Author Topic: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released  (Read 77187 times)

Offline RocketEconomist327

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #20 on: 01/14/2014 06:59 pm »
Just tired of the SLS ripping - nothing anyone can say or do will stop it.  So just sit back with TO and get your popcorn... but more importantly...

If you would have told me (publicly) before Christmas that "commercial" was getting $696 million contingent on a million dollar CBA I would have said, "Thank You Santa Clause".

The bill specifically refers to ISS being "splashed" in 2020 and not 2024.  This only helps commercial and the CBA. On page 40 the report it says:

Quote from: CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2014
The primary purpose of the CCP has always been to develop a national capability to restore domestic access to the International Space Station (ISS) as quickly and safely as possible. Currently, the ISS is scheduled to complete its mission by 2020, and NASA has no definitive
plan yet to extend the mission beyond that date.

Its a catch 22 because the ISS is not officially extended to 2024 - every wants it and it should be a done deal, but it is not.  This puts boeing in a very interesting "three way".  boeing gets funding from SLS, "Commercial", and ISS.  The biggest perceived threat, if there really is a threat, to SLS is the commercial option.  The only surefire way to kill commercial is to kill the ISS... and that would mean also killing boeing's  sustaining engineering contract.  That is a BIG contract and depending how you slice and dice the SLS contract, may be more profitable to boeing.  That ain't going to happen.

Overall - Christmas came for everyone.  Everyone gets a trophy... even the fat kid sitting on the bench JWST.  $652.2 million!

Honestly I cannot see how everyone is not a winner in this deal.

VR
RE327

PS boeing you still owe me two suits.

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 jongoff

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #21 on: 01/14/2014 07:08 pm »
Frankly, I don't see the big deal and frankly the CCDev/CCiCAP money is NASA money well spent.  And I'm sure a cost/benefit analysis will prove that.

G04TLI,

I'm not too worried either about a cost-benefit analysis for CCDev/CCiCAP/CC*, and based on your previous comments about that program, I bet we see pretty close to eye-to-eye on the potential and challenges they face.

I just think that such an independent cost-benefit analysis would be even more beneficially applied to larger "megaprojects" like SLS, Orion, and JWST. My snark was probably over the top. I'm just frustrated that regardless of what the NASA topline budget is compared to the unrealistic numbers from the 2010 NAA, politically connected programs like SLS, Orion, and JWST are taken care of while other less-connected areas such as space technology get perpetually underfunded. I can live with that, but all of the fake scrutiny congress puts on these smaller, less-connected programs (while providing almost no scrutiny to the megaprojects) just seems like adding insult to injury.

Apologies for the snark.

~Jon

Offline woods170

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #22 on: 01/14/2014 07:16 pm »
Quoting from page 161:

"That not less than $1,918,200,000 shall be for the Space Launch System, which shall have a lift capability not less than 130 metric tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously"

(Many thanks to Yves for the salient reporting)

Quote from: Simple Simon
The total value of the FY2014 Omnibus Bill is $1.012 trillion. If that figure is the Federal Budget, then NASA's budget of $17.646 billion is about 1.74%.

NASA doesn't even get the two cents that we get here on this forum! 

At least this legislation is modestly more honest regarding the throw weight of SLS as being "not less than" 130 tonnes.  The previous legislation pretended to what I thought was a reasonable effort to grow the launch vehicle from 70 to 130 tons (or tonnes).

Now, the sky truly is the limit on the throw weight, since that is the legal meaning of "not less than". 
Worse, no budgeted or prioritized missions for this LV.  How do they ever expect to get to Mars?  Can anybody here report briefly on the SLS current  schedule?  Are they meeting their milestones?  Are they on budget?

There's my two cents.

PS:  I like the like button!

How do you read this?     I'm reading this as ....let's get directly to Block II.

Yep, that's how I read it as well. The "no less than" is all-saying. That piece from the bill almost makes the block 1 and block 1A versions sound more-or-less illegal.

Offline jongoff

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #23 on: 01/14/2014 07:18 pm »
I completely disagree.  Jon's entire argument is that the current path and program provides "no benefit" to the country.  That is his opinion, paraded as undeniable fact with the only way to prove it being having knowledge of some alternate universe where his preferred method is the path forward.

Actually, even worse than just being my opinion, it's *your* opinion about what my opinion is. I've never said that SLS provides no value to the country. I just think that when you look at the alternatives we're forgoing to pursue SLS/Orion/JWST (ie the opportunity cost), it isn't worth it. Maybe that's too nuanced of an opinion, but to me there's a huge difference between something being valueless, and something not being as valuable as many worthy alternatives that I think we ought to be pursuing.

In fact, I'd probably be willing to shut up and ignore the waste if they didn't keep strangling almost everything else that I value at NASA (planetary science, non-JWST astrophysics, space technology development and tech demos, commercial crew, actual money to fund ISS utilization, etc).

~Jon

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #24 on: 01/14/2014 07:19 pm »
Well, I think the upper stage (the advanced versions, at least, capable of long duration, etc) is more important than the rest of the vehicle anyway, though I do understand it's probably intended to make sure J-2X continues (and J-2X isn't a very good in-space engine since it's optimized more for thrust than for Isp... thus more appropriate as part of a launch vehicle's second stage... I'd prefer something with RL-10 heritage or the like).
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 M129K

Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #25 on: 01/14/2014 07:28 pm »
Well, I think the upper stage (the advanced versions, at least, capable of long duration, etc) is more important than the rest of the vehicle anyway, though I do understand it's probably intended to make sure J-2X continues (and J-2X isn't a very good in-space engine since it's optimized more for thrust than for Isp... thus more appropriate as part of a launch vehicle's second stage... I'd prefer something with RL-10 heritage or the like).
Unless you want to use massive kerolox advanced boosters I'm afraid something with J-2X level thrust will be necessary to reach 130 tons.

Offline simpl simon

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #26 on: 01/14/2014 07:31 pm »
The total value of the FY2014 Omnibus Bill is $1.012 trillion. If that figure is the Federal Budget, then NASA's budget of $17.646 billion is about 1.74%.
The human spaceflight budget I assume comprises Exploration Systems + Space Operations (at least a major part of Space Ops is for ISS Ops). So the FY2014 human spaceflight budget is ($4.113 billion + $3.778 billion), say $7.891 billion, equivalent to about 0.78% of the Federal Budget.

These figures seem to be higher than the figures currently used (1% and 0.5% respectively).

Corrected typo: NASA's budget is $17.646 billion.

That figure is the discretionary Federal budget. Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are not factored in. The oft-quoted 0.5% figure is for the total including so-called "Mandatory" spending (the above programs).

Quite right, Strangequark, thank you. I should have realised that myself. I knew there was something wrong with those percent figures.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #27 on: 01/14/2014 07:34 pm »
Well, I think the upper stage (the advanced versions, at least, capable of long duration, etc) is more important than the rest of the vehicle anyway, though I do understand it's probably intended to make sure J-2X continues (and J-2X isn't a very good in-space engine since it's optimized more for thrust than for Isp... thus more appropriate as part of a launch vehicle's second stage... I'd prefer something with RL-10 heritage or the like).
Unless you want to use massive kerolox advanced boosters I'm afraid something with J-2X level thrust will be necessary to reach 130 tons.
RL-10 or RL-60 cluster or similar would do it, with better Isp.

Also, there are other ways, like aluminum-lithium tanks, better main engine thrust, etc.

But it doesn't really matter because if the intent of the law is to ensure J-2X survives, then chances are Congress will just include something else later that can further ensure it.
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 yg1968

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #28 on: 01/14/2014 07:36 pm »
I was also a bit surprised to see the requirements for a commercial crew report. But I figure, it's not the first time that Congress has asked for a report. So it probably won't be a show stopper. The cost-benefit analysis is based on the expected operational life of ISS assuming that it isn't cancelled early (which should be 2028). The cost of commercial crew must be compared with current Soyuz costs.  See page 116 of the report.

As far as the J-2X, I don't think that it was NASA's intention to cancel it. They just wanted to finish the testing on the J-2X and then not produce them until they are needed (which isn't for a while).
« Last Edit: 01/14/2014 07:43 pm by yg1968 »

Offline woods170

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #29 on: 01/14/2014 07:37 pm »

SLS has become just another boondoggle just as bad as Ares-I + Ares-V ever was (and most people on the forum a few years back likely recall my opinions of that!).   Sadly, the current situation has occurred for much the same reason too; a few usual suspects in DC who want to plus-up the funding for a single project, with the returns heading for their own districts/regions.


SLS is ahead of schedule and under or on budget.  Those are facts.  You come across as arm-waving.  Good day.
Dismissing a highly respected member like Ross in the way you just did makes me wanna hit the Do-Not-Like button. Unfortunately, we don't have such a button.

Offline butters

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #30 on: 01/14/2014 07:42 pm »
Are there any SLS-class payloads/missions funded in this bill? Is the Europa mission SLS-class?

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #31 on: 01/14/2014 08:21 pm »
If there was funding for a real SLS-sized payload (other than Orion), I would be very excited. My biggest issue with SLS is that it eats up all the funding for payloads, but if there actually WERE payloads funded for it (and continually funded!), I would be much more receptive to it.
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 Sesquipedalian

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #32 on: 01/14/2014 09:39 pm »

SLS has become just another boondoggle just as bad as Ares-I + Ares-V ever was (and most people on the forum a few years back likely recall my opinions of that!).   Sadly, the current situation has occurred for much the same reason too; a few usual suspects in DC who want to plus-up the funding for a single project, with the returns heading for their own districts/regions.


SLS is ahead of schedule and under or on budget.  Those are facts.  You come across as arm-waving.  Good day.
Dismissing a highly respected member like Ross in the way you just did makes me wanna hit the Do-Not-Like button. Unfortunately, we don't have such a button.

Not only that, but Go4TLI is making an association error.  Whether it's on schedule or on budget has absolutely nothing to do with whether it's a boondoggle.

Offline robertross

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #33 on: 01/14/2014 10:02 pm »
To back up Ross' comments, I suggest people read the latest IOG report on Stennis Spaceflight Center:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33820.msg1142572;boardseen#new

I consider this a good snapshot of what the overall SLS program represents & is all about: politics
I remember following along during the subcommittee hearings on SLS, and how a representative (likely from  Mississippi), was doing his job to get more jobs for the area. He got his wish.
    edit:   link to a comment I found using search, in the 2012 appropriations thread:
                   http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28395.msg881109#msg881109
           

We will see more of this in the coming years, as the rocket & spacecraft are developed. Then the real kicker will come when they look for funding for the hardware to be used at the destinations.

discloser: I am an SLS supporter, and supported the 4-engine 70mt core. What we have now is a monstrosity.

But let's not turn this thread into another policial & hardware debate on SLS & the alternatives. I'm just offering perspective.

2nd edit to add OIG report link:  http://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY14/IG-14-009.pdf

« Last Edit: 01/14/2014 10:30 pm by robertross »
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Offline Go4TLI

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #34 on: 01/14/2014 10:15 pm »
I completely disagree.  Jon's entire argument is that the current path and program provides "no benefit" to the country.  That is his opinion, paraded as undeniable fact with the only way to prove it being having knowledge of some alternate universe where his preferred method is the path forward.

Actually, even worse than just being my opinion, it's *your* opinion about what my opinion is. I've never said that SLS provides no value to the country. I just think that when you look at the alternatives we're forgoing to pursue SLS/Orion/JWST (ie the opportunity cost), it isn't worth it. Maybe that's too nuanced of an opinion, but to me there's a huge difference between something being valueless, and something not being as valuable as many worthy alternatives that I think we ought to be pursuing.

In fact, I'd probably be willing to shut up and ignore the waste if they didn't keep strangling almost everything else that I value at NASA (planetary science, non-JWST astrophysics, space technology development and tech demos, commercial crew, actual money to fund ISS utilization, etc).

~Jon

I don't see how you can say I am mis-reprenting your opinion.  Have you not tried to thrash SLS at every turn (or any other shuttle-like concept) in favor of your preferred execution of depots and smaller rockets? 

As a further example to my representation of your *opinion* I note your last paragraph where you say you would "ignore the waste", implying that's what it is, if it was not "strangling everything else that I value".  Note the "I value" and the implication that your "values" are superior.  I further note you give no concrete examples or absolutes that any of these would indeed be "better" and instead not just a reduction to the total NASA budget. 

Offline MP99

Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #35 on: 01/14/2014 10:17 pm »
@rr -  I think your first link is broken (goes to discussion of fusion Orion).

Cheers, Martin

Offline Go4TLI

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #36 on: 01/14/2014 10:18 pm »

SLS has become just another boondoggle just as bad as Ares-I + Ares-V ever was (and most people on the forum a few years back likely recall my opinions of that!).   Sadly, the current situation has occurred for much the same reason too; a few usual suspects in DC who want to plus-up the funding for a single project, with the returns heading for their own districts/regions.


SLS is ahead of schedule and under or on budget.  Those are facts.  You come across as arm-waving.  Good day.
Dismissing a highly respected member like Ross in the way you just did makes me wanna hit the Do-Not-Like button. Unfortunately, we don't have such a button.

I see that presenting facts is now called "disrespect" to someone who advocated on this forum for something not all that different.  Strange. 

Offline Go4TLI

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #37 on: 01/14/2014 10:20 pm »

SLS has become just another boondoggle just as bad as Ares-I + Ares-V ever was (and most people on the forum a few years back likely recall my opinions of that!).   Sadly, the current situation has occurred for much the same reason too; a few usual suspects in DC who want to plus-up the funding for a single project, with the returns heading for their own districts/regions.


SLS is ahead of schedule and under or on budget.  Those are facts.  You come across as arm-waving.  Good day.
Dismissing a highly respected member like Ross in the way you just did makes me wanna hit the Do-Not-Like button. Unfortunately, we don't have such a button.

Not only that, but Go4TLI is making an association error.  Whether it's on schedule or on budget has absolutely nothing to do with whether it's a boondoggle.

That's a ridiculous comment.  If that is the way members on this forum wish to perceive reality then it is open-season on everything.  For example, commercial crew is a boondoggle into corporate welfare and subsidization of a market that does not exist. 

Offline robertross

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #38 on: 01/14/2014 10:29 pm »
@rr -  I think your first link is broken (goes to discussion of fusion Orion).

Cheers, Martin

strange. Both worked for me again

edited post to add direct link to report
« Last Edit: 01/14/2014 10:30 pm by robertross »
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Offline DarkenedOne

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Re: FY 2014 Appropriation bill is released
« Reply #39 on: 01/14/2014 11:47 pm »
If there was funding for a real SLS-sized payload (other than Orion), I would be very excited. My biggest issue with SLS is that it eats up all the funding for payloads, but if there actually WERE payloads funded for it (and continually funded!), I would be much more receptive to it.

Robotbeat,  my feelings exactly.  Fact of the matter is that SLS makes me miss Constellation.  Constellation ultimately failed because it cost too much to justify to the expense, but from a technical point of view it was sound.  It had the clear goal of establishing a base on the moon.  NASA was doing all the work to ensure that all the elements were going to be ready including the lunar lander by the time the Ares V was ready. 

SLS is suppose to ready to launch in 2017, and its already 2014.  Three years until its suppose to be ready and there is still no real, clear idea of what SLS and Orion are going to do.  Without a lander you cannot go to the moon or Mars, and landers are not something you can just crank out at the last minute.


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