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An end to end Charlie Foxtrot.

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No doubt Senator Shelby is screaming at the sky right now over this. SLS/Orion is his pet project -- aka "the Ultimate Pork Barrel" -- and he's not going to let it go down if he can help it.

 

Just let it go, Senator. If what we think about SpaceX's upcoming stuff if even half correct, SLS will be completely and utterly obsolete by 2025. And by then, I'm going to have my Engineering degree and I plan to be working for SpaceX. And guess what? I've got an idea (or fifteen!) of my own that's gonna raise the bar by several dozen meters ... :D No way anybody will catch up to SpaceX then. 

 

Gotta keep my cool ... ;) 

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From the NASA Advisory Committee (NAC) conference

 

1) ESA Orion service module delayed from January 2017 to March 2017, or later. Sounded more like later.

 

Now...sit down. Done? 

 

Take a deep breath.

 

Settled? OK.

 

2) NASA's Hill: we will not have hold down bolts for SLS like shuttle, but depend on weight of vehicle itself. 

 

Some NAC folks are a tad skeptical.

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13 minutes ago, DocM said:

2) NASA's Hill: we will not have hold down bolts for SLS like shuttle, but depend on weight of vehicle itself. 

 

Some NAC folks are a tad skeptical.

Doesn't say it there ... but maybe it'll have 4 (or whatever) hold down arms like the Saturn V.  I don't believe the V had bolts either.

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Saturn V didn't have solids.  

 

The Shuttle bolts held the SRBs down to restrain the stack.  SLS would have been the same, but apparently not.

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18 minutes ago, DocM said:

Saturn V didn't have solids.  

 

The Shuttle bolts held the SRBs down to restrain the stack.  SLS would have been the same, but apparently not.

True.  I wasn't thinking about the SRBs .... was thinking more along the lines of .... oooo ... that's a big rocket. :)

 

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Wait'll you see the BFR :woot:

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3 minutes ago, DocM said:

Wait'll you see the BFR :woot:

I can't :)  Especially when they light it up.  

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What'll be interesting is the LAS for a ship the size of BFS.

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A tornado has hit NASA's Michoud factory in Louisiana, which is where SLS and Orion work is being done.

 

https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/02/07/tornado-strikes-nasas-michoud-plant-in-new-orleans/

 

Quote

 

Employees and flight hardware for NASA’s Space Launch System and Orion spaceship were mostly spared after a strong tornado struck the agency’s Michoud plant in New Orleans on Tuesday, but crews planned to begin repairs immediately to plug holes in buildings housing parts and tools to build the new mega-rocket.

 

The tornado hit Michoud in East New Orleans around 11:25 a.m. CST (12:25 p.m. EST; 1725 GMT) Tuesday, NASA said, overturning cars, shattering windows and ripping roofs and siding off buildings at the sprawling 832-acre campus.

 

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, which manages the Michoud Assembly Facility, said in a statement Tuesday night that officials have accounted for all 3,500 employees who work at the site. Five of the workers sustained minor injuries, NASA said.

 

“Our hearts go out to our employees and the people in New Orleans who have suffered from this serious storm,” said Keith Hefner, director of Michoud, in a statement. “The safety of our team is always our main concern, and we are pleased to report that we’ve identified only minor injuries.”

 

Todd May, director of Marshall, told Spaceflight Now in an email that parts for the Space Launch System and Orion capsule dodged damage, along with a giant one-of-a-kind vertical weld tool needed to fuse together tanks for the SLS core stage.

 

But some of of the hardware is now “indirectly” exposed to the elements, May said, and workers on Wednesday would immediately start plugging the holes to “shore up” the cavernous structure — named Building 103 — housing the components and tools.

 

Michoud will be closed to all but emergency personnel Wednesday, NASA said, while crews continue damage assessments and try to restore power.

 

“At this time, emergency personnel have identified damage to building numbers 103, 350 and additional structures,” NASA said late Tuesday. “Building 103, Michoud’s main manufacturing building, has roof damage in several areas. Approximately 200 parked cars were damaged, and there was damage to roads and other areas near Michoud.”

 

The Pegasus barge parked at Michoud also weathered the storm with no damage, NASA said. The vessel was used to transport external tanks for the space shuttle — built at Michoud — to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and the agency intends to repurpose the barge to ship SLS core stages between Louisiana, a test site at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, and the Florida launch base.

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Ouch. :( Glad everyone is okay. This is going to set the program back probably 8~16 weeks ... oof.

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And NASA AShAP's worried about Commercial Crew's safety? :s

 

1) Delayed from 2018

 

2) A crew on the maiden flight

 

 

Expletive deleted

 

https://twitter.com/clownShowPony/status/831879711580160000

holy **** robert lightfoot just said we're going to investigate putting a crew on EM-1

 

 

Edited by DocM

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I just read the briefing done earlier today. Are they serious?! It's an unwarranted gamble ... :no: 

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Wasn't the memo to study the feasibility of flying a crew on EM1?  Also, the first manned flight wasn't going to be until EM2 in 2021(?) and it would have been a shorter flight.  If they are able to get a crew up (with safety in mind of course) on EM1 ... that potentially could mean a longer flight for EM2.

 

Also not sure about the "hypocrisy" aspect as NASA didn't do manned first flights with Mercury, Gemini or Apollo...STS was the only system to have its first launch manned.

 

My worry isn't about a manned first flight...but about the direction NASA is going and the politics behind it.  They need a long term mission ... a goal to achieve that can not change every four years (or even every year) and a steady stream of money to help achieve those goals.

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The first manned flight had slipped to 2023+, so this is a considerable change. Just a few months ago the IG etc. were questioning software QC and other safety issues.

 

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We really need to "cut the cancer" from NASA.

 

Science, technology and exploration need the focus with a long term goal and guidance from a direct presidential science committee, not these "clowns from congress". 

 

:(

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So the hypocrisy was always there, the previous plan was to do the Europa mission then fly people that would make 2 launches of the first stage and 1 launch of the second stage as qualification. Orion would have had 2 Launches before crew one in 2014, which wasnt really a great test and EM1 next year. If either of the Commercial Crew vendors had this as their plan people would be up in arms.

 

 

Does anybody know if the testing of Orion is being held back by SLS or is it holding itself back, could they do another test on a Delta or FH? At least then Orion would be tested with a full fit out before being put on an untested rocket.

 

 

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11 hours ago, IsItPluggedIn said:

Does anybody know if the testing of Orion is being held back by SLS or is it holding itself back, could they do another test on a Delta or FH? At least then Orion would be tested with a full fit out before being put on an untested rocket.

Both have delayed things. Delays have run from structural faults in test vehicles to flotation bag failures & heat shield underperformance in the test flight to delays in the ESA built Service Module, and other things. There's also  been a lot of discussion about software being incomplete or bigger etc. SLS buildout was delayed by the massive jig for assembling it being out of level, requiring months to fix, and the GSE (ground support equipment) isn't even close. The programs been a mess.

 

It's possible Falcon Heavy could launch the full Orion stack itself, using an adapter, but other mission elements would need to be launched separately. Down the road Vulcan-ACES (2024ish) and New Armstrong too.

 

The Verge....

 

Quote

NASA is mulling over the idea of putting astronauts on the first flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) — the giant heavy-lift rocket the space agency is building to take people to Mars someday. Currently, NASA is hoping to fly the SLS for the first time in fall of 2018, and the original plan was for that mission to be uncrewed. But a new memo sent out to NASA employees this morning shows that the agency will start investigating the possibility of making the debut flight of SLS, called EM-1, a crewed mission instead.

 

The idea was first shared by Lightfoot earlier today at the Space Launch System/Orion Suppliers Conference in Washington, DC. The following memo has supposedly caused a lot of buzz at NASA, a source at the agency tells The Verge, and a lot of people are somewhat excited about the idea. If NASA does move forward with a crewed mission for EM-1, then the launch will most likely be pushed back from late 2018.
 
The current plan for EM-1 is to launch the SLS from Kennedy Space Center on September 30th, 2018. The vehicle is supposed to carry NASA’s Orion crew capsule —without a crew — into an orbit around the Moon. Orion will spend a total of three weeks in space before coming back and landing on Earth with the aid of parachutes. Astronauts would then ride inside Orion for the first time on EM-2, the second flight of the SLS. That trip isn’t supposed to happen until 2021 at the earliest.

In today’s memo, Lightfoot noted his recent interactions with the NASA transition team have made it clear that the space agency is a priority to the new administration. He also mentioned that it is “imperative to the mission of the agency that we are successful in safely and effectively executing both the SLS and Orion programs.”
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However, safety experts and government investigators have been critical about the development of the SLS and Orion, arguing that the current schedule for the programs aren’t exactly reliable given NASA’s budget. Two reports from the Government Accountability Office last year cast doubt on NASA meeting its 2018 launch date for EM-1, arguing that both SLS and the ground systems needed to launch the vehicle may not be ready before then. Additionally, the GAO said it was concerned about the 2021 date set for the crewed flight EM-2, saying that NASA is accepting higher risk to meet that deadline. NASA has also set a second launch date for EM-2 in April of 2023, in case the 2021 launch date doesn’t pan out. However, the agency has maintained that it has an “aggressive” internal goal of meeting the 2021 date.
 
Meanwhile, an important piece of hardware is needed for the first crewed flight of the SLS. For EM-1, NASA intends to fly a configuration of SLS known as Block 1. It’s the smallest version of the rocket NASA intends to build that can loft 70 metric tons into lower Earth orbit. For the crewed EM-2 flight, NASA is planning to fly a larger variant of SLS called Block 1B. This version of the rocket is a bit larger and sports a more powerful second stage on top of the vehicle known as the Exploration Upper Stage. However, the Exploration Upper Stage hasn’t even been built yet so it’s unclear if it will be ready soon for EM-1. The design for the Exploration Upper Stage did pass a major review in January.

 

Edited by DocM
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To sum it up, Charlie Foxtrot. :no: 

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