Author Topic: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut  (Read 20975 times)

Offline GWH

Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #160 on: 02/13/2018 03:57 PM »

Perhaps we should all get together and lobby Congress and NASA to get SLS cancelled ASAP and to divert funds towards expediting BFR and NA dev.

No, they don't need the money
Agreed.

And if we do find them (indirectly), the govt should bargain hard and make them work hard for every dollar through competition.

Yes. Don't fund boosters or upper stages directly but fund what adds new capabilities over SLS. The point of using commercial rockets is they were already developed and funded on their business case alone.

BFR as a lander or crew vehicle has significant value over SLS. ACES/Xues allow for increased stage duration and landing. New Armstrong is an unknown but if it includes some type of lander then it adds new capabilities. 
All these things can replace SLS on their own.

Offline TaurusLittrow

  • Member
  • Posts: 84
  • Pennsylvania, USA
  • Liked: 55
  • Likes Given: 26
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #161 on: 02/13/2018 06:24 PM »
Spaceflightnow.com:
"NASA officials said there would be significant roles for commercial partners in the lunar exploration plan. In 2022, a power and propulsion module could be launched aboard a commercial rocket to begin the construction of a space station named the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway. Employing solar-electric propulsion with plasma engines, the module was previously slated to launch on the NASA-owned Space Launch System"


Interesting report on today's Spaceflightnow.com based on just-released NASA budget outline. According to the report, NASA could launch the Power/Prop module of the Deep Space Gateway aboard a COMMERCIAL rocket in 2022 (instead of SLS). Commercial rockets with the lift capacity in 2022: Falcon Heavy or perhaps New Glenn.



Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3145
  • Liked: 1498
  • Likes Given: 1002
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #162 on: 02/13/2018 08:08 PM »
Spaceflightnow.com:
"NASA officials said there would be significant roles for commercial partners in the lunar exploration plan. In 2022, a power and propulsion module could be launched aboard a commercial rocket to begin the construction of a space station named the Lunar Orbital Platform Gateway. Employing solar-electric propulsion with plasma engines, the module was previously slated to launch on the NASA-owned Space Launch System"


Interesting report on today's Spaceflightnow.com based on just-released NASA budget outline. According to the report, NASA could launch the Power/Prop module of the Deep Space Gateway aboard a COMMERCIAL rocket in 2022 (instead of SLS). Commercial rockets with the lift capacity in 2022: Falcon Heavy or perhaps New Glenn.

DIVH and Vulcan 564 would also be able to send the PPE to TLI, if it does LOI with SEP. ACES would also be capable of LOI but is unlikely to be flying by then.

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3145
  • Liked: 1498
  • Likes Given: 1002
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #163 on: 02/13/2018 08:11 PM »
OK, let's paraphrase the question.

Could a rocket (such as SLS) continue its existence if her direct competitors offer cheaper options?

Everyone keeps missing the point.

SLS is not subject to any kind of market pressure.  At all.  The eventual existence of multiple commercial offerings with equivalent performance for less cost is completely, absolutely irrelevant to SLS' future.  Cost effectiveness is not the metric against which SLS' continued survival will be measured.  Keeping federal dollars flowing into specific districts is the metric against which its survival is measured.  As long as it fills that role, arguments about cost per launch, rate of launches, lack of missions, etc., will have little weight. 

Politics and nothing else will decide SLS' fate.  Certain elected officials will have to retire, die, or lose elections in order for SLS to be cancelled irrespective of the existence (or not) of FH, BFR, NA, etc.  Sure, we can argue to our elected representatives that it's a waste of money and should be cancelled, and most of them will agree and push for cancellation, but unless they're in the right positions of power, it won't happen.

Even politics can't save SLS once commercial vehicles prove they can exceed its capabilities. Right now it's easy to call the other vehicles paper rockets that will never fly, and drum up support for SLS as something that NASA needs. Much harder to do that with other vehicles flying.

Offline Kansan52

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 940
  • Hutchinson, KS
  • Liked: 284
  • Likes Given: 337
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #164 on: 02/13/2018 08:21 PM »
Even politics can't save SLS once commercial vehicles prove they can exceed its capabilities. Right now it's easy to call the other vehicles paper rockets that will never fly, and drum up support for SLS as something that NASA needs. Much harder to do that with other vehicles flying.

I disagree. Politics can't save the SLS if there is public uproar or the districts with SLS jobs lose their advocates in Congress. Now, the savings (if they materialize) could force an uproar...

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8367
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 2462
  • Likes Given: 5929
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #165 on: 02/13/2018 08:36 PM »
Would be kind of funny to see what would of happened if BFR was going to be built in Alabama... ;D
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline hkultala

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 701
  • Liked: 202
  • Likes Given: 138
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #166 on: 02/13/2018 09:19 PM »
True, but the reasons that Musk backs off from challenging the SLS directly are equally true for Bezos.

No, they do not.

NASA is not the biggest customer of BO. BO has pockets of Jeff Bezos, who is the richest man in the world.
BO does not needs NASAs money for anything.

NASA is the biggest customer of SpaceX. SpaceX cannot annoy NASA/congress too much to in order to not risk their ISS crew and resupply contracts.


Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8344
  • Australia
  • Liked: 3211
  • Likes Given: 763
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #167 on: 02/13/2018 09:24 PM »
BO does not needs NASAs money for anything.

Yep, amazingly they're capable of going slower than NASA without NASA's help.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline su27k

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 750
  • Liked: 459
  • Likes Given: 50
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #168 on: 02/14/2018 02:38 AM »
B. that's not how federal funding works. If Congress cancels a project, that money isn't redistributed, it's just gone.

That's not the case for NASA, Congress cancelled Shuttle and Constellation, but the money isn't gone. True a lot of the money went back to the same contractors in the disguise of SLS/Orion, but a significant portion of the old money now goes to commercial space. Constellation supporters didn't mind big cancellation when they try to ditch ISS into the ocean in 2015, now they're worried money would be gone if SLS got cancelled? Nice try but no dice.

Offline MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4011
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 896
  • Likes Given: 1647
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #169 on: 02/14/2018 03:50 AM »
BO does not needs NASAs money for anything.

Yep, amazingly they're capable of going slower than NASA without NASA's help.

Rocket Science is hard, I guess - that's why they call it Rocket Science. But I too admit some pauzzlement as to why some of their aspirations are taking so long.
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7656
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 3510
  • Likes Given: 1042
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #170 on: 02/14/2018 06:57 AM »
BO does not needs NASAs money for anything.

Yep, amazingly they're capable of going slower than NASA without NASA's help.

When was the last time NASA developed a fully reusable, rapid re-flight, crew-rated sub-orbital booster and capsule?

The answer is: never. Which makes BO infinitely faster than NASA.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 07:02 AM by woods170 »

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7656
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 3510
  • Likes Given: 1042
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #171 on: 02/14/2018 07:01 AM »
BO does not needs NASAs money for anything.

Yep, amazingly they're capable of going slower than NASA without NASA's help.

Rocket Science is hard, I guess - that's why they call it Rocket Science. But I too admit some pauzzlement as to why some of their aspirations are taking so long.
There is no incentive to start earning money. So there is no "rush" to get things flying.
Remember, Blue Origin is Bezos' personal hobby. It is fully funded from his personal wealth. At the current funding level ($1 billion per year) he can continue to do so for at least another two decades.

And where Elon has set a goal of "retiring on Mars" Jeff has no such goal. So, no pressure there either.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 07:04 AM by woods170 »

Offline Deep_Space_Housecat

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
  • Earth
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #172 on: 02/14/2018 09:56 AM »
How do you think the successful flight of Falcon Heavy will impact SLS? Will there be consequences? Will development of the rocket continue as planned, will the status quo will be maintained?

Or is there any chance for the Adminstration to redirect the Lunar efforts to Falcon Heavy?
I do not think the Falcon Heavy flight will effect the SLS at all. The SLS is a much more capable rocket and should continue to move forward as planned.

Offline jpo234

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 765
  • Liked: 560
  • Likes Given: 81
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #173 on: 02/14/2018 10:16 AM »
How do you think the successful flight of Falcon Heavy will impact SLS? Will there be consequences? Will development of the rocket continue as planned, will the status quo will be maintained?

Or is there any chance for the Adminstration to redirect the Lunar efforts to Falcon Heavy?
I do not think the Falcon Heavy flight will effect the SLS at all. The SLS is a much more capable rocket and should continue to move forward as planned.

Is it?

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/963493015091326977

Quote
SLS maiden launch slips to 2020. That's three years to the right, at a cost of about $7 billion. For comparative purposes, NASA could buy nearly 80 Falcon Heavy launches for that price. SpaceX might even give 'em a bulk discount.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Deep_Space_Housecat

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
  • Earth
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #174 on: 02/14/2018 10:36 AM »
How do you think the successful flight of Falcon Heavy will impact SLS? Will there be consequences? Will development of the rocket continue as planned, will the status quo will be maintained?

Or is there any chance for the Adminstration to redirect the Lunar efforts to Falcon Heavy?
I do not think the Falcon Heavy flight will effect the SLS at all. The SLS is a much more capable rocket and should continue to move forward as planned.

Is it?

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/963493015091326977

Quote
SLS maiden launch slips to 2020. That's three years to the right, at a cost of about $7 billion. For comparative purposes, NASA could buy nearly 80 Falcon Heavy launches for that price. SpaceX might even give 'em a bulk discount.
Yes, I think so.

If Wikipedia is correct, the SLS has more than double the payload capacity to LEO. Falcon Heavy does not compete in lift capacity.

Offline jpo234

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 765
  • Liked: 560
  • Likes Given: 81
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #175 on: 02/14/2018 10:51 AM »
How do you think the successful flight of Falcon Heavy will impact SLS? Will there be consequences? Will development of the rocket continue as planned, will the status quo will be maintained?

Or is there any chance for the Adminstration to redirect the Lunar efforts to Falcon Heavy?
I do not think the Falcon Heavy flight will effect the SLS at all. The SLS is a much more capable rocket and should continue to move forward as planned.

Is it?

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/963493015091326977

Quote
SLS maiden launch slips to 2020. That's three years to the right, at a cost of about $7 billion. For comparative purposes, NASA could buy nearly 80 Falcon Heavy launches for that price. SpaceX might even give 'em a bulk discount.
Yes, I think so.

If Wikipedia is correct, the SLS has more than double the payload capacity to LEO. Falcon Heavy does not compete in lift capacity.

Imagine NASA purchasing 5 FH launches for $500mln and spending the remaining $6.5bn on payloads for them. They could fund and launch 5 missions in the Cassini/New Horizon/Juno class just from the current budget.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 10:53 AM by jpo234 »
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Deep_Space_Housecat

  • Member
  • Posts: 9
  • Earth
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #176 on: 02/14/2018 11:26 AM »
How do you think the successful flight of Falcon Heavy will impact SLS? Will there be consequences? Will development of the rocket continue as planned, will the status quo will be maintained?

Or is there any chance for the Adminstration to redirect the Lunar efforts to Falcon Heavy?
I do not think the Falcon Heavy flight will effect the SLS at all. The SLS is a much more capable rocket and should continue to move forward as planned.

Is it?

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/963493015091326977

Quote
SLS maiden launch slips to 2020. That's three years to the right, at a cost of about $7 billion. For comparative purposes, NASA could buy nearly 80 Falcon Heavy launches for that price. SpaceX might even give 'em a bulk discount.
Yes, I think so.

If Wikipedia is correct, the SLS has more than double the payload capacity to LEO. Falcon Heavy does not compete in lift capacity.

Imagine NASA purchasing 5 FH launches for $500mln and spending the remaining $6.5bn on payloads for them. They could fund and launch 5 missions in the Cassini/New Horizon/Juno class just from the current budget.
If I'm putting people on a round trip to Mars, I want to do that with as few launches as possible. Launches are risky, and I like as few risks as possible. Especially in human spaceflight. I'd go with the SLS.

And it's not a very fair comparison to compare the entire development cost of the SLS to the speculative per launch cost of the Falcon Heavy. 

The SLS and Falcon Heavy are different rockets with different missions. The SLS has a much more ambitious objective. Putting people on a round trip to Mars. I don't expect their cost to compare.

Offline jpo234

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 765
  • Liked: 560
  • Likes Given: 81
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #177 on: 02/14/2018 11:44 AM »
And it's not a very fair comparison to compare the entire development cost of the SLS to the speculative per launch cost of the Falcon Heavy. 

It's kind of cute that you think the $7bn are the "entire development cost of the SLS". Program cost until 2017 were about $12bn. And this doesn't include Orion...
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7656
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 3510
  • Likes Given: 1042
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #178 on: 02/14/2018 11:45 AM »
How do you think the successful flight of Falcon Heavy will impact SLS? Will there be consequences? Will development of the rocket continue as planned, will the status quo will be maintained?

Or is there any chance for the Adminstration to redirect the Lunar efforts to Falcon Heavy?
I do not think the Falcon Heavy flight will effect the SLS at all. The SLS is a much more capable rocket and should continue to move forward as planned.

Is it?

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/963493015091326977

Quote
SLS maiden launch slips to 2020. That's three years to the right, at a cost of about $7 billion. For comparative purposes, NASA could buy nearly 80 Falcon Heavy launches for that price. SpaceX might even give 'em a bulk discount.
Yes, I think so.

If Wikipedia is correct, the SLS has more than double the payload capacity to LEO. Falcon Heavy does not compete in lift capacity.

Tell me... When was the last time there was a 130 MT payload ready for SLS. Or a 105 MT payload? Or a 70 MT payload?

The answer is never.

Even the proposed DSG is being constructed of multiple chunks that weigh in at 15 MT, per piece, at most. You don't need SLS to launch those pieces to the Moon, or even Mars. One clear indicator supporting this fact is that NASA is seriously looking at having a commercial vehicle (not SLS) launch the Power & Propulsion Element of DSG to lunar orbit. In stead of SLS.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2018 11:48 AM by woods170 »

Offline envy887

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3145
  • Liked: 1498
  • Likes Given: 1002
Re: The fate of SLS after Falcon Heavy debut
« Reply #179 on: 02/14/2018 11:56 AM »
If I'm putting people on a round trip to Mars, I want to do that with as few launches as possible. Launches are risky, and I like as few risks as possible. Especially in human spaceflight. I'd go with the SLS.

FH can put 34 tonnes to TMI with one crewed launch, the same mass as SLS. It only requires one additional uncrewed launch, which adds basically no risk to the crew.

FH will actually have a meaningful flight rate, so its reliability can be established. SLS will not have such a flight rate, and is planned to make it's first all-up flight with crew, which is very risky.

Tags: