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#76 2015-07-10 08:47:11

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,103
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

"Still. Why is SLS taking so long, and why cost so much?"

The answer lies in the development process histories described in your post.  It is implied.  It is the big-corporate welfare state that "big space" and NASA have evolved into.  That is programs to keep favored contractors funded,  but which really require nothing in the way of successful deliverables. 

Not just space is affected by this.  It is also exactly why the Lockheed/DOD that produced the P-38 cannot produce a successful F-35. And many other troubles that we face.

The "long knives" will be out in Congress to kill commercial space (to protect the welfare program that is SLS) now that both Spacex and Orbital have lost vehicles launching to the ISS.  If that happens,  none of us will live long enough to see a man on Mars. 

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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#77 2015-07-10 20:18:18

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

True if we are waiting on Nasa money to pave the way but we have forgotten that the military pave the way for Nasa and that they are looking to the commercial market place because they are feeling the budget crunch....

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#78 2015-07-11 14:39:17

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,103
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Hi Spacenut:

Remember,  the military has existed longer than NASA,  and is even more deeply mired in the corporate welfare state culture than NASA.  For them,  this began with the run-up to WW2.  For them,  things began to go seriously wrong and unproductive in the late 1960's (which is why the F-111 was never usable by USN). 

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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#79 2015-07-11 17:02:53

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

NASA’s SLS Program Manager talks Block 1B and beyond – Part One

11666070_938216722867138_9077108225400912599_n.jpg

Thou the article talks of Block I, Block IB, and about Block II – and their capabilities it only covers the SRB testing, maybe it will get to what we wanted in the next part of the story....

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#80 2015-07-13 19:51:27

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files … l_2015.pdf

ISS provides critical Mars mission capability development platform

Regardless of Mars vicinity destination, common capability developments are required- Mars vicinity missions selection not required before 2020. Crew of four to Mars system assumed. Mars Phobos /Deimos as initial Mars vicinity mission spread out development costs and meets policy objectives of Mars vicinity in 2030's. Humans to the Mars System by mid-2030’s – Could imply Orbital, Phobos/Deimos and/or Surface – Mars Mission opportunities throughout the 2030s will be evaluated to avoid overly restrictive mission availability.

SLS Block 2B launch vehicle will be available (4xRS25 Core + EUS + Advanced Boosters + 10-m shroud)

Minimum lander size driven by Crew Ascent Stage. Various techniques (and risks) for loading or producing propellant on Mars can reduce lander payload requirement from 40 t to 15 t (but increase number of landers required). ISRU implementation is phased to minimize risk to human exploration plans.

ISRU Plant 1.0t Power 8.0t Mobility 1.0t Total 10.0t

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#81 2015-07-19 18:48:49

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Report Finds SLS Cost and Schedule Estimates Tight, but on Track

The Government Accountability Office says NASA is generally doing a good job with cost and schedule estimates for its new heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System. A report released Thursday said NASA’s SLS paperwork "substantially met" five out of six best practices, while a sixth criteria, credibility, had been partially met. But the 32-page audit also cautioned NASA was running short on schedule margin as it works to have SLS ready for flight by November 2018.

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-596

The GAO report addresses a large swath of SLS topics, from lifecycle costs to contractor reporting systems. The project's price tag through the first flight, Exploration Mission 1, is listed at $9.7 billion. The total cost of SLS, Orion and ground systems development for that same time period—along with an additional Orion spacecraft for EM-2—is $23 billion. The GAO notes this does not include related work under the previous program, Constellation.

Beyond that, NASA has not provided lifecycle costs for SLS, which is expected to evolve from its initial, 70-ton variant into a 130-ton cargo carrier. Two intermediate versions with upgraded boosters and a supercharged upper stage are planned. But other than a vague mandate to send humans to Mars in the 2030s, SLS has no officially scheduled flights beyond EM-2 in 2021 or 2022.

"NASA has stated that cost estimates do not need to cover the program from 'cradle to grave,'" says the report. "Furthermore, NASA has yet to determine the number of launches, their missions, or the operating lifetime for the program, which according to agency officials makes it difficult to estimate the total costs of the program."

