Author Topic: NASA Goal versus Mission  (Read 5886 times)

Offline mike robel

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #40 on: 07/08/2018 05:35 PM »


NASA is planing on using commercial space stations after ISS. They even said they would be the anchor tenant.

Congress, the current administration, and the past administration support NASA helping establish commercial use of space. NASA isn't going to "shut it all down" to support NASA programs.

Who are these companies planning to orbit a commercial space station?
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nextstep-partnerships-develop-ground-prototypes

As implied by RonM's post NASA is helping the companies developing habitats. Forward plans for these companies vary, but multiple have explicit intent to build LEO stations. In addition to the companies listed there, Axiom Space is also working on a station, and is one of the companies interested in using an ISS port as an initial staging point.

Thanks.  I stand corrected in my view that there is little or no interest.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #41 on: 07/08/2018 08:03 PM »
I've got a question for you Ed: Why are you seemingly under the impression that only government agencies are allowed to do human spaceflight?
I'm not under that impression.  I merely note that NASA has the big funding that has made this all happen.  There is no equivalent commercial customer for this service.  NASA is the only customer for Falcon 9/Dragon, Antares/Cygnus, CST-100/Atlas 5, and Dream Chaser/Atlas 5.  No one even bought the unmanned Dragon Lab missions suggested by SpaceX.  The rich people mission around the Moon seems to have gone by the wayside.  Etc.

No, you're not "merely noting", you are coming to the conclusion that because no non-NASA customers yet exist that NASA now owns the Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew transportation systems. Which is completely false.

Did you miss the many congressional hearings where Boeing and SpaceX were asked if they were offering their crew transportation services to non-NASA customers? And they both said yes, and that their business cases assumed commercial customers. Boeing even has an agreement with Bigelow for crew transportation services.

All of the commercial transportation services own their own equipment, and have the right to offer their services to non-NASA customers. NASA has no ownership rights.

That there are no commercial customers besides NASA today is just a reflection of how expensive space is, not an indication that NASA owns the rights to all crew and cargo transportation to space.
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 QuantumG

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #42 on: 07/08/2018 11:21 PM »
I'm willing to bet that both systems will fly with empty seats, while there's a line of people banging on the door  telling them to shut up and take their money.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline AncientU

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #43 on: 07/08/2018 11:47 PM »
I've got a question for you Ed: Why are you seemingly under the impression that only government agencies are allowed to do human spaceflight?
I'm not under that impression.  I merely note that NASA has the big funding that has made this all happen.  There is no equivalent commercial customer for this service.  NASA is the only customer for Falcon 9/Dragon, Antares/Cygnus, CST-100/Atlas 5, and Dream Chaser/Atlas 5.  No one even bought the unmanned Dragon Lab missions suggested by SpaceX.  The rich people mission around the Moon seems to have gone by the wayside.  Etc.

No, you're not "merely noting", you are coming to the conclusion that because no non-NASA customers yet exist that NASA now owns the Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew transportation systems. Which is completely false.

Did you miss the many congressional hearings where Boeing and SpaceX were asked if they were offering their crew transportation services to non-NASA customers? And they both said yes, and that their business cases assumed commercial customers. Boeing even has an agreement with Bigelow for crew transportation services.

All of the commercial transportation services own their own equipment, and have the right to offer their services to non-NASA customers. NASA has no ownership rights.

That there are no commercial customers besides NASA today is just a reflection of how expensive space is, not an indication that NASA owns the rights to all crew and cargo transportation to space.

Until the NASA certification process completes, NASA does have functional control of the two transportation systems.  Once certification is complete, and NASA crew are being flown to ISS, the two vendors will have freedom to use their returned vehicles as they choose.  There is a reportedly lots of interest from private citizens, at least according to EM and GS.

So, let's hit pause on this one until NASA's ticket is punched.
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Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #44 on: 07/08/2018 11:57 PM »
Once certification is complete, and NASA crew are being flown to ISS, the two vendors will have freedom to use their returned vehicles as they choose.

Heh, are you suggesting that the way to deal with high prices for seats is to make non-government customers pay for full launches?

I'll also make another prediction: neither of these vehicles will ever be allowed to go to the ISS ferrying exclusively non-government astronauts. If either system ever flies for non-government customers, which I doubt, it'll be a free-flying mission or to some other space station, but not ISS.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline mike robel

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #45 on: 07/09/2018 12:09 AM »
I think that particular horse has already left the barn, even though the tourists flew on Soyuz.  They were not well received initially, especially by the Americans.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #46 on: 07/09/2018 12:15 AM »
NASA will say they only have a need for three seats, then suddenly they'll find a fourth person to fly... probably an international partner... or they'll pull the seat out and fill it with cargo. Maybe one or two non-government astronauts will fly, but it'll be a herculean effort to get them into the seat.

 
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #47 on: 07/09/2018 12:31 AM »
I'll also make another prediction: neither of these vehicles will ever be allowed to go to the ISS ferrying exclusively non-government astronauts.

Commercial vehicles can't approach the ISS anyways without one of the governments approving it. Russia could do it with tourists on the Soyuz because they only used Russian assets - Russian spacecraft docking to the Russian part of the ISS. That won't work with rogue commercial vehicles trying to dock at NASA controlled docking ports.

Which means I agree with you, and only a sucker would take that bet...  ;)

Quote
If either system ever flies for non-government customers, which I doubt, it'll be a free-flying mission or to some other space station, but not ISS.

I don't think Boeing or SpaceX think otherwise.
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 edkyle99

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #48 on: 07/09/2018 01:29 AM »
No, you're not "merely noting", you are coming to the conclusion that because no non-NASA customers yet exist that NASA now owns the Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew transportation systems. Which is completely false.
That is not my conclusion.  You are simply making your own, incorrect interpretation about what I wrote.  I don't know why.

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Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #49 on: 07/09/2018 01:42 AM »
No, you're not "merely noting", you are coming to the conclusion that because no non-NASA customers yet exist that NASA now owns the Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew transportation systems. Which is completely false.
You are simply making your own, incorrect interpretation about what I wrote.

An incorrect interpretation of an incorrect statement? There is a joke in there somewhere...  ;)

Quote
I don't know why.

Because I enjoy facts. And you don't seem to dispute the facts I proffered, so I'm left to assume you are just arguing about the argument.

This is really a side discussion to the topic hand, so do you have anything to add about goals vs missions?
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 QuantumG

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #50 on: 07/09/2018 01:43 AM »
There's a topic? I read the first post and still didn't know what y'all are talking about.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #51 on: 07/09/2018 02:06 AM »
No, you're not "merely noting", you are coming to the conclusion that because no non-NASA customers yet exist that NASA now owns the Commercial Cargo and Commercial Crew transportation systems. Which is completely false.
You are simply making your own, incorrect interpretation about what I wrote.

An incorrect interpretation of an incorrect statement? There is a joke in there somewhere...  ;)
I am not saying what you are saying I am saying.  So stop.  Please.

Meanwhile, I have been asking questions about the topic of this thread, wondering about what NASA intends for LEO and beyond-LEO in the future.  My question about what becomes of Commercial Crew solicited a response that told us about NASA's recent RFQ for post-ISS era, which was interesting.  The Agency is looking for ideas, likely from those same Commercial Crew and Cargo providers among others.  It was signaling that it might be a customer for some of these services, post-ISS, but it was also signaling that the money wouldn't flow as readily, it seems to me.   See the last page of attached.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/09/2018 02:14 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline mike robel

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #52 on: 07/09/2018 02:29 AM »
There's a topic? I read the first post and still didn't know what y'all are talking about.


In what was obviously unclear, I am trying to drive a discussion about NASA HSF goals vs missions.  Goals and missions are not the same thing.  I tried to give a few examples of what I, if empowered, would have made as missions for NASA post Columbia and we sometimes talk about what they are, were, or could be.

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #53 on: 07/09/2018 05:31 AM »
There's a topic? I read the first post and still didn't know what y'all are talking about.
The topic stemmed out of ongoing arguments and discussion within the many threads pertaining to SLS and Orion. Recently, it has come to light even more how dysfunctional both programs are, and there have been quite a few people who are madly in love with both systems trying to argue against any kind of sanity.

This became a topic in lieu of the fact that there is no concise national goal or proper mission architecture to carry out said goal, and what we do have instead is a jobs program going nowhere and doing nothing. It was outside the scope of the aforementioned threads to start discussing how we might fix the underlying problem permanently, since anybody with a shred of knowledge knows that SLS is most likely doomed at this point. We would like to avoid this endless repetition of failed POR when the moment comes around again.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #54 on: 07/09/2018 05:36 AM »
Quote
The Agency is looking for ideas, likely from those same Commercial Crew and Cargo providers among others.  It was signaling that it might be a customer for some of these services, post-ISS, but it was also signaling that the money wouldn't flow as readily, it seems to me.   See the last page of attached.

Yea see this is part of the issue though Ed. This is an oxymoron if ever there was one.
How can we taken any of this seriously when they are going to be spending so much money on SLS? WHY is this acceptable or allowed?

