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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Commercial Crew Vehicles General => Topic started by: QuantumG on 06/11/2015 11:18 PM

Title: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 06/11/2015 11:18 PM
This thread is for updates and analysis of the CCtCap (and remaining CCiCap) milestones schedule. Please constrain discussion to analysis and updates.

Starting with this schedule (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36899.msg1387938#msg1387938) I have compiled this list of outstanding milestones.

2015 Jun
Boeing Phase II Safety Review - Safety Technical Review Board 80%
SpaceX Avionics Test Bed Activation

2015 Jul
Boeing Qualification Test Vehicle Production Readiness Review

2015 Aug

2015 Sep
Boeing Structural Test Article Test Readiness Review
Boeing CST-100 Checkout & Control System (Activation / Validation) Test Complete

2015 Oct
Boeing Qualification Test Vehicle Integrated Readiness Review
SpaceX Docking System Qualification Test Complete

2015 Nov
Boeing Flight Software Demo.
SpaceX Launch Site Operational Readiness Review

2015 Dec
Boeing Orbital Flight Test Configuration Performance & Weight Status Report
SpaceX Delta Critical Design Review
SpaceX Propulsive Land & Initial Propulsion Module Landing Test Complete Test Complete

2016 Jan

2016 Feb
Boeing Mission Control Center Int. Sims. System Acceptance Review

2016 Mar

2016 Apr
Boeing Qualification Test Vehicle Test Readiness Review

2016 May

2016 Jun
Boeing Int. Parachute System Drop Tests 1 & 2 Comp.
SpaceX Launch Site Operational Readiness Review for Crew

2016 Jul
SpaceX Environmental Control & Life Support System Integrated Test Complete

2016 Aug

2016 Sep
SpaceX Flight Test w/o Crew Certification Review
SpaceX DM-1 Parachute Qualification Review
SpaceX Space Suit Qual Test Complete

2016 Oct

2016 Nov
Boeing ISS Design Certification Review
Boeing Orbital Flight Test Flight Operations Review
Boeing Spacecraft Servicing Operational Readiness Review

2016 Dec
Boeing Service Module Hot Fire Launch Abort Test Complete
SpaceX Flight to ISS w/o Crew (DM-1)

2017 Jan
SpaceX Design Certification Review
SpaceX Parachute Qual Test Complete

2017 Feb
Boeing Pad Abort Test Complete

2017 Mar
Boeing Orbital Flight Test Flight Test Readiness Review
SpaceX Flight Test Readiness Review

2017 Apr
Boeing Orbital Flight Test
SpaceX Flight to ISS w/Crew (DM-2)

2017 May
Boeing Crewed Flight Test Design Certification Review

2017 Jun

2017 Jul
Boeing Crewed Flight Test Flight Test Readiness Review
Boeing Crewed Flight Test
SpaceX Operational Readiness Review

2017 Aug

2017 Sep
Boeing Operational Readiness Review

2017 Oct
Boeing Certification Review
SpaceX Certification Review

Unfortunately I don't have a public source for the milestone payments for CCtCap milestones. If I could add those, I could show how much this changes with the kind of budget Congress apparently intends to supply to the program indefinitely.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jcc on 06/11/2015 11:45 PM
Has the SpaceX milestone 2  Initial Propulsion Module Testing Complete April 2015 been officially accepted by NASA? Should be done because the used it for the pad abort.

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mkent on 06/12/2015 12:07 AM
First, an acronym list for the opening post, listed in order of occurrence:

STRB   Safety Technical Review Board
QTV    Qualification Test Vehicle
PRR    Production Readiness Review
STA    Structural Test Article
TRR    Test Readiness Review
CCCS   CST-100 Checkout & Control System (Activation / Validation)
IRR    Integrated Readiness Review
FSW    Flight SoftWare
ORR    Operational Readiness Review
OFT    Orbital Flight Test
CPWSR  Configuration Performance & Weight Status Report
CDR    Critical Design Review
MCC    Mission Control Center
SAR    System Acceptance Review
ECLSS  Environmental Control & Life Support System
CR     Certification Review
PQR    Parachute Qualification Review
ISS    International Space Station
DCR    Design Certification Review
FOR    Flight Operations Review
SM     Service Module
PAT    Pad Abort Test
FTRR   Flight Test Readiness Review
CFT    Crewed Flight Test


Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 06/12/2015 12:26 AM
MKent, that's a great list! Thanks!

QuantumG, would you consider folding it into the header and or expanding all the items with their acronym expansions?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 06/12/2015 12:46 AM
Done
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mkent on 06/12/2015 12:46 AM
For analysis....

The milestones through Sept 2015 should have money already allocated to them from the FY-15 Appropriations Act.  They should be unaffected by the recent budget controversy.

If we take the remaining 34 milestones and divide them equally into the $2.4 billion NASA plans to spend on Commercial Crew for FY-16 and FY-17 (not a great assumption), we get an average cost to NASA of about $70 million / milestone.

The $900 million recommended by the Senate would thus take us roughly through the July 2016 milestones (SpaceX ECLSS Integrated Test Complete).  A similar level for FY-17 would take us through the Flight Test Readiness Reviews in March 2017.  It would then take about another $600 million in FY-18 to certify both vehicles.

This is a very rough analysis.  More thoughts:

1) The development funding required for Boeing and SpaceX is different.  By my estimates, Boeing requires $1.97 billion in CCtCap funding (including FY-15 funds already appropriated), while Space requires only $1.050 billion similarly.  Thus Boeing is getting $1.88 for every SpaceX dollar.

2) Boeing and SpaceX have differing numbers of milestones.  Boeing has 18 milestones after FY-15 while SpaceX has 16.

If we take into account both items above, we have two equations & two unknowns.

18B + 16S = $2.4 billion
18B = 1.88 * 16S

Thus, Boeing averages $87 million / milestone while SpaceX averages $52 million.

Interestingly, that doesn’t change the above cutoffs much if the milestones are paid off in order.

Add in some additional overhead, and $900 million / year would yield only a one-year slip in post-certification readiness (three years instead of two).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jcc on 06/12/2015 12:49 AM
Do all the milestones carry equal dollar value? Doesn't seem like they should.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 06/12/2015 12:51 AM
Do all the milestones carry equal dollar value? Doesn't seem like they should.

I don't think it's unreasonable for me to reveal that they don't. Still trying to find a public list of payments. Kinda ridiculous that this information isn't available to everyone.

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mkent on 06/12/2015 12:56 AM
Do all the milestones carry equal dollar value? Doesn't seem like they should.

Almost certainly not.  But without anything else to go on, what else can you do?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 06/12/2015 01:01 AM
Has the SpaceX milestone 2  Initial Propulsion Module Testing Complete April 2015 been officially accepted by NASA? Should be done because the used it for the pad abort.

Pad abort tested the launch abort engines (SuperDraco), not the sets of thrusters that will be used in orbit (Draco).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Coastal Ron on 06/12/2015 02:04 AM
Do all the milestones carry equal dollar value? Doesn't seem like they should.

I don't think it's unreasonable for me to reveal that they don't. Still trying to find a public list of payments. Kinda ridiculous that this information isn't available to everyone.

I know for the COTS program when the GAO did an audit of it they identified the specific payment amounts for each milestone.  Maybe we'll have to wait for the GAO to audit CCtCap to see that information?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: darkenfast on 06/12/2015 07:28 AM
"2017 Jan
SpaceX Design Certification Review
SpaceX Parachute Qual Test Complete"

What is the purpose of the Parachute Qual Test?  They did the test off Morro Bay, the Pad Abort Test, and presumably, they will do the Max-Q Abort Test, all of which used (or will use), the system which will fly on the manned spacecraft.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 06/12/2015 08:03 AM
"2017 Jan
SpaceX Design Certification Review
SpaceX Parachute Qual Test Complete"

What is the purpose of the Parachute Qual Test?  They did the test off Morro Bay, the Pad Abort Test, and presumably, they will do the Max-Q Abort Test, all of which used (or will use), the system which will fly on the manned spacecraft.

Maybe they'll test firing the parachutes at the most suboptimal deployment environment they can think of?

Edit: Okay, question answered! Thank you, QuantumG.  :D
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 06/12/2015 08:07 AM
See https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/SpaceX-CCtCap-Contract.pdf

Quote
SpaceX will conduct a series of tests on the parachute system in nominal and off-
nominal configurations, enveloping conditions for abort and nominal entry scenarios. As described
in DRD 108 Verification and Validation Plan, these tests will demonstrate that the design and build
of the Crew Dragon parachute system meets the intent of Section 4 of JSC-65985, Requirements for
Human Spaceflight for the Trailing Deployable Aerodynamic Decelerator (TDAD) System.
Complete human-rating of the parachute system will leverage these tests along with additional
analysis, inspection and lessons learned from the pad and in-flight abort tests conducted during
CCiCap. The Parachute Qualification milestone will be completed after the Flight to ISS without
Crew milestone because the latter does not require this level of human-rating for a flight without
crew, and any in-flight observations from that test flight can be used to inform the test plan for
parachute qualification.

The Dragon parachute system is critical to the safety of crew members during all missions. Its
purpose is to stabilize and decelerate the vehicle to an appropriate descent rate for a safe land
landing for all mission cases. The system must not only decelerate the Dragon from the extreme
velocities of orbital entry, but must also be able to quickly establish aerodynamic control of the
vehicle for aborted launches, the strictest of these scenarios being an emergency event at the launch
pad. The parachutes make up a sophisticated system subject to many failure modes both known and
unknown, high and potentially uncertain loads, and a wide range of initial conditions. As such,
multiple tests in a full scale and flight-like configuration are required to demonstrate and observe
aspects such as redundancy effectiveness, performance dispersions, and structural integrity.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jcc on 06/12/2015 01:17 PM
Has the SpaceX milestone 2  Initial Propulsion Module Testing Complete April 2015 been officially accepted by NASA? Should be done because the used it for the pad abort.

Pad abort tested the launch abort engines (SuperDraco), not the sets of thrusters that will be used in orbit (Draco).

So is that a "no"? I see the purpose of this thread as to track the completion of milestones against schedule.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: JasonAW3 on 06/12/2015 04:07 PM
Has the SpaceX milestone 2  Initial Propulsion Module Testing Complete April 2015 been officially accepted by NASA? Should be done because the used it for the pad abort.

Pad abort tested the launch abort engines (SuperDraco), not the sets of thrusters that will be used in orbit (Draco).

The Draco engines are the primary maneuvering thrusters for the current generation of Dragon.  As it stands, I'd have to say that they've pretty much been fully tested by now.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Kansan52 on 06/12/2015 04:29 PM
Checking to see if I got this wrong.

My understanding was the Super Dracos would replace the Dracos. That was the reason for SDs super throttleable ability, to produce the proper thrust for manuevers.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: JBF on 06/12/2015 04:54 PM
Checking to see if I got this wrong.

My understanding was the Super Dracos would replace the Dracos. That was the reason for SDs super throttleable ability, to produce the proper thrust for manuevers.
No the SDs entire purpose is abort and landing maneuvers. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: the_other_Doug on 06/13/2015 02:30 AM
Has the SpaceX milestone 2  Initial Propulsion Module Testing Complete April 2015 been officially accepted by NASA? Should be done because the used it for the pad abort.

Pad abort tested the launch abort engines (SuperDraco), not the sets of thrusters that will be used in orbit (Draco).

The Draco engines are the primary maneuvering thrusters for the current generation of Dragon.  As it stands, I'd have to say that they've pretty much been fully tested by now.

Yep, the engines have been tested on cargo Dragon.  The control system will be at least somewhat different on crew Dragon.  For one thing, it will have to have "manual" control options, which don't exist in the current system.  Ain't no hand controllers in the cargo Dragon, after all.

The proper function of the Dracos has to be tested in the context of the flight control system that will be used in crew Dragon.  Yeah, the engines fire -- but will they fire when commanded, exactly as commanded, by the FCS?  That's more what the Draco milestone is talking about, I'm sure.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AnalogMan on 06/13/2015 11:00 AM
Has the SpaceX milestone 2  Initial Propulsion Module Testing Complete April 2015 been officially accepted by NASA? Should be done because the used it for the pad abort.

Pad abort tested the launch abort engines (SuperDraco), not the sets of thrusters that will be used in orbit (Draco).

The Draco engines are the primary maneuvering thrusters for the current generation of Dragon.  As it stands, I'd have to say that they've pretty much been fully tested by now.

Yep, the engines have been tested on cargo Dragon.  The control system will be at least somewhat different on crew Dragon.  For one thing, it will have to have "manual" control options, which don't exist in the current system.  Ain't no hand controllers in the cargo Dragon, after all.

The proper function of the Dracos has to be tested in the context of the flight control system that will be used in crew Dragon.  Yeah, the engines fire -- but will they fire when commanded, exactly as commanded, by the FCS?  That's more what the Draco milestone is talking about, I'm sure.

If its any help, here are the contract acceptance criteria for this milestone (the full milestone details are heavily redacted).

Design Certification Review (DCR) Interim Payment Milestone
Initial Propulsion Module Testing Complete
[…]

Acceptance Criteria:

(a) Demonstrate a high-altitude abort profile requiring both SuperDraco and Draco firings with abort bottles.
(b) Demonstrate representative rendezvous and docking thruster firing sequences.
(c) Demonstrate a propulsive-assisted landing thrust profile using SuperDraco engines with Draco thrusters for roll control.
(d) Obtain data for FDIR threshold determination.
(e) Test results satisfy primary test plan objectives and support the certification plan, or a process is in place to disposition any open items.
(f) Quick-look test report delivered to NASA within 10 days of test completion.

[Note: FDIR = Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery]
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 06/13/2015 01:11 PM
Do all the milestones carry equal dollar value? Doesn't seem like they should.

I don't think it's unreasonable for me to reveal that they don't. Still trying to find a public list of payments. Kinda ridiculous that this information isn't available to everyone.

There is no such list. The amounts were redacted from the contracts which means that the companies did not want this information disclosed.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 06/13/2015 07:42 PM
Do all the milestones carry equal dollar value? Doesn't seem like they should.

They don't have equal dollar value.  If this follows typical patterns, the milestone payments are lumpy, and there is significant front-loading.

However, there are milestone payments and there are also interim or progress payments.  Those payments are effectively government financing payments between milestones.  The difference is that the government has the right to recover those  payments if, e.g., milestones are missed and the contract is terminated.  (Once you hit the milestone, you can bank the money; until then any interim payments are at risk.)

While milestone and interim payments are not public, occasionally we get a bit of insight into the run rate; per the Boeing contract amendment 19-Dec-2014 (http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/CCtCap_Boeing_508.pdf):
Quote
This modification changes the amount obligated under this contract from $320,075,675 to $439,575,675, an increase of $119,500,000.
...
Paragraph (c)(1) The date that it is contemplated that funds presently allotted to this contract will cover the work to be performed is changed from December 13, 2014 to February 2, 2015.
+$320M for work from initial award 16-Sep-2014 through 13-Dec-2014.
+$119M for additional work through 2-Feb-2015.
=$439M total for work from initial award through 2-Feb-2015.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: saliva_sweet on 06/19/2015 08:38 PM
Here's a piece from SpaceNews outlining delays in CCtCAP schedule:
http://spacenews.com/commercial-crew-budget-debate-centers-on-program-schedule/

There's an interesting snippet from the senate appropriations committee:
Quote
The committee aide suggested NASA could solve its commercial crew funding shortfall by diverting funding from Soyuz seats.

Could the senate's intention be to put NASA all-in? An interesting gambit that could pay off and expedite commercial crew. The potential risk to crew safety is obvious however.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: davey142 on 06/19/2015 08:49 PM
Here's a piece from SpaceNews outlining delays in CCtCAP schedule:
http://spacenews.com/commercial-crew-budget-debate-centers-on-program-schedule/

There's an interesting snippet from the senate appropriations committee:
Quote
The committee aide suggested NASA could solve its commercial crew funding shortfall by diverting funding from Soyuz seats.

Could the senate's intention be to put NASA all-in? An interesting gambit that could pay off and expedite commercial crew. The potential risk to crew safety is obvious however.
Whatever decision NASA makes, it's going to have to make it quickly. The lead time on those [Soyuz] seats is several years.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: nadreck on 06/19/2015 09:03 PM
Back in the early days of the "space race" there was an immediacy that was communicated to the public along with the very real risks. While I doubt if you can justify that science or engineering is done better under pressure, the appearance of working under a deadline, is often good to attract an audience. For example your team needs to win 4 of the next 5 games to make the playoffs, they win one, now you update that to 3 of the next 4 and more people pay attention and watch, they lose one, 3 of the next 3, if they lose it, the next game might have been the most watched of the season, but if they win guaranteed the next game is, even more so the game after that if they won the 2nd to last one.  Mercury, Gemini, Apollo were very much like that in the perception of the public.

Now I don't say that any decision Congress, Senate, or NASA makes is based on this, but I do think that from a PR perspective, you would have people on the edges of their seats if there was a race to keep the ISS manned (or a race to keep from ceding all the seats in the ISS to non US crew if they are waiting for commercial crew to take them there). I don't think this will happen, but I do think that this is part of what is different today from earlier programs, somewhere I think that immediacy coming back will help. Obviously "The Martian" has that immediacy, so does a lot of fiction, that helps get the public genuinely interested, but like Kennedy's "In this decade" we probably have to follow through in real space programs some of that immediacy to keep the public interest alive.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 03/03/2016 01:21 AM
Quote from: Jeff Foust
Phil McAlister showed this chart of CCtCap (comm’l crew) milestones; more have been completed since last update.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/705107057251233792
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Flying Beaver on 03/03/2016 01:27 AM
Quote from: Jeff Foust
Phil McAlister showed this chart of CCtCap (comm’l crew) milestones; more have been completed since last update.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/705107057251233792

Nice to see Dragon is still slated to fly this December. And that the first crew flight has been moved up 2-3 months from July 2017 to April.
 If anything SpaceX is hitting all there milestones ahead of schedule, Boeing on the other hand...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: arachnitect on 03/03/2016 02:15 AM
Quote from: Jeff Foust
Phil McAlister showed this chart of CCtCap (comm’l crew) milestones; more have been completed since last update.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/705107057251233792

Nice to see Dragon is still slated to fly this December. And that the first crew flight has been moved up 2-3 months from July 2017 to April.
 If anything SpaceX is hitting all there milestones ahead of schedule, Boeing on the other hand...

We will see.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 03/03/2016 02:20 AM
Quote from: Jeff Foust
Phil McAlister showed this chart of CCtCap (comm’l crew) milestones; more have been completed since last update.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/705107057251233792

Does that say the D2 propulsive descent milestone was completed in December?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 03/03/2016 02:33 AM
Quote from: Jeff Foust
Phil McAlister showed this chart of CCtCap (comm’l crew) milestones; more have been completed since last update.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/705107057251233792

Does that say the D2 propulsive descent milestone was completed in December?

It says initial propulsion test (the hover test).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 03/03/2016 03:05 AM
I took the Initial Propulsion Module Testing in November to be the hover test since it coincides with the November hover test video. Also, the hover didn't involve a "Descent."
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Confusador on 03/03/2016 04:06 PM
Quote from: Jeff Foust
Phil McAlister showed this chart of CCtCap (comm’l crew) milestones; more have been completed since last update.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/705107057251233792

Does that say the D2 propulsive descent milestone was completed in December?

The chart is from November, but it says it was scheduled for December and accompanied by a statement that more tests have been completed, so I'm going with 'probably'.  When we'll get video is anyone's guess.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 03/03/2016 04:18 PM
It's likely that milestone just hasn't been moved to the right on the chart yet.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Nomadd on 03/07/2016 05:59 PM
I took the Initial Propulsion Module Testing in November to be the hover test since it coincides with the November hover test video. Also, the hover didn't involve a "Descent."
I'm pretty sure it's not still hovering.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Prober on 03/22/2016 02:26 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C8vHsC35dA
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 03/22/2016 06:16 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C8vHsC35dA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C8vHsC35dA)
Take-aways from that vid:
- SpaceX and NASA in the middle of designing the crew acces arm for pad 39A (sounds like a combined effort)
- SpaceX working mainly on the FSS this year
- Every time the question came up about the RSS coming down the response was: "contact SpaceX"
- First demo mission (the unmanned one) is in 2017
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 03/28/2016 02:53 PM
Quote
Boeing has already been awarded $621 million in contracts, while SpaceX has received roughly $545 million. [...]

SpaceX is expected to launch flight tests this year from Florida's Space Coast. An unmanned test flight to the International Space Station, along with a manned mission, will follow in 2017. Meanwhile, Boeing plans to launch an unmanned test flight in April 2017, with a flight complete with crew to be delivered in late 2017.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-starliner-human-cargo-space-20160325-1-story.html
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Sesquipedalian on 03/31/2016 03:19 PM
Jeff Foust has tweeted a new Commercial Crew milestone chart presented by Bill Gerstenmaier, current as of March 2016.  (Previous chart was from November 30, 2015.)

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/715552131323994115
Quote
Gerst: commercial crew program doing pretty good overall, lots of challenges. Upcoming milestones:
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 03/31/2016 03:38 PM
Uncrewed SpaceX test flight has been delayed from December 2016 to May 2017.

The Boeing and SpaceX test flight dates are now very close.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: jongoff on 04/01/2016 01:56 AM
Uncrewed SpaceX test flight has been delayed from December 2016 to May 2017.

The Boeing and SpaceX test flight dates are now very close.

Yeah, it's interesting that there's still over a year before any of them do any flight tests of any sort.

~Jon
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 04/01/2016 04:41 AM
Clustering expensive milestones closer to the Oct 1 start of FY2018, the first year which is fully funded? Brings out the cynic in me.

"Everyone watch these moving shells...."
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Garrett on 04/01/2016 12:56 PM
For SpaceX, 2016 and the first half of 2017 now look a lot less clustered to me compared to the previous milestone schedule (see attached image comparing the Nov 2015 status with the March 2016 status). Looks a lot more realistic IMO.
This is my analysis:
 - Launch site ORR for crew unchanged (June 2016)
 - "ECLSS Integrated Test", "Propulsion Module Testing" and "Flight Test to ISS w/o crew CR" seem to have disappeared and to have been merged into "Delta Critical Design Review #2"
 - Space Suit Qual moved to the right by two months (Sept to Nov 2016)
 - Parachute Qual Test unchanged
 - Design Certification Review moved to the right by 4 months (Jan to May 2017)
 - Operational Readiness and Flight Test Readiness Reviews are gone ??
 - Flight Test to ISS w/o crew (DM 1) delayed by 5 months (Dec 2016 to May 2017)
 - Flight Test to ISS with crew (DM 2) delayed by 4 months (April 2017 to August 2017)
 - Certification Review unchanged
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: shuttlefan on 04/22/2016 03:02 PM
Should we be getting close to official crew assignments to the initial test flights?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Endeavour_01 on 04/30/2016 11:57 PM
Should we be getting close to official crew assignments to the initial test flights?

Indeed. According to this Spacenews article it was supposed to be known a year ago.

http://spacenews.com/boeing-to-unveil-crew-spacesuits-for-cst-100-test-flight-this-summer/

I would think they would announce it at least a year before flight, so it should be announced in the coming months.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: WindnWar on 05/12/2016 03:13 AM
Looks like Starliner is suffering delays due to being overweight and launch vehicle acoustics. .

http://www.geekwire.com/2016/boeing-starliner-schedule-astronauts-slips-2018/

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: wannamoonbase on 05/12/2016 04:05 AM
Looks like Starliner is suffering delays due to being overweight and launch vehicle acoustics. .

http://www.geekwire.com/2016/boeing-starliner-schedule-astronauts-slips-2018/

Saw this on Apple News.  A little surprising the big brother company are having these problems after this much time on the project.

Hard to imagine that SpaceX could beat Goliath to the first manned launch.  We'll know in 20-24 months, maybe.

Edit: Especially when Boeing got $1.6 billion more. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 05/12/2016 04:48 AM
Wonder if the solid on the Atlas V 412 is contributing the acoustics problem?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 05/12/2016 11:28 AM
Looks like Starliner is suffering delays due to being overweight and launch vehicle acoustics. .

http://www.geekwire.com/2016/boeing-starliner-schedule-astronauts-slips-2018/
A little surprising the big brother company are having these problems after this much time on the project.
Not surprising at all. Up untill CCtCAP Boeing had mostly done sub-scale testing, software development and modeling. Now that they are getting into actually building and testing hardware, that's when the unexpected surprises start turning up.
SpaceX reached the phase of "hardware-induced nasty surprises" at least 12 months before Boeing. And from the most recent public FPIP it became clear that their first manned flight slipped no less than 8 months, despite having been in the hardware phase longer than Boeing. As I indicated earlier, I fully expected both providers to have their first manned missions slip well into 2018. The recent news from Boeing is confirmation of this expectation.
Given the amount of work that needs to be done in the CCtCAP phase I can only come to the conclusion that the original schedule was extremely compressed. The recent slips seem to confirm this nicely.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: saliva_sweet on 05/12/2016 11:43 AM
Not surprising at all.

I for one am very surprised. All the paperwork and design reviews they did for CCiCAP went so swimmingly. All on time. Congress was very impressed.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: the_other_Doug on 05/12/2016 12:23 PM
Wasn't this pretty much expected when the commercial crew funding was cut by Congress a couple of years ago?  The original plan to fly unmanned in early 2016 with manned flights happening in late 2016 to early 2017 was said at the time to be out the window due to these funding factors over which neither Boeing nor SpaceX had any control.

It was always a matter of just how far to the right the dates were going to end up, not as to whether they would push out to late 2017 through mid 2018, right?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 05/12/2016 12:34 PM
Not surprising at all.

I for one am very surprised. All the paperwork and design reviews they did for CCiCAP went so swimmingly. All on time. Congress was very impressed.
Let me put it this way: bending metal and putting it to the test will beat paperwork and design reviews EVERY time.
Even Orion can testify to that. Despite all the modeling, paperwork and design reviews the EFT-1 pressure vessel still cracked when they first started pressure-testing it. Reality beats everything else. Period.
Another example: despite all the component testing and modeling and paperwork the pad-abort of Dragon 2 never reached the predicted peak altitude. It underperformed. Reality beat the predictions and it had the folks at SpaceX baffled. A source at SpaceX informed me that was one of the drivers behind delaying the in-flight abort test.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: saliva_sweet on 05/12/2016 12:54 PM
I know. Previous comment was tongue in cheek. I actually wasn't surprised. Nor will I be when SpaceX follows suit.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/12/2016 02:02 PM
SpaceX has the advantage of flying the base platform many times already, as well as a pad abort test.

SpaceX always seems to slip, but they at least have a good basis in actually bending and flying metal that the 2017 timeline isn't insane.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Ike17055 on 05/12/2016 03:31 PM
Looks like Starliner is suffering delays due to being overweight and launch vehicle acoustics. .

http://www.geekwire.com/2016/boeing-starliner-schedule-astronauts-slips-2018/

Saw this on Apple News.  A little surprising the big brother company are having these problems after this much time on the project.

Hard to imagine that SpaceX could beat Goliath to the first manned launch.  We'll know in 20-24 months, maybe.

Edit: Especially when Boeing got $1.6 billion more. 

Boeing got more $$ in large part because they also needed to man rate and integrate a launch vehicle (and ground operations), while SpaceX had those in place largely for its already-finished cargo vehicle, which is the foundation of their crew vehicle.  Boeing started much later, yet is still maintaining a pretty rapid development schedule and barring major delays, won't be that far behind SpaceX. And this assumes that SpaceX runs into no further troubles or delays. Besides, the race to be "first" has never been the real story except to appeal to those who just aren't excited by the real story that we are developing a multi-player, competitive private manned space industry through commercial crew program.

Edit/Lar: Fixed quotes. Please, people, use the preview button and if it's not right,  fix it. If it's still not right after you post, please use the modify link to fix it. It matters. Thanks....
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: baldusi on 05/12/2016 04:00 PM
There is, in fact, a USA flag aboard the ISS left by the last Shuttle expedition for the first US crewed vehicle to reach the ISS to claim. I know safety is way more important, but getting the flag is a desirable thing. Nothing like good ol' one upping and competition like the Founding Fathers wanted it.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 05/12/2016 05:53 PM
I know. Previous comment was tongue in cheek. I actually wasn't surprised. Nor will I be when SpaceX follows suit.
It's more like the other way around. SpaceX slipped well before Boeing. It wasn't publically acknowledged by SpaceX, but the NASA FPIP's tell the story.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AncientU on 05/12/2016 07:43 PM
Looks like Starliner is suffering delays due to being overweight and launch vehicle acoustics. .

http://www.geekwire.com/2016/boeing-starliner-schedule-astronauts-slips-2018/

No mention of the former VP of Engineering's centaur damage issue... maybe it has been resolved, or is still a shoe to drop.

Quote
We’re working on getting it certified, and so right now, with Boeing, per the contract, we’re going through the human spaceflight organisation and looking at all the single point failures, all the redundancy, how things work, modifying the launch rockets primarily to meet their needs. It’s also interesting because the Boeing design doesn’t have an escape tower, it basically has four thrusters on the bottom of their capsule or the service module that will eject them off if there’s a bad day. And so there’s different things that the backpressure will tear apart, the backpressure of those thrusters if you have the wrong structural load will cause it to impinge on the capsule at very high altitudes, damages the heat shield, that will cause it to have a problem on reentry,

Quote
Look, an achilles heel of the Atlas system right now is the Centaur upper stage.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35717.msg1505184#msg1505184
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rcoppola on 05/12/2016 08:42 PM
Yes, actual testing of design articles can throw some surprises at you. The models can be wrong or off.

But how is it that "suddenly" there are 2 fundamental issues such as these? Have they always known such issues existed but have just now decided they won't be able to mitigate in time? Were they riding their weight margins too close for this Atlas V variant?  Did they add weight because of acoustics or did the acoustics issues pop up because they added weight? Or are they unrelated? Did the mitigation design decisions of Centaur/CST/Abort thruster issues lead to increased weight and/or acoustics issues?

And the article also mentions a delay because NASA changed some software requirements. Were those changes made program wide or just for Boeing? For what and why? Vehicle diagnosis for human rating/abort?

Bill Gerstenmaier always had concerns that so much of Boeing's Actual Development & Testing were in the back-end of the schedule but that they had such superior management, processes and procedures as to help mitigate against their schedule ambitious. Now, a 6 to 8 month delay, in the grand scheme is not a huge deal. But when 2 of the most fundamental things such as weight and acoustics crop up at this stage...well, I hope this isn't something systemic. Because one day Aviation Week reports the Boeing/CST say they are on schedule and all issues are being handled. Then literally the next day we get another article about this delay. I guess we'll see.

(And remembering countless LAN parties at the office playing Quake3 Arena, I'm completely up for some Capture The Flag action to see who gets there first.)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: arachnitect on 05/12/2016 09:22 PM
Notes:

1. A slip to 2018 was pretty much inevitable. Everyone watching Boeing's milestones bunch up in the back half of 2017 saw it coming.

2. Since Boeing won't discuss specifics of what they're working through, we get to watch the internet speculation run wild. By Friday night the program will probably be on the brink of cancellation  ::)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AncientU on 05/12/2016 09:56 PM
Notes:

1. A slip to 2018 was pretty much inevitable. Everyone watching Boeing's milestones bunch up in the back half of 2017 saw it coming.

2. Since Boeing won't discuss specifics of what they're working through, we get to watch the internet speculation run wild. By Friday night the program will probably be on the brink of cancellation  ::)

So far, there doesn't seem to be any speculation, just statements by Boeing (and LM) executives and spokespersons.  Or are you speculating that there will be internet speculation?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/12/2016 10:21 PM
Quote
Stephen Clark ‏@StephenClark1 7m7 minutes ago

Boeing spokesperson: CST-100 pad abort slips to October 2017, uncrewed flight test to December 2017, crewed flight test to February 2018.

https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/730883240404226049 (https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/730883240404226049)

Quote
Stephen Clark ‏@StephenClark1 6m6 minutes ago

CST-100 delays caused by spacecraft mass challenge, aeroacoustic issue with Atlas 5/CST-100 stack, new software requirements levied by NASA.

https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/730883620039090176 (https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/730883620039090176)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 05/13/2016 12:35 AM
Wasn't this pretty much expected when the commercial crew funding was cut by Congress a couple of years ago?  The original plan to fly unmanned in early 2016 with manned flights happening in late 2016 to early 2017 was said at the time to be out the window due to these funding factors over which neither Boeing nor SpaceX had any control.

It was always a matter of just how far to the right the dates were going to end up, not as to whether they would push out to late 2017 through mid 2018, right?

The bigger impact was the delay in starting up CCtCAP.  really put the companies on hold.  NASA has also been a big part of this with slow approvals/rejections of items and changing targets.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 05/13/2016 12:43 AM
Yes, actual testing of design articles can throw some surprises at you. The models can be wrong or off.

But how is it that "suddenly" there are 2 fundamental issues such as these? Have they always known such issues existed but have just now decided they won't be able to mitigate in time? Were they riding their weight margins too close for this Atlas V variant?  Did they add weight because of acoustics or did the acoustics issues pop up because they added weight? Or are they unrelated? Did the mitigation design decisions of Centaur/CST/Abort thruster issues lead to increased weight and/or acoustics issues?

And the article also mentions a delay because NASA changed some software requirements. Were those changes made program wide or just for Boeing? For what and why? Vehicle diagnosis for human rating/abort?

Bill Gerstenmaier always had concerns that so much of Boeing's Actual Development & Testing were in the back-end of the schedule but that they had such superior management, processes and procedures as to help mitigate against their schedule ambitious. Now, a 6 to 8 month delay, in the grand scheme is not a huge deal. But when 2 of the most fundamental things such as weight and acoustics crop up at this stage...well, I hope this isn't something systemic. Because one day Aviation Week reports the Boeing/CST say they are on schedule and all issues are being handled. Then literally the next day we get another article about this delay. I guess we'll see.

(And remembering countless LAN parties at the office playing Quake3 Arena, I'm completely up for some Capture The Flag action to see who gets there first.)

The software changes were program wide.  But there were significant delays in defining some items on the NASA side, fights over others...  Keep in mind on one side you have ISS that wants a perfect vehicle and will take the time/money to get there and CCP (and partners with small teams) who wants cheap/reliable transport. 

You must always take any schedule as a target.  Often in NASA and in private companies, folks may know the dates can't be met but there are reason to not update right away (the cost/time to rebaseline, knowing more hiccups are coming...) including political.  You should always consider these dates as ballpark.  And I would not put much reliance if a date of one partner is ahead of the other.  May be a good guide to relative progress...but it could easily be one is more realistic or other issues are being worked.  Just have to watch and see and hope neither company suffers a serious problem.  None of the issues are surprising or really that worrisome (other than it delays a much needed capability).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 05/13/2016 01:07 AM
If the fired ULA VP is correct about possible heat shield damage during a launch abort that seems to me a huge problem for a high suborbital abort requiring reentry, or an abort to orbit, requiring serious mitigation or a redesign. 

How far right would adding a launch abort tower, or blast reflectors & blowout panels to the SM, move their schedule? What do they do to the weight issue already in play?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AncientU on 05/13/2016 01:17 PM
If the fired ULA VP is correct about possible heat shield damage during a launch abort that seems to me a huge problem for a high suborbital abort requiring reentry, or an abort to orbit, requiring serious mitigation or a redesign. 

How far right would adding a launch abort tower, or blast reflectors & blowout panels to the SM, move their schedule? What do they do to the weight issue already in play?

A related issue is that the Dreamchaser Starliner (CST-100) Team analyzed away the need for an in-flight abort demonstration... Is this analysis still valid or was the indicated Centaur risk a discovery in that analysis?  Is the in-flight abort demo for Dreamchaser Starliner (CS-100) on or off the table?

Edit: Wrong spacecraft name used -- corrected.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: WindnWar on 05/13/2016 05:53 PM
If the fired ULA VP is correct about possible heat shield damage during a launch abort that seems to me a huge problem for a high suborbital abort requiring reentry, or an abort to orbit, requiring serious mitigation or a redesign. 

How far right would adding a launch abort tower, or blast reflectors & blowout panels to the SM, move their schedule? What do they do to the weight issue already in play?

A related issue is that the Dreamchaser Team analyzed away the need for an in-flight abort demonstration... Is this analysis still valid or was the indicated Centaur risk a discovery in that analysis?  Is the in-flight abort demo for Dreamchaser on or off the table?

Is Dreamchaser abort directed back at the second stage as well?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: the_other_Doug on 05/14/2016 02:02 AM
DreamChaser will not be crewed on ascent, and therefore has no need for in-flight aborts.  As with CRS-7, if the launch goes south, it's assumed you just lose your cargo vessel.

Just because SpaceX came up with a software patch that would let them pop the 'chutes on a cargo Dragon in replica of the CRS-7 failure doesn't mean there is an in-flight abort mode for their cargo vehicle.  As long as DreamChaser is not a crewed vehicle, there will not be any requirement for any ascent abort modes.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AncientU on 05/14/2016 01:11 PM
If the fired ULA VP is correct about possible heat shield damage during a launch abort that seems to me a huge problem for a high suborbital abort requiring reentry, or an abort to orbit, requiring serious mitigation or a redesign. 

How far right would adding a launch abort tower, or blast reflectors & blowout panels to the SM, move their schedule? What do they do to the weight issue already in play?

A related issue is that the Dreamchaser Team analyzed away the need for an in-flight abort demonstration... Is this analysis still valid or was the indicated Centaur risk a discovery in that analysis?  Is the in-flight abort demo for Dreamchaser on or off the table?

Is Dreamchaser abort directed back at the second stage as well?

Sorry, my mistake... meant to say Starliner (CST-100).  Will edit earlier question.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/14/2016 01:50 PM
Message from crew Dream Chaser..."Do you miss me now?"
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/14/2016 03:05 PM
Message from crew Dream Chaser..."Do you miss me now?"

Your inference being DC would have been subject to less schedule slips?

It's a spaceplane of significant size. It's even more vulnerable. Plus you're making assumptions SNC is dramatically better at being development Gods than Boeing or SpaceX. Any switch to crew DC now and the ComCrew program gets derailed and wastes a lot of money needlessly.

DC already has a future. Let it be.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 05/14/2016 03:23 PM
Message from crew Dream Chaser..."Do you miss me now?"

Your inference being DC would have been subject to less schedule slips?

It's a spaceplane of significant size. It's even more vulnerable. Plus you're making assumptions SNC is dramatically better at being development Gods than Boeing or SpaceX. Any switch to crew DC now and the ComCrew program gets derailed and wastes a lot of money needlessly.

DC already has a future. Let it be.
Wait until DC cargo has flown and gained flight experience. Then the DC crew can be revisited.

For Starliner, the warnings and reservations on such high use of computer modeling and less flight (none for a CST prior version) experience has come home. But it is also a testament to Boeing's thoroughness in their analysis that these problems were caught at this early point in the build process. They don't stop analysing just because the moved into production but they continue their analysis of each and every small change in design and even evaluate and update their models themselves when new environment data suggest the models are in error/"not near perfect and need change".
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/14/2016 03:59 PM
Message from crew Dream Chaser..."Do you miss me now?"

Your inference being DC would have been subject to less schedule slips?

It's a spaceplane of significant size. It's even more vulnerable. Plus you're making assumptions SNC is dramatically better at being development Gods than Boeing or SpaceX. Any switch to crew DC now and the ComCrew program gets derailed and wastes a lot of money needlessly.

DC already has a future. Let it be.
1) No
2) Always wanted all three crew vehicles to fly. Because you are relatively new here I guess you didn't know that. Since you are quoting John Lennon today it seems... "Let it be..."
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: llanitedave on 05/15/2016 01:04 AM
Message from crew Dream Chaser..."Do you miss me now?"

Your inference being DC would have been subject to less schedule slips?

It's a spaceplane of significant size. It's even more vulnerable. Plus you're making assumptions SNC is dramatically better at being development Gods than Boeing or SpaceX. Any switch to crew DC now and the ComCrew program gets derailed and wastes a lot of money needlessly.

DC already has a future. Let it be.
1) No
2) Always wanted all three crew vehicles to fly. Because you are relatively new here I guess you didn't know that. Since you are quoting John Lennon today it seems... "Let it be..."


"Let It Be" -- Paul McCartney /pedant
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: nadreck on 05/15/2016 01:27 AM



"Let It Be" -- Paul McCartney /pedant

"Imagine" -- John Lennon (appropriate for us space cadets too)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/15/2016 04:48 AM
For Starliner, the warnings and reservations on such high use of computer modeling and less flight (none for a CST prior version) experience has come home.

Many sounded an alarm on this from the very beginning that going late to metal wasn't going to cut it. And were given the usual assurances that Boeing had it under control, having done so much HSF that they couldn't miss.

Well, they missed as predicted on going to metal too late. It was a political decision, and it was flawed.

So far not a tremendous deal. Here's the rub - there might be a chain of surprises. Perhaps its bounded.

But in terms of the decision vs SNC - SNC was going to metal about as fast as SX. Which likely meant similar issues to SX and not the same as Boeing here. So "no one gets fired for choosing GM or IBM or Boeing" wasn't the "catch all" promised. The huge pile of paper that proves it'll work on time came up short.

Quote
But it is also a testament to Boeing's thoroughness in their analysis that these problems were caught at this early point in the build process. They don't stop analyzing just because the moved into production but they continue their analysis of each and every small change in design and even evaluate and update their models themselves when new environment data suggest the models are in error/"not near perfect and need change".

Juries still out on that effectiveness for dependent/consecutive issues. Yes change process is working. If the number of issues doesn't climb as fabrication/assembly rises, they'll likely recover within reasonable time because the close rate will dominate the new issue rate. The virtue of being large here - you can scale to meet the challenge, and bring in the schedule at cost.

SX/SNC have a different issue - they don't have as much history so they run the risk of taking too long to close/communicate on such a complex program. Their "undiscovered country" leads to open-ended process.

The performance shortfall on the pad abort was an eye-opener. But that's why we do tests.

Its also why we go to metal not paper early.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/15/2016 10:40 AM
Message from crew Dream Chaser..."Do you miss me now?"

Your inference being DC would have been subject to less schedule slips?

It's a spaceplane of significant size. It's even more vulnerable. Plus you're making assumptions SNC is dramatically better at being development Gods than Boeing or SpaceX. Any switch to crew DC now and the ComCrew program gets derailed and wastes a lot of money needlessly.

DC already has a future. Let it be.
1) No
2) Always wanted all three crew vehicles to fly. Because you are relatively new here I guess you didn't know that. Since you are quoting John Lennon today it seems... "Let it be..."


"Let It Be" -- Paul McCartney /pedant
Getting old sucks... Thank you Dave! :)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 05/15/2016 09:13 PM
First crewed Starliner flight delayed to 2018;

problems with vehicle weight and Atlas V acoustics.

Ars link.... (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/05/boeings-first-flight-slips-its-now-up-to-spacex-to-wean-nasa-off-russia/)

From the article:

Quote
A spokesman for SpaceX told Ars Wednesday night that the company remains on track for crewed missions in 2017.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: arachnitect on 05/16/2016 09:27 PM
For Starliner, the warnings and reservations on such high use of computer modeling and less flight (none for a CST prior version) experience has come home.

Many sounded an alarm on this from the very beginning that going late to metal wasn't going to cut it. And were given the usual assurances that Boeing had it under control, having done so much HSF that they couldn't miss.

Well, they missed as predicted on going to metal too late. It was a political decision, and it was flawed.

So far not a tremendous deal. Here's the rub - there might be a chain of surprises. Perhaps its bounded.

But in terms of the decision vs SNC - SNC was going to metal about as fast as SX. Which likely meant similar issues to SX and not the same as Boeing here. So "no one gets fired for choosing GM or IBM or Boeing" wasn't the "catch all" promised. The huge pile of paper that proves it'll work on time came up short.

Quote
But it is also a testament to Boeing's thoroughness in their analysis that these problems were caught at this early point in the build process. They don't stop analyzing just because the moved into production but they continue their analysis of each and every small change in design and even evaluate and update their models themselves when new environment data suggest the models are in error/"not near perfect and need change".

Juries still out on that effectiveness for dependent/consecutive issues. Yes change process is working. If the number of issues doesn't climb as fabrication/assembly rises, they'll likely recover within reasonable time because the close rate will dominate the new issue rate. The virtue of being large here - you can scale to meet the challenge, and bring in the schedule at cost.

SX/SNC have a different issue - they don't have as much history so they run the risk of taking too long to close/communicate on such a complex program. Their "undiscovered country" leads to open-ended process.

The performance shortfall on the pad abort was an eye-opener. But that's why we do tests.

Its also why we go to metal not paper early.

Primary drivers of the latest delay are aero loads and software. What "metal" should Boeing have produced to uncover these issues earlier?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/16/2016 11:03 PM
For Starliner, the warnings and reservations on such high use of computer modeling and less flight (none for a CST prior version) experience has come home.

Many sounded an alarm on this from the very beginning that going late to metal wasn't going to cut it. And were given the usual assurances that Boeing had it under control, having done so much HSF that they couldn't miss.

Well, they missed as predicted on going to metal too late. It was a political decision, and it was flawed.

So far not a tremendous deal. Here's the rub - there might be a chain of surprises. Perhaps its bounded.

But in terms of the decision vs SNC - SNC was going to metal about as fast as SX. Which likely meant similar issues to SX and not the same as Boeing here. So "no one gets fired for choosing GM or IBM or Boeing" wasn't the "catch all" promised. The huge pile of paper that proves it'll work on time came up short.

Quote
But it is also a testament to Boeing's thoroughness in their analysis that these problems were caught at this early point in the build process. They don't stop analyzing just because the moved into production but they continue their analysis of each and every small change in design and even evaluate and update their models themselves when new environment data suggest the models are in error/"not near perfect and need change".

Juries still out on that effectiveness for dependent/consecutive issues. Yes change process is working. If the number of issues doesn't climb as fabrication/assembly rises, they'll likely recover within reasonable time because the close rate will dominate the new issue rate. The virtue of being large here - you can scale to meet the challenge, and bring in the schedule at cost.

SX/SNC have a different issue - they don't have as much history so they run the risk of taking too long to close/communicate on such a complex program. Their "undiscovered country" leads to open-ended process.

The performance shortfall on the pad abort was an eye-opener. But that's why we do tests.

Its also why we go to metal not paper early.

Primary drivers of the latest delay are aero loads and software. What "metal" should Boeing have produced to uncover these issues earlier?

Making/flying components/systems/vehicles discovers program schedule risks and voids, duh.

Aero loads they could get from CAD software, and subscale wind tunnel tests. Integrating subsystems earlier means you get a working avionics testbed on a table long ahead of vehicle integration, so you can accurately schedule software design and test.

Generating a huge pile of documents that say you can do it, then waiting to the last minute to write the software and find that the structure doesn't handle the loads, or (you didn't add ) is overweight is spectacularly poor management and execution by any sized company, no matter how arrogant.

That's how.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 05/17/2016 01:08 AM
For Starliner, the warnings and reservations on such high use of computer modeling and less flight (none for a CST prior version) experience has come home.

Many sounded an alarm on this from the very beginning that going late to metal wasn't going to cut it. And were given the usual assurances that Boeing had it under control, having done so much HSF that they couldn't miss.

Well, they missed as predicted on going to metal too late. It was a political decision, and it was flawed.

So far not a tremendous deal. Here's the rub - there might be a chain of surprises. Perhaps its bounded.

But in terms of the decision vs SNC - SNC was going to metal about as fast as SX. Which likely meant similar issues to SX and not the same as Boeing here. So "no one gets fired for choosing GM or IBM or Boeing" wasn't the "catch all" promised. The huge pile of paper that proves it'll work on time came up short.

Quote
But it is also a testament to Boeing's thoroughness in their analysis that these problems were caught at this early point in the build process. They don't stop analyzing just because the moved into production but they continue their analysis of each and every small change in design and even evaluate and update their models themselves when new environment data suggest the models are in error/"not near perfect and need change".

Juries still out on that effectiveness for dependent/consecutive issues. Yes change process is working. If the number of issues doesn't climb as fabrication/assembly rises, they'll likely recover within reasonable time because the close rate will dominate the new issue rate. The virtue of being large here - you can scale to meet the challenge, and bring in the schedule at cost.

SX/SNC have a different issue - they don't have as much history so they run the risk of taking too long to close/communicate on such a complex program. Their "undiscovered country" leads to open-ended process.

The performance shortfall on the pad abort was an eye-opener. But that's why we do tests.

Its also why we go to metal not paper early.

Note that much of this was known as a threat for some time so "sounding the alarm" is incorrect and hyperbole.  We will have this debate multiple times over the coming years as the schedule keep changing - for both partners.  Both companies are having their challenges, and triumphs, you just don't know them all.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/17/2016 01:50 AM
Yeah, it's only been 6 years. You can't expect to build and fly a crew vehicle in that little time. Let alone a whole program. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gemini)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: arachnitect on 05/17/2016 03:35 AM

Aero loads they could get from CAD software, and subscale wind tunnel tests. Integrating subsystems earlier means you get a working avionics testbed on a table long ahead of vehicle integration,

But this is pretty much what Boeing and ULA have been doing, and I don't recall people clamoring for more "subscale tests and CAD models;" people were clamoring for things that looked like full size spaceships and disparaged Boeing's wind tunnel models and simulators.

Generating a huge pile of documents that say you can do it, then waiting to the last minute to write the software and find that the structure doesn't handle the loads, or (you didn't add ) is overweight is spectacularly poor management and execution by any sized company, no matter how arrogant.

Find me an aerospace project that isn't overweight. The most celebrated and legendary American spacecraft were fighting mass bloat every step of the way.

I'm not trying to exonerate Boeing. I'm surprised aero loads are still an open issue at this point; how did that happen? But I fully reject the idea that rushing into production would have made this situation any better.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/17/2016 05:06 AM
Yeah, it's only been 6 years. You can't expect to build and fly a crew vehicle in that little time. Let alone a whole program. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gemini)

Are you really comparing Gemini to the flustercluck political handling of Com Crew?

I mean, hell, I know that being critical of Commercial Crew's timescales is sorta' your rag, but Gemini and Com Crew have developed in totally different conditions with completely different mandates half a century apart from each other.

Functionally the only comparison is that they're American capsule development programs. Gemini developed one capsule with multiple iterations functionally derivative from Mercury. Gemini's missions were groundbreaking, yes, but they're nowhere near as complex as present hardware. Gemini was built in a time when Space was a method for superpowers to measure economic systems without spreading energetic elements throughout all of Earth's air, soil and drinking water, rolling tanks up and down the Fulda gap or (ahem) building gigantic, isolationist walls.

Gemini also benefitted from considerably more money when you adjust for inflation and had much less regulatory restrictions as to what and what wasn't permissible. Gemini in the modern world is unrepeatable.

Comparisons to the fifties, sixties and seventies trivialise the current state of play, which is more optimistic than it has been for a good few decades now. In addition, Gemini had an enormous time restraint placed against it - Kennedy's proclamation. It was both indespensible that Gemini occurred and indefensible if it took oh-so-many years to execute.  Commercial crew is neither strictly mandatory nor politically vital. It's just something that'd be fantastic to have.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/17/2016 06:37 AM
Note that much of this was known as a threat for some time so "sounding the alarm" is incorrect and hyperbole.

Is it? Not because Boeing has such a cozy relationship that they can pass a pile of paper off as the first year of a program, without putting in the "catchup" to meet SNC/SX current level as a comparable vendor?

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We will have this debate multiple times over the coming years as the schedule keep changing - for both partners.

Sure the schedule changes, as they both hit issues. But to the degree that a current "pathfinder" exists for 2 of the 3 vendors, and one that was chosen didn't, counts for a lot more than is hand waved over.

My respectful counter claim to your one of "hyperbole".

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Both companies are having their challenges, and triumphs, you just don't know them all.

Never claimed. How is it relevant to this?


Aero loads they could get from CAD software, and subscale wind tunnel tests. Integrating subsystems earlier means you get a working avionics testbed on a table long ahead of vehicle integration,

But this is pretty much what Boeing and ULA have been doing, and I don't recall people clamoring for more "subscale tests and CAD models;" people were clamoring for things that looked like full size spaceships and disparaged Boeing's wind tunnel models and simulators.

The issue is about having two chosen with enough currency, that tests are meaningful enough to stand. If you commit to a full scale vehicle, those aero loads from the wind tunnel/CAD are more likely to match then if you at the last minute fabricate a vehicle and "my bad, guess I screwed up" occurs.

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Generating a huge pile of documents that say you can do it, then waiting to the last minute to write the software and find that the structure doesn't handle the loads, or (you didn't add ) is overweight is spectacularly poor management and execution by any sized company, no matter how arrogant.

Find me an aerospace project that isn't overweight. The most celebrated and legendary American spacecraft were fighting mass bloat every step of the way.

If you have something like a pathfinder (or better yet, a vehicle that's already flying), your issues in these areas are greatly constrained. Because you already have examples that you can measure and draw conclusions from.

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I'm not trying to exonerate Boeing. I'm surprised aero loads are still an open issue at this point; how did that happen? But I fully reject the idea that rushing into production would have made this situation any better.

Wasn't suggesting a rush into production either. And I'm more critical of the selection process that gave Boeing a substantial "mulligan" it may not have deserved.

Lets say Boeing's program had been one that had a boilerplate with some kind of flight data earlier, and they had revised it into a functional prototype with a test bench avionics, getting say 2/3's of a vehicle together, in advance of production. And that that had happened in the first two years. I'd have more comfort that they'd  not slip on the rest of the schedules, because they'd have exposed enough in the early phase, both in terms of some flight data and some coverage of all systems/processes. This likely would have increased costs and made certification a bit later.

And then the Boeing program would have more resembled SNC and SX. Who already had much of that, and would also do some of that.

My point is that having currency of a design/prototype/SC counts for more than just heritage. Modernizing a prior capsule proposal that had gone stale isn't in the same category.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: guckyfan on 05/17/2016 09:32 AM
I remember a statement by Boeing that SpaceX work "build a little, test a little". Boeing does not need that because everybody knows, when Boeing builds something it will work. And they gave, of all possible examples, the Dreamliner which did fly the first time it was built.  ;)

Years and years of delays and technical problems with the Dreamliner notwithstanding.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: the_other_Doug on 05/17/2016 04:48 PM
I remember a statement by Boeing that SpaceX work "build a little, test a little". Boeing does not need that because everybody knows, when Boeing builds something it will work. And they gave, of all possible examples, the Dreamliner which did fly the first time it was built.  ;)

Years and years of delays and technical problems with the Dreamliner notwithstanding.

And don't forget the 747, which was nearly completed with its (accelerated) acceptance testing program and still had this minor issue where the engines experienced extreme backfires at certain throttle/stress levels -- levels that would normally be encountered in standard operations.  The backfires were being caused by a critical blow-by path for the incoming air stream that would force air past the turbines and build up back-pressure at the combustion chamber.  This caused the engines to stall out and quit; some of the back-pressure actually deformed the engine casing and the tail end of the turbine assemblies.  Sometimes the engines could be re-started, sometimes not.  They were always accompanied by shuddering reports that sounded a lot like an engine had simply exploded.

In fact, some of the backfires were scarily close to causing engine explosions.  Had the planes gone into production with the original engines, it's almost certain that there would have been fatal crashes early on in their service periods.

Per a brilliant documentary on the 747 I saw on the Smithsonian Channel, they had tremendous problems convincing Pratt & Whitney that there were any problems with the engines.  The test pilots finally managed to get a couple of P&W representatives on board for a test flight and the primary pilot proceeded to induce engine stalls in two of the engines.  When he offered to induce a failure in a third engine, leaving the plane to fly on a single engine, the manufacturer's reps were reported to have said, through clenched teeth, "Okay, we get the point, we'll fix it!"

The new engines arrived barely in time to complete the test program, and replace the engines on the planes already manufactured, in order to (barely) meet their first shipping dates.  (In fact, ISTR that a lot of the planes in the first set of orders weren't fitted out with engines at all at first, awaiting the new engines before they could be completed.  I believe the documentary showed a bunch of 747s on the tarmac outside of the assembly plant, all missing their engines...)

So, yeah -- Boeing got a reputation for meeting their contract dates, but that started well after the 707 (which missed its original shipping dates by a couple of years, IIRC) and is primarily hung on the 747 peg... which, again, was very, very lucky not to be delayed significantly by its engine problems.  And was still several months delayed in their first deliveries.  The 747 was supposed to go into service in 1969 Q4, and didn't receive FAA certification to enter service until December of 1969, so it was late, if only by a few months.

Any reputation is only as good as the last project you completed.  If Starliner comes in significantly late and over-budget, that will erode Boeing's great on-time, on-budget reputation... as it should.

BTW, there are a series of hour-long Boeing commercials (masquerading as documentaries) being run on the Science channel these days, under the title of "Age of Aerospace," which tends to whitewash their problems and failures (as any good hour-long commercial will do), but which give some surprisingly honest discussions of actually-failed Boeing projects, like the SST.  It's a little difficult to wade through the treacle to find the nuggets of good and interesting stories, but they do deal with some of their failures.  I'd recommend the series, if only to get a feel for what Boeing's PR Department wants the public to be thinking about their company.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Ike17055 on 05/17/2016 08:32 PM
Yeah, it's only been 6 years. You can't expect to build and fly a crew vehicle in that little time. Let alone a whole program. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gemini)

And The amount of money made available doesn't influence that calendar at all, now, does it? (Sarcasm)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Ike17055 on 05/17/2016 08:40 PM
Yeah, it's only been 6 years. You can't expect to build and fly a crew vehicle in that little time. Let alone a whole program. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gemini)

And how long ago was it this same writer was telling SpaceX to "just stick a few seats into (cargo) Dragon and go"... Although I haven't seen anymore if that nonsense since the Falcon 9 blew up a flight or two later.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/17/2016 09:58 PM
Yeah, it's only been 6 years. You can't expect to build and fly a crew vehicle in that little time. Let alone a whole program. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gemini)

And The amount of money made available doesn't influence that calendar at all, now, does it? (Sarcasm)

Gemini was underfunded, and once SpaceX and Boeing actually fly a similar number of flights we'll have a chance to compare the costs.

And how long ago was it this same writer was telling SpaceX to "just stick a few seats into (cargo) Dragon and go"... Although I haven't seen anymore if that nonsense since the Falcon 9 blew up a flight or two later.

You haven't seen me say that since Commercial Crew started being much the same as every other modern aerospace program - bloated and delayed. It had nothing to do with the inevitable loss of vehicle - that will always be a risk which must be accepted.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mkent on 05/17/2016 11:29 PM
Message from crew Dream Chaser..."Do you miss me now?"

Which DreamChaser?  You mean the one that's 3-1/2 years late finishing its CC*i*Cap milestones?  That DreamChaser?

I think the lesson involving motes, beams, and eyes might be appropriate here.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mkent on 05/18/2016 12:08 AM
From the article:

Quote
A spokesman for SpaceX told Ars Wednesday night that the company remains on track for crewed missions in 2017.

Yes, SpaceX is still on track for a manned mission in 2017 -- they haven't yet crossed the 2017 / 2018 year boundary.  But they've slipped schedule just as much as Boeing has.  Funny, though, how we didn't have multi-page threads browbeating SpaceX on their schedule slips when those slips came to light.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/18/2016 12:24 AM
Message from crew Dream Chaser..."Do you miss me now?"

Which DreamChaser?  You mean the one that's 3-1/2 years late finishing its CC*i*Cap milestones?  That DreamChaser?

I think the lesson involving motes, beams, and eyes might be appropriate here.
Naw, the one that actually had a flight test and another one in a few more months time, multiple fuselages fabricated, reborn then selected for Cargo flights... That one...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 05/18/2016 12:30 AM
I remember a statement by Boeing that SpaceX work "build a little, test a little". Boeing does not need that because everybody knows, when Boeing builds something it will work. And they gave, of all possible examples, the Dreamliner which did fly the first time it was built.  ;)

Years and years of delays and technical problems with the Dreamliner notwithstanding.

Years and years?  Huh?  based on what data?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 05/18/2016 12:35 AM
Note that much of this was known as a threat for some time so "sounding the alarm" is incorrect and hyperbole.

Is it? Not because Boeing has such a cozy relationship that they can pass a pile of paper off as the first year of a program, without putting in the "catchup" to meet SNC/SX current level as a comparable vendor?

Quote
We will have this debate multiple times over the coming years as the schedule keep changing - for both partners.

Sure the schedule changes, as they both hit issues. But to the degree that a current "pathfinder" exists for 2 of the 3 vendors, and one that was chosen didn't, counts for a lot more than is hand waved over.

My respectful counter claim to your one of "hyperbole".

Quote
Both companies are having their challenges, and triumphs, you just don't know them all.

Never claimed. How is it relevant to this?


Not sure I understand your first comment on catchup.  First of all, don't see how SNC comes into this discussion at all - no way to really compare to SpaceX or Boeing but if you did they are so far behind (much due to their own and some due to funding/choices by NASA).  My point is that from CCDev2 and iCAP Boeing was aware of threats on the aero.  All the programs identify threats, develop mitigation plans and some times those work out and sometimes they don't.  Boeing will fix their weight problem.  Others will come.  For both partners.

it is relevant because folks make judgements based on very incomplete facts.  Not that I blame anyone - can only go off the data at hand.  If you guys saw both programs totally open I think you would have some very different perspectives.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mkent on 05/18/2016 12:48 AM
Primary drivers of the latest delay are aero loads and software. What "metal" should Boeing have produced to uncover these issues earlier?

Making/flying components/systems/vehicles discovers program schedule risks and voids, duh.

Aero loads they could get from CAD software, and subscale wind tunnel tests. Integrating subsystems earlier means you get a working avionics testbed on a table long ahead of vehicle integration, so you can accurately schedule software design and test.

Generating a huge pile of documents that say you can do it, then waiting to the last minute to write the software and find that the structure doesn't handle the loads, or (you didn't add ) is overweight is spectacularly poor management and execution by any sized company, no matter how arrogant.

That's how.

So now a two-month slip is proof that Boeing doesn't have CAD software, wind tunnel tests, integrated subsystems, an avionics testbed, or software?  Just a "pile of paper"?  I sense arrogance here, and it's not Boeing.

Boeing completed its CDR all the way back in 2014.  Their CAD models were >90% done at the time.  Their integrated stack wind tunnel testing was completed three years ago.  They've been performing integrated software releases since at least January of 2013.  Their Avionics Software Integration Lab has been up and running since at least late 2013  (SpaceX didn't meet a similar milestone until 2015).  Boeing's been conducting pilot-in-the-loop hardware and software testing for at least that long.

All of this is known just from their publicly released milestones.

If you're not familiar with them, you might want to acquaint yourself with them before accusing the company of arrogance.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mkent on 05/18/2016 01:08 AM
And don't forget the 747...

An interesting post, but why bring up schedule and technical performance of the 707, 747, or even the 787 in regards to Commercial Crew?  Who do you think is going to be building the Starliner, the Commercial Airplane boys up in Seattle?

The program most relevant to Commercial Crew past-performancewise is going to be the International Space Station.  Then would come the other space programs such as Space Shuttle, WGS, TDRS, comsats, and Delta Clipper.  The next circle in the onion of relevance would be the defense programs such as Super Hornet, Growler, C-17, JDAM, and Apache.  Dead last would be commercial airplanes.  They have a whole separate reporting structure, complete with their own CEO.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 05/18/2016 02:36 AM
There seems to be an excellence shortage in this thread. Way too much snark, way too little being excellent to each other.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 05/18/2016 02:47 AM
Note that much of this was known as a threat for some time so "sounding the alarm" is incorrect and hyperbole.

Is it? Not because Boeing has such a cozy relationship that they can pass a pile of paper off as the first year of a program, without putting in the "catchup" to meet SNC/SX current level as a comparable vendor?

Quote
We will have this debate multiple times over the coming years as the schedule keep changing - for both partners.

Sure the schedule changes, as they both hit issues. But to the degree that a current "pathfinder" exists for 2 of the 3 vendors, and one that was chosen didn't, counts for a lot more than is hand waved over.

My respectful counter claim to your one of "hyperbole".

Quote
Both companies are having their challenges, and triumphs, you just don't know them all.

Never claimed. How is it relevant to this?

Not sure I understand your first comment on catchup.

Let me then explain more. What Boeing/SNC/SX had before selection were unequal programs. "Catch up" was meant to describe bringing current Boeing's offering up to at least comparable current level of the other two, one which had active flight hardware to derive from that was doing missions, and the other a longstanding, incrementally invested in development with hardware. As opposed to a reoffered prior project.

Did I make that any clearer?

Quote
First of all, don't see how SNC comes into this discussion at all - no way to really compare to SpaceX or Boeing but if you did they are so far behind (much due to their own and some due to funding/choices by NASA).

Brought SNC into it in the sense of winding back time to the "pre decision" period. That in this regard, SNC was comparable to SX, and in certain ways, a better choice than Boeing for this reason.

Quote
My point is that from CCDev2 and iCAP Boeing was aware of threats on the aero.

Which does not surprise me, since it may have come up in a prior program as well, kind of obvious. Does that mean a conscious decision to "kick it down the line", or "hanging waiting on another vendor's action"? Either way, there had to be an action to deal with it, such that integration with the launcher would occur. Did I get that right?

And in the end, Boeing needs to meet this to complete their offering? Just like the other does too.

Quote
  All the programs identify threats, develop mitigation plans and some times those work out and sometimes they don't.  Boeing will fix their weight problem.  Others will come.  For both partners.

Any partner in any program at the same point I'll grant. They get stuck, and unstuck differently.

Quote
it is relevant because folks make judgements based on very incomplete facts.  Not that I blame anyone - can only go off the data at hand.  If you guys saw both programs totally open I think you would have some very different perspectives.

I can appreciate that, and appreciate that you are in a position where you can see that. And I'm not addressing that at all. And frankly am glad someone contends with it, must be some interesting stories that can't be told.

My issue is not with the daily give and take. it's with tail loading of schedule of large government contractors, especially when one had two "front loaded" rivals to pick from. Perhaps this has happened before?

Would I have a very different perspective given that concern?

So now a two-month slip is proof that Boeing doesn't have CAD software, wind tunnel tests, integrated subsystems, an avionics testbed, or software?  Just a "pile of paper"?  I sense arrogance here, and it's not Boeing.

You've got enough to start with. As to Boeing, have no idea what went wrong, if they pay me I'll find out, write a report and bill them. My point you are twisting is that there are means at hand to control schedule, some of them I''d even learned from them decades ago.  By the way, SX/SNC use those techniques on rival vehicles too.

Quote
Boeing completed its CDR all the way back in 2014.
Part of the stack of paper I've quaintly referred to. So glad NASA loved it.

Quote
Their CAD models were >90% done at the time.  Their integrated stack wind tunnel testing was completed three years ago.

Where this aero issue must have come up. Could not have been missed, right? Not a lick of hardware IIRC.

Quote
They've been performing integrated software releases since at least January of 2013.  Their Avionics Software Integration Lab has been up and running since at least late 2013  (SpaceX didn't meet a similar milestone until 2015).

Excuse me, but Dragon's avionics test bed goes back further than that. I think the first I saw of it was when Falcon 1 had last launched or so.

You must mean the Dragon 2 flight software bench test, the one with the entire vehicle including the crew panel?

For this to be helpful, we'd need to know coverage of functionality and test. If its "thin", perhaps due to "waterfall" that's still "falling", that might isolate where a delay/overrun might come from. Again, hypothetically.

Quote
  Boeing's been conducting pilot-in-the-loop hardware and software testing for at least that long.

And SX for longer.

Quote
All of this is known just from their publicly released milestones.

If you're not familiar with them, you might want to acquaint yourself with them before accusing the company of arrogance.

Struggling to find your point other than being PO'ed at me. If it is that Boeing has done "stuff", yes they have done "stuff". My issue is that the way that they do it is vulnerable to schedule slips that might not have happened if they'd run the program differently.

I will point out that both companies do av software very differently, and the means by which LV integration/test work likewise is very different. It does not surprise me that schedule slips are occurring.

BTW expect both of them to slip as it is a complex program.

And as to arrogance, specifically its to the difference between having a well developed program before bidding. What that means is you have to have a pathfinder (like, say, taking the prior OSP program and finishing it at the start of the program), in parallel with Starliner. The arrogance is in presuming that you can "close" the program, based off of a prior program that was never closed. Is that specific enough for you?

In other words, open issues for prior does not mean convergence for the follow on program. Which has caught Boeing before. On far bigger programs.

Please address my criticisms, not the window dressing around them. Don't want to unfairly criticize any.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/18/2016 10:40 PM
"Dragon's first manned test flight is expected to take place in 2-3 years." has been on the SpaceX website since 2013 (https://web.archive.org/web/20130802104411/http://www.spacex.com/dragon). I wonder if they'll ever update it.





Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 05/19/2016 06:41 AM
"Dragon's first manned test flight is expected to take place in 2-3 years." has been on the SpaceX website since 2013 (https://web.archive.org/web/20130802104411/http://www.spacex.com/dragon). I wonder if they'll ever update it.
Given that Commercial Crew only started getting full funding this fiscal year it is not surprising that the first flights of both Dragon 2 and CST-100 have been delayed multiple times. NASA administrator Charlie Bolden testified multiple times that any failure to fund commercial crew at the requested levels will lead to delays. And that is exactly what has happened in prior years.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/19/2016 11:45 PM
Failure to take into account the shortfalls is what caused the delays. NASA is supposed to work with the budget they're given, not throw tantrums.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 05/20/2016 12:19 AM
Failure to take into account the shortfalls is what caused the delays. NASA is supposed to work with the budget they're given, not throw tantrums.

The only way to work within the budget would have been to continue with SAAs for certification. But Congress made sure that this wasn't an option by mandating the use of FAR for Phase 1 of certification and for CCtCap. Another option would have been to downselect to one provider. But that would have meant Boeing being able to charge whatever they want. The delay to 2017 or 2018 wasn't the worst potential outcome.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 05/20/2016 08:20 AM
Failure to take into account the shortfalls is what caused the delays. NASA is supposed to work with the budget they're given, not throw tantrums.

IMO NASA cannot work with the budget given because they don't know in advance what budget they will be given. That is the one reason why there are such pesky little things known as budget-requests. They (NASA) request a certain budget and calcu-estimate what can be done with the requested budget. Planning is based on that and often communicated to the outside world before the actual budget is appropriated.

Now, if US Congress steps in and says "Hey NASA, we will give you considerably less than the amount requested" (which in the case of commercial crew has happened more than once) it will naturally lead to the original planning being thrown out the window and NASA communicating this to the outside world. You simply can't do the same amount of work, at the same quality levels, in the same amount of time with less money, without moving to a low-wages country. Given that the latter is not happening, delays will be inevitable and they are tantrums not thrown by NASA but by those folks pulling the purse-strings.

IMO if there is anybody to blame for the prior years commercial crew delays it is not NASA, not SpaceX, not Boeing but primarily the folks at Capitol Hill. They are the ones that tried to kill commercial crew for years by substantially under-funding it. Ultimately they failed to do so and with changes in the geopolitical landscape in recent years they are now reluctantly committed to funding commercial crew in full.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/20/2016 01:03 PM
As Charlie retires off to the sunset singing "I told you so"... ;D
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: baldusi on 05/20/2016 01:11 PM
Not to mention, that Commercial Crew is done as a fixed price milestones program. So delay are expected but won't impact the program cost. In other words it is in the contractors best interest to actually be on schedule. If they don't then it is because technically it is important. Like in astronaut's safety important.
Delays for an operative service that needs the most extremes assurance (i.e. carrying people) are expected. But those delays will only happen once they actually have a budget.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Elmar Moelzer on 05/20/2016 03:06 PM
Failure to take into account the shortfalls is what caused the delays. NASA is supposed to work with the budget they're given, not throw tantrums.
LOL, so they are supposed to do more with less money than needed?! One of the rules for any business is:
Good- Fast- Cheap, pick two!
You want it good and fast, it wont be cheap. You want it cheap and good, it wont be fast, which is exactly the situation with Commercial Crew right now.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: llanitedave on 05/20/2016 03:31 PM
Failure to take into account the shortfalls is what caused the delays. NASA is supposed to work with the budget they're given, not throw tantrums.


"Gather your own straw, but your quota is the same.  Not a single brick less!"


Is this what you have in mind?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/20/2016 10:55 PM
Not to mention, that Commercial Crew is done as a fixed price milestones program. So delay are expected but won't impact the program cost.

That doesn't make any sense. We should be seeing milestones completed and NASA not having the money to pay, but we're not.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 05/21/2016 01:01 AM
That doesn't make any sense. We should be seeing milestones completed and NASA not having the money to pay, but we're not.
NASA is not allowed to spend money it does not have.  That would be illegal.  Instead, they have to issue stop work orders or otherwise manage the schedule to keep within the allocated budget.

So no, we should not be seeing that.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/21/2016 01:40 AM
Not to mention, that Commercial Crew is done as a fixed price milestones program. So delay are expected but won't impact the program cost.

Contractor must notify NASA if funds allocated are insufficient to complete work within the coming 60 days.  If that happens, they have a discussion which may lead to: (a) contract termination; (b) adjustment of dates; (c) adjustment of payment amounts; or both (b) and (c).

Undoubtedly both (b) and (c) have occurred, with payments going up as dates shift to the right--if in fact it is caused by NASA or lack of funding.  That is, where the contractor is not at fault.

That doesn't make any sense. We should be seeing milestones completed and NASA not having the money to pay, but we're not.
NASA is not allowed to spend money it does not have.  That would be illegal.  Instead, they have to issue stop work orders or otherwise manage the schedule to keep within the allocated budget.
...

There are CCtCap contract terms which limit NASA's liability and reduce the need for stop-work orders in the case of a funding shortfall.  Boeing or SpaceX can continue work without NASA funding, but NASA is not obligated to pay more than for work completed or a portion (I think it is up to 75%) of the funds allocated at that time.  Presumably if funding were lacking, that would also mean interim financing payments would also disappear; SpaceX and Boeing would have to fund their efforts out-of-pocket and risk losing it.  NASA still reserves the right to issue stop-work orders as there are other reasons where it may be desirable or necessary (beyond funding issues).

In any case, I agree that NASA managing schedule and budget in concert with the contractors is more constructive and more likely.  The alternatives would be very disruptive and unlikely unless someone intended to terminate a contract.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/21/2016 01:44 AM
None of that has happened.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/21/2016 01:57 AM
None of that has happened.

Source?  Certainly agreements must have been amended.  The milestone dates in the CCtCap contract are defunct, and the quoted funding is long gone--even accounting for the last published amendments (late 2014).  Unfortunately I can find no public record of subsequent amendments since.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 05/21/2016 03:08 AM
None of that has happened.

Source?  Certainly agreements must have been amended.  The milestone dates in the CCtCap contract are defunct, and the quoted funding is long gone--even accounting for the last published amendments (late 2014).  Unfortunately I can find no public record of subsequent amendments since.

Based on what we do know, there hasn't been any funding shortfall for any of the milestones. It's usually been the opposite, the milestones have moved to the right for technical, non-financial reasons. Part of the reason that there hasn't been a shortfall in funding is that NASA waited to make awards until it had a better idea of it's budget. Prior to CCtCap, NASA also used optional milestones in order to adjust the amount of the awards to its budget.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/21/2016 04:26 AM
Based on what we do know, there hasn't been any funding shortfall for any of the milestones. It's usually been the opposite, the milestones have moved to the right for technical, non-financial reasons. Part of the reason that there hasn't been shortfall in funding is that NASA waited to make awards until it had a better idea of it's budget. Prior to CCtCap, NASA also used optional milestones in order to adjust the amount of the awards to its budget.

I am not arguing one way or another. edit... The evidence presented is not pursuasive, and I would like to see something more concrete than a vague statement that "what we know...", because as far as I can tell, the evidence of what we know is squat.

We've heard arguments that if NASA had been given more funding sooner, CCtCap would be farther ahead.  Probably some truth there.  We've also heard arguments that there is no funding shortfall, and this is simply Boeing and SpaceX slipping.  Also probably some truth there.

If you start the clock before FY2014, you can credibly argue it is (or was) a funding issue.  If you start the clock later (contract award), you can credibly argue it is a Boeing and SpaceX issue.  And given the typical issues with these types of programs, you can also credibly argue that NASA knew it would take longer than expected from contract award--and that the inevitable schedule compression due to a late CCtCap start is part of the problem.

Which makes both arguments defensible.

We've also heard arguments that we would have seen (clear?) indications of one or the other.  Which we have not, and likely will not unless there is a melt-down (contractor performance goes off the rails or Congresss significantly reduces funding); e.g., a stop-work order or contract termination.

There is no objective evidence (has not been since the last CCtCap amendments published late 2014 that I can find) of one or the other.  Those amendments last indicated: (a) Boeing was consuming funds and hitting milestones at a nominal rate ($439.5M through 2-Feb-2015); and (b) SpaceX had to eat a schedule slip with no funding adjustment ($129.3M through unknown).  Those are obviously dated; what has happened since is anyone's guess.


p.s. There are no optional CCtCap milestones.  Cannot do that under these FAR contracts: you do or you don't.  And if you want to make it to the finish line, you do; no in-between.  The only reasonable knob NASA has is the award of post-certification missions, and milestone and interim financing payment schedules.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 05/21/2016 11:48 AM
p.s. There are no optional CCtCap milestones.  Cannot do that under these FAR contracts: you do or you don't.  And if you want to make it to the finish line, you do; no in-between.  The only reasonable knob NASA has is the award of post-certification missions, and milestone and interim financing payment schedules.

Yes, I know. I meant for prior rounds. So far, CCtCap has received the amount of funding that the President has requested.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/21/2016 11:45 PM
Resurrected and old spreadsheet I was working on to try and track progress. A bit dated as the latest is from Nov-2015 presentation.  Obviously some dates have changed since (e.g., Boeing flight dates), but I don't have credible information on changes since Nov-2015.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/22/2016 12:42 AM
It's been obvious for a while that commercial crew is now overfunded. It's probably not a ploy by Congress to demonstrate that the claim that funding was the schedule limitation was false.. they're not smart enough for that.. but it may work out that way if they continue to slip.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/22/2016 01:15 AM
It's been obvious for a while that commercial crew is now overfunded. It's probably not a ploy by Congress to demonstrate that the claim that funding was the schedule limitation was false.. they're not smart enough for that.. but it may work out that way if they continue to slip.

Don't see that.  The FY14 Congressional Committee report suggested that the ~$800M would be sufficient for one provider, (in addition to other CCP needs) which is what they appropriated.  We are a bit more than 18 months in to CCtCap with two providers in FY15 ("fully funded"), and ~6 months since the last credible schedule update.

Given a few more data points (maybe another 6-9 months?), we might be able to make a call.  Especially if we knew or could infer what schedule changes were due to contractor performance vs. NASA changing or adding requirements.  But we don't--or at least not that I have  seen except at the margin.

If you know, please tell.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/22/2016 01:16 AM
It's been obvious for a while that commercial crew is now overfunded. It's probably not a ploy by Congress to demonstrate that the claim that funding was the schedule limitation was false.. they're not smart enough for that.. but it may work out that way if they continue to slip.

The problem is not the amount of money (beyond a certain point) but the stability and predictability of income. The second is far more important when attempting to create an accurate schedule. The second has not been forthcoming. Basic economic reality is that people cannot stick to a preplanned economic calculus when you keep jimmying the inputs, inevitable and concurrent engineering realities aside.

All the alternatives are either more expensive and/or less predictable. Orion? More expensive. Soyuz? Less predictable. Commercial crew has been a widely successful program so far for being able to make progress under the conditions both NASA and the providers have been handed.



Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/22/2016 01:23 AM
Nope. Again, there's been no point where the partners have been ahead of the funding. The claim that somehow the funding hasn't been sufficient is the argument of a politician to other politicians.

For the rest of us, it's much more obvious that Boeing has a lack of commitment and SpaceX is suffering from feature creepage.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/22/2016 01:24 AM
The problem is not the amount of money (beyond a certain point) but the stability and predictability of income. The second is far more important when attempting to create an accurate schedule. The second has not been forthcoming. Basic economic reality is that people cannot stick to a preplanned economic calculus when you keep jimmying the inputs, inevitable and concurrent engineering realities aside.

All the alternatives are either more expensive and/or less predictable. Orion? More expensive. Soyuz? Less predictable. Commercial crew has been a widely successful program so far for being able to make progress under the conditions both NASA and the providers have been handed.

Please keep Orion, Soyuz, etc. out of this discussion.  By all indications NASA and Congress are committed to CCtCap.  The operative question is whether CCtCap can deliver. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 05/22/2016 01:38 AM
It's been obvious for a while that commercial crew is now overfunded. It's probably not a ploy by Congress to demonstrate that the claim that funding was the schedule limitation was false.. they're not smart enough for that.. but it may work out that way if they continue to slip.

Money left over this financial year. Has the International Docking Adaptor lost on CRS-7 been replaced?
NASA may be able to claim that a replacement logically forms part of Commercial Crew.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/22/2016 01:39 AM
Nope. Again, there's been no point where the partners have been ahead of the funding. The claim that somehow the funding hasn't been sufficient is the argument of a politician to other politicians.

For the rest of us, it's much more obvious that Boeing has a lack of commitment and SpaceX is suffering from feature creepage.

This is a milestone-based contract with performance-based payments.  Why would the partners be ahead of the funding?  Why would they want to do so?  For the betterment of mankind?   Because they trust NASA or the USG to make good when the funding is pulled?  Sorry, do not get it.  What seems to be obvious "for the rest of us" is not intuitive or clear.  Please elaborate.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/22/2016 02:28 AM


Please keep Orion, Soyuz, etc. out of this discussion.  By all indications NASA and Congress are committed to CCtCap.  The operative question is whether CCtCap can deliver.


It's relevant because the commitment is comparatively new, and whilst that commitment was not in place, frugal funding pushed execution to the right. Soyuz and Orion were presented as alternatives by various parties involved during the period of instability - they are relevant, but that's the limit of their involvement in this discussion.

Nope. Again, there's been no point where the partners have been ahead of the funding. The claim that somehow the funding hasn't been sufficient is the argument of a politician to other politicians.

For the rest of us, it's much more obvious that Boeing has a lack of commitment and SpaceX is suffering from feature creepage.

The funding would have been sufficient if the funding was consistent. Consistent is the critical word. Not a linear consistency, but predictable. Underfunding inevitably slows the program, yes, but overruns can be more easily margined for if there's an awareness of what is coming when. Removing the political element from the funding of any NASA program is chimerical when that's the actual state of events.

Boeing having a "lack of commitment"? Boeing is a major aerospace concern that wants to maintain its primacy and keep its customer happy. Commercial crew is a high profile program with considerable political clout. Boeing has no incentive to make itself look unreliable.

As for feature creep, I'd need clarification as to what you're referring to. Are you implying that com crew should have no new capabilities, as the the mission itself is not a revolutionary one?


I'm curious as to what others from "the rest of us" might have to say on the matter, as well.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/22/2016 02:33 AM
Boeing's lack of commitment is matter of public record. They've threatened to pull out numerous times. As for the funding, it's a milestone based program and there's more than enough funding to cover the milestones. If you need clarification of SpaceX on-going feature creepism, you're obviously not paying attention.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/22/2016 02:38 AM
Boeing's lack of commitment is matter of public record. They've threatened to pull out numerous times. As for the funding, it's a milestone based program and there's more than enough funding to cover the milestones. If you need clarification of SpaceX on-going feature creepism, you're obviously not paying attention.

There's a difference between ongoing hardware development and feature creep. How have features of D2 changed since the capsule's selection? "Not paying attention" is handwaving if you don't back it up with evidence, or, at minimum, a discussion point, as to how I'm not paying attention. If I'm in the wrong, explain why.

Edit: I agree that SpaceX does make design modifications fluidly, and sometimes contrary to their own forecasts, but those done to D2 have been mostly evolving towards a final product, rather than adding fresh capabilities. Retropropulsion for example has been a given concept of crew dragon for a number of years.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/22/2016 02:52 AM
Boeing's lack of commitment is matter of public record. They've threatened to pull out numerous times. As for the funding, it's a milestone based program and there's more than enough funding to cover the milestones. If you need clarification of SpaceX on-going feature creepism, you're obviously not paying attention.

Boeing threatened to pull out once or twice, but not since they signed CCtCap that I can tell.  Did I miss something?  And how can you tell that "there is more than enough funding to cover the milestones" unless you are privy to the changes since the original CCtCap contracts were published?  If you have credible evidence of such, then please present.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/22/2016 02:58 AM
It's relevant because the commitment is comparatively new, and whilst that commitment was not in place, frugal funding pushed execution to the right. Soyuz and Orion were presented as alternatives by various parties involved during the period of instability - they are relevant, but that's the limit of their involvement in this discussion.

Then discuss in the appropriate threads--of which there are many in which this subject has been hashed and rehashed numerous times.  We do not need to derail this thread into another such digression.  Please.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 05/22/2016 06:19 AM
This is a milestone-based contract with performance-based payments.  Why would the partners be ahead of the funding?  Why would they want to do so?  ..
They should definitely not want to be behind the milestones ( which they are ) , as poorly performing delayed programs will tend to get scrutinized, criticized and sometimes canned, resulting it loss of contract and future services revenue - and also standing.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 05/22/2016 03:15 PM
It's been obvious for a while that commercial crew is now overfunded. It's probably not a ploy by Congress to demonstrate that the claim that funding was the schedule limitation was false.. they're not smart enough for that.. but it may work out that way if they continue to slip.
Evidence please. Thank you.


Nope. Again, there's been no point where the partners have been ahead of the funding. The claim that somehow the funding hasn't been sufficient is the argument of a politician to other politicians.

For the rest of us, it's much more obvious that Boeing has a lack of commitment and SpaceX is suffering from feature creepage.
First of all, I voice my own opinion. I don't need you to speak for me thank you very much. I suggest you refrain from any further use of sentences like "For the rest of us,....". The only one you are speaking for is yourself Trent. Keep it that way please.
Second: there is no point in being ahead of the funding. You might just do work ahead of the funding only to find out that NASA didn't get the funding for the work performed. You just don't do that, not even when your name is Elon Musk.
Third: there is plenty of commitment from Boeing. They threatened to pull out when US Congress was not forthcoming with the NASA-requested funding. Commitment does not translate into "I'll pay the checks that US Congress refuses to pay". Boeing has invested millions of dollars of it's own money in CCtCAP and prior commercial crew phases, all in line with the agreements made with NASA for said phases of the commercial crew program.
Fourth: SpaceX is suffering from feature creepage? Evindence please. Because Dragon 2 was presented to NASA originally as an ISS crew vehicle for max. 7 astronauts, capable of doing pad-abort/in-flight abort and parachute landing or propulsive landing. None of that has changed in recent years. The recent changes to the seats, instrument panel, SuperDracos and software were all mandated by NASA and are by no means SpaceX-induced feature creepage.


Boeing's lack of commitment is matter of public record. They've threatened to pull out numerous times. As for the funding, it's a milestone based program and there's more than enough funding to cover the milestones. If you need clarification of SpaceX on-going feature creepism, you're obviously not paying attention.
Lot's of handwaving in this post. You either come up with evidence to support your claims or you best don't make those claims as they, IMO, will be picked apart here. Particularly the one about commercial crew supposedly now being over-funded.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/22/2016 06:33 PM
Even under the Soviet Union the hardware manufacturers profited from their labour. You can't expect a company to embark upon a piece of work they've been assigned on a philanthropic basis when cost overruns occur. The companies are putting in their own money, but there's a tipping point between saving money for the taxpayer and actively cheating the private sector.

There is no reality similar to ours where the companies shoulder the majority of the financial risk associated with Commercial Crew.

Considering that the providers have been financed less than requested for a number of years, I'm wondering at what height you're setting the "overrun" bar?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/22/2016 07:59 PM
Corrected a couple errors and added some annotations to help decipher.  I went back to double check some dates and to my surprise discovered the Boeing CCtCap contract does not contain a crewed flight test milestone.  That and a few other "new" milestones have original dates inferred; corrections appreciated.

Probably no surprise to anyone, but looking at the slips... the spacecraft is the obvious area of concern.  For Boeing, there have been significant delays in the structural test article.  For SpaceX, it appears to  be integrating the parts (?), although F9v1.2 may be a contributing factor.  Hard to make apples-to-apples comparison given the differences between Boeing's and SpaceX's approach and hardware.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/22/2016 09:15 PM
...
Considering that the providers have been financed less than requested for a number of years, I'm wondering at what height you're setting the "overrun" bar?

Good point, and we should agree on when the clock starts for gauging CCtCap (CTS) contractor performance...
- FY2014 funding was 85% ($821M requested, $696M appropriated).
- FY2015 funding was 95% ($848M requested, $805M appropriated).
- FY2016 funding was 100% ($1.24B requested, $1.24B appropriated).
... however those numbers also include other non-CTS efforts (e.g.,lingering CCDev).  NASA statements concerning FY2015 funding were also qualified, and it is unclear if the appropirated amounts were sufficient to sustain the expected schedule or the minimial to sustain the effort.

Of note, the FY2014-2015 amounts were considered by Congress (sorry can't find the link the committee reports at the moment) to be able to support one provider (help please yg1968, might have been 2015 not 2014).  NASA continued to pursue a dual-provider approach.  Whether that was appropriate is water under the bridge.

So where should we start the clock?  I'd argue that FY2016 is an appropriate point, and that slippage since is unlikely due to funding shortfalls (assuming FY2017 and beyond are sufficient).  But given the sparse data, it's very difficult to determine.

We have two credible data points: (a) the original CCtCap contract dates Sep-2014; and (b) the NAC dates Nov-2015.  Not a lot to go on.  I look forward to another credible CCtCap milestone update, which should give us more insight.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Garrett on 05/24/2016 10:00 AM
Gemini was underfunded, and once SpaceX and Boeing actually fly a similar number of flights we'll have a chance to compare the costs.
Seriously? Gemini underfunded? Comparing CCtCap with Gemini? The expression "apples-to-oranges" would be an understatement here.

NASA's budget, as a percentage of GDP, reached its peak during Gemini. Sure, some folks at the time probably wanted more money, but saying it was underfunded and then saying CCtCap is overfunded, and somehow trying to compare both programs takes the biscuit on so many levels.

Here's my shot at an apples-to-apples comparison that we can do right now without waiting for the end of CCtCap:
In 1963, project Mercury was finishing and project Gemini was in development. NASA's budget was roughly 2.3% of GDP. I think it's safe to assume that much of that budget went to the manned space program, and therefore quite a lot went to Gemini. I tried to find exact numbers, but my Google-foo came to a dead end.

US GDP in 2015 was approx $18 trillion ($18,000 billion). In 2015, $805 million was budgeted for commercial crew, which equates to 0.0045% of GDP.

Even if we assume that only 1% of GDP was allocated to Gemini in 1963, that's still more than 200 times greater than CCtCap is getting now.

Percentages of GDP mightn't be a perfect reference frame, but they give us general ballpark order of magnitudes so that we can compare budgets from two completely different cost-of-living periods.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/24/2016 10:07 AM
Well yeah, obviously Commercial Crew needs a few percent of the US GDP to get to completion... perhaps it'll even happen this decade, then.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Garrett on 05/24/2016 11:01 AM
Well yeah, obviously Commercial Crew needs a few percent of the US GDP to get to completion... perhaps it'll even happen this decade, then.
It would easily get to completion in 6 years with similar funding. Your earlier comment completely sidestepped that reality.

Yeah, it's only been 6 years. You can't expect to build and fly a crew vehicle in that little time. Let alone a whole program. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gemini)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/24/2016 11:05 AM
While inventing the technology? There was one thing they had back then that we don't have today and it really set the pace - will.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rocx on 05/24/2016 11:08 AM
Gemini was underfunded, and once SpaceX and Boeing actually fly a similar number of flights we'll have a chance to compare the costs.
Seriously? Gemini underfunded? Comparing CCtCap with Gemini? The expression "apples-to-oranges" would be an understatement here.

NASA's budget, as a percentage of GDP, reached its peak during Gemini. Sure, some folks at the time probably wanted more money, but saying it was underfunded and then saying CCtCap is overfunded, and somehow trying to compare both programs takes the biscuit on so many levels.

Here's my shot at an apples-to-apples comparison that we can do right now without waiting for the end of CCtCap:
In 1963, project Mercury was finishing and project Gemini was in development. NASA's budget was roughly 2.3% of GDP. I think it's safe to assume that much of that budget went to the manned space program, and therefore quite a lot went to Gemini. I tried to find exact numbers, but my Google-foo came to a dead end.

US GDP in 2015 was approx $18 trillion ($18,000 billion). In 2015, $805 million was budgeted for commercial crew, which equates to 0.0045% of GDP.

Even if we assume that only 1% of GDP was allocated to Gemini in 1963, that's still more than 200 times greater than CCtCap is getting now.

Percentages of GDP mightn't be a perfect reference frame, but they give us general ballpark order of magnitudes so that we can compare budgets from two completely different cost-of-living periods.

Better to look at Wikipedia than make order-of-magnitude guesses:

Quote from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Gemini#Program_cost
The Space Review estimated in 2010 the cost of Gemini from 1962 to 1967 as $1.3 billion in 1967 inflation-adjusted dollars, or $7.3 billion in 2010 dollars.

For commercial crew, Wikipedia gives $8.37 billion, most of which is CCtCap: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Crew_Development#Funding_summary.
So they may not be comparable in many ways, but the funding level is.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/24/2016 03:31 PM
While inventing the technology? There was one thing they had back then that we don't have today and it really set the pace - will.

Erhm.

I'm not sure there's any data inferring 21st century humans are more deficient in willpower than they were in the early sixties. In fact, I think you might have made that up.

There's a lack of political direction in space, but there's also a lack of ICBMs pointing at each other. I know which status quo I prefer - inferring that we need the threat of mutually assured destruction to journey into space is a rather bleak vision of the future, don't you think?

I'm sure the engineers at Boeing love the fact that they're working on designing America's next ride into space. They probably tell their kids and spouses about it all the time. As for SpaceX lacking will, pshaw.

I don't think you have an argument, QG.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 05/24/2016 03:58 PM
So they may not be comparable in many ways, but the funding level is.
While that is technically correct, CCrew is building two complete systems (and part of a third, with the DreamChaser work now benefiting CRS-2) for that funding level.  I know there are those who disagree with that decision and would have preferred to do a downselect to one provider.  I'm not going to argue that here.  However, that isn't what happened, and that's actually a really significant difference.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: guckyfan on 05/24/2016 04:09 PM
So they may not be comparable in many ways, but the funding level is.
While that is technically correct, CCrew is building two complete systems (and part of a third, with the DreamChaser work now benefiting CRS-2) for that funding level.  I know there are those who disagree with that decision and would have preferred to do a downselect to one provider.  I'm not going to argue that here.  However, that isn't what happened, and that's actually a really significant difference.

Not to forget that the price tag includes a minium of 6 operational launches, 3 launches each provider.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 05/24/2016 04:17 PM
So they may not be comparable in many ways, but the funding level is.
While that is technically correct, CCrew is building two complete systems (and part of a third, with the DreamChaser work now benefiting CRS-2) for that funding level.  I know there are those who disagree with that decision and would have preferred to do a downselect to one provider.  I'm not going to argue that here.  However, that isn't what happened, and that's actually a really significant difference.

Well .. its also about 55 years now since Gemini got started. That ought to buy you at least something, no ?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: shooter6947 on 05/24/2016 04:20 PM
There was one thing they had back then that we don't have today and it really set the pace - will.

That and 5% of the federal budget.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mkent on 05/24/2016 05:44 PM
Not to forget that the price tag includes a minium of 6 operational launches, 3 launches each provider.

Actually, the price tag for CCtCap includes four orbital test missions and 12 operational missions.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: DigitalMan on 05/24/2016 06:05 PM
The Gemini costs would likely be substantially higher if it had to meet today's human rating standards
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 05/24/2016 07:45 PM
Ahem, we need a bit more playing the ball and a bit less playing the man. Also a bit less snark.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/24/2016 10:01 PM
There was one thing they had back then that we don't have today and it really set the pace - will.

That and 5% of the federal budget.

Again, are you trying to say that Commercial Crew needs 5% of the federal budget?

Because I believe you.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 05/24/2016 10:38 PM
Again, are you trying to say that Commercial Crew needs 5% of the federal budget?

Because I believe you.
NASA gets roughly 1% of the federal budget.  Commercial Crew gets roughly 1/19th or ~5% of NASA's budget.  So Commercial Crew gets around 0.05% of the federal budget.  Put another way, 5% of the federal budget would be 100 times what Commercial Crew gets.

It's very hard to take statements like the one above seriously.  There's basically no valid point of comparison between Gemini and Commercial Crew.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Kansan52 on 05/24/2016 11:07 PM
Plus, Gemini never consumed 5% of the Federal budget. Even back then not all of NASA'a budget went to spaceflight or human spaceflight.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/24/2016 11:19 PM
NASA gets roughly 1% of the federal budget.  Commercial Crew gets roughly 1/19th or ~5% of NASA's budget.  So Commercial Crew gets around 0.05% of the federal budget.  Put another way, 5% of the federal budget would be 100 times what Commercial Crew gets.

It's very hard to take statements like the one above seriously.  There's basically no valid point of comparison between Gemini and Commercial Crew.

I can't tell if you're deliberately missing the point or you're just incapable of understanding it.

We are six years into this program. SpaceX had a massive head start. Boeing has decades of experience. Nothing has flown. The idea that somehow funding is the issue is inadequate. Historically more has been done for less. The opportunity that Commercial Crew will be the fast and cheap alternative to a government led program has been thrown away.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 05/24/2016 11:36 PM
The funding was inadequate.  Your comparisons are poor ones.  This isn't the 1960s.

Yeah, that about sums it up.

Don't think this is going anywhere productive as we're just repeating ourselves.  So, I'll bow out now.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/25/2016 12:41 AM
The funding was inadequate.

Other than Bolden's say so, what do you base that on? Every program says their funding is inadequate. They said the funding for Gemini was inadequate too. It was funded less than Commercial Crew and it achieved more after a similar amount of time while inventing the technology. Other than outright bias, I don't understand how you can not see it.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 05/25/2016 12:46 AM
None of that has happened.

Source?  Certainly agreements must have been amended.  The milestone dates in the CCtCap contract are defunct, and the quoted funding is long gone--even accounting for the last published amendments (late 2014).  Unfortunately I can find no public record of subsequent amendments since.

Based on what we do know, there hasn't been any funding shortfall for any of the milestones. It's usually been the opposite, the milestones have moved to the right for technical, non-financial reasons. Part of the reason that there hasn't been a shortfall in funding is that NASA waited to make awards until it had a better idea of it's budget. Prior to CCtCap, NASA also used optional milestones in order to adjust the amount of the awards to its budget.

I love when people say "certainly' when they don't have data.  Seriously though...  Not to drag this debate on further I did want to point out some real data.  The delay in funding and then deciding CCtCAP, followed by the protest, did delay the project for both partners.  Milestones were not really adjusted at that time until there was some run time.  But there were impacts - from not being able to buy hardware to interface documents not being written (on the NASA side).  So the funding of commercial crew did, and is still rippling.  Now, funding should not be a major driver much further.  Requirement change and NASA way of doing things are now a big source of change and change on these tight schedules means delay.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: The Amazing Catstronaut on 05/25/2016 01:01 AM



Other than Bolden's say so, what do you base that on? Every program says their funding is inadequate. They said the funding for Gemini was inadequate too. It was funded less than Commercial Crew and it achieved more after a similar amount of time while inventing the technology. Other than outright bias, I don't understand how you can not see it.

Charles Bolden is the director of NASA, and a former astronaut and test pilot (he's been around a good few aerospace development programs), and you are an enthusiast with a hefty case of "outright bias" yourself if you think you're a more trustworthy source of information on the development status of flight vehicles.  It's fine that you have your opinion, but you can't expect others to prioritise it over the agency official line.

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/25/2016 02:56 AM
Haha. Here's another comparison for you. So far less has been allocated to Orion than has been allocated to Commercial Crew. It's going to be embarrassing if Orion flies before SpaceX or Boeing... it'll be really embarrassing if they do it for cheaper.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: raketa on 05/25/2016 03:04 AM
How could be achieved that? There is now rocket booster close in cost to 60 milion that Spacex  Falcon 9 cost?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/25/2016 03:05 AM
Development costs.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: RonM on 05/25/2016 03:19 AM
Everyone, could we up the quality of the discussion. How about numbers to back up opinions?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 05/25/2016 03:46 AM
Haha. Here's another comparison for you. So far less has been allocated to Orion than has been allocated to Commercial Crew. It's going to be embarrassing if Orion flies before SpaceX or Boeing... it'll be really embarrassing if they do it for cheaper.


Does not compute. As of Sept 2015
Quote
The agency spent $5.8 billion on Orion during the Constellation program and another $4.7 billion through October of this year.

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nasas-orion-exploration-ship-faces-likely-delays/
Not sure how accurate but sounds about right. Constellation was at 9 billion at the time of cancellation.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/25/2016 08:59 AM
In 1963, project Mercury was finishing and project Gemini was in development. NASA's budget was roughly 2.3% of GDP.

NASA's budget in 1963 was $2,552M. US GDP was $650B, making NASA's budget only 0.39%, quite a bit less then your 2.3% value.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA
http://www.multpl.com/us-gdp/table/by-year

Quote
I think it's safe to assume that much of that budget went to the manned space program, and therefore quite a lot went to Gemini. I tried to find exact numbers, but my Google-foo came to a dead end.

Detailed Gemini funding by year can be found at

http://claudelafleur.qc.ca/Programcosts.html

Peak Gemini funding was $419.2M in 1964, which is $3,235M in 2016.

http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/

Quote
US GDP in 2015 was approx $18 trillion ($18,000 billion). In 2015, $805 million was budgeted for commercial crew, which equates to 0.0045% of GDP.

Even if we assume that only 1% of GDP was allocated to Gemini in 1963, that's still more than 200 times greater than CCtCap is getting now.

GDP in 1964 was $700B, so Gemini was only 0.06% of its funding at its peak, quite a bit less than your estimate. Peak commercial crew funding is next year at $1,184.8M. GDP for 2016 is $18,220B which is 0.0065%, so Gemini was 9.2 times greater. In relative dollar amounts, Gemini was 2.7 times greater than Commercial Crew.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 05/25/2016 09:15 AM
There was one thing they had back then that we don't have today and it really set the pace - will.
That and 5% of the federal budget.

Peak NASA funding was in 1966 at $5,933M. The Federal Budget was $134.5B. So the actual peak value was 4.4%. The average percentage during the 1960's was 2.6%, about half of your 5% estimate.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/fed_spending_1966USbn

NASA gets roughly 1% of the federal budget.  Commercial Crew gets roughly 1/19th or ~5% of NASA's budget.  So Commercial Crew gets around 0.05% of the federal budget.  Put another way, 5% of the federal budget would be 100 times what Commercial Crew gets.

Current NASA budget is only 0.49% of the Federal Budget ($19.3B of $3,951.3B for 2016). The FY2017 NASA budget has Commercial Crew at 6.1% of the NASA budget ($1,184.8M of $19.4B) or 0.03% of the Federal Budget.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: pospa on 05/25/2016 09:26 AM
How about numbers to back up opinions?

Here you go.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Garrett on 05/25/2016 11:20 AM
In 1963, project Mercury was finishing and project Gemini was in development. NASA's budget was roughly 2.3% of GDP.

NASA's budget in 1963 was $2,552M. US GDP was $650B, making NASA's budget only 0.39%, quite a bit less then your 2.3% value.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budget_of_NASA
http://www.multpl.com/us-gdp/table/by-year
Mea Culpa. I mixed up GDP and federal budget.
This forum is great for peer review :p
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/25/2016 11:48 AM
Comparing the CC program to the 60's program(s) had less to do with numbers and more to do with a "national imperative"...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: BrightLight on 05/25/2016 03:36 PM
How about numbers to back up opinions?

Here you go.
Well done.
If money equals time - then with the 1.28 Billion shortfall one can expect roughly a 1.5 year delay in commercial crew from projected operational deployment, which seems about right for the progress made to date.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: RedLineTrain on 05/25/2016 03:46 PM
Good to remember that ten years ago, we had SpaceX on the hook for a crew capsule at an order of magnitude lower price than SpaceX is charging us today.

Dragon v2 is a Rolls Royce.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/25/2016 06:26 PM
Good to remember that ten years ago, we had SpaceX on the hook for a crew capsule at an order of magnitude lower price than SpaceX is charging us today.

Dragon v2 is a Rolls Royce.
Nah, the RR would be Orion... ;D
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: NaN on 05/25/2016 08:21 PM
How about numbers to back up opinions?

Here you go.

Source? I would like to find or generate a similar chart for Orion/CEV back to 2006 or so, but it's proving difficult to find appropriation numbers at that level of detail.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 05/25/2016 09:51 PM
Comparing the CC program to the 60's program(s) had less to do with numbers and more to do with a "national imperative"...

Let us not also forget that in the 1960s, we knew next to nothing about space flight compared to what we know now.  As a result, 1960s programs were willing to accept a hell of a lot more risk than programs today.  Discussion of funding is meaningless without also attempting to do an apples-to-apples comparison of design requirements.  Design is much more constrained today.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/25/2016 11:39 PM
Comparing the CC program to the 60's program(s) had less to do with numbers and more to do with a "national imperative"...

Let us not also forget that in the 1960s, we knew next to nothing about space flight compared to what we know now.  As a result, 1960s programs were willing to accept a hell of a lot more risk than programs today.  Discussion of funding is meaningless without also attempting to do an apples-to-apples comparison of design requirements.  Design is much more constrained today.
Agree about the risk, we had "Go Fever" back then...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/25/2016 11:46 PM
Here you go.

Prior-year numbers should be updated.  Primary source up to FY2014 request is NASA’S Management of the Commercial Crew Program (https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY13/IG-14-001.pdf), IG-14-001, NASA OIG, Nov 2013.  It provides details and shows the impact of funding shortfalls, as shown below (the raw numbers don't tell much of the story).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 05/26/2016 06:25 AM
Summary

Gemini < Commercial crew << Orion

Soyuz = honeybadger
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: pospa on 05/26/2016 07:39 AM
How about numbers to back up opinions?

