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Tuckerfan
2005-Mar-14, 12:14 AM
At least as far as working for NASA goes. (http://www.newscientist.com/channel/space/mg18524903.900)
THE next lunar lander won't be designed by the new generation of plucky space privateers after all, and for a bizarre reason.

While a consortium that includes Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, builders of the first privately owned spacecraft, say they can build a great spaceship, they don't have the expertise or resources to do all the paperwork.:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Madcat
2005-Mar-14, 12:19 AM
That sounds like a political statement to me. They could probably hire someone to handle the paperwork if it was really that hard.

Moose
2005-Mar-14, 12:24 AM
Actually, a (much smaller) place I once worked for (makes training software) decided they couldn't compete for US government projects directly, that they would have to limit themselves to subcontracting. The reason? The paperwork requirements just to bid were incredible, and way beyond our company's means. (80 persons at the time.)

Maksutov
2005-Mar-14, 12:56 AM
Actually, a (much smaller) place I once worked for (makes training software) decided they couldn't compete for US government projects directly, that they would have to limit themselves to subcontracting. The reason? The paperwork requirements just to bid were incredible, and way beyond our company's means. (80 persons at the time.)
Sounds about right.

Then when you get the contract the paperwork expands exponentially. When I was working for a company that produced power units for submarines, a shipment would consist of three railcars: one flatbed for the power unit in its shipping container, and two boxcars for the certification paperwork.

Grey
2005-Mar-14, 02:23 AM
I'm reminded of this (http://www.strw.leidenuniv.nl/~quanta/Jaargangen/1995/May/FeynmanJoking.html) story. (skip down to the English text)

Gullible Jones
2005-Mar-14, 02:35 AM
If I said what I thought about that, I'd be banned on the spot... :o

Crazieman
2005-Mar-14, 03:16 AM
That sounds like a political statement to me. They could probably hire someone to handle the paperwork if it was really that hard.

No its not.

Seriously, almost any contract work for the government requires literally thousands of pages of paperwork. Some cases tens of thousands, and I think NASA probably qualifies.

We've all seen the beaurocratic encroachment within, Rutan was someone on the outside looking in and couldn't take it.

They'd probably work together if it was the 60s heydays of NASA

Doodler
2005-Mar-14, 04:58 AM
Having seen and read GSA contracts for architects, I can tell you that the paperwork is not worth the time, lost dignity, or effort. The firm I work for is doing a job for a client who has the FDA as a tenant, and I can tell you there's no way in Hades' Dark Heart I'd ever stoop so low as to work directly for a government agency. I cannot ever fathom belonging to an organization set up to be deliberately inefficient.

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-14, 02:32 PM
The recieving end is just as bad. Not only do I have to request reams of paperwork, I have to review most of it and then fill out paperwork saying that I've reviewed it and that it is approved for uploading into the system.

And most companies don't work with the nuclear industry so it can turn into a nightmare real fast. There's some requirements so strict that the metal used has to be tracked almost back to the mine the ore came from.

My favorite is Quality Assured (QA) dirt. If you dig a hole, you can't put the same dirt that just came from said hole back into it. You have to truck in QA dirt to fill it.

Maksutov
2005-Mar-14, 02:39 PM
[edit]And most companies don't work with the nuclear industry so it can turn into a nightmare real fast. There's some requirements so strict that the metal used has to be tracked almost back to the mine the ore came from.
OK, what's the ladle analysis? Huh? Independent met lab, eh? Needs to be NIST certified, baby!


My favorite is Quality Assured (QA) dirt. If you dig a hole, you can't put the same dirt that just came from said hole back into it. You have to truck in QA dirt to fill it.
What a perversion of Quality Assurance. Dr. Deming must have done 99.73 turns in his grave by now.

#-o

frogesque
2005-Mar-14, 02:39 PM
...

My favorite is Quality Assured (QA) dirt. If you dig a hole, you can't put the same dirt that just came from said hole back into it. You have to truck in QA dirt to fill it.

