Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 443174 times)

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1220 on: 04/14/2011 02:58 pm »
Comparing the authorization act with the appropriation, it strikes me that the appropriation:

1.  Reinforces the authorization's requirement that SLS's ultimate capability be at least 130 tons to LEO.

2.  Is compatible with but does not mention the authorization's requirement that SLS be capable of both carrying the MPCV and providing back-up ISS transport (though no money for cargo modules is yet appropriated -- presumably that would be in a future appropriation).

3.  Mentions neither the 70-100-ton initial capability nor the initial operability goal of late 2016.

4.  Specifies that the core and upper stage be developed "simultaneously," whereas the appropriation requires that development of the core and upper stage proceed "in parallel subject to appropriations," with the further proviso that "priority should be placed on the core elements with the goal for operational capability for the core elements not later than December 31, 2016."

All in all, the emphasis for SLS seems to be shifting from a 70-100-ton vehicle with LEO applications by late 2016 to a 130-or-more-ton vehicle sometime down the road.  Combined with the fact that early drafts of the CR referred to an "initial" capability of 130 tons, this suggests that an effort is being made to distinguish SLS from Falcon Heavy and its projected near-term, low-cost 53-tonne capability.

Offline psloss

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1221 on: 04/14/2011 03:02 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 te deal. The Democrats are not "wipping" this and are 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


Worth noting there's another story from the same site with a different angle:
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/155843-whip-count-budget-deal-appears-to-have-votes-to-pass-congress-this-week

Which says in part:
Quote
The Senate vote, however, is expected to be more of a cliffhanger than the House vote. Sixty votes are required in the Senate as opposed to a simple majority in the House.

Not expecting to hear it, but if there are problems for the whips, I would expect to hear them from other (and more) avenues.

Online yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1222 on: 04/14/2011 03:11 pm »
Comparing the authorization act with the appropriation, it strikes me that the appropriation:

1.  Reinforces the authorization's requirement that SLS's ultimate capability be at least 130 tons to LEO.

2.  Is compatible with but does not mention the authorization's requirement that SLS be capable of both carrying the MPCV and providing back-up ISS transport (though no money for cargo modules is yet appropriated -- presumably that would be in a future appropriation).

3.  Mentions neither the 70-100-ton initial capability nor the initial operability goal of late 2016.

4.  Specifies that the core and upper stage be developed "simultaneously," whereas the appropriation requires that development of the core and upper stage proceed "in parallel subject to appropriations," with the further proviso that "priority should be placed on the core elements with the goal for operational capability for the core elements not later than December 31, 2016."

All in all, the emphasis for SLS seems to be shifting from a 70-100-ton vehicle with LEO applications by late 2016 to a 130-or-more-ton vehicle sometime down the road.  Combined with the fact that early drafts of the CR referred to an "initial" capability of 130 tons, this suggests that an effort is being made to distinguish SLS from Falcon Heavy and its projected near-term, low-cost 53-tonne capability.

I think that the 130 tons language in the appropriation bill is there to remind NASA that the 130 tons should be more than a goal on a Powerpoint slide. More specifically, Congress doesn't want the 5 segment boosters and the J-2X contract to be cancelled as they will be useful for the 130 tons SD-HLV.

Incidentally, couldn't Orion be used a cargo spacecraft if necessary? 
« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 03:13 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1223 on: 04/14/2011 03:16 pm »
Combined with the fact that early drafts of the CR referred to an "initial" capability of 130 tons, this suggests that an effort is being made to distinguish SLS from Falcon Heavy and its projected near-term, low-cost 53-tonne capability.

Sure.  I mean after all, everything revolves around SpaceX. 

Mind you that it took 6 months into the fiscal year to pass a budget, some number of months to appropriate anything after the authorization bill, no ability to remove the CxP clause, etc but in a matter of days the congress was able to pull together (because clearly this is the most important item) to make sure SLS was "distinguishable" from a SpaceX proposal. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Online yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1224 on: 04/14/2011 03:17 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 te deal. The Democrats are not "wipping" this and are 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


Worth noting there's another story from the same site with a different angle:
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/155843-whip-count-budget-deal-appears-to-have-votes-to-pass-congress-this-week

Which says in part:
Quote
The Senate vote, however, is expected to be more of a cliffhanger than the House vote. Sixty votes are required in the Senate as opposed to a simple majority in the House.