Here you go.

Source?

I prepared this overview a year ago for our Czech kosmo-forum, so it will take me some time to re-find all original sources again. Right now I have at least one for you that covers period 2014 - 2020.
Slide 7 here: http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/NASA_FY2016_Summary_Briefing.pdf

If you find any mistake in my chart, I'm naturally open to modify it. :)


Edit:
OK, its not directly original source (got no time to search for it right now), but this overview from wiki can provide some clue for preceding years: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial_Crew_Development#Funding_and_effect_on_schedule

"For the fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget, US$500 million was requested for the CCDev program, but Congress granted only $270 million.[17] For the FY 2012 budget, $850 million was requested but Congress approved a budget of $406 million, and as a result the first flight of CCDev was postponed from 2016 to 2017.[13] For the 2013 budget, 830 million was requested but Congress approved $488 million.[18] For the FY 2014 budget, $821 million was requested, Congress approved $696 million.[12][dated info][19] In FY 2015, NASA received $805 million from Congress for the CCDev program; 95% of the $848 million requested by the Obama administration and the largest annual amount since the beginning of the program."
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/27/2016 04:41 AM
... For the FY 2014 budget, $821 million was requested, Congress approved $696 million. ...

Yes, but $171M of that $696M was held "pending the outcome for congressionally mandated studies on the value of the Commercial Crew program" (http://www.nss.org/legislative/positions/NSS_Position_Paper_Commercial_Crew_2014.pdf).  Again, the raw budget numbers don't tell much of the story.  To quote again (https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY13/IG-14-001.pdf) (emphasis added):
Quote
NASA’s first acquisition plan for developing the Commercial Crew Program anticipated the use of FAR-based contracts starting in late FY 2012 for the integration phase of development. During integration, NASA expected its partners to progress to a point where their system designs were mature. According to NASA officials, FY 2012 funding was insufficient to execute this plan. As a result, they continued to use funded Space Act Agreements to support the companies’ development efforts.

For subsequent budget requests beginning in FY 2012, the Office of Management and Budget reduced the Program’s annual appropriations request and created a “flat-line” budget profile by spreading funding evenly over subsequent fiscal years (see Table 3). Specifically, for FY 2013 Commercial Crew Program managers had to revise program schedules after their budget was reduced from the $830 million requested by the President to the $525 million appropriated by Congress.  Generally speaking, we determined that each year’s budget decrement has resulted in an additional year of schedule delay. Even if the Program receives its full budget request in future years, the cumulative difference between the Program’s initial budget requests and receipts over the life of the Program would be approximately $1.1 billion.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/27/2016 06:32 AM
I love when people say "certainly' when they don't have data. ...

As you picked that word out of my quote... to say otherwise would imply...
- SpaceX and Boeing would have been working without funds from NASA since early 2015; and/or
- SpaceX and Boeing would have been working on a word and handshake from NASA since early 2015.
...of which the probability of either is nil.  So yes, I am quite "certain" of what I stated.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 05/28/2016 12:41 AM
None of that has happened.

Source?  Certainly agreements must have been amended.  The milestone dates in the CCtCap contract are defunct, and the quoted funding is long gone--even accounting for the last published amendments (late 2014).  Unfortunately I can find no public record of subsequent amendments since.

Based on what we do know, there hasn't been any funding shortfall for any of the milestones. It's usually been the opposite, the milestones have moved to the right for technical, non-financial reasons. Part of the reason that there hasn't been a shortfall in funding is that NASA waited to make awards until it had a better idea of it's budget. Prior to CCtCap, NASA also used optional milestones in order to adjust the amount of the awards to its budget.

I love when people say "certainly' when they don't have data.  Seriously though...  Not to drag this debate on further I did want to point out some real data.  The delay in funding and then deciding CCtCAP, followed by the protest, did delay the project for both partners.  Milestones were not really adjusted at that time until there was some run time.  But there were impacts - from not being able to buy hardware to interface documents not being written (on the NASA side).  So the funding of commercial crew did, and is still rippling.  Now, funding should not be a major driver much further.  Requirement change and NASA way of doing things are now a big source of change and change on these tight schedules means delay.

Yes, there was a bit of delay because of the date of the CCtCap awards being pushed over by a couple of months but it wasn't a huge delay. NASA did not wait for the protest to be over to start funding CCtCap (they invoked an exception based on the urgency of funding for this program).  It was a bit of a delay for Boeing which had completed all of its CCiCap milestones on time but SpaceX hadn't yet finished its CCiCap milestones.

But you have a good point about the changing NASA requirements and it's a point that you have made in the past also. It's also one of the reason that I was against the move to FAR for certification.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/28/2016 01:57 AM
Yes, there was a bit of delay because of the date of the CCtCap awards being pushed over by a couple of months but it wasn't a huge delay. NASA did not wait for the protest to be over to start funding CCtCap (they invoked an exception based on the urgency of funding for this program).  It was a bit of a delay for Boeing which had completed all of its CCiCap milestones on time but SpaceX hadn't yet finished its CCiCap milestones.

But you have a good point about the changing NASA requirements and it's a point that you have made in the past also. It's also one of the reason that I was against the move to FAR for certification.

Based on NASA IG reports (among others), the damage was done by the time of CCtCap contract award--that is, there would be significant schedule shift to the right.  The only question was how much shift to the right.  Now that some recognize how much those past sins cost, they are complaining.

And as I recall we have had many discussions in the past about FAR vs. SAA with respect to CTS.  The short answer is that SAA's could not be used; NASA went as far as they could with SAA's, but when it came time for actual certification and subsequent crew missions, they were required to do it under FAR.  Same as COTS-CRS.

Not that more work could not have been performed under SAA's, but NASA had pretty much exhausted what could be legally accomplished with SAA's and reached a point of diminishing returns.  To continue work under SAA's would arguably have pushed back the time when actual FAR based acquisition of CTS operational missions could be contracted.

NASA was between a hard place and a rock.  Given a few years and adequate early CCDev-CTS funding, the more-work-under-SAA may have been appropriate.  Unfortunately NASA did not have that luxury.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 05/28/2016 02:20 AM
Congress was forcing NASA to transition to FAR. So in that sense, they had no choice. But CCiCap could have continued up until the first flight by exercising the optional milestones. I would have preferred maintaining CCiCap as long as possible. The parallel certification process could still have been under FAR but with a more hands off approach. Anyways, it's now water under the bridge.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/28/2016 05:33 PM
Right. Remember who makes the laws: Congress. So if you say, "NASA legally had to do FAR," this is just another way of blaming Congress.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/28/2016 05:57 PM
Right. Remember who makes the laws: Congress. So if you say, "NASA legally had to do FAR," this is just another way of blaming Congress.

Depends on which part of CCtCap you are referring to.  As yg1968 suggested:
- DDT&E -- Probably could be done under an SAA.[1][2]
- Certification -- Maybe could be done under an SAA (NASA IG said no).[2]
- Operational (post-certification) missions -- Could not be done under an SAA.

However, if those were split: (a) it would likely take longer; and (b) the contractor is not obligated to take the next step.

[1] edit: Add qualifier; depends on specifics or which parts of DDT&E per NASA IG.
[2] See:
NASA’S Management of the Commercial Crew Program (https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY14/IG-14-001.pdf), IG-14-001, NASA OIG, 13-Nov-2013
NASA’s Use of Space Act Agreements (https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY14/IG-14-020.pdf), IG-14-020, NASA OIG, 5-Jun-2014.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 05/29/2016 07:36 PM
Right. Remember who makes the laws: Congress. So if you say, "NASA legally had to do FAR," this is just another way of blaming Congress.

Depends on which part of CCtCap you are referring to.  As yg1968 suggested:
- DDT&E -- Probably could be done under an SAA.[1][2]
- Certification -- Maybe could be done under an SAA (NASA IG said no).[2]
- Operational (post-certification) missions -- Could not be done under an SAA.

However, if those were split: (a) it would likely take longer; and (b) the contractor is not obligated to take the next step.

[1] edit: Add qualifier; depends on specifics or which parts of DDT&E per NASA IG.
[2] See:
NASA’S Management of the Commercial Crew Program (https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY14/IG-14-001.pdf), IG-14-001, NASA OIG, 13-Nov-2013
NASA’s Use of Space Act Agreements (https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY14/IG-14-020.pdf), IG-14-020, NASA OIG, 5-Jun-2014.
Congress wrote those laws. This should be an obvious point that I'm making, but sometime I think people have a mental block that prevents understanding it.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/29/2016 10:41 PM
The vast majority of "other transaction authority" (e.g., SAA) governing details are NASA-defined rules and regulations (see the IG reports, among others), and Congress generally leaves those details to the agencies.  The basis for much of that governance dates to NASA decisions made decades ago and refined more recently as the use of $$$ SAA's expanded.

It's easy to say Congress makes the laws therefore Congress is ultimately responsible, but that is not very informative or reasonably precise in this case.  The exception are laws which direct funding, in which case I agree: Congress did not provide sufficient funds soon enough for commercial crew, and used funding as a lever to influence behavior in ways which may have been detrimental.  For the rest (specifically the use of SAA's), you should probably take it up with NASA leadership, the IG and GC.  Don't want to get into space policy, so I'll leave it at that.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/29/2016 11:21 PM
Congress did not provide sufficient funds soon enough for commercial crew, and used funding as a lever to influence behavior in ways which may have been detrimental.

How do you support that assertion?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 05/29/2016 11:52 PM
Congress did not provide sufficient funds soon enough for commercial crew, and used funding as a lever to influence behavior in ways which may have been detrimental.

How do you support that assertion?

Prior to CCtCap, Congress gave much less than the President's request.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 05/30/2016 12:14 AM
Congress did not provide sufficient funds soon enough for commercial crew, and used funding as a lever to influence behavior in ways which may have been detrimental.

How do you support that assertion?

Prior to CCtCap, Congress game much less than the President's request.

.. and why do you think the partners needed more than Congress provided? Isn't it just as possible that NASA requested more than they needed?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/30/2016 12:15 AM
Congress did not provide sufficient funds soon enough for commercial crew, and used funding as a lever to influence behavior in ways which may have been detrimental.
How do you support that assertion?

Hesitant to go too far down this path as we're getting into space policy and opinions about priorities and where available funds should have been spent.

I'll only say that in hindsight I believe the FY2011 PBR profile for CCP was overly-aggressive (which I supported), and the Congressional response was overly-conservative.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/30/2016 12:30 AM
Prior to CCtCap, Congress game much less than the President's request.
.. and why do you think the partners needed more than Congress provided? Isn't it just as possible that NASA requested more than they needed?

Remember, the original NASA plan circa FY2010-2011 was CCIDC which at that time would have included all the work subsequently performed under CCDevX SAA's under a FAR-based program (IIRC some referred to as "Orion lite").  Given NASA's experience at that time, it is anyone's guess whether the requested funding would have been excessive, insufficient, or nominal.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 05/30/2016 02:27 AM
Prior to CCtCap, Congress game much less than the President's request.
.. and why do you think the partners needed more than Congress provided? Isn't it just as possible that NASA requested more than they needed?

Remember, the original NASA plan circa FY2010-2011 was CCIDC which at that time would have included all the work subsequently performed under CCDevX SAA's under a FAR-based program (IIRC some referred to as "Orion lite").  Given NASA's experience at that time, it is anyone's guess whether the requested funding would have been excessive, insufficient, or nominal.

CCIDC was replaced by CCiCap (which was under SAAs). CCIDC would have been under FAR. But it was a program after CCDev1 and 2. The reason that NASA stuck to SAAs for CCiCap is because the funding from Congress was less than requested.

Orion lite was a Bigelow proposal to team up with LM which never materialized since they decided to team up with Boeing instead.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 05/30/2016 02:33 AM
Congress did not provide sufficient funds soon enough for commercial crew, and used funding as a lever to influence behavior in ways which may have been detrimental.

How do you support that assertion?

Prior to CCtCap, Congress game much less than the President's request.

.. and why do you think the partners needed more than Congress provided? Isn't it just as possible that NASA requested more than they needed?

For what it's worth, I don't think that commercial crew development was underfunded either. The fact that it was underfunded in the earlier years may have forced NASA to stick to SAAs which was a good thing.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 05/30/2016 02:48 AM
CCIDC was replaced by CCiCap (which was under SAAs). CCIDC would have been under FAR. But it was a program after CCDev1 and 2. The reason that NASA stuck to SAAs for CCiCap is because the funding from Congress was less than requested.

Understood, and that is a point worth repeating.  It does not, however, address the question of whether the FY2010-2011 CCICAP plan was over-reach on the part of NASA.  (While I supported it at that time, in retrospect it probably was.)  If CCICAP had been fully funded, would we be better off (operational crewed flights sooner)?  Maybe a bit sooner, but I doubt it would have made a significant difference.  But who knows.  I certainly don't... too many if's maybe's and but's in the equation.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: baldusi on 05/30/2016 03:38 PM
Actually, the underlying discussion on funding was more NASA's desire to keep a commercial approach with multiple providers with fixed priced milestones contract, versus Congress desire for a cost-plus single contractor program (that contractor being Boeing, obviously).
NASA was saying "we want 800 millions to keep at least three companies running until certification" and Congress was "here's 500M, hire a single contractor and do things like you usually do".
I don't think that this war of wills should be forgotten when analyzing the crewed services "delay". After all, ISS was supposed to be deorbited by 2015.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/19/2016 10:50 PM
Next milestone of Initial Propulsion Module Testing was scheduled for April. That milestone was delayed by 7 months.

Why? Because SpaceX was focused on pad abort test. Originally scheduled for December 2013, it was completed in May 2015.

Suggest it was because the results of the pad abort test, and critical under performance. Clearly they blew the schedule on that. The point of such tests are to find weaknesses, and that is sure one.

Quote
In June, the Falcon 9 exploded and sent a Dragon supply ship to the bottom of the Atlantic.

They are still reeling from that one. The upcoming CRS launch will be watched carefully, and launch cadence will need to step up alongside bringing in schedule. CRS and CCtCap need to advance in measure together given teams.

Quote
Initial Propulsion Module Testing: Delayed from April to November
Delta Critical Design Review  (dCDR): Delayed from June to December
Docking System Qualification Testing Complete: Delayed from August to December
Propulsion land landing test: Delayed from September to December
Launch Site Operational Readiness Review was completed as scheduled in November.

Competing for attention are other sizable programs as well. The dCDR and docking system qual are the most risky in that you can liken to their rival, a fall into a schedule "free fall" with a "long pole".

The trouble with the SX "everybody does 2 or more jobs" approach is that "everyone gets behind on 2 or more jobs" too. Their rival's variation on this is that "everyone waits for those 2 or more jobs to be complete". Either way both get schedule slips, while Boeing's higher corporate loading loses them money faster. One place where being >100x bigger hurts you.

Quote
In essence, they were already running behind schedule early in the year. Once Falcon 9 crashed, they didn't completely any milestones until November when they were getting Falcon 9 ready for return to flight.

Yes. Note also that OA is facing delays on Antares RTF, and ULA just got back on the board with an unheard of RD180 anomaly and resolution. Those bad days cost your entire org.

Quote
SpaceX still has a bunch of milestones to complete, including the in-flight abort test left over from CCiCap. That had been originally scheduled for April 2014, so it's running well over 2 years behind schedule.

It's interesting to watch the race for CC to fly. Boeing has more history/skill/resources, but their rear loaded processes have significant "downside risk" that occurs late in the program, where a multi year slip is quite possible. SX suffers greater risk from bad early decisions and too many "attention grabbers", so while they can move faster to recover, the anxiety of a 6 month slip on many milestones makes for "white knuckle ride" on meeting them.

Had Boeing been more "front loaded", they might have aced out SX. As it is, while SX is more dramatic, the inside edge of having flow Dragon 1 for so long may well keep them in the lead.

Still waiting on the Centaur Starliner abort issue resolution. Doesn't seem to be an easy one to close out.

Both seemed to greatly affected by abort systems bringing up the rear. Not too surprising that these are floating to the end of the schedule.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/20/2016 12:06 AM
Respectfully, I don't think it had ANYTHING to do with the slightly under-nominal pad abort test.

The schedule slip is due to:
1) The regular old over-optimistic SpaceX schedules.
2) Perhaps some regular old funding uncertainty.
3) CRS-7 failure slowing everything down and likely causing both SpaceX and NASA to take a second look at everything to make sure a similar slip-up isn't hiding somewhere that would put crew at risk.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/20/2016 12:29 AM
Respectfully, I don't think it had ANYTHING to do with the slightly under-nominal pad abort test.

The schedule slip is due to:
1) The regular old over-optimistic SpaceX schedules.

Shades of the dread "Pad X" ;) Or Musk dilation effect (the closer/more attention you get, the more he cares, and the slower things go?).

Quote
2) Perhaps some regular old funding uncertainty.

Yes, writing all those reports to show you're not wasting money, while you wait for ... money ...

Quote
3) CRS-7 failure slowing everything down and likely causing both SpaceX and NASA to take a second look at everything to make sure a similar slip-up isn't hiding somewhere that would put crew at risk.

AF. You forgot the AF. Trust me they really, really want to know what you do wrong. I included that and all you have here in 3) in my "reeling from it" comment.

No, they did under perform. Luckily they made it to the water. There were other issues like wind.

Now if you're doing an escape from a live ascending booster, you might want to insure you are on top of your game for that one.

And, if you're doing same with a Centaur under you, clearly you don't want a side thrust or plume intrusion to crease those nice stainless walls and have a bad day...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/20/2016 12:50 AM
I'm not at all convinced that the slight underperformance of the abort matters to the schedule one iota.

Remember, SpaceX was already planning an in-flight abort using very realistic flight conditions. They've also done hover tests and will do landing tests. This allows them to address any and all concerns that the pad abort may have brought up.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/20/2016 01:07 AM
I'm not at all convinced that the slight underperformance of the abort matters to the schedule one iota.

Don't think it would matter if this was, say, Orion. On the other hand, more would come out of Congress then to deal with such.

Suggest to you that the sensitivity of a CCDEV abort, both in terms of extremes of safety concerns coupled with hardnosed congressional nitpicking might make this a bit more then just a "oof, good enough for most bad days that'll never come" that you're suggesting.

Quote
Remember, SpaceX was already planning an in-flight abort using very realistic flight conditions. They've also done hover tests and will do landing tests. This allows them to address any and all concerns that the pad abort may have brought up.

Yes, the in-flight abort seems the best "fixup" for this. Hover / landing tests are less relevant.

Having trouble with the "any and all concerns". Think that the combo of the uncrewed ISS flight return and the in-flight abort will address concerns for a crewed flight. Have never seen a 100% flight test where you didn't stare at things in the margin.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/20/2016 01:11 AM
Yeah, I agree an uncrewed flight to ISS is required. That's unchanged, however.

But I still do not think the very slight underperformance of the pad abort makes any difference, handwaving about Congress notwithstanding. CRS-7, on the other hand, /did/ make a huge difference.

And hovering (and that one integrated propulsion test we saw) /does/ mitigate questions posed by the slight underperformance. SpaceX can show they understood exactly what caused the underperformance and prove they addressed it by the Dragon 2 tests in McGregor.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 06/20/2016 01:23 AM
And hovering (and that one integrated propulsion test we saw) /does/ mitigate questions posed by the slight underperformance.
More of a test of combustion stability while throttling, and GNC.

Quote
SpaceX can show they understood exactly what caused the underperformance and prove they addressed it by the Dragon 2 tests in McGregor.

Not sure if you can fly high and downrange enough at McGregor due to license, noise, and hazards issues. You need to ramp thrust to prove no issue, might in a static test.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 06/20/2016 01:56 AM
The underperformance was due to the Superdracos. They can address that with the ground tests I mentioned and confirm it under thrust with the in-flight abort. Everything else in the test went swimmingly.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: MattMason on 06/20/2016 12:41 PM
The many employees and contractors at SpaceX are not buying or renting homes, buying groceries, paying for services and other goods with play money from a SpaceX Monopoly set.

At the least, SpaceX has clearly earned money sufficient to pay its employees, the contractors that recover stages, the suppliers that provide the materials for assembly, the contractors that are altering LC39A and building Boca Chica.

Don't mistake SpaceX for NASA and certainly not Boeing, which are both a bit more dependent on huge government  budgets and contracts and (thus) the bureaucracy of payment. SX's private status, without even an IPO, means that real money must flow in and out.

We don't know how much but we can safely assume that people are getting paid. We'd certainly know; they are some who would love to tarnish the company's reputation it's gained thus far by indicating any kind of insolvency.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 06/26/2016 01:28 AM
Does the recent post from SpaceX about structural tests tell us anything new about where they are in completing the next milestones?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 07/10/2016 08:55 PM
Does the recent post from SpaceX about structural tests tell us anything new about where they are in completing the next milestones?

This is an old CCiCap milestone: Dragon Primary Structure Qualification Test -- Hatch Open.  In Feb-2016 ETA was May-2016.  (Original CCiCap milestone #12 was Jan-2014, subsequently split into two milestones.)  Good to see they are close(?) to finishing it.

Hard to say what the tells us about subsequent milestone completion.  Some are independent, and some likely dependent.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 07/12/2016 02:18 PM
Joek,

Are you sure? I was under the impression that SpaceX had completed all of its CCiCap milestones (as of December 2015) except for the in-flight abort test (which is scheduled for 2017).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 07/12/2016 03:12 PM
Are you sure, I was under the impression that SpaceX had completed all of its CCiCap milestones (as of Decemeber 2015) except for the in-flight abort test (which is scheduled for 2017).

McAlister's March 2016 NAC presentation showed two SpaceX CCiCap milestones outstanding:
- MS#12b -Dragon Primary Structure Qual - Hatch Open Test (May 2016)
- MS#14 - In-Flight Abort Test (March 2017)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: baldusi on 07/12/2016 03:44 PM
Structure qual was delayed a lot. I ignore why.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 07/27/2016 12:58 AM
Some CCtCap news:

Quote from: Jeff Foust
McAlister: the crewed test flights Boeing and SpaceX will fly will dock to the ISS for an unspecified period, likely “some number of weeks”.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/757947789632339968

Quote from: Jeff Foust
McAlister: Commercial Crew Program will manage transport services after vehicles certified; modeled after Launch Services Program.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/757954270280896512

Quote from: Jeff Foust
McAlister calls schedules for Boeing and SpaceX “optimistic but achievable.”
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/757954787019100161

Quote from: Jeff Foust
McAlister: not concerned about a continuing resolution to start the fiscal year, since program asking for slightly less in ’17 vs ’16.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/757955564672421889

Quote from: Jeff Foust
McAlister calls schedules for Boeing and SpaceX “optimistic but achievable.”
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/757954787019100161
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 07/29/2016 04:20 AM
See the last slide of this NAC presentation for an update on the milestones:

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/9-mcalister_status_of_ccp.pdf
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/12/2016 12:46 PM
Interesting series of tweets by Eric Berger re schedule for first commercial crew flight. I think this is a bit more than a random internet rumour given Eric's credentials:

Quote
What I am hearing regarding NASA's commercial crew program: There is a "decent" chance a single, crewed mission will fly in 2018.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/763457401542639617 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/763457401542639617)

Quote
@SciGuySpace so you are implying that no crewed flights will take place during 2017?
https://twitter.com/aaronraimist/status/763458291477323777 (https://twitter.com/aaronraimist/status/763458291477323777)

Quote
@aaronraimist Yes.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/763458597841932289 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/763458597841932289)

Quote
@sclayworth NASA loses a lot of face with Congress if they acknowledge the delays.
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/763474225894129665 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/763474225894129665)

Quote
@SciGuySpace meaning what exactly? The first commercial crew flight? Or test flights?
https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/763949949373382656 (https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/763949949373382656)

Quote
@spacecom test flights with crew
https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/764067784477204480 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/764067784477204480)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: WBY1984 on 08/12/2016 01:08 PM
^ We already know Boeing has some issues to rectify with Starliner, I wonder what problems SpaceX is grappling with?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Chalmer on 08/12/2016 02:14 PM
Interesting series of tweets by Eric Berger re schedule for first commercial crew flight. I think this is a bit more than a random internet rumour given Eric's credentials:

<snip>

Yes, I read those too.

According to the latest public FPIP SpaceX DM-1 uncrewed is scheduled for 12/05-17 (DD/MM-YY) and DM-2 crewed for 22/08-17.

Dragon in-flight abort is going to happen between these two flights. So if anything shows up in either DM-1 or the inflight abort test the end of august date for DM-2 looks like a slip. Even is there isnt, just analyzing the data could force a slip.

So slipping DM-2 to start 2018 is very plausible given both Eric Bergers statements and the FPIP plan.

Boeing already has the first uncrewed test flight at dec-17 so it is no surprise they wont fly crewed before 2018.
 
Link to FPIP thread: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29401.msg1564439#new (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29401.msg1564439#new)
Link to CCP Major partner milestones http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35717.msg1563499#msg1563499 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35717.msg1563499#msg1563499)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 08/12/2016 02:47 PM
Boeing already has the first uncrewed test flight at dec-17 so it is no surprise they wont fly crewed before 2018.
Unless I am not reading the tweets correctly (or they are themselves confusing), I think you're missing the point.  A projected single crewed mission in 2018 would almost certainly be a SpaceX mission, which would mean that Boeing would not be flying until 2019...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 08/12/2016 02:52 PM
Interesting series of tweets by Eric Berger re schedule for first commercial crew flight. I think this is a bit more than a random internet rumour given Eric's credentials:

<snip>

Yes, I read those too.

According to the latest public FPIP SpaceX DM-1 uncrewed is scheduled for 12/05-17 (DD/MM-YY) and DM-2 crewed for 22/08-17.

Dragon in-flight abort is going to happen between these two flights. So if anything shows up in either DM-1 or the inflight abort test the end of august date for DM-2 looks like a slip. Even is there isnt, just analyzing the data could force a slip.

So slipping DM-2 to start 2018 is very plausible given both Eric Bergers statements and the FPIP plan.

Boeing already has the first uncrewed test flight at dec-17 so it is no surprise they wont fly crewed before 2018.
 
Link to FPIP thread: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29401.msg1564439#new (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29401.msg1564439#new)
Link to CCP Major partner milestones http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35717.msg1563499#msg1563499 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35717.msg1563499#msg1563499)

Berger wasn't saying that they would both slip a little to early 18.  He said one of them would slip to sometime in 2018 and the other would probably slip to 2019.

If this is true then we should start hearing about NASA ordering another half-billion of Soyuz flights within the next few months?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/12/2016 08:01 PM
But this is just rumor and opinion, not news. Could be someone who already doesn't think SpaceX will meet their schedule now learning that Boeing is having even bigger problems.

Could easily end up being right (delays are the rule in this industry), but this isn't news, it's rumor.


BTW, it's odd to me how the "serious" experts still give Boeing the benefit of the doubt on these sorts of things.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 08/15/2016 03:02 PM
But this is just rumor and opinion, not news. Could be someone who already doesn't think SpaceX will meet their schedule now learning that Boeing is having even bigger problems.

Could easily end up being right (delays are the rule in this industry), but this isn't news, it's rumor.


BTW, it's odd to me how the "serious" experts still give Boeing the benefit of the doubt on these sorts of things.

Yes, I agree. We had heard of Boeing's acoustic problems on L2 before they announced them. If there were issues with SpaceX, we would hear about them too. For SpaceX, the only issue that we have heard about so far (at the latest NAC meeting) is NASA getting confortable with the densified propellant. But that's an issue that will solve itself through more flight history. We have heard that schedules have been optimitic but that's usually the case for most programs.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: kevinof on 08/15/2016 03:30 PM
Is the issue with Nasa and densified propellant related to the late loading of the prop and they don't want their people sitting on top during fueling?

But this is just rumor and opinion, not news. Could be someone who already doesn't think SpaceX will meet their schedule now learning that Boeing is having even bigger problems.

Could easily end up being right (delays are the rule in this industry), but this isn't news, it's rumor.


BTW, it's odd to me how the "serious" experts still give Boeing the benefit of the doubt on these sorts of things.

Yes, I agree. We had heard of Boeing's acoustic problems on L2 before they announced them. If there were issues with SpaceX, we would hear about them too. For SpaceX, the only issue that we have heard about so far (at the latest NAC meeting) is NASA getting confortable with the densified propellant. But that's an issue that will solve itself through more flight history. We have heard that schedules have been optimitic but that's usually the case for most programs.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 08/15/2016 03:31 PM
At the recent NAC meeting, on thing that was interesting is that McAlister was asked if it might possible for Blue and SNC to certify their spacecraft through a future SAA. He said that he believes that certification can only be done through a contract and not a SAA.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 08/15/2016 03:32 PM
Is the issue with Nasa and densified propellant related to the late loading of the prop and they don't want their people sitting on top during fueling?

But this is just rumor and opinion, not news. Could be someone who already doesn't think SpaceX will meet their schedule now learning that Boeing is having even bigger problems.

Could easily end up being right (delays are the rule in this industry), but this isn't news, it's rumor.


BTW, it's odd to me how the "serious" experts still give Boeing the benefit of the doubt on these sorts of things.

Yes, I agree. We had heard of Boeing's acoustic problems on L2 before they announced them. If there were issues with SpaceX, we would hear about them too. For SpaceX, the only issue that we have heard about so far (at the latest NAC meeting) is NASA getting confortable with the densified propellant. But that's an issue that will solve itself through more flight history. We have heard that schedules have been optimitic but that's usually the case for most programs.

McAlister didn't say specifically. He just said that NASA needed more data to get confortable with it. But he made it sound like it wasn't a major issue and that it would resolve itself as SpaceX gets more experience with it.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jarnis on 08/16/2016 11:23 AM
Is the issue with Nasa and densified propellant related to the late loading of the prop and they don't want their people sitting on top during fueling?


Seems to me that it would be more risky to have to load self-loading cargo into a capsule sitting atop a fully fueled rocket than to first button everything up, ready to punch out with SuperDracos in case of a Really Bad Day before even starting to load propellants.

So it is probably more about just a general major change to the booster (introduction of densified propellants etc that came with F9 FT) "resetting the launch count" as far as NASA is concerned for reliability estimates.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 08/17/2016 09:35 AM
Is the issue with Nasa and densified propellant related to the late loading of the prop and they don't want their people sitting on top during fueling?

The point is that with regards to flying crew on rockets NASA doesn't like to change the way they have done things for the past four+ decades. Most, if not all, of their experience is with the crew getting aboard a fully fueled vehicle. And then comes SpaceX proposing to do it the other way around. Given how risk adverse NASA in general, and the astronaut office and ASAP in particular are, it is no surprise they feel uncomfortable with this new approach to things.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: the_other_Doug on 08/17/2016 04:50 PM
Is the issue with Nasa and densified propellant related to the late loading of the prop and they don't want their people sitting on top during fueling?

The point is that with regards to flying crew on rockets NASA doesn't like to change the way they have done things for the past four+ decades. Most, if not all, of their experience is with the crew getting aboard a fully fueled vehicle. And then comes SpaceX proposing to do it the other way around. Given how risk adverse NASA in general, and the astronaut office and ASAP in particular are, it is no surprise they feel uncomfortable with this new approach to things.

And my guess is that, prior to prop densification, NASA might have thought that they could convince SpaceX to load props and only then insert the crew, but what with the densified prop requirement to launch as shortly after fueling as possible, this just can't be done?  So NASA has two choices -- don't launch their crews on Falcon, or get comfortable with prop loading while the crew is inside the spacecraft?

Am I apprehending this issue correctly?  :)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 08/17/2016 05:37 PM
Is the issue with Nasa and densified propellant related to the late loading of the prop and they don't want their people sitting on top during fueling?

The point is that with regards to flying crew on rockets NASA doesn't like to change the way they have done things for the past four+ decades. Most, if not all, of their experience is with the crew getting aboard a fully fueled vehicle. And then comes SpaceX proposing to do it the other way around. Given how risk adverse NASA in general, and the astronaut office and ASAP in particular are, it is no surprise they feel uncomfortable with this new approach to things.

And my guess is that, prior to prop densification, NASA might have thought that they could convince SpaceX to load props and only then insert the crew, but what with the densified prop requirement to launch as shortly after fueling as possible, this just can't be done?  So NASA has two choices -- don't launch their crews on Falcon, or get comfortable with prop loading while the crew is inside the spacecraft?

Am I apprehending this issue correctly?  :)

Or SpaceX could decide not not to use densified propellant on commercial crew flights, I would imagine.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: jak Kennedy on 08/17/2016 05:41 PM
I was under the impression that manned rockets are also being topped off while the crews are aboard before liftoff. If so then fuel is always being pumped aboard although at a much lower rate. Am I correct in this assumption?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 08/17/2016 07:01 PM
I was under the impression that manned rockets are also being topped off while the crews are aboard before liftoff. If so then fuel is always being pumped aboard although at a much lower rate. Am I correct in this assumption?
No, you're correct.  The Shuttle topped off until right before launch, when the top ET access arm would rotate away.  I don't know about earlier manned rockets, though.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: the_other_Doug on 08/17/2016 07:34 PM
I was under the impression that manned rockets are also being topped off while the crews are aboard before liftoff. If so then fuel is always being pumped aboard although at a much lower rate. Am I correct in this assumption?
No, you're correct.  The Shuttle topped off until right before launch, when the top ET access arm would rotate away.  I don't know about earlier manned rockets, though.

I'm pretty certain that all manned rockets have had a top-off operation until a few minutes before launch, with the exception of the Titan II, which was loaded with room-temperature hypergolics which didn't tend to boil off...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 09/01/2016 09:43 PM
More delays:

Quote from: OIG
The Commercial Crew Program continues to face multiple challenges that will likely delay the first routine flight carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS until late 2018 – more than 3 years after NASA’s original 2015 goal. While past funding shortfalls have contributed to the delay, technical challenges with the contractors’ spacecraft designs are now driving the schedule slippages. For Boeing, these include issues relating to the effects of vibrations generated during launch and challenges regarding vehicle mass. For SpaceX, delays resulted from a change in capsule design to enable a water-based rather than ground-based landing and related concerns about the capsule taking on excessive water.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 09/01/2016 10:54 PM
More delays:

Quote from: OIG
The Commercial Crew Program continues to face multiple challenges that will likely delay the first routine flight carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS until late 2018 – more than 3 years after NASA’s original 2015 goal. While past funding shortfalls have contributed to the delay, technical challenges with the contractors’ spacecraft designs are now driving the schedule slippages. For Boeing, these include issues relating to the effects of vibrations generated during launch and challenges regarding vehicle mass. For SpaceX, delays resulted from a change in capsule design to enable a water-based rather than ground-based landing and related concerns about the capsule taking on excessive water.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf

IIRC water landing for D2 wasn't SpaceX's idea...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 09/02/2016 07:17 AM
More delays:

Quote from: OIG
The Commercial Crew Program continues to face multiple challenges that will likely delay the first routine flight carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS until late 2018 – more than 3 years after NASA’s original 2015 goal. While past funding shortfalls have contributed to the delay, technical challenges with the contractors’ spacecraft designs are now driving the schedule slippages. For Boeing, these include issues relating to the effects of vibrations generated during launch and challenges regarding vehicle mass. For SpaceX, delays resulted from a change in capsule design to enable a water-based rather than ground-based landing and related concerns about the capsule taking on excessive water.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf (https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf)

IIRC water landing for D2 wasn't SpaceX's idea...
Correct. D2 was to land on land under parachutes with propulsive assistence for cushioning purposes. But NASA didn't agree with the propulsive assistence bit. NASA wanted full parachute landings, something SpaceX cannot do on land, for lack of a alternative cushioning system (like the one CST-100 has). As such, the only other option for doing full parachute landings is at sea. NASA is in fact so concerned about a hard parachute landing for D2 that SpaceX had to add a fourth parachute to it's earth landing system setup. We've probably all seen the recent tests of those, with more yet to follow.

So basiscally, this is NASA causing this particular delay to the D2 portion of CCP.

The delays for CST-100 come from a changed launch environment (from 'clean' booster to one sporting 1 or 2 solids) and the need to adjust for that. The change in booster configuration resulted from the on-going overweight issue that's been hampering CST-100 development for quite some time now.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: MikeAtkinson on 09/02/2016 07:24 AM
More delays:

Quote from: OIG
The Commercial Crew Program continues to face multiple challenges that will likely delay the first routine flight carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS until late 2018 – more than 3 years after NASA’s original 2015 goal. While past funding shortfalls have contributed to the delay, technical challenges with the contractors’ spacecraft designs are now driving the schedule slippages. For Boeing, these include issues relating to the effects of vibrations generated during launch and challenges regarding vehicle mass. For SpaceX, delays resulted from a change in capsule design to enable a water-based rather than ground-based landing and related concerns about the capsule taking on excessive water.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf

IIRC water landing for D2 wasn't SpaceX's idea...
Correct. D2 was to land on land under parachutes with propulsive assistence for cushioning purposes. But NASA didn't agree. NASA wanted full parachute landings, something SpaceX cannot do on land, for lack of a alternative cushioning system (like the one CST-100 has). As such, the only other way of doing full parachute landings is at sea.
So basiscally, this is NASA causing this particular delay to the D2 portion of CCP.
The delays for CST-100 come from a changed launch environment (from 'clean' booster to one sporting 1 or 2 solids) and the need to adjust for that. The change in booster configuration resulted from the on-going overweight issue that's been hampering CST-100 development for quite some time now.

Only partly true in the case of SpaceX, aborts will land in the water so D2 has to be designed for that. However, aborts are assumed to be rare so a small additional risk on a water landing might be acceptable, but a similar additional risk every flight is too great.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: guckyfan on 09/02/2016 07:45 AM
My understanding was that CST-100 always was to launch with one SRB. Weight issues caused the possible addition of a second SRB but they said they want to get back to one SRB.

SpaceX landing under parachutes with propulsive cushioning was suggested by SpaceX and they mentioned that propulsion failing would make the landing as hard as Soyuz landing, but not threaten the astronauts life. As hard as Soyuz with or without those thruster pods, I don't know. Those pods have failed occasionally and crew survived though with some injuries. I remember SpaceX claimed no injuries though hard when propulsion fails.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 09/02/2016 08:31 AM
More delays:

Quote from: OIG
The Commercial Crew Program continues to face multiple challenges that will likely delay the first routine flight carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS until late 2018 – more than 3 years after NASA’s original 2015 goal. While past funding shortfalls have contributed to the delay, technical challenges with the contractors’ spacecraft designs are now driving the schedule slippages. For Boeing, these include issues relating to the effects of vibrations generated during launch and challenges regarding vehicle mass. For SpaceX, delays resulted from a change in capsule design to enable a water-based rather than ground-based landing and related concerns about the capsule taking on excessive water.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf

IIRC water landing for D2 wasn't SpaceX's idea...
Correct. D2 was to land on land under parachutes with propulsive assistence for cushioning purposes. But NASA didn't agree. NASA wanted full parachute landings, something SpaceX cannot do on land, for lack of a alternative cushioning system (like the one CST-100 has). As such, the only other way of doing full parachute landings is at sea.
So basiscally, this is NASA causing this particular delay to the D2 portion of CCP.
The delays for CST-100 come from a changed launch environment (from 'clean' booster to one sporting 1 or 2 solids) and the need to adjust for that. The change in booster configuration resulted from the on-going overweight issue that's been hampering CST-100 development for quite some time now.

Only partly true in the case of SpaceX, aborts will land in the water so D2 has to be designed for that. However, aborts are assumed to be rare so a small additional risk on a water landing might be acceptable, but a similar additional risk every flight is too great.
Thanks for the addition. Your reasoning is sound IMO. A pad abort or in-flight abort would result in landing at sea, but the crew would be there for only a limited amount of time given that rescue and recovery teams are nearby.
However, in case of an off-nominal water landing upon return from orbit the crew could be faced with a Gemini-8 scenario. In that case it wouldn't do at all for D2 to take on large amounts of water, hence the concern from NASA. But still, this scenario only came into play when NASA threw the propulsive land-landing options out the window.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 09/02/2016 03:33 PM
My understanding was that CST-100 always was to launch with one SRB. Weight issues caused the possible addition of a second SRB but they said they want to get back to one SRB.

SpaceX landing under parachutes with propulsive cushioning was suggested by SpaceX and they mentioned that propulsion failing would make the landing as hard as Soyuz landing, but not threaten the astronauts life. As hard as Soyuz with or without those thruster pods, I don't know. Those pods have failed occasionally and crew survived though with some injuries. I remember SpaceX claimed no injuries though hard when propulsion fails.

No, it's now 2 SRBs but even that was not enough as they had to find ways to cut down on the weight of the CST-100 Starliner.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: guckyfan on 09/02/2016 09:20 PM
No, it's now 2 SRB but even that was not enough as they had to find ways to cut down on the weight of the CST-100 Starliner.

OK, thanks. But there was always at least one SRB in the mix, correct? So they would always had to size the LAS for SRB, not a major change in this by using two.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 09/03/2016 01:10 AM
Can SpaceX launch the F9FT without propellant densification and take the hit on performance?  It isn't like the latest version of the F9 needs it's full performance to put a DragonV2 into orbit. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 09/03/2016 02:12 AM
Can SpaceX launch the F9FT without propellant densification and take the hit on performance?  It isn't like the latest version of the F9 needs it's full performance to put a DragonV2 into orbit. 
Are you thinking they might have to, if the fault is found to be densification related?  Or ?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 09/03/2016 03:31 AM
Can SpaceX launch the F9FT without propellant densification and take the hit on performance?  It isn't like the latest version of the F9 needs it's full performance to put a DragonV2 into orbit. 
Are you thinking they might have to, if the fault is found to be densification related?  Or ?

It is that currently SpaceX is planning to do propellant load after the astronauts are loaded on-board the F9.  From my understanding this sequence of having the astronauts load before propellant is loaded, is required because with densification the propellant has to be loaded very close to the launch window.

After this latest incident, I would hazard to guess that NASA is even less thrilled by the sequence of having the astronauts on-board during the propellant load. However if you remove densification then the astronauts can load after the propellant is loaded.  That was my thinking by asking if the latest version of the F9 can launch without densification as a extra safety measure for manned missions.  Even though everyone is fairly confident that the LAS would have pulled the Dragon off the stack in-time if their was a pad issue, however nobody really wants to test this theory. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 09/03/2016 05:59 AM
I'm not really sure which is safer. Loading the crew with the vehicle fully fueled puts a lot of people at risk. Vehicles have exploded after they have been fueled, although this is less likely to occur after propellant loading. The LAS can not be armed while loading the crew and thus the crew are not safe until the check out crew have left and the LAS armed.

However, loading the crew before fueling has the least risk for the closeout crew and the crew themselves. Once the closeout crew have left, the LAS can be armed and propellant loading commences.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 09/03/2016 02:27 PM
I'm not really sure which is safer. Loading the crew with the vehicle fully fueled puts a lot of people at risk. Vehicles have exploded after they have been fueled, although this is less likely to occur after propellant loading. The LAS can not be armed while loading the crew and thus the crew are not safe until the check out crew have left and the LAS armed.

However, loading the crew before fueling has the least risk for the closeout crew and the crew themselves. Once the closeout crew have left, the LAS can be armed and propellant loading commences.

I am really not arguing one way our another which is safer.  It is really more about what is NASA more comfortable with and traditionally on their crewed launched vehicles, the propellant was loaded and then the crewed boarded.  Which is the same sequence for the Atlas-V and CST-100, it would be the F9 and Dragon that would deviate from this. 

Which is why I asked the question about the F9 not using propellant densification for Dragon crewed launches.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 09/03/2016 04:15 PM
If you trust your launch abort system, it makes sense to me to load the propellents after. Get the crew safety in the vehicle and they'll be okay. I wouldn't want people caught on the pad, but not in the vehicle when something went wrong because then the launch abort system is useless.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 09/03/2016 05:23 PM
If you trust your launch abort system, it makes sense to me to load the propellents after. Get the crew safety in the vehicle and they'll be okay. I wouldn't want people caught on the pad, but not in the vehicle when something went wrong because then the launch abort system is useless.

The loading of propellant after the crew was loaded was noted as a risk by NASA and is noted in the GAO report as a risk.  As you can see from below, SpaceX obviously disagrees because it noted  exactly what you did, that by loading propellant afterwards you minimize personnel around a fully fueled rocket.  However I suspect that after this latest incident, NASA is going to have even more reason to want the crew loaded after the propellant and NASA is the customer.   As I noted above I am not trying to argue one way our another, which way is safer.

Which brings me back to my original question, Can SpaceX simply launch the F9 without densified propellant and make one of their most important  customer's happy?  Does anyone want to see the Commercial crew program delayed because SpaceX and NASA are arguing about propellant loading sequences? 

As a IT project manager I have dealt with several times during projects that sometimes you can have disagreements about the best method for a certain task.  At some point it is better to just accept a change that is being pushed by a key customer/resource etc. regardless of the merit as long as it doesn't alter the outcome.  You basically compromise in the interests of project so you can keep project on track and on schedule.  Even though you know you are correct, but you accept the change and move on. 

http://gao.gov/assets/680/676179.pdf (http://gao.gov/assets/680/676179.pdf)

Quote
SpaceX’s launch vehicle, the Falcon 9, has
been upgraded to improve its performance
by increasing engine thrust and using densified
propellants. Among the risks associated with the
upgraded vehicle is SpaceX’s planned concept of
operations for launching using densified
propellants. SpaceX plans to load crew into the
Dragon and then fuel the rocket to keep the
densified propellants chilled. The program has
reported that loading the crew prior to the
propellant is a potential safety risk. SpaceX
stated that its approach will improve safety
by minimizing personnel exposure to a fueled
rocket. It has also identified safety and hazard
controls to mitigate any risks associated with
this approach.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 09/03/2016 05:50 PM
More delays:

Quote from: OIG
The Commercial Crew Program continues to face multiple challenges that will likely delay the first routine flight carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS until late 2018 – more than 3 years after NASA’s original 2015 goal. While past funding shortfalls have contributed to the delay, technical challenges with the contractors’ spacecraft designs are now driving the schedule slippages. For Boeing, these include issues relating to the effects of vibrations generated during launch and challenges regarding vehicle mass. For SpaceX, delays resulted from a change in capsule design to enable a water-based rather than ground-based landing and related concerns about the capsule taking on excessive water.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf

For those who haven't read it yet, this report has complete lists of the Boeing and SpaceX milestones (including those added after the original contract) as of June 2016 with their original and expected completion dates (so the dates are already off pretty badly a few months later, the report still shows a late 2016 date for SpaceX uncrewed flight).  There is also a complete table of NASA's payments for Soyuz seats.

A few things from the report:
Quote
Boeing’s CCtCap contract initially included 23 milestones ranging from the establishment of an original requirements baseline to the final vehicle certification. Within the first 2 years of the contract, Boeing and NASA modified the contract to separate three of the milestones into multiple segments, replace one milestone, and add seven milestones related to NASA-imposed software upgrades, landing qualification tests, and hardware modifications.18 These modifications increased the number of milestones to 34 and the total contract value by approximately $46 million. As of June 2016, Boeing had completed 15 of the 34 milestones (44 percent) necessary to achieve certification and was scheduled to receive up to $1.067 billion (25 percent) of the total contract value in payment.

Quote
SpaceX’s CCtCap contract initially included 18 milestones ranging from establishment of the original requirements baseline to final vehicle certification. During the first year of the contract, SpaceX and NASA agreed to separate SpaceX’s Propulsion Module Testing and Critical Design Review into multiple segments, which increased the total milestones to 21.20 As of June 2016, SpaceX had completed eight milestones (38 percent), five less than planned under the original schedule, and received $469 million (18 percent) of the total contract value.

Quote
NASA Program officials anticipate SpaceX will encounter additional delays on the path to certification. For example, in January 2015, the tunnel that provides a passageway for astronauts and cargo between the Dragon and the ISS was reported to have cracked during the heat treatment phase of the manufacturing process. As a result, SpaceX delayed qualification testing by approximately one year to better align the tests as SpaceX moves toward certification. SpaceX has also experienced ongoing issues with stress fractures in turbopumps that must be resolved prior to flight.

Quote
Propulsive Descent Test Complete. This test of the Pad Abort Test Vehicle to perform controlled propulsive burns in a dynamic environment was completed in December 2015 after a 3-month delay.
I guess this was the tethered testing, was never really sure what this milestone meant.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 09/03/2016 06:08 PM
However I suspect that after this latest incident, NASA is going to have even more reason to want the crew loaded after the propellant and NASA is the customer.   

I think the reaction to this event will be the opposite. All the evidence we have (including Elon Musk's comments on twitter) indicate that Crew Dragon would have gotten away and this explosion was pretty fast.

To your other point, I don't think SpaceX is going away from densified propellents. It factors to heavily in to their reusability plans. So, NASA will work with SpaceX on it until they are happy. However, I don't see NASA forcing SpaceX to go away from densified propellents.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yoram on 09/03/2016 06:10 PM
Is it known why SpaceX switched to water based landing for D2?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/03/2016 06:20 PM
Is it known why SpaceX switched to water based landing for D2?
A reliable proven system.

Parachute with propulsion cushioning on land and full propulsive landing are going to take a while to develop. Both really need to be proven reliable with multiple cargo flights.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 09/03/2016 07:23 PM
However I suspect that after this latest incident, NASA is going to have even more reason to want the crew loaded after the propellant and NASA is the customer.   

I think the reaction to this event will be the opposite. All the evidence we have (including Elon Musk's comments on twitter) indicate that Crew Dragon would have gotten away and this explosion was pretty fast.

To your other point, I don't think SpaceX is going away from densified propellents. It factors to heavily in to their reusability plans. So, NASA will work with SpaceX on it until they are happy. However, I don't see NASA forcing SpaceX to go away from densified propellents.

We are getting off track from the original question. 

Can the latest version of the F9 launch without using densified propellant?  I am not really interested in debating about whether our not the astronauts should board before after our before propellant loading. 

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 09/03/2016 08:12 PM
Is it known why SpaceX switched to water based landing for D2?

It was mandated by NASA for early missions.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: the_other_Doug on 09/04/2016 04:50 AM
We are getting off track from the original question. 

Can the latest version of the F9 launch without using densified propellant?  I am not really interested in debating about whether our not the astronauts should board before after our before propellant loading.

Gut response -- maybe, but possibly not at all.

First off, the prop loading setup now deep-chills both LOX and RP-1.  Is it possible to bypass the deep coolers at this point?  Depending on how they are installed, perhaps not.  I seriously doubt it's as simple as "well, just turn off the refrigeration."

Second, the turbopumps, pressurization systems, etc., have now been optimized for the deep-chilled propellants.  Will everything work fine without the deep cooling?  Maybe, but possibly not.

Finally, the main reason for propellant densification via deep-cooling was, and is, to be able to load more prop on the bird.  With less prop, you get less total energy out of your rocket.  Will it still put Dragon 2 into orbit?  Maybe -- while F9-FT+ (the most recent tweak) has plenty of power to get Dragon 2 into orbit, a reduced prop load may not.  Or, it may, but without enough reserves to allow for first stage recovery.

Sorry, I'm not one of the experts, like Jim or Lou, but those seem to me to be the logical possibilities...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 09/04/2016 11:08 PM
We are getting off track from the original question. 

Can the latest version of the F9 launch without using densified propellant?  I am not really interested in debating about whether our not the astronauts should board before after our before propellant loading.

Gut response -- maybe, but possibly not at all.

First off, the prop loading setup now deep-chills both LOX and RP-1.  Is it possible to bypass the deep coolers at this point?  Depending on how they are installed, perhaps not.  I seriously doubt it's as simple as "well, just turn off the refrigeration."

It could be just as simple as turning off the Nitrogen subcooler.  Since it is just a heat-exchanger, you just let the propellant run through the heat exchanger without cooling it any further. 


Second, the turbopumps, pressurization systems, etc., have now been optimized for the deep-chilled propellants.  Will everything work fine without the deep cooling?  Maybe, but possibly not.

From what I understand the Merlin 1D engines on the F9v1.1 on the latest version of the F9 are essentially the same engines, just the engine is passing more propellant to support the greater thrust.  The Merlin Vacuum on the 2nd stage also has a bigger engine bell. 

Finally, the main reason for propellant densification via deep-cooling was, and is, to be able to load more prop on the bird.  With less prop, you get less total energy out of your rocket.  Will it still put Dragon 2 into orbit?  Maybe -- while F9-FT+ (the most recent tweak) has plenty of power to get Dragon 2 into orbit, a reduced prop load may not.  Or, it may, but without enough reserves to allow for first stage recovery.

Sorry, I'm not one of the experts, like Jim or Lou, but those seem to me to be the logical possibilities...

The 1st stage for the F9FT has a smaller LOX tank and a larger RP1 than the V1.1 since LOX can be made more dense.  I would hazard to guess that even with a smaller fuel load without densification that you would see maybe a 20% payload drop to LEO which would rule out a RTLS but would still allow a drone ship landing. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: the_other_Doug on 09/05/2016 04:27 PM
Good points.  But, let's cut to the chase...

If what we're really talking about is whether or not using super-cooled LOX and RP-1 mandates fueling after the crew is on board during a crewed Dragon launch, then let's look at the impact of loading props and then loading crew.

First off, SpaceX is reportedly working on procedures that let them sit through extended pad holds and maintain the super-cooled props, so there may not even be a question as to whether or not you would have time after prop loading to load the crew.  This will sort itself out over the RTF process, I imagine -- especially if anything about these new procedures contributed to the loss of the AMOS-6 launcher.  So, this might not prove to be the timing problem you might expect in re using super-cooled props.

But even then, let's say we are looking at avoiding problems that may occur during prop loading, and you don't want your crew on the spacecraft at the time when the AMOS-6 anomaly occurred.  Fine, let's look at it.

As it stands now, there is no pad crew near the launcher during prop loading.  If an incident occurs at this point in launch prep, the closest humans are a couple of miles away.  To maintain this safety factor and still load props before crew, you would need to:

1.  Evacuate the pad

2.  Load props

3.  Verify, to the best of your ability, the stability of the loaded vehicle

4.  Bring the crew and the white room personnel back to the pad

5.  Load the crew

6.  Perform final onboard launch readiness checks while support personnel evacuate

7.  Launch

I submit that the prop-loaded vehicle is intrinsically more dangerous to be working around, and that steps 4 and 5 expose white room workers, and anyone else who needs to be on or around the pad until after the crew is loaded and the white room is closed out, to a significantly greater risk than if prop is loaded after crew load.

The crew is intrinsically more safe, in that their LAS can be armed and ready from the beginning of prop load, if they are in the vehicle during prop load.  If an incident occurs in step 4 or 5 above for a post-prop-load crew ingress, the crew is not sealed inside the spacecraft, with an active escape option.  I submit this makes the crew actively safer, not to mention the white room crew, et. al., if prop loading happens after crew loading.

And as we saw last week, if something goes south on one of these boosters, it will likely not give you time to run to a slidewire...  :(
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 09/05/2016 11:10 PM

I submit that the prop-loaded vehicle is intrinsically more dangerous to be working around, and that steps 4 and 5 expose white room workers, and anyone else who needs to be on or around the pad until after the crew is loaded and the white room is closed out, to a significantly greater risk than if prop is loaded after crew load.

The crew is intrinsically more safe, in that their LAS can be armed and ready from the beginning of prop load, if they are in the vehicle during prop load.  If an incident occurs in step 4 or 5 above for a post-prop-load crew ingress, the crew is not sealed inside the spacecraft, with an active escape option.  I submit this makes the crew actively safer, not to mention the white room crew, et. al., if prop loading happens after crew loading.

And as we saw last week, if something goes south on one of these boosters, it will likely not give you time to run to a slidewire...  :(

I don't disagree, but does it really matter what we think?  No it doesn't.  What matters is what the NASA wants and if NASA thinks that it is safer to load propellant before the astronauts board the spacecraft then that is what they are going to push for.  I have a feeling, the anomaly last week isn't going to make NASA feel any safer about propellant loading with the crew on-board. 

So if NASA insists on propellant loading being done before the crew board, were does that leave SpaceX and the Commercial Crew contract?  I have a feeling that their has to be a option for SpaceX to do propellant loading before the crew boards.  I wouldn't think that NASA would insist on something from SpaceX that they cannot technically do and SpaceX wouldn't put themselves in a corner with no options by designing the latest version of the F9 so it can only use densified propellant.  However you never know. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 09/05/2016 11:19 PM
I would expect SpaceX to just say no. They have good reason for the order they want to do it in.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 09/05/2016 11:55 PM
I would expect SpaceX to just say no. They have good reason for the order they want to do it in.

I would expect that NASA also has a good reason for the order they want it in also.  Who has more experience with manned space launch, NASA or SpaceX?  If SpaceX say's no, can NASA cancel the commercial crew contract with SpaceX and go down to one provider?  I wouldn't expect that NASA would not get much push back from Congress if they made this decision.  Even If if meant more money for Soyuz seats. 

"Yes Mr. Congressmen, we felt that SpaceX was insisting on implementing un-safe manned launch procedures based on our 5+ decades of experience.  We couldn't come to a resolution and we felt it was best to cancel the contract with SpaceX and go down to one provider.  We are not going to expose NASA astronauts to a un-safe launch system." 

You would then see a bunch of heads nodding on the Science and technology panel. 

SpaceX and NASA are heavily entwined and SpaceX needs be on NASA's good side if they are going to Mars.  If NASA wanted to they could make SpaceX's life very difficult for any of their plans for BEO exploration.  SpaceX cannot afford to make NASA upset by just saying No.  That isn't a good way to keep your #1 customer business.  Especially if you are wanting to use their communication network to land a Dragon on Mars. 

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 09/05/2016 11:57 PM
SpaceX can now run simulations/games of the two loading people and propellant scenarios with NASA's safety people and ask the question "Which one leads to the fewest deaths with this accident?"

Allow time for the bureaucracy to make up its mind.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Prober on 09/06/2016 12:04 AM
However I suspect that after this latest incident, NASA is going to have even more reason to want the crew loaded after the propellant and NASA is the customer.   

I think the reaction to this event will be the opposite. All the evidence we have (including Elon Musk's comments on twitter) indicate that Crew Dragon would have gotten away and this explosion was pretty fast.

To your other point, I don't think SpaceX is going away from densified propellents. It factors to heavily in to their reusability plans. So, NASA will work with SpaceX on it until they are happy. However, I don't see NASA forcing SpaceX to go away from densified propellents.

We are getting off track from the original question.


Can the latest version of the F9 launch without using densified propellant?  I am not really interested in debating about whether our not the astronauts should board before after our before propellant loading.


Who is the customer, and what is the real mission objective?


Remember a short time ago the F9 was made up of two models one disposable and one recoverable.   The secondary mission (recovery) isn't necessarily for the main mission is it?



Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 09/06/2016 12:22 AM


Who is the customer, and what is the real mission objective?


Remember a short time ago the F9 was made up of two models one disposable and one recoverable.   The secondary mission (recovery) isn't necessarily for the main mission is it?

The customer is NASA for Commercial Crew launches. 

Assumptions

NASA doesn't want propellant load started while astronauts are on-board the Dragon (Topping off is fine).   

Because of propellant densification SpaceX cannot support loading of the astronauts after the propellant load is completed. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: eric z on 09/06/2016 12:52 AM
 Now that I'm somehow a "Full Member", and very proud of the honor!, could I ask a dumb question? Isn't it really late in the game for NASA and SpaceX to be unsettled about stuff like this?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 09/06/2016 02:13 PM
McAlister didn't make a big deal about densified propellant. He just said that NASA needed more data to get confortable with it.

Same thing goes for land landings. Incidentally, we don't know that NASA mandated water landing. We just know that SpaceX decided to go with water landings at first. We speculate that this is because of NASA's relaunctance with propulsive landing (without more data on it) but we don't know that for a fact.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 09/06/2016 04:12 PM
More delays:

Quote from: OIG
The Commercial Crew Program continues to face multiple challenges that will likely delay the first routine flight carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS until late 2018 – more than 3 years after NASA’s original 2015 goal. While past funding shortfalls have contributed to the delay, technical challenges with the contractors’ spacecraft designs are now driving the schedule slippages. For Boeing, these include issues relating to the effects of vibrations generated during launch and challenges regarding vehicle mass. For SpaceX, delays resulted from a change in capsule design to enable a water-based rather than ground-based landing and related concerns about the capsule taking on excessive water.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf
And the delayed write-up by SN: http://spacenews.com/report-warns-of-additional-commercial-crew-delays/

By the sound of it is primarily the NASA mandated switch to ocean landings that is causing much trouble for SpaceX. It is what drove the addition of a fourth parachute and the associated additional drop testing, as well as having a lot of components changed to withstand a (sustained) wet landing.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 09/06/2016 06:13 PM
More delays:

Quote from: OIG
The Commercial Crew Program continues to face multiple challenges that will likely delay the first routine flight carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS until late 2018 – more than 3 years after NASA’s original 2015 goal. While past funding shortfalls have contributed to the delay, technical challenges with the contractors’ spacecraft designs are now driving the schedule slippages. For Boeing, these include issues relating to the effects of vibrations generated during launch and challenges regarding vehicle mass. For SpaceX, delays resulted from a change in capsule design to enable a water-based rather than ground-based landing and related concerns about the capsule taking on excessive water.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf
And the delayed write-up by SN: http://spacenews.com/report-warns-of-additional-commercial-crew-delays/

By the sound of it is primarily the NASA mandated switch to ocean landings that is causing much trouble for SpaceX. It is what drove the addition of a fourth parachute and the associated additional drop testing, as well as having a lot of components changed to withstand a (sustained) wet landing.

Nothing mandated about it. SpaceX's aborts always assumed ocean landing.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: GalacticIntruder on 09/06/2016 06:25 PM
Landing in the ocean for an extremely rare emergency is not the same as nominal landings that SpX assumed would be on land. And SpaceX wants to reuse as much of the craft possible, if not the whole thing. Salt Water adds to the problems for that, and creates more issues. And the ocean logistics are added costs.  Imagine how easier life would be if they were allowed to land at CC, KSC, or even SSA.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 09/06/2016 06:35 PM
Landing in the ocean for an extremely rare emergency is not the same as nominal landings.

Yes, but they still have to be adequately addressed.

It means safe water landings are a necessity for the system while land landings are a luxury. Safety will always drive schedule ahead of savings.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 09/06/2016 07:19 PM
Yes, but if it's an abort, loss or damage of the Dragon's equipment is ok. Water leaking into the part that used to be flooded every time? No problem. The capsule is a writeoff anyway.  On the other hand if it's part of the CONOPS, then leaking isn't OK and must be prevented. Even if that means redesigns.

So yes, switching to primary water landings might be the cause of delay. I believe that's the point Galacticintruder was making.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 09/07/2016 01:23 PM
More delays:

Quote from: OIG
The Commercial Crew Program continues to face multiple challenges that will likely delay the first routine flight carrying NASA astronauts to the ISS until late 2018 – more than 3 years after NASA’s original 2015 goal. While past funding shortfalls have contributed to the delay, technical challenges with the contractors’ spacecraft designs are now driving the schedule slippages. For Boeing, these include issues relating to the effects of vibrations generated during launch and challenges regarding vehicle mass. For SpaceX, delays resulted from a change in capsule design to enable a water-based rather than ground-based landing and related concerns about the capsule taking on excessive water.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf (https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-028.pdf)
And the delayed write-up by SN: http://spacenews.com/report-warns-of-additional-commercial-crew-delays/ (http://spacenews.com/report-warns-of-additional-commercial-crew-delays/)

By the sound of it is primarily the NASA mandated switch to ocean landings that is causing much trouble for SpaceX. It is what drove the addition of a fourth parachute and the associated additional drop testing, as well as having a lot of components changed to withstand a (sustained) wet landing.

Nothing mandated about it. SpaceX's aborts always assumed ocean landing.
Emphasis mine. Correct.

BUT...

In the event of an abort the capsule would be in the water for a short time only and the crew probably even shorter given that the capsule lands close to shore and rescue units are close by and on standby during the launch.

In case of an return-from-orbit  things get quite different. In that situation the capsule can be in the water for an extended period of time, particularly when an off-nominal landing occurs or an emergency return (Gemini 8 scenario) is necessary. IMO it is the requirements for an extended stay in the water that drove the trouble for SpaceX. Under the original proposition for CCP the Dragon 2 would land on land primarily with "wet" landings only happening in case of an abort during launch (short duration).
However, NASA did not feel comfortable with propulsively assisted land landings and mandated a different landing technique on land (but Dragon 2 can't do a CST-100 style land landing) or a switch to ocean landings. The latter is what happened, but this switch did not happen until after NASA selected SpaceX as the second CCP competitor. So basically, NASA threw a wrench in the SpaceX plans for the preferred landing method. That, naturally, will lead to delays given that the design of Dragon 2 will have to be changed, requiring one-or-more additional delta CDR's. The earth landing system has to modified as well, with additional requalification required. Etc, etc.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: vt_hokie on 09/07/2016 02:45 PM


In the event of an abort the capsule would be in the water for a short time only and the crew probably even shorter given that the capsule lands close to shore and rescue units are close by and on standby during the launch.

In the case of a launch pad abort, but what about an abort late in the ascent?

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Zed_Noir on 09/07/2016 11:55 PM


In the event of an abort the capsule would be in the water for a short time only and the crew probably even shorter given that the capsule lands close to shore and rescue units are close by and on standby during the launch.

In the case of a launch pad abort, but what about an abort late in the ascent?

Hope the USN & USCG recovery ships pre-deployed along the flight ascent path is close enough for Oceanic pickup in several hours. Or any nearby ships capable of mounting a rescue for that matter.

Alternately load up a C-17 cargo jet to airdrop recovery equipment and deployed para-rescue personnel for middle of the ocean recovery. Before a recovery ship gets there.

Basically crew recovery from late ascent abort is a bit iffy. You need the recovery asserts be able to get to the landed vehicle in a reasonable amount of time. But the Ocean is big, fast Naval ships is able to move about 45 to 55 km per hour.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: guckyfan on 09/08/2016 06:46 AM
I have missed, where the concerns about water landing comes from. Cargo Dragon always lands in water and early problems with water intrusion have long been solved.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 09/08/2016 08:34 AM
I have missed, where the concerns about water landing comes from. Cargo Dragon always lands in water and early problems with water intrusion have long been solved.
The problems are not with water entering the pressure hull. As you say that's been solved given the experience with early cargo Dragon landings. The current problems with water taking out (shorting out) systems outside the pressure hull. Systems that need to function for an extended amount of time in the case of ocean landings. Think ECLSS, communications, etc.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 09/30/2016 12:40 AM
NASA is considering buying Soyuz seats in 2019:
http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/09/nasa-officials-mulling-the-possibility-of-purchasing-soyuz-seats-for-2019/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 09/30/2016 12:53 AM
"this is the last year, really. We mean it now"

Does anyone still remember when post-Shuttle gap was going to be a big deal and Adm. Craig Steidle's CEV spiral development for fly-offs was called "too slow" and brushed out?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/30/2016 01:18 AM
"this is the last year, really. We mean it now"

Does anyone still remember when post-Shuttle gap was going to be a big deal and Adm. Craig Steidle's CEV spiral development for fly-offs was called "too slow" and brushed out?

Yes. But seriousness, HSF, and the Congress haven't ever been a good combination for timely programs.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 09/30/2016 02:51 AM
"this is the last year, really. We mean it now"

Does anyone still remember when post-Shuttle gap was going to be a big deal and Adm. Craig Steidle's CEV spiral development for fly-offs was called "too slow" and brushed out?

Yes. But seriousness, HSF, and the Congress haven't ever been a good combination for timely programs.
Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, STS weren't nearly as bad.
I think something very important has gotten lost in the 80-90 wave of aerospace consolidations, and there is a continuity gap in rebuilding the collective organizational and technical skills to do anything.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: okan170 on 09/30/2016 03:37 AM
Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, STS weren't nearly as bad.
I think something very important has gotten lost in the 80-90 wave of aerospace consolidations, and there is a continuity gap in rebuilding the collective organizational and technical skills to do anything.

I wonder if it could be a combination of this (getting used to building a HSF craft in their current form) and congress' current allergy to providing funding bumps to the beginning of projects, sticking to flat budgets.  (Or sequester spending.)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 09/30/2016 05:56 PM
"this is the last year, really. We mean it now"

Does anyone still remember when post-Shuttle gap was going to be a big deal and Adm. Craig Steidle's CEV spiral development for fly-offs was called "too slow" and brushed out?

Yes. But seriousness, HSF, and the Congress haven't ever been a good combination for timely programs.
Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, STS weren't nearly as bad.
I think something very important has gotten lost in the 80-90 wave of aerospace consolidations, and there is a continuity gap in rebuilding the collective organizational and technical skills to do anything.

Don't get me started on the whole Cap Weinberger debacle. In short a reductionist nightmare intent on reinforcing  defense strengths through creative destruction that had no creative only destruction. Weakened America. Bad.

Programs cited were to win perceived "soft power" NS "battles" - which they did by traditional American "overwhelm and devastate" overkill, something we/"arsenal system" is good at. However the Shuttle was a turning point.

The reason was that it was, like Weinberger, an attempt to gain an enduring global economic advantage over others. Which the "arsenal system" couldn't ever do no matter what you'd provide them with (time/resources). Because the basics of how it works is to ignore economics and go straight for the jugular.

Compare F9/ITS in broad strokes, not detail. Stands in contrast to this past.

Now, Congress is still attempting to "re-litigate" Shuttle with SLS. Same failings. Whatever you do, however it gets done ... it will need to follow more the F9/ITS "design pattern" if you want that success. And just as Bush II tried to relitigate the "Vietnam war lesson" to change American defense posture with Iraq/Afghanistan,  we ended up relearning the same lesson all over again.

Suggest this is why Congress screws up so much on these issues. They can't/don't want to learn, and want to pay for another reality. Costly and inconclusive. A form of "bargaining" with a future not going their way. Never will.

Now we don't really know what NS "soft power" means with HSF right now - rather muddy. Comes from having as a nation out head collectively up its ... well, you get the picture. Perhaps intestinal output is source of "mud"?

Clearly colonization is not America's answer to NS "soft power". But something with HSF might be. Can the dimwit policy makers get smart and channel American advantage into an enduring "soft power" strength? Somehow?

That would bring back the speed and efficiency of addressing Congress's ability to make those decisions better/faster/cheaper.

Or perhaps there is no NS "soft power" need anymore? And the China thing is a fantasy political debating point, used to scare voters on demand? If so then you'll never see sane policy, because at its root it's "insane" ...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Dante80 on 10/11/2016 08:04 PM
 Boeing delays Starliner again, casting doubt on commercial flights in 2018 (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/10/boeing-delays-starliner-again-casting-doubt-on-commercial-flights-in-2018/)

Quote
After an initial delay (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/05/boeings-first-flight-slips-its-now-up-to-spacex-to-wean-nasa-off-russia/) from late 2017 into early 2018, Boeing has acknowledged a second slippage of its schedule for the first commercial crew flights of its Starliner spacecraft. According to a report (http://aviationweek.com/space/boeing-delays-cst-100-still-targets-2018-iss-mission) in Aviation Week, the company now says it will not be ready to begin operational flights until December 2018, a full year after NASA had originally hoped its commercial crew providers would be ready.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Navier–Stokes on 10/11/2016 09:05 PM
Boeing delays Starliner again, casting doubt on commercial flights in 2018 (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/10/boeing-delays-starliner-again-casting-doubt-on-commercial-flights-in-2018/)
Quote
Boeing's second delay appears to have been caused by supply chain issues and other factors, which Boeing Program Manager for Commercial Crew John Mulholland said have been largely resolved.
Guy Norris's article Aviation Week article includes additional information (well worth creating a free account if you don't already have one). According to the primary source, the schedule shift is driven by supply chain production delays, a production flaw that scrapped the lower dome of the crew module pressure shell for Spacecraft 2, and issues with qualification tests of minor components.

Source: Boeing Delays CST-100, Still Targets 2018 ISS Mission (http://aviationweek.com/space/boeing-delays-cst-100-still-targets-2018-iss-mission?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20161011_AW-05_297&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000001204170&utm_campaign=7294&utm_medium=email&elq2=dff0d1852b37420385c52583ea2f64c0)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/11/2016 10:44 PM
Don't copy and paste copyrighted material folks. Not least material behind a paywall on Aviation Week.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: whitelancer64 on 10/11/2016 11:04 PM
Boeing delays Starliner again, casting doubt on commercial flights in 2018 (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/10/boeing-delays-starliner-again-casting-doubt-on-commercial-flights-in-2018/)
Quote
Boeing's second delay appears to have been caused by supply chain issues and other factors, which Boeing Program Manager for Commercial Crew John Mulholland said have been largely resolved.
Guy Norris's article Aviation Week article includes additional information (well worth creating a free account if you don't already have one). According to the primary source, the schedule shift is driven by supply chain production delays, a production flaw that scrapped the lower dome of the crew module pressure shell for Spacecraft 2, and issues with qualification tests fof minor components.

Source: Boeing Delays CST-100, Still Targets 2018 ISS Mission (http://aviationweek.com/space/boeing-delays-cst-100-still-targets-2018-iss-mission?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20161011_AW-05_297&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000001204170&utm_campaign=7294&utm_medium=email&elq2=dff0d1852b37420385c52583ea2f64c0)

Further information also available here:

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/10/11/boeing-delays-cst100-starliner-operational-flight-december-2018/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 10/11/2016 11:11 PM
Boeing delays Starliner again, casting doubt on commercial flights in 2018 (http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/10/boeing-delays-starliner-again-casting-doubt-on-commercial-flights-in-2018/)
Quote
Boeing's second delay appears to have been caused by supply chain issues and other factors, which Boeing Program Manager for Commercial Crew John Mulholland said have been largely resolved.
Guy Norris's article Aviation Week article includes additional information (well worth creating a free account if you don't already have one). According to the primary source, the schedule shift is driven by supply chain production delays, a production flaw that scrapped the lower dome of the crew module pressure shell for Spacecraft 2, and issues with qualification tests fof minor components.

Source: Boeing Delays CST-100, Still Targets 2018 ISS Mission (http://aviationweek.com/space/boeing-delays-cst-100-still-targets-2018-iss-mission?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20161011_AW-05_297&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000001204170&utm_campaign=7294&utm_medium=email&elq2=dff0d1852b37420385c52583ea2f64c0)

Further information also available here:

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/10/11/boeing-delays-cst100-starliner-operational-flight-december-2018/
Whenever I read scheduled December launch dates I automatically think "the upcoming new year"...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 10/12/2016 03:31 AM
With the current rate of slip of about a month for every two months, BOTE extrapolation says these things wont fly before 2020. Glad they extended ISS for a bit, although ESA hasnt voted on this yet.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 10/12/2016 06:13 PM
From Jeff Foust on twitter: (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/786242357381304320) Asked Gerst during break on access to Soyuz post-2018 for NASA; he said it’s not being discussed, still confident comm’l crew ready in ’18.

With the Boeing slip, this seems to indicate that SpaceX is still on track for 2018.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 10/12/2016 06:32 PM
Even is SpaceX slips DM-1 to late 2017 (which is probably likely) they could possibly get certified by mid-2018 (if nothing goes wrong with either demo flight).  I don't understand how NASA could hold off on buying more Soyuz seats unless they really expect SpaceX to be certified before Boeing.  You can't count on flying an actual crew rotation mission in December when the first test flight of the vehicle is in June.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 10/16/2016 04:18 AM
It seems NASA isn't looking at buying extra Soyus seats:
http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/10/13/nasa-has-no-plans-to-buy-more-soyuz-seats-and-it-may-be-too-late-anyway/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 11/01/2016 06:23 PM
Looks like the propellant load before or after the crew is loaded is still a hot topic.

Will NASA tell SpaceX, no fueling with astronauts on-board the F9?

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-idUSKBN12W4S8?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-spacex-idUSKBN12W4S8?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social)

Quote
A group of space industry experts that advises NASA has told the U.S. space agency there are safety risks in a proposal by Elon Musk's SpaceX to fuel its rockets while astronauts are on board.

"This is a hazardous operation," Space Station Advisory Committee Chairman Thomas Stafford, a former NASA astronaut and retired Air Force general, said during a conference call on Monday.

Stafford said the group's concerns were heightened after an explosion of an unmanned SpaceX rocket while it was being fueled on Sept. 1.

The causes of that explosion are still under investigation.

Members of the eight-member group, which includes veterans of NASA's Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs noted that all previous rockets that have flown people into space were fueled before astronauts got to the launch pad.

"It was unanimous ... Everybody there, and particularly the people who had experience over the years, said nobody is ever near the pad when they fuel a booster,” Stafford said, referring to an earlier briefing the group had about SpaceX's proposed fueling procedure.

SpaceX needs NASA approval of its launch system before it can put astronauts into space.

In an email to Reuters sent late Monday, SpaceX said its fueling system and launch processes will be re-evaluated pending the results of the accident investigation.

SpaceX uses extremely cold liquid propellants loaded just prior to blastoff to increase the rocket's power so it can fly back to Earth and be reused.

“As needed, any additional controls will be put in place to ensure crew safety, from the moment the astronauts reach the pad, through fueling, launch, and spaceflight, and until they are brought safely home,” SpaceX said.

SpaceX said Friday that it believes a fueling system issue caused a pressurized container of helium inside the rocket’s upper stage to burst on Sept. 1, triggering a fireball that destroyed the booster and a $200 million Israeli communications satellite it was to carry into orbit two days later.

SpaceX’s passenger spaceships, which are expected to begin flying in 2018, will be outfitted with an emergency escape system that can fly the capsule away from a failing rocket before or during launch.

NASA hired SpaceX and Boeing Co to fly crews to the space station after the shuttles were retired in 2011. Since then, astronauts have been flying on Russian Soyuz capsules, at a cost of more than $70 million per person.

(Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by David Gregorio)

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Negan on 11/01/2016 07:01 PM
Looks like the propellant load before or after the crew is loaded is still a hot topic.

Will NASA tell SpaceX, no fueling with astronauts on-board the F9?

IMO Yes. They lost that battle on 9/1.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Khadgars on 11/01/2016 07:16 PM
Even is SpaceX slips DM-1 to late 2017 (which is probably likely) they could possibly get certified by mid-2018 (if nothing goes wrong with either demo flight).  I don't understand how NASA could hold off on buying more Soyuz seats unless they really expect SpaceX to be certified before Boeing.  You can't count on flying an actual crew rotation mission in December when the first test flight of the vehicle is in June.

Why do you say that? 

June 2018 - Unmanned Test
August 2018 - 1st manned test
December 2018 - 1st operational flight

I imagine SpaceX is about 4-6 months ahead of this schedule even with anticipated delays.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Khadgars on 11/01/2016 07:20 PM
Looks like the propellant load before or after the crew is loaded is still a hot topic.

Will NASA tell SpaceX, no fueling with astronauts on-board the F9?

IMO Yes. They lost that battle on 9/1.

Does that imply that SpaceX will not be able to use super cooled propellants, and thus remove the possibility of returning boosters on these missions?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 11/01/2016 07:41 PM
Looks like the propellant load before or after the crew is loaded is still a hot topic.

Will NASA tell SpaceX, no fueling with astronauts on-board the F9?

IMO Yes. They lost that battle on 9/1.

Does that imply that SpaceX will not be able to use super cooled propellants, and thus remove the possibility of returning boosters on these missions?

I would say a barge landing would still be possible but a RTLS would not be possible without densified propellants.  However it all depends on the launch Mass of the DragonV2 with crew. 

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: guckyfan on 11/01/2016 09:15 PM
Using a different launch procedure for crew is just too dangerous IMO. It is an invitation to failure. With not just any LES, but SuperDraco that are designed for powered landing and the required safety limits for that there is no point in not trusting the LES.

NASA will come around in the end.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Khadgars on 11/01/2016 09:49 PM
Using a different launch procedure for crew is just too dangerous IMO. It is an invitation to failure. With not just any LES, but SuperDraco that are designed for powered landing and the required safety limits for that there is no point in not trusting the LES.

NASA will come around in the end.

I kinda disagree.  Why add an additional risk when it's not really required?  Using LES in such an event by no means guarantees the safety of the crew.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Negan on 11/02/2016 12:29 AM
Using a different launch procedure for crew is just too dangerous IMO. It is an invitation to failure.

It really shouldn't be, but yes we are talking about SpaceX here. Luckily there's Starliner.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 11/02/2016 12:50 AM
Load props after crew load and you only have 4-5 people at risk, all strapped into a TPS covered vehicle just looking for a reason to bug out and with the means to do so.

Load props first and you have 2-3 times as many people within 2 meters of a potential boomski and most have no way out if it's a fast event. Zip line? Puh-lease.

I'll take door #1.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 11/02/2016 02:25 AM
Load props after crew load and you only have 4-5 people at risk, all strapped into a TPS covered vehicle just looking for a reason to bug out and with the means to do so.

Load props first and you have 2-3 times as many people within 2 meters of a potential boomski and most have no way out if it's a fast event. Zip line? Puh-lease.

I'll take door #1.

For some reason loading propellants first has been the established standard for decades.  Not saying just because it has been done this way for decades is a good reason to continue doing it the same way.   

So is the push back against loading propellants after the astronauts are loaded just institutional inertia on the part of NASA?  Or is there another reason that isn't apparent to us outside the industry? 

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 11/02/2016 02:31 AM
Just how many rockets have blown up on the pad after propellant loading complete?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Tev on 11/02/2016 05:43 AM
Looks like the propellant load before or after the crew is loaded is still a hot topic.

Will NASA tell SpaceX, no fueling with astronauts on-board the F9?

IMO Yes. They lost that battle on 9/1.

What? Isn't 9/1 actually argument for loading props AFTER everybody is away from the kaboom machine, and astronauts in capsule with LAS ready?

Using a different launch procedure for crew is just too dangerous IMO. It is an invitation to failure. With not just any LES, but SuperDraco that are designed for powered landing and the required safety limits for that there is no point in not trusting the LES.

NASA will come around in the end.

I kinda disagree.  Why add an additional risk when it's not really required?  Using LES in such an event by no means guarantees the safety of the crew.

If I understand you correctly, you assume the rocket is unlikely to go boom between completing prop load and start of the launch sequence, less so than something going wrong in the case of LES event.

Why? Sept. event showed that even in historically "safe" procedures there's still plenty of risk, especially for this relatively young, envelope pushing company, so there still might be some surprises . . . but which parts of LES event are more failure-prone than the (apparently) fragile rocket?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 11/02/2016 06:07 AM
Looks like the propellant load before or after the crew is loaded is still a hot topic.

Will NASA tell SpaceX, no fueling with astronauts on-board the F9?

IMO Yes. They lost that battle on 9/1.
I can't think of anything in particular that happened re SpaceX in January. Do you mean this year? What are you referring to?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: b0objunior on 11/02/2016 06:14 AM
Looks like the propellant load before or after the crew is loaded is still a hot topic.

Will NASA tell SpaceX, no fueling with astronauts on-board the F9?

IMO Yes. They lost that battle on 9/1.
I can't think of anything in particular that happened re SpaceX in January. Do you mean this year? What are you referring to?
I'm not sure if you are sarcastic or what?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 11/02/2016 06:17 AM
Looks like the propellant load before or after the crew is loaded is still a hot topic.

Will NASA tell SpaceX, no fueling with astronauts on-board the F9?

IMO Yes. They lost that battle on 9/1.
I can't think of anything in particular that happened re SpaceX in January. Do you mean this year? What are you referring to?
I'm not sure if you are sarcastic or what?
? How does sarcasm come into this? What event happened on the 9th of January? I genuinely can't think of anything. Am I missing something obvious?

EDIT: ah, hang on, caught out again by crazy American date notation. Amos 6 RUD it is.... I do wish people would use sensible date notations on an international forum.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Thorny on 11/02/2016 12:24 PM
EDIT: ah, hang on, caught out again by crazy American date notation. Amos 6 RUD it is.... I do wish people would use sensible date notations on an international forum.

When you tell someone your birthday, do you tell them your birthday is January 9th or 9th January?
If you say "January 9th" like most people do, then the numeric should be 1/9, not 9/1.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 11/02/2016 01:52 PM
EDIT: ah, hang on, caught out again by crazy American date notation. Amos 6 RUD it is.... I do wish people would use sensible date notations on an international forum.

When you tell someone your birthday, do you tell them your birthday is January 9th or 9th January?
If you say "January 9th" like most people do, then the numeric should be 1/9, not 9/1.

Let's move past the date format discussion and get back to discussing Commercial Crew.   8)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Negan on 11/02/2016 01:53 PM
LES is a system of last resort. I highly doubt it will play into NASA's decision. History on the other hand very well might and history after 9/1 changed dramatically.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 11/02/2016 02:31 PM
EDIT: ah, hang on, caught out again by crazy American date notation. Amos 6 RUD it is.... I do wish people would use sensible date notations on an international forum.

When you tell someone your birthday, do you tell them your birthday is January 9th or 9th January?
If you say "January 9th" like most people do, then the numeric should be 1/9, not 9/1.
Like everyone else around here in the UK, the latter. But let's not get into this debate. Only thing to say is that people should use unambiguous date formats.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Dante80 on 11/02/2016 06:10 PM
Just how many rockets have blown up on the pad after propellant loading complete?

The Nedelin Catastrophe springs to mind.

Regarding the subject at hand, I am not sure how this would be solved really. I don't know whether SpaceX can even fly v1.2 without densified propellants (the rocket and the engines must have changed to use those from v1.1, I think it is not that simple as loading warmer propellants and letting go).

I also don't think that SpaceX would care to bring back v1.1 for this, or start producing two separate versions of v1.2.

This makes me think btw. Could the fueling procedure changes for Amos-6 have anything to do with NASAs desire to have the astronauts enter after fueling? It has been speculated that SpaceX was trying to refine their fueling procedures so that they could catch tough launch windows and recycle when encountering a problem instead of scrubbing. Is there any chance that the CC fueling procedure requirements were related with what SpaceX was trying to do/test?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 11/02/2016 09:06 PM
The Nedelin Catastrophe springs to mind.

Regarding the subject at hand, I am not sure how this would be solved really. I don't know whether SpaceX can even fly v1.2 without densified propellants (the rocket and the engines must have changed to use those from v1.1, I think it is not that simple as loading warmer propellants and letting go).


We do know that there was changes to the LV, physically.  However I am not sure that there was actual physical changes to the engines beyond the larger exhaust nozzle for the 2nd stage.  They just seem to be running the engines at a higher thrust level.  That in itself wouldn't seem to require the use of densified propellant. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lars-J on 11/02/2016 10:41 PM
LES is a system of last resort. I highly doubt it will play into NASA's decision. History on the other hand very well might and history after 9/1 changed dramatically.

History changed? A little over the top, I think, unless you have some evidence of a time traveler being involved.  ;)

It is actually a good thing that this was discovered then, and not later. More knowledge of proper helium and COPV use in certain conditions is going to ultimately benefit SpaceX (and the industry as a whole that surely are paying attention) in the long run. And once an improved F9 returns to flight, it has many flights to demonstrate safety before crews will be put on top.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 11/03/2016 05:31 AM
Load props after crew load and you only have 4-5 people at risk, all strapped into a TPS covered vehicle just looking for a reason to bug out and with the means to do so.

Load props first and you have 2-3 times as many people within 2 meters of a potential boomski and most have no way out if it's a fast event. Zip line? Puh-lease.

I'll take door #1.

For some reason loading propellants first has been the established standard for decades.  Not saying just because it has been done this way for decades is a good reason to continue doing it the same way.   

So is the push back against loading propellants after the astronauts are loaded just institutional inertia on the part of NASA?  Or is there another reason that isn't apparent to us outside the industry?

The statements in the article really seemed to lack solid logic behind them. Looking at the 2 options above, the first option needs more things to go wrong (vehicle explosion + LES failure), so it is probably better, but data I don't have would be needed to show this. Probability of a vehicle failure during the full load sequence is probably higher than just during the continual top-off operation, so it depends on the details, but I would bet on the first option still due to the multiple failures required for injury or death to occur.

Quote
"It was unanimous ... Everybody there, and particularly the people who had experience over the years, said nobody is ever near the pad when they fuel a booster,” Stafford said, referring to an earlier briefing the group had about SpaceX's proposed fueling procedure.
This statement is based on a fallacy, just because that is how it has always been done is not a good reason. It should prompt you to ask why has it always been done that way, but extrapolating that this applies to a different system (which includes LES) is not a valid analysis.

Besides, for the shuttle, they continued topping off the external tank until late in the count. Depending on the interpretation of the phrase "when they fuel the booster," the statement could be understood in a way that is simply false.

I trust that SpaceX and NASA will use actual analysis based on numbers to make this decision, and not misleading statements like that quote.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 11/03/2016 08:50 AM
Just how many rockets have blown up on the pad after propellant loading complete?

At least one Soyuz (where the crew were saved by the LAS). People would have died if the fire occurred during crew loading.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyFF4cpMVag
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Negan on 11/03/2016 03:43 PM
It should prompt you to ask why has it always been done that way

McAlister already pointed out why it was done that way before the before 9/1. It was done that way because is "a potentially hazardous operation".

Really I wouldn't even see an issue with this at all, but McAlister already made the following statement a month earlier than Amos:

We are getting more comfortable with it, but we are not yet ready to say we’re good,” McAlister said of SpaceX’s procedure. “We’re still working through that.”

NASA already made in an issue in the public eye. The only way McAlister can completely cover himself at this point is to go with the standard procedure. If something happens at that point, it would be very easy to put the blame on SpaceX for being incompetent, but if he goes the other way, he and NASA now risk taking partial blame for anything that happens because of the new procedure.

That being said if NASA is comfortable in their analysis going forward more power to them. I just see them taking a more conservative stance with this as they did with the water landings.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Negan on 11/03/2016 05:58 PM
Regarding the subject at hand, I am not sure how this would be solved really. I don't know whether SpaceX can even fly v1.2 without densified propellants (the rocket and the engines must have changed to use those from v1.1, I think it is not that simple as loading warmer propellants and letting go).

Wish the resident expert would chime in on this one.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 11/03/2016 07:53 PM
If the crew loads after the propellants doesn't that mean the closeout crews as well as Spacecraft crew are exposed to a fully fueled vehicle?
 If the crew loads before the the propellants then the closeout crew wouldn't be exposed to a fully fueled vehicle.

  It would be good to know the rational behind NASA thinking loading crew after fueling is safer than loading them before.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: baldusi on 11/03/2016 08:20 PM
If I had to make the call I would say that they are trading the fire/explosion risk of the propellant loading operation, then multiplying by the LAS failure probability (~10%) and trading against the risk of fire/explosion while crew and personnel is in the tower.
Roughly speaking, if they think that propellant loading is more than ten times riskier than fully loaded stack for whatever time it takes the crew to ingress, then they should wait until it is filled.
It would only seem logical that propellant operations would be a lot more dangerous than a rocket in non-ignited steady state.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 11/03/2016 09:18 PM
If the crew loads after the propellants doesn't that mean the closeout crews as well as Spacecraft crew are exposed to a fully fueled vehicle?
 If the crew loads before the the propellants then the closeout crew wouldn't be exposed to a fully fueled vehicle.

  It would be good to know the rational behind NASA thinking loading crew after fueling is safer than loading them before.

I do wonder how much institutional inertia is coming into play with NASA thinking around loading the crew after fueling, is safer?



Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 11/04/2016 01:21 AM
If I had to make the call I would say that they are trading the fire/explosion risk of the propellant loading operation, then multiplying by the LAS failure probability (~10%) and trading against the risk of fire/explosion while crew and personnel is in the tower.
Roughly speaking, if they think that propellant loading is more than ten times riskier than fully loaded stack for whatever time it takes the crew to ingress, then they should wait until it is filled.
It would only seem logical that propellant operations would be a lot more dangerous than a rocket in non-ignited steady state.
But 10% LAS failure rate is a /conservative/ number. To make the right decision about which is safest, you have to use the /most likely/ number. This is one case where being overly conservative can easily lead to a much less safe decision.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 11/04/2016 06:48 AM
If the crew loads after the propellants doesn't that mean the closeout crews as well as Spacecraft crew are exposed to a fully fueled vehicle?
 If the crew loads before the the propellants then the closeout crew wouldn't be exposed to a fully fueled vehicle.

  It would be good to know the rational behind NASA thinking loading crew after fueling is safer than loading them before.

I do wonder how much institutional inertia is coming into play with NASA thinking around loading the crew after fueling, is safer?




The thinking at NASA is like this: "We've done it this way since 1961, so why should we change this now?".

Well, it's exactly that kind of thinking that got the crew of Apollo 1 killed ("We've always done the plugs-out test with a 100 percent oxygen pressurized atmosphere, so why should we change that?)

And a similar unwillingness to change, or face the facts, was involved in both the Challenger and Columbia accidents.

But I digress.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Proponent on 11/05/2016 02:22 PM
If I had to make the call I would say that they are trading the fire/explosion risk of the propellant loading operation, then multiplying by the LAS failure probability (~10%) and trading against the risk of fire/explosion while crew and personnel is in the tower.
Roughly speaking, if they think that propellant loading is more than ten times riskier than fully loaded stack for whatever time it takes the crew to ingress, then they should wait until it is filled.
It would only seem logical that propellant operations would be a lot more dangerous than a rocket in non-ignited steady state.
But 10% LAS failure rate is a /conservative/ number. To make the right decision about which is safest, you have to use the /most likely/ number. This is one case where being overly conservative can easily lead to a much less safe decision.

10% may be high for the probability of a hardware failure in the launch-escape system, but what about the probability of failing to trigger it in time?  We've all seen the video of Dragon abort test superimposed on the AMOS-6 explosion, but it seems to me there is still a substantial risk of not triggering the escape soon enough.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 11/05/2016 09:06 PM
Let's get back to talking about schedule, eh?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 11/15/2016 02:59 AM
Tweet from James Dean (https://twitter.com/flatoday_jdean/status/798254229710245888)
Quote
NASA says SpaceX targets in this chart valid as of July, will be updated this week. Boeing dates more recent, updated in October.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 11/16/2016 12:18 AM
A few SpaceX notes from listening to the presentation by Kathy Lueders at the NAC HEO Committee meeting yesterday (you can find the recordings here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41630.0)).

The first round of structural tests on Crew Dragon are done, continuing with further testing.
They should do the space suit qualification next quarter.
They have their 5th parachute test scheduled for this coming Saturday.
The crew access arm is at LC-39A, they are waiting until Spring to install it so SpaceX can get the pad up and running for their other launches.
They have been doing unit testing on the ECLSS systems and are getting ready for integrated testing.

There was some discussion about the LOC risk numbers, some general discussion about the SpaceX mishap investigation (there is a team from NASA LSP that is taking an independent look at it).  The presentation is a bit long (over an hour) but probably worth listening to if you're really into the commercial crew program.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: eriblo on 11/17/2016 09:25 AM
A few SpaceX notes from listening to the presentation by Kathy Lueders at the NAC HEO Committee meeting yesterday (you can find the recordings here (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41630.0)).

The first round of structural tests on Crew Dragon are done, continuing with further testing.
They should do the space suit qualification next quarter.
They have their 5th parachute test scheduled for this coming Saturday.
The crew access arm is at LC-39A, they are waiting until Spring to install it so SpaceX can get the pad up and running for their other launches.
They have been doing unit testing on the ECLSS systems and are getting ready for integrated testing.

There was some discussion about the LOC risk numbers, some general discussion about the SpaceX mishap investigation (there is a team from NASA LSP that is taking an independent look at it).  The presentation is a bit long (over an hour) but probably worth listening to if you're really into the commercial crew program.
Looks like the parachute test is on schedule: From \u\Watching_JRTI on reddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/5derz8/something_with_an_interesting_shape_wrapped_up/?st=ivm77cuf&sh=54d26fd4), described as "leaving the SpaceX campus earlier this week".
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 11/30/2016 10:20 PM
Tweet from Jeff Foust: (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/804084012725784581)
Quote
Wayne Hale, reporting on NAC’s HEO committee, says SpaceX’s commercial crew schedule has slipped (as expected) since their Nov. 14 meeting.

Tweet from Stephen Clark: (https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/804085546201088000)
Quote
NAC member Wayne Hale says SpaceX’s commercial crew schedule has slipped since last meeting, but doesn’t know the new dates.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AnalogMan on 12/12/2016 11:52 PM
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Target Flight Dates
Posted on December 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm by Stephanie Martin

The next generation of American spacecraft and rockets that will launch astronauts to the International Space Station are nearing the final stages of development and evaluation. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will return human spaceflight launches to U.S. soil, providing reliable and cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit on systems that meet our safety and mission requirements. To meet NASA’s requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station. Two of those demonstrations are uncrewed flight tests, known as Orbital Flight Test for Boeing, and Demonstration Mission 1 for SpaceX. After the uncrewed flight tests, both companies will execute a flight test with crew prior to being certified by NASA for crew rotation mission. The schedule below reflects a fourth quarter update from SpaceX and the dates Boeing released in October 2016.

Targeted Flight Dates:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test: June 2018

Boeing Crew Flight Test: August 2018

SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: November 2017

SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2: May 2018

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2016/12/12/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-flight-dates (https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2016/12/12/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-flight-dates)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 12/13/2016 02:33 AM
Article on this topic:
http://www.geekwire.com/2016/nasa-confirms-delay-spacex-boeing-2018-commercial-crew/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Brovane on 12/13/2016 03:05 AM

Quote
NASA Program officials anticipate SpaceX will encounter additional delays on the path to certification. For example, in January 2015, the tunnel that provides a passageway for astronauts and cargo between the Dragon and the ISS was reported to have cracked during the heat treatment phase of the manufacturing process. As a result, SpaceX delayed qualification testing by approximately one year to better align the tests as SpaceX moves toward certification. SpaceX has also experienced ongoing issues with stress fractures in turbopumps that must be resolved prior to flight.

Has there been anymore discussion around how serious these stress fractures are in the turbo-pumps of the Merlin engine? 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 12/13/2016 09:24 AM
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Target Flight Dates
Posted on December 12, 2016 at 5:11 pm by Stephanie Martin

The next generation of American spacecraft and rockets that will launch astronauts to the International Space Station are nearing the final stages of development and evaluation. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will return human spaceflight launches to U.S. soil, providing reliable and cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit on systems that meet our safety and mission requirements. To meet NASA’s requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station. Two of those demonstrations are uncrewed flight tests, known as Orbital Flight Test for Boeing, and Demonstration Mission 1 for SpaceX. After the uncrewed flight tests, both companies will execute a flight test with crew prior to being certified by NASA for crew rotation mission. The schedule below reflects a fourth quarter update from SpaceX and the dates Boeing released in October 2016.

Targeted Flight Dates:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test: June 2018

Boeing Crew Flight Test: August 2018

SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: November 2017

SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2: May 2018

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2016/12/12/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-flight-dates (https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2016/12/12/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-flight-dates)
Good thing to remember here is that the delays from 2015 to early/mid 2017 were budget-driven, courtesy of under-funding by US Congress. However, as indicated in the OIG report from last september, any delays beyond mid 2017 are primarily driven by technical problems, changing requirements and NASA bureaucracy.
Anyone here would be well advised to NOT expect any CCP mission - manned or unmanned- before the end of 2018. As indicated in het OIG report from last september NASA is much behind on reviewing the CCP contractors' hazard reports. Any "surprises" from those will likely result (again) in finetuning of requirements and therefore additional delays.
IMO, NASA will do an "emergency" buy of Soyuz seats within the next six months to compensate for continued CCP delays.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: baldusi on 12/13/2016 01:39 PM
Quote
NASA Program officials anticipate SpaceX will encounter additional delays on the path to certification. For example, in January 2015, the tunnel that provides a passageway for astronauts and cargo between the Dragon and the ISS was reported to have cracked during the heat treatment phase of the manufacturing process. As a result, SpaceX delayed qualification testing by approximately one year to better align the tests as SpaceX moves toward certification. SpaceX has also experienced ongoing issues with stress fractures in turbopumps that must be resolved prior to flight.
IIRC, the crew rating requires higher margins (1.4) than normal (1.25). May be this fractures appear near the 1.4 margin of the latest up throttling of the Merlin 1D.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 12/13/2016 01:47 PM
If it's a problem with Block 5 throttle settings could they qualify with the Block 4 or some other lower but still sub-chilled settings? It's not as if there isn't a lot of headroom.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 12/13/2016 02:39 PM
The report did not say it had anything to do with the latest Merlin upgrades.  "Ongoing" issues sounds like it's been known for a while.  It also doesn't say it's something that has happened on a flown booster, it could be something they're seeing during manufacturing.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/25/2017 03:07 PM
Quote
Eric Berger ‏@SciGuySpace  6m6 minutes ago
Excited to see the [Boeing] suit, but a good source tells me more delays likely for both Starliner and Dragon in coming months.

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/824285655643648004 (https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/824285655643648004)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/25/2017 03:46 PM
Quote
Eric Berger ‏@SciGuySpace  6m6 minutes ago
Excited to see the [Boeing] suit, but a good source tells me more delays likely for both Starliner and Dragon in coming months.

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/824285655643648004 (https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/824285655643648004)
Not surprising. NASA issued some additional requirements last year and extended several existing requirements. As long as NASA keeps doing that (and the CCtCAP agreements very much allows NASA to do so) the first flights of the CCP vehicles will keep shifting to the right.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: JasonAW3 on 01/25/2017 04:53 PM
Quote
Eric Berger ‏@SciGuySpace  6m6 minutes ago
Excited to see the [Boeing] suit, but a good source tells me more delays likely for both Starliner and Dragon in coming months.

https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/824285655643648004 (https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/824285655643648004)
Not surprising. NASA issued some additional requirements last year and extended several existing requirements. As long as NASA keeps doing that (and the CCtCAP agreements very much allows NASA to do so) the first flights of the CCP vehicles will keep shifting to the right.

Same problem most Military Equipment contracts have.  Mission Creep.

The more that a system can do, the more the government wants the system to do, beyond the basic parameters that were set up originally.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/25/2017 06:44 PM
Eric has subsequently tweeted, when asked why the further delays:

Quote
@SafeNotAnOption @thehighfrontier more technical problems.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/824313975047389185 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/824313975047389185)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 01/26/2017 04:47 AM
Eric has subsequently tweeted, when asked why the further delays:

Quote
@SafeNotAnOption @thehighfrontier more technical problems.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/824313975047389185 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/824313975047389185)

No its always the fault of Congress if things dont go well, and it's always the brave enterpreneurs saving the day when they do. Those are them rules. /s
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/26/2017 08:29 AM
Eric has subsequently tweeted, when asked why the further delays:

Quote
@SafeNotAnOption @thehighfrontier more technical problems.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/824313975047389185 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/824313975047389185)
Yes. And some of the technical problems that bedeviled Dragon 2 in late 2015 were a direct result of NASA adding additional requirements. The most prominent one being the requirement to have early missions of Dragon 2 land in the ocean under parachutes, in stead of propulsive landing on land. Other technical problems are associated with the fact that both companies are now deep into the "bending metal" phase.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 01/26/2017 10:08 AM
Eric has subsequently tweeted, when asked why the further delays:

Quote
@SafeNotAnOption @thehighfrontier more technical problems.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/824313975047389185 (https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/824313975047389185)
Yes. And some of the technical problems that bedeviled Dragon 2 in late 2015 were a direct result of NASA adding additional requirements. The most prominent one being the requirement to have early missions of Dragon 2 land in the ocean under parachutes, in stead of propulsive landing on land. Other technical problems are associated with the fact that both companies are now deep into the "bending metal" phase.

If mechanical development is like software development I found out the hard way that the quickest way to incorporate requirements changes was to complete the current stage and then modify the working product. The modifications can then be done in a top down fashion starting with requirements documents and managerial controls like budgets and PERTs.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 01/26/2017 02:24 PM
If mechanical development is like software development I found out the hard way that the quickest way to incorporate requirements changes was to complete the current stage and then modify the working product. The modifications can then be done in a top down fashion starting with requirements documents and managerial controls like budgets and PERTs.

Unlike software development, however, there are some decisions that can't be unmade without enormous cost.  Suppose a surprise requirement is flowed down that necessitates thickening the webs on the spacecraft pressure shell.  If you've already machined the two or three you're planning on using, you can't un-mill it.  You can't put the metal back.  You have to scrap millions of dollars of hardware and start over.

We won't even get into what it would do to your mass budget and how many other hardware changes that would require...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 01/26/2017 03:49 PM
Unlike software development, however, there are some decisions that can't be unmade without enormous cost.
Yeah, that's true in software development as well.  Scrapping written, working, reviewed code can be just as expensive as junking hardware.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 01/26/2017 04:39 PM
I know it's true in software as well.  I should have phrased it differently: hardware development is perhaps more susceptible to cases in which seemingly minor, innocuous tweaks in design parameters (as opposed to wholesale architectural changes) require complete scrap and rebuild of enormously expensive products.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: okan170 on 01/26/2017 05:13 PM
Yes. And some of the technical problems that bedeviled Dragon 2 in late 2015 were a direct result of NASA adding additional requirements. The most prominent one being the requirement to have early missions of Dragon 2 land in the ocean under parachutes, in stead of propulsive landing on land. Other technical problems are associated with the fact that both companies are now deep into the "bending metal" phase.

When did that change get made?  I remember at the intro events in 2014 that NASA talked about where it was generally agreed that it would start with water landings and then move to land landings if it was proven, and I had assumed that was the plan from the outset, but I could easily have been mistaken. 

I thought that the public Commercial Crew documents showed that they had proposed the water landings at first, perhaps thinking that NASA wouldn't go for land landings at the outset (or maybe that it would've affected their bid for the contract?).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/26/2017 05:17 PM
There was a bootlegged computer generated video showing a Dragon parachute landing in the desert, assisted by Superdracos (like Soyuz but gentler).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 01/26/2017 05:32 PM
There was a bootlegged computer generated video showing a Dragon parachute landing in the desert, assisted by Superdracos (like Soyuz but gentler).

NewSpace 2012, jump to about 2:00

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW3K3TfQbSI#t=*2*0
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 01/26/2017 05:42 PM
I know it's true in software as well.  I should have phrased it differently: hardware development is perhaps more susceptible to cases in which seemingly minor, innocuous tweaks in design parameters (as opposed to wholesale architectural changes) require complete scrap and rebuild of enormously expensive products.

Requirements changes in software are expensive. Requirements changes in hardware are very expensive. They have to be planned in rather than thrown in.

There are obvious points at which requirements can be changed.

Interim end of problem definition and high level requirements.
Interim end of detailed requirements.
Interim end of high level design - Computer Aided Design (CAD).
Interim end of unit design as CAD.
Interim end of detailed component design as CAD. Testing on a computer.
Interim end of the making of physical prototype.
Interim end of the integration and testing of units.
Interim end of the integration of entire device.
Interim end of the manufacturing of a prototype.
Interim end of the manufacturing of first production device.
Mass production.

All changes are made to the requirements and are filtered down. Some changes require more than one unit to change.

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 01/26/2017 08:40 PM
Yes. And some of the technical problems that bedeviled Dragon 2 in late 2015 were a direct result of NASA adding additional requirements. The most prominent one being the requirement to have early missions of Dragon 2 land in the ocean under parachutes, in stead of propulsive landing on land. Other technical problems are associated with the fact that both companies are now deep into the "bending metal" phase.

When did that change get made?  I remember at the intro events in 2014 that NASA talked about where it was generally agreed that it would start with water landings and then move to land landings if it was proven, and I had assumed that was the plan from the outset, but I could easily have been mistaken. 

I thought that the public Commercial Crew documents showed that they had proposed the water landings at first, perhaps thinking that NASA wouldn't go for land landings at the outset (or maybe that it would've affected their bid for the contract?).

Well, they always had to have water landings as almost any abort scenario required it.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/27/2017 02:38 PM
Eric Berger has now written an article on what he thinks will be further delays, predicting no crew flight for either Starliner or Dragon before 2019. No real specifics in the article though:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 01/27/2017 03:00 PM
The actual reasoning for expecting delays is stated late in the article. It suggests Boeing has some more work to do to prove that it really fixed the aerodynamic issues with launch on Atlas V. On the SpaceX side, it states that NASA will want to see multiple F9 Block 5 launches before putting crews on board, including using the F9 Block 5 for the uncrewed demo. Since both initial flight of F9 Block 5 and the uncrewed demo are scheduled late this year, delays in the Block 5 will also delay the demo.

Not knowing who the position of the source for that article, it is hard to judge how much is real inside information and how much is their personal speculation. I personally would be surprised if neither company had their crewed demo in 2018. Schedules will probably slip some, and first operational flight might get delayed to Jan-Feb 2019. This case still leaves 4 months for Boeing, and 7 months for SpaceX, and even if one has something unexpected push it past that, I doubt both would run into that large of issues.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/27/2017 03:19 PM
Yes. And some of the technical problems that bedeviled Dragon 2 in late 2015 were a direct result of NASA adding additional requirements. The most prominent one being the requirement to have early missions of Dragon 2 land in the ocean under parachutes, in stead of propulsive landing on land. Other technical problems are associated with the fact that both companies are now deep into the "bending metal" phase.

When did that change get made?  I remember at the intro events in 2014 that NASA talked about where it was generally agreed that it would start with water landings and then move to land landings if it was proven, and I had assumed that was the plan from the outset, but I could easily have been mistaken. 

I thought that the public Commercial Crew documents showed that they had proposed the water landings at first, perhaps thinking that NASA wouldn't go for land landings at the outset (or maybe that it would've affected their bid for the contract?).

Well, they always had to have water landings as almost any abort scenario required it.
Correct, however in that situation the capsule was only required to survive just a couple of hours in the water, at most.
When NASA required SpaceX to have water landings as the default mode for the first flights, the requirement suddenly expected the capsule, with crew onboard, to survive in the water for nearly a full day.
So, that meant that almost all equipment in the service setion of the capsule had to be made fully resistant to salt seawater for at least 24 hours. It led to several other design changes as well.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/27/2017 03:26 PM
Yes. And some of the technical problems that bedeviled Dragon 2 in late 2015 were a direct result of NASA adding additional requirements. The most prominent one being the requirement to have early missions of Dragon 2 land in the ocean under parachutes, in stead of propulsive landing on land. Other technical problems are associated with the fact that both companies are now deep into the "bending metal" phase.

When did that change get made?  I remember at the intro events in 2014 that NASA talked about where it was generally agreed that it would start with water landings and then move to land landings if it was proven, and I had assumed that was the plan from the outset, but I could easily have been mistaken. 

I thought that the public Commercial Crew documents showed that they had proposed the water landings at first, perhaps thinking that NASA wouldn't go for land landings at the outset (or maybe that it would've affected their bid for the contract?).
The CCtCAP proposal from SpaceX had land landings (either parachutes with SuperDraco assisted braking or full propulsive landing) as the default landing mode. Water landings were for abort purposes only.
As such, crew Dragon was not going to spend time in water for any longer than just a few hours at most. But, when NASA ordered parachute landings into the ocean as the default landing mode for the first several crew Dragon flight, it had major implications. You see, that parachute-landing-into-the-ocean requirement came with additional requirements about how long the capsule (with crew onboard) would have to last in the ocean. And that in turn required substantial modifications to the seaworthiness of the stuff in crew Dragon's service compartments.

Now, SpaceX had already calculated that there would be additional requirements, so the scope of their CCtCAP contract, in terms of contract value, did not change. It is a FFP contract after all. But the added requirements meant that the original time-schedule went out the window almost immediately after the CCtCAP contracts were signed.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 01/27/2017 03:34 PM
So in an emergency water landing situation, where they came down in some random ocean because they had no choice, rescue crews are expected to get to them within a few hours. On the other hand, for a planned landing in the ocean where their drop point is predetermined, it might take a full day for the support ship to arrive.

Does this seem backwards to anyone else?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/27/2017 03:37 PM
Eric Berger has now written an article on what he thinks will be further delays, predicting no crew flight for either Starliner or Dragon before 2019. No real specifics in the article though:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/)
There is a little too much use of "may", "likely", "probably" and "could" in that article. The give-away that this article is to be taken with several pinches of salt is the bolded part in the quote below:

Quote from: Eric Berger
Among those flights will be an uncrewed test flight of the Dragon V2 spacecraft, which will likely dock with the space station.

It is not "likely". It is in fact the plan.

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 01/27/2017 04:02 PM
Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.
Good catches. There is also the point that we are less than 18 months from the 2 extra seats NASA is planning to buy off of Boeing (on Soyuz), so that rule sounds fairly made up.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/27/2017 07:37 PM
Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

You're assuming that two month mission would actually happen, I'm pretty doubtful.  The first time a US crew vehicle is really needed would be in Spring of 2019 when the current Soyuz contract ends.  I'd bet that's the first time they will fly a post-certification mission (assuming someone gets certified in time).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 01/27/2017 08:53 PM

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

Duration of visit doesn't negate a lot of the training though. There's less training for specific experiments but all of the emergency, contingency, operations, eva, etc all has to be done, likely in full. They can't do 1/3 of the systems familiarization simply because they'll only be there 1/3 of the time.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 01/27/2017 11:20 PM

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

Duration of visit doesn't negate a lot of the training though. There's less training for specific experiments but all of the emergency, contingency, operations, eva, etc all has to be done, likely in full. They can't do 1/3 of the systems familiarization simply because they'll only be there 1/3 of the time.
Every NASA astronaut from day one receives the routine/emergency standard ISS procedures practice/study etc. They only need the refresher course just prior to a mission which should be only a few months.

A BTW 6 months of that claimed 18 months of ISS training is actually Soyuz training occurring in Russia. So the unique ISS training is only 12 months.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 01/28/2017 02:37 AM

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

Duration of visit doesn't negate a lot of the training though. There's less training for specific experiments but all of the emergency, contingency, operations, eva, etc all has to be done, likely in full. They can't do 1/3 of the systems familiarization simply because they'll only be there 1/3 of the time.
Every NASA astronaut from day one receives the routine/emergency standard ISS procedures practice/study etc. They only need the refresher course just prior to a mission which should be only a few months.

A BTW 6 months of that claimed 18 months of ISS training is actually Soyuz training occurring in Russia. So the unique ISS training is only 12 months.
And instead of 6 months Soyuz training they'll get 6 months Dragon or Starliner training. In fact they'll probably have to get Soyuz, Dragon, and Starliner training because in an emergency they'll have to be familiar with all crewed spacecraft that will be at the station.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: su27k on 01/28/2017 03:23 AM
So in an emergency water landing situation, where they came down in some random ocean because they had no choice, rescue crews are expected to get to them within a few hours. On the other hand, for a planned landing in the ocean where their drop point is predetermined, it might take a full day for the support ship to arrive.

Does this seem backwards to anyone else?

Maybe they're considering anomaly during reentry? IIRC there're a few times Soyuz went off course by hundreds of miles during landing. On the other hand if they used LAS during launch, it wouldn't be far from the launch trajectory which is well know ahead of time and actively monitored.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/28/2017 08:27 PM
So in an emergency water landing situation, where they came down in some random ocean because they had no choice, rescue crews are expected to get to them within a few hours. On the other hand, for a planned landing in the ocean where their drop point is predetermined, it might take a full day for the support ship to arrive.

Does this seem backwards to anyone else?
Only to you. Neither crew Dragon, nor Starliner, were foreseen to ever have "random ocean landings due to not having a choice".
The give-away is the fact that NASA did not order water-landings for Starliner as the baseline for early missions. It only applies to crew Dragon because NASA is uncomfortable with propulsive (assisted) landing for early missions. What remained was parachute landing. However, unlike Starliner, the crew Dragon does not have airbags to cushion a land landing. So, that left parachuting into water as the only option. The result we know: lot's of extra requirements.

But before all this played out, the only scenario having Starliner or crew Dragon land in water was pad-abort or launch-abort. In which case the crew and capsule would be out of the water within a few hours.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/28/2017 08:30 PM

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

Duration of visit doesn't negate a lot of the training though. There's less training for specific experiments but all of the emergency, contingency, operations, eva, etc all has to be done, likely in full. They can't do 1/3 of the systems familiarization simply because they'll only be there 1/3 of the time.
Every NASA astronaut from day one receives the routine/emergency standard ISS procedures practice/study etc. They only need the refresher course just prior to a mission which should be only a few months.

A BTW 6 months of that claimed 18 months of ISS training is actually Soyuz training occurring in Russia. So the unique ISS training is only 12 months.
And instead of 6 months Soyuz training they'll get 6 months Dragon or Starliner training. In fact they'll probably have to get Soyuz, Dragon, and Starliner training because in an emergency they'll have to be familiar with all crewed spacecraft that will be at the station.
Unlike Soyuz the Starliner and crew Dragon are highly automated. Much less involvement of the crew to get the vehicle to the station and back down to earth again. Particularly crew Dragon is very, very much a hands-off vehicle. So, less training required.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 01/28/2017 10:17 PM

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

Duration of visit doesn't negate a lot of the training though. There's less training for specific experiments but all of the emergency, contingency, operations, eva, etc all has to be done, likely in full. They can't do 1/3 of the systems familiarization simply because they'll only be there 1/3 of the time.
Every NASA astronaut from day one receives the routine/emergency standard ISS procedures practice/study etc. They only need the refresher course just prior to a mission which should be only a few months.

A BTW 6 months of that claimed 18 months of ISS training is actually Soyuz training occurring in Russia. So the unique ISS training is only 12 months.

Actually not correct.  There is generic training but there is a fair amount of emergency training when a crew member is assigned to a given expedition.  The training than focuses on the actual crew he/she will be flying with. 

Regarding the 2 months comment - that is al up in the air and being worked.  Could be a few weeks, could be a month or so.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 01/28/2017 10:20 PM

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

Duration of visit doesn't negate a lot of the training though. There's less training for specific experiments but all of the emergency, contingency, operations, eva, etc all has to be done, likely in full. They can't do 1/3 of the systems familiarization simply because they'll only be there 1/3 of the time.
Every NASA astronaut from day one receives the routine/emergency standard ISS procedures practice/study etc. They only need the refresher course just prior to a mission which should be only a few months.

A BTW 6 months of that claimed 18 months of ISS training is actually Soyuz training occurring in Russia. So the unique ISS training is only 12 months.
And instead of 6 months Soyuz training they'll get 6 months Dragon or Starliner training. In fact they'll probably have to get Soyuz, Dragon, and Starliner training because in an emergency they'll have to be familiar with all crewed spacecraft that will be at the station.
Unlike Soyuz the Starliner and crew Dragon are highly automated. Much less involvement of the crew to get the vehicle to the station and back down to earth again. Particularly crew Dragon is very, very much a hands-off vehicle. So, less training required.

I would not say it is 6 months for 6 months.  The commercial crew vehicles are required to be operable by one person though two will be trained to do so.  the other 2 crew won't get much vehicle training.

And a crew will be only trained for their vehicle - they will never come down on a vehicle different than they went up on.

edit/gongora: trimmed quotes
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 01/29/2017 02:15 AM
Quick check , is this program slipping about 6 months every 6 months?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 01/29/2017 01:27 PM
So in an emergency water landing situation, where they came down in some random ocean because they had no choice, rescue crews are expected to get to them within a few hours. On the other hand, for a planned landing in the ocean where their drop point is predetermined, it might take a full day for the support ship to arrive.

Does this seem backwards to anyone else?
Only to you. Neither crew Dragon, nor Starliner, were foreseen to ever have "random ocean landings due to not having a choice".
The give-away is the fact that NASA did not order water-landings for Starliner as the baseline for early missions. It only applies to crew Dragon because NASA is uncomfortable with propulsive (assisted) landing for early missions. What remained was parachute landing. However, unlike Starliner, the crew Dragon does not have airbags to cushion a land landing. So, that left parachuting into water as the only option. The result we know: lot's of extra requirements.

But before all this played out, the only scenario having Starliner or crew Dragon land in water was pad-abort or launch-abort. In which case the crew and capsule would be out of the water within a few hours.

I've never read anything along the lines of that first part. I have read that SpaceX has had issues with water landings that had to be addressed before they could even consider a land landing, issues Boeing hasn't had which allows them to go forward with either option.

And the reason is that in the event of a water landing it's highly ambitious to think the astroanuts will be picked up that quick. If an inflight abort takes place, being picked up in a few hours may not be reasonable when you're floating 600 miles off the coast of cape cod. It's the same with an emergency departure from the ISS for any reason. The ships won't be on station, if it's even achievable to target the intended landing zone. And even off the coast of Florida you can get 10 foot swells on a clear day which means the occupants will have to wait it out, if the craft permits it. Shuttle had to make sure a handful of abort sites had acceptable weather, will SpaceX/Boeing have to make sure the entire Atlantic is calm, or will the craft have to be able to endure?



And a crew will be only trained for their vehicle - they will never come down on a vehicle different than they went up on.

Like Expedition 6?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 01/29/2017 02:09 PM
Eric Berger has now written an article on what he thinks will be further delays, predicting no crew flight for either Starliner or Dragon before 2019. No real specifics in the article though:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/)
There is a little too much use of "may", "likely", "probably" and "could" in that article. The give-away that this article is to be taken with several pinches of salt is the bolded part in the quote below:

Quote from: Eric Berger
Among those flights will be an uncrewed test flight of the Dragon V2 spacecraft, which will likely dock with the space station.

It is not "likely". It is in fact the plan.

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

NASA did not require that the uncrewed flight dock to the ISS. Actually, NASA didn't require an uncrewed flight, the commercial crew companies decided to propose one.

The article says that 18 months would allow time for the astronauts to train. It doesn't say that the training would last 18 months.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 01/29/2017 09:42 PM
Quick check , is this program slipping about 6 months every 6 months?

More.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 01/29/2017 10:15 PM
Quick check , is this program slipping about 6 months every 6 months?

More.

So I think there should be a poll for where to assign blame
- Congress
- FAR
- space is hard

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 01/29/2017 10:30 PM
Quick check , is this program slipping about 6 months every 6 months?

I was talking about the 6 months of Soyuz training vice 6 months in the more automated vehicles.

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 01/29/2017 10:33 PM
Eric Berger has now written an article on what he thinks will be further delays, predicting no crew flight for either Starliner or Dragon before 2019. No real specifics in the article though:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/)
There is a little too much use of "may", "likely", "probably" and "could" in that article. The give-away that this article is to be taken with several pinches of salt is the bolded part in the quote below:

Quote from: Eric Berger
Among those flights will be an uncrewed test flight of the Dragon V2 spacecraft, which will likely dock with the space station.

It is not "likely". It is in fact the plan.

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

NASA did not require that the uncrewed flight dock to the ISS. Actually, NASA didn't require an uncrewed flight, the commercial crew companies decided to propose one.

The article says that 18 months would allow time for the astronauts to train. It doesn't say that the training would last 18 months.

I believe both providers have in their agreements an unmanned test mission - that is what they get paid for.  Both have also proposed to dock.  That is their plan.  However, that is not a done deal - a lot of hurdles have to be cleared before either can dock.  Demonstrations are required - some during the mission, others on the ground, some via paperwork. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 01/29/2017 10:34 PM
So I think there should be a poll for where to assign blame
- Congress
- FAR
- space is hard

Feature creep. Fake competition.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 01/30/2017 02:48 AM
Eric Berger has now written an article on what he thinks will be further delays, predicting no crew flight for either Starliner or Dragon before 2019. No real specifics in the article though:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/)
There is a little too much use of "may", "likely", "probably" and "could" in that article. The give-away that this article is to be taken with several pinches of salt is the bolded part in the quote below:

Quote from: Eric Berger
Among those flights will be an uncrewed test flight of the Dragon V2 spacecraft, which will likely dock with the space station.

It is not "likely". It is in fact the plan.

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

NASA did not require that the uncrewed flight dock to the ISS. Actually, NASA didn't require an uncrewed flight, the commercial crew companies decided to propose one.

The article says that 18 months would allow time for the astronauts to train. It doesn't say that the training would last 18 months.

I believe both providers have in their agreements an unmanned test mission - that is what they get paid for.  Both have also proposed to dock.  That is their plan.  However, that is not a done deal - a lot of hurdles have to be cleared before either can dock.  Demonstrations are required - some during the mission, others on the ground, some via paperwork.

Yes, I agree. But what I meant to say is that saying that SpaceX is likely to dock isn't false. The uncrewed flight doesn't have to dock for SpaceX or Boeing to be certified. Only a succesfull crewed flight that docks to the ISS is required.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 01/30/2017 01:30 PM
So I think there should be a poll for where to assign blame
- Congress
- FAR
- space is hard

Feature creep. Fake competition.

Delaying the first manned flight cost both money and political capital. Can the feature be added at say the fifth manned flight?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: tdperk on 01/30/2017 03:00 PM
Quick check , is this program slipping about 6 months every 6 months?

More.

So I think there should be a poll for where to assign blame
- Congress
- FAR
- space is hard

Need to add, -NASA approval delays.  I recall it being quoted from the OIG report that is taking 6 months to approve safety related changes where they are ostensibly required to get it done in 2 months.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 01/30/2017 03:23 PM
Eric Berger has now written an article on what he thinks will be further delays, predicting no crew flight for either Starliner or Dragon before 2019. No real specifics in the article though:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/)
There is a little too much use of "may", "likely", "probably" and "could" in that article. The give-away that this article is to be taken with several pinches of salt is the bolded part in the quote below:

Quote from: Eric Berger
Among those flights will be an uncrewed test flight of the Dragon V2 spacecraft, which will likely dock with the space station.

It is not "likely". It is in fact the plan.

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

NASA did not require that the uncrewed flight dock to the ISS. Actually, NASA didn't require an uncrewed flight, the commercial crew companies decided to propose one.

The article says that 18 months would allow time for the astronauts to train. It doesn't say that the training would last 18 months.

I believe both providers have in their agreements an unmanned test mission - that is what they get paid for.  Both have also proposed to dock.  That is their plan.  However, that is not a done deal - a lot of hurdles have to be cleared before either can dock.  Demonstrations are required - some during the mission, others on the ground, some via paperwork.

Yes, I agree. But what I meant to say is that saying that SpaceX is likely to dock isn't false. The uncrewed flight doesn't have to dock for SpaceX or Boeing to be certified. Only a succesfull crewed flight that docks to the ISS is required.
It only isn't false if you think 100% counts as "likely." They are going to dock with that mission, and if they somehow fail to dock, they would likely do another unmanned mission unless they were able to do a full checkout of almost all systems, and there is a simple fix for whatever failed. It is in their contracts that they will dock, so that flight and its goals are now required. When they use "likely" in the article it makes it sound like it isn't decided if they will dock. If they want to avoid "will" because the mission could possibly fail, they could just say "is planned to." And it isn't just there, it is throughout the whole article, phrasing makes it sound like the source had no real inside information. This is just a particular spot to pick on because it sounds like the source is also unaware of public information.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: muomega0 on 01/30/2017 03:59 PM
Eric Berger has now written an article on what he thinks will be further delays, predicting no crew flight for either Starliner or Dragon before 2019. No real specifics in the article though:

http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/ (http://arstechnica.com/science/2017/01/sources-neither-boeing-nor-spacex-likely-ready-to-fly-crews-until-2019/)
There is a little too much use of "may", "likely", "probably" and "could" in that article. The give-away that this article is to be taken with several pinches of salt is the bolded part in the quote below:

Quote from: Eric Berger
Among those flights will be an uncrewed test flight of the Dragon V2 spacecraft, which will likely dock with the space station.

It is not "likely". It is in fact the plan.

Another clear mistake in Eric's article is the assumption that crews must be assigned 18 months prior to their flight because of the long preparation needed for their stay on the ISS. He overlooks the fact that the first CCP operational mission will have it's astro's on board ISS for just two (2) months, not the usual six (6). No 18 month prep period needed.

NASA did not require that the uncrewed flight dock to the ISS. Actually, NASA didn't require an uncrewed flight, the commercial crew companies decided to propose one.

The article says that 18 months would allow time for the astronauts to train. It doesn't say that the training would last 18 months.

I believe both providers have in their agreements an unmanned test mission - that is what they get paid for.  Both have also proposed to dock.  That is their plan.  However, that is not a done deal - a lot of hurdles have to be cleared before either can dock.  Demonstrations are required - some during the mission, others on the ground, some via paperwork.

Yes, I agree. But what I meant to say is that saying that SpaceX is likely to dock isn't false. The uncrewed flight doesn't have to dock for SpaceX or Boeing to be certified. Only a succesfull crewed flight that docks to the ISS is required.
It only isn't false if you think 100% counts as "likely." They are going to dock with that mission, and if they somehow fail to dock, they would likely do another unmanned mission unless they were able to do a full checkout of almost all systems, and there is a simple fix for whatever failed. It is in their contracts that they will dock, so that flight and its goals are now required. When they use "likely" in the article it makes it sound like it isn't decided if they will dock. If they want to avoid "will" because the mission could possibly fail, they could just say "is planned to." And it isn't just there, it is throughout the whole article, phrasing makes it sound like the source had no real inside information. This is just a particular spot to pick on because it sounds like the source is also unaware of public information.
Unless the requirements are changed, it would difficult to achieve the LOM requirements if no docking occurred.

It will be very unlikely to meet the 1:1000 LOC as well for Atlas 522.   

https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/504982main_CCTSCR_Dec-08_Basic_Web.pdf

5.2.2 The CCTS shall safely execute the Loss of Crew (LOC) requirements specific to the NASA Design Reference Mission (DRM). The Programs shall determine and document the LOC risk when DRMs are specified. The
following are current:
a. The LOC probability distribution for the ascent phase of a 210 day ISS mission shall have a
mean value no greater than 1 in 1000
b. The LOC probability distribution for the entry phase of a 210 day ISS mission shall have a
mean value no greater than 1 in 1000
c. The LOC probability distribution for a 210 day ISS mission shall have a mean value no greater
than 1 in 270

5.2.3 The CCTS shall limit the Loss of Mission (LOM) risk for the specified NASA DRMs. The Programs shall determine and document the LOM risk when DRMs are specified. The following are current:
a. The LOM probability distribution for a 210 day ISS mission shall have a mean value no
greater than 1 in 55
b. A spacecraft failure that requires the vehicle to enter earlier than the pre-launch planned end
of mission timeframe shall be considered a loss of mission
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 01/30/2017 05:08 PM
Actually - to be very clear.  These contracts are with CCP.  The ISS program still has not agreed to any dockings yet on the uncrewed test flights.  Everyone is working to that but there still hurdles and veto opportunities ahead.

As to delaying features to later flights...yes that is an option.  Depends on the criticality of the change.  And geneal, if NASA wants it, NASA wants it now...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 02/01/2017 01:45 AM
It only isn't false if you think 100% counts as "likely." They are going to dock with that mission, and if they somehow fail to dock, they would likely do another unmanned mission unless they were able to do a full checkout of almost all systems, and there is a simple fix for whatever failed. It is in their contracts that they will dock, so that flight and its goals are now required. When they use "likely" in the article it makes it sound like it isn't decided if they will dock. If they want to avoid "will" because the mission could possibly fail, they could just say "is planned to." And it isn't just there, it is throughout the whole article, phrasing makes it sound like the source had no real inside information. This is just a particular spot to pick on because it sounds like the source is also unaware of public information.

An uncrewed flight wasn't required by NASA to begin with. So it is unlikely they would fly another uncrewed flight. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 02/01/2017 03:33 AM
So I think there should be a poll for where to assign blame
- Congress
- FAR
- space is hard

Feature creep. Fake competition.

Notice how there is no blame for plain old contractors screwing up? Because that has never happened in history of aerospace acquisitions
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 02/01/2017 03:38 AM
Notice how there is no blame for plain old contractors screwing up? Because that has never happened in history of aerospace acquisitions

Feature creep is contractors screwing up. So is fake competition. Neither would be a problem if NASA was actually interested in actually flying astronauts any time soon with an efficient use of their available funds.


Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 02/01/2017 06:56 AM
Notice how there is no blame for plain old contractors screwing up? Because that has never happened in history of aerospace acquisitions

Feature creep is contractors screwing up. So is fake competition. Neither would be a problem if NASA was actually interested in actually flying astronauts any time soon with an efficient use of their available funds.

The final phase of CCP is not about competition. The competition was prior to that. It was clear from the beginning of CCP that NASA wanted a redundant crew transportation system in place. That means having at least two systems. Those systems are being built right now. No further need for competition. The only "competition" that remains is: who goes to fly first?

About your feature creep statement: We don't know if there is, in fact, feature creep going on. The only mods to the original start-of-CCtCAP designs so far were necessary to remedy unknowns. Like the skirt on CST-100 to protect the DEC during launch, and the fourth parachute on Dragon 2 to limit a higher-than-expected landing impact.
Also, you have failed to mention this:

- Requirements creep

NASA is to blame for that. It already has caused multiple month delays for both contractors.
Additionally OIG and GAO have already warned that NASA itself is very much behind on reviewing the contractor-provided hazard reports and other stuff. Will likely cause more delays. Again: NASA to blame for that.

Is there blame on the contractors at all? H*ll yes. Both contractors have had screw-ups. For example: Boeing managed to wreck a lower dome of the pressure hull due to a tooling screw-up. SpaceX managed to wreck an early pressure hull prototype due to a manufacturing screw-up in the docking tunnel. And there were other mistakes as well.

But the delays that plague CCP right now are a mix of NASA-induced requirements creep, NASA not having it's act together, contractor-induced technical problems and plain old bad luck.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 02/02/2017 05:42 PM
Notice how there is no blame for plain old contractors screwing up? Because that has never happened in history of aerospace acquisitions

Feature creep is contractors screwing up. So is fake competition. Neither would be a problem if NASA was actually interested in actually flying astronauts any time soon with an efficient use of their available funds.

No evidence of this yet.  So far all the changes have been due to NASA changing requirements or adding new ones.  There has been a lot of "well, we really meant that...".  You also have a class of approach - CCP wanting to do things leaner/meaner/newer and ISSP wanting things their usual way.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 02/02/2017 09:28 PM
No evidence of this yet.  So far all the changes have been due to NASA changing requirements or adding new ones.

Huh? Dragon 2 is packed full of features that NASA never asked for...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Sesquipedalian on 02/03/2017 12:47 AM
No evidence of this yet.  So far all the changes have been due to NASA changing requirements or adding new ones.

Huh? Dragon 2 is packed full of features that NASA never asked for...

How many of these features were added subsequent to the contract award?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 02/03/2017 02:42 AM
No evidence of this yet.  So far all the changes have been due to NASA changing requirements or adding new ones.

Huh? Dragon 2 is packed full of features that NASA never asked for...

Those aren't changes. They were planned since the beginning.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 02/03/2017 04:00 AM
Those aren't changes. They were planned since the beginning.

Planned overengineering is still overengineering. There have been delays due to SpaceX's overreach and that has knocked into the need for requirements changes too. It's a double whammy caused by overambition.

Only a few more years to go (http://imgur.com/hoLFXTZ) - Elon Musk (May 24, 2014)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 02/03/2017 09:43 AM
Those aren't changes. They were planned since the beginning.

Planned overengineering is still overengineering. There have been delays due to SpaceX's overreach and that has knocked into the need for requirements changes too. It's a double whammy caused by overambition.

Only a few more years to go (http://imgur.com/hoLFXTZ) - Elon Musk (May 24, 2014)

Overengineering does not equate to feature creep. Feature creep on Dragon 2 has not been proven. Every major feature that is present in the Dragon 2 design today, was also present on the day SpaceX signed the CCtCAP contract. The only added/modified features (fourth parachute, seaworthy service section, simplified interior) were a direct result of NASA-induced requirements creep/requirements changes.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 02/18/2017 05:49 PM
On page 16 of the GAO report it says, "The critical design review is the time in a project’s life cycle when the integrity of the product’s design and its ability to meet mission requirements are assessed, and it is important that a project ’s design is stable enough to warrant continuation with design and fabrication. SpaceX’s final planned design review was held in August 2016; however, the program reported that a number of outstanding areas, primarily related to ground systems, still needed to be reviewed. SpaceX officials told us these areas were reviewed in November 2016."

So, the critical design review is complete. I'm not sure exactly which milestone this refers to, but it sounds like a significant development.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: psloss on 03/28/2017 07:23 PM
From NAC HEO mtg CCP presentation today...redacted a phone number...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: psloss on 03/28/2017 07:40 PM
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: psloss on 03/28/2017 07:40 PM
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 03/29/2017 01:14 AM
SpaceX looks to have closed out a significant number of development milestones at the end of 2016.

It seems plausible that waiting for Block V could be the challenge that pushes the schedule to the right. I wonder if DM-1 could fly on Block IV?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: cebri on 03/29/2017 10:25 PM
So, no news on how is the certification of the RD-180 going. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 03/29/2017 11:26 PM
Here are the slides of the NAC meeting:

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/nac_ccp_status_march_28_20171.pdf

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/nac-heoc
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 03/29/2017 11:38 PM
Here are the slides of the NAC meeting:

https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/nac_ccp_status_march_28_20171.pdf

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/nac-heoc

Can someone explain the schedule risks? I don't understand what those mean. Is one for Boeing and one for Spacex for starters?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 03/30/2017 12:20 AM
Can someone explain the schedule risks? I don't understand what those mean. Is one for Boeing and one for Spacex for starters?

If you are referring to slides 6-7, the number in the matrix on the right side is the count of items in the table on the left side with that Likelihood and Consequence (LxC in the table on the left).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 03/30/2017 12:50 AM
Can someone explain the schedule risks? I don't understand what those mean. Is one for Boeing and one for Spacex for starters?

If you are referring to slides 6-7, the number in the matrix on the right side is the count of items in the table on the left side with that Likelihood and Consequence (LxC in the table on the left).

Thanks, yes those are the slides I was referring to. I understand the table. What I don't understand is the actual items.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: deruch on 03/30/2017 08:00 AM
Can someone explain the schedule risks? I don't understand what those mean. Is one for Boeing and one for Spacex for starters?

If you are referring to slides 6-7, the number in the matrix on the right side is the count of items in the table on the left side with that Likelihood and Consequence (LxC in the table on the left).

Thanks, yes those are the slides I was referring to. I understand the table. What I don't understand is the actual items.
They are 2 matrices that are showing Program risks.  In this case, "Program" means NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), not specifically either of the partner programs (i.e. not vehicle specific).  The first matrix shows overall Programmatic risks, and includes considerations of cost and schedule.  The second matrix is just for health/safety issues.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 03/30/2017 11:42 AM
They are 2 matrices that are showing Program risks.  In this case, "Program" means NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), not specifically either of the partner programs (i.e. not vehicle specific).  The first matrix shows overall Programmatic risks, and includes considerations of cost and schedule.  The second matrix is just for health/safety issues.

Okay. So, could these end up affecting the providers? I'm interested in more info, if some has it. Maybe these have been discussed elsewhere?

Requirement changes: sounds like it could be new work? Do we know more about this?
DoD Search and Rescue (Posture & Training Schedule): I imagine this is the Coast Guard/Navy's ability to go get a capsule for an emergency/off-nominal?
Ability to close LOC (Loss of Crew?) Gap: How big is this gap and what are the strategies for closing it?
Ammonia Emergency Response: Is this for a capsule on the pad or in space or both or what?

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 03/30/2017 04:56 PM

Ammonia Emergency Response: Is this for a capsule on the pad or in space or both or what?


I couldn't say on the others, but Ammonia Emergency Response refers to a toxic atmosphere event on ISS when a USCV is docked.  Right now, with everyone coming and going on Soyuz, the procedures are "simple" in terms of how to handle an ammonia leak in the US segment.  With crew vehicles docked to both ends of station, however, it's more complicated.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 04/06/2017 02:12 PM
They are 2 matrices that are showing Program risks.  In this case, "Program" means NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP), not specifically either of the partner programs (i.e. not vehicle specific).  The first matrix shows overall Programmatic risks, and includes considerations of cost and schedule.  The second matrix is just for health/safety issues.

Okay. So, could these end up affecting the providers? I'm interested in more info, if some has it. Maybe these have been discussed elsewhere?

Requirement changes: sounds like it could be new work? Do we know more about this?
DoD Search and Rescue (Posture & Training Schedule): I imagine this is the Coast Guard/Navy's ability to go get a capsule for an emergency/off-nominal?
Ability to close LOC (Loss of Crew?) Gap: How big is this gap and what are the strategies for closing it?
Ammonia Emergency Response: Is this for a capsule on the pad or in space or both or what?



This is just a few, there are many more - often is new work, but definitely more work.  There is also a lot of cases where the requirement hasn't changed but the verification has.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 06/03/2017 08:01 AM
The 2017 AST Compendium has some interesting data.

USCV 1 and 3 are shown as Falcon 9 and USCV 2 and 4 as Atlas V.

From 2019, there are three SpaceX, one OA and one SNC cargo missions per year.

For CRS2, SpaceX is getting $900M for six missions ($150M each) and OA is getting $1,400M for six missions ($233M each). At the above flight rates, that covers two years for SpaceX and six years for OA. Cost data is not given for SNC.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Confusador on 06/03/2017 01:04 PM
The 2017 AST Compendium has some interesting data.

USCV 1 and 3 are shown as Falcon 9 and USCV 2 and 4 as Atlas V.

From 2019, there are three SpaceX, one OA and one SNC cargo missions per year.

For CRS2, SpaceX is getting $900M for six missions ($150M each) and OA is getting $1,400M for six missions ($233M each). At the above flight rates, that covers two years for SpaceX and six years for OA. Cost data is not given for SNC.

Those prices seem reasonable, given the relative volumes, so the implication to me seems to be that downmass is the driving force in flight rates.  That's certainly good for SpaceX,  but could also bode well for SNC if the initial flights go well.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 06/03/2017 02:45 PM
The 2017 AST Compendium has some interesting data...

The AST Compendium is prepared by an outside contractor for the FAA and details in it should probably be taken with a grain of salt (the flight schedule for SpaceX CRS flights differs by an entire year from FPIP released around the same time, the $1.2B listed for the SpaceX CRS-1 extension was for all 8 flights, etc.)  It is a good high level overview of the space launch industry.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/20/2017 02:23 PM
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2017/07/20/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-flight-dates/
Quote
Targeted Test Flight Dates:
Boeing Orbital Flight Test: June 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test: August 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: February 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): June 2018
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 07/20/2017 02:25 PM
Did SpaceX DM-1 just move forward to February? I thought the last date we say was March 9.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/20/2017 02:48 PM
Maybe?  I doubt any of these dates are really fixed yet.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 07/20/2017 11:45 PM
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2017/07/20/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-flight-dates/
Quote
Targeted Test Flight Dates:
Boeing Orbital Flight Test: June 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test: August 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1: February 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): June 2018

Well this is an incredibly quiet, under the radar release.  And yeah, there's a seeming mismatch between what SpaceX has publicly said and what NASA's now saying.  Interesting.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 07/21/2017 12:46 AM
The blog entry also stated:
"The following schedule reflects the most recent publicly-releasable dates for both providers."

Program reports don't always become public in a timely manner so these could be from an already out-of-date source.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/21/2017 07:51 PM
Quote
NASA and companies express growing confidence in commercial crew schedules
by Jeff Foust — July 21, 2017

http://spacenews.com/nasa-and-companies-express-growing-confidence-in-commercial-crew-schedules/ (http://spacenews.com/nasa-and-companies-express-growing-confidence-in-commercial-crew-schedules/)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Chalmer on 07/25/2017 08:32 AM
SpaceX and Boeing Milestones from NAC yestesday. Taken from Eric Bergers twitter feed.

Full presentations from yesterday and today should be uploaded at below address within a few days:

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/nac-heoc
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 10/05/2017 03:54 PM
NASA ASAP notes:

Kathy Leuders and team doing great job

Schedule: SpaceX April 2018 uncrewed, August 2018 crewed.  Boeing August 2018 uncrewed, November 2018 crewed.

MMOD - something about purposely putting some defects on a cargo Dragon so they can inspect on return and refine the MMOD models???

Both providers still doing parachute testing.  SpaceX has several more tests to help reduce uncertainty in the models.  Boeing added six tests (not all drop tests?  something about a high mach test?) for parachutes.  Boeing found issue with shock of parachute deployment during structural testing, being worked.

NASA working on launch commit criteria, including weather/sea states for abort scenarios.  Also looking at on-orbit MMOD inspections.

Approval of the vehicles will occur at Associate Administrator or higher level.

SpaceX continues development of the COPV 2.0.  Some members of the panel visited SpaceX last month to discuss.  NASA is still doing lots of analysis on COPV physics, something about NASA working on some alternative path for the COPVs.

The Merlin turbine disc improvements have been implemented and are in the middle of testing.  One of the panel members with propulsion experience had a chance to go over it with SpaceX.  Referred to it as a bladed disc (blisc) in a single forging.  It's a complex, state of the art forging.

Boeing making progress on RD-180 certification, working through several unspecified design changes.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 10/05/2017 05:55 PM
NASA ASAP notes:

Kathy Leuders and team doing great job

Schedule: SpaceX April 2018 uncrewed, August 2018 crewed.  Boeing August 2018 uncrewed, November 2018 crewed.

MMOD - something about purposely putting some defects on a cargo Dragon so they can inspect on return and refine the MMOD models???

Both providers still doing parachute testing.  SpaceX has several more tests to help reduce uncertainty in the models.  Boeing added six tests (not all drop tests?  something about a high mach test?) for parachutes.  Boeing found issue with shock of parachute deployment during structural testing, being worked.

NASA working on launch commit criteria, including weather/sea states for abort scenarios.  Also looking at on-orbit MMOD inspections.

Approval of the vehicles will occur at Associate Administrator or higher level.

SpaceX continues development of the COPV 2.0.  Some members of the panel visited SpaceX last month to discuss.  NASA is still doing lots of analysis on COPV physics, something about NASA working on some alternative path for the COPVs.

The Merlin turbine disc improvements have been implemented and are in the middle of testing.  One of the panel members with propulsion experience had a chance to go over it with SpaceX.  Referred to it as a bladed disc (blisc) in a single forging.  It's a complex, state of the art forging.

Boeing making progress on RD-180 certification, working through several unspecified design changes.

Take-away:
- Both SpaceX demo missions have slipped two months in the past 3 months.
- Boeing unmanned demo mission has slipped six months in the past 3 months.
- Boeing manned demo mission has slipped four months in the past 3 months.

Prediction: before the first quarter of 2018 is over it will have become clear that the SpaceX unmanned demo mission is the only CCP mission that will fly in 2018. All other demo missions will have slipped into 2019.

The on-orbit MMOD inspections that NASA is proposing will only serve to delay CCP further. Those inspections will bring with them new requirements and new procedures to be implemented before the first manned missions lift-off.

NASA-induced slips are now responsible for over half of the delays since the originally targeted 2017 launch dates. It is almost as if NASA doesn't want those vehicles to ever fly. Every few months NASA comes up with yet another new set of requirements for some previously unlisted feature. Very disappointing. And I can imagine extremely frustrating for both Boeing and SpaceX.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 10/05/2017 06:13 PM
Take-away:
- Both SpaceX demo missions have slipped two months in the past 3 months.
...
Prediction: before the first quarter of 2018 is over it will have become clear that the SpaceX unmanned demo mission is the only CCP mission that will fly in 2018. All other demo missions will have slipped into 2019.
Depends on how you are counting. An earlier official source in May indicated March 9 as the placeholder date for DM-1.

That makes it closer to a 1 month slip in 5 months. I'd say SpaceX has a good chance of getting both demos completed in 2018.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 10/06/2017 12:59 AM
Suggest that there is less incentive to realize commercial crew launches from America, more reason to add ambiguity to commercial crew safety, and to artificially inflate program cost ... possibly to lessen the differences to other vehicle(s). Under constantly shifting goalposts.

Poor leadership. From the usual source.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 10/06/2017 06:33 AM
Suggest that there is less incentive to realize commercial crew launches from America, more reason to add ambiguity to commercial crew safety, and to artificially inflate program cost ... possibly to lessen the differences to other vehicle(s). Under constantly shifting goalposts.

Poor leadership. From the usual source.
Agree.

IMO this latest "on orbit MMOD inspections" is the most recent attempt to meet the theoretical 1-in-270 LOC/LOM number.
That is NASA again sticking to theory in stead of having a good look at "what can we do realistically?"

Only when there is absolutely no alternative are they willing to think outside their usual frame-of-reference and except reality over theory. Such as flying US astronauts on Soyuz because the shuttle no longer flies.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: savuporo on 10/06/2017 06:24 PM
Quick check , is this program slipping about 6 months every 6 months?

More.

So I think there should be a poll for where to assign blame
- Congress
- FAR
- space is hard



- NASA
- Nefarious interests
- political undercurrents

It's never ever the contractors fault though.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 10/06/2017 08:23 PM

- NASA
- Nefarious interests
- political undercurrents

It's never ever the contractors fault though.

It's the contractor's fault if they aren't "newspace."
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AbuSimbel on 10/07/2017 09:35 AM

- NASA
- Nefarious interests
- political undercurrents

It's never ever the contractors fault though.

It's the contractor's fault if they aren't "newspace."
It's NASA's/congress' fault even with SLS, at lest with that I'm coherent. But this discussion is Off topic
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: brickmack on 10/08/2017 07:13 PM
The on-orbit MMOD inspections that NASA is proposing will only serve to delay CCP further. Those inspections will bring with them new requirements and new procedures to be implemented before the first manned missions lift-off.

Why? As I understand it, this would just be using Canadarm and the crew photography equipment to take pictures of the outsides of the vehicles, same way they did/do for Shuttle and Soyuz and planned to for Orion CEV. No hardware changes needed for the vehicles, and the on-station work would be no different from any other Canadarm operations
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 10/08/2017 08:23 PM
I think the MMOD risk models are way off. There have been 12+ months of combined Dragon presence at the ISS without any related concerns over MMOD (damage to the Dragon because of MMOD). MMOD is a statistical item in that the longer the exposure even if not the same vehicle the higher the likelihood of an incident involving MMOD. What the previous Dragon missions have shown is that the MMOD risk values seem to be overblown.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 10/08/2017 08:32 PM
The on-orbit MMOD inspections that NASA is proposing will only serve to delay CCP further. Those inspections will bring with them new requirements and new procedures to be implemented before the first manned missions lift-off.

Why? As I understand it, this would just be using Canadarm and the crew photography equipment to take pictures of the outsides of the vehicles, same way they did/do for Shuttle and Soyuz and planned to for Orion CEV. No hardware changes needed for the vehicles, and the on-station work would be no different from any other Canadarm operations
Wrong. New requirement:  perform multiple additional manoeuvres, in support of on-orbit inspections,  in stead of straight- in approach. This in turn requires the development of a whole set of new additional procedures. Those don't come into existence overnight. They will take several months of additional time. Thus: delay.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 10/09/2017 04:05 PM

Wrong. New requirement:  perform multiple additional manoeuvres, in support of on-orbit inspections,  in stead of straight- in approach. This in turn requires the development of a whole set of new additional procedures. Those don't come into existence overnight. They will take several months of additional time. Thus: delay.

Of course, inspecting it on the way in after it has been in space for less than 24 hours doesn't mean a whole lot when it won't get used for reentry until 6 months later.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 10/09/2017 04:32 PM

Wrong. New requirement:  perform multiple additional manoeuvres, in support of on-orbit inspections,  in stead of straight- in approach. This in turn requires the development of a whole set of new additional procedures. Those don't come into existence overnight. They will take several months of additional time. Thus: delay.

Of course, inspecting it on the way in after it has been in space for less than 24 hours doesn't mean a whole lot when it won't get used for reentry until 6 months later.

Yes and no. There are 6 months to fix the capsule. The parts sent up on a later mission. If the capsule cannot be repaired a replacement can be sent to the spacestation.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 10/09/2017 06:29 PM

Wrong. New requirement:  perform multiple additional manoeuvres, in support of on-orbit inspections,  in stead of straight- in approach. This in turn requires the development of a whole set of new additional procedures. Those don't come into existence overnight. They will take several months of additional time. Thus: delay.

Of course, inspecting it on the way in after it has been in space for less than 24 hours doesn't mean a whole lot when it won't get used for reentry until 6 months later.
The whole MMOD idea is still in initial development, but right now they are looking at multiple opportunities:
- Photographic MMOD inspections on the way in (prior to docking) much like was done with shuttle.
- Robotic inspections (while docked to ISS) much like was done on shuttle by means of robotic arm.
- Photographic post-undocking inspections (with the option of safe-have re-docking if anything major is discovered).

The last scenario is the most unlikely one. It would require the CCP spaceships to remain on orbit for at least one more day  after undocking, near by the ISS, in case of the need to perform a safe-have re-docking. Problem is that original requirements for the CCP ships does not really provide the CCP ships with capacity to actually loiter a full day after undocking. Fullfilling a new requirement to actually do so will require major (re)work to the ships. So, the first two scenario's are more likely to be implemented. IF they are implemented...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: butters on 10/09/2017 07:08 PM
MMOD - something about purposely putting some defects on a cargo Dragon so they can inspect on return and refine the MMOD models???

Sounds like SpaceX tried to pull a "But what about cargo Dragon? Doesn't that count as evidence concerning MMOD?"

Not so fast, SpaceX. We see what you're trying to do here, attempting to substitute empirical evidence for statistical hand-waving. We'll only let you test with an intentionally defective spacecraft. It would obviously be unfair to test with a representative flight article. Let's be reasonable.

Plus it would be unfair to Boeing, since they don't have a existing spacecraft. The statistical hand-waving can be equally applied to both vehicles.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 10/09/2017 07:09 PM
Yes and no. There are 6 months to fix the capsule. The parts sent up on a later mission. If the capsule cannot be repaired a replacement can be sent to the spacestation.

Considering that the probability of sustaining an MMOD strike is directly proportional to the time on orbit, it's more to the point that it's FAR more likely to sustain a strike while docked than during the relatively brief time between launch and docking.  Unless an approach inspection is going to reveal something that would rule out docking, it doesn't seem to add a lot of value.

I'm also struggling to think of any component that could be repaired on orbit in that timeframe.  Unlike station, the commercial crew vehicles are not being designed with on-orbit (EVA or EVR) repair in mind.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 10/09/2017 10:26 PM
Yes and no. There are 6 months to fix the capsule. The parts sent up on a later mission. If the capsule cannot be repaired a replacement can be sent to the spacestation.

Considering that the probability of sustaining an MMOD strike is directly proportional to the time on orbit, it's more to the point that it's FAR more likely to sustain a strike while docked than during the relatively brief time between launch and docking.  Unless an approach inspection is going to reveal something that would rule out docking, it doesn't seem to add a lot of value.

The docking port could have been damaged. That may prevent docking.

A few more anti-satellite missile tests and the capsules may have to fly though a debris cloud.

An inspection of the outside of the capsule a couple of days before departure may be reassuring. Keeping the strike detection avionics and loss of pressure detectors operating whilst docked may be useful.

Quote
I'm also struggling to think of any component that could be repaired on orbit in that timeframe.  Unlike station, the commercial crew vehicles are not being designed with on-orbit (EVA or EVR) repair in mind.

The Space Shuttles were not designed for on-orbit repair but a method of patching holes in the skin of Shuttles was devised. A similar patch may work with the airframe/skin and windows of capsules.

A strike on a capsule could damage one or more of the external solar panels, radiators, aerials, sensors, rocket nozzles, side of the docking port, windows or airframe. The aerials can probably be replaced.

edit:grammar + add nozzles
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 10/12/2017 07:55 PM
The docking port could have been damaged. That may prevent docking.

This is about the only really meaningful use case I can envision of a pre-docking inspection.  That said, the relatively small vulnerable area and the short exposure time makes this situation quite a bit more unlikely than other LOM scenarios.

Quote
A few more anti-satellite missile tests and the capsules may have to fly though a debris cloud.

This is a red herring. Those debris clouds would have tracked objects in them.  If the rendezvous trajectory goes through a potential conjunction with a tracked object, the vehicle wouldn't be launched in the first place.

Quote
An inspection of the outside of the capsule a couple of days before departure may be reassuring. Keeping the strike detection avionics and loss of pressure detectors operating whilst docked may be useful.

There are no strike detection avionics.  An inspection of the outside of the vehicle pre-departure would identify damage to reentry TPS that could wave-off undocking.

Quote
The Space Shuttles were not designed for on-orbit repair but a method of patching holes in the skin of Shuttles was devised. A similar patch may work with the airframe/skin and windows of capsules.

These were ad hoc methods that are not easily transferred to new vehicle designs.  None of the new vehicles are designed to be EVA compatible.  There are no translation aids, and the TPS on the outer mold line likely would never be able to satisfy EVA kick load requirements.

Quote
A strike on a capsule could damage one or more of the external solar panels, radiators, aerials, sensors, rocket nozzles, side of the docking port, windows or airframe. The aerials can probably be replaced.

All of these things are being analyzed on an ongoing basis and feed into the Loss of Crew/Loss of Mission numbers.  Many of these aren't as consequential as you imply, and on-orbit replacement isn't in the concept of operations.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: deruch on 10/20/2017 04:57 AM
SpaceX and Boeing Milestones from NAC yestesday. Taken from Eric Bergers twitter feed.

Full presentations from yesterday and today should be uploaded at below address within a few days:

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/heo/nac-heoc
The link for the July 2017 NAC HEO meetings' Commercial Crew presentation is pointing to the wrong pdf.  I'm linking the correct slides found through some google-fu.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 11/16/2017 09:04 AM
Quote
Shotwell: still planning to carry out commercial crew test flights (uncrewed and crewed) in 2018.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/931088878395674624
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 12/28/2017 03:18 AM
From this Spaceflight101.com article: (http://spaceflight101.com/falcon-9-iridium-next-flight-4/falcon-9-launches-fourth-set-of-iridium-satellites/#AjGL0wpx16voViLL.99)

Quote
Also set for 2018 is the debut of SpaceX’s crewed Dragon spacecraft, set for an uncrewed demonstration mission to the International Space Station in the second half of the year, to be followed by a two-week crewed mission (likely in early 2019 per current ISS planning schedules).

Any word on the reasons the slip?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AntiAnti on 12/31/2017 09:05 AM
CCDev lastest schedule:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): August 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): November 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1 (uncrewed): April 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): August 2018

ISS schedule:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): NET August 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): Q1 2019
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1 (uncrewed): second half of 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): early 2019

Boe-CFT slip to 2019 was expected: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/11/boeing-starliner-trio-test-flights/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/06/2018 11:32 PM
From this Spaceflight101.com article: (http://spaceflight101.com/falcon-9-iridium-next-flight-4/falcon-9-launches-fourth-set-of-iridium-satellites/#AjGL0wpx16voViLL.99)

Quote
Also set for 2018 is the debut of SpaceX’s crewed Dragon spacecraft, set for an uncrewed demonstration mission to the International Space Station in the second half of the year, to be followed by a two-week crewed mission (likely in early 2019 per current ISS planning schedules).

Any word on the reasons the slip?
That word "likely" is in there, which means it's not yet a slip to 2019.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Robotbeat on 01/06/2018 11:32 PM
CCDev lastest schedule:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): August 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): November 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1 (uncrewed): April 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): August 2018

ISS schedule:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): NET August 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): Q1 2019
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1 (uncrewed): second half of 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): early 2019

Boe-CFT slip to 2019 was expected: https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/11/boeing-starliner-trio-test-flights/
Source? The spaceflight 101 doesn't say for sure.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/10/2018 06:12 PM
Subcommittee on Space Hearing - An Update on NASA Commercial Crew Systems Development (https://science.house.gov/legislation/hearings/subcommittee-space-hearing-update-nasa-commercial-crew-systems-development)
Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 - 10:00am
Location: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses:

Mr. William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, NASA
Mr. John Mulholland, vice president and program manager, Commercial Programs, Boeing Space Exploration
Dr. Hans Koenigsmann, vice president, Build and Flight Reliability, SpaceX
Ms. Cristina Chaplain, director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management, U.S. Government Accountability Office
Dr. Patricia Sanders, chair, NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 01:53 PM
Quote
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Target Test Flight Dates

The next generation of American spacecraft and rockets that will launch astronauts to the International Space Station are nearing the final stages of development and evaluation. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will return human spaceflight launches to U.S. soil, providing reliable and cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit on systems that meet our safety and mission requirements. To meet NASA’s requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station. Two of those demonstrations are uncrewed flight tests, known as Orbital Flight Test for Boeing, and Demonstration Mission 1 for SpaceX. After the uncrewed flight tests, both companies will execute a flight test with crew prior to being certified by NASA for crew rotation missions. The following schedule reflects the most recent publicly releasable dates for both providers.

Targeted Test Flight Dates:
Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): August 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): November 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1 (uncrewed): August 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): December 2018

Author Anna HeineyPosted on January 11, 2018

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/01/11/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-2/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/01/11/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-2/#.Wld4oz5q1_U.twitter)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/11/2018 02:53 PM
That's quite disappointing, of course, but the real question is what's the reason for the huge SpaceX delay and why they're now lagging behind Boing. I mean, everybody expected that SpaceX will be the first to conduct test flights.

Could it still be rocket/prop loading concerns?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/11/2018 06:41 PM
That's quite disappointing, of course, but the real question is what's the reason for the huge SpaceX delay and why they're now lagging behind Boing. I mean, everybody expected that SpaceX will be the first to conduct test flights.

Could it still be rocket/prop loading concerns?
Don't worry. Boeing is close to announcing its own delay. Their Crew Flight Test will be shifting into 2019 within the next few months.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 01/11/2018 08:51 PM
can SpaceX (if ready earlier) tell NASA they are ready and ask to go sooner?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: vaporcobra on 01/11/2018 09:19 PM
can SpaceX (if ready earlier) tell NASA they are ready and ask to go sooner?

Pretty sure that the power dynamic here (and it's far from technical, very political) assumes that NASA tells SpaceX when they are ready to go. SpaceX can probably request some sort of review, but I doubt they have an ability to assert that they are "ready" with any real consequences.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/11/2018 09:26 PM
SpaceX still has plenty of work to do getting both Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 certified for human flight.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 01/11/2018 09:27 PM
Who goes first is a little longterm importance. I expect Dragon 2 will fly more crew (both for NASA and commercial) due to the lower cost of the vehicle and rocket in the next 5-6 years.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Coastal Ron on 01/11/2018 09:56 PM
can SpaceX (if ready earlier) tell NASA they are ready and ask to go sooner?

Pretty sure that the power dynamic here (and it's far from technical, very political) assumes that NASA tells SpaceX when they are ready to go. SpaceX can probably request some sort of review, but I doubt they have an ability to assert that they are "ready" with any real consequences.

I interpreted the question from Lar as being whether if SpaceX were to hit their internal milestones earlier than planned, if NASA would be able to do their oversight tasks earlier too?

In other words, once the slip to the right is announced is NASA still able to move their schedule of events back to the left? Or now that August 2018 has been announced for the non-crew flight, nothing earlier can be supported?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 01/11/2018 10:57 PM
SpaceX still has plenty of work to do getting both Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 certified for human flight.

SpaceX may be able to take off when they want to but they need permission to dock with the ISS. If the Dragon 2 test docking is anything like the first Dragon 1 test berthing then the spacecraft will have to go through several days of safety flights.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 01/12/2018 12:26 AM
NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Target Test Flight Dates:

Quote from: NASA blog
Targeted Test Flight Dates:

Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): August 2018
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): November 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 1 (uncrewed): August 2018
SpaceX Demonstration Mission 2 (crewed): December 2018

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/01/11/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-2/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/12/2018 12:35 AM
NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Releases 2017 Annual Report (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasas-aerospace-safety-advisory-panel-releases-2017-annual-report)
Quote
The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), an advisory committee that reports to NASA and Congress, has issued its 2017 annual report examining NASA's safety performance over the past year and highlighting accomplishments, issues and concerns to agency and government officials.

The report, released Thursday, is based on the panel's 2017 fact-finding and quarterly public meetings; "insight" visits and meetings; direct observations of NASA operations and decision-making processes; discussions with NASA management, employees and contractors; and the panel members' own experience.

“It is clear to the panel that NASA is at a critical juncture in human spaceflight development and that this is a time to retain focus on program details; to maintain a sense of urgency while not giving in to schedule pressure and to continue with program plans without neglecting, shortchanging, or deleting program content essential to safety and mission assurance,” said ASAP Chair Patricia Sanders.

The 2017 report highlights activities of the past year, and includes assessments of the agency’s:

Exploration Systems Development
Commercial Crew Program
Deep space exploration
International Space Station operations
Aeronautics missions and air operations, and
Enterprise protection
The report reiterates the need for constancy of purpose as NASA is on the verge of realizing the results of years of work and extensive resource investment.

Congress established the panel in 1968 to provide advice and make recommendations to the NASA administrator on safety matters after the 1967 Apollo 1 fire that claimed the lives of three American astronauts.

For more information about the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, and to view the 2017 report, visit:
http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/asap

(found via a Tweet from Marcia Smith (https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/951618681741733890))
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 01/12/2018 01:09 AM
can SpaceX (if ready earlier) tell NASA they are ready and ask to go sooner?

Pretty sure that the power dynamic here (and it's far from technical, very political) assumes that NASA tells SpaceX when they are ready to go. SpaceX can probably request some sort of review, but I doubt they have an ability to assert that they are "ready" with any real consequences.

I interpreted the question from Lar as being whether if SpaceX were to hit their internal milestones earlier than planned, if NASA would be able to do their oversight tasks earlier too?

In other words, once the slip to the right is announced is NASA still able to move their schedule of events back to the left? Or now that August 2018 has been announced for the non-crew flight, nothing earlier can be supported?

What I was driving at was... suppose a miracle happens and SpaceX actually is early, way early, on readiness for either flight. If NASA says no, you can't go earlier, could SpaceX then tell the media, "we're ready, but are being held back so Boeing gets to go first" to counter the political power dynamic? Probably not.


Who goes first is a little longterm importance. I expect Dragon 2 will fly more crew (both for NASA and commercial) due to the lower cost of the vehicle and rocket in the next 5-6 years.
Tell that to the Alabama (sorry, need to stop here for a second and just say that I have to use stupid words to get my point across. I know that means I must have a weak argument, but that's why I use bad words)., or Andy at WSJ, if Boeing manages to go first.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/12/2018 01:12 AM
Read the ASAP report.  I don't think we have to worry about SpaceX being ready earlier than the new schedule.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 01/12/2018 01:28 AM
Read the ASAP report.  I don't think we have to worry about SpaceX being ready earlier than the new schedule.
We may have slightly different views of the accuracy level of modern ASAP reports...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/12/2018 01:34 AM
Read the ASAP report.  I don't think we have to worry about SpaceX being ready earlier than the new schedule.
We may have slightly different views of the accuracy level of modern ASAP reports...

They're one of the few windows we have into this process.  At the NAC meeting they mentioned that the Commercial Crew Program was letting ASAP take the point on some of these issues.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 01/12/2018 04:13 AM
{snip}

An inspection of the outside of the capsule a couple of days before departure may be reassuring. Keeping the strike detection avionics and loss of pressure detectors operating whilst docked may be useful.

There are no strike detection avionics.  An inspection of the outside of the vehicle pre-departure would identify damage to reentry TPS that could wave-off undocking.
{snip}

The BEAM module was fitted with distributed impact detection system (DIDS) connected by wireless. DIDS could be inserted into Dragon 2, Starliner and Dream Chaser either on the ground or when they reach the spacestation.

NASA Engineering and Safety Center Technical Assessment Report on
Distributed Impact Detector System (DIDS) Health Monitoring System Evaluation
Distributed Impact Detector System Evaluation (https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/424340main_NESC-RP-07-035%20Distributed%20Impact%20Detector%20System%20Evaluation%20(1-14-10%20NRB)%20REPORT%20FINAL%20.pdf)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/12/2018 03:41 PM
[Ars Technica] Boeing, SpaceX have razor-thin margins to fly crew missions in 2018 (https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/01/boeing-spacex-have-razor-thin-margins-to-fly-crew-missions-in-2018/)
Quote
...
Two sources, neither of which was affiliated with Boeing or SpaceX, told Ars that the space agency is considering the unorthodox step of lengthening the first crew test flights to the station such that astronauts launched might stay a few months on board the station, rather than making a a flight up to the orbiting laboratory, and returning shortly thereafter.

These sources also indicated that although the race between Boeing and SpaceX remains too close to call, NASA’s change in schedules this week may be more than symbolic. Because of Boeing’s long association with NASA, the space agency is in some respects more comfortable with the way Boeing does things, and the company may therefore be at least a few months ahead of SpaceX in the 21st-century race to space.
...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/13/2018 05:52 PM
[Ars Technica] Boeing, SpaceX have razor-thin margins to fly crew missions in 2018 (https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/01/boeing-spacex-have-razor-thin-margins-to-fly-crew-missions-in-2018/)
Quote
...
Two sources, neither of which was affiliated with Boeing or SpaceX, told Ars that the space agency is considering the unorthodox step of lengthening the first crew test flights to the station such that astronauts launched might stay a few months on board the station, rather than making a a flight up to the orbiting laboratory, and returning shortly thereafter.

These sources also indicated that although the race between Boeing and SpaceX remains too close to call, NASA’s change in schedules this week may be more than symbolic. Because of Boeing’s long association with NASA, the space agency is in some respects more comfortable with the way Boeing does things, and the company may therefore be at least a few months ahead of SpaceX in the 21st-century race to space.
...

Emphasis mine.

Unsurprising. Something along these lines has been expected ever since CCtCAP started.
Remember: NASA was uncomfortable with how SpaceX does its engineering and that's why they burdened the CCtCAP task-package with an "alternative standards" task.
In short: SpaceX had to work with NASA to "translate" their way of working into something that was understood by NASA.

This added well over a year worth of additional work to the SpaceX work package.

Than add in that NASA had a late change-of-mind about how Crew Dragon is supposed to land (shift from propulsive landing to all-parachute), which required substantial beefing-up of Crew Dragon's sea-worthiness (another full year of additional work), and it becomes perfectly understandable why SpaceX's initial lead over Boeing is now completely gone.


The prime reason for all of this that NASA does NOT follow the COTS model for CCP. In stead of setting high-level requirements only, as under COTS, NASA is deeply involved in every detail-requirement as well.
Basically, under CCP NASA is much more acting like how they run things on Orion and SLS.

The result: CCP is being dragged, by NASA, into one delay after another.

What I hear from sources is that there is frustration over this at both SpaceX and Boeing. Because NASA is not just being hard on SpaceX, they are making things difficult for Boeing as well.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: scdavis on 01/13/2018 06:31 PM
This sounds similar to my experience leading development on an industrial controls product that requires Functional Safety certification. Industry standard process for Functional Safety is extremely waterfall (don’t start the next step until previous step is fully done, verified, validated, signed off). If you try to veer from this process to something more agile, you are on the hook to prove your process guarantees a properly functioning product. If you follow the standard process you get a check mark, no problem.

The same problem appears if you try to deliver a technical innovation versus standard state of the art. Do what everyone else has done - you get a pass. Do something new ... you have to prove it is safe, and the benefit of doubt is on you. Pursuing this path is immensely risky to the project as the certifying body can decide *at the very last step* to deny certification even if they gave you preliminary approval in an early step.

Result for my team? A technically easy project we could perform in several months with extremely high quality becomes a several year effort with very high costs. I am not convinced at all that quality is better for all that time and money. Several innovative ideas that would be great for customers are too risky to pursue due to risk of certifying bodies rejecting at the last step. Tons of wasted effort and turn backs because we can’t work in a properly iterative and agile manner. On the positive side, we get to fund salaries for lots of third party consultants and certifying bodies. Nice jobs program for them.

In the last 20 years the software industry has learned much better ways of creating quality software. The Safety processes appear mired in ‘80s industry best practices.

I don’t have direct knowledge of space industry or NASA culture... but it smells the same.

The SpaceX process and technology are unfamiliar to the certifying body (NASA). Thus SpaceX faces doubt and burden of proof at every turn. This is not to say NASA is bad or biased, but that they haven’t learned yet how to take advantage of new best practices, while holding on to what is good in more traditional practices. Honestly it’s a difficult problem. General industry hasn’t completely solved it either.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: CapitalistOppressor on 01/15/2018 10:37 PM
NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Releases 2017 Annual Report (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasas-aerospace-safety-advisory-panel-releases-2017-annual-report)
Quote
The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), an advisory committee that reports to NASA and Congress, has issued its 2017 annual report examining NASA's safety performance over the past year and highlighting accomplishments, issues and concerns to agency and government officials.

The report, released Thursday, is based on the panel's 2017 fact-finding and quarterly public meetings; "insight" visits and meetings; direct observations of NASA operations and decision-making processes; discussions with NASA management, employees and contractors; and the panel members' own experience.

“It is clear to the panel that NASA is at a critical juncture in human spaceflight development and that this is a time to retain focus on program details; to maintain a sense of urgency while not giving in to schedule pressure and to continue with program plans without neglecting, shortchanging, or deleting program content essential to safety and mission assurance,” said ASAP Chair Patricia Sanders.

The 2017 report highlights activities of the past year, and includes assessments of the agency’s:

Exploration Systems Development
Commercial Crew Program
Deep space exploration
International Space Station operations
Aeronautics missions and air operations, and
Enterprise protection
The report reiterates the need for constancy of purpose as NASA is on the verge of realizing the results of years of work and extensive resource investment.

Congress established the panel in 1968 to provide advice and make recommendations to the NASA administrator on safety matters after the 1967 Apollo 1 fire that claimed the lives of three American astronauts.

For more information about the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, and to view the 2017 report, visit:
http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/asap

(found via a Tweet from Marcia Smith (https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/951618681741733890))

My sense from reading this is that SpaceX will not ever be certified to fly crew on Falcon 9. 

They clearly do not want to have crew aboard while fuel is loaded.  And their concerns regarding the COPV's do not sound like the sort of issue that is going to be resolved any time soon.

They clearly note that there is only a requirement for a single certified provider, and there seem to be digs aimed at SpaceX throughout.

The only positive for SpaceX is the fact that administrators may decide to move forward with them anyways, but ASAP doesn't look to be on board at all.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: the_other_Doug on 01/15/2018 11:22 PM
NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Releases 2017 Annual Report (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasas-aerospace-safety-advisory-panel-releases-2017-annual-report)
Quote
The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), an advisory committee that reports to NASA and Congress, has issued its 2017 annual report examining NASA's safety performance over the past year and highlighting accomplishments, issues and concerns to agency and government officials.

The report, released Thursday, is based on the panel's 2017 fact-finding and quarterly public meetings; "insight" visits and meetings; direct observations of NASA operations and decision-making processes; discussions with NASA management, employees and contractors; and the panel members' own experience.

“It is clear to the panel that NASA is at a critical juncture in human spaceflight development and that this is a time to retain focus on program details; to maintain a sense of urgency while not giving in to schedule pressure and to continue with program plans without neglecting, shortchanging, or deleting program content essential to safety and mission assurance,” said ASAP Chair Patricia Sanders.

The 2017 report highlights activities of the past year, and includes assessments of the agency’s:

Exploration Systems Development
Commercial Crew Program
Deep space exploration
International Space Station operations
Aeronautics missions and air operations, and
Enterprise protection
The report reiterates the need for constancy of purpose as NASA is on the verge of realizing the results of years of work and extensive resource investment.

Congress established the panel in 1968 to provide advice and make recommendations to the NASA administrator on safety matters after the 1967 Apollo 1 fire that claimed the lives of three American astronauts.

For more information about the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, and to view the 2017 report, visit:
http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/asap

(found via a Tweet from Marcia Smith (https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/951618681741733890))

My sense from reading this is that SpaceX will not ever be certified to fly crew on Falcon 9. 

They clearly do not want to have crew aboard while fuel is loaded.  And their concerns regarding the COPV's do not sound like the sort of issue that is going to be resolved any time soon.

They clearly note that there is only a requirement for a single certified provider, and there seem to be digs aimed at SpaceX throughout.

The only positive for SpaceX is the fact that administrators may decide to move forward with them anyways, but ASAP doesn't look to be on board at all.

ASAP doesn't certify anything, it is advisory only.  The administrator can ignore any or all of its advice without need to justify him/herself.  And it's my impression that NASA's Commercial Crew office has the final say on how the program goes forward with both providers, not ASAP.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: CapitalistOppressor on 01/16/2018 02:14 AM
NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Releases 2017 Annual Report (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasas-aerospace-safety-advisory-panel-releases-2017-annual-report)
Quote
The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), an advisory committee that reports to NASA and Congress, has issued its 2017 annual report examining NASA's safety performance over the past year and highlighting accomplishments, issues and concerns to agency and government officials.

The report, released Thursday, is based on the panel's 2017 fact-finding and quarterly public meetings; "insight" visits and meetings; direct observations of NASA operations and decision-making processes; discussions with NASA management, employees and contractors; and the panel members' own experience.

“It is clear to the panel that NASA is at a critical juncture in human spaceflight development and that this is a time to retain focus on program details; to maintain a sense of urgency while not giving in to schedule pressure and to continue with program plans without neglecting, shortchanging, or deleting program content essential to safety and mission assurance,” said ASAP Chair Patricia Sanders.

The 2017 report highlights activities of the past year, and includes assessments of the agency’s:

Exploration Systems Development
Commercial Crew Program
Deep space exploration
International Space Station operations
Aeronautics missions and air operations, and
Enterprise protection
The report reiterates the need for constancy of purpose as NASA is on the verge of realizing the results of years of work and extensive resource investment.

Congress established the panel in 1968 to provide advice and make recommendations to the NASA administrator on safety matters after the 1967 Apollo 1 fire that claimed the lives of three American astronauts.

For more information about the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, and to view the 2017 report, visit:
http://oiir.hq.nasa.gov/asap

(found via a Tweet from Marcia Smith (https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/951618681741733890))

My sense from reading this is that SpaceX will not ever be certified to fly crew on Falcon 9. 

They clearly do not want to have crew aboard while fuel is loaded.  And their concerns regarding the COPV's do not sound like the sort of issue that is going to be resolved any time soon.

They clearly note that there is only a requirement for a single certified provider, and there seem to be digs aimed at SpaceX throughout.

The only positive for SpaceX is the fact that administrators may decide to move forward with them anyways, but ASAP doesn't look to be on board at all.

ASAP doesn't certify anything, it is advisory only.  The administrator can ignore any or all of its advice without need to justify him/herself.  And it's my impression that NASA's Commercial Crew office has the final say on how the program goes forward with both providers, not ASAP.

Agree that that is the case, as I mentioned in my post. 

I'm just saying I suspect the administrators are going to be under enormous political pressure to decertify the Falcon 9 for HSF because ASAP isn't on board. 

I don't think the vehicle gets certified under those conditions.  Especially with all the other forces trying to game this in Boeings favor.

Given that neither Falcon 9, nor Dragon, are a part of SpaceX's long term plans they should start thinking about extricating themselves from the contract with the minimum losses possible. 

To my knowledge, SpaceX didn't bid the contract with the expectation of making major changes to Falcon 9, and given how much they underbid Boeing SpaceX needs to be careful not to get into a situation where their efforts to satisfy NASA is damaging them financially.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: QuantumG on 01/16/2018 02:18 AM
Everyone stopped listening to ASAP about 30 years ago... if they ever.

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/16/2018 07:50 AM
Everyone stopped listening to ASAP about 30 years ago... if they ever.



ASAP has in fact quite a bit of influence. Everytime ASAP raises a "concern" NASA (almost) automatically starts looking into this "concern" via dedicated teams. And quite a few of those result in additional/new action. For CCP alone at least four high-level requirements have been added/modded after ASAP raised "concern".

And sometimes NASA initiates action all by itself in anticipation of ASAP making a fuss over something.

For example: NASA and SpaceX cooperating on COPV 2.0 is a direct result of expecting ASAP to raise concern. This is to actually "head off" ASAP.

So yes, technically speaking ASAP only gives advice. But practically speaking ASAP advice is not often ignored.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jim on 01/16/2018 11:07 AM

I'm just saying I suspect the administrators are going to be under enormous political pressure to decertify the Falcon 9 for HSF because ASAP isn't on board. 


Not at all.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jim on 01/16/2018 11:08 AM

Given that neither Falcon 9, nor Dragon, are a part of SpaceX's long term plans they should start thinking about extricating themselves from the contract with the minimum losses possible. 


They can't without defaulting.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AncientU on 01/16/2018 01:45 PM
[Ars Technica] Boeing, SpaceX have razor-thin margins to fly crew missions in 2018 (https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/01/boeing-spacex-have-razor-thin-margins-to-fly-crew-missions-in-2018/)
Quote
...
Two sources, neither of which was affiliated with Boeing or SpaceX, told Ars that the space agency is considering the unorthodox step of lengthening the first crew test flights to the station such that astronauts launched might stay a few months on board the station, rather than making a a flight up to the orbiting laboratory, and returning shortly thereafter.

These sources also indicated that although the race between Boeing and SpaceX remains too close to call, NASA’s change in schedules this week may be more than symbolic. Because of Boeing’s long association with NASA, the space agency is in some respects more comfortable with the way Boeing does things, and the company may therefore be at least a few months ahead of SpaceX in the 21st-century race to space.
...

Emphasis mine.

Unsurprising. Something along these lines has been expected ever since CCtCAP started.
Remember: NASA was uncomfortable with how SpaceX does its engineering and that's why they burdened the CCtCAP task-package with an "alternative standards" task.
In short: SpaceX had to work with NASA to "translate" their way of working into something that was understood by NASA.

This added well over a year worth of additional work to the SpaceX work package.

Than add in that NASA had a late change-of-mind about how Crew Dragon is supposed to land (shift from propulsive landing to all-parachute), which required substantial beefing-up of Crew Dragon's sea-worthiness (another full year of additional work), and it becomes perfectly understandable why SpaceX's initial lead over Boeing is now completely gone.


The prime reason for all of this that NASA does NOT follow the COTS model for CCP. In stead of setting high-level requirements only, as under COTS, NASA is deeply involved in every detail-requirement as well.
Basically, under CCP NASA is much more acting like how they run things on Orion and SLS.

The result: CCP is being dragged, by NASA, into one delay after another.

What I hear from sources is that there is frustration over this at both SpaceX and Boeing. Because NASA is not just being hard on SpaceX, they are making things difficult for Boeing as well.

This is the crux of the issue.  NASA is taking a program that had potential to innovate and reduce costs (using proven* COTS model) and remaking it in their own image.  (What the USAF was yanked back from doing in Falcon certification.)

If NASA had chosen the winning bidders, Spacex/Dragon 2 and AtlasV/Dream Chaser, and operated the program using the COTS model -- allowing innovation and new ways of analyzing tests/producing results -- we'd already be delivering astros to the ISS and landing them on land with at least one of the programs, and the second wouldn't be far behind.

Instead, we are regressing in technology, delaying without end, and running up a huge tab (especially with additional Russian seats being purchased).  In the end, SpaceX for one will abandon the Dragon 2/land-in-the-ocean technology except for expensive NASA 'missions' to the ISS.  Boeing will not likely sell commercial flights either, so NASA will bear the full inflated cost burden of this transportation system.

*Look at the innovation and continuous progression in technology demonstrated by Falcon and Dragon (which could include Dragon propulsive landings if that wasn't stove-piped into a different management/contracting approach) under the COTS model.  The cost improvement (cited as 8::1 in reference below) has been completely lost.
http://www.nss.org/docs/EvolvableLunarArchitecture.pdf
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: envy887 on 01/16/2018 02:50 PM
I'm just saying I suspect the administrators are going to be under enormous political pressure to decertify the Falcon 9 for HSF because ASAP isn't on board. 

I don't think the vehicle gets certified under those conditions.  Especially with all the other forces trying to game this in Boeings favor.

Given that neither Falcon 9, nor Dragon, are a part of SpaceX's long term plans they should start thinking about extricating themselves from the contract with the minimum losses possible. 

To my knowledge, SpaceX didn't bid the contract with the expectation of making major changes to Falcon 9, and given how much they underbid Boeing SpaceX needs to be careful not to get into a situation where their efforts to satisfy NASA is damaging them financially.

SpaceX isn't going to back out of a NASA contract. NASA provides the majority of their revenue, and I don't think they have a viable business without the commercial crew contract.

As long as they can prove the vehicle and spacecraft design and operating procedures meet qualification standards, it will fly.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/16/2018 03:59 PM
I smell a slip...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jim on 01/16/2018 04:08 PM

This is the crux of the issue.  NASA is taking a program that had potential to innovate and reduce costs (using proven* COTS model) and remaking it in their own image.  (What the USAF was yanked back from doing in Falcon certification.)

If NASA had chosen the winning bidders, Spacex/Dragon 2 and AtlasV/Dream Chaser, and operated the program using the COTS model -- allowing innovation and new ways of analyzing tests/producing results -- we'd already be delivering astros to the ISS and landing them on land with at least one of the programs, and the second wouldn't be far behind.

Instead, we are regressing in technology, delaying without end, and running up a huge tab (especially with additional Russian seats being purchased).  In the end, SpaceX for one will abandon the Dragon 2/land-in-the-ocean technology except for expensive NASA 'missions' to the ISS.  Boeing will not likely sell commercial flights either, so NASA will bear the full inflated cost burden of this transportation system.

Once again, wrong.  COTS was only good for Tang, T-shirts and toilet paper.  It was never good enough for anything else.  So, it was not "proven", it was only good for high risk items.

Falcon 9 was still not good enough to launch NASA or DOD spacecraft after COTS.  Falcon 9 had to certified for Jason-3 and it is being recertified for TESS and still will have to go through some more certification for the next NASA launch when ever that is. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/16/2018 04:15 PM
Falcon 9 had to certified for Jason-3 and it is being recertified for TESS and still will have to go through some more certification for the next NASA launch when ever that is.

late 2020, I'm sure they will need an updated certification by then
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 01/16/2018 04:24 PM
SpaceX isn't going to back out of a NASA contract. NASA provides the majority of their revenue, and I don't think they have a viable business without the commercial crew contract.

As long as they can prove the vehicle and spacecraft design and operating procedures meet qualification standards, it will fly.
While I agree, it is going to fly, SpaceX is well past the point of needing its NASA contracts to be a viable company. They had a dozen non-USG launches last year and will have more this year. NASA is simply not the majority of its revenue anymore even with Dragon development.

Once again, wrong.  COTS was only good for Tang, T-shirts and toilet paper.  It was never good enough for anything else.  So, it was not "proven", it was only good for high risk items.
Wrong. COTS carries much more valuable things than Tang, t-shirts and toilet paper. It has carried science experiments, BEAM, IDAs etc. Yes, it wasn't certified for the highest risk category payloads, but ignoring the actual expensive hardware that has flown is wrong.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: envy887 on 01/16/2018 04:25 PM

This is the crux of the issue.  NASA is taking a program that had potential to innovate and reduce costs (using proven* COTS model) and remaking it in their own image.  (What the USAF was yanked back from doing in Falcon certification.)

If NASA had chosen the winning bidders, Spacex/Dragon 2 and AtlasV/Dream Chaser, and operated the program using the COTS model -- allowing innovation and new ways of analyzing tests/producing results -- we'd already be delivering astros to the ISS and landing them on land with at least one of the programs, and the second wouldn't be far behind.

Instead, we are regressing in technology, delaying without end, and running up a huge tab (especially with additional Russian seats being purchased).  In the end, SpaceX for one will abandon the Dragon 2/land-in-the-ocean technology except for expensive NASA 'missions' to the ISS.  Boeing will not likely sell commercial flights either, so NASA will bear the full inflated cost burden of this transportation system.

Once again, wrong.  COTS was only good for Tang, T-shirts and toilet paper.  It was never good enough for anything else.  So, it was not "proven", it was only good for high risk items.

Falcon 9 was still not good enough to launch NASA or DOD spacecraft after COTS.  Falcon 9 had to certified for Jason-3 and it is being recertified for TESS and still will have to go through some more certification for the next NASA launch when ever that is.

Were't the constant certifications due to the constant changes? Jason-3 was v1.1, TESS is v1.2 but not Block 5, the next launch will be Block 5 (or later).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jim on 01/16/2018 04:51 PM

Wrong. COTS carries much more valuable things than Tang, t-shirts and toilet paper. It has carried science experiments, BEAM, IDAs etc. Yes, it wasn't certified for the highest risk category payloads, but ignoring the actual expensive hardware that has flown is wrong.


and was proven wrong with the lost IDA
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 01/16/2018 05:04 PM

Wrong. COTS carries much more valuable things than Tang, t-shirts and toilet paper. It has carried science experiments, BEAM, IDAs etc. Yes, it wasn't certified for the highest risk category payloads, but ignoring the actual expensive hardware that has flown is wrong.


and was proven wrong with the lost IDA
I figured you would mention that, but that does not prove anything. First, it is the equivalent of anecdotal evidence, second an imperfect safety record (regardless of which launch it occurred on) only shows that the lack of certification for the highest risk category was correct at the time, and third it is simply a fact that you misrepresented the value of the payloads carried by COTS.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Kansan52 on 01/16/2018 06:11 PM
Jim's right.

This is about contracts and how they are worded. NASA makes the decisions. It's been this way on everything NASA has ever done.

That would imply, but not guarantee, some version of the Falcon and some version of the Dragon 2 will be certified by NASA sometime in the future.

If memory serves, Boeing is currently going through the same process.

My guess, NASA wants this and will accomplish it.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AncientU on 01/16/2018 09:21 PM
Falcon 9 had to certified for Jason-3 and it is being recertified for TESS and still will have to go through some more certification for the next NASA launch when ever that is.

late 2020, I'm sure they will need an updated certification by then

So what if NASA is having to redo certification.  The US is getting a huge gain in commercial launch services business and reports are that NASA has already saved much more than spent on Falcon. 

Think of re-certification as a jobs program... that seems to justify NASA spending billions each year.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jim on 01/16/2018 09:31 PM

So what if NASA is having to redo certification.  The US is getting a huge gain in commercial launch services business and reports are that NASA has already saved much more than spent on Falcon. 


not really
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: joek on 01/16/2018 09:37 PM
and was proven wrong with the lost IDA
What was proven?  That a flight failed?  Yes.  That a cargo was lost?  Yes.  That CRS/SpaceX is not qualified to  carry such cargo?  No.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jim on 01/16/2018 11:03 PM
and was proven wrong with the lost IDA
What was proven?  That a flight failed?  Yes.  That a cargo was lost?  Yes.  That CRS/SpaceX is not qualified to  carry such cargo?  No.

yes, it was proven that CRS was not qualified to carry low risk items.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/17/2018 05:11 AM
and was proven wrong with the lost IDA
What was proven?  That a flight failed?  Yes.  That a cargo was lost?  Yes.  That CRS/SpaceX is not qualified to  carry such cargo?  No.

yes, it was proven that CRS was not qualified to carry low risk items.
Can we not use the same criterion to cast shade on another given OA-6's near miss given the MRCV anomaly on the RD-180?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 01/17/2018 06:55 AM

Wrong. COTS carries much more valuable things than Tang, t-shirts and toilet paper. It has carried science experiments, BEAM, IDAs etc. Yes, it wasn't certified for the highest risk category payloads, but ignoring the actual expensive hardware that has flown is wrong.


and was proven wrong with the lost IDA

Funny how you are very selective in what you consider "proven".

You dismiss COTS as "proof" for a new (and more cost-efficient) way of doing things, despite the fact that COTS has been a resounding success via the follow-on programs CRS-1 and CRS-2.

On the other hand you consider a single lost high-value item as "proof" that COTS should be for high-risk tolerance missions (in your words: Tang, T-shirts and toilet paper) only.

You completely disregard that several other high-value items have been successfully launched on COTS vehicles. You also completely disregard that NASA apparantly has no problem with flying such high-value items on COTS vehicles.
And finally you disregard that NASA has extended the use of the COTS vehicle with a very significant number of follow-on missions (CRS-2), a good number of which will fly high-value items.

Like it or not Jim, but your logic with regards to dismissing COTS as suited for flying high-value items is flawed IMO. The single biggest piece of evidence to support my opinion on this is that NASA flew IDA-2 on the very same vehicle as IDA-1, despite the loss. So what you call "proof" in reality isn't. Otherwise NASA would have flown the next IDA on a different cargo vehicle (HTV).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: BrianNH on 01/17/2018 09:49 AM
and was proven wrong with the lost IDA
What was proven?  That a flight failed?  Yes.  That a cargo was lost?  Yes.  That CRS/SpaceX is not qualified to  carry such cargo?  No.

yes, it was proven that CRS was not qualified to carry low risk items.

Using this criteria, Apollo, Shuttle and Soyuz were proven to not be qualified to carry crew or low risk items.  Our last qualified crew vehicle would be Gemini.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: RotoSequence on 01/17/2018 10:01 AM
and was proven wrong with the lost IDA
What was proven?  That a flight failed?  Yes.  That a cargo was lost?  Yes.  That CRS/SpaceX is not qualified to  carry such cargo?  No.

yes, it was proven that CRS was not qualified to carry low risk items.

Is that spoken with respect to then needed corrective measures at SpaceX?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/17/2018 01:44 PM
We're wandering a bit from Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jim on 01/17/2018 02:03 PM
and was proven wrong with the lost IDA
What was proven?  That a flight failed?  Yes.  That a cargo was lost?  Yes.  That CRS/SpaceX is not qualified to  carry such cargo?  No.

yes, it was proven that CRS was not qualified to carry low risk items.

Using this criteria, Apollo, Shuttle and Soyuz were proven to not be qualified to carry crew or low risk items.  Our last qualified crew vehicle would be Gemini.

No, different procurement and insight processes are involved.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jim on 01/17/2018 02:04 PM
and was proven wrong with the lost IDA
What was proven?  That a flight failed?  Yes.  That a cargo was lost?  Yes.  That CRS/SpaceX is not qualified to  carry such cargo?  No.

yes, it was proven that CRS was not qualified to carry low risk items.
Can we not use the same criterion to cast shade on another given OA-6's near miss given the MRCV anomaly on the RD-180?

No, because Atlas V was fully certified vehicle.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/17/2018 02:41 PM
From House Committee on Science, Space and Technology hearing now on commercial crew:

Quote
Cristina Chaplain: both contractors continue to slip schedules -- commercial crew program's own analysis suggest certification for SpaceX Dragon2 will slip to December 2019 and Boeing to January 2020.

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/953653156470185984 (https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/953653156470185984)

Edit to add:

Quote
Correction: Boeing Starliner certification likely to slip to February 2020.

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/953653898769649664
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/17/2018 02:44 PM
SpaceX view:

Quote
Hans Koenigsmann of SpaceX going through recent milestones in the development of its Crew Dragon system; have completed nearly all technical development needed for vehicle.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/953652236793581569

Quote
SpaceX's Koenigsmann: will do uncrewed test in August, crewed test with 2 NASA astronauts in December. Then operational flights w/4 NASA astronauts. Safely and reliably.

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/953652758997028865
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/17/2018 02:46 PM
Ouch:

Quote
Gerst: we have Soyuz flights through fall of 2019, but not possible to build additional Soyuz vehicles in time if more flights need. Brainstorming ideas of how to find additional schedule if needed.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/953649905192591362 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/953649905192591362)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/17/2018 02:57 PM
Hans:  "This is a much closer relationship than I envisioned."  :D
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 01/17/2018 03:19 PM
No, different procurement and insight processes are involved.
You can't argue results-based and process-based as you find convenient and make a credible argument.  You''d be better off sticking to one or the other.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/17/2018 03:39 PM
GAO testimony attached. From p13:

Quote
However, the extent to which these schedules represent an accurate estimate of each contractor’s final certification date is unclear for the following two reasons:

1.   Each contractor provides schedule updates to the Commercial Crew Program at quarterly status reviews, and the dates frequently change. The program has held 12 quarterly reviews since each contract was awarded. Boeing has reported a delay six times and SpaceX has reported a delay nine times that included at least one key event identified in the timeline above at these quarterly reviews.

2.   The Commercial Crew Program is tracking risks that both contractors could experience additional schedule delays and, based on our ongoing work, we found that the program’s own analysis indicates that certification is likely to slip into December 2019 for SpaceX and February 2020 for Boeing. Each month, the program updates its schedule risk analysis, based on the contractors’ internal schedules as well as the program ’s perspectives and insight into specific technical risks. The Commercial Crew Program manager stated that differences between the contractors’ proposed schedules and the program’s schedule risk analysis include the following:

• The contractors are aggressive and use their schedule dates to motivate their teams, while NASA adds additional schedule margin for testing.
• Both contractors assume an efficiency factor in getting to the crewed flight test that NASA does not factor into its analysis.

The program manager explained further that the program meets with each contractor monthly to discuss schedules and everyone agrees to the relationships between events in the schedule even if they disagree on the length of time required to complete events. The program manager added, however, that she relies on her prior experience for a better sense of schedule timeframes as opposed to relying on the contractors’ schedules.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 01/17/2018 03:56 PM
Here is where you can download the testimony.  Come on people, don't just directly link one freakin' pdf file instead of saying where you can get the whole package.

https://democrats-science.house.gov/legislation/hearings/update-nasa-commercial-crew-systems-development

edit:  this wasn't in response to FutureSpaceTourist's post, it was from posts in other threads
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Lar on 01/17/2018 04:10 PM
Hans:  "This is a much closer relationship than I envisioned."  :D

That's not a good thing[1]. Hans is (to my read) hinting at why there is so much slippage... the testimony presented so far (I haven't reviewed it all, just what snippets are given here) doesn't address the churn in requirements and the impact of the very high level of oversight compared to COTS....

1- Ham and eggs.. the chicken is involved, but the pig is committed.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Khadgars on 01/17/2018 04:22 PM
How I'm reading it, Boeing and SpaceX believe in their current schedule (crewed flights by years end and certification early next year) but NASA does not have any confidence in this.

I don't have a problem with Boeing and SpaceX stating their confident in their current schedule and I don't have a problem with NASA having issues with it.

As they say, proof is in the pudding. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mn on 01/17/2018 05:59 PM
How I'm reading it, Boeing and SpaceX believe in their current schedule (crewed flights by years end and certification early next year) but NASA does not have any confidence in this.

I don't have a problem with Boeing and SpaceX stating their confident in their current schedule and I don't have a problem with NASA having issues with it.

As they say, proof is in the pudding.

More likely SpaceX knows very well that the odds of additional delays is very high, but that doesn't stop them from quoting the 'current' timeline, in the (unlikely) event that nothing in the current timeline takes longer than expected.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/17/2018 06:15 PM
Hans:  "This is a much closer relationship than I envisioned."  :D

That's not a good thing.
Depends on perspective.

In a "too close" relationship, you've exposure to things you don't want/need/expect/require. Including ... politics.

Quote
Hans is (to my read) hinting at why there is so much slippage... the testimony presented so far (I haven't reviewed it all, just what snippets are given here) doesn't address the churn in requirements and the impact of the very high level of oversight compared to COTS....
IIRC, Congress *hated* COTS ... because of its success. They successfully(?) changed that.

They could have restrained themselves, but crew unlike cargo is intensely political.

How I'm reading it, Boeing and SpaceX believe in their current schedule (crewed flights by years end and certification early next year) but NASA does not have any confidence in this.
Read it differently.

NASA is entirely beholden to other interests, and can't disambiguate which to listen to, and how to proceed.

Has nothing to do with crew safety, if it did than the solipsism of crew on EM-1 would never have even been considered.

If you want CC faster, just fly what you have immediately, apply the flight history to each capsule and deal with the remaining issues with greater clarity/concentration. Easy fix.

Quote
I don't have a problem with Boeing and SpaceX stating their confident in their current schedule and I don't have a problem with NASA having issues with it.
Nor I.

The real tragedy of the situation is that some in America want to "sabotage"  success that doesn't appear to immediately appeal to base instincts. Thus the improvements of CRS didn't so much transfer over to Orion/SLS/CC as they should have.

All three could have gotten multi-billion "ROI" off of CRS. But because one might get ahead that they did not favor, they killed it for all - "that'll teach them, heh heh!".  Kind of a "sh*thole" thing to do.

How much progress can be made with things constantly being held back / "monkey wrenched". Reminds of the factions in the Soviet Union that supported different design bureaus who "self defeated" each other.

And Jim, its no longer techincally "fully qualified", as it lacks the qualification to land a booster in the range - misses that one. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/17/2018 06:25 PM
Jeff Foust’s write-up:

Quote
GAO warns of further delays in certifying commercial crew vehicles
by Jeff Foust — January 17, 2018

WASHINGTON — As the two companies developing commercial crew systems reiterated that they were on schedule to carry out test flights later this year, a government analysis of schedules concluded those vehicles may not be certified to carry NASA astronauts until late 2019 or early 2020.

http://spacenews.com/gao-warns-of-further-delays-in-certifying-commercial-crew-vehicles/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: deruch on 01/17/2018 06:30 PM
GAO testimony attached. From p13:

Quote
2.   The Commercial Crew Program is tracking risks that both contractors could experience additional schedule delays and, based on our ongoing work, we found that the program’s own analysis indicates that certification is likely to slip into December 2019 for SpaceX and February 2020 for Boeing.

Are those supposed to be 2018 and 2019?  or are they really saying that they expect certification to come almost a year after the current targets for the crewed demo missions?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/17/2018 06:32 PM
Are those supposed to be 2018 and 2019?  or are they really saying that they expect certification to come almost a year after the current targets for the crewed demo missions?


From what I understand, this is the internal NASA schedule that's different from the optimistic SpaceX and Boeing Schedule.

Then this probably means that NASA doesn't even expect the uncrewed flights to start until very late 2018 at the earliest, and crewed flights to be in 2019 (which probably means not Q1)...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Olaf on 02/08/2018 05:48 PM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/961669552374517760
Quote
Gerst said he expects to have US crewed access to space, through the commercial crew program, in operation in 12-20 months.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/961670055124750338
Quote
Gerst said NASA’s Soyuz access to ISS ends in Oct/Nov 2019. As for contingency planning if comm’l crew isn’t ready by then, he said one option would be to use their test flights in a more operational role, but still brainstorming other options.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 02/08/2018 06:20 PM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/961669552374517760
Quote
Gerst said he expects to have US crewed access to space, through the commercial crew program, in operation in 12-20 months.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/961670055124750338
Quote
Gerst said NASA’s Soyuz access to ISS ends in Oct/Nov 2019. As for contingency planning if comm’l crew isn’t ready by then, he said one option would be to use their test flights in a more operational role, but still brainstorming other options.

I believe the launch vehicles are ready, so they can be stockpiled.

To save time additional Dragon 2s and CST-100s can be made before TRL 9 is granted. Any design modifications can be retrofitted to the capsules.

NASA could hold a major safety investigation before Easter and the results sent to the capsule manufactures. After that specify any additional rules or NASA requested modifications will need approval by NASA's Administrator, who will veto by default.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 02/08/2018 06:55 PM
It's not just the capsules. The launch vehicles are not certified yet either.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Olaf on 02/09/2018 01:10 PM
An article by Jeff Foust
http://spacenews.com/nasa-studying-commercial-crew-contingency-plans/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: intrepidpursuit on 02/10/2018 05:42 AM
An article by Jeff Foust
http://spacenews.com/nasa-studying-commercial-crew-contingency-plans/

It is a good thing SLS/Orion will be ready to do crew rotations by 2017 in case the commercial providers hit delays.

I'll let myself out.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 03/07/2018 11:30 AM
Safety panel warns of “bottleneck” of reviews for exploration and commercial crew vehicles

http://spacenews.com/safety-panel-warns-of-bottleneck-of-reviews-for-exploration-and-commercial-crew-vehicles/ (http://spacenews.com/safety-panel-warns-of-bottleneck-of-reviews-for-exploration-and-commercial-crew-vehicles/)

Quote from: Jeff Foust
The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP), meeting March 1 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, didn’t note any new major safety-related problems involving the two commercial crew vehicles under development, Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon, or NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion programs. However, members raised concerns about the fact that the simultaneous development of the vehicles could strain NASA’s ability to perform qualification and other safety reviews. That had the potential to create additional schedule pressure on those programs.



This is not the first time it is being noted by outside experts that additional delays to CCP might be the result of NASA underestimating the amount of work still to be done by NASA.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 03/07/2018 12:14 PM
It was kinda amazing how little was said about CCP at the last ASAP meeting.  It will be interesting to see if the next NAC meeting is the same way.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: alexterrell on 03/07/2018 12:30 PM

This is not the first time it is being noted by outside experts that additional delays to CCP might be the result of NASA underestimating the amount of work still to be done by NASA.
Or is it a case of NASA adding on more work as the process goes along. After all, who's going to say: "We'll be done on schedule, so I won't need more manpower after that"
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: deruch on 03/10/2018 07:31 AM
What I'd really like to see is a graph/chart showing the CCP's burn down of the partners' applications for variances and exemptions.  What rate have they been making their way through those?  And what has been the average time from submission to disposition, etc.  I don't care so much about the finger pointing such a chart/graph might engender, but I'd like to have some sort of idea how readily the programs will be able to move into and through their Reviews after the test flights.  Or how large a gap will likely be required between the uncrewed and crewed flights. etc.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: theonlyspace on 03/12/2018 02:18 PM
Cannot depend on the SLS/ Orion for crew rotations. The first SLS unmanned will not even fly till 2020 and another three years till a crewed flight. Then unless each crew stays up for couple years the next Orion will probably not fly to two or three years after the first manned Orion.  Maybe NASA using this as a reason to get rid of Space Station and further cut back on manned spaceflight. Maybe my uptake on all these delays is wrong.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 03/12/2018 02:20 PM
SLS/Orion has absolutely nothing to do with this thread.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Olaf on 03/16/2018 05:44 PM
This pretty new document by NASA, provided in https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/03/cislunar-station-new-name-presidents-budget/ shows six Commercial Crews flights in the fiscal year 2019 (October 2018 - September 2019). Am I wrong or have I missed something, I thought only maximum of four flights are planned in this timeframe.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: DigitalMan on 03/17/2018 03:20 AM
Perhaps they aren't considering the crewed test flights to be part of crew rotation.

This pretty new document by NASA, provided in https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/03/cislunar-station-new-name-presidents-budget/ shows six Commercial Crews flights in the fiscal year 2019 (October 2018 - September 2019). Am I wrong or have I missed something, I thought only maximum of four flights are planned in this timeframe.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 03/18/2018 01:24 AM
This pretty new document by NASA, provided in https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/03/cislunar-station-new-name-presidents-budget/ shows six Commercial Crews flights in the fiscal year 2019 (October 2018 - September 2019). Am I wrong or have I missed something, I thought only maximum of four flights are planned in this timeframe.
They may for planning/budget reasons have to start moving on two flights from each provider as a contingency for one of the providers hitting a schedule snag. So the hope may be one flight from A and one from B, but if A has a problem then B is already preparing for two flights, or vice versa.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 03/20/2018 04:02 PM
Tweet from Emre Kelly (https://twitter.com/EmreKelly/status/976141104591630336):
Quote
Updated commercial crew slide from KSC Director Cabana's presentation today; appears to be as expected. Uncrewed Boeing and SpaceX flights in August, crewed in November and December, respectively. More details in photo.

Boeing pad abort in April.
SpaceX in-flight abort in May?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: russianhalo117 on 03/20/2018 04:16 PM
Tweet from Emre Kelly (https://twitter.com/EmreKelly/status/976141104591630336):
Quote
Updated commercial crew slide from KSC Director Cabana's presentation today; appears to be as expected. Uncrewed Boeing and SpaceX flights in August, crewed in November and December, respectively. More details in photo.

Boeing pad abort in April.
SpaceX in-flight abort in May?
It seems to be the schedule. No question mark needed.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AbuSimbel on 03/20/2018 05:26 PM
Tweet from Emre Kelly (https://twitter.com/EmreKelly/status/976141104591630336):
Quote
Updated commercial crew slide from KSC Director Cabana's presentation today; appears to be as expected. Uncrewed Boeing and SpaceX flights in August, crewed in November and December, respectively. More details in photo.

Boeing pad abort in April.
SpaceX in-flight abort in May?
It seems to be the schedule. No question mark needed.

Weren't they supported to reuse the DM-1 capsule for the abort test? This seems strange...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 03/20/2018 06:08 PM
SpaceX in-flight abort in May?
It seems to be the schedule. No question mark needed.

The publicly presented CC schedules can be months out of date.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 03/20/2018 10:26 PM
Tweet from Emre Kelly (https://twitter.com/EmreKelly/status/976141104591630336):
Quote
Updated commercial crew slide from KSC Director Cabana's presentation today; appears to be as expected. Uncrewed Boeing and SpaceX flights in August, crewed in November and December, respectively. More details in photo.

Boeing pad abort in April.
SpaceX in-flight abort in May?

Slide is not accurate.  In-flight abort is still slated to occur between Demo-1 and Demo-2.  Someone just forgot to update the slide.  In-flight abort was May 2018 when Demo-1 was April 2018.  Now that Demo-1 has slipped to August, in-flight abort has moved concurrently.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 03/21/2018 08:52 AM
SpaceX in-flight abort in May?
It seems to be the schedule. No question mark needed.

The publicly presented CC schedules can be months out of date.
In fact, they are months out of date, as explained by ChrisG above. Also: the Boeing pad abort is not currently planned in April.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: JDTractorGuy on 03/26/2018 06:13 PM
So is Boeing on track to meet the Aug launch date, or is there some behind the scenes issue not mentioned on those slides that's going to realistically push the date back another month(s)? 

Almost seems to be good to be true--I keep expecting another major slip. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 03/26/2018 11:51 PM
The slides from the March 26, 2018 CCP program update
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 03/27/2018 07:05 AM
The slides from the March 26, 2018 CCP program update

Please note: the status update for Starliner and Crew Dragon describes the status per late February, 2018.
Meaning that the slides are already a month out-of-date, given that things are moving very quickly for both CCP providers.

Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: vaporcobra on 03/27/2018 08:35 AM
The slides from the March 26, 2018 CCP program update

Please note: the status update for Starliner and Crew Dragon describes the status per late February, 2018.
Meaning that the slides are already a month out-of-date, given that things are moving very quickly for both CCP providers.

Parts were also from late January.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 03/27/2018 08:51 AM
The slides from the March 26, 2018 CCP program update

Please note: the status update for Starliner and Crew Dragon describes the status per late February, 2018.
Meaning that the slides are already a month out-of-date, given that things are moving very quickly for both CCP providers.

Parts were also from late January.
Yes sir, so those parts are even more out-of-date.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Ike17055 on 04/01/2018 04:28 PM
I don’t get it...we keep being told here the schedules are out of date, and that major slips are going to occur. But, every official communication coming out from Leuders and others recently are continuing to stick with the official dates for this year, including some only a few days old. Are the certification concerns, raised previously, overblown, or what is going on? Contractors say they are tracking right on schedule.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 04/01/2018 07:41 PM
I don’t get it...we keep being told here the schedules are out of date, and that major slips are going to occur. But, every official communication coming out from Leuders and others recently are continuing to stick with the official dates for this year, including some only a few days old. Are the certification concerns, raised previously, overblown, or what is going on? Contractors say they are tracking right on schedule.
Politics. Everything is officially on schedule, until it isn’t.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 04/02/2018 06:17 PM
An update on commercial crew:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXCK576G3EM
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: su27k on 04/03/2018 03:59 AM
An update on commercial crew:

It would be great if we have some context for this: who, where, when, etc

Also the video category is "Comedy"?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: theinternetftw on 04/03/2018 04:33 AM
It would be great if we have some context for this: who, where, when, etc

Also the video category is "Comedy"?

Who: Steve Stich, NASA Deputy Manager of Flight Development and Operations for the Commercial Crew Program.
Where: Boeing's C3PF
When: Today during CRS-14 festivities (2018-04-02)

Can't help you with the Comedy.  Maybe the uploader has a dry wit.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 04/12/2018 04:47 PM
Tweet from Marcia Smith (https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/984453275394158593):
Quote
Culberson-schedule for cmrcl crew flights?
Lighftoof -- both companies will have uncrewed flight tests before end of 2018.  Will have to get back to you on when crewed flights are expected. I'm focused on the uncrewed flights now.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 04/14/2018 01:53 PM
One important thing that Lightfoot mentioned at the recent House Hearing is that NASA is considering spacing out some of the upcoming purchased Soyuz flights (which would mean extended stays for the astronauts) in order to make sure that there is no gap between the remaining purchased Soyuz seats and commercial crew.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44955.msg1809776#msg1809776
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Ike17055 on 04/14/2018 02:34 PM
So, when could we expect the test flights to appear on the lauch schedules?  The pads and range require launches scheduling into the flow, presumably months in advance. At some point pretty soon, we should get a fairly concrete idea of projected lauch timeframes for the uncrewed test missions slated for this year. We are solidly into Q2 now. How much notice should we get, for instance, based on working into the Atlas v launches already scheduled.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: envy887 on 05/01/2018 08:50 PM
The GAO issues a report today on NASA's large projects.

Sounds like both Crew test flights are still planned for 2018, but might slip to 2019.

Quote
In January 2018, we found the contractors’ test flights
have slipped to 2018 and the final certification reviews
have slipped to early 2019.d
 This represents a delay of 17
months for Boeing and 22 months for SpaceX from initial
schedules. The Commercial Crew Program is tracking
risks that both contractors could experience additional
schedule delays and its schedule risk analysis indicates
that certification is likely to slip until late 2019 for SpaceX
and early 2020 for Boeing.

Interestingly enough, the issue of loading propellants after crew are on board does not appear under "Other Issues to Be Monitored" or anywhere else.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/01/2018 09:05 PM
The GAO issues a report today on NASA's large projects.

Sounds like both Crew test flights are still planned for 2018, but might slip to 2019.


Again, this reports appears to be based on past schedules. A direct quote from the document you posted:

"Boeing has conducted
extensive wind tunnel testing and plans to complete a pad
abort test in April 2018."

Apparently, it's already May and the pad abort test hasn't been completed yet.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 05/02/2018 01:09 AM
The GAO issues a report today on NASA's large projects.

Sounds like both Crew test flights are still planned for 2018, but might slip to 2019.

Quote
In January 2018, we found the contractors’ test flights
have slipped to 2018 and the final certification reviews
have slipped to early 2019.d
 This represents a delay of 17
months for Boeing and 22 months for SpaceX from initial
schedules. The Commercial Crew Program is tracking
risks that both contractors could experience additional
schedule delays and its schedule risk analysis indicates
that certification is likely to slip until late 2019 for SpaceX
and early 2020 for Boeing.

Interestingly enough, the issue of loading propellants after crew are on board does not appear under "Other Issues to Be Monitored" or anywhere else.
GAO mostly deals with schedules and budgets. Which would crew loading fall under?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 05/02/2018 01:15 AM
Interestingly enough, the issue of loading propellants after crew are on board does not appear under "Other Issues to Be Monitored" or anywhere else.

It was a one page summary covering both providers, not meant to be comprehensive.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: su27k on 05/02/2018 04:20 AM
Interestingly enough, the issue of loading propellants after crew are on board does not appear under "Other Issues to Be Monitored" or anywhere else.
GAO mostly deals with schedules and budgets. Which would crew loading fall under?

Major schedule risk. The report covers several such risks, including an obscure Boeing parachute issue we have never heard of. So if the crew loading is a major issue that could impact schedule, it would be mentioned, assuming everyone is honest.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 05/02/2018 12:04 PM
Interesting tidbit that results from comparing the 2017 edition of the GAO review to the 2018 edition of the GAO review.

Original certification dates:
- Boeing: 08/17
- SpaceX: 04/17

2017:
- Boeing was 14 months behind on certification. New target certification date was 10/18.
- SpaceX was 15 months behind on certification. New target certification date was 07/18.

2018:
- Boeing is 17 months behind on certification. New target certification date is 01/19.
- SpaceX is 22 months behind on cerfitication. New target certifcation date is 02/19.

In other words:
- In the past year Boeing slipped 3 months.
- In the past year SpaceX slipped 7 months.

Also of note: the past year was the second year in a row that SpaceX slipped more than Boeing. Whatever lead SpaceX had over Boeing is now completely gone. That corroborates with some of my NASA sources stating that Boeing's CFT mission will fly BEFORE SpaceX's Demo-2 mission.

I have the impression that the bigger amount of money available to Boeing ($ 4.2B versus $ 2.6B for SpaceX) is one of the reasons why Boeing slips less than SpaceX.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 05/02/2018 12:34 PM
I have the impression that the bigger amount of money available to Boeing ($ 4.2B versus $ 2.6B for SpaceX) is one of the reasons why Boeing slips less than SpaceX.

I wonder how much BFR plays in as well. With Dragon 2, SpaceX's internal goals and NASA's goals are no longer in alignment. So, the extra oomph to get things done a bit quicker may not be there. Not to mention that some of SpaceX's top talent has probably moved over to BFR already if they are as far along was they seem to indicate.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: kevinof on 05/02/2018 01:15 PM
that was my thought a week or so ago looking at the requested changes in Dragon 2.  This program has dragged on years more than it was planned, plus BFR is the next big thing and I would not be surprised if the Dragon 2 program was losing some of it's shine inside SpaceX.

Choice of working on BFR vs Dragon 2 with it's endless meetings/reviews/paperwork/oversight. I know which one I would choose.

I have the impression that the bigger amount of money available to Boeing ($ 4.2B versus $ 2.6B for SpaceX) is one of the reasons why Boeing slips less than SpaceX.

I wonder how much BFR plays in as well. With Dragon 2, SpaceX's internal goals and NASA's goals are no longer in alignment. So, the extra oomph to get things done a bit quicker may not be there. Not to mention that some of SpaceX's top talent has probably moved over to BFR already if they are as far along was they seem to indicate.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: deruch on 05/02/2018 03:28 PM
Interesting tidbit that results from comparing the 2017 edition of the GAO review to the 2018 edition of the GAO review.

Original certification dates:
- Boeing: 08/17
- SpaceX: 04/17

2017:
- Boeing was 14 months behind on certification. New target certification date was 10/18.
- SpaceX was 15 months behind on certification. New target certification date was 07/18.

2018:
- Boeing is 17 months behind on certification. New target certification date is 01/19.
- SpaceX is 22 months behind on cerfitication. New target certifcation date is 02/19.

In other words:
- In the past year Boeing slipped 3 months.
- In the past year SpaceX slipped 7 months.

Also of note: the past year was the second year in a row that SpaceX slipped more than Boeing. Whatever lead SpaceX had over Boeing is now completely gone. That corroborates with some of my NASA sources stating that Boeing's CFT mission will fly BEFORE SpaceX's Demo-2 mission.

I have the impression that the bigger amount of money available to Boeing ($ 4.2B versus $ 2.6B for SpaceX) is one of the reasons why Boeing slips less than SpaceX.

Also the fact that 2 years ago Boeing's chosen rocket didn't have a catastrophic failure necessitating a standdown, investigation, redesign, and requalification might have something to do with it.  Did the 2017 GAO report (which was written based on inquiry in 2016) already take into account SpaceX's delay from AMOS-6?  Though maybe your sources are saying that Dragon would have been delayed this much on its own anyway?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 05/02/2018 08:36 PM
Interestingly enough, the issue of loading propellants after crew are on board does not appear under "Other Issues to Be Monitored" or anywhere else.
GAO mostly deals with schedules and budgets. Which would crew loading fall under?

Major schedule risk. The report covers several such risks, including an obscure Boeing parachute issue we have never heard of. So if the crew loading is a major issue that could impact schedule, it would be mentioned, assuming everyone is honest.

Parachute development can run into roadblocks that require additional weeks testing.

Crew loading shouldn't be a schedule risk unless they find it takes them 3 months to get the crew in through the hatch.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rcoppola on 05/02/2018 08:59 PM
Nobody who's skills are best-in-class and critical to the success of the Dragon2 program is leaving before the job is done and verified. The best path to BFS, is through a successful Dragon2 program culminating with the splashdown of smiling and safe Astronauts. imo.

While this NASA gauntlet may not be everything they were expecting, I'm certain they have learned many dozens of valuable lessons during the last couple years. Many that will greatly inform crew considerations on BFS.

Until I hear SpaceX themselves loudly start to leak that they are absolutely ready but being held back for some arbitrary reasons or unfounded, last minute, unneeded, way over the top requirements, I'll assume it's heads down, rock and roll...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Kansan52 on 05/02/2018 10:20 PM
Nobody who's skills are best-in-class and critical to the success of the Dragon2 program is leaving before the job is done and verified. The best path to BFS, is through a successful Dragon2 program culminating with the splashdown of smiling and safe Astronauts. imo.

While this NASA gauntlet may not be everything they were expecting, I'm certain they have learned many dozens of valuable lessons during the last couple years. Many that will greatly inform crew considerations on BFS.

Until I hear SpaceX themselves loudly start to leak that they are absolutely ready but being held back for some arbitrary reasons or unfounded, last minute, unneeded, way over the top requirements, I'll assume it's heads down, rock and roll...

My question is what will it cost SX to dump this program and your comment seems to answer that, too much when you factor in the bad PR and the lessons that can be learned from NASA.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: deruch on 05/02/2018 10:41 PM
Major schedule risk. The report covers several such risks, including an obscure Boeing parachute issue we have never heard of. So if the crew loading is a major issue that could impact schedule, it would be mentioned, assuming everyone is honest.

Parachute development can run into roadblocks that require additional weeks testing.

Crew loading shouldn't be a schedule risk unless they find it takes them 3 months to get the crew in through the hatch.

The schedule risk would be that the program doesn't have a tested and approved crew loading procedure that all stakeholders are comfortable with.  In that case, a potentially new and different procedure will have to baselined and all the related performance analysis will have to be done for that alternate.  That risks adding a delay to the beginning of operational missions, and hence would be considered a schedule risk.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 05/03/2018 05:19 AM
Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
SpaceX Crew Dragon ships to the Cape in about 3 months
5:00 PM - May 2, 2018

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/991784449275670528?s=19
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 05/03/2018 06:53 AM
Interesting tidbit that results from comparing the 2017 edition of the GAO review to the 2018 edition of the GAO review.

Original certification dates:
- Boeing: 08/17
- SpaceX: 04/17

2017:
- Boeing was 14 months behind on certification. New target certification date was 10/18.
- SpaceX was 15 months behind on certification. New target certification date was 07/18.

2018:
- Boeing is 17 months behind on certification. New target certification date is 01/19.
- SpaceX is 22 months behind on cerfitication. New target certifcation date is 02/19.

In other words:
- In the past year Boeing slipped 3 months.
- In the past year SpaceX slipped 7 months.

Also of note: the past year was the second year in a row that SpaceX slipped more than Boeing. Whatever lead SpaceX had over Boeing is now completely gone. That corroborates with some of my NASA sources stating that Boeing's CFT mission will fly BEFORE SpaceX's Demo-2 mission.

I have the impression that the bigger amount of money available to Boeing ($ 4.2B versus $ 2.6B for SpaceX) is one of the reasons why Boeing slips less than SpaceX.

Also the fact that 2 years ago Boeing's chosen rocket didn't have a catastrophic failure necessitating a standdown, investigation, redesign, and requalification might have something to do with it.  Did the 2017 GAO report (which was written based on inquiry in 2016) already take into account SpaceX's delay from AMOS-6?  Though maybe your sources are saying that Dragon would have been delayed this much on its own anyway?

GAO reports on CCP as a whole. Which is more than just the spacecraft. It includes the lauch vehicle as well (among many other aspects). There is no doubt whatsoever that AMOS-6 contributed to the delay experienced by SpaceX. Simply because of the necessity to do COPV v2.0.
But GAO also notes this:
Quote from: GAO
Additionally, program officials told us that one of their greatest upcoming challenges will be to complete two oversight activities — conducting phased safety reviews and verifying that contractors meet requirements — concurrently.
Which means NASA is behind on schedule in performing the reviews. And that is exactly what ASAP has been warning NASA about for the past two years.
In the end we may see that the contractors are finally ready to fly (after having suffered their own delays) only to find out that they are not (yet) allowed to fly because NASA doesn't have its reviewing-act together.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 05/03/2018 01:56 PM
Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
SpaceX Crew Dragon ships to the Cape in about 3 months
5:00 PM - May 2, 2018

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/991784449275670528?s=19

About 3 months is August/September 2018. The Dragon 2 was due to launch in August so SpaceX may have slipped 1 month.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 05/04/2018 06:10 AM
Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
SpaceX Crew Dragon ships to the Cape in about 3 months
5:00 PM - May 2, 2018

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/991784449275670528?s=19

About 3 months is August/September 2018. The Dragon 2 was due to launch in August so SpaceX may have slipped 1 month.
Likely more than that. Preliminary schedules I've seen puts the Demo-1 mission in early December 2018.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/17/2018 03:49 PM
Quote
ASAP’s Brent Jett: sense of panel that further commercial crew schedule slips are likely. If both companies able to at least do uncrewed test flights this year, that would be a good outcome.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/997130292069617665
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 06/18/2018 05:17 PM
This is a good article, worth reading.

[Aviation Week, June 14] NASA’s Grand Commercial Space Taxi Experiment Heads Into Home Stretch (http://aviationweek.com/space/nasa-s-grand-commercial-space-taxi-experiment-heads-home-stretch)

Quote
Officially, the milestone [Boeing uncrewed Orbital Test Flight] remains on NASA’s calendar for August, but the flight more likely is six months away.
...
“I think we’re going to get the unmanned demo flights probably by the end of the year, maybe a little after that . . . and then the crew demo missions next year. Those are really going to dictate how the rest of that manifest goes,” says Suni Williams, one of four NASA astronauts serving as test subjects and sounding boards for the Boeing and SpaceX development, test and operations teams.
...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 06/19/2018 03:42 AM
These parts of the article are also interesting:

Quote
The unmanned and crewed test flights are intended to pave the way for NASA certification of the systems for ISS crew-rotation missions licensed by the FAA, which oversees commercial U.S. spaceflight. “By doing the FAA licensing for crewed missions, we’ve established the beginning of this government-commercial framework for these providers to eventually have licensed missions on their own, independent of NASA capabilities,” says CCP Manager Kathy Lueders.

Quote
“I think NASA wanted people who had experience with loss of a space shuttle as a part of the initial crew cadre,” says astronaut Bob Behnken, who is assigned to the CCP program along with colleagues Williams, Eric Boe and Doug Hurley. Behnken and Hurley were waiting for Columbia on the KSC runway on Feb. 1, 2003, when the shuttle broke apart [...]

“When we travel to Florida with a team, we look for opportunities to get them into the Columbia room so they can be exposed to what that brings to your psyche,” he [Behnken] adds, referring to a room on the 16th floor of KSC’s Vehicle Assembly Building where debris from the accident has been preserved.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: getitdoneinspace on 06/24/2018 10:48 PM
http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-astronaut-suni-williams-on-spacex-boeing-spaceships-2018-6

According to this article with Suni Williams, the uncrewed flights will be September for SpaceX and October for Boeing. The crewed flights will be December 31st for Boeing and January 17th for SpaceX.

Rather specific dates for the crewed flights. Looking forward to the Happy New Year!



Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 06/24/2018 11:25 PM
http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-astronaut-suni-williams-on-spacex-boeing-spaceships-2018-6

According to this article with Suni Williams, the uncrewed flights will be September for SpaceX and October for Boeing. The crewed flights will be December 31st for Boeing and January 17th for SpaceX.

Rather specific dates for the crewed flights. Looking forward to the Happy New Year!

Those dates are extremely unlikely to happen.  The article mentions the crewed demo dates possibly slipping to mid-2019, and that is probably what is going to happen.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 06/25/2018 06:52 AM
http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-astronaut-suni-williams-on-spacex-boeing-spaceships-2018-6 (http://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-astronaut-suni-williams-on-spacex-boeing-spaceships-2018-6)

According to this article with Suni Williams, the uncrewed flights will be September for SpaceX and October for Boeing. The crewed flights will be December 31st for Boeing and January 17th for SpaceX.

Rather specific dates for the crewed flights. Looking forward to the Happy New Year!

Those dates are extremely unlikely to happen.  The article mentions the crewed demo dates possibly slipping to mid-2019, and that is probably what is going to happen.

Yes, and if my sources are correct (and I trust them to be so) at least one of the uncrewed missions won't be happening in 2018 either (the Boeing one).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 06/27/2018 07:25 AM
The author of that article actually contacted me asking me where I got the commercial crew dates from in my US Commercial manifest at

http://www.sworld.com.au/steven/space/uscom-man.txt

I gave a link to my usual sources and NSF, and specifically mentioned this thread. :-)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/29/2018 08:10 AM
Quote
NASA planning revisions to commercial crew test flight schedule
by Jeff Foust — June 28, 2018

RENTON, Wash. — With official dates for commercial crew test flights looming, NASA officials have indicated a revised schedule, taking into account the status of vehicle development as well as International Space Station activities, will soon be released.

At a June 28 briefing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center regarding the scheduled June 29 launch of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft, Kirk Shireman, NASA ISS program manager, said the agency was “close” to setting new date for uncrewed and crewed test flights by Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-planning-revisions-to-commercial-crew-test-flight-schedule/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: deruch on 06/29/2018 10:52 PM
The author of that article actually contacted me asking me where I got the commercial crew dates from in my US Commercial manifest at

http://www.sworld.com.au/steven/space/uscom-man.txt

I gave a link to my usual sources and NSF, and specifically mentioned this thread. :-)

Citeology in effect.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Khadgars on 07/09/2018 05:17 PM
I have the impression that the bigger amount of money available to Boeing ($ 4.2B versus $ 2.6B for SpaceX) is one of the reasons why Boeing slips less than SpaceX.

I wonder how much BFR plays in as well. With Dragon 2, SpaceX's internal goals and NASA's goals are no longer in alignment. So, the extra oomph to get things done a bit quicker may not be there. Not to mention that some of SpaceX's top talent has probably moved over to BFR already if they are as far along was they seem to indicate.

If that is the case, I will be highly disappointed in SpaceX.  Why would you take your best talent off human spaceflight that you already have scheduled?  I've always felt SpaceX viewed human spaceflight as easier than it really is, but I'd be shocked they don't have their aces working in it.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 07/09/2018 05:28 PM
I have the impression that the bigger amount of money available to Boeing ($ 4.2B versus $ 2.6B for SpaceX) is one of the reasons why Boeing slips less than SpaceX.

I wonder how much BFR plays in as well. With Dragon 2, SpaceX's internal goals and NASA's goals are no longer in alignment. So, the extra oomph to get things done a bit quicker may not be there. Not to mention that some of SpaceX's top talent has probably moved over to BFR already if they are as far along was they seem to indicate.

If that is the case, I will be highly disappointed in SpaceX.  Why would you take your best talent off human spaceflight that you already have scheduled?  I've always felt SpaceX viewed human spaceflight as easier than it really is, but I'd be shocked they don't have their aces working in it.
The programs are in different phases, the top design talent and the top I&T talent are probably different people. Plenty of people who worked Dragon probably have little to continue to contribute to that program.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: chipguy on 07/09/2018 05:34 PM
I've always felt SpaceX viewed human spaceflight as easier than it really is, but I'd be shocked they don't have their aces working in it.

Why would their aces be working on Dragon 2? It is pretty clear that NASA
doesn't want anything radically new or innovative or deviates from past
practices. Progress going forward seems limited by acceptance procedures,
reviews, and paperwork on NASA's side. That is FAR from a program where
aces would want to work or be needed when BFS is progressing in parallel.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Tomness on 07/09/2018 05:40 PM

...

If that is the case, I will be highly disappointed in SpaceX.  Why would you take your best talent off human spaceflight that you already have scheduled?  I've always felt SpaceX viewed human spaceflight as easier than it really is, but I'd be shocked they don't have their aces working in it.
The programs are in different phases, the top design talent and the top I&T talent are probably different people. Plenty of people who worked Dragon probably have little to continue to contribute to that program.

IMO, that's what I got out of whats happening now, its in Quality Control, Testing,  & Cerfication Phase. R & D & Design phases are over
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Andy Bandy on 07/10/2018 11:17 PM
Cargo and Crew Dragon are not all that alike. There are identical elements, but more differences with a lot of changes. Musk's focus on vertical integration means they have to develop a lot of new elements in house, which makes everything more complicated and time consuming and problem plagued.

Boeing's approach is not to reinvent the wheel. It has uses a lot of subcontractors and a lot of proven tech. The challenge is integrating all these disparate elements.

Even though the first Crew Dragon has come out of vacuum testing, there's a chance Boeing will fly first.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: envy887 on 07/11/2018 01:34 AM
On the contrary, vertical integration means that any issues found in testing can be resolved faster because there are fewer communication delays back and forth with the subs.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AbuSimbel on 07/11/2018 08:32 AM
Cargo and Crew Dragon are not all that alike. There are identical elements, but more differences with a lot of changes. Musk's focus on vertical integration means they have to develop a lot of new elements in house, which makes everything more complicated and time consuming and problem plagued.

Boeing's approach is not to reinvent the wheel. It has uses a lot of subcontractors and a lot of proven tech. The challenge is integrating all these disparate elements.

Even though the first Crew Dragon has come out of vacuum testing, there's a chance Boeing will fly first.

What? This is easily disproved by the fast pace of almost every project SpaceX has undertaken compared to the traditional approach.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Ike17055 on 07/11/2018 03:43 PM
nobody knows where these contractors stand in regard to completion. SpaceX has encountered plenty of delays so the previous post is incorrect. the ideas regarding vertical integration being naturally fsater is a theory that may or may not be true. The idea that using proven components should be a faster development approach is likewise a theory that may or may not be true. both hypotheses are going to be put to the test, so we will know which hypothesis is more valid  - in this case - within a few months, most likely.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Ike17055 on 07/11/2018 03:47 PM
lots of variables in each of these theories that can spell the difference.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 07/11/2018 03:54 PM
Quote
New GAO report says neither commercial crew system likely to be certified before late 2019/early 2020. https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/693035.pdf … Says NASA has not "fully shared" w/Congress risks of future delays and doesn't have contingency plan in place to ensure "uninterrupted presence" on ISS

https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1017073661025636353

Edit to add: GOA page for the report https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-18-476
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: envy887 on 07/11/2018 04:04 PM
nobody knows where these contractors stand in regard to completion.

We do now.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 07/11/2018 04:22 PM
nobody knows where these contractors stand in regard to completion.

We do now.

Even that table -- inconclusive as it is -- doesn't really tell the whole story.  There's a veritable mountain of certification products that have to be completed as well, and none of that is reflected in the status of a hardware build.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/11/2018 04:22 PM
Looks like In-flight abort from 39A on Block 5 in crew configuration (full launch vehicle).

Quote
To better understand the propellant loading procedures, the program and SpaceX agreed to
demonstrate the loading process five times from the launch site in the
final crew configuration prior to the crewed flight test. The five events
include the uncrewed flight test and the in-flight abort test. Therefore,
delays to those events would lead to delays to the agreed upon
demonstrations, which could in turn delay the crewed flight test and
certification milestone.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: butters on 07/11/2018 04:28 PM
It's not clear whether Boeing or SpaceX is more prepared for commercial crew certification than the other. But what seems increasingly clear to me is that NASA is less prepared than either of the providers.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: AbuSimbel on 07/11/2018 04:31 PM
nobody knows where these contractors stand in regard to completion. SpaceX has encountered plenty of delays so the previous post is incorrect. the ideas regarding vertical integration being naturally fsater is a theory that may or may not be true. The idea that using proven components should be a faster development approach is likewise a theory that may or may not be true. both hypotheses are going to be put to the test, so we will know which hypothesis is more valid  - in this case - within a few months, most likely.

I wasn't talking about Commercial Crew... In 15 years SpaceX has developed 3 LVs, of which 2 reusable and one the largest operational rocket in the world, 2 space capsules capable of atmospheric reentry with in house build heath shield, of which one is crewed, 5 families of engines etc. That's what I was talking about.

And yes, that's undeniably faster than the traditional approach, even more impressive if you factor in the amount of money spent.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 07/11/2018 04:46 PM
It's not clear whether Boeing or SpaceX is more prepared for commercial crew certification than the other. But what seems increasingly clear to me is that NASA is less prepared than either of the providers.

So this would mean that if (big if) the providers could pull off crewed missions in the first half next year, they would have to wait a year to fly again on a certified mission?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: envy887 on 07/11/2018 04:55 PM
It's not clear whether Boeing or SpaceX is more prepared for commercial crew certification than the other. But what seems increasingly clear to me is that NASA is less prepared than either of the providers.

So this would mean that if (big if) the providers could pull off crewed missions in the first half next year, they would have to wait a year to fly again on a certified mission?

Perhaps. But if the crewed test missions are successful, NASA will be under an incredible amount of pressure to move to operational flights as soon as possible. Why do you think they are moving towards making the Boeing OFT an "operational" mission?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Adriano on 07/12/2018 04:11 AM
I have not been following closely the development of crew capsules, but the possible delay of another year or two does not make any sense to me. These capsules are not that complicated, and the current Dragon has been flying for years without, I think, major problems that would have threatened the survival of a live passenger (animal, or human).  Capsules from Mercury and Apollo to the current Dragon have accumulated an impressive number of successful flights, and I think much is known of the unbreakable Soyuz capsules, so the requirements should be well documented. Are the developers facing continuing changes of specs from NASA in search of ever increasing reliability, after the Shuttlle fiasco ( much more dangerous than thought at the time?). In my career I faced several times the problem of project managers less competent than developers that simply did not have the knowledge and the brains for judging solutions and to develop clear and final specs, the balls for pulling the trigger, or the honesty to admit that the technical issues were over their heads and hence constantly chasing windmills...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 07/12/2018 07:02 AM
nobody knows where these contractors stand in regard to completion.

We do now.

No we don't. The information in that table has been outdated for months.
It provides a snapshot of the status as it was at the start of the second quarter of calendar year 2018.
We now are in the third quarter of calendar year 2018.

The CCP contractors are closer to completion than this table suggests.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Ike17055 on 07/12/2018 12:33 PM
nobody knows where these contractors stand in regard to completion.

We do now.

No we don't. The information in that table has been outdated for months.
It provides a snapshot of the status as it was at the start of the second quarter of calendar year 2018.
We now are in the third quarter of calendar year 2018.

The CCP contractors are closer to completion than this table suggests.

moreover, the key word that appears over and ovre in the last column is "plans"...plans to this, plans to that. all is subject to change. we know people's intentions,  -- maybe -- but we sure don't have anything definitive about when we are flying.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 07/12/2018 01:32 PM
I'm not too familiar with risk analysis, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Won't flying the uncrewed demonstration missions successfully retire a significant amount of schedule risk? In other words, the range of expected certification dates should shrink.

As an example the current average dates from the risk assessment are end of year 2019/early 2020. If the uncrewed demonstrations come off successfully at the end of the year(ish), might we not expect the risk assessment average to move up into the middle of the second half of 2019?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: johnfwhitesell on 07/12/2018 01:40 PM
I'm not too familiar with risk analysis, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Won't flying the uncrewed demonstration missions successfully retire a significant amount of schedule risk? In other words, the range of expected certification dates should shrink.

As an example the current average dates from the risk assessment are end of year 2019/early 2020. If the uncrewed demonstrations come off successfully at the end of the year(ish), might we not expect the risk assessment average to move up into the middle of the second half of 2019?

I might be behind the times but I believe at this point the sticking point on the risk analysis has to do with the time in orbit more then the launch.  Objects in LEO get hit by micrometeorites which can cause damage that turns fatal upon reentry.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/12/2018 01:47 PM
The uncrewed flights will retire a significant amount of risk but they may or may not retire specific risks that are the long poles in the schedule.  There are still lots of certification activities for the launch vehicles that won't go away with a single flight.  NASA will still have to work through all of the certification products.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: meberbs on 07/12/2018 02:00 PM
I'm not too familiar with risk analysis, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Won't flying the uncrewed demonstration missions successfully retire a significant amount of schedule risk? In other words, the range of expected certification dates should shrink.

As an example the current average dates from the risk assessment are end of year 2019/early 2020. If the uncrewed demonstrations come off successfully at the end of the year(ish), might we not expect the risk assessment average to move up into the middle of the second half of 2019?

I might be behind the times but I believe at this point the sticking point on the risk analysis has to do with the time in orbit more then the launch.  Objects in LEO get hit by micrometeorites which can cause damage that turns fatal upon reentry.
You are talking about something completely different. Rockets4life97 is asking about the program schedule uncertainty, not the loss of crew risk. The latter is a single (important) analysis that has to be sold off, but unless NASA is not reviewing documentation fast enough (quite possible) it should not be a schedule driver in any way, it should be purely parallel to just about everything else.

As for the schedule risk it depends on what assumptions went into the risk analysis, and what the meaning of the given range is. Things can be pulled in from a "most likely" date, but if a range starts at the best case, then that end of the range won't move, just the end of the range gets pulled in. (The "best case" date could theoretically move in if things happened ahead of schedule, but being honest that almost never happens, so no one prepares for it to happen, and timed events on the schedule for big projects will often prevent the best case from getting pulled in.)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 07/12/2018 03:08 PM
I have not been following closely the development of crew capsules, but the possible delay of another year or two does not make any sense to me. These capsules are not that complicated, and the current Dragon has been flying for years without, I think, major problems that would have threatened the survival of a live passenger (animal, or human).  Capsules from Mercury and Apollo to the current Dragon have accumulated an impressive number of successful flights, and I think much is known of the unbreakable Soyuz capsules, so the requirements should be well documented. Are the developers facing continuing changes of specs from NASA in search of ever increasing reliability, after the Shuttlle fiasco ( much more dangerous than thought at the time?). In my career I faced several times the problem of project managers less competent than developers that simply did not have the knowledge and the brains for judging solutions and to develop clear and final specs, the balls for pulling the trigger, or the honesty to admit that the technical issues were over their heads and hence constantly chasing windmills...

Know how I can tell you've never been involved in a spacecraft development project?

I'll save you the point-by-point breakdown and just say this: nearly every single thing you said in this post is wrong.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: butters on 07/12/2018 04:55 PM
I'm not too familiar with risk analysis, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Won't flying the uncrewed demonstration missions successfully retire a significant amount of schedule risk? In other words, the range of expected certification dates should shrink.

As an example the current average dates from the risk assessment are end of year 2019/early 2020. If the uncrewed demonstrations come off successfully at the end of the year(ish), might we not expect the risk assessment average to move up into the middle of the second half of 2019?

I might be behind the times but I believe at this point the sticking point on the risk analysis has to do with the time in orbit more then the launch.  Objects in LEO get hit by micrometeorites which can cause damage that turns fatal upon reentry.

Dragon 1 has accumulated lots of time in the exact same orbital environment in which Dragon 2 will operate. My understanding is that NASA has decided not to include empirical data on MMOD from CRS missions into its theoretical risk analyses for CCP. My assumption is that they're justifying this on the grounds that Dragon 2 is not identical to Dragon 1 and therefore nothing about the observed reliability of Dragon 1 can be used to inform the risk assessment for Dragon 2.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Coastal Ron on 07/12/2018 05:03 PM
Dragon 1 has accumulated lots of time in the exact same orbital environment in which Dragon 2 will operate. My understanding is that NASA has decided not to include empirical data on MMOD from CRS missions into its theoretical risk analyses for CCP. My assumption is that they're justifying this on the grounds that Dragon 2 is not identical to Dragon 1 and therefore nothing about the observed reliability of Dragon 1 can be used to inform the risk assessment for Dragon 2.

Which is odd, since they should be able to use actual MMOD data from all the flights to date to help validate their models for predicted strikes, since Dragon 1 is very close in size to Dragon 2.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/12/2018 05:12 PM
Dragon 1 has accumulated lots of time in the exact same orbital environment in which Dragon 2 will operate. My understanding is that NASA has decided not to include empirical data on MMOD from CRS missions into its theoretical risk analyses for CCP. My assumption is that they're justifying this on the grounds that Dragon 2 is not identical to Dragon 1 and therefore nothing about the observed reliability of Dragon 1 can be used to inform the risk assessment for Dragon 2.

The total time of all CRS Dragons docked at ISS so far is a little more than the duration of two CCTCAP missions.  That's a small sample size.  There were also reports of NASA introducing small defects into CRS Dragon TPS to simulate MMOD damage, which would feed into the models.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 07/12/2018 06:40 PM
Dragon 1 has accumulated lots of time in the exact same orbital environment in which Dragon 2 will operate. My understanding is that NASA has decided not to include empirical data on MMOD from CRS missions into its theoretical risk analyses for CCP. My assumption is that they're justifying this on the grounds that Dragon 2 is not identical to Dragon 1 and therefore nothing about the observed reliability of Dragon 1 can be used to inform the risk assessment for Dragon 2.

Which is odd, since they should be able to use actual MMOD data from all the flights to date to help validate their models for predicted strikes, since Dragon 1 is very close in size to Dragon 2.

The area-time product of flown Dragon vehicles just isn't big enough to provide much, if any, statistical significance to the observations for any particle size that matters.

Hell, the area-time product of ISS as a whole only barely approaches a statistically significant sample for a lot of the relevant particles.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rayleighscatter on 07/12/2018 09:34 PM
I'm not too familiar with risk analysis, so correct me if I'm wrong.

Won't flying the uncrewed demonstration missions successfully retire a significant amount of schedule risk? In other words, the range of expected certification dates should shrink.

As an example the current average dates from the risk assessment are end of year 2019/early 2020. If the uncrewed demonstrations come off successfully at the end of the year(ish), might we not expect the risk assessment average to move up into the middle of the second half of 2019?

I might be behind the times but I believe at this point the sticking point on the risk analysis has to do with the time in orbit more then the launch.  Objects in LEO get hit by micrometeorites which can cause damage that turns fatal upon reentry.

Dragon 1 has accumulated lots of time in the exact same orbital environment in which Dragon 2 will operate. My understanding is that NASA has decided not to include empirical data on MMOD from CRS missions into its theoretical risk analyses for CCP. My assumption is that they're justifying this on the grounds that Dragon 2 is not identical to Dragon 1 and therefore nothing about the observed reliability of Dragon 1 can be used to inform the risk assessment for Dragon 2.

That might be a reach as a conclusion. There are a lot of variables we just don't know. Did SpaceX review each craft with the sort of scrutiny a manned craft would receive? Was it handled with the sort of oversight that would allow them to quantify if a scratch in the paint was caused before launch, during launch, by MMOD, during reentry, during splashdown, during recovery, during ground handling? This sort of diligence is time consuming and costs much more than simply completing an unmanned mission and examining the craft for worthiness for a future flight.

While not engaging in that kind of diligence is cheaper and not necessary for launching and recovering cargo, it does invalidate a lot of potential data for future use in man-rating a somewhat identical craft.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 07/13/2018 05:02 AM
(snip)
Hell, the area-time product of ISS as a whole only barely approaches a statistically significant sample for a lot of the relevant particles.

That's by design
The ISS is flown at an altitude in the exosphere that minimizes the population of debris.  Light objects, even up to the several kilograms of cubesats, have very short orbital lifetimes at those altitudes.

On the other hand, there are hundreds of square meters of surface on the ISS that can be watched.   If that's not "statistically significant" then it doesn't seem like it would be THE driving safety requirement for commercial crew.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 07/13/2018 04:44 PM
(snip)
Hell, the area-time product of ISS as a whole only barely approaches a statistically significant sample for a lot of the relevant particles.

That's by design
The ISS is flown at an altitude in the exosphere that minimizes the population of debris.  Light objects, even up to the several kilograms of cubesats, have very short orbital lifetimes at those altitudes.

On the other hand, there are hundreds of square meters of surface on the ISS that can be watched.   If that's not "statistically significant" then it doesn't seem like it would be THE driving safety requirement for commercial crew.

MMOD for ISS (among others) is literally what I do for a living, and the ISS does get struck quite frequently, albeit mostly by very small particles.

The difficulty of statistical significance vs requirements is that when the requirement is probabilistic in nature -- particularly when the requirement is something on the order of one critical penetration per thousand flights, you can't make observations to test whether the fluxes in the models you are using are correct.  You can't make a determination of whether the true flux is closer to, say, 0.1 or 0.01 when you observe zero.  It's not until you are predicting a handful of strikes that an observation of zero is significant.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: speedevil on 07/13/2018 05:25 PM
https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/s/space-fence - I strongly recommend if interested in MMOD. Space Fence is an ongoing project to upgrade the capability of tracking MMOD.

(https://i.imgur.com/YS3B4Cul.jpg)

There are _lots_ more unobserved particles of course that this will not be able to track, but it's at least a start.

As mentioned above, monitoring impacts on your spacecraft is a limited way of predicting the future, if it's not happening regularly - we have good understanding of big debris and tiny debris due to being able to observe it and monitor regular impacts respectively.
There is an unfortunate gap in knowledge of the distribution of 1mm-3cm sized particles or so.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 07/13/2018 08:54 PM
<snip>
There is an unfortunate gap in knowledge of the distribution of 1mm-3cm sized particles or so.

Bingo.  Incidentally, this is also the size range in which things start becoming really devastating to hardware.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 07/14/2018 10:04 PM
I have not been following closely the development of crew capsules, but the possible delay of another year or two does not make any sense to me. These capsules are not that complicated, and the current Dragon has been flying for years without, I think, major problems that would have threatened the survival of a live passenger (animal, or human).  Capsules from Mercury and Apollo to the current Dragon have accumulated an impressive number of successful flights, and I think much is known of the unbreakable Soyuz capsules, so the requirements should be well documented. Are the developers facing continuing changes of specs from NASA in search of ever increasing reliability, after the Shuttlle fiasco ( much more dangerous than thought at the time?). In my career I faced several times the problem of project managers less competent than developers that simply did not have the knowledge and the brains for judging solutions and to develop clear and final specs, the balls for pulling the trigger, or the honesty to admit that the technical issues were over their heads and hence constantly chasing windmills...

As they say, it's complicated.  Spec changes are definitely a part of it.  NASA often doesn't realize that when you have small teams (even the Boeing team is smaller than traditional) to evaluate this or that, or make this change (even when you pay for it) you introduce delays.  Then as the reports note, you have a small set of people that have to review and evaluate the partners.  Even agreeing on what level of review to conduct can slow the NASA side down.  Then the partner's themselves still have to build it and challenges (read surprises) still happen.  Yes, Dragon is based on the cargo vehicle...but they are make a huge number of changes.  So the displays and controls are all new.  Boeing is using stuff that has flown on the X-37, but the software is all new.  And when you code new software for a vehicle, whether for displays or operations, you run into issues.

And yes Dragon had some issues that could have been life threatening as has been accounted for in books and articles.

As to your comment that capsules are pretty basic and known so how can they have problems - well cars have been around for 100+ years and we still have problems.  Yeah, you are basically make the same thing but your computer is slightly different, their environmental control is a little different and for a spacecraft for humans you have to make damn sure they work right.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 07/14/2018 10:05 PM
It's not clear whether Boeing or SpaceX is more prepared for commercial crew certification than the other. But what seems increasingly clear to me is that NASA is less prepared than either of the providers.

So this would mean that if (big if) the providers could pull off crewed missions in the first half next year, they would have to wait a year to fly again on a certified mission?

I think you mean CFT.  OFT will still be an unmanned test flight.  CFT may be 3 crew and may be up to 6 months.

Perhaps. But if the crewed test missions are successful, NASA will be under an incredible amount of pressure to move to operational flights as soon as possible. Why do you think they are moving towards making the Boeing OFT an "operational" mission?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 07/15/2018 04:25 PM
It's not clear whether Boeing or SpaceX is more prepared for commercial crew certification than the other. But what seems increasingly clear to me is that NASA is less prepared than either of the providers.

So this would mean that if (big if) the providers could pull off crewed missions in the first half next year, they would have to wait a year to fly again on a certified mission?

Not really.  Much of the certification gets bought off in the unmanned and manned test flights.  yes NASA has to evaluate the results but they are doing that as they also go along.  Then there will be a full cert review before the regular missions start.  Now how long that will take will be depend on a number of factors...how much is left for the (small) NASA team to review, how much is left for the providers to analyze/verify...  and surely not every requirement will be totally 100% satisfied so then there will be debate/negotiations on what is good enough to start, what has to be fixed/completed before flying again and how much can be phased in.  As we are seeing where CFT for Boeing may be more than a test fight the odds are there will still be some verifications open even when we are flighting Post Certification Missions.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Arb on 07/15/2018 07:24 PM
And yes Dragon had some issues that could have been life threatening as has been accounted for in books and articles.
Must have missed those; which books and articles?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Ike17055 on 07/16/2018 11:28 AM
Excessive Water intrusion into the spacecraft on splashdown, to begin with...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 07/16/2018 01:29 PM
Excessive Water intrusion into the spacecraft on splashdown, to begin with...

That only applied to early-series cargo Dragon and was solved even before NASA switched the preferred landing of Crew Dragon to water (in stead of land).
As such that issue has no bearing on Crew Dragon, which is one of the subjects of this thread.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Welsh Dragon on 07/16/2018 04:34 PM
Excessive Water intrusion into the spacecraft on splashdown, to begin with...
Life threatening amounts? Do stop concern trolling.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: ncb1397 on 07/16/2018 04:43 PM
Excessive Water intrusion into the spacecraft on splashdown, to begin with...
Life threatening amounts? Do stop concern trolling.

Anybody knows how many amps/volts/duration the crew dragon batteries are capable of outputting? Not to mention, water can potentially cause a fire via electrical arcing in places. Let's be real here for a second. NASA isn't going to just be fine with the crew dragon shorting out and losing power either. And there is also all the potential computer triggered events as they die including firing of engines, etc. Then there is the cause of water intrusion: unplanned exposure of the pressure vessel environment to the outside environment which exposes a whole new can of worms if this occurs in space. People not thinking about these kinds of events are what led to Apollo 1, Challenger, Columbia, etc. Let's not let water intrusion be the next tile loss situation. That wasn't life threatening amounts either, until it was.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 07/16/2018 05:09 PM
And yes Dragon had some issues that could have been life threatening as has been accounted for in books and articles.
Must have missed those; which books and articles?

For example,

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-trouble-book-20180316-story.html
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 07/16/2018 05:39 PM
And yes Dragon had some issues that could have been life threatening as has been accounted for in books and articles.
Must have missed those; which books and articles?

For example,

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-trouble-book-20180316-story.html


The stuck valve problem was not life-threatening. It was solved long before the spacecraft got in any real trouble.

You want life-threatening problems? Here's a few potential ones:

- Solar arrays failing to deploy. Guess what: no need to deploy solar arrays on Crew Dragon. They are conformal to the trunk.
- Failure to pressurize the propulsion systems. Guess what: Crew Dragon has four independent propulsion groups. Two of them can fail completely and even than Crew Dragon can still come home safely.
- Failure of the primary heat shield. Guess what: the sensitive part of the primary heat shield is protected by a whipple shield, with alternating layers of Kevlar, inside the trunk.
- Complete failure of the ECLLS. Guess what: not gonna happen. It is the best tested system of the entire Crew Dragon spacecraft.

None of the real potentially life threatening problems has ever occurred on cargo Dragon.

On the water intrusion problem: the largest amount of water that ever got into one of the early cargo Dragons, before it was lifted out of the water, was less than 200 liters. Dragon needs to take on at least 10 times that amount of water to be even remotely in jeopardy of sinking.

The water intrusion in itself was not the problem. The electrical system shorting out, because of the water, was the real problem. And that was solved by making it completely water-tight.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: ncb1397 on 07/16/2018 06:02 PM
And yes Dragon had some issues that could have been life threatening as has been accounted for in books and articles.
Must have missed those; which books and articles?

For example,

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-trouble-book-20180316-story.html


The stuck valve problem was not life-threatening. It was solved long before the spacecraft got in any real trouble.


How is losing control of your vehicle in an environment like space for 4 or 5 hours not life threatening? There was a real chance their fix wouldn't work.

From the article
Quote
"Is the vehicle even functioning enough that you can bring it back?" he wondered.

Apparently, SpaceX's director of Advanced Projects questioning whether the vehicle will come back to Earth is not life threatening. If this happened on a crew dragon, it would be the cliff notes version of Apollo 13 or equivalent to the tile heat shield damage on STS-1. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 07/16/2018 06:35 PM
You cut the rest of the quote which is also relevant:

Quote
But as they tried to figure out what was wrong, Steve Davis, SpaceX's director of advanced projects, had begun to prepare for the worst — aborting the mission. "Is the vehicle even functioning enough that you can bring it back?" he wondered. "We weren't sure. That was the only time we had ever planned for an emergency reentry, which is like a big thing because you have to whip it through airspace. You have to reroute planes in real time. It's not awesome. And so we were in panic mode."

At that time, they didn't know what the problem was. So he had to consider all possibilities. But that doesn't mean that the vehicle was unable to come back to Earth. It just means that they had to consider all of the possibilities (including a non-functioning spacecraft). 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 07/16/2018 06:55 PM
I think it's pretty hilarious that lessons learned on cargo-only Dragon, that has successfully flown ~14 missions to date, are somehow being viewed as a negative with respect to the crew version.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: ncb1397 on 07/16/2018 07:01 PM
You cut the rest of the quote which is also relevant:

Quote
But as they tried to figure out what was wrong, Steve Davis, SpaceX's director of advanced projects, had begun to prepare for the worst — aborting the mission. "Is the vehicle even functioning enough that you can bring it back?" he wondered. "We weren't sure. That was the only time we had ever planned for an emergency reentry, which is like a big thing because you have to whip it through airspace. You have to reroute planes in real time. It's not awesome. And so we were in panic mode."

At that time, they didn't know what the problem was. So he had to consider all possibilities. But that doesn't mean that the vehicle was unable to come back to Earth. It just means that they had to consider all of the possibilities (including a non-functioning spacecraft).

What you are basically saying is that because the vehicle came back to earth, it wasn't life threatening. If that is the case, Apollo 13 wasn't life threatening either. They had a 100% chance of survival because that is how it turned out. If a non-functioning (it was non-functioning for nearly a quarter of a full day) and non-fixable spacecraft was a possibility, then it was life threatening.

Maybe I can put this another way. If you go to your bookie and he gives you 100 to 1 odds of crew survival on a certain mission. You put $10 dollars down against crew survival with a possible pay out of $1000. After control of the spacecraft RCS is lost, you go back to your bookie and want to put down another $100 with a possible payout of $10,000 at the same odds. What do you think is going to happen? He isn't going to give you the same odds.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: whitelancer64 on 07/16/2018 07:45 PM
You cut the rest of the quote which is also relevant:

Quote
But as they tried to figure out what was wrong, Steve Davis, SpaceX's director of advanced projects, had begun to prepare for the worst — aborting the mission. "Is the vehicle even functioning enough that you can bring it back?" he wondered. "We weren't sure. That was the only time we had ever planned for an emergency reentry, which is like a big thing because you have to whip it through airspace. You have to reroute planes in real time. It's not awesome. And so we were in panic mode."

At that time, they didn't know what the problem was. So he had to consider all possibilities. But that doesn't mean that the vehicle was unable to come back to Earth. It just means that they had to consider all of the possibilities (including a non-functioning spacecraft).

What you are basically saying is that because the vehicle came back to earth, it wasn't life threatening. If that is the case, Apollo 13 wasn't life threatening either. They had a 100% chance of survival because that is how it turned out. If a non-functioning (it was non-functioning for nearly a quarter of a full day) and non-fixable spacecraft was a possibility, then it was life threatening.

Maybe I can put this another way. If you go to your bookie and he gives you 100 to 1 odds of crew survival on a certain mission. You put $10 dollars down against crew survival with a possible pay out $1000. After control of the spacecraft RCS is lost, you go back to your bookie and want to put down another $100 with a possible payout of $10,000 at the same odds. What do you think is going to happen? He isn't going to give you the same odds.

Are you saying that a stuck RCS valve should cause an immediate abort?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 07/17/2018 12:35 AM
Good summary by Jeff Foust:
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3535/1
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: DigitalMan on 07/17/2018 03:49 AM
Quite a relief to see that list, I was expecting to hear of new issues with Crew Dragon or issues that had not been previously known.  Something like that could cause long schedule delays.

Seeing issues that have been solved and followed by many successful flights is encouraging to me.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 07/17/2018 05:44 AM
There is a lot of concern trolling on this thread.
The LA Times article was anything but condemning of SpaceX.
The "tin snips" story?  A triumph. Then they solved the root problem. 
The stuck valves?  Solved with the first approach.  If it hadn't they would have tried something else.  Never happened again.
Water intrusion?  Small impact at the time. (Loss of cooling)  Worked through that issue.
The COPV?  Big mess.  A new effect.  Solved it themselves but now may use NASA solution on NASA's dime.
MMOD?  There is not really enough data.  A long chain of uncertain values beyond the limits of adequate statistics.  NASA will have to decide when it's "good enough".  It may never be.  That's a big part of the schedule issue.
We went to the moon through extreme risk because it was an important national goal, more than safety, as are many things people have to do.
Perhaps NASA will decide that preserving the $100B ISS is an important goal and worth some additional risk.
That schedule is running out of margin, as OMB noted.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 07/17/2018 08:00 AM
And yes Dragon had some issues that could have been life threatening as has been accounted for in books and articles.
Must have missed those; which books and articles?

For example,

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-trouble-book-20180316-story.html


The stuck valve problem was not life-threatening. It was solved long before the spacecraft got in any real trouble.


How is losing control of your vehicle in an environment like space for 4 or 5 hours not life threatening? There was a real chance their fix wouldn't work.


What is little reported is that one of four RCS quads was fully operational, from the moment Dragon separated from Falcon 9 v1.0, with a second one being partially operative (one RCS thruster failed on the second quad).
Together they had enough control of the spacecraft to maintain attitude.


However, mission rules required all four quads to be fully operational before Dragon could attempt to approach the ISS.


But, Dragon was capable of doing the de-orbit burn with those two quads alone. In fact, that would have been the plan had the attempts, to activate the other two quads, been unsuccessful.


The rush to fix the problem was not due to attitude problems (Dragon was holding attitude just fine), but due to the need to do an orbit-raising burn.
Without that burn Dragon would have had no chance to reach the ISS. De-orbit would have been necessary.
But the entire episode never was potentially life threatening, had a crew been on-board:
- The vehicle was holding attitude
- The vehicle was capable of controlled de-orbit
- Solar arrays were deployed and sun-tracking
- Vehicle ECS was working fine.
- Vehicle comms were working fine.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: jpo234 on 07/17/2018 04:25 PM


 Mike Pence will visit Cape Canaveral next month for a big space update  (https://m.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2018/07/17/mike-pence-will-visit-cape-canaveral-next-month-for-a-big-space-update)

Quote
Pence, who chairs the National Space Council, will confirm a new launch date for the first private crew missions and announce which crew capsules each of the four selected astronauts will ride in to the International Space Station.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mn on 07/17/2018 05:28 PM
And yes Dragon had some issues that could have been life threatening as has been accounted for in books and articles.
Must have missed those; which books and articles?

For example,

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-spacex-trouble-book-20180316-story.html


The stuck valve problem was not life-threatening. It was solved long before the spacecraft got in any real trouble.


How is losing control of your vehicle in an environment like space for 4 or 5 hours not life threatening? There was a real chance their fix wouldn't work.


What is little reported is that one of four RCS quads was fully operational, from the moment Dragon separated from Falcon 9 v1.0, with a second one being partially operative (one RCS thruster failed on the second quad).
Together they had enough control of the spacecraft to maintain attitude.


However, mission rules required all four quads to be fully operational before Dragon could attempt to approach the ISS.


But, Dragon was capable of doing the de-orbit burn with those two quads alone. In fact, that would have been the plan had the attempts, to activate the other two quads, been unsuccessful.


The rush to fix the problem was not due to attitude problems (Dragon was holding attitude just fine), but due to the need to do an orbit-raising burn.
Without that burn Dragon would have had no chance to reach the ISS. De-orbit would have been necessary.
But the entire episode never was potentially life threatening, had a crew been on-board:
- The vehicle was holding attitude
- The vehicle was capable of controlled de-orbit
- Solar arrays were deployed and sun-tracking
- Vehicle ECS was working fine.
- Vehicle comms were working fine.

What is the source that they could have deorbited?

According to the CRS-2 thread, extending the solar arrays slowed the rotation of the spacecraft. (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31239.msg1020087#msg1020087 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31239.msg1020087#msg1020087))

Doesn't that imply that they did not have full attitude control at the time.

The question was asked if they could have deorbited without fixing the issue, I don't recall seeing a response.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: whitelancer64 on 07/17/2018 05:35 PM
Later in that same thread they note that Elon said they can deorbit with just one thruster quad working.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: mn on 07/17/2018 05:52 PM
Later in that same thread they note that Elon said they can deorbit with just one thruster quad working.

A: Thank's missed that on my first quick re-read of 32 pages ;) (and here's a link for those who can't find it https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31239.msg1020110#msg1020110 (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31239.msg1020110#msg1020110))

B: I'd say that was hardly a given, it sounds more like in the worst case they would try something and maybe it'l work...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 07/18/2018 05:20 AM

 Mike Pence will visit Cape Canaveral next month for a big space update  (https://m.orlandoweekly.com/Blogs/archives/2018/07/17/mike-pence-will-visit-cape-canaveral-next-month-for-a-big-space-update)

Quote
Pence, who chairs the National Space Council, will confirm a new launch date for the first private crew missions and announce which crew capsules each of the four selected astronauts will ride in to the International Space Station.