I hate to ask this but what do you do with the dirt you took out? 8)

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-14, 02:59 PM
Paperwork doesn't stop with the contractors, you don't just blindly accept it. It has to be reviewed and approved, which means more paperwork. 2/3 of a project is filling out forms, many, occasionally most, unrelated to the work, only 1/3 is actually design-related stuff. (So that's 0.9999999... between the two. I have no idea what the remainder is, coffee breaks I guess.)

The standard answer to an issue found in the field is to add a form.

ToSeek
2005-Mar-14, 03:02 PM
I can affirm from personal experience that the government will spend $10,000 to make sure someone doesn't cheat them out of $5,000.

Captain Kidd
2005-Mar-14, 03:12 PM
...

My favorite is Quality Assured (QA) dirt. If you dig a hole, you can't put the same dirt that just came from said hole back into it. You have to truck in QA dirt to fill it.

I hate to ask this but what do you do with the dirt you took out? 8)
Well..... It's scattered on the ground. 8-[
To be more precise, it (usually) is taken to a corner of the site, but not always. Depends on how much was disturbed.

QA control is only for below-grade trenches and holes.

publiusr
2005-Mar-16, 06:23 PM
I hate to say this, but I never thought that much of Rutan myself. The best thing for him to do is to try to market a cheap UAV out of the Global Flyer and leave space to the experts, before we see a repeat of what happened to John Denver.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-16, 06:25 PM
I hate to say this, but I never thought that much of Rutan myself. The best thing for him to do is to try to market a cheap UAV out of the Global Flyer and leave space to the experts, before we see a repeat of what happened to John Denver.

If you see just how many working and proven planes he designed, I do think it is impressive. He's one of those people who can design a good plane concept on a napkin, with a very good and realistic feeling of flight dynamics.

Doodler
2005-Mar-16, 07:01 PM
I hate to say this, but I never thought that much of Rutan myself. The best thing for him to do is to try to market a cheap UAV out of the Global Flyer and leave space to the experts, before we see a repeat of what happened to John Denver.

*sigh*

God forbid, someone wants to do something in a manner that doesn't suit that one rocket lifts all philosophy, eh?

Go back to that post that was linked from the newly appointed NASA chief and read the paragraph immediately following his statement supporting the development of a heavy lift vehicle. The jist of it comes down to one size does not fit all. You need a range of operational vehicles to suit missions of differing scales.

What a drunken musician who had no business at the controls of a plane has to do with anything Burt Rutan's up to, I have no clue.

publiusr
2005-Mar-16, 07:12 PM
I never once said anything about one size fits all. We need an HLLV and an EELV--not two EELVs and the joke that is SS1.

Not everybody likes Rutan. Ask some folks at Space Dev off the record and see what they say.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-16, 07:17 PM
I never once said anything about one size fits all. We need an HLLV and an EELV--not two EELVs and the joke that is SS1.

Not everybody likes Rutan. Ask some folks at Space Dev off the record and see what they say.

What did they tell you about Rutan? What were their arguments?

BTW the practical use of SS1 was nothing more than a demonstrator, for a tourist application.

Of course it fails in all aspects when you compare it with serious launch vehicles. They can't be compared.

publiusr
2005-Mar-16, 08:08 PM
They have to do business with them--do some calling around. I'm not going to name names here. You may remember the Discovery Channel pesentation where he had an artist depiction of an orbital version of SS1.

That is bad engineering for two reasons. To start off with, mini-spaceplanes should not in fact be top-mounted because pitch-loads and bending moments will try to tear them off--that is why Dennis Smith wanted X-37 in a shroud. That was all over Space News a couple of years ago.

Secondly, his shuttlecock design is no good at orbital velocities. The Shuttle-like X-34 design is far more rugged. Don't let the Columbia-fluke fool you--there is nothing fragile or bad about the shuttles center-of-envelope design. If you do your homework, OSP was evolving into just that type of design before it was killed for CEVs that could also have a role in exploration.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-16, 08:10 PM
They have to do business with them--do some calling around. I'm not going to name names here. You may remember the Discovery Channel pesentation where he had an artist depiction of an orbital version of SS1.

That is bad engineering for two reasons. To start off with, mini-spaceplanes should not in fact be top-mounted because pitch-loads and bending moments will try to tear them off--that is why Dennis Smith wanted X-37 in a shroud. That was all over Space News a couple of years ago.

Secondly, his shuttlecock design is no good at orbital velocities. The Shuttle-like X-34 design is far more rugged. Don't let the Columbia-fluke fool you--there is nothing fragile or bad about the shuttles center-of-envelope design. If you do your homework, OSP was evolving into just that type of design before it was killed for CEVs that could also have a role in exploration.

I'm sorry Publiusr, but I don't see to which this a response. Can you give the question in quote, and further elaborate?

publiusr
2005-Mar-16, 08:12 PM
Log onto the Space Dev site, and call around. Ask people off the record. Or better, ask the folks at AERA. I'm not the only one critical of Rutan. Take my word for it.

W.F. Tomba
2005-Mar-16, 08:18 PM
Log onto the Space Dev site, and call around. Ask people off the record. Or better, ask the folks at AERA. I'm not the only one critical of Rutan. Take my word for it.
Take your word for what? Every well-known person has critics. You're just making vague hints that "people don't like Rutan." Has he got b.o. or something? Are you saying anything at all about him?

publiusr
2005-Mar-16, 08:27 PM
Look at the Discovery Channel again--and then try to take the shuttlecock design for orbital use seriously.

This is what we need to support:

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/


Now that is improvement. I just hope the Russians get the funds. I'm free to disagree with Rutan if I want to. Its a free country. He will go on to some other project, and branson is too easily distracted by bright shiny objects to stay focused.

lets talk again in five years, and see what has changed--and what hasn't

Nicolas
2005-Mar-16, 08:32 PM
Log onto the Space Dev site, and call around. Ask people off the record. Or better, ask the folks at AERA. I'm not the only one critical of Rutan. Take my word for it.

Publiusr, why do you want us to do that all over again. You can just tell us what their arguments etc were. I did not ask for names.

Some comments on that post of yours; the one of which I asked what it was an answer to:

*SS1 is not top-mounted.
*I saw a presentation of a larger commercial version of SS1 (designed for Virgin Galactic), called "SS2". It was suborbital as well.

Rutan said himself:

FUTURE ORBITAL Flight
Burt made it very clear that he is working hard on developing an Orbital vehicle. It's not clear if he is actually building hardware, but he is clearly working on a design.
He was very clear on the difference in challenges between sub-orbital and orbital.

He discussed that air launch does not add much significant energy to an orbital craft.

He discussed the energy advantages of Launching from the Equator.

He discussed the need for a orbital tourist destination and mentioned the work of Bigelow aerospace and inflatable structures.

All in all I though he had a good handle on what was needed for low cost manned orbital space flight.

Before the X-Prize, he had plans of a 1person plane, docking with an orbital hotel at 130 km. An orbital hotel at only 130 km seems very inefficient considering aeordynamic drag. Also, SS1 would need very serious adaptation in order to become orbital. A real heatshield to name one thing.

I don't know how much of these talks will become development issues or real craft. I prefer to focus on the real craft, and less to what is proposed during speaches. I find the poropsition of a 130 km orbiting hhotel very strange. The final (space)planes of Rutan make sense to me however.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-16, 08:36 PM
I'm free to disagree with Rutan if I want to. Its a free country.

Of course you're free. Nobody claimed the contrary. There's no need to imply that.

But I would like some clear and elaborated posts, that clearly show your reasoning and how you came to your conclusions.

btw Hey look! Somebody suggests for the first time ever that we should support (Russian) heavy launch vehicles.

Publiusr, PLEASE start a thread about the topic if you really want to talk about it, instead of getting this subject into a whole bouquet of other threads.