Author Topic: Acronyms to Ascent – SLS managers create development milestone roadmap  (Read 17006 times)

Offline spectre9

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Yes I know exactly what you're talking about. The Altair/Ares V upper stage whatever it was IS the prop depot.

Added video.

« Last Edit: 02/28/2012 03:22 AM by spectre9 »

Offline spectre9

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I found a nice website of NASA putting together their all up stack for Apollo.

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/SP-4204/ch19-3.html

Thanks Robotbeat for having this discussion and leading to me to look into this.

Seems they like to attach their depot/S-IVB in the safety of the VAB.

This is something they've done before and something they're more comfortable with doing.

I can just imagine guys like those in the pictures up in that high bay dropping the ICPS down onto the first SLS core stage.  ;D
« Last Edit: 02/28/2012 05:26 AM by spectre9 »

Offline aquanaut99

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Lagrange points are "somewhere" for unmanned science missions, but they are definitely "nowhere" for crewed missions.  There is literally nothing there to see or visit!

Asteroid is a one-time mission, and opportunities for such missions come along infrequently.  It will be interesting to the public for about an hour.

Those responsible for SLS should stop trying to obfuscate its real purpose.  There is only one reason to create such a powerful machine.  There is only one place in space for which it is needed to visit - a place with red rocks, sand, and sky.

 - Ed Kyle

NVM the public. The public doesn't give a hoot one way or the other. Even if we went back to the moon; there might be some interest during the first flight, after that, [insert favorite moronic TV show here] becomes more important and the lunar missions will find mention in the media (if at all) mainly due to controversies regarding excessive cost.

The same goes for Mars. Don't fool yourself, a first human landing on Mars will generate nowhere near the interest Apollo 11 did. Why? Because the moon is special, an object of human desire since the dawn of time. Mars is just a pinpoint in the sky. And once those first TV pics of astronauts on Mars come back, the public reaction will be: "hey, it's just like the old moon landings, except in red! This what we payed all those hundreds of billions for? What a let-down!". And, ofc, there will be plenty of conspiracy theory nutters who will claim it was all flimed in a Holywood studio anyway.

If we are to do human exploration of the Solar System (and there isn't that much reason for doing it in the first place), I would hope it is for better reasons than one-off "flags and footprints" stuff; which is what a human Mars mission would be (at least in the next 50 years). We did that with Apollo, and look where it got us.

No, I firmly believe that the prime real estate in the Solar System are the asteroids and minor planets, without those annyoing deep gravity wells. Human Space exploration should focus more on adapting humans to live in deep space (absence of gravity, hard radiation). This will probably require that we evolve beyond homo sapiens, into a new species. Before that, all human exploration is bound to be a dead-end.

Which is why I support the flexible path architecture (be it with SLS or something else). The progression should be:
- a sucessor to ISS in deep space (EML-2), where we can study the effects of prolonged exposure to GCR on humans.
- a series of flights to NEA, to explore the feasibilty of one day exploiting them for resources or using them as improvised deep-space habitats (maybe hollowing out a small rock is better than assembling a spacecraft in orbit)
- long-duration deep-space flights (1 year +). This can be things such as a Venus/Mars flyby, missions to Phobos and Deimos, and eventually out into the asteroid belt and maybe even beyond.

A Mars or moon landing does not fit into my schedule. Been there, done that, dead end.
« Last Edit: 02/28/2012 05:54 AM by aquanaut99 »

Offline MATTBLAK

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I actually firmly agree with some of what you said in the post above.

BUT: "Dead End" is dangerously close to myth territory. Just because Apollo didn't lead to anything better doesn't mean we should let any other exploration program end up the same, too. I thought the idea was to push for more sustainable, meaningful exploration? Or are we going to - again - throw up our hands and say it's all too hard?

The problem is; in an era when both manned and unmanned Space Exploration struggles for funding as never before, it is very, very easy to just negatively bray "Its all a dead end! It has no value" or other partisan and apocryphal sayings.

And if there's one thing I'm heartily sick of is the 'been there, done that' as pertains to the Moon. We landed only Six times and sent only a handful of probes there. Its like landing at six U.S. airports, driving around the runway then saying "We've explored America - been there, done that!"

Rubbish!! ::)

There are millions of square kilometers of unexplored land and resources there. Billions of years of geology in the rocks and regolith!!

And the same goes for Mars, only more so - and possibly paleontology there, too.

They are Worlds. Oh sure, they aren't 'Class-M' planets like from Star Trek. We cannot truly compare them to the Earth - that is pointless; maybe even inappropriate. We should stop trying to compare the Moon and Mars to Earthly standards of usefulness. You can't. They are worlds in their own right. There is only one Earth in this Solar system. We need to explore other worlds on their own terms.

We are not finished with any of them - we've barely started. Anyone who claims otherwise is being strangely subversive. But Space needs more money - starting with Taxpayer funding but ending I hope with Private Industry ventures. Space Exploration started unmanned in 1957 and manned in 1961. It aint that 'new-fangled' - its been with us for decades now. It's time to start treating it as something that's a part of us, part of human history - because it IS.

But will it ever become 'normal', maybe not even extraordinary? I don't think so.

And I rather hope not...
« Last Edit: 02/28/2012 09:43 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Online woods170

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Do Exploration? Fine.
Who pays for that? The public.
Does the public give anything about Exploration? No
Does the public want to pay for Exploration? Big No.
Will Exploration happen, taking into account the points above? Very big No.

Aquanaut99 hit the nail squarely on the head. It does not matter that there are many worlds out there to explore. It does not matter that the vast majority of the lunar surface is terra incognita. None of it matters as long as there is zero interest from the general public for Exploration. And that is precisely were we are today.

Offline clongton

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Don't kid yourself.

Throughout all of human history there has been absolutely zero public interest in exploration. It was always - ALWAYS - the few visionaries who understood the value of exploration and pulled out all the personal stops to engage in it while the vast - VAST - majority went about their daily lives of chopping wood, scratching ground and cooking gruel.

The fact that the general public isn't engaged doesn't mean anything, because the general public have never been, and likely never will be, engaged. It's only the visionary that matters, It's only the visionary that has ever mattered. It is only the visionary who was willing to risk everything to see what was over the next hill or on the other side of the ocean while the general public went about their daily lives - at home, uninterested in what that fool was doing trying to get to the other side to see what was there.

Exploration will happen only so long as there are visionaries willing to engage, and the general public is not part of the equation - they never really have been. The visionary will explore, find, catalog, and report. Only then will the public become involved, at the economic level, as the visionaries uncover economic opportunity and make it available to the next level of visionary - the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur will see opportunity where the explorer saw real estate, and will pull out all their own personal stops and go for it. Then other entrepreneurs will join the field, following their own vision of opportunity, until finally it begins to  filter down to the general public in the form of a better wood chopping tool, a better way to scratch the ground, a better way to cook gruel.   In the mean time, the general public will go about their daily lives of chopping wood, scratching ground and cooking gruel, and now watching NASCAR and Brittany Spears.

It has always been this way and it likely always will be this way. The only involvement the general public has ever had in exploration is to be the source of the very small pool of visionaries. Other than that the general public has never been part of the equation and likely never will be - no matter how far we go in the solar system, or even the stars someday.

This is not a good or a bad thing. It's just the way it is.

It is what it is.
« Last Edit: 02/28/2012 10:37 AM by clongton »
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Offline QuantumG

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Do Exploration? Fine.
Who pays for that? The public.
Does the public give anything about Exploration? No
Does the public want to pay for Exploration? Big No.
Will Exploration happen, taking into account the points above? Very big No.

I think you mean: does the public want to be forced to pay for Exploration?

So long as the costs involved in spaceflight are absurdly high, as they are now, voluntary funding for exploration will be insufficient.
I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline HappyMartian

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Do Exploration? Fine.
Who pays for that? The public.
Does the public give anything about Exploration? No
Does the public want to pay for Exploration? Big No.
Will Exploration happen, taking into account the points above? Very big No.

Aquanaut99 hit the nail squarely on the head. It does not matter that there are many worlds out there to explore. It does not matter that the vast majority of the lunar surface is terra incognita. None of it matters as long as there is zero interest from the general public for Exploration. And that is precisely were we are today.


New model provides different take on planetary accretion
February 28, 2012 By Tony Fitzpatrick
At: http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-planetary-accretion.html

It seems quite likely that we don't know enough to confidently declare "None of it matters..." when it comes to space exploration.

On a personal level, our space exploration efforts have meant alot for many folks.

One of NASA’s top planet hunters talks about the past, present and future of Kepler
http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2012/02/one-of-nasas-top-planet-hunters-talks-about-the-past-present-and-future-of-kepler/
At:
"Neither of my parents went to college, and I didn’t understand what it meant to be a scientist at all. But I always excelled in math. And in the background, growing up in the ‘80s, the shuttle program was going on and that was an exciting time. It seemed to me that the most exciting job that anyone could have would be to work for NASA and support the space program."


Well, space exploration by Earthlings may or may not seem to matter much to those citizens of countries that have had a good century or two to benefit from how superior technology allowed some of our ancestors to take whatever they wanted from various native folks. However, some of those former natives are today getting money and fancy toolkits and may also have some members of the "general public" and government that remember their very hard lessons in how the universe may bestow rich benefits on those who reach out in a determined manner with a sophisticated toolkit.

There are a whole lot of planets beyond our Solar System. It sure would be a shame to discover someday that one of those planets had a nasty individual that coveted our pretty blue sphere and had a sufficiently advanced toolkit to make its desire for ownership a reality. Late discovery of such vital information would be a poor way to ensure humanity's future. Many members of our species may only realize the importance our 'space exploration toolkit insurance' if or when we come face to face with some really bad news.

Does the history of our species strongly hint that humans need extensive plans, tools, and abilities to deal with both the uncertainty embedded in the universe and the potential actions of any unsavory newcomer to our Solar System? Is it the unknown that could really mess up what should have been a nice day or a great millennium for our species?

The SLS/Orion combination is one of our tools to find affordable answers to questions we currently lack the ability to fully formulate.

Cheers!





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

Online edkyle99

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So long as the costs involved in spaceflight are absurdly high, as they are now, voluntary funding for exploration will be insufficient.

That's the reason SLS is so stretched on the development schedule.  NASA is focused on keeping its budget steady (Shuttle-esq) and below the public radar, when a surge of dollars is common for development.  It is a good plan - if it works.

The U.S. spends nearly one-half billion dollars per year on Arctic and Antarctic research, much of which goes to PhD types.  Does the public support that, I wonder?  Or does the public even know such spending exists?

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/28/2012 01:39 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline MATTBLAK

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Do Exploration? Fine.
Who pays for that? The public.
Does the public give anything about Exploration? No
Does the public want to pay for Exploration? Big No.
Will Exploration happen, taking into account the points above? Very big No.

Aquanaut99 hit the nail squarely on the head. It does not matter that there are many worlds out there to explore. It does not matter that the vast majority of the lunar surface is terra incognita. None of it matters as long as there is zero interest from the general public for Exploration. And that is precisely were we are today.

NOT Zero interest, more like insufficient interest to sustain anything meaningful. As it pertains to Exploration, our culture is broken. People digress and get distracted far too easily. Wars and other cultural and political clashes suck up attention and money. Also, the antics of celebrities and social networking are far more important to people than Mike Massimino or Cady Coleman's next mission. The Earth's ocean floors and deep trenches have been explored by humans far LESS than the Moon's surface. Yet if a multi-billion dollar project was announced to send people to live - NEEMO style - on a deep ocean floor, there'd be howls of outrage over the amounts of money being spent: "There are people starving around the world, you know!!"

Different thing, different problem. But like I said: how can exploration survive if people wallow in distractions or more to the nail-on-the-head of my point - negativity?
« Last Edit: 02/28/2012 06:34 PM by MATTBLAK »
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Online Robotbeat

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It's the economy, stupid.
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Offline MATTBLAK

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I know; I aint stupid, brother ;) But when the U.S. economy was at its (modern) strongest more than a decade ago, what happened? John Glenn flew again and billions were given to Russia to fly Astronauts and Shuttles to Mir. Also, ISS barely survived cancellation and NASA's budget was cut again and again and again.

The economy has been and will again be an excuse. It's far more to do with ideology and (perceived) priorities.

Er... What was the title of this thread again? ;)
« Last Edit: 02/28/2012 06:53 PM by MATTBLAK »
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Online Robotbeat

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I know; I aint stupid, brother. ...
(Sorry, that wasn't supposed to be directed at you or anyone in particular, it's a common phrase in American political culture... when the economy is in recession, that's what successful politicians focus on.)
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Offline Lobo

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So long as the costs involved in spaceflight are absurdly high, as they are now, voluntary funding for exploration will be insufficient.

That's the reason SLS is so stretched on the development schedule.  NASA is focused on keeping its budget steady (Shuttle-esq) and below the public radar, when a surge of dollars is common for development.  It is a good plan - if it works.

The U.S. spends nearly one-half billion dollars per year on Arctic and Antarctic research, much of which goes to PhD types.  Does the public support that, I wonder?  Or does the public even know such spending exists?

 - Ed Kyle

Agreed.  You could trim just 2% from the Medicare or Defense budgets, those programs would never even miss it, they waste far more than that anyway, and literally double NASA's budget.  If NASA's budget were doubled, we'd actually see some really high-profile, amazing things that would generate a certain degree of public interest, and good PR for the US. 
Heck, just 5% of Obama's "stimulus" bill directed to NASA, and parcelled out over say 5 years, would be almost a 50% increase in their budget for 5 years, and would probably have paid for all of SLS development, KSC upgrades, Orion development, and some type of lunar lander development.  So when NASA's budget came back down to normal, they should be able to sustain all of that going forward as all the development and infrastructure would be paid for already.

Online Robotbeat

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Lobo: Part of the stimulus was supposed to be spent on commercial crew... but it was redirected by a certain Senator... to the blackhole of Constellation. Didn't seem to do much good for Constellation.
« Last Edit: 02/28/2012 06:55 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline deltaV

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This thread is getting rather off-topic.

Offline MATTBLAK

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That's what I said! But sometimes they digress because of natural, related branching-out of the subject matter: when the initial, pure subject matter exhausts the known facts, that's often what happens.
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Offline Ox

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Do Exploration? Fine.
Who pays for that? The public.
Does the public give anything about Exploration? No
Does the public want to pay for Exploration? Big No.
Will Exploration happen, taking into account the points above? Very big No.

Aquanaut99 hit the nail squarely on the head. It does not matter that there are many worlds out there to explore. It does not matter that the vast majority of the lunar surface is terra incognita. None of it matters as long as there is zero interest from the general public for Exploration. And that is precisely were we are today.

I think there are some minor but important distinctions that are necessary with your statement.

Who pays for that? Congress
Does Congress give anything about Exploration? Yes
Does the Congress want to pay for Exploration? Remains to be seen.
Will Exploration happen, taking into account the points above? Remains to be seen.

Congress is the important party here (along with the President obviously). Regardless of what the general public believes (and I think you're underestimating the public's opinion on NASA and exploration) Congress frequently funds things the public does not approve of.

Offline Lars_J

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Do Exploration? Fine.
Who pays for that? The public.
Does the public give anything about Exploration? No
Does the public want to pay for Exploration? Big No.
Will Exploration happen, taking into account the points above? Very big No.

Aquanaut99 hit the nail squarely on the head. It does not matter that there are many worlds out there to explore. It does not matter that the vast majority of the lunar surface is terra incognita. None of it matters as long as there is zero interest from the general public for Exploration. And that is precisely were we are today.

I think there are some minor but important distinctions that are necessary with your statement.
...
Does Congress give anything about Exploration? Yes

Since when? Them funding exploration only occurs if it is a happy coincidence with their primary objective(s).

Offline Ox

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I think there are some minor but important distinctions that are necessary with your statement.
...
Does Congress give anything about Exploration? Yes

Since when? Them funding exploration only occurs if it is a happy coincidence with their primary objective(s).

Over the last decade it's been pretty obvious that Congress has wanted both a large rocket and a deep space capable capsule. Given the response to the President's FY '11 budget proposal and the ensuing compromise I think Congress does indeed want an exploration program. Now, you seem to have the same feeling that I do and that is they haven't shown any commitment to funding this program at the necessary levels, hence the "Remains to be seen" comments if this will change in the future.

So, just to be clear, I think they want an exploration program but up to this point have been unwilling to actually pay what NASA believes it will cost.


Bolding my emphasis.

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