Author Topic: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024  (Read 426361 times)

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #460 on: 03/09/2015 03:13 am »
And we're supposed to expect commercial cargo craft will launch on ULA? ;)

But honestly, I don't see why LM would pick Atlas V over a Falcon 9 which is half the price.... Except if they believed the Falcon 9 manifest was too full or something (similar to the decision Orbital made).

Until SpaceX gets its flight rate up to a decent fraction of what they claim at the beginning of a given year, they're going to keep losing customers who have to fly on time. Low cost matters, but only if it's delivered on time.

I personally think they'll get there, but I'd be more cautious about guessing how the cost vs. schedule reliability trade actually leads any given supplier to go.

That would be a more convincing argument if the cargo were military satellites or interplanetary probes.  But this is CRS-2.  NASA has apparently been happy with SpaceX's ability to meet their CRS obligations -- happy enough they gave them a commercial crew contract also.  And SpaceX is only going to get better from here.  I can't see SpaceX not being able to meet CRS-2 scheduling requirements, whether carrying Dragon or a LM vehicle.

And I haven't seen much evidence of SpaceX losing comsat customers either.  The big customers continue giving SpaceX a large share of their future bookings.  Comsats cost a lot and launch delays lead to significant revenue loss for them, so you'd think they'd be among the most sensitive to schedule slip.

Offline joek

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #461 on: 03/09/2015 01:16 pm »
Cygnus doesn't provided unpressurized up.  Are you saying that they can't bid?

Currently Cygnus does not meet minimum requirements.  The RFP allows for consideration of proposals which do not meet minimums, but also cautions that--just like any other RFP--failure to meet minimums would likely cause rejection unless there is a very good reason otherwise.  (IIRC NASA softened the language a bit in the final RFP to allow consideration of such proposals.)

However, Cygnus (as presently known) could also be proposed as part of a solution which might include either a new Cygnus configuration to handle unpressurized up and unpressurized disposal, or in conjunction with a different spacecraft to handle those requirements.

Offline baldusi

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #462 on: 03/09/2015 01:31 pm »
And we're supposed to expect commercial cargo craft will launch on ULA? ;)

But honestly, I don't see why LM would pick Atlas V over a Falcon 9 which is half the price.... Except if they believed the Falcon 9 manifest was too full or something (similar to the decision Orbital made).

Until SpaceX gets its flight rate up to a decent fraction of what they claim at the beginning of a given year, they're going to keep losing customers who have to fly on time. Low cost matters, but only if it's delivered on time.

I personally think they'll get there, but I'd be more cautious about guessing how the cost vs. schedule reliability trade actually leads any given supplier to go.

~Jon
SpaceX is commissioning LC-39A exactly for that. They are demonstrating an amazing ability to really push one-pad flow. With Texas for GTO, and both LC-40 and LC-39A available for cargo Dragon, they can hit any necessary schedule. In fact, Atlas V might need a new VIF, given its DoD use, if they where to win 4 missions/year.

Online jongoff

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #463 on: 03/09/2015 07:15 pm »
And we're supposed to expect commercial cargo craft will launch on ULA? ;)

But honestly, I don't see why LM would pick Atlas V over a Falcon 9 which is half the price.... Except if they believed the Falcon 9 manifest was too full or something (similar to the decision Orbital made).

Until SpaceX gets its flight rate up to a decent fraction of what they claim at the beginning of a given year, they're going to keep losing customers who have to fly on time. Low cost matters, but only if it's delivered on time.

I personally think they'll get there, but I'd be more cautious about guessing how the cost vs. schedule reliability trade actually leads any given supplier to go.

That would be a more convincing argument if the cargo were military satellites or interplanetary probes.  But this is CRS-2.  NASA has apparently been happy with SpaceX's ability to meet their CRS obligations -- happy enough they gave them a commercial crew contract also.  And SpaceX is only going to get better from here.  I can't see SpaceX not being able to meet CRS-2 scheduling requirements, whether carrying Dragon or a LM vehicle.

And I haven't seen much evidence of SpaceX losing comsat customers either.  The big customers continue giving SpaceX a large share of their future bookings.  Comsats cost a lot and launch delays lead to significant revenue loss for them, so you'd think they'd be among the most sensitive to schedule slip.

You're missing my point. If SpaceX doesn't steadily increase their flight rate capabilities, they won't have space in their manifest for regular cargo flights plus crew flights plus DoD flights plus commercial satellite flights.

The other thing to remember about comsats is that a lot of the time the comsats will book a launch with both SpaceX and a competitor (Proton or Arianespace typically), pay the 5-10% downpayment for both, and only really downselect to one provider or another once it's clear if SpaceX can fly them on time. Just because they have an order with SpaceX doesn't mean they'll ultimately fly the payload.

I personally think that SpaceX will continue improving their flight rate, but it's not going to be instantaneous. My only point is that not everyone is going to want to bet their CRS-2 proposal on being able to get into the SpaceX manifest in addition to Dragon, crewed dragon and everyone else.

~Jon

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #464 on: 03/09/2015 07:19 pm »
And we're supposed to expect commercial cargo craft will launch on ULA? ;)

But honestly, I don't see why LM would pick Atlas V over a Falcon 9 which is half the price.... Except if they believed the Falcon 9 manifest was too full or something (similar to the decision Orbital made).

Until SpaceX gets its flight rate up to a decent fraction of what they claim at the beginning of a given year, they're going to keep losing customers who have to fly on time. Low cost matters, but only if it's delivered on time.

I personally think they'll get there, but I'd be more cautious about guessing how the cost vs. schedule reliability trade actually leads any given supplier to go.

~Jon
SpaceX is commissioning LC-39A exactly for that. They are demonstrating an amazing ability to really push one-pad flow. With Texas for GTO, and both LC-40 and LC-39A available for cargo Dragon, they can hit any necessary schedule.

Once again, they'll get that at some point, the question is what is the confidence level their CRS-2 competitors have that they'll have manifest space available to fly someone else's CRS-2 flights on a regular basis in time for the CRS-2 mission? If you're a F9 competitor, you should assume SpaceX gets their act together quickly, but if you're an F9 customer you probably should err on the side of assuming they have teething pains with their new launch sites.

And more launch pads still doesn't get rid of all the potential bottlenecks for SpaceX.

To be clear, I'm not trying to badmouth SpaceX at all here. I'm just pushing back on the argument that all CRS-2 competitors should be flying on Falcon 9. I can see legitimate reasons why Atlas V could still be in the competition for CRS flights.

~Jon

Offline baldusi

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #465 on: 03/09/2015 07:30 pm »
I don't bleive you're trying to badmouth SpaceX. But Atlas V also has a pretty busy schedule. And it's going to go through a planed transition exactly in the middle of the contract. So, it's not like you have many choice. Personally, I believe that NASA will seriously consider at least two different LV for the CRS, as the ORB-3 anomaly has shown the wisdom of that choice.
But ULA's plans are for pad and fleet consolidation. While SpaceX is actively working on commissioning two additional pads. And if Dragon is being prepped on LC-39A, the other CRS customer could use LC-40.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #466 on: 03/09/2015 08:05 pm »
To be clear, I'm not trying to badmouth SpaceX at all here. I'm just pushing back on the argument that all CRS-2 competitors should be flying on Falcon 9. I can see legitimate reasons why Atlas V could still be in the competition for CRS flights.

I'm a huge SpaceX supporter, but you can only have true redundancy when you fly on at least two different launch vehicles.  That said, ULA will have it's hand full making the transition from Atlas V to the NGLV, so they are going to have to be very smart about this changeover because they are going to find out what it's like to field a new launcher when your competitor can point to a long history of successful launches.  Maybe SpaceX could give them some tips...   ;)
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Offline AncientU

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #467 on: 03/09/2015 08:53 pm »
If recovery goes reasonably well, they'll probably build a backlog of flown cores... a few per pad would buffer any return failure.  I would expect them to leap frog among two or three cores on a pad once reuse gets rolling instead of returning a stage and hoping it goes well because the same stage is next up.

But yes, reuse is the multiplier for increased launch rate... the Hawthorne/McGregor cycle will be the bottle-neck without reuse.  FH need for three cores makes it 3x worse.

