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#376 2015-09-16 20:55:36

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Nasa appears to be still developing different upper stages for the EM-1 and EM-2 which is the cause for the large gap....

shakes head......

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#377 2015-09-17 08:57:51

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Here's a relevant article

First Look
Why NASA is pushing back Orion's first manned flight
Astronauts will get their first spin in the new deep-space capsule by the spring of 2023, two years later than previously anticipated, NASA announced Wednesday.
By Max Lewontin, Staff writer | September 17, 2015
299746main_Orion.jpg
Facing a series of budget problems and design issues, NASA is delaying the first manned test flight of its deep-space Orion capsule by two years, from the summer of 2021 to as late as the spring of 2023, agency officials said Wednesday.

The capsule and its heavy-lift launcher would be the first manned spacecraft to venture into deep space beyond the moon, eventually leading to what NASA hopes will be a crew landing on Mars by the early 2030s.

Orion is already a multibillion dollar project, but NASA plans to spend another $6.77 billion between 2015 and 2023 producing two new capsules, with the first crewed test flight now scheduled for April of 2023.
“Our work to send humans out into the solar system is progressing,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, in a statement released by the agency. “Orion is a key piece of the flexible architecture that will enable humanity to set foot on the Red Planet, and we are committed to building the spacecraft and other elements necessary to make this a reality.”
But management, technical, and budgetary hurdles have forced several delays in the agency’s plan to eventually send humans into deep space.

Before the first manned flight, the agency is also working toward launching an unmanned Orion capsule in December 2018, which will be carried by a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.

The SLS rocket, which is costing the agency $7 billion, was previously scheduled for launch in November 2017, but NASA announced that it would be delayed last year.That capsule would first fly in a lunar orbit, followed by a mission where it will rendezvous with a boulder selected robotically from the surface of an asteroid and positioned in orbit farther from the moon.

The agency is currently conducting a technical review to determine whether the Orion capsules will be able to meet the April 2023 launch date, though the agency says its engineers will also work toward the possibility of launching the manned flight earlier if possible.

NASA has not released any further cost estimates beyond the first Orion test flight, a Government Accountability Office report found in July, but the agency says it is committed to a long-term investment in deep-space exploration.

"We're really trying to build a program," William Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, told the Associated Press. "Ultimately, we'd like to get where we're flying these missions about once per year."

This report incorporates material from the Associated Press.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/0 … ned-flight

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2015-09-17 08:58:59)

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#378 2015-09-17 12:32:15

Terraformer
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Ye gods. Even if they make the new deadline, there'll probably be regular manned flights of Dragon well before Orion takes it's first passengers.

There are plenty of good things to spend $6.77 billion on in space. This does not appear to be one of them.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#379 2015-09-17 13:16:11

Excelsior
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Please, Elon, if your listening, stick an unmanned Dragon 2 on top of your Falcon Heavy test launch next year and do the EM-2 mission.

Last edited by Excelsior (2015-09-18 16:07:23)


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#380 2015-09-17 13:41:48

RobertDyck
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Excelsior wrote:

Please, Elon, if your listening, stick an unmanned Dragon 2 on top of your Falcon Heavy test launch next year and do this the EM-2 mission.

To be nit-picky, that would be EM-1. The only flight that Orion has flown was EFT-1, the next will be EM-1. The EM-1 flight will be unmanned around the Moon. EM-2 will be manned.

But, yea, launching Dragon v2 on Falcon Heavy to the Moon unmanned would be way cool! But I'm not expecting it. Dragon v2 does not have a service module, only a trunk. Propellant it carries is only enough to rendezvous with ISS, then return to Earth. TEI would require significantly more propellant. I doubt it even has sufficient propellant for LOI. When Constellation was current and contractors bid for CEV, SpaceX designed Dragon to be their vehicle to carry astronauts to Lunar orbit and back. So that's what it originally was. However, that design had a service module; Dragon v2 doesn't. SpaceX could redesign the trunk to be a service module, but that would take time and money. I don't expect it for first launch of Falcon Heavy. In fact, I expect Dragon v2 will dock with ISS before they redesign it for the Moon.

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#381 2015-09-17 14:30:57

RobertDyck
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Some historical spacecraft designed for the Moon.

The Soviet equivalent to the Apollo CSM was Soyuz 7K-LOK. "LOK" stands for Lunar Orbit Craft; the Russian word for craft starts with 'K'. It was designed to carry 2 cosmonauts, not 3, in order to leave room for lunar samples. Note: Apollo could carry 3 astronauts to the Moon and back, or 5 to Skylab. Soyuz could carry 2 to the Moon and back or 3 to a space station in LEO. The "LOK" version had a larger service module, with larger propellant tanks; enough propellant for TEI but not LOI. And this was the only Soyuz designed with fuel cells instead of solar panels.
lokovrhd.jpg

But the relevant one was Soyuz 7K-L1. Because they were having trouble getting their big N1 rocket to work, the Soviets devise a fly-by. Soyuz 7K-L1 was designed to carry one cosmonaut on a fly-by round the Moon and back. Similar trajectory as Apollo 13. It had no orbital module at all, instead 2 of the 3 seats of the descent capsule were removed and life support for one cosmonaut installed in their place. This meant the cosmonaut would be stuck in his seat for a full week: 3 days to the Moon, hours round the back side, 3 days back. The service module was smaller; it was simply the service module from Soyuz 7K-OK, the version at that time used for LEO. This would have been launched on a Proton rocket with Block D upper stage for TLI.
l1ovrhd.jpg

Zond 5 was unmanned test of Soyuz 7K-L1, with 2 Russian tortoises and some other living stuff. It flew 3 months before Apollo 8. It worked. That's why NASA asked for volunteers to fly Apollo 8 manned instead of unmanned. It worked, Zond 5 was supposed to skip-enter the atmosphere and land on the steppes of Kazakhstan. Instead it went straight in, splashing down in the Indian ocean. The tortoises survived without harm. They say if a cosmonaut had been on-board, it would have been a rough re-entry, but probably would have lived.

The point is that could send a human to the Moon and back launched by a Proton-K. Proton-K with Block D was rated to throw 5,390 kg to TLI. Without the upper stage it can lift 19,760 kg to 186 km orbit @ 51.6°. Falcon Heavy is much more powerful.

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#382 2015-09-17 19:45:36

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

The problem with Nasa is that its still designing and redesigning its hardware for what it thinks is cutting edge when it should be doing what makes the commercial market works, which is stop the creepware of design by using it for a period of time before making changes.

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#383 2015-09-18 04:02:34

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

NASA is first and foremost a jobs program for its contractors, and secondly a space exploration program after the contractors have made their profit. The main purpose of the ISS was to make profits for space contractors, so many people were employed designing and redesigning it, and after a while they actually started building it, the same was true for the Shuttle, which is that it was a jobs program for NASA contractors, the contractors made donations to politicians, and the politicians voted for these programs. The Shuttle was doing that job NASA launched it and landed it, the contractors then got it ready for the next launch and after a while, it became apparent that the Shuttle wasn't doing much besides going up and down, so it was scrapped, so the next big bird is the SLS and the Orion, the contractors are happy designing it and building it, no hurry to launch it, because launches are risky, but getting it ready to be launched is a jobs program in itself, the contractors are happy to prepare and check things to make sure everything is safe, because they are being paid to do so.

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#384 2015-09-18 10:01:39

GW Johnson
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Welcome to the corporate welfare state.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#385 2015-09-18 10:22:34

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

GW Johnson wrote:

Welcome to the corporate welfare state.

GW

Problem is, with the traditional contract, the government guarantees them a profit. What the Government should do is issue a bounty for Mars rocks and pay to those corporations that can collect them.

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#386 2015-09-18 16:42:41

Excelsior
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

RobertDyck wrote:
Excelsior wrote:

Please, Elon, if your listening, stick an unmanned Dragon 2 on top of your Falcon Heavy test launch next year and do the EM-2 mission.

To be nit-picky, that would be EM-1. The only flight that Orion has flown was EFT-1, the next will be EM-1. The EM-1 flight will be unmanned around the Moon. EM-2 will be manned.

But, yea, launching Dragon v2 on Falcon Heavy to the Moon unmanned would be way cool! But I'm not expecting it. Dragon v2 does not have a service module, only a trunk. Propellant it carries is only enough to rendezvous with ISS, then return to Earth. TEI would require significantly more propellant. I doubt it even has sufficient propellant for LOI. When Constellation was current and contractors bid for CEV, SpaceX designed Dragon to be their vehicle to carry astronauts to Lunar orbit and back. So that's what it originally was. However, that design had a service module; Dragon v2 doesn't. SpaceX could redesign the trunk to be a service module, but that would take time and money. I don't expect it for first launch of Falcon Heavy. In fact, I expect Dragon v2 will dock with ISS before they redesign it for the Moon.

Well in this case, the primary mission would be simply testing the Falcon Heavy. Everything on top of that would be gravy. The Falcon Heavy claims to be able to put 16,000kg into a translunar trajectory. Given the only payload would be the approximately 5000kg for a largely empty Dragon 2, the second stage should be able to tag along, perhaps with enough fuel to enter and leave lunar orbit, depending on how much fuel it would lose in transit, completing the EM-2 requirements. At the very least it could do a free return EM-1 dry run, providing an extended test for the capsule, particularly the heat shield. Life support can be addressed in another flight. An operational lunar program would have additional components anyway, but such a test would prove the most important ones in a single bold stroke.

The whole point is to embarrass the agency, and give the politicians the opportunity to reexamine the agencies approach, and hopefully consider building a lunar program around tried and tested commercial hardware.

Last edited by Excelsior (2015-09-18 16:46:31)


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#387 2015-09-18 20:07:13

RobertDyck
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Interesting idea. Use Falcon Heavy to launch Dragon v2 into a Lunar fly-by. Much like Soyuz 7K-L1 or Zond 5. Proton K can lift 19,760kg to LEO, and with Block D upper stage can throw 5,390kg to TLI. Falcon Heavy can lift 53,000kg to LEO, a simple ratio would estimate it should throw 14,457kg to TLI. However, that would be with a custom stage for TLI. Remember, Dragon CRS has a dry mass of 4,200kg plus 1,290kg propellant plus payload. (reference) Dragon v2 is said to have the same dry mass. (Wikipedia) I assume it has the same propellant mass. That means you have to throw at least 5,490kg to TLI. SpaceFlight101 also has a page with Falcon Heavy specs here. It can lift 53,000kg to LEO, or 21,000kg to GTO, or 13,200kg to TMI. So it can lift at least that much to TLI without any additional stage. The specs page says the upper stage does have restart capability, so entering orbit then departing orbit for TLI is possible. That's how Apollo did it. But stopping in Earth orbit, low or high, costs propellant, so that reduces total mass to TLI. However, Falcon Heavy has lift capability to spare.

You said "At the very least it could do a free return EM-1 dry run". That's what this would be. Yup, that much could be done.

Last edited by RobertDyck (2015-09-18 20:23:40)

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#388 2015-09-19 09:26:19

GW Johnson
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Hmm.  I wonder if the "Red Dragon" version of Dragon could be landed from lunar orbit on a one-way trip?  It must have around 1.5+ km/s delta-vee capability to do a post-entry retropropulsion-only landing on Mars.  The stuff I found on the internet about it says its mostly a Dragon v2 with a cargo interior.  6-ton "curb weight" (fueled) plus 1 or 2 tons payload at Mars.  One way cargo deliveries as one-shot/one-landing,  in that same size range to the lunar surface,  perhaps?

GW


GW Johnson
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"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#389 2015-09-19 13:29:25

RobertDyck
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

If you want to land cargo on the Moon, you would get far more cargo mass with a dedicated lander. Something light. Why would you need the heavy hull of a Dragon capsule?

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#390 2015-09-19 22:43:50

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

So what other alterations would be needed to the red dragon in order to make an ideal lander for the moon?

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#391 2015-09-20 05:07:28

RobertDyck
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Robert Zubrin argued to send Mars Direct to the Moon. That means a Mars hab and ERV. They would not have parachute or heat shield, since the Moon doesn't have atmosphere. I have argued that the Mars Direct ERV has been optimized for ISPP. But the Moon doesn't have a CO2 atmosphere, so ISPP won't work. And lunar polar ice isn't enough to make LH2 either. So I have suggested an Apollo style LM to ferry astronauts to the surface and back to Lunar orbit. And either Orion or Dragon to bring astronauts back to Earth.

So this would mean Mars Direct hab + Apollo LM.

Of course I could argue for my Mars architecture. But that would still mean a Mars hab + Apollo LM. The primary difference with my Mars mission is a reusable craft to go from ISS in LEO to Mars orbit and back. And an MAV instead of ERV. But again, the Moon needs a different ascent vehicle.

For cargo we would have something like the descent stage of the Apollo LM, with not ascent stage. Instead just cargo. Or you could optimize further. The Apollo LM was designed so the descent stage acted as a launch platform for the ascent stage. A cargo lander wouldn't need that, so you could make the landing stage even more flimsy. Something like Viking landers, or Phoenix.

And you could look at the whole landing sequence. The Russian mission plan broke up the stages differently. Saturn V 3rd stage had 2 jobs: Earth orbit insertion, and TLI. The Russian N1 rocket had 4 stages: Block V for Earth orbit insertion, and Block G for TLI. The Apollo service module also had 2 jobs: LOI and TEI. And the Apollo LM descent stage had 2 jobs: deorbit, and landing. The Apollo LM ascent stage had just one job: ascent to Lunar orbit. The Russians used a Block D for two jobs: LOI and deorbit. The Soyuz LOK service module had only one job: TEI. Their LK had just one propulsion stage, known as Block E. Their Block E had two jobs: landing, and ascent. This demonstrates the jobs can be broken up differently.

