Author Topic: March 27th 2014 House Hearing: A Review of the NASA Budget for Fiscal Year 2015  (Read 21665 times)

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9769
  • Liked: 1459
  • Likes Given: 887
Subcommittee on Space - A Review of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Budget for Fiscal Year 2015
http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-space-review-national-aeronautics-and-space-administration-budget-fiscal-year

Bolden was the witness. I missed most of it but it was apparently a pretty good hearing.
« Last Edit: 03/27/2014 04:19 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Subcommittee on Space - A Review of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Budget for Fiscal Year 2015
http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-space-review-national-aeronautics-and-space-administration-budget-fiscal-year

Bolden was the witness. I missed most of it but it was apparently a pretty good hearing.

Bet that was pure drama......will wait for the replay :)
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 jongoff

  • Recovering Rocket Plumber/Space Entrepreneur
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6262
  • Lafayette/Broomfield, CO
  • Liked: 2430
  • Likes Given: 805
It was interesting to see Rep Smith and Administrator Bolden arguing over the Mars 2021 flyby vs. the Asteroid Redirect Mission. We could do both if we weren't wasting so much money on SLS/Orion.

~Jon

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9769
  • Liked: 1459
  • Likes Given: 887


Offline Mark S

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2120
  • Dallas, TX
  • Liked: 162
  • Likes Given: 36
I watched most of the hearing live this morning, and this is what jumped out at me.

In response to a question about continued access to ISS, and if NASA could safely shut down ISS for some period of time if Russia cut off our access, Bolden stated that without ISS and Commercial Crew, he would cancel SLS, Orion, and everything else BLEO. That BLEO is wholly dependent on Commercial Crew.

He stated that it is Congress's fault that Commercial Crew IOC has been pushed back from 2015 to 2017. He also stated that additional funds could speed up Commercial Crew. Whereas in the past, his position has always been that additional funds would not speed up SLS/Orion.

This is from memory, so don't take it as verbatim quotation.

Offline jongoff

  • Recovering Rocket Plumber/Space Entrepreneur
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6262
  • Lafayette/Broomfield, CO
  • Liked: 2430
  • Likes Given: 805
I watched most of the hearing live this morning, and this is what jumped out at me.

In response to a question about continued access to ISS, and if NASA could safely shut down ISS for some period of time if Russia cut off our access, Bolden stated that without ISS and Commercial Crew, he would cancel SLS, Orion, and everything else BLEO. That BLEO is wholly dependent on Commercial Crew.

He stated that it is Congress's fault that Commercial Crew IOC has been pushed back from 2015 to 2017. He also stated that additional funds could speed up Commercial Crew. Whereas in the past, his position has always been that additional funds would not speed up SLS/Orion.

This is from memory, so don't take it as verbatim quotation.

That sounds pretty close to what I was seeing on twitter feeds from Jeff Foust and Marcia Smith.

I think his point was that there was still research that he felt was needed for BEO exploration that needed to be performed on ISS. And that if you canceled it before that research was complete, you're just kidding yourself about being able to do BEO exploration in any sort of sane or relatively safe manner. I don't usually agree with Bolden, but I thought it was an interesting point.

~Jon

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28754
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8858
  • Likes Given: 5742
I think this is partially in reference to the upcoming year-long expeditions. Quite true that this is critical for beyond-lunar exploration, and it's perfect to do it at ISS. Also, ISS can work as an excellent analogue for Martian mission simulations.
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

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9769
  • Liked: 1459
  • Likes Given: 887
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 10:43 am by yg1968 »

Online MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4532
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 1279
  • Likes Given: 2489
Thank you very much for the links! I wish sometimes they were in higher resolution. NASA losing almost a quarter billion dollars from it's budget. Disgusting!! :'(
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 06:28 am by MATTBLAK »
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline Proponent

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5647
  • Liked: 1173
  • Likes Given: 710
You could tell this hearing was going to be a bit different from the very beginning, when Rep. Palazzo did not open with the usual partisan broadside on the administration for not adequately funding Orion and SLS.  Probably a sign that Gen. Bolden's pre-emptive strike a couple of days earlier on Congress for not fully funding commercial crew had succeeded in wrong-footing them.

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(
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 JBF

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Liked: 418
  • Likes Given: 748
Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(

I disagree; when has respect for congress advanced any of this administrations policies.
"In principle, rocket engines are simple, but thatís the last place rocket engines are ever simple." Jeff Bezos

Online MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4532
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 1279
  • Likes Given: 2489
Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(

On the contrary; I think he was finally showing some spine - he was almost channeling Mike Griffin!! ;)
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9769
  • Liked: 1459
  • Likes Given: 887
Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(

I disagree. It's about time that he fights back. The 2-year delay of commercial crew is Congress' fault.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8828
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 5888
  • Likes Given: 1990
Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(
No, it was about time that a top NASA official told Congress how reality works: No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

Congress is stalling commercial crew and thus it is stalling home-grown US access to LEO and the ISS. Bolden is entirely correct in stating that no access to LEO means no need for SLS, Orion and BLEO HSF. I really don't mind that Bolden states this in his testimony in a somewhat blunt fashion. Blunt seems to be the only thing US Congress actually understands these days.

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9216
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3067
  • Likes Given: 8345
The General did good... He bridged Commercial Crew to ISS to Orion/SLS nicely...  ;)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline muomega0

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
  • Liked: 65
  • Likes Given: 1
It was interesting to see Rep Smith and Administrator Bolden arguing over the Mars 2021 flyby vs. the Asteroid Redirect Mission. We could do both if we weren't wasting so much money on SLS/Orion.  ~Jon
No worries...yet another "replan" is working out with PICP  Divert funding to Orion on Delta, not COTS.
Smith criticizes the HSF portion of the ARM mission.."it has no connection to a Mars"... but moments later, ignorantly, wants NASA to take the capsule on a Mars flyby...when it should parked and powered down at L2 during a Mars mission since the DSH will house crew during the long trip to Mars.   Squyres correctly points out that he does not see the connection between the HSF portion of the ARM mission and those required for Mars.
Orion of course needs an advanced heat shield for ARM or Mars return and needs better GCR protection, all extra mass items that conflict with lower costs and safety.  What to do?.......
Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(
I disagree. It's about time that he fights back. The 2-year delay of commercial crew is Congress' fault.
Orion on Delta to ISS until SLS can serve as a 'backup'.....morph SLS to be common with EELV......affordable?    If wishes were horses... 
What does commercial crew have to do with Exploration?..it is only there until ISS splashdown...yes bolden needs to show respect for Congressional Design Teams who disregard Figures of Merit used to determine an architecture: Affordability, Sustainability, Safety, Schedule, Benefits
...the original SLS scenario (which has been slowly improving) seemed to have been deliberately set up to be as off-putting as possible... 
...The sum of all this political stuff has prevented any new funding for missions and has squeezed SLS and especially Orion badly,
... not to mention pitting SLS/Orion and Commercial Crew against one another.  (Why is Commercial Crew filed under Exploration anyway?)  Hopefully the situation will blow over...


