Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 708720 times)

Offline moose103

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CxP is going away, except for Orion, but the money is really not.  Shuttle, in its current form is going away.  With respect to STS, the largest part of the program in terms of budget and manpower is related to orbiter.  If that is no longer needed, then logically, a SDLV should be considerably cheaper.

If "commercial" is to reduce the cost of transport to LEO significantly reduce transportation costs where those can be purchased firm-fixed price, how is so many are saying there is no money for anything?

I agree, but this is hope.  It isn't written down, it isn't law, and no one is committed to it.  Are we so desperate that we should accept half a space program and then just hope for the best?

Let me think of some reasons to not hope for the best and trust Congress.

- Congress is responsible for the gap.  We can't trust their competency to plan.

- Congress is responsible for canceling Saturn V, Shuttle (and what else?).  We can't trust their commitment.

- Congress is responsible for no humans BEO since 1972.  We can't trust their vision.

- Congress is responsible for underfunding Constellation (and what else?).  We can't trust the money will be there when needed.

Am I wrong?  Isn't it time we demand the money to match the vision?  Or if not, then demand the vision to match the money?

Offline Namechange User

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moose, I was just pointing out simple math on a high level.  By that, I mean where it goes now essentially and where it is theoretically going in the future in order to help dispell the collective arm-waving by some that there will be no money left for anything else.  Again, on a high level. 

In addition, I was hoping to point out that, with respect to commercial, some on here have claimed it being a slam-dunk in substantially lowering the overall cost.  I support "commercial" but still have certain questions.  That said, I have no doubt it will happen at some point relatively soon and likely result in lowering the cost to orbit.  I also have no problem with, and like, it getting substantial funding as long as we know exactly how we are spending it so that it truly does result in short-term gains for the industry and nation. 

In the end, by the above post, I was hoping to force "others" to acknowledge they cannot have it both ways by saying there is no money for anything, because of an assumption on their parts about a specific vehicle, when those same people are saying we are "just a few years from" commercial operations and hence lower cost. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline telomerase99

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I think everybody here voted for the senate version on NSF, its time to call your congressmen to let him know how we feel. We have less than 24 hours!!

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=34612

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Mike which proposal do you think will win out: House or Senate?

I would hope the Senate but there is another on here far better qualified to speak to that. 
51 I would guess.

Well, thanks for the vote of confidence that I might be able to answer. But the fact is, it's really not a matter of "which one wins." The ideal answer would be that "Both" win, which will be the case if a supportable consensus is reached through the next phases of the legislative process that are designed to yield a consensus on the language of a bill that is agreed to by both House and Senate and is sent to the President. There are clearly things in one bill or the other that could be combined into a single package, and it will be the goal of the involved Committee leadership of both Houses to identify those and ensure they can be included and maintain the support of all--or enough to ensure final passage. (Actually, it will likely need to be "All" in both chambers, because the press of legislative schedule for the remainder of this year is that there will need to be virtual unanimity in both Houses in order to enact a NASA Authorization bill.)

My view is that such an outcome is very "doable," despite what I expect will be the efforts of some individuals and organizations who still seem to believe that their interests would best be served by blocking ANY NASA Bill, so that they can continue the recent "chaos and uncertainty" and somehow turn it to their benefit. I know who they are, and they know who they are, and I am disappointed--but frankly not surprised--that they believe their narrow interests are more important than supporting a compromise path forward that is in the nation's near and long-term interest. But they seem to want what they want when they want it, and it is their right under our system for them to pursue their own self-interest.

But if I were to go back to the original question and try to predict a winner and a loser, it is my prediction that the losers will be those who refuse to accept or unable to understand that their real best hope is a viable space program in which they could have an important and viable role as a valuable contributing resource.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline marsavian

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Let me think of some reasons to not hope for the best and trust Congress.

- Congress is responsible for the gap.  We can't trust their competency to plan.

- Congress is responsible for canceling Saturn V, Shuttle (and what else?).  We can't trust their commitment.

- Congress is responsible for no humans BEO since 1972.  We can't trust their vision.

- Congress is responsible for underfunding Constellation (and what else?).  We can't trust the money will be there when needed.

Am I wrong?  Isn't it time we demand the money to match the vision?  Or if not, then demand the vision to match the money?

Didn't Presidents specifically cancel Apollo, Shuttle and CxP ?

Offline marsavian

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Oh really - What part?
 - That we can't afford 150 mT payloads in the foreseeable future?
 - That we can't build 150 mT, 200mT, or 500mT lifters, *and* afford their payloads?

This is a strawman argument to say the least.

The only vehicle being built in the “foreseeable future” will lift 70mT with the capability to evolve into a 130mT vehicle in the out years if and when we have a need.  We can build 70mT payloads and many are on the drawing boards as listed in many places on this forum.

There is no need for a 150mT vehicle today and no one has suggested such.  Plus there are no legitimate 150mT payload on the drawing.  Maybe 10 or 20 years from now, if or when there is a need for a150mT payloads, we might upgrade a vehicle for that or as some have suggested build it in 2 pieces.


I can think of a few 150mT missions. Single launch HLV missions for the following:- high energy NEOs, sortie and cargo missions to the Lunar North Pole where the water is. It will be cheaper in the long run to send a 150mT HLV on single missions, maybe cargo followed by crew then pairs of 100mT HLVs doing the same job especially if the 150mT HLV is Directly evolved (say 3 stages) from the 100mT one. The 118mT Saturn V could only land a Lunar Module with a Rover on the Moon. Once you start going seriously above that a lot more becomes possible with a single HLV launch.
« Last Edit: 07/30/2010 11:17 am by marsavian »

Online Orbiter

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So today's 'H'-Day is it? They vote on the house floor for this don't they today?

Orbiter
« Last Edit: 07/30/2010 11:26 am by Orbiter »
KSC Engineer, astronomer, rocket photographer.

Offline psloss

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Didn't Presidents specifically cancel Apollo, Shuttle and CxP ?
No, the President and Congress.  Achieving Kennedy's Apollo goal of beating the Soviets was popular, but once that was done, repeating at taxpayer expense was divisive at best.  In the case of Shuttle, Bush's announcement was only weeks after the CAIB report was released; there wasn't much sentiment for leaving policy as it was, and Congress eventually endorsed the VSE outlines in the next authorization bill that made it through both chambers.

And with CxP, at least right now it's not looking like Obama will be able to wholly terminate it.

So today's 'H'-Day is it? They vote on the house floor for this don't they today?
The vote today would be only on their version of an authorization bill.  (HR 5781).
« Last Edit: 07/30/2010 11:37 am by psloss »

Offline psloss

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The SpacePolitics blog notes that the House bill isn't on today's floor schedule.  (Also noting that they are subject to change.)

Democrat/Majority Whip:
http://majorityleader.gov/links_and_resources/whip_resources/currentdailyleader.cfm

Republican/Minority Whip:
http://republicanwhip.house.gov/floor/

Not the first appearance in a thread, but for the proceedings, the House clerk provides a summary of floor actions:
http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floor.html

(C-SPAN also provides live video, but note that yesterday's session ran until after 1 am local; there's a recess coming up.)
« Last Edit: 07/30/2010 12:25 pm by psloss »

Offline kirghizstan

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So today's 'H'-Day is it? They vote on the house floor for this don't they today?

Orbiter

not possible from a purely terminology perspective

D-Day     "Day of military event commences"
H-Hour    "Hour of military event commences"

you cannot have a h-day

Offline orbitjunkie

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...
The only vehicle being built in the “foreseeable future” will lift 70mT with the capability to evolve into a 130mT vehicle in the out years if and when we have a need.  We can build 70mT payloads and many are on the drawing boards as listed in many places on this forum.

There is no need for a 150mT vehicle today and no one has suggested such.  Plus there are no legitimate 150mT payload on the drawing.  Maybe 10 or 20 years from now, if or when there is a need for a150mT payloads, we might upgrade a vehicle for that or as some have suggested build it in 2 pieces.


...
It will be cheaper in the long run to send a 150mT HLV on single missions... Once you start going seriously above that a lot more becomes possible with a single HLV launch.

ISTM that this kind of "bigger is better in the long-run" logic is part of what led to the debacle that was Ares I and V. The argument (correct or not) was that the incremental cost of an Ares I was cheap, and that savings added up over time. And if you were going to build an HLV, you should make it as big as your infrastructure (e.g. VAB doors) could possibly allow. Sure, there might be some theoretical savings at high flight rates spread over 30 years, but if you can't afford to develop the capability in the first place, you'll never see those savings.

I say the DIRECT philosophy is the only way out of it. Build something pretty decent with what you have on-hand, as cheaply and quickly as you can today. That's like a ~70 ton J-130. With a little less urgency develop an upper stage. Then just stick with that! If you can find some low-hanging ways to cut operational costs, look into those over the years. Then, in 10 years time, re-evaluate to see if you really ever need the the 130-150 ton capability, then start work for an eventual upgrade. But I'd say give the next-decade upgrade options a couple months of study as you are designing the first version to make sure your current design doesn't cause any showstoppers later, then just file away those plans and forget them for at least 10 years.

