Author Topic: LIVE: Congressional Hearings into Obama's NASA Budget FY2011 - Feb 24-25 Part 2  (Read 319763 times)

Online jongoff

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If you want to go BEO, you need HLVs. It's either that or fuel depots, but since using fuel depots has never been done, they'll probably be conservative and go for HLVs. By they I mean the senators pushing this compromise bill.

Even this isn't correct.  There are exploration missions you can do in cislunar space (including the lunar surface) that don't require depots or HLVs.  Depots make it possible to do robust, non-HLV missions throughout cislunar space and most of the way to Mars.  HLVs *might* be needed for manned mars surface missions, and for missions beyond Mars, but that's a bit off.

~Jon

Thanks and if I understand your post correctly, even with fuel depots there might be a need for an HLV for a Mars human mission?

Might.  There are several technologies that could enable manned Mars missions without HLVs, but most of them are at low TRL right now.  They *might* pan out, but we won't know until we've tried them.  Things like MHD enhanced aerobraking/aerocapture/reentry TPS, supersonic retropropulsion for EDL, biconic lifting reentry, Solar-electric propulsion, depots, inflatable habitats, Mars surface ISRU, etc.

The good news IMO is that the current budget would put all the pieces in place for an HLV (high thrust booster engines and high thrust/high efficiency upper stage engines) in case you need that capability down the road, without requiring you to do the HLV ASAP, before you really need it. 

If you go the SDLV route, you really do need to do it now, before the Shuttle infrastructure and workforce go away.  I know I'm not going to make any friends by saying this, but that means you have the carrying cost of the HLV standing army from now until the time you actually need it.  Sure, if you have an HLV you can use it for many of the missions that didn't need HLVs, but that comes with at the opportunity cost of making it harder to raise private capital to invest in the capabilities that can drive down launch costs, by removing a large potential market.

If on the other hand, you develop large first stage and upper stage engines, you can turn on the new HLV capability closer to the time when you know if you'll actually need it, giving a window to allow new technologies and market competition for the large exploration propellant market work for a while to see if we can come up with something better.  This way you don't "lose the capability to build an HLV", but you're also not tied to it if it turns out not to be needed.  Also it gives you more time to figure out what your actual requirements for the HLV are.  Depending on the various technologies, the optimal "HLV" might only be 40-50mT, or it might be in the Ares-V size range.  You can go either way if you have the first stage engines and upper stage engines developed. 

Funnily enough this is exactly how it was done in Apollo.  The F-1 engine was actually started long before Kennedy's speech because it was pretty apparent that a large LOX/Kero engine would be useful for exploration.  They had no idea how big the vehicle would be, how many engines there would be per stage, what the mission mode or destination would be, etc.  But they picked something reasonable and got to work on it.

But, as we all know though from all the technology development experts here on NSF, the F-1 was a total failure because it wasn't developed with a firm goal, destination, and timetable in mind when it started....

~Jon

Online jongoff

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Flight International

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/02/25/338812/congress-to-dump-obama-nasa-plan.html

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2010/02/senator-hutchinsons-wish-list.html

Has a story on an alternate congressional plan (with an authentic looking bill) and support for Ares I-X part II, Shuttle to 2015, Orion, 2x commercial, and SDLV (25kt to GEO????).  How they pay for all this in the budget and still accomplish something (BEO) is beyond me, but I think jobs is their goal.

The administrator shall take steps to include options for development by an industry consortium...using existing space shuttle propulsion technologies and related existing infrastructure for defining a cost effective means of obtaining the early development of a crew launch capability to launch a commercially developed multiple-application crew transportation module as well as current payload capabilities approximating those of the space shuttle orbiter. Such development should include evaluation of a variant of the Orion crew exploration vehicle...and an examination of the potential for evolution of such a system to a heavy lift variant using technology developed under a Heavy Lift Vehicle and Propulsion Research and Development Program





Just a note or two on the "leaked" draft bill:

a) Note that the heading is "Staff Working Draft", so it is not necessarily the current version; in fact, it is dated February 9th, and the most recent draft is dated February 22nd.

b) Changes to such a working draft can--and likely will--be made right up until very shortly before it is introduced, so it should not be considered as a finished product, however closely it may be to what becomes the final version.

