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General Discussion => Space Policy Discussion => Topic started by: renclod on 10/11/2010 10:00 pm

Title: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: renclod on 10/11/2010 10:00 pm
What are the expectations ?

Where does NASA's budget fits in the big picture ?

What elements from CxP are going to survive - and to whom's perdition ?

Who's who in appropriations ?

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 10/12/2010 03:15 am
Background reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lame_duck_session_%28United_States%29
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jorge on 10/12/2010 04:18 am
What are the expectations ?

The Senate appropriations bill was already drafted back in July, following the lead of the authorizers, and I would expect the final bill to be similar.

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.111s3636

Quote
Where does NASA's budget fits in the big picture ?

The Appropriations committee is divided into 13 subcommittees; NASA falls within "Commerce, Justice, Science, and related agencies."

Quote
What elements from CxP are going to survive?

Orion, under the name "Multipurpose Crew Vehicle".

Quote
Who's who in appropriations ?

Obey and Inouye are the committee chairmen in the House and Senate, respectively. Lewis and Cochran are the ranking minority members.

Mollohan and Mikulski chair the CJS subcommittees, and Wolf and Shelby are the ranking members.

The key NASA-interested members are Culberson in the House, and Mikulski, Shelby, and Hutchison in the Senate.

http://appropriations.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84&Itemid=17
http://appropriations.senate.gov/sc-commerce.cfm
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 10/12/2010 12:19 pm
Where does NASA's budget fits in the big picture ?
The current Congress reconvenes on November 15.  FY 11 appropriations are currently funded through December 3 by a continuing resolution.

First there's the election on November 2, and currently an anticipation that power in the House and/or Senate could change hands from the Democrats to the Republicans.  That has no literal/legal bearing on the current Congress, but if there's a large swing, that might have some influence.

First and foremost, we'll have to wait to see the outcome of the election.

Congress is expected to break for Thanksgiving week.  News reports indicate that they will have only the week of the 15th and the week of the 29th to "work" on legislation prior to the expiration of the current CR.

Besides appropriations for the current fiscal year, the Bush tax cuts are expiring (end of December), as are unemployment benefits (end of November, before the CR), to name a couple of other big things legislators will be discussing.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 10/12/2010 05:28 pm
First there's the election on November 2, and currently an anticipation that power in the House and/or Senate could change hands from the Democrats to the Republicans.  That has no literal/legal bearing on the current Congress, but if there's a large swing, that might have some influence.
Another example of how these things are complicated: one election that could have some direct bearing on the lame duck session is the one to fill the seat vacated by Roland Burris in Illinois.  The winner of the special election to finish the current term would be seated "immediately" (more or less) and might change the outcome of cloture votes in the Senate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_election_in_Illinois,_2010

There are similar special elections for Senate seats in Delaware, Colorado, and West Virginia.  (Although in the latter case, it wasn't as clear whether the winner would take the seat in the lame duck session.)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 10/12/2010 09:50 pm
Orion, under the name "Multipurpose Crew Vehicle".

In addition, a lot of the smaller CxP programs (e.g. LER) may survive under the "Technology Development" mantle. Also, RSRM-V, J-2X, and a lot of the aero and structural work from Ares V may continue, pending the HLV decision...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/12/2010 10:01 pm
I've just written an article rather related to all of this:

NASA faces tough decisions to plan STS-135 ahead of funding appropriation:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/10/nasa-decisions-plan-sts-135-ahead-funding-appropriation
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 10/12/2010 10:18 pm
I've just written an article rather related to all of this:

NASA faces tough decisions to plan STS-135 ahead of funding appropriation:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/10/nasa-decisions-plan-sts-135-ahead-funding-appropriation
Good summary Chris.

This line is so poignant to the dilema for ISS:

“There is a real need by ISS to fly that flight, especially if the commercial programs end up slipping. Year 2012 becomes a very difficult year for ISS from a logistics standpoint to try and support all six crew and do real science and research onboard."

Even with commercial cargo flying on schedule, ISS faces problems as it approaches 'station complete'. I hope people keep this in mind when they vilify or atatck the ISS & the spending on it. It is a research station with an incomplete plan of support.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/13/2010 09:13 pm
Thanks Robert!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 10/14/2010 02:15 pm
http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/article_3fa83753-652c-5ca9-b18a-7de5d768101f.html

Even as President Barack Obama signed off Monday on plans to steer the nation's space program toward Mars, Senate staffers on Capitol Hill reported growing speculation that the White House was preparing to replace NASA administrator Charles Bolden after the midterm congressional elections. Names of some potential successors were already circulating.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 10/14/2010 02:20 pm
Which has something to do with that clause about the Administrator's civilian status.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: OpsAnalyst on 10/15/2010 02:39 pm
I've just written an article rather related to all of this:

NASA faces tough decisions to plan STS-135 ahead of funding appropriation:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/10/nasa-decisions-plan-sts-135-ahead-funding-appropriation

Great article, Chris.  NASA is operating "at risk", fiscally speaking, w.r.t STS-135.  But no choice.  You captured the issues well.

My view about Approps is a little different.  I don't think the elections will matter, except that if the Repubs take the House there will be more pushback on spending across the board, to include the budget upper afforded to NASA in FY11.  In any case, two major issues loom: (a) There is not enough money in the existing budget to meet the guidelines set out in S.3792 (now the "NASA Authorization Act of 2010"), and (b) there is likely to be a cut in discretionary expenditures before the end of fiscal 2011, meaning that the already-insufficient budget, even if it survives Approps, may be cut anyway.

With regard to HSF, my predictions under those circumstances are:

1) STS 135 will receive funding
2) Between HLV, MPCV, and Commercial, we'll have to "pick two out of three" - and then the fight will be on -
3) The Administration is unlikely to yield on Commercial, Shelby & Nelson behind the scenes will push for HLV because of (a) money to MSFC and (b) workforce transition, therefore
4) MPCV is the loser.

With regard to the HSF centers, in this scenario JSC will be the big loser once the dust settles - so we might see a revival of the "keep the shuttle flying" handwaving from Hutchison to try to force MPCV  back in - and in the worst possible scenario for the agency as a whole, that might just work  - because it wlil hasten the train wreck and repeat the history of insufficient funding to excute programs.

On the other hand, it could retain capability long enough to actually transfer it to commercial and think through all this again,  which could be good thing.

Right.


All that said - my crystal ball has pretty much shattered this year - what the heck do I know?

We need a different approach...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/15/2010 03:00 pm
Thanks OpsAnalyst *tips hat* :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 10/15/2010 03:06 pm

With regard to HSF, my predictions under those circumstances are:

1) STS 135 will receive funding
2) Between HLV, MPCV, and Commercial, we'll have to "pick two out of three" - and then the fight will be on -
3) The Administration is unlikely to yield on Commercial, Shelby & Nelson behind the scenes will push for HLV because of (a) money to MSFC and (b) workforce transition, therefore
4) MPCV is the loser.

With regard to the HSF centers, in this scenario JSC will be the big loser once the dust settles - so we might see a revival of the "keep the shuttle flying" handwaving from Hutchison to try to force MPCV  back in - and in the worst possible scenario for the agency as a whole, that might just work  - because it wlil hasten the train wreck and repeat the history of insufficient funding to excute programs.

On the other hand, it could retain capability long enough to actually transfer it to commercial and think through all this again,  which could be good thing.


Scary enough to be plausible.
I certainly hope it doesn't come down to what you suggest.

I'm seeing some disturbing signs in the enconomy, especially from the US, and I for one can easily see where you're coming from.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 10/21/2010 04:07 am
Great article, Chris.  NASA is operating "at risk", fiscally speaking, w.r.t STS-135.  But no choice.  You captured the issues well.

My view about Approps is a little different.  I don't think the elections will matter, except that if the Repubs take the House there will be more pushback on spending across the board, to include the budget upper afforded to NASA in FY11.  In any case, two major issues loom: (a) There is not enough money in the existing budget to meet the guidelines set out in S.3792 (now the "NASA Authorization Act of 2010"), and (b) there is likely to be a cut in discretionary expenditures before the end of fiscal 2011, meaning that the already-insufficient budget, even if it survives Approps, may be cut anyway.

With regard to HSF, my predictions under those circumstances are:

1) STS 135 will receive funding
2) Between HLV, MPCV, and Commercial, we'll have to "pick two out of three" - and then the fight will be on -
3) The Administration is unlikely to yield on Commercial, Shelby & Nelson behind the scenes will push for HLV because of (a) money to MSFC and (b) workforce transition, therefore
4) MPCV is the loser.

With regard to the HSF centers, in this scenario JSC will be the big loser once the dust settles - so we might see a revival of the "keep the shuttle flying" handwaving from Hutchison to try to force MPCV  back in - and in the worst possible scenario for the agency as a whole, that might just work  - because it wlil hasten the train wreck and repeat the history of insufficient funding to excute programs.

On the other hand, it could retain capability long enough to actually transfer it to commercial and think through all this again,  which could be good thing.

Right.


All that said - my crystal ball has pretty much shattered this year - what the heck do I know?

We need a different approach...

A masterful analysis and a scary set of conclusions. History seems to indicate that your worst case scenario is the most likely and that your closing comment is understated.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 10/21/2010 01:29 pm
Coming back to this thread:

Jorge:  Thanks for the summary up there.

Chris:  That's what reporting should be!  Do you think you could contribute some time to the WaPo and the WSJ?  They could use the help.

From the article: "...the ISS is going to face a very difficult post-Shuttle 2012."

The solution to this problem, especially since commercial schedules might very well slip, is as simple as slapping the palm to the forehed.

Authorize several more shuttle flights.  Cover the gap.  Keep the capability until the last possible moment.  The only, only, only problem is budgetary.  If OV's opinion on costs is largely correct, it seems doable. 

If OpsAnalyst is right, and MPCV is the loser, there is still plain vanilla simgle purpose BEO Orion, right?  Else we have an LV with nothing on top.

If we can retain capability, then I think he is right; it could be transferred to commercial, "which could be good thing".
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 10/22/2010 03:31 am
Bolden's recent address to staff

http://blog.al.com/space-news/2010/10/nasas_best_days_are_ahead_admi.html
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: madscientist197 on 10/22/2010 10:29 am
Well that was totally non-informative. I have to say, I am tired of the whole "our best days are ahead" line. Saying this over and over again doesn't make it true!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 10/26/2010 09:10 am
http://www.neontommy.com/news/2010/10/how-republican-take-over-in-midterm-elections-could-affect-nasa
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Drkskywxlt on 10/27/2010 03:38 pm
http://www.neontommy.com/news/2010/10/how-republican-take-over-in-midterm-elections-could-affect-nasa
Republicans are promising a $100B discretionary spending cut by January if they take over.  That's a 21% across the board cut.  If that's applied to NASA, you're looking at a $4B cut!  So long to all the new toys for HSF and probably several robotic planetary/astronomy/Earth science missions. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: OpsAnalyst on 10/27/2010 04:02 pm
http://www.neontommy.com/news/2010/10/how-republican-take-over-in-midterm-elections-could-affect-nasa

Humph.  While I'm all for analysis, that is unnecessarily fine-grained tracking at this point.  The issues are pretty simple. 

(1) When the Republicans take the House, will the Dems be able to get their act together to pass an omnibus spending bill before the new Congress is seated? 
(1a) If so, how much time is going to be spent on NASA Approps when the overarching political goal is to get the bill through?  I mean, really?  The biggest problems are that the Auth bill - which still takes my breath away for the sheer mastery of how that game was played - kudos to 51D_Mascot (again, but really can't say it enough) - still leaves more on the plate that the funding permits.  IMHO this issue is far more important than any other (see my earlier post).  It could be used as the justification for making another run at commercial in the House.  And doubtless we'll see some more language trying to lock in the remnants of CxP.  BUT - when push comes to shove - particularly if the WH and Congress are trying to get a omnibus bill passed, NASA is small potatoes/pretty much meaningless vis-a-vis the entire political/budgetary landscape.

(2) The Dems don't get their act together to get an Omnibus bill passed - likely, unfortunately - this is when it gets particularly deadly, and interesting.  The Repubs agenda is going to be first, second and third to derail the Dems so am expecting them to force a spending bill into conference committee, which will have the consequence of holding spending at FY 2010 levels IF they don't block a CR - and right now they're threatening to.  We could see a repeat of the bad old days of the Clinton Presidency when the gov't was "held hostage" (hopefully without the added entertainment of a intern hanging around the Oval Office this time around.)  The consequences for NASA HSF in the near term will be driven by whether STS 135 receives funding.  Beyond that the marks that have been flowed down basically have alot of the institutional orgs out of money by April 2011 - and all bets are off then.

(3) One of the measures of leadership within NASA at the line org level is how forward thinking execs are. How prepared are they?  What's the vision?  Is there one?  And there are some.  Those plans need to be in place now.  It's not like they haven't known for 8 months that all was in chaos.

To me - that's going to be at least as intersting as whatever Congress does.  But then again - I'm biased.  :)

4) Remember - there is a cut in discretionary coming, no matter what happens with NASA Approps.


And finally - since it's happened a couple of times on this forum and once or twice in the technical forums - "OpsAnalyst" ain't a he.  Don't get me wrong.  I love men.  I'm just not one.  :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 10/27/2010 04:31 pm
Quote
I'm just not one.

So uhhh....does that mean you throw like a girl? 

Whooops!  Gotta go!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 10/27/2010 05:53 pm
http://www.neontommy.com/news/2010/10/how-republican-take-over-in-midterm-elections-could-affect-nasa
Republicans are promising a $100B discretionary spending cut by January if they take over.  That's a 21% across the board cut.  If that's applied to NASA, you're looking at a $4B cut!  So long to all the new toys for HSF and probably several robotic planetary/astronomy/Earth science missions. 

I would take this promise to cut non-defense discretionary spending with a grain of salt. Obama has also promised to cut non-defense discretionary spending in the last few months. But that was also just a promise.  Let's see what actually happens.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: GClark on 10/27/2010 06:00 pm
IIRC, the specific proposal is to immediately reduce all funding to the 2008 top-line amounts.

There's your point of departure.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/27/2010 06:18 pm
Drastic spending cuts before the recession is over could be really bad for the economy as a whole, but I have confidence that Republicans are more talk than walk (just like basically all politicians), and so will continue to keep spending very near current levels. NASA is probably safe.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kraisee on 10/27/2010 06:24 pm
The Republicans aren't going to run the table over the next two years.   Assuming they do take over the House (likely), the Senate still seems very likely to stay Democrat, and the Oval Office certainly will.

Sadly, the reality is that in such a situation *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.

We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

I predict two full years of CR's.   Anyone want to bet against me?

Ross.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Pheogh on 10/27/2010 06:25 pm
The Republicans aren't going to run the table over the next two years.   Assuming they do take over the House (likely), the Senate still seems very likely to stay Democrat, and the Oval Office certainly will.

Sadly, the reality is that *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.   We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

Ross.

Does that include appropriations? We have a bill, or authorization we just need the money now correct?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/27/2010 06:28 pm
The Republicans aren't going to run the table over the next two years.   Assuming they do take over the House (likely), the Senate still seems very likely to stay Democrat, and the Oval Office certainly will.

Sadly, the reality is that in such a situation *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.

We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

I predict two full years of CR's.   Anyone want to bet against me?

Ross.
Sounds about right. Unless something else drastic happens. NASA could use a string of very large meteors right now.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kraisee on 10/27/2010 06:30 pm
Pheogh,
House Appropriations, as long as it occurs *this calendar year*, in the lame-duck session, can still choose to provide budget in order to change to SLS/Commercial/R&D for FY11.   But that's really all they have time for.

Senate has approved both Auth. and Approp. language already.   House has Authorized already.   We're just waiting for the fourth domino to fall now.

There really is no chance of a re-written bill being passed through all four quadrants at this late stage -- that's pure fantasy.   So the only real remaining options are:

1) House Appropriations agrees to existing Senate/House Authorizations & Senate Appropriations language, and it gets approved.

2) They don't, and we end up on a CR through at least most of next year.   In that case CxP continues, there is no funding for Commercial, Orion gets strangled and there is no new R&D money.   *Everyone* loses.

Given those two very stark choices, the House Appropriators would be fools to screw this up.

Of course, its a raging debate as to just how many fools there are in government these days, so I figure its a total crap-shoot.  ::)

Ross.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 10/27/2010 06:41 pm
The Republicans aren't going to run the table over the next two years.   Assuming they do take over the House (likely), the Senate still seems very likely to stay Democrat, and the Oval Office certainly will.

Sadly, the reality is that in such a situation *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.

We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

I predict two full years of CR's.   Anyone want to bet against me?

Ross.

I will bet against you. Objecting to everything when you control the House would work against the Republicans. Being the opposition is very different from being in the majority. When you are in the majority, there is even more pressure to get things done. Having additionnal checks and balances for government is a good thing.  Both Bush and Clinton had to deal with similar situations. All of this has happenned before...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 10/27/2010 06:45 pm
Senate has approved both Auth. and Approp. language already.   House has Authorized already.   We're just waiting for the fourth domino to fall now.

There really is no chance of a re-written bill being passed through all four quadrants at this late stage -- that's pure fantasy.   So the only real remaining options are:

1) House Appropriations agrees to existing Senate/House Authorizations & Senate Appropriations language, and it gets approved.

2) They don't, and we end up on a CR through at least most of next year.
Little got to either floor on the appropriations side and CJS wasn't one of the two bills on the House side (nothing in the Senate):
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app11.html

The options for the lame-duck session are an omnibus appropriations bill or a second CR that punts to the new Congress.  Neither one is likely to go through the appropriations committees in a formal manner; however, it sounds like negotiations have started.  (Although at this stage, I think the election takes priority.)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 10/27/2010 06:47 pm
{snip}

Sadly, the reality is that in such a situation *NOTHING AT ALL* is going to get "done" over the next two years.

We're only going to have a complete stale-mate with both houses of Congress in complete opposition to each other and virtually no bills will get approval across that political divide.

I predict two full years of CR's.   Anyone want to bet against me?

When the electorate is worried about jobs causing unemployment is going to be very unpopular.  Coach both the trade unions and the company spokesmen in how to blame the politicians for the lay-offs in the aerospace industry.  Every special interest group will be lobbying Congress so some budget will get passed.

If there is a really big political log jam try reducing NASA's entire budget to a single line item.  Money to be spent by the Administrator in accordance with the Authorisation Bill.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 10/27/2010 06:56 pm
Pheogh,
House Appropriations, as long as it occurs *this calendar year*, in the lame-duck session, can still choose to provide budget in order to change to SLS/Commercial/R&D for FY11.   But that's really all they have time for.

Senate has approved both Auth. and Approp. language already.   House has Authorized already.   We're just waiting for the fourth domino to fall now.

There really is no chance of a re-written bill being passed through all four quadrants at this late stage -- that's pure fantasy.   So the only real remaining options are:

1) House Appropriations agrees to existing Senate/House Authorizations & Senate Appropriations language, and it gets approved.

2) They don't, and we end up on a CR through at least most of next year.   In that case CxP continues, there is no funding for Commercial, Orion gets strangled and there is no new R&D money.   *Everyone* loses.

Given those two very stark choices, the House Appropriators would be fools to screw this up.

Of course, its a raging debate as to just how many fools there are in government these days, so I figure its a total crap-shoot.  ::)

Ross.

That's not actually true. A continuing resolution doesn't have to be clean. In other words, you could modify the next continuing resolution in order to provide that NASA spending must be done in accordance with the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. However, spending would likely be capped at 2010 levels (although even that is not certain as amounts can also be modified in a CR). The reason this wasn't done before the election is because there was no time for anything but a clean continuing resolution.   
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 10/27/2010 07:08 pm
Pheogh,
House Appropriations, as long as it occurs *this calendar year*, in the lame-duck session, can still choose to provide budget in order to change to SLS/Commercial/R&D for FY11.   But that's really all they have time for.

Senate has approved both Auth. and Approp. language already.   House has Authorized already.   We're just waiting for the fourth domino to fall now.

There really is no chance of a re-written bill being passed through all four quadrants at this late stage -- that's pure fantasy.   So the only real remaining options are:

1) House Appropriations agrees to existing Senate/House Authorizations & Senate Appropriations language, and it gets approved.

2) They don't, and we end up on a CR through at least most of next year.   In that case CxP continues, there is no funding for Commercial, Orion gets strangled and there is no new R&D money.   *Everyone* loses.

Given those two very stark choices, the House Appropriators would be fools to screw this up.

Of course, its a raging debate as to just how many fools there are in government these days, so I figure its a total crap-shoot.  ::)

Ross.

Just a clarification. The Senate has not adopted any NASA-related appropriations. The Senate Appropriations committee REPORTED out a CJS bill (S. 3636; Report No. S. Rept. 111-229), which had ncluded NASA numbers fairly closely tracking the eventually-enacted Authorization levels, but the Senate did not take that reported bill up before recessing for the elections. In the meantime, the CR is of course providing funding at 2010 enacted levels until December 3rd. There is currently an effort to "pre-conference" an Omnibus appropriations bill for consideration in the lame-duck session, which would wrap all twelve of the as-yet-unpassed appropriations bills into a single package. That is essentially a closed negotiations process within and among the staff and Members of the House and Senate appropriations committees, so no info available on how that is proceeding. Generally, it is considered a long shot that they will be able to reach agreement and get an Omnibus bill passed by both Houses during the lame-duck session, but that, too, is unKNOWable at the moment. Failing that, the option will be another CR to replace the current CR. The questions will be the funding levels used as the benchmark, the degree to which account allocations will be modified within and among Agency accounts, the degree to which any directive language will--or will not--be included, and the effective period of the CR. It could be another short CR, covering appropriations into the next Congress, allowing for yet another attempt at an Omnibus or individual appropriations bills to be considered for the remainder of FY 2011, or it could be a full-year CR. A huge amount of uncertainty on what the numbers and terms or conditions for expenditure or use will be, not only in NASA, but across most of the government. Not a pretty picture, and a VERY dynamic situation. Meantime, remember that only a small portion of the Authorization bill actually deals with authorization of appropriations. The vast majority is "policy"-related, and where it says "shall," that is the direction that the authorizing Committees (at least the in the Senate, but perhaps debatable in the House, given the letter from the House Science Committee leadership to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership a couple of weeks ago) believe must be followed to the maximum extent possible  with the resources available to the Agency. That's when the focus will be on interpretations, legal primacy, intent, etc., etc....and still MORE discussion. Stay tuned!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 10/27/2010 07:11 pm
Regarding Congress opting for the CR due to running out of time before the last adjournment, they're not going to have much time before the current CR runs out.  Last I read, the plan is to take the whole Thanksgiving week off, which would leave two work weeks or thereabouts.

(And regarding 51D Mascot's post -- thanks for the status update.)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 10/27/2010 09:04 pm
Just a clarification. The Senate has not adopted any NASA-related appropriations. The Senate Appropriations committee REPORTED out a CJS bill (S. 3636; Report No. S. Rept. 111-229), which had ncluded NASA numbers fairly closely tracking the eventually-enacted Authorization levels, but the Senate did not take that reported bill up before recessing for the elections. In the meantime, the CR is of course providing funding at 2010 enacted levels until December 3rd. There is currently an effort to "pre-conference" an Omnibus appropriations bill for consideration in the lame-duck session, which would wrap all twelve of the as-yet-unpassed appropriations bills into a single package. That is essentially a closed negotiations process within and among the staff and Members of the House and Senate appropriations committees, so no info available on how that is proceeding. Generally, it is considered a long shot that they will be able to reach agreement and get an Omnibus bill passed by both Houses during the lame-duck session, but that, too, is unKNOWable at the moment. Failing that, the option will be another CR to replace the current CR. The questions will be the funding levels used as the benchmark, the degree to which account allocations will be modified within and among Agency accounts, the degree to which any directive language will--or will not--be included, and the effective period of the CR. It could be another short CR, covering appropriations into the next Congress, allowing for yet another attempt at an Omnibus or individual appropriations bills to be considered for the remainder of FY 2011, or it could be a full-year CR. A huge amount of uncertainty on what the numbers and terms or conditions for expenditure or use will be, not only in NASA, but across most of the government. Not a pretty picture, and a VERY dynamic situation. Meantime, remember that only a small portion of the Authorization bill actually deals with authorization of appropriations. The vast majority is "policy"-related, and where it says "shall," that is the direction that the authorizing Committees (at least the in the Senate, but perhaps debatable in the House, given the letter from the House Science Committee leadership to the House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership a couple of weeks ago) believe must be followed to the maximum extent possible  with the resources available to the Agency. That's when the focus will be on interpretations, legal primacy, intent, etc., etc....and still MORE discussion. Stay tuned!

Thanks for the update. My understanding is that the language in the 2010 Appropriation bill still stands. This means NASA cannot currently cancel Constellation. Commercial crew can also not start until the appropriation issue is resolved since it was not funded in FY 2010 (CCDev-1 was funded as part of the stimilus bill). Those two issues are paralysed until they are fixed during the appropriation process (CR or appropriation bill). Do you agree?

However, I am not sure that I understand the logic behind the Shuttle STS-135 flight having to wait for an appropriation bill (other than the fact that it provides certainty that the last mission will be funded).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: madscientist197 on 10/28/2010 11:16 am
And finally - since it's happened a couple of times on this forum and once or twice in the technical forums - "OpsAnalyst" ain't a he.  Don't get me wrong.  I love men.  I'm just not one.  :)

Cool.

While it's pretty hard to tell from usernames, space fora don't exactly appear to be gender balanced. I'm pretty sure most of us appreciate getting input from the full spectrum of society (actually, maybe this calls for a poll -- I am really quite curious how many females there are on this forum. It's not exactly an obvious thing over the internet.)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 10/28/2010 12:03 pm
And finally - since it's happened a couple of times on this forum and once or twice in the technical forums - "OpsAnalyst" ain't a he.  Don't get me wrong.  I love men.  I'm just not one.  :)

Cool.

While it's pretty hard to tell from usernames, space fora don't exactly appear to be gender balanced. I'm pretty sure most of us appreciate getting input from the full spectrum of society (actually, maybe this calls for a poll -- I am really quite curious how many females there are on this forum. It's not exactly an obvious thing over the internet.)

The ratio is 20.6:1 for those that bother filling in their personal details.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=stats
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 11/03/2010 10:41 am
Another lame duck session preview/overview, with small election factors:
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/127385-senate-democrats-will-have-smaller-majority-in-lame-duck-sesssion
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 11/03/2010 12:56 pm
The ratio is 20.6:1 for those that bother filling in their personal details.

No one way Mars missions for me.  Thanks for askin'.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 11/04/2010 07:05 pm
From the Huntsville Times:
http://blog.al.com/space-news/2010/11/nasa_could_be_in_budget_limbo.html

The prediction in there:
Quote
"Respecting the will of the country" that government should move another direction, Cramer said, the outgoing House Democrat leadership will likely OK a continuing resolution to keep funding at 2010 levels.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 11/10/2010 06:26 pm
"WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announces the following full committee hearing titled Transition and Implementation: The Nasa Authorization Act of 2010."

Scheduled for next Thursday (18 November) at 10 am Eastern.

Link (http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a)

This is the authorizing committee, but the timing is probably relevant to whatever appropriations comes out of the lame-duck session.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 11/10/2010 09:19 pm
What's the model in the picture?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Comga on 11/11/2010 03:52 am
What's the model in the picture?

It's some model of the Zvezda FBG from the Russian segment of the ISS!  On the website for Hearings before the US Senate!  What does that say?

Sorry for the low resolution image and the imperfect position match.  It's the best I could find.  With Google SketchUp or the STK model of the ISS, it would be easy to pose the model in the matching condition, with matching lighting and all.  Someone else can try that.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 11/11/2010 07:30 am
What's the model in the picture?

It's some model of the Zvezda FBG from the Russian segment of the ISS!  On the website for Hearings before the US Senate!  What does that say?

Sorry for the low resolution image and the imperfect position match.  It's the best I could find.  With Google SketchUp or the STK model of the ISS, it would be easy to pose the model in the matching condition, with matching lighting and all.  Someone else can try that.

Curious what you are suggesting about some reasoning for this picture on a Senate Committee website...and which one? and when was it posted?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 11/11/2010 07:35 am
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 11/11/2010 01:08 pm
...what you are suggesting about some reasoning for this picture ...

I would just say that the staffer who prepared the web page just picked an illustration.  That, as a Russian piece of the station, it could be some sort of quiet political statement, doesn't make sense to me, not on that webpage.

Will there be another one of those links to the video of the hearing?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/11/2010 01:13 pm
What's the model in the picture?

It's some model of the Zvezda FBG from the Russian segment of the ISS!  On the website for Hearings before the US Senate!  What does that say?

Sorry for the low resolution image and the imperfect position match.  It's the best I could find.  With Google SketchUp or the STK model of the ISS, it would be easy to pose the model in the matching condition, with matching lighting and all.  Someone else can try that.
That makes total sense since the "deficit commission" (kind of a joke to lower the deficit by lowering taxes) wants to cut commercial crew and outsource crew transportation to Russia...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 11/11/2010 03:38 pm
I would just say that the staffer who prepared the web page just picked an illustration.  That, as a Russian piece of the station, it could be some sort of quiet political statement, doesn't make sense to me, not on that webpage.

Or, more likely, they sent a staffer to take a picture of "something space-y" at NASM, and this is what they got... :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: telomerase99 on 11/12/2010 02:03 am
The multipurpose crew vehicle seems like the obvious sacrifice if one has to be made. With all of the commercial vehicles in the works. I guess I feel a little bit better after Cots 1, provided it is a success.

Too bad they cant strap an orangutan into the thing just for good measure.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 11/12/2010 06:49 am
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a

Thanks for the link...I've been traveling the past two weeks and just got back from California...that IS a strange picture to use in connection with the upcoming hearing! I will check with the Majority staff tomorrow and suggest something more in line with the subject matter of the hearing (I am pretty certain JohnFornaro is right, and the person who posted it likely is not aware of what the image specifically is.)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TheFallen on 11/12/2010 07:00 am
The multipurpose crew vehicle seems like the obvious sacrifice if one has to be made. With all of the commercial vehicles in the works. I guess I feel a little bit better after Cots 1, provided it is a success.

So we'll use Dragon and CST-100 for potential BEO missions?  The way that the House and Senate have treated commercial spaceflight companies prior to the passage of the new Authorization Bill, you think that's gonna happen?

Ending the shuttle program with STS-134 as the final flight is a more likely scenario in terms of making a sacrifice.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 11/12/2010 12:59 pm
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a

Thanks for the link...I've been traveling the past two weeks and just got back from California...that IS a strange picture to use in connection with the upcoming hearing! I will check with the Majority staff tomorrow and suggest something more in line with the subject matter of the hearing (I am pretty certain JohnFornaro is right, and the person who posted it likely is not aware of what the image specifically is.)

The same image was also used for the summary of the 2010 NASA Authorization bill:
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Legislation&ContentRecord_id=8d7c1465-f852-4835-ba84-25faf56bbb36&ContentType_id=03ab50f5-55cd-4934-a074-d6928b9dd24c&Group_id=6eaa2a03-6e69-4e43-8597-bb12f4f5aede
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 11/12/2010 01:29 pm
"WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announces the following full committee hearing titled Transition and Implementation: The Nasa Authorization Act of 2010."

Scheduled for next Thursday (18 November) at 10 am Eastern.

Link (http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a)

This is the authorizing committee, but the timing is probably relevant to whatever appropriations comes out of the lame-duck session.

Some additionnal information on the upcoming Senate hearing:
http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20101111/NEWS02/11110313/1006/NEWS01/Senate+to+review+NASA+funding
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 11/17/2010 05:58 pm
Senate authorization committee oversight hearing rescheduled to December 1st at 10:30 am Eastern:
http://space.flatoday.net/2010/11/senate-hearing-on-new-nasa-policy.html

No reason given.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 11/17/2010 07:14 pm
Senate authorization committee oversight hearing rescheduled to December 1st at 10:30 am Eastern:
http://space.flatoday.net/2010/11/senate-hearing-on-new-nasa-policy.html

No reason given.


Simply an emergent scheduling conflict that came up last night. Nothing more.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 11/18/2010 11:47 pm
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today he will not support an omnibus FY 2011 appropriations bill.  This is being reported as killing it.  How long the second continuing resolution would last is apparently still under negotiation:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45344.html
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 11/19/2010 07:28 am
http://stgnews.com/archive/360

“NASA has signaled an interest recently in possibly circumventing the law,” Hatch said. “My purpose in calling this meeting was to explain in no uncertain terms the Utah congressional delegation’s interest in ensuring that Utah’s solid rocket motor industry is protected. Though they assured us that NASA would comply with the law, some of their answers reaffirmed my suspicions that we need to keep a very close watch on the agency. I will continue with other delegation members to ensure the agency abides by the law and protects this industry that is so vitally important to our national security and northern Utah’s economy.”
 
It’s clear that congressional opinion on this issue isn’t going to change as we work to advance the mission of NASA,” Bennett said. “I join my colleagues in admonishing NASA to strictly adhere to the law and use solid rocket motors in the development of the new Space Launch System. Such adherence is a major step in saving thousands of jobs in Utah and sustaining an industrial base critical to our national security.”

“Today’s meeting confirms that we are in a long-term fight over the future of NASA’s manned space flight program,” Bishop said. “While I appreciate Administrator Charlie Bolden and Assistant Administrator Lori Garver’s willingness to meet with us, I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel. During the meeting, I expressed my disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 11/19/2010 07:48 am
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2010/11/18/mollohan-dont-know-if-congress-will-approve-an-appropriations-bill/

Mollohan had a clear preference for an omnibus that would incorporate “all the hard work” the appropriations committee’s staff had put into the legislation so far. “My intellect tells me that we should get an omnibus,” he said, adding that the outcome may depend on what will happen in the Senate, where the endorsement of a ban on earmarks by minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “was not a good omen.”

“A CR would be bad for NASA,” he said, because they generally don’t support the start of new activities. He did acknowledge that a CR could permit “anomalies” that would support new programs, but he said even in such a case “the new direction enacted in the authorization bill is likely to be delayed as well.” (He added that the NASA authorization bill that was signed into law last month “was one of this Congress’s real legislative achievements.”)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 11/19/2010 10:46 am
http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/john-boehner-budget-cuts/2010/11/18/id/377506

Experts say there’s a good chance that at a minimum, a freeze on federal discretionary spending for a two- or three-year period will result. The various deficit commissions examining the deficit problem support that. But is just holding spending steady at record levels enough to put the economy on the road to recovery? Whether deeper cuts happen next year depends on whether Democrats and the president are willing to accept them. Otherwise, Republicans led by Boehner will be on a collision course with Obama.

So what are the chances that the end result will be an actual decrease in federal non-entitlement, non-defense spending will actually go down? History says the odds are not good. Other than the modest spending decline in 2010 as the stimulus spigot squeaked shut, the last time the federal budget actually went down was in 1965.That year, federal spending dropped from $118.5 billion, to $118.2 billion. And there’s a reason spending hasn’t been cut since. “You’re going to have special interests screaming,” Edwards says. “So it will be an interesting question whether they actually do it.”
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/19/2010 12:51 pm
http://stgnews.com/archive/360
.....
“Today’s meeting confirms that we are in a long-term fight over the future of NASA’s manned space flight program,” Bishop said. “While I appreciate Administrator Charlie Bolden and Assistant Administrator Lori Garver’s willingness to meet with us, I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel. During the meeting, I expressed my disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act.[/i]

Perhaps if Congressional folks want to avoid "disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act" they should place some strongly worded phone calls to the White House. The White House seems to have completely missed the critical message of the Congressional elections: Folks are unhappy with the President's leadership.

Maybe some senior Congressional folks, or a former POTUS, could privately point out to the current POTUS that the White House's active and obstinate resistance to the bipartisan Congressional direction chosen for NASA means the President will continue to lose political influence within his own party and also with Americans in the other important party. America and the rest of the world are facing some pretty serious problems. A politically narrow and isolated President isn't going to be able to provide the leadership needed to help solve some of those problems.


Cheers!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 11/19/2010 04:18 pm
http://stgnews.com/archive/360
.....
“Today’s meeting confirms that we are in a long-term fight over the future of NASA’s manned space flight program,” Bishop said. “While I appreciate Administrator Charlie Bolden and Assistant Administrator Lori Garver’s willingness to meet with us, I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel. During the meeting, I expressed my disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act.[/i]

Perhaps if Congressional folks want to avoid "disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act" they should place some strongly worded phone calls to the White House. The White House seems to have completely missed the critical message of the Congressional elections: Folks are unhappy with the President's leadership.

Maybe some senior Congressional folks, or a former POTUS, could privately point out to the current POTUS that the White House's active and obstinate resistance to the bipartisan Congressional direction chosen for NASA means the President will continue to lose political influence within his own party and also with Americans in the other important party. America and the rest of the world are facing some pretty serious problems. A politically narrow and isolated President isn't going to be able to provide the leadership needed to help solve some of those problems.

Cheers!

The plans for the 2010 NASA Authorization bill are slowed walk because Congress has yet to pass an appropriation bill. Until the appropriation process is over, these issues will remain.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: OpsAnalyst on 11/19/2010 06:49 pm
http://stgnews.com/archive/360
.....
“Today’s meeting confirms that we are in a long-term fight over the future of NASA’s manned space flight program,” Bishop said. “While I appreciate Administrator Charlie Bolden and Assistant Administrator Lori Garver’s willingness to meet with us, I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel. During the meeting, I expressed my disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act.[/i]

Perhaps if Congressional folks want to avoid "disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act" they should place some strongly worded phone calls to the White House. The White House seems to have completely missed the critical message of the Congressional elections: Folks are unhappy with the President's leadership.

Maybe some senior Congressional folks, or a former POTUS, could privately point out to the current POTUS that the White House's active and obstinate resistance to the bipartisan Congressional direction chosen for NASA means the President will continue to lose political influence within his own party and also with Americans in the other important party. America and the rest of the world are facing some pretty serious problems. A politically narrow and isolated President isn't going to be able to provide the leadership needed to help solve some of those problems.

Cheers!

The plans for the 2010 NASA Authorization bill are slowed walk because Congress has yet to pass an appropriation bill. Until the appropriation process is over, these issues will remain.

Completely concur.

Also -

Re: political isolation - not happening to POTUS on the basis of what happens with NASA.  NASA doesn't figure into the large political equations, and not into many of the small ones.

And, the story referenced above is all about Utah, and more specifically about ATK and solids.  How broadly the Utah contingent's colleagues share their concern about circumvention is entirely unclear at this point.

And finally, until appropriations (and/or additional deficit reduction decisions) happen, as is pointed out here - their concern is not just unclear but irrelevant, however much they may wish it otherwise.  Even with full funding of the $19B budget request, it is not possible to meet the intent of the Authorization Act to do MPCV, SLS and commercial crew at desired levels, together with all the other cats and dogs.

As regards MPCV, SLS and commercial crew, I'm reminded of the opposition posters that sprang up after Dan Goldin's "faster better cheaper" mandate...."Pick any two".
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 11/19/2010 07:55 pm
As regards MPCV, SLS and commercial crew, I'm reminded of the opposition posters that sprang up after Dan Goldin's "faster better cheaper" mandate...."Pick any two".

Possibly, but there is some middle ground. Downselecting to a single CRS supplier from the get-go would drop its budget somewhat, as would pushing back the date on SLS and/or MPCV by a year.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 11/20/2010 01:41 am
As regards MPCV, SLS and commercial crew, I'm reminded of the opposition posters that sprang up after Dan Goldin's "faster better cheaper" mandate...."Pick any two".

Possibly, but there is some middle ground. Downselecting to a single CRS supplier from the get-go would drop its budget somewhat, as would pushing back the date on SLS and/or MPCV by a year.


Droping to one CRS supplier would create a monopoly and remove the incentive to produce cost effective reliable spacecraft. Not a good idea.

Dropping SLS would be a great idea. It is underdunded and needs more than what you could get by canceling commercial crew. It would free up the most money and get NASA out of its current “pxx” or get off the pot delema(Not enough funding to support payloads, nor upperstage, nor build SLS within that time frame). Additionally a redifinetion of SLS would be great. Less shuttle drevied and smaller capacity.

Droping Orion would be a good idea, but not the greatest. You can find ways to push Orion to BEO without heavy lift.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/20/2010 02:39 am
http://stgnews.com/archive/360
.....
“Today’s meeting confirms that we are in a long-term fight over the future of NASA’s manned space flight program,” Bishop said. “While I appreciate Administrator Charlie Bolden and Assistant Administrator Lori Garver’s willingness to meet with us, I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel. During the meeting, I expressed my disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act.[/i]

Perhaps if Congressional folks want to avoid "disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act" they should place some strongly worded phone calls to the White House. The White House seems to have completely missed the critical message of the Congressional elections: Folks are unhappy with the President's leadership.

Maybe some senior Congressional folks, or a former POTUS, could privately point out to the current POTUS that the White House's active and obstinate resistance to the bipartisan Congressional direction chosen for NASA means the President will continue to lose political influence within his own party and also with Americans in the other important party. America and the rest of the world are facing some pretty serious problems. A politically narrow and isolated President isn't going to be able to provide the leadership needed to help solve some of those problems.

Cheers!

The plans for the 2010 NASA Authorization bill are slowed walk because Congress has yet to pass an appropriation bill. Until the appropriation process is over, these issues will remain.

Note that Senator Bob Bennett's above comment went, "I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel." Senator Bob Bennett fully understands the need for the appropriation process to continue but is less than impressed with what NASA is doing in the meantime. The President is a lawyer and knows what can and cannot be done in the meantime. The President is deliberately playing the "delay" and slow it down game for both the Orion spacecraft and SLS. Spin it however you wish, his lackluster leadership of NASA and inability or unwillingness to form a robust support plan for a fully utilized International Space Station have been and remain as ongoing problems for NASA and his Presidency. Despite what some folks claim, NASA is important for America and the high technology industries of our current and future economy. That the President didn't develop an effective NASA policy and is opposed to the bipartisan Congressional NASA policy are two examples of his extreme short-sightedness and are indicative of a leader that will have minimal influence on other important issues during the next two years.

Cheers!

Edited.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: SpacexULA on 11/20/2010 03:34 am
Note that Senator Bob Bennett's above comment went, "I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel." Senator Bob Bennett fully understands the need for the appropriation process to continue but is less than impressed with what NASA is doing in the meantime. The President is a lawyer and knows what can and cannot be done in the meantime. The President is deliberately playing the "delay" and slow it down game for both the Orion spacecraft and SLS. Spin it however you wish, his lackluster leadership of NASA and inability or unwillingness to form a robust support plan for a fully utilized International Space Station have been and remain as ongoing problems for NASA and his Presidency. Despite what some folks claim, NASA is important for America and the high technology industries of our current and future economy. That the President didn't develop an effective NASA policy and is opposed to the bipartisan Congressional NASA policy are two examples of his extreme short-sightedness and are not indicative of a leader that will have much influence on other important issues during the next two years. Cheers!

Can you name the last President that DIDN"T play this game with NASA?
Obama?
GW Bush?
Clinton?
GHW Bush?
Reagan?
Carter?
Ford?
Nixon?
Maybe LBJ & Kendedy?

Your indictment of Obama would sound pretty true of the last 7 presidents that preceded him.  Politically demand NASA over promise, then underfund, then beat over head when they come in over budget and under performing.

BTW when was the last Non Bi Partisan NASA policy statement?  It's always Bi Partisan because NASA is a regional issue, not a party issue, so the fact that Democrats and Republicans voted for this new statement doesn't make it any more valid that the last one, or the one before that.

It's the same game all over again.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 11/20/2010 03:47 am
inability or unwillingness to form a robust support plan for a fully utilized International Space Station have been and remain as ongoing problems for NASA

When has this been a problem?  There is one, CRS and commercial crew.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 11/20/2010 04:09 am
Interesting article at space news:

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/101119-extra-flights-needed-hedge-cots-delays.html
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Comga on 11/20/2010 06:09 am
What's the model in the picture?

It's some model of the Zvezda FBG from the Russian segment of the ISS!  On the website for Hearings before the US Senate!  What does that say?

Curious what you are suggesting about some reasoning for this picture on a Senate Committee website...and which one? and when was it posted?

I don't mean to impugn anyone, but it is weird that the only "spacey" image (as JohnForano put it) they could find is from a Russian ISS module, which is attached to several US modules.  The staffer probably didn't realize what it was.  I doubt Robotbeat's hypothesis, however facetious, that it is a blatant political statement about outsourcing transport.  It could have been an effort to avoid hardware currently in dispute like Orion, an SRB, or a CRS vehicle.  The Destiny module would seem to fit that bill unless one considers the extension of ISS to be controversial.  Why not Cassini or the New Horizon's spacecraft? 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/20/2010 06:53 am
Just to be clear, I doubt my own hypothesis (I was being facetious, of course). I could imagine Congressman Rohrabacher using it to make a point about the state of NASA HSF (i.e. about to be handed over to the Russians, especially if all commercial crew funding is cut).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 11/20/2010 07:02 am
Interesting article at space news:

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/101119-extra-flights-needed-hedge-cots-delays.html

From the transcript:
Quote from: Charlie Bolden
Did I get it right?  For, you know, for the budget.  Best case was,
best case would have been to get the President’s budget exactly as it was
proposed,

*facepalm*

Quote
That didn’t happen, but I think we’re still at what
could be a best case with the Authorization Act if the appropriators follow
suit.

..OK.

Quote
I think when you look at some of the systems that
came out of both the plan for Ares V and the execution of Ares I-X, we’re
going to find that there are definite things that will be applicable to
whatever we do in terms of future exploration.  The J2X undoubtedly will
play a critical role
, not just in NASA, but probably across the national
front in terms of providing an upper stage capability.

J-241SH then?

Quote
What’s next?  What’s
next in human exploration?  I think all of you have heard of the HEFT.
Don’t be confused by it.  Don’t get concerned by it.  Don’t get worried by
it.

Seems to be downplaying HEFT here?

Quote
They [HEFT] just feed information to me and the rest of the leadership team and
we try to use that information to go off and either do what we’re about to
do, which is to have Robert and Doug Cook get together and decide who
will be the Program Manager for the Heavy Lift program.  That has to be
decided here sometime soon and I’m going to depend on Robert and Doug
Cook and the rest of the leadership team in coming up with that particular
person and then the programatics of how that program runs.

How soon will this happen, and who might/should get the job?

Quote
We expect that there will be another
Continuing Resolution passed here pretty soon.  It could go out until
February.  Some people tell me it will likely go out to February.  But as I
mentioned to you, I talked to almost every Congressman and Senator who
was either re-elected or elected and in talking even as late as yesterday
with some, they said look, don’t give up.  We are still trying to get out an
omnibus bill before we go on vacation for Christmas

Good news, I guess, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) is opposed to an omnibus spending bill (http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/129943-mcconnell-to-oppose-omnibus-spending-bill), meaning it will likely be filibustered in the Senate. In that event, could the NASA Appropriations be easily split out into a separate bill, which likely wouldn't be filibustered?

Quote
Right now if you’re
an engine person, or if you’re a Heavy Lift person, I think you’ll know,
and for those of you who are like me and aren’t a Heavy Lift person, the
big question for us is what do we use for a first stage engine?  Do we use
LOX hydrogen or do we use LOX RP, kerosene.

*facepalm*

It'll have SSMEs, I'll put money on that....ironically based on a conversation I had with someone important two hours ago (sorry, can't elaborate any further, anywhere, at this stage).

Chris, are you still confident of that now?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/20/2010 07:08 am
inability or unwillingness to form a robust support plan for a fully utilized International Space Station have been and remain as ongoing problems for NASA

When has this been a problem?  There is one, CRS and commercial crew.




As regards MPCV, SLS and commercial crew, I'm reminded of the opposition posters that sprang up after Dan Goldin's "faster better cheaper" mandate...."Pick any two".



Jim, it is politically likely that the MPCV/Orion and SLS are going to have much more support in the House of Representatives than "commercial crew".

Also, the head of NASA can see the potential for delays. See the above article noted by pathfinder_01 and headlined as:
Bolden Says Extra Shuttle Flights Needed As Hedge Against Additional COTS Delays
   At: http://www.spacenews.com/civil/101119-extra-flights-needed-hedge-cots-delays.html

And Jim, the President ignored NASA. He did not lay the foundation for a "robust support plan for a fully utilized International Space Station". Instead, he allowed the previous PoR keep on spending money and rolling and taking us nowhere and irritating you. Eventually the President had some unknown group cobble up a strange and unworkable Presidential Proposal to study everything and dismantle NASA as we know it and outsource NASA's human spaceflight for an indefinite period of time. His previous and ongoing slowdown of SLS and MPCV/Orion will continue to create paralysis for NASA. He stalls NASA instead of leading it. He will have much less influence on NASA's "Appropriations" with the incoming Congress. 

And SpacexULA, our current President's stalling style of leadership of NASA took it and its "Appropriations" to Nowheresville while he enjoyed a solid majority in both houses of Congress. His strong political advantage to influence NASA's future and its Congressional "Appropriations" was wasted. If the President's retains his stalling and wasting style, he will end up making the leadership provided to NASA by his predecessors look far wiser than his.

Note also that Charles Bolden is quoted in the article as saying "The J-2X undoubtedly will play a critical role, not just in NASA but probably across the national front in terms of providing an upper-stage capability..." That is interesting.

It may take a Presidential election cycle or two or three, but eventually there is going to be a President who says, "America and our space exploration partners are going to the Moon to tap the rich resources that the Moon offers humanity. We are going to the Moon to establish a second home for everyone." That wise President will work hard to make sure that the needed appropriations are available for the amazing adventure we face in exploring and colonizing the Moon.   


Cheers!


Edited.





Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 11/20/2010 07:43 am

It may take a Presidential election cycle or two or three, but eventually there is going to be a President who says, "America and our space exploration partners are going to the Moon to tap the rich resources that the Moon offers humanity.



Not NASA's job and not going to happen unless the cost of getting and working in space comes down and an government owned/operated HLV has no hope of doing that.

Quote
We are going to the Moon to establish a second home for everyone." That wise President will work hard to make sure that the needed appropriations are available for the amazing adventure we face in exploring and colonizing the Moon.   

Cheers!

This will only happen if both the technology for lunar settlement and the means to do it are privately available. The only way the government would do it is by forced labor camps, military bases, or prisons or something else not ideal. The government of the US does not pay people to travel who are not Government employees. 


Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/20/2010 09:40 am

It may take a Presidential election cycle or two or three, but eventually there is going to be a President who says, "America and our space exploration partners are going to the Moon to tap the rich resources that the Moon offers humanity.



Not NASA's job and not going to happen unless the cost of getting and working in space comes down and an government owned/operated HLV has no hope of doing that.

Quote
We are going to the Moon to establish a second home for everyone." That wise President will work hard to make sure that the needed appropriations are available for the amazing adventure we face in exploring and colonizing the Moon.   

Cheers!

This will only happen if both the technology for lunar settlement and the means to do it are privately available. The only way the government would do it is by forced labor camps, military bases, or prisons or something else not ideal. The government of the US does not pay people to travel who are not Government employees. 





"This will only happen if both the technology for lunar settlement and the means to do it are privately available." Well that's a fine proclamation of how things must surely be. Tell it to the Russians and all the other folks on the good planet Earth. I'm sure they will all agree with you and spend none of their government 'Appropriations' on anything so foolish as a government HLV or a Lunar settlement until the "the means to do it are privately available." What a fine notion you have. Many folks may even believe it is correct, but I cannot. 

As every Pathfinder knows, the government's initial job is to chart the land. Developing the means to get to the Moon could be done by 'commercial' as long as the government is paying for it... Let's try running that last thought process again. 'Commercial' will get around to the Lunar party when their business cases close. In the meantime it will be government 'Appropriations' and international partners that will make things happen on Luna. One of the reasons that those government 'Appropriations' will be spent is to tap the volatiles that can be used as propellant for NEO exploration missions and defensive systems against NEOs. Propellant from the Moon is also likely to be used for the human exploration of Mars missions. Tourists are also likely to show up on the Moon at some point. That reality should help to close a few business cases. Now that we know that there is a lot of water and other needed resources on the Moon the possibility of living off the land has been greatly improved. NASA was the organization that gathered the information about those valuable Lunar resources. Maybe "NASA's job" is to do what Congress appropriates the money for NASA to do.

See:
http://lcross.arc.nasa.gov/observation.htm

NASA 'Appropriations' should be seen as priming the pump by doing exploration and building the initial In Situ Resource Utilization, or ISRU, systems. If you've never primed a pump, well let's just note that something has to get the ISRU water flow going. In the case of the Moon colonies, there won't be a need for, "forced labor camps, military bases, or prisons or something else not ideal". Lots of folks would love to live or vacation on the Moon. Some of them wouldn't really care one way or another about who or what built the particular original small habitats at whatever large Lunar colony they are at.

Eventually, the return on the invested 'Appropriations' will be large. Lots of folks once thought the 'Appropriations' spent on Alaska were a folly. But Alaska has turned out to be an excellent investment. There are a lot of folks in Alaska that don't work for the government. The situation will eventually be somewhat similar on the Moon. And the funny thing about 'buying' into the Moon is that we mostly spend the 'Appropriations' for space exploration stuff inside the USA... Maybe the Moon is a much better deal than Alaska.


Cheers!


Edited.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: KelvinZero on 11/20/2010 09:52 am

It may take a Presidential election cycle or two or three, but eventually there is going to be a President who says, "America and our space exploration partners are going to the Moon to tap the rich resources that the Moon offers humanity. We are going to the Moon to establish a second home for everyone." That wise President will work hard to make sure that the needed appropriations are available for the amazing adventure we face in exploring and colonizing the Moon.

If we wait for the right guy nothing will happen. I think there are many affordable things we can do right now to bring this towards plausibility.
* Lunar robotic precursor missions to actually handle ice in permanently shadowed craters.
* ISRU demonstrators and all technology related to self sufficiency.
* Getting passed the crippling notions that space is for just for space science, or HSF is about boldly going where no one has gone before.

Space science already has a budget. It is when we start sending multiple missions to the same location, to reuse infrastructure already in place and manipulate resources we did not bring with us that we are actually taking steps towards living there. If we don't have the money for people we can begin this quite cheaply with robots. A small bit of progress today is better than any long term goal relying on waiting.

I like your follow up post. I just think so much progress could be made even with only a little money if it were actually spent attacking these problems of how we could ever live there. There is so much we could have been doing even during all the decades we never went beyond earth orbit.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 11/20/2010 09:57 am
That Congress complaint to NASA about SD-HLV non-compliance was actually an official PR ...

http://hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=602f9c19-1b78-be3e-e07e-fb550421a64a&Month=11&Year=2010
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: notsorandom on 11/20/2010 10:02 am
When people say that we can not afford SLS, MPCV, Commercial Crew I wonder what those individual components will cost. Can anyone provide a ballpark estimate for those will cost and what the expected budget might be? I know the estimates for Direct and that proposal still seems workable. It would be nice to have more of a handle on what money will be available and what these things will take.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Cog_in_the_machine on 11/20/2010 10:12 am
"Utah’s congressional leaders sought further assurances that NASA will continue to fund ATK’s research and development work on civilian solid rocket motors until the new Omnibus Appropriations Bill is signed into law. "

This sentence basically sums up what the big fuss was, and still is, all about.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/20/2010 11:56 am
Interesting article at space news:

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/101119-extra-flights-needed-hedge-cots-delays.html

From the transcript:
Quote from: Charlie Bolden
I think when you look at some of the systems that came out of both the plan for Ares V and the execution of Ares I-X, we’re going to find that there are definite things that will be applicable to whatever we do in terms of future exploration.  The J2X undoubtedly will play a critical role, not just in NASA, but probably across the national front in terms of providing an upper stage capability.

J-241SH then?

My guess is an interim EDS/upper stage based on the Ares-I Upper Stage lauched on EELV-Hs, at least in the short term; J-2X is too big even for the proposed Common Centaur.  The ultimate plan will be to put it on SLS, of course.

Quote
Quote
What’s next?  What’s next in human exploration?  I think all of you have heard of the HEFT.  Don’t be confused by it.  Don’t get concerned by it.  Don’t get worried by it.

Seems to be downplaying HEFT here?

IMHO, yes.

The preliminary HEFT conclusions are sobering and have given pause to a lot of people.  I suspect it is going to be quietly received and then placed in the circular file, never to be referred to again, because of just how inconvenient and unwelcome its conclusions are.

Quote
Quote
They [HEFT] just feed information to me and the rest of the leadership team and we try to use that information to go off and either do what we’re about to do, which is to have Robert and Doug Cook get together and decide who will be the Program Manager for the Heavy Lift program.  That has to be decided here sometime soon and I’m going to depend on Robert and Doug Cook and the rest of the leadership team in coming up with that particular person and then the programatics of how that program runs.

How soon will this happen, and who might/should get the job?

FWIW, I'm not even sure why who has to be an issue.  This seems to be one of NASA's permanent structural faults - how is more important than what.  The program must not be delayed because of internal politicing about which hideous sychophant has abased him or herself sufficiently to get the job.

Quote
Quote
Right now if you’re an engine person, or if you’re a Heavy Lift person, I think you’ll know, and for those of you who are like me and aren’t a Heavy Lift person, the big question for us is what do we use for a first stage engine?  Do we use LOX hydrogen or do we use LOX RP, kerosene.

*facepalm*

Interesting that kerolox is still on the table, at least in Charles Bolden's view of matters.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 11/20/2010 02:06 pm
Note that Senator Bob Bennett's above comment went, "I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel."

This is very frustrating to me.  The Senator's statement is basically a falsehood.  And here's how you tell:  If the private startup technologies are unproven, then so is SLS.  You can't say that SLS will have a "proven" engine, and that this is somehow better than the Merlin engine, also "proven".  Not at this level of analysis.

Plus, if the private technologies are also "unfit for human-rated space travel", then so is SLS, as it turns out.  What the difference is?  If you're trying to make an honest case in comparing private and SLS, you must compare honestly, which is not done in the Senator's quote.

Not only that you can't say that NASA is "delaying" the transition to SLS, when the authorization act supports both efforts simultaneously.  You can say that the President is "delaying" the transition, because that may be the operable truth.  I say "operable truth", but you could say "functional truth" as well.  Who knows what the intent is behind the black box of the Administration's actions, but delay is what is coming out of the black box.  As SpacexULA points out, this Prez is not all that different from the previous seven or so.  Also, LBJ didn't do all that much for NASA, remember.

Congress suggested that they can both happen at the same time, and I quite agree.

Mr. Bennett has no apparent leadership qualities either, from this quote.  Leaders do not use falsehoods to advance their position.

From the transcript:

Hey!  That's my line!  Not a bad posting style ya got there, pardner.  Easy to read.  Narrow bandwidth.  Topical.  Informative.  Plus...

...his comment about HEFT is interesting.  I guess they're starting to ask the question I asked elsewhere:  What are the astros going to be doing for their 180 days of travel?  Getting in touch with themselves?  Mightn't we better spend 180 days mapping and prospecting the entire lunar surface?  And sharing the database with STEM programs thruout the country, not forgetting our international partners?  I mean, the Brownie camera only takes twelve pictures of the rock.

That wise President will work hard to make sure that the needed appropriations are available...

And I just wanna say that a vote for me will guarantee everyone a chicken in every pot, and a rocket in every garage...

The only way the government would do it is by forced labor camps...

Hi.  I'm the Bernank.  I'm here at the camp because I defrauded the Fed to the tune of the $600B.  I knew all along that the quantitative easing was the wrong strategy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k&feature=player_embedded#

Never mind.  Sometimes you gotta be me to get it.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/20/2010 02:37 pm

That wise President will work hard to make sure that the needed appropriations are available...

And I just wanna say that a vote for me will guarantee everyone a chicken in every pot, and a rocket in every garage...


"And I just wanna say that a vote for me will guarantee everyone a chicken in every pot, and a rocket in every garage..." and an electric jeep on your driveway and a swimming pool inside your vacation home on the Moon.

Way to go John! Not bad! You just got my vote... Wait a sec... You did say you were the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee or the President or someone important in the Senate, didn't you?


Cheers!


Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: alexw on 11/22/2010 12:00 am
My guess is an interim EDS/upper stage based on the Ares-I Upper Stage lauched on EELV-Hs, at least in the short term; J-2X is too big even for the proposed Common Centaur.  The ultimate plan will be to put it on SLS, of course.
    What would be the point of building a 5.5m stage on a brand-new production line at Michoud to fly only atop a Delta IVH, probably requiring new fairings, rather than the 5.1m designs that ULA desperately wants to build on the existing tooling in Decatur to fly on everything?
    Granted, NASA could pay to do it, but what role would it serve for NASA beyond Orion-to-LEO?

Quote
Quote
Quote
Right now if you’re an engine person, or if you’re a Heavy Lift person, I think you’ll know, and for those of you who are like me and aren’t a Heavy Lift person, the big question for us is what do we use for a first stage engine?  Do we use LOX hydrogen or do we use LOX RP, kerosene.
*facepalm*
Interesting that kerolox is still on the table, at least in Charles Bolden's view of matters.
     Yes, that is indeed most interesting.
     -Alex
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/22/2010 07:40 am
My guess is an interim EDS/upper stage based on the Ares-I Upper Stage lauched on EELV-Hs, at least in the short term; J-2X is too big even for the proposed Common Centaur.  The ultimate plan will be to put it on SLS, of course.
    What would be the point of building a 5.5m stage on a brand-new production line at Michoud to fly only atop a Delta IVH, probably requiring new fairings, rather than the 5.1m designs that ULA desperately wants to build on the existing tooling in Decatur to fly on everything?
    Granted, NASA could pay to do it, but what role would it serve for NASA beyond Orion-to-LEO?

Well, the 5.5m tooling is already at Michoud whilst the 5.1m tooling for Common Centaur aren't ready to go yet.  NASA has been directed to use existing equipment and tooling wherever possible rather than spend on new stuff.  So, it makes more budgetary and schedule sense to utilise the 5.5m tooling rather than sit around for another couple of years whilst ULA get the 5.1m production line running.

Additionally, the 5.5m upper stage was designed for Orion, so I presume the payload interface is already mostly ready for metal bending.  More time and effort would be needed to design a payload interface for Common Centaur.

In terms of performance, a shuttle-derived SLS, the 5.5m upper stage should deliver ~40t through TLI.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: alexw on 11/22/2010 08:12 am
5.5m stage on a brand-new production line at Michoud to fly only atop a Delta IVH, probably requiring new fairings, rather than the 5.1m designs that ULA desperately wants to build on the existing tooling in Decatur to fly on everything?
    Granted, NASA could pay to do it, but what role would it serve for NASA beyond Orion-to-LEO?
Well, the 5.5m tooling is already at Michoud whilst the 5.1m tooling for Common Centaur aren't ready to go yet.  NASA has been directed to use existing equipment and tooling wherever possible rather than spend on new stuff.  So, it makes more budgetary and schedule sense to utilise the 5.5m tooling rather than sit around for another couple of years whilst ULA get the 5.1m production line running.
   Huh? It's the existing tooling already used to produce the 5m DCSS/ DIVHUS or the Delta IV cores, no? (I forget which -- in fact, is the same tooling used for both?)

   That's sorta the whole point, why ULA engineers must be incredibly frustrated. It's all so close to falling into place. The old ACES and Atlas Phase II would probably have required new tooling in Denver or San Diego, choosing 5.4m to match the existing Atlas payload fairing, but after the centralization in Decatur ... 5m production is already ongoing for both parts of Delta, and utilization is far below capacity! That's why either Phase II or 5.1m Common Centaur or 5.1m ACES are all so attractive.
   -Alex
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 11/22/2010 09:22 am
Quote
Right now if you’re an engine person, or if you’re a Heavy Lift person, I think you’ll know, and for those of you who are like me and aren’t a Heavy Lift person, the big question for us is what do we use for a first stage engine?  Do we use LOX hydrogen or do we use LOX RP, kerosene.

*facepalm*

Interesting that kerolox is still on the table, at least in Charles Bolden's view of matters.

Hmm. Thinking about it some more, I wonder if this is just PR and he doesn't mean it. Before the Senate bill appeared, wasn't Bolden/Garver/etc talking only about LOX/RP-1? Now that the bill is law, maybe Bolden is trying to "transition" the PR to SLS by including LOX/LH2 (SSME) along with LOX/RP-1, and later (January/February) will publicly "decide" on LOX/LH2 (SSME) + SRB?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/22/2010 01:06 pm
Interesting that kerolox is still on the table, at least in Charles Bolden's view of matters.

Hmm. Thinking about it some more, I wonder if this is just PR and he doesn't mean it. Before the Senate bill appeared, wasn't Bolden/Garver/etc talking only about LOX/RP-1? Now that the bill is law, maybe Bolden is trying to "transition" the PR to SLS by including LOX/LH2 (SSME) along with LOX/RP-1, and later (January/February) will publicly "decide" on LOX/LH2 (SSME) + SRB?

There has been authoratative talk over on the HLV thread that KSC expects the SLS to be an Atlas-V Phase-2 derivative.  It would start with RD-180 and transition to RS-84/TR-107.  I'm not sure how reliable this is or whether it was just managers spouting off their pet ideas without authorisation (or responsibility).  However, Phase 2/3A in the form described in the post would be able to provide the 70-130t IMLEO payload demanded by the Senate.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Warren Platts on 11/22/2010 01:20 pm
Interesting that kerolox is still on the table, at least in Charles Bolden's view of matters.

Hmm. Thinking about it some more, I wonder if this is just PR and he doesn't mean it. Before the Senate bill appeared, wasn't Bolden/Garver/etc talking only about LOX/RP-1? Now that the bill is law, maybe Bolden is trying to "transition" the PR to SLS by including LOX/LH2 (SSME) along with LOX/RP-1, and later (January/February) will publicly "decide" on LOX/LH2 (SSME) + SRB?

There has been authoratative talk over on the HLV thread that KSC expects the SLS to be an Atlas-V Phase-2 derivative.  It would start with RD-180 and transition to RS-84/TR-107.  I'm not sure how reliable this is or whether it was just managers spouting off their pet ideas without authorisation (or responsibility).  However, Phase 2/3A in the form described in the post would be able to provide the 70-130t IMLEO payload demanded by the Senate.

Yeah, but it would cut MSFC and ATK out of the deal.... Shelby and Hatch ain't gonna let that happen.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/22/2010 01:24 pm
Interesting that kerolox is still on the table, at least in Charles Bolden's view of matters.

Hmm. Thinking about it some more, I wonder if this is just PR and he doesn't mean it. Before the Senate bill appeared, wasn't Bolden/Garver/etc talking only about LOX/RP-1? Now that the bill is law, maybe Bolden is trying to "transition" the PR to SLS by including LOX/LH2 (SSME) along with LOX/RP-1, and later (January/February) will publicly "decide" on LOX/LH2 (SSME) + SRB?

There has been authoratative talk over on the HLV thread that KSC expects the SLS to be an Atlas-V Phase-2 derivative.  It would start with RD-180 and transition to RS-84/TR-107.  I'm not sure how reliable this is or whether it was just managers spouting off their pet ideas without authorisation (or responsibility).  However, Phase 2/3A in the form described in the post would be able to provide the 70-130t IMLEO payload demanded by the Senate.

Yeah, but it would cut MSFC and ATK out of the deal.... Shelby and Hatch ain't gonna let that happen.

NASA has been told what to build and perhaps needs some kind of negotiating position to get the best possible deal on the SRBs. But if that's not the game being played, the proposed LOX/RP-1  RD-180 / SSME based AJAX Launcher looks affordable and cleaner and greener than the SRB / SSME based J-130. If a NASA plan for the AJAX Launcher could also send some work and money to ATK, it might even be viable. Perhaps ATK could partner with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to build a TAN version of the SSME... Or even a TAN version of the J-2X. Who knows, maybe a version of a TAN J-2X could burn methane...

We shall see.

Cheers!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 11/22/2010 01:59 pm


Yeah, but it would cut MSFC and ATK out of the deal.... Shelby and Hatch ain't gonna let that happen.

Any HLV keeps MSFC in the mix and an EELV derivative means more for AL
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 11/22/2010 02:02 pm
Perhaps ATK could partner with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to build a TAN version of the SSME... Or even a TAN version of the J-2X. Who knows, maybe a version of a TAN J-2X could burn methane...


There is no work for ATK with those engines.  The point with ATK is to keep the segmented solids facilities and people in work.   Throwing ATK composite structure work is not going to help UT.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/22/2010 02:33 pm
Perhaps ATK could partner with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to build a TAN version of the SSME... Or even a TAN version of the J-2X. Who knows, maybe a version of a TAN J-2X could burn methane...


There is no work for ATK with those engines.  The point with ATK is to keep the segmented solids facilities and people in work.   Throwing ATK composite structure work is not going to help UT.

Do you have any ideas that might help the good folks in UT stay in the space exploration game?

Cheers!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 11/22/2010 02:45 pm

Do you have any ideas that might help the good folks in UT stay in the space exploration game?


No,  we don't need the space exploration equivalent of a steam locomotive fireman.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/22/2010 02:46 pm

Do you have any ideas that might help the good folks in UT stay in the space exploration game?


No, there is no need for segmented solids.  They can do more ICBM's and other missiles.

OK. Thanks!

Cheers!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: CommercialSpaceFan on 11/23/2010 12:32 am
Perhaps ATK could partner with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne to build a TAN version of the SSME... Or even a TAN version of the J-2X. Who knows, maybe a version of a TAN J-2X could burn methane...


There is no work for ATK with those engines.  The point with ATK is to keep the segmented solids facilities and people in work.   Throwing ATK composite structure work is not going to help UT.

Do you have any ideas that might help the good folks in UT stay in the space exploration game?

Cheers!

Encourage use of Delta (5,4) or single stick EELV Phase 2 using 6 strap on SRB's.  These strap on SRB's are really quite cost effective and a generation more advanced than shuttle's SRMs.  Of course this direction derails HLV, requires propellant depots and dozens of launches to support truly interesting exploration.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: alexw on 11/23/2010 12:53 am
There has been authoratative talk over on the HLV thread that KSC expects the SLS to be an Atlas-V Phase-2 derivative.  It would start with RD-180 and transition to RS-84/TR-107.  I'm not sure how reliable this is or whether it was just managers spouting off their pet ideas without authorisation (or responsibility).  However, Phase 2/3A in the form described in the post would be able to provide the 70-130t IMLEO payload demanded by the Senate.
    On what HLV thread is this talk? I've seen hardly anything recent on Phase II vehicles (even though it's probably, through not yet provably, the cheapest HLV technically possible at this time.)
    There's plenty of recent talk of 8.4m vehicles powered by SSME or RD-180, augmented by either existing CBC or CCBs or large J-2X middle stages, but that's more or less the opposite of the entire point and spirit behind Phase II.
  -Alex
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/23/2010 07:11 am

    On what HLV thread is this talk?

The "Predicting the SLS" thread on the HLV/SLS board.  Look for a post from KSC Sage on the first or second page, IIRC.

Specifically, the design in question is a type of Phase 3A.  Because it creates the Phase 2 CCB, Phase 2 comes with it if required.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: alexw on 11/23/2010 08:38 am
    On what HLV thread is this talk?
The "Predicting the SLS" thread on the HLV/SLS board.  Look for a post from KSC Sage on the first or second page, IIRC.
Specifically, the design in question is a type of Phase 3A.  Because it creates the Phase 2 CCB, Phase 2 comes with it if required.

   Phase 2 and 3A may use the same booster core, but they are worlds apart in operational concepts and costs.
   But I do appreciate the rumors -- I was wondering if you'd seen any confirmation.
   -Alex
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/23/2010 08:58 am

The "Predicting the SLS" thread on the HLV/SLS board.  Look for a post from KSC Sage on the first or second page, IIRC.

Specifically, the design in question is a type of Phase 3A.  Because it creates the Phase 2 CCB, Phase 2 comes with it if required.

Be VERY careful before representing what KSC expects via one poster on a forum thread. That is nothing more than speculation, with respect to the poster.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Warren Platts on 11/23/2010 03:59 pm
There has been authoratative talk over on the HLV thread that KSC expects the SLS to be an Atlas-V Phase-2 derivative.  It would start with RD-180 and transition to RS-84/TR-107.  I'm not sure how reliable this is or whether it was just managers spouting off their pet ideas without authorisation (or responsibility).  However, Phase 2/3A in the form described in the post would be able to provide the 70-130t IMLEO payload demanded by the Senate.
    On what HLV thread is this talk? I've seen hardly anything recent on Phase II vehicles (even though it's probably, through not yet provably, the cheapest HLV technically possible at this time.)
    There's plenty of recent talk of 8.4m vehicles powered by SSME or RD-180, augmented by either existing CBC or CCBs or large J-2X middle stages, but that's more or less the opposite of the entire point and spirit behind Phase II.
  -Alex

Here's the one post I could find (on page four):

Third that.  SLS, and specifically a SDHLV/DIRECT will never see the light of launch. 

It's unsustainable. Finishing Orion and seeding the rest to commercial and EELV upgrades would be a better use of money.

There is a lot of truth in that.  Bolden in a meeting yesterday at KSC said "everything is still on the table".  No SLS architecture has been chosen yet.  It'll depend on the NASA budget.  Both SDLV and RP-1 based vehicles are being looked at.  An EELV (Atlas Phase 2) is substantially cheaper than the SDLV HLLV.  He stated that a SLS architecture would be chosen and work will begin soon - "within months".

I predict an EELV based SLS architecture.


Looks to me he's merely pointing out what everybody knows anyway, that Atlas Phase 2 would be less expensive to develop than even a DIRECT J-130 in terms of absolute dollars--albeit by trading a cost in terms of lost Shuttle legacy/capabilities/experience. The Utah congressional delegation has already met with top NASA officials to make sure NASA tows the line. The "everything is still on the table" remark is just Bolden shooting from the hip again.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: MsWZ on 11/23/2010 04:23 pm
Does anyone know the impact of a year-long CR for NASA's current programs?

The word to many has been that a year-long CR may be passed for FY11 in place of a budget (to avoid complications after Dec 2nd when the budget expires) and/or a short-term CR until agreements on a budget can be made.

If a year-long CR does pass it locks in program funding at FY10 levels, any extension through a CR would offer a prorated amount of funding at FY10 levels for whatever the duration of the passed CR means.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 93143 on 11/23/2010 04:30 pm
everybody knows anyway, that Atlas Phase 2 would be less expensive to develop than even a DIRECT J-130

It probably wouldn't be quite as cheap as that old paper said, even accounting for aerospace inflation.  It was not originally envisioned as a manned launcher.

There's also the fact that NASA would have to reorient around the new paradigm, and scrap or mothball the Saturn/Shuttle infrastructure.  According to the Augustine Commission's report, NASA estimated the cost of this as between $3B and $11B, though who knows if that's accurate...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 11/23/2010 06:20 pm
Does anyone know the impact of a year-long CR for NASA's current programs?

The word to many has been that a year-long CR may be passed for FY11 in place of a budget (to avoid complications after Dec 2nd when the budget expires) and/or a short-term CR until agreements on a budget can be made.

If a year-long CR does pass it locks in program funding at FY10 levels, any extension through a CR would offer a prorated amount of funding at FY10 levels for whatever the duration of the passed CR means.

A continuing resolution could modified to ensure that it works with the 2010 NASA Authorization bill assuming that Congress was willing to do so. If another short term CR is adopted during the lame duck session, Congress would probably not bother doing so.

But if a series of CR are passed, at some point, Congress could decide to modify the CR and make sure that it works with the 2010 NASA Authorization bill. It seems unlikely that anything will get resolved during the lame duck session. We may have to wait until early 2011 (January or February) to see what happens. But you can read 51D Mascot's posts on this subject. He knows more about this than anybody else.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: manboy on 11/24/2010 12:19 am
What elements from CxP are going to survive ion ?
My predictions are Orion, J-2X engine and the Constellation Space Suit. The reason why I think Orion and the J-2X will be saved because they're already so far into their contracts which have been at least moderatly succesul. The Spacesuit because they haven't run into any problems and I believe they've made all their target dates thus far.

Also does anyone know the name of the new program?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: alexw on 11/24/2010 12:58 am
everybody knows anyway, that Atlas Phase 2 would be less expensive to develop than even a DIRECT J-130
It probably wouldn't be quite as cheap as that old paper said, even accounting for aerospace inflation.  It was not originally envisioned as a manned launcher.
   Which old paper, the CBO one?
   Barr and Kutter 2010 write "The original estimates were for a Design, Development, Test & Evaluation (DDT&E) cost of $2.3B. Though assumptions regarding EELV-like development may need to be reassessed, and the need to account for cost escalation over the past 6 years is certainly required, the formation of ULA simplifies the Phase 2 development due to the ULA Decatur factory, with both tooling, and transportation infrastructure to create 5m tanks. Although ULA has not yet undertaken a revised cost estimate, we believe that EELV Phase II should have a compelling cost advantage compared to other vehicle options in the same performance class."
 
    Translation: in the early 2000s, LockMart figured $2.3 billion, back when it would have meant on top of everything else,  (brand new?) 5.4m core tooling in Colorado, and a transport method to get the much larger cores (c.f. 3.8m Atlas V) to Florida; for example, an investment in very big aircraft. Now, after the ULA merger, the relevant tooling is already sitting in Decatur, already using a barge infrastructure. Two of the most costly problems have already been solved and paid for.
    The remaining tasks are the tankage and thrust structure and avionics, which would be closely derived from two vehicles long in production, now right next to each other, the complete design of which didn't cost that much in the first place. In other words, the Phase II booster core may be about the cheapest, simplest, highest-confidence performance upgrade that anyone could make world-wide. I would guess that it would be even cheaper than ACES.

   As for man-rating, note that Zenit intended for manned flight from the start, both for Energiya as an LRB and on its own as a Soyuz replacement. In some sense, Phase '0' is a somewhat smaller Zenit, Phase 2 a somewhat larger Zenit.


There's also the fact that NASA would have to reorient around the new paradigm, and scrap or mothball the Saturn/Shuttle infrastructure.  According to the Augustine Commission's report, NASA estimated the cost of this as between $3B and $11B, though who knows if that's accurate...
   Yes. The booster core hardware isn't the issue. The question is what NASA would need to do to make use of it.

 -Alex
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: copernicus on 11/24/2010 03:56 am
  As for NASA FY 2011 appropriations, a few comments. 
First, if you care whether NASA is funded at $19 Billion in FY 2011, rather than $17 Billion, give your Congressman and Senators a call.  Ask them to do their job, and pass the appropriations bills before adjourning.  Ask them why the next Congress should be doing their work for them.  As I wrote in an earlier post, they were hired by us to work until January 2011. 
   Second, this Congress is a pathetic example of lazy government.  Check the "Thomas" site, run by the Library of Congress, and look at the status of Appropriations Bills.  You will see a mostly empty chart.  This is possibly the worst performance of any recent Congress when it comes to performing their duty of passing budget bills. 
   Third, the incompetence of this Congress becomes clear when one examines the course of NASA's budget bills.  The House passed a wimp version of appropriations in June.  The Senate passed a slightly less wimpy version in late July.  Since then, the Congress has taken almost 3 months of recess!   In the few weeks that they have been at their posts, members of the House and Senate have not acted on passing the respective appropriations bills, let alone appoint a conference committee to hammer out a conference bill for both houses to vote on. 
   The assumption by this Congress that the next Congress should do their work for them is really appalling.  The next Congress will have their own work to do.  In addition, as I wrote earlier, there is the real threat that if the next Congress is called on to finish this Congress' work, then we might see a 20% cut in funding for NASA in FY 2011.  Add to that the possibility that the language in the 2010 Authorization Law will not be considered in a "hurry-up" FY 2011 budget bill. 




Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Warren Platts on 11/24/2010 12:35 pm
everybody knows anyway, that Atlas Phase 2 would be less expensive to develop than even a DIRECT J-130

... as that old paper said, ...
Here is the link to that old paper.

Barr and Kutter (2010) (http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/EELVPhase2_2010.pdf)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 11/24/2010 01:32 pm
Here is the link to that old paper.

What?  A paper written in 2010 is already old?  Then I must be a dinosaur...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/24/2010 01:44 pm
Here is the link to that old paper.

What?  A paper written in 2010 is already old?  Then I must be a dinosaur...

He's referring to 93143's description of the paper.  He isn't calling it old himself.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TimL on 11/24/2010 02:19 pm
>Here is the link to that old paper.
>Barr and Kutter (2010)

Interesting read, don't know how I missed this one.

IMHO, while it sounds doable, would provide more jobs and spead money across the industry base, I can't see the representatives from the pork regions supporting this approach. They will try to carry the SD-HLV until it strangles NASA.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 93143 on 11/24/2010 05:24 pm
I was talking about the 2004 estimate.

I'm not sure what exactly I remember reading, but I wouldn't have deliberately called a 2010 paper "old", and in any case there isn't a new cost estimate.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Warren Platts on 11/24/2010 09:28 pm
I was talking about the 2004 estimate.

They say the 2004 estimate was $2.3B, and that Delta IV cost $3.5B and that Atlas V cost $2B to develop. Reading between the lines, they're basically saying it would cost in the neighborhood of $3B to develop a Phase 2 HLV. Not bad...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 11/24/2010 09:44 pm
I was talking about the 2004 estimate.

They say the 2004 estimate was $2.3B, and that Delta IV cost $3.5B and that Atlas V cost $2B to develop. Reading between the lines, they're basically saying it would cost in the neighborhood of $3B to develop a Phase 2 HLV. Not bad...

And that would fit within the current budget.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: RBSB on 11/24/2010 09:58 pm
Just as importantly EELV Phase 2 would utilize existing infrastructure for production. This would make it affordable while also enhancing America’s industrial base which is currently in shambles due to the extremely low rate of production.  Granted more affordable launch won’t feed the incumbent gravy train. It will force (enable) a transition to NASA focusing on the Exploration mission.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: RBSB on 11/24/2010 10:08 pm
everybody knows anyway, that Atlas Phase 2 would be less expensive to develop than even a DIRECT J-130

It probably wouldn't be quite as cheap as that old paper said, even accounting for aerospace inflation.  It was not originally envisioned as a manned launcher.

Certainly a lot has changed since Atlas Phase 2 was originally proposed in 2004.  Inflation naturally suggests higher prices.  Where as Atlas Phase 2 assumed Michoud production with the formation of ULA the Phase 2 5m diameter tank tooling is already producing tanks for Delta resulting in a substantial cost reduction.

If Orion truly flies on a Delta IV HLV in 2013 is human rating of EELV Phase 2 required?  Is human rating of the EELV Phase 2 particularly difficult following the presumed Delta IV human rating?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 93143 on 11/24/2010 10:34 pm
And that would fit within the current budget.

Yes, it would.  However, the rest of my earlier post is relevant:

There's also the fact that NASA would have to reorient around the new paradigm, and scrap or mothball the Saturn/Shuttle infrastructure.  According to the Augustine Commission's report, NASA estimated the cost of this as between $3B and $11B, though who knows if that's accurate...

Even if it's not (and to paraphrase the SD-haters, when has NASA ever overestimated a project's cost?  Though here there might be a motivation), the fact remains that it appears politically difficult in terms of both selection and subsequent funding; ie: it doesn't matter if it fits within the current budget because even if it gets selected, NASA's budget will be nearly defenseless and we'll be wondering what kind of exploration we can fit into a $12B/year top line or something...

Also, keeping the Authorization language in mind, can Phase II be upgraded to 130 mT simply by adding a third stage or growing ACES?  Phase III is the official plan for that level of performance, and then you're in the same ballpark as SDLV or worse even without NASA's 'reorientation' costs...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 11/24/2010 10:58 pm

If Orion truly flies on a Delta IV HLV in 2013 is human rating of EELV Phase 2 required?  Is human rating of the EELV Phase 2 particularly difficult following the presumed Delta IV human rating?

No "human rating" is needed for an unmanned launch in 2013
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 11/24/2010 11:03 pm

If Orion truly flies on a Delta IV HLV in 2013 is human rating of EELV Phase 2 required?  Is human rating of the EELV Phase 2 particularly difficult following the presumed Delta IV human rating?

No "human rating" is needed for an unmanned launch in 2013

Does unmaned space capsule, vulcan rating or any other rating cout? :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Warren Platts on 11/25/2010 03:01 am

If Orion truly flies on a Delta IV HLV in 2013 is human rating of EELV Phase 2 required?  Is human rating of the EELV Phase 2 particularly difficult following the presumed Delta IV human rating?

No "human rating" is needed for an unmanned launch in 2013

Wow, you really think they could do it that fast? Seriously!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: alexw on 11/25/2010 07:23 am
Certainly a lot has changed since Atlas Phase 2 was originally proposed in 2004.  Inflation naturally suggests higher prices.  Where as Atlas Phase 2 assumed Michoud production with the formation of ULA the Phase 2 5m diameter tank tooling is already producing tanks for Delta resulting in a substantial cost reduction.
   Thank you for mentioning that -- I'd been under the impression that Phase II originally envisioned keeping production in Colorado, but [Sowers 2005] indeed says Michoud, in order to use the (then-new) friction stir welding.

   Strictly speaking, Phase II is supposed to come after Phase I -- but I doubt that the price Barr & Kutter are referring to includes ACES development! Which is the far more useful piece of the two.
  -Alex
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Warren Platts on 11/25/2010 08:51 am
Zegler and Kutter (2010) (http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/DepotBasedTransportationArchitecture2010.pdf) say the cost for ACES would be approximately $3.5B:

Quote from: Zegler and Kutter
ACES upper stage estimated to be approximately $3.5B including the tanker variant, production rate capability increases and engine upgrades. No completely new upper stage engine is required until Mars operations begin though a line-replacement for the venerable RL10 is advised merely to enable the high production rates that will be demanded. The entire booster system remain as-is for the near-term. The development of a new LO2/kerosene booster engine to supplement the RD-180 is strongly encouraged but is not required to be complete before 2020 at the earliest. The depot evolution is estimated to cost, including the deployment of operational Centaur and ACES depots at LEO and L2 approximately $3B. LEO propellant donor vehicle development would be borne by the suppliers. The key here is that developmental costs for many elements are diluted across both NASA and DoD budgets. We continue to believe that a very substantial permanently crewed lunar base is within our grasp and is mandatory before we venture to Mars. With the depot system in place the only remaining transport elements required for lunar surface exploration are the Ascender/habitat and Cargo Delivery modules. With the proposed Dual Thrust Axis Lander concept the lander design uses the ACES tank as the descent system and a substantial portion of lander development costs are avoided- allowing a focus on equipment for long-duration stays on the surface. The development of the lander/ascender elements is estimated to be approximately $5B. The basic surface system development is estimated to be approximately twice that: $10B. In summary, the entire depot based [Lunar] architecture including all payload elements, payload fairings, habitats, etc. is estimated to cost less than $40B with an IOC for the initial elements in 2016.
(my emphasis)

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 11/25/2010 09:45 am

If Orion truly flies on a Delta IV HLV in 2013 is human rating of EELV Phase 2 required?  Is human rating of the EELV Phase 2 particularly difficult following the presumed Delta IV human rating?

No "human rating" is needed for an unmanned launch in 2013

Wow, you really think they could do it that fast? Seriously!

As I understand it, Lockheed Martin and the Orion Program have both given FY2014 for flying an Orion qualification unit of some kind on a D-IVH.  This will include a test of the nominal seperation of the LAS and as many other Orion systems as possible.  It will not include a re-entry or recovery test (which I imagine will be carried out on the Orion-1 mission).

There is a big difference between the Delta-IVH and an HLV.  The Delta-IVH to be used in this mission will likely be a stock vehicle with RS-68A and the standard 5m upper stage with 1 x RL-10B-2.  The HLV will likely still be a few years away at that point.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: renclod on 11/25/2010 10:31 am
... FY2014 for flying an Orion ...test ...  It will not include a re-entry or recovery ...

Where did you get that ? Goofy.

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 11/25/2010 10:36 am


As I understand it, Lockheed Martin and the Orion Program have both given FY2014 for flying an Orion qualification unit of some kind on a D-IVH.  This will include a test of the nominal seperation of the LAS and as many other Orion systems as possible.  It will not include a re-entry or recovery test (which I imagine will be carried out on the Orion-1 mission).


It includes reentry and recovery
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 11/25/2010 01:06 pm


As I understand it, Lockheed Martin and the Orion Program have both given FY2014 for flying an Orion qualification unit of some kind on a D-IVH.  This will include a test of the nominal seperation of the LAS and as many other Orion systems as possible.  It will not include a re-entry or recovery test (which I imagine will be carried out on the Orion-1 mission).


It includes reentry and recovery


See:

Well, we might see it fly after all.

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20101125/NEWS02/11250311/1007/Lockheed+plans+Orion+test+flight

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20101124/BREAKINGNEWS/101124037/1007/NEWS02/2013+test+flight+could+lead+to+mission+to+asteroid++moon+by+2015



Cheers!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 11/25/2010 03:22 pm
I was talking about the 2004 estimate.

I'm not sure what exactly I remember reading, but I wouldn't have deliberately called a 2010 paper "old", and in any case there isn't a new cost estimate.

Well I hear that, and I read the article, but dang if it doesn't have a date in it.  So you sorta have to derive the date based on its content.  Just a pet peeve about the presentation of info without a time clear context.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 11/30/2010 11:42 pm
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a

Holdren will be there tommorow.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 12/01/2010 03:56 am
Dear Senator Cantwell,

John Holdren will testify tomorrow (Dec 1) at a full hearing of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee regarding the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.

NASA's space exploration program is at a crossroads, and as you know, Washington State and its residents have a vital interest in the aerospace industry.  I am writing to ask that you take an active role in questioning Mr Holdren subsequent to his testimony.

The space exploration program authorized by Congress is substantially different from the program outlined in the fiscal year 2011 budget proposal from the White House.  Although the administration's budget for NASA was not widely vetted before being proposed, Mr Holdren is Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy and must certainly have been a participant in its formulation. 

I urge you to directly ask Mr Holdren if he fully supports development of the Space Launch System outlined in the Act, even though his 2011 budget proposal included nothing like it.  I urge you to directly ask Mr Holdren if he fully supports development of the Multipurpose Crew Vehicle outlined in the Act, even though his 2011 budget proposal included nothing like it.  Finally, I urge you to ask Mr Holdren if the funding levels authorized by the Act for Exploration Technology Development are sufficient to enable the kinds of exploration he personally envisions for our country's future.

Because aerospace and advanced technology are defining characteristics of Washington State your voice is vital to this discussion.  Because there is no NASA center here, you can be an engaged yet impartial participant in the process which, if it goes well, will lead to a future for NASA which maintains our country's leadership in aerospace pursuits.  Please do not overlook this opportunity to do that!

Sincerely,
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: FinalFrontier on 12/01/2010 07:18 am
http://stgnews.com/archive/360
.....
“Today’s meeting confirms that we are in a long-term fight over the future of NASA’s manned space flight program,” Bishop said. “While I appreciate Administrator Charlie Bolden and Assistant Administrator Lori Garver’s willingness to meet with us, I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel. During the meeting, I expressed my disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act.[/i]

Perhaps if Congressional folks want to avoid "disappointment that both Bolden and Garver continue to slow-walk the plans required by the NASA Reauthorization Act" they should place some strongly worded phone calls to the White House. The White House seems to have completely missed the critical message of the Congressional elections: Folks are unhappy with the President's leadership.

Maybe some senior Congressional folks, or a former POTUS, could privately point out to the current POTUS that the White House's active and obstinate resistance to the bipartisan Congressional direction chosen for NASA means the President will continue to lose political influence within his own party and also with Americans in the other important party. America and the rest of the world are facing some pretty serious problems. A politically narrow and isolated President isn't going to be able to provide the leadership needed to help solve some of those problems.


Cheers!


I can almost guarantee you that it won't change anything. POTUS and this white house have made it very clear they will do what they want regardless.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: FinalFrontier on 12/01/2010 07:19 am
inability or unwillingness to form a robust support plan for a fully utilized International Space Station have been and remain as ongoing problems for NASA

When has this been a problem?  There is one, CRS and commercial crew.
Which has yet to fly an actual mission to ISS................
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: FinalFrontier on 12/01/2010 07:22 am


Yeah, but it would cut MSFC and ATK out of the deal.... Shelby and Hatch ain't gonna let that happen.

Any HLV keeps MSFC in the mix and an EELV derivative means more for AL

But I am not sure Shelby will see it that way.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: FinalFrontier on 12/01/2010 07:24 am
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a

Holdren will be there tommorow.

Here we go again with the hearings.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Cog_in_the_machine on 12/01/2010 07:29 am
Here we go again with the hearings.

Surprised? Don't tell me you thought the "compromise" was going to end it.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/01/2010 12:52 pm
Surprised?

Not really.  Like the Grateful Dead mentioned: "It gets to wearin' thin", even tho, "sometimes the light is shinin' on me".
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 02:34 pm
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a

Webcast up and starting now
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 02:42 pm
Senator Hutchison says that if necessary more words will be put into law to get SLS compliance.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 02:46 pm
Senator Vitter claims NASA stonewalling over new direction. Intends to put clarifying language in any new CR.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 02:50 pm
Senator Nelson says too much evidence of NASA/Administration in past not helping to get consensus.

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:00 pm
Holdren, Robinson and Chaplain give opening statements.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/01/2010 03:07 pm
Holdren, Robinson and Chaplain give opening statements.

And those statements tell you why I fear a year from now we won't have any capability, ISS will be at a 3-person crew and everything will be at the cliff with too much momentum to keep it from going over.  I really hope I'm wrong.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:09 pm
Senator Nelson asks Holdren and Robinson whether they intend to follow the law and they agree. Nelson disagrees and says they are still following President's budget request.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TexasRED on 12/01/2010 03:10 pm
I am getting the impression that they are NOT happy with the admin one bit.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Cog_in_the_machine on 12/01/2010 03:19 pm
Seems like the senate bill wasn't specific enough and NASA still has wiggle room to follow something more akin to 2011...with 2010 funding, because of the CR. This is an interesting and precarious position the admin is taking.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:20 pm
Senator Hutchison asks Robinson whether STS-135 will fly even under another CR and she agrees.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:24 pm
Holdren/Robinson answer Senator Hutchison saying they will follow the law regarding SLS/MPCV.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:30 pm
Senator Vitter agreeing specific language with all witnesses that needs to be inserted in any new CR to implement the 2010 Act going forward.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:34 pm
Senator Warner discusses commercial developments with Holdren and both pleased the Deficit Commission drops their 'bullseye' on it.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:39 pm
Senator LeMieux asks Robinson what haven't they done due to no appropriations bill being passed and she says specific funding for each new activity not clear.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/01/2010 03:41 pm
Senator LeMieux asks Robinson what haven't they done due to no appropriations bill being passed and she says specific funding for each new activity not clear.

And that is the central issue.  The fact that both OSTP director and the CFO danced around the question and fumbled should say a lot. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:42 pm
Senator Cantwell asks Robinson about SEP demonstration funding and Orbiter retirement home selection.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:56 pm
Senator Nelson asks Holdren whether NASA will consult fully with Congress over FY2012 budget request and says yes, will do better than FY2011.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 03:56 pm
Senator Hutchison states design of SLS from NASA a priority.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 04:01 pm
Robinson says if only $18.7bn agreed then Bolden decided new Space Launch complex would take the financial hit.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/01/2010 04:16 pm
Senator Nelson asks about JWST resolution and whether heritage will help SLS development meet schedule and cost and then wraps the meeting up stating he hopes that some clarity has been brought to the way forward from the meeting.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/01/2010 04:25 pm
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=b06c39af-e033-4cba-9221-de668ca1978a

Holdren will be there tommorow.

Here we go again with the hearings.

The archived webcast is already up.
That didn't take long!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TimL on 12/01/2010 04:50 pm
Pretty much a waste of time...are you following the law, yes we're following the law, you better follow the law, we're following the law...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jml on 12/01/2010 04:55 pm
The GAO report as entered into the official testimony of the hearing is here:
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=e6c1960c-dcf7-4cdc-88f3-fccd20d05110

Along with some scathing criticism of JWST overruns, this document discusses the GAO ruling about the Continuing Resolution language that was supposed to prohibit NASA stopping any "Program, Project, or Activity" within CxP. A footnote in this document mentions that "program, project or activity" are OMB accounting terms with specific meanings that differ from what you or I would see as the plain meaning of those words. The ruling from GAO seems to give NASA enough leeway to "prioritize" funding within CxP as NASA sees fit while this continuing resolution language is in effect. As in, NASA can decide to "prioritize" almost all their CxP funding during the life of the continuing resolution towards Orion and Commercial Crew, and defer anything more than minimal spending on Ares I for now.

Quote
In July, we considered whether NASA improperly terminated or eliminated any program, project, or activity of the Constellation program. We determined that NASA had five programs, projects, or activities within the “Constellation Systems” category:

Program Integration and Operations,
Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle,
Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle,
Ares V Cargo Launch Vehicle, and
Commercial Crew and Cargo

We concluded that NASA did not terminate or eliminate any program, project, or activity of the Constellation program because NASA continued to obligate Exploration appropriations to all five of the Constellation programs, projects, and activities. NASA diverted no Exploration funds to create a new program, project, or activity. We also noted that as long as NASA does not improperly create or terminate a program, project, or activity, the agency has discretion in how it carries out the Constellation program consistent with Congress’s statutory direction. Shifts in priority do not in themselves constitute the termination or elimination of a program, project, or activity.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/01/2010 05:25 pm
Pretty much a waste of time...are you following the law, yes we're following the law, you better follow the law, we're following the law...

I think there were actually some interesting pieces of information.  While maybe not "breaking news", important nonetheless. 

1.  STS-135:  While the mission is being planned, hardware being processed, etc the statement from the CFO about the "intent" to fly it, and that the money is there even with a full-year CR, is the most official "go", to the best of my knowledge, we (the general workforce) have heard from someone within the senior administration speaking on the record and for all to hear.  I personally would not underestimate that. 

2.  Another is a bit more subtle.  It was in response to a question asked by Senator Nelson and the "legal clarity" NASA lawyers have given NASA administration regarding certain issues.  I found it quite interesting the response the CFO gave and the "pecking order" that was defined and supposedly why.  Personally, I found that to speak volumes. 

3.  Senator Vitter's use of logic in what can naturally be a very illogical environment.  By that, simply inserting words in the CR that directs NASA to work to the 2010 Authorization law when spending the money allocated to NASA in FY2011.  I especially liked him asking for the correspondance that supposedly had taken place regarding that and to be "in-the-loop" so-to-speak with the final words placed in any potential CR.  To me, that was very simple and true "oversight" and a simple step but a potential big jump forward. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/01/2010 05:38 pm
Pretty much a waste of time...are you following the law, yes we're following the law, you better follow the law, we're following the law...

I disagree. Senator Vitters' questions and statements on the language that needs to be introduced in the next continuing resolution in order to allow the implementing the 2010 NASA Authorization bill would help a lot. Right now the 2009 appropriation bill is constraining NASA from moving forward and prevents them from cancelling Constellation contracts.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/01/2010 06:04 pm
Robinson says if only $18.7bn agreed then Bolden decided new Space Launch complex would take the financial hit.

Just to clarify, the work on the new space launch complex would be postponed but not cancelled. In other words, the work on it would be deferred to a later time in order to save money for FY 2011 only. Incidentally, that's also important news. Nelson said that he wanted details on this as it could have an impact on the timeline.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TimL on 12/01/2010 06:06 pm
My initial take on the opening remarks were that the Senator's were going after the SLS/SDHLV avenue and why hadn't work started already. Why was NASA soliciting 13 companies for heavy lift studies when congress has already mandated that shuttle technology will be used for the SLS as has been signed by the prez and is now law. The answers from the other side really sidestepped any direct answers and will continue to research the HLV for the next few years.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 12/01/2010 06:08 pm
My initial take on the opening remarks were that the Senator's were going after the SLS/SDHLV avenue and why hadn't work started already. Why was NASA soliciting 13 companies for heavy lift studies when congress has already mandated that shuttle technology will be used for the SLS as has been signed by the prez and is now law. The answers from the other side really sidestepped any direct answers and will continue to research the HLV for the next few years.

Shuttle technology is to be used to the extent possible. It does not prevent NASA from studing other forms of heavy lift......
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/01/2010 06:12 pm
My initial take on the opening remarks were that the Senator's were going after the SLS/SDHLV avenue and why hadn't work started already. Why was NASA soliciting 13 companies for heavy lift studies when congress has already mandated that shuttle technology will be used for the SLS as has been signed by the prez and is now law. The answers from the other side really sidestepped any direct answers and will continue to research the HLV for the next few years.

This is my "number 2" above.  It's not just about an HLV though.  The response given by the CFO hints at anything but a SDLV based on the response with respect to an HLV and dragging their feet with respect to MPCV, perhaps intentionally hurting Orion in the process. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/01/2010 06:16 pm
My initial take on the opening remarks were that the Senator's were going after the SLS/SDHLV avenue and why hadn't work started already. Why was NASA soliciting 13 companies for heavy lift studies when congress has already mandated that shuttle technology will be used for the SLS as has been signed by the prez and is now law. The answers from the other side really sidestepped any direct answers and will continue to research the HLV for the next few years.

Shuttle technology is to be used to the extent possible. It does not prevent NASA from studing other forms of heavy lift......

So riddle me this.  You seemingly are implying your interpretation of the law is that an HLV should be a SDLV with some technologies (likely J-2) from CxP.  So, if that is the law, and the witness' said over and over again it was their intent to follow said law, what is the point in spending time and money to "study" other forms?

The answer is it all goes back to number 2.....
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 12/01/2010 06:19 pm
My initial take on the opening remarks were that the Senator's were going after the SLS/SDHLV avenue and why hadn't work started already. Why was NASA soliciting 13 companies for heavy lift studies when congress has already mandated that shuttle technology will be used for the SLS as has been signed by the prez and is now law. The answers from the other side really sidestepped any direct answers and will continue to research the HLV for the next few years.

Quote
Shuttle technology is to be used to the extent possible. It does not prevent NASA from studing other forms of heavy lift......

Quote
So riddle me this.  You seemingly are implying your interpretation of the law is that an HLV should be a SDLV with some technologies (likely J-2) from CxP.  So, if that is the law, and the witness' said over and over again it was their intent to follow said law, what is the point in spending time and money to "study" other forms?

The point is either to have something ready when SLS crashes and burns or have cheaper Options should the law allow. If I had to build an rocket and there were cheaper less restrained alternative available, I would choose them. SLS is about keeping people employed and pork in the right hands more than getting the best deal for NASA, Exploration and the Tax Payer.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/01/2010 06:46 pm
The point is either to have something ready when SLS crashes and burns or have cheaper Options should the law allow. If I had to build an rocket and there were cheaper less restrained alternative available, I would choose them. SLS is about keeping people employed and pork in the right hands more than getting the best deal for NASA, Exploration and the Tax Payer.

Of course that is your opinion, laced with insults and hopes for failure.

You're basing them on empty claims because you have no functional technical or contracutal basis to compare an EELV-based HLV versus a SDLV-based HLV.  The reason of course being because those details are unknown on how they would be executed, certainly to the public at large.  So you are making assumptions and trying to pass them off as facts using unnecessary derogatory comments in the process. 

Now I won't go far as to say elected officials in congress do not care about employment in their districts.  Obviously they do and that is the nature of things if you are to get government money.  That said, you should probably throttle back on the dogma you have been placing in nearly every thread suggesting it is all with malicious intent by all involved. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 12/01/2010 06:47 pm
Robinson (in the context of JWST's mega-overruns) really made the point that she favored SLS evolutionary development and not overestimating the extent to which heritage systems can be cheaply reused. The latter is something that applies equally to Shuttle/CxP-derived and EELV-derived (i.e. Phase II) systems. Sounds reassuring, and I guess we'll see if they follow it when the 90-day report comes out...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 12/01/2010 06:48 pm
Looks like the House is voting on a CR to Dec. 18 right now.

http://www.c-span.org/Watch/C-SPAN.aspx
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 12/01/2010 06:49 pm
The point is either to have something ready when SLS crashes and burns or have cheaper Options should the law allow. If I had to build an rocket and there were cheaper less restrained alternative available, I would choose them. SLS is about keeping people employed and pork in the right hands more than getting the best deal for NASA, Exploration and the Tax Payer.

Of course that is your opinion, laced with insults and hopes for failure.

You're basing them on empty claims because you have no functional technical or contracutal basis to compare an EELV-based HLV versus a SDLV-based HLV.  The reason of course being because those details are unknown on how they would be executed, certainly to the public at large.  So you are making assumptions and trying to pass them off as facts using unnecessary derogatory comments in the process. 

Now I won't go far as to say elected officials in congress do not care about employment in their districts.  Obviously they do and that is the nature of things if you are to get government money.  That said, you should probably throttle back on the dogma you have been placing in nearly every thread suggesting it is all with malicious intent by all involved. 

No I don't hope for failure, I just don't see success down the current path.  The heavy lift is underfunded. It lacks payloads. It isn't economizing on anything at a time when economizing needs to happen. Maybe it will pull through. But one thing I am not is dogmatic. I prefer things that work and so far NASA has not been able to come up with a shuttle replacement for years. That alone is not a good sign.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Pheogh on 12/01/2010 06:50 pm
Robinson (in the context of JWST's mega-overruns) really made the point that she favored SLS evolutionary development and not overestimating the extent to which heritage systems can be cheaply reused. The latter is something that applies equally to Shuttle/CxP-derived and EELV-derived (i.e. Phase II) systems. Sounds reassuring, and I guess we'll see if they follow it when the 90-day report comes out...

and when does the 90 day study start? Is it dependent on the appropriations?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/01/2010 07:17 pm
No I don't hope for failure, I just don't see success down the current path.  The heavy lift is underfunded. It lacks payloads. It isn't economizing on anything at a time when economizing needs to happen. Maybe it will pull through. But one thing I am not is dogmatic. I prefer things that work and so far NASA has not been able to come up with a shuttle replacement for years. That alone is not a good sign.

Your statements appear to me to indicate otherwise with regards to "hoping for failure". 

Again, with this latest post, it is a lot of conjecture attempting to be passed as fact. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/01/2010 07:21 pm
Pretty much a waste of time...are you following the law, yes we're following the law, you better follow the law, we're following the law...

I think there were actually some interesting pieces of information.  While maybe not "breaking news", important nonetheless. 

2.  Another is a bit more subtle.  It was in response to a question asked by Senator Nelson and the "legal clarity" NASA lawyers have given NASA administration regarding certain issues.  I found it quite interesting the response the CFO gave and the "pecking order" that was defined and supposedly why.  Personally, I found that to speak volumes. 

Vitter didn't give the NASA CFO the chance to actually answer that question. But in all likelyhood, the legal clarity memos relating to the SLS takes a lot more time because they depend on the overall funding of the HLV and they are also more complicated from a legal point of view.

The fact that NASA is allowed to pursue CCDev 2 under a continuing resolution isn't much of a surprise since it's a continuation of CCDev 1 (which was started under the stimilus bill). Drafting a legal opinion on the legality of starting a new SLS program which likely requires cancelling part of Constellation is a lot more dificult.   

However, I liked the fact that Vitters admitted that part of the problem was Congress' fault since they should have clarified some of this in the first continuing resolution (CR) that they passed. But this wasn't done because they wanted a "clean" CR.

It will be interesting to get 51D Mascot's views on how he viewed this hearing. It seems to have been a very productive hearing. Hopefully the next CR will contain the right language in order to implement the NASA Authorization bill.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/01/2010 07:22 pm
Robinson (in the context of JWST's mega-overruns) really made the point that she favored SLS evolutionary development and not overestimating the extent to which heritage systems can be cheaply reused. The latter is something that applies equally to Shuttle/CxP-derived and EELV-derived (i.e. Phase II) systems. Sounds reassuring, and I guess we'll see if they follow it when the 90-day report comes out...

and when does the 90 day study start? Is it dependent on the appropriations?

The 90 day period starts from the day that the NASA Authorization bill was signed by the President (October 11, 2010).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/01/2010 07:43 pm
It will be interesting to get 51D Mascot's views on how he viewed this hearing. It seems to have been a very productive hearing. Hopefully the next CR will contain the right language in order to implement the NASA Authorization bill.
They may be targeting CR #3.  Will take some quick action to get into CR #2.  The House appropriations side (Rep. Obey) has drafted a bill that runs through December 18. 

Quote
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Public Law 111-242) is amended by striking the date specified in section 106(3) and inserting `December 18, 2010'.

It's possible that the Senate might substitute/pass different language, but Congress as a whole only has until Friday night to pass the same bill.

Little has been resolved so far on the other issues (Bush tax cuts, etc.), so we're still waiting on the big picture, too.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TimL on 12/01/2010 07:46 pm
I don't know the right answer to the riddle OV, but I don't believe that a single one of those Senator's give a hoot about when something will fly or when the gap will be closed. I honestly believe each and every one of them only cares about how much money NASA is going to be spending in their state PERIOD! Why wasn't there a discussion about NASA asking the appropriation members/congress for $$$ to fund STS-135 or pay for the cost overruns on Webb? This take it out of hide crap needs to stop because it seriously does more harm to the other programs within NASA. Congress is holding the checkbook and asking for things to be accomplished, fine, write the checks already...this CR garbage needs to be abolished or directly tied to congress September paychecks...no approved budget, no gravy.

I've been in government for 29 years and 4 of that with NASA, nothing is more frustrating than telling folks not to start working on this or ordering that because it's October or November or December and we're still under a CR...garbage!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/01/2010 07:50 pm
Pretty much a waste of time...are you following the law, yes we're following the law, you better follow the law, we're following the law...

I think there were actually some interesting pieces of information.  While maybe not "breaking news", important nonetheless. 

2.  Another is a bit more subtle.  It was in response to a question asked by Senator Nelson and the "legal clarity" NASA lawyers have given NASA administration regarding certain issues.  I found it quite interesting the response the CFO gave and the "pecking order" that was defined and supposedly why.  Personally, I found that to speak volumes. 

Vitters didn't give the CFO the chance to actually answer that question. But in all likelyhood, the legal clarity memos relating to the SLS takes a lot more time because they depend on the overall funding of the HLV and they are also more complicated from a legal point of view.

The fact that NASA is allowed to pursue CCDev 2 under a continuing resolution isn't much of a surprise since it's a continuation of CCDev 1 (which was started under the stimilus bill). Drafting a legal opinion on the legality of starting a new SLS program which likely requires cancelling part of Constellation is a lot more dificult.   


On your first paragraph, as I mentioned, it was Senator Nelson.  However, that is not really the subtle point in which I was referring. 

On your second paragraph, CCDev 2 is not really a simple "continuation" of the first.  It is an open competition, not just additional funding to those who got it during the first round. 

I'm not saying by any means CCDev 2 RFPs for Space Act Agreements should not have been let, just curious that seems so "simple" to rationalize.  However it takes a lot of time to "explore the trade space" with respect to MPCV (based on Orion where a contract is already in place and significant money already spent) and an HLV (where the options - and really the intent of congress - is pretty clear). 

In addition, there was something about grad students thrown in there.  While I absolutely agree research is important at universities and the students there are part of the future workforce pipeline, IMHO there are thousands of people now who are the current workforce pipeline who are wondering how long their current job lasts and how best to try to apply their talents and experience for what comes next. 

So, as I said, I found that conversational exchange to speak volumes to me personally. 

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 12/01/2010 07:53 pm
Why was NASA soliciting 13 companies for heavy lift studies when congress has already mandated that shuttle technology will be used for the SLS as has been signed by the prez and is now law.

Because SLS is only a name of vehicle that has no shape, form or function.  To define such a vehicle, studies must be performed.  No where in the law does it say SLS uses 2 SRB's with SSME's on a modified ET.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Pheogh on 12/01/2010 07:56 pm
Pretty much a waste of time...are you following the law, yes we're following the law, you better follow the law, we're following the law...

I think there were actually some interesting pieces of information.  While maybe not "breaking news", important nonetheless. 

2.  Another is a bit more subtle.  It was in response to a question asked by Senator Nelson and the "legal clarity" NASA lawyers have given NASA administration regarding certain issues.  I found it quite interesting the response the CFO gave and the "pecking order" that was defined and supposedly why.  Personally, I found that to speak volumes. 



It will be interesting to get 51D Mascot's views on how he viewed this hearing. It seems to have been a very productive hearing. Hopefully the next CR will contain the right language in order to implement the NASA Authorization bill.

For what's its worth I certainly hope this kind of oversight(on behalf of the taxpayers I might add) continues and is as aggressive if not more. It is clear that CxP ran off the rails by trying to horse trade on their own, coupled with a lack of congressional oversight  that lead to such a mess.

The one question that I seem to keep asking is what mechanism is there if any to force NASA leadership to actually implement the intent of the law. I heard an awful lot of "we fully intend to" and not a lot of "we will"?

"I fully intended to take out the garbage tonight honey" is a very honest statement but carries exactly zero responsibility for whether it happens or not. I expect far more from these people. Certainly with hearings like these I feel like my representatives are holding up their end of the bargain. The jury is currently still very skeptical and not very confident that Holdren and Co. will do the same.

On behalf of this taxpayer 51D please keep it up. I am confident if you all continue this kind of oversight we will end up with a manned space program which at least will hold and perhaps extend a bit the current ground for the next generation.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/01/2010 08:08 pm
It will be interesting to get 51D Mascot's views on how he viewed this hearing. It seems to have been a very productive hearing. Hopefully the next CR will contain the right language in order to implement the NASA Authorization bill.
They may be targeting CR #3.  Will take some quick action to get into CR #2.  The House appropriations side (Rep. Obey) has drafted a bill that runs through December 18. 

Quote
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (Public Law 111-242) is amended by striking the date specified in section 106(3) and inserting `December 18, 2010'.

It's possible that the Senate might substitute/pass different language, but Congress as a whole only has until Friday night to pass the same bill.

Little has been resolved so far on the other issues (Bush tax cuts, etc.), so we're still waiting on the big picture, too.


You make some good points. A short term CR until December 18 will likely be a clean continuing resolution as there is less incentives to fix everything for only a two-week period.  However, I wonder if two weeks will make much of a difference. Chances are we will have to wait for the new Congress before this is fixed.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/01/2010 08:09 pm
I don't know the right answer to the riddle OV, but I don't believe that a single one of those Senator's give a hoot about when something will fly or when the gap will be closed. I honestly believe each and every one of them only cares about how much money NASA is going to be spending in their state PERIOD! Why wasn't there a discussion about NASA asking the appropriation members/congress for $$$ to fund STS-135 or pay for the cost overruns on Webb? This take it out of hide crap needs to stop because it seriously does more harm to the other programs within NASA. Congress is holding the checkbook and asking for things to be accomplished, fine, write the checks already...this CR garbage needs to be abolished or directly tied to congress September paychecks...no approved budget, no gravy.

I've been in government for 29 years and 4 of that with NASA, nothing is more frustrating than telling folks not to start working on this or ordering that because it's October or November or December and we're still under a CR...garbage!

Sure they care about the money being spent in their state and the jobs there.  It would be naive to think otherwise, afterall, that is the nature of our system. 

However, I guess I just prefer not to see them as "bad" because of that or assume they "only" care about that.  I like to think they also care about the budget (if it is over, etc) the general timeline but a lot of the technical details must obviously be left to NASA.  Yet NASA (and something you are keenly aware of based on your above post) as a government agency must function within the desires dictated by law.  Clearly an imperfect system but better than other options around the world.

I did here some info not known to me personally with respect to STS-135.  It is "number 1" in a previous post and there was a fair amount of discussion, I thought anyway, on the subject.  I also heard something about JWST, but was busy with something else at the time, so don't know the details.

As for the whole CR process, I agree with you on that.  I really wish that congress could appropriate a budget (since that is one of their primary functions) on time and consistently because it does make things otherwise a mess.  But I do think strong oversight, the "take it out of their hide" stuff, is essential by the appropriate committees that oversee NASA, to make sure they don't drift too far away (because that is a way of monitoring overall budget and schedule) from the intent and that, in my opinion, was a problem with CxP. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TimL on 12/01/2010 08:24 pm
Oversight is one thing, but take it out of the other programs is part of the cost run ups that lead to these budget problems.

I cringed when Warner commented about Langley and needing research funding to upgrade the air traffic system. Hutchinson or somebody says something about there being 400 million plus up in the NASA's budget to fund that, but guess where that money for STS-135 and Webb will come from...all these other programs.

If congress truly wants to support STS-135, it should be a stand alone line item in the appropriations bill
If they truly want to support Webb, dedicate a line item funding increase to pay down the over runs.
If they truly want to close the gap now and get SLS running, fund it already!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/01/2010 08:30 pm
Pretty much a waste of time...are you following the law, yes we're following the law, you better follow the law, we're following the law...

I think there were actually some interesting pieces of information.  While maybe not "breaking news", important nonetheless. 

2.  Another is a bit more subtle.  It was in response to a question asked by Senator Nelson and the "legal clarity" NASA lawyers have given NASA administration regarding certain issues.  I found it quite interesting the response the CFO gave and the "pecking order" that was defined and supposedly why.  Personally, I found that to speak volumes. 

Vitter didn't give the CFO the chance to actually answer that question. But in all likelyhood, the legal clarity memos relating to the SLS takes a lot more time because they depend on the overall funding of the HLV and they are also more complicated from a legal point of view.

The fact that NASA is allowed to pursue CCDev 2 under a continuing resolution isn't much of a surprise since it's a continuation of CCDev 1 (which was started under the stimilus bill). Drafting a legal opinion on the legality of starting a new SLS program which likely requires cancelling part of Constellation is a lot more dificult.   


On your first paragraph, as I mentioned, it was Senator Nelson.  However, that is not really the subtle point in which I was referring. 

On your second paragraph, CCDev 2 is not really a simple "continuation" of the first.  It is an open competition, not just additional funding to those who got it during the first round. 

I'm not saying by any means CCDev 2 RFPs for Space Act Agreements should not have been let, just curious that seems so "simple" to rationalize.  However it takes a lot of time to "explore the trade space" with respect to MPCV (based on Orion where a contract is already in place and significant money already spent) and an HLV (where the options - and really the intent of congress - is pretty clear). 

In addition, there was something about grad students thrown in there.  While I absolutely agree research is important at universities and the students there are part of the future workforce pipeline, IMHO there are thousands of people now who are the current workforce pipeline who are wondering how long their current job lasts and how best to try to apply their talents and experience for what comes next. 

So, as I said, I found that conversational exchange to speak volumes to me personally. 

You are right that it was originally Nelson's question. But Vitter later made a comment that was identical to yours but he didn't let the NASA CFO give an explanation as to why that was case.

I also realize that CCDev 1 and 2 are not identical but they are still part of the same program. Neither of them are part of Constellation, so the legal issues are easier to resolve than for the SLS. Furthermore, NASA will not be awarding anything for CCDev-2 before March 2012 and the awards are dependent on the amount that will be appropriated by Congress.  So NASA gave itself a lot of possible "outs" if necessary.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: renclod on 12/01/2010 08:36 pm
If I understand what was said in this hearing correctly, in order to have NASA moving forward along 2010 auth law guidance, in the context of a long term FY 2011 CR, three (3) things must be inserted in the CR language :

A. an explicit reference to removing current language that prohibits NASA to terminate programs, projects or activities

B. an explicit reference to removing current language that prohibits NASA to start new programs, projects or activities

C. an explicit reference to NASA authorization law of 2010 as the legal source of guidance when it comes to distributing CR funds to new and existing programs, projects and activities

Did I got that right ?

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/01/2010 08:54 pm
If I understand what was said in this hearing correctly, in order to have NASA moving forward along 2010 auth law guidance, in the context of a long term FY 2011 CR, three (3) things must be inserted in the CR language :

A. an explicit reference to removing current language in the 2009 Appropriation bill and in the new war supplemental funding bill that prohibits NASA to terminate programs, projects or activities relating to Constellation.

B. an explicit reference to removing current language (that is generally found in continuing resolutions) that prohibits NASA (or other government agencies) to start new programs, projects or activities that weren't already funded under the prior appropriation bill. However, given the fact that appropriation bills aren't that specific, there is some leeway on this.

C. an explicit reference to NASA authorization law of 2010 as the legal source of guidance when it comes to distributing CR funds to new and existing programs, projects and activities

Did I get that right ?

Yes but I have added in bold some details on each of your points.

More specifically, the following legislation needs to be either changed or repealed:

1- Here is the text of the war supplemental bill (on page 7) that needs repealing:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h4899eas.txt.pdf
Quote
"Provided further, that notwithstanding any other provision of law or regulation, funds made available for Constellation in Fiscal Year 2010 for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration Exploration' and from previous appropriations for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration Exploration' shall be available to fund continued performance of Constellation contracts, and performance of such Constellation contracts may not be terminated for convenience by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Fiscal Year 2010."

2- Here is the language in the 2010 Appropriation bill that needs repealing (page 111):
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ117.111.pdf
Quote
EXPLORATION

For necessary expenses, not otherwise provided for, in the conduct and support of exploration research and development activities, including research, development, operations, support, and services; maintenance; space flight, spacecraft control, and communications activities; program management, personnel and related costs, including uniforms or allowances therefor, as authorized by 5 U.S.C. 5901–5902; travel expenses; purchase and hire of passenger motor vehicles; and purchase, lease, charter, maintenance, and operation of mission and administrative aircraft, $3,746,300,000, to remain available until September 30, 2011: Provided, That notwithstanding section 505 of this Act, none of the funds provided herein and from prior years that remain available for obligation during fiscal year 2010 shall be available for the termination or elimination of any program, project or activity of the architecture for the Constellation program nor shall such funds be available to create or initiate a new program, project or activity, unless such program termination, elimination, creation, or initiation is provided in subsequent appropriations Acts.

3- Here is the continuing resolution language that needs to be modified for NASA (pages 1 and 2):
http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_satohr3081_txt.pdf
Quote
SEC. 101. Such amounts as may be necessary, at a
8 rate for operations as provided in the applicable appropria
9 tions Acts for fiscal year 2010 and under the authority and
1 conditions provided in such Acts, for continuing projects
2 or activities (including the costs of direct loans and loan
3 guarantees) that are not otherwise specifically provided for
4 in this Act, that were conducted in fiscal year 2010, and
5 for which appropriations, funds, or other authority were
6 made available in the following appropriations Acts:

4- You would also need to add some "positive" language in the continuing resolution that would specifically refer to the amounts authorized under the NASA Authorization bill.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 12/01/2010 08:55 pm
and when does the 90 day study start? Is it dependent on the appropriations?
The 90 day period starts from the day that the NASA Authorization bill was signed by the President (October 11, 2010).

Which means January 9, 2011...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: renclod on 12/01/2010 09:08 pm
...90 day study ... January 9, 2011...

There was talk in the Senate hearing today to the understanding (or relief for NASA) that, given lack of resources, they will present partial study results at the term.

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/01/2010 09:39 pm
Looks like the House is voting on a CR to Dec. 18 right now.

http://www.c-span.org/Watch/C-SPAN.aspx

The House passed another clean continuing resolution until December 18 (the Senate now has to consider it):
http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_hjres101_cr.pdf

See also:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=716&Itemid=28
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/02/2010 12:39 am
Pretty much a waste of time...are you following the law, yes we're following the law, you better follow the law, we're following the law...

As I mentioned in several different contexts, and in several different wordings:

As long as you have the law, you can disregard the spirit. 

Gotta go.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 12/02/2010 01:44 am
Thanks for those words OV-106. I concur with the largess of the STS-135 wording: very positive.

And thanks marsavian for the play-by-play coverage.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/02/2010 01:32 pm
I feel pretty good about the hearing; from my perspective, it accomplished its primary objectives, which were to

a) demonstrate that the Committee is VERY serious about using its oversight authority to closely monitor--and thus be in a position to enforce--compliance with both the language and intent of the law,

b) to express concerns about indications the Committee has received from a variety of sources about less-than-adequate enthusiasm for full and complete implementation of the law or inaccurate "interpretations" of the law,

c) establish a dialogue about what real or imagined impediments exists (i.e., appropriations language and FY 2011 potential funding level scenarios) and potential solutions thereto, and

d) get affirmative statements on the record from senior officials regarding the "adoption" of the law as a matter of Administration policy and commitments to its successful implementation. (The focus was on the NASA CFO for this hearing simply because the current situation of working through the tangled web of CR appropriations--and that official's role in working through that and developing allocations among programs and providing longer-term budget planning guidance--is especially critical right now during the "transition.")

It was also made clear, though maybe not as noticeable to observers as some of the above, that this was the "opening salvo", if you will, of what will be an ongoing process of careful oversight and follow-up; that the enactment of the law represented just the "first step" in ensuring the new "re-direction" established by the law, especially in the realm of human spaceflight; and to reflect that that oversight includes being able to fine-tune the language and policy, where needed, to ensure an "executable" program (including changes to out-year funding, etc., depending on what becomes clear and more certain on exactly what vehicle designs and mission definitions are developed, as required by the law.)

So...a good beginning, in my view, skeptics and critics of the law and the process on this site and elsewhere notwithstanding, hehe.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: brihath on 12/02/2010 02:03 pm
I feel pretty good about the hearing; from my perspective, it accomplished its primary objectives, which were to

a) demonstrate that the Committee is VERY serious about using its oversight authority to closely monitor--and thus be in a position to enforce--compliance with both the language and intent of the law,

b) to express concerns about indications the Committee has received from a variety of sources about less-than-adequate enthusiasm for full and complete implementation of the law or inaccurate "interpretations" of the law,

c) establish a dialogue about what real or imagined impediments exists (i.e., appropriations language and FY 2011 potential funding level scenarios) and potential solutions thereto, and

d) get affirmative statements on the record from senior officials regarding the "adoption" of the law as a matter of Administration policy and commitments to its successful implementation. (The focus was on the NASA CFO for this hearing simply because the current situation of working through the tangled web of CR appropriations--and that official's role in working through that and developing allocations among programs and providing longer-term budget planning guidance--is especially critical right now during the "transition.")

It was also made clear, though maybe not as noticeable to observers as some of the above, that this was the "opening salvo", if you will, of what will be an ongoing process of careful oversight and follow-up; that the enactment of the law represented just the "first step" in ensuring the new "re-direction" established by the law, especially in the realm of human spaceflight; and to reflect that that oversight includes being able to fine-tune the language and policy, where needed, to ensure an "executable" program (including changes to out-year funding, etc., depending on what becomes clear and more certain on exactly what vehicle designs and mission definitions are developed, as required by the law.)

So...a good beginning, in my view, skeptics and critics of the law and the process on this site and elsewhere notwithstanding, hehe.

51D-  Thanks for the summary.  Just curious, what steps would the committee be empowered to take should implementation of the law deviate from the intended path?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/02/2010 02:33 pm
The fact that the appropropriation process has been stalled in Congress is making it hard for NASA to implement the NASA Authorization bill. If you ask me, Congress should focus its efforts on getting this done before crying foul and claiming that NASA is not following the spirit of the law. Some people in the House have vowed to continue fighting some of the items that are found in the 2010 NASA Authorization bill.  This makes it difficult for NASA to commit to any new programs including CCDev-2 and the SLS. I liked the fact that Vitter was honest enough to say that they are partly to blame for the situation.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/02/2010 02:38 pm
I feel pretty good about the hearing; from my perspective, it accomplished its primary objectives, which were to

a) demonstrate that the Committee is VERY serious about using its oversight authority to closely monitor--and thus be in a position to enforce--compliance with both the language and intent of the law,

b) to express concerns about indications the Committee has received from a variety of sources about less-than-adequate enthusiasm for full and complete implementation of the law or inaccurate "interpretations" of the law,

c) establish a dialogue about what real or imagined impediments exists (i.e., appropriations language and FY 2011 potential funding level scenarios) and potential solutions thereto, and

d) get affirmative statements on the record from senior officials regarding the "adoption" of the law as a matter of Administration policy and commitments to its successful implementation. (The focus was on the NASA CFO for this hearing simply because the current situation of working through the tangled web of CR appropriations--and that official's role in working through that and developing allocations among programs and providing longer-term budget planning guidance--is especially critical right now during the "transition.")

It was also made clear, though maybe not as noticeable to observers as some of the above, that this was the "opening salvo", if you will, of what will be an ongoing process of careful oversight and follow-up; that the enactment of the law represented just the "first step" in ensuring the new "re-direction" established by the law, especially in the realm of human spaceflight; and to reflect that that oversight includes being able to fine-tune the language and policy, where needed, to ensure an "executable" program (including changes to out-year funding, etc., depending on what becomes clear and more certain on exactly what vehicle designs and mission definitions are developed, as required by the law.)

So...a good beginning, in my view, skeptics and critics of the law and the process on this site and elsewhere notwithstanding, hehe.

51D-  Thanks for the summary.  Just curious, what steps would the committee be empowered to take should implementation of the law deviate from the intended path?

The Committee can develop new legislative language to amend the law to both clarify intent, and remove "wiggle room" if needed. It has the authority to enact "if-then" kinds of provisions, prohibit other actions if desired actions aren't taken, etc.  In the broader sense, it has the power to subpoena documents; require specific information that enables it to monitor progress and compliance, use the "bully pulpit" of additional hearings, press conferences, speeches, etc., to publicly highlight issues or concerns and bring attention to them, etc., etc. One thing not seen in yesterday's hearing is the fact that very specific and detailed questions will be sent to the witnesses, which will focus on concerns and issues that were referred to in more general terms during the hearing. The importance of getting the assurances of compliance publicly stated on the record yesterday is that it opens the door for that whole range of "tools" to be able to ensure accountability for the subsequent actions--or lack thereof--taken in fulfilling the obligations committed to. When these kinds of things are done on a bipartisan basis, they can be very powerful elements of the "policy process."
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/02/2010 02:44 pm
The fact that the appropropriation process has been stalled in Congress is making it hard for NASA to implement the NASA Authorization bill. If you ask me, Congress should focus its efforts on getting this done before crying foul and claiming that NASA is not following the spirit of the law. Some people in the House have vowed to continue fighting some of the items that are found in the 2010 NASA Authorization bill.  This makes it difficult for NASA to commit to any new programs including CCDev-2 and the SLS.

Please don't assume that Members can't "multi-task." The issues in appropriations have been, and continue to be, worked very diligently by these Members. There are "institutional constraints" that are at work as well, which complicate the issue, not least of which is the pending transition of power in the House, and the fact that the current appropriations morass is not just in the area affecting NASA, but the ENTIRE federal government, so getting "special attention" to something that represents less than one half of one percent of that total is not easy; but everything possible is being done in the context of those realities, and one of the outcomes of yesterday's hearing was a commitment for direct White House engagement on the issues affecting NASA. We shall see, as Senator Vitter noted, how well that "test" is met.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/02/2010 02:56 pm
The fact that the appropropriation process has been stalled in Congress is making it hard for NASA to implement the NASA Authorization bill. If you ask me, Congress should focus its efforts on getting this done before crying foul and claiming that NASA is not following the spirit of the law. Some people in the House have vowed to continue fighting some of the items that are found in the 2010 NASA Authorization bill.  This makes it difficult for NASA to commit to any new programs including CCDev-2 and the SLS.

Please don't assume that Members can't "multi-task." The issues in appropriations have been, and continue to be, worked very diligently by these Members. There are "institutional constraints" that are at work as well, which complicate the issue, not least of which is the pending transition of power in the House, and the fact that the current appropriations morass is not just in the area affecting NASA, but the ENTIRE federal government, so getting "special attention" to something that represents less than one half of one percent of that total is not easy; but everything possible is being done in the context of those realities, and one of the outcomes of yesterday's hearing was a commitment for direct White House engagement on the issues affecting NASA. We shall see, as Senator Vitter noted, how well that "test" is met.

I am not assuming that Congress is unable to multi-task. But Congress needs to admit that the NASA Authorization bill is stalled partly because of their lack of progress on these issues. But Vitter was honest enough to say that they are partly to blame for the situation when he admited that there is "language" deficiencies that need to be fixed in the (December 17) continuing resolution.

Incidentally, any news on that? Is there any hope that the December 17th CR will contain the necessary language to fix some of these issues?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/02/2010 04:01 pm
The fact that the appropriation process has been stalled in Congress is making it hard for NASA to implement the NASA Authorization bill. If you ask me, Congress should focus its efforts on getting this done before crying foul and claiming that NASA is not following the spirit of the law. Some people in the House have vowed to continue fighting some of the items that are found in the 2010 NASA Authorization bill.  This makes it difficult for NASA to commit to any new programs including CCDev-2 and the SLS.

Please don't assume that Members can't "multi-task." The issues in appropriations have been, and continue to be, worked very diligently by these Members. There are "institutional constraints" that are at work as well, which complicate the issue, not least of which is the pending transition of power in the House, and the fact that the current appropriations morass is not just in the area affecting NASA, but the ENTIRE federal government, so getting "special attention" to something that represents less than one half of one percent of that total is not easy; but everything possible is being done in the context of those realities, and one of the outcomes of yesterday's hearing was a commitment for direct White House engagement on the issues affecting NASA. We shall see, as Senator Vitter noted, how well that "test" is met.

I am not assuming that Congress is unable to multi-task. But Congress needs to admit that the NASA Authorization bill is stalled partly because of their lack of progress on these issues. But Vitter was honest enough to say that they are partly to blame for the situation when he admitted that there is "language" deficiencies that need to be fixed in the (December 17) continuing resolution.

Incidentally, any news on that? Is there any hope that the December 17th CR will contain the necessary language to fix some of these issues?

Maybe I was too oblique in my comment. We have known for some time that the action taken by the appropriators in the fall of 2009 and summer of 2010 (with the blessing of the authorizers, who had not yet passed the 2010 bill, but had the public assurances of the appropriators that their subsequent CJS appropriations would track what was authorized, if an authorization bill was enacted) has proven to be responsible for some of the apparent "confusion" about moving forward with the bill.

The hearing yesterday was precisely to focus on just to what extent that was reality, versus "excuse," for lack of progress. If you listened carefully, you heard Beth Robinson say that it actually was NOT an impediment to the SLS or MPCV--that the issue there was the uncertainty of just how much the eventual funding levels would be.

Unfortunately, the CJS subcommittee appropriators were unable to get a separate CJS bill passed, which would have included the necessary language pointing to the authorization bill as the guiding policy and law for the use of the funds. Therefore, the CR ended up including ALL of government, and since every other subcommittee would have "exceptions" they would have liked to have made to address issues within their jurisdiction (handled as what are called "anomalies" in a CR) the leadership ruled that there would be a "clean" CR, which has the side-effect of carrying forward any restrictive language enacted affecting FY 2010 funds into FY 2011, even if those restrictions are no longer needed or desirable. The challenge now is to get agreement, in the face of what is likely to be a CR for the remainder of FY 2011, to insert the necessary "anomaly" language needed to remove any doubt about NASA's ability to implement the new authorization law. That is what Senator Vitter was focusing on in the hearing, and what has been under discussion among all the members for some time now. The "test" that  he referred to is the issue of the degree to which the White House/President will now weigh in to support the inclusion of those anomalies in the next CR. That has to be done with the House Democrats, because the House is where the appropriations must originate, under the Constitution--and where the House Republicans are currently in a posture of not "engaging" in the CR discussions unless they get agreement to use 2008 spending levels.

I'm trying to summarize what is a very complex situation, but mainly want to make the point that the relevant parties are engaged and actively working to get the necessary "fix" in place. As to your question of whether that will be done for the next CR, there's no way right now to predict, but that is the point of all of the current behind-the-scenes activity and discussion, of which there is a great deal going on.

Does that help, or just confuse the issue more?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/02/2010 04:19 pm
That does help a lot. Your other comments were not oblique at all. But these additionnal comments provide even more details. Thanks. That was very informative.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 12/02/2010 04:54 pm
If you listened carefully, you heard Beth Robinson say that it actually was NOT an impediment to the SLS or MPCV--that the issue there was the uncertainty of just how much the eventual funding levels would be.

I thought I heard that, but thanks for making it clear.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/02/2010 05:06 pm
If you listened carefully, you heard Beth Robinson say that it actually was NOT an impediment to the SLS or MPCV--that the issue there was the uncertainty of just how much the eventual funding levels would be.

I thought I heard that, but thanks for making it clear.

It would be worth reading the transcript. I thought that she meant that the amount of spending was a bigger impediment than the language itself (which would make sense). Although, I imagine that there is ways around the language in the sense that you could argue that the SLS is essentially a modified Ares V. You could also try to argue that NASA is not cancelling Ares I but that it is focusing its energy instead on this modified Ares V. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jml on 12/02/2010 05:55 pm
If you listened carefully, you heard Beth Robinson say that it actually was NOT an impediment to the SLS or MPCV--that the issue there was the uncertainty of just how much the eventual funding levels would be.

I thought I heard that, but thanks for making it clear.

It would be worth reading the transcript. I thought that she meant that the amount of spending was a bigger impediment than the language itself (which would make sense). Although, I imagine that there is ways around the language in the sense that you could argue that the SLS is essentially a modified Ares V. You could also try to argue that NASA is not cancelling Ares I but that it is focusing its energy instead on this modified Ares V. 
...And focusing on Ares V/SLS over Ares I in the short term not just on a whim of the administration, but in order to follow the authorization instructions specified by an Act of Congress while at the same time obeying GAO interpretations of how to do so during the current continuing resolution appropriations situation.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/02/2010 07:20 pm
If you listened carefully, you heard Beth Robinson say that it actually was NOT an impediment to the SLS or MPCV--that the issue there was the uncertainty of just how much the eventual funding levels would be.

I thought I heard that, but thanks for making it clear.

It would be worth reading the transcript. I thought that she meant that the amount of spending was a bigger impediment than the language itself (which would make sense). Although, I imagine that there is ways around the language in the sense that you could argue that the SLS is essentially a modified Ares V. You could also try to argue that NASA is not cancelling Ares I but that it is focusing its energy instead on this modified Ares V. 

Unofficial transcript should be available soon; usually one of the contractors has one done by someone and they get circulated around. The final, formal transcript isn't available until publication of the hearing document, which takes months, but in the interim, a rough should be close enough to double-check this sort of thing. Plus, as I mentioned, questions like this are often followed up on in written questions sent to witnesses after the hearing and eventually also published in the hearing document (but obviously, available to the Committee as soon as they are sent back from the witnesses.)

And yes, those are the kinds of logic/arguments that are being evaluated, as she mentioned, by NASA General Counsel.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: brihath on 12/02/2010 07:28 pm
I feel pretty good about the hearing; from my perspective, it accomplished its primary objectives, which were to

a) demonstrate that the Committee is VERY serious about using its oversight authority to closely monitor--and thus be in a position to enforce--compliance with both the language and intent of the law,

b) to express concerns about indications the Committee has received from a variety of sources about less-than-adequate enthusiasm for full and complete implementation of the law or inaccurate "interpretations" of the law,

c) establish a dialogue about what real or imagined impediments exists (i.e., appropriations language and FY 2011 potential funding level scenarios) and potential solutions thereto, and

d) get affirmative statements on the record from senior officials regarding the "adoption" of the law as a matter of Administration policy and commitments to its successful implementation. (The focus was on the NASA CFO for this hearing simply because the current situation of working through the tangled web of CR appropriations--and that official's role in working through that and developing allocations among programs and providing longer-term budget planning guidance--is especially critical right now during the "transition.")

It was also made clear, though maybe not as noticeable to observers as some of the above, that this was the "opening salvo", if you will, of what will be an ongoing process of careful oversight and follow-up; that the enactment of the law represented just the "first step" in ensuring the new "re-direction" established by the law, especially in the realm of human spaceflight; and to reflect that that oversight includes being able to fine-tune the language and policy, where needed, to ensure an "executable" program (including changes to out-year funding, etc., depending on what becomes clear and more certain on exactly what vehicle designs and mission definitions are developed, as required by the law.)

So...a good beginning, in my view, skeptics and critics of the law and the process on this site and elsewhere notwithstanding, hehe.

51D-  Thanks for the summary.  Just curious, what steps would the committee be empowered to take should implementation of the law deviate from the intended path?

The Committee can develop new legislative language to amend the law to both clarify intent, and remove "wiggle room" if needed. It has the authority to enact "if-then" kinds of provisions, prohibit other actions if desired actions aren't taken, etc.  In the broader sense, it has the power to subpoena documents; require specific information that enables it to monitor progress and compliance, use the "bully pulpit" of additional hearings, press conferences, speeches, etc., to publicly highlight issues or concerns and bring attention to them, etc., etc. One thing not seen in yesterday's hearing is the fact that very specific and detailed questions will be sent to the witnesses, which will focus on concerns and issues that were referred to in more general terms during the hearing. The importance of getting the assurances of compliance publicly stated on the record yesterday is that it opens the door for that whole range of "tools" to be able to ensure accountability for the subsequent actions--or lack thereof--taken in fulfilling the obligations committed to. When these kinds of things are done on a bipartisan basis, they can be very powerful elements of the "policy process."

51D-  Outstanding.  Thanks for the info again. 

In determining the level of detail in the questions, do you anticipate that the effort will be bipartisan, for example by both the Committee Chair and the ranking minority member?  With particular regard to the nitty-gritty details, is that level of granularity exhibited by both parties?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/02/2010 07:32 pm
And yes, those are the kinds of logic/arguments that are being evaluated, as she mentioned, by NASA General Counsel.

But only after addressing the nebulous and dire situation involving the grad students, lol. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Pheogh on 12/02/2010 07:35 pm
If you listened carefully, you heard Beth Robinson say that it actually was NOT an impediment to the SLS or MPCV--that the issue there was the uncertainty of just how much the eventual funding levels would be.

I thought I heard that, but thanks for making it clear.

It would be worth reading the transcript. I thought that she meant that the amount of spending was a bigger impediment than the language itself (which would make sense). Although, I imagine that there is ways around the language in the sense that you could argue that the SLS is essentially a modified Ares V. You could also try to argue that NASA is not canceling Ares I but that it is focusing its energy instead on this modified Ares V. 

Furthermore that this approach, specifically putting off the riskier development tasks (upper stage!!!) to later cycles when funds and will hopefully are more shored up. That was Ms. Chaplain btw channeling DIRECT or was it the other way around :P

Either way it's a welcome observation that this is in fact from a budgetary standpoint encouraging.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 12/02/2010 08:16 pm
It would be interesting to know if NASA understands the wording in the Authorization Act to mean, "Design an efficient two stage rocket that can also deliver a 70 t payload to orbit without its upper stage."  This is the essence of the DIRECT proposal:  i.e. design J-24x and then use pieces of that vehicle for J-130.

For that to work well, the DIRECT approach requires the "dual-use boat tail" on the core that can be flown with either three or four SSMEs, depending on whether or not the vehicle is carrying an upper stage.  It seems (to me) that Congress intentionally left NASA with a tiny but of wiggle room on this point, but only so much as to say, "Either propose the DIRECT dual-use boat tail, or show us another approach that's just as good."

My concern is that NASA isn't even close to being able to say, "Here's a design we think is just as good as a dual-use boat tail design."  They can't say that because, apparently, they have not yet acknowledged that a dual-use boat tail design exists, much less begun even a preliminary analysis of it.  So how can they say, "Here's a design just as good" when they haven't even acknowledged the existence of what their design would be measured against?

Are the committee members (or anyone else affiliated with Congress) explicitly telling NASA that is their challenge?  Or is the administration being expected to read it between the lines?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/02/2010 08:51 pm
If you listened carefully, you heard Beth Robinson say that it actually was NOT an impediment to the SLS or MPCV--that the issue there was the uncertainty of just how much the eventual funding levels would be.

I thought I heard that, but thanks for making it clear.

It would be worth reading the transcript. I thought that she meant that the amount of spending was a bigger impediment than the language itself (which would make sense). Although, I imagine that there is ways around the language in the sense that you could argue that the SLS is essentially a modified Ares V. You could also try to argue that NASA is not cancelling Ares I but that it is focusing its energy instead on this modified Ares V. 

As predicted, a contractor-provided transcript was sent around. It has a copyright notice on it from Congressional Quarterly, who I assume the contractor paid to produce the transcript, which they then gave a broad circulation to, embedded in an email, which their contract presumably allows. Perhaps under the "fair use" doctrine of copyright law I can provide, in turn, a small excerpt from the email that was widely distributed. (MODERATOR, take note, and delete if necessary). But I believe this is the relevant portion that I heard, in response to questioning by Senator Lemieux:

"ROBINSON:

Well, we -- we have moved forward in -- in select areas. The -- the real issue is -- is not the -- whether or not a specific activity we can pursue. It's how much we can pursue it.
For example, will we get funding at a specific level for heavy lift? What will that funding level be? You'll have a different program if you start out at a different funding level in the first year and -- and thereabouts.
And so it's not a specific activity; it's more you just can't finalize your plans until you have the overall funding and -- and other terms and conditions set so that you can move forward."
 (Excerpt from CQ Transcripts)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/02/2010 08:56 pm
I feel pretty good about the hearing; from my perspective, it accomplished its primary objectives, which were to

a) demonstrate that the Committee is VERY serious about using its oversight authority to closely monitor--and thus be in a position to enforce--compliance with both the language and intent of the law,

b) to express concerns about indications the Committee has received from a variety of sources about less-than-adequate enthusiasm for full and complete implementation of the law or inaccurate "interpretations" of the law,

c) establish a dialogue about what real or imagined impediments exists (i.e., appropriations language and FY 2011 potential funding level scenarios) and potential solutions thereto, and

d) get affirmative statements on the record from senior officials regarding the "adoption" of the law as a matter of Administration policy and commitments to its successful implementation. (The focus was on the NASA CFO for this hearing simply because the current situation of working through the tangled web of CR appropriations--and that official's role in working through that and developing allocations among programs and providing longer-term budget planning guidance--is especially critical right now during the "transition.")

It was also made clear, though maybe not as noticeable to observers as some of the above, that this was the "opening salvo", if you will, of what will be an ongoing process of careful oversight and follow-up; that the enactment of the law represented just the "first step" in ensuring the new "re-direction" established by the law, especially in the realm of human spaceflight; and to reflect that that oversight includes being able to fine-tune the language and policy, where needed, to ensure an "executable" program (including changes to out-year funding, etc., depending on what becomes clear and more certain on exactly what vehicle designs and mission definitions are developed, as required by the law.)

So...a good beginning, in my view, skeptics and critics of the law and the process on this site and elsewhere notwithstanding, hehe.

51D-  Thanks for the summary.  Just curious, what steps would the committee be empowered to take should implementation of the law deviate from the intended path?

The Committee can develop new legislative language to amend the law to both clarify intent, and remove "wiggle room" if needed. It has the authority to enact "if-then" kinds of provisions, prohibit other actions if desired actions aren't taken, etc.  In the broader sense, it has the power to subpoena documents; require specific information that enables it to monitor progress and compliance, use the "bully pulpit" of additional hearings, press conferences, speeches, etc., to publicly highlight issues or concerns and bring attention to them, etc., etc. One thing not seen in yesterday's hearing is the fact that very specific and detailed questions will be sent to the witnesses, which will focus on concerns and issues that were referred to in more general terms during the hearing. The importance of getting the assurances of compliance publicly stated on the record yesterday is that it opens the door for that whole range of "tools" to be able to ensure accountability for the subsequent actions--or lack thereof--taken in fulfilling the obligations committed to. When these kinds of things are done on a bipartisan basis, they can be very powerful elements of the "policy process."

51D-  Outstanding.  Thanks for the info again. 

In determining the level of detail in the questions, do you anticipate that the effort will be bipartisan, for example by both the Committee Chair and the ranking minority member?  With particular regard to the nitty-gritty details, is that level of granularity exhibited by both parties?

I can assure you in this case it is definitely bi-partisan. In fact, there was a degree of collaboration among bipartisan staff before and during the hearing on some of the questions that were actually asked during the hearing.  With regard to QFRs (Questions for the Record), mechanically the way it works is any Member with questions submits them to their respective Committee staff by a certain date and they are all then collected and collated by the Majority staff and forwarded to the respective witnesses to whom they are addressed for a response within a specified time period.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/02/2010 09:16 pm
If you listened carefully, you heard Beth Robinson say that it actually was NOT an impediment to the SLS or MPCV--that the issue there was the uncertainty of just how much the eventual funding levels would be.

I thought I heard that, but thanks for making it clear.

It would be worth reading the transcript. I thought that she meant that the amount of spending was a bigger impediment than the language itself (which would make sense). Although, I imagine that there is ways around the language in the sense that you could argue that the SLS is essentially a modified Ares V. You could also try to argue that NASA is not cancelling Ares I but that it is focusing its energy instead on this modified Ares V. 

As predicted, a contractor-provided transcript was sent around. It has a copyright notice on it from Congressional Quarterly, who I assume the contractor paid to produce the transcript, which they then gave a broad circulation to, embedded in an email, which their contract presumably allows. Perhaps under the "fair use" doctrine of copyright law I can provide, in turn, a small excerpt from the email that was widely distributed. (MODERATOR, take note, and delete if necessary). But I believe this is the relevant portion that I heard, in response to questioning by Senator Lemieux:

"ROBINSON:

Well, we -- we have moved forward in -- in select areas. The -- the real issue is -- is not the -- whether or not a specific activity we can pursue. It's how much we can pursue it.
For example, will we get funding at a specific level for heavy lift? What will that funding level be? You'll have a different program if you start out at a different funding level in the first year and -- and thereabouts.
And so it's not a specific activity; it's more you just can't finalize your plans until you have the overall funding and -- and other terms and conditions set so that you can move forward."
 (Excerpt from CQ Transcripts)


Thanks for that. That was a key question.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TimL on 12/02/2010 09:56 pm

The Committee can develop new legislative language to amend the law to both clarify intent, and remove "wiggle room" if needed. It has the authority to enact "if-then" kinds of provisions, prohibit other actions if desired actions aren't taken, etc.  In the broader sense, it has the power to subpoena documents; require specific information that enables it to monitor progress and compliance, use the "bully pulpit" of additional hearings, press conferences, speeches, etc., to publicly highlight issues or concerns and bring attention to them, etc., etc. One thing not seen in yesterday's hearing is the fact that very specific and detailed questions will be sent to the witnesses, which will focus on concerns and issues that were referred to in more general terms during the hearing. The importance of getting the assurances of compliance publicly stated on the record yesterday is that it opens the door for that whole range of "tools" to be able to ensure accountability for the subsequent actions--or lack thereof--taken in fulfilling the obligations committed to. When these kinds of things are done on a bipartisan basis, they can be very powerful elements of the "policy process."



Question. if congress amends any of the language, doesn't the president have to sign off on it?

It would seem to run counter to presidential approval of a bill that the president had signed into law if after the fact, congress can go in and make changes that might change the context too far...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/02/2010 11:32 pm

The Committee can develop new legislative language to amend the law to both clarify intent, and remove "wiggle room" if needed. It has the authority to enact "if-then" kinds of provisions, prohibit other actions if desired actions aren't taken, etc.  In the broader sense, it has the power to subpoena documents; require specific information that enables it to monitor progress and compliance, use the "bully pulpit" of additional hearings, press conferences, speeches, etc., to publicly highlight issues or concerns and bring attention to them, etc., etc. One thing not seen in yesterday's hearing is the fact that very specific and detailed questions will be sent to the witnesses, which will focus on concerns and issues that were referred to in more general terms during the hearing. The importance of getting the assurances of compliance publicly stated on the record yesterday is that it opens the door for that whole range of "tools" to be able to ensure accountability for the subsequent actions--or lack thereof--taken in fulfilling the obligations committed to. When these kinds of things are done on a bipartisan basis, they can be very powerful elements of the "policy process."



Question. if congress amends any of the language, doesn't the president have to sign off on it?

It would seem to run counter to presidential approval of a bill that the president had signed into law if after the fact, congress can go in and make changes that might change the context too far...

Well, of course any amendment to existing law has to be passed by the Congress and either approved by the President or enacted over his veto. That happens just about every day in one form or another in the Congress. And if the "content" of the existing law would be changed by such an action to make it too far from what the President wanted, he could veto it and force a vote on a veto over-ride. But first, those aren't the level of changes I was referring to and Second, I was only giving a hypothetical example of what "could" be done; not what might or ought to be done. At this point, no one (at least not me or anyone I'm aware of) is talking about making any significant changes to the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-267). That law was passed overwhelmingly by the Congress, so I'm not aware of anyone in a hurry to change it. T

he question I was responding to was what might be some of the  "tools" available to ensure the law was actually being followed. And was suggesting that sometimes, a change might be useful in specific wording in order so clarify the spirit or INTENT of that law if, for whatever reason, that might be confused or become the subject misinterpretation.  Not the sort of change that would raise the kind of question you are raising.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TimL on 12/02/2010 11:52 pm
Ok, so hypothetically, the folks from Utah jump up and down screaming "the SLS has to use solid rockets" and that's what we voted for. They push for amendments to the Authorization Act that require SLS use solids. Now, NASA comes along and its  advisers tell the president that "we don't want solids" and the Act doesn't require us to use solid. If the Utah delegation gets enough support to push the amendment into the act that that would or wouldn't require congress or the president's approval before becoming a change to the Act?

BTW, I'm not a lover or hater of any one system proposed to date. I would just be happy if we could just get along, stop the political manipulations and get over the "my design is better than yours" nonsense. We need a dependable, lower cost transportation system into LEO. After we get there, then we can start focusing on BLEO. I think termination of STS is premature to say the least.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Halidon on 12/03/2010 03:31 am
Ok, so hypothetically, the folks from Utah jump up and down screaming "the SLS has to use solid rockets" and that's what we voted for. They push for amendments to the Authorization Act that require SLS use solids. Now, NASA comes along and its  advisers tell the president that "we don't want solids" and the Act doesn't require us to use solid. If the Utah delegation gets enough support to push the amendment into the act that that would or wouldn't require congress or the president's approval before becoming a change to the Act?
Congress can't amend legislation that's already been signed into law without doing the whole process, including votes in both houses and the President's signature.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: FinalFrontier on 12/03/2010 03:52 am
I think we shouldn't miss something critical here. It seems to me that the thing to take away from this is may not be "oh now there going to mandate solids" or "this is wrong because I don't like SLS commercial is better ect.". I think what we should take away is that NASA admin and deputy admin appear to have, at least at one point, actively resisted what the law of the land told them to do. Now I know its all very vague since the appropriation hasn't happened yet, and I also know that the law was a bill until very recently, but the fact that ANY kind of resistance happened like this is disturbing. As someone in the hearing said, "it seems like your trying to follow the 2011 budget request rather than what has been mandated" I am looking beyond the "commercial vs SLS" argument here to something far more critical, the fact that a part of this Administration, namely the two appointees for the leadership of NASA, ignored congressional mandates. Doesn't this strike you as shocking? Thats almost exactly what Griffin was doing, although he was able to basically have an open season because the law was on his side, that didn't make it any better. The fact that they would even CONSIDER violating an act of congress in favor of the potus is really disturbing. How many more cases of this are there under this wh? Wouldn't they have done the same thing, if it was a commercial plan that somehow went against what fy 2011 wanted? What does this mean going forward if this leadership is not replaced?

I think the main point I am trying to make here is, if they are resisting this, who's to say they (garver, bolden, holdren) would not also have resisted a commercial plan that went in any way against the wishes of POTUS in fy 2011 (for example if one existed that got us back to the moon quickly)?? I find the entire thing bizarre and disturbing and I think that perhaps a leadership change may be in order down the road. Its not about which plan is better, its about the fact the law has been enacted and they did not follow it, they followed the WISHES of someone else.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TimL on 12/03/2010 04:12 am
I didn't perceive it quite that way. There were two senior administrators that serve the president, not congress. Personally, I think they're stuck between a rock and a hard place.

My boss's, boss's, boss's, boss serves at the pleasure of the president as well. Congress is great at throwing more duties on our already full plate and then failing to fund everything they want done. We wind up getting our work list dictated by the president's priorities, not congress. Been that way for a couple hundred years, I've been through half a dozen presidents and more turns over the both houses, I don't see it changing any time soon.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: MP99 on 12/03/2010 07:47 am
I think what we should take away is that NASA admin and deputy admin appear to have, at least at one point, actively resisted what the law of the land told them to do.

I'd guess NASA would say they were "following the letter of the law, although perhaps not what Congress intended when they worded their legislation".

51D's comments (for which I'll add my great thanks) suggest clarifying the legislation so that it unambiguously requires what Congress intended.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: MP99 on 12/03/2010 07:51 am

Congress can't amend legislation that's already been signed into law without doing the whole process, including votes in both houses and the President's signature.

If Congress is in session, I think it's more correct to say "the President not vetoing".

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto).

cheers, Martin

Edit: or maybe I've misunderstood:-
Well, of course any amendment to existing law has to be passed by the Congress and either approved by the President or enacted over his veto.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Cog_in_the_machine on 12/03/2010 08:27 am
FinalFrontier, I really don't understand this obsession you have with wanting Bolden/Garver/who ever fired. You ask "what if they resisted a commercial plan to get us back to the Moon", but such a plan is not part of the National Space Policy as far as I'm aware. How can they resist something that isn't even in NASA's policy to begin with? With respect to commercial, both FY2011 and the Senate Bill didn't have "a commercial plan for getting back to the Moon".
Broadly speaking, FY2011 had commercial LEO activity, government technology demonstrators and a 5 year maximum period for HLV design selection. With respect to destinations the targets were NEO, Mars.
The Senate Bill does mention the Moon in addition to all that and retaining capability to return there, but I can't recall exactly what the language was. That said though, it calls for using a shuttle derived HLV and delaying commercial (walk before you run as Nelson says), so right there "a commercial plan for getting back to the Moon" is incompatible with this document also.
Stop trying to vilify the administration's every action. Or if you're going to do so, at leas accuse them of stuff that makes sense.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/03/2010 02:12 pm

Congress can't amend legislation that's already been signed into law without doing the whole process, including votes in both houses and the President's signature.

If Congress is in session, I think it's more correct to say "the President not vetoing".

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto).

cheers, Martin

Edit: or maybe I've misunderstood:-
Well, of course any amendment to existing law has to be passed by the Congress and either approved by the President or enacted over his veto.

You are right. But if the President doesn't veto or pocket veto the bill, it means that he approves it.  So what 51D Mascot said is also correct.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/03/2010 03:56 pm
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/101201-senators-vow-enforce-nasa-authorization-act.html

“I want to make sure that those elements in the administration who were trying to have their way, instead of the way that is the law, that they’re not going to undermine this law,” Nelson said  ...

“I’m not saying that language is irrelevant, but I really think it’s largely an excuse,” Vitter said. “The irony is pretty clear. Before this new authorization bill the administration was doing absolutely everything it could administratively to shut down Constellation programs. Now after the new authorization bill has passed, the administration is pointing to that language saying we can’t possibly end Constellation and stop those programs.”
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 12/03/2010 05:03 pm

Congress can't amend legislation that's already been signed into law without doing the whole process, including votes in both houses and the President's signature.

If Congress is in session, I think it's more correct to say "the President not vetoing".

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto).

cheers, Martin

Edit: or maybe I've misunderstood:-
Well, of course any amendment to existing law has to be passed by the Congress and either approved by the President or enacted over his veto.

Getting a law out of congress is not an easy thing and the President can pull favors to either prevent a law he dislikes from getting out or just threaten a veto.  In addition a bill can be stop via filabuster in the Senate.  In addition the president does have the power of veto and the Republicans lack the votes to over turn his veto.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/03/2010 05:12 pm

Congress can't amend legislation that's already been signed into law without doing the whole process, including votes in both houses and the President's signature.

If Congress is in session, I think it's more correct to say "the President not vetoing".

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto).

cheers, Martin

Edit: or maybe I've misunderstood:-
Well, of course any amendment to existing law has to be passed by the Congress and either approved by the President or enacted over his veto.

Getting a law out of congress is not an easy thing and the President can pull favors to either prevent a law he dislikes from getting out or just threaten a veto.  In addition a bill can be stop via filabuster in the Senate.  In addition the president does have the power of veto and the Republicans lack the votes to over turn his veto.

Yes, and all those reasons were cited as why there was absolutely no way to pass a NASA authorization bill this year that differed substantially from what the President originally proposed in February...yet it was done anyway (same was said regarding NASA Authorization bills in 2005 and 2008, as well, and those bills were also enacted, incidentally). Trust me, making definitive, conclusive predictions about potential outcomes of the legislative process is not a wise thing to do, hehe.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/03/2010 05:17 pm
51D Mascot, I think it can be argued that the NASA Authorization bill was most of what the President wanted.

I agree, though, that you can't necessarily predict ahead of time the outcome.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/03/2010 05:56 pm
51D Mascot, I think it can be argued that the NASA Authorization bill was most of what the President wanted.

I agree, though, that you can't necessarily predict ahead of time the outcome.

You could argue that in terms of the top-line funding level, the Science portfolio (space and Earth science), some of the space tech and advanced r&d, though at much reduced levels, commercial crew initiation at least, but clearly NOT in the area of government-owned and operated space launch systems, which was where the "battle lines" had been drawn most assiduously within the Congress. Up until July 15th, the Administration was very much against the way the Senate bill was shaping up. But, in part because of the above, it became viewed at that point, just as it was to be considered by the Commerce Committee in mark-up, as a reasonable compromise. After that, the official position was not to oppose it and to say nice things about those parts of the FY 2011 Request that were included, but it wasn't until the last two days of consideration by the House that NASA Administrator Bolden or anyone else at NASA was actually permitted to actively argue for passage, and to do so, the Administrator had to make phone calls to House Members from Prague, where he was attending the IAF.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/03/2010 06:09 pm
51D Mascot, I think it can be argued that the NASA Authorization bill was most of what the President wanted.

I agree, though, that you can't necessarily predict ahead of time the outcome.

You could argue that in terms of the top-line funding level, the Science portfolio (space and Earth science), some of the space tech and advanced r&d, though at much reduced levels, commercial crew initiation at least, but clearly NOT in the area of government-owned and operated space launch systems, which was where the "battle lines" had been drawn most assiduously within the Congress. Up until July 15th, the Administration was very much against the way the Senate bill was shaping up. But, in part because of the above, it became viewed at that point, just as it was to be considered by the Commerce Committee in mark-up, as a reasonable compromise. After that, the official position was not to oppose it and to say nice things about those parts of the FY 2011 Request that were included, but it wasn't until the last two days of consideration by the House that NASA Administrator Bolden or anyone else at NASA was actually permitted to actively argue for passage, and to do so, the Administrator had to make phone calls to House Members from Prague, where he was attending the IAF.
Interesting... Thanks for the inside scoop!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/03/2010 06:14 pm
......Up until July 15th, the Administration was very much against the way the Senate bill was shaping up. But, in part because of the above, it became viewed at that point, just as it was to be considered by the Commerce Committee in mark-up, as a reasonable compromise. After that, the official position was not to oppose it and to say nice things about those parts of the FY 2011 Request that were included, but it wasn't until the last two days of consideration by the House that NASA Administrator Bolden or anyone else at NASA was actually permitted to actively argue for passage, and to do so, the Administrator had to make phone calls to House Members from Prague, where he was attending the IAF.

And this is precisely the "back-up" that further reinforces my opinion about the view some have about current programs and their place in the go-forward plan. 

It seems to me personally that some are dragging their feet intentionally with certain elements of the law and why Orion (MPCV) is in advanced limbo along with STS-135 all as a way to get what they "wanted" all along. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/03/2010 06:20 pm
......Up until July 15th, the Administration was very much against the way the Senate bill was shaping up. But, in part because of the above, it became viewed at that point, just as it was to be considered by the Commerce Committee in mark-up, as a reasonable compromise. After that, the official position was not to oppose it and to say nice things about those parts of the FY 2011 Request that were included, but it wasn't until the last two days of consideration by the House that NASA Administrator Bolden or anyone else at NASA was actually permitted to actively argue for passage, and to do so, the Administrator had to make phone calls to House Members from Prague, where he was attending the IAF.

And this is precisely the "back-up" that further reinforces my opinion about the view some have about current programs and their place in the go-forward plan. 

It seems to me personally that some are dragging their feet intentionally with certain elements of the law and why Orion (MPCV) is in advanced limbo along with STS-135 all as a way to get what they "wanted" all along. 

It also probably explains why they invited Holdren to the meeting...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/04/2010 03:29 am
......Up until July 15th, the Administration was very much against the way the Senate bill was shaping up. But, in part because of the above, it became viewed at that point, just as it was to be considered by the Commerce Committee in mark-up, as a reasonable compromise. After that, the official position was not to oppose it and to say nice things about those parts of the FY 2011 Request that were included, but it wasn't until the last two days of consideration by the House that NASA Administrator Bolden or anyone else at NASA was actually permitted to actively argue for passage, and to do so, the Administrator had to make phone calls to House Members from Prague, where he was attending the IAF.

And this is precisely the "back-up" that further reinforces my opinion about the view some have about current programs and their place in the go-forward plan. 

It seems to me personally that some are dragging their feet intentionally with certain elements of the law and why Orion (MPCV) is in advanced limbo along with STS-135 all as a way to get what they "wanted" all along. 

It also probably explains why they invited Holdren to the meeting...

yep ;)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: nooneofconsequence on 12/04/2010 05:13 am
Yes, and all those reasons were cited as why there was absolutely no way to pass a NASA authorization bill this year that differed substantially from what the President originally proposed in February...yet it was done anyway (same was said regarding NASA Authorization bills in 2005 and 2008, as well, and those bills were also enacted, incidentally).
I was on the Hill, in the Senate offices around the end of September, and was amazed at  S.3729 passing. Didn't think it would happen. Incredible job.
Quote
Trust me, making definitive, conclusive predictions about potential outcomes of the legislative process is not a wise thing to do, hehe.
Especially now. All bets are off.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/04/2010 10:59 am
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/asd/2010/12/03/02.xml&headline=Senators%20Suspicious%20Of%20NASA%20Planning&channel=space

Even after the compromise had been reached between the administration’s original Fiscal 2011 budget request and members of Congress worried over its drastic employment impact, White House staffers called key senators asking them to introduce amendments to the draft bill that would tilt the balance back toward the original request.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/04/2010 04:12 pm
I don't know the right answer to the riddle OV...

Man, I hear that!  Later, OV points out the obvious, "that is the nature of our system", but that says too little.  Stuff isn't happening.  Maybe there is a leadership issue.  There are not consistent, logical, enforcable commands coming from the helm, that is, the Administrator.  Worse, the position should be more similar to Alan Greenspan's, in that the Administrator of NASA should stay at the helm over sequential executive and legislative periods.  But this could only happen if the Administrator were able to accomplish these goals which are within our technical reach, but which continually evade our political will to achieve.

In the short term, maybe indeed, STS-135, 136, and 137 should be stand alone line items in an appropriation bill, as Tim suggested, and as I enlarge by a few more flights.  Same with JWST.

There was talk in the Senate hearing today to the understanding (or relief for NASA) that, given lack of resources, they will present partial study results at the term.

What?  They're already failing to accomplish the writing of a report?  Does the Committee have access to the "Fire" button?  The one with the two week notice provision?

I feel pretty good about the hearing... a), b), c), d)... that this was the "opening salvo", if you will...

Excellent, if what you say is true, and if future events proceed as could be possible.  Quoting Thoreau again, as usual: Oversight, oversight, oversight.

As to your later comments about "very specific and detailed questions" being sent to the witnesses, my understanding is that this sort of thing happens a lot, in hearings of this sort.  There are almost certainly others besides me who would relish the opportunity to review these questions, their context in the hearing, and comment about the wording of the questions, as well as comment about the answers themselves.  Private communications always welcome.

As to the complexity of the "anomaly language":  Oh my garnet.

As to the transcript.  Does copyright law forbid citizens from receiving timely information from their government?  Months down the road is far to late for it to be of any utility whatsoever to any citizen or member of Congress.  May I have a copy of this transcript please?

Now, NASA comes along and its  advisers tell the president that "we don't want solids" and the Act doesn't require us to use solid.

The Pentagon has said that it does not want nor need a "spare" engine for the F-35.  The possiblity that you raise is quite real, I think.

Doesn't this strike you as shocking?

I do find it shocking that political direction given by the President to NASA's Administrator, does indeed seem to indicate an intent to follow some other direction than has been clearly mandated in the Act.  I only offer one circumstantial bit of corroborating evidence.  Perhaps this is an intentional ploy, the "trial balloon", if you will, of suggesting that a crucial report cannot be made on time.  Should that work, what else could they get away with?  In the meantime, there are plenty of funds to develop HEFT further.  These are deliberate manipulations of the allocation of resources.

Cynical, true.  But what is the Prez doing?  If I were he, and I signed that act into law, it would be because I agreed with the intent of the Act.  And I would instruct my Administrator to follow that intent.  One crucial thing, at this time, would be not to go to Prague for the IAC.  (Not IAF, right?)  Send a droid.  This hearing was far more important.

Online humor lesson 05F6H:

The answer is it all goes back to number 2.....

OV.  Stop it with the potty talk.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: MP99 on 12/04/2010 05:13 pm
As to the transcript.  Does copyright law forbid citizens from receiving timely information from their government?  Months down the road is far to late for it to be of any utility whatsoever to any citizen or member of Congress.

Yes, I believe it stops you having the right to a copyright transcript just because it's more convenient. ISTR the video is available, so the information is available to you.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jongoff on 12/04/2010 07:17 pm
Yes, and all those reasons were cited as why there was absolutely no way to pass a NASA authorization bill this year that differed substantially from what the President originally proposed in February...yet it was done anyway (same was said regarding NASA Authorization bills in 2005 and 2008, as well, and those bills were also enacted, incidentally). Trust me, making definitive, conclusive predictions about potential outcomes of the legislative process is not a wise thing to do, hehe.

While I definitely agree with this last sentence, I really wonder how a "Thou Shalt Use SRBs" bill would actually fare this time around.  A lot of the support the Senate bill got was because the House one was a total travesty and many people who normally would've fought such a bill plugged their noses and lobbied for what they saw as a reasonable compromise.  I definitely know a whole lot less than you do about all this, but I'd be surprised if Congress was really able to get such a bill passed now that the interests aren't as aligned as they were a few months ago.

It'll be interesting to see.  I just wonder when NASA will actually get some sort of funding bill with the 2010 restrictions lifted.

~Jon
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/05/2010 09:56 am

A lot of the support the Senate bill got was because the House one was a total travesty and many people who normally would've fought such a bill plugged their noses and lobbied for what they saw as a reasonable compromise.

~Jon

More like the alternative that was seen as less desirable was the original FY2011 as professed in countless public statements. Despite these clear statements it has been wishful thinking for some time for some people to assume that the position of Congress is not the narrow difference between 1 or 2 SDLVs.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: mr_magoo on 12/07/2010 06:54 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101207-draft-increases-nasa-budget.html

Draft of a CR that includes addtional NASA funds is circulating in the House.

No talk of additional shuttle flight,  no KSC upgrade money.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 12/07/2010 07:04 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101207-draft-increases-nasa-budget.html

Draft of a CR that includes addtional NASA funds is circulating in the House.

Quote from: spacenews
while the authorization act would allow NASA to gradually evolve a heavy-lift capability from initially delivering 70-100 metric tons beyond low Earth orbit to eventually launching a minimum of 130 metric tons, the draft continuing resolution would tell NASA to waste no time building the more robust capability. Specifically, it directs that “the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons” and that “the upper stage and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed.”

This seem to give NASA permission to develop a 4 SSME vehicle that requires an upper stage and cannot be down-rated and flown in a 3 SSME configuration without an upper stage.

Can the appropriators do that?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/07/2010 07:15 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101207-draft-increases-nasa-budget.html

Draft of a CR that includes addtional NASA funds is circulating in the House.

No talk of additional shuttle flight,  no KSC upgrade money.

Not strictly accurate; funds are there; requires a careful read to identify, and it's still a DRAFT, so I can't comment in more detail right now. Just keep powder dry, folks.  ;-)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/07/2010 07:17 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101207-draft-increases-nasa-budget.html

Draft of a CR that includes addtional NASA funds is circulating in the House.

Quote from: spacenews
while the authorization act would allow NASA to gradually evolve a heavy-lift capability from initially delivering 70-100 metric tons beyond low Earth orbit to eventually launching a minimum of 130 metric tons, the draft continuing resolution would tell NASA to waste no time building the more robust capability. Specifically, it directs that “the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons” and that “the upper stage and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed.”

This seem to give NASA permission to develop a 4 SSME vehicle that requires an upper stage and cannot be down-rated and flown in a 3 SSME configuration without an upper stage.

Can the appropriators do that?

FYI: This is still a DRAFT, and discussions are still under way; so keep powder dry and don't react, even if you see the actual language; it's being circulated for DISCUSSION purposes, and will almost certainly be modified before formally proposed.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/07/2010 07:23 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101207-draft-increases-nasa-budget.html

Draft of a CR that includes addtional NASA funds is circulating in the House.

Quote from: spacenews
while the authorization act would allow NASA to gradually evolve a heavy-lift capability from initially delivering 70-100 metric tons beyond low Earth orbit to eventually launching a minimum of 130 metric tons, the draft continuing resolution would tell NASA to waste no time building the more robust capability. Specifically, it directs that “the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons” and that “the upper stage and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed.”

This seem to give NASA permission to develop a 4 SSME vehicle that requires an upper stage and cannot be down-rated and flown in a 3 SSME configuration without an upper stage.

Can the appropriators do that?

FYI: This is still a DRAFT, and discussions are still under way; so keep powder dry and don't react, even if you see the actual language; it's being circulated for DISCUSSION purposes, and will almost certainly be modified before formally proposed.
Doesn't it make more sense to react to a draft, since then the final one can be modified in accordance?

I mean, to whatever extent us blathering about this at NSF (and possibly sending our opinions to Congress, etc) even matters at all, I would expect it would make more difference as soon in the decision process you can.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 12/07/2010 08:03 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101207-draft-increases-nasa-budget.html

Draft of a CR that includes addtional NASA funds is circulating in the House.

Quote from: spacenews
while the authorization act would allow NASA to gradually evolve a heavy-lift capability from initially delivering 70-100 metric tons beyond low Earth orbit to eventually launching a minimum of 130 metric tons, the draft continuing resolution would tell NASA to waste no time building the more robust capability. Specifically, it directs that “the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons” and that “the upper stage and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed.”

This seem to give NASA permission to develop a 4 SSME vehicle that requires an upper stage and cannot be down-rated and flown in a 3 SSME configuration without an upper stage.

Can the appropriators do that?

I know this is a draft, but does this seriously mean core elements AND upper stage should be done by 2016? Won't developing them simultaneously just make both developments take longer than they need to?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 12/07/2010 08:08 pm

I know this is a draft, but does this seriously mean core elements AND upper stage should be done by 2016? Won't developing them simultaneously just make both developments take longer than they need to?

I don't think SLS itself can be done by 2016 with or without the upperstage, but without the upper stage SLS has no reason to exsist. A 70 ton to LEO rocket is pretty useless. A rocket that can deliver a payload to BEO or lift an EDS is useful.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/07/2010 08:53 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101207-draft-increases-nasa-budget.html

Draft of a CR that includes addtional NASA funds is circulating in the House.

Quote from: spacenews
while the authorization act would allow NASA to gradually evolve a heavy-lift capability from initially delivering 70-100 metric tons beyond low Earth orbit to eventually launching a minimum of 130 metric tons, the draft continuing resolution would tell NASA to waste no time building the more robust capability. Specifically, it directs that “the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons” and that “the upper stage and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed.”

This seem to give NASA permission to develop a 4 SSME vehicle that requires an upper stage and cannot be down-rated and flown in a 3 SSME configuration without an upper stage.

Can the appropriators do that?

I know this is a draft, but does this seriously mean core elements AND upper stage should be done by 2016? Won't developing them simultaneously just make both developments take longer than they need to?

I haven't see the language but I am going to guess that this is a way to ensure that the J-2X contract isn't cancelled.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/07/2010 08:57 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101207-draft-increases-nasa-budget.html

Draft of a CR that includes addtional NASA funds is circulating in the House.

No talk of additional shuttle flight,  no KSC upgrade money.

Actually, if I am reading this article properly, the funding just gets lumped together.

Incidentally, it was mentionned at the last Senate hearing that Bolden suggested deffering the KSC upgrades to next year if NASA got less than $19B.

Quote
Another $1.8 billion would fund NASA’s space shuttle orbiters in 2011, including $825 million for “additional Space Shuttle costs.” Unlike the NASA authorization act, however, the draft appropriations language does not call for an additional shuttle mission. It also guts the president’s $429 million request to fund a 21st Century Launch Complex initiative to modernize range infrastructure at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

However, the draft appropriations bill does direct that, in addition to extra expenses associated with the space shuttle program, the $825 million be spent on efforts to improve Kennedy Space Center in Florida related to civil and nondefense purposes only. It also directs the money be applied at other NASA flight facilities “currently scheduled to launch cargo” to the space station, possibly a reference to NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/07/2010 09:20 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101207-draft-increases-nasa-budget.html

Draft of a CR that includes addtional NASA funds is circulating in the House.

Quote from: spacenews
while the authorization act would allow NASA to gradually evolve a heavy-lift capability from initially delivering 70-100 metric tons beyond low Earth orbit to eventually launching a minimum of 130 metric tons, the draft continuing resolution would tell NASA to waste no time building the more robust capability. Specifically, it directs that “the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons” and that “the upper stage and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed.”

This seem to give NASA permission to develop a 4 SSME vehicle that requires an upper stage and cannot be down-rated and flown in a 3 SSME configuration without an upper stage.

Can the appropriators do that?

FYI: This is still a DRAFT, and discussions are still under way; so keep powder dry and don't react, even if you see the actual language; it's being circulated for DISCUSSION purposes, and will almost certainly be modified before formally proposed.
Doesn't it make more sense to react to a draft, since then the final one can be modified in accordance?

I mean, to whatever extent us blathering about this at NSF (and possibly sending our opinions to Congress, etc) even matters at all, I would expect it would make more difference as soon in the decision process you can.

Sure, anyone can obviously voice views on the draft as and if it is circulated or reported. All I was suggesting that folks not take these reports and descriptions of what the content of the draft is as necessarily representing even a firm starting point for negotiations and discussions within the Congress, much less the final "proposed language." As to how much "input" might progress from this site to the people inside the Congress doing the drafting and negotiating--and eventually those doing the voting--it's hard to say. These things are often done, at this stage at least, pretty much behind closed doors  (the value of and need for "transparency and accountability" notwithstanding).  On the other hand, one never knows who might be "listening."  So I would never suggest anyone not comment or make observations, since they could be--and often are on this site--very insightful and useful!  Sorry if you took that to be my meaning!

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: clongton on 12/07/2010 09:24 pm
A 70 ton to LEO rocket is pretty useless.

You have got to be kidding me.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/08/2010 02:32 pm
Quote from: spacenews
while the authorization act would allow NASA to gradually evolve ... from initially delivering 70-100 metric tons ... to eventually launching a minimum of 130 metric tons, the draft continuing resolution would tell NASA to waste no time building the more robust capability. Specifically, it directs that “the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons” and that “the upper stage and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed.”

This seem to give NASA permission to develop a 4 SSME vehicle that requires an upper stage and cannot be down-rated and flown in a 3 SSME configuration without an upper stage.

FYI: This is still a DRAFT, and discussions are still under way; ... it's being circulated for DISCUSSION purposes...

It does seem to me, as written above, that the very first rocket they make will launch 130mt!  Without the actual language of the draft to read, the discussion here is virtually worthless, and we have no chance of influencing the discussion on the Hill.

You let them know that I am throwing myself on the floor in a huge snit, and that I shall hold my breath till I have a say in this!

A 70 ton to LEO rocket is pretty useless.

A pitiful driveby comment.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/09/2010 12:12 am
The House has narrowly passed a full-year continuing resolution for FY 2011 (212 to 206):
http://clerk.house.gov/cgi-bin/vote.asp?year=2010&rollnumber=622

This is the version prepared by the House appropriations committee, chaired by Representative Obey; text here:
http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_fullyearcr.pdf

It still remains to be seen what the Senate will do.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: mr_magoo on 12/09/2010 12:32 am
Pretty short negotiations.  And no Republicans voted for it.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jorge on 12/09/2010 12:41 am
Pretty short negotiations.  And no Republicans voted for it.

Most likely unrelated to NASA. It's a 423-page bill, covering the entire government.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Pheogh on 12/09/2010 12:44 am
Quote from: spacenews
while the authorization act would allow NASA to gradually evolve ... from initially delivering 70-100 metric tons ... to eventually launching a minimum of 130 metric tons, the draft continuing resolution would tell NASA to waste no time building the more robust capability. Specifically, it directs that “the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons” and that “the upper stage and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed.”

This seem to give NASA permission to develop a 4 SSME vehicle that requires an upper stage and cannot be down-rated and flown in a 3 SSME configuration without an upper stage.

FYI: This is still a DRAFT, and discussions are still under way; ... it's being circulated for DISCUSSION purposes...

It does seem to me, as written above, that the very first rocket they make will launch 130mt!  Without the actual language of the draft to read, the discussion here is virtually worthless, and we have no chance of influencing the discussion on the Hill.

You let them know that I am throwing myself on the floor in a huge snit, and that I shall hold my breath till I have a say in this!

A 70 ton to LEO rocket is pretty useless.

A pitiful driveby comment.

I'm still unclear about what was actually passed in the CR as it relates to NASA and HLV. Is the language calling for a minimum capability at 130mt in the CR that was passed today?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/09/2010 12:53 am
Pretty short negotiations.  And no Republicans voted for it.

Most likely unrelated to NASA. It's a 423-page bill, covering the entire government.

This is the full-year CR option that is about the same as what was circulated earlier, except that it includes some food safety provisions as an add-on. It does include NASA funding, starting on page 31, at Section 2206. The Senate appropriators still hope to develop an acceptable Omnibus Appropriations, which would be more "fleshed out" than this CR, but that remains to be seen. This CR is different than a "Clean" CR, in that it provides account-level detail in funding in many areas that is different than a simple continuation of FY 2010 funding levels and allocations.

For that reason it is being referred to as a "CRomnibus", hehe....sort of a blend between a straight CR and an Omnibus.  But it could very well be the basis for defining funding levels for the balance of the fiscal year. The degree to which it would be amendable in the Senate is uncertain at this point. There are those in the Senate who have some issues with some of the language in the NASA portion, but if and how that will be resolved is also uncertain, though should be clear before the end of next week, when final action must be taken with the expiration of the current CR on December 17th.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/09/2010 12:54 am
Quote from: spacenews
while the authorization act would allow NASA to gradually evolve ... from initially delivering 70-100 metric tons ... to eventually launching a minimum of 130 metric tons, the draft continuing resolution would tell NASA to waste no time building the more robust capability. Specifically, it directs that “the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons” and that “the upper stage and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed.”

This seem to give NASA permission to develop a 4 SSME vehicle that requires an upper stage and cannot be down-rated and flown in a 3 SSME configuration without an upper stage.

FYI: This is still a DRAFT, and discussions are still under way; ... it's being circulated for DISCUSSION purposes...

It does seem to me, as written above, that the very first rocket they make will launch 130mt!  Without the actual language of the draft to read, the discussion here is virtually worthless, and we have no chance of influencing the discussion on the Hill.

You let them know that I am throwing myself on the floor in a huge snit, and that I shall hold my breath till I have a say in this!

A 70 ton to LEO rocket is pretty useless.

A pitiful driveby comment.

I'm still unclear about what was actually passed in the CR as it relates to NASA and HLV. Is the language calling for a minimum capability at 130mt in the CR that was passed today?

Yes it is.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 12/09/2010 01:01 am

I'm still unclear about what was actually passed in the CR as it relates to NASA and HLV. Is the language calling for a minimum capability at 130mt in the CR that was passed today?

Yes it is.

I'm totally surprised by this.

So that means we are now at 130mT as a 'starting point'? (as per the launguage" 'initial lift capability').

That is one BIG rocket (as a starting point)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 12/09/2010 01:08 am
There are those in the Senate who have some issues with some of the language in the NASA portion, but if and how that will be resolved is also uncertain, though should be clear before the end of next week, when final action must be taken with the expiration of the current CR on December 17th.

Is the core elements/upper stage simultaneous development language one of the things some Senators have issues with?


I'm still unclear about what was actually passed in the CR as it relates to NASA and HLV. Is the language calling for a minimum capability at 130mt in the CR that was passed today?

Yes it is.

I'm totally surprised by this.

So that means we are now at 130mT as a 'starting point'? (as per the launguage" 'initial lift capability').

That is one BIG rocket (as a starting point)

The CR language only says tons, not metric tons, so I guess it means short tons by default (which would be 118 metric tons)? It also doesn't say 130 tons by December 31, 2016.

Here is the CR's SLS language and the language to allow NASA to proceed fully on the new programs:

Quote from: 111_fullyearcr.pdf, page 33
Provided further, That within the funds provided for ‘‘Ex-
ploration’’, not less than $1,200,000,000 shall be for the
Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, not less than
$250,000,000 shall be for commercial crew, not less than
$300,000,000 shall be for commercial cargo development,
and not less than $1,800,000,000 shall be for the heavy
lift launch vehicle system: Provided further, That the ini-
tial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system
shall be not less than 130 tons and that the upper stage
and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed:
Provided further, That the provisos limiting the use of
funds under the heading ‘‘National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, Exploration’’ in division B of Public Law
111–117 shall not apply to funds appropriated by this Act:
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Pheogh on 12/09/2010 01:10 am

I'm still unclear about what was actually passed in the CR as it relates to NASA and HLV. Is the language calling for a minimum capability at 130mt in the CR that was passed today?

Yes it is.

I'm totally surprised by this.

So that means we are now at 130mT as a 'starting point'? (as per the launguage" 'initial lift capability').

That is one BIG rocket (as a starting point)

It has to be said then, it's a long shot it will be SDLV or Direct like. As Both Steve and Ross have said multiple times, the core vehicle without the upperstage is an absolutely critical step from a time, budgetary, and public perception standpoint.

Hopefully the language will allow for the development of a core vehicle sans Upperstage. Trying my best to reserve judgement based on so little but this is certainly not welcome news for us die hard SDLV folks who fought so hard for fiscal and programmatic common sense. So were net for the day with SpaceX success   ???
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 12/09/2010 01:16 am

I'm still unclear about what was actually passed in the CR as it relates to NASA and HLV. Is the language calling for a minimum capability at 130mt in the CR that was passed today?

Yes it is.

I'm totally surprised by this.

So that means we are now at 130mT as a 'starting point'? (as per the launguage" 'initial lift capability').

That is one BIG rocket (as a starting point)

It has to be said then, it's a long shot it will be SDLV or Direct like. As Both Steve and Ross have said multiple times, the core vehicle without the upperstage is an absolutely critical step from a time, budgetary, and public perception standpoint.

What it means is:

NO 4-segment SRBs
Longer development time (forget ISS support)
Higher operating costs

(for starters)

(I am SO tempted to do a lash out, but am holding my tongue. Not a happy camper, despite my continued high from today's successful Dragon flight)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 12/09/2010 01:22 am

The CR language only says tons, not metric tons, so I guess it means short tons by default (which would be 118 metric tons)? It also doesn't say 130 tons by December 31, 2016.

Here is the CR's SLS language and the language to allow NASA to proceed fully on the new programs:

Quote from: 111_fullyearcr.pdf, page 33
Provided further, That within the funds provided for ‘‘Ex-
ploration’’, not less than $1,200,000,000 shall be for the
Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, not less than
$250,000,000 shall be for commercial crew, not less than
$300,000,000 shall be for commercial cargo development,
and not less than $1,800,000,000 shall be for the heavy
lift launch vehicle system: Provided further, That the ini-
tial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system
shall be not less than 130 tons and that the upper stage
and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed:
Provided further, That the provisos limiting the use of
funds under the heading ‘‘National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, Exploration’’ in division B of Public Law
111–117 shall not apply to funds appropriated by this Act:

Theoretically, YES (as per this post from a while back):

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22270.msg623290#msg623290

But whether it's short/long/or metric, it's a HECK of a lot more lift capability (especially as an initial starting point) than we currently need. This was supposed to be a build-up of lift capability until we are at a point when it is REQUIRED.

We aren't going to Mars in the next 10 years.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/09/2010 01:39 am

The CR language only says tons, not metric tons, so I guess it means short tons by default (which would be 118 metric tons)? It also doesn't say 130 tons by December 31, 2016.

Here is the CR's SLS language and the language to allow NASA to proceed fully on the new programs:

Quote from: 111_fullyearcr.pdf, page 33
Provided further, That within the funds provided for ‘‘Ex-
ploration’’, not less than $1,200,000,000 shall be for the
Orion multipurpose crew vehicle, not less than
$250,000,000 shall be for commercial crew, not less than
$300,000,000 shall be for commercial cargo development,
and not less than $1,800,000,000 shall be for the heavy
lift launch vehicle system: Provided further, That the ini-
tial lift capability for the heavy lift launch vehicle system
shall be not less than 130 tons and that the upper stage
and other core elements shall be simultaneously developed:
Provided further, That the provisos limiting the use of
funds under the heading ‘‘National Aeronautics and Space
Administration, Exploration’’ in division B of Public Law
111–117 shall not apply to funds appropriated by this Act:

Theoretically, YES (as per this post from a while back):

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22270.msg623290#msg623290

But whether it's short/long/or metric, it's a HECK of a lot more lift capability (especially as an initial starting point) than we currently need. This was supposed to be a build-up of lift capability until we are at a point when it is REQUIRED.

We aren't going to Mars in the next 10 years.

On the face of it, this "requirement" is onerous and contradictory to the evolvable approach outlined by P.L. 111-267. So, if it is enacted into law, there could be a "conflict of laws" situation in which both laws have to be read together to bring them into "harmony." Rest assured, those authorizers who developed the SLS language feel very strongly about the evolvable approach. At least "some" of the appropriators do not intend this language to eliminate that, and are focused on underscoring that a minimum 130-ton capability remains the end target of the SLS development. That clearly could be clarified with, for example, removal of the word "initial",  but making even a one-word change in something with as many interests at play as this bill (i.e., basically the ENTIRE federal government) is difficult just because of the number of bases that have to be touched. On the other hand, the fact that this appears to potentially materially modify existing law also raises an issue of a point of order possibly being raised against the provision, as a violation of the restrictions against "legislating" on appropriations.  All that remains to be seen over the next ten days.

The bottom line is that, if this language is enacted as is and in fact appears to re-vector the development approach for the heavy-lift, subsequent legislation can be enacted to rectify that. In the meantime, I believe the internal planning focus at NASA is likely to remain on a course that is very compatible with what P.L. 111-267 provided.
 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 12/09/2010 01:42 am

The bottom line is that, if this language is enacted as is and in fact appears to re-vector the development approach for the heavy-lift, subsequent legislation can be enacted to rectify that. In the meantime, I believe the internal planning focus at NASA is likely to remain on a course that is very compatible with what P.L. 111-267 provided.
 

Thanks for the response Sir.

I hope they can make any necessary changes.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Pheogh on 12/09/2010 07:01 am
My thanks as well and forgive me for not being as reserve as others. After thinking more about it this evening I might have found a sliver of hope...

I seem to recall that there was language stating that the "core" vehicle and "upperstage" would be developed in tandem. Together these items would get us to that 130 ton minimum.

However it does leave open the possibility that in such austere financial times that a more conservative congress may view 70-100 mt to be more than acceptable to any of the foreseeable missions which the nation can afford and decide to shelve the upper stage for later in favor of completing the Core.

The only wrinkle here is that it would seem from here that the same crew that was involved in the earlier shenanigans (Ares-7? or Dual Ares-V lites) is still at it trying to develop the biggest possible booster regardless of whether the money is there to complete it. This is why we see that 130 number and might also be why the Utah delegation was up in arms.

I think someone out there still wants the Saturn V back and anything Shuttle to go away. My hope is that Congress remains diligent and engaged with what Marshall is actually up to. After Elon's success today even the die hards are beginning to ask, "why again do you need 10 years and 9 billion"?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 12/09/2010 07:17 am
FWIW, I don't think that the CR is asking for anything different from the Senate re-authorisation bill.  The major change is that, instead of starting with the 70t version and progressing to the 130t version in time, it is calling for the 130t version to be developed immediately.

This would be a lot harder and take a lot longer.  However, it may represent a policy shift where SLS is for only BEO and therefore is not required until that phase starts in around 2020.

Trying to be optimistic here.

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: aquanaut99 on 12/09/2010 07:20 am
Prepare to wait 10-15 years to see NASA's new movie: "Constellation 2, return of Godzilla"
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 12/09/2010 07:31 am
FWIW, I don't think that the CR is asking for anything different from the Senate re-authorisation bill.  The major change is that, instead of starting with the 70t version and progressing to the 130t version in time, it is calling for the 130t version to be developed immediately.

With sufficient hints, I now read it that way too.  In particular, it emphasizes that the initial "core" (to include SRBs) must be flyable without modification in a 130t (118mT) vehicle.  DIRECT analysis indicated a J-241H would be required for that.  No clustered RL10 upper stage will suffice; no four-segment SRBs will suffice.  Starting with RL10 and four-seg and switching later if the performance were actually needed is right out.

Congress is saying to NASA, "The SLS must use J-2X and RSRMV, and implicitly SSME.  Live with it, because those are the only propulsion solutions for which we're willing to appropriate funding."
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Lars_J on 12/09/2010 08:04 am
Ugh. I'd chuckle if it wasn't so depressing and tragic.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Periander on 12/09/2010 02:55 pm
FWIW, I don't think that the CR is asking for anything different from the Senate re-authorisation bill.  The major change is that, instead of starting with the 70t version and progressing to the 130t version in time, it is calling for the 130t version to be developed immediately.

With sufficient hints, I now read it that way too.  In particular, it emphasizes that the initial "core" (to include SRBs) must be flyable without modification in a 130t (118mT) vehicle.  DIRECT analysis indicated a J-241H would be required for that.  No clustered RL10 upper stage will suffice; no four-segment SRBs will suffice.  Starting with RL10 and four-seg and switching later if the performance were actually needed is right out.

Congress is saying to NASA, "The SLS must use J-2X and RSRMV, and implicitly SSME.  Live with it, because those are the only propulsion solutions for which we're willing to appropriate funding."

If the performance were actually needed? No real performance is needed. These "performance requirements" have no connection to any sort of planned mission or payload. They are to simply to make sure that "our" tax dollars continued to be funneled to certain well connected contractors.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/09/2010 03:14 pm
On the plus side, with SpaceX's success, maybe it is thought that SLS can start out somewhat larger than originally planned.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: nathan.moeller on 12/09/2010 09:10 pm
Here's a question - Do the funds set aside for shuttle cover STS-135?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: mr_magoo on 12/09/2010 09:25 pm
Here's a question - Do the funds set aside for shuttle cover STS-135?

I think it was answered above that there is $850 million for a shuttle slush fund, which may be interpreted to include an additional flight.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Lars_J on 12/09/2010 09:34 pm
On the plus side, with SpaceX's success, maybe it is thought that SLS can start out somewhat larger than originally planned.

Unfortunately the larger SLS gets, the more expensive it gets. Which means fewer payloads, fewer missions, and increased risk of cancellation before 1st flight.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: nathan.moeller on 12/09/2010 09:41 pm
Here's a question - Do the funds set aside for shuttle cover STS-135?

I think it was answered above that there is $850 million for a shuttle slush fund, which may be interpreted to include an additional flight.

That's what I was thinking when it mentioned "addition space shuttle costs," but wasn't exactly sure.  Hopefully NASA will shed some light on this soon.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Pheogh on 12/09/2010 09:42 pm
On the plus side, with SpaceX's success, maybe it is thought that SLS can start out somewhat larger than originally planned.

Unfortunately the larger SLS gets, the more expensive it gets. Which means fewer payloads, fewer missions, and increased risk of cancellation before 1st flight.

Someone might want to inform Marshall of that, if there is any substance to the beef Utah as with what is going on, it seems they didn't get the message the first time?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kraisee on 12/09/2010 10:18 pm
Someone might want to inform Marshall of that, if there is any substance to the beef Utah as with what is going on, it seems they didn't get the message the first time?

They didn't.   They still refuse to let go of the RSRMV.   PWR refuse to let go of J-2X, even though they would actually earn more with human rating of RL-10 and SSME-e.   And MSFC still has a strong contingent of "bigger than Saturn-V" Griffinites.

It is MHO, but I'm fairly sure they're about to price themselves out of contention.

Space-X say they can do a similar performance vehicle for a quarter of the money.   And they're riding a tide of success right now.   However powerful the AL/FL/LA/TX contingent is in Congress, they are ultimately outnumbered by the other 46 states and Space-X can play the deficit reduction card with all of them.

This could turn into a very bitter fight.   And ATK, PWR, Boeing and Lockheed could potentially be left (5+ years from now) holding little more in their hands but their family jewels.

This is ultimately going to boil down to affordability.   Minimum 130 ton SDLV is *NOT* an affordable option.   Reality will catch up sooner or later, and with the CxP debacle fresh in memory, this will lead to a repeat failure on NASA's part.   Not good :(

Ross.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/09/2010 10:40 pm
Here's a question - Do the funds set aside for shuttle cover STS-135?

I think it was answered above that there is $850 million for a shuttle slush fund, which may be interpreted to include an additional flight.

That's what I was thinking when it mentioned "addition space shuttle costs," but wasn't exactly sure.  Hopefully NASA will shed some light on this soon.
The testimony last week in the Senate Commerce committee hearing was a good start.

Also duplicating something posted over in the STS-335 thread about the $825 million under Space Operations -- it has to cover more than just Shuttle costs.  Reformatting the text:

Quote
and $825,000,000 shall be for

-- additional Space Shuttle costs,

-- launch complex development only for activities at the Kennedy Space Center related to the civil, nondefense launch complex,

-- use at other National Aeronautics and Space Administration flight facilities that are currently scheduled to launch cargo to the International Space Station,

-- and development of ground operations for the heavy lift launch vehicle and the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle

Besides additional Shuttle costs, the other areas might be partially deferred, but the $825M has to cover spending on all of those, not just Shuttle.  It does seem to give NASA latitude to defer work and apply possible savings from one or more of these areas during the fiscal year.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Orbiter on 12/09/2010 10:51 pm
http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20101209/NEWS02/12090321 (http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20101209/NEWS02/12090321)
Florida today article.

Quote
The House resolution contains $1.8 billion for that rocket and nearly $1 billion for the shuttle program, which would have an extra flight in 2011.

Orbiter
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/09/2010 11:02 pm
Here's a question - Do the funds set aside for shuttle cover STS-135?

I think it was answered above that there is $850 million for a shuttle slush fund, which may be interpreted to include an additional flight.

That's what I was thinking when it mentioned "addition space shuttle costs," but wasn't exactly sure.  Hopefully NASA will shed some light on this soon.
The testimony last week in the Senate Commerce committee hearing was a good start.

Also duplicating something posted over in the STS-335 thread about the $825 million under Space Operations -- it has to cover more than just Shuttle costs.  Reformatting the text:

Quote
and $825,000,000 shall be for

-- additional Space Shuttle costs,

-- launch complex development only for activities at the Kennedy Space Center related to the civil, nondefense launch complex,

-- use at other National Aeronautics and Space Administration flight facilities that are currently scheduled to launch cargo to the International Space Station,

-- and development of ground operations for the heavy lift launch vehicle and the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle

Besides additional Shuttle costs, the other areas might be partially deferred, but the $825M has to cover spending on all of those, not just Shuttle.  It does seem to give NASA latitude to defer work and apply possible savings from one or more of these areas during the fiscal year.


At the last Senate hearing, it was mentionned that Bolden has suggested delaying the 21st century complex infrastructure money if NASA got less than the requested $19B. I think that this is why these funds got lumped together. NASA is free to cut where it sees fit.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Pheogh on 12/09/2010 11:29 pm
Someone might want to inform Marshall of that, if there is any substance to the beef Utah as with what is going on, it seems they didn't get the message the first time?

Reality will catch up sooner or later, and with the CxP debacle fresh in memory, this will lead to a repeat failure on NASA's part.   Not good :(

Ross.

I figure right around May/June next year... COTS success to the station and the new more conservative congress getting feisty and bold leading up to the start of the new election cycle.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kraisee on 12/09/2010 11:44 pm
Unless they can pull out a low-cost SDLV option to keep them all funded, between now and then.

I wonder where they might find one of those...

Ross.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: muomega0 on 12/09/2010 11:48 pm
On the plus side, with SpaceX's success, maybe it is thought that SLS can start out somewhat larger than originally planned.

Unfortunately the larger SLS gets, the more expensive it gets. Which means fewer payloads, fewer missions, and increased risk of cancellation before 1st flight.

Someone might want to inform Marshall of that, if there is any substance to the beef Utah as with what is going on, it seems they didn't get the message the first time?
The strategy seems to be to continue with the program that maximizes jobs mainly for Republican districts, and if the program is cancelled, take credit for deficit reduction by eliminating waste (ironic)--they could even bring up the 400t shielding study by MSFC.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/10/2010 01:10 am
On the plus side, with SpaceX's success, maybe it is thought that SLS can start out somewhat larger than originally planned.

Unfortunately the larger SLS gets, the more expensive it gets. Which means fewer payloads, fewer missions, and increased risk of cancellation before 1st flight.

Someone might want to inform Marshall of that, if there is any substance to the beef Utah as with what is going on, it seems they didn't get the message the first time?
The strategy seems to be to continue with the program that maximizes jobs mainly for Republican districts, and if the program is cancelled, take credit for deficit reduction by eliminating waste (ironic)--they could even bring up the 400t shielding study by MSFC.

Yes.  That is the plan.  "We" are behind all of it.  First it required sabotaging the legislative and executive branches and their agenda and the majority control.  Secondly, we thought it would nice to throw in a "movement", in order for our plot to not be exposed, and thought Tea Party had a nice ring to it.  Once we stacked the votes across the nation accordingly and hacked into all the electronic voting machines to make them count as we wanted, we could see victory in our grasp.

Now with Republican control of the House (we know it is really "us") we can distribute money as we see fit.  We now will retain every job, maybe we'll even add some, and have decided to increase our paychecks by at least 50% as well.  In addition the plan is to continue Shuttle forever.

This was all rather simple and was clearly just as logical as the above statement.  We "can't let Shuttle go", clearly want everything else to fail and see the only way to ever get things done is sabatage everything else and make sure the "Republicans" do our bidding.  Or else. <evil laugh>
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: pathfinder_01 on 12/10/2010 01:44 am

Yes.  That is the plan.  "We" are behind all of it.  First it required sabotaging the legislative and executive branches and their agenda and the majority control.  Secondly, we thought it would nice to throw in a "movement", in order for our plot to not be exposed, and thought Tea Party had a nice ring to it.  Once we stacked the votes across the nation accordingly and hacked into all the electronic voting machines to make them count as we wanted, we could see victory in our grasp.

Now with Republican control of the House (we know it is really "us") we can distribute money as we see fit.  We now will retain every job, maybe we'll even add some, and have decided to increase our paychecks by at least 50% as well.  In addition the plan is to continue Shuttle forever.

This was all rather simple and was clearly just as logical as the above statement.  We "can't let Shuttle go", clearly want everything else to fail and see the only way to ever get things done is sabatage everything else and make sure the "Republicans" do our bidding.  Or else. <evil laugh>



What an evil plan....I was hoping the Ombama adminstration would restrart CXP and use the technology  to build lunar reeducation camps for the republicans....<Evil laugh>


That is the downside to having congress have so much control of NASA. They can create bad policy.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/10/2010 01:57 am

What an evil plan....I was hoping the Ombama adminstration would restrart CXP and use the technology  to build lunar reeducation camps for the republicans....<Evil laugh>


That is the downside to having congress have so much control of NASA. They can create bad policy.


Discounting the minor detail that there is no such thing as the Ombama administration, the current policy is very much bipartison and quite acceptable for a multitude of reasons.  So if there were such "re-education camps" I suppose you could not include just one party. 

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: alexw on 12/10/2010 02:02 am
Unless they can pull out a low-cost SDLV option to keep them all funded, between now and then.
I wonder where they might find one of those...
   AJAX? Or a 5 or 6 SSME core, possibly using GEM-60?
   
   (Any of which would stand on the tall shoulders of DIRECT, of course, which was (quite reasonably) envisioned as a smooth transition from STS with overlap and cost-structure sharing, and a quick development.)
    -Alex
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Lars_J on 12/10/2010 02:48 am
Yes.  That is the plan.  "We" are behind all of it.  ... We "can't let Shuttle go", clearly want everything else to fail and see the only way to ever get things done is sabatage everything else and make sure the "Republicans" do our bidding.  Or else. <evil laugh>

Aha! I knew it!  ;) ;D
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/10/2010 07:02 am
Actually, I think a 130 ton (118 t) HLV is a good option, provided that the mission is to return to the Moon to stay followed by flights to the asteroids and Mars.

The Saturn V had a 119 t LEO capability, so SLS (Saturn-V Launch System :-) would essentially be a Saturn V Mk.2. The Saturn V could send two astronauts to the Lunar surface, so SLS could also do that too (probably using crasher O2/H2 stage if the heavy 8.5 t Orion is used, or a replica of the Lunar Module if Dragon is used). If the mission is to stay, Saturn-V could land 15 t on the Moon for a cargo only mission, so SLS should also be capable of that. NASA would be doing what I believe it should have done after Apollo.

For missions to Mars, I believe this can be done with three SLS launches, first launch is a half full O2/H2 EDS, the second performs the von Braun tanking mode flight of filling up the EDS, the third launches the crew, crew return vehicle (hopefully Dragon as it is lighter than Orion), aeroshell, Mars transit vehicle, Habitat and Mars ascent vehicle (water and CO2 are extracted from the air to make the propellants for the MAV).

This means that Congress will need to cough up the money for the hardware and operations required. If it doesn't, SLS will probably head the same way as Saturn-V.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/10/2010 12:18 pm
Someone might want to inform Marshall of that, if there is any substance to the beef Utah as with what is going on, it seems they didn't get the message the first time?

They didn't.   They still refuse to let go of the RSRMV.   PWR refuse to let go of J-2X, even though they would actually earn more with human rating of RL-10 and SSME-e.   And MSFC still has a strong contingent of "bigger than Saturn-V" Griffinites.

It is MHO, but I'm fairly sure they're about to price themselves out of contention.

Space-X say they can do a similar performance vehicle for a quarter of the money.   And they're riding a tide of success right now.   However powerful the AL/FL/LA/TX contingent is in Congress, they are ultimately outnumbered by the other 46 states and Space-X can play the deficit reduction card with all of them.

This could turn into a very bitter fight.   And ATK, PWR, Boeing and Lockheed could potentially be left (5+ years from now) holding little more in their hands but their family jewels.

This is ultimately going to boil down to affordability.   Minimum 130 ton SDLV is *NOT* an affordable option.   Reality will catch up sooner or later, and with the CxP debacle fresh in memory, this will lead to a repeat failure on NASA's part.   Not good :(

Ross.

Sounds like our President might at that point want to cancel all of NASA's human spaceflight capabilities and assets... Oh wait a sec, deja vu anyone?  ;)

Cheers!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 12/10/2010 12:24 pm
Someone might want to inform Marshall of that, if there is any substance to the beef Utah as with what is going on, it seems they didn't get the message the first time?

They didn't.   They still refuse to let go of the RSRMV.   PWR refuse to let go of J-2X, even though they would actually earn more with human rating of RL-10 and SSME-e.   And MSFC still has a strong contingent of "bigger than Saturn-V" Griffinites.

It is MHO, but I'm fairly sure they're about to price themselves out of contention.

Space-X say they can do a similar performance vehicle for a quarter of the money.   And they're riding a tide of success right now.   However powerful the AL/FL/LA/TX contingent is in Congress, they are ultimately outnumbered by the other 46 states and Space-X can play the deficit reduction card with all of them.

This could turn into a very bitter fight.   And ATK, PWR, Boeing and Lockheed could potentially be left (5+ years from now) holding little more in their hands but their family jewels.

This is ultimately going to boil down to affordability.   Minimum 130 ton SDLV is *NOT* an affordable option.   Reality will catch up sooner or later, and with the CxP debacle fresh in memory, this will lead to a repeat failure on NASA's part.   Not good :(

Ross.

Sounds like our President might at that point want to cancel all of NASA's human spaceflight capabilities and assets... Oh wait a sec, deja vu anyone?  ;)

Cheers!

Where in any of that post does he mention the president?  He is talking congress.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: TrueBlueWitt on 12/10/2010 12:51 pm
Why does the U.S. House of Representives seem Hell bent on killing HSF in this country through "good intentions"??? 

Are they really that Clue Less(in this case the RIGHT word)?  I'm starting to think a bunch of 5th graders could make  better decisions.. at least with regard to NASA

I think even some factions in NASA are catching on quicker.. and finally getting the idea that "affordable" has to be priority number ONE.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/10/2010 01:03 pm
On the plus side, with SpaceX's success, maybe it is thought that SLS can start out somewhat larger than originally planned.

Unfortunately the larger SLS gets, the more expensive it gets. Which means ... increased risk of cancellation before 1st flight.

Someone might want to inform Marshall ... it seems they didn't get the message the first time?

I'm trying to find a silver lining.  My personal preference is to build J-130 as planned for the outlined evolution path.  The future growth could come when production and ops costs have settled down for SLS.  Of course, that would be pragmatic.  Heck.  It would be, I'd say, the common sense way to go about the new LV.

But no.  Unless I'm mistaken, ATK, PWR, Boeing and Lockheed and their congressional minions prefer the all or nothing approach.  It's a microcosm of the dysfunctionality of our government, where cooperation is seen as weakness, even when compared to program failure.  Worse, they're not even ashamed of themselves and their behavior.  So Ross' "family jewel" comment seems pertinent.

As to the $825M.  I thought it was widely thought, at least on this forum, that an additional launch would cost "only" $450M, more or less.

I wonder where they might find one of those...

Huh.  Izzat a trick question?

Yes.  That is the plan.  "We" are behind all of it. ...

I have not yet opened enrollment for my online sarcasm class.  Would you be interested in being one of the teachers?

Watching the activities on the Hill, how could a rational person respond any way other than in a sarcastic fashion?

Actually, I think a 130 ton (118 t) HLV is a good option, provided that the mission is to return to the Moon to stay followed by flights to the asteroids and Mars.

Bingo. I have no problem philosophically, ecumenically, or pragmatically with upping the ante on the initial vehicle, if there were additional managerial accountability.  The safer approach would be 70T.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Malderi on 12/10/2010 04:51 pm
Also, note that specifying an initial capability of 130T doesn't necessarily require that that be the minimum capability of the rocket. It just requires that upper stages, boosters, etc. be developed simultaneously with the core. You could still potentially design a rocket that is flexible enough to fly without them for smaller missions, if necessary.

I agree, it's not the way I'd do it, but it still gives *some* flexibility.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: clongton on 12/10/2010 05:01 pm
You could still potentially design a rocket that is flexible enough to fly without them for smaller missions, if necessary.

I agree, it's not the way I'd do it, but it still gives *some* flexibility.

Why not? That's *exactly* the way the Jupiter is designed. The Jupiter HLV is the Jupiter-246. It uses 4xSSME's and an upper stage with 6xRL-10's. That is *the* Jupiter rocket. Everything is designed for THAT flight configuration. But if you don't need to fly 100mT to orbit then leave off the upper stage and (1) SSME and fly it. That flight configuration of the Jupiter LV is identified as the Jupiter-130, and will deliver 70mT to LEO. But the *Jupiter design* is with the upper stage and drops off ~112mT to LEO.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Malderi on 12/10/2010 05:05 pm
I'm aware of that, but I was meaning to say that DIRECT still fits in with the language in the appropriations bills, although the development path is different.

When I say it's not the way I'd do it, what I meant is that I'd design it like DIRECT - fly without the upper stage first, instead of developing it all at once. That's all. Sorry for the confusion.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Periander on 12/10/2010 06:38 pm

What an evil plan....I was hoping the Ombama adminstration would restrart CXP and use the technology  to build lunar reeducation camps for the republicans....<Evil laugh>


That is the downside to having congress have so much control of NASA. They can create bad policy.


Discounting the minor detail that there is no such thing as the Ombama administration, the current policy is very much bipartison and quite acceptable for a multitude of reasons.  So if there were such "re-education camps" I suppose you could not include just one party. 



Discounting the minor detail that there is no such thing as "bipartison", I find the current spectacle of politicians designing NASA launch vehicles to insure their states get a cut of the action revolting and disheartening. Doubly so since they apparently have no regard to the affordability or sustainability of said vehicle which to top everything off has no mission and no payloads.

We're well past the point where sarcasm is in order, we ought to be outraged.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/10/2010 08:06 pm
Discounting the minor detail that there is no such thing as "bipartison", I find the current spectacle of politicians designing NASA launch vehicles to insure their states get a cut of the action revolting and disheartening. Doubly so since they apparently have no regard to the affordability or sustainability of said vehicle which to top everything off has no mission and no payloads.

We're well past the point where sarcasm is in order, we ought to be outraged.
Oops, did have a spelling mistake.  Thanks for pointing that out!  Sarcasm and humor I think can be kind of fun now and then, especially when one does not take posts so seriously.  Don’t you?

I mean, after all, I have been accused of (paraphrasing because I don't obviously remember the exact quotes) having a "narrow vision of space exploration", a "fat-cat only concerned about protecting my government-provided job", "sucking off the government-welfare state", "unable and afraid to compete", "making a well above average and more than necessary salary" (people who say this would be forced to shut up if they knew the truth) and generally not understanding this or that and the list could go on and on.  Of course none of it is true, and is totally inconsequential to me in the grand scheme, but sarcasm can come naturally at times. 

Why have I been told this by some people?  I think part of the answer is because I work on the Space Shuttle Program and argue certain misconceptions that some just like to post as if they were facts when I know quite different.  Is it perfect?  No, of course it isn’t.  Could it all be more efficient?  Yes!!  But it is a program that is unlikely to be duplicated in the near-term.  Most importantly, it is the program that fundamentally built the majority of ISS, which is the immediate cornerstone for much "commercial" (the more appropriate term is "public/private relationship" or something like that) activity and incentive.

Why else could these things have been said?  True, I have made it known I did not believe Shuttle should be retired until another resupply chain was verified as being able to replace some of the orbiter capability.  Would it have taken long and resulted in "years" to the manifest?  Highly unlikely, and I am on several records saying such, but it would have ensured ISS was exactly what it was intended to be making the business case for this public/private partnership that much stronger.  Was it to "protect my job"?  Hardly…..

What else could have been behind these comments?  I made it known I believed a SDLV was a viable choice for an HLV (and actually believe an HLV could be useful).  Others are welcome to disagree but I gave reasons why I believed, if there was going to be an HLV, a shuttle-derived made sense to me.  A SDLV is not STS in either function or cost but that is a point often overlooked.  Yes, it has SRBs, and at least in my opinion, it seems "fashionable" by many on here right now that anything with those is immediately subject to scorn.  Did I ever say anything else could not be used?  No, of course I didn’t.

Could anything else lead to some of these comments?  Oh yeah!  I questioned the root and practicality of the original FY2011 proposal.  I thought elements of it were good, investing in the "commercial" sector for example, but did not embrace the whole 2011 package totally.  Why?  Well, I questioned the "how" it was to be implemented a lot and I truly believed the timing of it would cause a net loss to a lot of valuable experience across what is now CxP and STS where that experience is certainly transferrable to future applications, government or commercial.  Of course, that is throughout several threads and I seriously was commenting on what I believed would provide the best health for this knowledge base, wherever it ended up being located, for those who want to stick around in this industry. 

So with all that, sarcasm is good every now and then, especially when others accuse others without any real merit.  I mean, for example, where is your proof that politicians are "designing" launch vehicles?  Do you honestly believe they were running calculations, simulations, etc?  Of course they aren’t, especially since NASA believes they can "evaluate the trade space" and multiple study contracts have been issued to companies that are not involved in STS. 

Let’s explore your comment further.  Do you have any proof that NASA or the government "have no regard to the affordability or sustainability"?  Notes on L2 would seem to indicate otherwise.  Clearly CxP was a bit of a disaster but no contracts have been issued for SLS showing this, no accounts have been robbed for SLS, etc. 

Let’s also discuss "mission and payloads".  If the SLS becomes EELV-derived, or even from SpaceX, will payloads and missions suddenly appear instantaneously?  Nope.  And frankly, the suggestion and assumption that the cost of DDT&E, etc will be cheaper with one of them, allowing for all this money to be freed up, is not known because the exact requirements, how it will be managed and the contracting mechanism for all of these and others are unknown.  It "levels the playing field" to a certain extent with all these options.  Presumably, those options are being evaluated and perhaps we will know something more concrete soon. 

Finally, it is completely illogical to assume that congress will not be interested in their states "getting a cut of the action".  Fact is that is part of the reason they are there.  Not a perfect system but better than others.  I also ask that if EELV becomes SLS, will Colorado's representation be lumped into this category?  If SpaceX gets SLS, what about California's representation?  With respect to "commercial", there will be others out to protect their "cut of the action".  You can already see this with Virginia's reps.  It's not a "bad thing", it simply is what it is. 

So, I hear what you are saying in the most basic sense, but sarcasm is fine and if one is to be outraged we should make sure we apply that outrage equally and legitimately.  In the end, I don't care anymore.  I just want to see some positive steps forward, decisions made to finally leave Earth and personally know when I become unemployed for sure and finish the STS Program in a manner it deserves. 

Sorry for the lengthy post, have a good weekend everyone.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/10/2010 10:24 pm
This article is worth reading:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/101210-cr-boost-nasa-budget.html
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/11/2010 06:39 am
The appropriations language may not directly conflict with the authorization act, but it seems to me that the reality does conflict.

Developing a 70 ton lifter with $11B by 2016 is already an aggressive schedule for the NASA of recent decades from both a time and budgetary standpoint.

The appropriations language significantly increases the initial required capability but does not alter the time or budget requirements in the authorization. That seems to me like it is putting us back in another CxP situation where the resources provided to NASA do not match the intended timeline and therefore success is very unlikely.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 12/11/2010 07:07 am
The appropriations legislation covers a single year (FY2011), almost a quarter of which has already passed.  The intent is quite clear:  don't fail to fund in FY2011 upper stage components currently under development that would be part of a 130 ton vehicle.  So for the nine remaining months of FY2011 NASA won't be canceling J-2X.

If you really want to work to get J-2X unfunded, though, don't despair.  Starting in early February of 2011 Congress will once again be considering a NASA budget proposed by President Obama, i.e. the FY2012 budget.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/11/2010 10:02 am
Discounting the minor detail that there is no such thing as "bipartison", I find the current spectacle of politicians designing NASA launch vehicles to insure their states get a cut of the action revolting and disheartening. Doubly so since they apparently have no regard to the affordability or sustainability of said vehicle which to top everything off has no mission and no payloads.

We're well past the point where sarcasm is in order, we ought to be outraged.
Oops, did have a spelling mistake.  Thanks for pointing that out!  Sarcasm and humor I think can be kind of fun now and then, especially when one does not take posts so seriously.  Don’t you?

I mean, after all, I have been accused of (paraphrasing because I don't obviously remember the exact quotes) having a "narrow vision of space exploration", a "fat-cat only concerned about protecting my government-provided job", "sucking off the government-welfare state", "unable and afraid to compete", "making a well above average and more than necessary salary" (people who say this would be forced to shut up if they knew the truth) and generally not understanding this or that and the list could go on and on.  Of course none of it is true, and is totally inconsequential to me in the grand scheme, but sarcasm can come naturally at times. 

Why have I been told this by some people?  I think part of the answer is because I work on the Space Shuttle Program and argue certain misconceptions that some just like to post as if they were facts when I know quite different.  Is it perfect?  No, of course it isn’t.  Could it all be more efficient?  Yes!!  But it is a program that is unlikely to be duplicated in the near-term.  Most importantly, it is the program that fundamentally built the majority of ISS, which is the immediate cornerstone for much "commercial" (the more appropriate term is "public/private relationship" or something like that) activity and incentive.

Why else could these things have been said?  True, I have made it known I did not believe Shuttle should be retired until another resupply chain was verified as being able to replace some of the orbiter capability.  Would it have taken long and resulted in "years" to the manifest?  Highly unlikely, and I am on several records saying such, but it would have ensured ISS was exactly what it was intended to be making the business case for this public/private partnership that much stronger.  Was it to "protect my job"?  Hardly…..

What else could have been behind these comments?  I made it known I believed a SDLV was a viable choice for an HLV (and actually believe an HLV could be useful).  Others are welcome to disagree but I gave reasons why I believed, if there was going to be an HLV, a shuttle-derived made sense to me.  A SDLV is not STS in either function or cost but that is a point often overlooked.  Yes, it has SRBs, and at least in my opinion, it seems "fashionable" by many on here right now that anything with those is immediately subject to scorn.  Did I ever say anything else could not be used?  No, of course I didn’t.

Could anything else lead to some of these comments?  Oh yeah!  I questioned the root and practicality of the original FY2011 proposal.  I thought elements of it were good, investing in the "commercial" sector for example, but did not embrace the whole 2011 package totally.  Why?  Well, I questioned the "how" it was to be implemented a lot and I truly believed the timing of it would cause a net loss to a lot of valuable experience across what is now CxP and STS where that experience is certainly transferrable to future applications, government or commercial.  Of course, that is throughout several threads and I seriously was commenting on what I believed would provide the best health for this knowledge base, wherever it ended up being located, for those who want to stick around in this industry. 

So with all that, sarcasm is good every now and then, especially when others accuse others without any real merit.  I mean, for example, where is your proof that politicians are "designing" launch vehicles?  Do you honestly believe they were running calculations, simulations, etc?  Of course they aren’t, especially since NASA believes they can "evaluate the trade space" and multiple study contracts have been issued to companies that are not involved in STS. 

Let’s explore your comment further.  Do you have any proof that NASA or the government "have no regard to the affordability or sustainability"?  Notes on L2 would seem to indicate otherwise.  Clearly CxP was a bit of a disaster but no contracts have been issued for SLS showing this, no accounts have been robbed for SLS, etc. 

Let’s also discuss "mission and payloads".  If the SLS becomes EELV-derived, or even from SpaceX, will payloads and missions suddenly appear instantaneously?  Nope.  And frankly, the suggestion and assumption that the cost of DDT&E, etc will be cheaper with one of them, allowing for all this money to be freed up, is not known because the exact requirements, how it will be managed and the contracting mechanism for all of these and others are unknown.  It "levels the playing field" to a certain extent with all these options.  Presumably, those options are being evaluated and perhaps we will know something more concrete soon. 

Finally, it is completely illogical to assume that congress will not be interested in their states "getting a cut of the action".  Fact is that is part of the reason they are there.  Not a perfect system but better than others.  I also ask that if EELV becomes SLS, will Colorado's representation be lumped into this category?  If SpaceX gets SLS, what about California's representation?  With respect to "commercial", there will be others out to protect their "cut of the action".  You can already see this with Virginia's reps.  It's not a "bad thing", it simply is what it is. 

So, I hear what you are saying in the most basic sense, but sarcasm is fine and if one is to be outraged we should make sure we apply that outrage equally and legitimately.  In the end, I don't care anymore.  I just want to see some positive steps forward, decisions made to finally leave Earth and personally know when I become unemployed for sure and finish the STS Program in a manner it deserves. 

Sorry for the lengthy post, have a good weekend everyone.


I always enjoy reading what OV-106 writes. He makes sense. So do Ross and Clongton.

As to, "the current spectacle of politicians designing NASA launch vehicles to insure their states get a cut of the action revolting and disheartening", it is far more likely that Congressional debate and action will produce a far more workable space policy than would the President's clearly expressed desire to throw out the window the SSME, Orion, and NASA's experienced launch crews and network of human spaceflight contractors.

Every state contributes tax money to the federal government and it is quite normal and reasonable that such tax money should be spent in the great diversity of states that contributed their tax dollars to Uncle Sam. Of course some folks think it would be better if the money left the USA and whatever NASA human spacecraft do is simply outsourced to the lowest bidder in America and at some point in the future when we wake up and realize that the lowest American bidder will still have to follow strict American safety regulations and other expectations, then we will simply outsource our human space access spacecraft to some corner of the world where the standards are different from America's. That won't get much political support from Congress for 'NASA's human spacecraft or robotic space exploration program', but who cares, India or Russia will be glad to take whatever of the program that is still left. 

Jim's continued defense of the President's dismantling attempt and lack of leadership for NASA's LEO and BLEO Orion replacement spacecraft for the Space Shuttles is quite strange. Some folks are happy with the hidden motives and politics of various presidents and their strange nonfunctional leadership provided to NASA, but unhappy about Congressional discussions that are aimed at gettiing NASA a functional and nationally supported SLS to take humans back to the Moon... That is a bit of contradiction. Or maybe it isn't. Maybe some loudly complaining folks don't really want to see America and other nations building bases on the Moon and mining Lunar resources.

The Direct Team came up with a great plan to get us back to the Moon. The President didn't. Congress is trying. Let us see what happens.

Cheers!
   
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Cog_in_the_machine on 12/11/2010 11:08 am
Maybe some loudly complaining folks don't really want to see America and other nations building bases on the Moon and mining Lunar resources.

Or maybe what you're defending is a fantasy, the pursuit of which will leave NASA's HSF efforts in an even worse state than they're already in, because NASA will inevitably be asked, yet again like it has been for 40 years, to achieve a goal which it doesn't have the resources for. Due to interlinked political, economic and engineering difficulties, that show no signs of improving at all, NASA hasn't even managed to develop a replacement for their LEO crew and cargo capabilities, despite years of trying. Yet people expect them to succeed in planning and executing BEO activities from the get go, when there are no signs that any of the issues that have plagued the agency over decades will be resolved. Maybe the "loudly complaining folks" are of the persuasion that this grandiose vision, that congress is supposedly pushing, will end in tears like so many other projects.
Also, before Obama's administration, the US was following a more exclusionary space policy. So as much as you hate it, you have the administration to thank for changing the National Space Policy of the USA (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/national_space_policy_6-28-10.pdf) to include more international cooperation, which seems to be a recurring theme throughout your posts.

Quote
The Direct Team came up with a great plan to get us back to the Moon. The President didn't. Congress is trying.

And it's humorous to watch.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 12/11/2010 11:45 am

1.  As to, "the current spectacle of politicians designing NASA launch vehicles to insure their states get a cut of the action revolting and disheartening", it is far more likely that Congressional debate and action will produce a far more workable space policy than would the President's clearly expressed desire to throw out the window the SSME, Orion, and NASA's experienced launch crews and network of human spaceflight contractors.

2.  Jim's continued defense of the President's dismantling attempt and lack of leadership for NASA's LEO and BLEO Orion replacement spacecraft for the Space Shuttles is quite strange. Some folks are happy with the hidden motives and politics of various presidents and their strange nonfunctional leadership provided to NASA, but unhappy about Congressional discussions that are aimed at gettiing NASA a functional and nationally supported SLS to take humans back to the Moon... That is a bit of contradiction. Or maybe it isn't. Maybe some loudly complaining folks don't really want to see America and other nations building bases on the Moon and mining Lunar resources.
 

1.  Launch crews will not be saved by SLS or any other program.  The gap between development and operations is too wide.  They wouldn't have been saved by CxP either.  SSME was never guaranteed to saved either.  Nor has a reason been provided that it should be.

2.  The nation can not afford a lunar base nor should NASA be the one to manage one.  It is not in NASA's charter nor should it be. Nor is there a compelling reason for a lunar base that would benefit the USA.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: clongton on 12/11/2010 12:37 pm

Congress is trying. And it's humorous to watch.

Most people really like sausage but not so many like to watch the sausage-making :) . Don't throw the baby out with the wash. Believe it or not Congress has a lot more to deal with than NASA and the SLS will just have to find its place in the process. As important as we all know it is, so are a lot of other things and if SLS is important to you then you and your friends and family should be calling your Legislators to register that fact. That's how its importance to your Legislators gets noticed and hopefully influenced. That's how the sausage is made.

Edit: watch: -> wash
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/11/2010 01:01 pm
Maybe some loudly complaining folks don't really want to see America and other nations building bases on the Moon and mining Lunar resources.

Or maybe what you're defending is a fantasy, the pursuit of which will leave NASA's HSF efforts in an even worse state than they're already in, because NASA will inevitably be asked, yet again like it has been for 40 years, to achieve a goal which it doesn't have the resources for. Due to interlinked political, economic and engineering difficulties, that show no signs of improving at all, NASA hasn't even managed to develop a replacement for their LEO crew and cargo capabilities, despite years of trying. Yet people expect them to succeed in planning and executing BEO activities from the get go, when there are no signs that any of the issues that have plagued the agency over decades will be resolved. Maybe the "loudly complaining folks" are of the persuasion that this grandiose vision, that congress is supposedly pushing, will end in tears like so many other projects.
Also, before Obama's administration, the US was following a more exclusionary space policy. So as much as you hate it, you have the administration to thank for changing the National Space Policy of the USA (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/national_space_policy_6-28-10.pdf) to include more international cooperation, which seems to be a recurring theme throughout your posts.

Quote
The Direct Team came up with a great plan to get us back to the Moon. The President didn't. Congress is trying.

And it's humorous to watch.

It is getting to be a very small planet. You know, the Internet, jets, high speed railroads, international human migrations, highways everywhere, and cars and buses offering common folks access to places that only the rich and powerful could have visited a hundred years ago. And to many Americans, international cooperation in space exploration 'sausage' is the only thing that makes much sense, and to be accurate, the current President didn't come up with the cooperative idea of space exploration. Some of the older folks on this forum understood the importance of international cooperation in space exploration long before the current President was born. Also, the current President didn't have anything to do with the origins of the International Space Station, which is widely seen as the model for our future international cooperation in space exploration.

Most Americans probably wouldn't be overly keen to be seen as the people that have to pay for everything that humans do beyond low Earth orbit. The world has changed since the Space Race ended with NASA astronauts beginning to explore the Moon four decades ago. Many countries now have the wealth and technical and scientific capabilities to make significant contributions to our human and robotic efforts at building permanent homes on Luna and other worlds. NASA and the BLEO Orion and the SLS will represent America in going back to the Moon with every peaceful nation that wants to make some kind of contribution to the planet Earth's immense space exploration mission. And yes, don't worry, there is a good chance that SpaceX's Dragon will be heading out towards Luna... But Dragon will not be the sole method of getting there, despite the current President's previous nonviable plan... 

It is true that many efforts and even each of our respective lives will "end in tears"... but it isn't worth crying in our milk if NASA and our international space expoloration partners experience another American Presidential leadership failure in our ongoing effort to do a midcourse correction in our long-term flight path to the Moon. It will only be worth some tears if the human species quits trying to reach for the Moon and stars. And since that 'lack of curiousity about the universe' situation doesn't appear to be very likely, we might as well save our tears for something else.

If the President ever gets tired of sitting on his hands and wants to make a serious contribution to getting us back to the Moon, he could hire OV-106, Clongton, or Ross to work in the White House and explain to him and the nation how to do Lunar space Exploration in a cost efficient and practical manner. Currently, the 'space experts' he is listening to in the White House don't have any interest, ability, or desire to effectively work with Congress and NASA in order to get us back to the Moon. Congress isn't perfect, but it is already doing much better than what the current President previously suggested. Who knows, if the President hired and listened to OV-106, Clongton, or Ross, we could be back on the Moon much sooner than a lot folks are predicting. Along the way to Luna, we might also start working on reindustrializing America, and that too would be really nice. Maybe some older folks are getting a little tired of the international 'outsourcing of everything' attitude of our current American leadership. The erstwhile national leadership of our long ago youthful days was a lot more inspirational and wiser than the current crowd of confused and lost sound bite peacocks. ;)

Cheers!

Edited.

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 12/11/2010 01:12 pm

If the President ever gets tired of sitting on his hands and wants to make a serious contribution to getting us back to the Moon, he could hire OV-106, Clongton, or Ross to work in the White House and explain to him and the nation how to do Lunar space Exploration in a cost efficient and practical manner.


Wrong,  Direct/SLS is not a cost efficient and practical manner.  It is a political manner.  And who says they are the experts in this. EELV can do it too.   And what say we should go back to the moon?
 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Cog_in_the_machine on 12/11/2010 01:13 pm
Believe it or not Congress has a lot more to deal with than NASA and the SLS will just have to find its place in the process.

Precisely why I think they'll botch it in the end.

Quote
As important as we all know it is, so are a lot of other things and if SLS is important to you then you and your friends and family should be calling your Legislators to register that fact. That's how its importance to your Legislators gets noticed and hopefully influenced. That's how the sausage is made.

Chuck, my parents don't give a %&#* about SLS or spaceflight at all. My friends would mock the everloving crap out of me, if they knew how interested in space I am. My voice means jack, even on this forum where it's more likely some legislator might actually notice it. And how can it really? Different people constantly squeal for different things and they're left wondering which one of the crowd to appease, because make no mistake, someone is going to be disappointed in the end no matter what happens.
I'd feel more optimistic, if I saw a serious effort to reform the way NASA manages requirements and policy makers understood, that if they want big goals met in a timely manner, they have to cough up the money for them. Currently NASA is expected to meet a target date, do it on budget and not compromise design integrity and safety. This is impossible. It ignores the tradeoffs that have to be made between cost, performance and schedule in any engineering undertaking. As I brought up, the requirements management stricture isn't helping any and one has to wonder, if what NASA is directed to do is even achievable in the first place. Seems there have been one too many instances where it hasn't.
All and all, this is hardly me "not wanting a base on the Moon", "wanting NASA HSF decimated" or other strawmen.
This is just me saying, the way things are going, I don't expect a positive outcome. Cross fingers and believe in whatever you wish. It's a free country.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/11/2010 01:37 pm

If the President ever gets tired of sitting on his hands and wants to make a serious contribution to getting us back to the Moon, he could hire OV-106, Clongton, or Ross to work in the White House and explain to him and the nation how to do Lunar space Exploration in a cost efficient and practical manner.


Wrong,  Direct/SLS is not a cost efficient and practical manner.  It is a political manner.  And who says they are the experts in this. EELV can do it too.   And what say we should go back to the moon?
 

And I have seen nothing that convinces me that the EELV can do it cheaper and more safely than Direct's J-246. You don't like sausage. OK. I can understand that. But the RD-180 on the Atlas was a sausage deal too, whether you admit to that or not. Jim, you're smarter than me, but this isn't an issue of smarts, it is an issue of making sausage. You ignore sausage making when it suits your ideals and attack it when the sausage product isn't what you want. Sausage is sausage, and most folks consume it with a smile. EELV subsidies are subsidies, and overlook them as you selectively do, but nonetheless, Congress will do what it can to build an Orion and SLS to take us back to the Moon, a destination you don't really appreciate.

Cheers!  ;)

Edited.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 12/11/2010 02:03 pm

If the President ever gets tired of sitting on his hands and wants to make a serious contribution to getting us back to the Moon, he could hire OV-106, Clongton, or Ross to work in the White House and explain to him and the nation how to do Lunar space Exploration in a cost efficient and practical manner.


Wrong,  Direct/SLS is not a cost efficient and practical manner.  It is a political manner.  And who says they are the experts in this. EELV can do it too.   And what say we should go back to the moon?
 

And I have seen nothing that convinces me that the EELV can do it cheaper and more safely than Direct's J-146. You don't like sausage. OK. I can understand that. But the RD-180 on the Atlas was a sausage deal too, whether you admit to that or not. Jim, you're smarter than me, but this isn't an issue of smarts, it is an issue of making sausage. You ignore sausage making when it suits your ideals and attack it when the sausage product isn't what you want. Sausage is sausage, and most folks consume it with a smile. EELV subsidies are subsidies, and overlook them as you selectively do, but nonetheless, Congress will do what it can to build an Orion and SLS to take us back to the Moon, a destination you don't really appreciate.

Cheers!  ;)

I guess 'sausage' is the catch phrase of the day?

Look, it's quite simple. Prove to me that Congress & NASA can manage a space station with full support, and I could then begin to believe it could handle a lunar base. But as it stands now, ISS is on shaky ground (?) and it has no right to be.

A lunar base, or a trip to Venus, or a landing on Mars, are infinitely more costly & complex than simple cargo re-supply, or crew rotation, or logistics support. We nail those down in a cost effective & timely manner, let me know.

Congress needs to wake up to that fact. NASA does too, because right now the language is (to me) wavering on its intent due to outside influences (in a negative way).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Periander on 12/11/2010 02:26 pm
Congress will do what it can to build an Orion and SLS to take us back to the Moon, a destination you don't really appreciate.

This is a plan for getting us to the moon:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/09/ula-claim-gap-reducing-solution-via-eelv-exploration-master-plan/

Where is the plan with SLS? Where is the lander? All I see is a lot of this:

http://bennett.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=f18bc5f4-bce3-4bec-b66d-f788b1eb42bf&ContentType_id=1faead15-454a-4bbc-b5a7-4cb518dd4b7c

The sausage is rotten.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Cog_in_the_machine on 12/11/2010 02:28 pm
The sausage is rotten.

+1
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/11/2010 02:35 pm
Quote
I find the current spectacle of politicians designing NASA launch vehicles to insure their states get a cut of the action revolting and disheartening.

Absolutely.  And worse, doing the same type of thing again in the same type of way, indicates to me that there is a good liklihood of getting the same type of failure as a result.  The "same type of way" would be this notion of a "cut" for this state or another, selected only on the basis of previous "cuts", not on the merits of a state's contribution to the effort at hand.  And even worse is the idea of a "jobs program" as a way to keep the state's natives from getting restless.  That states should share in the process, and that jobs should be preserved is not inconsistent with my view.  It should be done logically and based on necessity and merit.

Some people around here think that Congress is "designing" the launch vehicle, and that is wrong.  Congress is specifying a performance metric.  As a type of customer, that is exactly what they should do.  As part of due diligence, I also think that they should consider the rocket design itself as well.  In their opinion, the DIRECT design appears to be the most viable alternative, which is fine by me. (As if they care about my opinion, but that's another thing.)

As to the idea that Congress, as "the government", "has no regard to the affordability or sustainability" of its programs:  Looking at where the country is financially right now, the hoards of cash that big biz is sitting on ($2T), the plight of ten percent of the working population, and other things; I'd say it's a reasonable conclusion, and quibble with OV on this point.

The notion that "CxP was a bit of a disaster" can only, to maintain sanity, be interpreted as a kind of understatement.  Ya gotta say, that's quite a bit of a "bit", eh?  I mean, I would.

This idea, that the "President's clearly expressed desire to throw out the window" all that HSF stuff, is not quite rightly worded.  The Prez has clearly expressed a desire to shoot hoops with his chums.  FY2011, by some interpretations, would have effectively "thrown our the window" all that stuff, maybe.  I can't call that an expression of desire, however.  Poor leadership, I'd say, by relying on his unknown space policy advisors.  On the other hand, note that he has not said all that much about HSF, just a few casually chosen words here and there. 

He really has neither promoted nor defended his position on this matter.  It's not like he won't talk; he was on NPR the other day, just a yakkin' it up about his latest stimulus plan for the wealthy which also includes payments to the unemployed.  You know, the ones the wealthy won't employ.  It's easy to imagine the Chinese banking lobbyists in on those negotiations, engaged in the arduous task of deciding how many T-bills they'd like to buy this time.  It's easy to imagine the Chinese industrialists engaged with their American counterparts in determining which portions of our manufacturing base should be exported in order to maximize Q1-2011 profits.  But I digress.

Our President's a leader.  Fer shure.

I think this remark is a bit off too: "NASA will inevitably be asked, yet again like it has been for 40 years, to achieve a goal which it doesn't have the resources for".  I'd say rather, that NASA is being asked, yet again like it has been for 40 years, to achieve a goal which it achieved with slide rules and vacuum tubes.  All this new technology and software these days: does it now cost more per erg to get to the Moon than it did back then?  Maybe Moore's Suggestion is a lotta marketing hooey.  Our bang for the buck factor seems to be going down, in inverse proportion to the coolness factor of the technology.

The gap between development and operations is too wide.

Fixed that for ya.  You've not provided cost estimates.

Quote
The nation can not afford a lunar base nor should NASA be the one to manage one.

We can, and it should.  I'm swingin' Prada.  What're you swingin'?

Don't throw the baby out with the watch.

Chuck:  I'm all for mixing metaphors and switching similes.  I've gotta dynamite sense of the paraprosdokian.  But what're you sayin'?  That we could throw out the baby, or the watch, but not to throw out the baby and the watch, while the sausage making is in process?

Just askin'.

Direct/SLS is not a cost efficient and practical manner.  It is a political manner.  And who says they are the experts in this. EELV can do it too.

I absolutely agree that it is a political manner.  Chuck and his team insist that it is cost effective, but their data, despite their technical insistance to the contrary, is closely held.  That recent D-4H launch also proves that there's nothing technically wrong about EELV's either.  And just so ya know, I've been reading more on the EELV's and understand your insistance on their capabilities much better than I did a year ago.  There's a "shopped" Orion sitting on top of that rocket in that other thread.  But those boyz are now going to have to compete with SpaceX on price.  Oooo.  They don't think that's "fair", do they?  They, not you.

Look, it's quite simple.

To quote SMAD, 3rd, p.2, first sentence:  "Space is expensive."  So... yeahhhh... it is simple.

Just teasin'.  'Cause I'm only up to p.48.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/11/2010 02:36 pm
This is a plan for getting us to the moon ... Where is the plan with SLS? Where is the lander?

Insufficient analysis.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Cog_in_the_machine on 12/11/2010 03:21 pm
I think this remark is a bit off too: "NASA will inevitably be asked, yet again like it has been for 40 years, to achieve a goal which it doesn't have the resources for".  I'd say rather, that NASA is being asked, yet again like it has been for 40 years, to achieve a goal which it achieved with slide rules and vacuum tubes.

No, today is different. back then they had breathing room, in the sense that there were no severe funding constraints and the policy, which essentially sets up the general requirements for the mission, was simpler. This meant they could manage the performance and schedule of the project more effectively.
Fast forward to today and they're being asked not only to land on the Moon, but to do it with a constrained budget profile and build up an outpost on the surface to maintain. They essentially mustn't divert from schedule, cost or performance targets and have to meet more requirements at the same time. This kind of pressure didn't work when it was applied to the shuttle program, it didn't work during Constellation and it won't work again, which to me, seems to be what will happen with SLS.
But it gets worse, infighting in the industry is more now than it was during Apollo, because of competing contractor interests. And they are competing in an unproductive way, by lobbying congress, which frankly has enough on their hands as it is without adding this mess to their table.

Quote
All this new technology and software these days: does it now cost more per erg to get to the Moon than it did back then?  Maybe Moore's Suggestion is a lotta marketing hooey.  Our bang for the buck factor seems to be going down, in inverse proportion to the coolness factor of the technology.

There's barely anything new in spaceflight technology. Computing has improved, but it isn't the killer cost reduction app that's needed. It's the other systems that haven't changed all that much since the day of Apollo (some of them frankly are as good as they'll ever be). That combined with more demanding requirements, poorer system to manage said requirements, constrained budget and a plethora of competing architectures, driven by corporate interests, is what's driving up the cost to higher levels and causing delays.

As I said, I have yet to see a light at the end of this tunnel. Only different people pulling the strings.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 12/11/2010 03:31 pm
And I have seen nothing that convinces me that the EELV can do it cheaper and more safely than Direct's J-146.

Actually, there is nothing that says that Direct's J-146 can do it cheaper and more safely.

But wait. 
Ares I vs EELV's.  EELV's won.  Two LV families, two launch sites, 4 pads, 2 factories, etc. and a magnitude less people.  Right there that is cheaper.   Flying nuclear payloads, that is just as safe as flying people.

Same group that did Ares I is doing SLS.  MSFC will lose to ULA everytime.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 12/11/2010 04:33 pm
Some people around here think that Congress is "designing" the launch vehicle, and that is wrong.  Congress is specifying a performance metric.  As a type of customer, that is exactly what they should do.  As part of due diligence, I also think that they should consider the rocket design itself as well.  In their opinion, the DIRECT design appears to be the most viable alternative, which is fine by me. (As if they care about my opinion, but that's another thing.)

Is it wrong? When they are influenced by lobbyists, telling them that it 'NEEDS' to be 130t, THAT is designing the launch vehicle.

To me, Congress' first order is really to debate & then fund what the President requests, for the good of the nation.

There is a catch here, and that is, as we have seen from the Augustine Commitee, there are different ways to implement the plan. And yet what we have seen come out is an inability to persue (perhaps, in their view) a more technically challenging propellant depot-based architecture (and other methods) to keep costs (and vehicle size, which can go hand-in-hand) to build up your capability. Nope, we're goinig straight back to Godzilla again (Ares V/VI). There is no absolute need. Jim is 100% correct, it can be done with EELVs. But when we look back at WHY Direct came out with their proposal, it was to make use of everything we already had (people & infrastructure), to provide for a smoother transition from shuttle to BEO while keeping the ISS fully supported. Well now it seems we are abandonning all reason again, much like with CxP, to go for that pie in the sky of a big shiny rocket, hoping it will solve all our ills.

Too late, too costly to build, too costly to fly, no money for anything else.

Congress should be the ones to recognozie this, and they are either choosing to ignoring it, or being told to ignore it (blind to everything else).

The original language was pretty simple: build a vehicle to take us to (these places), using what we have now (shuttle heritage, in the true sense of the word), and meet the budget targets. It always seems to get twisted and perversed.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Lars_J on 12/11/2010 06:25 pm
Congress will do what it can to build an Orion and SLS to take us back to the Moon, a destination you don't really appreciate.

Congress will do what it takes to guarantee short-term jobs in their districts. That is all. Nothing more.

Congress (with the exception of a handful of members) doesn't give a crap about going to the Moon, Mars, or any BEO destination. To think otherwise is wishful thinking.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/11/2010 06:45 pm
Congress will do what it can to build an Orion and SLS to take us back to the Moon, a destination you don't really appreciate.

Congress will do what it takes to guarantee short-term jobs in their districts. That is all. Nothing more.

Congress (with the exception of a handful of members) doesn't give a crap about going to the Moon, Mars, or any BEO destination. To think otherwise is wishful thinking.

While I don't have the greatest opinion of Congress as a whole based on performance over the last several years, you really can't say this as an absolute. I mean, it seemingly has just as much foundation as the following: 

Members of Congress go to the bathroom three times a day.  That is all.  Nothing more.

Congress (with the exception of a handful of members) don't like to crap on Capital Hill.  To think otherwise is wishful thinking. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Lars_J on 12/11/2010 06:49 pm
Perhaps it is overly absolute, but I call it as I see it, based on past performance.

But someone is welcome to prove me wrong.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: clongton on 12/11/2010 09:25 pm
Chuck, my parents don't give a %&#* about SLS or spaceflight at all. My friends would mock the everloving crap out of me, if they knew how interested in space I am.

STOP LETTING PEOPLE BEAT YOU UP!!! Time to turn the tables on them. Make THEM feel like THEY are the ones that are out of step because THEY haven't bothered to take the time to educate themselves about something that is vital to their own future. Stand up for what you believe in and if they mock you, turn around and laugh at them and ask them if they enjoy being willfully ignorant. Ask them why they are so lazy in not even bothering to try to understand something so important to the well-being of the nation. Then give them the look of pity, turn and walk away from them in obvious disgust. Then see what they do. I PROMISE you that at least some of them will take up the challenge to at least learn something about it.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Cog_in_the_machine on 12/11/2010 10:12 pm
Someone should turn the period from 2004 to 2011 into a tragic play or something. Imagine this scene: a big prop of Saturn V, a backdrop consisting of the Earthrise shot and two people in spacesuits exchanging overblown, theatrical, space related, dialogue concerning spaceflight in the grand scheme of things...
I digress, PM coming your way Chuck. This thread is for legislature after all.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/11/2010 11:54 pm

If the President ever gets tired of sitting on his hands and wants to make a serious contribution to getting us back to the Moon, he could hire OV-106, Clongton, or Ross to work in the White House and explain to him and the nation how to do Lunar space Exploration in a cost efficient and practical manner.


Wrong,  Direct/SLS is not a cost efficient and practical manner.  It is a political manner.  And who says they are the experts in this. EELV can do it too.   And what say we should go back to the moon?
 

Jim, the practical political need that was the basis of the international sausage subsidy deal that created the Atlas RD-180 EELV is no longer valid. SpaceX has figured that out. The Falcon 9, or some variant of it, is likely to end up being a better deal on the political level and several other levels as well. Don't add stress to the position of the Atlas V by claiming it can do everything better. It cannot. America needs the SSME SLS a lot more than it needs the RD-180 Atlas V.

Cheers!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 12/12/2010 03:00 am

If the President ever gets tired of sitting on his hands and wants to make a serious contribution to getting us back to the Moon, he could hire OV-106, Clongton, or Ross to work in the White House and explain to him and the nation how to do Lunar space Exploration in a cost efficient and practical manner.


Wrong,  Direct/SLS is not a cost efficient and practical manner.  It is a political manner.  And who says they are the experts in this. EELV can do it too.   And what say we should go back to the moon?
 

Jim, the practical political need that was the basis of the international sausage subsidy deal that created the Atlas RD-180 EELV is no longer valid. SpaceX has figured that out. The Falcon 9, or some variant of it, is likely to end up being a better deal on the political level and several other levels as well. Don't add stress to the position of the Atlas V by claiming it can do everything better. It cannot. America needs the SSME SLS a lot more than it needs the RD-180 Atlas V.

Cheers!
Wrong again.  F9 is not a replacement for Atlas V.   There is no need for the SSME.   And Atlas V CAN do everything better.  That is why NASA has selected it for 6 spacecraft since F9 has been available
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kraisee on 12/12/2010 03:08 am
Wrong again.  F9 is not a replacement for Atlas V.   There is no need for the SSME.   And Atlas V CAN do everything better.  That is why NASA has selected it for 6 spacecraft since F9 has been available

True.

Interestingly though, during the same period of time, NASA also bought 12 flights of Falcon-9 for CRS, in addition to the 3 test flights which were already planned for COTS.

In terms of numbers of contracted missions for NASA, Falcon-9 seems to be doing about twice as much business compared to Atlas-V.

They're doing something right.

Ross.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/12/2010 03:41 am
Wrong again.  F9 is not a replacement for Atlas V.   There is no need for the SSME.   And Atlas V CAN do everything better.  That is why NASA has selected it for 6 spacecraft since F9 has been available

True.

Interestingly though, during the same period of time, NASA also bought 12 flights of Falcon-9 for CRS, in addition to the 3 test flights which were already planned for COTS.

In terms of numbers of contracted missions for NASA, Falcon-9 seems to be doing about twice as much business compared to Atlas-V.

They're doing something right.

Ross.


It is good to have 'friends' in high places. Maybe you should explain it to Jim. He doesn't seem to be getting it.




.......

Look, it's quite simple. Prove to me that Congress & NASA can manage a space station with full support, and I could then begin to believe it could handle a lunar base. But as it stands now, ISS is on shaky ground (?) and it has no right to be.

A lunar base, or a trip to Venus, or a landing on Mars, are infinitely more costly & complex than simple cargo re-supply, or crew rotation, or logistics support. We nail those down in a cost effective & timely manner, let me know.

Congress needs to wake up to that fact. NASA does too, because right now the language is (to me) wavering on its intent due to outside influences (in a negative way).


"But as it stands now, ISS is on shaky ground (?) and it has no right to be." You are absolutely correct. The reason is that both the current and previous President had more fun and important things to do, like raising political campaign contributions, than doing a quality job of making sure that NASA was planning well for the long-term future of the International Space Station. Presidents are supposed to wisely lead in setting America and NASA's national space priorities. It aint happening folks. Political spinners of both parties are using their White House days for their own silly gains and games. Congress is trying, but it too can get diverted or waylaid by both parochial and moneyed interests. 

NASA's number 1 priority should be to get an Orion flying to the international Space Station on a J-130. Congress seems to be showing strong bipartisan support for that goal. An Orion flying on a J-130 is quickly doable, but the current President isn't happy about that idea because he seems to be quite enamored with the SpaceX's Dragon, and the longer he can drag out the development of the Orion spacecraft and J-130, the better it is for the chances of his 'friends' at SpaceX getting a crewed Dragon to the ISS first. From the day he took office, the current President has provided zip effective leadership in NASA's ability to get astronauts to the International Space Station on an American Orion spacecraft. The President's heavy foot dragging with both the Orion and SLS is becoming an embarrassment to members of his own party.

Look on the bright side. Things could be much worse. The game goes on. Pray for the Soyuz missions and remaining flights of the Space Shuttles. Pray for the Orion and J-130/246 SLS. Yep, it is fine if you pray for SpaceX and Dragon too!

Cheers!     

Edited.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 12/12/2010 04:02 am

NASA's number 1 priority should be to get an Orion flying to the international Space Station on a J-130.{snip}

Wrong target.  Dragon on Falcon 9 will be cheaper than Orion on J-130 for trips to the ISS.  if used more than once that will kill of SLS.

Orion to EML1 gateway on J-246 is a better target since it uses the deep space ability of both machines.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Mark S on 12/12/2010 04:18 am

NASA's number 1 priority should be to get an Orion flying to the international Space Station on a J-130.{snip}

Wrong target.  Dragon on Falcon 9 will be cheaper than Orion on J-130 for trips to the ISS.  if used more than once that will kill of SLS.

Orion to EML1 gateway on J-246 is a better target since it uses the deep space ability of both machines.

SLS Block I flight(s) to ISS will be for "shakedown" purposes, and possibly to bring up large items (or a large number of smaller items) that an F9 would be unable to fly. SLS would not be used for normal crew rotation.

ISS will not be the final destination for SLS. ISS will be a proving ground, a waystation, and possibly a staging area for BLEO missions. But access to ISS is not the reason for SLS, just a very nice side benefit.

Mark S.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/12/2010 04:42 am

NASA's number 1 priority should be to get an Orion flying to the international Space Station on a J-130.{snip}

Wrong target.  Dragon on Falcon 9 will be cheaper than Orion on J-130 for trips to the ISS.  if used more than once that will kill of SLS.

Orion to EML1 gateway on J-246 is a better target since it uses the deep space ability of both machines.

SLS Block I flight(s) to ISS will be for "shakedown" purposes, and possibly to bring up large items (or a large number of smaller items) that an F9 would be unable to fly. SLS would not be used for normal crew rotation.

ISS will not be the final destination for SLS. ISS will be a proving ground, a waystation, and possibly a staging area for BLEO missions. But access to ISS is not the reason for SLS, just a very nice side benefit.

Mark S.


Yep, "a very nice side benefit." But for folks who may not want any competition at all in LEO or BLEO, the best option is 'no SLS and no Orion'. Such is life.

Cheers!

Edited.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Lars_J on 12/12/2010 04:55 am
Wrong again.  F9 is not a replacement for Atlas V.   There is no need for the SSME.   And Atlas V CAN do everything better.  That is why NASA has selected it for 6 spacecraft since F9 has been available

True.

Interestingly though, during the same period of time, NASA also bought 12 flights of Falcon-9 for CRS, in addition to the 3 test flights which were already planned for COTS.

In terms of numbers of contracted missions for NASA, Falcon-9 seems to be doing about twice as much business compared to Atlas-V.

They're doing something right.

Ross.

It is good to have 'friends' in high places. Maybe you should explain it to Jim. He doesn't seem to be getting it.

Which 'friends' are you referring to? You seem to be implying Obama and/or Garver, I'm guessing. Neither was involed in the SpaceX COTS contract that was signed in 2006. And the CRS contract was awarded in Dec 2008, before Obama became president.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/12/2010 09:41 am
Wrong again.  F9 is not a replacement for Atlas V.   There is no need for the SSME.   And Atlas V CAN do everything better.  That is why NASA has selected it for 6 spacecraft since F9 has been available

True.

Interestingly though, during the same period of time, NASA also bought 12 flights of Falcon-9 for CRS, in addition to the 3 test flights which were already planned for COTS.

In terms of numbers of contracted missions for NASA, Falcon-9 seems to be doing about twice as much business compared to Atlas-V.

They're doing something right.

Ross.

It is good to have 'friends' in high places. Maybe you should explain it to Jim. He doesn't seem to be getting it.

Which 'friends' are you referring to? You seem to be implying Obama and/or Garver, I'm guessing. Neither was involed in the SpaceX COTS contract that was signed in 2006. And the CRS contract was awarded in Dec 2008, before Obama became president.

Jim used to be quite dismissive of SpaceX. lately he has become a convert. I wonder why... 

Look at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX   and a little light may come on. Ross once or twice said something to the effect that if you want a successful large launcher you need to get the politics right. How did Elon and SpaceX suddenly come from nowhere and leave the excellent and experienced ULA, the Atlas V, and the Delta IV eating its dust? You got it. Elon and SpaceX got the politics right. If you really want answers, follow the money. I learned that one in my High School Economics class. The teacher was a politician.

Perhaps we won't find out who all the 'friends' of SpaceX are and why they are so friendly. Who, what, when, where, why, and how are such difficult questions these days. No one likes difficult questions. Hey! What's on TV tonight?  Yeah, let's all enjoy some TV. No thinking required for that.

Cheers!  :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 12/12/2010 12:16 pm
Wrong again.  F9 is not a replacement for Atlas V.   There is no need for the SSME.   And Atlas V CAN do everything better.  That is why NASA has selected it for 6 spacecraft since F9 has been available

True.

Interestingly though, during the same period of time, NASA also bought 12 flights of Falcon-9 for CRS, in addition to the 3 test flights which were already planned for COTS.

In terms of numbers of contracted missions for NASA, Falcon-9 seems to be doing about twice as much business compared to Atlas-V.

Remember ULA was excluded from COTS.  CRS requires a spacecraft which ULA does not provide.

Again, CRS is contracting for cargo to ISS, and not spacecraft to orbit.  There is little risked on each CRS flight.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 12/12/2010 12:19 pm

SLS Block I flight(s) to ISS will be for "shakedown" purposes, and possibly to bring up large items (or a large number of smaller items) that an F9 would be unable to fly. SLS would not be used for normal crew rotation.


What items and where?  Orion is not a logistics vehicle.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jim on 12/12/2010 12:23 pm

Wrong target.  Dragon on Falcon 9 will be cheaper than Orion on J-130 for trips to the ISS.  if used more than once that will kill of SLS.

Orion to EML1 gateway on J-246 is a better target since it uses the deep space ability of both machines.

There isn't and won't be an EML1 station.  It is not in NASA's plans.  An EML gateway would be and end in itself and kill any further exploration
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: clongton on 12/12/2010 12:57 pm
As many of us have stated so many times, getting the politics right is job number 1 for any HSF project. For that reason I think it far more likely that the Chinese will staff any EML-1 station sooner than we will for the simple reason that the American political realities absolutely require that re-election cycles *must* be able to benefit from long term projects like this or there will not be sufficient political support to sustain the funding. Political structures that do not have to consider that are free to plan out a project that won't show any return for a decade or more, but that is just not going to happen like that here. For any such long term project there needs to be a national compelling reason that over-rides the re-election cycles in the way that Apollo did. Perhaps national embarrassment would also get the job done should the Chinese or Russians actually accomplish it. But barring that I just don't see any American EML-1 station becoming a reality, and the economics worldwide being what they are I seriously doubt that there would be any international effort in that regard either.

Having said that I personally think an EML-1 station is a very good idea as part of a much broader HSF program of BEO exploration. There should be an EML-1 station for human-based missions and a similar station at EML-2 for cargo-based missions. BTW, it has been said, and quite correctly, that once you are docked at EML-2, you are literally halfway to nearly any location in the solar system. It is the perfect location for earth departure and arrival spacecraft on interplanetary missions.

But politically, I just don't see it happening barring some national embarrassment from some other nation that gets our Legislators as a whole beyond the re-election cycle mindset. Don't get me wrong. I am not beating up on them. I'm just stating a reality that needs to be considered and the way I personally see that reality affecting any such project.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Andy USA on 12/12/2010 01:48 pm
Thread went off track into a "Jim's current opinion is" without it actually coming from Jim. Trimmed back.

Remember the thread title. Keep it on topic.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/12/2010 04:14 pm
Is it wrong? When they are influenced by lobbyists, telling them that it 'NEEDS' to be 130t, THAT is designing the launch vehicle.

Yeah, I think it is wrong for the lobbyists to insist that we "NEED" a 130T LV, right out of the chute.  But that's still a performance specification.  You and I can quibble about what a "design" means, but it would be a pointless discussion, in that it would take your and my eye off the ball.  The ball being, which LV should be our next LV.  And the technical detail about your being from Nova Scotia is simply a technical detail, aside from the LV discussion.

Quote
To me, Congress' first order is really to debate & then fund what the President requests, for the good of the nation.

Absolutely.  And I think it really is wrong to insist on Godzilla at this time.  I am open to an argument along the lines of:  Assuming that SpaceX continues its path of accomplishment, then the ISS resupply chain is redundantly assured as best as can be expected, including the multi-decadal accomplishment of Soyuz. Then, assuming, or more accurately, hoping, that the DIRECT cost estimates are correct, chose the larger vehicle.

But this choice would quietly rest on the dubious assumption that managerial issues could be corrected.  Worse, the "first" mission they are considering shows all the pre-decisional symptoms of eventual "godzillesity", starting with cost assumtions.  If we can grant the "sound" HEFT assumption of the "unconstrained budget scenario", then it would make some kind of sense to begin with a larger vehicle.  I just can't believe that they are actually allowing such ridickles (http://www.d-pa.com\The-Random-Registry\00000001\pgfaj56984ngrd4jgr\jgreq90rtw86vfkogdjqw4590.html) assumptions to be included in their analyses.

SpaceX got the politics right...

Maybe so on that first contract, to some extent.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but they have delivered.  Somewhat late, maybe, but within the time latitude allowed by their contracts.  It is the delivery of milestones which leads NASA to believe that they will be able to deliver services.  Suggesting that they produced their manufacturing capabilities "out of nowhere" is to admit to not paying attention to these long brewing developments.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 12/12/2010 05:26 pm
Having said that I personally think an EML-1 station is a very good idea as part of a much broader HSF program of BEO exploration. There should be an EML-1 station for human-based missions and a similar station at EML-2 for cargo-based missions. BTW, it has been said, and quite correctly, that once you are docked at EML-2, you are literally halfway to nearly any location in the solar system. It is the perfect location for earth departure and arrival spacecraft on interplanetary missions.

I would like spacestations at both EML-1 and EML-2 but suspect that in the next decade NASA will only be able to afford one.  A deep space probe launched from EML-1 can get to EML-2 with a delta-V of 0.14 km/s.  So with thought one spacestation may be able to do both jobs.

To stop the EML-1 spacestation from becoming an end in its own right mind games could be played.  Reduce its construction from a project in its own right to a milestone on the Moon or Mars mission.  Keep the budget down to say one billion dollars and instruct the managers to buy  as much as possible off the shelf.  Call it the Control Module of the EML propellant depot.

From this side of the pond NASA appears to be under mammoth pressure to build a large rocket.  I am not going to comment on the wisdom of this but the upper stage of the LV can be used as an Earth Departure Stage.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: telomerase99 on 12/12/2010 08:06 pm

If the President ever gets tired of sitting on his hands and wants to make a serious contribution to getting us back to the Moon, he could hire OV-106, Clongton, or Ross to work in the White House and explain to him and the nation how to do Lunar space Exploration in a cost efficient and practical manner.


Wrong,  Direct/SLS is not a cost efficient and practical manner.  It is a political manner.  And who says they are the experts in this. EELV can do it too.   And what say we should go back to the moon?
 

Didn't they all work on constellation? Did you think constellation was cost effective and efficient?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/13/2010 06:25 am
BTW, it has been said, and quite correctly, that once you are docked at EML-2, you are literally halfway to nearly any location in the solar system. It is the perfect location for earth departure and arrival spacecraft on interplanetary missions.

That's not what I learnt from orbital mechanics. You want departure and arrival for interplanetary missions to have as low a perigee to Earth as possible, not way up there at EML-1 or EML-2.

From Zubrin's presentation to the Augustine Committee.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kkattula on 12/13/2010 10:47 am
BTW, it has been said, and quite correctly, that once you are docked at EML-2, you are literally halfway to nearly any location in the solar system. It is the perfect location for earth departure and arrival spacecraft on interplanetary missions.

That's not what I learnt from orbital mechanics. You want departure and arrival for interplanetary missions to have as low a perigee to Earth as possible, not way up there at EML-1 or EML-2.

From Zubrin's presentation to the Augustine Committee.

That map doesn't show EML-1 or 2. They're about 3.8 & 3.5 km/s from LEO respectively, and about 0.75 from either to Mars orbit.

Sure it's slightly more delta-v than from LEO (0.35 km/s), but you get to assemble &/or fuel much closer (in delta-v) to your destination, and have much more frequent departure windows.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/13/2010 12:16 pm

If the President ever gets tired of sitting on his hands and wants to make a serious contribution to getting us back to the Moon, he could hire OV-106, Clongton, or Ross to work in the White House and explain to him and the nation how to do Lunar space Exploration in a cost efficient and practical manner.


Wrong,  Direct/SLS is not a cost efficient and practical manner.  It is a political manner.  And who says they are the experts in this. EELV can do it too.   And what say we should go back to the moon?
 

Didn't they all work on constellation? Did you think constellation was cost effective and efficient?

While I flattered by the comment from Happy Martian, I do not expect that to ever become even a possibility.  Besides there are many talented people out there as well.

For tel, my goodness.  That's all I will say because you are not worth any more time. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/13/2010 12:48 pm
Obviously, I don't quite get orbital mechanics:

From:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_budget#Interplanetary

From LEO to Mars Transfer Orbit: 4.3 km/sec
LEO to EML-1: 3.77 km/sec

Steven's chart seems to indicate LEO to Mars surface at 3.9 km/sec?  What is it that I'm not getting here?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 12/13/2010 03:42 pm
Steven's chart seems to indicate LEO to Mars surface at 3.9 km/sec?  What is it that I'm not getting here?

Part of it is that orbital mechanics is too complex to be expressed as a simple table, and part of it is that neither really define their terms. So, they are likely talking about two very different initial LEO orbits (with different inclinations and/or altitudes), and two different transfer trajectories (with different transfer times)...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Hop_David on 12/13/2010 03:58 pm
That's not what I learnt from orbital mechanics. You want departure and arrival for interplanetary missions to have as low a perigee to Earth as possible, not way up there at EML-1 or EML-2.

To get from EML1 to a circular LEO orbit takes ~4 km/sec. About .7 km/sec to drop and then a 3.2 circularization burn at perigee.

But with no circularization burn, you're moving 10.8 km/sec at perigee, just under escape. From this speed another .5 km/sec suffices for Trans Mars Insertion.

The path from EML1or2 does exploit the Oberth effect and EML1or2 is much, much closer to Mars than LEO.

Here is a EML1 to LEO:
(http://clowder.net/hop/TMI/EML1toLEO.jpg)

See how the orbit with an EML1 apogee is moving ~3 km/sec faster than LEO?

Here is LEO to Mars:
(http://clowder.net/hop/TMI/LEOtoTMI.jpg)

and here is EML1 to Mars:
(http://clowder.net/hop/TMI/TMIfromEML1.jpg)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Hop_David on 12/13/2010 04:15 pm
Part of it is that orbital mechanics is too complex to be expressed as a simple table, and part of it is that neither really define their terms. So, they are likely talking about two very different initial LEO orbits (with different inclinations and/or altitudes), and two different transfer trajectories (with different transfer times)...

My models (as well as some other models) assume circular, coplanar orbits. So they ignore the plane changes mandated by inclined orbits. However, plane changes are less expensive when apogee is high, another argument for EML1 and EML2.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Bill White on 12/13/2010 04:41 pm
That's not what I learnt from orbital mechanics. You want departure and arrival for interplanetary missions to have as low a perigee to Earth as possible, not way up there at EML-1 or EML-2.

One advantage of EML assembly for BEO missions is that hardware can be accumulated at the EML over time, using lower delta -v slow boat trajectories from LEO to the EML point. Solar ion is one option however single impulse ballistic trajectories would not require new propulsion technologies.

A Mars departure from EML-2 would also see a double gravity assist, first via lunar fly-by then an Earth fly-by then on to Mars.

Couldn't a returning trip from Mars also employ an Earth fly-by (combined with a touch of aerobraking?) to slow the transit habitat before arrival at EML-2?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Bill White on 12/13/2010 04:42 pm
@ David Hop

Nice pictures! :-)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Hop_David on 12/13/2010 04:54 pm
Couldn't a returning trip from Mars also employ an Earth fly-by (combined with a touch of aerobraking?) to slow the transit habitat before arrival at EML-2?

Yes. Only .5 km/sec burn and/or aerobraking would suffice to drop the hyperbolic to an eccentric elliptic with an EML1 or 2 apogee. Then a .65  burn to circularize at EML1 -- but this apogee burn can't be aided by aerobraking. I still haven't grokked paths to EML2 so I won't comment on that.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/14/2010 03:09 am
Sure it's slightly more delta-v than from LEO (0.35 km/s), but you get to assemble &/or fuel much closer (in delta-v) to your destination, and have much more frequent departure windows.

How is it more frequent? You're in a 28 day orbit around Earth which means you are restricted to launch in a window of 18 hours every 28 days (assuming you've budgeted for a 10 degree difference in launch angle). In LEO, your launch opportunity is once every 90 minutes over a period of 10 days for the same 10 degree angle.

Steven's chart seems to indicate LEO to Mars surface at 3.9 km/sec?  What is it that I'm not getting here?

That chart is by Zubrin, not by me. The delta-V from LEO to Mars varies with the launch opportunity (due to Mars being in quite an elliptical orbit) and the required transit time and entry speed at Mars. For example, a minimum delta-V of 3.5 km/s is available in 2033 with a 180 day transit and 6.2 km/s entry speed. In 2024 the delta-V is 4.1 km/s for a 180 day transit and 7.8 km/s entry speed. Read the paper Trajectory Options for Human Mars Missions (http://smartech.gatech.edu/handle/1853/14747) for more information.

To get from EML1 to a circular LEO orbit takes ~4 km/sec. About .7 km/sec to drop and then a 3.2 circularization burn at perigee.

But with no circularization burn, you're moving 10.8 km/sec at perigee, just under escape. From this speed another .5 km/sec suffices for Trans Mars Insertion.

The path from EML1or2 does exploit the Oberth effect and EML1or2 is much, much closer to Mars than LEO.

You're assuming that the Mars hardware appears at EML-1 for free, when in fact the Mars hardware will appear first at LEO. From your figures:

LEO to Mars: 3.6 km/s
LEO to EML-1 to Mars: 3.1+0.65+0.65+0.5 = 4.9 km/s
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Hop_David on 12/14/2010 04:56 am
You're assuming that the Mars hardware appears at EML-1 for free,

No.

Reinserting context:

BTW, it has been said, and quite correctly, that once you are docked at EML-2, you are literally halfway to nearly any location in the solar system. It is the perfect location for earth departure and arrival spacecraft on interplanetary missions.

That's not what I learnt from orbital mechanics. You want departure and arrival for interplanetary missions to have as low a perigee to Earth as possible, not way up there at EML-1 or EML-2.

Clongton correctly noted that once you're at EML-1 or 2, you're much closer to nearly any location in the solar system. You differed with this noting perigee burns deep in a gravity well are advantageous for interplanetary trips.

You seemed to be assuming that interplanetary routes from EML1 would do their perigee burns at EML1. This is wrong.

How you get to EML1 is irrelevant to Clongton's assertion. Once again:

BTW, it has been said, and quite correctly, that once you are docked at EML-2, you are literally halfway to nearly any location in the solar system. It is the perfect location for earth departure and arrival spacecraft on interplanetary missions.


Bolded the part you seemed to have missed.

Actually Clongton is underestimating the advantage of EML 1 or 2. Earth's surface is 14 km/sec from Trans Mars Insertion. EML1 or 2 is 1.2 km/sec from Trans Mars Insertion. Given that propellent fraction rises exponentially with delta V budget, I would say EML1 or 2 is 95% of the way there.

As for where propellent and consumables come from? Lunar volatiles are much closer to LEO and EML1 than earth's surface.

(http://clowder.net/hop/TMI/EarthMoonMars.jpg)
Red lines indicate possible one way aerobraking paths that save propellent.

If propellent and consumables come from the moon, you need only loft the dry mass of the MTV from earth's surface. You wouldn't need a 188 tonne to LEO HLV (Ares V). Nor would you need a 130 tonne to LEO HLV (the current pork frenzy). A 70 tonne to LEO HLV would do quite nicely.

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Hop_David on 12/14/2010 05:32 am
From Zubrin's presentation to the Augustine Committee.

(http://clowder.net/hop/TMI/ZubrinFallacy.gif)

I call this the Tucson to Omaha by way of Houston fallacy.

(http://clowder.net/hop/TMI/TucsonToOmaha.jpg)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 12/14/2010 05:40 am
The map is wrong.  You cannot get from Earth to Luna without going through LEO and near EML1.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Rabidpanda on 12/14/2010 06:01 am
The wikipedia article on delta V budget has some good data.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_budget

LEO to Mars transfer orbit has a delta v requirement of 4.3 km/s.

LEO to EML1 to C3 to Mars transfer orbit has a delta v requirement of 4.51 km/s (3.77+0.14+0.6)

Not that much of a difference.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Hop_David on 12/14/2010 07:24 am
The map is wrong.  You cannot get from Earth to Luna without going through LEO and near EML1.

The intent of the cartoon is to show a Marsbound space ship would not necessarily have to stop at Luna to use lunar propellent.

Lunar propellent is a short distance from LEO. Zubrin's illustration implies you must go to low lunar orbit to get lunar propellent, which would not be the case for some lunar architectures.

However due to your observation I will revise the cartoon.


Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Hop_David on 12/14/2010 08:45 am
LEO to Mars transfer orbit has a delta v requirement of 4.3 km/s.

LEO to EML1 to C3 to Mars transfer orbit has a delta v requirement of 4.51 km/s (3.77+0.14+0.6)

Not that much of a difference.

If you have a single propellent source, you don't get to break the delta V budget in chunks. Since all your propellent must be lifted on or above the first stage, all the parts must be summed to a total delta V budget. As your total delta V budget rises, your total mass at lift off rises exponentially

Total mass/dry mass = e^(dV/Ve)

This rises exponentially with dV.

There is a story of a Krishna who made a wager with a king over a chess game. Should the king lose he would give Krishna one grain of rice on the 1st square, two grains on the second, four grains on the third and doubling each subsequent square.

(http://clowder.net/hop/TMI/Rice.jpg)

Now if your propellent is oxygen and hydrogen, each 3 km/sec is a square on the chess board.

Say you need 9 km/sec to reach orbit and then another 6 km/sec to reach a moon.

With no propellent depots, all the propellent must be carried aboard at lift off. Your delta V budget would be 15 km/sec. Your total mass to dry mass ratio would be 2^5.

Now, given a depot in orbit, that's propellent that doesn't need to be carried at lift off. This breaks the exponent in the rocket equation. Instead of 2^5, you have two legs, one 2^3 and other leg is 2^2.

32 vs 8 and 4.

A propellent source on your chess board square lets you start over with 1 grain of rice.

The object is not to save propellent but to simplify the rocket. As dry mass fraction shrinks, it becomes harder and harder to make the rocket engine and other components light enough. So dry mass must be discarded along the way. This is expendable stages. More stages means more complexity and failure modes.

(http://clowder.net/hop/TMI/FuelDepot.jpg)
red lines are possible one way aerobraking paths that save propellent.

As you can see the moon is much closer to LEO than earth. The ships transporting lunar propellent to LEO and EML1 could be much simpler than ships from earth's surface.

Given propellent depots in LEO, this vastly changes interplanetary trips. Instead of a 14 km/sec trip, you have 10 km/sec hop and a 4 km/sec hop.

It's about 4 km/sec from LEO to EML1. It's also about 4 km/sec to Mars. So what's the point in stopping at EML1? If your Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV) is making a one way trip, there is no point.

However Mars Semi Direct (MSD) (http://www.marsdrive.com/Libraries/Downloads/A_Practical_Architecture_for_Exploration-Focused_Manned_Mars.sflb.ashx) calls for an Mars Transfer Vehicle/Earth Return Vehicle (MTV/ERV) that carries earth propellent aboard for the return trip.

From earth's surface it's total delta V budget is around 16 km/sec.

A propellent depot in LEO would make this 10 and 6.

A propellent depot in LEO and EML1 would make it 10, 4 and 3.

A naive person might conclude a 4 km/sec hop and 3 km/sec hop is worse than one 6 km/sec trip. But these two hops give a propellent fraction that enables a much less ambitious ship than a 6 km/sec vehicle.

It is also worth noting the possibility an MTV can load up on consumables as well as propellent at EML1. Air to breathe, water to drink as well as water for radiation shielding. This could be 30 tonnes for the MSD (http://www.marsdrive.com/Libraries/Downloads/A_Practical_Architecture_for_Exploration-Focused_Manned_Mars.sflb.ashx) MTV.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: HappyMartian on 12/14/2010 11:51 am
....



It is also worth noting the possibility an MTV can load up on consumables as well as propellent at EML1. Air to breathe, water to drink as well as water for radiation shielding. This could be 30 tonnes for the MSD (http://www.marsdrive.com/Libraries/Downloads/A_Practical_Architecture_for_Exploration-Focused_Manned_Mars.sflb.ashx) MTV.



Nice job Hop_David! Thank you.

Cheers!  :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/14/2010 07:53 pm
Draft of an omnibus appropriations bill released by the Senate Appropriations committee:
http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=9ac3518e-7e19-4328-bf52-16a6c2a1d333

Summary:
http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=00058c70-649a-435f-9b73-85832758a0b1

Still waiting to see whether the Senate takes up this bill or the heavily-marked-up continuing resolution bill that the House passed.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/14/2010 08:11 pm
Draft of an omnibus appropriations bill released by the Senate Appropriations committee:
http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=9ac3518e-7e19-4328-bf52-16a6c2a1d333

Summary:
http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=00058c70-649a-435f-9b73-85832758a0b1

Still waiting to see whether the Senate takes up this bill or the heavily-marked-up continuing resolution bill that the House passed.


NASA starts at page 184.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/14/2010 08:19 pm
See page 187 of the Senate Onibus FY 11 Appropriation bill which indicates the following:
Quote
1 [...]Provided fur-
2 ther, That the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch
3 vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons and that
4 the upper stage and other core elements shall be developed
5 simultaneously.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Orbiter on 12/14/2010 08:23 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.

Orbiter
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/14/2010 08:25 pm
See page 187 of the Senate Onibus FY 11 Appropriation bill which indicates the following:
Quote
1 [...]Provided fur-
2 ther, That the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch
3 vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons and that
4 the upper stage and other core elements shall be developed
5 simultaneously.

It's kind of a shame they appear to still be pushing 130 tons right out of the gate.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/14/2010 08:28 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.

Orbiter

Quote
$825 million for an additional Shuttle flight, if determined to be safe, and for launch infrastructure for the heavy lift rocket;

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jorge on 12/14/2010 08:30 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.

Orbiter

The omnibus bill also deletes this clause from the full-year CR:

13 ... and $825,000,000 shall
14 be for additional Space Shuttle costs, launch complex de-
15 velopment only for activities at the Kennedy Space Center
16 related to the civil, nondefense launch complex, use at
17 other National Aeronautics and Space Administration
18 flight facilities that are currently scheduled to launch
19 cargo to the International Space Station, and development
20 of ground operations for the heavy lift launch vehicle and
21 the Orion multipurpose crew vehicle

However, the top-line amount for Space Operations ($5,247,900,000) remains the same in both bills. I would assume that line-items not explicitly accounted for would remain "programmable" by NASA provided there are not prohibitions in the Authorization act against it, and that the fact that the Authorization act gives the go-ahead for STS-135 means they can fly it as long as they have the funding to do it.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/14/2010 08:31 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.

Orbiter

We can wait for 51D Mascot's comments on this but I don't think that they need to add any additionnal language as long as the overall funding for Space Operations is sufficient, the LON must be added given the wording of the 2010 NASA Authorization bill.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/14/2010 08:32 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.
It's not mentioned that way, since the already enacted re-authorization mandates the flight but doesn't fund it.  This draft bill and the House bill both fund Space Operations at the same top line of ~$5.2B.  While the House bill specifically allocates $825M for additional Shuttle costs, this draft doesn't, even though that $825M is "there."  That would presumably give NASA (and specifically SOMD) more discretion in terms of how that money might be spent.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: moose103 on 12/14/2010 08:35 pm
How does Congress get away with such overt... what would you call this?!?!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jorge on 12/14/2010 08:35 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.

Orbiter

Quote
$825 million for an additional Shuttle flight, if determined to be safe, and for launch infrastructure for the heavy lift rocket;

Where'd you find that clause? I found something similar in the full-year CR, but not the Omnibus bill.

Edit: found it in the bill summary, not the full text. So the intent to allow 135 is clear.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/14/2010 08:35 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.
It's not mentioned that way, since the already enacted re-authorization mandates the flight but doesn't fund it.  This draft bill and the House bill both fund Space Operations at the same top line of ~$5.2B.  While the House bill specifically allocates $825M for additional Shuttle costs, this draft doesn't, even though that $825M is "there."  That would presumably give NASA (and specifically SOMD) more discretion in terms of how that money might be spent.


No, the extra flight is funded. What is not funded is Shuttle operations for the rest of FY 2011 after STS-135 has flown. But the appropriation bill gives NASA flexibility.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/14/2010 08:37 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.

Orbiter

Quote
$825 million for an additional Shuttle flight, if determined to be safe, and for launch infrastructure for the heavy lift rocket;

Where'd you find that clause? I found something similar in the full-year CR, but not the Omnibus bill.

He is likely looking at the wrong bill. I did a search under "Shuttle" and did not find any such clause in the Senate Appropriation bill.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Orbiter on 12/14/2010 08:37 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.
It's not mentioned that way, since the already enacted re-authorization mandates the flight but doesn't fund it.  This draft bill and the House bill both fund Space Operations at the same top line of ~$5.2B.  While the House bill specifically allocates $825M for additional Shuttle costs, this draft doesn't, even though that $825M is "there."  That would presumably give NASA (and specifically SOMD) more discretion in terms of how that money might be spent.


No, the extra flight is funded. What is not funded is Shuttle operations for the rest of FY 2011 after STS-135 has flown. But this gives NASA flexibility. Notice that there is no money specifically allocated to the 21st century complex either.   

Basically it excludes pretty much of the chances for STS-136 I believe.

Orbiter
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/14/2010 08:37 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.

Orbiter

Quote
$825 million for an additional Shuttle flight, if determined to be safe, and for launch infrastructure for the heavy lift rocket;



This quote was in the summary link provided above. I don't know what it may or may not mean - or really care anymore - given the discussion of it not supposedly being in the actual bill. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/14/2010 08:41 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.
It's not mentioned that way, since the already enacted re-authorization mandates the flight but doesn't fund it.  This draft bill and the House bill both fund Space Operations at the same top line of ~$5.2B.  While the House bill specifically allocates $825M for additional Shuttle costs, this draft doesn't, even though that $825M is "there."  That would presumably give NASA (and specifically SOMD) more discretion in terms of how that money might be spent.


No, the extra flight is funded. What is not funded is Shuttle operations for the rest of FY 2011 after STS-135 has flown. But this gives NASA flexibility. Notice that there is no money specifically allocated to the 21st century complex either.   
Not saying it isn't funded -- saying it's not called out in the bill language and it doesn't have to be.  The House bill doesn't specify it either -- it says "additional Space Shuttle costs."

NASA's re-authorization already mandates the flight (and is already enacted into law), but doesn't fund it.  Both these bills appear to provide enough funding to continue Shuttle Operations long enough to fly three more flights.

Both bills seem to be providing about the same things, just with different language.  The way that this draft bill seems to handle the "infrastructure" part of the House clause for the $825M is with this language:

Quote
Provided further, That funds made available under this heading in excess of those specified for Space Shuttle, International Space Station, and Space and Flight support may be transferred to ‘‘Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration’’ for construction activities only at NASA owned facilities: Provided further, That funds so transferred shall not be subject to section 505(a)(1) of this Act or to the transfer limitations described in the Administrative Provisions in this Act for NASA, and shall be available until September 30, 2015, only after notification of such transfers to the Committees on Appropriations.

But as Jorge wrote, by not specifically tying the $825M "remainder" to specific items, SOMD may be able to program portions of that to augment Shuttle Operations, ISS Operations, or Space Flight Support.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/14/2010 08:45 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.
It's not mentioned that way, since the already enacted re-authorization mandates the flight but doesn't fund it.  This draft bill and the House bill both fund Space Operations at the same top line of ~$5.2B.  While the House bill specifically allocates $825M for additional Shuttle costs, this draft doesn't, even though that $825M is "there."  That would presumably give NASA (and specifically SOMD) more discretion in terms of how that money might be spent.


No, the extra flight is funded. What is not funded is Shuttle operations for the rest of FY 2011 after STS-135 has flown. But this gives NASA flexibility. Notice that there is no money specifically allocated to the 21st century complex either.   

Basically it excludes pretty much of the chances for STS-136 I believe.

Orbiter

ST-136 was not considered in the 2010 NASA Authorization bill either. But I think that both Appropriation bills would allow NASA to push STS-135 to September if it wanted to do so.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/14/2010 08:49 pm
I didn't read anything about STS-135.
It's not mentioned that way, since the already enacted re-authorization mandates the flight but doesn't fund it.  This draft bill and the House bill both fund Space Operations at the same top line of ~$5.2B.  While the House bill specifically allocates $825M for additional Shuttle costs, this draft doesn't, even though that $825M is "there."  That would presumably give NASA (and specifically SOMD) more discretion in terms of how that money might be spent.


No, the extra flight is funded. What is not funded is Shuttle operations for the rest of FY 2011 after STS-135 has flown. But this gives NASA flexibility. Notice that there is no money specifically allocated to the 21st century complex either.   

Basically it excludes pretty much of the chances for STS-136 I believe.

Orbiter

ST-136 was not considered in the 2010 NASA Authorization bill either. But I think that both Appropriation bills would allow NASA to push STS-135 to September if it wanted to do so.

It is fairly well know around here ISS is concerned and wants STS-135 and wants it "as late as possible".  Who knows, I don't, what that really means and if it will happen because that is not the "general" plan right now. 

If it does go that way, all it likely means for sure is that people get to take more darts from the "space community" at large that much longer. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/14/2010 09:20 pm
http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2010/12/what-a-disgrace-gop-gears-up-for-battle-over-earmark-packed-omnibus.html

Quote
In order to reach the 60-vote threshold needed for passage, Democrats hope to secure the support of a handful of Republican appropriators like Thad Cochran of Mississippi, Kit Bond of Missouri, and Bob Bennett of Utah with earmarks for their states. The three moderate Republicans from New England – Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Scott Brown of Massachusetts – are also viewed as possible votes in favor of the omnibus.

They are hoping to get the Utah vote...

See also:
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/133563-senate-dems-unveil-11t-omnibus-spending-bill-
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/15/2010 05:01 am
I didn't read anything about STS-135.

Orbiter

We can wait for 51D Mascot's comments on this but I don't think that they need to add any additionnal language as long as the overall funding for Space Operations is sufficient, the LON must be added given the wording of the 2010 NASA Authorization bill.

That is correct.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/15/2010 06:07 am
Sorry for continuing this off-topic discussion. This will be my last post on the subject.

You seemed to be assuming that interplanetary routes from EML1 would do their perigee burns at EML1.

No, I did not make that assumption, as you would see from the calculation I presented previously.

LEO to EML-1 to Mars: 3.1+0.65+0.65+0.5 = 4.9 km/s

LEO to TLI:    3.1  km/s
TLI to EML-1:  0.65 km/s
EML-1 to TEI:  0.65 km/s
TEI to TMI:    0.5  km/s <-- Burn is at 185 km altitude above Earth.

Quote
How you get to EML1 is irrelevant to Clongton's assertion.

I disagree. How you get to EML-1 is completely relevent. The Mars hardware for the forseeable future will orginate on Earth and not from any other place. That means you need 3.75 km/s to go from LEO to EML-1, compared to 3.5 to 4.1 km/s to go to directly to Mars from LEO. For Mars missions where TMI is less than 3.75 km/s, there is no advantage in going to EML-1.

Quote
Actually Clongton is underestimating the advantage of EML 1 or 2. Earth's surface is 14 km/sec from Trans Mars Insertion. EML1 or 2 is 1.2 km/sec from Trans Mars Insertion. Given that propellent fraction rises exponentially with delta V budget, I would say EML1 or 2 is 95% of the way there.

Assuming a TMI delta-V from LEO of 3.5 to 4.1 km/s (depending in window), then I calculate 1.0 to 1.6 km/s from EML-1 and 0.6 to 1.2 km/s from EML-2 using a Lunar flyby.

Quote
If propellent and consumables come from the moon, you need only loft the dry mass of the MTV from earth's surface. You wouldn't need a 188 tonne to LEO HLV (Ares V). Nor would you need a 130 tonne to LEO HLV (the current pork frenzy). A 70 tonne to LEO HLV would do quite nicely.

How do you figure that? I have done an analysis of a reusable system of sending propellant from the Moon to LEO. It unfortunately did not work (I got negative stage masses) as you need 3.1 km/s from the Moon, a heavy re-entry shield and then 6.3 km/s back to the Moon (and that was leaving the re-entry vehicle in LLO). I expect an expendable system may work, but that will require both propellant and stage manufacture on the Moon, which is way way out in the future.

You need 3.55 km/s to get to EML-2. That's only a 0.55 km/s saving for a worst case TMI delta-v of 4.1 km/s. For a 61 t payload at 4.1 km/s, I get an initial mass of 180.6 t (4531 m/s exhaust speed, 0.233*mp^0.844 stage mass model). At 3.55 km/s, the initial mass is 155.0 t, a reduction of only 14% plus you then need to build up all the infrastructure on the Moon to carry the remaining propellant to EML-2. How much is all that going to cost?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 12/15/2010 06:29 am
FY 2011 Omnibus Appropriations Act Full Text:
http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.download&id=def76786-2439-4ca2-a914-69e4336dc82e

NASA language is on pages 184-193. Exploration language (page 186-187):
Quote
EXPLORATION
For necessary expenses, not otherwise provided for,
in the conduct and support of exploration research and
development activities, including research, development,
operations, support, and services; maintenance; space
flight, spacecraft control, and communications activities;
program management, personnel and related costs, includ-
ing uniforms or allowances therefor, as authorized by 5
U.S.C. 5901–5902; travel expenses; purchase and hire of
passenger motor vehicles; and purchase, lease, charter,
maintenance, and operation of mission and administrative
aircraft, $3,706,000,000, to remain available until Sep-
tember 30, 2012:  Provided,  That not less than
$300,000,000 shall be for commercial cargo development,
not less than $250,000,000 shall be for commercial crew,
not less than $1,800,000,000 shall be for the heavy lift
launch vehicle system, and not less than $1,200,000,000
shall be for the multipurpose crew vehicle:  Provided fur-
ther, That the initial lift capability for the heavy lift launch
vehicle system shall be not less than 130 tons and that
the upper stage and other core elements shall be developed
simultaneously.

The same language that's in the House-passed CR. Also, I don't see the language allowing NASA to proceed fully on new Exploration programs, unless this on page 192 is it?:
Quote
Funding designations and minimum funding require-
ments contained in any other Act shall not be applicable
to funds appropriated by this title for NASA.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/15/2010 01:38 pm
FY 2011 Omnibus Appropriations Act Full Text:
http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.download&id=def76786-2439-4ca2-a914-69e4336dc82e

NASA language is on pages 184-193. Exploration language (page 186-187):The same language that's in the House-passed CR. Also, I don't see the language allowing NASA to proceed fully on new Exploration programs, unless this on page 192 is it?:
Quote
Funding designations and minimum funding require-
ments contained in any other Act shall not be applicable
to funds appropriated by this title for NASA.


The language is different in the Senate bill because it is an appropriation bill (not a year long continuing resolution like the House bill). But both the House and Senate legislations would work with the 2010 NASA Authorization bill.

P.S. The language that you quoted on the 130t HLV and upper stage was discussed in the previous page of this thread.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22991.msg671406#msg671406
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/15/2010 03:05 pm
I went and reposted all that orbital mechanics stuff here:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=23585.0
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 12/15/2010 04:48 pm
{snip}
It's about 4 km/sec from LEO to EML1. It's also about 4 km/sec to Mars. So what's the point in stopping at EML1? If your Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV) is making a one way trip, there is no point.

{snip}

Staging at EML1 is marginal on the first flight but advantageous on the return trip and the second trip.

Only the people and a few Mars rocks need to be brought back to Earth from the EML1 spacestation, possibly on a commercial flight.  The Mars Transfer Vehicles are parked at the EML1 spacestation where they can be repaired and refuelled for their next trip.

Without an EML1/2 spacestation the Mars Transfer Vehicle has to be brought back to Earth.  Unfortunately it cannot carry sufficient propellant to go into low Earth orbit, so most of the very expensive spacecraft will be thrown away.  Apollo spacecraft suffered the same fate for the same reason.  Congress will have to buy a new spacecraft for the each Mars trip.

The main job of the EML1/2 spacestation is likely to be the repair and refuelling of reusable lunar landers.  I am assuming that the Mars Transfer Vehicles can be repaired for a lower cost than building a new one.

Assembling the Mars Transfer Vehicle in LEO, flying it directly to Mars and returning to EML1 for repair and refuelling is possible.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: rv_rocket on 12/15/2010 04:56 pm
This is a great topic, very interesting read, but really needs to be in it's own thread as it's quite off topic for this one. Thanks!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Hop_David on 12/15/2010 07:08 pm
You seemed to be assuming that interplanetary routes from EML1 would do their perigee burns at EML1.

No, I did not make that assumption, as you would see from the calculation I presented previously.

Since this is off topic on this thread, I will reply at
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=23585.0
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/16/2010 04:00 pm
FWIW, story that Senator McConnell has introduced a bill that extends the current clean CR (#2, Public Law 111-290) another two months:
http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/appropriations/134009-mcconnell-offers-two-month-extension-of-bill-to-fund-the-government

This is presumably the Republican alternative in the Senate to the omnibus appropriations bill that will reportedly be introduced this week by Senator Inouye.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/16/2010 05:36 pm
http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/134021-senate-clerks-prepare-for-50-hour-reading-of-the1924-page-spending-bill

Republicans will paralyze the Senate floor for 50 hours by forcing clerks to read every single paragraph of the 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. Senate clerks are expected to read the massive bill in rotating shifts around the clock — taking breaks to drink water and pop throat lozenges  — to keep legislative business on track, according to a Democratic leadership aide.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the Senate Republican Steering Committee chairman, vowed not to back down. “If they bring this up, they’re going to read it. It’ll take them a day or two to read it,” DeMint said on Fox News. “Again, we’re trying to run out the clock. They should not be able to pass this kind of legislation in a lame-duck Congress.”


http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/134001-gop-swing-vote-senators-have-11-billion-in-earmarks-requests-in-omnibus

The Senate’s omnibus spending bill includes $1.1 billion in earmarks requested by six GOP senators seen as swing votes on the 1,924-page bill, according to an analysis by The Hill.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Orbiter on 12/16/2010 05:42 pm
Pretty obvious that the Republicans don't want the Appropriations for 2011 to pass. TBH, if this doesn't pass before the Republicans take control of the HOR the future of NASA's Space Exploration could be in big trouble.

Orbiter
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/16/2010 06:33 pm
Pretty obvious that the Republicans don't want the Appropriations for 2011 to pass. TBH, if this doesn't pass before the Republicans take control of the HOR the future of NASA's Space Exploration could be in big trouble.

Orbiter

I don't know if it's that clear that all Republicans in the Senate are against the bill. If one Senator asks for reading of the bill, then it must be read.

One possibility is for the Senate to pass an amendment to their omnibus appropriation bill that would make all earmarks not mandatory.

The other alternative is for the Senate to pass the House year long CR which has no earmarks. Let's wait and see.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/16/2010 08:13 pm
FWIW, story that Senator McConnell has introduced a bill that extends the current clean CR (#2, Public Law 111-290) another two months:
http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/appropriations/134009-mcconnell-offers-two-month-extension-of-bill-to-fund-the-government

This is presumably the Republican alternative in the Senate to the omnibus appropriations bill that will reportedly be introduced this week by Senator Inouye.


This would not be good from NASA's perspective because wouldn't this mean another two months would have to go by before they could officially cancel Constellation projects?

There needs to be an updated (non-clean) CR or a new appropriations bill to strike the language from last year's that prevents this.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/16/2010 11:58 pm
The Senate Majority Leader has just indicated he will not attempt to proceed with consideration of the House-passed CR (nor, with it, the proposed Inouye Omnibus amendment). That leaves ONLY the option for another "clean" CR...basically a continuation of what has been in effect for the past two and a half months. There will be no "corrective" language regarding prior restrictions on program termination, and no certainty as to what the full FY 2011 funding levels will be. This will almost certainly have a ripple effect in slowing down progress in moving forward with the SLS development activities, though what work NASA will feel it is able to will obviously be the subject of subsequent conversations and briefings with Members of Congress and staff.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/17/2010 12:02 am
The Senate Majority Leader has just indicated he will not attempt to proceed with consideration of the House-passed CR (nor, with it, the proposed Inouye Omnibus amendment). That leaves ONLY the option for another "clean" CR...basically a continuation of what has been in effect for the past two and a half months. There will be no "corrective" language regarding prior restrictions on program termination, and no certainty as to what the full FY 2011 funding levels will be. This will almost certainly have a ripple effect in slowing down progress in moving forward with the SLS development activities, though what work NASA will feel it is able to will obviously be the subject of subsequent conversations and briefings with Members of Congress and staff.

That is quite unfortunate.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/17/2010 12:10 am
The Senate Majority Leader has just indicated he will not attempt to proceed with consideration of the House-passed CR (nor, with it, the proposed Inouye Omnibus amendment). That leaves ONLY the option for another "clean" CR...basically a continuation of what has been in effect for the past two and a half months. There will be no "corrective" language regarding prior restrictions on program termination, and no certainty as to what the full FY 2011 funding levels will be. This will almost certainly have a ripple effect in slowing down progress in moving forward with the SLS development activities, though what work NASA will feel it is able to will obviously be the subject of subsequent conversations and briefings with Members of Congress and staff.

See more on this, here:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46520.html
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: mr_magoo on 12/17/2010 01:54 am
The Senate Majority Leader has just indicated he will not attempt to proceed with consideration of the House-passed CR (nor, with it, the proposed Inouye Omnibus amendment). That leaves ONLY the option for another "clean" CR...basically a continuation of what has been in effect for the past two and a half months. There will be no "corrective" language regarding prior restrictions on program termination, and no certainty as to what the full FY 2011 funding levels will be. This will almost certainly have a ripple effect in slowing down progress in moving forward with the SLS development activities, though what work NASA will feel it is able to will obviously be the subject of subsequent conversations and briefings with Members of Congress and staff.

Rough.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 12/17/2010 02:33 am
The Senate Majority Leader has just indicated he will not attempt to proceed with consideration of the House-passed CR (nor, with it, the proposed Inouye Omnibus amendment). That leaves ONLY the option for another "clean" CR...basically a continuation of what has been in effect for the past two and a half months. There will be no "corrective" language regarding prior restrictions on program termination, and no certainty as to what the full FY 2011 funding levels will be. This will almost certainly have a ripple effect in slowing down progress in moving forward with the SLS development activities, though what work NASA will feel it is able to will obviously be the subject of subsequent conversations and briefings with Members of Congress and staff.

Since this "clean" CR isn't the one that passed the House, it will have to go to the House for final passage. Is there a possibility this "clean" CR could be amended with the language allowing NASA to proceed on SLS before passing and going to the House?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/17/2010 02:49 am
The Senate Majority Leader has just indicated he will not attempt to proceed with consideration of the House-passed CR (nor, with it, the proposed Inouye Omnibus amendment). That leaves ONLY the option for another "clean" CR...basically a continuation of what has been in effect for the past two and a half months. There will be no "corrective" language regarding prior restrictions on program termination, and no certainty as to what the full FY 2011 funding levels will be. This will almost certainly have a ripple effect in slowing down progress in moving forward with the SLS development activities, though what work NASA will feel it is able to will obviously be the subject of subsequent conversations and briefings with Members of Congress and staff.

Since this "clean" CR isn't the one that passed the House, it will have to go to the House for final passage. Is there a possibility this "clean" CR could be amended with the language allowing NASA to proceed on SLS before passing and going to the House?
Clean means no changes. If NASA gets to make changes then all the other programs would want to update their spending guidance. So I would say that is doubtful.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/17/2010 03:24 am
The Senate Majority Leader has just indicated he will not attempt to proceed with consideration of the House-passed CR (nor, with it, the proposed Inouye Omnibus amendment). That leaves ONLY the option for another "clean" CR...basically a continuation of what has been in effect for the past two and a half months. There will be no "corrective" language regarding prior restrictions on program termination, and no certainty as to what the full FY 2011 funding levels will be. This will almost certainly have a ripple effect in slowing down progress in moving forward with the SLS development activities, though what work NASA will feel it is able to will obviously be the subject of subsequent conversations and briefings with Members of Congress and staff.

Since this "clean" CR isn't the one that passed the House, it will have to go to the House for final passage. Is there a possibility this "clean" CR could be amended with the language allowing NASA to proceed on SLS before passing and going to the House?
Clean means no changes. If NASA gets to make changes then all the other programs would want to update their spending guidance. So I would say that is doubtful.

Correct. It will probably just end up as a simple amendment to change the effective dates for the existing CR.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Justin Space on 12/17/2010 08:54 am
It's a shame NASA's not a bank with a struggling stock price, full of people getting millions in bonuses, otherwise the politicians would be falling over themselves to help :(

We need a revolution. Current system, both here and in the US is flawed.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/17/2010 10:53 am
Correct. It will probably just end up as a simple amendment to change the effective dates for the existing CR.

I wonder though, in the next congress the appropriations process seems very uncertain at this point, no one really knows what is going to happen. There could even be another CR before we get a fully updated set of new bills.

If it's going to take a long time to get an updated NASA appropriation, how hard would it be to pass another simple resolution just striking the restrictive language in last year's bill so at least NASA can move forward with new programs under the CRs? If NASA presses for that in the next Congress I wonder if they could get something. The Senators in the commerce committee hearing seemed very motivated to see something done about that.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/17/2010 12:44 pm
Correct. It will probably just end up as a simple amendment to change the effective dates for the existing CR.

I wonder though, in the next congress the appropriations process seems very uncertain at this point, no one really knows what is going to happen. There could even be another CR before we get a fully updated set of new bills.

If it's going to take a long time to get an updated NASA appropriation, how hard would it be to pass another simple resolution just striking the restrictive language in last year's bill so at least NASA can move forward with new programs under the CRs? If NASA presses for that in the next Congress I wonder if they could get something. The Senators in the commerce committee hearing seemed very motivated to see something done about that.

In the current environment, it would likely be difficult to get the Pledge of Allegiance passed as an amendment to something! That said, I'd say it's a safe bet that ANY opportunity will be sought  by those Senators in the Commerce Committee hearing to whom you refer, to remove ANY impediment to implementing P.L. 111-267.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/17/2010 07:15 pm
Looks like there may be a "mini" CR for just a few days to provide time to see if something can be pulled together for a full-year, so there MAY still be an opportunity to get some clarity for NASA for the balance of FY 2011 after all. If so, it will likely look more like the initial house-passed CR than the Omnibus. Stay tuned; it's a dynamic environment, as always, late in the year and especially in a late in the year "lame duck" session.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/17/2010 08:35 pm
Looks like there may be a "mini" CR for just a few days to provide time to see if something can be pulled together for a full-year, so there MAY still be an opportunity to get some clarity for NASA for the balance of FY 2011 after all. If so, it will likely look more like the initial house-passed CR than the Omnibus. Stay tuned; it's a dynamic environment, as always, late in the year and especially in a late in the year "lame duck" session.

That's good news. Because of all of the earmarks, the Senate Omnibus bill was DOA. All you have to do is read the headlines dicussing the Senate omnibus bill. A lot of these headlines have the word pork in them even though earmarks only represented 8 billion out of $1.1 trillion. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/17/2010 08:44 pm
Looks like there may be a "mini" CR for just a few days to provide time to see if something can be pulled together for a full-year, so there MAY still be an opportunity to get some clarity for NASA for the balance of FY 2011 after all. If so, it will likely look more like the initial house-passed CR than the Omnibus. Stay tuned; it's a dynamic environment, as always, late in the year and especially in a late in the year "lame duck" session.
FWIW, the Library of Congress site has a pointer to HJRes 105 -- as 51D wrote, would extend from Dec. 18 to Dec. 21.

This page has links to the bill text and proposed rules of debate:
http://www.rules.house.gov/bills_details.aspx?NewsID=4804

Library of Congress (a.k.a. 'Thomas') appropriation page for this year:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app11.html

Edit -- looks like it's been to the House floor in the last hour; I believe passed by voice vote.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/17/2010 10:08 pm
In the current environment, it would likely be difficult to get the Pledge of Allegiance passed as an amendment to something!

That does seem to be the general sentiment, however the authorization bill passed the Senate unanimously and the House by a 3/4 majority, so I was hoping there would be room for more broad consensus on NASA items.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 12/17/2010 11:09 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101217-house-readies-short-cr.html

Quote
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives was expected to take action on a short-term spending measure to continue funding the federal government at 2010 levels through Dec. 21, giving the U.S. Senate time to complete work on a longer-term spending package for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Dec. 17.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/18/2010 01:09 am
In the current environment, it would likely be difficult to get the Pledge of Allegiance passed as an amendment to something!

That does seem to be the general sentiment, however the authorization bill passed the Senate unanimously and the House by a 3/4 majority, so I was hoping there would be room for more broad consensus on NASA items.

Well, it's not so much a matter of consensus on the NASA items per se; it's the fact that it is simply not possible to get separate consideration given to NASA funding because of the structure of the appropriations jurisdictional areas and the fact that the present circumstances require a consensus on the entire package of appropriations for the entire government; on the non-funding-related "policy" side, there's just no time to get separate, clarifying legislation "cleared" for consideration, and virtually impossible to add even simple language as a "rider" amendment to another piece of legislation moving through the process. If a "door" is opened to one area, there will be dozens of others seeking similar openings, so the approach is generally to prohibit any and all. Those are just the harsh realities of where we are in the process right now; early next year, however, there will be more of an opportunity to work on focused legislation, where needed, to help NASA move forward. It will be a slightly different and unknown environment to begin with in the new Congress, so difficult to make any predictions, but I for one am optimistic about NASA's prospects. They've already come a LONG way from where they stood at the beginning of this year!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: telomerase99 on 12/18/2010 01:33 am
So just to clarify, 51 is it currently the case that constellation is being funded and not the new HLV and commercial and "the new direction" for NASA?

Or is it simply that the amount of money NASA has to spend is maintained at 2010 levels but they can still change direction internally?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/18/2010 01:53 am
Those are just the harsh realities of where we are in the process right now; early next year, however, there will be more of an opportunity to work on focused legislation, where needed, to help NASA move forward.

Ah yes, my statement was only regarding the next Congress.

Quote from: spacetraveler
If NASA presses for that in the next Congress I wonder if they could get something.

I realize there is no potential for them to do that the rest of this term with the clean CR, which is unfortunate.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/18/2010 01:56 am
So just to clarify, 51 is it currently the case that constellation is being funded and not the new HLV and commercial and "the new direction" for NASA?

Or is it simply that the amount of money NASA has to spend is maintained at 2010 levels but they can still change direction internally?

51D can clarify better, but the current law restricts NASA from terminating any PPAs relating to Constellation or creating any new ones until a "subsequent appropriations act" changes their guidance.

So they cannot proceed with any meaningful development effort on SLS until that restriction is lifted.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/18/2010 03:59 am
So just to clarify, 51 is it currently the case that constellation is being funded and not the new HLV and commercial and "the new direction" for NASA?

Or is it simply that the amount of money NASA has to spend is maintained at 2010 levels but they can still change direction internally?

The latter is the case. At a large senior staff meeting today I am told the Administrator reiterated that there is a new law, that the President has signed, and that is the direction NASA is going to be moving, irrespective of the funding levels eventually determined by the Congress. Obviously, funding levels as close to those authorized--such as were reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee, and included in both the full-year CR that passed the House and is still pending in the Senate--will make that task easier. But NASA DOES have the authority, granted by P.L. 111-267, to modify existing contracts to the maximum extent possible to redirect work in the manner outlined in the law. There will be a report filed, around January 10th, as required by that law, which will provide NASA's plan to move forward in that new direction, and by all accounts, the Report will more fully outline the plan for implementing the law.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/18/2010 04:05 am
So just to clarify, 51 is it currently the case that constellation is being funded and not the new HLV and commercial and "the new direction" for NASA?

Or is it simply that the amount of money NASA has to spend is maintained at 2010 levels but they can still change direction internally?

51D can clarify better, but the current law restricts NASA from terminating any PPAs relating to Constellation or creating any new ones until a "subsequent appropriations act" changes their guidance.

So they cannot proceed with any meaningful development effort on SLS until that restriction is lifted.

As an attorney noted in a luncheon meeting I attended this week, in the final analysis, "the law is what everybody agrees it is."  The fact that in recent months, the appropriators--who placed those restrictions on NASA at a time when it was unclear what the Congressional consensus would be on a plan for moving forward in human space flight--have taken numerous overt actions to support the new direction outlined in the new law (including incorporating language in the CR and the proposed Omnibus that would set aside those restrictions), even if those actions have not--yet--reached the level of being enacted into law themselves, appears to me to make it clear that they are not going force NASA to remain constrained by those earlier provisions, despite the fact that they technically have the force of law. There I go with another one of my long, involved sentences, hehe, but I think the meaning is clear.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: mr_magoo on 12/18/2010 04:39 am
Yeah, it would be an amusing spectacle for Congress to haul NASA officials in, demanding they account for the SLS hold-up,  then bring them back the next month to account for breaking the law by trying to build it.

I might pay money to see that,  just for the sheer absurdity.


Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: telomerase99 on 12/18/2010 07:08 am
Thank you so much for clearing that up I was about to go utterly mad from the insanity of wasting time/money in that way!

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/18/2010 07:27 am
As an attorney noted in a luncheon meeting I attended this week, in the final analysis, "the law is what everybody agrees it is."  The fact that in recent months, the appropriators--who placed those restrictions on NASA at a time when it was unclear what the Congressional consensus would be on a plan for moving forward in human space flight--have taken numerous overt actions to support the new direction outlined in the new law (including incorporating language in the CR and the proposed Omnibus that would set aside those restrictions), even if those actions have not--yet--reached the level of being enacted into law themselves, appears to me to make it clear that they are not going force NASA to remain constrained by those earlier provisions, despite the fact that they technically have the force of law. There I go with another one of my long, involved sentences, hehe, but I think the meaning is clear.

Well, that would be great news. It seemed like this restriction was a huge deal at the commerce committee hearing. But I guess if it's a situation where everyone agrees that they can just disregard that provision since we know it will be changed anyway, maybe that can work. I wonder if NASA will have reservations about doing that though, given that GAO just investigated them for possibly failing to follow that exact provision in the law (though ultimately found them compliant for now).

Thinking about it a little bit more though, I get the sense that the GAO investigation was motivated by Congress being a little irked that NASA seemed to be taking steps to fulfill the president's budget request without waiting for direction from them (since there was still question as to whether Constellation would be cancelled). Now that Congress has spoken with the authorization act and they want to see it implemented, they would probably not be motivated to initiate any further action of that sort.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/18/2010 07:40 am
As an attorney noted in a luncheon meeting I attended this week, in the final analysis, "the law is what everybody agrees it is."  The fact that in recent months, the appropriators--who placed those restrictions on NASA at a time when it was unclear what the Congressional consensus would be on a plan for moving forward in human space flight--have taken numerous overt actions to support the new direction outlined in the new law (including incorporating language in the CR and the proposed Omnibus that would set aside those restrictions), even if those actions have not--yet--reached the level of being enacted into law themselves, appears to me to make it clear that they are not going force NASA to remain constrained by those earlier provisions, despite the fact that they technically have the force of law. There I go with another one of my long, involved sentences, hehe, but I think the meaning is clear.

Well, that would be great news. It seemed like this restriction was a huge deal at the commerce committee hearing. But I guess if it's a situation where everyone agrees that they can just disregard that provision since we know it will be changed anyway, maybe that can work. I wonder if NASA will have reservations about doing that though, given that GAO just investigated them for possibly failing to follow that exact provision in the law (though ultimately found them compliant for now).

Thinking about it a little bit more though, I get the sense that the GAO investigation was motivated by Congress being a little irked that NASA seemed to be taking steps to fulfill the president's budget request without waiting for direction from them (since there was still question as to whether Constellation would be cancelled). Now that Congress has spoken with the authorization act and they want to see it implemented, they would probably not be motivated to initiate any further action of that sort.

Obviously, of course, the "cleanest" thing to have happen is for the prior language to be either repealed or made no longer applicable to alternative heavy lift or crew vehicle development activities, as would have been done in both the House-passed CR and the proposed Omnibus substitute. That was why it was a strong focus of the Commerce Committee hearing. But NASA now understands the authority granted in the authorization act (now law) to modify existing contracts, where possible, to redirect performance on the newly reconfigured work requirements for Orion and elements of the SLS/HLLV development. That is what can enable relevant ongoing work to continue and minimize disruptions and schedule delays, which was the purpose of that grant of authority.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/18/2010 02:26 pm
"the law is what everybody agrees it is."

With the important, always active proviso that, some "somebodies" are more equal than other "somebodies".  Sometimes this is fair and appropriate.  Sometimes it is not.

As an aside, what is the current status of the results of that "termination clause" brouhaha that erupted this last summer?

Quote
There I go with another one of my long, involved sentences ...

Hey.  Your sentences are great.  The length does require a careful read.  I'm gonna paraphrase this one, because I wasn't quite clear on my understanding:

Quote
The fact that in recent months, the appropriators--who placed those restrictions on NASA at a time when it was unclear what the Congressional consensus would be on a plan for moving forward in human space flight--have taken numerous overt actions to support the new direction outlined in the new law (including incorporating language in the CR and the proposed Omnibus that would set aside those restrictions), even if those actions have not--yet--reached the level of being enacted into law themselves, appears to me to make it clear that they are not going force NASA to remain constrained by those earlier provisions, despite the fact that they technically have the force of law.

The appropriators, who are also the law's authors, placed legislative restrictions on NASA forbidding terminating certain aspects of the Constellation program.  Even at that time, there was a large outcry from many of the stakeholders, which include taxpayers as well, that the Constellation program was fatally flawed and should be terminated.  Therefore, there was not really any surprise in the idea of termination.  Even so, within NASA, the already extant termination clauses were read again with greater attention.  It was found, it seems to me, that some types of termination actions were within the law already, and these were enacted, causing a number of layoffs along the way.

In a way, these "overt actions" may be what the more savvy appropriators intended all along.  In the CR and Omnibus, the restrictions are more forcibly and directly worded.  (I haven't read them personally, and am trusting in 51D's summarization.)  Rather than create a huge list of the specific restrictions, it seems more that they're going to allow NASA management to continue this process as they see fit.

Is that an accurate paraphrase?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/18/2010 04:22 pm
"the law is what everybody agrees it is."

With the important, always active proviso that, some "somebodies" are more equal than other "somebodies".  Sometimes this is fair and appropriate.  Sometimes it is not.

As an aside, what is the current status of the results of that "termination clause" brouhaha that erupted this last summer?

Quote
There I go with another one of my long, involved sentences ...

Hey.  Your sentences are great.  The length does require a careful read.  I'm gonna paraphrase this one, because I wasn't quite clear on my understanding:

Quote
The fact that in recent months, the appropriators--who placed those restrictions on NASA at a time when it was unclear what the Congressional consensus would be on a plan for moving forward in human space flight--have taken numerous overt actions to support the new direction outlined in the new law (including incorporating language in the CR and the proposed Omnibus that would set aside those restrictions), even if those actions have not--yet--reached the level of being enacted into law themselves, appears to me to make it clear that they are not going force NASA to remain constrained by those earlier provisions, despite the fact that they technically have the force of law.

The appropriators, who are also the law's authors, placed legislative restrictions on NASA forbidding terminating certain aspects of the Constellation program.  Even at that time, there was a large outcry from many of the stakeholders, which include taxpayers as well, that the Constellation program was fatally flawed and should be terminated.  Therefore, there was not really any surprise in the idea of termination.  Even so, within NASA, the already extant termination clauses were read again with greater attention.  It was found, it seems to me, that some types of termination actions were within the law already, and these were enacted, causing a number of layoffs along the way.

In a way, these "overt actions" may be what the more savvy appropriators intended all along.  In the CR and Omnibus, the restrictions are more forcibly and directly worded.  (I haven't read them personally, and am trusting in 51D's summarization.)  Rather than create a huge list of the specific restrictions, it seems more that they're going to allow NASA management to continue this process as they see fit.

Is that an accurate paraphrase?

Actually, not quite. You've taken it in a few different directions than I was directly addressing, and characterized the background on the termination issue slightly differently than I would, but I'll clarify what I mean by that when I have some more time to lay it out. In the middle of something right now but will get back to this later. Sorry ;-)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/18/2010 09:14 pm
http://spacenews.com/policy/101217-house-readies-short-cr.html

Quote
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives was expected to take action on a short-term spending measure to continue funding the federal government at 2010 levels through Dec. 21, giving the U.S. Senate time to complete work on a longer-term spending package for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Dec. 17.
FWIW, the CR was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate last night.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/20/2010 12:42 pm
New non-clean Senate CR proposed till March with plenty of additional provisions none of which relate to NASA though ...

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/134417-mcconnell-senate-to-fund-government-through-match

http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=51524096-2c8b-4580-96dc-3bde5294aec8
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: ras391 on 12/20/2010 12:58 pm
From reading The Hill, it sounds like the show is not over yet. There is still time to get a NASA appropriations provision in the Senate CR. I suggest we all contact our Senators, NOW.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: M_Puckett on 12/20/2010 05:23 pm
Hope they can get something spelled out.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/20/2010 05:46 pm
Thinking about it, this CR is a Senate Amendment to HR 3082 which was the Omnibus House Bill which contained references to NASA so this may be already covered. 51D will clarify one way or the other in due course I'm sure.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/20/2010 05:56 pm
Thinking about it, this CR is a Senate Amendment to HR 3082 which was the Omnibus House Bill which contained references to NASA so this may be already covered. 51D will clarify one way or the other in due course I'm sure.

It's unlikely. They are more likely to replace the entire bill from the House through an amendment.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/20/2010 06:01 pm
Thinking about it, this CR is a Senate Amendment to HR 3082 which was the Omnibus House Bill which contained references to NASA so this may be already covered. 51D will clarify one way or the other in due course I'm sure.

It's unlikely. They are more likely to replace the entire bill from the House through an amendment.
Yes, and the full-year CR bill passed by the House was an amendment to a Senate amendment to HR 3082.

The proposed CR was offered in a series of amendments by Senator Reid to the first CR (PL 111-242); the text is available in the Congressional Record and can be found on Thomas's FY11 appropriations page:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app11.html

(The bulk of the proposed CR is in SA 4885.)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/20/2010 06:38 pm
Thinking about it, this CR is a Senate Amendment to HR 3082 which was the Omnibus House Bill which contained references to NASA so this may be already covered. 51D will clarify one way or the other in due course I'm sure.

It's unlikely. They are more likely to replace the entire bill from the House through an amendment.
Yes, and the full-year CR bill passed by the House was an amendment to a Senate amendment to HR 3082.

The proposed CR was offered in a series of amendments by Senator Reid to the first CR (PL 111-242); the text is available in the Congressional Record and can be found on Thomas's FY11 appropriations page:
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app11.html

(The bulk of the proposed CR is in SA 4885.)


Nothing about NASA in this (proposed) modified CR (i.e. SA 4885).

As Philip said, the amendments that are being made are amendments to the currently enacted continuing resolution (which also doesn't specifically address NASA funding) which can be found here:
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3081enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3081enr.pdf

P.S. The statement by Chairman Inouye explaining the reasons for the withdrawal of the Senate Omnibus Appropriation bill last week is worth reading as it sort of describes how difficult and partisan the process will continue to be next year. It is obviously very much one sided but you can figure out that there is another half to this story:
http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=2d895947-938c-489c-9e27-a9fce660cd37
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 12/21/2010 02:52 pm
Actually, not quite.[/quote]

Let me try again:

Quote from: 51D
The fact that in recent months, the appropriators--who placed those restrictions on NASA at a time when it was unclear what the Congressional consensus would be on a plan for moving forward in human space flight--have taken numerous overt actions to support the new direction outlined in the new law (including incorporating language in the CR and the proposed Omnibus that would set aside those restrictions), even if those actions have not--yet--reached the level of being enacted into law themselves, appears to me to make it clear that they are not going force NASA to remain constrained by those earlier provisions, despite the fact that they technically have the force of law.

The appropriators placed legislative restrictions on NASA forbidding certain aspects of the Constellation program. 

(The appropriators are also the lawmakers, but some of the people involved are in the creation of legislation and some of them are involved in the determination of appropriation.)

At that time, it was unclear what the Congressional consensus would be on a plan for moving forward in human space flight. 

(Also at that time, there was a context of uncertainty, based on the hasty, secretive rollout of FY2011 combined with the projected forecast of continued delays and cost overruns for Constellation.  In addition, the language of the then proposed legislation was clear in some areas but not in others.  NASA mamagement, at least the best I can tell, conducted a review of certain Constellation contracts and then took certain actions.  One of the results of these actions seems to have been regarding the termination clauses.  Of the results of the actions, it seems that more uncertainty was generated.  The appropriators reacted to this additional uncertainty.)

After PL 111-267 was passed and signed, the appropriators then took overt actions, witnessed by the language of their appropriation bill, to support the new direction outlined in the new law.

(It seems to me that the "overt actions" included the throw weight specification and the direction of the evolutionary path.  Nevertheless, this does not explain the increase in the size of the initial rocket from the amount specified in the new law.  Not only that, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty in the new law, especially regarding the sorts of missions that Congress would be likely to fund, using the new launch vehicle.  So it's not at all clear what these "overt actions" would be.)

(Now the part where I remain confused:  The original restrictions were to restrict NASA from terminating Constellation because the termination clause brouhaha seemed to be an indirect, but apparently legal, way to terminate key portions of Constellation.  "To set aside" those restrictions would then seem to include the meaning that Constellation could be terminated by NASA management within the existing contractural framework.)

So I don't get:

Quote
(including incorporating language in the CR and the proposed Omnibus that would set aside those restrictions), even if those actions have not--yet--reached the level of being enacted into law themselves, appears to me to make it clear that they are not going force NASA to remain constrained by those earlier provisions, despite the fact that they technically have the force of law.

Whenever you get a chance to elaborate, I and probably we, would appreciate it very much.

From Inouye's statement:

Quote
The continuing resolution by design mandates that programs are to be held at the amounts provided last year regardless of merit or need.

God grant me the senility I need to accept the fact that we have the government that we have, regardless of merit or need.  Because I'm not serene about it at all.

Quote
My colleagues should be advised that since 2006, the Congress has reduced spending on earmarks by nearly 75%.

That is certainly not the general perception.  One obvious question is, how many earmarks, rather than being tacked on to the end of the legislation, are now hidden in the body of the legislation itself?  But I digress.

Quote
Mr. President, this election was about gridlock and partisan gamesmanship.  And what we saw in the past 24 hours was more of the same.  Endless delaying tactics followed by decision making by partisan point scoring rather than what is good for our nation.

Did the senility prayer work?  Not yet, that I can tell. 

Quote
The Omnibus bill included $142 million in vital program increases for the Indian Health Service ... and thereby provide more and better medical care for Native Americans and Alaska Natives.  A CR brings this progress to a halt.

And we are still screwing the Indian tribes.  America.  Early 21st century.  Our government does this for merit?  Or neeed?  I'm confused.

Quote
Mr. President, I wish there were a better way, but the decisions by our colleagues on the other side who helped craft this bill have left us with no choice.

Just to repeat myself:  I'm no Democrat.  Not a Republican either.  I'm an American.  And I'm thoroughly incorrected off at our government.  But I digress.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/21/2010 07:47 pm
The next continuing resolution (clean-ish) passed the Senate a little while ago:
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=2&vote=00289

The House has received the formal message of that and is likely to vote on the bill as-is.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 12/21/2010 09:44 pm
Was there any NASA-related language in the CR that passed the Senate today?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 12/21/2010 09:52 pm
Was there any NASA-related language in the CR that passed the Senate today?
No.

(It's being debated, so to speak, on the House floor now.  Vote/passage will be tonight, given that the current CR expires tonight.)

A little extra in the Space News story:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/101221-senate-approves-stopgap.html
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Mark S on 12/22/2010 04:33 am
Thanks Freddie! It looks like the gridlock at NASA may finally be busted.

I see they managed to slip in the "initial capability of 130 tons" clause, which will complicate things a bit. But what the hey, at least it gets NASA out of the holding pattern its been in since 2/1/2010 (or actually since President Obama took office).

Cheers!
Mark S.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 12/22/2010 05:23 am
Thanks Freddie! It looks like the gridlock at NASA may finally be busted.

I see they managed to slip in the "initial capability of 130 tons" clause, which will complicate things a bit. But what the hey, at least it gets NASA out of the holding pattern its been in since 2/1/2010 (or actually since President Obama took office).

Cheers!
Mark S.

NASA can comply with that clause by setting up two teams.  It will not be launching SLS in FY2011 so permission to test launch the stages separately can be obtained from Congress in a future year.  A possible official excuse is to save money.  The upper stage could also be hot fired on a test stand.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/22/2010 06:27 am
In summary, the overall budget has decreased by $70M to $18,930M. MPCV has increased $80M to$1,200M, SLS has increased by $169M to $1,800M, Commercial Cargo stays the same at $300M, Commercial Crew has decreased by $62M to $250M and Space Technology Development has decreased by $41M to $559M. Space Shuttle and KSC Modernisation has decreased by $224.2M to $1,814.1M which hopefully will be enough to fly STS-135.
                           Authorisation    Appropriation      Change
Exploration                $3,868,000,000   $3,706,000,000   -$162,000,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MPCV                     $1,120,000,000   $1,200,000,000    +$80,000,000
  SLS                      $1,631,000,000   $1,800,000,000   +$169,000,000
  Technology Development     $250,000,000               $0   -$250,000,000
  Human Research             $155,000,000
  Commercial Cargo           $300,000,000     $300,000,000              $0
  Commercial Crew            $312,000,000     $250,000,000    -$62,000,000
  Robotic Precursor          $100,000,000

Space Operations           $5,508,500,000   $5,247,900,000   -$260,600,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  ISS                      $2,779,800,000   $2,745,000,000    -$34,800,000
  Space & Flight Services    $690,400,000     $688,800,000     -$1,600,000
  Total Space Shuttle      $2,038,300,000   $1,814,100,000    -224,200,000
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Space Shuttle          $1,609,700,000     $989,100,000
    KSC Modernisation        $428,600,000
    Additional Space Shuttle                  $825,000,000

Science                    $5,005,600,000   $5,005,600,000              $0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Earth                    $1,801,800,000   $1,801,800,000              $0
  Planetary                $1,485,700,000   $1,485,700,000              $0
  Astrophysics             $1,076,300,000   $1,076,300,000              $0
  Heliophysics               $641,900,000     $641,900,000              $0

Aeronautics                  $929,600,000   $1,138,600,000   +$209,000,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Research                   $579,600,000     $579,600,000              $0
  Space Technology           $350,000,000     $559,000,000   +$209,000,000

Education                    $145,800,000     $180,000,000    +$34,200,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Experimental Program        $25,000,000
  Space Grant Program         $45,600,000
  ???                         $75,200,000

Cross-Agency Support       $3,111,400,000   $3,085,700,000    -$25,700,000
Construction                 $394,300,000     $528,700,000   +$134,400,000
Inspector General             $37,000,000      $37,500,000       +$500,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total                     $19,000,000,000  $18,930,000,000    -$70,000,000

  Space Tech Development     $600,000,000     $559,000,000    -$41,000,000
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Technology Development   $250,000,000               $0
    Space Technology         $350,000,000     $559,000,000
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/22/2010 08:19 am
I think there might be some confusion. I do not believe the text pasted above was passed by the Senate. I have been able to find no confirmation of this (and the source in Freddie's link does not indicate this).

This language was originally in the much larger House bill, however media reports are saying the Senate bill was cut down to only 36 pages and it did not include provisions related to NASA.

Further, the reports give the top line number as 18.7, which was consistent with what people had been saying for the CR, and not 18.9 as was in the omnibus.

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1012/21nasacr/
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/101221-senate-approves-stopgap.html
http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20101221/NEWS02/12210318/1006/NEWS01/No+extra+funds+for+NASA
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/22/2010 10:46 am
I believe this is the final (enrolled) version of the bill.
http://www.govtrack.us/data/us/bills.text/111/h/h3082enr.pdf

No NASA items.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/22/2010 01:48 pm
I believe this is the final (enrolled) version of the bill.
http://www.govtrack.us/data/us/bills.text/111/h/h3082enr.pdf

No NASA items.

You are right. It is the final version and there is no NASA items.

Incidentally, this new CR modifies the first CR bill (which also didn't specifically address NASA):
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3081enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3081enr.pdf

P.S. The House passed the CR by a vote of 193 to 165 (Senate passed it by a vote of 79 to 16):
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/134757-house-passes-spending-bill-sets-up-2011-budget-fight
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 12/22/2010 01:51 pm
51D Mascot,

Now that the CR until March 4, 2011 has passed without language allowing NASA to proceed on SLS, what's the plan for getting the language enacted?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/22/2010 03:13 pm
In summary, the overall budget has decreased by $70M to $18,930M. MPCV has increased $80M to$1,200M, SLS has increased by $169M to $1,800M, Commercial Cargo stays the same at $300M, Commercial Crew has decreased by $62M to $250M and Space Technology Development has decreased by $41M to $559M. Space Shuttle and KSC Modernisation has decreased by $224.2M to $1,814.1M which hopefully will be enough to fly STS-135.
                           Authorisation    Appropriation      Change
Exploration                $3,868,000,000   $3,706,000,000   -$162,000,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  MPCV                     $1,120,000,000   $1,200,000,000    +$80,000,000
  SLS                      $1,631,000,000   $1,800,000,000   +$169,000,000
  Technology Development     $250,000,000               $0   -$250,000,000
  Human Research             $155,000,000
  Commercial Cargo           $300,000,000     $300,000,000              $0
  Commercial Crew            $312,000,000     $250,000,000    -$62,000,000
  Robotic Precursor          $100,000,000

Space Operations           $5,508,500,000   $5,247,900,000   -$260,600,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  ISS                      $2,779,800,000   $2,745,000,000    -$34,800,000
  Space & Flight Services    $690,400,000     $688,800,000     -$1,600,000
  Total Space Shuttle      $2,038,300,000   $1,814,100,000    -224,200,000
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Space Shuttle          $1,609,700,000     $989,100,000
    KSC Modernisation        $428,600,000
    Additional Space Shuttle                  $825,000,000

Science                    $5,005,600,000   $5,005,600,000              $0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Earth                    $1,801,800,000   $1,801,800,000              $0
  Planetary                $1,485,700,000   $1,485,700,000              $0
  Astrophysics             $1,076,300,000   $1,076,300,000              $0
  Heliophysics               $641,900,000     $641,900,000              $0

Aeronautics                  $929,600,000   $1,138,600,000   +$209,000,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Research                   $579,600,000     $579,600,000              $0
  Space Technology           $350,000,000     $559,000,000   +$209,000,000

Education                    $145,800,000     $180,000,000    +$34,200,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Experimental Program        $25,000,000
  Space Grant Program         $45,600,000
  ???                         $75,200,000

Cross-Agency Support       $3,111,400,000   $3,085,700,000    -$25,700,000
Construction                 $394,300,000     $528,700,000   +$134,400,000
Inspector General             $37,000,000      $37,500,000       +$500,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total                     $19,000,000,000  $18,930,000,000    -$70,000,000

  Space Tech Development     $600,000,000     $559,000,000    -$41,000,000
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Technology Development   $250,000,000               $0
    Space Technology         $350,000,000     $559,000,000


Thanks for presenting that, Steven. Helps a lot.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/22/2010 03:18 pm
Chris, these numbers are actually wrong. They were based on the draft Senate Omnibus Appropriation bill (and Freddie's deleted post which was likely a possible amendment that was rejected) which wasn't passed by either chamber.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/22/2010 03:22 pm
Chris, these numbers are wrong. For the time being, you must rely on the FY 2010 numbers.

Oh, that's a shame. I liked those numbers ;D Will keep them on for reference - you've tagged it as something people should not assume are correct at this moment in time. Would really appreciate it if someone took a bash at using that table and correcting the figures too.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/22/2010 03:25 pm
For the time being, you must rely on the FY 2010 numbers as we are still under a ("cleanish") CR. See page 109 and following of the FY 2010 Appropriation bill for the numbers that apply under the CR (total of 18.7B for NASA):
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr3288enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3288enr.pdf 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: PeterAlt on 12/22/2010 03:28 pm
Now that the President has signed a new CR that funds the government at last year's levels until March, NASA will not be allowed to cancel Constellation and the Ares rocket development program. Additionally, they cannot start new programs such as SLS. It looks like Congress will go to recess today, making it impossible for actual appropriation bills to get through this year.

Knowing this problem, could NASA direct Constellation to continue only the elements of Constellation that have the greatest chances of success for implementation within the future SLS program? I know it's too early to tell what components of Constellation will actually be carried over to the new program, but making educated guesses would be a better use of funds than funding Constellation with its original unrealistic goals in mInd.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/22/2010 03:33 pm
Sorry for not responding to several questions earlier..have been extremely busy the past week or ten days and just haven't had time to visit the site much, let alone sit down and try to provide some insights into what's been going on, from my perspective. Suffice it to say there has been a GREAT DEAL of internal discussion within the Congress about the meaning and content of the various approaches to FY 2011 appropriations, from the initial 1-year CR as passed by the House and embodied in HR 3082 as it was returned to the Senate, the Omnibus approach, which was proposed as a substitute for that full-year text, and the final version as embodied in the Senate amendment to HR 3082, which stripped out the year-long CR language and included a few "anomalies."  There was considerable last-minute discussion about including one or more anomalies relating to NASA in the final CR, but in the end it was just not possible to "open" it up to additional language. (The principle reason for that is that, with the government-wide coverage of the bill, it means that the leadership of all of the appropriations subcommittees, in both the House and Senate, have to be brought into agreement on even a single word change, and that was simply impossible to do, despite best efforts.)

A parenthetical note regarding terminology: I think most folks have come to understand that an "anomaly" in a Continuing Resolution basically means that language is included that modifies something that would otherwise be a simple continuation of whatever funding activities, limitations or restrictions from the Fiscal Year being extended by the CR. Inclusion of "anomalies" makes a CR, by definition, not a "Clean" CR.

With respect to questions about implementation of P.L. 111-267, the NASA Authorization Bill, there has been a lot of confusion as to the impact the appropriations bill, or CR, or the appropriations process, in general, would have on the provisions of that law. Part of that is just the lack of clarity on the congressional "processes" of authorization and appropriations, which are two separate, but obviously related functions of the Congress. Believe me, it's confusing even to those directly involved with it, so pointing out confusion is not meant to be a criticism. In another post, responding to JohnFornaro, I'll review some of the background over the past year to hopefully show how, within those two processes, a general consensus has evolved, at least among those Senators and Representatives who have committee and subcommittee leadership responsibilities within the authorizing committees and appropriating committees, and other Members with direct NASA-related constituent interests. (On that score, I have to note that "my perspective" is better "informed" on the Senate side than the House, so that should be kept in mind.)
Anyway, getting back to the question of implementation of P.L. 111-267, I will say that what is very clear to me is that both the key authorizers AND appropriators--certainly on the Senate side--agree that the path NASA should now be moving forward on is the path outlined in P.L. 111-267, and that they expect NASA to COMPLY with that law, with whatever resources and spending authority it has, whether under a short-term CR or under whatever is determined will replace that CR next March.

There was never a real possibility that the appropriations process would dramatically change or undermine or vitiate the principal terms, conditions, and authority prescribed in P.L. 111-267, as many seem to have believed. In the first place, it is a violation of congressional procedure to "legislate" in an appropriations act. There is, of course, a degree of subjectivism regarding just what it means to "legislate", and over the years, when current authorizing legislation has not been enacted, the appropriators--who have to act on an annual basis--have tended, and in some cases, been forced to, in effect, "legislate" on major policy kinds of issues. But they did so with the tacit acquiescence of the authorizers, who were either unable, or unwilling, to fulfill their part of the "process."

That is not the case in the current Congress. nor has it been for the past five years, with active authorization committees legislating and overseeing NASA, and the enactment of authorization legislation fairly consistently since 2005. The only year NOT covered by the terms of a specific authorization bill in that period was 2010--because the authorizers were awaiting the outcome of the Augustine report, and the Administration's response to that report, both of which were initially expected to be available by late September of that year. (Remember that the FY 2010 Budget Request had an asterisk in the documents showing Exploration funding levels, and a note that the numbers were "subject to change" after the HSF Review, which would be done with an "amended Budget Request." In the end, the Administration chose to make its "response" to Augustine in the form of the FY 2011 Budget submission, so there was no revised Administration FY 2010 Request for the Congress to respond to.)

The key issue now, going forward, is the degree to which NASA is able to apply available funds, which under the CR it can expend at a "rate" equal to the annualized FY 2010 enacted appropriations levels, towards implementation of P.L. 111-267. That, and the question of the degree to which they are hampered in that effort by the previously-enacted (in late 2010) prohibition against termination of the Constellation Program and associated contracts. NASA's Chief Financial Officer testified at the Senate hearing on December 1st:

"And finally, there are specific restrictions in the CR, which we have already discussed.  In particular, the CR continues any restrictions that were present in last year’s appropriation including, in NASA’s case, the prohibition on termination of components of the Constellation program.  Moreover, the CR requires that work not begin on new starts, which is a legal term of art about which GAO has given us guidance in their May report, and using that guidance, we have been working through what is and is not a new start. 
And we have not yet found anything in the authorization act on which we cannot proceed, but we are not done with our analysis, this unfortunately lengthy analysis, and we are working the issue daily. 

"However, there are some areas in which we can clearly proceed.  For example, planning efforts for the heavy lift and multipurpose crew vehicle activities, both authorized in the act, are proceeding and are assessing the transition from the Constellation efforts to the new programs.  Moreover, on November 8th, NASA announced the results of a broad agency announcement under which NASA selected 13 companies to conduct studies on various heavy lift technologies.  These studies are focused on achieving affordability, operability, reliability, and commonality at the system and subsystem levels with multiple users, including other government, commercial, science and international partners.

"Further, although requirements for the multipurpose crew vehicle have not yet been fully vetted, NASA expects this vehicle to be based on the existing Orion work.  The ground test article for Orion will be completed within the coming months, which is very exciting, and in early 2011, the GTA will be shipped to Denver for performance testing that will help validate the cabin design."

Dr. Robinson was referring to the original CR, but the comments about restrictions are applicable to the new CR just enacted.

In addition, in a meeting at NASA last Friday, Administrator Bolden made it clear he expects the report required by Section 309 of the Authorization Act to be ready for delivery to the Congress by January 10th. In addition, he reportedly made it clear his obligation and intent is to implement and comply with P.L. 111-267.

All of this will continue to be monitored carefully by the relevant congressional Members and staff. Hopefully, this provides some information of use and interest.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kraisee on 12/22/2010 03:34 pm
You have made a lot of incorrect assumptions in your post.

There are already extensive discussions on this topic (for example: HERE (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22991.0)) and I strongly recommend you re-read them -- in particular 51D_Mascot's posts -- and learn the accurate information about what NASA can and can't do now, under a CR.

The real-world situation is very different from what your post above implies.   In short, since the authorizations got signed Oct 11th, NASA *IS* now allowed to redirect Constellation funds under a CR.

Ross.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/22/2010 04:03 pm
[...]
All of this will continue to be monitored carefully by the relevant congressional Members and staff. Hopefully, this provides some information of use and interest.

Thanks for your post. Very informative.

On a side note, I wished that we had access to the transcript of the December 1, 2010 Senate space and science subcommitteee hearing that you quoted from. I am not sure why they don't always provide access to transcripts.  I also wished that we had access to the documents that were submitted for the record relating to the hearing. At these Congressional hearings, often a person will answer a question by saying that they will submit an official answer for the record but we never get to see this official answer. I imagine that there is ways of obtaining these documents (through freedom of information request, etc). But I wished that they would simply provide them on the internet with the rest of the documents from the hearing which for the December 1, 2010 hearing can be found here:
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=a06730c4-d875-4fde-97db-9e2be611840e
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/22/2010 04:44 pm
Sorry for not responding to several questions earlier..have been extremely busy the past week or ten days and just haven't had time to visit the site much, let alone sit down and try to provide some insights into what's been going on, from my perspective. Suffice it to say there has been a GREAT DEAL of internal discussion within the Congress about the meaning and content of the various approaches to FY 2011 appropriations, from the initial 1-year CR as passed by the House and embodied in HR 3082 as it was returned to the Senate, the Omnibus approach, which was proposed as a substitute for that full-year text, and the final version as embodied in the Senate amendment to HR 3082, which stripped out the year-long CR language and included a few "anomalies."  There was considerable last-minute discussion about including one or more anomalies relating to NASA in the final CR, but in the end it was just not possible to "open" it up to additional language. (The principle reason for that is that, with the government-wide coverage of the bill, it means that the leadership of all of the appropriations subcommittees, in both the House and Senate, have to be brought into agreement on even a single word change, and that was simply impossible to do, despite best efforts.)

A parenthetical note regarding terminology: I think most folks have come to understand that an "anomaly" in a Continuing Resolution basically means that language is included that modifies something that would otherwise be a simple continuation of whatever funding activities, limitations or restrictions from the Fiscal Year being extended by the CR. Inclusion of "anomalies" makes a CR, by definition, not a "Clean" CR.

With respect to questions about implementation of P.L. 111-267, the NASA Authorization Bill, there has been a lot of confusion as to the impact the appropriations bill, or CR, or the appropriations process, in general, would have on the provisions of that law. Part of that is just the lack of clarity on the congressional "processes" of authorization and appropriations, which are two separate, but obviously related functions of the Congress. Believe me, it's confusing even to those directly involved with it, so pointing out confusion is not meant to be a criticism. In another post, responding to JohnFornaro, I'll review some of the background over the past year to hopefully show how, within those two processes, a general consensus has evolved, at least among those Senators and Representatives who have committee and subcommittee leadership responsibilities within the authorizing committees and appropriating committees, and other Members with direct NASA-related constituent interests. (On that score, I have to note that "my perspective" is better "informed" on the Senate side than the House, so that should be kept in mind.)
Anyway, getting back to the question of implementation of P.L. 111-267, I will say that what is very clear to me is that both the key authorizers AND appropriators--certainly on the Senate side--agree that the path NASA should now be moving forward on is the path outlined in P.L. 111-267, and that they expect NASA to COMPLY with that law, with whatever resources and spending authority it has, whether under a short-term CR or under whatever is determined will replace that CR next March.

There was never a real possibility that the appropriations process would dramatically change or undermine or vitiate the principal terms, conditions, and authority prescribed in P.L. 111-267, as many seem to have believed. In the first place, it is a violation of congressional procedure to "legislate" in an appropriations act. There is, of course, a degree of subjectivism regarding just what it means to "legislate", and over the years, when current authorizing legislation has not been enacted, the appropriators--who have to act on an annual basis--have tended, and in some cases, been forced to, in effect, "legislate" on major policy kinds of issues. But they did so with the tacit acquiescence of the authorizers, who were either unable, or unwilling, to fulfill their part of the "process."

That is not the case in the current Congress. nor has it been for the past five years, with active authorization committees legislating and overseeing NASA, and the enactment of authorization legislation fairly consistently since 2005. The only year NOT covered by the terms of a specific authorization bill in that period was 2010--because the authorizers were awaiting the outcome of the Augustine report, and the Administration's response to that report, both of which were initially expected to be available by late September of that year. (Remember that the FY 2010 Budget Request had an asterisk in the documents showing Exploration funding levels, and a note that the numbers were "subject to change" after the HSF Review, which would be done with an "amended Budget Request." In the end, the Administration chose to make its "response" to Augustine in the form of the FY 2011 Budget submission, so there was no revised Administration FY 2010 Request for the Congress to respond to.)

The key issue now, going forward, is the degree to which NASA is able to apply available funds, which under the CR it can expend at a "rate" equal to the annualized FY 2010 enacted appropriations levels, towards implementation of P.L. 111-267. That, and the question of the degree to which they are hampered in that effort by the previously-enacted (in late 2010) prohibition against termination of the Constellation Program and associated contracts. NASA's Chief Financial Officer testified at the Senate hearing on December 1st:

"And finally, there are specific restrictions in the CR, which we have already discussed.  In particular, the CR continues any restrictions that were present in last year’s appropriation including, in NASA’s case, the prohibition on termination of components of the Constellation program.  Moreover, the CR requires that work not begin on new starts, which is a legal term of art about which GAO has given us guidance in their May report, and using that guidance, we have been working through what is and is not a new start. 
And we have not yet found anything in the authorization act on which we cannot proceed, but we are not done with our analysis, this unfortunately lengthy analysis, and we are working the issue daily. 

"However, there are some areas in which we can clearly proceed.  For example, planning efforts for the heavy lift and multipurpose crew vehicle activities, both authorized in the act, are proceeding and are assessing the transition from the Constellation efforts to the new programs.  Moreover, on November 8th, NASA announced the results of a broad agency announcement under which NASA selected 13 companies to conduct studies on various heavy lift technologies.  These studies are focused on achieving affordability, operability, reliability, and commonality at the system and subsystem levels with multiple users, including other government, commercial, science and international partners.

"Further, although requirements for the multipurpose crew vehicle have not yet been fully vetted, NASA expects this vehicle to be based on the existing Orion work.  The ground test article for Orion will be completed within the coming months, which is very exciting, and in early 2011, the GTA will be shipped to Denver for performance testing that will help validate the cabin design."

Dr. Robinson was referring to the original CR, but the comments about restrictions are applicable to the new CR just enacted.

In addition, in a meeting at NASA last Friday, Administrator Bolden made it clear he expects the report required by Section 309 of the Authorization Act to be ready for delivery to the Congress by January 10th. In addition, he reportedly made it clear his obligation and intent is to implement and comply with P.L. 111-267.

All of this will continue to be monitored carefully by the relevant congressional Members and staff. Hopefully, this provides some information of use and interest.


Thanks for taking the time to write all of that! I really hope you get some time off over the holidays.

I'm really not a politics guy, but I think everyone should appreciate the amount of fight you put in for the benefit of the Program. I don't care if I'm being politically unobjective, or whatever. It deserves appreciation, big time.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/22/2010 05:09 pm
What are the overall requirements for the "multipurpose crew vehicle"? Do they include anything like an expanded service module, an add-on mission module (for habitation), refueling capability, or anything like that? Or is the MPCV merely a renaming of Orion?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/22/2010 05:19 pm
What are the overall requirements for the "multipurpose crew vehicle"? Do they include anything like an expanded service module, an add-on mission module (for habitation), refueling capability, or anything like that? Or is the MPCV merely a renaming of Orion?

I am pretty sure that is not the kind of detail that will be resolved by Congress. This is a more of a HEFT recommendation/Bolden decision.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/22/2010 05:21 pm
What are the overall requirements for the "multipurpose crew vehicle"? Do they include anything like an expanded service module, an add-on mission module (for habitation), refueling capability, or anything like that? Or is the MPCV merely a renaming of Orion?

I am pretty sure that is not the kind of detail that will be resolved by Congress. This is a more of a HEFT recommendation/Bolden decision.
Agreed, but is there any kind of hint about MPCV would be?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/22/2010 05:31 pm
[...]
All of this will continue to be monitored carefully by the relevant congressional Members and staff. Hopefully, this provides some information of use and interest.

Thanks for your post. Very informative.

On a side note, I wished that we had access to the transcript of the December 1, 2010 Senate space and science subcommitteee hearing that you quoted from. I am not sure why they don't always provide access to transcripts.  I also wished that we had access to the documents that were submitted for the record relating to the hearing. At these Congressional hearings, often a person will answer a question by saying that they will submit an official answer for the record but we never get to see this official answer. I imagine that there is ways of obtaining these documents (through freedom of information request, etc). But I wished that they would simply provide them on the internet with the rest of the documents from the hearing which for the December 1, 2010 hearing can be found here:
http://commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=63c5863f-8419-4aa3-9474-cef769b345f3&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=a06730c4-d875-4fde-97db-9e2be611840e

Understand your frustration. FYI, eventually, the hearing record will be published, but it can take as much as nine months to a year to get that! It will include the complete transcript, the written statements, all questions--and answers--submitted for the record, if any, and any extraneous but related material requested during the hearing or in answer to questions. When published, copies can be obtained through the Superintendent of Documents at the Government Printing Office, or from the Committee document room--though they generally have limited copies in stock. The transcript is available to Members and staff within about a week or ten days of the hearing, but is "unofficial" until checked for errors and edited and cannot be distributed in that form. I "took a chance" in providing an excerpt from it. (Editing is especially needed with NASA hearings, where there's a lot of "jargon" and acronyms that are often used, and the person doing the record may or may not always get them...plus, the proceedings are done by a person speaking into a mouthpiece and then transcribing that verbal account, so they do need to be checked and verified.) Then, the questions have to be formally submitted to witnesses--something that can often take considerable time, and sometimes never get done, as it may be "overtaken by events," or just get lost in the thicket of other business (as at least one member of this site knows all too well!). I think someone (maybe me?) posted a CQ version of the transcript from the December 1st hearing, which had been given wide email distribution, but it may have been yanked due to copyright issues.  Again, it was "unofficial" and its accuracy dependent on the transcriber and any reviewer of it before distribution.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/22/2010 05:39 pm
Thanks. That's good to know.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/22/2010 05:39 pm
This article is worth reading:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/10122-cogress-approves-cr.html

It says that the commercial crew would be difficult to start under a CR. But the extra Shuttle mission wouldn't be a problem.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/22/2010 05:40 pm
What are the overall requirements for the "multipurpose crew vehicle"? Do they include anything like an expanded service module, an add-on mission module (for habitation), refueling capability, or anything like that? Or is the MPCV merely a renaming of Orion?

I am pretty sure that is not the kind of detail that will be resolved by Congress. This is a more of a HEFT recommendation/Bolden decision.
Agreed, but is there any kind of hint about MPCV would be?

This is a little off the topic of appropriations preview per se, but this is what is stated in the law about the MPCV capabilities, in Section 303 (b) of P.L. 111-267:

"(b) MINIMUM CAPABILITY REQUIREMENTS.—The multi-purpose crew vehicle developed pursuant to subsection (a) shall be designed to have, at a minimum, the following:

(1) The capability to serve as the primary crew vehicle for missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
(2) The capability to conduct regular in-space operations, such as rendezvous, docking, and extra-vehicular activities, in conjunction with payloads delivered by the Space Launch System developed pursuant to section 302, or other vehicles, in preparation for missions beyond low-Earth orbit or servicing of assets described in section 804, or other assets in cis-lunar space.
(3) The capability to provide an alternative means of delivery of crew and cargo to the ISS, in the event other vehicles, whether commercial vehicles or partner-supplied vehicles, are unable to perform that function.
(4) The capacity for efficient and timely evolution, including the incorporation of new technologies, competition of sub-elements, and commercial operations."


Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 12/22/2010 05:44 pm
Thanks, 51D! :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 12/22/2010 05:53 pm
This article is worth reading:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/10122-cogress-approves-cr.html

It says that the commercial crew would be difficult to start under a CR. But the extra Shuttle mission wouldn't be a problem.


