Author Topic: SLS General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 225203 times)

Offline Mark S

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #240 on: 11/11/2015 08:40 PM »
Dedicated EM-1 section coming soon, but here's another cool overview of the flow to EM-1 via Chris Gebhardt:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/road-em-1-nasa-hardware-milestones-sls-debut-flight/

Another great story, Chris and Chris!

I was wondering about the booster segment arrival schedule, as described here:

Quote
Under the current Integrated Mission Milestone Summary, the Forward and Center SRB segments will arrive at the Kennedy Space Center in September and October 2017.

This will be followed by the delivery of the Aft Skirts in November/December 2017 and then the Aft segments of the SRBs in late-January/early-February 2018.

Finally, the Forward segments are currently slated to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center in early March 2018.

You describe the Forward segments arriving in both Sep/Oct 2017 and Mar 2018. And I don't see mention of the Forward-Center or Aft-Center segments anywhere in there. (or is it Center-Forward and Center-Aft?). Do you have schedule info for those segments also?

Thanks.

Online Johnnyhinbos

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #241 on: 12/09/2015 11:09 PM »
I'd be curious to know how long it would take to build the SECOND SLS system. Meaning, there is so much time spent developing the tooling and doing the certification for this first SLS that I'm curious to see how long it would take just to build the second SLS once all this tooling and certification process has been completed.

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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #242 on: 12/10/2015 02:21 AM »
I'd be curious to know how long it would take to build the SECOND SLS system. Meaning, there is so much time spent developing the tooling and doing the certification for this first SLS that I'm curious to see how long it would take just to build the second SLS once all this tooling and certification process has been completed.

Just to establish a best case for what Boeing can do, the outgoing SLS Program Manager at Boeing was quoted as saying:

"Boeing has Michoud set up to stamp out enough stages for one SLS a year — two at most with the factory’s current manufacturing capabilities, and then only if NASA pours more money and personnel into the facility."

My background is in manufacturing operations, and quite often I've overseen the scheduling of new products (and sometimes factories).  Even with incremental upgrades of products there are usually processes that take time to dial in, and with the SLS the production rate is so low that they can't get enough experience to dial in their processes until many years from now.  Of course lots of time between builds means that the staff has a lot of time to do dry-runs in between production runs, so that could help them optimize their processes without having to actually build completed parts.

But still, you need to build the actual parts in order to validate that you know how to build the product within the planned/allocated amount of time.

My guess would be about a year for SLS-2, which is probably about 120-140% above the eventual production time.
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Offline bob the martian

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #243 on: 12/10/2015 02:51 PM »
I'd be curious to know how long it would take to build the SECOND SLS system. Meaning, there is so much time spent developing the tooling and doing the certification for this first SLS that I'm curious to see how long it would take just to build the second SLS once all this tooling and certification process has been completed.

Just to establish a best case for what Boeing can do, the outgoing SLS Program Manager at Boeing was quoted as saying:

"Boeing has Michoud set up to stamp out enough stages for one SLS a year — two at most with the factory’s current manufacturing capabilities, and then only if NASA pours more money and personnel into the facility."

My background is in manufacturing operations, and quite often I've overseen the scheduling of new products (and sometimes factories).  Even with incremental upgrades of products there are usually processes that take time to dial in, and with the SLS the production rate is so low that they can't get enough experience to dial in their processes until many years from now.  Of course lots of time between builds means that the staff has a lot of time to do dry-runs in between production runs, so that could help them optimize their processes without having to actually build completed parts.

But still, you need to build the actual parts in order to validate that you know how to build the product within the planned/allocated amount of time.

My guess would be about a year for SLS-2, which is probably about 120-140% above the eventual production time.

So, question - how are the staff at Michoud allocated for this?  Is it a small workforce that's working full-time on SLS, or a larger workforce that's part-time on SLS, part time on other projects?  IOW, is one, maybe two rockets a year enough to keep a full-time staff employed, much less keep their skills sharp?

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #244 on: 12/10/2015 04:28 PM »
So, question - how are the staff at Michoud allocated for this?  Is it a small workforce that's working full-time on SLS, or a larger workforce that's part-time on SLS, part time on other projects?  IOW, is one, maybe two rockets a year enough to keep a full-time staff employed, much less keep their skills sharp?

I don't know, but my guess is that the factory is staffed with full-time workers, and that they don't work on any other contracts.  However they may not have hired all of the eventually positions they would need for full-rate production (which for now would be assumed to be 1/year).

And by virtue of how the SLS is assembled, I'm assuming people will move with the parts as they go through the different work stations, so they would need people with good general skills that can do many tasks.
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Offline TomH

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #245 on: 12/10/2015 09:10 PM »
So, question - how are the staff at Michoud allocated for this?  Is it a small workforce that's working full-time on SLS, or a larger workforce that's part-time on SLS, part time on other projects?  IOW, is one, maybe two rockets a year enough to keep a full-time staff employed, much less keep their skills sharp?

I don't know, but my guess is that the factory is staffed with full-time workers, and that they don't work on any other contracts.  However they may not have hired all of the eventually positions they would need for full-rate production (which for now would be assumed to be 1/year).

And by virtue of how the SLS is assembled, I'm assuming people will move with the parts as they go through the different work stations, so they would need people with good general skills that can do many tasks.

Back in the days of Saturn, I would have seen the validity in that. Nowadays, however, I would think that most work on machines of this complexity is CAM-robotic and that many of the technicians monitor the computer driven robotic tools. Human machinists lose skills over time if not practiced enough, and institutional memory is lost over time via attrition. In this day and age, however, a CAM program can be kept in storage devices and employed at any time. You have stated that you were involved in manufacturing, but were you involved in manufacturing sophisticated modern rockets? What did you manufacture and to what degree was the product dependent on a human machinist's skills versus modern integrated computer controlled robots? You have never mentioned the product field as being ultra-sophisticated, so I am not convinced that the manufacturing model you describe remains valid.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #246 on: 12/11/2015 12:16 AM »
Back in the days of Saturn, I would have seen the validity in that. Nowadays, however, I would think that most work on machines of this complexity is CAM-robotic and that many of the technicians monitor the computer driven robotic tools.

No doubt we're more automated these days, but not everything is 100% automated.  And you have to remember that you can only successfully automate something that you completely understand.  So if you haven't built something yet, you can't completely understand if your solutions will work the first time, every time.  The experience with the SLS Vertical Assembly Center, which is a product, is an indication of that.

Quote
Human machinists lose skills over time if not practiced enough, and institutional memory is lost over time via attrition. In this day and age, however, a CAM program can be kept in storage devices and employed at any time.

I was around to see the changeover from cam actuated tools to CAM (Computer-aided manufacturing).  It's been interesting to see how the labor content, and type of labor changed.  Labor is still required though.

Quote
You have stated that you were involved in manufacturing, but were you involved in manufacturing sophisticated modern rockets? What did you manufacture and to what degree was the product dependent on a human machinist's skills versus modern integrated computer controlled robots?

To a certain extent, making components is pretty much the same regardless what the end product is.  Stamped, injection molded, milled, turned, drilled, welded - the processes haven't changed much, just the machinery that we use to control the processes.  And assembly, to a certain extent, for rockets is not much different from other similar sized products.  It's just the certification and inspection processes that are different.

Quote
You have never mentioned the product field as being ultra-sophisticated, so I am not convinced that the manufacturing model you describe remains valid.

What makes you think rockets are "ultra-sophisticated"?  They are pretty much just up-sized aluminum cans.

As for me, early on I started out in a machine-heavy environment making component parts and small assemblies (as well as tooling too).  Then I moved on to military electronic systems, and later high-volume consumer electronic products.

All of the products I've worked on had high tolerances, either from a fit standpoint or a electronic functionality standpoint.  And especially when you're building high-volume consumer products, everything has to be dialed in and perfect - that takes time and experience with your product.

