Author Topic: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now  (Read 45015 times)

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #60 on: 04/04/2013 10:37 pm »
Yes - succinctly summarised.
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Offline deltaV

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #61 on: 04/04/2013 11:27 pm »
Thanks to DaveKlinger:

"Regarding termination liability, search for the phrase in this May 2010 Senate testimony.  There are some misconceptions in some of the posts.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111shrg66487/html/CHRG-111shrg66487.htm "

From the above, here's a description of what $2.5B was to go to if  Constellation were cancelled.

Quote
    Question 13. What specific analysis is behind the $2.5B
Constellation Program termination cost figure in the FY 2011 Budget
Request for FY 2011 and FY 2012? To what specific uses will those funds
be applied?
    Answer. The FY 2011 budget request transitions away from the
Constellation Program, and in doing so, provides a total of $2.5
billion in FY 2011 and FY 2012 for Constellation closeout and
transition costs--funding that is expected to cover closeout activity
associated with facilities, environmental remediation, workforce, and
prime and support contracts. A portion of this funding will also be
used to support the retraining of Shuttle program contractors as that
program is brought to a successful close. It should be noted, however,
that at present, the breakdown of costs is not complete. The Agency is
using the current budget planning activities to develop the details;
and an implementation plan and coordinated communications with NASA
responsible offices and current Constellation contractors are required
to further refine this estimate, which is consistent with past planning
experience and cost estimation for the Space Shuttle Transition and
Retirement. NASA's experience with close-out of the Shuttle program
will serve as a useful reference for the complexity of the tasks and
the potential associated costs.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #62 on: 04/05/2013 12:51 pm »
It is certainly true that a $15T economy is mathematically equivalent to a $15KB economy, but this mathematical equivalency has no bearing on whether or not we should waste money on an LV program which has the biggest buck for the bang.

Far more poor people with low educations can profitably benefit from the entitlement of a few billion dollars.

In the nation's budget space, this is one of the trades.

The four succinct points raised by RobotBeat are correct, but there is a fifth, at least, probably a few more.

5) There are some people who accept SLS as a potentially valuable LV, but who continue to point out that it need be no larger than seventy tons to LEO in its initial configuration.

This fifth viewpoint could lead to a sustainable US HSF program for the next few decades, if that is what policymakers actually want to happen.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #63 on: 04/05/2013 08:41 pm »
SLS is extremely poor value but it's a path to a launch vehicle that works.

MSFC, Boeing, ATK & MAF will produce the worlds next heavy lift rocket.

What will it's lifetime be? What missions will it fly? Who cares, NASA knows they need payloads and they're leaving plenty of time to build those payloads.

They're not committed to do any mission until 2025.

Say the 2021 flight can be bumped to 2019 with a small boost for SLS/Orion would this get NASA to an asteroid quicker?

If SLS is cancelled they can still use it to build another station which can then be resupplied and crew rotated with commercial vehicles. Some sort of hab is needed to study long duration spaceflight when the ISS is gone. I believe ISS isn't going to last until 2028. Eventually repairs will cut into the science return too much and the hard decision will need to be made. Is NASA supposed to build another station in small chunks?

There has already been interest shown in Europe with the SM being built. Things don't just end when EM-2 is over.

SLS is going to be big but it has to be big. MPCV chews up the payload by itself.

I think a Lunar lander could be built quickly to be ready for a Lunar landing in the 2020s if the next administration wants to change direction. This is a good thing, NASA wants to be flexible because these changes in the people making decisions do happen.

Was Falcon Heavy ever delayed? At one point I thought the first launch was in 2012. Was this misinformation to make it look like it's closer to getting in the air long before SLS? Falcon Heavy is not an alternative, it's a privately funded development project.

SLS might only launch 10-15 times before it's not required any more but I think it is required because even if SpaceX can solve all NASA's launch needs they won't be doing so for a long time yet.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #64 on: 04/05/2013 11:23 pm »
SLS is extremely poor value but it's a path to a launch vehicle that works.

Not everyone agrees with that statement.. nor does history.

"Ares is extremely poor value but it's a path to a launch vehicle that works." - Mike Griffin (paraphrasing)
« Last Edit: 04/05/2013 11:24 pm by QuantumG »
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #65 on: 04/05/2013 11:55 pm »
Ares had problems that posters were pointing out on these forums that NASA didn't acknowledge. SLS/Orion has been open and honest about any issues they've had.

Chris recently wrote this up into the article about QM-1.

Quote
The slip to the end of the year is in part related to an issue with the aft segment of the QM-1, which was found to have about a two foot-wide area where propellant had debonded from the inside of the segment wall.

After some analysis which found no voids in the actual propellant NASA decided to ask ATK to scrap the segment and cast a replacement.

Delivering the components to KSC on time is going to be a challenge but from everything I've seen the people are enthusiastic and optimistic about meeting the 2017 launch deadline.

Ares clearly did not work and those lessons have been applied. http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/irkm-aixll/

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #66 on: 04/05/2013 11:59 pm »
Ares had problems that posters were pointing out on these forums that NASA didn't acknowledge.

So does SLS.

Quote
SLS/Orion has been open and honest about any issues they've had.

Wow, you're so easily placated.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Longhorn John

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #67 on: 04/06/2013 12:21 am »
Ares had problems that posters were pointing out on these forums that NASA didn't acknowledge.

So does SLS.

Quote
SLS/Orion has been open and honest about any issues they've had.

Wow, you're so easily placated.



You make an accusation of SLS problems we don't know about, without mentioning any of them and then act sarcastically to someone who doesn't believe in conspiracy theories.

That reflects very poorly on yourself and was probably not worth posting.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #68 on: 04/06/2013 12:28 am »
Wow, you're so easily placated.

SLS is doing well for a program with a limited budget and extreme public scrutiny.

I'm not so trusting of commercial spaceflight that I think NASA doesn't need their own launch system.

If you agree with Mike Griffin about anything is your opinion tainted?  :P

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #69 on: 04/06/2013 01:30 am »
You make an accusation of SLS problems we don't know about, without mentioning any of them and then act sarcastically to someone who doesn't believe in conspiracy theories.

That reflects very poorly on yourself and was probably not worth posting.

We've been over the problems with SLS a thousand times already.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #70 on: 04/06/2013 01:16 pm »
MSFC, Boeing, ATK & MAF will produce the world's next heavy lift rocket.

Certainly this is the contractural case, barring future congressional cancellation.  The next few sentences do not follow:

Quote from: Spectre
What will [SLS's] lifetime be? What missions will it fly? Who cares, NASA knows they need payloads and they're leaving plenty of time to build those payloads.

It is theoretically possible that NASA is "leaving" plenty of time to develop payloads.  The word "leaving", if true, would be clearly indicative of NASA's intention, as if to suggest that this was the plan all along.

That doesn't seem likely.

Quote from: Spectre
If SLS is cancelled they can still use it to build another station...

You're going to have to tighten up on grammar and logic; this makes no sense whatsoever.  If they should cancel the rocket, how they can still use it?

Not sure what you're driving at.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #71 on: 04/06/2013 03:40 pm »
Far from being subjected to extreme public scrutiny, most people don't even know SLS even exists or is planned at all.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline RocketEconomist327

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #72 on: 04/06/2013 03:46 pm »
That's a good point. Not that it would ever happen, but there could be a massive 50,000 post petition thread where everyone posts in support of scrapping SLS.... and it would have zero influence.

<snip>

...or a Penny for NASA...

Chris is right - this op ed will have minimal impact at best and if people are intellectually honest, none.

People can whine and complain on both sides.  Nothing is going to change until the whole thing crushes itself upon its own economic and schedule weight.

Congress knows the numbers.  The President knows the numbers.  NASA knows the numbers.  They do not add up - however - this will not stop those with a microphone from saying everything is "ok" and then say they are "surprised" by budget underfunding and schedule slips.

SMH
RE327

You can talk about all the great things you can do, or want to do, in space; but unless the rocket scientists get a sound understanding of economics (and quickly), the US space program will never achieve the greatness it should.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

Offline RocketEconomist327

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #73 on: 04/06/2013 03:51 pm »
Falcon Heavy is a disruptive development. Until it actually exists it's not an alternative. I will treat all FH based proposals as pure fantasy until SpaceX sorts out their development and operations for such a large launch vehicle.

SLS is still the best path forward today.

Skylab II, Gateway station, Fast track Europa mission are all good options for SLS.

If a lunar lander is funded of course NASA can then visit a lunar pole. SLS can then evolve to support NEA/Mars missions.

Even SpaceX doesn't think FH is big enough. They wouldn't be considering a 7m+ core MCT if they did.

FH flies long before SLS ever does - wager?

FH is big enough - fuel depots

FH is the more fiscally responsible

You cannot come on this board and tell me the engineers at MSFC and JSC are so stupid they could not build a mission using multiple FH launches.  They could...

...privately some have.

All in a much quicker time frame and on much sounder economic footing.

No one can even tell me one payload that will fly on SLS.  There is ZERO funding for payloads and missions.  We have to build the rocket first... kind of like we have to pass the bill before we see whats in it.

VR
RE327
You can talk about all the great things you can do, or want to do, in space; but unless the rocket scientists get a sound understanding of economics (and quickly), the US space program will never achieve the greatness it should.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

Offline Hauerg

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #74 on: 04/06/2013 04:15 pm »
Wow, you're so easily placated.

SLS is doing well for a program with a limited budget and extreme public scrutiny.

I'm not so trusting of commercial spaceflight that I think NASA doesn't need their own launch system.

If you agree with Mike Griffin about anything is your opinion tainted?  :P

Really?

Fine. Give SLS/Orion and commercial the same amount and look what will happen.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #75 on: 04/06/2013 04:19 pm »
As simonbp and JBF have said above, wouldn't it be better to choose (and fund) the mission, and then decide whether using SLS is the best way to accomplish it?

And if it turns out you need SLS for that one particular mission, you have to delay it for 7 or 8 years while you develop SLS? No funding will survive that long a delay or bear the added cost.

It's simple, choose the mission(s) first, then evaluate the best rockets for accomplishing them.  That's just common sense, which is being ignored at present.

Quote
For the last 30 years, people have been proposing 1, 2, 3, etc. And every time someone says "no you can't do that, we don't have a HLV anymore".

And there are credible studies showing that those people are wrong, especially with regard to Nos. 1 and 2, which have been studied most.  Regarding lunar missions, see, for example, Golden Spike or the Spudis & Lavoie proposal (it baselines a 70-tonne HLV, but explicitly states that it's not needed, and that's especially significant since co-author Lavoie is from MSFC).  Regarding asteroids, have a look at Alan Wilhite's study, according to which reaching an NEA is much cheaper without a heavy lifter.

Quote
Maybe these missions can be done without HLV. It doesn't matter if they can. As long as there's a reasonable doubt, the objectors can and have stopped all such projects.

The way to choose whether to use an HLV or not is to have the engineers hash out the options, as was done with Apollo's famous mode debate.  That hasn't happened with SLS.

Quote
Think of SLS as a rather expensive counter argument. Once you have it, every thing is more plausible, whether you use it or not.
 
Of course if you do have it and are paying to maintain the capacity, the marginal cost of using it will often be far less than the alternatives, so you'll probably use it.

It makes things less plausible, because it chews up so much money in development and fixed costs.  Just look at the budget scenarios NASA itself has published: without big budget boosts (and NASA's budget has gone down, not up, since the scenarios were published), there will be no money to develop the systems to fly on SLS.  The recently-proposed asteroid heist is terrible use of SLS but seems to be the first idea NASA's been able to produce for a mission of any interest that might actually be affordable.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #76 on: 04/07/2013 02:08 am »

FH flies long before SLS ever does - wager?