NASA, however, considers SLS more of a capability rather than an end-to-end program. SLS, Orion and ground systems are all managed separately through NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate. The agency is intentionally putting the horse first, hoping Congress will let it pull a cart to Mars one day. Potential future SLS payloads include components of the Asteroid Redirect Mission, as well as a robotic mission to Europa.

http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/spa … ssion.html


full report http://www.gao.gov/assets/680/671473.pdf

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#82 2015-07-19 19:09:32

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

The per launch cost for given payloads are effected by what the report has stated

"NASA has stated that cost estimates do not need to cover the program from 'cradle to grave,'" says the report. "Furthermore, NASA has yet to determine the number of launches, their missions, or the operating lifetime for the program, which according to agency officials makes it difficult to estimate the total costs of the program."

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#83 2015-07-26 13:03:54

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Clarifying NASA's Budget Regarding Orion, SLS and SpaceX / Boeing Commercial Crew

As next year’s NASA budget is being written by the House and Senate appropriations committees, a potential fight is brewing between the White House and NASA. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden has, on several occasions over the past three months, publicly taken the position that proposed congressional appropriations bills will do real harm to the ability of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP) to launch astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) before 2018. These same concerns were raised in a recent veto threat by the White House.

Some in the commercial space activist community have responded to the congressional funding bills with dismay, claiming that money is being removed from the CCP for the benefit of the Orion and Space Launch System (SLS) programs. And a few such activists have ascribed congressional funding levels as purely political.

Looking at the White House’s proposed funding levels for key programs such as Orion and SLS in light of current authorization levels provides clarity to funding decisions by congressional appropriators. And the contrast becomes even more sharper when unilateral actions undertaken by NASA senior management to negate sections of public law covering the Orion and SLS program are taken into account. The result is a situation much less black-and-white than may first appear.

The article goes into the numbers.....

What I enjoyed is the Space x dragon image, which is a gateway to lunar and mars landings at this point....
11235341_10205872471424424_6381627666838702884_o.jpg

Here is the side by side images of Boeing's and Space x man capable capsule.
Untitled-1.jpg

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#84 2015-07-27 21:25:14

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

SLS - How to waste a lot of money... by louis  Human missions 0 Today 20:05:58 by louis http://www.newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?id=7266

Repost of link....

Nasa’s biggest ever rocket gets closer to reality: Agency completes review of Space Launch System to send humans to MarsReview gives final look at rocket design before full-scale construction.

SLS BLOCK 1: FINAL DESIGN STATS;
It will stand 322ft (1,012 metres) tall and provide 8.4 million lbs of thrust
SLS will weigh 5.5 million lbs and carry around 154,000 lbs of payload
Four RS-25 engines, previously used to send space shuttle into orbit, will be used in the new megarocket when construction is complete in 2018

It will also carry 70 metric tons or 154,000 pounds of payload - equivalent to approximately 77 one-ton pickup trucks' worth of cargo

article-0-1AB083C200000578-537_634x339.jpg

Great comparison of size and launch capability to which all others can not even get to in a single launch. Agreed its cost is super inflated and needs to be replicated by another company but it would mean a new design just as space x has done of its own funds.

All Nasa hardware is only to be used by Nasa are far as I can tell. So no use of a booster that ATK makes or RS25 engines ect...as they can not be purchased like private industry products can be ie Rd180 russian engines....

While we do not always need as large of a rockets all in one launch capability but if we design with common core module parts from smaller lift to the much larger capability would keep the standing army that Nasa puts up with busy and a way forward for when we do need the heavy lift capacity.

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#85 2015-08-01 08:42:27

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

NASA's Associate Administrator John Grunsfeld for the Science Mission Directorate believes that NASA's Space Launch System can do more than human missions, could be "transformative for science"

Its true that NASA has been very public about their "Journey to Mars," which seeks to put humans on the Red Planet in the 2030s, and the SLS would be the enabler for those missions but its price tag is the stopper....

At a hearing of the House of Representatives' Science, Space and Technology Committee, Grunsfeld and other scientists testified on the importance of solar system exploration during a presentation titled "Exploration of the Solar System: From Mercury to Pluto and Beyond."

One of the possible missions - it would be the first science mission slated for the SLS - is sending a probe to Jupiter's icy moon Europa, where life could be hidden in the oceans beneath the frozen surface.

"The mission to Europa, we're currently designing a spacecraft to fit on any of a variety of launch vehicles, but we're including the Space Launch System in that trade space because the trip to Jupiter, to get to Europa, is a very long trip," Grunsfeld said.

