Poll

Which companies will receive major funded CCtCap awards?

Boeing
8 (2.1%)
Sierra Nevada
4 (1%)
SpaceX
14 (3.6%)
Other entity
0 (0%)
Boeing & Sierra Nevada
13 (3.4%)
Boeing & SpaceX
68 (17.5%)
Sierra Nevada & SpaceX
253 (65.2%)
Boeing & other entity
1 (0.3%)
Sierra Nevada & other entity
1 (0.3%)
SpaceX & other entity
15 (3.9%)
Boeing, Sierra Nevada & SpaceX
10 (2.6%)
None of the above
1 (0.3%)

Total Members Voted: 388

Voting closed: 09/02/2014 01:02 pm


Author Topic: Commercial Crew Downselect  (Read 62178 times)

Offline Proponent

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Commercial Crew Downselect
« on: 08/26/2014 01:02 pm »
I can't believe nobody's yet created a poll on the outcome of the downselect.


Given the potential for ambiguous outcomes, let me specify that "major" means of dollar amount at least half that awarded to the winner of the largest contract.


Given the seemingly imminent but uncertain timing of the awards, let's say the poll closes the sooner of 1) the time the awards are announced and 2) 7 days from now.


Explanatory posts are encouraged, especially those voting for an "other entity" or for "none of the above."

Offline tesla

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #1 on: 08/26/2014 01:04 pm »
very good poll! :D
Go SLS and Orion! God bless America.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #2 on: 08/26/2014 02:09 pm »
I voted SNC and SpaceX. I think that DC will win for the same reason that DC won in prior rounds because it is not a capsule and NASA likes the idea of having dissimilar spacecrafts. The fact that LM is now part of the Dream Chaser Team also helps DC. Out of the current three providers, DC is my favourite spacecraft but SpaceX is my favourite company.  I expect that Blue Origin will continue to work with NASA on an unfunded basis.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 02:13 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #3 on: 08/26/2014 02:29 pm »
I voted Boeing and SpaceX.
SpaceX for the usual reasons (already sending cargo to ISS, Dragon V2 hardware at advanced stage). Boeing because, though they might be "powerpoint tigers", their experience with operations (e.g. Space Shuttle work, X-37B, ISS's prime contractor) leads me to believe that their paperwork is the best in the game and that NASA can have very high confidence in them.

I think that DC will win for the same reason that DC won in prior rounds because it is not a capsule and NASA likes the idea of having dissimilar spacecrafts.
I never understood that argument. If somebody (say, Boeing + SpaceX) can argue that a capsule shape is safer, simpler and cheaper than a winged craft, then DC being "dissimilar" could be a negative.
- "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Indiana Jones

Online abaddon

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #4 on: 08/26/2014 02:32 pm »
Voted with my head, not my heart.  SpaceX seems to be the furthest along and will have a price advantage, they also have the advantage of the precursor capsule getting to the station right now.  I don't think those factors can be overlooked.  Boeing has a solid design and enormous resources and far more flight heritage compared to the others.  I expect that for CCtCAP Boeing will commit to a larger percentage of the funding than they did for CCiCAP, since the winner will be guaranteed at least two flights purchased, and barring some catastrophe will likely be awarded 1/2 of Commercial Crew flights for the duration of the first contract, at least.

I really want to see Dream Chaser included for a lot of reasons.  They've made a lot of right moves and the spacecraft seems to be a real gem.  I have a sinking feeling that the propulsion issue that appears to be brewing under the surface is going to ding them and drop them a little bit below Boeing.  And despite their "dream team" I don't think they can really compete with Boeing with regards to financial resources.

Regardless of who is chosen, I'm really excited about the possibility that we will have at least two independent systems of getting astros to LEO moving forward.

I hope they announce soon, I am ready to stop talking (and predicting) about who will be moving on and start seeing some action instead.

Offline Barrie

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #5 on: 08/26/2014 02:48 pm »
Dragon and DreamChaser.  If you can't make a surefire case that one approach is intrinsically better than the other, then funding diversity is the right thing to do.  The future will be served by a mixed fleet, we tried the 'one vehicle can do everything' approach...

Offline francesco nicoli

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #6 on: 08/26/2014 02:52 pm »
I voted Boeing and Sierra Nevada.
The reasonning goes as follows.

I assume two companies will be selected.

US already is developing a large capsule- Orion.
a second capsule for LEO missions could be added. But three capsules make little sense: I believe NASA want to encourage proliferation and differentiation.

so Sierra Nevada will be selected as non-capsule vehicle, likely in second position.
Who will get the first (capsule) position?

I believe will be Boeing and not SpaceX for three reasons, none of them technical.

1) Boeing has a long story of lobbying in the US government and best represents industry's vested interests. Which is good in this US political phase as parties and individual politicians are starting to think "who will fund my re-election campaign?"
 
2) SpaceX has received funding also during resupply missions and the same funding might be extended in the future; so
2a) some people will claim that SpaceX has already received its share of the commercial programme
2b)a "consolation prize" can be easily awarded through extension of ISS resupply missions without request for new funding programmes(as would be necessary for Boeing, which does participate in resupply missions). Extensions for working, existing programmes are easy to be obtained than funding for brand new programmes;
2c) the "consolation prize" will be decided and attributed during the next presidential campaign, so providing funding and support for the supercool, fanboi hero and fully private SpaceX will be a winning move hard to criticize in respect than a new, tailor-made programme for Boeing. So choosing Boeing now and provide a consolation prize to spacex later optimizes the political gains of decision makers.

3)differently from Boeing, SpaceX has its own mMars-oriented agenda and has manifested the clear intention to continue to develop for its own purposes the superdraco thrusters anyway, so decision makers may choose Boeing instead to maximise also broad US investment on space technology.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 04:13 pm by francesco nicoli »

Offline German Space Fan

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #7 on: 08/26/2014 02:57 pm »
I voted for SpaceX and Boeing. Together theyre a fantastic team: Dragon is because of it's innovations very cheap, CST-100 is because of Boeing's experience very reliable. The DreamChaser will neither be really cheap neither that safe. Of course I do like the DreamChaser, but its not that suited for ISS-crew-exchange. But I hope SNC will receive funding from ESA and/or JAXA. They both are doing studies on it and I really hope they recognize it as an easy way to have an own, affordable manned space access and to serve ATV/HTV know-how. That for the DreamChaser is good.

Offline brihath

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #8 on: 08/26/2014 02:59 pm »
I voted for SNC and SpaceX.  Plusses in my thinking include:
-Dissimilar launch vehicles, thus reducing risk if there is a problem with one of them.
-Both Dragon V2 and Dream Chaser will have the ability to perform precision returns from orbit for experiment samples or bringing back a sick crew member.
-Potential for reduced costs WRT spacecraft recovery, turnaround and relaunch.
-The hardware for these two competitors is further along than Boeing.

These are my opinions only, as I don't have visibility to the full range of CCtCap requirements nor insight to NASA's thinking.

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #9 on: 08/26/2014 02:59 pm »
Voted for Boeing
Reason - Business as Usual.

Cynical? Oh yes.
“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold - Apollo, STS, CxP; those that don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it: SLS.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #10 on: 08/26/2014 03:03 pm »
I think that DC will win for the same reason that DC won in prior rounds because it is not a capsule and NASA likes the idea of having dissimilar spacecrafts.
I never understood that argument. If somebody (say, Boeing + SpaceX) can argue that a capsule shape is safer, simpler and cheaper than a winged craft, then DC being "dissimilar" could be a negative.

You are right the other criteria that you mentioned are more important. But all else being equal, having a dissimilar spacecraft can be a positive. Furthermore, I am not convinced that a capsule is inherently safer, simpler and cheaper than a lifting body.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 03:35 pm by yg1968 »

Offline RDMM2081

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #11 on: 08/26/2014 03:26 pm »
I voted for SpaceX and Sierra Nevada for basically the same reasons listed above, plus one:

Sierra Nevada:  Having diversity among the vehicles is probably seen as a positive to NASA.

SpaceX:  I believe are the farthest along with their design and testing (if they aren't, please just let me slide, let's call it my opinion).  And another part of my opinion is that they are the most likely to launch on time, or close to the projected schedule.  Yes, this is a difficult business and delays are pretty much always expected, and I don't actually expect SpaceX to launch exactly on time, but they seem to have the most momentum towards their goal (again, my opinion) and more open avenues to launching crew to other orbits (DragonRider, Bigelow, eventually Mars)

It will be an exciting announcement for sure!

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #12 on: 08/26/2014 03:44 pm »
 SpX and SNC because
Time to operational capability is now more important than before, in the eyes of the politicos. Dragon and DC appear, from the outside at least, to be further along.
Launch vehicle for DC and CST-100 is big issue, in both cost and political considerations.
Skin in the game, Boeing has the least.
Dissimilar vehicles is something that many here mention as a plus, I'm not so sure but will go with it anyway.




Online king1999

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #13 on: 08/26/2014 04:25 pm »
SpaceX is a sure bet. NASA can't afford to rely solely on Atlas V.
As to Boeing and SNC, hard to pick. But SNC seems to be capturing public's imagination and its low-G ride is a plus for crew and cargo. So I would vote for them but didn't see the entry before I chose "SpaceX and other". :)
Also I found it odd a lot of people voted for SNC&SPX. Something going on...
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 04:26 pm by king1999 »

Online Lar

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #14 on: 08/26/2014 04:27 pm »
Also I found it odd a lot of people voted for SNC&SPX. Something going on...

I voted that way, because it's what I WANT to have happen. I debated about whether I should vote the way I THINK it will turn out but I'd rather not think about the US saddled with CST-100 when we could have Dragon instead, so I didn't. YMMV.
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Offline Eer

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #15 on: 08/26/2014 04:39 pm »
I went SpX and DC.  I agree that two selections based on Atlas V is unlikely.  That being the case, SpX + one other, and I don't see them selecting two capsules.

Offline Comga

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #16 on: 08/26/2014 04:41 pm »
Voted SNC & SpaceX
NASA can't resist the sexiest / most complex solution.  (I like it too, but have my doubts about execution.)
Launch vehicle diversity is important.
NASA would look silly to ignore a flying capsule and adapted rocket, even if what is flying is a cargo version.  (The Boeing 707 started as a Air Force tanker, IIRC.)
CST-100 is a paper tiger without serious backing.

I see this is the most popular option, >2 out of 3.  Hope it is not just "group-think".

Will the pole be closed right after the announcement, even if that is before Sept 2?   Some people are fanatic about being "right".  Polutes the voting, like the SpaceX launch predictions.  People are still opining on that pole 2/3 of the way through the year. 
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #17 on: 08/26/2014 04:42 pm »
I voted Dragon and Dreamchaser as both systems can use the Falcon 9 rocket, while teh CST-100 is primarily geared to the Atlas and Delta systems.  Whether or not it can be launched on a Falcon 9 is anybody's guess.

But if it can; in theory, so could the Orion system.  Although most likely it would launch on the Falcon Heavy.

The irony of the Falcon series of rockets replacing Atlas, Delta and possibly the SLS, (The former because of engine aquisition issues, the latter due to overall cost) is both amusing and an entire possibility when, and if, the Falcon X and XX are to come on line...
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Offline bad_astra

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #18 on: 08/26/2014 04:42 pm »
-> Dreamchaser fan.
"Contact Light" -Buzz Aldrin

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #19 on: 08/26/2014 04:46 pm »
I went SpX and DC.  I agree that two selections based on Atlas V is unlikely.  That being the case, SpX + one other, and I don't see them selecting two capsules.

I tend to agree.  The diversity of landing systems gives advantages for one for Low Earth Orbit flights, while the other could easily be sent on BEO flights.  Having two different systems, in addition to their own Orion Capsule, would give NASA quite a bit of flexibility in what missions can be accomplished with or without the ISS as a base station to work with.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline bubbagret

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #20 on: 08/26/2014 05:11 pm »
This is a tough guess. Other than land landing, Boeing really doesn't bring that much new tech to the table. Their tremendous lobbying power is the one big advantage that they have over the other contenders. SpaceX seems to be a fairly safe bet at this time and SNC has the benefit of "apparent" shuttle heritage that fit's so well with NASA.

Now, who receives the biggest chunk? With all of the positioning that SNC has been doing recently with the Europeans and other companies, I would hazard a guess that they will become the NASA funding favorite. That's ignoring the late engine change. The fact that SpaceX will be well positioned with the already flying cargo variant and the V2 abort tests closely approaching makes this choice the biggest mystery.

I just wish they would get it over with! Enough futzing around, let's FLY already!

Offline James54

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #21 on: 08/26/2014 05:44 pm »
I voted Sierra Nevada with Dream Chaser and SpaceX with Dragon Version 2 (V2)

My opinion is pure speculation as I am mostly uninformed and have no knowledge of documentation and tests submitted to NASA.

As Mark Sirangelo of Sierra Nevada has stated, “ If it’s only economic, if there’s only room for one company than that’s not a technical decision or an architectural decision.  That’s a budget decision.  On the other hand, if it’s purely technical and there are faults in somebody’s program then I think the thing to do is bring a solution to the table.  We are advancing well enough to have the opportunity to make that choice.”
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 05:49 pm by James54 »

Offline kerlc

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #22 on: 08/26/2014 05:51 pm »
Guessing purely from the heart with very little attention paid to everything else, SpaceX and Sierra Nevada. Because Dream chaser and Dragon V2 are sexy.

Sorry Boeing, but CST-100 is just not sexy enough.

Also launch vehicle difference and whatnot.
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Offline kirghizstan

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #23 on: 08/26/2014 06:08 pm »
SpX and SN

Diversity in craft type and launch vehicle

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #24 on: 08/26/2014 06:29 pm »
Voted for SpaceX and Boeing, because it is what will happen. SpaceX is most advanced, and Boeing has power of experience and bribes, errr... lobbying.

I prefer SpaceX and SNC, but it will not happen. Such high amount of votes for that combo is just excercise in wishful thinking. As far I am concerned, this is pool about "what will happen", not "what you would want to happen". Tsk, tsk.
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Offline Razvan

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #25 on: 08/26/2014 06:55 pm »
I voted B+SpX although I'd like SN+SpX to be selected by NASA.
I think Boeing will be selected for its reliability, just to make sure things happen.
On the other hand, SN will continue consulting with NASA and also with ESA and Japan as they kind of entered into some agreements already with the later two and so all three players will win in the end. And this would be a great Win for US.
« Last Edit: 08/27/2014 12:32 pm by Razvan »

Offline Rifleman

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #26 on: 08/26/2014 07:03 pm »
I voted SPX and SN for the following reasons :

1. SpaceX likely is the cheapest option, and would likely be the first able to enter service

2. Dream Chaser's large cross range and lower g reentry provides more flexibility when used in the lifeboat role, as an immediate retry would be much less likely to land the crew in the middle of nowhere far from resuce, and could be benificial in bringing an injured crew member home in a hurry.

3. Having vehicles ready to fly on both atlas and falcon greatly reduces the chance of booster related issues prevented access to LEO.

4. Like it or not, the limited attention span of the public is a factor for Nasa. If nobody pays any attention to space exploration, congress, being run by idiots, is less likely to provide appropriate funding. SpaceX has managed to capture the public's attention in ways that the other contenders could never dream of. The Elon Musk factor is real. Dream Chaser, being a "cool spaceplane" will also capture the public's imagination. CST-100, while technically sound, and a great proposal, simply does not ignite the imagination like "A rocket built some an eccentric billionaire" or "A Mini-Space Shuttle". Should this be a factor?, no it should not, but at the end of the day, it is, like it or not.


Other factors that could prove me wrong :

The precision return of dragon is no benefit over CST, as dragon still needs a landing zone large enough for use of its reserve chutes, if the super draco's fail the high altitude test.

CST may be a better option for station reboost

CST likely has a much better lobbying team supporting it.

Some at Nasa may view Dragon, with its long term publicly stated goal of BEO travel, as a threat to Orion and its funding.

Nasa may feel that they will be able to get dragon for free, as Musk has stated it is going to fly, with or without Nasa funding. CST on the other hand, will only fly with funding, and while SN states they will fly without funding, its less likely for them than it is for SPX.



« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 07:29 pm by Rifleman »

Online Hauerg

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #27 on: 08/26/2014 07:14 pm »
SN + SpaceX

Boeing has said in no uncertain wording, that they will not do it on their own money.
If I were the main customer I would draw my conclusions.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #28 on: 08/26/2014 07:16 pm »
I voted Sierra Nevada + SpaceX.

Voted for SpaceX and Boeing, because it is what will happen. SpaceX is most advanced, and Boeing has power of experience and bribes, errr... lobbying.

I prefer SpaceX and SNC, but it will not happen. Such high amount of votes for that combo is just excercise in wishful thinking. As far I am concerned, this is pool about "what will happen", not "what you would want to happen". Tsk, tsk.

Yes, this is a poll about what *will happen*. And I still think that DC+Dragon will happen, for a multitude of reasons. It is the selection that makes most sense for NASA, but also how Boeing is acting like they have been defeated already.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 07:16 pm by Lars_J »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #29 on: 08/26/2014 07:34 pm »
I voted SpaceX and Sierra Nevada.

This gives money to all 3 companies.  SCN gets to continue designing mini-Shuttle DreamChaser and has Boeing as a subcontractor man rating the Atlas V.

SpaceX get to develop the Dragon V2.0 capsule and man rate the Falcon 9.

edit:spelling
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 07:40 pm by A_M_Swallow »

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #30 on: 08/26/2014 07:36 pm »

I prefer SpaceX and SNC, but it will not happen. Such high amount of votes for that combo is just excercise in wishful thinking. As far I am concerned, this is pool about "what will happen", not "what you would want to happen". Tsk, tsk.
And you know this for a fact because....... :)

Online SWGlassPit

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #31 on: 08/26/2014 07:37 pm »
... and has Boeing as a subcontractor man rating the Atlas V.

Atlas V is a Lockheed-Martin vehicle.  The work would either be LM or ULA.

Offline oiorionsbelt

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #32 on: 08/26/2014 07:40 pm »
... and has Boeing as a subcontractor man rating the Atlas V.

Atlas V is a Lockheed-Martin vehicle.  The work would either be LM or ULA.
and NPO Energomash :) Kiddng, kinda

Offline baldusi

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #33 on: 08/26/2014 07:45 pm »
... and has Boeing as a subcontractor man rating the Atlas V.

Atlas V is a Lockheed-Martin vehicle.  The work would either be LM or ULA.
and NPO Energomash :) Kiddng, kinda
NPO Energomash did get a contract on human rating the RD-180. Not the RD-180V, but human rated to American standards (probably some extra sensor suite or EDS connection).

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #34 on: 08/26/2014 08:34 pm »
SpaceX and SNC,

SpaceX has been flying the progenitor V1.x vehicle and provides an alternate LV. Cheaper, and it has unpressurized  cargo capabilities that could be expanded (per the DraconIan pdf).

DC is dissimilar, has a lower G re-entry for delicate experiment returns, a broad cross range, and NASA types obviously have nostalgic feelings for wings. DC's wings have NASA heritage.


DM

Offline sciencebro

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #35 on: 08/26/2014 08:51 pm »
My vote goes to SpaceX and Sierra Nevada.

SpaceX, because they will most likely be the first to have working flight hardware for a manned test and the fact they are already successfully providing launch services to the ISS in the form of COTS.

Sierra Nevada, because they offer vehicle diversity.

(I accidently got excited with the poll and pressed the Sierra Nevada button)

Offline MP99

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #36 on: 08/26/2014 08:59 pm »
My vote is "one on F9 + one on Atlas" (which isn't an option so I haven't clicked).

[While the "trampoline" scare has been a damp squib, Putin is unpredictable - and putting all eggs into that basket for nearly a decade ahead is an unnecessary risk.]

cheers, Martin

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #37 on: 08/26/2014 10:04 pm »
I voted for SpaceX and SNC.

Unfortunately, the tea leaves I am reading shows a near future with just the Dragon. The Dreamchaser IMO will need a lot more time & money to bring online before 2020. Boeing have no skin in the game.

The business case for the Atlas V in the 412 version for the Dreamchaser & the 422 version for the CST-100 appears to be shaky. So migration to the F9 is possible.


Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #38 on: 08/26/2014 10:08 pm »
SNC and SpaceX have the strongest business case in my opinion, which considering the technical maturity of all participant at this point is more important

SpaceX already launches Dragon on cargo flights and is matching NASA funding with their own funding.  Also, their craft is a simple capsule that is already flying.

Dream Chaser has made an enormous amount of effort to make deals with other entities besides NASA as both potential clients and sources of experience. Their deals with DLR, ESA, and JAXA represent the best business case in my opinion of all three commercial crew providers. THey also demonstrated significant "buy-in" with the announcement of their first flight, regardless of NASA funding.  Their collaboration with ESA, Lockheed Martin, and acquisition of Orbitec all significantly leap-frogged their ability to develop DC and experience base.  While DC maybe more complicated and received less funding in the last round, their business dealing will keep them in the hunt.
« Last Edit: 08/26/2014 10:11 pm by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #39 on: 08/27/2014 07:59 am »
I've gone with Boeing and SpaceX.

Though I personally think the risk of losing access to the RD-180 is small, the large amount of noise made over the issue makes it hard not to choose the only visible candidate that does not rely on it, namely SpaceX.  Furthermore, the high visibility of SpaceX's accomplishments, some directly relevant and some less so, would mean some explaining would be necessary were it not to win.

So, why didn't I choose SpaceX alone?  Were Boeing the front runner, I would be more inclined to go with it alone.  Having been, in my view, knocked out of its default top spot by SpaceX's independence from the RD-180 and highly visible successes, it seems to me that Boeing's economic presence and reputation probably give it the clout to eke out a contract too.  Were SpaceX a sole winner which latter suffered a major failure, voices would ask, "Why didn't you choose Boeing, the experienced company?"  And its announcement that it will not continue CST-100 without an award perversely helps its case.

All of the above said, I would prefer Sierra Nevada and SpaceX were the winners for their greater innovation.

I also half expect that the outcome of the downselect will be some scenario not foreseen in this poll.

I like MP99's take: SpaceX and one Atlas-V-launched vehicle.  I earlier mused about creating a poll that would allow people to express views such as this, but in the end I felt it was high time to just get on with it.  Maybe I should have allowed everybody two or three votes (didn't know that was an option until I created this poll), so people could vote for multiple scenarios.  Next time.

Even though I'm going for a two-winner scenario, I'm a little surprised that just about everybody else (85% as at the moment) is too.  I'm hoping somebody will make a good argument for a dark horse, like Blue Origin.

Online BrianNH

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #40 on: 08/27/2014 12:23 pm »
I voted SpaceX and Sierra Nevada for the same reasons mentioned before.

An interesting way of reading this chart to look at the percentages that think (or at least voted) that a particular company will NOT receive an award.   

Looked at this way, right now 7% don't think that SpaceX will win, 27% don't think that Sierra Nevada will win and 74% don't think that Boeing will win.

We will see, but I wouldn't be surprised by any outcome.  We are making these guesses based on very little information.  It would be interesting to see the full set of info that NASA is actually basing it's decision on.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #41 on: 08/27/2014 01:15 pm »
CST-100 and Dreamchaser

Reasons:
CST-100 is being developed by the largest company in the market.  They have the depth in history, resources and talent to get the work done on time.  Without a doubt Boeing is going to deliver, NASA will want 1 of the 2 to be a sure thing.  Also, Boeing has been playing the political side game for decades and will have this locked up, count on it.

Dreamchaser is sexy, exciting and offers some appealing options capsules do not.  It will look and sound great when it comes in for a landing, on a run way, and the media calls it a NASA spacecraft.  This will be appealing to NASA, even if Sierra Nevada is late

Dragon v2, is a good contender but someone is going to lose and it's going to be SpaceX.  Then they will get a big fat cargo contract later.  SpaceX has stated they will continue development regardless, I think that is playing their hand before needed.  Further with F9, F9R, FH, Raptor and all the other development being done NASA may consider that SpaceX doesn't have the focus or resources to add NASA's human spacecraft.

As a bone to SpaceX they may require dual launch vehicle ability.

All that said, it is what I think will happen, but I'd prefer Dreamchaser and Dragon.
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Offline Mader Levap

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #42 on: 08/27/2014 01:38 pm »
I prefer SpaceX and SNC, but it will not happen. Such high amount of votes for that combo is just excercise in wishful thinking. As far I am concerned, this is pool about "what will happen", not "what you would want to happen". Tsk, tsk.
And you know this for a fact because....... :)
It is my opinion and you know it. Everyone here is pulling votes out of their behinds, as I don't expect anyone with insider knowledge to participate in this forum, let alone vote on this poll.
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Offline dror

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #43 on: 08/27/2014 02:19 pm »
I voted all three because it is very hard to choose...
Feels like any downselect at this time will be a BIG mistake.
I favor a 50% 25% 25% sort of
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Online abaddon

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #44 on: 08/27/2014 02:29 pm »
I voted all three because it is very hard to choose...
Feels like any downselect at this time will be a BIG mistake.
I favor a 50% 25% 25% sort of

I understand the appeal of that kind of a split, but the reason NASA is not going to do that (I am very confident in saying this) is because with the CCtCAP money spread so thinly that would inevitably push out the schedule even further.  NASA wants and needs a solution sooner rather than later.

Offline sghill

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #45 on: 08/27/2014 02:32 pm »
I chose Boeing.  They completed their milestones.  They've got lower risk on many fronts.  They constructed large parts of ISS already.  They designed to the need, not the appeal.
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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #46 on: 08/27/2014 02:41 pm »
I chose Boeing.  They completed their milestones.  They've got lower risk on many fronts.  They constructed large parts of ISS already.  They designed to the need, not the appeal.
Paper milestones are deceiving ...  ;)

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #47 on: 08/27/2014 02:42 pm »
CST-100 and Dreamchaser

Reasons:
CST-100 is being developed by the largest company in the market.  They have the depth in history, resources and talent to get the work done on time.  Without a doubt Boeing is going to deliver, NASA will want 1 of the 2 to be a sure thing.  Also, Boeing has been playing the political side game for decades and will have this locked up, count on it.

Dreamchaser is sexy, exciting and offers some appealing options capsules do not.  It will look and sound great when it comes in for a landing, on a run way, and the media calls it a NASA spacecraft.  This will be appealing to NASA, even if Sierra Nevada is late

Dragon v2, is a good contender but someone is going to lose and it's going to be SpaceX.  Then they will get a big fat cargo contract later.  SpaceX has stated they will continue development regardless, I think that is playing their hand before needed.  Further with F9, F9R, FH, Raptor and all the other development being done NASA may consider that SpaceX doesn't have the focus or resources to add NASA's human spacecraft.

As a bone to SpaceX they may require dual launch vehicle ability.

All that said, it is what I think will happen, but I'd prefer Dreamchaser and Dragon.
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Online Cherokee43v6

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #48 on: 08/27/2014 03:14 pm »
Well,I voted for SNC and SpaceX, though it was a coin toss on SNC or Boeing.

Reason for that angle.  Non-commonality.  Considering that the most common type of critical failure is not the orbital vehicle but the launch vehicle, I feel it would be highly doubtful that a two winner scenario would have both OVs ride the same launch vehicle.  Any failure on the LV would result in a situation where there would be no difference in having chosen a sole source.

With that said, to me the unlikely though highly logical scenario would be to Primary SNC and Secondary Boeing.  Reason, SpaceX has already stated a firm commitment to completing and flying DragonV2 and has the financial wherewithal to pull it off.  SNC has the same commitment, but less financial backing, whereas Boeing has pretty much said no NASA no CT100.  This scenario would maximize the Commercial options (NASA could even throw SpaceX a bone by buying a flight or two from them.  However, this scenario would be unlikely to meet the time goals as they are currently laid out, though it would be the most in the spirit of the Commercial Crew development concept.
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #49 on: 08/27/2014 04:21 pm »
I voted SpaceX and Boeing.

I think it would have made for a much more interesting poll if you could only choose 1 winner, which seems to be what Congress is hell bent on wanting and which history has demonstrated is a pretty bad idea.  :(

I hope all designs can be certified for ISS use even if they are not funded but in the pragmatic world of NASA funding Spacex have been making real deliveries to the ISS for some time and that's a fact even Congress can't deny.

In my ideal world all would get full funding and then we'd see who's really got the talents for making space pay but that's not going to happen.  :(

Likewise while Boeing have not been very "media friendly" they score highly on the "safe pair of hands" front which some people at NASA also like (BTW does anyone wonder if the "Phantom Works" is sometimes called "The Powerpoint Tigers?"  :) as an earlier poster suggested )

Lots of earlier posters made good points.

I like design diversity too and SNC have made real engineering strides in moving the concept of a composite structure human rated  lifting body from the CAD screen to flight status (on a shoe string budget as well. ) I hope their vehicle gets to fly.

But my heart says if it's a 3 to 2 cut they are likely to go under the bus.

Now what happens if it's a 3 to 1 selection.......
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Offline MP99

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #50 on: 08/27/2014 04:27 pm »


Well,I voted for SNC and SpaceX, though it was a coin toss on SNC or Boeing.

Reason for that angle.  Non-commonality.  Considering that the most common type of critical failure is not the orbital vehicle but the launch vehicle, I feel it would be highly doubtful that a two winner scenario would have both OVs ride the same launch vehicle.  Any failure on the LV would result in a situation where there would be no difference in having chosen a sole source.

With that said, to me the unlikely though highly logical scenario would be to Primary SNC and Secondary Boeing.  Reason, SpaceX has already stated a firm commitment to completing and flying DragonV2 and has the financial wherewithal to pull it off.  SNC has the same commitment, but less financial backing, whereas Boeing has pretty much said no NASA no CT100.  This scenario would maximize the Commercial options (NASA could even throw SpaceX a bone by buying a flight or two from them.  However, this scenario would be unlikely to meet the time goals as they are currently laid out, though it would be the most in the spirit of the Commercial Crew development concept.

That could just as well be covered by CST-100 launching on Atlas V, and DC launching on F9.

From SNC's POV, it might have made sense for them to have a switch to F9 as secondary option in their proposal.

To be clear, this would involve SNC being switched to F9 as a condition of them being accepted to proceed with CCtCap.

Not saying this is likely, just trying to cover all bases.

Cheers, Martin

PS if SpaceX don't win a crew contract, I'd expect to see them push ahead with a cargo version of Dv2 for CRS.

Offline EE Scott

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #51 on: 08/27/2014 05:06 pm »
Lots of interesting opinions on this thread. I voted SNC and SpaceX, thinking that my choice was pretty boring, but it's what I think is most likely. That being said, the recent engine change on the Dream Chaser has me thinking less confidently about that vehicle's odds of being chosen. One other point I'd throw out there is that NASA has a history of selecting winners/contracts on what appear to be non-technical or "soft" factors, meaning that the designs/proposals that score highest technically (and may be the superior solution) may not be chosen for other reasons.
Scott

Offline Danderman

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #52 on: 08/27/2014 05:15 pm »
A full share to SpaceX. Half a share to Boeing. 10 percent of a program to Sierra Nevada.

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #53 on: 08/27/2014 05:16 pm »
SpaceX = 100%
Boeing already handed out pink slips to most people in the CST team.
SNC signed agreements with Europe and Japan space agencies.
Based on the commitment levels, I would think NASA will choose SNC.

Offline kerlc

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #54 on: 08/27/2014 05:40 pm »
Lots of interesting opinions on this thread. I voted SNC and SpaceX, thinking that my choice was pretty boring, but it's what I think is most likely. That being said, the recent engine change on the Dream Chaser has me thinking less confidently about that vehicle's odds of being chosen. One other point I'd throw out there is that NASA has a history of selecting winners/contracts on what appear to be non-technical or "soft" factors, meaning that the designs/proposals that score highest technically (and may be the superior solution) may not be chosen for other reasons.
From the DC update thread:

Mark Sirangelo stated following from America space interview.
 http://www.americaspace.com/?p=66192

 “We have not announced a change in propulsion systems and that was not a quote from us.”

“It was likely meant to refer to our acquisition of Orbitec as we now have an expanded base of propulsion solutions and are exploring their use for future Dream Chaser variants.”

“There is no schedule change related to engines.”

So the DC is staying with it's existing hybrid engines for the first orbital version at least.

So, I don't think the engine change is of any major concern to the downselect.
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Offline EE Scott

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #55 on: 08/27/2014 06:19 pm »
Thanks, keric, I appreciate the link to SNC's clarification.
Scott

Online abaddon

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #56 on: 08/27/2014 06:20 pm »
Boeing already handed out pink slips to most people in the CST team.

They have not.  They have issued warnings (legally required) that they might lay off the team, which must be issued in advance.

Offline Giovanni DS

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #57 on: 08/27/2014 06:36 pm »
Boeing already handed out pink slips to most people in the CST team.

They have not.  They have issued warnings (legally required) that they might lay off the team, which must be issued in advance.

This is sad for the team... I am sure they created an excellent vehicle.

However I do hope commitment is one of the selection criteria. SpaceX and SNC at least seem to believe in what their are doing.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #58 on: 08/27/2014 06:45 pm »
Lots of interesting opinions on this thread. I voted SNC and SpaceX, thinking that my choice was pretty boring, but it's what I think is most likely. That being said, the recent engine change on the Dream Chaser has me thinking less confidently about that vehicle's odds of being chosen. One other point I'd throw out there is that NASA has a history of selecting winners/contracts on what appear to be non-technical or "soft" factors, meaning that the designs/proposals that score highest technically (and may be the superior solution) may not be chosen for other reasons.
From the DC update thread:

Mark Sirangelo stated following from America space interview.
 http://www.americaspace.com/?p=66192

 “We have not announced a change in propulsion systems and that was not a quote from us.”

“It was likely meant to refer to our acquisition of Orbitec as we now have an expanded base of propulsion solutions and are exploring their use for future Dream Chaser variants.”

“There is no schedule change related to engines.”

So the DC is staying with it's existing hybrid engines for the first orbital version at least.

So, I don't think the engine change is of any major concern to the downselect.

That can be read as quite the non-denial, though. :) Reading between the lines, I think SNC & NASA knows that an engine change will be coming. It just won't be announced until after the selection. I do believe that the propulsion is an element that will be marked as an element that increases technical risk for DC - but it will probably still be selected.

Offline raczkri

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #59 on: 08/27/2014 08:54 pm »
interesting, as of now:

92,8% of the voters expect that SpaceX will get a contract (with or without a 2nd winner)
73,1% expect SNC to get selected
25,3% of the voters expect Boeing to win a place in CCtCap

looks almost certain for spacex but slight chance for boeing.

Could 249 of seasoned NSF commenters be wrong?? we shall see pretty soon..:)

I voted for spacex and snc by the way.

Offline BrightLight

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #60 on: 08/27/2014 09:00 pm »
interesting, as of now:

92,8% of the voters expect that SpaceX will get a contract (with or without a 2nd winner)
73,1% expect SNC to get selected
25,3% of the voters expect Boeing to win a place in CCtCap

looks almost certain for spacex but slight chance for boeing.

Could 249 of seasoned NSF commenters be wrong?? we shall see pretty soon..:)

I voted for spacex and snc by the way.

this will be a good test

Online Lar

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #61 on: 08/27/2014 09:06 pm »
More fun with numbers, if we assume "other entity" is Blue Origin I get that only 3.6% think they get anything but check my math.  (still scratching my head over what "none of the above" is...)

we have a fairly good track record at predicting things collectively. Not perfect but not too bad. So this WILL be a good test...

Edit: **I** checked my math and was found wanting...
« Last Edit: 08/27/2014 09:06 pm by Lar »
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Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #62 on: 08/27/2014 09:08 pm »
interesting, as of now:

92,8% of the voters expect that SpaceX will get a contract (with or without a 2nd winner)
73,1% expect SNC to get selected
25,3% of the voters expect Boeing to win a place in CCtCap

looks almost certain for spacex but slight chance for boeing.

Could 249 of seasoned NSF commenters be wrong?? we shall see pretty soon..:)

I voted for spacex and snc by the way.

For a similar poll prior to CCiCap, NSF members rightly predicted SpaceX, Boeing and SNC.   

Edit: NSF (not SNC) Members.
« Last Edit: 08/27/2014 10:02 pm by yg1968 »

Offline RonM

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #63 on: 08/27/2014 09:08 pm »
Could 249 of seasoned NSF commenters be wrong?? we shall see pretty soon..:)

Is that seasoned as in experienced or as in having had salt, pepper, herbs, or spices added?  :)

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #64 on: 08/27/2014 09:12 pm »
Could 249 of seasoned NSF commenters be wrong?? we shall see pretty soon..:)

Is that seasoned as in experienced or as in having had salt, pepper, herbs, or spices added?  :)

Sugar, Nutmeg and Cloves ...  that's what SNC members are made of after all...[1]

As I said, I think we are fairly good collectively. Not perfect, but a force to be reckoned with, as these things go.

1 -  See...
For a similar poll prior to CCiCap, SNC members rightly predicted SpaceX, Boeing and SNC.   

yg1968 surely meant NSF members but that was too funny not to pounce on.
« Last Edit: 08/27/2014 09:13 pm by Lar »
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #65 on: 08/27/2014 09:15 pm »
I voted Sierra Nevada & SpaceX... SNC fits the NASA image the best with its STEM outreach and university involvement in Dream Chaser. Willingness to cooperate with traditional ISS partners and has offices across a large portion of the nation. Dream Chaser has the HL-20 heritage that NASA invested time and money into and was the plan for crew rotation going back to 90’s.

SpaceX brings the willingness to push new technologies and approaches that NASA more than likely would not have attempted. It has already proven itself so far with cargo resupply in its few missions. New interest has been generated among individuals who may have not followed the US space program before and may have an impact on STEM.

Both seem capable of meeting milestones so in effect it becomes moot. DC has a reliable launcher with the Atlas V but there are those Russian engines... Falcon has shown its strength but still has issues which in time will be resolved...

So I tend to look at the “big picture” of which provider fits within the “NASA way of doing things” including the important political game that provides the bucks for Buck Rogers to get off the pad...
« Last Edit: 08/28/2014 06:43 am by Rocket Science »
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Offline Ike17055

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #66 on: 08/27/2014 09:17 pm »
Paper milestones...powerpoint tiger...what a load...Boeing has built an abort engine and a test article in addition to mockup. They have chute tested a modified mockup.  And don't sell short the complexity or critical need for the engineering documentation and software development (the "paper" part...) this is all just more tripe from groupthink crowd. All milestones were developed in conjunction with NASA, based on what would give them confidence that risk retirement was being achieved. boeing did not just develop a glorified checklist or fancy star wars videos with their millions.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #67 on: 08/27/2014 09:40 pm »
Paper milestones...powerpoint tiger...what a load...Boeing has built an abort engine and a test article in addition to mockup. They have chute tested a modified mockup.

Component level testing.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #68 on: 08/27/2014 09:45 pm »
Paper milestones...powerpoint tiger...what a load...Boeing has built an abort engine and a test article in addition to mockup.

That engine (LAE) is based on the Bantam/RS-88, but an ablative instead of film-cooled nozzle. A test "flight-like" version of the LAE was widely touted by Boeing as one of their milestones. But this is pretty much an off-the-shelf product, and Boeing has likely spent much less work on an abort engine compared to its competitors.

They have chute tested a modified mockup.  And don't sell short the complexity or critical need for the engineering documentation and software development (the "paper" part...) this is all just more tripe from groupthink crowd. All milestones were developed in conjunction with NASA, based on what would give them confidence that risk retirement was being achieved. boeing did not just develop a glorified checklist or fancy star wars videos with their millions.

The others have had design reviews and "paper" milestones as well. But you are welcome to point out any area where Boeing is further ahead in flight hardware production and/or testing.

Boeing has retired a lot of risk. Their own financial risk, certainly.

Offline raczkri

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #69 on: 08/27/2014 09:50 pm »
Could 249 of seasoned NSF commenters be wrong?? we shall see pretty soon..:)

Is that seasoned as in experienced or as in having had salt, pepper, herbs, or spices added?  :)

Certainly not Chilli Sugar and Tarragon added or 100 flavoured..:)

Offline tesla

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #70 on: 08/27/2014 10:06 pm »
SNC + SpaceX =  8)
Boeing + SpaceX =   :D
SNC + Boeing =   ;D

 8)8) = F9R Dev1 (@ t>t0)
 8);D:D *   (yes, boeing is complex)
 8):D;D = SLS!

Dude?

« Last Edit: 08/27/2014 10:11 pm by tesla »
Go SLS and Orion! God bless America.

Offline watermod

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #71 on: 08/27/2014 10:45 pm »
Question:
  With the JAXA DreamChaser agreement one would suspect the Japanese rocket H-IIB as a potential secondary way into orbit beside an Atlas with a Russian engine.   Does this change NASA's calculus for the down-select or is it outside of the selection criteria bounds?

Offline Ike17055

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #72 on: 08/27/2014 11:27 pm »
OFf the shelf is exactly what boeing said they would adopt (or adapt) to minimize risk to the timeline. It works. No one said they are further ahead on production, only that the characterization of "paper" being unimportant ignores the realities of engineering today. As well as the directive if NASA for (pardon the expression) safe, simple, soon. Has spaceX even done windtunnel testing of the new moldline involved with v2?  Adding self-contained thrusters changes a lot. A new trunk changes a lot. Adding actuation for nose cone opening and opening/ closing landing gear adds a lot. Adding rendezvous capability to a vehicle that had to be berthed previously adds a lot. Environmental systems adds a heck of a lot. Not to mention, Propulsive landing is a lot harder than it is in animation. Where is all this evidence that SpaceX is "so far ahead" with flight ready hardware? 

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #73 on: 08/27/2014 11:44 pm »
OFf the shelf is exactly what boeing said they would adopt (or adapt) to minimize risk to the timeline. It works. No one said they are further ahead on production, only that the characterization of "paper" being unimportant ignores the realities of engineering today. As well as the directive if NASA for (pardon the expression) safe, simple, soon. Has spaceX even done windtunnel testing of the new moldline involved with v2?

Yes, they have - see attached image.

Adding self-contained thrusters changes a lot. A new trunk changes a lot. Adding actuation for nose cone opening and opening/ closing landing gear adds a lot. Adding rendezvous capability to a vehicle that had to be berthed previously adds a lot. Environmental systems adds a heck of a lot. Not to mention, Propulsive landing is a lot harder than it is in animation. Where is all this evidence that SpaceX is "so far ahead" with flight ready hardware? 
It's difficult to quantify how far ahead they would be but at least they have a pad abort and in-flight abort tests scheduled for just a few months from now. Then there is of course the cargo Dragon (v1) that is operational, making several systems flight proven.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #74 on: 08/27/2014 11:46 pm »
It's supposed to be an integrated development phase. All Boeing have integrated in these milestones is Powerpoint. It's great for them, and their shareholders, that they managed to negotiate these milestones with NASA but it's completely misleading to suggest they're somehow "ahead" because they've completed all their milestones.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline FuseUpHereAlone

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #75 on: 08/28/2014 12:18 am »
Paper milestones...powerpoint tiger...what a load...Boeing has built an abort engine and a test article in addition to mockup. They have chute tested a modified mockup.  And don't sell short the complexity or critical need for the engineering documentation and software development (the "paper" part...) this is all just more tripe from groupthink crowd. All milestones were developed in conjunction with NASA, based on what would give them confidence that risk retirement was being achieved. boeing did not just develop a glorified checklist or fancy star wars videos with their millions.

Just to expand on this, I compiled a list of completed milestones that involved building hardware, testing, or some sort of system demonstration.

CCDev 1
    B4: Demo Abort Engine Demonstration (“COTS” RS-88 modified to run NTO/Hydrazine)
    C4: Base Heat Shield and Carrier Structure Fabrication
    D4: Avionics Systems Integration Facility (ASIF) Demonstration
    E4: CM Pressure Shell Fabrication Demonstration and Test
    F4: Landing System Demonstration (land and water)
    G4: Life Support Demonstration (Life Support Air Revitalization)
    H4: Integrated GNC Demonstration (Including an AR&D Demo)
CCDev2
    4: Launch Abort Engine Fabrication & Hot Fire Test (Evolved RS-88 Engine)
    5: Landing Air Bag Drop Demonstration #1
    6: Phase I Wind Tunnel Tests
    8: Parachute Drop Tests Demonstration
    9: SM Propellant Tank Development Test
    10: LV EDS/ASIF Interface Simulation Test
    13: OMAC Hot Fire Test
    14: SM Propulsion Cold Flow Tests
CCiCap
    7: Integrated Stack Buffet Wind Tunnel Test
    8: DEC Liquid Oxygen Duct Development Test
    9: OMAC Engine Development Test
    12: Mission Control Center Interface Demonstration Test
    14: Emergency Detection System Standalone Testing
    16: Avionics Software Integration Lab (ASIL) Multi-String Demonstration Test
    17: Pilot-in-the-loop Demonstration

Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #76 on: 08/28/2014 01:28 am »
I think it would have made for a much more interesting poll if you could only choose 1 winner

You can: the first four options are Boeing, Sierra Nevada, SpaceX and other entity.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #77 on: 08/28/2014 01:38 am »
still scratching my head over what "none of the above" is...

Well, for example, what if four major contracts are awarded, or two "other entities" win or the whole thing gets called off.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #78 on: 08/28/2014 05:49 am »
>
Has spaceX even done windtunnel testing of the new moldline involved with v2?

Lars_J attached a wind tunnel pic that's a little dark. Attached is it gamma adjusted. Judge for yourself.

Quote
Adding self-contained thrusters changes a lot.

Yes it does. Pad abort and Max-Q abort tests coming in November and January, respectively.

Quote
A new trunk changes a lot.

Perhaps not as much as it seems. They moved solar panels from wings to surface mount, which should be simpler. They added fins, which can be verified in that same wind tunnel.  The other main change was to DragonClaw, the umbilical system. Otherwise it could be the same dumb core structure.

Quote
Adding actuation for nose cone opening and opening/ closing landing gear adds a lot.

And they got rid of the solar panel cover jettison and wing extension hardware. A draw, at least.

Quote
Adding rendezvous capability to a vehicle that had to be berthed previously adds a lot.

True to a degree. They already had DragonEye and NASA centers to draw experience from. Maybe a few ex-NASA troops with insight. Well see.

Quote
Environmental systems adds a heck of a lot.

Paragon SDC is doing their EC/LSS, and it was validated by NASA in an earlier round.

Quote
Not to mention, Propulsive landing is a lot harder than it is in animation.

Which is why they won't use full propulsive for ~2 years. Reisman said chutes & rockets first, and there is a video from ~2012 showing it,  with chutes only on land also good if thrusters don't work. DragonFly tests to ramp up to propulsive only.

Quote
Where is all this evidence that SpaceX is "so far ahead" with flight ready hardware?

The underlying structure, the pressure vessel, service bay etc.,  and basic systems have flown several times. DV2 certainly has  new toys, but denying its flight heritage seems a bit harsh. Dream Chaser has had a glide test with more coming. Has CST-100 flown other than as a semi-smart paperweight with air bags under chutes? No.
« Last Edit: 08/28/2014 05:52 am by docmordrid »
DM

Offline kerlc

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #79 on: 08/28/2014 06:11 am »
Lots of interesting opinions on this thread. I voted SNC and SpaceX, thinking that my choice was pretty boring, but it's what I think is most likely. That being said, the recent engine change on the Dream Chaser has me thinking less confidently about that vehicle's odds of being chosen. One other point I'd throw out there is that NASA has a history of selecting winners/contracts on what appear to be non-technical or "soft" factors, meaning that the designs/proposals that score highest technically (and may be the superior solution) may not be chosen for other reasons.
From the DC update thread:

Mark Sirangelo stated following from America space interview.
 http://www.americaspace.com/?p=66192

 “We have not announced a change in propulsion systems and that was not a quote from us.”

“It was likely meant to refer to our acquisition of Orbitec as we now have an expanded base of propulsion solutions and are exploring their use for future Dream Chaser variants.”

“There is no schedule change related to engines.”

So the DC is staying with it's existing hybrid engines for the first orbital version at least.

So, I don't think the engine change is of any major concern to the downselect.

That can be read as quite the non-denial, though. :) Reading between the lines, I think SNC & NASA knows that an engine change will be coming. It just won't be announced until after the selection. I do believe that the propulsion is an element that will be marked as an element that increases technical risk for DC - but it will probably still be selected.
Witout a doubt you're right about the upcoming propulsion change announcement.

However, I still think that the first orbital (or at the very least, suborbital) vehicle will be hybrid-powered due to time constraints.

Thanks, keric, I appreciate the link to SNC's clarification.
You're welcome, but my username is spelled with a lower-case L, not upper case i.  ;D
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Be patient people, rockets are hard.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #80 on: 08/28/2014 08:24 am »
Taking poll results thus far at face value, they imply a 71.3% chance that SNC will win a major contract.  Boeing's and SpaceX's chances are only 26.9% and 28.7%, respectively.  I know people like Dream Chaser, but it still seems an outside shot to me.  But then, I think it's Dragon V2 that's got cool factor.  I mean, I know people like DC's wings and wheels, but I think that's soooo twentieth-century: I'd rather have a rocket-powered landing. :)

Offline MP99

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #81 on: 08/28/2014 08:29 am »


Adding rendezvous capability to a vehicle that had to be berthed previously adds a lot.

I wonder if the current Dragon may perform some rendezvous tests as part of a CRS mission?

Didn't Gemini do something similar to a target on its upper stage?

It wouldn't even need to make contact (which would put the CBM at risk), but just demonstrate similar manoeuvres.

But, how different is it to dock rather than berth? Dragon already stages through the keep-out sphere, performs station keeping within feet of ISS, etc.

Cheers, Martin

Online Chris Bergin

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #82 on: 08/28/2014 09:31 am »
I voted SpaceX and SNC, because I think that would work very well. Very interesting and capable capsule and a very interesting and capable space plane.

What's not to love? :)

Online obi-wan

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #83 on: 08/28/2014 05:24 pm »
I voted Boeing and SNC as what I think will happen, not what I want to happen.

A friend of mine who was a program manager at DARPA remarked a few years ago, "Boeing excels at separating the government from its money." (Boeing eventually went 300% over budget on his project.) With their hordes of lobbyists and protectors on Capital Hill, I can't conceive of them not getting an award.

There aren't many Apollo veterans at NASA any more, but there are a lot of Shuttle people who would like to be "vindicated" by seeing continued horizontal landings at runways. Also, SNC has been hitting every hot-button issue they can in the run-up to the decision. They'll get an award.

Personally, I think SpaceX is the best hope for expanding human space flight in my lifetime. Having said that, I hear a lot of feedback from people I know at NASA that they really detest SpaceX. It's not hat they're incompetent or unsafe, just that they're doing things differently. As one NASA person told me,"We like to deal with people we're used to dealing with."

(And let me say, parenthetically,that I don't believe Elon (or SNC, for that matter) will be able to continue development to operational status of their vehicles without NASA as "anchor tenant". We're talking a lot of money without a near-term return on investment, and there's a limit to even Elon's bank account.)

Hope I'm wrong!!!

Offline DaveH62

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #84 on: 08/29/2014 02:33 am »
I voted SpaceX and Boeing, thinking SpaceX is farthest along, but that Boeing would be picked as a safe political hedge to keep the program alive long term. I hope I'm wrong, and that SNC gets secondary funding. Seeing that Boeing has already tipped it's hand and won't fund for a day after losing the contract shows their commitment.
If SpaceX got 60%, we can stay on track for a 2017 launch, and if SNC can get 30-40%, with their International partners, they could be as well funded as SpaceX. It gives platform diversity, and competition to contain costs and risk going forward. The least likely combination would seem to be SNC and Boeing, especially with the deteriorating situation in the Ukraine. If Blue Origin could get 5%, just to maintain engagement, it would help fulfill the secondary goal of the seeding the commercial space industry.
In a best case scenario, we could have 2 or even 3 private manned space providers in the 2020's. With competition and divergent providers, we could see more innovation in the next 10 years than we have seen in the last 40.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #85 on: 08/29/2014 04:45 am »
With 299 votes cast, we are collectively about 90% sure that there will be precisely two major awards.  How can we possibly be that sure?

Offline sdsds

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #86 on: 08/29/2014 04:50 am »
With 299 votes cast, we are collectively about 90% sure that there will be precisely two major awards.  How can we possibly be that sure?

Or is it that we're 90% sure that two major awards is the most likely outcome?
-- sdsds --

Offline kerlc

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #87 on: 08/29/2014 09:42 am »
With 299 votes cast, we are collectively about 90% sure that there will be precisely two major awards.  How can we possibly be that sure?
Optimism mixed with a certain degree of caution?
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Offline yg1968

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #88 on: 08/29/2014 05:29 pm »
With 299 votes cast, we are collectively about 90% sure that there will be precisely two major awards.  How can we possibly be that sure?

Or is it that we're 90% sure that two major awards is the most likely outcome?

We are not sure but that is the rumor which has been posted by Charles Lurio and Chris among others. NASA has also repeatedly said that they would like to have more than one.

Quote
With an announcement now expected in September, a likely scenario would see two spacecraft winning through to the CCtCAP stage.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/08/dragon-v2-rely-parachutes-landing/
« Last Edit: 08/29/2014 06:46 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Altonity

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #89 on: 08/29/2014 07:47 pm »
I voted for SpaceX and Boeing combination. I would love to see Dreamchaser fly but I think more traditional approach will win. I hope I am wrong and Dreamchaser will get to fly. I just think it is unlikely.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #90 on: 08/29/2014 08:10 pm »
I used to think SpaceX and Boeing but recently I've changed to SpaceX and SNC.

As others have said, SNC have made significant progress with partners and have thus strengthened their commercial case, plus I imagine are committing a more significant proportion of their own money (in comparison to Boeing).

I also think SNC will get to the end quicker than Boeing. Given the current political situation I think that's significant (ie getting away from reliance on Soyuz ASAP) but I don't know to what extent that could have been reflected in NASA's evaluation criteria.

Edit: corrected typo
« Last Edit: 08/29/2014 08:11 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #91 on: 08/29/2014 08:40 pm »
I used to think SpaceX and Boeing but recently I've changed to SpaceX and SNC.

As others have said, SNC have made significant progress with partners and have thus strengthened their commercial case, plus I imagine are committing a more significant proportion of their own money (in comparison to Boeing).

I also think SNC will get to the end quicker than Boeing. Given the current political situation I think that's significant (ie getting away from reliance on Soyuz ASAP) but I don't know to what extent that could have been reflected in NASA's evaluation criteria.

Edit: corrected typo

SNC is actually playing it pretty smart.  If there is a particular expertise they need, they find a company that does that and purchases it.  If they can't buy the company, they farm the particular tech that they need developed out to another, larger company.

This works for them on two major levels.  First, itgains them the expertise that tehy need to accomplish their goals, and two, should they NOT be in the Manned Commercial Craft downselect, they will be in a position to work with whomever is selected and STILL work on their own craft for purely commercial use.
My God!  It's full of universes!

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #92 on: 08/30/2014 12:41 am »
There has been a few comments on Boeing using its political influence to help it's selection. SNC method of building  partnerships as created a lot of businesses through out US relying on DC being selected. Because of this SNC should have a lot more politicians on its side compared to Boeing.

Offline mr. mark

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #93 on: 08/30/2014 12:49 am »
I have serious doubts about SNC meeting a "real" physical deadline. Such as flying a finished product by 2017.  If it's SpaceX and SNC, SpaceX might get some serious flying time in before Dream Chaser is deemed ready. Especially now that Dragon V.2 is planning on land landings with parachutes and powered assist. A more realistic timeline for Dream Chaser is probably 2018 or 2019.
« Last Edit: 08/30/2014 12:50 am by mr. mark »

Offline SoundForesight

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #94 on: 08/30/2014 08:14 am »
So, what happens if...
(1) One of the companies that isn't selected disputes the award?

(2) NASA approves two companies, but congress passes the appropriations bill with the amendment that limits the award to one company?

(3) Congress only passes a continuing resolution, instead of appropriations bill?

(4) The house shuts down the government over the budget?
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #95 on: 08/30/2014 11:44 am »
So, what happens if...
(1) One of the companies that isn't selected disputes the award?

(2) NASA approves two companies, but congress passes the appropriations bill with the amendment that limits the award to one company?

(3) Congress only passes a continuing resolution, instead of appropriations bill?

(4) The house shuts down the government over the budget?
Welcome to the forum! :) Good questions, but how did you vote? ;D
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Offline qralt

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #96 on: 08/30/2014 01:01 pm »
Hard choices.  I went back and looked at each of the CCiCAP milestones to get an idea of what SNC, Spacex, and Boeing have all done (or are going to do) so far.   I was kind of shocked at how different the three approaches are, but I have no idea how the milestones are negotiated.  It seems to me that Boeing has less skin in the game than the other two competitors, but kudos for them to negotiate it that way.  Seems like SNC was hamstrung with half an award last time, so I wonder if they can really compete at this point.  If Spacex had met the dates on all of their milestones, it seems like they would be the hands down winner for this next phase.

If I had to pick, I'd pick Spacex, solo award.   I think that gets us there quickest.  Which I think is desirable given the state of Russian relations now.   I just don't believe this can happen given the politics involved.  So there has to be another award...seems likely to be Boeing, but I'll stick with "other".

So Spacex + "other".

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #97 on: 08/30/2014 01:09 pm »
I voted with my heart and hopefully my head as well.
Space-X and SNC.
With the lease granted on 39a and the demonstrated ability with Dragon V1, not to mention non reliance on the RD-180. It would be crazy if Space-X is not selected. (but since it is a Government contract, anything can happen)
SNC with their partnerships and NASA legacy design, have a lot of expertise and data to back it up. Despite a landing gear malfunction, and a possible engine swap IMHO appear to have a solid chance.
Boeing on the other hand; set the bar on their milestones pretty low, haven't shown much actual hardware, and unlike the others, have zero skin in the game.
Hoping the announcement happens soon, the anticipation is killing me. Fingers crossed I'm right with my prediction. Space-X and SNC need this contract. Despite both saying they will move forward even if they lose, No Bucks, No Buck Rogers...

Offline Star One

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Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #98 on: 08/30/2014 02:15 pm »
I would like to see both SNC & Space X to win in this competition as they seem to have invested more into their projects than Boeing appear to have. I can't help feeling would Boeing even notice as an organisation if they lost out. I suppose I've chosen on who I think is more committed to this competition and I've been particularly impressed by SNC in this respect from seeking out external partner organisations to investing in an Atlas V for an initial launch.
« Last Edit: 08/30/2014 02:22 pm by Star One »

Offline SoundForesight

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #99 on: 08/30/2014 03:50 pm »
I voted SNC & SpaceX, but more with attitutde of what I think should be done, rather than what NASA will do--I have no insight into NASA's thought process.

(1) For two different orbital vehicle concepts, and

(2) For two different launch vehicles.

I feel more strongly about having  two awards (vs. one) for the benefit of avoiding downtime (as much as possible) due to an accident or incident.

I'm not convinced that a partial award will benefit either company that would get it, since I suspect they need full funding to continue development.

And while SNC may have international partners, the discussion is about their useable technologies, not funding.
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Offline arachnitect

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #100 on: 08/30/2014 05:13 pm »
And while SNC may have international partners, the discussion is about their useable technologies, not funding.

Are the international partners providing any funding? I thought it was just information sharing agreements.

Offline Robert Thompson

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #101 on: 08/30/2014 05:57 pm »
Boeing, connected. SpaceX, demonstrated.

Offline Geron

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #102 on: 08/30/2014 06:15 pm »
I voted SpaceX. They are far ahead, they want to lower prices. They want to go to mars. Giving them the most money possible is most prudent. Dreamchaser is great but more complicated and more expensive.

Normally a single provider would mean higher  prices. This would bother me if the proceeds are paid out in dividends. When the proceeds go towards advancing SpaceX mars plans and commercial space in general, I want them to get as much funding as possible. I trust them not to waste it.

I know.... All eggs in one basket, but if successful 4 billion to SpaceX could pay for dev of BFr and landers!

Offline Star One

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #103 on: 08/30/2014 08:10 pm »

I voted SpaceX. They are far ahead, they want to lower prices. They want to go to mars. Giving them the most money possible is most prudent. Dreamchaser is great but more complicated and more expensive.

Normally a single provider would mean higher  prices. This would bother me if the proceeds are paid out in dividends. When the proceeds go towards advancing SpaceX mars plans and commercial space in general, I want them to get as much funding as possible. I trust them not to waste it.

I know.... All eggs in one basket, but if successful 4 billion to SpaceX could pay for dev of BFr and landers!

This money is not to facilitate Space X's future plans but to obtain independent access to ISS.

Online Lar

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #104 on: 08/31/2014 12:32 am »
This money is not to facilitate Space X's future plans but to obtain independent access to ISS.
SpaceX's future plans are facilitated by winning contracts, developing the launchers, capsules, and infrastructure to execute sucessfully, and making money on the contracts... that money can then be used for other things.

But it's not just the net profit, some of the stuff done will have dual use. So it is win/win
« Last Edit: 08/31/2014 12:33 am by Lar »
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline SoundForesight

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #105 on: 08/31/2014 01:07 am »
And while SNC may have international partners, the discussion is about their useable technologies, not funding.

Are the international partners providing any funding? I thought it was just information sharing agreements.

That's what I was trying to say. There had been speculation elsewhere in the forums, that SNC could continue without NASA funding because they had ESA, DLR & JAXA as partners.

But, at the SNC press conference on 1/8/2014, where the ESA/SNC cooperation was announced:
(1) Sirangelo said relationships are frameworks for future cooperation--just the beginning.

(2) After DC is certified, future upgrades could incorporate the technologies of partners. For the time being, only ideas are being discussed--projects are in the future.

(3) ESA agreement was a technical understanding, covering 2014 & beginning of 2015. ESA representative said they were "open to exploring the future".

(4) The DLR representative said Germany was interested in ESA spending more on R&D based on previous ISS technologies, but other EU countries were reticent--so no near-term funding from ESA.



And in this Sirangelo interview (http://www.americaspace.com/?p=66395), he notes that...
(1) The foreign agencies could use DC for their missions to ISS (thus providing some future SNC funding).

(2) There are possibilities for modified-DC missions that are non-ISS in the future, but the implication is that these would be much further down the road, and would not be funding that helps now.

(3) DC on non-US launch vehicles would be unmanned--so secondary kind of missions.

It seems like these same comments could also apply to Boeing & SpaceX in the future.


Regarding continuing on without NASA funding, Sirangelo has been hedging--saying that it depends on a future analysis of the business case. There's a limit to R&D budgets for self funding--so it sure seems like each company needs the NASA contract to continue. Any other funding would seem to be too far in the future to help keep the programs running at current employment levels.
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Offline Star One

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #106 on: 08/31/2014 08:54 am »

This money is not to facilitate Space X's future plans but to obtain independent access to ISS.
SpaceX's future plans are facilitated by winning contracts, developing the launchers, capsules, and infrastructure to execute sucessfully, and making money on the contracts... that money can then be used for other things.

But it's not just the net profit, some of the stuff done will have dual use. So it is win/win

But the OP was talking as if there should be a single award purely so that Space X had more money to facilitate their plans for things such as reaching Mars. To my mind that's not a reason for making an award especially a singular one. Such a singular award defeats the entire objective of injecting competition into the market.

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #107 on: 08/31/2014 11:11 am »
Whomever gets picked, I think we can write off the ~$20 million per passenger cost that's been much repeated in the near term at least. NASA probably won't be sending up 7 passengers at a time, although they might put a small amount of cargo up there. I highly doubt crewed missions will cost the same as the Dragon cargo missions either.


I'm willing to bet, at least for the initial missions we're in the ballpark of ~$50 million per crew member, minimum. Which is not terrible at all, that's still cheaper than what Russia wants to charge, and cheaper than Shuttle if you ignore the massive cargo capacity of the Shuttle.
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Offline MP99

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #108 on: 08/31/2014 11:30 am »


Whomever gets picked, I think we can write off the ~$20 million per passenger cost that's been much repeated in the near term at least. NASA probably won't be sending up 7 passengers at a time, although they might put a small amount of cargo up there. I highly doubt crewed missions will cost the same as the Dragon cargo missions either.


I'm willing to bet, at least for the initial missions we're in the ballpark of ~$50 million per crew member, minimum. Which is not terrible at all, that's still cheaper than what Russia wants to charge, and cheaper than Shuttle if you ignore the massive cargo capacity of the Shuttle.

$20m per passenger x 7 = $140m per flight. About what NASA are paying for CRS flights today.

$140m / 4 = $35m each.

If you're working from $140m / 3, remember that NASA wants to increase ISS crew size from six to seven as part of justification for the programme. That fourth Western crew member should be able to get a lot more science done, since the crew of three are already handling all the maintenance, as well as some science.

But, agree, cost based on flying seven was always a bit of a PR smokescreen.

Cheers, Martin

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #109 on: 08/31/2014 12:24 pm »


Whomever gets picked, I think we can write off the ~$20 million per passenger cost that's been much repeated in the near term at least. NASA probably won't be sending up 7 passengers at a time, although they might put a small amount of cargo up there. I highly doubt crewed missions will cost the same as the Dragon cargo missions either.


I'm willing to bet, at least for the initial missions we're in the ballpark of ~$50 million per crew member, minimum. Which is not terrible at all, that's still cheaper than what Russia wants to charge, and cheaper than Shuttle if you ignore the massive cargo capacity of the Shuttle.

$20m per passenger x 7 = $140m per flight. About what NASA are paying for CRS flights today.

$140m / 4 = $35m each.

If you're working from $140m / 3, remember that NASA wants to increase ISS crew size from six to seven as part of justification for the programme. That fourth Western crew member should be able to get a lot more science done, since the crew of three are already handling all the maintenance, as well as some science.

But, agree, cost based on flying seven was always a bit of a PR smokescreen.

Cheers, Martin

I'm working from the assumption they fly 3 initially and it costs at least 10% more than CRS missions, which I don't think is unreasonable. I believe the costs can come down over time as they provide services to other destinations, ISS crew size increases or reusability pans out.
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Offline CraigLieb

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #110 on: 08/31/2014 04:21 pm »
Despite my wish for dream chaser and spacex to come out on top, my cynical side believes in the power of clout so I think that Boeing will come out on top with a full award.  SpaceX may even   get a smaller award because they are more efficient. In this case, they will be penalized for being better, and the old guard will be rewarded for mediocrity.

Hope I am wrong.
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Offline Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #111 on: 08/31/2014 04:54 pm »


Whomever gets picked, I think we can write off the ~$20 million per passenger cost that's been much repeated in the near term at least. NASA probably won't be sending up 7 passengers at a time, although they might put a small amount of cargo up there. I highly doubt crewed missions will cost the same as the Dragon cargo missions either.


I'm willing to bet, at least for the initial missions we're in the ballpark of ~$50 million per crew member, minimum. Which is not terrible at all, that's still cheaper than what Russia wants to charge, and cheaper than Shuttle if you ignore the massive cargo capacity of the Shuttle.

$20m per passenger x 7 = $140m per flight. About what NASA are paying for CRS flights today.

$140m / 4 = $35m each.

If you're working from $140m / 3, remember that NASA wants to increase ISS crew size from six to seven as part of justification for the programme. That fourth Western crew member should be able to get a lot more science done, since the crew of three are already handling all the maintenance, as well as some science.

But, agree, cost based on flying seven was always a bit of a PR smokescreen.

Cheers, Martin

I'm working from the assumption they fly 3 initially and it costs at least 10% more than CRS missions, which I don't think is unreasonable. I believe the costs can come down over time as they provide services to other destinations, ISS crew size increases or reusability pans out.
Reisman said recently that NASA only wants three astronauts (or maybe it was four, too lazy to dig up quote) on Dragon. The rest will be pressurized cargo.
If SpaceX was quoting around $20m for seven astronauts, a first order calculation would result in $47m per passenger for a crew of three.
The real cost per astronaut should be less because SpaceX would also get paid for transporting the extra cargo. Also, my guess is that a crew of 3 + pressurized cargo is cheaper logistically than a crew of 7, further reducing the real cost per astronaut. I think $30 - $35m would be a good ball-park figure.
An apples-to-apples comparison with Russian prices might require knowing if those costs also includes some US cargo transport?

Edit: woah! this was my 1000'th post on NSF! I think that's an accomplishment of sorts, and yet I'll probably refrain from putting it on my CV or telling the wifey :P
I'll just have a beer instead 8)
« Last Edit: 08/31/2014 04:59 pm by Garrett »
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Online Lar

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #112 on: 08/31/2014 05:11 pm »
Whomever gets picked, I think we can write off the ~$20 million per passenger cost that's been much repeated in the near term at least. NASA probably won't be sending up 7 passengers at a time, although they might put a small amount of cargo up there. I highly doubt crewed missions will cost the same as the Dragon cargo missions either.


I'm willing to bet, at least for the initial missions we're in the ballpark of ~$50 million per crew member, minimum. Which is not terrible at all, that's still cheaper than what Russia wants to charge, and cheaper than Shuttle if you ignore the massive cargo capacity of the Shuttle.

I think it's great you're in this thread, we can count on you to consistently take the most pessimistic view of everything. That keeps fan boys grounded. But there's a chance you're too pessimistic, isn't there?.
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Offline a_langwich

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #113 on: 08/31/2014 05:49 pm »
Whomever gets picked, I think we can write off the ~$20 million per passenger cost that's been much repeated in the near term at least. NASA probably won't be sending up 7 passengers at a time, although they might put a small amount of cargo up there. I highly doubt crewed missions will cost the same as the Dragon cargo missions either.


I'm willing to bet, at least for the initial missions we're in the ballpark of ~$50 million per crew member, minimum. Which is not terrible at all, that's still cheaper than what Russia wants to charge, and cheaper than Shuttle if you ignore the massive cargo capacity of the Shuttle.

I think it's great you're in this thread, we can count on you to consistently take the most pessimistic view of everything. That keeps fan boys grounded. But there's a chance you're too pessimistic, isn't there?.

Does that really sound too pessimistic?  An Atlas V 401 launch would cost at least $120 million (maybe ULA was kind enough to offer block-buy terms), and that's without considering the cost of a capsule/winged thing on top.  Add those, and a custom-produced two-engine Centaur with custom-produced RL-10A4-2 engines, and $150 million would still be very firmly in the range of believable.  Even optimistic.  Put 3 astronauts inside, and you've got $50 million per crew.  Sounds pretty accurate to me, to a first-order approximation.

Aren't Dragon cargo flights about $120 million?  That would be $40 million for 3.  Now add in all the requirements for people, the logistics and extra workers involved, any extra requirements leveed by NASA; I don't think it's unreasonable to think $140-150 million even for SpaceX.

That's with three people; NASA likely hopes to go with four, and of course that makes the numbers look better.  But it won't get anywhere near $20 million.

Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #114 on: 08/31/2014 05:52 pm »
Whomever gets picked, I think we can write off the ~$20 million per passenger cost that's been much repeated in the near term at least. NASA probably won't be sending up 7 passengers at a time, although they might put a small amount of cargo up there. I highly doubt crewed missions will cost the same as the Dragon cargo missions either.


I'm willing to bet, at least for the initial missions we're in the ballpark of ~$50 million per crew member, minimum. Which is not terrible at all, that's still cheaper than what Russia wants to charge, and cheaper than Shuttle if you ignore the massive cargo capacity of the Shuttle.

I think it's great you're in this thread, we can count on you to consistently take the most pessimistic view of everything. That keeps fan boys grounded. But there's a chance you're too pessimistic, isn't there?.

I don't think that's pessimistic, I think its a pretty good guess for what the initial cost will be. Its still better than Soyuz and there's the possibility it will come down if resuse pans out for Falcon 9. I'd love to be wrong.
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Offline arachnitect

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #115 on: 08/31/2014 05:59 pm »
NASA wants 4 seats.

I'm expecting $40-60M per seat.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #116 on: 08/31/2014 06:10 pm »
Reisman said recently that NASA only wants three astronauts (or maybe it was four, too lazy to dig up quote) on Dragon.

The number for all the Commercial Crew vehicles is four, since NASA wants the ability to increase the staffing of the ISS from 6 to 7.

Quote
If SpaceX was quoting around $20m for seven astronauts, a first order calculation would result in $47m per passenger for a crew of three.

When transporting a complement of 4 passengers, if SpaceX keeps to the $140M/flight number that would make it $35M/seat.

Quote
The real cost per astronaut should be less because SpaceX would also get paid for transporting the extra cargo.

Depends on how the contract is bid.  If the SpaceX is just providing the spacecraft with four seats and the ability to carry cargo (i.e. the car rental model), it wouldn't matter what NASA sends up - the price would be the same no matter how much "carry-on" the passengers take.

Quote
Also, my guess is that a crew of 3 + pressurized cargo is cheaper logistically than a crew of 7, further reducing the real cost per astronaut. I think $30 - $35m would be a good ball-park figure.
An apples-to-apples comparison with Russian prices might require knowing if those costs also includes some US cargo transport?

Once Commercial Crew becomes operational there are too many variables to make any comparisons to what the status quo is today.  Suffice it to say though that overall costs to support a human in space should be going down, which is the direction we need to go if we plan to expand humanity out into space.

Quote
Edit: woah! this was my 1000'th post on NSF!

Congrats!
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #117 on: 08/31/2014 06:52 pm »
The cost of US space autonomy..? Priceless...
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Offline Nomadd

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #118 on: 08/31/2014 07:23 pm »
 Is there a firm reason that everyone is assuming there will be no short term passengers? No sending up three or four replacements plus two or three specialists for the days the crews overlap?
« Last Edit: 08/31/2014 07:23 pm by Nomadd »
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Offline guckyfan

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #119 on: 08/31/2014 07:51 pm »
Is there a firm reason that everyone is assuming there will be no short term passengers? No sending up three or four replacements plus two or three specialists for the days the crews overlap?

Garrett Reisman made a statement in his latest presentation. He not only stated that NASA requests four passengers only, but he thinks, that adding scientists doing their own research for short trips would enhance scientific value of ISS research a lot. He used an expression for NASA astronauts that could be considered denigrating in that context. At least this is what I gathered. English is not my first language.

Offline dror

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #120 on: 08/31/2014 08:14 pm »
The price per paseenger is the total price divided by 7.
That is about 140/7 = 20mil$
The rest of the money is the price of cargo freight and the price for the ability and availability.
That is about 140-20*# mil$ , or assuming # is 3-4 that is about half the total cost, but the price per passenger remains a constant because an empty seat can and will  be taken.
« Last Edit: 08/31/2014 08:35 pm by dror »
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Offline Garrett

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #121 on: 08/31/2014 08:18 pm »
Is there a firm reason that everyone is assuming there will be no short term passengers? No sending up three or four replacements plus two or three specialists for the days the crews overlap?
As guckyfan pointed out, Reisman talked about that topic (short stay passengers on ISS, i.e. scientists) recently. He is in favour of such an operational method and says he has tried to argue its advantages with people he knows at NASA. Apparently, however, it is not a near term objective for NASA.
So unless somebody else has heard otherwise, I think it's a safe bet that there will not be short-stay passengers in the near future (say, from now till 2020).
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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #122 on: 08/31/2014 09:55 pm »
Is there a firm reason that everyone is assuming there will be no short term passengers? No sending up three or four replacements plus two or three specialists for the days the crews overlap?

Garrett Reisman made a statement in his latest presentation. He not only stated that NASA requests four passengers only, but he thinks, that adding scientists doing their own research for short trips would enhance scientific value of ISS research a lot. He used an expression for NASA astronauts that could be considered denigrating in that context. At least this is what I gathered. English is not my first language.

I thought he said "glorified technicians" which I guess could be disparaging but it's not too bad?

Edit: I'm a technician in a way and I think highly of myself. Just ask anyone. :)
« Last Edit: 08/31/2014 11:01 pm by Lar »
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #123 on: 08/31/2014 10:59 pm »
Only denigrating if you don't think too highly of technicians...

Shuttle had lots of payload specialists, so this wouldn't be any different.
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Offline joek

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #124 on: 08/31/2014 11:53 pm »
... I'm willing to bet, at least for the initial missions we're in the ballpark of ~$50 million per crew member, minimum. ...

Probably closer to the mark than some others, but still likely be a bit optimistic ...

Way back in 2011 Gerstenmaier said "... equal to or less than what we would be paying for Soyuz at that time ... roughly $480M per year ... $80 million per crew seat".  (Based on two flights/yr and six seats/yr.)

... I doubt Gerstenmaier's rough and qualified estimate--the most relevant number being $480M/yr--is less today than it was then.

Offline guckyfan

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #125 on: 09/01/2014 12:50 am »

I thought he said "glorified technicians" which I guess could be disparaging but it's not too bad?

Edit: I'm a technician in a way and I think highly of myself. Just ask anyone. :)

Yes probably that, it spares me to listen to the whole thing again. ;)

It should not be disparaging but some Astronauts may see it differently. But again, english is not my first language and I don't claim to get all nuances. Fortunately Reisman is a former Astronaut. That should take the edge off.


Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #126 on: 09/01/2014 04:55 am »
If I had to pick, I'd pick Spacex, solo award.   I think that gets us there quickest.  Which I think is desirable given the state of Russian relations now.   I just don't believe this can happen given the politics involved.  So there has to be another award...seems likely to be Boeing, but I'll stick with "other".

So Spacex + "other".

For what it's worth, when I created the poll I was thinking of "other entity" as meaning an outfit other than Boeing, SNC or SpaceX.  I should have been clearer about that.
« Last Edit: 09/01/2014 04:55 am by Proponent »

Offline Mariusuiram

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #127 on: 09/02/2014 09:27 am »

I thought he said "glorified technicians" which I guess could be disparaging but it's not too bad?

Edit: I'm a technician in a way and I think highly of myself. Just ask anyone. :)

Yes probably that, it spares me to listen to the whole thing again. ;)

It should not be disparaging but some Astronauts may see it differently. But again, english is not my first language and I don't claim to get all nuances. Fortunately Reisman is a former Astronaut. That should take the edge off.

I would happily quit my "professional" job to become a glorified technician in space. How any astronaut on ISS responds to the insult: "sorry, I couldn't make out what you said through the vacuum of space."

Offline Mader Levap

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #128 on: 09/02/2014 09:46 am »
I would happily quit my "professional" job to become a glorified technician in space. How any astronaut on ISS responds to the insult: "sorry, I couldn't make out what you said through the vacuum of space."
Insult? It is exactly what they do - maintain and repair space station and take care for sciencists' experiments. So mechanic/janitor/lab technican. IN SPACE!
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Offline dglow

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #129 on: 09/02/2014 10:03 am »
Reisman meant it as self-deprecation, not disparagement. His point was that Dragon's extra seats could allow for scientists with specialized knowledge to fly and perform their own experiments, hands-on, with all the efficiencies that brings... rather than watching from afar as 'glorified technicians' do it for them.    :)

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #130 on: 09/02/2014 12:17 pm »
I would happily quit my "professional" job to become a glorified technician in space. How any astronaut on ISS responds to the insult: "sorry, I couldn't make out what you said through the vacuum of space."
Insult? It is exactly what they do - maintain and repair space station and take care for sciencists' experiments. So mechanic/janitor/lab technican. IN SPACE!

No kidding. Where do I sign?

Reisman meant it as self-deprecation, not disparagement. His point was that Dragon's extra seats could allow for scientists with specialized knowledge to fly and perform their own experiments, hands-on, with all the efficiencies that brings... rather than watching from afar as 'glorified technicians' do it for them.    :)

I saw Gravity, I know how that will turn out. :)
« Last Edit: 09/02/2014 12:18 pm by Lar »
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Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #131 on: 09/02/2014 01:04 pm »
I would happily quit my "professional" job to become a glorified technician in space. How any astronaut on ISS responds to the insult: "sorry, I couldn't make out what you said through the vacuum of space."
Insult? It is exactly what they do - maintain and repair space station and take care for sciencists' experiments. So mechanic/janitor/lab technican. IN SPACE!

No kidding. Where do I sign?

Reisman meant it as self-deprecation, not disparagement. His point was that Dragon's extra seats could allow for scientists with specialized knowledge to fly and perform their own experiments, hands-on, with all the efficiencies that brings... rather than watching from afar as 'glorified technicians' do it for them.    :)

I saw Gravity, I know how that will turn out. :)
This all reminds me of my “technician-astronaut” proposal thread... ;)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28276.msg871124#msg871124
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #132 on: 09/02/2014 05:13 pm »
I thought he said "glorified technicians" which I guess could be disparaging but it's not too bad?
Technicians should be glorified!  But most technicians don't learn Russian, train for years on the ground and in high speed aircraft, learn intricate operational details of the design of the vehicles they use, learn how to find every switch blindfolded in an emergency, absorb big g-forces while measurably risking their lives, accept the uncertain health effects of radiation exposure in orbit, suffer the effects of weightlessness upon arrival in orbit and upon return to Earth, and then calmly give speeches and interviews without ever saying the wrong thing.  Also, most technicians don't have to go to the bathroom in space!

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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #133 on: 09/02/2014 05:34 pm »
Also, most technicians don't have to go to the bathroom in space!

I would love to have the chance to visit bathroom in space. :D

Offline rcoppola

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #134 on: 09/02/2014 05:41 pm »
Guys? Can we stop with this and get back to the topic at hand?

If you want to shoehorn in the ideas Garrett put forth in how to use those extra seats and how that impacts down-selections if at all, fine. But frankly as he said, NASA wants no part of it for now which is their right, so there's that.
« Last Edit: 09/02/2014 06:13 pm by rcoppola »
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Offline TALsite

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #135 on: 09/02/2014 08:11 pm »
Ouch! the poll is closed.  :-[

I would have voted SpaceX and Sierra Nevada for many of the reasons mentioned before: rocket diversity, dissimilar spacecrafts, precision returns from orbit, fast return to flight status....

Dream Chaser also has the heritage of many of our childhood dreams (HL20, Bor-4, Hermes, Kliper) that we never saw flying: NASA/U.S. has the opportunity to have the first "real one" on orbit.

And living on a shuttle Transoceanic Abort Landing city, my election was easy too  :)

Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #136 on: 09/03/2014 09:36 am »
OK, TALsite, I'll add your vote for BoeingSNC & SpaceX to the final tally.

Collectively, we strongly expect two winners, with 90% going for this scenario.  We weight a single-winner scenario as much less likely (6.7%) but still more likely than a three-winner one (2.6%).

The preferred outcome is by far SNC & SpaceX (65%), trailed by Boeing & SpaceX (17%).  All other combinations weigh in at 4% or less.

We collectively assign a likelihood of 93% to SpaceX winning a major award, while SNC is a strong second at 72% and Boeing third with 26%.

Although I intended "other entity" to mean a dark-horse candidate like Blue Origin, I gather some interpreted, for example, "Boeing & other entity" to mean Boeing and one of either SNC or SpaceX.  So I'll retabulate the results with "other" meaning one of the other "big three".  In this case, i also count MP99's stated preference for "one on F9 + one on Atlas" as SpaceX & other.  Not much changes with this interpretation:  SpaceX's likelihood of winning stays essentially the same while both SNC and Boeing improve their chances a bit, to 75% and 28%, respectively.

NASA Watch has carried out a poll on the same topic.  After adjustment for block voting, it shows SpaceX (34%) second to SNC (44%), with both beating Boeing (22%).  We're more bullish on SpaceX than is NASA Watch.  NASA Watch's percentages add to 100%, suggesting that its poll allowed for just one winner.  We disagree quite strongly with that implication.

The bottom line is that while we're not quite 95% certain of anything, we'll be surprised if SpaceX doesn't win a major award and if there are not two winners.

EDIT:  Corrected description of TALsite's vote; it had already been counted correctly as a vote for the SNC-&-SpaceX scenario in the analysis.  Removed my interpretation of what MP99's vote would have been had the poll been more general, as I was mistaken, per MP99's post, below.
« Last Edit: 09/04/2014 12:02 pm by Proponent »

Offline Celebrimbor

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #137 on: 09/03/2014 09:52 am »
OK, TALsite, I'll add your vote for Boeing & SpaceX to the final tally.

Collectively, we strongly expect two winners, with 90% going for this scenario.  We weight a single-winner scenario as much less likely (6.7%) but still more likely than a three-winner one (2.6%).

The preferred outcome is by far SNC & SpaceX (65%), trailed by Boeing & SpaceX (17%).  All other combinations weigh in at 4% or less.

Polls are intended to be light hearted fun, and I get that, but we need to be careful when interpreting their outcome as a sort of collective probability distribution on the future.  Its not correct to say that we collectively agree that a two winner scenario has a probability of 90% or that a single winner is more than twice as likey than a 3 winner scenario.

Remember, we can only pick one scenario.  So even if we individually admit that we weight the scenarios equally, there is a strong bias to plump for the middle of the road (i.e. 2 winners over 1 or 3).

