Author Topic: Landing By 2024?  (Read 37162 times)

Offline StarshipSLS

  • Member
  • Posts: 65
  • Image: NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  • PA
  • Liked: 16
  • Likes Given: 8
Landing By 2024?
« on: 05/04/2021 12:54 am »
Is landing back on the moon by 2024 still possible. Launches keep being pushed back.
Example:
2016 was the original time NASA was supposed to launch SLS.
Moved to...
2018
2020
2021/2
Artemis II was supposed to launch in 2022. Now in 2023.
I love space very much. I like best NASA and SpaceX programs.

Offline Khadgars

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1723
  • Orange County, California
  • Liked: 1103
  • Likes Given: 3036
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #1 on: 05/04/2021 02:12 am »
It was always a aspirational goal, which I think is a good thing to motivate.  But its still unlikely.  Its more likely Artemis III in 2024 goes either to Gateway or does simulated mission in lunar orbit to practice for landing, possibly Artemis IV.
Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Proponent

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7148
  • Liked: 2665
  • Likes Given: 1378
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #2 on: 05/04/2021 02:30 am »
2016 was the original time NASA was supposed to launch SLS.

SLS and Orion were supposed to be operational to LEO by 2016, implying one or more test flights, likely by 2015 at the latest.

Online jadebenn

  • Professional Lurker
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1087
  • Orbiting the Mun
  • Liked: 1138
  • Likes Given: 3214
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #3 on: 05/04/2021 05:30 am »
SLS is not the pacing item for a Lunar landing. That would be the lander itself.

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7921
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 9238
  • Likes Given: 11006
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #4 on: 05/04/2021 06:17 am »
SLS is not the pacing item for a Lunar landing. That would be the lander itself.

I'd say that is too soon to claim, taking into account the past assumptions about when future SLS & Orion milestones would be met (and that were not), and the lack of any successful full-up flights for either systems yet. Have we finally moved past the point where the SLS program is still slipping year for year on its first launch date?

Plus, the Artemis program requires flying humans on just the second flight of the SLS, and the same for the first human-occupied flight of the Orion - which is seriously optimistic for both. We all know what happened with the first test flight of Starliner, which was a good reminder of how little things can produce large schedule delays.

In fact the only reason the 2024 date can't be ruled out at this point is because of SpaceX. If SpaceX hadn't bid for the HLS contract NASA would have not awarded any contracts for 2024. And many of us have estimated previously that none of the other HLS teams would have had the ability to meet the 2024 date anyways.

I'm sure there are plenty of people that doubt SpaceX will be ready with their HLS lander in time for a 2024 landing, but there are also plenty of people that think SpaceX will. Time will tell.

Bottom line is that I don't think we have enough evidence of schedule momentum to have confidence in a 2024 landing date yet. The SLS and Orion are still too early in their development programs.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Avatar2Go

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 372
  • Illinois, USA
  • Liked: 304
  • Likes Given: 223
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #5 on: 05/04/2021 06:48 am »
The delays in the SLS program were for specific reasons that are well documented at NSF and elsewhere.  There is not a reason at present to believe there are similar delays still in the pipeline.  All the components are ready and have passed their individual testing phases.  The stack as a whole must still be tested (as described in a recent NSF article), and that will take time and may encounter minor delays.

I don't think the Starliner issues are very relevant to SLS.  They resulted from a rushed schedule and inadequate testing in a Boeing-led project.  SLS and Orion are NASA-led and testing has been very extensive, as we've seen, and will continue to be.  Definitely not rushed.

I would consider the lander to be the major risk factor at this point, given that it's actually the component that's in early stages of development.  No part of it actually exists at present, although prototypes are flying in the atmosphere to test portions of Earth reentry and landing.  Its booster also does not exist yet, or tanker.  The testing is well and good and I'm sure SpaceX will continue to make progress on all elements, but they are still some distance behind SLS and Orion in terms of maturity.

Therefore I would say that 2024 is a possibility but not a probability.  That has actually never changed from the moment it was proposed.  If the lander, booster, tanker, and orbital refueling are nearing maturity in 2 years, by the middle of 2023, there will be a good shot at 2024.

Musk generally achieves the things he sets out to do, but with some delay in the schedule, given how ambitious his goals are.  I would expect that delay to be about 2 years in this case, so perhaps 2026.  But that is just a guess, it's too early in the program to call.
« Last Edit: 05/04/2021 07:09 am by Avatar2Go »

Offline VSECOTSPE

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
  • Liked: 3481
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #6 on: 05/04/2021 02:27 pm »
There is not a reason at present to believe there are similar delays still in the pipeline.  All the components are ready and have passed their individual testing phases.  The stack as a whole must still be tested (as described in a recent NSF article), and that will take time and may encounter minor delays.

The SLS stack for Artemis I in 2021/2022 is the not the SLS stack for Artemis III in 2024.  Just because the former is finally approaching the finish line does not ensure the latter will be on time.

Due to their very low flight rate and fragile heritage, SLS/Orion will have production, processing, and operational issues for years to come.  Thereís no opportunity to rapidly iterate and wring the unknown unknowns out of the system or bring the workforce down the learning curve.  Expect schedule issues with every SLS/Orion launch for the foreseeable future.

Quote
I don't think the Starliner issues are very relevant to SLS.  They resulted from a rushed schedule and inadequate testing in a Boeing-led project.  SLS and Orion are NASA-led and testing has been very extensive, as we've seen, and will continue to be.  Definitely not rushed.

Starliner and SLS/Orion suffer from a paucity of integrated software testing.  Just because a program is slow does not mean that itís done adequate/more/better validation and testing.

Offline Proponent

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7148
  • Liked: 2665
  • Likes Given: 1378
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #7 on: 05/04/2021 03:16 pm »
SLS is not the pacing item for a Lunar landing. That would be the lander itself.

My purpose here is only to correct the very widespread misbelief that SLS was originally intended to fly for the first time in 2016.  Even Eric Berger gets this wrong.
« Last Edit: 05/04/2021 03:17 pm by Proponent »

Online kdhilliard

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 994
  • Kirk
  • Tanstaa, FL
  • Liked: 1398
  • Likes Given: 3485
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #8 on: 05/04/2021 05:07 pm »
2010 NASA Authorization Act:

 SLS:
Quote from: Section 302(c)(2)
FLEXIBILITY. ó The Space Launch System shall be designed from inception as a fully-integrated vehicle capable of carrying a total payload of 130 tons or more into low-Earth orbit in preparation for transit for missions beyond low-Earth orbit. The Space Launch System shall, to the extent practicable, incorporate capabilities for evolutionary growth to carry heavier payloads. Developmental work and testing of the core elements and the upper stage should proceed in parallel subject to appropriations.  Priority should be placed on the core elements with the goal for operational capability for the core elements not later than December 31, 2016.

 Orion:
Quote from: Section 303(a)(2)
GOAL FOR OPERATIONAL CAPABILITY. ó It shall be the goal to achieve full operational capability for the transportation vehicle developed pursuant to this subsection by not later than December 31, 2016.  For purposes of meeting such goal, the Administrator may undertake a test of the transportation vehicle at the ISS before that date.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #9 on: 05/04/2021 05:31 pm »
There is not a reason at present to believe there are similar delays still in the pipeline.  All the components are ready and have passed their individual testing phases.  The stack as a whole must still be tested (as described in a recent NSF article), and that will take time and may encounter minor delays.

The SLS stack for Artemis I in 2021/2022 is the not the SLS stack for Artemis III in 2024.  Just because the former is finally approaching the finish line does not ensure the latter will be on time.

Due to their very low flight rate and fragile heritage, SLS/Orion will have production, processing, and operational issues for years to come.  Thereís no opportunity to rapidly iterate and wring the unknown unknowns out of the system or bring the workforce down the learning curve.  Expect schedule issues with every SLS/Orion launch for the foreseeable future.

Quote
I don't think the Starliner issues are very relevant to SLS.  They resulted from a rushed schedule and inadequate testing in a Boeing-led project.  SLS and Orion are NASA-led and testing has been very extensive, as we've seen, and will continue to be.  Definitely not rushed.

Starliner and SLS/Orion suffer from a paucity of integrated software testing.  Just because a program is slow does not mean that itís done adequate/more/better validation and testing.
The first flight of SLS is test flight it will showup design issues that need fixing. Hopefully those issues won't result in mission failure.


Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk


Online yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15704
  • Liked: 5991
  • Likes Given: 2643
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #10 on: 05/04/2021 08:28 pm »
I am not convinced that 2024 isn't possible. In its HLS contract, SpaceX has commited to the 2024 date. Musk even said that SpaceX expects to be ready before that (presumably 2023).

If Starship can get to orbit this year, I would expect 2024 to be a possibility.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #11 on: 05/04/2021 08:54 pm »
I am not convinced that 2024 isn't possible. In its HLS contract, SpaceX has commited to the 2024 date. Musk even said that SpaceX expects to be ready before that (presumably 2023).

If Starship can get to orbit this year, I would expect 2024 to be a possibility.

It's probably not impossible but I personally don't think it's very likely. 2025 is where my money's at, assuming typical schedule slips and that development and test flights (both for Artemis and Starship) go reasonably well.

Delay to 2026 if there are a significant amount of technical issues with Artemis I / II, and/or Starship / HLS development, especially if issues pop up with refueling operations in orbit.
"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
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline Avatar2Go

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 372
  • Illinois, USA
  • Liked: 304
  • Likes Given: 223
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #12 on: 05/04/2021 10:59 pm »
Artemis 3 is scheduled to use an SLS Block 1 stack, as is Artemis 1 and 2.  So there will be two complete rehearsal flights.  Historically that has been sufficient for mission success. 

There is no paucity of testing for SLS/Orion, only a different philosophy of testing than the frequent trial and error employed by SpaceX.  Both have advantages and disadvantages.  They both converge on the same result in the end.  As a public man-rated program, NASA is accustomed to minimizing perceived failure, so their strategy is a rigorous test campaign prior to test flight.

Offline VSECOTSPE

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
  • Liked: 3481
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #13 on: 05/04/2021 11:10 pm »
Artemis 3 is scheduled to use an SLS Block 1 stack, as is Artemis 1 and 2.  So there will be two complete rehearsal flights.  Historically that has been sufficient for mission success.

The thread is about mission schedule, not failure/success.

Quote
There is no paucity of testing for SLS/Orion

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/10/asap-urges-software-test-artemis/
« Last Edit: 05/04/2021 11:10 pm by VSECOTSPE »

Offline Starlab90

  • NASA Retired
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 513
  • Huntsville, AL
  • Liked: 786
  • Likes Given: 312
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #14 on: 05/04/2021 11:58 pm »

Quote
There is no paucity of testing for SLS/Orion

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/10/asap-urges-software-test-artemis/

Yes, well, this was one time when ASAP got it wrong. They're human beings too, and they can make mistakes just like the rest of us.

Offline VSECOTSPE

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 985
  • Liked: 3481
  • Likes Given: 2
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #15 on: 05/05/2021 12:49 am »
Yes, well, this was one time when ASAP got it wrong.

Remains to be determined.  The Artemis I flight will be the first integrated test of SLS/Orion software.

And until the program implements an integrated software capability, Starliner-like incidents will be a threat for Artemis II, Artemis III, etc.

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2020/10/nasa-sls-softwa.html
« Last Edit: 05/05/2021 01:08 am by VSECOTSPE »

Online yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15704
  • Liked: 5991
  • Likes Given: 2643
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #16 on: 05/05/2021 02:14 am »

Quote
There is no paucity of testing for SLS/Orion

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2020/10/asap-urges-software-test-artemis/

Yes, well, this was one time when ASAP got it wrong. They're human beings too, and they can make mistakes just like the rest of us.

It wasn't the only time. ASAP was firmly against commercial crew when it was first announced.

Offline Coastal Ron

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7921
  • I live... along the coast
  • Liked: 9238
  • Likes Given: 11006
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #17 on: 05/05/2021 02:39 am »
The delays in the SLS program were for specific reasons that are well documented at NSF and elsewhere.

Um, that is an empty statement devoid of any useful information, since EVERY delay for any program is usually well documented. That doesn't mean that history foretells the future though.

Quote
There is not a reason at present to believe there are similar delays still in the pipeline.

Similar, maybe not. However most of the historical delays were unique, not the same, meaning if there are future delays they are likely to be new issues. The classic, unknown unknowns.

Quote
All the components are ready and have passed their individual testing phases.  The stack as a whole must still be tested (as described in a recent NSF article), and that will take time and may encounter minor delays.

As someone who has spent decades in the manufacturing world I can tell you that just because you have all the components for something, that doesn't means you have a finished product. There are still many steps to go before a complete SLS is ready for launch, and only after the SLS launches will the final testing phase begin. When the testing program ends is up to the performance of each SLS flight.

Quote
I don't think the Starliner issues are very relevant to SLS.  They resulted from a rushed schedule and inadequate testing in a Boeing-led project.

The root cause NASA found was not related to schedule, it was related to a flawed testing program Boeing had created. Since Boeing is the prime contractor for the SLS it is not unreasonable to wonder if Boeing has flaws in other product testing programs.

Quote
Definitely not rushed.

Congress originally mandated the SLS to be OPERATIONAL (i.e. done with its testing program) by the end of 2016, so obviously Boeing has not felt any schedule pressure. And since the SLS program is a Cost Plus program, they haven't had any financial pressure to 'git er done'. In other words, Boeing has no financial incentive to support the 2024 date...  ;)
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Joseph Peterson

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 752
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Liked: 562
  • Likes Given: 14347
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #18 on: 05/05/2021 03:17 am »
It a landing in 2024 still possible?  Yes, but I wouldn't bet on it.

There are two primary pieces to the puzzle, the lander and the ride to and from the lander.  Since we're in the SLS section I'm going to focus on the ride to and from the lander, specifically the launch vehicle.  As of today it appears that the first test launch could happen before the year is out.  The question is how many problems are left to be discovered and their severity.  Given the low production rate of roughly one per year we'll only get at most one more chance at an uncrewed test flight if we want to have a crewed test flight before a 2024 landing attempt.  We have to hope that there aren't any severe problems that require a long stand down for redesign or a landing in 2024 is not going to happen.

The same applies to Orion.  The lander is also a risk, but at least SpaceX is flight testing early and often.

Online Ben Baley

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 190
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 223
  • Likes Given: 207
Re: Landing By 2024?
« Reply #19 on: 05/05/2021 04:17 am »
It a landing in 2024 still possible?  Yes, but I wouldn't bet on it.

There are two primary pieces to the puzzle, the lander and the ride to and from the lander.  Since we're in the SLS section I'm going to focus on the ride to and from the lander, specifically the launch vehicle.  As of today it appears that the first test launch could happen before the year is out.  The question is how many problems are left to be discovered and their severity.  Given the low production rate of roughly one per year we'll only get at most one more chance at an uncrewed test flight if we want to have a crewed test flight before a 2024 landing attempt.  We have to hope that there aren't any severe problems that require a long stand down for redesign or a landing in 2024 is not going to happen.

The same applies to Orion.  The lander is also a risk, but at least SpaceX is flight testing early and often.

I will consider 2024 probable when these three things happen, though not necessarily in this order

1. Starship launched to orbit on Super Heavy and booster recovered. Probably in 2021 maybe Q3

2. Orion launched on SLS for Artemis 1 with no major issues discovered. Probably Q1 2022

3. Successful in Space fuel transfer between Starships

I don't include landing Starship from orbit because even without tanker reuse it's still economical if not paradigm changing.

 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement SkyTale Software GmbH
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1