were unique within our national industrial base because no one else uses solid fuel motors of that size - which is kind of like a self-licking ice cream cone, in that we are retaining them only because the Shuttle used them, not because there are alternatives.

I know the term "industrial base" was thrown around when the Senate was justifying the SLS and Orion, but the few in the Senate that created the SLS and Orion were focused on the quantity of jobs, and which states they were in, not the true retention of a required industrial base.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: wannamoonbase on 02/26/2017 07:05 PM
"Systems deferred from EM-1 to EM-2" table (albeit very high level) from the GAO report (16-620), originally posted over in another thread:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38410.msg1564070#msg1564070


I'm in awe that so many billions can be spent on a spacecraft and rocket over nearly a decade and they still need to delay some items.

No wonder there are people questioning the usefulness of SLS
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/26/2017 07:49 PM
Yep, that table is basically "all the people stuff." This request has really backed them into a corner, from both a safety and POR perspective.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ncb1397 on 02/26/2017 09:13 PM
How much would it cost to parallel-path the EUS in a different VAB bay so Block 1 to 1B transition is less than 1 year?
Parallel-pathing means spinning-up a second ML too.

Yes, one designed from the outset to better handle Block 1B, in stead of being an Ares 1-to-SLS mash-up like the current ML is.
So, that means an all-new design. The basic structure alone (platform and tower) will be at least as expensive as the one for Ares 1 was. So that's $ 800 million. Add all the stuff needed to turn the basic structure into a functioning ML for SLS block 1B and that's another $ 800 million (at least).
Basically, a second ML will be costing (IMO) at least somewhere between $ 1.6 Billion to $ 2 Billion. Probably even more.

This whole discussion about crewed flight for EM- 1 is not so much about technical feasibility. It can be done. But can it be done within the proposed time-frame? How much is it gonna cost? And the real question is: WILL U.S. CONGRESS COUGH UP THE REQUIRED ADDITIONAL FUNDING?

But that final question is very much OT for this thread, as it is not even part of the study being performed right now.

Those numbers you are throwing around for a Mobile Launcher don't jive with NASA's accounting of Mobile Launcher costs so far nor what Bill Hill has said on the subject.

Quote
“I had our Ground Systems (program) take a look at what would it cost me to build another Mobile Launcher before EM-2, so I could have one for ICPS and one for (EUS).

“The low end was about 350 million dollars, the high end was about 500 million dollars – and the low end really didn’t do anything for me, because we (would have) to strip the (existing) Mobile Launcher of all its guts, put it on the other one, and if we wanted to go back to the other one we were going to have to replicate all that.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/09/sls-ml-revamp-em-1-europa-considerations/

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: tater on 02/26/2017 10:10 PM
What are they doing for max q abort testing, and when is it in the schedule? (or did it happen, and I missed it)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 02/26/2017 10:52 PM
The in-flight LAS test will be on a former MX Missile, currently scheduled in front of EM-2. The test will occur before any crewed flight.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Mnethercutt on 02/26/2017 10:55 PM
Forgive me if i'm not understanding this right, but how are they going to fit Orion on top of a Peacekeeper...?

Is it wider than I'm thinking or are they testing just the LAS with no Orion?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Calphor on 02/26/2017 11:10 PM
You are thinking correctly. Peacekeeper (in this case, Minotaur IV) is 92" (2.24m) in diameter. However, Little Joe in the Apollo program was a structural frame with sufficient solid motors internal to achieve the desired acceleration.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: kch on 02/27/2017 08:50 AM

You are thinking correctly. Peacekeeper (in this case, Minotaur IV) is 92" (2.24m) in diameter. However, Little Joe in the Apollo program was a structural frame with sufficient solid motors internal to achieve the desired acceleration.

Right you are -- twice, no less!  Little Joe (Mercury) and Little Joe II (Apollo) were clusters of existing solid motors mounted in an airframe (with fins large enough to ensure stable flight).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Joe_(rocket) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Joe_(rocket))

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Joe_II (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Joe_II)

:)
Title: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 02/27/2017 08:53 PM
Now this is an interesting wrinkle.... SpaceX has now announced plans for a crewed moon missions. (Zond style with free return trajectory)

Timeline: after Dragon is certified for ISS, they are hoping for late 2018.

http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/27/spacex-send-privately-crewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year

This will surely have some reverberations in NASA and their SLS/Orion contractors.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Mark S on 02/27/2017 10:17 PM
Now this is an interesting wrinkle.... SpaceX has now announced plans for a crewed moon missions. (Zond style with free return trajectory)

Timeline: after Dragon is certified for ISS, they are hoping for late 2018.

http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/27/spacex-send-privately-crewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year

This will surely have some reverberations in NASA and their SLS/Orion contractors.

Totally legit and guaranteed to happen, no doubt about it, on time or your cheese wheel is free.

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Kansan52 on 02/27/2017 10:40 PM
Nothing will stand in the way of the SLS unless you can change Congress.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: redliox on 02/27/2017 10:46 PM
Nothing will stand in the way of the SLS unless you can change Congress.

I believe SLS could still have a function, but not Orion though.  If they insist on this crewed EM-1 bit and it fails in a manner akin to Apollo 1, Challenger, or Columbia...yeah if they don't die from embarrassment via Dragon they'll die on the Congressional floor for being unsafe.  The next few years will be quite interesting it looks now.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 02/27/2017 10:54 PM
Now this is an interesting wrinkle.... SpaceX has now announced plans for a crewed moon missions. (Zond style with free return trajectory)

Timeline: after Dragon is certified for ISS, they are hoping for late 2018.

http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/27/spacex-send-privately-crewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year

This will surely have some reverberations in NASA and their SLS/Orion contractors.

Totally legit and guaranteed to happen, no doubt about it, on time or your cheese wheel is free.

And this is different than the EM-1 mission... how?

Anyway, my point was not to spark a heated discussion about which is better, merely how this might affect the mission that is the topic of this thread.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: redliox on 02/27/2017 11:07 PM

And this is different than the EM-1 mission... how?

Anyway, my point was not to spark a heated discussion about which is better, merely how this might affect the mission that is the topic of this thread.

Well it's being done more quickly, cheaply, and will deliver the same number of astronauts to the space region of space.  SpaceX is a single, if slightly abitious, company.  SLS is the result of roughly 10 years of debate between a conglomeration of government and old school companies.  You would think the latter would be a solid piece of work, but, if nothing else, it's been hampered by being torn between 2 (now going on 3) presidential administrations and assembled by committees of far-from-like-minded individuals in both political and engineering circles.  Dragon has been on a slow, steady path while SLS/Orion has been forced to do u-turns several times.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/27/2017 11:09 PM
Orion and SLS's only real, remaining credibility now is to switch to large(ish) scale manned Lunar Landing missions, with a view to setting up a small man-tended, semi-permanent Lunar outpost. Even an SLS with very powerful 'Dark Knights' solid boosters and the Exploration Upper Stage could not do Lunar missions in a single launch - the Orion is a bit too fat and heavy and crewed Lunar landers don't have much room for massaging their capability or mass. It would require them switching the EUS to twin J-2X engines and adding a fifth RS-25E to the Core Stage - all that redesign would cost money they don't have, nor are likely to get :(

As mentioned elsewhere, crewed Lunar missions could be done with dual launches of the SLS Block 1B; sending separately to Lunar orbit the fairly big Lunar lander - 26 to 30 tons - and the 26 ton Orion. With only two launches for SLS envisaged per year - one launchpad and limited funding - they would have to make the landing missions really count; stay a whole 14 day long Lunar day, for instance. In only two missions, they would eclipse the Apollo man hours spent on the Lunar surface. If the SLS launch rate could be raised to 3x per year with a 'funding surge', then one of the missions could be a cargo flight - landing a Habitat module one year, then cargo flights after that - including a pressurized Rover. A crew of 2 or 4 Astronauts could stay a month or more each time, once a year. Outpost buildup ramps up to 4x Astros staying for ISS-length tours of duty.

A guy can dream, can't he?! :) :( Though at this rate; a Commercial only Lunar Outpost could grow in the future, or a Government/Commercial partnership, such as we have now.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/27/2017 11:41 PM
Interesting from Chris' article on today's SpaceX announcement:

Quote
A NASA HQ source claimed they were not informed about the announcement ahead of Elon’s comments on Monday, although he believes Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and President Trump’s NASA “Landing Team” was briefed, which in turn – the source claimed – was why Mr. Lightfoot asked NASA to conduct a study into accelerating the schedule towards crewed missions on Orion.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/spacex-two-citizens-dragon-2-lunar-mission/ (https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/spacex-two-citizens-dragon-2-lunar-mission/)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: DragonRider on 02/27/2017 11:55 PM
I agree with some of the comments above that SLS/Orion will need to lift their game.

Spin it any way you want, but SpaceX doing a flyby first is not a good look for SLS/Orion.

The solution is easy, do something more ambitious with SLS/Orion.  You have a President who wants ambitious results - work with that. If you can deliver an outcome that appeals to him, you might even get more funding;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: robertross on 02/28/2017 12:50 AM
I agree with some of the comments above that SLS/Orion will need to lift their game.

Spin it any way you want, but SpaceX doing a flyby first is not a good look for SLS/Orion.

The solution is easy, do something more ambitious with SLS/Orion.  You have a President who wants ambitious results - work with that. If you can deliver an outcome that appeals to him, you might even get more funding;)

IMHO: The USA has a president who probably knew of this announcement by SpaceX (since he talked at least once with Mr. Musk), and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he created this situation to challenge NASA: specifically with a mission, and see what they can do after all these years and Billions of dollars.

He would probably let the general public decide (since it's their money). But nothing brings out the best of individuals & organizations like a challenge. If it can't be the Russians (Space Race), then let it be SpaceX.

The end result might be a whole range of possibilities, but one thing is certain: the intention is to move beyond LEO for America.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: gospacex on 02/28/2017 01:51 AM
President doesn't control the funding, Congress does.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: robertross on 02/28/2017 02:06 AM
President doesn't control the funding, Congress does.

That's 100% correct, and wouldn't they love to have ALL levels of industry working on a space program, a war program, and an infrastructure program (for starters).

(edit to add: all to make America great again)

Maybe we'll find out tomorrow in his address to congress.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 02/28/2017 03:19 AM
IMHO: The USA has a president who probably knew of this announcement by SpaceX (since he talked at least once with Mr. Musk), and I wouldn't be at all surprised if he created this situation to challenge NASA

The article says:

"A NASA HQ source claimed they were not informed about the announcement ahead of Elon’s comments on Monday, although he believes Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and President Trump’s NASA “Landing Team” was briefed, which in turn – the source claimed – was why Mr. Lightfoot asked NASA to conduct a study into accelerating the schedule towards crewed missions on Orion."

So this may not have reached Trump directly, but Trump's people were given a heads up.

Quote
: specifically with a mission, and see what they can do after all these years and Billions of dollars.

That is not how complex contracts work.  For instance, you wouldn't trying filling up a dam before it's completely built since you know all the work hasn't been completed and the dam may fail.  So it is with the SLS and Orion, in that this effort is requesting them to do something they hadn't planned on doing, so there is added risk - risk with the crew, and risk with taxpayer money too.

Quote
He would probably let the general public decide (since it's their money).

What mechanism would he use to gauge public interest?  Twitter polls?

The only validated method of determining taxpayer feelings on something is through a ballot box, although polls can be pretty helpful.  However since Trump doesn't believe in polls, then he'll just have to do what he was elected to do - make decisions on his own, and find out during the next election if he made enough right decisions.

Quote
But nothing brings out the best of individuals & organizations like a challenge. If it can't be the Russians (Space Race), then let it be SpaceX.

Races that don't have clear goals are wastes of money.  Which if this EM-1 proposal is because of what SpaceX is doing, would mean that this EM-1 effort is a waste of money.  Let's hope not, but we know this was not inspired by technical reasons but political ones.

Quote
The end result might be a whole range of possibilities, but one thing is certain: the intention is to move beyond LEO for America.

Remember the SLS and Orion are just transportation systems, not exploration hardware.  And Congress has yet to fund any HSF programs that require the SLS and Orion to leave LEO.  This proposed EM-1 mission does nothing to change that situation since it should be assumed that Boeing and Lockheed Martin can build hardware that can redo something we did 50 years ago.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 02/28/2017 05:30 AM
Orion on SLS to lunar orbit will be seen as a catch up. NASA will also soon reach its legal restrictions banning it from competing with the private sector.

Even the Block 1 SLS can lift more than the Falcon Heavy. So the SLS can make a living as the government run big heavy mover.

An early mission for the SLS could be to put a Deep Space Habitat (DSH) spacestation in orbit around the Moon. With station keeping, multiple docking ports and a hanger for the reusable lunar lander such a spacestation will be too massive for a single Falcon Heavy launch.

A Moon village is likely to contain several buildings. Over the coming years the SLS can deliver the Federal buildings and rovers to the DSH for the lander to land.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 02/28/2017 05:34 AM
The Orion has to be justified. What can the Orion do that Dragon V2 and CST-100 cannot do?
Longer missions?
Re-entry from higher orbits?

Can Orion still remote control other vehicles like landers?
The Shuttle found an arm to be very useful. Does Orion have an arm? Possibly as an optional tool.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 02/28/2017 06:08 AM
An early mission for the SLS could be to put a Deep Space Habitat (DSH) spacestation in orbit around the Moon. With station keeping, multiple docking ports and a hanger for the reusable lunar lander such a spacestation will be too massive for a single Falcon Heavy launch.

That could conceivably be a mission for SLS someday.  But it can't possibly be an early mission.  Even if the money for DSH suddenly appeared out of nowhere, it would take NASA a long time to ramp the program up, design the DSH, build it, and test it.

There isn't really any chance of an early mission for SLS that actually requires SLS because any payload that would require it would take years for NASA to develop.  For early SLS missions, Orion is the only game in town.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisWilson68 on 02/28/2017 06:15 AM
The article says:

"A NASA HQ source claimed they were not informed about the announcement ahead of Elon’s comments on Monday, although he believes Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and President Trump’s NASA “Landing Team” was briefed, which in turn – the source claimed – was why Mr. Lightfoot asked NASA to conduct a study into accelerating the schedule towards crewed missions on Orion."

So this may not have reached Trump directly, but Trump's people were given a heads up.

I'm not sure we can be certain that's true.  The article says the source "believes" the heads-up was given.  But the source is a NASA source, and the source says NASA was not informed.  So, the source wasn't in the loop on the heads-up.  So the source believing there was a heads up might just be pure speculation on the part of some NASA person with no inside knowledge at all about the subject.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 02/28/2017 07:31 AM
An early mission for the SLS could be to put a Deep Space Habitat (DSH) spacestation in orbit around the Moon. With station keeping, multiple docking ports and a hanger for the reusable lunar lander such a spacestation will be too massive for a single Falcon Heavy launch.

That could conceivably be a mission for SLS someday.  But it can't possibly be an early mission.  Even if the money for DSH suddenly appeared out of nowhere, it would take NASA a long time to ramp the program up, design the DSH, build it, and test it.

There isn't really any chance of an early mission for SLS that actually requires SLS because any payload that would require it would take years for NASA to develop.  For early SLS missions, Orion is the only game in town.


This depends what is mean by 'early'. The second flight of the SLS is currently planned for 2021, that is 4 years time.

NextSTEP has been running since 2014 and is already paying for ground prototypes of the DSH.
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nextstep-partnerships-develop-ground-prototypes (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nextstep-partnerships-develop-ground-prototypes)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: su27k on 02/28/2017 10:30 AM
The Orion has to be justified. What can the Orion do that Dragon V2 and CST-100 cannot do?
Longer missions?
Re-entry from higher orbits?

Enter lunar orbit I think? Also can support EVA?

Ironically if NASA wants to one up the game and still stay in the budget, the only option seems to ARM, the very program congress keeps trying to kill...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/28/2017 10:44 AM
The main part of ARM I hope they don't kill is the prototype large Solar Electric Propulsion bus/Tug.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/28/2017 01:11 PM
Just reread the OP -- it certainly resonates now!

From update thread:
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/28/2017 01:26 PM
Just reread the OP -- it certainly resonates now!

From update thread:
Proposed crewed flight to EM-1... I think it would be pretty funny if Elon would do it first...Just sayin' ;)
Just like my "grid-fin" suggestion for use on Falcon a few years back. Every once and a while I like to send Elon a "psychic" email of my next suggestion... Or maybe he likes to lurk on NSF... ;D
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 02/28/2017 02:08 PM
I think we should have a "Predictions Hall of Fame" thread.

Come to think of it, we could have the opposite thread too; I have a good first entry (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41454.msg1648312#msg1648312).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: notsorandom on 02/28/2017 03:07 PM
I think it is important to keep in mind that a crewed EM-1 would be demonstrating the minimum capability of the SLS/Orion system while the SpaceX mission is demonstrating the maximum capability of Dragon/Falcon. SpaceX would be putting people in cis-lunar space but with an excess of velocity. Dragon lacks the Delta V or endurance to hang out there while Orion can. SpaceX for example couldn't get to a space station located there. Though it may be a good idea down the road SpaceX hasn't talked about any upgrades that would enable that.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: raketa on 02/28/2017 03:29 PM
Not true dragon with something like service module propulsion could orbit moon. But spacex probably move forward with ITS, that will more capable than anything we have by "light year". SLS is to expensive and will he cancel as soon as possible n
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: yg1968 on 02/28/2017 07:09 PM
Apparently, there is a Rumor that Trump will say something about returning to human spaceflight tonight. See tweets from Eric Berger and John Yang. 
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 02/28/2017 11:25 PM
I think it is important to keep in mind that a crewed EM-1 would be demonstrating the minimum capability of the SLS/Orion system while the SpaceX mission is demonstrating the maximum capability of Dragon/Falcon. SpaceX would be putting people in cis-lunar space but with an excess of velocity. Dragon lacks the Delta V or endurance to hang out there while Orion can. SpaceX for example couldn't get to a space station located there. Though it may be a good idea down the road SpaceX hasn't talked about any upgrades that would enable that.

Dragon 2 can reach DRO, EML 1 or 2, etc. on its internal fuel, no service module needed, at the expense of using its landing fuel. It cannot go to LLO, but neither can Orion.

Orion can insert a large hab in DRO, which would be difficult for Dragon 2. That's about it.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 03/01/2017 04:09 PM
It's interesting that the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (http://exploredeepspace.com/) (essentially, friends of Orion/SLS) has as yet not mentioned the possibility of crewing EM-1, though it offers links to but no comment on SpaceX's recent circum-lunar announcment.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 03/01/2017 04:27 PM
It's interesting that the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (http://exploredeepspace.com/) (essentially, friends of Orion/SLS) has as yet not mentioned the possibility of crewing EM-1, though it offers links to but no comment on SpaceX's recent circum-lunar announcment.
Shocked and speechless? ;D
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: dglow on 03/01/2017 06:31 PM
Shocked and speechless? ;D

Yes. Likely waiting for NASA's EM-1 study.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Brian Mc on 03/01/2017 10:48 PM
With Space X is sitting in the wings with a reasonable path forward to do something flashy much sooner, the NASA EM-1 Study is going to be a very interesting "between the lines" kind of read, as NASA tries to explain why it can't do something while at the same time trying to defend why it can't do something.

The current Administration may have just (knowingly) initiated a process of getting NASA (unknowingly) to load the gun with ammunition that will kill it's SLS/Orion program.

I hope it ain't so....

 
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 03/01/2017 11:20 PM
What can the Orion do that Dragon V2 and CST-100 cannot do?

Enter lunar orbit I think?

Can it? In CxP, Altair would have used its hydrolox engine for LOI of the entire stack. Orion's SM main engine provided TEI only. And now we have the even smaller ESA SM. I think Block IB can use the EUS for LOI of the Orion, and ICBW about this, but with Block I having only ICPS, I don't think there is enough ΔV available in the ESA SM for both LOI and TEI if we are discussing LLO. Perhaps HLO or Cis-Lunar space?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 03/02/2017 12:14 AM
I think it is important to keep in mind that a crewed EM-1 would be demonstrating the minimum capability of the SLS/Orion system while the SpaceX mission is demonstrating the maximum capability of Dragon/Falcon. SpaceX would be putting people in cis-lunar space but with an excess of velocity. Dragon lacks the Delta V or endurance to hang out there while Orion can. SpaceX for example couldn't get to a space station located there. Though it may be a good idea down the road SpaceX hasn't talked about any upgrades that would enable that.

Ummmm... what space station? 

That aside, if someone placed a B-330DS at EML-2, for instance, you're saying that Dragon 2 couldn't dock?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 03/02/2017 01:24 AM
...if someone placed a B-330DS at EML-2, for instance, you're saying that Dragon 2 couldn't dock?

Imagining that, wouldn't the Orion have greater mass than the Bigelow? And would the less massive vehicle have difficulty absorbing the inertia? Could an inflatable hab on its own maintain station keeping at such an unstable location?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: daveklingler on 03/02/2017 02:43 AM
With Space X is sitting in the wings with a reasonable path forward to do something flashy much sooner, the NASA EM-1 Study is going to be a very interesting "between the lines" kind of read, as NASA tries to explain why it can't do something while at the same time trying to defend why it can't do something.

The current Administration may have just (knowingly) initiated a process of getting NASA (unknowingly) to load the gun with ammunition that will kill it's SLS/Orion program.

I hope it ain't so....

I've had a couple of realizations today which might have been obvious to a lot of people:

1.  A Dragon lunar orbit was always going to happen and could only reasonably be contained for so long.  It's been there staring out at everybody since Dragon and FH took shape, and the possibility has been discussed many times on NSF.

Q: What would happen if you put a Dragon on top of a FH?
A: You could orbit around the Moon!

2.  The SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1, whose answer is obvious, is political cover.  It's a way for Lightfoot to get out in front of the issue.  After SpaceX made their announcement, it's only a matter of time before some PTB comes back and asks about making EM-1 manned.

This way Lightfoot can pull the report out of his back pocket and say, "Ah, yessir, we have asked that question ourselves, and uh, after heavy evaluation our technical team says that's a considerable risk we wouldn't want to take.  So, uh, that's private enterprise, sir.  Yup!"

At that point the congressional PTB, who probably looks like Charles Durning in O Brother Where Art Thou, puffs his cigar and mutters, "Dag nab it!"  And the damage is somewhat contained.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 03/02/2017 03:15 AM
...if someone placed a B-330 DS at EML-2, for instance, you're saying that Dragon 2 couldn't dock?

Imagining that, wouldn't the Orion have greater mass than the Bigelow? And would the less massive vehicle have difficulty absorbing the inertia? Could an inflatable hab on its own maintain station keeping at such an unstable location?

Little to no propulsion is required to maintain a Lissajous orbit around EML-1 or 2.  Assuming nominal station-keeping ability of the inflatable, it would be fine at EML-2.  Bigelow has proposed just this location for the B-330 Deep Space inflatable hab.

This is a scenario that we could see in early 2020s.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ncb1397 on 03/02/2017 04:11 PM
I think it is important to keep in mind that a crewed EM-1 would be demonstrating the minimum capability of the SLS/Orion system while the SpaceX mission is demonstrating the maximum capability of Dragon/Falcon. SpaceX would be putting people in cis-lunar space but with an excess of velocity. Dragon lacks the Delta V or endurance to hang out there while Orion can. SpaceX for example couldn't get to a space station located there. Though it may be a good idea down the road SpaceX hasn't talked about any upgrades that would enable that.

Dragon 2 can reach DRO, EML 1 or 2, etc. on its internal fuel, no service module needed, at the expense of using its landing fuel. It cannot go to LLO, but neither can Orion.

Orion can insert a large hab in DRO, which would be difficult for Dragon 2. That's about it.