On the largest rockets currently available, that trip would take about eight years.  The SLS could do it in three.

Well thats 5 years of paying for them to do nothing as a return on the cost....

"This is one of those rare cases where time really is money because that extra cruise time, we have to maintain an engineering team and a science team and a spacecraft," Grunsfeld said.

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#86 2015-08-03 20:02:35

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Now that the momentum is still on its path to make the SLS a real Nasa rockets its Nasa that is wondering about what else it can be used for due to its high developement costs and steady state manufacturing costs per launch.

So what do we do with a stage and a half rocket that can move 70 mT to orbit...Block 1 configuration
Universal Stage Adaptor (USA) set to adapt SLS for additional payloads

ya strange name but its where the LM road in the old Apollo program...

“(The USA is) a separable adapter which provides a structural interface between the EUS and Orion (that) can accommodate co-manifested payloads (significant mission elements such as habitats, communications satellites, in-space telescopes, etc.) and secondary payloads (cubesats or equivalent ‘small’ science or engineering experiments), and allows for the deployment of payloads from within the adapter. “(It should) accommodate a payload attach fitting to accommodate co-manifested payloads and allow for deployment of the payload from the attach fitting.”

The USA will be required for several roles, such as cargo-only missions, which would result in a payload fairing-type design, incorporating a payload attach fitting to accommodate co-manifested payloads and allow for deployment of the payload from the attach fitting.

Of course the image that appears next is out of focus but is 1 launch a year according to the article...

Z53.jpg

NASA is interested in a first launch of the Baseline USA as part of the SLS Program in 2021 and follow-on flights at a rate of up to one per year,” a reference that continues to back NASA’s preference to move to the EUS as soon as possible.

The flight rate is also telling, with NASA plans continuing to show a preference to launch SLS on alternate crew then cargo missions throughout the 2020s.

Not impressed....

We know that Nasa was to use it for the upcoming Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) in the 2020s, Cargo missions and may include flagship science missions proposed to Europa.

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#87 2015-08-04 19:38:20

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Game Changing: NASA’s Space Launch System and Science Mission Design

A summary of these potential missions is captured in Figure 12. Using agreed-to key parameters, SLS
primarily enables or enhances the following missions: Mars Sample Return (MSR), Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO), Saturn/Titan Sample Return, Ice Giant Exploration, Outer Planet Sample Return, Large Telescopes, and In-Space Infrastructure.

http://titan04.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/nex … tation.pdf

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files … _Brief.pdf

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#88 2015-08-04 21:09:30

RobertDyck
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Robert Zubrin claimed the reason Orion was so heavy (large mass) was to compensate for Ares I (The Stick). Vibrations of the SRBs was dampened by the 104 metric tonne (landing weight) Shuttle orbiter, and without the 760,000 kg (gross liftoff weight) external tank. A single SRB without that produces incredible vibration. They tried to dampen it with an upper stage, but further dampened with a heavy capsule. That led to Orion. Well, so was Dr. Zubrin's claim. It makes sense.

Now we're stuck with Orion, way too heavy. I consider CST-100 to be Orion fixed. SLS block 1 was designed to replace Ares I. So the mission was SLS block 2 would carry the Altair lunar module to LEO, with propellant left in the upper stage. Then SLS block 1 would carry Orion with crew to rendezvous and dock with it. The SLS block 2 upper stage would then inject the stack into Trans-Lunar trajectory. If they don't do that, then there is no mission for SLS block 1.

Boeing wants to replace ISS with a new space station called Gateway station at Earth-Moon L2. SLS block 1 would be required to lift Orion there. SLS block 1B would be needed to lift station modules. Congress has passed a law stating Congressional approval is required to decommission ISS. Good idea! Replacing ISS with a new station just as justification for SLS would be very bad.

SLS block 2 or 2B could be used for Mars Direct. Or various other architectures for Mars. Or Constellation to the Moon. Block 2/2B good! Block 1 useless. Block 1B is, well, kind-a good if you use orbital assembly.

I already mentioned that Mars Sample Return could be done with the same launch vehicle as Curiosity: Atlas V. That is if the mission uses a return capsule about the size of Genesis, ISPP, and a tiny rover about the size of Sojourner for sample collection.

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#89 2015-08-07 17:07:53

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,103
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Reverting to the original title of this thread,  I want to point out that there was a column in many of today's newspapers written by ex-administrator Mike Griffin and an ex-associate deputy administrator named Daniel Dumbacher.  It claimed SLS was critical to America's space program because it can launch more tonnage and still be cost-competitive with current launchers. 

