Author Topic: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)  (Read 40683 times)

Offline as58

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #120 on: 10/20/2017 10:43 AM »
Yeah, wonder what is entailed by
Quote
* Reductions shall be taken in the widefield instrument.
* The cost of science investigations shall be reduced.

Reducing the cost of science investigations sounds like less funding to Guest Observer/Investigator programs. That's an 'easy' way to cut cost, though obviously not well liked by the astronomers and not good for actually getting science done with the fancy new telescope.

Regarding the widefield instrument, I guess reducing the number of detector chips (and FOV) could give significant savings, but obviously science would suffer too.  Reducing the number of filters probably wouldn't make much of an impact on cost.

Offline Star One

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #121 on: 10/23/2017 03:35 PM »
NASA seeks cost-cutting changes in design of WFIRST mission

Quote
WASHINGTON — The head of NASA’s science directorate has requested modifications to the design of its next flagship astrophysics mission based on the recommendations of an independent review.

The proposed changes to the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) mission are intended to reduce the spacecraft’s projected cost by at least $400 million and address issues about the technical maturity and risk of some elements of the space observatory while the mission is still in its earliest phases of development.

In an Oct. 19 memo to Chris Scolese, director of the Goddard Space Flight Center, which hosts the WFIRST program, NASA Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said he was acting to make changes to the WFIRST program based on recommendations from the WFIRST Independent External Technical/Management/Cost Review, or WIETR. NASA carried out that review this summer based on a recommendation from a 2016 report by the National Academies, which worried that potential cost growth in WFIRST could affect the balance of other astrophysics missions funded by the agency.

“This report is as thorough and thoughtful as we hoped,” Zurbuchen said in a statement. “We are taking the report’s findings and recommendations very seriously as we think about the future of this exciting mission.”

Quote
That revised design will continue to make use of a 2.4-meter telescope, one of two obtained by NASA from the National Reconnaissance Office in 2012. That telescope, much larger than the 1.3-meter telescope originally proposed for WFIRST when astronomers identified the mission as its top priority flagship mission in the 2010 decadal survey, was intended to reduce costs while improving the scientific performance of the mission.

Zurbuchen, though, left open the possibility of revisiting that decision should this latest redesign fall short. “If the result of this study is the conclusion that WIFRST cannot be developed using the current 2.4m telescope architecture within the $3.2B cost target,” he wrote, “I will direct a follow-on study of a WFIRST mission consistent with the architecture described by the Decadal Survey.”

NASA, while releasing the Zurbuchen memo responding to the WIETR report, did not release the report itself. Zurbuchen and the two co-chairs of the WIETR panel, Orlando Figueroa and Peter Michelson, are scheduled to discuss the report at an Oct. 25 meeting of the Space Studies Board’s Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics in Irvine, California.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-seeks-cost-cutting-changes-in-design-of-wfirst-mission/

Online Blackstar

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Offline Star One

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #123 on: 10/30/2017 09:10 PM »

Online matthewkantar

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #124 on: 10/30/2017 11:00 PM »
I wrote a number of letters to elected officials to keep the project going when it faced the axe, maybe it should have been cancelled after all.

The delay is upsetting after several years of insisting everything was on schedule. If you ordered a product and it was a thousand percent over budget and 9 years late, would you expect it to work?

Crossing fingers and toes hoping the thing face no more delays and functions properly once it is out of reach.

Matthew

Offline Star One

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #125 on: 10/31/2017 05:50 AM »
I wrote a number of letters to elected officials to keep the project going when it faced the axe, maybe it should have been cancelled after all.

The delay is upsetting after several years of insisting everything was on schedule. If you ordered a product and it was a thousand percent over budget and 9 years late, would you expect it to work?

Crossing fingers and toes hoping the thing face no more delays and functions properly once it is out of reach.

Matthew

Saying it should have been cancelled is an overreaction as for all its troubles it should still do great work once in orbit.

Offline as58

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Online gongora

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #127 on: 11/22/2017 03:34 PM »
WIETR presentation.

Online Blackstar

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #128 on: 11/22/2017 04:42 PM »
It says final report, but that looks like a presentation of the report, not the report itself. I'd expect a report to be in standard format, not a Powerpoint presentation.


And you might note that releasing bad news on the day before a major holiday is a bit of a cliche.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2017 02:08 AM by Blackstar »

Online hop

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #129 on: 11/23/2017 07:35 PM »
And you might note that releasing bad news on the day before a major holiday is a bit of a cliche.
It is not exactly kind to NASA HQ.
Quote
The NASA HQ-to-Program governance structure is dysfunctional, and should be corrected for clarity in roles, accountability, and authority.
...
The WIETR also found that the mission requirements are not consistent with the resources reflected in the Management Agreement, or with the budget profile provided as the guideline to the Project in NASA’s official budget planning database. Therefore, the requirements are not reasonable.
Ouch.

It also strongly suggests that complete removal of the coronagraph would be required to hit the $3.2B limit Zurbuchen set out in his response up-thread, and even that may not be enough.

There's also an intriguing tidbit for spacecraft nerds:
Quote
Cost database and recent studies for In-house GSFC missions indicate that the cost savings for publicly available spacecraft for the required performance do not represent savings. It is possible that an “off-the-shelf” spacecraft for a non-publicly known project could meet the requirements and offer cost and schedule savings. There may be logistics and acquisition issues for these spacecraft options that impact design and performance data accessibility, and therefore impact the feasibility of such an acquisition.
« Last Edit: 11/23/2017 07:36 PM by hop »

Offline as58

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #130 on: 11/23/2017 08:58 PM »
Yeah, the full report (or its presentation) paints a bleaker picture than the memorandum that was released in October. The coronagraph seems very hard to fit inside the cost cap.

Offline Star One

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #131 on: 11/24/2017 11:45 AM »
And you might note that releasing bad news on the day before a major holiday is a bit of a cliche.
It is not exactly kind to NASA HQ.
Quote
The NASA HQ-to-Program governance structure is dysfunctional, and should be corrected for clarity in roles, accountability, and authority.
...
The WIETR also found that the mission requirements are not consistent with the resources reflected in the Management Agreement, or with the budget profile provided as the guideline to the Project in NASA’s official budget planning database. Therefore, the requirements are not reasonable.
Ouch.

It also strongly suggests that complete removal of the coronagraph would be required to hit the $3.2B limit Zurbuchen set out in his response up-thread, and even that may not be enough.

There's also an intriguing tidbit for spacecraft nerds:
Quote
Cost database and recent studies for In-house GSFC missions indicate that the cost savings for publicly available spacecraft for the required performance do not represent savings. It is possible that an “off-the-shelf” spacecraft for a non-publicly known project could meet the requirements and offer cost and schedule savings. There may be logistics and acquisition issues for these spacecraft options that impact design and performance data accessibility, and therefore impact the feasibility of such an acquisition.

I assume they mean the KH-11?

Offline as58

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #132 on: 11/26/2017 07:13 PM »
I assume they mean the KH-11?

I seems to me that satellite platforms for an LEO imaging mission and an astronomical telescope at L2 would have quite different requirements.

Offline Star One

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Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #133 on: 11/26/2017 07:28 PM »
I assume they mean the KH-11?

I seems to me that satellite platforms for an LEO imaging mission and an astronomical telescope at L2 would have quite different requirements.

Well maybe they will have to think again about positioning it at L2 if compromise is the order of the day. I can’t think what else payload would fit the bill for this mission.
« Last Edit: 11/26/2017 09:19 PM by Star One »

Online gongora

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #134 on: 11/26/2017 08:19 PM »
I found it odd that for the latest budget estimate they switched the LV from Delta IV-H to FH, which isn't quite certified for the payload yet.  I guess they must have been trying to shave off a couple hundred million from the cost.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #135 on: 11/27/2017 06:45 AM »
I found it odd that for the latest budget estimate they switched the LV from Delta IV-H to FH, which isn't quite certified for the payload yet.  I guess they must have been trying to shave off a couple hundred million from the cost.

IIRC the final Delta IV Heavy goes up from VAFB in 2023 with a NRO payload. Also that the last 6 manifested Delta IV Heavy flights are all lofting NRO birds. Kind of pointless to budget estimate for a currently non-available launch vehicle that is being phased out. Presuming the Delta IV Heavy supply chain is close to finishing their contracted for  components.

Even the Falcon Heavy might not be the WFIRST LV depending on the progress of the Vulcan, NG & BFR. Especially if the WFIRST goes up after 2026.

edit to added the Vulcan
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 07:49 PM by Zed_Noir »

Offline woods170

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #136 on: 11/27/2017 07:11 AM »
I assume they mean the KH-11?

I seems to me that satellite platforms for an LEO imaging mission and an astronomical telescope at L2 would have quite different requirements.
Largely nullified by the nature of the "non-publically known" sat platform.
« Last Edit: 11/27/2017 07:11 AM by woods170 »

Offline Star One

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #137 on: 11/27/2017 12:06 PM »
I found it odd that for the latest budget estimate they switched the LV from Delta IV-H to FH, which isn't quite certified for the payload yet.  I guess they must have been trying to shave off a couple hundred million from the cost.

IIRC the final Delta IV Heavy goes up from VAFB in 2023 with a NRO payload. Also that the last 6 manifested Delta IV Heavy flights are all lofting NRO birds. Kind of pointless to budget estimate for a currently non-available launch vehicle that is being phased out. Presuming the Delta IV Heavy supply chain is close to finishing their contracted for  components.

Even the Falcon Heavy might not be the WFIRST LV depending on the progress of the NG & BFR. Especially if the WFIRST goes up after 2026.

Or even Vulcan as you didn’t mention that.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #138 on: 11/27/2017 07:47 PM »
I found it odd that for the latest budget estimate they switched the LV from Delta IV-H to FH, which isn't quite certified for the payload yet.  I guess they must have been trying to shave off a couple hundred million from the cost.

IIRC the final Delta IV Heavy goes up from VAFB in 2023 with a NRO payload. Also that the last 6 manifested Delta IV Heavy flights are all lofting NRO birds. Kind of pointless to budget estimate for a currently non-available launch vehicle that is being phased out. Presuming the Delta IV Heavy supply chain is close to finishing their contracted for  components.

Even the Falcon Heavy might not be the WFIRST LV depending on the progress of the NG & BFR. Especially if the WFIRST goes up after 2026.

Or even Vulcan as you didn’t mention that.

If the Vulcan is available in a variant with 6 solid motor boosters and a non Centaur upper stage then that variant could be a possible LV for the WFIRST.

Will modified my post with addition of the Vulcan.

Offline Negan

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Re: Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST)
« Reply #139 on: 11/29/2017 05:19 PM »
Anybody know what risk category this mission will fall under?

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