Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 660901 times)

Offline Svetoslav

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So it would be appear the Ares 1 huggers are winning in the house.


AUGH! :( :(

Do you have any information about this? I mean - has this been brought to vote?

Svetoslav

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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So it would be appear the Ares 1 huggers are winning in the house.


AUGH! :( :(

At worst, that would mean no US-indigenous crew launch capablity until the first commercial crew launchers are accepted enough by NASA for them to send up crews on them.  Meanwhile, Ares-I/Orion will remain 'in development' until ~2020 but, much like other "long range" projects, will slowly slip into a PowerPoint netherworld.

It would essentially mean ObamaSpace by default - all NASA launch by commercial providers (ULA, SpaceX and Orbital), all NASA crew launch by commercial providers (CST-100 and Dragon) and no BEO system because it is horrifically under-funded and facing such technical challenges that it can only fly crewed with a folder-full of flight rule waivers.

It is possible that, in such a scenario, we might see something like this being seriously proposed for the early 2020s: A multi-launch scenario including an uncrewed Orion/Ares-I (as it is unsafe to lauch crews on the type).  The crew would be launched on a commercially LEO crew taxi, would rendezvous with the Orion and transfer over before they fly the Orion to the multiple EELV-Heavy-launched & robotically-assembled mission vehicle.  In other words, the death of NASA HSF as a program with realistic plans to do anything BEO.

More realistically, it means a head-on collision with the Senate and a CR that could run for six months until after the elections this autumn.  At that time, a right-wing Congress will have to somehow compromise its distrust of large Federal agencies with its instinctive rejection of anything President Obama has proposed (a commercially-based space program, in this case).


@ Svetoslav,

As I understand it, the House of Representatives is still on recess for another week.  FF was referring to how the public positions of the power players in the House seem to stand at the moment.
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Offline Svetoslav

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Thank you for your reply. I was wondering because of the bombastic headlines about how the bill would be brought to vote "within 24 hours""

Offline marsavian

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If the HEFT HLV option with a J-2X/SSME middle stage was chosen then Ares I could always be restarted if the commercial guys failed in some way. Perhaps specifying at least a 4-seg/SSME or 5-seg/SSME or J-2X combination in the HLV to allow for a potential Ares I restart might be enough to placate the Ares I huggers in the House and allow reconciliation in the two bills. So HLV and commercial would be Plan A but you could always go to HLV and Ares I if commercial proved unreliable in some way for just crew transportation if you had already developed a meaty enough upper stage engine for the HLV.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2010 05:47 pm by marsavian »

Offline psloss

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Thank you for your reply. I was wondering because of the bombastic headlines about how the bill would be brought to vote "within 24 hours""
Those are press releases from lobbying groups; the varying sense of urgency is about whether the authorization bill on the House side (HR 5781) will get on the House calendar for floor debate and/or vote in the upcoming pre-election session.  The groups were anticipating an imminent decision.  (So far, there's a bunch of legislation already on the Majority Whip's calendar, but not that bill yet.)

Edit: 51D Mascot provided a good overview of where things stand (neither authorization bill is on the calendar):
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22270.msg635999#msg635999

But that's only the authorization part of things...Congress will almost certainly pass some kind of appropriations bill before the election recess, regardless of the outcome of negotiations on an authorization.  (A continuing resolution of some duration would need to be passed before October 1st to prevent even a minimal "gov't shutdown.")
« Last Edit: 09/12/2010 06:10 pm by psloss »

Offline clongton

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The best compromise between the SDHLV and the all-commercial world is the AJAX. It uses a SD Core which can be human rated, and the Atlas-V CCB's as the LRB's. The Atlas-V's would do double duty as the default CLV. It can be configured to cover the complete range of 50-190mT to LEO without an upper stage. But it leaves ATK out, which is a "political" non-starter.
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Offline Jorge

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The best compromise between the SDHLV and the all-commercial world is the AJAX. It uses a SD Core which can be human rated, and the Atlas-V CCB's as the LRB's. The Atlas-V's would do double duty as the default CLV. It can be configured to cover the complete range of 50-190mT to LEO without an upper stage. But it leaves ATK out, which is a "political" non-starter.

I never saw the attraction at all, myself. AJAX is technically inferior to Atlas V Phase 2 and is politically inferior to DIRECT (a complete non-starter, as you acknowledge).
JRF

Offline simonbp

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I never saw the attraction at all, myself. AJAX is technically inferior to Atlas V Phase 2 and is politically inferior to DIRECT (a complete non-starter, as you acknowledge).

Yeah, if there hasn't been the political will to enable a Shuttle LRB in the past 30 years, what's the probability it'll happen now...

Offline uko

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In the meantime, the Congress will have to pass a Continuing Resolution by the end of September for those appropriations bills not yet adopted (which includes the CJS bill where NASA appropriations reside.) Without an adopted (enacted) NASA Authorization bill, funding levels--and allocations--for NASA funding levels would likely be defined as a continuation of the 2010 levels and allocations among accounts, leaving the Agency in the status quo of uncertainty and lack of clear direction for the future; a potential disaster for the skilled workforce and the related capabilities that would be needed to embark on the immediate development of a heavy-lift.

An enacted authorization bill would at least provide a strong argument for the content of the CR to reflect the funding levels and allocations reflected in the authorization bill--something both House and Senate appropriators indicated they would prefer to do--and which the Senate appropriations committee has proven good to that commitment by already having adopted and reported out a CJS bill which tracks closely to the Senate authorization formula.

It's hard for me to understand the "continuing resolution".. can someone please explain..

I was thinking that a CR repeats the funding levels for 2011 that were in place for 2010. If that's true, then there should be quite a lot of money for shuttle to fly the additional mission and also a lot of money for Constellation meaning heavy lift development.

Where do I get it wrong?


In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is !

Offline notsorandom

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So it would be appear the Ares 1 huggers are winning in the house.


AUGH! :( :(
My paranoid fear is that the Ares I will actually get built. I have no doubt that NASA can make it work. They have pulled off miraculous things before. However, once Ares I and Orion are flying there are no guarantees that any HLV would be built. More then likely an HLV would not be built due to the cost involved. So what we would be left with is a rocket that was more expensive and less capable than the EELVs and a system stuck in LEO that wouldn't have nearly the capability of the Space Shuttle. It really seems to me that the Jupiter rockets are the best bet.

Offline clongton

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So it would be appear the Ares 1 huggers are winning in the house.


AUGH! :( :(
My paranoid fear is that the Ares I will actually get built. I have no doubt that NASA can make it work. They have pulled off miraculous things before. However, once Ares I and Orion are flying there are no guarantees that any HLV would be built. More then likely an HLV would not be built due to the cost involved. So what we would be left with is a rocket that was more expensive and less capable than the EELVs and a system stuck in LEO that wouldn't have nearly the capability of the Space Shuttle. It really seems to me that the Jupiter rockets are the best bet.

Which is exactly why we tried to kill Ares-I 4 years ago.
Four years ago we stated in no uncertain terms, over and over again, that NASA was only going to get to build *ONE* rocket, not 2. If they get Ares-I operational it will be left for the Indians to return mankind to the moon because the United States will have STUPIDLY given up any hope of space leadership - gone - fini!

Russia cannot afford to do it. Europe cannot afford to do it. China is not interested. Maybe Elon? Certainly *NOT* NASA.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline cro-magnon gramps

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In the meantime, the Congress will have to pass a Continuing Resolution by the end of September for those appropriations bills not yet adopted (which includes the CJS bill where NASA appropriations reside.) Without an adopted (enacted) NASA Authorization bill, funding levels--and allocations--for NASA funding levels would likely be defined as a continuation of the 2010 levels and allocations among accounts, leaving the Agency in the status quo of uncertainty and lack of clear direction for the future; a potential disaster for the skilled workforce and the related capabilities that would be needed to embark on the immediate development of a heavy-lift.

An enacted authorization bill would at least provide a strong argument for the content of the CR to reflect the funding levels and allocations reflected in the authorization bill--something both House and Senate appropriators indicated they would prefer to do--and which the Senate appropriations committee has proven good to that commitment by already having adopted and reported out a CJS bill which tracks closely to the Senate authorization formula.

It's hard for me to understand the "continuing resolution".. can someone please explain..

I was thinking that a CR repeats the funding levels for 2011 that were in place for 2010. If that's true, then there should be quite a lot of money for shuttle to fly the additional mission and also a lot of money for Constellation meaning heavy lift development.

Where do I get it wrong?


it means the continued dismantling of the Shuttle Infrastructure and the laying off of the people with the skills to build the SDLV Core; in 6 months to a year, that will remove almost any hope of a SD HLV as an option, because the cost and time necessary to get re contracting, retooling and rehiring would be too much for any NASA budget conceivable at this time;
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Offline Jeff Bingham

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In the meantime, the Congress will have to pass a Continuing Resolution by the end of September for those appropriations bills not yet adopted (which includes the CJS bill where NASA appropriations reside.) Without an adopted (enacted) NASA Authorization bill, funding levels--and allocations--for NASA funding levels would likely be defined as a continuation of the 2010 levels and allocations among accounts, leaving the Agency in the status quo of uncertainty and lack of clear direction for the future; a potential disaster for the skilled workforce and the related capabilities that would be needed to embark on the immediate development of a heavy-lift.

An enacted authorization bill would at least provide a strong argument for the content of the CR to reflect the funding levels and allocations reflected in the authorization bill--something both House and Senate appropriators indicated they would prefer to do--and which the Senate appropriations committee has proven good to that commitment by already having adopted and reported out a CJS bill which tracks closely to the Senate authorization formula.

It's hard for me to understand the "continuing resolution".. can someone please explain..

I was thinking that a CR repeats the funding levels for 2011 that were in place for 2010. If that's true, then there should be quite a lot of money for shuttle to fly the additional mission and also a lot of money for Constellation meaning heavy lift development.

Where do I get it wrong?


it means the continued dismantling of the Shuttle Infrastructure and the laying off of the people with the skills to build the SDLV Core; in 6 months to a year, that will remove almost any hope of a SD HLV as an option, because the cost and time necessary to get re contracting, retooling and rehiring would be too much for any NASA budget conceivable at this time;

Good response. Sorry I just don't have time to respond to a lot of these questions in depth...things are very busy and what IS going on is something I can't really talk about at this stage, but will try to as I get time.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline kkattula

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With no inside knowledge whatsoever, my guess is:

The House are going to throw a few non-binding words about Ares I, J-2X & 5-seg into the Senate bill and pass it next week.

That way they can go to the election claiming to have saved Shuttle/CxP jobs in their districts. If NASA eliminates some of those in the design process over the next few months, after the election, the electorate will have 2 years to get over it, and they'll have plausible deniability.

Offline M_Puckett

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In the meantime, the Congress will have to pass a Continuing Resolution by the end of September for those appropriations bills not yet adopted (which includes the CJS bill where NASA appropriations reside.) Without an adopted (enacted) NASA Authorization bill, funding levels--and allocations--for NASA funding levels would likely be defined as a continuation of the 2010 levels and allocations among accounts, leaving the Agency in the status quo of uncertainty and lack of clear direction for the future; a potential disaster for the skilled workforce and the related capabilities that would be needed to embark on the immediate development of a heavy-lift.

An enacted authorization bill would at least provide a strong argument for the content of the CR to reflect the funding levels and allocations reflected in the authorization bill--something both House and Senate appropriators indicated they would prefer to do--and which the Senate appropriations committee has proven good to that commitment by already having adopted and reported out a CJS bill which tracks closely to the Senate authorization formula.

It's hard for me to understand the "continuing resolution".. can someone please explain..

I was thinking that a CR repeats the funding levels for 2011 that were in place for 2010. If that's true, then there should be quite a lot of money for shuttle to fly the additional mission and also a lot of money for Constellation meaning heavy lift development.

Where do I get it wrong?


it means the continued dismantling of the Shuttle Infrastructure and the laying off of the people with the skills to build the SDLV Core; in 6 months to a year, that will remove almost any hope of a SD HLV as an option, because the cost and time necessary to get re contracting, retooling and rehiring would be too much for any NASA budget conceivable at this time;

A CR would likely only last a few months.  Once seated and leadership and committee assignments are made, the first order of a new Congress would likely be to pass FY11 as quickly as possible.   

Offline psloss

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A CR would likely only last a few months.  Once seated and leadership and committee assignments are made, the first order of a new Congress would likely be to pass FY11 as quickly as possible.   
Agreed, but as speculated for many months, they could do the same thing the 110th Congress did.  That mid-term-elected Congress "quickly" passed another CR (the fourth for that year) that covered the remainder of the fiscal year:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app07.html

We'll still have to wait to see what happens, since it's a possibility (but not a certainty) that the CR language could specify different top-line numbers for NASA than FY10.  (Such as from an enacted authorization bill.)

Offline JohnFornaro

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Quote
... just shooting clowns from cannons ...

Harsh, but well put.

Quote
... CR that could run for six months until after the elections this autumn ...

And during the lame duck session, expect more terminations based on arcane legal provisions; expect more infrastructure to be disposed of;  expect national capabilities to become weaker.  Should the work be started again, expect expense, delay, and mankind's continued Earth boundedness.

The talk around here, some months ago, along the lines of "now that Ares is dead..." seems to have been a sort of premature exultation.

(I was going to use the word that means "a short sudden emotional utterance", but decided against it.)
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline uko

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it means the continued dismantling of the Shuttle Infrastructure and the laying off of the people with the skills to build the SDLV Core; in 6 months to a year, that will remove almost any hope of a SD HLV as an option, because the cost and time necessary to get re contracting, retooling and rehiring would be too much for any NASA budget conceivable at this time;

Ok.. so a CR does not mean that the same amount of money that was available to shuttle in 2010 will be available in fy 2011?
In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is !

Online mmeijeri

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Ok.. so a CR does not mean that the same amount of money that was available to shuttle in 2010 will be available in fy 2011?

Unless there is specific guidance in the CR it would also keep authorisation for Mike Griffin's scorched earth policy in place.
Pro-tip: you don't have to be a jerk if someone doesn't agree with your theories

Offline Namechange User

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From where you are sitting is irrelevant.  You have no stake in this in any way, even less tax dollars. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

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