Author Topic: Cargo/resupply spacecraft Q&A  (Read 1359 times)

Offline Pipcard

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Cargo/resupply spacecraft Q&A
« on: 11/09/2015 04:02 AM »
-Why is the material, presumably insulation, that is covering a significant portion of ESA's ATV white-colored and fabric-like, instead of looking like shiny foil?

-Why does Cygnus only have insulation on its service module (when HTV is mostly covered in gold-colored insulation except for the avionics/propulsion module), and why is it a silvery color instead of gold?
« Last Edit: 11/09/2015 04:21 AM by Pipcard »

Offline manboy

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Re: Cargo/resupply spacecraft Q&A
« Reply #1 on: 11/09/2015 10:59 AM »
Cygnus has insulation under its panels. Unsure about your other questions, maybe someone with a material science background can help.
« Last Edit: 11/14/2015 03:16 AM by manboy »
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Offline Jim

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Re: Cargo/resupply spacecraft Q&A
« Reply #2 on: 11/09/2015 12:54 PM »
-Why is the material, presumably insulation, that is covering a significant portion of ESA's ATV white-colored and fabric-like, instead of looking like shiny foil?

-Why does Cygnus only have insulation on its service module (when HTV is mostly covered in gold-colored insulation except for the avionics/propulsion module), and why is it a silvery color instead of gold?

Different solutions for meeting different thermal requirements

Offline Sesquipedalian

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Re: Cargo/resupply spacecraft Q&A
« Reply #3 on: 11/07/2017 09:44 AM »
I am curious how the commercial resupply payments are evaluated following an anomaly.  As I understand it, for both SpX-7 and Orb-3, their respective failures occurred after launch, so the companies received their launch milestone payments but not their delivery milestone payments.

Here is the most specific information I can find in the Orbital contract:

Quote
II.A.6 RESUPPLY MISSION PAYMENTS, MILESTONE EVENTS AND COMPLETION CRITERIA

6.1 Resupply mission payments will be based upon successful completion of approved milestone schedule and accomplishment criteria per the NASA-approved Work Plan (DRD C1-8). NASA has up to 30 working days to determine whether the accomplishment of the milestone satisfies the approved criteria. After written verification of the accomplishment of the Milestone by NASA's Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR), and approval by the Contracting Officer, the invoices will be forwarded to the payment office within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of the invoices at NASA.

6.2 These interim payments are contract financing payments that are not payment for accepted items. Commercial interim payments are fully recoverable, in the same manner as progress payments, in the event of termination for cause. Commercial interim payments are contract financing payments and, therefore, are not subject to the interest penalty provisions of prompt payment. However, these payments shall be made in accordance with the Agency's policy for prompt payment of contract financing payments.

In accordance with 42 U.S.C 2465d, NASA shall not take title to launch vehicles or orbital vehicles under contract for resupply services.

But this says nothing about determination of fault.  Presumably SpaceX and Orbital were both at fault for their respective failures, but what happens in the event that a company is not at fault?

Here's an example.  Let's say that the Orb-8 mission lifts off on Saturday, as scheduled, and begins flying a nominal mission.  All of a sudden a gigantic solar flare wrecks the spacecraft, rendering it unable to reach the ISS.  Clearly, Orbital would not be at fault in this scenario, but I doubt NASA would want to pay for cargo delivery.  Does insurance cover it?

Offline Proponent

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Re: Cargo/resupply spacecraft Q&A
« Reply #4 on: 11/07/2017 01:40 PM »
I don't know the answer to the question, but last yesterday I happened to listen to an interview with James Cantrell of Vector Space Systems on the Space Angels podcast.  He said that in the launch-services business, the launch provider's responsbility typically ends at ignition, and that after that it's a matter for the insurance company.  NASA is no doubt "self-insured," i.e., carries no insurance.
« Last Edit: 11/07/2017 01:47 PM by Proponent »

Offline deruch

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Re: Cargo/resupply spacecraft Q&A
« Reply #5 on: 11/13/2017 02:24 AM »
I don't know the answer to the question, but last yesterday I happened to listen to an interview with James Cantrell of Vector Space Systems on the Space Angels podcast.  He said that in the launch-services business, the launch provider's responsbility typically ends at ignition, and that after that it's a matter for the insurance company.  NASA is no doubt "self-insured," i.e., carries no insurance.

Yeah, but the CRS contracts are a bit unusual in that NASA is really only contracting the cargo delivery and the companies are responsible for the S/C and launches themselves.  NASA payments may be tied to pre-delivery events like S/C or L/V reviews and launch, but the payments are in the end for delivery.  I don't believe fault is considered, unless maybe one of the providers can demonstrate that NASA cargo caused the failure but even then I'm doubtful.
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