Author Topic: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken  (Read 15608 times)

Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #20 on: 04/19/2017 01:54 PM »
"Everyone has forgotten SpaceShipOne - built for pennies by NewSpace and on a comparable timescale to the Mercury sub-orbital flights."

Hi Bob!  No, we haven't forgotten it. But Mercury was an orbital spacecraft that was tested as a sub-orbital.  SpaceShipOne couldn't come anywhere near what Mercury was.

Offline MattMason

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #21 on: 04/19/2017 02:23 PM »
"Everyone has forgotten SpaceShipOne - built for pennies by NewSpace and on a comparable timescale to the Mercury sub-orbital flights."

Hi Bob!  No, we haven't forgotten it. But Mercury was an orbital spacecraft that was tested as a sub-orbital.  SpaceShipOne couldn't come anywhere near what Mercury was.

Yep. And SS1 was a prototype for the X-Prize, not intended as a functional or practical resource. Not that SpaceShipTwo developers thought that was their business...
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #22 on: 04/19/2017 02:44 PM »
Wayne Hale has noted that the gap between manned U.S. Space missions from U.S. soil with American spacecraft is now greater than that between Apollo & Shuttle! Depressing.
This "gap" is the nation's punishment for bad decisions made long ago, during the Apollo-Shuttle "gap".  Hopefully, choices made during this "gap" will have better long term results.

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Offline RonM

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #23 on: 04/19/2017 03:13 PM »
The current gap goes back to a bad decision made during the Constellation program. Orion should have been designed to launch from an EELV instead of Ares I.

Offline john smith 19

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #24 on: 04/19/2017 03:29 PM »
The current gap goes back to a bad decision made during the Constellation program. Orion should have been designed to launch from an EELV instead of Ares I.
Well technically Orion's precursor was expected to go to the Moon at least and going to the ISS was a backup mission, so in theory it was sized to carry what was felt necessary for the Moon mission.

I can't recall if CCCP was planned in parallel or before or after Orion. Nor can I recall if Orion was "EELV weight" but put on too much poundage to fit a fully loaded vehicle or if being able to be carried on an EELV was ever a constraint

Some might say the smartest decision NASA made was not to make Orion to only fit Ares 5, because then of course even a DIVH would not have been able to carry it on its first test flight given its size.

I agree though. NASA did this to itself, and it did not have to be this way.
« Last Edit: 04/19/2017 03:34 PM by john smith 19 »
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #25 on: 04/19/2017 03:37 PM »
The current gap goes back to a bad decision made during the Constellation program. Orion should have been designed to launch from an EELV instead of Ares I.
Orion would not have been able to do its mission (lunar at the time) if it had been down-sized to be EELV-capable.  Nor would such a design effort have prevented the "gap".  We are waiting right now, for example, for Starliner to fly on Atlas 5.  We are probably at T-minus one year or longer to "gap's" end.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 04/19/2017 03:41 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Kansan52

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #26 on: 04/19/2017 03:49 PM »
For me, it is important that United States has a way to send people to space, not but rides from someone else.

Offline RonM

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #27 on: 04/19/2017 03:54 PM »
The current gap goes back to a bad decision made during the Constellation program. Orion should have been designed to launch from an EELV instead of Ares I.
Orion would not have been able to do its mission (lunar at the time) if it had been down-sized to be EELV-capable.  Nor would such a design effort have prevented the "gap".  We are waiting right now, for example, for Starliner to fly on Atlas 5.  We are probably at T-minus one year or longer to "gap's" end.

 - Ed Kyle

Orion was going to rendezvous with Altair and the EDS in LEO. The Lunar mission could have been designed to work with a smaller Orion. Remember, Apollo did it with one launch. Orion on an EELV plus the rest of the stack on Ares V would still be more capable than Apollo.

When President Bush decided that STS would stop flying in 2010, the plan was for Orion to start flying in 2012. The Ares I debacle prevent that. Even with typical program delays, Orion on EELV would be operational today.

Offline woods170

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #28 on: 04/19/2017 04:13 PM »
Throwing the proverbial bat in the henhouse:

I've never heard that expression before.  What does it mean?  Do bats scare the hens into running around like mad?
I suggest you throw a bat (as in club or bludgeon) in a henhouse once. It will for sure send the chickens running around like mad.

Offline woods170

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #29 on: 04/19/2017 04:21 PM »
When President Bush decided that STS would stop flying in 2010, the plan was for Orion to start flying in 2012. The Constellation Ares I debacle prevented that. Even with typical program delays, Orion on EELV would be operational today.
There. Fixed that for ya.
And you don't have any proof for the latter assessment.

Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #30 on: 04/19/2017 04:22 PM »
Throwing the proverbial bat in the henhouse:

I've never heard that expression before.  What does it mean?  Do bats scare the hens into running around like mad?

Think this is ... "de knuppel in het hoenderhok gooien".

Stirring things up. Bat as in a stick. Tossing it in to freak them out. So things change.

In this case, more akin to the English idiom of being a "king mixer" to create a problem de novo.

He's right, this is all totally specious in effect since one contractor is like another, and the point, to which you'd both agree, is to motivate more spending/attention to HSF, in this case the US Congress funding an indigenous capsule.

Offline AS_501

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #31 on: 04/19/2017 04:39 PM »
Look at it this way:  This will be the last gap, correct?

Offline whitelancer64

Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #32 on: 04/19/2017 05:05 PM »
Look at it this way:  This will be the last gap, correct?

For now.
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Offline clongton

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #33 on: 04/19/2017 05:19 PM »
Wayne Hale has noted that the gap between manned U.S. Space missions from U.S. soil with American spacecraft is now greater than that between Apollo & Shuttle! Depressing... Not much to say about that. :(

...Other than when I said a couple years ago that this would happen; I was told to shut my mouth - I didn't know what I was talking about. I don't always like being right - especially about this subject... :'(

https://twitter.com/waynehale

Gap: This is sad because it didn't have to be this way. NASA had the solution in-hand, in time and threw it away. Orion could have been flying operationally on a Shuttle-based launch vehicle to and from station before the last Shuttle lifted off. The IMS showed approximately 1 year of operation overlap.

Commercial: NASA having the ability to launch a 25-mT Orion to the station together with up to 60mT of cargo with a Shuttle replacement would likely have at least delayed the Commercial option. But I do believe that commercial crew and logistical resupply to the ISS would have happened anyway because Administrator Griffin did not want to use Ares/Orion for that purpose.  He was the one that actually initiated the commercial effort for ISS because Constellation was targeting the moon, not the station. So Commercial would have happened anyway, but probably on a different timescale.
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Online Space Ghost 1962

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #34 on: 04/19/2017 06:40 PM »
NASA had the solution in-hand, in time and threw it away.
Yes.

Quote
Orion could have been flying operationally on a Shuttle-based launch vehicle to and from station before the last Shuttle lifted off.
No.

Strongly insist that the flaw was in under funding ISS CRV/CTV as concurrent with Shuttle, using Soyuz as a "gap filler" . Then the "two bit" tomfoolery of the idi.ot Bush administration getting CRV/CTV on the cheap to kill a cheap program that maintained the ability to have consistent HSF development maintained as a skill all along.

Then if you wanted Orion (or OSP) you might have had it ready for follow-on before Shuttle program conclusion.

Everyone wants it simple, reductionist, and cheap. It's never that way.

Best you can do is minimal proficiency with consistent, gradual budgets. Which can be ramped up/down.

Quote
.
Commercial: NASA having the ability to launch a 25-mT Orion to the station together with up to 60mT of cargo with a Shuttle replacement would likely have at least delayed the Commercial option. But I do believe that commercial crew and logistical resupply to the ISS would have happened anyway because Administrator Griffin did not want to use Ares/Orion for that purpose.  He was the one that actually initiated the commercial effort for ISS because Constellation was targeting the moon, not the station. So Commercial would have happened anyway, but probably on a different timescale.
Disagree.

He was sure commercial would fail but it would take other things with it, leaving budget room for what he wanted. Which was "FLO on steroids".

Offline clongton

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #35 on: 04/19/2017 07:47 PM »
Orion could have been flying operationally on a Shuttle-based launch vehicle to and from station before the last Shuttle lifted off.
No.

Strongly insist that the flaw was in under funding ISS CRV/CTV as concurrent with Shuttle, using Soyuz as a "gap filler" . Then the "two bit" tomfoolery of the idi.ot Bush administration getting CRV/CTV on the cheap to kill a cheap program that maintained the ability to have consistent HSF development maintained as a skill all along.

Then if you wanted Orion (or OSP) you might have had it ready for follow-on before Shuttle program conclusion.

Everyone wants it simple, reductionist, and cheap. It's never that way.

Best you can do is minimal proficiency with consistent, gradual budgets. Which can be ramped up/down.

We spent a lot of time in May 2009 at the ISDC in Orlando with Cleon Lacefield, the LM Orion Program manager, specifically going over their IMS for the spacecraft. We talked *a lot*, then and later by conference calls, about what you have mentioned and many other things, and ways to mitigate the damage and get moving ahead on a reasonable schedule. The bottom line is that he said that if those “things” (which included a lot of totally unnecessary impediments) could be properly mitigated then they could have Orion ready for 1st unmanned test flight by end of 3rd quarter 2010 and 1st manned test flight by late 2nd quarter 2011. Straight from the horse’s mouth. This man was previously the LM Skunk Works X-33 Program manager so he knows how to get stuff done. Paraphrasing now, he indicated that if Orion had been a Skunk Works project it would be nearly done already. So based on the statements of the one man in command of all the actual facts on the ground, I stand by my statement.
« Last Edit: 04/19/2017 08:09 PM by clongton »
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Offline Endeavour126

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #36 on: 04/19/2017 08:20 PM »
The gap between ASTP launch and STS-1 launch was 2.098 days. The gap between STS-135 launch and now is 2.112 days, so the record was broken the April 6th not yesterday.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #37 on: 04/19/2017 08:45 PM »
But I'm not entirely counting the government out as you seem to be doing.  There is such a thing as a commons problem, and markets alone don't solve those.  Some things in space are such problems, I think.

I'm not counting out the U.S. Government.  But NASA is a "tool" that the U.S. Government uses to solve peaceful problems in space, and more specifically problems that require science and technology solutions.  I just don't see a near-term problem the U.S. Government needs solved that requires sending government employees to space.

Quote
Some things NASA does really well.  In particular, I think they've been very successful with unmanned scientific probes.  What hasn't been done so efficiently by NASA, in my opinion, is human spaceflight since Apollo.

I support government funding of science and technology, and NASA can be effective at doing bleed-edge science and technology development.  But for NASA it can be argued that NASA does far less technology development today, and after the ISS mission ends NASA will likely be doing far less science too.  Conversely, I think too much of NASA's funding is going into becoming a transportation provider, even though there is no clear need for it to be a transportation provider.  So conflicting priorities like that tell me that our government is not positioned to help humanity expand out into space in a consistent way.

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That is changing with commercial cargo and crew, and those programs have worked wonderfully.  But SLS is still sucking up a lot more dollars than commercial cargo and crew.

If we could get NASA out of the business of doing things and instead get it limited to the business of funding competing, independent entities to do things, then we'd really have something.

Well said.

Quote
I think the U.S. government has at least as much reason to fund colonization of space as it has to fund science in space.  They just don't know how to do it.

I think using pure science funding as a comparison is a good idea, since American's support investment in science as long as they see it producing occasional results.  And if the U.S. Government were a partner in expanding humanity out into space, and not the leader per se, then I think the stakes would be lower and the funding could be more consistent.

Quote
The average voter would probably be more likely to think colonization of space is a good use of money than more science.

I'd like a balance of both, but science is never-ending, and expanding humanity out into space - which really hasn't started yet - will certainly take a long time before it can be self-sustaining.  So both could use support for a long time, and I would think the public could be convinced that expanding humanity out into space is a good idea as a long-term goal.  As long as it doesn't cost too much...
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 Arch Admiral

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #38 on: 04/19/2017 08:58 PM »
You guys are just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The reason for the Gap is that no one in the space community has been able to think up and articulate to the political leadership of the USA a sensible post-Cold War reason for a national manned spaceflight program. Similarly, no one has been able to think up and articulate to the business community a sensible way for manned spaceflight to return anything on the vast investment required.

Note that the Gap has not even been noticed by the general news media. Nobody cares much about manned space anymore.

Using slightly different spacecraft with slightly reduced launch costs won't change this situation. Man in space is a 1950s concept that is out of date in the 21st century. We should be discussing IF American manned launches will ever resume and, if they do, how long they will continue after ISS is crashed in 2024.

Offline Sam Ho

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Re: The U.S. Manned Space Gap Record is Now Broken
« Reply #39 on: 04/19/2017 09:16 PM »
The gap between ASTP launch and STS-1 launch was 2.098 days. The gap between STS-135 launch and now is 2.112 days, so the record was broken the April 6th not yesterday.
Yes, there were a number of tweets following Mr. Hale's original tweet discussing that:

Quote from: Wayne Hale
check my math. I'm notoriously bad at time calculations
Quote from: William Harwood
Excel says 2098 days since July 21, 2011
Quote from: Eric Berger
are y'all calculating from the end of STS 135 or the beginning?
Quote from: Robert Pearlman
From launch to launch: July 15, 1975 (ASTP) to April 12, 1981 (STS-1) is 2,098 days. And from July 8, 2011 (STS-135) to today is 2,111 days.
Quote from: Eric Berger
to landing of ASTP to STS 1 launch was a gap of 2,089 days, correct? which would put us now 9 days beyond that gap.

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