Author Topic: Lawmakers produce Bill to extend shuttle to 2015, utilize CxP, advance HLV  (Read 199441 times)

Offline Namechange User

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Congress is not a unified block.  The vast majority of Congress appears to hold no strong opinions over the course which NASA takes.  Why would they, a majority, and a democratic majority, choose to go against the President's wishes concerning NASA on the behalf of a small predominantly self interested republican minority?

Actually, some in Congress who ARE opinionated actually support Obama's plan, so the fight will be a lot weaker than many here expect. Of course, any blowback is bad, so its likely Obama will compromise somewhere. Just don't expect YOUR favorite Jupiter 2 Jumbo space rocket to be part of the mix.


And this seems to be your opinion.  Just once I'd like to see you have some actual data to back up the many statements that you through around here, usually in an attempt to go after others. 
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Offline Mark S

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the only way we can send a bigger succesor of Hubble  to space without bigger rockets  is i think the foldable mirrors or somehing like that.

but for now without Hlv we will not have a visible light telescope to space for the next 10 years at least...

You are wrong: Not the lack of a HLV, but the lack of funding for a telescope (payload) is the reason for not having one.

FWIW, we aren't even at the 'how much would it cost?' stage on such a concept.  As they are currently unlaunchable because of technical limitations, no one has sat down and seriously looked at how much it would cost and what would be the most cost-effective way of doing it.  Why bother? It would make an interesting thought experiment, I'm sure but that's all right now.

[edit]
Just to clarify my point: Funding might become available if someone could come up with a reasonable and non bank-breaking idea of how to do it.  As there isn't even a serious proposal, so there isn't funding.  A major project like that would likely have its own unique budget line outside of the regular NASA & science budgets anyway.

The Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona uses two 8.4m diameter single-casting primary mirrors in tandem.  Each primary mirror masses about 16mT, and the support structures and altazimuth mounting weighs a couple hundred tons more.

So you can extrapolate those figures and guess that a space-based telescope with an 8.4m primary mirror would probably be heavier than what any 25mT class launcher could handle.

Of course that is nothing compared to the plans for the OWL telescope currently being planned.  That is a 100m diameter segmented mirror design that would dwarf anything that could be launched into space in the foreseeable future.

So yes, people are planning on spending large sums of money designing and building large telescopes.  If the launch capability were there, and a national commitment to the project as for HST, I'm sure some enterprising researchers could put together some plans for a really nice replacement for HST.  It is not beyond the realm of possibility, as some here would like everyone to believe.

Mark S.

Offline Robotbeat

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Those thick mirrors would not be required in microgravity. On Earth, you need a really thick and heavy mirror to try to compensate for sagging. In microgravity, that's not a problem. There's already been rather thin mirrors produced greater than 2 meters in diameter. Even if you had the available launch capacity, you wouldn't want an orbital telescope to be so heavy, since a more massive mirror would require a beefier RCS, etc. So, an EELV could do fine launching a large aperture telescope at least to LEO, IF there was available volume.
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Offline Danderman

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And this seems to be your opinion.  Just once I'd like to see you have some actual data to back up the many statements that you through around here, usually in an attempt to go after others. 

BTW, are there any reports on new cosponsors for the Hutchinson bill?

Offline Namechange User

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And this seems to be your opinion.  Just once I'd like to see you have some actual data to back up the many statements that you through around here, usually in an attempt to go after others. 

BTW, are there any reports on new cosponsors for the Hutchinson bill?


Haven't checked.  Why would there be "reports" anyway?  As far as I know, they don't do press releases every time someone has a conversation.

Either way, I have real work to do.  So I don't have the luxury of just spouting off a bunch of meaningless rants about the evils of NASA, except when you or your interests are the potential beneficiary. 
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Offline JohnFornaro

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There's a lot of stuff in space that needs to be seen yet.  I feel pretty sure we'll be spending a lotta money telescopes, both space and terrestrial.  One of the things that interests me is that technology seems to have at least partly solved the light pollution problem that plagues earthly 'scopes.

