_Augustus_

NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

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37 minutes ago, tater said:

NASA is apparently looking into a Delta IV Heavy launch for Orion (launch abort test at max Q?)

Interesting.

It's sounding like the end of SLS is near....

Edited by _Augustus_

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11 minutes ago, tater said:

Yeah, went and read that as soon as you posted.

This is not good. In the past couple weeks we've had:

  • SLS delayed to 2019
  • LOX dome dropped, probably delaying until 2020
  • Something about having to use the hydrogen tank from EM-2 because the EM-1 one has problems, definitely delaying until 2020
  • Manned EM-1 cancelled, bye bye POTUS support

And now this.

 

Edited by _Augustus_

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On 28/04/2017 at 7:47 PM, _Augustus_ said:

EM-1 definitely delayed into early 2019

Spaceflight is full of delays ):

I hope it is going to get off the ground before 2020.

 

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10 minutes ago, NSEP said:

I hope it is going to get off the ground before 2020.

 

It won't....

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1 minute ago, _Augustus_ said:

It won't....

*Bangs head against the wall*

I hope something is going to happend in Space flight this year. Not just constant delays.

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1 minute ago, NSEP said:

I hope something is going to happen in spaceflight this year.

We already had SpaceX re-use a rocket for the first time.

Falcon Heavy flies at least once this year.

Dragon 2 might fly unmanned by the end of the year.

But no NASA achievements.....

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Just now, _Augustus_ said:

We already had SpaceX re-use a rocket for the first time.

Falcon Heavy flies at least once this year.

Dragon 2 might fly unmanned by the end of the year.

But no NASA achievements.....

Yeah, SpaceX never gets old!

North Korea will be testing their new firecracker rocket!

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Ah well... the days of NASA were shortlived but at least a hell of an adventure.

The road for now is obviously not with NASA but with the independent market.

Hate it though... since NASA could do so much more than SpaceX, but these constant government delays push them back.

It's all this red tape.

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38 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Ah well... the days of NASA were shortlived but at least a hell of an adventure.

The road for now is obviously not with NASA but with the independent market.

Hate it though... since NASA could do so much more than SpaceX, but these constant government delays push them back.

It's all this red tape.

The whole idea of Ares/SLS was/is to keep it cheap and simple by using Shuttle parts.

But it's neither cheap nor simple, thanks to politics.

If they do cancel SLS, NASA shouldn't develop another HLV. They should just build probes (private industry won't do that) and maybe use existing hardware to go to the Moon/Mars. Hopefully they keep Orion around; it could be fairly useful if flown on DIVH, New Glenn, or Vulcan.

Edited by _Augustus_

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There would be no SpaceX without NASA. 

NASA should perhaps focus exclusively on spacecraft in the future, and contract for launch vehicles.

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Just now, _Augustus_ said:

The whole idea of Ares/SLS was/is to keep it cheap and simple by using Shuttle parts.

But it's neither cheap nor simple, thanks to politics.

It's not a new idea. We've been wanting to expand and reuse facilities as far back as Mercury, Gemini and Apollo (with the latter extending into the Space Shuttle's lifetime). They wanted to have the Gemini simply be a larger Mercury capsule (which it ultimately did albeit different) and when they did develop Gemini they wanted it to travel to the moon instead of continuing to develop new hardware as was likely needed for the upcoming Apollo program. Then with the close of the Apollo program, we were so desperate to reuse it's existing facilities that we opened a special program known as the Apollo Applications Program to find uses for the existing facilities and hardware (one of these was Skylab), and even with the death of the AAP NASA still tried to lobby Apollo hardwares use as seen with the Saturn Shuttle.

So this isn't new by any means to reuse existing hardware, facilities and materials with newer builds added.

11 minutes ago, _Augustus_ said:

If they do cancel SLS, NASA shouldn't develop another capsule or HLV. They should just build probes (private industry won't do that) and maybe use existing hardware to go to the Moon/Mars.