Just some thoughts and opinions...

Offline marsavian

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But I'd say give the next-decade upgrade options a couple months of study as you are designing the first version to make sure your current design doesn't cause any showstoppers later, then just file away those plans and forget them for at least 10 years.


Agreed but also make sure the path is cheap, easy and direct. The way Ares V evolved was not a good example of this. It's obvious you won't be needing it for 10 years at least because there is no lunar lander on the immediate horizon. However tying up and synchronizing the development of the lander with development of the heavier HLV would be an optimum thing.

Offline Jeff Bingham

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So today's 'H'-Day is it? They vote on the house floor for this don't they today?

Orbiter

Last I heard it was not going to be brought up today after all, but things can change rapidly
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline JohnFornaro

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Quote
Then just stick with that! If you can find some low-hanging ways to cut operational costs, look into those over the years.
Pretty much the right approach, I'd say.  I would add a specific five year moratorium on even studying a new vehicle, so that the funding could go to actual mission accomplishments, which would be limited to PD's and the first lunar outpost for ISRU demonstration and implementation.

We really need to bend metal and light fires and get out from this boondoggle prone analysis paralysis mindset.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Online yg1968

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Mike which proposal do you think will win out: House or Senate?

I would hope the Senate but there is another on here far better qualified to speak to that. 
51 I would guess.

Well, thanks for the vote of confidence that I might be able to answer. But the fact is, it's really not a matter of "which one wins." The ideal answer would be that "Both" win, which will be the case if a supportable consensus is reached through the next phases of the legislative process that are designed to yield a consensus on the language of a bill that is agreed to by both House and Senate and is sent to the President. There are clearly things in one bill or the other that could be combined into a single package, and it will be the goal of the involved Committee leadership of both Houses to identify those and ensure they can be included and maintain the support of all--or enough to ensure final passage. (Actually, it will likely need to be "All" in both chambers, because the press of legislative schedule for the remainder of this year is that there will need to be virtual unanimity in both Houses in order to enact a NASA Authorization bill.)

My view is that such an outcome is very "doable," despite what I expect will be the efforts of some individuals and organizations who still seem to believe that their interests would best be served by blocking ANY NASA Bill, so that they can continue the recent "chaos and uncertainty" and somehow turn it to their benefit. I know who they are, and they know who they are, and I am disappointed--but frankly not surprised--that they believe their narrow interests are more important than supporting a compromise path forward that is in the nation's near and long-term interest. But they seem to want what they want when they want it, and it is their right under our system for them to pursue their own self-interest.

But if I were to go back to the original question and try to predict a winner and a loser, it is my prediction that the losers will be those who refuse to accept or unable to understand that their real best hope is a viable space program in which they could have an important and viable role as a valuable contributing resource.

Most organizations are backing the Senate Bill. I guess that ATK is still lobbying for Ares I?
« Last Edit: 07/30/2010 02:01 pm by yg1968 »

Offline psloss

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Another quick timing note from the House clerk page today; both houses passed H.Con.Res 308, which would have Congress in recess until September 14, once business is finished in the next few days.

Offline kirghizstan

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Most organizations are backing the Senate Bill. I guess that ATK is still lobbying for Ares I?

i just don't understand why.  can someone do the math for me, why is 1 5seg > 2 4seg.

they still have the money they made from the 5 seg development.  then can use the tech for future uprgades that they can propose.  they are going to be looking at higher flight rates thus selling more segments. 

Offline mr_magoo

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House bill stalls according to Spacenews.

http://www.spacenews.com/policy/100730-vote-nasa-bill-unlikely.html

Loan guarantees removed, replaced with $300 million in CC grants.

Quote
The bill previously created federally backed loan guarantees for companies developing commercial crewed vehicles, but the committee dropped that provision after the Congressional Budget Office raised questions about the long-term cost of the program. In place of the loan guarantees, the committee added a $300 million grant program aimed at fostering commercial crewed systems, according to a July 28 copy of the suspension bill obtained by Space News.

In addition, the modified bill would prohibit NASA from laying off civil servants for at least six months following the bill’s enactment.

EDIT: I bet that's $300 million over the length of the authorization,  which is still pretty stinky compared to the Senate version.
« Last Edit: 07/30/2010 03:59 pm by mr_magoo »

Online yg1968

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Very interesting article on what happenned in the House and why a vote wasn't held today:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/40472.html
« Last Edit: 07/31/2010 02:26 am by yg1968 »

Offline vt_hokie

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Very interesting article on what happenned in the House and why a vote wasn't held today:
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/40472.html

Frustrating...wish they'd just take the Senate bill and go with it!

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