Thanks 51D!  It's always good getting insight into how the process works from someone actually in the trenches.

~Jon

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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During the hearings Nelson and Gibson brought up continuing Ares I development with the goal of using that to develop a HLV down the line, a couple of other senators asked about a shuttle extension, so if this document is genuine it might be the source for those remarks and whatever is in it is likely what congress will be pushing for.
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Offline mmeijeri

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Might.  There are several technologies that could enable manned Mars missions without HLVs, but most of them are at low TRL right now.  They *might* pan out, but we won't know until we've tried them.  Things like MHD enhanced aerobraking/aerocapture/reentry TPS, supersonic retropropulsion for EDL, biconic lifting reentry, Solar-electric propulsion, depots, inflatable habitats, Mars surface ISRU, etc.

True, but bear in mind that the same goes for atmospheric deceleration of large and heavy structures. Our friend Braun wrote a paper a while ago that indicated that hypersonic retropropulsion might be crucial, even with large heat shields. It's not as if large heat shields are a safe fallback option. There does not appear to be any proven technology that can do this without enormous cost. Non-hypersonic retropropulsion would work, but would realistically require cryogenic propellant transfer in Mars orbit or NTR.

Agreeing with your larger point of course.
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Online Robotbeat

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It it still possible that HLVs will turn out to be super-useful for building large structures but that too is not yet a proven fact.

Well the compromise bill pushes for HLV development and if it passes we might get one, whether it's needed or not.

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2010/02/senator-hutchinsons-wish-list.html

    Quote:
Alternative heavy lift vehicles able to launch 25,000kg (55,000lb) into LEO and 6,800kg into geosynchronous orbit must also form part of this 90-day review. The bill says of this heavy lift evaluation-:

          - the administrator is "directed" to select a heavy lift launch vehicle design concept and to "initiate detailed design activities" within six months after the act's enactment
          - the heavy lift vehicles can be solely government or developed in partnership with commercial organisations
          - an "evolutionary" approach that enables "early" human spaceflight must be considered
          - comparative development and projected operational costs must be supplied
What the heck is the point of this? We already have TWO vehicles which can put more than 25 tons in LEO and 10 tons in GTO (okay, fine, the Atlas V Heavy variant hasn't flown yet, but so what? The Delta IV Heavy has.).
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Offline mmeijeri

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Yikes, I hadn't noticed the 25mT. In that case the intent is clearly to preserve something like Ares I.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2010 05:02 pm by mmeijeri »
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Offline MarkWhittington

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If you want to go BEO, you need HLVs. It's either that or fuel depots, but since using fuel depots has never been done, they'll probably be conservative and go for HLVs. By they I mean the senators pushing this compromise bill.

Even this isn't correct.  There are exploration missions you can do in cislunar space (including the lunar surface) that don't require depots or HLVs.  Depots make it possible to do robust, non-HLV missions throughout cislunar space and most of the way to Mars.  HLVs *might* be needed for manned mars surface missions, and for missions beyond Mars, but that's a bit off.

~Jon

Thanks and if I understand your post correctly, even with fuel depots there might be a need for an HLV for a Mars human mission?

Might.  There are several technologies that could enable manned Mars missions without HLVs, but most of them are at low TRL right now.  They *might* pan out, but we won't know until we've tried them.  Things like MHD enhanced aerobraking/aerocapture/reentry TPS, supersonic retropropulsion for EDL, biconic lifting reentry, Solar-electric propulsion, depots, inflatable habitats, Mars surface ISRU, etc.

The good news IMO is that the current budget would put all the pieces in place for an HLV (high thrust booster engines and high thrust/high efficiency upper stage engines) in case you need that capability down the road, without requiring you to do the HLV ASAP, before you really need it. 

If you go the SDLV route, you really do need to do it now, before the Shuttle infrastructure and workforce go away.  I know I'm not going to make any friends by saying this, but that means you have the carrying cost of the HLV standing army from now until the time you actually need it.  Sure, if you have an HLV you can use it for many of the missions that didn't need HLVs, but that comes with at the opportunity cost of making it harder to raise private capital to invest in the capabilities that can drive down launch costs, by removing a large potential market.

