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NASA Orion crew exploration vehicle (updates)

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DocM    16,578

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Wow. :no: Kill it. With fire. Whoever thought there was any case for keeping it active no longer has an argument. The entire point of SLS was for Orion's deep space missions ... that's out the window now.

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DocM    16,578

Given 2 launches a year it's 6 Earth-Mars conjunctions, probably over 12 years, to mount some Mars missions?

 

Yeah, that'll work :rolleyes:

 

And Orion is not going to Mars as they used to claim.  It's a crew taxi to and back from a Mars stack assembled in lunar orbit - per the ISS partners plan which is under discussion.

 

 

 

Edited by DocM
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DocM    16,578

The SLS-Orion program is Ugly transitioning to F'ugly.

 

By the time this flies we may have seen at least 1-2 Grey Dragon circumlunar flights, suborbital and orbital ITS test flights, Blue Origin's New Glenn heavy class for which they are developing their SV space ship.

 

Ars....

 

Quote

Senior official: NASA will delay first flight of new SLS rocket until 2019

 

The space agency is now likely to miss Congress' original deadline by three years.

NASA has decided it must delay the maiden flight of its Space Launch System rocket, presently scheduled for November 2018, until at least early 2019. This decision was widely expected due to several problems with the rocket, Orion spacecraft, and ground launch systems. The delay was confirmed in a letter from a NASA official released Thursday by the US Government Accountability Office.
>

 

 

GAO report: PDF....

 

Quote

What GAO Found

 

With less than 2 years until the planned November 2018 launch date for its first exploration mission (EM-1), the National Aeronautics and Space Administrations (NASA) three human exploration programsOrion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion), Space Launch System (SLS), and Exploration Ground Systems (EGS)are making progress on their respective systems, but the EM-1 launch date is likely unachievable as technical challenges continue to cause schedule delays. All three programs face unique challenges in completing development, and each has little to no schedule reserve remaining between now and the EM-1 date, 
meaning they will have to complete all remaining work with little margin for error for unexpected challenges that may arise. The table below lists the remaining schedule reserve for each of the programs.

Schedule Reserve to Exploration Mission 1 for Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, Space Launch System, and Exploration Ground Systems Programs.

[Remaining reserves in days]

Exploration Mission-1

Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle: 0
Space Launch System: 80
Exploration Ground Systems: 28

Source: GAO Analysis of NASA data | GAO-17-414

The programs all face challenges that may impact their remaining schedule reserve. For instance 

 

  •  the Orion programs European Service Module is late and is currently driving the program schedule; 
  •  the SLS program had to stop welding on the core stage which functions as the SLSs fuel tank and structural backbonefor months after identifying low weld strengths. Program officials stated that welding resumed in April 2017 following the establishment of a corrective action plan;
  •  the EGS program is considering performing concurrent hardware installation and testing, which officials acknowledge would increase complexity; and
  •  each program must integrate its own hardware and software individually, after which EGS is responsible for integrating all three programs components into one effort at Kennedy Space Center.

>
>

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

We'll just leave that here ... no need to say we pretty much called all of this.

 

Other than the joke about the ESM. Frankly that one is just funny, considering that it wasn't even needed for ETF-2 -- unless they were actually serious about putting humans aboard that thing during that flight.

 

/sigh ... too late to cancel it.

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DocM    16,578

The dreaded "GO! fever" has officially set in....

 

 

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Beittil    582

I wonder which astros they find willing enough to strap into that contraption.

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DocM    16,578

Dunno, but the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) is going to have a cow. Maybe two.

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DocM    16,578

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

/sigh ...

 

Hope they give that thing a thorough inspection before flight. More than once.

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Reading about the findings with the weld process failures ... 

 

Good thing they caught that in time. Those LH2 tanks would have unzipped as soon as they were put under any kind of a load. GOOD GRIEF. Talk about a kaboom ... and it would have taken the Pad (and likely the plumbing) with it. Yikes.

 

Disaster averted. THIS time around.

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DocM    16,578

This kind of GO! Fever nearly lost STS-1 when that shockwave nearly ripped external tank from Columbia, and the flipperon from her tail.

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DocM    16,578

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-12/nasa-study-warns-against-putting-crew-on-huge-rocket-s-first-flight

 

NASA Study Warns Against Putting Crew On Huge Rockets First Flight

A review ordered by the Trump administration finds costs and scheduling problems.

A NASA working group has concluded after a two-month review that sending astronauts on the first flight of its massive new rocket wouldnt be feasible due to the immense costs of safely accommodating a crew on the planned 2019 mission, the first step in Americas return to human space exploration.
>

 

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-holds-media-teleconference-today-on-exploration-mission-1-status

 

NASA Holds Media Teleconference Today on Exploration Mission-1 Status

NASA will provide an update on the status of Exploration Mission-1, the first integrated flight of NASAs Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, during a media teleconference at 3 p.m. EDT today, May 12.

The call will stream live on NASAs website.

The teleconference participants are:

    Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot

    Associate Administrator of NASAs Human Explorations and Operations Mission Directorate William Gerstenmaier

Listen to todays media teleconference live online at:

https://www.nasa.gov/live

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Unobscured Vision    2,676
4 hours ago, DocM said:

A review ordered by the Trump administration finds costs and scheduling problems.

A NASA working group has concluded after a two-month review that sending astronauts on the first flight of its massive new rocket wouldnt be feasible due to the immense costs of safely accommodating a crew on the planned 2019 mission, the first step in Americas return to human space exploration.

This is exactly what needed to happen. Some real common sense thrown into this completely unworkable and dangerous gamble that wasn't going to be able to happen until 2019 at the earliest. 

 

Kill this ####### thing with cutting torches and concrete already. Make it sleep with the fishes. Turn it into artificial coral reefs. Let it serve some purpose for the love of all that's decent -- before lives are lost because OldSpace tried to hotshot their way through corner-cutting. 

 

Oh -- and that crack about "the first step in America's return to human space exploration"? I know those weren't your words, @DocM ... but that's just funny, seeing how SpaceX is going to beat 'em by a year or more. Oh wait, they can't possibly count that can they. It's Boeing/LockMart/Aerojet/ATK feeding them the "truth", after all. They're the WWE of Aerospace -- if it ain't theirs then it doesn't exist and if it does it ain't ####. Anything to deflect from the established dialogue.

Edited by Unobscured Vision
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DocM    16,578

$600-$900 million a year to convert EM-1 to crewed.

 

Crew on 1st SLS flight while making SpaceX and Boeing fly 7 un-crewed before flying crews.

 

ASAP and others had not one, not two, but more like 3 cows. Each.

 

Naw, nothing wrong with this picture :whistle:

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

Yeah. DELIBERATE stalling, and nothing short of that.

 

SpaceX has been played in this whole scenario. Sure, they'll let 'em resupply the ISS and even get in on Mil/Gov launches -- but in the grand scheme of things, where it really mattered (manned spaceflight), SpaceX has been playing by the rules and kept getting the SHAFT the whole time. Dragon 2 has been ready for two ####### years. Artificially contrived and completely unnecessary requirements, then changing the timetables again and again, mis- and non-communication, maddening bureaucracy, endless delays with certification inspections on NASA's part just to KEEP the advantage on the side of the entrenched elements to boot?!

 

UN-#######-FORGIVABLE.

 

If I was Elon I'd be ENRAGED with this development. As in "grounds for packing up my Company's ####, taking my technology and people, then giving Uncle Sam the bird just out of sheer disgust as I left to ply my trade elsewhere" kind of enraged. How dare NASA and OldSpace conduct themselves like this. That's how Elon must be feeling right now, even if he (probably) doesn't act on it. I know I'd be mad as hell and wanting answers.

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flyingskippy    167

I don't care what political ideas a person sides with. Anyone with a little knowledge of the aerospace industry knows that this was an idea pushed by an administration looking for a good cheap headline. Sad thing was, they were willing to risk people's lives on it. 

 

I'm glad it went the way it did. NASA, new space, and old space aside, Life is much more precious than any delay or deadline. 

 

Elon knew what he was getting into when the NASA contracts came in.  I mean NASA and him had a disagreement about the amount of ###### an astronaut produces and what size sewage tank should be on D2. As long as he keeps checking the boxes, SpaceX will outshine any organization. 

Edited by flyingskippy
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DocM    16,578

This huge QC issues on the Boeing tanks and vertical welding jig are inexcusable, there's the MAF tornado delay, and there's talk the SLS software is buggy as hell and somewhat of a cover-up is going on wrt to that.  And Orion is even further behind, dragging SLS even further right. A total Charlie Foxtrot if ever there was one. 

 

I see at best the SLS-Orion stack flying a few missions then fading away as Vulcan-ACES, Falcon Heavy, New Glenn and, IMO the 500 lb gorilla behind the curtain, a likely ITS-derived heavy lifter make it irrelevant.

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

If they really want to make SLS work? They need to replace metal as the primary component. 

 

Oh, wait. This would require a fundamental redesign and rethink -- and they simply aren't the creative types. 

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DocM    16,578

Speaking of the SLS/Senate Mafia, the Alabama company building the SLS test stands got quite a windfall....

 

Just keep in mind: just the structural test stand for SLS is going to cost $76 million+. SpaceX's entire Brownsville, Texas spaceport will cost ~$100 million.  

 

http://spacenews.com/report-criticizes-development-of-sls-test-stands/#sthash.IgjXdsgN.dpuf

 

Quote

WASHINGTON — A rush to complete two test stands needed for development of the Space Launch System caused their cost to nearly double, even as the overall program suffered delays, according to a new report.

 

The May 17 report by NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the cost of the two test stands built at the Marshall Space Flight Center for testing SLS propellant tanks increased by more than 87 percent, to $76 million, as the agency overlooked potential long-term cost savings in a effort to expedite their construction.

NASA entered into an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in August 2013 to construct Test Stands 4693 and 4697 at Marshall, on the grounds of the Army’s Redstone Arsenal. The Corps of Engineers then awarded a contract to an Alabama construction company, Brasfield & Gorrie, to build the stands. The stands are large steel structures designed to perform load testing on the rocket’s liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen tanks to simulate the conditions the tanks will experience during launch.
>

 

 

teststand4693-768x424.jpg

 

Edited by DocM

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

You know what's really disgusting about this? If the same thing were being built for SpaceX for $25~$30 million, these same talking heads would show us how far the veins in their necks can pop out. They'd insist that SpaceX use the existing facilities at Stennis and use their own money to upgrade them.

 

Not that SpaceX would, or even needed to use Stennis.

 

(Oh look, is that Bruno in the background with the "cat-that-ate-the-canary" grin?)

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DocM    16,578

Oh, good Lord....bad welds :angry:

 

 

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DocM    16,578

Oh, good Lord....bad welds :angry:

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,676

.... called it. :no: 

 

Are we getting tired of being right? Maybe NASA needs to hire us.  

 

No, scratch that. I wouldn't want to inherit that mess.

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DocM    16,578

 

 

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