Author Topic: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3  (Read 251838 times)

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #820 on: 10/27/2022 07:05 pm »
*snip*

Supposedly, when SpaceX found out that Boeing wasn't doing an in-flight abort test, they tried to get out of doing one, but NASA said, nope, it's in your contract so you have to do it.
Does anyone have a source for that "Supposedly ... SpaceX tried to get out of ..."? This is the first time I've heard this.
AFAIK there is no source to back this up. Only rumors that SpaceX quietly approached NASA about that and it was shot down.

It is not a sin to ask a question, and if the launch abort was being paid for by SpaceX, then even more reason why it would not be unusual to ask to not do something if they see that the other competitor is not doing it. But wasn't the launch abort a paid milestone? Because if it was, why would SpaceX want to avoid it?

Yeah, usually it doesn't hurt to ask. If you can avoid doing a complicated and expensive task, why not.

Because Boeing wasn't doing one.

As Boeing has amply shown, you have to spend your own money to complete the milestone before you get paid for it. Sometimes a lot of money, especially if things don't go well. Maybe more than the milestone pays out.
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Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #821 on: 10/27/2022 08:26 pm »
*snip*

Supposedly, when SpaceX found out that Boeing wasn't doing an in-flight abort test, they tried to get out of doing one, but NASA said, nope, it's in your contract so you have to do it.
Does anyone have a source for that "Supposedly ... SpaceX tried to get out of ..."? This is the first time I've heard this.
AFAIK there is no source to back this up. Only rumors that SpaceX quietly approached NASA about that and it was shot down.

It is not a sin to ask a question, and if the launch abort was being paid for by SpaceX, then even more reason why it would not be unusual to ask to not do something if they see that the other competitor is not doing it. But wasn't the launch abort a paid milestone? Because if it was, why would SpaceX want to avoid it?
The only way I know of to "get out of" a contracted deliverable would be to negotiate a contract modification. NASA would have zero incentive to do this unless SpaceX offered to reduce the contract price as part of the negotiation. SpaceX' position would have been that they were offering NASA the opportunity to cut the price and shorten the schedule now that they knew NASA might not want the in-flight abort test. But unless a knowledgeable insider is willing to comment we will never know.

Offline AnalogMan

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #822 on: 10/27/2022 09:52 pm »
*snip*

Supposedly, when SpaceX found out that Boeing wasn't doing an in-flight abort test, they tried to get out of doing one, but NASA said, nope, it's in your contract so you have to do it.
Does anyone have a source for that "Supposedly ... SpaceX tried to get out of ..."? This is the first time I've heard this.
AFAIK there is no source to back this up. Only rumors that SpaceX quietly approached NASA about that and it was shot down.

It is not a sin to ask a question, and if the launch abort was being paid for by SpaceX, then even more reason why it would not be unusual to ask to not do something if they see that the other competitor is not doing it. But wasn't the launch abort a paid milestone? Because if it was, why would SpaceX want to avoid it?

The in-flight abort test milestones were base-lined in the CCiCap Agreement.

Milestone 8   : In-flight abort test review - amount $10 million

Milestone 14 : In-flight abort test             - amount $30 million

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #823 on: 11/03/2022 02:33 pm »
With Starliner CFT now NET April 2023 and Dragon Crew-6 confirmed for February, SpaceX will now launch all its originally contracted crewed missions before Boeing launches its first crewed flight.

Crew-7 is now confirmed for later in 2023, so the first Starliner operational flight is now likely NET Q1 2024.
« Last Edit: 11/03/2022 02:35 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #824 on: 11/03/2022 02:43 pm »
Full NASA press release us now on-line:

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2022/11/03/nasa-updates-commercial-crew-flight-manifest-to-space-station/

Quote
NASA Updates Commercial Crew Flight Manifest to Space Station

NASA and its mission partners are gearing up for a busy 2023 with crew launches and returns from the International Space Station. NASA worked closely with its international partners and commercial crew providers, Boeing and SpaceX, to secure new target launch dates for the upcoming flights that are optimal for space station needs.

Starliner Flight Date Targets

NASA and Boeing now are targeting April 2023 for the agency’s Crew Flight Test (CFT), the first flight with astronauts on the company’s CST-100 Starliner. The date adjustment deconflicts visiting spacecraft traffic at the space station as NASA and Boeing work together to achieve flight readiness.

The team continues to make progress toward Starliner’s crewed flight following the successful uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) to the space station in May. Starliner and United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket hardware remain on track for readiness in early 2023. The joint team continues to close out the OFT-2 anomalies and partner closely together to identify forward work and ensure all requirements for crewed flight are met. NASA and Boeing currently are working on a variety of verification efforts across several critical systems that will be used for Starliner’s crew flight certification.

For CFT, Boeing recently completed the exterior of the Starliner crew module with the installation of the forward heat shield and entry cover. The previously flown crew module, named Calypso, will be connected to a new service module later this year. Formal qualification testing on the CFT version of Starliner’s flight software was completed last month. NASA astronauts Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Suni Williams, CFT’s commander and pilot, respectively, and Mike Fincke, backup spacecraft test pilot, along with the Boeing team, also successfully completed the crew validation test during which the astronauts suited up and tested out the pressurized crew module to ensure seat fit, suit functionality, cabin temperature, audio system and day of launch operations.

The CFT astronauts will live and work on the space station for about two weeks. Following a successful crewed flight, NASA will work to complete certification of the Starliner spacecraft and systems for regular crew rotation missions to the space station. A launch date for NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission will be determined following a successful flight test with astronauts and close out of the agency’s certification work.

SpaceX Flight Date Targets

NASA and SpaceX are targeting mid-February 2023, for launch of the agency’s Crew-6 mission to the International Space Station.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch Dragon and NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Woody Hoburg, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrei Fedyaev to the space station from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew will spend approximately six months on the space station, starting with a short handover with Crew-5, which arrived at the station in October for a science expedition at the microgravity laboratory.

SpaceX certification and Falcon 9 hardware remain on track for the sixth crew rotation mission of the company’s human space transportation system and its seventh flight with NASA astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight, to the space station.

The Crew-6 mission will be Dragon Endeavour’s fourth flight to the space station, which previously supported the Demo-2, Crew-2, and Axiom Space (Ax-1) missions, making the spacecraft the fleet leader in number of flights to and from the station. The Dragon spacecraft currently is undergoing refurbishment at SpaceX’s Dragonland facility at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

NASA and SpaceX also are targeting fall 2023 for launch of the agency’s Crew-7 mission to the International Space Station, ahead of the return of Crew-6.

Find out more about NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at:

https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Author James Cawley   Posted on November 3, 2022
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Offline woods170

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #825 on: 11/03/2022 02:45 pm »
With Starliner CFT now NET April 2023 and Dragon Crew-6 confirmed for February, SpaceX will now launch all its originally contracted crewed missions before Boeing launches its first crewed flight.

Crew-7 is now confirmed for later in 2023, so the first Starliner operational flight is now likely NET Q1 2024.

Emphasis mine.

Yes, and that fits beautifully with the delays experienced by Starliner:

- Boeing's Starliner uncrewed OFT-2 (the successful OFT) came 3 years and 2 months AFTER SpaceX's uncrewed Demo-1 mission.
- Boeing's Starliner crewed CFT (if April 2023 holds) launches 2 years and 11 months AFTER SpaceX's crewed Demo-2 mission.

Crew rotations are roughly 6 months long each. An average Starliner delay of 3 years therefore translates into exactly 6 crew rotation missions. Which is exactly the number of original PCM's that NASA bought from SpaceX.

I still can't get over how wrong I was in thinking some 4 years ago, that Starliner would fly first.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #826 on: 11/03/2022 04:28 pm »
I still can't get over how wrong I was in thinking some 4 years ago, that Starliner would fly first.

I think you’re in good company there!

I thought SpaceX had the edge because it seemed to me that Dragon 1 and cargo missions were a big head start, with Boeing (I assumed) starting from scratch. But I would never have put SpaceX 3 years ahead, nor would I have imagined how basic some of the Boeing software errors were.

Offline ZachS09

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #827 on: 11/03/2022 11:37 pm »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.
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Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #828 on: 11/03/2022 11:48 pm »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.
Since Boeing forced NASA to renegotiate the contract in 2018 to increase the guaranteed missions from two to six, I truly hope that NASA requires Boeing to fly all six missions and that they lose money on each of them. Yes, this is petty and stupid of me as a taxpayer, since SpaceX would charge less.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #829 on: 11/04/2022 12:35 am »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.
Since Boeing forced NASA to renegotiate the contract in 2018 to increase the guaranteed missions from two to six, I truly hope that NASA requires Boeing to fly all six missions and that they lose money on each of them. Yes, this is petty and stupid of me as a taxpayer, since SpaceX would charge less.
IMO. How many times the Starliner flies depends on how many hardware & software issues crops up with the CFT flight and maybe the Starliner-1 flight.

Doesn't Boeing have the option to initiate descoping the Starliner program with NASA mutually? So that Boeing stop bleeding red ink and NASA spending less on commercial crew flights. Plus there is safety of the astronauts to think of.

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #830 on: 11/04/2022 12:54 am »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.
Since Boeing forced NASA to renegotiate the contract in 2018 to increase the guaranteed missions from two to six, I truly hope that NASA requires Boeing to fly all six missions and that they lose money on each of them. Yes, this is petty and stupid of me as a taxpayer, since SpaceX would charge less.
IMO. How many times the Starliner flies depends on how many hardware & software issues crops up with the CFT flight and maybe the Starliner-1 flight.

Doesn't Boeing have the option to initiate descoping the Starliner program with NASA mutually? So that Boeing stop bleeding red ink and NASA spending less on commercial crew flights. Plus there is safety of the astronauts to think of.
The key point here is "mutually". I have not read the actual contract and I probably would not understand it if I had, but "mutually" usually involves a negotiation. At a minimum If I were negotiating from the NASA side of the table I would require Boeing to return the $284 million that they essentially forced NASA to give them in 2018, on the grounds that Boeing did not perform the service they demanded the money for: A reliable second source (actually, a reliable first source).