Constellation assigned the jobs differently again. Constellation would have used Ares V to launch an Altair lunar module into Earth orbit, and Ares I to launch Orion to rendezvous and dock. The upper stage of Ares V would have two jobs: Earth orbit insertion, and TLI. The Altair lunar module would have two stages: descent, and ascent. The descent stage would have 3 jobs: LOI, deorbit, and landing. The ascent stage just one: ascent. The Orion service module would have just one job: TEI.

I have suggested we build a something to send humans to the Moon with just one SLS Block 2B. That would use a CST-100 capsule plus a larger service module instead of Orion. Or we could use Dragon v2 with the trunk expanded to be a service module. On September 4, Boeing announced CST-100 is now called Starliner. I suggested the SM do the same jobs as the Apollo SM: LOI & TEI. But we could do what the Soviets did; include a separate stage for LOI. In fact that separate stage could deorbit the lunar module, like the Soviet design. The lander could have a single propulsion stage, or separate stages for landing and ascent. Some people would still want to use Orion, even though it will need a new service module. I doubt the ATV-based service module is able to do the single job of TEI.

If you want to use SpaceX hardware, you probably want the Dragon SM to be relatively modest. That means TEI only. So a separate stage for TEI. Falcon Heavy upper stage can do both Earth orbit insertion, and TLI. So a separate stage for LOI. Falcon Heavy has significantly additional lift, and Dragon is much lower mass than Apollo; could a single launch of Falcon Heavy carry a lunar lander? But you could design a stage for LOI and deorbit. Would that leave enough mass for a lander with a single stage like LK? Or would you split landing and ascent into separate stages? Or different again: a single propulsion stage like LK, but leave the landing legs behind like the Apollo LM. Actually LK would jettison its legs during ascent, but I'm suggesting leaving them on the surface. And propellant tanks for landing left with the legs, but propellant feed to the propulsion stage. So a single engine, or set of engines, for the LM. Falcon Heavy has propellant crossfeed, so they can do that.

To land cargo, you could use the same stage for LOI and deorbit. But a larger lander that is sent without Dragon, and has no ascent capability. The president of SpaceX, Gwynne Stockwell, wants to reduce models of stages she has in inventory. So she would like a single stage for LOI and deorbit used for a maned mission or cargo.

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#392 2015-09-20 06:27:50

RobertDyck
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Wikipedia says Falcon Heavy will lift 16,000kg to a translunar trajectory, or 13,000kg to a trans-Mars trajectory. Apollo 12 LOI Delta-V was 2,889.5 ft/s. That's 880.9 m/s. You could use a Delta-P stage for LOI. Dragon is 5,490kg, Delta-P gross mass is 5,434kg. That would give you 5,076kg for the Dragon SM plus lunar module. Delta-P has been used as an upper stage for the Delta 1000 series, first launched in 1972, last launch 1989. It uses Aerozine-50/N2O4. Interesting bit of trivia is the engine is the same one used for the descent stage of the Apollo LM.

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#393 2015-09-20 20:32:02

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Thanks Orion spacecraft may not fly with astronauts until 2023
8514438366_2798161ba0_z.jpg
A potential problem involved in early 2013 decision making in the use of the European-built (modified ATV) service module for Orion to supply the power and propulsion unit for the EM-1 robotic test flight in 2018. with no others being built means a new unit must be made for the crewed Version....

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#394 2015-09-21 06:33:17

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

SpaceNut wrote:

Thanks Orion spacecraft may not fly with astronauts until 2023
http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/up … 1ba0_z.jpg
A potential problem involved in early 2013 decision making in the use of the European-built (modified ATV) service module for Orion to supply the power and propulsion unit for the EM-1 robotic test flight in 2018. with no others being built means a new unit must be made for the crewed Version....

And it takes eight years to build it? Why is it so hard to build a space capsule? I would think it would be hard to build a rocket to get it into orbit, but they have been building space capsules since the days of Mercury, and its supposed to take another seven years to build the vehicles to get astronauts to Mars? What is this, can NASA only do one thing at a time? This is stupid! I have a suggestion, why don't they send monkeys into orbit, if the capsule is not safe, they die, then they find out what went wrong and fix it and do it over and over again until monkeys stop dying, that seems to make a lot more sense than taking eight years to build a space capsule!

