Author Topic: Op-Ed by Dana Rohrabacher -Agency must regain edge to explore celestial frontier  (Read 5006 times)

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9769
  • Liked: 1459
  • Likes Given: 887

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8781
  • Australia
  • Liked: 3786
  • Likes Given: 892
Ha! So, I guess Dana finally had lunch with Bob Zubrin.

For years he's been cynical of any form of human spaceflight (robotic exploration has been so much more successful).
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9769
  • Liked: 1459
  • Likes Given: 887
Rohrabacher has been in favour of propellant depots and commercial crew for a while.

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8781
  • Australia
  • Liked: 3786
  • Likes Given: 892
Rohrabacher has been in favour of propellant depots and commercial crew for a while.

If you go listen to him ramble on about them in hearings you'll hear him occasionally say stuff like "although I think robots can do it better anyway". His support for depots and commercial crew seems to be temporary alliance to provide the evidence that human spaceflight is inherently too expensive.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline spectre9

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2403
  • Australia
  • Liked: 36
  • Likes Given: 67
Tried to have the EELV vs SLS argument and got shut down big time.

Has obviously done more homework on the subject and good on him too. Not enough people have been asking the hard questions.

Seems like a fairly big thumbs up for commercial technology development to me which Zubrin doesn't want.

Zubrin wants HLLV -> Mars Direct, no depot, no SEP so I'm not sure why QG thinks they would've had lunch.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9176
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 623
  • Likes Given: 339
Quote from: Dana Rohrabacher
The James Webb Space Telescope provides a clear example NASA seemed was clearly unprepared for its difficulties, and repeatedly surprised that it would take additional time and funding to accomplish the mission.

Fixed that for him.

Good Op-Ed piece, with one minor correction.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Tea Party Space Czar

  • President, Tea Party in Space
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
  • TEA Party in Space Czar
  • Washington DC
  • Liked: 222
  • Likes Given: 264
Rohrabacher has been in favour of propellant depots and commercial crew for a while.

If you go listen to him ramble on about them in hearings you'll hear him occasionally say stuff like "although I think robots can do it better anyway". His support for depots and commercial crew seems to be temporary alliance to provide the evidence that human spaceflight is inherently too expensive.


This is incorrect. 

We have worked closely with Mr. Rohrbacher and his staff and I can assure everyone here that the congressman does not want to shut down HSF in anyway, shape, form, nature, or relationship.  Mr. Rohrbacher believes deeply in HSF, specifically, American HSF. 

He has done his homework, and in our opinion, knows the NASA budget better than most. 

I'll stop here as I do not want to put words in the congressman's mouth.

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser
TEA Party in Space

Offline muomega0

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
  • Liked: 65
  • Likes Given: 1
Flight rate on the HSF or science side is actually a good thing, but not with oversized vehicles when multiple other options exist.

This however is puzzling:
Quote from: Rohrabacher
Unfortunately, NASA is pursuing NASA-built cryogenic technology, instead of leveraging the expertise and capabilities at Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, and other well-respected aerospace companies  that are well positioned and have great expertise on this technology

Is NASA is building a LEO zero boiloff depot not proposed by the major aerospace companies?

Offline jongoff

  • Recovering Rocket Plumber/Space Entrepreneur
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6262
  • Lafayette/Broomfield, CO
  • Liked: 2430
  • Likes Given: 805
Flight rate on the HSF or science side is actually a good thing, but not with oversized vehicles when multiple other options exist.

This however is puzzling:
Quote from: Rohrabacher
Unfortunately, NASA is pursuing NASA-built cryogenic technology, instead of leveraging the expertise and capabilities at Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, and other well-respected aerospace companies  that are well positioned and have great expertise on this technology

Is NASA is building a LEO zero boiloff depot not proposed by the major aerospace companies?

NASA Glenn is pursuing a Technology Demonstration Mission for "Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer" that would use a cryo payload built by NASA Glenn (using their preferred technical solutions) integrated by a TBD industry team member into an industry-designed and produced spacecraft bus. I think the RFI just closed, with a draft RFP due out late spring, and the actual RFP out late summer (after the SRR for the cryo payload portion of things, IIRC).

Personally, I have the same misgivings you do, but someone I was talking with made a good point--if NASA put the cryo payload out to industry bid, it might end up locking in whoever's proprietary solution wins the bid. Of course, the alternative is that this ends up locking in NASA's technology which might not be as good as industry's. I wish they could've found a way to do this cheaper so they could afford to try a couple variations on the theme instead of putting all their money into a big demo system like this.

Another thing I'm somewhat ambivalent about is that this TDM is explicitly focused primarily on proving out technology for the SLS CPS, not for depots. So it's leaving just enough depot technology unproven that depot detractors can continue to claim "we don't know if depots will work" even after we've spent several hundred million on a depot-focused TDM.

It's still much better than nothing, but I can't say I'm perfectly satisfied with the approach they're taking.

~Jon

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9646
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 465

Mr. Rohrbacher believes deeply in HSF, specifically, American HSF. 

He has done his homework, and in our opinion, knows the NASA budget better than most. 



I have known the congressman for over 20 years, and I have to concur. Mr. Rohrabacher is a fairly fervent supporter of opening the space frontier, not to a handful of civil servants, but to everyone.

Just because one may disagree with the traditional NASA approach to space does not mean opposition to space development.

To put this another way: if getting you personally a ride into space meant that the NASA budget should be reduced, would you support the NASA budget, or your ride?

« Last Edit: 02/05/2013 06:21 pm by Danderman »

Offline muomega0

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
  • Liked: 65
  • Likes Given: 1
Flight rate on the HSF or science side is actually a good thing, but not with oversized vehicles when multiple other options exist.

This however is puzzling:
Quote from: Rohrabacher
Unfortunately, NASA is pursuing NASA-built cryogenic technology, instead of leveraging the expertise and capabilities at Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, and other well-respected aerospace companies  that are well positioned and have great expertise on this technology

Is NASA is building a LEO zero boiloff depot not proposed by the major aerospace companies?

NASA Glenn is pursuing a Technology Demonstration Mission for "Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer"

Another thing I'm somewhat ambivalent about is that this TDM is explicitly focused primarily on proving out technology for the SLS CPS, not for depots.

~Jon

Oh nothing new...just the wrong problem....Trying to reduce the boiloff of an upper stage of SLS without killing mass fraction--the refueling approach, not depot approach, while adding substantial station keeping requirements to the transfer stage, and expending equipment that can last decades is expensive.  Per another part of congress, NASA can only work SLS issues....funny how that works..

edit:  add comparison of LEO depot vs refueling

Internal NASA Studies Show Cheaper and Faster Alternatives than SLS  http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1577

Advantages of Propellant Depot over Refueling in this link near bottom.

* Most expensive hardware/capability can be located on the depot to be re-used over and over again rather than be expended every flight
* The expendable CPS and delivery tankers can be made as dumb/cheap as possible
* Mass of the CPS that has to be pushed through thousands of m/s of delta-V can be reduced
* All of the important and costly avionic/software/IVHM can be on the depot
* The prox-ops and rendevousand docking systems can be on the depot, rather than on CPS
* The depot could do the last prox-ops maneuvers and even berth the tanker/CPS with an RMS
* Relieves CPS of need for active boil-off control for cis-lunar missions with few burns
* Reduces risk to CPS from MMOD by reducing required time in orbit prior to departure
* Reduces number of rendezvous events required to fuel CPS from many to one
* Reduces risk of LOM by decoupling propellant delivery flights from delivery of mission elements (i.e., elements stay on the ground until needed for mission)
* Opens the possibility to add other in-space services (e.g., maintenance and repair)
* Potential for multiple customers and creation of new commercial industry

Edit:  fixed links only
« Last Edit: 01/20/2014 10:12 pm by muomega0 »

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7786
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1289
  • Likes Given: 8724

NASA Glenn is pursuing a Technology Demonstration Mission for "Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer" that would use a cryo payload built by NASA Glenn (using their preferred technical solutions) integrated by a TBD industry team member into an industry-designed and produced spacecraft bus. I think the RFI just closed, with a draft RFP due out late spring, and the actual RFP out late summer (after the SRR for the cryo payload portion of things, IIRC).

Personally, I have the same misgivings you do, but someone I was talking with made a good point--if NASA put the cryo payload out to industry bid, it might end up locking in whoever's proprietary solution wins the bid. Of course, the alternative is that this ends up locking in NASA's technology which might not be as good as industry's. I wish they could've found a way to do this cheaper so they could afford to try a couple variations on the theme instead of putting all their money into a big demo system like this.
This reminds me of the CRYOTE proposal. Logically how many candidates for an upper stage can there be for this to fly on?
Quote
Another thing I'm somewhat ambivalent about is that this TDM is explicitly focused primarily on proving out technology for the SLS CPS, not for depots. So it's leaving just enough depot technology unproven that depot detractors can continue to claim "we don't know if depots will work" even after we've spent several hundred million on a depot-focused TDM.

It's still much better than nothing, but I can't say I'm perfectly satisfied with the approach they're taking.

~Jon
NASA seems to have been saying that they need to know more about cryogenic fluid movement under zero g and fluid transfer and gauging for decades. They might actually be doing it.

I've always thought that this is one of those "enabling" technology programmes NASA (fully closed cycle life support would be the other biggie but no one seems to care about that) should be doing so they have the skills and hardware on the shelf when needed. But insofar as it links into any current programme it would seem to be the SLS upper stage.

Provided they get the funding it's a start.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8781
  • Australia
  • Liked: 3786
  • Likes Given: 892
We have worked closely with Mr. Rohrbacher and his staff and I can assure everyone here that the congressman does not want to shut down HSF in anyway, shape, form, nature, or relationship.  Mr. Rohrbacher believes deeply in HSF, specifically, American HSF. 

Cool. Thanks for the correction.

Next time you see him, maybe slip him an invitation to Toastmasters?
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9646
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 465
We have worked closely with Mr. Rohrbacher and his staff and I can assure everyone here that the congressman does not want to shut down HSF in anyway, shape, form, nature, or relationship.  Mr. Rohrbacher believes deeply in HSF, specifically, American HSF. 

Cool. Thanks for the correction.

Next time you see him, maybe slip him an invitation to Toastmasters?

Dana Rohracher got his start as a speechwriter for some US political figure of the 1980s.

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8781
  • Australia
  • Liked: 3786
  • Likes Given: 892
Dana Rohracher got his start as a speechwriter for some US political figure of the 1980s.

Shame he gave up on it and just rambles now, eh?

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Tags: