Poll

September 2027: will either, neither or both SpaceX's BFR and NASA's SLS be operational?

SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
23 (9.4%)
BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
131 (53.5%)
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.
79 (32.2%)
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
12 (4.9%)

Total Members Voted: 245

Voting closed: 10/30/2017 05:15 PM


Author Topic: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR  (Read 31874 times)

Offline darkenfast

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #20 on: 09/30/2017 02:04 PM »
Thanks!  I don't mind seeing the expiration changed to thirty days, but "edit poll" doesn't give me that option.

Edit/Lar: I changed it. Anyone can always PM me if they need a poll edited...
« Last Edit: 09/30/2017 06:19 PM by Lar »

Offline david1971

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #21 on: 09/30/2017 05:10 PM »
I have no idea what is things are going to look like in 10 years.  But the past 10 years have shown me that SpaceX and Congress/NASA look at sunk costs differently.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #22 on: 09/30/2017 05:27 PM »
I think SLS will be operational in 6 years - and then be canceled before ten years is out. How many SSMEs are available - I forget, but not many.
There are 16 SSME engines available, but last year NASA signed a contract to build more:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-contract-to-restart-development-of-engines-to-power-agency-s-journey-to

Online rockets4life97

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #23 on: 09/30/2017 06:11 PM »
In 10 years, I think BFR will be operational. In 10 years, I expect SLS to have flown and been cancelled.

It seems likely to me that we will have many different political configurations in terms of control of the presidency and congress in that time. That is a lot of hurdles for SLS to get over without being cancelled.

Offline savuporo

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #24 on: 09/30/2017 07:58 PM »
Neither, as neither has a business case. The market is all going towards smaller payloads, not bigger.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline tyrred

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #25 on: 09/30/2017 11:15 PM »
BFR will be operational, SLS will not. 

BFR will enable large constellations of small satellites, satellite replacements, debris mitigation measures, and larger more ambitious goals such as making people look really cool in space selfies on their vacation to the moon and back.  Doubt it will do point to point passenger service by 2027.

SLS will have launched, Orion will visit the ISS once.  Congratulations to all involved.  Rocket to nowhere is then cancelled and 39B is leased to Spacex for BFR use.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #26 on: 10/01/2017 12:21 AM »
I expect EM-1 to fly.

I also expect EM-2 and EC to fly.

But EM-3 is questionable as well as anything after.

Why?

Because if BFR is demoed successfully in 2022 or 2023 with EC penciled in in 2024 and EM-3 in NET 2026. Four years is a long time in politics these days. But to use something else for an already designed mission based on SLS for the EC flight would be just more spending for less or same capability.

So I voted for #2.

SpaeX is in it for the long haul. And BFR is their future. If BFR fails to exist in 10 years so will SpaceX not exist.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #27 on: 10/01/2017 12:27 AM »
I think there will be some overlap as Spacex's timeline on the BFR/BFS combo is optimistic.
« Last Edit: 10/01/2017 12:32 AM by Patchouli »

Offline AncientU

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #28 on: 10/01/2017 12:42 PM »
SLS will be cancelled during the 3-year hiatus between EM-1 and EM-2.  It will never carry crew, as I've stated before.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline KelvinZero

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #29 on: 10/01/2017 01:30 PM »
I chose both operational. Im a pessimist. It should be BFR only and frankly NASA should be doing it, Instead Constellation/SLS has survived 12 years with no plausible justification. Clearly lobbying power, not merit, is in the driving seat.alsoglobalwarmingisrealandeveryothernationcanafforduniversalhealthcarejustsaying.

Offline dlapine

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #30 on: 10/01/2017 03:42 PM »
BFR yes, SLS no. Once BFR is operational (always reuse), even at $50M a flight, even congress will admit that SLS serves no useful purpose. SLS will get it's first flight in, and that'll be the end of it. And yes, NASA will lose the $2B a year for SLS development. Not sure what happens to Orion, but the BFR 2nd stage would seem to remove any need for that, either.

As other have noted, Elon is planning for the first flight of BFR a lot sooner than 2022, in order to achieve the goal of people on Mars by that time. Even if the first flight is only in 2022, that's still early enough to kill SLS.

As to why BFR would still be around itself in 2027:

BFR has 4 defined revenue streams right now:
satellites to LEO
satellites to GTO
passenger transit to Moon/Mars
passenger point to point on Earth

While I've listed them in order by terms of earliest probability in service, they are all potential revenue makers to keep BFR flying.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #31 on: 10/01/2017 07:46 PM »
Hmm.

Currently in the pol:
Only 14% BFR will not be operational in 10 years.
But 57% that SLS will not be operational in 10 years.

A little reading between the lines. Is that more faith in commercial to build a 100+mt monster rocket and successfully operate it than for the US government to do so.

Offline sanman

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #32 on: 10/02/2017 06:32 AM »
So I was looking for some thread to ask this, and this thread is the closest one I could find.

What size of Bigelow module could BFR carry, based on its lift capacity to LEO?

Bigelow bases their module sizes on the carrying capacities of available launch vehicles. Their largest module, the BA2100 (with a volume of 2100m^3) is sized for the maximum lift capacity of the SLS to LEO.

But with BFR looming as a possible space truck or general purpose heavy lifter, what size of hab module could Bigelow potentially create to match the lift capacity of BFR to LEO?

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #33 on: 10/02/2017 07:31 AM »
Hmm.

Currently in the pol:
Only 14% BFR will not be operational in 10 years.
But 57% that SLS will not be operational in 10 years.

A little reading between the lines. Is that more faith in commercial to build a 100+mt monster rocket and successfully operate it than for the US government to do so.
My suspicion (2c worth) is it might be that the voters have no faith in the continuation of SLS. I.e. Funding might be slashed a few years in and it goes the way of its predecessor

Offline John Alan

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #34 on: 10/02/2017 08:56 AM »
I voted both in operation...
...although SLS will be on it's deathbed...  :P
... and BFR will be fruitful, multipling, and launching one at least weekly by then...  ;D

So I was looking for some thread to ask this, and this thread is the closest one I could find.

What size of Bigelow module could BFR carry, based on its lift capacity to LEO?

Bigelow bases their module sizes on the carrying capacities of available launch vehicles. Their largest module, the BA2100 (with a volume of 2100m^3) is sized for the maximum lift capacity of the SLS to LEO.

But with BFR looming as a possible space truck or general purpose heavy lifter, what size of hab module could Bigelow potentially create to match the lift capacity of BFR to LEO?
My guess is Bigelow will design a new module that is tailored to the flying cargo BFR after it''s design is frozen...
He will build the first after the same version has then flown...
A tailored oddball shape that just fits the available bay volume and still be ejected would not surprise me...  ;)
At some point...
...a BFS left set up and dedicated to carrying these to LEO... and then on to their point of use will follow...  8)

On edit... to clarify
My guess is it will not be weight constrained... but volume in payload bay...
And they will decide that is ok based on delivered cost to destination and be happy about it...  :)
Someone will then build a hotel/casino in orbit and space tourism is born...  ;D
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 09:28 AM by John Alan »

Offline alexterrell

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #35 on: 10/02/2017 09:04 AM »
At this stage, I can't see SLS being cancelled.

However, when it comes to being used, what will the marginal cost of the SLS be compared to the marginal cost of the BFR - outsourced to NASA.

I think NASA programs will switch to using the BFR on cost grounds. SLS will be there - unless a President wants to blame his predecessor and make a point of laying it out on the lawn - but I don't think it will be operational. NASA will eventually classify it as a reserve capability.

Offline alexterrell

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #36 on: 10/02/2017 09:13 AM »
So I was looking for some thread to ask this, and this thread is the closest one I could find.

What size of Bigelow module could BFR carry, based on its lift capacity to LEO?

Bigelow bases their module sizes on the carrying capacities of available launch vehicles. Their largest module, the BA2100 (with a volume of 2100m^3) is sized for the maximum lift capacity of the SLS to LEO.

But with BFR looming as a possible space truck or general purpose heavy lifter, what size of hab module could Bigelow potentially create to match the lift capacity of BFR to LEO?

The BA2100 is given as 70 tons.

A 150 ton variant would scale to about a BA-7000. However, at that point, Bigelow might want to consider some options like shaping it as a torus.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2017 09:14 AM by alexterrell »

Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #37 on: 10/02/2017 07:40 PM »
I voted that both SLS and BFR will be operational when 2027 rolls around. I can easily foresee circumstances where only one of the two would be operational but I think the option I picked is the most likely outcome given all the variables.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #38 on: 10/02/2017 07:45 PM »

I think NASA programs will switch to using the BFR on cost grounds.

What programs?

Offline Jim

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Re: 10 Years From Now: SLS vs BFR
« Reply #39 on: 10/02/2017 07:47 PM »
Order of most likely to most unlikely.

BFR will be operational, SLS will not.
Both BFR and SLS will not be operational.
SLS will be operational, BFR will not.
Both BFR and SLS will be operational.

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