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?
Quote from: beancounter on 07/21/2010 05:42 amDoes 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.
Quote from: Jim on 07/21/2010 12:23 pmQuote from: beancounter on 07/21/2010 05:42 amDoes 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.
SEC. 401. COMMERCIAL CARGO DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM.6 The Administrator shall continue to support the ex7 isting Commercial Orbital Transportation Services pro8 gram, aimed at enabling the commercial space industry9 in support of NASA to develop reliable means of launching10 cargo and supplies to the ISS throughout the duration of11 the facility’s operation. The Administrator may apply12 funds towards the reduction of risk to the timely start of13 these services, specifically—14 (1) efforts to conduct a flight test;15 (2) accelerate development; and16 (3) develop the ground infrastructure needed17 for commercial cargo capability.
It doesn't matter what the company has done.
Quote from: Antares on 07/23/2010 02:14 amIt 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).
1. Spacex has no previous NASA experience, where as OSC does
Bolden isn't one of the workers on the program
What's the basis for your disagreement?
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.
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.