Author Topic: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser  (Read 64621 times)

Offline yg1968

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #40 on: 08/19/2014 05:37 PM »
If a NASA long term goal is to maximize competition to create a variety of capabilities and across the board cost reduction, wouldn't SpaceX be the obvious one to drop if NASA can't take all three forward?

Not sure I understand your logic.

Scylla's point was that if SpX is the most willing to continue without funding, then NASA could get that bit of competition for "free" if it funds the other two companies instead.

That would encourage companies not to put any skin in the game. For CCtCap, NASA has specifically stated that putting skin in the game would be considered a positive. 

Offline dcporter

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #41 on: 08/19/2014 05:41 PM »
If a NASA long term goal is to maximize competition to create a variety of capabilities and across the board cost reduction, wouldn't SpaceX be the obvious one to drop if NASA can't take all three forward?

Not sure I understand your logic.

Scylla's point was that if SpX is the most willing to continue without funding, then NASA could get that bit of competition for "free" if it funds the other two companies instead.

That would encourage companies not to put any skin in the game. For CCtCap, NASA has specifically stated that putting skin in the game would be considered a positive.

Incentives to companies competing for rounds of developmental funding is irrelevant if we're now looking at the final round of developmental funding. If the sole goal is to end up with the largest number of companies active in the marketplace (it's not) then best approach right now would be to fund the two companies that are least able to move forward on their own.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #42 on: 08/19/2014 05:49 PM »
Actually, Boeing has essentially said recently that it would continue its program at least until CRS2 is awarded:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32438.msg1244429#msg1244429
A few points.

Hinted rather than said outright I think from that article.

It pre-dates the AWST article saying the business case would be difficult.

Let's see what Boeing would have to demonstrate.

1) An actual vehicle. It took 2 launches for OSC to qualify but since the Atlas V is a known quantity and Boeing are a safe-pair-of-hands contractor to NASA maybe (Antares was a new LV) they can do the maiden launch and shake down cruise in 1 launch?

2) Be cheaper than OSC or Spacex. Given they have no flight record at this point.

3) Allay fears of a Russian engine embargo on Atlas engines. Now it's true that this would be a "civilian" application of the RD180, so in theory the Russians have no trouble with it, but would ULA stockpile them for their DoD payloads?

As always it's about money and schedule. Personally I think the 1st round of CRS contracts were very generous and I hope the 2nd will lower the average price per Kg that NASA is prepared to pay.
« Last Edit: 08/19/2014 05:52 PM by john smith 19 »
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Offline yg1968

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #43 on: 08/19/2014 06:18 PM »
Actually, Boeing has essentially said recently that it would continue its program at least until CRS2 is awarded:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32438.msg1244429#msg1244429
A few points.

Hinted rather than said outright I think from that article.

It pre-dates the AWST article saying the business case would be difficult.

Boeing is saying that the business case for continuing commercial crew without a NASA contract would be difficult. But I don't think that they are saying that the business case for CRS2 would be difficult. CRS2 should be awarded in the first half of 2015. So they won't have that long to find out if they will win or not.
« Last Edit: 08/19/2014 06:23 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #44 on: 08/19/2014 07:24 PM »
If a NASA long term goal is to maximize competition to create a variety of capabilities and across the board cost reduction, wouldn't SpaceX be the obvious one to drop if NASA can't take all three forward?

Not sure I understand your logic.

Scylla's point was that if SpX is the most willing to continue without funding, then NASA could get that bit of competition for "free" if it funds the other two companies instead.

The fallacy with that logic is that SpaceX won't build a NASA-certified vehicle, so NASA would not be able to use it for ISS.  TNSTAAFL

And the reason why is pretty easy to understand from a contract standpoint - after going through years of effort and hundreds of millions in taxpayer money NASA cannot justify awarding a transportation contract to a 3rd party that isn't fully certified.  And also, what do you think Boeing and Sierra Nevada would think about NASA awarding a transportation contract to SpaceX after they co-invested with NASA expecting to be the only providers?  Regardless who wins, that is not fair.

The only near-term market for crew transportation to LEO besides the ISS is Bigelow's private stations.  He is certainly free to set his own requirements for who is qualified, but using NASA to do the qualification means less overall liability for him.  Maybe he would contract with a provider that has not been certified by NASA, but maybe not.  Commercial crew transportation is hopefully an emerging market, but it's still a pretty small one.
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 corrodedNut

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #45 on: 08/19/2014 07:24 PM »
If a NASA long term goal is to maximize competition to create a variety of capabilities and across the board cost reduction, wouldn't SpaceX be the obvious one to drop if NASA can't take all three forward?

Not sure I understand your logic.

Scylla's point was that if SpX is the most willing to continue without funding, then NASA could get that bit of competition for "free" if it funds the other two companies instead.

That would encourage companies not to put any skin in the game. For CCtCap, NASA has specifically stated that putting skin in the game would be considered a positive.

In other words, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".

Offline Todd Martin

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #46 on: 08/19/2014 11:50 PM »
Previously, I thought Boeing would be the odd man out.  Since the launch vehicle is most of the cost, SpaceX has a clear advantage (Falcon 9 vs Atlas 5).  Between DC & Boeing, Boeing has the higher launch vehicle cost since it requires a heavier version of Atlas 5.  As far as quality is concerned, all 3 vehicles are considered safe to fly and meet the requirements.

Now with SNC saying they are changing the propulsion system at the last minute, I do not believe is likely to win.  I've been told that rockets are not legos.  That NASA is requiring extensive documentation & demonstration of safety & reliability.  That being further along in development is a good thing in the evaluation process. 

I'm sure the vehicle will be better after the switch or they wouldn't have done it.  In the long run, DC can still succeed.  One contract is not the end of the world.  I hope the Europeans or the Japanese move forward and take advantage of this gem.

Offline mijoh

Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #47 on: 08/20/2014 12:20 AM »
So, will the CCtCAP loser be allowed to take their hardware to foreign shores? I did not know that. It may be a blessing in disguise for the loser in that they will still get guidance from NASA, but a more dependable stream of $$$$ from their foreign client. I'd be surprised if the US govt allows this. 

Offline AncientU

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #48 on: 08/20/2014 01:30 AM »
Will the launch vehicle(s) be specified in the awards?
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #49 on: 08/20/2014 02:43 AM »

Will the launch vehicle(s) be specified in the awards?
It should be, they are selling a complete solution for Earth to ISS transport.

Offline MichaelRBrumm

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #50 on: 08/21/2014 03:05 AM »
I see it this way:

A. Dream Chaser + Dragon = 2 different launch vehicles and 2 different spacecraft types with unique advantages

B. Dragon + CST-100 = 2 different launch vehicles but both vehicles are capsules that don't provide cross-range and low g-force advantages of the Dream Chaser

C. Dream Chaser + CST-100 = 1 launch vehicle and 2 different spacecraft types with unique advantages

So for the most redundancy in launch vehicles "A & B" would be the choices, and for the most diversity in generic vehicle abilities "A & C" would be the choices.  The best combination of the two would be "A", which is Dream Chaser and Dragon.

No doubt other factors play into the ultimate decision, but I think this highlights some of the important ones.

I agree with your assessment. I also happen to think that choice "A" would be the least expensive.

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #51 on: 08/21/2014 03:47 PM »
I'll hold off on any speculation and wait for the official announcement, but let me just say that I hope the hard working and talented engineers and other professionals working on all of these projects land on their feet and get to continue to fight the good fight on some project or other, even if layoffs are in the cards for some of them on this particular program.  I've been there (and am currently looking for a job in fact) so I can empathize!  Uncertainty is tough, and it comes generally from factors beyond the control of those in the trenches despite their outstanding efforts.

Offline yg1968

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #52 on: 08/21/2014 06:36 PM »
A couple of tweets of interest from Charles Lurio on CCtCap that confirms Chris' statement in the article that DC and SpaceX are seen as favourites within NASA:

Quote from: Charles Lurio
Likelier to put _cautious_ bet on SNC in CCtCap than whether SpaceX or Boeing wins other contract. Dream Chaser a 'fan favorite' at NASA/ULA
https://twitter.com/TheLurioReport/status/502303654381363201

Quote
CCtCap: Boeing CST-100 called 'simpler' - but a "powerpoint tiger?:" SpaceX way ahead on design and test of real hardware for Dragon V2.
https://twitter.com/TheLurioReport/status/502513269656289280

Quote
Conflicting reports tonight - CCtCap announcement on 22 August or slip to September for Congress notification requirements./I ask:or other?

https://twitter.com/TheLurioReport/status/502312041798201344
« Last Edit: 08/21/2014 06:48 PM by yg1968 »

Offline bad_astra

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #53 on: 08/21/2014 07:43 PM »
You can't help but love Dream Chaser the first time you see her. She's a beauty, even with a broken leg. I have no idea how the awards will be handed out, but it has been amazing being in a time where four, possibly five serious efforts to produce a manned orbital spacecraft are going on at the same time.
"Contact Light" -Buzz Aldrin

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #54 on: 08/26/2014 11:57 AM »
Forgive a non-US person for not knowing what the process is. Assume for a moment that the NASA public announcement is the end of this week.

Is the NASA public announcement the first time anyone outside of NASA (and the hill) gets to hear who has been selected, or would the relevant companies already have confidential/embargoed briefings?

Offline Garrett

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Re: CCtCap: NASA won’t abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #55 on: 08/26/2014 02:13 PM »
Forgive a non-US person for not knowing what the process is. Assume for a moment that the NASA public announcement is the end of this week.

Is the NASA public announcement the first time anyone outside of NASA (and the hill) gets to hear who has been selected, or would the relevant companies already have confidential/embargoed briefings?
Not a US person either, but somewhere else on this forum somebody mentioned that the relevant companies find out during the public announcement. Apparently part of the application process involves compiling all the necessary paperwork so that only NASA signatures are needed to finalize the contract. That's the way I understood it anyway.

No idea if Congress or the White House are in the loop. They might unofficially know, but there's probably some impartiality/separation of powers required that keeps them away.

Just shooting from the hip here, to see if I can provoke a better-informed reply.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 02:14 PM by Garrett »
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #56 on: 08/26/2014 10:26 PM »
It appears Charles Lurio has the answer:

https://twitter.com/TheLurioReport/status/504317862300102657

Quote
CCtCap announcement: Contractors will get 2 day warning of the event tho not of the results. So should hear if in Aug by end of Weds.

Offline erioladastra

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #57 on: 08/27/2014 01:16 AM »
Forgive a non-US person for not knowing what the process is. Assume for a moment that the NASA public announcement is the end of this week.

Is the NASA public announcement the first time anyone outside of NASA (and the hill) gets to hear who has been selected, or would the relevant companies already have confidential/embargoed briefings?
Not a US person either, but somewhere else on this forum somebody mentioned that the relevant companies find out during the public announcement. Apparently part of the application process involves compiling all the necessary paperwork so that only NASA signatures are needed to finalize the contract. That's the way I understood it anyway.

No idea if Congress or the White House are in the loop. They might unofficially know, but there's probably some impartiality/separation of powers required that keeps them away.

Just shooting from the hip here, to see if I can provoke a better-informed reply.

Yes, part of the process between selection and announcement is notifications of congress and the WH.  And I am sure that can't be easy.

Offline dglow

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #58 on: 08/27/2014 12:50 PM »
Unless very tightly controlled, notifying Congress and the WH will leak this info. It won't go public, but whispers will get out. If sufficiently plugged-in, the contractors will know prior to the formal announcement.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: CCtCap: NASA wonít abandon Commercial Crew loser
« Reply #59 on: 08/27/2014 02:34 PM »
Unless very tightly controlled, notifying Congress and the WH will leak this info. It won't go public, but whispers will get out. If sufficiently plugged-in, the contractors will know prior to the formal announcement.

This type of stuff happens all the time with big government contracts.  You should see it when real money is at stake, like when JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) was going to be announced.  The leaks will happen, but so what?  The losers legal teams get a couple of days head start on writing up potential appeals, and the party plans are cancelled at the caters.  Heck, we're already getting leaks, and we have no financial stakes in the outcome...  ;)
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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