I figured someone would have posted this already, but didn't see it here:http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/09/ares-i-x-processing-rollout-hlv-alternative-progress/
SD HLLV (HLV) Latest:
In the event of a decision to change paths and cancel Ares, one of the leading candidates to become its replacement – the SD HLLV or HLV – is continuing to show favorable results via design and mission capability evaluations.
Due to the vehicle’s close relation to the Shuttle, twice weekly progress notes are being published on the Shuttle Standup/Integration reports (acquired by L2).
Interestingly, one of the first openly-noted problems with the vehicle was noted back on September 10, when a mass issue came to light with the payload carrier that would ride uphill with the External Tank and Twin Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs), in the position of the orbiter in the current configuration.
“Loads associated with the additional carrier weight are being investigated. The payload carrier weighs more than the Orbiter,” noted the September 10 update via SSP (Space Shuttle Program) manager John Shannon. “This work will require several weeks.”
However, just two weeks later, additional notes claimed no show stoppers had been found via the mass evaluations into the carrier.
“Results of the loads assessment was received from the elements regarding the added weight for the payload carrier. The projects provided first class support in this effort. No show stoppers were discovered through this analysis. This work will continue as the design matures,” noted the Standup on September 24.”
Work is continuing into an effort to show the various capabilities of the HLV via the design of reference missions – ranging from both unmanned to manned. According to Mr Shannon – via the Standup reports – the HLV is being very well received and supported by industry experts, including those attending the recent AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) convention in California.
“Went to the AIAA 2009 convention at Pasadena, CA last week. It was the largest crowd they have ever had. Probably the keynote speech by (NASA deputy administrator) Lori Garver was the best supported event. Had many good papers. The HLV paper went very well, and was well supported. It was using the HLV to demonstrate an application (not clarified).
“No new information from the Augustine Panel. We are just standing by, and when he receives direction, it will be passed along.”
This week also saw the presentation of the progress made so far to Bill Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator of the powerful Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD). Again, the tone of the progress notes were positive.
“A family of design reference missions was identified that will demonstrate the foundational capability of the HLV. This includes four types of missions: 1) supporting the ISS; 2) lunar missions – manned and unmanned; 3) geo-synchronous orbit flights to deploy satellites; and 4) L1 support,” added the Standup.
“Provided static and dynamic loads on the heavy lift cases to all the key elements. No show stoppers so far. The analysis is close to complete. Will review their results formally, as well as looking at looking at trades for a Lunar Reference mission in prep for reviewing it with Bill Gerstenmaier.
“Things are going well.”