Author Topic: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2  (Read 521353 times)

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #160 on: 02/14/2014 10:11 am »

I assume the relative positions haven't changed since the last selection statement, where Boeing was further along in design but SpaceX was willing to invest more. 

But Boeing and SpaceX have both received roughly the same amount of funding from NASA. Are you saying Boeing has progressed more cost effectively than SpaceX, since Boeing has spent less total funds on their vehicle ?

Interesting how a program can run on time / on budget once in a while.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #161 on: 02/14/2014 12:19 pm »
Boeing picked more conservative milestones than SpaceX did. Boeing picked more analysis and paper studies for their milestones, SpaceX picked pad abort and an in-flight abort. Is Ed honestly saying these are comparable /at all/??
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #162 on: 02/14/2014 01:00 pm »
Also, doesn't SpaceX's milestones include the launch vehicle? I might be wrong there.

Offline dcporter

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #163 on: 02/14/2014 02:52 pm »
Boeing picked more conservative milestones than SpaceX did. Boeing picked more analysis and paper studies for their milestones, SpaceX picked pad abort and an in-flight abort. Is Ed honestly saying these are comparable /at all/??

I wonder if he's saying they haven't done those things yet?

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #164 on: 02/14/2014 03:30 pm »
Boeing picked more conservative milestones than SpaceX did. Boeing picked more analysis and paper studies for their milestones, SpaceX picked pad abort and an in-flight abort. Is Ed honestly saying these are comparable /at all/??

I wonder if he's saying they haven't done those things yet?
There's another thing, however. All we've seen from Boeing is hardware mock-ups or test articles (the CST-100 airbag test was done with something much less than a real spacecraft) while SpaceX has flown 4 Dragons (variants which will carry crew) to orbit and reentered back safely on Earth, 3 of which carried pressurized cargo to and from the International Space Station, and a 5th is at the launch site now. Sure, the crewed one will be different, but this ought to count as far, far more than simply an airbag test.

I'm concerned with real hardware. Boeing's strongest point is not actually any CST-100 hardware (because they've shown very little real CST-100 hardware, which is a little disconcerting), but ULA's Atlas V (originally built by Lockheed Martin), which is definitely real hardware...

...although the variant that will launch commercial crew, the 422 with dual centaur, has never flown, unlike the F9 v1.1 which has already flown 3 times and will fly dozens of times before the first crewed flight to ISS.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2014 03:46 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #165 on: 02/14/2014 03:54 pm »
All we have seen are hardware mock-ups of the SpaceX crew capsule as well.

Stop comparing it to the cargo vehicle.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #166 on: 02/14/2014 04:07 pm »
All we have seen are hardware mock-ups of the SpaceX crew capsule as well.

Stop comparing it to the cargo vehicle.
Why? It's a completely valid point. You don't get to ignore it because it goes against your opinion.

..It's also a valid point that SpaceX hasn't shown hardware of the crew variant (and that Atlas V itself has flown dozens of times successfully--admittedly not the same variant as will be used), but Boeing has shown neither (of course, Boeing didn't with COTS/CRS, although arguably the competition essentially unfairly excluded proposals that used EELVs... I think that at the time it probably wasn't the best decision to exclude EELVs). The basic design /is/ the same, though. The basic mission profile is also the same.

My only point is a response to Ed's claim that Boeing is "ahead." That doesn't seem to be the case at all. Pre-COTS, absolutely Boeing was ahead by miles. But SpaceX got a huge leg up when they won COTS, especially now that v1.1 has had several flights with Dragon and v1.0 having flown several times, as well.

We have seen the parachute test with the new configuration of parachute tested on a Dragon capsule, however.

I have no doubt in my mind that Boeing can do it, I just don't think it's fair to say they're "ahead."

...when is Boeing planning a pad abort test (if they are)?
« Last Edit: 02/14/2014 04:16 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #167 on: 02/14/2014 04:54 pm »
According to this:
http://www.spacenews.com/article/boeing-nears-selection-rocket-initial-flights-cst-100-crew-capsule
"Ultimately, Elbon said, Boeing expects to conduct a pad abort test of the CST-100 crew escape system in 2013 followed by two unmanned flight tests the following year."

...Boeing planned the pad abort test last year. Didn't happen, yet. Of course, it wasn't set as a milestone, either.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline woods170

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #168 on: 02/14/2014 08:36 pm »
According to this:
http://www.spacenews.com/article/boeing-nears-selection-rocket-initial-flights-cst-100-crew-capsule
"Ultimately, Elbon said, Boeing expects to conduct a pad abort test of the CST-100 crew escape system in 2013 followed by two unmanned flight tests the following year."

...Boeing planned the pad abort test last year. Didn't happen, yet. Of course, it wasn't set as a milestone, either.
Then again, pad abort for the SpaceX vehicle was originally planned for late 2013 as well. Didn't happen, yet.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #169 on: 02/14/2014 08:37 pm »
According to this:
http://www.spacenews.com/article/boeing-nears-selection-rocket-initial-flights-cst-100-crew-capsule
"Ultimately, Elbon said, Boeing expects to conduct a pad abort test of the CST-100 crew escape system in 2013 followed by two unmanned flight tests the following year."

...Boeing planned the pad abort test last year. Didn't happen, yet. Of course, it wasn't set as a milestone, either.
Then again, pad abort for the SpaceX vehicle was originally planned for late 2013 as well. Didn't happen, yet.
Good point. But it may happen soon, and almost surely before the CST-100 pad abort (which isn't scheduled?).

I'm merely saying that Boeing really /doesn't/ appear to be ahead.

...Additionally, I expect both Boeing and SpaceX to suffer slips. The question is who will slip more.
« Last Edit: 02/14/2014 08:43 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online docmordrid

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #170 on: 02/14/2014 11:08 pm »
There is also Boeing saying they're talking to SpaceX about using Falcon 9 after their contracted Atlas V HR flights (2?) Business case v. price.

ISTM this wouldn't indicate a closed business case, and if so why would SpaceX help them close it?

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_07_01_2013_p26-589690.xml

Quote
>
At the recent Space Tech Expo in Long Beach, Calif., he said CST-100 “can be operational as soon as 2016.
>
"....We'll be going over [to SpaceX] soon to see what it will take to make sure our new vehicle is compatible with the Falcon 9. If the price point stays extremely attractive then that is the smart thing to do.”
>
« Last Edit: 02/14/2014 11:11 pm by docmordrid »
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #171 on: 02/14/2014 11:42 pm »
There is also Boeing saying they're talking to SpaceX about using Falcon 9 after their contracted Atlas V HR flights (2?) Business case v. price.

ISTM this wouldn't indicate a closed business case, and if so why would SpaceX help them close it?

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_07_01_2013_p26-589690.xml
{snip}

On the half a loaf is worth more than no loaf principle.

The LV part of SpaceX would make money from the launch even if the spacecraft part does not.

Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #172 on: 02/15/2014 12:03 am »
Boeing picked more conservative milestones than SpaceX did. Boeing picked more analysis and paper studies for their milestones, SpaceX picked pad abort and an in-flight abort. Is Ed honestly saying these are comparable /at all/??

Is Ed honestly saying that paperwork counts more than actual flown hardware?
Say it ain't so Ed. ::)
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline joek

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #173 on: 02/15/2014 12:55 am »
Boeing picked more conservative milestones than SpaceX did. Boeing picked more analysis and paper studies for their milestones, SpaceX picked pad abort and an in-flight abort. Is Ed honestly saying these are comparable /at all/??

Remember that one of NASA's goals was to have two contenders at CDR at the end of the CCiCap base period; that appears to be coming true.  Undoubtedly there were negotiations over milestones and content with NASA, so the milestones in the resulting SAA's are not necessarily representative of what was originally proposed.

Does that tell us much about who is ahead?  Not really, although one could argue that SpaceX's pad and in-flight abort tests are beyond CDR.  Then again, those have been pushed back, so maybe they're not so far ahead?  (Also note no word on the "Dragon Primary Structure Qualification" milestone, which was to be completed last month after the pad abort test.)

In any case, the real prize is CCtCap.  Boeing may have positioned themselves to better compete for CCtCap at the expense of CCiCap.  In particular, certification (that was one of the strengths noted in the CCiCap selection statement), and if the notional schedules are to be believed, that is where the majority of the time and effort will be spent for CCtCap.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2014 01:00 am by joek »

Offline yg1968

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #174 on: 02/15/2014 01:43 am »
I agree that how fast Boeing finishes its CCiCap milestones isn't indicative of how far along they are. If SNC finishes its milestones before SpaceX, hopefully nobody will say that they are ahead of SpaceX.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #175 on: 02/15/2014 03:13 am »
Good point. But it may happen soon, and almost surely before the CST-100 pad abort (which isn't scheduled?).

I'm merely saying that Boeing really /doesn't/ appear to be ahead.

...Additionally, I expect both Boeing and SpaceX to suffer slips. The question is who will slip more.

Looking at the CCiCap milestone schedule that was released when the contract was announced, Boeing had just one vehicle hardware milestone ("Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control Engine Development Development Test"), whereas Sierra Nevada had their "Engineering Test Article Flight Testing" and end their contract with "Main Propulsion and RCS Risk Reduction and TRL Advancement Testing".  SpaceX ends their contract with a "Pad Abort Test", "Dragon Primary Structure Qualification", and an "In-Flight Abort Test".

At the end of the CCiCap contract it appears that Boeing will have demonstrated the least amount of real hardware progress.  Of course that may not be an indication of the real level of progress that they will have made, just that they haven't demonstrated whatever they do have.

Just from a demonstration standpoint though, it would almost seem like Boeing is behind both SpaceX AND Sierra Nevada, which would be surprising given how little funding Sierra Nevada was provided.  And now that ESA is interested in helping out Sierra Nevada, I'd say that any lead Boeing had going into the CCiCap contract has either been reduced or gone away.

It will be interesting to see what happens when they award CCtCap.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline joek

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #176 on: 02/15/2014 03:50 am »
Looking at the CCiCap milestone schedule that was released when the contract was announced, Boeing had just one vehicle hardware milestone ("Orbital Maneuvering and Attitude Control Engine Development Development Test"), whereas Sierra Nevada had their "Engineering Test Article Flight Testing" and end their contract with "Main Propulsion and RCS Risk Reduction and TRL Advancement Testing".  SpaceX ends their contract with a "Pad Abort Test", "Dragon Primary Structure Qualification", and an "In-Flight Abort Test".

At the end of the CCiCap contract it appears that Boeing will have demonstrated the least amount of real hardware progress.  Of course that may not be an indication of the real level of progress that they will have made, just that they haven't demonstrated whatever they do have.

Just from a demonstration standpoint though, it would almost seem like Boeing is behind both SpaceX AND Sierra Nevada, which would be surprising given how little funding Sierra Nevada was provided.  And now that ESA is interested in helping out Sierra Nevada, I'd say that any lead Boeing had going into the CCiCap contract has either been reduced or gone away.

It will be interesting to see what happens when they award CCtCap.

Both Boeing and SpaceX should be at CDR within the next few months.  SNC still has quite a ways to go to reach CDR. If we pick CDR as a critical point (key NASA CCiCap base period goal), given SpaceX's  pad and in-flight abort delays, it doesn't appear SpaceX will have actually demonstrated much more than Boeing at that point.  Given the SpaceX delays, it's also questionable whether the pad and in-flight abort tests will occur in time to have sny influence on the CCtCap award.  In which case whether or not we see those tests any time soon may depend on whether SpaceX receives a CCtCap award.

Offline Jim

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #177 on: 02/15/2014 09:39 am »
  And now that ESA is interested in helping out Sierra Nevada, I'd say that any lead Boeing had going into the CCiCap contract has either been reduced or gone away.

Was money ever part of the "help"?

Offline baldusi

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #178 on: 02/15/2014 01:51 pm »
  And now that ESA is interested in helping out Sierra Nevada, I'd say that any lead Boeing had going into the CCiCap contract has either been reduced or gone away.

Was money ever part of the "help"?
If they barter parts that are already qualified, then it is the equivalent to money. Wouldn't be much, though.

Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #179 on: 02/15/2014 09:22 pm »
... it doesn't appear SpaceX will have actually demonstrated much more than Boeing at that point. 

Oh I'm sorry I must have missed the four round-trip flights into space of CST-100. When did they happen?
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