Author Topic: Where is all the money going?  (Read 3563 times)

Offline Proponent

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Where is all the money going?
« on: 02/11/2016 03:34 PM »
Just for the fun of it, I thought I'd compare historical spending on Orion/SLS with the ESD Budget Availability Scenarios produced in 2011.

Relying on 93154's determination that the Scenarios are in future-year dollars (I was skeptical at first, but he convinced me), I've deflated expenditures from those scenarios to FY2012 using values from the NASA New-Start Index that applied at the time (attached), and then re-inflated to FY2016 using the tables for FY2015 (I can't find a table for FY2016, but the difference is likely small).

Appropriations, on the other hand, have simply been inflated by FY2016.  The results are plotted for ESD Scenarios 1 & 2 only, since those are the two that most closely correspond to actual funding levels.

Orion/SLS in general seems to be slipping quite a bit relative to the target dates outlined in the scenarios, despite funding that's more than adequate for those scenarios.  But it's really bad for Orion, where lots of the costs are being picked up by ESA:  how can it be slipping so much, given what would seem to be more than ample funding?

EDIT:  ESA spending on the ESM, not included in the plots, appears to be about $400M per year.  NASA effectively pays this, because in exchange it covers some of ESA's ISS costs.  Use of symbols in plots now rationalized, as follows.  Solid lines show appropriations, dotted lines (with markers) show ESD cases.  SLS is in silver grey represented by a square on top of which a capsule could be stacked, Orion in orange with a triangle resembling a capsule, and ground systems in green with a disk representing a green light given by the ground crew before launch.  The total budget is in black, with a round ball representing the "whole."

EDIT:  "Oroin" to "Orion" in opening sentence, and removal of extraneous apostrophe
« Last Edit: 01/01/2017 11:16 AM by Proponent »

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: Where is all the money going?
« Reply #1 on: 02/11/2016 08:58 PM »
Because NASA planning is still baselined to the much leaner Executive requests, rather than the larger Congressional budget. So even when extra money is provided it can't jumpstart a multiyear program because that program isn't in the Executive request. So extra spending mostly has to exist in ways which can be acted upon in a single fiscal year, which is incredibly wasteful and inefficient.

Offline Roy_H

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Re: Where is all the money going?
« Reply #2 on: 03/01/2016 06:35 PM »
I was just reading the article on the LAS for the Orion, and I was curious about it's price. AIUI the ATK built LAS is thrown away every flight (like the rest of the rocket) but the Orion is re-used. Boeing's Starliner and SpaceX Dragon use a different style that is carried all the way to orbit, but I think the Starliner throws it away after re-entry burn vs Dragon using it for landing. Anyhow, what does the LAS for the Orion cost NASA?
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Where is all the money going?
« Reply #3 on: 03/01/2016 07:10 PM »
Extra money would be much more worthwhile if it were provided after SLS block 1 development is complete and channeled into missions and mission payloads+extra SLS vehicles for missions.

But that would make too much sense.
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Online AncientU

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Re: Where is all the money going?
« Reply #4 on: 03/01/2016 07:14 PM »
I was just reading the article on the LAS for the Orion, and I was curious about it's price. AIUI the ATK built LAS is thrown away every flight (like the rest of the rocket) but the Orion is re-used. Boeing's Starliner and SpaceX Dragon use a different style that is carried all the way to orbit, but I think the Starliner throws it away after re-entry burn vs Dragon using it for landing. Anyhow, what does the LAS for the Orion cost NASA?

Orion isn't planned for reuse.
There was some talk or reusing some of the electronics, but nothing substantial AFAIK.
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Offline 93143

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Re: Where is all the money going?
« Reply #5 on: 03/01/2016 08:50 PM »
The results are plotted for ESD Scenarios 1 & 2

You sure?  Those plots look awfully identical to me...
« Last Edit: 03/01/2016 08:51 PM by 93143 »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Where is all the money going?
« Reply #6 on: 03/02/2016 01:43 AM »
Over-engineering stuff. LAS, for instance, is WAY more reliable and over-engineered than it was for Apollo. And unnecessarily so, since it most likely will never be used (since it's just a contingency, no point making it 99.999% reliable).

The move to build the service module in Europe means all the previous work is basically moot. And even then, you have a bunch of overhead just communicating with the Europeans about it.


...and mass growth and load growth is still a problem.
« Last Edit: 03/02/2016 01:44 AM by Robotbeat »
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Where is all the money going?
« Reply #7 on: 03/02/2016 09:10 AM »
The results are plotted for ESD Scenarios 1 & 2

You sure?  Those plots look awfully identical to me...

I've just checked:  Cases 1 and 2 are essentially identical until FY 2018.

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