Author Topic: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding  (Read 12288 times)

Offline ZachF

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #40 on: 05/16/2018 02:39 PM »
Sometimes I wonder if this program only exists to make the F-35 program look better in comparison.

Offline ZachF

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #41 on: 05/16/2018 02:57 PM »
My former supervisor once said, "if we have to fight WWII again, we would loose".  He did not like some of our suppliers, with parts missing bolts and nuts.

If you take the current incentive structure for government procurement (especially around military and related areas), and apply a little game theory, it's not a mystery why we have a sort of nasty "Nash Equilibrium" that exists today. You end up with this:

-Purposely bloated/stretched development/R&D timelines (Paid "by the hour") ...incentivized to make sure the job continues
-Purposely bloated workforce and facilities (congressional leverage)
-Purposely bloated supplier structures (Again above, also more steps for a profit/management cut to be taken)
-Monopolies and duopolies.. What better way to insure government protection than to be "too big to fail" by being the government's only machined handwavium widget manufacturer.

All in all, far too many hands in the cookie jar and almost no accountability to go around. This is why we end up with all these pecuniary vanishing acts like the F-35, SLS, DDG-1000, etc.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #42 on: 05/16/2018 05:07 PM »
So who's actually responsible for SLS? I mean someone who can actually be held accountable for this? I guess the biggest issue is that year after year, schedule slip after schedule slip, billion after billion, nobody has been held accountable? Does everyone get a prize for just showing up? If there's no repercussions, then there's no skin in the game and....well, we all know how that works out.

So, seriously, who the hell is running this show?

No one -- it is obviously not being 'run', it is wandering down the same path as Constellation.

This is exactly what you can expect if you reward programmatic failure (Constellation) with new, open-ended programs for the same players.

Congratulations Congress/NASA/MSFC/SLS Development Team.
« Last Edit: 05/16/2018 05:09 PM by AncientU »
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Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #43 on: 05/16/2018 05:16 PM »
So, who is Mike?

The American electorate.
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #44 on: 05/16/2018 09:21 PM »
So who's actually responsible for SLS?
Ha....Yeh, got a few hundred threads about all that on here. I wasn't asking the "big" who but the actual, who. As in, "Go ask Mike what the heck is going on. He's the one in charge of this mess..." So, who is Mike?

While
So who's actually responsible for SLS?

Brief history:
Shuttle blew up a second time, we decided to retire the shuttle
Wanted to keep going to space so Ares program emerged
Ares program was a dog so Obama cancelled it
The Senate was up in arms at Ares being cancelled (jobs in the right states and we didn't have alternative heavy rockets)
They compromised and made the SLS, like the Ares but a little cheaper
Ha....Yeh, got a few hundred threads about all that on here. I wasn't asking the "big" who but the actual, who. As in, "Go ask Mike what the heck is going on. He's the one in charge of this mess..." So, who is Mike?

Not sure if that's a reference to a lyric or a show or something, but the root cause of this whole long-running, multi-administration fiasco does actually lay at the feet of a guy named Mike.

That would be Griffin, Dr.

It was his order to change the results of the original ESAS study that set this specific line of domino's falling.

I never did find out the precise reason for him choosing to do that, but all the pieces of the puzzle available to me primarily point to ATK as the prime force that influenced that specific decision.

It appears that Shelby et al followed and took advantage of that initial impetus. One thing led to another, more parties got involved at different points, all pulling in different directions and this is where we are today.

What I'll never understand is that Griffin apparently hated the Scotty rocket, yet he still forced the ESAS team to change the study results and promote the 1.5 launch solution ahead of the LV-24/25 'simple' SDHLV that actually scored higher in the original pre-adjusted review.

Ares-1 was too costly even without Ares-V, and the next administration didn't want to stomach CxP - a decision which I can't actually disagree with (my disagreement was with ditching the core VSE policy that was above it).   We ended up with SLS heading to a bare rock.   From there, this year another new admin has decided that the rock is pointless, and instead we're now going back to the moon, just not back to the surface.

The domino's haven't finished falling yet, but for my money, Mike Griffin's decisions back in 2005 are the root cause all of this.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 05/16/2018 09:28 PM by kraisee »
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Offline TomH

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #45 on: 05/16/2018 11:26 PM »
So, seriously, who the hell is running this show?

^^ Congress is the answer

That's why there is no responsibility and it is just chugging along.  It is doing EXACTLY what it's supposed to be doing.

Yep. A small cadre of senators from states that supply "legacy" parts from STS, or have NASA HSF centers. Senators who have worked their way up into chairmanships of committees that oversee NASA. Along with a few representatives from those districts. It IS doing exactly what they want it to: providing a pork flavored gravy train.

Offline brejol

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #46 on: 05/16/2018 11:47 PM »
Please do not bring SpaceX into this discussion. That includes FH, F9, BFR, BFS, ITS, Dragon 1, Dragon 2, etc.
While you're at it, you might also leave out Blue.

Thanks. We don't need every thread pointing out the same obvious[1] facts[2]

1 - or debating about which facts are obvious and which aren't.
2 - or debating about which facts are actually not facts.

Nor should anyone bring up Direct 3.0  (What is Ross doing these days, anyways?) Which would have been up and running 4 years ago.

Offline kraisee

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #47 on: 05/17/2018 03:52 AM »
I'd have gone with the Jupiter-246, but...

OT, but what am I up to these days?   I'm currently chasing funding for a really exciting, game-changing, EO sat project.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2018 06:57 PM by kraisee »
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Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #48 on: 05/17/2018 04:58 AM »
Nor should anyone bring up Direct 3.0  (What is Ross doing these days, anyways?) Which would have been up and running 4 years ago.

If Direct had been up an running 4 years ago, wouldn't that mean we would have run out of RS-25s three years ago and still be waiting for new ones to be made?
If a conversation isn't important enough for constructive dialogue, why have it?

Offline SgtPoivre

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #49 on: 05/17/2018 05:37 AM »
So who's actually responsible for SLS?

Brief history:
Shuttle blew up a second time, we decided to retire the shuttle
Wanted to keep going to space so Ares program emerged
Ares program was a dog so Obama cancelled it
The Senate was up in arms at Ares being cancelled (jobs in the right states and we didn't have alternative heavy rockets)
They compromised and made the SLS, like the Ares but a little cheaper
Ha....Yeh, got a few hundred threads about all that on here. I wasn't asking the "big" who but the actual, who. As in, "Go ask Mike what the heck is going on. He's the one in charge of this mess..." So, who is Mike?
My understanding:
- NASA MSFC is in charge of overall SLS launcher design and manufacturing with Boeing supporting it for some System design activities
- Boeing is the contractor in charge of the Core stage and the avionics ring
- ULA is in charge of iCPS stage
- ATK is in charge of the boosters
- Completely separately, NASA JSC is in charge of the Orion spacecraft with Lockheed-Martin as its main contractor.

So I guess that Mike in this case would be the SLS program manager at MSFC : John Honeycutt
(according to https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-names-john-honeycutt-space-launch-system-program-manager)

Of course this guy operates in a very constrained & political environment, but in the end he is still responsible for the project.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2018 05:48 AM by SgtPoivre »

Offline woods170

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #50 on: 05/17/2018 07:08 AM »
So who's actually responsible for SLS?

Brief history:
Shuttle blew up a second time, we decided to retire the shuttle
Wanted to keep going to space so Ares program emerged
Ares program was a dog so Obama cancelled it
The Senate was up in arms at Ares being cancelled (jobs in the right states and we didn't have alternative heavy rockets)
They compromised and made the SLS, like the Ares but a little cheaper
Ha....Yeh, got a few hundred threads about all that on here. I wasn't asking the "big" who but the actual, who. As in, "Go ask Mike what the heck is going on. He's the one in charge of this mess..." So, who is Mike?
My understanding:
- NASA MSFC is in charge of overall SLS launcher design and manufacturing with Boeing supporting it for some System design activities
- Boeing is the contractor in charge of the Core stage and the avionics ring
- ULA is in charge of iCPS stage
- ATK is in charge of the boosters
- Completely separately, NASA JSC is in charge of the Orion spacecraft with Lockheed-Martin as its main contractor.

So I guess that Mike in this case would be the SLS program manager at MSFC : John Honeycutt
(according to https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-names-john-honeycutt-space-launch-system-program-manager)

Of course this guy operates in a very constrained & political environment, but in the end he is still responsible for the project.

The guy who was ultimately in charge of CxP (Jeff Hanley) was taken off the job when it became clear that CxP would bite the dust. He ended up in some hidden-away corner of NASA (associate director for strategic capabilities at JSC). From there he transitioned thru three other low-exposure positions within NASA before leaving NASA in 2015. He ended up at the Aerospace Corporation.

When the time arrives for SLS to go the same way that CxP went mr. Honeycutt will also be removed and quickly re-located to some obscure position in the depths of NASA. Within a few years after that NASA will cut him loose permanently.

Politics 101: when the crap hits the fan get the usual suspects out of the way pronto.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #51 on: 05/17/2018 10:48 AM »
That would be Griffin, Dr.

It was his order to change the results of the original ESAS study that set this specific line of domino's falling.

I never did find out the precise reason for him choosing to do that, but all the pieces of the puzzle available to me primarily point to ATK as the prime force that influenced that specific decision.

My guess would be that he struck a deal with the Shuttle-state congresspeople:  he agreed to use a Shuttle-derived architecture and they agreed to fund his moon program.  Unfortunately for us space cadets, Griffin got snookered in that the congresspeople didn't really care about going to the moon, they just wanted the hardware development for its jobs and money.  They knew they could keep that coming without funding NASA at the level needed to actually go to the moon.  The resulting endless development that continues today is precisely what the they.  The gravy train will end some day, but it has lasted through multiple election cycles, and that's practically forever in terms of practical politics.  The current score is Shuttle States 40 billion or so, Space Cadets 0.

Quote
What I'll never understand is that Griffin apparently hated the Scotty rocket, yet he still forced the ESAS team to change the study results and promote the 1.5 launch solution ahead of the LV-24/25 'simple' SDHLV that actually scored higher in the original pre-adjusted review.

What is the Scotty rocket?



Ares-1 was too costly even without Ares-V, and the next administration didn't want to stomach CxP - a decision which I can't actually disagree with (my disagreement was with ditching the core VSE policy that was above it).   We ended up with SLS heading to a bare rock.   From there, this year another new admin has decided that the rock is pointless, and instead we're now going back to the moon, just not back to the surface.

The domino's haven't finished falling yet, but for my money, Mike Griffin's decisions back in 2005 are the root cause all of this.

Ross.
[/quote]

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #52 on: 05/17/2018 05:15 PM »
Jee whiz its great to see Ares V back from the dead.

What shall we call it Son of the Stick or 'Griffin's Bane'  ::)

2021 is totally ridiculous. Even 2020 is totally ridiculous. Congress needs to call some committee meetings on this and get the ball rolling on replacement. Either that or fire the program managers and get people in there who can fix this mess, if it can be fixed at all. We are not doing CXP/JWST 2.0 forget it.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #53 on: 05/17/2018 05:42 PM »
Of course this guy operates in a very constrained & political environment, but in the end he is still responsible for the project.

Let's remember that NASA did not design the SLS, Congress did. And all they did was provide some loose requirements.

So blaming NASA for the plight of the SLS is like blaming the cook on a submarine for not having fresh vegetables - they can only work with what they were given...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline SgtPoivre

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #54 on: 05/17/2018 06:13 PM »
Of course this guy operates in a very constrained & political environment, but in the end he is still responsible for the project.

Let's remember that NASA did not design the SLS, Congress did. And all they did was provide some loose requirements.

So blaming NASA for the plight of the SLS is like blaming the cook on a submarine for not having fresh vegetables - they can only work with what they were given...
I do not fully share your statement, that's standard practice in the industry to have to manage whimsical clients who provide loose, un-specific and inconsistent operational needs.
Think about having a middle-east Emir as your client for a complex combat system.

Congress does bear some responsibility but it is NASA which defined the detailed specification for this launcher system and who is responsible for managing the program.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2018 06:13 PM by SgtPoivre »

Offline kraisee

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #55 on: 05/17/2018 07:12 PM »
That would be Griffin, Dr.

It was his order to change the results of the original ESAS study that set this specific line of domino's falling.

I never did find out the precise reason for him choosing to do that, but all the pieces of the puzzle available to me primarily point to ATK as the prime force that influenced that specific decision.

My guess would be that he struck a deal with the Shuttle-state congresspeople:  he agreed to use a Shuttle-derived architecture and they agreed to fund his moon program.  Unfortunately for us space cadets, Griffin got snookered in that the congresspeople didn't really care about going to the moon, they just wanted the hardware development for its jobs and money.  They knew they could keep that coming without funding NASA at the level needed to actually go to the moon.  The resulting endless development that continues today is precisely what the they.  The gravy train will end some day, but it has lasted through multiple election cycles, and that's practically forever in terms of practical politics.  The current score is Shuttle States 40 billion or so, Space Cadets 0.

The very first domino in the sequence seems to have been ATK demanding a big fat lucrative development contract (they proposed either 5-seg or advanced composite boosters - interestingly, over the years they've actually managed to get BOTH!) or they were leaving the business entirely. After that, the events seem to have gone exactly as you describe.

Quote
Quote
What I'll never understand is that Griffin apparently hated the Scotty rocket, yet he still forced the ESAS team to change the study results and promote the 1.5 launch solution ahead of the LV-24/25 'simple' SDHLV that actually scored higher in the original pre-adjusted review.

What is the Scotty rocket?

Ares-1 was always Scott Horowitz's baby.

At the time when Griffin/Garriott published their paper for Planetary Society (July 2004), Horowitz was the executive in charge of ATK's sales team, charged with making more money for the company.

It was he who made it clear that ATK's CEO (IIRC, Dan Murphy) was absolutely determined to get their big fat dev. contract or they were getting out of the big SRB business entirely.   To do so, he who came up with a new vehicle designed around their SRB's, and that's what Griffin/Garriott presented (it sounds to me as though the behind-closed-doors agreements were already effectively a done-deal by that point).   What would later become Ares-I was intended specifically to drive future dev. and production contracts for the company.

Its little surprise that in 2005 Horowitz became Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, specifically to consolidate that plan.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2018 07:42 PM by kraisee »
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #56 on: 05/17/2018 07:23 PM »
Of course this guy operates in a very constrained & political environment, but in the end he is still responsible for the project.

Let's remember that NASA did not design the SLS, Congress did. And all they did was provide some loose requirements.

So blaming NASA for the plight of the SLS is like blaming the cook on a submarine for not having fresh vegetables - they can only work with what they were given...
I do not fully share your statement, that's standard practice in the industry to have to manage whimsical clients who provide loose, un-specific and inconsistent operational needs.
Think about having a middle-east Emir as your client for a complex combat system.

Congress does bear some responsibility but it is NASA which defined the detailed specification for this launcher system and who is responsible for managing the program.


But there is real truth to the claim.

Congress *HAS* imposed a significant number of critical requirements for SLS, each of which was deliberately designed to cut-off certain design options (usually ones that could have reduced costs) and the system has effectively been backed into a very small corner in terms of "design space".

The tree of options has been pruned so much, that there are only one or two remaining branches on the whole thing!

Technically, nobody  in Congress is using PTC CREO software to "design" the actual hardware, no, but if the board of a motor company instructs their designers that they want a new car that must be of a particular type and style, must use this engine, that gearbox, these wheels, those brakes, be able to seat x number of people and must be made from a particular combination of materials on a specific existing production line, you remove a whole load of options and the designers no longer have much room to do anything original - mostly their job becomes making it "look good".   That's what Congress have effectively done with both SLS and Orion - the designers are simply not free to make the best product, they must instead make the best one that fits the over-riding political requirements - far from the same thing.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 05/17/2018 07:31 PM by kraisee »
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Offline rcoppola

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #57 on: 05/17/2018 07:40 PM »
So interesting that the answer to a fairly straightforward question wrt who's in charge of the SLS program is: Everyone, No-one, Congress, and a program manager named John. Well, therein resides the fundamental truth about this program...

If a NASA rocket program exists but theirs nobody running it, will it ever launch?
« Last Edit: 05/17/2018 07:41 PM by rcoppola »
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Offline kraisee

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #58 on: 05/17/2018 07:45 PM »
Dunno.   But it sure can suck down money like few other things...

Ross.
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding
« Reply #59 on: 05/17/2018 07:47 PM »
Of course this guy operates in a very constrained & political environment, but in the end he is still responsible for the project.

Let's remember that NASA did not design the SLS, Congress did. And all they did was provide some loose requirements.

So blaming NASA for the plight of the SLS is like blaming the cook on a submarine for not having fresh vegetables - they can only work with what they were given...
I do not fully share your statement, that's standard practice in the industry to have to manage whimsical clients who provide loose, un-specific and inconsistent operational needs.
Think about having a middle-east Emir as your client for a complex combat system.

I don't see how that disagrees with my point. Whimsical customers only have themselves to blame for bad outcomes.

Quote
Congress does bear some responsibility but it is NASA which defined the detailed specification for this launcher system and who is responsible for managing the program.

1. NASA did not design or define the SLS before Congress specified it in 2010.

2. NASA did not have input into the requirements Congress laid out in S.3729.

3. Congress did not ask NASA for a full-up budget estimate of the SLS before telling NASA to build the SLS.

4. Congress did specify that the core elements of the SLS must be operational by December 31, 2016, but they did not ask NASA if that was possible, nor how much it would cost to achieve that date BEFORE they wrote it into law. And obviously NASA didn't meet that date, and Congress didn't care that they didn't meet it.

So based on all of that NASA can't be late, and can't be over-budget on the SLS because Congress never gave them an opportunity to commit to a budget or schedule at the beginning of the program. Congress told them to go build the SLS, and didn't care about the cost.

So now do you see why it's not NASA's fault for the SLS? NASA has never been in control of the SLS program - on purpose.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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