Author Topic: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS  (Read 24528 times)

Offline Star One

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Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« on: 02/07/2017 08:03 PM »
Article from the WSJ.

Again indicates the Trump administration wants to accelerate the first manned flight of SLS.

Quote
WASHINGTON—Commercial space interests for the first time are publicly singing the praises of NASA’s biggest, most expensive rocket program, seeking to get in sync with the Trump administration’s evolving  focus on public-private partnerships to further space exploration.

The shift was announced at a conference here Tuesday by Alan Stern, chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, who emphasized synergies between budding  commercial-space projects and the agency’s multibillion-dollar, heavy-lift rocket, called the Space Launch System, under development by Boeing Co. and a bevy of industrial partners.

Starting in the early years of former President Barack Obama’s administration, many commercial-space companies and their advocates viewed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s  behemoth rocket as a major rival, often complaining that the program effectively siphoned off funds from less conventional commercial efforts.

Quote
Under current scenarios, Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Orion spacecraft is designed to sit on top and ultimately protect humans from the ravages of radiation and other hazards on journeys throughout the solar system. But Mr. Stern’s surprise announcement appears to open the door to broader uses of the Space Launch System.

Before his speech, Mr. Stern said in an interview that his members see “many potential benefits” from continued work and even accelerated development of the Space Launch System. “I don’t want us to get into a perceived food fight” over funding and other potential trade-offs related to the project, he said. The rocket’s initial unmanned flight is scheduled for next year, with a manned mission anticipated by 2021.

But there is growing discussion among industry officials that the manned flight could be accelerated to 2020 to better fit with the Trump team’s preferred timetable. Going back to his campaign, Mr. Trump and his surrogates strongly endorsed NASA programs that also promote commercial space goals.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/leading-commercial-space-group-embraces-nasas-biggest-rocket-1486491576
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 08:07 PM by Star One »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #1 on: 02/07/2017 08:36 PM »
What is commercial about SLS?

This is disappointing.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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 Star One

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #2 on: 02/07/2017 08:50 PM »
What is commercial about SLS?

This is disappointing.

Disappointing because it could be positioned against Space X?

In spite of protestations to the contrary it seems every time there is a hint of competition to Space X, whoever it might be, some get up in arms about it.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #3 on: 02/07/2017 08:55 PM »
What is commercial about SLS?

This is disappointing.

Disappointing because it could be positioned against Space X?

In spite of protestations to the contrary it seems every time there is a hint of competition to Space X, whoever it might be, some get up in arms about it.
Don't put words in my mouth, puny human!

It's disappointing because it's not commercial. I've long been a fan of using EELVs, which are ULA and (for our purposes here) commercial.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 08:55 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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 Rocket Science

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #4 on: 02/07/2017 08:58 PM »
Does accelerate mean trying to erase the slips?? ???
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Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #5 on: 02/07/2017 09:08 PM »
It's disappointing because it's not commercial. I've long been a fan of using EELVs, which are ULA and (for our purposes here) commercial.

Just because SLS isn't commercial doesn't mean it can't benefit the commercial sector. ISS isn't commercial but without it there would have been no market for commercial cargo or commercial crew.

Using SLS in concert with commercial systems (such as FH and a commercial lunar lander) to create say a cis-lunar outpost would be a great boon to the commercial sector.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 09:08 PM by Endeavour_01 »
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline redliox

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #6 on: 02/07/2017 09:22 PM »
Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #7 on: 02/07/2017 09:27 PM »
It's disappointing because it's not commercial. I've long been a fan of using EELVs, which are ULA and (for our purposes here) commercial.

Just because SLS isn't commercial doesn't mean it can't benefit the commercial sector. ISS isn't commercial but without it there would have been no market for commercial cargo or commercial crew.

Using SLS in concert with commercial systems (such as FH and a commercial lunar lander) to create say a cis-lunar outpost would be a great boon to the commercial sector.
That's a super crazy kind of twisted logic. The analogous thing to ISS would be the outpost itself, not SLS. All SLS does is suck up payloads, at an extremely high cost, that could be instead launched commercially at far lower cost. The analogous thing to SLS would be Shuttle, and commercial wasn't even given a chance to do logistics for ISS until Shuttle was retired.

The only way SLS will help commercial is by retiring.

Again, this announcement is a big let-down. They essentially sold out.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #8 on: 02/07/2017 09:33 PM »
Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

You have it totally backwards.

There's always a well-defined commercial need for EELV class payloads so it's intrinsically commercial. Human space flight does NOT have a very well-proven sustainable commercial market. So it makes more sense for NASA to fly Orion on commercial vehicles than to use SLS to launch commercial payloads because there simply AREN'T commercial payloads that need it, never mind afford it.

Orion may be having programmatic difficulties, but it's intrinsically much more in NASA's wheelhouse to develop HSF vehicles than recreating a govt-only rocket at enormous expense.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #9 on: 02/07/2017 09:34 PM »
And I'm sure you'll mention Bigelow, but there are multiple reasons that's inapplicable.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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 Star One

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Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #10 on: 02/07/2017 09:49 PM »
Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

Odd as I could read it without logging in.

Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

You have it totally backwards.

There's always a well-defined commercial need for EELV class payloads so it's intrinsically commercial. Human space flight does NOT have a very well-proven sustainable commercial market. So it makes more sense for NASA to fly Orion on commercial vehicles than to use SLS to launch commercial payloads because there simply AREN'T commercial payloads that need it, never mind afford it.

Orion may be having programmatic difficulties, but it's intrinsically much more in NASA's wheelhouse to develop HSF vehicles than recreating a govt-only rocket at enormous expense.

And of course just by chance would these commercial vehicles that human spaceflight should be using instead just happen to be supplied by Space X because by happenstance they have the FH.

I don't need to put words in your mouth just know your posting history.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 10:03 PM by Star One »

Offline Oli

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #11 on: 02/07/2017 10:00 PM »
Trump wants to see the first manned flight within his first term.

Not surprise here.

Offline Star One

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #12 on: 02/07/2017 10:02 PM »
Trump wants to see the first manned flight within his first term.

Not surprise here.

Still think that's asking a lot unless they are willing to pay the extra money it will need.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #13 on: 02/07/2017 10:10 PM »
Trump wants to see the first manned flight within his first term.

Not surprise here.
Manned flights are going to happen with Commercial Crew to ISS... No need for "the beast" on a mission to nowhere...
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Offline Oli

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #14 on: 02/07/2017 10:19 PM »
Trump wants to see the first manned flight within his first term.

Not surprise here.

Still think that's asking a lot unless they are willing to pay the extra money it will need.

Congress probably doesn't mind spending more on SLS. The Obama administration worked against it.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #15 on: 02/07/2017 10:33 PM »
Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

Odd as I could read it without logging in.

Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

You have it totally backwards.

There's always a well-defined commercial need for EELV class payloads so it's intrinsically commercial. Human space flight does NOT have a very well-proven sustainable commercial market. So it makes more sense for NASA to fly Orion on commercial vehicles than to use SLS to launch commercial payloads because there simply AREN'T commercial payloads that need it, never mind afford it.

Orion may be having programmatic difficulties, but it's intrinsically much more in NASA's wheelhouse to develop HSF vehicles than recreating a govt-only rocket at enormous expense.

And of course just by chance would these commercial vehicles that human spaceflight should be using instead just happen to be supplied by Space X because by happenstance they have the FH.

I don't need to put words in your mouth just know your posting history.
Could I not be clearer? I favor commercial. They would fly on EELVs before Falcon Heavy, because EELVs are proven and Falcon Heavy hasn't flown yet. If you actually knew my posting history, you'd know I favored Orion on Delta IV Heavy because it actually flew a test flight in that configuration.

Seriously, what is your problem?
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 10:43 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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 Star One

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Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #16 on: 02/07/2017 10:42 PM »
Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

Odd as I could read it without logging in.

Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

You have it totally backwards.

There's always a well-defined commercial need for EELV class payloads so it's intrinsically commercial. Human space flight does NOT have a very well-proven sustainable commercial market. So it makes more sense for NASA to fly Orion on commercial vehicles than to use SLS to launch commercial payloads because there simply AREN'T commercial payloads that need it, never mind afford it.

Orion may be having programmatic difficulties, but it's intrinsically much more in NASA's wheelhouse to develop HSF vehicles than recreating a govt-only rocket at enormous expense.

And of course just by chance would these commercial vehicles that human spaceflight should be using instead just happen to be supplied by Space X because by happenstance they have the FH.

I don't need to put words in your mouth just know your posting history.
What the hell?? Could I not be clearer? I favor commercial. They would fly on EELVs before Falcon Heavy, because EELVs are proven and Falcon Heavy hasn't flown yet. If you actually knew my posting history, you'd know I favored Orion on Delta IV Heavy because it actually flew a test flight in that configuration.

Seriously, what is your problem?

Your anti-SLS agenda that's my problem.

The problems that SLS has suffered from in the past have been mostly been down to political resistance at certain levels rather than anything inherently wrong with it as a program. So I therefore I don't see an issue with it being embraced now by commercial space.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 10:44 PM by Star One »

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #17 on: 02/07/2017 10:44 PM »
Trump wants to see the first manned flight within his first term.

Not surprise here.

Still think that's asking a lot unless they are willing to pay the extra money it will need.

It would be $750 million extra.

1.)$150 million to man-rate ICPS
2.)$300 million for a 2nd mobile launcher
3.)<$300 million to outfit a 2nd VAB bay.

Re-fly EM-1(but crewed obviously) and develop EUS on a seperate track in a different VAB bay and on a different mobile launcher. Don't put EUS onto the critical path and start building the 2nd SLS now and 2020 is doable. Would make the SLS Block II transition smoother as well. Would make a multi-launch campaign a lot easier and stand-by rescue possible as well.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 10:48 PM by ncb1397 »

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #18 on: 02/07/2017 10:45 PM »
Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

Odd as I could read it without logging in.

Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

You have it totally backwards.

There's always a well-defined commercial need for EELV class payloads so it's intrinsically commercial. Human space flight does NOT have a very well-proven sustainable commercial market. So it makes more sense for NASA to fly Orion on commercial vehicles than to use SLS to launch commercial payloads because there simply AREN'T commercial payloads that need it, never mind afford it.

Orion may be having programmatic difficulties, but it's intrinsically much more in NASA's wheelhouse to develop HSF vehicles than recreating a govt-only rocket at enormous expense.

And of course just by chance would these commercial vehicles that human spaceflight should be using instead just happen to be supplied by Space X because by happenstance they have the FH.

I don't need to put words in your mouth just know your posting history.
What the hell?? Could I not be clearer? I favor commercial. They would fly on EELVs before Falcon Heavy, because EELVs are proven and Falcon Heavy hasn't flown yet. If you actually knew my posting history, you'd know I favored Orion on Delta IV Heavy because it actually flew a test flight in that configuration.

Seriously, what is your problem?

Your anti-SLS agenda that's my problem.

The problems that SLS has suffered from in the past have been mostly been down to political resistance at certain levels rather than anything inherently wrong with it as a program. So I therefore I don't see an issue with it being embraced now by commercial space.
So you think that the fact that I'm consistent in thinking SLS is a bad deal means I'm a mindless SpaceX drone?

I have been following SLS for a long time, before it was SLS. It's a valid point of view that NASA should probably be using commercially available vehicles for launch so they can focus funding and effort on things that AREN'T already available. Like, I don't know, maybe a frakking lander???
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 10:46 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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 Star One

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #19 on: 02/07/2017 10:50 PM »
Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

Odd as I could read it without logging in.

Annoyingly the article in question requires login so I can't read it for myself...

Although an unusual twist, I don't see a specific downside to it.  The SLS itself was never the problem, it was Orion and (previously) how wobbly the Constellation program became.  The SLS might be a government rocket, but the fact it can loft payloads of 105 mt opens up opportunity for commercial spacecraft.  A Cygnus, for example, could become a larger and far more functional module because it would be granted a better fairing than any current rocket can offer.  Instead of Apollo on steroids, we'd see Dragons on steroids in short.

Cancel Orion and let the commercial people design something better.  Of course...Lockheed might have to be omitted from the next competition...

You have it totally backwards.

There's always a well-defined commercial need for EELV class payloads so it's intrinsically commercial. Human space flight does NOT have a very well-proven sustainable commercial market. So it makes more sense for NASA to fly Orion on commercial vehicles than to use SLS to launch commercial payloads because there simply AREN'T commercial payloads that need it, never mind afford it.

Orion may be having programmatic difficulties, but it's intrinsically much more in NASA's wheelhouse to develop HSF vehicles than recreating a govt-only rocket at enormous expense.

And of course just by chance would these commercial vehicles that human spaceflight should be using instead just happen to be supplied by Space X because by happenstance they have the FH.

I don't need to put words in your mouth just know your posting history.
What the hell?? Could I not be clearer? I favor commercial. They would fly on EELVs before Falcon Heavy, because EELVs are proven and Falcon Heavy hasn't flown yet. If you actually knew my posting history, you'd know I favored Orion on Delta IV Heavy because it actually flew a test flight in that configuration.

Seriously, what is your problem?

Your anti-SLS agenda that's my problem.

The problems that SLS has suffered from in the past have been mostly been down to political resistance at certain levels rather than anything inherently wrong with it as a program. So I therefore I don't see an issue with it being embraced now by commercial space.
So you think that the fact that I'm consistent in thinking SLS is a bad deal means I'm a mindless SpaceX drone?

I have been following SLS for a long time, before it was SLS. It's a valid point of view that NASA should probably be using commercially available vehicles for launch so they can focus funding and effort on things that AREN'T already available. Like, I don't know, maybe a frakking lander???

Look I don't want Chris terminating this discussion so all I will say is I fundamentally disagree with you on this. I think there's enough room in the market for all these vehicles including SLS.

Offline Comga

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #20 on: 02/07/2017 10:52 PM »
Article from the WSJ.

Again indicates the Trump administration wants to accelerate the first manned flight of SLS.

Quote
WASHINGTON—Commercial space interests for the first time are publicly singing the praises of NASA’s biggest, most expensive rocket program, seeking to get in sync with the Trump administration’s evolving  focus on public-private partnerships to further space exploration.

The shift was announced at a conference here Tuesday by Alan Stern, chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, who emphasized synergies between budding  commercial-space projects and the agency’s multibillion-dollar, heavy-lift rocket, called the Space Launch System, under development by Boeing Co. and a bevy of industrial partners.

Starting in the early years of former President Barack Obama’s administration, many commercial-space companies and their advocates viewed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s  behemoth rocket as a major rival, often complaining that the program effectively siphoned off funds from less conventional commercial efforts.

Quote
Under current scenarios, Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Orion spacecraft is designed to sit on top and ultimately protect humans from the ravages of radiation and other hazards on journeys throughout the solar system. But Mr. Stern’s surprise announcement appears to open the door to broader uses of the Space Launch System.

Before his speech, Mr. Stern said in an interview that his members see “many potential benefits” from continued work and even accelerated development of the Space Launch System. “I don’t want us to get into a perceived food fight” over funding and other potential trade-offs related to the project, he said. The rocket’s initial unmanned flight is scheduled for next year, with a manned mission anticipated by 2021.

But there is growing discussion among industry officials that the manned flight could be accelerated to 2020 to better fit with the Trump team’s preferred timetable. Going back to his campaign, Mr. Trump and his surrogates strongly endorsed NASA programs that also promote commercial space goals.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/leading-commercial-space-group-embraces-nasas-biggest-rocket-1486491576

It's another Andy Pasztor article.  These always have an angle, mostly favoring the established majors over the smaller and/or newer competitors.
I wonder what Stern thinks of Andy's interpretation of his remarks.  There may be a stretch between "not getting into a food fight" and "his members see advantages... from accelerating" SLS.
"Mr. Stern’s surprise announcement appears to open the door to broader uses of the Space Launch System."  (It's Dr. Stern, Andy.) Stern does want to advocate for missions so large only the SLS could launch them, and we know the target.
And Pasztor REALLY overstates Trump's support for NASA.  A two hour photo op and a few mild statements.  Meh.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #21 on: 02/07/2017 10:54 PM »
And of course just by chance would these commercial vehicles that human spaceflight should be using instead just happen to be supplied by Space X because by happenstance they have the FH.

I don't need to put words in your mouth just know your posting history.

Two things.

1) If you want to slag SpaceX, you ought to at least do them the courtesy of spelling their name right. There's no " " in it.
2) If you want to slag other posters, you ought to take that outside, no place for it in NSF. Your posts in this thread and others lack excellence to others. I'm not a fan of public appraisals but it bears mentioning.

That was a mod post in case you were wondering.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 10:55 PM by Lar »
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Offline Star One

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Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #22 on: 02/07/2017 10:54 PM »
Article from the WSJ.

Again indicates the Trump administration wants to accelerate the first manned flight of SLS.

Quote
WASHINGTON—Commercial space interests for the first time are publicly singing the praises of NASA’s biggest, most expensive rocket program, seeking to get in sync with the Trump administration’s evolving  focus on public-private partnerships to further space exploration.

The shift was announced at a conference here Tuesday by Alan Stern, chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, who emphasized synergies between budding  commercial-space projects and the agency’s multibillion-dollar, heavy-lift rocket, called the Space Launch System, under development by Boeing Co. and a bevy of industrial partners.

Starting in the early years of former President Barack Obama’s administration, many commercial-space companies and their advocates viewed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s  behemoth rocket as a major rival, often complaining that the program effectively siphoned off funds from less conventional commercial efforts.

Quote
Under current scenarios, Lockheed Martin Corp.’s Orion spacecraft is designed to sit on top and ultimately protect humans from the ravages of radiation and other hazards on journeys throughout the solar system. But Mr. Stern’s surprise announcement appears to open the door to broader uses of the Space Launch System.

Before his speech, Mr. Stern said in an interview that his members see “many potential benefits” from continued work and even accelerated development of the Space Launch System. “I don’t want us to get into a perceived food fight” over funding and other potential trade-offs related to the project, he said. The rocket’s initial unmanned flight is scheduled for next year, with a manned mission anticipated by 2021.

But there is growing discussion among industry officials that the manned flight could be accelerated to 2020 to better fit with the Trump team’s preferred timetable. Going back to his campaign, Mr. Trump and his surrogates strongly endorsed NASA programs that also promote commercial space goals.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/leading-commercial-space-group-embraces-nasas-biggest-rocket-1486491576

It's another Andy Pasztor article.  These always have an angle, mostly favoring the established majors over the smaller and/or newer competitors.
I wonder what Stern thinks of Andy's interpretation of his remarks.  There may be a stretch between "not getting into a food fight" and "his members see advantages... from accelerating" SLS.
"Mr. Stern’s surprise announcement appears to open the door to broader uses of the Space Launch System."  (It's Dr. Stern, Andy.) Stern does want to advocate for missions so large only the SLS could launch them, and we know the target.
And Pasztor REALLY overstates Trump's support for NASA.  A two hour photo op and a few mild statements.  Meh.

All I say was I found the link on Mr Stern's Twitter stream after he retweeted it.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 10:55 PM by Star One »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #23 on: 02/07/2017 10:55 PM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.
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Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #24 on: 02/07/2017 10:58 PM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

So what you still have to develop an actual nuts and bolts launch vehicle first to put the lander on the moon, as you don't fly anywhere with paper rockets and PowerPoint presentations.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 10:59 PM by Star One »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #25 on: 02/07/2017 10:59 PM »
I say complete SLS/Orion and fly it otherwise will just be another wasted partially complete development program to add the huge pile that already exist.
When commercial sector are capable of delivering  crew to DSH, that is time to retire SLS. I doubt that will be much before 2025.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #26 on: 02/07/2017 11:01 PM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

So what you still have to develop an actual nuts and bolts launch vehicle first to put the lander on the moon, as you don't fly anywhere with paper rockets and PowerPoint presentations.
Atlas V and Delta IV and Antares and Falcon 9 are not "paper rockets." Orion already flew (uncrewed) on Delta IV Heavy.
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Offline Star One

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Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #27 on: 02/07/2017 11:02 PM »
I say complete SLS/Orion and fly it otherwise will just be another wasted partially complete development program to add the huge pile that already exist.
When commercial sector are capable of delivering  crew to DSH, that is time to retire SLS. I doubt that will be much before 2025.

That would still be wasting money retiring it after such a short period of use. You can't always say that commercial space is the answer to ever issue out there. Fair enough there's a good argument for it in LEO but outside of that I say it becomes fundamentally weaker as an argument at this time.
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 11:05 PM by Star One »

Offline Star One

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #28 on: 02/07/2017 11:04 PM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

So what you still have to develop an actual nuts and bolts launch vehicle first to put the lander on the moon, as you don't fly anywhere with paper rockets and PowerPoint presentations.
Atlas V and Delta IV and Antares and Falcon 9 are not "paper rockets." Orion already flew (uncrewed) on Delta IV Heavy.

But Delta IVH would have cost a great deal to both human rate and add the necessary capacity to make it a viable BEO vehicle. There was a time you could have gone that route but that's now long past. The others aren't really viable vehicles for BEO use.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #29 on: 02/07/2017 11:04 PM »
Basically the same way they tried to justify the shuttle.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? The slowest possible.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #30 on: 02/07/2017 11:07 PM »
Basically the same way they tried to justify the shuttle.

The Shuttle suffered in development from the competing demands of NASA & bodies like the USAF & NRO as to why it ended up where it was when being justified.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #31 on: 02/07/2017 11:08 PM »
I say complete SLS/Orion and fly it otherwise will just be another wasted partially complete development program to add the huge pile that already exist.
When commercial sector are capable of delivering  crew to DSH, that is time to retire SLS. I doubt that will be much before 2025.

Sunk cost fallacy. (not a mod post)
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #32 on: 02/07/2017 11:23 PM »
To be blunt, other non-SLS approaches to BEO spaceflight don't have big enough political payback for those in charge of the purse strings. Any program that is being funded by the government is going to need some form of political payback, by definition. Technical and economic efficiency aren't the only factors that will determine such a program being supported - they have to be balanced with political forces. This obviously grinds the gears of technically inclined people but is part of the reality of politics. The other option in these situations is often not another techinically brilliant architecture being picked, but nothing at all. Zilch.

The Direct Team years ago got this part right, their architecture addressed the poltiical concerns rather than just being efficient or technically brilliant. Addressing those is often required to get anything off the ground at all!
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #33 on: 02/07/2017 11:33 PM »
Why do people think that throwing more money at SLS will get it back on schedule?

There is not some magic vending machine with SLS rockets in it that we just haven't put enough money into yet. 

IF SLS ever flies I will be astounded if it happens before 2021.  (I would love to see that thing fly but every year that passes it seems less and less likely).

I am starting to wonder if Andy Pasztor has a big stake in Lockheed or something...

Offline SimonFD

Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #34 on: 02/07/2017 11:43 PM »
I seem to remember a while back, congress asked NASA whether extra cash would help bring the first launch date of SLS forward and NASA replied "No, but maybe the second".

Also, I'm not immediately seeing what commercial opportunities there would be for using SLS given it's astronomical (pun intended) cost!
« Last Edit: 02/07/2017 11:44 PM by SimonFD »
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #35 on: 02/07/2017 11:57 PM »
After all these years I really feel that all the pro/anti SLS arguments have been made and the discussions just keeps going around in circles. Either there is a defined requirement for the vehicle at the present time or there isn't. If you just want to blow a wad of cash on a show, that's fine too... Just be up-front about it...
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 01:36 AM by Rocket Science »
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #36 on: 02/08/2017 12:22 AM »
I say complete SLS/Orion and fly it otherwise will just be another wasted partially complete development program to add the huge pile that already exist.
When commercial sector are capable of delivering  crew to DSH, that is time to retire SLS. I doubt that will be much before 2025.

By that time SLS will have flown three missions. Only one of those is scheduled to take a crew, and that flight in the early 2020s (I predict 2023) will use a completely expendable rocket and spacecraft to replicate something NASA did in 1968 with a completely expendable rocket and spacecraft.

Wow.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #37 on: 02/08/2017 01:10 AM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

So what you still have to develop an actual nuts and bolts launch vehicle first to put the lander on the moon, as you don't fly anywhere with paper rockets and PowerPoint presentations.
Atlas V and Delta IV and Antares and Falcon 9 are not "paper rockets." Orion already flew (uncrewed) on Delta IV Heavy.

But Delta IVH would have cost a great deal to both human rate and add the necessary capacity to make it a viable BEO vehicle. There was a time you could have gone that route but that's now long past. The others aren't really viable vehicles for BEO use.
Sure they are. Google "LEO rendezvous." If something can launch something to LEO, it can be used for BLEO.

...and just docking is needed, with fluid transfer (like the Russians have been doing forever). Same sort of thing we do operationally all the time at ISS. No scary "orbital assembly."
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #38 on: 02/08/2017 01:15 AM »
Also, you don't even have to human-rate Delta IV Heavy if you really don't want to. You COULD just use it to launch the spacecraft empty and transfer using a crew vehicle from ISS.
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Offline su27k

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #39 on: 02/08/2017 02:29 AM »
What is commercial about SLS?

This is disappointing.

Disappointing because it could be positioned against Space X?

In spite of protestations to the contrary it seems every time there is a hint of competition to Space X, whoever it might be, some get up in arms about it.

Why single out SpaceX? There're more than one commercial company building heavy lift and contemplating super heavy.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #40 on: 02/08/2017 02:39 AM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

So what you still have to develop an actual nuts and bolts launch vehicle first to put the lander on the moon, as you don't fly anywhere with paper rockets and PowerPoint presentations.

As Robotbeat has pointed out elsewhere, Falcon 9, Atlas V, and Delta IV all currently exist and are flying. Unlike SLS. You do not need to invent a new rocket to go to the Moon. There have been tons of studies showing how you can do that with existing rockets. Even if you don't insist on orbital propellant transfer (though that would make it tons easier). CxP and SLS have delayed a human return to the Moon by at least a decade at this point. I think it's legit for some of us to be frustrated at the waste, and even more frustrated at the CSF for folding like a cheap suit on this.

~Jon

Offline envy887

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #41 on: 02/08/2017 03:20 AM »
What is commercial about SLS?

This is disappointing.

Disappointing because it could be positioned against Space X?

In spite of protestations to the contrary it seems every time there is a hint of competition to Space X, whoever it might be, some get up in arms about it.

Why single out SpaceX? There're more than one commercial company building heavy lift and contemplating super heavy.
SpaceX is actually building super heavy lift rockets, and contemplating (more like testing hardware for) whatever you call the next larger class after that. They have the only commercial super heavy that will fly before SLS, which could be viewed as competition, I suppose.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #42 on: 02/08/2017 08:26 AM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

So what you still have to develop an actual nuts and bolts launch vehicle first to put the lander on the moon, as you don't fly anywhere with paper rockets and PowerPoint presentations.

As Robotbeat has pointed out elsewhere, Falcon 9, Atlas V, and Delta IV all currently exist and are flying. Unlike SLS. You do not need to invent a new rocket to go to the Moon. There have been tons of studies showing how you can do that with existing rockets. Even if you don't insist on orbital propellant transfer (though that would make it tons easier). CxP and SLS have delayed a human return to the Moon by at least a decade at this point. I think it's legit for some of us to be frustrated at the waste, and even more frustrated at the CSF for folding like a cheap suit on this.

~Jon

But that boat has sailed as an argument. If you wanted to go an alternative route using existing hardware I'd thought that was something you'd need to have opted for years back. We are where we are and we'll just have plough on. If companies see commercial possibilities in SLS then that's all good.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #43 on: 02/08/2017 08:37 AM »
SLS costs over $2 billion per year.  Over $10 billion more will have been spent on it by the time EM-1 flies.  It's only sensible to ask whether NASA might accomplish more by spending a similar quantity of money on an exploration program based on rockets the cost of which is shared with other users.

In other words, I don't think the argument has sailed.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 09:05 AM by Proponent »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #44 on: 02/08/2017 10:18 AM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

So what you still have to develop an actual nuts and bolts launch vehicle first to put the lander on the moon, as you don't fly anywhere with paper rockets and PowerPoint presentations.

As Robotbeat has pointed out elsewhere, Falcon 9, Atlas V, and Delta IV all currently exist and are flying. Unlike SLS. You do not need to invent a new rocket to go to the Moon. There have been tons of studies showing how you can do that with existing rockets. Even if you don't insist on orbital propellant transfer (though that would make it tons easier). CxP and SLS have delayed a human return to the Moon by at least a decade at this point. I think it's legit for some of us to be frustrated at the waste, and even more frustrated at the CSF for folding like a cheap suit on this.

~Jon

But that boat has sailed as an argument. If you wanted to go an alternative route using existing hardware I'd thought that was something you'd need to have opted for years back. We are where we are and we'll just have plough on. If companies see commercial possibilities in SLS then that's all good.

Even after we've spent two decades and $20B plus on the system, we still have no rockets, no payloads, and a system that is too expensive to operate (same issue as Augustine found) -- too limited at 1-2 expendable flights per year to do anything interesting.  To expand capability to something interesting will require another decade or two and more tens of $B.  This boat has hardly sailed... still a paper rocket in fact, protestations aside.  It is still Billions and years away from initial flight and several more away from carrying crew.

Only vested interested interests have suppressed the options of doing with what we have (a rapidly expanding fleet of capable, existing launchers).  The Kleptocracy stole Russia's future in space and the same is happening here by a different caste of thieves.

Some of us will not settle for the status quo and not going anywhere fast.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 11:14 AM by AncientU »
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #45 on: 02/08/2017 10:24 AM »
SLS costs over $2 billion per year.  Over $10 billion more will have been spent on it by the time EM-1 flies.  It's only sensible to ask whether NASA might accomplish more by spending a similar quantity of money on an exploration program based on rockets the cost of which is shared with other users.

In other words, I don't think the argument has sailed.

Exactly. Saying "well we spent this much, we should finish" is sunk cost fallacy.  (as I said before) Even cancelling SLS the day before the first flight saves money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Star One, you should be making the argument that SLS is politically unkillable and therefore some use should be made of it... That's actually a valid argument. Not that SLS has any technical or economic merit whatever, which is a hill of malarky. 

(not a mod post)
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 10:39 AM by Lar »
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Offline Star One

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Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #46 on: 02/08/2017 11:29 AM »
SLS costs over $2 billion per year.  Over $10 billion more will have been spent on it by the time EM-1 flies.  It's only sensible to ask whether NASA might accomplish more by spending a similar quantity of money on an exploration program based on rockets the cost of which is shared with other users.

In other words, I don't think the argument has sailed.

Exactly. Saying "well we spent this much, we should finish" is sunk cost fallacy.  (as I said before) Even cancelling SLS the day before the first flight saves money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Star One, you should be making the argument that SLS is politically unkillable and therefore some use should be made of it... That's actually a valid argument. Not that SLS has any technical or economic merit whatever, which is a hill of malarky. 

(not a mod post)

Well I was steering away from just saying the thing is pretty politically fireproof so you might as well make the best use of it you can, as it might be true but it's not a very constructive argument in my view to just say it's a public sector utility so to speak.

As an aside I appreciate Blue Origin's approach to making space commercial with little or no government money or input. To me that's a strong commercial approach not expecting the government to get you there on the taxpayers dollar which others have done. Though I believe ULA get something of a pass here as they are being funded by the DOD to provide assured and continuing access to space for national security payloads.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 11:33 AM by Star One »

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #47 on: 02/08/2017 12:37 PM »
Considering that SLS is the incumbent program with a fair degree of political support, there's still use for it in a way that would be beneficial for commercial human spaceflight. The Shuttle constructed the ISS and the ISS has served as a destination for commercial crew and cargo. SLS could serve a similar role in doing some of the initial heavy lifting of large payloads, which can be later served by a BLEO COTS program.



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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #48 on: 02/08/2017 01:10 PM »
Even cancelling SLS the day before the first flight saves money that could be better spent elsewhere.

The only actual numbers we've seen suggest that even if SLS flies annually, it's all-in cost will still exceed $3 billion per year.  So I'd go further:  even the day after the first flight, it's worth asking if the $3 billion you'll spend before the next one could be better spent elsewhere.

NASA speaks optimistically of cutting costs, but its track record on economics is as almost as bad as its track record on awesome exploration is amazing.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #49 on: 02/08/2017 01:17 PM »
Considering that SLS is the incumbent program with a fair degree of political support, there's still use for it in a way that would be beneficial for commercial human spaceflight. The Shuttle constructed the ISS and the ISS has served as a destination for commercial crew and cargo. SLS could serve a similar role in doing some of the initial heavy lifting of large payloads, which can be later served by a BLEO COTS program.

I think that's probably the best outcome one can reasonably for, given the strong support for SLS, largely from supposedly free-market-loving members of Congress.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #50 on: 02/08/2017 01:28 PM »
Well I was steering away from just saying the thing is pretty politically fireproof so you might as well make the best use of it you can, as it might be true but it's not a very constructive argument in my view to just say it's a public sector utility so to speak.

As an aside I appreciate Blue Origin's approach to making space commercial with little or no government money or input. To me that's a strong commercial approach not expecting the government to get you there on the taxpayers dollar which others have done.

With Orion/SLS, we have a government-funded, government-operated system.  Blue Origin proposes a commercially funded, commercially operated system.

But what about the middle ground, namely a government-funded system making use of commercially managed hardware where advantageous (mostly meaning cheaper)?  I think that's what most of the argument against SLS is about.  It's not "Let's just wait for Bezos and Musk to go to the stars," it's "Let's get to the stars as fast as we can by letting NASA focus on the really hard stuff that nobody else can or will do."

Besides, since the Commercial Space Act of 1998, it's supposed to be government policy to use commercial capabilities where practicable.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 01:30 PM by Proponent »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #51 on: 02/08/2017 01:31 PM »
I'm a little confused... I thought that a NASA vehicle with not allowed to compete against a commercial vehicle... ???
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #52 on: 02/08/2017 01:38 PM »
Well I was steering away from just saying the thing is pretty politically fireproof so you might as well make the best use of it you can, as it might be true but it's not a very constructive argument in my view to just say it's a public sector utility so to speak.

As an aside I appreciate Blue Origin's approach to making space commercial with little or no government money or input. To me that's a strong commercial approach not expecting the government to get you there on the taxpayers dollar which others have done.

With Orion/SLS, we have a government-funded, government-operated system.  Blue Origin proposes a commercially funded, commercially operated system.

But what about the middle ground, namely a government-funded system making use of commercially managed hardware where advantageous (mostly meaning cheaper)?  I think that's what most of the argument against SLS is about.  It's not "Let's just wait for Bezos and Musk to go to the stars," it's "Let's get to the stars as fast as we can by letting NASA focus on the really hard stuff that nobody else can or will do."

Besides, since the Commercial Space Act of 1998, it's supposed to be government policy to use commercial capabilities where practicable.
I guess we had similar thoughts at the same time! :)
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #53 on: 02/08/2017 01:38 PM »
Are you referring specifically to SLS?  In that case, the argument is probably just that there is not commercial launch vehicle of its capability.  This is disingenuous, since it fails to answer the question of whether a launch vehicle the size of SLS is needed, but that question does not occur to many.

It's also the case that, whatever the government's policy is in general, Congress has specifically passed a law allowing the US of SLS in various broad circumstances.

EDIT:  "broadly" -> "broad"
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 01:56 PM by Proponent »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #54 on: 02/08/2017 01:41 PM »
Are you referring specifically to SLS?  In that case, the argument is probably just that there is not commercial launch vehicle of its capability.  This is disingenuous, since it fails to answer the question of whether a launch vehicle the size of SLS is needed, but that question does not occur to many.

It's also the case that, whatever the government's policy is in general, Congress has specifically passed a law allowing the US of SLS in various broadly circumstances.
Yes SLS, however we know what other entities have in the works and it sounds like it's going to be a job creation program for lawyers...
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 01:42 PM by Rocket Science »
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #55 on: 02/08/2017 01:42 PM »
I'm a little confused... I thought that a NASA vehicle with not allowed to compete against a commercial vehicle... ???

Congress is only interested in others following the laws it writes; they are (obviously) above the law.
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Offline woods170

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #56 on: 02/08/2017 01:51 PM »
Abandoning the gators and getting back to the topic of this thread...
Here's the write-up by Jeff Foust: http://spacenews.com/commercial-group-endorses-use-of-space-launch-system/

Quote from: Jeff Foust
In a speech opening the 20th Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference here Feb. 7, Alan Stern, chairman of the board of the industry group, said the organization believes that the SLS could potentially be useful for its members.
<snip>
Stern said he was not worried about endorsing a vehicle that could compete with those commercial alternatives. “The market will sort that out,” he said.

Emphasis mine. There is the disclaimers. Once it gets down to talking value-for-money SLS won't stand a chance. After all: "endorsement" doet not translate into "we will use it".

Offline RonM

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #57 on: 02/08/2017 01:56 PM »
I'm a little confused... I thought that a NASA vehicle with not allowed to compete against a commercial vehicle... ???

Congress is only interested in others following the laws it writes; they are (obviously) above the law.

No, Congress is not above the law, but they do write the laws.

When NASA was flying the Space Shuttle, they had a choice between putting payloads on Shuttle or a commercial rocket if one was available to do the job. Congress told NASA to use commercial rockets when possible.

Congress mandated that NASA would build SLS and was even told the basics on how to build it to make sure the right companies got the contracts. That supersedes the previous law in this case. Now NASA has to use SLS for BLEO exploration, at least for large payloads. There could be a BLEO COTS program for smaller payloads to resupply whatever NASA builds with the bigger payloads.

Unless Congress changes its mind, something I seriously doubt because SLS and Orion are the continuation of Constellation, it's pointless to discuss about what could have been. It's time to figure out what to do with SLS and commercial space to create a BELO program.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #58 on: 02/08/2017 01:58 PM »
Once it gets down to talking value-for-money SLS won't stand a chance. After all: "endorsement" doet not translate into "we will use it".

If it does ever get down to talking value for money. :(

Thanks for highlighting that part of Stern's statement -- puts a very different spin on it than one would gather from the headline.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 02:00 PM by Proponent »

Offline woods170

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #59 on: 02/08/2017 02:03 PM »
Once it gets down to talking value-for-money SLS won't stand a chance. After all: "endorsement" doet not translate into "we will use it".

If it does ever get down to talking value for money. :(

Thanks for highlighting that part of Stern's statement -- puts a very different spin on it than one would gather from the headline.
Exactly the reason why several members of the CSF are developing their own (super)heavy launchers and setting their own exploration goals.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #60 on: 02/08/2017 02:04 PM »
Endorsement is a form of lobbying IMHO...
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #61 on: 02/08/2017 02:05 PM »
... we know what other entities have in the works and it sounds like it's going to be a job creation program for lawyers...

IMHO the key thing is not that BO or SpaceX may field a rocket that's in SLS's class or larger.  Rather it's that the possibility that NASA might get more down now if it got out of the rocket business and used commercial rockets never seems to be considered by anyone in power.  They don't even bother to argue against it, they just ignore it.


Offline muomega0

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #62 on: 02/08/2017 02:12 PM »
SLS costs over $2 billion per year.  Over $10 billion more will have been spent on it by the time EM-1 flies.  It's only sensible to ask whether NASA might accomplish more by spending a similar quantity of money on an exploration program based on rockets the cost of which is shared with other users.
In other words, I don't think the argument has sailed.
SLS: 10 years in operation, 20 flights or $20B or 1B flight or $10,000/kg.  magically cut it in half  $5,000/kg

DOD:  100M/20mT  $5,000/kg  and that is without reuse nor increased flight rate and the US has to maintain all the excessive launch and capsule capacity with zero $$ for missions. 
   ==>  The USG pays 20B + 20B =40B for launch capacity  that has no missions
            The USG could pay            20B                                       for no missions  New Math?!
            So how does this competition reduce costs again?      http://alternativefacts.com

****  If you include more launchers with 'competition', one does not require a LV > ~20mT   *****

What are the reasons to change direction?  Costs and wrong architecture.

1970s:Shuttle lost out to Titan III unless it flew 28x/yr
1970s: "We really need to get behind a useable lower stage" Max Faget
1970s: "Solids, a major mistake (added by) Nixon"
1984:  Dual Keel, satellite servicing, free flyers, advanced technology
1992:  140M could not be found in the budget for economic access to space
2002:  Bush appoints Okeefe who selects the spiral architecture using the DOD fleet.  Oops.
2003:  Prometheus for long duration space travel
2004:  Bush and Red Congress cast aside depot centric for CxP for Apollo Redux. Gut technology.
2004:  VSE:  common harware with the goal of reuse
2005:  ESAS uses flawed AR&D risk so lunar sortie (130mT) "must be less than 3 launches"  70/130mT QED.
2005:  "right in the middle of the debris field is Orion" LAS mass grows 6mT from solids Ares I can't getoffground
2009:  MARS DRM 5 forgets Apollo 13 and sends Orion to Mars, just like, err, Apollo
2010:  Augustine  3B/yr more
2010:  Must be 70 and 130mT. 
2011:  NASA can save at least 57B returning to the spiral, depot centric architecture cast aside by 2004 Red
2011:  Youtube Space Policy, Explained
2012:  Orion cannot return from an asteroid because, per Stanley, designed for lunar only
2013:  J2X Mothballed
2016:  The lunar ISRU Fallacy  head to the asteroids

HLV Incredibly Expendable Architecture
Mars DRM 5: "The mission uses essentially all expendable rocket and vehicle components, and does not leave any useful components in low Mars orbit or Earth orbit for use by the next mission. Thus, there is no advancement in safety or capability from one mission to the next. The architecture would require the design, development, and construction of at least 10 different types of expendable vehicles during the decade before the first mission"

Worse, if anyone wants to work on New Technology to head to Mars, all the money will be spent on LV and capsules for at least another decade that will have no practical use, just so Congress can use http://alternativefacts.com that 'Competition' can select the same approach cast aside in 2004.

Congress mandated that NASA would build SLS and was even told the basics on how to build it to make sure the right companies got the contracts. That supersedes the previous law in this case. Now NASA has to use SLS for BLEO exploration, at least for large payloads.
Unless Congress changes its mind, something I seriously doubt because SLS and Orion are the continuation of Constellation, it's pointless to discuss about what could have been. It's time to figure out what to do with SLS and commercial space to create a BELO program.
There is no $$ for missions..Congress will not give them enough money, haven't we been though this?

One concludes however, that If you support SLS/Orion, all you care about is building and operating old, expensive, expendable, technology   


Offline woods170

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #63 on: 02/08/2017 02:14 PM »
Endorsement is a form of lobbying IMHO...
In this case more like: not stepping on the toes of certain folks in the White House and US Congress.
Or better: When a situation is unclear, keep all your options open.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #64 on: 02/08/2017 02:19 PM »
Endorsement is a form of lobbying IMHO...
In this case more like: not stepping on the toes of certain folks in the White House and US Congress.
Or better: When a situation is unclear, keep all your options open.
True, but the they could have just "held fire" for a bit...
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Offline RonM

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #65 on: 02/08/2017 02:41 PM »
Congress mandated that NASA would build SLS and was even told the basics on how to build it to make sure the right companies got the contracts. That supersedes the previous law in this case. Now NASA has to use SLS for BLEO exploration, at least for large payloads.
Unless Congress changes its mind, something I seriously doubt because SLS and Orion are the continuation of Constellation, it's pointless to discuss about what could have been. It's time to figure out what to do with SLS and commercial space to create a BELO program.
There is no $$ for missions..Congress will not give them enough money, haven't we been though this?

That's why I wrote we need to figure out what to do with SLS. Congress will have to fund payloads soon or their jobs program crashes after EM-2. Working with commercial space on BLEO, like NASA is already discussing, is a way forward.

It doesn't matter what any of us think about SLS. It's what Congress wants to do. The trick is working within that limitation.

Offline Star One

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #66 on: 02/08/2017 02:54 PM »
Congress mandated that NASA would build SLS and was even told the basics on how to build it to make sure the right companies got the contracts. That supersedes the previous law in this case. Now NASA has to use SLS for BLEO exploration, at least for large payloads.
Unless Congress changes its mind, something I seriously doubt because SLS and Orion are the continuation of Constellation, it's pointless to discuss about what could have been. It's time to figure out what to do with SLS and commercial space to create a BELO program.
There is no $$ for missions..Congress will not give them enough money, haven't we been though this?

That's why I wrote we need to figure out what to do with SLS. Congress will have to fund payloads soon or their jobs program crashes after EM-2. Working with commercial space on BLEO, like NASA is already discussing, is a way forward.

It doesn't matter what any of us think about SLS. It's what Congress wants to do. The trick is working within that limitation.

Guess you're forgetting about the Europa mission(s) it's not just about manned space flight.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #67 on: 02/08/2017 03:06 PM »
Congress mandated that NASA would build SLS and was even told the basics on how to build it to make sure the right companies got the contracts. That supersedes the previous law in this case. Now NASA has to use SLS for BLEO exploration, at least for large payloads.
Unless Congress changes its mind, something I seriously doubt because SLS and Orion are the continuation of Constellation, it's pointless to discuss about what could have been. It's time to figure out what to do with SLS and commercial space to create a BELO program.
There is no $$ for missions..Congress will not give them enough money, haven't we been though this?

That's why I wrote we need to figure out what to do with SLS. Congress will have to fund payloads soon or their jobs program crashes after EM-2. Working with commercial space on BLEO, like NASA is already discussing, is a way forward.

It doesn't matter what any of us think about SLS. It's what Congress wants to do. The trick is working within that limitation.

Maybe we need to resurrect the Federal Line Item Veto... swamp draining will not make any progress against entrenched interests without it. (Falls into the swamp draining toolkit... like 'term limits')  44 Governors have authority to use it; impossible to balance the budget without.

Obama would have slain SLS in the crib if he had that tool.
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #68 on: 02/08/2017 03:11 PM »
Guess you're forgetting about the Europa mission(s) it's not just about manned space flight.

Atlas V, Delta IV and Falcon Heavy could do the job too.  The use of SLS appears to be politically driven, in that Congress has weighed in, but I've never seen an analysis arguing that the extra cost of using SLS is actually worth the shorter flight time.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #69 on: 02/08/2017 03:18 PM »
Are you referring specifically to SLS?  In that case, the argument is probably just that there is not commercial launch vehicle of its capability. 

Actually, that argument does not wash.  Section 50301 of Title 51 of the U.S. Code begins with:

Quote from: U.S.C. 51 Sect. 50301
(a)In General.—
Except as otherwise provided in this section or in section 70102, the Federal Government shall acquire space transportation services from United States commercial providers whenever such services are required in the course of its activities. To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers.

Emphasis added.

Offline RonM

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #70 on: 02/08/2017 03:42 PM »
Congress mandated that NASA would build SLS and was even told the basics on how to build it to make sure the right companies got the contracts. That supersedes the previous law in this case. Now NASA has to use SLS for BLEO exploration, at least for large payloads.
Unless Congress changes its mind, something I seriously doubt because SLS and Orion are the continuation of Constellation, it's pointless to discuss about what could have been. It's time to figure out what to do with SLS and commercial space to create a BELO program.
There is no $$ for missions..Congress will not give them enough money, haven't we been though this?

That's why I wrote we need to figure out what to do with SLS. Congress will have to fund payloads soon or their jobs program crashes after EM-2. Working with commercial space on BLEO, like NASA is already discussing, is a way forward.

It doesn't matter what any of us think about SLS. It's what Congress wants to do. The trick is working within that limitation.

Maybe we need to resurrect the Federal Line Item Veto... swamp draining will not make any progress against entrenched interests without it. (Falls into the swamp draining toolkit... like 'term limits')  44 Governors have authority to use it; impossible to balance the budget without.

Obama would have slain SLS in the crib if he had that tool.

Doubt we'll see a federal line item veto since the first one was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_v._City_of_New_York

NASA has to play with the cards Congress dealt. So does commercial space.

Only chance any of this will change, and it's a slim chance, is if President Trump is incensed by the billions spent in the SLS/Orion programs and not being able to conduct a manned mission in his first term. If Trump is reelected and SLS/Orion continues to have schedule slips, there might not be a manned mission in his second term.

SpaceX, Blue, and even Boeing could have manned BLEO missions before 2025.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #71 on: 02/08/2017 03:52 PM »
Congress mandated that NASA would build SLS and was even told the basics on how to build it to make sure the right companies got the contracts. That supersedes the previous law in this case. Now NASA has to use SLS for BLEO exploration, at least for large payloads.
Unless Congress changes its mind, something I seriously doubt because SLS and Orion are the continuation of Constellation, it's pointless to discuss about what could have been. It's time to figure out what to do with SLS and commercial space to create a BELO program.
There is no $$ for missions..Congress will not give them enough money, haven't we been though this?

That's why I wrote we need to figure out what to do with SLS. Congress will have to fund payloads soon or their jobs program crashes after EM-2. Working with commercial space on BLEO, like NASA is already discussing, is a way forward.

It doesn't matter what any of us think about SLS. It's what Congress wants to do. The trick is working within that limitation.

Maybe we need to resurrect the Federal Line Item Veto... swamp draining will not make any progress against entrenched interests without it. (Falls into the swamp draining toolkit... like 'term limits')  44 Governors have authority to use it; impossible to balance the budget without.

Obama would have slain SLS in the crib if he had that tool.

Doubt we'll see a federal line item veto since the first one was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_v._City_of_New_York

NASA has to play with the cards Congress dealt. So does commercial space.

Only chance any of this will change, and it's a slim chance, is if President Trump is incensed by the billions spent in the SLS/Orion programs and not being able to conduct a manned mission in his first term. If Trump is reelected and SLS/Orion continues to have schedule slips, there might not be a manned mission in his second term.

SpaceX, Blue, and even Boeing could have manned BLEO missions before 2025.
Nah, he loves debt... ;)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Basto

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #72 on: 02/08/2017 04:24 PM »
Also, you don't even have to human-rate Delta IV Heavy if you really don't want to. You COULD just use it to launch the spacecraft empty and transfer using a crew vehicle from ISS.

And then perform a plane change to get anywhere useful...

ISS isn't in the best plane to go to the moon or interplanetary.

Offline clongton

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #73 on: 02/08/2017 04:33 PM »
Commercial Satellite manufacturer: Let's see, we have this super duper pie in the sky satellite that can image nanobots on the surface of Titan. It's going to do wonderful things if we can ever get it to a GTO. Dry mass is 18,000 kg, 44,000 kg with propellant. So here's the question: Do we spend $3 billion to fully fuel this observatory and launch it in one shot on SLS, or do we spend 1/10th of that to use a 2-launch Falcon Heavy with orbital propellant transfer?

Hmm let me think: Please have my secretary set up a conference call with Ms. Shotwell at SpaceX.

Now THAT is commercial. SLS got acknowledge (per the CSF "announcement") and then promptly shut down on commercial's life blood - cost. NASA doesn't give 2 craps what anything costs so it spends taxpayer dollars like a drunken fool at an open bar wedding. NASA couldn't "compete" its way out of a wet paper bag.

SLS may very well ultimately find some valid uses that no commercial entity can fulfill. But not in my lifetime.
To date NASA has had it pretty easy. The commercial space launch industry did not have the capability to provide the lift capability NASA needed. But those days are just about over. The very first time NASA uses SLS to launch a payload that could have just as easily been launched by SpaceX or Blue Origin - QUE THE LAWYERS - the Space Act of 1998 will begin to show its teeth as it bites NASA in the rear-facing parts.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 04:36 PM by clongton »
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Offline envy887

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #74 on: 02/08/2017 04:35 PM »
Also, you don't even have to human-rate Delta IV Heavy if you really don't want to. You COULD just use it to launch the spacecraft empty and transfer using a crew vehicle from ISS.

And then perform a plane change to get anywhere useful...

ISS isn't in the best plane to go to the moon or interplanetary.

I think he meant a crew vehicle from one of the commercial crew providers for ISS, launched specifically to meet Orion. It wouldn't have to go anywhere near ISS.

Offline clongton

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #75 on: 02/08/2017 04:42 PM »
ISS isn't in the best plane to go to the moon or interplanetary.

Sure it is. Just depends if you want a near-equatorial orbit at the destination. If you don't have to have one then earth inclination doesn't matter as much. You still need the same Δ-V.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 04:45 PM by clongton »
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Offline Star One

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Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #76 on: 02/08/2017 04:49 PM »
Guess you're forgetting about the Europa mission(s) it's not just about manned space flight.

Atlas V, Delta IV and Falcon Heavy could do the job too.  The use of SLS appears to be politically driven, in that Congress has weighed in, but I've never seen an analysis arguing that the extra cost of using SLS is actually worth the shorter flight time.

It at the very least saves money on having to thermally proof the craft from travelling inwards towards the sun for a gravity assist around Venus. Also the very fact that flight time is reduced means the equipment has less chance to go wrong, suffer an incident and general wear and tear is reduced. There are more complete discussions of this in the Europa thread.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2017 04:53 PM by Star One »

Offline jongoff

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #77 on: 02/08/2017 04:54 PM »
Star One, you should be making the argument that SLS is politically unkillable and therefore some use should be made of it... That's actually a valid argument. Not that SLS has any technical or economic merit whatever, which is a hill of malarky. 

(not a mod post)

Lar's point may sound like semantics, but I believe it is very important. Even if SLS goes forward (as I fully expect it will), how it goes forward depends a lot on why it goes forward. If SLS is continued because it's basically politically unkillable due to a few key Congresspeople on key committees, that suggests the best way to handle it is as a cost of doing business and move on. It's not critical, but it's not killable, so you find some job for it to do that minimizes the damage on the rest of the system, like maybe doing semi-annual crew shuttling to/from a lunar orbital facility. You don't try to build the rest of your human spaceflight program around it, unless it really has some other application where it is truly, uniquely useful for.

On the other hand, if SLS should continue because it's a key piece of national infrastructure, where it's really the best and most optimal way of carrying out the mission, then that suggests it should be integrated a lot more tightly into whatever plans are done moving forward. It should be prioritized over other things that are less unanimously agreed on, etc.

My fear is that by CSF caving and making the case that SLS is useful, not just politically unkillable, they've opened the floodgates for porkers in Congress to divert more and more of NASA's HSF budget into missions to justify SLS, and upgrades for SLS, etc. If even those crazy commercial guys admit this is critical infrastructure, then obviously it should be higher priority than pretty much everything else.

That's why I think CSF's move was shortsighted, as much as I respect many of the members on their board. I hope I'm wrong, but I think CSF's announcement just added another nail in the coffin of us doing anything useful BLEO over the next decade.

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Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #78 on: 02/08/2017 05:11 PM »
It [SLS[ at the very least saves money on having to thermally proof the craft from travelling inwards towards the sun for a gravity assist around Venus. Also the very fact that flight time is reduced means the equipment has less chance to go wrong, suffer an incident and general wear and tear is reduced. There are more complete discussions of this in the Europa thread.

Yes, there are advantages (and disadvantages) of using SLS rather than Atlas V.  But the decision appears to have been made not by engineers and scientists, but by politicians, who are not qualified to weigh up those factors.

EDIT:  "way" -> "weigh"
« Last Edit: 02/28/2017 09:40 AM by Proponent »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #79 on: 02/08/2017 05:55 PM »
It [SLS[ at the very least saves money on having to thermally proof the craft from travelling inwards towards the sun for a gravity assist around Venus. Also the very fact that flight time is reduced means the equipment has less chance to go wrong, suffer an incident and general wear and tear is reduced. There are more complete discussions of this in the Europa thread.

Yes, there are advantages (and disadvantages) of using SLS rather than Atlas V.  But the decision appears to have been made not by engineers and scientists, but by politicians, who are not qualified to way up those factors.

I'd dispute that as I doubt you'd find many Europa scientists who would turn their noses up at a swifter science return.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #80 on: 02/08/2017 07:40 PM »
Does everyone think it is likely that any commercial customers for SLS would pay the entire operating cost of the system for a year? 
My guess is that they would pay a HEAVILY subsidized price.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #81 on: 02/08/2017 07:51 PM »
It [SLS[ at the very least saves money on having to thermally proof the craft from travelling inwards towards the sun for a gravity assist around Venus. Also the very fact that flight time is reduced means the equipment has less chance to go wrong, suffer an incident and general wear and tear is reduced. There are more complete discussions of this in the Europa thread.

Yes, there are advantages (and disadvantages) of using SLS rather than Atlas V.  But the decision appears to have been made not by engineers and scientists, but by politicians, who are not qualified to way up those factors.

I'd dispute that as I doubt you'd find many Europa scientists who would turn their noses up at a swifter science return.
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #82 on: 02/08/2017 08:25 PM »
It [SLS[ at the very least saves money on having to thermally proof the craft from travelling inwards towards the sun for a gravity assist around Venus. Also the very fact that flight time is reduced means the equipment has less chance to go wrong, suffer an incident and general wear and tear is reduced. There are more complete discussions of this in the Europa thread.

Yes, there are advantages (and disadvantages) of using SLS rather than Atlas V.  But the decision appears to have been made not by engineers and scientists, but by politicians, who are not qualified to way up those factors.

I'd dispute that as I doubt you'd find many Europa scientists who would turn their noses up at a swifter science return.

If that swifter science return was a trade-off for a billion dollars smaller science payload... there would not be a single Europa scientist who wasn't screaming at the stinking bad deal.
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Offline Star One

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #83 on: 02/08/2017 08:28 PM »
It [SLS[ at the very least saves money on having to thermally proof the craft from travelling inwards towards the sun for a gravity assist around Venus. Also the very fact that flight time is reduced means the equipment has less chance to go wrong, suffer an incident and general wear and tear is reduced. There are more complete discussions of this in the Europa thread.

Yes, there are advantages (and disadvantages) of using SLS rather than Atlas V.  But the decision appears to have been made not by engineers and scientists, but by politicians, who are not qualified to way up those factors.

I'd dispute that as I doubt you'd find many Europa scientists who would turn their noses up at a swifter science return.

If that swifter science return was a trade-off for a billion dollars smaller science payload... there would not be a single Europa scientist who wasn't screaming at the stinking bad deal.

I doubt very much it's that basic an exchange.


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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #84 on: 02/08/2017 09:27 PM »
This thread hasn't gotten at all political.  And I'm the king of Spain.

Let's try to bring it back around a bit if we can... (mod post)
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #85 on: 02/08/2017 10:19 PM »
Endorsement is a form of lobbying IMHO...

Maybe Stern wants the Administrator job -- he'd run the place a bit differently, I'd imagine.
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #86 on: 02/09/2017 04:14 AM »
Also, you don't even have to human-rate Delta IV Heavy if you really don't want to. You COULD just use it to launch the spacecraft empty and transfer using a crew vehicle from ISS.

And then perform a plane change to get anywhere useful...

ISS isn't in the best plane to go to the moon or interplanetary.

I think he meant a crew vehicle from one of the commercial crew providers for ISS, launched specifically to meet Orion. It wouldn't have to go anywhere near ISS.

NASA could lease or rent a commercial spacestation for probably about the cost of launching an SLS. If the spacestation is BLEO then a large launch vehicle is needed, such as the SLS.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #87 on: 02/09/2017 10:49 AM »
Does everyone think it is likely that any commercial customers for SLS would pay the entire operating cost of the system for a year? 
My guess is that they would pay a HEAVILY subsidized price.

I think it highly unlikely that there will be any commercial uses for SLS.  After Ares V was announced, more than ten years ago, we started hearing suggestions that there were all kinds of military and commercial uses for a NASA-managed heavy lifter.  But in all of this time, no indications of interest have emerged.

For that matter, even the much smaller Delta IV Heavy has never flown a commercial payload.  If there are no commercial payloads in the Delta IV class, why would there suddenly be such payloads in the SLS class?

My guess is that the picture Stern has in mind is that NASA would use SLS to launch a cis-lunar hab, which would then be supplied by commercial launch vehicles.
« Last Edit: 02/09/2017 10:53 AM by Proponent »

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #88 on: 02/09/2017 04:53 PM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

We've spent about $10 billion on SLS so far including ground equipment.

Offline Star One

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Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #89 on: 02/10/2017 10:39 PM »
Here’s why a commercial space group endorsed NASA’s SLS rocket

Quote
Later, during an interview with Ars, Stern explained that the commercial space organization has, in the past, engaged in a “bruising battle” over the government’s massive rocket and its influential prime contractor Boeing. The commercial space industry group (of which Boeing is not a member) contended the private sector could deliver the same capability as the SLS for far less than the $2 billion NASA has spent annually this decade to develop the rocket. The SLS will initially be able to heft 70 metric tons to low Earth orbit, but that could grow to 130 metric tons by the late 2020s.

But now, Stern said the organization believes the SLS will enable the aims of commercial companies to develop businesses on the Moon, as well as support asteroid mining and other ventures his members are interested in. “We are taking a long view,” Stern said. “This is clearly to the advantage of the expansion of commercial spaceflight. Now, with a new administration and a new Congress, we wanted to put our stake down on the side of SLS.”

Quote
Theoretically, then, the United States could have three heavy lift rockets at its disposal in 2020. If the reusable Falcon Heavy costs $200 million per flight, and the reusable New Glenn costs $200 million, while an expendable SLS rocket costs $1.5 billion, the agency—and by extension Congress and the White House—will have an easy choice to make.

One could argue at that time that NASA should never have spent in excess of $10 billion developing the SLS. But the bottom line is that, six years ago, Congress did not believe in the capacity of SpaceX to build a heavy lift rocket, and Blue Origin’s intentions were not known at that time. So Congress bet on NASA and its traditional contractor Boeing, and the agency kept its large base of employees intact.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation likely recognizes that raising its voice now, publicly at least, against the SLS has limited political upside with a Congress predisposed to favor NASA’s big rocket. Instead of poking NASA or Congress in the eye with a stick, better to stay relevant. Ultimately, when SpaceX, Blue Origin, or both have a launch capability that costs far less than the public alternative, the commercial space organization will have a much more potent argument to make.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/02/heres-why-a-commercial-space-group-endorsed-nasas-sls-rocket/
« Last Edit: 02/10/2017 10:43 PM by Star One »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #90 on: 02/11/2017 12:12 AM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

We've spent about $10 billion on SLS so far including ground equipment.

The USofA has spent $12B (for Constellation), plus $10B (for SLS), plus $8B (for Orion), to achieve a heavy lift launch capability for 'exploration'.  Additionally, $3B+ per year for the next five years (if we're lucky) will be required before we lift the first 'explorer' off the ground on said launch capability.
This sums to the tidy total of $45B -- to reach the starting line.

You say, "We've spent $10B on SLS..." but that is the same we that has also spent or committed to spend vastly more than that before we get any capability in return. 

Think about what could be achieved with $45B...
« Last Edit: 02/11/2017 12:16 AM by AncientU »
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Offline ncb1397

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #91 on: 02/11/2017 01:56 AM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

We've spent about $10 billion on SLS so far including ground equipment.

The USofA has spent $12B (for Constellation), plus $10B (for SLS), plus $8B (for Orion), to achieve a heavy lift launch capability for 'exploration'.  Additionally, $3B+ per year for the next five years (if we're lucky) will be required before we lift the first 'explorer' off the ground on said launch capability.
This sums to the tidy total of $45B -- to reach the starting line.

You say, "We've spent $10B on SLS..." but that is the same we that has also spent or committed to spend vastly more than that before we get any capability in return. 

Think about what could be achieved with $45B...

And once you replace SLS and Orion with <insert AncientUs preferred program>, you can just say that we spent $12 billion on Constellation, $10 billion on SLS, $8 billion dollars on Orion and X billion on <insert AncientUs preferred program> to get some kind of BEO capability and that capability is years away. From the get go, you can make the same case that <insert program> should be cancelled because the running tally is just getting bigger. Any large scale investment in NASA programs starts to look really, really wasteful. Which it shouldn't, because it really isn't, but the case would be easier and easier to make.

The USofA has spent $12B (for Constellation), plus $10B (for SLS), plus $8B (for Orion), to achieve a heavy lift launch capability for 'exploration'.

Constellation was focused on ISS logistics in the early years, as was Orion. Orion has nothing to do with the cost of heavy launch capability, except that it requires it for certain trajectories. The cost of heavy lift has been ~$10 billion so far while the europeans are spending ~$4 billion for Ariane 6. SLS is perfectly in line with historical cost figures for this kind of capability (Saturn V). You can certainly do launch(or the development thereof) cheaper, but that has tended to include either out sourced production or bugs showing up during missions with substantially greater frequency.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2017 02:00 AM by ncb1397 »

Offline Oli

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #92 on: 02/11/2017 06:39 AM »
The cost of heavy lift has been ~$10 billion so far while the europeans are spending ~$4 billion for Ariane 6.

The $3.8bn include A6 + Vega + infrastructure.

The main issue though is that SLS will launch so rarely. 'We' may be looking at $40bn for ~5 launches up to 2030. That's pretty crazy.

For that matter, even the much smaller Delta IV Heavy has never flown a commercial payload.  If there are no commercial payloads in the Delta IV class, why would there suddenly be such payloads in the SLS class?

Why would there suddenly be such payloads for FH/New Glenn/ITS?

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #93 on: 02/11/2017 09:59 AM »
For that matter, even the much smaller Delta IV Heavy has never flown a commercial payload.  If there are no commercial payloads in the Delta IV class, why would there suddenly be such payloads in the SLS class?

Why would there suddenly be such payloads for FH/New Glenn/ITS?

As for New Glenn and ITS, Bezos and, to some extent, Musk appear to have business plans to make those payloads materialize.  That's not a sure thing, but it's much more plausible than the idea that, after more than a decade's lack of interest, government agencies and companies will soon be falling all over themselves to get a ride on the drastically more expensive SLS.

As for FH, it will, despite its much greater payload capability, be competitive for payloads now launched by Delta IV Heavy.  It may also be competitive for some payloads to high-energy trajectories now launched by Atlas V.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2017 10:25 AM by Proponent »

Offline Star One

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #94 on: 02/11/2017 11:02 AM »
For that matter, even the much smaller Delta IV Heavy has never flown a commercial payload.  If there are no commercial payloads in the Delta IV class, why would there suddenly be such payloads in the SLS class?

Why would there suddenly be such payloads for FH/New Glenn/ITS?

As for New Glenn and ITS, Bezos and, to some extent, Musk appear to have business plans to make those payloads materialize.  That's not a sure thing, but it's much more plausible than the idea that, after more than a decade's lack of interest, government agencies and companies will soon be falling all over themselves to get a ride on the drastically more expensive SLS.

As for FH, it will, despite its much greater payload capability, be competitive for payloads now launched by Delta IV Heavy.  It may also be competitive for some payloads to high-energy trajectories now launched by Atlas V.

That sounds dangerously like you're implying that because they are commercial enterprises they are going to make payloads magically appear and because SLS isn't they can't do this.,

Offline clongton

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #95 on: 02/11/2017 11:17 AM »
That sounds dangerously like you're implying that because they are commercial enterprises they are going to make payloads magically appear and because SLS isn't they can't do this.

You are misreading the tea leaves.

It's not because it's commercial, it's because commercial launch costs almost an order of magnitude less.
It's all about cost; nothing more and nothing less.
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Online AncientU

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #96 on: 02/11/2017 11:19 AM »
The cost of heavy lift has been ~$10 billion so far while the europeans are spending ~$4 billion for Ariane 6.

The $3.8bn include A6 + Vega + infrastructure.

The main issue though is that SLS will launch so rarely. 'We' may be looking at $40bn for ~5 launches up to 2030. That's pretty crazy.

For that matter, even the much smaller Delta IV Heavy has never flown a commercial payload.  If there are no commercial payloads in the Delta IV class, why would there suddenly be such payloads in the SLS class?

Why would there suddenly be such payloads for FH/New Glenn/ITS?

Maybe cost does matter?

FH will begin life soon (in six months or so  ;)) with a modest manifest of commercial launches... made possible by non-USG funded reuse technology for first stages.  USG launches will follow after certification, potentially saving the USG a bundle because FH delivers double the payload of DH at one-third of the cost. 

FH development cost the USG $0B.

FH's main goal, though, will be sending significant mass -- exploration mass -- payloads to Mars (and maybe now the Moon).  These non-USG funded Mars trips will be to demonstrate EDL at Mars using supersonic retro-propulsion... made possible by non-USG funded technology (which we will pay to share because we never got around to developing this crucial exploration technology though we did spend $350M on recent supersonic parachute/decelerator efforts which have been abandoned).  The Super-Draco engines providing this retro-propulsion were developed using additive manufacturing (non-USG funded) for an advanced landing technology on the Dragon -- which could easily have gotten by with its proven splash-down-in-the-ocean technology.  All of this and more resulted from a private vision that exploration was worthwhile, and cost of launch was the barrier to getting off this planet... so technologies were developed to achieve that goal.

Another private vision sees millions of people working off-planet in the future and is investing in low-cost launch capabilities to enable that vision.

No real future in space, exploration or otherwise, will be enabled by SLS/Orion. 
They simply cost too much and do nothing to advance the technology needed to move beyond this planet.

Endorsing them, as the Commercial Space Group has, is merely praising the Emperor's new clothes.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2017 11:24 AM by AncientU »
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Offline Star One

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #97 on: 02/11/2017 11:22 AM »
That sounds dangerously like you're implying that because they are commercial enterprises they are going to make payloads magically appear and because SLS isn't they can't do this.

You are misreading the tea leaves.

It's not because it's commercial, it's because commercial launch costs almost an order of magnitude less.
It's all about cost; nothing more and nothing less.

