Author Topic: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2  (Read 521226 times)

Offline Star One

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #580 on: 10/03/2014 02:14 pm »

Here's a list of Boeing's CST-100 milestones for CCiCap. I've said a number of times that Boeing has yet to build any integrated hardware or software systems. They've done component level hardware testing and software demonstrations for the ascent phase only. If anyone would care to dispute this, please do so by addressing the milestones. I'm happy to be wrong, but you have to show me.

Who cares? Isn't it obvious they have not built as much as SpaceX?

It has been covered ad nauseam that many contracts are signed without hardware.

Different companies, different goals, different approaches.

Boeing also play their cards close to their chest, after all the only people they really need to keep appraised of their progress is NASA not people on the internet.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #581 on: 10/03/2014 02:21 pm »
Boeing also play their cards close to their chest, after all the only people they really need to keep appraised of their progress is NASA not people on the internet.

So.. you're suggesting that they've done work that isn't in the contracts now?

That's pretty far fetched for Boeing.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Prober

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #582 on: 10/03/2014 02:51 pm »
Boeing also play their cards close to their chest, after all the only people they really need to keep appraised of their progress is NASA not people on the internet.

So.. you're suggesting that they've done work that isn't in the contracts now?

That's pretty far fetched for Boeing.

think Bigelow :D
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Offline erioladastra

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #583 on: 10/03/2014 03:34 pm »
Here's a list of Boeing's CST-100 milestones for CCiCap. I've said a number of times that Boeing has yet to build any integrated hardware or software systems. They've done component level hardware testing and software demonstrations for the ascent phase only. If anyone would care to dispute this, please do so by addressing the milestones. I'm happy to be wrong, but you have to show me.

You have to be VERY careful.  The milestones are snapshots of activity, something the company needs to do, NASA wants to see progress on, but is not a reflection of all the work being done.  There is a LOT more that is being done by both companies than you see int eh milestones.  It is a good gauge of progress but not of specifics.

Online Chris Bergin

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« Last Edit: 10/03/2014 11:36 pm by Chris Bergin »

Online Herb Schaltegger

Here's a list of Boeing's CST-100 milestones for CCiCap. I've said a number of times that Boeing has yet to build any integrated hardware or software systems. They've done component level hardware testing and software demonstrations for the ascent phase only.

So? Boeing as an organization (even disregarding the former competitors they've absorbed over the last 25 or so years of American aerospace industry contraction) has successfully designed, built, tested, flown and sold at a profit many dozens - if not hundreds - of specific designs of aircraft and spacecraft systems for commercial and government operators. Of all the organizations around the world offering spaceflight services, they are the ones LEAST likely to eff it all up due to "unknown unknowns", especially with something as generally-conservative as a capsule design.

Biplane aircraft? Check.
Monoplane pursuit fighter? Check.
Multi-engine monoplane transport? Check.
Multi-engine piston bomber? Check and check.
Turboprop bomber/transport/tanker? Check/check/check.
Turbojet bomber? Check and check.
Solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile program management? Check.
Intercontinental multi-engine jet commercial transport? Check.
Regional multi-engine jet commercial transport? Check.
Permanently-manned low-Earth orbit space station design, construction and long-term operational management? Check, check and check.
Kerolox heavy rocket booster stage? Check.
Integration services and program management for heavy lunar-capable booster? Check.

If I was a billionaire and wanted to make a SAFE bet on success, I'd go with the company that's been stretching the realms of "possible" - and making a profit doing it! - since 1917.
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #586 on: 10/04/2014 04:19 am »
I'm confused as to what your comment has to do with mine. Some people are upset at the fact that CST-100 isn't as far along as the competing offerings. Others are upset that anyone would dare say that's a fact.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #587 on: 10/04/2014 05:10 am »
If I was a billionaire and wanted to make a SAFE bet on success, I'd go with the company that's been stretching the realms of "possible" - and making a profit doing it! - since 1917.

For me at least, I have no doubt that Boeing can build a safe, workable spacecraft.  What they are capable of doing is not in dispute.

However the record appears to be that when billionaires want space hardware, they don't go to Boeing first.  Certainly Elon Musk didn't when he was only a mere millionaire, but neither did billionaires Jeff Bezos or Paul Allen.  And with Allen that's pretty ironic, since he is stripping two Boeing 747's to get parts to build the largest wingspan aircraft in the world.

So apparently Boeing is not a safe bet when billionaires need unique hardware for accessing space.

But why?

I think it's because Boeing is not perceived as being a company that wants to be a partner to take risks.  Certainly NASA cited Boeing for "corporate investment during the CCiCap period does not provide significant industry financial investment and there is increased risk of having insufficient funding in the base period...", meaning that despite their obvious financial resources they chose not to use them on Commercial Crew.

As to milestones during CCiCap, again despite Boeing's seeming advantages both financially and technically, they were not doing any full up hardware testing like SNC and SpaceX, and with what appeared to be the most basic design they still cost $1.6B more than SpaceX for CCtCap.

So maybe Boeing is a safe bet, but that doesn't mean they are the only bet.
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 AncientU

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #588 on: 10/04/2014 12:56 pm »

If I was a billionaire and wanted to make a SAFE bet on success, I'd go with the company that's been stretching the realms of "possible" - and making a profit doing it! - since 1917.

You'd actually need to be a multi-billionaire.
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Offline cambrianera

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #589 on: 10/04/2014 01:11 pm »
Here's a list of Boeing's CST-100 milestones for CCiCap. I've said a number of times that Boeing has yet to build any integrated hardware or software systems. They've done component level hardware testing and software demonstrations for the ascent phase only.

So? Boeing as an organization (even disregarding the former competitors they've absorbed over the last 25 or so years of American aerospace industry contraction) has successfully designed, built, tested, flown and sold at a profit many dozens - if not hundreds - of specific designs of aircraft and spacecraft systems for commercial and government operators. Of all the organizations around the world offering spaceflight services, they are the ones LEAST likely to eff it all up due to "unknown unknowns", especially with something as generally-conservative as a capsule design.

Biplane aircraft? Check.
Monoplane pursuit fighter? Check.
Multi-engine monoplane transport? Check.
Multi-engine piston bomber? Check and check.
Turboprop bomber/transport/tanker? Check/check/check.
Turbojet bomber? Check and check.
Solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile program management? Check.
Intercontinental multi-engine jet commercial transport? Check.
Regional multi-engine jet commercial transport? Check.
Permanently-manned low-Earth orbit space station design, construction and long-term operational management? Check, check and check.
Kerolox heavy rocket booster stage? Check.
Integration services and program management for heavy lunar-capable booster? Check.

If I was a billionaire and wanted to make a SAFE bet on success, I'd go with the company that's been stretching the realms of "possible" - and making a profit doing it! - since 1917.

Ahhh, the good ole days.....
Weather too has changed, not the same anymore......
« Last Edit: 10/04/2014 01:11 pm by cambrianera »
Oh to be young again. . .

Offline joek

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #590 on: 10/05/2014 12:48 am »
As to milestones during CCiCap, again despite Boeing's seeming advantages both financially and technically, they were not doing any full up hardware testing like SNC and SpaceX, and with what appeared to be the most basic design they still cost $1.6B more than SpaceX for CCtCap.

Yes, Boeing's CCiCap goals were more conservative.  Yes, they got more money.  However, Boeing's CCiCap execution was near faultless, with an arguable delay of a couple months (give or take): 22-25 months actual vs. 22-25 month original plan (depending on what and how you count).  In the end Boeing did what they said they were going to do, and as importantly did it when they said they were going to do it.  The same cannot be said of SpaceX or SNC, altho I'm sure both will eventually make good on their CCiCap milestones.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #591 on: 10/05/2014 01:38 am »
Flawlessly creating powerpoint slides and Microsoft Word documents.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #592 on: 10/05/2014 01:43 am »
Wasn't CST-100's service module hotfire and pad abort delayed out of CCiCap, thereby preserving their "perfect" record? 

Also, they cancelled their in-flight abort all together,

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1204/11cst100/

Quote
An ascent abort demonstration originally planned using a third Atlas 5 rocket has been removed from the Boeing test manifest, according to Mulholland

Perfection by moving the goalposts?

Offline joek

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #593 on: 10/05/2014 01:53 am »
Flawlessly creating powerpoint slides and Microsoft Word documents.

Flawlessly executing to plan.  Boeing may be rightly dinged for being overly conservative, but they appear to have a very good idea of what they are willing and capable of delivering at a point in time, and plan and promise accordingly.  (SpaceX and SNC not so much.)  That speaks directly to plan and schedule risk--which in case anyone forgot is one of the factors (and arguably one of the most important factors)--in the CCtCap selection.

Offline TomH

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #594 on: 10/05/2014 02:03 am »
Flawlessly creating powerpoint slides and Microsoft Word documents.

Chris, don't you think that's a bit hyperbolic? Neither of us knows for sure how detailed their work was, but I'm quite sure they created some extremely detailed plans. Their 787 was the first plane they completely computer designed and simulated before bending metal. Their biggest mistake with the 787 was to engage too many sub-contractors for parts. But let's face it; they do have the industrial base to take a detailed plan and put it into production without undertaking massive expansion to the company.

Let me say that Dragon and and DC were my own favorites, and Ron is correct that those two proceeded with a lot more physical testing than did Boeing. Nevertheless, Boeing does have a greater industrial capability than the other two corporations. Due to their proven current ability to create computerized designs and also run computer simulations, then to put those plans into production, they didn't need to prove to NASA their ability to bend metal. NASA and everyone else already knows they are capable of doing so.

Despite the loftiness to which some hold Boeing's ethics, I am quite aware of their possession of LM EELV documents prior to ULA and the USAF tanker competition issues. Those issues, however, do not diminish Boeing's industrial production ability. I have no doubt that they can build a safe and well performing spacecraft. They were not my first or second choice, but to claim they did nothing more than Powerpoint and Word documents is......well, you know that isn't the case.

Online Herb Schaltegger

I suggest Chris and the moderation team simply change the thread title to "Boeing Bashing Thread - Bonus Points Awarded For Snarky Zingers" so the usual crowd can continue to post their complaints, accusations of impropriety and innuendo-laden one-liners.

The rest of us who understand engineering milestones and how RFP's are scored and graded will know to simply ignore the nonsense, rather than wading through pages of repeated nonsense in search of meaningful discussion.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2014 02:06 am by Herb Schaltegger »
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Offline joek

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #596 on: 10/05/2014 02:08 am »
Perfection by moving the goalposts?
No.  The Boeing CCiCap goalposts (milestones) have not moved since the original CCiCap awards, with the exception of adding a milestone "Phase 2 Spacecraft Safety Review Board", which was due in Jul-2014, which Boeing completed (reportedly on time in Jul-2014).

Quote
Also, they cancelled their in-flight abort all together
That was not a funded or accepted CCiCap milestone.  You might as well claim that SpaceX's original CCiCap proposal, which included a crewed mission to ISS milestone, was "cancelled...all together", which would be just as disingenuous and wrong.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2014 03:39 am by joek »

Offline Mike Harris-Stone

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #597 on: 10/05/2014 03:52 am »
If I was a billionaire and wanted to make a SAFE bet on success, I'd go with the company that's been stretching the realms of "possible" - and making a profit doing it! - since 1917.

For me at least, I have no doubt that Boeing can build a safe, workable spacecraft.  What they are capable of doing is not in dispute.


I agree.  It's funny that the X-37 doesn't get mentioned much in spite of it being a Boeing project.  And pretty cool!

Being publicly held, Boeing is going to be a lot more conservative with their money.  When they know there is a definite market, they aren't afraid to innovate and go out on a limb (787), but when the market is uncertain they seem to hold back.  (Commercial manned space).  Not really surprising.  I can't stand their PR thug approach and the recent WSJ articles have been reprehensible for their lack of journalistic integrity...what does the WSJ think it's doing to it's reputation by publishing that kind of tabloid trash?  And I don't like the way they play Congress though you have to admit it's clever and effective from their point of view.  So I don't like Boeing. But that doesn't stop me from enjoying the many rides I've had in their aircraft.  And once the commercial market heats up...watch out.  I'm sure we will see Boeing will come on even stronger.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #598 on: 10/05/2014 04:30 am »
I agree.  It's funny that the X-37 doesn't get mentioned much in spite of it being a Boeing project.  And pretty cool!

.. and firewalled.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #599 on: 10/05/2014 04:46 am »
As to milestones during CCiCap, again despite Boeing's seeming advantages both financially and technically, they were not doing any full up hardware testing like SNC and SpaceX, and with what appeared to be the most basic design they still cost $1.6B more than SpaceX for CCtCap.

Yes, Boeing's CCiCap goals were more conservative.  Yes, they got more money.  However, Boeing's CCiCap execution was near faultless...

Since CCiCap is a milestone program, by definition the participants would only get paid for a milestone when it has been done in a "faultless" manner.  Anything less and they would not get paid.  So this metric means nothing.

Quote
...with an arguable delay of a couple months (give or take): 22-25 months actual vs. 22-25 month original plan (depending on what and how you count).  In the end Boeing did what they said they were going to do, and as importantly did it when they said they were going to do it.  The same cannot be said of SpaceX or SNC, altho I'm sure both will eventually make good on their CCiCap milestones.

Two points:

1.  We already agree that Boeing had the most conservative design, and I would argue that they also had the most conservative milestone schedule too.  No tests with vehicles like Sierra Nevada and SpaceX.  They pushed off that type of work into CCtCap, which depending on your point of view actually increases the risk potential that they could fail, since they weren't able to validate their designs earlier in the Commercial Crew program.

2.  I've been responsible for scheduling one-off government products all the way up to consumer product factories, and not all dates are the same.  For NASA, the date that matters is 2017, and it is my understanding that the milestone dates were goals, not contractual obligations (an important distinction).  And since the milestones that have not been completed are for activities that Boeing won't get to until well after Sierra Nevada and SpaceX complete theirs, I don't see why NASA would have much concern about the date slips.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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