Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 496918 times)

Offline aquanaut99

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I'm so disgusted right now I'm beginning to hope that the result in Congress will be a complete deadlock that will get nothing done at all. This seems like the least bad of all possible bad outcomes. Because while NASA gets nothing done, SpaceX will be flying astronauts to ISS by 2015.

Who's going to fund the development ? A CR will have no funds for commercial crew. Soyuz is what will be relied on.

Possible. But Soyuz won't last forever either. Sooner or later an alternative will become available. Or we abandon HSF entirely.

Offline mmeijeri

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Who's going to fund the development ? A CR will have no funds for commercial crew. Soyuz is what will be relied on.

Some here believe that under a CR COTS and CCDev would continue to be funded ($100M each?) and that Obama could direct NASA to exercise SpaceX's COTS-D option. Jim has said NASA doesn't want to do this because they want to give other companies a fair shot at the prize, but if no solution is forthcoming this could be a way to create facts on the ground. Assuming Obama still cares about his original plan, which isn't a given.

EDIT: found the thread in question:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21939
« Last Edit: 09/20/2010 04:39 PM by mmeijeri »
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline DaveJSC

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I'm so disgusted right now I'm beginning to hope that the result in Congress will be a complete deadlock that will get nothing done at all. This seems like the least bad of all possible bad outcomes. Because while NASA gets nothing done, SpaceX will be flying astronauts to ISS by 2015.

Who's going to fund the development ? A CR will have no funds for commercial crew. Soyuz is what will be relied on.

Possible. But Soyuz won't last forever either. Sooner or later an alternative will become available. Or we abandon HSF entirely.

Strange post. Why comment on Soyuz when you don't know any facts on it? Here's one, it's good for the length of the ISS extension. I assume you are anti-HSF?

Offline yg1968

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I'm so disgusted right now I'm beginning to hope that the result in Congress will be a complete deadlock that will get nothing done at all. This seems like the least bad of all possible bad outcomes. Because while NASA gets nothing done, SpaceX will be flying astronauts to ISS by 2015.

Where's SpaceX going to get the money from in that scenario. They are a business and won't do things that aren't good business (rightly so).

Edit: Beaten to it by Marsavian :)

SpaceX has said that it only needs $100 million for its pusher LAS (excluding any test flight). If commercial crew isn't funded, it will take longer for SpaceX to fly a crewed Dragon but it will still happen.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2010 05:55 PM by yg1968 »

Offline aquanaut99

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I'm so disgusted right now I'm beginning to hope that the result in Congress will be a complete deadlock that will get nothing done at all. This seems like the least bad of all possible bad outcomes. Because while NASA gets nothing done, SpaceX will be flying astronauts to ISS by 2015.

Who's going to fund the development ? A CR will have no funds for commercial crew. Soyuz is what will be relied on.

Possible. But Soyuz won't last forever either. Sooner or later an alternative will become available. Or we abandon HSF entirely.

Strange post. Why comment on Soyuz when you don't know any facts on it? Here's one, it's good for the length of the ISS extension. I assume you are anti-HSF?

No, I'm not. Just fed up with the whole endless discussions and political infighting. And Soyuz won't last forever, since the Russians intend to replace it with the PPTS spacecraft (eventually).
« Last Edit: 09/20/2010 04:53 PM by aquanaut99 »

Offline MP99

Maybe this is the way to pick a winner...

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2010-09-19/

cheers, Martin

PS Dilbert = House or Senate?
« Last Edit: 09/20/2010 05:03 PM by MP99 »

Offline Chris Bergin

I'm so disgusted right now I'm beginning to hope that the result in Congress will be a complete deadlock that will get nothing done at all. This seems like the least bad of all possible bad outcomes. Because while NASA gets nothing done, SpaceX will be flying astronauts to ISS by 2015.

Where's SpaceX going to get the money from in that scenario. They are a business and won't do things that aren't good business (rightly so).

Edit: Beaten to it by Marsavian :)

SpaceX has said that it only needs $100 million for its pusher LAS (excluding any test flights). If commercial crew isn't funded, it will take longer for SpaceX to fly a crewed Dragon but it will still happen.

