Author Topic: Bolden warns Congress over CCP as $490m heads to Roscosmos  (Read 15930 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Not the article's headline, but the second part of the article is about that.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/08/suffredini-leaves-nasa-490m-heads-roscosmos/

Thread in Space Policy, but this one is for the Commercial Crew section. Obviously it turns into a food fight when politics is involved, but obviously it's going to be pretty damn hard to avoid it. Just remember to keep the thread on the specifics, etc....and no food fights ;)
« Last Edit: 08/06/2015 02:48 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline yg1968

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Incidentally, it's $490M for 6 seats (which amounts to $81.7M per seat). Here is the letter by Bolden to Congress:

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/soyuz_seat_modification_letter.pdf

Here is the original February 2015 procurement synopsis when NASA indicated that it was considering buying six more seats on Soyuz for CY 2018:

https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgibin/eps/synopsis.cgi?acqid=163919
« Last Edit: 08/06/2015 03:49 AM by yg1968 »

Offline jongoff

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Incidentally, it's $490M for 6 seats (which amounts to $81.7M per seat). Here is the letter by Bolden to Congress:

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/soyuz_seat_modification_letter.pdf

Here is the original February 2015 procurement synopsis when NASA indicated that it was considering buying six more seats on Soyuz for CY 2018:

https://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgibin/eps/synopsis.cgi?acqid=163919

It's also another year where we won't get the added crew time benefit of having four USOS crew on station at all times.

~Jon

Offline jongoff

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It's also interesting that he pointed out that without fully-funding CCrew, they're going to have to stop work on both contracts next spring. It'll be interesting to see if Bolden's game of chicken here is successful. It'll also be interesting to see what the political reaction will be if Boeing ends up sending WARN Act layoff notices in anticipation of the stop-work order (as I think they have in the past) due to Congress not fully funding the program...

~Jon

Offline fatjohn1408

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Does anyone know at what price ESA is getting soyuz seats?

Edit: Or JAXA?
« Last Edit: 08/06/2015 08:36 AM by fatjohn1408 »

Offline WM68

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Does anyone know at what price ESA is getting soyuz seats?

Edit: Or JAXA?
They don't buy seats directly, they barter them from NASA.

Offline clongton

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Interesting to note that Mr. Bolden specifically said that if Congress had fully funded the CCP as requested that we would be launching American crews from KSC by now. Instead, here we go again. That, to me at least, says that the Congress is (1) more concerned with Russian companies and Russian jobs building Russian spacecraft than it is with American companies and American jobs building American spacecraft, (2) the members of Congress are just too damn dumb to understand the economics they are cramming down the American taxpayers' throats - or - (3) you look in their eyes and the lights are on but nobody's home - we're screwed. Either way I'm angry.  >:(

BTW, kudos to Kirk Shireman. He's a great choice and will guide the ISS program well. I am sorry to see Mike Suffredini leave. His rock-steady hand at the helm of the program guided it deftly thru some "interesting" times and major transitions. He earned his reputation as a problem solver.
« Last Edit: 08/06/2015 11:39 AM by clongton »
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline muomega0

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Interesting to note that Mr. Bolden specifically said that if Congress had fully funded the CCP as requested that we would be launching American crews from KSC by now. Instead, here we go again. That, to me at least, says that the Congress is (1) more concerned with Russian companies and Russian jobs building Russian spacecraft than it is with American companies and American jobs building American spacecraft, (2) the members of Congress are just too damn dumb to understand the economics they are cramming down the American taxpayers' throats - or - (3) you look in their eyes and the lights are on but nobody's home - we're screwed. Either way I'm angry.  >:(
Could be other things...

If funding it not increased then CST-100 on a Atlas is history.
 o  Only 2 LVs are required to supply crew to ISS.
 o Two US LVs  > One US, One IP   >> One IP, zero US.
 o Add common configuration for Class A cargo/crew,  retirement , cost, reuse, etc...
 ==>>>    The 'logical' choice is quite clear with limited budget

More fog.
 o   Congress will spend $6.2B to launch crew to ISS until 2024 and will wait for both of next generation EELVs ( Falcon and the new Atlas with the new DOD liquid engine programs) as no new significant BEO mission funding was provided as well, while maintaining a $Bs ISS backup option of launching a few mT capsule on a 70+mT LV with solids. 
 o  The space policy of keeping everything separate is still in place..
 o  "The real gap is the premature decision to retire the Delta V Medium"  but hey, the USG cannot tell corporations what to do.

So the plan remains.......flying SLS and Orion to BEO,  fly crew on IP rocket, phase out ISS by 2020 2024 (why does the bill title contain the word Competitive?!) underfund 'commercial' crew, maintain as many LV product lines as possible, and dictated a HLV only BEO architecture.

It's all so illogical....but only fools believe...

Online Rebel44

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"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity...and I'm not sure about the universe." -- Albert E.

 ::) :-[ :-\ >:(

Offline Patchouli

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Interesting to note that Mr. Bolden specifically said that if Congress had fully funded the CCP as requested that we would be launching American crews from KSC by now. Instead, here we go again. That, to me at least, says that the Congress is (1) more concerned with Russian companies and Russian jobs building Russian spacecraft than it is with American companies and American jobs building American spacecraft, (2) the members of Congress are just too damn dumb to understand the economics they are cramming down the American taxpayers' throats - or - (3) you look in their eyes and the lights are on but nobody's home - we're screwed. Either way I'm angry.  >:(
Could be other things...

If funding it not increased then CST-100 on a Atlas is history.
 o  Only 2 LVs are required to supply crew to ISS.
 o Two US LVs  > One US, One IP   >> One IP, zero US.
 o Add common configuration for Class A cargo/crew,  retirement , cost, reuse, etc...
 ==>>>    The 'logical' choice is quite clear with limited budget

More fog.
 o   Congress will spend $6.2B to launch crew to ISS until 2024 and will wait for both of next generation EELVs ( Falcon and the new Atlas with the new DOD liquid engine programs) as no new significant BEO mission funding was provided as well, while maintaining a $Bs ISS backup option of launching a few mT capsule on a 70+mT LV with solids. 
 o  The space policy of keeping everything separate is still in place..
 o  "The real gap is the premature decision to retire the Delta V Medium"  but hey, the USG cannot tell corporations what to do.

So the plan remains.......flying SLS and Orion to BEO,  fly crew on IP rocket, phase out ISS by 2020 2024 (why does the bill title contain the word Competitive?!) underfund 'commercial' crew, maintain as many LV product lines as possible, and dictated a HLV only BEO architecture.

It's all so illogical....but only fools believe...

Too bad ULA is not keeping the Delta Medium as with the RS-68A many of the changes needed to crew rate it have been done which would provide a back up crew LV.
Even with a simple LAS control like on Mercury it probably would already be safer then the Soyuz rocket.

They could still make their budget if they dump Boeing and replace them with  Blue Origin or SNC.
I think even LM's Orion light might be cheaper then the CST-100 over it's mission life time if they flew on an existing rocket since much of it is based of work from Orion.

In short the situation seems like dumb decisions made in several places coming together.
« Last Edit: 08/06/2015 04:27 PM by Patchouli »

Offline RocketmanUS

So we are spending an additional $490M to launch U.S. crew on Russian rockets. But we can't buy any more RD-180's for the Atlas V that could send U.S. crew on a U.S. capsule that could be latter sent up on Vulcan ( ULA's expected NGLV )? And yet we have money to spend money developing a launch vehicle with no need and no payloads that could have funded the U.S. commercial crew taxi capsules. At least commercial crew taxi's are needed and could be used for more than just crew delivery to ISS.
Mars and beyond, human exploration
The grass is always greener on the other side. When you stand on top of the hill you see both sides!

Offline baldusi

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Re: Bolden warns Congress over CCP as $490m heads to Roscosmos
« Reply #11 on: 08/06/2015 05:03 PM »
[...]
Too bad ULA is not keeping the Delta Medium as with the RS-68A many of the changes needed to crew rate it have been done which would provide a back up crew LV.
Even with a simple LAS control like on Mercury it probably would already be safer then the Soyuz rocket.
[...]
I'm sorry, but the Soyuz-FG has an overall record of 51/51. And Delta IV has 29/30 (96.67%). Please have some respect for the Russian stack that has never ever lost a crew to a launch (in part thanks to its LES, but that only proves their resiliency).
Soyuz has had 116 straight missions without a LOC and 32 years without a launch failure. No crewed vehicle has even been near to match that. The chance of dying in a Soyuz is 1.51%, while in the Shuttle was 1.83%. You might criticize Soyuz for many reasons, but not its reliability.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Bolden warns Congress over CCP as $490m heads to Roscosmos
« Reply #12 on: 08/06/2015 06:12 PM »

I'm sorry, but the Soyuz-FG has an overall record of 51/51. And Delta IV has 29/30 (96.67%). Please have some respect for the Russian stack that has never ever lost a crew to a launch (in part thanks to its LES, but that only proves their resiliency).
Soyuz has had 116 straight missions without a LOC and 32 years without a launch failure. No crewed vehicle has even been near to match that. The chance of dying in a Soyuz is 1.51%, while in the Shuttle was 1.83%. You might criticize Soyuz for many reasons, but not its reliability.

Foton M1 was lost due to a failure of the Blok-D booster and was riding a Soyuz-U.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foton-M_No.1

Soyuz needs to have five engines start and operate normally at launch to complete it's mission in theory this is worse then the situation with the Delta IV Heavy.

There has been no major failure of a Delta IV of this nature just two anomalies that resulted in lower then expected performance.

If the crew vehicle has a fair amount of  delta V Margin these may not have even been a LOM event or worst case an AOA or ATO abort.

« Last Edit: 08/06/2015 06:15 PM by Patchouli »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Bolden warns Congress over CCP as $490m heads to Roscosmos
« Reply #13 on: 08/06/2015 07:31 PM »

I'm sorry, but the Soyuz-FG has an overall record of 51/51. And Delta IV has 29/30 (96.67%). Please have some respect for the Russian stack that has never ever lost a crew to a launch (in part thanks to its LES, but that only proves their resiliency).
Soyuz has had 116 straight missions without a LOC and 32 years without a launch failure. No crewed vehicle has even been near to match that. The chance of dying in a Soyuz is 1.51%, while in the Shuttle was 1.83%. You might criticize Soyuz for many reasons, but not its reliability.

Foton M1 was lost due to a failure of the Blok-D booster and was riding a Soyuz-U.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foton-M_No.1

Soyuz needs to have five engines start and operate normally at launch to complete it's mission in theory this is worse then the situation with the Delta IV Heavy.

There has been no major failure of a Delta IV of this nature just two anomalies that resulted in lower then expected performance.

If the crew vehicle has a fair amount of  delta V Margin these may not have even been a LOM event or worst case an AOA or ATO abort.
1) Soyuz-FG had different engines (RD-107A/8A vs RD-117/8 on the Soyuz-U).
2) Is made to the 3KV human rating regulations.
3) Soyuz-U is really 832/855 (97.31%). That's as good as a certainty on the reliability as you can get.
4) Delta IV hasn't (and won't) fly enough to have a "true" statistical reliability.
5) Delta IV(5,4) can't get the Atlas V422 performance. I don't believe Delta IV(4,4) could either. But in any case you'd need a heavy or one RS-68A plus 4 solids (i.e. five engines).
Nothing of this matter. The Soyuz is right now the most reliably crewed transportation system and nothing new will be until proven. If you like to do numbers like that I would point suggest that you  make a campaign to bring back Ares I that was going to be the safest, cheapest and fastest crew rated vehicle. You surely must trust those numbers. They were made by Griffin, after all.

Offline savuporo

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Re: Bolden warns Congress over CCP as $490m heads to Roscosmos
« Reply #14 on: 08/07/2015 02:43 AM »
If you want to get people to orbit, Soyuz is the only safe bet for years to come - and that is just cold hard statistics. Reliability and performance comes at an ever increasing price, especially with lack of any competition.
Number of engines, solids, liquids, triple redundancy, none of this matters as the only numbers that really matter are number of flights with people alive onboard. And as long as you dont have enough struts on your rocket nobody is going to have a lot of flights any time soon.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline TrevorMonty

So we are spending an additional $490M to launch U.S. crew on Russian rockets. But we can't buy any more RD-180's for the Atlas V that could send U.S. crew on a U.S. capsule that could be latter sent up on Vulcan ( ULA's expected NGLV )? And yet we have money to spend money developing a launch vehicle with no need and no payloads that could have funded the U.S. commercial crew taxi capsules. At least commercial crew taxi's are needed and could be used for more than just crew delivery to ISS.
ULA can still buy RD180s for NASA and commercial missions, just not DOD missions.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Bolden warns Congress over CCP as $490m heads to Roscosmos
« Reply #16 on: 08/07/2015 06:46 AM »
I suspect that modern politicians want NASA to behave like other agencies - they allocate the same money as last year plus inflation. To do that projects would probably no longer be financial line items, just the departments.

Projects budgets would have to be allocated by the Administrator. To permit Congressional committees to discuss them the larger projects would get mentioned in the supporting documentation but not the yearly budget allocation law. What goes into the 3 yearly authorization act will have to be negotiated.

Since spending on projects follows a curve NASA administrators will need to balance the expenditure between projects to keep total spending flat. I suspect that some large 6-12 month tasks will also be needed to fill the gaps.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Bolden warns Congress over CCP as $490m heads to Roscosmos
« Reply #17 on: 08/07/2015 01:04 PM »
Congress still hasn't given up on Orion at ISS no matter what the cost or wasteful overkill...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Bolden warns Congress over CCP as $490m heads to Roscosmos
« Reply #18 on: 08/07/2015 03:40 PM »
Congress still hasn't given up on Orion at ISS no matter what the cost or wasteful overkill...

In which case NASA should give Congress what it wants, propose EFT-2 a manned test flight to the ISS to test the Orion's Docking port and docking navigation aids in 2022. This repeat of the Commercial Crew test flights will verify that Orion can dock with the docking port on the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) spacecraft.

Offline Mark S

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Re: Bolden warns Congress over CCP as $490m heads to Roscosmos
« Reply #19 on: 08/07/2015 05:25 PM »
Congress still hasn't given up on Orion at ISS no matter what the cost or wasteful overkill...

In which case NASA should give Congress what it wants, propose EFT-2 a manned test flight to the ISS to test the Orion's Docking port and docking navigation aids in 2022. This repeat of the Commercial Crew test flights will verify that Orion can dock with the docking port on the Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) spacecraft.

I mostly agree, except that if such a notional EFT-2 goes up on D-IVH, it will have to be unmanned. As impressive as it is, D-IVH is not a human-rated launcher.

NASA should definitely give Congress what it wants, Orion at ISS, in order to rebuild trust with Congress. The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 is still the law of record, and it mandates this capability. NASA's defiance on this issue is not winning it any friends on either the Authorization or Appropriations committees.

Mark S.

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