Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 712746 times)

Offline Cinder

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Yes Ross.  Is Pathfinder wrong, or is the chart, or is there something more to it (Jupiter bang for buck in a BEO role) that I missed?
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Offline kraisee

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An example of just some of the issues which he's missing:

Scenario A:   An Intermediate EELV-class launch vehicle costs $168m to lift a 20mT payload at a flight rate of 20 flights per year @ ~$8,400 per kg to LEO.   Mission needs 200mT IMLEO.

Factors at work:   The hardware portion of the payload now needs additional hardware because it can't be fully integrated on the ground and now has to include docking adapters and additional bulkheads.   All that costs more.   What would have massed, say, 40mT now masses 50mT.   Costs will have actually grown at an even greater rate than that due to all the additional systems involved, but you get the point.

Additionally, each propellant vehicle now requires a system to steer and dock it to a propellant depot, which 'costs' both extra fuel and extra mass, so the effective 20mT payload is now reduced to, say, 18mT per flight of final delivered mass.

Net result:   3 flights needed for 50mT of hardware launches, another 9 required for the fuel (not counting launching the depot).   At $168m per flight, this single mission for that year costs $2 billion in launch costs alone, not counting any of the additional penalty costs involved in the extra hardware development and production which is required.


Scenario B: An SD-HLV like J-246 costs ~$4,100 per kg to LEO at a flight rate of 6 per year, and can lift more than five payloads worth in a single launch, for a per flight cost of $451m.   Yes, that's three times the cost of the smaller EELV vehicle, but you only need 2 of them to meet the same 200mT IMLEO requirement for the same mission, not 12.

All of the hardware can be fully integrated on the ground prior to launch, and no design compromises have to be made at all, incurring only minimal payload development and production costs.

Total launch costs are a little under $1bn.   And you can proceed with most early Human Exploration class missions without actually having to develop the depot -- although doing so at some point only expands the capabilities by a substantial amount.


The difference only becomes greater when you start considering the costs for 2 missions or 3 missions per year.   And if we aren't planning an exploration program which is going to be flying more than one mission per year, really, what is the point?

We designed the Jupiter-246 to provide a 'sweet spot' enabling up to 1,200 tons of both hardware and propellant to be launched every year for a reasonable price (less than $4bn per year in launch costs -- about 80% of nominal Shuttle operations).   That is sufficient to support 6 Lunar Class missions per year without a depot, 12 with a depot.   And with that capability, only half of those each year are required in order to support Mars-class missions -- so you can continue to operate Lunar missions while conducting Mars missions every two years as well.

The reason why we have aimed at this level is so that we can get some reasonable production rates on the even more expensive spacecraft, not just the launchers.   If it costs $3bn/year to make landers, but each one then costs only $300m, 1 per year costs $3.3 billion whereas 6 per year cost only $4,800m and each mission only has to pay $800m for its lander.

You can't even dream of doing any of that with the non-HLV's.   And Ares-V grew too big to be economical any more, so you have to look in the mid-ground between the 20mT EELV class and the 180mT Ares-V class.

Take a guess where Jupiter is...

Ross.
« Last Edit: 07/17/2010 01:55 pm by kraisee »
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Offline kkattula

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Ross,  I can't recall if you have presented one before, but do you have a similar chart of cost per kg vs kg per year for each launcher?

Offline gladiator1332

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So if all of this clears congress, what is next for NASA? Are we going to get an ESAS 2.0? Or will the SD-HLV report already released be seen as good enough evidence to make a decision?

Offline KelvinZero

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The reason why we have aimed at this level is so that we can get some reasonable production rates on the even more expensive spacecraft, not just the launchers.   If it costs $3bn/year to make landers, but each one then costs only $300m, 1 per year costs $3.3 billion whereas 6 per year cost only $4,800m and each mission only has to pay $800m for its lander.

What lander? :(

Offline mr. mark

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I don't know about manned landers since the plan is to orbit the moon anyways, not land there.It may be a free return trajectory not even a lunar orbit. As far as unmanned, Armadillo Aerospace or Masten might be able to put something together by then for much cheaper than NASA.

Offline 2552

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Scenario A:   An Intermediate EELV-class launch vehicle costs $168m to lift a 20mT payload at a flight rate of 20 flights per year @ ~$8,400 per kg to LEO.   Mission needs 200mT IMLEO.

$168m at 20 flights per year? Does this take into account spreading the fixed costs over those 20 launches? Is "Intermediate EELV-class launch vehicle" Atlas, Delta, or both (for 10 launches of each)?

Offline sdsds

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So if all of this clears congress, what is next for NASA? Are we going to get an ESAS 2.0?

This will clear Congress only if it has the tacit agreement of the President, so if it clears Congress the President will sign it into law.

I am not a political scientist but with this legislation the "intent of Congress" can be fairly clearly understood.  (When making determinations about the intent of lawmakers, courts consider not only the law itself, but also statements made on the floor or in committee, or as part of a Conference Report.) 

The intention expressed by Senator Hatch (R-Utah) was crystalline in its clarity:  only a heavy lift vehicle using (Utah-made) solid rocket boosters would meet the listed requirements.  I don't know of any other member of the committee who contradicted that in any way.  The intention expressed by Senator Vitter (R-Louisiana) was fairly clear as well, mentioning Michoud by name several times in the context of where the heavy lift vehicle would be assembled.  Physics strongly suggests that if a vehicle is using large SRBs the core should be hydrolox with regenerative nozzle cooling, i.e. SSME.  (This is probably the reverse of how a rocket scientist thinks about it....)  So except for the upper stage there isn't much design work left to do.

The intent of Congress expressed by this law would be that NASA find missions for which this vehicle is appropriate.  Implicitly this is an adoption of the "flexible path" mentality, which says we don't know today exactly where we're going tomorrow, or exactly how we'll get there, and that's OK.

This aspect of the legislation is perhaps the truest reflection of the "sea change" that will take place in the 2011 fiscal year.  It turns out Congress doesn't need to mandate specific destinations for human space exploration missions!
« Last Edit: 07/18/2010 04:26 am by sdsds »
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Offline alexw

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An example of just some of the issues which he's missing:
Scenario A:   An Intermediate EELV-class launch vehicle costs $168m to lift a 20mT payload at a flight rate of 20 flights per year @ ~$8,400 per kg to LEO.   Mission needs 200mT IMLEO.
...
Net result:   3 flights needed for 50mT of hardware launches, another 9 required for the fuel (not counting launching the depot).   At $168m per flight, this single mission for that year costs $2 billion in launch costs alone, not counting any of the additional penalty costs involved in the extra hardware development and production which is required.

Scenario B: An SD-HLV like J-246 costs ~$4,100 per kg to LEO at a flight rate of 6 per year, and can lift more than five payloads worth in a single launch, for a per flight cost of $451m.   Yes, that's three times the cost of the smaller EELV vehicle, but you only need 2 of them to meet the same 200mT IMLEO requirement for the same mission, not 12.
    But if you can only afford one 200mT mission a year (how many NEO or Lagrange missions are there, already?), your $3-$5 billion fixed costs SDHLV (depending on how NASA mangles DIRECT) is more expensive than just paying for EELV launches. A point which, IIRC, you have made yourself.

Quote
You can't even dream of doing any of that with the non-HLV's.   And Ares-V grew too big to be economical any more, so you have to look in the mid-ground between the 20mT EELV class and the 180mT Ares-V class.
Take a guess where Jupiter is...
   In a sweet spot. So would EELV Phase I or II, without the same fixed costs.
   -Alex

Offline telomerase99

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This path doesnt seem so flexible. I don't see how it embodies the flexible path as Garver and the Whitehouse state. If we spend 11 billion on a launch  system with really high operating costs then we are really stuck with it. If times get tough we have to cancel the whole project and are left with nothing. Maybe NASA could do a study and find that a liquid would have much lower operating costs and use the 11 billion to develop an all liquid heavy lift much sooner.

I guess the downside would be that it still would not be competitively awarded... Probably the best thing would be for NASA to be dismantled all together and for money for technology and manned space flight to be competitively awarded directly. Looks like there are too many hands in the pot. Obama in my mind has failed once again.

I am glad that there will be less lay offs in this tough job market though... That in my mind, is the silverlining in this otherwise tragic compromise that virtually grounds us for another five years and prevents the development of any new technology via NASA funds.

Offline clongton

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Maybe NASA could do a study and find that a liquid would have much lower operating costs and use the 11 billion to develop an all liquid heavy lift much sooner.

Just responding to your musing: The AJAX HLV fits that bill. But let's not go there in *this* thread.
« Last Edit: 07/18/2010 11:30 am by clongton »
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Offline Cinder

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Thank you Ross.
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Offline jongoff

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Not sure if this is the place to mention this, but according to Jeff Foust on twitter:

Jeff Foust   RT @KenMonroe: The House Science and Technology Cmte will mark up the #NASA Authorization Act of 2010 on Thurs at 10am in 2318 Rayburn HOB.

Anyone know if it will be live fed? and what the url would likely be if it is? Anyone have info on what their draft looks like, and if there are any important differences with the Senate bill?

Lastly, should this be in a new thread?

~Jon

Offline jongoff

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Not sure if this is the place to mention this, but according to Jeff Foust on twitter:

Jeff Foust   RT @KenMonroe: The House Science and Technology Cmte will mark up the #NASA Authorization Act of 2010 on Thurs at 10am in 2318 Rayburn HOB.

Anyone know if it will be live fed? and what the url would likely be if it is? Anyone have info on what their draft looks like, and if there are any important differences with the Senate bill?

Lastly, should this be in a new thread?

~Jon

http://science.house.gov/legislation/leg_highlights_detail.aspx?NewsID=2885

That's the highlights...

~Jon

Offline psloss

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http://science.house.gov/legislation/leg_highlights_detail.aspx?NewsID=2885

That's the highlights...
Thanks for the spot, Jon -- FWIW, the full text of the bill on the House side "as noticed for markup" is linked on that page (direct link).  Just got it now, but will be interesting to see how much of a match this is with the Senate bill.

Edit: never mind about it 'matching' -- at least going into markup, it's significantly different than the Senate bill.  Wish I had more time to look at this tonight, but at first glance this is closer to the President's proposed budget.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2010 12:48 am by psloss »

Online Chris Bergin

No sign of STS-135 in this? Did I miss it?

And:
"Sec. 202. Restructured Exploration Program

Directs the Administrator to develop a plan to restructure the current exploration program and develop, test, and demonstrate a government-owned crew transportation system and evolvable heavy lift transportation system in a manner that enables a challenging exploration program, minimizes the human space flight “gap”, seeks efficiencies in program management and reductions in fixed and operating costs, requires a high level of crew safety, contains a robust flight and ground test program, facilitates the transition of Shuttle personnel, makes maximum practicable use of the work completed to date on the Orion, Ares I, heavy lift, and ground support and exploration enabling projects and contracts, and is phased in a manner consistent with available and anticipated resources."

How are they going to use Ares I for use with HLV? That seems to replace SD from the Senate side?
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Offline psloss

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No sign of STS-135 in this? Did I miss it?
Nope, it's not in this draft, and neither is any additional money for operations -- the Senate bill authorizes ~$1.6 billion, this bill authorizes $1 billion (same as in the President's request).

Will be interesting to see what it looks like when it goes to the House floor, but if it's anything like this draft, perhaps there's still some negotiating to do in conference.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2010 01:02 am by psloss »

Online Chris Bergin

No sign of STS-135 in this? Did I miss it?
Nope, it's not in this draft, and neither is any additional money for operations -- the Senate bill authorizes ~$1.6 billion, this bill authorizes $1 billion (same as in the President's request).

Will be interesting to see what it looks like when it goes to the House floor, but if it's anything like this draft, perhaps there's still some negotiating to do in conference.


I'm being dramatic, but does that mean there's some shuttle hating Congressmen out there? I'm at a loss as to how STS-135 would be removed.
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Offline zerm

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No sign of STS-135 in this? Did I miss it?

And:
"Sec. 202. Restructured Exploration Program

Directs the Administrator to develop a plan to restructure the current exploration program and develop, test, and demonstrate a government-owned crew transportation system and evolvable heavy lift transportation system in a manner that enables a challenging exploration program, minimizes the human space flight “gap”, seeks efficiencies in program management and reductions in fixed and operating costs, requires a high level of crew safety, contains a robust flight and ground test program, facilitates the transition of Shuttle personnel, makes maximum practicable use of the work completed to date on the Orion, Ares I, heavy lift, and ground support and exploration enabling projects and contracts, and is phased in a manner consistent with available and anticipated resources."

How are they going to use Ares I for use with HLV? That seems to replace SD from the Senate side?

Just a note- in the Senate hearings, Nelson asked Bolden what he thought of using an Ares I (X) type of vehicle to flight test the 5 seg. SRBs for a HLV. Bolden replied that he thought that would be a good idea because budget wise it would allow the costs of the Ares I program to then be spread across both programs, thus making it appear to be lower in cost. This type of reasoning could be the reason that you see this mentioned.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2010 01:21 am by zerm »

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks Zerm, and also noting they are really going after commercial crew here (as in badly). Wording such as a government crew system.

Is Congress trying to bring back Constellation, with Ares I/Orion?
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