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[New] Space Launch System / Orion Discussion Thread


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7 minutes ago, Space Nerd said:

That's enough for me, and I just don't like to find that my opinion is different from everyone else.

I am one of the biggest opponents of SLS and one of the biggest reuse/newspace proponents out there, and I agree it will be awesome to see SLS fly.

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19 minutes ago, Space Nerd said:

Yep, 3 vs 1.

(I feel depressed from reading this.)

Even just a few years ago it was on better ground, though.

There are a few vocal supporters of SLS here, they will likely come in at some point, you're not alone, and again, it was much more back and forth even just 3 years ago.

8 minutes ago, sevenperforce said:

I am one of the biggest opponents of SLS and one of the biggest reuse/newspace proponents out there, and I agree it will be awesome to see SLS fly.

Yeah, I'll enjoy seeing it fly as well. It's a huge rocket, who doesn't wanna see huge rockets?

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Speaking of Ares V, makes you wonder if had they stuck with developing the regenerative cooling version of the RS-68 and carrying that over to SLS would have been cheaper. If they would have done that, I think I would have much less of a problem with the non reusability issue.

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IMHO, SLS still has it's place until Starship demonstrates that it properly works, and even then until it demonstrates that it is safe enough for crew. That may not come for a while, but unless SpaceX goes down or musk dies or something, they are going to keep trying. Alternatively, it has a place until two other expendable American shlvs have proven that they are better, as Congress will want redundancy.

Existing and near future heavy launch vehicles, including Starship, can't do what SLS does (launch crew to tli with the ability to return) without orbital refueling or docking a transfer stage, etc which is something that hasn't been proven yet. However, it will likely be proven sometime in the next five years.

I would be a lot more enthusiastic about the SLS if it was closer to the expected budget and timeframe. Would it have been better to do a clean sheet design? Probably, but we have the benefit of hindsight. I also think we should have skipped straight to EUS and given Orion a better service module post constellation. Some of the pricing and mistakes are downright insane, namely the engines that cost more than a falcon 9 and the big digit launch pad that leans.

However, the fact remains. Despite it's flaws, we are on a workable course that can take us back to the moon, and the SLS is currently crucial to this plan. If it got cancelled now, who knows how long we would have to wait before another moon program becomes politically and technically feasible... likely decades. In that case I will tolerate those flaws, as a flawed and expensive but working moon program is better than no moon program, in my opinion at least. Non space people may think differently.

With SLS at the center of that, I will gladly cheer it on, although I will still criticize its flaws. Rockets are cool, big rockets are cool, big rockets doing big cool things is really cool. It could have been done far better, but SLS checks or probably will check all of those boxes.

Also we need to bring back the booster stripes paint job. If I remember correctly they dropped it at least for the first mission.

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On 5/9/2020 at 2:11 PM, Ultimate Steve said:

Existing and near future heavy launch vehicles, including Starship, can't do what SLS does (launch crew to tli with the ability to return) without orbital refueling or docking a transfer stage, etc which is something that hasn't been proven yet. However, it will likely be proven sometime in the next five years.

I do generally agree with you here, but I would note that if the cost of a single SLS launch was put into rapidly man-rating FH and testing D2's heat shield (perhaps with an aux propulsion unit in the trunk for LOI and return), you'd have Dragon 2 equipped to send people to NRHO in under a year. It's not as roomy as Orion but it's better than Apollo.

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You don't even have to man-rate Falcon Heavy. Go up on Falcon 9 and rendezvous with a kick stage.

Still, if you want to find someone who agrees SLS is the coolest thing since sliced bread, go on Twitter and search "SLS Rocket" and "Latest". Guarantee you'll find at least a few aggressively pro-SLS.

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On 5/9/2020 at 11:44 AM, Space Nerd said:

Yep, 3 vs 1.

(I feel depressed from reading this.)

I really stopped following the forums since it's just rehashing Berger commentary. Meet at least a dozen people on Twitter though that agree with me so it's a lot better there.

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26 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

I really stopped following the forums since it's just rehashing Berger commentary. Meet at least a dozen people on Twitter though that agree with me so it's a lot better there.

What about literally everyone else on space twitter?

It's not rehashing Berger, Berger is just rehashing legitimate issues with SLS.

1. It was not and is not designed for a specific mission, so it is not particularly good at anything.

2. Orion is left over from Constellation, which would be fine, except SLS/Orion is not being used for the required Constellation mission profile (EOR, with SLS has SHLV).

Right now, SLS/Orion is in the plan for the Moon (awesome), but the part that really matters? All is being done by "Not SLS."

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What really boggles my mind is how can there by anyone still defending this rocket.

I remember a couple of years back when I thought SLS was needed for one mission and that was the Europa Clipper. However, newer and cheaper ways to launch payloads are coming along and SLS starts looking like a rocket designed and built 40 years too late.

Edited by Wjolcz
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I know that the US is a much bigger country than the UK, but this why I think that spending $2 billion on one launch is just not defendable. $2 billion is about £1.6 billion, so lets see what our government could do with £1.6 billion:

Triple the fire protection of the UK (That's all fire protection practices, not just fire engines, it included smoke alarms, audits for buildings, education and outreach ect)

Mostly fund our Department of Culture, Media, and Sport

Increase our yearly stock of social housing by 50%

Fund all of our environmental protection activities

Just half of that would fund our unemployment benefits fund (to be clear, that does not include our furlough scheme)

Fund all of our military R&D efforts

Fund about a third of our universities.

Space programs are expensive, and I know that the US has much bigger budgets for all of these things, but honestly look at that list, and then tell me that any one of these is less important that one single launch, not even including that payload, which due to the mission architecture, is almost obsolete by the time that it rolls out to the pad. $2 billion is a monumental amount of money, and I mean that in the most literal sense.

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1 hour ago, Space Nerd said:

People who don't care about money and thought it's good enough.

I genuinely don't understand why anyone wouldn't care about their tax dollars being spent efficiently.

I genuinely don't understand why any space enthusiast wouldn't prefer, say, ten Falcon Heavy or New Glenn launches (payloads included) to a single SLS launch (payload not included).

 

Yes, ok, every rocket launch is cool. But ten launches acheiving ten times as much is ten times as cool.

Edited by RCgothic
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Spoiler

  

56 minutes ago, MinimumSky5 said:

lets see what our government could do with

56 minutes ago, MinimumSky5 said:

$2 billion

Buy 100 mln copies of KSP+DLC and give them out for free.
Then every one who is interested can have his own SLS and stop bothering them.

 

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2 hours ago, MinimumSky5 said:

Space programs are expensive, and I know that the US has much bigger budgets for all of these things, but honestly look at that list, and then tell me that any one of these is less important that one single launch, not even including that payload, which due to the mission architecture, is almost obsolete by the time that it rolls out to the pad. $2 billion is a monumental amount of money, and I mean that in the most literal sense.

The City of New York public school system has a budget of 27 billion.

The school system here in Albuquerque spends about 1.5B/yr I think, and we barely rank as a city.

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3 minutes ago, MinimumSky5 said:

Wait, what? We spend 57 billion on education of all types, including things like daycare, for the entire country! How does NYC spend half of that? Surely it's population is less than 32 million?

Oops, I was wrong, I misremembered, it's 24 billion for NYC. Pop 8.4 million.

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2 hours ago, tater said:

24 billion for NYC

Apollo program
Apollo program.svg
Country United States
Organization NASA
Purpose Crewed lunar landing
Status Completed
Program history
Cost
  • $25.4 billion (1973)[1]
  • $153 billion (2018)[2]
  •  

24 * ~12 years / 153 ~= 1.8.

It's twice easier to send a human to the Moon than educate NYC pupils.

 

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