Author Topic: SLS General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 246222 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1240 on: 01/03/2018 08:33 PM »
What was that price per seat on Soyuz just after STS was retired, as in within days after Atlantis landed way back in July, 2011?  I've seen $66 million quoted, but I remember Bolden attempting to dispel that number.

Here is a chart from a 2016 Business Insider article:



Quote
I also remember that congressional "rule/law" stating that SLS was to be capable of ISS missions.

Here is what the original Senate Bill S. 3729 stated:

Quote
SEC. 303. MULTI-PURPOSE CREW VEHICLE.
(a) INITIATION OF DEVELOPMENT.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall continue the
development of a multi-purpose crew vehicle to be available as soon as practicable, and no later than for use with the Space Launch System. The vehicle shall continue to advance development of the human safety features, designs, and systems in the Orion project.
(2) GOAL FOR OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY.—It shall be the goal to achieve full operational capability for the transportation vehicle developed pursuant to this subsection by not later than December 31, 2016. For purposes of meeting such goal, the Administrator may undertake a test of the transportation vehicle at the ISS before that date.
(b) MINIMUM CAPABILITY REQUIREMENTS.—The multi-purpose
crew vehicle developed pursuant to subsection (a) shall be designed to have, at a minimum, the following:
(1) The capability to serve as the primary crew vehicle for missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
(2) The capability to conduct regular in-space operations, such as rendezvous, docking, and extra-vehicular activities, in conjunction with payloads delivered by the Space Launch System developed pursuant to section 302, or other vehicles, in preparation for missions beyond low-Earth orbit or servicing of assets described in section 804, or other assets in cis-lunar space.
(3) The capability to provide an alternative means of delivery of crew and cargo to the ISS, in the event other vehicles, whether commercial vehicles or partner-supplied vehicles, are unable to perform that function.
(4) The capacity for efficient and timely evolution, including the incorporation of new technologies, competition of sub-ele- ments, and commercial operations.

Quote
A Shuttle launch every 3 weeks would have provided coverage for crew rotations.  Just imagine one Orbiter Vehicle always docked with ISS with 2 being docked for a few hours/days.

I don't think the Shuttle fleet was capable of doing that safely and consistently.
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 oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1241 on: 01/03/2018 10:40 PM »
What was that price per seat on Soyuz just after STS was retired, as in within days after Atlantis landed way back in July, 2011?  I've seen $66 million quoted, but I remember Bolden attempting to dispel that number.

Here is a chart from a 2016 Business Insider article:



Quote
I also remember that congressional "rule/law" stating that SLS was to be capable of ISS missions.

Here is what the original Senate Bill S. 3729 stated:

Quote
SEC. 303. MULTI-PURPOSE CREW VEHICLE.
(a) INITIATION OF DEVELOPMENT.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall continue the
development of a multi-purpose crew vehicle to be available as soon as practicable, and no later than for use with the Space Launch System. The vehicle shall continue to advance development of the human safety features, designs, and systems in the Orion project.
(2) GOAL FOR OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY.—It shall be the goal to achieve full operational capability for the transportation vehicle developed pursuant to this subsection by not later than December 31, 2016. For purposes of meeting such goal, the Administrator may undertake a test of the transportation vehicle at the ISS before that date.
(b) MINIMUM CAPABILITY REQUIREMENTS.—The multi-purpose
crew vehicle developed pursuant to subsection (a) shall be designed to have, at a minimum, the following:
(1) The capability to serve as the primary crew vehicle for missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
(2) The capability to conduct regular in-space operations, such as rendezvous, docking, and extra-vehicular activities, in conjunction with payloads delivered by the Space Launch System developed pursuant to section 302, or other vehicles, in preparation for missions beyond low-Earth orbit or servicing of assets described in section 804, or other assets in cis-lunar space.
(3) The capability to provide an alternative means of delivery of crew and cargo to the ISS, in the event other vehicles, whether commercial vehicles or partner-supplied vehicles, are unable to perform that function.
(4) The capacity for efficient and timely evolution, including the incorporation of new technologies, competition of sub-ele- ments, and commercial operations.

Quote
A Shuttle launch every 3 weeks would have provided coverage for crew rotations.  Just imagine one Orbiter Vehicle always docked with ISS with 2 being docked for a few hours/days.

I don't think the Shuttle fleet was capable of doing that safely and consistently.
A suggestion would be to cross post this into Commercial Crew thread.

Offline Mnethercutt

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1242 on: 01/20/2018 01:45 PM »
Allright, who do I write a letter to if I want to if I want to get something about this program to change?  Is it my congressman or my senator?

<Rant mode on>
This is not a joke post.  I've been following this program since I was a young high schooler 7 years ago, and I've watched as the date slipped and slipped and slipped.  I've followed on L2 and seen the updates and gotten hyped to watch this rocket fly, only to then see things start to go wrong.  Now I'm seeing more and more problems that require more and more money to fix. If they had been addressed at the beginning (ML issues), or been given proper funding (ESM,Software?, also ML) wouldn't be a problem.  This program is eating up a ridiculous amount of NASA's budget, and to me, doesn't seem to be accomplishing much other than providing jobs.  Yes, maybe that's what congress wants, but I personally don't sit easy knowing that.  I've always been a fan of SLS, but I swear, if this program keeps delaying it's going to turn me into a SpaceX fanboy.
</Rant mode off>
Don't worry, things can only go up from here.  Even if it explodes, the force of the explosion will probably make it go up a little.

Online RonM

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1243 on: 01/20/2018 02:44 PM »
Allright, who do I write a letter to if I want to if I want to get something about this program to change?  Is it my congressman or my senator?

<Rant mode on>
This is not a joke post.  I've been following this program since I was a young high schooler 7 years ago, and I've watched as the date slipped and slipped and slipped.  I've followed on L2 and seen the updates and gotten hyped to watch this rocket fly, only to then see things start to go wrong.  Now I'm seeing more and more problems that require more and more money to fix. If they had been addressed at the beginning (ML issues), or been given proper funding (ESM,Software?, also ML) wouldn't be a problem.  This program is eating up a ridiculous amount of NASA's budget, and to me, doesn't seem to be accomplishing much other than providing jobs.  Yes, maybe that's what congress wants, but I personally don't sit easy knowing that.  I've always been a fan of SLS, but I swear, if this program keeps delaying it's going to turn me into a SpaceX fanboy.
</Rant mode off>

Both of your senators (each state gets two) and your congressman.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1244 on: 01/20/2018 03:24 PM »
Allright, who do I write a letter to if I want to if I want to get something about this program to change?  Is it my congressman or my senator?

<Rant mode on>
This is not a joke post.  I've been following this program since I was a young high schooler 7 years ago, and I've watched as the date slipped and slipped and slipped.  I've followed on L2 and seen the updates and gotten hyped to watch this rocket fly, only to then see things start to go wrong.  Now I'm seeing more and more problems that require more and more money to fix. If they had been addressed at the beginning (ML issues), or been given proper funding (ESM,Software?, also ML) wouldn't be a problem...
</Rant mode off>

What you're seeing today is the result of how the program was created, and how it was created was in a most unusual way.

So yes, contact your congressional representatives, but quite honestly there is nothing that can be done about the SLS program as of today, since this was all essentially pre-determined when the SLS was created.

I would suggest that you look into how large hardware programs are SUPPOSED to be proposed, developed and built, and then see how the SLS has differed from that. Maybe that will help you to understand why we're seeing what's going on today. And if you do your research right, you'll find that you have to go all the way back to 2005 in order to fully understand how we have ended up where we are.

This thread is not the right one to be doing research (general discussion vs history), but there is a lot of discussions elsewhere on NSF that you could start with.
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 edkyle99

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1245 on: 01/20/2018 03:32 PM »
So, what can be done to improve SLS and make it work at a lower cost?  Fly-back liquid boosters?, liquid boosters?  A good second stage?
Sorry for the delay.  I just ran across this question.  I try to avoid this thread these days.

In my mind, the key is ultimately going to be the cost of propulsion, especially of the RS-25 core stage engines.  They will have to build new engines at some point.  Cost control will be paramount.  I wish this work could be opened for truely competitive bidding.

EUS and its engines will also be a key cost driver.  The engines and other systems must be common with at least one other commercial stage or cost control will be impossible.

But the real cost of SLS/Orion that needs to see some control is for Orion.  That barter exchange for Service Module will shift to real money (Euros) in the future (there are only so many AJ-10s, and they don't make them anymore), and does anyone see evidence of cost-control as a consideration in the design of the CM? 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/20/2018 03:40 PM by edkyle99 »

Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1246 on: 01/20/2018 04:18 PM »
So, what can be done to improve SLS and make it work at a lower cost?  Fly-back liquid boosters?, liquid boosters?  A good second stage?
Sorry for the delay.  I just ran across this question.  I try to avoid this thread these days.

In my mind, the key is ultimately going to be the cost of propulsion, especially of the RS-25 core stage engines.  They will have to build new engines at some point.  Cost control will be paramount.  I wish this work could be opened for truely competitive bidding.

EUS and its engines will also be a key cost driver.  The engines and other systems must be common with at least one other commercial stage or cost control will be impossible.

But the real cost of SLS/Orion that needs to see some control is for Orion.  That barter exchange for Service Module will shift to real money (Euros) in the future (there are only so many AJ-10s, and they don't make them anymore), and does anyone see evidence of cost-control as a consideration in the design of the CM? 

 - Ed Kyle

The RL-10s cost ~$19M each IIRC. So just the engines on the EUS cost more than a full Falcon 9 (with no reuse factored in), or potentially around the same price as a fully reused FH.

That price needs to go doooown!  ;D
« Last Edit: 01/20/2018 04:19 PM by IanThePineapple »
Proud creator of Ian's Paper Model Rocket Collection:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42383.0

Offline edkyle99

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1247 on: 01/20/2018 04:27 PM »
The RL-10s cost ~$19M each IIRC. So just the engines on the EUS cost more than a full Falcon 9 (with no reuse factored in), or potentially around the same price as a fully reused FH.
Falcon 9 has nothing to do with this discussion.  In fully expendable mode, it can only boost maybe 9% or so as much as SLS Block 1B beyond LEO.  It should cost less!
 
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1248 on: 01/21/2018 04:16 AM »
Cost of liquid engines only:

4 RL-10's $80M
4 RS-25E's ($55M each) $220M

= $300M

Now add two SRBs and tanks and ......

So the incremental cost is well over $500M.

The pad costs are hopefully not more than the previously estimated $800M/year (includes everything: processing, GSE, VAB, pad  - maintence, operations).

That puts the minimum absolute cost if you launched 2 a year at not less than $1B each launch. At 1 per year it is about $1.4B each launch. But in budget for the year launching two in 1 year requires a budget of $2B but launching only 1 a year requires only a budget of $1.4B.

Online AncientU

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1249 on: 01/21/2018 12:02 PM »
Cost of liquid engines only:

4 RL-10's $80M
4 RS-25E's ($55M each) $220M

= $300M

Now add two SRBs and tanks and ......

So the incremental cost is well over $500M.

The pad costs are hopefully not more than the previously estimated $800M/year (includes everything: processing, GSE, VAB, pad  - maintence, operations).

That puts the minimum absolute cost if you launched 2 a year at not less than $1B each launch. At 1 per year it is about $1.4B each launch. But in budget for the year launching two in 1 year requires a budget of $2B but launching only 1 a year requires only a budget of $1.4B.

That's before payload, of course.  Add an Orion and a ride-share DSG module each time for typical budgets.
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1250 on: 01/21/2018 03:17 PM »
Cost of liquid engines only:

4 RL-10's $80M
4 RS-25E's ($55M each) $220M

= $300M

Now add two SRBs and tanks and ......

So the incremental cost is well over $500M.

The pad costs are hopefully not more than the previously estimated $800M/year (includes everything: processing, GSE, VAB, pad  - maintence, operations).

That puts the minimum absolute cost if you launched 2 a year at not less than $1B each launch. At 1 per year it is about $1.4B each launch. But in budget for the year launching two in 1 year requires a budget of $2B but launching only 1 a year requires only a budget of $1.4B.

That's before payload, of course.  Add an Orion and a ride-share DSG module each time for typical budgets.
It's the allowed budget level that is the real problem for SLS.

The budget would probably never get as high as $1.5B / year just for the SLS LV line and any more than the $800M / year for ground support. That gives a total of not more than $2.3B which must also handle upgrades and future development costs. If launching 1 per year there is enough remaining to do significant development work for upgrades ~$900M but launching at 2 per year development upgrades is starved.

But if you also consider Orion costs + DSG payloads and budget with this added to the total and the likely hood of all things SLS/Orion/GSE/DSG budget capped at no higher than $3.5M, that $900M margin disappears quickly in order to develop and build the DSG elements and for making improvements to the SLS/Orion and after EM-2 shouldering the complete cost of the SM manufacture for Orion.

The difficulties have only just begun for the program if the costs have grown for the basic incremental costs. Initially SLS's incremental cost was supposed to be (less EUS) ~$300M but with just engines costing $55M each for total of $220M that figure may be difficult to reach! Which will starve payload (DSG) development and  ultimately SLS's purpose for being.

SLS
4 RS-25's ($55M each) $220M
2 SRB's ($30M each) $60M
Tank Core $75M
Avionics $25M (rad hard, commonality with EUS)
= $380M

EUS
4 RL-10's ($19M each) $76M
Tank Core $20
Avionics $25M (rad hard)
= $121M

SLS 1B = not less than $501M (NOTE this is a very optimistic estimate)

This also shows why NASA is looking at ways to cut incremental costs of the EUS by using a different cheaper engine. A pair of BE-3U's ($8M each, this actually is a high estimate and reality is likely to be lower) could save as much as $60M.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1251 on: Today at 05:30 AM »
SLS 1B = not less than $501M (NOTE this is a very optimistic estimate)

For a production run of 22 vehicles, I got a price of $511M each using NASA cost models.
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Online AncientU

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1252 on: Today at 01:22 PM »
SLS 1B = not less than $501M (NOTE this is a very optimistic estimate)

For a production run of 22 vehicles, I got a price of $511M each using NASA cost models.

Vehicle unit cost or full operational cost?  How many vehicles per year launched?
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