Author Topic: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?  (Read 43359 times)

Offline Borderline

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #20 on: 03/19/2010 05:30 PM »
Ben the Space Brit

not bad...

in my view where this is going politically is just where Augustine wanted (or actually was told) it needed to go.

Federal policy in the US is changed in two ways 1) Presidential fiat or 2) Presidential desires enabled by commissions which are primed with the "results" wanted.

Augustine was commissioned to do the latter.  The space industries in The Republic, absent ATK which is stuck like tar to the shuttle...has figured out that there is no growth in the shuttle or its derivative systems...ie there is nothing that is ever going to happen to those systems that is not at the whim of national civilian space policy  IE those systems are never going to be used for true commercial aps...they are just to expensive.

Where the "Move" is, is to get systems which have commercial applications AND which can be used for exploration as national will warrants.  That is the Falcon/Delta/Atlas series of vehicles.

At some point if exploration by humans starts again in human spaceflight, it is going to occur because the systems above (or some other commercial launch system) has become "so cheap" that it can be morphed into being used for exploration.  And they only way that happens as in any "vehicle" is to enable use.

If people would go and understand what was driving the AC on heavy lift...they would understand why no SDV is going to see the launch pad.

Robert

Offline Borderline

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #21 on: 03/19/2010 05:36 PM »
Second, I almost agree.  But speed it up.  There should be, according to me, at least four shuttle missions a year, so this existing inventory can be used quickly.


If you choose to fly a third flight per year, it will cost somewhere in the region of $400m more.   That $400m/year represents around a quarter of the entire annual development budget for Orion and Jupiter-130.   That $400m/year thus translates to a 1 year, possibly 18 month delay from IOC September 2013, to an IOC possibly now as late as March 2015.

Ross.

So let me understand this.

The shuttle system cost 200 million a month if it is flying or not flying...thats according to John Shannon and I think it is accurate (although if all cost are figured in probably a tad light)

Thats 2.4 billion a year.

Your claim is that this supports two flights but if a third is added it is an additional 400 million?

Robert

Offline kraisee

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #22 on: 03/19/2010 05:38 PM »
Robert,
The problem is that once the NASA heavyweights in Congress are "burned" with Shuttle-related systems going away entirely, there is nobody waiting in the wings to replace them.   The entire political support mechanism for NASA in the budget cycle process also goes away with them.

With nobody in Congress to fight for budgets for NASA, every member of Congress who has ever placed NASA at the top of the list of agency's who's budget needs to be cut, will stand completely unopposed.

It will be "open season" for all hunters on NASA's annual budget allocation.

NASA's top-line budget will get utterly reamed in such a situation.   The whole US civlian space program will become a shadow of its former self.

Even the commercial operators don't stand a chance in hell if NASA's budget gets halved to pay for more Healthcare, more Education or more Welfare.

Remove the existing pillars of political support for the agency at your absolute peril.   The entire house will come tumbling down around everyone's ears.

Given Obama's early campaign statements, I wonder if this isn't his real plan.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 03/19/2010 05:44 PM by kraisee »
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Offline nooneofconsequence

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #23 on: 03/19/2010 05:43 PM »
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

No - this is no way to consider NASA.

Either they translate into commercial provider "pork" that is battle over or they put a stake in it - this is getting too ridiculous.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Offline kraisee

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #24 on: 03/19/2010 05:49 PM »
There was a great line from the original "Blade" movie:

"There is always some ****er trying to ice-skate uphill".

Politics is very much like water -- it always finds the path of least resistance.

You can try to go the opposite way, but water & politics are powerful stuff -- water cut the Grand Canyon.   Politics builds nations, keeps the peace and even conducts wars when necessary.

As anyone who has ever tried white-water rafting knows all too well, fighting the flow is a much harder proposition than trying to find a better, more efficient, way within the existing flow.

And changing the path of an existing river is an incredibly difficult thing to even contemplate.

Personally, I think you're going to get an awful lot further trying to make the existing political system work for you than by trying to replace the entire political landscape.

And there are far fewer risks involved too.   If you screw up the political landscape you can really mess everything up -- terminaly.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 03/19/2010 05:55 PM by kraisee »
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Offline Borderline

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #25 on: 03/19/2010 06:35 PM »
Robert,

(my snip)

Remove the existing pillars of political support for the agency at your absolute peril.   The entire house will come tumbling down around everyone's ears.

Given Obama's early campaign statements, I wonder if this isn't his real plan.

Ross.

Ross.  I hope that the era of "great projects" in human spaceflight is over.

As the economy gets worse (and I think it will) and the choices to fix it get harder...in my view as long as human spaceflight is seen as the entitlement of a few key politicians...it gets easier to cut.

I was having breakfast/a morning with an old classmate who was chief of staff to a guy who was, at one time, the senior Senator from Texas (and an old professor) and who is now a lobbiest and we both mused about "The 5/10 dinner" test" that human spaceflight is failing.

"Does it matter to the people at the 5/10 dinner in Hearne Texas". "Tiger" Teague use to thunder that when I was a child.    the lunar goal did, but only right up until Apollo 11...then it didnt.  The shuttle might have had it done what was advertised (ie open space commercially and done it on American terms)...the space station doesnt and going to the Moon is just inconcievable to folks who are trying to hang on to their farms. 

Unless human spaceflight starts producing federal tax dollars greater then spent on it...it wont last long as things get more sour in The Republic...as long as it is a tax taker it is a "good times" affair...

No one thinks about cutting GPS because it passes the 5/10 test.  WX satellites, national defense birds...they all pass the test. 

There is no national support for a lunar program.  That is why Obama abandoned it.  Those of us who support human spaceflight (at least on my end) recognize that Apollo era thought has run its course.  We have to find something that makes human spaceflight a multiplier in the economy; if we dont...its toast.

Robert

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #26 on: 03/19/2010 07:11 PM »
...i'm almost willing to bet my -2 month old child on that...

You're not a chicken are you?  Just askin', cause there's a saying about eggs and hatching, and stuff like that there...

(1) The more you choose to spend on Shuttle, the less you will have for developing the replacement capabilities -- and the longer it will then take you to get them online.

(2) So instead of just guessing, you should start by defining the requirements.
...

(3) If you choose to fly a third flight per year...

(1) I do understand this, tho I don't have a familiar grasp on the numbers.  However, I would suggest a meeting with the Joint Chiefs.  There are billions that the military gets that they literally don't want.  There's got to be a way to put some of this money into NASA, without affecting the national budgets's bottom line.  I also understand that there may not be a will to do this.  But this principle should be discussed.

(2) Indeed I should define requirements better.  See (3).

(3) The extra shuttle flights should be used to equip the ISS with the necessary infrastructure for use as a propellant depot, and to support the necessary proving missions for use of that depot.  One of these missions should be a concerted lunar prospecting mission, searching for and mapping water ice distribution.  Another should be a robotic factory cracking ice into H2 and O2, and storing it in tanks.  Finally, or maybe firstly, should be the honeymoon suite on the ISS.  Get tourist dollars ASAP.  That is the first place to get private investment.

My sense is that time is the issue here, not so much the money.  I'm so innocent.

Ross' chilling statement is when he wonders if cutting NASA hasn't been the political plan all along.  I have made some comments here and there:  Maybe we're being kept on-planet?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #27 on: 03/20/2010 01:04 AM »
Regarding Ross's most recent statements above: I've said the exact same thing before on this and other site's forums and have been told, at best; "Don't be silly" and at worst: had my posts removed altogether. I'm glad someone else is finally saying it... :(
« Last Edit: 03/20/2010 09:12 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline Rabidpanda

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #28 on: 03/20/2010 01:42 AM »
I think if Obama wanted to kill human spaceflight he would just go out and do it.  He could easily play it to his advantage, give a speech about making sacrifices during hard times, etc.  A lot of people would see him as a hero for cutting unescessary spending and using the money for health care or education.

Even if for some reason he didn't want to be open about it he could just keep constellation as it was and lower NASA's budget a few billion dollars.  That would be the best discrete way to kill HSF.

However, Obama has done neither of these things, he has RAISED nasa's budget and proposed what I think at least is a pretty good plan.  Of course Obama has had little to do with this himself, it has probably been the work of his advisors and Bolden/Garver, whatever some people on this forum would like to think space is hardly important compared with the other things Obama is dealing with.  Nonetheless, he still approved this proposed budget that gives HSF more money!

Of course critics will point out that early in Obama's campaign he proposed to cut HSF for education.  What they don't get is that it was 3 years ago.  That was just a small note in an early draft of a campain statement.  After there was an outcry over it, it was changed and Obama never talked about cutting HSF again.

I really don't get the mindset of people who accuse Obama of trying to 'kill US human spaceflight'.  Just because you don't agree with the budget he proposed doesn't make him a monster trying to destroy HSF.  Let's try and be rational here.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #29 on: 03/20/2010 02:08 AM »
"I think if Obama wanted to kill human spaceflight he would just go out and do it."

No, he wouldn't -- if he did, there would be literally thousands who would make it their live's work to ensure he doesn't get re-elected. He is far more of the mindset that agrees with Lori Garver: take taxpayer money away from manned spaceflight and evolve it into a nearly solely private venture. What he originally said in his campaign is what he's evolving more towards now: delay(end) Constellation and put that money towards education etc. And his rasing of NASA's budget is more a re-alignment or re-allocation of resources than a revolutionary, er, stimulus.

That rational enough for you, or would you still contend the likes of me don't get it?!
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #30 on: 03/20/2010 02:09 AM »
Let's be careful: the 'Off Topic" button will be pushed by someone shortly, I wager.
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Offline 93143

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #31 on: 03/20/2010 02:17 AM »
he has RAISED nasa's budget

No he hasn't.  Taking inflation into account, the 2011 budget is lower than 2010.

Subtract the Constellation closeout costs and it looks even worse.

The talk of more money in the out years is just talk.  NASA never gets the money it's promised in out-year projections.

Offline Borderline

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #32 on: 03/20/2010 04:09 AM »
"I think if Obama wanted to kill human spaceflight he would just go out and do it."

No, he wouldn't -- if he did, there would be literally thousands who would make it their live's work to ensure he doesn't get re-elected. He is far more of the mindset that agrees with Lori Garver: take taxpayer money away from manned spaceflight and evolve it into a nearly solely private venture. What he originally said in his campaign is what he's evolving more towards now: delay(end) Constellation and put that money towards education etc. And his rasing of NASA's budget is more a re-alignment or re-allocation of resources than a revolutionary, er, stimulus.

That rational enough for you, or would you still contend the likes of me don't get it?!

I find it amusing when people claim Lori Garver is a big supporter of commercial space.  Lori might have had a conversion in the last three years...I have been overseas most of that and space policy was "less" during that time...but before that her background was not one of changing NASA all that much.  In fact in the past I have been "opposite" Garver in "pro con" discussions and she was the biggest cheerleader that NASA human spaceflight could have.

Charlie Bolden however has been a very long time proponent of commercial human spaceflight.  I know for a fact that my congressperson at the time told Bush the last's folks when OKeefe "left" that Bolden was to much for commercial space.  (That would be Tom DeLay). 

There are not enough space "pro people" to ensure any President is or is not elected. 

(note I voted for "the other guy" in the 08 election)

Robert

Offline Borderline

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #33 on: 03/20/2010 04:11 AM »
he has RAISED nasa's budget

No he hasn't.  Taking inflation into account, the 2011 budget is lower than 2010.

Subtract the Constellation closeout costs and it looks even worse.

The talk of more money in the out years is just talk.  NASA never gets the money it's promised in out-year projections.

In the case of Ares...it didnt matter.  That Shuttle derived vehicle has consumed billions more then Atlas/Delta and now both Falcon's.  It is proving like all shuttle derived vehicles...far more expensive to develop then everyone thought.

Robert

Offline Andy USA

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #34 on: 03/20/2010 04:16 AM »
Let's be careful: the 'Off Topic" button will be pushed by someone shortly, I wager.

I agree, and a reminder, people only get the one warning, then they are kicked off (not aimed at you Matt).

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #35 on: 03/20/2010 04:23 AM »
"There are not enough space "pro people" to ensure any President is or is not elected."

Thousands of jobs are going already. If (government) manned space is 'eliminated', then thousands more jobs will go. Then, those folk and their many supporters and dependants could forge an alliance that might rival or better the 'tea party' movement. NEVER underestimate the potential power of alliances among angry people. Tens of thousands layed off could leverage hundreds of thousands to their cause. Now, some might argue that many of those folk are in non-Democrat 'Red' states, so it wouldn't matter anyway. And although Space would never be as big an issue as Health Care, Obama's opponents will look for any tool or weapon they can to unseat him. This is why Mr Obama is wisely scrambling right now for an alternative to soothe some furrowed brows.

Time will tell and we'll see. But enough digression (or IS it digression?!)
« Last Edit: 03/20/2010 09:03 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline 93143

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #36 on: 03/20/2010 04:28 AM »
In the case of Ares...it didnt matter.  That Shuttle derived vehicle has consumed billions more then Atlas/Delta and now both Falcon's.  It is proving like all shuttle derived vehicles...far more expensive to develop then everyone thought.

I'm not arguing for Ares.

Two points:

1) Ares was not Shuttle-derived.  It was what we around here like to call "Shuttle-flavoured".  Basically everything was new; it only looked Shuttle-derived.

2) Aside from Ares, when has anyone ever tried and failed to develop an efficient, inexpensive Shuttle-derived vehicle?

Offline Borderline

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #37 on: 03/20/2010 04:35 AM »
"There are not enough space "pro people" to ensure any President is or is not elected."

Thousands of jobs are going already. If (government) manned space is 'eliminated', then thousands more jobs will go. Then, those folk and their many supporters and dependants could forge an alliance that might rival or better the 'tea party' movement. NEVER underestimate the potential power of alliances among angry people. Tens of thousands layed off could leverage hundreds of thousands to their cause. Now, some might argue that many of those folk are in non-Democrat 'Red' states, so it wouldn't matter anyway. And although Space would never be as big an issue as Health Care, Obama's opponents will look for any too or weapon they can to unseat him. This is why Mr Obama is wisely scrambling right now for an alternative to soothe the furrowed brows.

Time will tell and we'll see. But enough digression (or is it digression?!)

an alternate space plan?  I dont think so.  Nelson "might" get his last shuttle flight; but if Obama gets his health care plan...he certainly will get his space plan.

Robert

Offline Borderline

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #38 on: 03/20/2010 04:43 AM »
In the case of Ares...it didnt matter.  That Shuttle derived vehicle has consumed billions more then Atlas/Delta and now both Falcon's.  It is proving like all shuttle derived vehicles...far more expensive to develop then everyone thought.

I'm not arguing for Ares.

Two points:

1) Ares was not Shuttle-derived.  It was what we around here like to call "Shuttle-flavoured".  Basically everything was new; it only looked Shuttle-derived.

2) Aside from Ares, when has anyone ever tried and failed to develop an efficient, inexpensive Shuttle-derived vehicle?

Oh Ares V is as shuttle derived as DIRECT is.

The V uses essentially an ET, the engines are SSME's or the 68...the solids are either 5 or 5.5 segment and are in terms of the cost to put them together like the current ones (or  the ones DIRECT) is suppose to use.  And on the V they really would not have the same problems as on the 1. (ie under performing first stage).  They would have similar issues with the J2X however...but thats a second stage issue. 

Thats different from DIRECT how?

Part of the "whats new" is to try and delete the things that are labor intensive in the shuttle stack (like teh avionics).

Otherwise there is no real difference...both have the same "once you build them you cannot afford to fly them" issues.

SDV's have been the Ahab on  Moby Dick of the shuttle world since I was in college...They all suffer from the same problems as the stack with the shuttle...the large standing army.

Robert

Offline Rabidpanda

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Re: Is It Time For DIRECT 4.0?
« Reply #39 on: 03/20/2010 05:28 AM »
I agree with borderline.  The orbiter part of the shuttle may require a fair portion of the standing army but the ETs SRBs and SSMEs require a good portion as well.  SDLV is expensive.  An EELV based architecture would be cheaper.

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