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NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

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Throwing the NSF forum under the bus a bit, but this is the poll I was referring to:

c6GlUmZ.png

Yeah. Honestly, the NSF forums are great until someone mentions the word "SLS," whereupon things like this happen.

If I was more of a jerk, I'd maybe make a poll with the title, "How badly do you think those SLS polls will age in a few years?" But I'm not that bitter about it. I'm just bitter enough to vent about it on another website entirely. So, you know, just mostly bitter. :P

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5 hours ago, jadebenn said:

Throwing the NSF forum under the bus a bit, but this is the poll I was referring to:

c6GlUmZ.png

Yeah. Honestly, the NSF forums are great until someone mentions the word "SLS," whereupon things like this happen.

If I was more of a jerk, I'd maybe make a poll with the title, "How badly do you think those SLS polls will age in a few years?" But I'm not that bitter about it. I'm just bitter enough to vent about it on another website entirely. So, you know, just mostly bitter. :P

To be fair, that poll says cargo. This requires at the very least a comanifested cargo with Orion, which is Block 1b. Pure cargo would be block 2, which is a long way out.

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Posted (edited)

 

14 minutes ago, tater said:

To be fair, that poll says cargo. This requires at the very least a comanifested cargo with Orion, which is Block 1b. Pure cargo would be block 2, which is a long way out.

Well, what else would you call an unmanned Orion other than cargo? But I digress.


I found this video of a mock-up of the interior of the Orion capsule earlier today. It's fairly old and might have been discussed here, but I'm really surprised at seeing how big the interior is. I mean, sure, it's no shuttle, but when you fold those chairs down and out of the way, it's about the size of a small room. Like, judging by the distance between the cameraman and the person he's talking to, maybe about 75% of the area of my dorm. Much, much, bigger than the Apollo capsule's interior.

Helps explain why Orion's so much heavier than the commerical LEO capsules, at least.

Edited by jadebenn

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, jadebenn said:

Well, what else would you call an unmanned Orion other than cargo? But I digress.

Fair enough, except that I don't consider Crew Dragon or CST-100 unmanned "cargo" as test flights (unless they are operating as CRS missions, and even then, the stuff inside the capsule (or trunk for Dragon) is the cargo).

 

To be clear I would have used the word "payload."

Edited by tater

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2 hours ago, tater said:

 

I knew the Ars comment section was cancerous, but, this one's a new low.

I had to bow out after reading a group of commenters hoping that the rocket blows up 39B and destroys the entire pad just because it'd kill the program. Let me reiterate: they were cheering at the possibility that EM-1 destroys 39B and the rocket. They hate the program that much.

Like, I get people dislike it, but to actively root for it's failure? That's low.

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58 minutes ago, jadebenn said:

I knew the Ars comment section was cancerous, but, this one's a new low.

I had to bow out after reading a group of commenters hoping that the rocket blows up 39B and destroys the entire pad just because it'd kill the program. Let me reiterate: they were cheering at the possibility that EM-1 destroys 39B and the rocket. They hate the program that much.

Like, I get people dislike it, but to actively root for it's failure? That's low.

One exploding rocket won’t kill the program, but it’ll make it cost a few billions more and take even more dev time. Worst outcome.

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Posted (edited)

Seems like NASA is still waffling on whether to kill the green run or not:

My bet? They'll go for it, because if EM-1 fails to perform correctly after launch because they skipped the test, the delay and cost to the program will be a lot worse than if they'd just gone ahead with it.

Edited by jadebenn

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7 hours ago, jadebenn said:

Seems like NASA is still waffling on whether to kill the green run or not:

My bet? They'll go for it, because if EM-1 fails to perform correctly after launch because they skipped the test, the delay and cost to the program will be a lot worse than if they'd just gone ahead with it.

