Author Topic: SLS General Discussion Thread 3  (Read 6640 times)

Online 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.

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?

Online 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, NASA's own life cycle cost analysis shows building the 130t version of SLS basically leaves no funding for anything else:
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:
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.


Online 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 »