Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 446754 times)

Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1160 on: 04/13/2011 04:38 am »
{snip}

What about Elon's pledge to get a Crewed Dragon operational with or without NASA funding? I've lost track of the number of times he said that.

Ah but which space station will the Dragon be compatible with?  ISS or Bigelow?

Compatibility with both may require the ISS to be enhanced.  Elon cannot order that but NASA and Congress do have the power.

Sorry, but that is not making any real sense. 
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Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1161 on: 04/13/2011 04:49 am »

China is going to have a human spaceflight program whether everyone else likes it or not. They can either work with them, or work against them. Only one of those options is beneficial.

The only beneficial option will be the former, without.  The US will loose if it "works with" China, and will not due so. See the Russians, they are relatively benign when compared to the Chinese in this situation, but lawmakers and others still take issue.  The US will not and should not work with China.

Just to be frank to all the international posters out there, I am putting US interest in front of exploration, which I will not admit to any reservation in doing so. There are bigger things than HSF and ISS utilization, which is why the two will not cooperate in a large manner.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2011 04:54 am by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline jongoff

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1162 on: 04/13/2011 05:08 am »
---snip---
So did the technology funding end up under another line item, or did technology get raided again?

If I'm reading the PBR and CR properly, it appears*:
new Aeronautics and Space Research and Technology (CR11 $535.0M) =
old Aeronautics Research (FY10 $501.0M) +
old Innovative Partnerships Program (FY10 $175.2M)

Net between those two programs $-141.2M = $535.0M - $175.2M + $501.0M.
What parts of which programs gets raided is unclear.

* PBR contains no request explicitly shows $0 for Innovative Partnerships Program for FY11 and beyond, and states:
Quote
NASA's Space Technology Program builds upon the success of its Innovative Partnerships Program and responds to input from the NRC in establishing an advanced space systems concepts and enabling technology development activity.

The Space Technology funding was derived from moving IPP into that line along with a transfer of funds from Exploration Technology Development as the base, then a bit added to get to the requested total. NASA's op plan after final action is taken on appropriations will be where the "puts and takes" will be proposed.

Still confused on this.  IPP includes things like SBIRs/STTRs, Centennial Challenges, and a few other programs.  Is it currently funded in the CR? Or do they have to somehow get funded via "puts and takes"?

~Jon

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1163 on: 04/13/2011 06:42 am »

China is going to have a human spaceflight program whether everyone else likes it or not. They can either work with them, or work against them. Only one of those options is beneficial.

The only beneficial option will be the former, without.  The US will loose if it "works with" China, and will not due so. See the Russians, they are relatively benign when compared to the Chinese in this situation, but lawmakers and others still take issue.  The US will not and should not work with China.

Just to be frank to all the international posters out there, I am putting US interest in front of exploration, which I will not admit to any reservation in doing so. There are bigger things than HSF and ISS utilization, which is why the two will not cooperate in a large manner.


Just to be frank, most of the "international posters" on this international website seem to have the best interests of America at the heart of their posts. They may view many things differently than you do. That is to be expected. As for me, I am both an "international" poster and an American. The day that I don't put the essential interests of America first will be a very cold day in a place known only for extreme heat. Building friendship with many nations, including China, is as American as Apple Pie. Putting the interests of your country first doesn't mean that you cannot work out mutually beneficial arrangements with many other countries. In fact, in the small world we live in, putting the essential interests of America first often requires that you at least discuss the possibility of such mutually beneficial arrangements with many other countries. Ignoring your neighbors is the foolish and nonviable choice. When you need help, and everyone does sooner or later, they may decide to ignore you. Or maybe they won't ignore your plight, if you are lucky to have neighbors that are wiser and friendlier than you. Working out viable international relationships is needed in all areas both on and off our planet. Such international relationships build trust and trust could eventually allow for declining military budgets among every nation, and perhaps with more money, or Appropriations from governments, and with modern and efficient companies everywhere, some good and interesting things could be done by Americans and other folks, both on this planet and across our Solar System.

Cheers!
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Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1164 on: 04/13/2011 07:06 am »
---snip---
So did the technology funding end up under another line item, or did technology get raided again?

If I'm reading the PBR and CR properly, it appears*:
new Aeronautics and Space Research and Technology (CR11 $535.0M) =
old Aeronautics Research (FY10 $501.0M) +
old Innovative Partnerships Program (FY10 $175.2M)

Net between those two programs $-141.2M = $535.0M - $175.2M + $501.0M.
What parts of which programs gets raided is unclear.

