Author Topic: DIRECT v3.0 - Thread 5 - Transition from STS to the new Space Launch System  (Read 561091 times)

Offline FinalFrontier

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Nasa will do as its told from now on or it will cease to exist. It nearly did this time around. There won't be a second chance. They ethier stay in budget and on time or they go away: Its that simple.

Bureaucracy does not work quite like that. The worst thing you can do is to come in under budget. Because that is an open door for the politicians to cut your future budget saying "you didn't need that money anyway".

You always try to come in over budget. That way, you can go to the politicians and whine you don't have enough money...

Well that explains alot. If every government agency operated on your logic the government would collapse under its own  debt weight

You think our debt is bad now? Imagine if every government agency operated on the logic that every project would "come in OVER budget"

No no, you ethier plan to come in UNDER BUDGET or you come in at budget. Slightly over, might be accetable but nothing like CXP. If they try to build ares or use CXP logic they will fail and the agency will be rolled up. It might be a climate agency afterwards AT BEST.

In this scenerio commercial companies would, in theory, fill the void.
Obam tried to make this happen with fy2011. I think NASA deserves one more chance IF THEY WILL FOLLOW A LOGICALLY DATABASED APPROACH. If not, then the president was right.
« Last Edit: 07/31/2010 03:13 PM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline neilh

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I think they have a specific definition of what commercial means in the rocket context. 

It is very misleading to imply that Shuttle and ULA Atlas V and SpaceX Falcon 9 are all commercial rockets bought by NASA, when important things like rocket design, test, construction, ownership, and operation are done differently for each rocket...

They all suck the same teat, but they do it differently, so... that is what the "commercial" thing is getting at...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/national_space_policy_6-28-10.pdf
Quote
The term “commercial,” for the purposes of this policy, refers to space goods, services, or activities provided by private sector enterprises that bear a reasonable portion of the investment risk and responsibility for the activity, operate in accordance with typical market-based incentives for controlling cost and optimizing return on investment, and have the legal capacity to offer these goods or services to existing or potential nongovernmental customers.

Also, I'm guessing the idea that some DIRECT proponents were tossing about of commercial-ish development/operations of an SDLV is dead under the bills currently in Congress?
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Offline FinalFrontier

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I think they have a specific definition of what commercial means in the rocket context. 

It is very misleading to imply that Shuttle and ULA Atlas V and SpaceX Falcon 9 are all commercial rockets bought by NASA, when important things like rocket design, test, construction, ownership, and operation are done differently for each rocket...

They all suck the same teat, but they do it differently, so... that is what the "commercial" thing is getting at...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/national_space_policy_6-28-10.pdf
Quote
The term “commercial,” for the purposes of this policy, refers to space goods, services, or activities provided by private sector enterprises that bear a reasonable portion of the investment risk and responsibility for the activity, operate in accordance with typical market-based incentives for controlling cost and optimizing return on investment, and have the legal capacity to offer these goods or services to existing or potential nongovernmental customers.

Also, I'm guessing the idea that some DIRECT proponents were tossing about of commercial-ish development/operations of an SDLV is dead under the bills currently in Congress?

Not sure. But with the house taking the pro ares attitude just getting them to stick to something cost effective will be tough...........
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Offline Nathan

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Commercial is not defined by where the money comes from nor by what portion.  It is defined by the contracting method.

Example of a commercial procurement:

Govt, we need x number of 5 passenger cars


Example of  non commercial procurement:

Govt, we need x number of 3 liter engines

we need 4x number of wheels

we need x number of chassis

etc

Govt, we need somebody to take the above components and assemble into a car



Also, we are not really talking about pure commerical anyway, rather we are talking about NASA being a commercial space business incubator.
Given finite cash, if we want to go to Mars then we should go to Mars.

Offline Bill White

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Commercial is not defined by where the money comes from nor by what portion.  It is defined by the contracting method.
Also, we are not really talking about pure commercial anyway, rather we are talking about NASA being a commercial space business incubator.

