Author Topic: Do you believe in DIRECT?  (Read 47035 times)

Offline JIS

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Do you believe in DIRECT?
« on: 01/07/2008 09:38 AM »
I've heard there are some DIRECT naysayers. I'm one of them and I know about Dr Stanley (head of ESAS) being the other naysayer. Maybe even Mike Griffin (NASA big boss) could be in the club.
I think it could be interesting to find how many people actually believe to what "DIRECT team" is trying to tell us.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline JIS

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #1 on: 01/07/2008 09:43 AM »
I have to admit that DIRECT is very educative study and generally a very good effort. However, I have to vote for the first option to join The naysayers club.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #2 on: 01/07/2008 10:51 AM »

I've said it before in other threads -- I have two good friends who are (fairly) senior personnel at JSC and they reiterated to me again only recently that they and many of their colleagues believe that ARES 1 is a joke and a Kludge. I Quote: "An almost fetishistic design by someone who should have known better -- Ares 1 has little or no chance of working as advertised". 

Also, at Fuddruckers Restaurant not all that long ago, I ran into an ex-Shuttle Astronaut whom I hadn't seen in 11 years and had a good conversation with him. He had some business at JSC that afternoon. When I mentioned Ares 1 as a concept, he just rolled his eyes...

Look: any Ares 1 supporters out there (outside of NASA) who bash 'Direct' and other alternatives -- how much more anecdotal evidence do you really need, that this thing, Ares 1, is a dog? It barks, guys!! Don't you get it?! This is from the horse's mouths, from people with Phds in Engineering -- people who design spacecraft and systems for a living. People who work and walk the halls of one of NASA's most important centers. And it's for this reason that many of them are keeping quiet -- they may not actually lose their jobs for speaking out against Ares 1, but they may very well become pariahs, at least under the current regime, or miss out on promotions etc. These people have kids in college and mortages -- they don't want to jeopardize these things.

If something isn't done soon to improve the prospects for a new crew launcher system, then the next Presidential Administration, particularly one gentleman, will cancel America's Return To The Moon. For those of us who have pushed for decades for humans to leave Low Earth Orbit....

The consequences are too dire to stomach again. God help us...  :(

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Offline Nathan

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #3 on: 01/07/2008 11:21 AM »
The question is invalid. Belief is not required, only objective study. Indeed, is the word "belief" intended to mean "support" or perhaps even "trust" (as in do we trust the numbers in the proposal)?
Wouldn't it be more useful to ask whether Direct is supported? Belief implies that folks are drawing an opinion without looking at the data. Also - belief won't make any difference to whether or not the proposal is taken up by NASA - they are logical folks acting within a polical environment, so politics and engineering reality will decide.
The question is not useful so I decline to vote or add voting options.
Given finite cash, if we want to go to Mars then we should go to Mars.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #4 on: 01/07/2008 11:21 AM »
DIRECT is merely one of a number of architectures that would be "better" than ESAS at fulfilling VSE. Some are better technically, some are better financially, some are better politically. The problem with Ares I/V begins with its bait-and-switch orgins. The original proposal called for the reuse of the existing 4seg SRBs, the development of the existing SSMEs into STMEs, and the evolution of a 5-engine core out of the existing ET. Once ESAS was accepted, we suddenly found out the architecture was "too expensive" and a similar-looking but otherwise all new architecture (now called Ares I/V) was substituted, with 5-seg SRBs, RS-68 engines, and an all-new core whose only point of commonalty with the ET is the orange insulation. At this point, DIRECT is more similar to the original ESAS architecture than the annoited Ares I/V. And it's not so much that DIRECT is especially wonderful, as that it is simply the best presented of the many alternatives that are better in many respects than Ares I/V. Look at it this way: Jupiter 232 would not be harder or more expensive to develop than Ares V, and would be ready sooner because there's no need for Ares I. If, for whatever reason, the US decided to keep ISS alive past 2016, a de-lunarized Orion on any EELV-class rocket (Atlas, Delta, Ariane, F9, whatever) could do that job. And let's face it, almost all of the known viable presidential candidates will cancel ESAS, some will cancel VSE, and a few will even cancel ISS. In some sense, VSE and ESAS failed when the current administration failed to fund a crash program to develop its plan, leaving it, instead, to whoever wins the 2008 election. If Bush & Co. had jumped on it in 2003, with a plan to have a capsule flying on whatever rocket in 2008, then VSE and probably ESAS would stand a good chance of surviving whoever takes office next January. As it is, there's virtually nothing in place, and it will be easy for whoever wins to say, "Okay, we'll keep shuttle flying to ISS through the end of 2012." And then there'll be another election. And, of oourse, the loss of another shuttle in that time frame could spell the end of the US manned space program, absent a viable replacement.

Offline kraisee

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #5 on: 01/07/2008 11:22 AM »
No real surprise, but I voted "If accepted the DIRECT would require only sensible, peer-studied changes".

BTW, William - you bring up an excellent point - EELV CLV's.   I think they're a good idea.   I've said on more than one occasion that there is room for them along-side DIRECT.   I would like a human-rated launch architecture covering each of the 20mT, 50mT and 100mT realms.   That would give us the maximum possible flexibility for the 21st Century.

Ross.
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Offline JIS

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #6 on: 01/07/2008 11:56 AM »
Quote
Nathan - 7/1/2008  12:21 PM

The question is invalid. Belief is not required, only objective study.

Yes, objective study would be great but is there something like that?

Quote
Indeed, is the word "belief" intended to mean "support" or perhaps even "trust" (as in do we trust the numbers in the proposal)?

It's generally the same. You trust in something you believe and  you support what you trust if you are honest.

Quote
The question is not useful so I decline to vote or add voting options.

It's for the purpose to find how many naysayers and supporters are visiting this forum and how many of them are willing to admit that.
If you don't vote I think you could be just undecided or didn't read that study. Please, add appropriate option and vote for it.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline clongton

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #7 on: 01/07/2008 12:18 PM »
I think “Undecided” is a valid position to take. After all, this poll really represents a “snapshot in time”. Most “undecided’s” eventually make a choice, but not until well into the process. Let people take whatever time they need to "decide" without pressuring them to choose one or the other.

And not everyone leaves a comment, either. Notice that "at this point" there are only 6 posters, but there have been 16 votes cast. We know they are all different people too because the NSF forum doesn't allow multiple votes from the same person.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline JIS

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #8 on: 01/07/2008 12:20 PM »
Quote
William Barton - 7/1/2008  12:21 PM

Look at it this way: Jupiter 232 would not be harder or more expensive to develop than Ares V, and would be ready sooner because there's no need for Ares I.

Agree 100%.
There won't be much difference between Jupiter 232 and Ares V if ever developed. They are very similar launchers.
The difference is that Ares V needs somewhat more development and can deliver more cargo.

NASA has chosen Ares V/1 approach because they believe that a LOT OF CARGO IN SINGLE LAUNCH is needed for the Moon and Mars. NASA also believe that Ares V derrived vehicle (Ares 1) will result in VERY SAFE launcher.

DIRECT delivers less cargo and less safe vehicle. For less money??? We don't know. ESAS says no (overall architecture and capabilities) and there is no other reliable source (if you don't believe "rumour factory").

If this NASA belief fails in LOT OF CARGO IN SINGLE LAUNCH or VERY SAFE launcher than all architecture collapses.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline John Duncan

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RE: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #9 on: 01/07/2008 12:21 PM »
I voted for sensible peer review.

Ares is a quick way to a dead end, spaceflight wise.  I cannot trust the future administrations will not cancel it AFTER we loose the STS and before Ares can fly.  It takes too long to mature and fly and will amost certainly be riddled with the sorts of problems that you find when you start over with a new launch system.

DIRECT will speed us along the path to a replacement, hopefully before anyone can deep six it.  I'm sure there will be things that need to be worked out or re-thought but you're using the proven components from STS which have history.



-John
"We'll remember the Shuttle days with fondness 20 years from now when we still don't have a replacement.  The something we had was better than the nothing we wound up with."


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Offline rumble

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #10 on: 01/07/2008 12:45 PM »
The options basically read like this:
1)  Direct is BS
2)  Direct is GOLD and is flawless
3)  Direct is seriously flawed
4)  Direct is a good proposal but needs to be refined before blueprints can be drawn.

Easy.  Option 4.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #11 on: 01/07/2008 01:04 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 7/1/2008  7:22 AM

No real surprise, but I voted "If accepted the DIRECT would require only sensible, peer-studied changes".

BTW, William - you bring up an excellent point - EELV CLV's.   I think they're a good idea.   I've said on more than one occasion that there is room for them along-side DIRECT.   I would like a human-rated launch architecture covering each of the 20mT, 50mT and 100mT realms.   That would give us the maximum possible flexibility for the 21st Century.

Ross.

To this non-engineer SF writer, the EELV proponents have a solid case. I think it points in two directions in the long run. 1. To an EELV class RLV, when flight rates get to that point. 2. To an evolutionary EELV-derived program. The Delta evolution is obvious (the Delta V that would be something like the supposed Arev IV core). I think the evolved Atlas would be better, but I also think we'd need to get away from non-US engines. That would beg for a restart on the RS-84. In the meantime, an Orion CM with LEO SM that could ride up on any EELV would be a fine companion to a Jupiter heavy lifter, and all of it doable in a 4-year time frame. If someone with a little sense and a pro-space outlook gets elected this fall (fat chance, I'm afraid), we could have Orion/EELV/ISS and Orion/Jupiter/LLO/NEO by 2012. I'm sorry to say I'm not holding my breath.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #12 on: 01/07/2008 01:06 PM »
Quote
JIS - 7/1/2008  8:20 AM

Quote
William Barton - 7/1/2008  12:21 PM

Look at it this way: Jupiter 232 would not be harder or more expensive to develop than Ares V, and would be ready sooner because there's no need for Ares I.

Agree 100%.
There won't be much difference between Jupiter 232 and Ares V if ever developed. They are very similar launchers.
The difference is that Ares V needs somewhat more development and can deliver more cargo.

NASA has chosen Ares V/1 approach because they believe that a LOT OF CARGO IN SINGLE LAUNCH is needed for the Moon and Mars. NASA also believe that Ares V derrived vehicle (Ares 1) will result in VERY SAFE launcher.

DIRECT delivers less cargo and less safe vehicle. For less money??? We don't know. ESAS says no (overall architecture and capabilities) and there is no other reliable source (if you don't believe "rumour factory").

If this NASA belief fails in LOT OF CARGO IN SINGLE LAUNCH or VERY SAFE launcher than all architecture collapses.

Even if Jupiter and Ares V cost exactly the same to develop and fly, DIRECT is still going to be cheaper than ESAS by saving on not developing Ares I. We already have Atlas V and delta IV to do Ares I's job.

Offline monkeyb

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #13 on: 01/07/2008 01:07 PM »
As nothing more than a layman on rocket science I go with option 4. There will be other concepts which could work and work better, still, Direct looks like a good model of how VSE could work as a viable alternative to the current Ares model.

Offline spacediver

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RE: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #14 on: 01/07/2008 01:30 PM »
If you all wonder about that one vote for option 2...

That was me!
I voted before option 4 was available.
Naturally there will be (minor) changes to the Jupiter vehicles if NASA ever decides to go that way, insofar I'd now also vote for option 4.

Spacediver

Offline bad_astra

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #15 on: 01/07/2008 01:30 PM »
Direct is a good, grassroots idea. It needs to be refined and completed by NASA. I don't know that it will, but then anything after Nov this year is guesswork. I'll go with option 4.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #16 on: 01/07/2008 01:34 PM »
Quote
bad_astra - 7/1/2008  9:30 AM

Direct is a good, grassroots idea. It needs to be refined and completed by NASA. I don't know that it will, but then anything after Nov this year is guesswork. I'll go with option 4.

01-20-09, after that it is anyone's guess.
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Offline JIS

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #17 on: 01/07/2008 01:40 PM »
Quote
rumble - 7/1/2008  1:45 PM

The options basically read like this:
1)  Direct is BS
2)  Direct is GOLD and is flawless
3)  Direct is seriously flawed
4)  Direct is a good proposal but needs to be refined before blueprints can be drawn.

Easy.  Option 4.

I wanted those options to be understand more like:
 
1) There are serious bugs in Direct logic and numbers and therefore won't be accepted by NASA.
2) Direct is GOLD and is flawless
3) Direct will be accepted by NASA, but will need significant changes
4) Direct is a good proposal but needs to be refined before blueprints can be drawn.

'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline savuporo

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Re: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #18 on: 01/07/2008 01:55 PM »
Quote
MATTBLAK - 7/1/2008  1:51 AM
And it's for this reason that many of them are keeping quiet -- they may not actually lose their jobs for speaking out against Ares 1
I have nothing against DIRECT, and voted for it, but this sounds awfully like a conspiracy theory, which i have become to dismiss immediately, unless some solid proof is supplied.
Without any actual evidence of voice suppression in this matter, i would guess they are quiet because they feel theres nothing to shout about.
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Offline JIS

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RE: Do you believe in DIRECT?
« Reply #19 on: 01/07/2008 02:37 PM »
Quote
pad rat - 7/1/2008  3:10 PM

I voted #4, but I don't like "Direct". Nor do I like Ares. In fact, I don't even like ESAS and think it's very likely that the lunar missions will be canceled by either the next or some future administration.

Why I don't like Direct:
1) Supporter's assertions - it will cost *this* much, it will fly by *this* date. Designs at this stage of development simply cannot make such statements of fact, particularly if NASA is involved. And before anyone protests that no such claims have been made, go back and read some of the strident statements made by some in the argument for "Direct". A lot of them sure sound like guarantees to me. Can "Direct" work? Sure it can, it's not revolutionary.

I think you should have voted 3) as you raised a serious doubt about DIRECT numbers. I think we can't count you as a true "believer".  

Quote
2) Do we need it? I don't think so, because it forces a continuation of the NASA manned spaceflight paradigm. NASA needs to divest itself of its self-imposed requirement (belief?) that only it can operate human launch services. Commercial alternatives exist, or would exist if given a chance by NASA. Maintaining a NASA launch capability for the sake of preserving some jobs is just plain stupid in the grand scheme of things. The weight of that workforce is holding back what the US could achieve if it allowed industry to do what industry does best, and stuck to doing what government should do.

Sorry for being off topic but I don't know whether this would conform to the presidential directive. NASA has to develop a successor of STS till 2015 and fly to the Moon till 2020. Griffin can't remain administrator if he refuses to obey. He just adopted proven way how to do what he was asked for.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

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