Even with less costs I didn't see why this will mean a sudden appearance of overly large payloads that need such launchers. I thought outside of the NRO & some science payloads the move was towards smaller not larger payloads.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #98 on: 02/11/2017 11:37 AM »
That sounds dangerously like you're implying that because they are commercial enterprises they are going to make payloads magically appear and because SLS isn't they can't do this.

You are misreading the tea leaves.

It's not because it's commercial, it's because commercial launch costs almost an order of magnitude less.
It's all about cost; nothing more and nothing less.

Even with less costs I didn't see why this will mean a sudden appearance of overly large payloads that need such launchers. I thought outside of the NRO & some science payloads the move was towards smaller not larger payloads.

If we are going to Mars and back to the Moon, we'll need lots of large payloads.  (Did you forget that exploration also requires payloads?  Easy enough to overlook in this spend-everything-on-SLS/Orion era.)
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #99 on: 02/11/2017 12:28 PM »
What is commercial about SLS?

This is disappointing.

Disappointing because it could be positioned against Space X?

In spite of protestations to the contrary it seems every time there is a hint of competition to Space X, whoever it might be, some get up in arms about it.
What competetition?

For a MArs program? No, because even the ITV Mars program will be expensive.

Competition re Falcon Heavy? Ha!

The (only) reason I am supporting SLS is that it might, might, create a market for really heavy payloads.
(BAck then (20+ years ago) I was very much against the Space Station Alpha, later ISS because of cost/capability ratio. But hoped it would create a market for commercial resupply.)
So same agin.


Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #100 on: 02/11/2017 04:00 PM »
Maybe Stern wants the Administrator job -- he'd run the place a bit differently, I'd imagine.

If Stern has a personal interest in this outside of commercial spaceflight, I'd think it's in ensuring that the Europa mission goes ahead.  If SLS went away, it would probably take a lot of Europa's support with it, even though the mission could still be flown on another launch vehicle.

Offline su27k

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #101 on: 02/11/2017 04:35 PM »
The cost of heavy lift has been ~$10 billion so far while the europeans are spending ~$4 billion for Ariane 6.

The $3.8bn include A6 + Vega + infrastructure.

Right, must not forget about infrastructure, IIRC there's close to $1B per year for SLS ground infrastructure, this is in addition to the $2B per year on the rocket itself.


Quote
For that matter, even the much smaller Delta IV Heavy has never flown a commercial payload.  If there are no commercial payloads in the Delta IV class, why would there suddenly be such payloads in the SLS class?

Why would there suddenly be such payloads for FH/New Glenn/ITS?

FH already has payloads, GEO satellites above 5.5mt and Red Dragon. Not too sure about New Glenn, if it's going to be used for space tourism then payloads are people. ITS is not a launch vehicle, it's a transportation system between planets, so you can think of it as its own payload.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2017 04:37 PM by su27k »

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #102 on: 02/11/2017 06:20 PM »
The cost of heavy lift has been ~$10 billion so far while the europeans are spending ~$4 billion for Ariane 6.

The $3.8bn include A6 + Vega + infrastructure.

Right, must not forget about infrastructure, IIRC there's close to $1B per year for SLS ground infrastructure, this is in addition to the $2B per year on the rocket itself.


People really need to familiarize themselves with this document before quoting numbers :

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fy_2017_budget_estimates.pdf

Congress gave the "Exploration Ground Systems" account $410 million in 2016. The plan for 2015 was 342.8 million when the document was created. Page 424 has a breakdown of projected budgets out to 2021. Page 427 has a total program cost estimate through EM-1 of 1847.2 million.

When the average commercial cargo launch of a few mT of supplies is $200 million and the average commercial crew cost is $300 million, $1 billion a launch for heavy lift (where you could lift the equivalent of the ISS in ~4 launches) is not out of bounds.

« Last Edit: 02/11/2017 06:31 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline Oli

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #103 on: 02/11/2017 06:47 PM »
Quote
For that matter, even the much smaller Delta IV Heavy has never flown a commercial payload.  If there are no commercial payloads in the Delta IV class, why would there suddenly be such payloads in the SLS class?

Why would there suddenly be such payloads for FH/New Glenn/ITS?

FH already has payloads, GEO satellites above 5.5mt and Red Dragon. Not too sure about New Glenn, if it's going to be used for space tourism then payloads are people. ITS is not a launch vehicle, it's a transportation system between planets, so you can think of it as its own payload.

I meant the expendable FH, the actual heavy lifter. Not sure Red Dragon can be called a commercial payload. New Glenn is interesting, it is supposed to fly in 2020 and we have no idea what it will launch. ITS' payload would be astronauts and surface equipment. The only potential ITS customer I see is NASA.
« Last Edit: 02/11/2017 06:51 PM by Oli »

Offline muomega0

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #104 on: 02/11/2017 07:34 PM »
The cost of heavy lift has been ~$10 billion so far while the europeans are spending ~$4 billion for Ariane 6.
The $3.8bn include A6 + Vega + infrastructure.
Right, must not forget about infrastructure, IIRC there's close to $1B per year for SLS ground infrastructure, this is in addition to the $2B per year on the rocket itself.
People really need to familiarize themselves with this document before quoting numbers :
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fy_2017_budget_estimates.pdf

Congress gave the "Exploration Ground Systems" account $410 million in 2016. The plan for 2015 was 342.8 million when the document was created. Page 424 has a breakdown of projected budgets out to 2021. Page 427 has a total program cost estimate through EM-1 of 1847.2 million.

When the average commercial cargo launch of a few mT of supplies is $200 million and the average commercial crew cost is $300 million, $1 billion a launch for heavy lift (where you could lift the equivalent of the ISS in ~4 launches) is not out of bounds.
the EM-1 cost estimate is arbitray book keeping exercise.  How many missions / tech demos over 10 to 20 yrs that are directed to the objectives:  The Space Grand Challenges.  'Mooning' is not an objective.

Using alternativefacts.com  if you magically cut the *total* costs per year to ~1B or 500M a launch for 2 launches (its stated capacity), which is *half*  its current budget of 2B/yr, SLS (and Orion) is not cost effective.  Raising the flight rate to 4 launches or 400mT/yror 4 launches (plus the recurring costs of ea extra launch)  creates a launch capacity *Double* that is required for MARS DRM 5, which is ~400mT every other year, and DRM 5 was completely expendable.

Yr              1      2      3     4      5      6     7     8     9     10
mT         200  200  200  200  200  200  200  200  200  200
SLS $B       2     2      2     2      2     2      2      2     2      2     20
Orion$B      1     1      1    1      1     1      1      1     1      1      10 (note the free ride)
                                                                                           30B
------
DOD           1     1      1     1     1      1      1      1    1      1     10    (10 flights at 100M ea   Vulcan)
Crew         0.2  0.2   0.2  0.2   0.2   0.2   0.2   0.2  0.2   0.2     2
                                                                                           12B

Suppose however the 200mT is flown every other year, or 100mT/yr,    its still 30B for SLS/Orion, 6B for DOD fleet.
This does not include reduced costs due to reuse and flight rate.

It should be very clear that the US has excess launch capacity, and smaller LVs in common configurations are required launching dirt cheap propellant:  eg. 10Ms relaunching 200k or propellant, not 1B launching 200k of propellant.  Embracing SLS is clearly not very good for business.

NASA will require all future LV to have a path to complete reuse per the VSE.  So Long Shuttle and Apollo.

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #105 on: 02/11/2017 08:18 PM »
The cost of heavy lift has been ~$10 billion so far while the europeans are spending ~$4 billion for Ariane 6.
The $3.8bn include A6 + Vega + infrastructure.
Right, must not forget about infrastructure, IIRC there's close to $1B per year for SLS ground infrastructure, this is in addition to the $2B per year on the rocket itself.
People really need to familiarize themselves with this document before quoting numbers :
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fy_2017_budget_estimates.pdf

Congress gave the "Exploration Ground Systems" account $410 million in 2016. The plan for 2015 was 342.8 million when the document was created. Page 424 has a breakdown of projected budgets out to 2021. Page 427 has a total program cost estimate through EM-1 of 1847.2 million.

When the average commercial cargo launch of a few mT of supplies is $200 million and the average commercial crew cost is $300 million, $1 billion a launch for heavy lift (where you could lift the equivalent of the ISS in ~4 launches) is not out of bounds.

Yr              1      2      3     4      5      6     7     8     9     10
mT         200  200  200  200  200  200  200  200  200  200
SLS $B       2     2      2     2      2     2      2      2     2      2     20
Orion$B      1     1      1    1      1     1      1      1     1      1      10 (note the free ride)
                                                                                           30B
------
DOD           1     1      1     1     1      1      1      1    1      1     10    (10 flights at 100M ea   Vulcan)
Crew         0.2  0.2   0.2  0.2   0.2   0.2   0.2   0.2  0.2   0.2     2
                                                                                           12B

Vulcan can't really be properly evaluated as an alternative to SLS. We still don't even know what engine/propellant it will be using. ULA was going to select an engine after a full BE-4 static fire that last I heard was going to be spring 2017. Maybe this could be revisited in a couple months.

If you are doing propellant launches, you have to account for the cost of a propellant tanker which can't really be reused unless it is built like Dragon which comes at a pretty dramatic mass penalty. Shuttle had the down-lift capability to bring a tanker back, but nothing else really does currently.

Offline muomega0

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #106 on: 02/11/2017 09:35 PM »
The cost of heavy lift has been ~$10 billion so far while the europeans are spending ~$4 billion for Ariane 6.
The $3.8bn include A6 + Vega + infrastructure.
Right, must not forget about infrastructure, IIRC there's close to $1B per year for SLS ground infrastructure, this is in addition to the $2B per year on the rocket itself.
People really need to familiarize themselves with this document before quoting numbers :
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fy_2017_budget_estimates.pdf

Congress gave the "Exploration Ground Systems" account $410 million in 2016. The plan for 2015 was 342.8 million when the document was created. Page 424 has a breakdown of projected budgets out to 2021. Page 427 has a total program cost estimate through EM-1 of 1847.2 million.

When the average commercial cargo launch of a few mT of supplies is $200 million and the average commercial crew cost is $300 million, $1 billion a launch for heavy lift (where you could lift the equivalent of the ISS in ~4 launches) is not out of bounds.

Yr              1      2      3     4      5      6     7     8     9     10
mT         200  200  200  200  200  200  200  200  200  200
SLS $B       2     2      2     2      2     2      2      2     2      2     20
Orion$B      1     1      1    1      1     1      1      1     1      1      10 (note the free ride)
                                                                                           30B
------
DOD           1     1      1     1     1      1      1      1    1      1     10    (10 flights at 100M ea   Vulcan)
Crew         0.2  0.2   0.2  0.2   0.2   0.2   0.2   0.2  0.2   0.2     2
                                                                                           12B

Vulcan can't really be properly evaluated as an alternative to SLS. We still don't even know what engine/propellant it will be using. ULA was going to select an engine after a full BE-4 static fire that last I heard was going to be spring 2017. Maybe this could be revisited in a couple months.

If you are doing propellant launches, you have to account for the cost of a propellant tanker which can't really be reused unless it is built like Dragon which comes at a pretty dramatic mass penalty. Shuttle had the down-lift capability to bring a tanker back, but nothing else really does currently.
The costs were an approximation.  Since even a depot is basically an upper stage with stretched tanks launched empty, its developments costs are in the noise wrt SLS and Orion.    Many clever ways to return the 2nd stage, but start with the lower stage and transfer stages for reuse. 

Its time to retire SLS, Atlas, and Delta.

Its time to work on Space Grand Challenges #1  Economic Access to Space, abandon 'mooning by 2020' , and compare the development costs required hardware elements over a 20 year time frame in an economical LV independent architecture with the goal of reuse per the VSE and *NOT* including SLS/Atlas/Delta in any future considerations.   

Let's not embrace SLS.

Offline GreenShrike

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #107 on: 02/11/2017 09:51 PM »
Even with less costs I didn't see why this will mean a sudden appearance of overly large payloads that need such launchers. I thought outside of the NRO & some science payloads the move was towards smaller not larger payloads.

Large payloads don't need to be monolithic satellites. There's no great need for 50t or 70t Battlestar-class sats.

Off the top of my head, tanker and cargo flights carrying bulk goods to orbit, like propellant, water and feedstock for orbital manufacturing, can fly as often as orbital assets require them and likely don't care over much if the bulk goods are delivered in 10x10t, 4x25t, 2x50t or 1x100t deliveries -- whatever's cheapest per tonne to fill the bunkers.

There's also satellite constellations (fleets, swarms, whatever). Pretty much the opposite of a $10B telescope, these are small and mass produced, and are delivered to orbit in job lots. Run off 10 more copies and launch them on an Falcon 9 to bolster an overloaded segment, or run off 100 and launch on a New Glenn to set up a new orbital plane. Or if a bunch of Vulcans is cheaper and doesn't have any foreseen pad scheduling problems, use them.

ITS will be a massive delivery ship with -- hopefully -- dirt cheap per-tonne costs if you can manage fill it with cargo. SpaceX may not run depots, but I'm sure they won't say no if someone else wants their own depot topped up.

Yes, depot usage means increased orbital operations, but you can only be gun shy about orbital ops for so long before they become old hat. And if they offer a cheaper means of accomplishing a task, they'll provide a competitive advantage to commercial entities which use them.

ULA's ACES plans are a stab in this direction (and interesting in a SpaceX-cheap-experimentation way). Launch missions with ACES, and if there's fuel left over, leave it in a parking orbit. Subsequent non-empty ACES stages rendezvous and transfer prop. ULA then gets free practice at rendezvous, fluid transfer and medium to long-term fluid storage.

And when they have an ACES in orbit with a belly full of prop and a lot of rendezvous and transfers under their belt, no one's going to look at them funny if they propose a mission involving selling and using that prop to enhance a mission's capabilities. Or, indeed, their distributed launch plans, which is the same thing -- rendezvous and fluid transfer -- but with a tanker launch instead of a depot visit.


Either we get good enough at this stuff that prices fall to the point where varied commercial interests will pay to use the tools our favourite aerospace companies offer for their own purposes, and develop their own space-based industrial niches.

Or, well... we don't, and few businesses will be able to afford to experiment with space, and it will largely remain the domain of governments and comsats and little more.
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Online Lar

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #108 on: 02/11/2017 09:53 PM »
It's not because it's commercial, it's because commercial launch costs almost an order of magnitude less.

No way, not even close.

Mod post

Not to pick on just this one post, just using it as an example[1]. "yes it is"/"no it isn't" posts are SUPER NOT USEFUL and will be removed. Don't just say no. Explain why. And make sure you're not repeating yourself. There is a lot of repetition, and a lot of people talking past each other without actually reading what the person they are responding to said. 

Up your game.

1 - I removed it.
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Offline jongoff

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #109 on: 02/12/2017 01:05 AM »
Maybe Stern wants the Administrator job -- he'd run the place a bit differently, I'd imagine.

If Stern has a personal interest in this outside of commercial spaceflight, I'd think it's in ensuring that the Europa mission goes ahead.  If SLS went away, it would probably take a lot of Europa's support with it, even though the mission could still be flown on another launch vehicle.

IIRC, Stern has previously advocated for a New Horizons follow-on (a Pluto Orbiter) using SLS. I wonder if he thinks he can "pull a Europa", and get his project funded by tying it to SLS.

~Jon

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #110 on: 02/12/2017 02:30 AM »
Vulcan can't really be properly evaluated as an alternative to SLS.

Neither the SLS or the Vulcan are flying yet, so to some that makes them "paper rockets".  I don't ascribe to that philosophy, as I have no doubt that either Boeing or ULA can build a safe launch system, and we know enough about both to make valid assumptions.

The key difference to remember about the Vulcan vs the SLS is that the Vulcan will be ULA's only launch system for military, NASA and commercial payloads, meaning it will be flying many times per year.  The SLS will only fly with NASA payloads that can't fly on the Vulcan (or other commercial launchers), and is likely to fly less than twice per year.  The difference contributes to cost, and cost is the #1 barrier to expanding our use of space.

Quote
We still don't even know what engine/propellant it will be using. ULA was going to select an engine after a full BE-4 static fire that last I heard was going to be spring 2017. Maybe this could be revisited in a couple months.

For the most part, what engine they decide to use is immaterial.  That's because it only matters what the $/kg are to move mass to space, not how they do it.  Stop thinking like an engineer, think like a business person.

Quote
If you are doing propellant launches, you have to account for the cost of a propellant tanker which can't really be reused unless it is built like Dragon which comes at a pretty dramatic mass penalty.

For the most part this too is immaterial, since the market will figure out how to solve this.  The #1 criteria is what the delivered cost is, and how it gets delivered is immaterial.

If we're going to be focusing on expanding humanity out into space, which is a very long-term effort, then cost is the #1 criteria to use for deciding what transportation systems we use.

If the government has a short-term need that is too unique for existing launch providers to satisfy, then maybe the government should satisfy their own transportation needs.  But a government transportation system is not going to be the right choice for any long-term requirements, since it is likely the most expensive transportation choice.

So while the CSF can say it supports the SLS, it's not really clear what that means from a practical standpoint.

My $0.02
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 TaurusLittrow

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #111 on: 02/12/2017 01:00 PM »
Does anybody seriously think Congress is going to ditch SLS? Not going to happen.

If Trump and Congress want to fund an accelerated program so that SLS/Orion fly an HLO or DRO mission before Trump's first term end, so be it. That could mean using the ICPS (wasteful) or not-human rated EUS (more risky), but now is the time to seize the moment and actually fly something somewhere in the lifetime of our grandchildren.

A lost opportunity otherwise.

Old vs. New Space? I'm tired of it. Let ISS be the model. Establish a presence at L2, or wherever, and then let SpaceX or BO, or whomever, support it with cargo and crew. A great opportunity for the New Space players to establish deep space experience and revenue stream. They, or at least SpaceX, can build on the experience and still aim for Mars.

Just sayin', strike while the iron is hot. 

Offline clongton

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #112 on: 02/12/2017 01:17 PM »
The only potential ITS customer I see is NASA.

SpaceX is not creating ITS to sell launch services. NASA is not and will never be the ITS customer. SpaceX is the ITS customer - the ONLY customer.

SpaceX is not selling cargo/crew/satellite launch services for the purpose of the corporate bottom line. They are doing ALL of it for the purpose of funding the SpaceX HSF program - colonizing Mars. That is why SpaceX was created in the first place - to colonize Mars. NASA has been going to do it for 50 years and still hasn't gotten out of LEO, so Elon decided to do it himself - without NASA.

I will grant that it was NASA money that ensured the survival of SpaceX when it was on the verge of total collapse. That saved Elon's dream and allowed SpaceX to go on to become one of NASA's prime launch providers to the ISS and a premiere satellite launcher. But all that was secondary to the primary goal. SpaceX is not in business to make money - except as it feeds into the funding profile for getting SpaceX astronauts and colonists to Mars. And the SpaceX/NASA relationship continues to enhance the SpaceX goal and probably always will. But NASA was originally not in the mix. NASA money saved SpaceX and NASA knowledge makes SpaceX's Martian goal nearer than it would otherwise have been. But ITS is a SpaceX vehicle designed to ferry SpaceX people to Mars.

SpaceX has (will have) ITS. NASA has (will have) SLS. NASA does not need ITS and SpaceX does not need SLS. NASA will go to Mars using its vehicle and SpaceX will go to Mars using its own vehicle.

People will never really understand SpaceX until they realize that increasing the money bottom line is not the prime mover for the company - profits do not drive them. SpaceX is GOAL driven, not profit driven. Money is nothing more than a means to an end, not an end in itself  - unlike almost every other company of its size on the planet.

Elon will gladly spend SpaceX dry to the bone and out of business if it accomplishes his goal of putting people on Mars to live there and will gladly die a totally broke but happy old man. He is not in this to "make money". That's the difference between SpaceX and everyone else. They're all looking at profits while he is looking at a populated Mars without regard for profits. Understand that and you will understand SpaceX. Fail to understand that and people will continue scratching their heads bewilderingly trying to see SpaceX thru blind corporate eyes.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 01:27 PM by clongton »
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Offline su27k

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #113 on: 02/12/2017 01:33 PM »
The cost of heavy lift has been ~$10 billion so far while the europeans are spending ~$4 billion for Ariane 6.

The $3.8bn include A6 + Vega + infrastructure.

Right, must not forget about infrastructure, IIRC there's close to $1B per year for SLS ground infrastructure, this is in addition to the $2B per year on the rocket itself.


People really need to familiarize themselves with this document before quoting numbers :

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/fy_2017_budget_estimates.pdf

Congress gave the "Exploration Ground Systems" account $410 million in 2016. The plan for 2015 was 342.8 million when the document was created. Page 424 has a breakdown of projected budgets out to 2021. Page 427 has a total program cost estimate through EM-1 of 1847.2 million.

I was going by my memory, and I was wrong, I apologize. However $1.8B is no small number either, it's higher than some Commercial Crew R&D contract.

Quote
When the average commercial cargo launch of a few mT of supplies is $200 million and the average commercial crew cost is $300 million, $1 billion a launch for heavy lift (where you could lift the equivalent of the ISS in ~4 launches) is not out of bounds.

Apples and Oranges, you're comparing a barebone SLS launch without any payload with a cargo/crew spacecraft + its launcher. The cost of a barebone launcher used in cargo/crew launch is <10% of your SLS launch.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 01:47 PM by su27k »

Offline su27k

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #114 on: 02/12/2017 01:46 PM »
Quote
For that matter, even the much smaller Delta IV Heavy has never flown a commercial payload.  If there are no commercial payloads in the Delta IV class, why would there suddenly be such payloads in the SLS class?

Why would there suddenly be such payloads for FH/New Glenn/ITS?

FH already has payloads, GEO satellites above 5.5mt and Red Dragon. Not too sure about New Glenn, if it's going to be used for space tourism then payloads are people. ITS is not a launch vehicle, it's a transportation system between planets, so you can think of it as its own payload.

I meant the expendable FH, the actual heavy lifter. Not sure Red Dragon can be called a commercial payload.

That's the beauty of this scheme (if it works), they can afford to support and launch the heavy lifter with payloads well below its max capability, and only call up the full performance when they need it. BTW, the same can be done with Vulcan, via distributed launch.

Quote
ITS' payload would be astronauts and surface equipment. The only potential ITS customer I see is NASA.

The spacecraft's payload would be astronauts and equipment, yes, but since we're talking about launchers (i.e. SLS, which is a LV only), the spacecraft should be considered payload. The point is Red Dragon and ITS goes well beyond launch vehicles, they offer transportation service to another planet, whether you think there would be customers for this service is subject to discussion, but this service is quite different from the launch service offered by SLS.

Offline Kansan52

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #115 on: 02/12/2017 01:56 PM »
Vehicles don't matter(mostly). Missions matter. Funding matters. There needs to be more funding for NASA so there is proper funding to escape LEO.

Let's fund programs one hundred per cent instead of the partial funding that keeps programs from finishing on time, pushes them to the left, and makes them more expensive in the long run.

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #116 on: 02/12/2017 02:23 PM »
Vehicles don't matter(mostly). Missions matter. Funding matters. There needs to be more funding for NASA so there is proper funding to escape LEO.

Let's fund programs one hundred per cent instead of the partial funding that keeps programs from finishing on time, pushes them to the left, and makes them more expensive in the long run.

I think most programs would be happy to slide left.   ;)

Offline muomega0

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #117 on: 02/12/2017 02:31 PM »
Vehicles don't matter(mostly). Missions matter. Funding matters. There needs to be more funding for NASA so there is proper funding to escape LEO.

Let's fund programs one hundred per cent instead of the partial funding that keeps programs from finishing on time, pushes them to the left, and makes them more expensive in the long run.
Low end, NASA needs to rotate crew to LEO with supplies in the 10mT range.
High end, Mars DRM 5 (yes issues) averages 200mT/yr:  HLVs cannot increase flight rate to reduce costs no need for reuse with 2 flights.
Then examine all the other payloads (where topping off in LEO takes advantage of Boeing's Amplification Factor)
   - - - >  a 10 to 20mT LV to LEO seems to be the right size < - - -

So vehicles, engines, and their design goals do matter
.   One engine type vs 3 engine types on a LV affects its costs.   They especially matter if solely funded by USG because they result in a hodge podge capability with limited ability to shift to a cost effective architecture.   A single HLV can dominate the entire market with politics or cost.

The market will not sort it out by endorsing SLS and racing after 'mooning by 2020'  -  determine the long term approach to address the Space Grand Challenges with the same budget.   

Start with depots and tugs.  Do not embrace SLS.   Fly multiple technology demonstration missions, trying to address the objectives at the same time (trying to land a heavy object on Mars with an aerobrake and include a science or ISRU payload).

If you want to maximize jobs, actually accomplish objectives and make a difference in the world, create new markets (global worldwide internet 10X faster), and create many more challenges for the next generation that We Do Not Know How To Solve Now, then implement distributed launch with smaller LVs with the goal of complete reuse.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 05:03 PM by muomega0 »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #118 on: 02/12/2017 03:21 PM »
When comparing SLS to Falcon Heavy, which appears to have been done in this thread, it might be useful to ponder the assertion made in this video.  Falcon Heavy, the commentator says, can only lift a maximum of 10,886 kg to any orbit!



 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 03:22 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #119 on: 02/12/2017 03:38 PM »
When comparing SLS to Falcon Heavy, which appears to have been done in this thread, it might be useful to ponder the assertion made in this video.  Falcon Heavy, the commentator says, can only lift a maximum of 10,886 kg to any orbit!



 - Ed Kyle
It's a BS claim, I'm surprised you're falling for it. It comes from the published payload limits of the payload adapter they use for commercial commsats, not the whole rocket. Not all payloads even use that adapter. In particular, Dragon doesn't use it.

Anyone can make a stupid video nowadays and spread FUD without evidence. We shouldn't encourage it and definitely shouldn't fall for it.
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #120 on: 02/12/2017 03:47 PM »
It's a BS claim, I'm surprised you're falling for it. It comes from the published payload limits of the payload adapter they use for commercial commsats, not the whole rocket. Not all payloads even use that adapter. In particular, Dragon doesn't use it.

Anyone can make a stupid video nowadays and spread FUD without evidence. We shouldn't encourage it and definitely shouldn't fall for it.
Perhaps, and we'll hopefully find out in due course, but the fact remains that Falcon 9, which is cataloged at 22+ tonnes to LEO, has never orbited more than the 10+ tonne structural limit discussed in the video.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 03:48 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #121 on: 02/12/2017 03:52 PM »
I fail to see the point of posting a baseless claim like this. It's FUD, and without evidence or statement from a reputable source (SpaceX themselves, NASA, GAO, etc) we shouldn't give it the time of day, or we're just encouraging folks to lie.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #122 on: 02/12/2017 03:58 PM »
I fail to see the point of posting a baseless claim like this. It's FUD, and without evidence or statement from a reputable source (SpaceX themselves, NASA, GAO, etc) we shouldn't give it the time of day, or we're just encouraging folks to lie.
I believe it is fair to consider, given (A) the actual flight history of Falcon 9 (facts) and (B) the history of SpaceX performance claims (also documented facts), which are, and have long been, at odds with (A). 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 03:58 PM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #123 on: 02/12/2017 04:01 PM »
When comparing SLS to Falcon Heavy, which appears to have been done in this thread, it might be useful to ponder the assertion made in this video.  Falcon Heavy, the commentator says, can only lift a maximum of 10,886 kg to any orbit!

I've always wondered whether FH is structurally strong enough to lift 50t to LEO. It would make no sense at this point. I guess it would add significant mass to the second stage, lowering the GTO/Mars payload capability.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 04:01 PM by Oli »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #124 on: 02/12/2017 04:04 PM »
No it wouldn't. The second stage while full is much heavier than 50 tons, and the force exerted by the upper stage is no greater with a big payload or a small one as it is determined by the engine thrust. A heavier payload would have lower acceleration, for instance.

The payload adapter area would need to be changed, but that's no different really than changing the area for Dragon vs commsat payloads, which use very different adapters.

You would need a different adapter, not a different rocket.

This story is BS.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 04:06 PM by Robotbeat »
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #125 on: 02/12/2017 04:08 PM »
I fail to see the point of posting a baseless claim like this. It's FUD, and without evidence or statement from a reputable source (SpaceX themselves, NASA, GAO, etc) we shouldn't give it the time of day, or we're just encouraging folks to lie.
I believe it is fair to consider, given (A) the actual flight history of Falcon 9 (facts) and (B) the history of SpaceX performance claims (also documented facts), which are, and have long been, at odds with (A). 

 - Ed Kyle
It's not fair, because it's made as an assertion without evidence. If it were framed as a question, it'd be reasonable. The way it's worded now, it's the same thing as a lie.
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #126 on: 02/12/2017 04:33 PM »
Adding "BS" to posts just makes your position seem incredibly weak. Try and use your indoor voices.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #127 on: 02/12/2017 04:47 PM »
I use BS specifically. If you make an assertion as if something is a matter of fact when you have no evidence for it, it is BS. It's not exactly the definition of a lie, because you don't know for sure that it is false. BS is the best word.
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Offline muomega0

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #128 on: 02/12/2017 05:24 PM »
When comparing SLS to Falcon Heavy, which appears to have been done in this thread, it might be useful to ponder the assertion made in this video.  Falcon Heavy, the commentator says, can only lift a maximum of 10,886 kg to any orbit!

I've always wondered whether FH is structurally strong enough to lift 50t to LEO. It would make no sense at this point. I guess it would add significant mass to the second stage, lowering the GTO/Mars payload capability.
This is such a narrow view of a LV architecture.  One shots has killed innovation.  Because of the inefficient SLS core design, they had to shift to highly elliptical orbits and then to L1, when L2 is superior in many many ways, staging in LEO first.   The US has to abandon larger LVs.  Flight rate provides demonstrated reliability.

The US does not require a LV greater than 10 to 20 mT.  If a LV can be increased in size to be more cost effective, then great.  But Congress wants to distribute the wealth, make things competitive, and perhaps just once wants to accomplish something for HSF that meets the 1958 Act.  Their record is poor so far.

So with a tweak to a previous post, four launches of 50mT LV would likely meet the NASA market, or would you rather have 5-10 launches from two different providers,  2-5 launches from 4 four different providers..... oh yea...HLV, we got ours  get your own.  Ironically, (an honest) single provider may be cheapest  ;D  Wonder if the 15% overhead on ACA could be reduced the same way, since 'the private sector' has not reduced costs for decades.

Vehicles don't matter(mostly). Missions matter. Funding matters. There needs to be more funding for NASA so there is proper funding to escape LEO.

Let's fund programs one hundred per cent instead of the partial funding that keeps programs from finishing on time, pushes them to the left, and makes them more expensive in the long run.
Low end, NASA needs to rotate crew to LEO with supplies in the 10mT range.
High end, Mars DRM 5 (yes issues) averages 200mT/yr:  HLVs cannot increase flight rate to reduce costs no need for reuse with 2 flights.
Then examine all the other payloads (where topping off in LEO takes advantage of Boeing's Amplification Factor)
   - - - >  a 10 to 20mT LV to LEO seems to be the right size < - - -

If you want to maximize jobs, actually accomplish objectives and make a difference in the world, create new markets (global worldwide internet 10X faster), and create many more challenges for the next generation that We Do Not Know How To Solve Now, then implement distributed launch with smaller LVs with the goal of complete reuse.

Offline Oli

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #129 on: 02/12/2017 05:55 PM »
No it wouldn't. The second stage while full is much heavier than 50 tons, and the force exerted by the upper stage is no greater with a big payload or a small one as it is determined by the engine thrust. A heavier payload would have lower acceleration, for instance.

The acceleration during first stage burn is far less dependent on the payload mass. Maximum (steady state) axial acceleration for the Delta IV Heavy during first stage burn is ~4.3g for 28t payload (vs ~5.2g for 5t payload). The max axial acceleration during second stage burn is ~0.4g for 28t payload (vs ~1.3g for 5t payload). Here.

And we haven't been talking about lateral acceleration, which seems to be more or less independent of the payload mass.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 06:00 PM by Oli »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #130 on: 02/12/2017 06:00 PM »
And during first stage burn, force is dominated by upper stage propellant mass and loads on the fairing.
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #131 on: 02/12/2017 06:09 PM »
And during first stage burn, force is dominated by upper stage propellant mass and loads on the fairing.

The fairing is long gone at max g of the Delta Heavy first stage.

As for the propellant mass, not sure that load is transferred in a similar way through the stage. Also 50t on a 110t stage certainly matters. Otherwise I could argue the second stage load doesn't matter for the first stage.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #132 on: 02/12/2017 06:30 PM »
Perhaps, and we'll hopefully find out in due course, but the fact remains that Falcon 9, which is cataloged at 22+ tonnes to LEO, has never orbited more than the 10+ tonne structural limit discussed in the video.

 - Ed Kyle

And Atlas V is claimed to be capable of launching with a dual-engine Centaur upper stage, but has never done so. And yet I'm not in doubt of it's capability to do so, and neither am I in doubt of the Falcon 9's capability to launch 22+ tonnes to LEO.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #133 on: 02/12/2017 06:33 PM »
When comparing SLS to Falcon Heavy, which appears to have been done in this thread, it might be useful to ponder the assertion made in this video.  Falcon Heavy, the commentator says, can only lift a maximum of 10,886 kg to any orbit!

Regarding this video, there are only two possibilities:

1.  SpaceX has been lying to the public and to potential customers about what Falcon Heavy is capable of doing, since they state on their website that Falcon Heavy is capable of lifting 54.4mT to LEO, and also what Falcon 9 is capable of doing, since SpaceX states it can lift 22.8mT to LEO.  The video claims both are limited to 10.9mT to any destination.

2.  The person or persons behind "Space Is Kind Of Cool" don't know what they are talking about, but they make authoritative looking videos.

Elon Musk may not be good at keeping schedules, but to my knowledge he has never lied, and in fact he tends to understate what his SpaceX products are capable of doing.

I would give no credence to this video.  It is FUD.
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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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #134 on: 02/12/2017 06:47 PM »
I fail to see the point of posting a baseless claim like this. It's FUD, and without evidence or statement from a reputable source (SpaceX themselves, NASA, GAO, etc) we shouldn't give it the time of day, or we're just encouraging folks to lie.
I believe it is fair to consider, given (A) the actual flight history of Falcon 9 (facts) and (B) the history of SpaceX performance claims (also documented facts), which are, and have long been, at odds with (A). 

 - Ed Kyle
It's not fair, because it's made as an assertion without evidence. If it were framed as a question, it'd be reasonable. The way it's worded now, it's the same thing as a lie.

The evidence given in the video is from the attached Falcon 9 User's Guide, Section 3.3, Page 15.

Of course that is for Falcon 9, and the video author assumes the same PAF would be used for Falcon Heavy.  I agree that this is a bad assumption, because it should be obvious that SpaceX intends Falcon Heavy to compete for EELV Heavy payloads.  Delta 4 Heavy has almost certainly boosted 17-ish tonne payloads to near-polar orbits (actual mass classified), so Falcon Heavy would need to duplicate, and perhaps even better, that capability.

On the other hand, I don't expect to ever see a Falcon Heavy lift anywhere near 54 tonnes to any orbit.  Flight history suggests that actual payloads would weigh less than half as much.  SpaceX is using the capability for booster stage recovery.

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #135 on: 02/12/2017 06:58 PM »
I would give no credence to this video.  It is FUD.

FUD or not, it's hardly relevant since I'm sure the FH could be upgraded for 50t payloads. I don't buy the "too long and thin" argument in the video. Lack of fairing volume is a more limiting factor.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 07:00 PM by Oli »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #136 on: 02/12/2017 07:44 PM »
I fail to see the point of posting a baseless claim like this. It's FUD, and without evidence or statement from a reputable source (SpaceX themselves, NASA, GAO, etc) we shouldn't give it the time of day, or we're just encouraging folks to lie.
I believe it is fair to consider, given (A) the actual flight history of Falcon 9 (facts) and (B) the history of SpaceX performance claims (also documented facts), which are, and have long been, at odds with (A). 

 - Ed Kyle
Ed, I've reminded you before that almost none of the launch vehicles in service today have ever actually lifted their stated max. payload mass to any orbit. Falcon 9 is no exception.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #137 on: 02/12/2017 08:05 PM »
The argument about the video is stale. Chris already warned once. Stop.
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #138 on: 02/12/2017 08:57 PM »
Vulcan can't really be properly evaluated as an alternative to SLS.

Neither the SLS or the Vulcan are flying yet, so to some that makes them "paper rockets".  I don't ascribe to that philosophy, as I have no doubt that either Boeing or ULA can build a safe launch system, and we know enough about both to make valid assumptions.

The key difference to remember about the Vulcan vs the SLS is that the Vulcan will be ULA's only launch system for military, NASA and commercial payloads, meaning it will be flying many times per year.  The SLS will only fly with NASA payloads that can't fly on the Vulcan (or other commercial launchers), and is likely to fly less than twice per year.  The difference contributes to cost, and cost is the #1 barrier to expanding our use of space.

Quote
We still don't even know what engine/propellant it will be using. ULA was going to select an engine after a full BE-4 static fire that last I heard was going to be spring 2017. Maybe this could be revisited in a couple months.

For the most part, what engine they decide to use is immaterial.  That's because it only matters what the $/kg are to move mass to space, not how they do it.  Stop thinking like an engineer, think like a business person.

I mean what engine is used affects cost (and performance/reliability). Propulsion makes up a large percentage of a rocket's cost. We know what boosters SLS will use, we know the first stage engines, we know the upper stage engines on both the EUS and iCPS. Not only that, on SLS, we have a large data-set on cost of production going back many years on all propulsion elements. To answer "how much?", you first have to answer "what" and Vulcan isn't at that stage yet.

If BE-4 doesn't work out for ULA, and Vulcan just morphs into a re-engine of Atlas V with AR-1 engines, it really isn't that much more cost effective than SLS. AR-1 is projected to cost as much as RD-180. Based on the ULA Rocketbuilder website, you can get 18813 kg to LEO for 157 million. So, you would need to use 6 of these to replace one SLS Block 1B, at a cost of $942 million. Now if BE-4 costs $10 million less and allows you to use 1 less solid on a given mission, you start to get daylight, but still not enough to justify having to deal with re-orienting NASA and dealing with the constraints of smaller vehicles.

SLS has the added benefit of forcing Congress to come up with(and fund) more ambitious missions and more mass to lift into space, which I am not totally against. So far that is just Europa(with lander) and Orion, but there potentially is more and they were constrained by the last administration with regards to at least one potential payload.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 09:44 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline Oli

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #139 on: 02/12/2017 09:11 PM »
Because of the inefficient SLS core design, they had to shift to highly elliptical orbits and then to L1, when L2 is superior in many many ways, staging in LEO first.

The US does not require a LV greater than 10 to 20 mT.

- Not sure what you mean. The EMC assumes assembly in LDRO, which requires basically the same delta-v as L2 to get to (L1 requires more).
- For Mars the US certainly needs a LV greater than 20t.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2017 09:12 PM by Oli »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #140 on: 02/12/2017 11:14 PM »
I mean what engine is used affects cost (and performance/reliability). Propulsion makes up a large percentage of a rocket's cost.

While that may be true for component costs, customer prices rely on a lot more information.  For instance, if reusability is to be assumed then it may not matter if a reusable engine costs more than an expendable competitor.

Quote
We know what boosters SLS will use, we know the first stage engines, we know the upper stage engines on both the EUS and iCPS. Not only that, on SLS, we have a large data-set on cost of production going back many years on all propulsion elements. To answer "how much?", you first have to answer "what" and Vulcan isn't at that stage yet.

So far NASA has not released any cost information about the SLS to either the public or Congress, so all we can rely on is older Constellation estimates and known Shuttle costs.

But ULA has been very public about their pricing goals for Vulcan, with the most recent statement from Tory Bruno saying that they are targeting a complete launch services price of $99 million for a base Vulcan with no solid rocket boosters.

So we in the public don't really need to care about how much ULA buys their component parts for, since it's only the end price that U.S. Taxpayers end up paying for.

That is not the case with the SLS though, since the U.S. Taxpayer pays for everything associated with the SLS, including development and sustaining support.

Quote
If BE-4 doesn't work out for ULA, and Vulcan just morphs into a re-engine of Atlas V with AR-1 engines, it really isn't that much more cost effective than SLS.

Let's not conflate a commercial transportation service with a government transportation system.  They are not the same.

Regardless what ULA's component costs are they can set their price anywhere they want.  If ULA decided not to make a profit for a couple of years, so what?

But the U.S. Taxpayer is funding 100% of the SLS, so it does matter how much is spent on everything, since there is an opportunity cost to take into account.

Quote
SLS has the added benefit of forcing Congress to come up with(and fund) more ambitious missions and more mass to lift into space, which I am not totally against. So far that is just Europa(with lander) and Orion, but there potentially is more and they were constrained by the last administration with regards to at least one potential payload.

So far Congress has not cared about the SLS enough to fund a robust number of payloads and missions for it to launch, so I'm not sure why anyone thinks that will change in the future.  It is too late to fund new HSF hardware and have it ready for an uninterrupted SLS launch schedule, so it's more a matter of how many years the gaps can be and still justify keeping the SLS active...
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #141 on: 02/13/2017 12:45 AM »
Ed, I've reminded you before that almost none of the launch vehicles in service today have ever actually lifted their stated max. payload mass to any orbit. Falcon 9 is no exception.
I agree.  Many argue that there soon will be a 50+ tonne to LEO commercial launcher, so SLS should be abandoned.  The truth is that there actually won't be a 50+ tonne LEO launcher.  The 50+ tonne thing is only an abstract number. 

 - Ed kyle
« Last Edit: 02/13/2017 12:47 AM by edkyle99 »

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #142 on: 02/13/2017 12:56 AM »
Ed, I've reminded you before that almost none of the launch vehicles in service today have ever actually lifted their stated max. payload mass to any orbit. Falcon 9 is no exception.
I agree.  That's the point I would like to make.  Many argue that there soon will be a 50+ tonne to LEO commercial launcher, so SLS should be abandoned.

All heavy lift is an abstraction. Hunting for potential missions. "Chicken and egg"

Quote
The truth is that there actually won't be a 50+ tonne LEO launcher.  The 50+ tonne thing is only an abstract number. 
Even more so when you go through the entirety of mission planning.

For example, with Shuttle, there would be missions that on the surface could be done, but then after CG/RCS/props consumption evaluation, you'd find you couldn't.

So if you are fishing for missions, best to have a big worm on that hook. Makes up for a lot of other missing capability.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #143 on: 02/13/2017 05:32 AM »
Ed, I've reminded you before that almost none of the launch vehicles in service today have ever actually lifted their stated max. payload mass to any orbit. Falcon 9 is no exception.
I agree.  Many argue that there soon will be a 50+ tonne to LEO commercial launcher, so SLS should be abandoned.  The truth is that there actually won't be a 50+ tonne LEO launcher.  The 50+ tonne thing is only an abstract number. 

 - Ed kyle

 ???
« Last Edit: 02/13/2017 05:34 AM by dror »
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #144 on: 02/13/2017 06:32 AM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

Just checking Chris: are you ever going to acknowledge the fallacy of this "opportunity cost" thinking? Because the funding that doesn't go to SLS in your alternate reality? It doesn't go to a commercially based spaceflight effort either. It just ... disappears from the budget.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #145 on: 02/13/2017 06:51 AM »
...are you ever going to acknowledge the fallacy of this "opportunity cost" thinking? Because the funding that doesn't go to SLS in your alternate reality? It doesn't go to a commercially based spaceflight effort either. It just ... disappears from the budget.

For me, since all money comes out of the U.S. general fund, if we don't need to spend money on something then it automatically diverts the saved money back into the general fund.  That is what happens for every expenditure in the U.S. Government, not just NASA.

So yes, cancelling the SLS doesn't mean that money stays with NASA.  But that is still not a reason to spend money on a transportation system that isn't needed.  If Congress would fund a steady stream of payloads and missions that could only be moved to space on a government-owned launcher, then we wouldn't be talking about "lost opportunity cost".

But Congress hasn't, so the money being spent on the SLS is, by definition, a lost opportunity to spend it somewhere else for the good the U.S. Taxpayer.

My $0.02
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: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #146 on: 02/13/2017 03:07 PM »
???
Egypt has nothing to do with it.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/13/2017 03:08 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #147 on: 02/13/2017 03:32 PM »
???
Egypt has nothing to do with it.

 - Ed Kyle

Geez, stop with this idiotic stuff, Ed. You just look desperate to feed your axe grinding.

If you truly are a "performance truther", then just take down your website already, because it must all be fantasy data.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #148 on: 02/13/2017 04:23 PM »
If you truly are a "performance truther", then just take down your website already, because it must all be fantasy data.
I present both claimed performance and actual flown payload masses.  I'm not suggesting that any numbers are "fantasy", just that they are more like the never-achieved max speed shown on an automobile's speedometer. 

I actually am considering shuttering the web site.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/13/2017 04:25 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Oli

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #149 on: 02/13/2017 04:29 PM »
If you truly are a "performance truther", then just take down your website already, because it must all be fantasy data.
I present both claimed performance and actual flown payload masses.  I'm not suggesting that any numbers are "fantasy", just that they are more like the never-achieved max speed shown on an automobile's speedometer. 

I actually am considering shuttering the web site.

 - Ed Kyle

The more interesting question for us is whether a 50t payload could be launched on FH with the right payload adapter.

P.S. Don't shut down the web site.  :)
« Last Edit: 02/13/2017 04:30 PM by Oli »

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #150 on: 02/13/2017 05:50 PM »
I present both claimed performance and actual flown payload masses.  I'm not suggesting that any numbers are "fantasy", just that they are more like the never-achieved max speed shown on an automobile's speedometer.

Falcon 9 is far behind schedule.  Many of the payloads it carries now should have flown years ago.  Might it not be that the majority of them were designed for earlier, much less capable, versions of Falcon 9?

Quote
I actually am considering shuttering the web site.

Please don't!

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #151 on: 02/13/2017 07:30 PM »
I thought the 3 images in a row post to make a point (what I got? Nasa, SpaceX, "de nile" (Denial) ) was cute  but way way unsuitable for this group. It was part of a larger back and forth, people casting aspersions on motives and on why people do what they do.

Let's not do this. We're better.

Also, Ed, please don't shutter the site...
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Offline su27k

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #152 on: 02/14/2017 03:44 AM »
Ed, I've reminded you before that almost none of the launch vehicles in service today have ever actually lifted their stated max. payload mass to any orbit. Falcon 9 is no exception.
I agree.  Many argue that there soon will be a 50+ tonne to LEO commercial launcher, so SLS should be abandoned.  The truth is that there actually won't be a 50+ tonne LEO launcher.  The 50+ tonne thing is only an abstract number. 

 - Ed kyle

If 50+ ton is abstract, so is SLS' 70/100+ ton number, what's the heaviest planned SLS payload? 25 or so ton as I understand it.

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #153 on: 02/14/2017 04:32 AM »
I am surprised that everyone seems to have missed the point that I think CSF is trying to make.

Here’s why a commercial space group endorsed NASA’s SLS rocket

Quote
Later, during an interview with Ars, Stern explained that the commercial space organization has, in the past, engaged in a “bruising battle” over the government’s massive rocket and its influential prime contractor Boeing. The commercial space industry group (of which Boeing is not a member) contended the private sector could deliver the same capability as the SLS for far less than the $2 billion NASA has spent annually this decade to develop the rocket. The SLS will initially be able to heft 70 metric tons to low Earth orbit, but that could grow to 130 metric tons by the late 2020s.

But now, Stern said the organization believes the SLS will enable the aims of commercial companies to develop businesses on the Moon, as well as support asteroid mining and other ventures his members are interested in. “We are taking a long view,” Stern said. “This is clearly to the advantage of the expansion of commercial spaceflight. Now, with a new administration and a new Congress, we wanted to put our stake down on the side of SLS.”

Quote
Theoretically, then, the United States could have three heavy lift rockets at its disposal in 2020. If the reusable Falcon Heavy costs $200 million per flight, and the reusable New Glenn costs $200 million, while an expendable SLS rocket costs $1.5 billion, the agency—and by extension Congress and the White House—will have an easy choice to make.

One could argue at that time that NASA should never have spent in excess of $10 billion developing the SLS. But the bottom line is that, six years ago, Congress did not believe in the capacity of SpaceX to build a heavy lift rocket, and Blue Origin’s intentions were not known at that time. So Congress bet on NASA and its traditional contractor Boeing, and the agency kept its large base of employees intact.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation likely recognizes that raising its voice now, publicly at least, against the SLS has limited political upside with a Congress predisposed to favor NASA’s big rocket. Instead of poking NASA or Congress in the eye with a stick, better to stay relevant. Ultimately, when SpaceX, Blue Origin, or both have a launch capability that costs far less than the public alternative, the commercial space organization will have a much more potent argument to make.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/02/heres-why-a-commercial-space-group-endorsed-nasas-sls-rocket/

It really links up with my personal opinion on SLS-Orion so I'll have a longer post on that later today.
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #154 on: 02/14/2017 06:35 AM »
Maybe the problem for you guys is that you have too many options!! SLS (RSRMV, Dark Knights, Pyrios, F-1B, AJ1E6, RS-25, RS-68, 8.4 m, 10 m, EUS, CPS, J-2X, RL-10,...), Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Atlas V, Delta IV, Single Launch, Dual Launch, Earth orbital rendezvous, Lunar orbit rendezvous, L-1, L-2, DRO, NRO, depots, tanking mode, expendable lander, reusable lander, ITS, Orion, Dragon 2, CST-100,... China has it simple. It will be CZ-9, a Lunar module, Shenzhou and that's that.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2017 06:39 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #155 on: 02/14/2017 06:46 AM »
I am surprised that everyone seems to have missed the point that I think CSF is trying to make.

I believe a few here are thinking along those lines -- see Darkseraph's post, upthread, and a few following it.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #156 on: 02/14/2017 03:04 PM »
If 50+ ton is abstract, so is SLS' 70/100+ ton number, what's the heaviest planned SLS payload? 25 or so ton as I understand it.
The Block 1 SLS for EM-1 was, a few years back, required to boost about 55.4 tonnes to a -93 x 1,800 km orbit.  The ICPS would then boost the 24.2 tonne Orion payload to a trans-lunar trajectory.  Block 1B should increase the TLI number by almost 60%.

A Falcon Heavy flying in normal "recoverable" mode would only be able to boost about 6 tonnes TLI.  It might get 16 or more tonnes to TLI in total expendable mode, theoretically.

The idea that the commercial space group would align with SLS makes perfect sense.  Consider that the commercial cargo and crew contracts both depend on ISS, which was launched and built by governments using government launch vehicles.  SLS could serve the same purpose as STS in deep space, with commercial support contracts following.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/14/2017 03:12 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Negan

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #157 on: 02/14/2017 03:16 PM »
A Falcon Heavy flying in normal "recoverable" mode would only be able to boost about 6 tonnes TLI.  It might get 16 or more tonnes to TLI in total expendable mode, theoretically.

The projected max GTO payload went up to 21,200 kg from 19,000 kg so why didn't the TLI payload increase also?
« Last Edit: 02/14/2017 03:19 PM by Negan »

Offline clongton

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #158 on: 02/14/2017 04:04 PM »
... ISS, which was launched and built by governments using government launch vehicles.  - Ed Kyle

That's a straw-man argument. There were no non-government launch vehicles to choose from.
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #159 on: 02/14/2017 04:34 PM »
... ISS, which was launched and built by governments using government launch vehicles.  - Ed Kyle

That's a straw-man argument. There were no non-government launch vehicles to choose from.
There were commercial launch service providers during the ISS build period.  U.S. options included Atlas 2/3 and Delta 2 and, I suppose, Pegasus.  None of them matched STS capability, just as none now match SLS.

 - Ed Kyle 

Offline envy887

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #160 on: 02/14/2017 05:06 PM »
A Falcon Heavy flying in normal "recoverable" mode would only be able to boost about 6 tonnes TLI.  It might get 16 or more tonnes to TLI in total expendable mode, theoretically.

The projected max GTO payload went up to 21,200 kg from 19,000 kg so why didn't the TLI payload increase also?

Ed is using the same performance estimates that the 21.2 tonne figure is based from, the older ones would be less to TLI. 6 tonnes is still enough to launch a Curiosity-sized rover to the moon and perhaps enough for a cargo Dragon to a station in lunar orbit.

Any manned BLEO missions with FH would require expending a core or multiple launches.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #161 on: 02/14/2017 05:13 PM »
... ISS, which was launched and built by governments using government launch vehicles.  - Ed Kyle

That's a straw-man argument. There were no non-government launch vehicles to choose from.
There were commercial launch service providers during the ISS build period.  U.S. options included Atlas 2/3 and Delta 2 and, I suppose, Pegasus.  None of them matched STS capability, just as none now match SLS.

He said "launch vehicles", not "launch services".  It's ridiculous to suggest the ISS components could have been launched on a Pegasus (443 kg to LEO) or Delta II (3m fairing max).

Today we have Atlas V, Delta IV Heavy and Falcon 9, and soon we'll be adding Falcon Heavy, Vulcan, and New Glenn.  We don't need a government launcher if we wanted to recreate the ISS.
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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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #162 on: 02/14/2017 05:59 PM »
Ed is using the same performance estimates that the 21.2 tonne figure is based from, the older ones would be less to TLI. 6 tonnes is still enough to launch a Curiosity-sized rover to the moon and perhaps enough for a cargo Dragon to a station in lunar orbit.

Any manned BLEO missions with FH would require expending a core or multiple launches.

Thanks. Wikipedia presents the TLI figure incorrectly as it relates it to the 19 tonne figure.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2017 06:57 PM by Negan »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #163 on: 02/15/2017 01:52 AM »
He said "launch vehicles", not "launch services".
Same thing.  Atlas 2/3, Delta 2, and Pegasus were commercial launch vehicles by then, though Delta 2 was more closely tethered to USAF needs than the others.
Quote
  We don't need a government launcher if we wanted to recreate the ISS.
I don't expect to see anyone re-create ISS, ever.

 - Ed Kyle

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #164 on: 02/15/2017 01:56 AM »
Even if the market didn't have too many launch vehicles, the basic development funding for SLS (and ARES) is an ENORMOUS opportunity cost. Like $20-30 billion already, and isn't even in flight yet. Easily enough for a basic hyperbolic lander. We literally could be on the Moon already.

Just checking Chris: are you ever going to acknowledge the fallacy of this "opportunity cost" thinking? Because the funding that doesn't go to SLS in your alternate reality? It doesn't go to a commercially based spaceflight effort either. It just ... disappears from the budget.
Discussed this many times. The idea that Congress cares specifically about a huge rocket is naive and itself a fallacy, Congress doesn't care about rockets, they care about jobs and contractors. If it wasn't spent on SLS, it would be porked on something else. Boeing, Lockheed, and OrbitalATK make SLS and Orion. Have them make habitats, SEP tug, lander.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2017 01:58 AM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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 sdsds

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #165 on: 02/15/2017 10:25 AM »
Boeing, Lockheed, and OrbitalATK make SLS and Orion. Have them make habitats, SEP tug, lander.

I admit I have no compelling case. It's totally possible your suggestion really might be what would happen! (And I want it as much as you.)

So why don't I then stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those who say SLS/Orion is a "waste of money?" Because it seems perfectly plausible to me that if they were cancelled the contractors you mention would -- instead of doing those better things you describe -- instead end up doing things much worse!

So like Stern and his organization's members I too see “many potential benefits” from continued work on SLS/Orion. Mainly by sucking up the funding they help prevent Boeing et al. from doing something much more harmful.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2017 10:26 AM by sdsds »
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #166 on: 02/15/2017 10:42 AM »
Could you give an example of something more harmful?
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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #167 on: 02/15/2017 10:43 AM »
Boeing, Lockheed, and OrbitalATK make SLS and Orion. Have them make habitats, SEP tug, lander.

I admit I have no compelling case. It's totally possible your suggestion really might be what would happen! (And I want it as much as you.)

So why don't I then stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those who say SLS/Orion is a "waste of money?" Because it seems perfectly plausible to me that if they were cancelled the contractors you mention would -- instead of doing those better things you describe -- instead end up doing things much worse!

So like Stern and his organization's members I too see “many potential benefits” from continued work on SLS/Orion. Mainly by sucking up the funding they help prevent Boeing et al. from doing something much more harmful.

That's silly.  We are paying these contractors -- like we are buying RD-180s -- to keep these engineers from doing dastardly deeds?
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Offline quanthasaquality

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #168 on: 03/13/2017 01:09 PM »
???
Egypt has nothing to do with it.

 - Ed Kyle

Greater than 4 percent payload to LEO on a 2 stage, gas generator, kerolox rocket?!?! That's hella good performance.... Comparable to the Ariane 5, and the Proton! Both of those weight about 200 tons more than the Falcon 9!

Offline su27k

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #169 on: 03/16/2017 11:18 AM »
If 50+ ton is abstract, so is SLS' 70/100+ ton number, what's the heaviest planned SLS payload? 25 or so ton as I understand it.
The Block 1 SLS for EM-1 was, a few years back, required to boost about 55.4 tonnes to a -93 x 1,800 km orbit.  The ICPS would then boost the 24.2 tonne Orion payload to a trans-lunar trajectory.  Block 1B should increase the TLI number by almost 60%.

A Falcon Heavy flying in normal "recoverable" mode would only be able to boost about 6 tonnes TLI.  It might get 16 or more tonnes to TLI in total expendable mode, theoretically.

I assume we can agree that the whole "abstract" thing is non-sense then? Clearly if it's abstract for FH, then it's abstract for SLS too.

Quote
The idea that the commercial space group would align with SLS makes perfect sense.  Consider that the commercial cargo and crew contracts both depend on ISS, which was launched and built by governments using government launch vehicles.  SLS could serve the same purpose as STS in deep space, with commercial support contracts following.

Creation of ISS pretty much tied up all the NASA budget, you'll notice Commercial Cargo/Crew didn't really start until Shuttle retired. If you want to create something like ISS in deep space it would tie up NASA budget in traditional space companies for years, I don't see why any commercial space companies would want this.

With Blue Origin's new proposal, it's clear to me that commercial companies are ready to go to the next destination, which is planetary/moon surfaces. They want to build landers, which is exactly what NASA needs. There's no point recreating any space station around the Moon just so that SLS/Orion can have some work to do, the commercial part of the NASA budget should be allocated for a commercial cargo lander project, and let SLS/Orion do their own thing using their own part of the budget.

Offline corneliussulla

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #170 on: 03/18/2017 10:23 PM »
Orion and SLS are a sick joke. Orion $16 bill when ready to fly, Dragon2 $1 bill. If u can't see that it's pork barrel politics with almost zero interest in outcomes you have only one eye.

Offline redliox

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #171 on: 03/19/2017 04:02 AM »
Orion and SLS are a sick joke. Orion $16 bill when ready to fly, Dragon2 $1 bill. If u can't see that it's pork barrel politics with almost zero interest in outcomes you have only one eye.

Pretty much, although no equivalent to SLS is flying just yet.  The best bet for those favoring commercial (and perhaps just a more efficient spaceflight effort) would be for Blue Origin's and SpaceX's HLVs to come into service in the mid-2020s with a gradual phasing out of SLS.  Orion only has its first two flights booked with no further commitments just yet.  Most likely we'll see it and SLS commit at least a few flights.

I think we'll see a combination of traditional government and commercial flights, hopefully with the later becoming more predominant after 2025.
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Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #172 on: 03/19/2017 04:07 AM »
Orion and SLS are a sick joke. Orion $16 bill when ready to fly, Dragon2 $1 bill. If u can't see that it's pork barrel politics with almost zero interest in outcomes you have only one eye.

Dragon 2 is costing a bit more than $1 Billion and is less capable than Orion but that is neither here nor there.

I admit that the development of SLS/Orion has occurred in an inefficient manner which has resulted in increased costs. There are several reasons for this that have all been discussed ad infinitum on this forum.

That said, if you look at the numbers SLS/Orion actually come in cheaper than both shuttle and Apollo if you consider the life cycle cost. Life cycle cost for Apollo was around $110 Billion (~14 yrs development and usage) and shuttle was around $230 Billion (~35 yrs development and usage) if memory serves. Even if SLS/Orion exist for another 25 years we are talking on the level of $120 Billion. By that time, probably earlier, there will be a foothold in space sufficient to allow SLS/Orion to be retired and replaced by a commercial system.

We can have reasonable discussions about costs, inefficiencies, benefits of one system vs. another, etc. Just posting "this system is so dumb" though isn't that helpful or useful. 
« Last Edit: 03/19/2017 04:40 AM by Endeavour_01 »
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline gospacex

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #173 on: 03/19/2017 11:59 AM »
The idea that the commercial space group would align with SLS makes perfect sense.

Commercial space group backing up a very expensive government launcher while two commercial launch companies are operating, and another is about to appear in ~3 years?

It does not make any sense, much less "perfect" one.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #174 on: 03/19/2017 11:59 AM »
Dragon 2 is costing a bit more than $1 Billion and is less capable than Orion but that is neither here nor there.

I admit that the development of SLS/Orion has occurred in an inefficient manner which has resulted in increased costs. There are several reasons for this that have all been discussed ad infinitum on this forum.

That said, if you look at the numbers SLS/Orion actually come in cheaper than both shuttle and Apollo if you consider the life cycle cost. Life cycle cost for Apollo was around $110 Billion (~14 yrs development and usage) and shuttle was around $230 Billion (~35 yrs development and usage) if memory serves. Even if SLS/Orion exist for another 25 years we are talking on the level of $120 Billion. By that time, probably earlier, there will be a foothold in space sufficient to allow SLS/Orion to be retired and replaced by a commercial system.

But that makes Dragon 2 much, much cheaper than Orion.  And I'm not so sure that Orion is more capable.  Dragon 2 carries more people, has a higher-spec heat shield, and its price includes a service module, which Orion's doesn't (for now, but if NASA wanted to use Orion for a mission which did not interest ESA, NASA might have to start paying for that too).  Orion does have a greater delta-V and a longer-duration ECLSS, but it's not obvious that NASA has a need for such.  Given the enormous cost differential, it's also not obvious that adding those capabilities to Dragon, should a need for them be determined, wouldn't be much cheaper than using Orion.

Why are Apollo-Saturn's costs a relevant comparator?  Orion/SLS should be cheaper, because it benefits from a more mature technology.  Dragon, Starliner, etc. are relevant comparators, because they or modifications of them could conceivably be procured instead of Orion.

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We can have reasonable discussions about costs, inefficiencies, benefits of one system vs. another, etc. Just posting "this system is so dumb" though isn't that helpful or useful. 

I agree 100%.

Offline gospacex

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #175 on: 03/19/2017 12:04 PM »
I admit that the development of SLS/Orion has occurred in an inefficient manner which has resulted in increased costs.

What a surprise. No one ever predicted this outcome, right? ;)

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That said, if you look at the numbers SLS/Orion actually come in cheaper than both shuttle and Apollo if you consider the life cycle cost.

SLS life cycle costs are unknown. If their cost projections would inflate as badly as they did in the past, I dare not to think what those numbers would be.

Offline corneliussulla

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #176 on: 03/19/2017 12:33 PM »
Orion and SLS are a sick joke. Orion $16 bill when ready to fly, Dragon2 $1 bill. If u can't see that it's pork barrel politics with almost zero interest in outcomes you have only one eye.

Dragon 2 is costing a bit more than $1 Billion and is less capable than Orion but that is neither here nor there.

I admit that the development of SLS/Orion has occurred in an inefficient manner which has resulted in increased costs. There are several reasons for this that have all been discussed ad infinitum on this forum.

That said, if you look at the numbers SLS/Orion actually come in cheaper than both shuttle and Apollo if you consider the life cycle cost. Life cycle cost for Apollo was around $110 Billion (~14 yrs development and usage) and shuttle was around $230 Billion (~35 yrs development and usage) if memory serves. Even if SLS/Orion exist for another 25 years we are talking on the level of $120 Billion. By that time, probably earlier, there will be a foothold in space sufficient to allow SLS/Orion to be retired and replaced by a commercial system.

We can have reasonable discussions about costs, inefficiencies, benefits of one system vs. another, etc. Just posting "this system is so dumb" though isn't that helpful or useful. 

The problem with SLS/Orion is that they make manned exploration of space much less likely than if they didn't exist at all. These once off yearly mission to anywhere that doesn't require a lander at a cost of at least $3-$4 billion a pop if maintenance etc is included ensure that NASA will not be developing the technologies that can be game changers like SEP,NEP, life support systems and Habitats for Mars,moon etc.

IF we had a public/private patnership approach to developing new launch systems which where genuinely open tenders and not pork barrels we could have much greater capabilities for much less money IMO. It appears that a factor of 10 savings seems to possible, quite unbelievable if it wasn't actually happening.

Instead we will have a bunch of nearly meaningless missions at huge expense which will always be one step from the budget axe, Apollo with almost none of the excitement.

« Last Edit: 03/19/2017 12:35 PM by corneliussulla »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #177 on: 03/20/2017 09:10 AM »
And I'm not so sure that Orion is more capable.  Dragon 2 carries more people, has a higher-spec heat shield, and its price includes a service module, which Orion's doesn't (for now, but if NASA wanted to use Orion for a mission which did not interest ESA, NASA might have to start paying for that too).

Dragon 2 initially will only carry four astronauts the same as Orion. Dragon 2 can carry up to seven astronauts and Orion can carry up to to six astronauts, so that is only one astronaut difference. I'm sure Orion could carry more astronauts due to its huge size, but it doesn't need to at this time.

My understanding is that Orion and Dragon 2 are both capable of Lunar re-entry (11 km/s). That is all they currently need to do. For re-entry from Mars, at least 13 km/s is required. I think the heat shields of both spacecraft would need to be upgraded for that speed.

Dragon 2 does not have a service module. It has a trunk to carry solar panels and internal payloads, the same as Dragon 1. All propulsion and life support is carried in the capsule.

NASA would not directly pay ESA for an SM. That would be a barter arrangement, the same as currently performed with EM-1 and EM-2. ESA would barter an ESM for something NASA would provide, in the previous case access to ISS, which has nothing to with EM-1 and EM-2, so there is a precedent for this.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2017 09:13 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline redliox

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #178 on: 03/20/2017 09:18 AM »
My understanding is that Orion and Dragon 2 are both capable of Lunar re-entry (11 km/s). That is all they currently need to do. For re-entry from Mars, at least 13 km/s is required. I think the heat shields of both spacecraft would need to be upgraded for that speed.

Dragon 2 does not have a service module. It has a trunk to carry solar panels and internal payloads, the same as Dragon 1. All propulsion and life support is carried in the capsule.

That sounds about right.  Orion has propulsion in the ESM, although frankly it can barely do the job of entering lunar orbit but that's partly because Orion has a lot of heft to move around.  Dragon will need modifications to do anything for lunar activity beyond a free return flight, although it can reach and probably survive the lunar environment itself as readily as Orion.  Orion's a heavyweight and Dragon's a lightweight, both with their pros and cons.
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #179 on: 03/20/2017 09:24 AM »
The problem with SLS/Orion is that they make manned exploration of space much less likely than if they didn't exist at all. These once off yearly mission to anywhere that doesn't require a lander at a cost of at least $3-$4 billion a pop if maintenance etc is included ensure that NASA will not be developing the technologies that can be game changers like SEP,NEP, life support systems and Habitats for Mars,moon etc.

You're assuming that if SLS/Orion didn't exist, some of that money would go into developing "game changing" technologies, which would make future missions much cheaper. First of all, there is no guarantee that money would be spent on "game changing" technologies or that the technologies would be "game changing". That's what the previous administration tried to do and it failed completely at the political level.

I believe the way forward is to use existing technologies to establish Lunar and Mars bases. That will identify which technologies are needed most for future advancement. This is much like how the ISS established a need for cargo and crew transportation to the ISS.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline corneliussulla

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Re: Leading Commercial Space Group Embraces SLS
« Reply #180 on: 03/20/2017 07:20 PM »
The problem with SLS/Orion is that they make manned exploration of space much less likely than if they didn't exist at all. These once off yearly mission to anywhere that doesn't require a lander at a cost of at least $3-$4 billion a pop if maintenance etc is included ensure that NASA will not be developing the technologies that can be game changers like SEP,NEP, life support systems and Habitats for Mars,moon etc.

You're assuming that if SLS/Orion didn't exist, some of that money would go into developing "game changing" technologies, which would make future missions much cheaper. First of all, there is no guarantee that money would be spent on "game changing" technologies or that the technologies would be "game changing". That's what the previous administration tried to do and it failed completely at the political level.

I believe the way forward is to use existing technologies to establish Lunar and Mars bases. That will identify which technologies are needed most for future advancement. This is much like how the ISS established a need for cargo and crew transportation to the ISS.

I actually believe if the money was used to gold plate all the public toilet seats in North America it would be better spent. Because then NASA would have to buy innovative solutions at best possible price for service which means we would end up with probably at least a partially reusable system which could launch something similar to the orions capabilities for $200 mill a shot rather $3-4 billion. We may Evan end up something like ITS for half the development cost of SLS

Just imagine ITS 450 tonnes on Mars development cost (lets say $ 20 bill x2 Elons estimate)reusable many times versus SLS zero tonnes on Mars for $30 billion and nothing reusable.

I would much rather they tried and failed at ITS than spend next years running a poor imitation of Apollo.
« Last Edit: 03/20/2017 07:21 PM by corneliussulla »

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