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#395 2015-09-21 12:33:35

RobertDyck
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Each capsule has only 7 welds. They take how long to make one weld? Liberty ships were completed in an average of 230 days when they started, 42 days at the end of their run. One ship was launched 4 days after the keel was laid, although that was a publicity stunt, a lot of work was needed after launch. A single Orion will take how many years to complete 7 welds? Yea, a single weakness in a weld will result in decompression and loss of crew, but still! How long for just 7 welds?

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#396 2015-09-21 20:27:38

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Another impact of delay is that the Mars flyby mission by Dennis Tito will not be as schedueled for 2018 and not in time for 2024 even.....

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#397 2015-09-22 01:59:11

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

RobertDyck wrote:

Each capsule has only 7 welds. They take how long to make one weld? Liberty ships were completed in an average of 230 days when they started, 42 days at the end of their run. One ship was launched 4 days after the keel was laid, although that was a publicity stunt, a lot of work was needed after launch. A single Orion will take how many years to complete 7 welds? Yea, a single weakness in a weld will result in decompression and loss of crew, but still! How long for just 7 welds?

They needed the delay to extract more paychecks from it, you see people working on the project have families to feed, and Boeing needs to make more profits, and in order to squeeze more profits from Orion, it needs to take longer to build, and of course there are important elections coming up, and those campaigns will need money to fund them, so Orion needs to go on longer and cost more. The moment you have something ready to launch, you have risk, because if that Orion blows up, then that may be an end to the program, and all those people working on it will lose their jobs, Boeing will lose its contract, and politicians will stop getting those campaign contributions, so from their point of view, the longer they can stretch out this program in development without launching or risking anything, they better. It is only when the vehicle has been launched that we know whether the government has been wasting our money.

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#398 2015-09-26 20:42:03

SpaceNut
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

You can thank congress for that....

The SLS is constrained to use Space Shuttle components and workforce to the maximum extent practical by the NASA Authorization Act of 2010.

http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/? … a6a8824b01

For instance, the side mounted boosters are modified Space Shuttle solid fuel boosters except with 5 segments instead of 4 for extra performance.  Similarly, the rocket engines for the core stage are modified Space Shuttle RS-25 main engines. The core stage utilizes much of the same tooling and the same workforce as the Space Shuttle External Tank.

The contractors for these major components are the same contractors as for the Space Shuttle. Thus there has been very little competition in the development of the SLS. This fact, coupled with the cost-plus contracts that are subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation has been contributing to the ballooning cost of the SLS.

Was there a continuation clause for the continuing congressional act after the stated years?

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#399 2015-09-28 01:48:50

Tom Kalbfus
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

There should be no guarantees of profits, what the government should do is put up a fixed amount of money, and it would be up to the companies to take the risk or not and put up their own money and build a vehicle to do the job or not. If not, then maybe NASA needs to offer more money as an incentive. NASA should say, "We will give you x dollars if you accomplish y" and the corporations will have to determine for how much they can accomplish y, what the risk is, and whether the reward of x is worth the cost and the risk in order to achieve. NASA shouldn't be giving out money and paying contractors to fiddle around with things. We know we can launch things into space, NASA should offer x dollars to do that, and some company will then decide whether to do it or not, that is how it should work. If you wanted a car, wouldn't you pay someone $1000 a month to try and build one, and just keep on doling out the money until a car gets built? That is cost plus contracting.

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#400 2015-09-28 14:03:59

GW Johnson
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Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Cost plus fixed fee is appropriate when attempting to do that which is unknown,  never done before.  It's the only fair way to do it.  Costs simply cannot be estimated,  because what you are doing simply has not been done before.  I've done that kind of program management.  The schedules,  estimates,  and milestones are nothing but the most egregiously-unreliable crap.  Only the most ignorant fool tries to hold their workers to the details of such plans.  It is inherent.  Your best management approach is to break it into the smallest feasible pieces,  dole out fixed budgets,  and see what your teams can actually get done. 

When something is well-known,  just not already done,  that's what fixed-price is for.  That's like production work.  In that kind of situation,  lots of things are already well-known and well-defined.  Your schedules,  milestones,  and estimates actually have reliable meaning.  You can hold people accountable for budgets,  since with little uncertainty,  there's no excuse to get it wrong.  The change order process is what you use when something unexpected happens.  I've managed programs like that,  too. 

In between,  you have to do something in-between.  The well-known bits are basically treatable like fixed fee,  the unknown bits simply have to be cost-plus.  That's what the Mars trip is.  A lot of the existing rockets and equipment can be fixed price items.  The new,  never-before-done stuff and equipment,  that has to be cost plus.  You cannot fixate on only one contracting model.  It's not one situation. 

Being hide-bound about it makes no good common sense.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2015-09-29 12:00:23)


GW Johnson
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