Author Topic: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request  (Read 48693 times)

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #60 on: 03/26/2017 09:47 PM »
Which means that if the National Space Council is reconstituted with V.P. Pence at it's head, that we should really be looking to V.P. Pence for indications of where the administration will be pointing NASA.  That all we can and should expect from Trump will be platitudes, but no actionable details.

Good point.  What do we know about Pence's record on space when he was in Congress?

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #61 on: 03/27/2017 08:59 AM »
We're not going anywhere unless NASA learns to do more with the NINETEEN BILLION dollars it has available every year.  Do you really(!!!) think NASA would actually do anything exploration-wise if its budget was raised 5%, 10%, 20%?  This might help SLS/Orion be less behind, but not much else.  NASA-philes seem to think doubling the NASA human space flight budget is what is needed to get the current program off the ground.

NASA traditionally has needed large budgets to do the big programs. It doesn't know how to or can't do it cheaper. Cost in 2017 dollars.

Gemini $8B
Apollo $121B
Skylab $11B
Space Shuttle $221B
ISS $167B (to 2015)

So, an increase would make a difference. A doubling of the NASA budget means increasing the exploration budget from $3.7B to $23B. It would give NASA sufficient funds to build a Lunar Lander, a Lunar Base, a new Space Station and a Mars Mission. The alternative though is cutting the exploration budget to $2B and giving that to industry in public-private-partnerships ($1B each to two companies, say SpaceX and Blue Origin). It will be interesting to see what happens.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Star One

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NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #62 on: 03/27/2017 12:38 PM »
To me this just seems to stating the obvious on the ideological driven cuts.

Quote
Ideology, Not Reality, Drives Trump NASA Cuts
Aviation Week & Space Technology
President Donald Trump’s first stab at a federal budget, like all such “top-line” documents over past decades, is dead on arrival. Congress will take it as the notional plan that it is, and begin the laborious, highly complex and usually obscure process of balancing the interests its members represent with the public funds available to support them. What comes out the other end probably will bear faint resemblance to Trump’s initial proposal. The president’s ...

http://m.aviationweek.com/space/ideology-not-reality-drives-trump-nasa-cuts
« Last Edit: 03/27/2017 12:39 PM by Star One »

Offline AncientU

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #63 on: 03/27/2017 01:57 PM »
We're not going anywhere unless NASA learns to do more with the NINETEEN BILLION dollars it has available every year.  Do you really(!!!) think NASA would actually do anything exploration-wise if its budget was raised 5%, 10%, 20%?  This might help SLS/Orion be less behind, but not much else.  NASA-philes seem to think doubling the NASA human space flight budget is what is needed to get the current program off the ground.

NASA traditionally has needed large budgets to do the big programs. It doesn't know how to or can't do it cheaper. Cost in 2017 dollars.

Gemini $8B
Apollo $121B
Skylab $11B
Space Shuttle $221B
ISS $167B (to 2015)

So, an increase would make a difference. A doubling of the NASA budget means increasing the exploration budget from $3.7B to $23B. It would give NASA sufficient funds to build a Lunar Lander, a Lunar Base, a new Space Station and a Mars Mission. The alternative though is cutting the exploration budget to $2B and giving that to industry in public-private-partnerships ($1B each to two companies, say SpaceX and Blue Origin). It will be interesting to see what happens.

New article:
Quote
NASA spends 72 cents of every SLS dollar on overhead costs

Quote
After President George W. Bush announced a plan to return to the Moon and move on to Mars in 2004, NASA began to consider how best to carry out that vision. Although there were some promising private-sector rockets even then, administrator Michael Griffin set the agency on the course of building its own rockets and spacecraft. Those programs have evolved into the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft.

Since then, according to a new report published by the nonpartisan think tank Center for a New American Security, NASA has spent $19 billion on rockets, first on Ares I and V, and now on the SLS. Additionally, the agency has spent $13.9 billion on the Orion spacecraft. The agency hopes to finally fly its first crewed mission with the new vehicles in 2021. If it does so, the report estimates the agency will have spent $43 billion before that first flight, essentially a reprise of the Apollo 8 mission around the Moon.

These costs can then be compared to the total cost of the entire Apollo program, which featured six separate human landings on the Moon. According to two separate estimates, the Apollo program cost between $100 billion and $110 billion in 2010 dollars. Thus just the development effort for SLS and Orion, which includes none of the expenses related to in-space activities or landing anywhere, are already nearly half that of the Apollo program.

Quote
For Orion, according to the report, approximately 56 percent of the program's cost, has gone to NASA instead of the main contractor, Lockheed Martin, and others. For the SLS rocket and its predecessors, the estimated fraction of NASA-related costs is higher—72 percent. This means that only about $7 billion of the rocket's $19 billion has gone to the private sector companies, Boeing, Orbital ATK, Aeroject Rocketdyne, and others cutting metal.

Quote
By comparison the report also estimates NASA's overhead costs for the commercial cargo and crew programs... the NASA overhead costs for these programs is just 14 percent, the report finds.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03/new-report-nasa-spends-72-cents-of-every-sls-dollar-on-overhead-costs/

NASA needs to learn to do more with the funds it has...
(Hint: Cuts to a bloated bureaucracy might be a place to start.)
« Last Edit: 03/27/2017 02:08 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Star One

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #64 on: 03/27/2017 04:11 PM »
We're not going anywhere unless NASA learns to do more with the NINETEEN BILLION dollars it has available every year.  Do you really(!!!) think NASA would actually do anything exploration-wise if its budget was raised 5%, 10%, 20%?  This might help SLS/Orion be less behind, but not much else.  NASA-philes seem to think doubling the NASA human space flight budget is what is needed to get the current program off the ground.

NASA traditionally has needed large budgets to do the big programs. It doesn't know how to or can't do it cheaper. Cost in 2017 dollars.

Gemini $8B
Apollo $121B
Skylab $11B
Space Shuttle $221B
ISS $167B (to 2015)

So, an increase would make a difference. A doubling of the NASA budget means increasing the exploration budget from $3.7B to $23B. It would give NASA sufficient funds to build a Lunar Lander, a Lunar Base, a new Space Station and a Mars Mission. The alternative though is cutting the exploration budget to $2B and giving that to industry in public-private-partnerships ($1B each to two companies, say SpaceX and Blue Origin). It will be interesting to see what happens.

New article:
Quote
NASA spends 72 cents of every SLS dollar on overhead costs

Quote
After President George W. Bush announced a plan to return to the Moon and move on to Mars in 2004, NASA began to consider how best to carry out that vision. Although there were some promising private-sector rockets even then, administrator Michael Griffin set the agency on the course of building its own rockets and spacecraft. Those programs have evolved into the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft.

Since then, according to a new report published by the nonpartisan think tank Center for a New American Security, NASA has spent $19 billion on rockets, first on Ares I and V, and now on the SLS. Additionally, the agency has spent $13.9 billion on the Orion spacecraft. The agency hopes to finally fly its first crewed mission with the new vehicles in 2021. If it does so, the report estimates the agency will have spent $43 billion before that first flight, essentially a reprise of the Apollo 8 mission around the Moon.

These costs can then be compared to the total cost of the entire Apollo program, which featured six separate human landings on the Moon. According to two separate estimates, the Apollo program cost between $100 billion and $110 billion in 2010 dollars. Thus just the development effort for SLS and Orion, which includes none of the expenses related to in-space activities or landing anywhere, are already nearly half that of the Apollo program.

Quote
For Orion, according to the report, approximately 56 percent of the program's cost, has gone to NASA instead of the main contractor, Lockheed Martin, and others. For the SLS rocket and its predecessors, the estimated fraction of NASA-related costs is higher—72 percent. This means that only about $7 billion of the rocket's $19 billion has gone to the private sector companies, Boeing, Orbital ATK, Aeroject Rocketdyne, and others cutting metal.

Quote
By comparison the report also estimates NASA's overhead costs for the commercial cargo and crew programs... the NASA overhead costs for these programs is just 14 percent, the report finds.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/03/new-report-nasa-spends-72-cents-of-every-sls-dollar-on-overhead-costs/

NASA needs to learn to do more with the funds it has...
(Hint: Cuts to a bloated bureaucracy might be a place to start.)

Spoken like a commercial space 'true believer'. Rather than making a knee jerk response maybe you should stop and consider that a lot of that bureaucracy rather than being a waste is actually carrying out important functions.   

Offline SWGlassPit

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #65 on: 03/27/2017 07:30 PM »
That's quite a leap of logic to go from "72% of SLS money going to NASA, not contractors" to "72% of SLS money going to overhead."  Is NASA 100% overhead??

Offline Sesquipedalian

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #66 on: 03/27/2017 09:45 PM »
Spoken like a commercial space 'true believer'. Rather than making a knee jerk response maybe you should stop and consider that a lot of that bureaucracy rather than being a waste is actually carrying out important functions.   

Who is really making the knee jerk response here?  AncientU provided quotes and figures.  You provided an insult followed by a non sequitur.

We already know that there is plenty of room for NASA to do things a lot more efficiently.  Commercial Shuttle (remember those discussions from years ago?) proved it in theory.  Commercial Cargo is proving it in practice.

Offline Star One

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NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #67 on: 03/27/2017 10:59 PM »
Spoken like a commercial space 'true believer'. Rather than making a knee jerk response maybe you should stop and consider that a lot of that bureaucracy rather than being a waste is actually carrying out important functions.   

Who is really making the knee jerk response here?  AncientU provided quotes and figures.  You provided an insult followed by a non sequitur.

We already know that there is plenty of room for NASA to do things a lot more efficiently.  Commercial Shuttle (remember those discussions from years ago?) proved it in theory.  Commercial Cargo is proving it in practice.

Because it's quoting a think tank report, any such body that claims to be non-partisan you can bet their bottom dollar that they aren't and instead have an angle to sell you. We have no shortage of such groups over here in the U.K. and like this one it's quite clear that this one does have a bias. Let's hear who is funding this body (there is nothing about this on their website) and maybe then we will have a better idea on this.
« Last Edit: 03/27/2017 11:01 PM by Star One »

Offline Star One

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #68 on: 03/28/2017 06:23 AM »
Because it's quoting a think tank report, any such body that claims to be non-partisan you can bet their bottom dollar that they aren't and instead have an angle to sell you.

If you dig down deeper, you discover that the person who wrote the report:

a-does not actually work for that think tank, he only presented his paper during one of their events (during lunch time, to a small audience, according to the author himself)
b-is actually a blogger
c-is in no way "non-partisan"

Go look him up. Read his numerous blog posts on political subjects. See if they fit the definition of "non-partisan."

Thanks for that clarification & info. As I can now see just another internet blogger pushing an agenda.

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #69 on: 03/28/2017 09:56 AM »
How about focusing on the contents of the paper rather than on the author.  Do the arguments stand up or not?

Offline AncientU

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #70 on: 03/28/2017 10:11 AM »
So, why does it take several times as much for NASA to develop a rocket -- by their own accounting -- than it does for a company like SpaceX?  They can be considered non-partisan and without agenda, right?
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Offline AncientU

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #71 on: 03/28/2017 10:19 AM »
Spoken like a commercial space 'true believer'. Rather than making a knee jerk response maybe you should stop and consider that a lot of that bureaucracy rather than being a waste is actually carrying out important functions.   

Who is really making the knee jerk response here?  AncientU provided quotes and figures.  You provided an insult followed by a non sequitur.

We already know that there is plenty of room for NASA to do things a lot more efficiently.  Commercial Shuttle (remember those discussions from years ago?) proved it in theory.  Commercial Cargo is proving it in practice.

No doubt 'a lot' of it is. But the other half?
NASA is carrying way too many people...
you who know the most about the organization know that!

Don't give me that agenda line. 

"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Lar

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #72 on: 03/28/2017 10:25 AM »
How about focusing on the contents of the paper rather than on the author.  Do the arguments stand up or not?

Yes please. The past few posts come off as fairly petty, playing the man, not the ball behavior. (the author of the paper, as well as each other)... increase the "be excellent to each other" quotient, here please. And stop with the "CommSpace Sux / No, SLS Sux" line altogether.

(that was a mod view)
« Last Edit: 03/28/2017 01:03 PM by Lar »
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Offline Star One

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #73 on: 03/28/2017 10:37 AM »
How about focusing on the contents of the paper rather than on the author.  Do the arguments stand up or not?

Is it that easy to separate one from the other though, especially in this case. Doesn't one immediately bring doubt to the other.

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #74 on: 03/28/2017 11:34 AM »
Read his paper carefully.  Does he present coherent arguments?  Is it logically sound?  Is it supported by facts?  Are the arguments comprehensive, or does he ignore significant information that would contradict his claims?

I find that I learn more from reading things I disagree with.  I try to accept the author's starting point and then see whether I really can make a good case against it.  If you reject things on the grounds that "oh, well, he would say that, wouldn't he," you miss an opportunity to learn.  Focus on what is said rather than on who is saying it or toward what end.

Offline Star One

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NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #75 on: 03/28/2017 12:17 PM »
Read his paper carefully.  Does he present coherent arguments?  Is it logically sound?  Is it supported by facts?  Are the arguments comprehensive, or does he ignore significant information that would contradict his claims?

I find that I learn more from reading things I disagree with.  I try to accept the author's starting point and then see whether I really can make a good case against it.  If you reject things on the grounds that "oh, well, he would say that, wouldn't he," you miss an opportunity to learn.  Focus on what is said rather than on who is saying it or toward what end.

But the trouble with people who you suspect to have an agenda is you start to question whether you can even rely on something as basic as their figures, bringing to mind the old adage lies, damned lies, and statistics.
« Last Edit: 03/28/2017 12:19 PM by Star One »

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #76 on: 03/28/2017 12:18 PM »
Check the figures.

Offline Lar

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #77 on: 03/28/2017 01:02 PM »
(non mod view)

I think both Proponent and Star One are right. Especially in this day and age, it's hard to trust numbers presented without some independent corroboration. But once you trust the numbers, evaluate the case on merits.... a blending of what they are saying is probably how to look at stuff. Trust but verify? no, wrong order these days, Verify first unless you REALLY trust the source.

As for that pull quote I mostly agree but it hasn't been "occasional" for a long time, and the number of yachts is increasing. Especially among some vendors whose book of business is mostly commercial birds (yes you can argue about whether those birds benefit from NASA tech and subsidies and government linked corps (especially in Asia) being the owners, and etc)....
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Offline Lar

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #78 on: 03/28/2017 01:24 PM »
Launch can't be a free market, ever? That's an interesting assertion. I think there are no free markets anywhere in the classical sense, all are regulated. But some are freer than others. I see launch moving in the freer direction (thanks to NewSpace, you knew I'd say that) but I could be wrong.

And I'm going to stand behind my assertion that some providers book of business is mostly commercial birds (yachts) and only a few non commercial (aircraft carriers)....
« Last Edit: 03/28/2017 01:24 PM by Lar »
"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 Proponent

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Re: NASA FY 2018 Budget Request
« Reply #79 on: 03/28/2017 01:31 PM »
(non mod view)
I think both Proponent and Star One are right. Especially in this day and age, it's hard to trust numbers presented without some independent corroboration. But once you trust the numbers, evaluate the case on merits.... a blending of what they are saying is probably how to look at stuff. Trust but verify? no, wrong order these days, Verify first unless you REALLY trust the source.

That makes perfect sense.  I have not read the paper, but I did skim it and notice that detailed references for cost figures are provided.  Verifying those numbers ought to be pretty straightforward in this case.  Then one can move on to consider whether the argument the author makes on the basis of those numbers is valid.
« Last Edit: 03/28/2017 01:39 PM by Proponent »

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