Author Topic: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC  (Read 27805 times)

Offline kraisee

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Offline mike robel

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #1 on: 04/01/2008 11:39 am »
Well, so much for preserving all those jobs with Ares.

Offline mike robel

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #2 on: 04/01/2008 12:00 pm »

Online Giovanni DS

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #3 on: 04/01/2008 12:03 pm »
After Apollo on steroids.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #4 on: 04/01/2008 12:09 pm »
Smells a bit like a play to increase funding for Orion and Ares to keep the work force numbers up.
Needing a copy of 'Tales of Suspense #39'

Online Chris Bergin

Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #5 on: 04/01/2008 12:45 pm »
Important note I was told many moons ago...25 percent of the USA workforce at KSC is due for retirement in 2010 anyway.

As far as the numbers. A lot of BS is being thrown around with Ares and it's starting to get to people, especially with the "but it's good, cause we're going back to the moon."

Well, you kinda need Ares V for the moon, right? That vehicle might not get off the powerpoint, sorry to say.

Offline psloss

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #6 on: 04/01/2008 12:50 pm »
As this press release notes, the report will be released later today, along with a telecon:
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/mar/HQ_M08072_workforce_transistion.html

Offline Launch Fan

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #7 on: 04/01/2008 12:55 pm »
What's the biggest problem you see Chris?

Offline Analyst

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #8 on: 04/01/2008 12:59 pm »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 1/4/2008  2:45 PM

That vehicle might not get off the powerpoint, sorry to say.

LOL. Nice said.

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Online Chris Bergin

Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #9 on: 04/01/2008 01:01 pm »
Quote
Launch Fan - 1/4/2008  1:55 PM

What's the biggest problem you see Chris?

The Shuttle to Ares/Orion gap. I don't think anything is going to change until Mr Griffin is replaced (this year: see either the elections - though could be sooner).

Offline Launch Fan

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #10 on: 04/01/2008 01:06 pm »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 1/4/2008  8:01 AM

Quote
Launch Fan - 1/4/2008  1:55 PM

What's the biggest problem you see Chris?

The Shuttle to Ares/Orion gap. I don't think anything is going to change until Mr Griffin is replaced (this year: see either the elections - though could be sooner).

Wow, I thought you would say Ares was the problem?

Offline psloss

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #11 on: 04/01/2008 01:07 pm »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 1/4/2008  9:01 AM

The Shuttle to Ares/Orion gap. I don't think anything is going to change until Mr Griffin is replaced (this year: see either the elections - though could be sooner).
Don't want to stray too far, but...the President does not tend to fire people (see Mr. Rumsfeld)...has that been discussed here?  If that's the case, what are the odds that Mr. Griffin resigns?  (If that's been discussed, can someone give me a link?  Thanks.)

Offline texas_space

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #12 on: 04/01/2008 01:10 pm »
Some of the losses are bound to happen.  After all, there won't be as many people working on Orion as the orbiters now.  Chris is right to point out the retirement thing; a lot of the aerospace/defense industry is facing this problem.

That said, the ESAS implementation is beginning to look worse as time goes on.  I hope no delays occur to the Constellation program, but if they do there will be less hiring done in the nearer term.  Bigger operations (lunar flights) are even further to the right if they happen at all (ie Ares-V is built).
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Online Chris Bergin

Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #13 on: 04/01/2008 01:11 pm »
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Launch Fan - 1/4/2008  2:06 PM

Quote
Chris Bergin - 1/4/2008  8:01 AM

Quote
Launch Fan - 1/4/2008  1:55 PM

What's the biggest problem you see Chris?

The Shuttle to Ares/Orion gap. I don't think anything is going to change until Mr Griffin is replaced (this year: see either the elections - though could be sooner).

Wow, I thought you would say Ares was the problem?

Might yet be, but that's not the biggest problem as the engineers will find a way to fly a washing machine to the ISS (homage to Apollo 13) if they were tasked with it. Vehicle design will always have problems - TO isn't the first and won't be the last (well it isn't anyway) - and there's not at an X-33 style showstopper yet.

The biggest problem is the gap, by miles.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #14 on: 04/01/2008 01:16 pm »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 1/4/2008  7:11 AM
The biggest problem is the gap, by miles.

Dead right, IMHO.  Ares is a failure even if it goes perfectly on-time, on-budget, and every flight is a success.  5 year gap = failure.

Offline Launch Fan

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #15 on: 04/01/2008 01:25 pm »
I hear ya Chris.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #16 on: 04/01/2008 01:46 pm »
Before everyone jumps on the anti-Ares bandwagon too much, keep this in mind.  The "gap" was sanctioned by the Administration and was a part of the original VSE speech, which was later endorsed by Congress.  While, the gap was supposed to be 4 years, slips and delays happen and if the Administration and Congress cannot live up to their promises with funding, this was bound to happen anyway completely regardless of any technical development issues that need to be addressed.  

You are now seeing the effects of this because it's closer and becoming that much more of reality.  To even think that every job, every position would be preserved in the transition is ridiculous.  Many on here complain about the shuttle costs/risks.  If Orion/Ares was just as expensive and risky, there would be no money for anything else.  So, take this with a grain of salt.  It sucks, believe me I am more than qualified to say that, but this should not be a surprise to anyone since the writing has been on the wall for all to see for many years now.
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Offline charlieb

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #17 on: 04/01/2008 01:58 pm »
Amen OV-106..   AMEN.
Former Shuttle Mission Ops Eng  (In them days DF24 - INCO GROUP/COMMS, Now DS231-AVIONICS BRANCH).

Offline JIS

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #18 on: 04/01/2008 02:02 pm »
Can anybody explain me where all those money end up? Thousands of lost jobs means a lot of spare money every month. Unless they are going to pay hughe pensions and compensations.
It looks like they are redirecting workload from KSC.
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Offline psloss

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #19 on: 04/01/2008 02:13 pm »
Quote
JIS - 1/4/2008  10:02 AM

Can anybody explain me where all those money end up? Thousands of lost jobs means a lot of spare money every month. Unless they are going to pay hughe pensions and compensations.
It looks like they are redirecting workload from KSC.
I would presume that the document scheduled to be released in about three hours might address that, but you might also look at the NASA budget documentation:
http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/

For example, looking at the FY 2009 budget request, it looks like almost the entire shuttle operations budget is "moved" to Exploration / Constellation systems:
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/210019main_NASA_FY09_Budget_Estimates.pdf

The proposal from FY 2010 to FY 2011 is for shuttle ops to go from $2984M to $96M.  Constellation systems goes from $3253M to $6480M.  However, the year over year change in the overall NASA budget is only 2.3%.

(And as noted, this is not a new proposal.)

There is a further breakdown past the high-level numbers, too.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #20 on: 04/01/2008 02:20 pm »
Quote
JIS - 1/4/2008  9:02 AM

Can anybody explain me where all those money end up? Thousands of lost jobs means a lot of spare money every month. Unless they are going to pay hughe pensions and compensations.
It looks like they are redirecting workload from KSC.

That was always part of the plan to some degree.  Money from not continuing shuttle ops would be freed up to invest in Constellation development.  

We are getting no real net increase and never have.  NASA is funding Shuttle, ISS and Constellation all within the same budget they have always had.  In addition, we still have aeronautics, roboitc probes, etc.  So you now see why tough choices have had to be made.
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Offline Jeff Lerner

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #21 on: 04/01/2008 02:28 pm »
How many of these "gap" jobs would be saved if the Shuttle kept flying, say a couple of flights every year from 2011 - 2015 ??....

I know it added expense but if you weigh the cost of unemployment and the impact of thousands unemployed engineers on the economy, might be worthwhile for Congress to come up with money to support a limited but continued Shuttle Extension Program through the gap years.....

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #22 on: 04/01/2008 02:32 pm »
Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  7:46 AM

Before everyone jumps on the anti-Ares bandwagon too much, keep this in mind.  The "gap" was sanctioned by the Administration and was a part of the original VSE speech, which was later endorsed by Congress.  While, the gap was supposed to be 4 years, slips and delays happen and if the Administration and Congress cannot live up to their promises with funding, this was bound to happen anyway completely regardless of any technical development issues that need to be addressed.  

The words used were "no later than 2014".  No later than is not the same as NET.  When assigned a deadline like that, one must come up with a solution that should easily beat that goal such that margin in the schedule remains.  Margin is what is needed to handle slips.  The original architecture had no margin and no chance of meeting that goal.

Griffin failed to recognize this.  These are his own words:

"Our earlier plans called for operational deployment of the CEV not later than 2014. However, given the role of the CEV as a replacement for the Shuttle in providing human access to space, we are now seeking programmatic alternatives to allow development of the CEV to be completed as soon as possible. Acceleration of the CEV program will be accomplished by down-selecting to a single contractor sooner than originally planned, and by deferring other elements of the Exploration Systems Research and Technology plan not required for the CEV or for the early phases of human return to the Moon."

He said "will be accomplished".  Didn't happen.  It had no chance of happening.

Offline JIS

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #23 on: 04/01/2008 02:33 pm »
Quote
Wildthing - 1/4/2008  3:28 PM

How many of these "gap" jobs would be saved if the Shuttle kept flying, say a couple of flights every year from 2011 - 2015 ??....

I know it added expense but if you weigh the cost of unemployment and the impact of thousands unemployed engineers on the economy, might be worthwhile for Congress to come up with money to support a limited but continued Shuttle Extension Program through the gap years.....

As OV-106 said redirecting workload from KSC means people in other states will be employed.
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #24 on: 04/01/2008 02:37 pm »
Quote
Lee Jay - 1/4/2008  9:32 AM

Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  7:46 AM

Before everyone jumps on the anti-Ares bandwagon too much, keep this in mind.  The "gap" was sanctioned by the Administration and was a part of the original VSE speech, which was later endorsed by Congress.  While, the gap was supposed to be 4 years, slips and delays happen and if the Administration and Congress cannot live up to their promises with funding, this was bound to happen anyway completely regardless of any technical development issues that need to be addressed.  

The words used were "no later than 2014".  No later than is not the same as NET.  When assigned a deadline like that, one must come up with a solution that should easily beat that goal such that margin in the schedule remains.  Margin is what is needed to handle slips.  The original architecture had no margin and no chance of meeting that goal.

Griffin failed to recognize this.  These are his own words:

"Our earlier plans called for operational deployment of the CEV not later than 2014. However, given the role of the CEV as a replacement for the Shuttle in providing human access to space, we are now seeking programmatic alternatives to allow development of the CEV to be completed as soon as possible. Acceleration of the CEV program will be accomplished by down-selecting to a single contractor sooner than originally planned, and by deferring other elements of the Exploration Systems Research and Technology plan not required for the CEV or for the early phases of human return to the Moon."

He said "will be accomplished".  Didn't happen.  It had no chance of happening.

You can't have it both ways.  If you also look at the speech it had a funding profile which never materialized.  You can hate Griffin how ever much you want to but if you don't have the money it takes and you were promised you cannot meet the dates.
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Offline MrTim

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #25 on: 04/01/2008 02:38 pm »
Quote
wannamoonbase - 1/4/2008  5:09 AM
Smells a bit like a play to increase funding for Orion and Ares to keep the work force numbers up.
Could be... but I doubt it.
1. Everybody agrees that the ground processing of the shuttle program is one of the reasons it costs so much and must be discontinued. Well, a significant part of that is the people. Orion/Ares was never going to preserve those jobs because doing so would mean the new program had unacceptable fixed costs. We would never be able to afford airline travel if each airliner needed a staff of 8000+ to maintain it between flights. Advocates of other ideas have touted the job-saving nature of those options... but that's another reason why those options were not the ones chosen. This sounds cold, and it is, which is why everybody in government delayed facing it for so long even as they all planned to do it.

2. The administration approved of this plan long ago when it approved of the plan to shift from STS to Cx; The administration might squirm a bit on the politics, but I doubt they'll now throw Griffin over the transom for doing what the administration and congress have jointly pushed him into doing.

3. The congress approved of this plan long ago when it signed-on to the transition and it has deliberately made the problem worse by choosing to make "the gap" longer by underfunding NASA. Congress has been given the chance to reduce the gap (possibly reducing the need to cut as deeply into the workforce during "the gap") and has deliberately chosen not to do so. Oh, they might call him up to the hill and grill him, but they have forced this issue, so it will all be political and for the benefit of the C-SPAN cameras. Mike's a smart guy, so he will understand this as well. Politics is often theater.

People should not be salivating over the prospect that this report will shock the politicians in D.C. and cause Mike Griffin to finally get what some here seem to think is coming to him. I am sure there will be political posturing (particularly by opponents of the administration, and by members of congress from affected districts) but the posturing politicians should be viewed as Capt. Renault in Casablanca when he is "shocked" that gambling is happening in the casino (just before he asks for his winnings). Every member of congress (including Senators Obama, Clinton, and McCain) are in the same rowboat with President Bush on this one; they could have reduced the impact and chose no to. Going forward, they could still reduce the impact and shorten "the gap" with more money, but Bush has submitted his last budget and none of the Senators running for president will spend any time on the matter this year.

I feel for all of those who will be affected, and hope that as many of these jobs as possible will be from people at or close to retirement anyway.

Offline Jim

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #26 on: 04/01/2008 02:40 pm »
Quote
Wildthing - 1/4/2008  10:28 AM

How many of these "gap" jobs would be saved if the Shuttle kept flying, say a couple of flights every year from 2011 - 2015 ??....

I know it added expense but if you weigh the cost of unemployment and the impact of thousands unemployed engineers on the economy, might be worthwhile for Congress to come up with money to support a limited but continued Shuttle Extension Program through the gap years.....

There is no such thing as a 'limited" shuttle program.   The shuttle program costs around 3 billion per year whether it flies or not


Offline Namechange User

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #27 on: 04/01/2008 02:41 pm »
Quote
Wildthing - 1/4/2008  9:28 AM

How many of these "gap" jobs would be saved if the Shuttle kept flying, say a couple of flights every year from 2011 - 2015 ??....

I know it added expense but if you weigh the cost of unemployment and the impact of thousands unemployed engineers on the economy, might be worthwhile for Congress to come up with money to support a limited but continued Shuttle Extension Program through the gap years.....

It's not that simple.  Shuttle ops are essentially a fixed price due to the people you need to employ to support.  Flying only a couple of times a year does not have a significant cost impact.  

The bottom line is more money is needed.  It can be allocated in continuing the shuttle ops and Constellation development independant of that or more money to try to accelerate CxP development and bring it on sooner.

Keeping the shuttle alive with no additional money will just kick the gap down the road but not decrease it.
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Offline psloss

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #28 on: 04/01/2008 02:45 pm »
Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  10:37 AM

You can't have it both ways.  If you also look at the speech it had a funding profile which never materialized.  You can hate Griffin how ever much you want to but if you don't have the money it takes and you were promised you cannot meet the dates.
To embellish this point, look at a Congressional Research Service report that was highlighted by wingod in another thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=12514&start=1

NASAWatch also noted the same report, but for different reasons; more to the point here:
http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2008/04/vse_no_bucks_no.html

Online Chris Bergin

Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #29 on: 04/01/2008 02:54 pm »
Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  3:37 PM
  You can hate Griffin how ever much you want to but if you don't have the money it takes and you were promised you cannot meet the dates.

Careful. Words in people's mouths with the "hate" there ;) I would ban people for saying they "hate" Mr Griffin or anyone, as it would not be becoming of this site's forum.

I have a potential counterpoint/question in relation to the fact that Mr Griffin is responsible for running this agency, and "not having the money" is a not a blanket statement that answers the questions relating to the Agency's ability to carry out a mitigation of the gap problem.

I'm asking the question, rather than making a statement, as I simply do not know, but I remember reading an official report a few years ago that NASA is "saturated" by "civil servants" - and that can't come cheap?

Anyone think there could be a leadership driven change to NASA's structure to allow a realignment of NASA's priorities and spending that would allow "that money they don't have" to reduce the gap. I note leadership, as I know he's not made himself popular with the likes of Sen. Nelson on the decision to thrown a billion at the Russians - directly relating to the gap, rather than using it to mitigate, or bolster COTS.

Sidenote: I do concede that Mr Griffin has already stated that Ares can't be ready before 2014, because of long pole development (J-2X), regardless of cash....so maybe it is the vehicle after all.

Feel free to jump up and down on my head over the above :) But I think there's value in a debate on the related aspects to all of this, rather than throwing URLs to op ed and journalist reports all over this thread (as no one knows better than those involved with the program).

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #30 on: 04/01/2008 03:07 pm »
In my urban geography class we are talking about Florida, specifically south central Florida in the vicinity of Sanford dealing with sprawl and the Florida aquifer. After class I told him about the 6400 job loss, and he seemed stunned.  Also predicted a huge shift ro the service industry and an economic decline.  however since I am scheduled to graduate in 2010, I am seriously considering the future of being an aerospace engineer due to lower jobs and higher competition.

Offline Rob in KC

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #31 on: 04/01/2008 03:08 pm »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 1/4/2008  9:54 AM

I have a potential counterpoint/question in relation to the fact that Mr Griffin is responsible for running this agency, and "not having the money" is a not a blanket statement that answers the questions relating to the Agency's ability to carry out a mitigation of the gap problem.

I'm asking the question, rather than making a statement, as I simply do not know, but I remember reading an official report a few years ago that NASA is "saturated" by "civil servants" - and that can't come cheap?

Anyone think there could be a leadership driven change to NASA's structure to allow a realignment of NASA's priorities and spending that would allow "that money they don't have" to reduce the gap. I note leadership, as I know he's not made himself popular with the likes of Sen. Nelson on the decision to thrown a billion at the Russians - directly relating to the gap, rather than using it to mitigate, or bolster COTS.

Sidenote: I do concede that Mr Griffin has already stated that Ares can't be ready before 2014, because of long pole development (J-2X), regardless of cash....so maybe it is the vehicle after all.

Feel free to jump up and down on my head over the above :) But I think there's value in a debate on the related aspects to all of this, rather than throwing URLs to op ed and journalist reports all over this thread (as no one knows better than those involved with the program).

Interesting curve ball there Chris. Are you talking about it being a better decision to try and reduce the gap with a wide ranging restructuring of NASA?

Offline Namechange User

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #32 on: 04/01/2008 03:11 pm »
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Ronsmytheiii - 1/4/2008  10:07 AM

In my urban geography class we are talking about Florida, specifically south central Florida in the vicinity of Sanford dealing with sprawl and the Florida aquifer. After class I told him about the 6400 job loss, and he seemed stunned.  Also predicted a huge shift ro the service industry and an economic decline.  however since I am scheduled to graduate in 2010, I am seriously considering the future of being an aerospace engineer due to lower jobs and higher competition.

Well you shouldn't fear competetion.  That's real wherever you go.  I'm not sure why you think there are going to be fewer jobs.  If you are determined to be at KSC then you're probably right for the first few years after you graduate.
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #33 on: 04/01/2008 03:20 pm »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 1/4/2008  9:54 AM

Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  3:37 PM
  You can hate Griffin how ever much you want to but if you don't have the money it takes and you were promised you cannot meet the dates.

Careful. Words in people's mouths with the "hate" there ;) I would ban people for saying they "hate" Mr Griffin or anyone, as it would not be becoming of this site's forum.

I have a potential counterpoint/question in relation to the fact that Mr Griffin is responsible for running this agency, and "not having the money" is a not a blanket statement that answers the questions relating to the Agency's ability to carry out a mitigation of the gap problem.

I'm asking the question, rather than making a statement, as I simply do not know, but I remember reading an official report a few years ago that NASA is "saturated" by "civil servants" - and that can't come cheap?

Anyone think there could be a leadership driven change to NASA's structure to allow a realignment of NASA's priorities and spending that would allow "that money they don't have" to reduce the gap. I note leadership, as I know he's not made himself popular with the likes of Sen. Nelson on the decision to thrown a billion at the Russians - directly relating to the gap, rather than using it to mitigate, or bolster COTS.

Sidenote: I do concede that Mr Griffin has already stated that Ares can't be ready before 2014, because of long pole development (J-2X), regardless of cash....so maybe it is the vehicle after all.

Feel free to jump up and down on my head over the above :) But I think there's value in a debate on the related aspects to all of this, rather than throwing URLs to op ed and journalist reports all over this thread (as no one knows better than those involved with the program).

My bad on the "hate" word and for using it but I do get the impression of dislike and disdain which I was trying to address.  

Not having the money is very much a factor in this.  CxP has been around for four years now.  The money we were told we would get never came so I do not see how anyone can expect the original operational dates to be maintained.  You can have the best mitigation plans ever conceived but if you have no way to implement them with any kind of financing they are just hollow.  

It's well known that certain politicians do not care for Griffin.  This is due partially to politics I believe and putting on a show for their constituents.  There is ample blame to go around and Griffin and company can share in that.  However, I think more goes to Congress and the Administration for making promises of funding and never backing it up.  

As for COTS and ISS, Griffin is in a tough situation.  There is and will be an operational station NASA will somehow have to maintain.  Preferably, that would be with COTS but those are high risk items with the potential of never happening.  Russia is a high risk but the hardware is there but the politics are on shakey ground.  What way do you go?  It's a tough call with a already limited and overtaxed agency budget how do you get more money for COTS?  If Congress and the Administration wanted to axe the Russian reliance, they certainly could.  NASA does not have the power to do that or make more money than what they have been allocated.  
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Online Chris Bergin

Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #34 on: 04/01/2008 03:28 pm »
Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  4:20 PM

CxP has been around for four years now. The money we were told we would get never came so I do not see how anyone can expect the original operational dates to be maintained.  You can have the best mitigation plans ever conceived but if you have no way to implement them with any kind of financing they are just hollow.  

Thanks, so that's the kicker. It's a political failure, rather than a management failure?

Offline Namechange User

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #35 on: 04/01/2008 03:54 pm »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 1/4/2008  10:28 AM

Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  4:20 PM

CxP has been around for four years now. The money we were told we would get never came so I do not see how anyone can expect the original operational dates to be maintained.  You can have the best mitigation plans ever conceived but if you have no way to implement them with any kind of financing they are just hollow.  

Thanks, so that's the kicker. It's a political failure, rather than a management failure?

I believe it's a combination but heavy on the political side.
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Offline wingod

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #36 on: 04/01/2008 04:36 pm »
Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  9:37 AM

Quote
Lee Jay - 1/4/2008  9:32 AM

Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  7:46 AM

Before everyone jumps on the anti-Ares bandwagon too much, keep this in mind.  The "gap" was sanctioned by the Administration and was a part of the original VSE speech, which was later endorsed by Congress.  While, the gap was supposed to be 4 years, slips and delays happen and if the Administration and Congress cannot live up to their promises with funding, this was bound to happen anyway completely regardless of any technical development issues that need to be addressed.  

The words used were "no later than 2014".  No later than is not the same as NET.  When assigned a deadline like that, one must come up with a solution that should easily beat that goal such that margin in the schedule remains.  Margin is what is needed to handle slips.  The original architecture had no margin and no chance of meeting that goal.

Griffin failed to recognize this.  These are his own words:

"Our earlier plans called for operational deployment of the CEV not later than 2014. However, given the role of the CEV as a replacement for the Shuttle in providing human access to space, we are now seeking programmatic alternatives to allow development of the CEV to be completed as soon as possible. Acceleration of the CEV program will be accomplished by down-selecting to a single contractor sooner than originally planned, and by deferring other elements of the Exploration Systems Research and Technology plan not required for the CEV or for the early phases of human return to the Moon."

He said "will be accomplished".  Didn't happen.  It had no chance of happening.

You can't have it both ways.  If you also look at the speech it had a funding profile which never materialized.  You can hate Griffin how ever much you want to but if you don't have the money it takes and you were promised you cannot meet the dates.

You need to look to John Marburger's 2006 Goddard Symposium speech to see why NASA did not get the increases that were promised.  It is down toward the end of the speech.  The ESAS architecture ignored economic development of the solar system as a core value and the administration has been unwilling to fund a science project.  Until this seeps into everyone's bones that this is the case, this will continue to happen.



Offline PaulyFirmbiz

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #37 on: 04/01/2008 04:44 pm »
im not an expert.. nor am i gonna sit here and pretend to know the mechanics or fiscal situation of NASA or the related programs.. but i see it this way.. when apollo went offline, it took them what? 6 or 7 years to get back in space rite? wouldnt you think in todays world with todays technology, there would be a way to shortin that gap even with the fiscal moves made by congress? the russians do it far cheaper then we do.. al be it there technology is half the size and provin far longer but it works and its employable by a country whos econimical standing is nothing to ours..

there has to be a logical way to do it.. i personally belive in direct 2.0.. its a shame others at NASA dont.. i think it woulda kept us flying alot quicker and kept alot of those jobs from disapearing..

but thats just my opinion, and please dont take me like i know all the facts hard down or i am a rocket scientist.. im a 25 yr old kid with a serious love for watching these things go up and do what they do...

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #38 on: 04/01/2008 04:55 pm »
Quote
wingod - 1/4/2008  11:36 AM

You need to look to John Marburger's 2006 Goddard Symposium speech to see why NASA did not get the increases that were promised.  It is down toward the end of the speech.  The ESAS architecture ignored economic development of the solar system as a core value and the administration has been unwilling to fund a science project.  Until this seeps into everyone's bones that this is the case, this will continue to happen.



That's a little silly if you believe that is the case.  Economic development can only happen if you have the means to get there.  How can you tout economic development of anything if you don't have the funding to develop the very vehicles baselined to take you there?  

The promised funding never showed up even in the first or second budget after the VSE was announced and endorsed by Congress with the NASA Autorization Act.
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #39 on: 04/01/2008 04:57 pm »
Quote
PaulyFirmbiz - 1/4/2008  11:44 AM

im not an expert.. nor am i gonna sit here and pretend to know the mechanics or fiscal situation of NASA or the related programs.. but i see it this way.. when apollo went offline, it took them what? 6 or 7 years to get back in space rite? wouldnt you think in todays world with todays technology, there would be a way to shortin that gap even with the fiscal moves made by congress? the russians do it far cheaper then we do.. al be it there technology is half the size and provin far longer but it works and its employable by a country whos econimical standing is nothing to ours..

there has to be a logical way to do it.. i personally belive in direct 2.0.. its a shame others at NASA dont.. i think it woulda kept us flying alot quicker and kept alot of those jobs from disapearing..

but thats just my opinion, and please dont take me like i know all the facts hard down or i am a rocket scientist.. im a 25 yr old kid with a serious love for watching these things go up and do what they do...

The reason the Russians do it far cheaper than we do is the difference in their economics and standard of living.
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Offline psloss

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #40 on: 04/01/2008 05:03 pm »
Quote
wingod - 1/4/2008  12:36 PM

You need to look to John Marburger's 2006 Goddard Symposium speech to see why NASA did not get the increases that were promised.  It is down toward the end of the speech.  The ESAS architecture ignored economic development of the solar system as a core value and the administration has been unwilling to fund a science project.  Until this seeps into everyone's bones that this is the case, this will continue to happen.
Do you think with realigned goals that NASA would have evaded the fiscal effects of Hurricane Katrina or the continuing resolutions in FY 2006 and 2007?

Has Marburger offered more overt criticism -- or at least commentary critical of Constellation -- since then?

Thanks.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #41 on: 04/01/2008 05:20 pm »
Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  8:37 AM
You can't have it both ways.  If you also look at the speech it had a funding profile which never materialized.  You can hate Griffin how ever much you want to but if you don't have the money it takes and you were promised you cannot meet the dates.

He's supposed to fit the architecture and project goals to the available time and money, not fit the time and money to the chosen architecture and goals.

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #42 on: 04/01/2008 05:29 pm »
Quote
Lee Jay - 1/4/2008  12:20 PM

Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  8:37 AM
You can't have it both ways.  If you also look at the speech it had a funding profile which never materialized.  You can hate Griffin how ever much you want to but if you don't have the money it takes and you were promised you cannot meet the dates.

He's supposed to fit the architecture and project goals to the available time and money, not fit the time and money to the chosen architecture and goals.

Actually, if had any real experience with this business or project managment you would know that these should be the same.  

And just so you know the funding was quoted and known what was to be requested long before ESAS or the current architecture.  That funding never happened so the point you are attempting to make is invalid.
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Offline Analyst

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #43 on: 04/01/2008 05:37 pm »
People lament about the high costs of the Space Shuttle program. Where do you think this money is going? Not into a big hole or some big companies. People get it. And when this program ends AND there is almost nothing to do in US manned spaceflight launch processing for a long time which gets longer each day, what do you think will all these people do? Correct, nothing. This was clear from the start: Gap means jobs and skills at KSC will be lost, the longer the gap the more.

But hey, where do you think will all the money for these shiny new spacecraft will come from? It is said we can't operate a manned spacecraft and develop a new one in parallel, something I strongly doubt, but people keep saying ("every year of shuttle operation means the gap only moves to the right").

So we will shut down an operating (working and needed) program, cut the operating jobs, hire people for spacecraft development, develop five to ten years, fire these people, hire launch operation people again, lament about the lost skills, operate the new vehicle, after a few decades start the cycle again. Sounds stupid? Because it is. But has been done before and will be again.

Analyst

Offline wingod

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #44 on: 04/01/2008 05:49 pm »
Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  11:55 AM

Quote
wingod - 1/4/2008  11:36 AM

You need to look to John Marburger's 2006 Goddard Symposium speech to see why NASA did not get the increases that were promised.  It is down toward the end of the speech.  The ESAS architecture ignored economic development of the solar system as a core value and the administration has been unwilling to fund a science project.  Until this seeps into everyone's bones that this is the case, this will continue to happen.



That's a little silly if you believe that is the case.  Economic development can only happen if you have the means to get there.  How can you tout economic development of anything if you don't have the funding to develop the very vehicles baselined to take you there?  

The promised funding never showed up even in the first or second budget after the VSE was announced and endorsed by Congress with the NASA Autorization Act.

Silly or not read Marburgers speech and look what happened to DOE and NSF funding, both of which he said would be higher priorities than NASA.  Their funding went up a lot more than NASA's.

Until you start looking at the reality of these things instead of relying your preconceptions this is going to continue to happen.  It was obvious the day that it came out that the ESAS architecture was a rocket scientist's plaything and not a serious attempt to carry out what the President spoke about in the VSE speech.



Offline Namechange User

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #45 on: 04/01/2008 05:50 pm »
Quote
Analyst - 1/4/2008  12:37 PM

People lament about the high costs of the Space Shuttle program. Where do you think this money is going? Not into a big hole or some big companies. People get it. And when this program ends AND there is almost nothing to do in US manned spaceflight launch processing for a long time which gets longer each day, what do you think will all these people do? Correct, nothing. This was clear from the start: Gap means jobs and skills at KSC will be lost, the longer the gap the more.

But hey, where do you think will all the money for these shiny new spacecraft will come from? It is said we can't operate a manned spacecraft and develop a new one in parallel, something I strongly doubt, but people keep saying ("every year of shuttle operation means the gap only moves to the right").

So we will shut down an operating (working and needed) program, cut the operating jobs, hire people for spacecraft development, develop five to ten years, fire these people, hire launch operation people again, lament about the lost skills, operate the new vehicle, after a few decades start the cycle again. Sounds stupid? Because it is. But has been done before and will be again.

Analyst

Ding, ding, ding.  We have a winner.
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Offline wingod

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #46 on: 04/01/2008 05:55 pm »
Quote
psloss - 1/4/2008  12:03 PM

Quote
wingod - 1/4/2008  12:36 PM

You need to look to John Marburger's 2006 Goddard Symposium speech to see why NASA did not get the increases that were promised.  It is down toward the end of the speech.  The ESAS architecture ignored economic development of the solar system as a core value and the administration has been unwilling to fund a science project.  Until this seeps into everyone's bones that this is the case, this will continue to happen.
Do you think with realigned goals that NASA would have evaded the fiscal effects of Hurricane Katrina or the continuing resolutions in FY 2006 and 2007?

Has Marburger offered more overt criticism -- or at least commentary critical of Constellation -- since then?

Thanks.

Look at his 2008 speech at the Goddard Symposium where he reiterated what he said in 2006.  The problem is that this entire dance has been danced before in the early 90's.  No coordination between the White House and NASA after O'Keefe  left and NASA went their own way as before, with the same results coming to a channel near you soon.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #47 on: 04/01/2008 05:57 pm »
Quote
Analyst - 1/4/2008  6:37 PM

People lament about the high costs of the Space Shuttle program. Where do you think this money is going? Not into a big hole or some big companies. People get it. And when this program ends AND there is almost nothing to do in US manned spaceflight launch processing for a long time which gets longer each day, what do you think will all these people do? Correct, nothing. This was clear from the start: Gap means jobs and skills at KSC will be lost, the longer the gap the more.

But hey, where do you think will all the money for these shiny new spacecraft will come from? It is said we can't operate a manned spacecraft and develop a new one in parallel, something I strongly doubt, but people keep saying ("every year of shuttle operation means the gap only moves to the right").

So we will shut down an operating (working and needed) program, cut the operating jobs, hire people for spacecraft development, develop five to ten years, fire these people, hire launch operation people again, lament about the lost skills, operate the new vehicle, after a few decades start the cycle again. Sounds stupid? Because it is. But has been done before and will be again.

Analyst

And therein lies the problem of the gap. Nicely worded.

Offline Smatcha

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #48 on: 04/01/2008 05:57 pm »
Hopefully this is just one big April Fools joke.  Okay you got us Mike, ha ha ha..  I’ll just go back to your statement when you rolled out ESAS after you knew the budget was not increasing, almost three years ago I might add.

NASA HEADQUARTERS
NEWS CONFERENCE
MIKE GRIFFIN, NASA ADMINISTRATOR
DEAN ACOSTA, MODERATOR
EXPLORATION SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE STUDY
SEPTEMBER 19, 2005

http://www.nasa.gov/news/speeches/admin/mg_speech_collection_archive_4.html

Page 13

“It (referring to the ESAS plan) provides an orderly transition of the space shuttle workforce. We estimate that we can use about 85 percent of the facilities that are in play today for the space shuttle.” – Mike Griffin

It would seem to me that since we are now basically gutting both KSC and MAF of all pesky STS hardware and infrastructure we might be just bit below your 85% preservation mark at this point don’t you think?.  Any chance that this could be one of the reasons we need to decimate the STS workforce in order to out do Wernher Von Braun’s Saturn V.  Sorry, with the upgrade to Ares-6 in the wings I mean out do the Nova.

Well at least we are preserving those SRB steel cases.  That must represent at least 0.0001% of the STS hardware cost so we got that going for us under your plan which is nice.  Oh that’s right, with the yet to be announced modifications to the Ares-I even those are gone bringing us to exactly 0% STS hardware and infrastructure retention.  And they said a STS derived launch system could never achieve a 0% retention rate of STS hardware and infrastructure by definition.  How wrong those nay-sayers are.

All you KSC and MAF employees in the cross hairs of ESAS.  Now would be a good time to write your representatives on any alternate plans you may know about that could spare you this pain.  Like DIRECT, that get us back to the ISS by 2012, actually finishes the ISS, performs an Apollo-8 mission by 2014, all while solving the Mars sample return mass problems and enabling us to placing telescope capable of directly resolving ‘other’ Earths.

Or we could just stick to ESAS where everyone leaves their house key in the door all to field a system that is less capable and more expensive than what routinely takes off from Cape Canaveral right now.

Now…………
“Do we want to go to the moon or not?”
John C. Houbolt - November 15, 1961
Question posed in Letter to Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, NASA Associate Administrator

Ralph Ellison “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest”




Offline Lee Jay

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #49 on: 04/01/2008 05:59 pm »
Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  11:29 AM

Quote
Lee Jay - 1/4/2008  12:20 PM

Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  8:37 AM
You can't have it both ways.  If you also look at the speech it had a funding profile which never materialized.  You can hate Griffin how ever much you want to but if you don't have the money it takes and you were promised you cannot meet the dates.

He's supposed to fit the architecture and project goals to the available time and money, not fit the time and money to the chosen architecture and goals.

Actually, if had any real experience with this business or project managment you would know that these should be the same.  

And just so you know the funding was quoted and known what was to be requested long before ESAS or the current architecture.  That funding never happened so the point you are attempting to make is invalid.

The point I'm attempting to make is 2014 is unacceptable, and the architecture chosen requires way too many engine (3) and stage (4) developments to take a reasonable period of time and money.  Complaining that Congress didn't provide the needed funding is completely ridiculous because no one really ever expected them to in the first place, and so they should have chosen an architecture that required less development - i.e. more Shuttle-derived as was the intent of Congress in the first place.  As soon as they knew 2012 was unattainable under any realistic anticipated funding scenario, they should have begun looking for architectures that had fewer engine and stage developments.  That point was virtually at the beginning of the program.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #50 on: 04/01/2008 06:00 pm »
Actually, before this turns into a Direct thread, might be an idea to start up a related thread on the alternative section......

Offline psloss

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #51 on: 04/01/2008 06:20 pm »
Quote
Analyst - 1/4/2008  1:37 PM

It is said we can't operate a manned spacecraft and develop a new one in parallel, something I strongly doubt, but people keep saying ("every year of shuttle operation means the gap only moves to the right").
It's not that "we" can't.  We don't.  We could spend one percent on space, but we choose not to, on an annual basis.  There's no law saying NASA's budget has to be a zero-sum game, but it is right now and has been for a long time and that's a choice that occurs on an annual basis, too.

Shuttle operations is projected to be about $3B in FY 2010.  Where is that money going to come from?

Offline Coolhand77

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #52 on: 04/01/2008 06:53 pm »
Reference Chart 22 of the Workforce Transition Strategy Briefing (5.5 Mb PDF) for numbers of jobs at the various centers.
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/transition/home/index.html

Offline Paul Adams

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #53 on: 04/01/2008 06:55 pm »
Right on the Money!!!!
Quote
OV-106 - 1/4/2008  1:50 PM

Quote
Analyst - 1/4/2008  12:37 PM

People lament about the high costs of the Space Shuttle program. Where do you think this money is going? Not into a big hole or some big companies. People get it. And when this program ends AND there is almost nothing to do in US manned spaceflight launch processing for a long time which gets longer each day, what do you think will all these people do? Correct, nothing. This was clear from the start: Gap means jobs and skills at KSC will be lost, the longer the gap the more.

But hey, where do you think will all the money for these shiny new spacecraft will come from? It is said we can't operate a manned spacecraft and develop a new one in parallel, something I strongly doubt, but people keep saying ("every year of shuttle operation means the gap only moves to the right").

So we will shut down an operating (working and needed) program, cut the operating jobs, hire people for spacecraft development, develop five to ten years, fire these people, hire launch operation people again, lament about the lost skills, operate the new vehicle, after a few decades start the cycle again. Sounds stupid? Because it is. But has been done before and will be again.

Analyst

Ding, ding, ding.  We have a winner.
It's all in the data.

Offline Analyst

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #54 on: 04/01/2008 07:11 pm »
Quote
The ESAS architecture ignored economic development of the solar system as a core value and the administration has been unwilling to fund a science project. Until this seeps into everyone's bones that this is the case, this will continue to happen.

This is the part I never got: “Economic development of the solar system”. I still don’t and probably will never get it.

What do you want to do “in the solar system” to make a profit? Because this is what "economic" means in the end (at least within the lifetime of the investor): profit. This profit - and with it the economic development - is soooo far into the future, we all born and living today will never see it. Everything economically useful will center arround earth, as all (few) current commercial space activities do (communication, earth observing, etc.). Because the people using and paying for these services live on earth, not on the Moon or elsewhere in the solar system. And the verse will stay this way for a long time. Noone there, noone benefitting, noone paying. Other than scientific interest, there is no reason for spaceflight - manned or unmanned - beyond the sphere of earth, where people live, can use it and pay for it.

The same can be said about the “national security argument”. Military satellites in earth orbit effect people on earth, may decide wars on earth. This is not true for satellites arround Mars or elesewhere. Because there is noone who can enjoy any security beyond earth and therefore noone pays for it.

So for a very long time - at least a decade, maybe longer - the economic development of the solar system is not possible and can’t be almost by definition. And national security is not enhanced by going to the moon, Mars and beyond (Maybe indirect, but this could be (and has been and still is) achieved much cheaper by dedicated development projects).

So all what remains is science. And if the administration is unwilling to fund a science project, there will be nothing done in space beyond the sphere of earth. Apollo was a one time event, there will never be another Apollo – on steroids or not.

Analyst

Offline kraisee

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #55 on: 04/01/2008 07:30 pm »
Analyst, thats really a topic for a different thread, but I tend to agree.   There isn't much commercially viable use for space yet beyond what we already use it for (communications, tourists, science) - at least not for a while.

But it *will* come eventually.

And an exploration program like Apollo, and now Constellation, represents the "Lewis & Clark" first steps into the unknown - the steps upon which all future expansion will be based.

It took a long time after L&C before real "commercially viable" ventures got established in the US interior.   It will be the same here - just with a longer time-frame.  Give it 100 years and we will have mining of the moon and asteroids.   By then we should have a solid infrastructure below allowing *lots* of space work and payload, and that's when the costs come down considerably.

100 years from now the economy of the space program could be very different from today, and could be far more "viable" for commercial exploitation.

But any further discussion probably needs its own thread...

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Norm Hartnett

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #56 on: 04/01/2008 07:41 pm »
Quote
Analyst - 1/4/2008  10:37 AM

It is said we can't operate a manned spacecraft and develop a new one in parallel, something I strongly doubt, but people keep saying ("every year of shuttle operation means the gap only moves to the right").

Analyst

Quote
wingod - 1/4/2008  10:49 AM

Until you start looking at the reality of these things instead of relying your preconceptions this is going to continue to happen.  It was obvious the day that it came out that the ESAS architecture was a rocket scientist's plaything and not a serious attempt to carry out what the President spoke about in the VSE speech.


Quote
Analyst - 1/4/2008  12:11 PM

Quote
The ESAS architecture ignored economic development of the solar system as a core value and the administration has been unwilling to fund a science project. Until this seeps into everyone's bones that this is the case, this will continue to happen.

This is the part I never got: “Economic development of the solar system”. I still don’t and probably will never get it.

So for a very long time - at least a decade, maybe longer - the economic development of the solar system is not possible and can’t be almost by definition. And national security is not enhanced by going to the moon, Mars and beyond (Maybe indirect, but this could be (and has been and still is) achieved much cheaper by dedicated development projects).

So all what remains is science. And if the administration is unwilling to fund a science project, there will be nothing done in space beyond the sphere of earth. Apollo was a one time event, there will never be another Apollo – on steroids or not.

Analyst

ARRRRG!!!

 Please look at the quote in my signature. The VSE challenged NASA to break the mold and begin to design a sustainable space program. What we got was “Apollo on Steroids”. What we got was the same old cycle of big, expensive, programs that do not think beyond the next 20-30 years with no chance of sustainability. Does the Constellation program tell us when the moon base expands to 8 men? 16? 32? 10,000? It is a dead end, just like Apollo, STS, ISS.
It will be fifty years by the time man once again sets foot on the moon and what will we have to show for that fifty years?
“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 Norm Hartnett

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #57 on: 04/01/2008 09:23 pm »
Here is how it should be done.

http://www.google.com/virgle/index.html
“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 psloss

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #58 on: 04/01/2008 09:27 pm »
Quote
Norm Hartnett - 1/4/2008  5:23 PM

Here is how it should be done.

http://www.google.com/virgle/index.html
The idea is likely to get lost in the joke.

Offline psloss

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #59 on: 04/01/2008 09:39 pm »
Congressman Weldon's press release:
http://weldon.house.gov/News/DocumentPrint.aspx?DocumentID=87528

And the (unchanged) state of play with the bill he introduced around Christmastime:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HR04837:@@@X

Offline jcopella

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #60 on: 04/01/2008 09:59 pm »
Quote
psloss - 1/4/2008  5:27 PM

Quote
Norm Hartnett - 1/4/2008  5:23 PM

Here is how it should be done.

http://www.google.com/virgle/index.html
The idea is likely to get lost in the joke.

If it was anybody but Branson.

I suspect he'll end up having the last laugh.
"I don't think the country is really going to realize what a good deal that we had in the space shuttle until we don't have it anymore." -- Wayne Hale

Offline psloss

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #61 on: 04/01/2008 10:20 pm »
Quote
jcopella - 1/4/2008  5:59 PM

If it was anybody but Branson.

I suspect he'll end up having the last laugh.
Sure got the first one.

Offline wingod

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #62 on: 04/01/2008 11:41 pm »
Quote
Analyst - 1/4/2008  2:11 PM

Quote
The ESAS architecture ignored economic development of the solar system as a core value and the administration has been unwilling to fund a science project. Until this seeps into everyone's bones that this is the case, this will continue to happen.

This is the part I never got: “Economic development of the solar system”. I still don’t and probably will never get it.

What do you want to do “in the solar system” to make a profit? Because this is what "economic" means in the end (at least within the lifetime of the investor): profit. This profit - and with it the economic development - is soooo far into the future, we all born and living today will never see it. Everything economically useful will center arround earth, as all (few) current commercial space activities do (communication, earth observing, etc.). Because the people using and paying for these services live on earth, not on the Moon or elsewhere in the solar system. And the verse will stay this way for a long time. Noone there, noone benefitting, noone paying. Other than scientific interest, there is no reason for spaceflight - manned or unmanned - beyond the sphere of earth, where people live, can use it and pay for it.

The same can be said about the “national security argument”. Military satellites in earth orbit effect people on earth, may decide wars on earth. This is not true for satellites arround Mars or elesewhere. Because there is noone who can enjoy any security beyond earth and therefore noone pays for it.

So for a very long time - at least a decade, maybe longer - the economic development of the solar system is not possible and can’t be almost by definition. And national security is not enhanced by going to the moon, Mars and beyond (Maybe indirect, but this could be (and has been and still is) achieved much cheaper by dedicated development projects).

So all what remains is science. And if the administration is unwilling to fund a science project, there will be nothing done in space beyond the sphere of earth. Apollo was a one time event, there will never be another Apollo – on steroids or not.

Analyst

Not possible according to whom?  The very first step in that is already underway with the teams who are competing for the google x prize.  That aside, if NASA had done what they were told, and focused on economic activity then the "Architecture" would have ISRU as a central piece of the system.  There is no contradiction here in that originally it was the U.S. government that paid for the development of the panama canal (support trade), the "National" railroad of the 1860's and even the Interstate highway system today (along with Airports).

The common thread is infrastructure.  Unfortunately the ESAS architecture, if economic development is your goal, is the worst possible architecture.  As Boeing and other folks have shown, even it could be improved with a LEO propellant depot (economic activity) an L1 facility, or to bring private enterprise in for the ISRU system.  This is not that much different than COTS and anyone who says that ISRU is not possible, has simply not studied the problem.

The first step in this process is defining economic activity as a goal.  That has been done and NASA completely dropped the ball on the implementation.



Offline Avron

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #63 on: 04/02/2008 01:46 am »
this is all very sad..  I hope they the Gov. will put and end to outsourcing to every other nation on the planet, so that these folks have options.

It would also help if the public was behind the program, like with Apollo.
Clearly there are issues with the current admin and vehicle selection, so as to cause this and still leave a nation without assured access to space.. it just Stinks.

How I would be absolutely trilled if another option could be imposed (if that is what is takes) to prevent such carnage and end with another set of moon landings in my lifetime..

I would hate to see the impact assessment of job losses on the rest of the  suppliers/ vendors to the STS system.. its not a good time for this to be happing, yes there is a time for it.. but now?

Online edkyle99

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #64 on: 04/02/2008 02:10 am »
Quote
psloss - 1/4/2008  9:13 AM

Quote
JIS - 1/4/2008  10:02 AM

Can anybody explain me where all those money end up? Thousands of lost jobs means a lot of spare money every month. Unless they are going to pay hughe pensions and compensations.
It looks like they are redirecting workload from KSC.
I would presume that the document scheduled to be released in about three hours might address that, but you might also look at the NASA budget documentation:
http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/

For example, looking at the FY 2009 budget request, it looks like almost the entire shuttle operations budget is "moved" to Exploration / Constellation systems:
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/210019main_NASA_FY09_Budget_Estimates.pdf

This tells part of the tale.  Shuttle was a partially reusable system, which required labor at KSC to turn around the "reusable" part of the system.  Orion/Ares will be a mostly expendable system, which will require a larger percentage of the funding to be directed away from KSC, to the places that will repeatedly build the "expendable" parts of the system.  The total pie may be smaller too, but of the pie that remains, KSC would seem to chew on a smaller slice.  

Today, for example, I visited the Titan Missile Museum, south of Tucson, AZ.  The Titan II ICBM silos, the superb tour guides told us, were constantly manned by a crew of four (per missile, each with one warhead).  Today, Minuteman III missiles use a crew of only two, who control ten missiles fitted with a total of up to 30 warheads.  

Progress came to the now-museum Titan silo two decades ago.  KSC is about to be visited by the same inevitable force.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline BeanEstimator

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #65 on: 04/02/2008 03:38 am »
Can I ask a question here - are we all upset at the fact that there are job losses?  Or are we upset at the number of job losses?  Or is it some other sort of frustration (don't like VSE, don't like Ares, etc)?

IMHO, it's real simple - Cx has to be cheaper than Shuttle to operate.  Otherwise there is no $ for Lunar Development.  Or the $ that are there, severely impact schedule and capability.  You could also say Cx has to be cheaper than Shuttle because "collective wisdom" tells us Shuttle was too expensive to operate.  YMMV there, but there does seem to be a current flowing against the "high" costs of Shuttle operation (regardless of whether you fly once or 4 times a year).  For reference, you could ballpark Shuttle Ops in a given FY at approx 3.3-4.0B.  (if someone has better numbers then so be it)

Cost for NASA is not a materials game.  It's a people and facilities game. (even with the 'unobtanium')

If GO is to get cheaper, they must get the job done with less people.  

