Author Topic: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released  (Read 77191 times)

Offline 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3038
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #180 on: 04/03/2014 03:21 am »
I don't understand what you disagree about here.  The second quote, which is not from me but from kraisee himself (I didn't even refer to it), makes clear that he regards SLS as a bloated boondoggle.  My milder statement -- that he regards SLS as expensive compared to DIRECT -- follows.

I was objecting to the stronger statement.  You then tried to blunt my objection by claiming that he only meant the weaker statement.  I quoted him to show you that your claim was not plausible.  Now you appear to be claiming that since the stronger statement encompasses the weaker, you were right all along...?

Quote
Too many different dates, flight rates and capabilities are in play for the above to be a solid argument.  To refute kraisee's claim, you'd really need to dig out and present the details.  Otherwise, those such as myself who are not terribly interested in comparisons between SLS and DIRECT, will tend to let it rest with appeals to authority.  Neither you nor kraisee is an authority on SLS, but kraisee is at least the ulitmate authority on DIRECT.

Don't get distracted by all the hedges and caveats.  The upshot is that the SLS program is projected to cost between $7.65B and $8.59B (+ ~$2B for ground systems) to get to IOC, while J-130 was projected to cost $8.3B (~$9B corrected for inflation, more if unanticipated ground systems refurb/upgrades were to prove necessary, as I suspect they might have) to do the same.  So, ~$9.5-11B vs. ~$9B+.

They're similar costs.  SLS isn't dramatically more expensive for the same level of capability.  And Jupiter got there faster, with a more optimal (read: higher and less flat) budget profile.

Admittedly in my original comparison I was not taking into account either the ground systems number for SLS or the inflation correction for DIRECT...

Quote
Quote
Like I said, JUS is an extra $4B to add.  EUS is a smaller, less sophisticated stage and may well be cheaper, especially if the new emphasis on "affordability" lasts that long.  And you've seen the talk on L2 about the EUS schedule, right?

Here you're sort of assuming your conclusion (SLS is no more expensive than DIRECT).  And you mention NASA's commitment to affordability as though it were magic.

You're the one engaging in magical thinking.  The JUS was both larger and more sophisticated than the EUS, and used the same engines.  Is it unreasonable to suppose that the EUS should cost less, or at least no more?

Do you have any reason at all to suppose otherwise, other than the meme "SLS is expensive"?

And I didn't say how much less.  I said it may well be cheaper, the implication being that the Block 1B upper stage as currently envisioned most likely does not contribute additional costs to SLS as compared with Jupiter, rendering your argument that exploration cannot be accomplished with Block 1 irrelevant.

Quote
Quote
I think with all the shenanigans surrounding SLS, we've forgotten what a focused, well-funded program looks like...
Focused?  The plan is to build SLSs and think of something to do with them later.  We don't know what the upper stage will, we don't know the payloads, we don't know the flight rates or the missions.  And that's three years and $10 billion into the program.  That's anything but focused.

You have misunderstood my statement entirely.  Totally backwards.

DIRECT assumed a focused, well-funded program.  Jupiter would have been flying by now, and we'd be on track for lunar landings this decade.  We'd also be spending considerably more money on exploration than we are now...

Besides, we're not $10B into SLS.  We're $10B into SLS/MPCV/EGS, and only if you count money spent in FY2011 before SLS development officially started.  Yes, "the program" could easily be taken to mean that, but in the context of a discussion of SLS costs vs. Jupiter costs, you should probably specify.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2014 08:17 am by 93143 »

Offline Proponent

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5650
  • Liked: 1174
  • Likes Given: 713
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #181 on: 04/03/2014 06:28 pm »
I don't understand what you disagree about here.  The second quote, which is not from me but from kraisee himself (I didn't even refer to it), makes clear that he regards SLS as a bloated boondoggle.  My milder statement -- that he regards SLS as expensive compared to DIRECT -- follows.

I was objecting to the stronger statement.  You then tried to blunt my objection by claiming that he only meant the weaker statement.  I quoted him to show you that your claim was not plausible.  Now you appear to be claiming that since the stronger statement encompasses the weaker, you were right all along...?

I have not made the stronger statement, and, having just reviewed my first post in this thread, I can't see how it could be construed as supporting the stronger statement, which is not even mentioned within.  Just for clarity, the statement I am making is that kraisee regards SLS as significantly more expensive than DIRECT.

Quote
Quote
Too many different dates, flight rates and capabilities are in play for the above to be a solid argument.  To refute kraisee's claim, you'd really need to dig out and present the details.  Otherwise, those such as myself who are not terribly interested in comparisons between SLS and DIRECT, will tend to let it rest with appeals to authority.  Neither you nor kraisee is an authority on SLS, but kraisee is at least the ulitmate authority on DIRECT.

Don't get distracted by all the hedges and caveats.  The upshot is that the SLS program is projected to cost between $7.65B and $8.59B (+ ~$2B for ground systems) to get to IOC, while J-130 was projected to cost $8.3B (~$9B corrected for inflation, more if unanticipated ground systems refurb/upgrades were to prove necessary, as I suspect they might have) to do the same.  So, ~$9.5-11B vs. ~$9B+.

They're similar costs.  SLS isn't dramatically more expensive for the same level of capability.  And Jupiter got there faster, with a more optimal (read: higher and less flat) budget profile.

Admittedly in my original comparison I was not taking into account either the ground systems number for SLS or the inflation correction for DIRECT...

Modulo concerns expressed by Booz Allen Hamilton, I'm not particularly sceptical of costs through SLS-1.  After all, the figures you mention are also pretty much in line with the ESD's cumbersomely-titled "Budget Availability Scenarios" of 2011 ($1.9 billion/year, including ground systems, from FY2012 through FY2016 and presumably in FY2017 as well, with launch in early FY2018).

Quote
The JUS was both larger and more sophisticated than the EUS, and used the same engines.  Is it unreasonable to suppose that the EUS should cost less, or at least no more?

I agree its reasonable to suppose that, other things being equal, a smaller, less sophisticated stage would be cheaper.  But if kraisee's right that SLS is significantly more expensive than DIRCECT, then DIRECT-derived cost estimates are relevant.  And even if he's wrong, I personally never found much reason to have confidence in DIRECT's cost estimates.

Quote
Do you have any reason at all to suppose otherwise, other than the meme "SLS is expensive"?

And I didn't say how much less.  I said it may well be cheaper, the implication being that the Block 1B upper stage as currently envisioned most likely does not contribute additional costs to SLS as compared with Jupiter, rendering your argument that exploration cannot be accomplished with Block 1 irrelevant.

I don't know what it will cost to develop EUS, but I'm not the one arguing that SLS is a good investment.  If SLS's costs turn out to be similar to those in ESD's budget-availability scenarios, it's likely to be one huge turkey.  If you want to argue that SLS is a good idea, then this cost-cutting stuff we've heard about really has to pan out.  NASA's now three years and $6 billion in (I knew you'd -- rightly -- ding me for having mistakenly mentioned $10 billion previously!) and all we've got to go on is that it is that they're hoping to get down to $500-700 million per flight.  Not only is that figure not a commitment, but we don't know whether it's intended to apply at a realistic flight rate, etc.

Quote
Quote
Quote
I think with all the shenanigans surrounding SLS, we've forgotten what a focused, well-funded program looks like...
Focused?  The plan is to build SLSs and think of something to do with them later.  We don't know what the upper stage will, we don't know the payloads, we don't know the flight rates or the missions.  And that's three years and $10 billion into the program.  That's anything but focused.

You have misunderstood my statement entirely.  Totally backwards.

Got it.  I did indeed misinterpret your statement.
« Last Edit: 04/03/2014 06:30 pm by Proponent »

Offline 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3038
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #182 on: 04/06/2014 03:25 am »
I don't understand what you disagree about here.  The second quote, which is not from me but from kraisee himself (I didn't even refer to it), makes clear that he regards SLS as a bloated boondoggle.  My milder statement -- that he regards SLS as expensive compared to DIRECT -- follows.

I was objecting to the stronger statement.  You then tried to blunt my objection by claiming that he only meant the weaker statement.  I quoted him to show you that your claim was not plausible.  Now you appear to be claiming that since the stronger statement encompasses the weaker, you were right all along...?

I have not made the stronger statement, and, having just reviewed my first post in this thread, I can't see how it could be construed as supporting the stronger statement, which is not even mentioned within.  Just for clarity, the statement I am making is that kraisee regards SLS as significantly more expensive than DIRECT.

Ross made the stronger statement.  You claimed he hadn't; I showed you he had.

Quote
Quote
The JUS was both larger and more sophisticated than the EUS, and used the same engines.  Is it unreasonable to suppose that the EUS should cost less, or at least no more?

I agree its reasonable to suppose that, other things being equal, a smaller, less sophisticated stage would be cheaper.

What "other things"?

This is what I mean by magical thinking.  DIRECT's cost estimates didn't include any secret sauce; they were for traditional NASA contracting, with a generous margin on top.  Multiple third parties reportedly confirmed their estimates, including the Aerospace Corporation.  The SLS upper stage isn't going to be more expensive than the JUS for no reason.

Do you have a reason to suspect the upper stage will be more expensive, other than a hazy idea that Jupiter = cheap and SLS = expensive?

Quote
I don't know what it will cost to develop EUS, but I'm not the one arguing that SLS is a good investment.  If SLS's costs turn out to be similar to those in ESD's budget-availability scenarios, it's likely to be one huge turkey.  If you want to argue that SLS is a good idea, then this cost-cutting stuff we've heard about really has to pan out.

That's the problem.  I'd agree with this, but note that even DIRECT's operating cost was not actually all that much different from the worst early projections for SLS.  Packed with margin or not, DIRECT v2.0 was advertising a rocket that could launch six times a year for three billion 2008 dollars, and DIRECT v3.0 was not far off that ($1.5B for J-130 at two flights per year, plus 4x$185M for four more, plus about a billion fixed+variable for the upper stage, though I think that included J-2X).  According to my calculations, SLS as portrayed in the ESD Integration document is only a half billion over that, including ground systems, for the same flight rate.

[Actually, DIRECT's "compromise" budget from 2010 files a ~$400M KSC budget line on the other end of the budget from the SD-HLV.  Maybe it wasn't in their figures after all...?  If that has to be added in on top, the ops cost difference between J-241 and the SLS of summer 2011 is in the noise.  Not to mention that the development cost of J-130 (in the absence of STS) goes up by roughly $0.4B times the number of years it takes to develop...]

Why was DIRECT such a good idea then?

Simple - the moon mission.  Whatever Obama's true motives, there was no better way to undercut Ares/Jupiter/SLS than to stomp on the moon mission, because there's no other near-term exploration goal that gives an HLV enough work to do.

And with the disagreement about near-term goals compounded by the fiscal crisis, NASA's budget has stayed far smaller than expected/intended.  That's why SLS is trying to fit into a box smaller than anything DIRECT envisioned, and why everyone is ranting about how "bloated" it is.

...

We really have forgotten what a robust, well-funded program looks like.  Not only that, it seems people have forgotten just how bad Ares really was...
« Last Edit: 04/06/2014 05:38 am by 93143 »

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9176
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 623
  • Likes Given: 339
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #183 on: 04/06/2014 01:47 pm »
I'm afraid that my eyes glazed over at the wall of text between replies #177 and #182.

Is there a summary of the nuanced disagreement and clarification that is being aired?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10317
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #184 on: 04/06/2014 06:04 pm »
Finally some stability.

Enjoy it for a few weeks.....hate to burst your bubble (pop) :o

Some factors: Election Year

<snip>

Strap yourself in its going to be a rocky ride.

I expect the opposite:  for the most part, voters don't like government shutdowns and such.  With 2014 being an election year, congressoids will for the most part behave better this year than last.  I draw support for this view from the fact that shutdowns occurred in the non-election years of 2011 and 2013, but not in the election year of 2012.

I'm sure there will be lots screaming and shouting as the aforementioned congressoids voice hard-line views because they think it will improve the electoral prospects, but I don't expect actions to match words.

Only a few months into the year....believe my call above has been correct. Strap yourself in its going to be a rocky ride.
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10317
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #185 on: 04/06/2014 06:09 pm »
From the first page

"$696M for commercial report but $171M is conditional on NASA obtaining an (unredacted) independant cost-benefit report for commercial crew. See pages 161-162 of the bill. See also pages 116-117 of the PDF of the report."

How is this report coming?
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9773
  • Liked: 1460
  • Likes Given: 887
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #186 on: 04/07/2014 05:15 pm »
From the first page

"$696M for commercial report but $171M is conditional on NASA obtaining an (unredacted) independant cost-benefit report for commercial crew. See pages 161-162 of the bill. See also pages 116-117 of the PDF of the report."

How is this report coming?

Bolden mentionned it at the recent House hearing. He said that it would be ready soon.

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10317
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #187 on: 04/07/2014 05:35 pm »
From the first page

"$696M for commercial report but $171M is conditional on NASA obtaining an (unredacted) independant cost-benefit report for commercial crew. See pages 161-162 of the bill. See also pages 116-117 of the PDF of the report."

How is this report coming?

Bolden mentionned it at the recent House hearing. He said that it would be ready soon.

Who's the Independent source?
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9773
  • Liked: 1460
  • Likes Given: 887
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #188 on: 04/07/2014 05:39 pm »
From the first page

"$696M for commercial report but $171M is conditional on NASA obtaining an (unredacted) independant cost-benefit report for commercial crew. See pages 161-162 of the bill. See also pages 116-117 of the PDF of the report."

How is this report coming?

Bolden mentionned it at the recent House hearing. He said that it would be ready soon.

Who's the Independent source?

He didn't say.

Offline Proponent

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5650
  • Liked: 1174
  • Likes Given: 713
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #189 on: 04/07/2014 08:26 pm »
I don't understand what you disagree about here.  The second quote, which is not from me but from kraisee himself (I didn't even refer to it), makes clear that he regards SLS as a bloated boondoggle.  My milder statement -- that he regards SLS as expensive compared to DIRECT -- follows.

I was objecting to the stronger statement.  You then tried to blunt my objection by claiming that he only meant the weaker statement.  I quoted him to show you that your claim was not plausible.  Now you appear to be claiming that since the stronger statement encompasses the weaker, you were right all along...?

I have not made the stronger statement, and, having just reviewed my first post in this thread, I can't see how it could be construed as supporting the stronger statement, which is not even mentioned within.  Just for clarity, the statement I am making is that kraisee regards SLS as significantly more expensive than DIRECT.

Ross made the stronger statement.  You claimed he hadn't; I showed you he had.

Great!  We agree Ross said SLS is an expensive boondoggle.  I can't be bothered to hash through the massive misunderstanding that seems to have arisen over this, so let's just leave at this.

Quote
Quote
Quote
The JUS was both larger and more sophisticated than the EUS, and used the same engines.  Is it unreasonable to suppose that the EUS should cost less, or at least no more?

I agree its reasonable to suppose that, other things being equal, a smaller, less sophisticated stage would be cheaper.

What "other things"?

This is what I mean by magical thinking.  DIRECT's cost estimates didn't include any secret sauce; they were for traditional NASA contracting, with a generous margin on top.  Multiple third parties reportedly confirmed their estimates, including the Aerospace Corporation.  The SLS upper stage isn't going to be more expensive than the JUS for no reason.

Do you have a reason to suspect the upper stage will be more expensive, other than a hazy idea that Jupiter = cheap and SLS = expensive?

Quote
I don't know what it will cost to develop EUS, but I'm not the one arguing that SLS is a good investment.  If SLS's costs turn out to be similar to those in ESD's budget-availability scenarios, it's likely to be one huge turkey.  If you want to argue that SLS is a good idea, then this cost-cutting stuff we've heard about really has to pan out.

That's the problem.  I'd agree with this, but note that even DIRECT's operating cost was not actually all that much different from the worst early projections for SLS.  Packed with margin or not, DIRECT v2.0 was advertising a rocket that could launch six times a year for three billion 2008 dollars, and DIRECT v3.0 was not far off that ($1.5B for J-130 at two flights per year, plus 4x$185M for four more, plus about a billion fixed+variable for the upper stage, though I think that included J-2X).  According to my calculations, SLS as portrayed in the ESD Integration document is only a half billion over that, including ground systems, for the same flight rate.

[Actually, DIRECT's "compromise" budget from 2010 files a ~$400M KSC budget line on the other end of the budget from the SD-HLV.  Maybe it wasn't in their figures after all...?  If that has to be added in on top, the ops cost difference between J-241 and the SLS of summer 2011 is in the noise.  Not to mention that the development cost of J-130 (in the absence of STS) goes up by roughly $0.4B times the number of years it takes to develop...]

Dude, I never bought the whole "Jupiter = cheap" idea.  If you want to convince me that SLS is cheap enough to be useful, using DIRECT's cost estimates as a basis isn't going to work.

Quote
Why was DIRECT such a good idea then?

Simple - the moon mission.  Whatever Obama's true motives, there was no better way to undercut Ares/Jupiter/SLS than to stomp on the moon mission, because there's no other near-term exploration goal that gives an HLV enough work to do.

This seems circular.  You're saying DIRECT was a good idea, because of the moon mission, which was the best way to create  an HLV.  I suppose that makes sense if the number one goal is having an HLV.  Personally, I'd rather that exploration itself were the top priority.

Quote
And with the disagreement about near-term goals compounded by the fiscal crisis, NASA's budget has stayed far smaller than expected/intended.

Exactly who has been expecting big budget increases for NASA?

Offline 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3038
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #190 on: 04/08/2014 02:09 am »
This seems circular.  You're saying DIRECT was a good idea, because of the moon mission, which was the best way to create  an HLV.

No.  It was a good idea because the moon mission made it worthwhile to have an HLV.

DIRECT was the cheapest and fastest way to get an HLV, aside from the somewhat hobbled Sidemount.  It provided workforce continuity with STS, avoiding the expertise gap we're seeing now - it didn't need anywhere near the whole workforce, but it kept the people it needed, and others could be funneled into the rest of the exploration program.  It worked within the expected budget, or with only a small plus-up (depending on when you did the math and whose projections you were looking at), and could support the moon and the ISS simultaneously with plenty of infrastructure headroom for interesting one-offs.

Life-cycle-wise, there were probably cheaper ways to get to the moon than Jupiter, even assuming Constellation-class lander specs and mission rate.  But none of them had any political support...

Quote
Exactly who has been expecting big budget increases for NASA?

The politicians.  NASA was supposed to get about $20B last year according to NAA2010, and that's a steep drop from what was supposed to happen in early CxP projections.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2014 02:19 am by 93143 »

Tags: