Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 446838 times)

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1240 on: 04/14/2011 06:14 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.

NASA considers it to be metric tonnes and nobody in Congress intends to contradict NASA on this issue. So what it says doesn't matter a whole lot, if both parties construe it the same way.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 07:30 pm by yg1968 »

Offline renclod

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1241 on: 04/14/2011 06:14 pm »
... 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. ...

Thank you sir, for the reply.
Yet, one also feels that Mr.Bolden's recent incursion into the land of "evolvable" SLS required a halting language.

There's no telling what this Administration would do if the 2011 appropriation law misses some forceful guidance

Even with such guidance... hmmm...[edit to add:] this Administration could slipstream on SLS "evolvability", all the way to terminating all current contracts.

« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 06:30 pm by renclod »

Offline neilh

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1242 on: 04/14/2011 06:32 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/

This snippet from the Huntsville Times blog post is kind of interesting:

http://blog.al.com/space-news/2011/04/federal_budget_agreement_gives.html
Quote
"The budget deal is a good one for Marshall, for NASA, and for the space community at large," agreed former NASA administrator Michael Griffin. Griffin and others like it that the agreement specifies a rocket with "a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously."
Now an eminent scholar at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Griffin said wherever America goes next in space, "and in the final analysis it is not a choice that the present administration will be able to make, we will need heavy-lift launch capability. Study after study has shown that 130 metric tons is the lower useful limit for such a vehicle."
The 130-ton language was added to the deal by Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., chairman of the House NASA appropriations subcommittee, at the urging of Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville. Aderholt, who also sits on the NASA appropriations subcommittee, is one many in Congress skeptical that President Barack Obama's administration is really committed to a new NASA rocket.
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Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1243 on: 04/14/2011 06:55 pm »
Quote from: Griffin
Study after study has shown that 130 metric tons is the lower useful limit for such a vehicle.

Alright, I'm getting confused. If SLS is supposed to be short tons, why is Griffin saying metric? Was he misquoted or is he so out of the loop that he doesn't know what he's talking about?

Edit for spelling
« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 06:59 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1244 on: 04/14/2011 06:58 pm »
Quote from: Griffin
Study after study has shown that 130 metric tons is the lower useful limit for such a vehicle.

Alright, I'm getting confused. If SLS is supposed to be short tons, why is Griffin saying metric? Was he misquoted or is he so out of the loop that he's doesn't know what he's talking about?

It is hardly just Griffin.  Bolden, and all NASA officials, are saying metric tons. 
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Offline renclod

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1245 on: 04/14/2011 07:02 pm »
Quote from: Griffin
Study after study has shown that 130 metric tons is the lower useful limit for such a vehicle.

Alright, I'm getting confused. If SLS is supposed to be short tons, why is Griffin saying metric? Was he misquoted or is he so out of the loop that he's doesn't know what he's talking about?

Mr. Bolden said at the Apr 11, 2011 hearing by the Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, that NASA uses metric tons - as a clarification to the confusion.

Mr. Bolden is not "out of the loop".




Offline 2552

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1246 on: 04/14/2011 07:06 pm »
House just passed full-year CR 260 to 167.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53204.html

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1247 on: 04/14/2011 07:07 pm »
I'm aware NASA assumed the 130 ton requirement was in metric tons initially, but I thought congress already clarified they meant short tons, so I thought it's peculiar.
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Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1248 on: 04/14/2011 07:19 pm »
House just passed full-year CR 260 to 167.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/53204.html

Thanks.

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Offline Mark S

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1249 on: 04/14/2011 07:19 pm »
Quote from: Griffin
Study after study has shown that 130 metric tons is the lower useful limit for such a vehicle.

Alright, I'm getting confused. If SLS is supposed to be short tons, why is Griffin saying metric? Was he misquoted or is he so out of the loop that he's doesn't know what he's talking about?

Mr. Bolden said at the Apr 11, 2011 hearing by the Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, that NASA uses metric tons - as a clarification to the confusion.

Mr. Bolden is not "out of the loop".

They are using the "metric ton" interpretation in order to justify various aspects of CxP, a la HEFT 5/5, nee Ares-V Classic: 5-segment boosters, J2X upper stage engine, etc.

Remember, CxP was Apollo-on-Steroids, and the Saturn-V could lift 130 metric tons to LEO, so there's no way any new HLV, CxP/Shuttle derived or not, is going to be smaller than Saturn-V. Otherwise, NASA might as well have gone with DIRECT four years ago. Can't have that! The J-241H (5/4 with upper stage) was specced at 130 short tons, which would also utilize the 5-segment boosters and J2X, but they just really really want that extra 10% that the "metric" interpretation gives them.

Let's hope that their reach doesn't exceed their grasp, or that they haven't bitten off more than they can chew, or whatever the appropriate saying is.

Frankly, I am waiting to see what NASA does once the CR is finally passed and the prohibition against CxP contract cancellations is revoked. I expect the first contract cancellation with a few weeks, if not sooner, and with no modifications or novations to support SLS in sight.

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1250 on: 04/14/2011 07:22 pm »
I'm aware NASA assumed the 130 ton requirement was in metric tons initially, but I thought congress already clarified they meant short tons, so I thought it's peculiar.

"Congress" has never "clarified" that it meant "short tons." I have repeatedly commented that I believe it should be considered "metric tons," since that IS the terminology normally associated with space vehicle lift capability. The fact it is not specifically spelled out that way in the 2010 Authorization Act is unfortunate, but in the end, insignificant in that NASA's assumption of the capability requirement as being expressed in metric tons is not going to be challenged by anyone in the Congress that I am aware of, as yg1968 suggested in a previous post.
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Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1251 on: 04/14/2011 07:30 pm »
Quote from: Griffin
Study after study has shown that 130 metric tons is the lower useful limit for such a vehicle.

Alright, I'm getting confused. If SLS is supposed to be short tons, why is Griffin saying metric? Was he misquoted or is he so out of the loop that he's doesn't know what he's talking about?

Mr. Bolden said at the Apr 11, 2011 hearing by the Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, that NASA uses metric tons - as a clarification to the confusion.

Mr. Bolden is not "out of the loop".

They are using the "metric ton" interpretation in order to justify various aspects of CxP, a la HEFT 5/5, nee Ares-V Classic: 5-segment boosters, J2X upper stage engine, etc.

Remember, CxP was Apollo-on-Steroids, and the Saturn-V could lift 130 metric tons to LEO, so there's no way any new HLV, CxP/Shuttle derived or not, is going to be smaller than Saturn-V. Otherwise, NASA might as well have gone with DIRECT four years ago. Can't have that! The J-241H (5/4 with upper stage) was specced at 130 short tons, which would also utilize the 5-segment boosters and J2X, but they just really really want that extra 10% that the "metric" interpretation gives them.

If I understand correctly, you're suggesting that the metric rather than short interpretation of "ton" is NASA's alone.  I would differ, because Mascot 51D's parenthetical statement earlier in this thread [not to mention his post immediately above this one, which I didn't see until after I posted] shows that the metric interpretation has support on the Congressional side:

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.

EDIT:  Spelling correction and addition of bracketed comment.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 07:35 pm by Proponent »

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1252 on: 04/14/2011 07:32 pm »
I'm aware NASA assumed the 130 ton requirement was in metric tons initially, but I thought congress already clarified they meant short tons, so I thought it's peculiar.

"Congress" has never "clarified" that it meant "short tons." I have repeatedly commented that I believe it should be considered "metric tons," since that IS the terminology normally associated with space vehicle lift capability. The fact it is not specifically spelled out that way in the 2010 Authorization Act is unfortunate, but in the end, insignificant in that NASA's assumption of the capability requirement as being expressed in metric tons is not going to be challenged by anyone in the Congress that I am aware of, as yg1968 suggested in a previous post.


Thank you. Perhaps I was under that impression because of posts like this:
They are using the "metric ton" interpretation in order to justify various aspects of CxP, a la HEFT 5/5, nee Ares-V Classic: 5-segment boosters, J2X upper stage engine, etc.

Remember, CxP was Apollo-on-Steroids, and the Saturn-V could lift 130 metric tons to LEO, so there's no way any new HLV, CxP/Shuttle derived or not, is going to be smaller than Saturn-V. Otherwise, NASA might as well have gone with DIRECT four years ago. Can't have that! The J-241H (5/4 with upper stage) was specced at 130 short tons, which would also utilize the 5-segment boosters and J2X, but they just really really want that extra 10% that the "metric" interpretation gives them.


So just to be sure, are you saying NASA was completely justified in using the "metric interpretation" 51D and that congress has no problem with that?
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Offline Periander

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1253 on: 04/14/2011 07:38 pm »
NASA made it clear that they interpret it as metric tons, period. If Congress wanted short tons they could have changed the language to specify that. They didn't.  Congress is delusional if they are hoping/expecting NASA to come back with Ares-V reborn on the authorized budget.
 
