Author Topic: SLS General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 223694 times)

Offline Khadgars

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #500 on: 05/31/2016 05:39 PM »
The following shows what a typical NASA program to develop hardware for a Mars mission would look like.

Authorization/Appropriations                   Oct-17
Contract for Authorization Study start           Mar-18
Architecture selected                                   Mar-19
Contract for Design and Development start   Sep-19
PDR                                                           Sep-21
CDR                                                           Sep-24
Hardware build complete                           Sep-29
Launch Earliest Mars Synod                   Feb-31

This is how slow NASA really is. The biggest problem is in program startup. It would take 3 years from now just to get a contractor on contract to start the design work.

SLS would not be used for any payloads like this until the 2030's just like NASA has been stating all along.

NASA can't do Apollo like programs where all the design and production is done in parallel.  From 2018 to 2028 SLS/Orion will be in Cislunar space as its always been planned.  Saying SLS has nothing to do for the next 10 years is inaccurate.  Especially if ARM is turned into a cislunar outpost SLS/Orion will have more than enough to do.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #501 on: 05/31/2016 06:26 PM »
The following shows what a typical NASA program to develop hardware for a Mars mission would look like.

Authorization/Appropriations                   Oct-17
Contract for Authorization Study start           Mar-18
Architecture selected                                   Mar-19
Contract for Design and Development start   Sep-19
PDR                                                           Sep-21
CDR                                                           Sep-24
Hardware build complete                           Sep-29
Launch Earliest Mars Synod                   Feb-31

This is how slow NASA really is. The biggest problem is in program startup. It would take 3 years from now just to get a contractor on contract to start the design work.

SLS would not be used for any payloads like this until the 2030's just like NASA has been stating all along.

NASA can't do Apollo like programs where all the design and production is done in parallel.  From 2018 to 2028 SLS/Orion will be in Cislunar space as its always been planned.  Saying SLS has nothing to do for the next 10 years is inaccurate.  Especially if ARM is turned into a cislunar outpost SLS/Orion will have more than enough to do.
The discussion was about Mars payloads. SLS does have some in the work payloads besides Orion and that is DSH which hopefully would be mid 2020's.

Added: I see the DSH program launching a DSH NET Dec 2023. The program length is shorter than for a Mars program because of less complexity and that the architecture studies have been completed and NASA is moving on to a DDT&E contractor selection that would probably begin in FY2017. DSH is already 3 years ahead of any other "new" SLS payload program. Then there is the 2 Europa probes missions which are well on their way into the home stretch. So there are 3 payloads for 2020's that is not an Orion. EM-2 is NET 2022. But engine build rates and engine availability are such that flights would only be possible for 2023 (1st Europa), 2024 DSH/Orion, 2026 second Europa, 2027 another Orion, and 2029 a possible another DSH/Orion. And that is probably pushing the SLS hardware availabilities. 6 flights for all of the 2020's if we are lucky.
« Last Edit: 05/31/2016 06:40 PM by oldAtlas_Eguy »

Offline Jim

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #502 on: 05/31/2016 06:35 PM »
that is DSH which hopefully would be mid 2020's.

DSH is just a study, it is not an approved project.  The only payloads that are real for SLS at this moment are Orion based and are EM-1 and ARRM.  Europa is the next closest.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #503 on: 05/31/2016 06:50 PM »
that is DSH which hopefully would be mid 2020's.

DSH is just a study, it is not an approved project.  The only payloads that are real for SLS at this moment are Orion based and are EM-1 and ARRM.  Europa is the next closest.
As I have added above they are finishing up funded architecture studies. My notes as you have pointed out are optimistic. There is more funding in the 2017 budget for DSH, hopefuly a development start. But even a 1 year delay is not a bad thing in that SLS hardware availability for launching a DSH may not exist until 2025 anyway. The other item is funding in 2017 for ARRM is 0. As far the Europa missions they are having funding problems of their own and may be delayed as well.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #504 on: 05/31/2016 09:37 PM »
The goal post on which SLS will die has continually been moved and talked about ad nauseum.

Yep.  Mainly because we thought Congress would finally get around to talking about what the SLS was supposed to be used for, which would involve discovering how much money using the SLS would require.  That never happened, since Congress as a whole is just not interested in discussing uses for the SLS.  So Plan B is that the next President will create a review of the program, which will push for some sort of decision to be made, one way other the other.

Quote
NASA has already stated they can create the DSH and get humans to Mars under the current budget via Lockheed's Mars Base Camp or something similar to it.  Its the lander that doesn't fit into existing or foreseeable budget.

There has been testimony in front of Congress from two very respected people, Thomas Young (former VP of Lockheed Martin) and Steven Squyres (Principle Investigator of the Mars Exploration Rover mission), in which Young was asked how long it would take NASA to put a human on Mars with it's current budget, and Young said "Never."  Squyres agreed.

And I have no doubt that NASA can do anything asked of it, IF it is given enough money.  But our nation's politicians haven't asked NASA to go to Mars yet, nor provided the required money.  Yet.

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SLS does and will have payloads.

The year the Shuttle first launched (1981), there was a backlog of over 40 payloads waiting to fly on it.  For that point in history, that certainly showed that it's services were needed.

In comparison, outside of test flights, the SLS manifest is pretty bare.  That's not a good sign.

Quote
Getting to Mars is going to take SLS and commercial launchers and the whole industry pulling in the same direction.

All of which has to come out of NASA's budget, since we're talking about a government-only initiative.  That will require a heck of a budget boost.  Just sayin'...
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 Khadgars

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #505 on: 05/31/2016 11:23 PM »
Points well taken.

When I refer to current budget, I'm referencing the entire HSF budget which is around $9 billion per year.

With $9billion per year, particularly after 2024 when ISS comes down, NASA can get to Mars.

Offline TomH

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #506 on: 06/01/2016 03:33 AM »
With $9billion per year, particularly after 2024 when ISS comes down, NASA can get to Mars.

If they're buying a ride from SpaceX, then yea. If you expect it to be via SLS/Orion, I wouldn't bet anything of value on that horse.

Offline Khadgars

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #507 on: 06/01/2016 05:25 AM »
With $9billion per year, particularly after 2024 when ISS comes down, NASA can get to Mars.

If they're buying a ride from SpaceX, then yea. If you expect it to be via SLS/Orion, I wouldn't bet anything of value on that horse.

We can agree to disagree  ;)

Online envy887

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #508 on: 06/11/2016 05:55 PM »
$9billion per year, particularly after 2024 when ISS comes down, NASA can get to Mars.
9B a year and the first manned landing happens when? 2034? And how many billions will they spend from now till 2024?

You're talking about 100+ billion to be spent on this program over 18 years before a manned landing, for the capability to land maybe 100 tonnes of payload per synod. With hardware that isn't even on the drawing board yet.

Those are great ambitions, but I have no faith in them. For that kind of money SpaceX could land 10 times the payload annually, starting in 3 years.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #509 on: 06/11/2016 06:16 PM »
Points well taken.

When I refer to current budget, I'm referencing the entire HSF budget which is around $9 billion per year.

With $9billion per year, particularly after 2024 when ISS comes down, NASA can get to Mars.

According to NASA, the SLS has to launch no-less-than once every 12 months in order to have a safe launch cadence.  So that means that within NASA's budget they have to support:

- Building Orion systems for HSF training flights

- Science missions that make use of the SLS (i.e. the Europa mission)

- Development and testing of HSF mission elements like the DSH Hab

- Production of SLS rockets to support flights every year

- Support costs for ongoing missions that are launched via SLS

I just don't see that fitting into NASA's current budget profile, especially the yearly SLS flights.  Not only that, the amount of time it takes to build SLS-sized science payloads and HSF systems does not lend itself to popping out at yearly intervals - some will take a decade or more to get ready, as the history of the simple Orion spacecraft shows (i.e. 18 years).

And we are still missing an explicit political goal for our HSF efforts beyond LEO, which makes long-term efforts less likely to succeed.

Just sayin'...
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 PahTo

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #510 on: 06/11/2016 06:17 PM »
With hardware that isn't even on the drawing board yet.

Those are great ambitions, but I have no faith in them. For that kind of money SpaceX could land 10 times the payload annually, starting in 3 years.

With all due respect, dare I say some of the necessary "hardware" is being flight tested on ISS as we type...

Offline edkyle99

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #511 on: 06/11/2016 06:39 PM »
I propose that we ban the word "SpaceX", and any message using that word or any description of any existing or proposed system proposed by that company, from this thread, which is titled "SLS General Discussion".   There are about 10,000 other threads for SpaceX, and multiple forum subsections.  There is only one SLS section, and it is constantly overrun by messages claiming that SpaceX can do these NASA missions for one-tenth the price in one-third the time, etc..  These claims seem widely optimistic to anyone who has been immersed in this business for any length of time.  But who knows, maybe they'll magically turn out to be true!  Either way, discussion of them does not belong here.  Please.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/11/2016 06:43 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline rcoppola

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #512 on: 06/11/2016 07:12 PM »
Once 5 Seg, Core and EUS are out of development, testing and into production...and once 39B, MLT, CT and VAB are completed along with GSDO software, updated LCC...assuming 1 (maybe 2) flights a year, what could we expect the minimum cost per flight to be? In total, will it be 300, 600, 800 Million? What could we realistically expect a line item of one flight, either Cargo or Orion to cost over time? (not including Orion or cargo, fairing.)

Could we get this system to, say...250 Million per launch?

IMO, the greatest potential for this beast is throw weight of BEO science and colonization infrastructure, not people.
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Online envy887

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #513 on: 06/11/2016 07:31 PM »
Discussion of the SLS budget doesn't belong in the SpaceX threads (although that happens too). And why shouldn't SLS general discussion include comparison to it's competitors? Don't tell me that there are no competitors. SLS is a transport service. It doesn't have any "missions", other than to deliver a payload. That's not NASA's forte, and there are thousands of other things they are awesome at that they should be spending the money on. And that's not a dig at NASA, but at Congress.

