Author Topic: NASA defends decision to restart RS-25 production, rejects alternatives  (Read 85723 times)

Offline Proponent

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Correct - two produced per year, with a 'surge' of three per year with funding ramped-up.

I believe that the 3-per-year surge applies to the launch rate (ie, a 120-day turn-around time for LC-39B) rather than to the production rate.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Yes - both factors are true. 3x complete vehicles per year would be the limit; both for a funding and the 'launch surge' logistics. With the right funding and probably a second launch pad; I could not imagine more than 4x per annum in any case.
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Offline Khadgars

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Correct - two produced per year, with a 'surge' of three per year with funding ramped-up.

I believe that the 3-per-year surge applies to the launch rate (ie, a 120-day turn-around time for LC-39B) rather than to the production rate.

Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

Offline Proponent

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

Source?

Offline ennisj

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

Source?

According to a former Boeing SLS Program Manager: "Boeing has Michoud set up to stamp out enough stages for one SLS a year — two at most with the factory’s current manufacturing capabilities, and then only if NASA pours more money and personnel into the facility."

MAF SLS core production rates have been hashed out in this thread: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37060.0 (including the source for the above quote.)

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

Source?

According to a former Boeing SLS Program Manager: "Boeing has Michoud set up to stamp out enough stages for one SLS a year — two at most with the factory’s current manufacturing capabilities, and then only if NASA pours more money and personnel into the facility."

MAF SLS core production rates have been hashed out in this thread: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37060.0 (including the source for the above quote.)
So to get to 1 per year just requires extra infrastructure at AJR to be able to build 4 engines /yr. But in order to get to 2 per year where it should be at, requires more personnel and equipment all around.

Online Lars-J

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

That is hilarious. They peaked with ~10 Shuttles per year off a single pad during the Shuttle program. But can only do 3 now?

Offline eric z

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 Am I the only one getting very confused? Yikes! :-[

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

That is hilarious. They peaked with ~10 Shuttles per year off a single pad during the Shuttle program. But can only do 3 now?
They only have 1 MLP for SLS. To do more launches more often multiple (as many as 4 like Shuttle and Apollo had at one point). So with 1 MLP you can do up to 3 in 1 year. If you had 4 you could do up to 12!!!

After launch the MLP must be refurbished. Then it moves back to the VAB where stacking starts. So with 1 MLP all tasks are serial and any delays from the previous launch delays all launches following. There is no scheduling padding capability or contingency capabilities if the MLP becomes severely damaged. It would take several years and $100sM to upgrade another MLP to be able to launch an SLS. So until the manufacturing side is upgraded the launch side only needs the 1 MLP.

Online Lars-J

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

That is hilarious. They peaked with ~10 Shuttles per year off a single pad during the Shuttle program. But can only do 3 now?
They only have 1 MLP for SLS. To do more launches more often multiple (as many as 4 like Shuttle and Apollo had at one point). So with 1 MLP you can do up to 3 in 1 year. If you had 4 you could do up to 12!!!

After launch the MLP must be refurbished. Then it moves back to the VAB where stacking starts. So with 1 MLP all tasks are serial and any delays from the previous launch delays all launches following. There is no scheduling padding capability or contingency capabilities if the MLP becomes severely damaged. It would take several years and $100sM to upgrade another MLP to be able to launch an SLS. So until the manufacturing side is upgraded the launch side only needs the 1 MLP.

Ok, thanks, that makes a certain amount of sense. But it also dooms the program to never get anything useful done, if launches have to be spaced 3-4 months. (The exception being missions that can done done in a single launch like Europa Clipper)

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

That is hilarious. They peaked with ~10 Shuttles per year off a single pad during the Shuttle program. But can only do 3 now?
They only have 1 MLP for SLS. To do more launches more often multiple (as many as 4 like Shuttle and Apollo had at one point). So with 1 MLP you can do up to 3 in 1 year. If you had 4 you could do up to 12!!!

After launch the MLP must be refurbished. Then it moves back to the VAB where stacking starts. So with 1 MLP all tasks are serial and any delays from the previous launch delays all launches following. There is no scheduling padding capability or contingency capabilities if the MLP becomes severely damaged. It would take several years and $100sM to upgrade another MLP to be able to launch an SLS. So until the manufacturing side is upgraded the launch side only needs the 1 MLP.

Ok, thanks, that makes a certain amount of sense. But it also dooms the program to never get anything useful done, if launches have to be spaced 3-4 months. (The exception being missions that can done done in a single launch like Europa Clipper)
The SLS program like many gov space programs is in the English saying "Penny wise but Pound foolish". Not spending enough now means you pay a lot more later.

Offline edkyle99

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

That is hilarious. They peaked with ~10 Shuttles per year off a single pad during the Shuttle program. But can only do 3 now?
Three Block 1B SLS launches would be able to put 27 Space Shuttle mission's worth of payload into solar orbit.  Hilarious, huh?

 - Ed Kyle

Online Lars-J

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

That is hilarious. They peaked with ~10 Shuttles per year off a single pad during the Shuttle program. But can only do 3 now?
Three Block 1B SLS launches would be able to put 27 Space Shuttle mission's worth of payload into solar orbit.  Hilarious, huh?

 - Ed Kyle

An interesting metric, but not very useful other then pointing out that the Shuttle system was not that efficient at putting payloads into orbit.  :)

Offline ZachF

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

That is hilarious. They peaked with ~10 Shuttles per year off a single pad during the Shuttle program. But can only do 3 now?
Three Block 1B SLS launches would be able to put 27 Space Shuttle mission's worth of payload into solar orbit.  Hilarious, huh?

 - Ed Kyle


...and for the cost we're spending just on development for SLS and Orion we could put up over 1,000 tonnes to LEO per year with SpaceX and soon BO with money to spare.

Every year we spend more on SLS+Orion, a system that has a lot of hand-me-downs from Shuttle, that will be obsolete before it ever launches than it took a certain company from Hawthorne to develop a world-beating launch vehicle, make it reusable, and design a space ship for it.

Every year we shovel away a Juno and Curiosity worth of funds (combined) into the hole that is SLS.

It's time to put SLS to pasture.
« Last Edit: 07/14/2017 02:13 PM by ZachF »

Online oldAtlas_Eguy

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We have wandered away from the RS-25 issues. Specifically the new build.

In the latest CJS appropriation bill there is no reduction in spending for SLS but neither is their a significant increase to increase infrastructure to increse build rates. Most of the increses are to get EM-1 completed and to fund the new development work on the US.

Offline jtrame

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Production can support 2 per year now, with some funding required to reach 3 per year.  I think max launch rate is 3 per year from 39B.

That is hilarious. They peaked with ~10 Shuttles per year off a single pad during the Shuttle program. But can only do 3 now?
Three Block 1B SLS launches would be able to put 27 Space Shuttle mission's worth of payload into solar orbit.  Hilarious, huh?

 - Ed Kyle

It's an interesting metric because to actually mount a manned Mars mission it's going to take assembly of a huge interplanetary ship.  SLS could very well supply at least part of this muscle, theoretically of course. Pipe dreams won't get it done. 

The restart of engine production is another step in that direction.  But SLS for or against shouldn't be part of this topic.  There are more appropriate threads for that discussion.

Right now SLS is part of the 2018 budget.  To those that want to see it cancelled, you will have to work through that process. 

Offline Propylox

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We have wandered away from the RS-25 issues. Specifically the new build.
 -Thanks for calling that out, Atlas. Though it shouldn't be necessary.
In the latest CJS appropriation bill there is no reduction in spending for SLS but neither is their a significant increase to increase infrastructure to increse build rates. Most of the increses are to get EM-1 completed and to fund the new development work on the US.
No change in RS-25 infrastructure spending, but increases in EM-1 and US budgets is the perfect time to put RS-25 back into storage. The production infrastructure and buildup AR was paid to do for RS-25 gets converted to J-2X ; EM-1 is delayed and funded while it converts to a 3x RS-68 base ; The EUS is designed around 2x J-2X for an EM-3 cargo mission debut ; and Advanced Booster program cancelled.

EM-1: Pushed back a bit, but still an unmanned testflight with 3x RS-68, a Delta US and EuroSM
EM-2: No change in schedule as a manned testflight with the same 68/DUS/ESM layout
EM-3: DSG cargo mission with new J-2X US and possibly the related 6-barrel core tankage
EM-4: Manned flight of the finalized 68/J-2X rocket and SM delta-v increase to 2,000m/s

All this is not only possible, but begins with putting RS-25 back in a shed where it should have stayed.

Offline AnimatorRob

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Am I the only one getting very confused? Yikes! :-[

Confused? No. Sad? Yes.

Offline Propylox

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The SLS program like many gov space programs is in the English saying "Penny wise but Pound foolish". Not spending enough now means you pay a lot more later.
I'm not sure if SLS (and its engine choices specifically) really was about saving money "now", but about politicians and administrators thinking they were saving money. The RS-25 is a $70mil engine, both to get existing ones out of storage and new builds, while the claim was "we already have these engines". Similarly "we already have RL10s", even though that requires preparing DUS for EM-1&2 nowhere missions followed by another underpowered upper stage of all-new manufacturing plus all-new boosters. The alternative is fewer $20mil 68's per launch and a production-ready J-2X stage based on core tooling.

Offline Jim

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The alternative is fewer $20mil 68's per launch and a production-ready J-2X stage based on core tooling.

There is no such alternative, if it includes RS-68.  RS-68 and SRB are not viable, much like air start SSME. 

Also, there is no need for J-2, when RL 10 is available
« Last Edit: 07/29/2017 03:25 PM by Jim »

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