I updated my database from 2012 with the best numbers I could find for SLS,  and as a historical item,  the space shuttle.  For per-launch costs,  I looked at both NASA's targets,  and what their critics say,  as lower and upper bounds.  As yet,  it is impossible to resolve the differences the three SLS configurations will make in per launch cost,  things are just too uncertain still.  NASA says $500M/launch,  their critics say $1B+.  All that is predicated on 1 launch per year,  by the way,  and that makes a huge difference. 

My database now includes three ULA Atlas-V configurations,  one ULA Delta-IV configuration,  three Spacex Falcon configurations,  one Ariane configuration,  and one Proton configuration,  from the stable of current commercial launch rockets,  ranging from 1 to 22 metric tons to LEO.  It consists of per launch prices and max payload deliverable to LEO out of Cape Canaveral.  I also included Titan-IV and the space shuttle as examples of government-supplied designs that have never competed commercially.  Titan-IV and the shuttle have both been retired.  Falcon-Heavy and Atlas-V-HLV have not yet flown.  (SLS is still early in development.)

In the shuttle's case,  this is a recoverable spaceplane delivered on-orbit,  not just a deliverable payload in a light shroud,  and I addressed that.  It makes a factor-5 difference in LEO unit cost. 

For SLS,  there are 3 configurations:  70 m.ton,  100 m.ton,  and 130 m.ton,  as deliverable to LEO.  There is not yet sufficiently reliable info to adjust price per launch from one-size-fits-all-three.   Both OMB and GAO doubt SLS will really fly by the projected 2018 date in the initial 70 ton configuration,  I might add. 

My data comes from a variety of sources,  and I had to inflation-adjust some of the prices I found.  The standard for comparison in my database is year 2012.  I plotted unit price = launch price / max payload capability to LEO,  versus max payload capability to LEO.  This latest iteration is in $M/metric ton,  which assumes the rocket flies "full",  of course. 

Griffin and Dumbacher are correct in their assertion that SLS will be "competitive with current commercial launch vehicles" if and only if you believe two things:  (1) that NASA will hit its launch price target with SLS (their critics disagree,  and so does the historical data),  and (2) there is no "unit price break with increasing rocket size" (the existing historical data disagree,  as my plots clearly show). 

I posted all this as "Access to Space: Commercial vs Government Rockets",  dated 8-7-15,  over at http://exrocketman.blogspot.com.

Go see for yourself.  The "real data" (such as they are today) talk rather loudly.  My basic recommendation is fly those huge things on SLS that cannot be subdivided.  The rest should "fly commercial" for at least a factor of 3 cost savings. 

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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#90 2015-09-12 22:07:00

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Decision looms on when to introduce new SLS upper stage

boeing_eus.png

Artist’s concept of the Space Launch System’s upgraded upper stage with four RL10 engines. NASA officials want to introduce the new upper stage on the first crewed SLS launch in 2021, if budgets allow, could be developed in time for the Space Launch System’s second flight.

Officials initially planned to power the upper stage with a J-2X engine, a modernized powerplant based on the J-2 engine designed in the Apollo era. But managers decided the J-2X, which had roots in the canceled Constellation moon program, was overpowered for the job and sidelined the engine after a series of hotfire ground tests.

NASA spent more than $1.4 billion on the J-2X engine from 2006 through 2014, an agency spokesperson said.

Aerojet Rocketdyne, NASA’s SLS engine builder, disassembled the three J-2X test engines and put the parts in storage. NASA has not ruled out restarting the J-2X development line for human missions to Mars, but such expeditions are decades away.

For now, NASA managers say the four RL10 engines are enough to meet NASA’s requirements for human voyages around the moon, in a region officials dub “cis-lunar space.” The first two SLS/Orion missions in 2018 and 2021 will target a distant lunar retrograde orbit about 44,000 miles, or 70,000 kilometers, from the moon.

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#91 2015-09-26 21:04:40

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

The launch costs appears to not take into account the up front bloated costs for the R&D by the contractors.....

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.

SLS Block 2B cost per mission launch is crap.......

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Launch_System

During the joint Senate-NASA presentation in September 2011, it was stated that the SLS program has a projected development cost of $18 billion through 2017, with $10 billion for the SLS rocket, $6 billion for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and $2 billion for upgrades to the launch pad and other facilities at Kennedy Space Center. In August 2014, as the SLS program passed its Key Decision Point C review and entered full development, costs from February 2014 until its planned launch in September 2018 were estimated at $7.021 billion. An unofficial 2011 NASA document estimated the cost of the program through 2025 to total at least $41 bn for four 70 t launches (1 unmanned, 3 manned), with the 130 t version ready no earlier than 2030. NASA SLS deputy project manager Jody Singer at Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama stated in September 2012 that $500 million per launch is a reasonable target cost for SLS, with a relatively minor dependence of costs on launch capability.

Revisiting SLS/Orion launch costs

A flight rate of as low as one flight every four years could significant drive up the costs of the SLS.
The bill for an SLS launch, at the flight rate of one launch per year, might then look like this:

Orion capsule with service module and escape system $1 billion
SLS first stage, second stage and upper stage $1 billion
Annual operating and launch facility maintenance costs $2 billion 
1/30 share of development cost $1 billion
TOTAL $5 billion cost per launch

Revised bill for one SLS launch (one launch every 4 years):

Orion capsule with service module and escape system $1 billion
SLS first (core) stage, and upper stage $1 billion
Annual operating and launch facility maintenance costs $8 billion (cost over 4 years)
1/7 share of development cost $4.3 billion
TOTAL  $14.3 billion cost per launch


http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/08/ … ilemma/SLS searching for missions to solve flight rate dilemma

Only 2 launches for all the R&D money through 2010 until 2020

It only gets more out of  line in the coming decade as we are still developing and not in constant manufacturing as a space x company would be in....

Current planning documents have, for years, baselined SLS’s first mission, the uncrewed EM-1 flight, for 2017/2018, with EM-2, the first human mission of SLS and Orion, not occurring until at least 2021. EM-3 had subsequently been mentioned as a notional mission occurring sometime hereafter, potentially not until 2023 with 41 SLS flights from 2018 through 2046 until we see build toward the eventual 2033 human Phobos mission, 2039 human Mars surface mission, and 2043 follow-up Mars surface mission...

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#92 2015-10-09 19:18:17

SpaceNut
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

The purpose of this hearing is to examine the President’s five-year budget projection for the Space Launch System and Orion crew vehicle development programs. The Subcommittee will evaluate NASA’s plans for future major tests and milestones and how the budget requested by the Administration affects development schedules and milestones for these programs.

https://science.house.gov/sites/republi … -SD001.pdf

Hearing charter

"On August 27, 2014, NASA announced a one year slip of EM-1, the first launch of SLS, from 2017 to 2018. This announcement was made despite numerous statements from NASA officials to Congress that the program was on schedule and that no additional funding was needed. Last month, NASA made a similar announcement about the Orion, pushing the launch readiness date for Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) back two years to no later than 20237 from an original date of 2021."

Subcommittee on Space will hold a Hearing: Impact of President’s Budget on Deep Space Exploration


- Archived webcast
- Statement of Dan Dumbacher
- Statement by Doug Cooke

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#93 2015-10-09 21:02:07

RobertDyck
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Again, I'm going to compare to Saturn V. Here is a NASA web page with approximations for each major component of the Apollo program. Saturn V development, in thousands of dollars.
Apollo Program Budget Appropriations ($000)
1964: $763,382
1965: $964,924
1966: $1,177,320
1967: $1,135,600
1968: $998,900
1969: $534,453
1970: $484,439
1971: $189,059
1972: $142,458
1973: $26,300

Development up to and including Apollo 8 was everything through 1968; total $5,040,126 thousand. Calculating inflation from 1968 to today that works out to $34,515,593,900 dollars, or $34.5 billion.

In 1969 there was Apollo 9: first manned CSM & LM in Earth orbit, Apollo 10: dress rehearsal, LM flew 15km from lunar surface, Apollo 11: first manned landing, Apollo 12: second manned landing. Cost of Saturn V alone in 1969 was $534,453 thousand; calculating inflation from 1969 to today that's $3,470,536,820 dollars or $3.47 billion for 4 launches.

1970 saw just one launch: Apollo 13. 1971 saw Apollo 14 & 15, and 1972 saw Apollo 16 & 17. Calculating the 1972 cost to today: $812,201,450 dollars, that's $812.2 million (with an 'M') for 2 launches. 1973 was decommissioning only.

The last year it flew cost roughly $400 million per launch in today's dollars. How does that compare to SLS?

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#94 2015-10-09 21:36:11

RobertDyck
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

From the first link SpaceNut provided, page 3:

                                |  Actual | Enacted | Request |                Notional
Budget Authority ($ in millions)|   2014  |   2015  |   2016  |   2017  |   2018  |   2019  |   2020
Space Launch System             | 1,600.0 | 1,700.0 | 1,356.5 | 1,343.6 | 1,407.6 | 1,516.5 | 1,531.6

That doesn't start with the NASA authorization act of 2010. Just including these years, it adds up to $10.4558 billion. That includes EM-1, scheduled 2017 or 2018, but does not include EM-2 (first manned mission to lunar orbit) which has slipped from 2021 to 2023. Comparing Saturn V to Apollo 8 would require SLS from NASA Authorization Act up to and including EM-2.

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#95 2015-10-10 02:59:46

RobertDyck
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

I miss Energia. When Boris Yeltsin was president of the Russian Federation, he ensured friendship with the West. In 1994 NASA asked what it would cost to launch a human mission to the Moon. In December of year 2000 I phoned the American subsidiary of Energia to ask if their big rocket was available. That's when I found out about this. The cost quoted to NASA in 1994 was between $60 million and $100 million US dollars to restore infrastructure. I received a letter in response, the corporation confirmed the big rocket is available, but didn't confirm the cost. I later found a NASA website for international launch vehicles that included Energia. It listed $120 million per launch including the Energia Upper Stage. Unfortunately the roof of building #112 at Baikonur collapsed in 2002. That's the "building of assembly and test", their equivalent to the VAB. The Buran space shuttle orbiter and all remaining Energia stages were in there when it collapsed. The roof of one of the three high bays has since been repaired. The low bays of that building were used to stage ISS modules. The two high bays still exposed to the elements are the ones with tracks for Energia transporters to the launch pads.

Let's add that up. Energia could lift 88 metric tonnes to 200km orbit without the upper stage. Or 31,091kg to C3=10. Interpolating for C3=15 (TMI), I get 29,200kg. (Further precision requires curve fitting.) Calculating for inflation, cost to restore infrastructure would be $100 million to $160 million; add something to repair the vehicle assembly building. Per launch cost $193 million.

SpaceX lists Falcon Heavy with payload to Mars: 13,200kg. Price estimates $85 million to $135 million.

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#96 2015-10-12 05:42:38

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

RobertDyck wrote:

I miss Energia. When Boris Yeltsin was president of the Russian Federation, he ensured friendship with the West. In 1994 NASA asked what it would cost to launch a human mission to the Moon. In December of year 2000 I phoned the American subsidiary of Energia to ask if their big rocket was available. That's when I found out about this. The cost quoted to NASA in 1994 was between $60 million and $100 million US dollars to restore infrastructure. I received a letter in response, the corporation confirmed the big rocket is available, but didn't confirm the cost. I later found a NASA website for international launch vehicles that included Energia. It listed $120 million per launch including the Energia Upper Stage. Unfortunately the roof of building #112 at Baikonur collapsed in 2002. That's the "building of assembly and test", their equivalent to the VAB. The Buran space shuttle orbiter and all remaining Energia stages were in there when it collapsed. The roof of one of the three high bays has since been repaired. The low bays of that building were used to stage ISS modules. The two high bays still exposed to the elements are the ones with tracks for Energia transporters to the launch pads.

Too bad the Russians didn't want to be free, for they loved the Cold War too much, they loved the Iron Curtain and they love supporting ruthless dictators that used chemical weapons against their own people in the Middle East. Putin is more interested in conquering Earth than in conquering space!

Let's add that up. Energia could lift 88 metric tonnes to 200km orbit without the upper stage. Or 31,091kg to C3=10. Interpolating for C3=15 (TMI), I get 29,200kg. (Further precision requires curve fitting.) Calculating for inflation, cost to restore infrastructure would be $100 million to $160 million; add something to repair the vehicle assembly building. Per launch cost $193 million.

SpaceX lists Falcon Heavy with payload to Mars: 13,200kg. Price estimates $85 million to $135 million.

That is something for Putin to do now. Russia with an economy the size of Germany, could return to the Moon, Too bad the Germans are such wimps and don't want to compete with Russia. China looks like the other Superpower now, it could build a rocket and land men on the Moon. Russia is still a "has been" with a ruling dictator that has  chip on his shoulder. If Russia wants to be great, it has to do the things that make nations great, keeping Assad in power in Syria is not a great thing, having practice runs to bomb US, Canadian, and European cities does not make Russia great! It is a shame that the talents of so many Europeans has to be wasted by a dictator like Putin.

Last edited by Tom Kalbfus (2015-10-12 05:43:52)

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#97 2015-10-12 16:04:56

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,228
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Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Yea yea yea. Very American. You realize that Putin grew up during the Soviet Union. He has said the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. That he sees the countries of the former Soviet Union has Russia's sphere of influence. All former members of the Warsaw Pact other than the Soviet Union itself are full members of NATO. And NATO now includes 3 of the former republics of the Soviet Union itself: Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. When Bill Clinton was president, Georgia asked to join NATO. Putin manipulated the treaty, created a loop-hole that allowed Russia to invade. Moldova has a constitution that forbids joining NATO, but in 1992 Moldova joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in 1997. Some politicians in Moldova want to join NATO. One proposal is to unify with Romania. But some fear Russia would annex Transnistria. Realize Russia sees this expansion into their sphere of influence as a major threat. From Putin's perspective, the worst is Ukraine seeking to join NATO. The region called Donbas has vast coal and iron resources, at one location. This was advertised within the Soviet Union as a rich region that would create wealth for the entire Soviet Union. Putin sees taking that away as a major threat to the Russian economy. Notice the rebel region in Ukraine is little more than Donbas.

How would you react if Canada, Mexico, and the entire Caribbean joined Russia's sphere of influence? Not just Cuba, but Grenada, The Bahamas, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico? And then how would you react if Russia declared the Gulf of Mexico as Russian territory, including all its oil? That's how Putin feels.

As for ISIS, I've said before that you can't just fight against. You have to fight for something. What is there to fight for in Syria? Assad? Well, Putin feels Assad is a traditional Russian ally, so he sees no problem with that.

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#98 2015-10-12 19:37:07

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,927

Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

Back to Rockets and not something else.....

The subcommittee recently met and the outcome after movie The Martian has put a bit of refocus to what Nasa is doing to get man to Mars but...

“I want to comment on the recent handout that we have all seen by the administration called ‘NASA’s Journey to Mars’. This proposal contains no budget; it contains no schedule, no deadlines.

This sounds good, but it is actually a journey to nowhere until we have that budget and we have the schedule and we have the deadlines,” said Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

This is the problem facing the SLS and its many useages of the future....

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#99 2015-10-23 17:10:27

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,927

Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

EM-1 will be the first time the SLS is integrated with the Orion spacecraft and flies into space. The mission will send Orion into lunar distant retrograde orbit—a wide orbit around the moon that is farther from Earth than any human-rated spacecraft has ever traveled. The uncrewed mission will last more than 20 days and will prove the design and safety of Orion and SLS for human exploration missions to follow. To learn more about EM-1, visit www.exploredeepspace.com.

Aerojet Rocketdyne: http://www.rocket.com/rs-25-engine

Boeing: http://www.boeing.com/space/space-launch-system/

Lockheed Martin: www.lockheedmartin.com/orion

Orbital ATK: http://www.orbitalatk.com/flight-system … n-systems/

To explore the network of companies in 49 states supporting deep space missions, visit the SLS and Orion supplier map at: http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/ESDSuppliersMap/

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#100 2015-10-25 14:57:32

Tom Kalbfus
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Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: The SLS: too expensive for exploration?

SpaceNut wrote:

Back to Rockets and not something else.....

The subcommittee recently met and the outcome after movie The Martian has put a bit of refocus to what Nasa is doing to get man to Mars but...

“I want to comment on the recent handout that we have all seen by the administration called ‘NASA’s Journey to Mars’. This proposal contains no budget; it contains no schedule, no deadlines.

This sounds good, but it is actually a journey to nowhere until we have that budget and we have the schedule and we have the deadlines,” said Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

This is the problem facing the SLS and its many useages of the future....

So far on paper at least the Colonial Transporter looks more impressive. The main difference between SpaceX and NASA, is that NASA has to go begging to Congress every year, If SpaceX can earn money while exploring space, that would be a plus.

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