Author Topic: LIVE: Congressional Hearings into Obama's NASA Budget FY2011 - Feb 24-25 Part 2  (Read 322731 times)

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Edwards is also talking about the lack of goals and inspiration.

Mentioned Anatoly Permanov (head of Roskosmos) made a remark that they'll raise prices after 2012.

Edwards - The commercial sector can't absorb all the risks and the tax payers will end up paying for it.

Edwards - Commercial is over budget and hasn't delivered anything yet :o (resisting the urge to facpalm)

Bolden pointed out private companies get paid for meeting milestones and since they aren't out of the game they have met all their milestones.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 04:27 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline marsavian

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A comet hit Jupiter late last year?  I thought Shoemaker-Levy happened 15 years ago, not last year.  Was there another, or is Bolden confused?

Hubble caught it best after an amateur astronomer found it.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12284.30

Offline marsavian

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Bolden claims commercial companies meeting milestones.

Offline jongoff

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

Just to let you all know that I'm not a total shill for the Obama approach, I thought this part of Bolden's testimony was kind of goofy.

~Jon

Offline CessnaDriver

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Wow.

Bolden is looking very bad on the next destination question.

Offline marsavian

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Grayson wants to know exactly where we are going next. Bolden says the Moon after a few attempts on the Flexible Path option. Grayson says Flexible Path did not involve canceling Cx, Bolden disagrees.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 03:33 pm by marsavian »

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Grayson is basically yelling at Bolden and asking where's the next destination.

Bolden says that it's the Moon and that the ultimate destination is Mars.

Grayson claims the A-com recommended continuing the Cxp (FACEPALM)

Also said that the flexible path REQUIRED constellation to continue.

Grayson claims commercial entities haven't put people in orbit and Bolden said that the NASA contractors are technically commercial entities aslo.

Grayson says the new program is "faith based"
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 03:37 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline mr_magoo

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Grayson is not only misinformed, he's smarmy.

He's saying that flexible path was only tied to Constellation.  A straight up misinformed bit of nonsense. 

Offline marsavian

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Grayson says what's wrong with extending Shuttle. Says that this commercial path is a step in the dark and faith based. Bolden says all US HSF vehicles are/were ultimately commercial.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 03:36 pm by marsavian »

Offline TexasRED

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He is wrong in that they recommended continuing CxP as is.  Everyone seems to think that Augustine recommended what they wanted to hear, but they said like 1,000 times that they were not to recommend anything, but to provide options.

However, this plan is not 100% aligned with the flex path as the Augustine laid it out either.  One key difference is that Orion was included in flexible path too, this plan cancels it.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 03:36 pm by TexasRED »

Offline marsavian

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Kosmas concerned about ISS access now after Shuttle retires. Wonders why not extend Shuttle if extending ISS, what's the cost and reasons.

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Kosmas asks about a shuttle extension.

Bolden said it's too costly.

Kosmas - How will we upgrade the infrastructure and use the money we'll receive efficiently, if we don't know what the new architecture will be?

Bolden basically said it's being discussed currently.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 03:41 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
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Offline marsavian

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Kosmas says cancellation of Cx contracts premature before Congress approval of plan.

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Kosmas says cancellation of Cx contracts premature before Congress approval of plan.

They haven't been canceled officially though. The budget is still just a proposal.
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline jongoff

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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.

Oh, I know that you guys have clearly stated your opinion in that regard.  I've just never actually believed your analysis.  Sure, if you develop an HLV, sink all the costs from it, and are only looking at marginal costs, and assume that it's impossible for EELVs to do any sort of economic reusability at their higher flight rates, and that there are no cost reductions possible other than just "learning curve" effects, then you get that result.  I don't think any of those assumptions that lead into your analysis are likely to be right. 

I'll state again that the times that HLVs will actually make economic sense are a) when there's no other way to do something, and b) when you can do it often enough that you can at least afford some sort of reusability for the HLV. 

But I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

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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.

I can.

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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".

By cislunar space I include the Moon.

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I'm beginning to think that you are just anti-HLV regardless.

No, I just think that HLVs are a means to an end, and that there are better alternatives out there for most of the ends I'm interested (exploration, commerce, and settlement within at least the earth-moon system).  I think there could be situations where heavier lift than we have could be useful (especially just the next step up to a Phase I EELV equivalance).  I just don't think that developing that capability now is in the best interests of our country.  We so much more need to find a way to wedge ourselves out of the low-demand, high-cost corner of the design space we've been stuck in for so long, and HLVs are entirely counterproductive to that goal.  When HLVs do actually make sense you'll see me supporting them.  And this plan would leave in place componens (large LOX/RP FS enginesand large high performance LOX/LH2 US engines) to allow us to turn that capability on *when we needed it*.

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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?

As I said above, either where a) you really have a component that can't be launched on commercial vehicles or lightly modified commercial vehicles, and b) where there is enough demand for those services to justify a high enough flight rate that you can justify some low level reusability from an economic standpoint (say at least 10-20 HLV flights per year).  In other words, sometime around when we're within 5 years of doing manned Mars landings (if we can't find better ways of doing EDL that fits within the 7.5m fairings or less that EELVs can be modified to fly), or if EDL does improve, possibly when we're talking about traffic models where there are hundreds of people traveling beyond LEO per year.

Why?  Because unlike you guys, I think that if you all of the sudden created solid demand for dozens of EELV class flights per year, that there are plenty of technical solutions that can get EELV and eventually small RLVs *on a completely different curve* of price vs. flight rate.  These solutions have mostly not been explored because at this low flight-rate corner of the design space there hasn't been enough economic justification for the investment yet.  Have a propellant depot or two in orbit, with demand for 300+ mT of launch capacity for year, due to demand for cislunar (and lunar surface) transportation, and within 5 years or so you'll start seeing a lot more innovation in launch.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 03:44 pm by jongoff »

Offline marsavian

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Kosmas says cancellation of Cx contracts premature before Congress approval of plan.

They haven't been canceled officially though. The budget is still just a proposal.

Kosmas stated this still provided unnecessary worker uncertainty and distress.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 03:44 pm by marsavian »

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Davis criticizes the lack of a strong commitment.

He says he's not sure if the new budget is a good or bad idea.

Davis - Will private entrepreneurs be able to meet our objectives better than Constellation?

Bolden said that Cxp is behind in developing the vehicles, said that he hopes that by 2016 they'll have commercial LEO capability (maybe more than one vehicle), 2020-30 possibly going BEO.

Davis - You must convince me the new path is better. I'm concerned and I think we should continue Constellaion.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 03:53 pm by Cog_in_the_machine »
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline marsavian

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Davis says Cx should continue until convinced of a viable alternative.

Offline KSC Engineer

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Bolden -  "We have a incredible workforce at NASA right now."    That has been my experience as well short of a few individual exceptions. 

Offline kraisee

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Bolden -  "We have a incredible workforce at NASA right now."

So why is he planning to get rid of most of them?

Ross.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 03:55 pm by kraisee »
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

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