If on the other hand, you develop large first stage and upper stage engines, you can turn on the new HLV capability closer to the time when you know if you'll actually need it, giving a window to allow new technologies and market competition for the large exploration propellant market work for a while to see if we can come up with something better.  This way you don't "lose the capability to build an HLV", but you're also not tied to it if it turns out not to be needed.  Also it gives you more time to figure out what your actual requirements for the HLV are.  Depending on the various technologies, the optimal "HLV" might only be 40-50mT, or it might be in the Ares-V size range.  You can go either way if you have the first stage engines and upper stage engines developed. 

Funnily enough this is exactly how it was done in Apollo.  The F-1 engine was actually started long before Kennedy's speech because it was pretty apparent that a large LOX/Kero engine would be useful for exploration.  They had no idea how big the vehicle would be, how many engines there would be per stage, what the mission mode or destination would be, etc.  But they picked something reasonable and got to work on it.

But, as we all know though from all the technology development experts here on NSF, the F-1 was a total failure because it wasn't developed with a firm goal, destination, and timetable in mind when it started....

~Jon

Actually, Jon, the Moon was envisioned as the first exploration goal even before Kennedy's announcement. You should really study a little history before you make posts like that.

Online Robotbeat

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If you want to go BEO, you need HLVs. It's either that or fuel depots, but since using fuel depots has never been done, they'll probably be conservative and go for HLVs. By they I mean the senators pushing this compromise bill.

Even this isn't correct.  There are exploration missions you can do in cislunar space (including the lunar surface) that don't require depots or HLVs.  Depots make it possible to do robust, non-HLV missions throughout cislunar space and most of the way to Mars.  HLVs *might* be needed for manned mars surface missions, and for missions beyond Mars, but that's a bit off.

~Jon

Thanks and if I understand your post correctly, even with fuel depots there might be a need for an HLV for a Mars human mission?

Might.  There are several technologies that could enable manned Mars missions without HLVs, but most of them are at low TRL right now.  They *might* pan out, but we won't know until we've tried them.  Things like MHD enhanced aerobraking/aerocapture/reentry TPS, supersonic retropropulsion for EDL, biconic lifting reentry, Solar-electric propulsion, depots, inflatable habitats, Mars surface ISRU, etc.

The good news IMO is that the current budget would put all the pieces in place for an HLV (high thrust booster engines and high thrust/high efficiency upper stage engines) in case you need that capability down the road, without requiring you to do the HLV ASAP, before you really need it. 

If you go the SDLV route, you really do need to do it now, before the Shuttle infrastructure and workforce go away.  I know I'm not going to make any friends by saying this, but that means you have the carrying cost of the HLV standing army from now until the time you actually need it.  Sure, if you have an HLV you can use it for many of the missions that didn't need HLVs, but that comes with at the opportunity cost of making it harder to raise private capital to invest in the capabilities that can drive down launch costs, by removing a large potential market.

If on the other hand, you develop large first stage and upper stage engines, you can turn on the new HLV capability closer to the time when you know if you'll actually need it, giving a window to allow new technologies and market competition for the large exploration propellant market work for a while to see if we can come up with something better.  This way you don't "lose the capability to build an HLV", but you're also not tied to it if it turns out not to be needed.  Also it gives you more time to figure out what your actual requirements for the HLV are.  Depending on the various technologies, the optimal "HLV" might only be 40-50mT, or it might be in the Ares-V size range.  You can go either way if you have the first stage engines and upper stage engines developed. 

Funnily enough this is exactly how it was done in Apollo.  The F-1 engine was actually started long before Kennedy's speech because it was pretty apparent that a large LOX/Kero engine would be useful for exploration.  They had no idea how big the vehicle would be, how many engines there would be per stage, what the mission mode or destination would be, etc.  But they picked something reasonable and got to work on it.

But, as we all know though from all the technology development experts here on NSF, the F-1 was a total failure because it wasn't developed with a firm goal, destination, and timetable in mind when it started....

~Jon

Actually, Jon, the Moon was envisioned as the first exploration goal even before Kennedy's announcement. You should really study a little history before you make posts like that.
???
You're just making Jon's point for him. Mars is envisioned as our exploration goal, along with going to the Moon. No "plan" or deadline was established before JFK.
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 Jeff Bingham

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It it still possible that HLVs will turn out to be super-useful for building large structures but that too is not yet a proven fact.

Well the compromise bill pushes for HLV development and if it passes we might get one, whether it's needed or not.

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2010/02/senator-hutchinsons-wish-list.html

    Quote:
Alternative heavy lift vehicles able to launch 25,000kg (55,000lb) into LEO and 6,800kg into geosynchronous orbit must also form part of this 90-day review. The bill says of this heavy lift evaluation-:

          - the administrator is "directed" to select a heavy lift launch vehicle design concept and to "initiate detailed design activities" within six months after the act's enactment
          - the heavy lift vehicles can be solely government or developed in partnership with commercial organisations
          - an "evolutionary" approach that enables "early" human spaceflight must be considered
          - comparative development and projected operational costs must be supplied
What the heck is the point of this? We already have TWO vehicles which can put more than 25 tons in LEO and 10 tons in GTO (okay, fine, the Atlas V Heavy variant hasn't flown yet, but so what? The Delta IV Heavy has.).

I say AGAIN...you are not looking at the current version of that bill...those numbers are not in the current version. I would hazard a guess that you will likely see the final version posted on this website before it appears anywhere else, so I suggest folks keep their powder dry!
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Yikes, I hadn't noticed the 25mT. In that case the intent is clearly to preserve something like Ares I.

Add to that that they are calling Ares I (rocket X) and a couple of congressmen asking what it would take to keep the PoR going and things don't look good  :-\
I get the feeling they're trying not only to keep Constellation alive, but also extend shuttle. I can get behind the second part, but it's impossible to continue Cxp, do an extension and still do all the R&D and science outlined in the 2011 budget proposal. Where's the money going to come from? Something's got to give, question is what?

I say AGAIN...you are not looking at the current version of that bill...those numbers are not in the current version. I would hazard a guess that you will likely see the final version posted on this website before it appears anywhere else, so I suggest folks keep their powder dry!

Ok, but I don't like the way this is going.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2010 05:48 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
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Offline marsavian

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Yikes, I hadn't noticed the 25mT. In that case the intent is clearly to preserve something like Ares I.

Cx may be reinstated in full as a worst case scenario for you commercial fans. Considering the Administration basically declared unilateral 'bite me' war on Congress with their surprise Cx cancel order anything is possible in retaliatory anger given enough votes. If the Administration had been a lot smarter and actually agreed with Congress beforehand say an Augustine SD-HLV/Orion Flexible Path compromise Cx may have been canceled relatively easily. However having got all their backs up with this strident path they may just choose to do the complete opposite now and Obama won't bother to save his advisors pet projects if confronted over this relatively unimportant issue to him. So all bets are off as this is now all out war and very opinionated advisors/strategists will get bitten hard in the process as they have so juvenilely requested ;).

Offline HammerD

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Quote

I say AGAIN...you are not looking at the current version of that bill...those numbers are not in the current version. I would hazard a guess that you will likely see the final version posted on this website before it appears anywhere else, so I suggest folks keep their powder dry!

How do you know it's not in the current version? Have you seen it? Post it!!

Offline mmeijeri

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How do you know it's not in the current version? Have you seen it? Post it!!

He may prefer to keep his job...
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Offline psloss

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How do you know it's not in the current version? Have you seen it? Post it!!

He may prefer to keep his job...
Yes -- anyone can check out 51D's posts here to get an idea what he does.  The draft version appears to have been leaked; if that's the case, then the committee may (largely, not unanimously) not have wanted to do publicize works in progress and would prefer to release a vetted, final version.  It's the same "pre-decisional" process that Bolden referred to in his testimony that is rarely discussed publicly and even more rarely discussed in public while it is in progress.

Offline TexasRED

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Yikes, I hadn't noticed the 25mT. In that case the intent is clearly to preserve something like Ares I.

Cx may be reinstated in full as a worst case scenario for you commercial fans. Considering the Administration basically declared unilateral 'bite me' war on Congress with their surprise Cx cancel order anything is possible in retaliatory anger given enough votes. If the Administration had been a lot smarter and actually agreed with Congress beforehand say an Augustine SD-HLV/Orion Flexible Path compromise Cx may have been canceled relatively easily. However having got all their backs up with this strident path they may just choose to do the complete opposite now and Obama won't bother to save his advisors pet projects if confronted over this relatively unimportant issue to him. So all bets are off as this is now all out war and very opinionated advisors/strategists will get bitten hard in the process as they have so juvenilely requested ;).

Agreed.  I think most people think that CxP at a minimum needed to be modified (but not the DIE DIE DIE CxP!!! like some people post).  This has started a war, and now congress seems to be fighting for pure CxP instead of the necessary modifications needed for it be successful and more practical.

My question is why did the admin deviate from the Augustine version of flex path?

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Quote

I say AGAIN...you are not looking at the current version of that bill...those numbers are not in the current version. I would hazard a guess that you will likely see the final version posted on this website before it appears anywhere else, so I suggest folks keep their powder dry!

How do you know it's not in the current version? Have you seen it? Post it!!

Why would I post something that I know is not the final...when I'm already cautioning folks not to react to something I know is not final, because I am in a position to know (and that's all YOU need to know, hehe.)
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Halidon

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Yikes, I hadn't noticed the 25mT. In that case the intent is clearly to preserve something like Ares I.
I can think of a relatively straightforward end-around that. Specify the HLLV as an Atlas-V-B design using the new hydrocarbon engine and advanced upper stage.

Offline HammerD

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Quote

I say AGAIN...you are not looking at the current version of that bill...those numbers are not in the current version. I would hazard a guess that you will likely see the final version posted on this website before it appears anywhere else, so I suggest folks keep their powder dry!

How do you know it's not in the current version? Have you seen it? Post it!!

Why would I post something that I know is not the final...when I'm already cautioning folks not to react to something I know is not final, because I am in a position to know (and that's all YOU need to know, hehe.)

LOL...well the Feb 9th version is even more out of date...so at least we could argue over a newer revision instead of the old one ;-)

Offline marsavian

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Yikes, I hadn't noticed the 25mT. In that case the intent is clearly to preserve something like Ares I.

Cx may be reinstated in full as a worst case scenario for you commercial fans. Considering the Administration basically declared unilateral 'bite me' war on Congress with their surprise Cx cancel order anything is possible in retaliatory anger given enough votes. If the Administration had been a lot smarter and actually agreed with Congress beforehand say an Augustine SD-HLV/Orion Flexible Path compromise Cx may have been canceled relatively easily. However having got all their backs up with this strident path they may just choose to do the complete opposite now and Obama won't bother to save his advisors pet projects if confronted over this relatively unimportant issue to him. So all bets are off as this is now all out war and very opinionated advisors/strategists will get bitten hard in the process as they have so juvenilely requested ;).

Agreed.  I think most people think that CxP at a minimum needed to be modified (but not the DIE DIE DIE CxP!!! like some people post).  This has started a war, and now congress seems to be fighting for pure CxP instead of the necessary modifications needed for it be successful and more practical.

My question is why did the admin deviate from the Augustine version of flex path?

Why ? Because Obama basically sees NASA as another STEM branch and his advisors gave him their version of it with zero consideration or appreciation of the great NASA manned spaceflight legacy/personnel or future intentions as bipartisanly passed and authorized by two Congresses. What they all failed to grasp is that Apollo/Shuttle have motivated more STEM interest in youth and pride in older citizens than the rest of NASA put together.

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Apollo/Shuttle have motivated more STEM interest in youth and pride in older citizens than the rest of NASA put together.

Maybe that's true, but considering how the "inspired" public didn't do anything to keep Apollo going I don't think it counts for much.

P.S.
And presently the majority of the public doesn't care about the mess US HSF is in. Hell, most of them probably don't know about it.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2010 06:02 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

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