Author Topic: SLS General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 223680 times)

Offline RonM

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #580 on: 08/09/2016 08:02 PM »
Shuttle -- it was either that or cancel all American manned space flight entirely, and Nixon wasn't ready to harm the American image worldwide by doing that, I don't think.  He never really associated himself with that program, it was not something his Administration asked for, it's something NASA asked for that his Administration went along with.

Close enough. Maybe NASA needs a plan that the next administration will go along with.

Constellation -- yep, the only one that was looking at first flights 10 to 12 years after inception.  And offered up in a spirit of "Hey, I'm tryin' for it, but if y'all don't go along after I'm gone, no skin off my legacy..."  And was mostly conceived to keep the pork flowing, not necessarily because GW had a serious vision of human deep-space exploration.  And suffered exactly what everyone said it would, just as soon as GW was out of office -- the exception that proves the rule.

Orion and SLS are modified parts leftover from Constellation. Orion directly and SLS is a variant of Ares V, a Shuttle derived HLV. So, in a way VSE lives on.

Offline Proponent

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #581 on: 08/09/2016 08:47 PM »
And it isn't that hard to consider the payload. With Saturn V it was a lunar stack, with Shuttle it was a space station.

Minor objection:  when the Shuttle was approved, there was no space station or any plan to build one.  The Shuttle's purpose was explicitly to replace all other US launch vehicles.

Of course, when NASA first started talking about shuttles, it was in the context of space-station logistics.  Perhaps the fact that NASA continued to propose a Shuttle despite the fact that the mission changed completely was a warning sign the the Nixon administration missed.

Offline Kansan52

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #582 on: 08/09/2016 09:02 PM »
I remember it a bit differently. Economics of reuse meant that STS must fly often. Flying often meant all payloads had to be on the Orbiter. All payloads included the largest payloads. The requirements for those large payloads set the requirements for the Orbiter and the entire STS.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #583 on: 08/09/2016 09:05 PM »
Apollo -- the original text of Kennedy's address to Congress on May 25, 1961 called for this nation "to achieve the goal, by 1967, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

What Kennedy told Congress on May 25, 1961:

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space."

You're arguing against the facts here.

Quote
Shuttle -- it was either that or cancel all American manned space flight entirely, and Nixon wasn't ready to harm the American image worldwide by doing that, I don't think.  He never really associated himself with that program, it was not something his Administration asked for, it's something NASA asked for that his Administration went along with.

Nevertheless, he committed our nation to building the Shuttle - which wouldn't fly until after he was out of office.  This satisfies your original requirement.

Quote
ISS -- at that time, Freedom was deep into planning stages at various levels of NASA, and could well have flown its first segments prior to 1988.  I'm positive the planning was to achieve the first segments before Reagan left office.  He did say "within the decade," and his term officially ended in January of 1989 -- so, yeah, that was his goal, certainly.

You keep moving the goal posts.  Your original claim was:

"Do you expect any Administration to propose anything they perceive cannot be accomplished..."

Station completion could never have completed in 4 years.  Something launched during that time maybe, but not "accomplished".

Quote
Constellation -- yep, the only one that was looking at first flights 10 to 12 years after inception.  And offered up in a spirit of "Hey, I'm tryin' for it, but if y'all don't go along after I'm gone, no skin off my legacy..."

Now you're interpreting the motivations of the President and Congress of the time.  Moving goals posts...

Quote
And suffered exactly what everyone said it would, just as soon as GW was out of office -- the exception that proves the rule.

It suffered that fate not because of the goal, but because of the increasing cost of that goal - which was Michael Griffin's responsibility.  If the program would have stayed in budget it would not have been cancelled.

So what I have shown is that Presidents ARE willing to propose space programs that are not accomplished within their terms in office.  Although as we know our current President didn't think NASA needed an HLV (prescient as it turned out), so he has no motivation to propose programs of any duration that require the SLS.

We'll see what the next President thinks...
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 Proponent

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #584 on: 08/09/2016 09:06 PM »
I remember it a bit differently. Economics of reuse meant that STS must fly often. Flying often meant all payloads had to be on the Orbiter. All payloads included the largest payloads. The requirements for those large payloads set the requirements for the Orbiter and the entire STS.

Kansan52, I don't see where we disagree.  I'm saying that the purpose of the Shuttle which was approved was to carry all payloads.
« Last Edit: 08/09/2016 09:07 PM by Proponent »

Offline Proponent

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #585 on: 08/09/2016 09:14 PM »
So, just in terms of the conditions extant when these development programs began, there wasn't a commercial HLV (or, at least, anything approaching the perceived HLV need in the DRA) available.  You couldn't in 2001 -- or even 2009 -- say "Hey, let's dump this SLS and just plan on using a Falcon Heavy for this DRA," because not only was FH not an option, it wasn't even a notional launch vehicle at those times.

There wasn't a government HLV either.

What there was in 2009-10 was a widespread inaccurate belief that NASA nearly had an HLV:  "all" it had to do was re-arrange the Shuttle stack*.  Circa 2010, both ULA and SpaceX suggested they could field HLVs for single-digit billions of dollars.  From the vantage point of 2010, we can look back and say that more time and money will go into SLS Block I before its first flight (in fact, more money has already been spent) than what ULA and SpaceX said the needed.

Maybe ULA and SpaceX were wrong, maybe SpaceX was not worth taking seriously at the time.  Maybe Shuttle-C would have been the right way to go  But I don't believe ULA's proposals were ever officially evaluated.

* I just tracked this down to a statement by Mike Griffin on 2 May 2005 (see the 12th page of the attached PDF): "As NASA Administrator, I already own a Heavy Lifter (in) the Space Shuttle stack.  I will not give that up lightly and, in fact, can't responsibly do so because .... any other solution for getting 100 tons into orbit is going to be more expensive than efficiently utilizing what we already own."
« Last Edit: 08/09/2016 10:42 PM by Proponent »

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #586 on: 08/09/2016 09:52 PM »
Apollo -- the original text of Kennedy's address to Congress on May 25, 1961 called for this nation "to achieve the goal, by 1967, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

What Kennedy told Congress on May 25, 1961:

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space."

You're arguing against the facts here.

Quote

You missed my meaning.  The original draft of the speech, not the speech as given, set a specific goal of achieving the lunar landing by 1967.  The speech was revised, nearly at the last minute, to read "before this decade is out" instead.

Trust me, I heard that speech live.  I recall it personally.  I know exactly what Kennedy said.  He also did not say he was personally setting the U.S. on a course to the Moon -- he said he was asking Congress and the American people to choose to do this, and warned right up front it would be the most expensive demonstration of American space superiority that we could possibly embark upon during this period.

And look at the NASA timeline for achieving the lunar landing -- up until late '65, it called for the lunar landing to occur in 1967, and for Block I Apollo flights to begin in mid-1966, before the end of Gemini's flight program.  After that, it called for the landing to occur in 1968.  Right up until the Fire, the planning was for the first lunar landing to occur in spring or summer 1968.  Before the end of what would have been Kennedy's second term.

My point stands... :)
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Online A_M_Swallow

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #587 on: 08/10/2016 03:14 AM »
{snip}
You keep moving the goal posts.  Your original claim was:

"Do you expect any Administration to propose anything they perceive cannot be accomplished..."

Station completion could never have completed in 4 years.  Something launched during that time maybe, but not "accomplished".

{snip}

This suggests that the SLS needs NASA to produce a 30 year payload plan. IMHO Since presidential terms are 4 years there must be an outfeed every 3-4 years to maintain political support. Changes in names and launch order will almost certainly occur. To get results NASA Administrators will have to negotiate with future Presidents and Congress.

The SLS will be able to deliver 70-130 tonnes to LEO and Block 1B about 45 tonnes to Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 2 (EML-2).

45 tonnes is sufficient to launch a small spacestation, such as a Bigelow BA330-DS, to EML-2. Equipping the spacestation with arms will permit repairing of and loading cargo into lunar landers or Mars Transfer Vehicles. Locating the spacestation at EML-2 enables the same spacestation to be reused to do both jobs.

The SLS can send a manned Orion to various places.

