Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 669047 times)

Offline mmeijeri

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I do have a stake: the effect this has on manned spaceflight, both government funded and commercial. Even if you're looking at tax money: whatever NASA does has an impact on ESA and the other international partners, mainly through the ISS, but also through the effect on the commercial viability of US launchers.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2010 02:13 pm by mmeijeri »
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Offline marsavian

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I do have a stake: the effect this has on manned spaceflight, both government funded and commercial. Even if you're looking at tax money: whatever NASA does has an impact on ESA and the other international partners, mainly through the ISS, but also through the effect on the commercial viability of US launchers.

ESA already has the far more commercially successful Ariane 5. Not very surprisingly this has not lead to a cheap lift nirvana for all ;).

Offline mmeijeri

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ESA already has the far more commercially successful Ariane 5. Not very surprisingly this has not lead to a cheap lift nirvana for all ;).

Ariane 5 is an overly complicated, overly large, government funded launcher with a monopoly for European payloads, at least those payloads that aren't too small for it. Small wonder that it doesn't offer cheap lift.
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Offline marsavian

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ESA already has the far more commercially successful Ariane 5. Not very surprisingly this has not lead to a cheap lift nirvana for all ;).

Ariane 5 is an overly complicated, overly large, government funded launcher with a monopoly for European payloads, at least those payloads that aren't too small for it. Small wonder that it doesn't offer cheap lift.

It has a relatively high flight rate though that is consistent with true commercial demand as it shares the commercial market with Protons as well as having its fixed/development costs paid for by ESA. It is the current reality of 'cheap lift' which is quite unlike all the wonderful theorized dreams you have about it.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2010 02:38 pm by marsavian »

Offline Stephan

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Ariane 5 is an overly complicated, overly large, government funded launcher with a monopoly for European payloads, at least those payloads that aren't too small for it. Small wonder that it doesn't offer cheap lift.
For government payloads.
Do NRO payloads fly on Proton ?
« Last Edit: 09/13/2010 02:41 pm by Stephan »
Best regards, Stephan

Offline mmeijeri

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For government payloads.
Do NRO payloads fly on Proton ?

There's nothing wrong with wanting assured access to space for military payloads. Excess capacity can then be sold at a price that maximises gross profit. Unfortunately that's not enough to make a net profit, but at least it offsets some of the cost of the assured access. This is the same argument as for EELVs. It's just an economical way to pay for assured access to space. There is no reason to believe it will ever lead to cheap lift, which was never its goal anyway.
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Offline mmeijeri

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The CR will continue with Ares I and Cx so you are hoping for the wrong thing.

Well, I'd expect those to collapse within a year. With the option of a sidemount or DIRECT-like SDLV cut off, SDLV would likely be doomed. Again, the worst possible outcome if you want an SDLV, but a good (not perfect) outcome if you want commercial manned spaceflight. We all know that the space enthusiast community is deeply divided and deeply polarised at the moment, whether we like it or not.
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Offline M_Puckett

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No, it just means you simply gut Comercial Crew to re-start SDLV.  You really don't get US politics.

The money people are behind SDHLV.  They are going to get fed first or nobody is going to eat.  You simply do not get it and are operating squrely from within the realm of wishful thinking.

Besides, the Ares 1 work preserves a SDHLV to a large extent.

"Nice Propellant Depot you have there, I would be a shame if something happened to it."

You have to understand you are dealing with entrenched political intrests.  You can make the best of them and try to come up with the least objectional plan that meets your interests (The Senate Plan) or you can fight them and you will end up with something that looks like the House Plan.  No matter how you wish it so, there is no option C that is the MM plan.

Just give the Bear it's sandwich and walk on by.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2010 03:05 pm by M_Puckett »

Offline marsavian

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The CR will continue with Ares I and Cx so you are hoping for the wrong thing.

Well, I'd expect those to collapse within a year. With the option of a sidemount or DIRECT-like SDLV cut off, SDLV would likely be doomed. Again, the worst possible outcome if you want an SDLV, but a good (not perfect) outcome if you want commercial manned spaceflight. We all know that the space enthusiast community is deeply divided and deeply polarised at the moment, whether we like it or not.

You are still not getting it. SD-HLV may be sidetracked temporarily but Ares I won't be. You better be hoping for the Senate bill to pass because that will be as good as you get otherwise the two Cx rockets will be reinstated. Ares I is not reliant on the Shuttle stack infrastructure and the timeline of its dismantling and any cancellation steps the Administration has taken will be reversed in the CR. Congress and some sort of SDLV will win this dispute, it's just a question of which.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2010 03:01 pm by marsavian »

Offline Namechange User

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The CR will continue with Ares I and Cx so you are hoping for the wrong thing.

Well, I'd expect those to collapse within a year. With the option of a sidemount or DIRECT-like SDLV cut off, SDLV would likely be doomed. Again, the worst possible outcome if you want an SDLV, but a good (not perfect) outcome if you want commercial manned spaceflight. We all know that the space enthusiast community is deeply divided and deeply polarised at the moment, whether we like it or not.

"Commercial manned spaceflight" is doomed as well.

If you don't believe me, just look around.  Get educated. 
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Offline mmeijeri

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You are still not getting it. SD-HLV may be sidetracked temporarily but Ares I won't be.

Ares I is way behind schedule and is having major performance difficulties. Sooner or later it will become obvious to everybody that Ares I cannot compete with EELV and Orion cannot compete with Dragon for ISS support. And Ares I cannot support exploration without Ares V, and probably not even with Ares V without propellant transfer in light of its performance problems. It is one doomed rocket.
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Offline marsavian

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Congress is not listening to your 'obvious' dreams. Congress has always been quite happy to fund Ares I.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2010 03:09 pm by marsavian »

Offline Namechange User

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any cancellation steps the Administration has taken will be reversed in the CR.

Not exactly.  Certain NASA officials would likely continue to hamstring along CxP, even though it is officially funded via the CR.

What you would be looking at is no "real" Constellation Program, people still being cut loose.  You would be looking at no Shuttle Program.  People would be cut loose.  You would be looking at no "commercial" funding.  Certainly that would have a further ripple through the industry. 

Again, worse possible outcome for everything. 
« Last Edit: 09/13/2010 08:33 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline marsavian

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If the CR contains Cx continuation funding it will have to be continued.

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If the CR contains Cx continuation funding it will have to be continued.

True, but not continued in the way you think.  Look at recent history as an example with little known and even less seldom executed clauses. 
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Offline mmeijeri

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Congress is not listening to your 'obvious' dreams. Congress has always been quite happy to fund Ares I.

It doesn't have to. If Congress wants to preserve the long term future of the Shuttle stack, then it has to go for something like DIRECT Lite or sidemount. Ares I will lose much of the workforce, then it will get ever further behind its competitors, then it will lose much of its political support and then it will be cancelled for good. It may be a slow motion trainwreck, but it is a trainwreck nevertheless.

It is now or never for the Shuttle stack. Ares I or a CR that preserves Ares I for a while and cuts off the possibility of a barely affordable SD-HLV makes the end inevitable even if it isn't imminent.
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Online Ronsmytheiii

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In truth no matter your stance on commercial or SDLV, the Senate bill must be passed by the House so we can finally end Constellation.  It is a good compromise, and gives both proposals a foot in the door. The president has already said he would sign the Senate bill, it is time for the House to get over its phantom dream of Ares and make the practical compromise with CCDev/SDLV.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Quote
"Nice Propellant Depot you have there, It would be a shame if something happened to it."

And the very worst part of this notion is that those who would get the nice contract to build it would be the same who would sell the "insurance policy" to make sure nothing happened to it.

And I believe that OV is right; those terminations would keep going under a CR. It would be ironic.

Just apologize, please, for the "delicious" part.  Let's shake hands and move along.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Ares I is way behind schedule and is having major performance difficulties. Sooner or later it will become obvious to everybody that Ares I cannot compete with EELV and Orion cannot compete with Dragon for ISS support. And Ares I cannot support exploration without Ares V, and probably not even with Ares V without propellant transfer in light of its performance problems. It is one doomed rocket.

The simple problem is that the Powers That Be don't accept that it is doomed and won't accept it.  Many of them believe that it is vital and the only thing that can do the job and have argued with the strongest rhetoric that it is a minimum necessity.  Letting it go now is tantamount to admitting that they are wrong, something that they would never do.

The way I see it, the scenarios are like this:

1) The House blinks and a Senate-like bill is passed (just on the very edge of being possible).  Result - SLS starts this year; It isn't really DIRECT but has DIRECT-like elements.  Fine-tuning might tighten its timeline and reduce its costs;

2) The House holds firm (very possible).  Result - A CR whilst the election is being fought.  The incoming right-wing Congress demands massive budget cuts and all HSF work is put on indefinate hiatus.  The timelines for CST-100 and Dragon soar out to the right as all government subsidies fade away (because any kind of government funding is anti-free enterprise and therefore anathema to the right-wing mind);

3) The House holds firm (very possible).  Result - A CR whilst the election is being fought.  After the election, the new Congress gets together and develops a compromise with the most likely outcome that money is siphoned from the 'long shot' commercial option, tech development and robotic exploration so as to mitigate the effects of the delay on the Orion/SLS system.  IMHO, this is the most likely outcome;

4) The House holds firm (very possible).  Result - A CR whilst the election is being fought.  Post-election, the horse-trading runs on for a long time because entrenched elements in the House want Ares-I or nothing.  Meanwhile the shuttle infrastructure goes away and NASA continues to cancel CxP elements "in preparation for the upcoming transition".  Congress demands a halt to this, NASA, citing obscure legal obligations, ignores them.  Once the compromise is reached, whatever it is, it is suddenly realised that there are no longer the tools to carry it out.  The political barriers to utilisation of any commercial system remain high.  We may very possibly see the counter being zeroed and NASA being told to start from square one, possibly on a kerolox-core HLV.  Once again, the budget is utterly insufficient for NASA's grandiose plans and NASA demonstrates its typical inability to understand this.  Commercial crew crawls along with minimal or non-existant federal funding and reaches flying state in the 2020s, if at all.
« Last Edit: 09/13/2010 04:18 pm by Ben the Space Brit »
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Offline mmeijeri

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The simple problem is that the Powers That Be don't accept that it is doomed and won't accept it.

All I'm trying to say is that this is only a problem if you want SDLV to succeed. If you don't, then a doomed attempt at Ares I is the best thing that could happen. If it unexpectedly succeeded, then that would be bad from that perspective. If you want SDLV to succeed, then it is just the other way round.

In other words, you and I disagree on a CR because we have different goals.
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