Author Topic: ASAP want NASA to avoid "going native" with CCP partners – SpaceX Latest  (Read 34386 times)

Online vulture4

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I would hope government agencies serve primarily national interests rather than political interests. Otherwise we may find the nation itself falling behind.

If NASA proposes and consistently performs research and development with practical value to America, that may help to avoid the tendency for each administration to change its course based on political interests. My admittedly limited experience with other federal R&D programs is that they are less affected than NASA by changes in the administration and more likely to propose and maintain their own priorities and goals rather than waiting for the more political and less technical administration officials to decide their course.

Offline QuantumG

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I would hope government agencies serve primarily national interests rather than political interests. Otherwise we may find the nation itself falling behind.

The "national interest" is decided by politics.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Go4TLI

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I would hope government agencies serve primarily national interests rather than political interests. Otherwise we may find the nation itself falling behind.

If NASA proposes and consistently performs research and development with practical value to America, that may help to avoid the tendency for each administration to change its course based on political interests. My admittedly limited experience with other federal R&D programs is that they are less affected than NASA by changes in the administration and more likely to propose and maintain their own priorities and goals rather than waiting for the more political and less technical administration officials to decide their course.

NASA does a significant amount of R&D.  Simple research would indicate that. 

An "all R&D agency and only R&D" would end the significant operational programs for which this agency is known best and relegate it to the fringe and status of the NSF and others.  Very few off the street can say anything about them. 

It would also mean no ISS and therefore no visiting vehicles under development and people would no longer have anything to moan about here.  On second thought, maybe an all-R&D agency is not such a bad thing.... :)

Offline DDG40

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The SLS program has 0 union workers. Orion has 10.

Offline kkattula

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The tendency to view everything in political terms is causing a lot of damage at NASA

NASA is a government department.. how else are they supposed to see everything?

It's like saying the tendency to view everything in ice cream terms is causing a lot of damage at Ben & Jerry's.



There's a difference between politics and bureaucracy...

Yes there is, what's that got to do with what you said? If NASA doesn't think in political terms they quickly discover the politicians are cutting their budget or talking about downsizing some centers.

Government departments serve political interests or they soon no longer exist.


Bureaucracies tend primarily to serve their own interests, seeking budget growth or at least stability. External politics is a serious factor, and one that promotes instability.

They try to mitigate poltical interference by engaging with external stakeholders who have political influence, (e.g. aerospace contractors), but it's a delicate balancing act. With CxP they got it badly wrong and the politicians won. 
« Last Edit: 07/18/2012 03:50 am by kkattula »

Offline pathfinder_01

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is a serious factor, and one that promotes instability.

They try to mitigate poltical interference by engaging with external stakeholders who have political influence, (e.g. aerospace contractors), but it's a delicate balancing act. With CxP they got it badly wrong and the politicians won. 


Politicians also have interests in seeing that whatever function that the bureaucracies do is being handled reasonably well or at least not generating bad press. CXP devolved into let’s throw out the ISS, send a small capsule into orbit for five years while we wait on the HLV, then wait some more time while we develop a lander.

Extending the shuttle also had no good reason by 2008(i.e. it would take 2 years to make a new tank at least not to mention any other problems with parts availability (like recertifying suppliers). Not to mention this does not solve the it needs replacement problem.

I am a space fan, and the former doesn’t sound like a well functioning space program to me and the latter was the best you could do without a big budget increase.

Offline Lobo

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Extending the shuttle also had no good reason by 2008(i.e. it would take 2 years to make a new tank at least not to mention any other problems with parts availability (like recertifying suppliers). Not to mention this does not solve the it needs replacement problem.


I believe there were/are a few extra ET's either built or partially built at MAF.  I think there was an older style LWT that never got used before the switch to the SLWT, and Direct wanted to use it for J-130 and convert it to a core, becuase the J-130 didn't need wall strengthening from the ET like the J-246 did. 

From Wikipedia, if this is accurate:

"Unflown hardware:
ET-94 (older version LWT), currently in storage at Michoud Assembly Facility, will be used for development and tests of in-line Shuttle-Derived Launch Vehicle, the Space Launch System.[17]
Three other external tanks were in preparation, when the manufacturing stopped. ET-139 is at advanced stage of manufacturing; ET-140 and ET-141 are in early stages of manufacturing."