An insightful clarification.

However, do we really believe a majority in Congress will continue to fund NASA human spaceflight if its core mission is re-defined as being primarily a "commercial space business incubator" ??

My understanding of DIRECT 3.0 has always included the political component -- crafting a space program Congress will actually vote for.


« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 11:46 AM by Bill White »
EML architectures should be seen as ratchet opportunities

Offline JohnFornaro

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commercial space business incubator

I think that's a good way to put it.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 05:43 PM by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Proponent

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Nasa will do as its told from now on or it will cease to exist. It nearly did this time around. There won't be a second chance. They ethier stay in budget and on time or they go away: Its that simple.

No NASA launch-vehicle effort since Saturn has turned out the way it was supposed to, and all but one (Shuttle) were canceled.  NASA still exists.  This pattern may well kill NASA eventually, but why would you expect things to be any different this time around?

Because we are in a recession, perhaps even a depression. And the bottom line is, its probably not going to get much better than it is. The economy is simply smaller.

Point being that voters are no longer going to tolerate government waste, be it from a democrat or a republican.

Additionally, Congress as it is now is fed up as well. With commercial on the rise there is no excuse for another failure on Nasa's part. Ethier they do it right or they dont, but if they fail this time they are finished. 

Has a single member of Congress ever even suggested, for example, an investigation of NASA for its serial failures in launch-vehicle development?  I see no sign of anyone aside from us space cadets being fed up, and we don't count, because we are so few.  Quite the contrary, I suspect:  technically-failed efforts have nonetheless resulted in plenty of public money being spent in the right Congressional districts.  That's political success, and the people in Congress are, well, politicians, not engineers.  NASA's failures might doom it some day, but there is little reason to believe NASA is under significantly more pressure to "get it right" now than it was for Ares, X-33/Venturestar or the Shuttle.

Offline marsavian

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I seem to recall Rohrabacher mentioned the failures in passing in several of the hearings. He is the most anti govt Space advocate in Congress.

http://rohrabacher.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=181249
http://rohrabacher.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=189491
 
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 03:59 PM by marsavian »

Offline Robotbeat

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Some money will be thrown at commercial no doubt, I personally think it would be better spent thrown to Lock Mart, ULA etc. rather than a Space X type, which doesn't yet know what they don't know. and that's all I have to say about that.
For commercial (especially, but not necessarily exclusively) procurement, you don't choose who gets the money. It's put out to bid. Sure, you could narrow the requirements so much that it effectively is "chosen", but that can hardly be called commercial procurement any longer. If ULA has a better price/performance/risk profile than SpaceX, then they ought to win the bid.
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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

Offline luke strawwalker

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An architecture that generates garbage is not sustainable. Need reusability from outset of all assets otherwise we won't ever have a commercial space reality.

That's a silly statement to make. Just look at us here on Earth. *If* using expendable resources is cheaper than reusable resources, then the expendable architecture will be more sustainable.

Agree... we've already just completed an object lesson on the "myth of reusability", and that from a SHUTTLE PROGRAM MANAGER!!!!  Shuttle's reusability is also it's Achilles heel-- it comes at a VERY high cost, one that makes expendables more attractive.   

Now, that paradigm may well prove unfounded and be disproven with in-space only hardware-- only time and experience will tell.  But in the here and now, there simply isn't going to be money to develop the advanced technologies needed for practical fully-reusable landers.  Not if you want the program to be available anytime in the remotely near future...

Full reusability WILL doubtlessly have it's day in the sun and prove just as practical as intercontinental aircraft today, but it's going to take a LONG time to get there, and a WHOLE lot of money, and a whole paradigm shift, and a commitment to developing the necessary support infrastructure for it to ever happen.  That ain't NOW.  Sorry. 

later!  OL JR :)
NO plan IS the plan...

