Author Topic: Frustration grows as lawmakers continue to penny pinch commercial crew  (Read 58037 times)

Offline 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

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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"
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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.
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Offline Joel

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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

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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

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Thanks. I think it laid out the facts concerning the ridiculous choices Congress has made without getting unbalanced.

Offline RocketmanUS

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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

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

Offline Maverick

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

Offline EE Scott

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Such a pathetic state of affairs.  I feel much despair.  Mismanagement in the extreme.
Scott

Offline 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

Offline clongton

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Boeing is watching the funding situation extremely close and have not signed the contract because (1) they had the worst funding situation of the three companies and (2) they do not really have a business plan that works on non-NASA pure commercial business while both SpaceX and Sierra-Nevada have factored in non-NASA business to their business plan. If the funding cuts go thru I expect to see Boeing drop out of the equation. They are a pure bottom-line company dedicated to squeezing as much as possible out of federal dollars while cheaping their own funding input. That's the way they operate. They are pure "Old-Space" and that's the difference between a corporation that has built its future on the unending government teat and the ones that build their futures on what space commerce can become without the government.
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Offline Go4TLI

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Boeing is watching the funding situation extremely close and have not signed the contract because (1) they had the worst funding situation of the three companies and (2) they do not really have a business plan that works on non-NASA pure commercial business while both SpaceX and Sierra-Nevada have factored in non-NASA business to their business plan. If the funding cuts go thru I expect to see Boeing drop out of the equation. They are a pure bottom-line company dedicated to squeezing as much as possible out of federal dollars while cheaping their own funding input. That's the way they operate. They are pure "Old-Space" and that's the difference between a corporation that has built its future on the unending government teat and the ones that build their futures on what space commerce can become without the government.

I would say that is grossly inaccurate.  Boeing is a company that makes most of the worlds airlines.  Boeing knows something about sizing and determining a market. 

As for the others, we really don't know what this "non-NASA commercial business" really is.  Do we know for sure they are really out there?  Do we really know what the liklihood is of them materializing?  Do we know if they do materialize if they will be a consistent revenue stream?  Where are the contracts? 

From a strategic perspective, Boeing has said that the business case will close assuming NASA is the only customer.  That would seem to make ample sense and not relying on going to NASA and saying the vehicle and integrated program it requires now requires more money because other revenue streams did not materialize. 

And, by the way, it was Bigelow who reached out to Boeing first.....

Offline Rocket Science

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Boeing is watching the funding situation extremely close and have not signed the contract because (1) they had the worst funding situation of the three companies and (2) they do not really have a business plan that works on non-NASA pure commercial business while both SpaceX and Sierra-Nevada have factored in non-NASA business to their business plan. If the funding cuts go thru I expect to see Boeing drop out of the equation. They are a pure bottom-line company dedicated to squeezing as much as possible out of federal dollars while cheaping their own funding input. That's the way they operate. They are pure "Old-Space" and that's the difference between a corporation that has built its future on the unending government teat and the ones that build their futures on what space commerce can become without the government.
That’s the way Boeing Company goes as being responsible to its shareholders and I have no problem with that. If it leaves us with two human rated launchers and spacecraft in case one was to go all “Proton” on us as a recent example...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Occupymars

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Boeing is watching the funding situation extremely close and have not signed the contract because (1) they had the worst funding situation of the three companies and (2) they do not really have a business plan that works on non-NASA pure commercial business while both SpaceX and Sierra-Nevada have factored in non-NASA business to their business plan. If the funding cuts go thru I expect to see Boeing drop out of the equation. They are a pure bottom-line company dedicated to squeezing as much as possible out of federal dollars while cheaping their own funding input. That's the way they operate. They are pure "Old-Space" and that's the difference between a corporation that has built its future on the unending government teat and the ones that build their futures on what space commerce can become without the government.
That's a bit harsh on Boeing and the other old space companies. At the end of the day put yourself in the shoes of Boeing's top space executive. Your job is to make as much money as possible for the company whatever the mean's and if you don't deliver "the big bucks" then someone else will. Don't blame the companies for being greedy after all greed is what drive's are economy.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Offline Port

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... Don't blame the companies for being greedy after all greed is what drive's are economy.

yeah and look how good that turned out to be

Online MATTBLAK

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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......

You're right; myself and some others said so two and three years ago also - but at best we were told we didn't know what we're talking about and at worst; had our posts deleted :( . For my part I was trying to be politically bipartisan, but perhaps others weren't. But it almost goes without saying that I'm disgusted that Commercial Space is being starved almost as much as NASA (SLS/Orion) is. Not supporting Commercial Crew is somewhat like cutting off one's nose to spite one's face... :(
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Boeing is watching the funding situation extremely close and have not signed the contract because (1) they had the worst funding situation of the three companies and (2) they do not really have a business plan that works on non-NASA pure commercial business while both SpaceX and Sierra-Nevada have factored in non-NASA business to their business plan. If the funding cuts go thru I expect to see Boeing drop out of the equation. They are a pure bottom-line company dedicated to squeezing as much as possible out of federal dollars while cheaping their own funding input. That's the way they operate. They are pure "Old-Space" and that's the difference between a corporation that has built its future on the unending government teat and the ones that build their futures on what space commerce can become without the government.

Each of Elon Musk's companies works directly or indirectly off the government teat, so let's not make that a bad thing. Telsa would not have been profitable last quarter if they weren't selling green energy credits to other manufacturers, not to mention the tax credits that each customer receives. Solar City also lives off those green energy tax credits. SpaceX lives off prefunded CRS flights, and deposits from commercial companies that are still waiting to have their payloads launched.

The United States of America is supposed to be a capitalist country. That means companies are in business to make money. Boeing has capital funds to invest. What is the best investment for their money, CST-100 or a new commercial airliner ? Who says there will be non-NASA business anyway ? "Built it and they will come" is not a great strategy.

Offline yg1968

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The Full House Science, Space and Technology Committee just approved the House's NASA Authorization bill.
http://science.house.gov/markup/full-committee-markup-hr-2687-national-aeronautics-and-space-administration-authorization-act
« Last Edit: 07/18/2013 11:19 pm by yg1968 »

Offline spectre9

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I blame SpaceX.

If they were not playing switcheroo with their rocket which was supposed to launch Dragon Boeing would have dropped out already cutting down on costs.

Now Boeing has an in because F9 v1.1 has taken so long. If it fails (might happen) Boeing will win.

If Falcon 9 v1.1 is successful there's no way Boeing could ever compete on seat price. That's the SpaceX advantage.

Now commercial crew needs $800m and possibly some sort of commitment to Boeing that they will not be shafted out any time soon.

In my opinion SpaceX cheated by being cagey about what F9 v1.0 was. An underpowered overpriced rocket that was never able to actually compete on the commercial market.

Offline billh

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This will require pursuing all development and certification work beyond the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) base period through Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contracts; making strategic decisions about the number of industry partners to retain in the certification phase; and finding ways to incentivize greater private investment by industry partners in order to reduce the government’s financial obligations for the program.

I'm curious why it would be important to Congress to specify that a FAR contract be used? I'm asking this as a serious question and would appreciate a thoughtful answer. Please don't just bash Congress. Thanks.

Offline Silmfeanor

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I blame SpaceX.

If they were not playing switcheroo with their rocket which was supposed to launch Dragon Boeing would have dropped out already cutting down on costs.

Now Boeing has an in because F9 v1.1 has taken so long. If it fails (might happen) Boeing will win.

If Falcon 9 v1.1 is successful there's no way Boeing could ever compete on seat price. That's the SpaceX advantage.

Now commercial crew needs $800m and possibly some sort of commitment to Boeing that they will not be shafted out any time soon.

In my opinion SpaceX cheated by being cagey about what F9 v1.0 was. An underpowered overpriced rocket that was never able to actually compete on the commercial market.
You've said this before. It wasn't pretty then and it isn't pretty now. Portraying stuff like this in black and white, good vs bad is not a nice way to conduct an argument. It blatantly misleads people into accepting good vs bad when that is a false dichotomy.

Take that to another thread, or make a new one. To blame SpaceX for lawmakers screwing around with the budget and making the wrong choices - in one word, ridiculous.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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I dont know what to say. I am very frustrated about this situation. I also think that these cuts to commercial crew are not really going to save any money. We will have to pay the Russians hundreds of millions for transporting astronauts to the ISS, after all (instead of maybe getting paid by others to transport their astronauts to the ISS).
I have my suspicions about their real motives behind that and I am sure they are fully aware of the consequences. I hope Obama vetos it.

Offline Go4TLI

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This will require pursuing all development and certification work beyond the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) base period through Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contracts; making strategic decisions about the number of industry partners to retain in the certification phase; and finding ways to incentivize greater private investment by industry partners in order to reduce the government’s financial obligations for the program.

I'm curious why it would be important to Congress to specify that a FAR contract be used? I'm asking this as a serious question and would appreciate a thoughtful answer. Please don't just bash Congress. Thanks.

Because FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) are how the government buys all goods. It's not pretty and drives up complexity and cost through the paperwork and deliverables required. Ironically, it is this complex in order to show transparency and a good use of tax payer dollars through those paperwork and deliverables.

Offline billh

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This will require pursuing all development and certification work beyond the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) base period through Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contracts; making strategic decisions about the number of industry partners to retain in the certification phase; and finding ways to incentivize greater private investment by industry partners in order to reduce the government’s financial obligations for the program.

I'm curious why it would be important to Congress to specify that a FAR contract be used? I'm asking this as a serious question and would appreciate a thoughtful answer. Please don't just bash Congress. Thanks.

Because FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) are how the government buys all goods. It's not pretty and drives up complexity and cost through the paperwork and deliverables required. Ironically, it is this complex in order to show transparency and a good use of tax payer dollars through those paperwork and deliverables.

Ok, you're saying that basically, they believe FAR is required to give NASA adequate control to ensure money is not wasted? So that, even if you might wind up spending more dollars because of the extra overhead, you have more confidence at the end you get what you wanted and what you paid for? Ok, that makes sense, given the initial premise of course. Thanks.

Offline spectre9

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You've said this before. It wasn't pretty then and it isn't pretty now. Portraying stuff like this in black and white, good vs bad is not a nice way to conduct an argument. It blatantly misleads people into accepting good vs bad when that is a false dichotomy.

Take that to another thread, or make a new one. To blame SpaceX for lawmakers screwing around with the budget and making the wrong choices - in one word, ridiculous.

NASA will take the blame.

They will protect SpaceX as much as they can.

SpaceX will not have their name tarnished at all and will come out looking like angels.

Letting SpaceX take as long as they like and giving them as much money as they can is seen as a means to an end.

It's possible that SpaceX will now get their act together and offer seat prices which will be much better than Boeing. That could be a good thing.

Boeing and Atlas V have been purposefully crippled down to the pace of SpaceX. They could've been flying much sooner but there's a perception that they would charge too much which is why NASA was so scared to go that route.

Offline yg1968

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This will require pursuing all development and certification work beyond the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) base period through Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contracts; making strategic decisions about the number of industry partners to retain in the certification phase; and finding ways to incentivize greater private investment by industry partners in order to reduce the government’s financial obligations for the program.

I'm curious why it would be important to Congress to specify that a FAR contract be used? I'm asking this as a serious question and would appreciate a thoughtful answer. Please don't just bash Congress. Thanks.

Apparently, the language was added because of the ASAP's suggestion that FAR (cost plus) contracts are safer than SAAs. But in reality commercial crew detractors in the House added this language because they don't like the use of SAAs and don't want it extended beyond the CCiCap base period. Ironically, this language no longer appears in the House's NASA Authorization bill because Rep. Rohrabacher (a strong supporter of commercial crew and cargo) insisted that it be removed.
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 12:03 am by yg1968 »

Offline billh

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This will require pursuing all development and certification work beyond the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) base period through Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contracts; making strategic decisions about the number of industry partners to retain in the certification phase; and finding ways to incentivize greater private investment by industry partners in order to reduce the government’s financial obligations for the program.

I'm curious why it would be important to Congress to specify that a FAR contract be used? I'm asking this as a serious question and would appreciate a thoughtful answer. Please don't just bash Congress. Thanks.

Apparently, the language was added because of the ASAP's suggestion that FAR cost plus contract are safer than SAAs. But in reality commercial crew detractors in the House added this language because they don't like the use of SAAs. Ironically, this language no longer appears in the House's NASA Authorization bill because Rep. Rohrabacher (a strong supporter of commercial crew and cargo) insisted that it be removed.

Thanks. And ASAP's safety issue presumably boils down to the transparency and control issue Go4TLI and I were discussing. That all hangs together and sounds reasonable. So even though there may be other, more cynical motives in the mix, their choice of FAR may be nothing more than a preference for taking the conventional approach to avoid risk. 

Offline Go4TLI

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FAR does NOT automatically mean cost plus. That is just a contract mechanism, one of many valid options

Offline yg1968

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This will require pursuing all development and certification work beyond the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) base period through Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contracts; making strategic decisions about the number of industry partners to retain in the certification phase; and finding ways to incentivize greater private investment by industry partners in order to reduce the government’s financial obligations for the program.

I'm curious why it would be important to Congress to specify that a FAR contract be used? I'm asking this as a serious question and would appreciate a thoughtful answer. Please don't just bash Congress. Thanks.

Apparently, the language was added because of the ASAP's suggestion that FAR cost plus contract are safer than SAAs. But in reality commercial crew detractors in the House added this language because they don't like the use of SAAs. Ironically, this language no longer appears in the House's NASA Authorization bill because Rep. Rohrabacher (a strong supporter of commercial crew and cargo) insisted that it be removed.

Thanks. And ASAP's safety issue presumably boils down to the transparency and control issue Go4TLI and I were discussing. That all hangs together and sounds reasonable. So even though there may be other, more cynical motives in the mix, their choice of FAR may be nothing more than a preference for taking the conventional approach to avoid risk. 

Rohrabacher made the point in a hearing last week that the ASAP is used to the traditional ways and that is why it suggested this. But Admiral Dyer has been a commercial crew detractor/skeptic in the past in a number of hearings. So I would take the ASAP's recommendations on the contract mechanism with some cynicism. SAAs have never been used for crew transportation in the past but that doesn't make them less safe.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Ironically, this language no longer appears in the House's NASA Authorization bill because Rep. Rohrabacher (a strong supporter of commercial crew and cargo) insisted that it be removed.
I dont understand why this is ironic? The commercial crew providers preferred the SAAs and Rohrabacher supports commercial crew.

Offline QuantumG

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Boeing and Atlas V have been purposefully crippled down to the pace of SpaceX. They could've been flying much sooner but there's a perception that they would charge too much which is why NASA was so scared to go that route.

Giggle. That's the opposite of what happened.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline yg1968

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FAR does NOT automatically mean cost plus. That is just a contract mechanism, one of many valid options

Yes, I know but there was some language in the ASAP report and in the House Authorization bill (which has since been removed) that suggested that cost plus be used for safety reasons. Fortunately, this language no longer appears in any surviving proposal.
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 02:58 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Ironically, this language no longer appears in the House's NASA Authorization bill because Rep. Rohrabacher (a strong supporter of commercial crew and cargo) insisted that it be removed.
I dont understand why this is ironic? The commercial crew providers preferred the SAAs and Rohrabacher supports commercial crew.

Sorry. I wasn't very clear. It's ironic because the appropriation bill is no longer consistent with the Authorization bill which would leave the decision up to NASA. I am guessing that the requirement to use FAR will not appear in the Senate's report to its appropriation bill. This issue isn't yet resolved. I am not sure what happens next. Hopefully, the issue gets resolved in conference.

P.S. Incidentally, maybe ironic isn't the best word. I couldn't think of another one.
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 12:35 am by yg1968 »

Offline spectre9

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Boeing and Atlas V have been purposefully crippled down to the pace of SpaceX. They could've been flying much sooner but there's a perception that they would charge too much which is why NASA was so scared to go that route.

Giggle. That's the opposite of what happened.

Perhaps I'm wrong then.

NASA wants to pay for services that aren't required and the lawmakers don't like payings those bills.

Whichever provider NASA is trying to slow down they're the ones causing the issue which requires more money than lawmakers are willing to provide.

NASA is the problem.

Offline docmordrid

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Let's not forget that unless something new happens on the Senate side, the House version and the Senate version will have to be reconciled in a joint Conference Committee. Once in the CC comprimises can be made, or the whole shebang rewritten. Then it would go back to each house for an up or down vote.
DM

Offline dark.blue.nine

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Things aren't quite as bad as the article makes them out to be.  The appropriators, who are the legislators that matter when it comes to budgets, have commercial crew up above $700M in both the House and Senate bills, which is a huge improvement over the $500M funding level provided in prior years:

"Although neither appropriations committee met the White House’s $821 million request for Commercial Crew, both approved more funding than the program has received since its inception. Senate appropriators set a new high water mark with a $775 million appropriation, well above the $489 million the program got in 2013 under NASA’s sequestered spending bill. The House, even in its sequester-level bill, provided $700 million."

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/36339senate-house-nasa-bills-far-apart-on-funding-close-on-some-priorities#.UeiekSDD9pM

Offline QuantumG

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Perhaps I'm wrong then.

NASA wants to pay for services that aren't required and the lawmakers don't like paying those bills.

Whichever provider NASA is trying to slow down they're the ones causing the issue which requires more money than lawmakers are willing to provide.

NASA is the problem.

I don't think there's really any evidence that a downselect to a single provider at this point would speed up the availability of commercial crew.

What would light a fire under them is declaring that only one provider will be selected and that it will be whoever flies a crew to the ISS first. In other words: a race.

If getting there faster was the goal, that's what they'd do. But I honestly don't see that this is the goal. NASA won't do that on their own, and I don't think Congress understands the situation enough to suggest it.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline cheesybagel

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The article makes one think that COTS was an initiative of the Obama administration but this was actually funded under the Bush Jr. administration back when Griffin was NASA administrator. As much as I despise Griffin for the Ares debacle credit is due here. What Obama did push for was commercial crew which was considered but not actually funded back then.

Like the article said the major reason for the delay in commercial crew is due to lack of funding. SpaceX basically needs to finish developing their rocket assisted ejection system. Of course if the same safety standards used for Shuttle were applied there wouldn't be a requirement for an ejection system and they could be flying crew right now.

Oh and Falcon 9 v1.0 was perfectly fine for the task. Just because Elon does a continuous push to drive down costs with Merlin-1D doesn't mean Merlin-1C wasn't already profitable as it were. It may seem surprising to people not in leading edge technology sectors but there is no thing like perfect and some things only happen with time. I am pretty sure they do not intend for Falcon v1.1 to be their last iteration towards cost-effective space flight either.

Offline cheesybagel

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If Falcon 9 v1.1 is successful there's no way Boeing could ever compete on seat price. That's the SpaceX advantage.
Last I heard, they were talking about flying the CST-100 on Falcon 9.  It's a real possibility that CST-100/Falcon, or even Dreamchaser/Falcon, will come out on top in the end.  Falcon can succeed in getting man-rated without Dragon also achieving that.

Anyway, I'm not sure I believe that ULA can't compete with SpaceX on price.  It's just that they'd rather not and it puts them in a terribly awkward position to admit that they could if they really wanted to.  They probably can't compete with SpaceX on vehicle price in such a way that they can be highly confident that it will be highly profitable.

I would be extremely surprised if there weren't already Plan B teams on both the Boeing and LM sides of ULA doing at least feasibility studies of their own boost-back stages and reusable uppers.

I doubt SpaceX would be willing to launch CST-100 on Falcon 9. But if Boeing really wants a cheaper launcher Antares has about the same payload. I sort of doubt the solid rocket powered second stage would be up to it but that is like the only problem I can think of.

I think a down select to one vendor is a big mistake. You have a much higher chance to succeed at actually delivering on cost and on time if you have more than one supplier. The optimum situation would be to have three suppliers. Having just one supplier is a really bad idea as can be seen in the progress of Ares vs EELV or COTS.

The highest development risk option is SpaceDev's and the lowest risk SpaceX's with Boeing's somewhere in the middle. But then again SpaceDev's solution is also the most technologically sophisticated option of the three. If I was in charge of NASA I would fund SpaceX and Boeing to get their versions up and running quickly while giving SpaceDev only limited funding to continue refining their vehicle more. I suspect shoveling money to their face wouldn't help them solve their problems any faster. Eventually if the project gets interesting maybe it will get picked up by the private sector or the DoD much like what happened with X-37.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Boeing and Atlas V have been purposefully crippled down to the pace of SpaceX. They could've been flying much sooner but there's a perception that they would charge too much which is why NASA was so scared to go that route.
Nonsense! Without competition there is no motivation for improvement or for lowering cost. One main reason for commercial crew was to lower cost. Competition keeps cost down. Monopoly keeps cost up. Basic economics!

Offline yg1968

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The article makes one think that COTS was an initiative of the Obama administration but this was actually funded under the Bush Jr. administration back when Griffin was NASA administrator. As much as I despise Griffin for the Ares debacle credit is due here. What Obama did push for was commercial crew which was considered but not actually funded back then.

I think that Chris was just trying to make the point that under the Obama Administration, cargo and crew needs for LEO were going to be entirely serviced by the commercial crew and cargo program (which made Ares I useless).

Commercial crew was specifically mentioned in the 2008 NASA Authorization bill when Bush was still president (and Griffin was still administrator). But it took a while for NASA to implement it and for Congress to fund it.

Offline SF Doug

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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.
"Frustration" is in the title of your piece, but not in the body.  Who is frustrated?  I know I am.  I want DreamChaser and Dragon flying to the ISS and Bigelow stations for decades to come (2020 splash of ISS would be...criminal).   I want space tourism.  I want to watch spaceships land on their tails like Rocket Ship Galileo, or slide onto Earth like Buck Rogers.  I want to see all the brilliant maniacs who work for SpaceX and Sierra jumping and laughing and kissing on every launch, docking, and landing.  I want to cry when I hear the first child talk to us from outer space.

Did you mean all of us in the nasaspaceflight.com community are frustrated?  or Spacex, Sierra Designs, and Boeing?  Perhaps you meant all of the hard-working, caring, honest NASA engineers, some my friends,  who are tired of working on projects where success was never a possible outcome. 

So, who is NOT frustrated?  Is there somebody who seeks power or money or the victory of wrong over right who believes that these irrational policies will further their aims?

Maybe they just hate us. 
Golf on Mars! (Beach balls and baseball bats? )

Offline MP99

Quote
This will require pursuing all development and certification work beyond the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) base period through Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based contracts; making strategic decisions about the number of industry partners to retain in the certification phase; and finding ways to incentivize greater private investment by industry partners in order to reduce the government’s financial obligations for the program.

I'm curious why it would be important to Congress to specify that a FAR contract be used? I'm asking this as a serious question and would appreciate a thoughtful answer. Please don't just bash Congress. Thanks.

Because FAR (Federal Acquisition Regulations) are how the government buys all goods. It's not pretty and drives up complexity and cost through the paperwork and deliverables required. Ironically, it is this complex in order to show transparency and a good use of tax payer dollars through those paperwork and deliverables.

Ok, you're saying that basically, they believe FAR is required to give NASA adequate control to ensure money is not wasted? So that, even if you might wind up spending more dollars because of the extra overhead, you have more confidence at the end you get what you wanted and what you paid for? Ok, that makes sense, given the initial premise of course. Thanks.

ASAP believe NASA will have more control over the safety of the final product this way.

Cheers, Martin

Offline Celebrimbor

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Frustration.  I always think that frustration is a positive, enabling emotion.  Frustration makes you want to change and flat out refuse to give in until something better is happening.

Labouriously working through a tedious calculation on paper, forced someone to consider a machine that could do the calculation for them.  The same emotion has delivered almost every innovation we have today.  Frustration is good.

I was happy to see this website openly expressing frustration in a headline.  Is there enough frustration yet?
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 07:48 am by Celebrimbor »

Offline woods170

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Boeing and Atlas V have been purposefully crippled down to the pace of SpaceX. They could've been flying much sooner but there's a perception that they would charge too much which is why NASA was so scared to go that route.

Giggle. That's the opposite of what happened.

What surprises me is that people still pay attention to spectre9. So far he has blamed SpaceX and NASA. Who's next? The tooth fairy?
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 08:36 am by woods170 »

Offline Occupymars

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... Don't blame the companies for being greedy after all greed is what drive's are economy.

yeah and look how good that turned out to be
Well go to North Korea and see what life is like there without free market's and capitalism which is driven by greed!
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 08:56 am by Occupymars »
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Offline john smith 19

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NASA will take the blame.

They will protect SpaceX as much as they can.

SpaceX will not have their name tarnished at all and will come out looking like angels.

Letting SpaceX take as long as they like and giving them as much money as they can is seen as a means to an end.
I will note that it is Orbital that has fallen behind in CRS and NASA handed them about $300m over and above what they had got from their initial competiton win. Spacex had to fight NASA worries to get a 3 test flight programme down to 2 and convince NASA that they were up to that challenge.

Quote
It's possible that SpaceX will now get their act together and offer seat prices which will be much better than Boeing. That could be a good thing.

Boeing and Atlas V have been purposefully crippled down to the pace of SpaceX. They could've been flying much sooner but there's a perception that they would charge too much which is why NASA was so scared to go that route.
Assertion. Evidence that Boeing has been slowed down?
Everyone has  been crippled down by the funding Congress has seen fit to hand out.

Your comments seem either very ignorant of history or are those of a troll.

Trolls get ignored.
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 john smith 19

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FAR does NOT automatically mean cost plus. That is just a contract mechanism, one of many valid options
Unfortunately AFAIK FAR25 gives NASA inspectors a lot of power to order changes with major cost implications, potentially to the level of bankrupting a company.

The reply to which is usually, "You want FAR25 nosiness you give us a cost plus contract."

Like the USG ability to unilaterally cancel contracts with no penalty it sounds a great tool to protect taxpayer money, but it's not.

Yes I do know there are other kinds of contract and they can give better results than firm fixed price or cost plus.

But that needs people of good will who are familiar with the options and can apply them. Even FAR25 could get the job done if the companies are focused on delivering the contract, not bulking up the costs.

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 Chris Bergin


"Frustration" is in the title of your piece, but not in the body.  Who is frustrated?

The frustration is via the quote from the CSF, who are clearly frustrated. They didn't say that word as a quote, which is why the title doesn't have frustration as in quotation marks.

Offline Chris Bergin

The article makes one think that COTS was an initiative of the Obama administration but this was actually funded under the Bush Jr. administration back when Griffin was NASA administrator. As much as I despise Griffin for the Ares debacle credit is due here. What Obama did push for was commercial crew which was considered but not actually funded back then.

I think that Chris was just trying to make the point that under the Obama Administration, cargo and crew needs for LEO were going to be entirely serviced by the commercial crew and cargo program (which made Ares I useless).

Commercial crew was specifically mentioned in the 2008 NASA Authorization bill when Bush was still president (and Griffin was still administrator). But it took a while for NASA to implement it and for Congress to fund it.

As above. Also, it wasn't a "complete history", otherwise we'd be talking 5,000 words just to get to the point.

On this subject, I had a lovely e-mail overnight from someone saying I'm - and here's your quotation marks - a "Limey b-----d c--t" for "sucking Obama's...." and apparently "dissing" SLS  in the article.

Blimey! ;D He clearly didn't read it properly, and apparently missed the 127 SLS articles I've written, which is more than any other site.

(Disclaimer: 99.9999 percent of Americans have always been brilliant towards me).
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 10:28 am by Chris Bergin »

Offline john smith 19

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Things aren't quite as bad as the article makes them out to be.  The appropriators, who are the legislators that matter when it comes to budgets, have commercial crew up above $700M in both the House and Senate bills, which is a huge improvement over the $500M funding level provided in prior years:

$700m sounds a whole lot better than $500m

Enough to see some of those "optional milestones" being funded?
I don't think there's really any evidence that a downselect to a single provider at this point would speed up the availability of commercial crew.

What would light a fire under them is declaring that only one provider will be selected and that it will be whoever flies a crew to the ISS first. In other words: a race.
I like that idea. Someone else mentioned that EELV seemed to progress faster with 2 entrants.
Quote
If getting there faster was the goal, that's what they'd do. But I honestly don't see that this is the goal. NASA won't do that on their own, and I don't think Congress understands the situation enough to suggest it.
I guess a good question would be how much money has NASA already paid to Russia for those seats? If they make advance payments to OSC and Spacex for deliveries years down the line presumably they've coughed up some cash already. :(

« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 01:52 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 yg1968

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Things aren't quite as bad as the article makes them out to be.  The appropriators, who are the legislators that matter when it comes to budgets, have commercial crew up above $700M in both the House and Senate bills, which is a huge improvement over the $500M funding level provided in prior years:

"Although neither appropriations committee met the White House’s $821 million request for Commercial Crew, both approved more funding than the program has received since its inception. Senate appropriators set a new high water mark with a $775 million appropriation, well above the $489 million the program got in 2013 under NASA’s sequestered spending bill. The House, even in its sequester-level bill, provided $700 million."

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/36339senate-house-nasa-bills-far-apart-on-funding-close-on-some-priorities#.UeiekSDD9pM


That article is incorrect. Although, the House has $700M in its authorization bill, the House only appropriated $500 million for FY 2014 in the report to its appropriation bill. The appropriators have the final say in what amount gets allocated.

See page 60 of the Report:
http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/hrpt-113-hr-fy2014-cjs.pdf
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 12:19 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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$700m sounds a whole lot better than $500m

IIRC, even that already meant a year delay for the program, as it is way less than what NASA requested. Every year delay means 400 million for the Russians. It makes no sense whatsoever to cut commercial crew.

Offline john smith 19

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$700m sounds a whole lot better than $500m

IIRC, even that already meant a year delay for the program, as it is way less than what NASA requested. Every year delay means 400 million for the Russians. It makes no sense whatsoever to cut commercial crew.
The Legislatures actions with regard to NASA and the space programme don't have to.

But I've got to admit "Every year you Mr/Mrs/Ms <Senator/Congressperson> delay Commercial Crew adds a further $400m to the money the US Government sends overseas"

does sound like it might a)Touch a chord in members of the Legislature b)Be simple enough for them to understand.
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 yg1968

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Things aren't quite as bad as the article makes them out to be.  The appropriators, who are the legislators that matter when it comes to budgets, have commercial crew up above $700M in both the House and Senate bills, which is a huge improvement over the $500M funding level provided in prior years:

"Although neither appropriations committee met the White House’s $821 million request for Commercial Crew, both approved more funding than the program has received since its inception. Senate appropriators set a new high water mark with a $775 million appropriation, well above the $489 million the program got in 2013 under NASA’s sequestered spending bill. The House, even in its sequester-level bill, provided $700 million."

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/36339senate-house-nasa-bills-far-apart-on-funding-close-on-some-priorities#.UeiekSDD9pM


The SN article has now been updated with the right numbers.

Quote
House and Senate appropriators are also hundreds of millions of dollars apart on the Commercial Crew Program. Neither appropriations committee met the White House’s $821 million request for Commercial Crew, but the Senate bill sets a new high water mark with a $775 million, well above the $489 million the program got in 2013 under NASA’s sequestered spending bill. The House, in its sequester-level bill, provided $500 million.
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 02:28 pm by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Not surprisingly, NASA is also frustrated about the House appropriation bill:
http://blogs.nasa.gov/weaverblog/2013/07/17/nasas-appropriations-committee-markup/

Quote
We are especially concerned the bill cuts funding for [...]  the innovative and cost-effective commercial crew program, which will break our sole dependence on foreign partners to get to the Space Station. The bill will jeopardize the success of the commercial crew program and ensure that we continue to outsource jobs to Russia.
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 04:22 pm by yg1968 »

Offline spectre9

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Boeing and Atlas V have been purposefully crippled down to the pace of SpaceX. They could've been flying much sooner but there's a perception that they would charge too much which is why NASA was so scared to go that route.

Giggle. That's the opposite of what happened.

What surprises me is that people still pay attention to spectre9. So far he has blamed SpaceX and NASA. Who's next? The tooth fairy?

So nobody is to blame? Put it all back on those grubby politicians for not giving enough money. The way NASA has run commercial crew has been a bit of a debacle from the start. Stringing along multiple providers for an uncertain future. NASA talks about "handing over LEO operations" but shouldn't they be trying to get out of LEO altogether?

So what if they needed a super expensive contract to fill the gap. Spacecraft built the way NASA wants them built are never going to be as cheap as Soyuz. American workers get paid more for a start.

Offline Lobo

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IIRC, even that already meant a year delay for the program, as it is way less than what NASA requested. Every year delay means 400 million for the Russians. It makes no sense whatsoever to cut commercial crew.

I agree it's stupid to keep sending money to the Russians.

However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

Not that I don't think commercial crew is cool, and wouldn't love to see Dreamchaser at the ISS.  But in reality NASA only needs a few crew missions to the ISS per year, and they are already developing a spececraft that can do it, which they will be paying for regardless of how often it flies.  Even if commercial crew is cheaper than Orion, they'll be paying for Orion -anyway-.  The more Orion flies, the cheaper per unit cost it will be.  And there's an existing EELV that can fly it.  Two actually, Atlas 552 (well, almost already existing) and D4H.  I believe Atlas will be the easier to man-rate though, an the cheaper of the two to use.
There should be a FH which could do it too, flying by the time Orion could possibly be ready to go to the ISS.

It's not a matter of paying for the expensive Orion -or- a cheaper commercial crew spacecraft, it's a matter of paying for just Orion or Orion plus a cheaper commercial spacecraft together.   Which I think will always be more than just Orion. 

Seems like a waste to cancel commercial crew at this point however.  This is a path I think should have been a part of NAA2010.

Offline mr. mark

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Reading back some posts not sure if things have been TOO mishandled as some are saying. Rocket science is hard and it takes time. SpaceX is scheduled for a pad abort test end of this year and a in flight abort test mid next year. A Dreamchaser prototype is undergoing testing and a drop test is coming soon. I guess people want the future tomorrow and that is just not going to happen. Commercial spaceflight has come a long way in a short time. As for me, I'm enjoying the journey not the destination.

Offline RocketmanUS

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IIRC, even that already meant a year delay for the program, as it is way less than what NASA requested. Every year delay means 400 million for the Russians. It makes no sense whatsoever to cut commercial crew.

I agree it's stupid to keep sending money to the Russians.

However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

Not that I don't think commercial crew is cool, and wouldn't love to see Dreamchaser at the ISS.  But in reality NASA only needs a few crew missions to the ISS per year, and they are already developing a spececraft that can do it, which they will be paying for regardless of how often it flies.  Even if commercial crew is cheaper than Orion, they'll be paying for Orion -anyway-.  The more Orion flies, the cheaper per unit cost it will be.  And there's an existing EELV that can fly it.  Two actually, Atlas 552 (well, almost already existing) and D4H.  I believe Atlas will be the easier to man-rate though, an the cheaper of the two to use.
There should be a FH which could do it too, flying by the time Orion could possibly be ready to go to the ISS.

It's not a matter of paying for the expensive Orion -or- a cheaper commercial crew spacecraft, it's a matter of paying for just Orion or Orion plus a cheaper commercial spacecraft together.   Which I think will always be more than just Orion. 

Seems like a waste to cancel commercial crew at this point however.  This is a path I think should have been a part of NAA2010.

Commercial crew taxi's are not just for ISS crew. They are for opening up a new non government crewed space frontier.

The ISS contracts would be their leg up ( starting point ). Once they start bringing crew to ISS they will have several years to prove them selves before starting a non government commercial venture.

And when could the earliest Orion with it's LAS be ready to take crew to ISS assuming it could use Atlas V?

Orion BLEO and commercial LEO taxi's are to different crew spacecraft.

Offline john smith 19

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I agree it's stupid to keep sending money to the Russians.

However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Except NASA stated neither EELV was crew rateable and only Ares1 could handle the mission with the level of safety NASA required.

Anything else is a revision of the actual (recent) history.

Quote
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.
No they can't. OTOH if adequately funded it looks like one or more of them could be flying with crew before Orion manages its first (uncrewed) flight. I'm not even sure anyone knows what an "adequate" level of Orion funding would be.
Quote
Not that I don't think commercial crew is cool, and wouldn't love to see Dreamchaser at the ISS. 
Irrelevant.
Quote
But in reality NASA only needs a few crew missions to the ISS per year, and they are already developing a spececraft that can do it, which they will be paying for regardless of how often it flies.  Even if commercial crew is cheaper than Orion, they'll be paying for Orion -anyway-.  The more Orion flies, the cheaper per unit cost it will be. 
That's superficially a plausible idea.
Except NASA has been working on Orion since 2002 and nothing, let me just repeat that nothing has flown.
In contrast CC started around 2008 and all vehicles are in at least preliminary drop test, with some going to launch escape system tests. The core of Crewed Dragon is already flying, collecting data and flight hours.
Quote
And there's an existing EELV that can fly it.  Two actually, Atlas 552 (well, almost already existing) and D4H.  I believe Atlas will be the easier to man-rate though, an the cheaper of the two to use.
Atlas is man rated, although I cannot recall if it's in that configuration. The problem is not for Orion.

Quote
There should be a FH which could do it too, flying by the time Orion could possibly be ready to go to the ISS.
People are worried about CC schedule slippage, yet you don't seem to think Orion's schedule will not slip a day?
Quote
It's not a matter of paying for the expensive Orion -or- a cheaper commercial crew spacecraft, it's a matter of paying for just Orion or Orion plus a cheaper commercial spacecraft together.   Which I think will always be more than just Orion. 
This is still wishful thinking. The only programme NASA have to carry out is SLS. NASA is already outsourcing the SM to ESA. Does that not suggest they are having problems with it?
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 Nate_Trost

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NASA is already outsourcing the SM to ESA. Does that not suggest they are having problems with it?

It suggests a political hedge against project cancellation.

Offline yg1968

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IIRC, even that already meant a year delay for the program, as it is way less than what NASA requested. Every year delay means 400 million for the Russians. It makes no sense whatsoever to cut commercial crew.

I agree it's stupid to keep sending money to the Russians.

However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

It wouldn't be cheaper. The cost of Orion was estimated to be more than $800M per unit a few years ago in a HEFT presentation.

Offline Lars_J

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I agree it's stupid to keep sending money to the Russians.

However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Except NASA stated neither EELV was crew rateable and only Ares1 could handle the mission with the level of safety NASA required.

Anything else is a revision of the actual (recent) history.

Yes, they said so at the time - but in hindsight we know that this was at best an exaggeration, and at worst a bald-faced lie.

Otherwise CST and DC would not be an option on the Atlas V.

Offline Lobo

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I agree it's stupid to keep sending money to the Russians.

However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Except NASA stated neither EELV was crew rateable and only Ares1 could handle the mission with the level of safety NASA required.

Anything else is a revision of the actual (recent) history.

Yes, they said so at the time - but in hindsight we know that this was at best an exaggeration, and at worst a bald-faced lie.

Otherwise CST and DC would not be an option on the Atlas V.

Bingo.  You beat me to it.  Yes, it would mean NASA reversing policy, but how would that hurt them at this point?  99% of the public and politicians would not even know they originally claimed EELV's were impossible to use.  And even if they -did- need an "excuse", they could just say a separate CLV is not required to loft the BLEO Orion CSM now, as SLS will be launching both crew and cargo together.  And "lack of ability" of EELV's to loft hte full BLEO Orion to LEO is not longer a factor.  An EELV only needs to get a short-fueled LEO version of the Orion CSM to LEO for ISS service, just like Saturn 1B couldn't launch the full BLEO verison of Apollo CSM, but it could launch a LEO version with a partial propellant load to LEO, and was used for Apollo 7, and Skylab 2, 3, and 4, as well as ASTP.  And this is basically just redoing that strategy...as there is no dedicated CLV now. 

Everyone but the space nerds here would hear that and think, "Yea, that sounds like a really smart idea.  I'm glad NASA thought of doing that."

:-)

Obviously NASA has unofficially reversed their stance on EELV's or they'd not allow any commercial crew bidders to be proposing using EELV's to launch NASA crews to the ISS.

Offline Lobo

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IIRC, even that already meant a year delay for the program, as it is way less than what NASA requested. Every year delay means 400 million for the Russians. It makes no sense whatsoever to cut commercial crew.

I agree it's stupid to keep sending money to the Russians.

However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

It wouldn't be cheaper. The cost of Orion was estimated to be more than $800M per unit a few years ago in a HEFT presentation.

But it's that based on the annual cost divided by the number of units per year?  If there's only one Orion per year, and the program costs $800 million per year, then it would be $800/unit, no?

But if there were four a year, it would be $200million per year.  That's still a lot per launch...but NASA will be paying that whether they are launching Orion, or just letting the production facility sit idle for the whole year.  So NASA paying that...plus whatever commercial crew will cost by the time it's finally downselected to one, and then the annual costs of that one, won't be more than just maintaining Orion alone.  It's an expense on top of Orion regardless of number Orion launches per year.

Or am I not understanding Orion's costs correctly?

Offline Lobo

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That's superficially a plausible idea.
Except NASA has been working on Orion since 2002 and nothing, let me just repeat that nothing has flown.
In contrast CC started around 2008 and all vehicles are in at least preliminary drop test, with some going to launch escape system tests. The core of Crewed Dragon is already flying, collecting data and flight hours.

Yea, well, unless Orion is cancelled in favor of a commercial crew provider adding BLEO capability into one of their spacecraft, then Orion will continue to be developed, and funded...regardless of if NASA is paying for Dragon to go to the ISS.  And if they aren't going to let a commercial crew provider go to the ISS prior to 2017 (silly in my book) then Orion should be ready to go by then too.


Atlas is man rated, although I cannot recall if it's in that configuration. The problem is not for Orion.


I believe Atlas 412 will be man-rated for CST-100.  So the Atlas CCB, the Atlas SRB, and two engine Centaur are to be manrated with continuation of CST-100.  Add four Atlas SRB's to that, and you have the 552.  I'm not sure if there's anything specficially different about the two configurations in terms of man-rating considerations.


People are worried about CC schedule slippage, yet you don't seem to think Orion's schedule will not slip a day?


Not saying that, I said that FH should be flying by the time Orion might be ready.  If that's 2017, then FH -should- have been flying for two years, baring some developmental delay. 
Now, could Orion be ready earlier than 2017?  Late 2017 is when SLS will hopefully be ready (no sooner for sure), and I'm sure they are scheduling Orion to match that.  But if Orion was cleared to launch on something available now, could Orion's schedule be improved some?  I don't know.  My guess is the SM might be a delay as I don't think they've even started it, but the CM could be ready ealier.
IF the SM were to cause the CSM to be delayed, maybe a LEO version could be made ready sooner.  All it really needs is a trunk with the ECLSS system like Dragon would have, and batteries that last long enough to get to the ISS.  I hope that wouldn't be the case though...what a depressing thought they couldn't even have a working CSM by 2017.


This is still wishful thinking. The only programme NASA have to carry out is SLS. NASA is already outsourcing the SM to ESA. Does that not suggest they are having problems with it?


I dunno.  I think the CM is proceeding fine.  Personally, I think the potential ESA SM is to defer some development costs, and utilize some existing hardware.  ESA developed ATV for just 5 missions.  Seems almost a waste to just retire it then.  I'm not necessarily a fan of an ESA SM, but I don't know that it forshadows doom either. 
But, I am worried about the SM.  But like I said, it really doesn't even need it to go to the ISS.  Centaur would place CST-100 in chase orbit with the ISS without a burn from a SMME.  I'd think the same would be the case for an Orion with a LEO "trunk", no?





Offline LegendCJS

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IIRC, even that already meant a year delay for the program, as it is way less than what NASA requested. Every year delay means 400 million for the Russians. It makes no sense whatsoever to cut commercial crew.

I agree it's stupid to keep sending money to the Russians.

However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

It wouldn't be cheaper. The cost of Orion was estimated to be more than $800M per unit a few years ago in a HEFT presentation.

But it's that based on the annual cost divided by the number of units per year?  If there's only one Orion per year, and the program costs $800 million per year, then it would be $800/unit, no?

But if there were four a year, it would be $200million per year.  That's still a lot per launch...but NASA will be paying that whether they are launching Orion, or just letting the production facility sit idle for the whole year.  So NASA paying that...plus whatever commercial crew will cost by the time it's finally downselected to one, and then the annual costs of that one, won't be more than just maintaining Orion alone.  It's an expense on top of Orion regardless of number Orion launches per year.

Or am I not understanding Orion's costs correctly?
He stated the cost of Orion itself, not including the cost to send it up. 

The greatest cost of advanced aerospace products is wages for the employees who build the products.

The conditions under which your calculation of Orion cost is accurate assume that a large team of workers involved just twiddle their thumbs 364.999 days per year drawing $800 million in salary , and when the order comes in for a new Orion it is built instantaneously at no marginal cost.

In reality the program will have instead a team sized such that working only one shift a day and only 5 days a week one Orion can be built and delivered in 1 year.  To first order, if 2 Orions are needed then man hour worked/ total costs roughly double, if 3 then total costs roughly triple, and so on and so forth, keeping the per unit cost roughly constant.  This all assumes that the development and design cost is not factored in, which is isn't when discussing the cost to the ISS specific budget for an Orion flight.  The much lauded benefits of mass production lowering per unit cost are not achieved when talking about single digit deliveries per year.
« Last Edit: 07/19/2013 11:00 pm by LegendCJS »
Remember: if we want this whole space thing to work out we have to optimize for cost!

Offline Lobo

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He stated the cost of Orion itself, not including the cost to send it up. 

The greatest cost of advanced aerospace products is wages for the employees who build the products.

The conditions under which your calculation of Orion cost is accurate assume that a large team of workers involved just twiddle their thumbs 364.999 days per year drawing $800 million in salary , and when the order comes in for a new Orion it is built instantaneously at no marginal cost.

In reality the program will have instead a team sized such that working only one shift a day and only 5 days a week one Orion can be built and delivered in 1 year.  To first order, if 2 Orions are needed then man hour worked/ total costs roughly double, if 3 then total costs roughly triple, and so on and so forth, keeping the per unit cost roughly constant.  This all assumes that the development and design cost is not factored in, which is isn't when discussing the cost to the ISS specific budget for an Orion flight.  The much lauded benefits of mass production lowering per unit cost are not achieved when talking about single digit deliveries per year.

So, you're saying that each Orion will cost roughly what an entire shuttle launch did, including hardware, processing, all the labor associated in that, etc.?
If four Orion's were ordered in a year, it would cost roughly as much as the entire Annual shuttle budget that averaged around four launches per year in the latter years?  And that's just four Orion CSM's sitting on the floor, not launching into space?

Well, I gotta say, that doesn't sound quite right.  But if it is, then I think NASA should close it's doors and get out of the HSF business altogether.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

I will take 2.5 commercial crew over Orion and the SLS any day. I would much rather see Orion and the SLS cancelled than commercial crew.
Also, IIRC Orion in its current incarnation can not even dock with the ISS.
Also, IIRC SLS and Orion wont be ready in time before the ISS is dumped into the ocean anyway.

Offline Chris Bergin


However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

I will take 2.5 commercial crew over Orion and the SLS any day. I would much rather see Orion and the SLS cancelled than commercial crew.

Are you using that "if we cancel SLS and Orion all that spare money will allow NASA to spend it on commercial and such" wishing on a star example?

It's more likely that money will leave NASA for good via all those lawmakers who you know would react badly. It'd be even more ironic of the removed money ended up getting spent as "international aid" in some backwards country where they burn American flags as their national past time. ;)

Oh, if there's any money left over from paying up all the SLS/Orion contracts and making all those highly skilled American workers redundant before funding a skills program that shows them how to flip burgers in their new career at a Burger King near you.

You all think money going to Russia is bad.....it could be a whole lot worse if you start waving the cancel wand all over the show.

"HA, very smart ass of you Chris, so what would you do?"

Refine the plan. I'll set up a thread on that later ;)

Offline KelvinZero

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I wonder if the fight could have been avoided by having 4 commercial candidates and allowing a bit of jiggering of the rules so that two of them ended up being shuttle derived. I think a lot of the arguments would have evaporated. In a couple of presidential terms maybe you could down select, or even better have fallen so much in the habit that 4 providers happens to match the 'needs' we (represented by all these interested parties) suddenly discover to ferry endless amounts of people and cargo to and from low orbit.

Im not sure jiggering is a word but it sounds right. :)

Offline LegendCJS

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He stated the cost of Orion itself, not including the cost to send it up. 

The greatest cost of advanced aerospace products is wages for the employees who build the products.

The conditions under which your calculation of Orion cost is accurate assume that a large team of workers involved just twiddle their thumbs 364.999 days per year drawing $800 million in salary , and when the order comes in for a new Orion it is built instantaneously at no marginal cost.

In reality the program will have instead a team sized such that working only one shift a day and only 5 days a week one Orion can be built and delivered in 1 year.  To first order, if 2 Orions are needed then man hour worked/ total costs roughly double, if 3 then total costs roughly triple, and so on and so forth, keeping the per unit cost roughly constant.  This all assumes that the development and design cost is not factored in, which is isn't when discussing the cost to the ISS specific budget for an Orion flight.  The much lauded benefits of mass production lowering per unit cost are not achieved when talking about single digit deliveries per year.

So, you're saying that each Orion will cost roughly what an entire shuttle launch did, including hardware, processing, all the labor associated in that, etc.?
If four Orion's were ordered in a year, it would cost roughly as much as the entire Annual shuttle budget that averaged around four launches per year in the latter years?  And that's just four Orion CSM's sitting on the floor, not launching into space?

Well, I gotta say, that doesn't sound quite right.  But if it is, then I think NASA should close it's doors and get out of the HSF business altogether.


I'm saying that to first order the model that the per Orion cost stays the same is more accurate than the model that the per orion cost decreases as 1/N.  Of the $800 million estimate of a single Orion per year, I'm sure that a sizable fraction is fixed overhead and its contribution to per Orion costs does decrease as 1/N.  How much is fixed overhead is really in the details.  Some large human spaceflight programs in the past have had huge fixed overhead because their budgets also had the responsibility to keep entire clusters of NASA centers open year around.  But I'm willing to bet that if the $800 million quote was generated by a specific auditing/ cost estimation process, then the assumption of parking center operating budgets in the small print or other such shenanigans is not being taken when coming up with the $800M number. Consequently, I believe that the fraction of the $800 million budget for an Orion that is fixed overhead is going to be in the minority compared to the actual man hours/ wages and materials and parts cost of a new Orion.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 01:37 am by LegendCJS »
Remember: if we want this whole space thing to work out we have to optimize for cost!

Offline HappyMartian

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However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

I will take 2.5 commercial crew over Orion and the SLS any day. I would much rather see Orion and the SLS cancelled than commercial crew.

Are you using that "if we cancel SLS and Orion all that spare money will allow NASA to spend it on commercial and such" wishing on a star example?

It's more likely that money will leave NASA for good via all those lawmakers who you know would react badly. It'd be even more ironic of the removed money ended up getting spent as "international aid" in some backwards country where they burn American flags as their national past time. ;)

Oh, if there's any money left over from paying up all the SLS/Orion contracts and making all those highly skilled American workers redundant before funding a skills program that shows them how to flip burgers in their new career at a Burger King near you.

You all think money going to Russia is bad.....it could be a whole lot worse if you start waving the cancel wand all over the show.

"HA, very smart ass of you Chris, so what would you do?"

Refine the plan. I'll set up a thread on that later ;)


Great post!

Offshoring our high tech jobs/capabilities is foolish and won't get us to the Moon and Mars.

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

Offline yg1968

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Adopting the Senate bill would solve a lot of problems. I am not sure another change of course is a good idea at this point. I am not a big fan of SLS and Orion. But I am not a big fan of changing course every four years either. The compromise that was the 2010 NASA Authorization bill is still the best way forward. The 2013 Senate Authorization bill seems supportive of getting international and private-public partnerships involved in BLEO. Hopefully that means more involvement by Bigelow and SpaceX (the FH) in cislunar space.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 01:35 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

I will take 2.5 commercial crew over Orion and the SLS any day. I would much rather see Orion and the SLS cancelled than commercial crew.

Are you using that "if we cancel SLS and Orion all that spare money will allow NASA to spend it on commercial and such" wishing on a star example?


No, I was saying that if I had to choose, I would take commercial crew. It was in response to someone who suggested just the opposite (cancel commercial crew and do only Orion). Get it?

Offline RocketmanUS

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However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

I will take 2.5 commercial crew over Orion and the SLS any day. I would much rather see Orion and the SLS cancelled than commercial crew.

Are you using that "if we cancel SLS and Orion all that spare money will allow NASA to spend it on commercial and such" wishing on a star example?

It's more likely that money will leave NASA for good via all those lawmakers who you know would react badly. It'd be even more ironic of the removed money ended up getting spent as "international aid" in some backwards country where they burn American flags as their national past time. ;)

Oh, if there's any money left over from paying up all the SLS/Orion contracts and making all those highly skilled American workers redundant before funding a skills program that shows them how to flip burgers in their new career at a Burger King near you.

You all think money going to Russia is bad.....it could be a whole lot worse if you start waving the cancel wand all over the show.

"HA, very smart ass of you Chris, so what would you do?"

Refine the plan. I'll set up a thread on that later ;)
As the article and this thread is about the commercial crew taxi let the commercial providers come up with the needed added funding so they can be launching crew to LEO sooner than later. After all they were to have non government customers and not rely on possible ISS crew rotation contracts.

We can't and should not wait around for Congress. We should have been seeing commercial space station(s) and Dragon lab(s) ( free floaters ) by now.

Offline Lars_J

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Are you using that "if we cancel SLS and Orion all that spare money will allow NASA to spend it on commercial and such" wishing on a star example?

It's more likely that money will leave NASA for good via all those lawmakers who you know would react badly. It'd be even more ironic of the removed money ended up getting spent as "international aid" in some backwards country where they burn American flags as their national past time. ;)

Oh, if there's any money left over from paying up all the SLS/Orion contracts and making all those highly skilled American workers redundant before funding a skills program that shows them how to flip burgers in their new career at a Burger King...

With all due respect, Chris, this is a bit of a fear-mongering argument. The NASA budget has remained fairly constant over the last couple of decades (inflation adjusted) STS was cancelled, the budget remained. CxP was cancelled, the budget remained. *If* SLS is cancelled, most of the budget will remain.

The representatives won't simply give up and vote the money to other districts - they depend on being able to provide work to their districts. The trick will simply (or not so simply) be to find ways to apply new NASA projects to the centers and work forces - and the representatives will support whatever to make that happen. Easier said than done, of course.

Offline john smith 19

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With all due respect, Chris, this is a bit of a fear-mongering argument. The NASA budget has remained fairly constant over the last couple of decades (inflation adjusted) STS was cancelled, the budget remained. CxP was cancelled, the budget remained. *If* SLS is cancelled, most of the budget will remain.

The representatives won't simply give up and vote the money to other districts - they depend on being able to provide work to their districts. The trick will simply (or not so simply) be to find ways to apply new NASA projects to the centers and work forces - and the representatives will support whatever to make that happen. Easier said than done, of course.

Fair points. Except NASA has no centre in Utah and yet, despite this, we keep seeing NASA crew carrying designs with massive lumps of high explosive strapped to their sides.

What's the running total on CxP and Orion? About $12Bn and Ares 1x was the only flight vehicle.

He stated the cost of Orion itself, not including the cost to send it up. 
The greatest cost of advanced aerospace products is wages for the employees who build the products.

The conditions under which your calculation of Orion cost is accurate assume that a large team of workers involved just twiddle their thumbs 364.999 days per year drawing $800 million in salary , and when the order comes in for a new Orion it is built instantaneously at no marginal cost.

In reality the program will have instead a team sized such that working only one shift a day and only 5 days a week one Orion can be built and delivered in 1 year.  To first order, if 2 Orions are needed then man hour worked/ total costs roughly double, if 3 then total costs roughly triple, and so on and so forth, keeping the per unit cost roughly constant.  This all assumes that the development and design cost is not factored in, which is isn't when discussing the cost to the ISS specific budget for an Orion flight.  The much lauded benefits of mass production lowering per unit cost are not achieved when talking about single digit deliveries per year.
Nice point. There is the "learning curve" drop of approximately 15% for every doubling in output that the USAF found, however that only applies for systems which are very labour intensive to mfg, which I guess Orion will be.
If you're right (and with Orion's projected launches I think you're spot on) that would make the Orion the Tesla Roadster of capsules and Crewed Dragon and SCT-100 the Prius  :o

Sp one Orion capsule could more or less bank roll a large chunk of the CCiCAP programme?

Staggering

On the Griffin, EELV and Ares I points:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/04/study-eelv-capable-orion-role-griffin-claims-alternatives-fiction/

Thanks for this useful reminder Chris. A useful antidote to a lot of wishful thinking.

2009 seems a long time ago in this discusssion  :( :(
Bingo.  You beat me to it.  Yes, it would mean NASA reversing policy, but how would that hurt them at this point? 

Obviously NASA has unofficially reversed their stance on EELV's or they'd not allow any commercial crew bidders to be proposing using EELV's to launch NASA crews to the ISS.
I'll take a wild stab and say because you've just eliminated SLS's only real mission, but SLS is the only programme that has to continue.

You have to realize SLS supporters in the Legislature only real concern is the jobs in their districts. They have no interest in wheather it flies or not.  :(
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 09:23 am 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 HappyMartian

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Oh, if there's any money left over from paying up all the SLS/Orion contracts and making all those highly skilled American workers redundant before funding a skills program that shows them how to flip burgers in their new career at a Burger King...

With all due respect, Chris, this is a bit of a fear-mongering argument. The NASA budget has remained fairly constant over the last couple of decades (inflation adjusted) STS was cancelled, the budget remained. CxP was cancelled, the budget remained. *If* SLS is cancelled, most of the budget will remain.

The representatives won't simply give up and vote the money to other districts - they depend on being able to provide work to their districts. The trick will simply (or not so simply) be to find ways to apply new NASA projects to the centers and work forces - and the representatives will support whatever to make that happen. Easier said than done, of course.

[/quote]


"The trick will simply (or not so simply) be  ....Easier said than done, of course."


Yep, through the guidance and wisdom of Congress and the President, Detroit is doing great in pulling off that not so simple "provide work" trick.

Let's see, American per capita income is around $50,000 or Ł33,000, however:


"'Detroit is now one of the poorest big cities in the country."

And, "For the 2010 American Community Survey, median household income in the city was $25,787, and the median income for a family was $31,011. The per capita income for the city was $14,118."

From: Detroit    Wikipedia
At: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit#Economy_of_Detroit


Oh well. I really like India, Vietnam, and Nigeria. With some American help and investment, they could eventually build the Orion, SLS, Dragon, Dream Chaser, and lots of other high and low tech stuff a lot cheaper than we could in America. We could save some big money that way, and India might even provide our national security umbrella for free!

Brilliant, right? We could privatize the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, NASA, and all the rest of our government, including Congress and the Presidency, and just offshore everything that costs real money. Then our environment would be clean and green and there wouldn't be any "Frustration".

Yep, America could simply become a great tourist destination for the rest of the world and become almost as impressive as Rome and Athens.

Our tourist guides could gush, "We once were very industrious and built the Panama Canal, Model T, Moon rocket, Mars robots, and other amazing things and today we'll tell you stories about those long gone days and sell you a genuine Saturn V trinket made in Bangladesh."

But why are many of the lawmakers in a rich and powerful country pinching every penny?

Why do we have some millionaires and billionaires paying minimal taxes, making and hiding their money offshore, and really not interested in investing money in their own country? Is their behavior a direct consequence of incompetently devised tax policies that mainly benefit millionaires and billionaires and unfortunately not Detroit and the rest of America?

Could it just be that we have had far too many lawyers and other great talkers in Congress and as Presidents and Mayors, and just not enough folks that have actually run profitable and thriving American manufacturing businesses?

Could it be possible that we voters never ask enough really tough questions and would prefer to intelligently discuss what the movie stars are up to?

Oh! Are real questions no longer encouraged because they make the NS_ and IRS unhappy? And if you make them unhappy, would you too soon be made unhappy? Self-censorship is the best kind, right?

Let's just continue to encourage the rich and powerful to offshore those jobs, OK? Yep, their profitable offshoring of jobs continues day after day and the President says, "Trust us!"

Wonderful! Let rich folks hide tens of trillions of dollars in secret offshore bank accounts and Congress pinch the space and other budgets until nothing is left. Congress always has lots of rich and poor 'friends' that need more money, and we really don't need humans living on that old BTDT Moon, right?

Yes! I finally got it! No questions, fear-mongering, frustrations, and thinking for this happy camper!
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Offline HappyMartian

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I'll take a wild stab and say because you've just eliminated SLS's only real mission, but SLS is the only programme that has to continue.

You have to realize SLS supporters in the Legislature only real concern is the jobs in their districts. They have no interest in wheather it flies or not.  :(

I'm confused. I thought the new secret plan was to splash the 100,000,000,000 dollar ISS in 2020, and that means we really don't need to keep on spending lots of scarce American tax dollars on LEO taxis. Since it has already been decided by the folks with money and power that we really aren't going to the Moon and eventually Mars, then we really don't need the SLS and Orion either. So all this is moot and not worthy of discussion because it has been resolved, right? Let's ask the NS_!
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Offline mlindner

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Honestly, if the contract becomes FAR-based, there is a good chance SpaceX might just drop out of the race. Elon has already publicly stated "we may not bid on it," if anyone's forgotten.

I actually hope this happens. It will show the <expletive deleted> in Washington that this is the wrong way of going about things.
« Last Edit: 07/21/2013 09:31 am by mlindner »
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Offline simonbp

Nice article about the “quandary” we are in Chris!  :) Things seemed so much simpler during the Space Race... ;D

Simpler, but no one is seriously talking about nuking each other, so that's rather more pleasant...

As much as we moan about how it slows down the first flight of commercial manned spacecraft, it means that any spacecraft that do fly are going to be really commercial, not a government contractor under a different name.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 12:34 pm by simonbp »

Offline yg1968

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Honestly, if the contract becomes FAR-based, there is a good chance SpaceX might just drop out of the race. Elon has already publicly stated "we may not bid on it," if anyone's forgotten.

I actually hope this happens. It will show the people in Washington that this is the wrong way of going about things.

I am hoping that the remaining development will be done under the optional CCiCap milestones. But NASA has already stated that the crewed test flights will be done under FAR.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 01:21 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Chris Bergin


However, in the scheme of things, if they put Orion with a partial propellant load on an Atlas 552, they could use that for the ISS and not need commercial crew.
Rather than funding Orion develop -and- 2.5 commercial crew providers that can do the same thing Orion can do.

I will take 2.5 commercial crew over Orion and the SLS any day. I would much rather see Orion and the SLS cancelled than commercial crew.

Are you using that "if we cancel SLS and Orion all that spare money will allow NASA to spend it on commercial and such" wishing on a star example?


No, I was saying that if I had to choose, I would take commercial crew. It was in response to someone who suggested just the opposite (cancel commercial crew and do only Orion). Get it?

Sure, but I personally don't like how it's all turned into a boxing match between between those *two* programs.

The way it stands right now - if these vehicles were people at a party - is you'd have Dragon, Dream Chaser and CST-100 all desperately fighting over the remains of the buffet, while a drunk and depressed (lack of missions) SLS would be on the end of a beer keg with Orion shouting "Chug! Chug! Chug!" ;D

Problem is, JWST would be upstairs rummaging through people's jackets stealing their wallets, but no seems to have a problem with JWST!

Get SLS into a detox program. Use the money saved on beer kegs by restocking the buffet for the Commercial Crew vehicles and send JWST to jail.

I have no idea if that'll make sense, but it might when I set up the "Let's play "refine the forward plan" Thread."


With all due respect, Chris, this is a bit of a fear-mongering argument.


A bit, for sure - but I certainly think there's a threat of that. I heard some big stories about Scorched Earth had FY 11 not been refined.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 01:16 pm by Chris Bergin »

Offline Rocket Science

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Nice article about the “quandary” we are in Chris!  :) Things seemed so much simpler during the Space Race... ;D

Simpler, but no one is seriously talking about nuking each other, so that's rather more pleasant...

As much as we moan about how it slows down the first flight of commercial manned spacecraft, it means that any spacecraft that do fly are going to be really commercial, not a government contractor under a different name.
Definitely more pleasant Simon!  ;) I still remember vividly having to walk single file to the basement of Holy Cross School in the Bronx with the air raid sirens blaring. That kind of stuff remains with you forever...
 
Black humor aside, the point is we were focused on a single goal with all oars rowing in the same direction as opposed to our circular going nowhere with the expenditure of a lot of effort needlessly...
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Now that's a pretty darn good article.

Quote
With technical issues between Orion and its launch vehicle, Ares I ...

A quiet, yet devastating summary of the management culture which has led to the current "wholly unsuitable scenario".
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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A) So, who is NOT frustrated? 

B)Is there somebody who seeks power or money or the victory of wrong over right who believes that these irrational policies will further their aims?

A) Those whose aims and goals are being met.

B) Yes.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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In reality the program will have instead a team sized such that working only one shift a day and only 5 days a week one Orion can be built and delivered in 1 year.  To first order, if 2 Orions are needed then man hour worked/ total costs roughly double, if 3 then total costs roughly triple, and so on and so forth, keeping the per unit cost roughly constant.

Well, we all know that nine women cannot get pregnant in one month, but this is not that problem.

What bothers me a great deal is that the actual object is so small, that, after the first two or three are made, how can it take a whole year to make one more of them?

It should be possible to at least make two a year with an experienced team.  They cannot be making a good effort to improve their manufacturing techniques.

$800M is too much money for a friggin' capsule.  There is a falsehood in those cost figures somewhere.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Joel

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Well, we all know that nine women cannot get pregnant in one month, but this is not that problem.

Are you completely sure of that?

Offline kch

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Well, we all know that nine women cannot get pregnant in one month, but this is not that problem.

Are you completely sure of that?

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Offline LegendCJS

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... The cost of Orion was estimated to be more than $800M per unit a few years ago in a HEFT presentation.

$800M is too much money for a friggin' capsule.  There is a falsehood in those cost figures somewhere.

This sounds like a call for a citation to me.  YG, do you have a link to that HEFT presentation, or at least can you tell me what the acronym HEFT stands for?

Edit: I think I found it: http://www.nasawatch.com/images/heft.presentation.pdf

JohnF, in the same presentation HEFT discussed 2 striped down CTV/Orion options that costed less.  The trade off is that they both options launch empty, and need Commercial crew launches to get people on board.  The cheapest one, costed at $400 million per unit, also has only a pittance dV of 200 m/s, while the upscale one costed at $540 million had 1.5+ km/s dv. The full up Orion at $840 million per unit launches manned, has the same larger dv capability, and has an escape tower ascent abort functionality.  That might give you some idea where the cost in the Orion is located.
« Last Edit: 07/20/2013 07:04 pm by LegendCJS »
Remember: if we want this whole space thing to work out we have to optimize for cost!

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So $400M for capsule, life support, de-orbit engines and heat shield. $140M for fancy propulsion. $300M for LAS (?!). Are those numbers inevitable outcomes of the requirements for dV and endurance, or not?

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Commercial crew taxi's are not just for ISS crew. They are for opening up a new non government crewed space frontier.

The what?  The __________ crew taxis are being developed with government money, and the us government is the only customer.  "Non government crewed"?  Who's going to put up the private capital for that?  The risks are so incredibly huge the government is the only one who can live with it.  And if worse comes to worse and the station is deorbited before one of the __________ crew vehicles is ready, the odds are better than 99.5% that those vehicles will cease to exist.  Is it any wonder that SpaceX is trying to get contracts for launching Air Force satellites, and has broken ground on a pad at Vandenberg?  HINT: You don't launch for Mars from Vandenberg!

There's little or nothing "commercial" about the __________ crew vehicles, which is why I refuse to use that word in that program title.  I prefer to think of them as "government commissioned," since they are being designed to meet government requirements.  I have nothing against the program and I hope they succeed (I'm personally a fan of CST-100 -- how can you hate an Apollo capsule with a Gemini-esque service module?), but I wish we would call a spade a spade.
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Offline clongton

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Another clueless poster
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Offline yg1968

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Commercial crew taxi's are not just for ISS crew. They are for opening up a new non government crewed space frontier.

The what?  The __________ crew taxis are being developed with government money, and the us government is the only customer.  "Non government crewed"?  Who's going to put up the private capital for that?  The risks are so incredibly huge the government is the only one who can live with it.  And if worse comes to worse and the station is deorbited before one of the __________ crew vehicles is ready, the odds are better than 99.5% that those vehicles will cease to exist.  Is it any wonder that SpaceX is trying to get contracts for launching Air Force satellites, and has broken ground on a pad at Vandenberg?  HINT: You don't launch for Mars from Vandenberg!

There's little or nothing "commercial" about the __________ crew vehicles, which is why I refuse to use that word in that program title.  I prefer to think of them as "government commissioned," since they are being designed to meet government requirements.  I have nothing against the program and I hope they succeed (I'm personally a fan of CST-100 -- how can you hate an Apollo capsule with a Gemini-esque service module?), but I wish we would call a spade a spade.

They are using more and more the expression "public-private partnerships" to avoid any misunderstandings about their nature.

Offline john smith 19

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Commercial crew taxi's are not just for ISS crew. They are for opening up a new non government crewed space frontier.

The what?  The __________ crew taxis are being developed with government money, and the us government is the only customer. 
Partly with govt money.
And unlike every previous NASA crewed system it is not designed by NASA, owned by NASA and operated by NASA

They are designed to operated from non NASA pads and will be the first crewed systems that the USG does not own the design for and operating rights of.

Part of the contract also requires the companies to invest internal funds as well and their business plan should look at other potential customers. Only Boeing has no other potential business, which is why they were rated "weak" in that area.

Quote
"Non government crewed"?  Who's going to put up the private capital for that?  The risks are so incredibly huge the government is the only one who can live with it.
And yet several space tourists have already visited the ISS and Bob Bigelow expects to set up a space hotel if his company can find a safe enough and cheap enough transport system. In fact if ESA or JAXA wanted to go the ISA I'm not sure if they could get a better price if they just called the winner direct and asked to put their crew (with the winner's pilot) on the manifest. IIRC with a non NASA flight and non NASA crew I think that would also put them under the FAA rather than NASA.

Perhaps you need to do a bit more reading and less posting?
Quote
  And if worse comes to worse and the station is deorbited before one of the __________ crew vehicles is ready, the odds are better than 99.5% that those vehicles will cease to exist. 
And the odds of ISS being deorbited before 2028 are
rather longer than the 1 in 200 odds you give that it will not survive. I'll be looking forward to Chris's article on that subject.

IOW The USG can look forward to continuing to hand Russia at least another $400m/yr for the foreseeable future.

Quote
Is it any wonder that SpaceX is trying to get contracts for launching Air Force satellites, and has broken ground on a pad at Vandenberg?  HINT: You don't launch for Mars from Vandenberg!
It's a business. It'll look to not be beholden to any single customer for its revenue. Doesn't ULA already have at least one pad there already?

Quote
There's little or nothing "commercial" about the __________ crew vehicles, which is why I refuse to use that word in that program title.  I prefer to think of them as "government commissioned," since they are being designed to meet government requirements. 
The difference is that they are meeting a set of requirements rather than having every detail about how those requirements are met spelled out in the contract.

That on its own make a huge difference to a normal NASA FAR25 Cost plus contract works. It's literally several hundred pages shorter.

It might also explain why after 7 years after contract start NASA already has 1 new LV and cargo carrier supporting the ISS, and should have 2 by the end of the year. It might also explain how since 2010 3 companies have built vehicles and are in flight test in some cases when the nearest NASA programme (Orion/MPCV) has not left the ground, despite twelve years of development and is not scheduled to do so for 4 more years, while the SM has been outsourced to the ESA. HINT: Outsourcing the development of a key component of the flagship crewed programme of the Agency would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

Quote
I have nothing against the program and I hope they succeed (I'm personally a fan of CST-100 -- how can you hate an Apollo capsule with a Gemini-esque service module?), but I wish we would call a spade a spade.
Because the developer is playing the old defense contractor trick of dangling a big contract offering a lot of jobs and telling the Legislature (in effect) "if we don't win we won't spend a cent continuing."
Something similar happened with ATK/Liberty. Anyone heard anything more from them either?

Personally I believe if properly funded all of them can and should be certified to dock with the ISS, but I would not guarantee any specific design would get a launch. Putting all the eggs in one basket is a very bad idea.
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Offline CNYMike

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Bob Bigelow expects to set up a space hotel if his company can find a safe enough and cheap enough transport system ....

If he does that, I'll be a believer.  Until he does, there will be no commercial market. 

Quote
..... the nearest NASA programme (Orion/MPCV) has not left the ground, despite twelve years of development ......


???? Twelve years would be 2001.  Are you saying they started working on Orion two years before Columbia?  That would be news to me.

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Offline CNYMike

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....They are designed to operated from non NASA pads....

Hair splitting: LC 40 and 41 are on Cape Caneveral Air Force Station, so technically, not NASA, but still USG.

Quote
.... the odds of ISS being deorbited before 2028 are
rather longer than the 1 in 200 odds you give that it will not survive.... 


If it's around past 2020, great.  (And the way the gov't "works," they probably won't hash out the details until the last minute.)

While I stand corrected on the details, government money is still bankrolling the New Crew Vehicles, and at the moment, the government is the only customer, with the only destination a government spacecraft.  Without government involvement, this would not be happening.  I'll be very happy when a truly private LEO market opens up.  But that has been promised for a very long time, and so far no delivered on.  And I still don't see the New Crew Vehicles as having being that yet.


I'll be looking forward to Chris's article on that subject.

IOW The USG can look forward to continuing to hand Russia at least another $400m/yr for the foreseeable future.

Quote
Is it any wonder that SpaceX is trying to get contracts for launching Air Force satellites, and has broken ground on a pad at Vandenberg?  HINT: You don't launch for Mars from Vandenberg!
It's a business. It'll look to not be beholden to any single customer for its revenue. Doesn't ULA already have at least one pad there already?

Quote
There's little or nothing "commercial" about the __________ crew vehicles, which is why I refuse to use that word in that program title.  I prefer to think of them as "government commissioned," since they are being designed to meet government requirements. 
The difference is that they are meeting a set of requirements rather than having every detail about how those requirements are met spelled out in the contract.

That on its own make a huge difference to a normal NASA FAR25 Cost plus contract works. It's literally several hundred pages shorter.

It might also explain why after 7 years after contract start NASA already has 1 new LV and cargo carrier supporting the ISS, and should have 2 by the end of the year. It might also explain how since 2010 3 companies have built vehicles and are in flight test in some cases when the nearest NASA programme (Orion/MPCV) has not left the ground, despite twelve years of development and is not scheduled to do so for 4 more years, while the SM has been outsourced to the ESA. HINT: Outsourcing the development of a key component of the flagship crewed programme of the Agency would have been unthinkable a decade ago.

Quote
I have nothing against the program and I hope they succeed (I'm personally a fan of CST-100 -- how can you hate an Apollo capsule with a Gemini-esque service module?), but I wish we would call a spade a spade.
Because the developer is playing the old defense contractor trick of dangling a big contract offering a lot of jobs and telling the Legislature (in effect) "if we don't win we won't spend a cent continuing."
Something similar happened with ATK/Liberty. Anyone heard anything more from them either?

Personally I believe if properly funded all of them can and should be certified to dock with the ISS, but I would not guarantee any specific design would get a launch. Putting all the eggs in one basket is a very bad idea.
[/quote]
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Offline LegendCJS

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  ..... the nearest NASA programme (Orion/MPCV) has not left the ground, despite twelve years of development ......
???? Twelve years would be 2001.  Are you saying they started working on Orion two years before Columbia?  That would be news to me.
I believe it is fair to lump in the efforts of the (pre Columbia) orbital space plane (OSP) program into the timeline when recounting why we are frustrated at the slowness.
« Last Edit: 07/21/2013 08:46 pm by LegendCJS »
Remember: if we want this whole space thing to work out we have to optimize for cost!

Offline sdsds

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Part of the contract also requires the companies to invest internal funds as well and their business plan should look at other potential customers. Only Boeing has no other potential business, which is why they were rated "weak" in that area.

I don't believe this telling of the story. More, I see no benefit in singling out one provider for "analysis" of this type.

Just sayin'.
-- sdsds --

Offline john smith 19

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  ..... the nearest NASA programme (Orion/MPCV) has not left the ground, despite twelve years of development ......
???? Twelve years would be 2001.  Are you saying they started working on Orion two years before Columbia?  That would be news to me.
I believe it is fair to lump in the efforts of the (pre Columbia) orbital space plane (OSP) program into the timeline when recounting why we are frustrated at the slowness.
Actually that was unfair of me. I'd recalled CxP as starting 2001 and it started 2004.

Lockmart have only had nine years to get it ready instead of the 12 I had claimed.

My apologies.

Assuming it flies in 2017 that will have only taken 13 years to build a scaled up Apollo capsule, rather than the 16 I thought. I don't think the SM will be part of it, but I don't want to make another howler with my memory.  :)
<stuff>
I suggest you do a preview before you post. You're quoting is off.
Part of the contract also requires the companies to invest internal funds as well and their business plan should look at other potential customers. Only Boeing has no other potential business, which is why they were rated "weak" in that area.

I don't believe this telling of the story. More, I see no benefit in singling out one provider for "analysis" of this type.
I suggest you read the progress reports of the competitors and the assessment of their proposals.

I could have said that 2/3 of all competitors had found non NASA business. The question was "What's not to like about CTS-100" and I'd start with that. Promising they will sign a lease (if they get the down select) is also a form of "negotiation" which I don't much like.
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.
Highly unlikely. They might cancel it to keep SLS alive.

Quote

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.

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.
By some yardsticks the cost of an Orion capsule or two.
Quote
Edit:
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.
Well they like the idea of a BLEO programme but launching it on SLS will be eyewateringly expensive and space will still be there in a few years, so as long as those folks stay employed moving forward to the launch however slowly that that pace is, it's all good with them.

Those on milestone based payments IE payment by results, seem a little more motivated to proceed at a slightly faster pace.
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Offline joek

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Part of the contract also requires the companies to invest internal funds as well and their business plan should look at other potential customers. Only Boeing has no other potential business, which is why they were rated "weak" in that area.
I don't believe this telling of the story. More, I see no benefit in singling out one provider for "analysis" of this type.

Agree if we're talking solely about crew in isolation.  If there are future commercial (non-NASA) markets, then it would generally apply to all contenders, although the willingness of each to pursue and invest in such potential markets may differ.

OTOH, a valid question is: How much of the entire crew system is dependent on NASA as the customer?  In that respect, SpaceX appears to have an advantage: greater economies and commonality with their commercial business of the LV (and possibly other parts).  Granted, Boeing and SNC obtain some of that with Atlas, but to a lesser extent.

Offline Occupymars

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And if worse comes to worse and the station is deorbited before one of the __________ crew vehicles is ready, the odds are better than 99.5% that those vehicles will cease to exist.
Unsubstantiated drivel.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Indeed. ALL the commercial crew providers have potential business beyond NASA, including Boeing.
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Offline SpacexULA

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At the very least Space Adventures has an established market $20 Million dollar flights to the ISS which require almost 8 months worth of training and medical exams.

If you can afford $20 Million the 8 months is the more painful cost that the $20 million price tag.

I can not help but think once the CCDEV vehicles are operational SA will be offering packages for free flight on said vehicles, at some price. 

Boeing/Bigelow already have a contract with Space Adventures.

http://www.newspacejournal.com/2011/04/18/on-ccdev-2s-eve-boeings-plans/

If ISS is splashed, it will leave a huge gap in micro-gravity research, all 3 vehicles can attempt to service the gap that the loss of the ISS's test racks will leave.  Just because the ISS budget is zeroed out does not mean that the budget for all research currently done at the ISS will be zeroed out also.  A manned moon/mars/astorid mission will still need equipment tested in microgravity, and the CCDEV vehicles will be the most cost effective way to test this hardware.

The simple truth is these capsules are just spacecraft, unlike the rockets they go to orbit on a high operational tempo is really not critical.  After development and certification if the Dragon/CST-100/Dreamchaser if they only fly to orbit once every few years, the companies behind them will not go broke because they already have other work the employees that work on the capsules can do.
« Last Edit: 07/21/2013 11:28 pm by SpacexULA »
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Offline R7

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There's little or nothing "commercial" about the __________ crew vehicles, which is why I refuse to use that word in that program title.  I prefer to think of them as "government commissioned," since they are being designed to meet government requirements.  I have nothing against the program and I hope they succeed (I'm personally a fan of CST-100 -- how can you hate an Apollo capsule with a Gemini-esque service module?), but I wish we would call a spade a spade.

govmercial crew?  :)
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Offline Occupymars

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There's little or nothing "commercial" about the __________ crew vehicles, which is why I refuse to use that word in that program title.  I prefer to think of them as "government commissioned," since they are being designed to meet government requirements.  I have nothing against the program and I hope they succeed (I'm personally a fan of CST-100 -- how can you hate an Apollo capsule with a Gemini-esque service module?), but I wish we would call a spade a spade.

govmercial crew?  :)
  :D
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Offline Occupymars

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I can not help but think once the CCDEV vehicles are operational SA will be offering packages for free flight packages on said vehicles, at some price.
Governments that's where the big buck's are! Just look at what ESA contributes to the Iss program in exchange for their one crew member a year. Basically an ATV and Ariane 5 that's over 500 million for a crew member. They could rent there own space station off of Bigelow for that kind of money. But yeah a free flight for tom cruise or something would be great advertisement for Bigelow  :)
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Offline newpylong

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Actually that was unfair of me. I'd recalled CxP as starting 2001 and it started 2004.


Off again. CxP introduction in Nov 2005, Orion development began soon therafter....

Offline Occupymars

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I can not help but think once the CCDEV vehicles are operational SA will be offering packages for free flight packages on said vehicles, at some price.
Governments that's where the big buck's are! Just look at what ESA contributes to the Iss program in exchange for their one crew member a year. Basically an ATV and Ariane 5 that's over 500 million for a crew member. They could rent there own space station off of Bigelow for that kind of money. But yeah a free flight for tom cruise or something would be great advertisement for Bigelow  :)
just realized you meant "free flight" and not a "free cost flight"
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Offline john smith 19

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just realized you meant "free flight" and not a "free cost flight"
I think a no cost flight for Tom Cruise would be a little too generous. :)

I could see Virgin Galactic being interested in this. I think they'd especially like the Dream Chaser with its whole land on a runway return, but really anything that goes full orbital would get their attention. Obviously for them more seat == more paying passengers.

Virgin has proved pretty comfortable buying in the enabling technology behind their products in the past. While they might prefer some upgrade of WK2/SS2 to reach orbit one day I think they are very pragmatic and know this would sell at the right price and launch rate.

A vehicle that did not use NASA facilities or NASA crew would also be completely off NASA rules and come under FAA rules, allowing the non crew members to be "spaceflight participants" not astronauts, and hence no 8 month training period in Russia (or Houston).
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Of course, "ALL the commercial crew providers have potential business beyond NASA, including Boeing".  Boeing, for example, has the incredibly reliable 787, which carries millions.  Boeing also build satellites, right?  None of the commercial crew providers have other actual business launching humans into space, to the ISS or anywhere else.  As to "potential" clients, there's tons of 'em.  They could data mine this site and find plenty of "potential business".

Yeah, "the USG can look forward to continuing to hand Russia at least another $400m/yr for the foreseeable future", but with a little bit of luck in the foreseeable future that shows serious signs of changing.  Given, naturally, a NASA HSF component, which is hoped for, but not guaranteed in law.  That we can tell.

Point being, there's only one private entity claiming that they can successfully land a complete "biosphere" for four people on Mars with a capital outlay of $6B.  Ignoring the few dissenters, and agreeing with the vast majority of believers, when (not if) that commercial provider flies, it will only provide four seats.

Technically, that company would, as a fair nit, be considered as a *cough* commercial *cough* provider.

Larger point:  I think CNYMike is more or less correct when he suggests that most "govmercial" (TM) crew rockets would probably stop development should NASA not have a human spaceflight component that is not served by the Russians.
« Last Edit: 07/22/2013 12:59 pm by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Actually that was unfair of me. I'd recalled CxP as starting 2001 and it started 2004.


Off again. CxP introduction in Nov 2005, Orion development began soon therafter....

Clearly, John Smith's point is a complete fail:

Assuming it flies in 2017 that will have only taken 13 years to build a scaled up Apollo capsule...

The capsule will certainly fly in only twelve years of development, and will probably cost hundreds of dollars less than the completely unaffordable lunar lander, keeping the USA well in the lead in HSF.

Quote from: JS
My apologies.

Apology accepted.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline newpylong

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Another swing for Fornaro, only a single this time though.


Offline R7

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Point being, there's only one private entity claiming that they can successfully land a complete "biosphere" for four people on Mars with a capital outlay of $6B.  Ignoring the few dissenters, and agreeing with the vast majority of believers, when (not if) that commercial provider flies, it will only provide four seats.

Hey, this stellar success will provide figmercial need for four seats every two years!
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Offline Rocket Science

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I’m going to throw my hypothesis out there again... The reason that giving the Russians millions of dollars without seemingly raising an eyebrow, is the cost of keeping them onboard with the ISS program. I sense it is some backchannel agreement in foreign aid or welfare for Roscosmos in keeping their engineers employed as it was when ISS was being planned.

The bluster we here in Committee about hitching rides from the Russians is only lip service and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone pushing for shifting the funds towards the Commercial Crew program in order to accelerate it...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline john smith 19

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Larger point:  I think CNYMike is more or less correct when he suggests that most "govmercial" (TM) crew rockets would probably stop development should NASA not have a human spaceflight component that is not served by the Russians.
That's a fair point. However NASA does have such a requirement and Chris has dropped hints that it will continue past 2020.

That being the case it seems that either NASA has not pressed it's case well enough to the Legislature that this is a good investment in the US space economy, not the Russian (which it is) or that indeed the Legislature has some other reason for a) Paying the Russians b) Not encouraging US based providers.

I prefer not to speculate what reasons these might be.  :(  :(

But as a non American, most of whose knowledge of your political system has been gained to figure out how and why NASA gets funded in the way it is,  I find this "strategy" just bonkers.  :'(
 




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Offline JohnFornaro

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Larger point:  I think CNYMike is more or less correct when he suggests that most "govmercial" (TM) crew rockets would probably stop development should NASA not have a human spaceflight component that is not served by the Russians.
That's a fair point. However NASA does have such a requirement and Chris has dropped hints that it will continue past 2020.

That being the case it seems that either NASA has not pressed it's case well enough to the Legislature that this is a good investment in the US space economy, not the Russian (which it is) or that indeed the Legislature has some other reason for a) Paying the Russians b) Not encouraging US based providers.

I point out that 2028 has been floated about as an end date for ISS.  Importantly, and completely lost to officialdom, is that there are good reasons to park ISS and turn it into a tourist site, run by a concession.  Perhaps by 2028, there will actually be private flights for tourists.

However, all the talk about govmercial crew flights having broad "markets" depends on insanely nuanced parsing.  The only market for the short term is NASA.  I don't have a problem with that principle.

I do have a problem with the cost of the capsule redux being so pricey and late. 

If it can be accepted for discussion purposes, that $12B would be the cost for a lunar lander, then it can also be accepted that a martian lander which must deal with twice the gravity and an atmo to boot, would cost $24B.

That aside to get back to the $12B or more capsule.  Lawmakers are frustrated because the work is not being accomplished, the costing is dishonest, and the prioritization misplaced.

I cannot for the life of me understand their animosity towards govmercial crew.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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I’m going to throw my hypothesis out there again... The reason that giving the Russians millions of dollars without seemingly raising an eyebrow, is the cost of keeping them onboard with the ISS program. I sense it is some backchannel agreement in foreign aid or welfare for Roscosmos in keeping their engineers employed as it was when ISS was being planned.

The bluster we here in Committee about hitching rides from the Russians is only lip service and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone pushing for shifting the funds towards the Commercial Crew program in order to accelerate it...

It's not a bad hypothesis at all, and shure seems anecdotally confirmed.  We literally could not keep ISS flying ourselves.  I keep floating my hypothesis that incompetence alone is not the problem; it is willful and deliberate "incompetence".
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline RocketmanUS

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Are you using that "if we cancel SLS and Orion all that spare money will allow NASA to spend it on commercial and such" wishing on a star example?

It's more likely that money will leave NASA for good via all those lawmakers who you know would react badly. It'd be even more ironic of the removed money ended up getting spent as "international aid" in some backwards country where they burn American flags as their national past time. ;)

Oh, if there's any money left over from paying up all the SLS/Orion contracts and making all those highly skilled American workers redundant before funding a skills program that shows them how to flip burgers in their new career at a Burger King...

With all due respect, Chris, this is a bit of a fear-mongering argument. The NASA budget has remained fairly constant over the last couple of decades (inflation adjusted) STS was cancelled, the budget remained. CxP was cancelled, the budget remained. *If* SLS is cancelled, most of the budget will remain.

The representatives won't simply give up and vote the money to other districts - they depend on being able to provide work to their districts. The trick will simply (or not so simply) be to find ways to apply new NASA projects to the centers and work forces - and the representatives will support whatever to make that happen. Easier said than done, of course.

If JWST, SLS, and or Orion were to be canceled it would be important to merge most or all of those assets ( people and infrastructure ) into existing and or new programs. Minimize the possible cancellation costs were possible. So to best put these resources to the crewed BLEO exploration program. Might be possible to transfer some of the Orion assets to the CST-100 commercial program.
 

Offline Rocket Science

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I’m going to throw my hypothesis out there again... The reason that giving the Russians millions of dollars without seemingly raising an eyebrow, is the cost of keeping them onboard with the ISS program. I sense it is some backchannel agreement in foreign aid or welfare for Roscosmos in keeping their engineers employed as it was when ISS was being planned.

The bluster we here in Committee about hitching rides from the Russians is only lip service and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone pushing for shifting the funds towards the Commercial Crew program in order to accelerate it...

It's not a bad hypothesis at all, and shure seems anecdotally confirmed.  We literally could not keep ISS flying ourselves.  I keep floating my hypothesis that incompetence alone is not the problem; it is willful and deliberate "incompetence".
IIRC the Russians have stated that they are pretty much done with ISS after 2020 and they want to explore the Moon and Mars....
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Robotbeat

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I’m going to throw my hypothesis out there again... The reason that giving the Russians millions of dollars without seemingly raising an eyebrow, is the cost of keeping them onboard with the ISS program. I sense it is some backchannel agreement in foreign aid or welfare for Roscosmos in keeping their engineers employed as it was when ISS was being planned.

The bluster we here in Committee about hitching rides from the Russians is only lip service and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone pushing for shifting the funds towards the Commercial Crew program in order to accelerate it...

It's not a bad hypothesis at all, and shure seems anecdotally confirmed.  We literally could not keep ISS flying ourselves.  I keep floating my hypothesis that incompetence alone is not the problem; it is willful and deliberate "incompetence".
IIRC the Russians have stated that they are pretty much done with ISS after 2020 and they want to explore the Moon and Mars....
I doubt it will actually happen. The Russians won't abandon ISS until it's ready to be deorbited. And unless there's a major accident, we simply WON'T be deorbiting it until well after 2020.
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Offline Rocket Science

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I’m going to throw my hypothesis out there again... The reason that giving the Russians millions of dollars without seemingly raising an eyebrow, is the cost of keeping them onboard with the ISS program. I sense it is some backchannel agreement in foreign aid or welfare for Roscosmos in keeping their engineers employed as it was when ISS was being planned.

The bluster we here in Committee about hitching rides from the Russians is only lip service and I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone pushing for shifting the funds towards the Commercial Crew program in order to accelerate it...

It's not a bad hypothesis at all, and shure seems anecdotally confirmed.  We literally could not keep ISS flying ourselves.  I keep floating my hypothesis that incompetence alone is not the problem; it is willful and deliberate "incompetence".
IIRC the Russians have stated that they are pretty much done with ISS after 2020 and they want to explore the Moon and Mars....
I doubt it will actually happen. The Russians won't abandon ISS until it's ready to be deorbited. And unless there's a major accident, we simply WON'T be deorbiting it until well after 2020.
I would doubt it as well as long as the “gravy train” keeps leaving the station or rather keeps going to it... ;D
« Last Edit: 07/22/2013 10:48 pm by Rocket Science »
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Offline Lobo

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I'm saying that to first order the model that the per Orion cost stays the same is more accurate than the model that the per orion cost decreases as 1/N.  Of the $800 million estimate of a single Orion per year, I'm sure that a sizable fraction is fixed overhead and its contribution to per Orion costs does decrease as 1/N.  How much is fixed overhead is really in the details.  Some large human spaceflight programs in the past have had huge fixed overhead because their budgets also had the responsibility to keep entire clusters of NASA centers open year around.  But I'm willing to bet that if the $800 million quote was generated by a specific auditing/ cost estimation process, then the assumption of parking center operating budgets in the small print or other such shenanigans is not being taken when coming up with the $800M number. Consequently, I believe that the fraction of the $800 million budget for an Orion that is fixed overhead is going to be in the minority compared to the actual man hours/ wages and materials and parts cost of a new Orion.

If accurate, that's certainly depressing.  I didn't realize Orion was made out of solid Platinum?
;-)

What was the annual and/or per unit cost of the Apollo CSM in today's dollars compared to Orion?  If significantly cheaper, why?


Offline Rocket Science

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I'm saying that to first order the model that the per Orion cost stays the same is more accurate than the model that the per orion cost decreases as 1/N.  Of the $800 million estimate of a single Orion per year, I'm sure that a sizable fraction is fixed overhead and its contribution to per Orion costs does decrease as 1/N.  How much is fixed overhead is really in the details.  Some large human spaceflight programs in the past have had huge fixed overhead because their budgets also had the responsibility to keep entire clusters of NASA centers open year around.  But I'm willing to bet that if the $800 million quote was generated by a specific auditing/ cost estimation process, then the assumption of parking center operating budgets in the small print or other such shenanigans is not being taken when coming up with the $800M number. Consequently, I believe that the fraction of the $800 million budget for an Orion that is fixed overhead is going to be in the minority compared to the actual man hours/ wages and materials and parts cost of a new Orion.

If accurate, that's certainly depressing.  I didn't realize Orion was made out of solid Platinum?
;-)

What was the annual and/or per unit cost of the Apollo CSM in today's dollars compared to Orion?  If significantly cheaper, why?


Platinum? Perhaps the much more rarer “unobtanium”...  ;D
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Offline beancounter

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I'm saying that to first order the model that the per Orion cost stays the same is more accurate than the model that the per orion cost decreases as 1/N.  Of the $800 million estimate of a single Orion per year, I'm sure that a sizable fraction is fixed overhead and its contribution to per Orion costs does decrease as 1/N.  How much is fixed overhead is really in the details.  Some large human spaceflight programs in the past have had huge fixed overhead because their budgets also had the responsibility to keep entire clusters of NASA centers open year around.  But I'm willing to bet that if the $800 million quote was generated by a specific auditing/ cost estimation process, then the assumption of parking center operating budgets in the small print or other such shenanigans is not being taken when coming up with the $800M number. Consequently, I believe that the fraction of the $800 million budget for an Orion that is fixed overhead is going to be in the minority compared to the actual man hours/ wages and materials and parts cost of a new Orion.

If accurate, that's certainly depressing.  I didn't realize Orion was made out of solid Platinum?
;-)

What was the annual and/or per unit cost of the Apollo CSM in today's dollars compared to Orion?  If significantly cheaper, why?


Platinum? Perhaps the much more rarer “unobtanium”...  ;D

'Yes but space is easy.  There's nothing there.  It's vacuum.'  Forget the rest but went along the lines of 'Down there, that's, what? 20,000 tons per square inch!'  Forgive the numbers.

The important point is that space is 'easy'.  Why is it taking so long??  And costing so much!! :D
Beancounter from DownUnder

Offline CNYMike

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.... However, all the talk about govmercial crew flights having broad "markets" depends on insanely nuanced parsing.  The only market for the short term is NASA.  I don't have a problem with that principle.....

And neither do I.  But I have the impression some backers of "govmerncial" crew are exaggerating the powers and reach of the private sector.  It comes back to the amount of risk; that's why raising private capital for HSF has been so difficult.  If it was that easy, we would have done it already.
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Offline Lobo

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I'm saying that to first order the model that the per Orion cost stays the same is more accurate than the model that the per orion cost decreases as 1/N.  Of the $800 million estimate of a single Orion per year, I'm sure that a sizable fraction is fixed overhead and its contribution to per Orion costs does decrease as 1/N.  How much is fixed overhead is really in the details.  Some large human spaceflight programs in the past have had huge fixed overhead because their budgets also had the responsibility to keep entire clusters of NASA centers open year around.  But I'm willing to bet that if the $800 million quote was generated by a specific auditing/ cost estimation process, then the assumption of parking center operating budgets in the small print or other such shenanigans is not being taken when coming up with the $800M number. Consequently, I believe that the fraction of the $800 million budget for an Orion that is fixed overhead is going to be in the minority compared to the actual man hours/ wages and materials and parts cost of a new Orion.

If accurate, that's certainly depressing.  I didn't realize Orion was made out of solid Platinum?
;-)

What was the annual and/or per unit cost of the Apollo CSM in today's dollars compared to Orion?  If significantly cheaper, why?


Platinum? Perhaps the much more rarer “unobtanium”...  ;D

Gold pressed Latinum?

Offline Rocket Science

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I'm saying that to first order the model that the per Orion cost stays the same is more accurate than the model that the per orion cost decreases as 1/N.  Of the $800 million estimate of a single Orion per year, I'm sure that a sizable fraction is fixed overhead and its contribution to per Orion costs does decrease as 1/N.  How much is fixed overhead is really in the details.  Some large human spaceflight programs in the past have had huge fixed overhead because their budgets also had the responsibility to keep entire clusters of NASA centers open year around.  But I'm willing to bet that if the $800 million quote was generated by a specific auditing/ cost estimation process, then the assumption of parking center operating budgets in the small print or other such shenanigans is not being taken when coming up with the $800M number. Consequently, I believe that the fraction of the $800 million budget for an Orion that is fixed overhead is going to be in the minority compared to the actual man hours/ wages and materials and parts cost of a new Orion.

If accurate, that's certainly depressing.  I didn't realize Orion was made out of solid Platinum?
;-)

What was the annual and/or per unit cost of the Apollo CSM in today's dollars compared to Orion?  If significantly cheaper, why?


Platinum? Perhaps the much more rarer “unobtanium”...  ;D

Gold pressed Latinum?
Then I guess we wouldn’t be able to build it for another 250 years or so even if we could afford it...
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Offline Star One

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Larger point:  I think CNYMike is more or less correct when he suggests that most "govmercial" (TM) crew rockets would probably stop development should NASA not have a human spaceflight component that is not served by the Russians.
That's a fair point. However NASA does have such a requirement and Chris has dropped hints that it will continue past 2020.

That being the case it seems that either NASA has not pressed it's case well enough to the Legislature that this is a good investment in the US space economy, not the Russian (which it is) or that indeed the Legislature has some other reason for a) Paying the Russians b) Not encouraging US based providers.

I prefer not to speculate what reasons these might be.  :(  :(

But as a non American, most of whose knowledge of your political system has been gained to figure out how and why NASA gets funded in the way it is,  I find this "strategy" just bonkers.  :'(

One reason I could think of to keep giving Russians money is the general principle that most politicians are risk averse. Better to keep paying the Russians for a tried & tested system they figure than even the slight possibility of losing American lives on new built US programs, that maybe unfair to such projects but that in my view is just how cautious (timid) politicians are these days. Also they might figure it's politically less contentious if something happens on somebody else's manned system than a domestic one.

Offline Rocket Science

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Larger point:  I think CNYMike is more or less correct when he suggests that most "govmercial" (TM) crew rockets would probably stop development should NASA not have a human spaceflight component that is not served by the Russians.
That's a fair point. However NASA does have such a requirement and Chris has dropped hints that it will continue past 2020.

That being the case it seems that either NASA has not pressed it's case well enough to the Legislature that this is a good investment in the US space economy, not the Russian (which it is) or that indeed the Legislature has some other reason for a) Paying the Russians b) Not encouraging US based providers.

I prefer not to speculate what reasons these might be.  :(  :(

But as a non American, most of whose knowledge of your political system has been gained to figure out how and why NASA gets funded in the way it is,  I find this "strategy" just bonkers.  :'(

One reason I could think of to keep giving Russians money is the general principle that most politicians are risk averse. Better to keep paying the Russians for a tried & tested system they figure than even the slight possibility of losing American lives on new built US programs, that maybe unfair to such projects but that in my view is just how cautious (timid) politicians are these days. Also they might figure it's politically less contentious if something happens on somebody else's manned system than a domestic one.
Then they may be playing a game of “Russian Roulette” which seems appropriate in keeping with the situation. Sending millions offshore as well as jobs is one thing, they might have to answer to a lot more in the event of a LOV or heaven forbid, LOC due to QC issues....
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline john smith 19

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Then they may be playing a game of “Russian Roulette” which seems appropriate in keeping with the situation. Sending millions offshore as well as jobs is one thing, they might have to answer to a lot more in the event of a LOV or heaven forbid, LOC due to QC issues....
Fair point but Soyuz has racked up a lot of flights without killing anyone and has a known workable crew escape system (which is part of why it hasn't killed anyone in a long time). For ELV's that kind of pedigree does count.

Note that does not mean some of those flights weren't  at high g and came down off target. It means everyone lived. I'd say "walked away" but it seems cosmonauts often have trouble with Earth gravity (although Ms Ansari managed to and said it's rather more to do that they don't keep up the exercise regime needed to stop muscle wastage). 

You're right that that QC is the Achilles heel of expendables. But they managed to keep flying without incident through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 so I guess things would have to get a lot worse there.

But it's still $60m/seat (and rising) going out of the USG's Treasury account abroad, when it could be going into the hands of US corporations and US workers.

Wheather that matters to US voters is another matter.
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Offline Rocket Science

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Then they may be playing a game of “Russian Roulette” which seems appropriate in keeping with the situation. Sending millions offshore as well as jobs is one thing, they might have to answer to a lot more in the event of a LOV or heaven forbid, LOC due to QC issues....
Fair point but Soyuz has racked up a lot of flights without killing anyone and has a known workable crew escape system (which is part of why it hasn't killed anyone in a long time). For ELV's that kind of pedigree does count.

Note that does not mean some of those flights weren't  at high g and came down off target. It means everyone lived. I'd say "walked away" but it seems cosmonauts often have trouble with Earth gravity (although Ms Ansari managed to and said it's rather more to do that they don't keep up the exercise regime needed to stop muscle wastage). 

You're right that that QC is the Achilles heel of expendables. But they managed to keep flying without incident through the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 so I guess things would have to get a lot worse there.

But it's still $60m/seat (and rising) going out of the USG's Treasury account abroad, when it could be going into the hands of US corporations and US workers.

Wheather that matters to US voters is another matter.
Yes Soyuz has flown a lot without an incident which means that the laws of probability may catch up with them. One can only mitigate risk unfortunately and not eliminate it...

If Soyuz were in the Commercial Crew competition today, it would not meet NASA’s human rating criteria

There is a saying that all politics is local. Though it may not matter to the voters overall, it does matter to the workers on the shop floor, their families and the local business communities impacted.
« Last Edit: 07/26/2013 11:54 pm by Rocket Science »
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Offline wronkiew

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Yes Soyuz has flown a lot without an incident which means that the laws of probability may catch up with them. One can only mitigate risk unfortunately and not eliminate it...

That's not one of the laws of probability, it's the Gambler's fallacy. Soyuz is either built by an extremely disciplined team or it is highly robust.

Offline Rocket Science

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Yes Soyuz has flown a lot without an incident which means that the laws of probability may catch up with them. One can only mitigate risk unfortunately and not eliminate it...

That's not one of the laws of probability, it's the Gambler's fallacy. Soyuz is either built by an extremely disciplined team or it is highly robust.
Please make note that I used the word “may” and not “will. BTW I don’t gamble...
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Offline john smith 19

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Yes Soyuz has flown a lot without an incident
No. Soyuz has had incidents with landings off course and high g landings and an LV explosion. The point was the crews survived that's what people mean by a "robust" design and it's what any of the CCiCAP vehicles would need to demonstrate.  That's why Spacex is ahead because they are racking up launches with a capsule fairly similar (but not identical) to their crewed offering.
Quote
which means that the laws of probability may catch up with them. One can only mitigate risk unfortunately and not eliminate it...
But historically the Russian designs have simply been more robust. They have traded absolute Kg to orbit performance with (for example) being able to launch in a 60 Kn cross wind.
Quote
If Soyuz were in the Commercial Crew competition today, it would not meet NASA’s human rating criteria
Which suggests a good reason for better funding CCiCAP, not less funding. But I think that's going to need a citation.
Quote
There is a saying that all politics is local. Though it may not matter to the voters overall, it does matter to the workers on the shop floor, their families and the local business communities impacted.
Unfortunately the most effective representatives of workers in the aerospace industry seem to be those in the SLS states.

Personally I think a fully funded CCiCAP puts money into US workers and US corporations and widens the industrial base, which gives more chance that US companies will win not just NASA business (one of them will at least anyway, by default) but business from other countries.

In principal the other ISS partners could buy a launch direct from any of the certified design suppliers and make their own way to the ISS, providing a suitable docking slot was available. This could be a significant sum of money to the US economy over time. What they brought would not be on NASA's dime, but their own.

Likewise the possibility of someone like Virgin Galactic buying orbital flights and of course the possibility that Bigelow gets his habitats launched would open up even more opportunities.

But that needs them to get to TRL9 IE a flight test to orbit.

That needs the Legislature to know people in their area care about this issue (IE they might not vote for them come election time if they don't do something positive about it).
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 JohnFornaro

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.... However, all the talk about govmercial crew flights having broad "markets" depends on insanely nuanced parsing.  The only market for the short term is NASA.  I don't have a problem with that principle.....

And neither do I.  But I have the impression some backers of "govmerncial" crew are exaggerating the powers and reach of the private sector.  It comes back to the amount of risk; that's why raising private capital for HSF has been so difficult.  If it was that easy, we would have done it already.

Absolutely.  The new appropriations bill should set the budget at nice round $18B; divvy it up along the lines of the Senate language, and get the damn thing passed.  The Republicans are the problem now.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Rocket Science

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Yes Soyuz has flown a lot without an incident
No. Soyuz has had incidents with landings off course and high g landings and an LV explosion. The point was the crews survived that's what people mean by a "robust" design and it's what any of the CCiCAP vehicles would need to demonstrate.  That's why Spacex is ahead because they are racking up launches with a capsule fairly similar (but not identical) to their crewed offering.
Quote
which means that the laws of probability may catch up with them. One can only mitigate risk unfortunately and not eliminate it...
But historically the Russian designs have simply been more robust. They have traded absolute Kg to orbit performance with (for example) being able to launch in a 60 Kn cross wind.
Quote
If Soyuz were in the Commercial Crew competition today, it would not meet NASA’s human rating criteria
Which suggests a good reason for better funding CCiCAP, not less funding. But I think that's going to need a citation.
Quote
There is a saying that all politics is local. Though it may not matter to the voters overall, it does matter to the workers on the shop floor, their families and the local business communities impacted.
Unfortunately the most effective representatives of workers in the aerospace industry seem to be those in the SLS states.

Personally I think a fully funded CCiCAP puts money into US workers and US corporations and widens the industrial base, which gives more chance that US companies will win not just NASA business (one of them will at least anyway, by default) but business from other countries.

In principal the other ISS partners could buy a launch direct from any of the certified design suppliers and make their own way to the ISS, providing a suitable docking slot was available. This could be a significant sum of money to the US economy over time. What they brought would not be on NASA's dime, but their own.

Likewise the possibility of someone like Virgin Galactic buying orbital flights and of course the possibility that Bigelow gets his habitats launched would open up even more opportunities.

But that needs them to get to TRL9 IE a flight test to orbit.

That needs the Legislature to know people in their area care about this issue (IE they might not vote for them come election time if they don't do something positive about it).
I was trying to be generous with the word “incident” as meaning LOC. As far as the other ISS partners attempting to visit the station with some other vehicle, they would need to clear a few hurdles...

Mid-term elections will be upon us soon and the people will have they say again, let’s see if anyone gets punished this time...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline Star One

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Yes Soyuz has flown a lot without an incident
No. Soyuz has had incidents with landings off course and high g landings and an LV explosion. The point was the crews survived that's what people mean by a "robust" design and it's what any of the CCiCAP vehicles would need to demonstrate.  That's why Spacex is ahead because they are racking up launches with a capsule fairly similar (but not identical) to their crewed offering.
Quote
which means that the laws of probability may catch up with them. One can only mitigate risk unfortunately and not eliminate it...
But historically the Russian designs have simply been more robust. They have traded absolute Kg to orbit performance with (for example) being able to launch in a 60 Kn cross wind.
Quote
If Soyuz were in the Commercial Crew competition today, it would not meet NASA’s human rating criteria
Which suggests a good reason for better funding CCiCAP, not less funding. But I think that's going to need a citation.
Quote
There is a saying that all politics is local. Though it may not matter to the voters overall, it does matter to the workers on the shop floor, their families and the local business communities impacted.
Unfortunately the most effective representatives of workers in the aerospace industry seem to be those in the SLS states.

Personally I think a fully funded CCiCAP puts money into US workers and US corporations and widens the industrial base, which gives more chance that US companies will win not just NASA business (one of them will at least anyway, by default) but business from other countries.

In principal the other ISS partners could buy a launch direct from any of the certified design suppliers and make their own way to the ISS, providing a suitable docking slot was available. This could be a significant sum of money to the US economy over time. What they brought would not be on NASA's dime, but their own.

Likewise the possibility of someone like Virgin Galactic buying orbital flights and of course the possibility that Bigelow gets his habitats launched would open up even more opportunities.

But that needs them to get to TRL9 IE a flight test to orbit.

That needs the Legislature to know people in their area care about this issue (IE they might not vote for them come election time if they don't do something positive about it).
I was trying to be generous with the word “incident” as meaning LOC. As far as the other ISS partners attempting to visit the station with some other vehicle, they would need to clear a few hurdles...

Mid-term elections will be upon us soon and the people will have they say again, let’s see if anyone gets punished this time...


Giving the appearance that you might be trying to run down Soyuz as a manned vehicle is not the way to go in this discussion, it's too proven a vehicle for that argument too hold any water.
« Last Edit: 07/27/2013 10:27 pm by Star One »

Offline newpylong

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Is it's track record even questionable at this point? I think the reliability speaks for itself.

Offline Rocket Science

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Yes Soyuz has flown a lot without an incident
No. Soyuz has had incidents with landings off course and high g landings and an LV explosion. The point was the crews survived that's what people mean by a "robust" design and it's what any of the CCiCAP vehicles would need to demonstrate.  That's why Spacex is ahead because they are racking up launches with a capsule fairly similar (but not identical) to their crewed offering.
Quote
which means that the laws of probability may catch up with them. One can only mitigate risk unfortunately and not eliminate it...
But historically the Russian designs have simply been more robust. They have traded absolute Kg to orbit performance with (for example) being able to launch in a 60 Kn cross wind.
Quote
If Soyuz were in the Commercial Crew competition today, it would not meet NASA’s human rating criteria
Which suggests a good reason for better funding CCiCAP, not less funding. But I think that's going to need a citation.
Quote
There is a saying that all politics is local. Though it may not matter to the voters overall, it does matter to the workers on the shop floor, their families and the local business communities impacted.
Unfortunately the most effective representatives of workers in the aerospace industry seem to be those in the SLS states.

Personally I think a fully funded CCiCAP puts money into US workers and US corporations and widens the industrial base, which gives more chance that US companies will win not just NASA business (one of them will at least anyway, by default) but business from other countries.

In principal the other ISS partners could buy a launch direct from any of the certified design suppliers and make their own way to the ISS, providing a suitable docking slot was available. This could be a significant sum of money to the US economy over time. What they brought would not be on NASA's dime, but their own.

Likewise the possibility of someone like Virgin Galactic buying orbital flights and of course the possibility that Bigelow gets his habitats launched would open up even more opportunities.

But that needs them to get to TRL9 IE a flight test to orbit.

That needs the Legislature to know people in their area care about this issue (IE they might not vote for them come election time if they don't do something positive about it).
I was trying to be generous with the word “incident” as meaning LOC. As far as the other ISS partners attempting to visit the station with some other vehicle, they would need to clear a few hurdles...

Mid-term elections will be upon us soon and the people will have they say again, let’s see if anyone gets punished this time...


Giving the appearance that you might be trying to run down Soyuz as a manned vehicle is not the way to go in this discussion, it's too proven a vehicle for that argument too hold any water.
I am not running down Soyuz. Any launch system has a statistical number for a LOM, LOV and LOC and there are cultural differences on what is acceptable or not.
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline erioladastra

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I can not help but think once the CCDEV vehicles are operational SA will be offering packages for free flight packages on said vehicles, at some price.
Governments that's where the big buck's are! Just look at what ESA contributes to the Iss program in exchange for their one crew member a year. Basically an ATV and Ariane 5 that's over 500 million for a crew member. They could rent there own space station off of Bigelow for that kind of money. But yeah a free flight for tom cruise or something would be great advertisement for Bigelow  :)

You equate benefit with crew - ESA gets scientific return for a number of payloads even when there is no ESA crew member.

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