Pence?
"big space update" next month?
Is this "Celebrity Apprentice Astronaut"?
Spiro Agnew didn't announce that Armstrong would command Apollo 11.....
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 07/18/2018 05:11 PM
There is a lot of concern trolling on this thread.
The LA Times article was anything but condemning of SpaceX.
The "tin snips" story?  A triumph. Then they solved the root problem. 
The stuck valves?  Solved with the first approach.  If it hadn't they would have tried something else.  Never happened again.
Water intrusion?  Small impact at the time. (Loss of cooling)  Worked through that issue.
The COPV?  Big mess.  A new effect.  Solved it themselves but now may use NASA solution on NASA's dime.
MMOD?  There is not really enough data.  A long chain of uncertain values beyond the limits of adequate statistics.  NASA will have to decide when it's "good enough".  It may never be.  That's a big part of the schedule issue.
We went to the moon through extreme risk because it was an important national goal, more than safety, as are many things people have to do.
Perhaps NASA will decide that preserving the $100B ISS is an important goal and worth some additional risk.
That schedule is running out of margin, as OMB noted.

I wasn't trolling.  I stated that Dragon had issues "that could have been life threatening " which is a true statement (and the article also doesn't have all the details either).  I was pointing out to the poster that while SpaceX has done an amazing job on is unmanned cargo vehicle it has not been without incident.  No sure how that amounts to trolling.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Chris Bergin on 07/18/2018 07:04 PM
Everyone calm down (and no we're not discussing the diver thing here, so one post removed).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: billh on 07/19/2018 05:49 PM
https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/s/space-fence - I strongly recommend if interested in MMOD. Space Fence is an ongoing project to upgrade the capability of tracking MMOD.

(https://i.imgur.com/YS3B4Cul.jpg)

There are _lots_ more unobserved particles of course that this will not be able to track, but it's at least a start.

When I saw this graph I was struck by this thought: I wonder if the Chinese had not shot down Fengyun-1C, would the Dragon and Starliner spacecraft be meeting NASA's LOC/LOM requirements now?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 07/19/2018 06:26 PM
https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/s/space-fence - I strongly recommend if interested in MMOD. Space Fence is an ongoing project to upgrade the capability of tracking MMOD.

(https://i.imgur.com/YS3B4Cul.jpg)

There are _lots_ more unobserved particles of course that this will not be able to track, but it's at least a start.

When I saw this graph I was struck by this thought: I wonder if the Chinese had not shot down Fengyun-1C, would the Dragon and Starliner spacecraft be meeting NASA's LOC/LOM requirements now?

Not long after it happenned, Mike Griffin was asked a very similar question during a Congressionnal hearing. His answer was that debris from this event has or will dissipate over time and that the increase in MMOD risks wasn't significant.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 07/19/2018 06:51 PM
https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/s/space-fence - I strongly recommend if interested in MMOD. Space Fence is an ongoing project to upgrade the capability of tracking MMOD.

(https://i.imgur.com/YS3B4Cul.jpg)

There are _lots_ more unobserved particles of course that this will not be able to track, but it's at least a start.

When I saw this graph I was struck by this thought: I wonder if the Chinese had not shot down Fengyun-1C, would the Dragon and Starliner spacecraft be meeting NASA's LOC/LOM requirements now?

The answer to this is trickier than you might think.  It depends on which orbital debris environment model Dragon and Starliner are using for LOC/LOM requirements.  The ORDEM2000 model was the established model at the time requirements were being crafted and wouldn't include debris from that event, while the ORDEM 3.0 model was crafted later and would.  Which environment would be written into a particular vehicle's requirements would depend on the result of negotiations between NASA and that particular provider.

Ultimately, it depends on how each vehicle's requirements are written.  Whether a particular environment model is reflective of reality is a separate discussion that doesn't have any bearing on meeting requirements.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Kansan52 on 07/19/2018 06:53 PM
Whether a particular environment model is reflective of reality is a separate discussion that doesn't have any bearing on meeting requirements.

How true.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/19/2018 07:26 PM
Ultimately, it depends on how each vehicle's requirements are written.

There was some discussion on this in the recent GAO report.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 07/19/2018 09:46 PM
Ultimately, it depends on how each vehicle's requirements are written.

There was some discussion on this in the recent GAO report.

And what did they say other than "Danger Will Robinson!"?
Or is that off topic for this discussion of schedule? 
If so, do you have a link to an appropriate discussion thread?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/20/2018 12:32 AM
Ultimately, it depends on how each vehicle's requirements are written.

There was some discussion on this in the recent GAO report.

And what did they say other than "Danger Will Robinson!"?
Or is that off topic for this discussion of schedule? 
If so, do you have a link to an appropriate discussion thread?

You could actually look at the document  ::)  Start reading on page 22, which is page 26 of the pdf file.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 07/20/2018 03:57 PM
And what did they say other than "Danger Will Robinson!"?
Or is that off topic for this discussion of schedule? 
If so, do you have a link to an appropriate discussion thread?

You could actually look at the document  ::)  Start reading on page 22, which is page 26 of the pdf file.

Thanks for the document. I did read it. It will take more than a virtual keyboard on a phone to compose a real comment.

However, just one first:
OMB found 4 elements of the review process have five ways (one applying different criteria to Boeing and SpaceX) for Loss of Crew probabilities to disparate and mostly arbitrary targets, and says that if the contractors don’t meet the goal, they can apply for a “waiver” with even less definition. It will be at that point that the program decides if human spaceflight is still worth significant risk.

It is odd that OMB, an organization formed to perform numerical analysis  (“Budget”) didn’t examine the single number at the center of the issue: 270. NASA wants the LoC <1/270. From where does that strange number come. (It was 1000 back at the start of Constellation IIRC.)  It appears that it’s twice the number of Shuttle flights. (2x135) setting the goal at exactly 4 times better than the track record of the Shuttle.

Has this been elucidated to the knowledge of anyone here?

An interesting aspect of the MMOD issue is that China has bolstered their position as one of only two countries that can launch humans by filling LEO with debris to a level that may be intolerable to others.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: DigitalMan on 07/20/2018 05:03 PM
It seems to me both commercial crew vehicles have a more complicated path to achieving LOC numbers compared to shuttle since they have to stay attached to ISS for 6 months, no?  Shuttle had a smaller window of opportunity for damage in space.

And what did they say other than "Danger Will Robinson!"?
Or is that off topic for this discussion of schedule? 
If so, do you have a link to an appropriate discussion thread?

You could actually look at the document  ::)  Start reading on page 22, which is page 26 of the pdf file.

Thanks for the document. I did read it. It will take more than a virtual keyboard on a phone to compose a real comment.

However, just one first:
OMB found 4 elements of the review process have five ways (one applying different criteria to Boeing and SpaceX) for Loss of Crew probabilities to disparate and mostly arbitrary targets, and says that if the contractors don’t meet the goal, they can apply for a “waiver” with even less definition. It will be at that point that the program decides if human spaceflight is still worth significant risk.

It is odd that OMB, an organization formed to perform numerical analysis  (“Budget”) didn’t examine the single number at the center of the issue: 270. NASA wants the LoC <1/270. From where does that strange number come. (It was 1000 back at the start of Constellation IIRC.)  It appears that it’s twice the number of Shuttle flights. (2x135) setting the goal at exactly 4 times better than the track record of the Shuttle.

Has this been elucidated to the knowledge of anyone here?

An interesting aspect of the MMOD issue is that China has bolstered their position as one of only two countries that can launch humans by filling LEO with debris to a level that may be intolerable to others.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rebel44 on 07/21/2018 07:08 PM
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/07/boeing-may-have-suffered-a-setback-with-starliners-pad-abort-test/

Boeing suffers a setback with Starliner’s pad abort test
After the initial report, the company confirmed the issue.

"We have been conducting a thorough investigation with assistance from our NASA and industry partners," the statement said. "We are confident we found the cause and are moving forward with corrective action. Flight safety and risk mitigation are why we conduct such rigorous testing, and anomalies are a natural part of any test program."

"One source indicated that this problem may not affect the uncrewed test flight but that it could delay the crew test."
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: oldAtlas_Eguy on 07/22/2018 08:32 PM
https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/07/boeing-may-have-suffered-a-setback-with-starliners-pad-abort-test/

Boeing suffers a setback with Starliner’s pad abort test
After the initial report, the company confirmed the issue.

"We have been conducting a thorough investigation with assistance from our NASA and industry partners," the statement said. "We are confident we found the cause and are moving forward with corrective action. Flight safety and risk mitigation are why we conduct such rigorous testing, and anomalies are a natural part of any test program."

"One source indicated that this problem may not affect the uncrewed test flight but that it could delay the crew test."
Depends on how much of a schedule pad there is between the abort test and the crewed flight. If they had significant schedule padding between the events then the crewed test flight schedule would only be minor affected by this setback. If management is bad at doing their job then this setback will ripple through such that each week of slip for the Abort test will result in a slip of a week for the NET date for the crew flight.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 07/22/2018 10:00 PM
Space News adds some details (https://spacenews.com/boeings-starliner-launch-abort-engine-suffers-problem-during-testing/)

Quote
>
Boeing didn't elaborate on the nature of the problem, but other sources, including social media postings several days before the official statement, claimed that a hydrazine valve in the propulsion system failed to close properly at the end of the test, causing the propellant to leak.
>

Aerojet, in an October 2016 release about an earlier set of hot-fire tests of the thruster (http://"http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojet-rocketdyne-successfully-completes-launch-abort-engine-hot-fire-tests-support-next"), touted the use of "innovative" valves in the launch abort engines.
>

From AJR's PR (linked above)

Quote
>
The LAEs, designed by Aerojet Rocketdyne, include a fuel valve and oxidizer valve, which were developed and tested under the company's Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) subcontract to Boeing.
>
"These innovative valves successfully enabled the engine to demonstrate precise timing, peak thrust control and steady-state thrust necessary during a mission abort. This testing culminates a year of dedicated hard work by the LAE Integrated Product Team at Aerojet Rocketdyne," said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake.
>
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 07/22/2018 10:37 PM
It seems to me both commercial crew vehicles have a more complicated path to achieving LOC numbers compared to shuttle since they have to stay attached to ISS for 6 months, no?  Shuttle had a smaller window of opportunity for damage in space.

And what did they say other than "Danger Will Robinson!"?
Or is that off topic for this discussion of schedule? 
If so, do you have a link to an appropriate discussion thread?

You could actually look at the document  ::)  Start reading on page 22, which is page 26 of the pdf file.

Thanks for the document. I did read it. It will take more than a virtual keyboard on a phone to compose a real comment.

However, just one first:
OMB found 4 elements of the review process have five ways (one applying different criteria to Boeing and SpaceX) for Loss of Crew probabilities to disparate and mostly arbitrary targets, and says that if the contractors don’t meet the goal, they can apply for a “waiver” with even less definition. It will be at that point that the program decides if human spaceflight is still worth significant risk.

It is odd that OMB, an organization formed to perform numerical analysis  (“Budget”) didn’t examine the single number at the center of the issue: 270. NASA wants the LoC <1/270. From where does that strange number come. (It was 1000 back at the start of Constellation IIRC.)  It appears that it’s twice the number of Shuttle flights. (2x135) setting the goal at exactly 4 times better than the track record of the Shuttle.

Has this been elucidated to the knowledge of anyone here?

An interesting aspect of the MMOD issue is that China has bolstered their position as one of only two countries that can launch humans by filling LEO with debris to a level that may be intolerable to others.

Doesn’t that make the use of the Shuttle number even MORE curious?
Unless it’s an amazing coincidence and the derivative even more obscure.

Here’s a suggestion: For every year of schedule delay the LOC target number can be recomputed downward because there will be that many fewer flights over the life of the ISS.

If commercial crew was certified in 2016 there would have been ~18 flights. If P(LoC)=1/270 a linearized model (OK for a small number of low probability trials. Please don’t start on this.) says the cumulative probability of one LoC is ~18/270=1/15.

At present certification may occur 5 years before the end of the planned life of the ISS. That means about 10 planned USCTV flights. With 10 flights the same cumulative risk could be had with a P(LoC) of 1/150. 

If certification delays the flights 2 more years  there will be only 6 flights. (Assuming they can keep the ISS going without these flights) so the same sum could be had with P(LoC)=1/90.

So schedule CONTRIBUTES to safety.
Inversely, it is the old lesson NASA knows well: Systems are safer the longer you DONT fly them.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: deruch on 07/23/2018 10:54 AM
https://directory.eoportal.org/web/eoportal/satellite-missions/s/space-fence - I strongly recommend if interested in MMOD. Space Fence is an ongoing project to upgrade the capability of tracking MMOD.

(https://i.imgur.com/YS3B4Cul.jpg)

There are _lots_ more unobserved particles of course that this will not be able to track, but it's at least a start.

When I saw this graph I was struck by this thought: I wonder if the Chinese had not shot down Fengyun-1C, would the Dragon and Starliner spacecraft be meeting NASA's LOC/LOM requirements now?

The answer to this is trickier than you might think.  It depends on which orbital debris environment model Dragon and Starliner are using for LOC/LOM requirements.  The ORDEM2000 model was the established model at the time requirements were being crafted and wouldn't include debris from that event, while the ORDEM 3.0 model was crafted later and would.  Which environment would be written into a particular vehicle's requirements would depend on the result of negotiations between NASA and that particular provider.

Ultimately, it depends on how each vehicle's requirements are written.  Whether a particular environment model is reflective of reality is a separate discussion that doesn't have any bearing on meeting requirements.

Wasn't the Fengyun-1C in a polar orbit?  While there will be some minor overlap, I don't think that particular event will have very much impact on CC vehicles while at or going to/from ISS.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: edzieba on 07/23/2018 01:34 PM
It seems to me both commercial crew vehicles have a more complicated path to achieving LOC numbers compared to shuttle since they have to stay attached to ISS for 6 months, no?  Shuttle had a smaller window of opportunity for damage in space.

And what did they say other than "Danger Will Robinson!"?
Or is that off topic for this discussion of schedule? 
If so, do you have a link to an appropriate discussion thread?

You could actually look at the document  ::)  Start reading on page 22, which is page 26 of the pdf file.

Thanks for the document. I did read it. It will take more than a virtual keyboard on a phone to compose a real comment.

However, just one first:
OMB found 4 elements of the review process have five ways (one applying different criteria to Boeing and SpaceX) for Loss of Crew probabilities to disparate and mostly arbitrary targets, and says that if the contractors don’t meet the goal, they can apply for a “waiver” with even less definition. It will be at that point that the program decides if human spaceflight is still worth significant risk.

It is odd that OMB, an organization formed to perform numerical analysis  (“Budget”) didn’t examine the single number at the center of the issue: 270. NASA wants the LoC <1/270. From where does that strange number come. (It was 1000 back at the start of Constellation IIRC.)  It appears that it’s twice the number of Shuttle flights. (2x135) setting the goal at exactly 4 times better than the track record of the Shuttle.

Has this been elucidated to the knowledge of anyone here?

An interesting aspect of the MMOD issue is that China has bolstered their position as one of only two countries that can launch humans by filling LEO with debris to a level that may be intolerable to others.
Here’s a suggestion: For every year of schedule delay the LOC target number can be recomputed downward because there will be that many fewer flights over the life of the ISS.
The MMOD risk increases proportional to the duration a vehicle is in orbit, but is 'reset' every time that vehicle lands and is inspected/refurbished. The number of individual flights does not affect the per-flight probability.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: speedevil on 07/23/2018 02:49 PM
The MMOD risk increases proportional to the duration a vehicle is in orbit, but is 'reset' every time that vehicle lands and is inspected/refurbished. The number of individual flights does not affect the per-flight probability.
The proportionate increase is only if the heatshield is not covered in orbit, and is not monitored.

As one obvious example, monitoring for impacts and doing a once-over with the arm before release would reduce any additional risk, and a cover, such as the trunk of dragon 2 would remove any concern, other than the largest most easily noticed impacts.

The 'reset' argument misses the point unless it is cumulative effect of multiple impacts, because if you have one vehicle destroying damage inducing event every ten years, your total loss of crew does not go down if you've replaced the vehicles 50 times in the meantime.

It gets a lot safer if you monitor in orbit, and have a couple of ways down.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 07/23/2018 03:36 PM

Wasn't the Fengyun-1C in a polar orbit?  While there will be some minor overlap, I don't think that particular event will have very much impact on CC vehicles while at or going to/from ISS.

A polar orbit ensures that the debris cloud that rains down through ISS altitudes carries sufficient encounter velocity to be very damaging.  Every orbital plane intersects every other orbital plane -- thus, every debris generation event has the ability to affect every operational vehicle in the appropriate altitude range.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jcc on 07/23/2018 11:35 PM
The MMOD risk increases proportional to the duration a vehicle is in orbit, but is 'reset' every time that vehicle lands and is inspected/refurbished. The number of individual flights does not affect the per-flight probability.
The proportionate increase is only if the heatshield is not covered in orbit, and is not monitored.

As one obvious example, monitoring for impacts and doing a once-over with the arm before release would reduce any additional risk, and a cover, such as the trunk of dragon 2 would remove any concern, other than the largest most easily noticed impacts.

The 'reset' argument misses the point unless it is cumulative effect of multiple impacts, because if you have one vehicle destroying damage inducing event every ten years, your total loss of crew does not go down if you've replaced the vehicles 50 times in the meantime.

It gets a lot safer if you monitor in orbit, and have a couple of ways down.

And of course the heat shield is covered on orbit for both Starliner and Dragon.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: edzieba on 07/24/2018 10:58 AM
The MMOD risk increases proportional to the duration a vehicle is in orbit, but is 'reset' every time that vehicle lands and is inspected/refurbished. The number of individual flights does not affect the per-flight probability.
The proportionate increase is only if the heatshield is not covered in orbit, and is not monitored.
As with the latter years of STS, just monitoring the heatshield does you little good if you need to use that heatshield at some point. CC vehicles (like any other vehicle docked at the ISS) act as 'lifeboats' for the duration of their stay. That means that if any MMOD is detected, you are not in a situation where a portion of the ISS crew has no evacuation route until an additional vessel can be launched.
Covering the heatshield reduces risk (though makes visual inspection more difficult, likely no effect on acoustic impact detection) but does not eliminate it.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: speedevil on 07/24/2018 11:24 AM
As with the latter years of STS, just monitoring the heatshield does you little good if you need to use that heatshield at some point. CC vehicles (like any other vehicle docked at the ISS) act as 'lifeboats' for the duration of their stay. That means that if any MMOD is detected, you are not in a situation where a portion of the ISS crew has no evacuation route until an additional vessel can be launched.
Covering the heatshield reduces risk (though makes visual inspection more difficult, likely no effect on acoustic impact detection) but does not eliminate it.

Implicit in the above replied to comment was that there was enough resource to sustain life until next vehicle could arrive.
Clearly, if you actually need to use it, and don't have it, you're screwed.

Covering the heatshield reduces the risk enough that the LOC number due to that is not within the same order of magnitude as 1:270.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/24/2018 02:47 PM
Tweet from Brendan Byrne: (https://twitter.com/SpaceBrendan/status/1021762909649678336)
Quote
I'm told a visit next week to Kennedy Space Center by @VP is a "no go." He was expected to give an update on Commercial Crew program.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: edzieba on 07/24/2018 03:50 PM
Covering the heatshield reduces the risk enough that the LOC number due to that is not within the same order of magnitude as 1:270.
As far as I am aware, MMOD Risk is still the primary component of LoC risk for Commercial Crew (at least as of the second quarterly ASAP meeting).
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: whitelancer64 on 07/24/2018 04:59 PM
*snip*

It is odd that OMB, an organization formed to perform numerical analysis  (“Budget”) didn’t examine the single number at the center of the issue: 270. NASA wants the LoC <1/270. From where does that strange number come. (It was 1000 back at the start of Constellation IIRC.)  It appears that it’s twice the number of Shuttle flights. (2x135) setting the goal at exactly 4 times better than the track record of the Shuttle.

Has this been elucidated to the knowledge of anyone here?

*snip*

The 1/270 LOC risk number comes from: 3x better than the Shuttle LOC risk of 1/90.

Constellation's 1/1000 LOC risk was always unachievable and NASA quickly realized that. The target LOC risk number for Constellation was reduced a few times and ended up at 1/270 when the program was cancelled. That number was later brought in to the Commercial Crew program.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 07/24/2018 05:39 PM
The MMOD risk increases proportional to the duration a vehicle is in orbit, but is 'reset' every time that vehicle lands and is inspected/refurbished. The number of individual flights does not affect the per-flight probability.
The proportionate increase is only if the heatshield is not covered in orbit, and is not monitored.

As one obvious example, monitoring for impacts and doing a once-over with the arm before release would reduce any additional risk, and a cover, such as the trunk of dragon 2 would remove any concern, other than the largest most easily noticed impacts.

The 'reset' argument misses the point unless it is cumulative effect of multiple impacts, because if you have one vehicle destroying damage inducing event every ten years, your total loss of crew does not go down if you've replaced the vehicles 50 times in the meantime.

It gets a lot safer if you monitor in orbit, and have a couple of ways down.

And of course the heat shield is covered on orbit for both Starliner and Dragon.

The base heat shield, yes, well, mostly.  The entire outer mold line of the vehicle is a heat shield, though.  Even a large enough penetration of the backshell could be catastrophic if it allows ingestion of hot reentry gases.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/24/2018 07:51 PM
Tweet from Michael Sheetz (https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1021833993002659841):
Quote
The event August 3 announcing updates to NASA’s @Commercial_Crew program moved to Johnson Space Center from Kennedy Space Center, a KSC source tells me.

It is unclear if @VP Pence will still attend.

Tweet from Eric Berger (https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1021835832641155073):
Quote
He will not.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SMS on 07/25/2018 09:23 PM
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-name-astronauts-assigned-to-first-boeing-spacex-flights

Quote
NASA to Name Astronauts Assigned to First Boeing, SpaceX Flights

NASA will announce on Friday, Aug. 3, the astronauts assigned to crew the first flight tests and missions of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon, and begin a new era in American spaceflight. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will preside over the event, which will begin at 11 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA will announce the crew assignments for the crew flight tests and the first post-certification mission for both Boeing and SpaceX. NASA partnered with Boeing and SpaceX to develop the Starliner spacecraft to launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket and the Crew Dragon launching atop the Falcon 9 rocket, respectively.

{...}
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: DigitalMan on 07/25/2018 09:56 PM
I hope they will be able to give us at least expected dates for Boeing/SpaceX flights 1 and 2, rather than the placeholders that have been published.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 07/26/2018 05:04 PM
I hope they will be able to give us at least expected dates for Boeing/SpaceX flights 1 and 2, rather than the placeholders that have been published.

Hope all you want, but they clearly excluded what everyone wants to know.
How significant is which of the four astronauts gets assigned to which of the vehicles? 
Some of us have preferences.  In the end, though, we are much more interested in the vehicles. 
This appears to be another attempt to convey a sense of progress without anything really happening.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/26/2018 05:11 PM
I hope they will be able to give us at least expected dates for Boeing/SpaceX flights 1 and 2, rather than the placeholders that have been published.

Hope all you want, but they clearly excluded what everyone wants to know.
How significant is which of the four astronauts gets assigned to which of the vehicles? 
Some of us have preferences.  In the end, though, we are much more interested in the vehicles. 
This appears to be another attempt to convey a sense of progress without anything really happening.

Maybe we should wait until after the event to complain about what they did/didn't say.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jcc on 07/27/2018 12:00 AM
According to the latest plans ( before the coming announcement) NASA is expecting Boeing to fly first, so crew announced for Boeing would fly first. But what if issues like the propellant leak delay Boeing and SpaceX is first, so that crew would go to the Station first. It would seem prudent to train all 4 astronauts on both vehicles, so they have flexibility on crew assignments.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: SWGlassPit on 07/27/2018 03:59 PM
According to the latest plans ( before the coming announcement) NASA is expecting Boeing to fly first, so crew announced for Boeing would fly first. But what if issues like the propellant leak delay Boeing and SpaceX is first, so that crew would go to the Station first. It would seem prudent to train all 4 astronauts on both vehicles, so they have flexibility on crew assignments.

Bit of friendly advice: don't put any stock in what any publicly released launch dates say regarding who flies first.  They're all still NET dates at best.  The answer won't be clear until you get much closer to the actual launch date.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Jimmy_C on 07/27/2018 05:27 PM
According to the latest plans ( before the coming announcement) NASA is expecting Boeing to fly first, so crew announced for Boeing would fly first. But what if issues like the propellant leak delay Boeing and SpaceX is first, so that crew would go to the Station first. It would seem prudent to train all 4 astronauts on both vehicles, so they have flexibility on crew assignments.


Not to mention, are they the backup crew for each other? If not, who is being trained to be the backup crew?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 07/27/2018 10:00 PM
According to the latest plans ( before the coming announcement) NASA is expecting Boeing to fly first, so crew announced for Boeing would fly first. But what if issues like the propellant leak delay Boeing and SpaceX is first, so that crew would go to the Station first. It would seem prudent to train all 4 astronauts on both vehicles, so they have flexibility on crew assignments.

Bit of friendly advice: don't put any stock in what any publicly released launch dates say regarding who flies first.  They're all still NET dates at best.  The answer won't be clear until you get much closer to the actual launch date.

IMHO Believe the launch date when they slip by no more than 1 month a month before launch. Even then there is an error of a week due to problem with the weather.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 07/28/2018 06:54 PM
I hope they will be able to give us at least expected dates for Boeing/SpaceX flights 1 and 2, rather than the placeholders that have been published.

Hope all you want, but they clearly excluded what everyone wants to know.
How significant is which of the four astronauts gets assigned to which of the vehicles? 
Some of us have preferences.  In the end, though, we are much more interested in the vehicles. 
This appears to be another attempt to convey a sense of progress without anything really happening.

NASA can't afford to waste crew time training if too far away and of course can't be late in starting training if the crews are to be ready.  So it is a balance.  A difficult balance.  There is definitely a lot of progress and that tells you where NASA sees it as best as the crystal ball will allow. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rocket Science on 07/30/2018 06:29 PM
Great status update article Chris G, thank you! :)
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 07/30/2018 06:34 PM
The certification process outlined in the article from the ASAP meeting makes it sound to me like NASA hasn't been involved in the design of the providers vehicles. I thought NASA and been involved and kept informed about every aspect of the design. Is this not the case? It seems to me that NASA shouldn't want to fly crew on a test flight unless they were confident in the design. So, what am I missing here?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 07/30/2018 07:04 PM
The certification process outlined in the article from the ASAP meeting makes it sound to me like NASA hasn't been involved in the design of the providers vehicles. I thought NASA and been involved and kept informed about every aspect of the design. Is this not the case? It seems to me that NASA shouldn't want to fly crew on a test flight unless they were confident in the design. So, what am I missing here?

Not sure where you're getting that from the article.  NASA has been deeply involved from the very beginning.  But NASA - not SpaceX and Boeing - is the final Certification Authority for both Dragon and Starliner.  Even though NASA's been involved since the beginning, they are still the final "yes"/"no" authority -- and with that comes the final presentation of evidence and data to back up that Dragon and Starliner meet the CCP requirements.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 07/31/2018 01:01 PM
The certification process outlined in the article from the ASAP meeting makes it sound to me like NASA hasn't been involved in the design of the providers vehicles. I thought NASA and been involved and kept informed about every aspect of the design. Is this not the case? It seems to me that NASA shouldn't want to fly crew on a test flight unless they were confident in the design. So, what am I missing here?

Not sure where you're getting that from the article.  NASA has been deeply involved from the very beginning.  But NASA - not SpaceX and Boeing - is the final Certification Authority for both Dragon and Starliner.  Even though NASA's been involved since the beginning, they are still the final "yes"/"no" authority -- and with that comes the final presentation of evidence and data to back up that Dragon and Starliner meet the CCP requirements.

Thanks for responding, Chris. The quote from the article that instigated my question was this one:

Quote
“This could be measurements, it can be test data, it can be analysis, but it almost always involves the submittal of detailed technical data, not simply paper descriptions or forms.  Sometimes it involves witness testing and sometimes it involves physical inspection. But it almost always wraps around important technical submittals."

It seemed to move that the hardware should be inspected and the technical data reviewed prior to the demonstration flights. But this quote makes it seem like there is going to be loads of new technical data submitted afterward for the final certification. Maybe my timeline is off, and certification is an on-going process. I thought the quote was in reference to the final certification process which is still in the future. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 07/31/2018 01:23 PM
There will definitely be new data to analyze after each test flight, and NASA will almost certainly still be working through the mountain of pre-flight certification data when the uncrewed missions fly.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: rockets4life97 on 07/31/2018 04:17 PM
There will definitely be new data to analyze after each test flight, and NASA will almost certainly still be working through the mountain of pre-flight certification data when the uncrewed missions fly.

Yes, my surprise is that NASA would allow the demonstration flights even while they haven't worked through the mountain of pre-flight certification data. It all seems rather post-hoc to me.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: ChrisGebhardt on 07/31/2018 07:20 PM
There will definitely be new data to analyze after each test flight, and NASA will almost certainly still be working through the mountain of pre-flight certification data when the uncrewed missions fly.

Yes, my surprise is that NASA would allow the demonstration flights even while they haven't worked through the mountain of pre-flight certification data. It all seems rather post-hoc to me.

Ah, I see where the confusion is.  NASA is not "allow[ing] the demonstration flights even while they haven't worked through the mountain of pre-flight certification data."

It's a rolling processing, with certain elements requiring a great deal of systems level certification before the uncrewed demos, then others having to be certified before the crew demos (some systems don't have to be crew-level certified for the uncrewed demos - i.e. the short-term Merlin engine fix that is cleared for flight on SpX Dm-1 but not yet cleared for flight on the crewed DM-2), and then the entire integrated system is reviewed and receives final certified before the PCMs begin.

They aren't allowing things to fly uncertified just because they haven't gotten to the data review.  That's not how that works.  Some things - based on the mountain of reviewed and approved data - will fly before final integrated system certification because you have to fly everything as part of the validation/final certification process to show that it all works as the data indicates it will.  Part of this is with a crew in the loop, interacting with the systems.

And that's exactly the process we're seeing play out, and it's exactly the process outlined by ASAP and reported in the article.

NASA has not been sitting around not doing any certifications for years as the data and designs have poured in from the 2 providers.  Certification has - and continues to be - a rolling process.

But end-game certification is coming.  By necessity this will include a review of data already reviewed and approved and a review of systems already certified for flight (i.e. the ECLSS - life support).

Certification is not a one fell swoop and everything's certified process.  It's a rolling process that NASA has been deeply invested in for years with SpaceX and Boeing.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: whitelancer64 on 07/31/2018 08:35 PM
There will definitely be new data to analyze after each test flight, and NASA will almost certainly still be working through the mountain of pre-flight certification data when the uncrewed missions fly.

Yes, my surprise is that NASA would allow the demonstration flights even while they haven't worked through the mountain of pre-flight certification data. It all seems rather post-hoc to me.

IIRC, the final milestone for the parachutes on SpaceX's crew capsule is deployment after a return from orbit.

So for that particular certification they have to have flown the demonstration mission for it to be completed. There may be other subsystems with a similar requirement.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Rebel44 on 08/01/2018 12:33 PM
Irene Klotz - Space Editor, Aviation Week & Space Technology
‏@Free_Space


Quote
Boeing Starliner launch abort motor leak traced to faulty valves. Four of 8 stuck open following 1.5-sec hot-fire of service module test article June 2.  While repair underway, Boeing moving ahead w/ unmanned flight test in 5-6 mos, then launch abort & crew flight tests mid-2019
https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/1024480708792922114
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: cebri on 08/01/2018 12:41 PM
So, according to Klotz:

- NET Jan. '19 -> Uncrewed test
- NET June '19 -> Crewed test

Also relevant, from GAO's report from July.

(https://i.imgur.com/0FaCLKx.jpg)

Things are getting ugly for NASA.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: whitelancer64 on 08/01/2018 05:57 PM
So, according to Klotz:

- NET Jan. '19 -> Uncrewed test
- NET June '19 -> Crewed test

Also relevant, from GAO's report from July.

(https://i.imgur.com/0FaCLKx.jpg)

Things are getting ugly for NASA.

It's worth noting that that's the gap for certification, not necessarily for crew rotation flights. Almost certainly one or the other or perhaps even both Boeing and SpaceX will fly waiver'd crew rotations.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: speedevil on 08/01/2018 09:14 PM
It's worth noting that that's the gap for certification, not necessarily for crew rotation flights. Almost certainly one or the other or perhaps even both Boeing and SpaceX will fly waiver'd crew rotations.

Also, crew rotation is desirable, but not actually mandatory is it?
In principle, they could pack extra cargo into uncertified crew, though of course it would be a waste.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 08/01/2018 09:32 PM
It's worth noting that that's the gap for certification, not necessarily for crew rotation flights. Almost certainly one or the other or perhaps even both Boeing and SpaceX will fly waiver'd crew rotations.

Also, crew rotation is desirable, but not actually mandatory is it?
In principle, they could pack extra cargo into uncertified crew, though of course it would be a waste.

Is it the issue more “lifeboats”, craft for the crew to ride down, than who’s on orbit for how long?
According to the chart the end of November, 16 months from now, is the last chance to keep an American on board the US station with a seat home on a Soyuz.

If neither Boeing or SpaceX is certified by thatvdate, the choice will be between abandoning the ISS and flying rotations in uncertified craft.

Tough choice for some groups
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 08/01/2018 09:35 PM
Tweets from Eric Berger: (https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1024756189282885637)
Quote
On call with @BoeingSpace's John Mulholland. He says Starliner on track for late 2018/early 2019 uncrewed flight test. Crew flight test should come mid-2019.
...
More from Mulholland: Looking at other rockets that could launch Starliner, especially Vulcan. Launch tower designed to account for Vulcan's larger size.
...
One effect of the service module hot fire anomaly is that Boeing will now conduct the pad abort test after the first uncrewed test of Starliner. So:

Uncrewed flight test end of '18/'19
Pad abort test Spring 2019
Crewed flight test mid-2019

Tweet from Emre Kelly: (https://twitter.com/EmreKelly/status/1024756863332704261)
Quote
Boeing update on Starliner anomaly: Happened during simulated low-altitude abort burn. All four engines were nominal until shutdown 1.5 seconds later; several valves failed to close, causing the leak. Boeing's Mulholland confident confident in corrective actions.

Tweet from Irene Klotz: (https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/1024750356235001856)
Quote
seems pretty straightforward change -- also plan to change downstream valve start position to avoid initial surge. Test was designed to check how system worked and apparently a slight tweak or two needed. Boeing clear this wouldn't show up during single-engine test
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: speedevil on 08/01/2018 10:05 PM
Is it the issue more “lifeboats”, craft for the crew to ride down, than who’s on orbit for how long?
According to the chart the end of November, 16 months from now, is the last chance to keep an American on board the US station with a seat home on a Soyuz.

If neither Boeing or SpaceX is certified by thatvdate, the choice will be between abandoning the ISS and flying rotations in uncertified craft.

Tough choice for some groups

Partial certifications (for deorbit only) would in principle allow evacuation, but not of course rotation.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Alexphysics on 08/02/2018 01:21 AM
The Soyuz flights were extended, the last purchased Soyuz returns in January 2020, the GAO report didn't include that new extension of the flights. NASA has tried everything to keep those Soyuz flight as far into the future as possible and Roscosmos agreed on that and has streched out the coming Soyuz flights to the limit of 6 and a half months in orbit.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 08/02/2018 04:18 AM
Dates for SpaceX from sources:

Quote from: teslarati
Crew Dragon’s official uncrewed demonstration debut (DM-1) and perhaps the crewed demonstration follow-on mission (DM-2) will likely have real launch dates announced later this week in an August 3 NASA press conference. Reliable sources have pegged those dates around October-December for DM-1 and 3-6 months later for DM-2.
https://www.teslarati.com/spacex-bfr-mars-landing-site-2020/
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 08/02/2018 04:18 PM
Leaked (?) ISS schedule shows both Crew Dragon and Starliner.

Uncrewed: December 2018
Crewed: May-June 2019

Crews

Crew Dragon Operational Mission 1: Sunita Williams, Eric Boe

Starliner Crew Flight Test: Doug Hurley, Behnken, and Boeing test pilot Christopher Ferguson

Note the first Crew Dragon with a crew is labeled OM-1 (Operational Mission 1) and not DM-2 (Demo Mission 2) (!!)

IIRC, turning a crewed test flight into an operational mission had been discussed several months ago, but it was to be Starliner and not Crew Dragon.

https://twitter.com/ShuttleAlmanac/status/1024938262559780864?s=19 (http://"https://twitter.com/ShuttleAlmanac/status/1024938262559780864?s=19")

Space Shuttle Almanac @ShuttleAlmanac
Update - Latest crew assignments and planning dates upcoming for the #ISS - a reference for tomorrows @NASA announcement on the status of crewing for @BoeingSpace #Starliner & @SpaceX #Dragon2 @Commercial_Crew (names in Blue have Twitter handles) https://t.co/UthyuLu8oc (http://"https://t.co/UthyuLu8oc")
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: DwightM on 08/02/2018 04:26 PM
That may end up being the case, but Shuttle Almanac has proven to be unreliable in the past when it comes to crew assignments.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 08/02/2018 04:31 PM
Leaked ISS schedule shows both Crew Dragon and Starliner.

Uncrewed: December 2018
Crewed: May-June 2019
(snip)

With identical dates, this schedule is careful to not indicate which will fly first either unmanned or with crew.
Can the dates be anything more than placeholders?

The other details are curious:  OM-1?  MLM 'Nauka" Nov 8, 2019?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 08/02/2018 04:32 PM
That looks more "guess" than "leak"
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: erioladastra on 08/02/2018 05:11 PM
That looks more "guess" than "leak"

Bingo
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 08/02/2018 06:33 PM
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/08/02/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-3/

Targeted Test Flight Dates:
Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): late 2018 / early 2019
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): mid-2019
SpaceX Demo-1 (uncrewed): November 2018
SpaceX Demo-2 (crewed): April 2019
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 08/02/2018 11:52 PM
That looks more "guess" than "leak"

Or “talking points” for tomorrow’s presentation by Bridenstein (now that Pence has cancelled) designed to say as little as possible.
Not even guesses.  Just possibilities, dates that aren’t (yet) clearly wrong, with just enough other stuff to call it an announcement.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: JDTractorGuy on 08/03/2018 02:02 AM
Dates have been updated on the nasa.gov launches and landings page.  The Boeing flight tests have been removed entirely, while the SpaceX one's have been shifted to the new target dates.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 08/03/2018 06:26 AM
Both providers dates are listed at the top of the page, but the Boeing Starliner Launches and Landings mission summaries are POOF! Casper.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 08/03/2018 01:49 PM
That looks more "guess" than "leak"

Or “talking points” for tomorrow’s presentation by Bridenstein (now that Pence has cancelled) designed to say as little as possible.
Not even guesses.  Just possibilities, dates that aren’t (yet) clearly wrong, with just enough other stuff to call it an announcement.

They were talking about Shuttle Almanac's guesses. The one that were released by NASA yesterday aren't guesses.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 08/03/2018 01:51 PM
They were talking about Shuttle Almanac's guesses. The one that were released by NASA yesterday aren't guesses.

Well, maybe they're more informed guesses...
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 08/04/2018 01:17 PM
Quote from: Eric Berger
Just talked to Gwynne Shotwell briefly. She’s fired up! Seems pretty confident in a November launch of the uncrewed flight test.
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1025418239940157445

Quote from: Eric Berger
She was on point. The schedule assumes no major issues. Kathy Lueders said later it was reasonable as well. As ever, the proof will be in the flying.
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/1025729802395901952
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: yg1968 on 08/06/2018 01:03 PM
See below:

Quote from: Elon Musk
That’s right provided the two Crew Dragon test flights go well. Hardware will def be ready.
 
Quote from: WorldAndScience
SpaceX Will Be Ready to Transport Humans in April 2019, NASA Estimates https://www.universal-sci.com/headlines/2018/8/4/spacex-will-be-ready-to-transport-humans-in-april-2019-nasa-estimates …

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1026262681848709120
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/27/2018 05:51 PM
Quote
Gerst says NASA has margin on ISS for commercial crew to accommodate delays until January, 2020.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1034134063161008133

Quote
He also mentioned that NASA is in discussions with @SpaceX about possibly making their second test flight into an operational mission as well.

https://twitter.com/sciguyspace/status/1034134232459816961

Edit to add:

Quote
Gerstenmaier: think we have enough margin in cmrcl crew schedule with the contract change for Boeing to possibly use last test flight for operational mission.  May be contract change for SpaceX too.

https://twitter.com/spcplcyonline/status/1034134434008780802
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 08/27/2018 09:01 PM
If Boeing CFT duration is extended the crew won't change, same 3 already announced would do the mission.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 08/31/2018 02:05 AM
If Boeing CFT duration is extended the crew won't change, same 3 already announced would do the mission.
Will the SpaceX DM-2 crew change if it is converted to an operational mission?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 08/31/2018 07:55 AM
If Boeing CFT duration is extended the crew won't change, same 3 already announced would do the mission.
Will the SpaceX DM-2 crew change if it is converted to an operational mission?
Likely a third astronaut will be added to the crew in that case.
But right now the Boeing CFT holds the best papers to be converted into an operational mission.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 08/31/2018 11:17 PM
If Boeing CFT duration is extended the crew won't change, same 3 already announced would do the mission.
Will the SpaceX DM-2 crew change if it is converted to an operational mission?
Likely a third astronaut will be added to the crew in that case.
But right now the Boeing CFT holds the best papers to be converted into an operational mission.
Why do you say that? "best papers"?
Because they have a selected and named third crew member?
Do you know of some on-orbit longevity testing or some extra risk that precludes a third crew member on DM-2?
Most schedules have SpaceX launching crew before Boeing.  Would those "best papers" enable NASA to sit out a reduction in crew size if SpaceX is flying but Boeing is not?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 10/04/2018 08:49 PM
https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/10/04/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-4/
Quote
Test Flight Planning Dates:
Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): March 2019
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): August 2019
SpaceX Demo-1 (uncrewed): January 2019
SpaceX Demo-2 (crewed): June 2019
...
Anticipated Readiness Dates for Operational Missions:
First operational mission: August 2019
Second operational mission: December 2019

Those dates sure look like they've decided to make the Boeing CFT an operational mission.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 10/04/2018 09:12 PM
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/launch-dates-to-be-updated-more-regularly-as-commercial-crew-flights-draw-nearer
Quote
As NASA’s Commercial Crew partners Boeing and SpaceX crew transportation systems are within months of being ready for the first test flights of their spacecraft that will carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station from U.S. soil, the scheduling of launch dates enters a new phase.

This near-term scheduling balances the commercial partners’ readiness with NASA and the International Space Station’s schedule and the availability of the Eastern Range to establish a target launch date. NASA plans to provide up-to-date launch planning dates on the Commercial Crew blog, which will be updated approximately monthly, with near-term launches also appearing on NASA’s launches and landing schedule.

“As we get closer to launching human spacecraft from the U.S., we can be more precise in our schedules,” said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight Development at NASA Headquarters. “This allows our technical teams to work efficiently toward the most up-to-date schedules, while allowing us to provide regular updates publicly on the progress of our commercial crew partners.”

SpaceX and the Commercial Crew Program are working together to have the hardware and associated activities ready for its first test flight – Demo-1 – in December 2018, but the launch will occur in January to accommodate docking opportunities at the orbiting laboratory. Boeing’s targeted readiness for its Orbital Flight Test is March 2019. Both test flights will be uncrewed missions.
...

Monthly would be a lot better than the six-monthly we've been getting.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FinalFrontier on 10/05/2018 07:15 PM
Not sure if anyone has seen this yet. Significant update to the flight plan schedules.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/10/04/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-4/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/10/04/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-4/)

Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): March 2019
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): August 2019
SpaceX Demo-1 (uncrewed): January 2019
SpaceX Demo-2 (crewed): June 2019
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: covenant007 on 10/06/2018 09:40 AM
Not sure if anyone has seen this yet. Significant update to the flight plan schedules.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/10/04/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-4/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/10/04/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-4/)

Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): March 2019
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): August 2019
SpaceX Demo-1 (uncrewed): January 2019
SpaceX Demo-2 (crewed): June 2019

saw it....wasn't happy about it.

 ;)

I also looked for different articles to explain the delay.  Some stating SpaceX/Boeing are delaying, some stating "NASA is pushing [launches] out"....would like to know real reason. 

SpaceX has indicated that they are ready for a Nov/Dec launch.  Boeing is playing a bit of catch up due to their engine leak issue from earlier in the year.  It has been stated on occasion (also by the review panel) that one major delay right now is all of the certification paperwork that NASA has to get through.  Hans sort of alluded to it at the space conference earlier this month.  If that's the real issue, I just wish folks would own up to their issues rather than vaguely pointing fingers in the other direction via ambiguous word choice in publicly released statements. 

It is frustrating to be so close only to see thing continually slip out....30 days....60 days....6 months.  They are now targeting NET NEXT December for the post certification missions to the ISS. 

Sorry....frustrated rant over.....just want to see the us move forward to the next chapter.


Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: testguy on 10/06/2018 12:35 PM
Not sure if anyone has seen this yet. Significant update to the flight plan schedules.

https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/10/04/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-4/ (https://blogs.nasa.gov/commercialcrew/2018/10/04/nasas-commercial-crew-program-target-test-flight-dates-4/)

Boeing Orbital Flight Test (uncrewed): March 2019
Boeing Crew Flight Test (crewed): August 2019
SpaceX Demo-1 (uncrewed): January 2019
SpaceX Demo-2 (crewed): June 2019

saw it....wasn't happy about it.

 ;)

I also looked for different articles to explain the delay.  Some stating SpaceX/Boeing are delaying, some stating "NASA is pushing [launches] out"....would like to know real reason. 

SpaceX has indicated that they are ready for a Nov/Dec launch.  Boeing is playing a bit of catch up due to their engine leak issue from earlier in the year.  It has been stated on occasion (also by the review panel) that one major delay right now is all of the certification paperwork that NASA has to get through.  Hans sort of alluded to it at the space conference earlier this month.  If that's the real issue, I just wish folks would own up to their issues rather than vaguely pointing fingers in the other direction via ambiguous word choice in publicly released statements. 

It is frustrating to be so close only to see thing continually slip out....30 days....60 days....6 months.  They are now targeting NET NEXT December for the post certification missions to the ISS. 

Sorry....frustrated rant over.....just want to see the us move forward to the next chapter.

By the time these are finally approved and released for flight we will all have quantum computing laptops at home.  Then the flights will be delayed so they can certify new computer hardware and software for flight.  Agree with your rant.  It is hard to believe any schedule for BEO based on government contracting.

BTW, your and my rant on this topic will probably be deleted just as mine have been in the past.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 10/07/2018 05:00 AM
{snip}
It is frustrating to be so close only to see thing continually slip out....30 days....60 days....6 months.  They are now targeting NET NEXT December for the post certification missions to the ISS. 

Sorry....frustrated rant over.....just want to see the us move forward to the next chapter.


If this is anything like the development of the Falcon launch vehicles then 1 month before launch SpaceX will slip by 1 month. Only then do you have a valid launch date.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: docmordrid on 10/07/2018 06:53 AM
Didn't GAO whack NASA for slow milestone approvals, longer than the contracted periods?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: brainbit on 10/07/2018 12:36 PM
It appeared to me that SpaceX had the hardware in place in August but the political pause button was pressed for 3 months, it appears to of been pressed again,
edit/gongora: trimmed conspiracy theories
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Alexphysics on 10/07/2018 12:53 PM
It appeared to me that SpaceX had the hardware in place in August but the political pause button was pressed for 3 months, it appears to of been pressed again,

They didn't have all the hardware ready in August.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: brainbit on 10/07/2018 01:26 PM
They had the crew access arm ready to fit but where waiting till after the test flight, however as soon as the pause button was pressed they immediately fitted the crew access arm. I read this as the hardware was ready.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: kdhilliard on 10/07/2018 01:56 PM
It appeared to me that SpaceX had the hardware in place in August but the political pause button was pressed for 3 months, ...

That's a common narrative, but one not supported by the facts.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1047428050772811777

While Hans Königsmann is concerned about a possible paperwork delay, he is saying that the hardware may be in place by the end of they year, not that it has been ready since August.

Do we even know if the Dragon trunk for DM-1 has arrived at the Cape?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: brainbit on 10/07/2018 02:55 PM
The pictures of the dragon capsule doing its final vibration testing at the beginning of August showed it mounted on a trunk, with the caption tests completed packing up to ship to the cap. It would make sense to test both the capsule and the trunk for launch vibration together, and ship them together. 
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 10/07/2018 03:09 PM
The pictures of the dragon capsule doing its final vibration testing at the beginning of August showed it mounted on a trunk, with the caption tests completed packing up to ship to the cap. It would make sense to test both the capsule and the trunk for launch vibration together, and ship them together.

The trunk wasn't complete at the time, and the hardware wasn't going to the Cape after that picture was taken.  The capsule was sent to Ohio for more testing before going to the Cape.  As of the August 27 NAC meeting the trunk was still in Hawthorne for solar array installation.  As kdhilliard pointed out above, Hans gave a talk this week and he did not say the hardware is ready now.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Comga on 10/07/2018 03:26 PM
The conjecture about hardware readiness is indefinite and unknowable, what could have been ready when.
We will never know what is or was waiting on what.
There is more status over in L2.
However NASA is adamant about not releasing corroborating material so we will have to take the latest projection as read.
We will see if the pattern of two months delay after three months repeats.
There is nothing to disputed cynicism but no point in it.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 10/07/2018 04:05 PM
Moved a couple posts to the Dragon 2 Discussion thead:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46136.0
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/11/2018 09:41 AM
Really glad crew are safe after today's Soyuz failure.

I expect Soyuz to be grounded for a while so CC schedule is going to be 'interesting' now. NASA won't cut any corners but I wonder if there are any further opportunities to speed up the necessary paperwork?

Edit to add:

I understand current ISS crew may need to come back by end of this year due to limits on Soyuz capsule time in space? If so, then ISS is empty so can CC test flights happen with no-one on ISS?
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: woods170 on 10/11/2018 11:59 AM
Really glad crew are safe after today's Soyuz failure.

I expect Soyuz to be grounded for a while so CC schedule is going to be 'interesting' now. NASA won't cut any corners but I wonder if there are any further opportunities to speed up the necessary paperwork?

Edit to add:

I understand current ISS crew may need to come back by end of this year due to limits on Soyuz capsule time in space? If so, then ISS is empty so can CC test flights happen with no-one on ISS?

No, there needs to be a crew on ISS for DM-1 to proceed as planned.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: Nightstalker89 on 10/11/2018 12:11 PM
The easy answer here is that the the Russians could just launched an empty soyuz to the space station as a lifeboat. Without a crew at risk the benefits to keep the ISS manned would be high. They would just extend the current crews missions
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: brainbit on 10/11/2018 02:21 PM
I am also glad the crew are safe. It will take time to realize the full implication of this failure. As IIS is now, the last 2 astronauts will have to return by end January. Without any crew on ISS, there can be no commercial crew uncrewed test flights.
This was a very serious failure and it is unlikely Russia will be back in business in under a half year at best. It is only just conceivable that Dragon2 can make its DM1 flight before the ISS is abandoned. Forget about resupply flights they wont be needed, and after January there will be no one there to handle them. The other possible problem is that the soyuz up there may have some other sabotage and wont be safe to return on. There is an awful lot to do for both NASA and Russia before January, I do hope all works out well. Interesting times.       
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: dglow on 10/11/2018 03:44 PM
I am also glad the crew are safe. It will take time to realize the full implication of this failure. As IIS is now, the last 2 astronauts will have to return by end January. Without any crew on ISS, there can be no commercial crew uncrewed test flights.
This was a very serious failure and it is unlikely Russia will be back in business in under a half year at best. It is only just conceivable that Dragon2 can make its DM1 flight before the ISS is abandoned. Forget about resupply flights they wont be needed, and after January there will be no one there to handle them. The other possible problem is that the soyuz up there may have some other sabotage and wont be safe to return on. There is an awful lot to do for both NASA and Russia before January, I do hope all works out well. Interesting times.       

Well, good to see the glass is half-full.

I'll bet ISS does not go unmanned as Roscosmos works through this failure. What will be interesting is whether DM-1 is treated as a manpower burden and delayed, or as a potential safety asset and flown.

The shame is that we've been flying without a backup for so long. Commercial Crew's development schedule could have, and should have, been treated with greater urgency.
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: gongora on 10/11/2018 03:48 PM
ASAP meeting intro - current published Commercial Crew schedule probably isn't achievable
Title: Re: Commercial Crew Schedule Analysis
Post by: abaddon on 10/11/2018 03:49 PM
ASAP meeting intro - current published Commercial Crew schedule probably isn't achievable
Oh goodie, this should be fun.