Author Topic: SSP aiming to find the balance between Shuttle legacy and HLV advancement  (Read 22200 times)

Offline Patchouli

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Maybe the powers that be just want the shuttle to end? :(

I don't think anyone's standing in their dark tower, twisting their hands and muttering "I could rule this world, if not for that damned Space Shuttle!" to their magic mirror.

Take a look at the DoD: The F-22 and DDG-1000 are superb platforms and you can easily make an argument that the more of them our military has the better off it is. But for as excellent as they were, and as many people as their programs employed, their financial burden going forward was preventing the USAF and USN from attending to other needs. The shuttles are great, but the powers that be believe we can't get out to the next level while we're paying to keep them going.

I think the F-22 was money well spent but I think the F-35 program was a complete waste.
« Last Edit: 02/26/2010 05:30 pm by Patchouli »

Offline Halidon

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I think the F-22 was money well spent but I think the F-35 program was a complete waste.
F-35 is only part of the package. Also talking about Tanker, COIN aircraft, new and better drones, and possibly Joint Heavy Lift. All of which were facing tough budgetary battles while F-22 was still USAF's flagship program.

Offline Jim

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That's what gets NASA in trouble every time.  Wearing their "manager hats" instead of their "engineer hats".


Extending the shuttle is a management decision and not an engineering one.

Offline RobbieCape

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Great article, as usual.

I would still love to see some hard numbers on the costs to extend, including restarting the necessary assembly lines, etc. We can all look at the current fixed and variable costs to fly each year, but I don't recall seeing the actual projected cost of an extension (e.g., 2015) that would require substantially more hardware. Those costs, along with the benefits of maintaining skills and crew-to-ISS redundancy, will have to be considered.

I'm all for shuttle extension, just not at any cost.

Thanks and that's a good post. I agree with the 2015 extension issue - always had a preference for 2012 - as you can manifest stretch and add STS-135 (ET-122), 136, 137 and maybe 138 (was two, but now documented as three part-built tanks in storage) without needing "new" tanks (as in MAF contractor re-starts). SSMEs are ok, and I'm sure ATK would be able to get some booster sets out if someone wrote them a check.

For 3-4 billion you literally wipe the gap in half - or more - if ULA (or SpaceX) can be ready for 2014....and the 2012 extension is probably cheaper as you don't have to restart production lines, and can run with two orbiters - with the third as a parts donor.

OMDP timelines are ok. Skill set retaintion is in place. Controlled transition.

The key is to make use of each flight as much as possible. It's not viable for just crew rotation and supply flights. Get the ISS full of ORUs, use the downmass capability for science not just trash. CRS is ready to immediately take over (or within a year) on retirement.

ASAP won't be armwaving over safety on a 2012 extension as it's literally just three or four more flights - not 15 additional flights as one 2015 extension study called for. Can be sure of full utilization of ISS.

I only hope 2015 is for bargining purposes, with 2012 being the negotiated stance, because I can't see 2015 being approved.

What is the next step in this battle, if any?

Online clongton

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I have no trouble with standing down Shuttle because it is true that the operating funding is large enough that it does prevent moving forward. The SSP does need to stand down and end; that's not the problem. The problem is the timing, or rather the lack of it. The SSP should be transitioning to its operational replacement. It's not. Instead, in the words of Mr. Snyder, it's just being "extinguished". That leaves us nowhere, with nothing. That is, in my opinion, a stupid decision made by people who have either forgotten how or refuse to think.
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Online Chris Bergin

Great article, as usual.

I would still love to see some hard numbers on the costs to extend, including restarting the necessary assembly lines, etc. We can all look at the current fixed and variable costs to fly each year, but I don't recall seeing the actual projected cost of an extension (e.g., 2015) that would require substantially more hardware. Those costs, along with the benefits of maintaining skills and crew-to-ISS redundancy, will have to be considered.

I'm all for shuttle extension, just not at any cost.

Thanks and that's a good post. I agree with the 2015 extension issue - always had a preference for 2012 - as you can manifest stretch and add STS-135 (ET-122), 136, 137 and maybe 138 (was two, but now documented as three part-built tanks in storage) without needing "new" tanks (as in MAF contractor re-starts). SSMEs are ok, and I'm sure ATK would be able to get some booster sets out if someone wrote them a check.

For 3-4 billion you literally wipe the gap in half - or more - if ULA (or SpaceX) can be ready for 2014....and the 2012 extension is probably cheaper as you don't have to restart production lines, and can run with two orbiters - with the third as a parts donor.

OMDP timelines are ok. Skill set retaintion is in place. Controlled transition.

The key is to make use of each flight as much as possible. It's not viable for just crew rotation and supply flights. Get the ISS full of ORUs, use the downmass capability for science not just trash. CRS is ready to immediately take over (or within a year) on retirement.

ASAP won't be armwaving over safety on a 2012 extension as it's literally just three or four more flights - not 15 additional flights as one 2015 extension study called for. Can be sure of full utilization of ISS.

I only hope 2015 is for bargining purposes, with 2012 being the negotiated stance, because I can't see 2015 being approved.

What is the next step in this battle, if any?

Political.
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Offline Namechange User

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Why couldn't Mike Moses or John Shannon come out with a similar statement to Mike Snyder? Moses seemed to back it with his "they are ok to fly till 2020" but wouldn't be drawn on if it was a good idea.

Managers have to take the official position and the official position is not an extension.
Chris, do you know if Mr. Snyder is with NASA or a contractor?  Just a guess, but that might make a very slight difference.  I can't recall any NASA Shuttle people doing that, and reporters have attempted to draw them out on multiple occasions in the last few years.


Ah good point. I understand he's United Space Alliance.

Civil service employees do not have the luxury of being able to say too much.  As employees of the government, they are to carry out policy...regardless of their personal feelings.  As for contractors, when this type situation comes up, then mostly it has to be cleared with whatever company we work for and then it has to be on our own time and at our own expense. 

See the Hatch Act for more information. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatch_Act_of_1939
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline psloss

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Civil service employees do not have the luxury of being able to say too much.  As employees of the government, they are to carry out policy...regardless of their personal feelings.  As for contractors, when this type situation comes up, then mostly it has to be cleared with whatever company we work for and then it has to be on our own time and at our own expense. 

See the Hatch Act for more information. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatch_Act_of_1939
Thanks.

Offline Andy Armstrong

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always had a preference for 2012 - as you can manifest stretch and add STS-135 (ET-122), 136, 137 and maybe 138 (was two, but now documented as three part-built tanks in storage) without needing "new" tanks (as in MAF contractor re-starts). SSMEs are ok.

The 2012 extension is probably cheaper as you don't have to restart production lines, and can run with two orbiters - with the third as a parts donor.
 

Nice to hear support for 2012.  And if a shuttle enhanced launch vehicle is chosen for HLV then the gap will essentially be non-existent.

Quote

Now, if this plan gets refined, and I suspect it will be, HLV is going to be central to changes. If we get a push on HLV timelines, that'll appease some people.


What kind of push would you like? Target of 2015, 2016, or other for initial flights. Just wondering.


Online Chris Bergin

Welcome to the site's forum, Andy.

On the HLV, I'm slightly less specific, as we need a specific goal/mission for the HLV. I'd *like* to see test flights by the second half of the decade, but if HLV is only for Mars, then the cost of a Mars mission would make it unviable to push for a HLV before the 2020s - and maybe further.

So the question would be how soon will we need a HLV and what sort of mission can we push for via the capability of a HLV?

Maybe the interim Mars precursor of big deep space telescopes? The extra political and science community support we saw for STS-125 would be a good ally.
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/manned-mission-to-construct-huge-geo-and-deep-space-telescopes-proposed/

But I am a Flexible Path fan :)
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Offline Tim S

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That's a good thought process, because it would be such a bad call to return to the same scenario that ended Ares I, a vehicle with no mission based on FOC readiness and ISS requirements. Having a HLV ready before there's any mission to use it would not work.

That said, you can't leave it too long, or you risk losing the people you need to design and produce the vehicle.

Offline RobbieCape

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Welcome to the site's forum, Andy.

On the HLV, I'm slightly less specific, as we need a specific goal/mission for the HLV. I'd *like* to see test flights by the second half of the decade, but if HLV is only for Mars, then the cost of a Mars mission would make it unviable to push for a HLV before the 2020s - and maybe further.

So the question would be how soon will we need a HLV and what sort of mission can we push for via the capability of a HLV?

Maybe the interim Mars precursor of big deep space telescopes? The extra political and science community support we saw for STS-125 would be a good ally.
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/manned-mission-to-construct-huge-geo-and-deep-space-telescopes-proposed/

But I am a Flexible Path fan :)

That's an interesting comment. There's been a large missing element of what we do between ISS and Mars, with only some references to a NEO mission, but you don't need a HLV for that?

Online Chris Bergin

Move and bump to the HLV section
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