FH is big enough - fuel depots

FH is the more fiscally responsible

You cannot come on this board and tell me the engineers at MSFC and JSC are so stupid they could not build a mission using multiple FH launches.  They could...

...privately some have.

All in a much quicker time frame and on much sounder economic footing.

No one can even tell me one payload that will fly on SLS.  There is ZERO funding for payloads and missions.  We have to build the rocket first... kind of like we have to pass the bill before we see whats in it.

VR
RE327


I never said FH wouldn't fly first. How long is long? Long enough for NASA and various other regulatory bodies to be happy about putting a manned spacecraft on it? I don't think so.

Good option for gateway resupply perhaps.

NASA is not in the business of building fuel depots. They like large low loiter time LH2 stages. Use low ISP fuel or take the time to develop advanced cryogenic boiloff technology and that increases mission complexity and adds risk.

FH is not more fiscally responsible. The true costs, payload and launch rate are still not known.

Of course nobody can say what payload will fly on SLS, there are many options. That's what's good about a heavy lifter.

It is theoretically possible that NASA is "leaving" plenty of time to develop payloads.  The word "leaving", if true, would be clearly indicative of NASA's intention, as if to suggest that this was the plan all along.

That doesn't seem likely.

They're doing it because they don't have the funding right now. They've been honest about that. They need more hardware to do missions.

Quote from: Spectre
If SLS is cancelled they can still use it to build another station...

You're going to have to tighten up on grammar and logic; this makes no sense whatsoever.  If they should cancel the rocket, how they can still use it?

Not sure what you're driving at.

NASA had the option to launch a large space station the last time they had one spare and that was after Saturn V was cancelled. Of course SLS will not fly anything if it's cancelled in development, that's sort of given. I'm not going to type out monster article style posts so everybody can follow everything I'm saying without any prior knowledge. That would be a waste of space, I hate the posters that do that which is why I try to be concise.

This is already one of my larger posts but I have one more thing to respond to.

Really?

Fine. Give SLS/Orion and commercial the same amount and look what will happen.

SLS and Orion are commercial sort of. Boeing, Lockheed and ATK build the hardware. Perhaps it's the level of control over the design you have a problem with? SpaceX will want to do things their own way. If not the costs for NASA will be still be big.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #77 on: 04/07/2013 01:50 pm »
Quote from: Spectre
If SLS is cancelled they can still use it to build another station...

You're going to have to tighten up on grammar and logic; this makes no sense whatsoever.  If they should cancel the rocket, how they can still use it?

Not sure what you're driving at.

NASA had the option to launch a large space station the last time they had one spare and that was after Saturn V was cancelled. Of course SLS will not fly anything if it's cancelled in development, that's sort of given. I'm not going to type out monster article style posts so everybody can follow everything I'm saying without any prior knowledge. That would be a waste of space, I hate the posters that do that which is why I try to be concise.

Just to quote you as concisely as possible then, "If SLS is cancelled they can still use it to build another station".

Build a space station with a cancelled rocket? 
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #78 on: 04/07/2013 11:44 pm »
Dear John

Thanks for your insightful commentary on my posting.

I'm sorry you're still confused as to what I was trying to say.

I mean if SLS is produced, not cancelled in development then not used for exploration because the whole BEO architecture doesn't appear.

Please accept my apologies for my poorly worded rantings and thanks for your response.

Yours sincerely,
Stephen

Offline beancounter

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Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
« Reply #79 on: 04/08/2013 03:03 am »
Dear John

Thanks for your insightful commentary on my posting.

I'm sorry you're still confused as to what I was trying to say.

I mean if SLS is produced, not cancelled in development then not used for exploration because the whole BEO architecture doesn't appear.

Please accept my apologies for my poorly worded rantings and thanks for your response.

Yours sincerely,
Stephen

Ha, finally a 'Dear John' letter, er post.   ;)
Beancounter from DownUnder

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