To me the answer would be the same regardless of architecture (DIRECT, EELV, or otherwise)...why?  Because the challenge would be the same: reduce operations cost - either through people or facilities.  I don't think you can really expect to just "do something for cheaper".  Either you are doing less, or using less.  That's how you make the biggest impact on cost overall.
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Offline wingod

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #66 on: 04/02/2008 03:51 am »
Quote
BeanEstimator - 1/4/2008  10:38 PM

Can I ask a question here - are we all upset at the fact that there are job losses?  Or are we upset at the number of job losses?  Or is it some other sort of frustration (don't like VSE, don't like Ares, etc)?

IMHO, it's real simple - Cx has to be cheaper than Shuttle to operate.  Otherwise there is no $ for Lunar Development.  Or the $ that are there, severely impact schedule and capability.  You could also say Cx has to be cheaper than Shuttle because "collective wisdom" tells us Shuttle was too expensive to operate.  YMMV there, but there does seem to be a current flowing against the "high" costs of Shuttle operation (regardless of whether you fly once or 4 times a year).  For reference, you could ballpark Shuttle Ops in a given FY at approx 3.3-4.0B.  (if someone has better numbers then so be it)

Cost for NASA is not a materials game.  It's a people and facilities game. (even with the 'unobtanium')

If GO is to get cheaper, they must get the job done with less people.  

To me the answer would be the same regardless of architecture (DIRECT, EELV, or otherwise)...why?  Because the challenge would be the same: reduce operations cost - either through people or facilities.  I don't think you can really expect to just "do something for cheaper".  Either you are doing less, or using less.  That's how you make the biggest impact on cost overall.

I wonder about this.  With the expending of just about everything on the Ares 1/Orion system  will it really be cheaper than a Shuttle launch?  A number that I have seen here of $183M dollars for a launch strains credibility as an EELV heavy is more than that and there is no expendable CEV.  I doubt seriously that the cost per flight is going to be less than $500M dollars in the absolute worst case and that does not included the fixed overhead.  Also, what about the fixed overhead at the contractor facilities that are building these things.   Additionally, the ISS version is not the same hardware anymore as the Lunar version so there is a few billion extra DDT&E that was not accounted for before.





Online edkyle99

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #67 on: 04/02/2008 05:01 am »
Quote
wingod - 1/4/2008  10:51 PM

With the expending of just about everything on the Ares 1/Orion system  will it really be cheaper than a Shuttle launch?  A number that I have seen here of $183M dollars for a launch strains credibility .....

NASA is only planning two Ares I/Orion missions per year.  The Agency would have to cut its annual human spaceflight program budget by a factor of 2.0-2.5 for it to be able to even *match* the current per-mission cost of the shuttle program.  It is possible, and perhaps even likely, that NASA's total annual human spaceflight budget will decline even while per-mission costs climb substantially.  

These Ares I/Orion missions seem almost certain to exceed $1 billion per flight.  Some are suggesting that they might cost more than $2 billion per flight.  

 - Ed Kyle

Offline BeanEstimator

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #68 on: 04/02/2008 05:30 am »
Quote
wingod - 1/4/2008  8:51 PM

I wonder about this.  With the expending of just about everything on the Ares 1/Orion system  will it really be cheaper than a Shuttle launch?  A number that I have seen here of $183M dollars for a launch strains credibility as an EELV heavy is more than that and there is no expendable CEV.  I doubt seriously that the cost per flight is going to be less than $500M dollars in the absolute worst case and that does not included the fixed overhead.  Also, what about the fixed overhead at the contractor facilities that are building these things.   Additionally, the ISS version is not the same hardware anymore as the Lunar version so there is a few billion extra DDT&E that was not accounted for before.

Totally understand where you are coming from...it is the logical extension of the discussion.

If we now agree that GO is being told to "get cheap", and if "getting cheap" means focusing on people and facilities - then the jobs going are a foregone conclusion.  Ok so moving on...  

What remains to be seen is whether or not the operations cost of Cx (Ares I/Orion) will, in fact, be lower than Shuttle.  Additionally, it is unknown as to whether the Cx Ops costs will hit their "target" (i.e. reduce Shuttle costs by, for example, 20%).

Speculate away!
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Offline wingod

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #69 on: 04/02/2008 05:33 am »
Quote
edkyle99 - 1/4/2008  12:01 AM

Quote
wingod - 1/4/2008  10:51 PM

With the expending of just about everything on the Ares 1/Orion system  will it really be cheaper than a Shuttle launch?  A number that I have seen here of $183M dollars for a launch strains credibility .....

NASA is only planning two Ares I/Orion missions per year.  The Agency would have to cut its annual human spaceflight program budget by a factor of 2.0-2.5 for it to be able to even *match* the current per-mission cost of the shuttle program.  It is possible, and perhaps even likely, that NASA's total annual human spaceflight budget will decline even while per-mission costs climb substantially.  

These Ares I/Orion missions seem almost certain to exceed $1 billion per flight.  Some are suggesting that they might cost more than $2 billion per flight.  

 - Ed Kyle

Ed

Yep, that is my bet as well.


Offline Analyst

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #70 on: 04/02/2008 07:32 am »
Sorry wingod, but you are still missing the point.

Quote
That aside, if NASA had done what they were told, and focused on economic activity then the "Architecture" would have ISRU as a central piece of the system.

And who would use (buy) this propellant? The government conducting very few missions to the moon, Mars or beyond. Noone who finally makes a profit nor the military. Because there will be noone who is benefitting. It will still be Boeing, LM, SpaceX or whoever selling their services to the government, just not on earth.

Quote
There is no contradiction here in that originally it was the U.S. government that paid for the development of the panama canal (support trade), the "National" railroad of the 1860's and even the Interstate highway system today (along with Airports).

All these earthbound analogies are very bad. There were private people/companies with ships, railroad cars, automobiles doing the transportation business before all these projects started. There has been a demand to ship goods arround Cape Horn or across the continent and this transportation has been done long before these projects started. Because there were people living at these places, paying for these services. These government funded projects made the transportation business - which has already been there and making profits - easier, cheaper, faster etc.

Spaceflight beyond the sphere of earth is totally different: There are (and for a very long time won’t) be people paying for any service. (There are still no people at the south pole who pay for being there.) There is no business other than government sponsored science, which is no business making a profit.

Your analogy may work for transportation into earth orbit: There are already (limited) businesses (communication, earth observing, etc.), paid for by users living on earth. These businesses would probably expand with lower transportation (aka launch costs) costs into earth orbit. Enter cheaper launch vehicles, which probably have to be reuseable to be cheaper. But the “enabeler” government is turning away from RLVs, because the first and only try did not meet all expectations. As bad as anologies are, it’s like stopping building the national railrod when raching the Rockies. The government fails to help the (few) private businesses existing to make their business easier, cheaper, faster etc.

Quote
This is not that much different than COTS and anyone who says that ISRU is not possible, has simply not studied the problem.

The buyer of COTS services will be the government, as will the buyer of propellant on the moon, Mars or beyond. This may be different with a propellant depot in LEO: Existing businesses (communication or earth observing satellite companies) may buy the fuel too. But the government can support these depots in LEO without going to the moon, Mars or beyond. Should they still go - something I really hope - they do it for science (forget prestige, this worked only once for Apollo), not for economic reasons nor for national security.

Quote
The first step in this process is defining economic activity as a goal. That has been done and NASA completely dropped the ball on the implementation.

No, this has not been done, it has been said. But talk is cheap. There is no definition of what this activity will be, who will use and pay and who will turn a profit. Just because there is noone nor will be beyond the sphere of earth.

Quote
These Ares I/Orion missions seem almost certain to exceed $1 billion per flight. Some are suggesting that they might cost more than $2 billion per flight.

True, sadly. And the bad reusable Shuttle will be cheap in retrospect – well, you can calculate it today already – despite offering much more capabilities.

You can’t go to the moon on a LEO budget and so will remain in LEO. You will end up with less for more or the same money. Someday people will ask why this and maybe the next cycle will bring RLVs back. Because they worked, were less expensive for human spaceflight despite being first generation, and can help existing businesses within the sphere or earth, where people are, where profits can be made.

Analyst

Offline wingod

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #71 on: 04/02/2008 03:08 pm »
Quote
Analyst - 2/4/2008  2:32 AM

Sorry wingod, but you are still missing the point.

Quote
That aside, if NASA had done what they were told, and focused on economic activity then the "Architecture" would have ISRU as a central piece of the system.

And who would use (buy) this propellant? The government conducting very few missions to the moon, Mars or beyond. Noone who finally makes a profit nor the military. Because there will be noone who is benefitting. It will still be Boeing, LM, SpaceX or whoever selling their services to the government, just not on earth.

Quote
There is no contradiction here in that originally it was the U.S. government that paid for the development of the panama canal (support trade), the "National" railroad of the 1860's and even the Interstate highway system today (along with Airports).

All these earthbound analogies are very bad. There were private people/companies with ships, railroad cars, automobiles doing the transportation business before all these projects started. There has been a demand to ship goods arround Cape Horn or across the continent and this transportation has been done long before these projects started. Because there were people living at these places, paying for these services. These government funded projects made the transportation business - which has already been there and making profits - easier, cheaper, faster etc.

Spaceflight beyond the sphere of earth is totally different: There are (and for a very long time won’t) be people paying for any service. (There are still no people at the south pole who pay for being there.) There is no business other than government sponsored science, which is no business making a profit.

Your analogy may work for transportation into earth orbit: There are already (limited) businesses (communication, earth observing, etc.), paid for by users living on earth. These businesses would probably expand with lower transportation (aka launch costs) costs into earth orbit. Enter cheaper launch vehicles, which probably have to be reuseable to be cheaper. But the “enabeler” government is turning away from RLVs, because the first and only try did not meet all expectations. As bad as anologies are, it’s like stopping building the national railrod when raching the Rockies. The government fails to help the (few) private businesses existing to make their business easier, cheaper, faster etc.

Quote
This is not that much different than COTS and anyone who says that ISRU is not possible, has simply not studied the problem.

The buyer of COTS services will be the government, as will the buyer of propellant on the moon, Mars or beyond. This may be different with a propellant depot in LEO: Existing businesses (communication or earth observing satellite companies) may buy the fuel too. But the government can support these depots in LEO without going to the moon, Mars or beyond. Should they still go - something I really hope - they do it for science (forget prestige, this worked only once for Apollo), not for economic reasons nor for national security.

