mikegarrison

NASA launches safety investigation of SpaceX and Boeing

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1 hour ago, tater said:

It's my understanding from seeing some interviews with people who work inside SpaceX that their people are encouraged to fix anything they think is broken, or less than ideal. One of the rocket engine guys said that (an AMA, youtube?) one reason they have so many revs on things is that they see something that could be done better, and they change it (letting their bosses know, obviously). WRT safety, that seems like exactly the culture you'd want. "This doesn't look good enough to ensure crew safety, we should do X." easily fits within that culture (vs a fear of annoying your superior).

Maybe some here have worked on complex projects before and know how catastrophic it can be to change things outside of schedule, in terms of documentation, a definite system state, working together of different pieces of a project, from a project management point of view. If a single engineer changes things on his own part (nobody working on details has an overview over the whole) because they don't look good in respect to whatever, he may actually break everything and at least makes searching for errors much more complicated, if not impossible.

It is probable that an external review reveals such practice, i really hope so ;-)

 

Edited by Green Baron
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1 hour ago, tater said:

It's my understanding from seeing some interviews with people who work inside SpaceX that their people are encouraged to fix anything they think is broken, or less than ideal. One of the rocket engine guys said that (an AMA, youtube?) one reason they have so many revs on things is that they see something that could be done better, and they change it (letting their bosses know, obviously). WRT safety, that seems like exactly the culture you'd want. "This doesn't look good enough to ensure crew safety, we should do X." easily fits within that culture (vs a fear of annoying your superior).

Well ... maybe. But every "fix" is also a chance to mess something else up. That's why aerospace engineers go to SO MANY GODDAMN MEETINGS. Everybody whose area of involvement might be impacted has to look at every change that everybody else makes. If you make it *too* easy to change things, you also make it too easy to break things that you had no idea your change even impacted.

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5 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

Well ... maybe. But every "fix" is also a chance to mess something else up. That's why aerospace engineers go to SO MANY GODDAMN MEETINGS. Everybody whose area of involvement might be impacted has to look at every change that everybody else makes. If you make it *too* easy to change things, you also make it too easy to break things that you had no idea your change even impacted.

Let me just throw in a link.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3525/1

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22 hours ago, Canopus said:

Version 1: Methane Oxygen combustion rocket

Version 2: Beam core antimatter engine

Kugelblitz or bust!

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6 hours ago, CatastrophicFailure said:

Naw, this is just politics, pure and simple. The big, green elephant in the room is that Musk did something that, while perfectly legal at the time and place, and increasingly more accepted as "normal," ruffled some feathers. Would this investigation still be going down if Musk had simply had a drink? Somehow I doubt that.

Anyone with half an ounce of wisdom and foresight knows recreational legalization of marijuana will be detrimental to the well-being of society. The politicians are chasing the money and the proponents are chasing their vices.

Oh, and I enjoy how every proponent has become a medical expert about how "safe" the use of marijuana is. Let me think for half a second about this question. Inhaling smoke into my lungs that releases mind-altering chemicals into my brain. Is that a "safe" activity? Hmm, no. Duh.

Leadership starts at the top and works its way down. And when the leadership displays a gross lack of judgement, like smoking dope on video that's going to go around the world and back again, that warrants a safety investigation. People get very upset with morning coffee and programs thrown years behind schedule with accidents involving astronauts. Better safe than sorry. It's a good call by NASA. 

 

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28 minutes ago, Kerbal7 said:

Anyone with half an ounce of wisdom and foresight knows recreational legalization of marijuana will be detrimental to the well-being of society. The politicians are chasing the money and the proponents are chasing their vices.

Oh, and I enjoy how every proponent has become a medical expert about how "safe" the use of marijuana is. Let me think for half a second about this question. Inhaling smoke into my lungs that releases mind-altering chemicals into my brain. Is that a "safe" activity? Hmm, no. Duh.

Leadership starts at the top and works its way down. And when the leadership displays a gross lack of judgement, like smoking dope on video that's going to go around the world and back again, that warrants a safety investigation. People get very upset with morning coffee and programs thrown years behind schedule with accidents involving astronauts. Better safe than sorry. It's a good call by NASA. 

 

 

Well, it was only made illegal in the first place for very... well, for reasons that are generally looked down upon these days. Not only that, but due to its illegal status actual research on how dangerous it can be is impossible - at least nearly so. Due to that we have no idea how dangerous it is. But most things point to it being no dangerous than say, cigarette smoking, at least in terms of bodily harm...

And there are other ways of ingesting it besides smoking. And there are plenty of unsafe activities that are perfectly legal. Heck, some are downright necessary for society to function in the modern world. Things like driving a car. 

(Let's not take this topic any further)

On topic: Musk shouldn't have done that. Regardless of the legality of it in a given state, it's illegal on the Federal level, and that means that agencies and organizations of the Federal Government, such as NASA and the military, have to deal with it. I also think a general safety investigation should be done regardless, to keep the companies in check. I know from NASA engineers that SpaceX is pushing their hardware a bit much. Haven't heard much about Boeing, but it's good to make sure. Especially when astronauts are involved.

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12 hours ago, tater said:

they have set an arbitrary standard of safety, 1:270 for a LOC incident, yet they utterly ignore the safety of the only game in town right now, even when concerning things have happened in the last few months.

Well, let's just abandon ISS then. Maybe that'd be much better.

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2 minutes ago, YNM said:

Well, let's just abandon ISS then. Maybe that'd be much better. 

How does that follow, I'm saying they should be less, not more risk-averse.

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23 minutes ago, YNM said:

Well, let's just abandon ISS then. Maybe that'd be much better.

No way you know how many constituents have pork in that barrel?

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32 minutes ago, tater said:

How does that follow, I'm saying they should be less, not more risk-averse.

11 minutes ago, 5thHorseman said:

No way you know how many constituents have pork in that barrel?

So, that's why they're flying this 60 yrs old bodged ICBM, yes ?

Or we can put 'em all on actual scrutiny.

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4 hours ago, Bill Phil said:

Well, it was only made illegal in the first place for very... well, for reasons that are generally looked down upon these days.

Revisionist silliness meant to undermine public opposition to recreational legalization. Any competent social worker who spent time around habitual users of Marijuana, fittingly named, "potheads and stoners," can cogently explain why Marijuana is illegal. And why it should stay illegal.

 

4 hours ago, Bill Phil said:

Not only that, but due to its illegal status actual research on how dangerous it can be is impossible - at least nearly so. Due to that we have no idea how dangerous it is.

Marijuana smoke is full of carcinogens. Same as tobacco smoke. We don't need a  20-year assessment of peer-reviewed studies to predict what's going to happen to many people who habitually smoke Marijuana. Just a little common sense. Chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cancer, etc. Nothing good. It's all bad.

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But most things point to it being no dangerous than say, cigarette smoking, at least in terms of bodily harm...

To put it colloquially, Marijuana use rots you brain. Studies are all over the place and they all show the same thing. Marijuana kills cognitive abilities across the board. Permanently. The medical community knows this undeniably. Here is one study. 

cannabis users show neuropsychological decline

Politicians are running a medical experiment on an unwary public that's been socially engineered through pop culture to think Marijuana is harmless. All for a little cash. Murica. It's an experiment that's going to turn out badly. 

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And there are plenty of unsafe activities that are perfectly legal. Heck, some are downright necessary for society to function in the modern world. Things like driving a car.

 

Driving cars and getting stoned on dope is apples and motor oil.

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(Let's not take this topic any further)

 

I said my peace.

I'm out.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kerbal7

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4 hours ago, Bill Phil said:

On topic: Musk shouldn't have done that. Regardless of the legality of it in a given state, it's illegal on the Federal level, and that means that agencies and organizations of the Federal Government, such as NASA and the military, have to deal with it.

No, they don't have to - they chose to.
 

4 hours ago, Bill Phil said:

I also think a general safety investigation should be done regardless, to keep the companies in check.


Thereby taking the whole point of the Commercial Crew program (saving money by reduced government involvement and oversight), wadding it up, and throwing it in the trash...  All to no good end because there is absolutely zero evidence of safety problems requiring an investigation.

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I think it is a good thing Musk fake puffed on a joint. People need to relax about silly issues. Lets fly high in some rockets!

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On 11/20/2018 at 8:39 PM, Xd the great said:

Yeah, i will be worried if my rocket was built by a drunk/high engineerer.

I would prefer to ride kerbal rockets.

a hit and a shot are quite a ways from being stoned and plastered. not everyone who tokes is a brain dead zombie thanks to the miracle of moderation.

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1 hour ago, Kerbal7 said:

Revisionist silliness meant to undermine public opposition to recreational legalization. Any competent social worker who spent time around habitual users of Marijuana, fittingly named, "potheads and stoners," can cogently explain why Marijuana is illegal. And why it should stay illegal.

revisionist nothing. Nixon famously taped his secret meetings, so we can listen to the decision being made and why, for all posterity.

http://www.csdp.org/research/nixonpot.txt

 

Edit:

Chris Bergen, of NSF:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=46837.msg1878878#msg1878878


For what it's worth, I've had some really strongly worded e-mails of outrage over this story.............from NASA folk. It's been covered. We know enough people even on this site and how they treat the hardware (especially during Shuttle - and to which they've moved into commercial crew) as their own children. Disgusting they think they'll "find" something after working alongside them for so long (part of the aforementioned outrage).

Seriously? All this because Elon did that podcast etc? As if he was on the factory floor with a spanner in one hand and a joint in the other working on vehicles?

Everything points to - as Eric reported - political funny games at play.

Anyway, I don't do politics, so I'll only add one of my tweets ;D

https://twitter.com/NASASpaceflight/status/1064978808703471621

Edited by Rakaydos
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From a distance, this looks like "Oh no, they are going to punish my favourite company !".

But i think people underestimate the obligations of the supervisor (nasa) and overestimate the possibilities of the contractor. There are still no final reports of the two SpaceX accidents, it is believed that a faulty or erroneously chosen strut and a hastily made carbon lamination were the culprits. In case of an accident with humans on board one needs more of a documentation to find the causes. But i may be wrong.

I have neither interest in any of the parties, i only want successful missions (Edit: and i think so do nasa and spacex, the former maybe even a bit more than the latter because they are the ones who will be exposed at a stake on the market place in case of severe mishaps). And if that means that someone looks over the shoulder of someone else to ensure thorough work, then pls do so :prograde:

:-)

Edited by Green Baron
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3 hours ago, DerekL1963 said:

Thereby taking the whole point of the Commercial Crew program (saving money by reduced government involvement and oversight)

Commercial aircraft have a whole lot of government involvement and oversight. Indeed, one of the main functions of government in commercial air travel is to promote safety through regulation and oversight. I do not believe there was ever any intent with the Commercial Crew program that there would be minimal government involvement and oversight.

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6 hours ago, DerekL1963 said:

No, they don't have to - they chose to.
 


Thereby taking the whole point of the Commercial Crew program (saving money by reduced government involvement and oversight), wadding it up, and throwing it in the trash...  All to no good end because there is absolutely zero evidence of safety problems requiring an investigation.

It’s Federal Law. And laws are meaningless if not enforced.

I’m under the impression that the purpose of Commerical Crew has little to do with money. Rather, it seems like its purpose is to develop a launch capability that is not dependent on Russia, at least not as much, and to be less sensitive to catastrophe - Starliner failing may not ground Dragon, unlike the Space Shuttle fleet. Saving a little money would be a bonus, but that likely isn’t the purpose.

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5 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

Commercial aircraft have a whole lot of government involvement and oversight. Indeed, one of the main functions of government in commercial air travel is to promote safety through regulation and oversight.

The level of oversight in commercial aircraft, which are private transactions between private companies, is a minuscule fraction of that for government contracts.

 

5 hours ago, mikegarrison said:

I do not believe there was ever any intent with the Commercial Crew program that there would be minimal government involvement and oversight.


You're not up on the program then.  The whole point of the Commercial initiatives (Crew and Cargo) was to reduce costs by purchasing on the open market and reducing red tape and paperwork.
 

2 hours ago, Bill Phil said:

I’m under the impression that the purpose of Commerical Crew has little to do with money.


0.o  Seriously?

Both you and Mike need to read NASA's own page on the topic.

https://www.nasa.gov/content/commercial-crew-program-the-essentials/#.U_ung_ldUn3

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3 minutes ago, DerekL1963 said:

Both you and Mike need to read NASA's own page on the topic.

Because each and every government always presents its motivations plainly, eh?

But then we’ll inevitably albeit necessarily stray beyond the bounds of acceptable on this forum.

170809100500.jpg?itok=vDclhfz5

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19 hours ago, DDE said:

Let me just throw in a link.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3525/1

Love the reason for max leakage in g-suits. Reminds me of an old car my grandfather had, the screenwasher fluid was feed with air pressure from the spare tire :)
It might be an idea to write down reason in specifications, it would also make them more interesting reading 
Also because other might have to work on that two generations from now. 

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1 hour ago, DerekL1963 said:

The level of oversight in commercial aircraft, which are private transactions between private companies, is a minuscule fraction of that for government contracts.

 


You're not up on the program then.  The whole point of the Commercial initiatives (Crew and Cargo) was to reduce costs by purchasing on the open market and reducing red tape and paperwork.
 


0.o  Seriously?

Both you and Mike need to read NASA's own page on the topic.

https://www.nasa.gov/content/commercial-crew-program-the-essentials/#.U_ung_ldUn3

From your own link: (my emphasis) 

Commercial Crew's Approach for Obtaining Crew Transportation Systems:
·  NASA's engineers and aerospace specialists work closely with companies to develop crew transportation systems that can safely, reliably and cost-effectively carry humans to low-Earth orbit, including the International Space Station, and return safely to Earth.
·  Interested companies are free to design the transportation system they think is best. For the contracts phase of development and certification, each company must meet NASA’s pre-determined set of requirements
·  The companies are encouraged to apply their most efficient and effective manufacturing and business operating techniques throughout the process.
·  The companies own and operate their own spacecraft and infrastructure.
·  The partnership approach allows NASA engineers insight into a company’s development process while the agency’s technical expertise and resources are accessible to a company.

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20 hours ago, Green Baron said:

Maybe some here have worked on complex projects before and know how catastrophic it can be to change things outside of schedule, in terms of documentation, a definite system state, working together of different pieces of a project, from a project management point of view. If a single engineer changes things on his own part (nobody working on details has an overview over the whole) because they don't look good in respect to whatever, he may actually break everything and at least makes searching for errors much more complicated, if not impossible.

It is probable that an external review reveals such practice, i really hope so ;-)

 

That doesn’t mean they don’t have a change control process to evaluate the necessity and impact of changes. 

The processes that I have seen be successful are ones that have a reporting system that everyone has access to, where issues are easy to raise (by anyone), severity is clearly spelled out to properly prioritize “nice to have” from “safety critical design change”, and issues that truly need to be implemented before anything bad happens get escalated to the proper levels.

So the typical process has a freeze at the end of the design phase. The freeze is really a soft freeze where details of the design get worked out like model cleanup, tolerances are worked out, drawings are made, etc. before that, yeah, changes are made freely. Hypothetically, “nice to have” issues from the reporting system are implemented in the design phase and “nice to have” after the freeze gets logged into the system for the next design phase. If something comes up, change control is there to address critical changes and shut down things that aren’t.

Change control is really important but just as important is a reporting system that is respected at all levels so when an issue comes up that could delay a program, the people who make the delay decision are properly informed. On the other side, change control is not about preventing changes but making sure that the program stays on time and on budget. If you are an engineer or a line worker and you have an idea of how to make whatever-it-is better and it can be done with little-to-no impact to cost and timing, it goes into change control for review. This is the point where impact to other groups is assessed (or before if you’re doing your job right). If there’s no impact to other groups, the change is allowed to be implemented. 

I don’t work for SpaceX, I work in the auto industry, but we do have complex products and the success of them is absolutely dependent on how well issues get handled. I would suspect that SpaceX is pretty good about balancing delay vs product improvements. Musk is a wild card about posting timelines but we have collectively recognized “Elon time” but that’s not to say that the product is unsafe or inferior. It’s just a case of delays are normal.

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You are of course right, i was simplifying. My experience with management of complex projects is limited to the organization of several excavation campaigns which could in principle be done by every experienced person without special education. Though it is far more than just pack a shovel and a whip ;-)

My intention was to show that changes by everybody as she/he sees fit usually are a bad thing. It is not trivial to keep track (in contrary i would say) and to follow them back to a point where an error could be encircled. I do not want to insinuate nothing, only that is imo a good thing for the future of such an aspiring company as well as spaceflight in general if independent people with some experience look after them before lives are at (too high a) risk. I would find it better to say "we know it was this part" than "we believe it was a strut". And i personally believe think that it is a good idea.

Edit: we must, i think, look at the alternatives, which could in the worst mean that bad things happened and nobody feels responsible and the cause is never really revealed. The usual game in some cases ;-)

Edited by Green Baron

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Wait? Three pages about Musk and safety in general? But no-one has mentioned even in passing that the other company under scrutiny has recently been implicated in omitting safety critical information from the operating manuals of a flagship product? And that has possibly contributed in a loss of passenger lives event?

Of course the investigation is still very much ongoing so the officials cannot openly mention it - just as they cannot openly mention the other one's substance use habits. Just reminds us that there are more than one side in a coin.

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