Author Topic: NASA finally sets goals, missions for SLS - eyes multi-step plan to Mars  (Read 50176 times)

Online ncb1397

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Now for the implications of a EM-1 date in 4Q 2019 for this plan.

EM-2 no earlier than 1Q 2023.
Europa Clipper possible the first SLS-1B in 2Q-3Q 2023 with EM-2 in 2Q-3Q 2024 because of not flying crew on first flight of EUS.

This pushes all the dates  NETs referenced in the plan slipped to the right 1-2 years.

So first manned Orion and the first ITS unmanned flight could be an either or situation as to who is first.
A BTW ISS has 500m^3 of volume. An ITS has somewhere in the range of 1,000 to 2,000m^3 of volume. As a SSTO just the spacecraft lifting with a dozen persons to LEO would make an interesting instant space station. That also presumes that the dry weight of the spacecraft is as low as SpaceX would like for it to be making it able to reach orbit as an SSTO without much payload (estimate about 10mt out of its planned capability of 200-300mt when launched on top of the BFR.

But alas ITS is highly speculative at this point but so is the funding for SLS/Orion through to 2025.

All the baselines are way out whack anyways. NASA tends to do forward planning with the presidential budget when they don't have a congressional budget, which don't line up at all. For instance, the 2017 appropriation to the SLS account is 64% higher than the president's budget.

Offline jpo234

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So if ITS is doing orbital testing in 2021, what happens to this plan?
Or New Armstrong? Probably not in 2021,but soon after.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Negan

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So if ITS is doing orbital testing in 2021, what happens to this plan?
Or New Armstrong? Probably not in 2021,but soon after.

I was looking for more of a BEO spacecraft to spacecraft comparison. Unfortunately arbitrarily moving ITS stated development schedule five years to the right ended up being the answer.

Offline AncientU

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Zubrin Weighs in (scathingly, as usual):
NASA's Worst Plan Yet
So, the question is: If we could put a man on the Moon, why can’t we put a man on the Moon?

Here’s the answer: During the Apollo program, the NASA’s mission-driven human spaceflight program spent money in order to do great things. Now, lacking a mission, it just does things in order to spend a great deal of money.

Why is NASA proposing a lunar-orbiting space station? The answer to that is simple. It’s to give its Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion capsule programs something to do. The utility of such activity is not a concern. As a result, nothing useful will be accomplished.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2017 05:44 PM by AncientU »
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Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Classic Zubrin.

He's right (about political/prime motivations). He's wrong (you can't do much more in this screwed up political environment).

What he doesn't say:
1) You do need something to stage a mostly SEP propelled architecture from
2) Other international partners and possibly commercial interests could stage from there too
3) If you build something, it will be heavily leveraging legacy systems already flying
4) If you get your HSF SEP architecture transferring cargo/crew, you'll need something to deliver it to (Mars DSG?)
5) Your eventual lander(s) stage from where you delivered it to
6) You might get more help along the way from other efforts too there (logistical staging)

Here's the complement he should have paid NASA's approach:
*) They want to keep DSG smallest possible for Zubrin-like reasons.

(Which is ironic because space cadets always want to "grow" everything, including a DSG, thinking it will make things "better", not seeing the trap that the funding/development for DSG takes away from missions to Mars. Magnificent distraction.)
The key thing Zubrin is right about - distraction.

To the political side - SLS isn't going to be around forever, Shuttle and Saturn certainly weren't, but they did accomplish long term goals.

Take Zubrin seriously about ending up with a dead-end mini-ISS partially completed in NRO. As SLS promising legacy. That's a very valid point.

What I'd wished he'd have said:

If you want to go to Mars, you develop DST first, on your first dollar. Then you are at least ... going to Mars. Back fill around that to make it useful as a mission architecture.

This is how one could see the best here. To avoid the "DSG as ISS" trap. So simple even a Congressman could understand it.


And to "get real" about use of commit-able, finite American govt budget for Mars, and to totally discard existing politics as to achieve the most from what you have in hand:

* Have the prime contractors divvy up DST. Redirect SLS into one flight to validate SLS by orbitting a preliminary DST propulsion system mission (about as reductionist as you can get). Second flight orbits a real one.

* Use commercial space to resupply an unmanned DST, doing spiral out, resupply, increasing scope missions, resupply, spiral down, refit, spiral out, resupply, ... working up to Mars, and routinely visiting.

* Use combined means and international partnerships to build as needed DSG-like lunar terminus to HSF embark from.

* Commission a DSG-lite and lander for transport/operation at Mars via SEP.

There - highly economic and parallel Mars mission architecture. Still plenty of dollars in pockets.


Oh and then the legacy, secured in TWO flights of SLS (possibly w/o EUS or IUS) is Mars transport system.

So what if it starts out unmanned. Does it really matter if SLS never flew crew?

Look at "The Martian". John Q. Voter couldnt' tell the difference between Delta IVH and SLS Block 1B if his life depended on it. They just think its a rocket with a capsule.

Honestly we've got to give up on them having to ride the big rocket. So ... dumb ...
« Last Edit: 05/17/2017 07:28 PM by Space Ghost 1962 »