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SLS / Orion / Beyond-LEO HSF - Constellation => Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLV/SLS) => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 04/24/2013 02:44 AM

Title: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/24/2013 02:44 AM
Thread for updates on the development stage for the Space Launch System.

Main Links of use:

Lots and lots of SLS and HLV (pre-SLS) articles - no other news site has come close to the coverage we've provided for SLS:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/hlv/
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/sls/

L2 Members:

L2: Specific SLS Section (already VERY meaty - presentations, updates, engineering discussion, with actual SLS managers/engineers, videos and photos/graphics):
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?board=48.0

Note: This is a dev update thread. This should not cover policy or opinion (along the lines of the aforementioned. Use the Space Policy section for that). All posts need to be updates.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 04/25/2013 01:07 PM

A question about the SLS RS-25s came up in the Mk 1 incarnation of this thread that might relate to a NASA item that just appeared in the J-2X thread:

Quote
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26853.msg1040482#msg1040482
   
Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #678 on: 2013-04-18, 14:56:11 »
   
From a recent GAO report (http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653866.pdf page 63):
Quote

[SLS project] officials will not know if the shuttle-era RS-25 engines as currently designed can meet SLS’s performance requirements without significant modifications until the engine preliminary design review.

What are they doing to the SSME that makes its performance uncertain? Are they pushing its throttle level beyond shuttle levels and not sure if that'll work?

Quote
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22010.msg1042504#msg1042504

Re: Live: Testing for the J-2X Upper Stage Engine
« Reply #520 on: 2013-04-22, 18:41:54 »

Hot-fire Tests Steering the Future of NASA's Space Launch System Engines
April 22, 2013

Engineers developing NASA's next-generation rocket closed one chapter of testing with the completion of a J-2X engine test series on the A-2 test stand at the agency's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and will begin a new chapter of full motion testing on test stand A-1.

<snip>

"The A-1 is designed to allow us to gimbal, or pivot, the J-2X during a live firing and test the range of motion for the engine's flexible parts," said Gary Benton, manager of the J-2X test project at Stennis. "This type of testing hasn’t been performed since the space shuttle main engines were tested on the stand."

Those space shuttle main engines, also called RS-25s, will make a return to the test stand in 2014. A collection of RS-25 engines, which were used to launch 135 space shuttle missions, will be rated to operate at a higher power level and used to launch the core stage of the SLS.

"While we will get valuable data on the engine from the firing and gimbaling of the J-2X, we're also re-testing the function of the A-1 stand," said Mike Kynard, manager of the SLS Liquid Engines Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., where the SLS Program is managed. "Using A-1 to work on the J-2X gives us a great opportunity to ensure the stand will be capable and ready to test the RS-25s."

<snip>
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: deltaV on 04/25/2013 04:23 PM
ChileVerde: thanks for pointing that out. That looks like a good guess as to the answer to my question (that you quoted).
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 04/25/2013 10:30 PM
As noted elsewhere (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31758.msg1043869#msg1043869), NASA has posted the presentation slides from last week's quarterly of the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council.

The relevant one here is the "Status of Exploration Systems Development (Mr. Daniel Dumbacher)":
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/742964main_20130418_heoc_dumbacher.pdf

Also posted was a link to a quarterly video:
http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=161836271

(This has been running on NASA TV during programming breaks; saw a part of it after the Antares launch, but missed the relevant bit here which is the current target to deliver the 1st core stage from MAF in May, 2016...I assume it would be headed for the B-2 test stand at Stennis shown in both Mr. Dumbacher's and Mr. Gerstenmaier's presentation slides.)

Main page for the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NAC, with links:
http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/library/nac/index.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: 93143 on 04/26/2013 06:14 PM
Quote from: GAO report
In November 2012, NASA produced a preliminary estimate of $7.65 to $8.59 billion for the 70 metric ton version of SLS.

Is this a total spend or a remaining spend?  It's hard to tell from the document...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 04/29/2013 12:07 AM
Quote
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26853.msg1040482#msg1040482
   
Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #678 on: 2013-04-18, 14:56:11 »
   
From a recent GAO report (http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653866.pdf page 63):
Quote

[SLS project] officials will not know if the shuttle-era RS-25 engines as currently designed can meet SLS’s performance requirements without significant modifications until the engine preliminary design review.

Perhaps relevant, perhaps not:

Quote
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/03/sls-specifications-take-shape-development-continues/

For maximum power levels (percent RPL), the RS-25Ds will obtain 109 percent of rated thrust and have a standard throttle range of 65-109 percent – the same throttle range that could have been utilized by the engines with the Shuttle orbiters… though Shuttle typically defined a lower-limit 67 percent throttle and upper-limit 104.5 percent throttle range, with 109 percent reserved for abort contingencies.

<snip>

Comparatively, the RS-25E engines, which will enter service once the RS-25D manifest is depleted due to the lack of recoverability of the Core Stage of SLS to which the RS-25Ds will be mounted, will operate with a maximum power level (percent RPL) of 111 percent, a throttle range of 65-111 percent...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/29/2013 08:40 AM
Thanks psloss. Here are two images of the SLS core I extracted from the pdf.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 04/29/2013 02:59 PM
News Release Issued: Apr 29, 2013 (8:00am EDT)


ATK Solid Rocket Boosters Complete Major Space Launch System Program Milestone

ARLINGTON, Va., April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) has successfully completed its solid rocket booster Preliminary Design Review (PDR) with NASA for the new Space Launch System (SLS). The PDR milestone indicates the booster design is on track to support first flight of the SLS in 2017. The SLS vehicle will support NASA's human spaceflight exploration to all destinations beyond low-earth orbit.

"This is a tremendous milestone for ATK as we work toward building the boosters for our country's Space Launch System," said Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager of ATK's Space Launch division. "NASA's SLS will enable human exploration for decades to come."

With the successful completion of PDR, the SLS booster design can now proceed with the associated activities required to advance the design toward Critical Design Review (CDR). Additionally, a ground static firing of qualification motor-1 is planned for later this year at ATK.

"The booster PDR was successful and speaks to the importance of a collaborative design process with our NASA customer" said Fred Brasfield, ATK vice president, Next-generation Booster.

The SLS booster PDR is a significant step toward providing the necessary technical and programmatic information needed for NASA to obtain approval to proceed with development of the Space Launch System—which will support a variety of missions of national and international importance.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 04/29/2013 03:59 PM
Stennis Test Stand Modifications for SLS Core testing

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/b2stand.html#.UX6IwBb2JIc.facebook
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: renclod on 04/29/2013 04:21 PM
... "Status of Exploration Systems Development (Mr. Daniel Dumbacher)":
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/742964main_20130418_heoc_dumbacher.pdf
...

Thanks !

What I find fascinating is the "upper superstructure" on page 8.
That is new to me. Oh dear, oh gosh ! level 18. The stage must be supported at the intertank. OK.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 04/30/2013 05:40 AM
Link http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/b2stand.html

Quote
The B-2 Test Stand at Stennis, originally built to test Saturn rocket stages that propelled humans to the moon, is being completely renovated to test the SLS core stage in late 2016 and early 2017. The SLS stage, with four RS-25 rocket engines, will be installed on the stand for propellant fill and drain testing and two hot fire tests.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/30/2013 06:40 AM
Here's what the SLS core will look like in the B-2 test stand. Should be pretty awesome when they do they the test.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: CNYMike on 04/30/2013 03:56 PM
Thanks for posting the test stand info.  It's a good reality check to remember just how much work is going into SLS; even with exisiting technology, it's still a new rocket.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 04/30/2013 04:01 PM
"You came here in that thing? You're braver than I thought!"

First thing that came to my mind when I saw that picture.

"What a piece of junk!". Yeah, but I'm sure that once the test core is mounted, it'll do the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.

Whatever that means.

Cheers!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/01/2013 05:54 PM
Here's what the SLS core will look like in the B-2 test stand. Should be pretty awesome when they do they the test.
Here is the NASA Article about this published on 29.04.2013:
ARTICLE LINK:

Apollo-Era Test Stand Being Prepared for SLS Core Stage Testing
04.29.13


Before NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) flies to space on its inaugural mission in 2017, it will fly in place at the agency's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

The B-2 Test Stand at Stennis, originally built to test Saturn rocket stages that propelled humans to the moon, is being completely renovated to test the SLS core stage in late 2016 and early 2017. The SLS stage, with four RS-25 rocket engines, will be installed on the stand for propellant fill and drain testing and two hot fire tests.

"These tests will help us understand how the spacecraft and engines behave and provide critical information for ensuring mission safety," said Rick Rauch, manager of the B-2 Test Stand Restoration, Buildout and Test Project. "After all, if there are problems, it's better to address them on the ground than in the air."

NASA is developing the SLS to send humans deeper into space than ever before -- to places like an asteroid and Mars. The SLS will launch NASA's Orion spacecraft and other payloads from the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The SLS program is managed at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The first test flight of SLS will be in 2017. The rocket will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft around the moon.

Stennis engineers were asked early in the SLS development process to determine the cost of restoring the B-2 stand to the condition needed for green run testing of the spacecraft’s core stage. A green run is the first time the engines are assembled into a single configuration with the core stage and fired at nearly full-power. This will test the compatibility and functionality of the system to ensure a safe and viable design.

The team spent 18 months conducting structural, mechanical and electrical system evaluations to assess the work needed since Apollo- and space shuttle-era testing.

Once the decision was made to proceed with core stage testing, Stennis engineers began converting original hand-drawn facility blueprints into computer models so design work could be completed. The actual renovation work was divided into three phases: restoration, buildout and special test equipment.

"In the first phase, we are restoring the test facility to its original design condition, where it could be used to test any number of stages," Rauch explained. "In the second phase, we will focus on building out the stand specifically to accommodate the SLS core stage. Then, in the third phase, we will complete the structural, mechanical and electrical interfaces required to test the core stage."

Each phase involves assessment, design and contractor support. In the end, no area of the stand will be left untouched, including all structural areas, as well as supporting mechanical, electrical and piping systems. The fundamental design of the stand will not be changed since it originally was built to test rocket stages.

However, the SLS stage is different from the Saturn stages and the space shuttle main propulsion test article installed and fired on the stand in earlier years. It is taller, standing 212 feet. To lift the stage into place, the derrick crane atop the stand must be extended 50 feet. The stand’s weight and thrust takeout structures also must be modified, and a higher support frame must be erected. The process will involve repositioning an existing 1.2 million pound frame about 20 feet and building a new 100-foot-tall superstructure atop it.

"The teams at the Stennis Space Center are doing a great job preparing the B-2 facility," said John Rector, SLS Stages Green Run test manager at Marshall. "We're on track to begin testing there in 2016. It's an exciting time for NASA as we establish a new national capability for future space exploration." Demolition work began on several test stand levels late last summer. Structural restoration has begun. Work is to be completed in time for delivery of the SLS core stage in 2016, with installation and testing to follow.
 
 

Media Contact:
Kim Henry, 256-544-0034
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
[email protected]

Rebecca Strecker, 228-688-3249
Stennis Space Center, Miss.
[email protected]
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/04/2013 08:50 PM
Article on the QM-1 test and the advanced boosters:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/05/full-steam-ahead-atk-sls-booster-drive/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: HappyMartian on 05/05/2013 11:20 AM
Chris, thank you for the lovely article!

Hearing about the ongoing progress of the SLS is always good! 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 05/07/2013 12:42 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/746689main_SLS_Highlights_April_2013.pdf

The April Monthly Report is now available.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 05/08/2013 10:18 PM
NASA Awards Contract to Modify Mobile Launcher
CONTRACT RELEASE : C13-023 May 8, 2013

WASHINGTON -- NASA has awarded a contract to J.P. Donovan Construction Inc. of Rockledge, Fla., to modify the mobile launcher that will enable the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket to send humans to an asteroid, Mars and other new destinations in the solar system.

The work under this firm fixed-price $20.7 million contract will begin in June and be completed in 18 months.

The mobile launcher is located at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Kennedy is expanding its capabilities to support the SLS rocket and ground support infrastructure. The modifications will enable the mobile launcher to meet vehicle processing deadlines and the launch manifest for SLS.

SLS' first launch is scheduled for 2017. It will be a flight test to send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft into lunar orbit. NASA's asteroid initiative, proposed in the agency's budget request for fiscal year 2014, would use SLS and Orion to send astronauts to study a small asteroid that will have been redirected robotically to a stable orbit near the moon.

Midwest Steel Inc. of Detroit will be a major subcontractor to J.P. Donovan Construction.

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/may/C13-023_ML_Mods.html (http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/may/C13-023_ML_Mods.html)

--------------------------------------

This is a description of the work covered:

This contract is for the modification of the existing Ares-I Mobile Launcher (ML) for the new Space Launch System (SLS) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. This contract includes removal and storage of existing system components, equipment, and materials for reuse/reinstallation; demolition of system components and structure not to be reused; modification of structural elements and installation of new structural elements; reinstallation of salvaged equipment and materials, and installation of new systems, equipment, and materials. Heavy structural demolition and construction will be performed on approximately half of the existing ML base (MLB). Temporary foundations and shoring will be required to support the remaining MLB and ML tower (MLT) structure during deconstruction/demolition and reconstruction. Modifications to the MLT Electrical Equipment Rooms include removal and modification of Air Conditioning ductwork, and electrical and communication cable trays, and relocation of lighting fixtures. Accurate weights of all items and material removed from the ML and all items and material installed on or in the ML shall be determined, documented, and provided for record. The primary deconstruction, demolition, and construction site is the ML Park Site #3 at Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/synopsis.cgi?acqid=156193&type=award
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 05/09/2013 01:33 AM
More about RS-25Ds and Es:

Quote
http://www.aviationweek.com/awmobile/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_05_06_2013_p22-574390.xml

<snip>

For example, the first four SLS flights will use surplus RD-25D space shuttle main engines, four at a time. The engines flew three at a time on much shorter vehicles than the towering SLS, which also will accelerate faster off the pad. That will create inlet pressures on the order of 300 psi, a higher level than the RD-25D can accommodate with only minor modifications, according to SLS chief engineer Garry Lyles. But the test stands at Stennis Space Center can only deliver 260 psi at the inlets, so the engines will be throttled back on the initial flights to hold the inlet pressures at 260 psi, Lyles says. The test facilities will be uprated when the follow-on RD-25Es come on line, he says.

<snip>

So what does this mean in the greater scheme of things for the ever-ongoing discussions of what SLS Block Whatever is going to be?

P.S.: Presumably the throttle-back will only happen during the later part of core burn, when the mass has decreased enough that the acceleration needed to produce inlet pressures > 260 is reached. When might that be and what effect would it have on IMLEO?

P.P.S.: Forgot about head in the above P.S. Inlet pressure depends on height of fuel above it in the tank as well as acceleration. Acceleration depends on total mass of vehicle, including remaining fuel.  Rocket engineer help needed.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 05/09/2013 05:01 PM
RS-25 and J-2X rolled under one umbrella. Makes sense.

http://blogs.nasa.gov/cm/blog/J2X/posts/post_1368044101141.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 05/09/2013 09:50 PM
This document is quite old now but I've only just seen it on NTRS.

Advanced Booster EDRR.

First info I've seen about the NG tanks.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 05/10/2013 06:59 PM
This document is quite old now but I've only just seen it on NTRS.

Advanced Booster EDRR.

First info I've seen about the NG tanks.



Interesting note on the Aerojet booster proposal:

"Enhances affordability - potential synergies with other users may enhance affordability by distributing design, development and production costs".

I'm assuming this is a reference to Antares perhaps using a single, 2-chamber AJ-1E6 engine, where the Aerojet booster would user probably 4 of them?
And the work done on the AJ series and derivatives for Antares would then dovetailed into an SLS booster for synergies?

Any chance that ULA would ever consider going with an AJ-1E6 to replace the RD-180 for Atlas V?  It'd be a pretty similar engine in many respects, but US-built.
Would it be difficult to modify Atlas V for it?  Or not too bad?

If so...there's further potential synergies.  That would make me lean towards Aerojet's booster concept, as much as I really like the F-1's.
:-)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 05/16/2013 06:54 PM
Mobile Launcher Readied for SLS
May 15, 2013

NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift launch vehicle will be carried to Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop an upgraded mobile launcher (ML) for missions to near-Earth asteroids, Mars and other new destinations in the solar system.

The agency has awarded a contract to J.P. Donovan Construction Inc. of Rockledge, Fla., to modify the ML, which is one of the key elements of ground support equipment that is being upgraded by the Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program office at Kennedy to carry the SLS rocket for its first mission in 2017.

The work under the firm fixed-price contact will begin at the end of this month and is targeted to be completed in 18 months.

"Completing more of the work sooner will create more time to validate systems later as the first launch date approaches for the new SLS vehicle," said Mike Canicatti, the technical integration manager in the GSDO Program office at Kennedy.

The mobile launcher that currently is positioned near the Vehicle Assembly Building originally was constructed in 2008 and 2009 and now it will be structurally modified to meet requirements for NASA's new mission.

The major work to be completed under this contract is widening the exhaust space in the mobile launcher base to support two solid rocket boosters and four main engines. Essentially, the exhaust hole will be increased from an approximate 24-by-24-foot space to a 32-by-65-foot space.

Upgrades to the mobile launcher are part of Kennedy's efforts to expand its ground support infrastructure to support the SLS rocket and a variety of other launch vehicles.

When this contract is completed, another contract will begin to install the umbilicals, access arm and other ground support equipment on the mobile launcher.

"We’re on a tight schedule to get everything in place on the mobile launcher and check 47 different subsystems," Canicatti said.

Midwest Steel Inc. of Detroit will be a major subcontractor to J.P. Donovan Construction.

The flight test in 2017 will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft into lunar orbit. NASA's asteroid initiative, which is part of the agency's proposed budget request for fiscal year 2014, will use SLS and Orion to send astronauts to study a small asteroid that will have been redirected robotically to a stable orbit near the moon.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/ground/ML-SLS.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/ground/ML-SLS.html)

Photo Caption:  The mobile launcher parked near the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center will be upgraded to support NASA's Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket. Image credit: NASA/Michael Canicatti, GSDO
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: renclod on 05/17/2013 09:14 AM
This document is quite old now but I've only just seen it on NTRS.

Advanced Booster EDRR.


An intriguing note on Aerojet's high performance booster concept:

" Enhances performance - allows the use of a smaller booster for a given thrust level (RP allows for smaller booster due to net density impulse of RP over hydrogen )"

Is a hydrogen fueled booster even competing ?!

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/17/2013 11:20 AM
Is a hydrogen fueled booster even competing ?!

I'm not convinced that LH2-fuelled motors are really suited for the booster role.  The only reason Delta-IVH uses them is because the whole point of the design is a common CBC.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: notsorandom on 05/17/2013 01:01 PM
This document is quite old now but I've only just seen it on NTRS.

Advanced Booster EDRR.


An intriguing note on Aerojet's high performance booster concept:

" Enhances performance - allows the use of a smaller booster for a given thrust level (RP allows for smaller booster due to net density impulse of RP over hydrogen )"

Is a hydrogen fueled booster even competing ?!


Yes there have been serious proposals to use the RS-68. It is not as crazy idea as it first looks. The engines are exist now, though may need some modifications to human rate. It uses the same propellant combination as the rest of the rocket so the launch pad infrastructure is greatly simplified.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/17/2013 03:26 PM
Is a hydrogen fueled booster even competing ?!
Yes there have been serious proposals to use the RS-68.

Please specify what corporation has formally entered the SLS advanced booster competition with H2 fuel and a RS-68 engine.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: renclod on 05/17/2013 04:09 PM
... The [RS-68] engines are exist now,
I used to be a fan of RS-68 for the monster rocket's *core* (Ares V at the time). Commonality with a production engine and all that.

Quote
... so the launch pad infrastructure is greatly simplified.
Good thinking IMO to simplify pad infrastructure, where SRBs are shining: no fueling required on pad ;) also no de-fueling required after a countdown abort ;)

 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: notsorandom on 05/17/2013 04:49 PM
Is a hydrogen fueled booster even competing ?!
Yes there have been serious proposals to use the RS-68.

Please specify what corporation has formally entered the SLS advanced booster competition with H2 fuel and a RS-68 engine.
It is on L2.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 05/17/2013 04:54 PM

During a presentation on April 4 of this year, Mr. Gerstenmaier showed a slide (below) that had a couple of things that I hadn't seen in previous presentations.

What are the "Dual Use Upper stage" and "in-space long-term cryopropulsion element?" I'd guess that the "Upper stage" is what we've been calling CPS, or is that mistaken?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 05/17/2013 05:13 PM

During a presentation on April 4 of this year, Mr. Gerstenmaier showed a slide (below) that had a couple of things that I hadn't seen in previous presentations.

What are the "Dual Use Upper stage" and "in-space long-term cryopropulsion element?" I'd guess that the "Upper stage" is what we've been calling CPS, or is that mistaken?

My guess is that the dual-use upper stage will be an 8.4m upper stage with four RL-10 engines, which can be used both during ascent to increase payload to LEO, and as an EDS for BLEO missions. Thus the DUUS (I prefer Medium Upper Stage or MUS) will enable BLEO missions prior to the development of the dedicated Large Upper Stage and the Cryogenic Propulsion Stage.

The Large Upper Stage will be 8.4m diameter with one or two J2X engines, and will be used purely during ascent to maximize payload to LEO. And, since the LUS will use all of its prop during ascent, NASA will also need a dedicated in-space cryo stage for EDS purposes. I believe this stage has been called the CPS in other documentation, and is not the same as the LUS or the dual-use (medium) upper stage.

I'm not sure if a Block-2 SLS with Large Upper Stage, CPS, and MPCV will even fit through the VAB doors. Maybe they're planning a dual-launch profile for any missions that require a CPS.

Mark S.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/17/2013 08:16 PM
I'm not sure if a Block-2 SLS with Large Upper Stage, CPS, and MPCV will even fit through the VAB doors. Maybe they're planning a dual-launch profile for any missions that require a CPS.

That would be a 3 stage rocket (not including boosters). The maximum possible vehicle height is 456'/139m.
 
Dynetics illustrated using the Ares I US atop its advanced booster as a single stick LV. I wonder whether that single stick could be used as the Human Rated launcher in a 1.5 launch architecture and the same US used on the SLS. S-IVB was a very good dual use US.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 05/17/2013 08:49 PM
What are the "Dual Use Upper stage" [?]

OK, I'll commit the solecism of replying to myself by noting that the entire bit on the slide was,

Quote
Advanced Booster as current plan, while assessing Dual Use Upper stage as an alternate next evolution step for affordable mission capture.

So, could that "while" indicate the possibility of remaining with five-segment SRB and making up for the Advanced Booster performance with the DUUS?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/17/2013 09:05 PM
So, could that "while" indicate the possibility of remaining with five-segment SRB and making up for the Advanced Booster performance with the DUUS?
I think that is clear.  The presentation shows a 105 tonne capability using five-segment booster and a bigger-than-ICPS upper stage.  This is a compromise rocket that can do the mission to nowhere for the White House.  Its development would make Mars even less likely because it would stop Advanced Booster and J-2X.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 05/17/2013 09:06 PM

During a presentation on April 4 of this year, Mr. Gerstenmaier showed a slide (below) that had a couple of things that I hadn't seen in previous presentations.

What are the "Dual Use Upper stage" and "in-space long-term cryopropulsion element?" I'd guess that the "Upper stage" is what we've been calling CPS, or is that mistaken?

My guess is that the dual-use upper stage will be an 8.4m upper stage with four RL-10 engines, which can be used both during ascent to increase payload to LEO, and as an EDS for BLEO missions. Thus the DUUS (I prefer Medium Upper Stage or MUS) will enable BLEO missions prior to the development of the dedicated Large Upper Stage and the Cryogenic Propulsion Stage.

The Large Upper Stage will be 8.4m diameter with one or two J2X engines, and will be used purely during ascent to maximize payload to LEO. And, since the LUS will use all of its prop during ascent, NASA will also need a dedicated in-space cryo stage for EDS purposes. I believe this stage has been called the CPS in other documentation, and is not the same as the LUS or the dual-use (medium) upper stage.

I'm not sure if a Block-2 SLS with Large Upper Stage, CPS, and MPCV will even fit through the VAB doors. Maybe they're planning a dual-launch profile for any missions that require a CPS.

Mark S.


Yea, I think it simply means that in that “105mt Post 2021” that that path would develop just one upper stage.  The “Block 1B” upper stage with four RL-10’s on it.  That will provide some of that last ascent, and then do the EDS functions.  Hence “dual use”. 

Whereas that current “PoR”, which is the next one down needs both a J2X powered 2nd stage, and an EDS stage.  The 2nd stage would burn all the way to orbit, so the dedicated EDS needs not do any of the ascent. That would be the “CPS”.  And it would be built to be capable of long loiter times with all the newest LH2 boiloff reduction tech in it.
That’s the current official PoR.  The “SLS Evolved” or “Block 1B” is competing with it to become the new official PoR.  And I think factors in the question, “Do we really need a CPS that has long loiter times?”.  If not, if you are doing your EDS burn shortly after ascent, then you don’t need that capability.  Or it could be added later. 

I think the longest loiter time of any mission even being considered is for Boeing reusable lunar lander and gateway proposal.  In which a DCSS/ICPS would need to loiter about 2 weeks prior to being used as a crasher stage for the lander.  That would be modified to carry LCH4 as well for the lander. 
So is there really any need for a big, 8m wide dedicated in-space stage?  I think they might be finding the answer at this time is “no”, and the Block 1B “dual purpose” upper stage would work just fine, with the iCPS being used in addition for certain missions.  And it already pretty much exists. 

I’m guessing that’s what they are meaning there.  I could be wrong though.  :-)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/17/2013 09:41 PM
It is on L2.

I have L2 membership. I am only aware of 3 official entries thus far, ATK, Dynetics, and the AJ proposal.  I may have missed it, but I haven't seen anything about a formal proposal submitted to NASA re. SLS boosters using RS-68 or any H2 engine. Could you please provide a link?

Post Script: I think I found what you are referencing. That is an unnamed source stating than an unnamed entity has/had RS-68 "under consideration." The original question was whether any H2 engines have formally been entered in the advanced booster competition. You answered, "Yes." That is not correct.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 05/17/2013 10:03 PM
The answer is the booster competition has not started.

It's only an engineering demonstration and risk reduction at this time.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/18/2013 05:27 PM
Thread trimmed as this is clearly an update thread. Posts moved here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30554.360
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jim on 05/22/2013 04:12 PM

Good thinking IMO to simplify pad infrastructure, where SRBs are shining: no fueling required on pad ;) also no de-fueling required after a countdown abort

Actually they complicate the whole launch infrastructure.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 05/22/2013 05:07 PM
http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/05/giant_new_test_stands_will_ris.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/23/2013 05:53 AM
Thanks for that newpylong. I presume the MSFC Dynamic Test Stand that was used for Saturn V and Space Shuttle is now too old to be used.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: renclod on 05/23/2013 09:00 AM
Thanks @ATK !

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: renclod on 05/23/2013 09:40 AM
... I presume the MSFC Dynamic Test Stand that was used for Saturn V and Space Shuttle is now too old to be used.

" The historical Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand at Marshall was renovated to perform the IVGVT [integrated vehicle ground vibration testing] on the Ares I rocket and the Orion crew capsule.

The Test Stand 4550, with the fully renovated and certified 200-ton derrick crane, can be used to support any other future launch vehicle or major system dynamics testing continuing the legacy of testing which includes the Saturn V launch vehicle, the Apollo spacecraft, and the space shuttle.

... task for close-out of the door and roof ... was completed in early June 2011... completed all tasks for raising the door and reinstalling the three roof panels on TS 4550..."

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: OV135 on 05/23/2013 01:49 PM
I like this photo. Is there any close up of just the diagram of the SLS in the VAB cutaway? http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=31740.0;attach=519722;image
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 05/23/2013 02:04 PM
I like this photo. Is there any close up of just the diagram of the SLS in the VAB cutaway? http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=31740.0;attach=519722;image (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=31740.0;attach=519722;image)

Here you go:
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/23/2013 07:47 PM
... I presume the MSFC Dynamic Test Stand that was used for Saturn V and Space Shuttle is now too old to be used.

" The historical Saturn V Dynamic Test Stand at Marshall was renovated to perform the IVGVT [integrated vehicle ground vibration testing] on the Ares I rocket and the Orion crew capsule.
It was renovated, but of course not fully outfitted for testing.  As I understand things it will not be used for SLS dynamic testing - because there won't be any full-scale SLS dynamic testing of that type.  All previous U.S. manned launch vehicles have undergone such full-scale dynamic testing, so I wonder how such a choice can be defended. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: renclod on 05/23/2013 09:48 PM

... so I wonder how such a choice can be defended. 


Easy, IMO : No money. Trust your computer models and hope for validation with hard data from the first test flight.

IVGVT is an extravagance in this new world of space flight ...

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 05/29/2013 04:46 PM
Not much new here, but anyone interested in SLS may enjoy this Vodcast with Todd May on SLS development:

http://www.nasa.gov/mp4/749781main_NE00051713_100_SLS.mp4
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/31/2013 12:36 PM
Going to clear a few hours out today and write up a meaty SLS article.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: RotoSequence on 05/31/2013 01:14 PM
Going to clear a few hours out today and write up a meaty SLS article.

Amidst all the general negativity going around about the program, I'm looking forward to seeing some substantial (and substantiated) material. :)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 05/31/2013 06:34 PM
Flipping Adapters for Space Launch System

Published on May 31, 2013
The structural test article adapter is flipped at Marshall testing facility Building 4705. The turnover is an important step in finishing the machining work on the adapter, which will undergo tests to certify subsequent flight units used to attach the Orion spacecraft to a Delta IV rocket for its 2014 Exploration Flight Test-1. (NASA/MSFC)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hQurpUUV5I
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/01/2013 05:44 AM
Here's the article. Will give it a standalone thread:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/06/sls-pdr-evolved-rocket-dual-upper-stage/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/03/2013 10:51 PM
SLS Boosters Centered on Qualification Test

The center aft segment for qualification motor-1 (QM-1), a full-scale version of a solid rocket motor for the Space Launch System (SLS), was transported May 29 to its test area at ATK's facility in Promontory, Utah. SLS is an advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle that will provide an entirely new national capability for human exploration beyond Earth's orbit.

The center aft piece will be integrated with the other segments in preparation for a test firing of QM-1, scheduled for late 2013. The five-segment booster is the largest, most powerful solid rocket booster ever built for flight.

The SLS Program is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. ATK is the prime contractor for the boosters. The booster development is on track to support SLS's first flight in 2017.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/sls_booster_test.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/sls_booster_test.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/06/2013 04:00 PM
Production of Key Equipment Paves Way for NASA SLS RS-25 Testing
May 6, 2013

NASA plans to begin testing RS-25 engines for its new Space Launch System (SLS) in the fall of 2014, and the agency's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi has a very big -- literally -- item to complete on the preparation checklist.

Fabrication recently began at Stennis on a new 7,755-pound thrust frame adapter for the A-1 Test Stand to enable testing of the engines that will provide core-stage power for NASA's SLS. The stand component is scheduled to be completed and installed by November 2013.

"We initially thought we would have to go offsite to have the equipment built," said Gary Benton, RS-25 test project manager at Stennis. "However, the Stennis design team figured out a way to build it here with resulting cost and schedule savings. It’s a big project and a critical one to ensure we obtain accurate data during engine testing."

Each rocket engine type requires a thrust frame adapter unique to its specifications. On the test stand, the adapter is attached to the thrust measurement system. A rocket engine then is attached to the adapter, which must hold the engine in place and absorb the thrust produced during a test, while allowing accurate measurement of the engine performance.

The J-2X equipment installed on the A-1 Test Stand now cannot be used to test RS-25 engines since it does not match the engine specifications and thrust requirements. For instance, the J-2X engine is capable of producing 294,000 pounds of thrust. The RS-25 engine will produce approximately 530,000 pounds of thrust.

NASA and the Lockheed Martin Test Operations Contract Group team worked together in designing the new adapter to make sure such requirements were met. They also communicated closely with the Jacobs Technology welding and machine shop teams to make sure what was being designed actually could be built.

The design had to account for a number of considerations, such as specific stresses on the equipment as an engine is fired and then gimbaled (rotated) during a test; what type and strength of bolts are needed to fully secure the equipment; and what materials can be used to build the adapter.

"This is a very specific process," Benton said. "It is critical that thrust data not be skewed or compromised during a test, so the adapter has to be precisely designed and constructed."

The fabrication process itself involves handling and shaping large segments of certain material, which required welders to receive specialized training. In addition, shop personnel had to create a welding procedure for dealing with the chosen construction material. For instance, the area of material being welded must maintain a heat of 300 degrees in order to ensure welds bond properly. That procedure and other specifications are being incorporated into Stennis standards.

"It's a challenging project," said Kent Morris, RS-25 project manager for Jacobs Technology. "It's similar to the J-2X adapter project, but larger. It will take considerable man hours to perform the welding and machining needed on the material. The material used for the engine mounting block alone is 32 inches in diameter and 20 inches thick."

Physically, the adapter is the largest facility item on the preparation checklist for RS-25 testing, but it is far from the only one, Benton said. Additional modifications will be made to the test stand configuration and equipment once J-2X gimbal testing is complete this summer.

Once testing begins, engineers and test team personnel at Stennis will draw on a wealth of engine testing experience. The RS-25 engines, previously known as the space shuttle main engines were tested at Stennis for more than three decades.

The SLS Program is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. For information about NASA's SLS Program, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/sls/ (http://www.nasa.gov/sls/)

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/fabrication.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/fabrication.html)

Image Captions

Concept, Thrust Frame Adapter for SLS
This design image shows a RS-25 rocket engine installed on the A-1 Test Stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center. A line indicates the grey, cross-like thrust frame adapter, which is being fabricated for the stand. The adapter is attached to the thrust measurement system on the stand, and the RS-25 engine is attached to the adapter. The adapter holds the engine in place and absorbs the thrust produced during a test, while allowing accurate measurement of the engine performance.
Image credit: NASA/SSC

Fabrication of Thrust Frame Adapter for SLS
Fabrication is under way on a 7,755-pound thrust frame adapter to be installed on the A-1 Test Stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi. The new adapter is needed to enable testing of RS-25 rocket engines (former space shuttle main engines), which will be used to provide core-stage power for NASA's new Space Launch System. NASA has worked with contractor teams at Stennis to design and fabricate the adapter, which is scheduled to be completed and installed on the test stand by November 2013. The SLS Program is managed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Image credit: NASA/SSC
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 06/06/2013 05:10 PM
Now that's a big hunk of "certain material".  ;D

Are they going to be testing the engines on a different test stand than the one(s) they used for the past 30 years of SSME testing?  If so, why? If not, why do they need a new adapter?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/06/2013 05:58 PM
As far as I know the SSMEs were last tested almost 10 years ago there, and the equipment has since been removed to test J-2X when Constellation began. I would think the new adapter would also need to support higher thrust than the SSME as they are rumored to be up-rated for SLS.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 06/06/2013 06:22 PM
As far as I know the SSMEs were last tested almost 10 years ago there, and the equipment has since been removed to test J-2X when Constellation began. I would think the new adapter would also need to support higher thrust than the SSME as they are rumored to be up-rated for SLS.

I would encourage Our Gracious Host (that would be Chris) to do an article on the RS-25s. 

It seems that the existing RS-25Ds will be operated in a significantly different regime than they were on STS because, among other things, they need to keep acceleration at a level that won't produce too high pressures at the pump inlets. And RS-25E, which will need to be available post-2025 (EM-5 and after) is still somewhat undefined, but indications are that it won't be just a minor modification of the D version. Lotsa development and testing to come.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/06/2013 07:14 PM
As far as I know the SSMEs were last tested almost 10 years ago there [...]

Minor nit-pick: the last test firing of an SSME on Stennis Test Stand A2 was on July 29, 2009 (with a duration of 520 seconds).  So just less than four years ago.  ;)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: renclod on 06/06/2013 07:19 PM

Are they going to be testing the engines on a different test stand than the one(s) they used for the past 30 years of SSME testing? ... If not, why do they need a new adapter?


Because it was used for so long...

Back in 2010 the test stand (A-1) was upgraded. Even the thrust take-out structure and the thrust measurement system were replaced.

There are photos at ntrs.
 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/06/2013 07:29 PM
As far as I know the SSMEs were last tested almost 10 years ago there [...]

Minor nit-pick: the last test firing of an SSME on Stennis Test Stand A2 was on July 29, 2009 (with a duration of 520 seconds).  So just less than four years ago.  ;)

But we're talking about A1 no?  Thanks for the info though, good to know :)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/06/2013 08:42 PM
As far as I know the SSMEs were last tested almost 10 years ago there [...]

Minor nit-pick: the last test firing of an SSME on Stennis Test Stand A2 was on July 29, 2009 (with a duration of 520 seconds).  So just less than four years ago.  ;)

But we're talking about A1 no?  Thanks for the info though, good to know :)

Ah sorry my mistake, thought the "there" meant Stennis in general.  Last SSME firing on A1 was September 29, 2006.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/09/2013 10:21 PM
So per the RS-25 reference for Stennis testing, I've written an article mainly about the RS-25's planning during the last eight or so years.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/06/engines-refused-retire-rs-25s-prepare-sls-testing/

Will give it a standalone, as I'm sure we'll get some non-SLS posts on that one.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/12/2013 01:52 PM
Flight Software Development Units for SLS Core Stage Delivered to Marshall

The Space Launch System (SLS) avionics team at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., has received all six of the Core Stage Flight Computer Development Units from The Boeing Company of Huntsville—the prime contractor for the SLS core stage, including avionics. The units will be used to develop the flight software for the SLS. The flight software development and testing has begun at Marshall’s Software Development Facility (SDF) in an effort to rapidly mature and ensure implementation of a safe and highly reliable avionics and software system.
(Image: NASA/MSFC)

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/754370main_SLS_Highlights_May_2013.pdf (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/754370main_SLS_Highlights_May_2013.pdf)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 06/13/2013 10:04 AM
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/35754boeing-hires-mt-aerospace-of-germany-to-provide-structures-for-nasa%E2%80%99s-space#.UbmWiZFrOHM

Quote
Boeing Hires MT Aerospace of Germany To Provide Structures for NASA’s Space Launch System

MT Aerospace of Germany will provide large aluminum segments for the main-stage propellant tank of NASA’s future Space Launch System (SLS) under a contract with Boeing that MT announced June 12.

Under the contract, whose value was not disclosed, Augsburg-based MT, which is majority owned by OHB AG of Bremen, Germany, will provide panels measuring 3 meters by 3 meters for the SLS main stage propellant tanks.

Note 1: MT Aerospace also produces the booster casings and tank domes of the core and upper stages of the Ariane 5 launcher. And the forward skirt of the Ariane 5 core stage.

Note 2: Some people on this forum are on records as stating that SLS should be an all-American launcher. No such thing exists in today's world as the news item above indicates so clearly. By definition, launchers produced in the Western world today are international productions, with parts coming from suppliers all over the planet. That applies to SLS, but Ariane 5 as well, to name just a few examples.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 06/13/2013 05:07 PM
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/35754boeing-hires-mt-aerospace-of-germany-to-provide-structures-for-nasa%E2%80%99s-space#.UbmWiZFrOHM

Nearly "1,000 kilograms of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen." Oh my! Clearly a typo: 30% larger than Shuttle ET would be nearly 1,000,000 kg of propellant. It's a difficult fact to check, though, unless NASA has published the current figure somewhere?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/17/2013 05:29 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jun/HQ_M13-097_Michoud_Media_Opportunity.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/18/2013 02:10 AM
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/35754boeing-hires-mt-aerospace-of-germany-to-provide-structures-for-nasa%E2%80%99s-space#.UbmWiZFrOHM

Quote
Boeing Hires MT Aerospace of Germany To Provide Structures for NASA’s Space Launch System

MT Aerospace of Germany will provide large aluminum segments for the main-stage propellant tank of NASA’s future Space Launch System (SLS) under a contract with Boeing that MT announced June 12.

Under the contract, whose value was not disclosed, Augsburg-based MT, which is majority owned by OHB AG of Bremen, Germany, will provide panels measuring 3 meters by 3 meters for the SLS main stage propellant tanks.
Note 2: Some people on this forum are on records as stating that SLS should be an all-American launcher. No such thing exists in today's world as the news item above indicates so clearly. By definition, launchers produced in the Western world today are international productions, with parts coming from suppliers all over the planet. That applies to SLS, but Ariane 5 as well, to name just a few examples.
Tell that to the U.S. citizens who will not be hired at Michoud.

These are their dimes going to Germany instead.

SLS is not a commercial rocket.  It is a national symbol.  It really has no other purpose.  It is built at taxpayer expense.  It should be built in the United States.

 - Ed kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lars_J on 06/18/2013 05:20 AM
Note 2: Some people on this forum are on records as stating that SLS should be an all-American launcher. No such thing exists in today's world as the news item above indicates so clearly. By definition, launchers produced in the Western world today are international productions, with parts coming from suppliers all over the planet. That applies to SLS, but Ariane 5 as well, to name just a few examples.

Ahem. There actually is an all-american launcher, built with domestic parts & engines. (only international content is probably some electronic pieces) So it is possible. The Delta-IV is another example.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: QuantumG on 06/18/2013 07:21 AM
woods170 is technically correct. (The best kind of correct!)

I'm pretty sure the oil used to make the vast majority of parts, not to mention the fuel, of every launcher in the world comes from mostly the same place..
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 06/18/2013 09:39 AM
woods170 is technically correct. (The best kind of correct!)

I'm pretty sure the oil used to make the vast majority of parts, not to mention the fuel, of every launcher in the world comes from mostly the same place..

Not to mention raw materials for certain metallic materials used in SLS electronic components coming from China (Oh.. the horror! The horror!)  :D
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: a_langwich on 06/18/2013 10:01 AM
woods170 is technically correct. (The best kind of correct!)

I'm pretty sure the oil used to make the vast majority of parts, not to mention the fuel, of every launcher in the world comes from mostly the same place..


What place is that?  The ground?  Country-wise, it probably comes from a pretty wide variety of places, but very different places for Chinese launchers than Russian launchers than American launchers.  Are you going to talk about the international manufacturers that made the workers clothes next? 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/18/2013 11:44 AM
Update thread. Not an Armwaving thread.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 06/18/2013 11:56 AM
Update thread. Not an Armwaving thread.

Sorry about that Chris. My 'Note 2' triggered this little OT exchange.

Back on topic please everyone. As you were.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/18/2013 12:02 PM
We probably need a second thread for chatty stuff. I'll try and set that up later.

Now to find a Rammstein song title for my next SLS article ;)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 06/18/2013 12:22 PM
MT Aerospace owns the patent on spin dome forming technology yeah?

Perhaps this is the cheaper option?

Building new machines at Michoud under license might be too expensive right now.

SLS might be sucking up plenty of money but it's still a HLLV on the cheap.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lurker Steve on 06/18/2013 01:28 PM
woods170 is technically correct. (The best kind of correct!)

I'm pretty sure the oil used to make the vast majority of parts, not to mention the fuel, of every launcher in the world comes from mostly the same place..


Not any longer. Thanks to Fracking, and Canadian shale oil, North America may soon be a net exporter of oil and gas, instead of an importer.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lurker Steve on 06/18/2013 01:34 PM
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/35754boeing-hires-mt-aerospace-of-germany-to-provide-structures-for-nasa%E2%80%99s-space#.UbmWiZFrOHM

Quote
Boeing Hires MT Aerospace of Germany To Provide Structures for NASA’s Space Launch System

MT Aerospace of Germany will provide large aluminum segments for the main-stage propellant tank of NASA’s future Space Launch System (SLS) under a contract with Boeing that MT announced June 12.

Under the contract, whose value was not disclosed, Augsburg-based MT, which is majority owned by OHB AG of Bremen, Germany, will provide panels measuring 3 meters by 3 meters for the SLS main stage propellant tanks.

Note 1: MT Aerospace also produces the booster casings and tank domes of the core and upper stages of the Ariane 5 launcher. And the forward skirt of the Ariane 5 core stage.

Note 2: Some people on this forum are on records as stating that SLS should be an all-American launcher. No such thing exists in today's world as the news item above indicates so clearly. By definition, launchers produced in the Western world today are international productions, with parts coming from suppliers all over the planet. That applies to SLS, but Ariane 5 as well, to name just a few examples.



Actually, these segments seem sort of small, considering the diameter of the tanks. How many of these segments need to be welded together to make a single circumference of the tank ? Then you need to "stack" multiples of these together. Wouldn't it be easier to build the tank using larger sheets of Aluminum ??
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/18/2013 01:55 PM
Certainly not interested in reading about people's opinions on US vs non US fabricated parts in an update thread. There are dozens of other SLS threads to go back and forth on.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: a_langwich on 06/19/2013 12:45 AM
MT Aerospace owns the patent on spin dome forming technology yeah?

Perhaps this is the cheaper option?

Building new machines at Michoud under license might be too expensive right now.

SLS might be sucking up plenty of money but it's still a HLLV on the cheap.

3m x 3m isn't large enough to be a dome.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/19/2013 11:46 PM
RELEASE : 13-189

NASA's Space Launch System Program Kicks Off Preliminary Design Review
June 19, 2103

WASHINGTON -- NASA is beginning a preliminary design review for its Space Launch System (SLS). This major program assessment will allow development of the agency's new heavy-lift rocket to move from concept to initial design.

The preliminary design review process includes meticulous, detailed analyses of the entire launch vehicle. Representatives from NASA, its contractor partners and experts from across the aerospace industry validate elements of the rocket to ensure they can be safely and successfully integrated.

"This phase of development allows us to take a critical look at every design element to ensure it's capable of carrying humans to places we've never been before," said Dan Dumbacher, NASA's deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development in Washington. "This is the rocket that will send humans to an asteroid and Mars, so we want to be sure we get its development right."

The review process will take several weeks and is expected to conclude this summer.

"The preliminary design review is incredibly important, as it demonstrates the SLS design meets all system requirements within acceptable risk constraints, giving us the green light for proceeding with the detailed design," said Todd May, manager of the SLS Program at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "We are on track and meeting all the milestones necessary to fly in 2017."

The SLS is targeted for a test launch with no crew aboard in 2017, followed by a mission with astronauts to study an asteroid by as early as 2021. NASA is developing the SLS and its new Orion spacecraft to provide an entirely new capability for human exploration. It will be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, expand human presence beyond low-Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration in the solar system.

For more information on SLS, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/sls (http://www.nasa.gov/sls)

---------------------
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jun/HQ_13-189_SLS_PDR_Begins.html (http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jun/HQ_13-189_SLS_PDR_Begins.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/21/2013 02:57 PM
This could be a nice topic piece if information is available after the fact:

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2013/jun/HQ_M13-097_Michoud_Media_Opportunity.html

They have a couple pictures of the monstrous vertical welding machine on the Space Launch System Facebook page.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/22/2013 04:48 AM
L2 PDR content and MAF's new SLS tooling article:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/06/sls-maf-extraordinary-machinery-exploration-rocket/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spacediver on 06/22/2013 03:36 PM
MT-Aerospace of Augsburg, Germany wins Boeing contract for SLS gore panel development and manufacturing:

http://www.ohb.de/press-releases-details/items/mt-aerospace-awarded-development-and-production-contract-by-boeing-for-large-tank-components-for-the-nasa-space-launch-system.html

Spacediver

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 06/22/2013 05:41 PM
Quote from: OHB AG
3-by-3 meter dome panels with a 3-dimensional curvature

So there it is....

(EDIT: apparently the context wasn't clear. Added quote below for clarification.)
MT Aerospace owns the patent on spin dome forming technology yeah?

Perhaps this is the cheaper option?

Building new machines at Michoud under license might be too expensive right now.

SLS might be sucking up plenty of money but it's still a HLLV on the cheap.

3m x 3m isn't large enough to be a dome.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 06/23/2013 01:37 AM
Proof that they're not making the domes in one piece.

That begs the question... Why outsource it?

Also what edkyle99 posted seems a fair criticism.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/23/2013 02:03 PM
Proof that they're not making the domes in one piece.

That begs the question... Why outsource it?

Also what edkyle99 posted seems a fair criticism.

They are being asked to cut costs in any way possible.

There could be a slight cost advantage in acquiring the panels via a 3rd party rather than doing it yourself.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 06/23/2013 04:13 PM
Proof that they're not making the domes in one piece.

That begs the question... Why outsource it?

Also what edkyle99 posted seems a fair criticism.

They are being asked to cut costs in any way possible.

There could be a slight cost advantage in acquiring the panels via a 3rd party rather than doing it yourself.

More than half of the reason for a RAC1 shuttle derived design is to keep jobs in the same areas of the shuttle program. Those areas are in the United States.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/25/2013 01:17 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/news/releases/2013/M13-084.html

Media Invited to June 26 Adapter Fit Check, Delta IV Rocket Viewing with NASA Orion Program Manager Mark Geye
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 06/29/2013 02:00 PM


I hope this qualifies as an update...

Quote
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/36012tooling-processes-coming-together-for-%E2%80%98affordable%E2%80%99-space-launch-system

Tooling, Processes Coming Together For ‘Affordable’ Space Launch System
By Dan Leone | Jun. 28, 2013

Gist: Gerstenmaier says that Boeing has "taken advantage of modern manufacturing, state-of-the-art things to try to lower our overall operating costs that makes this [SLS] a very affordable rocket, even at low production rates." No numbers on what "very affordable" is.

The article also talks about flight rate and, without citing a source, says that the next SLS after 2021 will be in 2025, giving a second four-year gap -- no mention of the 2023 flight NASA was talking about last year. If anyone knows where that comes from, please let us know.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 06/30/2013 12:32 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/about/star/index.html

This week's issue of the Marshall Star has 3 articles on SLS that readers might find interesting.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 06/30/2013 03:21 PM
The article also talks about flight rate and, without citing a source, says that the next SLS after 2021 will be in 2025, giving a second four-year gap -- no mention of the 2023 flight NASA was talking about last year. If anyone knows where that comes from, please let us know.

As of April 2013, NASA was briefing an SLS usage schedule that did have a manned flight in 2023, consistent with the schedules of July and November 2012. I suspect a journalistic lapse.

Figures from http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/746321main_13-04_HEOC.pdf

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 06/30/2013 08:54 PM
Figures from http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/746321main_13-04_HEOC.pdf

That second figure shows the third SLS as Block 1A, advanced boosters, iCPS, boosters not Dynetics.

The LAS test figure shows the same capsule to rocket proportions as Apollo/Little Joe II, but as Orion is wider than Apollo, that can't be a Little Joe II. Anyone know what they plan to use?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 06/30/2013 09:13 PM
That second figure shows the third SLS as Block 1A, advanced boosters, iCPS, boosters not Dynetics.

Yah, I noticed that too. It's how EM-3 and forward have been depicted since a year ago. I suspect that when the DUUS and other things get sorted out we may see a different set of .ppt. But for now, the Official Word is what is depicted.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChileVerde on 06/30/2013 09:33 PM
Figures from http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/746321main_13-04_HEOC.pdf

As I look at those, I notice that the SLS on the introductory slide isn't the same as on the other one: the first has a much bigger part underneath the Orion. Is that CPS vs iCPS?

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: notsorandom on 07/01/2013 02:40 AM
Figures from http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/746321main_13-04_HEOC.pdf

As I look at those, I notice that the SLS on the introductory slide isn't the same as on the other one: the first has a much bigger part underneath the Orion. Is that CPS vs iCPS?


That looks like the Block 1A configuration versus the Block 1. As much as all this is notional at this point there is supposed to be room for cargo under the MPCV in the fairing in the 105mt version, potentially a CPS.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 07/01/2013 09:30 PM
Figures from http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/746321main_13-04_HEOC.pdf

As I look at those, I notice that the SLS on the introductory slide isn't the same as on the other one: the first has a much bigger part underneath the Orion. Is that CPS vs iCPS?


That looks like the Block 1A configuration versus the Block 1. As much as all this is notional at this point there is supposed to be room for cargo under the MPCV in the fairing in the 105mt version, potentially a CPS.

Looks more like Block 1B to me with the DUUS in lieu of iCPS. It could be Block 2 (with the originally-planned Block 2 Large Upper Stage (LUS)). But the caption states "BEO Crewed", and you can't go BEO with Block-2 without an in-space CPS stage. Which I don't see there.


Edit: Oops, the caption is part of the other image. D'oh!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/08/2013 06:02 PM
Article on the Flight Computers. L2 notes from 2012 through to last month:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/brains-sls-flight-computer-enters-build-phase/

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lurker Steve on 07/08/2013 08:38 PM
Article on the Flight Computers. L2 notes from 2012 through to last month:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/brains-sls-flight-computer-enters-build-phase/



I only have a problem with 1 quote:

“SLS will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever built, and it requires the most capable flight software in the history of human spaceflight,” added Todd May, Space Launch System Program manager.

Really ?? Did Todd have a little bit too much caffeine that morning ? Obviously the flight software will be a little bit more modern than say, the STS software, but why so over the top ?? How much of this Flight control software comes from a basic boiler plate design ? If we look close enough, will be see portions of the Boeing's Delta code base ?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 07/08/2013 09:01 PM
Eh, let the guy have his fun. He is happy to see things coming together.

Delta code doesn't care about a crew, but there will be some legacy obviously.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 07/08/2013 09:24 PM
Questions about the flight computers:  will they be housed in Orion, or in an "Instrument Ring" a-la Saturn V?  I remember seeing some notes in L2, but can't call to mind what the plan is.

How much of the FC hardware is based on existing satellite hardware?  I assume it requires being EM and radiation hardened, hence why they're going to folks who work with the gear regularly...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 07/09/2013 12:52 AM
Questions about the flight computers:  will they be housed in Orion, or in an "Instrument Ring" a-la Saturn V?  I remember seeing some notes in L2, but can't call to mind what the plan is.

The same question came to my mind. And that ring was always mounted on top of an S-IVB, regardless of whether the LV was Saturn I or Saturn V, because S-IVB was always the top stage. When Skylab was launched there was no S-IVB, just the station which was build from an S-VIB shell. IIRC, the instrumentation had to be relocated to the top of the S-II.

If you always have one set of instrumentation which controls all stages it normally goes atop the highest stage. With all the block variations of SLS, there are several possible upper stages: iCPS, CPS, DUUS, LUS. So this begs the question. Do you build a different ring for each design? Modern electronics are obviously much more miniaturized than in the Saturn years. Are they small enough that almost no modification is needed other than a different ring for each diameter of US? Are they small enough to fit in the Orion and be reused? My guess would be that the penalty of hauling the mass to deep space and back is more expensive than building new disposable units for each launch. I would think the instruments will be disposed of with the top stage. The main question in my mind is how to integrate them with all these differing US diameters.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: mike robel on 07/09/2013 01:23 AM
for skylab, the IU remained on top of the converted SIVB lab
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jim on 07/09/2013 01:28 AM

 When Skylab was launched there was no S-IVB, just the station which was build from an S-VIB shell. IIRC, the instrumentation had to be relocated to the top of the S-II.


It was actually a  Saturn IB S-IVB.  It was a full flight stage which was converted to the workshop and still had the IU added to it.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jim on 07/09/2013 01:30 AM

If you always have one set of instrumentation which controls all stages it normally goes atop the highest stage. With all the block variations of SLS, there are several possible upper stages: iCPS, CPS, DUUS, LUS.

iCPS will be an independent stage with its own avionics. 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 07/09/2013 04:54 AM
for skylab, the IU remained on top of the converted SIVB lab

Thanks. I remember there being discussion about whether to leave it there or move it, but couldn't remember which they actually did.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 07/09/2013 05:01 AM

 When Skylab was launched there was no S-IVB, just the station which was build from an S-VIB shell. IIRC, the instrumentation had to be relocated to the top of the S-II.


It was actually a  Saturn IB S-IVB.  It was a full flight stage which was converted to the workshop and still had the IU added to it.

Thanks. I knew the J-2s differed in that the Saturn I S-IVB did not have as many restart devices as the Saturn V.  I had read or heard that the remainder of the S-IVBs differed slightly as well, but don't know any details.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 07/09/2013 05:18 AM

If you always have one set of instrumentation which controls all stages it normally goes atop the highest stage. With all the block variations of SLS, there are several possible upper stages: iCPS, CPS, DUUS, LUS.

iCPS will be an independent stage with its own avionics. 

That is interesting. Would I be correct in assuming this avionics system controls all elements of Delta IV, but it is incapable of controlling SLS core and boosters? Since it already exists, it is easier to build new avionics for the core and boosters and just allow the existing instruments on iCPS to control it?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 07/09/2013 08:22 AM
Are there any technical details available on the Flight Computer? Like how much memory, the CPU being used and the clock speed?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 07/09/2013 02:48 PM
Thanks indeed--good stuff.  I meant to correct myself to note the IU wasn't confined to Saturn V, and indeed the one on display at KSC with the Saturn V is actually from an Saturn IB (S-IVB).

I too am curious about the iCPS since it is (based on) the DCSS, and if the biggest difference between the iCPS and CPS will be the brains (and of course the use of non-extensible RL-10 as the "RL-10C").

Same with Mr. Pietrobon's query--I imagine using the experience of the satellite team has to do with hardware familiarity. ?   The hardware is proven in the field as it were, for EM and radiation hardening.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 07/10/2013 12:31 AM
The SLS June Monthly Highlights are now available.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls_highlights.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: imcub on 07/10/2013 05:02 AM
Are there any technical details available on the Flight Computer? Like how much memory, the CPU being used and the clock speed?

And how big is the thing.  What would be really cool is a comparison between this and the Saturn V or Apollo FC.  Maybe even side by side comparison ...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/13/2013 06:38 PM
And another SLS article via L2, with PDR status:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/sls-track-successful-pdr-conclusion/

Remember, I'm not starting a new thread for each article, due to the number of articles, so keep up to date via:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/hlv/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: David AF on 07/13/2013 07:42 PM
Thanks for being the only writer who actually covers SLS this much! It's appreciated!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Stardust9906 on 07/13/2013 08:56 PM
Agree with the previous poster, thanks for keeping us up to date.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Launch Fan on 07/14/2013 11:39 AM
And another SLS article via L2, with PDR status:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/sls-track-successful-pdr-conclusion/

Remember, I'm not starting a new thread for each article, due to the number of articles, so keep up to date via:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/tag/hlv/

Great news. The naysayers said this would be like Constellation by now with the problems.

Now to prove them wrong on the payloads, hopefully. Sort it out NASA!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/14/2013 06:58 PM

If you always have one set of instrumentation which controls all stages it normally goes atop the highest stage. With all the block variations of SLS, there are several possible upper stages: iCPS, CPS, DUUS, LUS.

iCPS will be an independent stage with its own avionics. 

That is interesting. Would I be correct in assuming this avionics system controls all elements of Delta IV, but it is incapable of controlling SLS core and boosters? Since it already exists, it is easier to build new avionics for the core and boosters and just allow the existing instruments on iCPS to control it?
I will add that I understand that the iCPS will use the new ULA Common Avionics System set for first flight in late 2014. See Sect. 8.3.2 in new DIV User Guide.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jim on 07/14/2013 07:04 PM

If you always have one set of instrumentation which controls all stages it normally goes atop the highest stage. With all the block variations of SLS, there are several possible upper stages: iCPS, CPS, DUUS, LUS.

iCPS will be an independent stage with its own avionics. 

That is interesting. Would I be correct in assuming this avionics system controls all elements of Delta IV, but it is incapable of controlling SLS core and boosters? Since it already exists, it is easier to build new avionics for the core and boosters and just allow the existing instruments on iCPS to control it?

No, the i in iCPS is for interim. SLS will need its own dedicated system.   Also dont need to intermix ULA and SLS systems
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/16/2013 12:01 PM
Ladies please. This is an UPDATE thread. Thread trimmed.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 07/17/2013 12:26 AM
http://www.livestream.com/aiaa/video?clipId=pla_f8bc1ef2-5a37-48e5-a493-27855f502ea2&utm_source=lslibrary&utm_medium=ui-thumb

Got a couple of hours to spare? The link is to a panel discussion this week at an AIAA conference. The panel is chaired by SLS Chief Engineer Garry Lyles and includes 6 ELE element civil service and contractor chief engineers.

If the link doesn't take you directly there, look for a link on that page to "NASA SLS Development".
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 07/17/2013 07:28 AM
I found this document which gives some actual numbers on SLS stage elements.

"Ground Systems Development and Operations" by Pepper Phillips, 11 July 2012
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120013124_2012013056.pdf

Note that the SLS core mass at 96.0 t is 13% higher than the 85.0 t value published by Boeing in their October 2012 AIAA presentation (https://info.aiaa.org/Regions/SE/HSV_AIAA/Downloadable%20Items/AIAA-Chilton_18Oct2012_Final2.pdf), but 14% less then the 115.6 t value published by Boeing in their October 2012 IAC (http://www.iafastro.net/iac/paper/id/14288/summary/) paper.

I also found a couple of papers on SLS given by NASA at IAC 2012 in Naples, Italy.

S. A. Creech, "NASA’s Space Launch System: A heavy-lift platform for entirely new missions", IAC-12. D2.8.2
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20130000592_2012018836.pdf

T. A. May, "NASA’s Space Launch System: A flagship for exploration beyond Earth's orbit", IAC-12-D2.1.4.
http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20130000597_2012018839.pdf

Here are the values in metric of SLS from the GSDO presentation.
Orion
-----
Propellants      Hypers
# Engines/Type   1/STS OMS
CM, SM Mass      24,224 kg
LAS               7,394 kg
Other             1,829 kg
--------------------------
Total Mass       33,447 kg

iCPS
----
Propellants      LOX/LH2/Hypers
# Engines/Type   1/RL10-B2
Propellant Mass  26,600 kg
Dry Mass          4,207 kg
Adapters          5,120 kg
--------------------------
Total Mass       35,927 kg

Boosters
--------
Propellants       PBAN
# Boosters/Type   2/5 Segment Steel
Propellant (ea)     628,424 kg
Burnout Mass (ea)    99,322 kg
Other (ea)              277 kg
------------------------------
Total Mass (2)    1,456,046 kg

Core Stage
----------
Propellants       LOX/LH2
# Engines/Type    4/RS-25D
Propellant Mass     988,142 kg
Dry Mass             95,986 kg
------------------------------
Total Mass        1,084,128 kg

Total Wet Masses
----------------
Orion            33,447 kg
iCPS             35,927 kg
Boosters      1,456,046 kg
Core          1,084,128 kg
--------------------------
Total (GLOW)  2,609,548 kg
Rollout Mass  1,594,806 kg
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 07/30/2013 08:59 PM
First Liquid Hydrogen Tank Barrel Segment, SLS Core Stage

Published on Jul 30, 2013
Engineers at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility transfer a 22-foot-tall barrel section of the SLS core stage from the Vertical Weld Center. The barrel section, above, will be used for the liquid hydrogen tank, which will help power the SLS rocket out of Earth's orbit. (NASA/Michoud)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K00usdSxhuQ
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 07/30/2013 11:56 PM
First Liquid Hydrogen Tank Barrel Segment, SLS Core Stage

Published on Jul 30, 2013
Engineers at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility transfer a 22-foot-tall barrel section of the SLS core stage from the Vertical Weld Center. The barrel section, above, will be used for the liquid hydrogen tank, which will help power the SLS rocket out of Earth's orbit. (NASA/Michoud)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K00usdSxhuQ

The article that goes with the video:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-barrel-at-michoud.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 07/31/2013 01:36 AM
That is only 1 of 4 barrels for the LH2 tank? Damn that thing is going to be big.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: llanitedave on 07/31/2013 02:30 AM
Is that considered flight hardware?  If it is, I'm a little surprised since the PDR hadn't been finalized when this was constructed.  It builds a little confidence, at least.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 07/31/2013 02:59 AM
Is that considered flight hardware?

I don't think so.

The segment is considered a “confidence” barrel segment. [...] The segment will be used in structural tests. [...] Steve Holmes: "The first fully welded barrel segments are [...] to test tools and manufacturing processes prior to start of qualification hardware and first-flight articles."

From the NASA link posted previously by Starlab90:
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-barrel-at-michoud.html

Damn that thing is going to be big.

Bent effing metal! And the welds are (going to be) perfect down to the microscopic level. Whatever it cost, that's a technologic marvel to look at.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 07/31/2013 07:45 AM
Shuttle tanks were already using friction stir welding years ago.

I believe these barrels are thicker though and that's why they couldn't use Al-Li.

Looks very thin to me.

Does anybody know the relative thickness?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/01/2013 06:31 PM
SLS has passed the PDR, as expected.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: 00rs250 on 08/01/2013 09:43 PM
Are the same set of engineers that are building barrels the same ones doing domes as well?  Or do they have another team for that?  Is there any news on those yet?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 08/02/2013 12:30 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-pdr.html

NASA article on the SLS PDR.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 08/02/2013 01:44 AM
Here's the YouTube Video Promo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv3K9ij_-bI
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: kcrick on 08/02/2013 02:45 AM
Working link: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-pdr.html


Thanks!  Very informative!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 08/02/2013 08:24 PM
Here's the YouTube Video Promo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uv3K9ij_-bI

That graphic where they show the Shuttle in the background, and construct SLS looks suspiciously like the video by Direct.  :-)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 08/02/2013 10:21 PM
Here's the YouTube Video Promo
<snip>

That graphic where they show the Shuttle in the background, and construct SLS looks suspiciously like the video by Direct.  :-)

Imitation is the purest form of flattery.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: gladiator1332 on 08/02/2013 10:34 PM
Here's the YouTube Video Promo
<snip>

That graphic where they show the Shuttle in the background, and construct SLS looks suspiciously like the video by Direct.  :-)

Imitation is the purest form of flattery.

Thought that looked familiar!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: mr_magoo on 08/03/2013 06:52 PM
What is the word on orange foam?  Is that expected?    I remember reading some conflicting info before.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Khadgars on 08/03/2013 10:01 PM
What is the word on orange foam?  Is that expected?    I remember reading some conflicting info before.

Yup, it will be orange just like the STS ET.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 08/04/2013 12:51 AM
What is the word on orange foam?  Is that expected?    I remember reading some conflicting info before.

The first stage of the SLS is built from Shuttle parts.  The big tanks on the Shuttle had orange foam so the SLS's big tanks will have orange foam.

Since the tanks shed foam the launch pad will have to be designed to survive being hit by falling pieces of foam.  I hope the requirements contain a section requiring items to be armoured.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 08/04/2013 01:04 AM

Since the tanks shed foam the launch pad will have to be designed to survive being hit by falling pieces of foam.  I hope the requirements contain a section requiring items to be armoured.

Don't be ridiculous.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/04/2013 01:07 AM
What is the word on orange foam?  Is that expected?    I remember reading some conflicting info before.

The first stage of the SLS is built from Shuttle parts.  The big tanks on the Shuttle had orange foam so the SLS's big tanks will have orange foam.

Since the tanks shed foam the launch pad will have to be designed to survive being hit by falling pieces of foam.  I hope the requirements contain a section requiring items to be armoured.

SLS core will have foam because it is necessary, not because it is "built from shuttle parts", which it isn't outside of the RS-25Ds.

Back in one of these development threads there was a change request submitted for high visibility paint, unsure if just for first flight or permanent.
 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: a_langwich on 08/04/2013 03:28 AM
What is the word on orange foam?  Is that expected?    I remember reading some conflicting info before.

The first stage of the SLS is built from Shuttle parts.  The big tanks on the Shuttle had orange foam so the SLS's big tanks will have orange foam.

Since the tanks shed foam the launch pad will have to be designed to survive being hit by falling pieces of foam.  I hope the requirements contain a section requiring items to be armoured.

SLS core will have foam because it is necessary, not because it is "built from shuttle parts", which it isn't outside of the RS-25Ds.

Back in one of these development threads there was a change request submitted for high visibility paint, unsure if just for first flight or permanent.
 

Well, according to Kerbal Space Program, the black stripes painted along the sides add speed, so I hope they add those.  ;)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/06/2013 09:10 PM
http://blogs.nasa.gov/J2X/2013/08/06/inside-the-leo-doghouse-rs-25-vs-j-2x/

New blog entry.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: QuantumG on 08/06/2013 09:12 PM
Shuttle tanks were already using friction stir welding years ago.

I believe these barrels are thicker though and that's why they couldn't use Al-Li.

Also it was linear friction stir welding.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 08/08/2013 01:55 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/SLS_Highlights_July_2013.pdf

The SLS July monthly highlights are now available. Enjoy!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 08/08/2013 08:35 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/SLS_Highlights_July_2013.pdf

The SLS July monthly highlights are now available. Enjoy!

Excellent.  Thanks!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/13/2013 05:48 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-avionics.html

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Khadgars on 08/15/2013 10:54 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-avionics.html



Good stuff, thanks for the link.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 08/19/2013 10:44 PM
Model of SLS Test Stand Completes Wind Tunnel Testing

A 1:100 (31-inch) scale model of the NASA Space Launch System core stage B-2 test stand successfully completed wind tunnel testing Aug. 8. The actual B-2 test stand, located at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss., was originally built to test Saturn rocket stages that propelled humans to the moon. It is being completely renovated to test the core stage of NASA's new heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), in late 2016 and early 2017.

"The scale model was exposed to varying wind speeds at different angles,” said John Rector, SLS Stages Green Run test manager in the Stages Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “Test stand designers used the test as a way to validate the structure meets current building codes. We want to maximize the capacity of the structure, while minimizing the amount of steel used -- which reduces costs."

The wind tunnel testing was performed by NASA subcontractor CPP Wind Engineering & Air Quality Consultants at its facility in Fort Collins, Colo. The SLS core stage, with four RS-25 rocket engines, will be installed on the stand for propellant fill and drain testing and two hot fire tests. For more information about the B-2 stand being prepared for SLS core stage testing, click here (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/b2stand.html).

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/sls-wind-tunnel-testing.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 08/20/2013 02:33 AM
We're reducing cost by using a wind tunnel?  :-\

I guess it's one of those things NASA gets for "free" because they have to pay to operate the thing anyway.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lurker Steve on 08/20/2013 02:50 AM
We're reducing cost by using a wind tunnel?  :-\

I guess it's one of those things NASA gets for "free" because they have to pay to operate the thing anyway.

That was kind of my thought. Why does a test stand need wind tunnel testing ? Are they designing for a cat 5 hurricane ? Won't the rocket provide more stress than any cross winds ?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: QuantumG on 08/20/2013 02:52 AM
Rockets produce ground interactions on launch.. I suppose you could simulate that in a wind tunnel?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Khadgars on 08/20/2013 03:16 AM
We're reducing cost by using a wind tunnel?  :-\

I guess it's one of those things NASA gets for "free" because they have to pay to operate the thing anyway.

Really?  This didn't register when you read the small paragraph?

"We want to maximize the capacity of the structure, while minimizing the amount of steel used -- which reduces costs"
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 08/20/2013 01:20 PM
Steel is dirt cheap.

Wind tunnels aren't.

Perhaps I'm wrong about that.  ???
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lurker Steve on 08/20/2013 01:53 PM
We're reducing cost by using a wind tunnel?  :-\

I guess it's one of those things NASA gets for "free" because they have to pay to operate the thing anyway.

Really?  This didn't register when you read the small paragraph?

"We want to maximize the capacity of the structure, while minimizing the amount of steel used -- which reduces costs"

They are building a structure strong enough to hold a multi-hundred ton rocket stage fully fueled. I know they have to worry slightly about harmonics, but no way are reducing the amount of steel and concrete required due to some wind tunnel testing. I'm sure some mechanical / civil engineer is calculating the amount of steel required to support the SLS core stage, and then will double or triple the amount for safety.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 08/20/2013 03:10 PM
The SLS core is hardly breaking records for the amount of thrust it produces.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/20/2013 05:03 PM
Have any of you questioning this ever been to Stennis? The B1/B2 test stand is 300 feet tall, and that is without modifications for SLS, which will raise it's height even more. The surrounding region is flat as a pancake.

Do you know what happens in the Gulf region? Hurricanes. There has been 6 in that region in the past 10 years, including Katrina.

Thrust is well known and is fairly unidirectional. Weather is not. They also test high rises in Wind tunnels to validate designs.

None of this should really be perplexing to anyone. It is prudent engineering.


I'm not really sure how the thrust of the SLS core stage is related but at over 2 million lbs it is the most of any core that comes to mind outside of Proton, which I think its over 2 million.


Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: mike robel on 08/20/2013 07:57 PM
Ahem.  Are these not the tests stands that the S-IC was tested on?

Did they do wind tunnel testing in the 60's?

I understand that structures can benefit from such testing.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/20/2013 08:58 PM
Ahem.  Are these not the tests stands that the S-IC was tested on?

Did they do wind tunnel testing in the 60's?

I understand that structures can benefit from such testing.
As I understand things, this work involves construction of a new steel structure on top of the original stand for SLS.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 08/20/2013 11:20 PM
Seems like wind tunnels don't cost that much.

I guess the price of steel is quite high these days.

The more the media here talks down the iron ore prices the more they spike. Sometimes I think the people that own the newspapers are the same people that own the mines and they don't really want the public buying in. Perhaps I just love a good conspiracy.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: llanitedave on 08/21/2013 03:30 AM
I've had that impression prior to this.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/23/2013 01:23 PM
Gonna cross post this in Orion too.

http://vimeo.com/72924681

Exploration Systems Division Quarterly Report #3: 2013
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 08/23/2013 01:51 PM
Gonna cross post this in Orion too.

link

Exploration Systems Division Quarterly Report #3: 2013

Thanks, that is a pretty exciting report. It really underscores the massive amount of work that is going on everywhere in NASA in preparation for SLS. New machinery at MAF, lots going on at KSC, contractors producing actual flight hardware, MPCV coming together, and much more.

Wow.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 08/23/2013 06:36 PM
Gonna cross post this in Orion too.

link

Exploration Systems Division Quarterly Report #3: 2013

Thanks, that is a pretty exciting report. It really underscores the massive amount of work that is going on everywhere in NASA in preparation for SLS. New machinery at MAF, lots going on at KSC, contractors producing actual flight hardware, MPCV coming together, and much more.

Wow.


Agreed, thanks.

For those who keep saying SLS and Orion should be cancelled still, I'm thinking that train may have left the station already for you guys.  A fair amount of real work looks as though it's being done and permanent hardware being put in place to set up full scale production. 

It's really not much different from Direct, just 10 years late and a lot of interim money spent that didn't need to be.  ;-)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/23/2013 07:05 PM
Gonna cross post this in Orion too.

link

Exploration Systems Division Quarterly Report #3: 2013

Thanks, that is a pretty exciting report. It really underscores the massive amount of work that is going on everywhere in NASA in preparation for SLS. New machinery at MAF, lots going on at KSC, contractors producing actual flight hardware, MPCV coming together, and much more.

Wow.


Agreed, thanks.

For those who keep saying SLS and Orion should be cancelled still, I'm thinking that train may have left the station already for you guys.  A fair amount of real work looks as though it's being done and permanent hardware being put in place to set up full scale production. 

It's really not much different from Direct, just 10 years late and a lot of interim money spent that didn't need to be.  ;-)
The cost of maintaining a multi-billion-dollar redundant infrastructure while not having enough money for payloads will not go away just by wishing or by inertia, as much as we all would like it to. There's still no need for NASA to have their own launch vehicle.


EDIT: But both your post and mine are off-topic as this is an UPDATE thread, not a discussion (cheerleading or criticism) thread.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 08/23/2013 07:46 PM

The cost of maintaining a multi-billion-dollar redundant infrastructure while not having enough money for payloads will not go away just by wishing or by inertia, as much as we all would like it to.

A multi-billion-dollar infrastructure in place or mostly in place won't go away just by wishing it either.  Even if it doesn't do a whole lot.  As we saw with STS even after it had become very clear it would never return the low cost space access it was hoped it would.  Lots of other ideas floating around to suppliment or replace it for many years...but it's infrastructure was already in place, and there was just never enough will to replace it.  At least until the Columbia accident.


There's still no need for NASA to have their own launch vehicle.


I fully agree.  Or their own capsule really.  But as I said, I think that train has already left the station.  They have it now...or will soon have it.


EDIT: But both your post and mine are off-topic as this is an UPDATE thread, not a discussion (cheerleading or criticism) thread.

Noted.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/26/2013 06:51 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-engine-testing-stennis.html#.Uhuh_BvbNB7

RS-25D testing moved up to April of next year.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 09/07/2013 12:15 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/SLS_Highlights_August_2013(1).pdf

The August monthly highlights are now available.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 09/07/2013 12:39 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/j2x/j2x-last-gimbal-test.html

I also came across this link. It covers both J2X and RS-25 testing.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: plutogno on 09/10/2013 07:41 AM
for the engineering-minded
http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/tooling-up-for-larger-launch-vehicles
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 09/10/2013 01:22 PM
Great find Plutogno. Interesting to see a pathfinder article for the fairing. Damn that's big.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 09/11/2013 05:58 PM
NASA's building momentum on the path to deep space in the Orion, Space Launch System and Ground Systems Development and Operations programs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWc6SptEhmg
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 09/13/2013 06:19 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/rs25-engine-powers-sls.html#.UjNW0MbbNB4

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/16/2013 06:41 AM
Thanks newpylong. One thing I learned from that are that the RS-25 engines are at 109% for SLS Block 1.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MP99 on 09/16/2013 03:59 PM
Thanks newpylong. One thing I learned from that are that the RS-25 engines are at 109% for SLS Block 1.

Yeah - that's new news, I think.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 09/16/2013 04:04 PM
You're welcome.  These are always good reads.

When they moved the engines from Kennedy to Stennis early last year they mentioned it briefly that they would be up-rated to over 500,000 lb thrust and along with the new J-2X based controller were the big reasons they needed re-qualification. I don't think many noticed it though.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 09/17/2013 06:09 PM
You're welcome.  These are always good reads.

When they moved the engines from Kennedy to Stennis early last year they mentioned it briefly that they would be up-rated to over 500,000 lb thrust and along with the new J-2X based controller were the big reasons they needed re-qualification. I don't think many noticed it though.
I am quoting Chris Bergins article:
Quote
... RS-25, given that engine is much more powerful, with the ability to produce approximately 530,000 pounds of thrust.

Article Link: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/stennis-throttle-up-sls-engine-testing/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Marsin2010 on 09/17/2013 09:28 PM
It is my understanding that the J-2X derived controller would be adapted for new build RS-25E's only and not retrofitted onto fully functional RS-25D's.  That does not seem a very economic concept.

You're welcome.  These are always good reads.

When they moved the engines from Kennedy to Stennis early last year they mentioned it briefly that they would be up-rated to over 500,000 lb thrust and along with the new J-2X based controller were the big reasons they needed re-qualification. I don't think many noticed it though.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/19/2013 08:09 AM
I am quoting Chris Bergins article:
Quote
... RS-25, given that engine is much more powerful, with the ability to produce approximately 530,000 pounds of thrust.
Article Link: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/09/stennis-throttle-up-sls-engine-testing/

Yes, but 530 klbf (2357 kN) is 112.8% of rated thrust. That's a lot higher than what SLS will be flying with at 109% (2279 kN or 512 klbf). For people doing SLS simulations (like myself), the latter number is important to know.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/19/2013 08:16 AM
It is my understanding that the J-2X derived controller would be adapted for new build RS-25E's only and not retrofitted onto fully functional RS-25D's.  That does not seem a very economic concept.

No, the J-2X controller will be adapted for the RS-25D's. See this article

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/rs25_engine.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 09/21/2013 12:42 AM
Wind Tunnel Testing Used to Ensure SLS Will 'Breeze' Through Liftoff
Sept 20, 2013

Environmental factors, like wind gusts, can factor into an aircraft's performance. NASA's new heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), is no exception when it comes to Mother Nature.

NASA engineers and contractors recently completed liftoff transition testing of a 67.5-inch model of the SLS in a 14-by-22-foot subsonic wind tunnel at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. Data acquired from the test will help prepare SLS for its first mission in 2017, Exploration Mission-1, which will deliver an unmanned Orion spacecraft to a stable lunar orbit to check out the vehicle's fully integrated systems.

Wind tunnel tests are a tried-and-true method to understand the forces an object may endure as it moves through the atmosphere.

Instead of learning how environmental factors affect the SLS only during flight, engineers have started at the beginning to improve understanding of how the environment also affects the rocket while it's sitting on the pad, ready for liftoff.

"In a typical wind tunnel test, we point the model into the flow field," said John Blevins, lead engineer for aerodynamics and acoustics in the Spacecraft & Vehicle Systems Department at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "For the liftoff test, that's not the case. The wind is actually traversing across the model at much higher angles -- simulating a liftoff environment."

Engineers tested four different payload configurations of the SLS, carrying up to 130 metric tons.

"The test data is key to ensure vehicle control as we lift off and pass the ground tower," Blevins added. "At supersonic speeds, engineers can more easily compute the forces and moments, but that's more challenging at low speeds. This test is low speed, with winds in the tunnel only reaching up to 160 miles per hour."

With winds up to 160 mph over the model, engineers can measure forces and moments that the air exerts over the vehicle.

"Moments, or torque, act like a twisting force on the vehicle," explained Jeremy Pinier, research aerospace engineer in Langley’s Configuration Aerodynamics Branch.

Understanding forces and moments upon the vehicle at different wind conditions enables the vehicle to fly safely.

Engineers also used a technique for studying airflow streamlines called smoke flow visualization. Smoke is put into the wind flow and can be seen during testing. This allows engineers to see how the wind flow hits the surface of the model. "Understanding the flow patterns can give us insight into what we are seeing in the data," Pinier explained.

Now that the liftoff transition testing is complete, NASA engineers and contractors can apply their findings to the actual vehicle.

"We will be using the data we receive from this test to run flight simulations on the actual SLS vehicle and assess its performance," Pinier said. "There’s nothing more motivating and exciting than contributing toward the design of a launch vehicle that will be travelling farther than humans have ever been."

The SLS capability is essential to America’s future in human spaceflight and scientific exploration of deep space. Only with a heavy-lift launch vehicle can humans explore our solar system, investigate asteroids and one day set foot on Mars. Marshall manages the SLS Program for the agency.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-wind-tunnel-liftoff-testing.html

[youtube]Gfm4gKCcqR8[/youtube]

Photo Captions:

Upper Photo: During the liftoff transition testing of a nearly six-foot model of the Space Launch System, engineers used a technique for studying airflow streamlines called smoke flow visualization, giving them insight into the data retrieved.  Image Credit: NASA/LaRC

Lower Photo: NASA engineers and contractors tested four different payload configurations during the liftoff transition testing of a 67.5-inch model of the SLS at NASA Langley Research Center’s 14-by-22-foot subsonic wind tunnel in Hampton, Va.  Image Credit: NASA/LaRC
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 09/21/2013 11:56 PM
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=453825218066634&set=a.173343539448138.35801.161692063946619&type=1&theater

"Today, Boeing trucked in this massive liquid-oxygen fuel tank to the Marshall Center. The tank will be used to test the feed lines on the SLS. Boeing is the prime contractor for the SLS core stage."
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Danny Dot on 10/01/2013 05:57 PM
What work will contractors do in the designing and building of SLS?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lurker Steve on 10/01/2013 07:18 PM
What work will contractors do in the designing and building of SLS?

I assume it will be easier to answer what they won't do.

I think NASA picks the color scheme.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 10/02/2013 03:37 AM
What work will contractors do in the designing and building of SLS?

Isn't everybody building it a contractor? Either Aerojet Rocketdyne, ATK or Boeing.

NASA just gets design oversight over everything and then builds all the test stands and GSE themselves.

Boeing can design something on SLS and then MSFC can tell them yes or no. I don't think it's a complete dictatorship from Marshall.

This is just what I gleaned from following the program. If this needs correcting those with knowledge of the situation are quite welcome to do so.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 10/02/2013 03:38 AM
Wait up. MSFC is their own contractor for some parts.

I guess that means that NASA is building parts of SLS.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 11/05/2013 12:26 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-aerodynamics.html

Here's a new update on SLS wind tunnel testing.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 11/05/2013 12:30 PM
Good find. Looks like Block 1 (crewed obviously) to me?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 11/10/2013 08:03 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/SLS-Highlights-Sept-Oct2013.pdf

Another edition of SLS Highlights is now out. This one covers 2 months instead of the usual one month because of the government shutdown last month.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 11/10/2013 11:36 PM
Celebrating the two-year SLS anniversary. (From the pdf linked above.)

Editorial: the SLS nay-sayers will simply not understand this. Or they will have a field-day making fun of it. Or both.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 11/11/2013 06:40 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-aerodynamics.html

Here's a new update on SLS wind tunnel testing.

Are the brackets holding the LOX lines really going to be that much over-sized on the actual vehicle?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/11/2013 07:48 AM
The engine configuration appears to have changed. They look to be equally space every 90° instead of being close together on each side of the core.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Kasponaut on 11/11/2013 11:04 AM
It doesn't look like that to me. But I could be wrong ;-)
Anybody in the 'know' about this?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/11/2013 09:49 PM
The engine configuration appears to have changed. They look to be equally space every 90° instead of being close together on each side of the core.
That is Pre-PDR announcement news when NASA posted an updated pic on their website almost two weeks before PDR. Known even longer in L2 from what I hear.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Kasponaut on 11/13/2013 04:10 PM
The engine configuration appears to have changed. They look to be equally space every 90° instead of being close together on each side of the core.
That is Pre-PDR announcement news when NASA posted an updated pic on their website almost two weeks before PDR. Known even longer in L2 from what I hear.

Okay, but what is the engine configuration then?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/13/2013 07:06 PM
The engine configuration appears to have changed. They look to be equally space every 90° instead of being close together on each side of the core.
That is Pre-PDR announcement news when NASA posted an updated pic on their website almost two weeks before PDR. Known even longer in L2 from what I hear.

Okay, but what is the engine configuration then?
the LRE's are in the new PDR configuration in which they are arranged in a square.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 11/13/2013 08:35 PM
the LRE's are in the new PDR configuration in which they are arranged in a square.

Which would be further evidence that NASA really means it when they say they will not evolve beyond a four engine core. The original rectangular engine bulkhead had its corner engines away from the boosters and a single empty spot in the center for evolution to a fifth engine. (I don't remember there ever being a configuration indicating locations for two in the center as Steven has assumed for some calculations). If the engine mount bulkhead is now being reduced to a square (thus reducing mass), it would have to be redesigned in order to evolve to more engines. With the old bulkhead, there was an empty location for a 5th engine should they decide to add it. That empty spot is now unavailable.

This also casts doubt on the Dark Knights as ever being chosen as advanced boosters. ATK's own team has stated that this booster would also require a J-2X powered LUS AND a 5th RS-25 on the core to reach the 130 mt mandate. Steven Pietrobon's calculations (which assume higher than actual burnout mass) show that F-1B powered Dynetics Pyrios boosters, a 4 engine core and a 4 x MB-60 DUUS gets 129.5 mt to LEO (correct burnout mass shuold push that over the requirement) and that 3 x AJ-1E6 RP-1 boosters, a 4 engine core, and 4 x MB-60 DUUS gets over 132 mt to LEO. I am astounded that some posters who are not rocket scientists can believe that ATK's own entire team of real rocket scientists are mistaken about this. I also cannot understand why articles on NSF refer to the Dark Knights as the "favorites" with no evidence cited to support this position. There is no way NASA will add the 5th core engine (requiring an engine mount redesign) and build the LUS (which also requires redesigning the core as well as utilization of the low ISP J-2X) just so ATK can have the advanced booster contract. AJR, Dynetics, and others would file endless lawsuits, pork opponents would go wild; it just won't happen. In any case, I see this engine (and thus also the mount) configuration as one more nail in the coffin for solid boosters.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Kasponaut on 11/13/2013 09:21 PM
the LRE's are in the new PDR configuration in which they are arranged in a square.

Which would be further evidence that NASA really means it when they say they will not evolve beyond a four engine core. The original rectangular engine bulkhead had its corner engines away from the boosters and a single empty spot in the center for evolution to a fifth engine. (I don't remember there ever being a configuration indicating locations for two in the center as Steven has assumed for some calculations). If the engine mount bulkhead is now being reduced to a square (thus reducing mass), it would have to be redesigned in order to evolve to more engines. With the old bulkhead, there was an empty location for a 5th engine should they decide to add it. That empty spot is now unavailable.

This also casts doubt on the Dark Knights as ever being chosen as advanced boosters. ATK's own team has stated that this booster would also require a J-2X powered LUS AND a 5th RS-25 on the core to reach the 130 mt mandate. Steven Pietrobon's calculations (which assume higher than actual burnout mass) show that F-1B powered Dynetics Pyrios boosters, a 4 engine core and a 4 x MB-60 DUUS gets 129.5 mt to LEO (correct burnout mass shuold push that over the requirement) and that 3 x AJ-1E6 RP-1 boosters, a 4 engine core, and 4 x MB-60 DUUS gets over 132 mt to LEO. I am astounded that some posters who are not rocket scientists can believe that ATK's own entire team of real rocket scientists are mistaken about this. I also cannot understand why articles on NSF refer to the Dark Knights as the "favorites" with no evidence cited to support this position. There is no way NASA will add the 5th core engine (requiring an engine mount redesign) and build the LUS (which also requires redesigning the core as well as utilization of the low ISP J-2X) just so ATK can have the advanced booster contract. AJR, Dynetics, and others would file endless lawsuits, pork opponents would go wild; it just won't happen. In any case, I see this engine (and thus also the mount) configuration as one more nail in the coffin for solid boosters.

Hmm .., but it must depend on the size of the square arrangement. If the square is large enough, then there is room for a fifth engine in the center. Just like the Saturn 5 engines.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 11/13/2013 09:35 PM

First, let's remember that this is all based on artistic rendering, not an engr document/drawing.
But, assuming the LRE config is/will be a 90 degree square...
I was under the impression the 70 degree arrangement was to help the LREs with base-heating due to SRBs.  Going to a square would mean one of a few things:
1) RS-25Ds will be used in perpetuity, as the regen bell is required to survive the proximity to the SRBs.
2) After about four launches, the program will go to LRBs and RS-25Es.
3) The vehicle core will undergo redesign after Block 1/1B.

I personally believe the Block 1B is the upgrade path that will be taken assuming SLS flies more than a couple of missions (or any missions).  Given that, we're looking at RS-25Ds and 5 seg steel case SRBs for at least two decades beginning in 2017.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 11/13/2013 09:51 PM
RP-1 boosters will upgrade Block IB to Block IIB. Where are you going to get all these RS-25Ds from? There are only 16 in existence. Do you really think they will reinstate a line which no longer exists rather than build a disposable design?

The enitre purpose of the rectangular configuration was to keep the core engines away from the heat of the boosters. If you were going to allow for 5 engines, why would you change to a square and thus put those core engines closer to the booster heat? That does not make good sense. You would only go to a square if you can reduce the length of the rectangle to match its width. Shortening and widening it such as to still have room for 5 engines (while getting those core engines closer to booster heat) is illogical.

With the LRBs you aren't going to have the heat issue. You also are going to meet the 130 mt requirement with only 4 core engines, a DUUS rather than a LUS, and no need to redesign a strengthened core. I just don't get all these guys with their nostalgia for solid boosters. The RP-1 boosters enable a much more cost effective and safer path to the mandate.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/14/2013 04:50 AM
I don't remember there ever being a configuration indicating locations for two in the center as Steven has assumed for some calculations

Having six engines on the core has never been a configuration I have seen from NASA, despite the payload advantages it provides. My assumption is that if a six engine core is built, a new base would need to be designed, with the engines arranged in a circular pattern.

Quote
That empty spot is now unavailable.

I believe there is still space between the four engines to add a fifth engine in the centre, just like in the Saturn V. What matters is the distance between the outer engines. As far as I can see, that has not changed. However, there may not be space above the engine mount to add that fifth engine.

You would only go to a square if you can reduce the length of the rectangle to match its width. Shortening and widening it such as to still have room for 5 engines (while getting those core engines closer to booster heat) is illogical.

I don't see it as illogical. Having the engines 90° apart makes the thrust symmetrical on each corner of the core. That makes it easier to design and probably saves some weight. The engines only get a little closer to the SRB's, and being regen is probably not an issue.

Quote
With the LRBs you aren't going to have the heat issue.

The plume from the Saturn V was pretty impressive. Although maybe not as bad as SRB's, I think there will still be a significant heat load on the RS-25 engines. Probably enough that you need to use regens.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 11/14/2013 08:34 PM

Which would be further evidence that NASA really means it when they say they will not evolve beyond a four engine core. The original rectangular engine bulkhead had its corner engines away from the boosters and a single empty spot in the center for evolution to a fifth engine. (I don't remember there ever being a configuration indicating locations for two in the center as Steven has assumed for some calculations). If the engine mount bulkhead is now being reduced to a square (thus reducing mass), it would have to be redesigned in order to evolve to more engines. With the old bulkhead, there was an empty location for a 5th engine should they decide to add it. That empty spot is now unavailable.


You'd think so, but from Chris's June article, two of the 3 options NASA is evaluating has that 5th engine on the core, along with the J2X LUS and the 5m CPS, along with advanced boosters.  Maybe those options are just "for show" so they have the math to back up the Block 1B path?  For those who'd benefit from going with those two options.  Such as ATK, AJR (with supplying J2X...I don't think they have any part in MB-60. RLC-10C might keep them happy though), and whomever might build a 5m dedicated CPS.  They'll have the numbers to keep them from barking too loud.  THey can proove they looked at it, and discounted it based on price and lead time.


This also casts doubt on the Dark Knights as ever being chosen as advanced boosters. ATK's own team has stated that this booster would also require a J-2X powered LUS AND a 5th RS-25 on the core to reach the 130 mt mandate. Steven Pietrobon's calculations (which assume higher than actual burnout mass) show that F-1B powered Dynetics Pyrios boosters, a 4 engine core and a 4 x MB-60 DUUS gets 129.5 mt to LEO (correct burnout mass shuold push that over the requirement) and that 3 x AJ-1E6 RP-1 boosters, a 4 engine core, and 4 x MB-60 DUUS gets over 132 mt to LEO. I am astounded that some posters who are not rocket scientists can believe that ATK's own entire team of real rocket scientists are mistaken about this.


What posters are your referring to?  If you are referring to the months-old discussion about what Block 1B could do if composit boosters were added, keep in mind that Boeing at that time (Their October 2012 paper) was saying Block 1B could get 118mt to LEO, and ATK was saying advanced solids would increase SLS's capacity by 15.1mt.  Add those together and you get over 130mt.  So Boeing's team real rocket scientists were not quite backing up what ATK's real rocket scientists were saying.   I don't think it was a matter of people claiming they knew more than ATK's team.  Boeing's more recent Sept. 2013 paper gives SLS Block 1B a significant haircut in performance, so I think that pretty closes the book on if the Dark Knights can get to 130mt or not on Block 2B. 


 I also cannot understand why articles on NSF refer to the Dark Knights as the "favorites" with no evidence cited to support this position. There is no way NASA will add the 5th core engine (requiring an engine mount redesign) and build the LUS (which also requires redesigning the core as well as utilization of the low ISP J-2X) just so ATK can have the advanced booster contract. AJR, Dynetics, and others would file endless lawsuits, pork opponents would go wild; it just won't happen. In any case, I see this engine (and thus also the mount) configuration as one more nail in the coffin for solid boosters.

Well, that's where it gets a little complicated I think.  I don't think the Dark Knights can be considered favorites if there were some difinitive judge that is making sure NASA gets their 130mt vehicle, and get is in the near future.  Especially now with the new Boeing paper.
However, I'm going go take a guess and say that the NAA2010 mandate aside, they will likely be the cheaper overall replacement for 5-segs.  Even if the boosters themselves are similar in price to LRB's, they will require less infrastructure change and can use the existing SLS ML pretty much unchanged where LRB's will require heavy modifications or potentially a whole new ML. 
The Dark Knights might be considered the favorite from that standpoint.  And NASA could use them to create a "Block 1B-B" SLS, defer the other necessary upgrades to get to 130mt indefinately, and figure no one in Congress will ever say anything about it.  And it's pretty doubtful anyone in congress would.  NAA2010 never says -when- 130mt Block 2 needs to fly I don't think.  Just that Block 1 needs to be 70mt, and be "evolvable" to 130mt.  And it could be.  It just never would be in that case. 
If the Dark Knights can really give 15.1mt more performance than 5-seg, then your looking at 108-112mt to LEO depending on if four RL-10's or two MB-60's are used.  More with an optional four MB-60 DUUS (which Pyrios or Aerojet will need to hit 130mt themselves actually...but that is the -only- thing those booster need to get there.).  So maybe upwards of 120mt for a "Block 1B-B" SLS with four MB-60's on the DUUS, with little or no infrastructure changes, and likely no one in Congress or the White House that will make them put any more capacity into SLS any time soon/ever.

So the decisions could be SLS Block 2B with LRB's getting 130mt (with hypothetical four MB-60's), but costing more, or SLS Block 1B-B with Dark Knights (with hypothetical four MB-60's) getting close to 120mt but costing less, with less changes to the pad, ML, and VAB.  (assuming they would be less, for this example)
Likely a four MB-60 DUUS would never fly as SLS is going BLEO most of the time, so a two MB-60 or four RL-10 DUUS on either Block 1B-B with Dark Knights, or Block 2B with LRB...won't get 130mt technically.  Just the LRB's will be a lot closer to it than than Dark Knights.

So I think there's some wiggle room in there depending on what NASA -themselves- want. 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 11/14/2013 11:54 PM
Having six engines on the core has never been a configuration I have seen from NASA, despite the payload advantages it provides. My assumption is that if a six engine core is built, a new base would need to be designed, with the engines arranged in a circular pattern.


The problem with putting more engines on the core are a few.  More engines means the core needs to be strengthened, becuase core thrust pushes up directly on the core, where the boosters push up on the upper thrust beam and lift the core.
Also, if you are putting that much thrust on the core, and burning it out so early, why have a hydrolox core at all?  MAke it kerolox woth RD-180's or AJ-1E6's or something, and get rid of the boosters altogether.  Design the core to be a more traditional bottom pusher.  An Atlas 6 or something.  ORSC has good ISP for hte amount of time the core would burn compared to RS-25, where they will burn out before their awesome ISP is really benefiting the rocket a whole not. 
RS-25's are a great sustainer core, parallel staged LV engine.  If you are using them as a more traditional booster stage, then their wonderful performance isn't really getting you much I don't think. 

Anyway, I think the current design that's through PDR is four a 4 RS-25 sustainer core, parllel boosted LV.  And with only 4 engines, those high perfomrance RS-25's are being utilized as they were designed.  I think better to stick with that, and if you want more early stage performance, specify that into the Advanced boosters so all the core work can remain as done.


The plume from the Saturn V was pretty impressive. Although maybe not as bad as SRB's, I think there will still be a significant heat load on the RS-25 engines. Probably enough that you need to use regens.

Chuck one time said liquid kerolox engines had a lower heat-flux than the SRB's.  But I Think the actual nozzle temps werent' a whole lot more for the SRB's.  So it wasn't that the SRB's burned hotter per se, but they transferred more of that heat out from the sides.  That was the impression I got from it anyway.  So that engines next to liquid nozzles didn't have as bad of heating problems as engiens next to solid nozzles.

But regardless, I think the RS-25E is a regen engine as well.  I don't think that's changing.  Maybe it'll go to the channel wall design so it's easier to make than the RS-25D? And probably a lot of RS-68 processes as well as J2X process will go into reducing the number of parts and automating the assembly.  And changing the design so it doesn't need to be taken apart and inspected between flights as it's expendable.  I don't know all the things that the RS-25D has that will and won't go to the RS-25E.  I'd imagine it'd be similar to the changes from the F-1 to the F-1B.  Similar reduction in part numbers and complexity, and increase in automation.  So the RS-25E should be able to stand up fine to the exhaust plumes of solid boosters, whether the switch is after the fourth SLS while they are flying out the 10 pairs of 5-seg SRB's, or if the 5-segs are replaced by the Dark Knights and have SRB plumbs indefinately. 
And also be fine obviously, in a switch to LRB's.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 11/15/2013 12:01 AM
RP-1 boosters will upgrade Block IB to Block IIB. Where are you going to get all these RS-25Ds from? There are only 16 in existence. Do you really think they will reinstate a line which no longer exists rather than build a disposable design?


Not sure, but I think they can make more RS-25D's.  That was a limited production "job shop" kind of thing for PWR.  I don't know that it's been dismanteled?  I think they are inspecting and processing the existing RS-25D's there, and probably will again after they are test fired.  I thought all of that proction and reprocessing was done at the same facility at PWR?
They'd just be expensive, like they were for STS...I think think they could make new ones. if they wanted.  As I understand anyway.

However, don't know why you would want to build more if SLS is the program of record LV for the future.  Unless it's cheaper overall to keep building the RS-25D's at a clip of 2-4 per year, rather than retool for a full produciton line of the new RS-25E's that will be made at the same limited rate of 2-4 per year....

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 11/15/2013 10:35 AM
They would not build more RS-25D's. Too complex and expensive. Will move towards RS-25E (built with expend ability in mind) or move to a different yet similar engine.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/15/2013 05:33 PM
I'd remind folks this is an update thread. I'm not touching the posts as they are great posts, but maybe potential for a splinter if it continues?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 11/15/2013 06:05 PM
I'd remind folks this is an update thread. I'm not touching the posts as they are great posts, but maybe potential for a splinter if it continues?

Good point as usual Chris.

Perhaps an "SLS Development Discussion" Thread?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 11/20/2013 12:27 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/research-jet-tests-sls.html

The team featured in this article gave Garry Lyles a status presentation on this today. Their first test flights got them way more data than they thought they would get, and the early results look pretty good.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 11/20/2013 03:14 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/research-jet-tests-sls.html

The team featured in this article gave Garry Lyles a status presentation on this today. Their first test flights got them way more data than they thought they would get, and the early results look pretty good.

Very impressive. It is always encouraging to see young people working hard, applying bright minds, and advancing science!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/03/2013 06:03 AM
Report from ESA Bulletin 156 (http://esamultimedia.esa.int/multimedia/publications/ESA-Bulletin-156/offline/download.pdf):

"TRANSPORTATION/EXPLORATION

Technical exchanges are continuing with NASA to identify concrete options for cooperation in Transportation Systems for Exploration related to Space Launch System upper stage and cryogenic propulsion technologies."
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 12/06/2013 08:14 PM
https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/409034625940340736/photo/1

"First #SLS core stage dome welded at #Michoud! Dome will be used for confidence testing"

Hardware is good.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 12/09/2013 02:53 PM
This is going to be one BFR.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/shell-buckling-test.html#.UqXnPvRDtuh


http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/fuel-tank-crush.html#.UqXnjvRDtug
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lars_J on 12/09/2013 05:51 PM
You can always attach it, you know...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 12/10/2013 08:24 PM
And here's an article about transporting the SLS cores, via L2:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/12/spmt-transport-sls-core-stages/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: robertross on 12/11/2013 12:13 AM
This is going to be one BFR.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/shell-buckling-test.html#.UqXnPvRDtuh


http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/fuel-tank-crush.html#.UqXnjvRDtug

Been waiting for this test, via an L2 note a while back.

I hope they stream it live like they did previously!
To me the only thing better than a first flight launch is a destructive failure test to prove hardware & simulation models (the step before the engineering hits the road, or the skies in this case)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 12/11/2013 12:46 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls_highlights.html

The November monthly report is now available.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 12/11/2013 08:07 PM
For the life of me I can't find the story but I read something in the last few days that said despite rumors, the first (few) flights of SLS will not incorporate the canted booster nose cones.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 12/12/2013 06:16 AM
NASA and ATK Complete Avionics and Controls Testing for NASA's SLS Booster
ATK Achieves Significant Milestone as Booster Integrator

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA and ATK (NYSE: ATK) have successfully completed two key avionics tests for the solid rocket boosters for the space agency's new heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), being constructed to embark on bold missions to explore deep space.


The avionics tests, called hot fires, operate the booster's thrust vector control (TVC) system as if the booster were actually launching the SLS on a mission. The tests were conducted at ATK's Promontory, Utah, facility and represent a significant milestone as well as validation of SLS cost-saving efforts. As booster integrator, ATK has diligently focused on cost improvements for NASA's deep space exploration program to deliver affordable innovation.

"ATK has integrated value stream efficiencies across our SLS booster supply chain to achieve significant cost improvements," said Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager of ATK's Space Launch division. "As such, we have been able to design, develop, test and streamline operations as we prepare for the first launch in 2017."

The new, advanced avionics system is a critical aspect of the twin SLS boosters, providing power distribution, communication with the flight computers, booster ignition, command and control of the booster steering system and booster staging. The tests simulated SLS launch sequences both in preflight checks and in an ascent profile by verifying communication between ground and flight systems, starting motor ignition and moving the TVC system. The successful testing validated the new SLS booster avionics subsystem and electronic support equipment (ESE).

Training and evaluating the test team was an additional component of the test as team members were subjected to a variety of atypical conditions during simulated countdowns and firings. People, processes and tools were evaluated to strengthen and enhance performance at launch.

"Knowledge transfer is one of the most critical aspects of the avionics test and one of the most rewarding," said Precourt. "It's inspiring to see our early career employees train on this modernized system, armed with knowledge passed on to them by our world-class Space Shuttle team."

Other test objectives included validating the new electronic support equipment that replaced heritage ground equipment. Much of the equipment replaced was designed and built during the mid- to late-1970s and was successfully used on all 53 of the Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor and three 5-segment development motors static motor firings. The innovative equipment demonstrated in these tests dramatically reduces cost and increases reliability of the booster system.

ATK developed the avionics subsystem and ESE at its facilities in Clearfield and Magna, Utah, with support from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. Key partners supported ATK throughout this test series, including L-3 Cincinnati Electronics in Mason, Ohio, and Southern California Braiding, an IEC Electronics Company in Bell Gardens, Calif.

Cincinnati Electronics provides the avionics systems and boxes, and Southern California Braiding is responsible for the cable harnesses. Both suppliers have been integral to ATK throughout the development lifecycle of the SLS booster. 

"Our suppliers are extremely important to the success of the SLS booster program," said Precourt. "Their dedication to ensuring safety for human spaceflight is commendable."

ATK is an aerospace, defense and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/atk or on Twitter @ATK.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 12/12/2013 06:58 AM
For the life of me I can't find the story but I read something in the last few days that said despite rumors, the first (few) flights of SLS will not incorporate the canted booster nose cones.

Correct. That's also visible in the SLS november update. The windtunnel model clearly shows the original style booster nose cones.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: M129K on 12/12/2013 04:22 PM
From the november report:

Quote
Also working on an RP-1 booster concept is Northrop Grumman, which is taking an integrated approach to the booster, performing risk reduction work involving both a sub-scale demonstrator of a composite tank structure and a test article for a kerosene-fueled aerospike engine. Northrop Grumman is currently constructing a test stand that will be used for study of the structural test article.
A kerosene aerospike engine for SLS? Neat, does anybody have more info on this? Google didn't really help.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 12/12/2013 07:51 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P--k0OYzUI8

The foundation has been poured for the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) in support of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS)


As far as I know this is the last large piece of machinery needing to be installed for Core fabrication.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: M129K on 12/12/2013 07:53 PM

As far as I know this is the last large piece of machinery needing to be installed for Core fabrication.
I love the cheesiness of that video.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: llanitedave on 12/13/2013 02:51 AM

As far as I know this is the last large piece of machinery needing to be installed for Core fabrication.
I love the cheesiness of that video.

I like Rick!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jason1701 on 12/13/2013 03:55 AM

As far as I know this is the last large piece of machinery needing to be installed for Core fabrication.
I love the cheesiness of that video.

I like Rick!

Concrete pouring has never seemed so hip.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: llanitedave on 12/13/2013 04:05 AM
It sure wasn't when I did it!   :P
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 12/13/2013 04:19 PM
It sure wasn't when I did it!   :P

No kidding, it's worse than hanging drywall, football practice, or even hauling a 90 lb backpack across snowfields.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lurker Steve on 12/13/2013 06:07 PM
Why does it need to be vertical ??

Was that concrete base any thicker than your typical interstate highway ? Didn't look like it to me.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: llanitedave on 12/13/2013 10:07 PM
It didn't look unusually thick, nor would I think it need be.  After all, it's mostly going to be supporting an empty tank and welding gear.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 12/17/2013 01:29 AM
Shell Buckling Test

Published on Dec 16, 2013
NASA completed a series of high-tech can-crushing tests as an enormous fuel tank crumbled under the pressure of almost a million pounds of force, all in the name of building lighter, more affordable rockets. The rare test with an aluminum-lithium cylinder as large as a full-size rocket fuel tank was conducted inside the structural test area at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. (NASA/MSFC)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUjpVBktTAI

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: a_langwich on 12/18/2013 10:21 PM
The rare test with an aluminum-lithium cylinder as large as a full-size rocket fuel tank was conducted...

I thought AlLi had been passed over in favor of standard aluminum alloys in the construction of the tanks?  Or was that conversation about Orion and not the SLS tanks?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/19/2013 12:16 AM
The rare test with an aluminum-lithium cylinder as large as a full-size rocket fuel tank was conducted...

I thought AlLi had been passed over in favor of standard aluminum alloys in the construction of the tanks?  Or was that conversation about Orion and not the SLS tanks?
I think that you are correct, in terms of the core tanks.  Which raises the obvious question ....

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 12/19/2013 01:43 AM
Wasn't this test article constructed with unused STS SLWT components? That explains the aluminum-lithium alloy, yes?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 12/19/2013 02:28 AM
Wasn't this test article constructed with unused STS SLWT components? That explains the aluminum-lithium alloy, yes?

Also, maybe that would explain the use of orthogrid stiffener design, instead of isogrid. SLS tanks will use isogrid, right?

If so, what does the crush test of an AlLi orthogrid tank section tell us about the behaviour of a normal Al alloy tank section with isogrid stiffeners? Anything?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 12/19/2013 01:47 PM
I am sure it tells them something or it wouldn't be done...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: BrightLight on 12/19/2013 02:16 PM
At the very least it could be used to calibrate the various models used to predict the strength of the tank material.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AJA on 12/19/2013 03:42 PM
At the very least it could be used to calibrate the various models used to predict the strength of the tank material.

And calibrate the instrumentation as well... The image processing required for that speckle tracking, the strain gauges etc.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: BrightLight on 12/19/2013 03:47 PM
At the very least it could be used to calibrate the various models used to predict the strength of the tank material.

And calibrate the instrumentation as well... The image processing required for that speckle tracking, the strain gauges etc.
Maybe another test will be done on SLS grade tankage or a section of a isogrid  panel if the fidelity of the model is adequate.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 12/19/2013 06:43 PM
I am sure it tells them something or it wouldn't be done...

That's an optimistic view at least. The pessimist and cynic in me however...?

Remember that the main purpose of Ares-I-X was to help NASA learn how to build and operate large test launches again. Could they have gone through all of this just to teach themselves how to do the test?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: spectre9 on 12/20/2013 12:08 AM
Test facilities and personal need to get ready for actual SLS barrel segments somehow.

What if a barrel section turns up for testing and they're not ready?

This is getting ready.

Whenever I see those things happening at MSFC I can't help but feel a sense of excitement.

If they make SLS a reality I just might like it. The process of building it seems like half the fun  8)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 12/20/2013 02:24 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/shell-buckling-completed.html

This is the link to the article that goes with the video, which answers some of your questions. The only way to do a test like that this soon is to use surplus Shuttle hardware. There won't be any new-build core stage hardware that can be spared for a test like this for some time.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 12/20/2013 02:40 AM
I am sure it tells them something or it wouldn't be done...

That's an optimistic view at least. The pessimist and cynic in me however...?

Remember that the main purpose of Ares-I-X was to help NASA learn how to build and operate large test launches again. Could they have gone through all of this just to teach themselves how to do the test?

No that wasn't the main purpose of the Ares IX test. The main purpose was to gather aerodynamics data for that long skinny shape that was Ares I.

Getting back on topic...

Before this test was run, computer simulations were run to predict when the tank would buckle. Comparisons can now be made between the predictions and what really happened, which will allow more accurate computer modeling for future tank designs. For the future work, it is simply a matter of removing the test article material properties from computer programs' input file and insert the material properties for whatever the engineer is designing.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 12/20/2013 03:05 AM
http://vimeo.com/82298467

Here is a new video just posted today which gives an update on the SLS, GSDO, and MPCV programs.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 12/20/2013 03:24 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/nac-heoc/

The NAC HEO Committee met again last week. The presentations they saw are available at the above link. There is some interesting information there, and a few good overview charts showing the plans for the various HEOMD programs.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 12/20/2013 01:45 PM
Thanks Starlab. Good catches. Hard not to get excited - hardware is good.

This will be the biggest milestone coming up that I see: SLS preparing for final KDP-C approval Jan 2014
With that accomplished, design can be brought to 100% and full scale manufacturing can begin.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Warren Platts on 01/03/2014 03:22 PM
Wow, Lori's suddenly having a crisis of faith....

http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2014/01/lori-garver-says-nasa-should-not-build-the-sls-where-is-it-going-to-go/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: kirghizstan on 01/03/2014 03:34 PM
Wow, Lori's suddenly having a crisis of faith....

http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2014/01/lori-garver-says-nasa-should-not-build-the-sls-where-is-it-going-to-go/

more likely the ability to speak what she truly feels instead of toeing the "company" line
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: notsorandom on 01/03/2014 03:43 PM
This is an update thread. The comments made by Ms. Garver are being discussed here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33669.msg1141343#msg1141343
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 01/08/2014 11:13 PM
Looks like the OIG is not too happy with NASA over the way they chose Test Stand B-2 for SLS core stage testing.

NASA’s Decision Process for Conducting Space Launch System Core Stage Testing at Stennis
Office of Inspector General IG-14-009 Jan 8, 2014 - 40 pages

"Test stands for large rocket propulsion systems cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build or refurbish and may sit idle for many years after the programs for which they were built end. On April 24, 2012, NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate approved a plan to refurbish the B-2 test stand at Stennis Space Center (Stennis) for testing the core stage of the Agency’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).  SLS Program management estimated that refurbishing the B-2 stand would take approximately 4.5 years to complete and estimated total costs – which include refurbishing, special test equipment, testing the core stage, and contingency funding – at $352 million. However, an independent NASA team estimated the project’s total cost at $407 million. NASA plans the first flight for the SLS in December 2017."

"NASA examined two other possible sites for testing the SLS core stage – the Air Force Research Laboratory’s 1-125 1C test stand at Edwards Air Force Base in California (1C) and NASA’s Advanced Engine Test Facility 4670 at the Marshall Space Flight Center (4670). The estimates available to NASA at the time it selected the B-2 stand indicated that refurbishment of these other two facilities would take 3.5 and 2.5 years and cost $319 million and $251 million, respectively. Unlike the B-2 test stand, NASA did not have an independent cost estimate for renovating and testing at these two facilities. Despite the lower estimated costs and shorter timeframes associated with readying the Air Force and Marshall facilities, NASA chose the B-2 stand citing risks associated with testing the core stage at these sites such as transportation risks to 1C and risks associated with the noise level from testing at 4670, the existence of the independent cost estimate, and the potential benefits of consolidating large-scale testing at Stennis."

[...Results]

NASA Failed to Adequately Assess Options for SLS Core Stage Testing
  • NASA Did Not Follow Agency Policy or its Agreement with DOD
  • Insufficient Time and Information to Assess Cost, Schedule, and Risks
  • Presentations Lacked Comparable and Consistent Data
  • NASA’s RPT Decision-Making Process Lacks Internal Controls
  • Structure of RPT Program Management Contributes to Ongoing Challenges
  • B-2 Decision May Introduce Costs and Schedule Risk to SLS Program

[...]

"In a September 2012 audit, the OIG identified NASA’s culture of optimism, underestimating technical complexity, and funding instability as challenges the Agency faces in meeting project cost, schedule, and performance goals. We believe these factors affected NASA’s choice for SLS core stage testing. NASA chose the test facility with the longest and most expensive development time and is optimistically planning that all aspects of the renovation will come together in time for the stand to accommodate the SLS’s test schedule. Furthermore, at the time the Agency chose the B-2 test facility, NASA and Boeing had not yet fully defined SLS core stage technological requirements. To account for the immaturity of the SLS vehicle design and requirements, NASA’s independent cost estimate added $86.7 million for special test equipment and risk to account for potential design changes, funding delays, construction issues, and additional testing scenarios. Moreover, the estimate stated that the 6-month schedule margin for the B-2 was very optimistic for such a large, complex project, especially since Boeing hardware access requirements had not been identified, subsystem tests objectives were not defined or budgeted, and special test equipment hardware designs were not yet included in either Boeing or B-2 funding plans."

http://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY14/IG-14-009.pdf (http://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY14/IG-14-009.pdf)

Note: RPT is Rocket Propulsion Test
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 01/09/2014 05:32 PM
Marshall would be convenient but the OIG failed to recognize one of the primary reasons for moving S-IC testing from Marshall to Stennis was noise complaints. Huntsville is not a small town, nor far away.

One would assume NIMBYism now compared to the 60's would make this DOA.


Back to the thread, some cool pictures posted on the SLS Facebook page of Avionics testing on the core simulator.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=510068725775616&set=a.173343539448138.35801.161692063946619&type=1&theater
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 01/10/2014 08:36 PM
NASA Powers Up State-of-the-Art Space Launch System Software Avionics

Published on Jan 10, 2014
The modern avionics system that will guide NASA's Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket ever built, has seen the light. The flight software and avionics for SLS were integrated and powered for testing Jan. 9 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., as part of a milestone known as first light.
The milestone enables early integration and testing of avionics and software to help NASA perfect the system and ensure the units communicate together as designed. Avionics tell the rocket where it should fly and how it should pivot its engines to stay on course. (Boeing)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj8eB3Ip85c
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 01/11/2014 12:12 AM
Another article to go with the avionics video above.

SLS Avionics System Sees the (First) Light
Jan 9, 2014

The modern avionics system that will guide the most powerful rocket ever built saw the light -- the "first light," that is.

Hardware, software and operating systems for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) recently were integrated and powered up for an inaugural run -- referred to as "first light."

When completed, SLS will be capable of powering humans and potential science payloads to deep space. It has the greatest capacity of any launch system ever built, minimizing cost and risk of deep space journeys. 

"We often compare the avionics system to the body's central nervous system -- we can't function without one, and neither can the SLS," said Lisa Blue, stages avionics system manager in the SLS Program Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "Avionics tell the rocket where it should go and end up, and how it should pivot the engines to keep on the right trajectory."

"Now we have that critical system together, and each unit has powered up successfully," Blue added. "That's a major accomplishment toward getting ready for the first flight of SLS."

The Integrated Avionics Test Facilities team provided and installed the structure and simulation capability to model the environments the vehicle will experience during launch. With the avionics hardware units arranged in flight configuration on the structure and with the flight software, the facility will replicate what will actually fly the rocket. "We are using and testing state-of-the-art technology, including the most powerful computer processor ever used on a flight system," Blue said.

NASA and Boeing engineers will test the system in early January at the Systems Integration and Test Facility at the Marshall Center. They will run flight simulations to see how SLS will perform during launch.

"Completing the first light milestone establishes a capability to perform early avionics and software integration and testing to help us find and fix any problems with the system, and make sure the units communicate together as they are designed to do," said Dan Mitchell, SLS Integrated Avionics and Software lead engineer at the Marshall Center.       

Avionics and the flight computer will be housed in the SLS core stage. When completed, the core stage will be more than 200 feet tall and store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle's RS-25 engines. The Boeing Company is the prime contractor for the SLS core stage, including avionics.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/testing-sls-avionics.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/testing-sls-avionics.html)

Photo Caption:
From left, Wayne Arrington, Gerald Clayton and Ryan MacKrell, all of The Boeing Company, work on setting up the avionics system in flight configuration in the Systems Integration and Test Facility at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Image Credit: Boeing
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 01/11/2014 11:35 AM
Came across this brief update on RS-25 testing preparations at Stennis which was published just before Christmas.  I've attached the original pdf page as well for better resolution pics.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 01/12/2014 01:28 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls_highlights.html

The December monthly highlights were released this week.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 01/13/2014 08:31 PM

January 13, 2014



RELEASE 14-014

NASA Administrator Tours Facility Where New Deep Space Rocket is Being Built
 

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Monday visited the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to see the progress being made on the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket ever built that will take American astronauts into deep space, first to an asteroid beyond the Moon and eventually on to Mars. 
 
Bolden, who was joined by Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, toured construction of Michoud's advanced welding facility, the Vertical Assembly Center. There, 27.5-foot diameter cylinders, domes, rings and other elements will be brought together to form the fuel tanks and core stage of SLS, which is targeted for its first flight test in 2017. When completed in March, the Vertical Assembly Center will be home to one of the largest welding tools of its kind.
 
Three of four major robotic welding tools already are installed at Michoud, where SLS's core stage prime contractor, the Boeing Co. of Chicago, is leading a team producing test articles for the rocket. Michoud's advanced manufacturing facilities and workforce also built Orion's structure for its prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md.
 
 "American astronauts are living and working in space aboard the International Space Station, preparing for deeper space exploration and the SLS is the rocket that will take them there," Bolden said during the tour. "We’re making tremendous progress on SLS, and I salute the team at Michoud for making sure the United States continues to lead the world in exploration."

Bolden also took time during his tour to place a call to the International Space Station mission control at NASA's Johnson Space Center. He congratulated the flight team there, the International Space Station (ISS) crew and the Orbital Sciences team in Dulles, Va., on the successful installation of Orbital's Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the station Sunday.
 
"The United States no longer has to rely on others to get cargo and science experiments to the International Space Station," said Bolden following the call. "Thanks to the bold commercial space plan we’ve been pursuing, we now have two American companies to resupply station, launching once again from U.S. soil. My hat’s off to the Orbital and NASA teams who worked so hard over the weekend to successfully capture and berth the Cygnus spacecraft to the ISS."
 
For more than 50 years, Michoud has built large-scale space systems for NASA, including stages of the Saturn V moon rockets and external tanks for the space shuttles. Michoud has more than 43 acres of advanced manufacturing space under one roof.
 
"The Space Launch System is becoming a reality thanks to the unique workforce and tools at Michoud and NASA facilities across the country," said SLS Program Manager Todd May, who joined Bolden on the tour. "We're on schedule and looking forward to SLS's first launch."
 
During his visit, Bolden, a former astronaut, donned part of a spacesuit to make a plaster cast of his boot print to commemorate Michoud's historic role in space exploration. Bolden traveled to orbit four times aboard  space shuttles between 1986 and 1994, commanding two of the missions and piloting two others. His flights included deployment of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission, which featured a cosmonaut as a member of his crew.
 
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the SLS Program and the Michoud Assembly Facility.
 
For information about NASA’s SLS Program, visit:
 
http://www.nasa.gov/sls
 
For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:
 
http://www.nasa.gov
 
For information about NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, visit:
 
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/michoud
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 01/14/2014 01:24 AM
I appreciate all the reports we get regarding the SLS progress, I really do, but it is simply incorrect to state that SLS is going to "take us to an asteroid" or "SLS is going to take us to the moon" or SLS is going to take us to mars", etc. SLS is not going to take us anywhere except LEO. Yet-to-be-developed spacecraft, launched by SLS to LEO, and probably assembled there, are what will take us to BLEO destinations, not the SLS. I know what they mean, but what they are saying is simply wrong. There is entirely too much enthusiasm being substituted for actual fact. SLS is a one-way trip to LEO - period. And unless NASA gets the vision and the funding to design, build and launch deep space spacecraft capable of taking us to all those other destinations, then SLS will be a one-way ticket to nowhere. It's time to call a spade a spade. Where are the spacecraft for SLS to launch? Where are the designs for them? Where is the funding to build and deploy them? SLS is, and always will be, only ONE part of a system, the part that travels only a few hundred kilometers uphill and is then dead. The rest of the system, the part that will take humans millions of kilometers into deep space, don't even exist as powerpoints, let alone as actual designs. These spacecraft will cost far more to design, build and deploy than the entire SLS program. What about them?

Having said all that, I thank you very much for the progress report, and please keep them coming. But I just had to air my pet peeve and get everyone to do a reality check. SLS is only the initial ride out of the barn. It gets us to where the journey can begin; LEO. It doesn't go anywhere else, certainly not to an asteroid or to mars.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 01/14/2014 03:13 AM
Well, SLS with an Earth departure stage (EDS) gets you beyond Earth orbit (BEO), so SLS does not necessarily only take you to LEO. As a proper EDS is not being developed, the point is moot. Also, NASA does have powerpoints for BEO, plenty of them like the proposed Asteroid capture mission, a Lunar mission with a dual SLS launch, asteroid missions and Mars missions. What is currently funded is Block I SLS and Orion. As we all know, that is not enough for a proper BEO program.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/14/2014 03:38 AM
Bit of an article about today's visit:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/praise-maf-transition-ahead-sls-production/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/14/2014 04:03 AM
I appreciate all the reports we get regarding the SLS progress, I really do, but it is simply incorrect to state that SLS is going to "take us to an asteroid" or "SLS is going to take us to the moon" or SLS is going to take us to mars", etc. SLS is not going to take us anywhere except LEO. Yet-to-be-developed spacecraft, launched by SLS to LEO, and probably assembled there, are what will take us to BLEO destinations, not the SLS. ...
I know what you mean, but then again NASA is describing the SLS 70 tonne initial configuration, at least informally, as a rocket that includes ICPS to carry Orion.  That machine is being developed to boost Orion to a lunar flyby, where the spacecraft will fire to insert itself first into a funky "deep" elliptical retrograde orbit, and then again into a more circular "distant" retrograde orbit, of the Moon - something like 70,000 km out from the Moon, skirting past the L1/L2 points - and back again, with people.  Further from Earth than any people ever.  That's "beyond LEO".  I'm thinking that the view from out there might be impressive.   

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Khadgars on 01/14/2014 05:25 AM
Excellent article Chris.  Some pretty impressive machinery, looking forward for further updates.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/14/2014 11:56 AM
Excellent article Chris.  Some pretty impressive machinery, looking forward for further updates.

Thanks! Hopefully these hardware stories will sink in with some of the wet fish candidates on the naming thread.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 01/14/2014 01:03 PM
I appreciate all the reports we get regarding the SLS progress, I really do, but it is simply incorrect to state that SLS is going to "take us to an asteroid" or "SLS is going to take us to the moon" or SLS is going to take us to mars", etc. SLS is not going to take us anywhere except LEO. Yet-to-be-developed spacecraft, launched by SLS to LEO, and probably assembled there, are what will take us to BLEO destinations, not the SLS. I know what they mean, but what they are saying is simply wrong. There is entirely too much enthusiasm being substituted for actual fact. SLS is a one-way trip to LEO - period. And unless NASA gets the vision and the funding to design, build and launch deep space spacecraft capable of taking us to all those other destinations, then SLS will be a one-way ticket to nowhere. It's time to call a spade a spade. Where are the spacecraft for SLS to launch? Where are the designs for them? Where is the funding to build and deploy them? SLS is, and always will be, only ONE part of a system, the part that travels only a few hundred kilometers uphill and is then dead. The rest of the system, the part that will take humans millions of kilometers into deep space, don't even exist as powerpoints, let alone as actual designs. These spacecraft will cost far more to design, build and deploy than the entire SLS program. What about them?

Having said all that, I thank you very much for the progress report, and please keep them coming. But I just had to air my pet peeve and get everyone to do a reality check. SLS is only the initial ride out of the barn. It gets us to where the journey can begin; LEO. It doesn't go anywhere else, certainly not to an asteroid or to mars.

NASA puts out Press Releases to keep the public informed because it is their money. The public doesn't care if "SLS" goes to an Asteroid or Mars or is it launches something that will be assembled and then goes to an Asteroid. The more technical side of the community realizes everything you have said, it's assumed.

That said, EM-1 and EM-2 are both design referenced to be BLEO so what you said is not completely true. According to the latest Appropriations report, SLS now has 1.9 billion and Orion did well too. They must start development of the upper stage as well. Don't expect to see any other components developed until these items are close to maturity. Despite this, considering these numbers and the progress both on the NASA and Commercial side it is hard not to get excited about what is going on.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: DDG40 on 01/14/2014 04:23 PM
I was at the assembly yesterday. I can add that  it was said that 60% of the "core" drawings have been released. It was also stated that the workforce for SLS was to be 450 workers.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/14/2014 07:52 PM
I was at the assembly yesterday. I can add that  it was said that 60% of the "core" drawings have been released. It was also stated that the workforce for SLS was to be 450 workers.

That's starting to move back up on the workforce.

I think the big deal will be the first cutting of tankage for the EM-1 SLS. I know there's been pathfinders and such, and probably some work to do for the engine testing core structure(s). But the first weld for SLS-1......that'll be huge.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: BrightLight on 01/14/2014 08:01 PM
I was at the assembly yesterday. I can add that  it was said that 60% of the "core" drawings have been released. It was also stated that the workforce for SLS was to be 450 workers.
at what percentage of released drawings can they start to bend metal?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/14/2014 08:55 PM
Great Article Chris, lots of history there! :)  BFMachines for a BFR...  :D
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 01/15/2014 01:55 PM
I was at the assembly yesterday. I can add that  it was said that 60% of the "core" drawings have been released. It was also stated that the workforce for SLS was to be 450 workers.
at what percentage of released drawings can they start to bend metal?

Not until the vehicle passes KDP-C can actual flight article manufacturing begin but before that we will see the STAs built and tested at Stennis anyway.

Speaking of KDP-C, isn't that supposed to be anytime now?

Nice Exploration Systems update: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2vAK6qlNaw&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/15/2014 09:34 PM
The Daily Mail's website has run a fairly simple piece on the SLS (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2540140/NASA-reveals-plans-biggest-rocket-ferry-astronauts-Space-Station-beyond.html). I mention it here because of the accompanying illustrations that show the SLS with a 5m-diameter cargo PLF. This is the first time I've seen the SLS illustrated with the 5m PLF outside of Boeing's non-official proposals for their EML-Moon-Mars evolution path. I notice that the illustrations are marked with NASA copyright.

Does anyone know if this is the current baseline or has the Daily Mail been using out-of-date pictures?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 01/16/2014 12:43 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-science-missions.html

The new pictures come from the press release at the above link.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 01/16/2014 12:53 AM
I appreciate all the reports we get regarding the SLS progress, I really do, but it is simply incorrect to state that SLS is going to "take us to an asteroid" or "SLS is going to take us to the moon" or SLS is going to take us to mars", etc. SLS is not going to take us anywhere except LEO. Yet-to-be-developed spacecraft, launched by SLS to LEO, and probably assembled there, are what will take us to BLEO destinations, not the SLS. I know what they mean, but what they are saying is simply wrong. There is entirely too much enthusiasm being substituted for actual fact. SLS is a one-way trip to LEO - period. And unless NASA gets the vision and the funding to design, build and launch deep space spacecraft capable of taking us to all those other destinations, then SLS will be a one-way ticket to nowhere. It's time to call a spade a spade. Where are the spacecraft for SLS to launch? Where are the designs for them? Where is the funding to build and deploy them? SLS is, and always will be, only ONE part of a system, the part that travels only a few hundred kilometers uphill and is then dead. The rest of the system, the part that will take humans millions of kilometers into deep space, don't even exist as powerpoints, let alone as actual designs. These spacecraft will cost far more to design, build and deploy than the entire SLS program. What about them?

Having said all that, I thank you very much for the progress report, and please keep them coming. But I just had to air my pet peeve and get everyone to do a reality check. SLS is only the initial ride out of the barn. It gets us to where the journey can begin; LEO. It doesn't go anywhere else, certainly not to an asteroid or to mars.

The point is well made about the need to develop deep space systems to ride on SLS, but I need to correct the false statement that SLS is a LEO-only system. SLS includes upper stages. An interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) is in development, and concepts are being studied for an Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) for the Block 1B and 2B vehicles and for an upper stage for the Block 2A vehicle, as well as follow-on cryogenic propulsion stages (CPS). All of these either are or intended to be part of SLS.

The truth is that SLS is being built to place large payloads into earth departure trajectories, not LEO.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 01/16/2014 12:55 AM
I was at the assembly yesterday. I can add that  it was said that 60% of the "core" drawings have been released. It was also stated that the workforce for SLS was to be 450 workers.
at what percentage of released drawings can they start to bend metal?

We're bending metal now.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lars_J on 01/16/2014 01:39 AM
The Daily Mail's website has run a fairly simple piece on the SLS (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2540140/NASA-reveals-plans-biggest-rocket-ferry-astronauts-Space-Station-beyond.html). I mention it here because of the accompanying illustrations that show the SLS with a 5m-diameter cargo PLF. This is the first time I've seen the SLS illustrated with the 5m PLF outside of Boeing's non-official proposals for their EML-Moon-Mars evolution path. I notice that the illustrations are marked with NASA copyright.

Does anyone know if this is the current baseline or has the Daily Mail been using out-of-date pictures?
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-science-missions.html

The new pictures come from the press release at the above link.

Here are the images in attached form:
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/16/2014 05:51 AM
I was at the assembly yesterday. I can add that  it was said that 60% of the "core" drawings have been released. It was also stated that the workforce for SLS was to be 450 workers.
at what percentage of released drawings can they start to bend metal?

We're bending metal now.
Good to hear. Less talk, more rocket.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/16/2014 12:25 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-science-missions.html

The new pictures come from the press release at the above link.

The Press release is dated 1/14/14. So, from that I conclude that they're currently planning to fly a pseudo-D-IV 5m PLF on at least one cargo mission. As this isn't a speculation thread I'll refrain from it but I do find it very interesting that we've suddenly started seeing scale-downs now. I'm not sure if it is a negative (reduced goals) or a positive (more realistic goals).
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 01/16/2014 12:51 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-science-missions.html

The new pictures come from the press release at the above link.

The Press release is dated 1/14/14. So, from that I conclude that they're currently planning to fly a pseudo-D-IV 5m PLF on at least one cargo mission. As this isn't a speculation thread I'll refrain from it but I do find it very interesting that we've suddenly started seeing scale-downs now. I'm not sure if it is a negative (reduced goals) or a positive (more realistic goals).

The plan was ALWAYS to study a 5m large barrel payload fairing option, as well as the full 8m. The recent images are depicted to show the vehicle is adaptable to unmanned high energy deep space science missions like Europa Clipper.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Herb Schaltegger on 01/16/2014 03:57 PM
Less talk, more rocket.

This is .sig-worthy.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rcoppola on 01/16/2014 04:16 PM
Any updates or rumblings on 2nd stage plans now that it is specifically tagged in the latest appropriations bill to be developed simultaneously with the core? Should it not be built at MAF using the same tooling and materials as the core for efficiencies of scale?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 01/16/2014 06:57 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/rs25-testing-stennis.html#.Utg49PRDs-d

RS-25 Thrust Frame Adapter installed on A-1. First engine hot fire in summer of this year.

Also: 

https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/423561704409018368/photo/1
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lurker Steve on 01/16/2014 08:18 PM
Any updates or rumblings on 2nd stage plans now that it is specifically tagged in the latest appropriations bill to be developed simultaneously with the core? Should it not be built at MAF using the same tooling and materials as the core for efficiencies of scale?

That would assume the second stage is 8.4 meters in diameter, same as the first stage, right ?

Or is that tooling capable of switching between tank sizes easily ?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rcoppola on 01/16/2014 09:03 PM
Any updates or rumblings on 2nd stage plans now that it is specifically tagged in the latest appropriations bill to be developed simultaneously with the core? Should it not be built at MAF using the same tooling and materials as the core for efficiencies of scale?

That would assume the second stage is 8.4 meters in diameter, same as the first stage, right ?

Or is that tooling capable of switching between tank sizes easily ?
Great question. I was indeed assuming a 2nd stage diameter of 8.4. However, (IMVHO) the tooling that's been shown, seems capable of various barrel sizes.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 01/17/2014 09:10 AM
Personally, I'd prefer to see iCPS shuffled off the program as soon as possible. Even if they can only produce a 5m-class MB-60-powered DUUS in the short term, I still think it would be a better option as it would be able to get more beyond LEO than iCPS.

The fact that the stage could probably also be applied to Delta-IV as an upper stage upgrade is a considerable side benefit.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Oli on 01/17/2014 02:03 PM
According to Ed F-1 liquid boosters could lift 130t to LEO without an upper stage.

http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/sls6.html

Maybe the iCPS would then be enough for BEO payloads?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 01/17/2014 03:32 PM
According to Ed F-1 liquid boosters could lift 130t to LEO without an upper stage.

http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/sls6.html

Maybe the iCPS would then be enough for BEO payloads?

Hmmm, let's say this vehicle puts 130 mt into LEO, 30.5 mt of which is the GLOW of the iCPS. Assuming that 7 mt of fairing mass is not included in the 130 mt, this puts payload mass @ 99.5 mt. ICPS has 27.2 mt of Hydrolox propellant to burn against almost 100 mt of payload. I don't think that's going to have the total impulse to impart much ΔV to the payload is it? Rather than mass fraction, I believe this is referred to as payload fraction. I think such a big payload is going to require a bigger US if that US is going to be able to impel the payload to anywhere other than a higher orbit. Anyone please correct me if I am wrong.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MP99 on 01/17/2014 05:10 PM
The Daily Mail's website has run a fairly simple piece on the SLS (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2540140/NASA-reveals-plans-biggest-rocket-ferry-astronauts-Space-Station-beyond.html). I mention it here because of the accompanying illustrations that show the SLS with a 5m-diameter cargo PLF. This is the first time I've seen the SLS illustrated with the 5m PLF outside of Boeing's non-official proposals for their EML-Moon-Mars evolution path. I notice that the illustrations are marked with NASA copyright.

Does anyone know if this is the current baseline or has the Daily Mail been using out-of-date pictures?

Not sure if this counts? Not full image of SLS itself, of course.

(http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Z84.jpg)

From http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/nasa-interest-2024-mars-sample-return-sls-orion/ (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/nasa-interest-2024-mars-sample-return-sls-orion/).

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 01/20/2014 06:31 AM
According to Ed F-1 liquid boosters could lift 130t to LEO without an upper stage.

http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/sls6.html

That's assuming a very optimistic core stage dry mass of 76 t. The Block I core dry mass is 96 t according to

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20120013124_2012013056.pdf

With a Block I core with a pessimistic dry mass of 115.6 t and an upper stage I get 129 to LEO using F-1B powered boosters.

http://www.sworld.com.au/steven/space/sls/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: JohnFornaro on 01/20/2014 05:16 PM
SLS is not going to take us anywhere except LEO. Yet-to-be-developed spacecraft, launched by SLS to LEO, and probably assembled there, are what will take us to BLEO destinations, not the SLS. I know what they mean, but what they are saying is simply wrong. There is entirely too much enthusiasm being substituted for actual fact. SLS is a one-way trip to LEO - period.

I agree with much of what you express here, particularly regarding "optimistic" enthusiasm, and I think that there is a possibility that SLS could become a LEO only rocket.  As others above have pointed out, technically, SLS will go beyond LEO at least on EM-2.

Now that they have funding stability for a year, we shall see what they accomplish this year.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/20/2014 06:45 PM
Remember, this is an update thread.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 01/28/2014 07:49 PM
Jan. 28, 2014
RELEASE 14-036

NASA Ramps Up Space Launch System Sound Suppression Testing

Space Launch System acoustics testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

The first round of acoustic tests on a scale model of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) is underway. The tests will allow engineers to verify the design of the sound suppression system being developed for the agency's new deep space rocket.

The testing, which began Jan. 16 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will focus on how low- and high-frequency sound waves affect the rocket on the launch pad. This testing will provide critical data about how the powerful noise generated by the engines and boosters may affect the rocket and crew, especially during liftoff.

"We can verify the launch environments the SLS vehicle was designed around and determine the effectiveness of the sound suppression systems," said Doug Counter, technical lead for the acoustic testing. "Scale model testing on the space shuttle was very comparable to what actually happened to the vehicle at liftoff. That's why we do the scale test."

During the tests, a 5-percent scale model of the SLS is ignited for five seconds at a time while microphones, located on the vehicle and similarly scaled mobile launcher, tower and exhaust duct, collect acoustic data. A thrust plate, side restraints and cables keep the model secure.

Engineers are running many of the evaluations with a system known as rainbirds, huge water nozzles on the mobile launcher at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During launch, 450,000 gallons of water will be released from five rainbirds just seconds before booster ignition. Water is the main component of the sound suppression system because it helps protect the launch vehicle and its payload from damage caused by acoustical energy. SLS with NASA's new Orion spacecraft on top will be launched from Kennedy on deep space missions to destinations such as an asteroid and Mars.

A series of acoustics tests also is taking place at the University of Texas at Austin. Engineers are evaluating the strong sounds and vibrations that occur during the ignition process for the RS-25 engines that will power SLS.

First to be tested is the rocket's core stage, which houses many of the launch vehicle's critical pieces including the flight computer and avionics. The test of the fully assembled vehicle, which will include the solid rocket motors, will be conducted later this year.

The SLS core stage model has four liquid oxygen-hydrogen thrusters that simulate the four RS-25 engines built by Aerojet Rocketdyne of Canoga Park, Calif. Two Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) Rocket Assisted Take-Off (RATO) motors represent the five-segment solid rocket motors on SLS. ATK, based in Promontory, Utah, is building the boosters. The motors burn similarly to how a solid motor would burn for the initial SLS vehicle configuration.

The first flight test of the SLS in 2017 will be configured for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system. As the SLS is evolved, it will the most powerful rocket ever built and provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system.

For video of the scale model acoustics testing and more information on SLS, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/sls

-end-


Updated Video with re-balanced audio track (Jan 29, 2014)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY_P1203OM4


A 5-percent scale model of the Space Launch System (SLS) is ignited for five seconds to measure the affects acoustic noise and pressure have on the vehicle at liftoff. The green flame is a result of the ignition fluid that is burned along with the propellant during this short-duration test.

Image Credit:
NASA/MSFC/David Olive
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/28/2014 09:14 PM
Writing a story on that. Mini-Monster! ;D
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 01/28/2014 10:34 PM

Are there any tests to simulate impacts to/on the flame trench?  I've harped on this for a few years now (and promise to only bring it up once a year or so, and this seems timely).  Based on STS-124, what is the confidence fondue fyre will stand up to the increased thrust/MEOP of 5 seg SRBs?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/28/2014 11:58 PM
Article on the SMAT (with some previous content I've used, because the history is cool):
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/smat-fires-sls-acoustic-testing/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/29/2014 12:10 AM
Article on the SMAT (with some previous content I've used, because the history is cool):
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/smat-fires-sls-acoustic-testing/
Interesting article Chris! :) When they’re done with the model I would like it for my front lawn, maybe wake up the neighbors.... :D
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/29/2014 02:13 AM
Thanks! And yeah - it's much taller than I thought it was going to be. You could have a lot of fun with that!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 01/29/2014 03:33 AM
So initially they are testing just the core? And obviously will move on to Block 1. Will they go ahead and test configurations with advanced boosters after that or wait until the decision is made to build them? Will there need to be individual tests of every possible advanced booster or not?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 01/29/2014 05:44 AM
If a new booster is selected, I would imagine they would only perform the tests after the booster configuration is selected. That is, you adapt the sound suppression system to the particular booster selected.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lurker Steve on 01/29/2014 01:47 PM
Thanks! And yeah - it's much taller than I thought it was going to be. You could have a lot of fun with that!

When I read it was a model only 5 percent the size of SLS, I expected something a lot smaller.

This just show how huge the completed rocket is going to be.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 01/29/2014 02:48 PM
So initially they are testing just the core? And obviously will move on to Block 1. Will they go ahead and test configurations with advanced boosters after that or wait until the decision is made to build them? Will there need to be individual tests of every possible advanced booster or not?
Historically, when MSFC does big simulations like this they model specific rocket configurations.  They likely won't model an advanced booster until such a booster has been approved and designed.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 01/29/2014 06:04 PM
Thanks! And yeah - it's much taller than I thought it was going to be. You could have a lot of fun with that!

The SLS SMAT model and the Ares 1 ASMAT model are both 5% scale models. The ASMAT Ares 1 ML model has actually been recycled/modified  into the SLS SMAT ML model. (Same MO as for the real-scale Ares 1 ML being converted into the SLS ML)

Below: similar viewpoints of Ares-1 ASMAT and SLS SMAT

Edit: Added excellent document on the Ares-1 ASMAT test-stand set-up. Much of this applies to the reconfigured SLS SMAT test-stand set-up as well.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 01/29/2014 06:21 PM


Updated Video with re-balanced audio track (Jan 29, 2014) to previous post above
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31740.msg1154665#msg1154665
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 01/29/2014 08:14 PM
This is going to be very cool (as if it wasn't cool as is) when the boosters are added.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 01/29/2014 10:04 PM
So initially they are testing just the core? And obviously will move on to Block 1. Will they go ahead and test configurations with advanced boosters after that or wait until the decision is made to build them? Will there need to be individual tests of every possible advanced booster or not?

If a new booster is selected, I would imagine they would only perform the tests after the booster configuration is selected. That is, you adapt the sound suppression system to the particular booster selected.

Historically, when MSFC does big simulations like this they model specific rocket configurations.  They likely won't model an advanced booster until such a booster has been approved and designed.

 - Ed Kyle

Thanks. I was curious about this because I wondered if pre-testing different booster configurations now would give them an estimate of the varying amounts it might cost to custom modify the sound suppression system as per each specific bosster. Do either of you envision much variance in cost for this in relation to propsted boosters, or is that negligible? What would be a ball park figure to modify the SSS from 5 seg/4 core to adv. booster/4 core? (Just trying to keep track of how many various changes and associated costs there are with every Block upgrade. Seems there are a lot of things that add up.)

(Sorry for vectoring slightly OT to a related topic. When they quit launching Saturn Vs from Complex 39 and began launching those last Saturn Is from the "footstool", did they have to modify the SSS much? I could be totally wrong, but my WAG would be there was far less acoustical reflection with the engines started at that elevated height.)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/30/2014 01:32 PM
Update via L2 on the Crawler Transporters:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/super-crawler-test-drive-ksc/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: bob the martian on 01/31/2014 04:30 PM
To me, no rocket will ever be as impressive a feat of engineering as the CTs.  Launching a 20-story rocket is one thing; moving a 20-story rocket, plus its launch platform, from VAB to pad, while keeping it upright and intact, is another thing entirely. 

That's real-world engineering, right there. 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 01/31/2014 06:50 PM
Article on the SMAT (with some previous content I've used, because the history is cool):
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/smat-fires-sls-acoustic-testing/ (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/01/smat-fires-sls-acoustic-testing/)
When they’re done with the model I would like it for my front lawn,...

The heck with that. I want to fly it! :)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 01/31/2014 09:36 PM
Jan. 31, 2014
CONTRACT RELEASE C14-002

NASA Selects Space Launch System Adapter Hardware Manufacturer

NASA has selected Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville, Ala., to design and build a key component of the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket the agency is developing to send humans farther than ever into deep space.
The component is the Launch Vehicle/Stage Adapter (LVSA), which will be used to connect the rocket's 27.5-foot diameter core and 16.4-foot diameter interim cryogenic propulsion stages.

Under a $60 million contract action, Teledyne Brown will design, develop, test, evaluate and certify the LVSA assembly and manufacture the structural test article and two flight units. This work will be delivered under a cost reimbursement, fixed-fee engineering solutions and prototyping contract. The award has a potential performance period of five years and includes an option for a third flight unit.

In addition to launching NASA's new Orion spacecraft on crewed missions to deep space, SLS also may launch robotic spacecraft on deep space scientific missions. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the SLS Program for the agency.

For information about the Space Launch System, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/sls
-end-
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 02/01/2014 01:22 AM
http://blog.al.com/breaking/2014/01/nasa_in_huntsville_says_goodby.html

We've also been showing off the EFT-1 MSA this week. There are a number of pictures at this link.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 02/01/2014 07:13 AM
January 31, 2014

CONTRACT RELEASE C14-002

NASA Selects Space Launch System Adapter Hardware Manufacturer


NASA has selected Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville, Ala., to design and build a key component of the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket the agency is developing to send humans farther than ever into deep space.

The component is the Launch Vehicle/Stage Adapter (LVSA), which will be used to connect the rocket's 27.5-foot diameter core and 16.4-foot diameter interim cryogenic propulsion stages.

Under a $60 million contract action, Teledyne Brown will design, develop, test, evaluate and certify the LVSA assembly and manufacture the structural test article and two flight units. This work will be delivered under a cost reimbursement, fixed-fee engineering solutions and prototyping contract. The award has a potential performance period of five years and includes an option for a third flight unit.

In addition to launching NASA's new Orion spacecraft on crewed missions to deep space, SLS also may launch robotic spacecraft on deep space scientific missions. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the SLS Program for the agency.

For information about the Space Launch System, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/sls
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: NovaSilisko on 02/01/2014 07:32 AM
Curious as to how an adapter costs 60 million dollars to develop. Genuine curiosity, not trying to make a jab or anything.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 02/01/2014 03:38 PM
Curious as to how an adapter costs 60 million dollars to develop. Genuine curiosity, not trying to make a jab or anything.

Note it's much more than development.  There will be an STA and two flight articles produced as part of the contract.  As this is the ifc between the big rocket and what amounts to the payload, it is what used to be called "crit 1", and will involve quite a bit of "high tech" material.  If/when 1B comes along, it may still be used in certain variations, but that is less certain...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 02/02/2014 06:22 AM
Still... $60m is a lot of dough.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 02/02/2014 04:47 PM
It may not sound like much but it a critical component of the launch vehicle. One of the most critical components.

One would expect the price tag on this to be high. Given the overall budget of the program, this sounds about right considering it is spread across fiscal years and flights.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Remes on 02/03/2014 07:37 PM
Curious as to how an adapter costs 60 million dollars to develop. Genuine curiosity, not trying to make a jab or anything.

Some thoughts:
- requirements management
 - what must the adapter fullfill
 - who are all the stake holders
 - it's not just a mechanical piece, most likely there is
   a lot of cabeling, connectors, pin out,
 - what are the requirements for acoustics, vibrations, torsion, bending,
 - most requirements are exclusive. Find compromises. Get buy in from
    (?) hundred and more people on compromises
- finding the solution
 - structure itself
 - cabling, plumbing,
 - seperation system (explosives, special handling needs)
 - how to produce/maintain
 - health monitoring?
- most likely the first solution doesn't fullfill everything, so reiterate
- test, test, test
- find suppliers, negotiate, specify requirements, specifications, ...
- find out that the solution doesn't make it, reiterate (in house and with sup
- develop tooling, testing
- building tooling/testing, machines, programming (everything for 3 pieces)
- people for design, manufacturing, test
- lot of transportation of very big part to/from supplier, test site, customer
    (most likely not accross the street)
- qa, risk management, program management, contract management, supplier
  management, audits from nasa, auditing suppliers
- everything is space qualified (in house/supplier, design/
  manufacture/test/qa/release/...)
- whatever part is around, build, tested... the exact history is known,
  which supplier/delivery date/batch/applied in house processes/...
  that's what makes a screw 100 times as expensive
- get certification for new processes/parts
- tons of documentation

and everything for 3 pieces, which makes 20M$/piece. Yes. But that's
the way it is.

I can't say if 60M$ are expensive for that, but I do see, that there is
an awful amount of work behind it. And with such big structures, you typically
don't have ready cots solutions. Every part is a first.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 02/03/2014 08:40 PM
http://whnt.com/2014/01/31/sls-program-manager-todd-may-talks-about-the-future-of-nasas-biggest-rocket/

Short interview with Todd May. Nothing that we don't know but it is always enjoyable to hear about progress and his enthusiasm.

For or against SLS this man has done an exceptional job amid an uncertain future both politically and monetarily to keep the program moving forward.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/06/2014 05:24 PM
Yeah, the troops often say there's very good management at the top. I won't say anything against CxP folks, but it's notable how the SLS management seem to be doing a good job.

Will have an article on the latest milestone, possibly tonight. Bottom line is they are still on schedule.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/18/2014 03:23 AM
This might be interesting to some: Space Launch System Program (SLSP) Logistics Support Analysis (LSA) Report, SLS-RPT-108, Version 1, 26 April 2013. Available from

http://foia.msfc.nasa.gov/docs/SLS-PDR-DP/SLS-RPT-108_SLSP-Logistics-Support-Analysis-Report.pdf

There's a whole bunch of other SLS PDR reports at

http://foia.msfc.nasa.gov/docs/SLS-PDR-DP/

Attached are some interesting screen grabs.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 02/18/2014 06:39 AM
This might be interesting to some: Space Launch System Program (SLSP) Logistics Support Analysis (LSA) Report, SLS-RPT-108, Version 1, 26 April 2013. Available from

http://foia.msfc.nasa.gov/docs/SLS-PDR-DP/SLS-RPT-108_SLSP-Logistics-Support-Analysis-Report.pdf

There's a whole bunch of other SLS PDR reports at

http://foia.msfc.nasa.gov/docs/SLS-PDR-DP/

Attached are some interesting screen grabs.
Great find Steven! Thanks!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: JosephB on 02/18/2014 02:10 PM
Those in flight camera views are going to be amazing.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Halidon on 02/18/2014 05:37 PM
That image of the core stage on a barge does a really good job illustrating just how far out to the edge of the core those RS-25s are.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 02/20/2014 03:16 PM
https://www.facebook.com/NASASLS/photos/a.173343539448138.35801.161692063946619/530748123707676/?type=1&theater


"The second SLS core stage forward liquid oxygen (LO2) tank dome recently was completed on the Circumferential Dome Weld Tool at Michoud. The dome was welded as a "confidence" article to ensure that the weld tool can produce the qualification and flight domes. The SLS core stage liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks will each have two domes similar to the confidence article. The dome will be used to develop inspection techniques for the flight articles. It also will be used for future confidence welding on the Vertical Assembly Center -- one of the world's largest welding tools scheduled to be completed in 2014. (NASA/Michoud)"
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 02/20/2014 06:15 PM
https://www.facebook.com/NASASLS/photos/a.173343539448138.35801.161692063946619/531135053668983/?type=1&theater

The foundation has been completed, and tooling structure built, on the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility. The VAC will be one of the world's largest welding tools and is scheduled to be completed in 2014. The tool will be used to join domes, rings and barrels together to complete the tanks or dry structure assemblies for the #SLS. The tool also will perform nondestructive evaluation on the completed welds. When finished, the VAC will measure 170 feet tall and 78 feet wide.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 02/21/2014 10:54 PM
Not exactly a development update, but new artwork of a launch.

Space Launch System Blasts Off

This artist rendering shows a wide-angle view of the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) crew vehicle configuration SLS from the launchpad. The first flight test of NASA's new rocket is scheduled for 2017.

(Note: artist concept current as of Feb. 21, 2014)

Image credit: NASA/MSFC

Various resolution versions available at http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/sls-wide-view.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/sls-wide-view.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/21/2014 11:22 PM
Not exactly a development update, but new artwork of a launch.

Space Launch System Blasts Off

This artist rendering shows a wide-angle view of the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) crew vehicle configuration SLS from the launchpad. The first flight test of NASA's new rocket is scheduled for 2017.

(Note: artist concept current as of Feb. 21, 2014)

Image credit: NASA/MSFC

Various resolution versions available at http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/sls-wide-view.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/gallery/sls-wide-view.html)
Very Google Mapish so not a lot of effort there.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/22/2014 04:36 AM
That image of the core stage on a barge does a really good job illustrating just how far out to the edge of the core those RS-25s are.

Here's a better picture. We can see from left, wiring tunnel, LOX propellant line, LH2 pressurisation line and LOX pressurisation line. In orange we can see the LH2 umbilical plate on the intertank fairing and LOX umbilical plate on the upper fairing. The blue areas might be access doors. Between the engines there is a cyan circle. I have no idea what that is. We can also see the RSRMV attach points on the intertank and lower fairings.

The other images show the Core Stage (CS) mounted on the Multipurpose Transport System (MPTS) with the Hardware Interface Structure (HIS), Multipurpose Carrier (MPC) and Self Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT).
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: skymech231 on 02/22/2014 05:37 AM
Will a new barge be needed or is pegasus going to be used again?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 02/22/2014 11:58 AM
Will a new barge be needed or is pegasus going to be used again?
Pegasus will be used. The core stage fits inside it, but only barely so.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Carl G on 02/22/2014 12:06 PM
Will a new barge be needed or is pegasus going to be used again?

Read the site. You will become better informed.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/12/spmt-transport-sls-core-stages/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MP99 on 02/22/2014 08:49 PM
This might be interesting to some: Space Launch System Program (SLSP) Logistics Support Analysis (LSA) Report, SLS-RPT-108, Version 1, 26 April 2013. Available from

http://foia.msfc.nasa.gov/docs/SLS-PDR-DP/SLS-RPT-108_SLSP-Logistics-Support-Analysis-Report.pdf

BTW, the image ICPS GSE.jpg, looks to be showing a GG engine, not RL10. The PDF describes it as Ares I.

J-2X, I presume?

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MP99 on 02/22/2014 09:09 PM
Will a new barge be needed or is pegasus going to be used again?

Read the site. You will become better informed.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/12/spmt-transport-sls-core-stages/

But, it doesn't seem to explicitly say that Pegasus will be used for SLS? Just:-
Quote
NASA’s new monster rocket will follow this heritage, with the SLS Core Stages set to be manufactured at Michoud ahead of their own sea journey – mainly to KSC once the launch campaigns pick up.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 02/23/2014 12:34 AM
Will a new barge be needed or is pegasus going to be used again?

Read the site. You will become better informed.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/12/spmt-transport-sls-core-stages/ (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/12/spmt-transport-sls-core-stages/)

But, it doesn't seem to explicitly say that Pegasus will be used for SLS? Just:-
Quote
NASA’s new monster rocket will follow this heritage, with the SLS Core Stages set to be manufactured at Michoud ahead of their own sea journey – mainly to KSC once the launch campaigns pick up.

cheers, Martin

Pegasus will be used - see these excerpts from SLS-PLAN-025 pages 34 and 73 (one of the SLS PDR documents referred to earlier in the thread):

Quote
5.4.3.2   Transportation Process Flow, Roles, and Responsibilities

A summary of the SLS transportation concept is as follows:

• Stages - After the Core/Upper Stage and Liquid Engine Elements are assembled at MAF.
the stage is shipped via NASA barge "Pegasus" to SSC for green run testing, then to KSC
for vehicle integration.
[…]

B3.1 NASA Barge

The NASA barge "Pegasus" is an American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) classed vessel used for
movements among NASA centers and Element specified locations for delivery of SLS flight
articles. NASA barge "Pegasus", shown in Figure B3-1, accommodates SLS flight articles,
transporters, and associated flight article equipment. NASA barge "Pegasus" is configured with
an enclosed main deck (covered) that provides protection from salt spray and the weather, but
does not provide a controlled environment.
[…]

http://foia.msfc.nasa.gov/docs/SLS-PDR-DP/SLS-PLAN-025_SLSP-Integrated-Logistics-Support-Plan-(ILSP).pdf (http://foia.msfc.nasa.gov/docs/SLS-PDR-DP/SLS-PLAN-025_SLSP-Integrated-Logistics-Support-Plan-(ILSP).pdf)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MP99 on 02/23/2014 01:19 PM
Thanks.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/25/2014 05:13 AM
BTW, the image ICPS GSE.jpg, looks to be showing a GG engine, not RL10. The PDF describes it as Ares I.

J-2X, I presume?

Yes, you're right. That looks to be the Ares-I Upper Stage. Sorry for the confusion.

But, it doesn't seem to explicitly say that Pegasus will be used for SLS?

Also, if you look closely at the image "Core on Pegasus.jpg" which is Figure 4-5, you'll see the barge says "Pegasus".
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 03/05/2014 10:21 PM
Mini Rocket Models to be Used in a Big Way for SLS Base Heating Test
By Megan Davidson, Marshall Space Flight Center, March 5, 2014

To better understand the heating conditions at the base of what will be the biggest, most powerful rocket ever built, engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., are thinking small -- really small.

Models of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) core stage RS-25 engines and solid rocket boosters -- scaled down to just 2 percent of the actual size of the flight hardware -- have been designed, built and hot-fire tested at sea level conditions. The tests are part of the Pathfinder Test Program, which is run by Marshall engineers in close collaboration with Calspan-University of Buffalo Research Center Inc., in Buffalo, N.Y. The SLS core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, will store the cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines.

The replicas will help engineers in a huge way by providing data on the convective heating environments that the base of the vehicle will experience during ascent. The models were developed for base heating testing scheduled for this summer.

Data from those tests will be used to set specifications for the design of the rocket's base thermal protection system, which keeps major hardware such as wiring, and later the crew, safe from the extreme heat the boosters and engines create while burning on ascent. 

So why use mini rocket engines?

"Using scale models of the SLS core stage engines and boosters are not only cost-effective but also can fit in a wind tunnel," said Manish Mehta, lead engineer for the SLS Base Heating Test Program. "Wind tunnel testing is one of the most proven ways to adequately simulate the pressure and heating an actual rocket will experience during ascent. We had to make sure these models achieve aerodynamic and rocket plume similarity with the real flight vehicle as close as possible."

Base heating test models date back to the Saturn and Space Shuttle programs. However, the last major hot fire model design effort for a NASA launch vehicle was for the shuttle in the late 1970s.

“This type of testing is not business as usual," said Mark Seaford, a Marshall engineer who works on the test project. "We had to go back and review the old shuttle model drawings and design rules of thumb as a starting point. Young engineers on our team took those past practices and came up with innovative approaches to designing and testing these models."

"It was really exciting to see the energy generated by this team and getting the opportunity to do something dynamic and challenging," Seaford added.

Mehta said some of those challenges were to develop the engines and motors for short-duration testing -- with test-run times around 150 milliseconds. The team also used new engineering materials and design tools, including computational fluid dynamics -- numerical codes used to predict internal flow behavior in the engine.

"Without computational fluid dynamics, we'd be blind," Mehta said. "The codes were extremely crucial on determining the design of these rocket engine models. Our team numerically investigated several different design iterations, until all performance requirements were satisfied for a final design."

"We also had the opportunity to use high-speed, high-resolution visible and infrared cameras -- technology that wasn't available on past programs," Mehta added. "The visible video camera alone -- almost 500 times faster than a regular camera -- was integral in verifying the design and similarity to the actual flight plumes."

The models, which took about a year and a half to design and build to flight specifications and performance, were fabricated and tested at Calspan-University of Buffalo Research Center Inc. A 2-percent scale model of the entire SLS, about 6.5-feet long, is currently being designed at that facility ahead of the final complete vehicle base heating test this summer.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-mini-rocket-models.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls-mini-rocket-models.html)

[youtube]IOFxrzOR7q4[/youtube]

Photo Captions:

Top: Two-percent scale models of the Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket boosters and core stage RS-25 engines.

Middle: A size comparison of the booster and engine nozzles to a quarter.

Bottom: The 2-percent scale models of the SLS boosters and core stage engines are ignited for a 100 millisecond, hot-fire test.

Image Credits: NASA/MSFC
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Halidon on 03/05/2014 11:54 PM
Would it not make sense to rotate the 4  RS-25s so that the gaps between 2 engines were adjacent to the boosters? Or would that not move those 2 engines far enough from the big solids to matter?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 03/06/2014 06:13 AM
SLS drawings don't show that configuration with the RS-25 engines next to the boosters. They show them at 45° to that shown. Perhaps they were trying that configuration to see if it had reduced base heating. Maybe they could also do tests with five or six RS-25 engines while they're at it. :-)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 03/06/2014 10:07 AM
Early SLS concepts I saw had the SSMEs in clustered pairs at the 'north' and 'south' positions with the RSRM-Vs at the 'east' and 'west' positions, due to the base heating issue. More recent images I've seen have had the SSMEs/RS-25Es at the 45o positions. Either the base heating issue isn't so bad with regeneratively-cooled SSMEs or has been determined not to be such a big thing overall.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 03/06/2014 10:09 AM
SLS drawings don't show that configuration with the RS-25 engines next to the boosters. They show them at 45° to that shown. Perhaps they were trying that configuration to see if it had reduced base heating.

That sounds very likely.  Another image with the article (which I did not include in my earlier post) shows the 'usual' engine orientation, and is labelled as the current concept.


Photo Caption:

RS-25 Engines Power Space Launch System

Artist rendering of the RS-25 engines and boosters powering the liftoff of the 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity configuration SLS from the pad. Engineers will use scale models of the SLS propulsion system to understand heating environments that the base of the vehicle will experience upon ascent. Data from tests on those models will be used for the design of the rocket's base thermal protection system, which keeps major hardware, wiring and -- later -- crew safe from the extreme heat the boosters and engines create when ignited.

(Note: artist concept current as of March 5, 2014)

Image credit: NASA
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 03/11/2014 07:41 PM
ESD Quarterly Update #5: Acing the Test

 Published on Mar 11, 2014

The Orion, Space Launch System and Ground Systems Development and Operations program are making steady progress toward sending humans farther than they've ever been before.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XJ1vZKtXjk
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 03/12/2014 11:49 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/SLS_Highlights_Feb_2014.pdf

The February monthly highlights are now available.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rcoppola on 03/13/2014 12:31 AM
Still no development news of the 2nd stage, which is supposed to be seeing a parallel development path to the core stage?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 03/13/2014 06:26 AM
Still no development news of the 2nd stage, which is supposed to be seeing a parallel development path to the core stage?
Get L2. The answer is right there: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34229.0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 03/13/2014 06:52 AM
I believe NASA is only currently developing Block I of SLS. All the schedules I've seen only show Block I elements. Boeing has done some studies on SLS upper stages, but I believe no development work has been. I guess until NASA selects the Block II configuration, development work on an upper stage won't begin. My guess is that work on Block II won't begin until after EM-1 in December 2017. If the budget stays at the current level, only one new element is likely to be funded, with NASA seeming to prefer an upper stage that gets 105 t to LEO. However, that is not what Congress wants, which is 130 t to LEO. To get to 130 t, NASA also needs at least one or two additional elements (a six engine core, ATK advanced boosters with five engine core, Pyrios booster and F-1B engine or Aerojet booster and AJ1E6 engine). Ideally, these would be developed in parallel with the upper stage, but that would need increased funding.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: JohnFornaro on 03/13/2014 01:11 PM
Still no development news of the 2nd stage, which is supposed to be seeing a parallel development path to the core stage?
Get L2. The answer is right there: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34229.0

The short answer seems to be that the first crewed flight of SLS will be pushed to the right.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rcoppola on 03/13/2014 01:19 PM
Still no development news of the 2nd stage, which is supposed to be seeing a parallel development path to the core stage?
Get L2. The answer is right there: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=34229.0
Been on L2 since 2009. Thanks for that link though, very interesting.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 03/14/2014 06:14 PM

March 14, 2014
RELEASE 14-078


NASA Administrator Visits Marshall, Views Space Launch System Progress

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden toured on March 14 the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., where testing is underway on the avionics unit for the largest, most powerful rocket ever built.

At Marshall's System Integration Laboratory, Bolden, along with staff from Alabama's congressional delegation and community leaders, had the opportunity to view the Space Launch System (SLS) avionics unit arranged in flight configuration, along with booster hardware, which are being integrated and tested together to ultimately guide the entire vehicle. He also watched flight software simulations of how SLS will perform during launch.

"It’s great to be back at Marshall and see, firsthand, the impressive progress made by the SLS team,” said Bolden. "SLS will help take American astronauts an asteroid and Mars, and it all starts here in Huntsville. My hat's off to the entire team for their hard work."

The completed rocket will stand 321 feet tall and include the core stage, which stores the cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will fuel the vehicle's four RS-25 engines and, with two five-segment solid rocket boosters, power the rocket.

The avionics unit -- including its hardware, software and operating systems -- will guide the rocket to deep space destinations, including an asteroid and Mars. The flight computers will be housed in the SLS core stage, while other avionics are distributed throughout the vehicle.

Engineers from NASA and Boeing, the prime contract for the SLS core stage and avionics, integrated and powered up the core stage avionics unit for its initial run, called "First Light," in early January and have since been running numerous tests using the latest flight software.

"This is a significant and exciting milestone for both NASA and Boeing," said Lisa Blue, stages avionics system manager in the SLS Program Office. "We are using and testing technologies that include the most powerful computer processor ever used in a flight system."

In 2015, the avionics unit will be shipped to NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the core stage is being manufactured, and attached to the actual rocket.

For its first flight test in 2017, the SLS will be configured to lift 70 metric tons (77 tons), and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit. In its final stage of evolution, the SLS will provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system. Marshall manages the SLS Program and Michoud Assembly Facility.

For more information on SLS, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/sls
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: kcrick on 03/19/2014 03:38 PM

I searched some of the threads here and didn't find this mentioned.
If this isn't the right spot, then mods please move it.

March 5, 2014

CONTRACT RELEASE C14-005
NASA Awards Contract to Modify Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building High Bay 3
NASA has selected Hensel Phelps Construction Co., of Orlando, Fla., to modify High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the processing of the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

Hensel Phelps will receive a fixed-price contract for $99.57 million, consisting of the base amount and three options.  The period of performance is 782 calendar days, or about 2 years and one month. The potential maximum value of this contract is $112.70 million, if additional awarded options are exercised.

Contract services include all required management, labor, facilities, materials and equipment, other than government-furnished equipment, to modify the VAB and construct new vehicle access platforms and related systems for the SLS. The work consists of removing, modifying or reusing current structural component systems, and constructing and installing new structural, mechanical and electrical material, systems and equipment.

The work done on this contract will support Kennedy’s Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program. Building on five decades of launch and processing excellence, GSDO is transforming Kennedy into a multi-user spaceport capable of accommodating a wide array of government and commercial space activities.

NASA is developing the heavy-lift SLS rocket to expand human presence to deep-space destinations including an asteroid and Mars. The SLS will take astronauts farther into space than ever before, while engaging the U.S. aerospace workforce here at home.


http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/releases/2014/release-20140305c.html (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/releases/2014/release-20140305c.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 03/19/2014 06:53 PM
Nice find.

We should be (and have been) seeing more contracts awarded now that the program has passed KDP-C.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 03/24/2014 03:02 AM
Here's an SLS update presentation given to the Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) in January 2014. You can download the original document from the link below. This is a very large 133 MB file as it contains a video. Attached is a compressed version of the presentation without the video.

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/jan2014/presentations/26_creech.pdf

It has some interesting graphs showings SLS payload mass to the outer planets, like 22 t to Mars and 6 t to Jupiter using SLS Block I.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 03/24/2014 05:50 PM
https://www.facebook.com/NASASLS/photos/a.173343539448138.35801.161692063946619/547205658728589/?type=1&theater

Progress continues on the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans! The VAC, measuring 170 feet tall and 78 feet wide, will be one of the world's largest welding tools for the #SLS core stage. It is scheduled to be completed this summer.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 03/27/2014 05:27 PM
nice video of GSDO PDR level ops

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd_Bg7K6Jt0&feature=youtube_gdata_player
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 04/09/2014 12:43 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls_highlights.html

The March SLS Highlights are now posted!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Martin FL on 04/09/2014 11:50 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls_highlights.html

The March SLS Highlights are now posted!

Sadly these are becoming more and more boring by the month. I support SLS, but these lazy highlight presentations do absolutely nothing than pull together some old press releases and a fluffy, to the point of being inaccurate 200 word feature referencing QM-1.

The day when a NASA communications guy tweets over $12 billion has already been spent on SLS and Orion too.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: BrightLight on 04/10/2014 05:54 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/multimedia/photos/2014/14-063.html#.U0cBwfnIYgE

NASA Engineers Prepare Game Changing Cryotank for Testing
this should also be in the other thread about the cryotank.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 04/10/2014 05:56 PM
Moved it, I missed that thread.  thx
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 04/11/2014 12:48 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls_highlights.html

The March SLS Highlights are now posted!

Sadly these are becoming more and more boring by the month. I support SLS, but these lazy highlight presentations do absolutely nothing than pull together some old press releases and a fluffy, to the point of being inaccurate 200 word feature referencing QM-1.

The day when a NASA communications guy tweets over $12 billion has already been spent on SLS and Orion too.

I hate to say this, but I somewhat agree with you. I really think they will get better as the year goes on. The pictures coming out of MAF will get more impressive. We are homing in on a solution to getting back on track with QM-1, and this summer should see the first RS-25 tests specifically for SLS. Next year should be even better.

I've been trying to think lately about who I can talk to and how I can say it so that I get a positive result and don't just get somebody mad at me. Wish me luck!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 04/12/2014 02:44 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/j2x/rs25-test-preparation.html

New article about the upcoming RS-25 tests.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/12/2014 09:55 AM
I thought this was interesting:

"As future missions are defined for the 130-metric-ton vehicle -- the largest configuration planned -- NASA will consider various engine options that are the best value and design."

I wonder if that will include a six-engined core, the only configuration I know that will get 130 t using the existing RSRMV boosters.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 04/12/2014 06:23 PM
I thought this was interesting:

"As future missions are defined for the 130-metric-ton vehicle -- the largest configuration planned -- NASA will consider various engine options that are the best value and design."

I wonder if that will include a six-engined core, the only configuration I know that will get 130 t using the existing RSRMV boosters.

Doubt it. That would make it a completely different launch vehicle and take several years to develop.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Star One on 04/12/2014 07:01 PM

Here's an SLS update presentation given to the Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) in January 2014. You can download the original document from the link below. This is a very large 133 MB file as it contains a video. Attached is a compressed version of the presentation without the video.

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/jan2014/presentations/26_creech.pdf

It has some interesting graphs showings SLS payload mass to the outer planets, like 22 t to Mars and 6 t to Jupiter using SLS Block I.

Thanks for the link. Unfortunately it crashes my web browser so I haven't been able to get hold of it.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 04/12/2014 09:21 PM
Avionics System for SLS Boosters Gets 'Boost' of Its Own on Path to Space
April 10, 2014

The avionics that will guide NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) boosters on the rocket's trip to deep space missions will get a big "boost" toward being ready for flight through an extensive test series now being conducted at ATK’s Avionics Lab in Clearfield, Utah.

The avionics system is responsible for igniting, steering and jettison of the two, five-segment solid rocket boosters for the SLS. The boosters used during the first two launches of SLS will be the world's largest at 154 feet long and 12 feet in diameter.

The booster avionics system -- including hardware, software and ground test systems -- are being integrated in a complete, forward skirt ring. The avionics testing, which will be completed this summer, will prove the system is ready to enter the qualification phase leading to SLS's first flight in 2017.

"Our team has a complete set of hardware built for the boosters, and we will test all the components -- from booster ignition through separation to make sure the hardware is functioning as designed," said Eric Corder, avionics system manager.

That testing will be done during two-minute flight simulations, with a booster test set mimicking the SLS flight computer. Avionics and the flight computer will be housed in the SLS core stage. When completed, the core stage will be more than 200 feet tall and store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle's RS-25 engines.

"Avionics is one of the most critical systems for human spaceflight,” said Kent Rominger, a former astronaut who is now vice president of business development for ATK’s Space Launch division. "Stressing the system beyond what it will see during flight affords us an opportunity to learn about system interactions and associated outcomes. That is exactly what is being accomplished by the team and our lab."

Once the SLS avionics booster testing is complete, the system and associated test equipment will be shipped to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The booster avionics system will be joined with the SLS core stage avionics system at Marshall's System Integration Test Facility. Flight simulations will be performed to test and analyze SLS launch, flight and staging -- preparing for flight system certification in 2015.

Marshall manages the SLS Program for the agency. The booster avionics system was designed by NASA; ATK, prime contractor for the SLS boosters; and L-3 Cincinnati Electronics of Mason, Ohio.

As the SLS evolves, it will provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130-metric-tons (143-tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system to places like Mars.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/booster-avionics.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/booster-avionics.html)

Image Caption:

Early-Stage SLS Booster Separation
Artist concept of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket boosters firing their separation rockets and pushing away from the core stage, which continues toward space with the Orion spacecraft.
(Note: artist concept current as of April 10, 2014)
Image credit: NASA/MSFC
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 04/14/2014 05:21 AM
Thanks for the link. Unfortunately it crashes my web browser so I haven't been able to get hold of it.

I attached a compressed version of the document in my post. You should be able to download that.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 04/14/2014 05:00 PM
I thought this was interesting:

"As future missions are defined for the 130-metric-ton vehicle -- the largest configuration planned -- NASA will consider various engine options that are the best value and design."

I wonder if that will include a six-engined core, the only configuration I know that will get 130 t using the existing RSRMV boosters.

Doubt it. That would make it a completely different launch vehicle and take several years to develop.

I don't see how they could conceivably switch to any other core engine without a complete redesign. And what would the basis for such a decision be? "We need to find a way to delay actual SLS missions for ten more years. Hey I know, let's find some 'cheaper' engines to, ya know, save money."

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 04/14/2014 05:04 PM
Avionics System for SLS Boosters Gets 'Boost' of Its Own on Path to Space
April 10, 2014

Image Caption:

Early-Stage SLS Booster Separation
Artist concept of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket boosters firing their separation rockets and pushing away from the core stage, which continues toward space with the Orion spacecraft.
(Note: artist concept current as of April 10, 2014)
Image credit: NASA/MSFC

Wow, are the booster separation motors really going to impinge directly on the core like the illustration shows? They certainly didn't do that to the Shuttle's ET.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MP99 on 04/14/2014 06:06 PM
Avionics System for SLS Boosters Gets 'Boost' of Its Own on Path to Space
April 10, 2014

Image Caption:

Early-Stage SLS Booster Separation
Artist concept of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket boosters firing their separation rockets and pushing away from the core stage, which continues toward space with the Orion spacecraft.
(Note: artist concept current as of April 10, 2014)
Image credit: NASA/MSFC

Wow, are the booster separation motors really going to impinge directly on the core like the illustration shows? They certainly didn't do that to the Shuttle's ET.

I wondered if that was actually reflection of glow from the MPS, rather than sep motors? But think not, as not sure there should be such reflections off the top sections of the boosters.

cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 04/14/2014 11:18 PM
I thought this was interesting:

"As future missions are defined for the 130-metric-ton vehicle -- the largest configuration planned -- NASA will consider various engine options that are the best value and design."

I wonder if that will include a six-engined core, the only configuration I know that will get 130 t using the existing RSRMV boosters.

Doubt it. That would make it a completely different launch vehicle and take several years to develop.

I don't see how they could conceivably switch to any other core engine without a complete redesign. And what would the basis for such a decision be? "We need to find a way to delay actual SLS missions for ten more years. Hey I know, let's find some 'cheaper' engines to, ya know, save money."

I think had the six engine core been looked at to build up front, it would have had merit.  The train is a little far down the tracks now.   Given when the core would burn out with six engines, the upper stage would probably be required to get even to LEO, much less BLEO.  So not sure if DCSS would be an option.  So not sure if it could have flown by the 2017 date specified in NAA2010.   Maybe they could have had a 6-engine MPS and core designed, but only put four engines in "Block 1".  And with DCSS it could then have been able to get Orion to LEO and through TLI. 
Then the addition of a large J2X upper stage would be all that was needed to get 130mt to LEO.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: SaxtonHale on 04/14/2014 11:53 PM
Avionics System for SLS Boosters Gets 'Boost' of Its Own on Path to Space
April 10, 2014

Image Caption:

Early-Stage SLS Booster Separation
Artist concept of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket boosters firing their separation rockets and pushing away from the core stage, which continues toward space with the Orion spacecraft.
(Note: artist concept current as of April 10, 2014)
Image credit: NASA/MSFC

Wow, are the booster separation motors really going to impinge directly on the core like the illustration shows? They certainly didn't do that to the Shuttle's ET.

The BSMs did char the tank, and catch the orbiter a little bit also.

But you're right, they didn't point directly into the tank - they had to push away from the wings.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Hog on 04/16/2014 07:44 PM
Avionics System for SLS Boosters Gets 'Boost' of Its Own on Path to Space
April 10, 2014

Image Caption:

Early-Stage SLS Booster Separation
Artist concept of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket boosters firing their separation rockets and pushing away from the core stage, which continues toward space with the Orion spacecraft.
(Note: artist concept current as of April 10, 2014)
Image credit: NASA/MSFC

Wow, are the booster separation motors really going to impinge directly on the core like the illustration shows? They certainly didn't do that to the Shuttle's ET.

The BSMs did char the tank, and catch the orbiter a little bit also.

But you're right, they didn't point directly into the tank - they had to push away from the wings.
Since there are now no wings, there is no need to angle away. Makes sense that they would thrust squarely away from the core.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 04/24/2014 11:24 AM
Dan Dumbacher leaving NASA July 1

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/40322top-sls-orion-official-leaving-nasa-july-1

Quote
Dan Dumbacher, NASA’s deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, will leave the agency effective July 1, a NASA spokesman confirmed April 21.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 05/06/2014 05:45 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/may/nasa-achieves-key-milestone-leading-to-rs-25-engine-testing/#.U2kfS_ldVWg

NASA Achieves Key Milestone Leading to RS-25 Engine Testing
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 05/06/2014 09:54 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/structural-test-stands.html#.U2lYjHrD8m8

Test Stand construction at MSFC to begin May.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: BrightLight on 05/06/2014 10:24 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/structural-test-stands.html#.U2lYjHrD8m8

Test Stand construction at MSFC to begin May.
Is test-to-destruction required on these tanks? that would be quite the show.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/07/2014 07:35 AM
Video of the LN2 cryogenic tests on the RS-25 test stand. Attached are the images of the LH2 and LOX tank test stands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuRfF6OGDDg
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/07/2014 11:14 PM
Video of the LN2 cryogenic tests on the RS-25 test stand.