I agree, but if they intend to follow through with their ambitious goal, they'll have to skip it. So it'll be interesting if they choose speed and efficiency over safety and reliability (but with over multiple hundreds of engine ignitions since 1977 (first full test of the RS-25), I think the RS-25 is safe and reliable, but then it puts the years and years of time spent overhauling the B2 stand to waste. As there's only 4 SHLVs currently planned (SLS, BFR, Vulcan, and New Glenn), the latter 3 likely will use their own test stands and equipment (although I wouldn't be surprised if NASA puts pressure on one or more of them, like ULA or BO to test their engines with it just so it doesn't go to waste if SLS doesn't use it).

That said, it's a shame the stand can't handle all 3 engines + the 5 segment SRBs. That's my biggest concern. Since the engines will be in vastly closer proximity to the vastly hotter exhaust of the SRBs than on the space shuttle. But afaik they aren't factoring the boosters in on the stand, and may not be able to for all I know. Ah well.

 

Just excited that they could finally have the first stage assembled by the end of the year. Something I've been waiting to see for SO long.

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Posted (edited)

I think they could still make a 2024 deadline with the green run. They're already taking steps to decouple EM-2 from EM-1 (ordering new parts instead of reusing them for Orion), for example. It's the 2020 deadline they'll have to miss if they do the green run.

Edited by jadebenn

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11 minutes ago, jadebenn said:

I think they could still make a 2024 deadline with the green run. They're already taking steps to decouple EM-2 from EM-1 (ordering new parts instead of reusing them for Orion), for example. It's the 2020 deadline they'll have to miss if they do the green run.

Perhaps but any delays on the initial EM-1 flight can only push back further launches. But we'll have to see.

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Posted (edited)

Ah, the budget debate's getting interesting! We're finally getting an estimate of how much Bridenstine's moon ask will be.

First, Eric Berger posts an article claiming to have a source that states the accelerated landing date will require $8B per year.

Quote

It will be a lot of money, regardless. According to two Washington, DC-based sources, NASA has informed the White House that it will need as much as $8 billion a year, for the next five years, to speed development of the Space Launch System rocket, a Lunar Gateway, a lunar lander, new spacesuits, and related hardware for a 2024 landing. This is on top of the agency's existing annual budget of about $20 billion, which includes everything from the International Space Station to astrophysics research.

Then, during a congressional budget hearing, Bridenstine refutes that estimate:

https://www.twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1123658099632607237

So we know the Moon by 2024 ask is going to be less than $8B. Not a lot of information, but it narrows down the possibilities significantly.

Edited by jadebenn

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16 minutes ago, jadebenn said:

Ah, the budget debate's getting interesting! We're finally getting an estimate of how much Bridenstine's moon ask will be.

First, Eric Berger posts an article claiming to have a source that states the accelerated landing date will require $8B per year.

Then, during a congressional budget hearing, Bridenstine refutes that estimate:

https://www.twitter.com/SpcPlcyOnline/status/1123658099632607237

So we know the Moon by 2024 ask is going to be less than $8B. Not a lot of information, but it narrows down the possibilities significantly.

Notice that Bridenstine doesn’t specify whether his number is greater or less than $8,000,000,000.00

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Nightside said:

Notice that Bridenstine doesn’t specify whether his number is greater or less than $8,000,000,000.00

I highly, highly doubt it was meant to be read that way. He used to work in Congress. He knows $8B/yr is already more than they'd ever be willing to approve.

Edited by jadebenn

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6 minutes ago, jadebenn said:

Je doute fort, fortement que cela ait été conçu pour être lu de cette façon. Il travaillait au Congrès. Il sait que 8 milliards de dollars par an est déjà plus que ce qu’ils seraient prêts à approuver.

8 billion, where does all this money come from?

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36 minutes ago, DNKKING said:

8 billion, where does all this money come from?

Taxpayers, almost all of whom are in the top 10-20% of earners.

Note that even with the added 8 billion dollars, the total NASA budget would equal...

The budget of the public school system for the City of New York.

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12 minutes ago, tater said:

Taxpayers, almost all of whom are in the top 10-20% of earners.

Note that even with the added 8 billion dollars, the total NASA budget would equal...

The budget of the public school system for the City of New York.

Entirely true, but it still doesn't change the political reality.

This is speculation, but I'm expecting a ~$4B ask, with the likely components of the plan being:

  1. Moving up to bi-annual SLS launches (aka telling Boeing to start building core stages 3 and 4 ASAP)
  2. Taking EUS off the backburner
  3. Accelerating development of the Z2 spacesuit design
  4. De-prioritizing the non-essential Gateway segments (basically everything but the habitation and PPE modules)
  5. Depending on reserves of shuttle components and number of flights - possible prioritization of BOLE program
  6. Finally: developing the lander design

Points 1 and 6 are likely the most expensive, point 4 will likely save some money compared to the current plan, and points 2, 3, 5, and 6 are likely to be the most time-consuming elements.

Really, I feel like the human lunar lander is the big risk here. Unlike just about everything else on the list, no serious preliminary engineering work has been done on it yet. You're practically starting from scratch. In that regard, I suppose LM's design has a leg-up over the competition: at least parts of it exist today, in the Orion capsule.

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I thought they literally just pushed new spacesuits away to spend the money on Gateway (terrible, as we need new spacesuits, badly).

PS--my public school system comment was not at all political, I agree that the amount still won;t fly, my point to people outside the US is that 20 billion $ is not really a lot of money.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, jadebenn said:

Entirely true, but it still doesn't change the political reality.

This is speculation, but I'm expecting a ~$4B ask, with the likely components of the plan being:

  1. Moving up to bi-annual SLS launches (aka telling Boeing to start building core stages 3 and 4 ASAP)
  2. Taking EUS off the backburner
  3. Accelerating development of the Z2 spacesuit design
  4. De-prioritizing the non-essential Gateway segments (basically everything but the habitation and PPE modules)
  5. Depending on reserves of shuttle components and number of flights - possible prioritization of BOLE program
  6. Finally: developing the lander design

Points 1 and 6 are likely the most expensive, point 4 will likely save some money compared to the current plan, and points 2, 3, 5, and 6 are likely to be the most time-consuming elements.

Really, I feel like the human lunar lander is the big risk here. Unlike just about everything else on the list, no serious preliminary engineering work has been done on it yet. You're practically starting from scratch. In that regard, I suppose LM's design has a leg-up over the competition: at least parts of it exist today, in the Orion capsule.

Unlike literally every other entity on Earth; NASA has experience and knows what's needed for a lander. This isn't their first time. Hell NASA also has the achievement of using said lander as a life boat when the main vehicle exploded. So, yes a new lander becoming physically real very soon, is a legitimate concern, albiet Grumman only started metal bending in 1966-1967 for early models of the LM. So, thanks to NASA's experience with developing lunar landers, they have a leg up. Not to mention, they likely have a myriad of designs and concepts in their possession that they just need to filter through and select. Even calling for new designs won't take long as it took NASA like 4-6 months back in the 60s to decide. So though I do see the collective concern for this lander concept, I'm not too worried since NASA has experience, a load of options for landers to select, and had about as much time as they did in the 60s to select a lander.

Edited by ZooNamedGames

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1 minute ago, ZooNamedGames said:

1976-1977

Ah yes, the lander they managed to complete in negative time.

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Posted (edited)
Just now, Ultimate Steve said:

Ah yes, the lander they managed to complete in negative time.

what?

Edited by ZooNamedGames

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1 minute ago, ZooNamedGames said:

what?

 

3 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

albiet Grumman only started metal bending in 1976-1977 for early models of the LM

 

I do believe you are a decade off.

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Just now, Ultimate Steve said:

 

 

I do believe you are a decade off.

I'm tired. Errors have been made and fixed.

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Any reference to Apollo is meaningless, as they simply will not have the resources they were given for Apollo. Period.

The idea that the usual suspects come up with a lander in short order, and at a cost that is remotely plausible is absurd on its face. SLS was supposed to cost what, 9 Billion, all in to development completion? It;s what now? 20-something?

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