Obviously, an HLV will make the construction of a space station/depo easier, since it could bring up more payload and fuel with each launch.

It's easy to see missions for an HLV.  It's the prioritization of the proposed HLV which is a problem for me.  We're not sufficiently or efficiently using the smaller vehicles we already have.

Also, OV:  David asked about co-sponsors, not conversations.  Stick to the facts.  If you don't know, then tell him to look it up himself.  Ok, I will:  David:  Look it up yourself, and keep us posted.  It would be nice to know who is co-sponsoring Hutchinson's bill.
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Offline Danderman

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Also, OV:  David asked about co-sponsors, not conversations.  Stick to the facts.  If you don't know, then tell him to look it up himself.  Ok, I will:  David:  Look it up yourself, and keep us posted.  It would be nice to know who is co-sponsoring Hutchinson's bill.

Having worked on campaigns for bills that became law, my experience was that the people working on the campaigns updated co-sponsorship as it happened. In this case, there are still no co-sponsors for S3038, which is a very bad sign for prospects for enactment of this particular legislation.

This doesn't mean that there are no negotiations with the Administration concerning Shuttle extension and the like, just that this particular bill seems to be DOA. Probably we should close this thread soon, and have a new topic about negotiations, since if there are no discussions about the bill here, its a dead thread.


Offline JohnFornaro

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"...the campaigns updated co-sponsorship as it happened..."  That would make sense; they're very interested in building momentum.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline rdale

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Some good info about this recent shuttle extension study at the end of today's 131 overview conference. John says he gets results on Thursday.

Offline psloss

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Some good info about this recent shuttle extension study at the end of today's 131 overview conference. John says he gets results on Thursday.
Also at the beginning of Q&A.

Offline libs0n

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the only way we can send a bigger succesor of Hubble  to space without bigger rockets  is i think the foldable mirrors or somehing like that.

but for now without Hlv we will not have a visible light telescope to space for the next 10 years at least...

You are wrong: Not the lack of a HLV, but the lack of funding for a telescope (payload) is the reason for not having one.

FWIW, we aren't even at the 'how much would it cost?' stage on such a concept.  As they are currently unlaunchable because of technical limitations

Newsflash:  Hubble's mirror is 2.4 meters.  You heavy lift aperture snobs act as if we are buttressing up against the limits of current and possible EELV fairing diameters for a monolithic mirror, when we aren't even close to maxing out the available standard.

A modern bigger successor to Hubble has been possible for quite some time; is possible today.  If it does not exist for lack of a program, it is not because current fairing diameters don't offer the possibility of improved aperture size.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2010 07:04 PM by libs0n »

Offline FinalFrontier

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Why fight Congress head on when you can get what you want without the fight? Unless it's ideologically driven?

Actually I think it's kind of the reverse in this case.

I'm beginning to think he's trying to MAKE congress work together, to fight together (as one).

Or I'm 180 out and he wants congress to fight each other, rather than just Obama all the time...like health care.

Quite an interesting thought. Ah, politics.
I have heard this many many times. And it has not really been debated yet BUT: IMHO I do not think that is the case, merely a "happy byproduct" if you will, of his decision.
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Online notsorandom

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Newsflash:  Hubble's mirror is 2.4 meters.  You heavy lift aperture snobs act as if we are buttressing up against the limits of current and possible EELV fairing diameters for a monolithic mirror, when we aren't even close to maxing out the available standard.

A modern bigger successor to Hubble has been possible for quite some time; is possible today.  If it does not exist for lack of a program, it is not because current fairing diameters don't offer the possibility of improved aperture size.

The Hubble Space Telescope took up the entire width and almost the entire length of the payload bay when it was launched on STS-31. Here is a link to a picture of it before launch that shows how it filled up the bay. http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/IMAGES/HIGH/9009375.jpg That bay is 4.6 meters wide by 18m. The Delta IV offers a 5 meter fairing 19.8 meters long so yes the EElVs can haul up a larger diameter but it only improve upon the Shuttle by 40cm wide by 1.8 meters long. Thats not a huge improvement on volume. The mirror is always going to be smaller then the fairing diameter by a bit to make room for the spacecrafts structural elements and other design
considerations.

Launching a telescope on an HLV is a legitimate use of that class of rocket once the rocket is developed. However, it is not the sole or only justification for making an HLV. I think the argument people are making about launching a telescope on an HLV is that there are other very useful things that can be be done with an HLV in addition to going to the moon.

Offline libs0n

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The Hubble Space Telescope took up the entire width and almost the entire length of the payload bay when it was launched on STS-31. Here is a link to a picture of it before launch that shows how it filled up the bay. http://mix.msfc.nasa.gov/IMAGES/HIGH/9009375.jpg That bay is 4.6 meters wide by 18m. The Delta IV offers a 5 meter fairing 19.8 meters long so yes the EElVs can haul up a larger diameter but it only improve upon the Shuttle by 40cm wide by 1.8 meters long. Thats not a huge improvement on volume. The mirror is always going to be smaller then the fairing diameter by a bit to make room for the spacecrafts structural elements and other design
considerations.


You're making the assumption that Hubble maxed out the mirror space possible in a fixed fairing diameter, and that a non-Hubble duplicate design such as that commonly envisioned for the HLV telescopes could not make improvements in the mirror size within a similar diameter.  My argument would be that the existing boosters still can offer the possibility of improvements in this single aspect.  The design space is explorable.

Also, there are larger diameter and conceptual asymmetrical fairing types proposed for the EELVs that offer improvements in the maximum fairing diameter possible.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2010 09:11 PM by libs0n »

Offline kraisee

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That bay is 4.6 meters wide by 18m. The Delta IV offers a 5 meter fairing 19.8 meters long

You are comparing internal diameter with external diameter.

It might surprise you to learn that the external width of the Shuttle main fuselage is...   ...drum-roll please...   ...5.0m.

And it might equally surprise you to learn that once you account for the thickness of the Delta's PLF structure and acoustic matting, the internal usable diameter is...   ...can you guess?   ...4.6m.

It is NOT a coincidence that 5.0m PLF's are used.   They needed for Titan-IV specifically so that USAF could launch all of the Shuttle payloads after Challenger was lost.

And Delta-IV was then designed to fly with the existing Titan-IV PLF's so that integration of existing payloads could be simplified.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2010 09:24 PM by kraisee »
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Offline jongoff

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That bay is 4.6 meters wide by 18m. The Delta IV offers a 5 meter fairing 19.8 meters long

You are comparing internal diameter with external diameter.

It might surprise you to learn that the external width of the Shuttle main fuselage is...   ...drum-roll please...   ...5.0m.

And it might equally surprise you to learn that once you account for the thickness of the Delta's PLF structure and acoustic matting, the internal usable diameter is...   ...can you guess?   ...4.6m.

It is NOT a coincidence that 5.0m PLF's are used.   They needed for Titan-IV specifically so that USAF could launch all of the Shuttle payloads after Challenger was lost.

And Delta-IV was then designed to fly with the existing Titan-IV PLF's so that integration of existing payloads could be simplified.

One thing to remember is that the EELVs are both capable of bigger fairings if the need arises.  They've mentioned diameters up to 7.5m being feasible without huge changes.  And while this doesn't necessarily apply for a space telescope mirror, other payloads can be built integral with the walls of the PLF.  That's how ULA has been proposing to do 75-115mT LOX/LH2 propellant depots that can be launched dry on a single Atlas V with an OML matching an existing fairing shape.  They've also proposed the same thing for large space modules.  You could launch a module that's 2/3 the volume of a BA-330 inflatable if it was built into the PLF wall...

Just food for thought.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 03/10/2010 01:01 AM by jongoff »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Also, OV:  David asked about co-sponsors, not conversations.  Stick to the facts.  If you don't know, then tell him to look it up himself.  Ok, I will:  David:  Look it up yourself, and keep us posted.  It would be nice to know who is co-sponsoring Hutchinson's bill.

