Author Topic: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2  (Read 520912 times)

Offline mkent

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #600 on: 10/05/2014 05:19 am »
Flawlessly creating powerpoint slides and Microsoft Word documents.

Oh, good grief!  They passed **CDR**!  That's a heckuva lot more than Powerpoints and Word documents.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #601 on: 10/05/2014 05:24 am »
Flawlessly creating powerpoint slides and Microsoft Word documents.

Oh, good grief!  They passed **CDR**!  That's a heckuva lot more than Powerpoints and Word documents.

Really?
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #602 on: 10/05/2014 10:50 am »
It's funny that the X-37 doesn't get mentioned much in spite of it being a Boeing project.  And pretty cool!

Not really. The discussion had evolved around manned spacecraft. X-37 is not a manned spacecraft.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2014 02:43 pm by clongton »
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Offline Herb Schaltegger

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

Not really. The discussion had evolved around manned[/b] spacecraft. X-37 is not a manned spacecraft.

They designed the pressurized elements of Space Station Freedom/ISS from soup to nuts - pressure vessels, MMD shielding, internal power/data system, internal structures, payload and systems racks, control systems and software, and (by the way), the ECLSS. Boeing also provides sustaining engineering for all of these components and systems. These pressurized elements are the longest-lived space crewed systems ever created.

So arguing that X-37 isn't crewed and that fact is somehow a negative for Boeing's ability to design and operate a crewed spacecraft is ridiculous.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2014 01:37 pm by Herb Schaltegger »
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Online Hauerg

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #604 on: 10/05/2014 02:19 pm »
It's funny that the X-37 doesn't get mentioned much in spite of it being a Boeing project.  And pretty cool!

Not really. The discussion had evolved around manned[/b] spacecraft. X-37 is not a manned spacecraft.

They designed the pressurized elements of Space Station Freedom/ISS from soup to nuts - pressure vessels, MMD shielding, internal power/data system, internal structures, payload and systems racks, control systems and software, and (by the way), the ECLSS. Boeing also provides sustaining engineering for all of these components and systems. These pressurized elements are the longest-lived space crewed systems ever created.

So arguing that X-37 isn't crewed and that fact is somehow a negative for Boeing's ability to design and operate a crewed spacecraft is ridiculous.
X37 not being manned is not a negative. And clongton did not state that. All he said was that X37 cannot be used as a pro argument for Boeing re manned systems.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #605 on: 10/05/2014 02:25 pm »
Pressurized ISS was built in Italy, was it not? Cygnus uses the same manufacturer. Also, ISS was designed in the 80s, 30 years ago. The senior engineers involved with that are certainly mostly retired by now.
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Offline Mike Harris-Stone

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #606 on: 10/05/2014 02:49 pm »
It's funny that the X-37 doesn't get mentioned much in spite of it being a Boeing project.  And pretty cool!

Not really. The discussion had evolved around manned[/b] spacecraft. X-37 is not a manned spacecraft.

They designed the pressurized elements of Space Station Freedom/ISS from soup to nuts - pressure vessels, MMD shielding, internal power/data system, internal structures, payload and systems racks, control systems and software, and (by the way), the ECLSS. Boeing also provides sustaining engineering for all of these components and systems. These pressurized elements are the longest-lived space crewed systems ever created.

So arguing that X-37 isn't crewed and that fact is somehow a negative for Boeing's ability to design and operate a crewed spacecraft is ridiculous.
X37 not being manned is not a negative. And clongton did not state that. All he said was that X37 cannot be used as a pro argument for Boeing re manned systems.

Don't all three companies have plenty of staff with experience in manned spaceflight?  I know they all have former astronauts working on their projects.  Also, to varying degrees, they all work very closely with NASA.  To say that Boeing has a major experience advantage based on accomplishments that are 20-30 years old over the others seems a bit of a stretch.  To say Boeing has no experience seems very unfactual.

All three companies are very competent and experienced in building actual flight hardware.  Spacex has experience in operations with Dragon.  Boeing would I think have experience in operations with X37 (or does the Air Force do all that?) and with their support of the ISS.  SNC as far as I know would have less experience in that regard.

Operating a manned space program will be new to all 3 companies, but they have NASA on their team and supervising so that should count for something shouldn't it?  (Even if they didn't win, SNC still has access to NASA via unfunded agreements.  If the protest fails, but they do succeed in moving on with DC, then they will have to work extensively with NASA if they are going to dock with ISS carrying a European mission and crew.  (should that come about))


Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #607 on: 10/05/2014 02:50 pm »
It's funny that the X-37 doesn't get mentioned much in spite of it being a Boeing project.  And pretty cool!

Not really. The discussion had evolved around manned spacecraft. X-37 is not a manned spacecraft.


They designed the pressurized elements of Space Station Freedom/ISS from soup to nuts - pressure vessels, MMD shielding, internal power/data system, internal structures, payload and systems racks, control systems and software, and (by the way), the ECLSS. Boeing also provides sustaining engineering for all of these components and systems. These pressurized elements are the longest-lived space crewed systems ever created.

So arguing that X-37 isn't crewed and that fact is somehow a negative for Boeing's ability to design and operate a crewed spacecraft is ridiculous.

X37 not being manned is not a negative. And clongton did not state that. All he said was that X37 cannot be used as a pro argument for Boeing re manned systems.


Thank you Hauerg. That was my point precisely.
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Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #608 on: 10/05/2014 02:52 pm »
Lot of discussion about what Boeing knew, and when.  Almost like a murder mystery.  I think really what the discussion boils down to is whether Boeing has unique knowledge and skills that provide it with some sort of advantage.

Pressure vessels are just one example.  Boeing certainly has lots of experience with pressure vessels, both from terrestrial aircraft to spacecraft.  But is this knowledge unique to them?  I would say not.  Lots of other companies have demonstrated the same capabilities, and no doubt Boeing has not retained all the employees that they taught these skills to, so I would argue that pressure vessels for spacecraft are an industry skill, not just one company.

Same could be said about capsules.  Research for capsules goes back to at least the 1950's, from many different companies, and that research is available through NASA for the industry to use.

To me this is pretty obvious, because without such a high level of industry capability and access to previous taxpayer-funded research SpaceX would not be where it is at today.  There are only so many things you can tackle with a startup, and SpaceX has acknowledged that they have been relying on the work of others to get where they are at today.  That is the same situation with Boeing and Sierra Nevada too.

About the only metrics we can really use for comparison is money, since everyone has the same date goal, everyone has to provide the same level of service, but everyone is free to do those things in their own unique way.

My $0.02
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #609 on: 10/05/2014 03:04 pm »
I will say one thing: since both designs chosen were capsules, they are both relevant for any future BLEO missions and should be considered for inclusion by mission planners.

In fact, I'll go further and state that CST-100 is what Orion should have been. It is much lighter (which means greater delta-v capability for the same rocket) and cheaper, still has lots of room for lunar missions, has a service module that can provide extra delta-v, and even has better operational efficiency since air bags weren't dropped from the design. And I think the abort mode is safer since it doesn't need a separate jettison motor and hatch like Orion's LAS. Orion seems like a tired redo of Apollo capsule with a little more room while CST-100 improves on the Apollo design in several aspects including cost reduction and even reuse.

That said, I still think Dragon is even better technically/operationally and has the huge advantage of already flying in a cargo version. And I do think DC is awesome and SNC has every right to protest given the huge cost differential and fact that Boeing hasn't bent much metal comparatively.
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Offline clongton

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #610 on: 10/05/2014 03:07 pm »
Ron, that is insightfully true. SNC, after reviewing the selection criteria, for the 1st time in its 50 year history, filed a formal bid protest with the GAO. In the announcement, it was stated that excepting price, all the scores for the 3 competitors were approximately the same. If that is true, then NASA's own statements come back to haunt her when it was stated that price would be the major discriminator, and be given DOUBLE weight. And again IF that is true then on the face of it either NASA violated its own selection rules to deliberately favor Boeing or Boeing was successful in lobbying Congressional legislators to the point they could successfully threaten NASA unless Boeing was selected.

Mind you I am NOT saying that is what happened. I am saying that provided what SNC stated in the protest is true, that that is the impression left in the minds of thinking persons.
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Offline Herb Schaltegger

Pressurized ISS was built in Italy, was it not? Cygnus uses the same manufacturer. Also, ISS was designed in the 80s, 30 years ago. The senior engineers involved with that are certainly mostly retired by now.

Um, no. So much wrong here (uncharacteristic of you, Chris).

The pressurized element for the U.S. Lab was built at MSFC in good, old Huntsville, Alabama, as was the first node.  The rest of Node modules, the Cupola and PLMs were all designed and test articles fabricated similarly at MSFC, but various production responsibilities were traded away to Italy as part of the morphing process into ISS. Alenia most certainly did NOT start from a clean slate; they used the completed plans, production test results and lessons learned from building the STA's to fabricate the flight units. The international Nodes are indeed stretched to hold more equipment than the original SSF version, but again, it's just a variation, not a clean-sheet design.

And SSF was conceptualized in the mid-80's, went through Phase A and B studies in the late 80's, and entered the preliminary design phase in late '89. It passed PDR around '92 as I recall, and was heading toward CDR just fine until budget pressures from a grumpy Congress (sound familiar?) pushed NASA into ANOTHER re-scoping that resulted - eventually - in today's ISS. First element launch was, as you well know, was in 1998.

So sure, senior managers may very well have retired but I know for a fact there are people who've been on the program from at least the PDR/CDR phases who are still working sustaining engineering and operations, and plenty more scattered around the company in other roles and working other programs.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2014 03:31 pm by Herb Schaltegger »
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Offline R7

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #612 on: 10/05/2014 04:48 pm »
Lot of discussion about what Boeing knew, and when.  Almost like a murder mystery.  I think really what the discussion boils down to is whether Boeing has unique knowledge and skills that provide it with some sort of advantage.

Clearly not. The people involved in the previous manned spacecrafts and related systems traceable to Boeing had all their design papyri burned and were buried alive with lead engineering pharaohs in unmarked pyramids to prevent tomb robbers acquiring the information. Using any means to maintain and pass the knowledge to future generations was considered too risky.

At least that's the sentiment I get from the last few pages of this thread. Very entertaining though  :D

Could ISS manned systems experience and X-37 spacecraft experience be combined to leverage in building manned spacecrafts? No, that must be crazy talk.

One thing is certain; Boeing is behind in rapid curtain reeling technology.

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Offline Jim

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #613 on: 10/05/2014 05:32 pm »
It's funny that the X-37 doesn't get mentioned much in spite of it being a Boeing project.  And pretty cool!

Not really. The discussion had evolved around manned spacecraft. X-37 is not a manned spacecraft.


They designed the pressurized elements of Space Station Freedom/ISS from soup to nuts - pressure vessels, MMD shielding, internal power/data system, internal structures, payload and systems racks, control systems and software, and (by the way), the ECLSS. Boeing also provides sustaining engineering for all of these components and systems. These pressurized elements are the longest-lived space crewed systems ever created.

So arguing that X-37 isn't crewed and that fact is somehow a negative for Boeing's ability to design and operate a crewed spacecraft is ridiculous.

X37 not being manned is not a negative. And clongton did not state that. All he said was that X37 cannot be used as a pro argument for Boeing re manned systems.


Thank you Hauerg. That was my point precisely.


Yes, it can be used as relevant experience and pro argument for a manned system because  its shows all the necessary experience in fielding a maneuverable and recoverable  spacecraft, much a like a cargo dragon.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #614 on: 10/05/2014 06:18 pm »
Pressurized ISS was built in Italy, was it not? Cygnus uses the same manufacturer. Also, ISS was designed in the 80s, 30 years ago. The senior engineers involved with that are certainly mostly retired by now.

Um, no. So much wrong here (uncharacteristic of you, Chris).

The pressurized element for the U.S. Lab was built at MSFC in good, old Huntsville, Alabama, as was the first node.  The rest of Node modules, the Cupola and PLMs were all designed and test articles fabricated similarly at MSFC, but various production responsibilities were traded away to Italy as part of the morphing process into ISS. Alenia most certainly did NOT start from a clean slate; they used the completed plans, production test results and lessons learned from building the STA's to fabricate the flight units. The international Nodes are indeed stretched to hold more equipment than the original SSF version, but again, it's just a variation, not a clean-sheet design.

And SSF was conceptualized in the mid-80's, went through Phase A and B studies in the late 80's, and entered the preliminary design phase in late '89. It passed PDR around '92 as I recall, and was heading toward CDR just fine until budget pressures from a grumpy Congress (sound familiar?) pushed NASA into ANOTHER re-scoping that resulted - eventually - in today's ISS. First element launch was, as you well know, was in 1998.

So sure, senior managers may very well have retired but I know for a fact there are people who've been on the program from at least the PDR/CDR phases who are still working sustaining engineering and operations, and plenty more scattered around the company in other roles and working other programs.


I know Thales Alenia did not start from a clean slate, but I tend to put fabrication on a higher pedestal than others, so I guess my bias is showing.
https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/thales-alenia-space
Quote
Orbital infrastructure and space transport. Thales Alenia Space has supplied fully half of the pressurized volume of the International Space Station, including Nodes 2 and 3, the Multipurpose Pressurized Logistics Modules (MPLM), the Cupola and the structure for the Columbus laboratory, as well as the Integrated Cargo Carriers (ICC) for the ATV spacecraft that ferry supplies to the Space Station. Thales Alenia Space also makes the Pressurized Cargo Modules (PCM) for the Cygnus resupply vessel, in partnership with Orbital Sciences, and is gearing up for future programs as prime contractor for ESA’s IXV and Expert reentry demonstrators.



...after decades of unending analysis, design reviews, conceptual reviews, etc, I'm tired of paper milestones. I prefer metal being bent (or carbon fiber being laid up, if you will).
« Last Edit: 10/05/2014 06:27 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline Lar

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #615 on: 10/05/2014 06:33 pm »
I'm at a LEGO show this weekend (Brickcon.org ... it's awesome) and haven't been following this thread closely but we are getting a fair number of reports. Please dial up the excellentness and dial down the snark.   Also try to stay more or less on topic, detailed discussion of DC and Dragon is probably off topic.
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Offline erioladastra

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #616 on: 10/05/2014 06:42 pm »
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.

Folks here are definitely losing objectivity and missing some key facts.  The points of CCDev 1, 2 and iCAP were to mature their designs and reduce risk.  By reduce risk, the companies were to identify their riskier areas and then conduct milestones to mitigate those risks.  For DC it mean developing and flight test model and performing a drop test, among others since that was one of the bigger, newer things for it.  For Boeing, for example, developing their abort engines, Atlas abort system and air bag systems were significant risks.  So that was their major milestones.  Their approach has been to leverage heavily off of Apollo and more significantly Orion (modern analysis etc to rely on).  So folks criticize Boeing for picking a boring capsule - but that is why they did it.  Then people criticize them for not doing more hardware tests - but there was no need to.  Also, the paid milestones are not all the work the companies have been doing.

Not sure what you are trying to say by your second point.  Boeing has tCAP milestones that would be before SpaceX and SNC iCAP milestones.  So yes, NASA is concerned about the impact tot he dates.    There is a good chance that funding won't support 2 companies to be ready by 2014.  NASA likely can't support via resources two companies.  If you also slow down those two companies - I am sure SpaceX is also impacted though depending on various factors, maybe not so much - you will indeed be risking 2017.  I am fairly confident we won't have a commercial crew flight by 2017.

Fortunately, I think legal wranglings will get the process rolling here again soon while the GAO conducts its review.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2014 05:07 pm by erioladastra »

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #617 on: 10/05/2014 06:46 pm »
I will say one thing: since both designs chosen were capsules, they are both relevant for any future BLEO missions and should be considered for inclusion by mission planners.

None of these vehicles will be evolved for BLEO - they are too small.  Be glad to talk on another thread about it if you want...
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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #618 on: 10/05/2014 07:07 pm »
I will say one thing: since both designs chosen were capsules, they are both relevant for any future BLEO missions and should be considered for inclusion by mission planners.

None of these vehicles will be evolved for BLEO - they are too small.  Be glad to talk on another thread about it if you want...
Nonsense, they're both the same size (or a little bigger) as the only other BLEO capsule ever: the Apollo Command Module.
And both are also MUCH larger than Soyuz/Zond which was the only other thing to get close to becoming BLEO.

If you want to go further than the Moon, you're going to need more volume than Orion anyway and so will need an extra module, and it's far more efficient for that volume to be separated before reentry anyway. Orion's size doesn't really make any sense (IMO) except perhaps in the olden days when there was thought of using it for short-duration during direct-entry from Mars with 6 crew, but both CST-100 and Dragon could still do that, since they can do 7 crew.

Orion's size is an unhappy medium. Too small for anything beyond the Moon and too big for the 3-4 astronauts that would be using it.

CST-100 is a better fit.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2014 07:07 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline TomH

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Re: Boeing's CST-100 capsule updates & discussion THREAD 2
« Reply #619 on: 10/05/2014 07:34 pm »
I will say one thing: since both designs chosen were capsules, they are both relevant for any future BLEO missions and should be considered for inclusion by mission planners.

None of these vehicles will be evolved for BLEO - they are too small.  Be glad to talk on another thread about it if you want...
Nonsense, they're both the same size (or a little bigger) as the only other BLEO capsule ever: the Apollo Command Module.
And both are also MUCH larger than Soyuz/Zond which was the only other thing to get close to becoming BLEO.

If you want to go further than the Moon, you're going to need more volume than Orion anyway and so will need an extra module, and it's far more efficient for that volume to be separated before reentry anyway. Orion's size doesn't really make any sense (IMO) except perhaps in the olden days when there was thought of using it for short-duration during direct-entry from Mars with 6 crew, but both CST-100 and Dragon could still do that, since they can do 7 crew.

Orion's size is an unhappy medium. Too small for anything beyond the Moon and too big for the 3-4 astronauts that would be using it.

CST-100 is a better fit.

Chris is absolutely correct, Ron. CST-100 is what should be riding on SLS (assuming SLS ought to fly at all). It's bigger than Apollo CM and perfectly adequate for lunar missions. Orion is too heavy for its parachutes and too small for beyond lunar missions, which will require a habitat. Orion (even the current downsized model) is too massive and should never have been developed. CST-100 would be a perfectly sized and massed CM for a BEO program.

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