Author Topic: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1  (Read 78484 times)

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #40 on: 02/16/2017 02:14 PM »
Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB.

Not likely to happen, but your sentiment is on point. ICPS, intended as a time-saver to appease congress, has morphed into an expensive liability.

These time-savers tend to do that.
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Offline envy887

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #41 on: 02/16/2017 02:27 PM »
My take on this is that it's much like the original 2016 initial flight goal, and the Ares-I-X flight before that. A stunt to try and show enough "progress" before a new president gets in* that they hopefully can be made to think the program is farther along than it really is. This flight would be using refurbished shuttle engines and booster casings, an interim upper stage that may only fly once, and a European SM for Orion that may only fly once or twice. The whole SLS/Orion system would likely not be operational for another several years, and if anything pulling up the manned flight date is likely to push out the actual regular operation date. I have a hard time seeing this as anything other than a stunt.

~Jon

* And yes, I'm implying that the people pushing this may be betting on Trump being a one-term wonder.
This is an example of the political "circus" stunt that I've been writing about as a distraction. Huge expense and risk for low return. As for the aforementioned WH occupant, he may be lucky to "finish" the current term in office ...

I think this is closer to the poker 'call' where the new administration wants to see SLS/Orion Project's hand.  If buckets more money are requested and still no way to get even first crew flight (safety aside) by 2020, then the bluff will be revealed...

Could still go forward with this craziness, but I doubt it.  Political circus indeed!

At this point, however, is there a faster way to get to cis-lunar HSF? Canning Orion leaves Starliner and Dragon, neither of which have the longevity or performance to do lunar orbit insertions. And even if those got upgraded service modules, Atlas-Centaur can't put Starliner through TLI.

Offline Khadgars

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #42 on: 02/16/2017 03:03 PM »
Quite an interesting proposition.  Funny how NASA has gone from wanting to move past ICPS and not man-rate it to save money and time, to now the very opposite.

Those concerned about crew safety, I don't have the slightest inkling that NASA would allow the first batch of BLEO astronauts into a unsafe vehicle.  If they do their study and find it feasible, I'm on-board.

Offline clongton

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #43 on: 02/16/2017 03:34 PM »
Those concerned about crew safety, I don't have the slightest inkling that NASA would allow the first batch of BLEO astronauts into a unsafe vehicle.  If they do their study and find it feasible, I'm on-board.

This whole thing is about pushing a schedule to make SLS Orion look more relevant than it is, and just like Ares-IX, it's a stunt. As for your contention about NASA not putting astronauts aboard an unsafe vehicle, we should all remember that it was NASA leadership that insisted that Challenger be launched - to meet a schedule - in spite of the fact that the engineers made it completely clear that to launch in those temperatures was creating an unsafe condition. NASA leadership ignored them. That "safe" vehicle went on to kill 7 astronauts just 73 seconds after liftoff.

It is exactly the same situation as the premature and unnecessary launch of Soyuz-1 - again, to meet a schedule - that killed Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. How many times do we have to kill our finest before we learn that safety is not a buzzword?
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Offline Khadgars

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #44 on: 02/16/2017 04:11 PM »
Those concerned about crew safety, I don't have the slightest inkling that NASA would allow the first batch of BLEO astronauts into a unsafe vehicle.  If they do their study and find it feasible, I'm on-board.

This whole thing is about pushing a schedule to make SLS Orion look more relevant than it is, and just like Ares-IX, it's a stunt. As for your contention about NASA not putting astronauts aboard an unsafe vehicle, we should all remember that it was NASA leadership that insisted that Challenger be launched - to meet a schedule - in spite of the fact that the engineers made it completely clear that to launch in those temperatures was creating an unsafe condition. NASA leadership ignored them. That "safe" vehicle went on to kill 7 astronauts just 73 seconds after liftoff.

It is exactly the same situation as the premature and unnecessary launch of Soyuz-1 - again, to meet a schedule - that killed Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. How many times do we have to kill our finest before we learn that safety is not a buzzword?

