Author Topic: SLS General Discussion Thread 3  (Read 49381 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #40 on: 07/07/2018 02:43 AM »
Sortie missions to the Moon is a lot better than what we've had for the last 46 years. Also, Apollo was much more than Flags and Footprints. Our knowledge of the Moon (and the rest of the planets) was fundamentally changed by what was learned from the Apollo missions.

I agree 100% with Steven.  What people call "Flags and Footprints" is reconnaissance.

No, "Flags and Footprints" means there is no lasting presence after the last mission. Which is what Apollo was. Remember the goal for the Apollo program was satisfied with the Apollo 11 mission - the rest were just bonus, and the goal was to prove we could reach the Moon and return safely, not to stay. No lasting presence, which is why it was a "flags and footprints" effort (well, we left trash behind too).

And since we have never lacked interest in returning to our Moon, the reason we have not gone back is because of the high cost of going to - and staying at - our Moon.

So if money has been the barrier, and not interest or technology, then does the SLS specifically address that issue? No.

Quote
Without reconnaissance, there is no way to focus other efforts on the best opportunities and to better define missions and goals.

Reconnaissance doesn't have to be done by people, especially at our Moon. Robotic explorers can do surveys before we send people - just like we did 50 years ago with Apollo. Not sure why anyone would think we got worse at doing this over time...
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 johnfwhitesell

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #41 on: 07/07/2018 09:36 PM »
I'm okay with the use of exploration.  I, even though I am a booster fan boy, don't think SLS is anything but a tool to (possibly) get us to where we want to go.

With regards to exploring the moon, was there a specific question you had in mind that could be answered by a manned or unmanned mission?  I believe the naysaying has already been taken care of.

Offline mike robel

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #42 on: 07/07/2018 10:02 PM »
I'm okay with the use of exploration.  I, even though I am a booster fan boy, don't think SLS is anything but a tool to (possibly) get us to where we want to go.

With regards to exploring the moon, was there a specific question you had in mind that could be answered by a manned or unmanned mission?  I believe the naysaying has already been taken care of.

I don't have any specific question.  My main point was I was agreeing that exploration = reconnaissance.

I don't think there is any added value for orbital reconnaissance by having people on a lunar station, that can not be done as well by unmanned satellites.  People provide value when they are on the surface.  In earlier days, that may not have been the case.

Offline jkumpire

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #43 on: 07/09/2018 01:31 AM »
The problem is USG is ignoring their own strategic goal, instead they just want job program for NASA centers and big defense contractors.



With respect, can someone please offer some hard data that shows this is true and how it was proven? I have read this a gazillion times it seems but it is more like an article of faith than fact.

I'm just an interested reader and claim no knowledge on the level many of you are on. But this is frustrating to read every 10-20 posts.

Thank you

Well let's use SLS as an example and see how it measures up to Space Directive #1:

1. "Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration":
1.1 SLS is not innovative, it's just recycled Shuttle technology and leftover from the Constellation program, which itself is described as "Apollo on steroid". So they're basically trying to use 1970s technology to re-enact 1960s space program, innovative it is not.
1.2 SLS is not sustainable: Read https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170008892.pdf, NASA's own life cycle cost analysis shows building the 130t version of SLS basically leaves no funding for anything else:
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Taking the Baseline Scenario forward, adding an Advanced Booster as in Figure 10, reveals how costs and ambitions increasing at a pace faster than budgets easily places a lien on 100% of any funding the end of the ISS might make available one day. This is just for the two launches per year, plus a replacement booster development in parallel, not payloads, not Mars or any mission in-space elements like habitation or landers.

2. "with commercial and international partners": This part is obvious, SLS is not partnering with commercial companies. No international partners either, but that's a good thing since the current international space cooperation model is completely broken (another topic).

3. "to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities.": Since SLS is projected to eat up all the funding, it's obviously not going to enable anything. Even if there's funding for payloads, SLS is limited to just 2 launches per year, that's just enough to send humans to the Moon for an Apollo style flag and footprint mission, no way it will be able to send humans further into the solar system.

4. "Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit": This is the only thing SLS can do for the space directive. But FH and Dragon 2 can do this too, at a much lower price and much faster pace.

