New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and MarsNews.com

You are not logged in.

Announcement

Announcement: As a reader of NewMars forum, we have opportunities for you to assist with technical discussions in several initiatives underway. NewMars needs volunteers with appropriate education, skills, talent, motivation and generosity of spirit as a highly valued member. Write to newmarsmember * gmail.com to tell us about your ability's to help contribute to NewMars and become a registered member.

#51 2017-12-21 00:57:54

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,306

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

SpaceNut wrote:

SLS is another of Nasa's over engineered and cost plus built here designs to which they said no to using the original parts just the way they were before they started to insist on updating all of them, re-egineering them and saying we are using human rated parts...
Untill Nasa and its contractors are booted from the gravy bowl nothing will change. If anything Nasa could be broken up into categories of work and funded seperately for each with the space policy group steering each operation rather than doing nothing. To say nothing about copying the previous policy and changing only a paragraph from it and calling it new.....

I agree that NASA is simply retooling the failed 90 day plan from the Bush I administration. It's again the old "not invented here" syndrome.

Offline

#52 2018-05-21 20:30:24

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

Why has Nasa become such bumbling boobs or is it the contrcactors still stuffed like a thanksgiving turkey that is at fault.....have they forgotten how to do the job after all the decades of flying shuttle.

Schedule for First SLS Core Stage Still Sliding

A recent assessment of the completion date for the first Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage now puts it at the end of May, 2019, close to the middle of next year. The date indicates that production and assembly schedules are still sliding and is reducing confidence in meeting the June, 2020 date that was at the late end of NASA’s schedule forecast for the Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) launch. It is unknown if the additional time for completion of final assembly of the whole rocket stage is based on the engine section, the other four elements, or continuing refinement of forward work. Most of the hardware and systems that will fly on EM-1 are being built for the first time and the procedures to connect the five pieces of the Core Stage together will also be attempted for the first time.

Of the five elements, the most recent news had the Forward Skirt near completion of its individual work by the end of the month. Work to cover the liquid oxygen tank with its Thermal Protection System (TPS) foam was in final phases, with the liquid hydrogen tank to follow behind it. The engine section and intertank elements continue to be outfitted with propellant lines, pressure tanks, avionics boxes, wiring, and other equipment.

Offline

#53 2022-09-24 10:56:05

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 4,782

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

NASA’s newest rocket is a colossal waste of money

https://www.economist.com/leaders/2022/ … e-of-money

Inside NASA’s Struggle to Launch America Back to the Moon

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/ins … 09318.html

Offline

#54 2022-09-24 19:37:50

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

The Senate Launch System has done exactly what they have wanted it to do which is keep their district employed for the last decade plus building a design with old hardware that has been rehashed to a new design level. It's still an old design no matter how you look at it as its not reusable other than for the possibility of fishing out of the oceans the SRB pair if that is even desired any longer.

Offline

#55 2022-09-28 09:59:38

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,306

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

Things aren't looking very promising for the Senate Launch System at the moment. Due to Hurricane Ian, the launch vehicle has again rolled back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) as a precautionary measure. Since it's inside and again in a position for some maintenance, the batteries for the launch abort or flight termination system will be recharged/replaced. The next problem is the stacking date expiration for the 2 SRBs. I'm sure that GW is a better commenter on this problem than I, so I'm just mentioning it in passing. The most optimistic launch date is now mid October--if nothing else goes wrong.

Offline

#56 2022-09-28 14:00:48

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,952
Website

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

I'm not aware of any short-term limits on the stacks of solids.  Most composite propellants have fairly long shelf lives,  as long as atmospheric humidity is kept out of the motors with a weatherseal of some kind in the nozzle.  If this is pretty much the same propellant as was in the 4-segment Shuttle SRB's,  and I think it is,  this stuff is about 20% aluminum and 55-60% AP plus a dash of ballistic aid powders,  in a PBAN binder system. 

PBAN is OK as long as you don't try to take it real cold.  It cracks (and blows up the motor) if you do that,  at temperatures not a whole lot below water freezing.  If you need -65 F (as in military tactical items),  simply go with CTPB or HTPB binders.  DOD likes PBAN in its ICBM's and SLBM's,  because they never get very cold (or hot) at all.  So the big motor boys shy away from CTPB and HTPB because they have little experience with them.

