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NASA SLS/Orion/Payloads

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Unfortunately, that would mean 90% of the Congressmen going "but muh jerbs programs" which would throw up a even bigger stink in the government.

Doing SLS the way it is is also better than them having some other stupid pork barrel project which contributes even less to manned spaceflight/unmanned exploration.

(am I being too optimistic? :/)

Edited by T-10a

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49 minutes ago, tater said:

It's hard for an SLS thread to not be hijacked, since Constellation-lite, erm, SLS is such a bad concept.

The whole point of the way dev has run, not concurrently, is that they don't have the money to develop multiple crew vehicles at once. So make SLS and Orion, then, and only then spend the freed up dev money to work on a lander. SLS is a hot mess.

What's so bad about the SLS concept? In its final form it's going to throw a very heavy payload into space. Sounds good to me. Okay, it cost to much. But everything with space cost too much. The ISS cost 100 billion and was supposed to cost 8. But I'd rather have an ISS that cost too much than none at all. The SLS and Orion is almost here. When people are flying around the moon again It's not going to bother me it cost too much.

Besides, what do you suggest? We pull the plug on an almost complete rocket and capsule, then bet on a speculative rocket whose development has just started? That's 10 years. No way. 

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Just now, Kerbal7 said:

What's so bad about the SLS concept? In its final form it's going to throw a very heavy payload into space. Sounds good to me.

It throws 70 tons block one, barely more than FH. Block 1b is what, 105 tons to LEO? That's what we have for the foreseeable future, Block 2 is supposedly 2029 (likely to slip, of course). Block 2 is 130 tons to LEO. Not even enough to get to the lunar surface.

It's useless. Too big for LEO use, too small for anything except barely making distant lunar orbit. It can't even send crew to low lunar orbit. In addition, they might at a stretch be able to do 2 within a year. That eliminates any ability to assemble spacecraft in orbit for someplace like Mars.

Sounds BAD to me.

What is the mission for SLS? Build a launch vehicle to fulfill a mission. That, or build something that is cost-effective, and big enough to support any mission.

 

Just now, Kerbal7 said:

Okay, it cost to much. But everything with space cost too much. The ISS cost 100 billion and was supposed to cost 8. But I'd rather have an ISS that cost too much than none at all. The SLS and Orion is almost here. When people are flying around the moon again It's not going to bother me it cost too much.

They'll be flying closer to the moon. It has no benefit. Can't land on the Moon. We can look at the Moon from Earth, or we could run rovers from here, easily. It adds nothing. The experiments with people in deep space don't matter, and could be done in LEO.

 

Just now, Kerbal7 said:

Besides, what do you suggest? We pull the plug on an almost complete rocket and capsule, then bet on a speculative rocket whose development has just started? That's 10 years. No way. 

We should have killed SLS ages ago.

Yes, I don't adhere to a sunk-cost fallacy. The 2.whatever billion per year the SLS program costs (doing nothing at all, just keeping people employed) would be better spent doing something else. SLS is so expensive that only expensive payloads make sense, so the real science (Europa Clipper, etc) have to be huge, expensive missions to justify an SLS flight, which bloats them at the expense of other missions.

It's awful, but sadly we're stuck with it.

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9 hours ago, Kerbal7 said:

Rockets are extremely dangerous. They are nowhere near safe or convenient enough for commercial flight. That's why the launch pads are kept away from population centers. No one in their rights mind is going to put a BFR rocket port anywhere near a city for commercial travel. So 30 minute commercial flights from L.A. to Tokyo in a BFR are just as fantastical as BFR flights to Mars. Never going to happen.

  

FLAT EARTHER!

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30 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

What's so bad about the SLS concept? In its final form it's going to throw a very heavy payload into space. Sounds good to me. Okay, it cost to much. But everything with space cost too much. The ISS cost 100 billion and was supposed to cost 8. But I'd rather have an ISS that cost too much than none at all. The SLS and Orion is almost here. When people are flying around the moon again It's not going to bother me it cost too much.

Besides, what do you suggest? We pull the plug on an almost complete rocket and capsule, then bet on a speculative rocket whose development has just started? That's 10 years. No way. 

Nothing if time sped up by a factor of 3, if it was proposed 40 years ago, and if we dollars grew on trees.

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24 minutes ago, tater said:

It throws 70 tons block one, barely more than FH. Block 1b is what, 105 tons to LEO? That's what we have for the foreseeable future, Block 2 is supposedly 2029 (likely to slip, of course). Block 2 is 130 tons to LEO. Not even enough to get to the lunar surface.

It's useless. Too big for LEO use, too small for anything except barely making distant lunar orbit. It can't even send crew to low lunar orbit. In addition, they might at a stretch be able to do 2 within a year. That eliminates any ability to assemble spacecraft in orbit for someplace like Mars.

Sounds BAD to me.

What is the mission for SLS? Build a launch vehicle to fulfill a mission. That, or build something that is cost-effective, and big enough to support any mission.

 

They'll be flying closer to the moon. It has no benefit. Can't land on the Moon. We can look at the Moon from Earth, or we could run rovers from here, easily. It adds nothing. The experiments with people in deep space don't matter, and could be done in LEO.

 

We should have killed SLS ages ago.

Yes, I don't adhere to a sunk-cost fallacy. The 2.whatever billion per year the SLS program costs (doing nothing at all, just keeping people employed) would be better spent doing something else. SLS is so expensive that only expensive payloads make sense, so the real science (Europa Clipper, etc) have to be huge, expensive missions to justify an SLS flight, which bloats them at the expense of other missions.

It's awful, but sadly we're stuck with it.

We are not ready to go to Mars. We have got to get some experience operating in deep space away from low earth orbit. And that's what the early version is designed to do. Last time I checked, and maybe it's changed, Exploration Mission 2 is going to put 4 people around the moon and deliver the first part of the deep space gateway. I don't consider that useless. That's a good start for me.

Y'all been hyped up by Mr.Musk to think we are ready to go charging off to Mars next week and it's ridiculous. 

23 minutes ago, PB666 said:

Nothing if time sped up by a factor of 3, if it was proposed 40 years ago, and if we dollars grew on trees.

So what you are saying is, it's like every other manned space project. 

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44 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

What's so bad about the SLS concept? In its final form it's going to throw a very heavy payload into space. Sounds good to me. Okay, it cost to much. But everything with space cost too much. The ISS cost 100 billion and was supposed to cost 8. But I'd rather have an ISS that cost too much than none at all. The SLS and Orion is almost here. When people are flying around the moon again It's not going to bother me it cost too much.

Besides, what do you suggest? We pull the plug on an almost complete rocket and capsule, then bet on a speculative rocket whose development has just started? That's 10 years. No way. 

That it costs too much is exactly the point. The US would be better served spending that money on almost anything else. Unmanned probes. Cancer research. Defense concerns. Repairing infrastructure. Aid to foreign countries. Paying SpaceX, Blue Origin, and ULA to put up a space station for less money. Almost no government project can be divorced from discussions of cost, since it's the public's money.

1 minute ago, Kerbal7 said:

We are not ready to go to Mars. We have got to get some experience operating in deep space away from low earth orbit. And that's what the early version is designed to do. Last time I checked, and maybe it's changed, Exploration Mission 2 is going to put 4 people around the moon and deliver the first part of the deep space gateway. I don't consider that useless. That's a good start for me.

Y'all been hyped up by Mr.Musk to think we are ready to go charging off to Mars next week and it's ridiculous. 

Kindly do not put words in my mouth or that of @tater. I can't speak for tater, but I certainly think SpaceX won't be flying men to Mars until 2030 at the absolute dead earliest. What I have been saying is that the SLS is an impractically expensive vehicle for manned beyond-Earth-orbit missions, and it, like Constellation before it, as well as the vast bulk of the Apollo Applications Program and the Space Transport System, are going to be cancelled.

Maybe Congress will continue to pour tens of billions of dollars into a bad idea, but my guess is Congress will continue to pour tens of billions of meaningless platitudes into the bad idea and cancel it before they have to fund the really expensive things.

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4 minutes ago, Starman4308 said:

That it costs too much is exactly the point. The US would be better served spending that money on almost anything else. Unmanned probes. Cancer research. Defense concerns. Repairing infrastructure. Aid to foreign countries. Paying SpaceX, Blue Origin, and ULA to put up a space station for less money. Almost no government project can be divorced from discussions of cost, since it's the public's money.

Kindly do not put words in my mouth or that of @tater. I can't speak for tater, but I certainly think SpaceX won't be flying men to Mars until 2030 at the absolute dead earliest. What I have been saying is that the SLS is an impractically expensive vehicle for manned beyond-Earth-orbit missions, and it, like Constellation before it, as well as the vast bulk of the Apollo Applications Program and the Space Transport System, are going to be cancelled.

Maybe Congress will continue to pour tens of billions of dollars into a bad idea, but my guess is Congress will continue to pour tens of billions of meaningless platitudes into the bad idea and cancel it before they have to fund the really expensive things.

Everything in manned space flight cost too much. And it always goes way over budget and schedule. If you don't like it, tell your congressman you want the government out of manned spaceflight. Don't cry to me about it. 

SpaceX and Mars. Give me a break. Those two words shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence. :rolleyes: 

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21 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

We are not ready to go to Mars. We have got to get some experience operating in deep space away from low earth orbit. And that's what the early version is designed to do. Last time I checked, and maybe it's changed, Exploration Mission 2 is going to put 4 people around the moon and deliver the first part of the deep space gateway. I don't consider that useless. That's a good start for me.

One, there is nothing in "deep space" that needs testing with humans. New, better life support can be tested cheaper, and safer in LEO. The only think BLEO adds is crew danger. It;s not even interesting enough to get any real PR boost, IMO. That would require Low Lunar Orbit for the money shots.

It;s only a start, since SLS cannot get people to the Moon itself. Ever. The Apollo stack was 140 tons in LEO. Orion is bigger, and even block 2 in 2029 (if that) only does 130 tons.

 

21 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

Y'all been hyped up by Mr.Musk to think we are ready to go charging off to Mars next week and it's ridiculous. 

I've been a space geek almost as long as Elon has been alive (admittedly, I started as a toddler, we're about the same age). I'm also not a Mars person.

SLS stinks for everything, not just Mars---except piling money in many Congressional districts, it's awesome at doing that.

21 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

So what you are saying is, it's like every other government manned space project. 

(I added a word) A porkfest?

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1 hour ago, tater said:

It throws 70 tons block one, barely more than FH. Block 1b is what, 105 tons to LEO? That's what we have for the foreseeable future, Block 2 is supposedly 2029 (likely to slip, of course). Block 2 is 130 tons to LEO. Not even enough to get to the lunar surface.

It's useless. Too big for LEO use, too small for anything except barely making distant lunar orbit. It can't even send crew to low lunar orbit. In addition, they might at a stretch be able to do 2 within a year. That eliminates any ability to assemble spacecraft in orbit for someplace like Mars.

Sounds BAD to me.

That's not quite accurate. While the LEO payloads you mention are accurate, LEO payloads have little to do with what can be sent to TLI/L-2. The Block 1 is not very capable, but the Block 1b can send about 39 tonnes to TLI, and about 45 tonnes to L-2. Block 2 can send more, and is the only SLS variant that can rival the Saturn V's TLI performance. (SLS isn't even more powerful in terms of mass to TLI)

For reference, the Saturn V can throw about 45 tonnes to TLI, actually slightly more. There aren't numbers for L-2 because it was purpose built for TLI. Skylab's Saturn V lost quite a bit of capability, only orbiting something like 80 tonnes (Skylab itself).

My main issue is the opportunity cost. What if, instead of developing an arguably unnecessary vehicle, those funds were spent on developing propellant depot technology as well as space tug technology. Then they could potentially justify higher launch rates for keeping the depot full for BLEO missions.

Edited by Bill Phil

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6 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

SpaceX and Mars. Give me a break. Those two words shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence. :rolleyes: 

I don't think SpaceX will fly people to Mars in anything like that time frame, if ever---guess what, I still think that is more likely than SLS doing so.

1 minute ago, Bill Phil said:

That's not quite accurate. While the LEO payload's you mention are accurate, LEO payloads have little to do with what can be sent to TLI/L-2. The Block 1 is not very capable, but the Block 1b can send about 39 tonnes to TLI, and about 45 tonnes to L-2. Block 2 can send more, and is the only SLS variant that can rival the Saturn V's TLI performance. (SLS isn't even more powerful in terms of mass to TLI)

TLI is pretty fluid. Assume low lunar orbit, not DRO/NRHO. Still can't get there and back, even though the Orion CSM combo is only ~25 tons of the 39 to TLI. Block 2 is not for 11 years.

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1 hour ago, Kerbal7 said:

too much than none at all

Opportunity cost.  We could have build 12 moon bases for the price of the ISS.  

32 minutes ago, tater said:

, if ever---guess what, I still think that is more likely than SLS doing so.

Exactly.  There is no way SLS will send humans to Mars.  EM-2 might happen, due to sunk cost, but it is too expensive, especially due to NG.  There is no way they are doing a 12 launch mission to assemble a station in lunar orbit, sned an ion drive up to it, preposistion 2 ADVs, that can only be used for 2 weeks, and then send humans to Mars in longer transit times than would be provided by chemical rockets.  Remember, the SLS could send 4 people to Mars using the three launch Mars Direct mission.   

Edited by DAL59

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A new vehicle (meaning a vehicle in the post-reuse world), like New Glenn, or BFR, can be designed with refilling in orbit in mind, allowing for the tugs @Bill Phil suggests. Even with a loft to orbit smaller than Block 2 SLS, this allows Earth Orbit Rendezvous style missions at far lower cost than SLS.

 

2 minutes ago, DAL59 said:

Opportunity cost.  We could have build 12 moon bases for the price of the ISS.  

No. That's ridiculous. At the time ISS was built, such an effort would have required at least Shuttle-C, and would have been more, not less expensive than ISS.

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1 minute ago, tater said:

A new vehicle (meaning a vehicle in the post-reuse world), like New Glenn, or BFR, can be designed with refilling in orbit in mind, allowing for the tugs @Bill Phil suggests. Even with a loft to orbit smaller than Block 2 SLS, this allows Earth Orbit Rendezvous style missions at far lower cost than SLS.

 

No. That's ridiculous. At the time ISS was built, such an effort would have required at least Shuttle-C, and would have been more, not less expensive than ISS.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/moon-mars/news/a20102/we-could-have-a-moon-base-for-10-billion/

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5 minutes ago, DAL59 said:

Remember, the SLS could send 6 people to Mars using the three launch Mars Direct mission.   

I don't see 40 tons towards Mars as being terribly fun as a trip.

4 minutes ago, DAL59 said:

A false comparison, since NASA is not getting a 50% budget increase. You are not getting 10 moon bases for the money otherwise spent on ISS, at the same rate it would be handed out, any other comparison is nonsense.

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1 minute ago, tater said:

I don't see 40 tons towards Mars as being terribly fun as a trip.

Its sort of crowded.

1387772.jpg

I'd still want to go though.

Robert-Zubrins-Mars-Direct-minimalist-co

The lower deck would hold life support, airlock, rover, and science equipment.  

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Zubrin volunteering to go himself?

NASA is not doing Mars Direct. Not ever. Look at NASA DRA/DRMs for Mars, or don't bother. NASA requires safety levels that preclude Mars Direct.

Think Lockheed Martin Mars Base Camp. 2 of everything. 7 SLS launches, likely block 2 cargo for all but 3.

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1 hour ago, DAL59 said:

Opportunity cost.  We could have build 12 moon bases for the price of the ISS.  

I see. And you know this exactly how? Have lots of experience in the moon base building industry do ya? 

 

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15 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

I see. And you know this exactly how? Have lots of experience in the moon base building industry do ya? 

 

He cites a Popular Mechanics article. But Popular Mechanics isn't much more than analog click bait and unicorns.

Edited by PakledHostage

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NASA test fired an RS 25 yesterday, and tried to dress it up as if it were an actual milestone achievement instead of an engine they've had in storage for over a decade based on even older technology and both hideously overcomplicated and expensive for a disposable stage.

Edited by RCgothic

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14 hours ago, DAL59 said:

Why?  Isn't the ability to send a hundred troops anywhere in the world very quickly useful?  

Useful, yes, practically achievable with a rocketship, no. Airlifting troops from base to base is achieved by aircraft in politically relevant amounts of time, and direct combat insertion by rocketship is insane. Ithacus (which existed at a time you couldn't aim at your base) was rejected for a number of reasons: the uncertainty of the condition of troops on arrival (will Private Joe be in fighting condition after the g's?), the extreme vulnerability of inbound rocketship to enemy long-range AA fire, and the fact that the rocketship would blow itself up when trying to lift off and RTB, even assuming you've somehow refueled it after it landed on Ivan's barn. That is what confines it to pad-to-pad flights... and you can be damned sure the destination pad would last minutes in a shooting war.

This means you will use the Milspec BFS to get the troops into about 1000-2500 km from the target country, and then load them onto Ospreys or, more likely, Boeing's 'double Ospreys', and then actually ship them to the battlespace. 'm not sure how that is a win - and you'll still have to watch out for Nuclear Attack Warning System-cued ASAT hitting you near the trajectory's apex.

I say we go with the Mobile Offshore Bases instead and call the BFS an "incremental capability".

kaxXSU6.jpg

7 hours ago, tater said:

A false comparison, since NASA is not getting a 50% budget increase.

Did you know you can do more with $1500 than you can do with $1000? Amazing!

Edited by DDE

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NASA shows off its RS-25 engines and pumps up the SLS and Orion. Take a good look. If anything is really going to the moon and Mars, this is it.

 

 

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6 hours ago, RCgothic said:

NASA test fired an RS 25 yesterday, and tried to dress it up as if it were an actual milestone achievement instead of an engine they've had in storage for over a decade based on even older technology and both hideously overcomplicated and expensive for a disposable stage.

To be fair, the RS-25 is an excellent engine. It has decent sea level isp and high vacuum isp. With 70s technology. It's behind the curve in the modern world, yes, but it's performance is quite high. 

It's not really fit for reuse, though, as they learned from the Shuttle program. 

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14 minutes ago, Bill Phil said:

To be fair, the RS-25 is an excellent engine. It has decent sea level isp and high vacuum isp. With 70s technology. It's behind the curve in the modern world, yes, but it's performance is quite high. 

It's not really fit for reuse, though, as they learned from the Shuttle program. 

The other major issue with the RS-25 is that it's even less fit for expendable use. The magnificent performance obtained by the RS-25 came at the cost of being one of the most complicated engines ever produced. Not really economical to refurbish, comically expensive to just throw away like the SLS plans to.

1 hour ago, Kerbal7 said:

NASA shows off its RS-25 engines and pumps up the SLS and Orion. Take a good look. If anything is really going to the moon and Mars, this is it.

I dunno. The Merlin engine just sent something to a Mars-crossing orbit. While technically speaking the Shuttle was used for missions like Galileo, that was all with the assistance of the IUS: the RS-25 itself never left LEO.

Historically, then, the record seems to be in favor of the company you seem to rag on so much.

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Can we please leave this artificial feud between SpaceX and Nasa out of this thread? 

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