Author Topic: SLS General Discussion Thread 2  (Read 410790 times)

Offline AncientU

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1140 on: 12/07/2017 06:07 PM »
Some chatter from Eric Berger (Ars Technica) on Twitter about EM-1 launching in 2023 now. Is this actually a valid possibility?! Or is this a total worst case scenario? If it is delayed to 2023 I’m not sure the program would survive.

"Too big to fail" at this point.

Nope.

You don't think SLS has achieved too big to fail status? A twenty twelve billion dollar sunk cost fallacy combined with the political power that protects it... I'm not attacking your opinion, just trying to further discussion. I would be very surprised if they didn't launch it at least once. Of course I would prefer that money go elsewhere, end of cost plus, and all the rest. But we're in farce territory now, and the project shows no sign whatsoever of being cancelled or curtailed.

Edit: adjusted the sunk cost amount to reflect ncb1397's dose of reality  :)

Launching once or twice, never flying crew, and then being cancelled is exactly what I expect to happen.
If these 2023 lines are correct, which I believe is entirely possible, then it won't fly even once.
Either way, it is a failure.

Note: SLS costs need to include Orion -- their conception, birth, continued existence, survival, and thus price tag are inexorably linked.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 06:08 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1141 on: 12/07/2017 06:38 PM »
It is likely that SLS, a program that in one form or another has consumed more than a decade and more than $20 B in funding, massive lobbyist support, broad legislative backing,  could actually be used to reach Mars, ahead of a BFS/BFR, given that it doesn't already exist. (FH doesn't count here because there aren't any missions to Mars planned, although one to show it's possible.)

But as Musk's pithy comment indicates, it's as empty a gesture because there are no missions to Mars planned for it.

(Am not always fond of Musk's gestures. But the Boeing CEO is competing poorly with his own idiot gesture.)

Propose to both CEO's (others as well) of launcher/providers this competition:
  1. Independently wholly fund a launch campaign to heliocentric destination
  2. We'll score it by demonstrated capability of that LV as (in the vicinity, in orbit, landed, HSF)
  3. First to do so wins in each category named.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1142 on: 12/07/2017 07:08 PM »
Note: SLS costs need to include Orion -- their conception, birth, continued existence, survival, and thus price tag are inexorably linked.
I've wonder if it's possible to break this link.  What kind of effort would it take to put Orion on either Vulcan ACES or on a New Glenn?  Would refueling a second stage allow these launchers to take Orion anywhere SLS could take it?  If so, that could remove another argument for not canceling SLS.

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1143 on: 12/07/2017 07:41 PM »
Note: SLS costs need to include Orion -- their conception, birth, continued existence, survival, and thus price tag are inexorably linked.
I've wonder if it's possible to break this link.  What kind of effort would it take to put Orion on either Vulcan ACES or on a New Glenn?  Would refueling a second stage allow these launchers to take Orion anywhere SLS could take it?  If so, that could remove another argument for not canceling SLS.

In theory, yes; in practice, no, as Congress would never allow it.

This is 80% of the problem.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline AncientU

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1144 on: 12/07/2017 11:26 PM »
It is likely that SLS, a program that in one form or another has consumed more than a decade and more than $20 B in funding, massive lobbyist support, broad legislative backing,  could actually be used to reach Mars, ahead of a BFS/BFR, given that it doesn't already exist. (FH doesn't count here because there aren't any missions to Mars planned, although one to show it's possible.)

But as Musk's pithy comment indicates, it's as empty a gesture because there are no missions to Mars planned for it.

(Am not always fond of Musk's gestures. But the Boeing CEO is competing poorly with his own idiot gesture.)

Propose to both CEO's (others as well) of launcher/providers this competition:
  1. Independently wholly fund a launch campaign to heliocentric destination
  2. We'll score it by demonstrated capability of that LV as (in the vicinity, in orbit, landed, HSF)
  3. First to do so wins in each category named.

Isn't that what Roadster in space is doing?  Next month?
If you say can't use this example because SpaceX got USG $$ -- though clearly not for FH -- then how will Boeing ever qualify? 

Problem with Boeing boss claim is the arrogance of calling SLS a Boeing rocket.  They didn't fund it, they aren't covering its overruns, they didn't win it based on anything but political chumming.  It's the closest thing to their rocket only because there isn't anything they've designed or developed out there that can compete.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 11:27 PM by AncientU »
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Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1145 on: 12/07/2017 11:50 PM »
SLS mentioned by Boeing CEO as the way that Boeing will beat SpaceX to Mars.

http://fortune.com/2017/12/07/boeing-dennis-muilenburg-elon-musk-mars

Musk's response is classic Musk

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/938816780444745728
Quote
Do it
He's just parroting what he heard when he said Dragons to Mars every two years.

I guess he's hoping for the same outcome in this case.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2017 11:50 PM by rayleighscatter »

Offline tea monster

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1146 on: 12/07/2017 11:56 PM »
So, if Boeing is going to beat Elon to Mars:

1. What happens to the notional DSG/Europa Clipper launch schedule if Boeing is going to race Musk to the Red Planet?

2. How are they going to get Congress to sign off on the tab?

It might be an interesting new thread to discuss how to get to Mars first if you were the CEO of Boeing and you were going to actually try to pull this off.

Offline speedevil

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1147 on: 12/08/2017 03:06 AM »
It might be an interesting new thread to discuss how to get to Mars first if you were the CEO of Boeing and you were going to actually try to pull this off.

The only routes I can see would also make SLS questionable - I mean - if Boeing starts developing a Boeing Follower Rocket on its own, ...
(The aeroplane side)

Offline spacenut

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1148 on: 12/08/2017 03:13 AM »
I could see upgrading SLS with liquid reusable landable boosters like a F9.  They would have to provide what 2-4 million lbs thrust to do so.  Then upgrade with a second stage with a J2X or two.  Maybe a second stage with 3 BE-3's and reuse it.  This might get 150 lbs to orbit.  Then build a reusable Nautilus-X craft from 100-150 ton modules.  Then build a reusable Mars lander.  Now we spend another $50 billion and spread it over 10-20 years. 

After SLS is built, are there any Mars plans at all in the works at NASA?

Online MATTBLAK

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1149 on: 12/08/2017 03:32 AM »
SLS with a 5x RS-25 powered corestage and a pair of 5.4 meter, multi-Raptor powered fully reusable boosters would kick some serious arse. An Exploration Upper Stage with higher thrust RL-10 derivatives or replacements, that was capable of refueling would be a formidable launcher. But you'd need 2x launchpads and a suitable infrastructure at KSC to get a really good flight rate going. The booster I described above could probably get 150 metric tons into LEO per throw. Couple that with a Shuttle-type max flight rate of 5 or 6 per year and you could be talking serious tonnage.

Even the 'standard' SLS corestage of only 4x RS-25 wouldn't lose oodles of lifting power...
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1150 on: 12/08/2017 04:20 AM »
Possibly a better solution is to replace the core and boosters with a kerolox stage using 19 AR-1 engines. Thrust would be 42.3 MN with 2724.3 t of propellant and 152.7 t dry mass. Development cost would be about $8046M. It would take 100 flights to break even, possibly a lot less if the stage can be made reusable.
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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1151 on: 12/08/2017 04:52 AM »
An 8.4 meter corestage, powered by the 19x AR-1s? That I'd like to see!! That AR-1 project looks like it needs a lifeline, though I think it would be a good engine. There could be two versions - Heavy Lift Expendable corestage and reusable Medium/Heavy lift corestage. Second and Upper stage options could be a 2x J-X with a 2x MB-60 third stage, or a second stage with 7x RL-10s... Heh; I like 'Rocket Legos'... ;)
« Last Edit: 12/08/2017 07:16 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline woods170

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1152 on: 12/08/2017 08:16 AM »

The only routes I can see would also make SLS questionable - I mean - if Boeing starts developing a Boeing Follower Rocket on its own, ...
(The aeroplane side)
Given that the Boeing CEO is claiming they will get to Mars first it would be the Boeing Forerunner Rocket.

Offline tea monster

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1153 on: 12/08/2017 10:35 AM »
Or develop yourself a lander that can go up in sections within the shrouds of existing launchers (oh, the irony!!!!). Dock it in orbit with a Starliner, some Cygnus/Bigelow habs and a transfer stage and off you go! If you give it a few years, you may be able to use a DSG power and propulsion module for Martian transfer.

The liquid booster idea for the SLS won't work. Remember, the same political directive that got you your mega-rocket won't allow you to shut-out some of it's powerful backers by removing the solid boosters. You are stuck with the design as-is.

Offline AncientU

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1154 on: 12/08/2017 11:16 AM »
Funny that all these posts carry the underlying assumption that Boeing can't get to Mars with SLS on NASA's (taxpayers') dime which is exactly what Boeing's CEO flatly stated.  Says something about SLS perhaps?

Boeing has always had the ability (for 50 years or so) and opportunity to do what Muilenburg boasted. 

Do it.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2017 11:19 AM by AncientU »
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Offline woods170

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1155 on: 12/08/2017 11:25 AM »
Or develop yourself a lander that can go up in sections within the shrouds of existing launchers (oh, the irony!!!!). Dock it in orbit with a Starliner, some Cygnus/Bigelow habs and a transfer stage and off you go! If you give it a few years, you may be able to use a DSG power and propulsion module for Martian transfer.

The liquid booster idea for the SLS won't work. Remember, the same political directive that got you your mega-rocket won't allow you to shut-out some of it's powerful backers by removing the solid boosters. You are stuck with the design as-is.

Indeed. And the advanced booster for the 130 metric ton version of SLS is not going to change that:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/01/the-dark-knights-atks-advanced-booster-revealed-for-sls/

Quote from: Chris Bergin
However, what canít be estimated is ATKís foothold as the provider of boosters for NASAís human space flight program for the past 30 years. A continuation with the familiarity of the solid motors is continually classed as the favored option by SLS sources.

That indication was confirmed in 2014 when William Gerstenmaier, NASAs associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said NASA was no longer planning to begin a competition in 2015 for advanced boosters to replace the ATK solids flying on the first two SLS missions.

In other words: the advanced boosters will be sole-sourced to OATK and they will be the black knights.
« Last Edit: 12/08/2017 11:26 AM by woods170 »

Offline AncientU

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1156 on: 12/08/2017 11:55 AM »
...

In other words: the advanced boosters will be sole-sourced to OATK and they will be the black knights.

Only if SLS still exists in 2030... 
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Offline speedevil

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1157 on: 12/08/2017 12:47 PM »

The only routes I can see would also make SLS questionable - I mean - if Boeing starts developing a Boeing Follower Rocket on its own, ...
(The aeroplane side)
Given that the Boeing CEO is claiming they will get to Mars first it would be the Boeing Forerunner Rocket.

To be explicit - Boeing-aircraft, after passenger transport BFR starts eating their core business.

Offline woods170

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1158 on: 12/08/2017 12:51 PM »

The only routes I can see would also make SLS questionable - I mean - if Boeing starts developing a Boeing Follower Rocket on its own, ...
(The aeroplane side)
Given that the Boeing CEO is claiming they will get to Mars first it would be the Boeing Forerunner Rocket.

To be explicit - Boeing-aircraft, after passenger transport BFR starts eating their core business.
Don't think so. Boeing aircraft core business is short-haul aircraft like the 737. Same goes for Airbus with its A320. Those short hops are in fact too short to be practically serviced by BFR.
BFR might potentially eat into the market for long-haul aircraft. Such as the Boeing 777 and Airbus A340.

Offline rayleighscatter

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 2
« Reply #1159 on: 12/08/2017 02:04 PM »

The only routes I can see would also make SLS questionable - I mean - if Boeing starts developing a Boeing Follower Rocket on its own, ...
(The aeroplane side)
Given that the Boeing CEO is claiming they will get to Mars first it would be the Boeing Forerunner Rocket.

To be explicit - Boeing-aircraft, after passenger transport BFR starts eating their core business.

Neither BFR nor Boeing aircraft is on topic.

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