Tactical boys have to go -65 F to 145 F (we used to go to 160 F),  plus all the shake rattle and roll tests,  the 40 foot drop test,  fragment impact and sympathetic detonation tests,  and both slow and fast fuel fire cookoff tests.  There are very,  very good reasons to favor CTPB and HTPB binders.  We do accelerated aging soaked very hot,  and usually get shelf lives in the 20-30 year range.  Most of the double base and composite-modified double base stuff is only good for 15-20 years.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

Offline

#57 2022-09-28 19:03:13

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/system … heets.html

have not found the shelf-life information but I understand that it was more than a few years and even then, the ones which had expired were tested to see how well they would have still performed.

Offline

#59 2022-10-02 16:32:18

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,952
Website

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

SLS is shuttle technology from the late 1970's repurposed as a sort-of clone of the Saturn-5's capability.  Except that the capabilty is not equivalent to Saturn-5.  No way is it equivalent!

The Orion capsule is Apollo-on-steroids,  to carry 6-7 people for up to almost a month in space,  longer for a smaller crew.  That design is overweight because they originally wanted the extra ballast weight to damp out the excessive thrust vibrations found in the old Constellation "Stick" configuration.  That overweight condition was never rectified.

Orion's service module has about the same capability as Apollo's service module,  but with the overweight Orion,  the delta vee is significantly less than we had with Apollo.  Accordingly,  SLS/Orion is unable to reprise Apollo-8 (no lunar lander).  It can reach cislunar space near the moon,  but it can not get into and out of low lunar orbit.  Not in the Block 1 configuration with the interim upper stage,  which way underperforms what Saturn-5's S-IVB could do.

That can be rectified in the block-1B configuration with the larger upper stage,  but it still cannot get an Orion + service module + lunar lander into and out of low lunar orbit.  That larger upper stage is just not yet available.  There's reason to suspect that it may very well never be available.

You don't reach the capability of sending Orion + service module + a small lunar lander into low lunar orbit until you reach SLS block-2 with the liquid boosters.  Which fundamentally means you cannot reprise Apollo-11 until block-2 is flying.  There are quite good reasons to suspect that those liquid boosters will never materialize.  They are only paper designs. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2022-10-02 16:34:44)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

Offline

#60 2022-11-11 08:46:22

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

NASA’s Atremis I rocket is running out of time again as parts are going to expire soon.

That’s because the expiration dates on certain components of the Artemis I boosters are coming up in December. One of the parts will have its expiration hit on December 9. As if that wasn’t bad enough, though, a second component will see its expiration date hit on the 14th of that same month,

Offline

#61 2022-11-16 11:19:51

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,952
Website

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

The thing finally did fly successfully.  We'll see how the mission goes. 

It really bothers me that the rampant hydrogen leak problems were all in the core stage,  not in the pad infrastructure.  When the last of these right before launch turned out to be loose packing nuts on a valve,  requiring someone to tighten them with a wrench under conditions of extreme danger,  I am really,  really bothered! 

This thing is a decade late and billions over budget.  And the quality control on its construction is THAT poor?  Why should we ever risk flying crews on it?

Someone answer me that.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2022-11-16 11:20:42)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

Offline

#62 2022-11-16 11:26:06

NewMarsMember
Member
Registered: 2019-02-17
Posts: 704

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

For GW Johnson,

You probably knew this but some forum readers may not....

The article in the topic by Louis reports that the exact same procedure was needed for Apollo 11.

Your caution seems (to me at least) appropriate, but those were times when danger was accepted more than might be the case today. In this case, it seems (again, to me at least) that NASA had the resolve to solve a leak in a gasket despite the risks, and they made a successful bet.

However, this incident, and your observations, lead me to wonder if the need to tweak nuts might be anticipated, and remote nut-tightening equipment deployed in case it is needed.

The technology to permit remote control of nut tightening equipment exists today.

(th)


Recruiting High Value members for NewMars.com/forums, in association with the Mars Society

Offline

#63 2022-11-16 13:26:30

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,952
Website

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

I've seen nothing authoritative,  but things reported so far indicate that this was the gland seal about a valve operating shaft that was leaking.  They found the nuts loose that compressed the cover onto the seal.  Same thing often happens even in household water plumbing.   But this was liquid hydrogen service,  not household water service. 

Two things jump off the page:  either (1) this gland seal was loose from the factory,  or (2) it was not,  and just self-loosened during the repeated cooldown cycles trying to load hydrogen. 

The first suggests a real problem in quality control inspection.  The second suggests a real problem in designing reliable cryogenic equipment,  even after over-50 years of the industry doing such designs.

Admittedly,  liquid hydrogen service is way more severe than anything else,  but there is that 50-year+ history,  flawed as it might be from only the favorable stuff ever getting written down. 

Remember my adage:  only 40% of rocket science is actual science (important stuff actually documented),  50% is art (the undocumented also-important stuff),  and 10% is blind dumb luck,  and that's in production work!  In development work (which this is),  the art and luck percentages are even higher.

The art gets passed on from experienced hands to newbies,  one-on-one,  on-the-job.  Or maybe not,  depending upon employment practices.  The experienced hands with enough time available to teach are usually 55+ years old.  The trend in recent decades is not to hire anyone over 45,  and to work unpaid long hours.  (Musk is the worst offender I have ever seen,  in that regard,  but he is not alone!  Many outfits have done this,  for decades.  It is starting to show!)

The RS-25's and their associated engine-compartment plumbing did fine.  It was the propellant load and unload plumbing inside the core stage that was having all the leak problems.  Boeing designed that.  They need to fix this before the next one flies.

I have no confidence that they will.  Here's why:

The negligence seen in the 737 Max designs,  the 777 troubles,  and the 787 troubles all argue against that.  Boeing's corporate board a few years ago was quite publicly proud of turning the company from a good-engineering outfit to a max-shareholder-profit outfit (although they no longer say that in public after the 737 Max debacle).  The board moved away from the engineers in Seattle,  first to Chicago,  now to near DC,  to better lobby Congress.

That's pretty much the real problem with SLS (and those airplanes) in a nutshell:  a board and top management that values profit above lives lost.

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2022-11-16 13:36:07)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

Offline

#64 2022-11-16 15:41:35

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 6,238

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

GW,

Unpaid work is the only way these companies can make money.  All the profit is going back into the business in the case of SpaceX.  Elon Musk is not living high on the hog.  He has an apartment and a car.  If he has money available, then it gets invested into the business, not new yachts or gold plated houses.

You can't complain about the cost of access to space and the trade-off in engineering time for getting things done on time, both at the same time.

Something has to give.  In this case, the engineers who want their projects to bear fruit are trading time for accomplishment.

You get lots of money, but no time to spend it, because $100K+ per year jobs demand time investment and lots of it.  I quote my rate, but regardless of if I work 40 hours in a week or 80 hours, I turn in my timesheet for 40 hours.  The client knows how many hours it took because they were there working with me.  Maybe some people think that means I get paid half my rate, but clients keep hiring me because I put in the hours.  It's a a way to stay employed and to get projects done on time, and without a lot of fuss over the money.  Sometimes it's exhausting, but that's the job and it's always been that way in IT.

Offline

#65 2022-11-16 18:08:11

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,952
Website

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

Kdb512:

"Unpaid work is the only way these companies can make money."  That may (or may not) be true for the IT industry,  which post-dates about 1990.  It is NOT true for ANY of the industries I worked in,  until after about 1990.  And that assessment depends upon how much profit you choose to call "profitable". 

1990-ish.  That's just about when all the major companies in any given industry segment were allowed to coalesce into monopoly or oligopoly entities without any application of the anti-trust laws.  You can thank politics for that. 

In point of fact,  under federal labor law,  it is still today ILLEGAL for a company to demand more than about 4 hours per week unpaid overtime,  regardless of whether any of its employees are represented by a union or not.  It's just been unenforced since about 1990-ish,  just like the anti-trust laws.  Because of politics. 

You need to remember that when you vote,  by the way!  And it is precisely why I detest both parties.  But the GOP has been more dangerous to us than the Dems,  since about that same 1990 time frame.  Before then,  I used to vote for more GOP candidates than Dem candidates,  on my split ticket.  Not any more.   It is also why I say I "vote against" instead of "vote for",  since about that same time frame.

