Author Topic: Q&A: ESAS Lead - Dr Doug Stanley (Constellation Propellant Options Study)  (Read 44854 times)

Offline Doug Stanley

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mong' - 25/11/2006  2:53 PM

Hi Dr Stanley it's good to have you here.

to add to David's question, did you, in your lunar surface systems study, take into account missions to near earth objects ?
recently we have seen a quote from NASA people (I can't remember who exactly) stating that an asteroid mission using elements of the constellation program was being looked at.

Thanks for the question...Mike's Office (specifically the Program Analysis and Evaluation Office within Mike's Office) recently commissioned a Near-Earth Object (NEO) study to see how NASA could use the ESAS elements and any additional elements required to perform human/robotic mssions to Near-Earth Asteroids.  Some of the work is being done at NASA LaRC in the Systems Analysis and Concepts Directorate...the same folks I am working with on the Lunar Architecture Team effort.  It is not a part of the LAT study, but being done in parallel with close consultation.  I know the folks working it to be very competent, but really have no insight into the results yet.  I could, but I have just been busy with other things.  They are due to complete their study soon, but I  am sorry, I don't know the conclusions...We did not look at this at all during ESAS...

Offline Doug Stanley

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Doug Stanley - 22/11/2006  4:55 PM

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Paul Howard - 22/11/2006  2:18 PM

More of a general question, but as I'm sure you can appreciate, such public access to people like yourself is rare and greatly appreciated.

You mentioned a team of 40 and two months. I'm facinated by how you bring together a team.

Such as: Finding the right people, the right people applying, their availability to dedicate time to the Study etc.

Obviously, you don't have an American Idol type "Want to be on this study?" contest :) But is it literally phone calls and letters of confirmation to bring together the team? I find this all fascinating.

As my old boss Antonio Elias (who is doing a Q&A in another thread) would say "that reminds me of a story...".  How we put together ESAS Team to have over 300 people working in two weeks is more interesting than this smaller study, but I will comment on both in great detail tomorrow...because it is a great story.  I have an engagement this evening and have to sign off...But I will leave you with the original criteria for the 20 ESAS core Team members  that I put together on my first day at HQ together with Mike G.:

Selection of ESAS Core Team

Selection Criteria:
-   IQ
-   Technical competence and experience in field
-   Systems viewpoint, see “big picture”
-   Not in or too close to ESMD management
-   Knowledgeable of work done to date by ESMD and others
-   Mostly non-managers, can still do useful work
-   Original, creative thinkers
-   Objective, not prejudiced towards home Center or Program
-   Easy to work with, fun, no personality issues
-   Willing to express and defend viewpoints
-   Willing to listen to others viewpoints
-   Capable of multiple tasks, highly productive

Core Team Members:
NASA:
Doug Stanley – Study Manager (IPA - HQ)
Steve Cook – Deputy Study Manager (MSFC)
John Connolly – Deputy Study Manager (JSC - ESMD)
Joe Hamaker (HQ)
Marsha Ivins (JSC - ESMD)
Wayne Peterson (JSC - ESMD)
Jim Geffre (JSC - ESMD)
Bill Cirillo (LaRC)
Carey McClesky (KSC)
Jeff Hanley (JSC)
Steve Davis (MSFC - ESMD)
Jay Falker (HQ - ESMD)
Don Pettit (JSC)

Full-Time Consultants:
Bill Claybaugh (Self)
Joe Fragola (SAIC)

Part-Time Consultants:
Jay Greene
John Young
Bob Sieck
Bob Seamans

Administrative Support:
Mark Ogles (self)/Angela Michaels (APIO)

Also have Center POCs at HQ, JSC, MSFC, LaRC, ARC, GRC, JPL

After Mike was named Administrator, he asked me to come work in his Office, but I had just left the DC area and bought a new house in Williamsburg, VA, so I was not about to move back to DC.  So I told him (or rather my wife told him) that he could have me for three months.  One Thursday night he called me told me he wanted me to spend that time leading a Team to develop an architecture to return to the Moon.  We talked about the study scope for almost an hour and decided the best way to get me up there was through an Intergovernmental Personnel Action (IPA) which is available to Universities.  I would remain a University employee, but have all rights and privileges and powers of a civil servant.  I am told we executed the fatsest IPA in the history of the government.  It took one working day to get all of the signatures on the University and government sides.  By Monday morning at 9AM I was at NASA HQ on a NASA-wide videoconference being introduced by Mike to all of the Center Directors and Associate Administrators!

I was told by Mike to pick two deputies (one from MSFC and one from JSC) and was told that Marsha Ivins, an astronaut already working for Mike, would be on the Team to represent the Astronaut Office.  The rest of the Team was up to me to pick, subject to his approval for the core HQ Team.  I put together the qualification list above and selected the core Team described above.  We wanted knowledgable, bright people that were open minded with no vested interest, so as to be as objective as possible.  I tried to balance the Team by Centers, ages, expertise, etc.  I got a letter from Mike (attached) that was sent to all of the Center Directors that outlined the study scope and basically told them to give us whatever resources we asked for!  Hard to beat that!  When Marsha and I were in Mike's Office discussing our selections for the Team, Mike turned to me at one point and said with much animation "Doug, this is the most important thing in the Agency to me! I am giving you the keys to my new car, WITH my 16 year-old daughter inside!  Do you understand! "  We all laughed. (On the last day of the study, I threw him my keys across the room...returning them to him safe and sound)...

On our Core Team we had leads for each of the major elements (CEV, LSAM, Launchers, etc.) and each of the major disciplines (cost, safety/reliability, etc.).  We literally went from 3 to 400 people working in 3 weeks and did it within an organizational structure that enabled configuration control and a wide variety of apples to apples trade studies that considered performance, cost, reliability, safety, schedule, risk, etc...It was a lot of fun!!

Offline Doug Stanley

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I am going to have to cut this off soon...If you get your questions in by tomorrow morning...I will try to finish up and answer them tomorrow afternoon....

Offline wingod

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Doug Stanley - 25/11/2006  5:08 PM

I am going to have to cut this off soon...If you get your questions in by tomorrow morning...I will try to finish up and answer them tomorrow afternoon....

Here is my question.

How do we keep the VSE/ESAS from ending up like SEI?  Mike has only a limited ability to influence congress and with the switchover now and the inevitability of a new president in 08, how can ESAS survive to actually get us to the Moon with the demands of the baby boomer generation on national treasure looming?


Offline Doug Stanley

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wingod - 25/11/2006  5:39 PM

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Doug Stanley - 25/11/2006  5:08 PM

I am going to have to cut this off soon...If you get your questions in by tomorrow morning...I will try to finish up and answer them tomorrow afternoon....

Here is my question.

How do we keep the VSE/ESAS from ending up like SEI?  Mike has only a limited ability to influence congress and with the switchover now and the inevitability of a new president in 08, how can ESAS survive to actually get us to the Moon with the demands of the baby boomer generation on national treasure looming?


Wow...talk about off-topic and beyond my capabilities to address...I wish I knew!  There are a lot smarter people than me to address this topic.  I think Mike's current hope is that he can make it inevitable to retire the Shuttle by turning off contracts and retiring an orbiter before he leaves, and be so far along in CEV/CLV development that there will be no way to prevent its development.  But this could still leave us endlessly circling in LEO if a new Administration decides not to build the Lunar (or Mars) elements...There are no guarantees, but support for the VSE and Mike's vision for NASA is pretty bipartisan...

Offline braddock

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Doug Stanley - 25/11/2006  3:31 PM
The EDS is only half full when it arrives on orbit; refilling it would add significantly to the lunar payload capability.  It could also provide a place for it and the LSAM to remain to be topped off while waiting for the CEV (especially if there is a launch delay -- eliminating all LEO boil-off).  A full-EDS stage or stages in LEO also could be used for Mars missions.  We made sure there is nothing in the vehicle designs that would present this from being a possibility!

I find that a remarkable notion.  Did ESAS run the numbers on using one or two re-fueled EDS stages to deliver manned or unmanned Mars missions with little modification?  Is there a cocktail napkin somewhere with an EDS-derived Mars vehicle sketch?

Offline jongoff

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Dr Stanley,
Thank you for the reply.  I'm glad I didn't offend you with my opinions.  If you have the chance, I have some more questions.

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BTW, I am just an architect, I don't get to make up the requirements.  I was given the requirements of 4 crew to the surface for 7 days and 6 folks to the ISS.

Do you know where the 4 crew for 7 days number originally came from?  As you say, it had a large effect on how the trades went.  Was this a hard requirement set by the White House, or was it an internal NASA requirement?

Thanks,

~Jonathan Goff

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Wingod: Here is my question.

How do we keep the VSE/ESAS from ending up like SEI? Mike has only a limited ability to influence congress and with the switchover now and the inevitability of a new president in 08, how can ESAS survive to actually get us to the Moon with the demands of the baby boomer generation on national treasure looming?

[/QUOTE]

Doug Stanley:

Wow...talk about off-topic and beyond my capabilities to address...I wish I knew! There are a lot smarter people than me to address this topic. I think Mike's current hope is that he can make it inevitable to retire the Shuttle by turning off contracts and retiring an orbiter before he leaves, and be so far along in CEV/CLV development that there will be no way to prevent its development. But this could still leave us endlessly circling in LEO if a new Administration decides not to build the Lunar (or Mars) elements...There are no guarantees, but support for the VSE and Mike's vision for NASA is pretty bipartisan...[/QUOTE]

There's another thread that discusses the prospects of NASA (and by extension, VSE) in the new Congress that is relevant to wingod's question, I think, so I won't run this off track further by repeating a lot of that commentary.

But I do have to say that Mike needs to be VERY careful about creating a "fait accompli" in terms of the way you describe his "current hope," because a lot of the strongest biparisan support in the Congress for VSE is also VERY CONCERNED about the gap between shuttle and CEV/CLV, and does not believe that has to be an either/or proposition if the OMB pulls its head out of the "dark regions" and provides adequate and responsible funding. Mike has no choice but to toe the line given him by the Administration, but you are correct, Doug, in saying there are "no guarantees" and arbitratily standing down the shuttle and abrupt contract termination in the name of protecting the "funding wedge" to develop Ares, Orion, etc., also runs the risk if the shuttle manifest hits a snag of not completing the space station. And THAT possibility--undermining an investment of $30-plus billion in development and operations costs alone that has been won in hard-fought congressional battles over the past 16 years--would be a very big mistake for NASA and the Administration and could very easily cost them VSE.

Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Space101

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I don't have a question and I know I shouldn't be posting this, but I want to express my thanks for your time and willingness to answer questions here. I wonder how this would have all transpired in the 60s if the net was around and the Apollo team did a global Q and A!
Let's go and explore space.

Offline Smatcha

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Doug Stanley - 25/11/2006  2:50 PM

BTW, I am just an architect, I don't get to make up the requirements.  I was given the requirements of 4 crew to the surface for 7 days and 6 folks to the ISS.  If we had to take less, we might get a different architecture solution.  Going to fewer crew would tend to make EELV-derivatives somewhat more attractive and even direct return trade better.  But that was not the case.

So were/who did the “requirement” of six men to the ISS and four men to the Lunar surface come from?  This is non-trivial requirement and I have yet to read any exploration justification for this beyond doing more than Apollo.  While I agree we should be doing more than Apollo there are more effective ways of doing this.  We use an eight lunar rover sample collection mission followed by a two man lunar mission to maximize exploration range (Apollo Program x 5 in one manned mission should fit the bill for doing “more” than Apollo).

I hope you have the time to read our write-up on this subject.  We go with a lunar crew of two initially moving up to four once a habitation unit is down via LSR for staging.  From our analysis a capsule designed for a maximum of four links up with a number of cost optimal scenarios from ELV’s to Mars.  Letting customers understand how much they are paying for their “requirements” is an important role for an architect.

I also share your concern in having a lunar architecture that is so expensive that we can’t afford to develop lunar resources needed to lower the cost of future exploration let alone have money left over to build out the Martian campaign.  BTW our current optimization runs have significantly improved on our ERA 3 vehicle and CEV specifications in the AIAA paper.
“Do we want to go to the moon or not?”
John C. Houbolt - November 15, 1961
Question posed in Letter to Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, NASA Associate Administrator

Ralph Ellison “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest”




Offline Jackson

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An international question Dr Stanley. While not much has been shown on plans by Russia and China's own VSE plans, do you believe the US should stick to its own plans, or cooperate with other nations (not China obviously)? Do you think a small space race would be a good form of motivation for US funding?

Offline David BAE

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I'm interested to hear your Mars comment and I'm encouraged by it. I really do not understand why NASA is developing a crew transport to the ISS that is also tasked with exploration.  Give the ISS requirement to COTS or HR ELV/EELV and allow NASA to place all its funding drives into exploration, or is this down to funding again?

I don't have the data in front of me to make an educated evaluation of Ares I, but I really am concerned about those astronauts riding a single inline solid. I would assume they are going to be in for one hell of a nasty ride on first stage.

Offline Doug Stanley

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David BAE - 26/11/2006  7:54 AM

I'm interested to hear your Mars comment and I'm encouraged by it. I really do not understand why NASA is developing a crew transport to the ISS that is also tasked with exploration.  Give the ISS requirement to COTS or HR ELV/EELV and allow NASA to place all its funding drives into exploration, or is this down to funding again?

I don't have the data in front of me to make an educated evaluation of Ares I, but I really am concerned about those astronauts riding a single inline solid. I would assume they are going to be in for one hell of a nasty ride on first stage.

There is no guarantee COTS will deliver a cargo vehicle, much less a human vehicle.  AS I mentioned in a previous post, NASAs policy is to not require a commercial crew or cargo carrying entity to come along, but be willing to stand down if it does.

If you look in Chapter 6 of the ESAS final report or more recent Ares 1 documents you will see the "ride" is quite benign.  The thrust/weight of teh stick is reduced down to EELV levels by putting the upper stage and payload on top...the first stage SRB also has the safest/most reliable track record of any rockat flown anywhere near as number of times...

Thanks for the comment/question

Offline Doug Stanley

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Jackson - 26/11/2006  6:44 AM

An international question Dr Stanley. While not much has been shown on plans by Russia and China's own VSE plans, do you believe the US should stick to its own plans, or cooperate with other nations (not China obviously)? Do you think a small space race would be a good form of motivation for US funding?

The problem with a race is that everyone goes home afterwards...You don't see many folks sticking around afterwards and staring at the finish line waiting for something to happen! ;)

I am a strong advocate of international cooperation.  My wife is French and I spend a few weeks every year abroad.  I am on the space transportation committee of the IAF and have many international aerospace friends.  During ESAS we looked for opportunities for international involvement and found many option in the lunar surface systems (e.g., habitats, power systems, rovers, comm/nav, etc...).  Since then, NASA continues to have meetings with international partners about cooperating on the Lunar Program...

Offline Doug Stanley

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braddock - 25/11/2006  8:01 PM

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Doug Stanley - 25/11/2006  3:31 PM
The EDS is only half full when it arrives on orbit; refilling it would add significantly to the lunar payload capability.  It could also provide a place for it and the LSAM to remain to be topped off while waiting for the CEV (especially if there is a launch delay -- eliminating all LEO boil-off).  A full-EDS stage or stages in LEO also could be used for Mars missions.  We made sure there is nothing in the vehicle designs that would present this from being a possibility!

I find that a remarkable notion.  Did ESAS run the numbers on using one or two re-fueled EDS stages to deliver manned or unmanned Mars missions with little modification?  Is there a cocktail napkin somewhere with an EDS-derived Mars vehicle sketch?

I have had a couple of students look at this since ESAS. They will publish the results soon.  This will be looked at in more detail as a part of the upcoming Mars Architecture study.  I will try to find the exact payload results and post them when I check back in near Christmas...

Offline Doug Stanley

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jongoff - 25/11/2006  8:22 PM

Dr Stanley,
Thank you for the reply.  I'm glad I didn't offend you with my opinions.  If you have the chance, I have some more questions.

Quote
BTW, I am just an architect, I don't get to make up the requirements.  I was given the requirements of 4 crew to the surface for 7 days and 6 folks to the ISS.

Do you know where the 4 crew for 7 days number originally came from?  As you say, it had a large effect on how the trades went.  Was this a hard requirement set by the White House, or was it an internal NASA requirement?

Thanks,

~Jonathan Goff

Shortly after the VSE was announced, ESMD looked at this with a team of astronauts and scientists and concluded that 4 crew would add a significant amount of productively, since the crew could do simultaneous EVA's in pairs.  To explore some of the sites to the depth that the scientist wished, they selected 7 days and 4 crew.  I am told that the  folks at the White House also wanted 4 crew for political reasons (one more than Apollo).  Hence, there was a convergence between politics and science.  When Mike came in, he agreed and blessed the number.  We were not allowed to change it...

Offline Doug Stanley

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Space101 - 25/11/2006  11:34 PM

I don't have a question and I know I shouldn't be posting this, but I want to express my thanks for your time and willingness to answer questions here. I wonder how this would have all transpired in the 60s if the net was around and the Apollo team did a global Q and A!

Of course you should be posting...kind words are always welcome!  :)

I am not sure they would have appreciated the blogoshere during Apollo.  They were given a lot of respect, benefit of the doubt, and freedom to work through their problems -- unlike the current NASA Team that has to deal with "armchair quarterbacking" as we say in the States.  The following quote was posted on one of the forums here that I liked very much"

"How would you like it if someone was second guessing your every move while you try do your job? If you, your co-workers and your boss were being accused of incompetence and/or intellectual dishonesty? How much of your time would you be willing to give up to defending your progress, as opposed to tying to get the work done?"

I personally don't mind at all.  I enjoy the interaction with all of you and try to keep thing in perspective!  I think forums like this are great for the public to get involved and feel a part of what is going on.  Thanks for your interest and questions!

Offline Doug Stanley

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O.K. Folks...I need to sign off of the Q&A for good.  Thanks for all of your questions and comments.  It is great to see so many people care about what we do! I hope to stop back by again before Christmas...

Sincerely,

Doug Stanley

Offline jongoff

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Thanks Doug,
In spite of being a little adversarial myself, I'm very glad you took the time to answer our questions!

~Jon

Online Chris Bergin

Note: This Q&A is now being archived on the General Section (eventually it will be archived on the VSE sections), ahead of a new Q&A which will start this weekend - hence this Q&A is being locked as "read only".

Details and a link will be updated into this post at that time.

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