* PBR contains no request explicitly shows $0 for Innovative Partnerships Program for FY11 and beyond, and states:
Quote
NASA's Space Technology Program builds upon the success of its Innovative Partnerships Program and responds to input from the NRC in establishing an advanced space systems concepts and enabling technology development activity.

The Space Technology funding was derived from moving IPP into that line along with a transfer of funds from Exploration Technology Development as the base, then a bit added to get to the requested total. NASA's op plan after final action is taken on appropriations will be where the "puts and takes" will be proposed.

Still confused on this.  IPP includes things like SBIRs/STTRs, Centennial Challenges, and a few other programs.  Is it currently funded in the CR? Or do they have to somehow get funded via "puts and takes"?

~Jon

Jon,

As I mentioned, the CR does not go to the sub-account level in most instances, which is most often the case in a CR; a specific, separate, stand-alone CJS appropriations bill would have had more of that detail spelled out, but that wasn't an option for final enactment of FY 2011 approps. (But you could go back to the reported CJS bill for FY2011 from last August and get a sense of what their thinking was at that point. Bear in mind, however, that the composition of the Subcommittee leadership changed since then, in the new 112th Congress, with Senator Hutchison taking Senator Shelby's place as the Ranking Republican Member on the subcommittee so that ) In the current draft, an exception was made regarding the MPCV and the SLS to establish minimum "floors" at funding rates that are intended to ensure as rapid as possible initiation of development. For other items below the major account levels, the Authorization Act identifies relative priorities and authorized funding levels. However, those are based on the top-line for NASA also included in the Authorization. The actual appropriation level sets in motion those "puts and takes" among identified sub-account activities that NASA puts together in an "operating plan" submitted to the Congress which outlines their proposed allocations of funds among those activities and programs below the major funding "account" levels. NASA has certain restrictions embedded in the CR or in previously-enacted appropriations regarding transfer authority flexibility--or lack thereof--in whether funds can be moved from one major account to another, and will have to be guided by those in developing the plan. Once they complete that exercise and submit the plan, it mus then be approved by the Chair and Ranking Members of the CJS appropriations subcommittee(s) before it can actually be implemented. Only after all that is done will it be clear what actual funding levels will be made available for things like Technology development, IPP, commercial crew and cargo, etc. Basically, recommendations made by NASA and approved (or not) by the Congress, acting through it's "agents", in this case, the CJS subcommittee. You are looking for an answer that does not yet exist, so stay tuned to the total process. Any more clear? Sorry; it's a bit of an involved process and not as straightforward as many would like when it comes to the "down and in" level of proposed activities.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1165 on: 04/13/2011 02:35 pm »
Heh, it's a bit "funny" when people start talking about how everyone's only interested about their funding, until it becomes an issue about their funding ;)
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Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1166 on: 04/13/2011 02:35 pm »
Thanks 51D Mascot for your answers,

If prorata is not the rule, am I correct in saying that NASA is allowed to allocate up to $312M (the amount which was authorized for commercial crew in the NASA Authhorization bill) for commercial crew development? 

Thinking about it some more, I am guessing that CCDev-2 might get delayed again until some of these issues are sorted out.

Despite the uncertainty that it creates, I imagine that flexibility in the CR can be a good thing as Mikulski implied during the recent Senate hearing. I suppose that they could have decided to put a minimum amount for commercial crew in the full-year CR (as the House had done previously in its December 8 full-year CR proposal which had a specific minimum of $250M for commercial crew). But not having a minimum amount is not necessarely a bad thing either.
« Last Edit: 04/13/2011 02:51 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1167 on: 04/13/2011 03:12 pm »
Republicans in the House think they have the votes for the full-year FY2011 CR:
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/155683-weve-got-the-budget-votes-says-cantor

On the details of what will happen today and tommorow in the House in respect of the full-year CR, see:
http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/04/12/hitchhikers-guide-house-cr-vote-thursday-couple-wrinkles
« Last Edit: 04/13/2011 03:15 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1168 on: 04/13/2011 03:17 pm »
Thanks 51D Mascot for your answers,

If prorata is not the rule, am I correct in saying that NASA is allowed to allocate up to $312M (the amount which was authorized for commercial crew in the NASA Authhorization bill) for commercial crew development? 

Thinking about it some more, I am guessing that CCDev-2 might get delayed again until some of these issues are sorted out.

Despite the uncertainty that it creates, I imagine that flexibility in the CR can be a good thing as Mikulski implied during the recent Senate hearing. I suppose that they could have decided to put a minimum amount for commercial crew in the full-year CR (as the House had done previously in its December 8 full-year CR proposal which had a specific minimum of $250M for commercial crew). But not having a minimum amount is not necessarely a bad thing either.


I don't see why it would get delayed.  The announcement is just the first step.  While part of the CCDev proposal, milestones still need to be agreed upon, payments (everyone likely will not get what they asked for) hammered out, etc before the SAA can be signed. 

Even if they only get 200-something million that is still 4+ times the amount they had for CCDev 1.  If they end being able to allocate more, it is icing on the cake. 
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Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1169 on: 04/13/2011 03:36 pm »
Tell me how you get a robust space program if you keep chopping off NASA's ability to do it's intended job.

Hope you don't mind the post reversal...

Quote
In other words, by treating NASA as a respectable federal government agency, rather than a Texas/Florida/Alabama jobs program.
Well one would hope that every agency would be treated that way, but given NASA's track record of over expenditure, there are those in the public that think they get more than their fare share (not agreeing, just suggesting this could be the case)

Quote
By changing how you do business. By not funding NASA to develop a heavy lift vehicle when there are two separate companies that could provide that capability for much cheaper. By finding ways to monetize ISS, to tun it from a liability into an asset. By focusing on doing things that the commercial market won't, rather that trying (and failing) to compete with them.

Well, there's the rub. I think many here would agree that if it costs LESS for NASA to do something, that they don't need that money so their budget would likely fall. Congress might decide that a (say) 25% reduction in launch vehicle costs will save them that amount of money, so they wouldn't give it to NASA or re-direct it internally within the agency.

Of course we're veering here from FY2011...
« Last Edit: 04/13/2011 03:37 pm by robertross »

Offline jongoff

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1170 on: 04/13/2011 03:51 pm »
Heh, it's a bit "funny" when people start talking about how everyone's only interested about their funding, until it becomes an issue about their funding ;)

Sure, I do have an SBIR contract (about 1/3 of the work we're doing at Altius FWIW), but I'm not too worried about SBIR funding actually getting cut.  The optics on that would be *really* bad, even for NASA. 

I was more concerned about promising areas that don't have as wide of a support network like SBIRs (such as Centennial Challenges) that seem to continue to get raided to fund project that are likely going to get canceled anyway. I mean, SLS is budgeted to spend almost $1M/hr this year.  The amount they can save by defunding things like Centennial Challenges comes out to a few *hours* of SLS's budget.  Does anyone seriously believe that a couple of hours saved on SLS's schedule is worth the cost in those other programs?

It's good to know though that the budget doesn't mean quite what I thought it did. Hopefully Congress will allow NASA to do the right thing on this, and arrange things that allow us to move forward on technologies that will keep NASA and the US Aerospace industry competitive in the future. 

It's just ridiculous that technology development is always being held hostage to the next soon-to-be-canceled megaproject.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 04/13/2011 03:53 pm by jongoff »

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1171 on: 04/13/2011 03:53 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.  again, putting national interests ahead of those meager gains we would gain. Congress has decreed that we would not cooperate, and that will not change as seen with the Appropriations.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1172 on: 04/13/2011 04:02 pm »
Tell me how you get a robust space program if you keep chopping off NASA's ability to do it's intended job.

By changing how you do business. By not funding NASA to develop a heavy lift vehicle when there are two separate companies that could provide that capability for much cheaper. By finding ways to monetize ISS, to tun it from a liability into an asset. By focusing on doing things that the commercial market won't, rather that trying (and failing) to compete with them.

In other words, by treating NASA as a respectable federal government agency, rather than a Texas/Florida/Alabama jobs program.

Simon,

It seems to me you have gone off the deep end.  NASA is not "competing" with commercial.  In fact, it appears to me and most rationale people, that NASA is perhaps over-compensating in how it is treating commercial.  After all, nothing is proven.  Nothing is concrete yet we are blindly rushing into this still largely based on "hope and assumption" that all will work out just fine from a technical/performance perspective, schedules will be approximately 4-5 years from now and the costs will be "reduced".  It all hinges on that vague notion.  How is that "competing"?

However, it always seems that people like yourself want "more".  More government funding for "commercial".  More this or more that.  Then you have the gual to say something completely subjective like "doing the things commercial won't" while being insulting and completely contradictory at the same time by yet again calling certain geographical locations as "job programs". 