Boeing has experience in building large assemblies, and building rockets is not a new endeavor.  But dialing in your manufacturing processes takes more than one unit, and anyone in manufacturing engineering would be able to verify that.

My $0.02
« Last Edit: 12/11/2015 08:09 PM by Coastal Ron »
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Offline NovaSilisko

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #247 on: 12/16/2015 07:18 AM »
SLS funded beyond request again?

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Jeff Foust @jeff_foust
Exploration gets $4.03B, including $1.27B for Orion and $2B for SLS, the latter far above the administration’s request.

Online llanitedave

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #248 on: 12/16/2015 04:42 PM »
If it's going to be used to launch a Europa probe in 2022, they need to advance the schedule a bit.  That might explain the extra funding.
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #249 on: 12/16/2015 04:47 PM »
If it's going to be used to launch a Europa probe in 2022, they need to advance the schedule a bit.  That might explain the extra funding.
The fact they specifically included a "lander" in the language of a Europa mission, they may need a bit more time anyways. Maybe not. But they also explicitly put in language to fund the EUS and essentially replace ICPS for EM-2.
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Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #250 on: 12/17/2015 10:10 PM »
If it's going to be used to launch a Europa probe in 2022, they need to advance the schedule a bit.  That might explain the extra funding.
The fact they specifically included a "lander" in the language of a Europa mission, they may need a bit more time anyways. Maybe not. But they also explicitly put in language to fund the EUS and essentially replace ICPS for EM-2.

What we could see is the second ICPS being used for the Europa mission in 2022-23 since it will not be flying on EM-2. At that point it would be a flight proven stage and I remember reading somewhere that it does slightly better than the EUS for EC (don't know what happens when you add the lander though).


Edit: I just remembered that they couldn't use ICPS after EUS is online because of the changes to the umbilicals on the ML.

P.S. For my friend Coastal Ron who is always worried about Congress paying for payloads for SLS, here is another one. :)
« Last Edit: 12/18/2015 01:10 AM by Endeavour_01 »
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
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Online Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #251 on: 12/21/2015 02:47 PM »
Okay, I'm hoping that I can get some solid information here. As far as I know, so far, the SLS missions are:

EM-1 - Uncrewed trans-Lunar flyby with iCPS - 2018;
SLS-02 - Europa probe launch with EUS or iCPS, depending on the exact schedule of EM-2 - 2022-ish;
EM-2 - ? (AFAIK, the ARM is still baseline although there does seem to be something of a retreat underway) - 2022/23;
SLS-04 (?) - ? (Possible cargo precursor for EM-3) - Undefined;
EM-3 - ? (No mission defined as yet) - Undefined.

IIRC, EM-3's launch vehicle, SLS-05, represents the point where the RS-25D stockpile run out and SLS needs to switch to RS-25E if there are to be further missions in the program. What is the latest time, realistically speaking, when Aeroject/PWR need to start building the tooling for RS-25E in order to avoid serious delays?
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Offline notsorandom

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #252 on: 12/21/2015 03:04 PM »
EM-1 will be proving many things from the rocket to the spacecraft. That make sense. However at this point we can't be too sure that there will be a payload needing a ride for the EUS test flight and repeating EM-1 with the EUS seems wasteful. I wonder if it would be possible to do enough testing an analysis to skip the uncrewed test flight. The EUS uses a fair amount of heritage components and the RL-10 is a well characterized and reliable engine.

Offline Hog

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #253 on: 12/21/2015 09:50 PM »
Okay, I'm hoping that I can get some solid information here. As far as I know, so far, the SLS missions are:

EM-1 - Uncrewed trans-Lunar flyby with iCPS - 2018;
SLS-02 - Europa probe launch with EUS or iCPS, depending on the exact schedule of EM-2 - 2022-ish;
EM-2 - ? (AFAIK, the ARM is still baseline although there does seem to be something of a retreat underway) - 2022/23;
SLS-04 (?) - ? (Possible cargo precursor for EM-3) - Undefined;
EM-3 - ? (No mission defined as yet) - Undefined.

