Author Topic: I can Guarantee how the SDLV could be made by the 2009-2012 Administration  (Read 14147 times)

Offline kraisee

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lmike - 7/11/2005  4:19 PM

I'm not saying the accelerated plan is bad, I'm actually leaning towards it (+ditching the ISS altogether, unless the Centrifuge flies

That is a major issue for me too.   I think the centrifuge may be the single most important experiment the ISS can offer towards the new VSE.

As things stand right now, it will never fly.

Likely ditto for the SPP and a number of other elements too.

If we plan to fly the ISS modules on Magnum instead of STS, I see no reason why they can not all be flown early in the new program.   A Magnum LV is only expected to cost less than the price of an STS flight, yet it will be able to launch up to six Shuttle-sized payloads in one shot.

You only need one Magnum to get ISS to Core Complete.

One more to launch all the remaining structure elements and the grounded SPP.

A third puts up Kibo and Columbus and a plethora of experiment packages.

A final one can bring up anything else you want, like the centrifuge and really finish the ISS completely

Fly one MPLM on each Magnum flight and you supply the new elements immediately.

All for the cost of less than 4 Shuttles.   The 19 currently planned won't ever complete ISS, just make it work to the most minimal level possible.

Oh, and lets not forget that we'd land on the moon in 2012, not 2018. But that might just be classified as a side effect ;)

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline James Lowe1

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A moon landing being brought down the timeline is worth a major change in operations. We could ask MAF to simply send less ETs and work on the stretched version, ATK apparently have enough SRBs to move to fiv segs for the SLDV. Retire one Orbiter and move those staff on to working the SDLV. Take out one pad and change what is needs for the CEV and SDLV. It's workable, but it is now appearing that the STS program really feels like its holding everything back.

Offline lmike

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Well, you've put up quite good and articulately argued defense of your plan and it mostly 'clicks' with me (even if I don't know as much as you do)  If I were a decision maker I'd probably give your plan a 'go'.  For what it's worth.  Let's see how it pans out.  Although, I'm still seeing the raised eyebrows of the house appropriaction committe's members and the OMB... "why did we give you (NASA) the money specifically for the RTF then, as you'd requested originally; just for the Hubble?" (assuming the "unabridged' version of the plan), when/if they look at it.  Especially with some congress(wo)men bent on turning the ISS into 'national laboratory' pronto)

Offline kraisee

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lmike - 8/11/2005  2:28 AM

I'm still seeing the raised eyebrows of the house appropriaction committe's members and the OMB... "why did we give you (NASA) the money specifically for the RTF then, as you'd requested originally; just for the Hubble?"

"Because the previous Administratration of NASA put us on a path which is good, but not ideal for the US Space Program.

This plan, which the new Admin has created, simply offers far more return for the taxpayers investment in the space program over the next decade.

There is more ISS research possible through this plan. We fulfill all of our international partner commitments, not just some of them. We create new capabilities sooner - which open up the moon and all its scientific answers far sooner, and it accelerates the eventual longer term Mars objectives to a closer point in the future too.

And it fulfills this government's direct instructions of 2005 far more closely than did the previous plan.   NASA's Senate mandate makes no mention of NASA taking a five-year detour in the plans in order to build a facility in orbit, here:-

(1) Returning Americans to the Moon no later than 2020.

(2) Launching the Crew Exploration Vehicle as close to 2010 as possible.

(3) Increasing knowledge of the impacts of long duration stays in space on the human body using the most appropriate facilities available.

(4) Enabling humans to land on and return from Mars and other destinations on a timetable that is technically and fiscally possible"

Just my guess at a possible answer.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Avron

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kraisee - 7/11/2005  10:48 PM

You only need one Magnum to get ISS to Core Complete.

One more to launch all the remaining structure elements and the grounded SPP.

A third puts up Kibo and Columbus and a plethora of experiment packages.

A final one can bring up anything else you want, like the centrifuge and really finish the ISS completely

Fly one MPLM on each Magnum flight and you supply the new elements immediately.

All for the cost of less than 4 Shuttles.   The 19 currently planned won't ever complete ISS, just make it work to the most minimal level possible.

Sounds great, I guess the risk is time, time to place the SDLV in service, time impact on the components, time to create the Carrier and time that allows NASA focus to change.. but there is also a risk of having so many eggs in the same basket..

I am not convinced that a future Admin is forced to "Guarantee" a SDLV..

What would it cost (additional) to run your timelines, but still fly 8/19 STS flight?  Another 5 billion for a shortfall of 10 billion over say 8 years?

Offline Flightstar

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kraisee - 7/11/2005  9:48 PM

That is a major issue for me too.   I think the centrifuge may be the single most important experiment the ISS can offer towards the new VSE.

As things stand right now, it will never fly.

Likely ditto for the SPP and a number of other elements too.

If we plan to fly the ISS modules on Magnum instead of STS, I see no reason why they can not all be flown early in the new program.   A Magnum LV is only expected to cost less than the price of an STS flight, yet it will be able to launch up to six Shuttle-sized payloads in one shot.

You only need one Magnum to get ISS to Core Complete.

One more to launch all the remaining structure elements and the grounded SPP.

A third puts up Kibo and Columbus and a plethora of experiment packages.

A final one can bring up anything else you want, like the centrifuge and really finish the ISS completely

Fly one MPLM on each Magnum flight and you supply the new elements immediately.

All for the cost of less than 4 Shuttles.   The 19 currently planned won't ever complete ISS, just make it work to the most minimal level possible.

Oh, and lets not forget that we'd land on the moon in 2012, not 2018. But that might just be classified as a side effect ;)

Ross.

What is interesting is that the current manifest being talked about only has mission allocation for the payload up to the next six flights being discussed for the NET dates. The US Core will then be set, providing the manifest is supported by the budget, then there are some flights where it is "fluid", so there's always a chance something might change yet.

Offline kraisee

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Avron - 8/11/2005  10:39 PM

Sounds great, I guess the risk is time, time to place the SDLV in service, time impact on the components, time to create the Carrier and time that allows NASA focus to change.. but there is also a risk of having so many eggs in the same basket.

Nothing we aren't doing with STS anyhow though...   One more failure and ISS is as complete as it'll ever get.


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I am not convinced that a future Admin is forced to "Guarantee" a SDLV.

If the moon landing schedule moves to 6 months before a Presidential re-election date, it's virtually a done deal - assuming the "slippage" NASA has already built into the plan isn't exceeded by more than 6 months.


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What would it cost (additional) to run your timelines, but still fly 8/19 STS flight?  Another 5 billion for a shortfall of 10 billion over say 8 years?

Thats a very difficult question to answer in specific numbers.   The costs for ISS and Shuttle are about $5.9Bn per year, of which something in the ball-park of 75% are fixed costs.   The rest are variable depending on what NASA is actually doing in that year.   That is based on the 2002 budget figures, adjusted for inflation, which was the last available set of real-world figure calculated on actually operationally flying the Shuttle fleet to the ISS to complete building the ISS, and that was calculated for a 4-launch per year flight rate, so I would guestimate that a flight rate of 6 launches per year would probably cost NASA somewhere about $1.5Bn extra per year.

There are too many variables to make a particularly accurate prediction without access to NASA's own records, but everyone I've spoken to so far seems to think those estimates are close enough to work with in the absence of real numbers.

However, that doesn't really answer the question.   So. lets try putting it this way instead:


If we define a point in the future where you have achieved the same things on each possible timeline, you can work out how many years it takes to get there, multiply that by the money you spend per year, and thus work out how much you've spent to get there.

So the arbitary point in time I will pick for working this out is this:

1) ISS is "finished" with at minimum Core Complete, Kibo and Columbus attached.
2) Hubble was repaired.
3) Shuttle was retired.
4) CEV is operationally flying.
5) SDLV is operationally flying.
6) At least one Return to the Moon manned landing has occurred.
7) Priority given to the above requirements, ahead of any other possible missions.

Now, NASA's annual budget for all it's operations is currently a little over $16Bn per year.   I'll round it out to that, and I won't calculate inflationary increases - just to make the math a lot easier too.

And I will show the approximate percentage of completeness for the ISS for each example.

So:

On the 19-flight Current Plan that is end 2018.   That is 13 years away.   13 x $16Bn = $208,000,000,000 NASA will have spent to that point.   ISS Status: approx 80%

On a 13-flight Current Plan that is end 2017.   That is 12 years away.   12 x $16Bn = $192,000,000,000 NASA will have spent to that point.   ISS Status: approx 70%

On an 8-flight Current Plan, that is end 2015.   That is 10 years away.   10 x $16Bn = $160,000,000,000 NASA will have spent to that point.   ISS Status: approx 60%

On the Accelerated Plan, that is end 2013.   That is 8 years away.   8 x $16Bn = $128,000,000,000 NASA will have spent to that point.   ISS Status: 100%.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline UK Shuttle Clan

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The accelerated plan seems like a totally obvious path to take. What is stopping this being implimented asap. I just can't see how it doesn't make sense.

And yes, I'm saying that out loud even as a Shuttle fan.

Offline CuddlyRocket

The reason is the increased gap between the end of Shuttle and the introduction of the CEV. This makes the idea a non-starter in my opinion. Griffin is already having to fight off proposals to keep the STS flying until the CEV starts, and is doing everything he can to bring that period down. Congress will not stand for an increase. The capability of launching men into space is considered to be in the national security interest.

Any change in the program must be done for reasons of the US national interest (and that of the the current incumbents in Congress), not for the sectoral advantage of NASA employees and a few space advocates.

Offline Dogsbd

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CuddlyRocket - 9/11/2005  4:36 AM

The reason is the increased gap between the end of Shuttle and the introduction of the CEV. .... Congress will not stand for an increase. The capability of launching men into space is considered to be in the national security interest.


Griffin has already cut the manned spaceflight "drought" time between STS and CEV, the orginal plan was a 4 year, 2010-2014, gulf that he cut to a 2 year 2010-2012 gap. But going with the accelerated SDLV plan would only put the gap back to what it was planned to be "pre-Griffin".



Offline CuddlyRocket

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Dogsbd - 9/11/2005  1:06 PM

....going with the accelerated SDLV plan would only put the gap back to what it was planned to be "pre-Griffin".

The proposed change is still an increase from the present position.  And Congress was not happy with the original gap.

Offline Ad Astra

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While I agree with your stance I do think that there is no magical gap that can be forecast given who's to say that the CEV will be sure to start two years after the STS retirement, even if it is scheduled to be so. Nothing ever goes to plan with manned space flight and I would be happier getting all the elements advanced on the accelerated plan.

Offline kraisee

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Ad Astra - 9/11/2005  8:12 AM

While I agree with your stance I do think that there is no magical gap that can be forecast given who's to say that the CEV will be sure to start two years after the STS retirement, even if it is scheduled to be so. Nothing ever goes to plan with manned space flight and I would be happier getting all the elements advanced on the accelerated plan.

Well, for either plan that 'gap' will still be a busy time.

For both the Current and Accelerated Plans, the 'gap years' will be filled with preparations and initial test flights of the new CEV and CLV, so the staff will be very busy even if no astronauts are actually flying that craft into space.   Americans will still be going into space with the recent agreement to use the Soyuz, so there won't be anything actually lost.

On the Accelerated Plan, you will also be flying the initial test flights of the SDLV at about the same time in parallel, so there would be even more work going on.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

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