Author Topic: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread  (Read 82717 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Looks like we're lacking one of these, so here it is.

To kick it off:

NSF EFT-1 News Articles:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/eft-1/

--

Orion Forum Section:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=38.0

EFT-1 Pre-Launch Updates:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31078.0

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #1 on: 12/04/2014 12:04 AM »
Media perceptions about this launch:

NPR - NASA Prepares To Test New Spacecraft (That You've Likely Never Heard Of)

A quote from the article:

"It's designed for deep space, but Orion's first mission will be back to the neighborhood of the moon."

NBC News.com - Orion Test Flight Brings Back That Old Apollo Feeling at NASA

A quote from the article:

"NASA plans to use Orion spaceships to send astronauts to an asteroid by the mid-2020s, and to Mars and its moons starting in the 2030s."

Space.com - Orion Spacecraft Test Thursday a Big Leap Toward Mars, NASA Says

A quote from the article:

"...But the agency envisions Orion traveling even farther afield to near-Earth asteroids and, eventually, to Mars."

It's interesting that the NASA PR for the Orion is that it is the vehicle that is taking us to Mars.  But it can't of course.

NASA already suffers an identity crisis as far as what it's purpose is after the ISS, and mischaracterizing what the Orion is only makes things worse.  As currently designed, the Orion can only support operations to the region of the Moon for short-duration trips, and would require major funding to make what is likely only incremental improvements.

So after the Orion becomes operational the U.S. Taxpayer is going to wonder when NASA is going to go to Mars with it, and the response from NASA would be "it can't go to Mars without a substantial redesign, so we need $Billions more in funding from U.S. Taxpayers".  That's bait and switch, and will only lead to a big letdown.

NASA needs to stop hyping.  It should be more realistic in what it can and can't do.  Taxpayers are adults and can handle the truth, and there might even be a chance that taxpayers, when presented with the honest truth, would be open to funding NASA for a more ambitious goal.  Or not - maybe going to space is not important to them.  But hyping misleading claims about what NASA is doing does not help either way.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #2 on: 12/04/2014 12:33 AM »
...As currently designed, the Orion can only support operations to the region of the Moon for short-duration trips, and would require major funding to make what is likely only incremental improvements.

Oh, c'mon.  For one thing, there is no way you can fit all the food you need for a long-term mission into a capsule that's capable of re-entering Earth's atmosphere.

For *any* kind of long-term mission, you need a mission/logistics module of some kind to contain and transport consumables like food and water and air.  Orion is not, and never was, intended to be the sole support system for extended LEO or BLEO missions.

Orion doesn't require require significant redesign to support a Mars mission.  It requires what a Mars mission would always have required -- mission/logistics modules to support the specific needs of the mission.  Orion is the vehicle in which your crew launches from, and returns to, the Earth.  Not where they live to and from Mars, and not what they use to land on Mars.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline hcm

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #3 on: 12/04/2014 12:48 AM »
Hmmm.  An SLS rep at KSC today told me,when I asked whether the service module is configurable for longer journeys so the astronauts can stretch their legs etc, that Orion is like a taxi that takes you to the way points which are space stations at L2 and similar points.  He did admit the Mars question couldn't be answered that way..

Online yg1968

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #4 on: 12/04/2014 12:48 AM »
During the press conference of today, a reporter asked: NSF says that the first crewed flight won't be until 2024? Obviously, Chris never said that. What was said was that the ARM mission wouldn't be until 2024 (not the first crewed flight).
« Last Edit: 12/04/2014 02:10 AM by yg1968 »

Offline robertross

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #5 on: 12/04/2014 01:42 AM »
Fantastic article William; stellar, in fact. Thanks.

Absolutely a must-read article to bring one up to speed on Delta history, Orion, and its recovery.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #6 on: 12/04/2014 04:30 AM »
Another article with an even more interesting claim about the Orion:

Businessweek - NASA's Orion Test Flight Gets Us Closer to Mars

Haven't seen this claim before:

"With the first test flight on Thursday, NASA wants to make it abundantly clear that much of the hardware that can get humans to Mars already exists and is ready to fly."

It's obvious some sort of fanboi wrote this piece, because not even the spin doctors at NASA PR would make this type of claim.  But unfortunately it doesn't look like they are going to correct it either, which makes them complicit in the amount of misinformation there is about the Orion/MPCV and what it will and won't be able to do.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline llanitedave

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #7 on: 12/04/2014 04:33 AM »
You can't say it's incorrect.  They say "much" of the hardware, not "most".  And they don't define which hardware it is.  So technically, it's vague enough to be irrefutable.
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Offline sdsds

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #8 on: 12/04/2014 04:41 AM »
Businessweek - NASA's Orion Test Flight Gets Us Closer to Mars

Haven't seen this claim before:

"With the first test flight on Thursday, NASA wants to make it abundantly clear that much of the hardware that can get humans to Mars already exists and is ready to fly."

Wow, that is indeed a fairly extreme exaggeration. More accurately, "A successful EFT-1 mission will make it clear that one small piece of the gigantic Humans-to-Mars mission NASA envisions is ready to fly, in an early prototype form."

Of course I don't suppose NASA really wants to make that clear....  ;)
« Last Edit: 12/04/2014 04:41 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #9 on: 12/04/2014 04:49 AM »
Hmmm.  An SLS rep at KSC today told me,when I asked whether the service module is configurable for longer journeys so the astronauts can stretch their legs etc, that Orion is like a taxi that takes you to the way points which are space stations at L2 and similar points.  He did admit the Mars question couldn't be answered that way..

That analogy is good, and another one I was thinking of today was that the Orion/MPCV is like a cruise ship lifeboat tender that is used to transport passengers and crew to/from shore when there are no harbors at their ports of call.

And in that analogy the lifeboat tender manufacturer would never claim that passengers were traveling to their vacation destinations aboard the tenders and not the cruise ships (something the cruise ship companies would frown upon).  Same with the Orion/MPCV, which may transport passengers and crew to/from the space-only vehicle that is transporting them to Mars, but is the not the primary transport vehicle for getting to Mars.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #10 on: 12/04/2014 04:52 AM »
You can't say it's incorrect.  They say "much" of the hardware, not "most".  And they don't define which hardware it is.  So technically, it's vague enough to be irrefutable.

If asked to make a realistic appraisal, I think NASA would say that they currently have "none" of the hardware they need to get to Mars.  There aren't even any approved designs for the hardware that is going to Mars with humans.

So yes, I could say it's incorrect.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #11 on: 12/04/2014 05:13 AM »
Umm, yeah.  EFT-1 will test an Orion CM (particularly the heat shield) and the shroud jettison system.

Metal is being bent for SLS, but nothing there is remotely ready to fly.

Not even designed or funded, much less in process, would be

- a TMI stage
- a BLEO SM
- an MOI/TEI stage
- a cruise habitat module
- a lander
- a surface habitat module and its landing system
- an in-situ fuel factory and its landing system
- a Mars ascent vehicle and its landing system

This is the maximum number of vehicles I can imagine we would need to design, build and launch to go to Mars.  Obviously, you could combine some things, but this list represents pretty much all of the functions you would need to cover.

So -- "much of," I don't think so.  Here you and I completely agree, Ron.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline ApolloStarbuck

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #12 on: 12/04/2014 05:26 AM »
EDIT_

So -- "much of," I don't think so.  Here you and I completely agree, Ron.

How do you eat a government-funded elephant?
One 7-billion dollar spoonful at a time.
  :)

Still, regardless of future funding or hardware, always exciting to see a new vehicle fly.


All NASA streaming channels now on Orion coverage live feed

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html#.VH_vKme-SyF
...weren't we supposed to be on Mars by now?

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #13 on: 12/04/2014 05:28 AM »
I haven't actually found any details at the NASA TV website as to what, exactly, we can expect to see in the coverage of the flight.  I know that there are video cameras inside the Orion CM, both pointing at the interior (I imagine looking at the instrument panels, among other things) and pointing out the windows.

But is any of this expected to be real-time?  Or will we be seeing replays after things get read out from video tape or digital storage?

Also, are there any planned live video assets that could see the CM during re-entry, and also on the 'chutes to splashdown?

All I see on the NASA TV site is a big block of time labeled as coverage of EFT-1.  That runs from 4:30 am to 12 noon, EST, and is followed by coverage replays and then by a post-fight presser.

Anyone have any more detailed info?  Thanks!
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline ApolloStarbuck

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #14 on: 12/04/2014 05:37 AM »
I know there are cameras on board pointed out the windows but live feed.... ?

I would be pretty surprised if there wasn't a live feed of Orion under chutes prior to splashdown but I would guess that there are many factors deciding whether they could do that or not.

...weren't we supposed to be on Mars by now?

Offline enkarha

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #15 on: 12/04/2014 05:44 AM »
According to http://www.space.com/27916-nasa-orion-capsule-launch-ready.html

we will have live images. No mention of live video.
Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars ♪

Offline Ronpur50

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #16 on: 12/04/2014 10:10 AM »
I like to view the webcam at KSCVC from time to time.  I looked just a few minutes ago and noticed this on the cam.  It isn't on any other snapshots I have saved.  Is it the Delta IV visible from the roof cam?

Offline Eer

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #17 on: 12/04/2014 10:43 AM »
During the pre-launch interview with Charlie Bolden, two items I heard of note ...

1) "This is day one of the Mars-era", emphasizing the spin NASA is putting on this flight being about establishing Mars destination infrastructure, and
2) SLS presents opportunity to supply Lunar-destination support when anyone says they want to go there, whether that's US or some other nation wanting to send a lander to the Moon that SLS can launch for them.

I'd not heard that 2nd one before ... but the impression I got was that while the Moon is not NASA's immediate interest, they're more than willing to offer SLS to support other nation's efforts to get there (!?).

Offline dninness

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #18 on: 12/04/2014 10:48 AM »
Fouled range? What the heck? Another sailboat?

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: EFT-1 Orion General Discussion and Questions Thread
« Reply #19 on: 12/04/2014 10:50 AM »

...

2) SLS presents opportunity to supply Lunar-destination support when anyone says they want to go there, whether that's US or some other nation wanting to send a lander to the Moon that SLS can launch for them.

I'd not heard that 2nd one before ... but the impression I got was that while the Moon is not NASA's immediate interest, they're more than willing to offer SLS to support other nation's efforts to get there (!?).

Think it is nonsense. No one is going pony up the $1B+ price tag for each SLS flight. There are cheaper alternatives.

Tags: Orion EFT-1