The mere fact they are doing this proves to me even more that we should be doing commercial BEO and SLS should be cancelled and its funding diverted accordingly, I articulated this more earlier in the thread. Great, they want to see who is interested in doing stuff post ISS, yet they are hamstrung doing SLS to nowhere at the same exact time they would "be a customer" for these providers. A customer for what? What payloads going where when? No bucks for anything except throwing a multi billion dollar HLV in the ocean every two years.

More like five years of throwing it away without any crew on-board if you believe Todd May was caught at an honest moment.

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Offline woods170

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #55 on: 07/09/2018 06:27 AM »
I've got a question for you Ed: Why are you seemingly under the impression that only government agencies are allowed to do human spaceflight?
I'm not under that impression.  I merely note that NASA has the big funding that has made this all happen.  There is no equivalent commercial customer for this service.  NASA is the only customer for Falcon 9/Dragon, Antares/Cygnus, CST-100/Atlas 5, and Dream Chaser/Atlas 5.  No one even bought the unmanned Dragon Lab missions suggested by SpaceX.  The rich people mission around the Moon seems to have gone by the wayside.  Etc.

 - Ed Kyle

The circumlunar mission on FH/Crew Dragon has been put on hold indefinitely because SpaceX thinks they can give those folks a better ride on BFR/BFS. But, Elon was very clear on one thing: if BFR/BFS is significantly delayed the circumlunar mission will return to FH/Crew Dragon.

When Red Dragon was cancelled, courtesy of NASA giving SpaceX an extremely hard time over propulsive landing, it was not just folks at NASA JPL who were disappointed. So where folks at half a dozen universities worldwide who had hoped to fly their payloads to Mars on Red Dragon.

Atlas 5/DreamChaser has been engaged by the German space agency as well as several research institutes and universities in Europe to fly dedicated, non-ISS missions, in LEO. A contract is in place to develop those missions for DreamChaser now.

Cygnus has deployed multiple cubesats for non-NASA entities via the NanoRacks External Cygnus deployer. Those cubesats came from both institutions such as research-facilities and universities as well as purely commercial.

The examples above are just some of the indicators that there is in fact interest from non-NASA entities in making use of the Commercial Crew assets such as F9/Crew Dragon as well as Atlas 5/Starliner as well as the CRS assets such as F9/Cargo Dragon and Antares/Cygnus.

Stating that
"NASA is the only customer for Falcon 9/Dragon, Antares/Cygnus, CST-100/Atlas 5, and Dream Chaser/Atlas 5"
is therefore categorically false.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2018 06:27 AM by woods170 »

Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #56 on: 07/09/2018 09:34 AM »
I find it useful to think in terms of aim, roadmap, strategies, objectives (goals, missions), and tactics.

The aim is the highest level. It points in a particular direction. It is generally open ended, not specifying an end state, you cannot ask the question "have I reached my aim?". Instead you can ask the questions "am I going in the direction of my aim?" and "does my aim need to change?"

A roadmap lays out the landscape go get from one place to another. So if you are in New York and the aim in get to the west coast, then the roadmap shows the ways you can get there. It has a number of interesting properties: firstly there is not a single route, there are a number with different properties (shortest, quickest, cheapest); secondly, there are intermediate waypoints which may act as short term goals; thirdly, it is not necessary to plan the entire route in advance; lastly, the goal (get to San Francisco) can change (get to LA) while the aim stays the same. The roadmap may change as new technologies come along, which give new ways of reaching your destination. Questions you can ask are "where next?"

Strategies are overall ways of achieving aims, so in the context of the roadmap above a strategy might be go to the next city west of your current position. Questions you can ask about an objective are "is it working?", or "is there a better strategy?"

Objectives are shorter term and are either met or not, you can fail to meet the objective. Questions you can ask are "is the objective achievable with the available resources?", "have I reached my objective?" and "is the mission a success?"

Tactics are ways of achieving an objective.


In terms of SpaceX:

The aim: "create a settlement on Mars (as a civilization backup)"
Roadmap: "first need a big rocket and ISRU, so start with efficient engine, then design rocket, then ISRU and early missions, then we can think about the next steps"
Strategy: "cheap launch, refuel in LEO, land ship, fuel ISRU, return entire ship", "starlink as profit center and driver for launch demand", "continue to be launch price leader"
Objectives: "create FFSC Raptor engine, create Big Falcon Ship, test ship, create Big Falcon Booster, perform LEO and cis-lunar testing and missions"
Tactics: "get a subscale Raptor working first, design full scale Raptor/BFR in parallel, pay for BFR by using it to replace F9, FH and Dragon".

In terms of USA HSF:

Aim: "Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations."
Roadmap: "big rocket + capsule, then do something in cis-lunar space, then on to Mars"
Strategy: "NASA plans everything, get commercial and international partners to fulfill minor roles", "keep various members of congress happy"
Objectives: "the various missions, EM-1, etc."
Tactics: "use legacy components and contractors", "funding for NASA centers"


I think the aim is pretty good, it is just the roadmap, strategy objectives and tactics that leave much to be desired.

There is also the unspoken aim "use HSF as a tool of american foreign policy, demonstrating soft power by doing things that other countries cannot technically or economically accomplish, why binding potential rivals into programs under american leadership".

Online Coastal Ron

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #57 on: 07/09/2018 11:46 PM »
I find it useful to think in terms of aim, roadmap, strategies, objectives (goals, missions), and tactics.

The aim is the highest level. It points in a particular direction. It is generally open ended, not specifying an end state, you cannot ask the question "have I reached my aim?". Instead you can ask the questions "am I going in the direction of my aim?" and "does my aim need to change?"

A roadmap lays out the landscape go get from one place to another. So if you are in New York and the aim in get to the west coast, then the roadmap shows the ways you can get there. It has a number of interesting properties: firstly there is not a single route, there are a number with different properties (shortest, quickest, cheapest); secondly, there are intermediate waypoints which may act as short term goals; thirdly, it is not necessary to plan the entire route in advance; lastly, the goal (get to San Francisco) can change (get to LA) while the aim stays the same. The roadmap may change as new technologies come along, which give new ways of reaching your destination. Questions you can ask are "where next?"

Strategies are overall ways of achieving aims, so in the context of the roadmap above a strategy might be go to the next city west of your current position. Questions you can ask about an objective are "is it working?", or "is there a better strategy?"

Objectives are shorter term and are either met or not, you can fail to meet the objective. Questions you can ask are "is the objective achievable with the available resources?", "have I reached my objective?" and "is the mission a success?"

Tactics are ways of achieving an objective.

I applaud you for trying to create a hierarchy for the different terms, but you didn't mention either of the two terms that are the subject of this thread - goals and missions.  ;)

Want to redo the list and slot them in?

Quote
There is also the unspoken aim "use HSF as a tool of american foreign policy, demonstrating soft power by doing things that other countries cannot technically or economically accomplish, why binding potential rivals into programs under american leadership".

I think it's important to remember that NASA is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, and that doing things in space is a rather recent activity for the U.S. Government. NASA was actually an outgrowth of NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which was formed 53 years before NASA.

Here we are 60 years after the formation of NASA, and NASA doesn't really focus much on the "Aeronautics" part of NASA, even though it precedes the "S" for Space in NASA. Why is that? And what does that mean for the "Space" part of NASA?

Likely Congress doesn't fund much aeronautic research because the industry has matured enough that the U.S. Government doesn't feel there is a need to provide government money for research. Some is funded, but it's not much.

So could NASA go the way of NACA and be replaced by something else? Because it's not really NASA that has a "goal" or "mission", it's the U.S. Government. NASA is just the government agency that is tasked with carrying out what is needed.

Really then what we need is a clear goal from the U.S. Government. And not just one part of government writing their name on an aspirational document. We need either the President and/or Congress to define a high level goal, and to get a consensus of support for it.

At this point in our history though, with the private sector really stepping up to lower the cost of accessing space, the U.S. Government should ensure that it is supporting the private sector, and not competing with it - regardless what the goals are.

As to "missions", they are an outgrowth of the goals, so let's define the goals first.

My $0.02
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 john smith 19

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Re: NASA Goal versus Mission
« Reply #58 on: 07/13/2018 08:03 AM »
Who are these non-NASA customers, who would be willing to spend, what is it, something like $500-700 million dollars or more per flight?  And where will they go?  Where will their non-NASA owned launch facilities be located? 
It's a good point.
Quote from: edkyle99
NASA will use Commercial Crew only as long as it is needed, which is to say only as long as ISS remains in orbit unless some other NASA LEO destination is created.  After that I do believe it will be shuttered because a program like that can't survive on a couple of billionaire joy rides.  It needs steady annual funding.
I think we can all conceive Starliner going away at flank speed after ISS is shut down.

SX will now have a NASA certified crew capable capsule. Depending on schedules they will either have the FH doing launches or BFR doing launches.

So if you had a 50tonne LEO semi RLV available how big a space station could you build?
who would build it?
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

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