Some cores will also be expended for heavy payloads and some will land down range.  Steady launch rates require multiple reuse cores per pad.  Replacement cores will just be rolled into the queue.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2015 09:02 pm by AncientU »
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Offline Sam Ho

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #468 on: 03/09/2015 09:16 pm »
Cygnus doesn't provided unpressurized up.  Are you saying that they can't bid?

Currently Cygnus does not meet minimum requirements.  The RFP allows for consideration of proposals which do not meet minimums, but also cautions that--just like any other RFP--failure to meet minimums would likely cause rejection unless there is a very good reason otherwise.  (IIRC NASA softened the language a bit in the final RFP to allow consideration of such proposals.)

However, Cygnus (as presently known) could also be proposed as part of a solution which might include either a new Cygnus configuration to handle unpressurized up and unpressurized disposal, or in conjunction with a different spacecraft to handle those requirements.

The unpressurized Cygnus configuration was previously proposed in CRS-1.  Presumably, Orbital ATK could propose it again.  The Unpressurized Cargo Module would have been based on the ELC.

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/214893main_Orbital_COTS_Ph1_Redacted_SAA_2_27_08.pdf

Online jongoff

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #469 on: 03/09/2015 10:12 pm »
To be clear, I'm not trying to badmouth SpaceX at all here. I'm just pushing back on the argument that all CRS-2 competitors should be flying on Falcon 9. I can see legitimate reasons why Atlas V could still be in the competition for CRS flights.

I'm a huge SpaceX supporter, but you can only have true redundancy when you fly on at least two different launch vehicles.  That said, ULA will have it's hand full making the transition from Atlas V to the NGLV, so they are going to have to be very smart about this changeover because they are going to find out what it's like to field a new launcher when your competitor can point to a long history of successful launches.  Maybe SpaceX could give them some tips...   ;)

Indeed.

~Jon

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #470 on: 03/09/2015 10:41 pm »
To be clear, I'm not trying to badmouth SpaceX at all here. I'm just pushing back on the argument that all CRS-2 competitors should be flying on Falcon 9. I can see legitimate reasons why Atlas V could still be in the competition for CRS flights.

I'm a huge SpaceX supporter, but you can only have true redundancy when you fly on at least two different launch vehicles.  That said, ULA will have it's hand full making the transition from Atlas V to the NGLV, so they are going to have to be very smart about this changeover because they are going to find out what it's like to field a new launcher when your competitor can point to a long history of successful launches.  Maybe SpaceX could give them some tips...   ;)
CST-100 has significant payload capacity that can be utilized in a pinch (and already will be utilized for commercial crew missions, so no modifications are necessary) and will be launching on Atlas V. So there's not a loss of redundancy.


(From what I gather, CST-100's ability to carry a lot of cargo along with the crew was one of Boeing's strong points.)
« Last Edit: 03/09/2015 10:43 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #471 on: 03/09/2015 10:51 pm »
And we're supposed to expect commercial cargo craft will launch on ULA? ;)

But honestly, I don't see why LM would pick Atlas V over a Falcon 9 which is half the price.... Except if they believed the Falcon 9 manifest was too full or something (similar to the decision Orbital made).

Until SpaceX gets its flight rate up to a decent fraction of what they claim at the beginning of a given year, they're going to keep losing customers who have to fly on time. Low cost matters, but only if it's delivered on time.

I personally think they'll get there, but I'd be more cautious about guessing how the cost vs. schedule reliability trade actually leads any given supplier to go.

~Jon
SpaceX is commissioning LC-39A exactly for that. They are demonstrating an amazing ability to really push one-pad flow. With Texas for GTO, and both LC-40 and LC-39A available for cargo Dragon, they can hit any necessary schedule.

Once again, they'll get that at some point, the question is what is the confidence level their CRS-2 competitors have that they'll have manifest space available to fly someone else's CRS-2 flights on a regular basis in time for the CRS-2 mission? If you're a F9 competitor, you should assume SpaceX gets their act together quickly, but if you're an F9 customer you probably should err on the side of assuming they have teething pains with their new launch sites.

And more launch pads still doesn't get rid of all the potential bottlenecks for SpaceX.

To be clear, I'm not trying to badmouth SpaceX at all here. I'm just pushing back on the argument that all CRS-2 competitors should be flying on Falcon 9. I can see legitimate reasons why Atlas V could still be in the competition for CRS flights.

~Jon
SpaceX won't double their launch rate year-on-year every year. I think from 2014 on out, roughly 50-75% increase in annual launch rate (until they near saturation of the market and have flown out their manifest) is doable. But even at that rate, they'll just about saturate the launch market by 2017-2018 with ~25 launches or so (meaning they may slow down the rate of increase before then).

In other words, given SpaceX current performance at increasing launch rate, it seems as likely as not that by the time CRS-2 is in full swing, increasing launch rate will not be the major concern (something else may, however).


The launch rate issue is a temporary concern driven by SpaceX's own remarkable success. As long as continual progress is made (as has been made for the last several), I literally cannot see it being a significant issue by 2018, 2019. Their manifest can't keep expanding, there won't be any more payloads for it!

So for CRS-2, the concern must be something else.
« Last Edit: 03/09/2015 10:54 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline yg1968

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #472 on: 03/09/2015 11:17 pm »
The rules are fairly simple:
1. Each bidder may propose up to four standard mission types (e.g., different configurations to meet different requirements).
2. Those standard mission types collectively must provide for pressurized up AND unpressurized up AND unpressurized disposal AND either pressurized disposal OR pressurized return.
3. For each standard mission type proposed, each bidder must provide pricing for 1-5 missions/year.
4. Each awardee will receive a minimum of six missions.

NASA may mix-and-match different proposed standard mission types from the same provider or different providers.  One bidder could offer different LV/craft in a single proposal--so long as the total number of standard mission types does not exceed four.

One bid could include Orion+Atlas and Cygnus+something.  Or whatever.  LM teaming with Orbital?  SNC teaming with whoever?   Maybe.  Pick your favorite or most potentially feasible teaming combination of craft and LV.

There is nothing in the RFP limiting such mash-ups, as long as collectively they meet the NASA requirements and can do so with no more than four different configurations.

I was hoping that you would comment on this topic. I believe that at least 4 cargo missions per year must be proposed by each provider. But it can be more than four missions.

Although it is possible, I doubt that companies will be teaming up.
« Last Edit: 03/10/2015 12:57 am by yg1968 »

Offline didacticus

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #473 on: 03/10/2015 07:05 pm »
I'm looking forward to seeing the prices each provider quotes. It will be interesting to see how SpaceX and OSC compare to Boeing and LM given they already had development contracts first, and then generous contracts for CRS-1. I'm especially interested in the difference between SpaceX and OSC's bids this time - I expect it to be even more stark this time.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #474 on: 03/10/2015 09:43 pm »
Anyone have any insight on whether CST-100 would have been proposed on Atlas, Delta, or Falcon? How about a combination of all three for redundancy?

Atlas, according to Boeing.

Something dramatic happened with the CST proposal. When they first talked about it was basically a crew CST with the seats pulled out and 1300 kg. capacity.

Suddenly it can do more than 2500. It's a pretty big increase just by removing the LAS and life support.
(replying to my own post... I know, I know.)

http://aviationweek.com/space/boeing-would-pull-seats-life-support-engines-cargo-carrying-cst-100
Quote
The four large hypergolic launch abort system engines in the service module will be removed, making room for unpressurized cargo, and half of the 24 orbital maneuver and control engines will be pulled as well because they won’t be needed to pull a crew away from a failing Atlas V launch vehicle.

They found a way to put unpressurized cargo in the trunk. Either they're using a pallet like HTV or they've put the solar panels somewhere else.


Offline clongton

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #475 on: 03/10/2015 11:05 pm »
(From what I gather, CST-100's ability to carry a lot of cargo along with the crew was one of Boeing's strong points.)

How quickly they forget/dismiss the Number One lesson from the CAIB report. Carrying crew *and* essential cargo inside the same spacecraft was to be avoided at all costs. The report specifically recommended that all cargo to the ISS be flown in unmanned spacecraft. Manned spacecraft should only carry incidental and non-critical cargo. To claim that a spacecraft can carry both crew and cargo inside the same spacecraft as a positive is to blatantly scoff at and publicly ignore the report that in reality is what actually spelled the end of the Space Shuttle. Some people never learn.
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #476 on: 03/11/2015 12:00 am »
How quickly they forget/dismiss the Number One lesson from the CAIB report. Carrying crew *and* essential cargo inside the same spacecraft was to be avoided at all costs.

Please do quote that part of the report. I know it's widely interpreted that way and no amount of correction seems to stop people from saying that, but I'm pretty sure they never said that. The lesson was: don't put crew on the vehicle if you don't have to. Which is really just another way of saying: make sure the risk of spaceflight is worth the return.
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Offline joek

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #477 on: 03/11/2015 04:11 am »
I believe that at least 4 cargo missions per year must be proposed by each provider. But it can be more than four missions.

Not sure of that minimum.  I have not seen that in the RFP, although the RFI stated 4-5 missions/year as an "ideal", with 4/year preferred.

The RFP itself requires offeror to provide not-to-exceed pricing for 1-5 missions/year, for each of the years CY2017-2024, for each standard mission (aka configurations) of which a maximum of four may be proposed).  For example, if one standard mission type is proposed, the pricing matrix must have 40 entries (40 = 5x8 = Qty 1-5 missions CY2017-2024); if four standard mission types are proposed, the pricing matrix must have 160 entries (160 = 5x8x4 = Qty 1-5 missions CY2017-2018 for each of four standard mission types).

How all of that factors into the evaluation, contract award, or mission award is another matter.  The price evaluation is fairly complex.  There are no guarantees to an awardee (other than 6 missions total).  The actual mission awards will be through task orders which may be competitively bid.  That allows NASA much more granularity and freedom as to who is awarded what and when (very different than CRS-1 and CCtCap).*

Hope that helps.


* There is also a new-entrant on-ramp provision which provides a guarantee of two missions should NASA decide that is necessary in the future.
« Last Edit: 03/11/2015 06:15 am by joek »

Offline joek

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #478 on: 03/11/2015 06:04 am »
How quickly they forget/dismiss the Number One lesson from the CAIB report. Carrying crew *and* essential cargo inside the same spacecraft was to be avoided at all costs. The report specifically recommended that all cargo to the ISS be flown in unmanned spacecraft. Manned spacecraft should only carry incidental and non-critical cargo. To claim that a spacecraft can carry both crew and cargo inside the same spacecraft as a positive is to blatantly scoff at and publicly ignore the report that in reality is what actually spelled the end of the Space Shuttle. Some people never learn.

Don't you mean "hazardous" and not "incidental and non-critical" cargo?  Essential cargo is not necessarily hazardous, and hazardous cargo is not necessarily essential.  For example, many of the items necessary to keep the ISS and crew functioning, or required for research efforts (which after all is a key justification for ISS's existence) are essential to the ISS mission, but not hazardous.

Or are you suggesting that anything not essential to keeping the crew functioning during their transit to and from the ISS should be prohibited from being carried on the spacecraft?  That is rather extreme, which when taken to the extreme... Valve for the EVA suit repair, sorry, no, has to go up on a separate cargo flight.  Those biological or material samples, sorry, no ... Extra food, water, O2, N2, sorry, no ...  Holiday fruit basket, sorry, no ...   That would obviously be ridiculous, counter-productive, and sub-optimal.

In any case, I see no reason why the ability for a vehicle to deliver both crew and cargo should not be considered a plus, so long as the cargo is not hazardous (i.e., puts the crew at undue risk).
« Last Edit: 03/11/2015 06:11 am by joek »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: ISS Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) 2017-2024
« Reply #479 on: 03/11/2015 06:09 am »
How quickly they forget/dismiss the Number One lesson from the CAIB report. Carrying crew *and* essential cargo inside the same spacecraft was to be avoided at all costs.

Please do quote that part of the report. I know it's widely interpreted that way and no amount of correction seems to stop people from saying that, but I'm pretty sure they never said that. The lesson was: don't put crew on the vehicle if you don't have to. Which is really just another way of saying: make sure the risk of spaceflight is worth the return.

Exactly! And if you transport cargo with the crew, I can't think of much more suitable cargo to bring than supplies they will need on station. Right?
« Last Edit: 03/11/2015 06:10 am by Lars-J »

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