Having worked on campaigns for bills that became law, my experience was that the people working on the campaigns updated co-sponsorship as it happened. In this case, there are still no co-sponsors for S3038, which is a very bad sign for prospects for enactment of this particular legislation.

This doesn't mean that there are no negotiations with the Administration concerning Shuttle extension and the like, just that this particular bill seems to be DOA. Probably we should close this thread soon, and have a new topic about negotiations, since if there are no discussions about the bill here, its a dead thread.



(It's Hutchison, not Hutchinson, by the way).I responded to this issue of cosponsors in an earlier post, which you may have missed, but since you keep raising it, let me elaborate a bit.

First, a simple statement of observed experience, based on my thirty-plus years of working in the Congress: the number of cosponsors of a bill is NOT a determining factor in passage of a bill. I have seen many bills with an actual majority of members cosponsoring them, which have never even been reported our of committee. I have seen even more bills with either no or very few cosponsors get enacted into law.

Maybe one pertinent example might help illustrate how that can be. Look up in the Library of Congress Thomas web-site the bill S. 3270, the "NASA Authorization Act of 2008." It was introduced by Senator Daniel Inouye, with no cosponsors. It will show, if you check the legislative history, that the bill was reported by the Commerce Committee, placed on the Senate Calendar, and no further action was taken on that bill. Did it "die" because of a lack of cosponsors? No...the majority of the content of S. 3270 is now Public Law 110-422.

How? Because the House had passed its version of a NASA Authorization Act (HR 6063) (either House can originate such a bill) before the Senate Bill was reported, so that bill had been referred to the Senate for action. The "action" taken by the Senate, starting around July 12th, was to undertake a process called "pre-conferencing".

Normally, if each chamber passes its own version of a given bill, then a "conference" is conducted, in which representatives of the committees of jurisdiction in each chamber are named "conferees" and essentially authorized to represent their respective chambers in seeking to negotiate a compromise that modifies the underlying legislation (either the House version or the Senate version) in such a way that both are satisfied with the result. They then file a "conference report" with their respective chambers outlining the changes agreed to in conference, and recommend adoption of the conference report. If both chambers vote to adopt the conference report, the underlying bill, as modified by the conferees, is adopted, and sent to the President.

Under a "preconference" process, those negotiations take place BEFORE one the of the two chambers actually passes a bill. That's what happened in the case of the 2008 NASA Authorization bill. The House Science Committee, which had produced and reported the bill HR 6063, took the language of S. 3270 that it was "comfortable" with (or knew the Senate would insist upon), and the language of HR 6063, which the House had passed, and combined them into a proposed REVISED version of HR 6063 (since they had passed a bill, it was the House bill number that was used to designate the compromise language).

The proposed revision was presented to the Senate--all this at the staff level, initially--and there ensured a series of meetings and discussions which led to a compromise bill, which included most parts of both the House-passed bill and the Senate-reported bill, rewritten, where necessary, with language both could agree upon, which was then presented to the Members (in this case, primarily the Committee leadership of the House Science Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee, whether cosponsors or not) and agreed to, in principal. Then the House waited while the Senate went through the process of clearing and adopting (by unanimous consent) the modified House-passed bill. Since the modifications to the original House bill had been "preconferenced", the House then was able to simply accept the Senate-passed version, and send the bill to the President for signature, which he signed on October 15th, 2008, as I recall.

None of this process was "extraordinary" and NONE of it depended on the number of cosponsors either bill had upon introduction.

The Hutchison Bill, by its very structure, is written so as to be the "core" of a broader NASA Authorization Bill, and it is fully planned and expected, going in, that it will likely be "absorbed" into that larger NASA Authorization Bill, which will likely be reported by the Commerce Committee, once it is satisfied with it, and it goes through the process known as "mark-up" (amendment and endorsement by the Committee) as a new and separate bill.