5. "the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization": Long-term exploration means a base of sort on the Moon at least, utilization means a factory/facility. The question is if SLS (and Orion) got all the funding, where is the money for the base/factory/facility? And SLS' flight rate is way too low to support any such ambitions. Worse, NASA is not even planning to landing humans on the Moon, instead they're building a space station around the Moon (called DSG or LOP-G), the reason is they have no money for a human lunar lander (SLS/Orion got all the money) and need to provide a destination for SLS/Orion.

DSG/LOP-G is good example of how USG is ignoring its own goal and heading towards the opposite direction, since the goal clearly called out long term human presence on the Moon surface, yet NASA and the National Space Council is bluntly ignoring it and trying to pretend a space station around the Moon equals long-term exploration and utilization of the Moon. And the reason behind this behavior is SLS/Orion, they have to find something for SLS/Orion to do, and the lunar space station is the best SLS/Orion can reach without significantly more money.

6. "followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations": Same as #3, SLS/Orion is just too expensive to do anything beyond the Moon. The National Research Council's 2014 report "Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration" concludes the following assuming SLS is used:
Quote
As long as flat NASA human spaceflight budgets are continued, NASA will be unable to conduct any human space exploration programs beyond cis-lunar space. The only pathways that successfully land humans on the surface of Mars require spending to rise above inflation for an extended period.

So the conclusion is SLS (and Orion) is not the right tool for accomplishing the goals set out in the space directive under the current budget constraints, yet they're still being funded as the center piece of US human spaceflight program, what other reason is there for their existence besides the fact they're providing jobs for certain congressional districts and big defense contractors?

PS: Everything I said has been repeated numerous times in previous SLS threads by people much more knowledgeable than me, including former NASA employees. If you have read the previous threads enough to feel this is repeated "every 10-20 posts" you should already know all the facts.


Well, thank you for the answer and please excuse me for asking. I don't read every page of every SLS thread, and I don't claim to be knowledgeable about such things, that's why I asked. So the line may very well be true, or it is an informed belief of many posters on the thread.

Thanks.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #44 on: 07/09/2018 03:00 PM »
Will keep doing this until it sinks in, but this is about SLS. You want to discuss BFR, use a SpaceX thread. Posting on here is a waste of time as it'll get removed.

"But I was replying to someone else who brought it up". Tough, you're just as bad.

I know there will be a report to mod in a few days saying "They are discussing Falcon Heavy on the SLS general thread again". ;)

--

Also. If another site reports something we reported a month ago, it's been done. Remember we have a news site here and it's usually ahead of the game on SLS.

Block 1 was getting more flights a long time ago, not as of this week.
« Last Edit: 07/12/2018 12:05 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline Khadgars

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #45 on: 07/20/2018 08:04 PM »
From the latest article, it looks like all of the core stage (Hydrogen tank, Oxygen Tank, LVSA) are on-track for end of year except the engine section, with NASA working around the clock and looking to make up the schedule in other areas.  Any idea where they could burn down some of the schedule to help mitigate the engine section delay?

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #46 on: 07/20/2018 08:24 PM »
...with NASA working around the clock and looking to make up the schedule in other areas.

I know the term "around the clock" is used to imply maximum effort, but having worked in factories that operated 24/5 and 24/7 I'm fairly certain NASA is not doing anything more than just extending existing work hours. And no doubt they have the usual "Tiger Teams" and "Red Teams" created to keep everyone focused.

But especially for things that are engineering related, bumping up the workweek to 24 hours is very difficult to staff and comes with it's own set of unintended consequences.

But if NASA truly is working 24 hour days, then great. But if they are just "working harder & more focused", then that may be the more accurate phrase to use.

My $0.02
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Offline Khadgars

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #47 on: 07/20/2018 09:44 PM »
Point well taken, I was just referring to the below from the article.  To me that implies additional shifts for 24/7 or 24/5

Quote
Integration of the CS-1 engine section remains the primary critical path for overall stage assembly and Boeing employs around-the-clock work shifts specifically for the element

Offline clongton

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #48 on: 07/20/2018 11:59 PM »
Point well taken, I was just referring to the below from the article.  To me that implies additional shifts for 24/7 or 24/5

Quote
Integration of the CS-1 engine section remains the primary critical path for overall stage assembly and Boeing employs around-the-clock work shifts specifically for the element

