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selvaarchi
2015-Jan-10, 09:07 AM
Could not find a thread dedicated Space Launch System (SLS) so starting this one. The next major mile stone in it's development went successfully. That was the test firing of first RS-25 (unit E0525).

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/01/stennis-rs-25-return-sls-engine-firing/


NASA’s Stennis Space Center has test fired the first RS-25 (unit E0525) of the Space Launch System (SLS) era on Friday, marking the beginning of a new career for the famous engine. Four of the former Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME) are set to power each SLS during the ride to orbit, opening with Exploration Mission -1 (EM-1) in mid-2018.

NEOWatcher
2015-Jan-10, 06:18 PM
Could not find a thread dedicated Space Launch System (SLS) so starting this one.
Actually there was, but it was before approval and full of debate of whether it would happen. But; years later (in 2014), was bumped with a post about approval (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?118072-NASA-s-sluggishness-This-is-a-thread-dedicated-to-the-SLS&p=2224708#post2224708).
Since now it's a go, I think a fresh thread on its development without the debate is appropriate.


The one question I have is that they mention a new adapter for the test stand. The A-1 stand used to be used for a variant of that engine before. So; is the old adapter just plain too old, already discarded, or are there some other testing or engine conditions the old one couldn't handle?

NEOWatcher
2015-Jan-26, 07:15 PM
I guess nobody has an answer to my question.

Along with that, I seem to not be getting any response to my booster question I posted on a UT thread (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?155406-NASA-Marching-Towards-Milestone-Test-Firing-of-Space-Launch-System-Booster).

spjung
2015-Feb-02, 10:50 PM
Actually there was, but it was before approval and full of debate of whether it would happen. But; years later (in 2014), was bumped with a post about approval (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?118072-NASA-s-sluggishness-This-is-a-thread-dedicated-to-the-SLS&p=2224708#post2224708).
Since now it's a go, I think a fresh thread on its development without the debate is appropriate.


The one question I have is that they mention a new adapter for the test stand. The A-1 stand used to be used for a variant of that engine before. So; is the old adapter just plain too old, already discarded, or are there some other testing or engine conditions the old one couldn't handle?


I guess nobody has an answer to my question.

Along with that, I seem to not be getting any response to my booster question I posted on a UT thread (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?155406-NASA-Marching-Towards-Milestone-Test-Firing-of-Space-Launch-System-Booster).
According to the article and this one (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/06/engines-refused-retire-rs-25s-prepare-sls-testing/), an new adapter is needed for each rocket engine. The RS-25 engines for the SLS are about 80% more powerful than the J-2X engines that were previously tested. Does that answer your question?

NEOWatcher
2015-Feb-02, 11:03 PM
According to the article and this one (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/06/engines-refused-retire-rs-25s-prepare-sls-testing/), an new adapter is needed for each rocket engine. The RS-25 engines for the SLS are about 80% more powerful than the J-2X engines that were previously tested. Does that answer your question?
No, because before the J-2 engines, they were testing the RS-25.
Now; I know that the new engines will be a modified version of the SSME RS-25s, but I don't know what that is either. I saw references to say that it was modified for one-time use. But; that doesn't say much.
Although, this article talks about a lot of welding needed. Maybe the adapters just can't be saved from one engine to another.

spjung
2015-Feb-04, 10:59 PM
No, because before the J-2 engines, they were testing the RS-25.
Now; I know that the new engines will be a modified version of the SSME RS-25s, but I don't know what that is either. I saw references to say that it was modified for one-time use. But; that doesn't say much.
Although, this article talks about a lot of welding needed. Maybe the adapters just can't be saved from one engine to another.Ok, now I think I understand. NASA last tested an RS-25 in 2009, so maybe the old adapter was discarded or it was too worn out/too old to be reused. They still have 15 old engines that they're planning on using for the SLS. Then later they're going to build new engines designed for single-use.

NEOWatcher
2015-Feb-04, 11:22 PM
I think I narrowed it down.
The RS-25E is more powerful, and I found the following quote in one article

The A-1 stand is currently undergoing modifications to accommodate the RS-25 engine and the new SLS conditions.
So; it could be for the above reasons, but the quote also makes me think that they needed a bit more structure than the RS-25Ds anyway.

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-07, 09:20 AM
Questions on safety of flying astronauts on the system in 2021.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/02/06/sls-orion-risk/#more-54531


ASAP also expressed concerns about the risks to crew members on the first crewed flight of Orion scheduled for 2021. The report noted that Exploration Mission 2 (EM-2)

will be the first full-up flight test of the new upper stage rocket motor as well as several critical life-support systems, including the Pressure Control System, the Air Revitalization System, and the Fire Detection and Suppression system. NASA has an extensive ground and flight test program planned to exercise these systems extensively before this flight test and to verify their design features. Included in this test program will be microgravity exposure on the ISS.

However, NASA should give careful consideration to the unknowns that may be detected only by actual flight test of safety-critical Orion systems before exposing crew to the flight test regime. If NASA does indeed decide to fly crew on EM-2, the Panel urges NASA to be transparent with all stakeholders and the public on the risks involved, including the rationale supporting why crew are needed on this mission.

ASAP noted that overall risks in programs are higher during early flights than they are over the course of a program. For example, in the space shuttle program

actual risk during early flights was as much as 10 to 100 times greater than the analyses indicated. Early Shuttle astronauts actually faced a 1 in 10 probability of catastrophe on each flight rather than the 1 in 1,000 probability that some analyses had indicated….

Because the perception of external stakeholders is vitally important, NASA’s Office of Communications must be cautious not to create or reinforce inaccurate perceptions of risk….

NEOWatcher
2015-Feb-07, 03:58 PM
So they are concerned. Don't they think NASA is concerned?
Historically;
NASA's manned craft have never had a flight death in any of their programs until STS-51 which was already well into it's program.
In fact, dangers to the astronauts on the ground have been just as deadly as in flight. An equal amount of astronauts died on the ground as in flight, and that was only in two flight accidents.

publiusr
2015-Feb-07, 08:46 PM
With an asteroid, you don't have to land, just "dock."

So starting out with an asteroid and getting used to 'deep space" before a landing makes sense.

I keep hoping J-2 will be used--but as upper stages of course.

The low density high volume LH2 makes for a bigger rocket than falcon Heavy--and that translates into a larger shroud potentially.

Both payload and mass constraints limited the size of Mars rovers.

One launched atop SLS should be very capable.

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-08, 02:49 PM
SLS is huge be any standards. So the infrastructure to support it will also be huge. One example is the barge required to transport it.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/02/super-sizing-pegasus-sls-core-transport/


The famous Pegasus Barge is nearing the end of its jumboisation phase, as work continues to prepare it for a role in transporting the massive Space Launch System (SLS) stages from their birth place the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF). The upgraded Pegasus is set to transport the first major SLS hardware from New Orleans to the Stennis Space Center for testing as early as next year.


One more example - this time work on Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/02/pad-39b-new-flame-deflector-trench-upgrade/


One of the final upgrades to Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B will begin in earnest, following a deal between the Kennedy’s Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program and J. P. Donovan Construction. The contract for a new Flame Deflector and associated Flame Trench work is required to help the pad deal with the immense thrust of the Space Launch System (SLS).

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-11, 10:13 AM
Another small step in getting SLS ready for launch completed successfully.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Eruptions_Evicted_Anti_geyser_Testing_Completed_fo r_SLS_Liquid_Oxygen_Tank_999.html


Goodbye, geysers! NASA engineers have successfully finished anti-geyser testing for the liquid oxygen tank that will help fuel the agency's new rocket, the Space Launch System, on the journey to Mars.

More than 120 hours of anti-geyser testing have been completed on a full-scale, 40-foot replica of the SLS liquid oxygen tank feed system -- which will be housed in the rocket's core stage -- at one of the test stands at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.5 feet, will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle's RS-25 engines.

"Geysering occurs when heat enters the liquid oxygen feed system, causing the liquid to boil and form large oxygen gas bubbles that rapidly expel," said Chad Bryant, propulsion manager in the Stages Office at Marshall, where the SLS Program is managed for the agency.

"This rapid expulsion of boiling liquid can momentarily displace large volumes of heavy liquid that crash back down, causing a damaging hammer effect on the system.

"One of the largest risks with a liquid oxygen feed system of this scale is the potential of creating a geyser -- that's why this kind of testing is so important," he added. "This gives us the confidence that the operations we have in place for propellant loading, conditioning and draining will successfully suppress geysers in the system during flight vehicle operations."

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-17, 02:54 AM
Super Crawler CT-2 preparing for a test run to Pad 39B

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/02/super-crawler-test-run-pad-39b/


NASA’s Crawler Transporter -2 (CT-2) is scheduled to be taken for a “quick” spin to Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) this week, testing its latest modifications ahead of an active role with the Space Launch System (SLS). Both of NASA’s iconic Crawlers are being re-purposed for SLS, following their previous roles with the Saturn rocket and the Space Shuttle.

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-22, 01:23 AM
Here is one more proposal for SLS and Orion. Astronauts in Orion would control robotic missions on the moon.

https://eos.org/features/human-robotic-missions-moon-beyond


Burns et al. [2013] outlined a plan to deploy robotic vehicles—a Moon lander—to Schrödinger basin that could be operated remotely by a crew in the Orion spacecraft. In this plan, Orion would hover above the Moon’s farside around Earth–Moon Lagrange position L2.

Candidate landing sites with traverses, along which a rover would collect samples and return them to the ascent vehicle, have already been identified [Potts et al., 2015]. This vehicle would then rendezvous with Orion so that crew could return the samples to Earth.

This mission would present technical challenges that scientists and engineers will need to solve as part of the redevelopment and expansion of capabilities to explore beyond low-Earth orbit. It would also demonstrate Orion’s capabilities to conduct long-duration operations, traveling 15% farther than Apollo and spending three times longer in deep space. It would practice teleoperation of rovers, which is an anticipated skill for future missions to Mars. It would also simultaneously address a majority of the NRC [2007] science objectives.

This mission or a similar one could deploy an astrophysical observatory, another high-priority NRC [2010] objective, and a communications satellite for future robotic and human missions. Joint scientific and engineering studies continue with the hope that this integrated robotic and human mission will be the first of many milestones that enhance our ability to explore space.

NEOWatcher
2015-Feb-22, 01:47 PM
Here is one more proposal for SLS and Orion. Astronauts in Orion would control robotic missions on the moon.
I don't see it happening anywhere in the foreseeable future. NASA already has a long term plan for Orion and it doesn't include such moon research.
Besides, I see nothing here but a study, and not a proposal.

I also don't see why the cost of a human mission is an advantage over purely robotic ones. The communication delay from Earth is already short and for sample return, you don't need such an advanced re-entry craft.

Other countries are demonstrating that this kind of moon research does not need humans.

cjameshuff
2015-Feb-22, 02:23 PM
I also don't see why the cost of a human mission is an advantage over purely robotic ones. The communication delay from Earth is already short and for sample return, you don't need such an advanced re-entry craft.

This reminds me of the earliest concepts for communications satellites...manned space stations with crews to flip switches, replace burned out tubes, etc.

It's hard enough to justify for Mars, with its much larger delays. Robotics on the moon can be operated in near-realtime from Earth...this proposal has much of the costs and risks involved with actually sending people to the surface, without achieving any of the benefits of doing so. The manned element is included purely for the sake of having a manned element. The crew of a manned mission should be workers augmenting the work of the robots, not...mascots doing expensive and unnecessary stunts.

Garrison
2015-Feb-22, 08:31 PM
I don't see it happening anywhere in the foreseeable future. NASA already has a long term plan for Orion and it doesn't include such moon research.
Besides, I see nothing here but a study, and not a proposal.



What plan? after the manned test flight there's nothing but vague suggestions.

publiusr
2015-Feb-22, 09:22 PM
Nothing vague at all--it has been looked at before: http://area3.org/a/ares-v-application-to-solar-system-scientific-exploration-ebook-e66.html

With R-7 the payloads had to wait for the rocket.

I'd like to see JPL quit trying to kill SLS and design some Mars rovers to go atop it--something that could circumnavigate Mars, be large enough to roll over most obstacles, as explained here:
http://www.wired.com/2014/02/mars-roversample-return-pre-phase-1988/

Donna Pivirotto, MRSR Rover manager at JPL...lamented that “large ‘Godzilla’ rovers which simply roll over all obstacles would be precluded by launch vehicle mass and volume constraints."

Those constraints have been done away with. Delta II was a crutch. A cheap crutch--but a crutch all the same.

http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?149200-NASA-and-Private-Industry-Space-Exploration&p=2195851#post2195851

Attempts to ignore or undermine SLS are counter-productive.

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-23, 01:07 AM
I don't see it happening anywhere in the foreseeable future. NASA already has a long term plan for Orion and it doesn't include such moon research.
Besides, I see nothing here but a study, and not a proposal.

I also don't see why the cost of a human mission is an advantage over purely robotic ones. The communication delay from Earth is already short and for sample return, you don't need such an advanced re-entry craft.

Other countries are demonstrating that this kind of moon research does not need humans.
Do not write off ideas so easily.

Remember that NASA has signed on three companies to develop moon landers. Also NASA'S plan is to send Orion in the early 2020s with crew around the moon and bring them back to earth.

Combining the two together, you just might get what the article was saying.

selvaarchi
2015-Feb-23, 11:54 AM
Next big test for SLS is on March 11.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/02/advanced-boosters-towards-solid-future-sls/


The previously delayed QM-1 test firing now remains on track for March 11, still well within the critical path schedule for the debut launch of SLS in 2018.

The five segment version is a direct descendant of the four segment motor that pushed Space Shuttles through their first stage flight – boosters that were continually upgraded and improved right through to their final mission with STS-135.

With the QM-1 motor now anchored into the ground at Orbital ATK’s test facility in Promontory, Utah – preparations for its big, noisy day included final checks on the flight-like avionics system that will be tested during the firing.

While the test will produce a huge amount of data on the booster’s performance, the validation of the avionics system – responsible for igniting, steering and jettison of the boosters – will be critical.

“We are designing a system for a human-rated vehicle that has to be at a minimum single-fault tolerant, which means no one failure on a critical system can result in a big problem for the mission,” noted Eric Corder, avionics system manager for the SLS Booster Element at MSFC.

“We don’t want the rocket to just operate the way it’s supposed to. Our team intentionally implements failure scenarios to the electronics to make sure, for example, a shorted circuit or faulty box doesn’t compromise mission success. That’s even an issue that may have a one-in-10,000 chance of occurring.”

NEOWatcher
2015-Mar-12, 06:19 PM
Although UT is part of the board, I figured it would be good to reference it "for the record" on the thread.
Test successful (http://www.universetoday.com/119320/most-powerful-solid-rocket-booster-ignites-in-milestone-test-propelling-nasa-on-path-to-deep-space/)
Now we wait a year for the cold condition test. One that I think has less confidence (if only by a virtually undetectable margin).

Glom
2015-Mar-12, 11:33 PM
If only development was progressing as fast as the booster will travel.

publiusr
2015-Mar-15, 07:54 PM
Well, folks have been calling for shuttle derived heavy lift for many years--the requests falling on deaf ears until now. What with all the hostility--I'd say they are going gangbusters.

It is ahead of Ares I of course--and in many ways is just a scaled up hydrolox Atlas, minus the balloon tank. This could well be a stage and a half system--with perhaps the main body placed in orbit--an even larger version of Atlas Score.

selvaarchi
2015-Mar-27, 10:11 AM
The latest audit of the infrastructure to support SLS and Orion has flagged some concerns on the timing of the 3 projects and coordination between them.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/03/26/nasa-audit-raises-concerns-slsorion-infrastructure-development/#more-54954

NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has found that while NASA has been making steady progress on rebuilding Kennedy Space Center’s infrastructure for the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion, the agency is facing significant challenges in completing the work in time for a planned November 2018 launch.
“For the most part, these challenges originate from interdependencies between the GSDO, SLS, and Orion Programs, the report reads, referring to the Ground Systems Development and Operations program. “In short, GSDO cannot finalize and complete its requirements without substantial input from the other two Programs, and NASA is still finalizing the requirements for those Programs.”

selvaarchi
2015-Apr-06, 11:15 AM
NASA reveals its most powerful rocket launcher ever

http://zeenews.india.com/news/sci-tech/nasa-reveals-its-most-powerful-rocket-launcher-ever_1574066.html


The secondary payloads are Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout, Lunar Flashlight and BioSentinel.

NEA Scout, using solar sail propulsion, will fly by a small asteroid, taking pictures and making observations that will enhance the current understanding of an the asteroid environment and will yield key information for future astronauts exploring an asteroid.

NASA’s Lunar Flashlight will scout for locations on the lunar surface that are rich in resources that, once broken down into their component molecules, could be used in future exploration, such as building materials, propellant, oxygen and water.

The BioSentinel mission will be the first time living organisms have traveled to deep space in over 40 years and the spacecraft will operate in the deep space radiation environment throughout its 18-month mission.

NEOWatcher
2015-Apr-06, 03:47 PM
Reveal?
SLS has been very well known for quite some time. What's revealed here is the secondary payload for it's maiden voyage.

publiusr
2015-Apr-18, 06:20 PM
Take a look at some of the quotes from here: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2726/1

The workshop, funded by The Planetary Society, is an indication that the organization best known for lobbying for robotic space exploration plans to take a bigger role in human spaceflight. “I’m excited to say that we’re re-engaging with the human spaceflight community:”That includes, he said, supporting the SLS, a launch vehicle that remains controversial in some parts of the space community. “When I first took the job [of Planetary Society CEO], I was under a lot of pressure to criticize the Space Launch System,” he said. “But it’s in the works, and the people doing it seem to know what they’re doing, and it really would be a great thing.”

So even Bill Nye and The Planetary Society have--at last--come around.

Nye said. “I say this about The Planetary Society, you guys: we are not crazy. We are not pie-in-the-sky people,” said Nye.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37254.0
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2725/1


Some more links--about NextStep:
http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/04/nasa-space-habitat-nextstep-is-to-get.html
http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/04/nasa-funds-nextstep-deep-space.html

Quote from Gary Church:

NewSpace proponents commonly libel the SLS as the “rocket to nowhere” while their favorite conveyance is actually the inferior lift vehicle. The SLS can deliver worthwhile payloads across cislunar space into lunar orbit. These payloads, in my view, are the building blocks of the next space age. Upper stage wet workshops and semi-expendable robot landers can be used to provide a true space station, shielded from space radiation generated by the worst possible solar events. The robots can land on ice deposits and take off with a load of harvested water, then transfer the water to workshops in lunar orbit- repeatedly. When this scenario is considered, it is the ISS that is a “space station to nowhere.” By adding a propulsion system to these fully shielded lunar space stations they become spaceships- quite unlike the ISS.

http://www.americaspace.com/?p=79541

selvaarchi
2015-Jul-01, 02:35 PM
So they are concerned. Don't they think NASA is concerned?
Historically;
NASA's manned craft have never had a flight death in any of their programs until STS-51 which was already well into it's program.
In fact, dangers to the astronauts on the ground have been just as deadly as in flight. An equal amount of astronauts died on the ground as in flight, and that was only in two flight accidents.

We discussed that in February Post #8 & #9 and here we are in July and that is still a concern. This time with $$$ on the table. To make the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion System (ICPS) for SLS human rated, they will have to spend US150 million. Only to throw it all away after Exploration Mission -2. Now questions are being asked, why not go straight to Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) and save the money.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/06/nasa-resolve-sls-upper-stage-dilemma/


NASA officials have admitted the interim Upper Stage for the Space Launch System is at the top of their “worry list”, as the Agency’s key advisory group insists NASA should make a decision about bringing the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) online sooner. The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) fears NASA is at risk of wasting $150m on an Upper Stage they intend to “toss away”.

selvaarchi
2015-Sep-26, 01:47 PM
We discussed that in February Post #8 & #9 and here we are in July and that is still a concern. This time with $$$ on the table. To make the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion System (ICPS) for SLS human rated, they will have to spend US150 million. Only to throw it all away after Exploration Mission -2. Now questions are being asked, why not go straight to Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) and save the money.

We discussed this back in July. Now with Exploration Mission -2 most likely delayed by 2 years to 2023. Why not delay Exploration Mission -1 to include the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage (EUS).

publiusr
2015-Sep-26, 06:07 PM
That's the no-later than. The Delta IV upper stage is enough for circumlunar missions for now. All this just takes time. As it stands, SLS will be flying before any CZ-9 or BFR.

It looks like solar electric will be the path to Mars:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/09/nasa-considers-sls-launch-sequence-mars-missions-2030s/
http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/09/new-ion-drive-achieves-14600-isp-which.html

Phobos mission http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/09/sls-manifest-phobos-mars-2039/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNmXSsuf-KQ

That's 28 years or less to Mars--not bad--and using current tech.

Some musings from the web on Heavy Lift:

"Another factor was that for an EELV class launch a spacecraft bound for Europa would need at least one Venus flyby. That would mean added thermal shielding and control. It has been done in the past with Cassini and Galileo. Making a spacecraft that will spend most of its life in the cold outer solar system able to hang out that close to the sun introduced design complexity and cost. A spacecraft near Venus would get almost twice the solar heat as one near Earth, and 52 times what it would receive at Jupiter."

"Solar Probe Plus is $389 million. And even with a Delta 4-Heavy launch the mission will need seven flybys of Venus!?! Has anyone explored what SLS with an EUS could do to improve that? It's just a hypothetical... but an interesting one nonetheless."

It's coming guys. Despite the naysayers who have done their dead-level best to kill SLS---no thanks to them.

Now, were it up to me, SLS would be the **smallest** LV in America's stable of rockets:

“Exploration-Class Rocket: A human-rated system with LEO throw-mass on the order of 200 mt, designed purposely for extremely high reliability and minimum operations cost, rather than being sized directly by an architecture that may change later,” noted the presentation. “200 mt, sized by ‘knee in the curve’ of LV economics. Not driven by the architecture de jour.”

"No specific designs are included in the presentation, with a Saturn V schematic shown next to the 200mt references. However, such a vehicle would likely to be a three stage Ares V type heavy lifter."

Ares V would have been the SSC to SLS' Large Hadron.

But SLS is what is on the table.

Still, after it flies another 30 or forty years (assuming I'm still alive) I will be pushing for Sea Dragon http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=9733.msg1429310#msg1429310

In the mean time, all who suggest Medium lift EELV class rockets or winged reusable craft (seeing how ho-hum Titans and the STS hobbled us in LEO for the 30 years we could have been on Mars) should be tied to the base of static test stands...

NEOWatcher
2015-Sep-26, 09:24 PM
We discussed this back in July. Now with Exploration Mission -2 most likely delayed by 2 years to 2023. Why not delay Exploration Mission -1 to include the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage (EUS).
In short: Budgets, schedules and funding (http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/09/08/decision-looms-on-when-to-introduce-new-sls-upper-stage/).

Since theres still a chance that Orion may be on schedule, we could still see a launch in 2021.
The current funding levels of SLS do not permit the EUS being completed by 2021 (let alone for EM-1). So; it's still up in the air if EUS can still be ready for EM-2 even if EM-2 is delayed.

selvaarchi
2015-Sep-27, 02:26 AM
In short: Budgets, schedules and funding (http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/09/08/decision-looms-on-when-to-introduce-new-sls-upper-stage/).

Since theres still a chance that Orion may be on schedule, we could still see a launch in 2021.
The current funding levels of SLS do not permit the EUS being completed by 2021 (let alone for EM-1). So; it's still up in the air if EUS can still be ready for EM-2 even if EM-2 is delayed.

I may have it wrong but I read it as EM-2 will be using the more powerful EUS. That is why they have to spend an extra US150 million to human rate it.

NEOWatcher
2015-Sep-27, 10:31 PM
I may have it wrong but I read it as EM-2 will be using the more powerful EUS. That is why they have to spend an extra US150 million to human rate it.
It's their goal, but it's not definite.
Right now, the budget by the White House is half a billion dollars less than what's needed to make the 2021 goal.

selvaarchi
2015-Sep-28, 02:21 AM
It's their goal, but it's not definite.
Right now, the budget by the White House is half a billion dollars less than what's needed to make the 2021 goal.

You sure as in post #8 I had the following -

"SAP also expressed concerns about the risks to crew members on the first crewed flight of Orion scheduled for 2021. The report noted that Exploration Mission 2 (EM-2) will be the first full-up flight test of the new upper stage rocket motor as well as several critical life-support systems, including the Pressure Control System, the Air Revitalization System, and the Fire Detection and Suppression system. NASA has an extensive ground and flight test program planned to exercise these systems extensively before this flight test and to verify their design features. Included in this test program will be microgravity exposure on the ISS."

NEOWatcher
2015-Sep-28, 01:00 PM
You sure as in post #8 I had the following -
Did you read the entire story I posted.
The House and Senate bills were $1.85B and $1.9B, It got whittled down to $1.3B. The article in post#8 was long before all this happened. Back then, they expected to have the funds. Now it looks like they won't.

Things change.

selvaarchi
2015-Sep-28, 01:27 PM
Did you read the entire story I posted.
The House and Senate bills were $1.85B and $1.9B, It got whittled down to $1.3B. The article in post#8 was long before all this happened. Back then, they expected to have the funds. Now it looks like they won't.

Things change.

OK I get it. It is $1.13B (same as 2015) budget unless the Republicans can agree to a new 2016 budget that the president can live with:(

NEOWatcher
2015-Sep-28, 02:39 PM
Another thing that might throw a wrench in the schedule is the development of an adapter.

NASA is looking for a universal stage adapter (USA) (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/08/usa-adapt-sls-additional-payloads/) and is still in the proposal stage. It could just be that they waited for (or are waiting for) final specs on the EUS. It probably isn't a major point, but it is another item to be developed.

They want to use this adapter for EUS right from the start.

publiusr
2015-Oct-02, 06:31 PM
Even with current budgets, if looks like SLS will play a part on an orbital Mars mission as outlined by The Planetary Society: http://hom.planetary.org/

This to me was even bigger news than the fifty-eleventh mention of water (brine) on Mars.

Several things make this potential telepresence orbital mission concept rather firm.

A.)The challenge of working with liquids in space (no depots for awhile). Perhaps some chemical element--but look for---

B) Knowledge of how to deploy/work with ISS scale solar panels (even better tech on the way: http://www.space-travel.com/reports/ATK_Completes_Validation_of_High_Power_MegaFlex_So lar_Array_for_NASAs_Next_Generation_Solar_Electric _Propulsion_SEP_Powered_Missions_999.html
---DAWN's success pointed the way. We just need to scale it up.
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Mars_and_Back_on_a_Tank_of_Gas_NASAs_Fuel_Efficien cy_Record_Smashed_999.html

C) Lastly--a big enough rocket to haul all of this in as few pieces as possible.

Thus SLS.

With that rocket nearing reality--the solar system will start to open for us. Like eventual trips to the Moon
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/604643main_2-Panel%202_Donahue_Final.pdf

publiusr
2015-Oct-16, 10:41 PM
An Open Letter to Carolyn Porco: How More Women In Mil-Space can advance Science
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Carolyn,

I have been a big fan of yours ever since you worked on J.J. Abrams new Star Trek movie. I loved your Wired article in favor of large rockets.
http://archive.wired.com/politics/law/magazine/16-10/sl_porco

Even Bill Nye has come around and he is no longer trying to get the Space Launch System (SLS) killed.

I think this launch vehicle will be vital to larger JIMO type probes needed to explore the outer solar system.

Sadly, many of the same male fan-boys who made your life miserable are also in the SLS bashing community.

I want to see more empowered women involved in space--and we may have a new friend in Deborah Lee James:

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/James_named_new_principal_DOD_space_advisor_999.ht ml
https://www.facebook.com/Deborah.Lee.James


This may be a somewhat odd request, but I'd like you to talk to her about getting the DoD to use the SLS.

Here is why:

One of the great uses of Heavy Lift Launch Vehicles (HLLVs) is the greater payload shroud diameter. Many want to see large radio telescope dishes--that would also be of use to those of us who want to communicate with probes farther afield.

Take these articles for example: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2007/25jun_l2/
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/20/opinion/20porco.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&

"missions for the Ares V range from a 150-meter-wide (492 ft) radio telescope dish to detect whispers from deep space."

SLS could be used for this, being a slightly smaller Ares V:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/orbital-atk-booster-production-sls-maiden-flight/

How to pay for this? A new space friendly DoD.

There was some talk awhile back about the need for Space-Based Radar. You remember the site nasaspaceflight, where commenter "Jim" was proved wrong by a Space News article I cited on the subject of Space based radar:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=sf32ckq4unru84hthv4jvibqj3&topic=5028.55;wap2

"Calculations showed that the radar antennas would need to be 300 metres long and up to 10 metres wide."

Sadly male bullies have come to dominate all talk on space:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-inexcusable-jingoism-of-american-spaceflight-rhetoric/

But you were very brave to enter into the Lion's den: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27703.msg849813#msg849813

Many dullards in DARPA/DoD/USAF have no use in SLS.

Indeed, the fighter-jock-ockracy that runs the Pentagon make us less safe by scriping on all matters regarding space, missiles, and rockets:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nuclear-missile-crews-burdened-by-old-phone-system/
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/whos-minding-the-nuclear-weapons/

There we learn this chilling fact: The former missileers told us that the missile corps has long been treated like the step child of the Air Force. Pilots get all the glory; missileers have fewer chances for advancement.

We now have a woman on the inside who can change all this.

Please consider reaching out to Deborah Lee James.

Space Based Radar can be vital in finding real threats, without pro-active war--and will allow larger structures in space the science community can also use.

Taxpayers deserve the most of their money. And with more women in the military, tax dollars can at last have positive uses.

Thank you for your time:

--signed, publius[/QUOTE]

publiusr
2015-Oct-31, 08:18 PM
More news
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/nasa-sls-milestones-converge-debut-flight/
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/10/orbital-atk-booster-production-sls-maiden-flight/

selvaarchi
2015-Nov-13, 09:01 AM
OK folks. NASA has been kind enough to give us a road map of the major hardware milestones in the development of SLS.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/road-em-1-nasa-hardware-milestones-sls-debut-flight/


With approximately three years to go before the inaugural flight of the Space Launch System rocket, NASA has developed the integrated mission milestone processing flow for the EM-1 flight. The flow, which outlines all the necessary hardware processing milestones to a 2018 inaugural flight of SLS, helps solidify SLS’s path toward launch, including the pad processing timeline once the first SLS rocket is fully integrated.

publiusr
2015-Nov-13, 11:10 PM
I think this rocket will fly before Falcon heavy does:

If has its own "boosters"
http://exploredeepspace.com/
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/blog-archive.html?keywords=sls

Bill Nye has come around and supports SLS now--which made Cowing turn against him at NASAWATCH.

Misc--nice rocket history course:
https://www.edx.org/course/goddard-apollo-history-rockets-part-1-ieeex-atg1-x# http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=38803.0

Space habitats http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/nasa-progress-habitat-development-deep-space-exploration/
Recall that it will take a Block I to launch Bigelow's largest--and most useful module.

Elevator doco http://spaceelevator.net/


In other news, MSFC's own Les Johnson is working on e-sails: http://www.space.com/31063-electric-sail-solar-wind-space-exploration.html https://www.nasa.gov/content/heliopause-electrostatic-rapid-transit-system-herts/#.VkZuBdKrS70

This is one one solar sail that actually does use the solar wind--as opposed to photon pressure:

"Over periods of months, this small force can accelerate the spacecraft to enormous speeds—on the order of 100-150 km/s (~ 20 to 30 AU/year). The proposed HERTS can provide the unique ability to explore the Heliopause and the extreme outer solar system on timescales of less than a decade. It is significantly more effective than any other near-to-mid-term propulsion system for deep space missions, meshes well with heliospheric science payloads, and could be implemented in the 2025-2030 timeframe."

selvaarchi
2015-Nov-28, 10:19 PM
When SLS flies in 2018, it will be taking along more than Orion.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/11/nasa-identifies-secondary-payloads-sls-em-1/


A major factor contributing to the decision to co-manifest small Cubesat payloads on the EM-1 (Exploration Mission -1) flight of SLS and Orion in 2018 stems from the identification of Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs) that need to/should be addressed prior to undertaking human missions into the inner solar system.

The SKGs identified by the Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate’s (HEOMD’s) Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division relate to “human health/performance in high-radiation environments, lunar resource potential, and human NEA mission target identification and interaction with NEA surface.”

Based on the identified SKGs, the HEOMD AES has chosen three concepts for further refinement toward inclusion on the EM-1 flight.

These three concepts include BioSential, Lunar Flashlight, and Near Earth Asteroid Scout.

All three were chosen from the same set of criteria: “Relevance to Space Exploration SKGs, life cycle cost, synergistic use of previously demonstrated technologies, and optimal use of available civil servant workforce.”

selvaarchi
2015-Nov-30, 12:33 PM
Flight plan of Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1).

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/The_Ins_and_Outs_of_NASAs_First_Launch_of_SLS_and_ Orion_999.html


"This is a mission that truly will do what hasn't been done and learn what isn't known," said Mike Sarafin, EM-1 mission manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "It will blaze a trail that people will follow on the next Orion flight, pushing the edges of the envelope to prepare for that mission."

SLS and Orion will blast off from Launch Complex 39B at NASA's modernized spaceport at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The spacecraft will deploy its solar arrays and the SLS upper stage, called the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS). This will give Orion the big push needed to leave Earth's orbit and travel toward the moon. From there, Orion will separate from the ICPS. The ICPS will then deploy a number of small satellites, known as CubeSats, to perform several experiments and technology demonstrations.

As Orion continues on its path from Earth orbit to the moon, it will be propelled by a service module provided by the European Space Agency, which will supply the spacecraft's main propulsion system and power (as well as house air and water for astronauts on future missions).

publiusr
2015-Dec-05, 06:22 PM
Here is a nice drawing of SLS
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=30673

Once that flies, one of the things I will do will be to call for even larger HLLVs, in the same way folks wanted post-Saturn NOVAs, http://www.astronautix.com/fam/nova.htm http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/mllv.htm

I think it is important to quickly make up ground that was lost due to shuttle.
What we could have had: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,9630.0.html

selvaarchi
2016-Jan-09, 09:43 AM
The article has Six Orion Milestones to Track in 2016 (http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Six_Orion_Milestones_to_Track_in_2016_999.html)


This year, engineers will make important progress developing and testing the Orion spacecraft that will send astronauts to deep space destinations on the journey to Mars. NASA will mark critical steps necessary in preparation for both the spacecraft's first mission to deep space atop the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and for future missions with astronauts. Here's a look at some of the significant milestones and testing set for 2016.

selvaarchi
2016-Jan-09, 11:50 AM
It's their goal, but it's not definite.
Right now, the budget by the White House is half a billion dollars less than what's needed to make the 2021 goal.

They got the money (http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2016/20160108-new-budget-bolsters-j2m.html):D


"Within amounts provided for SLS, the agreement provides no less than $85,000,000 for development of an enhanced upper stage that is intended to be the human-rated upper stage engine for Exploration Mission (EM) -2. NASA shall not expend funds human rating the interim cryogenic propulsion stage."

publiusr
2016-Jan-10, 08:40 PM
A lot of folks loved to say there would be no money for payloads.

A blatant falsehood on the part of the SLS-bashers. This Congress has proved it is willing to pay for payloads as well--like a legally mandated Europa lander.

Maybe some of the hostility will die off.

Shuttle-derived HLLV supporters have been on the outside looking in for some time--knowing that the greatest hazard would be in that making sure the same institutional inertia behind the lengthy shuttle-program went to SD/HLLV.

The locomotive seems to have not only left the station, but to have moved to another, solid track--despite Snidely Whiplash Cowing and others trying to de-rail her.

Over at nasaspaceflight--there is some information about engines that would have dwarfed the Saturn V's F-1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22068.msg1471218#msg1471218

The three engines to the right--24 million pounds of thrust--per engine!

This THIS is the direction we need to go. For far too long, we shoehorned our hopes and dreams into cramped Delta II shrouds.

Time to let the freak flag fly.

selvaarchi
2016-Jan-14, 11:51 AM
A lot of folks loved to say there would be no money for payloads.

A blatant falsehood on the part of the SLS-bashers. This Congress has proved it is willing to pay for payloads as well--like a legally mandated Europa lander.

Maybe some of the hostility will die off.

Shuttle-derived HLLV supporters have been on the outside looking in for some time--knowing that the greatest hazard would be in that making sure the same institutional inertia behind the lengthy shuttle-program went to SD/HLLV.

The locomotive seems to have not only left the station, but to have moved to another, solid track--despite Snidely Whiplash Cowing and others trying to de-rail her.

Over at nasaspaceflight--there is some information about engines that would have dwarfed the Saturn V's F-1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22068.msg1471218#msg1471218

The three engines to the right--24 million pounds of thrust--per engine!

This THIS is the direction we need to go. For far too long, we shoehorned our hopes and dreams into cramped Delta II shrouds.

Time to let the freak flag fly.

Maybe you jumped the gun as the latest report to come out pours cold water on some of the time lines. 1st is a report in Popular Science titled "NASA's Heavy Lift Rocket Is Plagued With Problems" (http://www.popsci.com/nasas-heavy-lift-rocket-plagued-with-problems). The information for the report was an “All-Hands” style meeting held in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Monday (http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/ksc-meeting-sls-scrambling-manifest-plan/). Lets us hope as the report hints, that SpaceX will come to the rescue.

Sardonicone
2016-Jan-15, 05:04 PM
A lot of folks loved to say there would be no money for payloads.

A blatant falsehood on the part of the SLS-bashers. This Congress has proved it is willing to pay for payloads as well--like a legally mandated Europa lander.

Maybe some of the hostility will die off.

Shuttle-derived HLLV supporters have been on the outside looking in for some time--knowing that the greatest hazard would be in that making sure the same institutional inertia behind the lengthy shuttle-program went to SD/HLLV.

The locomotive seems to have not only left the station, but to have moved to another, solid track--despite Snidely Whiplash Cowing and others trying to de-rail her.

Over at nasaspaceflight--there is some information about engines that would have dwarfed the Saturn V's F-1:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22068.msg1471218#msg1471218

The three engines to the right--24 million pounds of thrust--per engine!

This THIS is the direction we need to go. For far too long, we shoehorned our hopes and dreams into cramped Delta II shrouds.

Time to let the freak flag fly.

It's not about bashing about the SLS - it's about facts. It's largely a rocket to nowhere, and that's if it even comes to fruition. This comes down more
to being a policy issue than a rocket issue.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/12/10758110/nasa-ksc-meeting-sls-rocket-uncertain-launch-dates

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/ksc-meeting-sls-scrambling-manifest-plan/

http://www.examiner.com/article/what-is-behind-nasa-s-lack-of-a-space-launch-system-manifest

http://www.popsci.com/nasas-heavy-lift-rocket-plagued-with-problems

http://arstechnica.co.uk/science/2016/01/payload-concerns-high-costs-and-competiton-cloud-future-of-nasa-rocket/

That is nothing to say of the safety concerns swirling around the launch vehicle at this time as well.

These can't just be hand-waved away.

For the record, this isn't a battle over HLLV vs MLV. Not for me at least. Fact is we had this exact same discussion back in 2010 that we are having now
in regards to launch manifest and nothings changed.

publiusr
2016-Jan-16, 08:22 PM
Everything has changed--SLS keeps advancing despite the naysayers
That "Rocket to nowhere myth" is just that. Congress has proved it will fund payloads as well as the LV.

Now we need that penny for space--NASA still isn't getting enough--but that is no fault of any rocket.

Now let us take a look at the nasaspaceflight piece you site--and what you think is so damning:

"NASA will require a large influx of money to fund payloads that will allow SLS to achieve such a goal, a requirement that could prove to be unsavory at best for a new administration."

That's a big if

No one said space is cheap Saturn Apollo was the same way. Good things so called space advocates didn't try to kill that like they do Orion/SLS

But look at the other article just above:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/u-s-presidential-candidates-space-program/

Ted Cruz
While going on record in an interview last year with the Houston Chronicle he confirmed that he is a supporter of SLS and Orion, calling them “critical to our medium- and long-term ability to explore space,”

Even Bernie said “But, in general, I do support increasing funding for NASA.”

Hillary worries me--but the trend is to support space funding
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/inside-nasa-s-new-18-billion-deep-space-rocket/

One of the things I see may even be a thawing of the DoD with regards to their stance on smallsats

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Space_Protection___A_Financial_Primer_999.html

resiliency looks to replace disaggregation.

As for the Ars techina article-- and the talk about preserving jobs.

My response is good. Those jobs ought to be preserved. SLS is nothing like the cost to taxpayers of F-35. The reason we have twoo EELVs was to keep capability. The two providers became ULA--and now we have Musk.

Now imagine if the EELVs (not my favorite rockets, I know) had been axed--and everything privatized--and Elon's 2008 year of misery had been worse.

There goes all your in-house infrastructure.

You don't kill off the Army Corp of Engineers so give Haliburton everything.

Same here.

A lot of things are changing. China looks to embrace HLVs:
http://www.space-travel.com/reports/Lunar_mission_moves_a_step_closer_999.html

They wisely ignore the naysayers we have who want to destroy the infrastructure of mainstream American spaceflight I call that lot villains.

NASA still bullish about Mars
https://thespacereporter.com/2015/11/nasa-remains-optimistic-landing-first-humans-mars/

Seeing how much folks hate this rocket--I think it needs a new "nick"name.

The SABAN LAUNCH SYSTEM
It just keeps powering on--despite all the haters.

Garrison
2016-Jan-17, 01:27 PM
It's not about bashing about the SLS - it's about facts. It's largely a rocket to nowhere, and that's if it even comes to fruition. This comes down more
to being a policy issue than a rocket issue.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/12/10758110/nasa-ksc-meeting-sls-rocket-uncertain-launch-dates

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/01/ksc-meeting-sls-scrambling-manifest-plan/

http://www.examiner.com/article/what-is-behind-nasa-s-lack-of-a-space-launch-system-manifest

http://www.popsci.com/nasas-heavy-lift-rocket-plagued-with-problems

http://arstechnica.co.uk/science/2016/01/payload-concerns-high-costs-and-competiton-cloud-future-of-nasa-rocket/

That is nothing to say of the safety concerns swirling around the launch vehicle at this time as well.

These can't just be hand-waved away.

For the record, this isn't a battle over HLLV vs MLV. Not for me at least. Fact is we had this exact same discussion back in 2010 that we are having now
in regards to launch manifest and nothings changed.

Exactly the plans for this rocket still haven't gotten past 'something, something, land on Mars' stage after the better part of 5 years. Even if the SLS does survive the next Presidential elecention cycle(and past events suggest that's quite a big if) it's going to be operationally hugely expensive, just how many 70 tonne payloads are there going to be?

cjameshuff
2016-Jan-17, 01:48 PM
Exactly the plans for this rocket still haven't gotten past 'something, something, land on Mars' stage after the better part of 5 years. Even if the SLS does survive the next Presidential elecention cycle(and past events suggest that's quite a big if) it's going to be operationally hugely expensive, just how many 70 tonne payloads are there going to be?

One. An empty Orion on a loop around the moon. The Block 1 SLS that is hoped to launch in 2018 is only half a rocket, the second stage is a modified Delta IV upper stage, and SLS-1/EM-1 is the only mission that will use that configuration. The real thing (the 105 t Block 1B) isn't to launch until 2021 at the earliest, and doesn't look like it's going to meet that schedule. (And it's to carry humans on its first flight...on a flight around the moon where they don't do anything of significance. Yay.)

selvaarchi
2016-Jan-17, 02:19 PM
One. An empty Orion on a loop around the moon. The Block 1 SLS that is hoped to launch in 2018 is only half a rocket, the second stage is a modified Delta IV upper stage, and SLS-1/EM-1 is the only mission that will use that configuration. The real thing (the 105 t Block 1B) isn't to launch until 2021 at the earliest, and doesn't look like it's going to meet that schedule. (And it's to carry humans on its first flight...on a flight around the moon where they don't do anything of significance. Yay.)

And what will the Falcon Heavy be doing then with Dragon? They might beat NASA and China for a manned flight around the moon:D

publiusr
2016-Jan-17, 08:37 PM
The Block one is to be replaced by the true 105 ton HLV Block 1B.

70 tons would allow a single launch JIMO to be shoved out of the gravity well before you pull the rods, or launch the largest Bigelow module.

The two views--boiled down--amount to this--to use a nasaspaceflight.com quote:

"So, to summarize: the pro-SLS crowd tout about its technological maturity and relatively imminent availability, even if there aren't that many payloads currently available. The anti-SLS say that since its not going to be available that soon, it doesn't have loads and it is not the bleeding edge of technology anyway, let's just abandon it as it is, adopt an exploration architecture based on Falcon Heavy and if we need something really heavy let's just wait for the BFR."

To me, the second of those two religions is very damaging--since that crowd's arguement can be reduced even farther.

NASA needs to kill SLS
Why?
Because you can't trust gov't to finish anything.

?

Chris Bergin himself even chimed in:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39300.msg1477839#msg1477839

"You can be absolutely sure SpaceX won't progress past satellite launches at any pace without NASA. In fact, they might not even be doing that without NASA. Don't trust me, trust Elon and Gwynne on that. They make a point about NASA in nearly every presser."

"So the 'kill NASA and give it all to SpaceX' crowd are incredibly misinformed. Sure, some of it is lobbyists with personal and professional agendas under the "fiscal responsibility" banner where they think they will be able to clear national debt by killing an agency that gets 0.4 percent of the budget yet generates everything you get from NASA, which is vast, yet don't say boo to a goose when many more billions gets wasted on FAR LESS worthy projects."

"If anything the problem is NASA is so useful it has been utilized into working on too many things, meaning the funding is stretched. It needs focus on what it's best known at achieving and gained the public imagination - and that's space exploration."


Another nice quote:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39300.msg1477732#msg1477732

Last but not least (from the previous page):

************************************************** ************************************************** *******************************

It was estimated that constructing the ISS would take 40 assembly flights. Falcon 9 launches cost $61.2 million so repeating that would cost 40 * $61,200,000 = $2,448,000,000

More flights would be needed because the Falcon 9's payload is 13.1 mT against the Shuttles 27.5 mT. In addition the construction astronauts will have to go on separate flights.

To construct a 130 metric ton (mT = tonne) space station

SLS
===

1 off SLS at about $1.5 billion a launch to launch the spacestation to LEO
Say 2 off Manned Dragon flights at about $160 million each to unpack and commission the spacestation

1,500 million + (2 * 160 million) = $1,820 million

Falcon 9
======

The Falcon 9 can lift 13.1 mT but the Dragon only berth 3.3 mT, so split into 10 mT for the spacestation and 3 mT of propellant for the construction tug. An extra flight to launch the construction tug. The BEAM showed that Common Berthing Modules (CBM) cost $2 million each, with one on each end of the module an extra 20-25 CBM will be needed. ISS construction techniques imply a manned flight is needed for every module.

Approx number of modules 130 mT / 10 mT = 13 modules

Launch cost = 13 * ( $51.2 million + $160 million) + $51.2 million = $2,796.8 million

The cost of the tug and the mission control costs of ~27 flights have not been included.

Neither price includes the cost of purchasing or leasing the spacestation.


Since $1.82 billion is less than $2.79 billion constructing this hypothetical spacestation using the SLS is likely to be cheaper.


The superior hammerhead shroud of SLS (due to high volume hydrogen--that no SpaceX craft will carry) allows larger shrouds and BEO upper stages for better specific impulse.


So maybe we can put all this SLS hate to bed at last.

selvaarchi
2016-Jan-17, 09:14 PM
The Block one is to be replaced by the true 105 ton HLV Block 1B.

70 tons would allow a single launch JIMO to be shoved out of the gravity well before you pull the rods, or launch the largest Bigelow module.

The two views--boiled down--amount to this--to use a nasaspaceflight.com quote:

"So, to summarize: the pro-SLS crowd tout about its technological maturity and relatively imminent availability, even if there aren't that many payloads currently available. The anti-SLS say that since its not going to be available that soon, it doesn't have loads and it is not the bleeding edge of technology anyway, let's just abandon it as it is, adopt an exploration architecture based on Falcon Heavy and if we need something really heavy let's just wait for the BFR."

To me, the second of those two religions is very damaging--since that crowd's arguement can be reduced even farther.

NASA needs to kill SLS
Why?
Because you can't trust gov't to finish anything.

?

Chris Bergin himself even chimed in:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39300.msg1477839#msg1477839

"You can be absolutely sure SpaceX won't progress past satellite launches at any pace without NASA. In fact, they might not even be doing that without NASA. Don't trust me, trust Elon and Gwynne on that. They make a point about NASA in nearly every presser."

"So the 'kill NASA and give it all to SpaceX' crowd are incredibly misinformed. Sure, some of it is lobbyists with personal and professional agendas under the "fiscal responsibility" banner where they think they will be able to clear national debt by killing an agency that gets 0.4 percent of the budget yet generates everything you get from NASA, which is vast, yet don't say boo to a goose when many more billions gets wasted on FAR LESS worthy projects."

"If anything the problem is NASA is so useful it has been utilized into working on too many things, meaning the funding is stretched. It needs focus on what it's best known at achieving and gained the public imagination - and that's space exploration."


Another nice quote:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39300.msg1477732#msg1477732

Last but not least (from the previous page):

************************************************** ************************************************** *******************************

It was estimated that constructing the ISS would take 40 assembly flights. Falcon 9 launches cost $61.2 million so repeating that would cost 40 * $61,200,000 = $2,448,000,000

More flights would be needed because the Falcon 9's payload is 13.1 mT against the Shuttles 27.5 mT. In addition the construction astronauts will have to go on separate flights.

To construct a 130 metric ton (mT = tonne) space station

SLS
===

1 off SLS at about $1.5 billion a launch to launch the spacestation to LEO
Say 2 off Manned Dragon flights at about $160 million each to unpack and commission the spacestation

1,500 million + (2 * 160 million) = $1,820 million

Falcon 9
======

The Falcon 9 can lift 13.1 mT but the Dragon only berth 3.3 mT, so split into 10 mT for the spacestation and 3 mT of propellant for the construction tug. An extra flight to launch the construction tug. The BEAM showed that Common Berthing Modules (CBM) cost $2 million each, with one on each end of the module an extra 20-25 CBM will be needed. ISS construction techniques imply a manned flight is needed for every module.

Approx number of modules 130 mT / 10 mT = 13 modules

Launch cost = 13 * ( $51.2 million + $160 million) + $51.2 million = $2,796.8 million

The cost of the tug and the mission control costs of ~27 flights have not been included.

Neither price includes the cost of purchasing or leasing the spacestation.


Since $1.82 billion is less than $2.79 billion constructing this hypothetical spacestation using the SLS is likely to be cheaper.


The superior hammerhead shroud of SLS (due to high volume hydrogen--that no SpaceX craft will carry) allows larger shrouds and BEO upper stages for better specific impulse.


So maybe we can put all this SLS hate to bed at last.

Should you not be comparing it with Falcon Heavy that can put 53 metric tons into LEO?

publiusr
2016-Jan-17, 09:48 PM
That is assumed with cross-feeding. The 70-77 tons of SLS seem more solid.

If there is no cross-feeding--the FH may only give you 40--maybe even less if all three cores are re-used--instead of being burned to depletion.

I look at FH as an all hydrocarbon Delta IV. About the same payload shroud.

It isn't just mass you look for in a good HLV--its volume.

selvaarchi
2016-Feb-02, 10:42 PM
NASA has announced which are the lucky CubeSats that will hitch a ride on SLS Exploration Mission-1 in 2018.

http://www.popsci.com/meet-seven-amazingly-small-satellites-nasa-is-launching-in-2018


A few, including BioSentinel and LunaH-Map, already had a spot on Exploration Mission-1, but now it's official, and five other projects have gotten the green light as well:

Near Earth Asteroid Scout (NEAScout) is a reconnaissance CubeSat that is set to visit an asteroid;
Skyfire will map the lunar surface;
Lunar IceCube will look for more water on the moon;
CuSP is a “space weather station” that will be on the lookout for solar particles;
Lunar Flashlight will look for locations where there is enough ice on the moon to be of use to future crewed missions.

Sardonicone
2016-Feb-05, 01:55 PM
Speaking of funding missions -

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/space-experts-warn-congress-that-nasas-journey-to-mars-is-illusory/

selvaarchi
2016-Feb-05, 04:05 PM
Speaking of funding missions -

http://arstechnica.com/science/2016/02/space-experts-warn-congress-that-nasas-journey-to-mars-is-illusory/

Links to the full presentation by the three speakers is in the Asterioid Redirect Mission thread (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?150426-Asteroid-Redirect-Mission%94-%28ARM%29&p=2339618#post2339618)

selvaarchi
2016-Feb-19, 11:36 PM
In short: Budgets, schedules and funding (http://spaceflightnow.com/2015/09/08/decision-looms-on-when-to-introduce-new-sls-upper-stage/).

Since theres still a chance that Orion may be on schedule, we could still see a launch in 2021.
The current funding levels of SLS do not permit the EUS being completed by 2021 (let alone for EM-1). So; it's still up in the air if EUS can still be ready for EM-2 even if EM-2 is delayed.

They have the budget and have now decided for Exploration Mission -2 (EM-2) they will use the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage,:clap:

This report (http://spacenews.com/sls-upper-stage-caught-in-political-tug-of-war/) however says it is due to NASA being caught in a political tug-of-war.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/02/nasa-enforce-early-switch-eus-sls/


NASA managers have placed a “stop work order” in relation to the human-rating of the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (lCPS) for the Space Launch System (SLS). The stage, which was set to ride with a crewed flight on Exploration Mission -2 (EM-2), will be replaced by the early addition of the more powerful Exploration Upper Stage, although NASA recently claimed the proposed FY 2017 funding cuts to SLS place its implementation schedule in doubt.

publiusr
2016-Feb-21, 08:18 PM
SLS has both friends and foes in NASA--it really makes me mad. This is going to open up the path for landers and orbiters in the outer solar system where only fly-by missions were possible before.

Here is a nice chart showing how it will look on the pad:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31740.640

First product of the massive vertical weld tool:
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/welding-wonder-delivers-confidence-for-sls-core-stage.html

This shows how--even if we had true RLVs, the case for HLLVs remains strong: http://www.jbis.org.uk/paper.php?p=2003.56.369

"Using a Heavy Lift Vehicle (HLV) with high specific launch costs but able to launch the system in one piece would lead to lower overall acquisition costs"

From nasaspaceflight-

The Augustine Committee considered propellant depots but for various reasons recommended the development of a super-heavy launch vehicle anyway. See section 5.2.1 of the report: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/396093main_HSF_Cmte_FinalReport.pdf.

From page 66 here:

"The Committee finds that exploration would benefit from
the development of a heavy-lift capability to enable voyages
beyond low-Earth orbit"

publiusr
2016-Mar-11, 11:39 PM
SLS and Orion photos
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasamarshall/sets/72157627559536895/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasaorion/

The return to the Moon
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/03/nasa-examines-options-flight-paths-sls-em-2/
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39781.0

In terms of lift-off thrust--N-1 came in first--followed by Energiya--then Saturn V (the Saturn had a better payload capability though)
Some rare footage of the ultimate HLLV
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39734.0
https://thehighfrontier.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/a-cosmonaut-on-the-moon-korlevs-n-1l3-plan/

New book on SLS' predecessor STS:
http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Into-Black/Rowland-White/9781501123627?id=6577383250058

The stratolauncher
http://aerospace.vulcan.com/stratolaunch

CZ-9 update http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-03/10/content_23804670.htm

selvaarchi
2016-Mar-12, 11:29 AM
NASA is examining all options for SLS EM-2 mission. This includes if it should be after the Europa Clipper Mission.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/03/nasa-examines-options-flight-paths-sls-em-2/


As NASA and its contracted partner agencies press forward toward the debut launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket in 2018, the U.S. space agency is beginning to look toward preliminary planning and test objectives for the EM-2 mission of the SLS Program, which is expected to take place sometime in the opening half of the 2020 decade.

selvaarchi
2016-Mar-15, 09:49 AM
Engine Test Marks Major Milestone on NASA's Journey to Mars

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Engine_Test_Marks_Major_Milestone_on_NASAs_Journey _to_Mars_999.html


NASA successfully tested the first deep space RS-25 rocket engine for 500 seconds March 10, clearing a major milestone toward the next great era of space exploration. The next time rocket engine No. 2059 fires for that length of time, it will be carrying humans on their first deep-space mission in more than 45 years.

"What a great moment for NASA and Stennis," said Rick Gilbrech, director of NASA's Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. "We have exciting days ahead with a return to deep space and a journey to Mars, and this test is a very big step in that direction."

The hot fire marked the first test of an RS-25 flight engine for NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS), being built to carry humans on future deep-space missions, including an asteroid and Mars. Four RS-25 engines will help power the SLS core stage.

bknight
2016-Mar-15, 10:46 AM
I should live that long.

selvaarchi
2016-Mar-15, 10:54 AM
I should live that long.

Do not despair yet. More optimistic news in the moon thread (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?148423-How-long-until-we-colonize-the-moon&p=2344863#post2344863). SpaceX or China might beat SLS to carry humans on their first deep-space mission in more than 45 years.

Nicolas
2016-Mar-15, 11:32 AM
I should live that long.

What, 500 seconds?

bknight
2016-Mar-15, 03:28 PM
LOL, No I was indicating 2023 ;)
Hopefully the first manned mission, as I was in my early 20's when Apollo occurred.

selvaarchi
2016-Mar-15, 08:51 PM
LOL, No I was indicating 2023 ;)
Hopefully the first manned mission, as I was in my early 20's when Apollo occurred.

Join the club:D We might be lucky as that is about the time we will have three parties that will have the technology to try a BEO flight. NASA, SpaceX and China. Four if Russia recovers from the financial mess it is in.

publiusr
2016-Mar-18, 09:05 PM
New art
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/rocket.html
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/sls_at_a_glance_10202015.pdf

Sad article on our space legacy:
http://www.space.com/32251-abandoned-space-sites-in-decay-when-should-be-inspiring.html

Abandon in Place.
No Further Maintenance Authorized.
Abandon. Turn away your face.
No more the mad high wanderings of thought
You once surmised. Let be!
Wipe out the stars. Put out the skies."

(Copyright 1981 by Ray Bradbury) -

publiusr
2016-Apr-02, 08:45 PM
Some good news on the SLS front:
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/NASAs_Spaceport_of_the_Future_Reaches_Another_Mile stone_999.html

SLS telescope file:///C:/Users/trall7/Downloads/SLS_Luvour_Study_WP.pdf
file:///C:/Users/trall7/Downloads/SLS_Luvour_Study.pdf
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32518.msg1510641#msg1510641

Europa Lander http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27871.msg1510668#msg1510668


Be wary of nu Space
http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/24/9792854/neil-degrasse-tyson-interview-delusions-of-space-enthusiasts

publiusr
2016-Apr-15, 08:57 PM
A nice video of a simulated launch and an image of cables in the avionics ring
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/SLS_Avionics_Get_in_the_Ring_for_the_Journey_to_Ma rs_999.html
http://www.space.com/32568-new-nasa-sls-animation-takes-you-into-the-flame-trench-video.html

The platform http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/countdown/video/chan4large.jpg

In terms of the use of SLS to launch telescopes--as in the link here: http://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/ATLAST/tech/Stahl_SPIE_2015_paper.pdf

The single most massive item was the 22,000 kg solid meniscus Zerodur primary mirror.

It provides a potentially more coronagraph-friendly point spread function (PSF) than a hexagonal segmented aperture The wavefront stability requirement is potentially more relaxed for an architecture with a central large segment surrounded by a single ring small petals, than for a hexagonal segmentation architecture with multiple rings of equal size segments. Unless there is an existing manufacturing facility to mass produce hexagonal
segments (i.e. for TMT), it is potentially more cost effective to manufacture multiple copies of a single petal than 3 or more different hexagonal builds

Having the large central core provides a simple descope path.


A reason to support HLLVs (The author here is talking about LUVOIR):
Our commitment to simplicity is based on the analysis of David Beardon. Beardon has shown that there is a direct correlation between mission payload complexity and total mission cost; and, between complexity and cost and schedule growth. Also, the greatest predictor of mission success is technology maturity. The reason for these relationships is because the only way to achieve increasingly demanding performance requirements in a mass and volume constrained launch vehicle is to design increasingly complex mission payload architectures. Consider for example how JWST’s cost was driven by the complexity needed to package a 6.5 meter telescope inside a 4.5 meter fairing with a 6500 kg mass capacity.

The JWST Independent Comprehensive Review Panel found that JWST is “one of the most complex science missions carried out to date and therefore falls at the high end of the range, greater than 90%, on the complexity index. JWST is consistent with being “in family” for an LCC (life cycle cost) around $6 billion–$7 billion”. This cost versus complexity relationship is also evident in the NASA Advanced Mission Cost Model which is typically used to justify (possibly incorrectly) that mass is the dominant mission cost driver. A closer look at the model indicates that Difficulty Level may be a larger cost driver than mass.

Given the available mass and volume capacity of the SLS, some subsystems may be able to use simpler more-mature (and more massive) technologies or higher design rule margins to eliminate complexity, lower risk and lower cost. By using mature technology, projects will save money on sub-system acquisition as well as engineering labor and management overhead. Because of program overhead, a savings of $500M in component cost might reduce total program cost by $1B to $2B. And, while potential cost savings from relaxing the mass constraint is difficult to quantify, anecdotal evidence suggests that early in a mass constrained mission, it may cost $100K of design effort to eliminate 1 kg of mass; while once the design is mature, it may cost as much as $1M to eliminate 1 kg of mass.

http://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/ATLAST/tech/Stahl_SPIE_2015_paper.pdf

Competition for BFR?

Blue Origin/Bezos said they want to build LV's bigger than anything that has ever been built before. So a BE-5 could be a >F-1 thrust LOx/LCH4 engine possibly FFSC to keep the no. of 1st stage engines on their future BFR to a reasonable value. I don't think that Blue Origin wants to dev. an N-1 style vehicle and Bezos says that turbopumps and thrust chambers scale well to large sizes.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40052.msg1518723#msg1518723

Trajectory calcs
http://www.sworld.com.au/steven/space/sls/

SLS news:
http://www.sworld.com.au/steven/space/sls/
http://www.orbitalatk.com/news-room/release.asp?prid=150
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/05/orbital-atk-cislunar-habitat-missions-sls-orion/
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/05/sls-tsm-undergoing-construction-letf/

Habitats https://science.house.gov/legislation/hearings/space-subcommittee-hearing-next-steps-mars-deep-space-habitats

selvaarchi
2016-May-12, 11:28 AM
A string of good news for SLS. After publiusr news above, NASA has committed to the first SLS/Orion launch -- Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) -- in November 2018. Then the second flight, EM-2, will be the first to carry a crew. NASA committed to launching that mission in 2023, but says it is working towards an internal date of 2021. :clap:

http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nasa-managers-sls-orion-on-track-for-2018-launch


Orion program manager Kirasich is confident Orion will be ready for EM-1 in the fall of 2018 and for EM-2 in 2021. The Orion spacecraft for EM-1 is already at KSC and will be outfitted with a variety of systems over the next 18 months. Orion EM-1's service module is being provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) and a structural test article is half way through tests at NASA Glenn Research Center's Plum Brook facility in Ohio.

ESA agreed to provide at least one Service Module as part of a barter arrangement it has with NASA over common operating costs for the International Space Station (ISS).

SLS is also making good progress according to Honeycutt: "This is becoming real." Manufacturing and testing of the core stage are well underway at Marshall Space Flight Center in Hunstville, AL and at the Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, LA as well as qualification tests for the Solid Rocket Boosters. Progress is also being made on the Interim Cyrogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) needed to send Orion around the Moon.

bknight
2016-May-12, 12:32 PM
I hope the program goes forward without further revisions/cancellations from here.

selvaarchi
2016-Jul-08, 12:29 AM
NASA managers are closing in on a mission trajectory plan for the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket that is set to debut in 2018. Mike Sarafin, NASA’s mission manager for the first Orion/Space Launch System (SLS) mission, recently provided an early look at an outline of launch events and a high-level status of the process of designing the trajectory for the maiden flight.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/07/mission-trajectory-sarafin-outlines-ride-uphill-em-1/


Designated Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), the first-ever SLS launch will send an uncrewed, second-generation Orion spacecraft on a three-week flight to orbit the Moon and return.

Both the SLS and the Orion vehicles are still in development, while the trajectory design is in a preliminary phase – as the launch vehicle and spacecraft plans continue to mature.

“We’re in the initial design phase,” Mr. Sarafin noted in a recent interview with NASASpaceflight.com.

“We have three design phases of the mission trajectory; we’re doing the preliminary mission [trajectory design] phase, then we have a ‘final’ analysis [but] it’s not the ‘final’, and then we have what’s called a ‘best-estimate’ trajectory, so we’re in that initial phase.”

bknight
2016-Jul-08, 02:25 AM
It will be good to see it fly.

publiusr
2016-Jul-09, 07:05 PM
Some details:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/07/mission-trajectory-sarafin-outlines-ride-uphill-em-1/

The shape of things to come:
https://i.stack.imgur.com/aa4gI.png
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2016/02/11/13/3117CB6000000578-3442279-image-a-83_1455196760225.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/S7g2W25.jpg

selvaarchi
2016-Jul-26, 01:31 PM
SLS is on track for 1st mission in 2018 :clap:

http://spacenews.com/first-sls-mission-on-schedule-for-fall-2018-launch/


Agency officials, speaking at a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s human exploration and operations committee July 25 in Cleveland, said they were making good progress overall in the development of the various launch vehicle, spacecraft and ground systems components needed to support the launch of Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1).

“We believe we can still make the launch window of between September and November of 2018, and we’re still working towards that,” Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems development, said at the meeting.

One challenge for that schedule is the delayed delivery of the service module for the Orion spacecraft, which is being provided by the European Space Agency. While the service module recently completed its critical design review, there are still some technical issues being studied, Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said at the meeting.

“We had planned on getting the service module from the Europeans in January,” he said. “We will now get that service module more likely in April. We’re preparing for it to even be a little bit later than that.”

bknight
2016-Jul-26, 01:59 PM
With two years lead time I suspect that the mission will go in that time period. Seems likely to be sufficient to fix all the issues.

selvaarchi
2016-Jul-28, 11:11 AM
With two years lead time I suspect that the mission will go in that time period. Seems likely to be sufficient to fix all the issues.

Maybe not, though they do have a buffer. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) put up some red flags. They were also red flags on the audit of the Orion cost and schedules.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/07/28/gao-nasa-facing-challenges-sls-exploration-ground-systems/#more-58980


NASA is facing challenges with its Space Launch System and the related Exploration Grounds Systems that could cause schedule delay and cost overruns, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report (GAO-16-612) released on Wednesday.

The SLS program has not positioned itself well to provide accurate assessments of core stage progress—including forecasting impending schedule delays, cost overruns, and anticipated costs at completion—because at the time of our review it did not anticipate having the baseline to support full reporting on the core stage contract until summer 2016—some 4.5 years after NASA awarded the contract.

Further, unforeseen technical challenges are likely to arise once the program reaches its next phase, final integration for SLS and integration of SLS with its related Orion and Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) human spaceflight programs.

The space agency is also facing challenges with the ground systems to support the SLS and its Orion capsule. NASA is aiming to launch the first test flight of the entire system by November 2018.

Like SLS, the program has reduced cost and schedule reserves, which threatens its committed November 2018 launch readiness goal,” the report stated. “Modifications to two main components—the Vehicle Assembly Building, where the SLS is assembled, and the Mobile Launcher, the vehicle used to bring SLS to the launch pad—have already cost more and taken longer than expected as has development of EGS software.”


http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/07/27/gao-orion-cost-schedule-estimates-reliable/


A new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (GAO-16-620) says that NASA has used bad on estimating the cost and schedule for its Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, leaving the program open to budget overruns and cost delays.

“GAO found that the Orion program’s cost and schedule estimates are not reliable based on best practices for producing high-quality estimates,” the report stated. “Cost and schedule estimates play an important role in addressing technical risks.”

bknight
2016-Jul-28, 11:27 AM
Cost overruns, of course, the governmental agencies have never been able to function within budgets. History has painted that sore subject. I hope that we don't have project delays, but we shall see what we'll see.

selvaarchi
2016-Jul-28, 11:50 AM
Cost overruns, of course, the governmental agencies have never been able to function within budgets. History has painted that sore subject. I hope that we don't have project delays, but we shall see what we'll see.

I hope that is all, but they do warn on both reports on schedule.

publiusr
2016-Jul-29, 10:40 PM
You can get problems with any project. I'm sure folks who hate on SLS will wave this around like a bloody flag. If Falcon Heavy were to pitch over: "Well, it's a set back--but we'll keep trying."
That's newspace religion. Forgive us if we fall--but if you stumble even a step--we'll fall on you tooth and fang.

crosscountry
2016-Aug-01, 10:46 PM
I've definitely heard some criticisms about the SLS. Still wondering why solid rocket boosters were chosen.

bknight
2016-Aug-02, 06:42 PM
I've definitely heard some criticisms about the SLS. Still wondering why solid rocket boosters were chosen.
More thrust to weight, I suspect, but then I'm not on the development team.

cjameshuff
2016-Aug-02, 11:16 PM
More thrust to weight, I suspect, but then I'm not on the development team.

And a great deal of political support...those contracts go to big defense contractors who make rocket motors for ICBMs. SLS is designed to keep pork flowing to the same industrial complex that the Shuttle fed.

Sardonicone
2016-Aug-03, 05:33 PM
I've definitely heard some criticisms about the SLS. Still wondering why solid rocket boosters were chosen.

Politics. Plain and simple. Gotta keep those jobs and money flowing.

publiusr
2016-Aug-06, 04:41 PM
That's better than putting good folks out of work. Besides Congress listened to folks like Griffin who pushed for Shuttle-derived HLVs for years. Now it finally looks to fly

Interesting look at the solids
http://www.space.com/33666-deep-look-into-the-flames-new-nasa-camera-captures-rocket-booster-test-video.html

SLS even made it to Comic-Con
http://beyondearth.com/fact-meets-fiction-boeing-talks-mars-at-comic-con/

At Space Camp http://beyondearth.com/mission-to-mars-starts-at-space-camp/

Look at the scale:
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/nasa-completes-welding-on-sls-fuel-tank-test-article.html
https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-invites-media-to-journey-to-mars-showcase-on-aug-18

I'm stocked about getting a little of that Saturn mojo back myself.

Swift
2016-Aug-09, 08:17 PM
From spaceflightnow.com (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/09/high-tech-camera-records-rocket-test-in-never-before-seen-detail/)


A major booster test for NASA’s Space Launch System in June doubled as a demonstration of a new high dynamic range video recorder that captured unprecedented imagery of the rocket firing, revealing hidden details normally masked by the motor’s bright-hot exhaust.

Developed by engineers at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, the high-tech camera is able to record multiple slow motion exposures at once. Conventional cameras can only record in one exposure, and that is a problem when trying to document very bright events like a rocket test.

The High Dynamic Range Stereo X, or HiDyRS-X, camera attempts to fix the problem. Imagery from the new recording system perfectly exposes everything within its field-of-view, showing the rocket motor’s supersonic exhaust plume while still keeping other parts of the image visible.

The video is pretty amazing, you really have to see it (at link). It doesn't look real.

crosscountry
2016-Aug-10, 04:21 AM
holy cow.

bknight
2016-Aug-10, 12:52 PM
From spaceflightnow.com (http://spaceflightnow.com/2016/08/09/high-tech-camera-records-rocket-test-in-never-before-seen-detail/)



The video is pretty amazing, you really have to see it (at link). It doesn't look real.
It would have been useful to have that image nested with a "normal" view to compare the two.

selvaarchi
2016-Aug-10, 03:07 PM
This week's The Space Review has an article called "Scrutinizing NASA’s exploration efforts". It is all about how NASA is handling the development of SLS and all the other parts to the launch of EM-1 and then EM-2. Does not look good when NASA themselves say they have only a 40% “joint confidence level”.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3038/1


So what would that hypothetical review of NASA’s human space exploration efforts find? Based on recent statements, it depends on who you talk to. While NASA officials state they’re making good progress on SLS and Orion, as well as supporting ground equipment, analyses by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggest those efforts face cost and schedule problems that could pose problems for the next administration.

Swift
2016-Aug-10, 07:13 PM
It would have been useful to have that image nested with a "normal" view to compare the two.
This NASA.gov story (http://www.nasa.gov/feature/revolutionary-camera-recording-propulsion-data-completes-groundbreaking-test) has a still image with an ordinary camera and one with the HiDyRS-X camera. It also has the video.

crosscountry
2016-Aug-10, 10:08 PM
Yep. Still cool.

bknight
2016-Aug-11, 11:07 AM
This NASA.gov story (http://www.nasa.gov/feature/revolutionary-camera-recording-propulsion-data-completes-groundbreaking-test) has a still image with an ordinary camera and one with the HiDyRS-X camera. It also has the video.
A very large difference. Interesting movement in the flame as imaged by the new system.

publiusr
2016-Aug-12, 08:15 PM
This week's The Space Review has an article called "Scrutinizing NASA’s exploration efforts". It is all about how NASA is handling the development of SLS and all the other parts to the launch of EM-1 and then EM-2. Does not look good when NASA themselves say they have only a 40% “joint confidence level”.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3038/1

Then too, Hillary talked about SLS by name In her speech at Futuramic Tool & Engineering in suburban Warren Mich: http://futuramic.com/

"You are in now what is largely an aerospace company, and because of the workforce and the work ethic and the commitment of Futuramic, you are seeing the future unfold. So, I got to see what's happening here to help build the SLS rocket, that is going to go from Macomb to Mars."

http://www.npr.org/2016/08/11/489563362/clinton-to-lay-out-economic-plan-in-contrast-to-trump

"Just before her speech, Clinton toured the Futuramic plant with owner Mark Jurcak and company Vice President John Couch. She met with employees who are making rocket boosters for NASA and parts for the F35 Fighter jet. She asked about the materials used in the components and talked with employees about their training and background.... The company is working with NASA to help manufacture the SLS Rocket Booster that will be used on a future manned space mission to Mars."

http://www.freep.com/story/money/business/michigan/2016/08/11/clinton-detroit-jobs-economy-trump/88529576/

SLS is more than an Alabama deal at this point. In fact, most of the work of the rocket itself isn't in my state at all. Every project will have teething problems, like Apollo 1, say.

It looks like SLS will have even more powerful boosters of its own.

publiusr
2016-Aug-20, 05:42 PM
Some More news on SLS.

Some nice video for you
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IcPrSIjxnc
http://www.space.com/33803-space-launch-system-rocket-s-first-crew-launch-dramatized-by-nasa-video.html

Comparison to the Saturns
http://www.space.com/33691-space-launch-system-most-powerful-rocket.html
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40928.0

The FISO presentation:

http://spaceref.com/missions-and-programs/nasa/nasa-fiso-presentation-nasas-space-launch-system-powering-the-journey-to-mars.html
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/prnewswire-space-news.html?rkey=20160816DC69929&filter=1639

selvaarchi
2016-Aug-21, 02:09 PM
Some good news on SLS.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/sls-critical-paths-2018-thrust-profiles/


NASA’s Exploration Systems Development office has completed its review of progress to date as well as forward path activity on the development of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket to the NASA Advisory Council. While several tasks and issues remain open, SLS continues a steady march toward its planned debut in late 2018 during the EM-1 mission as NASA continues to refine the rocket’s overall configuration thrust profiles.

publiusr
2016-Aug-27, 05:39 PM
Still shooting for 2018
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/sls-program-working-overtime-2018-debut/


Final welds
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31740.msg1571235#msg1571235

There are always hiccups:
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/08/26/lots-lots-concerns-sls-orion/

Crew vehicles and possible threats:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/nasa-mmod-primary-threat-crew-vehicles/

In other news, we see--at last--the Human rating of the centaur
http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/organizations/aerojet-rocketdyne/rl10-test-paves-way-future-starliner-flights/ RL-10 up close
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3048/1

"The CST-100 is larger than the Apollo capsule and will experience even greater maximum aerodynamic pressure during ascent to orbit. This is just one of several issues pushing the first crewed flight of the Atlas V originally scheduled for the end of 2017 further out."

Solid hydrogen, maybe?
http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/08/researchers-are-getting-close-to.html

"Whereas a diamond crystal will begin to give way at pressures of up to 120 Giga Pascals (GPa), the new material, however, can withstand at least 460 GPa. It can even survive when pressed together to generate pressures of up to 1,000 GPa. That makes these tiny spheres harder than any other known substance on the planet."

"If solid metallic hydrogen turns out to be a room-temperature superconductor, it would have to be crushed to work, making it impractical for many applications. But if hydrogen could hold its metallic form after the pressure is released, as some researchers have suggested, “it would be revolutionary,” says physicist Isaac Silvera, who leads the metallic hydrogen hunt at Harvard University. Such a material could be used in electrical wires to reduce loss of energy and decrease the world’s power consumption. And it might lead to efficient, magnetically levitated trains and technological advances in nuclear fusion, supercomputing and more."

Maybe there is a reason Discovery had square tanks--rather than round ones. ;)

selvaarchi
2016-Sep-01, 03:49 AM
A good overview of SLS and the coming missions.

http://www.space.com/33908-space-launch-system.html


NASA's Space Launch System will carry humans beyond the grasp of Earth's gravity, stretching to the moon, Mars, and perhaps, one day, deep space. The powerful new launch vehicle is currently under development, and will continue to evolve even after humans take flight. That's because it's based on a modular design of interchangeable parts that allow for varying mission goals and improving technology.

Trebuchet
2016-Sep-01, 04:56 AM
A good overview of SLS and the coming missions.

http://www.space.com/33908-space-launch-system.html

A rather unfortunate sentence from near the beginning of that article:

The first few iterations of SLS will contain a pair of solid rocket boosters capped with four RS-25 engines.

bknight
2016-Sep-01, 04:13 PM
A rather unfortunate sentence from near the beginning of that article:

Why is this an unfortunate statement?

cjameshuff
2016-Sep-01, 09:57 PM
Why is this an unfortunate statement?

It's completely wrong?

Trebuchet
2016-Sep-02, 03:56 AM
It's completely wrong?
It is indeed. The solid rockets are not capped with RS25 engines.

A similar screw-up I saw today was a sentence in an article about today's SpaceX failure, which referred to "the ninth version of SpaceX's Falcon rocket".

bknight
2016-Sep-02, 01:52 PM
It is indeed. The solid rockets are not capped with RS25 engines.

A similar screw-up I saw today was a sentence in an article about today's SpaceX failure, which referred to "the ninth version of SpaceX's Falcon rocket".

I can accept that interpretation.

publiusr
2016-Sep-02, 09:07 PM
Core stage roadmap
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/sls-roadmap-first-core-stages-testing-flight/


Remember the slow-mo footage of the SRB tests?
They didn't let it burn to depletion.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/08/qm-2-booster-examination-sls-pair-shape/
"However, a key point of the ground test – and the reason the test ended with a giant robotic fire extinguisher putting out the flames – is to allow for a full inspection on the internal workings of the booster."

That's like putting out a small volcano.

It may well be that SLS money that went to fixing up the 39 series pads may allow Falcon to get back on its feet--as it were. Yes, Space X money was used--but NASA played host.

Cowing tried to slime SLS supporters like me in a recent post:
http://nasawatch.com/archives/2016/09/sls-huggers-lov.html

I like Space X.

It isn't old spacers were are trying to put newspacers out of a job. At least, not SLS guys.

ULA?...
scroll down for the Dr. Evil ref
http://spacenews.com/developing-explosion-rocks-spacex-falcon-9-pad-at-cape-canaveral/

selvaarchi
2016-Sep-21, 10:43 AM
More information about SLS Block 1B Universal Stage Adapter. A key upgrade in Block 1B.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/09/nasa-sls-block-1b-universal-stage-adapter/


As part of its transition to the powerful Block 1B variant of the Space Launch System (SLS) with the Exploration Upper Stage (EUS), NASA is working on a device called the Universal Stage Adaptor (USA). This adaptor will help connect the large EUS to the Orion spacecraft while accommodating the massive payloads SLS is intended to carry to destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit.

Glom
2016-Sep-21, 02:29 PM
So a cargo trailer?

selvaarchi
2016-Sep-21, 03:05 PM
So a cargo trailer?

Not an expert but from what I read it is an improved second stage which will provide more trust as well as lift a larger/wider load. Maybe the experts in the forum can enlighten us?

bknight
2016-Sep-21, 03:50 PM
Still 2 years to clear all the hurdles.

selvaarchi
2016-Oct-06, 12:22 PM
Got any bright ideas of what payload to send on Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2). If so NASA wants your input:D

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/10/06/nasa-seeks-payload-concepts-sls-test-flight/#more-59600


NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the world’s most powerful rocket, is designed to be flexible and evolvable to meet a variety of crew and cargo mission needs for deep-space missions. The agency is seeking potential scientific and technological payloads for the second integrated flight of SLS with NASA’s Orion spacecraft, known as Exploration Mission-2, or EM-2.

Featuring an enhanced rocket configuration for EM-2, SLS will include a new universal stage adapter, payload adapter and exploration upper stage. A request for information (RFI) released today seeks ideas from NASA, industry, academia and international partners for co-manifested payloads within the universal stage adaptor through Nov. 7, 2016.

EM-2 will be the first test flight for the rocket and spacecraft with crew, and is targeted to launch from Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 2021. The mission’s primary goals are to demonstrate Orion’s crew capabilities and the upgraded SLS rocket.

“This mission is another important step into the proving ground of deep space,” said Bill Hill, deputy associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “EM-2, powered by the enhanced SLS, will be the first opportunity to carry large co-manifested payloads. We look forward to seeing what innovative ideas there are for using this unique capability to advance exploration, science, and technology goals in support of our Journey to Mars.”

publiusr
2016-Oct-09, 09:15 PM
Time to dust off JIMO plans perhaps?

HLV chart
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41304.msg1592144#msg1592144

Sardonicone
2016-Oct-10, 08:08 PM
When are we getting a Neptune and Uranus orbiter?

crosscountry
2016-Oct-10, 10:55 PM
2028 would be the earliest, but then it has to travel out there.

Trebuchet
2016-Oct-12, 08:59 PM
When are we getting a Neptune and Uranus orbiter?


2028 would be the earliest, but then it has to travel out there.

It's kind of a shame they're so boring looking. A few more features might generate more interest.

cjameshuff
2016-Oct-12, 09:42 PM
It's kind of a shame they're so boring looking. A few more features might generate more interest.

Triton is at least as interesting as Pluto, and a Neptune orbiter would be able to get more than a brief flyby of it.

crosscountry
2016-Oct-12, 10:52 PM
All of the moons are interesting, and Uranus has rings. We've learned so much about Saturn from Cassini. I'd bet we can learn even more about less studied Uranus or Neptune.

Sardonicone
2016-Oct-14, 01:13 PM
It would be nice if we could pin down whether or not they did indeed swap places as Jupiter and Saturn migrated outward. I know I can't be the only person who wants to know why Uranus is on it's side.

bknight
2016-Oct-14, 03:42 PM
It would be nice if we could pin down whether or not they did indeed swap places as Jupiter and Saturn migrated outward. I know I can't be the only person who wants to know why Uranus is on it's side.
Uranus was hit early after formation of the solar system, perhaps many times. The impact(s) tilted its axis and also the rings that were more than likely formed from the impact.

http://www.space.com/13231-planet-uranus-knocked-sideways-impacts.html

publiusr
2016-Oct-15, 06:02 PM
Here is what the Orbiter would look like--page 20 of 34:
http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/defense-space/space/sls/docs/sls_mission_booklet_jan_2014.pdf

The probe really isn't a lot different in size that what we have been sending--the only thing SLS really does is make what were once fly-by missions into orbital ones--using the same size probes.

crosscountry
2016-Oct-16, 02:37 AM
That's what we need!

Sardonicone
2016-Oct-17, 01:39 PM
Uranus was hit early after formation of the solar system, perhaps many times. The impact(s) tilted its axis and also the rings that were more than likely formed from the impact.

http://www.space.com/13231-planet-uranus-knocked-sideways-impacts.html

Oh nifty! Thanks for the link.


Here is what the Orbiter would look like--page 20 of 34:
http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/defense-space/space/sls/docs/sls_mission_booklet_jan_2014.pdf

The probe really isn't a lot different in size that what we have been sending--the only thing SLS really does is make what were once fly-by missions into orbital ones--using the same size probes.

It appears it would be a bit bigger as well, and they wouldn't need the SES propulsion as well. Ignorant question on that, how effective was that going to be in the first place. Sure you could get an initial boost however it wouldn't be all that effective at all the firther you go out, so even if you could get a decent boost in velocity you'd be left with the problem of slowing down for orbital insertion.

Hieda no Akyuu
2016-Oct-19, 06:59 PM
the only thing SLS really does is make what were once fly-by missions into orbital ones--using the same size probes.

It seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong) that you're making this sound like a small difference, when in reality, it is a huge difference. An orbiting probe can spend years at a planet which gives it more opportunities to gather scientific information. A flyby probe only spends a short amount of time at the planet before moving on.

Sardonicone
2016-Oct-20, 12:50 PM
It seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong) that you're making this sound like a small difference, when in reality, it is a huge difference. An orbiting probe can spend years at a planet which gives it more opportunities to gather scientific information. A flyby probe only spends a short amount of time at the planet before moving on.

WE need a like button.

Imagine if Cassini had been just a flyby.

publiusr
2016-Oct-21, 10:35 PM
It seems to me (correct me if I'm wrong) that you're making this sound like a small difference, when in reality, it is a huge difference. An orbiting probe can spend years at a planet which gives it more opportunities to gather scientific information. A flyby probe only spends a short amount of time at the planet before moving on.

It's a huge difference in another way--the savings of travel time to destinations. The tyranny of the rocket equation just demands larger LVs. Those cost money, so folks who were used to Delta II type missions just didn't want to share any budgets with rocketry development. When I make arguements for LV size, some folks think it is being silly or extravagant, and it isn't that way at all.

People have tried to point out the advantages of rockets like Ares V--which was to be a bit larger and even more capable in some ways than SLS (similar)
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223104590_Ares_V_Application_to_solar_system_scien tific_exploration
http://www.ltas-vis.ulg.ac.be/cmsms/uploads/File/Stahl_AresV_AA64_2009.pdf

For years, I felt as if I was the only one who really supported shuttle-derived heavy lift--heard endless jokes about "compensation" ("Everyone who makes a joke about a dwarf's height thinks he's the only person ever to make a joke about a dwarf's height") ;)

But now some of the folks who worked on SLS are coming to its defense. To wit:
https://disqus.com/home/discussion/nasawatch/sls_flight_software_safety_issues_at_msfc_update_3 9/#comment-2951327443

"First off, your assertion that 'the primary way that NASA MSFC is verifying SLS flight software is by CSCI execution time' is absurdly and patently false...And as to your accusations of conspiracy and cover-up at MSFC, All I can say is that in all but a very few isolated instances during my many years there, the people I worked with showed integrity. If you’re going to make accusations, bring evidence....Best wishes to the SLS team."

Nice to see somebody stand up to Cowing.

Work on SLS
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31740.720

The core: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41032.msg1601706#msg1601706

selvaarchi
2016-Oct-28, 04:05 PM
Work on planning to modify the KSC to accommodate the SLS Block 1B rocket has already started :clap:

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/10/ksc-groundwork-sls-block-1b-upgrades/


NASA’s monster rocket will evolve into an even larger vehicle early in her lifetime, as the Block 1 rocket grows into the workhorse known as the Block 1B. With a large increase in capability – and height – the Block 1B will require a revamp of numerous elements of the KSC ground systems, ranging from major changes to the new Mobile Launcher, through to need for a new LH2 storage sphere at the pad.

publiusr
2016-Dec-16, 11:20 PM
SLS assemble!
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/12/boeing-nasa-assembly-first-sls-rocket/
http://www.compositesworld.com/articles/tooling-up-for-larger-launch-vehicles
http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/06/former_top_nasa_administrators.htm

Orion's punch:
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Major_Assembly_Complete_on_System_that_will_Pack_a _Powerful_Push_for_Orion_999.html

EM-1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo8IkHM8fGE


Ice giant missions: http://www.americaspace.com/?p=96789

"Assessing the advantages of SLS is also part of the current ice giant mission study. As you said, SLS gives us options to send more mass, or to get to the outer Solar System quicker, or some combination of the two. Using a mission to Uranus as an example, typical flight times with an Atlas or Delta-IV Heavy-type booster are on the order of 10 years for a spacecraft you want to put into orbit. SLS could get the same spacecraft there in six or seven years. An extreme case is to combine SLS with aero-capture. The latter uses the target planet’s atmosphere to slow down and get captured into orbit, eliminating the need to burn large amounts of fuel. With that combination, you can use faster trajectories and still get into orbit, and one could get to Uranus within five years..."

"Uranus and Neptune are not properly aligned for a single spacecraft to visit both, but with SLS you can launch two spacecraft and give them different trajectories after they leave Earth, thereby visiting both ice giants with a single launch."

bknight
2016-Dec-17, 03:03 PM
SLS assemble!
...
http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/06/former_top_nasa_administrators.htm

....
The link is broken.

selvaarchi
2016-Dec-23, 10:54 AM
As they get ready for the first flight of the 1st generation of SLS, work has already started on the next generation which will have a lift capacity of 105-metric-ton (115-ton).

https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/wind-tunnel-testing-underway-for-sls


Manufacturing is well underway on the initial configuration of SLS. It is 322 feet tall and able to lift 70 metric tons (77 tons). For the first test flight of SLS, the rocket will carry an uncrewed Orion spacecraft beyond the moon and then return to Earth, deploying 13 small science and technology satellites in deep space during the journey.

The new wind tunnel tests are for the second generation of SLS. It will deliver a 105-metric-ton (115-ton) lift capacity and will be 364 feet tall in the crew configuration -- taller than the Saturn V that launched astronauts on missions to the moon. The rocket's core stage will be the same, but the newer rocket will feature a powerful exploration upper stage. On SLS’s second flight with Orion, the rocket will carry up to four astronauts on a mission around the moon, in the deep-space proving ground for the technologies and capabilities needed on NASA’s Journey to Mars.

cjameshuff
2016-Dec-27, 10:42 PM
It's a stretch to call it the "first generation" of the rocket when this test flight is the only time this version of the SLS will ever fly. It's more accurately a test flight of the Orion (the first flight with a service module) and the first stage of the SLS, using a Delta IV second stage.

crosscountry
2016-Dec-29, 04:04 PM
v0 ?

cjameshuff
2016-Dec-29, 05:33 PM
v0 ?

It's a test flight of the first stage of a rocket which won't be complete until the 2020s. This is the only time they will ever fly this configuration, and the primary purpose is to test the first stage, and a secondary purpose being to test the Orion and its service module. Referring to it as a separate version of the rocket is just PR, allowing "the SLS" to fly years before it's complete. Work hasn't started on the "next generation", it's started (been under way for some time actually) on the second half of the vehicle.

publiusr
2017-Feb-10, 11:13 PM
Looks like MAF took a hit

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/maf-tornado-damage-injury-assessments/
http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=34134

Like SLS didn't have enough enemies--without Mother Nature adding injury to insult.
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/02/08/crews-assess-repair-damage-nasa-michoud/

SLS endorsed
http://www.space.com/35634-nasa-space-launch-system-commercial-use.html
http://spacenews.com/commercial-group-endorses-use-of-space-launch-system/
http://spacenews.com/the-big-changes-that-may-not-be-coming-to-nasa/

SLS stacking
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/02/vab-platform-installation-sls-stacking/

selvaarchi
2017-Feb-17, 02:36 AM
I wonder if the new administration's desire to put astronauts on the first flight of SLS is because they have got word that either Russia or China might attempt to send their astronauts around the moon in the next few years.

https://spaceflight101.com/nasa-to-study-adding-crew-to-debut-flight-of-sls-and-orion/

"
NASA to Study Adding Crew to Debut Flight of SLS and Orion
February 15, 2017

Image: NASA
NASA is looking into the possibility of putting Astronauts on the first flight of the mighty Space Launch System, the agency’s super heavy-lift rocket that will enable crewed exploration missions Beyond Earth Orbit.

This information was confirmed on Wednesday in a memo from Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot sent out to NASA workforce and comes as the result of a request by the NASA transition team under the new Trump administration.

Rumors of a potential proposal of putting a crew on the inaugural SLS flight have been heard for the last two weeks following reviews of the current SLS and Orion program timelines that called for an uncrewed test flight of SLS in the fall of 2018, sending the Orion craft on a shakeout mission to the moon, followed by the first crewed flight in 2021, at the earliest."

Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

crosscountry
2017-Feb-17, 04:24 AM
I've got word from multiple sources that the current president wants something very flashy for NASA before his first term is up.

Glom
2017-Feb-17, 08:06 AM
Oh dear. Is this going to be like Krushchev where astronauts are subjected to unnecessary and excessively dangerous space stunts.

I mean spaceflight is dangerous and Ed White's first spacewalk was particularly so, but at least NASA waited until they had a spacecraft properly designed for it rather than the way Leonov was made to do a spacewalk using a dangerous improved airlock just so the Soviets to get it first.

selvaarchi
2017-Feb-17, 09:46 AM
Even had core Mars advocate Dr. Robert Zubrin has come out supporting the new administration's plan. If I read the article properly that calls for American boots on the moon by 2020. It ties it in with what crosscountry was saying.

Hope all goes well and we do not get any casualties as Glom eluded to. Still I look forward to seeing mankind back on the moon.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/16/trump-makes-nasa-add-astronauts-to-moon-mission-could-save-10-billion/

"NASA intends to send astronauts to orbit the moon in 2018 at the apparent request of President Donald Trump, potentially saving taxpayers $10 billion dollars.

Robert Lightfoot, NASA’s acting administrator, sent a letter to the space agency’s employees saying they should “explore the feasibility” of sending astronauts to orbit the moon in 2018, seemingly at the request of the Trump administration.

Speeding up NASA’s plans to orbit the moon with astronauts could save money in the long term.

“An imperative to accelerate the schedule in this way is long overdue,” Dr. Robert Zubrin, who helped design plans for NASA’s manned mission to Mars and wrote the “The Case For Mars,” told The Daily Caller News Foundation."

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publiusr
2017-Feb-17, 10:15 PM
Maybe we can see NASA step on the gas
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/02/donald-trump-space-war-234829

I can see SLS and other heavy lifters playing a part in building space settlements--like in this contest.
https://settlement.arc.nasa.gov/Contest/

selvaarchi
2017-Apr-16, 03:44 AM
The odds of NASA meeting the targeted launch dates for EM-1 and EM-2 just got dimmer.

http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/Mars_spacecrafts_first_missions_face_delays_NASA_s ays_999.html


NASA will probably delay the first two missions of its Orion deep-space capsule, being developed to send astronauts beyond earth's orbit and eventually to Mars, the US space agency said on Thursday.
A report by NASA's Office of Inspector General cited technical as well as budget challenges.
The first launch of the Orion spacecraft atop the planned Space Launch System, or SLS -- set to become the world's most powerful rocket when it flies -- is currently scheduled for early November 2018 with no crew.
A second mission carrying astronauts is envisioned for August 2021 at the earliest.
However, "NASA's initial exploration missions on its Journey to Mars -- EM-1 and EM-2 -- face multiple cost and technical challenges that likely will affect their planned launch dates," the report said of the conclusions from a nine-month audit.

Glom
2017-Apr-16, 12:06 PM
Delays, delays, delays. Why is everything always delayed? And I don't just mean launches.

Garrison
2017-Apr-16, 02:38 PM
Delays, delays, delays. Why is everything always delayed? And I don't just mean launches.

well because the people pulling the purse strings on big projects want nice clear plans with definite dates and goals, even when you are doing something where there are bound to be unforeseen obstacles to completing the task. The problem isn't delays per se as it is unrealistic expectations. The critical question is how do the people controlling the budget react to the delays? At Space X the reaction usually seems to be 'it is actually rocket science what do you expect?' For NASA it always seems to wind up with congressional committees demanding to know why they can't meet goals that were never credible in the first place.

Grashtel
2017-Apr-19, 12:50 AM
well because the people pulling the purse strings on big projects want nice clear plans with definite dates and goals, even when you are doing something where there are bound to be unforeseen obstacles to completing the task. The problem isn't delays per se as it is unrealistic expectations. The critical question is how do the people controlling the budget react to the delays? At Space X the reaction usually seems to be 'it is actually rocket science what do you expect?' For NASA it always seems to wind up with congressional committees demanding to know why they can't meet goals that were never credible in the first place.

Which is the advantage of SpaceX being a company rather than government run, they don't have to answer to Congress wanting to be seen to be Doing Something about cost overruns and stuff

Darrell
2017-Apr-19, 01:21 PM
I am skeptical of the November 2018 first launch date too. From where they are now to a launch in about 1.5 years? NASA hasn't done anything that expeditiously since the Apollo era, and maybe not even then.

selvaarchi
2017-Apr-27, 10:01 AM
More questions on SLS 1st launch next year.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/2017/20170424-first-sls-flight-delayed.html

"It's looking likely that the first flight of NASA's new heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System, will slip beyond its November 2018 launch date.

The space agency has yet to announce any official schedule changes. But a recent report by NASA's Office of Inspector General, along with dates provided by internal sources, an agency-wide schedule review currently in progress, and welding challenges involving the core stage liquid oxygen tank, all point to a probable delay."

Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

selvaarchi
2017-Apr-28, 01:32 PM
More questions on SLS 1st launch next year.

NASA agrees with the audit and is studying a launch date in 2019.

http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nasa-agrees-first-sls-orion-mission-will-slip-to-2019


In response to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released today, the head of NASA's human exploration program agreed with GAO's conclusion that Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), the first flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion crew capsule, will slip from late 2018 into 2019.* GAO's report warned that a delay was likely.* NASA's written response, published as an appendix, agrees and states that the agency is in the process of setting "a new target in 2019."

The GAO audit of SLS, Orion and associated Exploration Ground Systems (EGS), prepared for the chairs of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees that fund NASA, was conducted from July 2016 to April 2017.* GAO found that although the programs were making progress, "schedule pressure is escalating as technical challenges continue to cause schedule delays" while each has little cost or schedule reserve remaining.* It called the existing launch readiness date of November 2018 "precarious."

The GAO report aligns with a recent report from NASA's Office of Inspector General that also expressed concern about cost and schedule delays.

publiusr
2017-Apr-29, 08:43 PM
It pays to take time.

selvaarchi
2017-May-09, 11:00 AM
The main reason with the delay was problems they found with the welding.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/05/sls-core-stage-recovering-weld-pin-change/


NASA and Space Launch System (SLS) Core Stage prime contractor Boeing recently resumed welding elements for the launch vehicle’s first flight after a technical issue suspended welding last year.* A change to a welding tool in the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC) at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) in New Orleans, Louisiana, had unintended consequences that in part disrupted the assembly and production schedule for the Core Stage and helped push the forecast target date for the first SLS launch on Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) into 2019.

selvaarchi
2017-May-12, 12:57 AM
SLS test hardware damaged in an incident on the 3rd of May 2017.

http://www.spaceflightinsider.com/space-centers/marshall-space-flight-center/space-launch-system-test-hardware-damaged-incident/

"The aft dome of a liquid oxygen tank test article for the Space Launch System (SLS) core stage was damaged in an incident at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, according to a Marshall Space Flight Center public affairs officer.

NASA and Boeing are forming independent investigation teams to look into the incident, which occurred on May 3, 2017, in the Vertical Assembly Center (VAC).

“Initial assessments indicate damage to the rear (aft) dome of a liquid oxygen tank, which is part of the rocket’s 212-foot core stage,” Kim Henry, a Public Affairs Officer at Marshall, told SpaceFlight Insider in a May 11 e-mail. “There were no injuries. As required by protocol, the Vertical Assembly Center tool was shut down and secured.”"

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publiusr
2017-May-12, 10:03 PM
SLS test hardware damaged in an incident on the 3rd of May 2017.

Argh!

First the new spacers bashing SLS all across the interwebs--then the MAF tornado-----now this!

publiusr
2017-Jun-16, 09:22 PM
The Orion will be atop SLS on many flights. The abort test went well:
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/06/15/orbital-atk-tests-orion-abort-motor/
https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/archive.html

publiusr
2017-Jun-18, 09:09 PM
The Payload planner's guide has been released:
https://ntrs.nasa.gov/search.jsp?R=20170005323

The PDF:
file:///C:/Users/srlab7/Downloads/Space%20Launch%20System%20(SLS)%20Mission%20Planne r's%20Guide%20-%20ESD%2030000%20Baseline%20-%2012Apr17%20106pp%20-%2020170005323.pdf

bknight
2017-Jun-19, 01:07 PM
The report would be more readable without all the question marks.

publiusr
2017-Jun-23, 08:20 PM
Some info on Ice Giant exploration:
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/icegiants/mission_study/

From the full report--

6.4 Assess Capabilities Afforded by SLS
While not enabling of the science we wish to do, the availability of SLS would allow (see
Appendix A).
• Reduced flight times and/or increased delivered mass to either ice giant. This allows
additional tradeoffs between cost and science return.
• Two-planet, two-spacecraft missions on a single launch vehicle. While there is no
scientific penalty to launching two-planet missions on different launch vehicles several
years apart, there may be programmatic benefits to utilizing a single SLS launch vehicle.

Launching on an SLS, we again see a dramatic increase in useful inserted mass at Neptune
(>5,000 kg for 13-year flight time). Using SLS it is also possible to insert >1,700 kg in Neptune
orbit in ~11 years from launch.

publiusr
2017-Jul-01, 06:52 PM
Pictures of the core stage under construction--and information on SRBs
http://www.futura-sciences.com/sciences/actualites/acces-espace-ariane-next-ressemblera-successeur-ariane-6-66350/
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/06/solid-production-booster-segments-sls-launches/

schlaugh
2017-Jul-02, 05:15 PM
The Orion will be atop SLS on many flights. The abort test went well:
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/06/15/orbital-atk-tests-orion-abort-motor/
https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/archive.html
The LAS has an initial thrust (albeit of short duration) of 400,000 pounds.
The Mercury Redstone had a thrust of 78,000 pounds, but of course for much longer duration.

Still, how far we have come.

Glom
2017-Jul-02, 06:09 PM
What was the thrust of the launch escape system on the Mercury?

schlaugh
2017-Jul-02, 07:02 PM
What was the thrust of the launch escape system on the Mercury?

About 52,000 pounds for less than 2 seconds.

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/case-rocket-motor-solid-fuel-mercury-escape-system


The motor developed about 52,000 pounds of thrust for 1.4 seconds.


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Glom
2017-Jul-02, 09:16 PM
Okay, SLS wins.

publiusr
2017-Jul-08, 05:21 PM
That's pretty cool--Orion's Abort motor having more pull than a whole Redstone for any length of time.

crescent
2017-Aug-22, 08:19 PM
CNN has an article about Orion:

NASA powers up spacecraft that could one day carry humans to Mars (http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/22/technology/future/nasa-lockheed-orion-spacecraft/index.html?sr=fbCNN082217future1257PMStoryLink)

This leads me to a question. It seems every article about the Orion capsule refers to it in the singular. I get that it is supposed to be reusable - but is only one under construction?

Nicolas
2017-Aug-24, 11:18 AM
Apart from some test articles, that's not abnormal in space industry. Take for example ATV, for the longest time (that I'm aware of) they were only building ATV-1. As long as a design is not finalized (and tested), it may be smart to not build more than one. A prototype. Note that ATV-2 flew only 3 years after ATV-1, so in that example there was time to test #1 in space before building #2.

publiusr
2017-Aug-26, 05:26 PM
You can do something fast--or you can do something right.

From a nasaspaceflight blurb from available ASAP minutes:

"NASA also reported on a mishap with the LOX dome. The qualification dome was dropped and its sides were “dimpled” by its holding fixture. At first, this was thought to be a catastrophic failure, but when the team pulled the dome out of the fixture, the dimples popped out. After considerable analysis by NASA and the prime contractor, the LOX dome was deemed suitable for qualification testing. It will be attached to the qualification tank and that assembly will go to Stennis Space Center for structural testing."

That's metal. I am thinking the failure of the ITS composite tank is the reason the BFR/ITS has been scaled down to 9 meters--and likely all metal--that and to fit facilities.

Still, I cannot help but wonder if ITS might serve as a strap-on to an SLS core--meaning the USA might--at last--have the true ALS after all: https://d1k5w7mbrh6vq5.cloudfront.net/images/cache/a9/85/97/a98597ee97961c0cc31e7767cb98f428.png

I think there is a mistake here::
http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2017/08/Tanks_for_the_lift

"the liquid oxygen tank seen here is ready for qualification"
No--that's the main LH2 tank, methinks...

On a sad note--the Moonraker swooshes are gone
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31740.msg1709315#msg1709315

A report of the big future NASA wants
https://www.nap.edu/catalog/24857/powering-science-nasas-large-strategic-science-missions
https://www.nap.edu/read/24857/chapter/1

cjameshuff
2017-Aug-26, 07:10 PM
There has never been an ITS tank failure, because no ITS tank has ever existed in the first place. SpaceX would need to construct new factories before they could even start building such hardware. The fact that the experimental test article they did have built burst during testing doesn't mean they were moving too fast or need to abandon the entire approach of composite tanks. At most, it means they need more information and experience with the technology...which is of course the entire reason they had the thing built in the first place. And the reasons they reduced the scale of the system are well known: to make it cheaper to develop and more suitable for Earth orbit usage, allowing it to pay for itself, and it can be built in their existing facilities, so they can start building it and get it flying sooner. And given the problems the SLS has had with scaling up FSW techniques to the tank thicknesses needed, it seems especially likely that SpaceX will stick with the carbon fiber approach.

And no, ITS will not serve as a strap-on to an SLS core. Why would they ever do such a thing? Assuming SpaceX chose to go the multi-core route, which seems particularly unlikely following their experience with the difficulty of that approach with the Falcon Heavy compared to simply scaling up a rocket, what could possibly make them want to involve an expendable core that would increase the launch costs by an order of magnitude and likely reduce performance compared to the booster they'd already have at that point? Not to mention the fact that they could just develop the full-scale ITS system for what that project would cost. (Or for that matter, they could do it for what it'd cost to launch the normal SLS a few times.)

Even if NASA wanted to pay them for it, SpaceX has finite resources. Their goals are reduction of launch costs and improving access to space. How would getting involved in the SLS in any way help those goals?

Glom
2017-Aug-26, 10:29 PM
I believe the American 'spression is, "Faster, better, cheaper. Pick any two."

cjameshuff
2017-Aug-27, 01:44 PM
I believe the American 'spression is, "Faster, better, cheaper. Pick any two."

That applies if a system is near optimal. The SLS is cobbled together from parts designed by a politically compromised committee almost half a century ago for a completely different launch system, which turned out to be prone to delays and dangerous to operate while also being incredibly expensive. You don't get better, faster, or cheaper by starting with the worst, slowest, most expensive thing you can find. And the SLS isn't even trying to be any of these.

Glom
2017-Aug-27, 11:14 PM
So what's new?

publiusr
2017-Sep-01, 05:49 PM
SLS is pretty much Direct--but with the ability to use Delta IV upper stages in apinch. Folks have been pushing for shuttle-derived HLLVs for years before Congress finally said yes.

publiusr
2017-Sep-08, 09:48 PM
Here is the actual LOX tank
https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/nasa-completes-welding-of-liquid-oxygen-tank-for-first-sls-flight.html

Trebuchet
2017-Sep-09, 12:16 AM
Less the probable orange foam, of course.

publiusr
2017-Sep-16, 06:28 PM
Some news on the adapter
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/09/preparing-adaptor-lvsa-readies-sls-debut/

On the other side of my home county of Jefferson--west of Birmingham--a huge steel plant spat out this mock-up:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/09/sls-core-stage-pathfinder-barge-maf/

Amazon was looking for a city for a new facility--Birmingham went for rail where Atlanta focused a bit more on aviation--plus there is a huge plant near the Black Warrior river and Birmingport--a port city deep inside our state---oh Mr.Bezos.....

selvaarchi
2017-Oct-26, 12:54 PM
Looks like the announcement of the launch date of EM-1 might miss the October deadline.

http://spacenews.com/decision-on-em-1-launch-date-still-pending/

"NASA is still up to a month away from setting a new target launch date for the first flight of the Space Launch System, but agency officials said they still expected it to take place in 2019.

NASA has not set a new date for Exploration Mission (EM) 1, which will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a test flight into lunar orbit and back, since announcing in May that it would delay the flight to 2019 after deciding not to put a crew on the mission.

In September, the agency said in a statement that it would announce a new target date for EM-1 in October, citing the need to account for a range of issues, including progress on the European-built Orion service module and shutdowns at NASA centers from hurricanes in August and September."

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bknight
2017-Oct-26, 03:57 PM
Looks like the announcement of the launch date of EM-1 might miss the October deadline.

http://spacenews.com/decision-on-em-1-launch-date-still-pending/

"NASA is still up to a month away from setting a new target launch date for the first flight of the Space Launch System, but agency officials said they still expected it to take place in 2019.

NASA has not set a new date for Exploration Mission (EM) 1, which will launch an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a test flight into lunar orbit and back, since announcing in May that it would delay the flight to 2019 after deciding not to put a crew on the mission.

In September, the agency said in a statement that it would announce a new target date for EM-1 in October, citing the need to account for a range of issues, including progress on the European-built Orion service module and shutdowns at NASA centers from hurricanes in August and September."

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Quite so, since October has but five days remaining.

selvaarchi
2017-Oct-27, 04:16 AM
First time I have read a launch date of 2020 for the 1st launch of SLS.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/10/sls-rocket-advancing-but-its-launch-date-may-slip-into-2020/

"Recently, the managing editor of the NASASpaceFlight.com, Chris Bergin, suggested that NASA managers are deciding between a "best case" launch date of December 2019 for the SLS rocket and a "risk informed" date in the second quarter of 2020. Bergin is a reliable source of inside information about NASA, and sources subsequently confirmed this information to Ars.

It is physically possible for NASA to make a launch date in 2019, but historically, things can (and often do) go wrong in the assembly and testing of major launch systems. While it is possible to beat the odds or resolve problems quickly, there is no guarantee that will happen between now and a 2019 launch date.

The issue now confronting NASA's acting administrator, Robert Lightfoot, is whether to set a more politically palatable launch date in 2019 knowing that it could easily slip into 2020. Moreover, should Lightfoot issue a public launch date of 2020, it would release the pressure now on NASA and its contractors, allowing managers to relax and guaranteeing an earlier date is not reached. Therefore, the smart money is on a launch date in 2019, with an eventual slip into 2020."

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publiusr
2017-Oct-31, 09:11 PM
Some other progress
http://beyondearth.com/boeing-completes-major-welding-for-slss-first-flight/
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/10/crew-access-arm-arrives-sls-mobile-launcher/

Here is what SLS may launch to Mars
https://lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed/data/space/photo/mbc/MBC_Updates_IAC_2017.pdf
https://lockheedmartin.com/us/ssc/mars-orion.html

publiusr
2017-Nov-08, 09:02 PM
SLS-Europa
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2017/11/europa-clippers-launch-dependent-sls-ml-readiness/

selvaarchi
2017-Nov-09, 07:00 AM
It is now official - June 2020 is the target date for launch but hoping for December 2019.

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/nasa-resets-date-sls-moon-rockets-first-launch-2020-still-hopes-2019/

"Will it fly on 2019 or 2020? NASA’s latest schedule for the maiden launch of its heavy-lift Space Launch System rocket has it both ways. Today the space agency said June 2020 is now the official time frame for Exploration Mission-1, or EM-1, which would send the SLS and NASA’s Orion capsule on an uncrewed trip beyond lunar orbit and back. But in an SLS status update, NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot said a December 2019 date is still possible if planners address the manufacturing and production schedule risks that were identified during a review of the project."

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selvaarchi
2017-Nov-10, 12:25 AM
The knifes are being sharpened. If Falcon heavy and Dragon can fly before SLS - I expect them to be used.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/11/congressional-confidence-in-nasa-is-ebbing-senior-lawmaker-says/

"The US Congress championed the creation of NASA's Space Launch System rocket in 2010, at which time its members also successfully beat back an effort by the Obama administration to end support for the Orion spacecraft. Since then, Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate have patiently spent $3 billion to $4 billion annually for continued development of these deep space vehicles.

However, in recent years the projected launch date of the first flight of the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft has slipped to the right, from 2017 to 2018 and now likely into mid-2020. While overall support remains strong for these space vehicles, delays in their development may have begun to break the almost uniform congressional approbation for these exploration programs."

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selvaarchi
2018-Apr-05, 01:32 PM
NASA update on SLS - making progress but still behind schedule.

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/04/em-1-update-progress-still-behind-schedule/


Top NASA human exploration administrators briefed the Human Exploration Operations (HEO) committee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) on March 26, providing an update on development, testing, and preparations for the first integrated flight of the Orion crew spacecraft and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) is currently expected to launch in 2020.

The pacing items for reaching launch readiness, referred to as “critical paths” in the schedule, continue to be construction of the first SLS Core Stage and the first Orion European Service Module (ESM). The agency is targeting the end of 2019 as a target launch date, but both critical path items are running around three months behind that schedule.

publiusr
2018-Jun-23, 07:48 PM
An article on SLS
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/06/15/mars-moon-rocket-jack-schmitt-636632

"Those not familiar with spacecraft might argue that Orion weighs too much and that the mission should be done with lighter spacecraft. However, vehicles designed to carry crew to the International Space Station (Dragon-2 and CST-100 Starliner) – each weighing between 18 and 20 mT - do not incorporate the additional fuel needed for lunar orbit entry and return to Earth, the continuous communications capabilities designed for deep space navigation and guidance, life support systems, volume for consumables to sustain the spacecraft and crew required for lengthy deep space missions, a heat shield capable of lunar return speeds or greater, and hygiene systems. When combined with the unprecedented level of avionics and software redundancy, these systems also enable Orion to safely support multi-day contingency operations to return a lunar crew to Earth in case of emergency."

selvaarchi
2018-Jul-11, 12:26 PM
Now NASA is planning more SLS Block 1 launches.

http://spacenews.com/nasa-adding-more-sls-block-1-launches-to-manifest/


With two more launches of the Block 1 version of the Space Launch System now planned, NASA is starting work to procure and human-rate additional upper stages.

NASA originally expected to fly the Block 1 version of the SLS only once before moving to the more powerful Block 1B version of the rocket. The Block 1 uses an upper stage known as the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS), based on the Delta 4 upper stage. The Block 1B will replace the ICPS with the Exploration Upper Stage, a larger upper stage under development.

However, with funding from Congress provided in the fiscal year 2018 omnibus appropriations bill to build a second mobile launch platform, NASA now expects to use the Block 1 version more than once. Those additional launches can take place using the existing mobile launch platform while the new one, designed for Block 1B, is built. That move is designed to reduce concerns about a long gap between SLS missions had NASA gone through with original plans to modify the mobile launch platform after the first SLS mission so it could be used for the Block 1B.

selvaarchi
2018-Aug-14, 08:41 AM
"Digging into the details of Orion’s EM-1 test flight"

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/08/digging-details-orions-em-1-test-flight/


As NASA continues to analyze and refine the profile for the Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) test flight, more information about the multi-week mission is beginning to be detailed. The Orion spacecraft will fly into orbit around the Moon before returning to Earth in a shakedown mission before the first crew flies in Orion on Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2).

EM-1 will be the first flight of Orion’s European Service Module, also pairing it with the Crew Module for the first time, with hundreds of test objectives to be evaluated during the mission.

Orion will fly on EM-1 for the first time with all of its primary spacecraft elements. The European Service Module (ESM) will make its first flight, connected to the second crew module (CM) unit by a crew module adapter (CMA) making its first flight.

selvaarchi
2018-Sep-07, 03:28 PM
"Orion's third flight will haul two pieces of a space station to lunar orbit"

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason-davis/orion-em-3-gateway.html


NASA says astronauts will haul two pieces of a small space station to lunar orbit in 2024, during the second crewed flight of the Orion spacecraft.

Plans for the station, which is now referred to as the Gateway, have been shaping up since 2017. The Gateway, Space Launch System rocket and Orion crew capsule represent the core of NASA's plans to send humans back to the Moon and on to Mars. The Gateway is designed to host astronauts for short-term stays, serve as a waypoint for crewed surface missions and receive samples robotically collected from both the Moon and Mars.

selvaarchi
2018-Oct-13, 01:53 PM
Not good news by Leonard David :( . The title of his article is - "NASA’s SLS Booster – The Someday Launch System"

https://www.leonarddavid.com/report-nasas-sls-booster-the-someday-launch-system/


Originally, the first uncrewed mission of the combined Space Launch System (SLS)/Orion system known as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) had a launch readiness date of December 2017,

The first crewed mission of the system known as Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) was projected to launch in mid-2021.

Launch slips

However, a new NASA Office of Inspector General (OIG) report has found, due to continued production delays with the SLS Core Stage and upcoming critical testing and integration activities, current NASA schedules indicate launch dates of mid-2020 and mid-2022, respectively.

With $5.3 billion expended as of August 2018 out of $6.2 billion allocated for the Boeing Stages contract, NASA expects Boeing to reach the contract’s value by early 2019—nearly 3 years before the contract is supposed to end—without final delivery of a single Core Stage or EUS.

bknight
2018-Oct-13, 04:56 PM
As I said, I hope to be alive when this happens.
The clock keeps ticking.

Trebuchet
2018-Oct-14, 09:54 PM
Not good news by Leonard David :( . The title of his article is - "NASA’s SLS Booster – The Someday Launch System"

https://www.leonarddavid.com/report-nasas-sls-booster-the-someday-launch-system/

And it still may beat the JWST....
Fifteen years behind and counting.

publiusr
2018-Oct-15, 10:30 PM
Some retorts
www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2018/10/11/epic-fail-inspector-general-attack-on-nasa-super-rocket-marred-by-mistakes-omissions/#79ae3db46070
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/ ... itico.html

SLS will use metal tanks and LH2, something Musk doesn't want.

Also--this plays better with hydrolox lander architecture, like this:
https://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed-martin/space/documents/ahead/LM-Crewed-Lunar-Lander-from-Gateway-IAC-2018-Rev1.pdf?_ga=2.116053317.291590913.1538592165-885407726.1538592165

cjameshuff
2018-Oct-16, 12:16 AM
Some retorts
www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2018/10/11/epic-fail-inspector-general-attack-on-nasa-super-rocket-marred-by-mistakes-omissions/#79ae3db46070
https://twitter.com/SciGuySpace/status/ ... itico.html

SLS will use metal tanks and LH2, something Musk doesn't want.

Also--this plays better with hydrolox lander architecture, like this:
https://www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed-martin/space/documents/ahead/LM-Crewed-Lunar-Lander-from-Gateway-IAC-2018-Rev1.pdf?_ga=2.116053317.291590913.1538592165-885407726.1538592165

Loren Thompson? COO of the Lexington Institute, and long-time Boeing/Lockheed booster and writer of ridiculous SpaceX hit pieces? His credibility's down there with Andy Pasztor and Richard Hagar.

selvaarchi
2019-Mar-09, 01:11 PM
There might be slippage of the 2020 lunch date of first flight of Space Launch System.

https://spacenews.com/nasa-reassessing-date-for-first-sls-launch/


The director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center said March 5 that the agency is “reassessing” the 2020 launch date for the first flight of its Space Launch System, suggesting that the mission may face further delays.

During a question-and-answer session at a Space Transportation Association luncheon here, Jody Singer said the launch readiness date for Exploration Mission (EM) 1 is still in 2020, but did not give a more precise estimate of the date even as NASA reviews possible changes to it.

“We do know that we are reassessing those dates to see if that date will work, based on making sure we have the vehicle ready, and ready to go fly safely,” she said. “We are assessing that date. Our launch readiness date is still 2020, and we’re doing everything within our power to make sure that we support that.”

Singer didn’t identify the specific issues with EM-1 that prompted the reassessment, but NASA officials have previously said that the core stage of the SLS, along with the European-built service module for the Orion spacecraft that SLS will launch, were the items on the critical path for the mission.

docmordrid
2019-Mar-09, 06:43 PM
There might be slippage of the 2020 lunch date of first flight of Space Launch System.

https://spacenews.com/nasa-reassessing-date-for-first-sls-launch/

More like 2021/22, the program's a mess and GAO is readying another blistering report. The first several flights will be using Block 1, not Block 1B as had been planned for flights 2 and beyond because the Exploration Upper Stage is being redesigned. It'll fly ICPS, based on Delta IV',s DCSS upper stage.

It's to the point NASA's Europa Clipper team has developed contingency plans to fly on Falcon Heavy. With a 64+ ton capacity to LEO vs SLS Block 1's 70 tons all FH needs is a Star 48 kick stage and they're good to go.

FH is also up for two Gateway launches; the competed Power & Propulsion Element and a European module (per RussianSpaceWeb)

publiusr
2019-Mar-16, 06:19 PM
Still no hydrogen capability. That's the big reason I still support SLS--NTRs down the road.

cjameshuff
2019-Mar-16, 08:40 PM
Still no hydrogen capability. That's the big reason I still support SLS--NTRs down the road.

That makes no sense. SLS will be long dead by the time any NTR is flying, and the cost delta between SLS and Falcon Heavy for a single launch would pay for equipping multiple pads with LH2 handling equipment.

docmordrid
2019-Mar-17, 06:13 AM
Not to mention the anti-nuclear weenies who wring their hands every time an RTG lifts off, much less a full-blown reactor. Just watch when the first Kilopower goes uphill, they'll be trolling every space site comment section.

publiusr
2019-May-07, 07:13 PM
In some good news, an SLS/Europa Clipper model has been tested:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/05/nasa-sls-europa-clipper-wind-tunnel/

publiusr
2019-Jun-07, 07:07 PM
Progress:
https://www.nasa.gov/feature/moontomars/from-alabama-to-the-moon
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/06/sls-core-stage-mps-fuel-tank/

SLS launched probe outlined
http://kiss.caltech.edu/workshops/ism/presentations/KISS%20How%20Fast%20How%20Far_strange_final.pdf

On other options:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/04/nasa-lsp-studies-alternate-orion-options/

Some quotes...
Ultimately, SLS won, beating the alternatives – such as a fully expendable Falcon Heavy – as the best option to launch EM-1 per the provided guidelines...“The thing that kept me up at night just gagging was the prospect of needing to shift twenty-five metric tons three kilometers per second out of low Earth orbit into trans-lunar injection...“We weren’t going to be able to fit the command module and that stack inside of a conventional payload fairing that we would have to bring to bear on either Falcon Heavy or the Delta 4 Heavy...“So from an aerodynamic standpoint it also made the most sense to leave the LAS in place and that hurt because I really wanted to get rid of that thing, but it made sense,” Wood continued.......“What that meant was that the Service Module was required to augment that TLI burn by a thousand meters per second, that’s a fair amount of delta-V that they were eating into for their mission profile and that was what was keeping them from meeting all of their objectives, so we were never able to find that closed solution.

publiusr
2019-Jul-19, 03:28 PM
Some drawings of SLS and other HLLVs
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=47144.msg1966545#msg1966545
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/7660

Ares V
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6803

Apollo
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6816
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6815
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6800
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6801

Atlas LV family
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6817
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/7698

Delta/Thor family
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6805
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6806
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/7661
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/7662

Titan Family
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6822

Falcon family
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/6820

Proton
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/4767

H-2 Family
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/7695

Odd
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/3468
http://shipbucket.com/drawings/7283

7cscb
2019-Jul-19, 08:25 PM
Wow, very interesting site! Great to explore.

publiusr
2019-Aug-09, 09:58 PM
Core stage coming along:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/08/boeing-assembling-second-sls-core-stage/
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019/08/nasa-buying-long-lead-parts-third-orion-sls/