Author Topic: Europa Clipper’s launch date dependent on SLS Mobile Launcher readiness  (Read 28729 times)

Offline AncientU

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The article
http://spacenews.com/nasa-weighs-new-mobile-launcher-for-sls/
puts the cost of a new ML at $300M + the cost of what it takes to modify the ML-1 in which a new ML-2 that supports SLS 1B but the ML-1 would only support SLS 1A since it would no longer be modified due to lack of funds.

The start date would be if it is requested in the next budget FY2019 of 1 Oct 2018 at earliest. It is always possible for if there is some funds to start it earlier but you still need Congressional authority to obligate the government to any across FY projects. At the current rate of legislation that authority may be sometime in Jan 2019.

But there is one question that was not answered in the article and that was how long would it take to build a new ML once the work started? How long has it taken/will take for the first ML to be built?

That value could be used as a way to evaluate whether a new ML can meet the schedules needed (available earlier than a ML-1 reworked and a delayed to June 2020 EM-1 launch date. That would be a time to build of < 53 months. Any longer and a new ML does not solve schedule problems but causes more schedule problems.

Quote
Gerstenmaier also said that from procurement to delivery, it will take 5 years to build the second Mobile Launch Platform.
https://twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/989231025673916416

Procurement should complete in maybe one year.  If done on this schedule, 2024-2025 at earliest.  With typical Ground Program delays... ?
« Last Edit: 04/25/2018 08:12 pm by AncientU »
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Offline eric z

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 Am I missing something besides my marbles lately? 5 years to build a gantry? They built most of the KSC complex faster. I was big SLS-fan, but this is starting to resemble something out of an old "Mad" magazine...

Offline whitelancer64

Am I missing something besides my marbles lately? 5 years to build a gantry? They built most of the KSC complex faster. I was big SLS-fan, but this is starting to resemble something out of an old "Mad" magazine...
Not just the gantry, but also the big boxy launch platform.

And it's that glorious red tape. All NASA projects have to be open competition, studied, an environmental assessment done, etc. Then the work orders are "signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months" to quote  HHGTTG.
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Offline woods170

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Am I missing something besides my marbles lately? 5 years to build a gantry? They built most of the KSC complex faster. I was big SLS-fan, but this is starting to resemble something out of an old "Mad" magazine...
Not just the gantry, but also the big boxy launch platform.

And it's that glorious red tape. All NASA projects have to be open competition, studied, an environmental assessment done, etc. Then the work orders are "signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months" to quote  HHGTTG.

Not quite.
The magic word for the long duration is: Funding
Or better: lack of funding.

NASA budget is projected to stay flat for next several years. That means limited funding for EGS and thus spreading-out the costs over multiple years.
If EGS had unlimited funding I am convinced that ML-2 could be constructed and tested in (substantially) less than 2 years, despite the infamous red-tape problem at NASA.

Offline Jim

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Am I missing something besides my marbles lately? 5 years to build a gantry?

Not a gantry, but an umbilical tower.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Am I missing something besides my marbles lately? 5 years to build a gantry?

Not a gantry, but an umbilical tower.

But 5 years seems excessive when compare to recent commercial efforts at creating something similar to an umbilical tower.

Unless the bottom platform box design have to be re-imagined and re-certified again?

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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The key problem is a design that meets the total weight constraints for the crawler.

That was the main driver towards a second MLP or a very long duration upgrade to SLS 1B for MLP1.

If it was just a stationary tower and platform the design could be quickly done as well as the construction.

Offline Hog

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Mobile Launchers for Space Launch System(SLS)
ML-1 new build for SLS(from Constellation-Ares-1)
Newly announced ML-2 to be built for SLS Block-1B

Mobile Launcher Platforms(MLPs) for Space Transportation System(STS-Shuttle)
The 3 STS MLP's, one of which was modified for Ares-1X(MLP-1 aka ML-3) are safed and in storage.

STS MLP-3 was once the Apollo era ML-1.(Apollo 4, 8, 11, Skylab 2-4, and ASTP)                                         (STS32,35,40,48,42,50,52,55,51,60,65,66,71,73,75,78,80,83,85,89,88,99,92
,102,105,110,112,114,124,126,133,135)

STS MLP-2 was once the Apollo era ML-2
(Apollo 6, 9, 12, 14 and Skylab 1.)(STS-6,8,41B,41D,51A,51B,51F,51J,61B,51L,26,29,28,33,31,41,39,49,47,54,57,61,59,6
4,63,70,74,76,81,84,86,90,95,96,103,106,98,104,109,113,115,117,120,123,125,134)

STS MLP-1 was once the Apollo era ML-3.(Apollo 10,13,15,16,17)
STS1-9,41C,41G,51C,51D,51G,51I,61A,61C,27,30,34,36,38,37,43,44,45,46,53,56,58,6
2,68,67,69,72,77,79,82,94,87,91,93,101,97,100,108,111,107,121,116,118,122,119)
Constellation-(Ares-1X)

So once the new as of yet undersigned ML-2 constructed new for SLS there will be a total of 5 ML/MLPs with only 2 of them under the designation of Mobile Launcher(ML) being active, one for SLS Block-1, the other for Block-1B.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2018 07:38 pm by Chris Bergin »
Paul

Offline Hog

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The key problem is a design that meets the total weight constraints for the crawler.

That was the main driver towards a second MLP or a very long duration upgrade to SLS 1B for MLP1.

If it was just a stationary tower and platform the design could be quickly done as well as the construction.
Emphasis mine, it's amazing how designing something that has to move a maximum of 1mph of groundspeed is so much different than the same structure than moves 0mph. There's a lot of inertia in these structures.  I've wondered if they ever do a full load/speed emergency stop with the crawlers.
Paul