Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 447133 times)

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1320 on: 04/15/2011 01:57 pm »
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.

51D, Sorry, I have to make one final appeal for explanation on the metric/short ton question.

Do you see what many here think that the metric interpretation will do to the SLS program, as I (and other) have described it previously? It rules out the possibility of DIRECT-like configuration that leverages Shuttle heritage and takes us right back to the Ares-V.

Do you disagree with that conclusion?
Or do you agree, but that is what Congress wants regardless?
Or is there some other explanation?

Sorry for the impertinence, but I just don't understand your position, especially considering your knowledge of the subject and your history of postings in all the various threads on this forum.

I think that if SLS is to be successful, then the metric interpretation will have to yield to the reality of what can be accomplished with the given resources in the specified time.

Thanks in advance for any answer you may provide. Your postings have been a valuable resource and provided a keen insight into the workings of our legislative bodies.

Thanks,
Mark S.

Not sure how to give you some assurances on your questions, but I will try.

One, I will say that what many folks have said about metric being the "death knell" for Direct-like configuration is simply not consistent with other information I have--information coming from the recent RAC studies, which admittedly have not been formally presented, so it will have to remain a "mystery" as to how I have it. But I am looking at a summary chart that shows a "Block-0-2016" variant, and the capability is shown as lifting MPCV to LEO on a 70 METRIC ton capacity vehicle. That tells me that a metric interpretation does NOT in fact rule out a shuttle-derived vehicle. So, no, I do not accept that alternate conclusion, based on information I have in hand.

Notwithstanding that, the issue for the Congress is the encouragement of shuttle-derived development as a near-term time and cost-savings feature that is intended to narrow the gap in US launch capability. If NASA comes in and says they can get there only if there's no hard requirement for a metric measurement, then that would be fine. The key focus and aim of the law is to have an evolvable system that has the ability to perform potential "interim missions" along the way to achieving an eventual full 130-ton-plus capability, maximizing the use of existing assets and design heritage. The Congress is NOT going to get hung up on a dispute or difference between a metric versus short-ton threshold as a hard requirement if the end result meets that key objective of mission capability.
So it's immaterial to me, in that sense, what measurement system is used so long as the ability to perform that sort of potential interim mission capability by the end of 2016--or as close to it as possible--is achieved. So, to your last point about metric "yielding" to reality of what can be achieved, I would say "no problem with that." What I am looking at suggests that won't be necessary, but it if is, then OK.  Let's just make sure we have a means of alternative, back-up assured access to LEO/ISS as close to 2016/2017 as possible, in case there's a problem getting there with CCDev. That's the focus of the law.

Don't know if that gets at your concerns, but it's late and I am not going to "cogitate" on it further tonight, so if you need to press, then do so and I'll try to follow up.

And I don't sense "impertinence"; I sense inquisitiveness and concern, and I applaud both, so don't worry about that from my point of view, anyway.

Thank you 51D Mascot. We appreciate your keen insight and explanations of the methods and intentions of Congress. I am particularly pleased by, and applaud, your above comments that I have put in bold.

Great job! 

If you can, take a break and smell the green scents of springtime and enjoy some sunshine.

Cheers!  :)
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1321 on: 04/15/2011 02:19 pm »
2. I would add that the METRIC ton requirement also rules out of court the most shuttle derived option of all, the old Shuttle-C side-mount design. As a cost/time saving measure, it should at least be in the running.

This is hardly surprising considering there really isn't much love for sidemount from the shuttle derived camp as a whole. Least I haven't seen it. I recall people saying that, overall, in-line would be cheaper.

There's also the issues some people have with sidemount's performance and I don't mean just the payload capacity. There were others which got tossed around, like the escape system not being in the best of places and additional ones that I can't recall off the top of my head.

Quote
The question is Why are they insisting on the metric interpretation?

"Insisting" implies that someone of relevance has an issue with this and NASA has heard their objections, but decided to use the "metric interpretation" anyway. No such thing has happened. Congress hasn't pressed them to use short tons and is likely not going to. In other words, NASA isn't "insisting" on anything with regard to the "metric vs short" issue. Neither is congress for that matter.

Quote
The answer, apparently, is the fact certain cost/time-savings designs are knocked out of the running as a result.

That's not really an answer, it's more of a result of a given action and I assume you're implying that this result is what NASA and NASA alone intended. Strictly speaking it's not a "fact" either, because cost and time savings are measured with rubber rulers. Depending on the guy holding the ruler, you get a different outcome and, of course, lots of arguing.

Quote
Why is NASA apparently married to Eros V?

A related question and one which I find more interesting personally is: why has congress as a whole not protested this apparent marriage? They had the opportunity to stand and say "I object" before the kiss, but they didn't and apparently wont make an issue out of it.

Quote
They [meaning NASA] know it can't be completed within the mandated budget and schedule.

Here's the funny part. Apparently there is no mandated schedule for getting a 130mt capable launcher.

In a sense it's a good thing, since it means at least one out of the three systems engineering parameters (cost, schedule, performance) isn't fixed (the schedule), meaning the other two should stay relatively still if the project is managed properly.

[added]At least performance might, but cost is trickier to evaluate. If you count cost as meaning "total cost of the program", then that will go up as well the longer the program goes on. If you count it as meaning "not exceeding a given amount each year from NASA's budget", then costs might be contained. Again, rubber rulers.

In another sense that's bad, since that comes at the expense of the schedule and even in an optimistic scenario it will likely slide to the right a fair bit. Apart from the inevitable irritation this will cause to impatient space enthusiasts, there's a bigger issue. The more the program is spread across time, the higher the risk of cancellation gets, due to shifting political winds.

Quote
Do they really think they'll be given the extra time and $$$ required,

Apparently congress (this one atleast) is willing to give them the time they need to work up to a 130mt capability. As for the money, at this point it's clear no one will be giving extra in the near future so that's essentially a fixed parameter NASA will have to deal with.

Quote
or is the insistence on Eros V a cynical ploy to kill an SLS altogether, and get Congress off of their backs?

Or maybe it's just NASA following the law as it's laid out by congress, much as some would protest that notion?

Whatever the case, I continue to be concerned where this is all going.

Edit to add something that I forgot.
« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 02:38 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline Periander

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1322 on: 04/15/2011 02:28 pm »
Surely those in the NASA administrators office are aware of all this. The question is Why are they insisting on the metric interpretation? The answer, apparently, is the fact certain cost/time-savings designs are knocked out of the running as a result. Which leads to the next question, Why is NASA apparently married to Eros V? They know it can't be completed within the mandated budget and schedule. Do they really think they'll be given the extra time and $$$ required, or is the insistence on Eros V a cynical ploy to kill an SLS altogether, and get Congress  off of their backs?

1. Congress was told directly by Bolden that they NASA would interpret "tons" as metric, as that is their policy.

2. Congress had the opportunity to change the language in the just passed CR to clarify/specify the 130 ton requirement.

3. Congress actually did alter the language regarding SLS, but did not change the language of the 130 ton requirement knowing full well that NASA would interpret it as metric.

There are two conclusions to be drawn from this.

1. Congresses intent is 130mt.

2. NASA must now interpret 130 tons as metric.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1323 on: 04/15/2011 03:11 pm »
Surely those in the NASA administrators office are aware of all this. The question is Why are they insisting on the metric interpretation? The answer, apparently, is the fact certain cost/time-savings designs are knocked out of the running as a result. Which leads to the next question, Why is NASA apparently married to Eros V? They know it can't be completed within the mandated budget and schedule. Do they really think they'll be given the extra time and $$$ required, or is the insistence on Eros V a cynical ploy to kill an SLS altogether, and get Congress  off of their backs?

1. Congress was told directly by Bolden that they NASA would interpret "tons" as metric, as that is their policy.

2. Congress had the opportunity to change the language in the just passed CR to clarify/specify the 130 ton requirement.

3. Congress actually did alter the language regarding SLS, but did not change the language of the 130 ton requirement knowing full well that NASA would interpret it as metric.

There are two conclusions to be drawn from this.

1. Congresses intent is 130mt.

2. NASA must now interpret 130 tons as metric.


You could actually argue the opposite. Congress had a chance to correct the word "tons" to "tonnes" (or metric tones) in the full-year CR but choose not to do so. But if both Congress and NASA want a 130mt HLV, the law also allows this since the 130 tons requirement is only a minimum.
« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 05:07 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Joris

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1324 on: 04/15/2011 04:31 pm »
http://www.space.com/11398-nasa-congress-2011-budget-space-exploration.html

Quote
"which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously."

This will settle some issues.  ;)
JIMO would have been the first proper spaceship.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1325 on: 04/15/2011 04:41 pm »
http://www.space.com/11398-nasa-congress-2011-budget-space-exploration.html

Quote
"which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously."

This will settle some issues.  ;)

And the odds of SLS actually flying just dropped... "Ares: The Return" coming to a theater near you.

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1326 on: 04/15/2011 04:42 pm »
This will settle some issues.  ;)

Really? Define "ton" without someone objecting to the definition.
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline Mark S

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1327 on: 04/15/2011 04:43 pm »
Don't know if that gets at your concerns, but it's late and I am not going to "cogitate" on it further tonight, so if you need to press, then do so and I'll try to follow up.

Thanks very much 51D. I am concerned (as well as others here) because the current RAC-1 Block-0 to Block-1 transition will require an entirely separate development effort. The "core elements", as the law describes them, will have nothing in common between the two configurations. The tanks will be different, being both stretched to accommodate the large fuel load required to feed five SSMEs during ascent, and designed to different loads due to increased payload, increased thrust of five SSMEs, and greater stresses imposed by the 5-segment boosters. The thrust structure will also in all likelihood be different, with Block-0 designed for only three SSMEs and Block-1 for five.

So we end up paying for two separate development efforts, with the first contributing very little to the second, resulting in two distinct sets of "core elements" that are not interchangeable. This will also push any BLEO exploration missions ever further out, because all of NASA's effort will be focused on getting Block-0 out the door by the end of 2016. Once Block-0 is done, we will then be waiting for the completion of an entirely different Block-1 set of core elements before any BLEO missions can begin.

While some development work on the "integrated upper Earth departure stage" can be initiated in parallel with Block-0, this stage will not be compatible with the Block-0 core elements because it will be designed to the 130mt target capacity. So any BLEO missions will have to wait for completion of Block-2, which is by this time way off in the indefinite future.

Also, you might want to examine whatever documentation you may have to see how NASA intends to utilize the upper stage that they have proposed. From what I have read, they are planning on using three J2X engines on the upper stage, which pretty much rules out its use as an Earth departure stage. That injects a dependency on the completion of an entirely separate Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (CPS) to get out of LEO. Yet more delays!

Therefore, what I am urging is the to scale back the "130 ton" ultimate requirement from metric to US short tons. That extra 10% is the straw that will break the camel's back, because it severely impacts our ability to proceed with BLEO missions in any reasonable time frame.

If we can get people to agree to the US short ton interpretation, that will allow a DIRECT-like plan where Block-0 will actually be the core of Block-1 and Block-2. Block-0 would be the same as RAC-1 Block-0, with the exception that the thrust structure would be designed for four SSMEs (and flown with three), and the tank structure would be designed to carry the ultimate 130 (short) ton capacity with 5-segment boosters. Once those "core-elements" are completed, NASA can turn its entire focus to completing the EDS as well as any in-space assets that will be needed for BLEO missions.

Block-0: 85 US tons: 4-segment boosters, 3 SSMEs, no upper stage. Core elements complete!
Block-1: 115 US tons: 4-segment boosters, 4 SSMEs, add integrated upper EDS. BLEO capable!
Block-2: 130 US tons: 5-segment boosters, 4 SSMEs, same EDS. Adds 15 tons capacity, still BLEO capable!
Block-3: Over 130 US tons: Tank stretch, 5-segment boosters, 4-5 SSMEs, same EDS. Still BLEO capable!

This progression will enable BLEO missions much sooner than the current RAC-1 plan, and allows a more incremental evolution of the system on an as-needed basis. It allows NASA to focus on in-space assets much sooner by eliminating an entirely separate development effort.

The way I see it, the current RAC-1 plan recreates CxP in all the worst ways, with two separate (successful) launcher development efforts required before any BLEO capability, and little commonality between the two efforts. The parallels between CxP (Ares-I/Ares-V) and RAC-1 (Block-0/Block-1) are disturbing and should be setting off alarm bells in peoples' heads.

The short ton interpretation would allow a single development effort for the core elements that would allow initial LEO capability by the end of 2016, and BLEO capability not much later than that. One effort for the core elements, one effort for the EDS, and we're ready to explore BLEO! The 5-segment boosters can be phased in when appropriate but are not required for BLEO capability. The J2X effort would continue unabated due to its use in the EDS.

We've had five years of DIRECT threads going over the synergy that would be involved in this approach, and I know I don't have nearly the eloquence and technical background that that team had. The RAC-1 approach takes us right back where we were five years ago with CxP. How will this approach turn out any better now than it did for Constellation?

Sorry this simple post turned into such an essay.
Thanks for your patience.
Mark S.

Offline Downix

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1328 on: 04/15/2011 04:51 pm »
This will settle some issues.  ;)

Really? Define "ton" without someone objecting to the definition.
Let's use displacement ton!!

130 displacement tons would be about 590 cubic meters.  Which would make it about the size of the Atlas V 5m short fairing once you subtract the Centaur.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1329 on: 04/15/2011 04:51 pm »

Block-0: 85 US tons: 4-segment boosters, 3 SSMEs, no upper stage. Core elements complete!

What about:
Block-0: (4+dummy)-segment boosters, 3 (or4) SSMEs, no upper stage.

The 4+dummy segment flew on Ares I-X. As it is a test flight, you 'should' be able to accomodate the new TVS system in it, even though a change is likely required, but shouldn't be THAT difficult.

In this configuration (not sure if the tank strech is worth doing at this point), you get another part of the system evaluated: effects on 5-segment profile on the stack configuration.

Offline Jason Sole

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1330 on: 04/15/2011 05:00 pm »
http://www.space.com/11398-nasa-congress-2011-budget-space-exploration.html

Quote
"which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously."

This will settle some issues.  ;)

And the odds of SLS actually flying just dropped... "Ares: The Return" coming to a theater near you.

You've really let yourself down and now your comments will be associated with your mistake above in future.

Once again:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22991.msg724244#msg724244

Offline Prober

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1331 on: 04/15/2011 05:37 pm »

51D, Sorry, I have to make one final appeal for explanation on the metric/short ton question.

Do you see what many here think that the metric interpretation will do to the SLS program, as I (and other) have described it previously? It

, but it's late and I am not going to "cogitate" on it further tonight, so if [/quote]

Thank you 51D Mascot. We appreciate your keen insight and explanations of the methods and intentions of Congress. I am particularly pleased by, and applaud, your above comments that I have put in bold.

Great job! 

If you can, take a break and smell the green scents of springtime and enjoy some sunshine.

Cheers!  :)
[/quote]

I'm reading these posts like every day and then reading "the news media machine's"  take and frankly they don't agree. 


Going to post today's grabber so that you can ckear this up maybe?

H.R. 1473 also frees NASA to formally cancel the Constellation program under which it has been developing the Ares family of rockets and an Orion spacecraft optimized for manned lunar missions.

Another policy provision prohibits NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from engaging in bilateral activities with China.


2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant..." --Isoroku Yamamoto

Offline Prober

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1332 on: 04/15/2011 05:44 pm »
Hope 51D etc. can filll in the holes and pull out the "truth".  I also plan on contacting the person who wrote this and find out where the conclusions are drawn from.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20110415/sc_space/congressapproves1845billionfornasa

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Congress included $18.45 billion for NASA in hard-fought spending compromise lawmakers passed April 14 to fund the federal government for the last five months of the 2011 budget year.

Formal passage of the frustrated decision making at NASA and other federal agencies since the new fiscal year began last October. But it also leaves NASA with a budget some $240 million below last year's level.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the spending legislation, H.R. 1473, despite his party's objections to many of the $38 billion in cuts it contains.

Most of the NASA savings were achieved by funding Space Operations — an account that includes the international space station and soon-to-be-retired space shuttle — at about $600 million below the 2010 level and denying increases the White House sought for Aeronautics and Education. There's also no funding specified for Space Technology, a roughly $300 million account NASA hopes to boost to $1 billion next year.

NASA's Exploration Systems and Science Mission Directorates were the big winners, with both divisions singled out for significant boosts.

H.R. 1473 carves out $3.8 billion for Exploration, including $1.2 billion for a multipurpose crew vehicle based on NASA's in-development Orion capsule and $1.8 billion for a heavy-lift vehicle "which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously."

Exploration was funded in 2010 at $3.625 billion, a sum that would rise to $3.7 billion under the agency's spending plan for 2012.

The NASA Science Mission Directorate — that part of the agency that funds planetary probes, space telescopes and environmental satellites — will receive $4.945 billion for the remainder of 2011, or about $448 million above the 2010 level. 

H.R. 1473 also frees NASA to formally cancel the Constellation program under which it has been developing the Ares family of rockets and an Orion spacecraft optimized for manned lunar missions.

Another policy provision prohibits NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from engaging in bilateral activities with China.

Among the other budget details released April 12:
Space Operations is funded at $5.5 billion, or about $600 million less than 2010.
 
Aeronautics research is funded at $535 million, or about $38 million more than 2010.
 
Cross Agency Support is funded at $3.1 billion, or about $100 million more than 2010.
 
Construction and Environmental Compliance is funded at $394 million, or about $58 million less than 2010.
 
Education is funded at $145 million, or about $45 million less than 2010.

No budget is specified for NASA's Office of Inspector General. The watchdog office has received $36 million in recent years.




« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 06:04 pm by Prober »
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant..." --Isoroku Yamamoto

Offline Periander

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1333 on: 04/15/2011 05:51 pm »
http://www.space.com/11398-nasa-congress-2011-budget-space-exploration.html

Quote
"which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously."

This will settle some issues.  ;)

And the odds of SLS actually flying just dropped... "Ares: The Return" coming to a theater near you.

You've really let yourself down and now your comments will be associated with your mistake above in future.

Once again:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22991.msg724244#msg724244



What mistake? You are missing the point. Yes, the 130mt final vehicle does not have to be ready by 2016. The problem he is pointing out is that a DIRECT type vehicle cannot lift 130mt, that it would require a rehash of Ares-V with all of the costs and lack of shuttle commonality that entails.

You have really let yourself down and now your comments will in future forever be associated with your egregiously missing the point here.

Offline Downix

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1334 on: 04/15/2011 05:57 pm »
http://www.space.com/11398-nasa-congress-2011-budget-space-exploration.html

Quote
"which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously."

This will settle some issues.  ;)

And the odds of SLS actually flying just dropped... "Ares: The Return" coming to a theater near you.

You've really let yourself down and now your comments will be associated with your mistake above in future.

Once again:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22991.msg724244#msg724244



What mistake? You are missing the point. Yes, the 130mt final vehicle does not have to be ready by 2016. The problem he is pointing out is that a DIRECT type vehicle cannot lift 130mt, that it would require a rehash of Ares-V with all of the costs and lack of shuttle commonality that entails.

You have really let yourself down and now your comments will in future forever be associated with your egregiously missing the point here.
But it can.  You keep limiting yourself to just two stages + boosters.  Add a third stage and DIRECT can meet the requirements.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline mjcrsmith

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1335 on: 04/15/2011 06:02 pm »
Hope 51D etc. can filll in the holes and pull out the "truth".  I also plan on contacting the person who wrote this and find out where the conclusions are drawn from.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20110415/sc_space/congressapproves1845billionfornasa


1st, welcome to NSF :)

What in the article are you questioning.  To me it seems pretty straight forward at a high level.

51D's posts are the most informative.  A true asset to this forum.




Offline Periander

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1336 on: 04/15/2011 06:06 pm »
But it can.  You keep limiting yourself to just two stages + boosters.  Add a third stage and DIRECT can meet the requirements.

I have not seen such third stage proposals, but regardless a third stage would entail a significant (probably very significant) increase in cost and complexity which would tend to defeat the entire purpose of DIRECT.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1337 on: 04/15/2011 06:07 pm »
New thread, as we're past the crossroads:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24821.0
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