Author Topic: ASAP on board with Commercial Crew’s diversified portfolio  (Read 10648 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Rather than writing up the short presser on the pad abort payment for Dragon 2, I took some pretty interesting notes from the recent ASAP meeting and gave that the main angle.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/06/asap-commercial-crew-diversified-portfolio/

Hope it worked as "interesting". The ASAP's "mood level" has been pretty fun to follow over the years.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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The Commercial Crew capsules are not houses they are trucks. If you have two trucks you use the other when one breaks down. Standard behaviour in both governmental and private sector organisations.

Offline TrevorMonty

I thought plan was to operate both vehicles.

Down selecting to CST100 would make NASA dependent on Russian engines for a few years. Something Congress is opposed to especially for DOD missions.

Offline yg1968

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I am not sure that NASA has any intention of downselecting to one commercial crew provider. Theoretically, it would be possible to downselect to one provider after CCtCap but CCtCap may last until 2023. At that point, why downselect?

I suspect that ASAP must have been very happing about Boeing being selected for CCtCap.

Offline Pollagee

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A down select to one commercial vehicle supplier is inevitable for one reason - budget constraints.  Orion would be the backup. (yes - Orion is overkill for LEO missions - but it's NASA's future for deep space and would be justification to keeping the Orion alive)

Offline Jarnis

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A down select to one commercial vehicle supplier is inevitable for one reason - budget constraints.  Orion would be the backup. (yes - Orion is overkill for LEO missions - but it's NASA's future for deep space and would be justification to keeping the Orion alive)

Orion has no rocket (yet), so it is no backup.

Also the drama at ISS would have to be pretty severe before you could justify blowing a billion for SLS launch of Orion, not to mention the lead times for setting such a launch up.

My prediction; Orion will never dock at ISS. Ever.

Offline Coastal Ron

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A down select to one commercial vehicle supplier is inevitable for one reason - budget constraints.  Orion would be the backup.

Orion (which uses the SLS) is even more expensive than keeping two Commercial Crew providers going, plus on it's current schedule it would not be certified for use by humans until 2022 or so - just two short years before the end of the currently planned ISS mission extension.  That's no help at all.

NASA will just slow down/push out the CCtCap schedule and have to rely on Soyuz more - 2017 becomes 2018.

Good job Congress!
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 Roy_H

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I hope this issue of down select to 1 goes away. We all know this is a political issue, not financial. For some reason Congress would rather pay higher price for Russian transportation than save money on commercial crew. This has been demonstrated over and over again with cuts to commercial crew, that if original funding had been approved many years ago would probably have resulted in astronaut flights to the ISS now.

Down selecting to one is never cheaper especially after the capital has already been paid to develop two or more systems. With no competition, monopoly price will always increase. If Congress does force a down select to one, it will not be to save money, but to appease companies that support their election campaigns.

Edit: to expand on the statment about "original funding", if full funding had been provided, then NASA would be saving money now by not having to pay the Russians for another 2 years of flights. Overall money would have been saved.

Edit: added funding chart.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2015 01:36 PM by Roy_H »
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Offline Prober

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A down select to one commercial vehicle supplier is inevitable for one reason - budget constraints.  Orion would be the backup.

Orion (which uses the SLS) is even more expensive than keeping two Commercial Crew providers going, plus on it's current schedule it would not be certified for use by humans until 2022 or so - just two short years before the end of the currently planned ISS mission extension.  That's no help at all.

NASA will just slow down/push out the CCtCap schedule and have to rely on Soyuz more - 2017 becomes 2018.

Good job Congress!

better review those comments, as the administration went before congress early this year and told them NASA was going to buy seats on Soyuz.  This was with the 2016 budget as given.  Go look up the videos if you don't believe me. 8)
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline guckyfan

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better review those comments, as the administration went before congress early this year and told them NASA was going to buy seats on Soyuz.  This was with the 2016 budget as given.  Go look up the videos if you don't believe me. 8)

My understanding was they did this as a precaution if the date slips. Now when the date definitely slips because of budget they will probably go and buy another years worth of Soyus as precaution against more slips.

Offline Patchouli

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I thought plan was to operate both vehicles.

Down selecting to CST100 would make NASA dependent on Russian engines for a few years. Something Congress is opposed to especially for DOD missions.

If they were to down select to one provider Spacex is only the logical choice because they're the only company who can guarantee having a booster as well.
Still down selecting to any single provider is foolish and defeats the secondary purpose of the program which is to stimulate a new industry.
Talking about down selecting to one provider sounds like they're trying to slowly kill commercial crew via a thousand cuts.

Really they should fund both vehicles and keep DreamChaser's development funded as a backup in case either provider gets grounded or goes too far over budget.


« Last Edit: 06/11/2015 12:59 AM by Patchouli »

Offline QuantumG

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The other alternative is to skip the in-flight abort for SpaceX and just fly already.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Patchouli

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The other alternative is to skip the in-flight abort for SpaceX and just fly already.


Another idea use Blue Origin's rocket or a variant of Grasshopper for the in flight abort test like little Joe II on Apollo.

It just needs to reach max Q to get the needed data.

Offline QuantumG

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Another idea use Blue Origin's rocket or a variant of Grasshopper for the in flight abort test like little Joe II on Apollo.

It just needs to reach max Q to get the needed data.

SpaceX doesn't have any trouble doing the in-flight abort. It's just another milestone.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Pollagee

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A down select to one commercial vehicle supplier is inevitable for one reason - budget constraints.  Orion would be the backup.

Orion (which uses the SLS) is even more expensive than keeping two Commercial Crew providers going, plus on it's current schedule it would not be certified for use by humans until 2022 or so - just two short years before the end of the currently planned ISS mission extension.  That's no help at all.

NASA will just slow down/push out the CCtCap schedule and have to rely on Soyuz more - 2017 becomes 2018.

Good job Congress!

NASA cannot support three vehicles. According to last September's NASA press release regarding the CCtCap down selection to Boeing and Space X... "Once each company’s test program has been completed successfully and its system achieves NASA certification, each contractor will conduct at least two, and as many as six, crewed missions to the space station."... This would bring us to around 2024 if 6 flights each are fulfilled (assuming two flights per year). Then one of the providers will be cut. Orion will be on call as a backup only (using a less expensive commercial man rated rocket and not the SLS which is for BEO missions). Assuming of course the ISS is still funded at that time.

Offline kevinof

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A down select to one commercial vehicle supplier is inevitable for one reason - budget constraints.  Orion would be the backup.

Orion (which uses the SLS) is even more expensive than keeping two Commercial Crew providers going, plus on it's current schedule it would not be certified for use by humans until 2022 or so - just two short years before the end of the currently planned ISS mission extension.  That's no help at all.

NASA will just slow down/push out the CCtCap schedule and have to rely on Soyuz more - 2017 becomes 2018.

Good job Congress!

NASA cannot support three vehicles. According to last September's NASA press release regarding the CCtCap down selection to Boeing and Space X... "Once each company’s test program has been completed successfully and its system achieves NASA certification, each contractor will conduct at least two, and as many as six, crewed missions to the space station."... This would bring us to around 2024 if 6 flights each are fulfilled (assuming two flights per year). Then one of the providers will be cut. Orion will be on call as a backup only (using a less expensive commercial man rated rocket and not the SLS which is for BEO missions). Assuming of course the ISS is still funded at that time.

Orion is not and never will a backup for the ISS. In the event of a problem with the launch of commercial crew how long do you think it would take to build, test and get an Orion +  SLS/Delta ready to send Orion to the ISS?

Another question - How many man rated launchers are there that can support the Orion?

Offline guckyfan

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Another question - How many man rated launchers are there that can support the Orion?

Falcon Heavy could do it for LEO.

Offline kevinof

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Another question - How many man rated launchers are there that can support the Orion?

Falcon Heavy could do it for LEO.
Is it man rated?

Offline Patchouli

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NASA cannot support three vehicles. According to last September's NASA press release regarding the CCtCap down selection to Boeing and Space X... "Once each company’s test program has been completed successfully and its system achieves NASA certification, each contractor will conduct at least two, and as many as six, crewed missions to the space station."... This would bring us to around 2024 if 6 flights each are fulfilled (assuming two flights per year). Then one of the providers will be cut. Orion will be on call as a backup only (using a less expensive commercial man rated rocket and not the SLS which is for BEO missions). Assuming of course the ISS is still funded at that time.

Actually they could afford three providers if CCtCap was kept fully funded or if SNC and Blue Origin were kept instead of Boeing as they submitted much lower bids.
BO was far behind but they did have a rocket in the works and SNC wasn't that far behind Boeing and their bid was much lower.
The only wise thing the committee did was keep Spacex as they have been testing real hardware and have a rocket with domestically produced engines.


Another question - How many man rated launchers are there that can support the Orion?



As already mentioned Falcon Heavy can easily lift it as well as Delta IV Heavy.

Other vehicles that might be able to Ariane 5 and the heavier versions of Vulcan.

Interestingly Orion on a Falcon Heavy may not not have a lifetime cost much higher then the CST-100.
Still it won't be cheap as every mission will require a Falcon Heavy ,an Orion SM and an abort tower.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2015 03:01 PM by Patchouli »

Offline kevinof

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NASA cannot support three vehicles. According to last September's NASA press release regarding the CCtCap down selection to Boeing and Space X... "Once each company’s test program has been completed successfully and its system achieves NASA certification, each contractor will conduct at least two, and as many as six, crewed missions to the space station."... This would bring us to around 2024 if 6 flights each are fulfilled (assuming two flights per year). Then one of the providers will be cut. Orion will be on call as a backup only (using a less expensive commercial man rated rocket and not the SLS which is for BEO missions). Assuming of course the ISS is still funded at that time.

Actually they could afford three providers if CCtCap was kept fully funded or if SNC and Blue Origin were kept instead of Boeing as they submitted much lower bids.
BO was far behind but they did have a rocket in the works and SNC wasn't that far behind Boeing and their bid was much lower.
The only wise thing the committee did was keep Spacex as they have been testing real hardware and have a rocket with domestically produced engines.


Another question - How many man rated launchers are there that can support the Orion?



As already mentioned Falcon Heavy can easily lift it as well as Delta IV Heavy.

Other vehicles that might be able to Ariane 5 and the heavier versions of Vulcan.

Interestingly Orion on a Falcon Heavy may not not have a lifetime cost much higher then the CST-100.
Still it won't be cheap as every mission will require a Falcon Heavy ,an Orion SM and an abort tower.
Far as I know d4 is not man rated and there are no plans to do so, so eliminate that launcher. Same with Ariane.

What's left?

Offline Patchouli

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Far as I know d4 is not man rated and there are no plans to do so, so eliminate that launcher. Same with Ariane.

What's left?
They could manrate the D4 as the RS68A upgrades brought many of the needed changes.
The LV is probably considerably safer then the Soyuz rocket since it has less engines and staging events plus the fact no Delta V has ever failed catastrophically.
The existing Orion LAS probably is a massive overkill for the task of getting away from the LV.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2015 03:31 PM by Patchouli »

Offline guckyfan

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Another question - How many man rated launchers are there that can support the Orion?

Falcon Heavy could do it for LEO.
Is it man rated?

Once Falcon 9 is manrated, Falcon Heavy is only one step further.

Online abaddon

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Far as I know d4 is not man rated and there are no plans to do so, so eliminate that launcher. Same with Ariane.

What's left?

Vulcan.  It will almost certainly be man-rated and certified to launch CST-100, and in its beefier configurations should be able to loft Orion.  It shouldn't be too expensive to also certify Vulcan for Orion if anyone actually wants to do it.

Online rayleighscatter

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Far as I know d4 is not man rated and there are no plans to do so, so eliminate that launcher. Same with Ariane.

What's left?
The only reason to put an Orion in LEO is for ISS rescue and to launch an unmanned Orion to the ISS man-rating isn't relevant.

Offline kevinof

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Far as I know d4 is not man rated and there are no plans to do so, so eliminate that launcher. Same with Ariane.

What's left?
The only reason to put an Orion in LEO is for ISS rescue and to launch an unmanned Orion to the ISS man-rating isn't relevant.
Good point

Offline baldusi

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If CST-100 wins some cargo under CRS-2 they might have such a low cost forward that they can actually afford the two capsules.

Offline billh

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Regarding Orion as a backup to Commercial Crew service for ISS, somewhere I thought I read that the rendezvous and docking systems of Orion had been descoped, or at least deferred to a later phase, to save money. Is that true? When would an Orion capsule first be available which could actually rendezvous and dock with ISS?

Offline RonM

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Regarding Orion as a backup to Commercial Crew service for ISS, somewhere I thought I read that the rendezvous and docking systems of Orion had been descoped, or at least deferred to a later phase, to save money. Is that true? When would an Orion capsule first be available which could actually rendezvous and dock with ISS?

With CC and Soyuz there is no need for Orion to dock with ISS. Also, the first manned flight of Orion will be 2021, assuming no delays. ISS will be decommissioned after 2024. Orion as backup is an old idea pushed by Congress that isn't going to happen.

Offline arachnitect

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Regarding Orion as a backup to Commercial Crew service for ISS, somewhere I thought I read that the rendezvous and docking systems of Orion had been descoped, or at least deferred to a later phase, to save money. Is that true? When would an Orion capsule first be available which could actually rendezvous and dock with ISS?

Outsourcing the SM to Europe is an additional complication.

Offline billh

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Regarding Orion as a backup to Commercial Crew service for ISS, somewhere I thought I read that the rendezvous and docking systems of Orion had been descoped, or at least deferred to a later phase, to save money. Is that true? When would an Orion capsule first be available which could actually rendezvous and dock with ISS?

With CC and Soyuz there is no need for Orion to dock with ISS. Also, the first manned flight of Orion will be 2021, assuming no delays. ISS will be decommissioned after 2024. Orion as backup is an old idea pushed by Congress that isn't going to happen.

Yes, but you didn't answer the question. Others here had raised the possibility of Orion as backup, and I was thinking there was an additional problem with the idea: no docking hardware. Do you know when, or if, Orion is supposed to have rendezvous and docking capability under the current plan?

Offline RonM

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Regarding Orion as a backup to Commercial Crew service for ISS, somewhere I thought I read that the rendezvous and docking systems of Orion had been descoped, or at least deferred to a later phase, to save money. Is that true? When would an Orion capsule first be available which could actually rendezvous and dock with ISS?

With CC and Soyuz there is no need for Orion to dock with ISS. Also, the first manned flight of Orion will be 2021, assuming no delays. ISS will be decommissioned after 2024. Orion as backup is an old idea pushed by Congress that isn't going to happen.

Yes, but you didn't answer the question. Others here had raised the possibility of Orion as backup, and I was thinking there was an additional problem with the idea: no docking hardware. Do you know when, or if, Orion is supposed to have rendezvous and docking capability under the current plan?

Well, it's going to have to be able to dock with any modules it needs for missions after EM-2, so I'd guess after 2021, but it will never need to dock to ISS.

Since this is a CC thread, I suggest you search the Orion threads to see if that question has already been addressed.

Offline AncientU

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Another question - How many man rated launchers are there that can support the Orion?

Including SLS?
Zero.

In five years?
One.  FH.
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