Author Topic: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?  (Read 4048 times)

Offline Analyst

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STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« on: 03/12/2009 03:55 PM »
Doing the reduced mission is the wrong decision. Plain and simple. They should take their time, launch in April, shift the other missions a little to the right, send 2010 finally to hell (and Ares-1-X with it) and realize the mission is not a shuttle launch per se but ISS.

For the lunar guys here: The reduced mission is like downscoping Apollo 17 from a J- to a H-class mission (no SIM bay, no LRV, only 2 EVAs etc.) just because they missed a lunar launch window and don't want to wait another month.

Analyst

PS: Or they should solve this cutout issue (should have been done long ago): With 4 Soyuz, 4-6 Progress, HTV and ATV and the Shuttle which more than often does not launch on time the chances of this happening again are strictly higher than zero. 

Offline psloss

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #1 on: 03/12/2009 04:00 PM »
Doing the reduced mission is the wrong decision. Plain and simple. They should take their time, launch in April, shift the other missions a little to the right, send 2010 finally to hell (and Ares-1-X with it) and realize the mission is not a shuttle launch per se but ISS.
Do you have something that shows the impacts to the stage priorities for both a truncated 15A and for letting 15A, 1J/A, and 17A slide to the right?  Seems like that's among the input the station program looked at in making this call...

Offline Jorge

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #2 on: 03/12/2009 04:07 PM »
Doing the reduced mission is the wrong decision. Plain and simple. They should take their time, launch in April, shift the other missions a little to the right, send 2010 finally to hell (and Ares-1-X with it) and realize the mission is not a shuttle launch per se but ISS.
Do you have something that shows the impacts to the stage priorities for both a truncated 15A and for letting 15A, 1J/A, and 17A slide to the right?  Seems like that's among the input the station program looked at in making this call...


That's right.

The shuttle program is perfectly happy to do what the station program wants. If they want an abbreviated 15A before the Soyuz, the shuttle program will try to oblige. If they want 15A slipped after the Soyuz, the shuttle program will do that too. The station program has made their choice: they'd rather have an abbreviated 15A before the Soyuz, and defer the other EVAs to the stage, rather than slip. The shuttle program did not drive this decision.
JRF

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #3 on: 03/12/2009 04:53 PM »
I think it is slightly naieve to suggest that the station program people's thinking was in no way influenced by shuttle program issues.  Simply put, they want a finished station and we are only 18 months (or less) from Shuttle Retirement.  That means they need to get birds off of the ground and a 'shift right' in the schedules could mean hardware being grounded.

NASA must, must, must lobby for the retirement deadline to be canned in favour of a flexible 'project complete' definition.  In other words, the shuttles go to the museum only when the ISS is complete (including AMS).  If that means continuing flights into 2011, then so be it.
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Offline desertflower7

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #4 on: 03/12/2009 06:18 PM »
During the post-MMT briefing last night, the American nightly news programs were running and, as usual, I was watching NBC (I TiVoed the MMT briefing).  Tom Costello, the NBC reporter at KSC to cover the launch, was breathlessly going on about a "hydrogen gas vent leak" that was going to destroy the shuttle, and something like there was no way they could get all 10 launches done by the 2010 deadline, and about 30 year old technology, and so on.

That's not the interesting part, though, because it seems no reporter there was listening or interested in what the real problem was, or the real program for that matter.

Here's the interesting tidbit: the last thing Costello said was that he spoke with Mike Griffin - he didn't say when or where this conversation took place. Griffin told him that the risk of catastrophe right now in the shuttle program was 1 in 80 launches. If the program were extended five years, Griffin said the disaster risk would be 1 in 8 launches (Costello put it as "12% every time").

I hadn't heard of a 1 in 8 risk of LOV five years down the road and I didn't know current risk of LOV was quite that high - I thought it was closer to 1 in 120. Did I miss something?
« Last Edit: 03/12/2009 06:20 PM by desertflower7 »

Offline punkboi

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #5 on: 03/12/2009 06:21 PM »
Doing the reduced mission is the wrong decision. Plain and simple. They should take their time, launch in April, shift the other missions a little to the right, send 2010 finally to hell (and Ares-1-X with it) and realize the mission is not a shuttle launch per se but ISS. 

You lost me at Ares 1-X.  Oh, and tell that to Obama (not that I'm trying to politicize this thread or anything)

Offline Jorge

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #6 on: 03/12/2009 06:27 PM »
During the post-MMT briefing last night, the American nightly news programs were running and, as usual, I was watching NBC (I TiVoed the MMT briefing).  Tom Costello, the NBC reporter at KSC to cover the launch, was breathlessly going on about a "hydrogen gas vent leak" that was going to destroy the shuttle, and something like there was no way they could get all 10 launches done by the 2010 deadline, and about 30 year old technology, and so on.

That's not the interesting part, though, because it seems no reporter there was listening or interested in what the real problem was, or the real program for that matter.

Here's the interesting tidbit: the last thing Costello said was that he spoke with Mike Griffin - he didn't say when or where this conversation took place. Griffin told him that the risk of catastrophe right now in the shuttle program was 1 in 80 launches. If the program were extended five years, Griffin said the disaster risk would be 1 in 8 launches (Costello put it as "12% every time").

I hadn't heard of a 1 in 8 risk of LOV five years down the road and I didn't know current risk of LOV was quite that high - I thought it was closer to 1 in 120. Did I miss something?

1 in 8 was cumulative, not per launch.
JRF

Offline kneecaps

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #7 on: 03/12/2009 09:43 PM »
For the lunar guys here: The reduced mission is like downscoping Apollo 17 from a J- to a H-class mission (no SIM bay, no LRV, only 2 EVAs etc.) just because they missed a lunar launch window and don't want to wait another month.

Big difference, the the loss of EVA 2,3 and 4 does not make much difference, the ISS crew can complete that work at a later date. Your point about the J to H missions is flawed since there wasn't a permanent crew on the moon that could complete the objectives.

Let's not get carried away with our desire to see lots of pretty EVA pictures on this mission like we usually do (as cool as they are!).

Look at what's gained by flying ASAP, S6 install!

Lost on the extra 3 EVAs: UCCAS stuf, LEE repairs, GPS antenna installs, SPDM covers..etc etc.

Focus on the priorities of the mission
1) Dock
2) Swap Exp 18/19 crew members.
3) Install S6
4) Perform water transfers

The list goes on but drops in priority from there!

Allow subject to scream. In space no one will hear.

Offline cb6785

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #8 on: 03/12/2009 09:57 PM »
I guess from a point where they could do two EVAs everything would be pretty fine. Install S6, perform the tasks necessary to complete before STS-127 (CETA Cart, Batteries) and if possible get that HTV-GPS Antenna up and running. Everyting else would be needed month later (STS-129 etc.) and could be easily fitted into stage EVA's during Expedition 20/21.
You know, if I’d had a seat you wouldn’t still see me in this thing. - Chuck Yeager

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Offline joebacsi777

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #9 on: 03/13/2009 09:15 AM »
Couldn't they put a little more flexibility in these dates? Why does the shuttle have to undock before the soyuz launches not like for example 24 hours before it's scheduled docking or before proximity operations or I don't know? Or why can't they move the soyuz 24 or 48 hours to the right? I know Soyuz has a limited lifetime, but is it that strict? After half a year no contingency days left or so?

Offline rdale

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Re: STS-119 Reduced Mission - Is it worth it?
« Reply #10 on: 03/13/2009 10:11 AM »
joe - those questions have been answered in the main STS119 discussion thread here.

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