About 100 tonnes to LEO is too small for an entire lunar or Mars village but I suspect it is sufficient for an initial construction yard. A bulldoze and ground sinterer to create the landing pad, spaceport electronics including radar, a manned rover, a BA330-DS as builder's hut and a dry lander may fit into that mass budget. Additional buildings and walkways can be added later. A picture of the yard containing the Caterpillar space construction equipment could make a good sales aid.

Offline sdsds

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #588 on: 08/10/2016 06:22 AM »
What there was in 2009-10 was a widespread inaccurate belief that NASA nearly had an HLV:  "all" it had to do was re-arrange the Shuttle stack*. [...] Maybe Shuttle-C would have been the right way to go [...]


* I just tracked this down to a statement by Mike Griffin on 2 May 2005 (see the 12th page of the attached PDF): "As NASA Administrator, I already own a Heavy Lifter (in) the Space Shuttle stack.  I will not give that up lightly and, in fact, can't responsibly do so because .... any other solution for getting 100 tons into orbit is going to be more expensive than efficiently utilizing what we already own."

I assert the belief was accurate and the HLV NASA "nearly had" was the one you mention: Shuttle-C. Or the DIRECT Jupiter-130. (We agree Boeing/NASA were no where close to having an HLV like SLS! ;) )
« Last Edit: 08/10/2016 06:24 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline Proponent

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #589 on: 08/10/2016 01:21 PM »
But when Griffin made the remark, he was busy pursuing Ares V.  And many in this forum have expressed similar thoughts about SLS despite the fact that, even on its original schedule, SLS was to cost about $10 billion to first (70-tonne) flight, more that the ULA proposal.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #590 on: 08/10/2016 01:33 PM »
Simply put, there was too much ego, ambition, commercial interest and politics in both the Ares Launch System and all discussion of alternatives/successors. Like it or not, SLS is too far along to achieve anything substantive with a cancellation other than years of lost time whilst the reset takes hold. Better to make use of what you're going to get as efficiently as possible. I'm sure that there are just as vehemently-held views about what 'best possibly use' would mean too! :(
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Offline notsorandom

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #591 on: 08/10/2016 03:45 PM »
I think it is important recognize that SLS was not the quickest and cheapest SDHLV option even back then. There were a whole range of options with a spectrum of cost and capability. On the lower end was Not Shuttle C and on the high end was Ares V. The SLS of today sits somewhere near the middle of that spectrum. The decision was made to spend more to get a more capable rocket. Was that the right call, even at the time? I don't know. However back then a SDHLV appeared to be the best way to meet the lift needs of a BEO program.

Offline Proponent

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #592 on: 08/10/2016 04:08 PM »
... back then a SDHLV appeared to be the best way to meet the lift needs of a BEO program.

Can you point to an engineering study backing up that conclusion?  Many appear to believe that Augustine reached this conclusion, but it did not.

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #593 on: 08/10/2016 05:20 PM »
... back then a SDHLV appeared to be the best way to meet the lift needs of a BEO program.

Can you point to an engineering study backing up that conclusion?  Many appear to believe that Augustine reached this conclusion, but it did not.

My understanding is that the Augustine Commission basically said there are some missions that could benefit a lot from a super-heavy LV, but that you should only do so if you have a really definite need for one.  In other words, their recommendation (which we are currently almost exactly anti-observing) was that you should only build one if and when you need it, and only if it seems more economical to launch big pieces in fewer launches than launching a lot of pieces in a lot more launches.  Please correct me if I'm wrong about their conclusions, but that was what I took away from reading the report.

Because of how everything fell out of the Constellation failure, however, NASA got to continue to develop their super-heavy launcher, at the expense of completing it at a useful point, i.e., when it will be needed.  As it is, it will be developed well before it will be needed for any major exploration program -- even interim uses, like the Europa orbiter/lander mission, could be done on smaller boosters, albeit using longer trajectories.  So, it has uses prior to the development of all the pieces NASA wants to build for their long-range Mars plans, but none that absolutely require it.  For now, between the qualification flights of SLS and the first flights of Mars expedition spacecraft, it'll be more like "Hey, we have this super-excellent hammer!  Is there anything around here that looks like a great big nail?"  Lots of things will pop up that suddenly look like really tempting nails.

But this is why we're having the discussion right now of building a rocket that has no defined purpose.  I think this is an artifact of how Constellation got shut down, and which elements came out of it.  Since Constellation was already well into development of the launch-and-entry spacecraft and the super-heavy booster, those continued.  There hasn't been any money to do more than paper studies and a little prototyping of any of the other pieces they know they will need for their Journey to Mars.  Many mission modules and systems, like landers, landing systems, surface hab design, ECLSS design, etc., etc., aren't even out there with much more than the first preliminary paper studies in work yet.  If that.

There's a long way to go, a lot of development yet to be done, and, admittedly, no timeframes or budget projections for doing it.  The DRA informs us of what pieces are currently anticipated to be needed, but the only pieces currently being turned into hardware of any type are SLS, Orion and various DSH prototypes -- none of which (the DSH prototypes, that is) are guaranteed to even fly.  There is even a little flight hardware for crewed missions already seeing metal being bent.  But nothing, yet, that will begin to support even the first steps of the DRA, which currently calls for a build-up of infrastructure in cislunar space before high-thrust electric propulsion systems, landing systems, etc., even begin to come online.

I'm certain NASA has definite plans for using the pieces as they become available, they just haven't put those plans into a defined funding plan that requests new starts for upcoming needs, like operational DSH units, electric propulsion modules, mission modules, etc., etc.  Likely, again, because they can only do one or two things at a time in a flat-budget funding environment.

However, with rumors that NASA may make some important announcements about their future Mars plans in the near future (perhaps spurred by the SpaceX announcement of their architecture, planned for just more than a month from now), we might actually begin to hear about a proposed sequence of budget requests that will result in flying some form of their Mars DRA.  It might even be good timing, to get it discussed in the Presidential campaign and possibly get a campaign commitment from one or more of the candidates to support the plan.  Couldn't hurt to at least try, right?
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline notsorandom

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #594 on: 08/10/2016 08:47 PM »
... back then a SDHLV appeared to be the best way to meet the lift needs of a BEO program.

Can you point to an engineering study backing up that conclusion?  Many appear to believe that Augustine reached this conclusion, but it did not.
We both can point to studies that show our respective views on HLV or not debate. I'm not really interested in rehashing that debate. The sentence that you cherry picked was referring to an SDHLV being the majority consensus of the space flight engineering and planning community at that time, not necessarily the best option.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #595 on: 08/10/2016 09:08 PM »
However, with rumors that NASA may make some important announcements about their future Mars plans in the near future (perhaps spurred by the SpaceX announcement of their architecture, planned for just more than a month from now), we might actually begin to hear about a proposed sequence of budget requests that will result in flying some form of their Mars DRA.  It might even be good timing, to get it discussed in the Presidential campaign and possibly get a campaign commitment from one or more of the candidates to support the plan.  Couldn't hurt to at least try, right?

Since NASA works for the NASA Administrator, and the NASA Administrator works for the current President of the United States (who also controls all budget requests that go to Congress), that means you're expecting President Obama to announce a Mars proposal that he wants another President and another Congress to fund?

That sure seems like bad timing to me...
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: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #596 on: 08/10/2016 11:57 PM »
However, with rumors that NASA may make some important announcements about their future Mars plans in the near future (perhaps spurred by the SpaceX announcement of their architecture, planned for just more than a month from now), we might actually begin to hear about a proposed sequence of budget requests that will result in flying some form of their Mars DRA.  It might even be good timing, to get it discussed in the Presidential campaign and possibly get a campaign commitment from one or more of the candidates to support the plan.  Couldn't hurt to at least try, right?

Since NASA works for the NASA Administrator, and the NASA Administrator works for the current President of the United States (who also controls all budget requests that go to Congress), that means you're expecting President Obama to announce a Mars proposal that he wants another President and another Congress to fund?

That sure seems like bad timing to me...

Yeah, that would amount to Bolden trying to set Administration space policy, rather than responding to policy set by the Administration, and what's more trying to politick the two main campaigns.  The former would be an infraction of the chain of command, the latter something more extreme and intolerable.

On the other hand, the President has not seen to gainsay all the NASA rhetoric about the Journey to Mars, when all Obama has ever committed to publicly has been the ARM mission, and Presidents do have these legacy issues when coming to the ends of their terms... ;)

I was just taken with the timing of rumored announcements of new information about NASA's Mars plans, is all, I guess.  Thanks for bringing me back to Earth (literally), Ron!
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline ncb1397

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #597 on: 08/11/2016 12:08 AM »
However, with rumors that NASA may make some important announcements about their future Mars plans in the near future (perhaps spurred by the SpaceX announcement of their architecture, planned for just more than a month from now), we might actually begin to hear about a proposed sequence of budget requests that will result in flying some form of their Mars DRA.  It might even be good timing, to get it discussed in the Presidential campaign and possibly get a campaign commitment from one or more of the candidates to support the plan.  Couldn't hurt to at least try, right?

Since NASA works for the NASA Administrator, and the NASA Administrator works for the current President of the United States (who also controls all budget requests that go to Congress), that means you're expecting President Obama to announce a Mars proposal that he wants another President and another Congress to fund?

That sure seems like bad timing to me...

Yeah, that would amount to Bolden trying to set Administration space policy, rather than responding to policy set by the Administration, and what's more trying to politick the two main campaigns.  The former would be an infraction of the chain of command, the latter something more extreme and intolerable.

On the other hand, the President has not seen to gainsay all the NASA rhetoric about the Journey to Mars, when all Obama has ever committed to publicly has been the ARM mission, and Presidents do have these legacy issues when coming to the ends of their terms... ;)

I was just taken with the timing of rumored announcements of new information about NASA's Mars plans, is all, I guess.  Thanks for bringing me back to Earth (literally), Ron!

Just to refresh everybody's memories, this is what Obama said in his Kennedy speech.

Quote
Early in the next decade, a set of crewed flights will test and prove the systems required for exploration beyond low Earth orbit. (Applause.) And by 2025, we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the Moon into deep space. (Applause.) So we'll start -- we'll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history. (Applause.) By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it.
http://www.nasa.gov/about/obama_ksc_pod.html

Bolden setting a roadmap to accomplish Obama's directive of human visits to mars and an asteroid is not going outside of the chain of command.

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #598 on: 08/11/2016 01:27 AM »

Just to refresh everybody's memories, this is what Obama said in his Kennedy speech.

Quote
Early in the next decade, a set of crewed flights will test and prove the systems required for exploration beyond low Earth orbit. (Applause.) And by 2025, we expect new spacecraft designed for long journeys to allow us to begin the first-ever crewed missions beyond the Moon into deep space. (Applause.) So we'll start -- we'll start by sending astronauts to an asteroid for the first time in history. (Applause.) By the mid-2030s, I believe we can send humans to orbit Mars and return them safely to Earth. And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it.
http://www.nasa.gov/about/obama_ksc_pod.html

Bolden setting a roadmap to accomplish Obama's directive of human visits to mars and an asteroid is not going outside of the chain of command.

 :) Folks from Hawthorne should shaved about 5 years from the schedule lay out in the Obama Kennedy speech while skipping the asteroid. Yeah don't think Obama have them in mind as the men on Mars in his lifetime. Presuming everything falls in place, the next POTUS might be getting a call from Mars during second term in office.

Offline Impaler

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #599 on: 08/14/2016 06:35 AM »
Obama's original plan immediate after constellation imploded was to scrap every part of constellation and simply to have NASA do commercial crew and tech development for the next decade, as that was clearly what they needed, no grandiose missions to be done under his administration, just the actual preparatory work that is supposed to make our civilian space sector globally competitive and make future missions affordable.

But congress wouldn't abandon constellation components or fund basic research and instead demanded that the administration find a use for their senate launch system.  That is when ARM was developed as the last best hope for getting some in-space propulsion developed within the budget sliver left available, congress immediately began strangling the idea in the cradle.

Our best hope is that SpaceX simply shames or litigates the SLS into a quick retirement with the BFR and NASA has thouse funds freed up to purchase all transport services from SpaceX and develop actual mission hardware.

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