Author Topic: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?  (Read 15875 times)

Offline AresWatcher

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Talk is cheap, put your money where your mouth is time.

This poll is to gain a snapshot of where we all think this will head.

My personal feeling: I don't care, whatever works. I'm intrigued by both Ares and Direct, but I do feel that Direct, as much as it has merits, will not be adopted after all the billions have already been spent on Ares.

Vote your thoughts...
"One Percent for Space"

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #1 on: 04/13/2008 02:48 AM »
I voted no, primarily because I believe egos and self-centered stubbornness are more powerful motivators in today's political climate that are analysis and the wish to do the right thing.  Ares is a planned, intentional failure already, and sticking with it is borderline insane.  But insanity rules as long as you don't have to admit you might have been wrong.

Offline Takalok

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RE: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #2 on: 04/13/2008 03:32 AM »
The commit level to Ares is too high for DIRECT, and baring a political miracle, the likely scenario is NASA will make Ares work or NASA will never build another rocket ever again.

Edit:  Oh, BTW, my vote was "no."
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Offline Norm Hartnett

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RE: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #3 on: 04/13/2008 04:11 AM »
I am a child of the sixties. The system is corrupt, Direct doesn't stand a chance.

“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold - Apollo, STS, CxP; those that don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it: SLS.

Offline cb6785

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #4 on: 04/13/2008 09:44 AM »
I really hope  they consider DIRECT before Ares ruins NASA (except they suprise us all and Ares gets a miracle and works all of sudden like it should) but honestly I don't think they'll change their mind. IMHO working on Constellation as an US-only project is a huge mistake itself...Why develope things that are flying without bigger problems already when the project would be a profit to everyone on this planet??
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Offline renclod

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #5 on: 04/13/2008 10:03 AM »
Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?

What do you mean by "powerpoint" ?

I have never seen a Microsoft Office Powerpoint presentation of Direct. Just Adobe Acrobat pdf's. But there are some related Wikipedia entries, at least one Youtube clip, one U.S. Senate subcomitee public hearing question on a RealMedia video, two TheSpaceShow audio clips, a few e-news articles, blogging by the cartload and forum posts in the thousands.

Offline Quintus

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RE: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #6 on: 04/13/2008 10:09 AM »
It looks as though some varient of the Ares 1 design will be the CLV come what may. However I do wonder whether they will move to a 2.0 launch architecture for the Moon and that would give them the option to scale down Ares V somewhat so that it might end up resembling the Jupiter 232 more than the current baseline...sort of Semi-Direct! I voted yes more out of hope than a real conviction that a change will come. I hope I'm being too pessimistic

Offline cb6785

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #7 on: 04/13/2008 10:47 AM »
If they'd use something like Jupiter 232 for the moon, the entire idea of Ares 1 serving as some kind of tech-demonstrator for Ares 5 would be rubbish and NASA would have spend years with developing something they don't really need.
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Offline marsavian

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RE: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #8 on: 04/13/2008 10:58 AM »
I doubt it unless the new President and/or Administrator has a different mindset to Bush/Griffin. Still it's been a good exercise which has shown everyone that there are very viable Shuttle derived alternatives to the chosen ESAS architecture with different advantages. It's also added competitive pressure to the 1.5 launch executors in a virtual and PR way which is not a bad thing either. If NASA can reduce the gaps from Shuttle to COTS to Ares I I think they will defuse a lot of the political ill will that currently exists for Ares I making DIRECT even less likely.

Offline rocketguy101

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RE: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #9 on: 04/13/2008 04:55 PM »

Well, at least one is in the hanger awaiting paint, final check out, and launch :laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

see http://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?t=44788

David

Offline Zach

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #10 on: 04/13/2008 06:20 PM »
Griffin will be out in a year, Ares will be dropped along with the mandate of "shuttle derived" and NASA will be forced, kicking and screaming, out of launch vehicle development and operation.  I voted no.

Offline meiza

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #11 on: 04/13/2008 07:06 PM »
This poll would be better if there were probability bins so a histogram and distribution would form.
Say 0-10% 10-20% 20-30% etc...

As such the dichotomy is so strong. A lot is dependent on politics.

Offline gladiator1332

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #12 on: 04/13/2008 08:02 PM »
I voted No, as I think NASA is going to go with Ares or nothing at all. The '08 Election and Griffin leaving are going to affect a lot of things, however, McCain has said he will go full steam ahead with Ares, Clinton said we need Ares I / Orion, and Obama will probably scrap the whole thing.

Offline cpcjr

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RE: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #13 on: 04/13/2008 09:34 PM »
I voted yes, because it is already more than that. If nothing else it has helped fuel the descussion about the problems with Ares I  and V, by providing an alternative for comparison.
With out Direct it would be hard to argue against Ares I because the question could always be what is your alternative.

That said if the Question were will Direct ever  actualy fly, then I would have to say unfortunetly no.  Not because it won't work but because it will never be given the chance to work.

Common sence says to go with the plan that has the greatest chance of political survival rather than going a dream vehical that will probably will be defunded to point of cancelation.

Direct stands the greatest chance of political survival because it builds on what excists and thus needing less devlopment, making future politcal action less critical. Ares V is the dream vehical that will probably will be defunded to point of cancelation.

Unfortunetly NASA has a history of going with the dream vehical that gets defunded to point of cancelation or at best to point of being unable to acheave it origion goal.

Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #14 on: 04/13/2008 10:00 PM »
Not solely because I'm a proponent of DIRECT, but mostly because I know what's going on behind closed doors, I voted yes.

Based on that, I am convinced that DIRECT has about twice the chance of being funded than Ares-V has.

Ross.
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Offline cb6785

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #15 on: 04/13/2008 10:16 PM »
Let's hope it'll be this way!
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Offline marsavian

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #16 on: 04/13/2008 10:22 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 13/4/2008  5:00 PM

Not solely because I'm a proponent of DIRECT, but mostly because I know what's going on behind closed doors, I voted yes.

Based on that, I am convinced that DIRECT has about twice the chance of being funded than Ares-V has.

Ross.

Hope so because the more you look at Ares I the more pointless you see it is. It's not going to reach its theoretical LOC figures anyway and the Delta IV Heavy will lift as much by the time it's ready. Soyuz has more multiple engines anyway but it's been proven safe enough. DIRECT will be real forward progress and give payload capability far beyond EELVs in only 3-4 years rather than 10 for Ares V which the Science parts of NASA could use increasing its flight rate and usefulness early on. You could even sell that last point to Obama if he gets in ;)

Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #17 on: 04/13/2008 10:33 PM »
By the time Ares-I is ready (IOC 2015), the upgraded Delta-IV Heavy will already have been flying for three years, with greater performance than Ares-I will have.

Ross.
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Offline marsavian

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #18 on: 04/13/2008 10:41 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 13/4/2008  5:33 PM

By the time Ares-I is ready (IOC 2015), the upgraded Delta-IV Heavy will already have been flying for three years, with greater performance than Ares-I will have.

Ross.

There's really no excuse for NASA to build a LV that the commercial sector can beat already, wasteful in the extreme. Sorry to say this but this Emperor really has no clothes either and more and more are coming to realise this. The Saturn I/V idea was good for its day when there were no alternatives but we can do better now with what's available.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #19 on: 04/13/2008 11:14 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 13/4/2008  4:00 PM
Based on that, I am convinced that DIRECT has about twice the chance of being funded than Ares-V has.

Ross.

2%?

Offline Takalok

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #20 on: 04/13/2008 11:19 PM »
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 30 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 35 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 40 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 42 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 43 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 45 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 48 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 53 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 67 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 70 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 76 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 87 t
Delta IV Heavy Upgrade 94 t
Next Genertion Delta 100 t

Oh, be still my beating heart... be still.......

http://www.astronautix.com/lvfam/delta.htm
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #21 on: 04/13/2008 11:27 PM »
Quote
marsavian - 13/4/2008  6:41 PM

Quote
kraisee - 13/4/2008  5:33 PM

By the time Ares-I is ready (IOC 2015), the upgraded Delta-IV Heavy will already have been flying for three years, with greater performance than Ares-I will have.

Ross.

There's really no excuse for NASA to build a LV that the commercial sector can beat already, wasteful in the extreme. Sorry to say this but this Emperor really has no clothes either and more and more are coming to realise this. The Saturn I/V idea was good for its day when there were no alternatives but we can do better now with what's available.

No argument from me!   I don't want NASA competing with the EELV's at all.   I want them concentrating on the really big stuff so we can go to both the moon and Mars efficiently.   Ares-I is a diversion which risks NASA losing support for the Heavy Lifter they plan to 'eventually' get around to.   Ares-I is a perfect example of taking your eyes off the ball IMHO.

Being over-budget, late and below performance with Ares-I is going to do severe damage to NASA's argument to secure funding for a second launcher later on.

I still see an advantage to human-rating one or other of the EELV's.   But I don't want the money being extracted from the exploration program in the short term to do it.   Jupiter-120 needs to be first priority, then an EELV, in partnership with USAF can happen alongside EDS/LSAM development.   That secures all the jobs.   I'm more than okay with that solution - in fact I've suggested it on numerous previous occasions.

Ross.
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Offline Avron

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #22 on: 04/13/2008 11:27 PM »
"Qui audet adipiscitur"

I vote Yes - Time to clean up the decay ..

Offline Vacuum.Head

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #23 on: 04/13/2008 11:45 PM »
My worry is that NASA does adopt DIRECT and proceeds to make a complete b*lls up of the entire program!
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #24 on: 04/14/2008 12:26 AM »
Yeah, there are easy ways to go down the DIRECT path and still miss the sweet spot.

It all depends on the philosophy underlying the decision-making process.   Starting with Jupiter-120 and trying to re-develop it into J-232 is the wrong way to o it.   Design J-232 first and then fly that in J-120 configuration is the correct way and saves billions.

Ross.
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Offline Lampyridae

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #25 on: 04/14/2008 01:22 AM »
I am pretty convinced that Ares V will never fly. If it's true that they're chasing 200mT IMTLEO (a good guideline from Apollo seems to be 1 astronaut = 50mT) then Ares V is a waste of time AND money. Ares I is not viewed with favour and this doesn't bode well for Ares V, especially with the lack of commonality. According to Ross, Chuck and co., many key people see Ares I as a failure waiting for Mike Griffin to leave before it collapses.

Why do I believe in Direct? Simple: the design is extremely conservative, tackles the main issues and is being pushed by people with no other interest than solving the problem. It'll have it's fair share of problems but no obvious obstacles which is more than one can say for Ares I & V.
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #26 on: 04/14/2008 10:51 PM »
Of course we now have a certain "have to retire to spend more time with my family" Scott Doc Horowitz lining himself up to become administrator after Griffin.   He would absolutely continue the current approach...   ...to its unfortunate conclusion.

Thankfully though, everyone I've spoken to about his nomination in the corridors of power have laughed at the idea.   They seem to already know Ares is a complete debacle waiting to happen and they seem to have no intention of putting a Griffin puppet in that seat after he's gone.

I'm just praying that the 'close it all down' crowd doesn't get a strong grip next year.   That change of direction would be the wrong change.

Ross.
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #27 on: 04/14/2008 10:55 PM »
Takalok - and LOC/LOM drops inversely proportionally to payload increase.

Those bigger 5-core or even 7-core Delta-IV's aren't safe enough because they are too complicated.   There's too much on them to go wrong.   I've heard assessments saying 1 in 10 losses for some of them.

Ross.
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Offline rsp1202

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #28 on: 04/14/2008 11:24 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 14/4/2008  3:51 PM
Of course we now have a certain "have to retire to spend more time with my family" Scott Doc Horowitz lining himself up to become administrator after Griffin.

I raised this specter on L2 over a month ago, but only as a joke. I should have realized it as a sign of the apocalypse.

Online mike robel

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #29 on: 04/15/2008 02:01 AM »
I am not sure a 5 core Delta IV Heavy would be much less safe than the Saturn IB or Saturn V.  Although, I guess the 4 extra cores could present a probelm as compared to having them all inside the same booster body.

Offline tnphysics

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #30 on: 04/15/2008 03:08 AM »
Quote
kraisee - 13/4/2008  8:26 PM

Yeah, there are easy ways to go down the DIRECT path and still miss the sweet spot.

It all depends on the philosophy underlying the decision-making process.   Starting with Jupiter-120 and trying to re-develop it into J-232 is the wrong way to o it.   Design J-232 first and then fly that in J-120 configuration is the correct way and saves billions.

Ross.

Actually, even then their are pitfalls, e.g. only putting the container for the avionics on the upper stage, leaving the J-120 without guidance.

Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #31 on: 04/15/2008 03:11 AM »
Quote
rsp1202 - 14/4/2008  7:24 PM

Quote
kraisee - 14/4/2008  3:51 PM
Of course we now have a certain "have to retire to spend more time with my family" Scott Doc Horowitz lining himself up to become administrator after Griffin.

I raised this specter on L2 over a month ago, but only as a joke. I should have realized it as a sign of the apocalypse.

I know.   I saw your post about a week after learning it myself, but I couldn't talk about it at the time.   Just sat there biting my tongue :)

You couldn't write a sit-com as bizarre as the Ares mess.   It's like Monty Python is in charge of NASA right now.   Actually, come to think of it, Monty Python might be more effective...   They successfully made all their projects (tv shows, films & live performances) work...

Ross.
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #32 on: 04/15/2008 03:18 AM »
Quote
tnphysics - 14/4/2008  11:08 PM

Actually, even then their are pitfalls, e.g. only putting the container for the avionics on the upper stage, leaving the J-120 without guidance.

Like Ares, there will be an IU containing all the systems required.   In our designs it is essentially integrated into the 2.0m tall 8.4m diameter Fwd Skirt visible on both units.   A "ring" with the equipment boxes would be bolted inside the skirt depending on LV configuration.

It will fit on top of either the Core Stage or the Upper Stage.   Certain avionics boxes would be 'left out' if not flying with the U/S, but the IU's would ideally be made on the same production line (although trades still need to prove this concept).

Ross.
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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RE: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #33 on: 04/15/2008 04:48 AM »
I voted yes. I think its likely a Democrat will be the next president, that there will be a new administrator, and Ares-I will become Ares-II aka Jupiter-120.
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Offline Takalok

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #34 on: 04/15/2008 01:10 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 14/4/2008  6:55 PM
Those bigger 5-core or even 7-core Delta-IV's aren't safe enough because they are too complicated.   There's too much on them to go wrong.   I've heard assessments saying 1 in 10 losses for some of them.

Ross.
Ah, but you see, that's the rational response to a visceral reaction.  

But, since you bring it up, I'm quite curious has to what kind of hybrid / derived vehicle will be forthcoming from ULA.  A few years down the road, after everyone's settled in, I expect the blend of technologies should produce something pretty awesome.
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Offline William Barton

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #35 on: 04/15/2008 02:11 PM »
I voted yes, but with certain caveats. Whoever wins the election (and lets not forget the Congressional election too!), the tripwire is probably the Ares I-X launch. If it fails, there well be a big flap, to put it mildly. Imagine McCain's reaction, if he is president? If it fails, the end of STS will be little more than a year away, and the choices will be one of a) end the US government manned space program, b) proceed with ESAS anyway, c) fund COTS and hope for the best, or d) find some quick alternative to ESAS. If it's that last, something resembling DIRECT is the most obvious path. It doesn't necessarily have to be the exact Jupiter 120/232 paradigm presented, just some STS/EELV hybrid like Ares V, but smaller.  They could, for example, pretend they never heard of DIRECT, and come up with an ET with three RS-68s, two 4seg RSRMs, and an upper stage with six RL-10s. There are a lot of things arguing against such an LV (high LOC/LOM numbers, due to complexity, if nothing else), and one very big thing arguing in favor of it: It more or less already exists in its various components, and Orion would wind up being the long pole. I used such a vehicle in a story I published a while back (calling it Delta V, as usual). I hadn't found out about DIRECT at the time, or I would've had my astronauts using Jupiter 232 as their CaLV (they used falcon 9 for CLV). If Ares I-X fails, heads (and LVs) will most likely roll.

Offline brihath

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #36 on: 04/15/2008 03:17 PM »
I voted yes.  Although I can't say that with much certainty, IMO the idea has merit and it looks as though the Direct Team has done a lot of homework on the concept.  The barriers are both political and institutional, but ideas generated from those closest to the process have been adopted before when they have merit, such as Houbolt's LOR concept.  Call me an optimist, but it could happen again.

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #37 on: 04/15/2008 05:37 PM »
The problem with being a plan B is that you never get a fair chance. The virtue of being a plan B is that you don't need it when plan A bites the dust.

Offline tnphysics

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #38 on: 04/15/2008 11:19 PM »
It should, and will if we get a new NASA Admin.

Offline gladiator1332

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #39 on: 04/16/2008 08:52 AM »
I should clarify, I voted no assuming the current climate is the way things remain. If NASA forgets politics and wants to actually go with the most logical solution, then I think DIRECT has a shot in hell. It's just going to take an administration change first.

Offline Steve G

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #40 on: 04/21/2008 02:35 AM »
The only hope Direct will have is to have an Ares I-X failure and/or the grass roots movement for Direct becomes an outright insurrection.


Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #41 on: 04/21/2008 03:18 AM »
I would expect the whole program to be shut down if that flight goes wrong in any spectacular fashion.

The biggest danger to DIRECT *not* being adopted now, IMHO, is for something else to come along and derail the whole exploration effort - reducing all the efforts to just Orion on Delta-IV Heavy flying nowhere other than ISS, with all Moon/Mars/Beyond discontinued.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #42 on: 04/21/2008 03:52 AM »
Quote
kraisee - 20/4/2008  9:18 PM

I would expect the whole program to be shut down if that flight goes wrong in any spectacular fashion.

The biggest danger to DIRECT *not* being adopted now, IMHO, is for something else to come along and derail the whole exploration effort - reducing all the efforts to just Orion on Delta-IV Heavy flying nowhere other than ISS, with all Moon/Mars/Beyond discontinued.

Ross.

When is all this going to happen, Ross?  I gather that sometime this summer or fall, the ability to construct new 8.4 meter tanks at MAF is going to be lost, and it will therefore become much harder to modify that line into supporting the DIRECT architecture.

Offline rsp1202

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #43 on: 04/21/2008 01:26 PM »
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1109/1

Quote:

"DIRECT is an effort by a group of engineers to advocate a Shuttle-derived architecture for the exploration program that is more, well, Shuttle-derived than Ares 1 and Ares 5 (see “Another voice in the wilderness”, The Space Review, February 19, 2007). They say their plan would get us to the Moon faster, better, and cheaper.

"I frankly don’t know what the people involved are doing in terms of advocating their idea, since they did not respond to my emails for this article. The only indication of advocacy is a link on their website for contacting members of the House of Representatives. (There is no link there for contacting the Senate, or anyone else.)

"I mention this group because they of all people would seem most likely to be advocating an alternative this election year. Without some kind of advocacy, their idea will surely go the way of decades’ worth of other well-thought-out Shuttle Derived Vehicle concepts, including NASA’s own aborted Shuttle-C. Moreover, their proposal will soon become moot, as Shuttle launch pads, infrastructure and staff move on irrevocably to Ares."

Unquote.

Is the author just uninformed, or are you guys being too quiet?

Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #44 on: 04/23/2008 07:22 AM »
Our recent activities have not been focussed on gathering *public* support for DIRECT.   Unfortunately, there isn't much that the public can change in this program :(

We have instead been focusing almost all of our attentions over the last few months on those people who really can change things - and it is beginning to work.

We did not contribute to the Space Review article, not because we didn't want the attention, but because we were at the time trying to approach Senator Obama's staff to try to gain his support for this alternative approach.   The Space Review article was specifically about Sen. Obama's stance, and we felt it was unwise for us to make any related comments publicly while making contacts there privately.   It was just an unfortunate "timing" thing.   We would have *loved* to be involved in that discussion, but we had to prioritize.   The Senator with a chance to become President in 8 months time won out in that decision, at least :)

I do hope we didn't offend Greg by not replying to him, that certainly wasn't the intention.   I have contacted him since the article went online and suggested a follow-up article if he'd like, some time in the future when the timing is a bit easier.   We shall see :)

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Will Direct ever become anything other than a powerpoint?
« Reply #45 on: 04/23/2008 07:28 AM »
Quote
Lee Jay - 20/4/2008  11:52 PM

When is all this going to happen, Ross?  I gather that sometime this summer or fall, the ability to construct new 8.4 meter tanks at MAF is going to be lost, and it will therefore become much harder to modify that line into supporting the DIRECT architecture.

The turn-around point is still a long way off.   It would be a shame to lose some of the tooling at MAF and the work platforms in the VAB High Bay #3 for Ares-I-X, but the total cost difference even then is going to be less than $500m still, so it's a long way from being irrecoverable.

I think we still have through 2010 before we would reach a point of really suffering in this respect - and I think we will get some respite before then.

They can't do anything non-reversible at all to either MAF or KSC until after the Hubble mission at least.   And even then they can only begin some changes.   NASA really doesn't have the budget to do much until Shuttle has retired and the program money from there can be switched across and spent differently.   Until then, the alterations they can afford are fairly limited.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

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