But that new and separate could (and Senator Hutchison of course would hope and will work to that end) include virtually every word of the bill now known as S. 3068. So, yes...S. 3068 could very possibly never be adopted as such. But, as the example I just described should make clear, that is meaningless. It's not the Bill NUMBER; it's the bill CONTENT. If that content, and the policy it endeavors to establish ends up as the law of the land, no one is going to CARE what the original bill number was, or how many cosponsors it did or did not have (well, a historian of the arcane might care, I suppose, and those who want to biographical research on who associated themselves visibly with what piece of legislation at what point in time, etc.).

The process I've described is also just ONE of a number of ways legislative language finds its way into the law books. And I know of NONE in which the number of cosponsors is relevant other than in making a "splash" on introduction, or, in some cases, trying to use the strength of numbers as a lever in trying to get a bill discharged from a recalcitrant committee or to get the attention of leadership for floor consideration. But those are absolutely not ESSENTIAL to get passage of a bill. So, please, try to learn more about the broad range of possibilities within a very complex and varied process before picking on one (in this case) potentially irrelevant piece of it and make it out to be something more than it is.

Thus, the discussion in this thread, to the extent it continues to address the CONTENT of the language in S. 3068 is timely, pertinent, relevant, and I'm sure seen as helpful dialogue by those interested in seeing the CONTENT of the bill succeed eventually into law, within whatever legislative "vehicle" might be available.
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Offline neilh

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51D Mascot, thanks for the excellent post regarding the legislative process!
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Offline SpaceWarper

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Newsflash:  Hubble's mirror is 2.4 meters.  ...

Interesting base for a news.  You take a 20 years old telescope to define future requirements of sophisticated telescopes.  Is this perhaps a rhetoric trick and you mean in reality the opposite?  Did you understand that you could save ca. $2 bil. for JWST if you have a large HLV which can house an unfolded simple JWST?   Do you understand that the next maximizing telescope will probalby again take $2.bil due to maximize the size of a very complex folded telescope? If you assume 5 JWST-sized telescopes in the next 25 years then you would invest $10 bil. into optimizing single-mission-devices.  I think this money is better invested into the development of a sophisticated HLV that can lift a lot of different loads than to optimize scientific satellites to make best use of the limited volume.  I can't explain that simpler without hand puppets.

Offline Danderman

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First, a simple statement of observed experience, based on my thirty-plus years of working in the Congress: the number of cosponsors of a bill is NOT a determining factor in passage of a bill. I have seen many bills with an actual majority of members cosponsoring them, which have never even been reported our of committee. I have seen even more bills with either no or very few cosponsors get enacted into law.

Everything in the post above is true and also irrelevant to my point, because co-sponsorship of appropriation and authorization bills, the ones introduced by leadership, is irrelevant.  As most people already understand,  bills that fund the government do not require co-sponsorship.

On the other hand, bills that are not introduced at the behest of the administration or congressional leadership DO require demonstrations of support, otherwise the bills, and their content, are the equivalent of one hand clapping.  The standard demonstration of support for such bills is co-sponsorship.

So, yes, there are budget, appropriation and authorization bills introduced and passed every year without co-sponsorship, but these are not relevant to this discussion. And there are also situations where bills are thrown into the hopper at the last moment and subsequently integrated as amendments into other legislation, and in that form they are enacted into law, usually at the behest of leadership. The Hutchison bill does not seem to qualify as one of those situations.

The last argument is that the Hutchison bill won't be enacted into law as such, but key components will find their way into the NASA authorization. I agree, to the extent that those components are supported by Congress. How will the Administration and leadership determine whether these components are widely supported? The traditional approach would be via co-sponsorship of the Hutchison bill.  We are told now that such co-sponsorship isn't relevant, so I guess we are to depend on public statements of support by elected officials for the various goodies in the Hutchinson bill, speeches in support of lunar landings and the like.

We'll see. However, the somewhat irrelevant post by 51D Mascot reminds me of what politicians say before elections when they are trailing in the polls: "The only poll that matters is the election".

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