Yup.  Orion and SLS were always headed to ISS and the lunar surface but it took several years to show the world that thy have nothing to do with BEO exploration, despite the claims to the contrary.  Commercial need not apply, except for "commercial" EELV.
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 03:33 pm by muomega0 »

Offline vulture4

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1006
  • Liked: 314
  • Likes Given: 90
Congressman Posey later denied he was against Commercial Crew, rather he said that NASA would have plenty of money for exploration if they would only cancel all climate research. When you look at the relative sizes of the climate and SLS/Orion budgets this does not seem too likely, but that's his position.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32546
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11333
  • Likes Given: 334
Congressman Posey later denied he was against Commercial Crew, rather he said that NASA would have plenty of money for exploration if they would only cancel all climate research.

He would be for it, if they were east coast launches

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(
No, it was about time that a top NASA official told Congress how reality works: No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

Congress is stalling commercial crew and thus it is stalling home-grown US access to LEO and the ISS. Bolden is entirely correct in stating that no access to LEO means no need for SLS, Orion and BLEO HSF. I really don't mind that Bolden states this in his testimony in a somewhat blunt fashion. Blunt seems to be the only thing US Congress actually understands these days.

Sorry, all he did is cover his failures and say its not his fault.
 :(

Check out the exchange again when asked about access to the ISS if the Soyuz isn't available, ie the back up plan.    There is no back up plan, when pressed several times the answer came out.....wait until sometime in 2017 maybe.

Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works. 



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 JBF

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Liked: 418
  • Likes Given: 748
Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works.

When you call in the head of department it's not to ask for details that can be handled on a lower level. It's all about politics.  What is your personal beef with commercial crew Prober? You know very well that is not the plan.  The only shot in the dark is the hope that maintaining competition will lower end costs.
"In principle, rocket engines are simple, but thatís the last place rocket engines are ever simple." Jeff Bezos

Offline vulture4

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1006
  • Liked: 314
  • Likes Given: 90
Personally I was happy to see Bolden stand up the Congress, and I believe that is the only way to get results.  Congressional demands for cost data from the commercial contractors are completely misplaced; haven't they ever heard of firm fixed price contracting? Don't they _read_ the federal acquisition regulations? The only purpose of cost data is so that when contractors are getting cost plus they have some limitations on how much they can claim.

Offline Lar

  • Fan boy at large
  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 11347
  • Saw Gemini live on TV
  • A large LEGO storage facility ... in Michigan
  • Liked: 8393
  • Likes Given: 6716
My respect for Bolden went way up. Wish he had vigorously defended Commercial Crew years and years ago but better late than never.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works.

When you call in the head of department it's not to ask for details that can be handled on a lower level. It's all about politics.  What is your personal beef with commercial crew Prober? You know very well that is not the plan.  The only shot in the dark is the hope that maintaining competition will lower end costs.

I see the bigger picture we need Crew in 2015 not 2017.   Hope I'm wrong, but don't think I am.

This video says it better than I ever could....


« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 05:01 pm by Prober »
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 Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9216
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3067
  • Likes Given: 8345
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 05:25 pm by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline newpylong

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1499
  • Liked: 199
  • Likes Given: 343
Good job General. He certainly did not hold back. I think it's pretty much on the table at this point.

Hopefully better late than never.

Sounds like Senator Brooks can't handle the heat. Turned it around and said the current Administration cancelled Constellation and thus delayed our return to space, and mothballed the shuttle. Perhaps he needs a history lesson. The Obama administration actually extended the shuttle program, and Orion wasn't due to fly until 2015, same year as Commercial Crew.

Offline Sesquipedalian

  • Whee!
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 649
  • Liked: 199
  • Likes Given: 626
The Obama administration actually extended the shuttle program

That was one thing they didn't do.  The Contingency Logistics Flights were made into actual flights in the previous administration, and the authorization of STS-134 was also signed by the previous administration.  STS-135 had been planned all along as a Crew Rescue Flight (as STS-335) and therefore does not qualify as a "new" addition to the manifest.

What the Obama administration did do was use the Augustine Commission to stall for time until it was too late to extend the Shuttle.  There were at least two independent attempts to keep the Shuttle flying, but neither managed to succeed before the point of no return.

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9216
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3067
  • Likes Given: 8345
The Obama administration actually extended the shuttle program

That was one thing they didn't do.  The Contingency Logistics Flights were made into actual flights in the previous administration, and the authorization of STS-134 was also signed by the previous administration.  STS-135 had been planned all along as a Crew Rescue Flight (as STS-335) and therefore does not qualify as a "new" addition to the manifest.

What the Obama administration did do was use the Augustine Commission to stall for time until it was too late to extend the Shuttle.  There were at least two independent attempts to keep the Shuttle flying, but neither managed to succeed before the point of no return.
You might want to read this great article by Chris! :)

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/12/next-gen-shuttle-vehicle-secret-effort-save-orbiters-ends/

If you have, still worth reading again!
EDIT: to add link
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 09:49 pm by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline QuantumG

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8781
  • Australia
  • Liked: 3786
  • Likes Given: 892
What does commercial crew have to do with Exploration?..it is only there until ISS splashdown...

That's a strange position to take. You figure LEO will just be abandoned once ISS splashes down? You figure beyond LEO exploration will have no significant LEO activities? You figure crews can't be taken beyond LEO commercially?
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28754
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8858
  • Likes Given: 5742
There has been talk of using commercial crew and cargo vehicles for beyond-LEO. Cygnus, Dragon, and CST-100 could certainly do this. Also, LEO is useful as a staging point for exploration (otherwise, why Ares I?).
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 Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
I like the Russians idea for their next station.  As a base for missions BEO.  http://www.russianspaceweb.com/opsek.html
"From official statements during 2008 and 2009, it is clear that one of the chief objectives of the OPSEK complex would be support for expeditions to Mars. All major elements of the Martian expeditionary complex, such as the main habitation module, Mars lander and nuclear-powered space tug would dock to the station before their departure from low-Earth orbit toward Mars. The Martian expedition would return to the OPSEK as well."


Maybe its time to redefine ISS into a space gateway station vs. a pure science research program.

« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 10:08 pm by Prober »
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 Proponent

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5647
  • Liked: 1173
  • Likes Given: 710
Having now listened to the whole hearing, I'm inclined to double-down on my previous view that Congress will eventually go along with ARRM, for three reasons:

1. As recently reported elsewhere, Rep. Edwards has more or less come on board.
2. There was talk of "if only you (NASA) kept us better informed, we might be happier with ARRM."  That sounds to me like a face-saving way to adopt a more positive stance on ARRM.
3. Unless I missed something, nobody mentioned lunar missions.  I imagine committee members finally got it through their skulls that Orion/SLS missions to the moon's surface would cost a lot.  The only clear alternative discussed, mentioned by Rep. Smith, was Mars 2021, but that mission, if done by NASA, is so fraught with risk and other problems that it's not a serious contender.

Since Smith is chairman of the Science committee, I don't take his opposition lightly.  Still, he offers no serious alternative, and it seems to me that things are shifting in ARRM's favour.

My prediction that Congress will fund ARRM is not, however, a prediction of when or whether ARRM will actually fly.
« Last Edit: 03/29/2014 05:11 pm by Proponent »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32546
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11333
  • Likes Given: 334

Maybe its time to redefine ISS into a space gateway station vs. a pure science research program.


It is a poor design for that and there is no need for such a station or the money to utilize it as such. 

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728

Maybe its time to redefine ISS into a space gateway station vs. a pure science research program.


It is a poor design for that and there is no need for such a station or the money to utilize it as such.

that would come under the term "redefine" .

If you watch Mr. Bolden (near the end of the video), he makes some wild claims of shutting down Orion and SLA if he would need to shut down the ISS.    He seems to make that Nexus.

I'm saying for future BEO; maybe we should go further.  Maybe this is the time to submit a supplemental  budget with upgrades.   Some of the modules locations are in planning for movement & the Bigelow module added etc.   So how about planning in a gateway module for BEO docking.  Who knows maybe Congress would buy an increase for that?
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 Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32546
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11333
  • Likes Given: 334

I'm saying for future BEO; maybe we should go further.  Maybe this is the time to submit a supplemental  budget with upgrades. 

NASA has higher priorities that aren't funded fully, why should this get more money.  Anyways, submit "supplemental  budget"?  The basic budget hasn't been approved.

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728

I'm saying for future BEO; maybe we should go further.  Maybe this is the time to submit a supplemental  budget with upgrades. 

NASA has higher priorities that aren't funded fully, why should this get more money.  Anyways, submit "supplemental  budget"?  The basic budget hasn't been approved.

what has higher priorities than HSF?   ;D

Ok, supplemental, revised budget. ;)
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 woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8828
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 5888
  • Likes Given: 1990
Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(
No, it was about time that a top NASA official told Congress how reality works: No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

Congress is stalling commercial crew and thus it is stalling home-grown US access to LEO and the ISS. Bolden is entirely correct in stating that no access to LEO means no need for SLS, Orion and BLEO HSF. I really don't mind that Bolden states this in his testimony in a somewhat blunt fashion. Blunt seems to be the only thing US Congress actually understands these days.

Sorry, all he did is cover his failures and say its not his fault.
 :(

Check out the exchange again when asked about access to the ISS if the Soyuz isn't available, ie the back up plan.    There is no back up plan, when pressed several times the answer came out.....wait until sometime in 2017 maybe.
Excuse me? You seem to be forgetting that the only official back up plan for No Soyuz was the one that Congress came up with: Orion. The law said it should fly starting 2016 (later morphed into 2017). Congress never even contemplated about a situation where Soyuz became unavailable before that date. And Congress never ordered an extension of the space shuttle to a point in time where Orion could seamlessly take over from STS. So, who's to blame for not having an alternative to Soyuz until 2017: US Congress.
Phase 1 of the Commercial Crew Program was kicked-off by the Obama administration with the specific intent of shortening the gap between STS and Orion-LEO-capability. But from day 1 US Congress stalled Commercial Crew and re-directed part of the requested funds into (at first) Constellation and later SLS and Orion. So, who's to blame for commercial crew increasingly becoming unable to shorten the gap: US Congress.

Don't bother playing the "Obama could have extended STS"-card. The decision to cancel STS was taken in 2004, and by the time Obama came into office it had become almost impossible to reverse that decision. The review of the US HSF program by the Augustine committee also recommended with proceeding to shut down STS.


Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works.

You very clearly did not even bother to listen to what Bolden said. He doesn't need a report to justify commercial crew. The reason for commercial crew is all too clear: throwing money at the Russians is much worse than throwing money at US firms. Throwing hundreds of millions of US government dollars towards the East where they do not serve the US economy is beyond ridiculous. Investing those dollars in US companies makes a lot more sense and will eventually rid the US space program from being dependent on a country that right now is unnecessarily making big waves in the pond of international relationships.

Your remark of "hoping" that Commercial Crew works clearly shows your attitude towards Commercial Crew. But, SLS and Orion are just as much subject to "hoping" that they will work. Neither are a given.
« Last Edit: 03/29/2014 06:59 pm by woods170 »

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
Sorry, all he did is cover his failures and say its not his fault.
 
Check out the exchange again when asked about access to the ISS if the Soyuz isn't available, ie the back up plan.    There is no back up plan, when pressed several times the answer came out.....wait until sometime in 2017 maybe.

Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works.

From reading the chatter above on this thread, and knowing what I know about previous testimony from the witness, this is the same impression that I got.

Do me a favor, willya?

What time in the hearing does this exchange take place?

