Author Topic: A thread for those opposed to Direct/SLS  (Read 62289 times)

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: A thread for those opposed to Direct/SLS
« Reply #260 on: 10/04/2010 07:02 AM »
COTS/CRS is a direct result of the investment in STS/ISS and would not exist otherwise. It is not too radical a leap of imagination to think that any permanent exploration objects created by SLS would eventually be serviced by commercial entities too. Science and DoD will also clearly use the much greater capability of SLS once freed from the sub 30mT limit forced upon them by relying on LVs derived from commercial satellite launchers. Bigelow has also said he will make use of this new capability.

Science has little use for a large rocket due to budget (i.e. how many Cassini sized budgets are there?). DOD, nope and they have the budget to build it themselves. Bigelow sure, but he needs to get his LEO station up first. He won’t be in that position for a very long time.

NASA needs something that allows you to have the budget to develop payloads in a timely manner. SLS drains so much out the budget that payload development gets delayed into the far future. My nightmare is an American moon landing via chemical rockets in 2030 that is just in time to see Chinese warp drive tests from Luna. Our technology being sacrificed in the name of exploration.



.... Arguably the SLS is expensive, very expensive, but without it we would be going nowhere BEO. Even with it we would go nowhere - by ourselves. No one else on earth could afford to build this, but we can. Once we (humanity, not just the US) has it however, NOW we’re talking. Just like the STS enabled the partner nations to roll up their sleeves and participate in meaningful ways, now the SLS will do the same for solar system exploration. Other nations will join with us, each one contributing to the “human” effort to explore, whatever they are able to add to the mix. NASA, all by itself, was NEVER going to “accomplish anything worthwhile in terms of exploration” by itself - it is just too expensive. But NASA *can* provide the means for humanity as a whole to do that. That will be the legacy of the SLS.

The SLS will become the foundation for the foreseeable future for humanity as a whole to begin to move out into the solar system and establish a permanent human presence in various places there. And it will be a human effort, not just an American effort. That is and will be the “worthy goal” that you miss in your thoughts. The SLS will make that possible in ways that nothing else ever could.


Lots of folks don't seem to get the idea that we Americans are not going to foot the bill and provide all the technical capabilities needed to explore and settle the Solar System. Every nation on the planet Earth is going to be involved one way or another. Don't have a "nightmare" or worry about the folks from India and China or wherever, because they are going to be right next to you in whatever space hab you're living in or whatever kind of jeep you're driving across the Lunar surface.

We either explore and develop space as one species or we have a Cold War or a series of nasty hot wars that eat up most of our resources and energy and we end up never having enough money to do much space exploration and colonization.  It is a choice. The ISS has shown us what is possible. What we do next is up to us.




The Science budget to use SLS would not be radically different if it had used a MLV, a more capable payload/mission is produced which if JWST is any indication would probably be simpler and cheaper overall. The DoD is not going to spend tens of billions on a LV when it can just get by but that doesn't mean it will not take advantage of this essentially free development once built as NASA has of the DoD developed EELVs.

Exactly. And its not just the DOD ethier. I would point again to the renewed interest in SBSP among other things.

Sorry SBSP is not going to happen with current technology. That was one of the missions the shuttle was supposed to do build arrays in orbit. At the time I thought that was a great use of the shuttle, but  from what I can tell the economics don't add up. You lose too much power in transmission.  I don’t see SLS changing that equation.

And the DOD has a much larger budget than NASA with a lot more pull in congress If they thought they needed it they could get it built a lot easier than NASA.


And Pathfinder_01, why would the DOD have built an HLV when they were perfectly aware that NASA and the PoR was trying to build Ares V? The DOD has their own serious budget problems. And today they are not likely to spend money on an HLV when NASA and the new PoR is already working on the J-130/SLS... And while SBSP is not going to happen with our current technology it very well could happen with the technology the world will have in twenty or thirty or forty years from now. Technology isn't static, it is always changing. My best guess is that with all the folks from everywhere on the planet Earth getting more and more focused on education, and a lot less focused on having babies, the pace of technological change is going to accelerate, and that is good news for the possibilities of making SBSP work out just fine....

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Offline gospacex

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Re: A thread for those opposed to Direct/SLS
« Reply #261 on: 10/04/2010 09:19 AM »
Science has little use for a large rocket due to budget (i.e. how many Cassini sized budgets are there?). DOD, nope and they have the budget to build it themselves. Bigelow sure, but he needs to get his LEO station up first. He won’t be in that position for a very long time.

NASA needs something that allows you to have the budget to develop payloads in a timely manner. SLS drains so much out the budget that payload development gets delayed into the far future. My nightmare is an American moon landing via chemical rockets in 2030 that is just in time to see Chinese warp drive tests from Luna. Our technology being sacrificed in the name of exploration.

If thats true I could say the same for commercial. After all, what use does science have for 40-65 mt commercial launchers either?

By the way your forgetting something. If we had gone with Obama Space, these "commercial" companies would still have been paid to provide everything NASA will provide with SLS with the same taxpayer dollars!

They might be able to achieve the goal with LESS taxpayer dollars.

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The only difference is that there is no track record for any of the commercial hardware except for Atlas and Delta, and the phasing programs to get them up to the 40-65 mt range would be nearly as expensive if not more so than SLS,

No, Atlas/Delta evolution is cheaper than SLS.

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and Spacex has no track record, whereas STS hardware as 30 years to go on and all facilities already in place, with most of the flight hardware already in operation.

STS has a track record of having flight rate dramatically lower than promised, budget and schedule busting and record-setting high $/kg in LEO cost.

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Same amount of money, less certainty with commercial. That may change in a few years, but thats not the case now.

Can you remind me when last time (or ever) Delta, Atlas or Falcon-9 were stood down for 2 years and underwent redesign to fix fatal flaws, eating $4bn/year during these "do nothing" years?

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: A thread for those opposed to Direct/SLS
« Reply #262 on: 10/04/2010 02:39 PM »
Except that SLS is a closed system, which is removed from the space based economy...
I think your error is in your first sentence.  Thinking that I'm using the term "closed" is somewhat the same way that your are, I would say that SLS should turn out to be a part of the space based economy, particularly if it is used to build an L1 research station/depot/hotel.  This presupposes that private entities would be able to use that L1 station, if they could get there.  It also presupposes that the commercial entities could fill up at the depot, or fill it up.

So I'm a bit confused by your opinion.  Your list ends up being a bunch of "Yeses" of the SLS makes use of the commercial launch industry, which is what it's supposed to do, by my understanding.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Luc

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Re: A thread for those opposed to Direct/SLS
« Reply #263 on: 10/04/2010 03:55 PM »
 As always, I appreciate the well reasoned responses I generally get from the team. I honestly hope you are right, but I am far from optimistic.

I too grew up doing bomb drills in the classroom, and I can assure you that the space race had nothing whatsoever to do with ending the cold war.  Man would never have set foot on the moon, were it not for the single-minded determination of a former Nazi/enemy who never gave a fig for politics or ideology anyway. The Soviet Union collapsed under it's own weight, and our society is poised to do the same.  In fact, our society has absorbed many of the agents of destruction of the Soviet as well as Nazi systems.

I view the ISS as a cautionary tale on how NOT to do projects in space, and it certainly played no part in ending the cold war - except perhaps as an indicator.

The only thing worse than trying to herd all the cats of a bloated federal government bureaucracy and attendant politics by throwing more than an order of magnitude more resources and complexity at a relatively simple problem, would be adding an additional layer of international politics (pork and erroneous constraints.). That would put even a small victory beyond reach of even the heroic DIRECT team (you guys are heroes for certain.)

Exploration has never and will never be done by committee, nor is good engineering. 

Lots of things are going to need to blow up, and a significant number of people are going to have to die in order for us to establish a sustainable foothold off world.  Until the resources required come into the hands of those willing to get blown up and die in order to see it through, it isn't going to happen.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2010 04:02 PM by Luc »

Offline Lars_J

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Re: A thread for those opposed to Direct/SLS
« Reply #264 on: 10/04/2010 04:22 PM »
I view the ISS as a cautionary tale on how NOT to do projects in space, and it certainly played no part in ending the cold war - except perhaps as an indicator.

At least it got done, as opposed to the great many power-point projects that would/will be done right - and never materialize.

Exploration has never and will never be done by committee, nor is good engineering.

It ain't perfect, but life is full of compromises. That applies to government and commercial projects alike.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: A thread for those opposed to Direct/SLS
« Reply #265 on: 10/04/2010 06:26 PM »
There are also commercial payloads which could utilize such a HLV, due to size if nothing else.  I am thinking of the potential for solar power array, gigantic ones.  Or for asteroid mining, as a single one could bring in more wealth than a whole countries GDP.
Downix, I think it's safe to say that neither of those is really workable within the next couple decades.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: A thread for those opposed to Direct/SLS
« Reply #266 on: 10/04/2010 06:35 PM »
I view the ISS as a cautionary tale on how NOT to do projects in space, and it certainly played no part in ending the cold war - except perhaps as an indicator.

At least it got done,

For certain definitions of the word done, of course.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

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