Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 446228 times)

Offline Spacely

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1200 on: 04/13/2011 09:50 pm »
It's not surprising that there's substantial confusion on the matter.  Personally, I don't know what they really mean.

Yeah, it's incredibly confusing. HLV vs. No HLV debate aside, arguably the worst thing about the 2010 Authorization Act is how bizarrely they worded the SLS specs. Much like the Orion/MPCV name-change, those specs seem to have done nothing but confuse NASA and Capitol Hill alike.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2011 09:51 pm by Spacely »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1201 on: 04/13/2011 09:53 pm »
don't like it either. But how else do you interpret the "which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously." part? I'm assuming that jeff foust is directly quoting.

This particular wording says exactly that the lift capability shall be 130 tons.  It doesn't say anything about "evolvability".  However, this plain language has been spun to suggest that there is indeed an intent to start at 70 and end at 130.  While the evolutionary path from 70 to 130 makes sense to me and is what I thought the "plan for the plan" was, the quoted language simply doesn't say that.

It's not surprising that there's substantial confusion on the matter.  Personally, I don't know what they really mean.

Policies are generally set in authorization bills and not in appropriation bills. In other words, the policy of having an evolvable SLS still stands. It doesn't need to be repeated in the CR.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2011 10:02 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1202 on: 04/13/2011 10:23 pm »
Here is the text of the Senate Appropriation bill (NASA starts at page 198):
http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.download&id=2a092519-fc3c-491c-866f-613d9745f2ee

See also this link for a table:
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/03/08/more-details-about-senates-proposed-fy11-cr-for-nasa/

On page 198 of the Senate Appropriation bill:
Quote
(b) Of the amounts appropriated by this division for
10 ‘‘National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Explo
11 ration’’, not less than $1,200,000,000 shall be for the
12 Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, and not less than
13 $1,800,000,000 shall be for the heavy lift launch vehicle
14 system which shall have a lift capability not less than 130
15 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core
16 elements developed simultaneously.

Yay.

If this passes (and is not soon amended), we will not see SLS launch in this decade.

If I remember 51D post's on similar wording in past proposals, he said that this language was not meant to contradict the 2010 NASA Authorization bill but to simply confirm what they have said previously.  In other words, I wouldn't worry about it too much. The HLV has to be evolvable to 130 tons. That was already the case.

51D Mascot didn't say this but I think that it also means that the J-2X contract should not be terminated. But given that the J-2X contract is for about $1.2 billion and that about half of it has already been paid, this shouldn't make much of a difference.

Correct on both points.

On the 130mt question, see post above.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2011 10:37 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1203 on: 04/13/2011 10:36 pm »

The CR language only says tons, not metric tons, so I guess it means short tons by default (which would be 118 metric tons)? It also doesn't say 130 tons by December 31, 2016.

Here is the CR's SLS language and the language to allow NASA to proceed fully on the new programs:

Quote from: 111_fullyearcr.pdf, page 33
Provided further, That within the funds provided for ‘‘Ex-
ploration’’, not less than $1,200,000,000 shall be for the
Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, not less than
$250,000,000 shall be for commercial crew, not less than
$300,000,000 shall be for commercial cargo development,
and not less than $1,800,000,000 shall be for the heavy
lift launch vehicle system: Provided further, That the ini-
tial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system
shall be not less than 130 tons and that the upper stage
and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed:
Provided further, That the provisos limiting the use of
funds under the heading ‘‘National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, Exploration’’ in division B of Public Law
111–117 shall not apply to funds appropriated by this Act:

Theoretically, YES (as per this post from a while back):

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22270.msg623290#msg623290

But whether it's short/long/or metric, it's a HECK of a lot more lift capability (especially as an initial starting point) than we currently need. This was supposed to be a build-up of lift capability until we are at a point when it is REQUIRED.

We aren't going to Mars in the next 10 years.

On the face of it, this "requirement" is onerous and contradictory to the evolvable approach outlined by P.L. 111-267. So, if it is enacted into law, there could be a "conflict of laws" situation in which both laws have to be read together to bring them into "harmony." Rest assured, those authorizers who developed the SLS language feel very strongly about the evolvable approach. At least "some" of the appropriators do not intend this language to eliminate that, and are focused on underscoring that a minimum 130-ton capability remains the end target of the SLS development. That clearly could be clarified with, for example, removal of the word "initial",  but making even a one-word change in something with as many interests at play as this bill (i.e., basically the ENTIRE federal government) is difficult just because of the number of bases that have to be touched. On the other hand, the fact that this appears to potentially materially modify existing law also raises an issue of a point of order possibly being raised against the provision, as a violation of the restrictions against "legislating" on appropriations.  All that remains to be seen over the next ten days.

The bottom line is that, if this language is enacted as is and in fact appears to re-vector the development approach for the heavy-lift, subsequent legislation can be enacted to rectify that. In the meantime, I believe the internal planning focus at NASA is likely to remain on a course that is very compatible with what P.L. 111-267 provided.
 

On the 130mt question, see also post above. The new wording does not contain the word "initial" as was the case before.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2011 10:41 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1204 on: 04/13/2011 11:40 pm »
Thanks, yg1968 for digging up the previous posts on this issue. Your understanding is correct; it is also the understanding that Administrator Bolden articulated quite clearly, I thought, at Monday's appropriations subcommittee hearing. And it is still the way I see it. I am hopeful that it will become even more clear by the end of the week that the authorizers and the appropriators--certainly in the Senate--are on the same page on this issue of what the POLICY (established by P.L. 111-267) means and what the FUNDING provisions of appropriations actually fund. They are both parts of the budget-making process of the Congress, and should (and in this case do) work in tandem. As a senior executive of a major aerospace company observed to me today: "when we design a vehicle, we design to the END STATE of what that vehicle is intended to do. THAT is what the "no less than 130-tons" means. That's the size of vehicle we are designing to and building to. That does NOT mean that you could not--or would not--design the vehicle so that you could use core elements of that basic design in not only conducting early test flights of systems and subsystems, but also even conducting early mission-driven flights, if you needed to do so and if you can do so on the way to producing the eventual target capability. That's what is meant by an "evolvable" design. That is still a vehicle "designed from its inception to be no less than 130 tons."  The removal of the word "initial" is pertinent to and consistent with this explanation.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1205 on: 04/14/2011 12:16 am »
Why was "initial" removed?

Offline Jorge

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1206 on: 04/14/2011 12:19 am »
Why was "initial" removed?

It wasn't "removed". Appropriations legislation is written separately from Authorization legislation. The real question is why was it *not added* to the Appropriations legislation.
JRF

Offline STS Tony

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1207 on: 04/14/2011 12:20 am »
Why was "initial" removed?

51D explains in the post above, but if I may interject and point out the "when we design a vehicle, we design to the END STATE of what that vehicle is intended to do" part, that will help.

A vehicle capable of 130mt is different to a vehicle with an "initial" capability of 130mt.

This opens the floor out to evolvable, which is the big solution to make this all work on cost and schedule.

Absolutely loving your posts, 51D! Many thanks!

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1208 on: 04/14/2011 12:31 am »
Why was "initial" removed?

To help clarify that it was not the intent that the vehicle be capable of lifting 130 tons before any "core element" of it could be used to lift a lesser amount to perform either a flight test or a LEO (i.e., ISS) mission if needed.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Pheogh

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1209 on: 04/14/2011 12:44 am »
Why was "initial" removed?

To help clarify that it was not the intent that the vehicle be capable of lifting 130 tons before any "core element" of it could be used to lift a lesser amount to perform either a flight test or a LEO (i.e., ISS) mission if needed.

So then the question becomes what does "evolve-ability" mean? Is it safe to say that it means, "evolution" must fit within the schedule and budget provided by Congress? Furthermore, that policy, must initiate that evolution.

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1210 on: 04/14/2011 12:52 am »
Why was "initial" removed?

It wasn't "removed". Appropriations legislation is written separately from Authorization legislation. The real question is why was it *not added* to the Appropriations legislation.

Correct, they are written separately, and in earlier drafts of CR language the word "initial" was written in, as yg1968 pointed out, above. The word "initial" was not used in the authorization Act to refer to 130 tons, so that represented an "add", which would have created a different threshold for the vehicle design.  The Authorization language--now in P.L. 111-267--describes the SLS minimum capabilities, in Section 302 (C) as follows:

"(c) MINIMUM CAPABILITY REQUIREMENTS.—
"(1) IN GENERAL.—The Space Launch System developed
pursuant to subsection (b) shall be designed to have, at a
minimum, the following:
"(A) The initial capability of the core elements, without
an upper stage, of lifting payloads weighing between 70
tons and 100 tons into low-Earth orbit in preparation for
transit for missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
"(B) The capability to carry an integrated upper Earth
departure stage bringing the total lift capability of the
Space Launch System to 130 tons or more.
"(C) The capability to lift the multipurpose crew vehicle.
"(D) The capability to serve as a backup system for
supplying and supporting ISS cargo requirements or crew
delivery requirements not otherwise met by available
commercial or partner-supplied vehicles."

The absence of the previously-included word "initial" in connection with the 130-ton lift capability in the current proposed full-year CR, in my mind, reinforces the meaning and intent previously provided in P.L. 111-267; at the very least, it removes a cause for confusion that the intent and force of the earlier appropriations language was to change the requirements of P.L. 111-267. The point is that the SLS is INTENDED from inception to become a vehicle capable of lifting at least 130 tons (I personally prefer the use of metric tons, but that's another discussion; I will just say the authors of the law did not intend to mandate "short tons" on NASA, so would have no issue with the design being developed using the generally-used measure of "metric tons." That's my assertion and if you can find one of them to say differently, please quote them directly.) The confusion stemmed from those who thought the targeted launch-to-LEO-capability date of December 31, 2016, meant the vehicle launched by that date would have to have the ability--by that date--to launch 130 tons. That is not--and never has been--the case.

Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1211 on: 04/14/2011 02:35 am »
"gracefully degraded"------ LMAO
Try this: "What we've been told by NASA is that if we don't reach the space station by the end of this year, there's a risk that they will have to de-man the space station next year. We've got to be sure that we get to the space station. That is very much our primary focus."


"We have a very serious responsibility here because the space shuttle is coming to a close," SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk told reporters here at the 27th National Space Symposium Tuesday (April 12). 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20110413/sc_space/privaterocketfirmunderpressuretofillspaceshuttlevoid


So can we all agree that OV's doom and gloom isn't manufactured for the sake of SDLV? The simple reality is that a single thread supply line is never smart, especially when 6 lives and a 100 billion investment is at the other end of the line. NASA simply needs to get on board with what Congress has asked them to do.

One thing is for certain, if NASA fails to field a alternate supply capability (due to feet dragging) and SpaceX fails for one reason or another I will lay the blame squarely on NASA leadership, period.

If I remember correctly, Gerst said at the last Shuttle post-landing conference that STS-135 would provide enough supplies to last until the end of 2012. So I don't think that Musk is correct on this.

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1212 on: 04/14/2011 06:08 am »
Building friendship with many nations, including China, is as American as Apple Pie.

I have no problem with building friendship with other countries with spaceflight and support what was done with Russia Europe and Japan, but I would not allow the Chinese within a thousand yards of my program.

And wouldn't you have said the same thing about the Soviets/Russians just a few decades ago?  ;)

Dunno about Ron, but I distinguish between the Soviets and the Russians. I do not believe sustained cooperation between the USSR and the USA was either sustainable nor desirable for the USA. I don't have the same objection to cooperation with Russia in the post-Soviet era. Serious US-Russian cooperation began within months of the fall of the USSR. I do not believe this was a coincidence; it is obvious that US leaders at the time recognized the potential of Russia's post-Soviet government.

I feel the same way about the People's Republic of China; I believe cooperation with a post-PRC China has possibilities, depending on what form that government takes.



"I would not allow the Chinese within a thousand yards of my program"  Well maybe NASA doesn't just belong to you. America, both its business community and government, have far more extensive interaction on many levels with their respective counterparts in China than we ever would have dreamed possible with the Soviet Union Empire. The situations are in no way comparable. The Cold War is over. Our military budget is flat or declining. Our military spy space program has more money than NASA. NASA is a civilian agency. It may not be wise or friendly to put country restrictive language in an Appropriations bill for NASA.

Cheers!


Edited.

 
« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 12:48 pm by HappyMartian »
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Online JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1213 on: 04/14/2011 12:33 pm »

Correct, they are written separately, and in earlier drafts of CR language the word "initial" was written in, as yg1968 pointed out, above. The word "initial" was not used in the authorization Act to refer to 130 tons, so that represented an "add", which would have created a different threshold for the vehicle design.  The Authorization language--now in P.L. 111-267--describes the SLS minimum capabilities...

I hope that is correct, but it still sounds like spin, especially when we would be compelled to abide by the anonymous inside story from some of the players involved. 

Am I correct in that the current officeholder campaigned on creating an opaque administration?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Jorge

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1214 on: 04/14/2011 01:17 pm »
Building friendship with many nations, including China, is as American as Apple Pie.

I have no problem with building friendship with other countries with spaceflight and support what was done with Russia Europe and Japan, but I would not allow the Chinese within a thousand yards of my program.

And wouldn't you have said the same thing about the Soviets/Russians just a few decades ago?  ;)

Dunno about Ron, but I distinguish between the Soviets and the Russians. I do not believe sustained cooperation between the USSR and the USA was either sustainable nor desirable for the USA. I don't have the same objection to cooperation with Russia in the post-Soviet era. Serious US-Russian cooperation began within months of the fall of the USSR. I do not believe this was a coincidence; it is obvious that US leaders at the time recognized the potential of Russia's post-Soviet government.

I feel the same way about the People's Republic of China; I believe cooperation with a post-PRC China has possibilities, depending on what form that government takes.



I would not allow the Chinese within a thousand yards of my program, Well maybe NASA doesn't just belong to you.

I didn't write that. Ron did. Take it up with him.
JRF

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1215 on: 04/14/2011 01:41 pm »
Article on the budget deal vote of today:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53155.html

The quicker the House votes on this budget deal, the better. Support for the deal is already starting to erode among Republicans and the President's speech of yesterday was not the best of timing. 
« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 02:46 pm by yg1968 »

Offline psloss

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1216 on: 04/14/2011 01:56 pm »
Article on the budget vote of today:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53155.html

The quicker they vote on this budget deal, the better. Support for the deal is already starting to erode among Republicans and the President's speech of yesterday was bad timing. 
Maybe for this deal, but whether it's bad for the big picture we'll have to wait and see.

The rules of debate in both chambers for the bill "triplet" are out; looks like they've kept the debate time short.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1217 on: 04/14/2011 02:31 pm »
Politically usless person question.... :)

There's no threat of a government shutdown like last week, right?
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Offline psloss

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1218 on: 04/14/2011 02:36 pm »
Politically usless person question.... :)

There's no threat of a government shutdown like last week, right?
The threat is expected to officially end with the votes today (and the President's signature).

But the votes haven't happened yet...and there's that debt ceiling "thing" next month that we hopefully won't have to talk about here.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1219 on: 04/14/2011 02:45 pm »
Politically usless person question.... :)

There's no threat of a government shutdown like last week, right?

The bill is expected to pass in the House and in the Senate. But there was some concerns that the tea party Republicans in the House would change their mind and decide not go along with the deal. But that does not appear to be the case as most of them will vote in favour of the deal. The Democrats are not "whiping" this and are thus letting their Representatives vote their conscience. The bill should easily pass in the Senate as the tea party has much less influence in the Senate. 

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/155967-freshmen-shrugging-off-threats

« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 03:04 pm by yg1968 »

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