Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 466182 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #980 on: 03/31/2011 08:11 pm »

SpaceX will be flying to the station with commercial cargo before the end of the year...as it stands now the STS 135 is in financial peril. 

Sky King

And you better hope that's not the case, as much as "financial peril" appears to be overly dramatic.... or it would be a real problem for the $100 billion Space Station.

To qualify that, you of course realize the massive difference between STS-135's capabilities and Dragon? (By the end of the year is not at all certain either. No decision on C2 and C3 combined, and C2's F9 engines/first stage are/is being troublesome).

Going to take a heck of a lot of Dragon's to make up for what STS-135's got manifested.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2011 08:12 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline jongoff

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #981 on: 03/31/2011 08:28 pm »
Here is an interview with Holdren and others explaining the reasons behind the NASA FY2012 Budget:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/110331-obama-administration-pushing-back-congressionally-mandated-rocket.html

Anyone who has followed the SLS epic here on NSF needs to read this article.

The cards are now on the table.  No HLV decision let alone progress anytime soon if NASA has something to say about it.  In my opinion, there is no other way to interpret the information in this article than NASA has no plans to even start on an HLV until at least 2013.  They would take over a billion dollars next year just to plan for a possible HLV.  This amazes me.  The gauntlet has been thrown down by NASA and WH leadership.  There is no 2016 in NASA's mind.  That seems like it is not going to happen, no matter what the law says.  I guess we are in for some extraordinary power struggles over the rest of this year.

edit:  Thanks yg for sharing this

I think Holdren was trying to explain why they needed less money for the SLS in FY2012. I am not sure that he was try to say that they will be dragging their feet as much as possible. Nevertheless, the procurement process can take a while as OV-106 has mentionned in prior posts.

I think I was more surprised by Admin. Bolden's remarks than Mr. Holdren's.  Here's a quote from the article linked above:

Quote
However, Bolden said NASA does not expect to solicit industry proposals for the heavy-lift launch vehicle development for “at least a year.” He said the rocket and crew capsule programs must be “affordable, sustainable and realistic” and that NASA would seek outside cost estimates for the new architecture.

So at least a year away, they will start the RFP process to begin development for the SLS.  What kind of timeline is that?  Shall we speculate on when an SLS would be operational using this initial timeline?

Yes, I was surprised by that too. I am not sure what to make of it. I suppose that more money could be spent on Orion and the J-2X for the upper stage and less on the core of the HLV for the next year. But it is a surprising statement.

One thing to remember--Bolden isn't exactly the most articulate person in the world.  He's said many things in the past that were clearly incorrect, so I tend to take surprising comments from him with a grain of salt, unless there are other sources to back him up. 

~Jon

Offline jongoff

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #982 on: 03/31/2011 08:31 pm »
Here is an interview with Holdren and others explaining the reasons behind the NASA FY2012 Budget:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/110331-obama-administration-pushing-back-congressionally-mandated-rocket.html

Anyone who has followed the SLS epic here on NSF needs to read this article.

The cards are now on the table.  No HLV decision let alone progress anytime soon if NASA has something to say about it.  In my opinion, there is no other way to interpret the information in this article than NASA has no plans to even start on an HLV until at least 2013.  They would take over a billion dollars next year just to plan for a possible HLV.  This amazes me.  The gauntlet has been thrown down by NASA and WH leadership.  There is no 2016 in NASA's mind.  That seems like it is not going to happen, no matter what the law says.  I guess we are in for some extraordinary power struggles over the rest of this year.

edit:  Thanks yg for sharing this

I think Holdren was trying to explain why they needed less money for the SLS in FY2012. I am not sure that he was try to say that they will be dragging their feet as much as possible. Nevertheless, the procurement process can take a while as OV-106 has mentionned in prior posts.

I think I was more surprised by Admin. Bolden's remarks than Mr. Holdren's.  Here's a quote from the article linked above:

Quote
However, Bolden said NASA does not expect to solicit industry proposals for the heavy-lift launch vehicle development for “at least a year.” He said the rocket and crew capsule programs must be “affordable, sustainable and realistic” and that NASA would seek outside cost estimates for the new architecture.

So at least a year away, they will start the RFP process to begin development for the SLS.  What kind of timeline is that?  Shall we speculate on when an SLS would be operational using this initial timeline?

Yes, I was surprised by that too. I am not sure what to make of it. I suppose that more money could be spent on Orion and the J-2X for the upper stage and less on the core of the HLV for the next year. But it is a surprising statement.

I wonder how senator Nelson is feeling right now? His bestest buddy is [email protected]#$%^& all over his bipartisan Authorization.

They had other promising candidates for NASA Administrator that they intentionally torpedoed because they wanted someone who they though they could control. I have nothing but Schadenfreude for the Congressmen who insisted on Bolden.  I have to give Bolden a lot of points for spine.

~Jon

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #983 on: 03/31/2011 08:45 pm »
...
Going to take a heck of a lot of Dragon's to make up for what STS-135's got manifested.
BTW, just how much pressurized cargo is on STS-135? In kilograms?
« Last Edit: 03/31/2011 08:48 pm by Robotbeat »
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Online pathfinder_01

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #984 on: 03/31/2011 08:47 pm »
...
Going to take a heck of a lot of Dragon's to make up for what STS-135's got manifested.
BTW, just how much pressurized cargo is on STS-135?

The plan is for the last shuttle flight/flights to equip the station for up to 2 years in case commercail cargo fails.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #985 on: 03/31/2011 08:47 pm »
...
Going to take a heck of a lot of Dragon's to make up for what STS-135's got manifested.
BTW, just how much pressurized cargo is on STS-135?

The plan is for the last shuttle flight/flights to equip the station for up to 2 years in case commercail cargo fails.
In metric tons?
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online pathfinder_01

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #986 on: 03/31/2011 08:59 pm »
In metric tons?

Not listed but the MPLM can hold up to 8MT of cargo. It masses up to 13MT when filled.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2011 09:01 pm by pathfinder_01 »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #987 on: 03/31/2011 09:06 pm »
{snip}

Something has to come first, HLV or payload. You can argue chicken or egg all day long. Congress has decided chicken, so get on with it. Once progress has been made on SLS and capabilities have become more well defined, payloads can be designed to take advantage of it. Why design a 70 ton payload when you are not sure that NASA will ever even build a launcher? There needs to be commitment and progress on HLV before plans will be made to fully utilize it.

I do not know of any 70 metric ton dry weight lunar landers planned in the next 20 years.  Up to 24 mT can be launched on EELV.  So until we go to Mars the extra heavy payloads are not there.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #988 on: 03/31/2011 09:09 pm »
In metric tons?

Not listed but the MPLM can hold up to 8MT of cargo. It masses up to 13MT when filled.

13 mT can be lifted by an EELV.  Can a Dragon or Cygnus push 13 metric tons from LEO to the ISS?

Offline Mark S

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #989 on: 03/31/2011 09:16 pm »
{snip}

Something has to come first, HLV or payload. You can argue chicken or egg all day long. Congress has decided chicken, so get on with it. Once progress has been made on SLS and capabilities have become more well defined, payloads can be designed to take advantage of it. Why design a 70 ton payload when you are not sure that NASA will ever even build a launcher? There needs to be commitment and progress on HLV before plans will be made to fully utilize it.

I do not know of any 70 metric ton dry weight lunar landers planned in the next 20 years.  Up to 24 mT can be launched on EELV.  So until we go to Mars the extra heavy payloads are not there.

Actually nothing is being planned, because the plan of this administration is to do nothing. The FY2012 shows that they want to delay SLS implementation for as long as possible.

And you can't launch "dry" anything until you get in-space prop transfer perfected, and probably depots and long-term active cryo storage too. So you shouldn't talk like that's the simplest route because it's not.

Online pathfinder_01

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #990 on: 03/31/2011 09:25 pm »

13 mT can be lifted by an EELV.  Can a Dragon or Cygnus push 13 metric tons from LEO to the ISS?

No. Dragon only carries 6MT and Cygnus 2mT. However to put this in perspective Progress which has sustained the russians for decades with 3 person crews only carries 2.3MT of payload and some of that is propellant!
« Last Edit: 03/31/2011 09:26 pm by pathfinder_01 »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #991 on: 03/31/2011 09:26 pm »
...

And you can't launch "dry" anything until you get in-space prop transfer perfected, and probably depots and long-term active cryo storage too. So you shouldn't talk like that's the simplest route because it's not.
You certainly can develop something, though. And in-space prop transfer (for hypergols) is a well-established technology, so there's ALWAYS a fall-back option for a cryogenic depot.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline SkyKing

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #992 on: 03/31/2011 09:29 pm »

SpaceX will be flying to the station with commercial cargo before the end of the year...as it stands now the STS 135 is in financial peril. 

Sky King

And you better hope that's not the case, as much as "financial peril" appears to be overly dramatic.... or it would be a real problem for the $100 billion Space Station.

To qualify that, you of course realize the massive difference between STS-135's capabilities and Dragon? (By the end of the year is not at all certain either. No decision on C2 and C3 combined, and C2's F9 engines/first stage are/is being troublesome).

Going to take a heck of a lot of Dragon's to make up for what STS-135's got manifested.

Chris.  I ACTUALLY hope STS 135 flies (I am just starting to think that it wont). 

While I think the notion of a LON is pretty silly (and on its face STS 135 seems to confirm that) it is how things are done and on the scheme of things with the federal government and spending it is not "that much more money"...plus it gives some people a few more paychecks and "more supplies are better then less".

having said that, the station will survive without STS 135.  It has survived a shuttle standdown in the past... and commercial cargo is on the way, what OSC and SpaceX is trying to do is not all that hard technically; SpaceX at least seems to be getting a solid hand (with some issues as you point out along the way) on the rocket equation, the capsule equation is the easiest part of it...and even if the folks on the station have to go down into "chimp" mode they are not doing much of anything anyway that is just all that pressing.

I know the "massive difference" between what STS with its Turtle can carry, but I also know that for every STS there are a lot of Dragons and frequent resupplies are better then one massive effort...and two means of resupply are better then 1. 

IF the space station were doing "someething" that required STS and that "something" had considerable value then it would be worthwhile keeping STS...but that is not the case.  And toward the politics of it, this is why the Congress folks are willing to see STS end.

It is worth nothing that other then a few space politicos there is no massive outcry in Congress to "Save STS" nor really to even save a NASA launch system.    My natural leanings are toward commercial ops...but that aside the politics of it are fascinating to me...and when the answer comes up about why there is no massive "save STS" outcry or even "save a NASA launch system" then in my view people will have learned a lot.

I have been really surprised over the last two or so years that the "save a government launch system" group has not been more effective.  Part of it is how they have gone about it (first save Cx then save something) and part of it is the reality of fiscal life in the US government right now...there is really no political will to spend the money to do it.  All that while we are spending now about .5 (1/2)  billion a day in Libya...

it is fascinating to me (of course my paycheck doesnt depend on it so I am somewhat detached). 

Sky King
« Last Edit: 03/31/2011 09:32 pm by SkyKing »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #993 on: 03/31/2011 09:33 pm »

13 mT can be lifted by an EELV.  Can a Dragon or Cygnus push 13 metric tons from LEO to the ISS?

No. Dragon only carries 6MT and Cygnus 2mT. However to put this in perspective Progress which has sustained the russians for decades with 3 person crews only carries 2.3MT of payload and some of that is propellant!
Only 2 of the 8 CRS Cygni will be 2mT. The other 6 are going to be 2.7mT. And I see no reason that NASA couldn't have ordered a larger Cygnus with an MPLM-sized volume (and full racks) that could launch on an Atlas 541 (or something similar). Also, Cygnus had/has an unpressurized option, but NASA was not interested.

There are many ways NASA could resupply ISS post-Shuttle. But STS-135 is very, very nice to have for the transition.
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Online pathfinder_01

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #994 on: 03/31/2011 09:37 pm »
the 8 CRS Cygni will be 2mT. The other 6 are going to be 2.7mT. And I see no reason that NASA couldn't have ordered a larger Cygnus with an MPLM-sized volume (and full racks) that could launch on an Atlas 541 (or something similar). Also, Cygnus had/has an unpressurized option, but NASA was not interested.


The HTV can carry a full rack to the station if needed so they are losing that capacity a bit with the shuttle retirement.

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #995 on: 03/31/2011 09:41 pm »
Here is an interview with Holdren and others explaining the reasons behind the NASA FY2012 Budget:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/110331-obama-administration-pushing-back-congressionally-mandated-rocket.html

Anyone who has followed the SLS epic here on NSF needs to read this article.

