Author Topic: SLS Development Stage Update Thread  (Read 256181 times)

Offline USFdon

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #660 on: 03/14/2013 06:55 PM »
"For capability statement submission purposes, the respondents should consider the projected start date of Government fiscal year 2014 and the Government estimate of approximately $1 billion for this activity."

$1 billion to restart production (for only 6 engines?) or to transition to RS-25D Block III / RS-25E... Because that is quite a bit of cash

Offline sdsds

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #661 on: 03/14/2013 08:16 PM »
http://prod.nais.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/eps/synopsis.cgi?acqid=155472

(This is the same text as that provided by spaceref; just one step closer to the source.)
« Last Edit: 03/14/2013 08:19 PM by sdsds »
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Offline spectre9

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #662 on: 03/14/2013 08:33 PM »
J-2X got about a billion and that was awarded back when CxP was still going.

Now the rocket scientists need a new contract.

Fairly standard stuff.

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #663 on: 03/14/2013 08:41 PM »
More are probably needed for development testing purposes, and to provide spares.

I could believe this 6-engine procurement would be needed just to keep the production line going and/or develop the RS-25E between the end of work on J-2X in 2015 and the first need for more RS-25s post-2025. That would be logical, but it isn't what the announcement said.  If they really do need the six engines to support the first four SLS flights, I think that needs some more 'splanin.
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #664 on: 03/14/2013 09:23 PM »
Is there anything about the current RS-25D that makes them difficult to manufacture using the same process as the last batch ? Any materials they shouldn't be using any more ?

Offline sdsds

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #665 on: 03/14/2013 09:36 PM »
Is there anything about the current RS-25D that makes them difficult to manufacture using the same process as the last batch?

Maybe they expended all the workers competent to use the hand tools that are an integral part of the production process? ;)

I could believe this 6-engine procurement would be needed just to keep the production line going and/or develop the RS-25E between the end of work on J-2X in 2015 and the first need for more RS-25s post-2025. That would be logical, but it isn't what the announcement said.

Yes well, it is rather like what one sentence in the announcement said; it just depends on what part (around the "and" which makes it a logical conjunction) you choose to elide. "Six additional CSEs are needed [...] to establish the production infrastructure necessary for continued, affordable program support."

See?
« Last Edit: 03/14/2013 09:39 PM by sdsds »
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #666 on: 03/14/2013 09:38 PM »
Is there anything about the current RS-25D that makes them difficult to manufacture using the same process as the last batch ? Any materials they shouldn't be using any more ?

It's just that they are far more expensive than strictly necessary as they were designed for reusability.  RS-25E is expected to be cheaper and easier to build in large numbers.

Additionally, it takes a long time to set up an engine production line.  There is a reason why it will be several years before RS-25E is available.
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Offline 93143

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #667 on: 03/15/2013 03:04 AM »
It's just that they are far more expensive than strictly necessary as they were designed for reusability.

I'm pretty sure a good chunk of it is the restart and low production rate.  There's no reason half a dozen RS-25Ds would need to cost more than a few hundred million (current dollars) if they were in continuous high-rate production (say, on the order of one per month).  The E variant would of course be cheaper...
« Last Edit: 03/15/2013 03:25 AM by 93143 »

Offline Lar

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #668 on: 03/15/2013 04:39 AM »
It's just that they are far more expensive than strictly necessary as they were designed for reusability.

I'm pretty sure a good chunk of it is the restart and low production rate.  There's no reason half a dozen RS-25Ds would need to cost more than a few hundred million (current dollars) if they were in continuous high-rate production (say, on the order of one per month).  The E variant would of course be cheaper...
This is an update thread, right? Which thread is one to discuss this, because i am aghast at the cost for 6 engines.
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Offline woods170

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #669 on: 03/15/2013 06:25 AM »
NASA Solicitation: Space Launch System Core Stage Engine Production Restart

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=43583

Quote
On September 14, 2011, NASA announced the SLS vehicle architecture with a manifested first flight in late 2017. The CSE in this architecture is the RS-25 engine (derived from the Space Shuttle Main Engine). The early SLS flights will utilize all remaining RS-25 engines from the Space Shuttle Program. However, six additional CSEs are needed to support the first four launches (with first engine delivery in the 2023 timeframe)...

WHAT ? ???

EM-1 in 2017 uses four RS-25Ds
EM-2 in 2021 uses four RS-25Ds
EM-3 in 2023 uses four RS-25Ds
EM-4 in 2025 uses four RS-25Ds

That makes 16 RS-25Ds from the Shuttle program.

This may connect with the question of core production that has been knocking around. That is, if the cores are produced at the rate of one every two years, there seems to be an extra unaccounted-for core after 2017. So maybe the additional six engines are to provide that core with engines for a dual-launch mission on EM-4.  With a couple left over for spares.

Or something like that.

Those extra engines are needed because some of the engines in the current inventory will be needed for the core stage development program and will not be available for actual flight vehicles. And NASA will want to have some spare engines as well.


Offline MP99

Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #670 on: 03/15/2013 07:09 AM »
NASA Solicitation: Space Launch System Core Stage Engine Production Restart

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=43583

Quote
On September 14, 2011, NASA announced the SLS vehicle architecture with a manifested first flight in late 2017. The CSE in this architecture is the RS-25 engine (derived from the Space Shuttle Main Engine). The early SLS flights will utilize all remaining RS-25 engines from the Space Shuttle Program. However, six additional CSEs are needed to support the first four launches (with first engine delivery in the 2023 timeframe)...

WHAT ? ???

EM-1 in 2017 uses four RS-25Ds
EM-2 in 2021 uses four RS-25Ds
EM-3 in 2023 uses four RS-25Ds
EM-4 in 2025 uses four RS-25Ds

That makes 16 RS-25Ds from the Shuttle program.

This may connect with the question of core production that has been knocking around. That is, if the cores are produced at the rate of one every two years, there seems to be an extra unaccounted-for core after 2017. So maybe the additional six engines are to provide that core with engines for a dual-launch mission on EM-4.  With a couple left over for spares.

Or something like that.

Those extra engines are needed because some of the engines in the current inventory will be needed for the core stage development program and will not be available for actual flight vehicles.

Once they've been using for the development programme, couldn't they be refurbed and used on later flights?

Is there something about the testing programme that puts the engines outside the range of conditions from which they're allowed to be refurbed?

cheers, Martin

Offline ChileVerde

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #671 on: 03/16/2013 12:08 AM »
Yes well, it is rather like what one sentence in the announcement said; it just depends on what part (around the "and" which makes it a logical conjunction) you choose to elide. "Six additional CSEs are needed [...] to establish the production infrastructure necessary for continued, affordable program support."

Yes, you're right, I concentated too much on the first part. The full quote is

Quote
However, six additional CSEs are needed to support the first four launches (with first engine delivery in the 2023 timeframe) and to establish the production infrastructure necessary for continued, affordable program support.

So if only one were needed to support the last two of the first four launches, perhaps as a backup for EM-3 (2023) or EM-4 (2025), and it and the other five kept production going, that would qualify. Or other combinations consistent with first delivery in 2023ish.  I jumped the gun there.
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Offline Lobo

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #672 on: 03/16/2013 04:40 AM »
Yes well, it is rather like what one sentence in the announcement said; it just depends on what part (around the "and" which makes it a logical conjunction) you choose to elide. "Six additional CSEs are needed [...] to establish the production infrastructure necessary for continued, affordable program support."

Yes, you're right, I concentated too much on the first part. The full quote is

Quote
However, six additional CSEs are needed to support the first four launches (with first engine delivery in the 2023 timeframe) and to establish the production infrastructure necessary for continued, affordable program support.

So if only one were needed to support the last two of the first four launches, perhaps as a backup for EM-3 (2023) or EM-4 (2025), and it and the other five kept production going, that would qualify. Or other combinations consistent with first delivery in 2023ish.  I jumped the gun there.


Is there any chance that this solicitation actually -is- for the RS-25E?
I Read through it again, and there's a couple of interestin quotes which might be some...or might be nothing...

"The early SLS flights will utilize all remaining RS-25 engines from the Space Shuttle Program. However, six additional CSEs are needed to support the first four launches (with first engine delivery in the 2023 timeframe) and to establish the production infrastructure necessary for continued, affordable program support."

So, they are talking about establishing the production infrastructure necessary to support the program, assumably going forward.  That would seem to be the final engine that will be used on SLS maybe?  I don't think they plan on using the RS-25D forever for the reasons mentioned here.  Maybe rather than starting back up produciton of RS-25D, they mean to not waste that time, money, and effort, and get right to the PoR engine?

I notice they don't mentioned the model of RS-25 anywhere that I saw, just referring to it as the "RS-25".

"New engines must be ďdrop-inĒ replacements for current RS-25 engines to avoid costly impacts to the vehicle and core stage design. "

This might just be because they can't specifically call out PWR maybe?  So keeping it technically "open" to other engines.  But it sounds like they are indicating the new engines don't have to be the exact engines leftover from STS, but "drop-in" replacements?  Which the RS-25E would be. 

Obviously the solicitation is intended for PWR, which probably also the reason for the short turn around.  PWR probably has a bid ready to go and they'd have the head's up about this ahead of time.  So they are the intended bidder, and I'm sure they are ready to drop it in that window of bid opening.

"For capability statement submission purposes, the respondents should consider the projected start date of Government fiscal year 2014 and the Government estimate of approximately $1 billion for this activity. "

That seems maybe more like the kind of money required to startup a production line of a new engine and roll of 6 new RS-25E engines, getting going in 2014, and to have the 6 engines ready around 2023?
Than setting staff back to the labor intensive task of churning out 6 more RS-25D's between 2014 and 2023?  If they were basically just looking for 6 spare engines for SLS-3 and SLS-4, coudn't they just give PWR the specific requisition for that exact peice of equipment?  The government has to bid "new" items, but I don't think they have to bid replacements for existing equipment?  Maybe I'm wrong on that.  But if they have a specific piece of equipment and it goes bad, and there's a reason that they need that exact thing to replace, can't they just state that specific make and model is what they need?
This wording of this seems to be their best way of trying to make sure PWR is the only bidder on a "new" "drop-in" replacement piece of equipment.  But because it is "new", technically someone else could bid a comparable engine that would drop in.

But again, maybe I'm misundersting the technicalities of the whole process.

But maybe this is how they intend to have PWR get RS-25E up and running.  Seems like the right amount of money.

As to the timeframe of 2023, given the official PoR, that'd be about right.  But if they actually have some additional payloads (and I heard they were working on a couple of additional payloads for Block 1 that would fly between 2017 and 2023).  Really, I can't imagine that they wouldn't be able to inspect and refurb any of hte RS-25D's that were used during the testing process to make sure they are ready for flight.  They would probably really on be concerned about a spare engine for SLS-4, becuase if there was a problem with any of the engines on SLS 1-3, they still have SLS-4's engines they could use.  But if there's a problem with and engine on SLS-4's engine, and if they don't have a spare available, that could be a problem depending on the problem with the engine. 
So it might be that they really want to have the extra RS-25E's by when they think SLS-4 would be launching.  And if that goes up fine, they can start integrating them into SLS-5.  and still have two spares.
So there might be an SLS-2 by 2019, and SLS-3 by 2021, and then SLS-4 by 2023 with new spare RS-25E engines ready to go by then.
That'd give PWR 8-9 years to have the new production line up and running and 6 engines built.

That's all just speculation obviously...

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #673 on: 03/16/2013 05:37 AM »
"For capability statement submission purposes, the respondents should consider the projected start date of Government fiscal year 2014 and the Government estimate of approximately $1 billion for this activity."

$1 billion to restart production (for only 6 engines?) or to transition to RS-25D Block III / RS-25E... Because that is quite a bit of cash

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #675 on: 03/26/2013 08:33 PM »
Flight Hardware for Space Launch System, Orion

Published on Mar 26, 2013
NASAMarshallTV
Mechanical engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center are making parts for SLS that will fly on Orion's first test flight. (NASA/MSFC)

Tony De La Rosa

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #676 on: 04/16/2013 03:38 AM »
Space Launch System Begins Acoustic Testing

Published on Apr 15, 2013
Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., have assembled a collection of thrusters to stand in for the various propulsion elements in a scale model version of NASA's Space Launch System. The four thrusters shown here are used to mimic the RS-25 engines which will drive the core stage of the new rocket. (NASA/MSFC)

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Offline newpylong

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #677 on: 04/17/2013 02:32 AM »


Exploration Systems Division Quarterly Report: Q1 2013

Offline deltaV

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #678 on: 04/18/2013 08:56 PM »
From a recent GAO report (http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653866.pdf page 63):
Quote
[SLS project] officials will not know if the shuttle-era RS-25 engines as currently designed can meet SLSís performance requirements without significant modifications until the engine preliminary design review.

What are they doing to the SSME that makes its performance uncertain? Are they pushing its throttle level beyond shuttle levels and not sure if that'll work?

Online clongton

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Re: SLS Development Stage Update Thread
« Reply #679 on: 04/18/2013 09:26 PM »
From a recent GAO report (http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/653866.pdf page 63):
Quote
[SLS project] officials will not know if the shuttle-era RS-25 engines as currently designed can meet SLS’s performance requirements without significant modifications until the engine preliminary design review.

What are they doing to the SSME that makes its performance uncertain? Are they pushing its throttle level beyond shuttle levels and not sure if that'll work?

There is nothing wrong with the SSME - nothing! We had very detailed discussions with RS-25 engineers about that. The engine has not changed sense then.
« Last Edit: 04/18/2013 09:31 PM by clongton »
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