Poll

How many times will SLS be launched before it is retired/canceled

0
16 (7.5%)
1
28 (13.1%)
2
53 (24.8%)
3
29 (13.6%)
4
43 (20.1%)
5
10 (4.7%)
6
10 (4.7%)
7
1 (0.5%)
8
5 (2.3%)
9
3 (1.4%)
10+
16 (7.5%)

Total Members Voted: 214

Voting closed: 06/08/2018 07:04 PM


Author Topic: POLL: How many times will SLS be launched before it is retired/canceled  (Read 6695 times)

Offline johnfwhitesell

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ULA haven't even picked an engine for ACES yet.

https://www.ulalaunch.com/about/news/2018/05/11/united-launch-alliance-selects-aerojet-rocketdyne-s-rl10-engine-for-next-generation-vulcan-centaur-upper-stage

Such as?

ACES equipment that has flown in one form or another:
-the engine
-the capsule
-the payload adapter
-the avionics
-prototypes of the long duration cryogenics gear

SLS equipment that has flown in one form or another:
-The engine they aren't planning to use
-The capsule (on an Atlas V rocket...)


And this disparity is even more absurd when you consider this is comparing an entire superheavy rocket to just a second stage.
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Offline Markstark

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ULA haven't even picked an engine for ACES yet.

https://www.ulalaunch.com/about/news/2018/05/11/united-launch-alliance-selects-aerojet-rocketdyne-s-rl10-engine-for-next-generation-vulcan-centaur-upper-stage

Such as?

ACES equipment that has flown in one form or another:
-the engine
-the capsule
-the payload adapter
-the avionics
-prototypes of the long duration cryogenics gear

SLS equipment that has flown in one form or another:
-The engine they aren't planning to use
-The capsule (on an Atlas V rocket...)


And this disparity is even more absurd when you consider this is comparing an entire superheavy rocket to just a second stage.


That link is for Centaur V which is not the same thing as ACES

Online envy887

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ULA haven't even picked an engine for ACES yet.

https://www.ulalaunch.com/about/news/2018/05/11/united-launch-alliance-selects-aerojet-rocketdyne-s-rl10-engine-for-next-generation-vulcan-centaur-upper-stage

Such as?

ACES equipment that has flown in one form or another:
-the engine
-the capsule
-the payload adapter
-the avionics
-prototypes of the long duration cryogenics gear

SLS equipment that has flown in one form or another:
-The engine they aren't planning to use
-The capsule (on an Atlas V rocket...)


And this disparity is even more absurd when you consider this is comparing an entire superheavy rocket to just a second stage.

Exactly nothing that you wrote is accurate. ACES is Centuar plus IVF, MLI, updated RCS, updated avionics, docking systems, and refueling systems. Just because Centaur is proven doesn't mean ACES is proven.

ACES hasn't passed PDR, never mind CDR, never mind have flight hardware built. It is far behind SLS in the development process. It could be fast-tracked by ULA and move forward faster than SLS, but I see no inclination or money from ULA to actually do that. At the current rate it will fly around 2024.

ACES isn't going to fly before SLS, unless SLS is cancelled outright without ever flying.


Offline johnfwhitesell

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Exactly nothing that you wrote is accurate. ACES is Centuar plus IVF, MLI, updated RCS, updated avionics, docking systems, and refueling systems. Just because Centaur is proven doesn't mean ACES is proven.

IVF: I specifically said prototype, which flew in 2015 IIRC
RCS: Wasn't on my list
Docking: Not on my list
Refueling: Not on my list

And then we arrive at avionics.  ULA has already signed a contract with L3 to continue to supply avionics.  This is the same company providing the same service that ULA already uses.  While there will doubtlessly be future developments that is true of all space hardware, indeed, hardware in general.  If you are going to claim that it hasn't flown if future modifications are made then not a single piece of hardware for SLS has flown.  Zero, Nada Zilch.

I will concede that you are completely right.  ULA has not flown any ACES hardware.  And NASA has exactly zero SLS hardware complete.  I did not think such a high standard was called for but you have won me over completely.  Henceforth I shall adhere to your rigorous standards and say that NASA has not only failed to fly a single piece of SLS hardware, they haven't even designed a single piece of SLS hardware.  It's a damn high standard but it is consistent.

That link is for Centaur V which is not the same thing as ACES

A valid point. They tend to blend together in my head but it is theoretically possible that they will change engines between the next Centaur and ACES.

However I will note that there are only two contenders for the ACES engine and both of them have flown.  So the ACES engine has done flight tests... even if we dont know when. :P
« Last Edit: 05/16/2018 03:23 AM by johnfwhitesell »
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Online envy887

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Exactly nothing that you wrote is accurate. ACES is Centuar plus IVF, MLI, updated RCS, updated avionics, docking systems, and refueling systems. Just because Centaur is proven doesn't mean ACES is proven.

IVF: I specifically said prototype, which flew in 2015 IIRC
RCS: Wasn't on my list
Docking: Not on my list
Refueling: Not on my list

And then we arrive at avionics.  ULA has already signed a contract with L3 to continue to supply avionics.  This is the same company providing the same service that ULA already uses.  While there will doubtlessly be future developments that is true of all space hardware, indeed, hardware in general.  If you are going to claim that it hasn't flown if future modifications are made then not a single piece of hardware for SLS has flown.  Zero, Nada Zilch.

I will concede that you are completely right.  ULA has not flown any ACES hardware.  And NASA has exactly zero SLS hardware complete.  I did not think such a high standard was called for but you have won me over completely.  Henceforth I shall adhere to your rigorous standards and say that NASA has not only failed to fly a single piece of SLS hardware, they haven't even designed a single piece of SLS hardware.  It's a damn high standard but it is consistent.

That link is for Centaur V which is not the same thing as ACES

A valid point. They tend to blend together in my head but it is theoretically possible that they will change engines between the next Centaur and ACES.

However I will note that there are only two contenders for the ACES engine and both of them have flown.  So the ACES engine has done flight tests... even if we dont know when. :P
ALL the SLS hardware is designed and has been for some time. That's what passing CDR means. And a lot of it is already built and ready to fly.

Offline IRobot

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I doubt BFR will be anywhere near ready by the mid2020s, but NG and Vulcan both will be.
You really think that it will take ++7 years for SpaceX to develop the BFR?
What is so special about it? IMO it is actually simpler than the FH.

BE has no experience with orbital launches. What makes you think that they will be much faster compared to the BFR?

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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I doubt BFR will be anywhere near ready by the mid2020s, but NG and Vulcan both will be.
You really think that it will take ++7 years for SpaceX to develop the BFR?
What is so special about it? IMO it is actually simpler than the FH.

BE has no experience with orbital launches. What makes you think that they will be much faster compared to the BFR?
Even if it takes SpaceX 10 years to bring BFR to operational status you have to really see that the development program for BFR has been actively ongoing for 4 Years already since 2014. So 10 years would put BFR taking paying customers on flights in 2024.

Another item is that SLS core has suffered another delay in its delivery date of about 3 months. Basically the schedule pad is almost all gone. That padding was the difference between the NET date of DEC 2019 andNLT date of JUN 2020. I expect more delays of at least 6 months while the qualification and flight hardware goes through testing and integration at the pad. So I now believe the EM-1 launch to be NET JAN 2021. The spacing of delivery of core stages for the second through forth flight hardware Iexpect to be 18 months. This then puts the SLS launch schedule to look something like this:
EM-1.   NET Q1 2021
EM-2.  NET Q3 2022
EC     NET Q3 2023 (launch window, if you miss it then you have to wait another year)
EM-3 2025
The next two are dependent on the new RS25 engine deliveries. The current contract is set at delivery of two engines per year with first delivered in 2022 (maybe). That set is the qual engines and will not be used for flight.The other consideration is engines have to be delivered at approximately 18 months prior to launch in the complex integration flow for SLS. This first core with new engines will have to do a green run also.
EM-4.  NET 2027
EL (Europa Lander) NET 2029

Online AncientU

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It will not take BFR being 'operational' for SLS to be abandoned; BFR, a NOVA-class (150t) reusable vehicle only needs to fly once.  Comparisons with the $40B spent to get SLS Block 1 flying <100t to LEO at a billion or two per launch will be withering. 
(Likely the Head of Appropriations committee will not be a certain Senator from Alabama, too.)

On BFRs first orbital mission, whether or not BFS is ready for crew, SLS will be history... so 2021-2022.
Ergo, SLS may never fly.  (I voted for two, but...)
« Last Edit: 05/18/2018 05:56 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Patchouli

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I voted 7 flights but I think 5 is more realistic.

I think it'll be New Glenn that ends up killing SLS vs BFR.

NG is half a SLS block 1a so you could do some of the missions with it using EOR  launch Orion and the payload on one and an EDS of some sort on a second one.
Since the departure stage can act as a third stage on NG the payload can be 70 tons vs 45 so it might be possible to use a modified version of the EUS.
Interestingly Vulcan 561 could do the job originally intended for Ares I.
« Last Edit: 05/21/2018 05:52 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Caleb Cattuzzo

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I voted 10+ but I think it will be 5-10 because of the Deep Space Gateway and Deep Space Transport....as much as I want to believe the BFR launch date of early 2020’s I don’t see that happening since they don’t have any experience taking passagers and I feel like that will be the cause of a few redesigns after some test flights.
There is no strife,no prejudice,no national conflict in space as yet.Its hazards are hostile to us all.

I doubt BFR will be anywhere near ready by the mid2020s, but NG and Vulcan both will be.
You really think that it will take ++7 years for SpaceX to develop the BFR?
What is so special about it? IMO it is actually simpler than the FH.

BE has no experience with orbital launches. What makes you think that they will be much faster compared to the BFR?
BFR IMO is far more complicated than the FH. Heat shield, human life support systems and full scale testing of the raptor engine. BFR is big and complex as rockets can get.
Financially, its a whole another story, right now only 20 engineers (LA port authority hearing) are working on the BFR, that would eventually scale up starting in 2019. Elon himself estimated cost of developing this beast at 10b, even with Starlink in mind its still a long way before they can generate profit from it. 2026-2028 operational is my bet. Thats why I dont think it will be a threat to the SLS in the near term.

BO with New Glenn are already well on their way for a 2020 debut, and that LV is more than capable for the current adminstration back to the Moon directive, SLS existence depended largely on the Lunar gateway platform station, and now thats up for grabs to commercial launchers.

Bridenstine´s most recent comments are really interesting, first time he publically said that they might start moving away from SLS once new launchers are in the market. So 3 SLS flights are a solid bet now, Europa Clipper, EM1, EM2 crewed then unplug the cord on the program.

Offline Coastal Ron

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I doubt BFR will be anywhere near ready by the mid2020s, but NG and Vulcan both will be.
Financially, its a whole another story, right now only 20 engineers (LA port authority hearing) are working on the BFR, that would eventually scale up starting in 2019.

Since the LA Port Authority is focused on activity at the port of Los Angeles, and ONLY the port, they were likely referring to the number of engineers at the facility at the port, NOT the total number of engineers working on the BFR/BFS program back inland at the Hawthorne headquarters.

Quote
BO with New Glenn are already well on their way for a 2020 debut

I fully support what Blue Origin is doing, but their record of fast innovation and achievement is not exactly stellar either. And in some ways they have a much larger hurtle to getting New Glenn operational than SpaceX does with the BFS, since SpaceX has a long history of operational launches behind them, and a huge amount of institutional knowledge about reusable rockets. Blue Origin still needs to acquire both, and some of that can't be rushed.

Quote
...and that LV is more than capable for the current adminstration back to the Moon directive

Which is not a factor because it's not a funded program yet.

Quote
...SLS existence depended largely on the Lunar gateway platform station, and now thats up for grabs to commercial launchers.

Look closely and you'll notice that the are NO funded programs that MUST use the SLS as of today, so the reason why the SLS exists is not because of a robust need for it's capabilities, but because Congress wants to fund it. The existence of New Glenn and other rockets is not really a factor.

Quote
Bridenstine´s most recent comments are really interesting, first time he publically said that they might start moving away from SLS once new launchers are in the market. So 3 SLS flights are a solid bet now, Europa Clipper, EM1, EM2 crewed then unplug the cord on the program.

If there are no programs and payloads that require the SLS, then it could be cancelled before it's first flight. Because why else make it operational if it's not going to be needed?
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Elon himself estimated cost of developing this beast at 10b,

No, that was the ITS.  The reason they went from the ITS design to the BFR design was they wanted a system that could be developed relatively cheaply.  It's like Skylab, the goal was to make what they oculd with the hardware that they already had.  Skylab is far larger then any space station module ever made since but it only took 4 years to go from the start of the program to it being in operation.  Just because something is big doesn't mean it is complicated.
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