Ok, so SpaceX only need another $100m....on top of what they were awarded in the $3.1 billion CRS contract (is that money safe?), and in addition to whatever COTS contract award will be required to actually launch crew?

Just asking :)

Just fed up with the whole endless discussions and political infighting.

Unavoidable, and it was always going to be the case, but I think we're all fed up with it. I have no idea how 51D etc manage to keep fighting, as it's a drain just reading this thread :)

Offline Lars_J

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Ok, so SpaceX only need another $100m....on top of what they were awarded in the $3.1 billion CRS contract (is that money safe?), and in addition to whatever COTS contract award will be required to actually launch crew?

Just asking :)

I think any "COTS-crew" (or whatever it would be called) contract is what would be used to fund the development of the LAS. Not in addition to it.

Offline yg1968

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Ok, so SpaceX only need another $100m....on top of what they were awarded in the $3.1 billion CRS contract (is that money safe?), and in addition to whatever COTS contract award will be required to actually launch crew?

Just asking :)

I think any "COTS-crew" (or whatever it would be called) contract is what would be used to fund the development of the LAS. Not in addition to it.

Yes. The $100 million would be for the LAS only. It doesn't include any test flights and also doesn't include infrastructure improvements (e.g. launch and service towers). The infrastructure improvements would probably be funded under the 21st century NASA infrastructure funds under the Senate bill (not commercial crew). I doubt that SpaceX would be funding these with its own money.  SpaceX will obviously need NASA to fund those.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2010 06:24 PM by yg1968 »

Offline simonbp

Nelson said he met for two hours Wednesday with the House science committee's chairman, Democratic Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee, but they weren't able to reach a compromise. ... Gordon said he hopes to bring a bill to the House floor this week.  "We're in discussions. We're making a lot of progress, and I'm very optimistic," Gordon said.

Remember that Gordan isn't standing for reelection, so it's not in his interests to let this go to a CR...

Offline marsavian

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Throw 5-seg SRB (for ATK) and J-2X (for Ares I restart potential) in for the HLV and he will be there I think ;).

« Last Edit: 09/20/2010 06:43 PM by marsavian »

Offline mmeijeri

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Remember that Gordan isn't standing for reelection, so it's not in his interests to let this go to a CR...

What on Earth is his interest in all this, given that he isn't standing for reelection?
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline robertross

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Yet I struggle with the very premise of validity in that report, and continue to whine about it.  Its key recommendation, visiting a NEO in the 'near term' of 2025, is ludicrous, as is the requirement for 6 1/2 or 7 new spacecraft which are nothing but pixels on a screen at the moment.

Yes, and just consider the complexity & challenges of a Mars landing, and what this would translate into (based on such a HEFT report).

Something that is 'slightly' overlooked is that Obama had requested a  Mars landing in mid-late 2030s. We would have to start building hardware for that before we even sent our crew module up to begin a NEO mission.

Obama had requested Mars *orbit* by the 2030s. Once the life support is qualified for longer missions, the HEFT asteroid spacecraft design is capable of a Phobos mission.

Well I guess my memory of that was a little hazy. It was orbit Mars in the mid 2030s, and then landing 'soon after that'.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Will

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Yet I struggle with the very premise of validity in that report, and continue to whine about it.  Its key recommendation, visiting a NEO in the 'near term' of 2025, is ludicrous, as is the requirement for 6 1/2 or 7 new spacecraft which are nothing but pixels on a screen at the moment.

Yes, and just consider the complexity & challenges of a Mars landing, and what this would translate into (based on such a HEFT report).

Something that is 'slightly' overlooked is that Obama had requested a  Mars landing in mid-late 2030s. We would have to start building hardware for that before we even sent our crew module up to begin a NEO mission.

Obama had requested Mars *orbit* by the 2030s. Once the life support is qualified for longer missions, the HEFT asteroid spacecraft design is capable of a Phobos mission.

Well I guess my memory of that was a little hazy. It was orbit Mars in the mid 2030s, and then landing 'soon after that'.

"And a landing on Mars will follow. And I expect to be around to see it."

Of course, there's a good chance Obama will be alive at least until 2039, and he could be optimistic about advances in medical science.

Offline alexw

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    Thanks for the reply, Jeff. I understand that future authorizations are hypothetical, and that both present and future appropriations committees need not be bound by any of it, but it's helpful to hear that you project that budget line to remain similar -- that the Committee is not under the impression that it would cut back in just a few years.

    Regarding timelines, the Senate bill specifies 31 Dec 2016, but according to the HEFT presentations -- which you are no doubt well aware of -- one projection for entry into service of the core alone is around 2019. HEFT also figures total development costs of $17.4 billion for the core, and another $7 billion for ground infrastructure -- mods to LC-39, crawlers, crawlerway, etc. -- which are big costs that I haven't seen reported in other small presentations. The total is $24.4 billion ($3 billion less for the "3/4" instead of "5/5" design), which, assuming the Senate budget profile, is finally spent by 2019 or 2020. (That's about the same as HEFT, but HEFT assuming spending at a faster rate, peaking at around $4 billion/yr in 2013.)
     No doubt you're received your own NASA estimates to bring SLS on line, and they may well be more optimistic. But what happens if either of these cost or time estimates really are correct, and due to either money or technical issues, SLS misses the 2016 deadline? Would NASA technically be in violation of the authorization law, or would future authorization bills likely just push back the clock as the deadline got closer?
HEFT is in the very early days. It only started it's full team this month. That's the reason HEFT is all "pre-decisional" now.
     There are references to the team at least back to April, and Doug Cooke was discussing it in May. Of course everything is preliminary, no one is saying otherwise.
      But when a NASA high-level team (which is presumably not comprised of idiots) that has access to all the other individual studies done along the way at JSC, MSFC, etc., comes out with total end-game numbers significantly more expensive, one has to consider whether the new information might have some validity. Especially in light of Bart Gordon's comments. NASA is not known for overestimating costs on major projects.
   -Alex

Offline clongton

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Unavoidable, and it was always going to be the case, but I think we're all fed up with it. I have no idea how 51D etc manage to keep fighting, as it's a drain just reading this thread :)

When you truely love someone or something, it's not just about the good times. It's the bad times too. He truely loves the American HSF program.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Jeff Bingham

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So the argument could be boiling down to whether something DIRECT-like is funded or something more expensive and capable like Ares V.

I think that the argument remains Ares-I.  Ares-I is perceived by some (especially in the House) as the only possible successor to the Shuttle.  This delusion has not died and its partisans remain determined to protect it.

What has happened is that both the House and Senate are now playing a deadly game of Chicken, with the future of NASA HSF likely to be the first casualty.

Chicken is more like running headlong at each other and seeing who will blink, or rather, swerve. Several weeks and dozens of hours of direct negotiations trying to see if a basis for agreement can be defined in order to avoid such a collision or either-or outcome seems to me to put a slightly different light on it...though, in the end, the result could be the same. 
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline simonbp

What on Earth is his interest in all this, given that he isn't standing for reelection?

To put his stamp on before he becomes a lame duck.

Offline sdsds

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What on Earth is his interest in all this, given that he isn't standing for reelection?

Consider what he might be doing after he leaves office.  Cynically, that could provide a clue.
-- sdsds --

Offline Chris Bergin


     There are references to the team at least back to April, and Doug Cooke was discussing it in May. Of course everything is preliminary, no one is saying otherwise.


Good point, I should clarify (to all) via a quote from a Staff Seniors memo (L2) that I used in an article...

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/08/live-atk-dm-2-test-inline-sd-hlv-nasa-support/

“EA/Engineering: We briefed Charlie (Bolden) and Lori (Garver) on HEFT in mid July and they accepted our recommendations will talk to the Senate about those,” noted the latest Staff Senior Meeting notes (L2).

“The HEFT team talked to the steering council. The team will continue through August 31st and then turn it over to a long term HEFT team.”

So my comment was about the full/long term team.

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