And yes, my fantasy of hoisting Boeing on their own petard is not actually reasonable and certainly should not be done if there is an actual risk to crew.

Offline butters

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #831 on: 11/04/2022 12:56 am »
Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun's latest remarks on the quarterly earnings report doubled down on the argument that they're losing money on all their fixed-price contracts for the good of the nation. Boeing is not incapable of delivering government projects on budget and on time. Boeing is a national hero. We should be thanking them for their sacrifices.

This spin leaves no room for Boeing to back out of any of these programs, including Commercial Crew. If they want to play the martyr, they must stick with it to the bitter end.They have to suck it up and eat the losses. How this impacts Boeing's bids on future fixed-cost contracts remains to be seen.

Offline woods170

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #832 on: 11/04/2022 10:07 am »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.

IMO Boeing is committed to fly all six contracted PCMs.  The time for Boeing to walk away from the contract and cut their losses, was when OFT-2 first failed to launch due to valves being stuck. However, they did NOT walk away but instead chose to fix the problem and try again.

Offline deadman1204

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #833 on: 11/04/2022 01:38 pm »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.
Since Boeing forced NASA to renegotiate the contract in 2018 to increase the guaranteed missions from two to six, I truly hope that NASA requires Boeing to fly all six missions and that they lose money on each of them. Yes, this is petty and stupid of me as a taxpayer, since SpaceX would charge less.
Boeing gets paid for these flights as they do them. There is no "force them to do it". Boeing can choose to drop the contract, and they don't get paid (might also have to refund some money given them already).

However, the costs for Boeing quitting are higher than just the cash price. They will be viewed as a less reliable partner - which will be taken into account for all the artimis and gateway contracts in the next few years.

Offline yg1968

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Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #835 on: 11/09/2022 09:55 pm »
Attached is the Annoucement for the Collaborations for Commercial Space Capabilities 2 and the slides for the Pre-Proposal Conference related to this announcement. 

Concerning the unfunded SAAs that relate to this Announcement, they can include the following capabilities:

Quote from: slide 25
• Proposed Capabilities may include (but not be limited to):

  - Crewed or uncrewed space destinations of any type and combination,
       including ones that principally reside in space, sortie from/to space, are crew tended, and/or that may reconfigure.
  - Transportation capabilities of any type for crew and/or cargo to and from orbit.
  - Space suits and/or personal spacecraft.
  - Capabilities for in-space research, manufacturing and/or assembly.
  - Orbital debris management.
  - Power stations, power beaming, propellant depots.
  - In-space servicing and/or logistics.

• Should support a continuous U.S. human presence in LEO
• Must principally benefit low Earth orbit
• Should be safe, reliable, and cost effective so that non-government customers can afford the capabilities.
• Proposals for subsystems and individual technologies (e.g. instruments, components) are not sought

Commercial crew is discussed on slides 12 to 17:

Quote from: slide 17
NASA evaluating how to continue enabling transportation in LEO to support Commercial destinations and other LEO services.
« Last Edit: 11/09/2022 10:00 pm by yg1968 »

Offline erioladastra

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #836 on: 11/10/2022 07:34 pm »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.

Starliner is also part of Blue Origin's Orbital Reef program so if that goes forward there is additional potential there.

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #837 on: 11/11/2022 01:46 am »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.

Starliner is also part of Blue Origin's Orbital Reef program so if that goes forward there is additional potential there.

But isn't that contingent on Starliner being certified/man rated on Vulcan? Orbital Reef sounds like they are willing to buy if available, but who is the sucker who is going to pay for the cert first?

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #838 on: 11/12/2022 03:58 am »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.

Starliner is also part of Blue Origin's Orbital Reef program so if that goes forward there is additional potential there.

But isn't that contingent on Starliner being certified/man rated on Vulcan? Orbital Reef sounds like they are willing to buy if available, but who is the sucker who is going to pay for the cert first?

NASA is working on its certification requirements for the Commercial LEO destinations program. Phase 2 of the CLD program would include certification of the transportation system.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=53450.msg2372582#msg2372582
« Last Edit: 11/12/2022 04:04 am by yg1968 »

Offline erioladastra

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Re: Commercial Crew - Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #839 on: 11/12/2022 01:33 pm »
I really want Starliner to fly all its planned crew rotation missions following CFT.

People on social media are thinking it’ll fly only once or twice and be scrapped. Or never fly at all.

Starliner is also part of Blue Origin's Orbital Reef program so if that goes forward there is additional potential there.

But isn't that contingent on Starliner being certified/man rated on Vulcan? Orbital Reef sounds like they are willing to buy if available, but who is the sucker who is going to pay for the cert first?

That may be the plan but if something happened their choice would be (finish) paying for cert of Starliner, develop own vehicle or buy a Dragon flight, the latter of which is probably not a realistic option.

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