Unlike trades like picking apples and stocking shelves which can be easily supplemented with additional manpower, it is impossible to "supplement" an engineering team with more manpower for Tiger or Red Team efforts and expect speedier results. The engineering teams all consist of deeply imbedded individuals and everything you ever wanted to know about the work being "engineered" resides in the heads of those specific individuals. Adding bodies, no matter how well qualified, that are not already totally immersed in the specific engineering effort will not speed things up. In fact it will slow things down as the working engineers will now have to engineer less and mentor more to try to educate the new people on what they have been conceptualizing and designing for the past several years. The end result is a schedule slip to the right caused specifically by adding uninvolved but otherwise qualified people to the engineering team. Having been part of several engineering teams for the past 30 years I can testify to the accuracy of what I just said because I have seen this up close and personal many, many times. I have never yet seen a successful such effort.
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #49 on: 07/21/2018 04:23 AM »
You can, however, add assistants that understand they are assistants. "Junior engineers" is typically the wrong title and sends exactly the wrong message. There was a time where an engineering project could be sped up by assigning "draftsmen" and other helpers, but that's mostly already done or no longer applicable for any significant project.

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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #50 on: 07/21/2018 04:48 AM »
Would have been much better off all around if they had control of their management. The Todd May flap and the OIG/CBO/OMB scrutiny are mutually inclusive.

The more we see of this stuff the more apparent it's becoming that this is neither a funding nor engineering problem, its an oversight and management problem, specifically the lack thereof. They seem to have thought this was just yet another big program where they could do whatever they want and take however long they wanted and oh well. Doesn't work that way anymore. You have to actually manage things instead of just letting the thing coast and not caring what happens.

Better be working "around the clock" if they want to avoid cuts to this thing next year. Should have been doing that to begin with if they had block one could have flown already and we would be looking forward to manned flights shortly, or we would have already had one.
« Last Edit: 07/21/2018 04:52 AM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline TomH

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #51 on: 07/21/2018 03:05 PM »
this is about SLS. You want to discuss BFR, use a SpaceX thread. Posting on here is a waste of time as it'll get removed.

Where is the appropriate place to compare and contrast the vehicles with each other. I get the staying on topic in delineated categories; it's just that inevitably one survives and the other doesn't. That is a worthy topic for discussion, but where do you want us to do that?

Online envy887

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #52 on: 07/21/2018 04:39 PM »
this is about SLS. You want to discuss BFR, use a SpaceX thread. Posting on here is a waste of time as it'll get removed.

Where is the appropriate place to compare and contrast the vehicles with each other. I get the staying on topic in delineated categories; it's just that inevitably one survives and the other doesn't. That is a worthy topic for discussion, but where do you want us to do that?

I would suggest this thread:
Discussion/Comparison of the new generation of American heavy lift launchers

Offline Khadgars

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #53 on: 07/21/2018 05:15 PM »
Would have been much better off all around if they had control of their management. The Todd May flap and the OIG/CBO/OMB scrutiny are mutually inclusive.

The more we see of this stuff the more apparent it's becoming that this is neither a funding nor engineering problem, its an oversight and management problem, specifically the lack thereof. They seem to have thought this was just yet another big program where they could do whatever they want and take however long they wanted and oh well. Doesn't work that way anymore. You have to actually manage things instead of just letting the thing coast and not caring what happens.

Better be working "around the clock" if they want to avoid cuts to this thing next year. Should have been doing that to begin with if they had block one could have flown already and we would be looking forward to manned flights shortly, or we would have already had one.

To be fair, there are a lot of first with this program and a lot of lessons learned as the program has moved from design/development to production. Just from reading the articles on here, NASA/Boeing have definitely made improvements in these areas. 

Offline AncientU

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #54 on: 07/22/2018 04:16 PM »
Would have been much better off all around if they had control of their management. The Todd May flap and the OIG/CBO/OMB scrutiny are mutually inclusive.

The more we see of this stuff the more apparent it's becoming that this is neither a funding nor engineering problem, its an oversight and management problem, specifically the lack thereof. They seem to have thought this was just yet another big program where they could do whatever they want and take however long they wanted and oh well. Doesn't work that way anymore. You have to actually manage things instead of just letting the thing coast and not caring what happens.

Better be working "around the clock" if they want to avoid cuts to this thing next year. Should have been doing that to begin with if they had block one could have flown already and we would be looking forward to manned flights shortly, or we would have already had one.

To be fair, there are a lot of first with this program and a lot of lessons learned as the program has moved from design/development to production. Just from reading the articles on here, NASA/Boeing have definitely made improvements in these areas.