Before that time,  there was both competition,  and profit (!!!),  all the way back to before WW1 (1 not 2 !!!).  Since then,  there has only been very expensive sucking at the public tit by giant monopoly government contractors with reputations that are no longer deserved.  THAT is what history clearly teaches!  You can learn from that history,  or you can repeat it to your detriment.  Simple as that.

As an engineer in the defense industry,  I was not unionized.  But the technicians in the plants where I worked were unionized.  When the union did better,  so did we engineers,  precisely because of federal labor law.  I have never understood the mania for union-busting.  It seems so self-destructive.  I would never ask a technician to do something that I would not attempt myself.  I knew they could do it better than I could,  but I would certainly assist if asked.  They knew that,  and we got along fine,  doing together many,  many things no one had ever done before.

Later,  in the construction industry,  the place I worked used unionized pipefitters.  They did very much better quality work than the non-unionized technicians in some of the competitors,  thanks to their union training activities.  I'm proud to have worked with them,  and to have called them friends.  And that admiration went 2 ways.  We worked very well together.  The company CEO/owner made that decision to use union pipefitters,  in order to ensure quality.  And he made a profit! 

That's just life.  It's the way to "do it right".  And it makes a profit,  albeit not an egregiously-huge one.  Just a sustainable one. 

GW

Last edited by GW Johnson (2022-11-16 18:22:35)


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

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

Offline

#66 2022-11-16 18:43:15

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

Was working at time of launch but just watched the video
https://youtu.be/CdTnwmLMaDY

Offline

#67 2022-11-17 22:04:21

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

This is sort of old news with maybe an update as Elon Musk's SpaceX bags $1.5 billion contract for Starship to take humans to Moon

first orbital flight of Starship by either end of this year or the beginning of 2023. As part of the new contract, SpaceX will provide a second crewed landing demonstration mission in 2027 for the Artemis IV mission.

The SLS rocket launched the uncrewed Orion spacecraft on an approximately 42-day mission, during which it will orbit the moon before returning to Earth. As the first to fly, Artemis 1 will not carry a crew, but will fly on a trip around the moon with instruments, cubesats and more aboard.

Artemis 1 is NASA's first mission to the moon under the agency's Artemis program, which aims to send astronauts to the moon by around 2025 or so. That crewed moon landing will occur on the Artemis 3 mission.

Artemis is on its way but really that long to see it with a crew?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemis_2

Offline

#68 2022-11-18 09:01:15

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 6,238

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

GW,

If everyone involved in unions was rational in their negotiations with management and was both willing and able to do good work, then I would agree that unions are a net benefit.  However, that is clearly not universally the case.  Most businesses that don't make products for the government cannot be run the same way defense contractors or governments are run.  There has to be a balance between what unions want and what management can realistically deliver, or you end up with situations similar to what happened at GM, where the employees ultimately suffered by demanding so much that GM went bankrupt, and many jobs were lost as a result.

Offline

#69 2022-11-18 21:07:15

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

NASA picks SpaceX’s Starship for its second crewed Artemis lunar landing

SpaceX's human landing system for Artemis 3, which will take humanity back to the Moon decades after the last Apollo mission.
Earlier this year, NASA announced that it was accepting new lunar lander proposals for use beyond Artemis 3 to ensure "redundancy in services." While SpaceX wasn't allowed to participate, the agency did say that it was planning to exercise an option under their existing contract and was asking the company to modify its landing system to meet a new requirement. That is, for its lander to have the capability to take human spacefarers from the Gateway station, which has yet to be installed in the lunar orbit, to the Moon itself. NASA can then use this upgraded lander for future missions, as humanity attempts to establish a long-term presence on the Moon.
"The aim of this new work under Option B is to develop and demonstrate a Starship lunar lander that meets NASA's sustaining requirements for missions beyond Artemis III, including docking with Gateway, accommodating four crew members, and delivering more mass to the surface."

Offline

#70 2022-11-19 20:36:41

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

NASA’s Orion spacecraft is heading through space and on its way to the moon and is set to make a close approach on Monday, November 21. If you want to follow along with Orion’s journey you’ll be able to tune into a live stream and see coverage of the spacecraft firing its engines and passing by the moon, using the moon’s gravity to enter a distant retrograde orbit.

Orion will fire its engines, referred to as a burn, and use the moon’s gravity to increase its speed. This acceleration, along with another burn, will help the spacecraft to pass 40,000 miles beyond the far side of the moon and get into an orbit called a distant retrograde orbit. This is a highly stable orbit, meaning the spacecraft needs only minimal fuel to maintain it, and Orion will stay there for around one week, traveling around the moon in the opposite direction from how the moon travels around the Earth.

As Orion moves into this orbit it will make its closest approach to the moon, coming within 80 miles of its surface. There are cameras on board Orion, including those located on the tips of its solar arrays, which should be able to capture some stunning views of the moon as it passes by. “After the conclusion of the outbound powered flyby, once we reacquire comm with Earth, we are expecting to provide some good imagery,” said Jim Geffre, Orion Vehicle Integration Manager, in a press conference.

To watch the livestream, you can either head to NASA’s YouTube page for the event or use the video embedded near the top of this page.

How to watch the flyby
NASA will be live-streaming coverage of Orion’s flyby of the moon on the morning of Monday, November 21. You can watch coverage beginning at 7:15 a.m. ET (4:15 a.m. PT), with the spacecraft firing its engines to enter the gravity of the moon at 7:44 a.m. ET (4:44 a.m. PT). Orion will make its closest approach to the moon just before 8 a.m. ET (5 a.m. PT).

There will also be another live stream on Friday, November 25, covering another engine burn which will put Orion into distant retrograde orbit. Coverage on Friday will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET (1:30 p.m. PT) with the burn scheduled for 4:52 p.m. ET (1:52 p.m. PT).

Offline

#71 2022-11-20 14:02:30

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

Nasa after its approving run will want to make use of the capsule for the future.

https://bgr.com/science/nasa-reveals-po … ce-apollo/

https://bgr.com/science/nasa-shares-pla … s-mission/

Offline

#72 2022-11-21 10:53:52

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

The spacecraft launched on the Artemis 1 test flight from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Nov. 19, beginning a 240,000-journey to the moon.

NASA's Orion spacecraft emerges from far side of moon sharing stunning views of lunar surface, Earth


At 6:44 a.m. CT, Orion's orbital (OEMs) engines lit up for about 2 minutes to thrust the spacecraft into a distant retrograde orbit around the moon. Ahead of this burn, NASA lost signal with Orion for about 34 minutes when it reached the back side of the moon farthest from Earth

If all goes well, Orion will fly more than 40,000 miles past the moon flying in orbit opposite the direction that the moon orbits Earth. After this maneuver, Orion will enter retrograde orbit for about six days before beginning the spaceflight back to Earth.


Screen-Shot-2022-08-05-at-11.38.40-AM.png?ve=1&tl=1



It’s the first time a capsule has visited the moon since NASA’s Apollo program 50 years ago, and represents a huge milestone in the $4.1 billion test flight that began last Wednesday.

The close approach of 81 miles (130 kilometers) occurred as the crew capsule and its three wired-up dummies were on the far side of the moon. Because of a half-hour communication blackout, flight controllers in Houston did not know if the critical engine firing went well until the capsule emerged from behind the moon, 232,000 miles (370,000 kilometers) from Earth.

The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket caused more damage than expected, however, at the Kennedy Space Center launch pad. The force from the 8.8 million pounds (4 million kilograms) of liftoff thrust was so great that it tore off the blast doors of the elevator.

Offline

#73 2022-11-21 12:42:25

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

NASA's Artemis I mission will hit a key milestone today as the Orion capsule makes its "outbound powered flyby" of the Moon, getting as close as 80 miles to the surface.

AA14mvJg.img?w=768&h=576&m=6

It will spend 6 to 19 days in DRO to collect data and allow mission controllers to assess spacecraft performance, according to the space agency.

So far, the mission has gone mostly to plan. However, two "active anomaly resolution teams" are investigating faults in the star tracker system's random access memory and a malfunctioning power conditioning and distribution unit.

Offline

#74 2022-11-23 11:46:01

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 26,787

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

GW Johnson wrote:

I didn't know where else to post this,  since it addresses multiple different topics.  GW

From 11-23-2022’s Daily Launch

Orion Soars Past The Moon

Aviation Week (11/21) reported that five days “into the Artemis I flight test, the Lockheed Martin-built Orion spacecraft soared past the Moon, successfully conducting a 2-min. 30-sec. firing of its shuttle-era maneuvering engine on Nov. 21 to set up a slingshot maneuver into deeper space.”

