Author Topic: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2  (Read 543251 times)

Offline clongton

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3735 on: 12/30/2008 08:47 PM »
How much sooner could a Delta IV heavy be human rated and ready to fly Orion?


 The difference between the Jupiter and both EELV's is that the EELV's both need to man-rate TWO engines, one each for the 1st and 2nd stages, while Jupiter only needs to man-rate one and can be pressed into service sooner than either EELV.
 
 But the long pole isn't the rocket; it's Orion. Atlas-V, Delta-IV and Jupiter-120 can all be ready to fly Orion by sometime in 2012. But Orion won't be ready for another year afterward.
 
 So for any of the three alternate choices, Orion won't fly before 2013. The difference is that if it's on an EELV, they still need to develop ANOTHER heavy lift rocket to enable the lunar program. If it's on the Jupiter, the heavy lift core will already be on the pad, just waiting for the upper stage.
Chuck

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3736 on: 12/30/2008 09:42 PM »
Optimistic best-case scenario? ULA announces a team-up with DIRECT and will be developing the J-120 and J-232 cargo versions as a medium and heavy CaLV for commercial and scientific launches to directly compete with the Ares-V (competitive bids for probe launches against NASA's in-house team).


Unfortunately, I think this would be a non-starter because it doesn't save any NASA jobs.

Also, would ULA be allowed to use the ET as the basis for their tank?

cheers, Martin

Offline Nathan

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3737 on: 12/30/2008 10:30 PM »
How much sooner could a Delta IV heavy be human rated and ready to fly Orion?


 The difference between the Jupiter and both EELV's is that the EELV's both need to man-rate TWO engines, one each for the 1st and 2nd stages, while Jupiter only needs to man-rate one and can be pressed into service sooner than either EELV.
 
 But the long pole isn't the rocket; it's Orion. Atlas-V, Delta-IV and Jupiter-120 can all be ready to fly Orion by sometime in 2012. But Orion won't be ready for another year afterward.
 
 So for any of the three alternate choices, Orion won't fly before 2013. The difference is that if it's on an EELV, they still need to develop ANOTHER heavy lift rocket to enable the lunar program. If it's on the Jupiter, the heavy lift core will already be on the pad, just waiting for the upper stage.

If Nasa threw more money at orion could it be  ready earlier one wonders? At the very least the early production capability could be increased so we could have multiple flights  in 2013 & 2014 rather than just one in each year.
Given finite cash, if we want to go to Mars then we should go to Mars.

Offline clongton

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3738 on: 12/30/2008 11:06 PM »
How much sooner could a Delta IV heavy be human rated and ready to fly Orion?


 The difference between the Jupiter and both EELV's is that the EELV's both need to man-rate TWO engines, one each for the 1st and 2nd stages, while Jupiter only needs to man-rate one and can be pressed into service sooner than either EELV.
 
 But the long pole isn't the rocket; it's Orion. Atlas-V, Delta-IV and Jupiter-120 can all be ready to fly Orion by sometime in 2012. But Orion won't be ready for another year afterward.
 
 So for any of the three alternate choices, Orion won't fly before 2013. The difference is that if it's on an EELV, they still need to develop ANOTHER heavy lift rocket to enable the lunar program. If it's on the Jupiter, the heavy lift core will already be on the pad, just waiting for the upper stage.

If Nasa threw more money at orion could it be  ready earlier one wonders? At the very least the early production capability could be increased so we could have multiple flights  in 2013 & 2014 rather than just one in each year.

No. Too many design decisions have been made that forced the design down a specific path. Testing and analysis now just takes time and is generally unaffected by money. The state it is in now simply cannot absorb much additional cash; it's like trying to put more water in a bucket that's already full. Any design change at this point will not speed up anything - in fact it will slow things down by forcing a repeat of things already done, only on a different design. No, Orion is going to be what it is on track to be today, and 2013 is just about as quick as it can be ready to fly. More money may speed it up by 2-3 months tops, no more.
« Last Edit: 12/30/2008 11:08 PM by clongton »
Chuck

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3739 on: 12/31/2008 01:03 AM »
clongton, good explanation and information.

Having the booster ready 1 year early would at least mean that Orion would have a ride when it was ready and not have to wait.

I also agree with your summary that if EELV is used then there are a few more steps that Jupiter doesn't require.  The single biggest being the need for a whole new large booster.  That, mainitaining workforce continuity and the EELV engine man rating are reasons why I like the DIRECT concept alot. 

It's not a perfect vehicle either but there are so many aspects that make good management sense.
Mars is fine and all, but a lunar outpost is obviously the next step.

Offline Lancer525

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3740 on: 12/31/2008 01:35 AM »
One other thing that has occurred to me, and if I'm wrong, Chuck, Ross, Mark or one of those guys who know all the science and numbers and what's going on can correct me.

Since Orion has been downsized for weight, removing some of those pesky old safety features, would it not then allow re-introduction of some, if not most, if not all of them if an LV were able to lift it? Is this not reason alone, crew safety (in light of the NASA report on Columbia released today) to implement a booster system that is really a *system* that follows the mandate of law to reuse as much STS infrastructure and engineering as possible?

Keeping all of those things in mind, why would the Obama Transition Team not want to check more deeply into a system that not only follows the law, and also can carry the safer Orion?

Why is this not mentioned more?

Its one of the things I pointed out in my letter to the NYT, but I have not, as yet, heard back from them.

I think that the grass-roots effort to promote DIRECT ought to restate the safety issues with Orion, the compliance with the law, the jobs saved and economic stimulus, and the much reduced gap that will be the result of this LV system.

"For some inexplicable reason, everyone seems to want to avoid simple schemes."   -John Houbolt

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3741 on: 12/31/2008 03:38 AM »
One other thing that has occurred to me, and if I'm wrong, Chuck, Ross, Mark or one of those guys who know all the science and numbers and what's going on can correct me.

Since Orion has been downsized for weight, removing some of those pesky old safety features, would it not then allow re-introduction of some, if not most, if not all of them if an LV were able to lift it? Is this not reason alone, crew safety (in light of the NASA report on Columbia released today) to implement a booster system that is really a *system* that follows the mandate of law to reuse as much STS infrastructure and engineering as possible?

Keeping all of those things in mind, why would the Obama Transition Team not want to check more deeply into a system that not only follows the law, and also can carry the safer Orion?

Why is this not mentioned more?

Its one of the things I pointed out in my letter to the NYT, but I have not, as yet, heard back from them.

I think that the grass-roots effort to promote DIRECT ought to restate the safety issues with Orion, the compliance with the law, the jobs saved and economic stimulus, and the much reduced gap that will be the result of this LV system.



Lancer,

    Thanks for including me (I think) in with the smart guys, but I'm just a space fan in general and DIRECT fan in particular.  I take that as a great compliment, but I'm not associated with DIRECT at all.  Just to be clear.

    I strongly agree that we need to find a way to leverage all aspects of the DIRECT proposal both for better public awareness and industry acceptance.  I know that Ross and Chuck have gone to extremes to avoid antagonizing anyone, and they are much better at sticking to facts, logic, and reason than I am.  I tend to get wrapped up in the heat of the moment.

    The problem with asserting that DIRECT complies more closely to the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 than Ares is that no one in power seems to care.  Yes, the law was written in one particular and explicit way, but they are leaving it up to the Rocket Scientist In Charge on how best to implement their law.  Of course what they see as a discretionary variation, we see as a blatant bait and switch routine.  You and I know that there is no way any objective person could compare Ares and Jupiter and conclude that Ares is a closer derivative of STS than Jupiter.  But they just do not care.

    The powers that be also give the incumbent administrator the benefit of the doubt in controversial situations.  That is understandable up to a point.  But when there are so many voices raising serious concerns about the current direction; when people are afraid to speak out for fear of getting fired; and when the recent history of NASA is "Management Ignoring and Overriding their Engineers when it Matters the Most"; I think we should be able to convince a new Administration that an objective evaluation of all current options, including EELV, DIRECT, and ARES (at the least), would be a prudent and wise decision.

    The two points of yours that those in power will at least pay lip service to are safety and budget concerns.  I believe that DIRECT has the advantage over ARES in both areas, for all the reasons that the DIRECT team has enumerated.  The trick is to get their attention by letting them know that their decisions and lack of oversight are putting our astronauts, and the space program as a whole, at risk.  I don't know how to do that without sounding alarmist or antagonistic.  But it needs to happen.  I don't think they will be moved by any other considerations.

Mark S.

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3742 on: 12/31/2008 06:32 PM »
Wow, this thread has been really quiet this week.  I guess everyone is just waiting for the days to pass....

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Interwebs, I continue my thankless task of promoting DIRECT when possible.  Yesterday, Slashdot had a discussion on the recent NYT "NASA Fight Club" article.  Someone (not me) posted a pro-DIRECT reference, who was then accused of drinking DIRECT "cool-aid".  So I put my two cents in right here.

So, if anyone has time to review my effort and give me feedback I would appreciate it.  I know most of you here are hard core space techies, but I was trying to be informative and persuasive without alienating the general audience.

So would you say I sounded:

1) informative? 
2) persuasive? 
3) relatively accurate? 
4) too shrill? 
5) tin-foil hatter? 
6) correct level of detail? 
7) anything else?

Thanks

Offline clongton

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3743 on: 12/31/2008 06:38 PM »
Wow, this thread has been really quiet this week.  I guess everyone is just waiting for the days to pass....

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Interwebs, I continue my thankless task of promoting DIRECT when possible.  Yesterday, Slashdot had a discussion on the recent NYT "NASA Fight Club" article.  Someone (not me) posted a pro-DIRECT reference, who was then accused of drinking DIRECT "cool-aid".  So I put my two cents in right here.

So, if anyone has time to review my effort and give me feedback I would appreciate it.  I know most of you here are hard core space techies, but I was trying to be informative and persuasive without alienating the general audience.

So would you say I sounded:

1) informative? 
2) persuasive? 
3) relatively accurate? 
4) too shrill? 
5) tin-foil hatter? 
6) correct level of detail? 
7) anything else?

Thanks


Mark
I think it was just right.
Thanks
Chuck

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3744 on: 12/31/2008 07:22 PM »

Mark
I think it was just right.
Thanks


Thanks Chuck!  That means a lot, coming from a DIRECT team member.


Offline Khadgars

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3745 on: 12/31/2008 08:26 PM »
Quote
Mark
I think it was just right.
Thanks

You know I'm a Direct convert, looking at the two designs now I don't see how you couldn't go with Direct.

How ever a lot of time has passed since that decision had to be made and one thing I do agree with Dr. Griffin is that you can't keep stopping every year and try to redesign the rocket or you'll end up with nothing.  That to me is my biggest fear.

Second the whole idea that Direct is safer is misplaced imho, as Direct refers to safer in regards to the Orion capsule.  Orion will never fly if it's unsafe and Ares 1 was chosen because it was the safest launch vehicle they could produce which is something  I think needs to be recognized. 

Third how realistic is the Direct time table?  If I was presented with the choices of Direct or Ares come Jan 20th I would be skeptical that Direct would be able to live up to it's promise.  I've read the time lines presented and they seem to be very generous.  I could be wrong or this information could already be ready for people more important than I but perhaps highlighting how Directs major technical hurdles will be over come and how are they much different that Ares (in regards to how Ares 1 problems can't be over come but Direct can be), every rocket has it's hurdles right?

Finally how well can all the restructuring of the contracts go?  That's got to be a major concern since you're going to be asking out side sources to stop building what NASA told them to, and build a whole new design.  How much money and time will be lost there?  What happens if one of the contractors doesn't want to go along?  We could end up with a big cow pie if things turn south.

Those are just a few concerns that come to mind from some one not inside NASA and don't feel the need to respond as I don't want to waste your time as I'm sure you're busy.  I'm just expressing my internal conflict   :o


Offline clongton

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3746 on: 12/31/2008 09:08 PM »
 
  You know I'm a Direct convert, looking at the two designs now I don't see how you couldn't go with Direct.
  An awful lot of people agree with you.
 
 
Quote
How ever a lot of time has passed since that decision had to be made and one thing I do agree with Dr. Griffin is that you can't keep stopping every year and try to redesign the rocket or you'll end up with nothing.  That to me is my biggest fear.
  Dr Griffin is right in that once a decision is made, you press forward with it. Otherwise nothing gets done. However, if you study the history of how NASA projects are run, there are decision points all along the way that must get a pass or the program is either terminated or replaced. Throughout all of NASA's history this has been followed, and many a NASA project has been cut because at these decision points they couldn't pass the grade. This time is different however. There have been several points in this program where Ares-I couldn't pass the decision node. But instead of doing the right thing and changing the program, the decision standards were actually lowered to the point that the LV passed. NASA then happily announced to the world that the Ares project has passed yet another milestone. I don't think it's a stretch to call this hypocrisy. This has led many to believe, rightly or wrongly, that Dr Griffin's goal was not to implement the VSE, but to build and fly the Ares rocket which he designed before he was the Administrator, back in his Planetary society days. The clamor to change the program is a cry from people who know what's happening on the inside to return to a sane launch vehicle program so that we can get on with the VSE. What the fear is, and it is very real, is that when Ares goes down as many believe it will, it will take the entire VSE, and possibly the American manned spaceflight program, with it.
 
 
Quote
Second the whole idea that Direct is safer is misplaced imho, as Direct refers to safer in regards to the Orion capsule.  Orion will never fly if it's unsafe and Ares 1 was chosen because it was the safest launch vehicle they could produce which is something  I think needs to be recognized.
  No, DIRECT refers to safer in terms of the launch vehicle. By every measure that matters, the Jupiter-120 is a safer launch vehicle than the Ares-I. For example it doesn't have to execute an engine start at high altitude - there is no extra staging event as there is on Ares-I. Also, the Jupiter-120 uses two main engines and can actually experience an engine out event at 45 seconds after launch and still achieve orbit. Such an experience on the Ares would trigger an immediate abort. The Jupiter-120 uses the 4-segment SRB that NASA has been flying for 30 years and has literally tons of heritage data on. We know how that system works, while the Ares-I uses a totally new SRB with no history and no heritage. It only "looks" like the old SRB. There are many other examples, but the bottom line is that the Jupiter-120 "launch vehicle" is safer than the Ares-I "launch vehicle".
 
 
Quote
Third how realistic is the Direct time table?  If I was presented with the choices of Direct or Ares come Jan 20th I would be skeptical that Direct would be able to live up to it's promise.  I've read the time lines presented and they seem to be very generous.  I could be wrong or this information could already be ready for people more important than I but perhaps highlighting how Directs major technical hurdles will be over come and how are they much different that Ares (in regards to how Ares 1 problems can't be over come but Direct can be), every rocket has it's hurdles right?
  Yes, every rocket has its hurdles. But the timelines we have presented have been put together by the people at MSFC who do the scheduling of projects. It's NASA personnel that are saying we can do this. We are only relaying their conclusions. They give us the data and we make the presentation graphs. The schedule we have presented is actually not aggressive at all. Remember, we really don't loose any significant time by switching to DIRECT because most of what has been done for Ares-I has direct application to the Jupiter-120. In addition, the Jupiter is based solidly on the NLS which, unlike the Ares-I, actually got well past the point of a REAL PDR before the Congress dropped funding because of fiscal conflicts.
 
 
Quote
Finally how well can all the restructuring of the contracts go?  That's got to be a major concern since you're going to be asking out side sources to stop building what NASA told them to, and build a whole new design.  How much money and time will be lost there?  What happens if one of the contractors doesn't want to go along?  We could end up with a big cow pie if things turn south.
  The contract proposals we have put on the table reflect what all the current Ares contract holders have said makes sense to them and they would be willing to do. Remember, these are only "proposals", and reflect the thinking of the current Ares contractors, not just us. But they make good sense and give all the current players an approximately equal share as they get with the contracts that are in place now. But the proposals are not "pie in the sky". They are based on what the current players have told us is workable. The current contract holders have told us that they believe what we have presented, with their participation, is easily doable. Having said all that, the legal aspects of the contract changes are not within our range of expertise and will need to be properly negotiated and executed by the parties involved.
 
 
Quote
Those are just a few concerns that come to mind from some one not inside NASA and don't feel the need to respond as I don't want to waste your time as I'm sure you're busy.  I'm just expressing my internal conflict.
  Responding to genuine questions is not a bother to us. It's actually something we like to do. Sometimes it's me, sometimes it's Ross, and sometimes it's other members of the team using their Forum names.  But never stop asking. Please continue to bring your concerns up and we will address them as best as we can.
 
  Thank you for taking the time to formulate and ask your questions.
 
  Regards
« Last Edit: 12/31/2008 09:37 PM by clongton »
Chuck

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3747 on: 12/31/2008 09:16 PM »
I continue to believe one of the strong political arguments for Direct arises from the ample throw weight margins of J-120 versus either EELV or Ares 1.

The ability to simply add 1000 kg to the spacecraft (for example) to solve an unexpected problem rather than engineer the be-jeebers out of it would seem highly beneficial to both shortening "the Gap" and getting the Orion design completed at a lower cost.
EML architectures should be seen as ratchet opportunities

Offline Khadgars

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3748 on: 12/31/2008 09:53 PM »
Quote
The clamor to change the program is a cry from people who know what's happening on the inside to return to a sane launch vehicle program so that we can get on with the VSE. What the fear is, and it is very real, is that when Ares goes down as many believe it will, it will take the entire VSE, and possibly the American manned spaceflight program, with it.

Yes that is my biggest fear, one in which I'm willing to see Ares go forward in order to preserve.  As much as Direct is better over Ares, Ares is better than nothing and is quite capable of fulfilling VSE. 

And odd question but if Direct is shot down in the coming months (which I hope it's not) would the Direct team be willing to swallow the bullet and press ahead and try to make Ares as successful as possible in order to preserve American spaceflight?
 
Quote
  Yes, every rocket has its hurdles. But the timelines we have presented have been put together by the people at MSFC who do the scheduling of projects. It's NASA personnel that are saying we can do this. We are only relaying their conclusions.

Very reassuring, that's got to be a major strong point for the Direct case when presenting it to the powers that be.  Would Direct be willing to keep Dr. Griffin on board if he was willing in order to prevent a major political shake up with in the agency?  Stability will be key in seeing the program move forward with VSE.
 
« Last Edit: 01/01/2009 12:48 AM by Khadgars »

Offline Will

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Re: DIRECT v2.0 - Thread 2
« Reply #3749 on: 12/31/2008 10:21 PM »
 
  You know I'm a Direct convert, looking at the two designs now I don't see how you couldn't go with Direct.
  An awful lot of people agree with you.
 
 
Quote
How ever a lot of time has passed since that decision had to be made and one thing I do agree with Dr. Griffin is that you can't keep stopping every year and try to redesign the rocket or you'll end up with nothing.  That to me is my biggest fear.
  Dr Griffin is right in that once a decision is made, you press forward with it. Otherwise nothing gets done. However, if you study the history of how NASA projects are run, there are decision points all along the way that must get a pass or the program is either terminated or replaced. Throughout all of NASA's history this has been followed, and many a NASA project has been cut because at these decision points they couldn't pass the grade. This time is different however. There have been several points in this program where Ares-I couldn't pass the decision node. But instead of doing the right thing and changing the program, the decision standards were actually lowered to the point that the LV passed. NASA then happily announced to the world that the Ares project has passed yet another milestone. I don't think it's a stretch to call this hypocrisy. This has led many to believe, rightly or wrongly, that Dr Griffin's goal was not to implement the VSE, but to build and fly the Ares rocket which he designed before he was the Administrator, back in his Planetary society days. The clamor to change the program is a cry from people who know what's happening on the inside to return to a sane launch vehicle program so that we can get on with the VSE. What the fear is, and it is very real, is that when Ares goes down as many believe it will, it will take the entire VSE, and possibly the American manned spaceflight program, with it.
 
 
Quote
Second the whole idea that Direct is safer is misplaced imho, as Direct refers to safer in regards to the Orion capsule.  Orion will never fly if it's unsafe and Ares 1 was chosen because it was the safest launch vehicle they could produce which is something  I think needs to be recognized.
  No, DIRECT refers to safer in terms of the launch vehicle. By every measure that matters, the Jupiter-120 is a safer launch vehicle than the Ares-I. For example it doesn't have to execute an engine start at high altitude - there is no extra staging event as there is on Ares-I. Also, the Jupiter-120 uses two main engines and can actually experience an engine out event at 45 seconds after launch and still achieve orbit. Such an experience on the Ares would trigger an immediate abort. The Jupiter-120 uses the 4-segment SRB that NASA has been flying for 30 years and has literally tons of heritage data on. We know how that system works, while the Ares-I uses a totally new SRB with no history and no heritage. It only "looks" like the old SRB. There are many other examples, but the bottom line is that the Jupiter-120 "launch vehicle" is safer than the Ares-I "launch vehicle".
 
 

And this is the the sort of unbalanced advocacy that costs Direct credibility.

If adding a segment to an existing booster is a "totally new design" then what do you call a totally new design?

Jupiter 120  has three staging events, 2*SRB plus 1* Orion. Ares I has two.

Ares I removes a whole set of falure modes, like an SRB failure damaging the ET, or one SRB failing and sending the stack into a spin. Not so Jupiter 120.

Jupiter 120 has new load paths, new propulsion system, new Oxygen tank, new flight dynamics.

Engine out helps of you have a manufacturing defect in a particular engine. If you have a design or system problem, not so much.

Assume for sake of argument that Jupiter 120 is about as safe as Ares 1. Once Direct goes to the moon, you are no longer using Jupiter 120. You are using Jupiter 232, with an air start upper stage, and a more complex vehicle overall than Ares I.




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