Can you list the top ten 'firsts' from SLS?
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Online RonM

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #55 on: 07/22/2018 04:45 PM »
Would have been much better off all around if they had control of their management. The Todd May flap and the OIG/CBO/OMB scrutiny are mutually inclusive.

The more we see of this stuff the more apparent it's becoming that this is neither a funding nor engineering problem, its an oversight and management problem, specifically the lack thereof. They seem to have thought this was just yet another big program where they could do whatever they want and take however long they wanted and oh well. Doesn't work that way anymore. You have to actually manage things instead of just letting the thing coast and not caring what happens.

Better be working "around the clock" if they want to avoid cuts to this thing next year. Should have been doing that to begin with if they had block one could have flown already and we would be looking forward to manned flights shortly, or we would have already had one.

To be fair, there are a lot of first with this program and a lot of lessons learned as the program has moved from design/development to production. Just from reading the articles on here, NASA/Boeing have definitely made improvements in these areas.

Can you list the top ten 'firsts' from SLS?

I believe Khadgars is referring to developments in manufacturing from the new tooling needed to produce SLS. It's state of the art tech that will benefit other projects and industries.

To me that was a tremendous waste of money. The SLS design required new tooling instead of using the old Shuttle program tooling. Why use Shuttle heritage technology with new state of the art manufacturing tech? Would have been a better idea to design a clean sheet new rocket.

Offline Proponent

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #56 on: 07/22/2018 04:56 PM »
The whole point of a Shuttle-derived heavy lifter was that it was supposed to be cheap and easy.  If breakthroughs are being made, then it is further evidence (beyond the many billions of dollars already spent) that the premise was false.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #57 on: 07/22/2018 06:23 PM »
The whole point of a Shuttle-derived heavy lifter was that it was supposed to be cheap and easy.  If breakthroughs are being made, then it is further evidence (beyond the many billions of dollars already spent) that the premise was false.
Yes the premise was false.

But it is true that there have been advances in manufacturing tech for large scale boosters 8m+ diameter. It is also true that the capital expenditures for this new manufacturing tech is also misplaced due to the fact of the manufacturing rate expected. If the manufacturing rate would have been 5 to 10 units per year I would have expected even more advanced manufacturing tech implemented. But at the rate of just 1 a year to as few as 1 every other year, spending on new manufacturing tech is definitely misplaced. Any savings in using the new manufacturing tech is overshadowed by the low usage of this expensive hardware which ups the total costs of the program vs using the existing manufacturing tooling tech from Shuttle.

We are back to the discussion on bad management decisions. Decisions made for the wrong reasons. Although quite a few of these decisions were decided not by NASA or contractor management but decreed by Congress.

But there are also good decisions in here as well. So do not just concentrate on the bad but also determine the balance between what was done right and what was done wrong. On the wrong was it evident that a better solution was available but the wrong decision drivers were chosen. For government programs these decision drivers are usually reliability and schedule. But for SLS, management was also supposed to be considering costs/budget. So drill down into these bad decisions to determine if at the time there was another path available that was better that was ignored. In at least some cases there probably were not any other better paths or allowed paths (Congressional mandates) at the time of the decision. This will then point the responsibility for these bad decisions that could have been avoided at the responsible parties.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #58 on: 07/22/2018 09:35 PM »
"Cheap, quick or good choose two."

SLS development was meant to be cheap and quick.

Cost and time saving were reusing existing engines so new engine designs were not needed.
Current manufacturing techniques could produce the engines so no new manufacturing technology was needed.

The Shuttle Orbiter had an empty mass of 68,585 kg plus 25,060 kg payload = 93,645 kg (93.6 tonne or 103 US tons).

Offline clongton

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Re: SLS General Discussion Thread 3
« Reply #59 on: 07/22/2018 11:51 PM »
"Cheap, quick or good choose two."

SLS development was meant to be cheap and quick.

Cost and time saving were reusing existing engines so new engine designs were not needed.
Current manufacturing techniques could produce the engines so no new manufacturing technology was needed.

The Shuttle Orbiter had an empty mass of 68,585 kg plus 25,060 kg payload = 93,645 kg (93.6 tonne or 103 US tons).

SLS was authorized as a pure Shuttle Derived LV but went off the rails when the very first non-shuttle derived decision was made. It's all downhill from there.
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