Author Topic: ML-2 Updates and Discussion  (Read 19204 times)

Online Chris Bergin

ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« on: 11/04/2021 07:49 pm »
[FST edit: ML-1 thread is here]

ML-1 will only be used on three flights. ML-2 required for Block 1B, but that fourth mission won't be for another five years so they have time, as much as ML-2 is on hold as they've ran out of cash.

https://twitter.com/ChrisG_NSF/status/1456350883336396804
« Last Edit: 07/07/2023 05:48 am by FutureSpaceTourist »
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Offline D.L Parker

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #1 on: 11/05/2021 02:33 pm »
So spacex buids an entire launch tower and factory in less than a year and it takes years for NASA to build a launch tower, but they run out of funding before even finishing the thing. Wow.

Offline woods170

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #2 on: 11/05/2021 03:38 pm »
So spacex buids an entire launch tower and factory in less than a year and it takes years for NASA to build a launch tower, but they run out of funding before even finishing the thing. Wow.

That's the difference between private funding and public funding. The former is a continuous stream of funding. The latter depends on the appropriations process in US Congress, which is an annual effort, further hampered in recent years by CRs due to the major US political parties not agreeing on quite a few things.

Offline D.L Parker

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #3 on: 11/05/2021 03:49 pm »
Seems like they should get spacex to wack a launch platform out for them, shouldn't take them more than a few months judging by the speed they built their own.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #4 on: 11/05/2021 03:55 pm »
Seems like they should get spacex to wack a launch platform out for them, shouldn't take them more than a few months judging by the speed they built their own.

That's not how NASA works. If SpaceX wanted to build the SLS launch tower, then they needed to submit a bid on it when the contract was originally open for bids.

*edit to add*

Also, SpaceX is not the end-all be-all of anything space launch related. Nor should it be.
« Last Edit: 11/05/2021 03:57 pm by whitelancer64 »
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #5 on: 11/05/2021 04:07 pm »
Seems like they should get spacex to wack a launch platform out for them, shouldn't take them more than a few months judging by the speed they built their own.

That's not how NASA works. If SpaceX wanted to build the SLS launch tower, then they needed to submit a bid on it when the contract was originally open for bids.
That's also not how SpaceX works. Unless a contract contributes to the development of Starship, I don't think they are interested. If NASA asked for a launch tower that can handle Starship and also handle other systems, SpaceX might bid. I speculate that SpaceX will continue to bid  for CRS and CCP and also for F9 and FH launches, because they have the products and infrastructure in place and they are profitable, but SpaceX will try to move as much as that business to Starship as soon as they can. That will probably but not certainly require a land-based tower on the Florida space coast, but SpaceX may prefer to use "mass-produced" sea-based platforms.

Offline Khadgars

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #6 on: 11/07/2021 02:06 pm »
SpaceX has absolutely nothing to do with ML-2, why people insist on inserting into the conversation is beyond me  ::)
Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Redclaws

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #7 on: 11/07/2021 02:20 pm »
SpaceX has absolutely nothing to do with ML-2, why people insist on inserting into the conversation is beyond me  ::)

Probably frustration at the utterly shambolic and spectacularly wasteful way the mobile launcher program has been run.  If you care at all about money being spent to useful ends in sane ways and in a timely manner, the ML program is incredibly frustrating and the contrast is obvious.

Offline Avatar2Go

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #8 on: 11/07/2021 03:09 pm »
SpaceX has absolutely nothing to do with ML-2, why people insist on inserting into the conversation is beyond me  ::)

Probably frustration at the utterly shambolic and spectacularly wasteful way the mobile launcher program has been run.  If you care at all about money being spent to useful ends in sane ways and in a timely manner, the ML program is incredibly frustrating and the contrast is obvious.

This is a justification of the slam against SLS & components.  But I think Khadgar's point was, why is the slam necessary in the first place?   And why does it need to be inserted in every SLS topic or thread?

SpaceX has a vast number of threads on this site.  The superiority of their products, or the contrast between Starship and SLS, could be expounded there, without limit or complaint from the SLS advocates. 

I don't post in those threads, not because I agree or disagree, but because they are for SpaceX advocates.  They don't need me in there explaining the faults I perceive in Starship, or why I believe it shouldn't exist.  Which by the way, I absolutely do believe it should exist, and am all for other platforms being developed.  But there is not a compelling need for me to insist on any one option over another.


Offline Khadgars

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #9 on: 11/07/2021 05:47 pm »
SpaceX has absolutely nothing to do with ML-2, why people insist on inserting into the conversation is beyond me  ::)

Probably frustration at the utterly shambolic and spectacularly wasteful way the mobile launcher program has been run.  If you care at all about money being spent to useful ends in sane ways and in a timely manner, the ML program is incredibly frustrating and the contrast is obvious.

Well, if you actually cared about money being spent on useful ends in a sane way, anything NASA spends money on would not even be in your top 10!

Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Thomas Jefferson

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Offline D.L Parker

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #11 on: 01/28/2022 04:24 pm »
SpaceX has absolutely nothing to do with ML-2, why people insist on inserting into the conversation is beyond me  ::)

Probably frustration at the utterly shambolic and spectacularly wasteful way the mobile launcher program has been run.  If you care at all about money being spent to useful ends in sane ways and in a timely manner, the ML program is incredibly frustrating and the contrast is obvious.

Well, if you actually cared about money being spent on useful ends in a sane way, anything NASA spends money on would not even be in your top 10!

This a good attitude to have if you want to ignore waste with in NASA.

Offline russianhalo117

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #12 on: 01/28/2022 05:03 pm »
SpaceX has absolutely nothing to do with ML-2, why people insist on inserting into the conversation is beyond me  ::)

Probably frustration at the utterly shambolic and spectacularly wasteful way the mobile launcher program has been run.  If you care at all about money being spent to useful ends in sane ways and in a timely manner, the ML program is incredibly frustrating and the contrast is obvious.

Well, if you actually cared about money being spent on useful ends in a sane way, anything NASA spends money on would not even be in your top 10!

This a good attitude to have if you want to ignore waste with in NASA.
This thread is solely about ML-2. There are other more appropriate threads in the Space Policy section to discuss your topic.

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Offline VSECOTSPE

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #14 on: 01/28/2022 06:17 pm »
Eric Berger has written in Arstechnica a more complete update on the development of the ML-2.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2022/01/nasas-second-sls-launch-tower-is-also-late-and-over-budget/

From that article:

Quote
NASA has issued a "second letter of concern" to Bechtel requesting an assessment of project risks and impediments, plus a corrective action plan, as well as an identification of opportunities to reduce costs and mitigate schedule disruptions while improving efficiency.

This is a cost-plus contract.  Doesn’t NASA have a project manager and civil servant team overseeing it?  Why don’t they know the risks and impediments?  Why don’t they have a corrective action plan?  Why haven’t they taken action to reduce costs and mitigate schedule before ML-2 got into such bad shape?

These questions are rhetorical, of course.  But there’s no point in a cost-plus contract if the agency isn’t going to actively manage it.  Otherwise, the contractor will rob the agency blind.  Sending letters to Bechtel is useless unless the PM and some of his team on ML-2 are removed to an overseas tracking station and replaced with empowered, capable, conscientious, and conscious managers.

The private sector builds structures like this every day without such gross delays and overruns.  If the agency can’t get a lousy launch tower built on something resembling budget and schedule — especially after the lessons learned on ML-1 — it has no business building highly energetic and much more complex launch vehicles.
« Last Edit: 01/28/2022 06:18 pm by VSECOTSPE »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #15 on: 01/28/2022 08:21 pm »
...The private sector builds structures like this every day without such gross delays and overruns.  If the agency can’t get a lousy launch tower built on something resembling budget and schedule — especially after the lessons learned on ML-1 — it has no business building highly energetic and much more complex launch vehicles.

I just wanted to point the specific paragraph out because it deserves attention.

ML-2 is NOT something new!!!

Take ML-1 and stretch it. What is the complication here? How is it that this program could be in such bad shape within Bechtel, one of the premier global engineering companies?

And why is this a Cost Plus contract? What were the undefined requirements that lead NASA to think that a Firm Fixed Price contract could not work?

Geez  >:(
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 Jim

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #16 on: 01/28/2022 08:29 pm »

Well, if you actually cared about money being spent on useful ends in a sane way, anything NASA spends money on would not even be in your top 10!


just stop with the idiocy

Offline Conexion Espacial

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #17 on: 01/28/2022 08:40 pm »

What disappoints me most about all this is that it happened with ML-1 at the time and now with ML-2 when it probably could have been avoided with the ML-1 experience.

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Offline whitelancer64

Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #18 on: 01/28/2022 09:12 pm »
... and this is why (among many other reasons) the ASAP is recommending NASA take a good hard look at its contracting procedures.
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Offline Vahe231991

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #19 on: 03/19/2023 07:42 pm »
I found a recent article regarding the ML-1 that devotes a few paragraphs to the latest regarding the ML-2 mobile launch platform:
https://spaceflightnow.com/2022/12/09/repairs-and-upgrades-await-sls-mobile-launcher-before-crewed-lunar-mission/
« Last Edit: 03/19/2023 09:55 pm by Vahe231991 »

Online TheRadicalModerate

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #20 on: 03/19/2023 08:33 pm »
Found this update regarding the ML-2 mobile launch platform:
https://spaceflightnow.com/2022/12/09/repairs-and-upgrades-await-sls-mobile-launcher-before-crewed-lunar-mission/

Note that the headline of this piece refers to ML-1.  There's ML-2 stuff at the bottom, though.

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #21 on: 04/30/2023 12:53 am »
Quote
Sidus Space started 2023 with the announcement of a new contract from Bechtel Corporation to manufacture cables for the NASA Mobile Launcher 2 project. Sidus announced the contract award, Jan. 3. Mobile Launcher 2 (ML2) is the ground platform structure that will launch Space Launch System (SLS) Block 1B and Block 2 configurations to the Moon, allowing the agency to send astronauts and heavy cargo to the lunar surface as part of NASA’s Artemis program. ML2 is the primary interface between the ground launch control system and the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft flight hardware.

Sidus was previously awarded a contract to fabricate custom cables and populate unique electronics cabinets supporting the launch control subsystem and ground special power subsystems.

https://www.satellitetoday.com/government-military/2023/01/03/sidus-space-logs-a-subcontract-to-support-the-sls-mobile-launcher-2/ [From January 3, 2023]


Offline jadebenn

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #22 on: 05/11/2023 06:46 am »
Dovetails with what I've heard about the fabrication work spinning back up. Outside politics may have something to say about that if the upcoming appropriations process is going to be as much of a logjam as we should all expect it to be...

Online jacqmans

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Jacques :-)

Offline Vahe231991

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Offline Vahe231991

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Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #26 on: 07/13/2023 03:26 pm »
twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1679500542245064705

Quote
Wild, man. House budget legislation for 2024 provides $501 million for that year, alone, to fund development of the second mobile launch platform for the SLS rocket.

https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP19/20230714/116251/BILLS-118--AP--CJS-FY24CJSSubcommitteeMark.pdf

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1679504459838136321

Quote
The mobile launcher was originally supposed to cost $383 million. If this funding goes through it will push the money allocated to date above $1 billion, and construction has yet to really begin. Insane, really.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #27 on: 08/15/2023 08:51 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasagroundsys/status/1691542392040525825

Quote
📹 Timelapse: Watch from the mobile launcher 2 parksite as teams from @Bechtel begin to set in place the first 'super assembly' onto the temporary mount mechanism. The Vehicle Assembly Building at @NASAKennedy, where the @NASA_SLS rocket will be assembled, can be seen in back.

Teams will assemble the first pair of 43 trusses and girders that make up the base of the mobile launcher 2, which will support future @NASAArtemis missions starting with #Artemis IV.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #28 on: 08/15/2023 09:42 pm »
twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1679500542245064705

Quote
Wild, man. House budget legislation for 2024 provides $501 million for that year, alone, to fund development of the second mobile launch platform for the SLS rocket.

https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP19/20230714/116251/BILLS-118--AP--CJS-FY24CJSSubcommitteeMark.pdf

*yeet tweet*

Quote
The mobile launcher was originally supposed to cost $383 million. If this funding goes through it will push the money allocated to date above $1 billion, and construction has yet to really begin. Insane, really.

It's also weird because Bechtel has a long history of bringing complex projects to completion close to on time and on budget, with some notable exceptions.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Online yg1968

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« Last Edit: 08/16/2023 01:55 am by yg1968 »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #30 on: 09/05/2023 02:01 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1699048830719656095

Quote
Checking in on NASA's huge Mobile Launchers for SLS, NSF's Nathan Barker (@NASA_Nerd) spoke with David Sumner, Senior Project Manager for NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems (EGS).

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2023/09/nasa-ml-1-artemis-ii-ml-2-construction/

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #31 on: 09/12/2023 05:47 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1701648719609794959

Quote
Tug and barge have arrived at KSC to unload the second delivery of steel trusses for SLS Mobile Launcher 2 (ML-2).

ML-1 in the background at 39B for testing ahead of Artemis-2.

nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline cplchanb

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #32 on: 09/13/2023 03:46 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1701648719609794959

Quote
Tug and barge have arrived at KSC to unload the second delivery of steel trusses for SLS Mobile Launcher 2 (ML-2).

ML-1 in the background at 39B for testing ahead of Artemis-2.


nice that ML1 is in the backdrop. perfect timing for the shot!  ;D
« Last Edit: 09/13/2023 03:46 pm by cplchanb »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #33 on: 09/19/2023 02:18 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasaoig/status/1704133911062937617

Quote
NASA’s Mobile Launcher-2 costs have rocketed over $1b—nearly three times the original contract estimate. Our team will examine what NASA is doing to contain future cost growth and schedule delays.

Catch up on our previous ML-2 work:

https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-22-012.pdf

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #34 on: 10/11/2023 08:05 pm »
https://twitter.com/nasagroundsys/status/1712197303199486435

Quote
Back in June, teams received the first truss for the mobile launcher 2 and last month, they started assembling its base. But what happened between then?

In July, teams at @Bechtel blasted the steel and coated it in zinc inside one of the facilities at @NASAKennedy before using it for assembly. Coating the steel in zinc helps protect the material from rust and corrosion.

From here, teams will continue to assemble the mobile launcher 2 base in support of future Artemis missions, starting with #Artemis IV.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #35 on: 11/29/2023 12:44 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1729839625349603480

Quote
The next delivery of steel to construct the SLS Mobile Launcher 2 sailed through Port Canaveral before sunrise this morning - heading up to the KSC turn basic for unload.

This is delivery #3 by my count, and first from Louisiana.

nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #36 on: 12/19/2023 06:01 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1737117913763746076

Quote
Party never stops at the KSC turn basin! SpaceX hardware departed yesterday, SLS mobile launcher 2 steel arrives today.

Live: nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #37 on: 01/03/2024 07:00 am »
https://twitter.com/nasaspaceflight/status/1742208821009772548

Quote
More steel for SLS Mobile Launcher 2 (ML-2) is arriving at the Turn Basin at KSC.
nsf.live/spacecoast

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: ML-2 Updates and Discussion
« Reply #38 on: 02/13/2024 04:33 pm »
https://twitter.com/spaceoffshore/status/1757457103906578920

Quote
The next delivery of steel to construct ML-2 for future SLS missions arrived at Kennedy Space Center a short while ago. Many more to come...

nsf.live/spacecoast

 

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