Poll

Which of the following will fly first?

SpaceX Crewed Lunar Flyby
122 (75.8%)
SLS EM 1
35 (21.7%)
Neither Will Ever Fly
4 (2.5%)

Total Members Voted: 161

Voting closed: 03/28/2017 03:32 AM


Author Topic: What will happen first: SpaceX Crewed Lunar Flyby or SLS EM-1  (Read 6912 times)

Offline clongton

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While I appreciate and look forward to every new SpaceX event, like Jon I too am on the Skeptical fringe of being a fanboy. Every time they announce a date for some event or flight my first response is always "yea, right. I'll believe that when I see it", and I pencil it on my calendar. They're getting better at that but there is still much improvement needed. I believe the NET dates for both SpaceX and EM-1 will slip but NASA has a long established history of slow-walking even programs that are progressing. Granted that is not entirely their fault, subject as they are to the Congressional pork-barrel funding profile and their reliance on the military/industrial complex to bend their metal. Couple that with an obvious "it'll happen when it happens" attitude and I don't see how EM-1 stands a snowball's chance in hell of beating SpaceX's around the moon flight. SpaceX's date *will* slip, for sure, but NASA's will slip more. I'd put my money on SpaceX doing it first.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline clongton

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I'd probably pick 2019 for Dragon and 2021 for Orion.

If SLS/Orion EM-1 unmanned goes past 2020 it'll be SpaceX alone. I honestly don't believe SLS/Orion survives the 2020 election cycle, regardless of outcome, if it hasn't flown by then.
« Last Edit: 03/22/2017 03:07 PM by clongton »
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline rockets4life97

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The word seems to be out of the bag that SLS EM-1 will have crew. I have to think this delays EM-1 into late 2019, if not 2020 (or beyond). I think the SpaceX crewed lunary flyby is now a good bit more likely to happen first.

Edit: Looks like I spoke too soon. No crew on EM-1.
« Last Edit: 05/12/2017 03:12 PM by rockets4life97 »

Offline Star One

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The word seems to be out of the bag that SLS EM-1 will have crew. I have to think this delays EM-1 into late 2019, if not 2020 (or beyond). I think the SpaceX crewed lunary flyby is now a good bit more likely to happen first.
Isn't it just as likely that Space X will move later as well.

Offline rockets4life97

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The word seems to be out of the bag that SLS EM-1 will have crew. I have to think this delays EM-1 into late 2019, if not 2020 (or beyond). I think the SpaceX crewed lunary flyby is now a good bit more likely to happen first.
Isn't it just as likely that Space X will move later as well.

For sure, the SpaceX date will slip. But they aren't facing a major mission redesign. FH and Dragon 2 look to be in track from their debut in Q4 of this year. Getting those two flying is the major prerequisite for the lunar flyby and they look much closer to me than SLS.

Offline envy887

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The word seems to be out of the bag that SLS EM-1 will have crew. I have to think this delays EM-1 into late 2019, if not 2020 (or beyond). I think the SpaceX crewed lunary flyby is now a good bit more likely to happen first.
Isn't it just as likely that Space X will move later as well.

For sure, the SpaceX date will slip. But they aren't facing a major mission redesign. FH and Dragon 2 look to be in track from their debut in Q4 of this year. Getting those two flying is the major prerequisite for the lunar flyby and they look much closer to me than SLS.

Dragon is supposed to fly with crew in 2018. Orion in 2021. Dragon's schedule slipping right is fairly easy to imagine, but Orion moving left much less so.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Estimates for Orion schedule moved right at least a year to 4Q 2019 possibly even 1Q 2020 for EM-1 and NET ~1Q 2023 for EM-2.

I think the voters caught on that the SLS/Orion program was in schedule trouble.

So the SpaceX flight could slip almost a year and still occur before the EM-1 flight. But for Manned cis-Lunar would occur even if it slipped a year would be more than 3 years previous. If it doesn't slip it will be 4 years ahead.

How many additional Lunar flights might SpaceX have before 2023?

4? -> 1 a year?

How many would NASA purchase a ride on? Astronaut training flights for cis-Lunar travel?

Offline Zed_Noir

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....
How many additional Lunar flights might SpaceX have before 2023?

4? -> 1 a year?

As many as there are paying customers with the cash. Think you could have 1 flight per quarter. So a possible maximum of 16 flights. More likely about 7 to 9 flights.

Quote
How many would NASA purchase a ride on? Astronaut training flights for cis-Lunar travel?

Kinda of pointless for training IMO. Since the systems and operations between the Dragon and Orion are so dissimilar. AIUI the Dragon is fully automated with the possible exception of the ECLSS under normal operations.


Offline TaurusLittrow

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One thing is for sure, SpaceX has a much better chance of circumnavigating the moon with a crewed vehicle before NASA does.

Offline Darkseraph

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One thing is for sure, SpaceX has a much better chance of circumnavigating the moon with a crewed vehicle before NASA does.

They would have a better chance at circumnavigating the moon before NASA, if it were not for a certain watch company objecting to Musk starting up TimeX!
:D 

All humor aside, I wouldn't be dreadfully surprised if the proposed SpaceX moon mission is significantly delayed also given their past history of overoptimism on schedule.  Red Dragon got bumped two years to the right shortly after being announced. Falcon Heavy is years behind schedule. There are doubts that commercial crew will be fully operational before 2019. Racing SpaceX to the Moon is not really a valuable thing for NASA to be doing either, it ought to be focused on turning SLS/Orion into a robust and safe architecture that allows for long term missions to be performed at the Moon and beyond. 
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Offline ncb1397

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One thing is for sure, SpaceX has a much better chance of circumnavigating the moon with a crewed vehicle before NASA does.

Not really. They are late by 50+ years.

Offline jtrame

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One thing is for sure, SpaceX has a much better chance of circumnavigating the moon with a crewed vehicle before NASA does.

Not really. They are late by 50+ years.

And it was all up, orbit vs. flyby.  Oh well, another day, another time. 

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Many of the reasons why certain other projects have been delayed (slipped to the right) has been that they were dependent on FH and on spending SpaceX's own money. The Lunar flight is completely paid for by a customer. So SpaceX is only dependent on CC and FH to make the flight. CC is fully funded mostly by NASA and FH has 2 1st stage elements already. They need the third "used" booster to complete the booster part of the FH. Then they need the LC39A pad mods which is dependent on LC-40 operational status. The last is the biggest pin in the schedule.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Suggest practice in integrating FH is/has been the pin. Too bad you just can't use SuperGlue...

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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No they just need pins that stay stuck in the scheduling board without falling out on the floor.

Added comment:
When I originally wrote this I was thinking about SpaceX and FH schedules. But after thinking about it it also equally applies to NASA and its SLS/Orion program.
« Last Edit: 05/18/2017 09:47 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline darkenfast

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We seem to have a race (in reverse!), with the two contestants being SpaceX Time Dilation Effect versus Government Pork/Bureaucracy/Revolving Door Syndrome.  Given recent reports out of Michoud regarding the tanks and domes, I think SpaceX is in the lead right now.  If they can avoid blowing up another rocket, I believe they will send the two mystery people around the Moon before the SLS gets itself off the pad.

Offline Mader Levap

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Asking "who will be first" is wrong question.

"Who will slip the least" is right question.

It is true turtle race.
Be successful.  Then tell the haters to (BLEEP) off. - deruch
...and if you have failure, tell it anyway.

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Program schedule risk assessment:
Lunar Dragon:
Funding risk:
Low to none

Technical risks:
FH demo - Medium risk (first time the use of three cores side by side).
CC demo - Medium risk (some systems first time use, other inherited from earlier Dragon).
Dragon BEO -Medium risk (First time Dragon BEO)

SLS/Orion:
Funding Risk:
High
Sources of risk in order highest to lowest
  Congress
  President
  NASA
  contractors

Technical risk:
SLS - very HIGH (first time any elements ever launched, even considering many are Shuttle derived it will be almost a decade since last Shuttle launch)
Orion - High  (lots of new hardware and software without much use of any proven systems [EFT-1 was more of a concepts proof than a hardware proof], specifically the reentry shield)


NOTE: This is an assessment of the risk to the schedule due to the sources, not about whether the flight will be successful.
« Last Edit: 05/19/2017 01:56 AM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

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