Author Topic: LIVE: Congressional Hearings into Obama's NASA Budget FY2011 - Feb 24-25 Part 2  (Read 322733 times)

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Purely IMHO and FWIW.

I agree that a compromise of some kind will emerge.  Whilst I think that the basic apparent intent of the plan (to pave the way for sustained human BEO exploration by way of developing needed technologies), I think that other things that, frankly, are best listed as "nice but non-critical" won't make it.  Research for an advanced technology HLV will probably be one of them.

There is such apparent lack of confidence in Congress regarding the commercial option that I cannot see it remaining as the near-term solution to US-indigenous human space flight needs.  There is also clearly a lot of disquiet at the current intent to have NASA, via commercial providers, developing... er... something to go... er... somewhere by... er... sometime.

I thus expect Congress to decide on something like this:

1. Shuttle extension until ~2015 or Orion on EELV until commercial crew launch is in place and, more importantly, as a back-up to commercial options until they are fully reliable;

   a) If they go for SSP extension, "Recertification" is quietly forgotten when the SSP guys point out that they do it anyway;

   b) If Orion becomes the back-up ISS crew access, look for a lot of pressure to have something like the DIRECT team's "Apollo 8 Redux" idea written into law;

2. Development of follow-on HLV-M to take over high-volume support of ISS to begin immediately.  By force of necessity, this will either be some flavour of SDHLV or something like the EELV Phase 1, but very severely cost-limited;

3. Nothing will be set in stone about the post-ISS heavy lift.  Will it be SDLV? Will it be EELV-derived? Will they use HLV-Ms (one or more of J-130-style SDLVs, EELV+ACES and F9+Raptor) and depots? Will it be something completely new? That will remain to be seen based on determination of mission to be made when R&D will begin (~2015/16);

4. NASA will be told to have a series of 'Presidential Cycle Goals' - Something that will drive NASA HSF activities for 3- to 4-year cycles.  The first one, IMHO, will be to get Orion flying OR to get the post-shuttle HLV-M to initial flight test status by 2012/13.  The next will be to have post-ISS thinking set to the point where decisions as to HLV and exploration archetecture can be made and to have HLV-M and its crew vehicle at FOC by 2015/16.  Finally, to have the first BEO mission flown by the end of 2020.
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Offline zerm

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Purely IMHO and FWIW.

I agree that a compromise of some kind will emerge.  Whilst I think that the basic apparent intent of the plan (to pave the way for sustained human BEO exploration by way of developing needed technologies), I think that other things that, frankly, are best listed as "nice but non-critical" won't make it.  Research for an advanced technology HLV will probably be one of them.

There is such apparent lack of confidence in Congress regarding the commercial option that I cannot see it remaining as the near-term solution to US-indigenous human space flight needs.  There is also clearly a lot of disquiet at the current intent to have NASA, via commercial providers, developing... er... something to go... er... somewhere by... er... sometime.

I thus expect Congress to decide on something like this:

1. Shuttle extension until ~2015 or Orion on EELV until commercial crew launch is in place and, more importantly, as a back-up to commercial options until they are fully reliable;

   a) If they go for SSP extension, "Recertification" is quietly forgotten when the SSP guys point out that they do it anyway;

   b) If Orion becomes the back-up ISS crew access, look for a lot of pressure to have something like the DIRECT team's "Apollo 8 Redux" idea written into law;

2. Development of follow-on HLV-M to take over high-volume support of ISS to begin immediately.  By force of necessity, this will either be some flavour of SDHLV or something like the EELV Phase 1, but very severely cost-limited;

3. Nothing will be set in stone about the post-ISS heavy lift.  Will it be SDLV? Will it be EELV-derived? Will they use HLV-Ms (one or more of J-130-style SDLVs, EELV+ACES and F9+Raptor) and depots? Will it be something completely new? That will remain to be seen based on determination of mission to be made when R&D will begin (~2015/16);

4. NASA will be told to have a series of 'Presidential Cycle Goals' - Something that will drive NASA HSF activities for 3- to 4-year cycles.  The first one, IMHO, will be to get Orion flying OR to get the post-shuttle HLV-M to initial flight test status by 2012/13.  The next will be to have post-ISS thinking set to the point where decisions as to HLV and exploration archetecture can be made and to have HLV-M and its crew vehicle at FOC by 2015/16.  Finally, to have the first BEO mission flown by the end of 2020.

I think you have hit it about as close as anything. A fine example of very clear thinking. I agree and have to add that your outline makes a lot of sense considering how things are going in the Congress.

Offline mars.is.wet

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"The Moon is too hard and expensive.  Let's go to Mars!"

Offline ChrisSpaceCH

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Purely IMHO and FWIW.

(snip)

4. NASA will be told to have a series of 'Presidential Cycle Goals' - Something that will drive NASA HSF activities for 3- to 4-year cycles.  The first one, IMHO, will be to get Orion flying OR to get the post-shuttle HLV-M to initial flight test status by 2012/13.  The next will be to have post-ISS thinking set to the point where decisions as to HLV and exploration archetecture can be made and to have HLV-M and its crew vehicle at FOC by 2015/16.  Finally, to have the first BEO mission flown by the end of 2020.

Maybe, maybe not. Predictions are hard. Too much can happen, even if Congress actually decides...

- Ron Paul may become US president in 2013 and dismantle NASA
- Another Shuttle accident may occur
- ISS may break down or be disabled by an OD strike
- The US economy might collapse completely and the Second Great Depression may come (remember, the first one didn't start until around 1931, there was also a "recovery" of sorts after the '29 crash before things went really bad...)
- etc.

All of the above would spell the end of NASA / US manned spaceflight.

As the Chinese would say: We are living in interesting times...
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 11:34 am by ChrisSpaceCH »

Offline clongton

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Be advised that 9B of Cx resulting in one very limited test did not inspire these kids - many told me they saw it as a meaningless diversion.

A 7th grader said that? Amazing.
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Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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- Ron Paul may become US president in 2013 and dismantle NASA
- Another Shuttle accident may occur
- ISS may break down or be disabled by an OD strike
- The US economy might collapse completely and the Second Great Depression may come (remember, the first one didn't start until around 1931, there was also a "recovery" of sorts after the '29 crash before things went really bad...)
- etc.

All of the above would spell the end of NASA / US manned spaceflight.

As the Chinese would say: We are living in interesting times...

Nice to see you're thinking positively Chris :)

The first two won't happen imo. I won't talk about Ron Paul, but the reason the shuttles will be fine is because they get such a thorough checkup for damage. After 2 loses already NASA has become very careful while operating them. I think it was Mike who said "I challenge you to tell me the shuttles aren't safe". An extra 3-5 years of shuttle flights won't hurt. (I hope)
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 01:37 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
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Offline clongton

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There *are* ways to do realistic and useful exploration in cislunar space ...
HLVs *might* be needed down the road, but there's a ton you can do just as well without them.
~Jon

It seems like you are either not listening to or ignoring us.
We have clearly stated that below 300mT to LEO per year the EELV is the best path forward.
HLV become the best economic path at ~300mT to LEO per year and more.
I just cannot for the life of me see any kind of "exploration" program worthy of the name that uses less lofted mass than that per year.

As for exploring cislunar space well that's just "space" near the moon. There's nothing there - just, well, "space"; it's empty. There is no difference between ciclunar space and cisearth space; they are both just empty space. I can explore ciclunar space in HEO. I don't want to explore cislunar "space". I want to explore the lunar "surface". There is a lot more there than "space".

I'm beginning to think that you are just anti-HLV regardless. I hope I'm wrong. It would be instructive to me, and probably others, if you would define for us where you think the tipping point is where it makes sense to engage the HLV vs. the EELV system. As already detailed further up, we believe that it is in the area of ~300mT to LEO per year. Where is your tipping point and why?
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 11:58 am by clongton »
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Offline ChrisSpaceCH

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Quote from: Cog_in_the_machine

Nice to see you're thinking positively Chris :)

The first two won't happen imo. I won't talk about Ron Paul, but the reason the shuttles will be fine is because they get such a thorough checkup for damage. After 2 loses already NASA has become very careful when operating them. I think it was Mike who said "I challenge you to tell me the shuttles aren't safe". An extra 3-5 years of shuttle flights won't hurt. (I hope)

Of course, I'm always positive :D

Actually, I forgot my favorite horror-vision: A rabid (and intelligent) anti-technology, anti-spaceflight, pro-vegan and pro-animal rights girl who looks stunning on TV becomes the next American Idol and uses her fame to sucessfully champion the cause that "manned spaceflight must be stopped"... LOL.

Now, for my personal guess on what will come out of these hearings: Everybody in Congress is opposed to the current NASA budget (but everyone has a different reason). So they can't agree on any alternative, but they all agree to ax the budget.

In the end: NASA does not get the projected budget increase (because the budget is not approved), but there still is no plan and no vision. Meanwhile, Shuttle infrastructure completes dismantlement, and Lori succeeds in burning those bridges down, removing the SDLV option for all time.

Commercial development is further delayed because of lack of budget. Gap is further increased. US Astronauts fly to the ISS (which is extended to 2020) exclusively on Soyuz. And we all pray nothing goes wrong on ISS.

In the end, we got a lot of political bickering and nothing to show for it.

How's that for an optimistic vision?
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 11:59 am by ChrisSpaceCH »

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I'm beginning to think that you are just anti-HLV regardless. I hope I'm wrong. It would be instructive to me, and probably others, if you would define for us where you think the tipping point is where it makes sense to engage the HLV vs. the EELV system. As already detailed further up, we believe that it is in the area of ~300mT to LEO per year. Where is your tipping point and why?

Jon will speak for himself, but I believe up to at least 1000mT can be done comfortably with EELV Phase 1.
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Offline clongton

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I'm beginning to think that you are just anti-HLV regardless. I hope I'm wrong. It would be instructive to me, and probably others, if you would define for us where you think the tipping point is where it makes sense to engage the HLV vs. the EELV system. As already detailed further up, we believe that it is in the area of ~300mT to LEO per year. Where is your tipping point and why?

Jon will speak for himself, but I believe up to at least 1000mT can be done comfortably with EELV Phase 1.

You skipped the "why" part. Please supply the data that backs up your position. Without the data it's just an unsubstantiated opinion. We provided the data to show why we hold the position we do. Please do the same. I will not debate opinions because there is no right or wrong opinion. I will debate facts however. They are substantive while opinions are not.

In God we trust. All others bring data.
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Now, for my personal guess on what will come out of these hearings: Everybody in Congress is opposed to the current NASA budget (but everyone has a different reason). So they can't agree on any alternative, but they all agree to ax the budget.

In the end: NASA does not get the projected budget increase (because the budget is not approved), but there still is no plan and no vision. Meanwhile, Shuttle infrastructure completes dismantlement, and Lori succeeds in burning those bridges down, removing the SDLV option for all time.

Commercial development is further delayed because of lack of budget. Gap is further increased. US Astronauts fly to the ISS (which is extended to 2020) exclusively on Soyuz. And we all pray nothing goes wrong on ISS.

In the end, we got a lot of political bickering and nothing to show for it.

How's that for an optimistic vision?

That's just peachy.

Seriously though my guess is that they'll do a shuttle extension. Nelson and Gibson both said they want an HLV and suggested continuing Constellation so NASA can develop one, but that still results in job losses and time wasted on R&D. If you go for an extension you don't have job loses, you can service ISS properly and you can build a SDHLV later on. That's what I think will happen more or less.
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Online mmeijeri

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You skipped the "why" part. Please supply the data that backs up your position.

EELV Phase 1 would have a payload capacity of 40-50mT. The EELV infrastructure was originally designed for 20 (maybe even 40) launches a year for Delta and Atlas individually. And Falcon 9 is nearing operational capability.

You might not even need EELV Phase 1 for that. You would still need an EDS, and if it's ACES then EELV Phase 1 would be what rolls out.
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Offline ChrisSpaceCH

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Seriously though my guess is that they'll do a shuttle extension. Nelson and Gibson both said they want an HLV and suggested continuing Constellation so NASA can develop one, but that still results in job losses and time wasted on R&D. If you go for an extension you don't have job loses, you can service ISS properly and you can build a SDHLV later on. That's what I think will happen more or less.

That's what would happen if politicians were intelligent... ;)

Let's not forget that the guys we saw yesterday aren't the only ones who vote in the end. Even if there were a consensus amongst the "space senators" (and we're far from that, currently), there's still the rest of the Senate and the House who would need to be convinced. And most of those guys don't really care about space.

But then, I'm no American, so I may be wrong about that (I'm just extrapolating from my own experience with my country's politicians, who, I'm sure, are just as savvy and capable as US politicians... :D )

The one thing that is true is that time is running out. A decision will have to be taken, and quickly. Otherwise, we risk losing everything (as soon as the next major disaster strikes, space will be forgotten...)
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:19 pm by ChrisSpaceCH »

Offline clongton

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You skipped the "why" part. Please supply the data that backs up your position.

EELV Phase 1 would have a payload capacity of 40-50mT. The EELV infrastructure was originally designed for 20 (maybe even 40) launches a year for Delta and Atlas individually. And Falcon 9 is nearing operational capability.

You might not even need EELV Phase 1 for that. You would still need an EDS, and if it's ACES then EELV Phase 1 would be what rolls out.

You're still offering conjecture and opinions. Take the time to go off and get the dollar values; research the capabilitites of the infrastructure; what would it cost to do this or that. Plus the Phase i doesn't exist. What will it cost to create it? Are there infrastructure changes need to buuild and launch them? All that must be amortized over time. There is a lot more than this to come up with a reasoned answer; that's just the beginning. We did the research. Please do the same.

Tell me you'll get back to me with the numbers; that's an acceptable and reasoned response, but don't just shoot back with more of the same. This thread is fact-based, not an opinion poll.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:23 pm by clongton »
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Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Seriously though my guess is that they'll do a shuttle extension. Nelson and Gibson both said they want an HLV and suggested continuing Constellation so NASA can develop one, but that still results in job losses and time wasted on R&D. If you go for an extension you don't have job loses, you can service ISS properly and you can build a SDHLV later on. That's what I think will happen more or less.

That's what would happen if politicians were intelligent... ;)

I can't really argue with that one :)

Let's not forget that the guys we saw yesterday aren't the only ones who vote in the end. Even if there were a consensus amongst the "space senators" (and we're far from that, currently), there's still the rest of the Senate and the House who would need to be convinced. And most of those guys don't really care about space.

If they don't care then they'll likely vote based on numbers and considering Cxp requires a rather substantial budget increase it doesn't look good.

But then, I'm no American, so I may be wrong about that (I'm just extrapolating from my own experience with my country's politicians, who, I'm sure, are just as savvy and capable as US politicians... :D )

For the record, neither am I. Still, they (the politicians) are people too and some part of them probably realizes the importance of this issue so they'll be inclined to think about it a bit imo.

The one thing that is true is that time is running out. A decision will have to be taken, and quickly. Otherwise, we risk losing everything (as soon as the next major disaster strikes, space will be forgotten...)

Perhaps what's needed is a prudent decision and not a fast one.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:37 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline ChrisSpaceCH

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Perhaps what's needed is a prudent decision and not a fast one.

A prudent, intelligent descision taken quickly would be even better... There actually was such an option: DIRECT v3.0. Unfortunately, it should have been taken back in 2005. Now, DIRECT isn't so good anymore, and it gets worse every day.

BTW, is that a KOTOR Republic Cruiser in your profile? Looks cool!
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:38 pm by ChrisSpaceCH »

Online mmeijeri

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Tell me you'll get back to me with the numbers; that's an acceptable and reasoned response, but don't just shoot back with more of the same. This thread is fact-based, not an opinion poll.

The data is out there. Phase 1 is the phase that doesn't require major infrastructure changes or new engine development. It's well-documented in various ULA publications. ACES for EELV will cost no more than ACES for SDLV, probably less without the NASA overhead.

Do you doubt the numbers, or do you just want to spread fud?
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Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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BTW, is that a KOTOR Republic Cruiser in your profile? Looks cool!

It's "The Harbinger" from KOTOR II. Good eye :)

And I still think DIRECT is workable. I wouldn't count it out just yet.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:50 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
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Offline Bill White

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Ross also writes that below that same threshold, EELV is less expensive per kilogram delivered to the lunar surface than with EELV. Therefore this is a bean counting conclusion, not an ideological conclusion.

It's ridiculous not to compare to EELV Phase 1.

Yes. And all the spreadsheets should have been evaluated in an open and transparent fashion with everyone showing all their work.

EML architectures should be seen as ratchet opportunities

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Or better yet in an open market with fixed prices, milestone based payments and performance bonds.
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