IIRC, EM-3's launch vehicle, SLS-05, represents the point where the RS-25D stockpile run out and SLS needs to switch to RS-25E if there are to be further missions in the program. What is the latest time, realistically speaking, when Aeroject/PWR need to start building the tooling for RS-25E in order to avoid serious delays?
EM-1 2018 Will fly main engines(ME) ME2045, ME2056, ME2058 and ME2060
SLS-02 2021 Will fly engines ME2047, ME2059 and new unflown engines ME2062(built Sept. 2010) and ME2063(built in early 2015)
EM-2 2023 Will fly engines ME2048, ME2054, ME2057 and ME2061
SLS-04 (?) 2025 Will fly engines ME2044, ME2050, ME2051 and ME2052

 The backup engines for EM-1 are the scheduled primary flight engines for SLS-02, scheduled primary flight engines for a mission, are the previous missions backup engines.  When it comes time to fly SLS-04, as it stands now, there is no backup engines in existence.  Perhaps this should give us a clue as to when these 6 new "legacy" build RS-25 engines that NASA has ordered, will need to be ready to run?  Not only to actually fly SLS's 5th mission, but to support SLS's 4th mission (SLS-04) as standby engines.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2015 09:52 PM by Hog »
Paul

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #254 on: 12/21/2015 10:50 PM »
Okay, I'm hoping that I can get some solid information here. As far as I know, so far, the SLS missions are:

EM-1 - Uncrewed trans-Lunar flyby with iCPS - 2018;
SLS-02 - Europa probe launch with EUS or iCPS, depending on the exact schedule of EM-2 - 2022-ish;
EM-2 - ? (AFAIK, the ARM is still baseline although there does seem to be something of a retreat underway) - 2022/23;
SLS-04 (?) - ? (Possible cargo precursor for EM-3) - Undefined;
EM-3 - ? (No mission defined as yet) - Undefined.

IIRC, EM-3's launch vehicle, SLS-05, represents the point where the RS-25D stockpile run out and SLS needs to switch to RS-25E if there are to be further missions in the program. What is the latest time, realistically speaking, when Aeroject/PWR need to start building the tooling for RS-25E in order to avoid serious delays?

EM-1 mission is planned to enter Lunar DRO via a lunar flyby. This makes a lot of sense as at this stage it looks like most Orion flights will be going to Lunar DRO. The Asteriod will be stationed there a long with DSH.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/em-1-nasa-request-changes-debut-slsorion-mission/

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #255 on: 12/21/2015 11:09 PM »
What is the latest time, realistically speaking, when Aeroject/PWR need to start building the tooling for RS-25E in order to avoid serious delays?

That process has already started.

"The lead time is approximately 5 or 6 years to build and certify the first new RS-25 engine, Van Kleek told Universe Today in an interview. Therefore NASA needed to award the contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne now so that its ready when needed."

http://www.universetoday.com/123580/nasa-awards-contract-to-aerojet-rocketdyne-to-restart-rs-25-engine-production-for-sls-mars-rocket/
« Last Edit: 12/21/2015 11:10 PM by Steven Pietrobon »
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Offline Kansan52

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #256 on: 12/21/2015 11:24 PM »
Coastal Ron, sorrey to ask this so late. In you comment "All of the products I've worked on had high tolerances..." do you mean items with really close tolerances, says much less than 1% tolerances? What I have heard and called 'tight' tolerances. Repairing consumer electronics, some thing have as much as 20% tolerances and other have such tight tolerances that the OEM piece is the only thing that works.

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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #258 on: 01/14/2016 06:35 PM »
This on a follow-on to the KSC info is not good for SLS's schedule. EM-2 could end up out in 2025. After a EUS test flight with another unmanned test of Orion in 2023 to test the ECLSS and other things like the new heat shield.

Offline psloss

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #259 on: 01/14/2016 07:00 PM »
The full report is available here:
http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/asap/documents/2015_ASAP_Annual_Report.pdf

(Also attached.)

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