Author Topic: Augustine Commission Members Announced  (Read 89225 times)

Offline mars.is.wet

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #160 on: 06/01/2009 09:09 pm »
It's one thing to question, another to be able to technically challenge. The alternatives need to be able to answer criticisms for themselves and NASA can then respond accordingly with maybe the DoD as an external technical source weighing in. The way it is shaping up it will not be truly an independent review if NASA is the sole technical advisor. Bad bad design.

It was NEVER going to be a fully independent review.

The government just doesn't work that way, largely b/c there is no point in forcing an independent answer down the throat of an agency that will have to execute it.

It's like telling an impressionist to paint still life.  Just isn't going to happen the way you want it to.

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #161 on: 06/01/2009 09:09 pm »
snip

It's one thing to question, another to be able to technically challenge. The alternatives need to be able to answer criticisms for themselves and NASA can then respond accordingly with maybe the DoD as an external technical source weighing in. The way it is shaping up it will not be truly an independent review if NASA is the sole technical advisor. Bad bad design.

I certainly hope the Commission will be able to contact ULA on EELVs, Lockheed on Orion, ATK on the first stage, etc.  If they can't, the Commission is in big trouble.  It would be like the Air Force asking Lockheed to do a comparison between a Lockheed design for a new fighter and a Boeing design for the same.   Of course NASA is going to have Ares win.   It has nothing to do with conspiracies, it is simply the way any organization would do it.

For example ESAS asked ATK if thrust oscillation was a big problem.  Guess what the answer was?

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Offline Blackstar

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #162 on: 06/01/2009 09:14 pm »
First meeting June 17th.  Open to the public, but no statement of TV coverage.

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=31351

It is interesting that very few items are on the agenda, and EELVs are one of them.  I would love to see NASA managers testifying on why EELVs can't do the job.

I also find it interesting that there is not a word of this meeting on the NASA website -- that I could find.  In fact I couldn't find a word about the new Commission on the NASA web site.  I don't think this is an oversight by NASA. 

You're looking in the wrong places.

The members were announced here:

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/jun/HQ_09-123_Augustine_Review_Members.html

The announcement of a teleconference was here:

http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/may/HQ_M09-078_Space_Flight_Review.html

The transcript for the teleconference is here:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/345213main_0508HSFP.pdf

I couldn't find the agenda listing, but it's probably there.  Despite all the flash, the NASA website doesn't make it easy to find stuff, but that's not evidence that they're hiding anything.

And I also wouldn't jump to conclusions about the agenda.  As somebody who has to post public agendas before meetings myself, what I often do is put up a placeholder agenda and then revise it as speakers agree to appear, etc.  There's nothing ominous about it.  Planning a meeting involves a lot of details that have to be worked out.

Offline nooneofconsequence

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #163 on: 06/01/2009 09:16 pm »
With Challenger, having Richard Feynman there made all the difference.

When he got Incorrect from ATK, he simply did an obvious experiment that frakked off the chairman, but forced the issue to a head.

We want more Feynman's.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #164 on: 06/01/2009 09:24 pm »

Did Augustine pick him or did NASA pick him?

ESAS was apparently flawed because it relied 100% on a very pro-stick NASA support team.

Danny Deger

I personally know at least half of the ESAS team and they were not "pro-stick" going in.

And as head of PA&E, he was the logical candidate.  But NASA picked him.

So with that personal knowledge did they come around to the current architecture or were they "told" this is what it should be?  Your answer will speak volumes. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #165 on: 06/01/2009 09:24 pm »
I easily found the announcement of names on the web site by searching for the announcement number and it is in press release section.

The June 17 meeting is "NASA Notice (09-045)".  A search for the number didn't find anything, it is not in the press release section, and it is not on the calender.  Maybe it is just a little early.  I will wait and see if this very important meeting makes it to the NASA press release section and calender.   

I do know the PBS show "Shuttle Disaster" did not make it to the NASA web site section on NASA related TV shows, while a more positive show on PBS the same night did.  The show was not that bad.  Certainly no worse that reading the two accident reports.  This tells me NASA filters the site for content they don't like.

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Offline marsavian

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #166 on: 06/01/2009 09:30 pm »
It's one thing to question, another to be able to technically challenge. The alternatives need to be able to answer criticisms for themselves and NASA can then respond accordingly with maybe the DoD as an external technical source weighing in. The way it is shaping up it will not be truly an independent review if NASA is the sole technical advisor. Bad bad design.

It was NEVER going to be a fully independent review.

The government just doesn't work that way, largely b/c there is no point in forcing an independent answer down the throat of an agency that will have to execute it.


What is the point of even discussing architectural alternatives if you are not going to implement them if NASA doesn't like them ? Are you just not saying then that we are only going to find a slightly different way (cost/schedule) of implementing the status quo ? Considering NASA had their chance and their 2012-4 safe, simple, soon 4-seg/SSME Ares I is nowhere to be seen haven't they now lost the right to pick and choose what they will implement ? Sure consult and consider them especially as they will be the implementors, but to give the VSE the best chance of succeeding surely everybody of interest needs to be heard equally and fairly now ?  Relying on analyses of alternatives that can't even get the basic structure of the vehicle right are not examples of this.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2009 12:13 am by marsavian »

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #167 on: 06/01/2009 09:33 pm »
snip

I personally know at least half of the ESAS team and they were not "pro-stick" going in.



I have no doubt they were not pro-Ares walking in, but were they good enough to ask pointed questions about the NASA data fed to them.  For example, "The Atlas Mission Planner's guide says an Atlas V Heavy can lift 29 metric tons.  You say it can only lift 22 metric tons.  Can you explain the difference?"  Or how about, "Why do the EELVs need new upperstages?  Where is your analysis to support this?"

I have about a dozen more hypothetical question that should have been asked, but I will stop with these two.

Danny Deger
« Last Edit: 06/01/2009 09:42 pm by Danny Dot »
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Offline mars.is.wet

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #168 on: 06/01/2009 09:54 pm »
So with that personal knowledge did they come around to the current architecture or were they "told" this is what it should be?  Your answer will speak volumes. 

I wasn't in the room, so I can't speak to what happened.  I was around the corner though.  The security was pretty tight, for all I know Griffin told them "do this" and they did ... but I don't think that is what happened.

I am conflicted, because I know they are (mostly) all people of incredible technical honesty and rigor, and believe that the right answer informs leadership, not that leadership picks the right answer.  I am still convinced of Griffin's good intentions, but have come to believe that his own prior studies may have taken a bit of precedence over what was found in ESAS real time.  It is may simply be a case of investigational bias, where one only considers the data that supports ones expected outcome and where data to the contrary is discarded.  If (and I mean IF) that was the case for Griffin, I'm guessing it was because of schedule and external pressures and not any congnizant decisions.

I would argue that if bias did creep in, it was because the requirements were set in such a way (even in an ongoing basis revised) as to favor a particular solution.  And possibly when there were impediments to a particular solution, they were grandfathered in (much as Shuttle doesn't have to meet human rating requirements).

I am not a Griffin apologist, but I have the highest respect for Griffin and the ESAS team despite the outcome of the study and the path taken, and all of the evidence presented on these boards.  Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and hindsight is always 20-20.  Every time I saw him he was doing the best he could with the army, generals, and experience he personally had.  It just wasn't good enough.




Offline mars.is.wet

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #169 on: 06/01/2009 10:02 pm »
The study that I saw also said EELVs need new upper stages.  The human rating requirements said that upper stage structural margins (and software, and other things) were insufficient.

While those requirements can be re-written, it is not the designer's job to re-write requirements, especially when handed down from OSMA who does not care which concept "wins" or is chosen.

I know you believe that EELV doesn't need a new upper stage, but NASA's process argues otherwise.  I admire your tenacity, but on this point, I think we will differ. 

Regarding the analysis, I think mistakes were made.  But I do not belive it was a bias against EELV, given that those same ground rules were used for the Ares I upper stage.

snip

I personally know at least half of the ESAS team and they were not "pro-stick" going in.



I have no doubt they were not pro-Ares walking in, but were they good enough to ask pointed questions about the NASA data fed to them.  For example, "The Atlas Mission Planner's guide says an Atlas V Heavy can lift 29 metric tons.  You say it can only lift 22 metric tons.  Can you explain the difference?"  Or how about, "Why do the EELVs need new upperstages?  Where is your analysis to support this?"

I have about a dozen more hypothetical question that should have been asked, but I will stop with these two.

Danny Deger

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #170 on: 06/01/2009 10:07 pm »
snip

I would argue that if bias did creep in, it was because the requirements were set in such a way (even in an ongoing basis revised) as to favor a particular solution.  And possibly when there were impediments to a particular solution, they were grandfathered in (much as Shuttle doesn't have to meet human rating requirements).

snip


This happened BIG TIME.  I was knee deep in the writing of the human rating requirements before ESAS and definitely saw requirements being put in for no real good reason except to make sure EELVs didn't meet them.  The people putting in these requirements had already made up their mind to build the stick.

While working for Rockwell Missile Systems, one of my primary jobs was to perform analysis to get the Air Force to write requirements that favored our systems.  While I was doing this, our competitors were doing the same.  But in this case the Air Force listened to both sides and wrote the requirements everyone had to bit to.  In the case of Ares, NASA was both the design team and the requirements development team.  There were no checks and balance in place to not bias the requirements to fit a particular design that was pre-chosen.

Danny Deger
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Offline mars.is.wet

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #171 on: 06/01/2009 10:20 pm »
This happened BIG TIME.  I was knee deep in the writing of the human rating requirements before ESAS and definitely saw requirements being put in for no real good reason except to make sure EELVs didn't meet them.  The people putting in these requirements had already made up their mind to build the stick.

While working for Rockwell Missile Systems, one of my primary jobs was to perform analysis to get the Air Force to write requirements that favored our systems.  While I was doing this, our competitors were doing the same.  But in this case the Air Force listened to both sides and wrote the requirements everyone had to bit to.  In the case of Ares, NASA was both the design team and the requirements development team.  There were no checks and balance in place to not bias the requirements to fit a particular design that was pre-chosen.

Danny Deger

I take issue with the "for no good reason".  While I understand your point of view, software redundancy and factors of safety are not "for no good reason".

And those requirements were written BEFORE the alleged pro-stick crowd came to power.
« Last Edit: 06/01/2009 10:22 pm by mars.is.wet »

Offline pierre

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #172 on: 06/01/2009 10:52 pm »
I take issue with the "for no good reason".  While I understand your point of view, software redundancy and factors of safety are not "for no good reason".

And those requirements were written BEFORE the alleged pro-stick crowd came to power.

Reading the infamous ESAS appendix 6, I've found different values in the "Performance and Sizing Ground Rules and Assumptions (GR&A)" for "ILC-SRM-In-line cases" and everything else.

Am I wrong if I assume that ILC-SRM-In-line means Ares I? ;D

This seems to me not only bias, but blatant and embarrassingly obvious bias.

Anyway, if we want to continue discussing this we should probably do it in a more appropriate thread.

Offline Jim

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #173 on: 06/01/2009 11:16 pm »

While those requirements can be re-written, it is not the designer's job to re-write requirements, especially when handed down from OSMA who does not care which concept "wins" or is chosen.


Which they were in May 2008 since Ares couldn't meet them

Offline meiza

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #174 on: 06/01/2009 11:25 pm »
The study that I saw also said EELVs need new upper stages.  The human rating requirements said that upper stage structural margins (and software, and other things) were insufficient.

While those requirements can be re-written, it is not the designer's job to re-write requirements, especially when handed down from OSMA who does not care which concept "wins" or is chosen.

And who wrote those structural safety factor requirements and when?

What about EELV black zones claims?

Similar LAS for liquid and solid rockets?

Only one launch pad considered for multi launch scenarios?

Shame I don't know the ESAS guys, I'd surely have lots of questions...

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #175 on: 06/01/2009 11:39 pm »
@ mars.is.wet

Just like I thought.  You ARE part of the conspiracy at NASA to convince everyone EELVs need new upperstages :)

I hope you take this with the tounge and check intended.  I truly believe you believe an effective analysis done by NASA shows they are needed.  At the end of OSP the LSP (part of NASA) concluded they were not needed, the Aerojet Corp has done the same.  Please provide a link to the  NASA analysis that says they are.  I couldn't find it in ESAS.  I suspect it is colocated with the analysis that says EELVs have blackzones.  I hope the Augustine asks for the analysis.

And yes there were some very pro-stick people on the panel I was on that wrote the man rating requirements.  I was one of the very first people at NASA briefed in on the stick and was asked to join the crowd based on crew survival.  I concluded survival was about the same as EELVs and declined the invitation.  I will not name names here, but I was knee deep in this and I speak with first hand knowledge on this matter.

I think we are on the fringe of topic relavance.  Our questions are relavent for the Commission, but I recommend we get back to talking directly about the Commission.

Danny Deger
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Offline mars.is.wet

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #176 on: 06/02/2009 12:15 am »
@ mars.is.wet

Just like I thought.  You ARE part of the conspiracy at NASA to convince everyone EELVs need new upperstages :)

Agree.  Back on topic.  But I wish I were part of the consipiracy.  Sadly I was not.  :)  Perhaps I was just one of the people taken in by them.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2009 12:21 am by mars.is.wet »

Offline robertross

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #177 on: 06/02/2009 01:05 am »
A few notes of interest in the charter.

3. Scope and Objectives: The Committee shan conduct an independent review of ongoing U.S. human space flight plans and programs, as well as alternatives, to ensure
the Nation is pursuing the best trajectory for the future of hurnan space flight--one that is safe, innovative, affordable, and sustainable.  The identification and characterization of these options should address the following objectives:

a) expediting a new U.S. capability to support utilization of the International Space Station (ISS);
b) supporting missions to the Moon and other destinations beyond low-Earth orbit (LEO); c) stimulating commercial space flight capability; and
d) fitting within the current budget profile for NASA exploration activities.

Including: "It should evaluate options for extending ISS operations beyond."

4. "Description of Duties: The Committee will provide advice only."

5. "...The Committee will submit its report within 120 days
ofthe first meeting of the Committee."

12. "Membership and Designation: The Committee shall consist of members to be appointed by the NASA Administrator...Each member serves at the pleasure of the Administrator."

14. "Recordkeping: These records shall be available for public inspection and copying, subject to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552."

Offline clongton

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #178 on: 06/02/2009 01:15 am »
And the relationship of the *Independent* Augustine committee to the *NASA* committee is?
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Offline robertross

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Re: Augustine Commission Members Announced
« Reply #179 on: 06/02/2009 01:26 am »
And the relationship of the *Independent* Augustine committee to the *NASA* committee is?

Hey, don't shoot the messenger!!!  :)

I fail to see it either.

Personally, if they DON'T come to the conclusion that the path NASA is on accomplishes nothing, and they need to about-face before all is lost, I will throw my hands in the air (and my guts into the bowl).

It would be only a miracle if the Obama adminstration sees past it and decides to make its own decision to save NASA's manned spaceflight for the USA.

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