Not expecting to hear it, but if there are problems for the whips, I would expect to hear them from other (and more) avenues.


I would have expected that most of the Senators and Congressmen that voted in favour of the short term CR would also vote in favour of the budget deal. But it's probabaly more complicated than that. In any event, time to crack the whip...
« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 03:19 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Mark S

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1225 on: 04/14/2011 03:28 pm »
All in all, the emphasis for SLS seems to be shifting from a 70-100-ton vehicle with LEO applications by late 2016 to a 130-or-more-ton vehicle sometime down the road.  Combined with the fact that early drafts of the CR referred to an "initial" capability of 130 tons, this suggests that an effort is being made to distinguish SLS from Falcon Heavy and its projected near-term, low-cost 53-tonne capability.

I don't see any shift in policy taking place. The goal instated by the authorization bill to emphasize completion of the core elements by 12/31/2016 for IOC was not specifically cancelled by the appropriations bill, so it's still the law of the land.

Also, as 51D Mascot has pointed out elsewhere, the "initial" requirement for the 130 ton design was removed from the appropriations language, so an evolvable design is still the plan. As long as work on the EDS is initiated in parallel with the core elements, and as long as the final version can reach 130 tons by adding the integrated upper EDS, there is no requirement that the EDS be completed at the same time as the core elements.

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1226 on: 04/14/2011 03:37 pm »
I'm not saying that a change in policy has occurred (although the earlier reference to an initial capability of 130 tons may indicate that a major change was considered), but rather that the marketing has shifted.

Offline renclod

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1227 on: 04/14/2011 03:43 pm »
...
an evolvable design is still the plan.

If anything, the final 2011 CR language removes any emphasis on *evolvable*.

Funds are appropriated to NASA for a 130+ tons [possibly metric tons] launcher. Not for evolvability.

IMO.


Offline KEdward5

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1228 on: 04/14/2011 03:46 pm »
...
an evolvable design is still the plan.

If anything, the final 2011 CR language removes any emphasis on *evolvable*.

Funds are appropriated to NASA for a 130+ tons [possibly metric tons] launcher. Not for evolvability.

IMO.



Then you've badly misread it and not read the recent posts from 51D. I reccomend you do that before posting.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1229 on: 04/14/2011 03:46 pm »
Sure.  I mean after all, everything revolves around SpaceX. 

Remember, OV, that this is a political issue and not an engineering one.  Engineers know that Falcon Heavy will have a smaller lift capability than SLS and appears to be aimed at different applications.  However, your man and woman in the street probably won't know that and might not even know how to find out.  All that matters is that it appears that a very media-savvy organisation is building the biggest rocket in years on their own dime and will have it ready before NASA's taxpayer-funded model.  So... why are the suffering American tax-payers paying for a more expensive rocket that will be here later?

The answer, as per this bill, is that it has approximately 225% the lifting capability to LEO.  Okay, so there won't actually be much to do with it, but your average voter probably doesn't know that and may not even think to ask.  So long as it obviously does things that nothing else does, they will reluctantly accept the government paying for it.
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Offline renclod

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1230 on: 04/14/2011 03:51 pm »
Comparing the authorization act with the appropriation, it strikes me that the appropriation:

...
2.  Is compatible with but does not mention the authorization's requirement that SLS be capable of both carrying the MPCV and providing back-up ISS transport ...

But the appropriations' language does require Orion " to be available ...for use with the Space Launch System."

I don't know how you can have one without the other.


Offline renclod

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1231 on: 04/14/2011 04:01 pm »
...
Funds are appropriated to NASA for a 130+ tons [possibly metric tons] launcher. Not for evolvability.

IMO.

Then you've badly misread it and not read the recent posts from 51D. I reccomend you do that before posting.

I did all the required reading.
I am thankful for 51D's posting.
But the language is what it is.
I just don't believe the CR language supports the steps from 4/3 to 5/5.


Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1232 on: 04/14/2011 04:03 pm »
Comparing the authorization act with the appropriation, it strikes me that the appropriation:

...
2.  Is compatible with but does not mention the authorization's requirement that SLS be capable of both carrying the MPCV and providing back-up ISS transport ...

But the appropriations' language does require Orion " to be available ...for use with the Space Launch System."

I don't see any conflict here; the authorization specifies that SLS be capable of carrying MPCV and the proposed appropriation seems consistent with that.  I'm just trying to interpret changes of emphasis.

Quote
I don't know how you can have one without the other.

Well, you could launch MPCV on another vehicle, even, heaven forbid, Falcon Heavy.

Offline renclod

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1233 on: 04/14/2011 04:39 pm »
Well, you could launch MPCV on another vehicle, even, heaven forbid, Falcon Heavy.

They *should* launch Orion on another vehicle, IMO.
Not on the super-heavy.
Though "Falcon Heavy" would not be my first choice.

« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 04:42 pm by renclod »

Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1234 on: 04/14/2011 04:43 pm »
...
Funds are appropriated to NASA for a 130+ tons [possibly metric tons] launcher. Not for evolvability.

IMO.

Then you've badly misread it and not read the recent posts from 51D. I reccomend you do that before posting.

I did all the required reading.
I am thankful for 51D's posting.
But the language is what it is.
I just don't believe the CR language supports the steps from 4/3 to 5/5.

A partially believe that too, in so far as to say they could do ONE (1) test flight with a 4-seg (or 4+dummy), and say it meets the language, then go straight to 130mt (assuming it survives that long).

I understand 51D's comments, and knowing how NASA can be (or was), I have little confidence that the end result will be as requested, or intended.

Offline MP99

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1235 on: 04/14/2011 05:00 pm »
Only if 130t can be ready as backup by Dec 20120

cheers, Martin

Offline renclod

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1236 on: 04/14/2011 05:07 pm »
The CR language has nothing on "backup". Just 130+.

The only *speciffic* reference to the authorization law is paragraph (a)(1) of section 303
"IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall continue the
development of a multi-purpose crew vehicle to be available
as soon as practicable, and no later than for use with the
Space Launch System. The vehicle shall continue to advance
development of the human safety features, designs, and systems
in the Orion project."


Offline 2552

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1237 on: 04/14/2011 05:07 pm »
http://twitter.com/#!/jeff_foust/status/58575672788004864
Quote
jeff_foust Jeff Foust
The provision in NASA FY11 approps bill calling for 130-ton SLS reportedly added at request of Rep. Aderholt (R-AL): http://bit.ly/h6YMLl

Edit: http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/04/14/the-source-of-the-130-ton-sls-provision/
« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 05:49 pm by 2552 »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1238 on: 04/14/2011 05:37 pm »
The CR language has nothing on "backup". Just 130+.

The only *speciffic* reference to the authorization law is paragraph (a)(1) of section 303
"IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall continue the
development of a multi-purpose crew vehicle to be available
as soon as practicable, and no later than for use with the
Space Launch System. The vehicle shall continue to advance
development of the human safety features, designs, and systems
in the Orion project."



The CR is not a "substitute" for the authorization bill; the two are separate parts of a composite budgeting process, and must be read TOGETHER; both have the force of law, and under principles of "legal construction," must be read in a way as to be compatible when addressing the same subject matter. Also, the CR is not the same as a free-standing Appropriations bill for the Commerce, Justice, Science funding allocation. Go back and look at the reported CJS bill for FY 2011 from last year. You will see much greater detail and specificity than is possible to include in a CR. Where minimal language is included in a CR to underscore or refine intent or direct specific funding floors, it is generally done in response to a felt need for clarification or direction. And to the extent it may reflect on "policy" issues which are typically in the purview of the authorizing committees, it is generally done in consultation with the leadership of the appropriate committee of jurisdiction. That, of course, is easier to do now in the case of NASA issues, because, in the case of the Senate Republicans, anyway, one Senator (Senator Hutchison) is the Ranking Republican on BOTH the NASA authorizing Committee (Commerce) and appropriating subcommittee (CJS).  Bottom line I guess to what I am saying is that if a policy type issue is not addressed in an appropriations Act for a given fiscal year, then you look to the underlying authorization Act for the same year for any policy guidance. 
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1239 on: 04/14/2011 06:08 pm »
Just a quick aside.  The issue of short tons versus metric tons, as it pertains to SLS,. keeps coming up again and again, causing confusion.  I believe it has been referred to in the legislation as short tons.... 2000 pounds of 'em.

Chris:  Maybe you could post a sticky at the top of this section:  SLS is in short tons?  Just to keep from having to rehash this particular issue.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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