Author Topic: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification  (Read 16738 times)

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #20 on: 05/17/2013 08:11 am »
It's the commercial crew office that wants to switch to FAR. I believe they're responding to the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel claim that SAAs don't provide NASA with sufficient insight (or was it oversight?) to ensure safety.

I figured that after the last attempt to switch to FAR resulted in an outright mutiny that they'd learn the lesson and reserve that for the "acquisition" - like COTS/CRS - but it seems the pressure is still there to give NASA more control in the development process (than SAAs can provide).

Put an engineer together with a lawyer and get them to write a milestone that requires say the performing of a specified set of tests, watched by a NASA inspector and the test report delivered.  In practice that may require more than milestone.  Make achieving this milestone a clause in the "acquisition" FAR contract.

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #21 on: 05/17/2013 01:35 pm »
It's the commercial crew office that wants to switch to FAR. I believe they're responding to the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel claim that SAAs don't provide NASA with sufficient insight (or was it oversight?) to ensure safety.

I figured that after the last attempt to switch to FAR resulted in an outright mutiny that they'd learn the lesson and reserve that for the "acquisition" - like COTS/CRS - but it seems the pressure is still there to give NASA more control in the development process (than SAAs can provide).

I thought it was the oversight committees that are pushing for the switch to FAR contracts. I believe NASA in on one of the CBO's watch lists specifically related to contracts and acquistions.  I seem to remember a paragraph or two about past contracting issues in one of the draft authorization or appropriations bills.

Offline miguel

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #22 on: 05/17/2013 09:23 pm »
As for the Life-boat requirement. That doesn't work with the Taxi option.

Without clever staging and multiple vehicles.

T=0    - Flight 1, pilot only. Stays a few days. Vehicle is the lifeboat
T=5    - Flight 2, pilot and passengers. Vehicle returns with pilots, passengers stay behind
T=180 - Flight 3, pilot and passengers, Flight 2 passengers and flight 3 pilot return in flight 1 vehicle, flight 3 vehicle the new lifeboat
T=360 - Flight 4, pilot and passengers. Flight 3 passengers and flight 4 pilot return in flight 3 vehicle, flight 4 vehicle is the new lifeboat

And so on (T is in days)

Needs two docking ports though...

Flight 1, carries pilot and sheep, returns with pilot
Flight 2, carries pilot and cabbage, returns with pilot and sheep
Flight 3, carries pilot and wolf...

Seriously, this depends on the capabilities to fly safely with one pilot only without backup, to return to earth with an untrained crew and to launch the first two missions fast enough from the same pad (supposing that there's only one adapted for each manned Falcon or Atlas).

I don't think that you can add a requirement for lifeboat capability late in the design.

Offline Lar

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #23 on: 05/17/2013 09:31 pm »

Seriously, this depends on the capabilities to fly safely with one pilot only without backup, to return to earth with an untrained crew and to launch the first two missions fast enough from the same pad (supposing that there's only one adapted for each manned Falcon or Atlas).

5 days was notional, the actual delay would be whatever's needed. And if you can't fly with just one pilot then where I said pilot, change it to say "two pilots"

I think the bigger wrinkle is what if you want to alternate vehicles (this assumes the downselect to one doesn't happen) as Pathfinder_01 mentions...

I don't think that you can add a requirement for lifeboat capability late in the design.

Is this requirement being added, or is it one that you and I were not aware of earlier but has been there all along? I don't know. But NASA has WANTED lifeboat capability all along. ISS has it now with two Soyuz.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2013 09:31 pm by Lar »
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Offline miguel

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #24 on: 05/17/2013 09:44 pm »
Is this requirement being added, or is it one that you and I were not aware of earlier but has been there all along? I don't know. But NASA has WANTED lifeboat capability all along. ISS has it now with two Soyuz.

That's what I mean, either the requirement is there or not, which largely determines if the taxi is possible.

Early in the ISS program a lifeboat was foreseen, but launched by the shuttle. It's much more complicated now.

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #25 on: 05/17/2013 10:00 pm »

Seriously, this depends on the capabilities to fly safely with one pilot only without backup, to return to earth with an untrained crew and to launch the first two missions fast enough from the same pad (supposing that there's only one adapted for each manned Falcon or Atlas).

I don't think that you can add a requirement for lifeboat capability late in the design.

The requirement has been around for a long time (soon after the idea for Orion as lifeboat was dropped.). The requirement is that the craft be able to stay in space docked at the ISS for 6 months. The CCREW craft are also mostly planning for ability to go to the ISS or space without crew. If you have those capabilities then acting as a lifeboat is easy.

The only problem with the taxi model is logistics when different CCREW craft are at the station.