With respect to SLS, there are NOT two launch vehicles that could do the job.  In fact, devoid of a market where this SLS-class vehicle is privately developed and has a business case beyond NASA, NASA pays for it and NASA owns it.  That is how it works and that is how it will work regardless of the design of SLS.  That has been stated many times. 

I suggest that you, and others, put to rest the endless and tiresome arguements that all revolve around the same, shallow, rhetoric.  In other words, bring something to the table or just stop showing up at the table. 
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1173 on: 04/13/2011 04:03 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?  ;) Todays China is a far more benign threat/partner compared to what they were. Take a step back and look at the larger picture.

I'm not saying we should rush into cooperation - it has to make sense. But your dismissal seems a bit overly enthusiastic.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1174 on: 04/13/2011 04:06 pm »
It's just ridiculous that technology development is always being held hostage to the next soon-to-be-canceled megaproject.

~Jon

Interesting.  Again with the insults and the promise of what you do, with your government-funding as long as you get that, being "better". 
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Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1175 on: 04/13/2011 04:12 pm »
I don't believe Congress would accept a "degraded" ISS.


Well, they have the resposibility to fund it properly, as per the GAO reports for many years, and they really aren't.

The same goes for BEO exploration. The Augustine Committee recommended an unconstrained budget, but now we have reduced funding, and FLAT LINE funding (expected, but it could be less) up until 2016. Tell me how you get a robust space program if you keep chopping off NASA's ability to do it's intended job.

Speaking of GAO reports on the ISS, here is a recent one:
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11519r.pdf

See also this thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24770.0

Yeah, I've read that one. And like OV said, lots of assumptions in there. But this one comment is fairly straight-forward from that GAO report (p.32):

"NASA’s determination that 72 percent of ISS functions meet or exceed functionality targets with minimal risk acceptance to 2020 may be overstated."

But I was more referring to the GAO reports from YEARS ago, not the most recent one. It clearly indicates that there are substantial risks to the ISS in terms of logistics to enable full utilization, or even meaningful use, should re-supply be delayed. (And like we've said, ISS was meant to have shuttle there for support, and we're losing that). If there are insufficient funds to ensure complete logistics support, one cannot expect to get the kind of science we all expect for the investment so far.

I can just hear it now - say 5 years from now (or sooner, or later) people complaining how little science we got for the investment put in and how that money could have been spent doing this or going there.

But I digress, armwaing seems hopeless.

Offline jimgagnon

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1176 on: 04/13/2011 04:31 pm »
With respect to SLS, there are NOT two launch vehicles that could do the job.  In fact, devoid of a market where this SLS-class vehicle is privately developed and has a business case beyond NASA, NASA pays for it and NASA owns it.  That is how it works and that is how it will work regardless of the design of SLS.  That has been stated many times. 

I suggest that you, and others, put to rest the endless and tiresome arguements that all revolve around the same, shallow, rhetoric.  In other words, bring something to the table or just stop showing up at the table. 

No offense, Mike, but this is the "my paper rocket is better than your paper rocket" argument all over again. I believe he's speaking of an evolved Atlas V heavy or a Falcon XX as both viable designs that can accomplish the SLS mission, each with decided advantages over SD-HLV. While Atlas V Heavy comes in only slightly less expensive than SD-HLV, Falcon XX dev is estimated to cost $250M, with none of it up front until milestones are met.

You talk about how SpaceX really doesn't have a track record yet. Well ULA does and it's a lot better than NASA's at designing launch vehicles over that last twenty years. If you take the NASA blinders off and look at it objectively, you see that objectively either of the RP-1 solutions is more cost effective than SD-HLV, either in initial outlay, operating costs, or both. Any smart businessperson would look at this situation and say "OK, Musk, you say you can do it for $250M -- that's peanuts in my budget. We're going to fund both you and ULA, with cancellation clauses at each milestone, and you two can race to build the best HLV for the future of America. May the best man win."

But NASA wants its rattle, and has Congress in its pocket, so we get SD-HLV, the part of the Shuttle architecture that caused both Shuttle catastrophies, pollutes its launch site each and every launch, will cost somewhere between one half and one billion per launch, and won't get us BEO capability without spending billions more; in the meantime dozens of deserving projects wither on the vine because SLS  has sucked up every spare dime the agency has.

