Author Topic: SLS General Discussion Thread 7  (Read 267042 times)

Offline sdsds

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1240 on: 08/10/2022 06:10 pm »
[...] while there have been a handful of arguments about it being an important national capability, my impression is that that’s a fig leaf intended to make the program seem less wasteful and a real need.

Or the reverse: the talk of jobs in a civilian program is a fig leaf intended to cover the strategic national requirement to maintain the capabilities provided by a domestic industrial base.

Quote
The vast majority of the rhetoric from the government has always been on jobs, not on capability

Quantity of rhetoric is not always correlated with actual motivations.
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Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1241 on: 08/10/2022 07:45 pm »
Do we put four astronauts on the Moon for a couple weeks again this year?  Or do we spend the same money to use modern spacecraft to create and maintain a permanently-manned moonbase?

Being able to legitimately say that we’re doing X more than Apollo or Y better than Apollo helps a lot over just repeating Apollo more slowly.  But honestly, Artemis needs a sharper justification than that.  A lunar base to do what?  The National Science Foundation’s Polar Programs are guided by decadal reports like this one for its Antarctic bases.  This 150-page document is how you justify a permanent outpost on an uninhabited continent.  These kinds of clear, well-defined, and detailed rationales and drivers are missing for Artemis.  Even with a more productive crew transport capability than Orion/SLS, the program won’t survive over the long-term without this kind of justification.

https://nap.nationalacademies.org/cart/download.cgi?record_id=21741

In terms of one billion per year per Artemis astronauts being unsustainable, the ISS cost the U.S. federal government about $3B per year for 8 astronauts per year (half of that amount is for commercial crew and cargo). So that's not exactly cheap either. Human spaceflight isn't cheap, even when it is using commercial crew and cargo.

ISS delivers ~400 astronaut weeks (8 astros x 52 weeks ea) per year, or ~$7.5 million per astronaut week ($3 billion total per year).  Artemis will maybe deliver ~20 astronaut weeks (4 astros x 4-5 weeks ea) every year or two, or ~$400-800 million per astronaut week ($8 billion total per year).

To be clear, I don’t think the value of ISS research and other ISS activities has been commensurate with its cost.  And the Moon should be somewhat more expensive than LEO.  But in terms of the cost-effective, raw material from which a productive research and exploration program is made, Artemis is headed in the wrong direction by orders of magnitude.

The proponents of SLS and Orion in Congress see SLS and Orion as providing a national capability through assets that must be owned by the government (similar to aircraft carriers)

It was silly of Pace and Griffin to compare a discretionary S&T program to national defense programs.  The latter is written into the Constitution, the former is not.  It was also silly of them to apply the government capability label when it duplicates capabilities in the private sector.  Only the government fields aircraft carriers.  Lots of private sector actors field launch vehicles.

But even then, their argument might hold a little water if Orion/SLS actually flew enough to project soft power at the magnitude and scale that the USN nuclear carrier fleet projects hard power.  The USN has about a half-dozen nuclear carriers at sea at any point time.  Orion/SLS will support a single, multi-week lunar mission every year or two.  Orion/SLS is much closer to the Russian carrier fleet, which consists of one carrier that rarely leaves dock, than it is to the robust USN carrier fleet.

To be a national capability, something has capable.  Orion/SLS is not.

Or the reverse: the talk of jobs in a civilian program is a fig leaf intended to cover the strategic national requirement to maintain the capabilities provided by a domestic industrial base.

Protectionism almost never works.  The best way to maintain an industrial base is to use it and use it effectively.

Want to maintain the solid rocket motor industrial base?  Then upgrade the Minuteman fleet (which we’re doing anyway).  Don’t distract part of the base building ginormous segmented boosters that no one uses besides a bespoke launcher once every year or two.

Want to maintain the cryogenic liquid rocket industrial base?  Then develop the in-space propulsion stages and long-term propellant storage capabilities needed to explore the solar system.  Don’t waste talent and dollars on the nation’s fifth HLV.

Want to maintain human space transport capabilities?  Then be a good government customer and buy them from the private sector instead of building a (very poorly) competing government system.

Orion/SLS is about the most backwards and counterproductive means of maintaining aerospace capabilities possible.  Freezing in place a large, expensive workforce that’s needed elsewhere and decades-old government systems that cannot compete with private offerings just makes the industrial base less healthy and more fragile.
« Last Edit: 08/15/2022 11:06 pm by VSECOTSPE »

Offline Mackilroy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1242 on: 08/10/2022 07:55 pm »
I don't disagree with you but Jeff Bingham, Bill Nelson, Scott Pace and Mike Griffin among others defended SLS and Orion as a national capability that must be owned by the government. Like I said, I don't agree with them, I think that you can get the same capability through commercial options without the government having to own anything. I think that the only way to ensure non-NASA customers is through commercial options.

Look through that list of people you mentioned. Only Nelson was ever in Congress; the rest were advisors or part of NASA. I’m specifically talking about what members of Congress, who control the purse strings or are on relevant committees, are saying. If you want to extend it to people who are, frankly, motivated reasoners pretending to be unbiased, we can do that, but that changes the shape of the discussion.

Or the reverse: the talk of jobs in a civilian program is a fig leaf intended to cover the strategic national requirement to maintain the capabilities provided by a domestic industrial base.

I’d believe this argument if the SLS were a majority of Boeing’s, Northrop’s, or ULA’s work, instead of one project among many, and if the SLS were pushing the development of new technologies that weren’t seeing widespread application elsewhere already.

Quote
Quantity of rhetoric is not always correlated with actual motivations.

No, but rhetoric matched by actions correlates well. Congress has happily funded development of the SLS with nary a peep of real complaint regarding delays and cost overruns, while everything else necessary to make the SLS useful has been ignored, neglected, or underfunded.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1243 on: 08/10/2022 09:57 pm »
I don't disagree with you but Jeff Bingham, Bill Nelson, Scott Pace and Mike Griffin among others defended SLS and Orion as a national capability that must be owned by the government. Like I said, I don't agree with them, I think that you can get the same capability through commercial options without the government having to own anything. I think that the only way to ensure non-NASA customers is through commercial options.

Look through that list of people you mentioned. Only Nelson was ever in Congress; the rest were advisors or part of NASA. I’m specifically talking about what members of Congress, who control the purse strings or are on relevant committees, are saying. If you want to extend it to people who are, frankly, motivated reasoners pretending to be unbiased, we can do that, but that changes the shape of the discussion.

Jeff Bingham was an aid for Senator Hutchison. He worked on the 2010 NASA Authorization bill. He used to post here a lot. I remember Chairwoman Johnson saying something similar in a hearing. There is probably others than said something similar but I can't remember. But I agree that Senators and Representatives are very proud of the fact that they are creating jobs in their state or district. So I agree that creating jobs in their district or a state is one of the biggest motivations behind SLS and Orion.
« Last Edit: 08/10/2022 10:10 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Mackilroy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1244 on: 08/11/2022 01:21 pm »
NASA existed just fine without the SLS, and it can do so again. The idea that no SLS = no NASA is a strange one. How are you justifying the idea that there can be no growth in the industry without the SLS? From where I sit, it appears the SLS is slowing the growth of the industry, not boosting it. Twenty-three billion and counting, with another twenty-some billion for its current payload, is limiting what NASA can spend on in-space hardware.

Offline leovinus

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1245 on: 08/11/2022 01:32 pm »
Without SLS, there is no NASA. I think EPOC may demonstrate this for better or worse.  NASA has to have huge launch vehicle.

There is no way to have growth in the industry without NASA and SLS… it all comes apart.

That sounds like an argument from the 70s like "There will be no US computer industry without IBM" and that did not age well. The creative and nimble companies in Silicon Valley overtook the computer mainframes and we see the same play out with SLS vs newer space companies. Just my 2pc of course.

Offline Jim

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1246 on: 08/11/2022 02:47 pm »
1. Without SLS, there is no NASA. I think EPOC may demonstrate this for better or worse.  NASA has to have huge launch vehicle.

2.  There is no way to have growth in the industry without NASA and SLS… it all comes apart.

3.  SLS is not to just create jobs.  There are many ways to create better jobs.

4.  Think of it more about sustaining a very old, fully obsolete and really necrotic government agency that started with just a five year charter back in the late 50s led by a former German war scientist.

5. In order to really go places like the moon or mars, it really takes much more than just a rocket.  You need space suits (which currently don’t exist), with satellites that communicate (which currently don’t exist) and much much more.

6.  But without NASA… you tear into many other sectors.  Academic, military, manufacturing, semiconductors, tourism, and perhaps the fabric of the whole global economy including medical.  The dollars spent seem to have a multiplier effect.

7.  If you spend that same budget in a private business, there isn’t a multiplier effect. 


That is so wrong in many different ways.

1.  NASA can exist without SLS.  Most of NASA is not SLS or SLS related.

2.  Growth in the industry is occurring and it is not due to SLS.  SLS is a dead end.   There is no need for large segmented solid motors outside of SLS.   Nobody is using any large H2 engines anymore.  The construction methods used on SLS components were done by industry before SLS.  SLS is not advancing any new avionics.

3.  that is exactly what it is for.  This is a fact.

4.  NASA was not led by Von Braun.  He was only a small part of NASA and did not join it until July 1960, two years after the formation.

5.  NASA is going to industry for those, instead of developing them itself.   You just discredited your argument.

6. Wrong.  NASA has little effect on the global economy and military, manufacturing, semiconductors, tourism.   The commercial space industry has a larger effect.

7.  Also, quite wrong.  The money goes further because it is more efficiently used.

« Last Edit: 08/11/2022 02:58 pm by Jim »

Offline Jim

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1247 on: 08/11/2022 03:28 pm »

There is no way to have growth in the industry without NASA and SLS… it all comes apart.



One of NASA's smallest major programs has done more for growth in the industry than SLS ever will.

Since 1998, LSP has procured over commercial 100 launches for NASA and US Gov't spacecraft.
It has been an advisor on over 45 other commercially procured launches by other NASA organizations (CRS, CCP).
It has been an advisor on over 5 other gov't provided launches.

Launches by other NASA groups other than the 43 or so shuttles amounts to less than 5 and most were suborbital.

And
Launches by industry (excluding those above) about 350.

So SLS (and NASA managed launches like shuttle) has had little impact on the launch industry overall.
LSP, CRS and CCP have had a larger impact on the launch industry.
« Last Edit: 08/11/2022 03:30 pm by Jim »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1248 on: 08/11/2022 06:55 pm »
The biggest benefit from SLS is its given us the Artemis Program. That has provided funding for commercial human landers and has help drive CLPS.

HLS should result in robust in orbit refueling of cryogenic fuels. This is technology that allow commercial spaceflight to moon and beyond without need for SLS and Orion.
« Last Edit: 08/11/2022 06:56 pm by TrevorMonty »

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1249 on: 08/11/2022 08:36 pm »
The biggest benefit from SLS is its given us the Artemis Program. That has provided funding for commercial human landers and has help drive CLPS.

HLS should result in robust in orbit refueling of cryogenic fuels. This is technology that allow commercial spaceflight to moon and beyond without need for SLS and Orion.
SpaceX is developing the In orbit cryo refueling regardless of whether ther is an HLS or not. So using this in this above statement is an overreach.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1250 on: 08/11/2022 09:57 pm »
The biggest benefit from SLS is its given us the Artemis Program. That has provided funding for commercial human landers and has help drive CLPS.

HLS should result in robust in orbit refueling of cryogenic fuels. This is technology that allow commercial spaceflight to moon and beyond without need for SLS and Orion.
SpaceX is developing the In orbit cryo refueling regardless of whether ther is an HLS or not. So using this in this above statement is an overreach.

A few years ago, Musk estimated the cost of developing Starship to about $10B. Getting $3B (plus whatever SpaceX will be getting for Option B) will help SpaceX a lot in paying for some of that.

Offline yg1968

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1251 on: 08/11/2022 10:04 pm »
The biggest benefit from SLS is its given us the Artemis Program. That has provided funding for commercial human landers and has help drive CLPS.

HLS should result in robust in orbit refueling of cryogenic fuels. This is technology that allow commercial spaceflight to moon and beyond without need for SLS and Orion.

I am not sure that SLS is necessary to the Artemis program. Remember that Bridenstine was thinking of not using SLS for the first landing. 

I suppose that you can argue that Congress approved Artemis because it used SLS and Orion. That is likely true. Perhaps that is what you meant.
« Last Edit: 08/11/2022 10:06 pm by yg1968 »

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1252 on: 08/12/2022 01:57 am »
SLS is crucial to Artemis because "they" say it is. 
Paul

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1253 on: 08/12/2022 02:20 am »
SLS’s job is to just send crew in Orion to deep space. Should work, and if it doesn’t, there’s a launch abort system.

The current setup is actually pretty good for Starship. SpaceX can focus on getting Starship operational with Starlink, then do refueling, then do uncrewed landing, before needing to put crew on it for lunar landing. They may be able to justify not having any LAS on it even for Earth launch by just having a bunch of flight history (say, 100 flights) and some other mitigations, as well as pointing out that NASA had to sign off on crewed lunar ascent on Starship without a LAS (as with just about any other lunar lander). But they don’t have to be in a hurry to do it because of SLS/Orion.

SLS might be good for SpaceX, as NASA has to launch on SOMETHING and SLS has no launch cadence to speak of. But bad for the industry because NASA has no money for another provider. By all rights, Orion should’ve been launching on ULA a decade ago, but instead NASA’s relying on SpaceX  and ULA is struggling, although recently rescued by Kuiper.
« Last Edit: 08/12/2022 03:54 am by Robotbeat »
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Online chopsticks

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1254 on: 08/12/2022 03:42 am »



...

2.  Growth in the industry is occurring and it is not due to SLS.  SLS is a dead end.   There is no need for large segmented solid motors outside of SLS.   Nobody is using any large H2 engines anymore.  The construction methods used on SLS components were done by industry before SLS.  SLS is not advancing any new avionics.
...


Oh my ribs are hurting from the laughter.

Other than maybe LOX/Kerosene, what other high performance propellants do you have in mind that have been demonstrated to reliably reignite IN A SPACE VACUUM?

"Maybe" LOX/RP1? Ever heard of the Merlin vacuum engine?

And this a total strawman question. Reliably relighting a LNG/LOX engine for example would likely be easier yet than a hydrolox engine. Don't know why why you are asking this.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1255 on: 08/12/2022 03:55 am »
And SLS has no large vacuum-startable hydrolox engines anyway.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline dglow

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1256 on: 08/12/2022 04:13 am »
And SLS has no large vacuum-startable hydrolox engines anyway.

Emphasis on large. Retirement of DIVH will bring an end for RS-68. The industry is migrating to methane, leaving RS-25 on SLS as an awkward and sadly expendable anachronism.

@Mr. Scott, take care of those ribs.

Offline sdsds

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1257 on: 08/12/2022 05:01 am »
LE-7A on H-IIA. Sea-level thrust: 843.5 kN. LOX/LH2. RS-25 is not alone.
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Offline Mackilroy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1258 on: 08/12/2022 12:33 pm »
It’s interesting that it’s largely government programs sticking with LH2, while private efforts tend towards CH4 and RP1. Isp seems to be a high priority for the former, along with maintaining existing investments, versus fiscal prudence.

Offline Jim

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 7
« Reply #1259 on: 08/12/2022 12:55 pm »

Oh my ribs are hurting from the laughter.
 

Because you don't know any better?

And I said "large" H2.

« Last Edit: 08/12/2022 12:56 pm by Jim »

 

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