If you'd asked us for individual probability distributions and combined those together (somehow!?!), you'd then have data that you could interpret as our collective guesses about what the future holds.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2014 09:53 am by Celebrimbor »

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #138 on: 09/03/2014 11:32 am »
If you'd asked us for individual probability distributions and combined those together (somehow!?!), you'd then have data that you could interpret as our collective guesses about what the future holds.

That'd be fun to watch! ... because we never overanalyse things here, oh no, not us. :)

Thanks, Proponent, for setting the poll up and for the detailed analysis.
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Offline TALsite

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #139 on: 09/03/2014 11:51 am »
OK, TALsite, I'll add your vote for Boeing & SpaceX to the final tally.

Thanks but....
Do you work for Boeing, don't you?  ;D

I said spaceplane... SNC   ;)

Edited:
Mistake with the quote
« Last Edit: 09/03/2014 11:55 am by TALsite »

Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #140 on: 09/03/2014 11:55 am »
If you'd asked us for individual probability distributions and combined those together (somehow!?!), you'd then have data that you could interpret as our collective guesses about what the future holds.

I thought about that, but there wasn't a lot of reaction to it.  Fearing that NASA might announce the selection before we had a chance to run the poll, I decided to not let the better be the enemy of the good enough and went with the single-choice format.

Maybe each "vote" could consist of a series of scenarios coded in a standard way, e.g.,:

  20x 50nx 20xb 10o

could mean 20% weight on a sole award to SpaceX ('x'), 50% on SpaceX and SNC ('n'), 20% on SpaceX & Boeing ('b') together, and 10% on a sole award to a dark horse.  Somebody would have to gather and tally all of the results, but that wouldn't be too much work with a standardised format.

An easier, though less flexible, option would be to let everybody vote, say, six times.  People could vote for the same scenario each time or for a variety of them in whatever proportions they feel appropriate.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2014 12:03 pm by Proponent »

Offline Celebrimbor

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #141 on: 09/03/2014 02:14 pm »
Yes six or so votes would set me much more at ease :)

Offline MP99

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #142 on: 09/03/2014 07:06 pm »


In this case, i also count MP99's stated preference for "one on F9 + one on Atlas" as SpaceX & other.

Many thanks, though I'd like to clarify that this was a prediction, and not a statement of preference.

I'd personally like to see Dragon win a slot, but I did clarify the "on F9" comment as also covering DC (or even CST-100) flying on F9, so this could easily cover Boeing/Atlas V + SNC/F9.

Cheers, Martin

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #143 on: 09/04/2014 01:47 pm »
Looks like everyone is going to have to wait another week. But fingers crossed 9/12 is the date. I'm just worried that any more delay to the announcement will force slips to the first flight.

Offline rcoppola

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #144 on: 09/04/2014 03:28 pm »
Looks like everyone is going to have to wait another week. But fingers crossed 9/12 is the date. I'm just worried that any more delay to the announcement will force slips to the first flight.
i don't think that's likely on the SpaceX side. They're still doing primary structural qual and full-up getting ready for Pad and In-flight abort. Another week or two will not slow them down much if at all. Can't speak to SNC but I suspect the same is true with their current commitment to a 2016 orbital test fight and they already bought the Atlas V...(I didn't mention Boeing because I don't think they are being selected anyways.)
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Offline wolfpack

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #145 on: 09/04/2014 04:35 pm »
I voted Boeing and SpaceX. Atlas 5 doesn't factor in, since SNC and CST-100 both fly on it. SNC suffered a failure with the FTA and they just announced they're swapping motors. If you do the risk analysis objectively, DreamChaser comes in last. It's that simple.

Whether a company states intentions to fly with/without NASA can't factor into NASA's decision making. If Congress told NASA it needs the commerical crew capability by a certain date, then that's what matters. NASA has to choose the shortest pole with the lowest risk. That's F9/Dragon2 and A5/CST-100.

Offline Jcc

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #146 on: 09/04/2014 11:31 pm »
I voted Boeing and SpaceX. Atlas 5 doesn't factor in, since SNC and CST-100 both fly on it. SNC suffered a failure with the FTA and they just announced they're swapping motors. If you do the risk analysis objectively, DreamChaser comes in last. It's that simple.

Whether a company states intentions to fly with/without NASA can't factor into NASA's decision making. If Congress told NASA it needs the commerical crew capability by a certain date, then that's what matters. NASA has to choose the shortest pole with the lowest risk. That's F9/Dragon2 and A5/CST-100.

Boeing is low risk to fly successfully at a high price point. They collected the most money and are not even delivering abort tests, which means they will cost even more to reach certification. I agree DC is looking quite risky because of the engine change, who knows how long it will take to get that working? However, they have the advantage of being a unique type (lifting body) so NASA can have dissimilar redundancy with one of each type of crew vehicle.

Offline punder

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #147 on: 09/05/2014 12:04 am »
Looks like everyone is going to have to wait another week. But fingers crossed 9/12 is the date. I'm just worried that any more delay to the announcement will force slips to the first flight.

Did you hear or read something?  Uh-oh hope I'm not impinging on L2 privileges.   ;)

I didn't clue in to the vote cutoff date, but fwiw I'm going with SpaceX and Boeing.  I'd prefer SNC to Boeing but the most rational mix is the clear frontrunner and cost winner with higher perceived risk (from NASA POV, not mine), and the high-cost but proven aerospace giant with low perceived risk.  NASA will hate to give up on the lifting body, but they will--as they always have done.  (Excluding Shuttle because it's really winged, not a lifting body.)

Online robertross

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #148 on: 09/05/2014 01:01 am »
I voted SpaceX & SNC's Dream Chaser

Originally I thought SNC & Boeing, but changed my mind this year.

reason for change:
SpaceX has really stepped up thto the plate, whereas in contrast I found Boeing to be doing pretty much of the 'same', waiting on a better dose of funding rather than putting much of their own skin in the game.

Dream Chaser was always in my books for what it brings in capability to the ISS: a broader range of specialized return cargo capability (foremost, due to reduced G forces during landing), and a capability to land at many different landing strips just in case.
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Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #149 on: 09/05/2014 02:51 pm »
Boeing is low risk to fly successfully at a high price point. They collected the most money and are not even delivering abort tests, which means they will cost even more to reach certification. <snip>

You are neglecting to take into account a couple of factors when evaluating Boeing's chances;

1. The revolving door between NASA and Boeing. Many managers in NASA have worked for or will work for Boeing and many, many NASA employees have worked with Boeing.

2. Boeing has contributed and will contribute billions of dollars to various congressional critters over the decades and enjoys their ear.

NASA is under enormous internal pressure to select Boeing and also under pressure from those who control NASA's purse strings.  I've said before that the fix was in and that Boeing was a guaranteed winner, I see no reason to change that view.
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #150 on: 09/05/2014 05:05 pm »
Boeing is low risk to fly successfully at a high price point. They collected the most money and are not even delivering abort tests, which means they will cost even more to reach certification. <snip>

You are neglecting to take into account a couple of factors when evaluating Boeing's chances;

1. The revolving door between NASA and Boeing. Many managers in NASA have worked for or will work for Boeing and many, many NASA employees have worked with Boeing.

2. Boeing has contributed and will contribute billions of dollars to various congressional critters over the decades and enjoys their ear.

NASA is under enormous internal pressure to select Boeing and also under pressure from those who control NASA's purse strings.  I've said before that the fix was in and that Boeing was a guaranteed winner, I see no reason to change that view.
It's easier to make those claims when replacing actual individuals with a generic "NASA".

For instance, I just don't see someone like Bill Gerstenmaier making this decision based on anything other then the merits.

That's not to say that Boeing isn't  selected  and there turns out to be very cogent reasons for that. None of us are aware of every detail of what has transpired over these last few years and months with CCiCAP. But it would be for reasons other than influence and politics.

Although, sometimes, having all the supposed advantages as stated in 1 & 2 can actually work against you. You could just as well be more inclined to pick some new blood. After all, the whole purpose of this was to engage commercial entities in new ways to drive down costs. Boeing doesn't get you there. IMO, they already know they have a sure thing with DragonV2. This allows a little risk flexibility for your second choice. Which is why I think they'll go with DC.

As for Boeing? They'll be busy with X-37B, SLS, ISS, etc., etc., for many years to come and I am thankful they are there. But we need to broaden this industry out more. Not to do so,  I believe,  becomes the greatest risk of all.

Mr. Gerstenmaier will do the right thing. He has my full faith. I'll ultimately support whatever he gets behind.

Edit: Unless he gets behind vehicles other then DC and DragonV2, then...well, I'll get over it...in time...after a few hundred protest posts on NSF.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2014 06:11 pm by rcoppola »
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Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #151 on: 09/05/2014 06:04 pm »

1. The revolving door between NASA and Boeing. Many managers in NASA have worked for or will work for Boeing and many, many NASA employees have worked with Boeing.


Not really a revolving door.

Offline dglow

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #152 on: 09/05/2014 06:42 pm »

1. The revolving door between NASA and Boeing. Many managers in NASA have worked for or will work for Boeing and many, many NASA employees have worked with Boeing.


Not really a revolving door.

Usually just a one-way trip?

Offline wolfpack

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #153 on: 09/05/2014 07:21 pm »
IMO, they already know they have a sure thing with DragonV2. This allows a little risk flexibility for your second choice. Which is why I think they'll go with DC.

How is DragonV2 a sure thing? It still has a ways to go.

Remember what took ATK/Liberty out of the running. Lack of a spacecraft. NASA didn't care about the booster. They said composite Orion was just not "there" enough (for lack of a better term). Same is true of DC. Getting new landing gear and a motor. It's not "there" as much as Dragon and CST are "there".

From a risk standpoint, CST-100 is the best choice. It's an Apollo capsule with parachutes. That design works.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #154 on: 09/05/2014 07:26 pm »
IMO, they already know they have a sure thing with DragonV2. This allows a little risk flexibility for your second choice. Which is why I think they'll go with DC.

How is DragonV2 a sure thing? It still has a ways to go.

Remember what took ATK/Liberty out of the running. Lack of a spacecraft. NASA didn't care about the booster. They said composite Orion was just not "there" enough (for lack of a better term). Same is true of DC. Getting new landing gear and a motor. It's not "there" as much as Dragon and CST are "there".

From a risk standpoint, CST-100 is the best choice. It's an Apollo capsule with parachutes. That design works.
From a risk standpoint, Dragon v2 as it stands for CCtCap is identical to CST-100. CST-100 uses airbags, Dragon uses legs (with a little thrust assist by SuperDracos, but not strictly required). I see no way that the risk is any different between them, except that Dragon has more options in case of parachute failure.

And from a programmatic risk perspective, SpaceX has qual hardware already built while Boeing is still in the fiberglass mockups and CAD files stage. To say nothing of Dragon V1 which is flying already.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2014 07:28 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline dglow

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #155 on: 09/05/2014 11:28 pm »
Dragon uses legs (with a little thrust assist by SuperDracos, but not strictly required).

Strictly speaking, no. Per Garrett Reisman all nominal landings use SD thrust assist.

The only exception is an exceptional abort scenario, aka 'several things just went very wrong.'

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #156 on: 09/05/2014 11:38 pm »
Dragon uses legs (with a little thrust assist by SuperDracos, but not strictly required).

Strictly speaking, no. Per Garrett Reisman all nominal landings use SD thrust assist.

The only exception is an exceptional abort scenario, aka 'several things just went very wrong.'
Right. My statement make more sense with the context of comparing CST-100 risk to Dragon's.
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Offline daveklingler

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #157 on: 09/06/2014 12:51 am »
Although my preference would be SpaceX/Sierra Nevada, the answer is...SpaceX and Boeing, because I don't think the calculus has significantly changed since CCiCap.  Of course, maybe we'll get 2.5 selections.

May Sierra Nevada see resounding success with their international partners.  And may I be wrong in my choices.  A SpaceX/Sierra Nevada downselect would be a pleasant check to my cynicism.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #158 on: 09/07/2014 06:54 am »
I can't believe there has been no word yet.

This is starting to get a bit ridiculous. The wheels of NASA turn much too slowly for my liking.

Every time I log in here it seems like nothing has happened which is why I don't bother keeping up with everything on a daily basis anymore.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2014 06:55 am by spectre9 »

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