I don't know about that.  I believe commercial initiatives were something the NASA administration had already received "legal clarity" on from their lawyers in regards to how to fund this under a CR and the new 2010 Authorization Law as guide.  Makes sense too, since this is seemingly the highest priority with respect to the current NASA admin. 

This was discussed at the most recent hearing if I didn't misunderstand.  If so, I'm sure 51D can correct me.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/22/2010 06:33 pm
This article is worth reading:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/10122-cogress-approves-cr.html

It says that the commercial crew would be difficult to start under a CR. But the extra Shuttle mission wouldn't be a problem.


I don't know about that.  I believe commercial initiatives were something the NASA administration had already received "legal clarity" on from their lawyers in regards to how to fund this under a CR and the new 2010 Authorization Law as guide.  Makes sense too, since this is seemingly the highest priority with respect to the current NASA admin. 

This was discussed at the most recent hearing if I didn't misunderstand.  If so, I'm sure 51D can correct me.

You're basically correct on both counts. What should be remembered, however, is that the law prohibits actual contracting for commercial crew services until a series of "requirements" are met (Section 403). Even if those requirements are met in FY 2011, the law enables ONLY up to $50m in actual contract authority for "...a contract or procurement agreement with respect to follow-on commercial crew services."

So, any work actually done regarding commercial crew must be within those constraints, regardless of the funding levels provided by a CR or an eventual FY-2011 appropriations act passed next March as a follow-on the the current CR.

The constraint is meant to apply to actual award of a development contract, and should not limit funding for the required preliminary work to support the requirements or pursue supporting technologies, in my view.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: moose103 on 12/22/2010 07:39 pm
the law prohibits actual contracting for commercial crew services until a series of "requirements" are met (Section 403). Even if those requirements are met in FY 2011, the law enables ONLY up to $50m in actual contract authority

Wait, why are they prohibiting work on commercial crew?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jongoff on 12/22/2010 07:46 pm
This article is worth reading:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/10122-cogress-approves-cr.html

It says that the commercial crew would be difficult to start under a CR. But the extra Shuttle mission wouldn't be a problem.


I don't know about that.  I believe commercial initiatives were something the NASA administration had already received "legal clarity" on from their lawyers in regards to how to fund this under a CR and the new 2010 Authorization Law as guide.  Makes sense too, since this is seemingly the highest priority with respect to the current NASA admin. 

This was discussed at the most recent hearing if I didn't misunderstand.  If so, I'm sure 51D can correct me.

You're basically correct on both counts. What should be remembered, however, is that the law prohibits actual contracting for commercial crew services until a series of "requirements" are met (Section 403). Even if those requirements are met in FY 2011, the law enables ONLY up to $50m in actual contract authority for "...a contract or procurement agreement with respect to follow-on commercial crew services."

So, any work actually done regarding commercial crew must be within those constraints, regardless of the funding levels provided by a CR or an eventual FY-2011 appropriations act passed next March as a follow-on the the current CR.

The constraint is meant to apply to actual award of a development contract, and should not limit funding for the required preliminary work to support the requirements or pursue supporting technologies, in my view.

51D, let me see if I'm understanding this. 

Question 1: Are you saying that the law says they can't procure commercial crew services (something analogous to CRS but for crew) until they've met those requirements?

or do you mean that that NASA can't even contract with a specific provider to develop a capsule until those requirements are met (something more like COTS)?

But they are allowed to keep doing CCDEV like activities?

Question 2: the $50M that's available this year, is that $50M for *both* CCDEV and the COTS-like actual development follow-on (assuming NASA meets all the requirements to unlock that)?  Or is that $50M just referring to the COTS-like follow-on to CCDEV that may happen if NASA meets the congressional requirements on time?

Just trying to wrap my brain around this.  I don't work for a manned spaceflight group, but I'm still trying to make sure I understand what's going on around me.

~Jon
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/22/2010 08:26 pm
This article is worth reading:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/10122-cogress-approves-cr.html

It says that the commercial crew would be difficult to start under a CR. But the extra Shuttle mission wouldn't be a problem.


I don't know about that.  I believe commercial initiatives were something the NASA administration had already received "legal clarity" on from their lawyers in regards to how to fund this under a CR and the new 2010 Authorization Law as guide.  Makes sense too, since this is seemingly the highest priority with respect to the current NASA admin. 

This was discussed at the most recent hearing if I didn't misunderstand.  If so, I'm sure 51D can correct me.

You're basically correct on both counts. What should be remembered, however, is that the law prohibits actual contracting for commercial crew services until a series of "requirements" are met (Section 403). Even if those requirements are met in FY 2011, the law enables ONLY up to $50m in actual contract authority for "...a contract or procurement agreement with respect to follow-on commercial crew services."

So, any work actually done regarding commercial crew must be within those constraints, regardless of the funding levels provided by a CR or an eventual FY-2011 appropriations act passed next March as a follow-on the the current CR.

The constraint is meant to apply to actual award of a development contract, and should not limit funding for the required preliminary work to support the requirements or pursue supporting technologies, in my view.

That's what I understood from the hearing too. But I sort of wondered if NASA wasn't being extra careful on this by waiting to see how much money was going to be appropriated since the award date for CCDev-2 will only be in March or April.

On your other point. I also understood from reading the bill that neither the human rating requirement nor the 50 million threshold apply to CCDev-2. But if I remember correctly the 50 million limit is for a CRS type contract for commercial crew which is unlikely to be awarded in FY 2011 anyways.  At least that is how I understood it.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: PeterAlt on 12/22/2010 08:51 pm
Two questions:

1. How does this latest CR affect planning and funding for STS-135? Does it move forward without being officially part of the manifest? Can STS-135 get added to the manifest without specific appropriations?

2. Could the DHS (node 4) module begin the funding, planning, and development process for a lift to the ISS on an Atlas V in 2013 under CR funding levels?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/22/2010 10:13 pm
The NASA CFO stated at the commerce committee hearing that she believed they could fly STS-135 under a continuing resolution and that that was their intention.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: OpsAnalyst on 12/22/2010 10:13 pm
Two questions:

1. How does this latest CR affect planning and funding for STS-135? Does it move forward without being officially part of the manifest? Can STS-135 get added to the manifest without specific appropriations?

There are sufficient funds to the Shuttle program to enable 135, and NASA is moving forward under the assumption that the mission will be manifested and flown.

2. Could the DHS (node 4) module begin the funding, planning, and development process for a lift to the ISS on an Atlas V in 2013 under CR funding levels?

Could it?  Yes, there's some latitude for "programming" money.  But it isn't called out under the Authorization language, and it constitutes a "new start".  Finally, the CR only runs until March. 

Unlikely.  (Unless there's something afoot I don't know about.  Which happens.  Frequently.   ;D  )


Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: OpsAnalyst on 12/22/2010 10:44 pm
Two questions:

1. How does this latest CR affect planning and funding for STS-135? Does it move forward without being officially part of the manifest? Can STS-135 get added to the manifest without specific appropriations?

There are sufficient funds to the Shuttle program to enable 135, and NASA is moving forward under the assumption that the mission will be manifested and flown.

2. Could the DHS (node 4) module begin the funding, planning, and development process for a lift to the ISS on an Atlas V in 2013 under CR funding levels?

Could it?  Yes, there's some latitude for "programming" money.  But it isn't called out under the Authorization language, and it constitutes a "new start".  Finally, the CR only runs until March. 

Unlikely.  (Unless there's something afoot I don't know about.  Which happens.  Frequently.   ;D  )

(In response to a PM).  Well, OK.  Not _that_ frequently. ;)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/23/2010 12:36 am
This article is worth reading:
http://www.spacenews.com/policy/10122-cogress-approves-cr.html

It says that the commercial crew would be difficult to start under a CR. But the extra Shuttle mission wouldn't be a problem.


I don't know about that.  I believe commercial initiatives were something the NASA administration had already received "legal clarity" on from their lawyers in regards to how to fund this under a CR and the new 2010 Authorization Law as guide.  Makes sense too, since this is seemingly the highest priority with respect to the current NASA admin. 

This was discussed at the most recent hearing if I didn't misunderstand.  If so, I'm sure 51D can correct me.

You're basically correct on both counts. What should be remembered, however, is that the law prohibits actual contracting for commercial crew services until a series of "requirements" are met (Section 403). Even if those requirements are met in FY 2011, the law enables ONLY up to $50m in actual contract authority for "...a contract or procurement agreement with respect to follow-on commercial crew services."

So, any work actually done regarding commercial crew must be within those constraints, regardless of the funding levels provided by a CR or an eventual FY-2011 appropriations act passed next March as a follow-on the the current CR.

The constraint is meant to apply to actual award of a development contract, and should not limit funding for the required preliminary work to support the requirements or pursue supporting technologies, in my view.

51D, let me see if I'm understanding this. 

Question 1: Are you saying that the law says they can't procure commercial crew services (something analogous to CRS but for crew) until they've met those requirements?

or do you mean that that NASA can't even contract with a specific provider to develop a capsule until those requirements are met (something more like COTS)?

But they are allowed to keep doing CCDEV like activities?

Question 2: the $50M that's available this year, is that $50M for *both* CCDEV and the COTS-like actual development follow-on (assuming NASA meets all the requirements to unlock that)?  Or is that $50M just referring to the COTS-like follow-on to CCDEV that may happen if NASA meets the congressional requirements on time?

Just trying to wrap my brain around this.  I don't work for a manned spaceflight group, but I'm still trying to make sure I understand what's going on around me.

~Jon


I don't want to take this too far off the topic of appropriations; there are other threads where the details of the law have been discussed (and cussed), so will try to be brief:

To Question 1, the key point is the focus on meeting the requirements that form the basis for eventual approval of a full commercial crew development activity and services contract, or contracts. (Section 403 of PL 111-267). If, before the end of FY 2011, those requirements are met, NASA can allocate up to $50m of the total amount authorized to undertake a "procurement or contract for follow-on commercial crew services." ($312m is authorized, but under the CR it is not specifically appropriated--but doesn't actually NEED to be, since it is a subset of the total amount authorized for Exploration) Conceivably, the remaining portion of the authorized amount could support activities undertaken to meet the requirements of Section 403, and/or activities under a program such as CCDev, which is specifically authorized in the law (Section 402).

So that should also answer your Question 2, if I'm understanding it correctly. (The $50m limit ONLY applies to any actual procurement commitment or contract for services, and ONLY applies to FY 2011.) So there should be room for a lot of other commercial crew-related activity during the balance of FY 2011, using whatever additional funds are made available up to the amount authorized for commercial crew ($312m).

Does that help clarify?   

Looking at some other questions, some folks seem to think that if there is not a specific allocation of funds for a specific activity in an appropriations bill, whether CR or otherwise, that the activity is not funded. Appropriations most often do not go down to a sub-sub-account level of detail (unless in the form of an earmark, which "skips" to even below that level). So MOST of what NASA does "down and in" the various major programs or projects are not specifically called out in appropriations. NASA has the latitude to use those funds in the major accounts to meet the missions and objectives of the Agency, as guided by the combination of legislative and presidential authority and direction.

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/23/2010 02:03 am
That does help clarify. The legislation wasn't entirely clear on this point. If I understand your post correctly, essentially the $50M requirement means that NASA cannot spend more than $50 million on the follow-on (long term) program (usually called the Commercial Crew Development Program or CCDP) that will follow CCDev-2  or on a CRS-type commercial crew contract in FY 2011. I don't think that NASA intends to spend any money in FY2011 on either the CCDP or on a CRS-type commercial crew contract. So this is not a big impediment in any event. 

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: MP99 on 12/23/2010 03:26 am
This is how I read it...

That does help clarify. The legislation wasn't entirely clear on this point. If I understand your post correctly, essentially the $50M requirement means that NASA cannot spend more than $50 million on the follow-on (long term) program (usually called the Commercial Crew Development Program or CCDP) that will follow CCDev-2  or on a CRS-type commercial crew contract in FY 2011. I don't think that NASA intends to spend any money in FY2011 on either the CCDP or on a CRS-type commercial crew contract. So this is not a big impediment in any event. 

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/23/2010 03:31 am
This is how I read it...

That does help clarify. The legislation wasn't entirely clear on this point. If I understand your post correctly, essentially the $50M requirement means that NASA cannot spend more than $50 million on the follow-on (long term) program (usually called the Commercial Crew Development Program or CCDP) that will follow CCDev-2  or on a CRS-type commercial crew contract in FY 2011. I don't think that NASA intends to spend any money in FY2011 on either the CCDP or on a CRS-type commercial crew contract. So this is not a big impediment in any event. 

cheers, Martin

That's how I first read it but according to 51D Mascot, it seems that by "follow-on program", Congress also meant the (long term) Commercial Crew Development Program (not just a CRS commercial crew type contract).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 12/23/2010 04:58 am
On the SLS front the intent of Congress was also clear from both the Senate and House omnibus appropriations drafts which did not make it due to other concerns unrelated to NASA. A 130 ton initial capability with concurrent and simultaneous development of the upper stage.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/23/2010 05:01 am
This is how I read it...

That does help clarify. The legislation wasn't entirely clear on this point. If I understand your post correctly, essentially the $50M requirement means that NASA cannot spend more than $50 million on the follow-on (long term) program (usually called the Commercial Crew Development Program or CCDP) that will follow CCDev-2  or on a CRS-type commercial crew contract in FY 2011. I don't think that NASA intends to spend any money in FY2011 on either the CCDP or on a CRS-type commercial crew contract. So this is not a big impediment in any event. 

cheers, Martin

That's how I first read it but according to 51D Mascot, it seems that by "follow-on program", Congress also meant the (long term) Commercial Crew Development Program (not just a CRS commercial crew type contract).


Essentially correct. The evaluation of options and determination of the exact nature of the procurement process used for the long-term is among the "requirements" of Section 403, so it is necessarily impossible to be crystal clear on the description of that until that process is complete.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/23/2010 05:57 am
On the SLS front the intent of Congress was also clear from both the Senate and House omnibus appropriations drafts which did not make it due to other concerns unrelated to NASA. A 130 ton initial capability with concurrent and simultaneous development of the upper stage.

The purpose of that language was to ensure that the SLS be designed from its inception to be a 130-ton-plus capability (as provided in P.L. 111-267). The appropriators wanted to insert that 130-ton language to underscore that ultimate objective, in order to avoid any "temptation" for NASA to develop a LEO-capable core element and stop there. It was NOT an attempt to change the approach outlined in P.L. 111-267, which provides for an evolvable development to reach that objective, in which core elements of that evolvable 130-ton vehicle are to be available by the end of 2016 to launch both crew and cargo to ISS, using the MPCV for crew and some cargo configuration, TBD, for cargo, IF--and ONLY IF--commercial crew and cargo services are unavailable at that point.

Had either the full-year CR or the Omnibus bill been adopted, that would have been made clear in a pre-negotiated and pre-approved colloquy on the floor between the authorizers and appropriators to verify that point. The language of that colloquy was fully agreed to, and ready for insertion in the record, in the event either of those approaches were brought to the floor for consideration. Obviously, that didn't happen, and so no such clarification was needed, because with no legislative action or expression, there is no "formal" congressional intent. However, the underlying intent and purpose I have described were agreed to by all parties in the Senate and that common understanding will be communicated, as appropriate, to NASA as SLS development activities get underway, even under the CR.

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/23/2010 08:33 am
Thanks for presenting that, Steven. Helps a lot.

No problem Chris, glad to be of help, even though that Appropriation did not go through. Hopefully there will be a proper Appropriation when the current CR expires on March 4 and we can update that table.

I would also like to add my thanks to 51D Mascot for his very informative posts and explaining what the new CR means.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: clongton on 12/23/2010 11:26 am
On the SLS front the intent of Congress was also clear from both the Senate and House omnibus appropriations drafts which did not make it due to other concerns unrelated to NASA. A 130 ton initial capability with concurrent and simultaneous development of the upper stage.

The purpose of that language was to ensure that the SLS be designed from its inception to be a 130-ton-plus capability (as provided in P.L. 111-267). The appropriators wanted to insert that 130-ton language to underscore that ultimate objective, in order to avoid any "temptation" for NASA to develop a LEO-capable core element and stop there.

Thank you 51D. It's good to see language directing NASA to develop one (1) launch vehicle, capable of 130 tonnes IMLEO rather than two (2) LV's, one for LEO and one for BLEO. The fact that it *can* be flown without the upper stage and deliver 70 tonnes to LEO is a happy circumstance that will be advantageous to the entire American HSF program. It is the same design approach the DIRECT team took with the Jupiter-246.

I do have a question however. The language requires that the core stage and the upper stage be developed simultaneously. But is there any other link between the two stages? In other words, can development be started simultaneously but proceed at different paces subject to funding availability, and allow the core stage to be test flown, perhaps even operationally, before the upper stage is completed? Is there anything in either P.L. 111-267 or in unpublished understandings that would prevent this? I ask because developing the core stage, the upper stage *and* Orion is going to be expensive and full funding for all three simultaneously could potentially be problematic in these economic times. How much latitude does the Administrator have to determine deployment schedule?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 12/23/2010 12:14 pm
On the SLS front the intent of Congress was also clear from both the Senate and House omnibus appropriations drafts which did not make it due to other concerns unrelated to NASA. A 130 ton initial capability with concurrent and simultaneous development of the upper stage.

The purpose of that language was to ensure that the SLS be designed from its inception to be a 130-ton-plus capability (as provided in P.L. 111-267). The appropriators wanted to insert that 130-ton language to underscore that ultimate objective, in order to avoid any "temptation" for NASA to develop a LEO-capable core element and stop there.

Thank you 51D. It's good to see language directing NASA to develop one (1) launch vehicle, capable of 130 tonnes IMLEO rather than two (2) LV's, one for LEO and one for BLEO. The fact that it *can* be flown without the upper stage and deliver 70 tonnes to LEO is a happy circumstance that will be advantageous to the entire American HSF program. It is the same design approach the DIRECT team took with the Jupiter-246.

I do have a question however. The language requires that the core stage and the upper stage be developed simultaneously. But is there any other link between the two stages? In other words, can development be started simultaneously but proceed at different paces subject to funding availability, and allow the core stage to be test flown, perhaps even operationally, before the upper stage is completed? Is there anything in either P.L. 111-267 or in unpublished understandings that would prevent this? I ask because developing the core stage, the upper stage *and* Orion is going to be expensive and full funding for all three simultaneously could potentially be problematic in these economic times. How much latitude does the Administrator have to determine deployment schedule?

Again, strictly speaking, there is not any new language linking development of the core and upper stages in a concurrent fashion, since that language was never adopted. On the other hand, it's not inconsistent with P.L. 111-267 that there be concurrent development, meaning in the same general time-frame--PROVIDED funds are available. The priority focus must be the core stage and associated elements (without which, of course, an upper stage is not useful). So the latitude is there regarding the deployment schedule.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 12/23/2010 04:06 pm
Again, strictly speaking, there is not any new language linking development of the core and upper stages in a concurrent fashion, since that language was never adopted. On the other hand, it's not inconsistent with P.L. 111-267 that there be concurrent development, meaning in the same general time-frame--PROVIDED funds are available. The priority focus must be the core stage and associated elements (without which, of course, an upper stage is not useful). So the latitude is there regarding the deployment schedule.

I understood that language to indirectly mean that the contracts for the development of the 5 segment boosters and the J-2X shouldn't be cancelled.

Obviously Congress can't write it that way in the legislation but continuing these two contracts would demonstrate that NASA is working on the upper stage and on the 130 tons capability concurrently with the core stage.   
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: PeterAlt on 12/28/2010 08:36 pm
I just read the following article in the Orlando Sentinal....

Link: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-nasa-ares-rocket-constellation-20101227,0,2096166.story

The article says that it may be cheaper and safer to use a liquid fuel system versus the solid rocket motors as was the plan with Ares. Is that true, considering the shuttle-derived solid motor and the Ares evolution of that has advanced in as far as where it is in the development cycle. A liquid fuel heavy lift system would require a complete restart as far as it's development is concerned and we would be better off buying the technology Energia developed in the late 1980's-early 90's for Buran. Am I wrong? Could abandonment of the solid fuel motors for a liquid fueled heavy lift system actually be cheaper, considering that no development work had actually begun on a liquid fuel launch system capable of lifting 140 tons to orbit? The article says a rocket explosion with a solid rocket motor system would make any crew escape system unable to actually rescue the crew because of the nature of a solid rocket explosion. Is that true? Also, the article mentions a $500 million launch complex built for Ares rockets. Has that money actually been wasted? Could it be used for SLS or upgraded for SLS use?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 12/28/2010 09:13 pm
Link: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-nasa-ares-rocket-constellation-20101227,0,2096166.story

Cherry-picking:

Quote
A liquid fuel heavy lift system would require a complete restart as far as it's development is concerned

No it wouldn't.  An SSME core with Atlas CCBs as LRBs would be an incremental development, not a complete restart.  See AJAX.

Quote
Could abandonment of the solid fuel motors for a liquid fueled heavy lift system actually be cheaper

Yes, by eliminating the SRB supply chain infrastructure and replacing it with an LRB infrastructure shared with USAF/EELV.

Quote
The article says a rocket explosion with a solid rocket motor system would make any crew escape system unable to actually rescue the crew because of the nature of a solid rocket explosion. Is that true?

No, solids aren't quite that bad, unless the first stage is powered solely by solid propulsion as was the case with Ares I.  There is no evidence a crewed spacecraft on a DIRECT Jupiter-like vehicle would be unable to successfully escape a launch abort.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 12/28/2010 09:50 pm
That article seems to confirm that NASA is still bound by the FY2010 language that prohibits it from canceling any PPAs. Quite silly.

I hope Congress gets it's act together next year.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Proponent on 12/28/2010 10:03 pm
Quote
A liquid fuel heavy lift system would require a complete restart as far as it's development is concerned

No it wouldn't.  An SSME core with Atlas CCBs as LRBs would be an incremental development, not a complete restart.  See AJAX.

Or see ULA's proposals for evolved Atlases.

Quote
Quote
The article says a rocket explosion with a solid rocket motor system would make any crew escape system unable to actually rescue the crew because of the nature of a solid rocket explosion. Is that true?

No, solids aren't quite that bad, unless the first stage is powered solely by solid propulsion as was the case with Ares I.  There is no evidence a crewed spacecraft on a DIRECT Jupiter-like vehicle would be unable to successfully escape a launch abort.

Other things equal, I'd still rather ride an all-liquid booster to orbit than a liquid-solid combination:  solid failures are more likely to be catastrophic (of the "boom!" variety as opposed to quiescent shutdowns); liquids are easier to monitor, so trouble can be detected earlier; liquids can easily and gracefully be shutdown in flight, making aborts easier.  Liquids can also be test-fired.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 12/28/2010 10:29 pm
Adding a bit to sdsds and Proponent here.
I just read the following article in the Orlando Sentinal....

Link: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-nasa-ares-rocket-constellation-20101227,0,2096166.story

The article says that it may be cheaper and safer to use a liquid fuel system versus the solid rocket motors as was the plan with Ares. Is that true, considering the shuttle-derived solid motor and the Ares evolution of that has advanced in as far as where it is in the development cycle. A liquid fuel heavy lift system would require a complete restart as far as it's development is concerned and we would be better off buying the technology Energia developed in the late 1980's-early 90's for Buran. Am I wrong?
We already bought that technology, it flys with every launch of the Atlas V, which derives it's engine from the one Buran used in it's LRBs.  The Atlas CCB is a very optimal booster design.
Quote
Could abandonment of the solid fuel motors for a liquid fueled heavy lift system actually be cheaper, considering that no development work had actually begun on a liquid fuel launch system capable of lifting 140 tons to orbit?
You are quite wrong about no development work, as the Atlas R&D was finished quite awhile ago, and it is considered a mature system. The main development work would be on the ET, which is considered by NASA a minor project.
Quote
Also, the article mentions a $500 million launch complex built for Ares rockets. Has that money actually been wasted? Could it be used for SLS or upgraded for SLS use?
That is the launch tower, and as the Saturn V's tower was repurposed for shuttle, there is no reason for the Ares tower to not be repurposed for SLS, and the discussions have been focused on that.  AJAX, the LRB shuttle derived concept, would not even need the access tower on the Ares pad removed, as the lighter weight of the AJAX vs the SRB derived designs would mean that we could restore LC-39 to a flat-pad, with the access tower on the MLP again.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 01/01/2011 10:12 pm
No clustered RL10 upper stage will suffice; no four-segment SRBs will suffice.  Starting with RL10 and four-seg and switching later if the performance were actually needed is right out.

Congress is saying to NASA, "The SLS must use J-2X and RSRMV, and implicitly SSME.  Live with it, because those are the only propulsion solutions for which we're willing to appropriate funding."

If the performance were actually needed? No real performance is needed. These "performance requirements" have no connection to any sort of planned mission or payload. They are to simply to make sure that "our" tax dollars continued to be funneled to certain well connected contractors.

Returning to this topic after some thought....  The thinking behind the Congressional view doesn't seem to be solely about funneling dollars to contractors.  There also seems to be an authentic desire to see NASA working on achieving a certain level of capability.

Specifically comparing a J-2X stage with an ACES-like stage using four RL10 engines, Jon Barr on behalf of United Launch Alliance subtly suggests an interesting compromise:  use both!

http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Barr_11-3-10/Barr%2011-3-10.pdf

On page number 2 (the third page of the pdf) Barr shows a vehicle with a J-2X second stage and an ACES third stage.  The vehicle is shown as providing 25t to C3=10.  (Why 10?  Dunno.)

Of course with Barr being from ULA the first stage shown is hydrocarbon.  But couldn't the same approach work with SSME+SRB?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 01/01/2011 10:30 pm
No clustered RL10 upper stage will suffice; no four-segment SRBs will suffice.  Starting with RL10 and four-seg and switching later if the performance were actually needed is right out.

Congress is saying to NASA, "The SLS must use J-2X and RSRMV, and implicitly SSME.  Live with it, because those are the only propulsion solutions for which we're willing to appropriate funding."

If the performance were actually needed? No real performance is needed. These "performance requirements" have no connection to any sort of planned mission or payload. They are to simply to make sure that "our" tax dollars continued to be funneled to certain well connected contractors.

Returning to this topic after some thought....  The thinking behind the Congressional view doesn't seem to be solely about funneling dollars to contractors.  There also seems to be an authentic desire to see NASA working on achieving a certain level of capability.

Specifically comparing a J-2X stage with an ACES-like stage using four RL10 engines, Jon Barr on behalf of United Launch Alliance subtly suggests an interesting compromise:  use both!

http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Barr_11-3-10/Barr%2011-3-10.pdf

On page number 2 (the third page of the pdf) Barr shows a vehicle with a J-2X second stage and an ACES third stage.  The vehicle is shown as providing 25t to C3=10.  (Why 10?  Dunno.)

Of course with Barr being from ULA the first stage shown is hydrocarbon.  But couldn't the same approach work with SSME+SRB?
Would not be as efficient in an SSME + SRB basis.  You'd be just doing one hydrolox stage with two.  Would still work, but would be costly.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 01/02/2011 02:03 am
http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Barr_11-3-10/Barr%2011-3-10.pdf

On page number 2 (the third page of the pdf) Barr shows a vehicle with a J-2X second stage and an ACES third stage.  The vehicle is shown as providing 25t to C3=10.  (Why 10?  Dunno.)

Of course with Barr being from ULA the first stage shown is hydrocarbon.

But NOT RD-180. Rather, it assumes a new hydrocarbon engine on each of the Delta IV-derived cores. This a spiritual successor of Atlas V Phase II, but by this point, the only thing it has in common with Atlas V is the RL-10s!

Still, the evolution on the third slide is very logical, and hopefully one of the eigenstates in HEFT's RP-1 HLV study...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: alexw on 01/02/2011 02:27 am
http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Barr_11-3-10/Barr%2011-3-10.pdf
On page number 2 (the third page of the pdf) Barr shows a vehicle with a J-2X second stage and an ACES third stage.  The vehicle is shown as providing 25t to C3=10.  (Why 10?  Dunno.)
Of course with Barr being from ULA the first stage shown is hydrocarbon.
But NOT RD-180. Rather, it assumes a new hydrocarbon engine on each of the Delta IV-derived cores. This a spiritual successor of Atlas V Phase II, but by this point, the only thing it has in common with Atlas V is the RL-10s!
Still, the evolution on the third slide is very logical, and hopefully one of the eigenstates in HEFT's RP-1 HLV study...
   It is Atlas V Phase II, as it labels at the top, and parenthetically notes at the bottom "(or 2xRD-180)".

From BK2010 (pg. 5):
Quote
The Baseline EELV Phase 2 is based on a pair of RD-180s, but a new Hydrocarbon Boost Engine could be perfect match with this concept. Performance can scale from near the current HLV performance with 1Mlb thrust, up to the quoted 70 to 80t with a 2Mlb thrust HCB engine (or dual 1Mlb engine installation for better Atlas V compatibility). Phase 2 booster vehicles could even initially incorporate the existing RD-180 with the first flight of the Phase 2 booster in 2017 or 2018. These new boosters could then be matured over several years before they would be evolved to incorporate the HCB engine.

Even if it used a new HCB engine from the outset, it would still have a good deal more in common with Atlas: Centaur-heritage upper stage, avionics, and (with a new MLP) perhaps even the same CONOPS from LC-41. (NASA need not go for LC-39...)

Using the J-2X intermediate stage plus ACES-41 for high-C3 seems rather like a solution looking for a problem. If ACES can indeed be built with extensible barrel sections and variable numbers of RL-10s, then 6xRL-10 ACES-71 is already supposed to match the J-2X AIUS-heritage variant's performance to LEO (80mT), and older references to Phase II performance (AV PPG rev.10a pg. 8-9) give C3=0 -> 27mT and C3=20 -> 20mT. That would seem comparable to the three-stage concept's C3=10 -> 25mT, without needing to support J-2X and an entire dedicated 5.5m AIUS-heritage production line.

   -Alex
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 01/02/2011 05:10 am
If the intention were for it to be RD-180 powered, it wouldn't be parenthetical. And it doesn't say "Atlas Phase 2", it says "EELV Phase 2". It would have a new engine, a new pad/MLP, Delta-derived first stage tanks, an Ares/Saturn-derived second stage, and an optional third stage derived form both Centaur and Delta IV-US (but which is neither). Again, the only thing that it really shares with Atlas is propellant type and upper stage engines...

And if avionics counts as heritage, then Ares I-X was Atlas-derived...  ::)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 01/17/2011 02:50 am
http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/15/congressman-promises-more-oversight-after-urgent-call-to-action-by-nasa/

NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin wrote letters to Congressman Hall and others on Thursday calling their attention to the unnecessary expenditures, writing that the situation “requires immediate action by Congress.” “Without congressional intervention, by the end of February 2011 NASA anticipates spending up to $215 million on Constellation projects that, absent the restrictive appropriations language, it would have considered canceling or significantly scaling back,” wrote Martin. The continuing resolution funding the government, Martin wrote, “carries over … restrictions and prohibits initiation of new projects, NASA is continuing to spend approximately $200 million each month on the Constellation Program, aspects of which both NASA and Congress have agreed not to build.”

Hall’s statement responded, in part, to Martin’s call for urgent action to prevent wasteful spending. Hall wrote, “NASA should be taking steps to prioritize spending on projects that are likely to have applicability in a future heavy lift vehicle, in an effort to maintain production lines and reduce inefficient use of taxpayer funds.” Hall further stated, “I agree with the NASA OIG that this is an issue that the Appropriators will need to deal with in an expedient manner, in order to avoid wasteful spending.”

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has reportedly written legislation to repeal the provision that currently mandates spending on the Constellation program.


Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 01/17/2011 03:32 am
http://dailycaller.com/2011/01/15/congressman-promises-more-oversight-after-urgent-call-to-action-by-nasa/

NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin wrote letters to Congressman Hall and others on Thursday calling their attention to the unnecessary expenditures, writing that the situation “requires immediate action by Congress.” “Without congressional intervention, by the end of February 2011 NASA anticipates spending up to $215 million on Constellation projects that, absent the restrictive appropriations language, it would have considered canceling or significantly scaling back,” wrote Martin. The continuing resolution funding the government, Martin wrote, “carries over … restrictions and prohibits initiation of new projects, NASA is continuing to spend approximately $200 million each month on the Constellation Program, aspects of which both NASA and Congress have agreed not to build.”

Hall’s statement responded, in part, to Martin’s call for urgent action to prevent wasteful spending. Hall wrote, “NASA should be taking steps to prioritize spending on projects that are likely to have applicability in a future heavy lift vehicle, in an effort to maintain production lines and reduce inefficient use of taxpayer funds.” Hall further stated, “I agree with the NASA OIG that this is an issue that the Appropriators will need to deal with in an expedient manner, in order to avoid wasteful spending.”

Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has reportedly written legislation to repeal the provision that currently mandates spending on the Constellation program.




Good news, and one prediction of mine that came true :).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: marsavian on 01/23/2011 11:46 am
http://blog.al.com/space-news/2011/01/looming_nasa_funding_fight_cre.html

If they don't need his vote to pass budget cuts, the House Republican leadership could help preserve Brooks' seat by agreeing to let him vote against them and in favor of NASA.

"If they're smart about the political theater," said political science professor Dr. Jess Brown of Athens State University, "they'll cut NASA and let the Republicans from NASA states protest and then put a little back in the budget for them."
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Joris on 01/23/2011 02:07 pm
If the intention were for it to be RD-180 powered, it wouldn't be parenthetical. And it doesn't say "Atlas Phase 2", it says "EELV Phase 2". It would have a new engine, a new pad/MLP, Delta-derived first stage tanks, an Ares/Saturn-derived second stage, and an optional third stage derived form both Centaur and Delta IV-US (but which is neither). Again, the only thing that it really shares with Atlas is propellant type and upper stage engines...

And if avionics counts as heritage, then Ares I-X was Atlas-derived...  ::)

Every rocket is A4-derived...  ;)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: JohnFornaro on 01/23/2011 02:51 pm
Quote
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has reportedly written legislation to repeal the provision that currently mandates spending on the Constellation program.

I think this is very good news also.  I'm glad that Senator Nelson is now, in my opinion, becoming more a part of the solution to the thorny problem of these wasteful expenditures on this unnecessary program.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Halidon on 01/23/2011 09:33 pm
Quote
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has reportedly written legislation to repeal the provision that currently mandates spending on the Constellation program.

I think this is very good news also.  I'm glad that Senator Nelson is now, in my opinion, becoming more a part of the solution to the thorny problem of these wasteful expenditures on this unnecessary program.

Sadly, I can easily see certain legislators embracing that language not to empower NASA to move on with a new program, but as an excuse to remove that funding from NASA entirely.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Oberon_Command on 01/23/2011 09:54 pm
Quote
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has reportedly written legislation to repeal the provision that currently mandates spending on the Constellation program.

I think this is very good news also.  I'm glad that Senator Nelson is now, in my opinion, becoming more a part of the solution to the thorny problem of these wasteful expenditures on this unnecessary program.

Sadly, I can easily see certain legislators embracing that language not to empower NASA to move on with a new program, but as an excuse to remove that funding from NASA entirely.

Which ones?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 01/23/2011 09:58 pm
Quote
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has reportedly written legislation to repeal the provision that currently mandates spending on the Constellation program.

I think this is very good news also.  I'm glad that Senator Nelson is now, in my opinion, becoming more a part of the solution to the thorny problem of these wasteful expenditures on this unnecessary program.

Sadly, I can easily see certain legislators embracing that language not to empower NASA to move on with a new program, but as an excuse to remove that funding from NASA entirely.

I don't know about that, at least in the Senate they said the appropriations committee was on board with the new law/direction.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Halidon on 01/24/2011 04:15 am
Quote
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has reportedly written legislation to repeal the provision that currently mandates spending on the Constellation program.

I think this is very good news also.  I'm glad that Senator Nelson is now, in my opinion, becoming more a part of the solution to the thorny problem of these wasteful expenditures on this unnecessary program.

Sadly, I can easily see certain legislators embracing that language not to empower NASA to move on with a new program, but as an excuse to remove that funding from NASA entirely.

Which ones?
These (http://rsc.jordan.house.gov/Solutions/SRA.htm), to start.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Adam K on 01/25/2011 04:22 am
What they need to cut are the things that are really hurting the country...   ENTITLEMENTS AND DEFENSE!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 01/25/2011 04:30 am
What they need to cut are the things that are really hurting the country...   ENTITLEMENTS AND DEFENSE!
Technically, we don't need to cut anything.  Our issue is with a failure to collect on 1/3rd of our tax revenue in combination with a tax structure which favors harming the economy vs growing it.  Our Budget is actually smaller in comparison to GDP growth of the budget in 1955, the issue is our tax collection is only 40% of what we need to function. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Khadgars on 01/25/2011 05:13 am
What they need to cut are the things that are really hurting the country...   ENTITLEMENTS AND DEFENSE!
Technically, we don't need to cut anything.  Our issue is with a failure to collect on 1/3rd of our tax revenue in combination with a tax structure which favors harming the economy vs growing it.  Our Budget is actually smaller in comparison to GDP growth of the budget in 1955, the issue is our tax collection is only 40% of what we need to function. 

Completely agree with you, which most it started under Ronald Reagan.  Though my only gripe is the massive DOD budget of over $700 billion.  The only time in the last 30 years the budget was ever balanced was when we drastically reduced defense spending under Clinton while as the same time increasing taxes in the way you just described.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Khadgars on 01/25/2011 05:16 am
What they need to cut are the things that are really hurting the country...   ENTITLEMENTS AND DEFENSE!

Entitlements have been around for a very long long time and almost never caused any major budget deficits until Ronald Reagan and the new "conservative movement" decided giving tax breaks to transnational corporations and the wealthiest 5% was a better idea than providing for the average person that was part of our country for over half a century.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 01/25/2011 05:40 am
What they need to cut are the things that are really hurting the country...   ENTITLEMENTS AND DEFENSE!
Technically, we don't need to cut anything.  Our issue is with a failure to collect on 1/3rd of our tax revenue in combination with a tax structure which favors harming the economy vs growing it.  Our Budget is actually smaller in comparison to GDP growth of the budget in 1955, the issue is our tax collection is only 40% of what we need to function. 

Completely agree with you, which most it started under Ronald Reagan.  Though my only gripe is the massive DOD budget of over $700 billion.  The only time in the last 30 years the budget was ever balanced was when we drastically reduced defense spending under Clinton while as the same time increasing taxes in the way you just described.
There is plenty of blame to throw around, to both parties.  So I say, "Everyone is guilty.  Get over it!  Now, instead of dwelling on the past, do whats right for the future."

It is a snowball, bad ideas upon bad ideas.  Following the economic model of a science fiction writer rather than economists.  Instead of blaming this president, or that Congress leader, just focus on plans which are proven to work.  We don't have time to waste with frivolous actions, the blame game. 

To look at the Appropriations here, it's a step in the right direction.  We're focusing on developing upon what we have.  Is it perfect?  No.  But it works.  And while I would find DIRECT a better choice, even the Ares V Classic is something we *can* afford, although not on Congresses schedule I am afraid.  Is it as cheap as DIRECT or AJAX?  No.  But it is doable.  They're taking what they have and using it.  And for that I can do nothing but cheer for them.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: PeterAlt on 01/25/2011 09:46 pm
I have C-SPAN on now. Looks like the House voted on a resolution to reduce spending to 2008 levels. The way they're talking, nothing looks safe from being cut. The even worse news is that they're talking about redoing the not-yet-passed 2011 appropriations to reflect these cuts. And worse than that (if possible) they're promising another CR at 2008 levels in March, if the rewritten 2011 appropriations isn't ready by then. Ironically, the Presidents 2012 budget request is due later this week, while Congress plays games and fails to pass 2011 appropriations!

The good news is whatever harm the House can and will do, we have level-headed lawmakers over in the other chamber of Congress. Hopefully, the Senate will be able to moderate the madness some through the compromise committees. Also, they have not (yet) specifically targeted NASA as an area to cut, so there's still a chance NASA will be immune to this, but its not looking good.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: no_bull on 01/27/2011 11:02 pm
I have C-SPAN on now. Looks like the House voted on a resolution to reduce spending to 2008 levels. The way they're talking, nothing looks safe from being cut. The even worse news is that they're talking about redoing the not-yet-passed 2011 appropriations to reflect these cuts. And worse than that (if possible) they're promising another CR at 2008 levels in March, if the rewritten 2011 appropriations isn't ready by then. Ironically, the Presidents 2012 budget request is due later this week, while Congress plays games and fails to pass 2011 appropriations!

The good news is whatever harm the House can and will do, we have level-headed lawmakers over in the other chamber of Congress. Hopefully, the Senate will be able to moderate the madness some through the compromise committees. Also, they have not (yet) specifically targeted NASA as an area to cut, so there's still a chance NASA will be immune to this, but its not looking good.

You need to look at the rules of the House and Senate. If the House passes it's version of the budget, and a compromise can not be reached with the senate, then the lower numbers of either the House or Senate will prevail in a continuing resolution. I predict this is their plan: pass a much reduced budget with a continuing resolution for the rest of the year, and if they can't reach agreement with the Senate .... too bad ... their numbers prevail for the rest of the year.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 01/27/2011 11:16 pm
I have C-SPAN on now. Looks like the House voted on a resolution to reduce spending to 2008 levels. The way they're talking, nothing looks safe from being cut. The even worse news is that they're talking about redoing the not-yet-passed 2011 appropriations to reflect these cuts. And worse than that (if possible) they're promising another CR at 2008 levels in March, if the rewritten 2011 appropriations isn't ready by then. Ironically, the Presidents 2012 budget request is due later this week, while Congress plays games and fails to pass 2011 appropriations!

The good news is whatever harm the House can and will do, we have level-headed lawmakers over in the other chamber of Congress. Hopefully, the Senate will be able to moderate the madness some through the compromise committees. Also, they have not (yet) specifically targeted NASA as an area to cut, so there's still a chance NASA will be immune to this, but its not looking good.

You need to look at the rules of the House and Senate. If the House passes it's version of the budget, and a compromise can not be reached with the senate, then the lower numbers of either the House or Senate will prevail in a continuing resolution. I predict this is their plan: pass a much reduced budget with a continuing resolution for the rest of the year, and if they can't reach agreement with the Senate .... too bad ... their numbers prevail for the rest of the year.
This can, of course, blow up in their faces as well if the Senate puts forth incredibly low numbers....

Or if the Senate does not pass a budget resolution at all.  Then the existing budget carries forward.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/27/2011 11:17 pm
Throwing in a question on this, from the position of being politically inept...

Is it fair to say there's far more lawmakers who'd openly fight to protect NASA's budget than there are those who'd be happy to see it "lowered" - or even target NASA for such treatment?

And would pro-NASA lawmakers openly involve themselves with a partizan effort, as opposed to following any particular party line?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 01/27/2011 11:28 pm
Throwing in a question on this, from the position of being politically inept...

Is it fair to say there's far more lawmakers who'd openly fight to protect NASA's budget than there are those who'd be happy to see it "lowered" - or even target NASA for such treatment?

And would pro-NASA lawmakers openly involve themselves with a partizan effort, as opposed to following any particular party line?
Short answer: yes.

Long version:
I think Obama has thrown down the gauntlet (wrt a challenge) for R&D spending in the latest State of the Union address. If there are political winds to curb spending, NASA would seem to be one place where you wouldn't want that to happen. Looking at the recent budget process is proof that NASA has quite a few allies. Of course Obama wanted to focus NASA more on R&D, but to maintain 'everything else' they made the compromise to shift funds to hardware development, rather than long-term investments.

Also, NASA has some of the greatest support with people, and is clearly one of the few places where people find optomism in an otherwise dismal situation. But nobody wants to reduce spending on something that affects them - whether it's a transit plan or health care. Something will have to be reduced, and in a big way, but I think defense & other departments and agencies will be further up on that list than NASA.

Of course when the US debt fiancing gets degraded, as it seems it will in the next 1-2 years, there will be a force unlike any other t be reckoned with.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 02/09/2011 05:57 pm
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/09/2011 06:00 pm
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.

Wonderful! See how much they care about NASA?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 02/09/2011 06:04 pm
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.

Wonderful! See how much they care about NASA?
Considering how much is being proposed being cut elsewhere, this is good news.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 02/09/2011 07:05 pm
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.

Wonderful! See how much they care about NASA?
Considering how much is being proposed being cut elsewhere, this is good news.

Agree!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: RocketEconomist327 on 02/09/2011 07:13 pm
Said it before, will say it again.  NASA is the one agency in the government that will bring a smile to most politician's face.

That being said, no free ride.

VR
RE327
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 02/09/2011 08:36 pm
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.

Wonderful! See how much they care about NASA?
Considering how much is being proposed being cut elsewhere, this is good news.

Agree!

Yes better than expected.

The total for NASA would essentially be $18.6B for FY 2011 under this proposal (compared to $19B that is being proposed under the FY 2011 President's budget).

The NASA budget is currently $18.7B under the CR (which is the same amount as the FY 2010 NASA Budget).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 02/09/2011 09:51 pm
Where would the cuts go? Deferring the operational dates of SLS or MPCV?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 02/09/2011 09:58 pm
Where would the cuts go? Deferring the operational dates of SLS or MPCV?
The House wants to cut earth science.

The Senate has yet to weigh in.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 02/09/2011 10:10 pm
Where would the cuts go? Deferring the operational dates of SLS or MPCV?

Not ANY chance of that, I think I can safely assure you--it would never get through the Senate with provisions like that--bear in mind, a key author of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 is now the Senior Republican member (Ranking) of the CJS Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over NASA appropriations. She has replaced Senator Richard Shelby in that role, who also remains a member of the subcommittee.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: MP99 on 02/09/2011 10:44 pm
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.

Urk, they want to cut Chris' budget, too:-

Quote
NASA   -$379M
NSF   -$139M

 :o

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/09/2011 10:55 pm
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.

Urk, they want to cut Chris' budget, too:-

Quote
NASA   -$379M
NSF   -$139M

 :o

cheers, Martin
:D
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 02/09/2011 11:08 pm
Where would the cuts go? Deferring the operational dates of SLS or MPCV?

Not ANY chance of that, I think I can safely assure you--it would never get through the Senate with provisions like that--bear in mind, a key author of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 is now the Senior Republican member (Ranking) of the CJS Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over NASA appropriations. She has replaced Senator Richard Shelby in that role, who also remains a member of the subcommittee.

I think that Bolden has said that if he had to cut, he would cut in the 21st century century complex funding as the work on this can be deferred without a significant impact.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: FinalFrontier on 02/09/2011 11:23 pm
Here is what i want (and due to my job actually need) to know. WHEN are they going to vote on the 2011 budget and when can it be expected to fully pass (and i mean appropriated too). When I say "pass" i mean to the point that the money is actually available and were actually on the budget instead of CRS. Seem to recall budget already passed but then got stuck somewhere, hence everything is on crs atm. Really would like to get a time table on this mess.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 02/09/2011 11:39 pm
Here is what i want (and due to my job actually need) to know. WHEN are they going to vote on the 2011 budget and when can it be expected to fully pass (and i mean appropriated too). When I say "pass" i mean to the point that the money is actually available and were actually on the budget instead of CRS. Seem to recall budget already passed but then got stuck somewhere, hence everything is on crs atm. Really would like to get a time table on this mess.

It looks like they are going to go with CRs for the rest of FY2011.

Money will be "available" but it just will not be broken down in as much detail as a regular appropriations bill. This next one is not going to be a "clean" CR like before in that there will be modifications to various programs funding levels, but since it is still a CR I would assume NASA will have more discretion as to the allocation of funds than they would under a regular appropriations process (assuming it finally removes that restriction on program starts/termination).

I'm sure 51D can clarify better.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Malderi on 02/09/2011 11:47 pm
Quote
I think that Bolden has said that if he had to cut, he would cut in the 21st century century complex funding as the work on this can be deferred without a significant impact.

Makes me wonder if that's why that line item exists, then - buffer for cuts. :-) Not that it wouldn't be useful, of course, on its own.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 02/09/2011 11:58 pm
Here is what i want (and due to my job actually need) to know. WHEN are they going to vote on the 2011 budget and when can it be expected to fully pass (and i mean appropriated too). When I say "pass" i mean to the point that the money is actually available and were actually on the budget instead of CRS. Seem to recall budget already passed but then got stuck somewhere, hence everything is on crs atm. Really would like to get a time table on this mess.

The current Continuing Resolution (CR) funds NASA (and the rest of the government) until March 4th. Before that date, the Congress must pass either an actual appropriations bill (not likely) or another CR, probably for the balance of the FY 2011 fiscal year. What you're seeing in recent posts here are numbers that the House Appropriations leadership are proposing be included in the next CR to govern top-level funding for the agencies listed in their release, which would include NASA. NASA is currently funded by the existing CR at FY 2010 enacted levels, as noted in a previous post by yg. So, the answer to that key question of "when" as best it is possible to answer right now, is "before March 5th."

But there is some apparent confusion in terms or semantics in part of your question I'll try to clarify to make sure I'm getting the question right and responding with some hopefully useful info.

Being "on the budget" and having funds appropriated, either by a CR or an actual appropriations bill, are essentially both the same thing. The only way agencies like NASA get funding is through appropriations. The amount appropriated is determined by a several factors that are part of a complex process:

1. What is REQUESTED by the President (i.e., "The Budget" that the President sends to Congress every year for the following fiscal year; the FY 2012 Budget Request is due to be provided to the Congress on February 15th),

2. The amounts authorized to be appropriated (numbers which are provided to the Budget Committee at the beginning of each year by the authorizing committees, in something called "Views and Estimates"; for NASA, those numbers would be those reflected in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act - P.L. 111-267 - with any adjustments the Committees of jurisdiction want to recommend),

3. The Budget Resolution prepared by the Budget Committees of both Houses, (and based roughly on the inputs from Steps 1 and 2, above) which sets spending "targets", but is non-binding (I know, crazy, but it's part of the process because of the next step),

4. The "allocations"  made by the Appropriations Committees to the respective Appropriations subcommittees (i.e., their "piece of the pie," which are in general reflective of the allocations and targets of the Budget Resolution (Step 3, above).  For NASA, that is the Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittees and related accounts.

5. How the subcommittee divides up their "piece of the pie" among the agencies or programs within their jurisdiction, resulting in their development of an appropriations "bill" which is then subject to review by the full appropriations committee before being reported to the respective chambers for action. This step is probably the closest thing up to this point to what might be referred to as a "budget" per se, since it reflects numbers the agencies are actually proposed to be given to spend. But, of course, it is not effective unless and until it is passed by both Houses of Congress and signed into law. (This is the stage where most appropriations bills got stopped last year, which resulted in the need for a Continuing Resolution, then an attempted Omnibus Appropriations in the lame duck session, which didn't pass, so the next option was the CR currently in force.)

I guess it seemed useful to go through that, because with the FY 2012 Budget Request coming out next week and the FY 2011 funding issues to be resolved in the following two weeks, it's going to get REALLY CONFUSING what numbers are being talked about at any given time, and what programs are going to be affected in what ways by the proposed amounts.

Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kkattula on 02/10/2011 02:30 am
... The amount appropriated is determined by a several factors that are part of a complex process:

...


I have no idea why people complain about government being ineffcient... ;)

Am I correct that the recent 2010 Authorization act was for the FY 2011 budget which covers the period from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011?

Edit:  Oh, and can the appropriations bill appropriate money for anything that wasn't authorized?  Or just alter the amount?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 02/10/2011 04:49 am
... The amount appropriated is determined by a several factors that are part of a complex process:

...


I have no idea why people complain about government being ineffcient... ;)

Am I correct that the recent 2010 Authorization act was for the FY 2011 budget which covers the period from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011?

Edit:  Oh, and can the appropriations bill appropriate money for anything that wasn't authorized?  Or just alter the amount?

The 2010 Act included authorization of amounts that could be appropriated for FY 2011, 2012 and 2013. They are not required to be one-year bills, as are appropriations.

Appropriators can modify amounts, thought technically cannot appropriate funds not authorized. But for many years there were no authorization bills, so appropriating "authority" became something based on general reference to broad authorities granted by previously-enacted authorizations still "on the books," and they could change adjust levels and stipulate conditions for expenditure as long as the authorizing committees raised no objection during consideration of the appropriations bills on the floor. 

This past year, at least in the Senate, and a bit less so in the House, there was a concerted effort to coordinate the numbers for the broader account levels within the overall NASA appropriations with those established in the FY 2010 Authorization Act, which was fairly successful. Now that Senator Hutchison is the senior Republican member of BOTH the Authorizing Committee for NASA and the Appropriations Subcommittee for NASA, you will likely see that coordination continue at least for the next couple of years.

Some confusion may come from the titles of the Authorization bills, which usually have a particular year included in the title. That year with which they are associated reflects the year they were enacted, not the year(s) for which they provide authorization levels. That's mostly because they contain far more in them than simply authorizations of funding levels. That is generally only one Section of any given authorization Act--maybe 2 or 3 percent of the entire bill; the rest is policy and direction to the Agency regarding programs and priorities.

Clear as mud? hehe....
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/10/2011 04:51 am
The current Continuing Resolution (CR) funds NASA (and the rest of the government) until March 4th. Before that date, the Congress must pass either an actual appropriations bill (not likely) or another CR, probably for the balance of the FY 2011 fiscal year. What you're seeing in recent posts here are numbers that the House Appropriations leadership are proposing be included in the next CR to govern top-level funding for the agencies listed in their release, which would include NASA. NASA is currently funded by the existing CR at FY 2010 enacted levels, as noted in a previous post by yg. So, the answer to that key question of "when" as best it is possible to answer right now, is "before March 5th."

Thanks 51D. If the CR happens, is it expected to include language that removes the Constellation program termination restrictions?

Am I correct that the recent 2010 Authorization act was for the FY 2011 budget which covers the period from 1 October 2010 to 30 September 2011?

Yes.

Quote
Edit:  Oh, and can the appropriations bill appropriate money for anything that wasn't authorized?

In general no. There might be some exceptions that 51D might know of.

Quote
Or just alter the amount?

Yes.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kkattula on 02/10/2011 06:48 am
The 2010 Act included authorization of amounts that could be appropriated for FY 2011, 2012 and 2013. They are not required to be one-year bills, as are appropriations.
...


Yep, I was aware of that.

So possibly there won't be a NASA Authorization bill this year?

Unless they need to alter or reinforce policy, e.g. if USA's Shuttle extension proposal takes root.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 02/10/2011 08:22 am
So possibly there won't be a NASA Authorization bill this year?

Unless they need to alter or reinforce policy, e.g. if USA's Shuttle extension proposal takes root.

Correct. There only needs to be a new one when the current one expires.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: PeterAlt on 02/10/2011 04:44 pm
At this point, what can the Senate do to counteract the House' poposed cuts or harm being done by the continuation of CR?

Obviously, NASA has powerful friends in the Senate (Nelson, Reid, etc.). There must be something they could do to neutralize the House!

And they better act quickly by passing preemptive legislation if necessary!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 02/10/2011 06:03 pm
At this point, what can the Senate do to counteract the House' poposed cuts or harm being done by the continuation of CR?

Obviously, NASA has powerful friends in the Senate (Nelson, Reid, etc.). There must be something they could do to neutralize the House!

And they better act quickly by passing preemptive legislation if necessary!

Well the Senate has to also pass anything passed by the House before it can become law. So if the Senate does not like the House proposed cuts, they can pass a different spending bill. Then the two would have to be negotiated into a compromise that is acceptable to both chambers.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: simonbp on 02/10/2011 06:43 pm
And if the House wants the cuts to be in Earth Sciences, it'll probably happen. After Aeronautics, Earth Science historically has the weakest political support of NASA programs. This is not least because it tends to have considerable overlap with NOAA and USGS, both of which are separately allocated (in the Departments of Commerce and Interior, respectively).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 02/10/2011 08:03 pm
And if the House wants the cuts to be in Earth Sciences, it'll probably happen. After Aeronautics, Earth Science historically has the weakest political support of NASA programs. This is not least because it tends to have considerable overlap with NOAA and USGS, both of which are separately allocated (in the Departments of Commerce and Interior, respectively).

If they were going to reduce Earth science funding, it would make more sense to shift these funds into planetary science IMO.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 02/12/2011 02:40 pm
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.
The committee released the text of the bill that is supposed to be introduced next week.  SpacePolitics has a nice overview, including links to the text as posted by the committee:
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/12/house-appropriators-cut-deeper-at-nasa/

Also a good reminder at the bottom of the post with Senator Inouye's statement that this isn't over yet.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 02/12/2011 02:50 pm
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.
The committee released the text of the bill that is supposed to be introduced next week.  SpacePolitics has a nice overview, including links to the text as posted by the committee:
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/12/house-appropriators-cut-deeper-at-nasa/

Also a good reminder at the bottom of the post with Senator Inouye's statement that this isn't over yet.



Quote from: spacepolitics
The CR does include a section striking the language in the FY2010 appropriations bill that prevents NASA from terminating Constellation projects, no doubt much to the relief of the agency.

Quote from: the proposed CR, page 205
SEC. 1334. Notwithstanding section 1105, the pro-
viso limiting the use of funds under the heading ‘‘National
Aeronautics and Space Administration, Exploration’’ in
division B of Public Law 111–117 shall not apply to funds
appropriated by this division.

 :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 02/13/2011 12:14 am
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.
The committee released the text of the bill that is supposed to be introduced next week.  SpacePolitics has a nice overview, including links to the text as posted by the committee:
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/12/house-appropriators-cut-deeper-at-nasa/


I have added a comparaison with the NASA Authorization bill (see attached file):

Account2011 CRNASA Authorization Bill     Diff
Space Operations$5,946.80$5,508.50$438.30
Exploration$3,746.30$3,868.00($121.70)
Science$4,469.00$5,005.60($536.60)
Aeronautics$501.00$929.60($428.60)
Education$182.50$145.80$36.70
Construction$408.30$394.30$14.00
Cross-Agency Support     $3,131.00$3,111.40$19.60
Inspector General$36.40$37.00($0.60)
TOTAL$18,421.30     $19,000.20     ($578.90)     

Edit: Changed the table in this post to a better format. Thanks MP99.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: PeterAlt on 02/13/2011 12:26 am
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.
The committee released the text of the bill that is supposed to be introduced next week.  SpacePolitics has a nice overview, including links to the text as posted by the committee:
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/12/house-appropriators-cut-deeper-at-nasa/


I have added a comparaison with the NASA Authorization bill:

Account                2011 CR   NASA Authorization Bill   Diff

Space Operations   $5,946.80    $5,508.50   $438.30
Exploration   $3,746.30    $3,868.00   ($121.70)
Science               $4,469.00    $5,005.60   ($536.60)
Aeronautics   $501.00                 $929.60                ($428.60)
Education   $182.50                 $145.80                 $36.70
Construction   $408.30                 $394.30                 $14.00
Cross-Agency Support $3,131.00    $3,111.40    $19.60
Inspector General     $36.40                 $37.00                 ($0.60)
TOTAL             $18,421.30    $19,000.20    ($578.90)


Thank you for posting that. It's not as bad as I thought it would be (when you break it down per account). I wonder if this bill would take care of the language problem issues (concerning Constellation program cancellation, etc.) of the current CR?

EDIT: Never mind, I somehow missed the part that said that it strikes down the Constellation requirement language. Even better!
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 02/13/2011 01:06 am
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.
The committee released the text of the bill that is supposed to be introduced next week.  SpacePolitics has a nice overview, including links to the text as posted by the committee:
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/12/house-appropriators-cut-deeper-at-nasa/

Also a good reminder at the bottom of the post with Senator Inouye's statement that this isn't over yet.


Thanks for the link.

Any idea on what this represents? (page 99):

1 SEC. 8094. The Secretary of Defense shall create a major force program category for space for each future years defense program of the Department of Defense submitted to Congress under section 221 of title 10, United States Code, during fiscal year 2011. The Secretary of Defense shall designate an official in the Office of the Secretary of Defense to provide overall supervision of the preparation and justification of program recommendations and budget proposals to be included in such major force program category.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 02/13/2011 02:54 am
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.
The committee released the text of the bill that is supposed to be introduced next week.  SpacePolitics has a nice overview, including links to the text as posted by the committee:
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/12/house-appropriators-cut-deeper-at-nasa/

Also a good reminder at the bottom of the post with Senator Inouye's statement that this isn't over yet.


Thanks for the link.

Any idea on what this represents? (page 99):

1 SEC. 8094. The Secretary of Defense shall create a major force program category for space for each future years defense program of the Department of Defense submitted to Congress under section 221 of title 10, United States Code, during fiscal year 2011. The Secretary of Defense shall designate an official in the Office of the Secretary of Defense to provide overall supervision of the preparation and justification of program recommendations and budget proposals to be included in such major force program category.

Presumably in response to recently released/updated National Security Space Policy.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jongoff on 02/13/2011 04:21 am
House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.
The committee released the text of the bill that is supposed to be introduced next week.  SpacePolitics has a nice overview, including links to the text as posted by the committee:
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/12/house-appropriators-cut-deeper-at-nasa/


I have added a comparaison with the NASA Authorization bill (see attached file):

Account                2011 CR   NASA Authorization Bill   Diff

Space Operations   $5,946.80    $5,508.50   $438.30
Exploration   $3,746.30    $3,868.00   ($121.70)
Science               $4,469.00    $5,005.60   ($536.60)
Aeronautics   $501.00                 $929.60                ($428.60)
Education   $182.50                 $145.80                 $36.70
Construction   $408.30                 $394.30                 $14.00
Cross-Agency Support $3,131.00    $3,111.40    $19.60
Inspector General     $36.40                 $37.00                 ($0.60)
TOTAL             $18,421.30    $19,000.20    ($578.90)


Unless I'm misunderstanding something, the single biggest loser in this proposed CR is the Office of the Chief Technologist, which is effectively zeroed-out.  While other programs are funded at lower levels, the CR gives Aeronautics and Space Technology the same budget that it had when it was only the Aeronautics line item. If something like this passed, would this mean that Centennial Challenges, SBIR funding, and all the new technology programs under the OCT would all end up being defunded for the rest of the year?

I'm just confused why the bulk of the cuts go to OCT, when most of the money for that program goes to smaller programs, where partial funding would still allow them to get a significant amount of work done. 

~Jon
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: MP99 on 02/13/2011 10:39 am
YG's numbers reformatted as a table.

cheers, Martin

House appropriations committee is proposing a $379M cut in NASA in the upcoming CR bill:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=259

Haven't looked for the bill text yet, but this isn't the end of the discussion on Capitol Hill, just another point in negotiations.

The committee released the text of the bill that is supposed to be introduced next week.  SpacePolitics has a nice overview, including links to the text as posted by the committee:
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/12/house-appropriators-cut-deeper-at-nasa/

I have added a comparaison with the NASA Authorization bill (see attached file):

Account2011 CRNASA Authorization Bill     Diff
Space Operations$5,946.80$5,508.50$438.30
Exploration$3,746.30$3,868.00($121.70)
Science$4,469.00$5,005.60($536.60)
Aeronautics$501.00$929.60($428.60)
Education$182.50$145.80$36.70
Construction$408.30$394.30$14.00
Cross-Agency Support     $3,131.00$3,111.40$19.60
Inspector General$36.40$37.00($0.60)
TOTAL$18,421.30     $19,000.20     ($578.90)     
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: kkattula on 02/13/2011 11:17 am
All they've done is take the 2010 Actual and trim:

  - $200m off Space Operations
  - $40m off Construction
  - $63m off Cross-Agency Support

Probably just to meet some number that's NASA's share of the $100b cut they want.

At the very least it needs to be redistributed more in line with Authorization bill.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 02/13/2011 01:44 pm
Here is a link to the Press Release for the House FY2011 (February 11 2011) CR:
http://republicans.appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=261
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jongoff on 02/16/2011 08:00 pm
Anyone know what this tweet (from Brett Silcox) means:

Crazy day on the House floor on the FY 11 budget..Weiner amend to move $298 mil from NASA CAS to COPS just passed by a vote of 228 to 203.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/16/2011 08:05 pm
Anyone know what this tweet (from Brett Silcox) means:

Crazy day on the House floor on the FY 11 budget..Weiner amend to move $298 mil from NASA CAS to COPS just passed by a vote of 228 to 203.
http://space.flatoday.net/2011/02/house-votes-to-move-money-from-nasa-to.html
"The House voted today to take $298 million away from NASA and spend it on local policing."

Yup, Congress (the House, at least) just loves NASA! If only we could keep meanie Obama from ruining NASA!

Note:
"President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill over cuts that he said would “sharply undermine core government functions and investments key to economic growth and job creation.""

(I didn't vote for Obama, but those who pretend that all of this is his fault are kidding themselves!)

EDIT: And CAS I believe stands for "Cross Agency Support." Note to NASA: don't ever name something like that or it will get cut just because it sounds unimportant!

Instead, name it: Critical Support for Keeping Asteroids from Killing Us All (or something along those lines) or even Fending-off Unprecedented Terrors from  Uber-Rocks hitting Earth (that way, you can claim that Congress is cutting the FUTURE :] )
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 02/16/2011 08:19 pm
Anyone know what this tweet (from Brett Silcox) means:

Crazy day on the House floor on the FY 11 budget..Weiner amend to move $298 mil from NASA CAS to COPS just passed by a vote of 228 to 203.
CAS is Cross Agency Support.

Haven't found a discrete link for the amendment text, but the Daily Digest (Congressional Record) from yesterday seems to cover it:

Quote
   AMENDMENT NO. 125 OFFERED BY MR. WEINER , AS MODIFIED

   Mr. WEINER. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.

   The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.

   The text of the amendment, as modified, is as follows:

   Page 203, line 23, after the dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $298,000,000)''.

   Page 204, line 8, after the first dollar amount, insert ``(increased by $298,000,000)''.

   Page 206, line 10, after the dollar amount, insert ``(reduced by $298,000,000)''.
The page and line numbers correspond to the bill as posted by the House appropriations committee.

FWIW, Rep. Olson offered an amendment shortly thereafter related to NASA, but that was subsequently withdrawn by unanimous consent.

Edit: the Olson amendment was as foreshadowed:
http://olson.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=129&sectiontree=21,129&itemid=584
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/16/2011 08:46 pm
... those who pretend that all of this is his fault are kidding themselves!

It was Obama who led the way, making the initial cuts - canceling Constellation, etc., just like he promised during his Presidential campaign.  He cut even more than the Augustine Committee recommended, meaning that the plan was hatched in the Executive Branch.  What we are seeing now is merely the feeding frenzy at the bleeding carcass - and this is probably only the first of many cuts.

A few months ago, Congress was fighting *against* the President to keep the Beyond LEO option, SLS, and an extra STS mission.  Congress has not led this parade.  Obama has. 

 - Ed Kyle 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/16/2011 08:55 pm
... those who pretend that all of this is his fault are kidding themselves!

It was Obama who led the way, making the initial cuts - canceling Constellation, etc., just like he promised during his Presidential campaign.  He cut even more than the Augustine Committee recommended, meaning that the plan was hatched in the Executive Branch.  What we are seeing now is merely the feeding frenzy at the bleeding carcass - and this is probably only the first of many cuts.

A few months ago, Congress was fighting *against* the President to keep the Beyond LEO option, SLS, and an extra STS mission.  Congress has not led this parade.  Obama has. 

 - Ed Kyle 
You're wrong.

Congress is not some unified entity where a few voices represent the whole. The House of Representatives (especially) are whatever the majority votes say they are. There are still voices in Congress from Space States who want more funding for NASA, but they (according to the votes) do not represent the majority of Congress.

Obama is yielding to the political pressure to keep government spending low (he's a liberal, not generally considered the type to cut government spending). He wants to maintain at previous levels, not cut to 2008 levels like the House wants to. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed that he doesn't have the backbone to try real Keynesian economic strategies for getting us out of our liquidity trap, but he's following the winds of political change while trying to keep the economy afloat.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 02/16/2011 09:05 pm
... those who pretend that all of this is his fault are kidding themselves!

It was Obama who led the way, making the initial cuts - canceling Constellation, etc., just like he promised during his Presidential campaign.  He cut even more than the Augustine Committee recommended, meaning that the plan was hatched in the Executive Branch.  What we are seeing now is merely the feeding frenzy at the bleeding carcass - and this is probably only the first of many cuts.

A few months ago, Congress was fighting *against* the President to keep the Beyond LEO option, SLS, and an extra STS mission.  Congress has not led this parade.  Obama has. 

 - Ed Kyle 
You're wrong.

Congress is not some unified entity where a few voices represent the whole. The House of Representatives (especially) are whatever the majority votes say they are. There are still voices in Congress from Space States who want more funding for NASA, but they (according to the votes) do not represent the majority of Congress.

Obama is yielding to the political pressure to keep government spending low (he's a liberal, not generally considered the type to cut government spending). He wants to maintain at previous levels, not cut to 2008 levels like the House wants to. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed that he doesn't have the backbone to try real Keynesian economic strategies for getting us out of our liquidity trap, but he's following the winds of political change while trying to keep the economy afloat.
He's not a Liberal, he's center-left.  Classically he'd be called a Rockefeller Republican.  His economic model is based more on the work of Hayek than Keynes. (and don't try and tell me Reagan follow Hayek, Reagan followed Friedman, who, despite Friedman's own claims, did not follow nor base his work on Hayek nor the Austrian theory, but instead on older methodologies of the guilded age)

And Ed is right, Obama is in charge here.  He is playing Congress here like a fiddle.  He wanted NASA more scientific focus, and based on what I've heard he even would be ok with something DIRECT-like, but if he proposed such a thing, he'd get Constellation Mark 2.  So, if you want to hit a target, you aim far to the other side.  To get Congress to hit the target, he aimed beyond the target, to pull them into alignment with his wishes.

He does this, over and over again.  Congress is dancing to his fiddle.  If you pay attention, it is getting downright hilarious how well he's doing it. For instance, the veto threat on the budget.  The Republicans expect him to blink, he won't.  Instead, he's positioned the primary military transport system into the combat theatre in Iraq.  As it is, he can't withdraw without political fallout.  But, in the event of a government shutdown, he must by law engage in a full withdrawal, and put full blame on the House, as the wars have been classified as non-essential by the CBO and GAO.

It is frankly sicking to see Congress failing to see how easily they're being setup.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: EE Scott on 02/16/2011 09:11 pm
... those who pretend that all of this is his fault are kidding themselves!

It was Obama who led the way, making the initial cuts - canceling Constellation, etc., just like he promised during his Presidential campaign.  He cut even more than the Augustine Committee recommended, meaning that the plan was hatched in the Executive Branch.  What we are seeing now is merely the feeding frenzy at the bleeding carcass - and this is probably only the first of many cuts.

A few months ago, Congress was fighting *against* the President to keep the Beyond LEO option, SLS, and an extra STS mission.  Congress has not led this parade.  Obama has. 

 - Ed Kyle 
You're wrong.

Congress is not some unified entity where a few voices represent the whole. The House of Representatives (especially) are whatever the majority votes say they are. There are still voices in Congress from Space States who want more funding for NASA, but they (according to the votes) do not represent the majority of Congress.

Obama is yielding to the political pressure to keep government spending low (he's a liberal, not generally considered the type to cut government spending). He wants to maintain at previous levels, not cut to 2008 levels like the House wants to. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed that he doesn't have the backbone to try real Keynesian economic strategies for getting us out of our liquidity trap, but he's following the winds of political change while trying to keep the economy afloat.

He actually did go all "Keynesian" on us, unfortunately none of that "Keynesian" crap bled over into NASA.  What a wasted opportunity to potentially spend some $$ on something exciting and inspirational.  Funny how that works, no matter what the shape the budget or Congress is in, year after year, it seems to be all too easy for Congress and the President to cut NASA.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/16/2011 09:21 pm
...
He actually did go all "Keynesian" on us
I disagree. Downix is right. Obama isn't a true Keynesian. I don't think he's an economist, Hayek or otherwise. I think he's a political pragmatist.
, unfortunately none of that "Keynesian" crap bled over into NASA.  What a wasted opportunity to potentially spend some $$ on something exciting and inspirational.  Funny how that works, no matter what the shape the budget or Congress is in, year after year, it seems to be all too easy for Congress and the President to cut NASA.
I agree. It sucks.

But one thing I agree with as necessary: the need for NASA to focus on research and science. The much-touted 7-times multiplying factor for money spent on NASA wouldn't exist if NASA just built things that didn't use any new technology.

But I acknowledge to some extent the criticism that innovation without direction is often less effective than innovation with direction. There's a balance between being afraid of anything with a TRL below 9 (thus always staying in the powerpoint stage for anything that's not the status quo) and only doing pure research (thus always staying in the powerpoint stage). Both extremes have the same result.


Downix: I know he's not really a liberal, but that's what his opponents claim he is, in between claims that he's an African-born Muslim that want to convert us to conservative Islam.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 02/16/2011 09:43 pm
...
He actually did go all "Keynesian" on us
I disagree. Downix is right. Obama isn't a true Keynesian. I don't think he's an economist, Hayek or otherwise. I think he's a political pragmatist.
I'm not saying he's an Economist, more what his economic team is.  Hayek talked of tax cuts for stimulative effect, and the majority of Obamas attempt to stimulate have been just that, tax cuts.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: mr_magoo on 02/16/2011 09:46 pm
It's interesting that once again R&D was bumped by the WH even as other things were cut back.   It's a bit of a shame that he doesnt count NASA as part of that world but at least they were frozen rather than slashed.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/16/2011 09:49 pm
...
He actually did go all "Keynesian" on us
I disagree. Downix is right. Obama isn't a true Keynesian. I don't think he's an economist, Hayek or otherwise. I think he's a political pragmatist.
I'm not saying he's an Economist, more what his economic team is.  Hayek talked of tax cuts for stimulative effect, and the majority of Obamas attempt to stimulate have been just that, tax cuts.
Tax cuts (during a recession) are Keynesian as well. So is deficit spending (though when the tax rate is already very low or even practically zero for a lot of people, deficit spending probably has a greater effect in increasing demand and creating jobs for the same amount of money).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 02/16/2011 10:17 pm
Anyone know what this tweet (from Brett Silcox) means:

Crazy day on the House floor on the FY 11 budget..Weiner amend to move $298 mil from NASA CAS to COPS just passed by a vote of 228 to 203.

And Weiner voted for S.3729 (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll561.xml) too.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Freddie on 02/16/2011 10:51 pm
Anyone know what this tweet (from Brett Silcox) means:

Crazy day on the House floor on the FY 11 budget..Weiner amend to move $298 mil from NASA CAS to COPS just passed by a vote of 228 to 203.

And Weiner voted for S.3729 (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll561.xml) too.

From the daily newspaper Florida Today published in Melbourne, Florida (Source: http://space.flatoday.net/2011/02/house-votes-to-move-money-from-nasa-to.html):

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

House votes to move money from NASA to local law enforcement

WASHINGTON — The House voted today to take $298 million away from NASA and spend it on local policing.

The vote was 228-203. Reps. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, and Sandy Adams, R-Orlando, opposed the switch, an amendment to a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government running for the rest of this fiscal year.

The debate over the amendment drafted by Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York illustrates the difficulties that lie ahead in deciding how much to spend on NASA and other agencies.

Weiner’s amendment would eliminate a fund that NASA taps to work with other agencies and use the money to hire more community-oriented police officers.

The amendment angered NASA supporters. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said that if it’s approved by the Senate and signed into law, it would cost 1,500 to 2,000 NASA jobs.


Wednesday’s vote is an example of the challenges lawmakers face in deciding which priorities to approve while making wide-ranging budget cuts.

The House is expected to vote Thursday on the overall spending bill, which would cut spending on NASA by $303 million.

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the bill over cuts that he said would “sharply undermine core government functions and investments key to economic growth and job creation."

The Senate and House have until March 4, when a current stopgap sending bill expires, to agree on spending through Sept. 30. Otherwise, the government could shut down.

By Bart Jansen, Gannett Washington Bureau, [email protected]



Introduction and floor discussion of the Weiner amendment on the floor of the U. S. House of Representatives can be read at http://www.thomas.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?r112:1:./temp/~r112xj1q6X:e339104:.

Congressman Weiner has in past Congresses sought to obtain additional funding for the COPS community policing program through transferring funds from NASA. In the past he has been unsuccessful.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jongoff on 02/16/2011 11:05 pm
He actually did go all "Keynesian" on us, unfortunately none of that "Keynesian" crap bled over into NASA.  What a wasted opportunity to potentially spend some $$ on something exciting and inspirational.  Funny how that works, no matter what the shape the budget or Congress is in, year after year, it seems to be all too easy for Congress and the President to cut NASA.

Actually, NASA did get some of the Keynsian crap, it just got mostly rerouted to Ares I/Orion by Shelby and co, instead of being used to kickstart Commercial Crew in a serious way like the WH intended. 

~Jon
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jongoff on 02/16/2011 11:07 pm
It's interesting that once again R&D was bumped by the WH even as other things were cut back.   It's a bit of a shame that he doesnt count NASA as part of that world but at least they were frozen rather than slashed.

Actually the WH did bump R&D funding at NASA.  The thing is that whether or not you think SLS is a good idea, spending on that is nowhere near as effective R&D-wise as funding for OCT programs are, for instance.  The funding only benefits a narrow program, and doesn't really create any new wealth or new industries.  The OCT programs are focused on technologies that benefit multiple customers, and could create new capabilities and industries.

Not all NASA spending is R&D.  In fact most of it isn't.

~Jon
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: EE Scott on 02/16/2011 11:26 pm
Quote
He actually did go all "Keynesian" on us
Quote
I disagree. Downix is right. Obama isn't a true Keynesian. I don't think he's an economist, Hayek or otherwise. I think he's a political pragmatist.

I was using the popular culture Keynesian definition, which is just a simplistic, 'deficit spend during economic contractions and run a surplus when the good times come back to pay for when the bad times roll around again,' which is really just the popular notion of Keynesian, not necessarily the most accurate.

But if we should invest in infrastructure, doesn't space infrastructure count?  But I am preaching to the choir.   :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 02/17/2011 12:00 am
It's interesting that once again R&D was bumped by the WH even as other things were cut back.   It's a bit of a shame that he doesnt count NASA as part of that world but at least they were frozen rather than slashed.

Actually the WH did bump R&D funding at NASA.  The thing is that whether or not you think SLS is a good idea, spending on that is nowhere near as effective R&D-wise as funding for OCT programs are, for instance.  The funding only benefits a narrow program, and doesn't really create any new wealth or new industries.  The OCT programs are focused on technologies that benefit multiple customers, and could create new capabilities and industries.

Not all NASA spending is R&D.  In fact most of it isn't.

~Jon

That's because SLS is not meant to be R&D.  It is DDT&E.  At some point you have to take what you know and make something out of it. 

As I have said multiple times, it is about finding the right balance and have an overall strategy to pay accordingly for the "real R&D" in a progressive manner based on when you think you may need some of the benefits assuming they materialize. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jongoff on 02/17/2011 01:36 am
It's interesting that once again R&D was bumped by the WH even as other things were cut back.   It's a bit of a shame that he doesnt count NASA as part of that world but at least they were frozen rather than slashed.

Actually the WH did bump R&D funding at NASA.  The thing is that whether or not you think SLS is a good idea, spending on that is nowhere near as effective R&D-wise as funding for OCT programs are, for instance.  The funding only benefits a narrow program, and doesn't really create any new wealth or new industries.  The OCT programs are focused on technologies that benefit multiple customers, and could create new capabilities and industries.

Not all NASA spending is R&D.  In fact most of it isn't.

~Jon

That's because SLS is not meant to be R&D.  It is DDT&E.  At some point you have to take what you know and make something out of it. 

The problem is that most posters here and most congressmen as well act like they have no clue about the difference between the two. They act like all spending on stuff at NASA is R&D, when in reality only a small fraction of NASA's budget is involved in actual R&D. I do agree that R&D has to be converted into an end product (preferably a wide range of end products with multiple users) in order to be useful to anyone.

Personally, I think the balance at NASA for a long time has been way to much on operations and DDT&E and too little on R&D, and I'm glad that Obama isn't giving up easily on trying to restore a better balance.

~Jon
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: telomerase99 on 02/17/2011 01:44 am
Amen to that JonGoff, I am headed to cape canaveral March 12-13 if anyone wants to get a drink, watch a launch?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jason Sole on 02/17/2011 02:07 am
Amen to that JonGoff, I am headed to cape canaveral March 12-13 if anyone wants to get a drink, watch a launch?

STS-133 is launching Feb 24 or 25..........oh right, you hate shuttle :D
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 02/17/2011 02:13 am

The problem is that most posters here and most congressmen as well act like they have no clue about the difference between the two. They act like all spending on stuff at NASA is R&D, when in reality only a small fraction of NASA's budget is involved in actual R&D. I do agree that R&D has to be converted into an end product (preferably a wide range of end products with multiple users) in order to be useful to anyone.

Personally, I think the balance at NASA for a long time has been way to much on operations and DDT&E and too little on R&D, and I'm glad that Obama isn't giving up easily on trying to restore a better balance.

~Jon

I agree with your second point, but not the first. It would be nice to convert research into something tangible, but research can lead to new discoveries which have no direct tangible benefit, but are clearly important. A new technique is not a product, and yet I have seen a few techniques developed through the reading of technical papers on the technical server, that are of benefit to everyone.

And for something like closed loop recycling techniques, the greatest benefit is exploration for NASA, not the commercial market per-se. Yes, it has terrestrial applications, but not to the level NASA is seeking its use for.

Now back OT...(sorry for the stray)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jason Sole on 02/17/2011 02:14 am
It's interesting that once again R&D was bumped by the WH even as other things were cut back.   It's a bit of a shame that he doesnt count NASA as part of that world but at least they were frozen rather than slashed.

Actually the WH did bump R&D funding at NASA.  The thing is that whether or not you think SLS is a good idea, spending on that is nowhere near as effective R&D-wise as funding for OCT programs are, for instance.  The funding only benefits a narrow program, and doesn't really create any new wealth or new industries.  The OCT programs are focused on technologies that benefit multiple customers, and could create new capabilities and industries.

Not all NASA spending is R&D.  In fact most of it isn't.

~Jon

That's because SLS is not meant to be R&D.  It is DDT&E.  At some point you have to take what you know and make something out of it. 

As I have said multiple times, it is about finding the right balance and have an overall strategy to pay accordingly for the "real R&D" in a progressive manner based on when you think you may need some of the benefits assuming they materialize. 

Right on. The ones who want NASA grounded doing nothing but R&D will end up with the scene out of Independence Day where they have been cooked up in an underground bunker spending money on nothing applicable or of interest to the public.

As the Congress and Senate said, we don't need five years of "R&D" to work out what HLV to use. That was defeated, time for some people to get over it.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 02/17/2011 02:49 am
... those who pretend that all of this is his fault are kidding themselves!

It was Obama who led the way, making the initial cuts - canceling Constellation, etc., just like he promised during his Presidential campaign.  He cut even more than the Augustine Committee recommended, meaning that the plan was hatched in the Executive Branch.  What we are seeing now is merely the feeding frenzy at the bleeding carcass - and this is probably only the first of many cuts.

A few months ago, Congress was fighting *against* the President to keep the Beyond LEO option, SLS, and an extra STS mission.  Congress has not led this parade.  Obama has. 

 - Ed Kyle 
You're wrong.

Congress is not some unified entity where a few voices represent the whole. The House of Representatives (especially) are whatever the majority votes say they are. There are still voices in Congress from Space States who want more funding for NASA, but they (according to the votes) do not represent the majority of Congress.

Obama is yielding to the political pressure to keep government spending low (he's a liberal, not generally considered the type to cut government spending). He wants to maintain at previous levels, not cut to 2008 levels like the House wants to. To be honest, I'm a little disappointed that he doesn't have the backbone to try real Keynesian economic strategies for getting us out of our liquidity trap, but he's following the winds of political change while trying to keep the economy afloat.
He's not a Liberal, he's center-left.  Classically he'd be called a Rockefeller Republican.  His economic model is based more on the work of Hayek than Keynes. (and don't try and tell me Reagan follow Hayek, Reagan followed Friedman, who, despite Friedman's own claims, did not follow nor base his work on Hayek nor the Austrian theory, but instead on older methodologies of the guilded age)

And Ed is right, Obama is in charge here.  He is playing Congress here like a fiddle.  He wanted NASA more scientific focus, and based on what I've heard he even would be ok with something DIRECT-like, but if he proposed such a thing, he'd get Constellation Mark 2.  So, if you want to hit a target, you aim far to the other side.  To get Congress to hit the target, he aimed beyond the target, to pull them into alignment with his wishes.

He does this, over and over again.  Congress is dancing to his fiddle.  If you pay attention, it is getting downright hilarious how well he's doing it. For instance, the veto threat on the budget.  The Republicans expect him to blink, he won't.  Instead, he's positioned the primary military transport system into the combat theatre in Iraq.  As it is, he can't withdraw without political fallout.  But, in the event of a government shutdown, he must by law engage in a full withdrawal, and put full blame on the House, as the wars have been classified as non-essential by the CBO and GAO.

It is frankly sicking to see Congress failing to see how easily they're being setup.

Actually, what is disturbing--I won't use the more pejorative term "sickening"--is to see so many reactions to one finite action within the framework of a much broader and complex process as if that action somehow was suddenly the "new voice of Congress," or illustrative of a "grand strategy" being wrought by either Obama or NASA OR one or more elements of the Congress.  Especially when my guess is many of those same "pronouncers" would have a difficult time even identifying the relevant parts of that process, let alone how they actually function.

But it takes a lot less than actual experience or expertise to be an "expert" in these on-line forums, where space is limited and "discussions" are, by nature, disjointed and spread across a number of different subjects. (And this, I believe, is the best collection of well-informed folks I've come across in this subject area.)

But it would just be nice to see more folks demonstrate that they recognize they just "may" not be seeing the whole picture, and just "may" not know all there is to know about what may underlie a single visible action, or how it is likely to "play out" in the end.

Not a response to any particular person, here, just an observation and I suppose a bit of "venting" on my part.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Longhorn John on 02/17/2011 02:56 am
Well said 51D! :)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 02/17/2011 03:03 am
Actually, what is disturbing--I won't use the more pejorative term "sickening"--is to see so many reactions to one finite action within the framework of a much broader and complex process as if that action somehow was suddenly the "new voice of Congress," or illustrative of a "grand strategy" being wrought by either Obama or NASA OR one or more elements of the Congress.  Especially when my guess is many of those same "pronouncers" would have a difficult time even identifying the relevant parts of that process, let alone how they actually function.

But it takes a lot less than actual experience or expertise to be an "expert" in these on-line forums, where space is limited and "discussions" are, by nature, disjointed and spread across a number of different subjects. (And this, I believe, is the best collection of well-informed folks I've come across in this subject area.)

But it would just be nice to see more folks demonstrate that they recognize they just "may" not be seeing the whole picture, and just "may" not know all there is to know about what may underlie a single visible action, or how it is likely to "play out" in the end.

Not a response to any particular person, here, just an observation and I suppose a bit of "venting" on my part.
You are quite insightful there. It is easy to underestimate, and over the years, I go the other way, and try to overestimate.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/17/2011 03:17 am
Indeed, 51D! It's a very complex process. You're one of the only (or even just the only?) experts on this forum on the legislative side of things.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: telomerase99 on 02/17/2011 04:38 am
Amen to that JonGoff, I am headed to cape canaveral March 12-13 if anyone wants to get a drink, watch a launch?

STS-133 is launching Feb 24 or 25..........oh right, you hate shuttle :D

I want to see a shuttle launch its just that I'm really busy and am only going to be in Florida for limited dates for a conference and hopefully the shuttle launch will be delayed.

Question: If the shuttle launch is delayed, it is possible that it would launch on March 5 right? does anyone know when the launch window closes specifically? (I get in on March 5 at 1030pm to ft lauderdale so would have to drive  a few hours to get to cape canaveral)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: M_Puckett on 02/17/2011 04:47 am
51D, what is your take on this?


http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/16/crime-takes-a-bite-out-of-nasa/


http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll053.xml
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: telomerase99 on 02/17/2011 05:05 am
It doesn't matter, the president has allready threatened to veto.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 02/17/2011 05:44 am
51D, what is your take on this?


http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/16/crime-takes-a-bite-out-of-nasa/


http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2011/roll053.xml

As others have said, there is a lot of opposition to the House bill, even as it was introduced in the Senate, and likely to be more based on these kinds of amendments. So whatever they end up sending over will be contentious, and mostly in areas not related to NASA. This is, after all, a government-wide full-year CR with specific account allocations, unlike a normal "clean" CR, which pegs broad funding levels to either enacted levels of the current or a previous year, and doesn't generally delve to this level. This is more along the lines of an "Omnibus" appropriations for the balance of FY 2011.

This specific amendment, taking funds from Cross Agency Support is not surprising, in that the account is "amorphous" enough that it becomes easy prey in looking for reductions, because it's not obvious on the face of it what the direct impact would be. It does not directly impact programs like SLS/MPCV, ISS, Shuttle, Science Programs, or Aeronautics and Space Technology. But it does affect some of the matrixed support for all of those programs, in terms of supporting the underlying "NASA infrastructure," so there could be indirect impacts. Those will need to be better quantified as the Senate appropriators review the House bill when it gets to the Senate; It's likely there WILL be some reductions in NASA below the current spending level, which is at the 2010 enacted levels. But the Senate side is focused primarily on looking to ensure adequate funding for programs at levels necessary to implement the requirements of the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, and especially the contentious areas of human spaceflight and the issue of the balance of funding between commercial crew versus SLS/MPCV development. That effort will be focused on getting levels as close to those authorized for 2011 as possible.  Otherwise, the problem that would be created by the FY 2012 Request in those areas--where they have proposed funding levels 24% LESS than the levels authorized--would only be exacerbated by inadequate funding levels in those areas for the remainder of FY 2011. A new development this Congress in the Senate on Appropriations is that Senator Hutchison, one of the principal architects of the 2010 Authorization Act (Public law 111-267) is now the senior Republican member of the CJS Subcommittee of Appropriations--the position previously held by Senator Shelby of Alabama--as well as retaining her seat as Ranking Member of the Commerce Committee--the committee of jurisdiction for NASA authorization. So she will of course be working to not only achieve a reasonable allocation of funds appropriated for FY 2011, as close to the authorized numbers as possible, but also, as consideration of the FY 2012 Budget request moves forward, to ensure that the outcome of those deliberations synch up with the eventual FY 2011 numbers to ensure forward movement on SLS and MPCV. That will mean an intense set of negotiations between the House and Senate appropriators on where and how much would be reduced in FY 2011, and how some of those reductions can be off-set by changes in the FY 2012 request from what has been requested. Whether that means reductions such as proposed in the Weiner amendment are accepted, or some other combination of reductions in other areas would provide the best financial framework for moving forward, remains to be seen. All of that is being discussed internally and between and among House and Senate appropriators now, and will intensify once the House passes HR1 and it comes to the Senate. It's just too early--and far too involved--to make any firm prediction right now. So that's how I see it, though I'm not sure it really answers your question, except it IS "my take" on it at the moment.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: alexw on 02/17/2011 06:30 am
That's because SLS is not meant to be R&D.  It is DDT&E.  At some point you have to take what you know and make something out of it. 
As I have said multiple times, it is about finding the right balance and have an overall strategy to pay accordingly for the "real R&D" in a progressive manner based on when you think you may need some of the benefits assuming they materialize. 
Right on. The ones who want NASA grounded doing nothing but R&D will end up with the scene out of Independence Day where they have been cooked up in an underground bunker spending money on nothing applicable or of interest to the public.
As the Congress and Senate said, we don't need five years of "R&D" to work out what HLV to use. That was defeated, time for some people to get over it.
    That's a nice soundbite, but actually, the Obama FY2011 budget proposal suggested spending a few years -- beginning immediately -- developing a million-lbf-class kerolox engine, probably staged combustion, thereby catching the United States up with the USSR circa 1985. You can belittle that as "R&D" if you like.

    (It's also what the DOD apparently believes they need.)

    With such an engine in hand, either ULA or SpaceX could clearly build a 5-6m core vehicle derived from many of their existing processes and infrastructure, probably fairly quickly.  Alternatively, the 8.4m Michoud tanking (or even 10m, if you want it) could be used for larger monolithic designs. The performance and flexibility of such vehicle families is well known. Augustine observed that the BEO vehicle -- booster + upper stage -- comes online slightly faster for kerolox than for SDHLV.
     -Alex


edit: grammar typo
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 02/17/2011 07:40 am
That's because SLS is not meant to be R&D.  It is DDT&E.  At some point you have to take what you know and make something out of it. 
As I have said multiple times, it is about finding the right balance and have an overall strategy to pay accordingly for the "real R&D" in a progressive manner based on when you think you may need some of the benefits assuming they materialize. 
Right on. The ones who want NASA grounded doing nothing but R&D will end up with the scene out of Independence Day where they have been cooked up in an underground bunker spending money on nothing applicable or of interest to the public.
As the Congress and Senate said, we don't need five years of "R&D" to work out what HLV to use. That was defeated, time for some people to get over it.
    That's a nice soundbite, but actually, the Obama FY2011 budget proposal suggested spending a few years -- beginning immediately -- developing a million-lbf-class kerolox engine, probably staged combustion, thereby catching the United States up with the USSR circa 1985. You can belittle that as "R&D" if you like.

    (It's also what the DOD apparently believes they need.)

    With such an engine in hand, either ULA or SpaceX could clearly build a 5-6m core vehicle derived from many of their existing processes and infrastructure, probably fairly quickly.  Alternatively, the 8.4m Michoud tanking (or even 10m, if you want it) could be used for larger monolithic designs. The performance and flexibility of such vehicle families is well known. Augustine observed that the BEO vehicle -- booster + upper stage -- comes online slightly faster for kerolox than for SDHLV.
     -Alex
edit: grammar typo
He's right.  Which is why I keep pushing for AJAX, a back-door to give us this ability.  While we may use the RD-180 (which is just under a million lb thrust engine) there is the ability to develop a replacement, and our idea is to do just that, or to just bring RD-180 production domestic.  It can be made to launch soon, be made to launch for less, and would enable us to focus our R&D into a cross-spectrum system, making us more viable.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 02/17/2011 01:23 pm
That's because SLS is not meant to be R&D.  It is DDT&E.  At some point you have to take what you know and make something out of it. 
As I have said multiple times, it is about finding the right balance and have an overall strategy to pay accordingly for the "real R&D" in a progressive manner based on when you think you may need some of the benefits assuming they materialize. 
Right on. The ones who want NASA grounded doing nothing but R&D will end up with the scene out of Independence Day where they have been cooked up in an underground bunker spending money on nothing applicable or of interest to the public.
As the Congress and Senate said, we don't need five years of "R&D" to work out what HLV to use. That was defeated, time for some people to get over it.
    That's a nice soundbite, but actually, the Obama FY2011 budget proposal suggested spending a few years -- beginning immediately -- developing a million-lbf-class kerolox engine, probably staged combustion, thereby catching the United States up with the USSR circa 1985. You can belittle that as "R&D" if you like.

    (It's also what the DOD apparently believes they need.)

    With such an engine in hand, either ULA or SpaceX could clearly build a 5-6m core vehicle derived from many of their existing processes and infrastructure, probably fairly quickly.  Alternatively, the 8.4m Michoud tanking (or even 10m, if you want it) could be used for larger monolithic designs. The performance and flexibility of such vehicle families is well known. Augustine observed that the BEO vehicle -- booster + upper stage -- comes online slightly faster for kerolox than for SDHLV.
     -Alex


edit: grammar typo

That would also be DDT&E.  It is a specific LRU.

Moreover, has SpaceX even ever said they want a generic engine like that?  Their track record would seem to indicate they prefer an engine made in-house.  With respect to ULA, if the DoD believes they "need" it, let them fund it. 

NASA does not require this for exploration nor do they need it for CRS or commercial crew.  I don't know what you are saying about what "Augustine observed" but I do not buy, and nobody will convince me otherwise, that a brand new engine, core stage, upper stage, etc will come online faster than something more shuttle-derived. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jongoff on 02/17/2011 02:59 pm
Amen to that JonGoff, I am headed to cape canaveral March 12-13 if anyone wants to get a drink, watch a launch?

STS-133 is launching Feb 24 or 25..........oh right, you hate shuttle :D

One can actually simultaneously think the STS has been bad policy, while still thinking that it's a damn-cool rocket vehicle, and that the people who make it fly safely are amazing. It's called nuance.

~Jon
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: jongoff on 02/17/2011 03:02 pm

The problem is that most posters here and most congressmen as well act like they have no clue about the difference between the two. They act like all spending on stuff at NASA is R&D, when in reality only a small fraction of NASA's budget is involved in actual R&D. I do agree that R&D has to be converted into an end product (preferably a wide range of end products with multiple users) in order to be useful to anyone.

Personally, I think the balance at NASA for a long time has been way to much on operations and DDT&E and too little on R&D, and I'm glad that Obama isn't giving up easily on trying to restore a better balance.

~Jon

I agree with your second point, but not the first. It would be nice to convert research into something tangible, but research can lead to new discoveries which have no direct tangible benefit, but are clearly important. A new technique is not a product, and yet I have seen a few techniques developed through the reading of technical papers on the technical server, that are of benefit to everyone.

And for something like closed loop recycling techniques, the greatest benefit is exploration for NASA, not the commercial market per-se. Yes, it has terrestrial applications, but not to the level NASA is seeking its use for.

Now back OT...(sorry for the stray)

Sorry, I guess my point was that R&D does have to produce something tangible in the end to be useful, but you're right, new techniques are just as tangible as products.  My main point was that a lot of stuff gets labeled as R&D (and sold as R&D) when it isn't.  Like when Utah congresspeople talk about how spending money on SRB-using HLVs is somehow developing cutting-edge technologies. They're politicians, so I don't blame them too much for being either uninformed or blatantly dishonest.  I just worry that a lot of people get fooled by stuff like that.

~Jon
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 02/17/2011 04:11 pm
But I think that's kind of the point.  Everything doesn't need to be supposedly cutting-edge technology for it to work efficiently.  Politicians and others can call it what they want, I personally really don't think it matters in the grand scheme.  Where it does matter is generally in the cost. 

If we scrap everything, start over to replace it with supposedly cutting-edge technology, there is a learning curve there.  That learning curve usually shows up in DDT&E and initial ops costs until that learning curve doesn't have such a steep slope. 

I think everyone is aware of the budget issues we face.  I truly believe it is time to start building what we can now, with what we know now, and let the limited dollars that are available for this type thing be used for what we will eventually need and do not have significant experience with now. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Downix on 02/17/2011 09:11 pm
But I think that's kind of the point.  Everything doesn't need to be supposedly cutting-edge technology for it to work efficiently.  Politicians and others can call it what they want, I personally really don't think it matters in the grand scheme.  Where it does matter is generally in the cost. 

If we scrap everything, start over to replace it with supposedly cutting-edge technology, there is a learning curve there.  That learning curve usually shows up in DDT&E and initial ops costs until that learning curve doesn't have such a steep slope. 

I think everyone is aware of the budget issues we face.  I truly believe it is time to start building what we can now, with what we know now, and let the limited dollars that are available for this type thing be used for what we will eventually need and do not have significant experience with now. 
We don't need rocket technology R&D, we have solid, reliable lift. We need BEO technology.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 02/18/2011 12:16 am
But I think that's kind of the point.  Everything doesn't need to be supposedly cutting-edge technology for it to work efficiently.  Politicians and others can call it what they want, I personally really don't think it matters in the grand scheme.  Where it does matter is generally in the cost. 

If we scrap everything, start over to replace it with supposedly cutting-edge technology, there is a learning curve there.  That learning curve usually shows up in DDT&E and initial ops costs until that learning curve doesn't have such a steep slope. 

I think everyone is aware of the budget issues we face.  I truly believe it is time to start building what we can now, with what we know now, and let the limited dollars that are available for this type thing be used for what we will eventually need and do not have significant experience with now. 
We don't need rocket technology R&D, we have solid, reliable lift. We need BEO technology.

I'm quite aware of that.  We also have the ability to go beyond LEO.  Let's not pretend otherwise. 
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 02/18/2011 01:26 am
We also have the ability to go beyond LEO.  Let's not pretend otherwise. 

Who is "we" in that sentence?  The United States?  What vehicle gives us that ability?

Maybe you meant, "The United States aerospace industry knows what it would take to deploy a BLEO capability, given Apollo-like government funding?"
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Namechange User on 02/18/2011 01:32 am
I think the context of the sentance can speak for itself and I'm sure you are smart enough to figure it out based on the current reality.  And no, it does not need Apollo-level funding.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: sdsds on 02/18/2011 04:33 am
Quote
I think the context of the sentence ["We also have the ability to go beyond LEO"] can speak for itself and I'm sure you are smart enough to figure it out based on the current reality.

Apparently I'm not as smart as you think.  My best guess at the current reality is that there will be no funding that allows human BLEO exploration before 2040.  Thus, we do not have the ability to go beyond LEO.

Quote
And no, it does not need Apollo-level funding.

Only with what that implies does your view begin to come clear.  The implication is that with a sub-Apollo level of funding NASA and its industrial base could develop a CxP-like BLEO exploration capability.

What member of the Augustine Commission was Musk quoting when he wrote, "If Santa Claus brought us the system tomorrow, fully developed, and the budget didn’t change, our next action would have to be to cancel it?"

I'm sure you're smart enough to connect the dots....
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 02/18/2011 07:25 am
I think that people often misunderstand what the focus on innovation and 'cutting edge technology' is really about.

I don't think that anyone really seriously believes it is impossible do do things with Apollo and Shuttle legacy technology only.  The driver for innovation is that it requires a new generation of technical professionals - scientists and engineers - to develop and build these technologies.  This, in turn, will (theoretically) encourage kids coming through the school system to study the sciences and engineering and then go on to college to complete their technical education.  This (once again, in theory) will increase the number of children sticking with school rather than dropping out to be Ganstas and will instead become high-earning members of the middle class.  This will achieve the objectives of:

1) Reducing inner-city poverty and social deprivation;
2) Encourage social mobility;
3) Increase tax revenues without changing existing taxation bands.

No where in this, you will note is "build sustainable space technology" mentioned.  That is because it isn't an issue.  Space and other jobs are a means to the economic and sociological ends, not an end in themselves.  I'm quite sure that some of the theorists behind this concept would be content if NASA never flies another thing so long as it provides a large number of subsidized technical jobs which, in turn, will drive increased college recruitment and high-school graduations.

Just how I see it...
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 02/18/2011 01:35 pm
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2011/02/18/another-nasa-funding-amendment-to-watch/

Quote
Among the amendments that have not yet been taken up on the floor of the House is one by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) that would, in effect, defund NASA’s exploration program:

    Amendment No. 96: At the end of the bill, after the short
    title, insert the following new section:
    Sec. 4002. None of the funds made available by this Act
    may be used for “National Aeronautics and Space
    Administration, Exploration”.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 02/18/2011 01:50 pm
The irony is, of course, that with CxP just a ghost program now, HSF wouldn't be greatly affected by this amendment.  What it would do is compel the shut-down of all the robot probes like Cassini, New Horizons, Mercury Messenger and the MERs as well as cancelling Juno and MSL.  I strongly suspect that this is the exact opposite effect to that intended.

I suspect that Rep DeFazio thought that he was being very clever.  What he has instead shown is that he has no clue how NASA actually works.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 02/18/2011 02:10 pm
What it would do is compel the shut-down of all the robot probes like Cassini, New Horizons, Mercury Messenger and the MERs as well as cancelling Juno and MSL.
Those would fall under the Science Mission Directorate, not Exploration.

I suspect that Rep DeFazio thought that he was being very clever.  What he has instead shown is that he has no clue how NASA actually works.
I'm skeptical that Representative DeFazio is that naïve about the impact of what he's proposing.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jeff Bingham on 02/18/2011 02:27 pm
What it would do is compel the shut-down of all the robot probes like Cassini, New Horizons, Mercury Messenger and the MERs as well as cancelling Juno and MSL.
Those would fall under the Science Mission Directorate, not Exploration.

I suspect that Rep DeFazio thought that he was being very clever.  What he has instead shown is that he has no clue how NASA actually works.
I'm skeptical that Representative DeFazio is that naïve about the impact of what he's proposing.


Have been told that amendment was withdrawn last night but checking....
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: M_Puckett on 02/18/2011 02:54 pm
What it would do is compel the shut-down of all the robot probes like Cassini, New Horizons, Mercury Messenger and the MERs as well as cancelling Juno and MSL.
Those would fall under the Science Mission Directorate, not Exploration.

I suspect that Rep DeFazio thought that he was being very clever.  What he has instead shown is that he has no clue how NASA actually works.
I'm skeptical that Representative DeFazio is that naïve about the impact of what he's proposing.


He is playing a game of chicken.

Apparently, DeFazio is a big fan or subsidies for Organic Farming.  It would be a shame if a few hundred frakked-off space fans and a few thousand laid off NASA employees started lobbying their congressmen to stop subsidizing Organic Farming and anything else DeFazio likes wouldn't it?  A couple calls in most districts would be enough to tip a congressman on such a marginal issue.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: spacetraveler on 02/18/2011 08:38 pm
What it would do is compel the shut-down of all the robot probes like Cassini, New Horizons, Mercury Messenger and the MERs as well as cancelling Juno and MSL.
Those would fall under the Science Mission Directorate, not Exploration.

Additionally, MSL is not really in the same category as Cassini, New Horizons, MERs, etc as far as vulnerability to cancellation. When the hardware has been designed, launched, and is at or on route to the destination, that program is relatively safe if it still has scientific value, since all you need to keep it going is a small human resources cost for the team running it. A project like MSL, with huge cost overruns and the need for major additional outlays before any mission objectives can be realized, is really a completely separate deal.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 02/19/2011 12:40 am
Forgive me if this was already answered in the myriad of posts, but what happens if this congress is shut down, as something that is being thrown around now (that I'm now hearing on CNN)? Apparently it was done by the Republicans a number of years ago.

With no CR past March 4th, where do things stand for NASA (let alone the rest of government)?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Starlab90 on 02/19/2011 12:53 am
Forgive me if this was already answered in the myriad of posts, but what happens if this congress is shut down, as something that is being thrown around now (that I'm now hearing on CNN)? Apparently it was done by the Republicans a number of years ago.

With no CR past March 4th, where do things stand for NASA (let alone the rest of government)?

If there is no CR or other appropriations legislation, then all Federal workers considered "non-essential" go home and stay until called back to work.

It happened twice in late 1995 because of a stand-off between the Republican-controlled Congress and President Clinton. The first time was for a couple of days in November, and the second time was for a couple of weeks during the Christmas holiday period, when most people are planning to be off, anyway. Eventually they came to a budget agreement and everybody came back to work without losing pay.

How it plays out this time is anybody's (51D?) guess. I read somewhere that there are 87 (IIRC) Freshmen Congressmen out there who don't feel they need to compromise with anybody
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 02/19/2011 01:06 am
Thanks Starlab.

It's sounding ominous.

I know Obama made concessions to not hold the American people hostage by allowing tax cuts for the rich, in exchange for unemployment benefits, but is there something he could do here? From what I've heard & read on American politics, he can veto & (I think) he can enact emergency measures to get people back to work. As this is obviously outside that realm, this could be a real possibility: walkout & shut-down of non-essentials. From bad to worse in this economic climate.

(as an aside, probably good for the public to see how even electing a new House accomplishes nothing, and in fact can make things worse)
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 02/19/2011 01:12 am
Forgive me if this was already answered in the myriad of posts, but what happens if this congress is shut down, as something that is being thrown around now (that I'm now hearing on CNN)? Apparently it was done by the Republicans a number of years ago.

With no CR past March 4th, where do things stand for NASA (let alone the rest of government)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_government_shutdown_of_1995

Also: http://www.aip.org/fyi/1995/fyi95.162.htm

Quote
The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 162: November 16, 1995

The closure of significant portions of the federal government this
week has had a varying impact on departments and agencies tracked
by FYI.  Here is a brief summary of where things now stand on this,
the third day of shutdown:

...

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION and NASA:  Funding for these two
agencies is provided in the VA, HUD, Independent Agencies
Appropriations Bill.   This bill is one of many Congress has yet to
complete.  Next week, Congress may pass a separate appropriation
for some VA programs, which would reduce pressure on the need to
pass the entire bill.  Approximately 94% of NASA's 21,000 civil
servants have been affected by the furlough
.  NSF is now being
staffed by 22 employees.

The first of the two shutdowns was from November 14 through November 19, 1995. STS-74 was on orbit during this time (November 12 launch through November 20 landing). Anyone know if it was affected in any way by that shutdown?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: Jorge on 02/19/2011 01:15 am
Forgive me if this was already answered in the myriad of posts, but what happens if this congress is shut down, as something that is being thrown around now (that I'm now hearing on CNN)? Apparently it was done by the Republicans a number of years ago.

With no CR past March 4th, where do things stand for NASA (let alone the rest of government)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_government_shutdown_of_1995

Also: http://www.aip.org/fyi/1995/fyi95.162.htm

Quote
The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 162: November 16, 1995

The closure of significant portions of the federal government this
week has had a varying impact on departments and agencies tracked
by FYI.  Here is a brief summary of where things now stand on this,
the third day of shutdown:

...

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION and NASA:  Funding for these two
agencies is provided in the VA, HUD, Independent Agencies
Appropriations Bill.   This bill is one of many Congress has yet to
complete.  Next week, Congress may pass a separate appropriation
for some VA programs, which would reduce pressure on the need to
pass the entire bill.  Approximately 94% of NASA's 21,000 civil
servants have been affected by the furlough
.  NSF is now being
staffed by 22 employees.

The first of the two shutdowns was from November 14 through November 19, 1995. STS-74 was on orbit during this time (November 12 launch through November 20 landing). Anyone know if it was affected in any way by that shutdown?

No, only "nonessential" civil service personnel were affected. Those working STS-74 were unaffected. Contractor personnel (which are the vast majority of shuttle program personnel anyway) were likewise unaffected.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 02/19/2011 01:21 am
Forgive me if this was already answered in the myriad of posts, but what happens if this congress is shut down, as something that is being thrown around now (that I'm now hearing on CNN)? Apparently it was done by the Republicans a number of years ago.

With no CR past March 4th, where do things stand for NASA (let alone the rest of government)?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_government_shutdown_of_1995

Also: http://www.aip.org/fyi/1995/fyi95.162.htm

Quote
The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News
Number 162: November 16, 1995

The closure of significant portions of the federal government this
week has had a varying impact on departments and agencies tracked
by FYI.  Here is a brief summary of where things now stand on this,
the third day of shutdown:

...

Thanks!
Just reading the wiki article, I'd swear it's deja vu all over, with the debt limit spectre looming (on top of everything else).
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 02/19/2011 01:39 am
No, only "nonessential" civil service personnel were affected. Those working STS-74 were unaffected. Contractor personnel (which are the vast majority of shuttle program personnel anyway) were likewise unaffected.
I'd forgotten about that coincidence; FWIW, NASA Select continued broadcasting mission coverage, which probably explains why I forgot.  Most of the other public affairs apparatus were shutdown.  (Historical reference (http://history.nasa.gov/SP-4225/sts74/sts-74.htm#flying).)  That might be a bit more noticeable today.  (And it might affect my plans to visit JSC. :))

But we're still a long ways (figuratively) from a federal shutdown.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: 2552 on 02/19/2011 01:50 am
No, only "nonessential" civil service personnel were affected. Those working STS-74 were unaffected. Contractor personnel (which are the vast majority of shuttle program personnel anyway) were likewise unaffected.

OK, so STS-133, which would still be in orbit on March 4, shouldn't be affected either if there is a shutdown, thanks. But if a shutdown hypothetically lasts until April 19 (unlikely), would STS-134 be prevented/delayed from launching?
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: robertross on 02/19/2011 01:56 am
No, only "nonessential" civil service personnel were affected. Those working STS-74 were unaffected. Contractor personnel (which are the vast majority of shuttle program personnel anyway) were likewise unaffected.

OK, so STS-133, which would still be in orbit on March 4, shouldn't be affected either if there is a shutdown, thanks. But if a shutdown hypothetically lasts until April 19 (unlikely), would STS-134 be prevented/delayed from launching?

I would say absolutely. The pad flow wouldn't happen, since the mission hasn't started yet and would be deemed non-essential.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: PeterAlt on 02/19/2011 06:07 am
I didn't see anyone mention this, but if it was I apologize for the duplicate information...

President Obama said he will veto the proposed House CR, if passed, that would rollback spending to 2010 levels.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: OpsAnalyst on 02/19/2011 01:52 pm
I didn't see anyone mention this, but if it was I apologize for the duplicate information...

President Obama said he will veto the proposed House CR, if passed, that would rollback spending to 2010 levels.

He won't see it as the CR as passed by the House will not make it through the Senate.

Calendar watchers are angling for another so-called "clean CR" to keep the machinery of gov't rolling given that an agreement seems unlikely by March 4.  So far the House Repubs do not concur.  This is going to be interesting...the "mainstream" Republicans certainly remember the consequences of the '94 shutdown - basically it nuked the GOP for a while - but I wonder if the tea party kiddos fully grasp the lessons of history?  ...would be ironic if they do not, given their movement moniker.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 02/19/2011 06:17 pm
I didn't see anyone mention this, but if it was I apologize for the duplicate information...

President Obama said he will veto the proposed House CR, if passed, that would rollback spending to 2010 levels.

He won't see it as the CR as passed by the House will not make it through the Senate.

Calendar watchers are angling for another so-called "clean CR" to keep the machinery of gov't rolling given that an agreement seems unlikely by March 4.  So far the House Repubs do not concur.  This is going to be interesting...the "mainstream" Republicans certainly remember the consequences of the '94 shutdown - basically it nuked the GOP for a while - but I wonder if the tea party kiddos fully grasp the lessons of history?  ...would be ironic if they do not, given their movement moniker.

I am not sure what you are expecting but given the fact that President Obama has suggested a freeze of the NASA Budget at $18.7B in FY2012, it would be surprising if NASA gets more than $18.7B for FY2011. The $18.4B suggested by the House might be increased by the Senate a little bit but not by much. The fact that the House decided to cut $100B from the FY 2011 Discretionary Budget isn't surprising given the fact that they had promised to do so in their pledge to America.   Let's see how this plays out. This is part of the democratic process.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: psloss on 02/19/2011 07:06 pm
I didn't see anyone mention this, but if it was I apologize for the duplicate information...

President Obama said he will veto the proposed House CR, if passed, that would rollback spending to 2010 levels.

He won't see it as the CR as passed by the House will not make it through the Senate.

Calendar watchers are angling for another so-called "clean CR" to keep the machinery of gov't rolling given that an agreement seems unlikely by March 4.  So far the House Repubs do not concur.  This is going to be interesting...the "mainstream" Republicans certainly remember the consequences of the '94 shutdown - basically it nuked the GOP for a while - but I wonder if the tea party kiddos fully grasp the lessons of history?  ...would be ironic if they do not, given their movement moniker.

I am not sure what you are expecting but given the fact that President Obama has suggested a freeze of the NASA Budget at $18.7B in FY2012, it would be surprising if NASA gets more than $18.7B for FY2011. The $18.4B suggested by the House might be increased by the Senate a little bit but not by much. The fact that the House decided to cut $100B from the FY 2011 Discretionary Budget isn't surprising given the fact that they had promised to do so in their pledge to America.   Let's see how this plays out. This is part of the democratic process.
NASA's numbers and federal space policy are not a big factor in the negotiations that will go on about the next continuing resolution to be passed, but NASA's day-to-day operations would be impacted if nothing is in place by March 5th and there's a federal shutdown.

Prior to Speaker Boehner's recent comments, speculation was if there was no compromise on spending for the remainder of FY 2011, another short-term clean CR could be passed by both houses.  Now there's more speculation on the Republican House and the Democratic Senate not being able to compromise on the next CR before the current CR expires.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: yg1968 on 02/19/2011 07:29 pm
It looks like the House passed a bill this morning to reduce $60B in spending:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/49854.html

The Democrats in the Senate are offering $41B in spending cuts.

See also:
http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=264

One of the amendments that was passed:
Quote
An amendment by Rep. Weiner (D-NY) to transfer $298 million from NASA Cross Agency Support to the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
Title: Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
Post by: OpsAnalyst on 02/22/2011 12:04 am
I didn't see anyone mention this, but if it was I apologize for the duplicate information...

President Obama said he will veto the proposed House CR, if passed, that would rollback spending to 2010 levels.

He won't see it as the CR as passed by the House will not make it through the Senate.

Calendar watchers are angling for another so-called "clean CR" to keep the machinery of gov't rolling given that an agreement seems unlikely by March 4.  So far the House Repubs do not concur.  This is going to be interesting...the "mainstream" Republicans certainly remember the consequences of the '94 shutdown - basically it nuked the GOP for a while - but I wonder if the tea party kiddos fully grasp the lessons of history?  ...would be ironic if they do not, given their movement moniker.

I am not sure what you are expecting but given the fact that President Obama has suggested a freeze of the NASA Budget at $18.7B in FY2012, it would be surprising if NASA gets more than $18.7B for FY2011. The $18.4B suggested by the House might be increased by the Senate a little bit but not by much. The fact that the House decided to cut $100B from the FY 2011 Discretionary Budget isn't surprising given the fact that they had promised to do so in their pledge to America.   Let's see how this plays out. This is part of the democratic process.

In fact I was commenting on the process, not NASA - you misunderstand, or I wasn't clear, or both.