I respectfully disagree comparing NASA of mid 1980's to today's NASA.  Schedule pressure will always be present, but I stand by that if NASA of today completes their study and finds launching astronauts on Block I first flight, I'm on-board.

Offline muomega0

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #45 on: 02/16/2017 04:40 PM »
The purpose of the study is to *change* the SLS into a cargo launcher first.
The first few flights of SLS will not fly crew and the reasons are quite obvious.
The study will conclude that at least 3 flights are required prior to crew.
The EMs will morph away from crew and SLS will launch the inflatable habitats.
The 3+ EM test flights will be considered dev. costs and the last EM flight will be 1 yr prior to the first mission.
No partners on critical path....interim cryo stage cancelled.

CisLunar and Beyond missions will be proposed with the goal of 2020s and Mars by 2030s, but the cost of Mars is 250B (of course it would be much less without SLS/Orion see alternativefacts.com )

The first SLS science missions will be in ~ 2025.
Its launch costs will be 0.5B, regardless if the mission launches on time.

SLS/Orions main goals are to help protect cislunar from China and the fallacy of a cislunar economy to support 'the base', and oh, to have some plans for Mars in 2030s and some way to include commercial providers but not on the critical path.

Increasing the flight rate of commercial to reduce launch costs to create Earth markets is not the goal.

----
Mars is about 200mT/yr and is the largest mission set. 
Only two providers could provide this mT/yr with 5-10 launches of a 10-20mT LV.
With the goal of reuse to provide demonstrated reliability, even smaller LVs are required.
It makes little sense to certify a LV that will be retired, has solids, and RD-180s coupled with US engine by 2019.
With two 100mT launches, SLS completely eliminate a path forward for Economic Access to Space.

NASA was required in 1958 to conduct long terms studies and provide the benefits so that the taxpayer could make informed decisions. These programs in place are usually from outsourced think tank studies with narrowly defined requirements, and when the Act of 1958 is compared to performance, the outcome has been poor

SLS/Orion have and will continue to compromise every path forward for BEO, but let's inspire the kids with plans.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2017 05:20 PM by muomega0 »

Offline envy887

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #46 on: 02/16/2017 04:47 PM »
The purpose of the study is to *change* the SLS into a cargo launcher first.
...

How do you get that out of a study looking at putting crew on the FIRST flight? Even if they decide it is not feasible, crew would still go on EM-2.

Offline SWGlassPit

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #47 on: 02/16/2017 04:54 PM »
Scrap ICPS and go straight to Block IB.

Not likely to happen, but your sentiment is on point. ICPS, intended as a time-saver to appease congress, has morphed into an expensive liability.

These time-savers tend to do that.

The old adage, "nothing is more permanent than a temporary fix," comes to mind.

Offline muomega0

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #48 on: 02/16/2017 05:25 PM »
The purpose of the study is to *change* the SLS into a cargo launcher first.
...

How do you get that out of a study looking at putting crew on the FIRST flight? Even if they decide it is not feasible, crew would still go on EM-2.
Because NASA will do an honest assessment of a new LV with solids, and it will conclude SLS needs test flights in a test as you fly mode and will follow the commercial crew standard.
https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/504982main_CCTSCR_Dec-08_Basic_Web.pdf

But now you need a reason to keep SLS around to maintain the base and provide spoils to the victors.  Look who played major roles in the last few months. Rather than get started on that

LV independent architecture based on reuse with common configurations for Class A to D payloads to provide demonstrated reliability to find that unknown unknown and allow LVs to incremental improve their designs, where the only risk is launching dirt cheap propellant as payload, which is 80% of the NASA mission mass, and include inclusion of new technology and missions for the future generations.
« Last Edit: 02/27/2017 01:29 PM by muomega0 »

Offline Toast

Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #49 on: 02/16/2017 06:56 PM »
It is exactly the same situation as the premature and unnecessary launch of Soyuz-1 - again, to meet a schedule - that killed Soviet Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. How many times do we have to kill our finest before we learn that safety is not a buzzword?
I respectfully disagree comparing NASA of mid 1980's to today's NASA.  Schedule pressure will always be present, but I stand by that if NASA of today completes their study and finds launching astronauts on Block I first flight, I'm on-board.

