Author Topic: SpaceX COTS Demo 1 Updates  (Read 596427 times)

Offline Jim

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #40 on: 07/21/2010 12:23 pm »
Does anyone know what's different about the Orbital program that makes less flights acceptable as compared SpaceX or was it simply the agreement reached with NASA?

Simply the agreement with NASA and there was less money available after RPK used up some.

Offline beancounter

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #41 on: 07/22/2010 02:02 am »
Does anyone know what's different about the Orbital program that makes less flights acceptable as compared SpaceX or was it simply the agreement reached with NASA?

Simply the agreement with NASA and there was less money available after RPK used up some.
Good to know.  So there really is no reason why SpaceX can't renegotiate with NASA provided NASA are open to it.
Beancounter from DownUnder

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #42 on: 07/22/2010 04:02 am »
Does anyone know what's different about the Orbital program that makes less flights acceptable as compared SpaceX or was it simply the agreement reached with NASA?

Simply the agreement with NASA and there was less money available after RPK used up some.
Good to know.  So there really is no reason why SpaceX can't renegotiate with NASA provided NASA are open to it.

Orbital got an agreement for fewer flights because they have already flown dozens of government payloads on smaller rockets so as such they had a more established working relationship and technical capability vs SpaceX which was a new outfit.

If NASA feels that SpaceX at some point has demonstrated a sufficiently reliable capability (such as after C1) then they may be more open to reducing the number of demo flights.

Offline Antares

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #43 on: 07/22/2010 05:25 am »
Both companies proposed something (2 very different courses of demonstration) and NASA agreed to what they proposed.  It's really not more than that.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Jim

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #44 on: 07/22/2010 11:50 am »
Does anyone know what's different about the Orbital program that makes less flights acceptable as compared SpaceX or was it simply the agreement reached with NASA?

Simply the agreement with NASA and there was less money available after RPK used up some.
Good to know.  So there really is no reason why SpaceX can't renegotiate with NASA provided NASA are open to it.


No, you can't make that conclusion.  What NASA does for OSC has nothing to do with Spacex

Offline yg1968

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #45 on: 07/22/2010 02:58 pm »
Does anyone know what's different about the Orbital program that makes less flights acceptable as compared SpaceX or was it simply the agreement reached with NASA?

Simply the agreement with NASA and there was less money available after RPK used up some.

There is additionnal money (currently $312M under the Senate appropriation bill) in the Senate bill for COTS in FY 2011 which could include additionnal test flights. 

Quote
SEC. 401. COMMERCIAL CARGO DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.
6 The Administrator shall continue to support the ex
7 isting Commercial Orbital Transportation Services pro
8 gram, aimed at enabling the commercial space industry
9 in support of NASA to develop reliable means of launching
10 cargo and supplies to the ISS throughout the duration of
11 the facility’s operation. The Administrator may apply
12 funds towards the reduction of risk to the timely start of
13 these services, specifically—
14 (1) efforts to conduct a flight test;
15 (2) accelerate development; and
16 (3) develop the ground infrastructure needed
17 for commercial cargo capability.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2010 03:09 pm by yg1968 »

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #46 on: 07/23/2010 01:29 am »
THe big thing is that SpaceX has never developed spacecraft before, while Orbital has for decades, plus they have had experience with an autonomous rendezvous mission (DART) and utilize existing components (IE HTV systems, STAR satellite bus)
« Last Edit: 07/23/2010 01:30 am by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline Antares

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #47 on: 07/23/2010 02:14 am »
It doesn't matter what the company has done.  It matters what the individuals in the company have done.  There are plenty of people at SpaceX with experience from other contractors and agencies.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #48 on: 07/23/2010 04:39 am »
It doesn't matter what the company has done.

Oh I disagree with that.

And Bolden has echoed that sentiment several times (that SpaceX would potentially be held to a higher standard initially than Orbital because of NASA's previous experience with them).
« Last Edit: 07/23/2010 04:40 am by spacetraveler »

Offline Jim

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #49 on: 07/23/2010 10:50 am »
It doesn't matter what the company has done.

Oh I disagree with that.

And Bolden has echoed that sentiment several times (that SpaceX would potentially be held to a higher standard initially than Orbital because of NASA's previous experience with them).

You are wrong

1.  Spacex has no previous NASA experience, where as OSC does
2.  Bolden isn't one of the workers on the program
3.  Antares knows what he is talking about.

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #50 on: 07/23/2010 05:43 pm »
1.  Spacex has no previous NASA experience, where as OSC does

Huh? That was exactly my point. They have more to prove in the initial demos because they have no previous experience. OSC has already proven they can launch payloads reliably (albeit on a smaller scale).

Bolden isn't one of the workers on the program

No, he's just the head of it, lol.
« Last Edit: 07/23/2010 05:50 pm by spacetraveler »

Offline Antares

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #51 on: 07/23/2010 11:58 pm »
It doesn't matter what the company has done.
Oh I disagree with that.

And Bolden has echoed that sentiment several times (that SpaceX would potentially be held to a higher standard initially than Orbital because of NASA's previous experience with them).

What's the basis for your disagreement?  At least I said why it doesn't matter.  A company is nothing.  The people are everything.

Bolden is wrong too.  There's no objective reason to hold SpaceX to a different standard than anyone else.  Either a standard is a standard or it shouldn't be there.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #52 on: 07/24/2010 12:08 am »
Unless the 'extended' standard helps someones agenda - political, economic or, more likely, both.   
« Last Edit: 07/24/2010 12:10 am by docmordrid »
DM

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #53 on: 07/24/2010 01:43 am »
What's the basis for your disagreement?

The demonstrated record of performance to date. The previous successes and the institutional knowledge at the company about previous systems is seen as making development of newer systems more reliable. Even if you hire someone less experienced, if you are working within a program that has an established workflow that produces results, you can be effective.

Yes the people and competence of the workforce do matter the most, but you can also learn much from smaller designs you've done before.

In SpaceX's case you see that with F9 having it's first launch be a success while F1 took 4 tries.

Bolden was basically saying in his testimony that for commercial operators there would be varying levels of oversight and requirements from NASA for varying operators until they had demonstrated a reliable capability and as their reputation was established. I think that's perfectly reasonable. When you are a totally new player, you have more to prove.

That said, I think it's also perfectly reasonable to reevaluate requirements after the testing is underway. Now that the F9 worked on the first try, if Dragon works perfectly on C1, then maybe the other flights can be condensed. In some sense expanded requirements for newer operators can be used as a sort of buffer zone for failures, since you expect more failure from newer systems. If there are never any failures, then sure you may not need that.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2010 01:57 am by spacetraveler »

Offline Antares

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #54 on: 07/24/2010 05:12 am »
While I can see the argument depending on assumptions, that's both bad governance and against procurement regulations, to treat different companies differently.  It probably wouldn't get past the GAO.
« Last Edit: 07/24/2010 05:15 am by Antares »
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline telomerase99

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #55 on: 07/25/2010 11:18 am »
THe big thing is that SpaceX has never developed spacecraft before, while Orbital has for decades, plus they have had experience with an autonomous rendezvous mission (DART) and utilize existing components (IE HTV systems, STAR satellite bus)

Orbital has actually been using the same launch systems that were developed decades ago. Developing this new launch system is very new for their current generation of workers. All they have been doing is repeating systems developed decades ago.

Offline hop

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #56 on: 07/25/2010 09:02 pm »
Orbital has actually been using the same launch systems that were developed decades ago. Developing this new launch system is very new for their current generation of workers. All they have been doing is repeating systems developed decades ago.
Launch vehicles, maybe (though Orbital still does have much more experience operating LVs than SpaceX), but not spacecraft. Having design heritage is widely believed to reduce risk, and Cygnus has far more heritage than Dragon. It is reasonable (and AFAIK within accepted industry practice) for both NASA and Orbital to assign a lower risk to the spacecraft development portion of the project.

The fact that Orbital has successfully brought many spacecraft projects to fruition probably has some effect on the decision makers expectations, even if it isn't an official criteria.

Offline SpacexULA

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #57 on: 07/25/2010 10:31 pm »
Launch vehicles, maybe (though Orbital still does have much more experience operating LVs than SpaceX), but not spacecraft. Having design heritage is widely believed to reduce risk, and Cygnus has far more heritage than Dragon. It is reasonable (and AFAIK within accepted industry practice) for both NASA and Orbital to assign a lower risk to the spacecraft development portion of the project.

The fact that Orbital has successfully brought many spacecraft projects to fruition probably has some effect on the decision makers expectations, even if it isn't an official criteria.

I was under the impression that the original 3 launch COTS was milestone was written by SpaceX, not NASA. 
No Bucks no Buck Rogers, but at least Flexible path gets you Twiki.

Offline hop

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #58 on: 07/25/2010 11:01 pm »
I was under the impression that the original 3 launch COTS was milestone was written by SpaceX, not NASA. 
So ? I'm not saying that SpaceX was forced into the 3 launch plan. Obviously both companies made proposals they thought minimized risk and maximized NASA chance of acceptance.

The point I'm making that there are objective reasons to believe that Cygnus is a lower risk development effort than Dragon, and this may have influenced the both the number of flights proposed and how acceptable each plan was to NASA.

Offline Comga

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Re: COTS Demo 1
« Reply #59 on: 07/27/2010 02:27 am »
The Cape Insider on NASA Watch reported on July 25 that "SpaceX is planning to launch their next test flight of the Falcon 9 on Sept. 2, 2010"

SpeceflightNow's Launch Schedule says that as of July 26, SpaceX delayed the launch FROM September 9 until "Late September".

Does anyone out there have any real info on either of these claims?
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

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