Are we actually sure about this? The abort test that SpaceX did a while back had the capsule reaching 345 mph or 154 meters per second. That seems to be way too small for any kind of major maneuvers like insertion into lunar orbit(and the non-optional exit part). Been digging around the internet and it seems to carry 1388 kg of propellant and the super dracos have a 235 isp(SL) with slanted thrust. Doesn't seem like you will get much orbital maneuvering out of this stack without mods like an added service module. Delta-v is probably less than  40% of the Orion stack.

edit: I believe the lowest insertion to DRO based on the paper below is 310 m/s. 219 m/s is achievable with much longer transits but probably too long for Dragon 2 anyways.
https://engineering.purdue.edu/people/kathleen.howell.1/Publications/Conferences/2014_AAS_CapGuzHow.pdf
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 03/02/2017 05:03 PM
I think it is important to keep in mind that a crewed EM-1 would be demonstrating the minimum capability of the SLS/Orion system while the SpaceX mission is demonstrating the maximum capability of Dragon/Falcon. SpaceX would be putting people in cis-lunar space but with an excess of velocity. Dragon lacks the Delta V or endurance to hang out there while Orion can. SpaceX for example couldn't get to a space station located there. Though it may be a good idea down the road SpaceX hasn't talked about any upgrades that would enable that.

Dragon 2 can reach DRO, EML 1 or 2, etc. on its internal fuel, no service module needed, at the expense of using its landing fuel. It cannot go to LLO, but neither can Orion.

Orion can insert a large hab in DRO, which would be difficult for Dragon 2. That's about it.

Are we actually sure about this? The abort test that SpaceX did a while back had the capsule reaching 345 mph or 154 meters per second. That seems to be way too small for any kind of major maneuvers like insertion into lunar orbit(and the non-optional exit part). Been digging around the internet and it seems to carry 1388 kg of propellant and the super dracos have a 235 isp(SL) with slanted thrust. Doesn't seem like you will get much orbital maneuvering out of this stack without mods like an added service module. Delta-v is probably less than  40% of the Orion stack.

edit: I believe the lowest insertion to DRO based on the paper below is 310 m/s. 219 m/s is achievable with much longer transits but probably too long for Dragon 2 anyways.
https://engineering.purdue.edu/people/kathleen.howell.1/Publications/Conferences/2014_AAS_CapGuzHow.pdf

This is getting off-topic, but Dragon 2 would not do any kind of orbital maneuver with SD's, it would use its Draco thrusters which have much greater isp. (and use the same propellant tanks) Yes, they are much lower thrust, but Dragon already does a 5+ minute de-orbit burn using them.

But yes, Orion clearly has significantly more delta-v than Dragon 2. But still not enough to enter and leave LLO on its own.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/02/2017 05:33 PM
Here are the DV for NRO and DRO.
http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Whitley_4-13-16/

At present NRO is favoured orbit for DSH. TLI to NRO 430ms,  return is 410ms.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ncb1397 on 03/02/2017 05:37 PM
I think it is important to keep in mind that a crewed EM-1 would be demonstrating the minimum capability of the SLS/Orion system while the SpaceX mission is demonstrating the maximum capability of Dragon/Falcon. SpaceX would be putting people in cis-lunar space but with an excess of velocity. Dragon lacks the Delta V or endurance to hang out there while Orion can. SpaceX for example couldn't get to a space station located there. Though it may be a good idea down the road SpaceX hasn't talked about any upgrades that would enable that.

Dragon 2 can reach DRO, EML 1 or 2, etc. on its internal fuel, no service module needed, at the expense of using its landing fuel. It cannot go to LLO, but neither can Orion.

Orion can insert a large hab in DRO, which would be difficult for Dragon 2. That's about it.

Are we actually sure about this? The abort test that SpaceX did a while back had the capsule reaching 345 mph or 154 meters per second. That seems to be way too small for any kind of major maneuvers like insertion into lunar orbit(and the non-optional exit part). Been digging around the internet and it seems to carry 1388 kg of propellant and the super dracos have a 235 isp(SL) with slanted thrust. Doesn't seem like you will get much orbital maneuvering out of this stack without mods like an added service module. Delta-v is probably less than  40% of the Orion stack.

edit: I believe the lowest insertion to DRO based on the paper below is 310 m/s. 219 m/s is achievable with much longer transits but probably too long for Dragon 2 anyways.
https://engineering.purdue.edu/people/kathleen.howell.1/Publications/Conferences/2014_AAS_CapGuzHow.pdf

This is getting off-topic, but Dragon 2 would not do any kind of orbital maneuver with SD's, it would use its Draco thrusters which have much greater isp. (and use the same propellant tanks) Yes, they are much lower thrust, but Dragon already does a 5+ minute de-orbit burn using them.

But yes, Orion clearly has significantly more delta-v than Dragon 2. But still not enough to enter and leave LLO on its own.

Well, you probably would want the Super-dracos as backup in any case and so being able to complete the maneuvers with them should be penciled out. On some of these cis-lunar trajectories, it isn't like you can delay burns and still be fine if the dracos are acting up (and they have before causing delays to ISS docking). Anyways, seems the draco thrusters have a 300 isp(correct me if I am wrong), which puts stack delta-v assuming 6400 kg dry mass and 1388 kg fuel at 577 m/s. Assuming a reasonable DRO insertion maneuver of 319 m/s(that can go much higher for shorter transits), that leaves about 258 m/s for everything else. Would be very tight if even possible.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/02/2017 05:37 PM
I think EM1 should be an unmanned flight to NRO as this will be most common mission for Orion. As bonus it could deliver a satellite  to NRO.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 03/02/2017 06:05 PM
I think it is important to keep in mind that a crewed EM-1 would be demonstrating the minimum capability of the SLS/Orion system while the SpaceX mission is demonstrating the maximum capability of Dragon/Falcon. SpaceX would be putting people in cis-lunar space but with an excess of velocity. Dragon lacks the Delta V or endurance to hang out there while Orion can. SpaceX for example couldn't get to a space station located there. Though it may be a good idea down the road SpaceX hasn't talked about any upgrades that would enable that.

Dragon 2 can reach DRO, EML 1 or 2, etc. on its internal fuel, no service module needed, at the expense of using its landing fuel. It cannot go to LLO, but neither can Orion.

Orion can insert a large hab in DRO, which would be difficult for Dragon 2. That's about it.

Are we actually sure about this? The abort test that SpaceX did a while back had the capsule reaching 345 mph or 154 meters per second. That seems to be way too small for any kind of major maneuvers like insertion into lunar orbit(and the non-optional exit part). Been digging around the internet and it seems to carry 1388 kg of propellant and the super dracos have a 235 isp(SL) with slanted thrust. Doesn't seem like you will get much orbital maneuvering out of this stack without mods like an added service module. Delta-v is probably less than  40% of the Orion stack.

edit: I believe the lowest insertion to DRO based on the paper below is 310 m/s. 219 m/s is achievable with much longer transits but probably too long for Dragon 2 anyways.
https://engineering.purdue.edu/people/kathleen.howell.1/Publications/Conferences/2014_AAS_CapGuzHow.pdf

The DragonFly vehicle massed 6350 kg (14000 lbm) dry and held 1800 kg (400 gallons) of NTO-MMH. At Draco Isp of 300 sec that's 734 m/s of dV. With 1000 kg payload it's 644 m/s, which is about what it takes to get to DRO and back.

IMO the flight version will have more capability than that since it can do orbital maneuvering, deorbit, and propulsive landing. But we don't have numbers, AFAIK.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ncb1397 on 03/02/2017 06:36 PM
I think it is important to keep in mind that a crewed EM-1 would be demonstrating the minimum capability of the SLS/Orion system while the SpaceX mission is demonstrating the maximum capability of Dragon/Falcon. SpaceX would be putting people in cis-lunar space but with an excess of velocity. Dragon lacks the Delta V or endurance to hang out there while Orion can. SpaceX for example couldn't get to a space station located there. Though it may be a good idea down the road SpaceX hasn't talked about any upgrades that would enable that.

Dragon 2 can reach DRO, EML 1 or 2, etc. on its internal fuel, no service module needed, at the expense of using its landing fuel. It cannot go to LLO, but neither can Orion.

Orion can insert a large hab in DRO, which would be difficult for Dragon 2. That's about it.

Are we actually sure about this? The abort test that SpaceX did a while back had the capsule reaching 345 mph or 154 meters per second. That seems to be way too small for any kind of major maneuvers like insertion into lunar orbit(and the non-optional exit part). Been digging around the internet and it seems to carry 1388 kg of propellant and the super dracos have a 235 isp(SL) with slanted thrust. Doesn't seem like you will get much orbital maneuvering out of this stack without mods like an added service module. Delta-v is probably less than  40% of the Orion stack.

edit: I believe the lowest insertion to DRO based on the paper below is 310 m/s. 219 m/s is achievable with much longer transits but probably too long for Dragon 2 anyways.
https://engineering.purdue.edu/people/kathleen.howell.1/Publications/Conferences/2014_AAS_CapGuzHow.pdf

The DragonFly vehicle massed 6350 kg (14000 lbm) dry and held 1800 kg (400 gallons) of NTO-MMH. At Draco Isp of 300 sec that's 734 m/s of dV. With 1000 kg payload it's 644 m/s, which is about what it takes to get to DRO and back.

IMO the flight version will have more capability than that since it can do orbital maneuvering, deorbit, and propulsive landing. But we don't have numbers, AFAIK.

Yeah, the dragonfly FAA permit does say 400 gallons which is ~1800 kg at 1.2g/cc. I'm curious how many significant figures of precision we have on the 400 gallons number though. Could be meaningful getting an extra digit in there given the slim margins we are looking at for a DRO dragon v2 mission with no additional tankage or service module.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: quanthasaquality on 03/04/2017 12:08 PM
Are we actually sure about this? The abort test that SpaceX did a while back had the capsule reaching 345 mph or 154 meters per second. That seems to be way too small for any kind of major maneuvers like insertion into lunar orbit(and the non-optional exit part). Been digging around the internet and it seems to carry 1388 kg of propellant and the super dracos have a 235 isp(SL) with slanted thrust. Doesn't seem like you will get much orbital maneuvering out of this stack without mods like an added service module. Delta-v is probably less than  40% of the Orion stack.

edit: I believe the lowest insertion to DRO based on the paper below is 310 m/s. 219 m/s is achievable with much longer transits but probably too long for Dragon 2 anyways.
https://engineering.purdue.edu/people/kathleen.howell.1/Publications/Conferences/2014_AAS_CapGuzHow.pdf

Heh. Elon talks about landing on planetary surfaces, but he doesn't show any big, heavy, expendable fuel tanks.

Frankly, I think a lunar lander should be outsourced to Ukraine. They are experienced at manufacturing hypogolic rockets on a budget. They also help maintain many Russian hypogolic ICBMs. They might have some quality control problems, and need outside testing help.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Darkseraph on 03/12/2017 11:22 AM
To do commercial crew flights in 2018, the Centaur Upper Stage has to be human rated. Could a Centaur(or a derivative of it) be used used in place of the ICPS for manned flights around the Moon?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: rayleighscatter on 03/12/2017 01:17 PM
ICPS is a derivative of Centaur.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 03/12/2017 01:59 PM
ICPS is a derivative of Centaur.

No it's not. It's based on the DCSS, the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage. That is a completely different vehicle from the Centaur.
Centaur is flown on the Atlas. DCSS is flown on the Delta.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: rayleighscatter on 03/12/2017 02:56 PM
Yeah, my mistake. A little muddled thinking this morning.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/12/2017 06:19 PM
To do commercial crew flights in 2018, the Centaur Upper Stage has to be human rated. Could a Centaur(or a derivative of it) be used used in place of the ICPS for manned flights around the Moon?

Sorry, much of the Delta IV GSE/unbilicals/arms comes with DCSS. In addition, Centaur isn't "sized" for the capability needed, where DCSS is.

Something derived from Centaur that would be is ACES. That's what you're asking for, and likely the quickest path from Centaur to anything close. Likely it would be comparable to EUS as an alternative path.

So what you're asking for in effect is ... have an alternative to EUS and don't use ICPS.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Darkseraph on 03/12/2017 07:23 PM
To do commercial crew flights in 2018, the Centaur Upper Stage has to be human rated. Could a Centaur(or a derivative of it) be used used in place of the ICPS for manned flights around the Moon?

Sorry, much of the Delta IV GSE/unbilicals/arms comes with DCSS. In addition, Centaur isn't "sized" for the capability needed, where DCSS is.

Something derived from Centaur that would be is ACES. That's what you're asking for, and likely the quickest path from Centaur to anything close. Likely it would be comparable to EUS as an alternative path.

So what you're asking for in effect is ... have an alternative to EUS and don't use ICPS.

Maybe not a bad idea. ACES is baselined as large cryogenic stage with 4x RL-10 engines, similar to EUS. I am presuming ACES will be human rated for commercial crew flights. Unlike EUS, it is designed to be refuellable in space. The politics are not really aligned for that to happen but it seems like something that would reduce a lot of duplicative work and give SLS vastly more capability by the early 2020's
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 03/12/2017 10:34 PM
WaPo article today:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-with-nasa-has-a-new-rocket-and-spaceship-wheres-he-going-to-go/2017/03/11/4193f1be-002d-11e7-8f41-ea6ed597e4ca_story.html?utm_term=.faa4be9cbfde
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 03/13/2017 08:46 AM
As is popular recently, the WaPo piece mentions SpaceX's well demonstrated inability to keep to its announced schedules.  As is also common, and directly relevant to this thread, it does not mention NASA's similar inability to keep to its announced schedules for SLS.

Falcon Heavy was announced in 2011 (http://www.spacex.com/press/2012/12/19/spacex-announces-launch-date-worlds-most-powerful-rocket), to fly by 2014.  Being charitable, SLS was also announced in 2011*, with a first flight presumably in 2015, to meet the specified 2016 date for operational capability.  If FH flies this year and SLS in 2018, as currently scheduled, they'll both be 3 years behind schedule.

But the real kicker comes when you consider likely dates for second flights.



* Sens. Nelson and Hutchison announced SLS at a press conference in 2011, but it was defined in law by the NASA Authorization Act in 2010, and some elements, e.g., the 5-segment SRBs, had been in development since CxP.

EDIT:  Changed URL behind link from https://... to http://, as the former did not seem to be working.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 03/13/2017 09:09 AM
Well, Orion's second flight is in the early 2020s (and slowly slipping towards 'mid-2020s'); it has been this way for a long time. SpaceX's second flight would invariably be 'when we get more paying customers'.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 03/13/2017 09:15 AM
SpaceX already has multiple paying customers for both Dragon 2 and Falcon Heavy.  On the basis of publicly available information, it has only one set of customers for both of those systems at the same time, but that does not much matter.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 03/13/2017 12:38 PM
As is popular recently, the WaPo piece mentions SpaceX's well demonstrated inability to keep to its announced schedules.  As is also common, and directly relevant to this thread, it does not mention NASA's similar inability to keep to its announced schedules for SLS.

Falcon Heavy was announced in 2011 (https://www.spacex.com/press/2012/12/19/spacex-announces-launch-date-worlds-most-powerful-rocket), to fly by 2014.  Being charitable, SLS was also announced in 2011*, with a first flight presumably in 2015, to meet the specified 2016 date for operational capability.  If FH flies this year and SLS in 2018, as currently scheduled, they'll both be 3 years behind schedule.

But the real kicker comes when you consider likely dates for second flights.



* Sens. Nelson and Hutchison announced SLS at a press conference in 2011, but it was defined in law by the NASA Authorization Act in 2010, and some elements, e.g., the 5-segment SRBs, had been in development since CxP.

FH capability has doubled in the interval, comparable to having SLS Block 2 flying in 2018... and being reusable.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 03/13/2017 02:13 PM
As is popular recently, the WaPo piece mentions SpaceX's well demonstrated inability to keep to its announced schedules.  As is also common, and directly relevant to this thread, it does not mention NASA's similar inability to keep to its announced schedules for SLS.

Falcon Heavy was announced in 2011 (https://www.spacex.com/press/2012/12/19/spacex-announces-launch-date-worlds-most-powerful-rocket), to fly by 2014.  Being charitable, SLS was also announced in 2011*, with a first flight presumably in 2015, to meet the specified 2016 date for operational capability.  If FH flies this year and SLS in 2018, as currently scheduled, they'll both be 3 years behind schedule.

But the real kicker comes when you consider likely dates for second flights.



* Sens. Nelson and Hutchison announced SLS at a press conference in 2011, but it was defined in law by the NASA Authorization Act in 2010, and some elements, e.g., the 5-segment SRBs, had been in development since CxP.

FH capability has doubled in the interval, comparable to having SLS Block 2 flying in 2018... and being reusable.

What does this have to do with EM-1 crewed mission?  Please keep SpaceX in SpaceX threads.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TrevorMonty on 03/13/2017 05:08 PM


Well, Orion's second flight is in the early 2020s (and slowly slipping towards 'mid-2020s'); it has been this way for a long time.

To fair change to EUS pushed EM2 out. The performance improvements are worth extra delay.

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 03/13/2017 08:37 PM
FH capability has doubled in the interval, comparable to having SLS Block 2 flying in 2018... and being reusable.

It has?  The SpaceX press release from 2011 to which I linked quotes a payload of 53 tonnes.  As of today, spacex.com quotes 54.4 tonnes (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: envy887 on 03/13/2017 08:45 PM
FH capability has doubled in the interval, comparable to having SLS Block 2 flying in 2018... and being reusable.

It has?  The SpaceX press release from 2011 to which I linked quotes a payload of 53 tonnes.  As of today, spacex.com quotes 54.4 tonnes (http://www.spacex.com/about/capabilities).

FH was notionally proposed as 25 "imperial" tons to LEO in 2005:
http://www.spacex.com/news/2005/12/19/june-2005-december-2005

No launch date was given.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 03/14/2017 01:45 PM
I'm curious of the feasibility of flying EM-1 unmanned as planned (April 2019) then flying EM-2 on SLS Block I in July 2020.

This pushes SLS Block 1B for EM-3 to 2023, but I'd say its worth it.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 03/14/2017 03:02 PM
I'm curious of the feasibility of flying EM-1 unmanned as planned (April 2019) then flying EM-2 on SLS Block I in July 2020.

From what I have heard it is considered more feasible. I would rather see this happen than crew on EM-1. That said given what we are hearing from Gerst and others about plans for a cis-lunar outpost it might be better to spend the money (that would be used to man-rate ICPS/get Orion ready) on a co-manifested module for EM-2.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 03/14/2017 10:03 PM
It bothers me when political pressure is applied to fly when the hardware is not ready and conditions not nominal. We have already lost too many astronauts.

Though I no longer support SLS because of reusability issues, ISTM that the most prudent approach for it would be to go straight to Block IB, fly Orion unmanned to the vicinity of ISS. Then a Dragon II carrying 4 to 5 astronauts rendezvous and docks with the EUS/Orion stack. Two astronauts transfer to Orion, then D2 continues on to ISS. (I wouldn't bring an EUS with that much prop all the way to ISS, nor even try to dock the entire stack on a previously unflown vehicle.) Orion burns EUS for TLI and LOI. Use SM to perform TEI. That saves some engines and boosters and should get to Block IB capability sooner than we would have. Would this have been doable by the end of the current presidential term?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 03/14/2017 10:24 PM
It bothers me when political pressure is applied to fly when the hardware is not ready and conditions not nominal. We have already lost too many astronauts.

Though I no longer support SLS because of reusability issues, ISTM that the most prudent approach for it would be to go straight to Block IB, fly Orion unmanned to the vicinity of ISS. Then a Dragon II carrying 4 to 5 astronauts rendezvous and docks with the EUS/Orion stack. Two astronauts transfer to Orion, then D2 continues on to ISS. (I wouldn't bring an EUS with that much prop all the way to ISS, nor even try to dock the entire stack on a previously unflown vehicle.) Orion burns EUS for TLI and LOI. Use SM to perform TEI. That saves some engines and boosters and should get to Block IB capability sooner than we would have. Would this have been doable by the end of the current presidential term?

Too much loiter time needed before TLI burn.

Wrong orbital plane for either ISS/lunar (e.g. not same inclination).

And they'd want to stay nearby for ECLSS checkout period of up to 48 hours before TLI if some were to object.

Neither Orion or D2 have much accumulated time on orbit as a HR vehicle.

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: su27k on 03/15/2017 02:14 AM
Fairly important background information for this mission from http://spacenews.com/nasa-moving-ahead-with-plans-for-cislunar-human-outpost/

Quote
The idea of the study had its roots in the potential for other delays in EM-1. Chris Shank, who led the NASA “landing team” for the incoming Trump administration late last year, said on a conference panel that Gerstenmaier informed him at a meeting that the service module for that mission, being provided by the European Space Agency, could be delivered several months late.

“We asked, if given more time, if there are some additional things that you could do with the mission,” Shank said. That led to consideration of flying crew on the mission. “As part of the transition, there were no preconceived conclusions. This is genuinely a study on how to get the best bang for the buck.”

I may be imagining things but I think someone predicted this exact reason (almost word by word) sometime ago...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 03/15/2017 06:45 PM
I'm curious of the feasibility of flying EM-1 unmanned as planned (April 2019) then flying EM-2 on SLS Block I in July 2020.

From what I have heard it is considered more feasible. I would rather see this happen than crew on EM-1. That said given what we are hearing from Gerst and others about plans for a cis-lunar outpost it might be better to spend the money (that would be used to man-rate ICPS/get Orion ready) on a co-manifested module for EM-2.

Agreed, though don't underestimate favorable political winds by getting a crew around the moon in Trumps first term on Orion.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: mike robel on 03/16/2017 01:33 AM
I don't think there will be a sizeable or lasting boost in support for space regardless of whether or not NASA or SpaceX is the first to send some people to/around the moon.  The Chinese or the Russians might elicit  some support, but probably not enough to send us to Mars.  We can't even agree on how to fix our infrastructure problem.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/28/2017 02:08 PM
Quote
Bill Gerstenmaier says at NAC HEO meeting that he expects a decision on putting crew on EM-1 by the time the full FY18 budget is out in May.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/846718396708392960 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/846718396708392960)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: redliox on 03/29/2017 12:10 AM
Quote
Bill Gerstenmaier says at NAC HEO meeting that he expects a decision on putting crew on EM-1 by the time the full FY18 budget is out in May.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/846718396708392960 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/846718396708392960)

Should we make a poll on yes-or-no?  ???
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 03/29/2017 08:14 PM
I don't think there will be a sizable or lasting boost in support for space regardless of whether or not NASA or SpaceX is the first tenth to send some people to/around the moon.

NASA has already landed six crews, put two others into LLO, and circumnavigated one more almost a half century ago. It seems a great shame to forget this.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/31/2017 07:48 PM
Someone with some experience of lunar missions:

Here's a view from a true space industry giant:

Quote
Had a good visit with Chris Kraft today. Now 93, he's still engaged. Had to give up golf, but he's now a mall walker! (Baybrook Mall)
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/847882433706020864 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/847882433706020864)

Quote
Chris was "very impressed" by @SpaceX and their launch Thursday. But he's not thrilled with their lunar flyby. "Too risky."
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/847882800682463232 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/847882800682463232)

Quote
He also thinks putting crew on first flight of the SLS rocket is a terrible idea, noting progression of Apollo 4, 7, and 8.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/847883348513099781 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/847883348513099781)

Quote
Finally, he has been quietly advocating for a return to the Moon with Houston lawmakers. Encouraged by those discussions.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/847883687857410050 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/847883687857410050)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 04/22/2017 02:49 PM
http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nasas-study-of-adding-crew-to-em-1-is-completed-awaiting-response (http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nasas-study-of-adding-crew-to-em-1-is-completed-awaiting-response)

And so are we!


Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/08/2017 01:28 PM
Quote
Per the crewed EM-1. The decision's been made. No one's talking, but it's kinda the worst kept secret they will green light it. #SLSHailMary

https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/861564597240815617 (https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/861564597240815617)

 :o

IIRC original suggestion was that decision would be announced around time of administration's more detailed FY 18 budget proposals, which I think is next week?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/08/2017 01:42 PM
Hey that's me....;)

Yeah, expect it to be announced this month. No one will say what the decision is, but everyone expects it to be "feasible". Then they need the money.

Some things I've not mentioned is what EM-1 may look like, from what we expect to what could be proposed. The latter you don't want to read about.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 05/08/2017 04:28 PM
*If* true, I expect the ASAP (Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel) members to throw a fit. If they have a semblance of objectivity, that is.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TaurusLittrow on 05/08/2017 05:00 PM
*If* true, I expect the ASAP (Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel) members to throw a fit. If they have a semblance of objectivity, that is.

I expect you're right. But quantifying risk isn't an "exact science." The space agency was wildly off the mark in their original estimates of the risk of LOV or LOC with the space shuttle. Just intuitively, if anything was risky then SLS 1 was and they still went ahead with it.

SpaceX's tourist trek around the moon seems like a pretty risky proposition too if you ask me.

I don't know how to define, or measure, the level of risk considered too great given the myriad factors - political, social, economic, technical, personal - that go into it. At any given time, that could vary by country or agency or person.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AnalogMan on 05/08/2017 05:37 PM
*If* true, I expect the ASAP (Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel) members to throw a fit. If they have a semblance of objectivity, that is.

This is what the ASAP have already said regarding crewed EM-1 at their end of February 2017 meeting:

"Dr. Sanders addressed one item that was discussed with NASA leadership — the recently initiated feasibility study for flying crew on the first Exploration Mission (EM-1) of the Orion/Space Launch System (SLS). She indicated that the Panel has confidence in the approach that NASA is taking to this assessment, and they had excellent dialogue on the topic at the fact-finding session.

However, the ASAP is compelled to provide a note of advice and caution as NASA examines the risk associated with a potential alteration to the already fairly aggressive test program of record. The baseline plan is mature with substantive and critical objectives for the planned, uncrewed EM-1 designed to manage risk for the subsequent crewed EM-2—for example, a flight test of the heat shield. Also, the current vehicle planned for EM-1 was not designed for human rating, would not have a full Environment Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), nor would it have the software and other aspects necessary for crewed operation. Several changes to the baseline program would be required, adding complexity, unknowns, and almost certainly, risk, not to mention the cost, schedule, and potential opportunity cost implications.

Dr. Sanders emphasized that the Panel was not proposing what the outcome of NASA's assessment should be; however, it strongly advised that NASA carefully and cautiously weigh the value proposition for flying crew on EM-1. NASA should provide a compelling rationale in terms of benefits gained in return for accepting additional risk and fully and transparently acknowledge the trade-offs being made before deviating from a mature approach to certification of the Orion/SLS vehicle for human space flight. If the benefits warrant assumption of additional risk, the ASAP expects NASA to clearly and openly articulate its decision process and rationale.
"
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Toast on 05/08/2017 06:50 PM
*If* true, I expect the ASAP (Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel) members to throw a fit. If they have a semblance of objectivity, that is.
SpaceX's tourist trek around the moon seems like a pretty risky proposition too if you ask me.

Pretty risky? Undoubtedly. But significantly less risky than a crewed EM-1. Falcon 9 has flown over 30 times, SLS has never flown. Dragon 2 will have flown several times before the lunar flight, Orion has flown once (and never with ECLSS in place).

I still think the only justification for a crewed EM-1 is political. There's not a scientifically valid reason that justifies the risk of flying with crew on the maiden voyage of a rocket. This makes me think that NASA hasn't fully learned it's lessons from the Space Shuttle years.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/08/2017 07:04 PM
I agree the only justification is political, but let's wait for the report and not second guess how qualified or caveated it might be. It's possible the report makes no explicit recommendation but presents the results of what is and isn't feasible, presumably with associated risks, costs etc?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 05/08/2017 07:19 PM
*If* true, I expect the ASAP (Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel) members to throw a fit. If they have a semblance of objectivity, that is.

I expect you're right. But quantifying risk isn't an "exact science." The space agency was wildly off the mark in their original estimates of the risk of LOV or LOC with the space shuttle. Just intuitively, if anything was risky then SLS 1 was and they still went ahead with it.

SpaceX's tourist trek around the moon seems like a pretty risky proposition too if you ask me.

I don't know how to define, or measure, the level of risk considered too great given the myriad factors - political, social, economic, technical, personal - that go into it. At any given time, that could vary by country or agency or person.

There are good arguments that can be made that ASAP is too risk averse - or too accepting of risk. That's not my complaint with ASAP.

No, all I want is for them to be consistent when dealing with SLS/Orion and Commercial Crew.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/09/2017 06:32 AM
*If* true, I expect the ASAP (Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel) members to throw a fit. If they have a semblance of objectivity, that is.

I expect you're right. But quantifying risk isn't an "exact science." The space agency was wildly off the mark in their original estimates of the risk of LOV or LOC with the space shuttle. Just intuitively, if anything was risky then SLS 1 was and they still went ahead with it.

SpaceX's tourist trek around the moon seems like a pretty risky proposition too if you ask me.

I don't know how to define, or measure, the level of risk considered too great given the myriad factors - political, social, economic, technical, personal - that go into it. At any given time, that could vary by country or agency or person.

There are good arguments that can be made that ASAP is too risk averse - or too accepting of risk. That's not my complaint with ASAP.

No, all I want is for them to be consistent when dealing with SLS/Orion and Commercial Crew.
If they are consistent then ASAP will be skeptical of putting crew on EM-1. Because ASAP has, on many occasions, warned NASA not to "rush" things with regards to putting crew on the CCP spacecraft, as well as pointing out just about every CCP risk item multiple times.

If ASAP is consistent then I expect them to act the same for manned EM-1.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 05/09/2017 06:36 AM
If they are consistent then ASAP will be skeptical of putting crew on EM-1. Because ASAP has, on many occasions, warned NASA not to "rush" things with regards to putting crew on the CCP spacecraft, as well as pointing out just about every CCP risk item multiple times.

If ASAP is consistent then I expect them to act the same for manned EM-1.

Right. Isn't it ASAP that insisted or recommended that there would need to be seven launches of a "design frozen" F9 before SpaceX can put crew on it?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/09/2017 07:26 AM
If they are consistent then ASAP will be skeptical of putting crew on EM-1. Because ASAP has, on many occasions, warned NASA not to "rush" things with regards to putting crew on the CCP spacecraft, as well as pointing out just about every CCP risk item multiple times.

If ASAP is consistent then I expect them to act the same for manned EM-1.

Right. Isn't it ASAP that insisted or recommended that there would need to be seven launches of a "design frozen" F9 before SpaceX can put crew on it?
Yes, this was recommended by ASAP and SpaceX and NASA went along. However, I don't see seven unmanned launches of SLS happening before a manned EM-1 is flown.

The key-word here is INSIGHT.

NASA has full insigth into anything SLS. It is, after all, their launcher. They designed it, they build it (via contractors), they test it, and they launch it.

Falcon 9 however is different critter. It is not NASA's launcher. They did not design it, nor did they build it or test it. Let alone launch it. And NASA has only limited insight into the entire DDT&E process applied to Falcon 9. There is the prime reason why NASA wants to see seven successful launches of the frozen design. To make up for the lack of insight.

Now, back to crewed EM-1. I don't like it. Really don't. Risk adverse as US spaceflight may have become it has always been good practice to launch your rocket and capsule unmanned, at least once, to manage risk. That was done from day 1 in US HSF. STS-1 was the clear exception and NASA learned a lesson there: Don't do this again.
Looks like that lesson is now being forgotten.
Much like forgotten lessons from Challenger resulted in the tragic result of Columbia.

Strange thing is that the lesson has not been forgotten in reference to CCP.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 05/09/2017 12:09 PM
While I'm glad the welding issues were caught before something Very Bad happened, it emphasizes the risk of putting people on the first flight of what is, in truth, an entirely new vehicle (that happens to use some old parts).  I see no actual pressing need, beyond the political survival of the SLS program itself, to launch the first flight with people on it.  I certainly hope that we're not back here in a few years dealing with a bad day.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/09/2017 01:04 PM
...

The key-word here is INSIGHT.

NASA has full insigth into anything SLS. It is, after all, their launcher. They designed it, they build it (via contractors), they test it, and they launch it.

...

How's that INSIGHT working on SLS construction?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/09/2017 02:37 PM
While I'm glad the welding issues were caught before something Very Bad happened, it emphasizes the risk of putting people on the first flight of what is, in truth, an entirely new vehicle (that happens to use some old parts).  I see no actual pressing need, beyond the political survival of the SLS program itself, to launch the first flight with people on it.  I certainly hope that we're not back here in a few years dealing with a bad day.

With the current administration the argument of political expediency would seem to be the dominant one.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 05/09/2017 03:22 PM
With the current administration the argument of political expediency would seem to be the dominant one.

Quite possibly; because of course, almost everything done in space by the US Gov't is a political decision in the end.  But I'd hate to see good arguments and points discounted simply because they were being made by somebody who disliked POTUS.  Personally, I'd be just as unhappy with a decision to put people on EM-1 whether it was Trump or Clinton who suggested it.  I would hope that, partisan though many of us are, we could look past who's in the White House as we soberly consider at what could be a pretty momentous decision.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/09/2017 03:36 PM
With the current administration the argument of political expediency would seem to be the dominant one.

Quite possibly; because of course, almost everything done in space by the US Gov't is a political decision in the end.  But I'd hate to see good arguments and points discounted simply because they were being made by somebody who disliked POTUS.  Personally, I'd be just as unhappy with a decision to put people on EM-1 whether it was Trump or Clinton who suggested it.  I would hope that, partisan though many of us are, we could look past who's in the White House as we soberly consider at what could be a pretty momentous decision.

Of course politics plays a big part in space decisions whatever the party in charge is as the US would have never gone to the moon without that dimension. Just that this current push worries me as I fear that it flows from the personality of the current administration.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: montyrmanley on 05/09/2017 03:45 PM
I see no actual pressing need, beyond the political survival of the SLS program itself, to launch the first flight with people on it.

If you're NASA or one of the SLS/Orion contractors, political survival is very much a pressing need. The organizational role of Marshall and Michoud basically disappears without the SLS, and thus the survival of SLS is an existential issue for them.

Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars are at stake; whatever you might think of the political dimension in NASA's decision-making, it is not a trivial thing. We risk human lives all the time for far lower stakes. This is not an argument in favor of the SLS, I hasten to add -- I'm on record as thinking the system is a colossal waste of both time and money. But if we're going to have an SLS, at some point soon we have to put people on it and get it up there.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/09/2017 04:49 PM
Yes, that was the purpose of the mature, risk mitigating plan to fly EM-1 unmanned, EM-2 with new second stage unmanned but with a full-up ECLSS, and EM-3 manned.  That is the point at which we should put people on it.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/09/2017 04:59 PM
I see no actual pressing need, beyond the political survival of the SLS program itself, to launch the first flight with people on it.

If you're NASA or one of the SLS/Orion contractors, political survival is very much a pressing need. The organizational role of Marshall and Michoud basically disappears without the SLS, and thus the survival of SLS is an existential issue for them.

Thousands of jobs and billions of dollars are at stake; whatever you might think of the political dimension in NASA's decision-making, it is not a trivial thing. We risk human lives all the time for far lower stakes. This is not an argument in favor of the SLS, I hasten to add -- I'm on record as thinking the system is a colossal waste of both time and money. But if we're going to have an SLS, at some point soon we have to put people on it and get it up there.

Absolutely WORST argument ever.
Unfortunately, it's true...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 05/09/2017 05:40 PM
Of course politics plays a big part in space decisions whatever the party in charge is as the US would have never gone to the moon without that dimension. Just that this current push worries me as I fear that it flows from the personality of the current administration.

And rather than being political pressure for a significant accomplishment, it seems pressure for a short-term stunt geared to the political calendar.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 05/09/2017 05:43 PM
I'm leaning towards them doing EM-1 unmanned as planned, but launch crew on SLS Block I on EM-2 in 2020
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/09/2017 05:45 PM
Of course politics plays a big part in space decisions whatever the party in charge is as the US would have never gone to the moon without that dimension. Just that this current push worries me as I fear that it flows from the personality of the current administration.

And rather than being political pressure for a significant accomplishment, it seems pressure for a short-term stunt geared to the political calendar.
Yes there's that aspect as well. The fear that it is to assist with re-election.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: TomH on 05/09/2017 06:33 PM
Of course politics plays a big part in space decisions whatever the party in charge is as the US would have never gone to the moon without that dimension. Just that this current push worries me as I fear that it flows from the personality of the current administration.

And rather than being political pressure for a significant accomplishment, it seems pressure for a short-term stunt geared to the political calendar.
Yes there's that aspect as well. The fear that it is to assist with re-election.

Hopefully his advisors will be smart enough to realize that forcing technology that is not yet ready could easily cause the mission to suffer catastrophic failure. News stories that the whole thing was due to political pressure would cause the exact opposite result (negative impact on re-election). Of course, getting this man to listen to anyone other than himself is a huge challenge.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/09/2017 08:40 PM
...

The key-word here is INSIGHT.

NASA has full insigth into anything SLS. It is, after all, their launcher. They designed it, they build it (via contractors), they test it, and they launch it.

...

How's that INSIGHT working on SLS construction?
Insight does not prevent unknowns when pushing the state-of-the-art. That's what happened with the SLS Core Stage LH2 welding issue.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Darga on 05/09/2017 10:05 PM
...

The key-word here is INSIGHT.

NASA has full insigth into anything SLS. It is, after all, their launcher. They designed it, they build it (via contractors), they test it, and they launch it.

...

How's that INSIGHT working on SLS construction?
Insight does not prevent unknowns when pushing the state-of-the-art. That's what happened with the SLS Cores Stage LH2 welding issue.

So if they are pushing state of the art then they should drop "shuttle derived" from everything because apparently lots of the major components are new. Don't get to have it both ways.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/09/2017 10:07 PM
...

The key-word here is INSIGHT.

NASA has full insigth into anything SLS. It is, after all, their launcher. They designed it, they build it (via contractors), they test it, and they launch it.

...

How's that INSIGHT working on SLS construction?
Insight does not prevent unknowns when pushing the state-of-the-art. That's what happened with the SLS Cores Stage LH2 welding issue.

INSIGHT should have forced each step of the development process to accomplish its intended purpose -- especially critical when pushing the state-of-the-art.  Proper INSIGHT should have prevented configuration changes in the middle of the process which were not fully vetted and proven.  The weld issues most likely would have been found either after testing the modified tooling on flat plate or on the confidence article, not after building both a STA, which will be used in an unplanned way, and a flight tank which is now wasted. 

It is not out of the realm of possibilities that NASA management was actually pushing the contractor to proceed out of sequence to avoid additional schedule slippage after the tooling misalignment delays.  If this is shown to be the case, INSIGHT was completely compromised.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 05/09/2017 10:11 PM
Apparently insight is just a word on a paper, just like man-rating. Shocked, I am not.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/09/2017 10:38 PM
...

The key-word here is INSIGHT.

NASA has full insigth into anything SLS. It is, after all, their launcher. They designed it, they build it (via contractors), they test it, and they launch it.

...

How's that INSIGHT working on SLS construction?
Insight does not prevent unknowns when pushing the state-of-the-art. That's what happened with the SLS Cores Stage LH2 welding issue.

INSIGHT should have forced each step of the development process to accomplish its intended purpose -- especially critical when pushing the state-of-the-art.  Proper INSIGHT should have prevented configuration changes in the middle of the process which were not fully vetted and proven.  The weld issues most likely would have been found either after testing the modified tooling on flat plate or on the confidence article, not after building both a STA, which will be used in an unplanned way, and a flight tank which is now wasted. 

It is not out of the realm of possibilities that NASA management was actually pushing the contractor to proceed out of sequence to avoid additional schedule slippage after the tooling misalignment delays.  If this is shown to be the case, INSIGHT was completely compromised.

I believe the flat plate tests (or a version thereof) of the new tooling configuration is where they found the issue, that those welds on the flat plates were breaking at far lesser tension than the design called for -- the large mistake here being that they didn't wait for the full results of the flat plate tests to be known before proceeding with STA and Flight Tank build.  None of that is to take away from the argument you're making, which I 100% agree with, which is that this issue should have been identified BEFORE the STA and Flight Tanks were built.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/10/2017 06:41 AM
...

The key-word here is INSIGHT.

NASA has full insigth into anything SLS. It is, after all, their launcher. They designed it, they build it (via contractors), they test it, and they launch it.

...

How's that INSIGHT working on SLS construction?
Insight does not prevent unknowns when pushing the state-of-the-art. That's what happened with the SLS Cores Stage LH2 welding issue.

INSIGHT should have forced each step of the development process to accomplish its intended purpose -- especially critical when pushing the state-of-the-art.  Proper INSIGHT should have prevented configuration changes in the middle of the process which were not fully vetted and proven.  The weld issues most likely would have been found either after testing the modified tooling on flat plate or on the confidence article, not after building both a STA, which will be used in an unplanned way, and a flight tank which is now wasted. 

It is not out of the realm of possibilities that NASA management was actually pushing the contractor to proceed out of sequence to avoid additional schedule slippage after the tooling misalignment delays.  If this is shown to be the case, INSIGHT was completely compromised.

I believe the flat plate tests (or a version thereof) of the new tooling configuration is where they found the issue, that those welds on the flat plates were breaking at far lesser tension than the design called for -- the large mistake here being that they didn't wait for the full results of the flat plate tests to be known before proceeding with STA and Flight Tank build.  None of that is to take away from the argument you're making, which I 100% agree with, which is that this issue should have been identified BEFORE the STA and Flight Tanks were built.
IMO this whole mess originated with the VAC contractor having the foundation screwed-up. That required a major effort (lasting almost a year) to get the foundation corrected to have the VAC tool stand exactly vertical. By the time the VAC finally became operational the schedule margin for initial production of Core Stage elements was completely gone. That has led to "cutting corners" IMO, leading to the results we are seeing today.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/10/2017 06:44 AM
...

The key-word here is INSIGHT.

NASA has full insigth into anything SLS. It is, after all, their launcher. They designed it, they build it (via contractors), they test it, and they launch it.

...

How's that INSIGHT working on SLS construction?
Insight does not prevent unknowns when pushing the state-of-the-art. That's what happened with the SLS Cores Stage LH2 welding issue.

INSIGHT should have forced each step of the development process to accomplish its intended purpose -- especially critical when pushing the state-of-the-art.  Proper INSIGHT should have prevented configuration changes in the middle of the process which were not fully vetted and proven.  The weld issues most likely would have been found either after testing the modified tooling on flat plate or on the confidence article, not after building both a STA, which will be used in an unplanned way, and a flight tank which is now wasted. 

It is not out of the realm of possibilities that NASA management was actually pushing the contractor to proceed out of sequence to avoid additional schedule slippage after the tooling misalignment delays.  If this is shown to be the case, INSIGHT was completely compromised.

INSIGHT should lead to making the correct decisions. One can still have complete and utter INSIGHT, yet still make bad decisions based on that INSIGHT. It appears that is exactly what happened here. NASA knew, from having full INSIGHT, that flat plate testing of the welds was not yet complete but decided to proceed with welding the STA and flight tank anyway. Bad decision.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/10/2017 07:21 AM
Apparently insight is just a word on a paper, just like man-rating. Shocked, I am not.
And you'd be wrong.

Insight, NASA staff being able to inspect and if necessary stop something happening and require (not request) that something be done differently won't just add to costs. It will multiply them.

The (theoretical) benefit to NASA is they will get a product that is right first time and absolutely positively will not fail.

Although you do have to wonder how much experience the Boeing staff have with technology.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/10/2017 09:45 AM
IMO this whole mess originated with the VAC contractor having the foundation screwed-up. That required a major effort (lasting almost a year) to get the foundation corrected to have the VAC tool stand exactly vertical. By the time the VAC finally became operational the schedule margin for initial production of Core Stage elements was completely gone. That has led to "cutting corners" IMO, leading to the results we are seeing today.

While I agree with the primary event cause, it was still a deliberate decision on NASA's part to "cut corners". So the fault lies squarely on NASA's shoulders for ONCE AGAIN allowing schedule pressure to drive bad decision making. The only difference this time is that we didn't kill a crew like in the loss of Challenger. Will NASA management never learn that schedule must not ever be the driving deciding factor? Are we doomed to this never ending cycle? Yes, schedule is important, but in the end screw the schedule. Do the job right. It'll be done when it's done.

It's the same thing in my day-job. There is never enough time to do the job right in the first place, but there is always plenty of time to fix it after-the-fact. All management seems to care about these days is to get the bean, to check off another box on the IMS. Doesn't matter if it's correct. Get the bean and we'll fix it later. I see this piss-poor attitude in management completely across the industry, everywhere I look. Once you get above the men and women actually doing the work, who actually have to sign off on their work, the management above them looks only at schedule. It drives everything for them - everything! Most of the time they get away with it, but once in a while it comes back to bite them - and others - right in the ass. So here we are - fixing it after the fact.

The shame of it all is that if they had just stopped and waited for the test results before committing HUGE sums of money the job would have ended up being done correctly, much sooner than it will be done now. That's what happens when you let schedule drive bad decision making. The schedule gets screwed even worse in the end. Just like THIS incident.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/10/2017 10:20 AM
...

The key-word here is INSIGHT.

NASA has full insigth into anything SLS. It is, after all, their launcher. They designed it, they build it (via contractors), they test it, and they launch it.

...

How's that INSIGHT working on SLS construction?
Insight does not prevent unknowns when pushing the state-of-the-art. That's what happened with the SLS Cores Stage LH2 welding issue.

INSIGHT should have forced each step of the development process to accomplish its intended purpose -- especially critical when pushing the state-of-the-art.  Proper INSIGHT should have prevented configuration changes in the middle of the process which were not fully vetted and proven.  The weld issues most likely would have been found either after testing the modified tooling on flat plate or on the confidence article, not after building both a STA, which will be used in an unplanned way, and a flight tank which is now wasted. 

It is not out of the realm of possibilities that NASA management was actually pushing the contractor to proceed out of sequence to avoid additional schedule slippage after the tooling misalignment delays.  If this is shown to be the case, INSIGHT was completely compromised.

INSIGHT should lead to making the correct decisions. One can still have complete and utter INSIGHT, yet still make bad decisions based on that INSIGHT. It appears that is exactly what happened here. NASA knew, from having full INSIGHT, that flat plate testing of the welds was not yet complete but decided to proceed with welding the STA and flight tank anyway. Bad decision.

Exactly.

So, either NASA knew, and due to schedule pressure, ordered the contractor to proceed at risk* which is a management failure, or they didn't know and INSIGHT failed.  Pick one.

IMO, INSIGHT isn't anything but the Federal counterpart of the SLS/Orion jobs program for the big defense contractors, even if it gets the job done right the first time.  Since that is in no danger of happening, the massive NASA overhead on these programs is jobs for bureaucrats, nothing else.

Why don't we have another investigation which will tell us the same thing again, and again we'll ignore it. >:(

* At least management made an excellent decision to not risk crew on the maiden launch.  Oh, wait... schedule pressure is changing that, too?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 05/10/2017 11:00 AM
Could extra SLS/Orions be launched between EM-1 and EM-2?

Before 2016 + 8 = 2024?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/10/2017 01:13 PM
Could extra SLS/Orions be launched between EM-1 and EM-2?

Before 2016 + 8 = 2024?

Not sure what 2016 + 8 means...

But, the mobile launcher needs to be rebuilt (including massive new cable runs -- old ones need to be cut out) as soon as EM-1 is complete (in the early 2020s).  Nothing can be launched for the next three years or so after ML disassembly begins which gets us to about 2024-2025.  So, one launch between now and 2024.

Make a new mobile launcher???  Bad idea, but sure, if new buckets of money become available.
It might be available a couple years before 2024.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 05/10/2017 01:38 PM
Could extra SLS/Orions be launched between EM-1 and EM-2?

Before 2016 + 8 = 2024?

Not sure what 2016 + 8 means...

But, the mobile launcher needs to be rebuilt (including massive new cable runs -- old ones need to be cut out) as soon as EM-1 is complete (in the early 2020s).  Nothing can be launched for the next three years or so after ML disassembly begins which gets us to about 2024-2025.  So, one launch between now and 2024.

Make a new mobile launcher???  Bad idea, but sure, if new buckets of money become available.
It might be available a couple years before 2024.

A two term president is in office for 8 years. Trump was elected in 2016 so any stunt designed to make him look good, such as a manned SLS/Orion flight, has to be no later than 2024.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 05/10/2017 03:02 PM
If this does go ahead (which I expect, especially now that Trump needs a distraction from his removal of FBI director Comey), what I would really love to see (but don't expect to) is an explanation from NASA as to why this makes sense now but did not in the past.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/10/2017 05:55 PM
If this does go ahead (which I expect, especially now that Trump needs a distraction from his removal of FBI director Comey), what I would really love to see (but don't expect to) is an explanation from NASA as to why this makes sense now but did not in the past.
I complete agree and like you I am incredibly dubious that any kind of explanation along those lines will ever appear.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/10/2017 06:14 PM
If reports of the latest SLS mishap (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38021.msg1676563#msg1676563) are true, then EM-1 is going to be delayed a while. I can't work out if that makes a crewed first flight more or less likely ... (assuming they get that far)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 05/10/2017 11:14 PM
IMHO What Trump wants is a firework display that will go down in the history books. Making EM-1 manned counts as a 'brave decision', if the crew die Trump will look a failure. The capsule does not have to be an Orion providing it has the Stars and Stripes on the side.

What other spectacular missions can fly in 2020 and 2024?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/11/2017 06:50 AM
IMHO What Trump wants is a firework display that will go down in the history books. Making EM-1 manned counts as a 'brave decision', if the crew die Trump will look a failure. The capsule does not have to be an Orion providing it has the Stars and Stripes on the side.

What other spectacular missions can fly in 2020 and 2024?
non-NASA missions like (a repeat of) the SpaceX circumlunar mission and Red Dragon missions in 2020, 2022 and 2024.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/11/2017 06:57 AM
TBH this sounds a bit like the first STS flight. Later analysis found the flight was a lot riskier than believed as they didn't quite understand orbiter aerodynamics as well as they thought they did.

However STS was designed from day one to be impossible to fly without a crew whereas Orion is not.

I'd agree it seems a very late decision to try this having spent so long avoiding doing it for the 2nd flight. I guess the practical question is with the SLS issues does that delay first launch enough to make the needed changes to Orion to do this, starting with can you avoid needing the SM to do it?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/11/2017 07:08 AM
I think the fastest and safest way to crew to fly on SLS is to have an uncrewed flight of SLS Block I in 2019, crew rate the ICPS and then fly another Block I with crew in 2020. At the same time, pony up the money for another LUT for Block IB to minimise the gap between launches. I don't think the VAB needs to have the other high bay done. The third SLS launch should be unmanned as well, since the EUS will be brand new. It can carry up the DSG to Lunar orbit. This means the EUS should be designed to last four days, which comes in handy for Lunar landing missions. The fourth mission is a crewed Block IB to the DSG.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/11/2017 10:39 AM
The problem with adding more launches is that it makes RS-25 suddenly become a long pole.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/11/2017 11:52 AM
If this does go ahead (which I expect, especially now that Trump needs a distraction from his removal of FBI director Comey), ...

Respectfully this president doesn't want or need a distraction. The opposition will make an issue out of anything he does. So expect it, ignore it, and move on please.

Personally I believe it was the NASA leadership which requested the change in a knee-jerk reaction to the SpaceX announcement of a circumlunar flight years before a crewed Orion is supposed to fly. It was, to them, a perfect way to appeal to this president’s desire to MAGA, appealing to his ego.

To me it is a foolish thing to do. No matter what they do, SpaceX is going to cause NASA a lot of embarrassment when they complete that flight years before a crewed EM-1 flies. Even though the SpaceX flight timetable has moved to the right because of the delays with the maiden flight of FH, there is nothing, and I mean nothing that NASA can do to  prevent the embarrassment. No matter what they do, a crewed EM-1 will still fly at least a couple of years after SpaceX has accomplished their mission. NASA *should* just suck it up, wish them well and move on with its own plans, sticking to a SAFE SLS/Orion time table and forget about this foolish, very high risk and totally zero-value-added crewed EM-1 knee-jerk reaction.

What I suggest they do instead of Crewing EM-1 is concentrate on making the switch from ICPS to EUS sooner rather than later. That at least actually has value.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/11/2017 12:48 PM
If this does go ahead (which I expect, especially now that Trump needs a distraction from his removal of FBI director Comey), ...

Respectfully this president doesn't want or need a distraction. The opposition will make an issue out of anything he does. So expect it, ignore it, and move on please.

Personally I believe it was the NASA leadership which requested the change in a knee-jerk reaction to the SpaceX announcement of a circumlunar flight years before a crewed Orion is supposed to fly. It was, to them, a perfect way to appeal to this president’s desire to MAGA, appealing to his ego.

To me it is a foolish thing to do. No matter what they do, SpaceX is going to cause NASA a lot of embarrassment when they complete that flight years before a crewed EM-1 flies. Even though the SpaceX flight timetable has moved to the right because of the delays with the maiden flight of FH, there is nothing, and I mean nothing that NASA can do to  prevent the embarrassment. No matter what they do, a crewed EM-1 will still fly at least a couple of years after SpaceX has accomplished their mission. NASA *should* just suck it up, wish them well and move on with its own plans, sticking to a SAFE SLS/Orion time table and forget about this foolish, very high risk and totally zero-value-added crewed EM-1 knee-jerk reaction.

What I suggest they do instead of Crewing EM-1 is concentrate on making the switch from ICPS to EUS sooner rather than later. That at least actually has value.

I think your suggestion is utter nonsense as the suggestion quite clearly came from the administration not NASA.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Ictogan on 05/11/2017 12:52 PM
If this does go ahead (which I expect, especially now that Trump needs a distraction from his removal of FBI director Comey), ...

Respectfully this president doesn't want or need a distraction. The opposition will make an issue out of anything he does. So expect it, ignore it, and move on please.

Personally I believe it was the NASA leadership which requested the change in a knee-jerk reaction to the SpaceX announcement of a circumlunar flight years before a crewed Orion is supposed to fly. It was, to them, a perfect way to appeal to this president’s desire to MAGA, appealing to his ego.

To me it is a foolish thing to do. No matter what they do, SpaceX is going to cause NASA a lot of embarrassment when they complete that flight years before a crewed EM-1 flies. Even though the SpaceX flight timetable has moved to the right because of the delays with the maiden flight of FH, there is nothing, and I mean nothing that NASA can do to  prevent the embarrassment. No matter what they do, a crewed EM-1 will still fly at least a couple of years after SpaceX has accomplished their mission. NASA *should* just suck it up, wish them well and move on with its own plans, sticking to a SAFE SLS/Orion time table and forget about this foolish, very high risk and totally zero-value-added crewed EM-1 knee-jerk reaction.

What I suggest they do instead of Crewing EM-1 is concentrate on making the switch from ICPS to EUS sooner rather than later. That at least actually has value.
It being a reaction to SpaceX's announcement would sure be a nice theory if only it wasn't 12 days earlier than SpaceX's announcement of the circumlunar flight(crewed EM-1 memo being February 15 and SX announcement February 27).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/11/2017 01:40 PM

Star One and Ictogan: You don't seriously believe that NASA had no clue what was coming do you? I promise you NASA knew about the SpaceX circumlunar flight a long time before it was announced, well before 2017/02/15. Trust me; it was not a surprise.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: tvg98 on 05/11/2017 02:40 PM

Star One and Ictogan: You don't seriously believe that NASA had no clue what was coming do you? I promise you NASA knew about the SpaceX circumlunar flight a long time before it was announced, well before 2017/02/15. Trust me; it was not a surprise.

It sure wasn't. https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5x7fj0/spacexs_private_lunar_mission_in_work_for_last/degehd7/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5x7fj0/spacexs_private_lunar_mission_in_work_for_last/degehd7/)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/11/2017 03:13 PM

Star One and Ictogan: You don't seriously believe that NASA had no clue what was coming do you? I promise you NASA knew about the SpaceX circumlunar flight a long time before it was announced, well before 2017/02/15. Trust me; it was not a surprise.

I think you're more interested in political points scoring if I am being honest.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: su27k on 05/11/2017 03:51 PM
If this does go ahead (which I expect, especially now that Trump needs a distraction from his removal of FBI director Comey), ...

Respectfully this president doesn't want or need a distraction. The opposition will make an issue out of anything he does. So expect it, ignore it, and move on please.

Personally I believe it was the NASA leadership which requested the change in a knee-jerk reaction to the SpaceX announcement of a circumlunar flight years before a crewed Orion is supposed to fly. It was, to them, a perfect way to appeal to this president’s desire to MAGA, appealing to his ego.

To me it is a foolish thing to do. No matter what they do, SpaceX is going to cause NASA a lot of embarrassment when they complete that flight years before a crewed EM-1 flies. Even though the SpaceX flight timetable has moved to the right because of the delays with the maiden flight of FH, there is nothing, and I mean nothing that NASA can do to  prevent the embarrassment. No matter what they do, a crewed EM-1 will still fly at least a couple of years after SpaceX has accomplished their mission. NASA *should* just suck it up, wish them well and move on with its own plans, sticking to a SAFE SLS/Orion time table and forget about this foolish, very high risk and totally zero-value-added crewed EM-1 knee-jerk reaction.

What I suggest they do instead of Crewing EM-1 is concentrate on making the switch from ICPS to EUS sooner rather than later. That at least actually has value.

I think your suggestion is utter nonsense as the suggestion quite clearly came from the administration not NASA.

The idea was cooked up by senior NASA official and old space faction of the transition team, this much is public knowledge, see http://spacenews.com/nasa-moving-ahead-with-plans-for-cislunar-human-outpost/

Quote
The idea of the study had its roots in the potential for other delays in EM-1. Chris Shank, who led the NASA “landing team” for the incoming Trump administration late last year, said on a conference panel that Gerstenmaier informed him at a meeting that the service module for that mission, being provided by the European Space Agency, could be delivered several months late.

“We asked, if given more time, if there are some additional things that you could do with the mission,” Shank said. That led to consideration of flying crew on the mission. “As part of the transition, there were no preconceived conclusions. This is genuinely a study on how to get the best bang for the buck.”

As for the SpaceX connection, one of Chris' NASA sources claimed so, see https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/spacex-two-citizens-dragon-2-lunar-mission/

Quote
A NASA HQ source claimed they were not informed about the announcement ahead of Elon’s comments on Monday, although he believes Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and President Trump’s NASA “Landing Team” was briefed, which in turn – the source claimed – was why Mr. Lightfoot asked NASA to conduct a study into accelerating the schedule towards crewed missions on Orion.

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/11/2017 04:01 PM

Star One and Ictogan: You don't seriously believe that NASA had no clue what was coming do you? I promise you NASA knew about the SpaceX circumlunar flight a long time before it was announced, well before 2017/02/15. Trust me; it was not a surprise.

I think you're more interested in political points scoring if I am being honest.

Then you'd be mistaken. Not interested in the slightest. What I am interested in is NASA, HSF and what they are going to do about getting some solid direction and support from a President that doesn't understand what NASA is all about and a Congress that uses it for scoring points in their home districts. Crewing EM-1 is exactly the kind of thing NASA should avoid doing. It is a completely unnecessary gamble in a zero-value-added effort that does next to nothing to help them get a better footing on what they should be doing. There are much better things they could do with their funding and efforts. The list is quite long, any one of which would be more worthy than this. Pick one, any one, and we would be ahead of the game.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/11/2017 04:08 PM

Star One and Ictogan: You don't seriously believe that NASA had no clue what was coming do you? I promise you NASA knew about the SpaceX circumlunar flight a long time before it was announced, well before 2017/02/15. Trust me; it was not a surprise.

I think you're more interested in political points scoring if I am being honest.

Then you'd be mistaken. Not interested in the slightest. What I am interested in is NASA, HSF and what they are going to do about getting some solid direction and support from a President that doesn't understand what NASA is all about and a Congress that uses it for scoring points in their home districts. Crewing EM-1 is exactly the kind of thing NASA should avoid doing. It is a completely unnecessary gamble in a zero-value-added effort that does next to nothing to help them get a better footing on what they should be doing. There are much better things they could do with their funding and efforts. The list is quite long, any one of which would be more worthy than this. Pick one, any one, and we would be ahead of the game.

Why you seem to be determined to apportion the majority of the responsibility for the root of this idea on NASA rather than the administration I don't know.
Title: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/11/2017 04:10 PM
If this does go ahead (which I expect, especially now that Trump needs a distraction from his removal of FBI director Comey), ...

Respectfully this president doesn't want or need a distraction. The opposition will make an issue out of anything he does. So expect it, ignore it, and move on please.

Personally I believe it was the NASA leadership which requested the change in a knee-jerk reaction to the SpaceX announcement of a circumlunar flight years before a crewed Orion is supposed to fly. It was, to them, a perfect way to appeal to this president’s desire to MAGA, appealing to his ego.

To me it is a foolish thing to do. No matter what they do, SpaceX is going to cause NASA a lot of embarrassment when they complete that flight years before a crewed EM-1 flies. Even though the SpaceX flight timetable has moved to the right because of the delays with the maiden flight of FH, there is nothing, and I mean nothing that NASA can do to  prevent the embarrassment. No matter what they do, a crewed EM-1 will still fly at least a couple of years after SpaceX has accomplished their mission. NASA *should* just suck it up, wish them well and move on with its own plans, sticking to a SAFE SLS/Orion time table and forget about this foolish, very high risk and totally zero-value-added crewed EM-1 knee-jerk reaction.

What I suggest they do instead of Crewing EM-1 is concentrate on making the switch from ICPS to EUS sooner rather than later. That at least actually has value.

I think your suggestion is utter nonsense as the suggestion quite clearly came from the administration not NASA.

The idea was cooked up by senior NASA official and old space faction of the transition team, this much is public knowledge, see http://spacenews.com/nasa-moving-ahead-with-plans-for-cislunar-human-outpost/

Quote
The idea of the study had its roots in the potential for other delays in EM-1. Chris Shank, who led the NASA “landing team” for the incoming Trump administration late last year, said on a conference panel that Gerstenmaier informed him at a meeting that the service module for that mission, being provided by the European Space Agency, could be delivered several months late.

“We asked, if given more time, if there are some additional things that you could do with the mission,” Shank said. That led to consideration of flying crew on the mission. “As part of the transition, there were no preconceived conclusions. This is genuinely a study on how to get the best bang for the buck.”

As for the SpaceX connection, one of Chris' NASA sources claimed so, see https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/spacex-two-citizens-dragon-2-lunar-mission/

Quote
A NASA HQ source claimed they were not informed about the announcement ahead of Elon’s comments on Monday, although he believes Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and President Trump’s NASA “Landing Team” was briefed, which in turn – the source claimed – was why Mr. Lightfoot asked NASA to conduct a study into accelerating the schedule towards crewed missions on Orion.

Well surely then that's on the administration not NASA as Lightfoot is Trump's man so to speak? Also using the term old space attempts to hide what this really is, which is more Trump people origination the idea.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 05/11/2017 04:54 PM
IMHO What Trump wants is a firework display that will go down in the history books. Making EM-1 manned counts as a 'brave decision', if the crew die Trump will look a failure. The capsule does not have to be an Orion providing it has the Stars and Stripes on the side.

What other spectacular missions can fly in 2020 and 2024?
non-NASA missions like (a repeat of) the SpaceX circumlunar mission and Red Dragon missions in 2020, 2022 and 2024.

NASA is paying SpaceX to fly the Dragon 2 to ISS whilst staying in LEO. Flights beyond LEO, like a circumlunar mission, are outside the tested envelope. The first time an aircraft deliberately goes out the the tested envelope is a test flight. Test flights are meant to be flown by test pilots not members of the public. NASA astronauts used to be test pilots.

SpaceX have signalled that they would be happy for NASA to fly the first circumlunar mission. The equipment being tested includes radiation protection, electronics in high radiation environment, heat protection/handling, ECLSS for a longer period and the deep space guidance system.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/11/2017 07:03 PM
... Why you seem to be determined to apportion the majority of the responsibility for the root of this idea on NASA rather than the administration I don't know.

... as Lightfoot is Trump's man so to speak?

Robert Lightfoot is decidedly not "Trump's man". He was serving at NASA long before Mr. Trump even became a candidate, let alone win an election. He has been with NASA since 1989. He became Associate Administrator on September 25, 2012. He became "Acting" Administrator at noon on January 20, 2017 when Charlie Bolden left the agency. He was not appointed by Mr. Trump. So I have no idea how you can refer to him as "Trump's man".

The SpaceX circumlunar mission has been in the works for over 2 years. While not "public" knowledge, because of the transparency between NASA and SpaceX working so closely together it is highly improbable that the Administrator and Associate Administrator didn't know about it. In fact it is far more likely that they knew than they didn't know. So when the Landing Team asked Mr. Lightfoot for ideas, he (as NASA's Acting Administrator) suggested crewing Orion for EM-1, [speculation] because he knew that SpaceX had a circumlunar mission in the works. My guess is that he hoped to get it approved and announced before SpaceX announced their mission. That would have put NASA ahead of the game instead of behind the 8-ball. [/speculation]

So while the crewing of EM-1 came out of a NASA meeting with the incoming administration of Mr. Trump, it was NASA's man, not Trump's man, that made the suggestion about crewing EM-1. But even if one takes the position that Mr. Lightfoot did not know about the SpaceX mission, it was still a NASA suggestion, not an administration suggestion.

I hope this highly plausible explanation of how we got a crewed EM-1 is sufficient.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: mme on 05/11/2017 08:14 PM
Personally not a fan of DT but I think hanging this on him is a bit much even if he personally asked for it (which I doubt.) I certainly don't blame Ronald Reagan for the Challenger accident even if NASA felt political pressure to launch. NASA needs to push back when pressured to do something reckless.

I think the important and interesting conversation will be when we get NASA's assessment on crewing EM-1. Who knows, maybe there will be a good trade off to crew EM-1 (though I doubt that as well.) Or maybe they'll say "sure, but it will cost 10 billion dollars" - which is another way to say "no." Any clues on when we will get the official assessment rather than the tease that the assessment are done?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/11/2017 08:26 PM
Personally not a fan of DT but I think hanging this on him is a bit much even if he personally asked for it (which I doubt.) I certainly don't blame Ronald Reagan for the Challenger accident even if NASA felt political pressure to launch. NASA needs to push back when pressured to do something reckless.

I think the important and interesting conversation will be when we get NASA's assessment on crewing EM-1. Who knows, maybe there will be a good trade off to crew EM-1 (though I doubt that as well.) Or maybe they'll say "sure, but it will cost 10 billion dollars" - which is another way to say "no." Any clues on when we will get the official assessment rather than the tease that the assessment are done?
I really don't believe NASA are that keen on manning this mission and suspect as you do that the diplomatic way to make this go away is to state just how costly this change of direction will be at this late stage.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/11/2017 09:04 PM

Personally I believe it was the NASA leadership which requested the change in a knee-jerk reaction to the SpaceX announcement of a circumlunar flight years before a crewed Orion is supposed to fly. It was, to them, a perfect way to appeal to this president’s desire to MAGA, appealing to his ego.

To me it is a foolish thing to do. No matter what they do, SpaceX is going to cause NASA a lot of embarrassment when they complete that flight years before a crewed EM-1 flies. Even though the SpaceX flight timetable has moved to the right because of the delays with the maiden flight of FH, there is nothing, and I mean nothing that NASA can do to  prevent the embarrassment. No matter what they do, a crewed EM-1 will still fly at least a couple of years after SpaceX has accomplished their mission. NASA *should* just suck it up, wish them well and move on with its own plans, sticking to a SAFE SLS/Orion time table and forget about this foolish, very high risk and totally zero-value-added crewed EM-1 knee-jerk reaction.
I think that's a bit of a broad brush. NASA is 11 centers. SX seems to enjoy quite good relationships with several of them ( Johnson and Ames spring to mind) but IIRC SLS is based around Marshall at Alabama.

I think SX have been quite careful to be polite and respectful to NASA's history and aims. They are on a path and if some centers feel embarrassed by their progress perhaps the center should re-consider either their goals or how they go about progressing toward their goals. But in practice there seems no way that some centers won't feel a bit embarrassed by SX's progress over time. :(

SLS is what you get if you a large project through BAU management processes that have grown up in a bureaucracy that's grown by accretion over the last 40+ years.  :(
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/11/2017 09:10 PM
If and when NASA is ever asked to comment on the SpaceX mission all they have to say as government agency is BTDT...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/11/2017 09:38 PM
Eric Berger twitter:
Quote
At this point I wouldn't bet on a crewed Orion flight by 2024.

Responding to NASA Watch:
Quote
Odd op ed from someone drinking Trump's Koolaid. Just because you want to go to Mars by 2024 does not mean that it can actually happen.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/11/2017 09:45 PM
IMHO What Trump wants is a firework display that will go down in the history books. Making EM-1 manned counts as a 'brave decision', if the crew die Trump will look a failure. The capsule does not have to be an Orion providing it has the Stars and Stripes on the side.

What other spectacular missions can fly in 2020 and 2024?
non-NASA missions like (a repeat of) the SpaceX circumlunar mission and Red Dragon missions in 2020, 2022 and 2024.

NASA is paying SpaceX to fly the Dragon 2 to ISS whilst staying in LEO. Flights beyond LEO, like a circumlunar mission, are outside the tested envelope. The first time an aircraft deliberately goes out the the tested envelope is a test flight. Test flights are meant to be flown by test pilots not members of the public. NASA astronauts used to be test pilots.

SpaceX have signalled that they would be happy for NASA to fly the first circumlunar mission. The equipment being tested includes radiation protection, electronics in high radiation environment, heat protection/handling, ECLSS for a longer period and the deep space guidance system.

Noted the calendar... it is not 1967, it is 2017.
Since when does NASA dictate such things to private companies?

If SpaceX chose to, they could already be flying passengers. 
Wouldn't make NASA very happy, though.

And Dragon is not an aircraft.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 05/11/2017 11:41 PM
NASA cannot dictate such things to a private company since it is not a regulatory agency. However the FAA is a regulatory agency. The FAA can deny the mission a launch licence.

The US Government would have to pay for any flight carrying NASA astronauts.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=48ceb1cf1c9b9cda00e0d0f7e8d18b27&mc=true&node=pt14.4.460&rgn=div5 (https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=48ceb1cf1c9b9cda00e0d0f7e8d18b27&mc=true&node=pt14.4.460&rgn=div5)
Quote
§460.5   Crew qualifications and training.
{snip}

(c) A pilot and a remote operator must—

(1) Possess and carry an FAA pilot certificate with an instrument rating.

(2) Possess aeronautical knowledge, experience, and skills necessary to pilot and control the launch or reentry vehicle that will operate in the National Airspace System (NAS). Aeronautical experience may include hours in flight, ratings, and training.

(3) Receive vehicle and mission-specific training for each phase of flight by using one or more of the following—

{snip}
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/12/2017 03:32 AM
Eric Berger:

Quote
Credible rumor: Two sources say NASA to announce EM-1 plans Friday. No crew. Delayed into late 2019. Hard to see this as a positive if true.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/862849532094275584 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/862849532094275584)

If true I think not risking crew on the first flight is a real positive compared with doing it ... Clearly delay not positive but also not a surprise.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/12/2017 07:09 AM
As for the SpaceX connection, one of Chris' NASA sources claimed so, see https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/spacex-two-citizens-dragon-2-lunar-mission/

Quote
A NASA HQ source claimed they were not informed about the announcement ahead of Elon’s comments on Monday, although he believes Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and President Trump’s NASA “Landing Team” was briefed, which in turn – the source claimed – was why Mr. Lightfoot asked NASA to conduct a study into accelerating the schedule towards crewed missions on Orion.

SpaceX briefed the NASA landing team quite some time before Elon's announcement of the circumlunar mission.
However, Most of NASA itself was informed just very shortly before the announcement.

What happened was this (based on source information at NASA)
Trump's Landing Team for NASA had been fully aware of the SpaceX circumlunar mission several weeks, courtesy of them having been briefed by SpaceX.
This was several weeks before Elon publically announced the circumlunar mission.
That led to the Trump Landing Team, in conjunction with acting NASA administrator Mr. Lightfoot, to request NASA to perform a study into the feasibility of putting crew on EM-1.
However, NASA HQ was not informed of the exact reason behind this request. So, while the Trump Landing Team knew the exact reason, Mr. Lightfoot most likely didn't.

Then, just a few days before the public announcement, NASA was informed of the SpaceX circumlunar mission via an email sent to Cathy Lueders (Commercial Crew Program Manager) and others at NASA HQ.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/12/2017 07:26 AM
The problem with adding more launches is that it makes RS-25 suddenly become a long pole.

Not really. RS-25 production is being restarted and at two launches a years, that's only eight engines a year that need to be made. The RS-25E is I believe also being designed to be easier to make than the previous RS-25D used on the Space Shuttle.
Title: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/12/2017 08:28 AM
Eric Berger:

Quote
Credible rumor: Two sources say NASA to announce EM-1 plans Friday. No crew. Delayed into late 2019. Hard to see this as a positive if true.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/862849532094275584 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/862849532094275584)

If true I think not risking crew on the first flight is a real positive compared with doing it ... Clearly delay not positive but also not a surprise.

Does this then turn into wondering if SLS will ever fly? And starting to be seen as an irrelevance in the face of private competition.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/12/2017 09:34 AM
Eric Berger twitter:
Quote
At this point I wouldn't bet on a crewed Orion flight by 2024.

Responding to NASA Watch:
Quote
Odd op ed from someone drinking Trump's Koolaid. Just because you want to go to Mars by 2024 does not mean that it can actually happen.
The latestst NASAwatch entry is not that that optimistic on SLS. Do you mean Space News?

http://spacenews.com/trumps-right-a-mars-mission-by-2024-is-possible/

[EDIT TL:DR He thinks $30Bn can get a flags & footprints mission to Mars with a Columbus module for living space and a Dragon 2 for the landing. 6 years because "America is better at sprints than marathons."   


In pursuance of this sites profanity policy I express polite skepticism of the suggested plan. ]

I wonder who chose Ms Rubins from the astronaut corps?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/12/2017 10:27 AM
Eric Berger twitter:
Quote
At this point I wouldn't bet on a crewed Orion flight by 2024.

Responding to NASA Watch:
Quote
Odd op ed from someone drinking Trump's Koolaid. Just because you want to go to Mars by 2024 does not mean that it can actually happen.
The latestst NASAwatch entry is not that that optimistic on SLS. Do you mean Space News?

http://spacenews.com/trumps-right-a-mars-mission-by-2024-is-possible/

[EDIT TL:DR He thinks $30Bn can get a flags & footprints mission to Mars with a Columbus module for living space and a Dragon 2 for the landing. 6 years because "America is better at sprints than marathons."   


In pursuance of this sites profanity policy I express polite skepticism of the suggested plan. ]

I wonder who chose Ms Rubins from the astronaut corps?

Emphasis mine.
Goes to show just how disconnected some of those folks are. The production line for Columbus was shut down ages ago. Re-doing Columbus is thus silly. Might just as well develop something new.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/12/2017 10:48 AM
Would I be right in saying that the Cygnus cargo can is basically using the same basic tooling and configuration as the ISS modules? It is non-trivial to do but surely it would be possible to turn the Cygnus can into the basis for a deep space crew habitat or lab. Plug it into a ATV or ESM instead of the Cygnus bus if you need more bang for your buck.

In the end, it's always a case of 'show me the money' but I'm convinced that if NASA were to make a competition of it, they could manage a fixed-schedule and reasonable-budget option or two.

That said, this is something that should have been done years ago as a starting mission module for SLS. The problem is that the rocket has been the only thing and no-one has been talking seriously about near-term payloads up until quite recently.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 05/12/2017 11:04 AM
Plug it into a ATV or ESM instead of the Cygnus bus if you need more bang for your buck.

In the end, it's always a case of 'show me the money' but I'm convinced that if NASA were to make a competition of it, they could manage a fixed-schedule and reasonable-budget option or two.

That said, this is something that should have been done years ago as a starting mission module for SLS. The problem is that the rocket has been the only thing and no-one has been talking seriously about near-term payloads up until quite recently.

ATV is ended, no?  IIRC, obsolescence was called out as a factor: the design was done long enough ago that many parts weren't being made anymore.

This is a big danger to a program like SLS, where, for budgetary reasons, hardware is being designed and built in serial.  Each piece looks to take 5-10 years to come to fruition.  By the time you get to step 4, the hardware you built in steps 1 and 2 is effectively obsolete.  This was a problem for STS at the end, and is a problem for the space suits now, and I suspect it will be a constant problem for SLS within 10 years.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/12/2017 12:29 PM
More news (bad, of course):
Quote
A Week Of Bad News For SLS
-- Keith Cowing
Quote
This is not going to position NASA in a good place. First they have big, chronic delays with the overall SLS program. Then the SLS software program is shown to be bogus. Then they have welding issues. Then they drop the LOX dome. Now there is no way to do EM-1 without money that will never be there. And even if the money was there the existing slip would simply be magnified by attempts to human-rate EM-1, bring Orion systems forward etc. There are not enough people or capacity to take the extra money even if it was there

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/05/a-week-of-bad-n.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+nasawatch%2FAekt+%28NASA+Watch%29

Software 'bogus'?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/12/2017 12:56 PM
Plug it into a ATV or ESM instead of the Cygnus bus if you need more bang for your buck.

In the end, it's always a case of 'show me the money' but I'm convinced that if NASA were to make a competition of it, they could manage a fixed-schedule and reasonable-budget option or two.

That said, this is something that should have been done years ago as a starting mission module for SLS. The problem is that the rocket has been the only thing and no-one has been talking seriously about near-term payloads up until quite recently.

ATV is ended, no?  IIRC, obsolescence was called out as a factor: the design was done long enough ago that many parts weren't being made anymore.

This is a big danger to a program like SLS, where, for budgetary reasons, hardware is being designed and built in serial.  Each piece looks to take 5-10 years to come to fruition.  By the time you get to step 4, the hardware you built in steps 1 and 2 is effectively obsolete.  This was a problem for STS at the end, and is a problem for the space suits now, and I suspect it will be a constant problem for SLS within 10 years.

Isn't Orion service module ATV derived?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/12/2017 12:59 PM
Isn't Orion service module ATV derived?

Yeah, that's why I mentioned the ESM as an alternative. You'd need to add an avionics module to fly the spacecraft, though.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/12/2017 02:14 PM
Teleconference:
Quote
NASA will provide an update on the status of Exploration Mission-1, the first integrated flight of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, during a media teleconference at 3 p.m. EDT today, May 12.
Quote
Listen to today’s media teleconference live online at: https://www.nasa.gov/live
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/12/2017 02:35 PM
Quote
NASA Study Warns Against Putting Crew On Huge Rocket’s First Flight

A review ordered by the Trump administration finds costs and scheduling problems.
by Justin Bachman
12 May 2017, 10:00 BST

A NASA working group has concluded after a two-month review that sending astronauts on the first flight of its massive new rocket wouldn’t be feasible due to the immense costs of safely accommodating a crew on the planned 2019 mission, the first step in America’s return to human space exploration.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-12/nasa-study-warns-against-putting-crew-on-huge-rocket-s-first-flight (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-12/nasa-study-warns-against-putting-crew-on-huge-rocket-s-first-flight)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/12/2017 03:05 PM
So, is there an issue with the SLS software?????
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/12/2017 03:08 PM
Just saw this:

NASA Study Warns Against Putting Crew On Huge Rocket’s First Flight (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-12/nasa-study-warns-against-putting-crew-on-huge-rocket-s-first-flight) - Bloomberg

From the article, which is based on an anonymous source:

"A NASA working group has concluded after a two-month review that sending astronauts on the first flight of its massive new rocket wouldn’t be feasible due to the immense costs of safely accommodating a crew on the planned 2019 mission, the first step in America’s return to human space exploration."
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 05/12/2017 03:11 PM
So, is there an issue with the SLS software?????


Cowing has posted a couple of times over the last several months that the software for SLS is not in good shape, and that much functionality has been deferred to later releases.  If you dig around over there, you'll get a little more info, but there's not the solid kind of info you'd expect to find at, say, NSF L2.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisC on 05/12/2017 03:16 PM
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-holds-media-teleconference-today-on-exploration-mission-1-status

Quote
NASA Holds Media Teleconference Today on Exploration Mission-1 Status

NASA will provide an update on the status of Exploration Mission-1, the first integrated flight of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, during a media teleconference at 3 p.m. EDT today, May 12.

The call will stream live on NASA’s website.

The teleconference participants are:

    Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot
    Associate Administrator of NASA’s Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate William Gerstenmaier

Listen to today’s media teleconference live online at:

https://www.nasa.gov/live

Would someone PLEASE record this?  Historically, NASA makes it very difficult to listen to these after they happen.  This isn't a briefing on NASA TV and won't show up on Youtube.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: mme on 05/12/2017 03:17 PM
Just saw this:

NASA Study Warns Against Putting Crew On Huge Rocket’s First Flight (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-12/nasa-study-warns-against-putting-crew-on-huge-rocket-s-first-flight) - Bloomberg

From the article, which is based on an anonymous source:

"A NASA working group has concluded after a two-month review that sending astronauts on the first flight of its massive new rocket wouldn’t be feasible due to the inability to the immense costs of safely accommodateing a crew on the planned 2019 mission, the first step in America’s return to human space exploration."

Fixed that for them
They're just making sure that no means no. "It's not safe and to make it safe will cost billions so forget about it."

Seems like we should give NASA some props for coming to a sane conclusion.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/12/2017 04:00 PM
So long as the 9th Floor came to that conclusion from a safety and good management line of reasoning.  If they decided to fly crew on EM-1 for political reasons (and believed politics was more important than safety and/or management concerns), but Congress said no new money is available, then no cudo's are in order.  Congress would have (probably inadvertently) just saved NASA from an indefensible decision. 

We'll see how the 3PM statements from Gerst/Lightfoot spin the decision.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 05/12/2017 04:14 PM
[EDIT TL:DR He thinks $30Bn can get a flags & footprints mission to Mars with a Columbus module for living space and a Dragon 2 for the landing. 6 years because "America is better at sprints than marathons."   


In pursuance of this sites profanity policy I express polite skepticism of the suggested plan.

To add to the skepticism, let me point out that the launch costs of $10 billion or so strongly suggest that SLS would not be used.  Canning SLS would annoy, among others, Jeff Sessions, and that's not something Trump would do, especially not right now (IMHO, of course).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/12/2017 04:19 PM
Quote
NASA Study Warns Against Putting Crew On Huge Rocket’s First Flight

A review ordered by the Trump administration finds costs and scheduling problems.
by Justin Bachman
12 May 2017, 10:00 BST

A NASA working group has concluded after a two-month review that sending astronauts on the first flight of its massive new rocket wouldn’t be feasible due to the immense costs of safely accommodating a crew on the planned 2019 mission, the first step in America’s return to human space exploration.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-12/nasa-study-warns-against-putting-crew-on-huge-rocket-s-first-flight (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-12/nasa-study-warns-against-putting-crew-on-huge-rocket-s-first-flight)
Good news.  Common sense prevails somewhere.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jgoldader on 05/12/2017 04:42 PM

Isn't Orion service module ATV derived?

Derived, absolutely.  But the OP seemed to suggest there was an ATV on the shelf, and there isn't.  I should have addressed that the SM *is* ATV-derived, thanks for calling me out on it.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 05/12/2017 04:44 PM
Isn't Orion service module ATV derived?

If by 'derived' you mean the same way that SLS is derived from Shuttle...  So the same contractors, but not as much hardware commonality as you would expect.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 05:17 PM
NO quote abuse! "Fixed that for you" is the play thing of the scallywag. We'll delete such posts and people quoting it in responses.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 05:47 PM
I will be a part of this teleconference.  I'll post here as it goes down.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/12/2017 06:27 PM
Good news.  Common sense prevails somewhere.
Amen to that.

TBH I never really understood why anyone thought this was a good idea in the first place, given the trouble over swapping the upper stages from a non man rated to a man rated design.  :(

The modern NASA does not exactly seem to be "agile" in the face of quick changes in direction.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/12/2017 06:34 PM
To add to the skepticism, let me point out that the launch costs of $10 billion or so strongly suggest that SLS would not be used.  Canning SLS would annoy, among others, Jeff Sessions, and that's not something Trump would do, especially not right now (IMHO, of course).
There is also the matter that $30Bn is about a $5bn/PA hike in NASA funding. IE roughly a 25% increase during those 6 years.

In theory this would not be problem, given the Republicans substantial majority in both Houses. It would simply be a case of the White House stating the policy.

However I've learned enough about US politics to know that just having a substantial majority is still not enough to actually get a policy implemented, assuming the White House has a policy to begin with.  :(

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 05/12/2017 06:40 PM
NASA email just went out that confirms the Bloomberg report.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/12/2017 06:57 PM
Lightfoot's letter:
Quote
NASA appreciates the energy, creativity, and depth of engineering and program analysis that was brought to the decision, but ultimately, the decision was made not to fly crew on the first flight after weighing the data and assessing all implications. However, the work we did on this evaluation will flow into our planning for the next two years. We look forward to using this information to strengthen our EM-2 posture.
 
We are grateful for the near-term flexibility offered by the FY 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, and we are confident that we remain technically capable of launching crew on EM-1. However, after evaluating cost, risk, and technical factors in a project of this magnitude, it is difficult to accommodate changes needed for a crewed EM-1 mission at this time.

http://spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=50118
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 07:01 PM
Been some crap posts on this thread. Improve or we'll trim.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 07:05 PM
Lightfoot: Working with White House, could we stretch and put crew on EM-1.  Thanks White House for opportunity to look at this. States White House has been "incredibly supportive" of the going forward into the next decade.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 07:06 PM
Lightfoot: Teams did a great deal of work.  Study broke into two areas: 1) Review decisions already made for EM-1 as uncrewed.  2) What in EM-2 would need to be brought forward, like life support and software.

At end of day, it was technically feasible, but with mitigation.  Largest stopping point was funding needed.  States concretely that they came together with White House to ...

NOT crew on EM-1.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 07:07 PM
Lightfoot says it was technically feasible (if a challenge) to put a crew on EM-1, but White House looked at the costs, said stay the path.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 07:08 PM
Lightfoot: "We know we need to move EM-1 into 2019."  States there's no concrete date as teams look at issues they're working.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 07:08 PM
Lightfoot: We've also been looking at the schedule. Tank issues/MAF damage. Shined a brighter light. Moving to 2019. Not sure when.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 07:10 PM
Gerst now talking about all the stuff that's coming up for SLS in the next few months.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 07:11 PM
Gerst: MAF Tornado really set back the schedule: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/?s=MAF+tornado
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 07:14 PM
SLS STA LOX Dome. Gerst calling it a class B mishap.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 07:17 PM
EM-1 Crew team had found some ways around the challenges of Life Support on Orion. Atlas V crew EDS would have worked on EM-1 ICPS!
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 05/12/2017 07:17 PM
Discussion on the line sounds pretty much like the study was at the White House's request.  That should put to bed the discussion of whose idea it was.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 07:22 PM
Whoa!  Gerst just said EM-2 in August 2021 with some move to the right.

(Update: Forgot to say "EM-2" in original post)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 07:24 PM
Costs of crewing EM-1 was $600 million to $900 million.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Mnethercutt on 05/12/2017 07:25 PM
Whoa!  Gerst just said August 2021 with some move to the right.

I believe that was for EM-2, not EM-1.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 07:27 PM
Whoa!  Gerst just said August 2021 with some move to the right.

I believe that was for EM-2, not EM-1.

Yes.  Forgot to put EM-2.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/12/2017 07:27 PM
Gerst: one or two months from picking a new 2019 date for EM-1
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 07:28 PM
Here's Chris Gebhardt's article for this:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/nasa-em-1-uncrewed-costs-main-reason/
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/12/2017 07:33 PM
If EM-1 is sometime in 2019, add 38 months because of the GSE changeover (33 months) + 5 months of schedule reserve (for being able to process and fit check the new vehicle version with the new GSE) for SLS-1B and you get sometime in 2023 for EM-2.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/12/2017 07:33 PM
On the question of "SLS? Why not go with SpaceX?" Lightfoot: It's not an "or" it's an "and". We'll need both/combination (for the entire goal)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Basto on 05/12/2017 07:35 PM
Here's Chris Gebhardt's article for this:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/nasa-em-1-uncrewed-costs-main-reason/

Really great article.  It is very clear from listening to the teleconference that the driving concern was not astronaut safety but cost.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 05/12/2017 07:57 PM
While the delay to 2019 is disappointing I am very happy that NASA decided not to put a crew on EM-1. The risks were too great and there was no real benefit. Kudos for making the right call.



Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/12/2017 08:01 PM
Skip trying to fly SLS-1A and go directly for SLS-1B. Stop installing the SLS-1A GSE and start doing the SLS-1B GSE (PAD/VAB/Crawler). At a reasonable 40 months from current date is Sept 2020. It would require an acceleration of EUS work. They need to do new tanks anyway for Flight and STA so make them (if there is any difference from 1A tank design) 1B tanks. Still fly EM-1 as uncrewed. But a year later or slightly more in 2021/22 they could fly EM-2. In the end they could save billions. It would actually accelerate the first crewed flight date by 1 to 2 years. EUS would get its flight prior to crew. The flight schedule tightens up to 1 per year after first flight. Not 3 to 4 years after first flight for the second one.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: rcoppola on 05/12/2017 08:05 PM
Skip trying to fly SLS-1A and go directly for SLS-1B. Stop installing the SLS-1A GSE and start doing the SLS-1B GSE (PAD/VAB/Crawler). At a reasonable 40 months from current date is Sept 2020. It would require an acceleration of EUS work. They need to do new tanks anyway for Flight and STA so make them (if there is any difference from 1A tank design) 1B tanks. Still fly EM-1 as uncrewed. But a year later or slightly more in 2021/22 they could fly EM-2. In the end they could save billions. It would actually accelerate the first crewed flight date by 1 to 2 years. EUS would get its flight prior to crew. The flight schedule tightens up to 1 per year after first flight. Not 3 to 4 years after first flight for the second one.
is there a way to "Pin" this post on the home page of NSF? Hell, I'd pin it to the top of every NASA/SLS/Orion thread we have!!! Love this post.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 08:07 PM
While the delay to 2019 is disappointing I am very happy that NASA decided not to put a crew on EM-1. The risks were too great and there was no real benefit. Kudos for making the right call.





I agree that not crewing is the right decision.  But...

..."risk" and "benefit" were not what killed this, and Lightfoot made that clear; it was the cost and the White House team not wanting to give the $600 to $900 million extra needed to do this.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: psloss on 05/12/2017 08:12 PM
Lost the stream right at the end, but here's a copy of the telecon audio.  There should be better captures elsewhere online either already or in the near future...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: jtrame on 05/12/2017 08:12 PM
Skip trying to fly SLS-1A and go directly for SLS-1B. Stop installing the SLS-1A GSE and start doing the SLS-1B GSE (PAD/VAB/Crawler). At a reasonable 40 months from current date is Sept 2020. It would require an acceleration of EUS work. They need to do new tanks anyway for Flight and STA so make them (if there is any difference from 1A tank design) 1B tanks. Still fly EM-1 as uncrewed. But a year later or slightly more in 2021/22 they could fly EM-2. In the end they could save billions. It would actually accelerate the first crewed flight date by 1 to 2 years. EUS would get its flight prior to crew. The flight schedule tightens up to 1 per year after first flight. Not 3 to 4 years after first flight for the second one.

And go ahead and make SLS a cargo only and make other arrangements for crew.  This "all up" thinking is a throwback to Apollo, necessary then, not now. 
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/12/2017 08:13 PM
Do we have an idea of how much it cost to study this proposal and reach this conclusion?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/12/2017 08:13 PM
While the delay to 2019 is disappointing I am very happy that NASA decided not to put a crew on EM-1. The risks were too great and there was no real benefit. Kudos for making the right call.





I agree that not crewing is the right decision.  But...

..."risk" and "benefit" were not what killed this, and Lightfoot made that clear; it was the cost and the White House team not wanting to give the $600 to $900 million extra needed to do this.
Was that $.6 to $.9B extra total or per year from now to 2019 above the already expanded budget?

Watch out SLS/Orion program, the administrations is counting pennies.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 08:23 PM
While the delay to 2019 is disappointing I am very happy that NASA decided not to put a crew on EM-1. The risks were too great and there was no real benefit. Kudos for making the right call.





I agree that not crewing is the right decision.  But...

..."risk" and "benefit" were not what killed this, and Lightfoot made that clear; it was the cost and the White House team not wanting to give the $600 to $900 million extra needed to do this.
Was that $.6 to $.9B extra total or per year from now to 2019 above the already expanded budget?

Watch out SLS/Orion program, the administrations is counting pennies.

I'm pretty sure it was the overall amount that would have been needed.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 05/12/2017 08:25 PM
Do we have an idea of how much it cost to study this proposal and reach this conclusion?


There really wasn't an added monetary cost to this.  They didn't hire new people to come in and do this.  The cost was really time and effort (and I guess the portions of the salaries of the people for the portions of their time they spent pulling this all together).

I'm not sure NASA would even have a cost figure for this.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/12/2017 08:36 PM
Do we have an idea of how much it cost to study this proposal and reach this conclusion?


There really wasn't an added monetary cost to this.  They didn't hire new people to come in and do this.  The cost was really time and effort (and I guess the portions of the salaries of the people for the portions of their time they spent pulling this all together).

I'm not sure NASA would even have a cost figure for this.
If it is associated with time such as delay in launch date, the $.6 to $.9B for SLS itself would represent 4 to 6 months delay from the uncrewed launch date. Or about 2Q 2020.

My estimate if they skip trying to fly a SLS 1A version is 3Q 2020. But there must be something lurking in the background that is going to make the first EUS flight no earlier than 2022 anyway to keep the SLS-1A on the table.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 05/12/2017 08:48 PM

I agree that not crewing is the right decision.  But...

..."risk" and "benefit" were not what killed this, and Lightfoot made that clear; it was the cost and the White House team not wanting to give the $600 to $900 million extra needed to do this.

I came in a bit late and the audio kept cutting out so I didn't hear that part very well. Thanks for clearing that up.  Oh well, I'd rather they make the right decision for the "wrong" reason than make the wrong decision.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: RocketmanUS on 05/12/2017 08:56 PM
On the question of "SLS? Why not go with SpaceX?" Lightfoot: It's not an "or" it's an "and". We'll need both/combination (for the entire goal)
What entire goal ( what is this referring to? How many times they can delay the first launch? This is what i keep seeing since CxP for HLV.

The possible missions wear Lunar return followed by crewed Mars ( CxP ). Then NEA was added in as a first BLEO mission after CxP was canceled.

Falcon 9, Atlas V ( Vulcan ) with ACES, and New Glenn could do any or all three plus more along with the regular types of launches needed every year.

What we ( America space program ) needs is a destination for a crewed BLEO mission with proper funding.

Chris we have been hearing this for to long now. Lunar is not my first choice, but the easer, lower cost with near term benefits. Zeus Lunar landers do not need super HLV's, they need tankers for in- space propellant transfer. You should read ( reread ) ULA's papers for cis-Lunar space. That can get the space industry the foot hold it needs and to head out past cis-lunar space.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/12/2017 09:03 PM
On the question of "SLS? Why not go with SpaceX?" Lightfoot: It's not an "or" it's an "and". We'll need both/combination (for the entire goal)

Yes, they have talked about letting commercial 'bring supplies' to the SLS/Orion derived and delivered Deep Space Gateway.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/12/2017 09:04 PM
On the question of "SLS? Why not go with SpaceX?" Lightfoot: It's not an "or" it's an "and". We'll need both/combination (for the entire goal)

Yes, they have talked about letting commercial 'bring supplies' to the SLS/Orion derived and delivered Deep Space Gateway.
See this thread: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42686.msg1676020#msg1676020 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42686.msg1676020#msg1676020)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/12/2017 09:05 PM
While the delay to 2019 is disappointing I am very happy that NASA decided not to put a crew on EM-1. The risks were too great and there was no real benefit. Kudos for making the right call.

I agree that not crewing is the right decision.  But...

..."risk" and "benefit" were not what killed this, and Lightfoot made that clear; it was the cost and the White House team not wanting to give the $600 to $900 million extra needed to do this.

Right call but for the wrong reason. Safety of the crew should have been the #1 concern, not #2. The way this decision was made gives me pause. What if there was a consensus to fund it? Would they have gone ahead and crewed EM-1? I think I am developing a severe headache.  >:(
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 05/12/2017 09:24 PM
Do we have an idea of how much it cost to study this proposal and reach this conclusion?


There really wasn't an added monetary cost to this.  They didn't hire new people to come in and do this.  The cost was really time and effort (and I guess the portions of the salaries of the people for the portions of their time they spent pulling this all together).

I'm not sure NASA would even have a cost figure for this.

I'm willing to bet they could pull one up pretty easily.  I would envision that the effort to respond to this study request was given a dedicated chargeline with its own statement of work.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Kansan52 on 05/12/2017 09:25 PM
My expectation, the people at NASA knew this was unsafe but knew cost would be politically more persuasive. Sad that such machinations are required.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 05/12/2017 09:29 PM
..."risk" and "benefit" were not what killed this, and Lightfoot made that clear; it was the cost and the White House team not wanting to give the $600 to $900 million extra needed to do this.

I'm puzzled, then by the following from the article:

Quote
Perhaps more significant was the fact that crewing EM-1 would have required the alarming rewrite of NASA’s own safety guidelines.

NASA, its advisory agencies/councils, and its own Astronaut Office have all repeatedly gone on record as being against the placement of crew on a rocket that has never flown.

If NASA's safety guidelines are justified, as a presume they are, then is not a rewrite, especially an "alarming rewrite" tantamount to bending the rules, thereby compromising safety?

In other words, I'm questioning NASA's characterization that the decision was made principally for reasons of cost.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 05/12/2017 09:30 PM
My expectation, the people at NASA knew this was unsafe but knew cost would be politically more persuasive. Sad that such machinations are required.

I agree with this.  I think presenting it as a cost argument is purely a function of knowing your audience.  Saying "it's not safe" is not as effective as "we can make it as safe as we can, but it will cost $X and delay the schedule Y months, all the while we don't think we can reduce the risk below Z% without a dedicated uncrewed test flight."
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 05/12/2017 09:32 PM
In other words, I'm questioning NASA's characterization that the decision was made principally for reasons of cost.

I detected a lot of political "needle threading" during that presser.  They were very careful in what they did and didn't say, avoiding throwing anyone in particular under the bus.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 05/12/2017 09:33 PM
My expectation, the people at NASA knew this was unsafe but knew cost would be politically more persuasive. Sad that such machinations are required.

I agree with this.  I think presenting it as a cost argument is purely a function of knowing your audience.  Saying "it's not safe" is not as effective as "we can make it as safe as we can, but it will cost $X and delay the schedule Y months, all the while we don't think we can reduce the risk below Z% without a dedicated uncrewed test flight."

OK, so quite a few of us seem to be leaning toward the belief that the cost justification is more of a PR reason than the real reason.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: guckyfan on 05/12/2017 10:06 PM
OK, so quite a few of us seem to be leaning toward the belief that the cost justification is more of a PR reason than the real reason.

If true that was risky. What if the White House had responded with, OK go ahead, here is the money?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 05/12/2017 10:18 PM
OK, so quite a few of us seem to be leaning toward the belief that the cost justification is more of a PR reason than the real reason.

If true that was risky. What if the White House had responded with, OK go ahead, here is the money?

Again, NASA is an agency of the Executive branch.  If they are directed to work toward something, there's not much they can do to avoid it.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: robertross on 05/12/2017 10:26 PM
OK, so quite a few of us seem to be leaning toward the belief that the cost justification is more of a PR reason than the real reason.

If true that was risky. What if the White House had responded with, OK go ahead, here is the money?

Again, NASA is an agency of the Executive branch.  If they are directed to work toward something, there's not much they can do to avoid it.

Unless congress doesn't appropriate the necessary funds (which they haven't been doing for all these years, which created much of this delay).

I'm glad for the decision, but don't buy the reasoning (from start to finish)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: meberbs on 05/12/2017 11:00 PM
OK, so quite a few of us seem to be leaning toward the belief that the cost justification is more of a PR reason than the real reason.

If true that was risky. What if the White House had responded with, OK go ahead, here is the money?

Again, NASA is an agency of the Executive branch.  If they are directed to work toward something, there's not much they can do to avoid it.

Unless congress doesn't appropriate the necessary funds (which they haven't been doing for all these years, which created much of this delay).

I'm glad for the decision, but don't buy the reasoning (from start to finish)
I hope you are right about the reason, because it is a scary thought if they didn't internally realize that this plan simply was a no-go on safety alone. I think the one issue I have seen the most uniform consensus on is that crewing EM-1 should not happen, and thankfully won't happen.

I have to point out that congress not appropriating the necessary funds cannot be used as the reason for delays in SLS. It is simply untrue, because they have been over-appropriating compared to the NASA budget requests. If the budget request was insufficient (which evidence clearly says it was) the blame lies on NASA/the administration for not asking for enough.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 05/12/2017 11:23 PM
For those who think NASA's worries about safety are overblown this video is the first flight of NASA's previous new rocket, the Morpheus Lander.

Why We Test
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTmlDmlVbFc (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTmlDmlVbFc)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/12/2017 11:38 PM
How is this going to play with the WH looking for a win? So much for his "Kennedy moment" which I believed unwise and unwarranted from the start...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 05/12/2017 11:44 PM
How is this going to play with the WH looking for a win? So much for his "Kennedy moment" which I believed unwise and unwarranted from the start...

NASA will have to supply Trump with an alternative mission for the history books.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 05/12/2017 11:45 PM
How is this going to play with the WH looking for a win? So much for his "Kennedy moment" which I believed unwise and unwarranted from the start...

I'm guessing this isn't very big on the white house's radar at the moment.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: mike robel on 05/13/2017 12:29 AM
We'll just pretend we went to Mars.  Isn't this is a historically accurate representation of how we did it?  The character financing the mission is really Musk.

Edit:  This is how it was really done.  Musk and Trump just don't want anyone to know about it yet.

https://www.amazon.com/Martian-Race-Gregory-Benford/dp/0446526339/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1494635215&sr=8-1

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/13/2017 12:43 AM
How is this going to play with the WH looking for a win? So much for his "Kennedy moment" which I believed unwise and unwarranted from the start...

I'm guessing this isn't very big on the white house's radar at the moment.
I guess he is busy trolling Rosie O'Donnell... I'm not making this up...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: SWGlassPit on 05/13/2017 02:06 AM
I wish you were.

I know you aren't. :-(
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/13/2017 06:53 AM
Quote
I got slammed for predicting these SLS delays 4 yrs ago. Sorry to have been correct.
https://twitter.com/lori_garver/status/863166547627569152 (https://twitter.com/lori_garver/status/863166547627569152)

Quote
Hard to imagine this [crew on EM-1] was taken seriously. More attempts to "keep it sold" by pretending this was a real possibility.
https://twitter.com/lori_garver/status/863168078112317441 (https://twitter.com/lori_garver/status/863168078112317441)

Quote
Eric Berger gets it right: NASA pays the price of being subjected to a massive, expensive rocket

Quote
https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/05/nasa-pays-the-price-of-being-subjected-to-a-massive-expensive-rocket/
https://twitter.com/lori_garver/status/863188328199356421 (https://twitter.com/lori_garver/status/863188328199356421)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/13/2017 10:19 AM
Costs of crewing EM-1 was $600 million to $900 million.
I wonder what proportion of posters would think $600m and what proportion more like $900?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: guckyfan on 05/13/2017 11:41 AM
Costs of crewing EM-1 was $600 million to $900 million.
I wonder what proportion of posters would think $600m and what proportion more like $900?

NASA speak for no less than $1billion.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/13/2017 12:51 PM
Costs of crewing EM-1 was $600 million to $900 million.
I wonder what proportion of posters would think $600m and what proportion more like $900?

NASA speak for no less than $1billion.
For once I would be happy if NASA didn't get a boost in funding....
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 05/13/2017 01:24 PM
So, for perspective, the cost difference of $900 MM, when compared to the $54,000,000,000 INCREASE to our military budget (again, to be clear, not the military budget but the addition to the existing military budget) is 1.6%.

1.6% - if you scraped 1.6% off the $54 billion addition I doubt it would even be missed.

Point being, (and keep in mind, I thought crewing EM-1 was foolhardy), this to me is a perfect litmus test to our Administration's will when it comes to space. We're not going to see a Kennedy moment any time soon. Rather we'll see a Nixon moment.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/13/2017 01:38 PM
So, for perspective, the cost difference of $900 MM, when compared to the $54,000,000,000 INCREASE to our military budget (again, to be clear, not the military budget but the addition to the existing military budget) is 1.6%.

1.6% - if you scraped 1.6% off the $54 billion addition I doubt it would even be missed.

Point being, (and keep in mind, I thought crewing EM-1 was foolhardy), this to me is a perfect litmus test to our Administration's will when it comes to space. We're not going to see a Kennedy moment any time soon. Rather we'll see a Nixon moment.
Like talking to astronauts on the lunar surface?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/13/2017 01:42 PM
Costs of crewing EM-1 was $600 million to $900 million.
I wonder what proportion of posters would think $600m and what proportion more like $900?

NASA speak for no less than $1billion.
Exactly. It is a well established fact that quick studies from NASA always miss the budget mark by a considerable margin. This two-month study came up with a $600 million to $900 million estimate of additional funds required. In reality it would have been much, much more. Like SLS itself, which at first lauch, will have cost approximately $13 billion, in stead of NASA's official estimate of $9.6 billion.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 05/13/2017 01:55 PM
So, for perspective, the cost difference of $900 MM, when compared to the $54,000,000,000 INCREASE to our military budget (again, to be clear, not the military budget but the addition to the existing military budget) is 1.6%.

1.6% - if you scraped 1.6% off the $54 billion addition I doubt it would even be missed.

Point being, (and keep in mind, I thought crewing EM-1 was foolhardy), this to me is a perfect litmus test to our Administration's will when it comes to space. We're not going to see a Kennedy moment any time soon. Rather we'll see a Nixon moment.
Like talking to astronauts on the lunar surface?
No, I referring to something more like this...

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2014/1027-when-nixon-stopped-human-exploration.html
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/13/2017 02:13 PM
NASA speak for no less than $1billion.
Exactly. It is a well established fact that quick studies from NASA always miss the budget mark by a considerable margin. This two-month study came up with a $600 million to $900 million estimate of additional funds required. In reality it would have been much, much more. Like SLS itself, which at first lauch, will have cost approximately $13 billion, in stead of NASA's official estimate of $9.6 billion.
My instinct was to go with the higher end and expect it to overrun even that. What really made me suspicious was the timescale. Crew rating a whole stage for single use? Upgrading an MPCV to carry humans as well?

However saying that NASA cannot be agile is an over generalization. At project level they can be surprisingly nimble. Their work on the DUFF nuclear demonstrator and its follow on Kilopower demonstrator in Nov/dec 2017 shows what can be achieved by a well motivated team with well defined goals.

Sadly that seems to dissipate when programmes become center, or multi-center wide, as I presume this would have to be.  :(
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/13/2017 02:22 PM
We're not going to see a Kennedy moment any time soon. Rather we'll see a Nixon moment.
A phrase that those with a working knowledge of US politics can interpret in quite a number of ways.  :)

From a space perspective it can be quite interesting to compare what was funded and what was actually built under different Presidencies starting from Eisenhower forming NASA to counter Sputnik and moving onward.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/13/2017 04:27 PM
This Administration wants more bang for the buck. But found out it would require more bucks for the bang.

If another option, a commercial option becomes truly available. Then the SLS/Orion program would be exposed as being only a jobs program with no real goals achievement. If SpaceX successfully completes a manned cis-Lunar flight in 2018/2019 then the premises for the reasons for SLS/Orion's existence would would be severely challenged. But multiple things have to go right for SpaceX for them to accomplish this: FH becomes operational this year, CC becomes operational early next year, and no LV mishaps occur between now and the cis-Lunar flight.

The Administration is watching but is being cautious. Multiple available threads to accomplish same goal: cis-Lunar manned flight. The first to achieve could win all or most of the funding for many years to come.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 05/13/2017 06:38 PM
OK, so quite a few of us seem to be leaning toward the belief that the cost justification is more of a PR reason than the real reason.
If true that was risky. What if the White House had responded with, OK go ahead, here is the money?

Apparently the decision was made with the White House:

Largest stopping point was funding needed.  [Gerstenmeier] States concretely that they came together with White House to NOT crew on EM-1.

So, it's not like NASA sent a letter to the administration saying "Please choose either A) Giving us $600+ million more, or B) Not crewing EM-1" and prayed the administration would choose option B.  NASA and the administration were talking things over as they concluded they would not crew EM-1.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: catdlr on 05/13/2017 08:00 PM
political cartoon.... ;)

Edit/Lar: Funny but no.

Oh well, I'll stick to videos.  ???



Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/13/2017 08:55 PM
political cartoon.... ;)
Sort of like a perpetual motion machine ...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/13/2017 09:08 PM
political cartoon.... ;)
Sort of like a perpetual motion machine ...
Do you mean the perpetual 20 years away NASA Mars mission?

The confusion about science and engineering continues. Science is the discovery of new things. Engineering is the use of known things shaped into usable things. Unfortunately for a Mars mission there are some missing known things to create an engineering solution. One is the entry into Mars of large objects and the ability to land them on the surface. Another is long term effects of zero G. There are others. All the past NASA science budgets have yet to answer these questions. SpaceX with their own funds has at least started to answer the landing of heavy objects on Mars. NASA could have done it many years ago but they had other priorities for the science budget funds: the search for life. NASA science project priorities is the biggest problem facing a NASA Mars mission. Until more priority is given to answering the Mars problems, Mars mission will continue in its 20 years away.

Now back to our regularly scheduled discussion.

Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/13/2017 09:52 PM
Yes, its sort of like someone is attempting to every now and then rationalize a freak show.

So you get glimmers of half believable plans. Then it all goes up in smoke in a puff of nonsense.

Now, I'm one of the furthest thing from an "Elon hugger", even though I'm very ... specific ... about LV/SC economics and where things are trending. Launching commercial payloads, for a living.

But with the ITS unveiling last September, once one accepted the audacious scale of the BFR (mind still boggles at that huge amount of propellant being handled safely), a human occupied BFS lander with integral orbital/C3 capable methalox propulsion, tanker, ... the concept seemed as believable as Apollo/SM/LEM/Saturn V did in the 1960's.

As a grand system full of economic/engineering challenges to surmount ... but with a rational benefit at the end of the journey of creation.

So you get used to a new bar being set for how to judge exploration architectures.

Now this.

You can really see Gerst struggling to do something with SLS, to put a "pretty face" on the nonsense of crewed flight with a one-off, interim design LV on initial flight, a hydrolox/solids political camel ...

And it just can't even spit at the same bar in the vast distance above it.  ::)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/13/2017 10:24 PM
Gerst thinks the delays are due to "the complexity of what we're trying to do."

If SLS/Orion seems complex, no wonder they cannot even spit at the bar.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/14/2017 12:55 AM
Gerst thinks the delays are due to "the complexity of what we're trying to do."

If SLS/Orion seems complex, no wonder they cannot even spit at the bar.
If SLS/Orion is complex what does that make the STS. It was an order more complex than SLS/Orion. SLS/Orion didn't even have to design many of the systems (RS-25, SRBs...).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 05/14/2017 01:32 AM
The confusion about science and engineering continues. Science is the discovery of new things. Engineering is the use of known things shaped into usable things.

Yes, indeed.  I cringe every time I hear either of the terms "rocket science" or "rocket scientist."
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/14/2017 01:19 PM
Gerst thinks the delays are due to "the complexity of what we're trying to do."

If SLS/Orion seems complex, no wonder they cannot even spit at the bar.
Indeed. Because NASA pulled-off STS in the late 1970's and that was decidedly more complex than SLS/Orion is today. Trouble is that there was 3 decades of time between development of STS and SLS. That was plenty of time for NASA to lose it's experience in developing launch systems. Basically, with Ares I and now SLS NASA is re-learning how to develop and build launch vehicles. Naturally, they run into all sorts of development trouble.
Fine example is the ML. NASA chose to repurpose the Ares I ML into one for SLS. Had SLS been a truly clean slate design than the ML would not have been the kludge it is today.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Johnnyhinbos on 05/14/2017 02:04 PM
Look at the TPS for Orion. They literally sent people in to visit Apollo  capsules to study how they did it and replicated it, right down to hand filling each cell, and literally experienced the same fault issues the Apollo program experienced. All this falls under perishable skills, and it's painfully obvious the skills have perished. So instead of starting with a clean sheet design, they had to shoehorn old engineering into a "new" rocket. All the constraints put on them by trying to leverage old / existing systems have probably cost more in time and money than if they'd started from scratch.




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Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: rayleighscatter on 05/14/2017 02:31 PM
A big part of it too is that as we learn how to test for more things, we insist we test for more things.

This is especially true with aerospace. You can even see it in arenas with good funding, like military aircraft development. Back before WWII a plane could go from development to operation in a few months, 30 years later jets were taking 4-5 years to get into operation, now they are taking a decade (or more).

Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, or Shuttle would have all taken 10 years (or more) if this same modern level of scrutiny were applied to them.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: mike robel on 05/14/2017 02:44 PM
And yet, the B-52, C-130, and CH-47 were so sound that they continue to fly today, with incremental improvements in propulsion, instrumentation, and sometimes in flight structures.  Hard to believe the B-52 design was essentially done by 3 or 4 guys in a hotel room, balsa wood, and other common items, in a weekend.  Naturally, the final design was much longer, but that still indicates a mastery we do not seem to have today.

Sometimes I think all our advanced knowledge and tools get in our way.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/14/2017 03:24 PM
Gerst thinks the delays are due to "the complexity of what we're trying to do."

If SLS/Orion seems complex, no wonder they cannot even spit at the bar.
Indeed. Because NASA pulled-off STS in the late 1970's and that was decidedly more complex than SLS/Orion is today.

Yeah, I don't agree with Gerst that the SLS is "complex".  The multi-purpose Shuttle orbiter vehicle was a spacecraft, laboratory, and a horizontal landing vehicle - that was "complex".  In comparison the rocket-only SLS is pretty straightforward.

However the design that Congress mandated for the SLS is what makes it hard to build.  Too much "cutting-edge" type stuff like the deepest friction stir welds.

For the Orion, whose design was mandated by Michael Griffin, that too is not "complex" but it's design is at the physical edge size-wise of what's possible for a capsule meant to return humans to the surface of Earth from the region of the Moon.

So not complexity, but poor design choices are what's driving the situations for the SLS and Orion.

Quote
Trouble is that there was 3 decades of time between development of STS and SLS. That was plenty of time for NASA to lose it's experience in developing launch systems.

Except that NASA didn't build the Shuttle, and NASA didn't operate it.  The private sector did.  And Boeing, who is building the SLS, was directly involved in all of that, so the institutional expertise is not with NASA but with Boeing.

I actually have a lot of confidence that Boeing can build a safe vehicle, but it may not be for the price and schedule that satisfies everyone - again, driven by poor design choices outside of Boeing's influence.

Quote
Had SLS been a truly clean slate design than the ML would not have been the kludge it is today.

The SLS and Orion both would not be the kludges they are today if normal design & proposal processes had been used, but Michael Griffin short-circuited the process for both the Orion and the Ares I/V in 2005, and Congress doubled down on those poor decisions and made things worse when they mandated design features for the Orion MPCV and the SLS in 2010.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Star One on 05/14/2017 03:33 PM
And yet, the B-52, C-130, and CH-47 were so sound that they continue to fly today, with incremental improvements in propulsion, instrumentation, and sometimes in flight structures.  Hard to believe the B-52 design was essentially done by 3 or 4 guys in a hotel room, balsa wood, and other common items, in a weekend.  Naturally, the final design was much longer, but that still indicates a mastery we do not seem to have today.

Sometimes I think all our advanced knowledge and tools get in our way.

In the case of the B-52 that's a far from desirable situation considering the expense abs difficultly of keeping it running, and it wouldn't have been the case if the B-2 program hadn't been terminated prematurely.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/14/2017 03:34 PM
A big part of it too is that as we learn how to test for more things, we insist we test for more things.

This is especially true with aerospace. You can even see it in arenas with good funding, like military aircraft development. Back before WWII a plane could go from development to operation in a few months, 30 years later jets were taking 4-5 years to get into operation, now they are taking a decade (or more).

Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, or Shuttle would have all taken 10 years (or more) if this same modern level of scrutiny were applied to them.

I was just watching the movie "Hidden Figures" last night and noticed when they said that there had been unmanned test flights of the Mercury spacecraft before we sent humans up in them.  So it's not like we didn't do progressive testing back then.

And for the Shuttle we couldn't do unmanned flight tests because the Shuttle could not fly unmanned - supposedly because it was mandated by astronauts themselves (rumor I've heard, so correct me as needed).

However my observation is that because the SLS is so expensive, and the flights projected to be so far apart time-wise, that it creates an urgency to add humans when we don't have much flight experience.  The solution is to have a launch system that costs less and flies more often - you know, like what SpaceX is doing...   ;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: ncb1397 on 05/14/2017 05:00 PM

However the design that Congress mandated for the SLS is what makes it hard to build.  Too much "cutting-edge" type stuff like the deepest friction stir welds.

Too much hyperbole. Saying congress designed the SLS is a good talking point, but of course implications of that conclusion like them deciding what welding technique to use...pure hyperbole.

edit: I should point out the guidance to the design that Congress gave.

Quote
(a) UNITED STATES POLICY.—It is the policy of the United
States that NASA develop a Space Launch System as a followon
to the Space Shuttle that can access cis-lunar space and the
regions of space beyond low-Earth orbit in order to enable the
United States to participate in global efforts to access and develop
this increasingly strategic region.
(b) INITIATION OF DEVELOPMENT.—
42 USC 18322.
VerDate Mar 15 2010 12:26 Oct 19, 2010 Jkt 099139 PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 6580 Sfmt 6581 E:\PUBLAW\PUBL267.111 PUBL267
joloto on DSKHC5C1J1PROD with PUBLAW
PUBLIC LAW 111–267—OCT. 11, 2010 124 STAT. 2815
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall, as soon as practicable
after the date of the enactment of this Act, initiate
development of a Space Launch System meeting the minimum
capabilities requirements specified in subsection (c).
(2) MODIFICATION OF CURRENT CONTRACTS.—In order to
limit NASA’s termination liability costs and support critical
capabilities, the Administrator shall, to the extent practicable,
extend or modify existing vehicle development and associated
contracts necessary to meet the requirements in paragraph
(1), including contracts for ground testing of solid rocket motors,
if necessary, to ensure their availability for development of
the Space Launch System.
(c) MINIMUM CAPABILITY REQUIREMENTS.— (1) IN GENERAL.—The Space Launch System developed
pursuant to subsection (b) shall be designed to have, at a
minimum, the following:
(A) The initial capability of the core elements, without
an upper stage, of lifting payloads weighing between 70
tons and 100 tons into low-Earth orbit in preparation for
transit for missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
(B) The capability to carry an integrated upper Earth
departure stage bringing the total lift capability of the
Space Launch System to 130 tons or more.
(C) The capability to lift the multipurpose crew vehicle.
(D) The capability to serve as a backup system for
supplying and supporting ISS cargo requirements or crew
delivery requirements not otherwise met by available
commercial or partner-supplied vehicles.
(2) FLEXIBILITY.—The Space Launch System shall be
designed from inception as a fully-integrated vehicle capable
of carrying a total payload of 130 tons or more into low-Earth
orbit in preparation for transit for missions beyond low-Earth
orbit. The Space Launch System shall, to the extent practicable,
incorporate capabilities for evolutionary growth to carry heavier
payloads. Developmental work and testing of the core elements
and the upper stage should proceed in parallel subject to appropriations.
Priority should be placed on the core elements with
the goal for operational capability for the core elements not
later than December 31, 2016.
(3) TRANSITION NEEDS.—The Administrator shall ensure
critical skills and capabilities are retained, modified, and developed,
as appropriate, in areas related to solid and liquid
engines, large diameter fuel tanks, rocket propulsion, and other
ground test capabilities for an effective transition to the followon
Space Launch System.
(4) The capacity for efficient and timely evolution, including
the incorporation of new technologies, competition of sub-elements,
and commercial operations.
https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/649377main_PL_111-267.pdf

To boil it down. They wanted a Saturn V class vehicle and to use existing components if "practicable".

It should also be pointed out that the configuration of the SLS outdates the 2010 authorization act by many years.

Quote
The National Launch System (or New Launch System) was a study authorized in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush to outline alternatives to the Space Shuttle for access to Earth Orbit.[1] Shortly thereafter, NASA asked Lockheed Missiles and Space, McDonnell Douglas, and TRW, to perform a ten-month study.[2] A series of launch vehicles was proposed, based around the Space Transportation Main Engine (STME) liquid-fuel rocket engine, a proposed simplified, expendable version of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME).[3][4] The largest of three proposed vehicles was designated NLS-1 and used for its core stage a modified Space Shuttle External Tank which would feed liquid Oxygen and liquid Hydrogen to four STMEs attached to the bottom of the tank. A payload or second stage would fit atop the core stage, and two detachable Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters would be mounted on the sides of the core stage as on the Shuttle.[3] Period illustrations suggest that much larger rockets than NLS-1 were contemplated, using multiples of the NLS-1 core stage.[5][6]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Launch_System
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/14/2017 05:51 PM
A big part of it too is that as we learn how to test for more things, we insist we test for more things.

This is especially true with aerospace. You can even see it in arenas with good funding, like military aircraft development. Back before WWII a plane could go from development to operation in a few months, 30 years later jets were taking 4-5 years to get into operation, now they are taking a decade (or more).

Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, or Shuttle would have all taken 10 years (or more) if this same modern level of scrutiny were applied to them.

I was just watching the movie "Hidden Figures" last night and noticed when they said that there had been unmanned test flights of the Mercury spacecraft before we sent humans up in them.  So it's not like we didn't do progressive testing back then.

And for the Shuttle we couldn't do unmanned flight tests because the Shuttle could not fly unmanned - supposedly because it was mandated by astronauts themselves (rumor I've heard, so correct me as needed).

However my observation is that because the SLS is so expensive, and the flights projected to be so far apart time-wise, that it creates an urgency to add humans when we don't have much flight experience.  The solution is to have a launch system that costs less and flies more often - you know, like what SpaceX is doing...   ;)

Here's a list:

Mercury flew unmanned before they stuck life animals in them.
Gemini flew unmanned before they stuck a crew in them.
Apollo flew unmanned before they stuck a crew in them.
Vostok flew unmanned before the Sovjets stuck a cosmonaut in them
Soyuz flew unmanned before the Sovjets stuck a crew in them
Space Shuttle was manned from flight 1.

Which item does not fit?

A manned EM-1 would have been the same mistake.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/14/2017 07:32 PM
Look at the TPS for Orion. They literally sent people in to visit Apollo  capsules to study how they did it and replicated it, right down to hand filling each cell, and literally experienced the same fault issues the Apollo program experienced. All this falls under perishable skills, and it's painfully obvious the skills have perished. So instead of starting with a clean sheet design, they had to shoehorn old engineering into a "new" rocket. All the constraints put on them by trying to leverage old / existing systems have probably cost more in time and money than if they'd started from scratch.
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It's actually slightly worse than that.

After the $4-5m had been spent it turned out that due to H&S issues around the chemicals (I think they stopped production of some of them a long time ago) the substitutes were not quite up to the spec of the original recipe.

They went with Avcoat because the PICA TPS used on Stardust (fastest ever entry to Earths atmosphere) had been in one piece and they thought the tiling it over the area of the MPCV would be too risky.

It now appears that's exactly what they are going to do.

Theoretically reestablishing the old method was cheaper as it was technologically less risky. IRL it turns out that it was impossible to exactly replicate, and it's the exactness of the replication that makes it cheaper (because you know it will meet the test spec).

You have to wonder how many other it's-the-cheapest-option-becasue-it-was-how-Saturn/Apollo-was-done decisions have been made and how many of them turned out to be true. :(

[EDIT  A classic one is what to replace Asbestos with (certainly used in the SRB's and probably elsewhere)? Saffil was developed in the UK in the 1970's specifically to provide a safe fibre with a melting point above 1600c or  2912F.  However I think it's difficult to weave so can only be used in some applications. I'm sure there are other materials that have similar issues. I'm guessing various protective metal plating coatings may also be off limits due to environmental hazards of stuff like Hexavalent Chrome ]
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/14/2017 07:46 PM
Except that NASA didn't build the Shuttle, and NASA didn't operate it.  The private sector did.  And Boeing, who is building the SLS, was directly involved in all of that, so the institutional expertise is not with NASA but with Boeing.

I actually have a lot of confidence that Boeing can build a safe vehicle, but it may not be for the price and schedule that satisfies everyone - again, driven by poor design choices outside of Boeing's influence.
IIRC "USA" operated Shuttle in the later years.

But I'm still not clear how much of that "corporate memory" is retained by Boeing, given their core rocket building team transferred to ULA.

Do ULA in fact not build Delta IV but pass a substantial chunk of the work back to Boeing?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/14/2017 08:07 PM
Except that NASA didn't build the Shuttle, and NASA didn't operate it.  The private sector did.  And Boeing, who is building the SLS, was directly involved in all of that, so the institutional expertise is not with NASA but with Boeing.

I actually have a lot of confidence that Boeing can build a safe vehicle, but it may not be for the price and schedule that satisfies everyone - again, driven by poor design choices outside of Boeing's influence.
IIRC "USA" operated Shuttle in the later years.

But I'm still not clear how much of that "corporate memory" is retained by Boeing, given their core rocket building team transferred to ULA.

Do ULA in fact not build Delta IV but pass a substantial chunk of the work back to Boeing?
ULA does all its tank manufacture and assembly of the vehicles in-house. Although there are a lot of sub contractors for other systems and parts, Boeing has little involvement in it.

Even on SLS, Boeing is the integrator. The tank pieces are manufactured in San Diego by a sub-contractor and then shipped to Mississippi for Boeing to place in their welder to weld together. Many of the other systems are all manufactured by subs. Boeing though is responsible for the software. I think and they are having a very difficult time developing a realtime OS application t. The old guys who used to do this at Boeing work elsewhere or are retired. ULA manages their own RT OS flight software.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/14/2017 09:33 PM
Except that NASA didn't build the Shuttle, and NASA didn't operate it.  The private sector did.  And Boeing, who is building the SLS, was directly involved in all of that, so the institutional expertise is not with NASA but with Boeing.

I actually have a lot of confidence that Boeing can build a safe vehicle, but it may not be for the price and schedule that satisfies everyone - again, driven by poor design choices outside of Boeing's influence.
IIRC "USA" operated Shuttle in the later years.

United Space Alliance (USA) was a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Prior to USA being formed in 1995 NASA had many individual contracts for performing work on the STS program, and forming this joint venture simplified roles and responsibilities.

Quote
But I'm still not clear how much of that "corporate memory" is retained by Boeing, given their core rocket building team transferred to ULA.

It could be argued that Boeing never built any rocket parts for the Space Transportation System (i.e. the Shuttle), since the orbiter is more of a pass-thru for the propellant going from the External Tank to the Rocketdyne SSME's on the end of the orbiter.  Lockheed Martin build the 8.4m diameter External Tank, which is what everyone considers to be the common component to the SLS core that Boeing is responsible for.

However my original point is that NASA really doesn't build or operate their own transportation systems, so I don't think there was much operational knowledge lost with the end of the Shuttle program within NASA.  Institutional knowledge is always being lost as people retire or products change, but if it wasn't needed at that moment then maybe it wasn't worth capturing?  And if anything I think Elon Musk has shown that it's OK to "reinvent the wheel" using a fresh approach.

Quote
Do ULA in fact not build Delta IV but pass a substantial chunk of the work back to Boeing?

I would be surprised if any ULA personnel were being used on the SLS.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Coastal Ron on 05/14/2017 09:49 PM

However the design that Congress mandated for the SLS is what makes it hard to build.  Too much "cutting-edge" type stuff like the deepest friction stir welds.

Too much hyperbole. Saying congress designed the SLS is a good talking point, but of course implications of that conclusion like them deciding what welding technique to use...pure hyperbole.

I may have been unclear, in that Congress did not specify manufacturing techniques, which is what friction stir welding is.  But as the except of the law below shows, they did specify what the SLS should be - and they did not ask NASA or it's contractors for that information, Congress created it themselves.

Quote
(2) MODIFICATION OF CURRENT CONTRACTS.—In order to
limit NASA’s termination liability costs and support critical
capabilities, the Administrator shall, to the extent practicable,
extend or modify existing vehicle development and associated
contracts necessary to meet the requirements in paragraph
(1), including contracts for ground testing of solid rocket motors,
if necessary, to ensure their availability for development of
the Space Launch System.

At the time when this was signed into law, it was not very specific as to what "to the extent practicable" meant.  And since it was clear what the intent of Congress was at that time, it was interpreted to mean "don't cancel existing contractors".  That was a "jobs" clause, and it did not give NASA a lot of flexibility.

Quote
(c) MINIMUM CAPABILITY REQUIREMENTS.— (1) IN GENERAL.—The Space Launch System developed
pursuant to subsection (b) shall be designed to have, at a
minimum, the following:
...
(2) FLEXIBILITY.—The Space Launch System shall be
designed
from inception as a fully-integrated vehicle capable
of ...
(3) TRANSITION NEEDS.—The Administrator shall ensure
critical skills and capabilities are retained, modified, and developed,
as appropriate, in areas related to solid and liquid
engines, large diameter fuel tanks, rocket propulsion, and other
ground test capabilities for an effective transition to the followon
Space Launch System
.

The "shall be designed" is pretty clear evidence that Congress was doing the designing, since they don't refer to a proposal from NASA or any other NASA documentation.

Quote
To boil it down. They wanted a Saturn V class vehicle and to use existing components if "practicable".

All that's clear is that they wanted to retain existing contractors and workers.  Since there was no funded program or programs for the SLS to support, it would be impossible to know whether the stated requirements were right or wrong, since there was no evidence that NASA needed a government transportation system the size of the SLS.  And 6 years later there is still no evidence that NASA needs such a capability.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/14/2017 10:48 PM
ULA does all its tank manufacture and assembly of the vehicles in-house. Although there are a lot of sub contractors for other systems and parts, Boeing has little involvement in it.
I think I can explain what my puzzle is. 

As the prime contractor for SLS I was presuming Boeing did the detailed actual design for it.
But how was that possible if all their rocket design expertise was partitioned off and transferred to ULA?

The only way I can see the process working was
a) Boeing retained its Delta IV design team and ULA is basically just a mfg company (makes no sense to me)
b)Boeing broke the specs down into sections and had the various sub contractors design those sections (wasn't that what happened with the 787?)
c) Boeing subcontracted out the detail design to someone else.
d) They have recruited and trained from scratch a team of engineers to design SLS.
This is listed last because I could not conceive of a more expensive, higher risk and longer delaying way to design a new launch vehicle, unless (as SX did) your initial new LV is relatively small 
Quote from: oldAtlas_Eguy
Even on SLS, Boeing is the integrator. The tank pieces are manufactured in San Diego by a sub-contractor and then shipped to Mississippi for Boeing to place in their welder to weld together. Many of the other systems are all manufactured by subs.
It's the skills to design the actual launch vehicle that I'm having trouble with. I'm not surprised most of the mfg is sub contracted out.
Quote from: oldAtlas_Eguy
Boeing though is responsible for the software. I think and they are having a very difficult time developing a realtime OS application t. The old guys who used to do this at Boeing work elsewhere or are retired. ULA manages their own RT OS flight software.
Now that really does surprise me.  :o
STS (and Skylab, and Saturn V ground computers) were all done by IBM Federal Systems, who went on to be transfer to Loral Space Systems in Houston. One of their people used to regularly post in the Shuttle threads. They mentioned the team had been cut to 1/4 its former size post STS ending.

The ELV GNC processor for Saturn V was this
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_Launch_Vehicle_Digital_Computer

Given this unit flew the mission while being able to execute a little over 12 000 instructions per second and addressing up to 32K 14bit words I find it very hard to believe that in an era when a rad hard POWER PC can run about 200MHz and address GBs of data and/or code Boeing is struggling with software.  :(

No doubt the tasks of the the SLS computer are greater but I'm just boggled by how much greater they'd have to be.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/14/2017 10:53 PM
...

I may have been unclear, in that Congress did not specify manufacturing techniques, which is what friction stir welding is.  But as the except of the law below shows, they did specify what the SLS should be - and they did not ask NASA or it's contractors for that information, Congress created it themselves
...

If you look a bit harder, Congress gets text for legislation from 'concerned citizens' meaning lobbyists.  I'd bet the industrial team that got thumped on Constellation wrote what you purport to have been 'created' by Congress.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/14/2017 11:11 PM
The information from a interview with SpaceX Tom Mueller http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.new#new (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.new#new) is producing a very large shadow on SLS although it has nothing directly commenting on it.

An RP-1 GG 1st stage M1D Block 5 having an VAC ISP of 326. The RD-180 SC engine has VAC ISP of 336. A Raptor engine with an VAC ISP of 382. That is above the target [380] for full functionality (payload  capability) of the ITS.

What this implies is that NASA with SLS/Orion is running a far second place in performance and possibly even schedule to SpaceX activities.

I normally do not expound this much against SLS/Orion using SpaceX but the new info practically obsoletes the SLS before it even gets off the ground.

There is also the small speculation in that the 64mt FH LEO  Block 5 upgrade performance could be sandbagged by several (possibly more than 6mt). Putting its ultimate payload capability into the 70mt range. This is because if the ISP increase is correct that is an ISP increase of 15 points from 311 to 326 for the SL M1D engine. A BTW such an ISP increase with the same amount of propellant burned on an FH equates to being able to produce the same Delta V while carrying an additional 22+mt on top. But the US would reduce this capability because the first stage would have to produce more delta V for the same size US to push more payload. So the the problem is some good performance modelers need to figure out where the FH capabilities are headed.

If the performance for FH Block 5 is close then it could literally almost replicate with an Orion on top the SLS 1A  cis-Lunar orbit capability.

What this says of the SLS design is that it is a very low performer relative to its GLOW.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: rayleighscatter on 05/14/2017 11:13 PM
A big part of it too is that as we learn how to test for more things, we insist we test for more things.

This is especially true with aerospace. You can even see it in arenas with good funding, like military aircraft development. Back before WWII a plane could go from development to operation in a few months, 30 years later jets were taking 4-5 years to get into operation, now they are taking a decade (or more).

Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, or Shuttle would have all taken 10 years (or more) if this same modern level of scrutiny were applied to them.

I was just watching the movie "Hidden Figures" last night and noticed when they said that there had been unmanned test flights of the Mercury spacecraft before we sent humans up in them.  So it's not like we didn't do progressive testing back then.

And for the Shuttle we couldn't do unmanned flight tests because the Shuttle could not fly unmanned - supposedly because it was mandated by astronauts themselves (rumor I've heard, so correct me as needed).

However my observation is that because the SLS is so expensive, and the flights projected to be so far apart time-wise, that it creates an urgency to add humans when we don't have much flight experience.  The solution is to have a launch system that costs less and flies more often - you know, like what SpaceX is doing...   ;)

Here's a list:

Mercury flew unmanned before they stuck life animals in them.
Gemini flew unmanned before they stuck a crew in them.
Apollo flew unmanned before they stuck a crew in them.
Vostok flew unmanned before the Sovjets stuck a cosmonaut in them
Soyuz flew unmanned before the Sovjets stuck a crew in them
Space Shuttle was manned from flight 1.

Which item does not fit?

A manned EM-1 would have been the same mistake.

I guess what I meant by extra testing was a little vague. What I meant was since the 70's engineering rockets and spacecraft and everything associated has improved considerably so they know how to test for things which were largely unknowns previously.

For instance:
During M/G/A/Shuttle acoustic modeling was a very vague science. Basic shock wave and acoustic waves were fairly well known but reflection, frequency, interaction with the environment were all rather unknown so only rudimentary modeling was done in this area. Today it's much more well known and by throwing a lot of money, engineers, and computers into a room for a few months you can come up with fairly decent estimates of what the acoustic environment will be. Mercury and Gemini got away with not testing for the (unknown) POGO, it became an issue with Apollo, and was later added to the tests for shuttle.

Lots of things, small and large, have been discovered and have been added to the long battery of R&D tests which combined add at a lot in cost and time.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: woods170 on 05/15/2017 06:15 AM
The information from a interview with SpaceX Tom Mueller http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.new#new (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42923.new#new) is producing a very large shadow on SLS although it has nothing directly commenting on it.

An RP-1 GG 1st stage M1D Block 5 having an VAC ISP of 326. The RD-180 SC engine has VAC ISP of 336. A Raptor engine with an VAC ISP of 382. That is above the target [380] for full functionality (payload  capability) of the ITS.

What this implies is that NASA with SLS/Orion is running a far second place in performance and possibly even schedule to SpaceX activities.

I normally do not expound this much against SLS/Orion using SpaceX but the new info practically obsoletes the SLS before it even gets off the ground.

There is also the small speculation in that the 64mt FH LEO  Block 5 upgrade performance could be sandbagged by several (possibly more than 6mt). Putting its ultimate payload capability into the 70mt range. This is because if the ISP increase is correct that is an ISP increase of 15 points from 311 to 326 for the SL M1D engine. A BTW such an ISP increase with the same amount of propellant burned on an FH equates to being able to produce the same Delta V while carrying an additional 22+mt on top. But the US would reduce this capability because the first stage would have to produce more delta V for the same size US to push more payload. So the the problem is some good performance modelers need to figure out where the FH capabilities are headed.

If the performance for FH Block 5 is close then it could literally almost replicate with an Orion on top the SLS 1A  cis-Lunar orbit capability.

What this says of the SLS design is that it is a very low performer relative to its GLOW.
Although the SLS Block 1 is known as the "70 metric tons" version of SLS, it's projected capability to LEO is more like 85 metric tons. This "low" performance is due to the iCPS which makes for a very undersized upper stage.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/15/2017 07:51 AM
Although the SLS Block 1 is known as the "70 metric tons" version of SLS, it's projected capability to LEO is more like 85 metric tons. This "low" performance is due to the iCPS which makes for a very undersized upper stage.
Given the language in the Bill I'm also guessing a certain amount of (apparent) high mass is due to a structure that's already sized for the full 130 tonne limit, otherwise Boeing will have to re-do the design to upgrade to it.

Rechecking the SSME Isp I see it is listed as 366secs at SL rising to 452.3 in vacuum, although it's not clear wheather the RS25E will be lower (due to the simplified mfg processes) or higher (design tweaks worked out but never implemented after the original design was frozen).

But even the SL level exceeds Raptor's Isp and its Isp Vac by a large margin.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/15/2017 02:53 PM
The basic problem for SLS is that the SLS 1B is dependent on the actual design and capabilities of the EUS. Which has yet to go through CDR. That is also troubling for the schedule since the SLS went through CDR in late 2015 but will not fly until late 2019 a period of 4 years from CDR. So when is the EUS CDR then add 4 years and you get the NET date for SLS-1B. If they had the CDR for EUS tomorrow then the NET would be June 2021.

So when is the scheduled EUS CDR?

ADDED:
They just had the PDR in Jan 2017.
+1 year at best to CDR in Jan 2018 gives NET for launch of EM-2 in Jan 2022.

EUS design is starved for funds even with the higher funding levels so keeping it on track is not trivial for a 1 year critical design phase. Boeing does not have the tooling to even be able to produce  some of the tanks sizes.   They are expecting to use the SLS core stage welder to make the LH2 tank. But look at how long they have been trying to make a qual and flight tank for SLS. The tank wall thickness will be different, meaning the settings for the welder will be different than for the SLS tank. Meaning trial and error. Hopefully not as bad as they have experienced for the first SLS tanks. The Qual tanks should be manufactured 3 years in advance of launch. But the acquisition of a welder for the LOX tank unless they contract with ULA like they did with the iCPS, will take a couple of years. Such that the design is to use a iCPS LH2 tank as the LOX tank for the EUS. This then becomes a design constraint or the design of the EUS. The ability to manufacture the major tank components like they would like may not be possible in the timeframe they have. Meaning a lower performance EUS than they want.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/15/2017 11:52 PM
They are expecting to use the SLS core stage welder to make the LH2 tank. But look at how long they have been trying to make a qual and flight tank for SLS. The tank wall thickness will be different, meaning the settings for the welder will be different than for the SLS tank. Meaning trial and error.
The weld issues were due to the metal thickness they were dealing with. If the LOX tank is thinner presumably they will be more within the known SoA.
[EDIT. Do we know if the LOX tank wall will be thinner? If not all of the LH2 tank issues will surface again.  :(
One technical point. If the problem is a highly stressed surface layer in the weld that should be more reactive to an etchant.

In principal you could have an etchant that was weak enough that it would only attack alloy that was already stressed, stripping off just the bad parts of the weld.

"Chemical milling" was certainly used in the Saturn programme but I don't know if SLS is using it. IIRC the default etchant for Al alloy was Sodium Hydroxide, but that may be too aggressive for the task and you'd need something more subtle.

Creating surface stressed samples to test etchants against should not be that difficult but if chemical milling is not planned into the process flow anyway it would probably be a major PITA to add, finding somewhere you can dunk a whole SLS stage in.  :(   ]

Quote from: oldAtlas_Eguy
But the acquisition of a welder for the LOX tank unless they contract with ULA like they did with the iCPS, will take a couple of years. Such that the design is to use a iCPS LH2 tank as the LOX tank for the EUS. This then becomes a design constraint or the design of the EUS. The ability to manufacture the major tank components like they would like may not be possible in the timeframe they have. Meaning a lower performance EUS than they want.
Buying an FSW sounds expensive. Buying a big FSW  m/c sounds very expensive (and time consuming with the commissioning process). If that was the plan all along then presumably they are already talking to NASA about it.
However is this is an emergency move I'm thinking of the old adage from "The Mythical Man Month" where you add resources to a project that's known to be overdue and the result is it comes in more overdue than expected.  :(

The alternative obviously requires ULA to set aside capacity on its H/W to make those sections. I guess it depends on how loaded their gear is already (and in the future, with 5 DIVH launches up till 2023 and a full slate of Atlas V, and starting Vulcan).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/17/2017 04:45 PM
New OIG report on cost and schedule performance for NASA's major programs.

Article: http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/gao-gives-nasa-mixed-results-for-management-of-major-projects (http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/gao-gives-nasa-mixed-results-for-management-of-major-projects)
Report: http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684626.pdf (http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684626.pdf)

Its basic statement on SLS/Orion and the EGSE is that they are moving from the formation phase into Implementation Phase where most problems, schedule delays, and cost growths occur. Also that the $ amount of these 3 is 50% of the 21 programs in the report. And that problems with these 3 will have profound impacts on NASA and the reaming 18  and others could be adversely impacted from SLS/Orion delays.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/17/2017 05:32 PM
New OIG report on cost and schedule performance for NASA's major programs.

Article: http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/gao-gives-nasa-mixed-results-for-management-of-major-projects (http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/gao-gives-nasa-mixed-results-for-management-of-major-projects)
Report: http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684626.pdf (http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684626.pdf)

Its basic statement on SLS/Orion and the EGSE is that they are moving from the formation phase into Implementation Phase where most problems, schedule delays, and cost growths occur. Also that the $ amount of these 3 is 50% of the 21 programs in the report. And that problems with these 3 will have profound impacts on NASA and the reaming 18  and others could be adversely impacted from SLS/Orion delays.

No doubt NASA will use this report to extol their continued improvement in Portfolio Project Management...

In the GAO Report, Exploration Ground Systems, Space Launch System, and Orion MPCV all are shown as same budget and schedule as in 2014, therefore not contributing to any of the reported budget/schedule growth statistics.  We know each one is months (1-2 years?) behind schedule and thus are collectively over budget by billions.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: JasonAW3 on 05/17/2017 06:43 PM
I am beginning to suspect that not only has the bureaucracy surrounding NASA actively contributed to deforestation here in the US, (through all the paperwork needed) but is, in fact, is now costing more than the hardware that they are trying to assemble!

     Until everyone (in government) can get their collective heads out of NASA's touchas, they are never again going to be able to do the types of things they did in the 1960's through the 1980's.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/17/2017 08:06 PM
I am beginning to suspect that not only has the bureaucracy surrounding NASA actively contributed to deforestation here in the US, (through all the paperwork needed) but is, in fact, is now costing more than the hardware that they are trying to assemble!

     Until everyone (in government) can get their collective heads out of NASA's touchas, they are never again going to be able to do the types of things they did in the 1960's through the 1980's.
NASA had access to SX's costs for development up to the first F9 launch.
Building a launch system using BAU business insight is not incrementally more expensive, it multiplies the cost by at least 6x over the approach SX used.  :(
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/17/2017 08:10 PM
New OIG report on cost and schedule performance for NASA's major programs.

Article: http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/gao-gives-nasa-mixed-results-for-management-of-major-projects (http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/gao-gives-nasa-mixed-results-for-management-of-major-projects)
Report: http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684626.pdf (http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/684626.pdf)

Its basic statement on SLS/Orion and the EGSE is that they are moving from the formation phase into Implementation Phase where most problems, schedule delays, and cost growths occur. Also that the $ amount of these 3 is 50% of the 21 programs in the report. And that problems with these 3 will have profound impacts on NASA and the reaming 18  and others could be adversely impacted from SLS/Orion delays.
So just to be clear the cost and schedule overruns to date  [EDIT WRT to SLS/Orion and EGSE] have been the warm up act for the main event?

This does not bode well for the future.  :(
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Khadgars on 05/17/2017 08:42 PM
Selective reading?  The report was overall cautiously positive.  From the below excerpt from the article, Commercial Crew also added "worry" for NASA programs. 

Quote
"NASA won praise for overall management of its projects:  "The overall cost and schedule performance of NASA's portfolio of major projects continues to improve--a trend that began in 2013."  For the portfolio of 16 projects in the implementation phase, cost growth declined to 15.6 percent from 17.3 percent last year.  Average launch delay declined to 7 months from 8 months.

However, the InSight Mars mission and the Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) project are concerns. The launch of InSight was delayed two years because of a technical problem with one of its instruments.  Costs for SGSS are rising "due to continued problems with contractor performance."  Two others also are worrying:  ICESat-2, whose cost and schedule are under review because technical issues with its only instrument, the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS); and the commercial crew program, whose contractors (SpaceX and Boeing) have notified NASA that development and certification will slip from 2017 to 2018."
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Proponent on 05/17/2017 10:43 PM
Selective reading?  The report was overall cautiously positive.

No, because in this thread, only the parts of the report about SLS and Orion are relevant.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/18/2017 11:48 PM
Given this unit flew the mission while being able to execute a little over 12 000 instructions per second and addressing up to 32K 14bit words I find it very hard to believe that in an era when a rad hard POWER PC can run about 200MHz and address GBs of data and/or code Boeing is struggling with software.  :(

Not to make any excuses (there aren't any) but the individual routines to perform the necessary tasks are really not that complex. It's the system integration that is difficult.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/19/2017 12:11 AM
So just to be clear the cost and schedule overruns to date  [EDIT WRT to SLS/Orion and EGSE] have been the warm up act for the main event?

This does not bode well for the future.  :(

Back in October 2010 when Congress passed the Authorization bill our team believed that NASA was finally going to get a vehicle they could quickly deploy. After all it was practically STS with the engines relocated minus the orbiter. How hard could it be? Well we finally learned the hard lesson that Congress is a very different animal.

One needs to remember why Congress authorized this launch system in the first place. Remember - I'm talking Congress here, not NASA, the keepers of the purse. It wasn't to replace Shuttle. It wasn't to go to Mars or even into space at all.  It was to fund jobs in the home districts. That's why they changed it to the point that even though it still "looked like" the Jupiter, in reality they had to do a complete and total redesign. That is why the funding has been slow-walking the eventual deployment. SLS will not fly until there is no other delaying tactic possible. Only then will it fly.

Even though I am disappointed in what they did to the design, I still want to see it fly.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 05/19/2017 12:25 AM
So just to be clear the cost and schedule overruns to date  [EDIT WRT to SLS/Orion and EGSE] have been the warm up act for the main event?

This does not bode well for the future.  :(

Back in October 2010 when Congress passed the Authorization bill our team believed that NASA was finally going to get a vehicle they could quickly deploy. After all it was practically STS with the engines relocated minus the orbiter. How hard could it be? Well we finally learned the hard lesson that Congress is a very different animal.

One needs to remember why Congress authorized this launch system in the first place. Remember - I'm talking Congress here, not NASA, the keepers of the purse. It wasn't to replace Shuttle. It wasn't to go to Mars or even into space at all.  It was to fund jobs in the home districts. That's why they changed it to the point that even though it still "looked like" the Jupiter, in reality they had to do a complete and total redesign. That is why the funding has been slow-walking the eventual deployment. SLS will not fly until there is no other delaying tactic possible. Only then will it fly.

Even though I am disappointed in what they did to the design, I still want to see it fly.

I don't think Congress deserves all of the blame. I'm certain that NASA would have futzed up Direct with similar problems. They haven't developed a launch vehicle or crew vehicle for decades, and seemingly need to relearn everything while being certain they already know the best way to do everything. A recipe for budget and schedule disaster no matter what Congress does.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/19/2017 12:31 AM
I don't think Congress deserves all of the blame. I'm certain that NASA would have futzed up Direct with similar problems. They haven't developed a launch vehicle or crew vehicle for decades, and seemingly need to relearn everything while being certain they already know the best way to do everything. A recipe for budget and schedule disaster no matter what Congress does.

Proper funding would have gone a long way toward relearning lost arts and developing new ones in a timely manner. It's not possible to properly run a full redesign program when the funding is drizzled out like icing on a cupcake.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 05/19/2017 12:35 AM
I don't think Congress deserves all of the blame. I'm certain that NASA would have futzed up Direct with similar problems. They haven't developed a launch vehicle or crew vehicle for decades, and seemingly need to relearn everything while being certain they already know the best way to do everything. A recipe for budget and schedule disaster no matter what Congress does.

Proper funding would have gone a long way toward relearning lost arts and developing new ones in a timely manner. It's not possible to properly run a full redesign program when the funding is drizzled out like icing on a cupcake.

$2+ billion/year for SLS and $1+ billion/year for Orion should be plenty for this stage of development! There is IMO no way that these sums of money can reasonably be described as funding that is "drizzled out like icing on a cupcake". How much do YOU think they should receive?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/19/2017 12:43 AM
$2+ billion/year for SLS and $1+ billion/year for Orion should be plenty for this stage of development! There is IMO no way that these sums of money can reasonably be described as funding that is "drizzled out like icing on a cupcake". How much do YOU think they should receive?

I didn't say that the extra money would be spent efficiently. We're talking 2 different lifestyles here. In order for NASA to match the development progress of SpaceX they would have needed 3 to 4X that much. That's because the government funded contractors are experts at fiscal disappearing acts. Put $10 dollars into a money making machine and $4.86 comes out the other side. They call that progress and spend half of that on powerpoints and mp4's for public digestion of their massive progress.

SpaceX on the other hand looks for ways to increase efficiency, while government contractors look for ways to create plausibly deniable waste. I live in that world. I see it every day. It drives me batshit crazy.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Lars-J on 05/19/2017 12:46 AM
Yes, but you said the funding was insufficient. I'm trying to keep SpaceX out of this - How much (accounting for NASA inefficiency) should they have to be sure to make good progress on SLS and Orion?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: butters on 05/19/2017 12:52 AM
I'd love to see a comparison between SLS and Jupiter with respect to costs. SLS is pretty similar to Jupiter 246. Was it the 5-seg SRBs which broke the bank? Would NASA have insisted on adopting cutting-edge core stage assembly techniques even if they'd selected the Jupiter configuration? It's difficult to understand how Jupiter could have been significant more cost-effective than SLS given how much they have in common.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/19/2017 01:00 AM
Yes, but you said the funding was insufficient. I'm trying to keep SpaceX out of this - How much (accounting for NASA inefficiency) should they have to be sure to make good progress on SLS and Orion?

My estimate is $6 to $7 billion and $3 to $4 billion respectively in order to function on a path that allowed continual progress at a pace that was respectable, accounting for the fact that the project would only ever actually see about 1/3 of it due to the way the contractors deal with government contracts.

That would have kept SLS/Orion on a reasonable path to deployment. IMO it would already be flying test articles and boiler plates by now.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/19/2017 02:13 AM
Yes, but you said the funding was insufficient. I'm trying to keep SpaceX out of this - How much (accounting for NASA inefficiency) should they have to be sure to make good progress on SLS and Orion?

My estimate is $6 to $7 billion and $3 to $4 billion respectively in order to function on a path that allowed continual progress at a pace that was respectable, accounting for the fact that the project would only ever actually see about 1/3 of it due to the way the contractors deal with government contracts.

That would have kept SLS/Orion on a reasonable path to deployment. IMO it would already be flying test articles and boiler plates by now.

Jupiter had a chance. Numbers sound about right. But ... no way to control those involved to make it happen.

Once the monster was restarted, all bets were off. And still are.

Add:

With all the changes since, its now a completely different world than that of the J-130.

If you knew what you know now then, what would you have done differently.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/19/2017 02:35 AM
The truly sad part is that Orion will have been in development for 20 years by the time it finally flies crew.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/19/2017 08:59 AM
Given this unit flew the mission while being able to execute a little over 12 000 instructions per second and addressing up to 32K 14bit words I find it very hard to believe that in an era when a rad hard POWER PC can run about 200MHz and address GBs of data and/or code Boeing is struggling with software.  :(

Not to make any excuses (there aren't any) but the individual routines to perform the necessary tasks are really not that complex. It's the system integration that is difficult.
I'm not surprised the routines are (relatively) simple. But just to be clear Boeing does SLS, LM do Orion? When North American Rockwell built the Shuttle IIRC they built an "iron bird" with the various units on it that the GPC's had to control. Building SLS sized tanks could be a problem but a rack of pressure and temperature reading simulators?

AIUI SLS flight computers have to talk to the SSME EMU's at one end and Orion at the other. But both of these are via standard buses. SSME's reporting to a control computer has been documented for the last 4 decades.  Talking to Orion could be more difficult but how much data does SLS actually have to pass? I thought SLS has it's own telemetry links to ground and the most important thing to tell Orion is "Rocket exploding. Fire the LES now."  :(

government contractors look for ways to create plausibly deniable waste. I live in that world. I see it every day. It drives me batshit crazy.
Possibly the clearest explanation of why this is not the most efficient use of taxpayers money.  :(
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/19/2017 09:02 AM
The truly sad part is that Orion will have been in development for 20 years by the time it finally flies crew.
That is quite an achievement, but not a good achievement.  :(
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/19/2017 01:48 PM
Yes, but you said the funding was insufficient. I'm trying to keep SpaceX out of this - How much (accounting for NASA inefficiency) should they have to be sure to make good progress on SLS and Orion?

My estimate is $6 to $7 billion and $3 to $4 billion respectively in order to function on a path that allowed continual progress at a pace that was respectable, accounting for the fact that the project would only ever actually see about 1/3 of it due to the way the contractors deal with government contracts.

That would have kept SLS/Orion on a reasonable path to deployment. IMO it would already be flying test articles and boiler plates by now.

Jupiter had a chance. Numbers sound about right. But ... no way to control those involved to make it happen.

Once the monster was restarted, all bets were off. And still are.

Add:

With all the changes since, its now a completely different world than that of the J-130.

If you knew what you know now then, what would you have done differently.

The way it was restarted gave the contractors and Program Office a pass on accountability. 
It was proclaimed 'The Law' ...and contractors were anointed by Congress. 

Wonder how different it would have been if SLS/Orion, even given the Congressionally-mandated specifications, was bid out as a fixed cost* contract -- since it was so simple?

* or cost plus incentive fee
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: notsorandom on 05/19/2017 01:54 PM
If we are picking apart the history of SLS and asking why it didn't end up like Direct's Jupiter then we need to also look at how STS was ended and SLS started. Jupiter was supposed to be a "direct" follow on to the Shuttle. It was to use much of the same tooling, techniques, infrastructure, and people that Shuttle used.

I don't think Direct was unreasonable. However the plan required a supportive Whitehouse, NASA administration, and Congress whereas SLS only got the latter of the three. Direct only made sense as an immediate follow on to STS when the workforce and equipment could start building the Jupiters soon after the last Shuttle flight. The flight rate was also assumed to be higher, like the Shuttle's, not once ever year or every couple of years. I remember the flight rate charts the Direct folks made back then. At SLS's low flight rate those charts indicated there might have been better options for NASA.

NASA delayed starting SLS as long as they could, so long that Congress threated subpoenas. By the time SLS was started all of the momentum STS had stalled. People were laid off and had gone on to other things, tooling had been scrapped. To compound that SLS was made bigger than necessary forcing expensive changes to the STS infrastructure. New manufacturing techniques and tool were to be used rather than those used by STS. We're seeing the results of that now. SLS also flirted with replacing the boosters early in the program.  Something that wouldn't have helped its BLEO payload and had no near term benefit or use.

To be fair though it could be worse. SLS has avoided some pitfalls. The choice early on to use only 4 RS-25s saved money and time. The three engine version would fly only a few times, while the five engine version would likely never fly being dependent on a huge upper stage. They went with the EUS, a reasonably sized upper stage using off the shelf engines. The Cryogenic Propulsion Stage and advance boosters were dropped in favor of the more useful EUS and the use of SEP in mission architectures.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: gospacex on 05/19/2017 02:45 PM
If we are picking apart the history of SLS and asking why it didn't end up like Direct's Jupiter then we need to also look at how STS was ended and SLS started. Jupiter was supposed to be a "direct" follow on to the Shuttle. It was to use much of the same tooling, techniques, infrastructure, and people that Shuttle used.

I don't think Direct was unreasonable. However the plan required a supportive Whitehouse, NASA administration, and Congress whereas SLS only got the latter of the three. Direct only made sense as an immediate follow on to STS when the workforce and equipment could start building the Jupiters soon after the last Shuttle flight. The flight rate was also assumed to be higher, like the Shuttle's, not once ever year or every couple of years. I remember the flight rate charts the Direct folks made back then. At SLS's low flight rate those charts indicated there might have been better options for NASA.

NASA delayed starting SLS as long as they could, so long that Congress threated subpoenas. By the time SLS was started all of the momentum STS had stalled. People were laid off and had gone on to other things, tooling had been scrapped. To compound that SLS was made bigger than necessary forcing expensive changes to the STS infrastructure. New manufacturing techniques and tool were to be used rather than those used by STS. We're seeing the results of that now. SLS also flirted with replacing the boosters early in the program.  Something that wouldn't have helped its BLEO payload and had no near term benefit or use.

To be fair though it could be worse.

It _was_ worse. The whole debacle of Constellation's "1.5 launch" thing (now the term even sounds idiotic, what the hell is "0.5 launch"?) and developing two rockets, one awful and one way oversized. It was dragging on for years, like nightmare you can't wake up from...
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/19/2017 03:06 PM
If you knew what you know now then, what would you have done differently?

If you remember back in the day the congressionally mandated Shuttle-Derived LV wasn’t my personal favorite. I pursued the DIRECT route with Ross because of the congressional mandate. Had that not been locked in by law I would have gone full bore, like I did for DIRECT, for the ULA Atlas-V Phase 2 and into Atlas-V Phase 3, which would have been capable of putting ~150 tonnes in a very large fairing into LEO all while using the existing manufacturing capabilities and launch infrastructure.
http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Evolution/EELVPhase2_2010.pdf

For a spacecraft I would have mandated that the Atlas-V be capable of launching it to LEO by itself, where the US could be refueled if necessary to send it further out to EML-2, which is where I would have located the permanent infrastructure for both lunar and planetary missions. That is where all the mission spacecraft would be docked, serviced and resupplied. It is where space missions would depart from and return to. One needs to remember that the ground-launched spacecraft is essentially a taxi to the space-based infrastructure. Once into space the crew would transfer to space-only spacecraft that are designed for the task with a lifespan of dozens of missions before needing to be replaced. EML-2 is literally half way to anyplace in the solar system.

Oh and I would have parked myself in Senator Shelby's office in DC constantly updating him on the advantages to his voter base located around MSFC and Decatur, urging him to get it all and not share with Louisiana. More than any other person this man IS the American rocket industry (excluding the recent new comers), and carries more congressional clout than all of the rest of them combined, with lots of clout to spare. I have nothing against Michaud, but they have little to no congressional influence. And it is congressional influence that will make or break a program. One needs to speak truth to power, and in Senator Shelby's case the voter base in Alabama IS the truth and Shelby himself IS the power. That's just the way it is and if one wants to make something happen you have got to line up all your political ducks in a row as the first priority. Without that everything else, no matter how good, will eventually fall apart.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: clongton on 05/19/2017 03:24 PM
It _was_ worse. The whole debacle of Constellation's "1.5 launch" thing (now the term even sounds idiotic, what the hell is "0.5 launch"?) and developing two rockets, one awful and one way oversized. It was dragging on for years, like nightmare you can't wake up from...

I actually liked the fundamental concept of the 1.5 architecture. But I would have made the booster be a LRB and core vehicle capable of handling more than just 2 of them. Remember the AJAX concept we worked on? It was pretty good, almost as capable as Atlas-V Phase 3.

Fundamentally it makes economic sense to use 2 different configurations of the SAME rocket to launch Heavy Cargo or Crew. The crew launcher could be used alone to launch Orion or tasked as the LRB for the heavy lifter. It is fundamentally a good concept. Constellation’s choice of the Shuttle’s SRB as the booster was a program killer. It was the root cause of everything that sunk Constellation. Had they used the Atlas-V 1st stage as an LRB instead it would have been a beautiful and relatively economic use of existing knowledge, infrastructure and personnel. It would have worked. It would have been AJAX.

AJAX had the advantage that it would likely have complied enough with the congressional mandate that it would have passed the smell test. Orion was deliberately sized to exclude the Atlas from being able to carry it to orbit. Constellation was sunk by arrogance and stupidity (IMO).
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/19/2017 07:34 PM
If you knew what you know now then, what would you have done differently?

If you remember back in the day the congressionally mandated Shuttle-Derived LV wasn’t my personal favorite. I pursued the DIRECT route with Ross because of the congressional mandate. Had that not been locked in by law I would have gone full bore, like I did for DIRECT, for the ULA Atlas-V Phase 2 and into Atlas-V Phase 3, which would have been capable of putting ~150 tonnes in a very large fairing into LEO all while using the existing manufacturing capabilities and launch infrastructure.
http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Evolution/EELVPhase2_2010.pdf
Yes I do remember that.

Quote
For a spacecraft I would have mandated that the Atlas-V be capable of launching it to LEO by itself, where the US could be refueled if necessary to send it further out to EML-2, which is where I would have located the permanent infrastructure for both lunar and planetary missions. That is where all the mission spacecraft would be docked, serviced and resupplied. It is where space missions would depart from and return to. One needs to remember that the ground-launched spacecraft is essentially a taxi to the space-based infrastructure. Once into space the crew would transfer to space-only spacecraft that are designed for the task with a lifespan of dozens of missions before needing to be replaced. EML-2 is literally half way to anyplace in the solar system.
Not too different from DSG/DST.

Quote
Oh and I would have parked myself in Senator Shelby's office in DC constantly updating him on the advantages to his voter base located around MSFC and Decatur ...
Interesting.

I was never sure he saw eye-to-eye on any of what you suggest. Too much listening only to MSFC dweebs.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/20/2017 05:12 PM
Two new articles which are not good for the SLS/Orion.

http://spacenews.com/2018-budget-proposal-to-spread-cuts-across-nasa-programs/ (http://spacenews.com/2018-budget-proposal-to-spread-cuts-across-nasa-programs/)

This first is the Administration counting pennies. It is not too bad but is an indication that the Administration is not a big fan of SLS/Orion as some would have us believe.

http://spacenews.com/report-criticizes-development-of-sls-test-stands/ (http://spacenews.com/report-criticizes-development-of-sls-test-stands/)

This second is more on bad management decisions that seemingly were responses to congressional pressure that resulted in cost increases to the program that were not necessary. Writing a FFP contract to test something before you had the specifications of what you wanted to test is not usually a good decision.
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/25/2017 02:57 PM
Quote
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust 9m9 minutes ago

ASAP chair Patricia Sanders says NASA did a “thorough and credible” job on its crewed EM-1 study.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/867753764006088704 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/867753764006088704)

ie the study produced the correct answer  ;)
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: AncientU on 05/25/2017 04:44 PM
Quote
Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust 9m9 minutes ago

ASAP chair Patricia Sanders says NASA did a “thorough and credible” job on its crewed EM-1 study.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/867753764006088704 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/867753764006088704)

ie the study produced the correct answer  ;)

If congress came up with $900M, would it have been the wrong answer, and the exact same analysis deemed "flawed and unsupportable"?
Title: Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
Post by: su27k on 07/29/2017 03:20 AM
NASA Wants You To Know Crew on EM-1 Is Doable - Just Send Money (http://nasawatch.com/archives/2017/07/nasa-wants-you-2.html)

Main take away seems to be:
1. NASA really think the risk is acceptable, they only abandoned it when schedule and funding is considered
2. Orion's heat shield is the biggest concern