It is always encouraging to see these enthusiastic young people moving into this industry. It's comforting to know that a competent new generation will keep progress moving forward when we are gone.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 05/09/2014 01:50 AM
Just a couple of links for your reading pleasure: First, the April SLS Monthly Highlights are now available.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls_highlights.html#.U2wzX6lDuh0

Then, last month the NASA Advisory Council HEO Committee met. At the link below, you will find some overview presentations by Bill Gerstenmaier, Dan Dumbacher, and others that give a pretty comprehensive overview of what's going in the NASA human spaceflight area.

http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/nac-heoc/#.U2wxmKlDuh0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 05/19/2014 11:25 PM
8.5 million contract awarded to drydock the barge Pegasus and refit it for SLS. As well as maintenance and refurbishment the barge will be lengthened from 260 to 310 feet.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Halidon on 05/20/2014 12:01 AM
8.5 million contract awarded to drydock the barge Pegasus and refit it for SLS. As well as maintenance and refurbishment the barge will be lengthened from 260 to 310 feet.
Here's the announcement on NASA.gov (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/news/releases/2014/14-081.html#.U3qaXdJdUSY) Includes who's doing the work (Conrad) and who's supplying the design and engineering support (Bristol Harbor and the Corps of Engineers).
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/20/2014 05:00 PM
8.5 million contract awarded to drydock the barge Pegasus and refit it for SLS. As well as maintenance and refurbishment the barge will be lengthened from 260 to 310 feet.

Wonder whether SpaceX had any thoughts about a joint funding to make Pegasus big enough to carry one core of their BFR. Then SpaceX and NASA could cost share transportation of both HLV cores from site of manufacture to launch area.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: kirghizstan on 05/20/2014 05:04 PM
Tom, i know this is probably off topic but it is probably a better play for SpaceX to simply let NASA do the work then sign a lease agreement for use of the rarely used barge.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jim on 05/20/2014 05:43 PM
Wonder whether SpaceX had any thoughts about a joint funding to make Pegasus big enough to carry one core of their BFR. Then SpaceX and NASA could cost share transportation of both HLV cores from site of manufacture to launch area.

Paying for modifications to a ship for an undefined rocket from an undefined factory to an undefined launch site in an undefined timeframe?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 05/20/2014 11:28 PM
Wonder whether SpaceX had any thoughts about a joint funding to make Pegasus big enough to carry one core of their BFR. Then SpaceX and NASA could cost share transportation of both HLV cores from site of manufacture to launch area.

Paying for modifications to a ship for an undefined rocket from an undefined factory to an undefined launch site in an undefined timeframe?

Hmmmm...sounds like something the government would fund.  heh.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/20/2014 11:32 PM
Wonder whether SpaceX had any thoughts about a joint funding to make Pegasus big enough to carry one core of their BFR. Then SpaceX and NASA could cost share transportation of both HLV cores from site of manufacture to launch area.

Paying for modifications to a ship for an undefined rocket from an undefined factory to an undefined launch site in an undefined timeframe?

Your point is well taken. Nevertheless, if the answers to those questions are more defined in their minds than they have publicly stated, it could be a narrow window of opportunity for them to acquire that transport for a lot lower cost than starting from scratch at a point later in time. Spend a penny now to save a pound later. Just something to give thought to if taking the long view way down the road. That's all. I didn't say they should do it. I only wonder whether they might have mulled it over.

Since NASA's already putting the thing in dry dock and paying to have it cut and resized, that makes me wonder how much more on top of that it would cost to make it SX-BFR sized in one shot. If it only cost an extra one or 2 million to make it that much larger, it could benefit both parties down the road.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/20/2014 11:37 PM
Tom, i know this is probably off topic but it is probably a better play for SpaceX to simply let NASA do the work then sign a lease agreement for use of the rarely used barge.

But their core will be bigger than SLS core and (I think) would not fit on the barge. I doubt they could talk NASA into paying for enlarging the barge to SX-BFR size specs for free, unless they had really high confidence they could lease the thing out enough times to make a profit on it.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 05/21/2014 01:17 PM
The work is being done for a rocket that already has metal being bent.  Mutual financed/utilized projects are always nice but there are just too many unknowns with the BFR at this point. If SpaceX wants to use it later, then it can be retrofitted again at their expense.


Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 05/21/2014 01:40 PM
ATK Brings NASA's Space Launch System One Step Closer to 2017 Flight

Test Demonstrates Key Structure's Max Load

May 20, 2014
   

ARLINGTON, Va., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- NASA and ATK (NYSE: ATK) are one step closer to meeting a 2017 launch date for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) after completion of a significant structural test of the booster's main attachment mechanism. NASA is developing SLS to take humans farther into deep space than ever before.

ATK designed and fabricated a new test stand for the Space Launch System booster forward skirt structural test, capable of applying millions of pounds of force to the structure.

"We test like we fly," said Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager of ATK's Space Launch Division, and former four-time space shuttle astronaut. "There are no second chances in spaceflight—we have to be certain we've got it right before we launch."

The article tested was a major load-bearing structure known as the forward skirt. The attach point on the forward skirt is where the main stage attaches to the five-segment solid rocket boosters that will launch SLS into deep space. ATK is providing the boosters as well as integration with the forward skirt.

The forward skirt is one of many critical components of the SLS booster design and must be tested to meet very demanding SLS requirements. For the test, ATK designed and fabricated a new test stand capable of applying millions of pounds of force to the structure.

Technicians tested the forward skirt at simulated lift-off and ascent conditions before testing it to failure. The final test demonstrated the structure's maximum load.

Key suppliers for the test article and test stand components were Votaw Precision, Santa Fe Springs, California; Force Measurements Systems, Fullerton, California; Cache Valley Machine, Logan, Utah; General Products, Brownboro, Alabama; Dye Precision, San Diego, California; Stars and Stripes Aerospace, Palestine, Texas; and Scot Forge, Spring Grove, Illinois.

NASA's SLS booster program remains on track for a late 2017 launch. The booster critical design review will be held this summer.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 05/21/2014 03:30 PM
Engineers Test NASA's SLS Booster Forward Skirt to the Limits

NASA's Marshall Center - Youtube

Published on May 21, 2014
NASA and ATK engineers complete structural loads testing on the Space Launch System (SLS) booster forward skirt at ATK's facility in Promontory, Utah. Structural loads tests are performed to ensure each piece of hardware can endure loads without any adverse effects to the vehicle, or most importantly, to the crew. (ATK)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_C-aCJ4jzk
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 05/21/2014 04:52 PM
Engineers Test NASA’s SLS Booster Forward Skirt to the Limits May 21, 2014

NASA and ATK engineers complete structural loads testing on the Space Launch System (SLS) booster forward skirt at ATK’s facility in Promontory, Utah.

A critical connection between NASA’s new rocket and its twin solid rocket boosters that will help it get to space proved it could withstand millions of pounds of launch stress during a series of ground tests that ended May 20.

The booster forward skirt, which houses the electronics responsible for igniting, steering and jettisoning the two five-segment boosters and carries most of the forces acting on the boosters during launch, is one of two places at the top and bottom of the booster where it is attached by struts to the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines.

When completed, SLS will be capable of taking a crew and cargo on deep space missions, including to an asteroid and eventually Mars.

The five-segment boosters used during the launch of SLS will be the world's largest solid propellant rockets, measuring 177 feet long and 12 feet in diameter. ATK of Promontory, Utah, is the prime contractor for the boosters.

Loads on the hardware are forces -- primarily driven by mass and vehicle acceleration -- applied at different points on the vehicle. Structural loads tests are performed to ensure each piece of hardware can endure loads without any adverse effects to the vehicle, or most importantly, to the crew.

For the forward skirt test, conducted at ATK's facility in Promontory, engineers used increments of force -- about 200,000 pounds per minute -- to prove the design capabilities meet the strength requirements, with sufficient margin. The structure was also subjected to a combination of axial and lateral loads, which are critical at liftoff.


"Data will be reviewed over the coming weeks," said Brian Pung, SLS booster structures & assembly team lead at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the SLS Program is managed. "We are very pleased with the initial results. Completion of this test brings us closer to use of this heritage hardware on SLS."

The team intentionally took the hardware beyond required margins -- not typical for structural loads testing on this scale.

"Attempting to take a structure of this size to failure is somewhat unique for structural testing," said Shane Canerday, forward assembly subsystem manager at the Marshall Center. "We want to know the exact amount of force the hardware can take to address capability differences that may exist across the fleet of heritage forward skirts."

The SLS 70-metric-ton (77 ton) initial configuration will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to demonstrate the integrated system performance of the SLS rocket and spacecraft prior to a crewed flight. The massive 130-metric-ton configuration will be the most capable, powerful launch vehicle in history for crewed, longer duration missions.

For more information on SLS, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/sls
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/21/2014 06:11 PM
The work is being done for a rocket that already has metal being bent.  Mutual financed/utilized projects are always nice but there are just too many unknowns with the BFR at this point. If SpaceX wants to use it later, then it can be retrofitted again at their expense.

Sigh...You are speaking in present and future tense, indicative mood. That portion of my statement was in past tense, subjunctive mood. I merely stated that I wondered whether they had thought about it. I didn't say they should have done anything in the past. I didn't say they should try to intervene in the present.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 05/28/2014 11:34 AM
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2519/1

From this and L2 news, sounds like we need an EUS thread.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: dchill on 05/28/2014 06:00 PM
Boeing has pushed for this for awhile.  Now it seems to have won.  Without any competition? 

I'm not sure about the 105 tonnes to LEO claim.  ...

No doubt related to the new slogan they use in all their print and TV ads: "Boeing...  B. S. Better"  (Okay maybe the public slogan is "Build Something Better", but in my head I always abbreviate it - and it seems like they do too.)   ;)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Andy DC on 05/28/2014 06:03 PM


From this and L2 news, sounds like we need an EUS thread.

Did you miss the articles and threads already written by this site, or did you want until another site finally caught up? ;) That's usually the deal here, right? God help us when SpaceNews catches up. There will be 15 threads.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/28/2014 07:50 PM


From this and L2 news, sounds like we need an EUS thread.

Did you miss the articles and threads already written by this site, or did you want until another site finally caught up? ;) That's usually the deal here, right? God help us when SpaceNews catches up. There will be 15 threads.

Nothing but sarcasm and adds nothing to the discussion. Please be civil.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 05/28/2014 07:53 PM
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2519/1

From this and L2 news, sounds like we need an EUS thread.
Boeing has pushed for this for awhile.  Now it seems to have won.  Without any competition? 

I'm not sure about the 105 tonnes to LEO claim.  Boeing's 2013 AIAA paper said that propellant would have to be offloaded from the upper stage for any LEO missions that might be performed, limiting the LEO payload to 93 tonnes or so to a circular LEO.  J-2X would be able to reach 105 tonnes, but the RL10 cluster boosts more to TLI/TMI (39.1 tonnes/31.7 tonnes).  LEO is, of course, irrelevant because SLS is not going to LEO.

 - Ed Kyle

I think competition would have been nothing more than an exercise on this one. No one else has 8m tooling or would touch it with a 10 foot pole for such a limited use.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/29/2014 01:40 AM
LEO is, of course, irrelevant because SLS is not going to LEO.

Genuine questions: But wouldn't that assume a one launch architecture for every mission? I remember Chris doing an article of a DRM requiring 10 Block II SLS flights for a Mars mission. This rocket will have less capacity than Block II. For a Mars mission of any kind, even a flyby, wouldn't there have to be multiple launches involving EOR for assembly prior to Earth departure? Or are you seeing SLS utilized in some other architecture?

Personally, I'm beginning to think that if anyone sets foot on Mars within a century it will be due to the success of Tesla financing Raptor BFR, but with something quite smaller than MCT.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: metaphor on 05/29/2014 02:53 AM
LEO is, of course, irrelevant because SLS is not going to LEO.

Genuine questions: But wouldn't that assume a one launch architecture for every mission? I remember Chris doing an article of a DRM requiring 10 Block II SLS flights for a Mars mission. This rocket will have less capacity than Block II. For a Mars mission of any kind, even a flyby, wouldn't there have to be multiple launches involving EOR for assembly prior to Earth departure? Or are you seeing SLS utilized in some other architecture?

Personally, I'm beginning to think that if anyone sets foot on Mars within a century it will be due to the success of Tesla financing Raptor BFR, but with something quite smaller than MCT.

A multi-launch mission could rendezvous in higher orbits like a high elliptical Earth orbit or EML-1/2.  That might be more efficient in some cases depending on the mission.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lars_J on 05/29/2014 06:16 AM
LEO is, of course, irrelevant because SLS is not going to LEO.

Hardly. Most Mars reference missions assume LEO assembly. Assembling your spacecraft "higher up" reduces the effective size of the components you are working with.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Ben the Space Brit on 05/29/2014 09:37 AM
LEO is, of course, irrelevant because SLS is not going to LEO.

I think that's an 'YMMV' opinion.

Let's put it this way: The vast majority of SLS-launched missions will likely not be to LEO. However, SLS itself (as currently planned) is intended only to inject the mission spacecraft and/or propulsion module to LEO. Unless DUUS is adopted, SLS itself is unlikely to have very many BLEO roles after EM-2. It will be an ETO heavy lifter to get the real BEO spacecraft into parking orbit.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: a_langwich on 05/29/2014 09:47 AM

UPDATE Thread.

Or has this been officially converted to discussion?

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 05/29/2014 11:22 AM
LEO is, of course, irrelevant because SLS is not going to LEO.

Incorrect. SLS flights will all target LEO. The "mission" may be BEO but everything will begin in LEO.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/29/2014 11:52 AM

UPDATE Thread.

Or has this been officially converted to discussion?



And people still don't listen, do they.

I'll start a new Update Thread later.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 06/05/2014 07:02 PM
Exploration Systems Division Quarterly Update: All Systems Go!

Published on Jun 5, 2014
2014 is off to an amazing start as NASA rockets toward this year's launch of Exploration Flight Test-1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQCWkrFBS0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Halidon on 06/06/2014 06:17 AM
I had myself a little chuckle at the sight of the advanced composite cryo tank being loaded on the good ole Super Guppy.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/11/2014 04:46 PM
"We are nearing completion on one of the world's largest welding tools, the Vertical Assembly Center, at NASA Michoud Assembly Facility."
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Burninate on 06/11/2014 04:51 PM
Exploration Systems Division Quarterly Update: All Systems Go!

Published on Jun 5, 2014
2014 is off to an amazing start as NASA rockets toward this year's launch of Exploration Flight Test-1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bQCWkrFBS0

I doubt it's relevant to the actual flight model, but I love how the words "Descended safely to the desert floor" at 1:30 are underlined with the capsule hitting the ground on edge and flipping end over end on impact.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: JohnFornaro on 06/12/2014 02:15 PM
The work is being done for a rocket that already has metal being bent.  Mutual financed/utilized projects are always nice but there are just too many unknowns with the BFR at this point. If SpaceX wants to use it later, then it can be retrofitted again at their expense.

Sigh...You are speaking in present and future tense, indicative mood. That portion of my statement was in past tense, subjunctive mood. I merely stated that I wondered whether they had thought about it. I didn't say they should have done anything in the past. I didn't say they should try to intervene in the present.

As an aside, I am rather grateful for Tom's several grammatical objections here and there to various casually worded posts.  Personally, I have the pragmatic grammatical ability of written expression, while lacking the declarative objectification and itemization of the various moods, tenses, and so forth.  So thank you.

Technical problems simply cannot be solved without an accurate statement of the problem.  Policies cannot be made and prioritized if the technical problems cannot be described accurately.  Our policymakers need to get re-certified in the English language before taking the oath of office.

But there is also common sense. 

The USG cannot be asked to "Pay for modifications to a ship for an undefined rocket from an undefined factory to an undefined launch site in an undefined timeframe".  Period.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Rocket Science on 06/12/2014 02:41 PM
That water landing is so retro and resource intensive... With all the time they have had for development we should have the “proposed” pinpoint parafoil and air-bag land landing...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 06/12/2014 04:38 PM
The work is being done for a rocket that already has metal being bent.  Mutual financed/utilized projects are always nice but there are just too many unknowns with the BFR at this point. If SpaceX wants to use it later, then it can be retrofitted again at their expense.

Sigh...You are speaking in present and future tense, indicative mood. That portion of my statement was in past tense, subjunctive mood. I merely stated that I wondered whether they had thought about it. I didn't say they should have done anything in the past. I didn't say they should try to intervene in the present.

As an aside, I am rather grateful for Tom's several grammatical objections here and there to various casually worded posts.  Personally, I have the pragmatic grammatical ability of written expression, while lacking the declarative objectification and itemization of the various moods, tenses, and so forth.  So thank you.

Technical problems simply cannot be solved without an accurate statement of the problem.  Policies cannot be made and prioritized if the technical problems cannot be described accurately.  Our policymakers need to get re-certified in the English language before taking the oath of office.

But there is also common sense. 

The USG cannot be asked to "Pay for modifications to a ship for an undefined rocket from an undefined factory to an undefined launch site in an undefined timeframe".  Period.

Well, thanks for the compliment, but even you are not reading my original post carefully. I would ask you to go back and examine it. I did not imply in any way that the USG should pay for any such thing. I merely mused whether SpaceX may have thought about a cost sharing plan in which they would pay any extra amount to have the craft retrofitted to make it large enough to acommodate the Raptor BFR as well as the SLS core.

I am astounded at the number of people on this site who, though smart in science, have such poor ability to read carefully and write accurately.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/12/2014 09:56 PM
If you need to repeatedly repose questions/clarify perhaps the communication issue is with how they are written and not how they are read.

Isn't this a space, not a language forum?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: llanitedave on 06/13/2014 01:33 AM
It's a geek forum, populated by a lot of very literal readers and writers.  Not too many poets, and those that there are would be accused of imprecision.  I've noticed communications issues on both sides.  Including yours truly.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 06/13/2014 02:52 AM
If you need to repeatedly repose questions/clarify perhaps the communication issue is with how they are written and not how they are read.

Well, here's my original quote:

(I) Wonder whether SpaceX had any thoughts about a joint funding to make Pegasus big enough to carry one core of their BFR....

So, you tell me. I don't believe there is anything unclear about this. Someone misread it and began making miffed statements about the US government not spending government funds to assist SpaceX in this. Others picked up on and added to the misguided replies as opposed to revisiting my original post.

Now it's my turn to ask you a question: Did you make your comment above after going back to examine the original text, or was it based upon nothing more than all the incorrect statements others have made following it? Somehow, your comment indicates to me that it is the second of those.

Isn't this a space, not a language forum?

Now that's disappointing!  :'( You sound like so many lazy students whom I know. It does not matter what field one is in; if you can't take the time and effort to learn how to communicate effectively, you are not going to be successful. The ability to write clearly is critical, especially in such a field as this. The ability to read critically and comprehend accurately is just as important. I am really surprised at your question. I usually have high regard for the things you post. This comment was not up to your usual standard.

I didn't enter into this intending to be the language police. It simply happened that person after person has replied to the drift of the mutated conversation rather than re-examining the original statement. If members will not undertake that basic reading strategy, I'm going to insist that they do. It is not reasonable to allow others to put words into my mouth. Would you not agree that is only fair?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/18/2014 08:57 AM
I do like SMAT, so put another one together (some cross over with previous), but they are now using the boosters, and there's some new quotes.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/06/smat-firings-ramp-sls-acoustic-testing/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 06/18/2014 05:15 PM
I do like SMAT, so put another one together (some cross over with previous), but they are now using the boosters, and there's some new quotes.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/06/smat-firings-ramp-sls-acoustic-testing/ (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/06/smat-firings-ramp-sls-acoustic-testing/)

Chris, with regards to this part of your excellent article:
Quote
Notably, the FRR presentations noted they lacked key historical data, given the 6.4 percent model tested during the 1970s only fired motors that mimicked the Solid Rocket Boosters and not the SSMEs...

I suggest you have a look at this recent NASA film at YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DaTNLp--IY) where the 6.4 percent shuttle model is shown, firing motors that mimick the SSME's. Go to the 40 second mark and view from there. It is even mentioned that the SLS SMAT model "uses exactly the same engine model used that was used on the STS model when it went thru acoustic testing."

I've attached a blow-up of the image shown in the video that clearly shows mini SSME's firing on the 6.4 percent STS model.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/18/2014 05:31 PM
Great find there. I've edited the article and squeezed in one of the screenshots into the body! :)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 06/19/2014 10:39 PM
Space Launch System Wind Tunnel Testing

Engineers test a model of the 70-metric-ton Space Launch System -- NASA's heavy-lift launch vehicle that will carry crew, cargo and science missions into deep space -- at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

This testing will help engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama better understand the performance of the integrated system and fine tune the performance of the vehicle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NxB0KAsous
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 06/20/2014 05:41 PM
NASA Tests Large Composite Rocket Tank

NASA is testing on one of the largest composite cryogenic rocket fuel tanks ever manufactured at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkGI6JeNY0E
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/22/2014 05:03 AM
Space Launch System Wind Tunnel Testing

Engineers test a model of the 70-metric-ton Space Launch System -- NASA's heavy-lift launch vehicle that will carry crew, cargo and science missions into deep space -- at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

This testing will help engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama better understand the performance of the integrated system and fine tune the performance of the vehicle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NxB0KAsous
Hey, what building is that in?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/22/2014 06:21 PM
Transonic Dynamics tunnel building 645.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/24/2014 02:13 PM
Transonic Dynamics tunnel building 645.
All the way over at the Air Force base side?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 06/24/2014 04:27 PM
Looks like it yes, in the East area. I also got the building wrong, 648 not 645.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/55/NASA_Langley_Research_Center_Map.jpg
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/25/2014 05:42 PM
Here's a Bing map view of the Transonic Dynamics Tunnel:
http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=q5djm08n4bp2&lvl=19.48&dir=96.44&sty=o&eo=0&form=LMLTCC (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=q5djm08n4bp2&lvl=19.48&dir=96.44&sty=o&eo=0&form=LMLTCC)

Or, if you prefer, a Google map view:
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.0835566,-76.342109,155m/data=!3m1!1e3 (https://www.google.com/maps/@37.0835566,-76.342109,155m/data=!3m1!1e3)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 07/02/2014 06:41 PM
NASA and Boeing Sign Space Launch System Contract

Agreement reached as core-stage critical design review closes
 
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., July 2, 2014 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] has finalized a contract with NASA to develop the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket ever built and destined to propel America’s return to human exploration of deep space.

The $2.8 billion contract validates Boeing’s earlier selection as the prime contractor on the SLS core stage, including the avionics, under an undefinitized contract authorization. In addition, Boeing has been tasked to study the SLS Exploration Upper Stage, which will further expand mission range and payload capabilities.

The agreement comes as NASA and the Boeing team complete the Critical Design Review (CDR) on the core stage – the last major review before full production begins.

“Our teams have dedicated themselves to ensuring that the SLS – the largest ever -- will be built safely, affordably and on time,” said Virginia Barnes, Boeing SLS vice president and program manager. “We are passionate about NASA’s mission to explore deep space. It’s a very personal mission, as well as a national mandate.”

During the CDR, which began June 2, experts examined and confirmed the final design of the rocket’s cryogenic stages that will hold liquefied hydrogen and oxygen.  This milestone marks NASA’s first CDR on a deep-space human exploration launch vehicle since 1961, when the Saturn V rocket underwent a similar design review as the United States sought to land an astronaut on the moon. Boeing participated in that CDR as well, as the three stages of the Saturn V were built by Boeing and its heritage companies Douglas Aircraft and North American Aviation.

Scheduled for its initial test flight in 2017, the SLS is designed to be flexible and evolvable to meet a variety of crew and cargo mission needs. The initial flight-test configuration will provide a 77-ton capacity, and the final evolved two-stage configuration will provide a lift capability of more than 143 tons. 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 07/03/2014 10:10 PM
NASA's Space Launch System Marks Progress as Core Stage Passes Critical Design Review
July 2, 2014

NASA continues to make progress toward its next giant leap to send humans farther into the solar system than ever before, including to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.

This week, the core stage for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) has passed its Critical Design Review -- a major milestone for the program which proves the first new design for America's next great rocket is mature enough for production.

Representatives from various NASA centers and The Boeing Company -- prime contractor for the core stage, including its avionics -- met June 30 and July 1 for the Critical Design Review board at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. More than 3,000 core stage artifacts were reviewed by 11 individual technical discipline teams. Marshall manages the SLS Program for the agency.

"The SLS program team completed the core stage critical design review ahead of schedule and continues to make excellent progress towards delivering the rocket to the launch pad," said SLS Program Manager Todd May. "Our entire prime contractor and government team has been working full-steam on this program since its inception."

Components of the core stage test article and actual flight hardware manufacturing is underway at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, while development and integration of flight computers and software continues at Marshall.

"Completing the CDR is a huge accomplishment, as this is the first time a stage of a major NASA launch vehicle has passed a critical design review since the 1970s," said Tony Lavoie, manager of the Stages Office at Marshall. "In just 18 months since the Preliminary Design Review, we are ready to go forward from design to qualification production of flight hardware."

Program officials also completed modification of the remaining major SLS contract with Boeing Aerospace of Huntsville, Alabama, a division of Boeing Company of St. Louis. Under the contract, Boeing will develop the 200-foot core stage, including the avionics system for SLS. The core stage will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the RS-25 engines at the base of the core stage. Boeing has also been tasked to study the Exploration Upper Stage, which will be needed for the 130-metric-ton version of SLS that will further expand mission range and payload capabilities.

Three prime contractors support SLS in addition to Boeing: ATK of Brigham City, Utah; Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California; and Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville, Alabama.

The first configuration of the SLS launch vehicle will have a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system. As the SLS is evolved, it will be the most powerful rocket ever built and provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system.

Read more about SLS (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls)

http://www.nasa.gov/sls/core-stage-review-2014.html (http://www.nasa.gov/sls/core-stage-review-2014.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 07/03/2014 10:43 PM
Scale Model Acoustics Testing, Space Launch System
July 2, 2014

A 5-percent scale model of NASA's Space Launch System undergoes acoustic testing July 2 at NASA's Marshall Center, continuing the Scale Model Acoustic Test (SMAT) program that is paving the way for full-scale construction of the next-generation spacecraft. The heavily instrumented scale model provides data on the acoustical energy that could be expected during launch. The Space Launch System, America’s next flagship in space, will carry human crews on new missions of exploration at Mars and other destinations across the solar system.

Image credit: NASA/MSFC
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/07/2014 06:24 PM
Pegasus Barge to begin renovations for SLS core shipping
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/07/pegasus-barge-renovations-sls-core-shipping/

(And some milestones, etc.)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 07/09/2014 12:33 AM
Don't think I've seen this SLS stacking image posted before.

Accompanies this July 7 article:
http://www.nasa.gov/content/gsdo-operations-and-planning-prepares-for-nasas-space-launch-system (http://www.nasa.gov/content/gsdo-operations-and-planning-prepares-for-nasas-space-launch-system)

Image Credit: NASA
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 07/09/2014 07:01 PM
https://www.facebook.com/NASASLS/photos/a.173343539448138.35801.161692063946619/601535143295640/?type=1&theater

• 34 primary structure components have been welded
• 20 rings have been welded, including all rings for SLS’s first flight
• Nine barrels have been welded, including first three LH2 qualification barrels
• Three domes have been completed, including two weld confidence domes
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 07/10/2014 08:03 AM
Bending metal! Always a good thing to see (even despite the fact that I'm no fan of SLS, but better have this rocket than no rocket at all)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/10/2014 01:20 PM
Bending metal! Always a good thing to see (even despite the fact that I'm no fan of SLS, but better have this rocket than no rocket at all)
I also am no fan of the big opportunity cost of SLS, but bending metal is far better than endless analysis. And, it's going to be a very impressive rocket when it's finished. Here's hoping we use it to build some permanent infrastructure (like Shuttle built ISS) instead of just one-shot missions or test-flights.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 07/12/2014 12:36 AM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls_highlights.html#.U8CCg6lDuh1

The June monthly highlights are now available. This one includes a SMAT picture, a wind tunnel picture, and some MAF pictures.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/14/2014 04:47 PM
'Diffusing' the Situation in Propellant Tanks May Benefit Future SLS Missions
   
A special piece of hardware called a low-profile diffuser is being designed, built and tested at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for propellant tanks. The diffuser maintains the density and required flow rate of the propellant. Using a smaller diffuser can free up space to raise the liquid level -- potentially increasing the amount of payload that can be carried on future launch vehicles, like NASA's Space Launch System, or SLS. (NASA/MSFC)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGppZxeuG9A
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 07/14/2014 04:53 PM
'Diffusing' the Situation in Propellant Tanks May Benefit Future SLS Missions
   
A special piece of hardware called a low-profile diffuser is being designed, built and tested at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for propellant tanks. The diffuser maintains the density and required flow rate of the propellant. Using a smaller diffuser can free up space to raise the liquid level -- potentially increasing the amount of payload that can be carried on future launch vehicles, like NASA's Space Launch System, or SLS. (NASA/MSFC)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGppZxeuG9A
The MFSC video appears to have been damage and is cutoff at the end. I will update the video when that fix it.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 07/14/2014 06:02 PM
Updated Link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5S2eZmW7RMw
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 07/14/2014 10:05 PM
Article to accompany the above video ...

'Diffusing' the Situation: Marshall-Developed Hardware for Propellant Tanks May Benefit Future SLS Missions
July 14, 2014

Take a two-liter bottle, and fill it with water. Now, turn it upside down. Did you see a lot of bubbles as the liquid drains rapidly from the top? That's because air is trying to get back in the bottle due to the low pressure created in the space above the liquid as it runs out.

When it comes to liquid propellant tanks for rockets, the same scenario applies. While the engines are running, fuel drains at a rapid speed from the tanks. However, to prevent the low pressure from reducing the controlled flow of the propellant, a pressurization system is required to maintain the density and required flow rate of the rocket fuel. But when you're talking about millions of pounds of fuel, you don't want to just shoot in gas that impinges directly on the liquid surface. Instead, that's what a special piece of hardware is for -- to "diffuse the situation" in the tank and allow gas to flow uniformly at the lowest velocity possible and not stir up to the surface of the liquid.

That hardware, called a diffuser, is no stranger to rocketry. It was used during the space shuttle era. But these days, engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, have taken that proven design and cut it down to a much smaller size.

"Typical diffuser designs generally have long cylinders," said Mike Martin, lead on the low-profile diffuser project at Marshall. "A lot of times, those diffusers don't make full use of the area in the tank. Our idea was to create a diffuser that makes a much smaller footprint without it severely impacting the performance of the pressurization system. That's how we came up with the low-profile diffuser, which is only about 10 inches tall."

"Using a smaller diffuser can allow us to raise the liquid level up higher and add more rocket fuel," Martin added. "When you do that, you have the potential to increase the amount of payload that you can carry on future launch vehicles, like the Space Launch System."

NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) will be the biggest, most powerful rocket in history making it possible for future explorers to travel on deep space missions to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.

The Boeing Co. is the prime contractor for the SLS core stage, and is designing and building the flight diffusers for the rocket's liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks. Boeing is using the same Marshall facility where the low-profile diffuser is being tested, which is a "win-win" according to Keith Higginbotham, task lead for Marshall's Spacecraft Payload Integration & Evolution Office.

"Having Boeing and our team use the same testing facility not only has reduced costs, but we've been able to help Boeing gather additional data using our instrumentation for their flight diffusers. We also can conduct comparative tests to see if our low-profile diffuser may be a better option than the current flight diffusers for later SLS models."

The low-profile diffuser has already finished phase one of its trial series, which included about 30 different tests. For the next round of testing, it will be mounted to a test rig, and run for two to three minutes to gather velocity data and validate computational fluid models used to design it. Testing is scheduled through July. The design, production and testing of the hardware is a collaborative effort between Marshall's Engineering Directorate and Spacecraft Payload Integration & Evolution Office, within the SLS Program.

http://www.nasa.gov/sls/sls-diffuser.html (http://www.nasa.gov/sls/sls-diffuser.html)

Photo Caption:

Diffuser Testing for NASA's Space Launch System
The low-profile diffuser undergoes a round of tests at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. For the testing, the hardware is mounted to a test rig, and run for two to three minutes to gather velocity data and validate computational fluid models used to design it.

Image credit: NASA/MSFC
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jongoff on 07/14/2014 10:43 PM
Interesting. I remember designing and building a diffuser for our vehicles at Masten. It definitely helps cut down on the amount of helium you need for tank pressurization (by reducing the mixing of the pressurant gas with the cryogenic propellants which are typically a lot colder). Ours wasn't anywhere near as fancy though (and to be honest we didn't do an enormous amount of testing to quantify how well it was working), but still very useful. But isn't a pressurant diffuser pretty much standard practice on all launch vehicles these days?

~Jon
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: 93143 on 07/15/2014 01:24 AM
Yeah, but the point of this one is that it doesn't take up much space at the top of the tank; it's specifically "low-profile".
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 07/15/2014 01:31 AM
So if these pass their tests and are installed on both fuel and oxidizer tanks, how many extra inches of prop is gained in each tank? If the same volume is gained in each tank then the fuel/oxidizer ratios by volume are no longer the same. Does success with the shorter diffusers mean thank lengths need to be changed so that final fuel/oxidizer ratio is correct?

Edit: typo
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jongoff on 07/15/2014 02:55 AM
Yeah, but the point of this one is that it doesn't take up much space at the top of the tank; it's specifically "low-profile".

So was ours. We cut down required ullage space enough to add enough propellant to add several seconds of flight time for Xombie and Xoie (which ended up mattering in our NGLLC wins). Most of the pressurant diffusers I've seen were what could be considered low-profile.

This is kind of like SpaceX acting like they invented the launch hold-down mechanism...

~Jon
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 07/15/2014 02:25 PM
Yeah, but the point of this one is that it doesn't take up much space at the top of the tank; it's specifically "low-profile".

Any idea what the length of the old design was?  Are we talking about a different of mm, cm, or m?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/17/2014 10:43 PM
So here's an update on engine testing. Wasn't much to that release, so did a lot on the schedule changes that we're working in L2.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/07/rs-25-stennis-testing-sls-schedule/

I'll set up a specific update thread for RS-25 test runs tomorrow.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: robertross on 07/17/2014 11:01 PM
So here's an update on engine testing. Wasn't much to that release, so did a lot on the schedule changes that we're working in L2.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/07/rs-25-stennis-testing-sls-schedule/

I'll set up a specific update thread for RS-25 test runs tomorrow.

Great Chris, thanks.

The Orion overweight issue is concerning though.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rcoppola on 07/17/2014 11:05 PM
The diffuse concept is outrageous. I love it. Great to see them continue to innovate and get this beast moving. And frankly, if Orion is going to need a diet, then I say, let's get on with the EUS and launch the beast in 2019 full up!!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Todd Martin on 07/17/2014 11:09 PM
Orion overweight AGAIN!!!  9 Years of development and they can't close the loop.  It is well past time to cancel Orion.  SLS deserves better.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/17/2014 11:43 PM
The diffuse concept is outrageous. I love it. Great to see them continue to innovate and get this beast moving. And frankly, if Orion is going to need a diet, then I say, let's get on with the EUS and launch the beast in 2019 full up!!

It was too heavy for Ares I, but this time Orion is too heavy on the way back....not the way up.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/18/2014 10:14 AM
Added a couple of lines overnight, noting ESA's schedule issue and a late L2 note from Orion's delta PDR kickoff, which claims there are many versions of Orion and they can be with margin for re-entry, just......a lot more to that, so that'll be an Orion specific article later.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 07/19/2014 01:46 PM
Hopefully this is news to everyone, it's about two months old but I couldn't find anything about it on here.

Quote
Brasfield & Gorrie construction company of Birmingham has won a $45 million contract to build two large stands at Marshall Space Flight Center to test the fuel tanks and other key hardware for NASA’s new Space Launch System.

-----

One of the stands, Test Stand 4693, will be 215 feet tall with twin towers. It will test the SLS liquid hydrogen tank, which will be 185 feet tall itself. The tank will be tested at Marshall with liquid nitrogen inside.

http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2014/05/brasfield_gorrie_gets_43m_to_b.html

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 07/26/2014 06:48 PM
World's Largest Spacecraft Welding Tool Will Build Core Stage of NASA's Space Launch System

A 170-foot powerhouse -- the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) -- is near completion and will soon be ready to build the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS). SLS will be the most powerful rocket in history for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.

This photo taken with a special camera lens shows the VAC, the world's largest spacecraft welding tool -- part of a family of tools at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. These tools are specifically designed to build the core stage, which will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines. The core stage is comprised of five major structures: the forward skirt, the liquid oxygen tank, the intertank, the liquid hydrogen tank and the engine section.

[photograph taken July 11, 2014]

Image Credit: NASA

http://www.nasa.gov/sls/multimedia/gallery/maf-vac-progess.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 07/26/2014 07:03 PM
Modifications are Underway in Vehicle Assembly Building for NASA's Space Launch System
By Linda Herridge, KSC, July 24, 2014

History was made in the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was inside the VAB that NASA's Apollo/Saturn V rockets and space shuttles were prepared for their rollout to Launch Pads 39A and B to begin their missions.   

Today, the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program and support contractors at Kennedy are busy upgrading the massive building for the next chapter in human exploration. The Space Launch System (SLS), NASA's new heavy-lift rocket, will be the largest launch vehicle ever built and more powerful than the Saturn V rocket. The SLS will send astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft to explore deep space destinations including an asteroid and eventually Mars.

"We have a lot of work to complete, and now is the time to refurbish and upgrade the VAB before we begin processing launch vehicles," said Steve Starr, a senior project manager with Vencore on the Engineering Services Contract.

In the five decades since the VAB was built, safety codes have changed, technology has advanced dramatically and the facility's steel structure and machinery have aged.

In 2013, all of the platforms in High Bay 3 were removed to make way for a new platform system that will be used to access the SLS and Orion spacecraft that will launch atop the rocket. The high bay also will accommodate the 355-foot-tall mobile launcher that will carry the rocket and spacecraft atop the crawler-transporter to the launch pad.

In the planning and design stage, 10 levels of new platforms will surround the rocket and spacecraft and provide access for testing and processing. The platforms have been designed to move in and out, and translate up and down as needed. This sophisticated platform system is being designed so that it can accommodate other launch vehicles and configurations with minimal adjustments.

"The VAB project team, along with the entire GSDO Program office, continues to be on fire with excitement as we take a concept of providing a reconfigurable high bay, and initiate the construction effort," said Jose Lopez, VAB senior project manager. "This project is something that NASA and the entire nation can be proud of."

Lopez said when the project is complete, the VAB will be able to adapt to evolving launch vehicle configurations, without major construction efforts, something that has never been done before.

Prototype platforms have been tested at the Launch Equipment Test Facility and studies were completed to understand the kinds of mechanisms needed to move platforms up and down.

Computer-aided design visualization tools are being utilized to help designers model every aspect of this new system. Power cables, communication lines and high pressure fluid lines at each level will have the ability to move up and down freely along with the platforms. Elevator landings on the structure also need to be relocatable.

Workers are upgrading the low-voltage power sources in phases, beginning with High Bay 3 first. More than 150 miles of abandoned copper and lead-shielded cabling, dating back to the Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs, have been removed and are being replaced with fast and more efficient fiber optic cables. Apollo-era water, sewer and drainage piping is also scheduled for future replacement. Installation of a new fire protection system is underway.

All four of the large vertical-lift doors have been repaired and upgraded. In the F tower, a second elevator will be added. Old or unnecessary ground support equipment has been removed, including large beams in High Bay 1, where the Apollo/Saturn V was stacked, and a 125-ton bridge crane in High Bay 4 that has not been used in 20 years.

The enormous structure is made of concrete and steel, which has naturally aged over the years. Studies and field investigations are underway to quantify corrosion to steel and ground support equipment, and identify and repair spalling in the concrete.

"When we consider the monumental effort that went into designing and constructing the VAB, all done in the early 1960s without the technology we have today, I am proud to be a part of renovating and upgrading the facility to support the next generation of human spaceflight," Starr said.

Starr hopes that the nation's human spaceflight program will benefit from the work being accomplished today, and that future generations will be able to build on the foresight of the original design and the improvements currently underway.

http://www.nasa.gov/content/modifications-are-underway-in-vehicle-assembly-building-for-nasas-space-launch-system/ (http://www.nasa.gov/content/modifications-are-underway-in-vehicle-assembly-building-for-nasas-space-launch-system/)

Photo Captions:

Upper: Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, construction workers continue to prepare High Bay 3 for a new platform system.

Middle: Steel structures surround High Bay 3 inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In view are banners noting the heights of the Saturn V, Space Launch System and shuttle. High above is the 175-ton crane.

Bottom: A view looking down from one of the higher levels in the Vehicle Assembly Building reveals High Bay 3 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

[photographs taken July 23, 2014]

All Image Credits: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rcoppola on 07/26/2014 07:49 PM
The diffuse concept is outrageous. I love it. Great to see them continue to innovate and get this beast moving. And frankly, if Orion is going to need a diet, then I say, let's get on with the EUS and launch the beast in 2019 full up!!

It was too heavy for Ares I, but this time Orion is too heavy on the way back....not the way up.
Understood. I meant if Orion was going to be delayed, as SLS will be anyways and they have decided to do the EUS first, Advanced Boosters later, then forget the ICPS, move straight to EUS, so we only need one unmanned SLS flight test as opposed to 2 once they switch out ICPS for EUS after only one flight. Let alone needless GSE mods and HB 3 platform reconfig. It makes zero sense. Sorry, not an update but wanted to clarify.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 07/26/2014 08:21 PM

All four of the large vertical-lift doors have been repaired and upgraded.
That's interesting. Is there a need for the 4th door that doesn't open to the crawlerway?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rcoppola on 07/26/2014 08:25 PM

All four of the large vertical-lift doors have been repaired and upgraded.
That's interesting. Is there a need for the 4th door that doesn't open to the crawlerway?
Probably safety, weather and internal environmental control concerns.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: arachnitect on 07/26/2014 10:49 PM

All four of the large vertical-lift doors have been repaired and upgraded.
That's interesting. Is there a need for the 4th door that doesn't open to the crawlerway?

Marginal cost to upgrade the 4th door is probably pretty low if they do it at the same time they're doing the other 3. Maybe even cheaper than sealing it shut. Plus it's available if they want to add crawler way access or if a user who doesn't need the crawlerway wants to use that bay.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 07/28/2014 01:26 AM
"Lopez said when the project is complete, the VAB will be able to adapt to evolving launch vehicle configurations, without major construction efforts, something that has never been done before."

This is good news.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 07/31/2014 06:11 PM
Chris care to take a trip across the pond?  :)  This would be quite awesome to say the least.

http://www.nasa.gov/nasasocial-sls-2014/#.U9qGQvldWQm

Quote
Preview Our New Heavy-Lift Rocket
September 12, 2014
Artist concept of SLS
Artist concept of the Space Launch System
Image Credit: NASA
We’re inviting social media users to apply for a maximum of 25 credentials to cover events happening Sept. 12 at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, and at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to see manufacturing for the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) -- NASA's new heavy-lift rocket that will send humans deeper into space than ever before, including missions to an asteroid and Mars. Attendees will also be invited to the official ribbon cutting for the facility’s Vertical Assembly Center, a massive welding tool that stands over 170 feet tall, designed to weld together pieces of the core stage.
Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to take a roundtrip bus ride to tour Stennis Space Center, including the historic B-2 test stand that is being renovated for SLS testing and the RS-25 engine awaiting its test series debut. Four RS-25 engines will be used to power the massive core stage of the SLS.
Participants will be given the same access as news media in an effort to align the experience of social media representatives with those of traditional media. The hashtags for these events are #weldingwonder and #NASASocial. NASA Social media accreditation for the Michoud and Stennis events opens on this page July 30 and closes at 5 p.m. EDT on Aug. 12. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: arachnitect on 07/31/2014 07:30 PM
Chris care to take a trip across the pond?  :)  This would be quite awesome to say the least.

http://www.nasa.gov/nasasocial-sls-2014/#.U9qGQvldWQm

Quote
Preview Our New Heavy-Lift Rocket
September 12, 2014
Artist concept of SLS
Artist concept of the Space Launch System
Image Credit: NASA
We’re inviting social media users to apply for a maximum of 25 credentials to cover events happening Sept. 12 at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, and at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to see manufacturing for the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) -- NASA's new heavy-lift rocket that will send humans deeper into space than ever before, including missions to an asteroid and Mars. Attendees will also be invited to the official ribbon cutting for the facility’s Vertical Assembly Center, a massive welding tool that stands over 170 feet tall, designed to weld together pieces of the core stage.
Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to take a roundtrip bus ride to tour Stennis Space Center, including the historic B-2 test stand that is being renovated for SLS testing and the RS-25 engine awaiting its test series debut. Four RS-25 engines will be used to power the massive core stage of the SLS.
Participants will be given the same access as news media in an effort to align the experience of social media representatives with those of traditional media. The hashtags for these events are #weldingwonder and #NASASocial. NASA Social media accreditation for the Michoud and Stennis events opens on this page July 30 and closes at 5 p.m. EDT on Aug. 12. All social media accreditation applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

I don't think Chris/NSF correspondents are the intended audience for this event:
Quote
Reach a unique audience, separate and distinctive from traditional news media and/or NASA audiences
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Calphor on 08/01/2014 02:11 AM
Here is a picture of a 1:50 model of SLS Block 1 on the MLP that was at the Oshkosh Airventure Show.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 08/04/2014 02:28 PM
Here is a picture of a 1:50 model of SLS Block 1 on the MLP that was at the Oshkosh Airventure Show.

Nice! Is the Crawler Transporter radio controlled so it can crawl around the room at scale speed? That would be really.... slow. :)

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 08/07/2014 11:04 AM
ATK Passes Critical Design Review for NASA's Space Launch System Booster

NASA and ATK are on Schedule for 2017 Launch to Deep Space
 
ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- ATK (NYSE: ATK) has successfully completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) with NASA to verify that the five-segment solid rocket booster is on track for an unmanned, first flight of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) in 2017. The SLS vehicle is planned to launch humans deeper into space than ever before.

ATK’s five-segment solid rocket booster will power America’s new rocket – NASA’s Space Launch System, which is on track to launch in 2017.

"Achieving this milestone is a tremendous accomplishment for ATK and NASA as we continue building the boosters for America's Space Launch System," said Charlie Precourt, vice president and general manager of ATK's Space Launch division. "Deep space exploration requires a heavy lift vehicle, and SLS is the only vehicle with the mass, volume and speed required for human missions to destinations such as the moon, an asteroid or Mars."

With the successful completion of CDR, the SLS booster design can now proceed toward qualification testing. Booster avionics qualification efforts are also in work and will be incorporated into the vehicle qualification effort that is scheduled for completion in 2016.

"ATK's technology innovation, process improvements and lean manufacturing will enable SLS to deliver humans and cargo to deep space faster, safer and more affordably than any other existing or planned vehicle," said Precourt, who is also a four-time space shuttle astronaut. "It is exciting to see that the teams working on SLS and the Orion crew capsule are all making steady progress toward NASA achieving a human mission to Mars by the 2030s."

A ground static firing of the full-scale booster, Qualification Motor-1 (QM-1), is planned for late this year/early next year at ATK's facility in Promontory, Utah. The next major booster milestone will be the Design Certification Review scheduled for fall of 2016.

Other upcoming SLS and Orion program milestones include a firing of the modified RS-25 engine this fall and the opening of the SLS Vertical Assembly Center, which is where the rocket's core stage fuel tanks will be welded. Orion's first flight, scheduled for December 2014, will be the farthest a human-rated spacecraft has traveled into space in more than 40 years.

The SLS and Orion programs are supported by a network of hundreds of suppliers representing 47 states. ATK has 29 key SLS booster suppliers across 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

Recent SLS milestones include:
•Forward skirt test (May 20, 2014)
•Booster avionics test (April 3, 2014)
•Avionics and controls test (Dec. 11, 2013)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 08/07/2014 08:37 PM
"A ground static firing of the full-scale booster, Qualification Motor-1 (QM-1), is planned for late this year/early next year"

Is it correct to read this as saying it is possible the QM-1 test won't take place until after December 31, 2014? Or is it somehow implicit they are talking about fiscal years in the quoted sentence?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/08/2014 10:15 AM
Yes, calendar years.

Lots of padding in booster schedule.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 08/11/2014 06:19 PM
Anti-Geyser Testing for SLS Liquid Oxygen Feed System Underway

Published on Aug 11, 2014
Beginning Aug. 5, anti-geyser testing is underway at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center for the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) -- the rocket that will make deep space missions possible, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. A full-scale replica of the SLS liquid oxygen tank feed system -- which will be housed in the rocket's core stage -- is set up on one of Marshall's test stands to show that proven procedures will keep the tank's thousands of gallons of oxidizer from geysering. As propellant is poured into the system from the bottom, helium is injected into different points along two feed lines that deliver the propellant all the way up to the tank. The helium induces circulation almost like stirring and keeps the propellant uniform and at the right temperature. Testing is scheduled to be completed in November. (NASA/MSFC)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpzO4b-02ZE
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 08/11/2014 11:05 PM
Exploration Systems Division Quarterly Report #2: 2014

Published on Aug 11, 2014
A quick look at what's been going on in the Orion, Space Launch System and Ground Systems Development and Operations programs in April, May and June of 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xzz9bWwcg3g
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 08/12/2014 06:39 AM
http://www.spacenews.com/article/features/41554news-from-aiaa-space-2014-nasa-officials-orion-%E2%80%98challenged%E2%80%99-to-make-2017

Quote
Todd May, NASA’s SLS program manager, said during an Aug. 5 panel discussion here that the heavy-lift rocket is on track for a December 2017 launch.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 08/12/2014 07:49 PM
http://www.spacenews.com/article/features/41554news-from-aiaa-space-2014-nasa-officials-orion-%E2%80%98challenged%E2%80%99-to-make-2017

Quote
Todd May, NASA’s SLS program manager, said during an Aug. 5 panel discussion here that the heavy-lift rocket is on track for a December 2017 launch.

I like how they cite a reason for the delay being a 2 week government shutdown last year.  Yea...like that had anything to do with Orion being years late.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/13/2014 07:30 AM
That's completely out of context. The context was the shutdown added costlydelay to the EFT-1 vehicle during a critical time of assembly.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 08/13/2014 04:32 PM
That's completely out of context. The context was the shutdown added costlydelay to the EFT-1 vehicle during a critical time of assembly.

My point stands.  I don't think it had much to do with it.  I think it's a reach at an excuse.  We're talking two weeks here. 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/13/2014 06:05 PM
That's completely out of context. The context was the shutdown added costlydelay to the EFT-1 vehicle during a critical time of assembly.

My point stands.  I don't think it had much to do with it.  I think it's a reach at an excuse.  We're talking two weeks here.

That's your view. My view is from the people working on it and not having access to the spacecraft during critical subsystem assembly hurt the chance of having EFT-1 ready for September. It is just one of multiple reasons - as the article says. Fast forward and now they have more breathing room due to the scheduling conflict (which the article does not mention) and the push back to December.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jim on 08/13/2014 06:07 PM
Fast forward and now they have more breathing room due to the range conflict (which the article does not mention) and the push back to December.

There was no "range" conflict, ULA just kept its manifest sequence intact.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 08/13/2014 08:44 PM
Main Propulsion Test Article (MPTA) Structure Move:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2Lzftbep6k

----
Also this one was missed and not found here:

B-Stand Crane:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t-fNp3EOlg
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 08/14/2014 01:51 AM
That's completely out of context. The context was the shutdown added costlydelay to the EFT-1 vehicle during a critical time of assembly.

My point stands.  I don't think it had much to do with it.  I think it's a reach at an excuse.  We're talking two weeks here.

Depending on which organization or which operations we're talking about, the actual schedule impact to SLS was 3 to 4 weeks. When we came in to work on Monday, September 30, the orders were to make sure we could shutdown the next day. So nobody could start any new operations and get into a condition that couldn't be safely and quickly shut down Tuesday morning. So that Monday was pretty much a lost day. Then the shutdown came on Tuesday, October 1.

The day we were told to return to work was Thursday, October 17, but some people didn't come back until Monday, October 21. After being away that long, you can't just pick up where you left off. It takes time to reacquaint yourself and all of your team mates with what you were doing before the shutdown. Some people had equipment they had to recheck and reactivate. Time had to be taken to make sure everybody was still familiar with their procedures. I saw some organizations take more than a week to get back up to full speed. I'll admit that it seemed to me that it shouldn't have taken that long, but it happened.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 08/14/2014 06:37 PM
That's completely out of context. The context was the shutdown added costlydelay to the EFT-1 vehicle during a critical time of assembly.

My point stands.  I don't think it had much to do with it.  I think it's a reach at an excuse.  We're talking two weeks here.

That's your view. My view is from the people working on it and not having access to the spacecraft during critical subsystem assembly hurt the chance of having EFT-1 ready for September. It is just one of multiple reasons - as the article says. Fast forward and now they have more breathing room due to the scheduling conflict (which the article does not mention) and the push back to December.

Yes, that is my view.  I've seen the most nutty of things blamed on what was only partial government shutdown for 2 weeksover the last year, so I'm skeptical when I see it.  Especially on a project that has had a lot of delays anyway.  Many things that were reportedly effected by the shutdown was done by choice of politicians, not by actual necessity, to try to freak people out about it, which was very aggravating to myself and a lot of people. 
In reality, it was only a partial shutdown, and it only lasted two weeks, and it was almost a year ago.    ETF-1 was originally schedued for 2013 I believe.  So bringing up a 2-week shutdown as worth a mention when discussing delays over well over a year seems...well...as a bit less than realistic, shall we say.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 08/14/2014 06:52 PM
That's completely out of context. The context was the shutdown added costlydelay to the EFT-1 vehicle during a critical time of assembly.

My point stands.  I don't think it had much to do with it.  I think it's a reach at an excuse.  We're talking two weeks here.

Depending on which organization or which operations we're talking about, the actual schedule impact to SLS was 3 to 4 weeks. When we came in to work on Monday, September 30, the orders were to make sure we could shutdown the next day. So nobody could start any new operations and get into a condition that couldn't be safely and quickly shut down Tuesday morning. So that Monday was pretty much a lost day. Then the shutdown came on Tuesday, October 1.

The day we were told to return to work was Thursday, October 17, but some people didn't come back until Monday, October 21. After being away that long, you can't just pick up where you left off. It takes time to reacquaint yourself and all of your team mates with what you were doing before the shutdown. Some people had equipment they had to recheck and reactivate. Time had to be taken to make sure everybody was still familiar with their procedures. I saw some organizations take more than a week to get back up to full speed. I'll admit that it seemed to me that it shouldn't have taken that long, but it happened.

Starlab, thanks for that first hand information.  A 2 week shutdown causing a 3-4 weeks delay overall for a complex project seems much more plausible than a 4 month delay (or 12+ month delay if we go back a little futher).

Please note that when I say I'm skeptical of the government shutdown playing enough of a roll in the delays in Orion, SLS, and ETF-1, that's not to imply the the good people working on the systems are somehow not working hard and being diligent.  I'm not.  Most of the delays have been at the political levels I'm sure.  The people actually doing the work are just doing the best with the cards they've been dealt over the years.  Kudos to you guys!

But throwing out the "government shutdown" card is a way for politicians and government officials in leadership positions to divert blame away from their own responsibility in the delays, which is why it's such an overused excuse in the government over the past year, and thus I'm irritated and skeptical any time I see it.
 
 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/15/2014 09:51 AM
Can we remember this is an update thread? It's in the title! ;D
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 08/15/2014 04:58 PM
Can we remember this is an update thread? It's in the title! ;D

Doh!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/27/2014 07:07 PM
"No Later Than" November, 2018.

NASA officials Wednesday announced they have completed a rigorous review of the Space Launch System (SLS) -- the heavy-lift, exploration class rocket under development to take humans beyond Earth orbit and to Mars -- and approved the program's progression from formulation to development, something no other exploration class vehicle has achieved since the agency built the space shuttle.

"We are on a journey of scientific and human exploration that leads to Mars," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "And we’re firmly committed to building the launch vehicle and other supporting systems that will take us on that journey."

For its first flight test, SLS will be configured for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit. In its most powerful configuration, SLS will provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons), which will enable missions even farther into our solar system, including such destinations as an asteroid and Mars.

This decision comes after a thorough review known as Key Decision Point C (KDP-C), which provides a development cost baseline for the 70-metric ton version of the SLS of $7.021 billion from February 2014 through the first launch and a launch readiness schedule based on an initial SLS flight no later than November 2018.

Conservative cost and schedule commitments outlined in the KDP-C align the SLS program with program management best practices that account for potential technical risks and budgetary uncertainty beyond the program's control.

“Our nation is embarked on an ambitious space exploration program, and we owe it to the American taxpayers to get it right,” said Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot, who oversaw the review process. “After rigorous review, we’re committing today to a funding level and readiness date that will keep us on track to sending humans to Mars in the 2030s – and we’re going to stand behind that commitment.”

"The Space Launch System Program has done exemplary work during the past three years to get us to this point," said William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for the Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "We will keep the teams working toward a more ambitious readiness date, but will be ready no later than November 2018.”

The SLS, Orion, and Ground Systems Development and Operations programs each conduct a design review prior to each program’s respective KDP-C, and each program will establish cost and schedule commitments that account for its individual technical requirements.

"We are keeping each part of the program -- the rocket, ground systems, and Orion -- moving at its best possible speed toward the first integrated test launch,” said Bill Hill, director Exploration Systems Development at NASA. "We are on a solid path toward an integrated mission and making progress in all three programs every day."

“Engineers have made significant technical progress on the rocket and have produced hardware for all elements of the SLS program,” said SLS program manager Todd May. “The team members deserve an enormous amount of credit for their dedication to building this national asset.”

The program delivered in April the first piece of flight hardware for Orion’s maiden flight, Exploration Flight Test-1 targeted for December. This stage adapter is of the same design that will be used on SLS’s first flight, Exploration Mission-1.

Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans has all major tools installed and is producing hardware, including the first pieces of flight hardware for SLS. Sixteen RS-25 engines, enough for four flights, currently are in inventory at Stennis Space Center, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where an engine is already installed and ready for testing this fall. NASA contractor ATK has conducted successful test firings of the five-segment solid rocket boosters and is preparing for the first qualification motor test.

SLS will be the world's most capable rocket. In addition to opening new frontiers for explorers traveling aboard the Orion capsule, the SLS may also offer benefits for science missions that require its use and can’t be flown on commercial rockets.

The next phase of development for SLS is the Critical Design Review, a programmatic gate that reaffirms the agency's confidence in the program planning and technical risk posture.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: dsmillman on 08/27/2014 07:23 PM
Perhaps someone can archive this:

  August 27, 2014
NASA Holds Teleconference Today to Discuss Progress on World’s Largest Rocket


NASA officials will hold a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EDT today to discuss the agency’s progress on the Space Launch System (SLS), the heavy-lift rocket under development to take humans beyond Earth orbit and to Mars.

Participants in the teleconference will be:
-- Robert Lightfoot, NASA associate administrator
-- William Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate

To participate by phone, reporters must contact Stephanie Schierholz or Joshua Buck at 202-358-1100, [email protected] or [email protected] and provide their media affiliation no later than 3 p.m.

The teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s website at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio

SLS will be the world's most capable rocket. Designed for crew or cargo missions, the SLS will be safe, affordable, and sustainable, to continue America's journey of discovery from the unique vantage point of space, taking astronauts farther into space than ever before.

For more information about SLS, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/sls

-end-

Stephanie Schierholz
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1100
[email protected]

 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/27/2014 08:02 PM
Heh. "This rocket will get us back to the Moon....I mean get us to Mars". Great start.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 08/27/2014 08:18 PM
Compared to CxP:

"With Ares-I we never got to KDP-C, this is an agency commitment to the launch vehicle."
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/27/2014 11:31 PM
I've covered this schedule slippage in about three articles now and my draft was too close to the presser, so I'm going to sleep on it and then have a go at a SLS vs BFR article in the morning as a left field angle as I'm on a late shift with work tomorrow.

Will be mainly SLS, but with BFR as a "but don't forget SLS isn't the only American SHLV in the planning" - you'll see, I won't be stupid with it.

EDIT: Ok, maybe Friday or for the weekend.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 08/29/2014 12:12 AM
SLS Scale Model Acoustic Test

NASA's Marshall Center

Published on Aug 28, 2014
Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, are wrapping up acoustic testing on a 5-percent scale model of NASA's Space Launch System. The Aug. 28 test, the 34th in the series, will help NASA engineers understand how loud the SLS vehicle will be during liftoff. Data from the test series will be used to design the water sound suppression system that reduces liftoff vibrations on the vehicle. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. (NASA/MSFC)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqt4hmsi4b0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/12/2014 03:26 PM
VAC getting a ribbon cutting ceremony at MAF.

I'll write an article.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/12/2014 03:28 PM
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/12/2014 03:34 PM
Ribbon cut.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 09/12/2014 06:12 PM
Building the Backbone of the Space Launch System

Published on Sep 12, 2014
The largest spacecraft welding tool in the world, the Vertical Assembly Center officially is open for business at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide giant completes a world-class welding toolkit that will be used to build the core stage of America's next great rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and eventually Mars. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall (61 meters) with a diameter of 27.6 feet (8.4 meters), will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the rocket's four RS-25 engines. (NASA/MSFC)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86k_uyCWEMg
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 09/12/2014 06:13 PM
America's Rocket - Space Launch System Animation (2014)

Published on Sep 12, 2014
Animation of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) 70-metric-ton configuration launching to space. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars (NASA/MSFC)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOZ00J-0jhY
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/12/2014 08:26 PM
About MAF's tools:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/09/michoud-monster-welder-sls-cores/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: HIP2BSQRE on 09/12/2014 08:48 PM
About MAF's tools:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/09/michoud-monster-welder-sls-cores/

Good article...the sad thing about it...how often will all this shinny new machines be used?  Once every year/two years???
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 09/12/2014 08:52 PM
Good article Chris. I love big machinery :)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: arachnitect on 09/12/2014 09:14 PM
If that many suits show up just to turn on a machine, first core rollout is going to be a national holiday or something.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 09/12/2014 10:29 PM
...how often will all this shinny new machines be used?

I surely could be mistaken, but my understanding is that they are designed to operate slowly with a minimum of manpower, such that their optimum speed produces one LV per year.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/12/2014 11:28 PM
It's interesting to note that the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) they have built is meant to assemble "tubes" in the vertical orientation, whereas just about every other manufacturing setup I've seen for building large "tubes" (aircraft, rockets, etc.) manufactures them in the horizontal orientation.

Sure it's only set up to build a maximum of two SLS bodies per year, but they had to extend the height of the building to fit that fixture in (170 ft tall), which was likely not cheap, so there has to be a pretty obvious and important reason why they couldn't build "tubes" horizontally like everyone else.

What is the obvious and important reason?  Anyone have any guesses?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Rocket Science on 09/12/2014 11:41 PM
Great article Chris! :) Dam, if that tooling doesn’t look like a soon to be completed skyscraper... ;D
To paraphrase Khrushchev “we will churn them out like sausages”... Or perhaps not...  :-\
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/13/2014 03:52 AM
... they had to extend  the height of the building to fit that fixture in (170 ft tall) ...
I'm not sure about that.  The VAC is in a high bay vertical tower (Bldg 110) that was used for ET work and for S-IC assembly.  It was already tall.  Michoud did add a new Vertical Assembly Building (Bldg 115) on the other side of the main plant, but it was designed to handle Ares I Upper Stage assembly that never happened.  It is now mostly unused space, although it does now house a big welding machine for SLS, the Vertical Weld Center that will fashion barrel segments.  This machine only stands about three stories tall, which must leave a lot of empty space above.

As for why they do this assembly vertically, it is just easier to keep the shape and alignment of something that acts a bit like the world's biggest unpressurized soda can, only thinner on a relative basis. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/13/2014 05:01 AM
... they had to extend  the height of the building to fit that fixture in (170 ft tall) ...
I'm not sure about that.  The VAC is in a high bay vertical tower (Bldg 110) that was used for ET work and for S-IC assembly.  It was already tall.

Ah, I may have been reading too much into this part of Chris's article:

"Even the roof has been extended in areas to allow for sheer size of SLS stages."

Quote
As for why they do this assembly vertically, it is just easier to keep the shape and alignment of something that acts a bit like the world's biggest unpressurized soda can, only thinner on a relative basis. 

I once toured the Atlas production facility when it was in San Diego, back when they were making the Atlas out of stainless steel (i.e. balloon tanks).  They used horizontal manufacturing back then, although they did do acoustic testing vertically.  So I wouldn't think the SLS tank wall thickness is the main concern.  And the SLS has a smaller diameter than the Saturn V, which I thought was assembled horizontally too.

Obviously somebody made a good case for vertical manufacturing, since they know how other large diameter vehicles are built - just curious...

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 09/13/2014 05:18 AM
As for why they do this assembly vertically, it is just easier to keep the shape and alignment of something that acts a bit like the world's biggest unpressurized soda can, only thinner on a relative basis.

It does seem logical that gravity could deform such a thin cylinder in a horizontal position, particularly before the domes go on the ends. Once completed, internal pressurization would give structural strength. So I have to wonder this-if it's thin enough to deform in horizontal position, how would it support its own weight in vertical position as the last portion is welded, or do they support the weight from above rather than from below? Also, it has to have a certain minimum strength to support the mass above and the thrust from below without buckling. (I know it could not support booster impulse from below-thus the upper thrust beam.) Would the amount of strength required for stresses during max acceleration not be enough to support it during construction? I have no idea, just musing and asking.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 09/13/2014 03:02 PM
I once toured the Atlas production facility when it was in San Diego, back when they were making the Atlas out of stainless steel (i.e. balloon tanks).  They used horizontal manufacturing back then, although they did do acoustic testing vertically.  So I wouldn't think the SLS tank wall thickness is the main concern.  And the SLS has a smaller diameter than the Saturn V, which I thought was assembled horizontally too.
My understanding is that smaller diameter tanks, like Atlas and Titan and Thor, could be welded by fixed welder heads while the tank was rotated on a jig.  With the larger, Saturn diameter tanks, it was easier to move the welder across a fixed tank surface, and the easiest way to do that was in a vertical orientation.   Most of the Saturn tanks, to my knowledge, were welded up in vertical fixtures (the S-IVB tank cylinders themselves were done horizontally, but final stage assembly was vertical).  The final S-IC assembly was done vertically at Michoud in the same building that now houses the VAC, although a few early stages were assembled horizontally at MSFC, but the tanks had to be rotated from vertical to horizontal for that step.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 09/13/2014 03:23 PM
My understanding is that smaller diameter tanks, like Atlas and Titan and Thor, could be welded by fixed welder heads while the tank was rotated on a jig.  With the larger, Saturn diameter tanks, it was easier to move the welder across a fixed tank surface, and the easiest way to do that was in a vertical orientation.   Most of the Saturn tanks, to my knowledge, were welded up in vertical fixtures (the S-IVB tank cylinders themselves were done horizontally, but final stage assembly was vertical).  The final S-IC assembly was done vertically at Michoud in the same building that now houses the VAC, although a few early stages were assembled horizontally at MSFC, but the tanks had to be rotated from vertical to horizontal for that step.

OK, that answers my question - they were guided by prior experience.  Thanks
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/24/2014 01:53 PM
Some Stennis news later today.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/30/2014 02:42 AM
SLS engine testing delayed due to test stand contamination:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/09/sls-engine-testing-delayed-test-stand-contamination/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jason1701 on 09/30/2014 07:44 AM
SLS engine testing delayed due to test stand contamination:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/09/sls-engine-testing-delayed-test-stand-contamination/

Did I read that right, 30 feet of pipe takes "months" to replace?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 09/30/2014 02:34 PM
SLS engine testing delayed due to test stand contamination:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/09/sls-engine-testing-delayed-test-stand-contamination/

Did I read that right, 30 feet of pipe takes "months" to replace?

You didn't. Removing the engine, replacing the pipes, then re-installing the engine and reinspecting the system takes that long.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: llanitedave on 09/30/2014 04:33 PM
Sounds like a design issue on the test stand as much as a maintenance issue.  Why would that kind of contamination be so easy to create?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Hog on 09/30/2014 08:47 PM
Sounds like a design issue on the test stand as much as a maintenance issue.  Why would that kind of contamination be so easy to create?
Shop rags are inherently "linty" and using one to wipe any machined surface will leave contamination.  Its easy to contaminate anything, it's harder to keep clean.
The article states the source as the weld shop during manufacture, not maintenance while on the test stand.

I am suprised it didnt get inspected until after the engine was installed, if previously inspected, the contamination wasnt noticed until post engine mounting.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 10/01/2014 08:21 AM
Sounds like a design issue on the test stand as much as a maintenance issue.  Why would that kind of contamination be so easy to create?
Not a design issue, nor a maintenance issue.  Its a workmanship issue. This contamination came into existence during manufacture

Quote from: Chris Bergin
The investigation found the fibers belong to a cotton shop rag from a weld shop that had been involved with working on the LOX duct ID surface during manufacture.

The roughened surface (of the duct) was where the fibers were observed to be hanging up on.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 10/01/2014 01:17 PM
Definitely Quality Control issue on the contractor's behalf.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 10/21/2014 09:36 PM
http://www.americaspace.com/?p=6943
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 10/21/2014 11:04 PM
http://www.americaspace.com/?p=6943

Message says, Page Not Found.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: DaveS on 10/21/2014 11:15 PM
Correct URL is http://www.americaspace.com/?p=69435
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 10/22/2014 12:19 AM
Sorry about that.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/22/2014 02:30 AM
For that reason it is always good to at least put a head line on if you're posting a link.
In this case: "SLS Core Stage Test Welds Begin at NASA’s Welding Wonder in Michoud"

Pet peeve when people just paste a link with no hint about what it is. I mean, if you put even just the headline down, even if the webpage is taken down (and isn't cached... Another pet peeve is people writing robots.txt file to exclude archive.org...), you still can Google it or at least have SOME idea what the poster intended.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 10/22/2014 02:35 PM
For that reason it is always good to at least put a head line on if you're posting a link.
In this case: "SLS Core Stage Test Welds Begin at NASA’s Welding Wonder in Michoud"

Pet peeve when people just paste a link with no hint about what it is. I mean, if you put even just the headline down, even if the webpage is taken down (and isn't cached... Another pet peeve is people writing robots.txt file to exclude archive.org...), you still can Google it or at least have SOME idea what the poster intended.

Thanks for the recommended guidelines, If you don't like it, don't read it. I was browsing on my phone and at least wanted to get it out there when I had a second so people could read it.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 10/22/2014 03:58 PM
Sorry about that.

Not a problem. I appreciate the effort.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/23/2014 11:51 PM

Space Launch System Booster Separation Testing Brings Confidence to First Flight
Sasha Congiu NASA Langley Research Center - October 22, 2014

[…]

Engineers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia are doing their part to enable NASA’s 5.5-million-pound SLS to launch the Orion spacecraft to deep space. To understand the aerodynamic forces exerted on the rocket as it flies through the atmosphere, Langley engineers recently tested a 35-inch SLS booster separation model in its Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel, with air speeds of over 2,400 mph. The engineers collected high-fidelity data from 800 runs.

SLS will be the world’s most powerful rocket, capable of carrying a crewed Orion, as well as important cargo, equipment and science experiments, to deep space destinations. Orion will serve as the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

Just over two minutes into the first flight of SLS, 16 booster separation motors will fire simultaneously and safely push the two solid rocket boosters away from the rocket’s core. As the core stage continues to travel at a speed greater than four times the speed of sound, the boosters reenter the Earth’s atmosphere and land in the Atlantic Ocean.

“Booster separation is a very critical phase of flight for the Space Launch System because the clearance between the core stage and the boosters is very small as they are pushed away,” said Langley engineer Jeremy Pinier. “It’s only about an inch full-scale so the boosters are almost grazing the core stage, but we can’t allow any contact whatsoever between the two in the real flight.”

The wind tunnel test, which validates an accurate clearance, was unlike any other.

“It’s a pretty complex wind tunnel test,” Pinier said. “Usually we measure aerodynamic forces on a single model in the test section. Here we have three – the core and two solid rocket boosters – which makes it three times as difficult. We are also flowing very high pressure air through the booster separation motors, which is pretty unique, and an added challenge.”   

Due to the inherent complexity of the model design, test setup, tunnel operations and multi-dimensional parameter space, engineers spent four weeks installing the model into the tunnel prior to testing.

“We had to make sure we controlled exactly the positioning of the three bodies relative to each other,” Pinier explained. “At these small scales, we have to know within thousandths of an inch how well the model is positioned because when you translate it to a full scale distance, it immediately matters.”

http://www.nasa.gov/larc/space-launch-system-booster-separation-testing-brings-confidence-to-first-flight/ (http://www.nasa.gov/larc/space-launch-system-booster-separation-testing-brings-confidence-to-first-flight/)

Photo Captions:

Top: Engineers from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia tested a 32-inch Space Launch System booster separation model. Wind tunnel testing allows researchers to understand the aerodynamic forces exerted on the rocket as it flies through the atmosphere.

Bottom: Bryan Falman, a test engineer from NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, observes the Space Launch System (SLS) booster separation 32-inch model after three weeks of testing it in Langley’s Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel.

Image Credits: NASA/David C. Bowman
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 10/28/2014 06:22 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/sls/anchors-aweigh-on-modifications-to-pegasus-barge.html

It’s Anchors Aweigh on Modifications to NASA’s Pegasus Barge
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 10/28/2014 07:40 PM
Check out @Leone_SN's Tweet: https://twitter.com/Leone_SN/status/527190356270796800?s=09

We all knew this but Todd May confirms 86 metric ton for Block I.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: enkarha on 10/29/2014 08:46 PM
Does this imply anything about Block 1B or 1B w/ composites?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 10/29/2014 09:05 PM
Does this imply anything about Block 1B or 1B w/ composites?

When the RSRMV boosters are replaced with any advanced booster, be that liquid or advanced composite solids, the vehicle then becomes Block 2B.

Obviously it says Block IB will have more payload than 86 mt, and IIB will have more than IB. You might want to look at Steven Pietrobon's calculations on this forum.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: mjcrsmith on 10/31/2014 01:47 AM
This is sadly reminicent of the "What if Saturn Had Not Been Canceled" thread.

We will see a lot of interesting ideas and graphics, that I fear is all we will get and then discuss what might have been.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 10/31/2014 10:36 AM
A little preemptive for the funeral parade.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 10/31/2014 02:49 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/structural-test-stands.html

Test Stand Construction at MSFC.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 10/31/2014 03:49 PM
This is sadly reminicent of the "What if Saturn Had Not Been Canceled" thread.

We will see a lot of interesting ideas and graphics, that I fear is all we will get and then discuss what might have been.

Yeah, it's exactly like that, except completely opposite, because Saturn is in the past, and SLS is in the present and the future.

We are way past the "ideas and graphics" stage. I'm sure you have been paying attention. We have MAF all geared up to start cranking out cores, and test items are being constructed. Contracts for new RS-25s have been let, and a test engine with the new controller is in the test stand at Stennis. The first flight Orion stack has been completed and is ready to be integrated with its D-IVH, and EFT-1 is coming up in just over one month. EUS has been mainstreamed, so SLS will be a legit BLEO vehicle practically from the first manned mission. In short, things are looking up all over.

Clearly you have bought into the "SLS will never fly" meme, but there is no need to get all maudlin. The future is what we make it.

Cheers!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 10/31/2014 03:59 PM
Let's be careful of accusing others of buying into memes. While I am ambivalent about SLS, the statistical likelihood of SLS being cancelled is much greater than the statistical likelihood that we will ever see warp drive and hyperdrive.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Blackstar on 11/07/2014 04:27 PM
Over a year ago I saw a booth set up by a Japanese rocket engine company and they were discussing the possible use of their engine as an upper stage for SLS.

More recently I was talking to a ULA person who indicated that they were currently evaluating a Japanese rocket engine for an SLS upper stage. And I've heard other inklings of this from another non-ULA/non-Japanese source as well.

Does anybody have more info? Can you point me to something with more details?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/07/2014 04:30 PM
Over a year ago I saw a booth set up by a Japanese rocket engine company and they were discussing the possible use of their engine as an upper stage for SLS.

More recently I was talking to a ULA person who indicated that they were currently evaluating a Japanese rocket engine for an SLS upper stage. And I've heard other inklings of this from another non-ULA/non-Japanese source as well.

Does anybody have more info? Can you point me to something with more details?
Perhaps the MB-60?

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32437.0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 11/15/2014 12:17 AM
SLS Engine Section Barrel Hot off the Vertical Weld Center at Michoud

The barrel for the engine section of NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, is taken off the Vertical Weld Center at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The barrel is flight hardware to be used on the first uncrewed test flight of the 70-metric-ton configuration of the rocket. The engine section, made up of the barrel and a ring -- also welded at Michoud -- will hold four RS-25 engines that will power the core stage of the SLS. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.5 feet, will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines.

The Vertical Weld Center is part of a family of state-of-the-art tools at Michoud that is being used to build the core stage. Along with the engine section, it will weld barrel panels together to produce whole barrels for the SLS two pressurized tanks, the intertank and the forward skirt. It stands about three stories tall and weighs 150 tons.

http://www.nasa.gov/sls/14-171.html

[photograph taken October 30, 2014]
Image credit: NASA/Michoud
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MP99 on 11/16/2014 09:14 AM


Over a year ago I saw a booth set up by a Japanese rocket engine company and they were discussing the possible use of their engine as an upper stage for SLS.

More recently I was talking to a ULA person who indicated that they were currently evaluating a Japanese rocket engine for an SLS upper stage. And I've heard other inklings of this from another non-ULA/non-Japanese source as well.

Does anybody have more info? Can you point me to something with more details?
Perhaps the MB-60?

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32437.0

See also the Mitsubishi Aerojet Rocketdyne Collaboration for 60 klbf engine (MARC-60).

Google throws up a fee hits for that on NTRS and etc.

Cheers, Martin
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: isogrid on 11/17/2014 05:46 PM
Boeing produced video on SLS:

38 Stories of Power
http://www.buildsomethingbetter.com/#!/video/space/38-stories-of-power (http://www.buildsomethingbetter.com/#!/video/space/38-stories-of-power)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 11/17/2014 09:43 PM
Boeing produced video on SLS:

38 Stories of Power
http://www.buildsomethingbetter.com/#!/video/space/38-stories-of-power (http://www.buildsomethingbetter.com/#!/video/space/38-stories-of-power)

Why transposition and docking before EUS fires? This would be first time since Gemini-Agena that astros experience negative G's from significant thrust. What was Orion docking with at the top of EUS anyway?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 11/18/2014 02:26 AM
Boeing produced video on SLS:

38 Stories of Power
http://www.buildsomethingbetter.com/#!/video/space/38-stories-of-power (http://www.buildsomethingbetter.com/#!/video/space/38-stories-of-power)

Why transposition and docking before EUS fires? .... What was Orion docking with at the top of EUS anyway?

I'm just guessing, but that looks like it might be a 4m diameter habitation module to me. Which Orion will certainly need for any mission longer than 3 weeks.

As for the bass-ackwards boost mode, I agree that it seems ungainly. I was never a fan of that plan with CxP, and seeing it from Boeing for SLS is kind of a surprise. Maybe they're trying to eliminate the failure scenario where the docking mechanism fails after the boost phase, leaving the crew on a doomed flight with insufficient supplies and consumables.


Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/18/2014 09:13 AM
The reason for performing transposition and docking in LEO is so that the Spacecraft Launch Adaptor can be jettisoned in LEO, allowing increased payload for TLI.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 11/19/2014 12:57 AM
Steve if you recall from the DIRECT proposal, Orion was supported not by the launch adapter panels, but by a lightweight structural frame that supported both the spacecraft and the adapter panels. In the DIRECT mission the panels were jettisoned exactly as shown above, to save mass during the burn, but Orion did not transition until after the TLI burn, which was accomplished by the EDS engine. In this manner the entire burn saw complete structural integrity without placing undue stress on the docking collar that could occur with the spacecraft transitioned prior to the burn.

With proper planning it is simply not necessary to do an eyeballs-out TLI burn, which structurally endangers the docking collar between the spacecraft and the lander, or in this case the hab, if even one of the engines experiences an off-nominal burn.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/19/2014 07:01 AM
That's not what the Direct renderings show. They show Orion only supported by the SLA and Orion performing a transposition and docking in LEO.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 11/19/2014 10:28 AM
Steve, you're showing the CxP mode of the DIRECT Lunar mission. The DIRECT preferred Options were as I described. There were 4 of them. Here is Option 2 (my preference). Options 1,3 & 4 all took the same track. Orion did not transition until after the TLI burn. This was a deliberate decision made by the team, specifically because of the stresses introduced into the Orion/LSAM Docking Collar by the CxP mode. Off nominal thrust at any point while docked under power could potentially lead to a LOM and possibly a LOC as well by compromising the docking collar. We REALLY didn't like that - at all.
http://www.directlauncher.org/Pics/DIRECT_Lunar_Mission_Model_2.jpg (http://www.directlauncher.org/Pics/DIRECT_Lunar_Mission_Model_2.jpg)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 11/19/2014 05:40 PM
New artist concept of the SLS rolling out of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: llanitedave on 11/19/2014 07:00 PM
I still wonder about the insistence on painting the tank white in the artists concepts.  When is somebody going to admit that the orange tank insulation will be left as is?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rcoppola on 11/19/2014 08:07 PM
I still wonder about the insistence on painting the tank white in the artists concepts.  When is somebody going to admit that the orange tank insulation will be left as is?
It's a creative protest. They'll render it orange when NASA gets around to giving it a proper name not just an acronym. (yes i know...update thread)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 11/19/2014 09:30 PM
Artists concept used in a NASA presentation in July 2014.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: DaveS on 11/19/2014 09:56 PM

Artists concept used in a NASA presentation in July 2014.
I think that's supposed to be Ares V based on CxP logo on fairing. SLS from the very start has always featured the Saturn V paint scheme.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 11/19/2014 10:51 PM
I still wonder about the insistence on painting the tank white in the artists concepts.  When is somebody going to admit that the orange tank insulation will be left as is?
As with STS external tank the SLS core stage is only planned first couple of flights in Saturn white and black or until test regimen is concluded completely. although keeping it white would reduce cryo boil off a bit. This is why Centaur went back to white. I could only really see keeping the EPS white.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 11/20/2014 01:23 AM
Artists concept used in a NASA presentation in July 2014.

That's not SLS; it's Ares V, 10 m core and cargo variant. SLS Block I has the little iCPS on top. Block IB has EUS that is 8.4 m dia.-same as the core. This has a small step down in dia. from core to LUS.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 11/20/2014 01:29 AM
I still wonder about the insistence on painting the tank white in the artists concepts.  When is somebody going to admit that the orange tank insulation will be left as is?
As with STS external tank the SLS core stage is only planned first couple of flights in Saturn white and black or until test regimen is concluded completely. although keeping it white would reduce cryo boil off a bit. This is why Centaur went back to white. I could only really see keeping the EPS white.

STS-1 and 2 were white. It gives photo ops for a prettier bird, then many of those photos get used forever. Even in the 80s, eliminating the paint saved $2m/flight.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Rocket Science on 11/20/2014 01:44 AM
I still wonder about the insistence on painting the tank white in the artists concepts.  When is somebody going to admit that the orange tank insulation will be left as is?
As with STS external tank the SLS core stage is only planned first couple of flights in Saturn white and black or until test regimen is concluded completely. although keeping it white would reduce cryo boil off a bit. This is why Centaur went back to white. I could only really see keeping the EPS white.

STS-1 and 2 were white. It gives photo ops for a prettier bird, then many of those photos get used forever. Even in the 80s, eliminating the paint saved $2m/flight.
More importantly increased available payload mass...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: redliox on 11/20/2014 06:24 PM
Courtesy of Boeing and the Planetary Society's site, here is SLS with a trio of concept spacecraft within its fairing.  From left to right they are Uranus Orbiter-Probe, ATLAST, and an Interstellar Mission (that resembles Europa Clipper a lot).

http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/spacecraft/2014/20141119_planetary-concepts.png
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 11/20/2014 09:13 PM
Courtesy of Boeing and the Planetary Society's site, here is SLS with a trio of concept spacecraft within its fairing.  From left to right they are Uranus Orbiter-Probe, ATLAST, and an Interstellar Mission (that resembles Europa Clipper a lot).

http://planetary.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/images/spacecraft/2014/20141119_planetary-concepts.png

Beautiful eye candy. Too bad it's not from actual mission plans.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 11/22/2014 06:10 AM
Blackstar posted slides from this presentation by Kurt Klaus on another thread, but they inform the general SLS discussion so fully the presentation seems to deserve a mention here as well.

The Space Launch System and the Proving Ground:  Pathways to Mars
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/leag2014/presentations/klaus.pdf

It was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group on Friday, October 24, 2014.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 01/20/2015 04:55 PM
Nothing new but a good public level summary of milestones coming up:

http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2015/01/nasas_space_launch_system_face.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: redliox on 01/21/2015 01:49 AM
So this year we've got:

1) Solid rocket booster qualification testing.
2) Avionics tests
3) Test stands ready for core and upper stage testing.
4) Critical design review in July
5) Progress from ESA on the service module.

Let's hope if they don't do well this year that in '16 they'll be hauling it then.

I would probably put the most confidence into ATK's booster development.  It sounds like they're keeping an eye on problems like insulation and the voids within it, and no blatant catastrophic accidents from their equipment.  Otherwise all they're doing is essentially rebuilding STS' boosters with reasonable improvements.

As for least...frankly ESA although in some aspects I give them due credit for great accomplishments (ala Rosetta), but they are just out of the novice stage regarding human space flight.  I'd like to see more status reports from them regarding the service module.  Obviously the ATVs worked well, so hypothetically we'll end up with something useful but the lack of news doesn't boost confidence on this "side of the pond" so-to-speak.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 01/22/2015 12:29 AM
03 NASA Talk SLS cc

Escaping Earth's Gravity:
The Space Launch Systems (SLS)


CNU Continous Learning Society

Dr. Jeremy T. Pinier
NASA Langley Research Center

Published on Jan 21, 2015
NASA Langley Research Center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFjc0j8-OVU
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: dks13827 on 01/22/2015 08:26 PM
That is very good.   Hope lots of students see this type of presentation.   For some,  it could spark an interest.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 01/22/2015 11:03 PM
Space Launch System Booster Aimed and Ready to Fire
January 22, 2015

A full-scale version of the booster for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, is ready to fire for a major ground test and is paving the way on NASA’s journey to Mars.

When completed, two five-segment boosters and four RS-25 engines will power the SLS to orbit and enable astronauts to explore destinations in deep space, including an asteroid and the Red Planet.

The two-minute static test -- scheduled for March 11 at booster prime contractor ATK's test facility in Promontory, Utah -- will confirm the booster design and keep the hardware on the critical path to being ready for the first flight of SLS.

"With RS-25 engine testing underway, and this qualification booster firing coming up, we are taking big steps toward building this rocket and fulfilling NASA's mission of Mars and beyond," said SLS Program Manager Todd May. "This is the most advanced propulsion system ever built and will power this rocket to places we've never reached in the history of human spaceflight."

Some 103 design objectives will be measured through more than 534 instrumentation channels on the booster. It will be heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit to measure solid rocket booster performance at high temperatures, as well as to demonstrate that it meets applicable structural and ballistic requirements.

Other objectives include data gathering on vital motor upgrades, such as the new insulation and booster case liner and the redesigned nozzle, which increases the robustness of the design. The improvements we've made to the SLS boosters, like new insulation materials, will make them more environmentally friendly, safe and affordable," said Bruce Tiller, deputy manager of the SLS Boosters Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Marshall manages the SLS Program for the agency.

So, What's a Booster?

Solid rocket boosters operate in parallel with the main engines for the first two minutes of flight to provide the thrust needed for the launch vehicle to escape the gravitational pull of the Earth.

The SLS boosters will be used for the first two, 70-metric-ton flights of the SLS. One SLS booster is approximately 177 feet long, 12 feet in diameter and weighs 801 tons. Each booster produces 3.6 million pounds of thrust.

The boosters also will have an avionics system that is made up of hardware, software and operating systems that will communicate with the SLS avionics system and ground operations. The avionics also will control booster operations, like motor firing and nozzle steering.

Proven hardware from the space shuttle era will be used for the SLS boosters, but modified for SLS requirements. While the shuttle used two, four-segment boosters, SLS will be powered by two, five-segment boosters. The added booster segment contains more solid propellant that allows SLS to lift more weight and reach a higher altitude before the boosters separate from the core stage. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines.

Booster hardware and software is developed, built and tested by prime contractor ATK. NASA and ATK have successfully completed three, full-scale development test firings of the five-segment booster ahead of the upcoming qualification test.

"What's impressive about this test is when ignited, the booster will be operating at about 3.6 million pounds of thrust, or 22 million horsepower," said Alex Priskos, manager of the SLS Boosters Office at Marshall. "This test firing is critical to enable validation of our design."

A second booster qualification test is scheduled for early 2016.

http://www.nasa.gov/sls/booster-aimed-and-ready-to-fire.html (http://www.nasa.gov/sls/booster-aimed-and-ready-to-fire.html)

Photo Caption: The first qualification motor for NASA's Space Launch System's booster is installed in ATK's test stand in Utah and is ready for a March 11 static-fire test. Image Credit: ATK
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 01/23/2015 04:31 PM
03 NASA Talk SLS cc

Escaping Earth's Gravity:
The Space Launch Systems (SLS)


CNU Continous Learning Society

Dr. Jeremy T. Pinier
NASA Langley Research Center

Published on Jan 21, 2015
NASA Langley Research Center

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFjc0j8-OVU

Thanks for the link.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 02/09/2015 11:15 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/sls/anti-geyser-testing-completed-for-sls-liquid-oxygen-tank.html#.VNlMy5jF8W5
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/16/2015 02:49 PM
Super Crawler CT-2 preparing for a test run to Pad 39B
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/02/super-crawler-test-run-pad-39b/

Some points here.

I'm calling them Super Crawlers as it's a nice way to note their upgrade. Don't take it too literally. It's still CT-2.

I've taken a lot of content from previous articles, which is unavoidable based on their history and upgrades to this point, and updated it with the latest update info and this coming rollout.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lobo on 02/16/2015 03:59 PM
Super Crawler CT-2 preparing for a test run to Pad 39B
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/02/super-crawler-test-run-pad-39b/

Some points here.

I'm calling them Super Crawlers as it's a nice way to note their upgrade. Don't take it too literally. It's still CT-2.

I've taken a lot of content from previous articles, which is unavoidable based on their history and upgrades to this point, and updated it with the latest update info and this coming rollout.

CT-2 v1.1?

:-)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/17/2015 08:28 PM
Here is a twofer of a post for everyone.

LINK: http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/a-composite-booster-gets-a-burst-of-energy.html

A Composite Booster Gets a Burst of Energy
February 17, 2015

Turning a rocket booster case into spaghetti sounds more like magic than engineering, but a test that did just that could be an important step in the future of human space exploration.

As NASA prepares to test the massive solid rocket booster for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in March, a team of engineers is looking even farther into the future by exploring an advanced composite that someday might be used to create even more powerful boosters. To understand how well these materials could withstand the immense strains of a launch, the engineers conducted a test that involved pressurizing a booster structure made of composite materials to its breaking point to see how it compares with the metallic booster cases currently used.

In the case burst test, a booster case 25 feet long and 92 inches in diameter was subjected to 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure -- well beyond what would be encountered in flight conditions -- to verify exactly what loads the composite material could withstand.

"The test is very dramatic," said Angie Jackman, of the SLS Spacecraft/Payload Integration and Evolution (SPIE) office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the SLS Program is managed for the agency. "When composites fail, it’s the glue or the resin that fails first -- not the fiber that fails. There’s a big boom, and it’s all spaghetti."

Before the test, damage was purposefully caused at multiple points on the case to study what effect it would have on how the case fared. Even so, the damaged case performed as well as an intact case, demonstrating not only the composite case could withstand the rigors of launch, but that it could do so even in a damaged condition.

The test was conducted by Orbital ATK of Promontory, Utah, which made the solid rocket boosters flown on the space shuttle and will provide the boosters for the first flights of SLS.

During the test, the case failed within 1 percent of pretest estimates, validating the models for strength of the composites. One-hundred-twelve channels of instrumentation provided data on the case failure. The rocket motor case test is part of an effort to optimize a composite case design that may be stronger, lighter, yet more affordable than traditional steel cases. In turn, this would provide increased payload performance due to reduced weight inherent in composite materials.

 After the initial flights of SLS, the rocket will be upgraded from a configuration capable of delivering 70 metric tons (77 tons) to low-Earth orbit to an evolved configuration that will launch 130 metric tons (143 tons). To reach its full capability, SLS will use more powerful boosters. NASA is preparing today for that evolution by working with industry partners to test technologies that could be used to develop new liquid or solid rocket boosters.
For more information on SLS, visit:
www.nasa.gov/sls

Kimberly Henry
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
256-544-0034
[email protected]

--------------------------

SRB/SRM Composite Upgrade Testing/R&D with Orbital ATK:

A Composite Booster Gets a Burst of Energy (Real Time)
NASA's Marshall Center
Published on Feb 17, 2015
This video shows four angles of the booster composite case’s sudden burst due to being over-pressurized with water. NASA and Orbital ATK engineers pushed the composite case to its breaking point to understand how well these materials could withstand the immense strains of a launch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rFZZ2HfUVE

A Composite Booster Gets a Burst of Energy (Slow Motion)
NASA's Marshall Center
Published on Feb 17, 2015
In this slow-motion video, the structural breaking point of the booster composite material can be seen spreading across the case.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjhVnM3raPQ

-----------------------------------------------------------------

LINK: http://www.nasa.gov/sls/space-launch-system-boosters-101.html

School is in Session: Welcome to Boosters 101
February 11, 2015

Recipe for Power
NASA's Marshall Center
Published on Feb 11, 2015
The largest, most powerful solid rocket boosters ever built will give the "lift" necessary to send astronauts to an asteroid and to Mars on NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). See the process of how a booster is made and tested at SLS booster prime contractor Orbital ATK’s facilities in Promontory, Utah.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0BgLPq6PkE

Have your pencils and notebooks handy because school is in session. Welcome to Boosters 101.
No, this lesson is not about a child seat or an amusement park ride if you looked up boosters in the encyclopedia. This is about rocket boosters -- and not only that, but the largest, most powerful ones ever built that will give the "lift" necessary to send astronauts to an asteroid and to Mars on NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

Booster Basics

Twin solid rocket boosters were first introduced for human spaceflight missions on the first launch of the space shuttle April 12, 1981. They operate in parallel with the main engines for the first two minutes of flight to provide the thrust needed for the launch vehicle to escape the gravitational pull of Earth. While the shuttle booster used a four-segment solid rocket motor, SLS will use a five-segment motor for more power. The added booster segment contains more solid propellant to allow the rocket to lift more weight and reach a higher altitude before the boosters separate from the core stage.

"To get off the ground, a rocket -- especially one with the capabilities that SLS will have -- needs a ton of thrust," said Pat Lampton, technical assistant for solid propulsion at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the SLS Program is managed for the agency. "You can get that higher amount from a solid propellant."

The primary components of the SLS booster contain the motor, forward structures and aft structures. These components combine for a total weight of 1.6 million pounds.

Along with propellant, major components of a motor are:
Case -- The rocket motor case is made of a high-strength metal that contains combustion pressure and transmits thrust forces to the rocket.
Nozzle -- Controls expansion of chamber pressures and includes the thrust vector control system, which guides and controls the rocket. The nozzle is the most complex part of the booster and is big enough for an average adult to walk through. 
Igniter -- A little rocket motor that provides high pressure, high temperature gases to initiate the main propellant materials.
Insulation -- Material that keeps the hardware from melting from extreme temperatures created by the combustion gases.

The forward structures include the nose cone, frustum and forward skirt. The nose cone and frustum protect the rocket from the impact of aerodynamic pressure and heating during ascent. The forward skirt houses booster avionics that work with the SLS avionics to monitor booster conditions and steer the exhaust nozzles. It bears most of the forces carried onto the rocket during flight, and serves as one of two attachment points for the SLS core stage. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines.

The aft structure is composed of the aft skirt and thrust vector control system. The aft skirt has to support the entire weight of the SLS vehicle on the launch vehicle on the launch pad and contains the thrust vector control system that steers the rocket nozzle based on commands from the booster avionics.

When completed, each SLS booster will be approximately 177 feet long -- taller than the Statue of Liberty from base to torch. They will be 12 feet in diameter, weigh 801 tons and produce 3.6 million pounds of thrust. SLS will use two, five-segment boosters. The motor is designed to burn for 126 seconds. During that time, it produces more than 75 percent of the total SLS thrust.

How It's Made

The propellant is a mix of aluminum fuel, oxidizers and other materials that combust to convert stored chemical energy into high pressure/high temperatures to provide the thrust to the booster. "Aluminum loves to burn when it gets hot," Lampton said. At SLS booster prime contractor Orbital ATK 's facilities in Promontory, Utah, a 600-gallon bread mixer is used to blend the propellant materials together before being cured.

When boosters are ignited, temperatures reach more than 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit from the combustion gases, which can melt the hardware. That's why insulation is needed for each booster segment. The insulation is made of rubber materials found in medical gloves and car window lining and protects the motor case from high-temperature propellant combustion gases. Replacing previously-used asbestos with new insulation materials for SLS will make them more environmentally friendly and safe.

Once each booster segment is insulated and lined, they are filled with about 280,000 pounds of propellant and allowed to solidify. They undergo several rounds of X-ray and ultrasonic inspections before being certified for launch.

Testing

NASA and Orbital ATK have successfully completed three, full-scale development test firings of the five-segment booster. The first SLS qualification test for the booster is scheduled for March 11 at Orbital ATK 's test area in Promontory.

The two-minute, full-duration static test is a significant milestone for the program and will support qualification of the booster design for performance at the highest end of the motor’s accepted propellant temperature range.

"Years of extensive work and testing have gone into preparing us for this qualification test," said Alex Priskos, manager of the SLS Boosters Office at Marshall. "We can't stress enough what a big deal this is in preparing the rocket for flight."

Some 103 design objectives will be measured through more than 534 instrumentation channels on the booster. The booster will be heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit to measure solid rocket booster performance at high temperatures upon ignition, as well as to demonstrate that it meets applicable ballistic requirements.

This test will continue to advance understanding of five-segment solid rocket motor performance and will specifically assess performance at the highest end of the motor’s accepted propellant temperature range. Once qualification is complete, the solid rocket motor will be certified to fly at propellant temperatures ranging between 40-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other objectives include data gathering on vital motor upgrades, such as the new insulation and propellant liner and the redesigned nozzle, which increases the robustness of the design.

Once this test and a second, low-temperature test planned for early 2016 are complete, the hardware testing to support qualification will be complete. The boosters will then be ready to proceed toward the first flight of SLS.

Assembly and Launch

The motor segments will be transported by rail to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where they will join the forward and aft skirt assemblies. Once the boosters are assembled and checked out, they will be mated with the SLS core stage in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy.

When the rocket is on the pad for launch, NASA control operations personnel will send a signal commanding the thrust vector control startup and nozzle steering checkout. A command from the SLS vehicle flight computers to the booster igniter at the top of each booster starts the burn of the propellant along the entire, inside length of the five-segment motor.

The gasses from combustion are expelled through the nozzle creating thrust. When in flight, the booster burns for approximately 126 seconds before separating from the core stage. Small solid rocket motors push the booster down and away from the SLS as it continues into space. The boosters fall into the Atlantic Ocean and, by design, are expendable.

"We don't need to recover the boosters because we have saved enough booster hardware to advance them for SLS specifications, resulting in cost savings," said Bruce Tiller, deputy manager of the SLS Boosters Office at Marshall. "Removing all the parachutes and their associated infrastructure lifts many thousands of pounds off the vehicle and improves performance to carry more payload."

The first flight test of the SLS will feature a configuration for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system. As the SLS evolves, it will provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system.

For more information on SLS, visit:
www.nasa.gov/sls

Media contact:
Kimberly Henry
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
256-544-0034
[email protected]
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 02/17/2015 08:47 PM

Questions for clarification--perhaps good feedstock for an article.

Is a fiber wound casing the same as a "booster composite case"?

What is the dry mass comparison between current steel segment and "booster composite case"?  More to the point, what is the total dry mass of an existing 5-seg unit v the notional 4-seg advanced booster?
Thanks!

 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/17/2015 10:23 PM

Questions for clarification--perhaps good feedstock for an article.

Is a fiber wound casing the same as a "booster composite case"?

What is the dry mass comparison between current steel segment and "booster composite case"?  More to the point, what is the total dry mass of an existing 5-seg unit v the notional 4-seg advanced booster?
Thanks!

 

This looks like a scaled pathfinder that was part of ATK's NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Advanced Booster risk-reduction program.  Chris wrote about the pathfinder in this article.  http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/10/atk-milestone-sls-advanced-booster-drive/

If I remember correctly, this is a Castor 120 or Castor 120XL sized composite case. 

A composite case should in theory weigh less than a steel case, but it is hard to project anything when it comes to this rocket. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 02/17/2015 10:41 PM
The Filament Wound Case (FWC) development motor versions of the Shuttle 4-segment SRM had an empty weight of 72,000 lb, which was about 25,000 lb less than the lightweight steel versions.  Steady state and dynamic thrust performance of the test FWC-SRMs was similar to the normal steel-cased SRM.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/18/2015 11:34 AM
Interesting. My previous article is pretty old now, so I may use the above to give it a fresh coat of paint in a new article.

Also, let's all keep one eye out for CT-2 going on a trip today.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Hog on 02/18/2015 01:06 PM
Filament Wound Cases, no paint.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 02/18/2015 04:31 PM
Interesting. My previous article is pretty old now, so I may use the above to give it a fresh coat of paint in a new article.

Also, let's all keep one eye out for CT-2 going on a trip today.
My post now updated with the accompanying NASA article on the composite casing test and a related SLS booster article that also came out.

Also Chris here is a teaser image from the NASA ESD page of the construction on the first of ten VAB HB-3 work platforms for SLS assembly.

A view looking up reveals the buildup of the first of 10 new work platforms at Sauer Co. in Oak Hill, Florida. When completed, the first platform will be delivered for installation in high bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky and originates on:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/sets/72157649473620280/
http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=241
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: DaveS on 02/18/2015 07:21 PM
According to the official KSC GSDO Twitter feed, the roll is underway:

GSDO Program ‏@NASA_go4launch
Start your engines! #Crawler is testing out some of the modifications we've completed. #testdrive.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: robertross on 02/18/2015 07:58 PM
According to the official KSC GSDO Twitter feed, the roll is underway:

GSDO Program ‏@NASA_go4launch
Start your engines! #Crawler is testing out some of the modifications we've completed. #testdrive.

I see she has new brake calipers! (blue), and probably new brake discs.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: DaveS on 02/18/2015 08:11 PM
According to the official KSC GSDO Twitter feed, the roll is underway:

GSDO Program ‏@NASA_go4launch
Start your engines! #Crawler is testing out some of the modifications we've completed. #testdrive.

I see she has new brake calipers! (blue), and probably new brake discs.
Those have been there since 2012.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 02/19/2015 11:57 PM
Preparing Solid Rocket Booster Avionics for Mission Success

Published on Feb 19, 2015
Eric Corder, avionics system manager for the SLS Booster Element at the Marshall Center, and Orbital ATK engineer Jennifer Graham talk about the booster avionics system for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, and what role avionics will play in the March 11 booster qualification test. SLS will be the most powerful rocket in history for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaGuVRfwzv4
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/20/2015 04:42 PM
Wanted to use some of Hog's composite pics, but couldn't really find space for them. Anyhoo, here's an article on boosters:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/02/advanced-boosters-towards-solid-future-sls/

Given it a standalone thread.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/24/2015 12:08 AM
Ran this last week when the roll started, but given it was staggered for the anniversary, I've updated it with more content and thus:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/02/super-crawler-test-run-pad-39b/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 02/24/2015 02:29 PM
Some KSC photos of the CT-2 move:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/sets/72157649473620280/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 02/27/2015 08:11 PM
Preparing America for Deep Space Exploration Episode 8: Taking Flight

Published on Feb 27, 2015
NASA is continuing to make great strides towards sending humans farther than we have ever gone before. Take a look at the work being done by teams all across the nation on NASA’s exploration programs, including the Space Launch System, the Orion Crew Capsule and the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, as they continue to propel human spaceflight into the next generation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx_dj8u3Pvg
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: newpylong on 03/04/2015 04:37 PM
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/nasa-shaking-things-up-for-space-launch-system-at-redstone-test-center.html#.VPdCnDTF-T0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/09/2015 05:11 PM
KSC shopping for Liquid Hydrogen solution ahead of SLS debut
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/03/ksc-shopping-lh2-ahead-sls-launch/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/16/2015 06:28 PM
Update via L2 and with epic Nathan Koga L2 renders :)

Lead in is a state of play on the mission planning (frustrating, but has to be overviewed). And then development milestones, which is more positive.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/03/sls-program-pushing-critical-design-review/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: clongton on 03/16/2015 07:22 PM
Update via L2 and with epic Nathan Koga L2 renders :)

Lead in is a state of play on the mission planning (frustrating, but has to be overviewed). And then development milestones, which is more positive.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/03/sls-program-pushing-critical-design-review/

Nice review Chris, Thanks. And yea, I get the frustration. I'm sure a lot of good mission planners are feeling that.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: robertross on 03/18/2015 11:16 AM
Update via L2 and with epic Nathan Koga L2 renders :)

Lead in is a state of play on the mission planning (frustrating, but has to be overviewed). And then development milestones, which is more positive.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/03/sls-program-pushing-critical-design-review/

Really good summary article Chris.

One can only hope things can get sorted soon, although I fear it won't happen until around May next year - after the November election, Presidential transition, and a coming to grips with the situation (assuming the economy doesn't tank)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 03/18/2015 04:00 PM
I fear it won't happen until around May next year - after the November election

It's the election that's next year (in November). The following May will be two years from now, not one.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: robertross on 03/21/2015 01:06 AM
I fear it won't happen until around May next year - after the November election

It's the election that's next year (in November). The following May will be two years from now, not one.

Yes, sorry. That's what I meant to say: still a long ways off.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/22/2015 09:25 PM
Update on the Pads - including 39B for SLS:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/03/ksc-pads-preparations-future-vehicles/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 04/14/2015 04:40 PM
Massive Tank for SLS Advanced Booster Concept Moves to Mississippi for Testing
April 14, 2015

Now that's a wide load. An 18-foot-wide, 10,000-plus-pound cryogenic tank for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), traveled by road and by river March 12 from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to a Dynetics Inc. test facility in Iuka, Mississippi.

SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. The first flight test of the SLS will feature a configuration for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capacity and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system.

NASA plans to evolve SLS to provide an unprecedented lift capability of 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system. To do that, the SLS will require an advanced booster with more thrust than any existing U.S. liquid- or solid-fueled boosters. Huntsville-based Dynetics is one of four companies contracted under a NASA Research Announcement to develop technologies to improve the affordability, reliability and performance of an advanced booster for a future version of the SLS. These initiatives are examining advanced booster concepts with risk-reduction activities and hardware demonstrations.

The cryogenic tank is part of that work, and it was assembled using friction-stir-welding tools at the Marshall Center, which manages the SLS Program for the agency. Friction stir welding uses frictional heating combined with forging pressure to produce high-strength bonds virtually free of defects. The welding process transforms metals from a solid state into a "plastic-like" state, and uses a rotating pin tool to soften, stir and forge a bond between two metal plates to form a uniform welded joint -- a vital requirement of next-generation space hardware.

"We want to think long-term and prepare now with our industry partners for future configurations of the vehicle to be sustainable for many missions to come," said Sam Stephens, task manager in the SLS Advanced Development Office at the Marshall Center. "While the initial SLS configuration will use two, five-segment solid rocket boosters, the evolved SLS vehicle may require an advanced booster with significant increase in performance from any boosters we have available today."

The tank will be tested at the Iuka facility in late April to verify that its structural design and manufacturing processes meet all NASA requirements. The testing will include hydrostatic proof and cryothermal testing with liquid nitrogen, which will simulate liquid oxygen conditions.

"Working with flight-like hardware of this size is exciting," said Andy Crocker, program manager for the Dynetics SLS Program. "Completion of the testing will verify Dynetics’ affordable structures concept. The first step was completing the tank assembly in the fall. Testing under relevant conditions will further prove the approach and the build."

In addition to Dynetics, three other companies were awarded contracts to develop technologies for potential application to SLS advanced booster concepts: Orbital ATK of Dulles, Virginia; Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California; and Northrop Grumman Corp. Aerospace Systems of Redondo Beach, California.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/massive-tank-for-sls-advanced-booster-concept-moves-to-mississippi-for-testing.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/massive-tank-for-sls-advanced-booster-concept-moves-to-mississippi-for-testing.html)

Photo Captions:
Top:  A massive cryogenic tank is loaded onto a truck at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to be moved to a dock on the Tennessee River in Huntsville, Alabama. From there, it traveled by barge to a Dynetics test facility in Iuka, Mississippi, for testing. Huntsville-based Dynetics is one of four companies contracted under a NASA Research Announcement to improve the affordability, reliability and performance of an advanced booster for a future version of NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System.

Bottom:  Crews lower the cryogenic tank onto a barge March 12 at NASA's dock on the Tennessee River. From there, the tank was delivered to a Dynetics test facility in Iuka, Mississippi, to verify that its structural design and manufacturing processes meet all NASA requirements.

Image credits: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 04/14/2015 06:00 PM
Massive Tank for SLS Advanced Booster Concept Moves to Mississippi for Testing
April 14, 2015

Now that's a wide load. An 18-foot-wide, 10,000-plus-pound cryogenic tank for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), traveled by road and by river March 12 from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to a Dynetics Inc. test facility in Iuka, Mississippi.


There is no way that is an 18-foot diameter tank. Looks like 12-ft tops, judging by the guys standing all around it, and the apparently-standard 8.5-ft width flatbed trailer it is being loaded onto.

Does anyone have the real scoop? Or is my eyeball-guestimator just way off?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/14/2015 06:44 PM
Massive Tank for SLS Advanced Booster Concept Moves to Mississippi for Testing
April 14, 2015

Now that's a wide load. An 18-foot-wide, 10,000-plus-pound cryogenic tank for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), traveled by road and by river March 12 from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to a Dynetics Inc. test facility in Iuka, Mississippi.


There is no way that is an 18-foot diameter tank. Looks like 12-ft tops, judging by the guys standing all around it, and the apparently-standard 8.5-ft width flatbed trailer it is being loaded onto.

Does anyone have the real scoop? Or is my eyeball-guestimator just way off?

it matches the Dynetics proposal
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/24/2015 10:45 PM
More work has been done prepping for installing the rails the VAB platforms will translate vertically on.
Since this website (http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/) is no longer updated and to voice my frustration with the individuals who are no longer progressing on the Gallery's transition and my annoyance with Flickr, pics can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/sets/72157649473620280/

If anyone knows the link to the new alternate web portal that is replacing the Kennedy Media Gallery please enlighten me and others by replying to my post with the link. If I get the new link I will resume posting images here.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 04/27/2015 11:23 PM
NASA’s Composites for Exploration Upper Stage Project is Pioneering Spacecraft Composites.

Published on Apr 27, 2015
NASA's Marshall Center
Project Manager John Vickers explains the goal is to produce human rated full-scale composite structures that parallel the development of the Space Launch System. The first product of that effort is the CEUS forward skirt on the SLS upper stage. The primary benefit of composites is increased strength to weight ratios, which can amount to weight savings of 20 to 30% in the final structure.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw0cFbLk3QU
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 05/14/2015 10:02 PM
NASA 'Flares' Up for SLS

Published on May 14, 2015
Sparks fly as a hydrogen burn-off igniter test is conducted May 5 at the Redstone Test Center on Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. The igniters will be used for NASA's Space Launch System to burn off any free hydrogen that can potentially collect at the aft of the rocket about 10 seconds before liftoff. SLS will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. (RTC)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI-Ef4OYCmY


for comparison:
Igniters Spark Safety for Rockets

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRsgcj7jl7c
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 05/14/2015 10:12 PM
Preparing America for Deep Space Exploration Episode 9: Ready to Rumble

Published on May 14, 2015
NASA is developing the Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft and the grounds systems needed to launch astronauts to destinations far into the solar system. Between January and March 2015, the agency made strides to build these capabilities. Recents progress includes a test of the RS-25 engine, evaluation of the Orion heat shield that flew into space in 2014, upgrades to the Mobile Launcher and Crawler Transporter at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and to the Pegasus barge that will transport the SLS core stage to Florida prior to launch, as well as a full-scale firing of the SLS booster in a major qualification test. For more info:

RS-25 test: http://go.nasa.gov/1IymO22
Orion heat shield work: http://go.nasa.gov/1J6H0ag
Crawler Transporter: http://go.nasa.gov/1Iyn1lH
Pegasus barge: http://go.nasa.gov/1QTYeuC
SLS booster test: http://go.nasa.gov/1IymAbh

HD download link:
https://archive.org/details/PreparingAmericaForDeepSpaceExplorationEpisode9ReadytoRumble

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBMRYmP7Ves
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 05/15/2015 09:00 PM
Second new work platform for the VAB is delivered for SLS

Published on May 15, 2015
Inside KSC this week, the second new work platform for the VAB is delivered as the structure is retooled for support the Space Launch System rocket for the journey to Mars....

Starts at 32 seconds:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Z_SlfPgCvw?time=31s

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/16/2015 07:23 AM
Set up a CDR specific thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37584.0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/01/2015 11:37 PM
Sparklers! :)

Heritage hardware: Testing the hydrogen burn off system for SLS - by Chris Gebhardt:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/06/heritage-hardware-hydrogen-burn-off-system-sls/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 06/09/2015 08:33 PM
Feel the Power of America’s Next Great Rocket

Published on Jun 9, 2015
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will be the world’s most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqCRGORWZzk
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 06/30/2015 02:10 AM
More work has been done prepping for installing the rails the VAB platforms will translate vertically on.
Since this website (http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/) is no longer updated and to voice my frustration with the individuals who are no longer progressing on the Gallery's transition and my annoyance with Flickr, pics can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy/sets/72157649473620280/

If anyone knows the link to the new alternate web portal that is replacing the Kennedy Media Gallery please enlighten me and others by replying to my post with the link. If I get the new link I will resume posting images here.
Well http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/ is now officially dead:
Quote
** The Multimedia Gallery is no longer being updated. Please go to http://www.flickr.com/NASAKennedy for the latest photos and imagery of activity at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Multimedia Gallery will remain in place for now as an archive of photos released between June 24, 1950 and February 2015.**
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/30/2015 12:59 PM
DCSS vs EUS status:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/06/nasa-resolve-sls-upper-stage-dilemma/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: redliox on 06/30/2015 09:09 PM
DCSS vs EUS status:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/06/nasa-resolve-sls-upper-stage-dilemma/

A serious matter, but it is good they're giving more thought that favors putting Block 1B quickly into operation and mitigate unnecessary use of Block 1 stuff.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 07/24/2015 07:57 PM
Aft Segment Cast for Second SLS Booster Qualification Test
July 24, 2015 - Jennifer Harbaugh

The aft segment for a full-scale version of a five-segment solid rocket booster for NASA's Space Launch System has been cast at Orbital ATK's facility in Promontory, Utah. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars. The aft segment will eventually be integrated with the other four booster segments for a second booster qualification test, scheduled for 2016. The first SLS qualification test for the booster was successfully completed March 11 at Orbital ATK. The second test will support qualification by specifically assessing performance at the cooler end of the motor’s accepted propellant temperature range. After qualification is complete, the boosters will then be ready to proceed toward the first flight of SLS. Orbital ATK is the prime contractor for the boosters. Learn more about the boosters here (http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/8690_sls_solid_rocket_booster_fact_sheetfinal03072015_508.pdf).

Image Credit: Orbital ATK

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/aft-segment-cast-for-second-sls-booster-qualification-test.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/aft-segment-cast-for-second-sls-booster-qualification-test.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 08/11/2015 11:43 AM
Couple of links; first, this appears to be a recent SLS blog:
https://blogs.nasa.gov/Rocketology/

Second, the NASA Advisory Council link was fixed and this PowerPoint deck (presented at the end of July at the JPL meeting) has some good information on development/status and recent schedule forecasts:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/2-Hill-Exploration-Systems-Development-Status-ESD-Status-NAC_Hill-July-28_Final.pdf

(I don't have a fast link, so if someone wants to attach the PDF in this thread, feel free.)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: robertross on 08/11/2015 12:23 PM
Couple of links; first, this appears to be a recent SLS blog:
https://blogs.nasa.gov/Rocketology/

Second, the NASA Advisory Council link was fixed and this PowerPoint deck (presented at the end of July at the JPL meeting) has some good information on development/status and recent schedule forecasts:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/2-Hill-Exploration-Systems-Development-Status-ESD-Status-NAC_Hill-July-28_Final.pdf

(I don't have a fast link, so if someone wants to attach the PDF in this thread, feel free.)

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 08/11/2015 09:26 PM
NASA TV to Air Test of Space Launch System Engine

NASA Television will broadcast live coverage Thursday, Aug. 13 of the penultimate hot fire test of an RS-25 engine. This is one of four engines that will power the core stage of NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS), and carry the agency’s Orion crew capsule as part of the journey to Mars and other deep space destinations.

From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. EDT, NASA TV will broadcast a series of conversations at Stennis among media, social media followers, engineers and managers discussing the SLS rocket, Orion, ground systems, and the RS-25 engine. Viewers can ask questions via social media using the hashtag #askNASA.

Coverage of the 5 p.m. engine test will begin at 4:30 p.m. The test will last 535 seconds, the amount of time the engines will fire during an actual launch. Both programs can be viewed on NASA TV-1, the public channel for the space agency, and NASA TV-2, the education channel.

The test will take place on the historic A-1 test stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and is part of a series designed to put the upgraded former space shuttle main engines through the rigorous temperature and pressure conditions they will experience during a launch.

The tests also support the development of a new controller, or “brain,” for the engine, which monitors engine status and communicates between the vehicle and the engine, relaying commands to the engine and transmitting data back to the vehicle. The controller also provides closed-loop management of the engine by regulating the thrust and fuel mixture ratio while monitoring the engine's health and status.

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and scheduling information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For more information about NASA’s Space Launch System, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/rocket.html

-end-

http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-tv-to-air-test-of-space-launch-system-engine

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/18/2015 01:22 AM
Status from ASAP:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/08/asap-status-sls-orion-red-risks/

Went around the houses a bit with this one (more than I intended).

So: A throwback to CxP (for a few reasons - 1) Because it's interesting where they would be now had it actually worked. 2) There was a reference to a concern that was a CxP concern later in the article. 3) SLS is doing better than CxP, reference).

Will be going into the heat shield and parachutes some more in future articles, such as during the upcoming drop test, so I didn't skip over them, referenced them and will expand later. Would have also been massively wordy otherwise.

Dipped into some program stuff with the CSI references (because we haven't before and that's something to cover).

Had a little poke at them still using a painted SLS core....as it tied into CxP references with the Ares V ;)

Yeah, anyway - hopefully it's an interesting read.

(Responses to the discussion thread - split them into there :) )
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 09/02/2015 07:31 PM
The Heat Goes On as Engineers Start Analysis on SLS Base Heating Test Data

Published on Sep 2, 2015
Mini models of the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage engines are ignited in a big way for a short-duration hot-fire test at 101 percent power level. As the main objectives of the Pathfinder Test Program, models of the SLS core stage RS-25 engines and solid rocket boosters -- scaled down to just 2 percent of the actual size of the flight hardware -- have been designed, built and hot-fire tested at sea-level conditions by Marshall Space Flight Center engineers, in close collaboration with CUBRC Inc. in Buffalo, N.Y. The replicas will provide data on the convective heating environments that the base of the vehicle will experience upon ascent. The models were developed for base heating testing, which wrapped up in August. When completed, SLS, NASA's new rocket, will be one of the biggest, most powerful rockets ever built.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D039VFEW474
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 09/04/2015 11:53 PM
Orion Backstage with Ray Zibilich

Published on Sep 4, 2015
Here's your backstage pass to go behind the scenes with the Orion Spacecraft Program. Meet the people building the spacecraft that will take humans to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zA2z4yI02I
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 09/09/2015 09:36 PM
Major Welding Begins on Crucial Connection for SLS

Published on Sep 9, 2015
Major welding has begun at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, on a structural test article of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA), which connects the core stage to the upper stage of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System.

The upper stage, known as the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, gives the Orion spacecraft the big, in-space push needed to fly beyond the moon before the spacecraft returns to Earth for the first flight test of SLS. The work is in close collaboration with prime contractor Teledyne Brown of Huntsville.

In addition, NASA engineers have already completed structural test articles of the Orion stage adapter, core stage simulator and Orion spacecraft simulator. A test article for the interim cryogenic propulsion stage is currently in production at United Launch Alliance in Decatur, Alabama.

When the test versions of all the parts are completed, engineers will stack them and move the 56-foot tall structure to a Marshall test stand for testing to verify the integrity of the hardware and ensure it can withstand the loads it may experience during flight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-P1oYQArLYE
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 09/11/2015 08:14 PM
Updates/summaries:

"Orbital ATK Team Making Significant Progress Toward QM-2 Booster Test"
http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/QM2Update/default.aspx

https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/642383656691105792
Quote
Check out the latest edition of #SLS Highlights: http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/sls_highlights_august_2015.pdf
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 09/14/2015 08:59 PM
Orion Backstage with Astronaut Vic Glover

Published on Sep 14, 2015
Here's your backstage pass to go behind the scenes with the Orion Spacecraft Program. Meet the people building the spacecraft that will take humans to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUxDpYTUk5g
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/06/2015 11:19 AM
Booster Hardware Readied for First Flight of NASA’s Space Launch System
Oct. 1, 2015 Jennifer Harbaugh

Technicians at Orbital ATK in Promontory, Utah, offload an aft dome and aft stiffener that will be used on one of the two, five-segment solid rocket boosters for the first flight of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). The boosters operate in parallel with the main engines for the first two minutes of flight to provide the thrust needed for the launch vehicle to escape the gravitational pull of Earth. The aft dome is a component of the aft segment of the booster, which is located at the bottom of the booster during flight. The flight hardware is being processed at Orbital ATK’s facility. Later, the motor segments will be transported by rail to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where they will join the forward and aft skirt assemblies. Once the boosters are assembled and checked out, they will be mated with the SLS core stage in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/booster-hardware-readied-for-first-flight-of-nasas-sls1.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/booster-hardware-readied-for-first-flight-of-nasas-sls1.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 10/10/2015 01:36 PM
October 07, 2015
RELEASE 15-203
NASA Names John Honeycutt Space Launch System Program Manager

NASA has named John Honeycutt manager for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) Program. Now under development, SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built -- able to carry astronauts in NASA's Orion spacecraft on deep space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.

As SLS program manager, Honeycutt leads a nationwide workforce of more than 4,200 civil servants and contractors with an annual budget of $1.7 billion, and is responsible for all facets of the program, including planning, procurement, development, testing, evaluation, production and operation of the integrated SLS.

Honeycutt, who had been deputy manager of SLS since November 2013, has helped lead the program through a series of milestones, including engine tests and in-depth element and system critical design reviews.

"John is an accomplished manager, and I'm pleased he is assuming this new leadership role in the development of SLS as we continue taking great steps forward in the continuous human exploration of space and on our journey to Mars," said William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

Honeycutt succeeds Todd May, who in August was named deputy director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where the SLS program is managed.

"NASA has benefited from John's management and leadership skills in a number of programs at Marshall over the years, and I'm pleased he'll be responsible for the continuing success of SLS, the next great vehicle to launch our human exploration space missions," said Marshall Center Director Patrick Scheuermann.

Honeycutt began his NASA career at Marshall in 1999 after working for nine years as a contractor in support of the Space Shuttle Program, the International Space Station and other NASA programs. At Marshall, he has served as deputy manager and manager of the Space Shuttle External Tank Project, deputy manager of the SLS Program Stages Office and SLS deputy chief engineer.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1990. He has received numerous awards, including a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, Management Space Flight Awareness Award, the Silver Snoopy Award and a Center Director’s Commendation.

For more about NASA’s Space Launch System, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/sls
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/14/2015 04:32 PM
I thought we had an EM-1 Update Thread already, but I'll set one up seen as I can't find it.

For now:
Orbital ATK ramps up Booster production for SLS maiden flight
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/orbital-atk-booster-production-sls-maiden-flight/


Which follows up:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/orbital-atk-prepares-qm-2-test-sls-srb-spring-2016/

Both by Chris Gebhardt speaking to Orbital ATK.

Both with super sexy L2 SLS renders (in her correct color scheme) by Nathan Koga.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/20/2015 06:39 PM
More Than 50 Pieces of Hardware Completed for SLS Core Stage Tanks
Oct. 19, 2015 Jennifer Harbaugh

Technicians at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans have completed more than 50 pieces of flight and qualification hardware for the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks for the agency’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), and are ready to move forward with welding. SLS will be the most powerful launch vehicle ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and ultimately to Mars. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet, will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s four RS-25 engines. The qualification hardware will be used to make test versions of the tanks. When completed, the test version tanks will be shipped aboard NASA’s Pegasus barge to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for structural loads testing on new stands currently being built. The flight hardware will be used on the maiden flight of SLS, called Exploration Mission-1. Watch a video on the progress at Michoud.

Image Credit: NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/more-than-50-pieces-hardware-completed-for-sls-core-stage-tanks.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/more-than-50-pieces-hardware-completed-for-sls-core-stage-tanks.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/26/2015 07:10 PM
And here's Chris Gebhardt's more interesting article about post-CDR:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/nasa-sls-milestones-converge-debut-flight/

With Nathan's latest L2 SLS rendering with SLS in her correct appearance.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ThereIWas3 on 10/27/2015 02:32 AM
They have to repour the foundation under the vertical welder?   They did not check it first?  Yikes?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: b0objunior on 10/27/2015 04:31 AM
They have to repour the foundation under the vertical welder?   They did not check it first?  Yikes?
Yes, it was a contractor's fault and it wasn't caught by NASA before the assembled the machine. But I don't think it was a fondation error, I read somewhere else that it was a faulty baseplate that wasn't done to the tolerances needed. So there was a couple of inches  between the pieces that needed to line-up at the top of the weder. Disassembling the whole structure was the only solutions to correct this problem.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 10/27/2015 04:32 AM
A photo showing the test article ICPS, from the SLS Facebook page:
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: redliox on 10/27/2015 05:53 AM
Posted a similar question in L2, but asking here too: does the CDR that was just passed apply exclusively to the Block 1 version or does it mean, at the least, that the core and solid boosters are certified for Block 1B service as well?  Block 1 is only going to be a one-flight vehicle that leaves a lot of work for 1B and 2.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 10/27/2015 02:12 PM
Posted a similar question in L2, but asking here too: does the CDR that was just passed apply exclusively to the Block 1 version or does it mean, at the least, that the core and solid boosters are certified for Block 1B service as well?  Block 1 is only going to be a one-flight vehicle that leaves a lot of work for 1B and 2.

According to my understanding the core is certified for 1B and 2B service as well. For Block 1B they would just need to go through CDR for the EUS and for Block 2B they would need to go through CDR for the advanced boosters.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jim on 10/27/2015 02:24 PM
CDR is not a "certification". It is design review.  Each configuration change will have a CDR as well as each new component.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 10/27/2015 02:31 PM
CDR is not a "certification". It is design review.  Each configuration change will have a CDR as well as each new component.

I stand corrected.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: redliox on 10/27/2015 04:30 PM
CDR is not a "certification". It is design review.  Each configuration change will have a CDR as well as each new component.

I thought as much unfortunately.  Then again, if the core and boosters are flight-proven via Block 1/EM-1, that might hasten the review process for Block 1B and Block 2 (to a lesser extent on the later).  All the same though, this means the CDR passage is only a momentary victory in a continuing battle.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/28/2015 12:54 AM
NASA Marks Completion of Test Version of Key SLS Propulsion System
October 27, 2015 - Editor: Jennifer Harbaugh

A structural test article of the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) for NASA’s new deep-space exploration rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), has been completed at United Launch Alliance in Decatur, Alabama, prior to handover to the Boeing Company of Chicago. Boeing is the prime contractor for the SLS core stage.

The first flight test of the SLS, called Exploration Mission-1, will feature a Block 1 configuration for a 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capability and carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond low-Earth orbit to test the performance of the integrated system. The ICPS is the liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system that will give Orion the big, in-space push needed on that mission to fly beyond the moon before it returns to Earth.

The ICPS structural test article ultimately will move to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where it will join other structural test articles and simulators that make up the upper portion of the rocket. Engineers will stack the structural test articles and move the 56-foot-tall structure to a test stand to verify the integrity of the hardware and ensure it can withstand the loads it may experience during flight.

“Not only is the test version of the ICPS complete, but we’ve also started building ICPS hardware for the first flight of SLS,” said Steve Creech, deputy manager of the Spacecraft and Payload Integration & Evolution Office at Marshall, which manages the SLS Program for the agency. “To date, we have fabricated hydrogen tank domes, tank skins and hydrogen tank cylinders. We’re well on our way to being ready for flight.”

In addition to the ICPS, structural test articles have been completed for:

• Orion spacecraft simulator – a replica of the bottom portion of the exploration vehicle that will carry the
   crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and
   provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities.

• Orion stage adapter -- connects the Orion to the SLS’s ICPS. The adapter technology was used for
   Orion’s first test flight in December 2014.

• Core stage simulator -- a duplicate of the top of the SLS core stage that is approximately 10 feet tall
   and 27 feet in diameter. The rocket's entire core stage will tower more than 200 feet tall and house
   the vehicle’s avionics and flight computer. It also will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen
   that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines.

A structural test article for the launch vehicle stage adapter, which connects the core stage and the upper stage, is currently in production at Marshall.

“ULA is proud to deliver the test article of the ICPS for NASA’s Space Launch System,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president, Human Launch Services. “In partnership with Boeing, ULA created the ICPS through modifications made to our existing Cryogenic Second Stage used on the Delta IV launch vehicle. Congratulations to NASA, Boeing and the entire ULA team for reaching this milestone on schedule.”

Modifications to the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage include lengthening the liquid hydrogen tank, adding hydrazine bottles for attitude control and making some minor avionics changes to meet the design parameters and performance characteristics as needed by NASA to meet the flight objectives. An Aerojet Rocketdyne RL-10B2 engine – also currently used on the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage – will power the ICPS.

NASA continues to examine its timeline for evolving SLS toward the Block 1B configuration with a 105-metric-ton (115-ton) lift capability to enable more ambitious missions.

As the SLS evolves, it will ultimately provide an unprecedented lift capability in its Block 2 version capable of lifting 130 metric tons (143 tons) to enable missions even farther into our solar system.

For more information about ICPS, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/sls/interim_cryogenic_propulsion_stage_141030.html (http://www.nasa.gov/sls/interim_cryogenic_propulsion_stage_141030.html)

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/completion-of-test-version-of-key-sls-propulsion-system.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/completion-of-test-version-of-key-sls-propulsion-system.html)

Image Captions

Upper:  Space Launch System Program Manager John Honeycutt thanks United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Boeing Co. employees for their work on the completed interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) test article during a media event Oct. 26 at ULA’s facility in Decatur, Alabama. The ICPS is the liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system that will give Orion the big, in-space push needed on that mission to fly beyond the moon before it returns to Earth. Credits: ULA

Lower:  Artist concept of the test articles that replicate the upper portion of the Space Launch System rocket. When completed, the test articles will be stacked and tested at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  Credits: NASA/MSFC
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/28/2015 11:14 PM
Towers of Steel for New SLS Test Stand Rising at NASA Marshall
October 28, 2015 - Editor: Lee Mohon

Steel is rising for two towers that will compose a 215-foot-tall structural test stand for NASA's Space Launch System at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The first tiers were welded into place on Aug. 31, 2015, and the towers are already visible above the tree line. When construction is completed, hydraulic cylinders at Test Stand 4693 will push, pull and bend the liquid hydrogen tank of the SLS’s massive core stage to subject the tank and hardware to the same loads and stresses they will endure during launch. SLS, the most powerful rocket ever built, will carry astronauts in NASA's Orion spacecraft on deep space missions, including to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and on the journey to Mars. The new test stand is designed to accommodate future tests of different tank sizes and other equipment, in addition to the SLS core stage liquid hydrogen tank. It is being built in Marshall's West Test Area on the foundation of the stand where the Apollo Saturn V F-1 engine was tested during the 1960s.

Image credit: NASA/MSFC/Fred Deaton

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/multimedia/towers-of-steel-for-new-sls-test-stand-rising-at-nasa-marshall.html (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/multimedia/towers-of-steel-for-new-sls-test-stand-rising-at-nasa-marshall.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Suicidhez on 10/29/2015 12:58 PM
NASA Marks Completion of Test Version of Key SLS Propulsion System
October 27, 2015 - Editor: Jennifer Harbaugh

For more information about ICPS, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/sls/interim_cryogenic_propulsion_stage_141030.html (http://www.nasa.gov/sls/interim_cryogenic_propulsion_stage_141030.html)

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/completion-of-test-version-of-key-sls-propulsion-system.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/completion-of-test-version-of-key-sls-propulsion-system.html)

Image Captions

Upper:  Space Launch System Program Manager John Honeycutt thanks United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Boeing Co. employees for their work on the completed interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) test article during a media event Oct. 26 at ULA’s facility in Decatur, Alabama. The ICPS is the liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system that will give Orion the big, in-space push needed on that mission to fly beyond the moon before it returns to Earth. Credits: ULA

Lower:  Artist concept of the test articles that replicate the upper portion of the Space Launch System rocket. When completed, the test articles will be stacked and tested at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  Credits: NASA/MSFC

Nice images, thanks!
Do you know where I could find more information about the struts that join the 2 tanks? They seem to have a very optimized design in composite material.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jim on 10/29/2015 01:01 PM

Nice images, thanks!
Do you know where I could find more information about the struts that join the 2 tanks? They seem to have a very optimized design in composite material.

Delta IV users guide.  Anything more would likely be ITAR/propriety.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 11/02/2015 08:58 AM
Quote from: NASA
<snip>
Modifications to the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage include lengthening the liquid hydrogen tank, adding hydrazine bottles for attitude control and making some minor avionics changes to meet the design parameters and performance characteristics as needed by NASA to meet the flight objectives. An Aerojet Rocketdyne RL-10B2 engine – also currently used on the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage – will power the ICPS.

Compared to the Delta IV US used for the EFT-1 mission the 18 inch stretch of the LH2 tank on the iCPS STA is apparent in the images below.

Top image: EFT-1 Delta IV US (image flipped vertically from original)
Bottom image: iCPS STA.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 11/07/2015 02:28 AM
AMRO Fabricating Corp. Lining up Panels for NASA’s Space Launch System
November 5, 2015 Editor: Jennifer Harbaugh

Teams at AMRO Fabricating Corp. in South El Monte, California, show completed flight and structural test article hardware panels, arranged in order, for each section of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built and, with NASA’s Orion spacecraft, will launch America into a new era of exploration to destinations beyond Earth’s orbit. AMRO is an industry partner helping build panels for the SLS core stage, launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) and Orion spacecraft. The panels, above, from bottom to top, represent the SLS engine section, liquid hydrogen tank, intertank, liquid oxygen tank, forward skirt, LVSA and Orion. For more information about SLS, visit www.nasa.gov/sls (http://www.nasa.gov/sls).

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/AMRO-fabricating-corp-lining-up-panels-for-sls.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/AMRO-fabricating-corp-lining-up-panels-for-sls.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 11/07/2015 02:14 PM
Huh. I thought the SLS tank walls were all isogrid because of the compressive load. These panels look like they are orthogrid, with only the engine section panels being isogrid. Can't tell what pattern the inter tank, upper skirt, and LVSA use.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 11/07/2015 09:23 PM
Posted a similar question in L2, but asking here too: does the CDR that was just passed apply exclusively to the Block 1 version or does it mean, at the least, that the core and solid boosters are certified for Block 1B service as well?  Block 1 is only going to be a one-flight vehicle that leaves a lot of work for 1B and 2.

.... that might hasten the review process for Block 1B and Block 2......

Block 2 and Block 2A will never fly. If advanced boosters are ever employed, they will be on Block 2B. This designation is due to the use of EUS rather than LUS.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: redliox on 11/09/2015 03:21 AM
Block 2 and Block 2A will never fly. If advanced boosters are ever employed, they will be on Block 2B. This designation is due to the use of EUS rather than LUS.

While I'd agree on the unlikeliness, since NASA may 'settle for less' to put it politely, you make it sound pessimistically certain.  Any reason you particularly doubt Block 2 and the employment of advanced boosters?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/11/2015 04:15 PM
Dedicated EM-1 section coming soon, but here's another cool overview of the flow to EM-1 via Chris Gebhardt:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/road-em-1-nasa-hardware-milestones-sls-debut-flight/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/13/2015 01:16 AM
Just a short story relating to the VAB. Thought it was interesting enough to write up (VAB - its continued revamp, local company doing good, etc.) :

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/vab-fire-suppression-system-upgrade/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: shuttlefan on 11/13/2015 02:11 AM
Just a short story relating to the VAB. Thought it was interesting enough to write up (VAB - its continued revamp, local company doing good, etc.) :

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/vab-fire-suppression-system-upgrade/

Great article about current VAB work Chris!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Khadgars on 11/15/2015 09:38 PM
Excellent article on EM-1.  Really enjoyed reading the progress  ;)

Doesn't look like their is any show stoppers now for EM-1.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: redliox on 11/16/2015 10:18 AM
Excellent article on EM-1.  Really enjoyed reading the progress  ;)

Doesn't look like their is any show stoppers now for EM-1.

As am I.  The only thing that discourages, if anything, is just worrying how NASA will obtain the funds and permissions to proceed to Block 1B so quickly to do EM-2.  Although it'll be easier with the commonality with the core and boosters, I've been told it'd require another review process since the upper stage is significantly different.

What I'm keen to hear about is news on EUS specifically, THEN I'd be assured on human flight.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/17/2015 07:38 AM
According to a presentation given at the recent Von Braun symposium at Huntsville EM-2 is still base lined to use Block I.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: redliox on 11/17/2015 08:18 AM
According to a presentation given at the recent Von Braun symposium at Huntsville EM-2 is still base lined to use Block I.

Well that's both depressing and illogical.  The interim upper stage isn't human rated; NASA both can't and wouldn't use it for a human flight.  Their default plan would be to wait until the EUS was ready and delay the crewed flights.  Maybe they could use a few cargo flights during the wait, especially for flight-proving EUS, but the current administration would prefer not to...probably in part to avoid the fee for flight rating it when it's only going to be once...or in this case hypothetically twice.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 11/17/2015 08:47 AM
According to a presentation given at the recent Von Braun symposium at Huntsville EM-2 is still base lined to use Block I.

Well that's both depressing and illogical.  The interim upper stage isn't human rated; NASA both can't and wouldn't use it for a human flight.  Their default plan would be to wait until the EUS was ready and delay the crewed flights.  Maybe they could use a few cargo flights during the wait, especially for flight-proving EUS, but the current administration would prefer not to...probably in part to avoid the fee for flight rating it when it's only going to be once...or in this case hypothetically twice.

NASA is unlikely to shout out to the world that they will be flying EM-2 on EUS when in fact EUS has not been authorized to go into full development. Until that changes, the default baseline remains in place. Meaning: EM-2 scheduled to fly on SLS Block 1.
I have no doubt that EUS will eventually be authorized to go into full development. But at some point in time NASA will have to make a decision: fly EM-2 per the schedule, possibly on Block 1, or delay EM-2 until EUS is ready to fly on a manned mission. Heck, NASA might even do something else: like flying EM-2 unmanned and deferring first manned flight to some later mission. That would at least save the cost of man-rating iCPS. Other (different) scenarios are possible as well.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: llanitedave on 11/17/2015 04:11 PM
Maybe they can squeeze a Europa mission in there to keep the blistering schedule pace.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TrueBlueWitt on 11/17/2015 05:43 PM
So.. If I have this right.. Baseline  they have core stretch.. 4-SSME and 5-seg..  and still not exceeding numbers that you would have gotten for shuttle length tank with 3 SSME and shuttle 4-seg SSRMS?   And throw in with a conformal tank version of EUS to the above and would that out perform 1B?

And they spent how much to do this?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Khadgars on 11/17/2015 07:37 PM
According to a presentation given at the recent Von Braun symposium at Huntsville EM-2 is still base lined to use Block I.

Well that's both depressing and illogical.  The interim upper stage isn't human rated; NASA both can't and wouldn't use it for a human flight.  Their default plan would be to wait until the EUS was ready and delay the crewed flights.  Maybe they could use a few cargo flights during the wait, especially for flight-proving EUS, but the current administration would prefer not to...probably in part to avoid the fee for flight rating it when it's only going to be once...or in this case hypothetically twice.

NASA is unlikely to shout out to the world that they will be flying EM-2 on EUS when in fact EUS has not been authorized to go into full development. Until that changes, the default baseline remains in place. Meaning: EM-2 scheduled to fly on SLS Block 1.
I have no doubt that EUS will eventually be authorized to go into full development. But at some point in time NASA will have to make a decision: fly EM-2 per the schedule, possibly on Block 1, or delay EM-2 until EUS is ready to fly on a manned mission. Heck, NASA might even do something else: like flying EM-2 unmanned and deferring first manned flight to some later mission. That would at least save the cost of man-rating iCPS. Other (different) scenarios are possible as well.

Yup, completely agree here.  They won't baseline EUS until it's authorized.  Hopefully in the next two years NASA will get authorization.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 11/18/2015 03:00 AM
So.. If I have this right.. Baseline  they have core stretch.. 4-SSME and 5-seg..  and still not exceeding numbers that you would have gotten for shuttle length tank with 3 SSME and shuttle 4-seg SSRMS?   And throw in with a conformal tank version of EUS to the above and would that out perform 1B?
SLS Block 1 will easily out-lift a 3 x SSME 4-seg SRB concept.       

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 11/21/2015 04:21 PM
Simulating SLS Booster Separation
November 19, 2015 Michelle Moyer - NASA Advanced Supercomputing Facility, Ames Research Center

NASA's new heavy-lift launch vehicle, the Space Launch System (SLS), will carry three times the payload of the space shuttle, requiring innovative rocket design. The SLS configuration consists of a center core stage with four RS-25 engines and two solid rocket boosters (SRBs), which separate from the core as fuel is exhausted soon after liftoff.

To help SLS design engineers understand how aerodynamic forces will affect the path of the SRBs away from the core stage during separation, researchers at NASA's Ames Research Center and the University of California, Davis, are running high-fidelity simulations of thousands of possible separation scenarios.

In this visualization, a shock wave (colored by pressure) is clearly shown at the front of the vehicle; farther back, booster separation-motor plumes are colored by Mach number. The simulation was run on the Pleiades supercomputer at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility at Ames Research Center.  The visualization was part of a NASA showcase of nearly 40 of the agency’s exciting computational achievements at SC15, the international supercomputing conference, Nov. 15-20, 2015 in Austin. For more information about NASA's research presented at the conference, visit: http://www.nas.nasa.gov/SC15/ (http://www.nas.nasa.gov/SC15/).

Image Credit: Stuart Rogers, NASA/Ames; Ryan Rocha, University of California, Davis
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 11/23/2015 09:55 PM
NASA Awards Contract to Restart Development of Engines to Power Agency’s Journey to Mars
Release C15-049 - November 23, 2015 - Sarah Ramsey

NASA selected Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, to restart production of the RS-25 engine for the agency's Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, and deliver a certified engine. SLS will use four RS-25 engines to carry the agency’s Orion spacecraft and launch explorers on deep space missions, including to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and ultimately to Mars.

Part of NASA’s strategy to minimize costs of developing the SLS rocket was to leverage the assets, capabilities, and experience of the Space Shuttle Program, so the first four missions will be flown using 16 existing shuttle engines that have been upgraded.

Under the $1.16 billion contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will modernize the space shuttle heritage engine to make it more affordable and expendable for SLS. The contract runs November 2015 and continues through Sept. 30, 2024.

The new RS-25 engine developed under this contract will have fewer parts and welds and will be certified to a higher operational thrust level. The new engine benefits from improvements in materials and manufacturing techniques such as five-axis milling machines, 3-D manufacturing and digital X-rays.

The contract restarts the firm’s production capability including furnishing the necessary management, labor, facilities, tools, equipment and materials required for this effort, implementing modern fabrication processes and affordability improvements, and producing hardware required for development and certification testing.

The contract also allows for a potential future modification that would enable NASA to order six flight engines.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the SLS Program for the agency. Engine testing will be performed at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the SLS will launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

For information about NASA's Space Launch System and the RS-25 engine, visit:  http://www.nasa.gov/sls (http://www.nasa.gov/sls)

http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-to-restart-development-of-engines-to-power-agency-s-journey-to (http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-to-restart-development-of-engines-to-power-agency-s-journey-to)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: robertross on 11/24/2015 01:34 AM
NASA Awards Contract to Restart Development of Engines to Power Agency’s Journey to Mars
Release C15-049 - November 23, 2015 - Sarah Ramsey

NASA selected Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, to restart production of the RS-25 engine for the agency's Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, and deliver a certified engine. SLS will use four RS-25 engines to carry the agency’s Orion spacecraft and launch explorers on deep space missions, including to an asteroid placed in lunar orbit and ultimately to Mars.

Part of NASA’s strategy to minimize costs of developing the SLS rocket was to leverage the assets, capabilities, and experience of the Space Shuttle Program, so the first four missions will be flown using 16 existing shuttle engines that have been upgraded.

Under the $1.16 billion contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will modernize the space shuttle heritage engine to make it more affordable and expendable for SLS. The contract runs November 2015 and continues through Sept. 30, 2024.

The new RS-25 engine developed under this contract will have fewer parts and welds and will be certified to a higher operational thrust level. The new engine benefits from improvements in materials and manufacturing techniques such as five-axis milling machines, 3-D manufacturing and digital X-rays.

The contract restarts the firm’s production capability including furnishing the necessary management, labor, facilities, tools, equipment and materials required for this effort, implementing modern fabrication processes and affordability improvements, and producing hardware required for development and certification testing.

The contract also allows for a potential future modification that would enable NASA to order six flight engines.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the SLS Program for the agency. Engine testing will be performed at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi and the SLS will launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

For information about NASA's Space Launch System and the RS-25 engine, visit:  http://www.nasa.gov/sls (http://www.nasa.gov/sls)

http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-to-restart-development-of-engines-to-power-agency-s-journey-to (http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-to-restart-development-of-engines-to-power-agency-s-journey-to)

FINALLY (it was released)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/30/2015 06:08 PM
Article on the test stands via photos from L2 over time:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/new-sls-test-stands-rise-marshall/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 11/30/2015 10:02 PM
Work Platform H Arrives at Kennedy Space Center in Florida

Published on Nov 30, 2015
The second half of the H level work platforms for the Vehicle Assembly Building High Bay 3 arrives at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The H platforms are the third of 10 levels of platforms that will support processing of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for the journey to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKB09Bi6BUY
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: tea monster on 12/01/2015 01:55 PM
So.. If I have this right.. Baseline  they have core stretch.. 4-SSME and 5-seg..  and still not exceeding numbers that you would have gotten for shuttle length tank with 3 SSME and shuttle 4-seg SSRMS?   And throw in with a conformal tank version of EUS to the above and would that out perform 1B?
SLS Block 1 will easily out-lift a 3 x SSME 4-seg SRB concept.       

 - Ed Kyle

Yeah, but is the extra lift per launch worth the cost of the entire Constellation and SLS programs?

Even when you figure in the cost of the development of the side-saddle cargo pod (including the inevitable cost over-runs, etc), it's breathtaking how much money was wasted for not that much added lift.

The whole sorry saga is just beyond words - especially if you figure out what could have been accomplished with the money thrown at this thing. When people say "There isn't enough money to go to Mars", I just want to scream at them.

What could have been accomplished by now, if we'd gone ahead with a 'vanilla' Shuttle C concept and put the money into transfer and landing craft?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Star One on 12/01/2015 03:11 PM

So.. If I have this right.. Baseline  they have core stretch.. 4-SSME and 5-seg..  and still not exceeding numbers that you would have gotten for shuttle length tank with 3 SSME and shuttle 4-seg SSRMS?   And throw in with a conformal tank version of EUS to the above and would that out perform 1B?
SLS Block 1 will easily out-lift a 3 x SSME 4-seg SRB concept.       

 - Ed Kyle

Yeah, but is the extra lift per launch worth the cost of the entire Constellation and SLS programs?

Even when you figure in the cost of the development of the side-saddle cargo pod (including the inevitable cost over-runs, etc), it's breathtaking how much money was wasted for not that much added lift.

The whole sorry saga is just beyond words - especially if you figure out what could have been accomplished with the money thrown at this thing. When people say "There isn't enough money to go to Mars", I just want to scream at them.

What could have been accomplished by now, if we'd gone ahead with a 'vanilla' Shuttle C concept and put the money into transfer and landing craft?

But that was never going to happen so no point lamenting such might bes.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 12/01/2015 09:00 PM
Work Continues on Test Version of SLS Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter

Published on Dec 1, 2015
Progress continues on a structural test article of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) for NASA’s Space Launch System. The LVSA will connect two major sections of the SLS -- the core stage and the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS). Along with eight vertical welds, the forward and aft rings also have been completed for the LVSA structural test article. The LVSA structural test article will be stacked with other prototypes of the upper part of the rocket and tested in early 2016 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to verify the integrity of the hardware and ensure it can withstand the loads it may experience during flight. Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville is the prime contractor on the LVSA work. When completed, SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep-space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkA6T7oBfbM

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 12/09/2015 10:52 PM
Preparing America for Deep Space Exploration Episode 11: Committed to Exploration

Published on Dec 9, 2015
Engineers around the country are making progress developing NASA’s Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft and the ground systems at Kennedy Space Center in Florida needed to send astronauts on missions to deep space destinations. Between July and September, progress continued as pieces of Orion’s crew module and the SLS core stage tanks were welded together at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, modifications were made to the mobile launcher at Kennedy, astronauts tested techniques for exiting Orion after a mission, and an RS-25 engine was tested at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5WOWMlt9Ug
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 12/16/2015 10:04 PM
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/gsdo-critical-design-review-marks-progress-for-nasas-journey-to-mars

Excerpt:
Quote
NASA's Ground Systems Development and Operations Program (GSDO) has successfully completed its critical design review, on the path to preparing for the agency's journey to Mars.

Members of the review board completed their in-depth assessment of the plans for the facilities and ground support systems at Kennedy Space Center in Florida that will be needed to process NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for deep-space exploration missions. A Standing Review Board composed of aerospace experts from NASA and industry also will provide an independent assessment. Results of the review process will be briefed to senior agency officials in the coming months as the last step in the process.

"The completion of this review represents a critical milestone for the GSDO team that clearly demonstrates we are on track with the launch site upgrades required to support SLS and Orion test, checkout and launch in 2018," said Mike Bolger, GSDO program manager.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 12/24/2015 02:42 PM
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/first-work-platform-for-nasas-space-launch-system-installed-in-vehicle-assembly-building

Quote
By Linda Herridge
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center

The first of ten work platforms that will provide access to NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket has been installed inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
.
.
.
An overhead crane that can hold as much as 325 tons was used to lift the first half of the K-level work platforms from High Bay 4 through an opening in the divider between the bays approximately 19 stories up, across the transfer aisle, and then lowered it into High Bay 3.

A link to edited video on YT is provided there.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 01/13/2016 07:49 PM
SLS Monthly Highlights: December 2015

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/sls_highlights_december_2015_0.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/19/2016 02:32 PM
Production status update via L2 - written up by Chris Gebhardt:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/nasa-facilities-ramp-up-sls-2018-flight/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 02/08/2016 12:16 PM
February 05, 2016
RELEASE 16-010

Jerry Cook Named Deputy Director of NASA’s Space Launch System Program

Jerry Cook, a native of Greensboro, Alabama, has been named deputy director of NASA’s Space Launch System Program at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world for deep-space missions, including to an asteroid and ultimately to Mars.

Appointed to the position in December 2015, Cook shares responsibility for all facets of the SLS Program, including programmatic and technical planning, procurement, development, testing, evaluation, production, and operation of the integrated SLS.

Cook has over 30 years of experience in both an operational and developmental environment of strategic planning, program management and program execution. He has held numerous key positions throughout his NASA career, including chief engineer for Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters in Washington, and deputy director of NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Cook also was associate program manager for the Space Launch System Program, while concurrently serving as acting manager of the SLS Program Planning and Control Office.

Cook began his NASA career in 1985 as a test engineer at Marshall in the Technology Evaluation Department. He later served as a test conductor for the Space Shuttle Main Engine Test Program.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1984 from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He has authored and co-authored numerous technical papers and books on aerospace and propulsion. He was selected as a Distinguished Departmental Fellow of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2007, and was inducted as a Distinguished Fellow into the university’s College of Engineering in 2014. He currently serves as a member of the school’s Mechanical Engineering Department Advisory Board.

Cook and his wife, Felicia, reside in Huntsville. They have a son, who recently graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and a daughter, who is currently attending the same university.
For more information on SLS, visit:
www.nasa.gov/sls
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 02/11/2016 09:50 PM
Work Begins on NASA SLS Core Stage Pathfinder

Published on Feb 11, 2016
Major work is under way on a 213-foot, 230,000-pound simulation of the core stage of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS). The steel mockup, designed by engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will be used to demonstrate core stage operations, transport and routes for testing, assembly and launch. Radiance Technologies of Huntsville recently was selected by NASA to build, assemble and transport the pathfinder vehicle. The low-cost, core stage reproduction will be built at Dynetics’ facility in Huntsville and G&G Steel in Russellville, Alabama.

The animation shows how the pathfinder will be placed vertically in the B-2 test stand at NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The test stand is being completely refurbished for core stage testing in 2017, and the pathfinder will be used to ensure all modifications made to that test stand meet SLS core stage specifications.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTyj9liLYsY
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 02/13/2016 05:18 AM
Press release from Radiance and Dynetics

NASA has awarded the Radiance Technologies (Radiance) and Dynetics team a delivery order under the Engineering Solutions and Prototyping (ESP) contract to fabricate, assemble and transport the Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage (CS) Pathfinder Vehicle (PV). The CS PV is a form/fit representation of the SLS Core Stage and is approximately 213 feet long and 28.5 feet in diameter, weighing approximately 230,000 pounds. 

The objective of the Pathfinder contract is to produce a low-cost simulated core stage with weight, center of gravity, outer mold line and length of the integrated core stage.

“The NASA Pathfinder SLS contract is a key win for Radiance and a prime example of our development and integration capabilities. We are proud to support NASA and will work tirelessly to help ensure overall program success,” said Tim Tinsley, Radiance’s Vice President of Integration and Prototyping.

Dynetics will serve as technical lead on the Radiance team.

The Radiance Team will utilize G&G Steel headquartered in Russellville, Ala., to perform final welding and major assembly operations in their commercial facility on the Black Warrior River in Cordova, Ala. G&G Steel brings superior steel fabrication, welding and commercial facilities ideally suited to assemble the CS PV.

The Radiance team will use NASA’s designed drawings and specification documents to procure materials and labor to manufacture, fabricate, assemble, test and deliver the CS PV. The team will also design and manufacture the support equipment (support structures) to be used by NASA for storage of the CS PV.

“It is a privilege to work with Radiance on this critical project for NASA to help ensure the success of the nation’s future heavy lift rocket,” said David King, Dynetics CEO. “As NASA’s industry partners, we’re prepared to take on the challenge and appreciate NASA’s confidence in our ability to do so.”

“We are thrilled to win this award alongside our team member, Dynetics. We look forward to a successful partnership and a growing relationship with our customer NASA,” said Bill Bailey, President of Radiance Technologies.

The ESP contract enables three companies selected in 2013 to compete for task orders to provide engineering solutions and products for design, development, test, evaluation, operations and training in support of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) flight projects. Pathfinder is one of those projects.

The ESP contract is an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) vehicle, worth up to $350 million over five years.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/15/2016 09:49 PM
Article - with cool Nathan renders - for EUS:

NASA moves to enforce early switch to EUS for SLS:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/02/nasa-enforce-early-switch-eus-sls/

Will give it a standalone thread.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 02/17/2016 04:47 PM
LH2 tank confidence article completed at MAF:
https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/699992815221280768
Quote
Our "Welding Wonder" at Michoud has completed confidence hardware for the #SLS core stage: http://go.nasa.gov/20E60uG
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 02/20/2016 12:41 AM
Work Platform Arrives at Kennedy Space Center
February 19, 2016 - Linda Herridge

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida received another work platform that will be used to modernize the massive Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), which is where the agency will test and process the SLS for flight before it is rolled out onto the launch pad. The agency’s Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program at Kennedy continues to make progress preparing the center to launch NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft that will take humans beyond Earth orbit and on to deep space.

The arrival of the second half of the G-level work platforms at Kennedy brings the total to eight platforms, or four levels of work platforms being readied for the VAB. The G platforms are the fourth of 10 levels of platforms that will support processing of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft for deep space missions including to an asteroid and the journey to Mars.

Tillet Heavy Haul Inc. of Titusville, Florida, transported the platform from Sauer Co. in Oak Hill, Florida to Kennedy Space Center for Hensel Phelps Construction Co. of Orlando, Florida. A contract to modify the VAB’s High Bay 3 was awarded to Hensel Phelps in March 2014.

A total of 10 levels of new platforms, 20 platform halves altogether, will be used to access, test and process the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft in High Bay 3. In addition, 20 new elevator landings and access ways are being constructed for the platform levels. The high bay also will accommodate the 355-foot-tall mobile launcher tower that will carry the rocket and spacecraft atop the crawler-transporter to Launch Pad 39B.

The platforms are being fabricated by Steel LLC of Scottdale, Georgia, and assembled by Sauer. The GSDO team at Kennedy is overseeing upgrades and modifications to the high bay to prepare for NASA’s deep space exploration missions.

The first three sets of platforms, H, J and K, were delivered to the center last year.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/02/19/work-platform-arrives-at-kennedy-space-center-for-nasas-journey-to-mars/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/02/19/work-platform-arrives-at-kennedy-space-center-for-nasas-journey-to-mars/)

Photo Caption:  The second half of the G-level work platforms arrives at the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/23/2016 03:13 PM
Latest article on the CTs (CT-2 mods complete, ready for rollout) by Chris Gebhardt:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/02/ct-2-completes-super-crawler-modifications-sls/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 02/23/2016 08:00 PM
Preparing America for Deep Space Exploration Episode 12: Built for Exploration

Published on Feb 23, 2016
NASA’s deep space exploration system development programs continue to make progress on the agency’s journey to Mars. In the final months of 2015, engineers continued welding together the underlying structure of the Orion crew module for Exploration Mission-1, tested how well astronauts can get in and out of Orion’s seats and saw the delivery of a structural representation of Orion’s service module to Ohio for testing.

The ground systems team at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where Orion will launch atop the Space Launch System rocket, continued building the mobile launcher, including testing some of the umbilicals that will fuel the rocket while it’s on the launch pad, and installed both a communications tracker and a work platform in the Vehicle Assembly Building.

The Space Launch System Program performed welding operations on a test article for the launch vehicle stage adapter as well as confidence welding of the core stage, installed a RS-25 rocket engine for Exploration Mission-2 into a test stand and continued construction on a liquid hydrogen structural test stand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce6vIa4_0dg
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 02/25/2016 05:24 PM
Test Versions of Space Launch System Booster Segments Arrive at Kennedy Space Center
February 25, 2016 - Linda Herridge

Two pathfinders, or test versions, of solid rocket booster segments for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket arrived at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The booster segments were transported from Promontory, Utah, for pathfinder operations at the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility (RPSF) to prepare for Exploration Mission-1.

The boosters, which are inert, were stored at the Jay Jay rail yard in Titusville, Florida, to prepare for the final move. The first booster was transported onto the center Feb. 23 by rail aboard a train service provided by Goodloe Transportation and was delivered to the RPSF. Inside the RPSF, the booster segment was offloaded and inspected. Its cover was removed, and the segment will undergo additional inspections to confirm it is ready for testing. The second booster segment which arrived later in the day will undergo the same preparations.

During the pathfinder operations, engineers and technicians with NASA and industry partners will conduct a series of lifts, moves and stacking operations using the booster segments and an aft skirt, with aft motor and aft exit cone attached, to simulate how the boosters will be processed in the RPSF to prepare for an SLS/Orion mission. The stacking operations will help train ground personnel before they handle flight hardware for the most powerful rocket in the world that will start to arrive at Kennedy in less than two years.

The pathfinder operations also will help to test recent upgrades to the RPSF facility as the center continues to prepare for the EM-1 mission, deep-space missions, and the journey to Mars.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/02/25/test-versions-of-space-launch-system-booster-segments-arrive-at-kennedy-space-center/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/02/25/test-versions-of-space-launch-system-booster-segments-arrive-at-kennedy-space-center/)

Photo caption:  A train hauls two pathfinder solid rocket booster segments to Kennedy Space Center. The segments are test versions of those that will be used on NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. Photo credit: NASA/Bill White
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 02/26/2016 06:38 AM
February 25, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY M02-16
Media Invited to View NASA’s Solid Rocket Booster Processing Facilities for Space Launch System

Media are invited to a photo and interview opportunity Tuesday, March 1, at 10:45 a.m. EST at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, to view the facilities that will support NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket booster processing operations. SLS is the agency’s heavy-lift rocket that will launch astronauts in the Orion spacecraft, paving the way for future flights to deep space, including on a journey to Mars.

The SLS booster is the largest, most powerful solid propellant booster ever built. Standing 17 stories tall and burning approximately six tons of propellant every second, each booster generates more thrust than 11 four-engine jumbo commercial airliners. Together, the SLS twin boosters provide more than 75 percent of the total SLS thrust at launch.

Journalists will have an opportunity to tour and photograph the Booster Fabrication Facility, the Rotation, Processing and Surge Facility, and to interview NASA officials.

International media accreditation for this event is closed. U.S. media without permanent credentials must apply for accreditation by 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 29. Two forms of government-issued identification are required to receive a badge. One must be with a photograph, such as a driver’s license or passport.

Badges will be available at the Kennedy Badging Office, located on State Road 405 east of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Hours for the Kennedy Badging Office are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Questions about accreditation may be addressed to Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or [email protected]

Media must apply for credentials online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

Media should arrive at the press site by 10:30 a.m. to be escorted to the facilities. Following the event, the media will be escorted back to the Press Site by 1:30 p.m.

All participants attending the event must be dressed in full-length pants, flat shoes that cover the feet entirely, and shirts with sleeves.

For more information about NASA’s Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/groundsystems

For more information about NASA’s Space Launch System Program, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/sls
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 03/08/2016 11:44 PM
Second Platform for NASA’s Space Launch System Lifted into Position in Vehicle Assembly Building
March 8, 2016 - Linda Herridge

The second half of a new work platform was lifted and installed March 7 in High Bay 3 inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The newly installed platform is the first of 10 new work platform levels that will provide access to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for Exploration Mission-1.

During the installation process, an overhead crane that can hold as much as 250 tons was used to lift the second half of the K-level work platforms up from High Bay 4, move across the transfer aisle, and lower it into High Bay 3. The platform was secured into position, about 86 feet above the VAB floor, or nearly nine stories high. The K-level platforms will provide access to the SLS core stage and solid rocket boosters during processing and stacking operations on the mobile launcher.

A total of 10 levels of new platforms – 20 platform halves altogether – will surround the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft and provide access for testing and processing. The giant steel platforms, each measuring 38 feet long and 62 feet wide, will be attached to rail beams that will provide structural support and contain the drive mechanisms to move them in and out or up and down as needed.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/03/08/second-platform-for-nasas-space-launch-system-lifted-into-position-in-vehicle-assembly-building/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/03/08/second-platform-for-nasas-space-launch-system-lifted-into-position-in-vehicle-assembly-building/)

Photo caption:  The second half of the K-level work platforms for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is lowered for installation in High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 03/09/2016 11:16 PM
First F-Level Work Platform for NASA’s Space Launch System Arrives at Kennedy Space Center
March 9, 2016 - Linda Herridge

https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/03/09/first-f-level-work-platform-for-nasas-space-launch-system-arrives-at-kennedy-space-center/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/03/09/first-f-level-work-platform-for-nasas-space-launch-system-arrives-at-kennedy-space-center/)

KSC-20160308-PH_DNG0001_0009

The first half of the F-level work platforms for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket arrived today at the Vehicle Assembly Building at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program is overseeing upgrades and modifications to High Bay 3 to support processing of the SLS and Orion spacecraft.

A total of 10 levels of new platforms, 20 platform halves altogether, will surround the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft and provide access for testing and processing. The first three sets of platforms, H, J and K, were delivered to the center last year.  Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis


KSC-20160308-PH_DNG0001_0001

At right, the first half of the F-level work platforms for NASA’s Space Launch System rocket has arrived at the Vehicle Assembly Building at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At left, several other work platforms are being readied for future installation in VAB High Bay 3. […]  Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/10/2016 02:48 PM
Awesome article by Philip Sloss, who interviewed Steve Wofford, SLS Liquid Engines Office at Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

RS-25 veteran set for Static Fire ahead of SLS launch
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/03/rs-25-veteran-static-fire-ahead-sls-launch/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 03/24/2016 04:42 PM
LH2 tank confidence article completed at MAF:
https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/699992815221280768
Quote
Our "Welding Wonder" at Michoud has completed confidence hardware for the #SLS core stage: http://go.nasa.gov/20E60uG
NASA now noting completion of the LO2 tank confidence article:
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/progress-in-welding-on-sls-liquid-oxygen-tank.html
Excerpt:
Quote
The liquid oxygen tank is the smaller of the two tanks in the core stage. Components of the liquid hydrogen tank confidence article completed welding in February at Michoud. All welding for the SLS core stage for the Block I configuration of the rocket -- including confidence, qualification and flight hardware -- will be done this summer in preparation for its first flight with NASA's Orion spacecraft in 2018.

(Large image attached.)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 03/25/2016 05:58 PM
Additional pictures of the LO2 tank confidence article in the VAC area via @NASA_SLS:
https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/713436955137220608
Quote
See more progress at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility on the core stage of SLS! http://go.nasa.gov/22AtgAj

Direct link to the Flickr album:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasamarshall/sets/72157647648792995

(Attached one here...)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 03/28/2016 05:03 PM
NASA OIG on an audit report released today:
https://twitter.com/NASAOIG/status/714484008281833473
Quote
OIG evaluated NASA’s development of software to launch SLS/Orion. See: https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-015.pdf …
(PDF from link also attached.)

Excerpt under "What We Found":
Quote
The SCCS development effort has significantly exceeded initial cost and schedule estimates. Compared to fiscal year 2012 projections, development costs have increased approximately 77 percent to $207.4 million and the release of a fully operational version has slipped by 14 months from July 2016 to September 2017. In addition, several planned capabilities have been deferred because of cost and timing pressures, including the ability to automatically detect the root cause of specific equipment and system failures. Without this information, it will be more difficult for controllers and engineers to quickly diagnose and resolve issues. Although NASA officials believe the SCCS will operate safely without these capabilities, they acknowledge the reduced capability could affect the ability to react to unexpected issues during launch operations and potentially impact the launch schedule for the combined SLS-Orion system.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 03/28/2016 08:58 PM
KSC is starting to play around with some of the booster pathfinders.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/29/2016 09:55 PM
NASA has completed a major milestone on its journey to Mars and is ready to begin another phase of work on its spaceport of the future, where the next generation of astronauts will launch to Mars and other deep-space destinations.

The agency recently wrapped up a comprehensive and successful review of plans for the facilities and ground support systems that will process the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

“NASA is developing and modernizing the ground systems at Kennedy to safely integrate Orion with SLS, move the vehicle to the pad, and successfully launch it into space,” said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator of NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Division at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “Modernizing the ground systems for our journey to Mars also ensures long-term sustainability and affordability to meet future needs of the multi-use spaceport.”

Over the course of a few months, engineers and experts across the agency reviewed hundreds of documents as part of a comprehensive assessment. The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program (GSDO), responsible for processing SLS and Orion for flight and ensuring all systems and facilities are ready, completed its critical design review (CDR) of the facilities and ground support systems plans in December 2015.

This was followed in January by the completion of an independent assessment by a Standing Review Board, a team of aerospace experts that assessed program readiness and confirmed the program is on track to complete the engineering design and development process on budget and on schedule.

In the final step before actual fabrication, installation and testing of Kennedy's ground systems, the GSDO program and review board briefed the results of their assessments to NASA’s Agency Program Management Council, led by Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot.

Engineers are transforming Kennedy's launch infrastructure to support the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft. The heavy-lift rocket will be stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building on the mobile launcher and roll out to Launch Pad 39B atop a modified crawler transporter. The Orion spacecraft will be fueled with propellants in the Multi-Payload Processing Facility at Kennedy prior to stacking atop the rocket. The launch team will use the new command and control system in the firing room as the clock counts down to liftoff of SLS’s first flight.

“The team is working hard and we are making remarkable progress transforming our facilities," said Mike Bolger, GSDO Program Manager. "As we are preparing for NASA's journey to Mars, the outstanding team at the Kennedy Space Center is ensuring that we will be ready to receive SLS and Orion flight hardware and process the vehicle for the first flight in 2018."

The council also heard the results of the Orion CDR, completed at the program level in October 2015. The evaluation assessed the primary systems of the spacecraft, including the capsule’s structures, pyrotechnics, Launch Abort System jettison, guidance, navigation and control and software systems among many other elements.

For the spacecraft’s first mission on the SLS rocket, ESA (European Space Agency) is providing Orion’s service module, which powers, propels, cools and provides consumables like air and water in space. Results from ESA's service module design review, which began this month, will be assessed and incorporated into Orion development and integration plans later this summer. Systems unique to the first crewed flight will be addressed at a review in the fall of 2017.

Progress continues on Orion at NASA facilities across the country. The underlying structure of the crew module arrived at Kennedy in early February for outfitting, which is currently underway. Over the next 18 months, thousands of Orion components will arrive and be installed.

Meanwhile, a structural representation of the service module is being tested at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, where engineers conducted a successful solar array wing deployment test on Feb. 29 and are preparing for a variety of tests to confirm it can withstand the harsh conditions of launch.

For more information on GSDO, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/groundsystems

For more information on Orion, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orion
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 03/30/2016 05:09 PM
https://twitter.com/NASA_go4launch/status/715195695670624256
Quote
Insert Rocket here! #VAB K-Level Platforms extended, showing #GSDO access to process @NASA_SLS and @NASA_Orion
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 03/31/2016 08:23 AM
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 03/31/2016 02:19 PM
It's a nice conceptual graphic, but it always jumps out at me that they have the stack rolling out of High Bay 1, rather than High Bay 3.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: RicerAmerica1 on 04/02/2016 02:18 AM
The following is a trade study developed by the MSFC and JSC on utilizing wind biasing to limit the loads and the total angle of attack of the stack on the day of launch. I wish I could find more background material on the subject but I could only find the presentation.

Enjoy!

Derek
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: RicerAmerica1 on 04/02/2016 09:58 AM
An excellent presentation from I believe Oct. 2015 with updates on the Orion/SLS program as well as the US Space program. The presentation doesn't have a lot of ground breaking information, but it does have some very cool graphics and renderings.

Enjoy,

Derek
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/04/2016 06:53 PM
https://twitter.com/NASA_go4launch/status/715195695670624256
Quote
Insert Rocket here! #VAB K-Level Platforms extended, showing #GSDO access to process @NASA_SLS and @NASA_Orion

They are raising the first of the J Platforms out of HB4 for installation this week into HB3. The second J Platform is in the foreground in Camera 083.
http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan4large.jpg

Edited to include High Bay 4 (Camera 083)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 04/05/2016 12:13 AM
Precision Meets Progress in Welding on SLS Liquid Oxygen Tank Hardware

Published on Apr 4, 2016
BY: NASA's Marshall Center

A liquid oxygen tank confidence article for the world’s most powerful rocket, NASA’s Space Launch System, completes final welding on the Vertical Assembly Center at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The liquid oxygen tank is one of two tanks that make up the SLS core stage. Towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, the core stage will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines. Confidence hardware verifies weld procedures are working as planned and tooling-to-hardware interfaces are correct. It will also be used in developing the application process for the thermal protection system, which is the insulation foam that gives the tank its orange color. The liquid oxygen tank is the smaller of the two tanks in the core stage. Components of the liquid hydrogen tank confidence article completed welding in February at Michoud. All welding for the SLS core stage for the Block I configuration of the rocket -- including confidence, qualification and flight hardware -- will be done this summer in preparation for its first flight with NASA's Orion spacecraft in 2018.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTeabUg6KdA

Updated 4/5/16: Main YouTube Link
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/05/2016 06:15 PM
https://twitter.com/NASA_go4launch/status/715195695670624256
Quote
Insert Rocket here! #VAB K-Level Platforms extended, showing #GSDO access to process @NASA_SLS and @NASA_Orion

They are raising the first of the J Platforms out of HB4 for installation this week into HB3. The second J Platform is in the foreground in Camera 083.
http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan4large.jpg

Edited to include High Bay 4 (Camera 083)
The First J Platform is now being lowered into HB3 for Installation today

EDIT: Installation is now finished
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 04/13/2016 07:55 PM
Space Launch System Scale and Power (Animation)

Published on Apr 13, 2016
NASA's Marshall Center

Animation depicting NASA’s Space Launch System, the world's most powerful rocket for a new era of human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. With its unprecedented capabilities, SLS will launch crews of up to four astronauts in the agency’s Orion spacecraft on missions to explore multiple, deep-space destinations, including Mars. Traveling to deep space requires a large vehicle that can carry huge payloads, and future evolutions of SLS with the exploration upper stage and advanced boosters will increase the rocket’s lift capability and flexibility for multiple types of mission needs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVzwf0nS-eE
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 04/22/2016 11:15 PM
Booster Segment Answers 'Casting' Call for First Flight of SLS
April 22, 2016 - Jennifer Harbaugh

The first of 10 flight segments for the two solid-rocket boosters of NASA’s Space Launch System has been cast at Orbital ATK’s facility in Promontory, Utah.  Casting involves filling the insulated metal case with propellant and allowing it to solidify or “cure” for several days. The hardware, which is the aft segment, will eventually be integrated with four other segments to make up one of the two, five-segment solid rocket boosters for the first flight of SLS in 2018. During this flight, called Exploration Mission-1, SLS will carry an unmanned Orion spacecraft to travel thousands of miles beyond the moon over the course of about a three-week mission and help NASA prepare for missions to deep space, including Mars. Orbital ATK is the prime contractor for the boosters.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/booster-segment-for-first-flight-of-sls.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/booster-segment-for-first-flight-of-sls.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 04/22/2016 11:23 PM
Welding Wonder Completes Hardware for First Flight of NASA's SLS Rocket
April 18, 2016 - Jennifer Harbaugh

Flight hardware for the core stage of the world's most powerful rocket, NASA's Space Launch System, finishes final welding and is moved off the 170-foot-tall Vertical Assembly Center at the agency's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The hardware is for the engine section, and is the first major SLS flight component to finish full welding on the Vertical Assembly Center. The engine section is located at the bottom of the rocket's core stage and will house the four RS-25 engines for the first flight of SLS with NASA's Orion spacecraft in 2018. The SLS core stage will stand at more than 200 feet tall and store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the launch vehicle’s RS-25 engines. A qualification version of the engine section, which also has completed welding on the Vertical Assembly Center at Michoud, will be shipped later this year to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to undergo structural loads testing on a 50-foot test structure currently under construction. All welding for the core stage of the SLS Block I configuration -- including confidence, qualification and flight hardware -- will be completed this summer. Traveling to deep space requires a large vehicle that can carry huge payloads, and SLS will have the payload capacity needed to carry crew and cargo for those exploration missions, including Mars.

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/welding-wonder-completes-hardware-for-first-flight-of-SLS-rocket (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/welding-wonder-completes-hardware-for-first-flight-of-SLS-rocket)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: CNYMike on 04/27/2016 04:44 PM
Space Launch System Scale and Power (Animation)

Published on Apr 13, 2016
NASA's Marshall Center

Animation depicting NASA’s Space Launch System, the world's most powerful rocket for a new era of human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. With its unprecedented capabilities, SLS will launch crews of up to four astronauts in the agency’s Orion spacecraft on missions to explore multiple, deep-space destinations, including Mars. Traveling to deep space requires a large vehicle that can carry huge payloads, and future evolutions of SLS with the exploration upper stage and advanced boosters will increase the rocket’s lift capability and flexibility for multiple types of mission needs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVzwf0nS-eE

Who knows if it will be built, but the video is awesome.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Star One on 04/27/2016 09:14 PM
Who knows if it will be built, but the video is awesome.
"If"?  It already is being built.

 - Ed Kyle

A bill is not paid until the cheque has cleared.

Block 0 SLS is in a race with Falcon Heavy and Vulcan Heavy. Definitely an "If" until Block 1A with its very heavy payload flies.

It is not in a race at all. Attempts to suggest it is are misguided in my view.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 04/27/2016 09:40 PM
A PR piece from OA. The whole release can befound here: http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/feature-stories/EM1_Casting/default.aspx?prid=137
Quote
Progress is being made every day on NASA’s Journey To Mars. Orbital ATK recently completed casting the SLS aft booster segment for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft, EM-1. Casting involves filling the rocket motor case with propellant and allowing it to cure for several days. EM-1 will launch in 2018, powered by two Orbital ATK five-segment solid rocket boosters.

The six year old in me wonders if I can lick the giant beaters...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 04/30/2016 10:19 PM
Block 0 SLS is in a race with Falcon Heavy and Vulcan Heavy. Definitely an "If" until Block 1A with its very heavy payload flies.

Interesting. Do you have any references or documentation on this Vulcan Heavy? I don't believe I've seen anything on that yet.

Also, regarding the SLS configuration terminology. There is no Block 0 and no Block 1A. Right now NASA is building SLS Block 1 vehicle with two 5-segment SRBs and the ICPS upper stage. This configuration should be able to put around 95 tonnes into LEO.

NASA hopes to replace the ICPS with the 8.4m EUS as soon as possible, making it an SLS Block 1B. Depending on many different factors, Block 1B may be ready in time for EM-2. This configuration should put up to 105 tonnes into LEO.

Someday far in the future, Block 2 would replace the 5-segment boosters with advanced composite-wound boosters, or possibly liquid boosters (but probably not). In Congressional theory, this configuration should be able to put at least 130 tonnes of payload into LEO. But probably not.

Based on this information, I would have to guess that a Block 1A would be an SLS core with ICPS upper stage and advanced boosters. I don't think that this configuration is currently under discussion at NASA.

Cheers!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 04/30/2016 11:15 PM
Block 0 SLS is in a race with Falcon Heavy and Vulcan Heavy. Definitely an "If" until Block 1A with its very heavy payload flies.

Interesting. Do you have any references or documentation on this Vulcan Heavy? I don't believe I've seen anything on that yet.

Also, regarding the SLS configuration terminology. There is no Block 0 and no Block 1A. Right now NASA is building SLS Block 1 vehicle with two 5-segment SRBs and the ICPS upper stage. This configuration should be able to put around 95 tonnes into LEO.

NASA hopes to replace the ICPS with the 8.4m EUS as soon as possible, making it an SLS Block 1B. Depending on many different factors, Block 1B may be ready in time for EM-2. This configuration should put up to 105 tonnes into LEO.

Someday far in the future, Block 2 would replace the 5-segment boosters with advanced composite-wound boosters, or possibly liquid boosters (but probably not). In Congressional theory, this configuration should be able to put at least 130 tonnes of payload into LEO. But probably not.

Based on this information, I would have to guess that a Block 1A would be an SLS core with ICPS upper stage and advanced boosters. I don't think that this configuration is currently under discussion at NASA.

Cheers!

ULA has only only shown an Infographic that included VH to show that it is vastly more capable than FH, but it is not presently planned at this time
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/01/2016 07:56 AM
Right now NASA is building SLS Block 1 vehicle with two 5-segment SRBs and the ICPS upper stage. This configuration should be able to put around 95 tonnes into LEO.

Block 1 is 70 t to LEO.

Quote
NASA hopes to replace the ICPS with the 8.4m EUS as soon as possible, making it an SLS Block 1B. Depending on many different factors, Block 1B may be ready in time for EM-2. This configuration should put up to 105 tonnes into LEO.

Block IB with EUS is 93.1 t to LEO (value from Boeing AIAA Space 2013 paper).

Quote
Someday far in the future, Block 2 would replace the 5-segment boosters with advanced composite-wound boosters, or possibly liquid boosters (but probably not). In Congressional theory, this configuration should be able to put at least 130 tonnes of payload into LEO. But probably not.

That configuration won't be able to get 130 t to LEO without using a five engine core and/or a J-2X upper stage.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 05/01/2016 09:17 PM
Regarding the Block IIB, using Dark Knight advanced composite solids, which is what NASA says is its ultimate version of SLS, the performance numbers as calculated by Steven can be found here (113.4t):

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39526.msg1499269#msg1499269
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 05/09/2016 09:46 PM
First Work Platforms Tested in Vehicle Assembly Building

NASAKennedy

Published on May 9, 2016
The first new work platforms for NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) were powered on and tested in the Vehicle Assembly Building High Bay 3 at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. During a preliminary test April 28, the two J-level platforms were extended to test their motors, tracks and roller systems for functionality. The J-level platforms are one of ten levels of platforms that will surround the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft during processing.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=qnOmIWbp19k

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnOmIWbp19k
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 05/12/2016 11:14 AM
The SLS, Orion, and GSDO managers are trying to get the agency to push the EM-1 NET launch date up to September 2018.
(http://spacenews.com/nasa-working-towards-september-2018-slsorion-launch/)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ngilmore on 05/14/2016 06:01 PM
Not sure where to put this, but the Los Angeles Times has a profile on AMRO with some photos related to SLS and Orion fabrication. AMRO was an early advertiser on this site, so you may recognize the name from that.

"AMRO is probably making more primary structure on the Orion-SLS combined rocket than anybody else," said Steve Doering, who oversees the building of the core stage for NASA.

http://www.latimes.com/science/space/la-me-space-builder-20160513-story.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/19/2016 06:05 PM
A reminder this is an update thread. Any questions or replies, quote the post and use the discussion thread. I know it'll take two minutes before someone doesn't do that (#InternetProblems)

Anyway:

Article by Chris Gebhardt:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/05/orbital-atk-cislunar-habitat-missions-sls-orion/

Nathan L2 renders included.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/13/2016 07:33 PM
NASA Completes Test Version of SLS Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter
Jennifer Harbaugh - June 13, 2016

A crane lifts the structural test article of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) after final manufacturing on a 30-foot welding tool at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The LVSA will connect two major sections of the upper part of NASA's Space Launch System -- the core stage and the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) -- for the first flight of the rocket and the Orion spacecraft. SLS will be the world's most powerful rocket and carry astronauts in NASA's Orion spacecraft on deep-space missions, including the journey to Mars.

Later this year at Marshall, the test version of the LVSA will be stacked with other structural test articles of the upper part of SLS. Engineers will examine test data and compare it to computer models to verify the integrity of the hardware and ensure it can withstand the forces it will experience during flight. The hardware's cone shape is due to the ICPS having a smaller diameter than the rocket's core stage. Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville is the prime contractor for the LVSA.

Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given

http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/completion-of-test-version-of-LVSA.html (http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/completion-of-test-version-of-LVSA.html)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/16/2016 07:32 PM
Tail Service Mast Umbilicals Prepared to Support NASA’s Journey to Mars
June 16, 2016 - Linda Herridge

Several connections, called launch umbilicals, will connect from the mobile launcher tower and provide power, communications, coolant and fuel to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft for their first integrated mission. Among them are two umbilicals, called tail service mast umbilicals (TSMUs). They are being cleaned and assembled at Precision Fabrication Cleaning in Cocoa, Florida, before they are transported to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for testing.

Technicians are cleaning the two segments of each umbilical to remove any dirt or debris that may hinder their functionality, checking them for any defects, and then assembling the parts to form two complete umbilicals. They will be transported to Kennedy’s Launch Equipment Test Facility where they will undergo testing to ensure their readiness to support prelaunch operations leading up to launch.

The umbilicals will connect from the zero-level deck on the base of the mobile launcher to the SLS rocket core stage aft section. The 33-foot-tall structures will provide liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fluid lines and electrical cable connections to the SLS core stage engine section to support propellant handling during prelaunch operations.

At the LETF, engineers and technicians will use liquid nitrogen to simulate the liquid oxygen for the TSMU that will provide liquid oxygen. They will test the umbilical’s arm performance across the full range of SLS core stage motions and simulate a vehicle launch using the Vehicle Motion Simulator test fixture. The same series of tests will be performed with the second TSMU that will provide liquid hydrogen, using the actual liquid hydrogen commodity.

Before launch, both TSMUs will tilt back to ensure a safe and reliable disconnect and retract of all umbilical hardware away from the rocket during liftoff.

Kennedy’s Engineering Directorate, along with the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, are supporting processing activities of the umbilicals for missions to deep space including NASA’s journey to Mars (http://www.nasa.gov/content/nasas-journey-to-mars).

https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/06/16/tail-service-mast-umbilicals-prepared-to-support-nasas-journey-to-mars (https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/06/16/tail-service-mast-umbilicals-prepared-to-support-nasas-journey-to-mars)

More photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy (https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasakennedy) (all taken June 3, 2016).
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 06/24/2016 07:57 PM
G-level work platforms installed in High Bay 3 of the VAB

NASAKennedy

Published on Jun 24, 2016
Zinnia plants grown on the International Space Station are dissected back on Earth in the Space Station Processing Facility, and the G-level work platforms for NASA's Space Launch System are installed in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kqdzZcejM0?t=30s

Advance to 30 seconds to view

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kqdzZcejM0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Bubbinski on 06/27/2016 05:52 PM
We got to see one of the center segments for EM-1 already made at the NASA Social today. Don't know if it's for left or right hand booster. Again this is SLS flight hardware, the 1st segment that came through the final assembly building.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: CyndyC on 07/14/2016 07:05 PM
Inside the rehab of the Vehicle Assembly Building for SLS with 25 photos, from Orlando Business Journal (http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/blog/morning-edition/2016/07/inside-the-rehab-at-nasas-launch-complex-photos.html?ana=e_jac_rdup&s=newsletter&ed=2016-07-14&u=vw2EyOmKeNXcs28tvzH05F5dnd&t=1468518939&j=74850622)

Includes photos of the transporter erector (TE), the crawlerway, the pad, and the flame trench.

Also includes photos of processing Boeing's CST-100 inside the former shuttle facility across from the VAB, and
a photo (#20) of SpaceX pad 39A as viewed from 39B, unfortunately none of which can be downloaded to post in their respective threads.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 07/15/2016 05:07 AM
I used the SeaMonkey browser to save those images. Right-Click -> View Page Info -> Media -> Select Image -> Save As... Images attached in a zip file.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 07/15/2016 01:32 PM
Screen cap from the Stennis live stream this morning -- a look at construction progress on the B-2 test stand for the Core Stage.  (Reference presentation slide also attached.)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rocketguy101 on 07/15/2016 02:47 PM
I used the SeaMonkey browser to save those images. Right-Click -> View Page Info -> Media -> Select Image -> Save As... Images attached in a zip file.
thanks!  that worked with Firefox too, same methodology.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 07/19/2016 07:25 PM
LH2 tank qualification/structural test article welding complete:
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/nasa-completes-welding-on-sls-fuel-tank-test-article.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 07/20/2016 11:34 PM
NASA Completes First Round of Composite Shell Buckling Tests with a Bang

 
NASA's Marshall Center

Published on Jul 20, 2016
During the test, force is increasingly applied to the top of a composite barrel to evaluate the structural integrity of the test article. The resulting data will help engineers in the design and build of primary structures for future launch vehicles.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PQ2Z_HIvfA?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PQ2Z_HIvfA
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/21/2016 01:55 AM
Shouldn't they test these things under pressure?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: RotoSequence on 07/21/2016 02:00 AM
Shouldn't they test these things under pressure?

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they know what they're doing.  ;) That said, the structure buckled at about 3.7 meganewtons. Is it just me, or does that seem a bit low?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/21/2016 02:20 AM
I know they know what they're doing. From what I remember, they assume no internal pressure because it's a conservative assumption, but I'd like a better explanation.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Calphor on 07/21/2016 05:03 AM
I know they know what they're doing. From what I remember, they assume no internal pressure because it's a conservative assumption, but I'd like a better explanation.
You are also assuming that this is only for tankage or booster application. There are other structures that may benefit from composites that primarily see line loads.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/21/2016 05:37 PM
I know they know what they're doing. From what I remember, they assume no internal pressure because it's a conservative assumption, but I'd like a better explanation.
You are also assuming that this is only for tankage or booster application. There are other structures that may benefit from composites that primarily see line loads.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Certainly, like an interstage or something (aircraft--which ARE usually pressurized--generally aren't cylinders simply loaded in compression like tested here, while boosters are).

But these are the same kind of tests that are used for large isogrid aluminum alloy can crushes. They're using this as a baseline number for vehicle design.

I'd be interested in a fuller explanation of why tests done under pressurization is so rare.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 07/27/2016 06:39 PM
GAO report on SLS (and EGS) "NASA Human Space Exploration: Opportunity Nears to Reassess Launch Vehicle and Ground Systems Cost and Schedule" (GAO-16-612) was posted today:
http://gao.gov/products/GAO-16-612

For reference, the GAO report released on Orion (GAO-16-620) today is noted here:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38410.msg1564070#msg1564070
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Proponent on 07/28/2016 06:09 PM
GAO report on SLS (and EGS) "NASA Human Space Exploration: Opportunity Nears to Reassess Launch Vehicle and Ground Systems Cost and Schedule" (GAO-16-612) was posted today:
http://gao.gov/products/GAO-16-612

For reference, the GAO report released on Orion (GAO-16-620) today is noted here:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38410.msg1564070#msg1564070

The concerns identified by Booz Allen Hamilton in 2011 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38021.msg1432605#msg1432605) seem to be materializing, and pretty much on the schedule predicted too.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 08/03/2016 08:06 PM
August 03, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY M16-094
NASA Invites Media to Journey to Mars Showcase on Aug. 18


Media are invited Thursday, Aug. 18, to interview experts from across NASA and industry about the science, technology and human spaceflight activities that are making the agency’s Journey to Mars possible.

The day will begin at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and parts of the Orion spacecraft are being manufactured, and will end the day at a test firing of SLS’s powerful RS-25 engine at the agency’s Stennis Space Center, near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Transportation will be provided for media travelling between Michoud and Stennis to cover both parts of this showcase event.

To participate, media must contact Kathryn Hambleton for credentials at 202-358-1100 or [email protected] no later than 5 p.m. EDT, Friday, Aug. 12.

NASA experts will be available for one-on-one interviews with media about technologies needed to explore the Red Planet, including SLS, Orion and ground systems operations, as well as habitat and lander development, landing site selection, propulsion, advanced manufacturing, robotic exploration, and more.

Media will have the opportunity to:

. get a behind-the-scenes look at what NASA is doing in science, technology, and human spaceflight to prepare for deep space travel
. view manufacturing of the core stage, the largest part of NASA's new deep space rocket
see the next Orion structure being manufactured -- the Orion that will be used for structural testing of the design which will take humans beyond Earth orbit
. speak with representatives from NASA and industry partners creating the capabilities to send humans to Mars
. witness a firing of the RS-25 engine, part of the SLS core stage
. tour rocket engine facilities at Stennis
. visit the B-2 test stand that is being renovated for SLS core stage testing


NASA is on an ambitious Journey to Mars that includes sending humans to the Red Planet in the 2030s. The agency’s robotic spacecraft are leading the way on Mars with two active rovers, three active orbiters, the planned launch of the InSight lander in 2018, and development of the Mars 2020 rover. SLS and Orion will launch together, for the first time, in 2018 and be capable of sending humans farther from Earth than ever before, including to an asteroid and Mars.

For more information about NASA’s Journey to Mars, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/journeytomars

-end-

Picture Credits: NASA
A liquid hydrogen tank weld confidence article (left) for the core stage of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, recently was completed on the Vertical Assembly Center at the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 08/03/2016 09:03 PM
First Tail Service Mast Umbilical Arrives for Testing at Kennedy Space Center
August 3, 2016, Linda Herridge

The first of two Tail Service Mast Umbilicals (TSMUs) for NASA’s Space Launch System arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida from Precision Fabrication and Cleaning in Cocoa. The TSMU was moved to the Launch Equipment Test Facility, where it will undergo testing to ensure it functions properly.

Both TSMUs will connect from the zero-level deck on the mobile launcher to the SLS rocket core stage aft section. The 33-feet-tall umbilicals will provide liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen fluid lines and electrical cable connections to the SLS core stage engine section to support propellant handling during prelaunch operations. Before launch, both TSMUs will tilt back to ensure a safe and reliable disconnect and retract of all umbilical hardware away from the rocket during liftoff.

Kennedy’s Engineering Directorate, along with the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, are supporting testing of all of the umbilicals that will attach from the tower on the mobile launcher to the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft for Exploration Mission 1 and deep-space missions, including the journey to Mars.

Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/08/03/first-tail-service-mast-umbilical-arrives-for-testing-at-kennedy-space-center/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/08/03/first-tail-service-mast-umbilical-arrives-for-testing-at-kennedy-space-center/)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 08/04/2016 03:24 AM
View Platform Installation Midpoint in 360-degree View

NASAKennedy

Published on Aug 3, 2016
Inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, platform installation reached the midpoint in High Bay 3, with installation of the F north and south platforms.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at3cCCstD2Q?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at3cCCstD2Q
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: sdsds on 08/04/2016 06:21 AM
GAO says:
"GAO recommends that NASA should reevaluate cost and schedule reserves as part of its integrated design review for the first flight test in order to maximize all remaining cost and schedule reserves. NASA concurred with GAO's recommendation."

If the worst criticism of a program is that the reserves might not be big enough? That's actually a pretty glowing report!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/04/2016 10:22 AM
Fiso podcast on SLS.

http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Sanders-Fuller-DaLee_8-3-16/

Costs aside there is lot to be said for being able to deliver 45t and 10m dia payloads direct to Mars , plus greatly reduce travel time for outer solar system robotic missions.



Sent from my SM-T810 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 08/16/2016 04:22 PM
Done in 60 seconds: See a Massive Rocket Fuel Tank Built in A Minute

NASA's Marshall Center

Published on Aug 16, 2016
It took a lot longer than 60 seconds to weld the massive 130-foot rocket fuel tank. This time-lapse video shows the construction and rotation of the liquid hydrogen tank for the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket -- the new heavy-lift rocket being built in the Vehicle Assembly Center at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. There are two views, looking down as the tank is assembled and then looking up. The hydrogen tank comprises nearly two-thirds of the length of the 212-foot-long core stage and will help quench the thirst of the four RS-25 engines that, along with the twin solid rocket boosters, will launch the Orion spacecraft and carry crew to deep space destination and eventually Mars. This qualification tank will be moved to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for structural testing. Testing ensures the flight articles will be able to sustain the extreme forces experienced during launch. Tanks and other parts of the core stage that will be flown on the maiden flight of SLS and Orion are also under construction at Michoud. For more about NASA’s Space Launch System, visit www.nasa.gov/sls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IcPrSIjxnc?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IcPrSIjxnc
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 08/19/2016 11:05 PM
Plugging Away Inside Massive SLS Fuel Tank: Welders Complete Final Plug Fusion Welds on SLS Liquid Hydrogen Tank

Welders inside a large liquid hydrogen tank for NASA's Space Launch System at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans are plugging holes left after the tank was assembled. Using frictional heating and forging pressure, friction stir welding produces high-strength bonds virtually free of defects.
 
The process transforms metals from a solid state into a "plastic-like" state and uses a rotating pin tool to soften, stir and forge a bond between two metal sections to form a uniform welded joint. At the beginning and end of each weld, holes remain where the rotating pin tool enters and exits the metal. Six 22-foot-tall barrels and two domed caps were joined together to create the qualification test article, which measures an astounding 27.5 feet in diameter and over 130 feet long.
 
Qualification test articles, like the one shown here, closely replicate flight hardware and are built using identical processing procedures. The liquid hydrogen tank, a liquid oxygen tank, four RS-25 engines and other elements form SLS's core stage, which also serves as the rocket's structural backbone.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasamarshall/28469347553 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasamarshall/28469347553)

Photo Credit: NASA/SBSEIPEL, taken August 5, 2016
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 09/13/2016 09:59 PM
Preparing America for Deep Space Exploration Episode 14: Fired Up

NASA Johnson

Published on Sep 13, 2016
NASA is pressing full steam ahead toward sending humans farther than ever before. Take a look at the work being done by teams across the nation for NASA’s deep space human exploration programs, including the Space Launch System, Orion and the Ground Systems Development and Operations Programs, as they continue to propel human spaceflight into the next generation. Highlights from the second quarter of 2016 included the installation of platforms in NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building in preparation for launch vehicle processing, relocation of the Orion crew module to prepare for propulsion tube welding and the second ground-based qualification test of the Space Launch System’s five-segment booster.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgFeAcnF9tY?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgFeAcnF9tY
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 09/16/2016 11:04 PM
Inside KSC! Sept. 16, 2016

Inside KSC! Sept. 16, 2016

Published on Sep 16, 2016
One of the aft skirts that will become part of the Exploration Mission 1 stack was moved to the Booster Fabrication Facility at Kennedy. Another vital element for the EM-1 mission, the processing bay of the Vehicle Assembly Building where the massive booster and spacecraft will be stacked, also continues to take shape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boDt0odsZBY?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boDt0odsZBY
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 09/19/2016 08:10 PM
Piece by Piece: Building Space Launch System’s Core Stage, September 19, 2016
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/piece-by-piece-building-sls-core-stage

Caption: Engineers just completed welding the liquid hydrogen tank that will provide fuel for the first SLS flight in 2018. (my bold) The tank measures more than 130 feet tall, comprises almost two-thirds of the core stage and holds 537,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen -- which is cooled to minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit.
Credits: NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel


The largest rocket stage in the world is coming together piece by piece at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Large elements for NASA's Space Launch System are in production and will be joined together to create the rocket's 212-foot-tall core stage, the backbone of the SLS rocket.

Why is NASA building the largest rocket ever manufactured? Because SLS is ready to support both near-term missions in the proving ground around the moon starting in 2018, while at the same time being capable of carrying the very large hardware like landers, habitats and other supplies and equipment needed to explore Mars and other deep space destinations in the 2030s and beyond.

To power a Mars rocket, the core stage carries around 2.3 million pounds of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to fuel the four RS-25 engines. Engineers just completed welding the largest part of the core stage, the 130-foot-tall liquid hydrogen tank that will provide fuel for the first SLS flight in 2018, but there’s still work to ready the tank for its maiden voyage.


Caption: The liquid oxygen tank is the second tank that makes up the core stage, which towers more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet. The liquid oxygen tank holds 196,000 gallons of the rocket's oxidizer -- liquid oxygen -- which is cooled to minus 297 degrees Fahrenheit. Earlier in the year, engineers completed the liquid oxygen confidence article, which is identical to the test and flight version of the tank that will be welded in the coming weeks.
Credits: NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel


"Building the core stage is similar to building a house," said Joan Funk, SLS core stage lead at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. "With the massive, welded elements coming off the Vertical Assembly Center at Michoud, we've laid the foundation, framed the walls and put up the roof. The big items are in place. Now it's time to get to work on the inside." That's where engineers will clean and prime each element before beginning the internal integration.

Michoud's Vertical Assembly Center, the largest spacecraft-welding tool in the world, is welding many of the core stage's main elements -- the forward skirt, the liquid oxygen tank, the liquid hydrogen tank and the engine section. The core stage's fifth element, the intertank, which is bolted, is also being built at Michoud. The Boeing Company, headquartered in Chicago, is the prime contractor building the core stage, but to build the stage, Boeing has worked with 442 businesses across America, including 297 small businesses.

“When welding is complete, these structures still have to go through more processing to turn them into functional parts of the rocket,” said Funk. “The core stage has parts with very different functions from housing the flight computer and primary avionics to holding the fuel to supporting the four RS-25 engines.”

The final manufacturing processes and outfitting for each part of the core stage varies with the section’s function. Wet structures -- elements that hold fuel, or the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks -- are put through "proof tests" to assure manufacturing quality. The liquid oxygen tank is hydrostatically tested and filled with water; and the liquid hydrogen tank is pneumatically tested.


Caption: Where the rubber meets the road, the engine section is the business end of the core stage. It houses the four RS-25 engines -- formerly space shuttle main engines, the most reliable rocket engines ever built -- that produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust during launch. The engine section also houses the avionics used to steer the engines and is an attachment point for the solid rocket boosters.
Credits: NASA/Michoud/Steven Seipel


After testing, the tanks and dry structures -- elements that don't hold fuel, or the forward skirt, intertank and engine section -- are cleaned, primed and readied for the "work on the inside." Much like a house being constructed, the core stage is outfitted with wiring, plumbing and insulation.

The dry structures house flight computers, cameras and avionics -- or the "brains" of the rocket. In a house, wiring can carry power or television and internet data from room to room. In the SLS's core stage, 45 miles of wire cabling serves a similar purpose, carrying power and data from element to element powering flight computers, cameras, sensors, avionics and other electronics housed in the dry structures.

The core stage's plumbing contains lines that deliver the propellant and oxidizer from the tanks to the engines. Each dry structure also contains purge vent lines and hazardous gas lines designed to eliminate dangerous gases building up in the dry structures prior to launch.

"The dry structures are cram-packed full of equipment and the domes of the tanks take up a lot of the room inside the dry structures," said Funk. Racks, cameras, sensors, vent lines, wire cabling, valves, shelves, couplings, and more fill the core stage's dry structures to near capacity. With every inch planned, equipment is mounted and wiring is placed methodically, accounting for time, space, accessibility and much more. When the dry structures are ready to be "stacked," or joined to the other elements, there isn't much room to spare.


Caption: Ratana Meekham, a Qualis Corp. engineering technician at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, helps install approximately 5 miles of cable on a half-ring structure being used to test the avionics system that will guide the SLS. The forward skirt, intertank and engine section contain the rocket's avionics and electronics.
Credits: NASA/MSFC/Fred Deaton


Before the elements can be stacked, insulation -- which is more important to a rocket than to a house -- is applied. Not only does NASA's thermal protection system give the rocket its signature orange color, but more importantly, it protects the core stage from the extreme temperatures encountered during launch and maintains the fuels' extremely low temperatures. The liquid hydrogen is chilled to minus 423 degrees Fahrenheit and the liquid oxygen is chilled to minus 297 degrees.

How do those elements finally come together to form the 212-foot-long core stage? With the initial wiring, plumbing and insulation complete, the elements are divided into two sections for stacking. Each section is stacked vertically, with elements bolted to one another using segmented support rings welded to each element, providing stiffness. The liquid hydrogen tank sits atop the engine section to create the aft section, and the forward skirt and intertank are bolted to the top and bottom of the liquid oxygen tank to create the forward section.

When complete, engineers "break over" the sections, or move them to a horizontal position, for their final assembly. Final wiring, plumbing and insulation are installed after the forward section is joined to the aft to complete the core stage assembly.

Before punching its ticket to launch, the core stage will travel by barge to NASA's Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where it will undergo a free modal test to understand the structure then be mounted in the recently renovated B-2 Test Stand for propellant fill and drain testing and hot fire testing called a “green run.” A green run, or the first time the engines are assembled into a single configuration with the core stage and fired at nearly full-power, tests the compatibility and functionality of the system to ensure a safe and viable design.

Once post-test assessments and adjustments are complete, the core stage will travel again by barge to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, for its first flight with Orion.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: incoming on 09/29/2016 08:25 PM
assume this is the right place for this...NASA has posted an RFP for the SLS Universal Stage Adapter, which will be used for the EUS equipped variant of SLS to adapt the EUS to Orion and to encapsulate any co-manifested payload.

https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=7dbf1cb585adff0e8f71dec0059b2809&_cview=0

 
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 09/30/2016 07:36 PM
Additional pictures of the core stage tank and Orion adapter.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 09/30/2016 09:56 PM
NASA Marshall Public Affairs has provided additional images from Steven Seipel of the LH2 tank flight article move out of the VAC over to Cell A.

Credits: NASA MSFC Image: Steven Seipel
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 09/30/2016 09:57 PM
Credits: NASA MSFC Image: Steven Seipel
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 09/30/2016 09:58 PM
Credits: NASA MSFC Image: Steven Seipel
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 09/30/2016 09:59 PM
Credit: NASA MSFC Image: Steven Seipel
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 10/02/2016 12:34 AM
Credit: NASA MSFC Image: Steven Seipel

I'm a little bit worried about the numbering scheme. With only six digits in the tank's serial number, as soon as they build the millionth tank, they will have to rewrite all their inventory tracking software. This could prove a major disruption in SLS production.

:)

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 10/02/2016 08:14 AM
Credit: NASA MSFC Image: Steven Seipel

I'm a little bit worried about the numbering scheme. With only six digits in the tank's serial number, as soon as they build the millionth tank, they will have to rewrite all their inventory tracking software. This could prove a major disruption in SLS production.

:)
They could've got away with 2 digits, even that might be optimistic.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 10/06/2016 03:38 PM
Summer of Testing Concludes for NASA’s Journey to Mars

Washington, D.C., October 6, 2016 –NASA and the agency’s industry team for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft are concluding a successful summer of testing in preparation for the first integrated flight. The uncrewed, three-week mission, currently designated Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), is scheduled for late 2018. During the mission, SLS will send Orion about 40,000 miles beyond the moon during a flight that will be farther from Earth than any spacecraft built to carry humans has ever traveled.

“Crew safety is the highest priority as NASA prepares to send astronauts into deep space and eventually Mars,” said Tony Antonelli, Lockheed Martin’s chief technologist for civil space exploration programs. “A rigorous flight test program is critical to ensuring all systems are ready for the journey.”

In June, Orbital ATK concluded full-scale solid rocket booster qualification testing at their facility in Promontory, Utah that blasted 3.6 million pounds of thrust during the two minute test – burning approximately 1.4 million pounds of propellant at an average of 5.5 tons per second. The SLS boosters and all data to date show the motors performed as expected. Two five segment boosters will provide initial thrust to boost the SLS and Orion off the launch pad and during its first two-plus minutes of flight. 

Four Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-25 engines will provide thrust to the core stage during SLS launch and ascent. In July and August, the company conducted tests on the RS-25 development engine 0528 at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. After testing this summer, RS-25 engine 0528 has accumulated 99 starts and 54,572 seconds of hotfire time, including 1,263 seconds of test time dedicated to SLS development. These state of the art engines will operate for a full 8 ½ minutes, to help boost Orion into orbit. Data from this summer, combined with earlier test data, indicate the RS-25 engines will exceed SLS mission requirements. Each engine produces more than 500,000 pounds of thrust.

Boeing, building the core stages in New Orleans, completed welding on the liquid hydrogen tank flight and qualification test articles in the world’s largest welding tool. The tank is part of the core stage, which accounts for the largest section of the rocket at more than 200 feet in height. The qualification tank is being readied at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in Louisiana for barge transport to NASA’s Marshal Space Flight Center in Huntsville for structural loads testing. As other qualification test elements of the core stage are completed, they will be shipped to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) where the core stage will be assembled for full-up qualification structural loads testing of the massive structure. NASA is completing construction of the tank test stands this fall at MSFC. In addition, NASA accepted delivery of the interim cryogenic propulsion stage test article at MSFC for testing later this year.

“As NASA readies for the next stage of testing, flight hardware for the first mission is in production for both the core stage and the interim cryogenic propulsion stage,” added Jacqueline Nesselroad, director of Boeing operations at Michoud.

On the Orion program, Lockheed Martin engineering teams recently finished proof pressure testing of the EM-1 crew module at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, a critical milestone in certifying the structural integrity of the vehicle for its next mission. At the same time, engineers are conducting a series of critical acoustic and vibration tests for the service module at NASA Glenn’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.

In August, the Aerojet Rocketdyne-manufactured jettison motor for Orion’s Launch Abort System successfully test fired 45,000 pounds of thrust at the company’s Sacramento facility. In keeping with the approach of “testing like you fly,” water impact tests have been conducted by NASA and Lockheed Martin at the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. These tests study the effects various water landing impacts will have on the crew to ensure engineers understand splashdown scenarios after the space flight.

Another critical element in ensuring crew safety is Orion’s entry parachute system. The parachutes will slow the capsule down from its high-speed re-entry of 25,000 mph to a relatively gentle 20 mph for splashdown. This fall, the parachute team is beginning qualification tests of the system for human flights, encompassing eight integrated drop tests that will simulate a variety of landing scenarios.

“NASA and the SLS and Orion industry team remain on schedule in executing a highly successful test program as the U.S. maintains space leadership through the Journey to Mars,” said Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Advanced Space and Launch at Aerojet Rocketdyne. “All of this testing adds up to lowering the risk for astronauts to ensure they arrive and return safely from their destinations.”

To learn more about EM-1, visit www.exploredeepspace.com.
Aerojet Rocketdyne: http://www.rocket.com/rs-25-engine
Boeing: http://www.boeing.com/space/space-launch-system/
Lockheed Martin: www.lockheedmartin.com/orion
Orbital ATK: http://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-systems/propulsion-systems/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 10/07/2016 05:42 PM
NASA Marshall Public Affairs has provided additional images from Steven Seipel of the LH2 tank flight article move out of the VAC over to Cell A.

Credits: NASA MSFC Image: Steven Seipel
Video of this now posted on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJoe3M1eJ3w
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 10/12/2016 06:09 PM
Oct. 12, 2016
The Pressure is On for SLS Hardware in Upcoming Test
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/pressure-on-for-sls-hardware-in-upcoming-test

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/fd030984.jpg
Caption: A test version of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) is moved to a 65-foot-tall test stand at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The LVSA will connect the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System rocket to the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS). The ICPS is a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system that will give Orion the big, in-space push needed to fly beyond the moon before it returns to Earth on the first flight of SLS in 2018. The test version LVSA will be stacked with other test pieces of the upper part of the SLS rocket and pushed, pulled and twisted as part of an upcoming test series to ensure each structure can withstand the incredible stresses of launch.
Credits: NASA/MSFC/Fred Deaton

Engineers are getting ready to put the pressure on hardware for the world's most powerful rocket, NASA’s Space Launch System, as part of a rigorous test series to ensure each structure can withstand the incredible stresses of launch. SLS and the agency’s Orion spacecraft will travel to new destinations in deep space as NASA continues to prepare for its Journey to Mars.

"Not only is this series more cost effective by testing several qualification articles together, but it also helps us to understand how the flight-like hardware will interface together," said Mike Roberts, mechanical team lead in the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

A 65-foot-tall test stand at Marshall is being readied for the upcoming test series, where two simulators and four qualification articles of the upper part of the SLS will be stacked and then pushed, pulled and twisted by forces similar to those experienced in flight. "We have to make sure all the hardware is structurally sound and will not compromise under the incredible amounts of force," said Dee VanCleave, lead test engineer for the structural loads test at Marshall. "The best way to verify these major structures are ready for launch is to test them."

The qualification articles and simulators will be stacked in order from bottom to top in a test structure with "spiders" – given that name because the hardware has 8-16 legs that span out from the center. The spider's design helps distribute the load evenly in the test stand. The pieces are:

•Core stage simulator -- a duplicate of the top of the SLS core stage that is approximately 10 feet tall and 27.5 feet in diameter. It was designed and built at Marshall.
•Launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) -- connects the SLS core stage and the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS). The ICPS is a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system that will give Orion the big, in-space push needed to fly beyond the moon before it returns to Earth on the first flight of SLS in 2018. The LVSA test hardware is 26.5 feet tall, with a bottom diameter of 27.5 feet and a top diameter of 16.8 feet. It was designed and built by prime contractor Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville.
•Frangible joint assembly -- part of the separation system on the SLS. The flight version will have small explosive devices installed that will separate the ICPS from the rest of the rocket in space. Only the structural part of the frangible joint assembly is included for this test series. It was designed and built by The Boeing Co. in Huntsville and United Launch Alliance of Decatur.
•ICPS -- The qualification test article, without the engine, is around 29 feet tall and 16.8 feet in diameter. It will be filled with liquid nitrogen for testing, rather than liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. "Liquid nitrogen is the safest cryogenic media to use for testing," VanCleave said. The ICPS was designed and built by Boeing and United Launch Alliance.
•Orion stage adapter – connects the Orion to the ICPS. It is 4.8 feet tall, with a 16.8-foot bottom diameter and 18-foot top diameter. It was designed and built at Marshall. The adapter technology was used for Orion’s first test flight in December 2014.
•Orion spacecraft simulator – a replica of the bottom portion of the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during the space travel, and provide safe re-entry from deep space return velocities. The simulator also was designed and built at Marshall, and is 4.5 feet tall and 18 feet in diameter.

The qualification articles are almost exact to flight hardware specifications. The core stage simulator was loaded into the test stand Sept. 21, with the LVSA following on Oct. 12. The other three qualification articles and the Orion simulator will complete the stack later this fall. Testing is scheduled to begin in early 2017.


Ready, Set, Test

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/img_5271.jpg
Caption: A test version of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) for NASA's Space Launch System rocket is loaded into the test stand at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Two simulators and four qualification articles of the upper part of the SLS will be stacked in the stand and subjected to forces similar to those experienced in flight. The LVSA joins the core stage simulator, which was loaded into the test stand Sept. 21. The other three qualification articles and the Orion simulator will complete the stack later this fall.
Credits: NASA/MSFC/Brian Massey

Approximately 50 test cases are planned for the series. The qualification test articles will be outfitted with 28 mechanical load lines, which will use hydraulic pressure to push and pull on the test articles. The ICPS tanks also will be filled with liquid nitrogen, which will subject the hardware to pressure as high as 56 pounds per square inch -- relative to atmospheric pressure. More than 170,000 pounds of liquid nitrogen will be used in the tanks for most of the load cases, and 500,000 pounds of axial hydraulic force will be applied to the entire test stack. Engineers will not test to failure for this series.

Data from the tests will be recorded through 1,900 instrumentation channels, measuring the strain on the test articles, temperature, deflection and other factors. The test data will be compared to computer models to verify the integrity of the hardware and ensure it can withstand the forces it will experience during flight. This also will be a type of practice run for assembly operations before the rocket hardware is stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of launch.

The initial SLS configuration will have a minimum 70-metric-ton (77-ton) lift capability and be powered by twin solid rocket boosters and four RS-25 engines. The next planned upgrade of SLS will use a powerful exploration upper stage for more ambitious missions with a 105-metric-ton (115-ton) lift capacity. A third configuration will add a pair of advanced solid or liquid propellant boosters to provide a 130-metric-ton (143-ton) lift capacity. In each configuration, SLS will continue to use the same core stage and four RS-25 engines.


Kim Henry                                                                                                   
 Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
 256-544-0034
[email protected]

Last Updated: Oct. 12, 2016

Editor: Jennifer Harbaugh
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 10/13/2016 06:27 PM
SLS Rocket Hardware Moved to NASA Marshall Stand for Upcoming Test Series (30-second timelapse)

NASA's Marshall Center

Published on Oct 13, 2016
A test version of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, is moved to a 65-foot-tall test stand at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The test version LVSA will be stacked with other test pieces of the upper part of the SLS rocket and pushed, pulled and twisted as part of an upcoming test series to ensure each structure can withstand the incredible stresses of launch. The LVSA joins the core stage simulator, which was loaded into the test stand Sept. 21. The other three qualification articles and the Orion simulator will complete the stack later this fall. SLS will be the world’s most powerful rocket, and with the Orion spacecraft, take astronauts to deep-space destinations, including the Journey to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XM0tLdOOkY?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XM0tLdOOkY
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 10/13/2016 06:28 PM
Watch 60-Seconds of Major SLS Hardware Being Moved and Put in the Test Stand at NASA Marshall

NASA's Marshall Center

Published on Oct 13, 2016
A test version of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) for NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System, is moved to a 65-foot-tall test stand at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The test version LVSA will be stacked with other test pieces of the upper part of the SLS rocket and pushed, pulled and twisted as part of an upcoming test series to ensure each structure can withstand the incredible stresses of launch. The LVSA joins the core stage simulator, which was loaded into the test stand Sept. 21. The other three qualification articles and the Orion simulator will complete the stack later this fall. SLS will be the world’s most powerful rocket, and with the Orion spacecraft, take astronauts to deep-space destinations, including the Journey to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-2PPmY3HLg?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-2PPmY3HLg
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/15/2016 03:05 PM
Recent presentation given at 67th International Astronautical Congress 26-30 Sep. 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico

Update on Risk Reduction Activities for a Liquid Advanced Booster for NASA's Space Launch System

Abstract
Dynetics has designed innovative structure assemblies; manufactured them using Friction Stir Welding (FSW) to leverage NASA investments in tools, facilities, and processes; conducted proof and burst testing, demonstrating viability of design/build processes Dynetics/AR has applied state-of-the-art manufacturing and processing techniques to the heritage F-1, reducing risk for engine development Dynetics/AR has also made progress on technology demonstrations for ORSC cycle engine, which offers affordability and performance for both NASA and other launch vehicles Full-scale integrated oxidizer-rich test article. Testing will evaluate performance and combustion stability characteristics. Contributes to technology maturation for ox-rich staged combustion engines.

Copy of presentation attached - work is covered by contract NNM12AA67C.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/20/2016 11:28 PM
B-2 Test Stand on Schedule for Testing Space Launch System Core
October 19, 2016 - LaToya Dean

A visit to the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center leaves no doubt – NASA’s return to deep-space missions is drawing closer by the day. And the days until the flight stage that will launch the return is tested at the site are fewer than one may realize.

Before launching the new Space Launch System rocket on its first test flight with NASA’s Orion spacecraft, the agency will deliver the core stage for the flight to Stennis for green-run testing. For the first time, the stage will be assembled with its four RS-25 engines, installed on the stand and test fired, just as during an actual launch.

Including evaluation and design phases, Stennis has been preparing the B-2 stand for core stage testing for five years and counting. It has been a busy time, but major construction projects are closing out and all is on schedule with just a year or so remaining, said Barry Robinson, manager of the B-2 Restoration and Activation Project at the site.

“Everything we’re doing is part of the critical path for this mission,” Robinson said. “And we’ll be ready.”

It has been an involved process that mirrors work done during the Main Propulsion Test Article Project at Stennis in the 1970s, when a space shuttle external tank, simulated orbiter and three main engines were installed on the stand and test fired just as during an actual launch.

Now, the stand will provide a sequel of sorts with its test of the SLS core stage – with a very big difference. This is no SLS mockup; the stage to be tested will actually fly.

“That is significant,” Robinson explained. “Because this will be an actual flight article, we have to exercise extreme care. This is an aggressive plan based on historical data and a no-fail philosophy.”

The work to prepare the stand for the stage testing was divided into three phases: restoration of the stand to its original design condition, buildout of the stand to accommodate the larger SLS core stage and completion of the special test equipment interfaces (structural, mechanical and electrical) needed for testing.

Robinson and others on the B-2 Test Stand restoration team are paying heed to every detail to make sure all is ready to go for the stand. Major restoration and buildout efforts have been completed. Some of those were sizable, such as extending the derrick crane atop the stand by 50 feet, repositioning the 1.2-million-pound original shuttle MPTA framework structure, adding another 1 million pounds of steel to extend the structure to accommodate the larger SLS stage and upgrading the massive high-pressure industrial water system to provide as much as 335,000 gallons of water per minute to the stand during test operations.

A weekly summary of test complex activity shows only three of five original work packages still open. Much of the remaining work on those packages involves completing equipment systems and final punch list items. Necessary upgrade work continues at the high-pressure gas facility that supports test operations. Work on the test stand tarmac is scheduled for completion in December. All of the packages are expected to be closed out in the next few months.

Some subsystem activation work already has begun, but the major activation efforts will occur this spring. The goal is to be ready for the April arrival of the core stage “pathfinder,” a full-scale mockup of the SLS core stage. It will be installed on the stand for a critical “fit test” to make sure the stand is configured as needed for the actual core stage.

That will leave summer months to make any modifications that may be needed and to ensure all aspects of facility and test support systems are ready. The time is vital. The RS-25 engines that will power the SLS core stage are former space shuttle main engines, so Stennis has a long test history to build on in that respect. However, the SLS vehicle itself – and all of its configurations – is new, which poses challenges in preparing stand systems for testing.

“The sooner we can complete activation and fit checks, the longer we will have to make sure all is set to go for testing,” Robinson said. “And we will make sure Stennis is ready.”

Once installed, the core stage will undergo chill-down and hot-fire tests.

Per current plans, the actual SLS core flight stage will be delivered to Stennis for testing next fall. The timing would be perfect from a historical standpoint. The first shuttle MPTA test was conducted 40 years earlier, in 1977, making 2017 a perfect time for Stennis to add another chapter to the B-2 Test Stand “finest hour” record.

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/b-2-test-stand-on-schedule-for-testing-space-launch-system-core (http://www.nasa.gov/feature/b-2-test-stand-on-schedule-for-testing-space-launch-system-core)

[photo taken Sep 29, 2016]
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 10/20/2016 11:40 PM
Launch Vehicle Stage Adapter from Start to Stack

NASA's Marshall Center

Published on Oct 20, 2016
See how a test version of the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System, is designed, built and stacked in a test stand at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The LVSA was moved to a 65-foot-tall test stand Oct. 12 at Marshall. The test version LVSA will be stacked with other test pieces of the upper part of the SLS rocket and pushed, pulled and twisted as part of an upcoming test series to ensure each structure can withstand the incredible stresses of launch. The LVSA joins the core stage simulator, which was loaded into the test stand Sept. 21. The other three qualification articles and the Orion simulator will complete the stack later this fall. Testing is scheduled to begin in early 2017. SLS will be the world’s most powerful rocket, and with the Orion spacecraft, take astronauts to deep-space destinations, including the Journey to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2iG5SgLmzw?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2iG5SgLmzw
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 11/09/2016 02:43 PM
Courtesy of NASA Marshall Public Affairs, a few images of the LOX weld confidence article with a coat of primer.  The LOX WCA is pathfinding the thermal protection system application for the qualification and flight articles to follow.  (Next will be foam sprays.)

Credit: NASA MSFC Images: Steven Seipel
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/15/2016 09:35 PM
From the NAC overview and telecon this week.

Software and Service Module cited as main critical paths to EM-1 launch date
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/11/software-service-module-main-critical-paths-em-1/

Thanks to Nigel for the document spot, Philip for the Audio recordings and Nathan for his coolness with making rockets look sexy (they always were, but he makes them more so) ;D
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: robertross on 11/15/2016 10:55 PM
From the NAC overview and telecon this week.

Software and Service Module cited as main critical paths to EM-1 launch date
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/11/software-service-module-main-critical-paths-em-1/

Thanks to Nigel for the document spot, Philip for the Audio recordings and Nathan for his coolness with making rockets look sexy (they always were, but he makes them more so) ;D

Didn't realize they were having weld issues with the FSW process.

Found a neat article on FSW issues from Vanderbilt (via Google):
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 11/17/2016 11:41 PM
A couple new photos from NASA.

For the first:
Quote
Technicians from Janicki Industries in Hamilton, Washington, position the layers of the diaphragm for the Orion stage adapter. The adapter will join the Orion spacecraft to the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) of the Space Launch System, NASA's new rocket for the journey to Mars. The ICPS is a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system that will give Orion the in-space push needed to fly beyond the moon before it returns to Earth on the first flight of SLS in 2018. The adapter diaphragm is used to keep launch vehicle gases away from the spacecraft.

The diaphragm is constructed of multiple layers of carbon fiber fabric material engrained with epoxy. The layers are pieced together and carefully positioned in place using laser projectors to outline where they need to go. Janicki finished laying the final piece in late October. The diaphragm work is being done in collaboration with NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
And the second two:
Quote
NASA engineers installed a test version of a crucial piece of hardware for the Space Launch System rocket in a 65-foot-tall test stand Nov. 17 at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for human missions to deep space with the Orion spacecraft, including the Journey to Mars.

The hardware is a test version of the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS), which is a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system that will give Orion the in-space push needed to fly beyond the moon before it returns to Earth on the first flight of SLS and Orion in late 2018. The ICPS will be stacked with three other test articles and two simulators that make up the upper portion of the SLS rocket ahead of a rigorous test series in early 2017.

"The installation of the ICPS is another big step in getting ready for the test series, which will ensure that the hardware can endure the incredible stresses of launch," said Steve Creech, deputy manager of the Spacecraft and Payload Integration & Evolution Office at Marshall, which manages the SLS Program for the agency. "In addition to testing, work is underway on flight pieces of the upper part of the rocket, including the ICPS. NASA and our prime contractor teams are working diligently toward mission success for first flight, and this test series also will provide crucial data to support future missions, including the journey to Mars."

The ICPS test article, without the engine, is around 29 feet tall and 16.8 feet in diameter. It is the largest piece of hardware for the test series, and was designed and built by The Boeing Co. in Huntsville and United Launch Alliance of Decatur.

The hardware -- some being almost exact to flight specifications -- will be pushed, pulled and twisted during the tests. The ICPS joins two other pieces of hardware already installed in the stand. The core stage simulator was loaded into the test stand Sept. 21, with the launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) following on Oct. 12. The core stage simulator is a duplicate of the top of the SLS core stage that is approximately 10 feet tall and 27.5 feet in diameter. It was designed and built at Marshall.

The LVSA connects the SLS core stage and the ICPS. The LVSA test hardware is 26.5 feet tall, with a bottom diameter of 27.5 feet and a top diameter of 16.8 feet. It was designed and built by prime contractor Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville. The other three qualification articles and the Orion simulator will complete the stack later this fall. Approximately 50 test cases are planned for the upcoming series.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 11/20/2016 07:00 PM
Software V&V occurring on schedule gives me a great concern. Having been the Chairman of the Software Review Board for the Atlas E/F/H vehicles in the 1980-1984 timeframe I am very familiar with how unexpected items and how difficult it is to get a validated new version (the version upgrade for the additional new configuration Atlas H occurred on my watch) out the door.

To not have a significant amount of schedule margin for the software schedule is a critical schedule risk to make the Nov 2018 date.

Hopefully the software developers are far above average in capability in their software project and programming professionalism.

But the finial item is that the maxim "There is always one more bug!". If it is a critical and complex item to solve the schedule will be in shambles.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: SWGlassPit on 11/21/2016 07:04 PM
Reminds me of the song:

99 little bugs in the code
99 little bugs...
Take one down, patch it around,
127 little bugs in the code.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 12/03/2016 01:19 AM
New Liquid Hydrogen Tank will Support Flights from Launch Pad 39B
December 1, 2016 - Linda Herridge

A new liquid hydrogen (LH2) liquid separator tank has arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It will be used to support the agency’s Space Launch System rocket and all future launches from Launch Pad 39B.

The tank was lifted by crane, rotated, and then lowered on the transporter for the move to the pad.

The existing hydrogen vent system that terminates at a flare stack was designed for gaseous hydrogen. New requirements for Exploration Mission 1 and future launches include the need to address liquid hydrogen in the vent system. The new LH2 separator/storage tank will be added to the existing hydrogen vent system to assure gaseous hydrogen is delivered downstream to the flare stack.

At Pad B, the existing hydrogen vent line and supporting systems will be modified to accommodate the new LH2 liquid separator tank. The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program and the Engineering Directorate at Kennedy are performing the upgrades to Launch Pad 39B to support the agency’s premier multi-user spaceport.

The 60,000 gallon tank was built by INOXCVA, in Baytown, Texas, a subcontractor to Precision Mechanical Inc. in Cocoa, Florida. It is about 56 feet long, with a 14-foot diameter.

Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 12/03/2016 01:20 AM
Space Launch System Core Stage Umbilical Ready for Tests at Launch Equipment Test Facility
December 2, 2016 - Linda Herridge

Testing of several of the umbilical lines that will attach to NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from the tower on the mobile launcher continues at the Launch Equipment Test Facility (LETF) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Core Stage Inter-tank Umbilical (CSITU) arrived at the LETF and was attached to the “C” tower of the Vehicle Motion Simulator 2 test fixture. Engineers with the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program and the Engineering Directorate will prepare the umbilical for a series of tests to confirm it is functioning properly and ready to support the SLS rocket for launch.

The tests will begin in January 2017 and are scheduled to be completed by the end of February. Testing will include hydraulic system controller tuning, umbilical plate mate and leak checks, primary and secondary disconnect testing at ambient temperatures, and fire suppression system functional checks. Also, a series of primary and secondary disconnect testing at liquid nitrogen and liquid hydrogen temperatures, minus 321 and minus 421 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively, will be performed.

The CSITU is a swing arm umbilical that will connect to the SLS core stage inter-tank. The umbilical’s main function is to vent gaseous hydrogen from the core stage. The arm also provides conditioned air, pressurized gases, and power and data connection to the core stage.

The CSITU will be located at about the 140-foot-level on the mobile launcher tower, between the Core Stage liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks, and will swing away before launch. The umbilical is one of several umbilicals that will be installed on the mobile launcher tower and attach to the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft.

The Orion spacecraft is scheduled to launch in late 2018 atop the SLS rocket on a three-week mission that will take it thousands of miles beyond the moon and back during Exploration Mission 1.

Photo credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: zubenelgenubi on 12/12/2016 10:02 PM
Major assembly complete on ICPS stage for EM-1.

***
Dec. 9, 2016
Major Assembly Complete on System That Will Pack a Powerful Push for Orion (https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/major-assembly-complete-on-system-that-will-pack-a-powerful-push-for-orion.html)

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/icps_p2.jpg

The propulsion system that will give the Orion spacecraft the in-space push needed to travel thousands of miles beyond the moon and back has completed major assembly at United Launch Alliance (ULA) in Decatur, Alabama. The Boeing-designed interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) is a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system that will give Orion an extra punch of power on the first, uncrewed flight of the spacecraft with NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System in late 2018. The first integrated exploration mission will allow NASA to use the lunar vicinity as a proving ground to test systems farther from Earth, and demonstrate Orion can get to a stable orbit in the area of space near the moon in order to support sending humans to deep space, including the Journey to Mars. With major assembly now complete on the flight hardware, the ICPS has several more steps to go, including avionics installation at the ULA-Decatur factory; barge and road transport to the Delta Operating Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, for avionics and system-level testing; and delivery to NASA in mid-2017.

Image credit: ULA
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 12/13/2016 01:54 PM
Thanks Zubenelgenubi,
How much if any, does this stage differ from a D-IV upper stage?  Will it just be avionics?
Are those red bottles fuel/oxy pressurization system, or ??
Good stuff!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/13/2016 02:21 PM
Thanks Zubenelgenubi,
How much if any, does this stage differ from a D-IV upper stage?  Will it just be avionics?
Are those red bottles fuel/oxy pressurization system, or ??
Good stuff!

Tanks have been lengthened a bit. Bottles are for He.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/13/2016 03:31 PM
Thanks Zubenelgenubi,
How much if any, does this stage differ from a D-IV upper stage?  Will it just be avionics?
Are those red bottles fuel/oxy pressurization system, or ??
Good stuff!

Tanks have been lengthened a bit. Bottles are for He.
I thought the design had reverted back to the standard Delta 4 stage dimensions, after early consideration about a slight tank stretch. 

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/13/2016 04:02 PM
Thanks Zubenelgenubi,
How much if any, does this stage differ from a D-IV upper stage?  Will it just be avionics?
Are those red bottles fuel/oxy pressurization system, or ??
Good stuff!

Tanks have been lengthened a bit. Bottles are for He.
I thought the design had reverted back to the standard Delta 4 stage dimensions, after early consideration about a slight tank stretch. 

 - Ed Kyle
I cant confirm that and the ICPS ETA was the same ICPS ETA shown in pictures published around EFT-1 and its showed the stretch ring plugs welded into the standard 5m DCSS. as for flight stage I cant tell in the pictures if its stretched as the foam has been applied.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: arcturusvfx on 12/13/2016 07:52 PM
the LH2 tank looks like it has been stretched the 18" for the flight unit.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 12/13/2016 08:27 PM
the LH2 tank looks like it has been stretched the 18" for the flight unit.

Thanks arcturusvfx, and welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: redliox on 12/18/2016 01:55 PM
Are there enough shuttle-era components to supply 4 SLS flights if all goes well?  That's what I've gathered that NASA has to work with.  I know there'll be EM-1, EM-2, probably Europa Clipper, and presumably an EM-3.  Curious what could be expected from EM-3 and onwards.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 12/19/2016 08:14 PM
Mobile Launcher will Receive first Umbilicals for NASA’s Deep Space Missions
Posted on December 19, 2016 - Linda Herridge

Several of the umbilicals that will support the launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket atop the mobile launcher were transported from the Launch Equipment Test Facility to the Mobile Launcher Yard and staging area at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. They will be prepped for installation on the mobile launcher.

The mobile launcher tower will be equipped with several launch umbilicals, which connect to the SLS core stage and twin solid rocket boosters, the interim cryogenic propulsion stage and the Orion spacecraft. They will provide power, communications, coolant and fuel. Several other accessories will provide access and stabilization to the rocket and spacecraft.

The two aft skirt electrical umbilicals and one vehicle support post were transported by flatbed truck from the test facility. The two aft skirt umbilicals will be prepped and installed on the deck of the mobile launcher in the coming weeks. Work will begin to prep the first vehicle support post while the remaining seven posts undergo testing at the Launch Equipment Test Facility before being shipped to the mobile launcher. The installation work will be performed by the construction contractor JP Donovan Construction.

The two umbilicals will connect to the SLS rocket at the bottom outer edge of each booster and provide electrical power and data connections to the SLS rocket until it lifts off from the launch pad. The umbilicals will act like a telephone line and carry a signal to another subsystem on the mobile launcher called the launch release system. This system will distribute the launch signal to the rest of the launch accessories and the SLS boosters will actually initiate the launch release command.

There are a total of eight posts that will support the load of the solid rocket boosters, with four posts for each of the boosters. The support posts are five feet tall and weigh about 10,000 pounds each. They will be located on the deck of the mobile launcher and will be instrumented with strain gages to measure loads during vehicle stacking, integration, rollout and launch. The posts will structurally support the SLS rocket through countdown and liftoff.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/12/19/mobile-launcher-will-receive-first-umbilicals-for-nasas-deep-space-missions/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2016/12/19/mobile-launcher-will-receive-first-umbilicals-for-nasas-deep-space-missions/)

Photo Caption
A vehicle support post for NASA’s Space Launch System was transported Dec. 9 from the Launch Equipment Test Facility to the Mobile Launcher Yard at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/20/2016 06:08 AM
Ahh, the infamous, to me anyway, Vertical Support Posts. The Space Shuttle did not need those posts. I have no idea why NASA is using these posts. As far as I can tell, they only serve to reduce the maximum vehicle height by 1.5 m. For my Lunar mission using a single SLS Block II launch, the reduced height reduces vehicle performance as the Cryogenic Upper Stage can not carry enough propellant, even using a common bulkhead!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 12/20/2016 06:21 AM
Steve; could you post a link to your Lunar DRM again, please?  ;D
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/20/2016 06:46 AM
You can download the paper from my website.

http://www.sworld.com.au/steven/pub/SLS-Moon-200715.pdf
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 12/21/2016 07:27 PM
Platform A is on this video....


Inside KSC! for Dec. 23, 2016

NASAKennedy

Published on Dec 21, 2016
A new constellation of hurricane-watching satellites is taking shape after the Dec. 15 launch of NASA's CYGNSS mission, or Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System. Meanwhile, the last in a series of new work platforms for NASA's Space Launch System rocket have arrived at Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building.

Platform A starts at 0:50 in the video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuruFHI5u8Q?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuruFHI5u8Q
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 12/21/2016 11:15 PM
Prepping, painting, and the final product for one of the EM-1 aft skirts, from Oct/Nov
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 12/29/2016 10:29 PM
And the igniter installation on the EM-1A booster.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: BrightLight on 01/04/2017 04:35 PM
First image" "A team prepares a robot – the yellow machine attached to the liquid hydrogen tank for the Space Launch System rocket -- for friction plug welding at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Friction plug welding is a technique developed by engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. It uses a robot to fill holes left after the tank goes through assembly in a larger robotic welder"

Second image: "A [10 foot] Space Launch System wind tunnel model [1b] undergoes speeds just below supersonic in the Transonic Dynamics Tunnel at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Testing helps engineers understand how the rocket will behave during future missions."

from: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/sls-shocked-during-wind-tunnel-testing-to-better-understand-rocket-s-transonic-behavior
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 01/06/2017 02:13 AM
Are there enough shuttle-era components to supply 4 SLS flights if all goes well?  That's what I've gathered that NASA has to work with.

Yes. There were 15 RS-25s, but enough spare parts to assemble a 16th, so enough main engines for 4 vehicles. ISTR that there are a bit over 100 SRB casings, so at 2 boosters x 5 per booster, enough for 10 launches. I believe a pair of those will be used in static ground tests. I do not see why those two could not be refurbished, but I have not read anywhere that they will be. Originally NASA only contracted for enough casings for two sets of boosters, hoping to move to Dark Knights sooner than later, but the plan now seems to be to use the old casings as long as possible before moving to composites. There are numerous references to all this in older threads.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Patchouli on 01/08/2017 12:51 AM
I wonder why don't they just recover the SRBs as they did on the shuttle since the extra mass is not much of an issue on booster stages?
That way the program doesn't run into a problem if the composites get delayed.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 01/08/2017 02:10 AM
I wonder why don't they just recover the SRBs as they did on the shuttle since the extra mass is not much of an issue on booster stages?
That way the program doesn't run into a problem if the composites get delayed.
Already tore down the facilities at CCAFS and KSC for refurb of parachutes et cetera after program chose to go fully expendable since high flight rate was not planned.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Coastal Ron on 01/08/2017 02:43 AM
I wonder why don't they just recover the SRBs as they did on the shuttle since the extra mass is not much of an issue on booster stages?
That way the program doesn't run into a problem if the composites get delayed.

As I recall at the planned low flight rate the cost of recovery (and the overhead for keeping that capability activated) and refurbishment would have been more expensive than building new casings of the existing design.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Proponent on 01/08/2017 01:41 PM
And I recall that SLS's 5-segment SRBs stage higher and faster than the Shuttle's 4-segment ones, making recovery more difficult.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 01/08/2017 08:22 PM
And I recall that SLS's 5-segment SRBs stage higher and faster than the Shuttle's 4-segment ones, making recovery more difficult.

Re. the faster part, wouldn't drag decelerate them to about the same terminal velocity before the drogues deployed?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: brickmack on 01/08/2017 09:25 PM
And I recall that SLS's 5-segment SRBs stage higher and faster than the Shuttle's 4-segment ones, making recovery more difficult.

Re. the faster part, wouldn't drag decelerate them to about the same terminal velocity before the drogues deployed?

Nope. Same cross section, but ~25% more mass. Needs a much bigger parachute, the ones planned for Ares would have been some of the largest in the world (and they ran into scaling issues)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 01/08/2017 10:16 PM
And I recall that SLS's 5-segment SRBs stage higher and faster than the Shuttle's 4-segment ones, making recovery more difficult.

Re. the faster part, wouldn't drag decelerate them to about the same terminal velocity before the drogues deployed?

Nope. Same cross section, but ~25% more mass. Needs a much bigger parachute, the ones planned for Ares would have been some of the largest in the world (and they ran into scaling issues)

Indeed--those scaling issues were evidenced by the crashed Ares 1X booster...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 01/09/2017 02:15 PM
And I recall that SLS's 5-segment SRBs stage higher and faster than the Shuttle's 4-segment ones, making recovery more difficult.

Re. the faster part, wouldn't drag decelerate them to about the same terminal velocity before the drogues deployed?

Nope. Same cross section, but ~25% more mass. Needs a much bigger parachute, the ones planned for Ares would have been some of the largest in the world (and they ran into scaling issues)

Indeed--those scaling issues were evidenced by the crashed Ares 1X booster...

Yes, but remember that the Ares-1X first stage had a mass-simulator in place of a fifth segment. And all that simulated mass did not get burned up during flight. This resulted in a much heavier load than an actual spent five-segment motor would have been. So it's not much surprise that one of the chutes failed and the casing was damaged on impact. The amazing thing is that it was recovered at all.

Cheers!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 01/09/2017 04:56 PM
Are there enough shuttle-era components to supply 4 SLS flights if all goes well?  That's what I've gathered that NASA has to work with.

Yes. There were 15 RS-25s, but enough spare parts to assemble a 16th, so enough main engines for 4 vehicles. ISTR that there are a bit over 100 SRB casings, so at 2 boosters x 5 per booster, enough for 10 launches. I believe a pair of those will be used in static ground tests. I do not see why those two could not be refurbished, but I have not read anywhere that they will be. Originally NASA only contracted for enough casings for two sets of boosters, hoping to move to Dark Knights sooner than later, but the plan now seems to be to use the old casings as long as possible before moving to composites. There are numerous references to all this in older threads.
Unfortunately there are only 2 segments out of every 4 of the STS SRBs that can be used for the 3 segments out of the 5 needed for a SLS SRB. So the max number of launches that that 100 STS SRB segments can support is 8. There will be 25 cap and thrust segments each meaning there will be 9 extra cap and thrust segments each.

Edit added: no matter how you count there are enough segments to last through the projected launches until after 2030.

The other concern about RS-25 being enough for 4 launches is a high risk to schedule. If 1 RS-25 fails in acceptance test then a lengthy (1 yr) refurbishment and retest could cause a 1 year schedule slip.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 01/10/2017 01:47 AM
Up, Up Up in 60 Seconds: Watch Rocket Test Stand Soar to 221-Feet Tall

NASA's Marshall Center

Published on Jan 9, 2017
In this 60-second time-lapse video, watch structural Test Stand 4693 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center rise 221 feet, from the start of construction in May 2014 to its end in December 2016. Test Stand 4693 will subject the 537,000-gallon liquid hydrogen tank of the Space Launch System's massive core stage to the same stresses and pressures it must endure at launch and in flight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLVtS34qyzs?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLVtS34qyzs
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: okan170 on 01/27/2017 09:22 PM
Major Review Completed for NASA’s New SLS Exploration Upper Stage

NASA's Marshall Center

Published on Jan 27, 2017
As shown in this new animation, future configurations of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket will include a powerful exploration upper stage (EUS) with four RL10C-3 engines. This is the part of the rocket that continues to operate after launch and ascent. The EUS will use an 8.4-meter diameter liquid hydrogen tank and a 5.5-meter diameter liquid oxygen tank. A new universal stage adapter will connect the EUS to the NASA’s Orion spacecraft, and be capable of carrying large co-manifested payloads, such as a habitat, on the same flight as Orion. NASA successfully completed a preliminary design review for the EUS in late January. Now, the SLS team will start developing components and materials for the EUS, and build up tooling. The EUS is first slated to be part of the 105-metric-ton SLS that will be the first flight carrying Orion and astronauts. The detailed assessment is a step forward for the agency’s capabilities for human and robotic missions to deep space including future missions to Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OevodZJZrOI
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: TomH on 01/29/2017 06:12 AM
So the S1-S2 interstage adapter remains connected to the S1 at staging?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 01/29/2017 09:15 AM
So the S1-S2 interstage adapter remains connected to the S1 at staging?
This is not Saturn V. The interstage will indeed remain attached to S1.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 02/09/2017 12:08 AM
Time Lapse of Work Platforms Installed in the Vehicle Assembly Building

NASAKennedy

Published on Feb 8, 2017
Time lapse of the new work platforms for NASA's Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft installed in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJjGUd5VG84?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJjGUd5VG84
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/09/2017 08:56 PM
VAB platform installation complete:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/vab-platform-installation-sls-stacking/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/15/2017 02:13 PM
The secret is out:

https://twitter.com/clownShowPony/status/831879711580160000

holy shit robert lightfoot just said we're going to investigate putting a crew on EM-1

--

Was a 9am memo to the NASA workforce. Will write it up when someone stops laughing and sends me it.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: PahTo on 02/15/2017 02:35 PM

Isn't it true the spacecraft riding EM-1 won't even have a fully functional ECLSS, at least as planned (before)?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Orbiter on 02/15/2017 02:37 PM
Probably a lot's going to change if EM-1's mission is updated to a crew mission. ASAP's going to flip a cow. I wonder if it'll be an ISS run with an Orion, or they'll send it straight to the Moon as per the original mission plan.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: fthomassy on 02/15/2017 02:44 PM
Good excuse to slip to the right 4 or 8 years ::)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Mark S on 02/15/2017 03:11 PM
Good excuse to slip to the right 4 or 8 years ::)

Except that the whole point is to pull the first crewed flight to the left by 3 years (or more).

Not sure how they could manage that, though, given the snail's-pace rate of development of Orion.

I'm not a big fan of the current administration, but anything they can do to get things moving a bit faster would be a positive development.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Khadgars on 02/15/2017 03:29 PM
Interesting development.  Do we have any idea what could be driving this change?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Eric Hedman on 02/15/2017 03:34 PM
Interesting development.  Do we have any idea what could be driving this change?
Trump probably wants a manned mission to the vicinity of the Moon within his first term.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: SWGlassPit on 02/15/2017 03:41 PM
A feasibility study is not a commitment.  It's just a way to answer a question

My (largely outsider) read on it: transition team asked NASA to accelerate crew flight for... reasons.  Feasibility study will provide a clear case for why it's either not possible or possible but not a good idea.  Politically, you don't just tell the administration "no."  You have to provide evidence.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/15/2017 03:50 PM
It's 1968 and I feel young again...
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rockets4life97 on 02/15/2017 03:53 PM
Wow. I feel like this makes the commercial crew providers look conservative.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Toast on 02/15/2017 03:54 PM
I'm not a big fan of the current administration, but anything they can do to get things moving a bit faster would be a positive development.

Faster is all well and good, but I'm still not seeing any talk of missions that could justify SLS and Orion's existence. Since Altair was scrapped, there's not much Orion can do around the moon except fly past. And since there's still not any actual plans for Mars (and that's still two decades away under their current plan), Orion isn't really useful there either. We've shelled out billions on Orion and SLS, but I'm still not convinced we have any idea what we're going to do with them. Speeding up the schedule doesn't help much until we sort that out.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: punder on 02/15/2017 04:01 PM
Keith Cowing is right on this one. It's infighting between the Alabamans and the Commercial Space guys.

I wonder if the Alabamans call them "Commies"?   :D

Trump threw them in a room and is waiting to see who comes out alive.

There are so many problems with this idea. It's not a serious proposal, it's just a political hand grenade tossed in to shake up the opposition.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/15/2017 04:15 PM
To keep the update thread clean, discuss here...
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42319.0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 02/17/2017 08:53 PM
Milestone Achieved with Final Work Platform Installation in Vehicle Assembly Building

NASAKennedy

Published on Feb 17, 2017
NASA and contractor platform team members talk about the design, planning and installation of ten levels of new work platforms in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Twenty platform halves will surround and provide access to NASA's Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft during processing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iANQC6i1m14?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iANQC6i1m14
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Starlab90 on 02/20/2017 08:29 PM
First SLS flight hardware leaving Decatur for Cape Canaveral

http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2017/02/first_sls_flight_hardware_leav.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Khadgars on 02/20/2017 08:35 PM
First SLS flight hardware leaving Decatur for Cape Canaveral

http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2017/02/first_sls_flight_hardware_leav.html

Good to see.  Not mentioned in that particular article, but Michound was asked about supporting higher flight rates.  It was stated they can support 2 per year now, and up to 4 per year without a lot of effort or money, this assuming RS-25 and boosters are also available.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 02/20/2017 09:05 PM
4x flights per year would be the minimum required to support Crewed Mars activities, or a Lunar Outpost buildup :)

And would roughly equal the latter-years Shuttle flight rate, too - something that NASA and it's contractors did well.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Kansan52 on 02/20/2017 09:18 PM
Posts here said 1 and a half could be constructed per year with existing facilities. More shifts could get it up to two a year.

Four seems to be a build to far (at least without much more money and facilities). Have things changed that much or were the earlier reports wrong?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 02/20/2017 09:27 PM
Hopefully it has to do with underestimates of the manufacturing capability there. The technology and its scale were a bit of an unknown so hopefully the pathfinders and EM-1 construction so far have shown they're capable of surpassing earlier conservative estimates.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Kansan52 on 02/20/2017 09:37 PM
Hopefully it has to do with underestimates of the manufacturing capability there. The technology and its scale were a bit of an unknown so hopefully the pathfinders and EM-1 construction so far have shown they're capable of surpassing earlier conservative estimates.

Likely. The earlier estimates were done before there was any equipment. 2 to 4 does make more sense now that we know more.

Thanks!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 02/20/2017 09:38 PM
First SLS flight hardware leaving Decatur for Cape Canaveral

http://www.al.com/news/huntsville/index.ssf/2017/02/first_sls_flight_hardware_leav.html
Thanks for the link -- good story by Lee Roop.  The diplomatic answers about the EM-1 crew study also stand out.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 02/21/2017 02:35 PM
Not mentioned in that particular article, but Michound was asked about supporting higher flight rates.  It was stated they can support 2 per year now, and up to 4 per year without a lot of effort or money, this assuming RS-25 and boosters are also available.
Source for this?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 02/21/2017 09:11 PM
We Dare To Dream

Aerojet Rocketdyne

Published on Feb 21, 2017
Across the nation, SLS and Orion suppliers are hard at work preparing humans to travel deeper into space than ever before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvO_d5HEWXc?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvO_d5HEWXc
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 02/27/2017 11:40 PM
ICPS is reportedly underway to CCAFS right now.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/01/2017 01:22 PM
Quote
Orbital ATK‏Verified account @OrbitalATK 3m3 minutes ago

We are well on our way to completing casting of the two 5-segment boosters for @NASA_SLS EM-1 mission! Targeted completion date is May 2017

https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/836943421944311808 (https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/836943421944311808)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 03/01/2017 06:59 PM
The Pressure is On for Upper Part of SLS Rocket

NASA's Marshall Center

Published on Mar 1, 2017
A rigorous test series has begun for the upper part of NASA's Space Launch System rocket to ensure each structure can withstand the incredible stresses of launch. A 65-foot-tall test stand at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is being used for the test series, where two simulators and four qualification articles of the upper part of the SLS are stacked and being pushed, pulled and twisted by forces similar to those experienced in flight. Approximately 50 test cases are planned for the series. Data from the tests will be recorded through 1,900 instrumentation channels, measuring the strain on the test articles, temperature, deflection and other factors. The test data will be compared to computer models to verify the integrity of the hardware and ensure it can withstand the forces it will experience during flight. This also is a type of practice run for assembly operations before the rocket hardware is stacked in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of launch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYSWQzuoto0?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYSWQzuoto0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/09/2017 03:16 PM
ICPS arrival and some LETF updates:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/03/sls-upper-stage-arrives-letf-tests-umbilicals/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: penguin44 on 03/09/2017 11:01 PM
I see from the article that the GUCP is only accessible in the VAB. Why design it that way? With the issues Shuttle had with it during it's lifetime, you would now have to rollback to fix and rollout to test etc..
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: DaveS on 03/09/2017 11:13 PM
I see from the article that the GUCP is only accessible in the VAB. Why design it that way? With the issues Shuttle had with it during it's lifetime, you would now have to rollback to fix and rollout to test etc..
The issues stemmed from misalignments on the flight-side (ET) made during the manufacturing of the intertanks at MAF. As long as manufacturing is in spec, there won't be any issues. This only crept on new ETs manufactured after the loss of experienced workforce due to a number of issues, mainly Katrina and the end of the program.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: penguin44 on 03/10/2017 12:30 AM
Ah, good to know!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 03/10/2017 10:45 AM
Doesn't this stage have an LH2 tank stretch compared to the baseline DCSS?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: DaveS on 03/10/2017 11:40 AM
Doesn't this stage have an LH2 tank stretch compared to the baseline DCSS?
If you're talking about the ICPS, then yes. It does have an 18" longer LH2 tank compared to the DCSS.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 03/10/2017 12:08 PM
The ICPS yes. Why the LH2 stretch, but not an O2 one? Different mixture ratio?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: notsorandom on 03/10/2017 01:18 PM
The ICPS yes. Why the LH2 stretch, but not an O2 one? Different mixture ratio?
Loiter time in LEO for check out of the spacecraft before TLI. The extra time before means there is more boil off of the propellants. The liquid hydrogen boils off much more rapidly than the liquid oxygen. So by the time they are ready to relight the RL-10 and head on their way there is still enough LH2 and LOX in the right ratio to get the job done.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 03/11/2017 02:31 AM
Found this interesting paper from 2015 on the RSRMV boosters while surfing the web. Goes into a bit of detail on some of the changes that have been made.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 03/11/2017 12:31 PM
Here's the presentation that goes with that paper.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/23/2017 12:26 PM
Quote
Dan Burbank‏Verified account @AstroCoastie 8h8 hours ago

A view from the VAB roof of the giant Mobile Launcher for the @NASA_SLS rocket that will carry @NASA_Orion to space.

https://twitter.com/AstroCoastie/status/844782137341501440 (https://twitter.com/AstroCoastie/status/844782137341501440)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/23/2017 12:53 PM
Quote
Stephen C. Smith‏ @SpaceKSCBlog 20h20 hours ago

On the road again ... The upgraded crawler out for a test drive at @NASAKennedy .

https://twitter.com/SpaceKSCBlog/status/844603975190110213 (https://twitter.com/SpaceKSCBlog/status/844603975190110213)

Edit: here's one more

Quote
NASA Kennedy / KSC ‏Verified account @NASAKennedy 4m4 minutes ago

Crawler on the move! Crawler Transporter-2 has recently been upgraded with new equipment for transporting the new #SLS rocket. @NASA_SLS

https://twitter.com/NASAKennedy/status/844930224416546818 (https://twitter.com/NASAKennedy/status/844930224416546818)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/03/2017 01:09 PM
Article about Starliner EES, but includes a SLS 39B EES update....the massive crane:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/04/slc-41-completes-ees-starliner-missions/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AlexA on 04/04/2017 11:45 AM
Article about Starliner EES, but includes a SLS 39B EES update....the massive crane:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/04/slc-41-completes-ees-starliner-missions/

I'm unsure what the crane does exactly in this EES concept?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: jacqmans on 04/12/2017 02:42 PM
April 11, 2017
MEDIA ADVISORY M17-026

NASA Performing First Major SLS Structural Tests, Media Invited

EDITOR’S NOTE:
This event is being postponed. We will notify media when the event is rescheduled.

________________________________________

Media are invited to see one of the rigorous tests for the Space Launch System rocket and go inside the control room facility during operations at 1 p.m. CDT Thursday, April 13, at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world, built for human missions to deep space with the Orion spacecraft. The test series is underway on qualification articles that make up the upper portion of the SLS rocket.

For testing, the hardware is equipped with simulators and stacked as it will be for launch. Rather than liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen used for launch, liquid nitrogen is used for the test to pressurize the stage’s fuel tanks. Liquid nitrogen is the safest cryogenic for testing, with no smoke and fire. Large hydraulic systems inside the test stand push, pull and twist the integrated stack of hardware to simulate the extreme loads, or pressures, it will encounter during flight.

 The pieces are designed almost exact to flight hardware specifications:
•   Core stage simulator -- a duplicate of the top of the SLS core stage, designed and built at Marshall.
•   Launch vehicle stage adapter (LVSA) -- connects the SLS core stage and the interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS). The LVSA was designed and built by prime contractor Teledyne Brown Engineering of Huntsville.
The ICPS, designed and built by The Boeing Co. in Huntsville and United Launch Alliance of Decatur, is a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system that will push Orion beyond the moon before it returns to Earth.
•   Frangible joint assembly -- part of the separation system on the SLS. The flight version will have small explosive devices installed that will separate the ICPS from the rest of the rocket in space. Only the structural part of the frangible joint assembly is included for this test series. It was designed and built by Boeing and United Launch Alliance.

•   Orion stage adapter – connects the Orion to the ICPS and was designed and built at Marshall.
•   Orion spacecraft simulator – a replica of the bottom portion of the exploration vehicle that will carry the crew to space, designed and built at Marshall.

NASA and contractor officials will be available for interviews. News media interested in attending should contact Tracy McMahan in Marshall's Office of Communications at 256-544-0034 no later than 10 a.m. Thursday, April 13. Media must report to the Redstone Arsenal Joint Visitor Control Center at Gate 9, Interstate 565 interchange at Research Park Boulevard by 12 p.m., April 13. Vehicles are subject to a security search at the gate. News media will need photo identification and proof of car insurance.

For more information on the SLS structural loads testing, visit:
http://go.nasa.gov/2dS8yXB
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/24/2017 09:25 PM
Quote
All 16 booster separation motors for 1st flight of @NASA_SLS have been received @NASA_Kennedy to be installed on aft skirt or fwd assembly!

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/856617824034447360 (https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/856617824034447360)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/25/2017 04:59 PM
Quote
We're almost finished casting boosters for @NASA_SLS first flight! Get an inside look at the process in this timelapse of yesterday’s cast

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/856883395355443201 (https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/856883395355443201)

Short (6s) time lapse video attached.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: psloss on 04/27/2017 01:12 AM
Images and video of stacking of the engine section STA over the last month or so are now available:

Flickr album of stills of moving from 110 to 103 (final assembly):
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasamarshallphotos/sets/72157680995844111/with/34241842936/

Time-lapse of stacking in Cell A of Building 110 (left) and welding the LOX tank STA in the VAC (right):
https://images.nasa.gov/#/details-MAF_20170420_SF02_V_Cell%20A%20&%20VAC%20TL%20Video_ES%20STA%20&%20LOX%20Assembly%201080P.html

Video of moving out of 110 over to final assembly in 103 to wait shipping:
https://images.nasa.gov/#/details-MAF_20170419_SF02_V_Engine%20Section%20STA%20Moves%20to%20BLDG%20103_No-badge%20Edit.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/28/2017 11:15 AM
And here's Philip's article:

Pegasus trip to Marshall for SLS engine section STA:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/04/pegasus-trip-marshall-sls-engine-section-sta/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Jaskentner on 04/28/2017 05:30 PM
Looks like Miss Becky and Sacred Heart are the tugs that are taking Pegasus upriver. They cleared the Industrial Canal Lock around 11:30 local (16:30 UTC).

If you want to follow her progress:
http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:887675/mmsi:367430810/imo:8987307/vessel:MISS_BECKY
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 05/11/2017 10:30 PM
Final Brick Installed in Launch Complex 39B Flame Trench for NASA’s Space Launch System
May 11, 2017 - Linda Herridge

Intense heat and fire will fill the north side of the flame trench (https://www.nasa.gov/feature/upgrades-to-launch-pad-39b-flame-trench-will-support-space-launch-system-rocket) beneath the pad when NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft lift off from Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A project to upgrade the walls of the flame trench to withstand these conditions recently was completed.

All of the new heat-resistant bricks now are in place in the flame trench below the surface of the pad. Construction workers installed the final brick May 9, completing about a year’s worth of work on the walls on the north side of the flame trench to support the launch of the (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft on deep-space missions, including the Journey to Mars.

About 96,000 heat-resistant bricks, in three different sizes, now are secured to the walls using bonding mortar in combination with adhesive anchors. The flame trench will be able to withstand temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit at launch of the rocket’s engines and solid rocket boosters.

“The flame trench has withstood so many historical launches, and we are giving it new life to withstand many more,” said Regina Spellman, the launch pad senior project manager with the Ground Systems Development and Operations Program.

The north side of the flame trench is about 571 feet long, 58 feet wide and 42 feet high.

A new flame deflector soon will be installed that will safely contain and deflect the plume exhaust from the massive rocket to the north during launch. Two side flame deflectors, repurposed from space shuttle launches, will be refurbished and reinstalled at pad level on either side of the flame trench to help reduce damage to the pad and SLS rocket.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2017/05/11/final-brick-installed-in-launch-complex-39b-flame-trench-for-nasas-space-launch-system/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/groundsystems/2017/05/11/final-brick-installed-in-launch-complex-39b-flame-trench-for-nasas-space-launch-system/)

Photo Caption: A construction worker installs the final brick on the north side of the flame trench May 9, 2017 at Launch Complex 39B. Photo credit: NASA/Leif Heimbold
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AncientU on 05/17/2017 03:29 PM
More news:
Quote
NASA OIG: Construction of Test Stands 4693 and 4697 at Marshall Space Flight Center
Quote
...NASA spent approximately $76 million to build the two test stands.

We initiated this review to assess NASA's acquisition approach for the test stands; the cost, schedule, and performance of the construction project; the justification for placing the stands at Marshall; and plans for future use of the stands. We reviewed Federal and NASA policies, regulations, and plans; interviewed officials from NASA and Army Corps of Engineers; and reviewed contract documentation and various Agency studies concerning planning and construction of the test stands.

WHAT WE FOUND

In an attempt to meet a 2017 launch date for the SLS, NASA expedited construction of the test stands and paid the contractor a premium of approximately $7.6 million to complete construction on a compressed timetable. Moreover, because the stand designs were based on preliminary testing specifications, the requirements and testing capabilities that would be needed were not fully understood when the construction contract was awarded. As the testing requirements matured, NASA modified the contract to meet changing requirements, added additional features, and made other modifications that raised the contract price by $20.3 million. In addition, NASA did not establish adequate funding reserves to cover these changes and therefore had to secure $35.5 million in additional funding over the planned budget. Finally, because NASA did not adequately consider alternative locations before selecting Marshall as the site for the test stands, it cannot ensure it made the most cost-effective decision regarding where to build the stands.

http://spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=50131
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 06/07/2017 10:12 PM


Dynetics selected to build NASA’s Universal Stage Adapter for the Space Launch System Rocket

 

 

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. June 7, 2017 - Dynetics, Inc. in Huntsville, Ala., has been awarded the prime contract by NASA’s Glenn Research Center to manage the design, analysis, manufacturing, testing and assembly of the Universal Stage Adapter (USA) for the Space Launch System (SLS). The estimated value is $221 million, if all options are exercised.

 

The SLS is a powerful, advanced heavy-lift launch vehicle and is designed to be flexible and evolvable for deep-space destinations.   SLS will have three different launch capabilities, called blocks. USA and the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) will sit atop the SLS core stage and solid rocket boosters for the Block 1B and future configurations. Block 1B is scheduled for launch in the 2020’s.

 

The USA will integrate the EUS to the Orion crew module while providing structural, electrical and communication paths. The USA will also provide environmental control to payloads during integrated ground operations, launch, and ascent phases. The USA will also integrate co-manifested and secondary payloads.

 

“We are extremely proud to be selected as the prime contractor for the NASA Space Launch System’s Universal Stage Adapter. This contract will build on Dynetics’ expertise in the space industry which includes developing the low-cost, full-scale advanced booster cryogenic liquid oxygen demonstration tank and manufacturing, designing and testing propulsion components and systems for the SLS core and upper stages,” said Robert Wright, Dynetics program manager. “Our teammates – RUAG Space USA, ZIN Technologies, Dynamic Concepts, Inc., Craig Technologies, Tuskegee University and Paragon Tec – will bring vast levels of experience and knowledge together as we design and develop flight hardware that will be used to take humans and science missions further into deep space.” 

 

The USA will be designed, built and tested in Huntsville and at the new Dynetics Aerospace Structures Complex and the RUAG Space USA facility both in Decatur, Ala. The Dynetics Decatur facility will break ground in the summer of 2017 and the USA assembly facility will be completed in 2019.

 

After the USA is assembled and tested, it will be delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The USA will travel by barge from Decatur down the Tennessee River and the Tombigbee Waterway to the Gulf of Mexico and then around south Florida and up to the Kennedy Space Center.

 

The contract expands Dynetics’ role at NASA’s Glenn Research Center and Marshall Space Flight Center and moves the company into more flight hardware development, production and test. Dynetics holds a prime contract for SLS Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and Risk Reduction. Dynetics is also the subcontractor for manufacturing and transportation for the SLS core stage pathfinder vehicle.

 

The work is expected to begin in June 2017.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/15/2017 07:11 PM
Appeared on NTRS today:

Space Launch System (SLS) Mission Planner's Guide
ESD 30000 Ver 1 Initial Baseline - release date  April 12, 2017 - 106 pages

Abstract
The purpose of this Space Launch System (SLS) Mission Planner's Guide (MPG) is to provide future payload developers/users with sufficient insight to support preliminary SLS mission planning. Consequently, this SLS MPG is not intended to be a payload requirements document; rather, it organizes and details SLS interfaces/accommodations in a manner similar to that of current Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) user guides to support early feasibility assessment. Like ELV Programs, once approved to fly on SLS, specific payload requirements will be defined in unique documentation.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20170005323 (https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20170005323)

[Copy of guide attached]
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 06/24/2017 11:34 PM
Orbital ATK's Booster Fabrication Facility prepares for new era in exploration


Published on Jun 24, 2017

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. -- NASA and Orbital ATK are preparing the new super heavy-lift Space Launch System for its first flight, currently slated to take place in 2019 from Launch Complex 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. To find out about the five segment boosters being developed to help send the powerful new rocket and the astronauts who will fly on it, on their first missions. Orbital ATK's Larry Clark, provided SFI with an exclusive look at the Booster Fabrication Facility that will be used to ready these boosters for flight.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOx3KmMvKUE?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOx3KmMvKUE
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/06/2017 01:38 PM
Quote
Orbital ATK‏Verified account @OrbitalATK 46s47 seconds ago

Booster casting for the first @NASA_SLS mission is complete! Here, the final segment is transferred from casting pits at our Utah facility

https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/882956166304854017 (https://twitter.com/OrbitalATK/status/882956166304854017)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Lar on 07/07/2017 05:49 PM
Update thread
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/11/2017 06:27 PM
ICPS for EM-1 arriving in the SSPF soon:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/07/sls-upper-stage-residency-former-home-iss-modules/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 07/14/2017 11:25 PM
SLS Test Hardware Taken to Redstone Arsenal Airfield for Guppy Loading

Published on Jul 14, 2017


A structural test article of the Orion Stage Adapter for NASA’s Space Launch System, built at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, is transported and prepared to be loaded onto NASA's Super Guppy aircraft. With integrated structural testing complete at Marshall, the stage adapter will soon be transported to Lockheed Martin in Denver for further testing with NASA's Orion spacecraft. The Guppy -- a plane large enough to carry cargo weighing more than 26 tons -- arrived at the U.S. Army's Redstone Arsenal Airfield July 10 to transport the stage adapter. On SLS's first integrated flight with Orion, the OSA will connect Orion to the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage.

Video courtesy of NASA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoZYc4y9vAc?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoZYc4y9vAc

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/24/2017 08:04 PM
Flame Deflector installation begins on 39B
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/07/installation-flame-deflector-sls-begins-39b/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/26/2017 12:25 PM
ICPS for EM-1 arriving in the SSPF soon:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/07/sls-upper-stage-residency-former-home-iss-modules/

ULA's ICPS for SLS EM-1 is on a road trip this morning! Cape, via LC-39 complex and KSC’s Industrial Area, to the SSPF. The first integrated piece of SLS hardware to arrive at KSC.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 07/26/2017 05:36 PM
ICPS for EM-1 arriving in the SSPF soon:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/07/sls-upper-stage-residency-former-home-iss-modules/

ULA's ICPS for SLS EM-1 is on a road trip this morning! Cape, via LC-39 complex and KSC’s Industrial Area, to the SSPF. The first integrated piece of SLS hardware to arrive at KSC.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXBJwvkA9oY/

And
https://www.instagram.com/p/BXA-CwigpFs/

respectively
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: okan170 on 08/02/2017 10:19 PM
Space Launch System Solid Rocket Boosters ‘on Target’ for First Flight

https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/space-launch-system-solid-rocket-boosters-on-target-for-first-flight.html

Goodbye swooshes.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/05/2017 06:05 PM
Quote
Service Platforms Arrive for Space Launch System Booster Engines
Posted on August 4, 2017 at 11:05 am by Linda Herridge.

New service platforms for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) booster engines arrived at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The platforms were transported on two flatbed trucks from fabricator Met-Con Inc. in Cocoa, Florida. They were offloaded and stored inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).

The platforms will be used for processing and checkout of the engines for the SLS’ twin five-segment solid rocket boosters for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). The boosters, in combination with the rocket’s four RS-25 engines, will produce more than 8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff.

The first SLS mission, EM-1, will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to a stable orbit beyond the Moon and bring it back to Earth for a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. The mission will demonstrate the integrated system performance of the rocket, Orion spacecraft and ground support teams prior to a crewed flight.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2017/08/04/service-platforms-arrive-for-space-launch-system-booster-engines/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/kennedy/2017/08/04/service-platforms-arrive-for-space-launch-system-booster-engines/)

First photo caption:

Quote
A flatbed truck carrying one of two new service platforms for NASA’s Space Launch System booster engines arrives at the Vehicle Assembly Building at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 31, 2017.
Photo credit: NASA/Bill White
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 08/05/2017 11:09 PM
The above post is also covered in the following weekly NASA update at 34 seconds into the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4boOJo3H5HE?t=0034

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4boOJo3H5HE

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: bolun on 08/10/2017 07:56 AM
Tanks for the lift

NASA’s powerful Space Launch System rocket is a few steps closer to launching the Orion spacecraft now that its liquid propellant tanks are ready for testing.

Assembled by the world’s largest robotic rocket welder at NASA’s Michoud facility in New Orleans, USA, the liquid oxygen tank seen here is ready for qualification, while the remaining three tanks are being processed.

The tanks must prove they can do exactly what they were designed to do as well as pass structural testing. At NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, they will be strapped to the engines and fired to check their performance under launch conditions.

The liquid oxygen and hydrogen tanks hold over 2.6 million litres of propellant to power the rocket’s core stage that is comprised of four RS-25 engines and two solid rocket boosters.

Every bit of that thrust will be needed to propel the Orion spacecraft beyond low orbit to the Moon and beyond, for which ESA is contributing the European Service Module (ESM).

Once in orbit, the ESM will provide the spacecraft with electricity, water, oxygen and nitrogen as well as temperature control. A propulsion qualification module is being tested at the White Sands Test Facility in the US.

NASA’s uncrewed Exploration Mission-1 will be launched from the historic pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, sending Orion some 70 000 km beyond the Moon before it returns to Earth.

http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/08/Tanks_for_the_lift

Image credit: NASA Michoud–J. Guidry
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 08/10/2017 05:14 PM
Media tour and briefing of the Launch Equipment Test Facility (LETF) and the SLS EM-1 Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS).  If you've got questions you'd like me to ask tomorrow, PM me before 9am EDT Friday.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 08/24/2017 11:15 AM
Update on the "dropped LOX dome"-incident via het most recent publically available ASAP minutes:

Quote from: ASAP
NASA also reported on a mishap with the LOX dome. The qualification dome was dropped and its sides were “dimpled” by its holding fixture. At first, this was thought to be a catastrophic failure, but when the team pulled the dome out of the fixture, the dimples popped out. After considerable analysis by NASA and the prime contractor, the LOX dome was deemed suitable for qualification testing. It will be attached to the qualification tank and that assembly will go to Stennis Space Center for structural testing.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 08/24/2017 11:31 AM
Update on SLS-related critical path items, via the most recent publically available ASAP minutes:

Quote from: ASAP
The overall launch schedule for EM-1 has slipped—it is moving out and a new date will be established in the near future. There are a number of schedule threats within the three program-critical paths. The principal one migrates through the core stage (the rocket). A number of actions must come together: the fabrication and test of qualification and flight test hardware, fabrication and testing of structural test articles, and the integration of sensors and avionics. There are schedule threats of several months in terms of delivery of hardware to testing. This remains a difficult task to traverse without delay.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/29/2017 06:28 PM
Quote
ICPS on the move in the Vertical Transport System

https://twitter.com/torybruno/status/902570582578872324
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 08/30/2017 04:40 AM
Space Launch System—New Exterior Markings (2017 Animation)

Quote
NASA's Marshall Center
Published on Aug 29, 2017


Animation depicting NASA’s Space Launch System, the world's most powerful rocket for a new era of human exploration in deep space. Black-and-white checkerboard targets on the exterior of the SLS heavy-lift rocket will enable photogrammetrists to measure critical distances during spaceflight, including booster separation from the core stage. With its unprecedented capabilities, SLS will launch astronauts in the agency’s Orion spacecraft on missions to explore multiple, deep-space destinations, including Mars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2-PKzdXg4Q?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2-PKzdXg4Q
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 08/30/2017 10:45 PM
Dynetics has announced the completion of the SLS core stage pathfinder vehicle.

http://www.dynetics.com/news/497
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: OV135 on 08/31/2017 09:20 PM
That Dynetics simulated SLS would look great as a museum piece for KSC to add.  A life size SLS replica right outside the Atlantis building. Not only is it new, but this also shows hardware heritage adapted from shuttle into the new rocket. People will also get a sense of how large it is standing next to it while comparing it to the shuttle ET/SRB stack next to it. :)

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/05/2017 02:06 PM
And on the pathfinder, Philip was at the event and interviewed people/took photos :)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/09/sls-core-stage-pathfinder-barge-maf/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: kcrick on 09/05/2017 04:22 PM
And on the pathfinder, Philip was at the event and interviewed people/took photos :)

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/09/sls-core-stage-pathfinder-barge-maf/

Nice!  A very informative article indeed !   :D
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 09/05/2017 04:33 PM
Great article, but lacking proper metric units. Don't want to alienate the rest of the world!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 09/05/2017 09:17 PM
Great article, but lacking proper metric units. Don't want to alienate the rest of the world!
Isn't SLS being built using Imperial units?  If so, the most precise numbers will be in those units.

 - Ed Kyle
US Imperial Units is primary measurement and Metric is listed as secondary per Space Launch System (SLS) Mission Planner's Guide - ESD 30000 Baseline. PSM most charts are hybrid.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/05/2017 09:19 PM
Quote
[email protected]_SLS Booster Update: Five of 10 segments are now in storage & awaiting shipment to @NASAKennedy where they will be prepped for launch

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/905159759715635200
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: RonM on 09/06/2017 01:56 AM
Great article, but lacking proper metric units. Don't want to alienate the rest of the world!
Isn't SLS being built using Imperial units?  If so, the most precise numbers will be in those units.

 - Ed Kyle
US Imperial Units is primary measurement and Metric is listed as secondary per Space Launch System (SLS) Mission Planner's Guide - ESD 30000 Baseline. PSM most charts are hybrid.

Sorry about being pedantic, but the US doesn't used Imperial units. We use US Customary units. They are mostly the same, but with some important differences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_the_imperial_and_US_customary_measurement_systems

I wished we used the metric system, it's a lot simpler when you get used to it.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 09/06/2017 03:54 AM
Great article, but lacking proper metric units. Don't want to alienate the rest of the world!
Isn't SLS being built using Imperial units?  If so, the most precise numbers will be in those units.

 - Ed Kyle
US Imperial Units is primary measurement and Metric is listed as secondary per Space Launch System (SLS) Mission Planner's Guide - ESD 30000 Baseline. PSM most charts are hybrid.

Sorry about being pedantic, but the US doesn't used Imperial units. We use US Customary units. They are mostly the same, but with some important differences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_the_imperial_and_US_customary_measurement_systems

I wished we used the metric system, it's a lot simpler when you get used to it.
document says US Imperial Units so that is what we are going to just roll with the flow. Discussion thread here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38021.0
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/06/2017 01:53 PM
Quote
Orbital ATK Completes Qualification of Solid Rocket Booster Avionics for NASA's Space Launch System

Company’s Five-Segment Boosters will Help Provide Initial Thrust for First Two Minutes of Flight for SLS

Full Booster Certification Set to Complete Later this Year


Dulles, Virginia 6 September 2017 – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, recently completed an important qualification test of the avionics system for the solid rocket boosters the company has developed and is now manufacturing for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). Completion of this milestone is an important step toward preparing the SLS and Orion spacecraft for their first flight in 2019. Two Orbital ATK-developed five-segment rocket boosters will be used on each SLS launch to help provide initial thrust for the first two minutes of flight.

The avionics system is considered the “brains of the booster” as it starts booster ignition, communicates with the SLS launch vehicle computers during flight, and initiates booster separation upon completion of the first stage burn. The system is now qualified as meeting NASA’s demanding human-rating requirements, which provide a level of redundancy to ensure a safe flight environment through various phases of lift-off, ascent and staging.

“Completion of booster avionics system qualification is a significant step forward in supporting overall vehicle qualification and launch of the first flight of SLS – Exploration Mission-1,” said Jeff Foote, Vice President of NASA Programs for Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division. “We are proud of this accomplishment and look forward to completing full certification of the booster later this year.”

Qualification of the booster avionics system included a rigorous and comprehensive test series that thoroughly verified the fidelity of the system in a variety of expected and abnormal conditions. Key interactions confirmed during qualification testing included the ability to initiate booster ignition, control the booster during flight, and terminate flight.

The Space Launch System is NASA’s new heavy-lift launch vehicle that is being built to take crew and cargo to destinations beyond earth orbit, including to cislunar space and eventually Mars. SLS, along with the Orion spacecraft, will enable human exploration on a variety of missions to deep space. It has the greatest capacity of any launch system ever built, ensuring continued American leadership in space exploration.

Orbital ATK manufactures the twin, five-segment solid rocket boosters in Promontory, Utah, about an hour and a half north of Salt Lake City. Contributing to SLS booster production are 29 key suppliers across 17 states including Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=285
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/07/2017 05:31 AM
Quote
NASA Completes Welding of Liquid Oxygen Tank for First SLS Flight

NASA is another step closer to completing all main structures for the agency’s first launch of the Space Launch System deep space rocket. The liquid oxygen flight tank was recently built in the Vertical Assembly Center robotic welder at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. After the liquid oxygen tank was inspected, it was moved to another area for plug welding to fill the holes left by the friction stir welding process. Five major parts -- the engine section, liquid hydrogen tank, intertank, liquid oxygen tank and forward skirt –will be connected together to form the 212-foot-tall core stage, the backbone of the SLS rocket. Boeing, the prime contractor for the core stage, is welding the liquid hydrogen tank structure--the final major core stage structure to be built for the first integrated flight of SLS and Orion. The liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks will hold 733,000 gallons of propellant to power the stage's four RS-25 engines that together produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust.

Image credit: NASA/MSFC/Michoud/Jude Guidry

Last Updated: Sept. 1, 2017

https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/nasa-completes-welding-of-liquid-oxygen-tank-for-first-sls-flight.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/13/2017 06:51 PM
Preparing the adaptor - LVSA readies for SLS debut - by Philip Sloss:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/09/preparing-adaptor-lvsa-readies-sls-debut/

Lots of quotes and photos :)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/13/2017 08:32 PM
Quote
Booster update: Both aft segments for @NASA_SLS boosters are now in final assembly at our facility in Utah. #OrbitalATKDelivers

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/908064562695561216
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/21/2017 02:45 PM
Quote
NASA_SLS‏Verified account @NASA_SLS 14m14 minutes ago

Workers at @NASA_Marshall are cleaning the #NASASLS LVSA by hand so thermal protection can be applied! >> https://go.nasa.gov/2xO46Aw

https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/910873761372672000 (https://twitter.com/NASA_SLS/status/910873761372672000)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/25/2017 10:06 PM
Quote
Final Assembly techs transferred @NASA_SLS #EM1 Ctr/Ctr booster segment for processing today in Promontory. EM-1 aft segment in background

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/912425096396115968
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 09/27/2017 12:15 PM
You have to translate it, but it's rare for Roscosmos to mention SLS by name and the DSG plans.
https://www.roscosmos.ru/24136/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 09/27/2017 03:39 PM
You have to translate it, but it's rare for Roscosmos to mention SLS by name and the DSG plans.
https://www.roscosmos.ru/24136/
Translation:
Quote
NEWS
ROSKOSMOS - NASA. JOINT RESEARCH OF FAR COSMOS
9/27/2017 12:40 PM
State corporation "ROSKOSMOS" and NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the USA) during the 68th International Astronautical Congress in Adelaide (Australia) signed a joint statement on cooperation in the field of exploration and development of outer space.
 
ROSKOSMOS and NASA confirmed the intention to use the International Space Station (ISS) as a basis for further space exploration, as well as cooperation within the international lunar program: the creation of the near-Earth visited platform Deep Space Gateway, standardization of standards, scientific missions on the moon orbit and on the lunar surface.
 
In particular, the partners intend to develop international technical standards, which will be used in the future, including for the establishment of the station in the near-moon orbit. ROSKOSMOS and NASA have already reached an understanding on the standards of the docking station of the future station. Taking into account the serious domestic experience in the development of docking stations, the future elements of the station will be created on the basis of Russian developments, as well as the standards of life support systems. The developed standards will be used by all countries in the development and creation of their space technology.
 
Currently, other space powers are also considering the issue of joining the project of the international lunar research program and the creation of the Deep Space Gateway - they are studying their scientific and technical potential for participation in Earth satellite research.
 
The parties also discussed the possibility of using Russian carrier rockets (RNs) to create the infrastructure of the lunar station. So, at the first stage it is supposed to use the American super-heavy SL SLS in parallel with the domestic heavy rockets Proton-M and Angara A5M. After the creation of the Russian superheavy rocket, it will also be used to provide the lunar orbital station.
 
The main work on the creation of the lunar station will begin in the mid-2020s.
 
Igor KOMAROV, General Director of Roskosmos State Corporation: "At least five countries are working on the creation of their own manned spacecraft and systems. In order to avoid problems in the future in technical cooperation, part of the standards should be unified - for the ability of different countries to work on their products and to join the international near-moon station. Part of the key standards will be formed on the basis of Russian developments. The agreements reached open new prospects for international cooperation and expand the opportunities for using the capabilities of the Russian space industry. "

Similar:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/news/a28304/russia-nasa-cis-lunar/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 10/06/2017 10:24 PM
A recent presentation from Dynetics:

Update on Risk Reduction Activities for a Liquid Advanced Booster for NASA's Space Launch System
International Astronautical Congress 2017; 25-29 September 2017

Abstract:
Goals of NASA's Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction (ABEDRR) are to: (1) Reduce risks leading to an affordable Advanced Booster that meets the evolved capabilities of SLS. (2) Enable competition by mitigating targeted Advanced Booster risks to enhance SLS affordability. SLS Block 1 vehicle is being designed to carry 70 mT to LEO: (1) Uses two five-segment solid rocket boosters (SRBs) similar to the boosters that helped power the space shuttle to orbit. Evolved 130 mT payload class rocket requires an advanced booster with more thrust than any existing U.S. liquid-or solid-fueled boosters.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170009489.pdf (https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170009489.pdf)

Copy also attached.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/14/2017 01:55 PM
Per waiting on the new EM-1 date.

L2 info shows they are deciding between the "best case" date of December 2019 and a "risk informed" date of Q2 (around May) 2020 for EM-1.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 10/23/2017 09:20 PM
Insider Exclusive: The People and the Parts of NASA's EM-1 mission


SpaceFlight Insider - Official Page
Published on Oct 23, 2017


PROMONTORY, Utah -- Orbital ATK is deep into the production of the solid rocket boosters that will be used for NASA’s Space Launch System. SpaceFlight Insider was granted an exclusive tour of the processes and personnel making the giant rockets that NASA hopes will help take astronauts deeper into space than has ever been attempted before.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzcIoqRH0nE?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzcIoqRH0nE
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/24/2017 06:56 PM
Crew Access Arm arrives as SLS Mobile Launcher takes shape:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/crew-access-arm-arrives-sls-mobile-launcher/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/25/2017 02:35 PM
Quote
Mark Kirasich: EM-1 crew module powered-on testing going so well, made up for time lost during hurricane shutdown at KSC. #VonBraun

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923194525983571968 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923194525983571968)

Edit to add:

Quote
Kirasich: EM-1 Orion crew module should be done in February or March next year, await arrival of service module. #vonbraun

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923194825507246080 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923194825507246080)

Quote
Kirasich: Expect EM-1 service module to be completed and delivered to KSC in the summer of 2018. #VonBraun

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923195583782965249 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923195583782965249)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/26/2017 08:36 PM
Quote
Two @NASA_SLS booster segments were transferred to storage
yesterday, making 7 of the 10 #EM1 segments ready for shipment when requested.

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/923634453188087808 (https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/923634453188087808)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/06/2017 07:29 PM
Quote
Techs paint photogrammetric markings on #EM1 booster aft exit cone prior to its shipment to @NASAKennedy for first flight of @NASA_SLS

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/927618751985483776 (https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/927618751985483776)

Quote
These checker-board markings are on all booster segments & will provide visual reference points for tracking during launch & separation

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/927620542722658310 (https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/927620542722658310)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 11/06/2017 09:53 PM
Space Launch System Scale and Power (Animation) (version 2 - a/o Nov 1, 2017)

NASA's Marshall Center
Published on Nov 6, 2017


Animation depicting NASA’s Space Launch System, the world's most powerful rocket for a new era of human exploration beyond Earth’s orbit. With its unprecedented capabilities, SLS will launch astronauts in the agency’s Orion spacecraft on missions to explore multiple, deep-space destinations, including Mars. Traveling to deep space requires a large vehicle that can carry huge payloads, and future evolutions of SLS with the exploration upper stage and advanced boosters will increase the rocket’s lift capability and flexibility for multiple types of mission needs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2nod-ek7ys?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2nod-ek7ys
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 11/08/2017 07:18 PM
Basic gist of the attached release is: All analyses say No Earlier Than June 2020 now for first SLS launch. But NASA acting Admin says agency is "protecting/managing" toward a December 2019 flight - 6 months earlier then what the analyses say is realistically possible.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-completes-review-of-first-sls-orion-deep-space-exploration-mission/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/09/2017 02:07 AM
Article on the official announcement via the internal rallying memos going around (via L2):

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/11/sls-managers-troops-slip-2020/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/16/2017 06:32 PM
Quote
Orbital ATK technicians put final touches on @NASA_SLS boosters’ aft exit cones as we continue to prepare for the vehicle’s EM-1 mission!

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/931241992327229440
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ncb1397 on 11/22/2017 06:17 PM
Space Flight Insider video on LVSA and OSA components of SLS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqcTRNMUYUc
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/24/2017 05:56 AM
Here's the next part talking engine the SLS Engine Section.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXd4zkOfJXM
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 11/30/2017 01:44 PM
MAF simulating SLS engine installation with RS-25 pathfinder
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/11/maf-engine-installation-rs-25-pathfinder/
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Eric Hedman on 11/30/2017 02:22 PM
Here are some videos of NASA people visiting a contractor (Weldall in Waukesha, Wisconsin) building test equipment for SLS:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGhcg2Qle04&feature=youtu.b (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGhcg2Qle04&feature=youtu.b)e

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7f04exu4sE&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7f04exu4sE&feature=youtu.be)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: deruch on 11/30/2017 05:49 PM
Here's the next part talking engine the SLS Engine Section.


Part 3 of the SFI Marshall tour, looking at the the structural test stands for the LOX and Hydrogen tanks:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQSuKxph_PY
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/05/2017 06:41 PM
Quote
Final assembly and transportation crew pose with the 10th @NASA_SLS booster segment as it goes into storage, completing a full flight set of solid rocket boosters!

https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/938101017966776320 (https://twitter.com/orbitalatk/status/938101017966776320)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AncientU on 12/05/2017 10:44 PM
So, has it been determined what is the shelf-life of a new booster?
These need to sit for 3-4 years, the next ones being built for possibly twice that.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ncb1397 on 12/05/2017 11:22 PM
So, has it been determined what is the shelf-life of a new booster?
These need to sit for 3-4 years, the next ones being built for possibly twice that.

I don't know. The ICBMs and Ground Based Interceptors sit for a long time though. It is probably like canned food. After 100 years, you could probably eat it and be fine, but you wouldn't want to.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: JAFO on 12/06/2017 05:57 AM
So, has it been determined what is the shelf-life of a new booster?
These need to sit for 3-4 years, the next ones being built for possibly twice that.

I don't know. The ICBMs and Ground Based Interceptors sit for a long time though. It is probably like canned food. After 100 years, you could probably eat it and be fine, but you wouldn't want to.

Must be some kind of date, wasn't the Ares I-X made up of expired 4 segment sections?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AnalogMan on 12/06/2017 11:38 AM
So, has it been determined what is the shelf-life of a new booster?
These need to sit for 3-4 years, the next ones being built for possibly twice that.

I don't know. The ICBMs and Ground Based Interceptors sit for a long time though. It is probably like canned food. After 100 years, you could probably eat it and be fine, but you wouldn't want to.

Must be some kind of date, wasn't the Ares I-X made up of expired 4 segment sections?

Originally shuttle RSRMs had a 5-year certified service life.  From ST-117 onwards that was extended to 5.5 years for already built motors.

The materials in the motor (or chemically similar materials) are used in rocket systems certified for 20+ years.  A shuttle flight verification motor (FVM-2) aged 7.2 years was test fired by ATK in May 2008 for life validation purposes.

Other limiting time requirements were: 1-year maximum stacked life, and 180 days max on pad.

Up to 39-year old Minuteman motors (which use similar materials) have been successfully static test fired.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: envy887 on 12/11/2017 05:17 PM
So, has it been determined what is the shelf-life of a new booster?
These need to sit for 3-4 years, the next ones being built for possibly twice that.

I don't know. The ICBMs and Ground Based Interceptors sit for a long time though. It is probably like canned food. After 100 years, you could probably eat it and be fine, but you wouldn't want to.

Must be some kind of date, wasn't the Ares I-X made up of expired 4 segment sections?

Originally shuttle RSRMs had a 5-year certified service life.  From ST-117 onwards that was extended to 5.5 years for already built motors.

The materials in the motor (or chemically similar materials) are used in rocket systems certified for 20+ years.  A shuttle flight verification motor (FVM-2) aged 7.2 years was test fired by ATK in May 2008 for life validation purposes.

Other limiting time requirements were: 1-year maximum stacked life, and 180 days max on pad.

Up to 39-year old Minuteman motors (which use similar materials) have been successfully static test fired.

I thought Minuteman used HTPB instead of PBAN in current SLS/STS motors?
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Hog on 12/11/2017 06:34 PM
Space Shuttle solid-rocket booster Thiokol AP/PBAN/Al ca. 245 11-point star and tapered perforations 1981


Minuteman I
Stage 1 Thiokol AP/PBAA/Al ca. 245 6-point star 1962
Stage 2 Aerojet AP/polyurethane/Al ca. 270 4-point star 1962
Stage 3 Hercules Powder Company AP/HMX/nitrocellulose/ nitroglycerine/Al ca. 275 core and slotted tube modified end burner 1962

I cant find anything that directly discusses Minuteman-III using Hydroxyl-terminated Polybutadiene (HTPB).

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: ncb1397 on 12/19/2017 09:24 PM
Quote
The EM-1 Orion stage adapter, which joins the interim cryogenic propulsion stage to the Orion spacecraft, is nearly finished. In November, engineers installed mounting brackets to hold the 13 CubeSat secondary payload dispensers and one avionics unit. After fitting the brackets, technicians flipped the adapter and installed the diaphragm. The final steps before shipping the adapter to Kennedy Space Center include installing the avionics unit, connecting cables and performing electrical tests, and mounting a hazardous gas detection tube.
https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/sls_november_mthly_highlights_web.pdf

(https://i.imgur.com/PHDA2HU.png)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 02/03/2018 11:01 AM
SLS Core Stage Engine Section Aces Testing


NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Published on Feb 2, 2018


NASA’s heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, moved a step closer to the launch pad by acing a test of its engine section, the part of the rocket that houses SLS’s four RS-25 engines. The structural qualification test simulated the millions of pounds of force that the engine section will experience during lift-off and flight. (NASA/MSFC/Tyler Martin).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_XyUUFUj6s?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_XyUUFUj6s
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 02/22/2018 12:04 AM
How to Build a Rocket to Mars


Great Big Story
Published on Feb 21, 2018

In New Orleans’ bayou country, teams of engineers from Boeing are building the rocket that could put the first human on Mars. Working with NASA, these dedicated teams are designing and constructing the world’s largest and most powerful rocket in history, known as NASA’s Space Launch System. Together, Boeing and NASA are uncovering the next great frontier, building a future where humankind goes beyond Earth.

This Great Big Story is a paid contribution by Boeing:  http://beyondearth.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH8WFpcQ8_c?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH8WFpcQ8_c
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rayleighscatter on 02/24/2018 12:14 PM
Intertank at Michoud, and being loaded for a trip to Marshall.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/28/2018 06:29 PM
FEATURE ARTICLE: NASA, Boeing rewriting the book on building the SLS Core Stage -

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/02/nasa-boeing-rewriting-book-building-sls-core-stage/

- by Philip Sloss

Everything you wanted to know about the SLS Core Stage but were afraid to ask! 4000 words, so remember to also click "Page 2"!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/08/2018 05:16 PM
Pegasus ships latest SLS test article to NASA Marshall for key tests -
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/03/pegasus-sls-test-article-nasa-marshall-tests/

By Philip Sloss. Incredibly meaty again!
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 03/09/2018 04:04 AM
Hardware for NASA's SLS Rocket Boards Pegasus For Trip to Marshall


NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Published on Mar 8, 2018

A structural test version of the intertank for NASA's new exploration-class rocket, the Space Launch System, rolls out of the Vertical Assembly Center at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans Feb. 22, before it is loaded on the agency's barge Pegasus and delivered to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for critical testing. The test version of the intertank is structurally identical to the flight intertank, which will connect the core stage's two colossal fuel tanks, serve as the upper-connection point for the two solid rocket boosters and house critical avionics and electronics. The test hardware will undergo extensive structural testing to verify the rocket can withstand the extreme forces expected during launch and flight, especially booster ignition and separation. Pegasus, originally used during the Space Shuttle Program, has been redesigned and extended to accommodate the SLS rocket's massive, 212-foot-long core stage -- the backbone of the rocket. The 310-foot-long barge will ferry the flight core stage from Michoud to other NASA centers for tests and launch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb1e3N7mERI?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb1e3N7mERI
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 03/16/2018 01:14 PM
Standalone thread in Orion, but could have worked in numerous sections.

ARTICLE: Cislunar station gets thumbs up, new name in President's budget request -

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/03/cislunar-station-new-name-presidents-budget/

- By Philip Sloss.

(Numerous renders by Nathan Koga)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 03/22/2018 01:45 AM
Rocket Science in 60 Seconds: NASA’s Orion stage adapter for the Space Launch System

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Published on Mar 21, 2018

Rocket Science in 60 Seconds gives you an inside look at work being done at NASA to explore deep space like never before. In this episode, we go behind the scenes at the agency's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to see the Orion stage adapter for NASA's new rocket, the Space Launch System. The Orion stage adapter will connect the Orion spacecraft to the upper part of the rocket and will carry 13 small satellites. Brent Gaddes, the Orion stage adapter manager, tells us how the adapter was built and why it's so important!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfNSxn4MPos?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfNSxn4MPos
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Robotbeat on 03/22/2018 01:48 AM
I think Janicki made that carbon fiber dome thing. At least they did for EFT-1.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Markstark on 03/22/2018 02:35 AM
I think Janicki made that carbon fiber dome thing. At least they did for EFT-1.
That’s correct. The EM-1 design is nearly identical to EFT-1 MSA. They just added 13 cubesat dispensers.

https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/diaphragm-layers-for-Orion-stage-adapter
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/26/2018 05:42 PM
Quote
Hill: some recent issues with engine section of SLS core stage; may push back completion of section from May-June to August.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/978316819994902530?s=21

Quote
Hill: still the “appropriate thing” to continue targeting December 2019 for EM-1 launch; a lot of mitigation activities in progress.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/978317065839894528?s=21
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rockets4life97 on 04/13/2018 11:43 AM
New article from Eric Berger at Arstechnica.com. (https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/04/nasa-likely-to-fly-first-deep-space-mission-on-less-powerful-rocket/)

The basic argument is that with the new money for the new mobile launcher the Exploration Upper Stage may be delayed. As a result the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage may be human-rated in order to fly a modified EM-2 and possibly other missions.

The compelling thing to me about SLS is that it is significantly more powerful in its Block 1B and Block 2 versions. If those are delayed, I think it is much easier to cancel this program when a new administration (inevitably) comes into power.

Edit: fixed link
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 04/13/2018 12:45 PM
...Otherwise; expect EUS to be cancelled outright and Centaur V to be the new upper stage. Not saying that's what's going to happen. But if it does; you heard it here first.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: guckyfan on 04/13/2018 01:11 PM
Do I get this right? Build the new launch platform to be able to fly EUS earlier, then delay developing EUS? Makes total sense.

Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: rockets4life97 on 04/13/2018 01:53 PM
Do I get this right? Build the new launch platform to be able to fly EUS earlier, then delay developing EUS? Makes total sense.

My sense was from the quote in the article from Wayne Hale of NASA's advisory board, is that the EUS is already delayed. So, the extra money for the new launch platform helps fill the gap. Otherwise, there might be a bigger gap between EM-1 and EM-2.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: MarkM on 04/13/2018 02:22 PM
Do I get this right? Build the new launch platform to be able to fly EUS earlier, then delay developing EUS? Makes total sense.

I don't think that is the correct interpretation.  It has always been a criticism that switching to the EUS required a pause in the program in order to modify the launch platform.  The new platform will be built for the EUS from the beginning.  This will allow flights to continue with the ICPS without a pause until the EUS and the new platform is ready and at that point the old platform can be taken offline and modified or scrapped.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AncientU on 04/13/2018 02:35 PM
Do I get this right? Build the new launch platform to be able to fly EUS earlier, then delay developing EUS? Makes total sense.

My sense was from the quote in the article from Wayne Hale of NASA's advisory board, is that the EUS is already delayed. So, the extra money for the new launch platform helps fill the gap. Otherwise, there might be a bigger gap between EM-1 and EM-2.

Filling the gap assumes human rating ICPS, preparation of the ECLSS for EM-2 (which wasn't supposed to be ready until 2022-2023 IIRC), and Orion software development can be moved up to earlier than EM-1 plus 30 months.  The gap doesn't close simply because of the decision to fly crew on Block 1.  Accelerating each of these items requires new funding, which I don't recall being included along with the funds for a new ML.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: catdlr on 04/13/2018 03:04 PM
Rocket Science in 60 Seconds: NASA’s New Deep-Space Exploration Rocket

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
Published on Apr 13, 2018

Rocket Science in 60 Seconds gives you an inside look at work being done at NASA to explore deep space like never before. In this episode, NASA astronaut Butch Wilmore gives you the scoop on NASA’s Space Launch System, the only rocket powerful enough to send Orion and astronauts on missions beyond the Moon. From safety to testing to the uniqueness of the SLS rocket, Butch explains why SLS is essential to human space exploration.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYMuC2MDbwo?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYMuC2MDbwo
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: AncientU on 04/13/2018 03:29 PM
Quote
SLS Upper Stage Changes While Software Problems Linger
Quote
Keith's note: Note that there is no mention of this substantial internal activity in Lightfoot's prepared statement at the hearing. One has to assuem that they would have rather not talked about this if at all possible. In addition to all of the excellent points raised in this article there is another looming factor that will affect this decision. Readers of NASAWatch will recall that there has been a lot of chaos at NASA MSFC in the safety group that is certifying the SLS flight software. One of the things that scared this team the most was the sad state of current software and what would have to be done to human rate SLS - with the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) on EM-2. Sources report that the internal consensus was that the software would have to be started from a clean slate in order to human rate the SLS.

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2018/04/sls-upper-stage-1.html
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: woods170 on 04/14/2018 03:43 PM
New article from Eric Berger at Arstechnica.com. (https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/04/nasa-likely-to-fly-first-deep-space-mission-on-less-powerful-rocket/)

The basic argument is that with the new money for the new mobile launcher the Exploration Upper Stage may be delayed. As a result the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage may be human-rated in order to fly a modified EM-2 and possibly other missions.


Emphasis mine.

And that was in fact the original plan for EM-2. To have it fly on iCPS. But that was changed a few years ago to avoid having the additional cost of man-rating two different upper stages (iCPS and EUS).

Now that EUS is delayed this original scenario is now back on the table. EM-2 will possibly fly on iCPS. And for later missions SLS will still need a bigger stage. That might not be EUS, but possibly ACES or Centaur-V. But still, those would have to be man-rated as well.

So, looks like NASA will have to cough-up the money for man-rating TWO different upper stages after all.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Khadgars on 04/16/2018 05:12 PM
Do I get this right? Build the new launch platform to be able to fly EUS earlier, then delay developing EUS? Makes total sense.

My sense was from the quote in the article from Wayne Hale of NASA's advisory board, is that the EUS is already delayed. So, the extra money for the new launch platform helps fill the gap. Otherwise, there might be a bigger gap between EM-1 and EM-2.

Filling the gap assumes human rating ICPS, preparation of the ECLSS for EM-2 (which wasn't supposed to be ready until 2022-2023 IIRC), and Orion software development can be moved up to earlier than EM-1 plus 30 months.  The gap doesn't close simply because of the decision to fly crew on Block 1.  Accelerating each of these items requires new funding, which I don't recall being included along with the funds for a new ML.

Opinions should be left to the Discussion thread, not the Update thread imo.
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: zack on 04/16/2018 05:15 PM
Well this is surprising:
https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/985926582501076992 (https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/985926582501076992)
Quote
This weekend @NASA MSFC Center Director Todd May was talking to #NASA employees about new plans for the first 4 @NASA_SLS flights to be on identical rockets with @NASA_Orion but without crew. The first  launch would be in 2021. First launch with a crew would be EM-5 in 2015/2016.

I am assuming he meant to write 2025/2026. Not sure what to think about that.

Edit: Updated tweet links:
https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/985933894028578819 (https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/985933894028578819)
https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/985941528190255105 (https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/985941528190255105)
Title: Re: SLS Development Stage UPDATE Thread (2)
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 04/16/2018 09:21 PM
A response from PAO and Todd May.

https://twitter.com/NASAWatch/status/985967329799495682

Quote
Per our earlier tweet about @NASA_SLS changes, @NASA PAO says "Todd May says this is not what’s being discussed for the first flights of SLS. He says he never said no crew on these flights."   That said @NASAWatch stands by its earlier tweet.