Quote
The first step in this process is defining economic activity as a goal. That has been done and NASA completely dropped the ball on the implementation.

No, this has not been done, it has been said. But talk is cheap. There is no definition of what this activity will be, who will use and pay and who will turn a profit. Just because there is noone nor will be beyond the sphere of earth.

Quote
These Ares I/Orion missions seem almost certain to exceed $1 billion per flight. Some are suggesting that they might cost more than $2 billion per flight.

True, sadly. And the bad reusable Shuttle will be cheap in retrospect – well, you can calculate it today already – despite offering much more capabilities.

You can’t go to the moon on a LEO budget and so will remain in LEO. You will end up with less for more or the same money. Someday people will ask why this and maybe the next cycle will bring RLVs back. Because they worked, were less expensive for human spaceflight despite being first generation, and can help existing businesses within the sphere or earth, where people are, where profits can be made.

Analyst

I would submit that it is you that is missing the point.  If you look around at the space world today, you see a system that is dysfunctional to an extreme.  From a $2 billion dollar Mars Science Laboratory, to a $12 billion dollar NPOESS (it started at $5 billion).  You see a system that is groaning under the weight of its own antiquity.  The U.S. defense budget for space is darn near has high as NASA's budget but as a friend of mine in the USAF said a couple of years ago, "in aggregate we are 23 years behind schedule and $78 billion dollars over budget".  

The current processes, methods, and manufacturing base is geared toward a system that is over 40 years old, that cannot be expanded to meet the dramatically different operational requirements that we have today vs the 1960's.  Your thinking is what I quoted in a chapter that I wrote for the National Defense University called a "Geocentric mindset".  This mindset is defined as only looking at the issue of National Space Power theory as a fully earth centric viewpoint.  This viewpoint was put into place in concrete it seems during the McNamara era where he banned anything other than remote sensing and communications as "destabilizing" within the context of the cold war.

Space is larger than NASA's puny efforts at this time and the requirements of the nation in space are far larger than what the system can support today.  Therefore, we must look beyond today's solutions and bring about a new system that can support a much higher NASA, Defense, and Commercial operational tempo.  You simply cannot do that with the current system.  So, what is the solution.  The first solution set is what we called "Ubiquitous Space Operations" defined as the ability to go anywhere and do anything, first in Cislunar space.

You say that there is no need for propellant in space, I beg to differ.  Just this month another $400 million dollar commercial spacecraft was stranded (AMC-14) in a bad orbit.  A low cost propellant capability would spawn a low cost means of rescuing that bird and putting it into a bad orbit.  This happens pretty regularly, about once every 18 months to 2 years.  This puts a LOT of stress on the global insurance market, raising rates, which eventually trickles down to your cable or satellite TV bill.

A couple of years ago, the first FIA launch by the defense department failed on orbit due to a software error.  A robust propellant delivery system would have enabled a servicing craft to go up to that satellite, interface to it, and reboot the darn thing, which was the only problem.  That loss was $2 billion for the spacecraft and about $7 billion for the DDT&E for it.  On top of  that we had to make global news and reveal an operational anti satellite capability, which cost another $60 million dollars just to shoot that bird down.

This is just scratching the surface of the costs that our current everything from the Earth mentality is imposing on the space business.

We now have a beautiful, gleaming space station that can be the springboard in LEO to move outward, first to the Moon, then backwards to GEO (it is less expensive energetically to go to GEO from the Moon than from LEO), then to cover the entire cislunar operational sphere.  This can be done at no more than the current budget for ESAS and you have the temerity to suggest that I am missing the point?

With a robust space operational system such as the implementation of Ubiquitous Space Operations, those jobs at KSC would not be going away, and indeed the space industry would be on the beginning of a growth curve that would last for centuries.

I will take my version of reality over yours any day of the week.



Offline AresWatcher

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #72 on: 04/02/2008 04:22 pm »
How many workers does 25 percent represent (the retiring guys)?
"One Percent for Space"

Offline Jim

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #73 on: 04/02/2008 04:27 pm »
Around 2000

Offline Norm Hartnett

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #74 on: 04/02/2008 04:51 pm »
Just to interject a little dose of reality here,
Quote
Through the first quarter 2008, job cuts totaled 200,656, up 2.4 percent from the 195,986 cuts in the same period in 2007.
In the greater scheme of things 9,000 jobs over a three year period is a drop in the bucket.

“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 Lee Jay

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #75 on: 04/02/2008 05:12 pm »
Quote
Norm Hartnett - 2/4/2008  10:51 AM

Just to interject a little dose of reality here,
Quote
Through the first quarter 2008, job cuts totaled 200,656, up 2.4 percent from the 195,986 cuts in the same period in 2007.
In the greater scheme of things 9,000 jobs over a three year period is a drop in the bucket.

You have to be very careful about these numbers.  Many of these are short-term employees whose employment ends (for example, acting troop whose run of a certain play finishes).  Also, these are distributed around the country, not concentrated in a single location.  Losing long-term high-paying jobs from a single location is way, way different than losing short-term possibly lower-paying jobs in a distributed manner.

Offline Analyst

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #76 on: 04/02/2008 05:23 pm »
wingod, some thoughts about your post:

Quote
If you look around at the space world today, you see a system that is dysfunctional to an extreme. From a $2 billion dollar Mars Science Laboratory, to a $12 billion dollar NPOESS (it started at $5 billion). You see a system that is groaning under the weight of its own antiquity.

I am sure improvements are needed and possible. But why isn’t the private, economic, profit making sector using this big opportunitiy you state and is doing better? Spaceflight is not easy or simple.

Quote
"Geocentric mindset"

Because there is noone beyond this earth, nor are there resources we are even remotely capable (technically and cost effective) nor in need of using. And this stays true for a long time to come: Generations.

Quote
Space is larger than NASA's puny efforts at this time and the requirements of the nation in space are far larger than what the system can support today.

Even these small steps done by NASA are very hard and expensive, and not because of the incompetence of everyone. If you were correct, why are other nations or the private sector not doing better?

Please be a little more specific: What are these requirements of the nation, economically or military. Where are they founded?

Quote
The first solution set is what we called "Ubiquitous Space Operations" defined as the ability to go anywhere and do anything, first in Cislunar space.

You fail to say what the “anything” is you will do “anywhere”. I see science, something very noble, but always hard to justify to the taxpayer, as the only thing we will do beyond the sphere of earth for the very long future. Please tell me the interests of the nation at … (put here any planet or moon in the solar system or the vacuum in between), economically or military.

Quote
You say that there is no need for propellant in space, I beg to differ.

Please read again what I said: Propellant depots within the sphere of earth may be useful. But you can have these without expensive ways of going to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Quote
1) A couple of years ago, the first FIA launch by the defense department failed on orbit due to a software error. A robust propellant delivery system would have enabled a servicing craft to go up to that satellite, interface to it, and reboot the darn thing, which was the only problem. That loss was $2 billion for the spacecraft and about $7 billion for the DDT&E for it.

2) On top of that we had to make global news and reveal an operational anti satellite capability, which cost another $60 million dollars just to shoot that bird down.

1) You are talking about USA-193? I am not aware of the failure mode of USA-193 being know in public. Nor do I know if its costs are available. $2 billion sounds very high for a Delta II launched spacecraft. And why are the DDT&E costs lost? But anyway, how would a propellant depot fix the software error?

2) Well, the government choose to do this, I am very sceptical they had to. It’s more likely they wanted. But all this has nothing to do with the topic.

Quote
… then to cover the entire cislunar operational sphere.

One last time: Why cislunar sphere. And why beyond?

Quote
This can be done at no more than the current budget for ESAS and you have the temerity to suggest that I am missing the point?

The current and planned budget is barely able to field a LEO reaching capsule and launcher at or after 2015, nothing more. Temerity: Please keep your tongue in check. No need to get personal.

Analyst

Offline wingod

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #77 on: 04/02/2008 05:38 pm »
Quote
Analyst - 2/4/2008  12:23 PM

Quote
If you look around at the space world today, you see a system that is dysfunctional to an extreme. From a $2 billion dollar Mars Science Laboratory, to a $12 billion dollar NPOESS (it started at $5 billion). You see a system that is groaning under the weight of its own antiquity.

I am sure improvements are needed and possible. But why isn’t the private, economic, profit making sector using this big opportunitiy you state and is doing better? Spaceflight is not easy or simple.

Quote
"Geocentric mindset"

Because there is noone beyond this earth, nor are there resources we are even remotely capable (technically and cost effective) nor in need of using. And this stays true for a long time to come: Generations.

Quote
Space is larger than NASA's puny efforts at this time and the requirements of the nation in space are far larger than what the system can support today.

Even these small steps done by NASA are very hard and expensive, and not because of the incompetence of everyone. If you were correct, why are other nations or the private sector not doing better?

Please be a little more specific: What are these requirements of the nation, economically or military. Where are they founded?

Quote
The first solution set is what we called "Ubiquitous Space Operations" defined as the ability to go anywhere and do anything, first in Cislunar space.

You fail to say what the “anything” is you will do “anywhere”. I see science, something very noble, but always hard to justify to the taxpayer, as the only thing we will do beyond the sphere of earth for the very long future. Please tell me the interests of the nation at … (put here any planet or moon in the solar system or the vacuum in between), economically or military.

Quote
You say that there is no need for propellant in space, I beg to differ.

Please read again what I said: Propellant depots within the sphere of earth may be useful. But you can have these without expensive ways of going to the moon, Mars and beyond.

Quote
1) A couple of years ago, the first FIA launch by the defense department failed on orbit due to a software error. A robust propellant delivery system would have enabled a servicing craft to go up to that satellite, interface to it, and reboot the darn thing, which was the only problem. That loss was $2 billion for the spacecraft and about $7 billion for the DDT&E for it.

2) On top of that we had to make global news and reveal an operational anti satellite capability, which cost another $60 million dollars just to shoot that bird down.

1) You are talking about USA-193? I am not aware of the failure mode of USA-193 being know in public. Nor do I know if its costs are available. $2 billion sounds very high for a Delta II launched spacecraft. And why are the DDT&E costs lost? But anyway, how would a propellant depot fix the software error?

2) Well, the government choose to do this, I am very sceptical they had to. It’s more likely they wanted. But all this has nothing to do with the topic.

Quote
… then to cover the entire cislunar operational sphere.

One last time: Why cislunar sphere. And why beyond?

Quote
This can be done at no more than the current budget for ESAS and you have the temerity to suggest that I am missing the point?

The current and planned budget is barely able to field a LEO reaching capsule and launcher at or after 2015, nothing more. Temerity: Please keep your tongue in check. No need to get personal.

Analyst

As for the requirements.  Read any congressional testimony about national defense military systems.  From the problems with SBIRS, TSAT, FIA, Space based radar, and the inability of the contractor community to build these systems, we have both the requirements and the identified shortfalls in the community to build them.  To say that these things are too hard indicates that we should be looking at easier ways to build them, launch them, and then service them.  

It has been my experience (as late as the last 48 hours), that the contractor community has no interest in doing anything but the status quo as they are happy with it and make money.  Innovation is at the bottom of the list.  A major subcontractor was not even able to get the contractors to pay the freight to space qualify a major subsystem that would save both NASA and DoDo money, weight, and volume for spacecraft and this was only a small change in process that gave a 25% increase in performance.  I will absolutely agree with Mike Griffin that the avionics and power systems currently in the design process for Orion are already obsolete in the real world and great savings could be had in the mass of an overweight system but the contractors are uninterested.

As for the cost of FIA, they are known and public and at the low end of the problems that this one system has cost the taxpayers.  

The current planned budget for exploration ignores the $100 billion dollar investment in the space station, which is just one of many mistakes.  Go back to the architectures of the 1980's to see what could have been done with reusable cislunar manned cyclers, reusable landers, and propellant from space that would dramatically decrease the costs of going to and fro in cislunar space.

The current architecture is unaffordable because it is a throw away architecture, no more affordable than throwing away a 747 after every flight.  Until this mindset changes, we are going to continue to fail.

Also, temerity is defined as "audacity" and "fearless daring" which does accurately describe your statement in that is presupposes a level of knowledge and understanding to dismiss out of hand any idea that does not fit within the current structure.  It is my understanding that Samuel Langley spoke with temerity about flight.



Offline James Lowe1

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #78 on: 04/02/2008 05:50 pm »
Let's please keep it on the "6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC". Some of this is turning into opinionated 'venting'.

Offline wingod

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #79 on: 04/02/2008 06:11 pm »
Quote
James Lowe1 - 2/4/2008  12:50 PM

Let's please keep it on the "6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC". Some of this is turning into opinionated 'venting'.

James

There is a direct connection to what I have been talking about and the 6,400 jobs at KSC.

The connection is that aerospace is a dying field of enterprise because it has failed to grow and evolve.  The very notion of going back to an Apollo style system without understanding the implications (especially when congress told them to explicitly do so) of what that meant to the community shows this.

Each of these 6,400 jobs (Weldon is now saying that it is closer to 9,000) represents a person, the vast majority of whom work in the space field because they like to be a part of what space represents.  The longer that we ignore that we must change or die, the more likely is that people like this will continue to lose their jobs unnecessarily.  It may seem to you that there is no connection between what I wrote and the jobs, but it is there.



Offline Tim S

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #80 on: 04/02/2008 06:48 pm »
Yeah but Dennis, there comes a point where some people are repeating themselves so much with the doom and gloom it becomes monotonous to the point of a Jeffrey Bell op ed about how he would have done it better if he was in charge of NASA. You're speaking to the wrong crowd here if it's negative and brings nothing to the table. No offense, but someone needed to say it.

Let's look to the future, not the past.

Offline renclod

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RE: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #81 on: 04/02/2008 09:09 pm »
Quote
James Lowe1 - 2/4/2008  8:50 PM

Let's please keep it on the "6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC". Some of this is turning into opinionated 'venting'.

It would only be fair for someone to start a thread here, named "6,400 equivalent jobs to be gained at xyz-somewhere".

As NASA's budget remains constant, if 6,400 spacecraft-pipe-fitter-equivalent jobs vanished from x site, then at y site, 6,400 spacecraft-pipe-fitter-equivalent jobs would materialize.

=======

IOW the correct premise for drama here is site specific, not number nor method specific.


Offline kraisee

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #82 on: 04/02/2008 11:29 pm »
Most of the cash saved is to be used for all the development work involved in the current plan.

That means that 4 technicians being paid $25K each at KSC/MAF each are being replaced by 1 design guy being paid $100K at MSFC.

Great for Alabama.   Really bad for Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi though.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline Scotty

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #83 on: 04/03/2008 01:26 am »
That would be more like 3 $35K techs or 2 $50K techs being replaced by 1 $100K engineer.
Still, there will be a lot of $20K to $30K jobs lost at KSC over the next few years.

Offline wingod

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #84 on: 04/03/2008 02:17 pm »
Quote
Tim S - 2/4/2008  1:48 PM

Yeah but Dennis, there comes a point where some people are repeating themselves so much with the doom and gloom it becomes monotonous to the point of a Jeffrey Bell op ed about how he would have done it better if he was in charge of NASA. You're speaking to the wrong crowd here if it's negative and brings nothing to the table. No offense, but someone needed to say it.

Let's look to the future, not the past.

Oh Tim, you cut me to the core!

Thanks for that, I need to craft this better to get the point across.  I am just so incredibly incensed at how this slow train wreck is happening that sometimes I just want to scream.

I am going to write a few long missives on the underlying philosophy of why space, as this seems to be at the core of why these things happen.

Oh by the way, I am paid from time to time by NASA to figure out better ways of doing architectures so from that perspective I have been many times part of the team that has helped to craft these things.



Offline Formant

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #85 on: 04/04/2008 06:41 am »
I have to agree with Mr. Hartnett and wingod. IANARS, but I know a little about economics, politics and marketing. NASA, simply put, does not have a product to sell that is worth what it needs to survive, much less for what it needs to grow and thrive. wingod's referencing the Pacific Railroad Act as a possible model for NASA's future has, as Analyst pointed out, some basic flaws. wingod's basic premise, however, of the federal government investing vast sums of cash into building the infrastructure to bootstrap industries in a whole new realm is basically sound. What is missing is a reason to build the infrastructure. What is needed is for the government (NASA, in this case) to provide the initial mission for the infrastructure along with the infrastructure itself.

You want a "mission" which is big enough to require building a big (20 person or larger, preferably much larger) permanent base on the moon along with developing ISRU there. You also want a "mission" that requires launching enough mass to various orbits and the moon so that your launch infrastructure is pushed hard to deliver. The "mission" must be one that requires only classical engineering and no Technology X or unobtainium alloys. The "mission" must promise to not only improve Americans' quality of life in little ways, but in huge ways, and make the United States the undisputed world industrial leader again in no uncertain terms. Finally, the "mission" must be to "Save the world!" (you want a couple $trillion for this, right? You are competing with the "need" to kill angry, scary-looking folks who all speak a weird language Americans don't understand. Your "mission" MUST be more important than that).

Wow! Pretty tough, huh? And where can you find such a "mission"? Actually, it is pretty easy. Orbital solar power collection. That would justify building the launch infrastructure that you want, be it Ares 1+5, Jupiter, or what have you. That would get you your moon base and some manufacturing infrastructure on the moon and in orbit. That manufacturing infrastructure need not be terribly complex, as all you will be doing with it is making propellent and building girders and photovoltaic panels. Finally, you get to "Save the world!" by fighting Global Warming, making electricity "too cheap to meter" and giving the US the most awesome export commodity ever (Once the infrastructure is in place, how much do you think it would actually cost to build a 10 gigawatt satellite? How much would Germany, France, Japan or especially China pay for a couple of them?).

The ultimate goal of this whole thing, however, is to make the mission budget big enough that issues like developing an efficient NTP motor or a modern F-1 become minor technical details. Launch traffic will increase dramatically, as will the number of facilities and personnel stationed long term off of Earth. This will drive down launch costs. It will also provide lots of opportunities for private enterprises to get a manned industrial foothold in space, initially just in support roles, but eventually doing their own thing.

Fact is, we don't need any more space science than what can be carried out with robots. If you want manned space flight, you NEED to be talking about industrial activity. NASA has done the basics already. . .they don't need to do them again. When the US returns to the moon, it should be for industrial development, not science. The easiest and most valuable industry to develop in space is power collection. That makes the path to follow to get a budget for your favorite rocket a no-brainer.

Offline Jim

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #86 on: 04/04/2008 08:03 am »
Quote
Formant - 4/4/2008  2:41 AM

 The easiest and most valuable industry to develop in space is power collection.

It is hasn't be proven if SPS is even viable.  It may not the killer application.  It is another holy grail.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #87 on: 04/04/2008 09:12 pm »
Quote
pad rat - 4/4/2008  5:43 PM
It's not a holy grail - yet. There should be an R&D effort to determine whether it is technically viable. Then, after a test article or two (or more) are flown, determine if it is economically viable.

I believe that it is a holy grail as well.

There is a major Earth problem - producing a 5 mile circular building zone near every town in which homes, offices, factories, shops, children and farm animals are banned.  This is where the ground collector lives.

The microwave collector could be moved to a desert.  In which case it can be replaced by solar panels, solar thermal generators or wind turbines.

There are villages and military bases that could do with 100 kW of power.  So a viability test is to build a satellite and ground receiver that produce 100 kW of power.  The military may be willing to pay 10 times what everyone else does in say some of the wilder areas of Afghanistan.

Offline savuporo

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Re: 6,400 jobs to be lost at KSC
« Reply #88 on: 04/05/2008 09:23 pm »
Quote
kraisee - 1/4/2008  10:30 AM
Analyst, thats really a topic for a different thread, but I tend to agree.   There isn't much commercially viable use for space yet beyond what we already use it for
Strategic resources.
There are several types of strategic resources out there, that will become very, very relevant in not too distant future. Whether you guys want to leave it up to Norilsk Nickel to control, up to you.

But other emerging economies are coming to a realization that earth, with its relatively "unfair" geographical distribution of scarce resources just has that much of each available, and everyone ultimately wants their piece. Global population isnt exactly declining too.
Opening up new mines off earth will be a transformative event.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

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