Author Topic: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind  (Read 18912 times)

Offline mr.columbus

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #80 on: 12/05/2007 03:18 PM »
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Blackstar - 5/12/2007  10:43 AM

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Analyst - 5/12/2007  2:11 AM
Then please inform us unknowing people. :) What is going on?

As much as I like the inside knowledge of many persons posting here, sometimes I believe being inside the loop and working on specific details gets people loosing the big picture: politics, international affairs etc. AMS will be at KSC, ready for launch by early 2009. After an $1.5 billion investment. There will (and already is) much pressure to launch it.

Read my previous posts.  There are established procedures for space science missions.  There is a detailed and time-proven method for determining which missions have the highest priority.  This process is, to the best extent that it can possibly be, not political.  Isn't that the way it should be?  Don't you want a system where _scientists_ rank scientific priorities and missions are not approved simply because some scientist has the ear of a member of Congress?  

AMS bypassed much of that process.  And--this is the key part--there is not a consensus among scientists that this is the mission most deserving of the money.

Blackstar, can you elaborate why every single one of the four EXPRESS payloads is scientifically more important than AMS?

Offline Jim

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #81 on: 12/05/2007 04:35 PM »
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mr.columbus - 5/12/2007  11:18 AM

Blackstar, can you elaborate why every single one of the four EXPRESS payloads is scientifically more important than AMS?


The EXPRESS payloads individually don't have scientific merit.  They allow the ISS to remain a viable science platform longer.

Offline Analyst

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #82 on: 12/05/2007 05:34 PM »
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Blackstar - 5/12/2007  4:43 PM

Read my previous posts.  There are established procedures for space science missions.  There is a detailed and time-proven method for determining which missions have the highest priority.  This process is, to the best extent that it can possibly be, not political.  Isn't that the way it should be?  Don't you want a system where _scientists_ rank scientific priorities and missions are not approved simply because some scientist has the ear of a member of Congress?  

AMS bypassed much of that process.  And--this is the key part--there is not a consensus among scientists that this is the mission most deserving of the money.

I understand and I know this process. But it is for selection of (new) science missions, isn't it? Here we have a situation with $ 1.5 billion already spent and the science system almost ready to ship to KSC for launch.

As for the money: It has already been spent, the launch (cost) is a NASA obligation NASA is not willing to honour any more. The scientists (tax payers worldwide) spent $ 1.5 billion and 10 years trusting NASA it will launch AMS. Now NASA says they (science) have to come up with the moeny for a shuttle or EELV launch, something not in the deal in the first place.

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Offline Analyst

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #83 on: 12/06/2007 09:01 AM »
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Blackstar - 6/12/2007  9:20 AM

(1) But the money to actually fly it was coming from outside the science program.  Now that it is grounded, the money to fly it has to come from somewhere.

(2) The launch costs money.  Where should that money come from?  And before you say that "it's NASA money," keep in mind that NASA money is divided up into different areas.  Should NASA postpone Orion to pay to fly AMS?  The science community would have no problem with that.  Should some other science mission be postponed to pay for this flight?  The scientists would have a problem with that, because they would point out that there are other things that they consider higher priority that they want to spend the money on.

Note that I'm not saying that AMS is not good science.  But flying it will cost money and that money has to come out of somebody's pocket.

(3) If it is not flown on the shuttle, then that money will be substantial.

(1) Exactly. Human spaceflight (ISS/SSP) made a commitment to launch AMS (and fund the launch).
(2) The money should come from the part of NASA what commited to launch AMS in the first place. This has not been the science part, but human spaceflight (ISS/SSP) AFAIK. They have to honour their commitments. If this means delaying other things on their agenda like Orion so it be. No department of NASA should make commitments, have other people trusting these and 10 years later say ups ... has been a joke.
(3) This implies to use the shuttle is the most cost effictive way of launching it. No surprise, it has been designed specifically to use the shuttle.

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Offline madscientist197

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #84 on: 12/06/2007 09:39 AM »
This is the sort of stuff that gives NASA a bad reputation in congress. Whether or not the project should have been funded in the first place is irrelevant now that 1.5 billion has been spent on it. Helping congress believe that NASA doesn't just throw away public funds (yes, even if it costs more money to keep shuttle running for one more flight) is probably more important than a few months worth of Orion timeline lapse. This will come back to haunt later appropriations...
John

Offline Jim

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #85 on: 12/06/2007 11:30 AM »
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madscientist197 - 6/12/2007  5:39 AM

This is the sort of stuff that gives NASA a bad reputation in congress. Whether or not the project should have been funded in the first place is irrelevant now that 1.5 billion has been spent on it. Helping congress believe that NASA doesn't just throw away public funds (yes, even if it costs more money to keep shuttle running for one more flight) is probably more important than a few months worth of Orion timeline lapse. This will come back to haunt later appropriations...

It wasn't US funds used

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #86 on: 12/06/2007 05:06 PM »

There are other motivations in the science community regarding AMS, dealing with the lack of success of certain high profile projects, some involving attempts to detect things like dark matter/energy. While not conclusive, linked with other equally unsubstantial theory work that attempts to explain why, the fear is by passing up AMS you might lose a significant opportunity. At a minimum, flying it would eliminate a large state space of possibilities, and some view this as a hedge bet.

So the point here is that other budgets/projects are at risk than just AMS standalone. In this case, Goldin may have made a shrewd bet scientifically.

As to not being a free flier, Jim should know that in high energy physics research, you often need access to the detector for certain purposes that would suffice with an EVA, but be costly to justify for a Hubble-styled manned mission. That was a reason for it to be on ISS to begin with.  

I agree with Analyst and Blackstar in different ways. This hasn't played out yet. I don't agree with Jim, though he's certainly detailed the points perfectly less certain omissions mentioned, which was pleasant to see instead of the usual non-detailed terse response. And yes everyone fights for own projects jealously first - but sometimes there are peculiar exceptions.

If tomorrow certain projects were to start seeing results all of a sudden, then AMS will fade away. If not, that sinking feeling will grow and AMS will fly on Shuttle somehow. Don't believe it will ever be a free flier.

On a different note, am surprised that an "off the shelf" means to get ISS components post Shuttle isn't being considered. Something like  taking ATV components and blowing them on around an ISS module in an Ariane shroud. Why? Is it primarily because the ISS is considered moribund anyways?


Offline Jim

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #87 on: 12/06/2007 05:11 PM »
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nobodyofconsequence - 6/12/2007  1:06 PM

As to not being a free flier, Jim should now that in high energy physics research, you often need access to the detector for certain purposes that would suffice with an EVA, but be costly to justify for a Hubble-styled manned mission. That was a reason for it to be on ISS to begin with.

I believe there are no EVA serviceable items on AMS

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #88 on: 12/06/2007 05:29 PM »
Sigh. Didn't imply that. Will attempt at the risk of going off-topic. Need to bring in a particle physics researcher here to educate - chime up if one of you can do better.

Sometimes when you tune or just run them, you get a surprise in how they work. So you measure/add equipment/fit shielding/ from OUTSIDE the detector. This is a very simplified explanation of a complex process. But few such detectors have been flown in space,
and almost no detectors have existed for some of the classes of interactions being currently looked for.

Recently there have been some high profile projects whose results have refuted claims by super symmetry and string theorists. The counter argument have been detector artifacts. The challenges were anticipated and dealt with by monitors surrounding the detector. The next round of challenges were that the monitors were not sufficient. Am I getting the point across? It gets very, very arcane if we go deeper...

Offline Jim

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #89 on: 12/06/2007 05:40 PM »
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nobodyofconsequence - 6/12/2007  1:29 PM

Sigh. Didn't imply that. Will attempt at the risk of going off-topic. Need to bring in a particle physics researcher here to educate - chime up if one of you can do better.

Sometimes when you tune or just run them, you get a surprise in how they work. So you measure/add equipment/fit shielding/ from OUTSIDE the detector. This is a very simplified explanation of a complex process. But few such detectors have been flown in space,
and almost no detectors have existed for some of the classes of interactions being currently looked for.

Recently there have been some high profile projects whose results have refuted claims by super symmetry and string theorists. The counter argument have been detector artifacts. The challenges were anticipated and dealt with by monitors surrounding the detector. The next round of challenges were that the monitors were not sufficient. Am I getting the point across? It gets very, very arcane if we go deeper...

Then the structure of the ISS will have a play on this, where as a freeflyer can avoid this

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Re: The Device NASA is Leaving Behind
« Reply #90 on: 12/06/2007 05:45 PM »
Not necessarily - just additional shielding. The key point is manned access, like inspecting SARJ's.

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