Author Topic: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017  (Read 117235 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

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Known about this for a long, long time, but was requested to hold in order not to damage discussions, so that was obviously to be respected.

Cat's out of the bag now.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41397955/ns/technology_and_science-space/

Online rdale

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #1 on: 02/03/2011 02:03 PM »
That's a nice cat to let out ;)

Offline lucspace

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #2 on: 02/03/2011 02:04 PM »
Now this seems like the perfect transition scenario... that someone might have come up with some years ago...

Offline brettreds2k

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #3 on: 02/03/2011 02:11 PM »
The articke kind of confuses me, IF this was to happen, would NASA fly and operate the shuttle still or would it go to a private company??

It states MAYBE 2 Shuttles would be kept in service and fly one mission each per year through 2017, if so since it would start in 2013, I assume that is adding in time to start up production of new tanks since it will take atleast 2 years to get new ones produced right?

How realistic is this to actaully happening and keeping 1 or 2 active and keep flying?

What man power would be required to keep one in flight ready status in the OPF? I mean once processed for a flight which takes months, what staff would be required to watch it just sit there for the next year or two?
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Offline Launch Fan

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #4 on: 02/03/2011 02:13 PM »
Very confusing article. Says they will fly Endeavour, but then says they will fly Atlantis too. Nothing about OMDPs. Quoting officials saying they aren't commenting.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #5 on: 02/03/2011 02:17 PM »
The articke kind of confuses me, IF this was to happen, would NASA fly and operate the shuttle still or would it go to a private company??

It states MAYBE 2 Shuttles would be kept in service and fly one mission each per year through 2017, if so since it would start in 2013, I assume that is adding in time to start up production of new tanks since it will take atleast 2 years to get new ones produced right?

How realistic is this to actaully happening and keeping 1 or 2 active and keep flying?

What man power would be required to keep one in flight ready status in the OPF? I mean once processed for a flight which takes months, what staff would be required to watch it just sit there for the next year or two?

No, they would be operated "commercially".  NASA would be involved in the COFR process but otherwise that is about it.  Think of it as a "pathfinder" to how the agency will learn to work with commercial.

Yes, it factors in time for ET production.

Technically, the orbiters are in great shape.  There are no concerns there.  Politics will likely dictate and outweigh the logic process on if this is required or not. 

Two flights a year is very doable and the manpower required is part of the proposal. 
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #6 on: 02/03/2011 02:18 PM »
Very confusing article. Says they will fly Endeavour, but then says they will fly Atlantis too. Nothing about OMDPs. Quoting officials saying they aren't commenting.

You need two for the "LON requirement".  OMDPs would be accomplished at KSC, as they are now, during the year.
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Offline mikes

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #7 on: 02/03/2011 02:21 PM »
Very confusing article. Says they will fly Endeavour, but then says they will fly Atlantis too.

The proposal ... would use Endeavour as well as a sister shuttle, Atlantis, to fly two missions a year

Note "use" - perhaps they mean to cannibalize her?

Offline brettreds2k

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #8 on: 02/03/2011 02:29 PM »
So if its commercial, NASA would still process and Mission Control would still handle the flight but funding would come from commercial?? Im sorry for sounding stupid here, Just confused.
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Online yg1968

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #9 on: 02/03/2011 02:30 PM »
If they are able to commercially operate the Shuttle at $1.5B per year, it makes you think that the same could be done for the SD-HLV.  This is thinking outside the box!

Offline mr. mark

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #10 on: 02/03/2011 02:35 PM »
This is the worst idea ever. Talk about crippling the future. These birds need to be retired now, not in 2017. We need to start building on the future for new private vehicles that can do multiple uses such as the ISS,Bigelow station and the russian station. NASA continues to throw away the future for the past. Encouraging new technology such as Dragon, Orion, Dreamchaser and the Prometheus is the way to go.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #11 on: 02/03/2011 02:37 PM »
If they are able to commercially operate the Shuttle at $1.5B per year, it makes you think that the same could be done for the SD-HLV.  This is thinking outside the box!

Makes you wonder whether that is what the end goal for USA through this scenario.....
« Last Edit: 02/03/2011 02:39 PM by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline go4mars

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #12 on: 02/03/2011 02:38 PM »
Shuttle:  56 people, and 160 tons of cargo over 4 years for $6 billion. 

Dragon:  $1 billion to develop + 56 people ($1.2 billion) + 160 metric tons of cargo ($3.65 assuming COTS pricing).  = $5.85 billion.

On the surface, that is VERY comparable.  So if NASA can get 2 shuttles up per year for $1.5 billion per year (including all costs such as external tank tooling recreation), then that appears to be a good deal (using SpaceX as the low cost comparator).  Shuttle can take up more modules, and there would be less ISS traffic.  That's got to be worth something too. 


Not sure how it fits in legally (not competing with commercial).
Also not sure how it works out longer term.  Will other new systems never be allowed to test their wings (or heatsheilds)?
« Last Edit: 02/03/2011 02:41 PM by go4mars »
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #13 on: 02/03/2011 02:40 PM »
This is the worst idea ever. Talk about crippling the future. These birds need to be retired now, not in 2017. We need to start building on the future for new private vehicles that can do multiple uses such as the ISS,Bigelow station and the russian station. NASA continues to throw away the future for the past. Encouraging new technology such as Dragon, Orion, Dreamchaser and the Prometheus is the way to go.

This doesn't mean those can't happen. 

I mean who can argue with such compeling arguements like "crippling the future", "these birds need to be retired now" , "private vehicles" (financed by the government), etc!

Besides it is hardly a guarantee. 
« Last Edit: 02/03/2011 02:42 PM by Carl G »
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Offline Carl G

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #14 on: 02/03/2011 02:40 PM »
And the site gets to keep the current logo :D

Offline EE Scott

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #15 on: 02/03/2011 02:46 PM »
Wow, quite the revelation.  Very interesting.

On first read it doesn't address the 4-seg booster issue, i.e., I thought ATK got rid of that capability and couldn't restart it without significant $$.  But I could have been misinformed.  Obviously the proposal must have factored that in, and I would be curious to see how that would work.
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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #16 on: 02/03/2011 02:47 PM »
If they are able to commercially operate the Shuttle at $1.5B per year, it makes you think that the same could be done for the SD-HLV.  This is thinking outside the box!

Makes you wonder whether that is what the end goal for USA through this scenario.....

No.  But a very similar number for potential HLV costs has been used around here for a comparison on what it could cost approximately, as opposed to the 3-4 billion some want to use, if this was the path chosen.

But everyone needs to relax and NOT jump to conclusions either way.  There are likely more hurdles than gateways. 
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Offline mr. mark

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #17 on: 02/03/2011 02:49 PM »
This is my worst nightmare come true. Now i'm frakked. I can can see all the work by all the private space companies (ULA, Spacex, Boeing,Sierra Nevada, Orbital) being stunted or destroyed by short sighted vision and NASA's deep pockets and lack of cost effective spending. Look Spacex can develop a system for far less than NASA can and congress is asking NASA to come up with cost effective solutions. This is not one of them. more of the same from an organization that lacks vision and a plan to carry it out.

Offline Jim

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #18 on: 02/03/2011 02:51 PM »
Shuttle can take up more modules

What more modules?

Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA weighs plan to keep space shuttle until 2017
« Reply #19 on: 02/03/2011 02:52 PM »
Interesting thing is Boeing, as mentioned in the article, is also a part of this.  Doesn't seem to be keeping them from working on the CST-100.  Orbital, Sierra Nevada could potentially benefit from shared experience with a space plane design.  Gives some breathing room to commercial for financing, etc.  Protects ISS.  Seems pretty logical. 

Oh, and by the way, this is not meant to be a "forever thing".  Jumping to conclusions there a bit Mr. Mark?  Seems like it. 
« Last Edit: 02/03/2011 02:56 PM by OV-106 »
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