Soyuz became the lifeboat because the shuttle didn't have the ability to stay months in space.  The shuttle could drop off crew(i.e. rotate the crew) but it couldn't stay.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2013 10:03 pm by pathfinder_01 »

Offline baldusi

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #26 on: 05/17/2013 10:06 pm »
Take into consideration if a couple of year long stays would make it easier. You can go up and down with upto six (or even seven) crews, but you need at most four. Also in the role of safe heaven it could take six or seven. Thus, they can do a lot of shuffling.

Offline miguel

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #27 on: 05/17/2013 10:28 pm »
The only problem with the taxi model is logistics when different CCREW craft are at the station.

Soyuz became the lifeboat because the shuttle didn't have the ability to stay months in space.  The shuttle could drop off crew(i.e. rotate the crew) but it couldn't stay.

The whole lifeboat thing doesn't make much sense unless the taxi model is used. You can as well return the crew in the spacecraft where they arrived.

In the X38 concept the Shuttle would carry a lifeboat that would stay attached, allowing a bigger crew to stay at the ISS between shuttles. At the end I guess that Soyuz made more sense economically. It might be the same now.

Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #28 on: 05/18/2013 06:00 am »
The only problem with the taxi model is logistics when different CCREW craft are at the station.

Soyuz became the lifeboat because the shuttle didn't have the ability to stay months in space.  The shuttle could drop off crew(i.e. rotate the crew) but it couldn't stay.

The whole lifeboat thing doesn't make much sense unless the taxi model is used. You can as well return the crew in the spacecraft where they arrived.

In the X38 concept the Shuttle would carry a lifeboat that would stay attached, allowing a bigger crew to stay at the ISS between shuttles. At the end I guess that Soyuz made more sense economically. It might be the same now.

Not quite.

Shuttle could not serve as lifeboat because it cannot stay in space 6 months. It only has 2 week or so in space. Shuttle is powered by fuel cells and when the loh/lox runs out..no power. Not to mention all the other systems that were not made to go into space long term. Hence the need for a lifeboat for any US space station. The shuttle could rotate crew, it just couldn’t hang around.

ISS was over budget so the Bush Administration scaled it back cancelling the lifeboat (and the US habitation module). They decided to purchase Soyuz instead. Soyuz limits the crew to 6 because it can only hold 3 people. Soyuz also took on the role of carrying crew to the ISS due at first to the Shuttle’s scheduling problems (i.e.  Some part or module arrives needs more time on the ground holding up a flight but holding up a flight could leave someone stuck on the ISS) and latter due it‘s retirement. The CCREW have to hold atleast 4, so the crew can increase with them and the ISS was designed for 7. 

Soyuz can't support a crew 2 weeks like the shuttle but unlike the shuttle it can be stored for months till needed.

What the lifeboat requirement means is that these craft need to be able to stay in space 6 months like Soyuz. They also might need to have the capability of being able to autoland(can not remember at the moment).  Spacecraft need to be designed to do that.

Even lunar Apollo had to be modified to stay in space at Skylab (i.e. Skylab charged a battery that powered the return trip because the fuel cells would not be able to last 3 months).

Now serving as the lifeboat could favor the rental model but that isn’t set in stone (i.e. you could just say send the CCREW craft automatically carrying cargo and have it serve as a lifeboat.  Or you could rotate craft if they are of the same type. )
« Last Edit: 05/18/2013 06:05 am by pathfinder_01 »

Offline john smith 19

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #29 on: 05/18/2013 10:03 am »
Now serving as the lifeboat could favor the rental model but that isn’t set in stone (i.e. you could just say send the CCREW craft automatically carrying cargo and have it serve as a lifeboat.  Or you could rotate craft if they are of the same type. )

Interesting idea. We know that Dragon and Cygnus can be brought in by ISS crew but will that capability be included with crewed Dragon? It sounds like a good thing to retain for use in emergency

More generally is that a CCiCAP requirement or is the default that whoever wins will always come up with at least a pilot on board?
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Offline yg1968

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #30 on: 05/21/2013 05:34 pm »
It seems that phase 2 of certification has been pushed to July 2014 (it was previously planned for May 2014).

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/336896502247092225

Quote
The comm'l crew certification phase 2 contract award is planned for July 2014.

This may not be a bad thing as it could imply that some of the early optional CCiCap milestones will be exercised.
« Last Edit: 05/21/2013 05:43 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #31 on: 05/21/2013 05:40 pm »
Lopez Alegria from the CSF suggests that the optional milestones should be exercised:

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/336893031393415168

Quote
Mike L-A: need to spend comm'l crew $ in the most efficient way you can; do that by exercising optional CCiCap milestones. #spacetechexpo
« Last Edit: 05/21/2013 05:41 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #32 on: 05/21/2013 06:47 pm »
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/336915342922231808

Quote
Reisman [of SpaceX]: concerned if comm'l crew goes back to traditional contracting, lose key strengths of program; our biggest concern. #spacetechexpo

Someone had to say it...

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/336931413620310017

Quote
SpaceX and Boeing say comm'l crew full funding important, but 1 variable along with schedule and "rules of engagement". #spacetechexpo
« Last Edit: 05/21/2013 08:39 pm by yg1968 »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #33 on: 05/21/2013 10:44 pm »
It's hard to care about the optional CCiCap milestones being exercised when we don't know what they are.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline erioladastra

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #34 on: 05/22/2013 01:27 am »
It seems that phase 2 of certification has been pushed to July 2014 (it was previously planned for May 2014).

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/336896502247092225

Quote
The comm'l crew certification phase 2 contract award is planned for July 2014.

This may not be a bad thing as it could imply that some of the early optional CCiCap milestones will be exercised.

It is not a good thing.  The optional milestones will be the first ones under a FAR contract in phase 2.  If NASA is exercising the optional it means that either Congress or NASA is treading water and dragging things out.  The companies need and want firm commitments to start the real work.  And you can bet if they are talking July it will be August.  The longer you keep 2.5 around the later we fly to ISS.

Offline yg1968

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #35 on: 05/22/2013 02:44 am »
It seems that phase 2 of certification has been pushed to July 2014 (it was previously planned for May 2014).

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/336896502247092225

Quote
The comm'l crew certification phase 2 contract award is planned for July 2014.

This may not be a bad thing as it could imply that some of the early optional CCiCap milestones will be exercised.

It is not a good thing.  The optional milestones will be the first ones under a FAR contract in phase 2.  If NASA is exercising the optional it means that either Congress or NASA is treading water and dragging things out.  The companies need and want firm commitments to start the real work.  And you can bet if they are talking July it will be August.  The longer you keep 2.5 around the later we fly to ISS.

The optional milestones don't have to be exercised for all companies. In the past, NASA has exercised optional milestones for CCDev-2 for some companies (Boeing and SNC) but not for all of them (Blue Origin's optional milestones were not funded; SpaceX didn't have any optional milestones under CCDev-2).

Besides, once the CCiCap base period is over, NASA is free to downselect at that point in time. It doesn't have to wait for certification to downselect.
« Last Edit: 05/22/2013 02:53 am by yg1968 »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #36 on: 05/22/2013 02:54 am »
once the CCiCap base period is over, NASA is free to downselect at that point in time.

We keep using that word, even though the commercial crew office has explicitly said they won't be doing a downselect; every phase is an open competition where new partners have a chance to join.

Of course, I don't believe this for a second, but it's wrong to say they're free to downselect.

Last I heard, they were still talking about taking multiple partners through certification, but only one crew services contract would be awarded.



Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline yg1968

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #37 on: 05/22/2013 03:00 am »
once the CCiCap base period is over, NASA is free to downselect at that point in time.

We keep using that word, even though the commercial crew office has explicitly said they won't be doing a downselect; every phase is an open competition where new partners have a chance to join.

Of course, I don't believe this for a second, but it's wrong to say they're free to downselect.

Last I heard, they were still talking about taking multiple partners through certification, but only one crew services contract would be awarded.

NASA intends to ideally have two (or 1.5) in the certification phase. It's not a downselection in the sense that it's a new competition and new entrants are allowed to apply. But for CPC, the only companies that applied were SNC, Boeing and SpaceX. So it would be difficult for new entrants to win a phase two certification award at this point. But the optional milestones are really optional and they are not a package deal.
« Last Edit: 05/22/2013 03:08 am by yg1968 »

Offline QuantumG

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #38 on: 05/22/2013 03:20 am »
Quote from: Jeff Foust
"Garrett Reisman: we believe we can do first Dragon flight test with crew on board in mid-2015; part of optional CCiCap milestones."

http://twitter.com/jeff_foust

That's conflicting information.. maybe the crew test flights are back on the table?

More likely is he's just speaking from the SpaceX perspective.. they'll be ready, but NASA is unlikely to pay for it.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline beancounter

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Re: McAlister Discusses Commercial Crew Certification
« Reply #39 on: 05/22/2013 03:48 am »
Quote from: Jeff Foust
"Garrett Reisman: we believe we can do first Dragon flight test with crew on board in mid-2015; part of optional CCiCap milestones."

http://twitter.com/jeff_foust

That's conflicting information.. maybe the crew test flights are back on the table?

More likely is he's just speaking from the SpaceX perspective.. they'll be ready, but NASA is unlikely to pay for it.

I wonder if they'd fly anyway.  They're not looking for NASA crew.
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