The cards are now on the table.  No HLV decision let alone progress anytime soon if NASA has something to say about it.  In my opinion, there is no other way to interpret the information in this article than NASA has no plans to even start on an HLV until at least 2013.  They would take over a billion dollars next year just to plan for a possible HLV.  This amazes me.  The gauntlet has been thrown down by NASA and WH leadership.  There is no 2016 in NASA's mind.  That seems like it is not going to happen, no matter what the law says.  I guess we are in for some extraordinary power struggles over the rest of this year.

edit:  Thanks yg for sharing this

I think Holdren was trying to explain why they needed less money for the SLS in FY2012. I am not sure that he was try to say that they will be dragging their feet as much as possible. Nevertheless, the procurement process can take a while as OV-106 has mentionned in prior posts.

I think I was more surprised by Admin. Bolden's remarks than Mr. Holdren's.  Here's a quote from the article linked above:

Quote
However, Bolden said NASA does not expect to solicit industry proposals for the heavy-lift launch vehicle development for “at least a year.” He said the rocket and crew capsule programs must be “affordable, sustainable and realistic” and that NASA would seek outside cost estimates for the new architecture.

So at least a year away, they will start the RFP process to begin development for the SLS.  What kind of timeline is that?  Shall we speculate on when an SLS would be operational using this initial timeline?

Yes, I was surprised by that too. I am not sure what to make of it. I suppose that more money could be spent on Orion and the J-2X for the upper stage and less on the core of the HLV for the next year. But it is a surprising statement.

One thing to remember--Bolden isn't exactly the most articulate person in the world.  He's said many things in the past that were clearly incorrect, so I tend to take surprising comments from him with a grain of salt, unless there are other sources to back him up. 

~Jon

I agree with you and I wouldn't be surprised to hear him say that he was either misquoted or misunderstood.

Offline northanger

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #996 on: 03/31/2011 09:48 pm »
I guess the budget conundrum involves ending Shuttle, utilizing ISS, ramping up Commercial, establishing BEO framework &c. IOW, conflicting budgetary goals where money spent here takes money from there.

IMHO, the White House and key members of Congress are committed to finding a solution. It's not going to be easy. While I appreciate the "personalization" of this challenge, I view it like one of those unsolvable math problems.

Offline EE Scott

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #997 on: 03/31/2011 09:57 pm »

SpaceX will be flying to the station with commercial cargo before the end of the year...as it stands now the STS 135 is in financial peril. 

Sky King

And you better hope that's not the case, as much as "financial peril" appears to be overly dramatic.... or it would be a real problem for the $100 billion Space Station.

To qualify that, you of course realize the massive difference between STS-135's capabilities and Dragon? (By the end of the year is not at all certain either. No decision on C2 and C3 combined, and C2's F9 engines/first stage are/is being troublesome).

Going to take a heck of a lot of Dragon's to make up for what STS-135's got manifested.

I just can't see how STS-135 would ever be in jeopardy.  It is too important for ISS, and (IIRC) the President has earlier called out that mission specifically as something he thinks is important.  Administrator Bolden has also said (again, IIRC) that even with a flat budget (e.g., just a series of CRs), NASA will find a way to get it done. 

IMO, STS-135 is not a "nice to have" mission, it is imperative.  I wouldn't trust the commercial providers to make any timeline so far put out there.  Too many things to go wrong and push launches to the right again and again.  I think expectations for the commercial providers need to be managed down in a big way.  Senior management should not have put them on the critical path (to misuse a term) of ISS support .
Scott

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #998 on: 03/31/2011 10:04 pm »
...
Going to take a heck of a lot of Dragon's to make up for what STS-135's got manifested.
BTW, just how much pressurized cargo is on STS-135? In kilograms?

I'll have to search for the total, but the payload (not counting middeck) is a full 16 rack MPLM - and other notable is the LMC, which - in tandem with the MPLM and middeck - is where the often-missed downmass ability is at.

Probably not for this thread, but there would be an interesting excerise to calculate what is needed to fufil one orbiter mission.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2011 10:05 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline simonbp

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #999 on: 03/31/2011 10:16 pm »
Also worth pointing out that Cygnus was designed from the ground up as a cargo vehicle for ISS, while Shuttle and Dragon were not. It will thus be interesting to see in the long run if it really beats Dragon and Shuttle (and Progress for that matter) on $/kg of pressurized cargo.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2011 10:17 pm by simonbp »

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