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NASA Orion crew exploration vehicle (updates)

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DocM    16,485

And VP Pence, in his role as head of the National Space Council, is heading to LC-39B for a "visit." This just after the NSC's big Commercial Space focussed meeting.

 

Love to be a fly on the wall for that one.

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bguy_1986    354
35 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

Yeah @ all of the above. Crazy how all of that has transpired. Some couldn't be helped, most of it could. Indicative of the culture of dysfunction that is in dire need of therapy at NASA.

 

SpaceX is doing what they need to be doing. So are the Scientists and Operations people who have nothing to do with the missions that are going right now. The issues are Old Space and the culture of sheer waste that perpetuates it, along with that same culture that sabotages newcomers and otherwise operates with political interests overriding the advancement of the U.S. Space Program. To me, that's really the larger problem -- and why things are in the state they're in. NASA is a program of several different, competing mindsets right now because of it.

Not just Nasa, the whole freaking government is in dire need of therapy.  So much damn waste, there is no wonder why we are in the hole trillions of dollars.  Makes me sick.

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DocM    16,485

Via PoliticoSpace (Politico's space politics newsletter)

 

https://www.politico.com/newsletters/politico-space

 

Quote

SENATE PUSH FOR NEW ORION LAUNCHER: 

 

A bipartisan group of more than 30 this week lobbied top appropriators to fund a new launcher for the second Orion Spacecraft flight test, arguing that modifying the existing launcher would result in an almost-three-year delay between the first flight test and the first crewed mission.

The letter to Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeanne Shaheen, the top Republican and Democrat on the Commerce, Justice and Science subcommittee, says that building an additional launcher will “reduce time between flights and, more importantly, it will improve safety for our astronauts....Although this new launcher will require additional funding over five years, this is a worthy investment given the benefits.” A similar letter was sent to the House Appropriations Committee last month.

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

They should have been doing this anyway. Uuugh ...

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DocM    16,485

Acting NASA Admin. Lightfoot before Congress. I suggest a few Jolts before reading the whole mind-numbing POS.

 

http://spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=51330

 

>


Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), in FY 2020. The mission will combine the new heavy-lift SLS with an uncrewed version of the Orion spacecraft on a mission to lunar orbit. A crewed mission, EM-2, will follow in 2023. 
>
NASA will likely launch its first astronauts into deep space since the Apollo program on a less powerful version of its Space Launch System rocket than originally planned. Although it has not been officially announced, in recent weeks mission planners at the space agency have begun designing "Exploration Mission 2" to be launched on the Block 1 version of the SLS rocket, which has the capability to lift 70 tons to low Earth orbit. Acting agency administrator Robert Lightfoot confirmed during a Congressional hearing on Thursday that NASA is seriously considering launching humans to the Moon on the Block 1 SLS. "We'll change the mission profile if we fly humans and we use the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS), because we can't do what we could do if we have the Exploration Upper Stage," Lightfoot said."
>


So, until the Exploration Upper Stage arrives in a minimum of 6-7 years (!!), the current Falcon Heavy is only a few tonnes less capable and BFR 1.0 will blow SLS away with either upper stage.

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Brain freeze is less mind-numbing than the madness going on with SLS/Orion. At least one can be rid of that in a few seconds ...

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DocM    16,485

And the hits just keep on coming....paraffin contamination in the SLS engine plumbing. Could have been fun when LOX hit it ?

 

Anyone bet EM-1, already looking at mid-2020, slips to 2022?

 

http://spacenews.com/contamination-found-in-sls-engine-tubing/

 

Quote


WASHINGTON  NASA is dealing with a contamination problem with tubing in part of the core stage of the first Space Launch System vehicle, an issue that could contribute to further delays for its launch.

At a May 17 meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) at NASAs Kennedy Space Center, panel member Don McErlean said the committee had been briefed on a late development with the core stage, being constructed at the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

"A routine quality assurance inspection of the core stage," he said, "discovered contamination in tubing in the engine section of the core stage, which hosts the vehicles four RS-25 main engines and associated systems. That contamination turned out to be paraffin wax, which is used to keep the tubes from crimping while being manufactured but is supposed to be cleaned out before shipment."

"The prime contractor determined the vendor was not fully cleaning the tubes and it was leaving residue in the tubes," McErlean said. "This was retained as a requirement in the prime contractors spec, but it was not properly carried out." Boeing is the prime contractor for the SLS core stage, but he did not disclose the vendor who provided the contaminated tubing.
>
A spokesperson for NASAs Marshall Space Flight Center didn't immediately respond to questions May 17 about the contamination issue and its overall schedule impact on the SLS.

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Yep, I saw this yesterday. Absolutely, insanely terrible QC going on with this whole project.

 

LO2 in contact with this would have been bad. Not explosively, but corrosively. Paraffin wax is a nice, stable compound used in all sorts of things but it's not the most robust thing on four wheels. At LO2 temperatures it becomes very brittle and very hard. The LO2 being corrosive to organics would have broken small pieces of the paraffin off of wherever-it-was inside the tubing and carried it inside the engines -- and then we have another event like with the Antares explosion. Almost identical timeline of destruction, but waaaaaaaay larger.

 

All because of this.

 

They gotta be more careful, and more thorough.

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DocM    16,485

What gives me a bit of a giggle is that particulate frozen paraffin would be a *really big deal* in the RS-25/SSME and most all other engines 

 

however,

 

(Air & Space is the Smithsonian's aeronautics magazine)

 

http://www.airspacemag.com/space/is-spacex-changing-the-rocket-equation-132285884/?all

Quote

 

>

Of course, SpaceX goes to great lengths to prevent such a scenario. Part of the Merlin’s qualification testing involves feeding a stainless steel nut into the fuel and oxidizer lines while the engine is running—a test that would destroy most engines but leaves the Merlin running basically unhindered.

>

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

That's why the Merlin, and the Engineering that makes it go, are BOSS.

 

Build it better.

 

Open the doors.

 

Surprise everyone.

 

Swim in the pool afterwards.

 

:jump:

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DocM    16,485

Yup. Something like 440 Merlin 1D engines have been flown without an engine failure. 

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DocM    16,485

 

 

Yesterday NASA officially slipped SLS-Orion's EM-1 mission from December 2019 to at least June 2020,a with rumors it'll slip into 2021.

 

Now astronomer Scott Manley, also a space vblogger, says a source he knows reports  work on the Exploration Upper Stage has been halted.

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Oh boy. :no: And with news that the first EUS is nearly complete (and ready for CDR), and with the second and third EUS's reportedly in various stages of construction comes this bombshell:

 

Boeing plans changes to SLS upper stages

Article link | SpaceNews.com website

Quote

BREMEN, Germany — With NASA’s decision to continue using an interim upper stage for additional flights of the Space Launch System, Boeing is working on changes to both that stage and a more powerful upper stage.

 

In an Oct. 3 call with reporters, John Shannon, vice president and program manager for the Space Launch System at Boeing, said NASA has asked Boeing to look at changes to the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) to improve its performance.

 

Those changes were prompted by the decision NASA made earlier this year to delay the introduction of the EUS. That stage was originally planned to enter use with the second SLS mission, Exploration Mission (EM) 2. Instead, the first flight of what’s known as the Block 1B configuration of SLS has been delayed to the fourth SLS launch, likely no earlier than 2024.

 

“That has put a slow down on the Exploration Upper Stage work,” he said. “We were rapidly approaching the critical design review.”

 

NASA has asked Boeing to spend some time to try and “optimize” the EUS with the goal of increasing the amount of additional payload it can carry. Such co-manifested payloads, such as modules for NASA’s proposed lunar Gateway, would be carried on the SLS underneath the Orion spacecraft.

 

“We’re actively working through additional design opportunities to lighten the stage and increase its performance and take even more out to the lunar area, so that the Gateway can be built and we can get human boots back on the surface of the moon,” he said.

(....)

Hmm. So they need them to do more than then they were intended to do when first designed, and they need to shed weight to maximize performance.

 

Which will all be for naught if SLS is in the kind of trouble everyone is hearing ...

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DocM    16,485

Friggin' Charlie Foxtrot, nothing less.

 

Once BFR and New Glenn start flying this thing should go away, far away. 

 

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Yep. While this wasn't anything that could have been foreseen, what with SpaceX's rise to fame and the revolution in technologies, the amount of money spent and the time that has passed (missed deadlines, setbacks, etc.) should have made it clear that SLS was a really ill-advised project from the get-go.

 

One of the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenarios. At the time it appeared necessary ... now, in hindsight, a huge Charlie-Foxtrot and nobody wins.

 

:no: 

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DocM    16,485

The NASA Inspector General's SLS report is in, and it's fugly...

 

https://oig.nasa.gov/docs/IG-19-001.pdf

 

Ars Technica...

 


Theres a new report on SLS rocket management, and its pretty brutal

"Boeing's poor performance is the main reason for the significant cost increases."

Boeing has been building the core stage of NASA's Space Launch System rocket for the better part of this decade, and the process has not always gone smoothly, with significant overruns and multiyear delays. A new report from NASA's inspector general makes clear just how badly the development process has gone, laying the blame mostly at the feet of Boeing.

"We found Boeing's poor performance is the main reason for the significant cost increases and schedule delays to developing the SLS core stage," the report, signed by NASA Inspector General Paul Martin, states. "Specifically, the project's cost and schedule issues stem primarily from management, technical, and infrastructure issues directly related to Boeings performance."

As of August 2018, the report says, NASA has spent a total of $11.9 billion on the SLS. Even so, the rocket's critical core stage will be delivered more than three years later than initially planned--at double the anticipated cost. Overall, there are a number of top-line findings in this report, which cast a mostly if not completely negative light on Boeing and, to a lesser extent, NASA and its most expensive spaceflight project.
>
>
>

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Yup. More of the same-old same-old. Nothing's changed. :no: 

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Draggendrop    5,747

Nothing will change due to Congress and the "pork roll".

 

I, for one, don't mind this as SpaceX and BO will be the dominate major carriers, beyond Earth orbit, for the foreseeable future and these numbskulls are walking right into it.

 

Leave them to their "pork"...it does "spoil".

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DocM    16,485

 

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

popcorn.thumb.gif.463e24808c230f0bebe30f653d27daac.gif

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Draggendrop    5,747
29 minutes ago, Unobscured Vision said:

popcorn.thumb.gif.463e24808c230f0bebe30f653d27daac.gif

Yes...kind of like the last few new topics....buckle up...we're not done...and share your popcorn.

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DocM    16,485

We knew this was coming, didn't we? 

 

Business Insider...

Quote


NASA will retire its new mega-rocket if SpaceX or Blue Origin can safely launch its own powerful rockets

NASA is building a super-heavy-lift rocket called the Space Launch System to send astronauts back to the moon.

The SLS program has seen multiple delays and cost overruns, and the rocket is not reusable.

Elon Musk's and Jeff Bezos' aerospace companies SpaceX and Blue Origin, respectively, are developing comparable yet reusable (and presumably more affordable) giant rocket ships.

If SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket or Blue Origin's New Glenn rockets come online, one NASA executive said the agency would "eventually retire"  SLS.
>
"I think our view is that if those commercial capabilities come online, we will eventually retire the government system, and just move to a buying launch capacity on those [rockets]," Stephen Jurczyk, NASA's associate administrator, told Business Insider at The Economist Space Summit on November 1.
>

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Draggendrop    5,747

Wow...that came from the associate administrator who has massive political ties to the pork brokers.

 

This would entail the pork flowing for at least 3 to 4 years. A shame that the funding was not dumped to Blue origin and SpaceX though...but NASA now buys the ride in the future..on a design done solely by commercial for commercial interests. I like this direction and so will the American taxpayer...much more value for the dollar.

 

Unless one wants this...

Z310.thumb.jpg.fcb6331cf6de4d2303b3695a628b5b2c.jpg

 

"for another billion, we can land this the other end down"

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DocM    16,485

Can't help but think this and Musk"s tweets about a "radical change" to BFR that's counter-intuitive.

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Unobscured Vision    2,665

Yep. We knew this has been coming for a while now ... glad someone with some authority on the matter has finally confirmed what we've been predicting for, what ... two years?

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