Despite me agreeing with the former half of this, the latter half I disagree. NASA shouldn't cut back on manned development but rather focus on the actual vehicles to travel and land there instead seeing as NASA could develop a larger sized habitation module than SpaceX and or a larger lander to bring larger materials such as a Martian habitation module or something along those lines. Probes are great but humans will elect any option to avoid the risk as we can see here and with the early Mercury missions.

If we continue to use unmanned hardware then it may hinder or delay us from exploring. Always choosing the safe and cheaper answer that isn't exploration despite whatever data can be retrieved seeing as we never went there nor are willing to.

Just because we can take a photograph of that mountain top doesn't mean we're mastered its summit, we just know what's at the peak. The challenge is still there.

3 minutes ago, tater said:

There would be no SpaceX without NASA. 

NASA should perhaps focus exclusively on spacecraft in the future, and contract for launch vehicles.

Think the whole goal of SLS was to provide the largest launch vehicles for the larger requirements. Larger than what SpaceX or any other group could manage. Granted with recent developments it's obvious that things may have changed since that early thought process.

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19 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

NASA could develop a larger sized habitation module than SpaceX and or a larger lander to bring larger materials such as a Martian habitation module or something along those lines. If we continue to use unmanned hardware then it may hinder or delay us from exploring. Always choosing the safe and cheaper answer that isn't exploration despite whatever data can be retrieved seeing as we never went there nor are willing to.

Just because we can take a photograph of that mountain top doesn't mean we're mastered its summit, we just know what's at the peak. The challenge is still there.

That's not what I meant. I just don't think that NASA should be building LVs/capsules when there are commercially available ones that can do the job. Orion could be fairly useful if they salvaged it from the SLS program and used an American-made SM, but a slightly beefed-up Dragon could do the job for far less.

With regards to surface habs/landers, Bigelow is building inflatable habs (NASA is prohibited by Congress from doing so themselves), and Blue Origin is working on a Moon lander that could be used.

Edited by _Augustus_

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2 minutes ago, _Augustus_ said:

That's not what I meant. I just don't think that NASA should be building LVs/capsules when there are commercially available ones that can do the job. Orion could be fairly economical and useful if they salvaged it from the SLS program and used an American-made SM, but a slightly beefed-up Dragon could do the job for far less.

With regards to surface habs/landers, Bigelow is building inflatable habs (NASA is prohibited by Congress from doing so themselves), and Blue Origin is working on a Moon lander that could be used.

Personally I don't like the idea of returning to the moon for NASA. We need to go back, just not NASA. NASA's fate (to me), lies with Mars right now and if they do anything to deter from that course we'll lose focus and possibly, the space program. As it stands, how many decades can NASA sit idle before congress looks the space program in the face and asks them why they exist anymore when there are other sources available for cheaper, faster and that are available other than what NASA will be developing.

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@ZooNamedGames, I realize what the point of SLS was, but it was never really a good idea. The RS-25 is overly expensive and complex for a throw-away sustainer engine, IMO. They were after all designed to be reused.

If they wanted an HLV, they should have just built Shuttle C, it would have only required the one component.

Orion has it's own sunk-cost to be sure, and the heat shield seems like the biggest issue to me (rediscovery of Apollo-era issues), but it could be lofted by extant and future LVs. Ares was not dissimilar in diameter from F9, for example. You'd think Atlas would be man-rated (of course I'm not sure Soyuz would meet NASA's current standards). I agree that the SM should never have gone to eSA, it's just asking for needless delays.

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1 minute ago, tater said:

@ZooNamedGames, I realize what the point of SLS was, but it was never really a good idea. The RS-25 is overly expensive and complex for a throw-away sustainer engine, IMO. They were after all designed to be reused.

If they wanted an HLV, they should have just built Shuttle C, it would have only required the one component.

