Author Topic: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew  (Read 10894 times)

Offline guckyfan

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #20 on: 02/18/2017 06:19 AM »
The most disappointing part of the report in my view is that NASA can't keep its hands-off. A major goal of the commercial cargo and crew programs was to re-orientate NASA's relationship with the launch providers. I hope NASA takes the GAO concerns seriously and considers how they can move towards a lighter touch, while still getting to a high-standard for certification.

If nothing else highlights this it is the RD-180 issue. NASA needs deep insight into them. Seriously? What about their launch history? Even with the recent hickup it is very good.

Online docmordrid

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #21 on: 02/18/2017 07:24 AM »
Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
Provided Dragon 2 demo missions go well, SpaceX is highly confident of being able to fly US astronauts in 2018 http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/16/14640618/nasa-spacex-boeing-astronaut-iss-2018 Ö
3:07 AM - 18 Feb 2017
DM

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #22 on: 02/18/2017 06:38 PM »
Cross-posting, suggest following up on Dragon 2 thread:

In response to Elon's tweet:

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@elonmusk Can u address specifics in GAO report? Past projections proved optimistic. Why is GAO wrong? What's different now?
https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/832991913741475841

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@spacecom They are often right, but, in this case, we have already retired so much R&D risk on Dragon 2, that I feel very confident of 2018.
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/832992529872097280

Online deruch

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #23 on: 02/19/2017 07:30 AM »
This pivot back to a traditional insight/oversight system for the final stage of the Crew Program was 100% intentional.

That must be why it was such a surprise to everyone, including the people who no longer work in the commercial crew office after they fought hard to stop it.
Maybe the way that I wrote that is causing some confusion.  I don't mean that it was always the plan to structure the Crew Transport Systems developments so that the final phase would be a contract.  I mean that when it came time move from CCiCap to CCtCap, NASA looked at their history of the development so far and the results from COTS and determined that using an SAA would not give them the level of insight/oversight they felt they needed.  Additionally, they felt they needed to be able to set requirements--which they can't do under an SAA.  That's why there was a switch to contract.  This clearly wasn't the original plan as crew transport was initially envisioned under COTS Part D. 

My comment was in response to rockets4life97's and it was intended to point out that that ship had sailed.  As soon as NASA switched to contracts, it was obvious that the era of "more hands off" or "lighter touch" was over.  I was trying to explain that that was an intentional change.
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline yg1968

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #24 on: 02/27/2017 03:37 PM »
FYI, NASA announced its contingency plan last week:

NASA quitely announced that it bought Soyuz seats for 2017 and 2018 from Boeing last week:

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/additional-crew-flights-boost-space-station-science-and-research/

Offline yokem55

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #25 on: 04/25/2017 08:02 PM »
Quote
... and contract line item 001 for SpaceX by $91 million for a hardware requirement change and the addition of cargo during an ISS test flight.
So it seems SpaceX DM1 will have a cargo manifest paid outside either CRS contract.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2017 08:02 PM by yokem55 »

Offline jpo234

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #26 on: 05/18/2017 11:22 AM »
« Last Edit: 05/18/2017 11:28 AM by jpo234 »

Online QuantumG

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #27 on: 05/19/2017 12:19 AM »
This month 3 years ago I asked Elon what they were waiting for when it comes to launching crew. We had a bit of back and forth, but the conversation ended at:

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"When we launch I want to know that SpaceX has done everything possible to keep the astronauts safe. Only a few more years to go." - Elon Musk, May 24 2014.

It's starting to look like at least four years, maybe five. Doesn't sound too bad actually.

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.

Offline woods170

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #28 on: 05/19/2017 06:19 AM »
This month 3 years ago I asked Elon what they were waiting for when it comes to launching crew. We had a bit of back and forth, but the conversation ended at:

Quote
"When we launch I want to know that SpaceX has done everything possible to keep the astronauts safe. Only a few more years to go." - Elon Musk, May 24 2014.

It's starting to look like at least four years, maybe five. Doesn't sound too bad actually.


Not too bad at all given the infamous SpaceX time-dilation factor. And on top of that SpaceX had to handle a NASA-driven time-dilation factor as well.

Offline savuporo

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Online gongora

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Online gongora

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #31 on: 06/08/2017 04:01 AM »
ASAP meeting minutes:
Quote
Commercial Crew Program

Dr. Donald McErlean reported on the Panelís interactions with the CCP Manager, Ms. Kathy Lueders, and her team. Ms. Lueders and her managers discussed the status of the total program involving all the providers. The Panel was pleased to note significant progress by everyone. They are moving ahead with plans for the first test flights in 2017 and 2018. Boeing is progressing with its software releases. Its structural test article testing is underway, and the first spacecraft crew module has gone under initial power activation. The second and third spacecraft and facilities are progressing. The SpaceX Dragon has completed its first pressurized space suit test and assembly is underway. Pad 39A is undergoing final acceptance testing. The new Merlin 1D engine is under developmental test. Both providers have completed parachute testing for landings and are moving into production and qualification. In areas of somewhat less visibility, participants in non-reimbursable Space Act Agreements are busy as well. Blue Origin is building and testing its facilities, developing software, and performing some high-altitude parachute deployment testing. Sierra Nevada Corporation, with Dream Chaser, has tow-tests in progress at Armstrong Flight Research Center and is moving towards the potential for flight testing. The CCP is facilitating development and certification of U.S. industry-based crew transportation systems.

In reviewing the Programís concerns, Ms. Lueders noted the top safety-related concern is the current situation with respect to loss of crew (LOC). The CCP placed requirements for threshold values for LOC in the contracts. The ASAP had recommended that this be done and was pleased to see that those requirements appeared to drive systemic behavior by both providers. They have expended considerable time and energy in making their systems substantially safer than they might have been without such an incentive and have achieved considerable progress from the initial LOC estimates. However, the threshold values were acknowledged to be challenging, and both providers still are striving to meet that precise number. This remains a risk to the Program that must be addressed by a risk acceptance or waiver process. While these LOC numbers were known to be challenging, and both providers have been working toward meeting the challenge, it is conceivable that in both cases, the number may not be met. The ASAP is on record agreeing with the Program that one must be judicious in how one applies these statistical estimates. In the case of LOC, the numbers themselves depend very heavily on the orbital debris model that is used to develop the risk to the system. Orbital debris is a driving factor in determining the potential for LOC. The orbital debris models have been used and validated to some degree, but they are not perfect. One must be wary of being too pernicious in the application of a specific number and must look at whether the providers have expended the necessary efforts and engineering activity to make the systems as safe as they can and still perform the mission. Currently, review of both providers appears to be positive. There was no indicated area where by spending additional dollars the providers could have made their systems considerably safer. The ASAP was pleased with the progress in this area, and realized that it may be necessary for NASA to do a formal risk acceptance of the variance from the requirement. The Panel reminded NASA that the risk acceptance, including a complete presentation of the alternatives and the consequences, should be made formally and risk acceptance should be signed off by the appropriate authority.

Mr. John Frost agreed and pointed out that projected numbers for LOC would exceed the contract threshold, and the risk acceptance decision could be at the highest levels of NASA.

Dr. Bagian added that it is not only important to present the alternatives and consequences in the risk acceptance package, but it is essential to include the rationale for the path that was ultimately chosen.

Online launchwatcher

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #32 on: 06/08/2017 04:29 PM »
ASAP meeting minutes:
Quote
Commercial Crew Program
 In the case of LOC, the numbers themselves depend very heavily on the orbital debris model that is used to develop the risk to the system. Orbital debris is a driving factor in determining the potential for LOC.
Other sources I've read suggest that most of the orbital debris exposure occurs while the spacecraft is docked to the ISS, where I'd think that a debris strike to the spacecraft would likely be detected and could be evaluated before anyone would be put at risk from it...

More speculatively, I'm imagining some sort of kevlar bag that would stay at ISS and could be deployed around a visiting vehicle to improve both detection of and protection from debris strikes.


Offline SWGlassPit

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #33 on: 06/08/2017 07:54 PM »
ASAP meeting minutes:
Quote
Commercial Crew Program
 In the case of LOC, the numbers themselves depend very heavily on the orbital debris model that is used to develop the risk to the system. Orbital debris is a driving factor in determining the potential for LOC.
Other sources I've read suggest that most of the orbital debris exposure occurs while the spacecraft is docked to the ISS, where I'd think that a debris strike to the spacecraft would likely be detected and could be evaluated before anyone would be put at risk from it...

More speculatively, I'm imagining some sort of kevlar bag that would stay at ISS and could be deployed around a visiting vehicle to improve both detection of and protection from debris strikes.

You're not the first person I've seen suggest the idea of some sort of visiting vehicle "garage".  The concept is interesting, but it is not without its own problems -- preventing damage to the vehicle itself, deploy/stow reliability, thermal concerns, visiting vehicle power production, ability to rapidly evacuate station, etc.

Online deruch

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #34 on: 06/09/2017 04:03 AM »
ASAP meeting minutes:
Quote
Commercial Crew Program
 In the case of LOC, the numbers themselves depend very heavily on the orbital debris model that is used to develop the risk to the system. Orbital debris is a driving factor in determining the potential for LOC.
Other sources I've read suggest that most of the orbital debris exposure occurs while the spacecraft is docked to the ISS, where I'd think that a debris strike to the spacecraft would likely be detected and could be evaluated before anyone would be put at risk from it...

More speculatively, I'm imagining some sort of kevlar bag that would stay at ISS and could be deployed around a visiting vehicle to improve both detection of and protection from debris strikes.

The way that these LOC requirements are set up requires that they be met solely by the vehicles and not by the NASA programs.  Ergo, anything done on the ISS that would lower the actual risk wouldn't help the partners meet the contractual LOC requirement. 
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Online gongora

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #35 on: 06/09/2017 04:15 AM »
The way that these LOC requirements are set up requires that they be met solely by the vehicles and not by the NASA programs.  Ergo, anything done on the ISS that would lower the actual risk wouldn't help the partners meet the contractual LOC requirement.

At previous meetings they have mentioned potentially doing things at the ISS level to close the gap (I don't remember the details, maybe docking on a certain port to be more shielded?).  I don't know if that is officially part of the waiver process, or some other process, but it seems to be a valid way to narrow the gap.  It sounds like they've known for a long time that the contractors probably won't be able to meet those numbers.

Online deruch

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #36 on: 06/09/2017 06:33 AM »
The way that these LOC requirements are set up requires that they be met solely by the vehicles and not by the NASA programs.  Ergo, anything done on the ISS that would lower the actual risk wouldn't help the partners meet the contractual LOC requirement.

At previous meetings they have mentioned potentially doing things at the ISS level to close the gap (I don't remember the details, maybe docking on a certain port to be more shielded?).  I don't know if that is officially part of the waiver process, or some other process, but it seems to be a valid way to narrow the gap.  It sounds like they've known for a long time that the contractors probably won't be able to meet those numbers.

I didn't mean that they won't eventually do things at the program level to lower the risk.  But that the 1:200 LOC number was to be met strictly by the vehicles/partners without relying on other options like putting a shield on the ISS that would protect them while attached, changing ISS orientation, restricting docking port usage, heat shield inspections, etc.  The thinking being that NASA would then use things like that to make up the eventual shortfall from 1:200 to the 1:270 that was the original target for Commercial Crew.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/05/nasa-evaluating-commercial-loss-crew-mishap/
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 06:57 AM by deruch »
Shouldn't reality posts be in "Advanced concepts"?  --Nomadd

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #37 on: 06/09/2017 06:26 PM »
On LOC we may be reaching the point at which perfect becomes the enemy of good.

The Commercial Crew capsules are better than anything else.

Offline darkenfast

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #38 on: 06/10/2017 06:54 AM »
I still don't see how loss of vehicle while at the ISS automatically means loss of crew.  It's like someone is stacking the deck.

Offline Jarnis

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Re: GAO Feb 2017 report on commercial crew
« Reply #39 on: 06/10/2017 11:37 AM »
I still don't see how loss of vehicle while at the ISS automatically means loss of crew.  It's like someone is stacking the deck.

Unstack the deck by keeping one F9 + Dragon 2 in storage at all times, ready to deploy to get the crew if there is a problem during ISS stay? :)

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