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« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 07:43 pm by Periander »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1254 on: 04/14/2011 07:39 pm »
51D Mascot in another post suggested that the minority staff in the Senate thought that tons meant metric tonnes and the majority staff in the Senate thought that it meant short tons. But in the end, NASA is construing it as metric tons and nobody in Congess is challenging it. In any event, I am not sure that it makes much of a difference, you have to remember that the 130 tons is a minimum requirement. You are allowed to exceed it. In other words, 130mt is OK under either interpretations of the word ton. So NASA's interpretation is within the paramaters of the NASA Authorization bill.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 07:45 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1255 on: 04/14/2011 07:43 pm »
I'm aware NASA assumed the 130 ton requirement was in metric tons initially, but I thought congress already clarified they meant short tons, so I thought it's peculiar.

"Congress" has never "clarified" that it meant "short tons." I have repeatedly commented that I believe it should be considered "metric tons," since that IS the terminology normally associated with space vehicle lift capability. The fact it is not specifically spelled out that way in the 2010 Authorization Act is unfortunate, but in the end, insignificant in that NASA's assumption of the capability requirement as being expressed in metric tons is not going to be challenged by anyone in the Congress that I am aware of, as yg1968 suggested in a previous post.


Thank you. Perhaps I was under that impression because of posts like this:
They are using the "metric ton" interpretation in order to justify various aspects of CxP, a la HEFT 5/5, nee Ares-V Classic: 5-segment boosters, J2X upper stage engine, etc.

Remember, CxP was Apollo-on-Steroids, and the Saturn-V could lift 130 metric tons to LEO, so there's no way any new HLV, CxP/Shuttle derived or not, is going to be smaller than Saturn-V. Otherwise, NASA might as well have gone with DIRECT four years ago. Can't have that! The J-241H (5/4 with upper stage) was specced at 130 short tons, which would also utilize the 5-segment boosters and J2X, but they just really really want that extra 10% that the "metric" interpretation gives them.


So just to be sure, are you saying NASA was completely justified in using the "metric interpretation" 51D and that congress has no problem with that?


I am saying what I said..."that NASA's assumption of the capability requirement as being expressed in metric tons is not going to be challenged by anyone in the Congress that I am aware of...."

"Congress" being what it is, I'm not going to make an unqualified absolute statement; it's an institution just full of surprises, hehe. I just think what I DO know about the "jurisdictionaly-relevant participants" makes me reasonably comfortable that this is not going to be an issue.
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Offline renclod

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1256 on: 04/14/2011 08:09 pm »
...
... Can't have that! The ...5/4 with [J-2X] upper stage...

I think they *could* have that and nobody would be prosecuted if it happens.

Quote

Frankly, I am waiting to see what NASA does once the CR is finally passed and the prohibition against CxP contract cancellations is revoked. I expect the first contract cancellation with a few weeks, if not sooner, and with no modifications or novations to support SLS in sight.

My own expectations too. I hope we are wrong.

« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 08:15 pm by renclod »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1257 on: 04/14/2011 08:29 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.

NASA considers it to be metric tonnes and nobody in Congress intends to contradict NASA on this issue. So what it says doesn't matter a whole lot, if both parties construe it the same way.

Aiieee!  That cannot be! The difference between 118 metric tons and 130 metric tons is too great to wave away as "doesn't matter".  I recall going over this ground during the 2010 authorization discussion, and distinctly remember 130 short tons.

The fact it is not specifically spelled out that way in the 2010 Authorization Act is unfortunate, but in the end, insignificant in that NASA's assumption of the capability requirement as being expressed in metric tons is not going to be challenged by anyone in the Congress that I am aware of...

You've said that several times here, and I'm happy for the throw weight to be considered in metric tons.  I just can't stand the issue being raised over and over again.

So Chris:  Maybe the sticky could simply state that the units for SLS throw weight are metric tons.

Jeezy peezies.  As long as it's not troy ounces, or some such.
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Offline neilh

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1258 on: 04/14/2011 08:43 pm »
I don't necessarily agree with them, but here's a response from the "Taxpayers Protection Alliance":
$3B NASA Earmark in the CR Provides More Bad News for Taxpayers

They seem upset about this being a violation of a Congressional "no earmarks" pledge.
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Offline simonbp

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1259 on: 04/14/2011 09:19 pm »
Sure.  I mean after all, everything revolves around SpaceX. 

It does so long the probability that Falcon Heavy flies is dramatically higher than anything calling itself "SLS". The most likely scenario right now is that NASA wastes another few billion (just like it did with NLS and Ares) before giving up and buying launch services from SpaceX and ULA.

Direct is dead. SLS is now Ares V-Redux, and likely won't end any differently.

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