Poll

How long will the SLS program endure?  "Endure" means launching, even if production has ceased.  Please provide your answer in terms of calendar years, not US government fiscal years.

I support SLS and expect it to continue to 2030 or beyond
22 (16.2%)
I do not support SLS and expect it to continue to 2030 or beyond
18 (13.2%)
I support SLS and expect it to be terminated by 2027
5 (3.7%)
I do not support SLS and expect it to be terminated by 2027
33 (24.3%)
I support SLS and expect it to be terminated by 2025
5 (3.7%)
I do not support SLS and expect it to be terminated by 2025
36 (26.5%)
I support SLS and expect it to be terminated by 2023
2 (1.5%)
I do not support SLS and expect it to be terminated by 2023
15 (11%)

Total Members Voted: 136

Voting closed: 02/02/2020 02:55 pm


Author Topic: How long will the SLS program endure?  (Read 11069 times)

Offline Proponent

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How long will the SLS program endure?
« on: 01/03/2020 02:55 pm »
I'd like to tease out how support for SLS affects expectations of its longevity.

Please do post the rationale behind your answer.

Offline envy887

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #1 on: 01/03/2020 03:55 pm »
Do you consider termination the defunding of more vehicle orders and development, or the actual flight of the last vehicle? Those will probably be separated in time by 3 or 4 years, because of the long lead times for ordering new components.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #2 on: 01/03/2020 04:34 pm »
The program's endurance probably is dependent on the the length of the senator from Alabama's tenure in office.  So I said terminated by 2025.
« Last Edit: 01/03/2020 04:34 pm by RedLineTrain »

Offline punder

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #3 on: 01/03/2020 04:43 pm »
I said 27 because inertia.

By 2027 I expect SS/SH to be fully operational and also launching its first government payloads, contracted around the 2024 period. The handwriting will have been on the wall for years, but 2027 will see the last launches of SLS emerge from the long pipeline of NASA procurement and mission assignments.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #4 on: 01/03/2020 05:57 pm »
It is not the support of the space fans that will drive the SLS termination or continuation. But the lack of general public interest will allow congress to do whatever it wants with the NASA budget until the perception is so bad that it becomes a political negative for them at the polls. Since it will take an very active and cheaper/better alternative to highlight the "error", the termination will be after 2024 but before 2030.

The first competitor to SLS will be Starship. Which may or may not meet its schedule goals and attain quickly its manned status. the second is BO's often talked about follow-on NA to the NG. It would likely be same LEO throw weight as Starship and also targeted to carry humans. It's likely to show up late 2020's or some 5 years after NG becomes a valid launcher ~2027.

So my vote was do not support SLS but it will continue until 2027.

Offline Proponent

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #5 on: 01/03/2020 05:58 pm »
Do you consider termination the defunding of more vehicle orders and development, or the actual flight of the last vehicle? Those will probably be separated in time by 3 or 4 years, because of the long lead times for ordering new components.

Thanks for the question.

I'm thinking final flight.  E.g., for the Saturn V, the correct answer would be 1973.  My rationale is that keeping SLS on line, even if no more are being produced, will still entail a significant cost.

I've clarified the wording of poll to reflect this definition of "endure."
« Last Edit: 01/03/2020 06:04 pm by Proponent »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #6 on: 01/03/2020 06:04 pm »
I said 2025 because political inertia, though I'm hoping that 2023 is the real year.

The SLS will continue to survive as long as their are funded payloads for it to launch, so the date is dependent on when Congress decides about a return to Moon program - which is not 100% dependent on using the SLS & Orion ultimately, though certainly they are needed if Congress wants a return to the surface of the Moon (with NASA certified transportation systems) this decade.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online meberbs

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #7 on: 01/03/2020 06:20 pm »
I said 2025 because political inertia, though I'm hoping that 2023 is the real year.
I went with 2023 as my vote, but I can see inertia carrying it to 2024 or 2025, especially if they decide to fly out under production units due to sunk cost fallacy.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #8 on: 01/03/2020 06:37 pm »
I voted for not supporting but 2030 and beyond.  It isn't a matter of supporting or not supporting anymore, but accepting it as inevitable the way things have played out.  Now that work is under way on the Gateway, and the Artemis plan, I have little doubt that SLS will be flying.  And until Starship or some other rocket actually flies to the Moon with people on board I think there is very little chance of SLS being canceled before then.  By that time enough SLS rockets will be under contract to fly into the early 2030s.  I don't think Starship will be flying to lunar orbit with people until mid decade.  At that time it won't matter if a senator from Alabama is still in office.  I think SLS will fly to maybe 2032 when its manifest is done.  If it was my choice we would be on a different path.  But it's not my choice and I hope the path we are on works as well as it possibly can.

Online WTF

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #9 on: 01/03/2020 06:38 pm »
I do not support the SLS program.

Inertia.

Projecting the quite senior senator from Alabama runs for re-election (and wins) in 2022, I believe the program could endure into the 2030s.

However if a couple of Starships meet the 2024 synod to Mars,  by 2028 the SLS program will have shifted to habitats, manned surface exploration, etc.
Colonel John Paul Stapp, MD. Formulated during those rocket sled experiments ... Stapp's Law: "The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle."

Offline GWH

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #10 on: 01/03/2020 06:58 pm »
I don't support SLS as an alternative to other programs (depots, distributed lift), but do support it in the near term (Artemis 1, 2, 3) until alternative architectures are available (a mediocre plan is better than no plan!).

I vote that it lasts until 2025, when alternatives will finally force it out.
Starship might be the catalyst, but ultimately I see Blue Origin with a distributed lift NewGlenn+Orion being the final nail in the coffin.

Offline freddo411

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #11 on: 01/03/2020 07:00 pm »
I'd like to tease out how support for SLS affects expectations of its longevity.

Please do post the rationale behind your answer.

I voted:

* Do NOT support SLS
* expect it to be terminated 2025 (at the earliest)

President Trump and VP Pence has bought into SLS for his Artemis program.   There appears to be no political opposition to SLS for the next 4+ years.    While there is not a high level of support for Artemis due to it's connection to Trump, old space and the Congressional pork lobby are happy to collect any money they can while very slowly building out expensive, proprietary, single use hardware.

It's worth mentioning that momentum and support (at a much, much lower level than Artemis) for more efficient gov't spaceflight continues to exist in the form of commercial cargo, CLPS.   It appears unlikely that this will replace old space in any significant way in the next 4 or 5 years.
« Last Edit: 01/03/2020 10:45 pm by freddo411 »

Offline Markstark

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #12 on: 01/03/2020 10:33 pm »
I voted I support SLS and believe it will no longer be flying after 2027. Which is around the timeframe I think Starship will be operational (mid-2020s at the earliest). I support it because itís a politically critical element to an architecture that I believe has a half decent chance to get humans beyond earth orbit again and maybe on the lunar surface (this is an opinion of course). More broadly I support the Artemis program.

Offline dglow

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #13 on: 01/03/2020 11:38 pm »
Couldn't find my exact choice in the poll. The first Artemis landings, if they happen, won't be until 2025 or 2026. With that timeframe SLS will certainly survive past 2027, though I expect it to be deprecated as an option for future mission planning in advance of 2030.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #14 on: 01/04/2020 03:42 am »
Irrespective of whether or not I think SLS is a good idea; I expect that the project will be Ares 1X writ Large. Meaning I expect it will fly once and then be scrapped by an upcoming U.S. regime for a variety of reasons.

The countdown to this thread being protested to Moderators - by SLS supporters and chicken-little types - and then being locked starts... NOW...
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #15 on: 01/04/2020 05:57 am »
I voted I support SLS and expect it to be terminated by 2027 for basically the same reasons as Markstark. It isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it is part of an architecture that can return humans to cis-lunar space and the lunar surface. IMO its worth spending $2.5 Billion a year to keep up political support for returning to the moon and retaining the capability to do said missions until better options come online.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, SS/SH, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline high road

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #16 on: 01/04/2020 08:54 am »
I voted for 2027 (at least) and I guess I'll lean more clearly towards not supporting in the near future, when/if commercial alternatives demonstrate they could be available sooner.

Even if commercial alternatives are available, SLS will be protected by regulatory hurdles that commercial suppliers have to take into account. Especially for specific types of missions like manned/lunar missions. Which will probably be challenged in court when a certain point of demonstratable ridiculousness has been reached. Note that SLS is unlikely to move more quickly than commercial companies can clear those regulatory hurdles. So the number of SLS missions would still be very small.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #17 on: 01/05/2020 02:20 am »
January 5th 2075.

The robotic emperor has issued a human-compatible communication in regards to the Combined Space Forces Human Spaceflight program. Would you like to read it? (Y/N)

You have chosen No. Enjoy your day citizen.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline jadebenn

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #18 on: 01/05/2020 07:57 pm »
The program's endurance probably is dependent on the the length of the senator from Alabama's tenure in office.  So I said terminated by 2025.
I respectfully disagree, because I believe that NASA has already undertaken multiple actions that increase the likelihood of program continuation far past that point. To prove my point, as of January 2020, NASA has:

* Contracted Aerojet Rocketdyne to produce new RS-25s past flight 4
* Contracted Lockheed Martin to produce Orion capsules for 6 to 12 additional flights
* Had the ESA agree to provide corresponding service modules for 6 of those additional flights
* Contracted Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems to make new SRBs past flight 8
* and is about to contract Boeing to produce 10 to 12 additional SLS core stages

It is due to this information that leads me to believe SLS will continue after one of its Congressional benefactors retires, and it is a major factor to why I personally do not lend credence to claims to the contrary, which I believe will be proven incorrect by the passage of time.

(Edited to be less hostile)
« Last Edit: 01/06/2020 10:05 am by jadebenn »

Offline punder

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Re: How long will the SLS program endure?
« Reply #19 on: 01/05/2020 09:03 pm »
But sure, keep peddling the myth that the SLS is solely a creature of Shelby and won't persevere once he's out of office. I'm sure that will age well. ::)
How many Saturn V's are serving as historical monuments around the country?

How many times did the immensely capable but vastly expensive Energia fly?

We're all guessing here. That includes you. In a few years if you throw that victory party, please invite us rubes who made it all possible!   :D

Tags: SLS 
 

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