Orion has it's own sunk-cost to be sure, and the heat shield seems like the biggest issue to me (rediscovery of Apollo-era issues), but it could be lofted by extant and future LVs. Ares was not dissimilar in diameter from F9, for example. You'd think Atlas would be man-rated (of course I'm not sure Soyuz would meet NASA's current standards). I agree that the SM should never have gone to eSA, it's just asking for needless delays.

Any alternative honestly would've been a better one.

Granted in 2013/2014 when they pitched it to ESA they had just gotten off from a series of successful missions on their end and were not in the midst of the (oh no! 2.2b) Brexit and other present issues that plague the continent. So NASA had reason to trust them at the time, however, yes, at this point it has been proven to be an unreliable source.

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6 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Personally I don't like the idea of returning to the moon for NASA. We need to go back, just not NASA. NASA's fate (to me), lies with Mars right now and if they do anything to deter from that course we'll lose focus and possibly, the space program. As it stands, how many decades can NASA sit idle before congress looks the space program in the face and asks them why they exist anymore when there are other sources available for cheaper, faster and that are available other than what NASA will be developing.

Agreed. I was saying that Blue's moon lander could be adapted for Mars.

5 minutes ago, tater said:

@ZooNamedGames, I realize what the point of SLS was, but it was never really a good idea. The RS-25 is overly expensive and complex for a throw-away sustainer engine, IMO. They were after all designed to be reused.

If they wanted an HLV, they should have just built Shuttle C, it would have only required the one component.

Orion has it's own sunk-cost to be sure, and the heat shield seems like the biggest issue to me (rediscovery of Apollo-era issues), but it could be lofted by extant and future LVs. Ares was not dissimilar in diameter from F9, for example. You'd think Atlas would be man-rated (of course I'm not sure Soyuz would meet NASA's current standards). I agree that the SM should never have gone to eSA, it's just asking for needless delays.

Shuttle C really should've been flown alongside the Shuttle, but Congress wouldn't go for that.

I really am frightened that Russia keeps Soyuz and the ridiculous amount of other stuff flying with their $1.7 billion a year budget (especially when they have a failure like gyroscopes being installed upside-down). It's funny that NASA acts so crazy about safety but then willingly pays to fly astronauts on a vehicle that will never meet their standards.

International cooperation in space right now really doesn't work - look at how expensive the ISS has been....

Edited by _Augustus_

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1 minute ago, _Augustus_ said:

Agreed. I was saying that Blue's moon lander could be adapted for Mars.

Shuttle C really should've been flown alongside the Shuttle, but Congress wouldn't go for that.

I really am frightened as to how Russia keeps Soyuz flying with their $1.7 billion a year budget. It's funny that NASA acts so crazy about safety but then willingly pays to fly astronauts on a vehicle that will never meet their standards.

International cooperation in space right now really doesn't work - look at how expensive the ISS has been....

Granted costs have always been a talking point but wasn't as big of an issue until the midst of the shuttle program when we could see just how much money could be spent to manage one rocket.

So now the entire American government is worried about every nickle and dime to prevent "another space shuttle" from being created and in the end we just ended up using the exact same hardware as the money wasting shuttle.

If NASA could branch out monetarily and actually take risks, they likely would've have an SLS launch by now.

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Yeah, international stuff is tricky when it comes to integrating hardware. If the US is doing the bulk of the project, slip from a sub should be made painful---like huge fine painful.

SLS is built by companies that already make spacecraft. If NASA has a manifest of missions/spacecraft that need certain capabilities, it seems like they should set that standard and see what the contractors can provide.

if you took the XX billions to develop SLS, then offered half as a lump sum for a working replacement, I wonder what the result would be?

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5 minutes ago, tater said:

Yeah, international stuff is tricky when it comes to integrating hardware. If the US is doing the bulk of the project, slip from a sub should be made painful---like huge fine painful.

SLS is built by companies that already make spacecraft. If NASA has a manifest of missions/spacecraft that need certain capabilities, it seems like they should set that standard and see what the contractors can provide.

if you took the XX billions to develop SLS, then offered half as a lump sum for a working replacement, I wonder what the result would be?

I'd develop hardware for 5 billion. Hell... might just have an idea for that.

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On 16.5.2017 at 0:43 AM, tater said:

Yeah, international stuff is tricky when it comes to integrating hardware

Maybe it would help if you Americans stoped using these aweful feets and pounds and inches and instead used the metric system like basicly everyone else...:wink:

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On 2017-5-16 at 0:43 AM, tater said:

SLS is built by companies that already make spacecraft. If NASA has a manifest of missions/spacecraft that need certain capabilities, it seems like they should set that standard and see what the contractors can provide.

if you took the XX billions to develop SLS, then offered half as a lump sum for a working replacement, I wonder what the result would be?

It would mean starting from zero, or accepting Falcon Heavy and New Glenn as alternatives. And while the former isn't really interesting for the senate to fund, since they would see the results even later, the latter two are less capable rockets than SLS, which, while one would quickly see some results, would have difficulties even putting a space station module into lunar orbit.

And if you start anew with private contractors, every development works needs to be paid for 2 or 3 times, since you want competition. Also, either NASA lets 2 or 3 companies build the rocket entirely on their own, which would mean that NASA has little influence on the design and you have to find as many companies willing to do it, or NASA does the development itself, but buys different parts from different companies, which would reduce the efficiency gains.

In short, cancelling SLS now would not just mean a huge blow to NASA's manned space exploration, but also leave NASA with something that might not necessarily be better. It might be necessary to redesign some parts of SLS, like maybe find a private contractor to develop new, cheaper engines to be build in NASA's facilities, but just cancelling SLS and putting the whole work in the hands of private companies won't necessarily improve anything.

On the other hand, if NASA finds out in 3-5 years that SLS is indeed a dead end, there is a good chance that SpaceX and Blue Origin might have developed by that point an acceptable replacement, which NASA could buy directly without any of the lengthy procurement procedures, since there are only 1 or 2 viable possibilities.

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6 hours ago, hms_warrior said:

Maybe it would help if you Americans stoped using these aweful feets and pounds and inches and instead used the metric system like basicly everyone else...:wink:

I actually meant from a design, scheduling, transportation, and stacking standpoint. The teams are in different countries, the hardware needs to be shipped to be tested, then finalized and shipped to be launched. 

Regarding the use of US Customary Units---I agree it's appalling, and while NASA has been officially metric for decades now, the aerospace contractors have not all changed, hence the lack of universality in that regard. Remember that these same contractors are still making hardware for keeping things like the B-52 flying (in service since 1955!). It's tough issue since even a brand new rocket (say F9) needs to integrate payloads that might be from a contractor with legacy tooling.

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15 hours ago, hms_warrior said:

Maybe it would help if you Americans stoped using these aweful feets and pounds and inches and instead used the metric system like basicly everyone else...:wink:

They're not awful. They work just as well. It's only when both systems are in use in the same mission that it becomes an issue...

And of course, there're many more complications to integrating international stuff than measurements. It's not difficult to convert between the two. Albeit a bit annoying. Really it just boils down to what you're used to using. In our science classes we use metric and we use liters and such when talking about cars, so most things are slowly converting.

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It's funny, people keep saying the intent of the SLS was to save money by re-using shuttle components.  But in truth, the intent of the SLS is to provide jobs to key congressional districts.  Any other objectives are secondary to that.  Hence, I'd rather SLS die already, and redirect that money to companies who actually are doing interesting stuff rather than provide congressional pork spending by keeping decades old technology limping along.

SLS will put 75-145T to LEO compared to 73 for Falcon Heavy.  The former though will cost 1/5 the price (assuming the projected costs / launch is met).  Even if you used 2 FHs and docked the payload rather than do a single SLS, your saving 60% of the launch cost.  The numbers just don't add up to me for the SLS to be a viable program IMO.

imagine all the cool stuff that could be done when launched from a Falcon Heavy or later a New Glenn for all the money being dumped into SLS R&D along with all the extra cost of launching the silly thing.

 

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