Which means, at least as far as the ET goes, STS could have been pretty easily extended for at least one more launch with ET-94, although it's paylaod capacity would be a little less.  That probably wouldn't be a big deal as it would just like be an ISS resupply and crew rotation mission. 
If ET-139 is at advanced stage of manufacturing, it could likely be easily  finished by the time it would be needed to fly (maybe a year after STS-135, doing one launch every 6 months).  Which would put out ET-140 or ET-141 needing to be ready about 6 months after that, with the remaining tank 6 months after that.  I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be a problem is the extension was announce prior to STS-135.  I'll assume they could have been finished if MAF had 1.5-2 years to work on them. 
So just that hardware could have extended STS for 4 more flights, so into mid 2013 assuming one launch every 6 months for ISS crew rotation and resupply.  And if they'd ordered a few new tanks to be built at the same time they announced the extension, then they'd probably be ready by late 2013/early 2014 when an "STS-140" would have been needed to fly.

Now, that's not to say there wouldn't have been other supply problems in extending the shuttle, like 4-seg booster availability (although could have it flown with 5-1 seg boosters?), just that there were enough ET's to keep flying.  With the problems with CxP and later cancellation, I always thought President Obama -should- have extended STS in 2010 when he cancelled CxP, as well as to have -NOT- cancelled Orion, but continuted that as NASA's BLEO capable spacecraft.  At that time President Obama could have introduced a replacement program for CxP to carry Orion somewhere BLEO to be done while cutting back STS to the bare minimum needed to keep US access to the ISS.  Perhaps retire one Shuttle and store it for parts, and just kept 2 shuttles flying at a rate of about every 6 months or so.  So there’s a backup in case one is grounded for some reason.  The replacement program could have been Direct, or AJAX, or Evolved-EELV like Atlas V-Phase 2/3a.  Granted, they must be paid for along with STS, so the transition might have taken a little longer, but the gap could have been eliminated.  Evolved EELV would have the most cost sharing with DoD, but I think AJAX flying with standard Atlas V CCB’s would do a good job of that too.  AJAX should have been a little cheaper to develop than SLS because it was using existing boosters, and might have been able to nix some of the J2X and 5-seg development costs by cancelling those programs a few years ago (maybe anyway).  And the STS workforce could have been more gradually transitioned into AJAX (as would have been with Direct)  And Evolved-EELV could have been an incremental approach, without much big up front costs to compete with STS operation funding.  Start with man-rating Atlas, then start flying Orion on AVH for testing and to the ISS.  If it could be made ready before commercial crew ( if Orion wasn’t in limbo for a year or so after it was cancelled)  Then STS could be retired at that time, and Orion does crew rotation until commercial crew was ready to take that over.  (Commercial cargo will/should already be flying by that time).   Once STS was retired, those funds would go to developing AVP2 and AVP3a, and missions and hardware to fly on it, hopefully ready by the 2020’s.

Anyway, I’d have much rather a plan like that come down from the White House in early 2010 (or sooner)  than the way things happened.
but I digress… ;-)

I guess my point is they could have extended the shuttle out for longer from an ET point of view.  And made a few better decisions along the way.  But that's neither here nor there any more  :-)

Offline Downix

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Extending the shuttle also had no good reason by 2008(i.e. it would take 2 years to make a new tank at least not to mention any other problems with parts availability (like recertifying suppliers). Not to mention this does not solve the it needs replacement problem.


I believe there were/are a few extra ET's either built or partially built at MAF.  I think there was an older style LWT that never got used before the switch to the SLWT, and Direct wanted to use it for J-130 and convert it to a core, becuase the J-130 didn't need wall strengthening from the ET like the J-246 did. 

From Wikipedia, if this is accurate:

"Unflown hardware:
ET-94 (older version LWT), currently in storage at Michoud Assembly Facility, will be used for development and tests of in-line Shuttle-Derived Launch Vehicle, the Space Launch System.[17]
Three other external tanks were in preparation, when the manufacturing stopped. ET-139 is at advanced stage of manufacturing; ET-140 and ET-141 are in early stages of manufacturing."

Which means, at least as far as the ET goes, STS could have been pretty easily extended for at least one more launch with ET-94, although it's paylaod capacity would be a little less.  That probably wouldn't be a big deal as it would just like be an ISS resupply and crew rotation mission. 
If ET-139 is at advanced stage of manufacturing, it could likely be easily  finished by the time it would be needed to fly (maybe a year after STS-135, doing one launch every 6 months).  Which would put out ET-140 or ET-141 needing to be ready about 6 months after that, with the remaining tank 6 months after that.  I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be a problem is the extension was announce prior to STS-135.  I'll assume they could have been finished if MAF had 1.5-2 years to work on them. 
So just that hardware could have extended STS for 4 more flights, so into mid 2013 assuming one launch every 6 months for ISS crew rotation and resupply.  And if they'd ordered a few new tanks to be built at the same time they announced the extension, then they'd probably be ready by late 2013/early 2014 when an "STS-140" would have been needed to fly.

Now, that's not to say there wouldn't have been other supply problems in extending the shuttle, like 4-seg booster availability (although could have it flown with 5-1 seg boosters?), just that there were enough ET's to keep flying.  With the problems with CxP and later cancellation, I always thought President Obama -should- have extended STS in 2010 when he cancelled CxP, as well as to have -NOT- cancelled Orion, but continuted that as NASA's BLEO capable spacecraft.  At that time President Obama could have introduced a replacement program for CxP to carry Orion somewhere BLEO to be done while cutting back STS to the bare minimum needed to keep US access to the ISS.  Perhaps retire one Shuttle and store it for parts, and just kept 2 shuttles flying at a rate of about every 6 months or so.  So there’s a backup in case one is grounded for some reason.  The replacement program could have been Direct, or AJAX, or Evolved-EELV like Atlas V-Phase 2/3a.  Granted, they must be paid for along with STS, so the transition might have taken a little longer, but the gap could have been eliminated.  Evolved EELV would have the most cost sharing with DoD, but I think AJAX flying with standard Atlas V CCB’s would do a good job of that too.  AJAX should have been a little cheaper to develop than SLS because it was using existing boosters, and might have been able to nix some of the J2X and 5-seg development costs by cancelling those programs a few years ago (maybe anyway).  And the STS workforce could have been more gradually transitioned into AJAX (as would have been with Direct)  And Evolved-EELV could have been an incremental approach, without much big up front costs to compete with STS operation funding.  Start with man-rating Atlas, then start flying Orion on AVH for testing and to the ISS.  If it could be made ready before commercial crew ( if Orion wasn’t in limbo for a year or so after it was cancelled)  Then STS could be retired at that time, and Orion does crew rotation until commercial crew was ready to take that over.  (Commercial cargo will/should already be flying by that time).   Once STS was retired, those funds would go to developing AVP2 and AVP3a, and missions and hardware to fly on it, hopefully ready by the 2020’s.

Anyway, I’d have much rather a plan like that come down from the White House in early 2010 (or sooner)  than the way things happened.
but I digress… ;-)

I guess my point is they could have extended the shuttle out for longer from an ET point of view.  And made a few better decisions along the way.  But that's neither here nor there any more  :-)

ET-94 was the twin of the tank which cost us Columbia, not safe for shuttle ops due to the foam impact issue.

Neither Discovery nor Atlantis were space worthy after their last flights. Each one had major systems which needed to be replaced, and no replacements were available.

You could not launch the last remaining shuttle without an on-pad backup, and there was none. So.... extending the Shuttle would require ignoring the Congressional edict for SLS and Orion, requiring the scrapping of both as well as other programs in order to re-establish the capability to produce the necessary bits for the Shuttle. It would be cheaper to build all new Shuttles, frankly.
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Online DaveS

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ET-94 was the twin of the tank which cost us Columbia, not safe for shuttle ops due to the foam impact issue.
ET-94 was just as safe as the SLWTs. Remember, all ETs have sported bipod foam ramps as well as the LOX/LH2 PAL ramps. Removal of those elements as well as other modifications came only after the Columbia accident: http://www.nasa.gov/news/highlights/extank_media.html
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Offline Lobo

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ET-94 was the twin of the tank which cost us Columbia, not safe for shuttle ops due to the foam impact issue.

Neither Discovery nor Atlantis were space worthy after their last flights. Each one had major systems which needed to be replaced, and no replacements were available.

 

I can't speak for what Discovery or Atlantis would need to keep them space worthy, as I don't know.  If what you say is true, then obviously that would be a problem.  How many flights could Endevour have flown and remained Space Worthy?  Perhaps they could have done enough to one of them so it could have acted as a backup, but only in case of emergency for a reasonable price and effort?  Not sure what needed to be replaced or why.
Then just Flown Endevour as the PoR shuttle for however many more flights were needed until Orion could fly on an AVH to the ISS.  I will assume (although I don't know) that if it hadn't been cancelled by the President early 2010, and hung out in Limbo for a year, that maybe at least a LEO version (Block 0 or something I think it would have been) could have been ready to fly to the ISS by 2013-2014?
Maybe that’s optimistic, but I believe ULA says they could do an AVH 30 months form order, which is less than 3 years.  Depends if the man-rating process could be done concurrently with that so a man rated AVH would be ready in 2013-2014.

Maybe of ET-94 and the three partially built tanks, one could be allocated for the backup mission (if Discovery or Atlantis could be made to be back-up flight worthy), and then Endevour could have flown 3 more flights after STS-135 using the other three ET’s, at a rate of once a year.  We’d still need to probably buy some seats on Soyuz to go with that, but at least we’d still have some capabilities. 

ET-94 was the twin of the tank which cost us Columbia, not safe for shuttle ops due to the foam impact issue.

You could not launch the last remaining shuttle without an on-pad backup, and there was none. So.... extending the Shuttle would require ignoring the Congressional edict for SLS and Orion, requiring the scrapping of both as well as other programs in order to re-establish the capability to produce the necessary bits for the Shuttle. It would be cheaper to build all new Shuttles, frankly.

Ummm…I said if President Obama had come out with such a plan instead of the one he did in February of 2010 (or even came out with it earlier), so that there never would have been a need for a Congressional Edict later in 2010 in NAA2010.  –Before- there was such an edict. 

However, if there were parts other than the ET’s that would be needed to start production of again to make a backup Shuttle available, and if doing so was cost prohibitive, than you are correct, STS-135 was the last mission that could have flown.  But again, rewinding time back to early 2010, or even further to mid or late 2009, and reorganized the remaining manifest to extend out the launches, it might have opened up some other possibilities.
There were 3 shuttle launches in the latter half of 2009, with one before that in May 2009.  There were also 3 launches in 2010 (would have been 4 if STS-133 hadn’t had issues).  And 3 launches in 2011.
That’s 9 launches right there. 
So, let’s discount STS-125 on May 11, 2009 as that was the Hubble mission, the ISS mission prior to that was STS-119 on March 15, 2009.  The next ISS mission was STS-127 in July 15, 2009.  That could have been moved out to September 2009, 6 months after STS-119.  (This decision could have been made by the Administration while the Augustine Commission was mulling over the various alternatives to CxP in the summer of 2009.  A tentative plan could have been made to move out the remaining flights at 6 month intervals, pending the findings of the Augustine commission, and a real plan by the Administration to follow for either Direct-like, AJAX-like, or evolved-EELV.  Then reevaluated depending on the projected time for Orion/LV or commercial crew to be ready to service the ISS.  ).
 STS-128 Could have then been moved from August 2009, to March 2010.  STS-129 could have then been moved to September 2010. STS-130 to March 2011.  STS-131 to September 2011.  STS-132 to March 2012.  STS-133 to September 2012 (and then Discovery would be retired with much deserved fanfare). STS-134 then moved to March of 2013.  Then STS-135 would not fly with Atlantis, but Atlantis would be parked and she’d be held in reserve as backup to Endevour.  STS-135 would fly with Endevour in September 2013.  By allocating 3 of the 4 remaining tanks to STS-136, STS-137, and STS-138 (finishing the 3 partially built ones).  Endevour would fly STS-136 and STS-137 in March 2014 and September 2014.  STS-137 would be her last scheduled launch, so that could have all of the “retirement” fanfare.  But then she’d be held in reserve until Atlantis flew her last flight STS-138 on March 2015, where she’d be retired with her fanfare, like she was on STS-135. 
One ET would still be left unflown if the rescue mission was never needed.
That would have given NASA until September 2015 (6 months later) to either have Orion ready to fly crews on AVH, or a commercial crew provider ready.  I think that would be doable.   STS is then completely retired and resources are then shifted completely to finish whatever system would be replacing her, Direct, AJAX, or Evolved-EELV’s. 

