Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 446837 times)

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1300 on: 04/14/2011 11:48 pm »
Actually, I think just the Authorized spending amounts expire in 2013, but not the policy set in the Act.

True but Congress is likely to pass another NASA Authorization bill in 2013 for FY2014 and beyond.
« Last Edit: 04/14/2011 11:59 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1301 on: 04/14/2011 11:54 pm »
You presume a lot.

I presume nothing. The current Appropriations bill calls for initial capacity of SLS to be 130 tonnes. That rules out anything short of a full-up 5/5 with an upper stage. In other words, the original Ares V. It would be great if they built something smaller, but that simply doesn't fit the bill, literally.

The word "initial" does not appear in the final adopted bill. There's a reason for that.

Some people are going around in circles. Let's sort this out once and for all :)

1) The law is NASA must have a 130mt SLS by 2016.
2) The law is NASA must eventually have a 130mt SLS, Block 0 70mt by 2016 satisfies this.

Is it 1 or 2? :)

Only 51D can respond to this.

2 is the case, at least up to the comma. The actually capability of the "core elements" referenced in the law as being targeted for "contingent use" by the end of 2016, is yet to be seen based on the selected design. That is also the understanding of appropriations staff I have spoken to as late as this evening. There is NO requirement or expectation for a 130-ton capable complete vehicle by the end of 2016. Period. Not now, not in PL 111-216, not in anything I see downstream in finalizing FY 2012 funding.

At the Senate FY2012 Budget hearing, Bolden said that "the plan for the plan" should be coming soon. He said that this master plan would be shared with Congressionnal staff within a few weeks. Many people on this forum are expecting the SD-HLV, block 0 option to be presented as part of this master plan. But you are right, for the time being the 70mt, block 0 option is not official.
« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 12:00 am by yg1968 »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1302 on: 04/15/2011 12:16 am »
You presume a lot.

I presume nothing. The current Appropriations bill calls for initial capacity of SLS to be 130 tonnes. That rules out anything short of a full-up 5/5 with an upper stage. In other words, the original Ares V. It would be great if they built something smaller, but that simply doesn't fit the bill, literally.

The word "initial" does not appear in the final adopted bill. There's a reason for that.

Some people are going around in circles. Let's sort this out once and for all :)

1) The law is NASA must have a 130mt SLS by 2016.
2) The law is NASA must eventually have a 130mt SLS, Block 0 70mt by 2016 satisfies this.

Is it 1 or 2? :)

Only 51D can respond to this.

2 is the case, at least up to the comma. The actually capability of the "core elements" referenced in the law as being targeted for "contingent use" by the end of 2016, is yet to be seen based on the selected design. That is also the understanding of appropriations staff I have spoken to as late as this evening. There is NO requirement or expectation for a 130-ton capable complete vehicle by the end of 2016. Period. Not now, not in PL 111-216, not in anything I see downstream in finalizing FY 2012 funding.

There we go, thank you sir.

Now that will be linked up each and every time we get one of those "has to start as a 130mt vehicle" posts.

By the way, I'm wondering if we're now closed with FY2011, and that we need to move to on FY2012.....not sure, will take PM suggestions and leave open for the meantime.
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Offline Downix

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1303 on: 04/15/2011 12:22 am »
You presume a lot.

I presume nothing. The current Appropriations bill calls for initial capacity of SLS to be 130 tonnes. That rules out anything short of a full-up 5/5 with an upper stage. In other words, the original Ares V. It would be great if they built something smaller, but that simply doesn't fit the bill, literally.

The word "initial" does not appear in the final adopted bill. There's a reason for that.

Some people are going around in circles. Let's sort this out once and for all :)

1) The law is NASA must have a 130mt SLS by 2016.
2) The law is NASA must eventually have a 130mt SLS, Block 0 70mt by 2016 satisfies this.

Is it 1 or 2? :)

Only 51D can respond to this.

2 is the case, at least up to the comma. The actually capability of the "core elements" referenced in the law as being targeted for "contingent use" by the end of 2016, is yet to be seen based on the selected design. That is also the understanding of appropriations staff I have spoken to as late as this evening. There is NO requirement or expectation for a 130-ton capable complete vehicle by the end of 2016. Period. Not now, not in PL 111-216, not in anything I see downstream in finalizing FY 2012 funding.
Big thank you for that sir.  A huge help as ever.
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Offline Warren Platts

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1304 on: 04/15/2011 12:40 am »
Congress has implicitly agreed with the metric ton interpretation. The issue is decided.

Implicitly, Congress has agreed with the short ton interpretation: it's the only interpretation that's consistent with the budget and schedule they mandated.

They didn't distinguish between the two types of tons because they're congressmen for Pete's sake: they wouldn't know the difference between a metric ton and a short ton if it hit them on the head. The Saturn V had a 130 short ton capacity--the Saturn V HLV is the only touchstone 99% of these people have. That's where the 130 ton figure came from. Not from the Mars Direct/Semidirect literature.

It's really irresponsible of NASA to go with the metric interpretation. One could argue it's a dealer's choice, I guess, except for the fact that it's not: only one interpretation has at least a chance of coming in within the mandated schedule and budget.

Once again, NASA is playing chicken with the American taxpayer. Can't blame Griffin this time, however....
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Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1305 on: 04/15/2011 12:47 am »

It's really irresponsible of NASA to go with the metric interpretation. One could argue it's a dealer's choice, I guess, except for the fact that it's not: only one interpretation has at least a chance of coming in within the mandated schedule and budget.

It's Congress' responsibility now, plain and simple. Bolden & Cooke were BOTH on the stand and said EXPLICITELY that they used metric tons. If it wasn't fleshed out then, you cannot blame NASA now, or later.

We can argue that they didn't NEED to interpret the language that way, sure, but there were enough opportunities to have it clarified and changed, if they wished to. As 51D has pointed out, they (or a certain few) actually WANTED & advised for metric tons.

This is no longer anything like DIRECT (if it ever was considered DIRECT by those here for or against). I was holding out hope for the change back to short tons, but that's done for me.

EDIT: EXPLICITELY
« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 01:11 am by robertross »

Offline sdsds

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1306 on: 04/15/2011 12:50 am »
[That metric vs. short tons] is not specifically spelled out [...] is unfortunate, but in the end, insignificant in that NASA's assumption of the capability requirement as being expressed in metric tons is not going to be challenged by anyone in the Congress that I am aware of

With the metric interpretation Congress will never see from NASA a design that uses 5 segment boosters, J-2X and (only) 4 SSME.  Boeing published an LEO payload of 263,713 lbs. for that design.  Congress won't ever see it because NASA will use the metric interpretation to eliminate the design from consideration before bringing Congress the remaining options.

[EDIT to add attachment derived from http://www.launchcomplexmodels.com/Direct/documents/AIAA-2010-2370-650.pdf]
« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 12:56 am by sdsds »
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Offline Warren Platts

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1307 on: 04/15/2011 01:00 am »
Quote from: 51DMascot
[That metric vs. short tons] is not specifically spelled out [...] is unfortunate, but in the end, insignificant in that NASA's assumption of the capability requirement as being expressed in metric tons is not going to be challenged by anyone in the Congress that I am aware of

It may not be challenged, but I don't see the insignificance. The metric interpretation is a setup for failure.

Quote from: sdsds
With the metric interpretation Congress will never see from NASA a design that uses 5 segment boosters, J-2X and (only) 4 SSME.  Boeing published an LEO payload of 263,713 lbs. for that design.  Congress won't ever see it because NASA will use the metric interpretation to eliminate the design from consideration before bringing Congress the remaining options.

For once, I agree with you 100%.

Quote from: robetross
Bolden & Cooke were BOTH on the stand and said IMPLICITELY that they used metric tons.

Huh? So they didn't say it explicitly?

Quote from: robetross
This is no longer anything like DIRECT (if it ever was considered DIRECT by those here for or against). I was holding out hope for the change back to short tons, but that's done for me.

I was speaking of Mars Direct, not DIRECT (although I've always been curious about whether the apparent connection is real).
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Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1308 on: 04/15/2011 01:11 am »

Quote from: robetross
Bolden & Cooke were BOTH on the stand and said IMPLICITELY that they used metric tons.

Huh? So they didn't say it explicitly?


THANKS. Corrected.

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1309 on: 04/15/2011 02:16 am »
Actually, I think just the Authorized spending amounts expire in 2013, but not the policy set in the Act.

True but Congress is likely to pass another NASA Authorization bill in 2013 for FY2014 and beyond.

Both are correct; at least if the Congressional authorizing committees are doing their job in 2013 they will pass another authorization bill; prior to 2005, that was not always done on an annual basis, and even the current Committees chose not to do a formal authorization covering FY 2010, because of the delay in the HSF review and the late-in-the-year decision by the Administration not to send up an amended FY 2010 Budget Request reflecting their "response" to Augustine, as they had indicated in the FY 2010 Budget Request that they would. As in all authorization bills that authorize funding, only those sections addressing the specific fiscal year authorizations "expire" unless an expiration date or "sunset" provision is specifically added to any other section. Generally, all "policy" features of the bills remain in the law as initially passed until repealed or amended, or, in some cases, simply "overtaken by events."  Every few years the House Judiciary Committee reviews the aggregate body of law and prepares a "positive law" bill that recodifies a given Title of the U.S. Code and removes the "extraneous provisions" that are no longer binding or applicable. One such "positive law" recodification was enacted late last year. (H.R. 3237, as I recall.) Just a matter of "batting clean-up" to remove no longer applicable provisions--such as funding authorizations for previous Fiscal years, which no longer apply as those fiscal years have come and gone. Great care--and scrutiny--are given to those proposed statutory vacuum-cleaners by the authorizes to ensure no ongoing binding authority or requirements are inadvertently vitiated.

Sorry..I know I can often complicate the answer to seemingly simple questions, but the variants and foibles of the congressional and legislative process often requires a considerable amount of "background explanation" in order to be kept in the proper perspective, and ensure they are not seen as "new"authorizing legislation; they just help identify what continues to be relevant and applicable among a host of provisions included in a series of previous Acts.  Clear as mud?
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Mark S

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1310 on: 04/15/2011 02:59 am »
I am saying what I said..."that NASA's assumption of the capability requirement as being expressed in metric tons is not going to be challenged by anyone in the Congress that I am aware of...."

"Congress" being what it is, I'm not going to make an unqualified absolute statement; it's an institution just full of surprises, hehe. I just think what I DO know about the "jurisdictionaly-relevant participants" makes me reasonably comfortable that this is not going to be an issue.

51D, Sorry, I have to make one final appeal for explanation on the metric/short ton question.

Do you see what many here think that the metric interpretation will do to the SLS program, as I (and other) have described it previously? It rules out the possibility of DIRECT-like configuration that leverages Shuttle heritage and takes us right back to the Ares-V.

Do you disagree with that conclusion?
Or do you agree, but that is what Congress wants regardless?
Or is there some other explanation?

Sorry for the impertinence, but I just don't understand your position, especially considering your knowledge of the subject and your history of postings in all the various threads on this forum.

I think that if SLS is to be successful, then the metric interpretation will have to yield to the reality of what can be accomplished with the given resources in the specified time.

Thanks in advance for any answer you may provide. Your postings have been a valuable resource and provided a keen insight into the workings of our legislative bodies.

Thanks,
Mark S.

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1311 on: 04/15/2011 03:11 am »
The language passed today requires that

Quote from: Appropriation
the heavy lift launch vehicle ... shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously.

Last year's authorization, on the other hand, requires that development

Quote from: Authorization
of the core elements and the upper stage should proceed in parallel subject to appropriations. Priority should be placed on the core elements with the goal for operational capability for the core elements not later than December 31, 2016.

What's the difference between "simultaneously" (the appropriation) and "in parallel... with priority on the core elements"?

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1312 on: 04/15/2011 03:32 am »
The language passed today requires that

Quote from: Appropriation
the heavy lift launch vehicle ... shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously.

Last year's authorization, on the other hand, requires that development

Quote from: Authorization
of the core elements and the upper stage should proceed in parallel subject to appropriations. Priority should be placed on the core elements with the goal for operational capability for the core elements not later than December 31, 2016.

What's the difference between "simultaneously" (the appropriation) and "in parallel... with priority on the core elements"?

In my opinion, it esentially means the same thing. Priority on the core elements means that the upper stage can be ready later than 2016.
« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 03:35 am by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1313 on: 04/15/2011 04:08 am »
The President is expected to sign the full-year CR, tomorrow (i.e. on Friday).
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/14/congress-ready-close-budget-books-2011/

Quote
The legislation making $38.5 billion in cuts from domestic programs now goes to President Obama for his signature. He is expected to sign the bill into law Friday.

« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 04:11 am by yg1968 »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1314 on: 04/15/2011 04:23 am »
I am saying what I said..."that NASA's assumption of the capability requirement as being expressed in metric tons is not going to be challenged by anyone in the Congress that I am aware of...."

"Congress" being what it is, I'm not going to make an unqualified absolute statement; it's an institution just full of surprises, hehe. I just think what I DO know about the "jurisdictionaly-relevant participants" makes me reasonably comfortable that this is not going to be an issue.

51D, Sorry, I have to make one final appeal for explanation on the metric/short ton question.

Do you see what many here think that the metric interpretation will do to the SLS program, as I (and other) have described it previously? It rules out the possibility of DIRECT-like configuration that leverages Shuttle heritage and takes us right back to the Ares-V.

Do you disagree with that conclusion?
Or do you agree, but that is what Congress wants regardless?
Or is there some other explanation?

Sorry for the impertinence, but I just don't understand your position, especially considering your knowledge of the subject and your history of postings in all the various threads on this forum.

I think that if SLS is to be successful, then the metric interpretation will have to yield to the reality of what can be accomplished with the given resources in the specified time.

Thanks in advance for any answer you may provide. Your postings have been a valuable resource and provided a keen insight into the workings of our legislative bodies.

Thanks,
Mark S.

Not sure how to give you some assurances on your questions, but I will try.

One, I will say that what many folks have said about metric being the "death knell" for Direct-like configuration is simply not consistent with other information I have--information coming from the recent RAC studies, which admittedly have not been formally presented, so it will have to remain a "mystery" as to how I have it. But I am looking at a summary chart that shows a "Block-0-2016" variant, and the capability is shown as lifting MPCV to LEO on a 70 METRIC ton capacity vehicle. That tells me that a metric interpretation does NOT in fact rule out a shuttle-derived vehicle. So, no, I do not accept that alternate conclusion, based on information I have in hand.

Notwithstanding that, the issue for the Congress is the encouragement of shuttle-derived development as a near-term time and cost-savings feature that is intended to narrow the gap in US launch capability. If NASA comes in and says they can get there only if there's no hard requirement for a metric measurement, then that would be fine. The key focus and aim of the law is to have an evolvable system that has the ability to perform potential "interim missions" along the way to achieving an eventual full 130-ton-plus capability, maximizing the use of existing assets and design heritage. The Congress is NOT going to get hung up on a dispute or difference between a metric versus short-ton threshold as a hard requirement if the end result meets that key objective of mission capability. So it's immaterial to me, in that sense, what measurement system is used so long as the ability to perform that sort of potential interim mission capability by the end of 2016--or as close to it as possible--is achieved. So, to your last point about metric "yielding" to reality of what can be achieved, I would say "no problem with that." What I am looking at suggests that won't be necessary, but it if is, then OK.  Let's just make sure we have a means of alternative, back-up assured access to LEO/ISS as close to 2016/2017 as possible, in case there's a problem getting there with CCDev. That's the focus of the law.

Don't know if that gets at your concerns, but it's late and I am not going to "cogitate" on it further tonight, so if you need to press, then do so and I'll try to follow up.

And I don't sense "impertinence"; I sense inquisitiveness and concern, and I applaud both, so don't worry about that from my point of view, anyway.
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Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1315 on: 04/15/2011 04:30 am »
The language passed today requires that

Quote from: Appropriation
the heavy lift launch vehicle ... shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously.

Last year's authorization, on the other hand, requires that development

Quote from: Authorization
of the core elements and the upper stage should proceed in parallel subject to appropriations. Priority should be placed on the core elements with the goal for operational capability for the core elements not later than December 31, 2016.

What's the difference between "simultaneously" (the appropriation) and "in parallel... with priority on the core elements"?

Nothing, really; "simultaneous" doesn't have to mean "at the same precise pace," without regard to rational phasing of development of the elements that eventually need to be integrated to meet the requirements of the completed system. It just means you're on a path to build the vehicle that has the full-up requirements when you're done. Otherwise, there might be a "temptation" to just do a first, or core, stage and call it a day if you hit a snag later either in technology or funding stream, or whatever, and not press on the develop the full desired heavy lift capability. The Congress--both appropriators and authorizers do not want a situation where we end up with only half a loaf, so the intent is to press for the full vehicle development as the over-arching goal and direction. The "plan" for the vehicle development will presumably lay out more succinctly how that all would work.
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Offline sdsds

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1316 on: 04/15/2011 04:56 am »
the metric interpretation will [rule] out the possibility of DIRECT-like configuration that leverages Shuttle heritage [...]
Your postings have been a valuable resource and provided a keen insight into the workings of our legislative bodies.

I am looking at a summary chart that shows a "Block-0-2016" variant, and the capability is shown as lifting MPCV to LEO on a 70 METRIC ton capacity vehicle. That tells me that a metric interpretation does NOT in fact rule out a shuttle-derived vehicle.

First: like Mark S said, your posts here are extremely valuable, as is the work you are doing out in the real world.  Thank you!

Second:  analysts seem to agree about the "70 ton payload" vehicle with five segment boosters.  DIRECT calculated J-130H as providing at least 176,977lb (80,275kg).  The "metric" trouble only starts with the "130 ton payload" vehicle.  No analyst has published details of an ascent trajectory that takes 130 metric tons to LEO using only four SSME.  (Boeing has published a payload figure of approximately 120 metric tons, and has clearly done the analysis for it.)

Observers can reasonably ask, "What's the big deal about the fifth SSME?"  The issue is that the same propellant tanks can't be used with both the three engine "70 ton" vehicle and the five engine "130 ton" vehicle.  The new propellant tanks, with their different structural requirements and aerodynamics, make it a different vehicle, not just an evolution, requiring a repeat of the design, development, test, and evaluation work.  We fear that repeat work is going to be pricey!
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Offline Warren Platts

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1317 on: 04/15/2011 06:53 am »
the metric interpretation will [rule] out the possibility of DIRECT-like configuration that leverages Shuttle heritage [...]
Your postings have been a valuable resource and provided a keen insight into the workings of our legislative bodies.

I am looking at a summary chart that shows a "Block-0-2016" variant, and the capability is shown as lifting MPCV to LEO on a 70[/i][/u] METRIC ton capacity vehicle. That tells me that a metric interpretation does NOT in fact rule out a shuttle-derived vehicle.

First: like Mark S said, your posts here are extremely valuable, as is the work you are doing out in the real world.  Thank you!

Second:  analysts seem to agree about the "70 ton payload" vehicle with five segment boosters.  DIRECT calculated J-130H as providing at least 176,977lb (80,275kg).  The "metric" trouble only starts with the "130 ton payload" vehicle.  No analyst has published details of an ascent trajectory that takes 130 metric tons to LEO using only four SSME.  (Boeing has published a payload figure of approximately 120 metric tons, and has clearly done the analysis for it.)

1. I second what Mark S and sdsds say about your valuable posts.

2. I would add that the METRIC ton requirement also rules out of court the most shuttle derived option of all, the old Shuttle-C side-mount design. As a cost/time saving measure, it should at least be in the running.

3. Surely those in the NASA administrators office are aware of all this. The question is Why are they insisting on the metric interpretation? The answer, apparently, is the fact certain cost/time-savings designs are knocked out of the running as a result. Which leads to the next question, Why is NASA apparently married to Eros V? They know it can't be completed within the mandated budget and schedule. Do they really think they'll be given the extra time and $$$ required, or is the insistence on Eros V a cynical ploy to kill an SLS altogether, and get Congress  off of their backs?
« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 06:55 am by Warren Platts »
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1318 on: 04/15/2011 01:08 pm »
First, to 51D, many thanks for your patience and detailed responses.

... the issue for the Congress is the encouragement of shuttle-derived development as a near-term time and cost-savings feature that is intended to narrow the gap in US launch capability.

That has been, to me, "the plan for the plan", since PL 111-267.  There should be no gap, were I emperor, but this approach seems sensible and simply must do.  It doesn't mean that we should have SDLV's for all time, but only for some time, which may very well be a decade or so.  With the rapid development in the commercial LV world, perhaps FH will indeed come to be, and maybe even it's successor will come to be talked and speculated about.

Quote
If NASA comes in and says they can get there only if there's no hard requirement for a metric measurement, then that would be fine.

Well, no it wouldn't, I'd say.  Apparently we lost that Mars mission solely on NASA's confusion of the measurement units.  Most everybody in America refers to a ton as a 2000 pound mass. Most everybody in America who paid attention in school also knows that the scientific community, including NASA, prefers metric, and have no problem with that.  The common sense problem we all have is confusion of units which are not consistent.  By, of all things, rocket scientists.

So no, NASA can't have the option, by my decree, to leave some door to failure open, with some possible argument in testimony later on:  "We thought you meant long tons.  You know, 2240 pounds."

Quote
The key focus and aim of the law is to have an evolvable system that has the ability to perform potential "interim missions" along the way to achieving an eventual full 130-ton-plus capability, maximizing the use of existing assets and design heritage.

The plan for the plan.  Absolutely.  We really need to be implementing a plan, not endlessly arguing about what the plan should be, but that's another thread for another day.

Quote
The Congress is NOT going to get hung up on a dispute or difference between a metric versus short-ton threshold as a hard requirement if the end result meets that key objective of mission capability.

And that's fine too, pick a number and stick with it.

Quote
So it's immaterial to me, in that sense, what measurement system is used so long as the ability to perform that sort of potential interim mission capability by the end of 2016--or as close to it as possible--is achieved.

Several people here have stated that it's "immaterial" which units are chosen.  This proves, I'd say, that the selection of a target throw weight is ultimately an arbitrary choice, based only on choosing a number from a fairly narrow range of possibilities, in this case, a number between 118mT and 130mT as the ultimate capability for this particular LV.  Once this choice has been decided, then it is an engineering and design problem to work within that particular mass budget.

Now that the throw weight has been decided, start at 70mT, and work up to its ultimate capability.  And not a scruple more.

Are we done yet, with throw weight?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1319 on: 04/15/2011 01:46 pm »
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/15/154591/

Quote
President Barack Obama is expected to sign legislation Friday afternoon funding the federal government for the remainder of the current fiscal year, according to a senior administration official.
« Last Edit: 04/15/2011 01:47 pm by yg1968 »

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