Sorry, but a lot of us on the outside look at this and thinks it stinks.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1177 on: 04/13/2011 04:48 pm »
jimgagnon,

I know exactly what Simon was talking about.  Also note, I said "regardless of the design" but while much of what you say is completely subjective and leaping to conclusions, answer me this from a buisness perspective.

NASA funds either ULA or SpaceX for the SLS and let's just assume for the moment NASA is totally hands-off in every way, which is what you just stated, regardless if you know that or not.  Given this class vehicle is not market driven, NASA will have to subsidize whoever for that vehicle in some form or fashion.  That will impact said company's overhead and allow them to reduce launch costs elsewhere for other vehicles, customers, etc.

If SpaceX wins will ULA stand for that?  If ULA wins will SpaceX stand for that?  After all, we are trying to foster competition in this class rocket in order to drive down costs, etc.  How can NASA speak out of both sides of it's mouth on this point?
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Offline Xentry

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1178 on: 04/13/2011 04:58 pm »
Simon,

It seems to me you have gone off the deep end.  NASA is not "competing" with commercial.  In fact, it appears to me and most rationale people, that NASA is perhaps over-compensating in how it is treating commercial.  After all, nothing is proven.  Nothing is concrete yet we are blindly rushing into this still largely based on "hope and assumption" that all will work out just fine from a technical/performance perspective, schedules will be approximately 4-5 years from now and the costs will be "reduced". 
I realize that, in what regards the only example of "commercial", so far COTS is late and over budget (yes, counting with the new "extra milestones" being introduced for "more robust testing").

But, it is also delivering results (developing a Delta-II class vehicle, successfully launching it twice, and carrying out an end-to-end mission with a large reentry vehicle, for somewhat under a billion? Quite remarkable, especially given that only three space agencies ever achieved that).

On the other hand, NASA has not developed a single manned vehicle in about 30 years, however remarkable the Shuttle may be, and has only ever actually tried once since, with pretty miserable results (about 10 billion over 4 years and nothing to show for it).

Arguably, this means that so far, recent history on both sides (NASA and commercial) points towards commercial as being a reasonably sound approach for manned spaceflight, rather than an all new, NASA-built and managed vehicle (even if we can all agree that there is a fundamental question still unanswered related to overall system reliability).

With that in mind, I disagree that NASA is "overcompensating" in how it is treating "commercial". These are very small sums of money compared to what NASA has spent over the years on manned space flight.

With respect to SLS, there are NOT two launch vehicles that could do the job.  In fact, devoid of a market where this SLS-class vehicle is privately developed and has a business case beyond NASA, NASA pays for it and NASA owns it.  That is how it works and that is how it will work regardless of the design of SLS.  That has been stated many times. 
Not that it wouldn't be great to have an SLS but, honestly speaking, I would say it is quite likely that we arrive in 2015, the FH has flown a couple of times even if its performance may be at 40t instead of 53t, and SLS is still at least 5 years away from flight.

Would it make sense then that any manned space exploration keeps waiting for the SLS, or should Congress ensure at that point that a couple of smaller, COTS/CRS-like vehicles and a couple of manned launchers are available if the cost to do this is acceptable?

Consequently, why is it not reasonable that Congress starts funding these options today, if minimally, and ensures that multiple launch vehicles shall be made compatible with any new manned spacecraft?

Offline jimgagnon

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1179 on: 04/13/2011 05:00 pm »
If SpaceX wins will ULA stand for that?  If ULA wins will SpaceX stand for that?  After all, we are trying to foster competition in this class rocket in order to drive down costs, etc.  How can NASA speak out of both sides of it's mouth on this point?

Bolden wants to move to a quarterly launch schedule, where every quarter we put up 100mT using an HLV. If somehow both SpaceX and ULA were to complete their heavy lifters and present their services to NASA, they could each be signed up for two launches per year for some short term, say three years. One with the greatest reliability and lowest operating costs would get more business after that three year period, terms to be determined.

Frankly, I think SpaceX would simply be happy to have its Merlin 2 and 10m capability development funded, even if they lost the long term operational contract with NASA. Saves them the cash and they have other things they want to do with Falcon XX.

ULA is in a weird spot; things would be better if they were made a completely independent company from Boeing and LM, and were better able to control their fate. If I were Bolden, had I the ability I would use the Atlas V Heavy contract to twist some arms to free ULA of its masters. However, he does not have that freedom now, no matter what the Pentagon thinks of the issue.

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