Looking back over the shuttle manifest, I see several cases where the same shuttle was flown twice within 6 months, so flying Endevour every 6 months on STS-135, 136, and 137 wouldn’t be a problem I wouldn’t think.  It would have delayed the last few pieces and parts of the ISS over another few years, but all of the big parts were already there by STS-119 in March 2009 except the JEM EF, and Node3/Coupola. 

I’m sure I’m missing a bunch of important details here…but just saying with a different plan earlier on, the gap could have been all or at least mostly avoided.

Offline Downix

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ET-94 was the twin of the tank which cost us Columbia, not safe for shuttle ops due to the foam impact issue.

Neither Discovery nor Atlantis were space worthy after their last flights. Each one had major systems which needed to be replaced, and no replacements were available.

 

I can't speak for what Discovery or Atlantis would need to keep them space worthy, as I don't know.  If what you say is true, then obviously that would be a problem.  How many flights could Endevour have flown and remained Space Worthy?  Perhaps they could have done enough to one of them so it could have acted as a backup, but only in case of emergency for a reasonable price and effort?  Not sure what needed to be replaced or why.
Then just Flown Endevour as the PoR shuttle for however many more flights were needed until Orion could fly on an AVH to the ISS.  I will assume (although I don't know) that if it hadn't been cancelled by the President early 2010, and hung out in Limbo for a year, that maybe at least a LEO version (Block 0 or something I think it would have been) could have been ready to fly to the ISS by 2013-2014?
Maybe that’s optimistic, but I believe ULA says they could do an AVH 30 months form order, which is less than 3 years.  Depends if the man-rating process could be done concurrently with that so a man rated AVH would be ready in 2013-2014.

Maybe of ET-94 and the three partially built tanks, one could be allocated for the backup mission (if Discovery or Atlantis could be made to be back-up flight worthy), and then Endevour could have flown 3 more flights after STS-135 using the other three ET’s, at a rate of once a year.  We’d still need to probably buy some seats on Soyuz to go with that, but at least we’d still have some capabilities. 

ET-94 was the twin of the tank which cost us Columbia, not safe for shuttle ops due to the foam impact issue.

You could not launch the last remaining shuttle without an on-pad backup, and there was none. So.... extending the Shuttle would require ignoring the Congressional edict for SLS and Orion, requiring the scrapping of both as well as other programs in order to re-establish the capability to produce the necessary bits for the Shuttle. It would be cheaper to build all new Shuttles, frankly.

Ummm…I said if President Obama had come out with such a plan instead of the one he did in February of 2010 (or even came out with it earlier), so that there never would have been a need for a Congressional Edict later in 2010 in NAA2010.  –Before- there was such an edict. 

However, if there were parts other than the ET’s that would be needed to start production of again to make a backup Shuttle available, and if doing so was cost prohibitive, than you are correct, STS-135 was the last mission that could have flown.  But again, rewinding time back to early 2010, or even further to mid or late 2009, and reorganized the remaining manifest to extend out the launches, it might have opened up some other possibilities.
There were 3 shuttle launches in the latter half of 2009, with one before that in May 2009.  There were also 3 launches in 2010 (would have been 4 if STS-133 hadn’t had issues).  And 3 launches in 2011.
That’s 9 launches right there. 
So, let’s discount STS-125 on May 11, 2009 as that was the Hubble mission, the ISS mission prior to that was STS-119 on March 15, 2009.  The next ISS mission was STS-127 in July 15, 2009.  That could have been moved out to September 2009, 6 months after STS-119.  (This decision could have been made by the Administration while the Augustine Commission was mulling over the various alternatives to CxP in the summer of 2009.  A tentative plan could have been made to move out the remaining flights at 6 month intervals, pending the findings of the Augustine commission, and a real plan by the Administration to follow for either Direct-like, AJAX-like, or evolved-EELV.  Then reevaluated depending on the projected time for Orion/LV or commercial crew to be ready to service the ISS.  ).
 STS-128 Could have then been moved from August 2009, to March 2010.  STS-129 could have then been moved to September 2010. STS-130 to March 2011.  STS-131 to September 2011.  STS-132 to March 2012.  STS-133 to September 2012 (and then Discovery would be retired with much deserved fanfare). STS-134 then moved to March of 2013.  Then STS-135 would not fly with Atlantis, but Atlantis would be parked and she’d be held in reserve as backup to Endevour.  STS-135 would fly with Endevour in September 2013.  By allocating 3 of the 4 remaining tanks to STS-136, STS-137, and STS-138 (finishing the 3 partially built ones).  Endevour would fly STS-136 and STS-137 in March 2014 and September 2014.  STS-137 would be her last scheduled launch, so that could have all of the “retirement” fanfare.  But then she’d be held in reserve until Atlantis flew her last flight STS-138 on March 2015, where she’d be retired with her fanfare, like she was on STS-135. 
One ET would still be left unflown if the rescue mission was never needed.
That would have given NASA until September 2015 (6 months later) to either have Orion ready to fly crews on AVH, or a commercial crew provider ready.  I think that would be doable.   STS is then completely retired and resources are then shifted completely to finish whatever system would be replacing her, Direct, AJAX, or Evolved-EELV’s. 

Looking back over the shuttle manifest, I see several cases where the same shuttle was flown twice within 6 months, so flying Endevour every 6 months on STS-135, 136, and 137 wouldn’t be a problem I wouldn’t think.  It would have delayed the last few pieces and parts of the ISS over another few years, but all of the big parts were already there by STS-119 in March 2009 except the JEM EF, and Node3/Coupola. 

I’m sure I’m missing a bunch of important details here…but just saying with a different plan earlier on, the gap could have been all or at least mostly avoided.

According to Wayne Hale they'd begun to destroy the tooling and support for the Shuttle as far back as 2004. By the time Obama had taken office, over 4 years of dismantling had happened.
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Offline Lobo

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According to Wayne Hale they'd begun to destroy the tooling and support for the Shuttle as far back as 2004. By the time Obama had taken office, over 4 years of dismantling had happened.

Downix,

That's godo to know.  And I don't want to pretend like I have enough information or knowledge in this area to say anything difinitive.  I'm just pulling on a thread a little here.

However, that said, they did launch 11 Shuttle missions -after- Obama took office.  ONe of those was the Hubble mission, so setting that aside, NASA launched 10 missions to the ISS after Obama took office.  So they obviously had enough parts and supplies for at least those 10 missions.  Assuming that there's just no way any additional launches could have been made after STS-135 (are you for sure about that?  Not to question your knowledge here, just curious) those 10 missions could have been staggered out over the next 5 years.  Since the last pre-Obama ISS mission was STS-126 in November 2008, the next ISS mission, STS-119 could have been pushed back to May 2009, six months after STS-126. 
At six month intervals, STS-135 would have been flown in November 2013.  Which would have given us until May 2014 to either get Orion flying on AVH, or to have a commercial crew provider flying by then, in order to not have a gap and need the Russians.  Which could have been doable (I think) if Orion had not been in limbo for a year or so, and NASA ordered a man-rated AVH in January 2009 when Obama took office.  Now, January might be a little ambitious, as he was just barely inogurated, but even if the AVH hadn't been ordered from ULA until summer 2009 after the transition had been done, that's still 5 full years to get a man-rated AVH.  Considering a non-man-rated one has a 30 month lead time, I'm guessing that's doable.  AS well as a early block Orion if development had gone uninturrupted from Summer 2009 to May 2014, especially if NASA and LM were challenged by Obama/Bolden to have it ready by then.

Worst case scenario, we have to buy seats on Soyuz for 6 months or a year...much better than the 6 years we'll need to buy them for now.  The ISS is still completed, although a little later, and we really don't loose our space access in the interim.  And Man-rated Atlas V Heavy means commercial crew doesn't have to pay for that, and AV is now available for use for commercial crew, or an AJAX-like LV if NASA chose to go that way, or it would be a building block for AVP2 and AVP3a if NASA chose to go that way.

Online Chris Bergin

Saaaaaaaaaaay What! :D

Back on topic after this post (no, "but but but...") On topic from now on. Thanking you.

Offline Lobo

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Saaaaaaaaaaay What! :D

Back on topic after this post (no, "but but but...") On topic from now on. Thanking you.

Whaaaaat?
What do you mean re-hashing the cancellation fo the Shuttle Program is off topic from NASA not going native with CCP partners?

That's crazy talk...

;-)

Offline JohnFornaro

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For the record-

In 2008 Musk gave Hillary Clinton $2,300...etc.

Which is not really a lot of money, considering that Mr. Obama raised some $70M and Mr. romney some $100M in the last political reporting period.  But what does that have to do with NASA "going native"?

That NASA is also a political body?

The tendency to view everything in political terms is causing a lot of damage at NASA even though (or perhaps because) it is rarely discussed. I was actually told by a high-ranking civil servant that "Obama is using SpaceX and the Unions to destroy NASA".

This doesn't sound believable.  I have no idea what Mr. Obama intends for NASA.   Plus, Mr. Obama is very pro-union.  What gives?  For this anonymous remark from the civil servant to have credibility, there would have to be a line of reasoning which rationally leads to this conclusion.  I don't see it.

But again, what does that have to do with NASA "going native"?

I would hope government agencies serve primarily national interests rather than political interests. Otherwise we may find the nation itself falling behind.

I agree, but the agencies aren't, necessarily, and the nation is.  And while there are problems in the bureacracy, the executive leadership probably should take credit for NASA not really serving the nation's interests.  What about NASA employees going native?

I’m sure I’m missing a bunch of important details here…but just saying with a different plan earlier on, the gap could have been all or at least mostly avoided.

That's all true, and has been discussed on the forum at length.  I know you know it's too late for that.  What about those natives?

Here's what I think.

If NASA's thinking about planning some sort of employee rotation, they're going to have to plan carefully, because they will lose project continuity.  But the concern is valid.  When do the NASA employees start assuming the "values" of SpaceX, and how could this damage the "values" of NASA?

I just assumed everybody's working appropriately together.  Any updates on this?  Like a followup article?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Online vulture4

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What about NASA employees going native?

That would be the best thing that could happen to them. Almost every USA contractor, all the people who had actual hands-on experience with flight hardware, were fired and dispersed. No one even asked them to record their ideas. The NASA personnel all kept their jobs, but almost none have ever designed, built or maintained actual flight hardware. They consistently take more time and spend more money just deciding on the text of a few requirements than an expereinced engineer would take to actually design and build the system. Cost is what is killing human spaceflight, and NASA is going to have to learn to act a lot more like SpaceX if cost is to be controlled, let alone reduced to a practical lavel.

Offline JohnFornaro

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An interesting take, and one which I think has some credibility.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Jim

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What about NASA employees going native?

That would be the best thing that could happen to them. Almost every USA contractor, all the people who had actual hands-on experience with flight hardware, were fired and dispersed. No one even asked them to record their ideas. The NASA personnel all kept their jobs, but almost none have ever designed, built or maintained actual flight hardware. They consistently take more time and spend more money just deciding on the text of a few requirements than an expereinced engineer would take to actually design and build the system. Cost is what is killing human spaceflight, and NASA is going to have to learn to act a lot more like SpaceX if cost is to be controlled, let alone reduced to a practical lavel.

Most of the NASA civil servants in LSP are ex contractors. 

Online vulture4

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What about NASA employees going native?

That would be the best thing that could happen to them. Almost every USA contractor, all the people who had actual hands-on experience with flight hardware, were fired and dispersed. No one even asked them to record their ideas. The NASA personnel all kept their jobs, but almost none have ever designed, built or maintained actual flight hardware. They consistently take more time and spend more money just deciding on the text of a few requirements than an expereinced engineer would take to actually design and build the system. Cost is what is killing human spaceflight, and NASA is going to have to learn to act a lot more like SpaceX if cost is to be controlled, let alone reduced to a practical lavel.

Most of the NASA civil servants in LSP are ex contractors. 

I am not familiar with LSP and would be happy to hear your opinion on it. However the question I raised was not whether or not they had been contractors, but whether or not they had hands-on experience designing, building or maintaining flight hardware.

In the case of Shuttle, the turnover at ULA was quite low and not many seemed to end up on the NASA side.

Regarding unmanned launches, I have worked a bit with ULA people and to be honest, although they are not perfect, they seem to know their jobs pretty well and it was never clear to me exactly what value was gained by putting DOD or NASA personnel (depending on which was the customer) in a direct management role for unmanned launches. What does LSP do to make unmanned launches less expensive?
« Last Edit: 07/31/2012 11:47 am by vulture4 »

Offline Jim

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What does LSP do to make unmanned launches less expensive?

Use launch service contracts vs hardware.  Insight vs oversight.

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