Author Topic: Commercial Crew providers making "significant progress" toward first flights  (Read 17465 times)


Offline woods170

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Status and update article by Chris Gebhardt, and use of Nathan Koga's sexy L2 renders :)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/commercial-crew-providers-significant-progress-flights/
Chris and Chris G: excellent article, as always. Keep up the good work.

However, I'm annoyed about the remarks by Dr. Patricia Sanders quoted below:

Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

It is another fine example of ASAP trying to stifle progress by expecting agile parties to adapt old-style rigidity.
Very disappointing and one of the many reasons why I don't take ASAP for serious. Their stressing of safety is extreme, to the point that no manned spaceflight would be practically possible, if providers were to adhere to all of their recommendations.

Offline Rebel44

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Status and update article by Chris Gebhardt, and use of Nathan Koga's sexy L2 renders :)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/commercial-crew-providers-significant-progress-flights/
Chris and Chris G: excellent article, as always. Keep up the good work.

However, I'm annoyed about the remarks by Dr. Patricia Sanders quoted below:

Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

It is another fine example of ASAP trying to stifle progress by expecting agile parties to adapt old-style rigidity.
Very disappointing and one of the many reasons why I don't take ASAP for serious. Their stressing of safety is extreme, to the point that no manned spaceflight would be practically possible, if providers were to adhere to all of their recommendations.

ASAPs desired crew vehicle for trips to space

 ;)

Offline intrepidpursuit

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I still don't understand the increased MMOD risk levels. Despite ~315 human flights and thousands of hours on orbit without even a close call to an MMOD LOC, why is it suddenly a huge risk and the responsibility of the CC providers. Shuttle flew 134 missions with it's especially fragile heat shield exposed to space and had no major MMOD incidents unless you consider a coolant loop puncture to be a "near miss" for LOC.

I admit that I don't know how much protection is on the ISS modules, Shuttle Orbiter, Soyuz, etc. compared to what is on CST and Dragon. The new pressure vessels should be at least up to snuff compared to previous craft and some fraction of the protection the ISS modules have, but I have a hard time believing such protection levels weren't already planned.

Offline jtrame

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Humor a space enthusiast with no aerospace background, how would Soyuz measure up to this standard?  Thanks.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Is the MMOD issue that increasing amounts of debris is increasing risk? If so then experience with shuttle may have limited value for future risk assessment.


Offline Rebel44

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Gwynne Shotwell confirmed SpX Demo-1 is currently planned to happen in 2018 in recent interview (June 22, 2017 on The Space Show).

Offline Kansan52

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1. My guess, the Soyuz would not meet these standards.

2. The shuttle data is a great baseline.

IMO.

Offline whitelancer64

I still don't understand the increased MMOD risk levels. Despite ~315 human flights and thousands of hours on orbit without even a close call to an MMOD LOC, why is it suddenly a huge risk and the responsibility of the CC providers. Shuttle flew 134 missions with it's especially fragile heat shield exposed to space and had no major MMOD incidents unless you consider a coolant loop puncture to be a "near miss" for LOC.

I admit that I don't know how much protection is on the ISS modules, Shuttle Orbiter, Soyuz, etc. compared to what is on CST and Dragon. The new pressure vessels should be at least up to snuff compared to previous craft and some fraction of the protection the ISS modules have, but I have a hard time believing such protection levels weren't already planned.

Actually, there have been close calls with MMOD strikes.

The worst I know of was to STS-118, a hit to a radiator. The entry measured 8.1 mm by 6.4 mm, but the exit hole through the radiator’s backside facesheet measured 14 mm by 14 mm. It was centimeters away from the main coolant loop. A hit to the coolant loop would have caused loss of mission, NASA protocols would have called for an immediate deorbiting of the Shuttle.

Had that hit been to a window, the crew could have perished.

Also, this is not a sudden issue. It was a problem for the Shuttle as well. And the ISS has had multiple visible hits to radiators and solar arrays. We are fortunate that the MMOD shielding on the modules is performing well, but there are thousands of tiny hits to every module on the ISS.

The MMOD risk is high not because people have died, but because if there is a significant MMOD hit to a critical area or system, the vehicle will be lost and / or people will die.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline whitelancer64

Is the MMOD issue that increasing amounts of debris is increasing risk? If so then experience with shuttle may have limited value for future risk assessment.

This is one of the reasons why there are MMOD models that produce conflicting results.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Online Lars-J

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Humor a space enthusiast with no aerospace background, how would Soyuz measure up to this standard?  Thanks.

It does not. Not even close.

Humor a space enthusiast with no aerospace background, how would Soyuz measure up to this standard?  Thanks.

It does not. Not even close.

http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?letter=E&classic=YES&bibcode=2012ESASP.699E..32L&page=&type=SCREEN_VIEW&data_type=PDF_HIGH&send=GET&filetype=.pdf

Correct. However, it's not like there's much a choice for the time being, as we all know.

Offline spacetraveler

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Is SpaceX still planning on doing an in-flight abort test or was that plan scrapped? I haven't heard much about that test in quite some time.

Is SpaceX still planning on doing an in-flight abort test or was that plan scrapped? I haven't heard much about that test in quite some time.

Yes. It's scheduled between DM-1 and DM-2.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43197.msg1692793#msg1692793

Online ChrisGebhardt

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Is SpaceX still planning on doing an in-flight abort test or was that plan scrapped? I haven't heard much about that test in quite some time.

They're not doing it anymore.  Kathy Lueders talked about this to the media in late-May.  In-flight abort test is not mandated by the CCtCap contracts; it was something extra the two providers aimed to do.

Offline intrepidpursuit

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Shuttle flew 134 missions with it's especially fragile heat shield exposed to space and had no major MMOD incidents unless you consider a coolant loop puncture to be a "near miss" for LOC.

Actually, there have been close calls with MMOD strikes.

The worst I know of was to STS-118, a hit to a radiator. The entry measured 8.1 mm by 6.4 mm, but the exit hole through the radiator’s backside facesheet measured 14 mm by 14 mm. It was centimeters away from the main coolant loop. A hit to the coolant loop would have caused loss of mission, NASA protocols would have called for an immediate deorbiting of the Shuttle.

Had that hit been to a window, the crew could have perished.

My understanding of that event is different. It was a near miss for loss of mission as you say, but it was because it hit one of the most sensitive parts of the orbiter. I was under the impression a similar window hit wouldn't have caused a breach. Loss of mission is radically different than loss of crew.

Offline whitelancer64

Is SpaceX still planning on doing an in-flight abort test or was that plan scrapped? I haven't heard much about that test in quite some time.

They're not doing it anymore.  Kathy Lueders talked about this to the media in late-May.  In-flight abort test is not mandated by the CCtCap contracts; it was something extra the two providers aimed to do.

One provider, SpaceX. Boeing was never going to do an in-flight abort.