        CBS News (11/21) reports NASA’s unpiloted Orion spacecraft “is operating in near-flawless fashion, mission managers reported Monday, out-performing expectations on a flight to pave the way toward the first piloted mission in 2024.” The Space Launch System rocket “that boosted the Orion capsule on its way early Wednesday showed it performed almost exactly as expected, taking off atop 8.8 million pounds of thrust and producing a ground-shaking shock wave that literally blew the doors off launch pad elevators.”

        Aviation Week (11/22) reports NASA’s frontline personnel “are giving their Artemis I test flight high marks so far. Launched early Nov. 16, the uncrewed Orion spacecraft occupied by sensored mannequins to evaluate the deep-space environment is to complete its propulsive maneuvering into a Distant Retrograde Orbit.”

        Space Avionics Built By L3Harris Helped Propel Artemis I Launch. Aviation Today (11/22) reports that Northrop Grumman “successfully launched NASA’s Artemis I on Nov. 16 with the help of L3Harris’s space avionics.” In order to help “the unmanned spacecraft hit 17,000 mph within the first eight minutes of the flight, L3Harris provided over 30 advanced space avionics systems.” These were used “in the core, upper stage avionics, and booster for Artemis I to enable remote control, help determine the trajectory of the flight, and provide a rocket booster jettison.”

        Artemis I Rocket Damaged Mobile Launcher On Lift Off. Florida Today (11/22) reports that upon liftoff last week, Artemis I damaged a mobile tower with the rocket’s sheer power. At pad 39B, “the nearly 400-foot mobile launcher not only routed communications, propellants, and hardware support for SLS ahead of liftoff, but it also had to deal with the forces that came with supporting the world’s most powerful operational rocket. Elevator doors were blown off; the deck was scorched by heat; gas lines were dislodged; and even a swath of grass at the pad was burned to a yellow hue.” Teams on the ground are still assessing the damage and figuring out how to repair it.

My take on it: It appears the initial troubles with thrust instabilities in the 5-segment SRB’s has been licked well enough.  The later flights of the old Saturn-5 took place at about 8 million pounds of thrust,  triggering similar effects,  but there’s no one left at NASA old enough to remember what to do about it.  These effects increase very rapidly with thrust level,  which is why none of the “Nova” designs of 10+ million pounds thrust were ever built and flown. Wait till the try to launch a SpaceX Superheavy,  and see what those effects are!

Also from 11-23-2022:

NASA Delays Dangerous Asteroid-Search Mission

Bloomberg Government (11/21) reported that NASA’s search for dangerous asteroids is “preparing for a year-and-a-half delay after lawmakers and the Biden administration sought a budget cut.” The agency’s Near-Earth Object Surveyor mission, “a plan to launch a telescope into space to search for asteroids that could strike the Earth with more force than a nuclear bomb – ... [is faced with] a budget of only $80 million to $90 million in fiscal 2023 rather than the $170 million they asked for, mission director Amy Mainzer said in a phone interview.”

My take on it:  delaying this is a mistake.  It’s not a huge cost like SLS,  and unlike SLS,  it may actually contribute to protecting the Earth from an asteroid strike.  There is no better reason for a space mission or a space program than protecting the Earth.

Again from 11-23-2022:

New FAA Guidelines To Address Manual Flying Deficiency
FlightGlobal (11/23) reports that the Federal Aviation Administration “has issued wide-ranging recommendations aimed at ensuring airline pilots are properly trained to effectively manage highly-automated modern aircraft, without relying too much on technology.”

My take on it:  this is way overdue!

No worries as this will do.

I was also going to point out that the cube sat as well are failing since they dod not deploy as it pass the moon and the lunar lander has also failed as well.

Seems that the main months of delay and poor decisions have led to this amoung more things failing to function.

Offline

#75 2022-11-24 21:30:21

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,306

Re: Viability of NASA SLS launch system; should it be cancelled?

Does anyone here have an estimate of the total we launched on a 95% throwaway mission? $23 Billion for the SLS, and anther not so large sum on the Orion capsule itself--which IS recoverable.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2022-11-24 21:30:47)

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB