Author Topic: LIVE: Congressional Hearings into Obama's NASA Budget FY2011 - Feb 24-25 Part 2  (Read 317978 times)

Offline Jeff Bingham

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I say AGAIN...you are not looking at the current version of that bill...those numbers are not in the current version. I would hazard a guess that you will likely see the final version posted on this website before it appears anywhere else, so I suggest folks keep their powder dry!

How do you know it's not in the current version? Have you seen it? Post it!!

Why would I post something that I know is not the final...when I'm already cautioning folks not to react to something I know is not final, because I am in a position to know (and that's all YOU need to know, hehe.)

LOL...well the Feb 9th version is even more out of date...so at least we could argue over a newer revision instead of the old one ;-)

Well, I agree that would be a lot of fun, but......
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline MP99

Quote from: marsavian link=topic=20649.msg552958#msg55295
What they all failed to grasp is that Apollo/Shuttle have motivated more STEM interest in youth and pride in older citizens than the rest of NASA put together.

Yes !!!

Martin
« Last Edit: 02/26/2010 06:07 pm by MP99 »

Offline Patchouli

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Yikes, I hadn't noticed the 25mT. In that case the intent is clearly to preserve something like Ares I.

I see no reason at all for a NASA program to develop a 25MT booster as this can be bought off the shelf.

Take your pick Delta IV-H,Atlas V phase II,and F9-H.
Two of these are actually 30MT boosters which is what NASA should choose looking at their past history of mass increases.

Offline mmeijeri

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STEM isn't for everybody. Those who have a talent for it will gravitate towards it anyway. Those whose talents lie elsewhere are more useful elsewhere.
Pro-tip: you don't have to be a jerk if someone doesn't agree with your theories

Offline jongoff

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If you want to go BEO, you need HLVs. It's either that or fuel depots, but since using fuel depots has never been done, they'll probably be conservative and go for HLVs. By they I mean the senators pushing this compromise bill.

Even this isn't correct.  There are exploration missions you can do in cislunar space (including the lunar surface) that don't require depots or HLVs.  Depots make it possible to do robust, non-HLV missions throughout cislunar space and most of the way to Mars.  HLVs *might* be needed for manned mars surface missions, and for missions beyond Mars, but that's a bit off.

~Jon

Thanks and if I understand your post correctly, even with fuel depots there might be a need for an HLV for a Mars human mission?

Might.  There are several technologies that could enable manned Mars missions without HLVs, but most of them are at low TRL right now.  They *might* pan out, but we won't know until we've tried them.  Things like MHD enhanced aerobraking/aerocapture/reentry TPS, supersonic retropropulsion for EDL, biconic lifting reentry, Solar-electric propulsion, depots, inflatable habitats, Mars surface ISRU, etc.

The good news IMO is that the current budget would put all the pieces in place for an HLV (high thrust booster engines and high thrust/high efficiency upper stage engines) in case you need that capability down the road, without requiring you to do the HLV ASAP, before you really need it. 

If you go the SDLV route, you really do need to do it now, before the Shuttle infrastructure and workforce go away.  I know I'm not going to make any friends by saying this, but that means you have the carrying cost of the HLV standing army from now until the time you actually need it.  Sure, if you have an HLV you can use it for many of the missions that didn't need HLVs, but that comes with at the opportunity cost of making it harder to raise private capital to invest in the capabilities that can drive down launch costs, by removing a large potential market.

If on the other hand, you develop large first stage and upper stage engines, you can turn on the new HLV capability closer to the time when you know if you'll actually need it, giving a window to allow new technologies and market competition for the large exploration propellant market work for a while to see if we can come up with something better.  This way you don't "lose the capability to build an HLV", but you're also not tied to it if it turns out not to be needed.  Also it gives you more time to figure out what your actual requirements for the HLV are.  Depending on the various technologies, the optimal "HLV" might only be 40-50mT, or it might be in the Ares-V size range.  You can go either way if you have the first stage engines and upper stage engines developed. 

Funnily enough this is exactly how it was done in Apollo.  The F-1 engine was actually started long before Kennedy's speech because it was pretty apparent that a large LOX/Kero engine would be useful for exploration.  They had no idea how big the vehicle would be, how many engines there would be per stage, what the mission mode or destination would be, etc.  But they picked something reasonable and got to work on it.

But, as we all know though from all the technology development experts here on NSF, the F-1 was a total failure because it wasn't developed with a firm goal, destination, and timetable in mind when it started....

~Jon

Actually, Jon, the Moon was envisioned as the first exploration goal even before Kennedy's announcement. You should really study a little history before you make posts like that.

Mark,
You mean, just like Mars, NEOs, and the Moon are all "envisioned" as exploration goals now?  The point was that people have been complaining that without a specific destination and timeline and mission model you can't do R&D successfully.  My point was that the pre-Apollo development that gave us the F-1 and other pieces we needed for Apollo were done in the very sort of way that the current technology development stuff is being proposed.  Just because there isn't an exact date and destination nailed down to three decimal places doesn't get rid of the overall guidance, and the years of studies and trades on how to do these things.

~Jon

Offline jongoff

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Quote

I say AGAIN...you are not looking at the current version of that bill...those numbers are not in the current version. I would hazard a guess that you will likely see the final version posted on this website before it appears anywhere else, so I suggest folks keep their powder dry!

How do you know it's not in the current version? Have you seen it? Post it!!

Hammer, I'd chill out a bit.  51D Mascot is in a position to know what he's talking about.  If he says those numbers aren't there anymore, I trust him.

~Jon

Offline nooneofconsequence

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Thank you for this - you are largely on the mark.
What I take out of the hearings is just this: politics is politics and this is an election year. Senators and House Representatives are gearing up to campaign. Opposing radical changes of any kind are always a nice topic to get some media attention and some votes of those who fear change. That's all what is going on.

For an actual way forward people should watch key Democrats and what they say about the plan (not just Democrats with key Florida districts...). Nelson's approach to the new plan is the closest thing that will happen, the plan will be tweaked to include a bigger chunk of the budget to go to HLV development. Is this wise? I don't know, but that is what they apparently want.
You can answer this by listening to the rationalizations. Please note that  Burt Rutan is supplying one with his view that you need to keep it active as security for sensible commercial transition - see:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=20353.msg552713#msg552713

Note he's talking doing this for DECADES. One way this might be articulated might be extend Shuttle to allow for transition to a J-120/J-130-like vehicle with potentially a commercially supplied CTV say Orion Lite where the contractor takes responsibility for the entire launch after a handover of an operational Jupiter.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Offline Cog_in_the_machine

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Thank you for this - you are largely on the mark.
What I take out of the hearings is just this: politics is politics and this is an election year. Senators and House Representatives are gearing up to campaign. Opposing radical changes of any kind are always a nice topic to get some media attention and some votes of those who fear change. That's all what is going on.

For an actual way forward people should watch key Democrats and what they say about the plan (not just Democrats with key Florida districts...). Nelson's approach to the new plan is the closest thing that will happen, the plan will be tweaked to include a bigger chunk of the budget to go to HLV development. Is this wise? I don't know, but that is what they apparently want.
You can answer this by listening to the rationalizations. Please note that  Burt Rutan is supplying one with his view that you need to keep it active as security for sensible commercial transition - see:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=20353.msg552713#msg552713

Note he's talking doing this for DECADES. One way this might be articulated might be extend Shuttle to allow for transition to a J-120/J-130-like vehicle with potentially a commercially supplied CTV say Orion Lite where the contractor takes responsibility for the entire launch after a handover of an operational Jupiter.


Something else interesting that Burt said - http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=20653.msg552976#msg552976
^^ Warning! Contains opinions. ^^ 

Offline Robotbeat

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...What the heck is the point of this? We already have TWO vehicles which can put more than 25 tons in LEO and 10 tons in GTO (okay, fine, the Atlas V Heavy variant hasn't flown yet, but so what? The Delta IV Heavy has.).

I say AGAIN...you are not looking at the current version of that bill...those numbers are not in the current version. I would hazard a guess that you will likely see the final version posted on this website before it appears anywhere else, so I suggest folks keep their powder dry!
Fair enough. I am happy with Obama's proposed budget, but I'd also be happy with one that includes a little for a DIRECT-like vehicle, which although I don't think has as much cost-reduction capability as the current budget, would certainly save a lot of jobs (while not be a practically pointless jobs program like Ares-I). But we really need both those tech demos and the commercial crew, very badly, if we want to keep doing this whole exploration thing for more than a handful of missions to the Moon, much more than we need an HLV in my book.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline mars.is.wet

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Yeah, but this is what you get when you let Congress have another bite at the funding apple.

Everyone who has asked for a change from Cx has gotten (and will get) exactly that.  The prior process at least had input from a space architect type (whatever you may think of him). 

By opening it up and not proposing a specific and defensible future path and how every dollar will get spent (and then some), we have all opened ourselves up to a NASA designed by committee.



Yikes, I hadn't noticed the 25mT. In that case the intent is clearly to preserve something like Ares I.

I see no reason at all for a NASA program to develop a 25MT booster as this can be bought off the shelf.

Take your pick Delta IV-H,Atlas V phase II,and F9-H.
Two of these are actually 30MT boosters which is what NASA should choose looking at their past history of mass increases.


Offline HammerD

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Is there any video available of Holdren's testimony yesterday and/or the day before? I'd really really love to see that.

Offline nooneofconsequence

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3) It what usiverse do you live? NASA funding is proposed to increase by $6billion over the next 5 years.

Analyst

From my experience the budget and public perception game is played at multiple levels.  President cancels Cx, increases the budget, which Congress then cuts.  Not saying it WILL happen or that it is preordained, but it wouldn't surprise me ... especially next year (when the President needs additional cuts to meet his stated 50% deficit reduction goal).

There is also raising the bar so you can say you lowered it further.  Again, no way to know if this is happening without knowing their motives, which I am not clued into.

Every administration plays this 'budgetary chicken'.

That's why in the end lots of loser rants like Vitter's are stupid and pointless.

The best strategy is to take the oratorical ball of the administration and run with it in the direction that suits your state's interests best.

That is *exactly* what winners such as Nelson are doing. Is anyone here surprised?
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Offline nooneofconsequence

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The long pole will be the spacecraft and not the launch vehicle. 

Agree.  I should have said HR Atlas V crew launch solution ... Orion is most likely the critical path.


Orion is dead.
Just too quick on the draw this morning. I meant "generic unnamed crew launch capability to be launched on a future unnmamed human rated launcher".  My apologies for the imprecision.


Likely candidate is though commercial "Orion lite" derivative.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Offline tminus9

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Too much grandstanding (all around) in the hearings, as usual for Congress. I heard a lot of quoting JFK without suggesting that we spend 4% of the budget as was done at the peak of Apollo.

The 4% quote is meaningless. The Federal budget is so many times larger as a percentage of GDP now than it was then that number has no meaning. The pie is so much bigger now than it once was that money is not really the issue, it is one's vision of the future that matters.

OK, then here is a chart from the Augustine Commission report based on OMB data of the NASA budget as a percent of GDP and of the total budget. Instead of dropping from 4% of the budget to 0.5%, it goes from 0.8% of the GDP to 0.1%. Same thing.

Offline marsavian

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Here's a question. Is there a danger that a political fightback against the FY2011 could result in months and months of hearings etc, which might leave us with a really bad situation of shuttle ending, CxP ending and the future plan bogged down with the lawmakers?

1. No, absent a miracle STS ends this year or early next year (STS-135).

2. No, Cx is definitely ending, the PoR has practically no supporters any more from either side as it is over budget and off schedule.

3. The new plan faces a lot of criticism for the sake of criticism. It's not like anyone provides a viable alternative. The only really viable changes I have heard of was the suggestion by Nelson to shift some line-item funds to HLV development.

4. That tells me, if anything, the new budget will be modified. But one thing is clear, Ares I is dead, it doesn't have support. Orion is dead too, it's just way to expensive. And Exploration, as odd as this sounds, was just made up of Ares I / Orion and a few advanced capabilies programs noone is talking about anyway (Human research program etc.).

5. Senators and House Representatives won't tell NASA to build a DIRECT style rocket. They haven't even asked about the possibility of that, as they are non-experts and NASA could ask them to back up their claim that this would work, as they have their own studies that show it won't work within the budget.


1. 50-50 it gets an extension of some sort for workforce and ISS reasons.

2. Congress doesn't care if it's over budget or over schedule as long as it keeps coming every year in their districts and is eventually finished to do flagship missions. It has plenty of supporters in Congress even if none in the Administration. The passion and maybe the ultimate power in this argument lies in Congress ;).

3. No, the abandonment of structured governmental led exploration with already known to work technologies is a risky strategy if you have any interest in proven BEO exploration ever being restarted and extended.

4.  No, BEO Orion and a government rocket will be the centerpiece of any modification. Funds will be found even if they come out of the rest of the budget. Gloves are off now and no punches will be pulled.

5. You have no idea of Space History or how Congress works, they told Griffin and Horowitz exactly that after hearing their advice in Congressional hearings, to go do a SDLV and Ares I was the result. Nelson already has broached the subject more than once. The process is simple, you just pick your 'experts' like the Administration did with Augustine or Congress did with Griffin/Horowitz and they tell you what you want to hear ;).
« Last Edit: 02/26/2010 08:45 pm by marsavian »

Offline nooneofconsequence

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Well the compromise bill pushes for HLV development and if it passes we might get one, whether it's needed or not.

That's what I'm worried about, but that's because I believe a "large" HLV would be harmful in the near term. And if we want early spaceflight beyond LEO we need a spacecraft, not a launch vehicle. The remarks by the commission members indicate that their real desire is at least to preserve the shuttle workforce for a while and perhaps to keep NASA in the launch business.
Mjartin,
Absolutely - we end up with a loser vehicle to nowhere that eats budget and goes nowhere.

Then everyone laments the stupidity, while people try to gradually induce sensibility while we go nowhere and Congress looks the other way while the piggies feed nicely. As they did past few years. Gotta feed the piggies. :D
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Offline marsavian

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NYT notices an important point, it's not just Space District Representatives who are concerned.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/26/science/space/26nasa.html?ref=science

Offline psloss

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Offline Namechange User

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...What the heck is the point of this? We already have TWO vehicles which can put more than 25 tons in LEO and 10 tons in GTO (okay, fine, the Atlas V Heavy variant hasn't flown yet, but so what? The Delta IV Heavy has.).

I say AGAIN...you are not looking at the current version of that bill...those numbers are not in the current version. I would hazard a guess that you will likely see the final version posted on this website before it appears anywhere else, so I suggest folks keep their powder dry!
Fair enough. I am happy with Obama's proposed budget, but I'd also be happy with one that includes a little for a DIRECT-like vehicle, which although I don't think has as much cost-reduction capability as the current budget, would certainly save a lot of jobs (while not be a practically pointless jobs program like Ares-I). But we really need both those tech demos and the commercial crew, very badly, if we want to keep doing this whole exploration thing for more than a handful of missions to the Moon, much more than we need an HLV in my book.

Someone please convince me why commercial crew is going to be the savior that everyone thinks and hopes. 

It WILL create an aerospace bubble, which means after NASA funds most of the development, it will not only then buy the "services" (plus any additional overhead they create by requirements that are not even going to be released for another 10 months, which will be charged back to the government) but also have to subsidize the companies to keep them in business because the market cannot support all these potential vehicles by itself.

Trust me folks, that is the reality.  It could end up costing quite the chunk of change....but no one really knows yet and that is just as much a part of the problem as anything else. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline marsavian

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Too much grandstanding (all around) in the hearings, as usual for Congress. I heard a lot of quoting JFK without suggesting that we spend 4% of the budget as was done at the peak of Apollo.

The 4% quote is meaningless. The Federal budget is so many times larger as a percentage of GDP now than it was then that number has no meaning. The pie is so much bigger now than it once was that money is not really the issue, it is one's vision of the future that matters.

OK, then here is a chart from the Augustine Commission report based on OMB data of the NASA budget as a percent of GDP and of the total budget. Instead of dropping from 4% of the budget to 0.5%, it goes from 0.8% of the GDP to 0.1%. Same thing.

US GDP has gone up four times in real terms since then

http://www.data360.org/dsg.aspx?Data_Set_Group_Id=230

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