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Offline luke strawwalker

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Altair was never all that impressive; it really needs to be cancelled. We really should replace it with a reusable LSAM stationed at an L1 fuel depot. Not only will this save cost in lander production but it will also further reduce cost by reducing the number of launches. A Moon mission can then be launched on a single J-130.

The L1 fuel depot puts us in prime position for NEO missions. A single J-246 should be able to launch such a mission. A downsized disposable version of the LSAM, given NEO's minimal gravity, would be built. A mission module would also be launched. The lander and mission module would be docked aft - transposition and docking would occur, after the ejection burn. To save weight Orion's upgraded SM would launch only partially fueled, it would then be fully fueled at the fuel depot.




There's no need for a "downsized disposable LSAM" for an NEO mission-- a hab module fitted with a appropriate hardware is more than sufficient for "landing" on an NEO, because the extremely low gravity makes NEO landings more like "docking" than landing. 

Designing a 'downsized disposable LSAM' would be a VERY expensive proposition as well. 

At some point, creative practical cost-cutting measures HAVE to get a seat at the table, probably near the head of the table, or we're not going ANYWHERE...

Later!  OL JR :)
NO plan IS the plan...

"His plan had no goals, no timeline, and no budgetary guidelines. Just maybe's, pretty speeches, and smokescreens."

Offline BogoMIPS

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There's no need for a "downsized disposable LSAM" for an NEO mission
Tend to agree here... The CEV itself could likely "land" on the NEO ("nose" or "belly" down) with just a set of legs or other standoff guards to protect the outer shell.  Maneuvering thrusters should be enough to take off again.

Maybe a landable mission module is a better choice, but it should likely be as closely based on an existing component (another Orion capsule, ISS module, etc.) as possible.

You could even choose to land the CEV/module pair, assuming CEV has the right thrust capabilities to maneuver the pair into a delicate dock with an uneven surface.

We're starting to trend off-topic here though.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2010 12:33 PM by BogoMIPS »

Offline Mr. Justice

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There's no need for a "downsized disposable LSAM" for an NEO mission
Tend to agree here... The CEV itself could likely "land" on the NEO ("nose" or "belly" down) with just a set of legs or other standoff guards to protect the outer shell.  Maneuvering thrusters should be enough to take off again.

Maybe a landable mission module is a better choice, but it should likely be as closely based on an existing component (another Orion capsule, ISS module, etc.) as possible.

You could even choose to land the CEV/module pair, assuming CEV has the right thrust capabilities to maneuver the pair into a delicate dock with an uneven surface.

We're starting to trend off-topic here though.

Not to get too far off-topic.

I do agree a lander per se is not required for NEOs.

A "nose down" landing would seem to be out since you couldn't stand up in Orion. A similar problem would occur with a "belly down" landing, if I understand your thinking correctly.



Offline Lobo

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Nasa will do as its told from now on or it will cease to exist. It nearly did this time around. There won't be a second chance. They ethier stay in budget and on time or they go away: Its that simple.

This -is- their 2nd chance.  There won't be a 3rd chance.
And I don't know that they'll go away if they ballox this up too, but they won't be in the business of launching people into space any more.  A few propes here and there and a whole bunch of make-work stuff to try to prove global warming...that'll be NASA's future at that point.

Offline Lobo

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There's no need for a "downsized disposable LSAM" for an NEO mission
Tend to agree here... The CEV itself could likely "land" on the NEO ("nose" or "belly" down) with just a set of legs or other standoff guards to protect the outer shell.  Maneuvering thrusters should be enough to take off again.

Maybe a landable mission module is a better choice, but it should likely be as closely based on an existing component (another Orion capsule, ISS module, etc.) as possible.

You could even choose to land the CEV/module pair, assuming CEV has the right thrust capabilities to maneuver the pair into a delicate dock with an uneven surface.

We're starting to trend off-topic here though.

Not to get too far off-topic.

I do agree a lander per se is not required for NEOs.

A "nose down" landing would seem to be out since you couldn't stand up in Orion. A similar problem would occur with a "belly down" landing, if I understand your thinking correctly.




You don't need to "land" on a NEO.  Not enough gravity.  All you need is a multi-purpose mission module (that would work for a long duration mission like a Venus flyby, or deployment or repair missions to equipment in HEO or the L points) that docks with the Orion CSM like the LEM did with the APollo CSM, but on the MPMM's other end, you have a window and manipulator arm (or arms) that some type of hook or claw or something to attach tot he asteroid as the CSM maneuvers it in.  IThe arm just would have to be strong enough to keep the CSM from drifting into or away from the asteroid, whcih shouldn't be too hard given the ultra low gravity of NEO's.   The astronauts could exit through an airlock on the MPMM to investigate the NEO.  They'll probably have to stay tethered at all times anyway so one didn't accidently step too hard and fly off of it.

Don't over think this stuff.  That MPMM could be used for the other missions I mentioned too.

Offline TrueBlueWitt

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There's no need for a "downsized disposable LSAM" for an NEO mission
Tend to agree here... The CEV itself could likely "land" on the NEO ("nose" or "belly" down) with just a set of legs or other standoff guards to protect the outer shell.  Maneuvering thrusters should be enough to take off again.

Maybe a landable mission module is a better choice, but it should likely be as closely based on an existing component (another Orion capsule, ISS module, etc.) as possible.

You could even choose to land the CEV/module pair, assuming CEV has the right thrust capabilities to maneuver the pair into a delicate dock with an uneven surface.

We're starting to trend off-topic here though.

Not to get too far off-topic.

I do agree a lander per se is not required for NEOs.

A "nose down" landing would seem to be out since you couldn't stand up in Orion. A similar problem would occur with a "belly down" landing, if I understand your thinking correctly.




You don't need to "land" on a NEO.  Not enough gravity.  All you need is a multi-purpose mission module (that would work for a long duration mission like a Venus flyby, or deployment or repair missions to equipment in HEO or the L points) that docks with the Orion CSM like the LEM did with the APollo CSM, but on the MPMM's other end, you have a window and manipulator arm (or arms) that some type of hook or claw or something to attach tot he asteroid as the CSM maneuvers it in.  IThe arm just would have to be strong enough to keep the CSM from drifting into or away from the asteroid, whcih shouldn't be too hard given the ultra low gravity of NEO's.   The astronauts could exit through an airlock on the MPMM to investigate the NEO.  They'll probably have to stay tethered at all times anyway so one didn't accidently step too hard and fly off of it.

Don't over think this stuff.  That MPMM could be used for the other missions I mentioned too.

Could you "Hide behind" the NEO for additional protection in case of a Solar Flare?

Offline tankmodeler

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The extreme cynic in me laughs at these posts about "NASA's last chance" and the like.
[rant]
NASA has become a bureaucracy. A long term, well entrenched and decentralisd bureaucracy. It provides high paying jobs in many areas of the US. None of it's ability to generate budget depends upon it ever going anywhere or ever meeting any particular schedule. It depends upon which politicians happen to want the pork provided by NASA at the time and how their desire for pork battles withthe desire for different kinds of pork from other politicians.

Individual managers' careers depend upon them fulfilling their tasks within budget, but the Administration, itself, has no over-riding need to do anything at all. Unlike the postal Service there is no product that the public can get a personal measure of to determine if their "local" NASA is actually doing its job and, because most people don't have a personal stake in it (actually most don't give a rat's heiny one way or the other for NASA unless something spectacular is happening), NASA can blunder along forever doing nothing in particular. NASA is like the NOAA or the Forestry Service, a government agency that the general public kinda likes the thought of what they believe they do, but doesn't really understand at all.

Politician's don't care abuot NASA's performance as long as their districts can retain or increase the number of high-paying jobs attributable to NASA programs. Like military programs, the pork in the district is the main reason to support any particular program. Unlike military spending, very little of what NASA does impinges on the general public, so even it's most egregious programmatic failures simply fade away unless someone is killed. Then NASA gets a buckful of flak, gets committeed to death and a new grand plan is announced. The cameras are turned off and then NASA goes back to business as ususal, like any monolithic bureaucracy.

Unless a POTUS _and Congress_ are all in agreement that NASA is too messed up to continue or that the money absolutely must be spent elsewhere (to obtain the highest number of votes and no other reason) then NASA will just chug along, merrily spending whatever the US Gov't gives it and without any institutional need to do anything at all, in particular.

Should, at some point in the future, NASA discover something on the Moon or Mars, or wherever, that makes it actually commercially viable to visit those places then "Business" will get to the Moon or Mars so fast it would make your head spin. They'll kill people (accidentally), they'll take risks NASA would never take and they'll do it for a small fraction of the cost of any NASA program. And if that happens, then NASA will likely retreat to become much like the NOAA as the commercial space business races past it to extract money from whatever it is they found. And that's how it should be.

However, if nothing is ever found that makes a trip to the moon actually generate a profit in and of itself, then NASA and the government way of doing (or not doing) business will be the only way anyone is going far in space.

Don't get me wrong, there are individuals that want great things working at NASA and there are politicians who have a larger vision (not as many, proportionaltely) but the system we live in is geared to the current business model. And I don't see anything happening now that will change that.
[/rant]

Paul
Sr. Mech. Engineer
MDA

Offline marsavian

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[rant]

Will all the anti-NASA, anti-HLV posters please make a specific thread where they can vent all their spleen to their hearts content and leave the rest of the threads well alone ? Here's even a counterpoint with which you can start the discussion else where :- NASA went to the Moon, they built a crew/cargo RLV, they built the ISS, they sent probes to every planet, i.e. they have not being doing nothing for decades and their accomplishments far exceed any other space agency in existence.

[/rant]
« Last Edit: 08/03/2010 06:37 PM by marsavian »

Offline Mark S

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[rant]
Will all the anti-NASA, anti-HLV posters please make a specific thread where they can vent all their spleen to their hearts content and leave the rest of the threads well alone ?

I'll second that motion...

Offline JohnFornaro

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Could you "Hide behind" the NEO for additional protection in case of a Solar Flare?
I just had a vision of Marlin Perkins saying, "I'll hide behind this NEO while my assistant Jim (Note the eerie similarity?) goes out and investigates that Solar Flare..."   Aaaiiieeeee!!!! "...and when you go, 'Aaaaiieee!' it makes you think of Mutual of Omaha...."

The extreme cynic in me laughs at these posts about "NASA's last chance" and the like....
It is indeed to laugh; I readily grant that.  [Puts hand over chest; raises back of other hand to forehead, dramatically; looks heavenward; intones mournfully...] But it is that we laugh only to keep from crying.

Seriously, not a bad rant.  I hear what you're saying, marsavian, but tankmodeler is not lamenting the good work; he is lamenting that so much more could be done, but isn't.  There are not two positions about NASA's work:  The greatest thing since sliced bread vs. the worst thing since non-sliced bread.

The whole DIRECT thing, in my mind is a push in the right direction, and the Senate language seems to acknowledge that somewhat.  Mr. Obama's FY2011 spanking, if you will, has put some of the powerful insiders on notice that we need to show a good bit more accomplishment in comparison to the profit being taken.  Even tho "their accomplishments far exceed any other space agency in existence", that is not how accomplishment is judged in the final analysis.

In a way, NASA is tasked with helping us to practically understand our place in the universe and to use that understanding so that we can expand intelligent life into it.  We have lost too much time in the last forty years.

His rant was not anti-NASA in the least.  As to anti-HLV, that is a time consuming argument about the size of only one of the  tools necessary, almost to the exclusion of the many other tools that are necessary, including launch tools of somewhat smaller size that will git her dun.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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