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General Discussion => Space Policy Discussion => Topic started by: docmordrid on 04/04/2013 12:08 am

Title: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: docmordrid on 04/04/2013 12:08 am
http://www.aviationweek.com/awmobile/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_04_01_2013_p66-563151.xml

Quote
Kill The Space Launch System To Save Human Spaceflight
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Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/04/2013 12:20 am
Hmm.

My first thought was "Ugg, here we go again".

My second thought was "Save $10 billion? Is that before or after they have to pay up the contracts with Boeing and such - then pay off thousands (?) of people they would need to fire from the Program, etc?"

My third thought (I'm a slow thinker :D) was that NASA's only got themselves to blame, for being wishy washy about SLS and Exploration (as much as some of it is designed by those politically aligned) - the creation of a stupid half-baked, unviable roadmap and an actual SLS manager giving an interview where he didn't even seem to be bothered (if that interview was correctly portrayed).

He likes the Gateway, that's cool. He likes Falcon Heavy, that's cool, but has he really thought this through (I don't know who he is, sorry). Is it really a magic wand to go and kill SLS now and everything will turn out sunshine and roses with $10b to play with?

I know bugger all about politics, but from my uniformed chair I bet it's no where near as simple as that! ;D
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Andy DC on 04/04/2013 12:27 am
Thought you supported SLS Chris?
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/04/2013 12:31 am
Thought you supported SLS Chris?

I like SLS - I think it's a great LV. But it's not just about the LV, it's about what the LV will be doing.

The plan for its use is - in my opinion - wrong, per the 2017/2021 then "we don't really know" prelim plan.

It's all well and good breeding a prize thoroughbred, but you've got to race him.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Rocket Science on 04/04/2013 12:39 am
If they killed SLS, they probably wouldn’t save the 10 Billion, it would be probably be cut from NASA’s annual budget (3 Billion so called annual savings) therefore no net gain... Nonsensical but that’s politics...
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: deltaV on 04/04/2013 12:50 am
I guess that's a serious piece despite its April 1st date?
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2013 01:03 am
If they killed SLS, they probably wouldn’t save the 10 Billion, it would be probably be cut from NASA’s annual budget (3 Billion so called annual savings) therefore no net gain... Nonsensical but that’s politics...

Let's say SLS is junk and should be cut.. you don't have to agree, just assume it for a moment. Let's also assume that cutting SLS will result in some annual reduction in NASA's top line budget. In this situation, are you saying SLS shouldn't be cut? Taking the question more broadly, can nothing be cut if to do so would be a threat to NASA's top line budget?

To put it more bluntly: is it better for NASA to waste money than to not get it at all?
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: KEdward5 on 04/04/2013 01:13 am
That's an argument an anti-NASA person would use, but as an American I don't consider NASA to be wasting any money.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Rocket Science on 04/04/2013 01:16 am
If they killed SLS, they probably wouldn’t save the 10 Billion, it would be probably be cut from NASA’s annual budget (3 Billion so called annual savings) therefore no net gain... Nonsensical but that’s politics...

Let's say SLS is junk and should be cut.. you don't have to agree, just assume it for a moment. Let's also assume that cutting SLS will result in some annual reduction in NASA's top line budget. In this situation, are you saying SLS shouldn't be cut? Taking the question more broadly, can nothing be cut if to do so would be a threat to NASA's top line budget?

To put it more bluntly: is it better for NASA to waste money than to not get it at all?

I know what you are saying (which makes sense) but NASA can’t just redirect funds as it wishes, as we saw with all the gnashing of teeth in the hearings over the commercial funding and the “apparent” sleight of hand accusations by KBH.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: simonbp on 04/04/2013 01:22 am
That's an argument an anti-NASA person would use, but as an American I don't consider NASA to be wasting any money.

Of course they are wasting money. Every organization does. The problem is that NASA is hemorrhaging money on a vehicle that has no certainly of ever actually flying...

The real answer is to give Human Spaceflight a big new mission which is *explicitly* not tied to a particular launch vehicle. An example would an L2 station, but there are others. Once you set that mission, then the requirements will follow. If SLS is needed to fill those requirements, so be it. But if not, cancel it.

The point is to be focused on the mission as the product, not the Shuttle mentality of the launch vehicle as product.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2013 01:27 am
That's an argument an anti-NASA person would use, but as an American I don't consider NASA to be wasting any money.

"anti-NASA" is a label used by pro-NASA people. If you think NASA can do no wrong, even when instructed by Congress to do obviously wrong things, then you've already ruled out any rational conversation on the subject.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/04/2013 01:33 am
I never heard of Peter A Wilson before but I think this is him

http://www.rand.org/about/people/w/wilson_peter_a.html

The money spent so far, and the money committed in contracts that would be spent if SLS were killed now... that's all sunk cost. has nothing to do with whether SLS is a good idea or not.

It's not. Everything SLS can do, other vehicles can do better, faster and cheaper. Kill it now, even if the money gets frittered away on other things like midnight basketball or whatever.

That's an argument an anti-NASA person would use, but as an American I don't consider NASA to be wasting any money.

"anti-NASA" is a label used by pro-NASA people. If you think NASA can do no wrong, even when instructed by Congress to do obviously wrong things, then you've already ruled out any rational conversation on the subject.


Exactly so.

I am a NASA supporter but I know for sure they waste money. I'd rather they wasted less rather than more.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: RocketEconomist327 on 04/04/2013 01:35 am
If they killed SLS, they probably wouldn’t save the 10 Billion, it would be probably be cut from NASA’s annual budget (3 Billion so called annual savings) therefore no net gain... Nonsensical but that’s politics...

No - it wouldn't be cut.  This line of reasoning is what makes problems worse in government and at NASA.

This is how bad programs get worse and good money is thrown after bad.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/04/2013 01:37 am
I never heard of Peter A Wilson before but I think this is him

http://www.rand.org/about/people/w/wilson_peter_a.html

Yeah, that's him.

Wonder why he's got involved - and why AW game him an op-ed slot. (No disrespect intended, but we can all publish someone like him and get vastly different responses).
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Rocket Science on 04/04/2013 01:59 am
Anyone remember all the “happy talk” that we needed to stop flying the Shuttle in order to fund SLS? What happened to those savings?
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/04/2013 02:07 am
Anyone remember all the “happy talk” that we needed to stop flying the Shuttle in order to fund SLS?

I don't think any such statement was made. They did say the money from Shuttle ($4.5b a year) would be diverted into "BEO Exploration" - which is not just SLS - that's just the LV.

Not sure how the $4.5b was split in the end?
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/04/2013 03:24 am
QuantumG: Even wasting money is still worth it when you're talking about keeping job skills crucial for national security and when the fiscal multiplier is greater than 1 (which, according to the IMF, it is... especially in areas of Florida with high unemployment). Of course, this will be rejected out of hand, but it's the truth. Working on even make-work stuff at NASA is better for the engineers (and society) than rotting on a couch collecting unemployment in the /present situation/ where fiscal austerity is contractionary (it definitely is, that's what the multiplier-more-than-1 means).

That said, there ARE more options than just cut the funding from SLS. SLS's funding could be used in other areas, and if you're concerned about losing the Congressional support, it can be appropriately zip-code engineered. SLS folk have already been used for integrating Orion on Delta IV Heavy, for instance. SLS organizationally could be morphed into an in-space-stage development platform (or even a propellant depot effort). As far as contracts with folks like ATK, modify them to give a few flights on their all-solid Liberty (or whatever it ends up being called, if it ever flies). Boeing would love a contract for an exploration gateway. There are lots of options, here, and they could involve the same contractors and Congressional districts if required.

That said, SLS could be transformed into something that could fly sooner... Get rid of any follow-on development program (except for the in-space stage) and use it as cargo-only.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/04/2013 03:34 am
Wonder why he's got involved - and why AW game him an op-ed slot. (No disrespect intended, but we can all publish someone like him and get vastly different responses).

I didn't quite parse that last parenthetical correctly, could you say it a different way? Thanks
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2013 03:47 am
QuantumG: Even wasting money is still worth it when you're talking about keeping job skills crucial for national security and when the fiscal multiplier is greater than 1 (which, according to the IMF, it is... especially in areas of Florida with high unemployment). Of course, this will be rejected out of hand, but it's the truth.

No.. what I'm rejecting out of hand is your failure to accept conditional arguments. The question was about whether it is ever okay to cut NASA's top line budget. Not an invitation for you to bore us with Keynesian economics again.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/04/2013 04:04 am
QuantumG: Even wasting money is still worth it when you're talking about keeping job skills crucial for national security and when the fiscal multiplier is greater than 1 (which, according to the IMF, it is... especially in areas of Florida with high unemployment). Of course, this will be rejected out of hand, but it's the truth.

No.. what I'm rejecting out of hand is your failure to accept conditional arguments. The question was about whether it is ever okay to cut NASA's top line budget. Not an invitation for you to bore us with Keynesian economics again.

Keynes is bunk anyway.

What's needed is some Schumpeter style creative destruction. Those engineers can be doing useful things elsewhere.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2013 04:14 am
Keynes is bunk anyway.

What's needed is some Schumpeter style creative destruction. Those engineers can be doing useful things elsewhere.

But Lar, he said "national security". National security! National security. It's not just the root password to the constitution, ya know? It also buys you a free pass on economics, budget deficits, common sense... the list is endless. One day those engineers working at MSFC will be called upon to, umm, ahh, launch something for the DoD? That's my guess anyway. I'm not exactly sure what national security need they're serving, it's probably secret anyway, but clearly they need a make work project to keep them fed or they might go learn a marketable skill.. then there will be no-one to launch the missiles or whatever. It's not that it's a horrible argument that makes no sense, it's just that we're not cleared to know all the details.. also, Inspiration. It's about the kids. Anyway, cancel SLS and it will be the end of human spaceflight - ya know, like the retirement of the Shuttle was? - and you like human spaceflight, don't ya? A penny for NASA, that's all we're asking.

Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/04/2013 04:34 am
Keynes is bunk anyway.

What's needed is some Schumpeter style creative destruction. Those engineers can be doing useful things elsewhere.

But Lar, he said "national security". National security! National security. It's not just the root password to the constitution, ya know? It also buys you a free pass on economics, budget deficits, common sense... the list is endless. One day those engineers working at MSFC will be called upon to, umm, ahh, launch something for the DoD? That's my guess anyway. I'm not exactly sure what national security need they're serving, it's probably secret anyway, but clearly they need a make work project to keep them fed or they might go learn a marketable skill.. then there will be no-one to launch the missiles or whatever. It's not that it's a horrible argument that makes no sense, it's just that we're not cleared to know all the details.. also, Inspiration. It's about the kids. Anyway, cancel SLS and it will be the end of human spaceflight - ya know, like the retirement of the Shuttle was? - and you like human spaceflight, don't ya? A penny for NASA, that's all we're asking.


Ya know, you're right. You moved me so much I might even be nice to the TSA tomorrow when I endure my twice weekly humiliation at their hands[1] ...

Let's bring it around though. You and I know SLS needs to go. You and I know SLS will actually live on like a zombie, draining vital essence from actual good things, for years if not decades. Unless libertarians suddenly get swept into office. But that's not going to happen.

Surely Pete Wilson knows it too. So why'd he sacrifice what remains of his career this way?

1 - not bloody likely that I'll ever be nice to them.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2013 04:48 am
Let's bring it around though. You and I know SLS needs to go.

I'm apathetic to how exactly NASA wastes their budget.

Quote
Surely Pete Wilson knows it too. So why'd he sacrifice what remains of his career this way?

I expect he has tenure.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/04/2013 05:33 am

I'm apathetic to how exactly NASA wastes their budget.


So I gather. I'm not. Some waste is better than others. Silly me.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/04/2013 05:33 am
Right, I think this is back on topic, ish.

It's still got me wondering if it'll last when some people put stock into a short op-ed from someone we all had to google to work out who he is, so let's try and aim to have a productive thread.

Remember, I'm the one getting (a lot of) angry report to mod notifications from people who are pretty outraged by some of the posts made on here (and I can see why to be honest)....but someone's opinion isn't a breach of site rules.

Rock and a hard place.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/04/2013 05:37 am
Right, I think this is back on topic, ish.

It's still got me wondering if it'll last when some people put stock into a short op-ed from someone we all had to google to work out who he is...

So the upshot is... (my prediction) this oped will cause a (very[1]) minor ripple. Some outraged comments will be posted in various places. RAND might reassign him to less fun stuff. No other change in anything.

1 - only places like here which, lets face it, are great sources of info but not a lot of influence...
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: KEdward5 on 04/04/2013 05:39 am
I actually like this thread. It reassures me there is no concise argument behind killing SLS, a wish from such people who seem more concerned with budget funding than future accomplishments, yet support a move that would cost and lose billions of dollars.

Irony.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/04/2013 05:44 am
I actually like this thread. It reassures me there is no concise argument behind killing SLS, a wish from such people who seem more concerned with budget funding than future accomplishments, yet support a move that would cost and lose billions of dollars.

Irony.

I'm afraid I don't quite follow what you're saying.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/04/2013 05:45 am
Right, I think this is back on topic, ish.

It's still got me wondering if it'll last when some people put stock into a short op-ed from someone we all had to google to work out who he is...

So the upshot is... (my prediction) this oped will cause a (very[1]) minor ripple. Some outraged comments will be posted in various places. RAND might reassign him to less fun stuff. No other change in anything.

1 - only places like here which, lets face it, are great sources of info but not a lot of influence...

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.

I'd go as far as to say there will be no ripple from this op-ed. Just as there would not be a ripple had this guy written a gushing article about how SLS is amazing. That's not a reflection on the person who wrote it, that's more to do with media influence bellow the likes of the Washington Post is pretty weak.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: STS Tony on 04/04/2013 05:48 am


I'm afraid I don't quite follow what you're saying.

I was going to say something similar about every post you've made on this thread! :)

So where are you all going to find the money, which will be several billion, to cancel SLS?
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: spectre9 on 04/04/2013 06:29 am
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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: MP99 on 04/04/2013 06:47 am
Hmm.

My first thought was "Ugg, here we go again".

My second thought was "Save $10 billion? Is that before or after they have to pay up the contracts with Boeing and such - then pay off thousands (?) of people they would need to fire from the Program, etc?"

Chris,

if you remember when NASA was slow-walking CxP, Gen Bolden announced that the contractors had to keep enough reserves from money already received to cover any costs if the programme got cancelled. Can't find an article about that, unfortunately.

Caused a major slow-down on CxP work at the time. (And some hassle to other programmes like JWST, IIRC.)

ISTM that the same would apply today.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Rocket Science on 04/04/2013 10:18 am
Anyone remember all the “happy talk” that we needed to stop flying the Shuttle in order to fund SLS?

I don't... probably because there was no such happy talk.

By the time SLS was introduced (NASA Authorization Act of 2010, in the summer), ending the shuttle was already a fait accompli; there was no longer a choice whether to keep flying it or not.

Perhaps you have confused SLS with its predecessor, Ares.

Quote
What happened to those savings?

Some went to SLS, some to Orion, as Chris stated.

Some went to ISS (Shuttle was basically absorbing some of the overhead of running Mission Control and other facilities, and those costs were absorbed by ISS since it's the only "active" program using those facilities).

Some went to Commercial Crew.

And some was used to reduce NASA's budget (it's lower, by several hundred million dollars, than it was when shuttle was flying).
Hey Jorge,
Yup, sometime SLS gets blurred in my corrupt memory files with Ares V... ;D I seem to recall during Augustine that the discussion was along those lines that an increase in NASA funding was required to extend the last Shuttle flights and continue developing a new launch vehicle and Orion. NASA couldn’t afford both.  Others have mentioned on NSF the question what happened to the savings of no longer flying Shuttle over the past couple of years, but let’s stay on topic I guess...
 
Bottom line is I don’t see savings to be derived form canceling SLS, but a smaller-flying-sooner and at a higher flight rate as an investment if commercial cannot fill the void. Please feel free to correct any recollection of facts as there were so many convolutions from CxP to SLS...  Memory fails at times...  :)

(Edit to add: I think the “happy talk” came via the WH about saving from ending Shuttle, CxP , Orion (which became MPCV)and going into R&D and future tech) Once again feel free... ;)
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JBF on 04/04/2013 10:40 am
That's an argument an anti-NASA person would use, but as an American I don't consider NASA to be wasting any money.

Of course they are wasting money. Every organization does. The problem is that NASA is hemorrhaging money on a vehicle that has no certainly of ever actually flying...

The real answer is to give Human Spaceflight a big new mission which is *explicitly* not tied to a particular launch vehicle. An example would an L2 station, but there are others. Once you set that mission, then the requirements will follow. If SLS is needed to fill those requirements, so be it. But if not, cancel it.

The point is to be focused on the mission as the product, not the Shuttle mentality of the launch vehicle as product.

I agree the primary goal should be the mission not the launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/04/2013 11:03 am
Hmm.

My first thought was "Ugg, here we go again".

My second thought was "Save $10 billion? Is that before or after they have to pay up the contracts with Boeing and such - then pay off thousands (?) of people they would need to fire from the Program, etc?"

Chris,

if you remember when NASA was slow-walking CxP, Gen Bolden announced that the contractors had to keep enough reserves from money already received to cover any costs if the programme got cancelled. Can't find an article about that, unfortunately.

Caused a major slow-down on CxP work at the time. (And some hassle to other programmes like JWST, IIRC.)

ISTM that the same would apply today.

cheers, Martin

It's a bit fuzzy, but I remember watching a Senate webcast where they spoke of lots of money to pay the contracts off.....and again, when the new plan came in, they said they transfered the contracts over?

Yeah, we need some articles or documentation to nail that down.

And I forgot all about the thread where we all get to realign the forward plan (in a "this is a fun exercise, not a "We know better than NASA" style). I'll do that today.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: MATTBLAK on 04/04/2013 11:51 am
Anyone remember all the “happy talk” that we needed to stop flying the Shuttle in order to fund SLS?

I don't... probably because there was no such happy talk.

By the time SLS was introduced (NASA Authorization Act of 2010, in the summer), ending the shuttle was already a fait accompli; there was no longer a choice whether to keep flying it or not.

Perhaps you have confused SLS with its predecessor, Ares.

Quote
What happened to those savings?

Some went to SLS, some to Orion, as Chris stated.

Some went to ISS (Shuttle was basically absorbing some of the overhead of running Mission Control and other facilities, and those costs were absorbed by ISS since it's the only "active" program using those facilities).

Some went to Commercial Crew.

And some was used to reduce NASA's budget (it's lower, by several hundred million dollars, than it was when shuttle was flying).
Hey Jorge,
Yup, sometime SLS gets blurred in my corrupt memory files with Ares V... ;D I seem to recall during Augustine that the discussion was along those lines that an increase in NASA funding was required to extend the last Shuttle flights and continue developing a new launch vehicle and Orion. NASA couldn’t afford both.  Others have mentioned on NSF the question what happened to the savings of no longer flying Shuttle over the past couple of years, but let’s stay on topic I guess...
 
Bottom line is I don’t see savings to be derived form canceling SLS, but a smaller-flying-sooner and at a higher flight rate as an investment if commercial cannot fill the void. Please feel free to correct any recollection of facts as there were so many convolutions from CxP to SLS...  Memory fails at times...  :)

(Edit to add: I think the “happy talk” came via the WH about saving from ending Shuttle, CxP , Orion (which became MPCV)and going into R&D and future tech) Once again feel free... ;)

NASA's budget suffered a swift $1.6 billion cut after STS-135 - about half what it cost to annually run the Shuttle program and some missions.  http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-house-appropriations-cuts-nasa-budget-359215/

I remember vivid discussions here and on other websites about how killing Shuttle & CXP etc would allow the 'Shuttle/CXP Money Pit's' funds to be redirected towards 'proper' technologies and 'real' manned space projects. These things were said - nay promised - after the demise of Constellation. It didn't happen! The 'Evil' Ares 1 'Stick' and 'Ares V' were 'sucking all the air out of the room'.

SLS is a much smaller, leaner program than Ares 1 & V together - even though Ares 1 & V both had clearly defined roles and missions ahead of them: far less vague than what currently awaits SLS.

I said in 2011 that if you cut funds, they wont come back in another form. I was told I was wrong. I was not. QuantumG said something I partly agree with; along the lines of "is it better for NASA to waste money than to not get it at all?"

No: CXP wouldn't have been a waste of money if some more sensible choices were made and also some hard, pragmatic changes (not enough space here to get into all that). America would have been well on the way to surpassing Apollo by the early 2020s and newer, more efficient technologies and cost savings could have been integrated into CXP over time in an evolutionary, 'modular' way. SLS would not be a waste of money if a clearly defined path, plan and strategy to make use of its unique lifting power were implemented. But I believe those Strategy & Plan(s) are deliberately being held back, probably for a multitude of reasons.

And if the funding of SLS were diverted to a viable alternative; say, further Evolved expendable launch vehicles and Propellant Depots - then that money would be well-spent. But if SLS is cancelled and further billions are spent 'winding-down' the project with nothing to follow it; then there will be no 'good money' to be thrown about after the 'bad'. :(

Give SLS a purpose; some missions!

1: EML-2 Station. 2: Near Earth Asteroid. 3: The moons of Mars. There! Simple, really. After that? Crews to the Lunar Poles, the Sands of Mars and drilling into Ceres...
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: MP99 on 04/04/2013 11:53 am
Hmm.

My first thought was "Ugg, here we go again".

My second thought was "Save $10 billion? Is that before or after they have to pay up the contracts with Boeing and such - then pay off thousands (?) of people they would need to fire from the Program, etc?"

Chris,

if you remember when NASA was slow-walking CxP, Gen Bolden announced that the contractors had to keep enough reserves from money already received to cover any costs if the programme got cancelled. Can't find an article about that, unfortunately.

Caused a major slow-down on CxP work at the time. (And some hassle to other programmes like JWST, IIRC.)

ISTM that the same would apply today.

cheers, Martin

It's a bit fuzzy, but I remember watching a Senate webcast where they spoke of lots of money to pay the contracts off.....and again, when the new plan came in, they said they transfered the contracts over?

Yeah, we need some articles or documentation to nail that down.

And I forgot all about the thread where we all get to realign the forward plan (in a "this is a fun exercise, not a "We know better than NASA" style). I'll do that today.

Ah, this looks relevant: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-609R (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-609R) (click for full text):-

Quote
...After the President proposed canceling the Constellation program in his fiscal year 2011 budget request, NASA reported that the agency's costs associated with terminating the various Constellation program contracts could reach close to $1 billion. As we reported previously, responsibility for these potential costs became an issue between NASA and its Constellation contractors. The questions about responsibility for potential termination liability costs, coupled with the Constellation program's constrained budget profile, led to disruption in work activities at some contractors. Because of these questions regarding responsibility for potential termination liability costs and the impact they could have on NASA's ability to execute its projects effectively, Congress asked us to assess NASA's policies and practices pertaining to the management and funding of contract termination liability, as well as interactions between the agency and its contractors related to termination liability.

NASA's policy on management and funding of contract termination liability is to rely on the FAR's limitation of funds or limitation of cost clauses, which act as a mechanism to limit the government's liability in the event of a contract termination to the amount of funds currently allotted to a contract. ...
(My bold)

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG on 04/04/2013 01:02 pm
I said in 2011 that if you cut funds, they wont come back in another form. I was told I was wrong. I was not.

You're still wrong. The minor cuts that followed Shuttle were more than made up in later programs. NASA's budget is flat and has been for decades. Your claim is that cutting X will be the end of human spaceflight where X = whatever the current boondoggle is. The cut inevitably comes, human spaceflight doesn't end.


Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: muomega0 on 04/04/2013 01:51 pm


I'm afraid I don't quite follow what you're saying.

I was going to say something similar about every post you've made on this thread! :)

So where are you all going to find the money, which will be several billion, to cancel SLS?

Finding the money is quite easy.  You see, even if NASA had SLS completely operational now, it could not afford to operate the HLV.  Once NASA decided to use the smaller LVs to launch crew, the mixed fleet costs (maintaining both smaller and larger LVs) sealed its fate.  The 2010 Law just postponed the inevitable. 

In generic terms, simply cut the product lines:  SSME, J2X, SRM, ET and likely Orion too (What does 21 days buy NASA..its a 3 day trip and its not a year or more required?).  SLS/Orion budget is 2.5B/year.  These are tough cuts.  Hopefully a good transition plan is well underway.  The great news is that there is metric tonnes of work ahead.

One has too much rocket and no budget for missions.  Even the depot centric architecture, has 32% less funds to conduct a bare bones mission set.  See HLV Evolution (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30554.msg991962#msg991962) for details.

When you need launch services from the smaller LVs, you purchase them.  But it will take several years to have mission hardware and/or payloads in place.  The depot centric architecture provides NASA program managers the flexibility to shift funds from development to missions from one FY to another, unlike the past several decades.

The Calls to Cancel SLS (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30980.0) are overdue and will continue


Quote from: RocketScience
Give SLS a purpose; some missions!
1: EML-2 Station. 2: Near Earth Asteroid. 3: The moons of Mars. There! Simple, really. After that? Crews to the Lunar Poles, the Sands of Mars and drilling into Ceres...

Giving SLS missions is the problem.   It all started with the sand chart that showed ISS splashdown in 2015, giving up ISS for the moon and the moon for Mars *ONLY* if one added 1-3B/year. 

but even this plan ignored technology development and a sustainable architecture...everything is expendable. Worse, it neglected to add mass to improve crew health in the lunar and Mars architectures (and who says NASA does not take risks!). 

There is nothing new in this post--many folks pulled together key technology plans and paths forward over the past few years and decades, only to have them ignored.

So hence the key statement one again:

one needs depots (including a LEO ZBO depot) a L2 Gateway as a stepping stone testing crew health mitigation strategies to get the flight rate up (for decades?) to extend crew stays to a year or more in the proper environment and a reuseable LEO to L2/lunar transfer vehicle, IMHO.   The mars flyby in 2030s is clearly an achievable goal with substantially less risk.   Perhaps it will happen sooner and more frequently and for longer duration.

Wilson outlines a slightly different flexible path forward:
Kill SLS to Save HSF (http://www.aviationweek.com/awmobile/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_04_01_2013_p66-563151.xml)
Quote from: PeterWilson

Simply put, the SLS program should be canceled now to free up approximately $10 billion programmed for this decade. This money could then be redirected to continue the planned flight tests of the Orion spacecraft with the much lower-cost Falcon Heavy booster while making a robust investment in a first-generation space station in the vicinity of the Moon. An investment in such a cislunar station would provide—by the early 2020s—a multifunctional platform to act as a fuel depot, a workstation for robotic operations on the Moon and a habitat to protect against the more intense radiation environment outside of the Earth's magnetic field. This station could even be used as a habitat during longer-duration human missions to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.


It is quite and exciting new beginning for HSF yet bittersweet.

The time for SLS and likely Orion  is not now. 
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro on 04/04/2013 02:42 pm
My first thought was "Ugg, here we go again".

My second thought was "Save $10 billion?

My third thought ...

continuing in this vein:

My first thought:  Here we go again.

Second thought:  There would be no savings; that money would go to some other nonsense.  Should it stay in NASA, it would be virtually certain to be wasted.  Wasted, because it would be another cancelled LV on the same scale as Ares, coming on the heels of Ares, and accompanied by the same lack of accountability regarding Ares.  There is every expectation that the money would be wasted.

Third thougt:  Arguments regarding NASA jobs providing the country with national security are simply false.  It is the jobs in the defense industry which pertain to our national security.

Fourth thought:  Are we being kept on planet or not?

Now to the article.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro on 04/04/2013 02:55 pm
Quote from: Pete Wilson
Without a credible long-duration human mission, this space transportation system could end up mothballed, possibly well before that first manned flight planned for 2021.

This is a valid concern, presented in a neutral fashion.

Quote
the Falcon Heavy with its payload to LEO of more than 50 tons is now a much lower-cost alternative than the SLS.

It is not.  It might be.  If Mr. Wilson cannot or will not grammatically differentiate between a possible future and the actual present, then his opinions are biased and his conclusions will also be biased.  Which they are, even though I agree with his proposal in general:

Quote
This money could then be redirected to continue the planned flight tests of the Orion spacecraft with the much lower-cost Falcon Heavy booster while making a robust investment in a first-generation space station in the vicinity of the Moon.

There is no technical reason that Orion could not be mated to the FH, and I stand by every one of my arguments in favor of such standardization.  A substitution of launch vehicle as he suggests could certainly be made to work, and in an honest, cooperative, intelligently designed world, the savings could be redirected to the construction of an L-point station/depot/hotel, in order to support a four to six person lunar polar base.

However, honesty, cooperation, and intelligent design are not a part of the liberal or conservative political vocabularies.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/04/2013 03:38 pm


I'm afraid I don't quite follow what you're saying.

I was going to say something similar about every post you've made on this thread! :)

So where are you all going to find the money, which will be several billion, to cancel SLS?

Several billion??? why would it be several billion???  But anyway... Sunk cost. Better spend it now and avoid the tens of billions more that will be spent producing nothing at all useful (that's the safe way to bet)

As for not understanding me I'm happy to clarify but I think my views are pretty simple and pretty clear. The post I was referring to.. I could not parse out what the author was trying to say.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro on 04/04/2013 04:07 pm
Lar:  They typically say they don't understand you when what they really mean to say is that they don't agree with you, and that you're also wrong, largely based on an argument from authority.

You can tell when somebody is trying to understand you when they use straightforward language talking about what you're talking about.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: BeanEstimator on 04/04/2013 04:27 pm

Ah, this looks relevant: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-609R (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-609R) (click for full text):-

Quote
...After the President proposed canceling the Constellation program in his fiscal year 2011 budget request, NASA reported that the agency's costs associated with terminating the various Constellation program contracts could reach close to $1 billion. As we reported previously, responsibility for these potential costs became an issue between NASA and its Constellation contractors. The questions about responsibility for potential termination liability costs, coupled with the Constellation program's constrained budget profile, led to disruption in work activities at some contractors. Because of these questions regarding responsibility for potential termination liability costs and the impact they could have on NASA's ability to execute its projects effectively, Congress asked us to assess NASA's policies and practices pertaining to the management and funding of contract termination liability, as well as interactions between the agency and its contractors related to termination liability.

NASA's policy on management and funding of contract termination liability is to rely on the FAR's limitation of funds or limitation of cost clauses, which act as a mechanism to limit the government's liability in the event of a contract termination to the amount of funds currently allotted to a contract. ...
(My bold)

cheers, Martin

It sure is relevant.

And BTW, we have been carrying TL for SLS, Orion, and GSDO moving forward since then.  CFO and others have been adamant that we not put the agency in an untenable position again.  Obviously the Programs have resisted, it means carrying money they can not spend.  That and they have to actually have track it which means a half decent financial control system...

Put simply, we are in a much better position regarding TL.  Should the day come, it is my understanding that the agreements are in place and the money is there.  Whether or not that holds true, or vanishes in a puff of smoke the day before the press release...my crystal ball isn't that good.

Also, we were supposed to have a hearing on TL earlier this year, we never did.  but we have 2 on neo's...surprised?  i wasn't...congress and the people are fickle and more inclined to talk about shiny objects than substance.

All that being said, this op-ed is trash IMHO.  Where a convincing argument could be made, there is hyperbole.  This does nothing for anybody.

http://democrats.science.house.gov/hearing/nasa%E2%80%99s-implementation-termination-liability (http://democrats.science.house.gov/hearing/nasa%E2%80%99s-implementation-termination-liability)
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Proponent on 04/04/2013 05:44 pm
Ah, this looks relevant: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-609R (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-609R) (click for full text):-

Quote
...After the President proposed canceling the Constellation program in his fiscal year 2011 budget request, NASA reported that the agency's costs associated with terminating the various Constellation program contracts could reach close to $1 billion.

Very interesting.  Are these the same termination liabilities that the Augustine Commission, citing NASA, put at between $3 billion and $11 billion?

Quote from: Augustine Report, p. 93
The Committee used the EELV-heritage super-heavy vehicle to investigate the possibility of an essentially commercial acquisition of the required heavy-launch capability by a small NASA organization similar to a system program office in the Department of Defense. It would eliminate somewhat the historic carrying cost of many Apollo- and Shuttle-era facilities and systems. This creates the possibility of substantially reduced operating costs, which may ultimately allow NASA to escape its conundrum of not having sufficient resources to both operate existing systems and build a new one.

However, this efficiency of operations would require significant near-term realignment of NASA. Substantial reductions in workforce, facilities closures, and mothballing would be required. When the Committee asked NASA to assess the cost of this process, the estimates ranged from $3 billion to $11 billion over five years.

[Emphasis added.]
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Proponent on 04/04/2013 05:49 pm
Give SLS a purpose; some missions!

1: EML-2 Station. 2: Near Earth Asteroid. 3: The moons of Mars. There! Simple, really. After that? Crews to the Lunar Poles, the Sands of Mars and drilling into Ceres...

As simonbp (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034636#msg1034636) and JBF (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034793#msg1034793) 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?
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: MP99 on 04/04/2013 05:53 pm

Ah, this looks relevant: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-609R (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-609R) (click for full text):-

Quote
...After the President proposed canceling the Constellation program in his fiscal year 2011 budget request, NASA reported that the agency's costs associated with terminating the various Constellation program contracts could reach close to $1 billion. As we reported previously, responsibility for these potential costs became an issue between NASA and its Constellation contractors. The questions about responsibility for potential termination liability costs, coupled with the Constellation program's constrained budget profile, led to disruption in work activities at some contractors. Because of these questions regarding responsibility for potential termination liability costs and the impact they could have on NASA's ability to execute its projects effectively, Congress asked us to assess NASA's policies and practices pertaining to the management and funding of contract termination liability, as well as interactions between the agency and its contractors related to termination liability.

NASA's policy on management and funding of contract termination liability is to rely on the FAR's limitation of funds or limitation of cost clauses, which act as a mechanism to limit the government's liability in the event of a contract termination to the amount of funds currently allotted to a contract. ...
(My bold)

cheers, Martin

It sure is relevant.

And BTW, we have been carrying TL for SLS, Orion, and GSDO moving forward since then.  CFO and others have been adamant that we not put the agency in an untenable position again.  Obviously the Programs have resisted, it means carrying money they can not spend.  That and they have to actually have track it which means a half decent financial control system...

Put simply, we are in a much better position regarding TL.  Should the day come, it is my understanding that the agreements are in place and the money is there.  Whether or not that holds true, or vanishes in a puff of smoke the day before the press release...my crystal ball isn't that good.

Also, we were supposed to have a hearing on TL earlier this year, we never did.  but we have 2 on neo's...surprised?  i wasn't...congress and the people are fickle and more inclined to talk about shiny objects than substance.

Thanks for the info - that's the first that I'd heard/noticed re TL since the new programme started, but it's what I'd assumed.

If the programme is seen through to a conclusion, I presume those liabilities would lessen, and some of the TL reserves could then be drawn on for completing the programme? IE the money held today will be spent later in the programme, but for now it's restricting progress.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/04/2013 06:11 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 "
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: muomega0 on 04/04/2013 06:47 pm
Give SLS a purpose; some missions!

1: EML-2 Station. 2: Near Earth Asteroid. 3: The moons of Mars. There! Simple, really. After that? Crews to the Lunar Poles, the Sands of Mars and drilling into Ceres...

As simonbp (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034636#msg1034636) and JBF (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034793#msg1034793) 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?

Good observation.  But is the mission a flight or two or dozens?

The correct figure of merit is costs over the program lifetime.  X number of missions over 20 or 30 years, similar to the HEFT format. 

One can easily conduct a single mission to the moon cheaper with existing technology than developing technology for that single mission.

Likewise, as pointed out, one can conduct a single mission to the moon with existing fleet rather than use SLS.  In this case however, even if SLS was developed, it would still be cheaper with the smaller fleet, so it really is not the issue at hand.

The issue is the mission mind set versus overall costs vs dozens(?), including a mixed set.

The debate forward will be the sustainable architecture of dozens of missions versus the one-offs.  It directly affects the depot versus refueling stage architecture, including propellant choice, for example. ;)

Whatever approach is taken, engineers and companies want to improve their products, especially if then can spin the technology off to other commercial venues, so R&D should be continued along with missions...a balance.

So if the goal is sending the crew to moon or L2 or an asteroid or Mars is a one time deal, then the mission set is 4.   Clearly a much more robust HSF program, that lowers launch costs for the uncrewed programs as well, can now be envisioned with depots and more than 4 missions with larger flight rates.  For example, one can see how goldenspike and Mars flybys fit one mold versus another. 

Buying launch services one year and funding development in another provides this rarely seen flexible path forward.  Most PMs are looking forward to something different than underfunded flat budgets with no flexibility. 
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro on 04/04/2013 06:49 pm
REgarding the GPO link that Chris provided, the short area where they discuss termination liability is not clear at all.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: BeanEstimator on 04/04/2013 06:55 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 "

Senator Vitter. But are the termination liability costs
being shifted onto the program? It is my understanding they
are, which is not normal procedure. It is my understanding this
is the case because of the Administration's plan as opposed to
other----
    Mr. Bolden. Congressman, the responsibility for termination
liability lies with the company. And that is contractual.
That
is not something that we change. I cannot change it because it
is in the contract.
    Now, where the money lies----

emphasis mine.

i wonder if we'll have that hearing which was postponed indefinitely.  probably not. 

after all who wants to talk about carrying the cost of insurance...regardless of which level it is kept at (and btw, at HEO and ESD, there is less ability to exercise control than usual since each is their own program, its not like the directorate can shift funds or hold reserve...i think there's what, like $1m ufe?).  are we going to tell congress we'll hold TL for everything at the top line? or just the HEO programs? would we take TL for HEO from SMD? from CAS?...

it's a lose/lose discussion on TL.  you dont want to say the programs have to hold it, that's money they can't spend to get work done.  you dont want to say the agency holds it for everything, thats not realistic or prudent.  you also dont want to give the impression that other directorates/programs/orgs are being asked to bankroll TL for others.  lose/lose.

edit to add link for more info on contract termination courtesy of your friends at the dau:  https://dap.dau.mil/acquipedia/Pages/ArticleDetails.aspx?aid=97fe4c19-3c0d-4103-882d-f09483dde9ed (https://dap.dau.mil/acquipedia/Pages/ArticleDetails.aspx?aid=97fe4c19-3c0d-4103-882d-f09483dde9ed)
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lee Jay on 04/04/2013 07:00 pm
RAND...for a "think tank", I've seen very little evidence of actual thought behind anything they've ever said.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: MATTBLAK on 04/04/2013 07:09 pm
I said in 2011 that if you cut funds, they wont come back in another form. I was told I was wrong. I was not.

You're still wrong. The minor cuts that followed Shuttle were more than made up in later programs. NASA's budget is flat and has been for decades. Your claim is that cutting X will be the end of human spaceflight where X = whatever the current boondoggle is. The cut inevitably comes, human spaceflight doesn't end.


"More than made up for"   ??!!  Hope I didn't quote you out of context, but every time I do quote you, you're quick to jump on me and assert that (pretty much) everything I say is always wrong. But go look up old threads from a few years ago and see if I've turned out so wrong - my batting average is good - even when I haven't wanted it to be.

And I know Human Spaceflight hasn't ended, for heavens sake man - it may never end (China, Commercial space stations: someday, if ever). But in the current budget environment, ISS wont be extended after 2020. What will Russia do then? Build another Mir?

And if SLS is canceled - I say again (wearily) don't automatically assume its funds will be magically transferred to another, golden manned exploration alternative - more like a 'golden calf'.

Don't feel obliged to answer - some of the above were rhetorical.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: MATTBLAK on 04/04/2013 07:09 pm
RAND...for a "think tank", I've seen very little evidence of actual thought behind anything they've ever said.

Certainly not lately...
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/04/2013 07:12 pm

And I know Human Spaceflight hasn't ended, for heavens sake man - it may never end (China, Commercial space stations: someday, if ever). But in the current budget environment, ISS wont be extended after 2020. What will Russia do then? Build another Mir?

My understanding is that the Russians have already planned for that eventuality... they would calve off the Russian Segment, add a few pieces and carry on.

RAND...for a "think tank", I've seen very little evidence of actual thought behind anything they've ever said.

Certainly not lately...

Seems kinda ad hominem... RAND has been around a long time and done a lot of stuff.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAND_Corporation
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: kkattula on 04/04/2013 07:55 pm
Give SLS a purpose; some missions!

1: EML-2 Station. 2: Near Earth Asteroid. 3: The moons of Mars. There! Simple, really. After that? Crews to the Lunar Poles, the Sands of Mars and drilling into Ceres...

As simonbp (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034636#msg1034636) and JBF (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034793#msg1034793) 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.
 
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".
 
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.
 
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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: muomega0 on 04/04/2013 08:20 pm
Give SLS a purpose; some missions!

1: EML-2 Station. 2: Near Earth Asteroid. 3: The moons of Mars. There! Simple, really. After that? Crews to the Lunar Poles, the Sands of Mars and drilling into Ceres...

As simonbp (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034636#msg1034636) and JBF (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034793#msg1034793) 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.
 
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".
 
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.
 
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.

Current Budget for SLS/Orion is 2.5B.

What value are the marginal costs and what is "low"? Would the alternatives be terminated?  If not, SLS is just added costs.

Making the SLS Business Case Close--will the historical costs of SSME, ET, and SRMs be lower than the $1B/year? (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30179.msg975347#msg975347)

Here are the links:
- External Tank Contact 2000 to 2010 2.93B, 18 Tanks = 293M/yr or 162M/tank (http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/feb/HQ_C08008_ET_contract_modification.html)
- ATK 12 Years, $4.1Billion = 340M/yr (http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/dec/HQ_C09-057_RSRM.html)
- P&W: 2.25B 4 years = 560M/yr (http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2010/sep/HQ_C10-062_SSME_Mod.html)

Do not forget to include the upper stage and J2X, avionics, operations.....
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: rcoppola on 04/04/2013 09:55 pm
We are almost a 15 TRILLION Dollar economy. That's 15,000 Billion produced in goods and services every year.

And we're getting hung up over a few BIllion to build a Heavy Lift capability? What a farce. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

We conquered LEO and are now passing it off quite appropriately to commercial as best we can. An action I think will have profoundly positive implications in both the near and the long term.

BLEO, in my view, is different. At least for now. I believe we will need SLS and the full weight and resources of the US Gov't to enable a meaningful Human presence BLEO. If not for today, then for tomorrow.  And not for the remembrance of glories past but for an amazing future to come. A future realized by our drive to imagine and our need to explore.

Besides, I can't take another damn commission. So let's just get on with it.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Jason Davies on 04/04/2013 10:18 pm
It's never to do with some crusade to "save" a few billion for the American taxpayer, because that simply isn't how it works.

SLS could have been any configuration and you'd still have people rushing to take the opposing view and wanting it to be cancelled.

Why? Because it's a NASA vehicle and that's all some, even if it's literally about 10 people, need to know to oppose it and oppose it strongly.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/04/2013 10:34 pm
1) There are some people who think that NASA shouldn't be building launch vehicles when there are several suitable commercial launch vehicles which launch defense and commercial payloads already and for a pretty low cost (compared to cost of NASA developing its own independent capability).

2) There are some people who think NASA should not develop its own launch vehicle no matter what the price in the private sector is.

3) There are also some people who think SLS as is designed is unnecessary given the launch rate.

4) There are some people who like SLS but think that the money would be more appropriately spent on other aspects, such as HSF payloads, before we start spending a lot of money on a new big launch vehicle.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: MATTBLAK on 04/04/2013 10:37 pm
Yes - succinctly summarised.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: deltaV 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: spectre9 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG 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)
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: spectre9 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/
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG 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.

Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Longhorn John 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: spectre9 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
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Robotbeat 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: RocketEconomist327 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

Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: RocketEconomist327 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
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Hauerg 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Proponent on 04/06/2013 04:19 pm
As simonbp (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034636#msg1034636) and JBF (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034793#msg1034793) 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 (http://www.spudislunarresources.com/Papers/Affordable_Lunar_Base.pdf) (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 (http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Wilhite_2-13-13/Wilhite_2-13-13.pdf), 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 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31487.0) 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: spectre9 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.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro 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? 
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: spectre9 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
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: beancounter 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.   ;)
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: beancounter on 04/08/2013 03:09 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

Can't see exactly how the exploration architecture is going to 'appear'.  The money is being sucked into SLS, MPCV, and the ISS basically.  Operating costs for all will continue to be huge given that they are all basically using legacy systems.  Saw a photo of MPCV being constructed, hand welding the stringers FGS!!

Dear Stephen.  Don't know where you get your faith in NASA HSF.  Looking at their record, it's pretty dismal.  Whereas the commercial entities are meeting milestones on their CCiCap Program and SpaceX has launched Dragon 3 times in the last 10 months, all successfully.  Oh well.
 
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: spectre9 on 04/08/2013 05:03 am
Faith in NASA HSF?

LC-39 isn't shutting down. No way, no how.

There's no medium rocket panacea.

Imagine we're in the gap between Apollo and Shuttle. Is there resistance? Are there naysayers? Who would believe shuttle will launch at all?

Well it did. Over 100 times across 3 decades.

What makes NASA today different to the NASA that made the shuttle work over such a long period? They didn't just have the launch vehicle, they had a space station which eventually became ISS and this is the model they're working with. They build as much as they can and hope they can scrounge up the rest from overseas.

ESA has already chipped in a SM. Russia needs to get in on the action too.

There's still plenty of negotiation to do. Just because NASA is current anti-Lunar (even though laws say they shouldn't/can't be) doesn't mean potential partners like ESA and Roscosmos are cold on the idea of sending the first non-Americans to the Lunar surface.

If a Lunar base isn't acceptable a gateway station + occasional sorties might be.

NASA has always developed too much at once and 2013 is no exception. 4 manned spacecraft, numerous deep space probes, numerous Earth observation spacecraft, a giant telescope, a heavy lift rocket... the list goes on and that's all in addition to the current missions like ISS which require large amounts of funding to support them.

NASA is trying to funnel as much cash as they can to SpaceX. It's not politically viable to have them building everything. The time for that has not come.... yet  ;)
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro on 04/08/2013 12:47 pm
Ha, finally a 'Dear John' letter, er post. 

Dear Bean:

I have been studying this issue for over a half century, but have not yet figured out why literally all the letters I receive begin this way.

Sincerely,

John
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro on 04/08/2013 12:52 pm
...Please accept my apologies ...

Apology accepted.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: muomega0 on 04/08/2013 01:45 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)

-With Ares, a second launch vehicle for crew came from existing, although multiple, product lines. (J2X, SSME, ET, SRM, upper stage)

-With SLS, the same product lines, with the addition of 5seg composite and liquids, are added to the LEO launchers. (J2X, SSME, ET, SRM, composite SRM, liquids strap-ons, upper stage, plus COTS for LEO). The likelihood of mixing cargo and crew is increased with SLS (oversized 20mT capsule lofted on 70-130mT vehicle).

-Too many product lines with SLS around.

So why not convert the 2.5B a year (ET, SSME, J2X, ET, SRM, Orion, liquid and composite boosters) to mission hardware and technology development?

Why is Falcon Heavy needed?  Which leads too…

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.

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

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.


Constellation was two lunar sorties or one mars mission every other year.   That’s 2x120,000kg or 450,000 kg/2  or about 240,000kg/annually. Apollo ~ 120 mT.

So *ONE* launch vehicle that launches 10 times a year results in a 25 mT LV, but the US and the world have many LVs.    See Making the Business Case Close for SLS (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30179.msg975347#msg975347) to see a plot comparing *Individual* LVs—the US and the world have many LVs.


1) There are some people who think that NASA shouldn't be building launch vehicles when there are several suitable commercial launch vehicles which launch defense and commercial payloads already and for a pretty low cost (compared to cost of NASA developing its own independent capability).

2) There are some people who think NASA should not develop its own launch vehicle no matter what the price in the private sector is.

3) There are also some people who think SLS as is designed is unnecessary given the launch rate.

4) There are some people who like SLS but think that the money would be more appropriately spent on other aspects, such as HSF payloads, before we start spending a lot of money on a new big launch vehicle.



5) There are some people who accept SLS as a potentially valuable LV, but who continue to point out that LV(s) need be no larger than seventy 25 tons to LEO in its initial configuration [to go to the moon twice a year or Mars every other year, which were the goals of the Constellation program]

This fifth viewpoint could lead to a sustainable US HSF program for the next few decades

a few edits to 5)

In regards to the 70 ton configuration,
The fixed costs of 1B/year or more to fly zero HLVs has always been ignored by those who favor adding/keeping an additional LV to the US fleet (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1034971#msg1034971), which leads to 6)

That said, if you are willing to take on (name your 3B/yr target tax shift to NASA, i.e. corporate loopholes, tax breaks for US jobs, oil and corn and soy subsidies, health care for only the special folks, ...) ...Godspeed.

6) There are many people who see that the HLV architecture is not cost effective and over the last four decades, no serious attempt has been made to develop a cost effective launch system.  The most recent attempt started 5 new engine development programs without properly sizing the LV nor capsule first.  Here is one example:  ULA claim gap reducing solution via EELV exploration master plan (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/09/ula-claim-gap-reducing-solution-via-eelv-exploration-master-plan/)

Here is a quote from 1992:  "175M could not be found out of NASA's 14B budget to develop a cost effective launch system.  The appropriations committees effectively zeroed programs to develop ... new {cost effective} launch systems."    what was the cost to crew rate EELV, < $1B?  Decades later, the goal is "poor value"? 

7) There are MANY people who see that the world and the US have excess launch capacity with multiple launchers, that the HLV architecture has zero technology spinoffs to the economy with the current plans for the coming decades, that the capsule was designed to be too heavy for the existing fleet, low flight rate affects reliability, and only a handful of missions are possible with the current budget.

8 ) There are some folks who outline technology development to reduce the overall costs to the taxpayer.  There are other folks that outline technology to reduce overall costs, do not include it in the baseline architecture, and ensure its drastically underfunded, for decades, while funding LVs to the tune of $4T, not B.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro on 04/08/2013 02:12 pm


5) There are some people who accept SLS as a potentially valuable LV, but who continue to point out that LV(s) need be no larger than seventy 25 tons to LEO in its initial configuration [to go to the moon twice a year or Mars every other year, which were the goals of the Constellation program]

This fifth viewpoint could lead to a sustainable US HSF program for the next few decades

a few edits to 5)

I have no idea problem  [doggone it.  second edit.] with the principle of your edit there.  But I would suggest you add it as point #9 to your list:

9)  There's no reason that we could not build a cis-lunar infrastructure with 25 ton to LEO launch capability.  Should that infrastructure prove to be a profitable economic sphere, the throw weights of the launch vehicles would increase in size, according to private market demands.  Could happen.

Edit:  Thanks Lar.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/08/2013 02:40 pm


9)  There's no reason that we could build a cis-lunar infrastructure with 25 ton to LEO launch capability.  Should that infrastructure prove to be a profitable economic sphere, the throw weights of the launch vehicles would increase in size, according to private market demands.  Could happen.



Could or could not ?? I'm confused.

I think we COULD build such an infrastructure with 25 mt to LEO[1] capability

1 - my fingers typed LEGO there and I had to correct :)
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro on 04/08/2013 02:49 pm


9)  There's no reason that we couldn't build a cis-lunar infrastructure with 25 ton to LEO launch capability.  Should that infrastructure prove to be a profitable economic sphere, the throw weights of the launch vehicles would increase in size, according to private market demands.  Could happen.



Could or could not ?? I'm confused.

I think we COULD build such an infrastructure with 25 mt to LEO[1] capability

1 - my fingers typed LEGO there and I had to correct :)

Thanks sharp tooth.  I mean sharp eyes.  edited.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: muomega0 on 04/08/2013 02:56 pm


5) There are some people who accept SLS as a potentially valuable LV, but who continue to point out that LV(s) need be no larger than seventy 25 tons to LEO in its initial configuration [to go to the moon twice a year or Mars every other year, which were the goals of the Constellation program]

This fifth viewpoint could lead to a sustainable US HSF program for the next few decades

a few edits to 5)

I have no idea with the principle of your edit there.  But I would suggest you add it as point #9 to your list:

9)  There's no reason that we could not build a cis-lunar infrastructure with 25 ton to LEO launch capability.  Should that infrastructure prove to be a profitable economic sphere, the throw weights of the launch vehicles would increase in size, according to private market demands.  Could happen.

Edit:  Thanks Lar.

A single 25 mT launcher could fulfill the Mars mission assuming the mass estimates of the Mars DRM and is not limited to earth moon.  With ZBO LEO depots, access to a whole fleet is possible to reduce costs of staging at L2 for likely EP or hybrid chemical EP, to Mars.

Private market demands are significantly less than government mass to IMLEO and will be for decades  (any data that states otherwise?).
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: JohnFornaro on 04/09/2013 12:37 am
A single 25 mT launcher could fulfill the Mars mission assuming the mass estimates of the Mars DRM and is not limited to earth moon.  With ZBO LEO depots, access to a whole fleet is possible to reduce costs of staging at L2 for likely EP or hybrid chemical EP, to Mars.

Launched multiple times, I presume.  And that's 25 tons to LEO, I also presume.  I think that a Mars effort based on that "small" launcher would be possible technically, but it seems like too small a launcher to me.  As for the cis-lunar arena, again, small, but technically possible.

My thought is that you need a launcher able to put 20-25 tons on the lunar surface.  Which I believe that the 70 ton initial variant of SLS could do.

Quote
Private market demands are significantly less than government mass to IMLEO and will be for decades  (any data that states otherwise?).

As you probably already know, if that tourism market and ISRU prop manufacture market were to prove profitable, that cis-lunar market could start growing.  Decades is probably about right.

The private market, other than defense, is always going to be larger than the government market, given time and a free market.  Anyhow...

Pete Wilson is wrong in principle, but may turn out to be correct in prediction.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: deltaV on 04/09/2013 02:28 am
Delta IV Heavy can apparently do 29 mt to LEO (as of the RS-68A upgrade). Falcon Heavy is planned to get 53 mt to LEO. I'm not aware of any American rockets than can handle 25 mt to LEO but not 29 mt too. How'd you choose the 25 mt to LEO figure?
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: muomega0 on 04/10/2013 05:58 pm
Delta IV Heavy can apparently do 29 mt to LEO (as of the RS-68A upgrade). Falcon Heavy is planned to get 53 mt to LEO. I'm not aware of any American rockets than can handle 25 mt to LEO but not 29 mt too. How'd you choose the 25 mt to LEO figure?

A very simple way to determine the size of a single launch vehicle is to determine the average annual mass to orbit and divide by 10.

Using Constellation as a reference, two lunar missions is 2X120,000kg per year over 10 launches is a 24 mT LV.   Or Mars DRM, one Mars mission every other year is 450,000 kg / 20 is about the same ( i skipped the 500 day stay on the surface ).

Why 10?

The next step is to examine the actual fixed and recurring costs as shown in the example of this link:

Determining the average mT/year required is a key figure of merit and stating the LV size is the wrong parameter (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26418.msg793947#msg793947) ::)

Plot the $/kg versus number of flights, then plot $/kg versus mT/year.

It ends up that the $/kg flatten around 8-10, but it depends on the ratio of the fixed to recurring costs.  So "10" lets one subtract a zero.

Note that this assumes that only *one* launch vehicle is being compared to another, no common hardware, component costs decrease with volume, *no* recovery of development costs,......

The only other constraint is if the piece of hardware fits in the LV (size and volume).  (need link...this was done). 

I know you have indicated a preference for a 45 mT LV (http://), but it takes much more work to trade individual improvements, get better cost estimates, ....

Most every one knew when ESAS was released that the size was too big since 10*100+mt = 1000+ mT/year.  Even 50 mT is too big, as a "rule of thumb".

In a chemical architecture, at least 70% of the mass is fuel, so 30% of 120,000 kg is 40,000.    With a prop depot, only one-two launches of hardware are required to head to the moon if its filled up on-orbit prior to departure, for example.


Why a decade of HLVs (Constellation and SLS) did not solve NASA $$$ problems, but a LEO ZBO Depot and Smaller LVs Will Help Tremendously (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27578.msg845064#msg845064)
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: deltaV on 04/10/2013 10:44 pm
@muomega0: your rule of thumb says that if one were to build a clean-sheet launch vehicle (and the costs of splitting payloads are negligible) it should lift 24 mt. Your rule of thumb is not applicable to comparing a clean-sheet vehicle to an existing vehicle. We already have two launch vehicles with more than 24 mt capacity (Delta IV Heavy and Falcon Heavy), neither of which NASA has to pay the fixed costs for. Furthermore Falcon Heavy is planned to have a very low cost per kilogram (to LEO). Using one of these existing 29 mt+ vehicles is cheaper and better than developing a brand new 24 mt launcher.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: pippin on 04/10/2013 11:12 pm
Falcon Heavy doesn't exist, yet.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/10/2013 11:22 pm
Falcon Heavy doesn't exist, yet.
It's being built as we speak in Hawthorne.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/11/2013 12:04 am
Multiple launch works just fine. ISS has had how many flights to it? By the time it is splashed, the number will be about a couple hundred.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/11/2013 12:29 am
Falcon Heavy doesn't exist, yet.
Neither do the moon/mars/asteroid exploiting payloads that would fly on it

Betcha FH gets into double digit flights way before SLS flies twice.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Jim on 04/11/2013 12:43 am

Betcha FH gets into double digit flights way before SLS flies twice.

That is nonsense too.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 04/11/2013 01:18 am
We are almost a 15 TRILLION Dollar economy. That's 15,000 Billion produced in goods and services every year.

And we're getting hung up over a few BIllion to build a Heavy Lift capability? What a farce. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

We conquered LEO and are now passing it off quite appropriately to commercial as best we can. An action I think will have profoundly positive implications in both the near and the long term.

BLEO, in my view, is different. At least for now. I believe we will need SLS and the full weight and resources of the US Gov't to enable a meaningful Human presence BLEO. If not for today, then for tomorrow.  And not for the remembrance of glories past but for an amazing future to come. A future realized by our drive to imagine and our need to explore.

Besides, I can't take another damn commission. So let's just get on with it.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: muomega0 on 04/11/2013 01:57 pm
@muomega0: your rule of thumb says that if one were to build a clean-sheet launch vehicle (and the costs of splitting payloads are negligible) it should lift 24 mt. Your rule of thumb is not applicable to comparing a clean-sheet vehicle to an existing vehicle. We already have two launch vehicles with more than 24 mt capacity (Delta IV Heavy and Falcon Heavy), neither of which NASA has to pay the fixed costs for. Furthermore Falcon Heavy is planned to have a very low cost per kilogram (to LEO). Using one of these existing 29 mt+ vehicles is cheaper and better than developing a brand new 24 mt launcher.

You are correct.  It is just ball park "rule of thumb" as stated in Simple Cost Comparison of *ONE* LV vs another (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1037223#msg1037223).

Ironically (?), without including development costs, as was stated, the existing fleet is still cheaper assuming SLS is fully developed.  Hence the statement by Augustine Commission:  "even if you were handed SLS developed, NASA could not afford to operate it."

Lets do some more math:  with 2 to 4  existing LVs, then the capacity drops to 12 to 6 mT/ year.  Likely too small for hardware, but may reduce the cost of propellant delivery.  IOW:  need a mixed size fleet with common product lines.

Further, rather than consider 240,000 kg/yr, consider 8 missions over 20 years that may fit in the budget:   so 240,000 * 8 /20  is only about 100,000 mT/year divided by "10" or a 10,000 kg LV, assuming only 1.

now these are just approximate values.   clearly the folks working all the design trades would have to explain the details since they clearly do not add up and because

The goalpost keep shifting to try and make the SLS Business Case Close (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31480.msg1032563#msg1032563).

Lets suppose a few B/year was added to NASA's budget to provide payloads to perform the lunar and mars missions.   The numbers show at NASA can still perform the missions without a HLV, while performing technology development that has guaranteed spinoffs back to earth.  One study said 15 missions over 20 years was $57B less expensive.

From a distance view, the path forward is quite clear:  shift to a depot centric/EP architecture with the smaller fleet and make the tough cuts.  The LEO ZBO depot and gateway have many scientific and economical benefits to exploration (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30357.msg979938#msg979938) and should be seriously considered to address the number one cost driver (HLV) and mass driver (radiation protection) to exploration.  Simply adding radiation protection around a DSH will substantially increase the flight rate .  By starting with small scale prototypes for the crew tended habitat to gradually extend the stay to 1 year, it would not break the bank (the cost of SLS for one year perhaps!) (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30207.msg977720#msg977720).

After decades of $$ not being spent on economical access to space (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31548.msg1036154#msg1036154),  a simple solution is to eliminate product lines of the HLV and provide a more  flexible budget to PMs.  IOW, NASA does not need more $ for HLV, it uses the savings for payload and technology development instead.  :o

Less is more, more is less?

We are almost a 15 TRILLION Dollar economy. That's 15,000 Billion produced in goods and services every year.

And we're getting hung up over a few BIllion to build a Heavy Lift capability? What a farce. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

We conquered LEO and are now passing it off quite appropriately to commercial as best we can. An action I think will have profoundly positive implications in both the near and the long term.

BLEO, in my view, is different. At least for now. I believe we will need SLS and the full weight and resources of the US Gov't to enable a meaningful Human presence BLEO. If not for today, then for tomorrow.  And not for the remembrance of glories past but for an amazing future to come. A future realized by our drive to imagine and our need to explore.

Besides, I can't take another damn commission. So let's just get on with it.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Proponent on 04/11/2013 02:54 pm
Ironically (?), without including development costs, as was stated, the existing fleet is still cheaper assuming SLS is fully developed.  Hence the statement by Augustine Commission:  "even if you were handed SLS developed, NASA could not afford to operate it."

I agree with the gist of what you're saying, but Augustine never commented on SLS, for the simple reason that it didn't exist at the time.  I believe it was Augustine Committee member Jeff Greason who made a statement about having to cancel Ares V even if Santa Claus gave it to NASA fully developed.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Longhorn John on 04/11/2013 03:09 pm

I agree with the gist of what you're saying, but Augustine never commented on SLS, for the simple reason that it didn't exist at the time.  I believe it was Augustine Committee member Jeff Greason who made a statement about having to cancel Ares V even if Santa Claus gave it to NASA fully developed.

That's simply not true. SDHLV was a major part of Augustine. Just because they hadn't named it SLS is not rationale for your comment.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Lar on 04/11/2013 04:17 pm

Betcha FH gets into double digit flights way before SLS flies twice.

That is nonsense too.

OK, but I'm willing to actually bet, if we can devise suitable wagering stakes... interested? Contact me offline and once we devise something I'll post it in a suitable thread.[1]

If not... well... I guess time will tell.

1 - all comers, not just Jim...
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Proponent on 04/11/2013 04:30 pm

I agree with the gist of what you're saying, but Augustine never commented on SLS, for the simple reason that it didn't exist at the time.  I believe it was Augustine Committee member Jeff Greason who made a statement about having to cancel Ares V even if Santa Claus gave it to NASA fully developed.

That's simply not true. SDHLV was a major part of Augustine. Just because they hadn't named it SLS is not rationale for your comment.

SLS differs significantly Ares V, and the name "SLS" certainly was not in use at the time.  Hence the quote provided above cannot be accurate.  More specifically, the Augustine Report defines Ares V as a 160-tonne, 10-meter-diameter vehicle powered by modified RS-68 engines with two 5.5-segment SRBs strapped on.  SLS, in contrast, has about half the payload capability to LEO, an 8.4-meter tank, RS-25 engines and 5-segment SRBs.

But, if you want to argue that SLS, like Ares V, is unaffordable, I would disagree principally in degree.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: deltaV on 04/11/2013 04:59 pm
The summary slide of the Augustine Committee “Sally Charts” says: “Exploration doesn't appear viable under the FY10 budget and run-out.” The launch vehicles they studied included shuttle-derived vehicles similar to SLS (i.e. side mount and DIRECT) as well as EELV-derived vehicles. As I posted recently in another thread our current budget is lower than FY 10 levels:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31592.msg1037455#msg1037455 .
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/11/2013 05:28 pm
SDHLV was a major part of Augustine.

Yes, it certainly was. Sally Ride used the SD-HLV per her Shuttle extension presentations. The options included a smooth transition per the whole idea of SD-HLV.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/07/major-shuttle-and-iss-extension-drive-augustine-commission/
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Political Hack Wannabe on 04/11/2013 06:28 pm
SDHLV was a major part of Augustine.

Yes, it certainly was. Sally Ride used the SD-HLV per her Shuttle extension presentations. The options included a smooth transition per the whole idea of SD-HLV.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/07/major-shuttle-and-iss-extension-drive-augustine-commission/

I'll grant that SD-HLV was AN option from Augustine, but its a mistake to suggest that it was a "big part" of Augustine. 

There were 3 viable options for HLVs presented in Augustine, and it covered all 3 equally. 
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/11/2013 06:37 pm
John Shannon represented a major review on SD-HLV - easily the largest documented presentation at the entire hearing, created by a very large team.

Direct presented their SD-HLV.

Sally Ride presentated SD-HLV in tandem with a Shuttle Extension.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Political Hack Wannabe on 04/11/2013 06:53 pm
John Shannon represented a major review on SD-HLV - easily the largest documented presentation at the entire hearing, created by a very large team.

Direct presented their SD-HLV.

Sally Ride presentated SD-HLV in tandem with a Shuttle Extension.

2 of those options were presentations to Augustine.  And Ms. Ride's piece was directly related to the question of "what do we do concerning the shuttle?"  If you look at the Exploration presentation, they made no decisions, recommendations. 

And in the actual report,
Discussions explaining details about HLV options (not doing a direct cost/benefit comparison, but more a "it looks like this, and uses these pieces")

Ares V - 2 paragraphs

Ares V-lite - 3 paragraphs

Shuttle derived - 3-5 paragraphs

EELV derived - 2 paragraphs

Section 6.5 was a sort of a back of the envelope trade study, comparing the 3 HLV options, using a flexible path strategy.  And it had all 3 in them, about equal. 
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/11/2013 07:16 pm
SD-HLV Presentation to the Augustine Commission - or did I imagine John Shannon being up at the podium for ages? ;)

That was from: "SHUTTLE DERIVED HEAVY-LIFT LAUNCH VEHICLE ASSESSMENT - 726 Pages"

And that's just one part.

Sally Ride was hardly a "response to a question". It was a detailed evaluation involving USA and the Aerospace Corp etc.

And we know Direct's work.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 04/11/2013 07:41 pm
SD-HLV Presentation to the Augustine Commission - or did I imagine John Shannon being up at the podium for ages?

That was from: "SHUTTLE DERIVED HEAVY-LIFT LAUNCH VEHICLE ASSESSMENT - 726 Pages"

And that's just one part.

Sally Ride was hardly a "response to a question". It was a detailed evaluation involving USA and the Aerospace Corp etc.

And we know Direct's work.

Possibly even more to the point is that the presentations and materials you have referenced, the Augustine deliberations in general, and much of the underlying technical information for vehicle options across the board, coupled with many follow-on conversations and exchanges of information with the authors, engineers, and program folks across industry, formed the foundation for the drafting, between December 2009 and April 2010, of what eventually became the SLS-MPCV (and commercial crew, for that matter) language in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, where the moniker "Space Launch System" was included as a descriptive title for the required "evolvable," SD-HLV. It was the Administration's clear "plan" to basically ignore the findings and options of the Augustine HSF Committee that prompted those early drafting efforts, after the White House signaled its intention to wait for the FY 2011 Budget Request to "respond" to the Augustine report (as opposed to providing an amended FY 2010 Budget Request, as they has initially promised) which prompted those early drafting efforts in anticipation of an expected "unsatisfactory" FY 2011 Budget Request to come out in early 2010. Just some historical perspective.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: yg1968 on 04/11/2013 07:55 pm
The Augustine commission also had a commercial HLV as one of its options. During one of the hearings, (Leroy Chiao of) the Augustine commission wondered whether Orion was necessary if you already had commercial crew capsules. You can make a good argument that the FY 2011 Budget was an attempt to follow the Augustine committee recommendations. The Augustine committee emphasized the importance of R&D for human exploration especially for in-space propulsion.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: deltaV on 04/11/2013 10:32 pm
Here's an interesting op-ed by Andrew Chaikin from late 2011 (which I read today when the Bad Astronomy blog linked to it): http://www.spacenews.com/article/guest-blog-apollos-spirit-alive-and-well#.UWcyi7Usk_Y .

Edit: a talk by Andrew Chaikin that's hard to describe:
http://www.andrewchaikin.com/2012/03/15/human-spaceflight-a-new-paradigm/ .
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: KEdward5 on 04/11/2013 11:10 pm
Now we're linking op-eds from 2011? This thread is very random, built on a short op ed from someone who clearly is very detached from the reality.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Political Hack Wannabe on 04/12/2013 02:07 am
SD-HLV Presentation to the Augustine Commission - or did I imagine John Shannon being up at the podium for ages? ;)

That was from: "SHUTTLE DERIVED HEAVY-LIFT LAUNCH VEHICLE ASSESSMENT - 726 Pages"

And that has nothing to do in terms of whether SD-HLVs were a "Large part" of the Augustine report.  By that definition, Constellation was much more "a large part" of Augustine, because in so many of the meetings there was substantial discussion of Constellation.

And we don't know how much proprietary info Augustine got regarding Commercial Derived HLVs (although presumably it was substantial enough that they included it in their final report).

And that's just one part.

Sally Ride was hardly a "response to a question". It was a detailed evaluation involving USA and the Aerospace Corp etc.

And we know Direct's work.

I am not saying that her work was unimportant, or a side note.  But her report was done for the subcommittee that was looking specifically stuff within the context of the shuttle.  It did NOT look at the trades of what was the better option for HLV work for Exploration (which, depending on your thoughts about the various subcommittees, was either a job of the exploration committee, or arguably the full committee)

None of this is to say that you can't use arguments from Augustine to justify SLS (because Augustine provided series of metrics to consider HLVs for exploration purposes).  But to claim that Augustine specifically endorsed SD-HLVs, or that they were a "substantial portion" over other HLV options is incorrect. 
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG on 04/12/2013 02:16 am
Okay, all the Augstine talk is off-topic and Chris should know better  :D

My two cents: they abandoned their mandate on the first day, saying they wouldn't stick to the existing budget. The report that resulted was nothing but science fiction as NASA was never getting the extra $3B/year that they determined was needed. The end.

Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: deltaV on 04/12/2013 02:57 am
Let's talk about the future of SLS rather than the past. This thread is in the space policy section not the history section.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 04/12/2013 03:10 am
It seems to me that SLS has until 2017+six months before a new administration's pet space POR cancels it...
   Call me an optimist, but that should imply that the first launch is assured...
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 04/12/2013 03:19 am
It seems to me that SLS has until 2017+six months before a new administration's pet space POR cancels it...
   Call me an optimist, but that should imply that the first launch is assured...

Like Ares I-X.

Face-plant; yah got me...  ;D
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: QuantumG on 04/12/2013 03:21 am
I guess we'll know how far the 2017 date is going to move to the right, by next year, when they finally get to CDR.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Gary NASA on 04/12/2013 03:28 am
I guess we'll know how far the 2017 date is going to move to the right, by next year, when they finally get to CDR.


2017 is solid with a large amount of margin. You said "going to slip" as a statement of fact, when it's not, at all.
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: cro-magnon gramps on 04/12/2013 03:34 am
I guess we'll know how far the 2017 date is going to move to the right, by next year, when they finally get to CDR.


Your right of course... As they say down south, their words are not strong- ei totally truthful... Fair amount of fudge factor going on... Giving the best possible face on the outcome... So they got x dollars less this year, and say it was not needed to stay on schedule and would have been would have waste... Where is the truth?? We can only watch and hope for the best..
Title: Re: Pete Wilson (RAND): cancel SLS now
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/12/2013 12:01 pm
I guess we'll know how far the 2017 date is going to move to the right, by next year, when they finally get to CDR.


Your right of course...

No, you're both wrong ;)

They don't slip launch dates at CDRs. PMRs slip schedules - just like they did with CxP - but there's no sign of a slip.

Cleaned the thread up a bit as this isn't about F-16s etc. Probably a good point to lock it as I'm not sure how we've managed to have a large thread based on someone's opinion when they have no relevance to the subject.