Author Topic: HLS Option B and the Sustaining Lunar Development Phase (Appendix P)  (Read 192216 times)

Online Robotbeat

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*snip*
I'm pretty sure that whatever NASA winds up with for flight pressure suits, it'll be plug-compatible between Orion and LSS.

*snip*

I am of the presumption that NASA will bring the Orion's IVA pressure suits into the HLS for use during that vehicle's crewed proximity / docking / lunar descent / ascent operations. It makes sense, since those suits are already on Orion for that purpose.

As an aside, IIRC these Orion IVA suits are supposed to be designed for 8 or 10 days of continuous use in the event of an emergency, which is long enough to get Orion from NRHO back to Earth.
But suits are usually made in parallel with the spacecraft, made for one another as compatible systems. starship uses, I believe, Dragon-heritage systems, so itd make a lot more sense to use Dragon IVA suits for that purpose. Seats, interfaces, life support, etc, would all need to be remade if they had to somehow switch to Orion IVA suits and would require interfacing with proprietary Lockheed Martin systems, which sounds like an absolute nightmare for a commercial (as opposed to traditional NASA-run) contract.

Nah, gonna say Dragon-heritage IVA suits are much more likely for that purpose. Would be much cheaper for SpaceX overall not to have to redesign everything. And keep in mind the Dragon suits are much more proven and the design more stabilized.
I had assumed that the HLS contract specified the use of Orion IVA suits. If not, then crew that is going to descend to the lunar surface during Artemis III will need to change suits when they move from Orion to HLS.
Dont assume. Im not aware of anything that specifies use of the Orion IVA.
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Offline DanClemmensen

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*snip*
I'm pretty sure that whatever NASA winds up with for flight pressure suits, it'll be plug-compatible between Orion and LSS.

*snip*

I am of the presumption that NASA will bring the Orion's IVA pressure suits into the HLS for use during that vehicle's crewed proximity / docking / lunar descent / ascent operations. It makes sense, since those suits are already on Orion for that purpose.

As an aside, IIRC these Orion IVA suits are supposed to be designed for 8 or 10 days of continuous use in the event of an emergency, which is long enough to get Orion from NRHO back to Earth.
But suits are usually made in parallel with the spacecraft, made for one another as compatible systems. starship uses, I believe, Dragon-heritage systems, so itd make a lot more sense to use Dragon IVA suits for that purpose. Seats, interfaces, life support, etc, would all need to be remade if they had to somehow switch to Orion IVA suits and would require interfacing with proprietary Lockheed Martin systems, which sounds like an absolute nightmare for a commercial (as opposed to traditional NASA-run) contract.

Nah, gonna say Dragon-heritage IVA suits are much more likely for that purpose. Would be much cheaper for SpaceX overall not to have to redesign everything. And keep in mind the Dragon suits are much more proven and the design more stabilized.
I had assumed that the HLS contract specified the use of Orion IVA suits. If not, then crew that is going to descend to the lunar surface during Artemis III will need to change suits when they move from Orion to HLS.
Dont assume. Im not aware of anything that specifies use of the Orion IVA.
So how does this work? When do they change suits?

Offline Zed_Noir

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I think yg1968 is saying "No" specifically to F9/Dragon/HLS missions, either private or through NASA, and is saying "Yes" to private SpaceX Starship / HLS missions in general, but only after Artemis 3.
That's what I understood yg1968 to say. I do not understand why the Starship flight is politically acceptable but the F9/D2 flight is not politically acceptable. They both pose the same threat to SLS/Orion.

They do but I expect that crewed Starship will be ready far enough into the future that it won't matter at that point. Furthermore, crewed Starship would have to get certified and I am not convinced that this will happen until NASA decides that it needs crewed Starship for lunar or Mars crewed missions. Starship is overkill for the commercial LEO destinations program. I suspect that SpaceX will continue to use crewed Dragon for LEO missions.
Think the Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon to LEO mode of transport might only be use by NASA after everyone else have transfer to the Starship due to cost.

To alleviate concerns about the lack of launch abort escape capability with the current Starship variants. SpaceX might field a few LEO taxi Starships with flight escape pods for about a dozen persons and reduce cargo payload mass.

The size and cargo capacity of the various Starship variants doesn't really matter to the end user. Who will be looking for the cheapest launch price for their payload with a reasonable chance of getting into orbit or to a destination.



Offline DanClemmensen

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I think yg1968 is saying "No" specifically to F9/Dragon/HLS missions, either private or through NASA, and is saying "Yes" to private SpaceX Starship / HLS missions in general, but only after Artemis 3.
That's what I understood yg1968 to say. I do not understand why the Starship flight is politically acceptable but the F9/D2 flight is not politically acceptable. They both pose the same threat to SLS/Orion.
They do but I expect that crewed Starship will be ready far enough into the future that it won't matter at that point. Furthermore, crewed Starship would have to get certified and I am not convinced that this will happen until NASA decides that it needs crewed Starship for lunar or Mars crewed missions. Starship is overkill for the commercial LEO destinations program. I suspect that SpaceX will continue to use crewed Dragon for LEO missions.
Thanks, I see. You are arguing that an F9/D2 mission is unacceptable because it can be done sooner than a Starship mission, so you believe the demise of SLS/Orion will eventually become acceptable.

Crewed Starship is not overkill for LEO if it is cheaper than the alternatives. It will certainly be a lot cheaper than F9/D2 even for only four crew. SpaceX will use Starship instead of F9/D2 unless the customer (NASA) requires F9/D2. To be "overkill" there needs to be a cheaper alternative than Starship. When do you think that will happen?  Note that a single Starship mission can handle both the crew and the cargo, so It's not one-for-one.


Offline whitelancer64

*snip*
I'm pretty sure that whatever NASA winds up with for flight pressure suits, it'll be plug-compatible between Orion and LSS.

*snip*

I am of the presumption that NASA will bring the Orion's IVA pressure suits into the HLS for use during that vehicle's crewed proximity / docking / lunar descent / ascent operations. It makes sense, since those suits are already on Orion for that purpose.

As an aside, IIRC these Orion IVA suits are supposed to be designed for 8 or 10 days of continuous use in the event of an emergency, which is long enough to get Orion from NRHO back to Earth.

But suits are usually made in parallel with the spacecraft, made for one another as compatible systems. starship uses, I believe, Dragon-heritage systems, so itd make a lot more sense to use Dragon IVA suits for that purpose. Seats, interfaces, life support, etc, would all need to be remade

*snip* lemme stop you right there.

Nothing at all needs to be remade if it's designed from the beginning to use the Orion suits - which the Artemis astronauts will already have onboard - thereby eliminating having two non-compatible systems.

It also makes it a lot easier to reuse the HLS with different crews, since they will all bring along their own Orion IVA suits in Orion and won't need to have SpaceX build custom suits for each crew. Cheaper for NASA and simpler, win win.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline whitelancer64


I think yg1968 is saying "No" specifically to F9/Dragon/HLS missions, either private or through NASA, and is saying "Yes" to private SpaceX Starship / HLS missions in general, but only after Artemis 3.
That's what I understood yg1968 to say. I do not understand why the Starship flight is politically acceptable but the F9/D2 flight is not politically acceptable. They both pose the same threat to SLS/Orion.

I don't think any of it has to do with being politically acceptable, but Falcon 9 / Dragon is much more expensive than Starship will be. It's simple economics for a private mission to not use F9 / Dragon.

NASA has priority for lunar landings because they are paying SpaceX a lot to develop the landing system. Same with crew flights to the ISS getting priority over any private astronaut flights.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline whitelancer64

*snip*
I'm pretty sure that whatever NASA winds up with for flight pressure suits, it'll be plug-compatible between Orion and LSS.

*snip*

I am of the presumption that NASA will bring the Orion's IVA pressure suits into the HLS for use during that vehicle's crewed proximity / docking / lunar descent / ascent operations. It makes sense, since those suits are already on Orion for that purpose.

As an aside, IIRC these Orion IVA suits are supposed to be designed for 8 or 10 days of continuous use in the event of an emergency, which is long enough to get Orion from NRHO back to Earth.
But suits are usually made in parallel with the spacecraft, made for one another as compatible systems. starship uses, I believe, Dragon-heritage systems, so itd make a lot more sense to use Dragon IVA suits for that purpose. Seats, interfaces, life support, etc, would all need to be remade if they had to somehow switch to Orion IVA suits and would require interfacing with proprietary Lockheed Martin systems, which sounds like an absolute nightmare for a commercial (as opposed to traditional NASA-run) contract.

Nah, gonna say Dragon-heritage IVA suits are much more likely for that purpose. Would be much cheaper for SpaceX overall not to have to redesign everything. And keep in mind the Dragon suits are much more proven and the design more stabilized.
I had assumed that the HLS contract specified the use of Orion IVA suits. If not, then crew that is going to descend to the lunar surface during Artemis III will need to change suits when they move from Orion to HLS.
Dont assume. Im not aware of anything that specifies use of the Orion IVA.
So how does this work? When do they change suits?

If this is the conops, the answer is that they don't. They'd only wear the SpaceX suits in the HLS and the Orion suits in the Orion, and only during RPROD or lunar descent/ascent. The suits would never leave either respective vehicle.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

Offline DanClemmensen

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*snip*
I'm pretty sure that whatever NASA winds up with for flight pressure suits, it'll be plug-compatible between Orion and LSS.

*snip*

I am of the presumption that NASA will bring the Orion's IVA pressure suits into the HLS for use during that vehicle's crewed proximity / docking / lunar descent / ascent operations. It makes sense, since those suits are already on Orion for that purpose.

As an aside, IIRC these Orion IVA suits are supposed to be designed for 8 or 10 days of continuous use in the event of an emergency, which is long enough to get Orion from NRHO back to Earth.
But suits are usually made in parallel with the spacecraft, made for one another as compatible systems. starship uses, I believe, Dragon-heritage systems, so itd make a lot more sense to use Dragon IVA suits for that purpose. Seats, interfaces, life support, etc, would all need to be remade if they had to somehow switch to Orion IVA suits and would require interfacing with proprietary Lockheed Martin systems, which sounds like an absolute nightmare for a commercial (as opposed to traditional NASA-run) contract.

Nah, gonna say Dragon-heritage IVA suits are much more likely for that purpose. Would be much cheaper for SpaceX overall not to have to redesign everything. And keep in mind the Dragon suits are much more proven and the design more stabilized.
I had assumed that the HLS contract specified the use of Orion IVA suits. If not, then crew that is going to descend to the lunar surface during Artemis III will need to change suits when they move from Orion to HLS.
Dont assume. Im not aware of anything that specifies use of the Orion IVA.
So how does this work? When do they change suits?

If this is the conops, the answer is that they don't. They'd only wear the SpaceX suits in the HLS and the Orion suits in the Orion, and only during RPROD or lunar descent/ascent. The suits would never leave either respective vehicle.
So after the docking  is complete, the crew that is transferring strips out of their Orion IVA suits and traverses through the port into HLS, where they don their HLS IVA suits? Orion and HLS are considered to be "shirtsleeve" environments? I guess I had assumed that crew in a capsule are supposed to be in an IVA suit.

Online Robotbeat

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They probably will remain docked for a while (hours at least) so would want to change out of their IVA suits anyway.   
« Last Edit: 11/23/2022 03:46 am by Robotbeat »
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Offline DanClemmensen

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I think yg1968 is saying "No" specifically to F9/Dragon/HLS missions, either private or through NASA, and is saying "Yes" to private SpaceX Starship / HLS missions in general, but only after Artemis 3.
That's what I understood yg1968 to say. I do not understand why the Starship flight is politically acceptable but the F9/D2 flight is not politically acceptable. They both pose the same threat to SLS/Orion.

I don't think any of it has to do with being politically acceptable, but Falcon 9 / Dragon is much more expensive than Starship will be. It's simple economics for a private mission to not use F9 / Dragon.

NASA has priority for lunar landings because they are paying SpaceX a lot to develop the landing system. Same with crew flights to the ISS getting priority over any private astronaut flights.
Cost does not appear to be a driver for someone who wants to be the first to do something. If a F9/D2 flight can be done in 2027 but a Starship flight must wait until 2029, then the extra cost for the F9/D2 flight will not be a deterrent.

Sure, the NASA Artemis flights using the mighty SLS/Orion will have absolute priority: SpaceX has already contracted to provide HLSs for Artemis 3 and Artemis 4. Given SpaceX' estimated production capacity starting in about 2024, I don't think they will be capacity constrained even when you reserve these two NASA HLSs. For Artemis, they need to produce three HLSs, one Depot, and one Tanker, but I suspect they will produce a few additional tankers. To support a private mission they need one additional HLS.

Offline TheRadicalModerate

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I don't think any of it has to do with being politically acceptable, but Falcon 9 / Dragon is much more expensive than Starship will be. It's simple economics for a private mission to not use F9 / Dragon.

NASA has priority for lunar landings because they are paying SpaceX a lot to develop the landing system. Same with crew flights to the ISS getting priority over any private astronaut flights.

If simple economics played into any of the private missions, none of them would exist.  These are status goods right now.  And what could be better status than being one of the first into cislunar, or even on the lunar surface?  Earlier is better.  Earlier requires a D2 and an extra tanker or three, depending on the conops.

If there were a whole bunch of D2 work needed to implement this, then I'd be inclined to agree that they'd shy away from this.  But AFAICT it's almost a gimme.  There's some mission planning work, a proof of concept that a D2 can survive powered down in orbit for 30 days, maybe a docking test (let Jared do it!), and that's it.

When/if Starship gets launch/EDL crew-certified, it's simply a change in the ride to LEO.  D2 doesn't hurt that program.

Note also that your statement that this isn't a matter of political acceptability is somewhat at odds with what you wrote before:

Update:  Oops, I lost track of the attribution chain. Sorry!

For various reasons, I don't think that F9/Dragon and HLS-Starship will ever be proposed, even if makes sense. SpaceX doesn't want to propose it and NASA doesn't want it proposed because they know that it would upset SLS proponents in Congress which in turn could jeopardize the funding for HLS. SpaceX is also not keen on it because they think that crew Dragon is a dead-end.

I mostly agree with this, as far as it goes.  I certainly agree that SpaceX won't do anything that would obviously hurt Artemis funding before they can put their money where their mouth is.  But this is a deeper problem to game out than just annoying Congress in the short term.

If SpaceX thinks that Artemis is unsustainable in the medium term, they have very little to lose in proposing an alternative that is probably a win-win-win:  Congress can lop out $2B-$3B a year of from NASA's budget.  NASA will still come out ahead, because their low cadence mission manifest that cost about $5B/mission now costs about $1B-$2B/mission (depending on how Option B sustainability actually goes), leaving roughly an extra $1B on the table to do something interesting in ESDMD or SOMD.  And SpaceX gets a BEO anchor customer that can drive a huge amount of flight heritage that applies to their Mars aspirations.

So:  Is the Artemis architecture of record sustainable in the medium term, to say nothing of the long term?

Quote
The fact that Tito indicated that a trip to the lunar surface wasn't a possibility makes me think that SpaceX isn't offering HLS-Starship to private customers just yet and I don't think that they will for a while. One of the reasons is that they don't know how much HLS-Starship will cost at this point and another reason is that it could jeopardize HLS funding if they did offer it to private astronauts. I think that SpaceX is focusing on the bigger picture which is Mars. Having said that, I expect SpaceX to start selling private lunar surface missions once crewed Starship is ready (which should be after Artemis III).

This is fair criticism.  But if that's true, they're gonna have an extremely good handle on costs by Arty 3.  I wouldn't expect them to hoist the Jolly Roger before then.  But after that, I don't think it matters much if SpaceX annoys Congress.  Either something changes with the architecture, or something changes with the whole program--and not in a good way.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2022 05:26 am by TheRadicalModerate »

Offline TheRadicalModerate

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So after the docking  is complete, the crew that is transferring strips out of their Orion IVA suits and traverses through the port into HLS, where they don their HLS IVA suits? Orion and HLS are considered to be "shirtsleeve" environments? I guess I had assumed that crew in a capsule are supposed to be in an IVA suit.

My understanding is that you use IVAs during potentially hazardous maneuvers.  So when they're docking, they're in IVA suit #1.  When hard dock is verified and the tunnel is open, they remove IVA #1, go to the other LSS/D2/whatever in shirtsleeves, then put on IVA suit #2 for undocking and the trip home.

Update:  My question would be if you can use IVAs for an emergency EVA transfer.  I suspect that Polaris 1 will provide some of that answer.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2022 04:31 am by TheRadicalModerate »

Offline DanClemmensen

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So after the docking  is complete, the crew that is transferring strips out of their Orion IVA suits and traverses through the port into HLS, where they don their HLS IVA suits? Orion and HLS are considered to be "shirtsleeve" environments? I guess I had assumed that crew in a capsule are supposed to be in an IVA suit.
My understanding is that you use IVAs during potentially hazardous maneuvers.  So when they're docking, they're in IVA suit #1.  When hard dock is verified and the tunnel is open, they remove IVA #1, go to the other LSS/D2/whatever in shirtsleeves, then put on IVA suit #2 for undocking and the trip home.

It seems that NASA could save some money by standardizing the IVA suits. Since the majority of suits are SpaceX, they would "merely" need to use the SpaceX suits for Orion, and all would be good. The advantages for mission safety and efficiency are more important than the money.

Offline DigitalMan

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It seems like the intention resulting from Polaris Dawn is maturation of a new suit that could be used to completely replace the existing IVA suit, iterating the design into something more capable, that can be used for EVA.