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #514 on: 06/11/2016 09:13 PM »
And why shouldn't SLS general discussion include comparison to it's competitors?
Because we have other forums to discuss its competitors and Congress. Moderators have been pretty clear on this point in the past.
« Last Edit: 06/11/2016 09:17 PM by rayleighscatter »

Offline Proponent

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #515 on: 06/11/2016 11:24 PM »
Once 5 Seg, Core and EUS are out of development, testing and into production...and once 39B, MLT, CT and VAB are completed along with GSDO software, updated LCC...assuming 1 (maybe 2) flights a year, what could we expect the minimum cost per flight to be? In total, will it be 300, 600, 800 Million? What could we realistically expect a line item of one flight, either Cargo or Orion to cost over time? (not including Orion or cargo, fairing.)

Could we get this system to, say...250 Million per launch?

To my knowledge, the closest we've seen to actual cost estimates are the numbers in the ESD budget scenarios from 2011.  They seem to suggest a cost of about $3 billion for one Block 2* SLS launch annually, including ground systems and estimated inflation to FY 2025.  Launching one Block 1 and one Block 2 appeared to cost about $3.6 billion.  SLS's costs do not seem set to go down when it moves from development to operation.  NASA as bandied about a number of $500 million per launch:  it would seem that could only be the marginal cost of an additional annual launch, not the total annual cost per launch.



* Bear in mind that the blocks were not then defined precisely as we know them now.

Offline Khadgars

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #516 on: 06/12/2016 03:15 AM »
Once 5 Seg, Core and EUS are out of development, testing and into production...and once 39B, MLT, CT and VAB are completed along with GSDO software, updated LCC...assuming 1 (maybe 2) flights a year, what could we expect the minimum cost per flight to be? In total, will it be 300, 600, 800 Million? What could we realistically expect a line item of one flight, either Cargo or Orion to cost over time? (not including Orion or cargo, fairing.)

Could we get this system to, say...250 Million per launch?

To my knowledge, the closest we've seen to actual cost estimates are the numbers in the ESD budget scenarios from 2011.  They seem to suggest a cost of about $3 billion for one Block 2* SLS launch annually, including ground systems and estimated inflation to FY 2025.  Launching one Block 1 and one Block 2 appeared to cost about $3.6 billion.  SLS's costs do not seem set to go down when it moves from development to operation.  NASA as bandied about a number of $500 million per launch:  it would seem that could only be the marginal cost of an additional annual launch, not the total annual cost per launch.



* Bear in mind that the blocks were not then defined precisely as we know them now.

Lets say for instance, that your figure of $3.6 billion for 2 sls launches is correct in 2025.

$3.6 billion for SLS
$1 billion for Orion
$3.4 billion for DSH/MTV (BA330/Cygnus, ELCS, etc)
$1 billion commercial (spacex, Boeing, etc)

With no ISS, NASA's budget will work imo
« Last Edit: 06/12/2016 03:17 AM by Khadgars »

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #517 on: 06/12/2016 06:02 AM »
Giving up a large and still expanding LEO presence for the occasional BEO mission is not a good trade in my opinion.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #518 on: 06/12/2016 03:14 PM »
Could we get this system to, say...250 Million per launch?

No, that would be impossible.

Consider that back when the Shuttle was flying prior to the Columbia accident, and NASA was assuming a robust flight schedule, NASA had negotiated contracts for volume production of the External Tank (ET) and the Solid Rocket Motors (SRM).  At that point in time a Shuttle flight set of ET & SRM's cost $242M.

The SLS uses larger SRM's, and the 1st stage body of the SLS is far larger and more complex than the Shuttle ET.  So just from that standpoint, based on the low flight rate currently envisioned, the SLS could never cost only $250M per launch.

Plus the "SLS" includes the upper stage, since the job of the SLS is to transport it's payload to it's ultimate destination, so upper stage costs have to be added too.

Another cost comparison is ULA's Delta IV Heavy, which is in volume production due to it being composed of three Delta IV CBC's (and Delta IV-M is in production).  The cost to the U.S. Government is somewhere north of $500M these days, which though that includes some payloads specific considerations, still provides a rough order of magnitude comparison - and the Delta IV Heavy is far smaller than the SLS.

Quote
IMO, the greatest potential for this beast is throw weight of BEO science and colonization infrastructure, not people.

Science missions are the least defensible uses for the SLS, since "when we need science" is open to interpretation - all the way from "now" to "later".  And once one or more of the U.S. launch providers offers some version of multi-launch support, the U.S. Government won't be able to compete against the private sector for those launches.

Only Human Space Flight (HSF) using NASA specific in-space elements justify the need for the SLS.  And then only if there is enough of it over the long term.  We'll see if Congress wants to fund that type of stuff at this moment in history...
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 Khadgars

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #519 on: 06/13/2016 06:46 PM »
Giving up a large and still expanding LEO presence for the occasional BEO mission is not a good trade in my opinion.

NASA won't be giving anything up, as there is no international support past 2024 to keep ISS going making your point moot.


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