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NASA slips Orion EM-1 readiness to 2018[

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DocM    16,615

They're running out of room to launch it in this decade.

http://m.aviationweek.com/blog/nasa-slips-orion-em-1-readiness-2018

NASA slips Orion EM-1 readiness to 2018

An uncrewed flight of NASA's Orion crew capsule atop the agency's new Space Launch System (SLS) in December 2017 has slipped into calendar year 2018, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).

ESA, which is developing a service module for Orion, attributes the delay to development setbacks experienced by both agencies. Since signing an agreement with NASA in January 2013, ESA and prime contractor Airbus Defense and Space have been working on the service module, which is based on the recently-retired Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) cargo tug. But the project suffered a series of technical issues last year that pushed the service module preliminary design review back by about 10 months.

In the meantime, NASA and Orion prime contractor Lockheed Martin have struggled with developent challenges of their own, notably with efforts to reduce the mass of the spacecraft, which remains a top program risk. Constrained funding also threatens the program, and has forced the agency to defer key tests of the capsule's launch abort system that could ultimately lead to cost increases and schedule delays, should any unexpected technical issues arise.

A precise launch date for the 2018 flight test has not been set, though after evaluating the results of today's Orion EFT-1 flight, NASA is expected to determine a new launch date by late spring 2015.

NASA will also evalute the readiness of the SLS launch system and associated ground systems before setting a new date for the so-called EM-1 mission. In September the agency slipped the first flight of the new rocket from the previously targeted date in December 2017 to no later than November 2018 based on a model being used for the first time in a human exploration program to assess various development risks.

?We will hit the ground systems next and then do Orion in early 2015. At that point, we will bring the three elements together to assess readiness for EM-1,? says NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in September.

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IsItPluggedIn    1,684

If you read the articlet the decision happened in September. But the Orion could launch on another rocket for testing.

 

 

An uncrewed flight of NASA's Orion crew capsule atop the agency's new Space Launch System (SLS) in December 2017 has slipped into calendar year 2018, according to the European Space Agency (ESA)

 

In September the agency slipped the first flight of the new rocket from the previously targeted date in December 2017 to no later than November 2018

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AnotherITguy    162

Which probably means another ride atop the very expensive DELTA IV Heavy

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DocM    16,615

Not before it loses a LOT of weight. Its mass budget is way out of whack.

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

Shame. Of course, it's NASA -- being the eternal bureaucracy it is, take all time estimates they give and add at least 1-3 years. This whole program was supposed to be out the door already and flying missions by 2016.

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bguy_1986    356

Shame. Of course, it's NASA -- being the eternal bureaucracy it is, take all time estimates they give and add at least 1-3 years. This whole program was supposed to be out the door already and flying missions by 2016.

Totally unrelated, and I don't want to start some debate because this isn't the place for it, but this is exactly why we need less Government.  COMPLETE BS that it takes this long, and that much money to do this as private companies take around us and, doing things much better, for not even half the cost.  All people in Government (for the most part) do is bloat things, and pad their pockets with money from companies that pay to keep the government money coming.  Soooo frustrating!

And this happens on all sides of the isle.  Democrats/Republicans and I'm sure Independents also make out on these deals, and the tax payers get screwed.

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

I completely agree. SpaceX, Orbital and others in the field are doing exactly what is needed at this point. Competition and innovation is what drives everything forward for them. Sure, there are regulations, but nothing like NASA. NASA, being a Government agency, is essentially a slave to the bureaucratic process and must work within a quite substantial "checklist" that is quite inefficient.

 

Even with the Antares accident last month, Orbital will dust themselves off, learn from their mistakes and bounce back better than ever -- and at a much quicker pace than NASA could ever do it. And I for one think that's a good thing.

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DocM    16,615

When NASA has fails, or ULA has an EELV issue, the storm of anal microscopy is unreal. Commissions on the the commissions on the commissions.

With the Orbital Antares failure they found the cause within 2 weeks, nixed the NK-33 and started procuring a new engine. When the F9 CASSIOPE upper stage failed a re-ignition test after the satellite was deployed it took no time at all for the fix and the next S2 and all since have worked perfectly.

One notable SpaceX F9 1.0 rapid fix was when cracks were found in the upper stage engine nozzle for the COTS-1 Dragon mission. Enter Marty Anderson. Marty is an engineer at SpaceX, but Elon Musk describes him as more of an artist. The problem was that Marty hates to fly - he's afraid of heights. Marty decided to suppress his fears for the missions sake.

He flew in from California, scaled the Falcon 9 to a height of almost 110 feet using a crane, opened an access panel on the interstage (1st/2nd stage connector), climbed in and did surgery on the nozzle with a pair of tin snips, a ruler and blue masking tape - removing almost 4 feet of it. All of this was caught on mission cameras inside the interstage. He'll forever be known as "Blue Tape Guy."

F9 with Dragon launched successfully the next day. Industry "experts" almost fainted, but to line engineers (even at NASA) Marty is a hero.

saw.jpg

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AnotherITguy    162

wow the dude is inside the interstage, ftw!

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

*gasp* IMPROVISING?! ADAPTATION?! The nerve of some people! The horror!

 

Letting some heathen in a ball cap and a blue collar shirt repair work on defile such a delicately engineered piece of equipment!

 

Let's count the figures, shall we ...

 

- Crane rental ... $1,000 (plus or minus)

- Marty's wages ... $50.00 for the few hours it took

- Blue tape ... $8.00 at Lowe's

- Marty's Miller at the local pub when the job was done .. $2.25 + $0.10 deposit

- The look on the Government-Paid Scientists/Engineers/Military Rocket Brain Trusts when Marty fixed the Rocket for TENTHS of a cent per dollar compared to their completely overblown and outrageous fees ... PRICELESS.

 

:D

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DocM    16,615

Don't forget the cost of Marty's round trip plane ticket from LA ;)

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HawkMan    5,232

*gasp* IMPROVISING?! ADAPTATION?! The nerve of some people! The horror!

 

Letting some heathen in a ball cap and a blue collar shirt repair work on defile such a delicately engineered piece of equipment!

 

Let's count the figures, shall we ...

 

- Crane rental ... $1,000 (plus or minus)

- Marty's wages ... $50.00 for the few hours it took

- Blue tape ... $8.00 at Lowe's

- Marty's Miller at the local pub when the job was done .. $2.25 + $0.10 deposit

- The look on the Government-Paid Scientists/Engineers/Military Rocket Brain Trusts when Marty fixed the Rocket for TENTHS of a cent per dollar compared to their completely overblown and outrageous fees ... PRICELESS.

 

:D

 

I'm pretty sure Marty's wages are way beyond your estimates there :)

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

Ah, so I did. :p

 

It's still far cheaper than any "fix" NASA and the like could muster, and in far less time. More proof that SpaceX and the like are doing things right.

 

And yes, Marty likely makes more than that. :lol:

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DocM    16,615

That's the SpaceX culture. On their careers page they describe themselves with this, and they're looking for People with experience outside of aerospace; robotics, auto manufacturing, game programmers etc.

http://www.spacex.com/careers

WE ARE SPACEX

SpaceX is like Special Forces? we do the missions that others think are impossible. We have goals that are absurdly ambitious by any reasonable standard, but we?re going to make them happen. We have the potential here at SpaceX to have an incredible effect on the future of humanity and life itself.

? Elon Musk

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Unobscured Vision    2,678

So they are doing what NASA did in the 1960's -- doing the impossible -- only they're doing it within reasonable budgets and even more reasonable means, and with 3000% less bureaucracy.

 

I can dig it.

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