I think it would make astronauts more confident BEO with such a capability. IVA-only suits could expose crew to more risk.

Offline TheRadicalModerate

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I don't want to restart the "Is Starship actually crew-certifiable for launch and EDL?" food fight here, so I resurrected the old "abort options for Starship" thread to write down some of my reasons why I expect launch/EDL certification to take a long time.  TL;DR version: I'm a lot more concerned about EDL than I am about launch.

Offline TheRadicalModerate

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It seems that NASA could save some money by standardizing the IVA suits. Since the majority of suits are SpaceX, they would "merely" need to use the SpaceX suits for Orion, and all would be good. The advantages for mission safety and efficiency are more important than the money.

You don't even need to standardize the suits.  You just need to standardize their air/power/comms hookups, emergency seat clearance, and restraint compatibility.

Offline clongton

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They do but I expect that crewed Starship will be ready far enough into the future that it won't matter at that point. Furthermore, crewed Starship would have to get certified and I am not convinced that this will happen until NASA decides that it needs crewed Starship for lunar or Mars crewed missions. <snip>

To take this conversation in a slightly different direction I would like to ask a question about a spacecraft being crew rated. I would assume that as soon as NASA astronauts board the SpaceX HLS for lunar operations (their very lives are committed to the proper functioning of all HLS systems) that at that point, HLS actually becomes a de facto crew rated spacecraft. If that is not true then NASA would be, in fact, committing the lives of the crew to a non-crew rated spacecraft. Would that be a fair assessment?
« Last Edit: 11/23/2022 11:46 am by clongton »
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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The discussion from the standpoint of which suits would be used during what phase of the CONOPS points to my hope that an eventual suit/ship interface standard is developed that has some teeth to it. Not just a list or NASA requirements because there will be a lot more non-NASA crew players delivering hardware of ships or suits. And without an international interface standard there becomes a large problem of crew danger in emergency situations when ship and suit unexpected combos are forced to be used.

Short term where full control of ships and suits possible to be used will work fro now but in a decade it could get complicated.

Additionally from the standpoint of interoperable ability of a Artemis used suit design and a ship design is significantly discussed in the several suit threads.

Offline DanClemmensen

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They do but I expect that crewed Starship will be ready far enough into the future that it won't matter at that point. Furthermore, crewed Starship would have to get certified and I am not convinced that this will happen until NASA decides that it needs crewed Starship for lunar or Mars crewed missions. <snip>

To take this conversation in a slightly different direction I would like to ask a question about a spacecraft being crew rated. I would assume that as soon as NASA astronauts board the SpaceX HLS for lunar operations (their very lives are committed to the proper functioning of all HLS systems) that at that point, HLS actually becomes a de facto crew rated spacecraft. If that is not true then NASA would be, in fact, committing the lives of the crew to a non-crew rated spacecraft. Would that be a fair assessment?
Almost, but not quite, at least by analogy with earlier spacecraft. The very first flight with crew is a "crewed flight test". Among other things, if possible it is restricted to only two crew, both experienced test pilots and full-time professional NASA astronauts. After the CFT is evaluated, the spacecraft can be certified. I'm not sure why Artemis 2 (effectively the Orion CFT) will have a crew of four.

Offline whitelancer64

So after the docking  is complete, the crew that is transferring strips out of their Orion IVA suits and traverses through the port into HLS, where they don their HLS IVA suits? Orion and HLS are considered to be "shirtsleeve" environments? I guess I had assumed that crew in a capsule are supposed to be in an IVA suit.
My understanding is that you use IVAs during potentially hazardous maneuvers.  So when they're docking, they're in IVA suit #1.  When hard dock is verified and the tunnel is open, they remove IVA #1, go to the other LSS/D2/whatever in shirtsleeves, then put on IVA suit #2 for undocking and the trip home.

It seems that NASA could save some money by standardizing the IVA suits. Since the majority of suits are SpaceX, they would "merely" need to use the SpaceX suits for Orion, and all would be good. The advantages for mission safety and efficiency are more important than the money.

Eh? The majority of the suits are SpaceX?  How?

The only suits that would be SpaceX are the hypothetical IVA suits the HLS would need. Then there'd be the Axiom / Collins lunar surface EVA suits (already on the HLS) and Orion carries the Orion IVA suits the crew wear during SLS launch and RPOD.

NASA could save some money by NOT buying IVA suits for the HLS from SpaceX, and use the already existing Orion IVA suits.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
"There are lies, damned lies, and launch schedules." - Larry J

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