I think the core of the disagreement is that you're operating under the assumption that NASA has signed off the plan. I would argue that there's no way that NASA can complete an honest study and still approve putting astronauts on untested flight hardware (and for ostensibly political purposes, no less). I think the overwhelmingly likely outcome is that NASA will review the concept, and reject it. If, on the other hand, NASA reviews the plan and approves it, I would strongly suspect that they compromised their review for reasons of political pressure.

EDIT: Borked the quote tags.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2017 07:38 PM by Toast »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #50 on: 02/16/2017 07:37 PM »
...but I stand by that if NASA of today completes their study and finds launching astronauts on Block I first flight, I'm on-board.

Studies can be made to have any conclusion you want them to have.  Remember the study Griffin came up with to show that EELV's couldn't be used to launch crews because they had black zones?  Yet they neglected to ask ULA about it?  And there wasn't really an issue?

NASA is being pushed to do manned tests because it's very expensive to do unmanned tests.  If it was free then NASA would probably fly at least three unmanned tests flights, since that is their standard for certifying launchers for science payloads.

Which if one wanted to look at this situation cynically, would mean that some in NASA consider humans less important than science instruments.  Not that I think anyone does, or that they are meaning to, but the argument could be made about their logic...
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 Khadgars

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #51 on: 02/16/2017 10:28 PM »
...but I stand by that if NASA of today completes their study and finds launching astronauts on Block I first flight, I'm on-board.

Studies can be made to have any conclusion you want them to have.  Remember the study Griffin came up with to show that EELV's couldn't be used to launch crews because they had black zones?  Yet they neglected to ask ULA about it?  And there wasn't really an issue?

NASA is being pushed to do manned tests because it's very expensive to do unmanned tests.  If it was free then NASA would probably fly at least three unmanned tests flights, since that is their standard for certifying launchers for science payloads.

Which if one wanted to look at this situation cynically, would mean that some in NASA consider humans less important than science instruments.  Not that I think anyone does, or that they are meaning to, but the argument could be made about their logic...

Ron, you don't need to bring your hyperbole to every SLS thread.  Stating NASA considers humans less than science payloads has no business being on these threads.

Online MATTBLAK

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #52 on: 02/16/2017 10:50 PM »
Whenever we get threads like this, I monitor the back-and-forths keenly and always seem to come to a sad conclusion... :(

Whatever mission concept comes up, in whatever combination of launcher and hardware; there's always someone who says it's a bad idea, or it wont work etc... So an uncrewed mission to Lunar orbit - waste of time and money. A crewed mission to Lunar orbit or DRO - waste of time and money. A Cislunar space station to support a Lunar Outpost or learning long duration, deep space operations - waste of time and money. Landing humans on the Moon again; this time to stay - waste of time and money and 'been there, done that'. And; the Moon is a distraction for the real goal - which is Mars. Or; Mars is too far and too expensive - a waste of time and money and a bad idea that we'll never be ready for....

So - it's all too hard and all just no good, and all too expensive. Okay - I got it... >:(   ::) :'(


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Offline Lars-J

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #53 on: 02/16/2017 11:01 PM »
If the same person holds all those points of view, Mattblak, then you have a point. If not, then welcome to the internet!

Offline brejol

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #54 on: 02/17/2017 12:21 AM »
Its good to feel a bit of leadership and drive for once.  Its been a while.  And it seems that fantasy land is opening up again (closed since the death of Direct),   But at least the rocket is real, though funding and profitable flight rates dwell in middle Earth.  So, cynicism  be gone.  Anticipating the announcement of a lander soon.  2022 would be a good year.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #55 on: 02/17/2017 12:29 AM »
Its good to feel a bit of leadership and drive for once.  Its been a while.  And it seems that fantasy land is opening up again (closed since the death of Direct),   But at least the rocket is real, though funding and profitable flight rates dwell in middle Earth.  So, cynicism  be gone.  Anticipating the announcement of a lander soon.  2022 would be a good year.
There are better designs than Altair... As always, show me the money...
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Online MATTBLAK

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #56 on: 02/17/2017 12:40 AM »
If the same person holds all those points of view, Mattblak, then you have a point. If not, then welcome to the internet!
I've been doing the 'Space Blog' thing since the mid-1990s. Very little changes :( Scientist and Space commentator Jeffrey Bell (whatever happened to him?!) used to call all this babble 'The March of the Space Cadets'. Read the link below to see what he thought back then - and just look who he quotes in the article...  :-[

http://www.spacedaily.com/news/oped-05zzb.html

There are plenty of folk around to tell you what they don't like - that pretty much everything is no bloody good; that we are all misguided, wrong-headed fools who don't know what we're talking about... Only; on this fantastic website, at least we are mostly polite about it! As I said; plenty of folk to tell you what they don't want to see - and I wont name names - but then in the same breath they wont offer what they do want to see.
« Last Edit: 02/17/2017 12:47 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Online MATTBLAK

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #57 on: 02/17/2017 12:46 AM »
Its good to feel a bit of leadership and drive for once.  Its been a while.  And it seems that fantasy land is opening up again (closed since the death of Direct),   But at least the rocket is real, though funding and profitable flight rates dwell in middle Earth.  So, cynicism  be gone.  Anticipating the announcement of a lander soon.  2022 would be a good year.
There are better designs than Altair... As always, show me the money...
Whatever is the most basic up-and-down 'Taxi' that gets 2 or more Astronauts to the Lunar surface and back should be unarguably the way to do things. It starts out as expendable, but can evolve to a reusable Block II. Land surface Habitats and/or Transportation separately. One vehicle shouldn't be the do-it-all vehicle - unless of course some clever bugger can work out how to do that.

Do the above basic craft and surely that would fit the bill?! Or will some folks only be happy with Sci-Fi, 'magic beanstalk' technology that no one wants to pay for, or always remains 20 years in the future?!
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #58 on: 02/17/2017 01:12 AM »
As I said; plenty of folk to tell you what they don't want to see - and I wont name names - but then in the same breath they wont offer what they do want to see.

I want to see something sustainable that is part of an overall cadence of activity that expands humanity out into space.  I'm not as concerned with the pace, just that we are steadily increasing the number of humans in space over time.

What I don't want to see with my tax money is gimmicks and tricks, and fake dates that try to present the impression of progress, but are in reality not.  In other words, I don't like my taxpayer money being wasted for non-valid reasons.

And speaking just for myself, I'll go along with a plan if there is broad consensus, since broad consensus for space stuff is pretty darn hard to achieve.  But that doesn't mean plans shouldn't be revisited as conditions change, and we've certainly had a lot of changes since the SLS and Orion were first mandated by Congress to be built.

As to the topic at hand, the GAO report for the Commercial Crew program is finally out and it talks about NASA wanting SpaceX to have a stable Falcon 9 flight configuration before it starts crew testing (i.e. Block 5), and obviously they want to see some flights of that configuration before NASA crews fly on the Falcon 9.  They don't even give a pass to the RD-180 engine for the Atlas V just because it's been flying payloads, and want to see certification data from the Russian manufacturer (which Boeing has not been able to get).

So NASA is already being very stringent about the requirements for crews to fly on commercial rockets that will have already flown in the same configuration crews will fly.

But that does not appear to be the case with the SLS, where crews are now being considered to fly on a rocket that has never flown, in a spacecraft that has never flown either.

Excuse me if that seems like there are two different standards being used for safety at NASA, not one.  Which seems fishy to me...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online EE Scott

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Re: SLS/Orion Crewed Flight Proposal for EM-1
« Reply #59 on: 02/17/2017 01:27 AM »

..snip...

Excuse me if that seems like there are two different standards being used for safety at NASA, not one.  Which seems fishy to me...

It is very much a double standard, plain and simple. Quite audacious (and not in a good way) if you think about it.

These are very strange times, getting stranger all the time.
Scott

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