Here is the hearing on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqjrMeUL5Mg&feature=youtu.be

Also:  Thanks Yves.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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
So, who's to blame for not having an alternative to Soyuz until 2017: US Congress.

Not the way I tell the story.  President Bush started shuttle cancellation without a timely successor.  All Congress and Obama did was go along with that Bush program.  YMMV.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8828
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 5888
  • Likes Given: 1990
So, who's to blame for not having an alternative to Soyuz until 2017: US Congress.

Not the way I tell the story.  President Bush started shuttle cancellation without a timely successor.  All Congress and Obama did was go along with that Bush program.  YMMV.
I know, the situation at hand is open to different interpretation by different persons. But the Obama administration was correct in going along with the planned cancellation of STS. US Congress on the other hand extended the gap between STS and it's successor in at least two ways:
- First they failed to properly fund Constellation. Apart from all the technical difficulties CxP suffered hugely from lack of proper funding.
- Then when CxP was found to be unsustainable and subsequently killed off by the first Obama administration it was US Congress that failed to properly fund Commercial Crew.
Say all you will, but the greater fault for the gap becoming the size it has today rests with US Congress.
« Last Edit: 03/29/2014 07:22 pm by woods170 »

Offline 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3038
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1
But the Obama administration was correct in going along with the planned cancellation of STS.

This is easily the weakest link in your case.  STS should not have been cancelled without a replacement ready to go.  It was by no means a done deal by the time Obama showed up.  He stalled until it was, despite it reportedly being on a list of the top 10 issues facing the incoming President.  Proposals to rescue STS, either temporarily or on a more open-ended basis, were studiously ignored - IIRC Congress even had to fund STS-135 on their own when the White House wouldn't move on it.

Ares I was sold to Congress as Safe, Simple, Soon, and they bought it.  By the time Obama showed up, Shuttle extension was the only way to close the gap.
« Last Edit: 03/29/2014 08:13 pm by 93143 »

Online MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4532
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 1279
  • Likes Given: 2489
There was one mostly complete and one approximately half-complete External Tanks at Michoud that should have been completed and flown as STS-136 and STS-137. This would have kept logistics and sovereign American crew transportation alive until about December 2012. This would have given even more breathing space for Commercial cargo and crew and kept the Shuttle & KSC workforce in place long enough for some to reach actual, legitimate retirement or other jobs.

However, there are two flaws in my above statements - there was no money and little political will to do the above, which would have been nonetheless sensible in my view. At least the Obama administration allowed STS-135 to happen and my trip out to the U.S. to cover it was a voyage I will never forget. But not flying those last E.T.s was a mistake at least half as big as not flying the two remaining Saturn V's at the end of Apollo... :(
« Last Edit: 03/29/2014 11:11 pm by MATTBLAK »
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

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
The wording that the Obama administration was "correct" and "planned" in cancelling STS is either deliberately or inadvertently misleading, but misleading it is.

There has never been a principled objection to the timely and correctly executed plan to retire shuttle.  That technically and legally, the Obama administration continued enacting the Bush "plan", is spin and spin only.

Our politicians act with conscious deliberation at all times. They insist without evidence, that the results of their deliberations are intelligent, well reasoned, and act for the betterment of the country.  Below, I give a recent glaring example of how the falsities uttered by our politicians prove my point.

Had the battleship Maine survived, it would have probably fought in WWI, and later have been retired in an orderly fashion; maybe even would have been replaced by the Missouri, say.  The military, and all industry, continually replaces old equipment with new equipment.

However, in the last election, the Republicans, not that the Democrats have never done the same sort of thing, falsely warned the electorate that our Navy's readiness had deteriorated to about WWI levels.  After all, it was a statistical fact that since we had the same number of ships now as then, that the two navies must have exactly the same capability.

Consciously and deliberately, Mr. Romney pushed the falsehood on the electorate that the Maine was exactly as capable as the Missouri.  This same type of falsehood ishappening now.

Consider the shuttle.  Mr. Bush consciously and deliberately pushed the falsehood that he was retiring the shuttle in a responsible fashion, to make way for timely new US launch capabilities.  Mr. Obama consciously and deliberately ordered NASA to see to it that crucial aspects of the shuttle infrastructure were disabled quickly, so as to more readily implement the Bush plan.  This in the face of many knowlegable individuals on this forum and thruout the aerospace industry who argued vigorously not to disable the shuttle without a replacement.

Congress was sold a plan which pretended to a five year gap.  Now that gap appears to be closer to ten years.  The commercial launch sector is deliberately being slowed down by Congressional funding as demonstrated by the budget.

They're all in it together, and the star witness is now pretending to a new role, but nothing will probably change.
« Last Edit: 03/30/2014 02:45 am by JohnFornaro »
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline vulture4

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1006
  • Liked: 314
  • Likes Given: 90
Mr. Obama pushed quite hard to add two additional Shuttle missions, including one that launched the AMS, that had been canceled by Mr. Bush. He was advised that it would have taken years and billions to add even one more mission.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32546
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11333
  • Likes Given: 334
He was advised that it would have taken years and billions to add even one more mission.

Nonsense. 

Online MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4532
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 1279
  • Likes Given: 2489
If the decision had been made in Fiscal Year 2009 or 10 to complete those unfinished E.T.s the rest of the decisions would have been easier. Oh well; water under the bridge...
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

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
If the decision had been made in Fiscal Year 2009 or 10 to complete those unfinished E.T.s the rest of the decisions would have been easier. Oh well; water under the bridge...

And there were plenty of arguments from professionals, not just us amateurs, counseling the proper usage of those ET's, engines, etc.  That material was thrown away, in the same way that the last two Saturns were thrown away.

Somebody explain to me why these disposable policies are good ones.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
Sorry, all he did is cover his failures and say its not his fault.
 
Check out the exchange again when asked about access to the ISS if the Soyuz isn't available, ie the back up plan.    There is no back up plan, when pressed several times the answer came out.....wait until sometime in 2017 maybe.

Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works.

From reading the chatter above on this thread, and knowing what I know about previous testimony from the witness, this is the same impression that I got.

Do me a favor, willya?

What time in the hearing does this exchange take place?


Also:  Thanks Yves.

Would love to help you but I never wrote the times down and Mr. Bolden's performance is not on my view list again  :o
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 Sesquipedalian

  • Whee!
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 649
  • Liked: 199
  • Likes Given: 626
Mr. Obama pushed quite hard to add two additional Shuttle missions, including one that launched the AMS, that had been canceled by Mr. Bush.

As I described in my post above, this is not only false, it is backwards.

Offline JBF

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Liked: 418
  • Likes Given: 748
As this is a hot button issue please provide evidence to back up your claims. Right now except for the link to Chris's article all I see is a lot of he said she said.
"In principle, rocket engines are simple, but thatís the last place rocket engines are ever simple." Jeff Bezos

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
Do me a favor, willya?

What time in the hearing does this exchange take place?

Would love to help you but I never wrote the times down and Mr. Bolden's performance is not on my view list again.

Thanx Prober.  I totally understand.

The video was posted on Friday.  I had budgeted 1:52:46 for Friday's entertainment, as usual.  So I was thinking about watching this testimony.

But I ended up going to a multi-band rockabilly gig downtown, where I gotta chance to dance with this really cute girl who ended up being the bass player for one of the bands.  When she started playing, some other girl asked me to dance.  Ended up spending more than my budgeted time, but hey: Ya gotta prioritize.  Sometimes the schedule slips to the right.

Yeah, I could have spent that time alone in the office in front of a flat screen watching politicians and hired guns lying to me about our nation's space program.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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
Besides, I learn all about NASA from reading the Sunday Comix:
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
As this is a hot button issue please provide evidence to back up your claims. Right now except for the link to Chris's article all I see is a lot of he said she said.
Charter
http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-113-SY16-20140327-SD001%20.pdf

Statement

http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-113-SY16-WState-CBolden-20140327.pdf


was looking for a link to Chris's article ???

wanted to see how NSF would write this one up.   Maybe a word for word text of the hearing will come out to digest in the future.

EditL add links
« Last Edit: 03/30/2014 08:52 pm by Prober »
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 Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9216
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3067
  • Likes Given: 8345
It's about 52 min. folks...  ;D
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline vulture4

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1006
  • Liked: 314
  • Likes Given: 90
He was advised that it would have taken years and billions to add even one more mission.

Nonsense.
I agreed at one time, but after becoming a little more familiar with shuttle logistics my view changed. United Space Alliance manufactures almost nothing itself; the thousands of components, assemblies, and systems required to prepare the shuttle for flight were procured from over a thousand suppliers, each of which had to go through an extensive certification procedure for each item. When cancellation was announced in January 2004, all these contracts were closed out with final purchases of just enough parts for the planned flights. Many of the suppliers were small companies and as long as they had an indefinite program ahead it was worth it to keep producing the components. But few could afford to go through the certification process again with only the prospect of a handful of flights over the next 5-10 years followed by a final cancellation. The obama administration got in all the flights it could, including the AMS launch and a final flight using the "rescue" shuttle that had been kept in reserve. At that point the best chance to minimize the gap was to push ahead with Commercial Crew. of course they did not realize that Congress would slash Commercial funds to keep Constellation alive.

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
When cancellation was announced in January 2004, all these contracts were closed out with final purchases of just enough parts for the planned flights.

One could hypothesize that the contracts were closed out at random.  I'm certain that would not be the case.

The sequence of closing out the shuttle program was carefully considered, as was the list of particular final purchase items.  In addition, the manufacuturing machinery was destroyed in a carefully planned sequence too.

As a taxpayer looking at the process from 2009, the loudest voices were those arguing that it was too late even then to save shuttle for a few more flights, which would have minimized the gap.  These voices continually brought up the specifics of those items and manufacturing capabilities that had already been deliberately lost, in order to strengthen their arguments against launching a few more flights of shuttle.

I cannot accept an argument that ineptitude was the sole reason we have the gap, nor that ineptitude is the sole reason that the gap is now widening.

What is the game plan today?  What do they hope to accomplish?  Three or maybe even four unmanned flights of a new BFR, loaded with steel plates?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8828
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 5888
  • Likes Given: 1990
The sequence of closing out the shuttle program was carefully considered, as was the list of particular final purchase items.  In addition, the manufacuturing machinery was destroyed in a carefully planned sequence too.

Can you back up those claims? Because right up to the last shuttle flight there was information in L2 saying that critical machinery and tooling was actually not destroyed but mothballed.
And then there is this to consider: cancellation of STS was set in motion in 2004. Final purchase and delivery of less critical parts took place the next year; six years before actual retirement. It took another five years to close all the production lines. Don't expect manufacturers to keep the machinery needed for production for six more years when they had been explicitely told in 2005 that no more parts would be needed after 2005.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8828
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 5888
  • Likes Given: 1990
But the Obama administration was correct in going along with the planned cancellation of STS.

This is easily the weakest link in your case.
No, it is not. STS was on it's way out the day after Columbia met it's tragic end. People were correct in 1986 when they stated that the STS program would ultimately not survive a second fatal incident.
STS came back to flying status in 2005 after Columbia but the STS days were numbered the year before. IMO if it hadn't been necessary to finish constructing the ISS the STS program would have cancelled in the wake of the Columbia disaster.
The US HSF program was scrutinized by the Augustine Committee. However, that committee didn't issue a plea to Obama to continue flying the shuttle; it only listed limited continuation of STS flight as an option to limit the HSF gap. But that option came with a big IF.

STS should not have been cancelled without a replacement ready to go.
Fully agree on that. The USA has apparently not learned anything from the gap between ASTP and STS.

It was by no means a done deal by the time Obama showed up.
Actually yes it was. NASA top management under Obama's predecessor Bush Jr. had seen to it that it was. By the time the presidency and NASA administrator changed it was it was for all purposes and intents practically and financially too late to try to extend the STS program. Remember, the day Obama became the president of the USA it was CxP that was the POR, with Orion being the shuttle replacement. General action, with respect to STS, within NASA between the anouncement of shuttle retirement up to the day Obama became president was aimed at flying out the program and shutting STS down. Griffin et al. had four years to see to it that STS retirement became irreversible, and they were succesfull at doing so. Shuttle had to go to free up funds for CxP.

He stalled until it was, despite it reportedly being on a list of the top 10 issues facing the incoming President. 
That top 10 of issues facing the president was dreamt up by the media. The White House deals with issues for any given president in quite a different way.

Proposals to rescue STS, either temporarily or on a more open-ended basis, were studiously ignored.
No, they were not. It's not the president of the USA that runs the HSF program. It's being handled for him by an agency called NASA. NASA managers had been looking into extending the shuttle program from 2007 forward, that's two years before Obama took office. First authorization for shuttle extension took place on February 15th, 2009, less than a month after Obama took office. The Obama administration at that moment in time had not had the time to ignore the proposals nor had it had the time to actively counter the proposals, let alone that it had had the time to fight the authorization.

Ares I was sold to Congress as Safe, Simple, Soon, and they bought it.  By the time Obama showed up, Shuttle extension was the only way to close the gap.
I agree with you on that. But it was not to happen.

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
The sequence of closing out the shuttle program was carefully considered, as was the list of particular final purchase items.  In addition, the manufacuturing machinery was destroyed in a carefully planned sequence too.

Can you back up those claims?

That the closing out sequence was carefully considered?  Mine is a reductio ad absurdum argument; I simply cannot accept your seeming assertion that they acted randomly.

Quote from: Woods170
Because right up to the last shuttle flight there was information in L2 saying that critical machinery and tooling was actually not destroyed but mothballed.

No doubt that certain critical pieces of equipment was mothballed.  Certain critical pieces were also destroyed.  Whatever is in mothballs was not going to be used for a few more flights, and is not being used currently.  It is the functional and pragmatic equivalent of having been destroyed.

Shuttle was intentionally retired prematurely, for no good reason.  Perhaps someone is floating the argument that destroying the shuttle manufacturing capability would hasten the construction of a new LV, but that clearly didn't happen, and would be a specious argument besides.

Quote from: Woods170
And then there is this to consider: cancellation of STS was set in motion in 2004. Final purchase and delivery of less critical parts took place the next year; six years before actual retirement. It took another five years to close all the production lines.

Not much of a point being made there.  The program took a while to kill.  This is not surprising.

Quote from: Woods170
Don't expect manufacturers to keep the machinery needed for production for six more years when they had been explicitely told in 2005 that no more parts would be needed after 2005.

Don't put any expectations on me, kemosabe.  I continue to assert that they planned to kill it prematurely, and they succeeded.  In other threads here, a few people who knew, suggested that four, maybe even six more flights would have been possible, as late as 2010.  I'm not going to revisit those arguments here.

As an aside, my most excellent suggestion after the first accident, was to build another one for "only" $4.5B, with no doubt unanimous agreement from Congress.  My idea was never floated at the time, and I cannot believe that I was the only person to have made this suggestion.

Back to the thread...
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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
It's not the president of the USA that runs the HSF program. It's being handled for him by an agency called NASA.

You know that the President runs that agency called NASA.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
It's not the president of the USA that runs the HSF program. It's being handled for him by an agency called NASA.

You know that the President runs that agency called NASA.

and Mr Bolden the Presidents PR man does the rest  ;D
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 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3038
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1
The US HSF program was scrutinized by the Augustine Committee. However, that committee didn't issue a plea to Obama to continue flying the shuttle; it only listed limited continuation of STS flight as an option to limit the HSF gap. But that option came with a big IF.

You mean the recertification?  IIRC that was established to be a red herring.  Most of it had been done already in the course of a mid-life review; the bulk of what the ASAP was asking for was done prior to every single flight.

The Augustine Commission didn't issue any "pleas", or even recommendations, for anything.  That was explicitly not their job.

Quote
It was by no means a done deal by the time Obama showed up.
Actually yes it was. NASA top management under Obama's predecessor Bush Jr. had seen to it that it was. By the time the presidency and NASA administrator changed it was it was for all purposes and intents practically and financially too late to try to extend the STS program.

Then why were there no less than two serious, insider-supported attempts in 2011 (Holleran and CSTS) to resurrect Shuttle on an ongoing basis?  One of which (Holleran) involved modernizing the whole supply chain with private money, and was stymied not by SSP-related issues but by the repurposing of infrastructure for SLS?

Your view sounds like what Wayne Hale said in 2008, but that wasn't so much a declaration of impossibility as a heads-up regarding inevitable difficulties.  And inasmuch as it dismissed the idea of uncancelling Shuttle, it seems to have been overtaken by events...

At the very least, a few extra flights could have been added without having to restart the supply chain, stretching the manifest a couple of years and resulting in a minimized gap (assuming Ares was replaced by a properly-funded Jupiter).

There was one mostly complete and one approximately half-complete External Tanks at Michoud that should have been completed and flown as STS-136 and STS-137.

I believe there were three part-built tanks, as well as an old LWT.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2014 03:39 am by 93143 »

Online MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4532
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 1279
  • Likes Given: 2489
Well; that just makes it worse, then... :(
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8828
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 5888
  • Likes Given: 1990
It's not the president of the USA that runs the HSF program. It's being handled for him by an agency called NASA.

You know that the President runs that agency called NASA.
No, the NASA administrator does that for him. NASA falls under presidential direction, but Obama's got Bolden to handle the details for him.

Offline woods170

  • IRAS fan
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8828
  • IRAS fan
  • The Netherlands
  • Liked: 5888
  • Likes Given: 1990
The US HSF program was scrutinized by the Augustine Committee. However, that committee didn't issue a plea to Obama to continue flying the shuttle; it only listed limited continuation of STS flight as an option to limit the HSF gap. But that option came with a big IF.

You mean the recertification?  IIRC that was established to be a red herring.  Most of it had been done already in the course of a mid-life review; the bulk of what the ASAP was asking for was done prior to every single flight.
Yes, I mean the recertification. Augustine Committee was well aware of the mid-life reviews but nevertheless attached the recertification "IF" to the shuttle-extension option. That doesn't sound like a red herring to me, but more like an attempt to invoke additional caution for a system that was already flying longer than it ever was supposed to.

It was by no means a done deal by the time Obama showed up.
Actually yes it was. NASA top management under Obama's predecessor Bush Jr. had seen to it that it was. By the time the presidency and NASA administrator changed it was it was for all purposes and intents practically and financially too late to try to extend the STS program.

Then why were there no less than two serious, insider-supported attempts in 2011 (Holleran and CSTS) to resurrect Shuttle on an ongoing basis?  One of which (Holleran) involved modernizing the whole supply chain with private money, and was stymied not by SSP-related issues but by the repurposing of infrastructure for SLS?
The repurposing of STS infrastructure for SLS started out as repurposing of STS infrastructure for Constellation. One of the more visible aspects of that was the retirement of LC-39B and one of the VAB high-bays to support CxP. Shuttle was on it's way out (in terms of production and infrastructure) long before CxP was canned and replaced with SLS. The fact that the insider-support extension attempts for STS were stymied by repurposing of infrastructure was not SLS-invoked but CxP invoked. For example: shutdown on External Tank manufacturing lines started under CxP, not SLS. Shut-down of RS-25 production lines was ordered in 2007, under CxP, (but was halted in 2008). Shutdown orders for numerous spare parts for the STS systems was ordered almost entirely between 2005 and 2009.
Shutdown of production lines and repurposing of infrastructure was in full swing long before CxP was cancelled. You can thank Bush Jr. and his pet-dog NASA administrator for that; they made very sure that it was for all practical purposes nearly impossible to extend STS. And it worked; by the time Obama became the president it was clear to most people that extending shuttle (beyond two extra flights) was really not an option.

At the very least, a few extra flights could have been added without having to restart the supply chain, stretching the manifest a couple of years and resulting in a minimized gap (assuming Ares was replaced by a properly-funded Jupiter).
Minimizing the gap from at least 7 years to at least 4 to 5 years (assuming those few extra flight - 3 at best- would have been done in 2-3 years) does not sound like minimizing to me. A not-so-long gap is just as bad as a long gap.



Offline jongoff

  • Recovering Rocket Plumber/Space Entrepreneur
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6262
  • Lafayette/Broomfield, CO
  • Liked: 2430
  • Likes Given: 805
Minimizing the gap from at least 7 years to at least 4 to 5 years (assuming those few extra flight - 3 at best- would have been done in 2-3 years) does not sound like minimizing to me. A not-so-long gap is just as bad as a long gap.

And the cost of keeping the shuttle on life support like that would've likely sucked enough money out of the room to delay both SLS/Orion and commercial crew by another year or two, completely wiping out the gap reduction benefit gained.

~Jon

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
It's not the president of the USA that runs the HSF program. It's being handled for him by an agency called NASA.

You know that the President runs that agency called NASA.
No, the NASA administrator does that for him. NASA falls under presidential direction, but Obama's got Bolden to handle the details for him.

I will not accept this level of spin.  Mr. Obama calls the shots at NASA.  It is his legal job to do so.  You are correct in your assertion that Mr. Obama does not run the xerox machine for Mr. Bolden.

I do not appreciate the slackjawed attention that Mr. Obama has paid to NASA, nor is there any excuse for the lamebrained advice he has been given by his closely held, virtually incestuous group of close minded insiders.  Everything that Mr. Obama has ordered has been entirely within the legal parameters of his job, and it is his right to do so.

One of the biggest problems facing the country today is out of control spin.  This is probably the second largest problem with our HSF program, after corporate greed.  They are all so busy winning at all costs, and saying whatever is necessary to win the internecine budget battles, that they don't really know what the facts are anymore, and cannot make good decisions.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline clongton

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10677
  • Connecticut
    • Direct Launcher
  • Liked: 2857
  • Likes Given: 1147
Maybe its time to redefine ISS into a space gateway station vs. a pure science research program.

ISS cannot be repurposed for that.
An assembly and servicing station would be a completely different geometry.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline clongton

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10677
  • Connecticut
    • Direct Launcher
  • Liked: 2857
  • Likes Given: 1147
There was one mostly complete and one approximately half-complete External Tanks at Michoud that should have been completed and flown as STS-136 and STS-137. ... However, there are two flaws in my above statements - there was no money and little political will to do the above,

Matt, OV-106 was privy to a private very, VERY heavily financed effort to operate STS commercially for a while (not permanently). There are others on here who also knew. Funds were actually in place iirc for at least 3 flights. NASA would have simply paid for the service, much as is envisioned now for Commercial Crew & Cargo. Everything was in place except the decision to allow it - which never came. And thus STS died - while perched to take flight. Sad.
« Last Edit: 04/04/2014 05:03 pm by clongton »
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline RanulfC

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4446
  • Heus tu Omnis! Vigilate Hoc!
  • Liked: 814
  • Likes Given: 32
It's not the president of the USA that runs the HSF program. It's being handled for him by an agency called NASA.

You know that the President runs that agency called NASA.
No, the NASA administrator does that for him. NASA falls under presidential direction, but Obama's got Bolden to handle the details for him.

And just to be clear, Congress directly controls the budget so that they actually have much more direct control over NASAs operations and programs. Review: The President lays down overall "official" policy, Congress directly appropriates the budget for programs, operations, and support, and the Administrator tries to balance the two (usually opposing) factions. His "boss" is the VP of the United States, he works for the President, but answers to Congress.

In the end, no matter what a President makes for "policy" the Administrator ends up dealing with what support Congress gives for any specific program with a little leeway depending on his abilities to "finagle" finances and avoid running afoul of any of the aforementioned "higher-ups" in the process.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

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
In the end, no matter what a President makes for "policy" the Administrator ends up dealing with what support Congress gives for any specific program with a little leeway depending on his abilities to "finagle" finances and avoid running afoul of any of the aforementioned "higher-ups" in the process.

It's a shame, but there it is, roughly as you report.  Remember also how Bolden stonewalled Congress on the release of various reports and studies over the last few years.

I have this naive notion that had NASA been more accomplished in decades past, then Congress would grant them more leeway on prioritizing their work.  It would also help matters a great deal if Presidents would take a serious interest in NASA (not to overlook other agencies), and make reasoned judgements on priorities, rather than focus on improving their golf scores.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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
...a private very, VERY heavily financed effort to operate STS commercially for a while ...

I remember hearing bits and pieces of this revealed here and there on this forum.  Supports my general contention that there were powerful forces intent on killing shuttle period, regardless of the ancillary consequences. 

As I recall, the private effort to extend shuttle was to have actually been somewhat less expensive than the government would have been.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline muomega0

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 861
  • Liked: 65
  • Likes Given: 1
Shuttle used for commercial....iMars comes to mind....."serious" faux interest...

Maybe its time to redefine ISS into a space gateway station vs. a pure science research program.

ISS cannot be repurposed for that.
An assembly and servicing station would be a completely different geometry.
They say the best way to get something done is to ignore those who say it can't be done... So the plans to redefine ISS into a gateway are not on L2?!  :o   

MaxFaget said that "we really need to get behind a really sensible first stage that's completely reusable and piggyback off that event"  After decades of not getting $/kg  lower and funding STS over Titan despite analysis showing no return on investment assuming 100s of flights, Spacex revisited Titan and seems on a path to make a low cost reusable lower stage.  Perhaps its true:  no incentive to reduce costs as it reduces profits.  If ISS is repurposed, no new hardware to build...perhaps that's the reason....

Offline RanulfC

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4446
  • Heus tu Omnis! Vigilate Hoc!
  • Liked: 814
  • Likes Given: 32
In the end, no matter what a President makes for "policy" the Administrator ends up dealing with what support Congress gives for any specific program with a little leeway depending on his abilities to "finagle" finances and avoid running afoul of any of the aforementioned "higher-ups" in the process.

It's a shame, but there it is, roughly as you report. Remember also how Bolden stonewalled Congress on the release of various reports and studies over the last few years.

Sad but true. As for Bolden and the reports/studies I can't say really that I blame him given he already knew "who" was demanding them and "what" they were going to do with them. Neither of which was aimed at actually changing anything, nor using the information effectivly. And it was only certain "Congressmen" and not "Congress" that was making the waves so that no matter which way he went the only "looser" at the end was going to be NASA...

Quote
I have this naive notion that had NASA been more accomplished in decades past, then Congress would grant them more leeway on prioritizing their work.  It would also help matters a great deal if Presidents would take a serious interest in NASA (not to overlook other agencies), and make reasoned judgements on priorities, rather than focus on improving their golf scores.

I don't see it as naive at all actually. NASA (and its Administrators) have never been really good at "playing-the-game" on the Hill with few exceptions. Given the background of 90% of them it is pretty inevitable really. Couple that with the way NASA was set up originally and "distibution" of power...

At this point it is water under the bridge however and very unlikely to change. The "problem" with Presidents is that they come and they go, more-so now that it is a given one will never be in place past 8 years. A President has to take "serious" interest in NASA during his first term, and be willing to fight Congress on the level Obama has been fighting Congress for the last 6 years and really space and NASA just are not that "important" for the majority of people.

I kinda wish we COULD elect a President on a "space" platform, and that's about the only way it would get done but I can still dream :)

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

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
I kinda wish we COULD elect a President on a "space" platform, and that's about the only way it would get done but I can still dream

And that dream is exactly the naivete I raise.  BTW, I'm running again as a write in candidate for Prez in 2016.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Prober

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10315
  • Save the spin....I'm keeping you honest!
  • Nevada
  • Liked: 702
  • Likes Given: 728
I kinda wish we COULD elect a President on a "space" platform, and that's about the only way it would get done but I can still dream

 BTW, I'm running again as a write in candidate for Prez in 2016.

what Kool-Aid have you been drinking?  ;D
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 Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9216
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3067
  • Likes Given: 8345
Maybe you all can convince Newt to run again... ;D
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

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
what Kool-Aid have you been drinking?  ;D

You talkin' to me?  I got several dozen write in votes in '08.  In more than one state.  Three, if some of my Cali buds actually voted for me.  You never heard Obama talk about it did ya?  Shows you how scared he was.   

To answer your question:  Hawaiian Punch.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline 93143

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3038
  • Liked: 294
  • Likes Given: 1
Yes, I mean the recertification. Augustine Committee was well aware of the mid-life reviews but nevertheless attached the recertification "IF" to the shuttle-extension option. That doesn't sound like a red herring to me, but more like an attempt to invoke additional caution for a system that was already flying longer than it ever was supposed to.

The orbiters were a third of the way into their design lifetimes.  And you should know that the Augustine Commission didn't have the time to do much analysis themselves, but had to more or less trust the word of the various organizations that supplied data to them.

People who actually worked on STS were highly annoyed at the ASAP's comments.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/09/ssp-fight-back-asap-augustine-claim-risk/

(Some interesting stuff on Shuttle extension proposals linked in that article.  It was plainly not at all impossible in 2009, though the poor commonality with Ares resulted in handoff issues.)

Quote
The fact that the insider-support extension attempts for STS were stymied by repurposing of infrastructure was not SLS-invoked but CxP invoked.

Your assertion is contrary to known data, with supporting evidence insufficient to justify the contradiction.

And my statement was specific to the Holleran attempt.  When CSTS was proposed by USA it was still not too late, unless you're suggesting that the one contractor who knew absolutely everything about STS could have made a mistake like that, years after you claim the point of no return was passed...

CSTS:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24010.0

Holleran:
http://www.marylynnedittmar.com/?p=1303
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/12/next-gen-shuttle-vehicle-secret-effort-save-orbiters-ends/

Quote
by the time Obama became the president it was clear to most people that extending shuttle (beyond two extra flights) was really not an option.

No, that was propaganda.  Three or four extra flights could have been managed without any supply chain restart, and multiple proposals were submitted during Obama's first term that explicitly included the option to go beyond that.

Quote
At the very least, a few extra flights could have been added without having to restart the supply chain, stretching the manifest a couple of years and resulting in a minimized gap (assuming Ares was replaced by a properly-funded Jupiter).
Minimizing the gap from at least 7 years to at least 4 to 5 years (assuming those few extra flight - 3 at best- would have been done in 2-3 years) does not sound like minimizing to me. A not-so-long gap is just as bad as a long gap.
And the cost of keeping the shuttle on life support like that would've likely sucked enough money out of the room to delay both SLS/Orion and commercial crew by another year or two, completely wiping out the gap reduction benefit gained.

What part of "properly-funded Jupiter" did you guys not understand?  MSFC was confident they could get a J-130 in the air in three years from the word go, and J-130 had much more in common with STS than either SLS or any version of Ares did.  As late as 2009, a short Shuttle extension of just a few flights (not requiring a supply chain restart) could have resulted in the last STS mission launching after the first J-130.

The Augustine Commission wouldn't have found that out, because they ignored J-130 entirely, and added a large margin on top of DIRECT's already margin-packed number to come up with an unrealistically high cost to develop J-241.

Tags: