Author Topic: Frustration grows as lawmakers continue to penny pinch commercial crew  (Read 58032 times)

Online Chris Bergin

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/frustration-lawmakers-penny-pinch-commercial-crew/

Won't post this thread in space policy, to give everyone a say, but please keep it civil.

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9219
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3068
  • Likes Given: 8345
Nice article about the “quandary” we are in Chris!  :) Things seemed so much simpler during the Space Race... ;D
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Hodapp

Well stated...

My recommendation - give NASA a set budget of 25 billion/yr adj inflation and reconviene every 10 years for pass/fail in the eyes of congress then adjust accordingly.
Launches: 133, 134, 135, EFT-1  Scrubs: 134
Future: EM-1 & EM-2

Offline Joel

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 533
  • Wisconsin
  • Liked: 42
  • Likes Given: 42
Could it be in the interest of some of the commercial crew companies to have the whole program delayed? To avoid a downselect at a time when only SpaceX is ready to launch crews?

Offline mike robel

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2178
  • Merritt Island, FL
  • Liked: 233
  • Likes Given: 47
Nice article, Chris.  I have two observations/questions:

1.  With the ISS perhaps scheduled to be splashed in 2020 and no crew launch program scheduled to come on line till about (as I recall), 2015, what will the commercial market be for after ISS is splashed?

2.  If there is a very real possibility that SLS/Orion would be used for ISS Crew rotation in about 2017, then instead of spending money on the Asteroid Return Mission, NASA should then, instead of sending ballast on the launch vehicle, adapt/strengthen an MPLM or develop a new cargo carrier, that rides beneath Orion to resupply the ISS.

Offline wronkiew

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 186
  • 34.502327, -116.971697
  • Liked: 105
  • Likes Given: 125
Thanks. I think it laid out the facts concerning the ridiculous choices Congress has made without getting unbalanced.

Offline RocketmanUS

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2226
  • USA
  • Liked: 71
  • Likes Given: 31
Chris thanks for keeping this thread in the open for all to post.

As this is to be commercial taxi's and they are to have other customers other than the U.S. government they should be looking for private funding to invest in their commercial crew flights to LEO. Without knowing what their business plans are outside of U.S. government crewed flights it will be difficult for them to find private investors. Once SpaceX has it's F9 v1.1 successfully launched that might help a little bit to find some investors.

If Congress did cancel the James Webb Space Telescope to transfer funds to the commercial crew taxi I personally thinks this would be a good move. We could always built and launch a telescope later on. I think that we will have a better return on the LEO taxi's in the near term over the telescope.

The world once again could benefit from having three nations with the ability to send people to LEO.

I be more than happy to trade in the high speed train too for the LEO taxi's.  ;D

Two U.S. launch vehicles and three crew taxi's would be a nice new addition. A good start to future crewed space travel for man kind.

Could it be in the interest of some of the commercial crew companies to have the whole program delayed? To avoid a downselect at a time when only SpaceX is ready to launch crews?
Congress has the ability to add more funding to commercial crew program if they wanted to ( to much waste in other U.S. budget as we already know ). If they did down select they others that did not get funding could continue on their own, after all they were to have other business plan(s) other than the U.S. government as their only customer. It's not that much that is needed to keep all three going through their test flights compared the the whole U.S. yearly federal budget.

Edit:
Do I understand the article in saying NASA's budget might be $16.6B?
That would be going down by dollar and inflation.
If so that would remove the ability to send cargo or crew to the moon or Mars.
Then that looks like law makers don't want to have a crewed  BLEO program from NASA.
« Last Edit: 07/18/2013 07:30 pm by RocketmanUS »

Offline GBpatsfan

  • Member
  • Posts: 83
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 44
Quote
The United States – the most powerful nation on Earth and the world leader in space
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

Offline Maverick

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Newcastle, England - UK
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 24
Wow. That's the strongest I've read from Chris on SLS being a problem.

Offline EE Scott

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1154
  • Liked: 41
  • Likes Given: 149
Such a pathetic state of affairs.  I feel much despair.  Mismanagement in the extreme.
Scott

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks chaps!

Quote
The United States – the most powerful nation on Earth and the world leader in space
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

If not the US of A, then who?

Wow. That's the strongest I've read from Chris on SLS being a problem.

I like the vehicle, but what I wrote is a problem I've always thought was a problem.

Offline vt_hokie

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3036
  • Hazlet, NJ
  • Liked: 92
  • Likes Given: 252
In my dream world other space agencies around the world would get serious about human spaceflight and invest in the commercial crew endeavors.  A Dream Chaser atop the Ariane 6 would be a beautiful sight!

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7799
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 1299
  • Likes Given: 8742
Nice article Chris, but a very depressing read :(

Could you do an article discussing what the situation with the ISS is, and how definite a life extension after 2020 is?

The realization that the US will be paying off Russia indefinitely at ever increasing seat prices to get to a structure it owns and helped build just might make some of the Legislature reconsider there position.

Those American readers of this site might also like to contact their members of the Legislature and express their views on how sensible it is to continue to handing money to Russia, when they could be handing it to US companies for a much greater return to the US economy.

As others have observed all other flights outside of NASA staff are the responsibility of the FAA. Virgin Galactic flights will be under FAA, Xcorp Lynx will be under FAA and (should they succeed) Spacex crewed Dragon non NASA flights will also be under FAA rules, with most of the people being "spaceflight participants, " not astronauts.
« Last Edit: 07/18/2013 08:11 pm by john smith 19 »
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 mr. mark

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1996
  • Liked: 171
  • Likes Given: 0
Folks, we are running out of train track and SpaceX will be the only competitor to finish out the run (2015-2016) before funding is pulled. It's SpaceX with with Orion/ SLS as backup and that's only if SpaceX can meet the timeline 2014 for testing completion (not counting the manned flight test). (my prediction)
« Last Edit: 07/18/2013 08:36 pm by mr. mark »

Offline Go4TLI

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Liked: 95
  • Likes Given: 0
Could it be in the interest of some of the commercial crew companies to have the whole program delayed? To avoid a downselect at a time when only SpaceX is ready to launch crews?

SpaceX is hardly in a position to be ready to launch crews.  I would recommend against turning this into another "anti-SpaceX" conspiracy thread. 

None of this surprises me personally.  Some saw this train wreck coming for years......

Offline Todd Martin

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 149
  • Elgin, IL
  • Liked: 55
  • Likes Given: 77
As someone who enjoys playing with Lego, SLS carrying Orion with an ATV derived Service Module to the ISS would be lifting 21 tons (Orion) plus 20 tons (ATV) for a total of 41 tons. 

Since SLS Block 1 has a 70 ton capability and I've heard the payload penalty (due to differences in inclination between KSC and ISS) is around 20%, SLS Block 1 can carry about 56 tons to ISS.

Launching only Orion to ISS would be a LOT of ballast.  Orior & ATV is still only 73% of launch capacity. 

These are ROUGH figures, please do not attack me if they are a bit off.

So, an SLS Cargo plus Crew mission to ISS could deliver 4 people and about 8 tons of supplies given our current spacecraft.

Personally, I don't mind SLS.  Since there are no real commercial markets for a heavy lift vehicle (HLV) and HLV can be useful, it is reasonable for NASA to build one.  Saturn V worked pretty well in its day.   I would say SLS isn't the problem, it is the lack of a 56 ton payload to deliver to ISS that is the problem.

Offline RocketEconomist327

  • Rocket Economist
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 805
  • Infecting the beltway with fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free markets.
  • Liked: 82
  • Likes Given: 62
1.  SpaceX is hardly in a position to be ready to launch crews.  I would recommend against turning this into another "anti-SpaceX" conspiracy thread. 

2.  None of this surprises me personally.  Some saw this train wreck coming for years......

1. 2016 if we are lucky.

2. Many of us did - for different reasons coming from different perspectives.  No one in a position to change things wants to hear it. 

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 cro-magnon gramps

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1511
  • Very Ancient Caveman
  • Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 701
  • Likes Given: 5681
good one Chris, have felt the past 2 weeks that coming here has been like stepping out of reality, and into a bubble, what with SpaceX being the predominant topic, and SLS moving forward with consistently firm steps...

   now the bubble has burst and we have here the political effluent that has been permeating the two houses of congress... before commenting further, I'll just state I am looking forward to 51D Mascot's assessment of the situation...

my own view, "it could have been worse, and it might actually improve, though not to the extent that Mr Nelson and Rockefeller hope" 
"Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet." Maya Angelou
 Tony Benn: "Hope is the fuel of progress and fear is the prison in which you put yourself."

Offline Go4TLI

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Liked: 95
  • Likes Given: 0
I would say SLS isn't the problem, it is the lack of a 56 ton payload to deliver to ISS that is the problem.

In my opinion the problem is the lack of an integrated coherent strategy and tactics for this agency, moving goal posts, half-truths and exagerations, etc across all programs (past, present and future) that have plagued NASA since this administration took office. 

Not that congress is totally clean in all of this by any means but these are the fruits of the administrations actions, or lack of them, and what happens in the face of no leadership at the executive level.  And clearly NASA is not the only victim here, all in my opinion of course.   

Offline Go4TLI

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 816
  • Liked: 95
  • Likes Given: 0
1.  SpaceX is hardly in a position to be ready to launch crews.  I would recommend against turning this into another "anti-SpaceX" conspiracy thread. 

2.  None of this surprises me personally.  Some saw this train wreck coming for years......

1. 2016 if we are lucky.

2. Many of us did - for different reasons coming from different perspectives.  No one in a position to change things wants to hear it. 

VR
RE327

1.  So just to be clear, 2016 is three years from now and even you place the caveat of "if" in there.  That was my point.  Others could also be ready in that time under certain circumstances. 

2.  There is currently nothing to change.  This is the reality we are left with quite unfortunately and un-necessarily. 

Tags: