Poll

Which companies will receive major funded CCtCap awards?

Boeing
8 (2.1%)
Sierra Nevada
4 (1%)
SpaceX
14 (3.6%)
Other entity
0 (0%)
Boeing & Sierra Nevada
13 (3.4%)
Boeing & SpaceX
68 (17.5%)
Sierra Nevada & SpaceX
253 (65.2%)
Boeing & other entity
1 (0.3%)
Sierra Nevada & other entity
1 (0.3%)
SpaceX & other entity
15 (3.9%)
Boeing, Sierra Nevada & SpaceX
10 (2.6%)
None of the above
1 (0.3%)

Total Members Voted: 388

Voting closed: 09/02/2014 01:02 pm


Author Topic: Commercial Crew Downselect  (Read 61963 times)

Offline Proponent

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #140 on: 09/03/2014 11:55 am »
If you'd asked us for individual probability distributions and combined those together (somehow!?!), you'd then have data that you could interpret as our collective guesses about what the future holds.

I thought about that, but there wasn't a lot of reaction to it.  Fearing that NASA might announce the selection before we had a chance to run the poll, I decided to not let the better be the enemy of the good enough and went with the single-choice format.

Maybe each "vote" could consist of a series of scenarios coded in a standard way, e.g.,:

  20x 50nx 20xb 10o

could mean 20% weight on a sole award to SpaceX ('x'), 50% on SpaceX and SNC ('n'), 20% on SpaceX & Boeing ('b') together, and 10% on a sole award to a dark horse.  Somebody would have to gather and tally all of the results, but that wouldn't be too much work with a standardised format.

An easier, though less flexible, option would be to let everybody vote, say, six times.  People could vote for the same scenario each time or for a variety of them in whatever proportions they feel appropriate.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2014 12:03 pm by Proponent »

Offline Celebrimbor

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #141 on: 09/03/2014 02:14 pm »
Yes six or so votes would set me much more at ease :)

Offline MP99

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #142 on: 09/03/2014 07:06 pm »


In this case, i also count MP99's stated preference for "one on F9 + one on Atlas" as SpaceX & other.

Many thanks, though I'd like to clarify that this was a prediction, and not a statement of preference.

I'd personally like to see Dragon win a slot, but I did clarify the "on F9" comment as also covering DC (or even CST-100) flying on F9, so this could easily cover Boeing/Atlas V + SNC/F9.

Cheers, Martin

Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #143 on: 09/04/2014 01:47 pm »
Looks like everyone is going to have to wait another week. But fingers crossed 9/12 is the date. I'm just worried that any more delay to the announcement will force slips to the first flight.

Offline rcoppola

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #144 on: 09/04/2014 03:28 pm »
Looks like everyone is going to have to wait another week. But fingers crossed 9/12 is the date. I'm just worried that any more delay to the announcement will force slips to the first flight.
i don't think that's likely on the SpaceX side. They're still doing primary structural qual and full-up getting ready for Pad and In-flight abort. Another week or two will not slow them down much if at all. Can't speak to SNC but I suspect the same is true with their current commitment to a 2016 orbital test fight and they already bought the Atlas V...(I didn't mention Boeing because I don't think they are being selected anyways.)
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Offline wolfpack

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #145 on: 09/04/2014 04:35 pm »
I voted Boeing and SpaceX. Atlas 5 doesn't factor in, since SNC and CST-100 both fly on it. SNC suffered a failure with the FTA and they just announced they're swapping motors. If you do the risk analysis objectively, DreamChaser comes in last. It's that simple.

Whether a company states intentions to fly with/without NASA can't factor into NASA's decision making. If Congress told NASA it needs the commerical crew capability by a certain date, then that's what matters. NASA has to choose the shortest pole with the lowest risk. That's F9/Dragon2 and A5/CST-100.

Offline Jcc

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #146 on: 09/04/2014 11:31 pm »
I voted Boeing and SpaceX. Atlas 5 doesn't factor in, since SNC and CST-100 both fly on it. SNC suffered a failure with the FTA and they just announced they're swapping motors. If you do the risk analysis objectively, DreamChaser comes in last. It's that simple.

Whether a company states intentions to fly with/without NASA can't factor into NASA's decision making. If Congress told NASA it needs the commerical crew capability by a certain date, then that's what matters. NASA has to choose the shortest pole with the lowest risk. That's F9/Dragon2 and A5/CST-100.

Boeing is low risk to fly successfully at a high price point. They collected the most money and are not even delivering abort tests, which means they will cost even more to reach certification. I agree DC is looking quite risky because of the engine change, who knows how long it will take to get that working? However, they have the advantage of being a unique type (lifting body) so NASA can have dissimilar redundancy with one of each type of crew vehicle.

Online punder

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #147 on: 09/05/2014 12:04 am »
Looks like everyone is going to have to wait another week. But fingers crossed 9/12 is the date. I'm just worried that any more delay to the announcement will force slips to the first flight.

Did you hear or read something?  Uh-oh hope I'm not impinging on L2 privileges.   ;)

I didn't clue in to the vote cutoff date, but fwiw I'm going with SpaceX and Boeing.  I'd prefer SNC to Boeing but the most rational mix is the clear frontrunner and cost winner with higher perceived risk (from NASA POV, not mine), and the high-cost but proven aerospace giant with low perceived risk.  NASA will hate to give up on the lifting body, but they will--as they always have done.  (Excluding Shuttle because it's really winged, not a lifting body.)

Offline robertross

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #148 on: 09/05/2014 01:01 am »
I voted SpaceX & SNC's Dream Chaser

Originally I thought SNC & Boeing, but changed my mind this year.

reason for change:
SpaceX has really stepped up thto the plate, whereas in contrast I found Boeing to be doing pretty much of the 'same', waiting on a better dose of funding rather than putting much of their own skin in the game.

Dream Chaser was always in my books for what it brings in capability to the ISS: a broader range of specialized return cargo capability (foremost, due to reduced G forces during landing), and a capability to land at many different landing strips just in case.
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Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #149 on: 09/05/2014 02:51 pm »
Boeing is low risk to fly successfully at a high price point. They collected the most money and are not even delivering abort tests, which means they will cost even more to reach certification. <snip>

You are neglecting to take into account a couple of factors when evaluating Boeing's chances;

1. The revolving door between NASA and Boeing. Many managers in NASA have worked for or will work for Boeing and many, many NASA employees have worked with Boeing.

2. Boeing has contributed and will contribute billions of dollars to various congressional critters over the decades and enjoys their ear.

NASA is under enormous internal pressure to select Boeing and also under pressure from those who control NASA's purse strings.  I've said before that the fix was in and that Boeing was a guaranteed winner, I see no reason to change that view.
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #150 on: 09/05/2014 05:05 pm »
Boeing is low risk to fly successfully at a high price point. They collected the most money and are not even delivering abort tests, which means they will cost even more to reach certification. <snip>

You are neglecting to take into account a couple of factors when evaluating Boeing's chances;

1. The revolving door between NASA and Boeing. Many managers in NASA have worked for or will work for Boeing and many, many NASA employees have worked with Boeing.

2. Boeing has contributed and will contribute billions of dollars to various congressional critters over the decades and enjoys their ear.

NASA is under enormous internal pressure to select Boeing and also under pressure from those who control NASA's purse strings.  I've said before that the fix was in and that Boeing was a guaranteed winner, I see no reason to change that view.
It's easier to make those claims when replacing actual individuals with a generic "NASA".

For instance, I just don't see someone like Bill Gerstenmaier making this decision based on anything other then the merits.

That's not to say that Boeing isn't  selected  and there turns out to be very cogent reasons for that. None of us are aware of every detail of what has transpired over these last few years and months with CCiCAP. But it would be for reasons other than influence and politics.

Although, sometimes, having all the supposed advantages as stated in 1 & 2 can actually work against you. You could just as well be more inclined to pick some new blood. After all, the whole purpose of this was to engage commercial entities in new ways to drive down costs. Boeing doesn't get you there. IMO, they already know they have a sure thing with DragonV2. This allows a little risk flexibility for your second choice. Which is why I think they'll go with DC.

As for Boeing? They'll be busy with X-37B, SLS, ISS, etc., etc., for many years to come and I am thankful they are there. But we need to broaden this industry out more. Not to do so,  I believe,  becomes the greatest risk of all.

Mr. Gerstenmaier will do the right thing. He has my full faith. I'll ultimately support whatever he gets behind.

Edit: Unless he gets behind vehicles other then DC and DragonV2, then...well, I'll get over it...in time...after a few hundred protest posts on NSF.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2014 06:11 pm by rcoppola »
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Offline Jim

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #151 on: 09/05/2014 06:04 pm »

1. The revolving door between NASA and Boeing. Many managers in NASA have worked for or will work for Boeing and many, many NASA employees have worked with Boeing.


Not really a revolving door.

Offline dglow

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #152 on: 09/05/2014 06:42 pm »

1. The revolving door between NASA and Boeing. Many managers in NASA have worked for or will work for Boeing and many, many NASA employees have worked with Boeing.


Not really a revolving door.

Usually just a one-way trip?

Offline wolfpack

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #153 on: 09/05/2014 07:21 pm »
IMO, they already know they have a sure thing with DragonV2. This allows a little risk flexibility for your second choice. Which is why I think they'll go with DC.

How is DragonV2 a sure thing? It still has a ways to go.

Remember what took ATK/Liberty out of the running. Lack of a spacecraft. NASA didn't care about the booster. They said composite Orion was just not "there" enough (for lack of a better term). Same is true of DC. Getting new landing gear and a motor. It's not "there" as much as Dragon and CST are "there".

From a risk standpoint, CST-100 is the best choice. It's an Apollo capsule with parachutes. That design works.

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #154 on: 09/05/2014 07:26 pm »
IMO, they already know they have a sure thing with DragonV2. This allows a little risk flexibility for your second choice. Which is why I think they'll go with DC.

How is DragonV2 a sure thing? It still has a ways to go.

Remember what took ATK/Liberty out of the running. Lack of a spacecraft. NASA didn't care about the booster. They said composite Orion was just not "there" enough (for lack of a better term). Same is true of DC. Getting new landing gear and a motor. It's not "there" as much as Dragon and CST are "there".

From a risk standpoint, CST-100 is the best choice. It's an Apollo capsule with parachutes. That design works.
From a risk standpoint, Dragon v2 as it stands for CCtCap is identical to CST-100. CST-100 uses airbags, Dragon uses legs (with a little thrust assist by SuperDracos, but not strictly required). I see no way that the risk is any different between them, except that Dragon has more options in case of parachute failure.

And from a programmatic risk perspective, SpaceX has qual hardware already built while Boeing is still in the fiberglass mockups and CAD files stage. To say nothing of Dragon V1 which is flying already.
« Last Edit: 09/05/2014 07:28 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline dglow

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #155 on: 09/05/2014 11:28 pm »
Dragon uses legs (with a little thrust assist by SuperDracos, but not strictly required).

Strictly speaking, no. Per Garrett Reisman all nominal landings use SD thrust assist.

The only exception is an exceptional abort scenario, aka 'several things just went very wrong.'

Online Robotbeat

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #156 on: 09/05/2014 11:38 pm »
Dragon uses legs (with a little thrust assist by SuperDracos, but not strictly required).

Strictly speaking, no. Per Garrett Reisman all nominal landings use SD thrust assist.

The only exception is an exceptional abort scenario, aka 'several things just went very wrong.'
Right. My statement make more sense with the context of comparing CST-100 risk to Dragon's.
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Offline daveklingler

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #157 on: 09/06/2014 12:51 am »
Although my preference would be SpaceX/Sierra Nevada, the answer is...SpaceX and Boeing, because I don't think the calculus has significantly changed since CCiCap.  Of course, maybe we'll get 2.5 selections.

May Sierra Nevada see resounding success with their international partners.  And may I be wrong in my choices.  A SpaceX/Sierra Nevada downselect would be a pleasant check to my cynicism.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Commercial Crew Downselect
« Reply #158 on: 09/07/2014 06:54 am »
I can't believe there has been no word yet.

This is starting to get a bit ridiculous. The wheels of NASA turn much too slowly for my liking.

Every time I log in here it seems like nothing has happened which is why I don't bother keeping up with everything on a daily basis anymore.
« Last Edit: 09/07/2014 06:55 am by spectre9 »

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