Author Topic: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs  (Read 68901 times)

Offline 2552

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Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« on: 04/01/2011 04:24 PM »
http://spacenews.com/civil/110401-boeing-sls-work-needed-avert-layoffs.html

Quote
PARIS and WASHINGTON —Boeing will be laying off some 800 employees this summer unless NASA immediately agrees to incorporate the company’s work on the canceled Ares rocket program into the agency’s planned heavy-lift rocket mandated by Congress, the head of Boeing’s space exploration division said March 31.

In a briefing with reporters, Brewster Shaw said most of the Boeing work force currently assigned to the U.S. space shuttle, plus those who have been working on the now-canceled Ares 1 rocket upper stage, have nowhere to go within the company other than to NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS).

Waiting for NASA to send out and evaluate bid requests for the work as part of a competitive procurement would take months, if not more than a year, Shaw said — too long for Boeing to maintain the staff now working on the shuttle and the expiring Ares 1 contracts.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 04:25 PM by 2552 »

Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #1 on: 04/01/2011 04:40 PM »
And the blood-letting continues.
Thank you very much Dr. Griffin, whom I hold personally responsible for this entire mess.
Now, if only Bolden and company will pop their head out of their backsides, maybe we can get by with a tourniquet and not an amputation. But, because this is NASA we are talking about, I'd bank on major surgery happening.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline mike robel

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #2 on: 04/01/2011 04:43 PM »
Oh, I think there is enough blame to go around.  NASA, the President of the United States, the Congress...

Offline jongoff

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #3 on: 04/01/2011 05:00 PM »
While I can empathize with Mr Shaw, if this is a new vehicle (it is), isn't NASA required by FAR regulations to competitively bid the work?  Not trying to justify any "foot-dragging", just trying to ask a question.  Wasn't Aerojet recently making the claim that even the SRB contract (if they go SDHLV) would have to be bid competitively?

~Jon

Offline pummuf

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #4 on: 04/01/2011 05:19 PM »
Oh, I think there is enough blame to go around.  NASA, the President of the United States, the Congress...

Right now it's congress that's running for emperor of the moron universe. At one of the hearings in the last few days, I saw a congressman lambasting Obama for not showing the 'leadership' needed for NASA to implement congress's plans.

Still, anyone who's ever seen a layoff at their place of work knows the company usually winds up healthier afterwards.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 05:29 PM by pummuf »

Offline padrat

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #5 on: 04/01/2011 07:45 PM »
Still, anyone who's ever seen a layoff at their place of work knows the company usually winds up healthier afterwards.

In a few months this place will be able to enter the Mr. Universe competition 
If the neighbors think you're the rebel of the neighborhood, embrace it and be the rebel. It keeps them wondering what you'll do next...

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #6 on: 04/01/2011 07:58 PM »
While I can empathize with Mr Shaw, if this is a new vehicle (it is), isn't NASA required by FAR regulations to competitively bid the work?  Not trying to justify any "foot-dragging", just trying to ask a question.  Wasn't Aerojet recently making the claim that even the SRB contract (if they go SDHLV) would have to be bid competitively?

~Jon

Bit of a double standard?  I guess for one who in the past has advocated EELV so fiercely for everything and then suggesting it was just a simple evolution *if* we ever needed heavy lift, why wouldn't that have to be bid competively?  Would that not be a new rocket by your definition?
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #7 on: 04/01/2011 08:04 PM »
Still, anyone who's ever seen a layoff at their place of work knows the company usually winds up healthier afterwards.

In a few months this place will be able to enter the Mr. Universe competition 

Not just KSC but a large portion of an industry.  With CxP and Shuttle going away concurrently, nothing to replace it and the devesatation that will cause not only operationally but to the workforce is disgraceful.

I loath people cheering for it, actively hoping it will happen, dilutionally believing all will be better because of it.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 08:05 PM by OV-106 »
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Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #8 on: 04/01/2011 08:22 PM »
http://spacenews.com/civil/110401-boeing-sls-work-needed-avert-layoffs.html

Quote
PARIS and WASHINGTON —Boeing will be laying off some 800 employees this summer unless NASA immediately agrees to incorporate the company’s work on the canceled Ares rocket program into the agency’s planned heavy-lift rocket mandated by Congress, the head of Boeing’s space exploration division said March 31.

In a briefing with reporters, Brewster Shaw said most of the Boeing work force currently assigned to the U.S. space shuttle, plus those who have been working on the now-canceled Ares 1 rocket upper stage, have nowhere to go within the company other than to NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS).

Waiting for NASA to send out and evaluate bid requests for the work as part of a competitive procurement would take months, if not more than a year, Shaw said — too long for Boeing to maintain the staff now working on the shuttle and the expiring Ares 1 contracts.
Isn't a clear vision and decisive leadership a fun thing to watch, be part of, to see great things being achieved?  I guess I'll have to settle for watching Butler's run in the NCAA tournament, because I sure don't see it in our space program. :'( :'( :'( :'(

Offline butters

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #9 on: 04/01/2011 09:06 PM »
Wouldn't Boeing essentially be even-money to secure a considerable chunk of whatever launch architecture NASA chooses for manned exploration? Even if they go down the RAC-2 or RAC-3 paths, it's highly unlikely that Boeing doesn't get a piece of the action. They are the politically if not also technically inevitable winner of any contract for a new or evolved upper stage.

Let's not forget that SLS is not yet synonymous with SDLV or RAC-1. Boeing may need some sort of SLS program to keep those 800 people employed, but that could be anything from a WBC or ACES on EELV or a larger upper like AIUS or JUS for SDLV or RP-1 SHLV.

I think that just about everybody on this board agrees that a new upper stage of some sort would be an appropriate development for a manned exploration architecture. And I don't think there are many here who think that SpaceX really has a reasonable shot at winning that contract. It's going to be Boeing or Lockheed, and because Lockheed has Orion and the inside track on the core stage, the upper stage (whatever it may be) will fall right into Boeing's lap.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 09:07 PM by butters »

Offline renclod

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #10 on: 04/01/2011 09:27 PM »
...Boeing may need some sort of SLS program to keep those 800 people employed, but that could be anything from a WBC or ACES on EELV or a larger upper like AIUS or JUS for SDLV or RP-1 SHLV.
...

Timing is the issue here. As Mr.Bolden said recently, "NASA does not expect to solicit industry proposals for the heavy-lift launch vehicle development for “at least a year.” "

The title of that article should read, 
Boeing: Rocket Work Needed NOW To Avert Layoffs


Offline renclod

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #11 on: 04/01/2011 09:34 PM »
... if this is a new vehicle (it is), isn't NASA required by FAR regulations to competitively bid the work? ...

FAR Subpart 6.3—Other Than Full and Open Competition
https://www.acquisition.gov/far/html/Subpart%206_3.html


Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #12 on: 04/01/2011 09:41 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
Danny Deger

Offline savuporo

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #13 on: 04/01/2011 10:08 PM »
Clark Lindsey nailed it : "Pay me to build a big useless rocket or I will shoot this worker"
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline Pheogh

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #14 on: 04/01/2011 10:12 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism. The whole world is rising while this nation seems resolved to diminish. I certainly would be far greater support of wasting a few Billion on this effort than chucking it toward some ridiculous effort to save the 3 eyed, 6 gilled  guppy in some river in Upchuck!

Offline Diagoras

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #15 on: 04/01/2011 10:15 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism. The whole world is rising while this nation seems resolved to diminish. I certainly would be far greater support of wasting a few Billion on this effort than chucking it toward some ridiculous effort to save the 3 eyed, 6 gilled  guppy in some river in Upchuck!

I'm not quite sure what building a giant rocket has to do with American exceptionalism. Isn't that more about high immigrant import and high cultural export?

Not really seeing any diminishing either. By most metrics the US is doing better than it ever has before.
"It’s the typical binary world of 'NASA is great' or 'cancel the space program,' with no nuance or understanding of the underlying issues and pathologies of the space industrial complex."

Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #16 on: 04/01/2011 10:17 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism. The whole world is rising while this nation seems resolved to diminish. I certainly would be far greater support of wasting a few Billion on this effort than chucking it toward some ridiculous effort to save the 3 eyed, 6 gilled  guppy in some river in Upchuck!

Leadership is not building something that has no payloads, is very expensive and we dont have a clue what we are going to do with it.  American exceptionalism is not doing things to "be the biggest".

The whole world is rising?  Really...who else is actually building a heavy lift vehicle?

Sky King

Offline mike robel

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #17 on: 04/01/2011 10:20 PM »
Well, sort of unhearlded, but perhaps just as important to America, the development of the main Ground Combat model for the Army is at the point where its current contract is pretty much complete, and perhaps a hundred people are being laid off from that.  Simulation work is getting as scarce as rocket work in Florida.  The new contract for development is expected to be let in September, but we expect it to be much smaller.  Compensating a little bit for that is the fielding and maintenance contract has been let, but at rates of pay that are much less.

So, just more out of work engineers in Florida.  Not me.  yet.

It will become a typical story over the next two years as the Marine EFV, probably the F-35, and several other contracts are cancelled or reduced in scope and production.

bleh

Offline sdsds

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #18 on: 04/01/2011 10:22 PM »
The article by Palm Beach Post staff writer Jeff Ostrowski deserves its own link here:

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/money/pratt-whitney-pushing-for-direction-on-space-travel-1364545.html

This report of Maser speaking at a Pratt & Whitney news conference shows that, along with the Shaw's Boeing press briefing these two organizations are really trying to turn up the pressure.

When and where is/was the ATK press briefing?
-- sdsds --

Offline Pheogh

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #19 on: 04/01/2011 10:24 PM »
Put down the engineering textbooks for a minute and realize that this is a battle of perception. The moment Shuttle retires NASA's visibility as a source of National Pride is going to literally drop to "ZERO" No one cares or even knows what delta or atlas are and the payloads they are launching are all now referred to as international. Even the bloody Space Stations is "International" now. The Shuttle is a more akin to a national park or aircraft carrier in terms of perception. Failure to extend or duplicate this "perception" will be devastating to the agency in the long run. As goes HSF and significant/inspiring Human Exploration in space so goes NASA. Look at the VISIBLE legacy that the Shuttle presents to the average taxpayer, it's real, it's tangible and without it they wont' give a [email protected]# what NASA is up to. SLS could fill this role, should fill this role, more now than ever. If the nation could use an Apollo 8 more than ever it's now.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 10:32 PM by Pheogh »

Offline Pheogh

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #20 on: 04/01/2011 10:33 PM »
Sorry guys there is an emotional connection to this that far to often is overlooked here. The only reason I have a job is because I am able to put things to screen that inspire the public to that emotional connection before NASA can even decided to have a study of the study.

You are losing your public in your calculators. Do great and inspiring things embrace the possibilities, not just your narrow logical conclusions, or perish! "Build it and they will come" it resonates because there is truth to it, regardless of whether you can calculate it.

Offline jimvela

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #21 on: 04/01/2011 10:36 PM »
While I can empathize with Mr Shaw, if this is a new vehicle (it is), isn't NASA required by FAR regulations to competitively bid the work?  Not trying to justify any "foot-dragging", just trying to ask a question.  Wasn't Aerojet recently making the claim that even the SRB contract (if they go SDHLV) would have to be bid competitively?

~Jon

Bit of a double standard?  I guess for one who in the past has advocated EELV so fiercely for everything and then suggesting it was just a simple evolution *if* we ever needed heavy lift, why wouldn't that have to be bid competively?  Would that not be a new rocket by your definition?


I'm not sure the average person understands how much upheaval there is in amongst the contractor community.  I see this now impacting programs that my peers should be executing.  There are programs that have been won that are sailing rapidly to the right because agencies don't have the allocated money to execute new programs, and dead programs that are chugging away because they can't be killed.

This *&^%&*% CR business and lack of an actual budget is a disaster.  Congress should be forced to get budgets done or face imprisonment.

Yeah, this is a **MAJOR** problem for the whole industry, not just the shuttle folks that are being jacked around, and not just a select few big contractors.

Offline Diagoras

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #22 on: 04/01/2011 10:37 PM »
Put down the engineering textbooks for a minute and realize that this is a battle of perception. The moment Shuttle retires NASA's visibility as a source of National Pride is going to literally drop to "ZERO" No one cares or even knows what delta or atlas are and the payloads they are launching are all now referred to as international. Even the bloody Space Stations is "International" now. The Shuttle is a more akin to a national park or aircraft carrier in terms of perception. Failure to extend or duplicate this "perception" will be devastating to the agency in the long run. As goes HSF and significant/inspiring Human Exploration in space so goes NASA. Look at the VISIBLE legacy that the Shuttle presents to the average taxpayer, it's real, it's tangible and without it they wont' give a [email protected]# what NASA is up to. SLS could fill this role, should fill this role, more now than ever. If the nation could use an Apollo 8 more than ever it's now.


I'd say the public doesn't care now either. NASA funding is guaranteed by a combination of pork politics and government inertia - popularity doesn't factor into it.
"It’s the typical binary world of 'NASA is great' or 'cancel the space program,' with no nuance or understanding of the underlying issues and pathologies of the space industrial complex."

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #23 on: 04/01/2011 11:02 PM »
...
This *&^%&*% CR business and lack of an actual budget is a disaster.  Congress should be forced to get budgets done or face imprisonment.
...
Now THERE is an idea!
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #24 on: 04/01/2011 11:03 PM »
"Jobs Program"

Seeing this a lot of late, and I've got to be honest, I really, really don't get posts complaining about "job's program". So, rather than moaning about it, let me ask you about it :)

Lots of devil's advocate stuff below, so remember I'm just trying to provoke some level of "no, it's not that, it's this". I'm purposely not going after any one poster, just think it won't be just me who's confused about this.

Forget about the vehicle for a second, are you and some others saying you are opposed to space industry jobs? Less jobs, excellent news! Some of these workers will be costing me more tax dollars as they'll be on social security, as opposed to being in a white collar job and contributing - bring it on!! Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Always personally found this use of "jobs program" to be highly insulting, as it sounds like they are dragging unemployable people off the streets and paying over the odds for them. Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Not least when we have a good number of these people on the site in this industry, having to read some comments that are akin to jumping all over their graves because all of a sudden your goal in life is to streamline NASA's budget, like your using your spreadsheet outrage to post "Oh crap, that smaller rocket costs X billions, but that larger rocket some moooooooore and - OMG - employes more people!! Where's the phone number for my Congressman!" - probably at the same time as as in the corner of your eye the TV is showing $500K a pop Tomahawks being thrown into Libya like it's a frakking Xbox game. Are we seeing posters concerned about "government spending" or just NASA specific?

By the way, I could hardly claim to be one of those anti-war types, but there's your frakking SLS - spent after a week chasing that plastic faced wierdo. Send in the SAS and snap his neck. Oh, better not, we need the Navy, bloody job's program ;)

Notably, no one seems to say a word when commercial (hang on, aren't Boeing commercial?) hire workers, not many, and in SpaceX's case the majority of who they've hired of late being admin people, not engineers. Probably because that's all good, no one should be moaning about that. Concur.

No one says "Jobs program" when discussing using EELVs for exploration - which would be Boeing getting money. Yet for SLS, no way! Job's program! For EELV exploration, oh, goody good!

I must be missing something.

Offline Downix

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #25 on: 04/01/2011 11:10 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism. The whole world is rising while this nation seems resolved to diminish. I certainly would be far greater support of wasting a few Billion on this effort than chucking it toward some ridiculous effort to save the 3 eyed, 6 gilled  guppy in some river in Upchuck!

Leadership is not building something that has no payloads, is very expensive and we dont have a clue what we are going to do with it.  American exceptionalism is not doing things to "be the biggest".

The whole world is rising?  Really...who else is actually building a heavy lift vehicle?

Sky King
Russia and China, actually.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #26 on: 04/01/2011 11:13 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!

I'm really sick of the whole "jobs program" arguement and negative slant all of this is given.

Do I want a job doing what I love?  Hell yes and I am not ashamed to say it.  Am I concerned about the future?  Hell yes again and, regardless of what some petty people around here want to say, it goes much further than my personal situation.

At it's core, everything is about jobs.  "Commercial" is put on such a pedestal, even though one of the biggest selling points about it is supposedly "all the jobs it will create".  Even though all the already over-used buzzwords are used like "innovation", "competition", etc no one can really define what they mean.  We are again left to just "hope and assume" they happen and marvelous jobs are created, STEM education (also an over-hyped intangible and subjective term) are the result. 

And about "commercial", for goodness sake don't ever mention any of the real concerns about any of this trying to get a good discussion or take blinders off some people.  Oh no, then you are labeled, accused, blogged-about, etc.  Don't ever try to point some things out in interestest of actually trying to promote commercial, because it will be mischaracterized. 

Don't ever say you believe we should have a moderate HLV at the beginning, starting with exactly with what we know and have now, using *some* of the experience and knowledged gained and believe it will be necessary.  Regardless of what else you say, and how one tries to integrate a lot of other likely pieces, you will still be accussed of just "wanting a jobs program" and don't give a rat's behind supposedly about anything else.

These people, and you know who you are, can all kiss my....because if you sense anger, you are probably right. 
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 11:19 PM by OV-106 »
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline Pheogh

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #27 on: 04/01/2011 11:20 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!

I'm really sick of the whole "jobs program" arguement and negative slant all of this is given.

Do I want a job doing what I love?  Hell yes and I am not ashamed to say it.  Am I concerned about the future?  Hell yes again and, regardless of what some petty people around here want to say, it goes much further than my personal situation.

At it's core, everything is about jobs.  "Commercial" is put on such a pedestal, even though one of the biggest selling points about it is supposedly "all the jobs it will create".  Even though all the already over-used buzzwords are used like "innovation", "competition", etc no one can really define what they mean.  We are again left to just "hope and assume" they happen and marvelous jobs are created, STEM education (also an over-hyped intangible and subjective term) are the result. 

And about "commercial", for goodness sake don't ever mention any of the real concerns about any of this trying to get a good discussion or take blinders off some people.  Oh no, then you are labeled, accused, blogged-about, etc.  Don't ever try to point some things out in interestest of actually trying to promote commercial, because it will be mischaracterized. 

Don't ever say you believe we should have a moderate HLV at the beginning, starting with exactly with what we know and have now, using *some* of the experience and knowledged gained and believe it will be necessary.  Regardless of what else you say, and how one tries to integrate a lot of other likely pieces, you will still be accussed of just "wanting a jobs program" and don't give a rat's behind supposedly about anything else.

These people, and you know who you are, can all kiss my....because if you sense anger, you are probably right. 

I would add utter disrespect for those directly responsible for one of the greatest engineer achievements in human history, as well.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 11:21 PM by Pheogh »

Online Jorge

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #28 on: 04/01/2011 11:38 PM »
Wouldn't Boeing essentially be even-money to secure a considerable chunk of whatever launch architecture NASA chooses for manned exploration? Even if they go down the RAC-2 or RAC-3 paths, it's highly unlikely that Boeing doesn't get a piece of the action. They are the politically if not also technically inevitable winner of any contract for a new or evolved upper stage.

Any major contract award to Boeing would be at least 2 years away, IMO. Boeing is simply signaling that without any contracts, they're not going to hold onto that part of the workforce for 2 years.
JRF

Offline sdsds

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #29 on: 04/01/2011 11:41 PM »
Ask the machinists.  Boeing does not care about the lives of its workers.  If it makes business sense to do layoffs, Boeing will do layoffs regardless of the pain it causes to individuals or to entire communities.  The historic record on this is clear.

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=1287

What does Boeing care about?  It cares about its ability to perform on future big aerospace contracts.  Shaw and Maser are saying that the nation's ability (meaning their companies' ability) to "do" aerospace is being placed at risk.

If they don't continuously employ a cadre, it will takes years (even generations) to rebuild one.  During that time, they will not be able to address the aerospace needs the nation faces.  It isn't really about SLS or spaceflight at all, is it?  It's about that other big application of aerospace development capability....
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 11:42 PM by sdsds »
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #30 on: 04/01/2011 11:43 PM »
From what I see, Boeing (EDIT: As a whole, not necessarily any one group of employees) stands to play a major role in whatever is done. SLS-SDHLV? Yup. SLS-RP-1? Most likely. SLS-EELV-derived? Yup. All-EELV? Yup. Commercial crew? Yup.

As long as something is actually done, that is.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 11:50 PM by Robotbeat »
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #31 on: 04/01/2011 11:53 PM »
From what I see, Boeing stands to gain from whatever is done. SLS-SDHLV? Yup. SLS-RP-1? Most likely. SLS-EELV-derived? Yup. All-EELV? Yup. Commercial crew? Yup.

As long as something is actually done, that is.

Then you missed part of the point.  This not about Boeing's "bottom line", which is far less certain than you suggest above. 

This is about the people.  This about experience.  This is about not casting it all away "just 'cause".  This is about building on what we have and improving on it on several levels.  This is about 2.5 years on still not having a frakin plan and again THE PEOPLE carrying diligently on marching toward the cliff because there is a job at hand to do and finish. 

And again, it's not just Boeing.  It is an industry.  Yet the "hope and assumption" crowd will tell you everything is just fine, it's going to be great, we need to get rid of this or that because it is too expensive, etc.

Ever notice that those people can't say anything else except the same old vague company line?
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 11:54 PM by OV-106 »
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Offline Patchouli

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #32 on: 04/02/2011 12:03 AM »
From what I see, Boeing (EDIT: As a whole, not necessarily any one group of employees) stands to play a major role in whatever is done. SLS-SDHLV? Yup. SLS-RP-1? Most likely. SLS-EELV-derived? Yup. All-EELV? Yup. Commercial crew? Yup.

As long as something is actually done, that is.

Boeing might decided to delete the RP-1 requirement and go with something Delta IV derived using the RS-68B or RS-800K.

Other options SSME with TAN might do the job.

But I think RP-1 is pretty much dead unless PWR shows some serious work on a US RD-180 or Spacex shows they can have Merlin 2 ready quickly.

Aerojet producing the NK-33 with TAN to bring it closer to the other two engines would be the third option.

I don't think PWR can have the F-1A ready in time nor do I think it would be worth while the other kerolox options all are cheaper and higher performance.

Doesn't offer enough ISP over the RSRM to be worth while.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 12:10 AM by Patchouli »

Offline RocketEconomist327

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #33 on: 04/02/2011 12:09 AM »
tl;dr - too frakking bad, your loss

Throws on a titanium suit - OV-106 bomb incoming...

I know he doesn't believe me when I say that I am amazed by what USA and the NASA team have done... but I am.

I know he doesn't believe me when I say that some of the brightest engineers in the world do amazing things for NASA, shuttle, and ISS... but I know.

...but yes, NASA is a jobs program right now.  If nothing else listen to the last two congressional hearings and politician after politician talks about jobs.  That is the perception and therefore it is the reality.

Yes, NASA and USA jobs are high paying jobs.  Yes, they are skilled jobs.  But truthfully, if the shuttle is not extended (I wish it would be btw but it won't be (commercial STS proposal)), many those jobs simply are not needed.

NASA doesn't need to be in the rocket business.  They need to be in the mission business.  Ask yourself, where does NASA "shine"?  Things like Kepler, Cassini, Hubble, and MESSENGER come to my mind.  Sadly, shuttle does not do for the American public what it used to.  This is America and we get wary of things; wars, politics, and even space flight.

If we critically look at the infrastructure NASA has built for STS and the future SD-HLV you will see it is very large, in-efficient, and slow.  Yes the the shuttle is safer now than ever; but you are what your record says you are... I feel the shuttle is safe.  Not only would I ride it, but I would trust the professionals who read these forums and work at NASA with my most prized possessions:  Andrew, Austin, and Noah.  I'd trust NASA with my three boys on shuttle.

---

In the 1990s and early 2000s we had the public sector "downsizing" and "rightsizing"; but not the federal government.  It got bigger, more powerful, slower, and more inefficient.  This is not debatable.  NASA rarely has a program that comes in on time and on budget.  You have childish ego wars in back rooms deciding how to do things.  Again, not debatable.

Simply put, we can do HSF without shuttle and without SD-HLV.  We can service ISS with commercial cargo and the STS until commercial cargo AND crew is 100 percent full up. 

WE DO NOT NEED SD-HLV.

Rightly or wrongly, EELV is not looked at a jobs program.  Why?  They

1) provide a service
2) to NASA and the US Taxpayer
3) where commercial space controls the costs
4) and timeline
5) at a price that is much less than USA and shuttle

Moreover,

6) ULA is reorganizing
6a) ULA is unmatched in reliability
6b) ULA markets itself to upgrade to HLV much cheaper than SD-HLV
6c) Boeing (Major Partner of ULA) is developing Crew capability with CST-100 more quickly and cheaper than LockMart
6d) ULA is funding some of its own "man rating" for its vehicles
7) SpaceX delivered beyond anyone's wildest imagination for ~550 Million of taxpayer dollars
7a) SpaceX gave us Falcon 1
7b) SpaceX gave us Falcon 9
7c) SpaceX gave us Cargo Dragon
7d) SpaceX wants to give us Crewed Dragon
7e) SpaceX has a huge announcement
 
We are told that SD-HLV is an insurance policy for commercial crew.  Normally when you buy car insurance it is cheaper than what you are insuring.  Yet, SD-HLV and Orion/MCPV/Whatever they name it next is much more expensive than both Crew Dragon + CST-100 + Man-rated Atlas... combined.

In reality commercial contractors/providers will bail NASA out when this fails.  American capitalism at its finest.  ULA/Boeing/SpaceX are the insurance policy at 20% (and that is being generous) of what SD-HLV will ultimately cost.

SD-HLV makes no sense anymore.

I would argue effectively that if it were not for ULA and SpaceX, morale would be in the tank right now as far as US Space Flight is concerned.  SpaceX is the poster child for what we can be.  They came out of no where like a bat out of hell and say what you will, they changed the game; shifted the paradigm.

I do not have any confidence in anything NASA does when it comes to designing and testing rockets and engines.  Everything is late.  Blanket statement and its true.  I compare Marshall Space Flight Center to a leper.  Everything it touches, dies.  I am sorry but look at the track record.  You are what your record says you are.  There are still so many CxP people in positions of influence that there simply is no trust.

But RE327, what about SpaceX, they failed the FIRST THREE TIMES they tried to get to orbit!!! What do you say about that, hmmmm?

I would argue they learned a lot of hard lessons for about 170 Million of Elon Musk's money along with about another 200 Million of the tax payer's money.  I would also say that once they recognized their problems they recruited, cherry picked if you will, the best and brightest from NASA, ULA, and else where to help fix errors that "they should have seen coming".  They have learned from their mistakes and insiders see it privately, even when they criticize publicly.

Now compare and contrast that to CxP and the 11.1 Billion (Billion with a B) boondoggle.  What lessons did NASA learn there?  The same lessons NASA always has to relearn.  I cannot go into specifics Chris because that is an L2 document and I value my subscription.  I will say that some of the "earth shattering" and "ground breaking" management mistakes that NASA did learn from CxP are taught in the senior year of high school and econ 101, management 101. 

Shameful.

So in conclusion, politicians keep SD-HLV alive for jobs.  To retain expertise in technology we no longer utilize or need.  The fact is those people who have skills that can be applied to the new vehicles will have a better chance of getting a job.  Those who are SD-HLV specific will need to retrain or find a new line of work.  It is how capitalism works.  You constantly need to re-invent yourself; improve.

NASA doesn't do this well.

Respectfully,
RE327
You can talk about all the great things you can do, or want to do, in space; but unless the rocket scientists get a sound understanding of economics (and quickly), the US space program will never achieve the greatness it should.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

Offline RocketEconomist327

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #34 on: 04/02/2011 12:12 AM »

Then you missed part of the point.  This not about Boeing's "bottom line", which is far less certain than you suggest above. 

This is about the people.  This about experience.  This is about not casting it all away "just 'cause".  This is about building on what we have and improving on it on several levels.  This is about 2.5 years on still not having a frakin plan and again THE PEOPLE carrying diligently on marching toward the cliff because there is a job at hand to do and finish. 

And again, it's not just Boeing.  It is an industry.  Yet the "hope and assumption" crowd will tell you everything is just fine, it's going to be great, we need to get rid of this or that because it is too expensive, etc.

Ever notice that those people can't say anything else except the same old vague company line?

Not that you believe me but I humbly submit that the "Aerospace" industry will survive when STS retires and we do not build an SD-HLV.

I would humbly suggest that the landscape will look very different and nothing like we all imagined in April, 1981.

But make no mistake, US Space Flight will carry on; and while incredibly painful, we will be better for it.

In my opinion.

Respectfully,
RE327
You can talk about all the great things you can do, or want to do, in space; but unless the rocket scientists get a sound understanding of economics (and quickly), the US space program will never achieve the greatness it should.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #35 on: 04/02/2011 12:29 AM »
If you're uncivil, you lose your post. If you respond to an uncivil post, you lose your post.

It's not rocket science.

Right then, no one's taken on my post, and with respect, RE's post "didn't do it for me" ;) So..........it's just about some people being anti-NASA, anti-Shuttle.

Anyone want to prove me wrong?

PS RE's post did remind me I need to write up that presentation!
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 12:31 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline telomerase99

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #36 on: 04/02/2011 12:36 AM »
"Jobs Program"

Seeing this a lot of late, and I've got to be honest, I really, really don't get posts complaining about "job's program". So, rather than moaning about it, let me ask you about it :)

Lots of devil's advocate stuff below, so remember I'm just trying to provoke some level of "no, it's not that, it's this". I'm purposely not going after any one poster, just think it won't be just me who's confused about this.

Forget about the vehicle for a second, are you and some others saying you are opposed to space industry jobs? Less jobs, excellent news! Some of these workers will be costing me more tax dollars as they'll be on social security, as opposed to being in a white collar job and contributing - bring it on!! Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Always personally found this use of "jobs program" to be highly insulting, as it sounds like they are dragging unemployable people off the streets and paying over the odds for them. Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Not least when we have a good number of these people on the site in this industry, having to read some comments that are akin to jumping all over their graves because all of a sudden your goal in life is to streamline NASA's budget, like your using your spreadsheet outrage to post "Oh crap, that smaller rocket costs X billions, but that larger rocket some moooooooore and - OMG - employes more people!! Where's the phone number for my Congressman!" - probably at the same time as as in the corner of your eye the TV is showing $500K a pop Tomahawks being thrown into Libya like it's a frakking Xbox game. Are we seeing posters concerned about "government spending" or just NASA specific?

By the way, I could hardly claim to be one of those anti-war types, but there's your frakking SLS - spent after a week chasing that plastic faced wierdo. Send in the SAS and snap his neck. Oh, better not, we need the Navy, bloody job's program ;)

Notably, no one seems to say a word when commercial (hang on, aren't Boeing commercial?) hire workers, not many, and in SpaceX's case the majority of who they've hired of late being admin people, not engineers. Probably because that's all good, no one should be moaning about that. Concur.

No one says "Jobs program" when discussing using EELVs for exploration - which would be Boeing getting money. Yet for SLS, no way! Job's program! For EELV exploration, oh, goody good!

I must be missing something.

Just to answer from my perspective, deriding a "jobs program" is complaining about a program that retains funding for a specific block of jobs organized into a heirarchy with engineers, and managers, and directors all of which have been in that same heirarchy for decades.

This is frustrating because an old hierarchy is often less efficient than a new hierarchy. Atleast it appears so becuase inneficient new hierarchies do not grow to the point where they are noticable, so they never come into being.

I will give the example of my good friend who worked as a computer engineer at Boeing on a project designing a system for trans-oceanic flights to obtain internet service from satelites. He described the work environment as horrible becuase basically he and another engineer, both new employees, did the entire job while 12 or so other people who had been working in the department for years just surfed the internet all day and actually did not even know the programming language of the project that they were on, they were just kept on that project because of what friends they had made over the years.

To me, that is what is a jobs program, it is when nepotism infiltrates a long standing institution to the extent that getting a job done is not as important as making sure that your old friend keeps his pay check because your kids grew up together etc etc.

The space industry needs to be a meritocracy again. I'm not saying that anyone on this board is not the best engineer in the world I'm just saying that in any heirarchy that has been around for too long human relationships come to over shadow the work. That is why I like SpaceX, its a cultural shift. I bet at SpaceX you are obligated to turn in your neighbor for surfing the internet and they are shot the same day.

Do you understand where I am coming from Chris?

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #37 on: 04/02/2011 12:42 AM »
Just to answer from my perspective, deriding a "jobs program" is complaining about a program that retains funding for a specific block of jobs organized into a heirarchy with engineers, and managers, and directors all of which have been in that same heirarchy for decades.


Personally, I stopped reading right there because that was where you started to go wrong.  What "specific block of jobs" will be retained?  Where does it say that?  And you can't just take the easy way out and list large companies as the proof.  So again, what "block of jobs" are being retained?  What skills?  What departments? 

What is the heirarchy?  What engineers?  What managers?  Who will be "protected"?
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #38 on: 04/02/2011 12:45 AM »
"Jobs Program"

Seeing this a lot of late, and I've got to be honest, I really, really don't get posts complaining about "job's program". So, rather than moaning about it, let me ask you about it :)

Lots of devil's advocate stuff below, so remember I'm just trying to provoke some level of "no, it's not that, it's this". I'm purposely not going after any one poster, just think it won't be just me who's confused about this.

Forget about the vehicle for a second, are you and some others saying you are opposed to space industry jobs? Less jobs, excellent news! Some of these workers will be costing me more tax dollars as they'll be on social security, as opposed to being in a white collar job and contributing - bring it on!! Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Always personally found this use of "jobs program" to be highly insulting, as it sounds like they are dragging unemployable people off the streets and paying over the odds for them. Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Not least when we have a good number of these people on the site in this industry, having to read some comments that are akin to jumping all over their graves because all of a sudden your goal in life is to streamline NASA's budget, like your using your spreadsheet outrage to post "Oh crap, that smaller rocket costs X billions, but that larger rocket some moooooooore and - OMG - employes more people!! Where's the phone number for my Congressman!" - probably at the same time as as in the corner of your eye the TV is showing $500K a pop Tomahawks being thrown into Libya like it's a frakking Xbox game. Are we seeing posters concerned about "government spending" or just NASA specific?

By the way, I could hardly claim to be one of those anti-war types, but there's your frakking SLS - spent after a week chasing that plastic faced wierdo. Send in the SAS and snap his neck. Oh, better not, we need the Navy, bloody job's program ;)

Notably, no one seems to say a word when commercial (hang on, aren't Boeing commercial?) hire workers, not many, and in SpaceX's case the majority of who they've hired of late being admin people, not engineers. Probably because that's all good, no one should be moaning about that. Concur.

No one says "Jobs program" when discussing using EELVs for exploration - which would be Boeing getting money. Yet for SLS, no way! Job's program! For EELV exploration, oh, goody good!

I must be missing something.

Just to answer from my perspective, deriding a "jobs program" is complaining about a program that retains funding for a specific block of jobs organized into a heirarchy with engineers, and managers, and directors all of which have been in that same heirarchy for decades.

This is frustrating because an old hierarchy is often less efficient than a new hierarchy. Atleast it appears so becuase inneficient new hierarchies do not grow to the point where they are noticable, so they never come into being.

I will give the example of my good friend who worked as a computer engineer at Boeing on a project designing a system for trans-oceanic flights to obtain internet service from satelites. He described the work environment as horrible becuase basically he and another engineer, both new employees, did the entire job while 12 or so other people who had been working in the department for years just surfed the internet all day and actually did not even know the programming language of the project that they were on, they were just kept on that project because of what friends they had made over the years.

To me, that is what is a jobs program, it is when nepotism infiltrates a long standing institution to the extent that getting a job done is not as important as making sure that your old friend keeps his pay check because your kids grew up together etc etc.

The space industry needs to be a meritocracy again. I'm not saying that anyone on this board is not the best engineer in the world I'm just saying that in any heirarchy that has been around for too long human relationships come to over shadow the work. That is why I like SpaceX, its a cultural shift. I bet at SpaceX you are obligated to turn in your neighbor for surfing the internet and they are shot the same day.

Do you understand where I am coming from Chris?


Thanks, that's helpful (not a good thing, but for the purpose of understanding the use of the "jobs program" charge).

I suppose the nearest I've heard to that is the occasions where a contractor would be doing a job and two NASA supervisors would be watching him do that job.

So while keeping this within the context of the thread, and only to those who work in the industry, has the above been your experience, is it something that has changed since, is it something that's required (safety reasons), is that something which actually goes on with the commercial vehicles (thus the same charge can't be specific to - say - a SD HLV, because the same thing would be the case with a EELV)?
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 12:46 AM by Chris Bergin »

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #39 on: 04/02/2011 12:48 AM »
That is why I like SpaceX, its a cultural shift. I bet at SpaceX you are obligated to turn in your neighbor for surfing the internet and they are shot the same day.

You claim it is a "cultural shift".  Why?  I mean this is your only "evidence"?
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Offline telomerase99

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #40 on: 04/02/2011 12:51 AM »
It was a single personal anecdote in response to Chris' post. You can think of your own life experience and find paralell evidence Im sure. For example, are you on the clock right now?

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #41 on: 04/02/2011 12:52 AM »
"Jobs Program"

Seeing this a lot of late, and I've got to be honest, I really, really don't get posts complaining about "job's program". So, rather than moaning about it, let me ask you about it :)

Lots of devil's advocate stuff below, so remember I'm just trying to provoke some level of "no, it's not that, it's this". I'm purposely not going after any one poster, just think it won't be just me who's confused about this.

Forget about the vehicle for a second, are you and some others saying you are opposed to space industry jobs? Less jobs, excellent news! Some of these workers will be costing me more tax dollars as they'll be on social security, as opposed to being in a white collar job and contributing - bring it on!! Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Always personally found this use of "jobs program" to be highly insulting, as it sounds like they are dragging unemployable people off the streets and paying over the odds for them. Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Not least when we have a good number of these people on the site in this industry, having to read some comments that are akin to jumping all over their graves because all of a sudden your goal in life is to streamline NASA's budget, like your using your spreadsheet outrage to post "Oh crap, that smaller rocket costs X billions, but that larger rocket some moooooooore and - OMG - employes more people!! Where's the phone number for my Congressman!" - probably at the same time as as in the corner of your eye the TV is showing $500K a pop Tomahawks being thrown into Libya like it's a frakking Xbox game. Are we seeing posters concerned about "government spending" or just NASA specific?

By the way, I could hardly claim to be one of those anti-war types, but there's your frakking SLS - spent after a week chasing that plastic faced wierdo. Send in the SAS and snap his neck. Oh, better not, we need the Navy, bloody job's program ;)

Notably, no one seems to say a word when commercial (hang on, aren't Boeing commercial?) hire workers, not many, and in SpaceX's case the majority of who they've hired of late being admin people, not engineers. Probably because that's all good, no one should be moaning about that. Concur.

No one says "Jobs program" when discussing using EELVs for exploration - which would be Boeing getting money. Yet for SLS, no way! Job's program! For EELV exploration, oh, goody good!

I must be missing something.

I can't respond to all of this, but...

I guess the question is when does a space program end up a "jobs program"? Currently, some people are saying it's when a president doesn't make Space the #1 priority.

Bush gave the shuttle program an end date, but he also allowed it to continue and ISS to be completed. I believe, 100 years from now, Return to Flight and ISS will be more than footnotes to space history. 20/20 is always perfect, but here's my big What If? when thinking about the state of things today: Columbia crashed February 1, 2003 and the Iraq War began March 19, 2003. I wish (as a nation) we zigged and fully realized a new vision for space exploration instead of zagged. VSE could have been so much more.

As far as NASA vs Commercial go (yes, I'm oversimplifying), I don't think this is a shakeup of NASA overall. But whatever it is, NASA's getting all the blame.

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #42 on: 04/02/2011 12:57 AM »
It was a single personal anecdote in response to Chris' post. You can think of your own life experience and find paralell evidence Im sure. For example, are you on the clock right now?

No.  In fact I am on leave.  The reason?  Because I have a second job in the United States Air Force where I have just spent the last 36 hours over 3 days simulating war in MOPP gear and 85 degree temperatures working on aircraft so if and when the day comes I can defend your right to say nonsense.

Also, the personal anecdote had nothing to do with my question and I ignored that outright because I didn't see the relevance.
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #43 on: 04/02/2011 01:00 AM »
I will agree, and I'm sure others that work here can attest, that NASA and USA was in need of trimming some fat. And quite honestly, the first few iterations of layoffs, for the most part, did just that. Point blank, due to technology and procedure streamlining, Shuttle didn't need as many people as it did in the 80's and 90's. Unfortunately, there are just some jobs that REQUIRE a certain number of people to do it safely, and work has been held up because of it sometimes. (example, why SCAPEr's are always in pairs) So if that's the definition of a "jobs program", then so be it. But, nevertheless, it still stings when the job you perform and love on a daily basis and still after 8 years gives you goosebumps, is constantly referred to, nonchalantly, as just a "jobs program". Imagine if you were lucky enough to open your own business restoring beautiful classic and antique cars, but when people talk about you you're just "an auto mechanic", or "a grease monkey"
If the neighbors think you're the rebel of the neighborhood, embrace it and be the rebel. It keeps them wondering what you'll do next...

Offline robertross

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #44 on: 04/02/2011 01:00 AM »
"Jobs Program"

Seeing this a lot of late, and I've got to be honest, I really, really don't get posts complaining about "job's program". So, rather than moaning about it, let me ask you about it :)

...
I must be missing something.

My take:

It's the outrage people are expressing for their tax dollars being spent with little to show for it.

There is magical phenomenon that happens when people see this happen - they equate it to government waste, and anything like it must be attacked vigorously. We're seeing it here because it represents the core values of people: it's something they treasure (spaceflight, in any and all forms) and they don't see good value.

So it must reside somewhere else.
1) SpaceX has succeeded (with Dragon)- once. But now everything should be a cake walk so lets go with them.

2) EELVs are reliable and have an excellent pedigree. No arguement. I'd go with them in a heartbeat but for one thing: history has shown us that NASA's designs involve incredible creep in mass that require bigger and bigger rockets. Without a clear plan, something the President & NASA has failed to provide, we are going in circles as the SLS capability evaporates (and I believe on purpose).

From where I sit, the underlying concern is that the essence of 'knowledge', however you wish to measure it, cannot simply be learned from a textbook. That knowledge resides in the sum of the experiences of the workers. The best way to capture that knowledge is to pass it down to future generations. By eliminating shuttle, CxP, a slowdown in the aerospace market (and los of skills abroad) the knowledge base is evaporating away.

And I'll give you a great example of that: When NASA was designing Orion, they went back and asked any of the previous workers still around how they did things, because the drawings simply didn't cut it. And when they couldn't find people for a certain system, they went to the (Smithsonian, IIRC) and opened up the Apollo spacecraft to see 'how it was done' (separation method of the capsule between the heat shield and the service module IIRC).

If we lose these workers, and granted not all, but a fair number, they will not be coming back. Some might go to the other companies, some already have, but this transition time could decimate this aspect of the industry. As was pointed out in another thread, at least the last time this happened with the Apollo program, the shuttle was coming being developed, so there was a transition phase. But unless something gets moving soon, we fall further behind, and faster, until the cost to catch up exceeds the perceived savings.
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Offline telomerase99

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #45 on: 04/02/2011 01:01 AM »
Not to get off on a tangent, but when Clinton cut defense spending every year in the nineties we were in the black, and when Bush raised defense spending every year for eight years we accrued trillions in debt.

I hope you had fun playing your war games, but if we were less of a military state we could probably afford a more aggressive space program.

Offline robertross

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #46 on: 04/02/2011 01:03 AM »

I hope you had fun playing your war games, but if we were less of a military state we could probably afford a more aggressive space program.