And it seems we have a conflict in sources saying different things. 5 days ago, Shotwell said in-flight abort is still happening.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Online rockets4life97

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Is SpaceX still planning on doing an in-flight abort test or was that plan scrapped? I haven't heard much about that test in quite some time.

They're not doing it anymore.  Kathy Lueders talked about this to the media in late-May.  In-flight abort test is not mandated by the CCtCap contracts; it was something extra the two providers aimed to do.

I thought Shotwell confirmed that the in-flight abort is scheduled for H1 2018 on The Space Show interview recently. I remember her saying all 3 missions (DM-1, inflight abort, and DM-2) were scheduled for H1 2018.

Online Navier–Stokes

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I thought Shotwell confirmed that the in-flight abort is scheduled for H1 2018 on The Space Show interview recently. I remember her saying all 3 missions (DM-1, inflight abort, and DM-2) were scheduled for H1 2018.
The question and answer are at 48:15. She was quite unambiguous about the in-flight abort test, a little less certain about all three being scheduled for H1 2018.
« Last Edit: 06/27/2017 10:20 PM by Navier–Stokes »

Online Coastal Ron

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Is the MMOD issue that increasing amounts of debris is increasing risk? If so then experience with shuttle may have limited value for future risk assessment.

This is one of the reasons why there are MMOD models that produce conflicting results.

No doubt there are micro-meteorids that are natural, because Earth is constantly being struck by debris from our solar system (and maybe beyond). But do we know what the ratio of human-made debris would be that is of concern? For instance, is it a 50% chance that human-made debris would be the cause of MMOD, or something higher or lower?

I'm just trying to get a sense of how much of an issue this will be when we're doing lunar orbital operations, or when we're at Mars (especially when we have space stations in those locations).
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Kansan52

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Had that hit been to a window, the crew could have perished.


So this was worse than strikes that did happen to orbiter's windows?

The reason I ask is reading articles on the orbiters windows made it sound that the multiple layers could take a lot. Never occured to me that the radiator strike was large and energetic enough to take out a window. Trying to learn.

Offline joek

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They're not doing it anymore.  Kathy Lueders talked about this to the media in late-May.  In-flight abort test is not mandated by the CCtCap contracts; it was something extra the two providers aimed to do.

SpaceX in-flight abort test was part of CCiCap ($30M milestone #14) not CCtCap.

And it seems we have a conflict in sources saying different things. 5 days ago, Shotwell said in-flight abort is still happening.

Technically correct to state "not doing it under CCtCap", which is what Lueders may have been trying to communicate--but that seems like splitting hairs.

In any case, the last NAC status 28-Mar-2017 did not show the in-flight abort test in the "CCiCap Combined Milestone Summary" (pg. 12) where it was previously.  Which isn't necessarily definitive; wouldn't be the first time those charts were missing a few bits.

« Last Edit: 06/27/2017 11:03 PM by joek »

Offline whitelancer64


Had that hit been to a window, the crew could have perished.


So this was worse than strikes that did happen to orbiter's windows?

The reason I ask is reading articles on the orbiters windows made it sound that the multiple layers could take a lot. Never occured to me that the radiator strike was large and energetic enough to take out a window. Trying to learn.

Much, much worse. Keep in mind the impact hole is more or less the size of the impacting object, so ~6x8 mm. The famous pit in the shuttle window was from a barely visible fleck of paint.

https://blogs.voanews.com/science-world/files/2012/03/sts7crack.jpg
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Kansan52

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Offline Robotbeat

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Humor a space enthusiast with no aerospace background, how would Soyuz measure up to this standard?  Thanks.

It does not. Not even close.

http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?letter=E&classic=YES&bibcode=2012ESASP.699E..32L&page=&type=SCREEN_VIEW&data_type=PDF_HIGH&send=GET&filetype=.pdf

Correct. However, it's not like there's much a choice for the time being, as we all know.
If MMOD is the bottleneck for commercial crew, then we ABSOLUTELY have a choice: Use commercial crew which might struggle to meet the arbitrary MMOD threshold or continue to use Soyuz, which doesn't get anywhere close.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Humor a space enthusiast with no aerospace background, how would Soyuz measure up to this standard?  Thanks.

It does not. Not even close.

http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-iarticle_query?letter=E&classic=YES&bibcode=2012ESASP.699E..32L&page=&type=SCREEN_VIEW&data_type=PDF_HIGH&send=GET&filetype=.pdf

Correct. However, it's not like there's much a choice for the time being, as we all know.
If MMOD is the bottleneck for commercial crew, then we ABSOLUTELY have a choice: Use commercial crew which might struggle to meet the arbitrary MMOD threshold or continue to use Soyuz, which doesn't get anywhere close.

I agree. I meant that whether they meet those thresholds or not it does not matter because they're not available to use yet. Of course, when the time comes wavers will likely have to be handed out because they will be better than the Soyuz in almost every way. It wouldn't make much sense to do anything else.

Offline Robotbeat

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Status and update article by Chris Gebhardt, and use of Nathan Koga's sexy L2 renders :)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/commercial-crew-providers-significant-progress-flights/
Chris and Chris G: excellent article, as always. Keep up the good work.

However, I'm annoyed about the remarks by Dr. Patricia Sanders quoted below:

Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

It is another fine example of ASAP trying to stifle progress by expecting agile parties to adapt old-style rigidity.
Very disappointing and one of the many reasons why I don't take ASAP for serious. Their stressing of safety is extreme, to the point that no manned spaceflight would be practically possible, if providers were to adhere to all of their recommendations.
Completely agree.

But I'll go a step further: “However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”
...those are the words of someone indoctrinated into a religion, not just someone who is very cautious.

It is definitely possible that "adopting the tenets of systems engineering" is a good way to end up less safe at the end of the day. For example, if SLS/Orion is the product of "adopting the tenets of systems engineering," then SpaceX is already WAY safer simply because they have a rocket that can afford to fly more than once before crew are put on board.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Status and update article by Chris Gebhardt, and use of Nathan Koga's sexy L2 renders :)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/commercial-crew-providers-significant-progress-flights/
Chris and Chris G: excellent article, as always. Keep up the good work.

However, I'm annoyed about the remarks by Dr. Patricia Sanders quoted below:

Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

It is another fine example of ASAP trying to stifle progress by expecting agile parties to adapt old-style rigidity.
Very disappointing and one of the many reasons why I don't take ASAP for serious. Their stressing of safety is extreme, to the point that no manned spaceflight would be practically possible, if providers were to adhere to all of their recommendations.
Completely agree.

But I'll go a step further: “However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”
...those are the words of someone indoctrinated into a religion, not just someone who is very cautious.

It is definitely possible that "adopting the tenets of systems engineering" is a good way to end up less safe at the end of the day. For example, if SLS/Orion is the product of "adopting the tenets of systems engineering," then SpaceX is already WAY safer simply because they have a rocket that can afford to fly more than once before crew are put on board.

Oh yeah. Obviously one needs to consider any dangers which may increase the risk of LOC and take steps to reduce that risk reasonably. However, if get stuck on analysis and never fly the damn thing you'll never know how safe your spacecraft is in practice, and you'll likely find you've made decisions which actually make the spacecraft less safe at a much later date and at a much higher cost. Therefore, a middle ground must be reached, and I think that ASAP currently is lying a bit too far to the side of the latter in my opinion.

Offline TomH

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What percent of the strikes to STS and ISS are/were from naturally occurring micrometeoroids and what percent from human made space junk? (Is it always possible to tell?) I know this is the commercial crew section and these craft will not go beyond LEO, but if these are mostly from human made junk, that bodes well for deep space vehicles as we don't have human made junk out in deep space. OTOH, if most are from naturally occurring MMODs, it does not at all bode well for deep space vehicles.

Offline woods170

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Is SpaceX still planning on doing an in-flight abort test or was that plan scrapped? I haven't heard much about that test in quite some time.

They're not doing it anymore.  Kathy Lueders talked about this to the media in late-May.  In-flight abort test is not mandated by the CCtCap contracts; it was something extra the two providers aimed to do.
Only SpaceX has an in-flight abort test on the schedule. So, provider, as opposed to providers.
Also, if Gwynne is to be believed than the in-flight abort test is still on.
« Last Edit: 06/28/2017 07:10 AM by woods170 »

Online Coastal Ron

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It is definitely possible that "adopting the tenets of systems engineering" is a good way to end up less safe at the end of the day. For example, if SLS/Orion is the product of "adopting the tenets of systems engineering," then SpaceX is already WAY safer simply because they have a rocket that can afford to fly more than once before crew are put on board.

I don't mind rules, but I don't like rules that aren't applied evenly, and the SLS & Orion programs sometime appear to be operating under less restrictive rules than Commercial Crew - or at least some people want them to be operating under less restrictive rules.

And I'm not saying anyone is trying to be deliberately unsafe, just that there is not a consistent standard that is being applied.

Also, not that everything should be assumed to be 100% safe, since that would mean we would never launch any humans into space, so we need to continue to have open and honest discussions about what the goals are, but also what is capable today. And then apply those rules evenly...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline synchrotron

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1. My guess, the Soyuz would not meet these standards.

2. The shuttle data is a great baseline.

IMO.

I think I politely disagree.  The Soyuz heatshield is not exposed to MMOD for very long prior to re-entry.  That's part of why the vehicle can stay on station for up to 6 months.  MMOD risk arises both from the MMOD environment, but also from the exposure duration.

Similarly, the shuttle mission durations never exceeded 17 days - nonetheless they did incur some MMOD strikes which fortunately did not endanger the vehicle or crew.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

Uh, yeh.  I'm glad that SpaceX is never going to adopt the "tenets of systems engineering" while Musk is in charge.

Offline Rocket Science

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Status and update article by Chris Gebhardt, and use of Nathan Koga's sexy L2 renders :)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/commercial-crew-providers-significant-progress-flights/
Chris and Chris G: excellent article, as always. Keep up the good work.

However, I'm annoyed about the remarks by Dr. Patricia Sanders quoted below:

Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

It is another fine example of ASAP trying to stifle progress by expecting agile parties to adapt old-style rigidity.
Very disappointing and one of the many reasons why I don't take ASAP for serious. Their stressing of safety is extreme, to the point that no manned spaceflight would be practically possible, if providers were to adhere to all of their recommendations.

ASAPs desired crew vehicle for trips to space

 ;)
Nah, they would probably say you can put humans in a vehicle carrying explosive munitions...
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Offline Jcc

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Is SpaceX still planning on doing an in-flight abort test or was that plan scrapped? I haven't heard much about that test in quite some time.

They're not doing it anymore.  Kathy Lueders talked about this to the media in late-May.  In-flight abort test is not mandated by the CCtCap contracts; it was something extra the two providers aimed to do.
Only SpaceX has an in-flight abort test on the schedule. So, provider, as opposed to providers.
Also, if Gwynne is to be believed than the in-flight abort test is still on.

I mean no disrespect to Gwynne, but let's check back in 6 months to see what actually happens. Targets tend to slip and plans change. If things go "super well" as Elon says, they might even fly DM-1 in December this year, and they might or might not do the in flight abort next year. If they could do it with a "flight proven booster" all the better. With a milestone payment of $30M they might even make money that way.

Offline Negan

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So a very interest question on reddit in reference to this article. SpaceX's fueling procedures didn't seem to come up as an issue this time. Does this mean that ASAP no longer sees this as an issue?

Online abaddon

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The AMOS-6 mishap was mentioned somewhat obliquely, and the quote "The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control." is also an indirect reference to it.

It does seem like the fueling procedure itself is less of an issue now; as you note it was not directly mentioned as a concern.
« Last Edit: 06/29/2017 03:32 PM by abaddon »

Offline clongton

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You know there were two (2) spacecraft discussed in Chris's excellent article (and the ASAP report) but this thread has quickly devolved into a SpaceX-only thread (again). Why is that? While I admit that Dragon is designed to go BLEO and Starliner isn't, that is not intended to snub Starliner. Starliner was designed to fulfill a LEO mission, is an *excellent* spacecraft and deserves a lot more discussion than it is getting. Anyone who wants to be a Dragon fan is welcome to do that, but this is not a SpaceX thread - or at least it shouldn't be. This thread should be about BOTH providers (Boeing and SpaceX) and their respective spacecraft because the ASAP report was about the progress that "both" have made toward their 1st flight. A little more discussion about the actual report please, and could we include Starliner in that?
« Last Edit: 06/29/2017 03:49 PM by clongton »
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Offline ngilmore

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Question about these two statements from the article: "Presently, ... the Starliner STA (Structural Test Article) is progressing through its test regime."
"...the builds for Starliner spacecrafts two and three are progressing"

So it seems Boeing expects the STA testing is merely a formality and they don't expect to learn anything from it that would affect spacecraft manufacture? Just validating software models?

I'm curious if Orion and Dragon had concurrent builds of flight hardware prior to STA testing being complete. Is it common aerospace procedure?

edit: grammar
« Last Edit: 06/29/2017 04:07 PM by ngilmore »

Online gongora

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Question about these two statements from the article: "Presently, ... the Starliner STA (Structural Test Article) is progressing through its test regime."
"...the builds for Starliner spacecrafts two and three are progressing"

So it seems Boeing expects the STA testing is merely a formality and they don't expect to learn anything from it that would affect spacecraft manufacture? Just validating software models?

I'm curious if Orion and Dragon had concurrent builds of flight hardware prior to STA testing being complete. Is it common aerospace procedure?

edit: grammar

Dragon did.  Only way to have a prayer of meeting the original schedule.

Online Lar

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Let's be excellent to each other. Not sniping at each other about who asks what questions would be part of that. There is nothing wrong with asking a question that pertains to only one of the two vehicles ASAP commented on.
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Offline yg1968

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Not that it matters but the 1 in 270 commercial crew LOC number comes from the Shuttle's LOC numbers. When the Shuttle was retired, it had a 1 in 90 LOC Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) (this is a different number from the actual LOC number which was  1 in 65). It was determined that commecial crew needed to be 3 times as safe as Shuttle, thus a 1 in 270 PRA LOC ratio.

Ares I was supposed to be 10 times safer than Shuttle (so 1 in 900 or 1 in 1000 depending on what numbers you use for Shuttle). But that was determined to be unrealistic.

For more on this, see this link:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35717.msg1665335#msg1665335
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 06:07 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Jim

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Lots of convo about safety and some comparison to STS,

Starliner/Dragon-2 with their crewed duration being tiny compared to operational, orbit attaining Shuttle missions which probably averaged around a week, not including the ALT or STS-1-4 test or failure to attain orbit missions), with 17 days15hours(STS-80) being the longest, and STS-51C being the shortest 03d 01h DoD mission.
Starliner apparently has a crewed duration design of 60 hours(launch/dock/undock/landing) with 210 days docked.

Is there any consideration or allowance for the duration a crew is being exposed to risk? 
60 hours max. as in Starliner(launch/dock-undock/landing, compared to 423 hours actual exposure during STS-80(launch to landing), with a max design duration of 28days(672hours with a second EDO pallet, 13 tank sets).

If I have to live in an enclosure which, at any time, can be destroyed by high speed penetrants, I would think that the shortest time within said enclosure would be the safest, all else equal.

Spacecraft safety discussions/studies must be hugely complicated.  the safest spacecraft is one that doesn't leave the pad. But staying on the ground doesn't make that crafts safety absolute.
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Offline envy887

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AIUI, the majority of the risk comes from MMOD damage to the heatshield causing an entry anomaly. This is roughly proportional to total time on orbit (which is much longer than Shuttle), not crewed time on orbit (which is much shorter than Shuttle).

Offline robert_d

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AIUI, the majority of the risk comes from MMOD damage to the heatshield causing an entry anomaly. This is roughly proportional to total time on orbit (which is much longer than Shuttle), not crewed time on orbit (which is much shorter than Shuttle).

I'm not clear how this could be proportional to time on orbit since the trunk will be attached? Also, total surface area of Shuttle was so much larger and somewhat more fragile than PICAX.

Can anyone point to a source for the Soyuz calculation and result? I would like to know if the Orbital module was hit, could the command module still detach and land? How much damage could the service module take before undocking and retro-propulsion was not possible?


Offline clongton

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MMOD damage to the heatshields of vehicles that still have their trunks or service modules attached should be non-existent. Therefore this should not be a factor in calculating LOC numbers.
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Offline envy887

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MMOD damage to the heatshields of vehicles that still have their trunks or service modules attached should be non-existent. Therefore this should not be a factor in calculating LOC numbers.

That's not what I gather from:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/05/eft-1-orion-inspections-vital-mmod-information/
and
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/nasa-mmod-primary-threat-crew-vehicles/

Backshell TPS is also at risk. I could be misinterpreting those though.

Offline RonM

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MMOD damage to the heatshields of vehicles that still have their trunks or service modules attached should be non-existent. Therefore this should not be a factor in calculating LOC numbers.

That's not what I gather from:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/05/eft-1-orion-inspections-vital-mmod-information/
and
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/nasa-mmod-primary-threat-crew-vehicles/

Backshell TPS is also at risk. I could be misinterpreting those though.

There have been 50 Soyuz missions to ISS and 30 Soyuz missions to Mir. These missions typically last about 5 to 6 months. How many of them were severely damaged by MMOD? AFAIK, none. It doesn't look like ASAP is using any of that data.

Offline whitelancer64

MMOD damage to the heatshields of vehicles that still have their trunks or service modules attached should be non-existent. Therefore this should not be a factor in calculating LOC numbers.

That's not what I gather from:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/05/eft-1-orion-inspections-vital-mmod-information/
and
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/nasa-mmod-primary-threat-crew-vehicles/

Backshell TPS is also at risk. I could be misinterpreting those though.

There have been 50 Soyuz missions to ISS and 30 Soyuz missions to Mir. These missions typically last about 5 to 6 months. How many of them were severely damaged by MMOD? AFAIK, none. It doesn't look like ASAP is using any of that data.

Just because there hasn't been a loss of a Soyuz from MMOD doesn't mean there is no risk.

Also the debris environment around the ISS / LEO in general is worse now than it ever has been, which is a part of the issue. There are MMOD models that output different risk factors depending on assumptions made about the amount and location of debris hazards. For example, fine debris from the Chinese ASAT test is slowly coming closer to Earth, but exactly where it is, how big the particles are, and how fast the orbital decay rate for the debris is a matter of some guesswork. How you model those parameters can change the risk level.
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Online Lars-J

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MMOD damage to the heatshields of vehicles that still have their trunks or service modules attached should be non-existent. Therefore this should not be a factor in calculating LOC numbers.

That's not what I gather from:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/05/eft-1-orion-inspections-vital-mmod-information/
and
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/nasa-mmod-primary-threat-crew-vehicles/

Backshell TPS is also at risk. I could be misinterpreting those though.

There have been 50 Soyuz missions to ISS and 30 Soyuz missions to Mir. These missions typically last about 5 to 6 months. How many of them were severely damaged by MMOD? AFAIK, none. It doesn't look like ASAP is using any of that data.

Just because there hasn't been a loss of a Soyuz from MMOD doesn't mean there is no risk.

Also the debris environment around the ISS / LEO in general is worse now than it ever has been, which is a part of the issue. There are MMOD models that output different risk factors depending on assumptions made about the amount and location of debris hazards. For example, fine debris from the Chinese ASAT test is slowly coming closer to Earth, but exactly where it is, how big the particles are, and how fast the orbital decay rate for the debris is a matter of some guesswork. How you model those parameters can change the risk level.

Who said it was no risk? The point - unless I am misunderstanding - was merely that after ~100 flights we starting to have a decent sample to give us data to see if the cited danger is as dangerous as claimed.

Offline Robotbeat

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Um, not just no loss of Soyuz (which would require more than just what we might call major MMOD), but no major damage to any Soyuz OR Progress from MMOD EVER. There have been hundreds of flights.

Shuttle's black, fragile and exposed heatshield is 400 times the area of the little bit of Dragon's tougher PICA heatshield that is protected by a metal covering but isn't covered by the trunk. Also, you can see at least half of it clearly from at least one window.
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Offline woods170

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Um, not just no loss of Soyuz (which would require more than just what we might call major MMOD), but no major damage to any Soyuz OR Progress from MMOD EVER. There have been hundreds of flights.

Shuttle's black, fragile and exposed heatshield is 400 times the area of the little bit of Dragon's tougher PICA heatshield that is protected by a metal covering but isn't covered by the trunk. Also, you can see at least half of it clearly from at least one window.
Forget it. That argument will never turn ASAP. If it was up to ASAP all CCP vehicles would be equipped with tripple-layer whipple shields over the entire backshell. And then they would still would voice strong concerns over the LOC/LOM numbers.
Given the energies and velocities involved in spaceflight there will never be "safe" spaceflight. But that is a fact that ASAP is not readily willing to accept. As QuantumG once voiced: the only safe manned spaceflight is no manned spaceflight.

Offline clongton

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Well shucks, buttercup. If there's the slightest chance that someone might get hurt by riding one of these things then maybe we should just skip this and go fishing instead. Be careful of that there hook young fella. It's got a sharp pointy end on it that could hurt if you stuck yourself with it. Come to think about it, let's just forget about fishing and go take a nap. What could go wrong with that?  ::)
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Offline Robotbeat

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Could get trapped and suffocated by the blankets.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

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Could get trapped and suffocated by the blankets.
Particularly if you put baby face down...

Offline Jim

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Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

Uh, yeh.  I'm glad that SpaceX is never going to adopt the "tenets of systems engineering" while Musk is in charge.

And that is why they had and will have more failures

Online abaddon

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Being too expensive is its own kind of failure.  And no guarantee, space is hard and all providers have mishaps.

Offline AbuSimbel

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Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

Uh, yeh.  I'm glad that SpaceX is never going to adopt the "tenets of systems engineering" while Musk is in charge.

And that is why they had and will have more failures
ULA will too.
Failure is not only an option, it's the only way to learn.
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Offline Steve D

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The attitude at NASA seems to be "Failure is not an option". ISTM that attitude stifles the kind of creativity needed to really advance. The Spacex attitude seems to be "Failure is an option, quitting is not". 

Online rayleighscatter

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Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

Uh, yeh.  I'm glad that SpaceX is never going to adopt the "tenets of systems engineering" while Musk is in charge.

And that is why they had and will have more failures
ULA will too.

I would suggest you don't get in a ULA commercial crew vehicle then.

Offline envy887

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The attitude at NASA seems to be "Failure is not an option". ISTM that attitude stifles the kind of creativity needed to really advance. The Spacex attitude seems to be "Failure is an option, quitting is not".

Too broad.

Sometimes failure is an option. Sometimes it isn't, but it happens anyway. This applies to everyone in the business. NASA is not immune to failure, and SpaceX is not inviting it.

Offline whitelancer64

MMOD damage to the heatshields of vehicles that still have their trunks or service modules attached should be non-existent. Therefore this should not be a factor in calculating LOC numbers.

That's not what I gather from:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/05/eft-1-orion-inspections-vital-mmod-information/
and
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/nasa-mmod-primary-threat-crew-vehicles/

Backshell TPS is also at risk. I could be misinterpreting those though.

There have been 50 Soyuz missions to ISS and 30 Soyuz missions to Mir. These missions typically last about 5 to 6 months. How many of them were severely damaged by MMOD? AFAIK, none. It doesn't look like ASAP is using any of that data.

Just because there hasn't been a loss of a Soyuz from MMOD doesn't mean there is no risk.

Also the debris environment around the ISS / LEO in general is worse now than it ever has been, which is a part of the issue. There are MMOD models that output different risk factors depending on assumptions made about the amount and location of debris hazards. For example, fine debris from the Chinese ASAT test is slowly coming closer to Earth, but exactly where it is, how big the particles are, and how fast the orbital decay rate for the debris is a matter of some guesswork. How you model those parameters can change the risk level.

Who said it was no risk? The point - unless I am misunderstanding - was merely that after ~100 flights we starting to have a decent sample to give us data to see if the cited danger is as dangerous as claimed.

Which it is, since a hit to a critical system will kill the crew. The fact that it hasn't happened yet doesn't make it any less hazardous, just ask the crew of the Columbia.

You completely ignore the other point, that the debris environment is getting worse.
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"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline guckyfan

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One of the witnesses today talked about NASA being too risk averse. Failure must be an option again. People will die.

Offline AbuSimbel

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Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

Uh, yeh.  I'm glad that SpaceX is never going to adopt the "tenets of systems engineering" while Musk is in charge.

And that is why they had and will have more failures
ULA will too.

I would suggest you don't get in a ULA commercial crew vehicle then.
Ohh trust me I would, and I would also take a ride on a Dragon. I would go knowing that failure is possible, even for ULA. Some here seem to imply that's not the case.
Failure is not only an option, it's the only way to learn.
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Well shucks, buttercup. If there's the slightest chance that someone might get hurt by riding one of these things then maybe we should just skip this and go fishing instead. Be careful of that there hook young fella. It's got a sharp pointy end on it that could hurt if you stuck yourself with it. Come to think about it, let's just forget about fishing and go take a nap. What could go wrong with that?  ::)
Could get trapped and suffocated by the blankets.
Particularly if you put baby face down...
With Folded Hands...
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« Last Edit: 07/13/2017 04:30 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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Online Lars-J

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Who said it was no risk? The point - unless I am misunderstanding - was merely that after ~100 flights we starting to have a decent sample to give us data to see if the cited danger is as dangerous as claimed.

Which it is, since a hit to a critical system will kill the crew. The fact that it hasn't happened yet doesn't make it any less hazardous, just ask the crew of the Columbia.

If course there is risk, even if it hasn't happened yet. I am under no illusion it won't happen. At some point some crews *will* die from MMOD, no matter what recommendations from ASAP are followed.

But we take risks every day. Every time we walk across the street or get in a car we roll the dice, whether we are aware of it or not. You can either be A) ignorant of it (not recommended), B) accept it and take basic precautions (the mature response) or C) wrap yourself in bubblewrap and blankets (the absurd response), or D) never leave your home (but even that poses risk)

The points is to be aware of the risks and take reasonable precautions. The people here who are dissing ASAP are not unaware of the risks... We (or at least I) wish they would be more practical in their recommendations.

You completely ignore the other point, that the debris environment is getting worse.

Assuming you are correct - what is your response to that? How safe do you feel is necessary?

Online abaddon

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The points is to be aware of the risks and take reasonable precautions. The people here who are dissing ASAP are not unaware of the risks... We (or at least I) wish they would be more practical in their recommendations.
As long as they are and remain only recommendations, I'm glad that they are asking for an unreasonably high standard.  According to Kathy Lueders, both providers have made what everyone believes to be unqualified improvements to safety while pursuing the admittedly unrealistic LOC goals.  When push comes to shove, if everyone signs off that both providers went above and beyond and that the systems can be considered safe as they can reasonably be made, what's to dislike?

I understand that some schedule slippage might be attributed to this, but it's unclear to me how much insight we have to be able to blame schedule slip on this part of the process specifically.  And, honestly, if we can make our systems safer, some schedule slippage seems a reasonable sacrifice to me.

Just my two cents and change...
« Last Edit: 07/13/2017 05:27 PM by abaddon »

Offline woods170

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Quote
“The other provider has placed a value on agility and rapid problem solving with beneficial results.  They are also showing signs of evolving to reconcile their approach with the benefits and need for discipline and control.

“However, they need to ensure that the evolution reflects an inherent desire to adopt the tenets of systems engineering.”

Uh, yeh.  I'm glad that SpaceX is never going to adopt the "tenets of systems engineering" while Musk is in charge.

And that is why they had and will have more failures
Failure IS an option if your MO is agile. And guess what SpaceX does.
The only way to continue to advance (human) spaceflight is to make mistakes and learn from them. Some of those mistakes could mean LOM or even LOC. Even risk-adverse NASA is aware of the fact that (manned) spaceflight inevitably comes with failures. That is why the Apollo program did not get cancelled after Apollo 204 and that is why after Challenger and Columbia NASA is still in the business of manned spaceflight.
I'm just glad as h*ll that ASAP is an advisory panel. If they were calling the shots US manned spaceflight would have ended after Challenger.

Online meberbs

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Who said it was no risk? The point - unless I am misunderstanding - was merely that after ~100 flights we starting to have a decent sample to give us data to see if the cited danger is as dangerous as claimed.

Which it is, since a hit to a critical system will kill the crew. The fact that it hasn't happened yet doesn't make it any less hazardous, just ask the crew of the Columbia.

You completely ignore the other point, that the debris environment is getting worse.
I think terminology has to be clarified here. Risk is formally defined as consequence times probability. The consequence is obviously very high. The data should be able to tell us probability, which seems like it shouldn't be too high. What is really being discussed here is the probability, and "hasn't happened yet" does tell us something about that.

Offline envy887

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Who said it was no risk? The point - unless I am misunderstanding - was merely that after ~100 flights we starting to have a decent sample to give us data to see if the cited danger is as dangerous as claimed.

Which it is, since a hit to a critical system will kill the crew. The fact that it hasn't happened yet doesn't make it any less hazardous, just ask the crew of the Columbia.

You completely ignore the other point, that the debris environment is getting worse.
I think terminology has to be clarified here. Risk is formally defined as consequence times probability. The consequence is obviously very high. The data should be able to tell us probability, which seems like it shouldn't be too high. What is really being discussed here is the probability, and "hasn't happened yet" does tell us something about that.

In risk analysis "hazardous" and "consequence" (as you used it) are really the same thing. The hazard is independent of the probability of occurrence, and to reach the same risk level a more severe hazard requires a lower occurrence rate.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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One of the witnesses today talked about NASA being too risk averse. Failure must be an option again. People will die.

And that cavalier attitude will get the commercial program killed much faster than any extra requirements from NASA.
"Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace." - Robert Goddard

Offline Robotbeat

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One of the witnesses today talked about NASA being too risk averse. Failure must be an option again. People will die.

And that cavalier attitude will get the commercial program killed much faster than any extra requirements from NASA.
It wasn't cavalier. Watch the video.

And he's absolutely right.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline getitdoneinspace

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One of the witnesses today talked about NASA being too risk averse. Failure must be an option again. People will die.

And that cavalier attitude will get the commercial program killed much faster than any extra requirements from NASA.
It wasn't cavalier. Watch the video.

And he's absolutely right.

One of his key points in his message was that levying a requirement “it has to be successful or else” results in the tendency of always “doing the last thing that you did that worked”. The consequence is never pushing the boundary but rather only doing small/slow incremental improvements.

Offline getitdoneinspace

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I listened to Bill Gerstenmaier recently at the AIAA Propulsion & Energy 2017 conference.

https://livestream.com/AIAAvideo/PropEnergy2017/videos/159704854

During the Q&A (47 minutes into video), he very openly wonders if the current systems engineering approach is the right approach anymore. He is thinking we should be rethinking systems engineering and perhaps emulating some of the approaches used in agile software development.

In looking at the public information available on the systems engineering process of SpaceX vs. Boeing in the commercial crew effort, one can definitely see the delta between the old systems engineering process used by Boeing vs. a modified more agile systems engineering process used by SpaceX. Very happy to see that Bill Gerstenmaier clearly recognizes the need to transform the systems engineering approach used in hardware development. I am not suggesting the SpaceX approach is perfect but, in my view, they are moving in the right direction. And maybe even more importantly, they know that the approach must be continuously improved and very open to change.

I have worked in software development for over 30 years beginning using punch cards to code. I have seen the huge benefit of the transformation allowed by new tools and approaches and most importantly a new mindset never being satisfied with the status quo. But many in my age group have resisted and resent the change taking place thinking that the old way worked let’s not change. I see many parallels here. Some organizations/people are grudgingly moving forward or at least talking the talk but maybe not really walking the walk. But other greenfield organizations/people are relooking at the problems/challenges that must be overcome and reimagining the approaches used to solve those problems/challenges while not being constrained by “doing the last thing that you did that worked”.

Change is not always easy, but very nice to see Bill is thinking that change is necessary to make significant advancements in space.

Offline AnnK

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NASA has become so "risk adverse", they will do anything to hold up US crewed flight.  I still remember the first privately funded seats to the the ISS. They called them "space tourists" and bad mouthed them. Only NASA space professionals, etc can go into space. It did not matter they had months of training as flight engineers.

We are going to lose people in space and nothing we do will avoid this fact. NASA needs to get out of the way of crewed flight. I do not see them as the solution but the problem. Congress has to get out of designing spacecraft. They can only think of providing pork for their own districts. As for Orion it should be canceled as a waste of taxpayer funds. It is obsolete before its first flight.

I see the private companies leading us into crewed missions. SpaceX will have a colony set up on Mars before the first NASA Mars flight. It is the same for the other companies. Again we will lose people but life is dangerous even if it is just driving to the supermarket.

Offline Jim

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They called them "space tourists" and bad mouthed them. Only NASA space professionals, etc can go into space. It did not matter they had months of training as flight engineers.


They were not trained as flight engineers

Offline Endeavour_01

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NASA has become so "risk adverse", they will do anything to hold up US crewed flight.

I doubt that. NASA astronauts are currently on ISS and billions are being spent on new systems to launch humans to LEO and beyond from US soil.

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They called them "space tourists"


Because they were space tourists. Nothing wrong with that.

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We are going to lose people in space and nothing we do will avoid this fact.

True. ASAP should not insist that commercial crew has to reach unrealistic LOC and LOM numbers. That said, astronauts are real people with real lives and their safety needs to be given due consideration. If you were launching on these capsules I am sure that you would insist that no corners were cut.

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NASA needs to get out of the way of crewed flight. I do not see them as the solution but the problem. I see the private companies leading us into crewed missions. SpaceX will have a colony set up on Mars before the first NASA Mars flight. It is the same for the other companies.

Well without NASA there would be no crewed US flight, either now or in the future. Badmouth NASA all you like but without it there would be no commercial crew program. As for private companies going to Mars without any NASA support I find that extremely unlikely. Mars missions won't be cheap and it makes far more sense for private companies to collaborate with NASA than to try to do it all on their own.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Online pathfinder_01

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Well without NASA there would be no crewed US flight, either now or in the future. Badmouth NASA all you like but without it there would be no commercial crew program. As for private companies going to Mars without any NASA support I find that extremely unlikely. Mars missions won't be cheap and it makes far more sense for private companies to collaborate with NASA than to try to do it all on their own.

Yes and No. Space X has planned to send people into space before commercial crew. However it would have taken longer and been more risky(i.e. more likely not to happen). In fact it has been possible for Space X to send a man into space without much work since the Dragon 1. The way it would have happened without Commercial Crew would be Space X develops the F1 and sells some launches at a profit, gets some private Capital(and/or Government funding via Air Force or DARPA) to develop the F5 and later F9(Which is the launcher that would get him into the meat of the launch market). Elon diverts revenue from the F9 to the development of the Dragon Capsule.

With time and technological advancement it indeed will be possible for private companies to send people to Mars. And if technology is advancing then the cost should come down. Imagine how much more expensive/risky and frankly downright impossible if a company like Space X had tried to develop it's own rocket with little Government funding in the 60ies.

What NASA did with Commercial Crew(and Cargo) was share experience, and R/D(PICA, Space Capsules, Rocket engines, ect.) as well as provide legitimacy that investors might invest in Space X. (i.e. Investing in a company that promises to send people into space or Mars is insane. Investing in a company that has(or might get) a contract to send supplies or people to space for NASA isn't.) It also provided funding.

Now that Space X has technology that can land a first stage and a Capsule that in theory could make it to Mars the possibility of a Private company doing Mars missions has increased slightly. Given advances it should indeed be possible to get to Mars just the way that right now it is very possible that tourist will loop around the moon in a privately owned spacecraft. Something that sounded like Sci Fi in the 80ies. Might take longer than any of us may live but yes it will happen.
« Last Edit: 07/18/2017 06:44 AM by pathfinder_01 »

Offline Endeavour_01

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Yes and No.

When I said "now, and in the future" I was referring to ISS (now) and commercial crew/Orion (the future). I wasn't saying that US spaceflight would never occur eventually at some point in the far future without NASA. I should have made that clearer.

That said, just because something will "likely happen eventually" does not decrease the genius, credit, or impact of those who made it happen. Relativity would likely have been discovered "eventually" but we still honor Einstein's genius and acknowledge the massive impact he has made on our modern world.

NASA isn't "in the way" of crewed US flight, they are the ones enabling it.

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Space X has planned to send people into space before commercial crew. However it would have taken longer and been more risky(i.e. more likely not to happen). In fact it has been possible for Space X to send a man into space without much work since the Dragon 1. The way it would have happened without Commercial Crew would be Space X develops the F1 and sells some launches at a profit, gets some private Capital(and/or Government funding via Air Force or DARPA) to develop the F5 and later F9(Which is the launcher that would get him into the meat of the launch market). Elon diverts revenue from the F9 to the development of the Dragon Capsule.

The problem with that scenario is that SpaceX wouldn't exist at all without NASA. Elon has said that it was the NASA COTS contract that saved his company from going under. No F9, no Dragon, no FH, no Mars plans, nothing without NASA investment.

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Given advances it should indeed be possible to get to Mars just the way that right now it is very possible that tourist will loop around the moon in a privately owned spacecraft.

The capsule carrying those tourists was created with NASA funding though so it isn't a totally private effort. I believe companies like SpaceX will go to Mars but at least the initial missions will have NASA involvement and funding. Otherwise, the timetable for such missions will extend far longer into the future.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline Hog

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NASA has become so "risk adverse", they will do anything to hold up US crewed flight.  I still remember the first privately funded seats to the the ISS. They called them "space tourists" and bad mouthed them. Only NASA space professionals, etc can go into space. It did not matter they had months of training as flight engineers.

We are going to lose people in space and nothing we do will avoid this fact. NASA needs to get out of the way of crewed flight. I do not see them as the solution but the problem. Congress has to get out of designing spacecraft. They can only think of providing pork for their own districts. As for Orion it should be canceled as a waste of taxpayer funds. It is obsolete before its first flight.

I see the private companies leading us into crewed missions. SpaceX will have a colony set up on Mars before the first NASA Mars flight. It is the same for the other companies. Again we will lose people but life is dangerous even if it is just driving to the supermarket.
NASA has become averse to adverse missions.   I remember the days of STS that sent human on test flights with pressure suits and ejection seats and operational missions with no chance of crew escape while powered.  To now, where we wont send a crew on first flight, even with the vehicle having a complete crew escape system.

We need to attempt to preserve the safety of space crews. But our goals in space should not be diluted due to the inability to stomach the mere possibility of the loss of human life.  Great rewards often REQUIRE great risk, the key is to mitigate as much risk as possible, while still meeting mission requirements.

Maybe its the public that is too blame?  Do we tell the politicians that it's unacceptable for Astronauts to die while at work?  IF this is true, perhaps the commercial sector will have the advantage if it is less susceptible to political pressures?
I am not being callous here, I just happen to have a background that has provided me with the gumption to understand that sometimes mission success may cost men and women their lives.   I'd bet that people with any history of being a service member including the Astronauts themselves understand this as well.  Let's support NASA and its workers, lets support their unique understanding and skill sets and not be impediments. 
Paul

Offline woods170

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NASA has become so "risk adverse", they will do anything to hold up US crewed flight.  I still remember the first privately funded seats to the the ISS. They called them "space tourists" and bad mouthed them. Only NASA space professionals, etc can go into space. It did not matter they had months of training as flight engineers.

We are going to lose people in space and nothing we do will avoid this fact. NASA needs to get out of the way of crewed flight. I do not see them as the solution but the problem. Congress has to get out of designing spacecraft. They can only think of providing pork for their own districts. As for Orion it should be canceled as a waste of taxpayer funds. It is obsolete before its first flight.

I see the private companies leading us into crewed missions. SpaceX will have a colony set up on Mars before the first NASA Mars flight. It is the same for the other companies. Again we will lose people but life is dangerous even if it is just driving to the supermarket.
NASA has become averse to adverse missions.   I remember the days of STS that sent human on test flights with pressure suits and ejection seats and operational missions with no chance of crew escape while powered.  To now, where we wont send a crew on first flight, even with the vehicle having a complete crew escape system.

We need to attempt to preserve the safety of space crews. But our goals in space should not be diluted due to the inability to stomach the mere possibility of the loss of human life.  Great rewards often REQUIRE great risk, the key is to mitigate as much risk as possible, while still meeting mission requirements.

Maybe its the public that is too blame?  Do we tell the politicians that it's unacceptable for Astronauts to die while at work?  IF this is true, perhaps the commercial sector will have the advantage if it is less susceptible to political pressures?
I am not being callous here, I just happen to have a background that has provided me with the gumption to understand that sometimes mission success may cost men and women their lives.   I'd bet that people with any history of being a service member including the Astronauts themselves understand this as well.  Let's support NASA and its workers, lets support their unique understanding and skill sets and not be impediments. 
Every US manned spacecraft was launched unmanned at least once. Space shuttle has been the only exception. CCP and Orion are no exceptions however and follow suit in a half- century long tradition.
« Last Edit: 07/23/2017 12:45 PM by woods170 »

Offline laszlo

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If "the NASA way" really is holding things back, all someone has to do is demonstrate that by launching a rapid series of crewed orbital flights with volunteers for potentially one-way trips and show that all the concerns are false. Remove all the restrictions, launch on used boosters, land propulsively, launch and re-launch as quickly as possible. A couple of dozen successful flights in a row before NASA's project even gets to the ISS the first time would show the world that the SpaceX fan club is right and that NASA is a dinosaur that's getting in the way and we could then move on to the Way Things Should Be.

SpaceX won't do this because no one is paying them to, so how about a kickstarter campaign to fund this series of demo flights? The crews, of course, would be volunteers from the folks who hang around here and think that there's no reason to proceed with engineering rigor.

This suggestion, silly as it sounds, is simply the distillation to essentials of a lot of the arguments that have showed up here, many in this thread. People who rail against Lego Rocket Engineering seem to have no difficulty with Lego Rocket Safety. I don't know if it's because they've not taken enough statistics classes, never been in a truly risky situation, or what. But if they want to get into space and damn the risks, just give SpaceX the cash and there will be no problem.



Offline Ike17055

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NASA has become so "risk adverse", they will do anything to hold up US crewed flight.  I still remember the first privately funded seats to the the ISS. They called them "space tourists" and bad mouthed them. Only NASA space professionals, etc can go into space. It did not matter they had months of training as flight engineers.

We are going to lose people in space and nothing we do will avoid this fact. NASA needs to get out of the way of crewed flight. I do not see them as the solution but the problem. Congress has to get out of designing spacecraft. They can only think of providing pork for their own districts. As for Orion it should be canceled as a waste of taxpayer funds. It is obsolete before its first flight.

I see the private companies leading us into crewed missions. SpaceX will have a colony set up on Mars before the first NASA Mars flight. It is the same for the other companies. Again we will lose people but life is dangerous even if it is just driving to the supermarket.
NASA has become averse to adverse missions.   I remember the days of STS that sent human on test flights with pressure suits and ejection seats and operational missions with no chance of crew escape while powered.  To now, where we wont send a crew on first flight, even with the vehicle having a complete crew escape system.

We need to attempt to preserve the safety of space crews. But our goals in space should not be diluted due to the inability to stomach the mere possibility of the loss of human life.  Great rewards often REQUIRE great risk, the key is to mitigate as much risk as possible, while still meeting mission requirements.

Maybe its the public that is too blame?  Do we tell the politicians that it's unacceptable for Astronauts to die while at work?  IF this is true, perhaps the commercial sector will have the advantage if it is less susceptible to political pressures?
I am not being callous here, I just happen to have a background that has provided me with the gumption to understand that sometimes mission success may cost men and women their lives.   I'd bet that people with any history of being a service member including the Astronauts themselves understand this as well.  Let's support NASA and its workers, lets support their unique understanding and skill sets and not be impediments.

Taking shortcuts is the fastest way to get people killed -- and for no reason other than space enthusiast impatience.  Getting people killed is also the fastest way to losing public support, and public funding, resulting in program cancellations. 

Offline woods170

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NASA has become so "risk adverse", they will do anything to hold up US crewed flight.  I still remember the first privately funded seats to the the ISS. They called them "space tourists" and bad mouthed them. Only NASA space professionals, etc can go into space. It did not matter they had months of training as flight engineers.

We are going to lose people in space and nothing we do will avoid this fact. NASA needs to get out of the way of crewed flight. I do not see them as the solution but the problem. Congress has to get out of designing spacecraft. They can only think of providing pork for their own districts. As for Orion it should be canceled as a waste of taxpayer funds. It is obsolete before its first flight.

I see the private companies leading us into crewed missions. SpaceX will have a colony set up on Mars before the first NASA Mars flight. It is the same for the other companies. Again we will lose people but life is dangerous even if it is just driving to the supermarket.
NASA has become averse to adverse missions.   I remember the days of STS that sent human on test flights with pressure suits and ejection seats and operational missions with no chance of crew escape while powered.  To now, where we wont send a crew on first flight, even with the vehicle having a complete crew escape system.

We need to attempt to preserve the safety of space crews. But our goals in space should not be diluted due to the inability to stomach the mere possibility of the loss of human life.  Great rewards often REQUIRE great risk, the key is to mitigate as much risk as possible, while still meeting mission requirements.

Maybe its the public that is too blame?  Do we tell the politicians that it's unacceptable for Astronauts to die while at work?  IF this is true, perhaps the commercial sector will have the advantage if it is less susceptible to political pressures?
I am not being callous here, I just happen to have a background that has provided me with the gumption to understand that sometimes mission success may cost men and women their lives.   I'd bet that people with any history of being a service member including the Astronauts themselves understand this as well.  Let's support NASA and its workers, lets support their unique understanding and skill sets and not be impediments.

Taking shortcuts is the fastest way to get people killed -- and for no reason other than space enthusiast impatience.  Getting people killed is also the fastest way to losing public support, and public funding, resulting in program cancellations. 
Despite taking shortcuts and getting people killed (twice! ) the space shuttle enjoyed broad public support until the very end. So where does that leave your assumption?
« Last Edit: 07/23/2017 07:16 PM by woods170 »

Online rayleighscatter

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Despite taking shortcuts and getting people killed (twice! ) the space shuttle enjoyed broad public support until the very end. So where does that leave your assumption?

So you either need safety or broad public support.

Lacking any broad public support for commercial crew NASA has to fall back on safety.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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The SpaceX Falcon 1 only reached LEO on the fourth attempt. The Falcon 9R needed several goes before it could land on the barge. Do not put people in the spacecraft until the test dummies return safely. You can take the debugging stage out of the plans but not out of real life.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falcon_1

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