Author Topic: LIVE: Full Committee Hearing - A Review of NASA's Space Launch System  (Read 320085 times)

Offline Peter NASA

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« Last Edit: 07/12/2011 02:46 AM by Peter NASA »

Offline rdale

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Starts at 10am EDT / 14 UTC.

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The original intent of the hearing was to examine NASA’s selection of a heavy-lift launch system (“Space Launch System”) that will be used to launch future crew and cargo flights beyond low Earth orbit. Members would have had an opportunity to ask questions regarding cost, schedule, capabilities, and justification for the selected design. However, on July 7, a senior NASA official publicly stated that a final decision on SLS won’t be announced until “late this summer.” In light of NASA’s continuing delays (the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 required a decision and report by mid-January 2011), the hearing will instead provide an opportunity for NASA to explain why it has failed to reach a decision, what analyses still need to be completed, and when the Space Launch System decisions will be forthcoming.

Offline Chris Bergin

This could be big.

Would be in the middle of an EVA, but I just hope they ask the right questions and insist on the answers.

As Dr. Gaius Baltar would say: "I need a ray of hope about the future".

PS Loving Peter's work with the thread title :D
« Last Edit: 07/12/2011 02:56 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline FinalFrontier

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Oh boy here we go. Told you someone is going to get sacked for this.


Too bad it appears they are hanging this on Charlie, when IMO Garver deserves it.
3-30-2017: The start of a great future
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Aight well I will be sure to be on for these fireworks, wouldn't want to miss this. I hope that they manage to at least provide some sort of impetus to NASA to get this decision announced sooner, my understanding is that the design has basically been validated and chosen already by the winning RAC team. Then, Garver and or the WH stepped in and insisted on an independent cost estimate (despite the RAC teams having already gotten such estimates not to mention the DIRECT team estimates and the Aerospace corp. estimates of both DIRECT and NLS) mainly for the purpose of mucking it up and making it take longer.


Pure politics as the bickering between the executive and legislative branch continues on virtually every issue. It is fascinating to watch the branches fight each other, however, because this is not possible in many countries and its what makes this country great, albeit frustrating as all get out sometimes.


« Last Edit: 07/12/2011 03:01 AM by FinalFrontier »
3-30-2017: The start of a great future
"Live Long and Prosper"

Offline Chris Bergin

No one's going to get hung, I think (this is where I've got to remember I don't know much about politics) but I hope there's a good number of lawmakers there. If there's one or two, then - well I don't know what a lawmaker's day involves, but you know what I mean.

As far as FF's comment on the RACs...yep, but this wasn't like pre FY2011, this went much further, and the General MADE the selection. We even had the commander of STS-135 on the SLF saying so and even naming July 8 as part of his pre-written speech, wasn't even a question from the media. It was decided. They need to ask why July 8 never happened, who was responsible for that.
« Last Edit: 07/12/2011 03:07 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline sdsds

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To make sure this hearing charter document is available to all readers, it is attached.
-- sdsds --

Offline sdsds

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Here's a lovely snippet:
Quote
NASA has contracted with Booz Allen Hamilton to perform an independent cost assessment. The results were due in May 2011 for inclusion as part of the final report. In May 2011 senior NASA officials expressed confidence that the final report would be completed by June 20th, this was later changed to July 8th. NASA’s report to Congress is now more than six months late. NASA is awaiting final approval from OMB.

Seems to confirm that OMB is (or is being used as) a roadblock.
-- sdsds --

Offline Chris Bergin

Thanks SDSDS. That's not pulling any punches, and....

"In May 2011 senior NASA officials expressed confidence that the final report would be completed by June 20th, this was later changed to July 8th."

Sorry I'm making a big deal out of that date, but I had some people (including a couple of those lovely lobbyists) saying I was pulling a date out of my backside per the previous article and was being fluffy as it was STS-135's launch date (note, it was before Commander Ferguson said the same date, along with other media too).

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it (not that anything happened anyway).

Offline yg1968

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Maybe the Committee can explain their cuts to the exploration budget.

Offline Prober

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I just looked at the members of the Committee and they have all "NASA" states with alot of workers in them.   I smell trouble ahead.
 
http://science.house.gov/about/membership
 
 
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Offline Namechange User

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I believe this will amount to nothing more than yet another episode of political theatre.  Nothing of substance will be said by either side, maybe a sound bite from some here and there but nothing with any real substance or consequences. 

I say this because I cannot possibly see why now would be any different than the past.  NASA has and likely will continue to slow-roll just as effectively as it has for 18+ months where it cannot define what it wants to do with an SLS-class vehicle just as it cannot define what it would do without one. 

The key questions that need to be asked will go unaddressed and the key word in NASA's "plan" will continue to be the word "eventually", which is incredibly difficult to plan a budget against.  Meanwhile, me and many others have paid for this with our careers and for this I have totally lost faith in the agency I dedicated my professional life to thus far and all my effort as a youth to get to as well as the government that directs it. 

I am tired of "hearings".  I am tired of hearing that things are "going on behind the scenes".  I am tired of hearing that "there is an intent to use this workforce".  I am tired of hearing "just on more study".  I am tired of hearing "tens of thousands of jobs will be created".  I am tired of hearing we have "missions with a capital M" when not the slightest details of any such thing are ever given.  I am tired of hearing about how bright the future is going to be when one cannot define that future beyond the hope that we replace our current capability with something less 5 or so years from now.   

Me and many others stayed to "finish strong" to be the "key" that would enable everything else, as we were told so many times.  Me and many others did our part, and now that we are here at the finish line, we find we're the only ones here and only "hope and assumption" that the others that were to meet us will eventually come, long after we got tired of waiting and went home.  No more and never again.  To hell with it all. 

Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Online mjcrsmith

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I believe this will amount to nothing more than yet another episode of political theatre.  Nothing of substance will be said by either side, maybe a sound bite from some here and there but nothing with any real substance or consequences. 


Excellent comment. Totally agree.

Offline sdsds

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I believe this will amount to nothing more than yet another episode of political theatre.

Agreed, and the episodes in this season are inevitably coming to an end.

Quote
Me and many others stayed to "finish strong" to be the "key" that would enable everything else, as we were told so many times.

STS-135 "wheels stop" is the last chance for somebody in the administration to stand up and give details on what's next for NASA HSF.  They need to articulate a cohesive plan on that date, including both a launch vehicle design (or sequence of designs) and a mission (or sequence of missions).  If they fail to do that, it will be because they have willfully and maliciously chosen to violate the law.  That's what federal grand juries are for.
« Last Edit: 07/12/2011 04:21 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline notsorandom

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I just looked at the members of the Committee and they have all "NASA" states with alot of workers in them.   I smell trouble ahead.
 
http://science.house.gov/about/membership
 
Not really all of them. Actually less then I thought. Huh I should run for office and fill that listed vacancy lol.
http://www.nasa.gov/about/sites/index.html

Offline mikegro

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Me and many others stayed to "finish strong" to be the "key" that would enable everything else, as we were told so many times.  Me and many others did our part, and now that we are here at the finish line, we find we're the only ones here and only "hope and assumption" that the others that were to meet us will eventually come, long after we got tired of waiting and went home.  No more and never again.  To hell with it all. 



It's truly sad to see it come to this.  While we have the world's attention with STS-135 we can't announce something with a bit more detail than "Oh, we're doing yet another cost analysis.  We should have it by the end of the summer."  Can't they show us (and Congress of course!) what they're having analyzed?  Doesn't it have a really strong chance of moving forward or are they really considering going back to the drawing board AGAIN?

When I initially heard rumors of the July 8th date as the announcement for the SLS design I thought that was brilliant!  Coinciding with the launch of the final Shuttle mission would inform the most people possible of what's next for NASA and answer the question that is on the minds of everyone: "What will NASA be doing once the Shuttle is gone?"  I think this was a huge missed opportunity.  However, as sdsds said, the next opportunity to use the attention getting power of the last shuttle mission in history is right after wheels stop on July 21st.

Most of us "in-the-know" (I <3 NSF!) realize that if/when SLS materializes it will most likely look a lot like the Jupiter rockets of DIRECT.  I have to explain/show what this will look like to people all of the time.  The guide on the "Discover KSC" tour was telling people what it would look like (using one of those nice stuffed Space Shuttle stacks from the gift shop as a reference) as well.  Can't NASA just tell the world what we pretty much already know, and stop with the smoke and mirrors?  Oh, and GET ON WITH IT!

-Mike
Part time F-16 and KC-135 Crew Chief, full-time spaceflight enthusiast!

Offline mikegi

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I adjusted my tinfoil hat and came up with a couple of WAGs:

1) NASA's getting the outside cost estimates because they're going to report to Congress that they need an extra $3B/year to do SLS. They'll say, "here are our estimates and here's the independent verification".

2) NASA's delaying the SLS report because the Administration needs more time to get Congressional opposition to SLS fired up. Without a defined mission, SLS will be derided as an "expensive monster rocket to nowhere".

Offline hydra9

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Since the Obama mission to an asteroid is set at 2025, the Obama administration doesn't want an  HLV   by 2016  because then NASA would have to use it!

Congress, however, has requested that NASA define near term missions for the SLS within cis-lunar space. But they've still not heard a word from Bolden on this matter probably because the administration doesn't want any cis-lunar space missions. 

I predict that  Obama's silly manned mission to an asteroid will be canceled by the next administration (either 2013 or 2017) in favor of focusing the SLS architecture on accessing and processing  lunar water resources.

Plus, with the same money used to explore just one asteroid during a manned mission, dozens of asteroids could be explored with unmanned missions.   

Marcel F. Williams

Offline simonbp

Anyone willing to bet a pint that Falcon Heavy gets a payload to orbit before the SLS Dynamic Test Article is even built?

Offline notsorandom

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Anyone willing to bet a pint that Falcon Heavy gets a payload to orbit before the SLS Dynamic Test Article is even built?
Depends on a lot of unknowns at this point but what the hey. Sure! :D

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