And I always find that funny at times considering how we got a space program: US spending on military programs. But yes, OT.
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #47 on: 04/02/2011 01:07 AM »
So while keeping this within the context of the thread, and only to those who work in the industry, has the above been your experience, is it something that has changed since, is it something that's required (safety reasons), is that something which actually goes on with the commercial vehicles (thus the same charge can't be specific to - say - a SD HLV, because the same thing would be the case with a EELV)?

Of course there are and have been issues like this.  After all, it is the government and nobody has ever claimed the government is efficient. 

I have never claimed it was perfect.  If people really knew me, they would see I am hardly unique in this case.  That we "contractors", who take a certain amount of abuse from the uninformed here, actually do make many, many suggestions about how NASA could improve its efficiency.  Of course, as the customer (and just like any customer government or private) it is up to them to decide if they will implenment it. 

Do NASA employees themselves contribute in most cases?  Of course they do.  There is a lot of knowledge and experience there.  Is it always needed?  No. 

Yet, what makes people think it will be different with "commercial"?  Ironically, it is many of these people who say some of the things above that are the most staunch advocates for increased federal funding to "commercial".  To fund development.  To hell with the business case, because "it isn't that important".  That NASA can "purchase" all the operations, etc.  They don't get that they are again, via the power of the purse, handing all the power to NASA. 

NASA will change.  Will it ever be a utopia?  Of course not.  But those who present a "get rid of this or that" because something else (even though that is still undefined) will certainly be better are not seeing the forest for the trees.
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Offline padrat

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #48 on: 04/02/2011 01:10 AM »
No.  In fact I am on leave.  The reason?  Because I have a second job in the United States Air Force where I have just spent the last 36 hours over 3 days simulating war in MOPP gear and 85 degree temperatures working on aircraft so if and when the day comes I can defend your right to say nonsense.

Sometimes I actually miss those days. Of course, I was a ground pounder, not a "flybaby", lol
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #49 on: 04/02/2011 01:10 AM »
Not to get off on a tangent, but when Clinton cut defense spending every year in the nineties we were in the black, and when Bush raised defense spending every year for eight years we accrued trillions in debt.

I hope you had fun playing your war games, but if we were less of a military state we could probably afford a more aggressive space program.

Interesting response. 

I note I have asked you a series of questions over 3 posts and you have totally ignored them.  Interesting yet again.
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Offline SpacexULA

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #50 on: 04/02/2011 01:11 AM »
If you're uncivil, you lose your post. If you respond to an uncivil post, you lose your post.

It's not rocket science.

Right then, no one's taken on my post, and with respect, RE's post "didn't do it for me" ;) So..........it's just about some people being anti-NASA, anti-Shuttle.

Anyone want to prove me wrong?

PS RE's post did remind me I need to write up that presentation!

For me the only reason I am "anti-shuttle" or "anti-hlv" is because I strongly believe that the long term budget trend for NASA is a downward slope.  I fear that in an environment of budget overruns and shrinking budgets that the HLV will consume an ever larger part of NASA's budget till earth sciences and unmanned exploration all but cease to exist.

If congress came out with a 22 Billion dollar budget and added 1-2 billion a year for the next 10 years I would be the 1st one cheering HLV development. 

I trust ULA because they have a history of on time delivery on budget, I have faith in SpaceX because they have only been given fixed cost contracts, and even though they are behind schedule, the over budget part does not effect NASA.

I think this last year has shown us who runs NASA, it's not Bolden, it's Senator Shelby et all.  I have ZERO faith that Senator Shelby and the others see HLV as anything more than campaign donations and clout for their district.

If you in this forum, your 99% likely pro space flight, I just wish the pro Ares 5, Ares 5 redux, Shuttle extension crowd could at least see that the ones that are not pro HLV are not anti HSF, we are just worried HLV is driving NASA's Ford Gremlin into a brick wall.
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Offline Diagoras

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #51 on: 04/02/2011 01:14 AM »
"Jobs Program"

Seeing this a lot of late, and I've got to be honest, I really, really don't get posts complaining about "job's program". So, rather than moaning about it, let me ask you about it :)

Lots of devil's advocate stuff below, so remember I'm just trying to provoke some level of "no, it's not that, it's this". I'm purposely not going after any one poster, just think it won't be just me who's confused about this.

Forget about the vehicle for a second, are you and some others saying you are opposed to space industry jobs? Less jobs, excellent news! Some of these workers will be costing me more tax dollars as they'll be on social security, as opposed to being in a white collar job and contributing - bring it on!! Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Always personally found this use of "jobs program" to be highly insulting, as it sounds like they are dragging unemployable people off the streets and paying over the odds for them. Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Not least when we have a good number of these people on the site in this industry, having to read some comments that are akin to jumping all over their graves because all of a sudden your goal in life is to streamline NASA's budget, like your using your spreadsheet outrage to post "Oh crap, that smaller rocket costs X billions, but that larger rocket some moooooooore and - OMG - employes more people!! Where's the phone number for my Congressman!" - probably at the same time as as in the corner of your eye the TV is showing $500K a pop Tomahawks being thrown into Libya like it's a frakking Xbox game. Are we seeing posters concerned about "government spending" or just NASA specific?

By the way, I could hardly claim to be one of those anti-war types, but there's your frakking SLS - spent after a week chasing that plastic faced wierdo. Send in the SAS and snap his neck. Oh, better not, we need the Navy, bloody job's program ;)

Notably, no one seems to say a word when commercial (hang on, aren't Boeing commercial?) hire workers, not many, and in SpaceX's case the majority of who they've hired of late being admin people, not engineers. Probably because that's all good, no one should be moaning about that. Concur.

No one says "Jobs program" when discussing using EELVs for exploration - which would be Boeing getting money. Yet for SLS, no way! Job's program! For EELV exploration, oh, goody good!

I must be missing something.

Chris, I don't quite get what you're saying here. People can oppose NASA-as-jobs-program from a variety of philosophical positions. They can believe that is is an ineffective means of achieving a goal and thus wish for a NASA more focused on accomplishing goals than employing the right people. It can be a basic opposition to the idea of using government to hand out any form of welfare, white collar or not. I doubt any two posters have the same reasons for disliking it.

I have I answered you question there?
"It’s the typical binary world of 'NASA is great' or 'cancel the space program,' with no nuance or understanding of the underlying issues and pathologies of the space industrial complex."

Offline telomerase99

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #52 on: 04/02/2011 01:14 AM »
Just to answer from my perspective, deriding a "jobs program" is complaining about a program that retains funding for a specific block of jobs organized into a heirarchy with engineers, and managers, and directors all of which have been in that same heirarchy for decades.


Personally, I stopped reading right there because that was where you started to go wrong.  What "specific block of jobs" will be retained?  Where does it say that?  And you can't just take the easy way out and list large companies as the proof.  So again, what "block of jobs" are being retained?  What skills?  What departments? 

What is the heirarchy?  What engineers?  What managers?  Who will be "protected"?

No one will be protected that is the whole point. Everyone working on Shuttle or cancelled Ares programs have to find themselves new roles in competitively bid projects. If their skills are out of date, they are discarded. Nobody is protected. That is the entire point of my post. You missed it.

Offline northanger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #53 on: 04/02/2011 01:18 AM »
What I kinda see with "Commercial" is an undeclared duke out between Old vs New Commercial. With all of them biting at NASA and good folks falling in the cracks.

And btw, the STS-134 commander is active duty on loan from the United States Navy. Go Navy!

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #54 on: 04/02/2011 01:20 AM »
So while keeping this within the context of the thread, and only to those who work in the industry, has the above been your experience, is it something that has changed since, is it something that's required (safety reasons), is that something which actually goes on with the commercial vehicles (thus the same charge can't be specific to - say - a SD HLV, because the same thing would be the case with a EELV)?

Of course there are and have been issues like this.  After all, it is the government and nobody has ever claimed the government is efficient. 

I have never claimed it was perfect.  If people really knew me, they would see I am hardly unique in this case.  That we "contractors", who take a certain amount of abuse from the uninformed here, actually do make many, many suggestions about how NASA could improve its efficiency.  Of course, as the customer (and just like any customer government or private) it is up to them to decide if they will implenment it. 

Do NASA employees themselves contribute in most cases?  Of course they do.  There is a lot of knowledge and experience there.  Is it always needed?  No. 

Yet, what makes people think it will be different with "commercial"?  Ironically, it is many of these people who say some of the things above that are the most staunch advocates for increased federal funding to "commercial".  To fund development.  To hell with the business case, because "it isn't that important".  That NASA can "purchase" all the operations, etc.  They don't get that they are again, via the power of the purse, handing all the power to NASA. 

NASA will change.  Will it ever be a utopia?  Of course not.  But those who present a "get rid of this or that" because something else (even though that is still undefined) will certainly be better are not seeing the forest for the trees.

Now this thread is getting very interesting. Appreciate the above - clearly honest and not blowing smoke up my backside - post. And Padrat too.

Would be great if one of the EELV or such members gave their view.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #55 on: 04/02/2011 01:21 AM »
Just to answer from my perspective, deriding a "jobs program" is complaining about a program that retains funding for a specific block of jobs organized into a heirarchy with engineers, and managers, and directors all of which have been in that same heirarchy for decades.


Personally, I stopped reading right there because that was where you started to go wrong.  What "specific block of jobs" will be retained?  Where does it say that?  And you can't just take the easy way out and list large companies as the proof.  So again, what "block of jobs" are being retained?  What skills?  What departments? 

What is the heirarchy?  What engineers?  What managers?  Who will be "protected"?

No one will be protected that is the whole point. Everyone working on Shuttle or cancelled Ares programs have to find themselves new roles in competitively bid projects. If their skills are out of date, they are discarded. Nobody is protected. That is the entire point of my post. You missed it.

Nope.  Sure didn't.  You're just trying to change your story.  You claimed people were being protected.  Who specifically?  What is the heirachy you claim will be put in place?
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Offline sdsds

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #56 on: 04/02/2011 01:25 AM »
'They don't call Boeing the "Lazy B" for no reason. If you like a place where you can just get by and hang out at work without doing much "actual" work, Boeing is the place for you.'
http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Boeing-RVW21609.htm

'In Seattle, Boeing has been ridiculed as the epitome of bloated big business.  One nickname from the late 20th century was “the lazy B.”'
http://www.clwill.com/leadership/new-leader-sets-boeings-focus/

'Even in hometown Seattle, citizens call Boeing the Lazy B, a slap at its plodding bureaucracy.'
http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1993/01/25/77423/index.htm
-- sdsds --

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #57 on: 04/02/2011 01:25 AM »
If you're uncivil, you lose your post. If you respond to an uncivil post, you lose your post.

It's not rocket science.

Right then, no one's taken on my post, and with respect, RE's post "didn't do it for me" ;) So..........it's just about some people being anti-NASA, anti-Shuttle.

Anyone want to prove me wrong?

PS RE's post did remind me I need to write up that presentation!

For me the only reason I am "anti-shuttle" or "anti-hlv" is because I strongly believe that the long term budget trend for NASA is a downward slope.  I fear that in an environment of budget overruns and shrinking budgets that the HLV will consume an ever larger part of NASA's budget till earth sciences and unmanned exploration all but cease to exist.

If congress came out with a 22 Billion dollar budget and added 1-2 billion a year for the next 10 years I would be the 1st one cheering HLV development. 

I trust ULA because they have a history of on time delivery on budget, I have faith in SpaceX because they have only been given fixed cost contracts, and even though they are behind schedule, the over budget part does not effect NASA.

I think this last year has shown us who runs NASA, it's not Bolden, it's Senator Shelby et all.  I have ZERO faith that Senator Shelby and the others see HLV as anything more than campaign donations and clout for their district.

If you in this forum, your 99% likely pro space flight, I just wish the pro Ares 5, Ares 5 redux, Shuttle extension crowd could at least see that the ones that are not pro HLV are not anti HSF, we are just worried HLV is driving NASA's Ford Gremlin into a brick wall.

That's a good post too. There's certainly been a few "if you're anti-HLV, you're anti-HSF" comments sneaking into the forum of late, so these posts help.

Wait a second, anti-shuttle? How very dare you sir! (joke) ;)

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #58 on: 04/02/2011 01:29 AM »
"Jobs Program"

Seeing this a lot of late, and I've got to be honest, I really, really don't get posts complaining about "job's program". So, rather than moaning about it, let me ask you about it :)

Lots of devil's advocate stuff below, so remember I'm just trying to provoke some level of "no, it's not that, it's this". I'm purposely not going after any one poster, just think it won't be just me who's confused about this.

Forget about the vehicle for a second, are you and some others saying you are opposed to space industry jobs? Less jobs, excellent news! Some of these workers will be costing me more tax dollars as they'll be on social security, as opposed to being in a white collar job and contributing - bring it on!! Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Always personally found this use of "jobs program" to be highly insulting, as it sounds like they are dragging unemployable people off the streets and paying over the odds for them. Clearly not, so what's the deal here?

Not least when we have a good number of these people on the site in this industry, having to read some comments that are akin to jumping all over their graves because all of a sudden your goal in life is to streamline NASA's budget, like your using your spreadsheet outrage to post "Oh crap, that smaller rocket costs X billions, but that larger rocket some moooooooore and - OMG - employes more people!! Where's the phone number for my Congressman!" - probably at the same time as as in the corner of your eye the TV is showing $500K a pop Tomahawks being thrown into Libya like it's a frakking Xbox game. Are we seeing posters concerned about "government spending" or just NASA specific?

By the way, I could hardly claim to be one of those anti-war types, but there's your frakking SLS - spent after a week chasing that plastic faced wierdo. Send in the SAS and snap his neck. Oh, better not, we need the Navy, bloody job's program ;)

Notably, no one seems to say a word when commercial (hang on, aren't Boeing commercial?) hire workers, not many, and in SpaceX's case the majority of who they've hired of late being admin people, not engineers. Probably because that's all good, no one should be moaning about that. Concur.

No one says "Jobs program" when discussing using EELVs for exploration - which would be Boeing getting money. Yet for SLS, no way! Job's program! For EELV exploration, oh, goody good!

I must be missing something.

Chris, I don't quite get what you're saying here. People can oppose NASA-as-jobs-program from a variety of philosophical positions. They can believe that is is an ineffective means of achieving a goal and thus wish for a NASA more focused on accomplishing goals than employing the right people. It can be a basic opposition to the idea of using government to hand out any form of welfare, white collar or not. I doubt any two posters have the same reasons for disliking it.

I have I answered you question there?

I think we're certainly getting there on the context of what people mean when such people use the "jobs program" charge.

The question remains outstanding on if the charge is still relevant today, and/or if commercial companies are immune from similar issues when in a large program situation.

Certainly a very good conversation, as far as my own personal understanding into why people say it.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #59 on: 04/02/2011 01:33 AM »
I just wish the pro Ares 5, Ares 5 redux, Shuttle extension crowd could at least see that the ones that are not pro HLV are not anti HSF, we are just worried HLV is driving NASA's Ford Gremlin into a brick wall.

Shuttle extension?  There's a whole thread on that.  Tell me where any of the points I have made on this forum anywhere, over the entire range of reasons I have given, are out of bed.  Offer me something else other than "hope and assumption".  Offer me counterpoints in the same level of detail and don't just give me "Gremlin into a brick wall".
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Offline Downix

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #60 on: 04/02/2011 01:40 AM »
If you're uncivil, you lose your post. If you respond to an uncivil post, you lose your post.

It's not rocket science.

Right then, no one's taken on my post, and with respect, RE's post "didn't do it for me" ;) So..........it's just about some people being anti-NASA, anti-Shuttle.

Anyone want to prove me wrong?

PS RE's post did remind me I need to write up that presentation!

For me the only reason I am "anti-shuttle" or "anti-hlv" is because I strongly believe that the long term budget trend for NASA is a downward slope.  I fear that in an environment of budget overruns and shrinking budgets that the HLV will consume an ever larger part of NASA's budget till earth sciences and unmanned exploration all but cease to exist.

If congress came out with a 22 Billion dollar budget and added 1-2 billion a year for the next 10 years I would be the 1st one cheering HLV development. 

I trust ULA because they have a history of on time delivery on budget, I have faith in SpaceX because they have only been given fixed cost contracts, and even though they are behind schedule, the over budget part does not effect NASA.

I think this last year has shown us who runs NASA, it's not Bolden, it's Senator Shelby et all.  I have ZERO faith that Senator Shelby and the others see HLV as anything more than campaign donations and clout for their district.

If you in this forum, your 99% likely pro space flight, I just wish the pro Ares 5, Ares 5 redux, Shuttle extension crowd could at least see that the ones that are not pro HLV are not anti HSF, we are just worried HLV is driving NASA's Ford Gremlin into a brick wall.

I am concerned over HLV as well, but I also know that there are those within Congress who will demand such a vehicle.  So rather than fight against the idea of an HLV, I focus on how to *make* an HLV that fits in the budget restrictions.  I am with you in that I expect budget reduction, so I have worked accordingly.
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Offline pummuf

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #61 on: 04/02/2011 01:51 AM »
"Jobs Program"

Seeing this a lot of late, and I've got to be honest, I really, really don't get posts complaining about "job's program". So, rather than moaning about it, let me ask you about it :)

A person may be a strong supporter of space exploration and also unhappy about how that money is being spent. Some taxpayers have the perception that politicians will do what's right for their career at the expense of the country as a whole, that the huge prime contractors have too much political clout, and that new smaller companies aren't being given a seat at the table when they've earned it ...

1) congressmen will try to protect jobs and bring new jobs to their district. It's one of the reasons they got elected. When representatives vote for space funding bills, they are sometimes put in the position of choosing what's right for their district at the expense of the best choice for the country. Nothing evil or devious about it.

2) the prime contractors are corporations. They exist to make a profit. They are huge and have enormous political influence. When NASA hires them to build a rocket, they will carefully strategize how to make the most money, even if the project never flies. I'm not talking about the lowly design engineer, but the executives. It's their job, it's what they do - nothing evil or devious about it.

3) it's up to the public and the individual taxpayer to make as much noise as possible to keep 1 and 2 in check, to demand results and accountability, and to demand that healthy competition is alive, thus the comments about corporate welfare, jobs programs and pork.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 01:56 AM by pummuf »

Offline spacetiger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #62 on: 04/02/2011 01:55 AM »
To the original article and post...I will caveat my response first.  I have sympathy for our contractor friends who have or will lose their jobs from the changes going on with our space program. I have personally lost contractors on my team over the last year due to the pending cancellation of Ares.

What some/most people who will read this article do not realize is the situation could have been avoided to some extent.  Hiring workers either direct or through subs doesn't make business sense on a contracted program that has been announced for termination.

Yes..that is correct.. As soon as a month ago Boeing was hiring contractors to work Ares. I expect they were planning to transfer those folks to HLV eventually.  And to be fair they are under contract for manufacturing and assembly for the Upper Stage until October.  However I'm sure the contract milestones they do have to meet under program of record don't require an increase in manpower.

In my mind this article as well as the editorial in the Huntsville times a few weeks back represent scare tactics and political games being played out in the media. Should Congress get off the dime and pass a budget? YES. Does NASA need to define a mission and vehicle to support that mission ? YES. Should layoff threats be used to influence gain for sole source contracts? No.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #63 on: 04/02/2011 02:10 AM »
To the original article and post...I will caveat my response first.  I have sympathy for our contractor friends who have or will lose their jobs from the changes going on with our space program. I have personally lost contractors on my team over the last year due to the pending cancellation of Ares.

What some/most people who will read this article do not realize is the situation could have been avoided to some extent.  Hiring workers either direct or through subs doesn't make business sense on a contracted program that has been announced for termination.

Yes..that is correct.. As soon as a month ago Boeing was hiring contractors to work Ares. I expect they were planning to transfer those folks to HLV eventually.  And to be fair they are under contract for manufacturing and assembly for the Upper Stage until October.  However I'm sure the contract milestones they do have to meet under program of record don't require an increase in manpower.

In my mind this article as well as the editorial in the Huntsville times a few weeks back represent scare tactics and political games being played out in the media. Should Congress get off the dime and pass a budget? YES. Does NASA need to define a mission and vehicle to support that mission ? YES. Should layoff threats be used to influence gain for sole source contracts? No.

Scare tactics?  With all due respect to you, I assume you are NASA.  It is easy to say "we need to define a plan", etc when your job is not at risk. 

You know you will have a job. 

You know you will have a paycheck your family can count on. 

You know that you will remain in this industry. 

You know that you don't have the strain of having to finish a job and then compete with thousands of others (assuming one stays in this industry at all) for a reasonably few number of jobs. 

You know that you don't have to sell your home or if you will be able to sell your home.

You don't have to worry, if you do get a job somewhere in this industry somewhere else, if your family will be happy there.

So scare tactics, no.  Reality?  Yes.  We're ready to face and create the future for you as your "contractor friends" if, again, someone would actually do something.  After all, NASA will take a year or so to actually grant a contract. 

Why?  And this speaks to your other point.  I presume you are familar with the large amount of importance and clauses NASA places in contracts for small businesses, minority-owned businesses, woman-owned businesses, etc and that "X" percent of the work must be performed by them. 

I also presume that you are familar with the obligations of the contract.  That the contractor must meet the goals, objectives and requirements of the performance period of any particular contract.  That those requirements, etc are set forth by the NASA customer for that particular performance period.   
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Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #64 on: 04/02/2011 02:41 AM »

Scare tactics?  With all due respect to you, I assume you are NASA.  It is easy to say "we need to define a plan", etc when your job is not at risk. 

You know you will have a job. 

You know you will have a paycheck your family can count on. 

You know that you will remain in this industry. 

You know that you don't have the strain of having to finish a job and then compete with thousands of others (assuming one stays in this industry at all) for a reasonably few number of jobs. 

You know that you don't have to sell your home or if you will be able to sell your home.

You don't have to worry, if you do get a job somewhere in this industry somewhere else, if your family will be happy there.


No a lot of the people I know don't work in that kind of place. I have worked at places with constant lay offs and places that laid off worker. IMHO the closing down of the shuttle gave NASA contracter more warning that I and all of the people I know who have been laied off have had.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #65 on: 04/02/2011 02:51 AM »
I have my own opinions about SLS, but I must say one thing:

It sucks for the average worker. I know how hard it is to find a job these days. I heard a statistic this morning that the average time for a job hunt is now 39 weeks.
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Offline savuporo

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #66 on: 04/02/2011 03:00 AM »
For a significant number of people, "jobs program" means expenditure with no wealth created.

Something along the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Make-work_job

An example.

You pay people to dig holes. You plant trees in these.

Thats not a "jobs program", as there is some value/wealth created as an outcome.

You pay people to dig holes. You pay them some more to fill them in again.

Thats a jobs program. Even though people get paid, there is no wealth created.

So when someone says government-run HSF is becoming a "jobs program" they usually mean its a make-work program with no useful output ( like scientific knowledge ) or wealth created in the process. Or that the expenditure dwarfs the value created.

Ultimately, in all but most trivial examples, it becomes a question of values.

EDIT: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/mar/11/space-isnt-a-jobs-program/

key quote
Quote
In the long run, with a vibrant, new space industry that generates actual wealth, the jobs will be real, productive and sustainable, no longer reliant on a broken budget and a fickle Congress for the opening of a new frontier.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 03:03 AM by savuporo »
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Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #67 on: 04/02/2011 03:02 AM »
If it is just about "jobs" then the question is "do the Taxpayers get the value for the cost that they put into creating the jobs?"

I am a conservative and what that means is that I dont like the government taking my hard earned money UNLESS there is some value in it for The Republic.  Fund the ATC system there is value.  We are a completely different nation, everyone's lives change if there is no Air Traffic Control system where passengers freight and other things can fly and fly pretty efficiently.  I think we need a US Marshals Service, an FBI, a National INsitute of Health and a lot of other things...but the question always has to be "do we get value for that?"

In the 60's a lot of money was spent on human spaceflight and the sole value came from the politics of it.  There were some spinoffs but all the spinoffs could have been built or discovered for a lot less money...we spent some tax dollars on Syncom and its pretty clear we got our moneys worth. 

Building a heavy lift (or really any human spaceflight program) has to be measured against the dollars it takes vrs the value those dollars give...particularly when a chunk of the dollars are all deficit spending.

It is one thing to spend money that the nation taxes for...but it is another thing to spend money that we borrow...and when we are borrowing the questions ahve to be asked even harder.

Sorry, I dont care if people "love their jobs" or "wow this is a talented work force"...one has to ask specifically "if we stop spending the money how does it change the folks lives who actually pony up the money". 

Human space exploration right now just cost to much and doesnt give all that much value for cost.  Flying the shuttle ...how will The Republic change when its done?  Particularly when there are cheaper ways to do what it does.

I am sorry that 800 Boeing folks will be out of a job, but that doesnt even come close to the number of folks who will lose their job in the CAL/United merger...and that is a non taxpayer supporter effort. 

The reality is that no one can give a good reason to build a Shuttle HLV that comes anywhere near close to the cost of the effort.  Explain why we should build a Shuttle HLV instead of using that same money to modernize the Air Traffic Control system or finish Hwy 646 in Santa Fe TX or ....if you can you have something.  As it is "American greatness" or "keeping people employed" isnt it.

Sky King

Offline northanger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #69 on: 04/02/2011 03:31 AM »
pathfinder,

Why do you assume those of us in the aerospace business have never faced lay-offs before? 

This is not a simple lay-off, simple business cycle, etc and as much as you would like to try to spin this goes way beyond shuttle. 

So let's have an analogy:

You say you have worked for these places where there were "constant layoffs".  What if one of these places you worked for was basically shutting down most of the company?  But, this company decided to leave one subsidiary open and untouched, in fact they even said the subsidiary will grow to new levels of business development.  However, the other subsidiaries that are being shut down were integral to the survival of the one being left open. 

The Board of Directors for your company has for two-plus years said they would reorganize and everything would become clear.  In fact, through this reorganization, there would likely be more jobs and the business as a whole would reach new levels of profit never before seen.  However, still today, they have not told you how this reorganization was going to be implemented. 

They say that the key to the one remaining subsidiary and to the business as a whole is to start some new joint ventures with other companies.  The subsidiary that will remain open will now be critically tied to these new joint ventures in place of the ones that your company has decided to shut down for whatever reason.  However, for these joint ventures to succeed, this subsidiary must remain viable and profitable, even though that viability and profitability is dependent on these joint ventures being established first.  In other words, circular logic.  Most concerning is these joint ventures do not yet have a business plan in place or even really what capital will be required to form these joint ventures and therefore have no idea about when these joint ventures will be able to begin business operations.  If the joint ventures don't work out, they'll just outsource the production of an inferior product to Mexico to try to support the only open subsidiary.

Beyond that, the Board of Directors at your company has said they will replace the subsidiaries with new subsidiaries that will be "better".  These new subsidiaries have, now for several years, been spoken about only in vague and nebulous terms.  Yes management walks around the halls saying lots of great buzzwords, but as an employee, you have seen no details about implementation of these great ideas that will fulfill these great promises.  You have been told you will have an opportunity in one these new "better" subsidiaries or maybe one of the joint ventures because they value your experience and there will be plenty of opportunities for everyone, but without any details, you wonder how that can be given the majority of the company will cease operations in just a few months.

But you love this company and you believe in the product it produces.  Would some of the questions above not cross your mind?  Would you not only be concerned from a personal standpoint but also that product it produces and if would still be viable?
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 03:42 AM by OV-106 »
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Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #70 on: 04/02/2011 03:36 AM »



No a lot of the people I know don't work in that kind of place. I have worked at places with constant lay offs and places that laid off worker. IMHO the closing down of the shuttle gave NASA contracter more warning that I and all of the people I know who have been laied off have had.
[/quote]

This is accurate.

Three years ago a friend who I have known since college and flew with  was trying to get a job flying USA's Sabreliners.  I knew the then  Chief Pilot at Ellington pretty well and even though I was overseas did a pretty full court press to help this person get a job with them.  My friend got an interview (he was well qualified having a Sabre type rating and flew the T-39 a lot at Pens)...and when I asked him how it went he said that they were very clear that the job was likely going to end in 2010 or at best 2011.  They were clear to the point that they made him sign a written acknowledgment that he had been told that the job would "go away".

My friend was offered the job but in the interim found a job with a local oil company flying from Houston to Alaska every so often and still  has the job...but that was one of the things he took away from the interview...the clear statement that the shuttle program and USA's need for people was sunsetting.

Sky King

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #71 on: 04/02/2011 04:53 AM »
Oh, I think there is enough blame to go around.  NASA, the President of the United States, the Congress...

Correct no one is without blame.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 04:53 AM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline robertross

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #72 on: 04/02/2011 12:50 PM »
I have my own opinions about SLS, but I must say one thing:

It sucks for the average worker. I know how hard it is to find a job these days. I heard a statistic this morning that the average time for a job hunt is now 39 weeks.
I know, OT but...
We have the same kind of polls here. It's broken into 3 categories

1) Person found work
2) Person gave up trying, and is no longer 'hunting'
3) Person no longer qualifies for Employment insurance benefits and falls off the radar

I'm sure it's not just a Canadian thing. People out there are hurting, and the true numbers would probably scare most.
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Offline MP99

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #73 on: 04/02/2011 01:52 PM »
To do anything but lay them off would be ridiculous.

You can't just demand for someone to pay you to begin building something/anything just to ensure your staff have jobs.

Those people embody a capability for their employer to undertake Aerospace work.

If they need to lay off that capability due to short-term politics, how much do you think it will cost them to build it back up when NASA comes calling with a new contract in a year or two's time? How much less competent will that workforce be until they've taken a year or two (??) to settle back into the swing of things. How long did it take NASA to reinstate capabilities lost when Apollo was closed down?

If their competitor has retained their capabilities, how would Boeing be able to compete against them for this contract? Basically, Boeing are out of that sector of the business semi-permanently and/or it costs NASA much more than was expected and budgeted for.

MSFC has been accused of doing a poor job in running the Ares I upper stage project because they had completely lost the capability, and were building that back up as part of this project.



While I can empathize with Mr Shaw, if this is a new vehicle (it is), isn't NASA required by FAR regulations to competitively bid the work?  Not trying to justify any "foot-dragging", just trying to ask a question.  Wasn't Aerojet recently making the claim that even the SRB contract (if they go SDHLV) would have to be bid competitively?

NASA was specifically instructed to novate existing contracts where possible in Public Law 111-267 (previously S.3729):-

Quote
SEC. 302. SPACE LAUNCH SYSTEM AS FOLLOW-ON LAUNCH VEHICLE TO THE SPACE SHUTTLE.
<snip>

(b) INITIATION OF DEVELOPMENT.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall, as soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, initiate development of a Space Launch System meeting the minimum capabilities requirements specified in subsection (c).
(2) MODIFICATION OF CURRENT CONTRACTS.—
In order to limit NASA’s termination liability costs and support critical capabilities, the Administrator shall, to the extent practicable, extend or modify existing vehicle development and associated contracts necessary to meet the requirements in paragraph (1), including contracts for ground testing of solid rocket motors, if necessary, to ensure their availability for development of the Space Launch System.
(My highlight).

"...shall, to the extent practicable, extend or modify existing vehicle development and associated contracts necessary to" [develop the Space Launch System].

Regarding Aerojet, ATK seem to get a shoe-in - "extend or modify existing ... contracts ... including contracts for ground testing of solid rocket motors".

cheers, Martin

Edit 1: can't believe we got to post #73 in this thread before someone brought up the contract clause in PL 111-267. Surely it applies here?

Edit 2: now I wonder if it does. The existing contract is Ares I upper stage, not directly applicable to a LEO-only SDLV by 2016.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 02:02 PM by MP99 »

Offline Calorspace

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #74 on: 04/02/2011 02:39 PM »
To do anything but lay them off would be ridiculous.

You can't just demand for someone to pay you to begin building something/anything just to ensure your staff have jobs.

Those people embody a capability for their employer to undertake Aerospace work.

If they need to lay off that capability due to short-term politics, how much do you think it will cost them to build it back up when NASA comes calling with a new contract in a year or two's time? How much less competent will that workforce be until they've taken a year or two (??) to settle back into the swing of things. How long did it take NASA to reinstate capabilities lost when Apollo was closed down?

If their competitor has retained their capabilities, how would Boeing be able to compete against them for this contract? Basically, Boeing are out of that sector of the business semi-permanently and/or it costs NASA much more than was expected and budgeted for.

MSFC has been accused of doing a poor job in running the Ares I upper stage project because they had completely lost the capability, and were building that back up as part of this project.



While I can empathize with Mr Shaw, if this is a new vehicle (it is), isn't NASA required by FAR regulations to competitively bid the work?  Not trying to justify any "foot-dragging", just trying to ask a question.  Wasn't Aerojet recently making the claim that even the SRB contract (if they go SDHLV) would have to be bid competitively?

NASA was specifically instructed to novate existing contracts where possible in Public Law 111-267 (previously S.3729):-

Quote
SEC. 302. SPACE LAUNCH SYSTEM AS FOLLOW-ON LAUNCH VEHICLE TO THE SPACE SHUTTLE.
<snip>

(b) INITIATION OF DEVELOPMENT.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The Administrator shall, as soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, initiate development of a Space Launch System meeting the minimum capabilities requirements specified in subsection (c).
(2) MODIFICATION OF CURRENT CONTRACTS.—
In order to limit NASA’s termination liability costs and support critical capabilities, the Administrator shall, to the extent practicable, extend or modify existing vehicle development and associated contracts necessary to meet the requirements in paragraph (1), including contracts for ground testing of solid rocket motors, if necessary, to ensure their availability for development of the Space Launch System.
(My highlight).

"...shall, to the extent practicable, extend or modify existing vehicle development and associated contracts necessary to" [develop the Space Launch System].

Regarding Aerojet, ATK seem to get a shoe-in - "extend or modify existing ... contracts ... including contracts for ground testing of solid rocket motors".

cheers, Martin

Edit 1: can't believe we got to post #73 in this thread before someone brought up the contract clause in PL 111-267. Surely it applies here?

Edit 2: now I wonder if it does. The existing contract is Ares I upper stage, not directly applicable to a LEO-only SDLV by 2016.

My point is that this is Boeings own problem. If they wish to retain those capabilities then they should not lay them off - saying "Give us this work or we will lay people off" is completely stupid.


Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #75 on: 04/02/2011 03:58 PM »
There is a fundamental misunderstanding here that is slinging mud on the term "jobs program" unadvisedly; and that is that unless you are running a business all by yourself, with no employees of any kind, then you are in a "jobs program". If you are an employee of any kind then you are benefiting from a "jobs program". I find it ironic that people with jobs complain about "job programs" as if they were bad things; they are not. Without "job programs" you would *all* be unemployed and impoverished. With the exception of my unemployed friends, *everyone* I know is benefiting from somebody else's "job program".

I am a beneficiary of a jobs program. I get paid to design the navy's nuclear submarines.
OV is a beneficiary of a jobs program. He gets paid to make sure Shuttle crews return home to their families safely.
Pathfinder is a beneficiary of a jobs program. I don't know what he does for a living but he is employed producing goods and services for somebody.

Everyone here, except the unemployed is a beneficiary of a jobs program of one kind or another. What is a jobs program? Nothing more than a company with a contract that has hired individuals to perform on that contract so that a profit can be made. And every one of those "job programs" are very, very good things. Without all those "job programs", the citizens of this and other industrial nations would be no better off than the impoverished people from Haiti, the most impoverished nation on earth. What's the difference between them and us? WE HAVE JOBS! We are all in "jobs programs". Without "jobs programs" there would be no industry. Without industry there would be no prosperity. Without prosperity there would be only dispair. What makes the difference? You guessed it: "job programs". They are all very good things.

Some people on here have been insinuating that the NASA contractors are engaged in trying to maintain a jobs program. They are right, because as long as there is a profit to be made, then the companies will continue to employ people in their jobs programs. Good for them, because that is good for the country - for all of us.

And here's a surprise for some of you: No company is going to hire people to get paid to stand around and do nothing, generating no goods or services on an expired contract. And yet that is exactly what *some* of you are insinuating a "jobs program" is. You could not be further from the truth.

If you want to talk about inefficient corporate work policy where employees are inefficiently used and the companies *could* get better value for their dollar, well that is a different subject all together.

I love the role I play in my jobs program and am proud of the work I do.
And I am tired of cringing every time I hear some of you slinging the term "jobs program" around as if it were a bad word. It's not.

What you are trying to describe, I think, is people being hired, and paid, to do little in the way of producing value. They are being hired for the sole purpose of making sure they can collect a paycheck. I have to tell you that nobody in their right mind would hire people to do that. And for folks to insinuate that is what is going to happen at NASA is just plain wrong and destructive to civil conversation.

Find another term - please - because what you are so deathly afraid of just isn't going to happen. There will *NOT* be a "jobs program" put in place to pay people to do nothing. That is not going to happen folks, so just get off it, ok? Please! Jobs programs hire people to produce value for their wages, and anybody hired to perform on any NASA contract is going to be earning their pay by actually working for it. There is and will not be any NASA welfare program.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 03:59 PM by clongton »
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Offline aquanaut99

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #76 on: 04/02/2011 04:17 PM »

What you are trying to describe, I think, is people being hired, and paid, to do little in the way of producing value. They are being hired for the sole purpose of making sure they can collect a paycheck. I have to tell you that nobody in their right mind would hire people to do that. And for folks to insinuate that is what is going to happen at NASA is just plain wrong and destructive to civil conversation.

Find another term - please - because what you are so deathly afraid of just isn't going to happen. There will *NOT* be a "jobs program" put in place to pay people to do nothing. That is not going to happen folks, so just get off it, ok? Please! Jobs programs hire people to produce value for their wages, and anybody hired to perform on any NASA contract is going to be earning their pay by actually working for it. There is and will not be any NASA welfare program.

I disagree. I think there is a "jobs program" in the above sense (being paid while producing little of value) in NASA, in most government agencies and in many large private corporations.

This "jobs program" is better known as management, administration or overhead.

Management members collect (often very large) paychecks, while producing nothing of value. Administration and management cost a lot for little gain. I think it is this that most people who are fed up with NASA's current role and structure and who are calling for a radical downsizing mean. Cut the overhead.

Yes, I know, in the end it's always the poor guy on the assembly line who gets the shaft, while the fat cats stick to their padded seats in their cozy offices. I know it and I hate it. Because that is where the real waste of taxpayer money lies.

SpaceX has a lot of kudos from people like me because have much less administration. Less fat, more muscle.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 05:18 PM by aquanaut99 »

Offline Jim

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #77 on: 04/02/2011 04:35 PM »
Jobs program is where congress has more concern about the money spent in their districts than the actual benefit to the whole country.  Would TX, FL, AL, UT representatives support an SLS produced in CA, WA, CO, etc that provided the same service to NASA for the same cost?  EELV derived or RP-1 boosters options aren't supported because they don't employ the same number of employees or in the same states.

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #78 on: 04/02/2011 04:50 PM »
SpaceX has a lot of kudos from people like me because have much less administration. Less fat, more muscle.

"and in SpaceX's case the majority of who they've hired of late being admin people, not engineers"

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24653.msg717119#msg717119
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Offline mike robel

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #79 on: 04/02/2011 04:57 PM »
I believe, though am not sure, one issue is there are not going to be any NASA Civil Servant layoffs after the shuttle program concludes.

If this is true, then that is indeed a "jobs program" in which some people will likely be paid to sit around with nothing to do.  Afterall, if your job is to inspect the work of a contractor who is placing tiles on the shuttle, and there is no need to place tiles anymore, then the civil servant inspector should be laid off right after the last tile is placed.

There are some skills which NASA may need to maintain during the gap during which a new system is coming on line.  If the gap is <12 months, then it makes sense.  If the gap is >5 years, then probably not so much sense.  From 1 - 4 years may be a gray area of sorts.

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #80 on: 04/02/2011 05:03 PM »
Jobs program is where congress has more concern about the money spent in their districts than the actual benefit to the whole country.  Would TX, FL, AL, UT representatives support an SLS produced in CA, WA, CO, etc that provided the same service to NASA for the same cost?  EELV derived or RP-1 boosters options aren't supported because they don't employ the same number of employees or in the same states.

Funny thing is Jim some of the components used today within STS are produced in the states you listed. 

Now let's discuss the rest of the states you mention.  I assume TX refers to JSC.  Well JSC is not the center for SLS.  I'm sure some NASA people will work it but they are not in danger of losing their jobs, just like you, regardless of the situation. 

FL probably means KSC.  KSC does not "produce" the rocket.  The process and integrate it.

AL probably means MSFC.  MSFC is the project office and lead center.  It will be regardless. 

UT is obviously a stab at ATK.  Yet, seemingly an empty arguement since the states you listed were an endorsement of where you have done business with particular providers.  So, in other words, I have trouble believing your motives are so pure. 

I support a SDLV.  I believe it makes sense given the reasons and rationale I have placed forth more times than I can count.  I have also said that other solutions could work, obviously, but I believe at higher cost, longer schedule and a higher factor of uncertainty for ops than something shuttle-derived for a generic RP-1 booster. 

For EELV, I still don't see how NASA paying for additional costs to ULA, bringing down their overhead, etc like DoD is already doing, benefits and stimulates the "market" that is hoped to be created and competition to lower costs for this class rocket.  But again, the physics obviously work and it could be done, I just don't believe it is the best solution.

Can you and others say the same, or do you all have to take the low road and try to insult?  Just curious and that was a rhetorical question and really could care less about any reply.  Thank you. 
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #81 on: 04/02/2011 05:06 PM »
I believe, though am not sure, one issue is there are not going to be any NASA Civil Servant layoffs after the shuttle program concludes.

If this is true, then that is indeed a "jobs program" in which some people will likely be paid to sit around with nothing to do.  Afterall, if your job is to inspect the work of a contractor who is placing tiles on the shuttle, and there is no need to place tiles anymore, then the civil servant inspector should be laid off right after the last tile is placed.

There are some skills which NASA may need to maintain during the gap during which a new system is coming on line.  If the gap is <12 months, then it makes sense.  If the gap is >5 years, then probably not so much sense.  From 1 - 4 years may be a gray area of sorts.


That is actually a very narrow view of the situation.  NASA employees are government employees.  It is very rare that government employees are laid off.  This is not unique to NASA either.  It is possible they will be transferred to other departments, agencies, etc but it is highly unlikely there will be any break in service. 
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Offline northanger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #82 on: 04/02/2011 05:14 PM »
Jobs program is where congress has more concern about the money spent in their districts than the actual benefit to the whole country.  Would TX, FL, AL, UT representatives support an SLS produced in CA, WA, CO, etc that provided the same service to NASA for the same cost?  EELV derived or RP-1 boosters options aren't supported because they don't employ the same number of employees or in the same states.

This reminds me of Markusen's The Rise of the Gunbelt: The Military Remapping of Industrial America. Other studies have looked at the redistribution of defense and nondefense professionals.

This got me wondering that if jobs create a social culture/contract, then there's a social gap created by Shuttle and CxP ending simultaneously. But this isn't the first time this has happened, and some of this was expected. Instead of a frostbelt-sunbelt shift, it's being described as a government-commercial shift (more or less). But is this an unusually severe cycle this time? Is SLS an attempt to deal with this issue at some level? That loops back to who benefits from a new jobs program?

Offline jimgagnon

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #83 on: 04/02/2011 05:47 PM »
Find another term - please - because what you are so deathly afraid of just isn't going to happen. There will *NOT* be a "jobs program" put in place to pay people to do nothing. That is not going to happen folks, so just get off it, ok? Please! Jobs programs hire people to produce value for their wages, and anybody hired to perform on any NASA contract is going to be earning their pay by actually working for it. There is and will not be any NASA welfare program.

I agree; the term "jobs program" is misleading. If one wants to portray the situation in a negative light, the phrase "white collar workfare" is more accurate and appropriate, and has been used in other industries.

In my opinion, it's a shame this forum has veered off as so many do and focused on the lost employment aspect of the situation in American aerospace. I suppose it's natural, as many here get their paychecks this way, but there's one thing that really needs to be said: for this administration and the last, and the heads of all the corporations in aerospace, the employment situation is very much a secondary concern. Primary concerns are our space capabilities today and in the future; employment comes into the equation only as it pertains to those capabilities.

American policy makers on both sides of the aisle have this attitude, and many deem it the appropriate approach to have. If you're an aerospace engineer and disagree, you won't find respite in the ballot box or with your congresspeople. Frankly, your only option is to utilize your labor as a weapon and organize a union unafraid to use it. However, white collar workers are notoriously difficult to organize, so that pretty much leave career changes or entrepreneurship.

The real reason we're in this situation is that American policy makers on both parties have deemed Shuttle-derived technology an undesirable capability to maintain. You may disagree, but that's the call both Bush and Obama made. Constellation tried to walk the tightrope of placating the Shuttle's industrial base while evolving a new capability, but it failed and was put out of its misery.

Congress is trying to keep Shuttle-derived alive with SLS, but if you set aside their bluster and read the language of the bill, there's plenty of wiggle room for the administration to do exactly just what it's doing now: carefully considering all viable options and throwing its weight behind the most financially efficient and evolvable capability. I'm afraid that Obama's NASA, just like Bush's NASA before it, will find that the reasons Shuttle-derived was found undesirable in the past still apply, and frankly there is little Congress can do to stop this assessment.

In my opinion there is only one way out of this mess while still preserving at least some jobs: privatize the Shuttle. I know everyone is pessimistic about the prospects of this, but if USA is made an independent company, given the Shuttles and appropriate infrastructure and personnel, and signs a five year contract with NASA, the jobs situation improves considerably in the short term and as far as the long term, who knows. USA has smart people and resources at its disposal; by operating on their own terms perhaps they can figure out how to effectively operate the Shuttle and morph it into a 21st century launch system.

It's either that, or years of infighting and layoffs until the aerospace community is whittled down to a core that agrees with the policy makers, a path those policy makers do not prefer but are willing to take.


Offline padrat

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #84 on: 04/02/2011 06:35 PM »
I agree that id like to see a commercial shuttle, ala USA's proposal, just to see/prove how much less the shuttle could be operated for. However, I seriously doubt it will happen, if for no other reason, that it would be a slap in NASA's face and it would probably outrage taxpayers when it's shown how cheap it can be done.
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Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #85 on: 04/02/2011 06:43 PM »
I believe, though am not sure, one issue is there are not going to be any NASA Civil Servant layoffs after the shuttle program concludes.

If this is true, then that is indeed a "jobs program" in which some people will likely be paid to sit around with nothing to do.

Let's clear up a misunderstanding here before it gets out of hand.

There are no "NASA" civil servants. All civil servants work for the US government, not for any specific government agency. They may be assigned to work at a specific government agency, such as NASA, but that agency is not their employer. Any civil servants that loose meaningful employment at NASA because of this downturn will not loose their government job. They will however be reassigned to work somewhere else, either in NASA, if their skill set is appropriate, or to some other agency in the government. And just to be clear, that new job assignment may or may not even be in the same state. Any civil servant that is offered a new position because of this downturn has the option of either accepting the new position (and possible new location), or terminating their US government employment.

NO CIVIL SERVANT WILL BE ALLOWED TO "SIT AROUND AND GET PAID FOR DOING NOTHING" when their job is eliminated! They will accept the new position or quit/retire. Those are their ONLY 2 choices.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 06:47 PM by clongton »
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Offline mike robel

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #86 on: 04/02/2011 06:50 PM »
Chuck, an important distinction, to be sure.  But the real question is, "Is there going to be a civil servent reduction in force after the end of the Space Shuttle Program?" and "Will there be an overall reduction in size of the Federal Civil Servent workforce as a result of the end of the Space Shuttle Program."

Calling me to task over my use of "NASA" is a quibble on the issue.  Federal Civil Servents who work for the US Army, are commonly called "DACS" - Department of the Army Civil Servants.


Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #87 on: 04/02/2011 07:04 PM »
1. "Is there going to be a civil servant reduction in force after the end of the Space Shuttle Program?" and
2. "Will there be an overall reduction in size of the Federal Civil Servant workforce as a result of the end of the Space Shuttle Program."

1. Yes, assuming you meant "at NASA".
2. Probably not appreciably. There are SO many US Government Civil Servants all over the country, indeed the world, that the RIF at NASA would hardly be noticed. You must understand the difference between a commercial and civil servant employee who gets "RIF'd". Unlike their commercial counterpart, a RIF'd civil servant does not loose their "employment" unless they personally choose to make it so. They just go somewhere else to work, where they WILL earn their pay.

And Mike - I wasn't taking "you" to task. Your concerns are legitimate, are shared by a lot of people, and deserved an answer. I provided an answer - with all due respect.

As for the DACS, my father used to be one, employed at Fort Devens in Ayer Massachusetts. He faced the exact choice I described and left the Civil Service because of it. His new job would have required moving the entire family to Fort Hood in Texas. He chose to remain in Massachusetts where he took a "commercial" job.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 07:14 PM by clongton »
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Offline mike robel

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #88 on: 04/02/2011 07:10 PM »
Chuck - Fair enough  :)

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #89 on: 04/02/2011 07:47 PM »
1. "Is there going to be a civil servant reduction in force after the end of the Space Shuttle Program?" and

1. Yes, assuming you meant "at NASA".

It depends on how you want to define it.  There are currently no plans to reassign, etc someone to some other agency and/or location that is not by choice.  Everyone who has a job will still have a job. 

What is the plan is that for something like every 2 people that retire or leave that only one can be hired. 
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Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #90 on: 04/02/2011 08:19 PM »
1. "Is there going to be a civil servant reduction in force after the end of the Space Shuttle Program?" and

1. Yes, assuming you meant "at NASA".

It depends on how you want to define it.  There are currently no plans to reassign, etc someone to some other agency and/or location that is not by choice.  Everyone who has a job will still have a job. 

What is the plan is that for something like every 2 people that retire or leave that only one can be hired. 

The devil's in the details. It's kinda like making sausage. Everyone likes the finished product but not too many can stomach making it :).

The bottom line is that no civil servant will be "layed off" because of the RIF, but it needs to be noted that the "R" in RIF is "Reduction". Overall there will be a "reduction", as I noted. The details of how that gets done are complex. Federal RIF regs are like a recipe for sausage. But those same regs do not allow anyone to stay at a job assignment that no longer exists, just collecting a paycheck. The Civil Service can be a cushy job, but it is not a welfare program. People actually have to earn their paychecks.
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 08:20 PM by clongton »
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Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #91 on: 04/02/2011 09:58 PM »
There is a fundamental misunderstanding here that is slinging mud on the term "jobs program" unadvisedly; and that is that unless you are running a business all by yourself, with no employees of any kind, then you are in a "jobs program". If you are an employee of any kind then you are benefiting from a "jobs program". I find it ironic that people with jobs complain about "job programs" as if they were bad things; they are not. Without "job programs" you would *all* be unemployed and impoverished. With the exception of my unemployed friends, *everyone* I know is benefiting from somebody else's "job program".

I am a beneficiary of a jobs program. I get paid to design the navy's nuclear submarines.

snip

as a generalization the point you make is entertaining but it really does not address the issue.

Since the shuttle is a "government only system" meaning what it does is done for the express use of the US government, there really is no reason to strike any sort of comparison to non government (ie free enterprise) employment.  USA is no more free enterprise then a Soviet design bureau was.

The question when tax dollars are used to create jobs (or build a jobs program as you put it) is "does the Republic (meaning the citizens) get something or some service for the jobs program that has value for the cost". 

The answer is clearly yes in terms of the air traffic control system, and a lot of other things, including designing building etc nuclear submarines.  A dollar spent on the ATC system makes free enterprise able to access the ATC system and it is a net plus in terms of the taxes that come back to the government (of all levels) for the spending.

Nuclear subs, the entire US Navy doesnt do that...for every dollar spent there really is not much blowback into private enterprise; except it is what defends the nation. 

What would the dollars spent on continuing the shuttle or building a shuttle derived HLV that only NASA uses return to the average taxpayers?

Those dollars create jobs, but so would paying the same people the same wage and have them go build oh high speed rail.  And at least at the end of high speed rail, there would be something that the rest of Americans can use.

What NASA (and I see some of the people here) are left to do is to simply talk about how many jobs are created...not the value for them.  The value is less.  If there is a job in Clear Lake that is a shuttle job and a job in Clear Lake that is for the NIH, the NIH job ultimately produces more worth, because that job actually does something that the rest of the country can use...

Go to Europe, in the recent draw down of employment, the governments there paid some private industries to keep people employeed so they would be ready when the economy there picked up (as it is doing)...but they picked the jobs to keep that had some overarching value for the economy.  It is hard to argue a Shuttle job or a job building a Shuttle derived vehicle does.

One final note...it is hard to square the politics.  Most groups in space concentrated areas are "right of center"...go ask them and they will tell you how they are all against government handouts, or government jobs...there were no more greater protest at Pete's townhalls then those complaining about all the census jobs.  At least those jobs did something that The Constitution mandates. 

all jobs may be part of a jobs program, but all job programs are not equal

Sky King

Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #92 on: 04/02/2011 10:25 PM »
SpaceX has a lot of kudos from people like me because have much less administration. Less fat, more muscle.

"and in SpaceX's case the majority of who they've hired of late being admin people, not engineers"

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24653.msg717119#msg717119


which is precisely what one would expect as an engineering test program develops into an operational program.  The trick is going to be to keep the operational/admin folks to as tight a program as the engineering folks are, and yet be able to "make the trains run on time". 

Several missions ago I was up late as one of the shuttle crews was on the space station and one of the shuttle folks was trying to do a task which involved transferring some data from one of the laptops to a USB memory stick.

Houston had go get someone on the line from Huntsville to "read up the procedure"...that is far to much administration.  All of us in the aviation certification community routinely transfer data from a laptop to a USB stick...we dont need a mission control to share "words" with us on how to do it.

Sky King
« Last Edit: 04/02/2011 10:28 PM by SkyKing »

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #93 on: 04/02/2011 11:12 PM »
SpaceX has a lot of kudos from people like me because have much less administration. Less fat, more muscle.

"and in SpaceX's case the majority of who they've hired of late being admin people, not engineers"

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24653.msg717119#msg717119


which is precisely what one would expect as an engineering test program develops into an operational program.  The trick is going to be to keep the operational/admin folks to as tight a program as the engineering folks are, and yet be able to "make the trains run on time". 

Several missions ago I was up late as one of the shuttle crews was on the space station and one of the shuttle folks was trying to do a task which involved transferring some data from one of the laptops to a USB memory stick.

Houston had go get someone on the line from Huntsville to "read up the procedure"...that is far to much administration.  All of us in the aviation certification community routinely transfer data from a laptop to a USB stick...we dont need a mission control to share "words" with us on how to do it.

Sky King

1.  Design engineering and operations are not as far apart as what you would like to suggest.  Besides the vast majority of "operators" are engineers and that is not what the above post said.

2.  Why were you even watching a shuttle mission on TV?  After all, you have so much contempt for it, believe you know everything about it, etc.  After all, according to you here and elsewhere, you constantly charge we "waive the flight rules" all the time.  That itself says a lot right there if that is what you think for a lot of different reasons that some will understand. 

Also, while I understand being a member of the "aviation certification community" obviously means you know everything about everything, you are likely not seeing the whole picture.  Goofy.
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Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #94 on: 04/03/2011 01:22 AM »



1.  Design engineering and operations are not as far apart as what you would like to suggest.  Besides the vast majority of "operators" are engineers and that is not what the above post said.

2.  Why were you even watching a shuttle mission on TV?  After all, you have so much contempt for it, believe you know everything about it, etc.  After all, according to you here and elsewhere, you constantly charge we "waive the flight rules" all the time.  That itself says a lot right there if that is what you think for a lot of different reasons that some will understand. 

Also, while I understand being a member of the "aviation certification community" obviously means you know everything about everything, you are likely not seeing the whole picture.  Goofy.

/

a few points and then get on topic.

having engineers particularly design engineers be "operators" or even "administrators" is a good waste of engineering talent and generally makes for very crummy operators and administrators. 

Design engineers as operators tend to try and turn operations into an engineering problem, which it generally is not and as for being administrators...well Rickover had a good answer for that..."it is damn stupid". 

One can see both these fallacies in the shuttle operations, it has been the direct cause of both major shuttle accidents and in large measure was why Cx blew up (ie got overly expensive). 

I was watching in particular that mission because one of the folks who I use to fly with was on it...and I figured that there would be a good example of an over managed problem that I could use for a speech I was about to give...and I got it.  I dont have "contempt" for the shuttle program; it is just an operational program being run by people who have no real clue about how to run an operational program. 

When pretty reasonable crew members are used as more or less automation ("we want this or that checklist run down to this or that then skip over to this or that section and proceed to step so and so)  or "we want this and this and that turned off"...well either automate the entire thing and save crew training or let the folks on the vehicle run the vehicle.  It wont work at Mars or even the Moon, it is not how it is done on a nuclear sub or an oil platform or ....anything else in the world...but heh.

I dont know everything about everything, but folks with the shuttle and station are always acting as if no one else knows anything about anything.  And the words you use are pretty typical of what is said in most part to defend the undefendable.  Those of us in airplane certification have developed the safest system of operations known to mankind.  And the safest airplanes.  And that is a tribute to the folks who do the test flying.


To the main point however
  To fund shuttle derived vehicle workforce as "Brewster the rooster" (sorry) seems to want should have to cross a very high bar.  It should be explaining to all the other people in the US whose jobs are going away or who have gone away why those jobs are more important then "their" job.

In the end if we want to do human spaceflight as something other then something that we as a nation do just to do it we have to do it very very differently or it is simply unaffordable.  800 people losing their job?  We should not be contemplating building a heavy lift vehicle with much more then say 1200.

Sky King


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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #95 on: 04/03/2011 02:34 AM »
having engineers particularly design engineers be "operators" or even "administrators" is a good waste of engineering talent and generally makes for very crummy operators and administrators. 

Design engineers as operators tend to try and turn operations into an engineering problem, which it generally is not and as for being administrators...well Rickover had a good answer for that..."it is damn stupid". 

One can see both these fallacies in the shuttle operations, it has been the direct cause of both major shuttle accidents

That is contrary to the findings of both accident investigation boards. Both found that NASA was trying too hard to treat the shuttle as "operational" and failing to attack anomalies with sufficient engineering rigor.

Quote
I dont know everything about everything, but folks with the shuttle and station are always acting as if no one else knows anything about anything.

You may not claim to know everything, but you are claiming to know more than both the Rogers and Gehman investigation boards.
JRF

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #96 on: 04/03/2011 03:07 AM »
I find it very complexing why people just don't seem to understand the "jobs program" term. And then want it removed from the discussion.

 - If your #1 priority is to employ a certain number of people, and the productive output is irrelevant - well, yes, then it is a "jobs program". It doesn't matter if it is a government department or a commercial entity.

 - If your #1 priority is to generate productive output (in this case actual hardware & missions), while employing whatever people needed to get it done - This is certainly NOT a "jobs program".

There are of course examples all across this spectrum, but I am simply trying to explain that not everyone (or thing) that employs people is a "jobs program".
« Last Edit: 04/03/2011 03:12 AM by Lars_J »

Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #97 on: 04/03/2011 03:10 AM »
having engineers particularly design engineers be "operators" or even "administrators" is a good waste of engineering talent and generally makes for very crummy operators and administrators. 

Design engineers as operators tend to try and turn operations into an engineering problem, which it generally is not and as for being administrators...well Rickover had a good answer for that..."it is damn stupid". 

One can see both these fallacies in the shuttle operations, it has been the direct cause of both major shuttle accidents

That is contrary to the findings of both accident investigation boards. Both found that NASA was trying too hard to treat the shuttle as "operational" and failing to attack anomalies with sufficient engineering rigor.

Quote
I dont know everything about everything, but folks with the shuttle and station are always acting as if no one else knows anything about anything.

You may not claim to know everything, but you are claiming to know more than both the Rogers and Gehman investigation boards.

no not really.  I would not claim to know more then the Rogers or CAIB, or Admiral Gehman in particular because I agree 100 percent with their findings. (and I have the greatest respect for Admiral Gehman.

The main thrust of both findings was not about a lack of engineering rigor, but it was the notion that KNOWN malfunctions were ignored which is a management problem. There is nothing about operating with known malfunctions which can destroy the vehicle that has to do with being operational or being a test vehicle.  That is common sense.

 No other agency in the US government nor any civilian group that operates a complex technical system would have continued operation with "known engineering problems" such as doomed Challenger and Columbia.  It is as the saying goes about flying "in family" and "out of specification"

There is nothing rocket science about this...nor very special.

Sky King

Offline Longhorn John

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #98 on: 04/03/2011 03:17 AM »
So I assume Sky King has serious problems with commercial. In fact, he must, as Mr Bolden has made it very clear that a lot of the Shuttle workforce will be taken on by these commercial companies.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #99 on: 04/03/2011 03:18 AM »
having engineers particularly design engineers be "operators" or even "administrators" is a good waste of engineering talent and generally makes for very crummy operators and administrators. 

Design engineers as operators tend to try and turn operations into an engineering problem, which it generally is not...

For the most part, I agree with you.  However, where you have gone off the rails is to think of the shuttle like an operational vehicle.  It is not.

The 787 is not an operational vehicle yet.  Here's it's test program web site:

http://787flighttest.com/

At the moment, seven vehicles have flown 1165 experimental test flights.  This far exceeds the entire 30 years of the shuttle program and they are not done yet.  This is why the shuttle is an experimental vehicle, and why its "operators" are engineers treating it like an "engineering problem".  It is.

If a space vehicle ever flies enough to go through the same type of certification that an airliner does to become an operational vehicle (which would likely be far more rigorous than that for an airliner due to the lack of intact abort modes), then it can be largely turned over to "operators" like airlines.  Even then engineers will still remain to solve problems, produce the next model and so on, just like they do with airliners today.  But we are nowhere near that point yet as can be plainly seen by the shear numbers, and not just the test numbers.  Discovery is one of five such vehicles and has more flights than any other space vehicle - 29.  Airliners often have production runs of hundreds or thousands and individual samples routinely execute upwards of 100,000 flights in their lifetimes.

Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #100 on: 04/03/2011 03:52 AM »
having engineers particularly design engineers be "operators" or even "administrators" is a good waste of engineering talent and generally makes for very crummy operators and administrators. 

Design engineers as operators tend to try and turn operations into an engineering problem, which it generally is not...

For the most part, I agree with you.  However, where you have gone off the rails is to think of the shuttle like an operational vehicle.  It is not.

The 787 is not an operational vehicle yet.  Here's it's test program web site:

http://787flighttest.com/

At the moment, seven vehicles have flown 1165 experimental test flights.  This far exceeds the entire 30 years of the shuttle program and they are not done yet.  This is why the shuttle is an experimental vehicle, and why its "operators" are engineers treating it like an "engineering problem".  It is.

If a space vehicle ever flies enough to go through the same type of certification that an airliner does to become an operational vehicle (which would likely be far more rigorous than that for an airliner due to the lack of intact abort modes), then it can be largely turned over to "operators" like airlines.  Even then engineers will still remain to solve problems, produce the next model and so on, just like they do with airliners today.  But we are nowhere near that point yet as can be plainly seen by the shear numbers, and not just the test numbers.  Discovery is one of five such vehicles and has more flights than any other space vehicle - 29.  Airliners often have production runs of hundreds or thousands and individual samples routinely execute upwards of 100,000 flights in their lifetimes.

The Dreamliner is not operational, it really is not even a valid test vehicle right now.

The shuttle is as "operational" as say the SR-71 or say Gemini was...if NOT then it should have been retired a long time ago.  It is no where near as operational as a commercial airliner or even a military fighter, but as a nuclear submarine...yes.

The two shuttle losses are attributable to one thing...NASA management, and the astronaut corps (which is even more amazing) decided that they were comfortable flying with a known malfunction that in certain circumstances got "worse"...and they then proceeded (at least in Challenger's case) to fly in the worst possible circumstances.

That had nothing to do with being operational or being a test vehicle.  Had the Shuttle orbiter been a military X vehicle...they never would have flown with it ina  known condition where loss of the vehicle was possible.

That is one reason the 787 program has essentially ground to a halt.

Sky King

Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #101 on: 04/03/2011 03:55 AM »
So I assume Sky King has serious problems with commercial. In fact, he must, as Mr Bolden has made it very clear that a lot of the Shuttle workforce will be taken on by these commercial companies.


Charlie (The Administrator) is blowing smoke here...the commercial folks are as likely to hire people from the shuttle workforce, particularly shuttle management or leaders as SWA was to hire Branniff people.  Individuals for their individual skills...yes.  But the higher up the food chain the harder it is going to be in my view to get a job with the folks who have to fly "operational" to fly well.

Besides that the numbers dont add up.  What was the shuttle workforce at its peak?  15000 or so.  Far to many people...

Sky King

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #102 on: 04/03/2011 03:57 AM »

I hope you had fun playing your war games, but if we were less of a military state we could probably afford a more aggressive space program.

And I always find that funny at times considering how we got a space program: US spending on military programs. But yes, OT.

Ot but the GWB administration did wreck the federal budget.

One example of massive waste thanks to Bush is the TSA it performs worse then private security on tests and should be paid for by the airlines vs the tax payer.

A smarter move would have been to institute tougher guidelines ,employ more random security tests, and simply allow airline crews to be armed.
Also passengers need to have a say in what is and is not acceptable.

I don't consider the pantie bomber a real threat well not enough to change policy.

« Last Edit: 04/03/2011 03:59 AM by Patchouli »

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #103 on: 04/03/2011 11:04 AM »
Rockets, not airplanes. The topic is rockets. Bah.

Actually maybe the topic should be:

SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs, Follow the Law, and Avoid Creating a Drastic Reduction in Our Ability to Properly Supply a Fully Utilized International Space Station.


Many of the posts about providing 'value' to the American people are bizarre. Congress and Presidents have repeatedly decided year in and year out that conducting research with our Partners at the International Space Station was a worthwhile way to spend the money of the American taxpayers. The Space Shuttles, the main supply ships for the ISS, are being retired prematurely at the beginning of what is supposed to be the long-term mission of the 100,000,000,000 dollar National Laboratory International Space Station, an amazing spaceflight that has no clear end of journey point. Various self-appointed grandiose 'experts' on 'value' may dismiss the value of the Space Shuttles, but until the ISS mission is over we had best make bloody sure we have a robust ISS mission support system in place. The President, White House political spinners, NASA HQ, and various posters on this website have pooh-poohed the legally mandated, flexible, and highly capable SLS/Orion space transportation system and its important role as a backup system in case Soyuz and 'commercial' systems are not capable of meeting the diverse and extensive needs of the fully utilized International Space Station. Some silly posters want to play their own little political games and make comments about 'value' to society and simply gamble with the fate our 100,000,000,000 dollar LEO National Laboratory and the trust the taxpayers have placed in their elected officials to wisely spend hard earned dollars. If our leaders foolishly bungle our long-term 100,000,000,000 dollar LEO ISS mission, there will be few logical reasons for humans anywhere on the planet Earth to trust the ability of their officials and business leaders to successfully manage any complex, long-term, and high technology project, including nuclear power plants or future long-term space missions. Building trust is difficult these days. And given the President's self-serving and foot dragging political games and unwise leadership in telling NASA's HQ to ignore the SLS/Orion law, trust, both on the national scene and in the big world, is going to be in short supply for quite some time into the future. Laws and trust are extremely valuable. Try to imagine a world without laws and everyone's trust that those laws will be followed. That is precisely the type of world that the President, NASA's HQ, and various 'wise Internet experts on everything' are advocating. Boeing might appreciate it if someone told the President that he too has to follow the law that he put his signature on. That would pretty much resolve the issue of SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs and also provide the International Space Station's long-term mission the robust support margins it needs to have in order to be successful.

"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline MP99

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #104 on: 04/03/2011 11:46 AM »
That is contrary to the findings of both accident investigation boards. Both found that NASA was trying too hard to treat the shuttle as "operational" and failing to attack anomalies with sufficient engineering rigor.

When pretty reasonable crew members are used as more or less automation ("we want this or that checklist run down to this or that then skip over to this or that section and proceed to step so and so)  or "we want this and this and that turned off"...well either automate the entire thing and save crew training or let the folks on the vehicle run the vehicle.  It wont work at Mars or even the Moon, it is not how it is done on a nuclear sub or an oil platform or ....anything else in the world...but heh.

Surely, ISS is similarly an experimental system.

You think something experimental of the complexity of ISS can be operated by six crew without ground support?

And don't the flight crew of commercial airliners run through checklists, too?

cheers, Martin

Offline padrat

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #105 on: 04/03/2011 12:11 PM »
Mr Bolden has made it very clear that a lot of the Shuttle workforce will be taken on by these commercial companies.


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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #106 on: 04/03/2011 12:19 PM »
Damn iPhone. As I was saying, I think most of us are tired of hearing what is turning out to be the biggest line of bs I've heard yet. For one, still waiting to see this mass invasion of all these companies that are going to snatch us up. Two, the ones that ARE here aren't hiring, probably because they are waiting to see if they are going to get their funding IF congress can ever get their heads out their respective rear orifices and make A decision. ANY DECISION! Because indecision is killing us more than anything right now.
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Offline northanger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #107 on: 04/03/2011 01:04 PM »
Even though I'm curious how NASA deals with LTV, isn't this a question of prioritization?: Congress prioritizing launch capability to maintain US superiority (which some think is going short to protect jobs) and President prioritizing commercial to contain costs (which some think as going long to expand space exploration). So the issue, some are stating here, is removing certain restrictions in the 2010 Act impacting NASA's ability to balance conflicting objectives.

Bill Nye said,

Quote
"Allow NASA to take humans beyond Low Earth Orbit without regard to congressional districts. Because of the distances involved and the scale of the work, NASA has to be able to work with other space-faring nations, which would include the European, Japanese, Indian and Chinese agencies. The Space Station is akin to stations in the Antarctic. Let's focus on the research that goes on there rather than the associated modes of transportation. With that job done by others, NASA can do some real exploring of new places and help humans make what will no doubt prove to be astonishing discoveries."

I'm wondering if the "ISS template" -- at least in the interim -- can replace the Apollo template.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2011 01:06 PM by northanger »

Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #108 on: 04/03/2011 02:14 PM »


Surely, ISS is similarly an experimental system.

You think something experimental of the complexity of ISS can be operated by six crew without ground support?

And don't the flight crew of commercial airliners run through checklists, too?

cheers, Martin

It depends on what the definition of experimental is?

The X-1 was experimental by virtue of the fact that 1) the airplane was of a brand new design, there were not a lot of "simulators" and other things that could test the vehicle concept, and 3) it was going to try something that had never been tried before.  Some things were well understood (the shape) and things did go supersonic (.50 caliber shells that it was modeled after) but the entire system had never done what was trying to be done.

A 787 is experimental for similar but different reasons.   What it is doing has been done before but never this way...

The space station?  It is a complicated but complication is the product of the training cycle.  There is a check out period as each module is added...but...

to say it is a test vehicle after it has flown for a sometime in a particular config and is not being pushed outside of the enveolope that it normally "flies" in seems silly to me.  If they are going to claim that it is an indication of how badly it is built.

Here is a pretty good comparison.  USS Nautilus was the first "sub" at sea with a nuclear reactor.  The notion of how to design that kind of sub (a sub that is designed more like a surface ship then anything else) was pretty well understood the addition was the reactor.  They didnt run on about it being an "experimental" system.

After lots of years with Mir, and what a decade plus with ISS in some form of config..."Experimental" well ??

Checklist...all pilots run checklist (or at least good ones do)...you will never hear "Center" tell them to  Much less which ones to do..

Sky King

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #109 on: 04/03/2011 02:42 PM »
Even though I'm curious how NASA deals with LTV, isn't this a question of prioritization?: Congress prioritizing launch capability to maintain US superiority (which some think is going short to protect jobs) and President prioritizing commercial to contain costs (which some think as going long to expand space exploration). So the issue, some are stating here, is removing certain restrictions in the 2010 Act impacting NASA's ability to balance conflicting objectives.

Bill Nye said,

Quote
"Allow NASA to take humans beyond Low Earth Orbit without regard to congressional districts. Because of the distances involved and the scale of the work, NASA has to be able to work with other space-faring nations, which would include the European, Japanese, Indian and Chinese agencies. The Space Station is akin to stations in the Antarctic. Let's focus on the research that goes on there rather than the associated modes of transportation. With that job done by others, NASA can do some real exploring of new places and help humans make what will no doubt prove to be astonishing discoveries."

I'm wondering if the "ISS template" -- at least in the interim -- can replace the Apollo template.

The "ISS template" included the Space Shuttles for LEO supply missions to the International Space Station. At a minimum we need the J-130/SLS and the BEO Orion spacecraft to have any significant credibility as a potential partner for BEO exploration. Both the J-130/SLS and the BEO Orion spacecraft also offer the capability of safeguarding the massive investment made by America and our International Partners in the International Space Station. If we can no longer robustly supply and fully utilize the expensive Low Earth Orbit International Space Station for the research it was built to accomplish, why should NASA have any credibility at all as a potential partner for long-term Beyond Low Earth missions with European, Japanese, Indian, and Chinese space agencies?

Strong Low Earth Orbit and Beyond Low Earth Orbit Mission Capabilities = Major Beyond Low Earth Orbit Mission Credibility = Lots of Low Earth Orbit and Beyond Low Earth Orbit Mission Partners.

If the President manages to gut NASA, Boeing, and various major space contractors, then NASA, our space businesses, and the advanced technological knowledge base they utilize will not automatically get rebuilt. Destruction is easy, any fool can do it. Building and maintaining and growing valuable entities and experienced teams and technological knowledge of any kind is difficult. Business is based on trust and the law. Perhaps the President doesn't really understand the realities of businesses and high tech organizations because he has never built any significant business except his own career as a smooth talking and hand waving politician. Boeing's situation is our situation. The President's willingness to impede the implementation of the J-130/SLS and BEO Orion law that he placed his signature on implies that he could also selectively enforce or not enforce many other laws depending on his own political expediency. Not a pretty picture, is it?

Cheers! 

Edited.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2011 02:50 PM by HappyMartian »
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #110 on: 04/03/2011 03:09 PM »
The Dreamliner is not operational, it really is not even a valid test vehicle right now.

It's experimental, as I said.

Quote
The shuttle is as "operational" as say the SR-71 or say Gemini was...

No, wrong.  The SR-71 was an evolution of an experimental craft very much like it (shuttle was not), they built 32 of them (only 5 space-worthy shuttles were built) and they flew hundreds of missions each (at least).  And don't forget, 12 of them were lost to accidents.

Quote
if NOT then it should have been retired a long time ago.  It is no where near as operational as a commercial airliner or even a military fighter, but as a nuclear submarine...yes.

Yes, it's no where near as operational as an airliner or military aircraft.  That was my point.  No, it's nowhere near as operational as a nuclear sub.  Subs have a lengthy period of sea trials before operation, they are built in far greater numbers (Wiki says 62 Los Angeles class subs were built) and deployed both more times (3 or 4 times a year each) and for longer periods (3 months or so) at a time than any orbiter.

Quote
The two shuttle losses are attributable to one thing...NASA management,

You're off the rails again - the subject is whether or not the shuttle should be operated by engineers.  Your claim is that it shouldn't because it's "operational", most everyone else's claim is that it should because it's "experimental" not "operational".

Offline northanger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #111 on: 04/03/2011 03:16 PM »
The "ISS template" included the Space Shuttles for LEO supply missions to the International Space Station. At a minimum we need the J-130/SLS and the BEO Orion spacecraft to have any significant credibility as a potential partner for BEO exploration. Both the J-130/SLS and the BEO Orion spacecraft also offer the capability of safeguarding the massive investment made by America and our International Partners in the International Space Station. If we can no longer robustly supply and fully utilize the expensive Low Earth Orbit International Space Station for the research it was built to accomplish, why should NASA have any credibility at all as a potential partner for long-term Beyond Low Earth missions with European, Japanese, Indian, and Chinese space agencies?

Strong Low Earth Orbit and Beyond Low Earth Orbit Mission Capabilities = Major Beyond Low Earth Orbit Mission Credibility = Lots of Low Earth Orbit and Beyond Low Earth Orbit Mission Partners.

If the President manages to gut NASA, Boeing, and various major space contractors, then NASA, our space businesses, and the advanced technological knowledge base they utilize will not automatically get rebuilt. Destruction is easy, any fool can do it. Building and maintaining and growing valuable entities and experienced teams and technological knowledge of any kind is difficult. Business is based on trust and the law. Perhaps the President doesn't really understand the realities of businesses and high tech organizations because he has never built any significant business except his own career as a smooth talking and hand waving politician. Boeing's situation is our situation. The President's willingness to impede the implementation of the J-130/SLS and BEO Orion law that he placed his signature on implies that he could also selectively enforce or not enforce many other laws depending on his own political expediency. Not a pretty picture, is it?

Cheers! 

Edited.

Destruction is an interesting word choice. JFK went short and long. Long to the moon, short on developing an efficient and long-term space exploration structure (aka, blank checking). Exactly when do we address this? I think Congress is up to the challenge. Unfortunately, yes, the President seems to have them in check during this cycle of sausage making. Why? There is some budgetary & technological illogic to address. An over-focus on "saving jobs" & legacy systems could impede our ability to open up space to all stakeholders (international, commercial, etc). It may also impede our ability to effectively address issues involving cyberpower.

And yes, trust and truth are important elements in cyberpower.

Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #112 on: 04/03/2011 03:56 PM »
The Dreamliner is not operational, it really is not even a valid test vehicle right now.

It's experimental, as I said.

Quote
The shuttle is as "operational" as say the SR-71 or say Gemini was...

No, wrong.  The SR-71 was an evolution of an experimental craft very much like it (shuttle was not), they built 32 of them (only 5 space-worthy shuttles were built) and they flew hundreds of missions each (at least).  And don't forget, 12 of them were lost to accidents.

Quote
if NOT then it should have been retired a long time ago.  It is no where near as operational as a commercial airliner or even a military fighter, but as a nuclear submarine...yes.

Yes, it's no where near as operational as an airliner or military aircraft.  That was my point.  No, it's nowhere near as operational as a nuclear sub.  Subs have a lengthy period of sea trials before operation, they are built in far greater numbers (Wiki says 62 Los Angeles class subs were built) and deployed both more times (3 or 4 times a year each) and for longer periods (3 months or so) at a time than any orbiter.

Quote
The two shuttle losses are attributable to one thing...NASA management,

You're off the rails again - the subject is whether or not the shuttle should be operated by engineers.  Your claim is that it shouldn't because it's "operational", most everyone else's claim is that it should because it's "experimental" not "operational".

That is a gross overstatement and simplification. 

The shuttle did not "hatch" out of nowhere.   The vast majority of its systems internally evolved from Apollo, the fly by wire is impressive but airplanes were going that way (NASA aero was/is leading the development on it) , while it pushed the limits in hypersonic research, that is a fairly mature effort now (no shuttle has been lost due to problems in the hypersonic region), the TPS while difficult has proven itself...in other words there are not real "test systems" on each flight.

Not a single shuttle flight in recent memory (or probably for a decade or more) has done any serious "test flying" of systems.  It is just a standard shuttle mission that is pretty well understood.   There WAS a time where they were thinking about doing some "test stuff, as a function of each flight, but those died a long time ago.  They wont even try autoland.

If anything each flight is a tribute to how old systems can continue to work. 



if the "rail" is the question of if the shuttle should be operated by engineers.
..well it was engineers who "flew out of spec" but "in family" and allowed a launch with O rings that seated worse as the temp got colder in weather that was the coldest ever, or who allowed the shuttle to fly with foam coming off the ET when the spec was "none".

How many hours something "operates" has almost no bearing on if it is operational or experimental...nor does the numbers built.  What determines experimental or operational is how a vehicle is used. 

Name me the last time the shuttle did something "experimental"?

Sorry, I know old myths die hard.  only recently has the PAO stopped talking about "docking at 17,500 mph".  My wife's boeing has a higher closer rate on 12R at Hobby then the shuttle does on the station.


What determines "operational" or "experimental" is what is being "found out" on each flight.  ie are the "limits" of the vehicle being tested or is the vehicle "flying in its known limits".  If it is the later then its not a test flight.  The shuttle hasnt done test flying in decades.  The first few were but thats about it.  They dont even do a lot of cutting edge work "in space".

If you want to see test flying take a ride out to The New Mexico Space Port...or go to where they are putting together Dragons  Thats where they are "pushing back that demon" (sorry I do like The Right Stuff)  and before long both SpaceX and Virgin G, will to name two have an "operational" vehicle.

here is a good gauge and it come straight from the SETP..."when you stop figuring out what the vehicle can do and start doing something with the vehicle...the test phase is over".

Sky King
« Last Edit: 04/03/2011 04:28 PM by SkyKing »

Offline MP99

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #113 on: 04/03/2011 05:14 PM »
What determines "operational" or "experimental" is what is being "found out" on each flight.  ie are the "limits" of the vehicle being tested or is the vehicle "flying in its known limits".  If it is the later then its not a test flight.  The shuttle hasnt done test flying in decades.  The first few were but thats about it.  They dont even do a lot of cutting edge work "in space".

787 is presumably the ninth iteration of Boeing producing passenger planes since 707.

I think Comet was the first commercial jet airliner, and Shuttle is the first & only crewed spaceplane.

Comets fell out of the sky even after they were released as "operational", due to finding issues with such a new type of vehicle.

You can't compare Shuttle with commercial flight after so many millions of hours of flight in the intervening decades since Comet.

cheers, Martin

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #114 on: 04/03/2011 05:19 PM »
 

Name me the last time the shuttle did something "experimental"?

Sky King

Right off the top of my head.
RAMBO
BLT DTO
Catalytic Coating DTO

Should I stop there, or would you like some more?

Again, you just seem to here to be Mr anti-shuttle, knowing such an opinion would gain a reaction on a site like this, mixed in with references to planes.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2011 05:21 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline northanger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #115 on: 04/03/2011 06:09 PM »
Here's more!

DragonEye DTO
Dragon CUCU

And if that little Dragon gets to ISS sooner than expected... HAI!

Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #116 on: 04/03/2011 07:25 PM »
What determines "operational" or "experimental" is what is being "found out" on each flight.  ie are the "limits" of the vehicle being tested or is the vehicle "flying in its known limits".  If it is the later then its not a test flight.  The shuttle hasnt done test flying in decades.  The first few were but thats about it.  They dont even do a lot of cutting edge work "in space".

787 is presumably the ninth iteration of Boeing producing passenger planes since 707.

I think Comet was the first commercial jet airliner, and Shuttle is the first & only crewed spaceplane.

Comets fell out of the sky even after they were released as "operational", due to finding issues with such a new type of vehicle.

You can't compare Shuttle with commercial flight after so many millions of hours of flight in the intervening decades since Comet.

cheers, Martin

of course it really doesnt matter  :) we have at best two and maybe only one flight left.

I would not compare the shuttle to a commercial airliner and never have...

The Dreamliner is far greater a challenge then the 707 was.  The 707 built on Boeings very successful efforts with the B47 and B52...Boeing (unlike the folks who built the Comet) understood exactly what happens with the notion of pressurized fuselages they had thousands (maybe tens of thousands) of those from the B-29 on. (we are of course adding to the knowledge based on the SWA 737-300!!!) I dont think Boeing has done the Dream all that well (and neither do they), but it is a far greater "test" hurdle then even the triple seven which mainly had FBW. 

But shuttle is "operational" in the sense that it no longer is doing test flying related to the actual safety and operational limits of the vehicle.  The first few missions there were a lot of unknowns, but today not so much.

but again it doesnt matter.  1 or 2 missions from now its all over...and we will move on to vehicles which are, like Gemini going to become operational in all aspects.  Thats why its time to go!

nice discussion

Sky King

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #117 on: 04/03/2011 07:26 PM »
This discussion of airliners is doing off topic, please get back on topic
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

Offline SkyKing

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #118 on: 04/03/2011 07:48 PM »
 

Name me the last time the shuttle did something "experimental"?

Sky King

Right off the top of my head.
RAMBO
BLT DTO
Catalytic Coating DTO

Should I stop there, or would you like some more?

Again, you just seem to here to be Mr anti-shuttle, knowing such an opinion would gain a reaction on a site like this, mixed in with references to planes.

Well RAMBO isnt really that much of a "test" flight, they call it that but...the last stand for shuttle test flying on STS 49  Dan B did some outstanding flying  and the three folks in the bay was good test stuff.  Dan had never really done that sort of stuff in the sim, he was working to very close tolerances and did it masterfully.  Scary that was almost 20 years ago.

Sky King

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #119 on: 04/04/2011 01:54 AM »
There is some budgetary & technological illogic to address. An over-focus on "saving jobs" & legacy systems could impede our ability to open up space to all stakeholders (international, commercial, etc). It may also impede our ability to effectively address issues involving cyberpower.

And yes, trust and truth are important elements in cyberpower.

Yep, and the truth is that the Beyond Earth Orbit Orion spacecraft isn't a "legacy" system. And valuable high tech "legacy" systems such as the SSME shouldn't be thrown out the window just because of the changing whims or political needs of one President.

Cheers!

Edited.

« Last Edit: 04/04/2011 02:13 AM by HappyMartian »
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Offline alexw

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #120 on: 04/04/2011 04:22 AM »
And valuable high tech "legacy" systems such as the SSME shouldn't be thrown out the window just because of the changing whims or political needs of one President.
    Two.

Offline northanger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #121 on: 04/04/2011 07:57 AM »
Yep, and the truth is that the Beyond Earth Orbit Orion spacecraft isn't a "legacy" system. And valuable high tech "legacy" systems such as the SSME shouldn't be thrown out the window just because of the changing whims or political needs of one President.

Cheers!

Edited.

I think a true Gryffindor can pull this out of the hat.
 :)

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #122 on: 04/04/2011 10:21 AM »
Yep, and the truth is that the Beyond Earth Orbit Orion spacecraft isn't a "legacy" system. And valuable high tech "legacy" systems such as the SSME shouldn't be thrown out the window just because of the changing whims or political needs of one President.

Cheers!

Edited.

I think a true Gryffindor can pull this out of the hat.
 :)




Despite all the smooth Obama talk about game changing high technology, his plan would have thrown away the very high tech SSME and BEO Orion. Throwing away your best high tech space exploration options, in the vague hope that you might be able to afford some kind of 'better' high technology even as you move into a period of tight financial budgets for all levels of the American government, is foolish. 

Using dubious lawyer tricks to lay off thousands of space exploration workers while at the same time you claim to be inspiring young people to study for high technology jobs is a great example of a mixed message. Clearly the President was listening to a very foolish group of political spinners. When the blowback came, as it so obviously would, there he stood like the leader in the classic story, The Emperor's New Clothes. There are so many new versions of old stories. The human animal hasn't changed much in a very long time. Political spinners or advisers in ancient days, new spinners or advisers, old big silly egos and new super silly egos, but the same old foolish advice, with words dripping in honey, keeps coming.

......

Cheers!
 


Mr Bolden has made it very clear that a lot of the Shuttle workforce will be taken on by these commercial companies.


Yeah.......that smoke has been blown up our backs



Methinks one will find that the President's Chicago pork style politics, with hundreds of millions of dollars behind it in this Presidential election, will simply result in a whole lot of folks having an immense amount of smoke blown up their backsides. Attacking the Space Shuttles is an important element of making toothless the President's critics. Attacking and delaying and salting the earth on anything Space Shuttle related, such as the J-130/SLS, and its BEO Orion payload, is critical because the Space Shuttles are the only spacecraft that could close the American human spaceflight gap and ensure that the International Space Station is fully utilized and robustly supplied during the transition to the upcoming era of 'commercial LEO taxis' and the space truck OrionSLS/J-130 system. The Space Shuttles are also capable of replacing any failed big ISS equipment. The LEO ISS mission was greatly extended, but the Space Shuttles which form the International Space Station's main supply system must immediately go to their respective museums. There is no logic to that thought except that the President and his political spinners have their own new and major pork plans.

It is going to be an extremely well-funded, opaque, and dirty Presidential election. The President's Teflon, hand waving, high-tech mumbo jumbo, and hundreds of millions of dollars will be used to create well-crafted and slick ads and Internet 'smoke' messages that will justify his 'perfect' answers for every question related to his attempt to create his new pork constituencies.

Lots of odd posters are going to show up here spouting clever nonsense and smoke. Anti-Space Shuttle, anti-J-130/SLS, anti-BEO Orion, anti-Boeing, and pro 'efficiency of high tech and new commercial is the only answer' and 'we cannot afford space exploration' will be their common messages. Don't buy into their bizarre ideas. Trust Ross, OV-106, Clongton, Chris Bergin, and D51mascot. I took a two month vacation from posting and was intending to not return in order to avoid getting the smoke up the backside treatment. Oh, well. I've always been a fool. No sense in changing this late in the game.

As I noted previously, the President simply needs to follow the law and tell NASA to build the J-130/SLS and BEO Orion spacecraft. The simple act of following the law will quickly solve the SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs  issue. Following the law is what a real leader would do.

Cheers!

Edited.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2011 10:55 AM by HappyMartian »
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Offline Jim

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #123 on: 04/04/2011 11:27 AM »
The simple act of following the law will quickly solve the SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs  issue.
 

No, it won't.  It is too late
« Last Edit: 04/04/2011 11:28 AM by Jim »

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #124 on: 04/04/2011 11:28 AM »
Lots of odd posters are going to show up here spouting clever nonsense and smoke. 

Look no further than here

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #125 on: 04/04/2011 11:58 AM »
HappyMartian

You do know that Boeing is headquartered in Chicago. Boeing stands more to win contracts with an Obama administration than to lose them. Also give that there have been to date 48 resupply flights of Progress to the space station, I would say that Progress is the main supply ship to the station not the shuttle.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2011 12:20 PM by pathfinder_01 »

Offline northanger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #126 on: 04/04/2011 12:15 PM »
What guarantees are in place to control SLS costs for the taxpayer? I think I'm beginning to understand Bolden's new acquisition format, incremental evolution and the need for cost containment.

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #127 on: 04/04/2011 02:10 PM »
Lots of odd posters are going to show up here spouting clever nonsense and smoke. 

Look no further than here

No Jim. You support subsidies for the Atlas V, RD-180, Delta IV, ULA, and SpaceX. You are prejudiced against the Space Shuttles, BEO Orion, J-130/SLS, and SSME. You seem to trust this President and just aren't very eager to see humans and Hirundinidae living on the Moon. You like robots, but you are not odd.

I like robots too, but I also would like to see NASA and other space agencies sending human-crewed spacecraft to the Moon, NEO's, and Mars. Unfortunately, I do not trust the current President and his folks at NASA HQ. You used to be real unhappy with NASA HQ, but I guess the times have changed you.   

Cheers!
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #128 on: 04/04/2011 02:34 PM »
HappyMartian

You do know that Boeing is headquartered in Chicago. Boeing stands more to win contracts with an Obama administration than to lose them. Also give that there have been to date 48 resupply flights of Progress to the space station, I would say that Progress is the main supply ship to the station not the shuttle.

Yeah, we all noticed a steady supply of large International Space Station modules and heavy equipment being hauled up to the ISS by Progress spacecraft. Simply amazing!

Speaking of amazing, can you imagine a cow with an udder the size of America? No, well I guess you don't understand Chicago politics as well as you think you do. Try squeezing one wet sponge in one hand while squeezing another wet sponge in the other hand. Squeeze hard. 
Now imagine the water is invisible and you have eight hands stretching across the country and squeezing wet sponges. Nobody really knows where the water or money is going, do they? There is not a lot of trust in the dark, smoky, and squeezy game being played, is there? Sorry, but Boeing doesn't seem to be happy, and I don't trust you.

Cheers! 
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #129 on: 04/04/2011 03:03 PM »
HappyMartian

You do know that Boeing is headquartered in Chicago. Boeing stands more to win contracts with an Obama administration than to lose them. Also give that there have been to date 48 resupply flights of Progress to the space station, I would say that Progress is the main supply ship to the station not the shuttle.

Interesting.  If you rode your bike down to the grocery store once a day to buy a loaf of bread, maybe milk another time, etc, but not much else because you can't carry it, are you the main customer of the grocery store?

As for Boeing being headquartered in Chicago and "benefiting" because Obama supposedly is too, where is your proof?  Furthermore, wasn't this administration supposed to be above this kind of thing?  Transparency, etc. 
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #130 on: 04/04/2011 03:24 PM »
What guarantees are in place to control SLS costs for the taxpayer? I think I'm beginning to understand Bolden's new acquisition format, incremental evolution and the need for cost containment.

Northanger, perhaps you are joking, or you may have missed it, but this Mr. Bolden was the one who promised in a meeting that there would be an unlimited supply of money, whatever was needed, to make sure that 'commercial LEO taxis' would be 'successful'. You know a cow has only so much milk and NASA only has so much money and it seems likely you cannot give unlimited NASA money for the guaranteed success of 'commercial LEO taxis' unless your "new acquisition format, incremental evolution and the need for cost containment" means you are perfectly willing to rip off any and everyone else that gets NASA money.

Squeeze hard. Hundreds of millions of dollars are going to be raised for the Presidential election in the good old Chicago way. Hey, it is the famous Chicago smoke blowing system at its finest fund raising moment... But Boeing isn't happy. Northanger, sometimes you have an unhappy cow. Maybe it is time to make Boeing go away.

Cheers!
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #131 on: 04/04/2011 04:06 PM »

Northanger, perhaps you are joking, or you may have missed it, but this Mr. Bolden was the one who promised in a meeting that there would be an unlimited supply of money, whatever was needed, to make sure that 'commercial LEO taxis' would be 'successful'.

Still a better option than going the SLS route.

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #132 on: 04/04/2011 04:21 PM »

Northanger, perhaps you are joking, or you may have missed it, but this Mr. Bolden was the one who promised in a meeting that there would be an unlimited supply of money, whatever was needed, to make sure that 'commercial LEO taxis' would be 'successful'.

Still a better option than going the SLS route.

Unless it's based on EELV, right?  Then your support will change.
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Offline northanger

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #133 on: 04/04/2011 04:25 PM »
Unlimited? no way. I can see how NASA can control costs, but (being former QA myself) don't see how they can ensure quality.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #134 on: 04/04/2011 04:25 PM »
Ouote from OV-106:

Interesting.  If you rode your bike down to the grocery store once a day to buy a loaf of bread, maybe milk another time, etc, but not much else because you can't carry it, are you the main customer of the grocery store?


We also don't need an 18 wheeler to go grocery shopping either.  We need something in between.  Evolved EELV or AJAX would work fine well into the future.  If we can refine electric propulsion with either small nuclear reactors or better solar panels, we don't really need 135 ton launchers.  Tugs, fuel depots, and electric propulsion to Mars and some asteroids would get us started.  We have mastered space assembly, we need an L1 and L2 station.  We need a lunar base making oxygen and mining platinum and titanium and maybe H3.  We need Mars transfer craft, Mars surface craft making fuel, oxygen, and maybe even greenhouses for food.  Maybe a Mars space station.  We need to visit asteroids for potential mining. 

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #135 on: 04/04/2011 04:35 PM »
Ouote from OV-106:

Interesting.  If you rode your bike down to the grocery store once a day to buy a loaf of bread, maybe milk another time, etc, but not much else because you can't carry it, are you the main customer of the grocery store?


We also don't need an 18 wheeler to go grocery shopping either.  We need something in between.  Evolved EELV or AJAX would work fine well into the future.  If we can refine electric propulsion with either small nuclear reactors or better solar panels, we don't really need 135 ton launchers.  Tugs, fuel depots, and electric propulsion to Mars and some asteroids would get us started.  We have mastered space assembly, we need an L1 and L2 station.  We need a lunar base making oxygen and mining platinum and titanium and maybe H3.  We need Mars transfer craft, Mars surface craft making fuel, oxygen, and maybe even greenhouses for food.  Maybe a Mars space station.  We need to visit asteroids for potential mining. 

As I have said many, many, many times now, the entire concept of operations for ISS was designed around shuttle. 

The rest of your rant, which has nothing to do with the context of my post, is pure speculation based off what appears to be an internet wish list.  For example, where did I say we need a 135 ton launcher right now?

If you are going to try to discredit, try to do it accurately. 
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Offline robertross

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #136 on: 04/04/2011 04:38 PM »
Ouote from OV-106:

Interesting.  If you rode your bike down to the grocery store once a day to buy a loaf of bread, maybe milk another time, etc, but not much else because you can't carry it, are you the main customer of the grocery store?


We also don't need an 18 wheeler to go grocery shopping either.  We need something in between.  Evolved EELV or AJAX would work fine well into the future.  If we can refine electric propulsion with either small nuclear reactors or better solar panels, we don't really need 135 ton launchers.  Tugs, fuel depots, and electric propulsion to Mars and some asteroids would get us started.  We have mastered space assembly, we need an L1 and L2 station.  We need a lunar base making oxygen and mining platinum and titanium and maybe H3.  We need Mars transfer craft, Mars surface craft making fuel, oxygen, and maybe even greenhouses for food.  Maybe a Mars space station.  We need to visit asteroids for potential mining. 

Oh come on...why we always bring these things up over and over again?

1) We haven't 'mastered' anything (except spinning wheels).
Everthing else has to fall into place ONCE we get going. You show me a plan, one that is fully costed & approved, then we'll start making claims of what is 'the right size'. And nothing moves forward until the politicians have their way, and so far they can't agree on a budget for THIS FISCAL YEAR, let alone the coming one.
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #137 on: 04/04/2011 05:23 PM »

Northanger, perhaps you are joking, or you may have missed it, but this Mr. Bolden was the one who promised in a meeting that there would be an unlimited supply of money, whatever was needed, to make sure that 'commercial LEO taxis' would be 'successful'.

Still a better option than going the SLS route.

Unless it's based on EELV, right?  Then your support will change.

It would be the lesser of all the HLV evils.  Still don't seen a need for an HLV.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2011 05:24 PM by Jim »

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #138 on: 04/04/2011 05:33 PM »

Northanger, perhaps you are joking, or you may have missed it, but this Mr. Bolden was the one who promised in a meeting that there would be an unlimited supply of money, whatever was needed, to make sure that 'commercial LEO taxis' would be 'successful'.

Still a better option than going the SLS route.

Unless it's based on EELV, right?  Then your support will change.

It would be the lesser of all the HLV evils.  Still don't seen a need for an HLV.

So would you still advocate against it if it was based on EELV? 
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Offline Mark S

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #139 on: 04/04/2011 06:11 PM »
Ouote from OV-106:

Interesting.  If you rode your bike down to the grocery store once a day to buy a loaf of bread, maybe milk another time, etc, but not much else because you can't carry it, are you the main customer of the grocery store?


We also don't need an 18 wheeler to go grocery shopping either.  We need something in between.  Evolved EELV or AJAX would work fine well into the future.  If we can refine electric propulsion with either small nuclear reactors or better solar panels, we don't really need 135 ton launchers.  Tugs, fuel depots, and electric propulsion to Mars and some asteroids would get us started.  We have mastered space assembly, we need an L1 and L2 station.  We need a lunar base making oxygen and mining platinum and titanium and maybe H3.  We need Mars transfer craft, Mars surface craft making fuel, oxygen, and maybe even greenhouses for food.  Maybe a Mars space station.  We need to visit asteroids for potential mining. 

Wow, a post from 2009, cool!

Sorry, the requirements for SLS have already been decided at the national policy level by Congress and the President: 70 to 100 tons by the end of CY2016, and 130 tons with EDS as budget allows after that. That decision was enacted into law six months ago, now we are waiting to see how (or if) NASA will choose to implement it.

The rest of your in-space missions will be carried out, but launched on SLS where needed and on commercial when available. SLS will give us an order of magnitude increase in payload capability for little more than we have been spending on Shuttle for the past thirty years, if even that much. What's not to like?

Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #140 on: 04/04/2011 06:16 PM »
Now if only the Administrator would quit playing dumb and just *DO* what he has been instructed to do, we could actually get SLS in the air. We have all the pieces and the money it takes to assemble and field them. The only thing lacking is the "General" recognizing that "he must take orders" from the Congress, get off his butt and obey.
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #141 on: 04/04/2011 06:39 PM »
Now if only the Administrator would quit playing dumb and just *DO* what he has been instructed to do, we could actually get SLS in the air. We have all the pieces and the money it takes to assemble and field them. The only thing lacking is the "General" recognizing that "he must take orders" from the Congress, get off his butt and obey.

I think it's easy to assume that he behaves the way he does on direction from the WH.  So there must be something going on that we don't know about.  Ah, to be a fly on the wall at the HQ staff meetings....
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #142 on: 04/04/2011 06:46 PM »
I said this on another thread, I'll say it here: Can we please drop this "It's the law" refrain? It's obvious we have a disagreement between two branches of the federal government concerning the HLV, and the process we're seeing now is how it's resolved. I personally feel the Administration has good reasons to do just what it's doing, ones that unfortunately many here find offensive.

Jobs are a secondary concern to the policy makers in Washington; capabilities or district support are the primary ones. If you want a seat at the bargaining table, you either have to hit the President or your Congressperson along this concerns. Either that, or unionize as a group so that aerospace workers can no longer be ignored.

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #143 on: 04/04/2011 06:48 PM »
Right......."unions" are the answer.  Just another "group" that I would have to pay my money to for nothing. 
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Offline jimgagnon

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #144 on: 04/04/2011 06:52 PM »
Right......."unions" are the answer.  Just another "group" that I would have to pay my money to for nothing. 

I did say previously that white collar workers are notoriously difficult to organize; this statement is an illustration of that. Let's just say that those dockworkers making $100K+ to drive forklifts feel different about it.

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #145 on: 04/04/2011 06:54 PM »
Right......."unions" are the answer.  Just another "group" that I would have to pay my money to for nothing. 

I did say previously that white collar workers are notoriously difficult to organize; this statement is an illustration of that. Let's just say that those dockworkers making $100K+ to drive forklifts feel different about it.

And dockworkers who make over 100K is exactly why unions are not the answer and a contributor to the "entitlement mentality". 

If I ever make over a 100K, it is because I earned it and not because some thugs forced it to be given to me. 
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #146 on: 04/04/2011 07:02 PM »
I said this on another thread, I'll say it here: Can we please drop this "It's the law" refrain? It's obvious we have a disagreement between two branches of the federal government

We have one (1) branch of government that makes law.  The second branch of government is supposed to carry out the law.  The third branch steps in when the second branch knowingly and intentionally takes actions not consistent with the law.

Are we at that point yet?  I don't think we know; maybe we should ask a grand jury?  That's what they're for, after all.  If a grand jury were to return an indictment, then a trial court could decide if there has been criminal misconduct.

Aside:  in the United States we play a game called baseball because we don't understand the rules of cricket.  A famous baseball player was recently indicted on six felony counts involving perjury, false statements and obstruction of Congress.  His crime wasn't using steroids to improve his athletic ability.  His crime was lying to a congressional committee, telling them that he hadn't used steroids.

I'll leave it to readers to decide if that has any relevance to NASA and the need perceived within the aerospace industry to get moving on SLS.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2011 07:04 PM by sdsds »
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #147 on: 04/04/2011 07:50 PM »
Clearly you all love politics, but can we try and keep it on spaceships, and things specifically to do with spaceships, somehow? I know politics is at play, especially now, but when it goes off on a tangent it gets really boring.

Let's try and have healthy, respectful debates, cause I've got some breaking news for you all.....not everyone is of the same opinion on this stuff! :o Who'd of thunk it! :D
« Last Edit: 04/04/2011 07:52 PM by Chris Bergin »

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #148 on: 04/04/2011 08:04 PM »
OV-106, didn't want to get into an arguement about the bicycle.  Your thought about the bicycle being too small is revelant (like Delta II).  I just wanted to show the opposite extreme of a the 18 wheeler.  I think we need to find the largest component needed for a Mars mission and design our heavy lift for that.  It will get more use than a superheavy lift for the next 20-40 years.  With fuel depots, etc, superheavy lift will not be needed.  EELV heavies or AJAX can handle just about anything that comes down the pike for 20-40 years or so, L1, L2, Moon, and Mars. 
« Last Edit: 04/04/2011 08:05 PM by spacenut »

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #149 on: 04/05/2011 05:21 AM »
SLS will give us an order of magnitude increase in payload capability for little more than we have been spending on Shuttle for the past thirty years, if even that much. What's not to like?
     a) That after paying to develop and maintain the SLS, the remaining budget left over for BEO payload development (not to mention an upper stage) becomes negligible.
     b) SDHLV was supposed to cost less (per year) than we have been spending on Shuttle. What happened?

   -Alex

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #150 on: 04/05/2011 05:26 AM »
OV-106, didn't want to get into an arguement about the bicycle.  Your thought about the bicycle being too small is revelant (like Delta II).  I just wanted to show the opposite extreme of a the 18 wheeler.  I think we need to find the largest component needed for a Mars mission and design our heavy lift for that.  It will get more use than a superheavy lift for the next 20-40 years.  With fuel depots, etc, superheavy lift will not be needed.  EELV heavies or AJAX can handle just about anything that comes down the pike for 20-40 years or so, L1, L2, Moon, and Mars. 

1.  You initially took the context of my first post, ignored it and used it to launch into a manifesto and what *you* believe. 

2.  "18 wheeler" in your context is subjective and not really an extreme without the proper definition as to what you are attempting to imply.  If I take the "18 wheeler" definition literal, I would say they are all over the road, even though there are "fuel depots" scattered all around as well.  By this I mean that corporations are not using F-150s to transport everything even though the gas to make them go is very easily available.  I wonder why?  Can you explain that to me?

3.  "Super Heavy Lift" is also subjective.  There is no universally accepted definition for what this means.

4.  You are being much too simplistic.  You suggest you have no real idea about what the requirements for a Mars mission, etc will be yet your also very quick to presume that EELVs and AJAX (which is unique to the cyber-world of this website) can "just about" handle everything else coming down the pike for 20-40 years.  By the way, a 20 year spread on your estimate does not lend confidence. 

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Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #151 on: 04/05/2011 05:30 AM »
SLS will give us an order of magnitude increase in payload capability for little more than we have been spending on Shuttle for the past thirty years, if even that much. What's not to like?
     a) That after paying to develop and maintain the SLS, the remaining budget left over for BEO payload development (not to mention an upper stage) becomes negligible.
     b) SDHLV was supposed to cost less (per year) than we have been spending on Shuttle. What happened?

   -Alex

a.  Why does this concern not exist for something EELV derived?  Same requirements, same NASA, same organization structure, etc.  The only different beneficiary, which I'm sure is fine with you, is ULA to have NASA further subsidize their overhead so that they have a better advantage in the current EELV class market. 

b.  Nothing.
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #152 on: 04/05/2011 07:40 AM »
     a) That after paying to develop and maintain the SLS, the remaining budget left over for BEO payload development (not to mention an upper stage) becomes negligible.

a.  Why does this concern not exist for something EELV derived?  Same requirements, same NASA, same organization structure, etc.  The only different beneficiary, which I'm sure is fine with you, is ULA to have NASA further subsidize their overhead so that they have a better advantage in the current EELV class market. 

Do ULA or SpaceX need SLS work to avert layoffs? If not, why not?
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #153 on: 04/05/2011 10:20 AM »
We are developing SLS on a wing and a prayer, hoping that a future administration will have more leadership qualities and be willing to make exploration a priority again.  If that happens, budgets will open up to some degree and we may actually get a measurable goal to strive for.
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #154 on: 04/05/2011 11:16 AM »
We are developing SLS on a wing and a prayer, hoping that a future administration will have more leadership qualities and be willing to make exploration a priority again.  If that happens, budgets will open up to some degree and we may actually get a measurable goal to strive for.

wrong context. If you were against HLV, then that 'could' apply, but it makes no difference if it were EELV, RP-1, or SLS - if they don't budget the funds, we aren't going anywhere. And all that industry base starts to fall apart.
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #155 on: 04/05/2011 12:04 PM »
I am for HLV but the above could still be true.  We might get our HLV but never get funds to use it for anything.  I hope it doesn't turn out that way but I am a pessimist when it comes to space exploration these days.
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #156 on: 04/05/2011 02:21 PM »
     a) That after paying to develop and maintain the SLS, the remaining budget left over for BEO payload development (not to mention an upper stage) becomes negligible.

a.  Why does this concern not exist for something EELV derived?  Same requirements, same NASA, same organization structure, etc.  The only different beneficiary, which I'm sure is fine with you, is ULA to have NASA further subsidize their overhead so that they have a better advantage in the current EELV class market. 

Do ULA or SpaceX need SLS work to avert layoffs? If not, why not?

How does this question have any relevancy to my post?
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #157 on: 04/05/2011 02:34 PM »
I am for HLV but the above could still be true.  We might get our HLV but never get funds to use it for anything.  I hope it doesn't turn out that way but I am a pessimist when it comes to space exploration these days.
You know, there are actually rockets that are affordable enough that there is money left to actually fly payloads. None of them are HLVs.

I'd much, much rather have to use those rockets and fly real payloads than have a glorious HLV and no payloads. If that's the choice that the budget forces us to make, then it seems obvious what we should choose.

Congress cares about the jobs created by these big megaprojects. They really, really don't care if it's an HLV or a payload, as long as it's in their district. I'm sure they'd much rather it be a successful and productive project, though, than an unsuccessful one. Congress holds the opinions it does on what NASA should spend money on because people and experts (inc. Griffin) have lobbied hard and also because of what projects are in their districts.
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #158 on: 04/05/2011 02:41 PM »
I am for HLV but the above could still be true.  We might get our HLV but never get funds to use it for anything.  I hope it doesn't turn out that way but I am a pessimist when it comes to space exploration these days.
You know, there are actually rockets that are affordable enough that there is money left to actually fly payloads. None of them are HLVs.

I'd much, much rather have to use those rockets and fly real payloads than have a glorious HLV and no payloads. If that's the choice that the budget forces us to make, then it seems obvious what we should choose.

Congress cares about the jobs created by these big megaprojects. They really, really don't care if it's an HLV or a payload, as long as it's in their district. I'm sure they'd much rather it be a successful and productive project, though, than an unsuccessful one. Congress holds the opinions it does on what NASA should spend money on because people and experts (inc. Griffin) have lobbied hard and also because of what projects are in their districts.

And the thing others ignore, as long as we are speaking in broad terms like above, at what point do you spend more money for a bunch of smaller rockets to just procure them, then spend the money integrating them in space, maintaining the "stack", etc before you actually get to go anywhere?
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #159 on: 04/05/2011 02:43 PM »
I am for HLV but the above could still be true.  We might get our HLV but never get funds to use it for anything.  I hope it doesn't turn out that way but I am a pessimist when it comes to space exploration these days.
You know, there are actually rockets that are affordable enough that there is money left to actually fly payloads. None of them are HLVs.

I'd much, much rather have to use those rockets and fly real payloads than have a glorious HLV and no payloads. If that's the choice that the budget forces us to make, then it seems obvious what we should choose.

Congress cares about the jobs created by these big megaprojects. They really, really don't care if it's an HLV or a payload, as long as it's in their district. I'm sure they'd much rather it be a successful and productive project, though, than an unsuccessful one. Congress holds the opinions it does on what NASA should spend money on because people and experts (inc. Griffin) have lobbied hard and also because of what projects are in their districts.

And the thing others ignore, as long as we are speaking in broad terms like above, at what point do you spend more money for a bunch of smaller rockets to just procure them, then spend the money integrating them in space, maintaining the "stack", etc before you actually get to go anywhere?
What a wonderful kind of problem to have!
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #160 on: 04/05/2011 02:49 PM »
I am for HLV but the above could still be true.  We might get our HLV but never get funds to use it for anything.  I hope it doesn't turn out that way but I am a pessimist when it comes to space exploration these days.
You know, there are actually rockets that are affordable enough that there is money left to actually fly payloads. None of them are HLVs.

I'd much, much rather have to use those rockets and fly real payloads than have a glorious HLV and no payloads. If that's the choice that the budget forces us to make, then it seems obvious what we should choose.

Congress cares about the jobs created by these big megaprojects. They really, really don't care if it's an HLV or a payload, as long as it's in their district. I'm sure they'd much rather it be a successful and productive project, though, than an unsuccessful one. Congress holds the opinions it does on what NASA should spend money on because people and experts (inc. Griffin) have lobbied hard and also because of what projects are in their districts.

And the thing others ignore, as long as we are speaking in broad terms like above, at what point do you spend more money for a bunch of smaller rockets to just procure them, then spend the money integrating them in space, maintaining the "stack", etc before you actually get to go anywhere?
What a wonderful kind of problem to have!

How is that?  If your procurement and ops costs are higher based on the concept of operations, then you still have no money for the payloads. 

It's still your "what about the payloads" arguement but viewed from another angle that must be considered that people tend to forget or ignore. 
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #161 on: 04/05/2011 03:01 PM »
We are developing SLS on a wing and a prayer, hoping that a future administration will have more leadership qualities and be willing to make exploration a priority again.  If that happens, budgets will open up to some degree and we may actually get a measurable goal to strive for.

wrong context. If you were against HLV, then that 'could' apply, but it makes no difference if it were EELV, RP-1, or SLS - if they don't budget the funds, we aren't going anywhere. And all that industry base starts to fall apart.

Work on a Shuttle-derived HLV must begin straight away or the industrial base rapidly dissipates.  This is much less the case for an EELV-derived HLV.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #162 on: 04/05/2011 03:03 PM »
I am for HLV but the above could still be true.  We might get our HLV but never get funds to use it for anything.  I hope it doesn't turn out that way but I am a pessimist when it comes to space exploration these days.

I presume you mean you're in favor of building an HLV immediately.  If my understanding is correct, why do you hold that view, given your pessimism?
« Last Edit: 04/05/2011 03:16 PM by Proponent »

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #163 on: 04/05/2011 03:27 PM »
I am for HLV but the above could still be true.  We might get our HLV but never get funds to use it for anything.  I hope it doesn't turn out that way but I am a pessimist when it comes to space exploration these days.
You know, there are actually rockets that are affordable enough that there is money left to actually fly payloads. None of them are HLVs.

I'd much, much rather have to use those rockets and fly real payloads than have a glorious HLV and no payloads. If that's the choice that the budget forces us to make, then it seems obvious what we should choose.

Congress cares about the jobs created by these big megaprojects. They really, really don't care if it's an HLV or a payload, as long as it's in their district. I'm sure they'd much rather it be a successful and productive project, though, than an unsuccessful one. Congress holds the opinions it does on what NASA should spend money on because people and experts (inc. Griffin) have lobbied hard and also because of what projects are in their districts.

And the thing others ignore, as long as we are speaking in broad terms like above, at what point do you spend more money for a bunch of smaller rockets to just procure them, then spend the money integrating them in space, maintaining the "stack", etc before you actually get to go anywhere?
What a wonderful kind of problem to have!

How is that?  If your procurement and ops costs are higher based on the concept of operations, then you still have no money for the payloads. 

It's still your "what about the payloads" arguement but viewed from another angle that must be considered that people tend to forget or ignore. 
A scaled down payload is far better than no payload at all. Remember, with an HLV (especially an SDHLV), you have to pay for the maintenance of the infrastructure while also having to develop the payloads. You have all this time where you're paying a lot of the fixed costs for the HLV with no benefit while you're building the payloads. Much better to build the payloads first, even if it means you have to build them to fit on whatever launch vehicles are available at the time.

I've looked at the sand charts. There's not enough money to build both the HLV and the payloads at the same time, and the HLV has a lot higher sustainment costs than the payloads, so it makes a lot more sense to build the payloads first or even to just develop the payloads so they can fit on existing launchers. Not only do you have far more money available to develop and build and launch the payloads, but you can do it a lot earlier too, since you don't have to do serial development of the HLV and THEN the payloads. If you get a big funding boost in the future to also have an HLV available, then WONDERFUL! We can then maybe do the 6 launches per year required to make HLVs worth it. That would be a glorious day. But if there's not enough money for both the HLV and payloads, develop the payloads and at least make SOME progress in expanding the bounds of human experience beyond the Earth. Infinitely better than just hoping for a big funding increase in the future.
« Last Edit: 04/05/2011 03:29 PM by Robotbeat »
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #164 on: 04/05/2011 03:35 PM »
Of for goodness sake.  I stopped right after the first few sentances.  Again with the "infrastructure".  Every rocket has infrastructure.  So again, how much is it?

And as far as your "scaled down" payload goes, it may be useless, but it's something.  Bad arguement. 
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #165 on: 04/05/2011 06:06 PM »
I am in favor of SDHLV.  I've supported Direct from way back.  But with the behaviour of NASA HQ plus general apathy from the WH we might get the thing built but it will take WAY too long (due to feet dragging at HQ) and will be exposed to the budget dance.  We could have a SD SLS flying in three years or less if NASA really wanted to.  IMHO.

I have no problem with the Kerolox launcher but feel the longer development program plus the fact that none of it exists currently (as does the shuttle component industrial base) will leave it wide open to political and WH whims.  I realize the F-1 "exists" but having a museum piece to look at did nothing for the J-2x program.  It just gave it a heritage sounding name.  Every rocket engine could be said to be based on some other one so just name dropping the F-1 doesn't make it any better.

EELV derivatives and depots could get the job done too but will force a huge shift in thinking at NASA which I don't think it's ready for.  I don't think HQ is ready to just order rockets from contractors for HSF.  The centers will not give up the power nor will their political operatives.  I know Jim will say NASA does for robot exploration and other things but they haven't for HSF.

So we have to choose what we think will get us the most done.  SD-HLV is my choice and opinion.  If we want a Kerolox follow on, get cracking on the engine (hey let's let a contractor do that!) and eventually replace SD with that.

Heavy lift is what we need but we need cheap heavy lift and nothing *public* is headed in that direction.  Until that breakthrough comes we will just have to make do.

I think I got off on a rant, Proponent.  Excuse my ramblings!  :D

Edit:  About the money for uses for HLV, we need it sooner rather than later or it could become a means to no end.  Dragging out development in to the 2020's will leave nothing to use it for.  IMHO.  We have to act fast and keep the politicos on their toes and give them a reason to get us a goal, whether it's the Moon or Mars or whatever.  I might be making sense and then I might not.  I'm running between meetings here at work today.....


I am for HLV but the above could still be true.  We might get our HLV but never get funds to use it for anything.  I hope it doesn't turn out that way but I am a pessimist when it comes to space exploration these days.

I presume you mean you're in favor of building an HLV immediately.  If my understanding is correct, why do you hold that view, given your pessimism?
« Last Edit: 04/05/2011 06:11 PM by John Duncan »
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #166 on: 04/05/2011 06:12 PM »
You are saying EELV's then?  I can't keep up with what everyone is cheering for with all these posts!  I need to write it down on a score card.


I am for HLV but the above could still be true.  We might get our HLV but never get funds to use it for anything.  I hope it doesn't turn out that way but I am a pessimist when it comes to space exploration these days.
You know, there are actually rockets that are affordable enough that there is money left to actually fly payloads. None of them are HLVs.

I'd much, much rather have to use those rockets and fly real payloads than have a glorious HLV and no payloads. If that's the choice that the budget forces us to make, then it seems obvious what we should choose.

Congress cares about the jobs created by these big megaprojects. They really, really don't care if it's an HLV or a payload, as long as it's in their district. I'm sure they'd much rather it be a successful and productive project, though, than an unsuccessful one. Congress holds the opinions it does on what NASA should spend money on because people and experts (inc. Griffin) have lobbied hard and also because of what projects are in their districts.
-John
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Offline spacenut

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #167 on: 04/05/2011 06:24 PM »
I just read an article on Fox news about Space-X's Falcon 9 heavy.  He says it will lift 100,000-120,000 lbs, 50-60 tons.  He says it could get us to Mars and he says it will be ready next year.  This is in the Atlas V's heavy realm if it had a ICES upper stage.  From what I have read on here, liquid rockests are less expensive to operate than the segmented solids, and that Kerolox is just about better than hydrolox for first stages.  Maybe Nasa is waiting on Space-X with the footdragging. 

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/04/05/powerful-rocket-world-ready-2012-spacex-says/?test=faces#

Granted the author forgot that Saturn V was larger and more powerful as well as the shuttle stack.

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #168 on: 04/05/2011 06:31 PM »
Of for goodness sake.  I stopped right after the first few sentances.  Again with the "infrastructure".  Every rocket has infrastructure.

True, but for some rockets NASA pays for all the infrastructure, while for other rockets NASA does not. See section 6.5.3 of the Augustine Report:

http://legislative.nasa.gov/396093main_HSF_Cmte_FinalReport.pdf
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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #169 on: 04/05/2011 06:44 PM »
Of for goodness sake.  I stopped right after the first few sentances.  Again with the "infrastructure".  Every rocket has infrastructure.

True, but for some rockets NASA pays for all the infrastructure, while for other rockets NASA does not. See section 6.5.3 of the Augustine Report:

http://legislative.nasa.gov/396093main_HSF_Cmte_FinalReport.pdf

Why are you referencing the entire final report? 

The cost of the infrastructure has to be paid somehow and someway.  If not tagged directly, it is replected in the price per launch.  Besides, and again, the infrastructure is NOT GOING ANYWHERE.  So they may tear down a tower at pads A and B.  What does that do for you? 
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Offline gospacex

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #170 on: 04/05/2011 07:57 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism.

You want American exceptionalism? Stop emulating Soviet space program then (big government space projects).
« Last Edit: 04/05/2011 08:00 PM by gospacex »

Offline Calorspace

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #171 on: 04/05/2011 08:19 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism.

You want American exceptionalism? Stop emulating Soviet space program then (big government space projects).

For goodness sake.  Get a clue.  Because we have nothing, we are now sending our money to Russia, with hat in hand, for a ride to our station. 

It also belongs to ESA and they pay another part-owner, Russia to get there. What is the problem with this?
« Last Edit: 04/05/2011 08:20 PM by Calorspace »

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #172 on: 04/05/2011 09:17 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism.

You want American exceptionalism? Stop emulating Soviet space program then (big government space projects).

For goodness sake.  Get a clue.  Because we have nothing, we are now sending our money to Russia, with hat in hand, for a ride to our station. 

It also belongs to ESA and they pay another part-owner, Russia to get there. What is the problem with this?

No, we pay to get the ESA, Japan, and Canadian astronauts to the ISS. It's part of the original barter agreements. They built a lab module (or SSRMS), we supply a method for them to get to their lab. Original barter agreements were made when the shuttle was performing ISS crew rotations.

Offline Calorspace

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #173 on: 04/05/2011 09:22 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism.

You want American exceptionalism? Stop emulating Soviet space program then (big government space projects).

For goodness sake.  Get a clue.  Because we have nothing, we are now sending our money to Russia, with hat in hand, for a ride to our station. 

It also belongs to ESA and they pay another part-owner, Russia to get there. What is the problem with this?

No, we pay to get the ESA, Japan, and Canadian astronauts to the ISS. It's part of the original barter agreements. They built a lab module (or SSRMS), we supply a method for them to get to their lab. Original barter agreements were made when the shuttle was performing ISS crew rotations.

Sorry I didn't proof read my post, it was meant to read that other part owners pay other part owners, such as with Russia. With ESA being an example.

OV's post comes across as if we own the station and are paying someone unrelated to take us there, it's part owned. Paying Russia to transport goes towards assisting the station.


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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #174 on: 04/05/2011 09:32 PM »
OV's post comes across as if we own the station and are paying someone unrelated to take us there, it's part owned. Paying Russia to transport goes towards assisting the station.



The United States is by far the largest investor.  The United States also did by far the majority of the on-orbit assembly via the capabilities of the shuttle.  So it is our station.  That doesn't mean other countries do not own their parts.  Don't like my phrasing?  Sorry, but tough.

Paying Russia for us to get their does not "assist the station".  It is simply a money transfer to a foreign government to do something we used to do but stupidly shut-down for a reason that is no longer even valid. 
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Offline Calorspace

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #175 on: 04/05/2011 09:40 PM »
"The United States is by far the largest investor.  The United States also did by far the majority of the on-orbit assembly via the capabilities of the shuttle." does not equate to  "So it is our station. "


Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #176 on: 04/05/2011 10:06 PM »
"The United States is by far the largest investor.  The United States also did by far the majority of the on-orbit assembly via the capabilities of the shuttle." does not equate to  "So it is our station. "



Ha!  Perhaps you should go back and read my post again instead of just chopping out certain parts of it. 

But.....since you seemingly agree with most of it, let me up the stakes.  How about we just defund the whole damn thing and then you can see what happens. 
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Offline gospacex

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #177 on: 04/05/2011 10:11 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism.

You want American exceptionalism? Stop emulating Soviet space program then (big government space projects).

For goodness sake.  Get a clue.  Because we have nothing, we are now sending our money to Russia, with hat in hand, for a ride to our station.

That's exactly what I meant: "big government space project" = FAIL (sooner or later)

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #178 on: 04/05/2011 10:36 PM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism.

You want American exceptionalism? Stop emulating Soviet space program then (big government space projects).

For goodness sake.  Get a clue.  Because we have nothing, we are now sending our money to Russia, with hat in hand, for a ride to our station.

That's exactly what I meant: "big government space project" = FAIL (sooner or later)

Ok, let's let commercial do everything.  Oops.  Forgot that was all government funded as well.  And he who controls the funding.....
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #179 on: 04/06/2011 12:31 AM »
Gentlemen, please!

It's like watching toddlers fighting over a playschool sandpit on this section sometimes (as much as OV probably helped designed the sandpit and he's getting taken on by people who think it'd be best to scrap the sandpit and replace it with a Russian climbing frame) *snigger*

Now OV and others are welcome to defend the sandpit, and climbing frame advocates are welcome to defend their postion, but can we all do it in a civil manner, cause I'm getting bored of people directly taking the p--s out of me by being uncivil time and time again, after warnings not to do that.

Next time, and I mean the very next time, regardless of who you are, it'll be a trip to the naughty step for a timeout.

Look what you've made me become!

Offline RocketEconomist327

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #180 on: 04/06/2011 01:35 AM »
<snip>

     b) SDHLV was supposed to cost less (per year) than we have been spending on Shuttle. What happened?

   -Alex

The reality of government bureaucracy.

VR
RE327
You can talk about all the great things you can do, or want to do, in space; but unless the rocket scientists get a sound understanding of economics (and quickly), the US space program will never achieve the greatness it should.

Putting my money where my mouth is.

Offline gospacex

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #181 on: 04/06/2011 01:45 AM »
This is the real reason we need SLS -  jobs!!
With all due respect Danny and I am sure you deserve it, but what about preservation of leadership in capability and American exceptionalism.

You want American exceptionalism? Stop emulating Soviet space program then (big government space projects).

For goodness sake.  Get a clue.  Because we have nothing, we are now sending our money to Russia, with hat in hand, for a ride to our station.

That's exactly what I meant: "big government space project" = FAIL (sooner or later)

Ok, let's let commercial do everything.  Oops.  Forgot that was all government funded as well.  And he who controls the funding.....

*Only* funding by government wouldn't be too bad. But here we also have *design* by government...

Offline padrat

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #182 on: 04/06/2011 02:01 AM »
Mr Chris! Mr Chris! Gospacex isn't listening!

Lol, sry, had to :)



Now Chris knows what my 4yr old's teacher deals with on a daily basis!


If the neighbors think you're the rebel of the neighborhood, embrace it and be the rebel. It keeps them wondering what you'll do next...

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #183 on: 04/06/2011 03:13 AM »
"The United States is by far the largest investor.  The United States also did by far the majority of the on-orbit assembly via the capabilities of the shuttle." does not equate to  "So it is our station. "



Actually there was a time when the Russian space program was severely strapped for cash. They needed funds to keep the Progress and Soyuz flights going. I think we helped with some funding back then (might have even bought a Soyuz or two, memory is fuzzy), as well as allowing them to fly the tourists for a method if generate additional funding.

I wish they would give us a similar break right now and provide a free crew seat or two.

Offline OpsAnalyst

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #184 on: 04/06/2011 06:19 PM »
"The United States is by far the largest investor.  The United States also did by far the majority of the on-orbit assembly via the capabilities of the shuttle." does not equate to  "So it is our station. "



Actually there was a time when the Russian space program was severely strapped for cash. They needed funds to keep the Progress and Soyuz flights going. I think we helped with some funding back then (might have even bought a Soyuz or two, memory is fuzzy), as well as allowing them to fly the tourists for a method if generate additional funding.

I wish they would give us a similar break right now and provide a free crew seat or two.

We didn't "allow" them to fly tourists.  They _told_ us they were gonna fly tourists.  It created one hell of an uproar.  NASA's initial response was not just no but hell no (especially the astronaut office, which was understandably concerned about untrained newbies floating around in ISS volume.)  It took quite a number of intense negotiations before all of that got worked out.  But we didn't "allow" anything.  Their Soyuz.  Their module.  Their "partnership" in ISS with us.  Period.

The other thing to remember is that they kept ISS alive during the Shuttle stand down during the 2 1/2 years of Return to Flight, during which they did _not_ abrogate contracts and rake us over the coals for more dollars.  They could have.

Offline OpsAnalyst

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Re: Boeing: SLS Rocket Work Needed To Avert Layoffs
« Reply #185 on: 04/06/2011 06:21 PM »
"The United States is by far the largest investor.  The United States also did by far the majority of the on-orbit assembly via the capabilities of the shuttle." does not equate to  "So it is our station. "



Actually there was a time when the Russian space program was severely strapped for cash. They needed funds to keep the Progress and Soyuz flights going. I think we helped with some funding back then (might have even bought a Soyuz or two, memory is fuzzy), as well as allowing them to fly the tourists for a method if generate additional funding.

I wish they would give us a similar break right now and provide a free crew seat or two.

We didn't "allow" them to fly tourists.  They _told_ us they were gonna fly tourists.  It created one hell of an uproar.  NASA's initial response was not just no but hell no (especially the astronaut office, which was understandably concerned about untrained newbies floating around in ISS volume.)  It took quite a number of intense negotiations before all of that got worked out.  But we didn't "allow" anything.  Their Soyuz.  Their module.  Their "partnership" in ISS with us.  Period.

The other thing to remember is that they kept ISS alive during the Shuttle stand down during the 2 1/2 years of Return to Flight, during which they did _not_ abrogate contracts and rake us over the coals for more dollars.  They could have.

And all this (including me) is off topic...

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