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Thread: Space Launch System (SLS)

  1. #181
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    Now NASA is planning more SLS Block 1 launches.

    http://spacenews.com/nasa-adding-mor...s-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.

  2. #182
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    "Digging into the details of Orion’s EM-1 test flight"

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018...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.

  3. #183
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    "Orion's third flight will haul two pieces of a space station to lunar orbit"

    http://www.planetary.org/blogs/jason...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.
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  4. #184
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    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-...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.
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  5. #185
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    As I said, I hope to be alive when this happens.
    The clock keeps ticking.

  6. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    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-...launch-system/
    And it still may beat the JWST....
    Fifteen years behind and counting.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #187
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    Some retorts
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorentho.../#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/conte...726.1538592165

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Some retorts
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorentho.../#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/conte...726.1538592165
    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.

  9. #189
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    There might be slippage of the 2020 lunch date of first flight of Space Launch System.

    https://spacenews.com/nasa-reassessi...st-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.
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  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    There might be slippage of the 2020 lunch date of first flight of Space Launch System.

    https://spacenews.com/nasa-reassessi...st-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)
    Last edited by docmordrid; 2019-Mar-09 at 07:21 PM.

  11. #191
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    Still no hydrogen capability. That's the big reason I still support SLS--NTRs down the road.

  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    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.

  13. #193
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    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.

  14. #194
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    In some good news, an SLS/Europa Clipper model has been tested:
    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019...r-wind-tunnel/

  15. #195
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    Progress:
    https://www.nasa.gov/feature/moontom...ma-to-the-moon
    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019...mps-fuel-tank/

    SLS launched probe outlined
    http://kiss.caltech.edu/workshops/is...ange_final.pdf

    On other options:
    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019...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.
    Last edited by publiusr; 2019-Jun-07 at 07:29 PM.

  16. #196
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  17. #197
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    Wow, very interesting site! Great to explore.

  18. #198
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  19. #199
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    "First SLS launch now expected in late 2021"

    https://spacenews.com/first-sls-laun...-in-late-2021/

    NASA now expects the first launch of the Space Launch System to take place in late 2021, with the coronavirus pandemic at least partially contributing to the latest delays.

    Speaking at a May 14 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s Human Exploration and Operations Committee, Tom Whitmeyer, NASA assistant deputy associate administrator, said the agency would announce as soon as next week that the launch readiness date for the Artemis 1 mission has slipped to late 2021.

    “We’re feeling fairly comfortable that we will be having the Artemis 1 mission towards the end of next year,” he said. He declined to be more specific about the date, citing the upcoming formal announcement by the agency of the launch date.
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  20. #200
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    "NASA increases cost estimate for SLS development"

    https://spacenews.com/nasa-increases...s-development/

    NASA has increased the cost estimates for the Space Launch System and its ground systems to the point where a formal congressional notification is required.

    In an Aug. 27 blog post, Kathy Lueders, NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said the agency was moving ahead with SLS development with the goal of a first launch of the heavy-lift rocket no later than November 2021.

    In her statement, Lueders said NASA had increased the cost estimate for the development of the SLS and Exploration Ground Systems (EGS), the ground infrastructure needed to support SLS launches. For SLS, the “development baseline cost” is now $9.1 billion, while for EGS that cost estimate is now $2.4 billion.
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  21. #201
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    Any bets on how long it will be before that first launch date drifts into 2022?

  22. #202
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    In my own industry, we are literally doing for $ 80 what the Big Old Names are doing for $ 12k, so unfortunately I'm not even surprised.

    I think that they'll still be issuing increased cost estimates when Starships are already firmly on the surface of the moon.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  23. #203
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    Today's SLS booster test

    Starts at 20:16

    https://youtu.be/EOyBNUJ5bA8

  24. #204
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    They've been flying these boosters since 40 years ago and they've been ground testing the 5 segment version since 2015. No wonder Musk feels like things could go faster.

    For reference, in 2015 Falcon 9 did its first landing test. Meanwhile they've perfected landing, gone through 2 more major developments of F9, developed and flown F9H, developed and hopped Raptor, Starhopper, and a Starship prototype... The contrast is just massive.
    Last edited by Nicolas; 2020-Sep-03 at 12:54 PM.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  25. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    They've been flying these boosters since 40 years ago and they've been ground testing the 5 segment version since 2015. No wonder Musk feels like things could go faster.

    For reference, in 2015 Falcon 9 did its first landing test. Meanwhile they've perfected landing, gone through 2 more major developments of F9, developed and flown F9H, developed and hopped Raptor, Starhopper, and a Starship prototype... The contrast is just massive.
    The cynic in me is thinking that they felt the need to show something happening with the SLS program and this was the simplest and safest option. Unless anyone is aware of any changes or upgrades they were testing?

    ETA: Okay found an article that mentions some changes:

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2020/09/0...-hotfire-test/

    A primary objective for the test-firing Wednesday was to examine the performance of the rocket’s fuel — an aluminum powder — procured from a different supplier, according to Charlie Precourt, vice president of propulsion systems at Northrop Grumman.
    Engineers also tested new materials in the rocket motor’s nozzle during Wednesday’s hotfire test.
    However this all seems a bit academic as the article also states:

    Some of the rocket motor’s design changes tested Wednesday could be introduced beginning with the ninth SLS flight, officials said.
    Last edited by Garrison; 2020-Sep-03 at 08:47 PM.

  26. #206
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    I had a bit the same feeling. More of a need to show some smoke & flame rather than an indication of swift progress to flight hardware.

    Mind you that I have lots of respect for the people who design and build this stuff, as it's just as difficult as what the people at SpaceX are doing. My issue is with the whole organisational structure that allows/pushes this kind of overly expensive, overly slow development without a clear goal/mission.

    Ah well, we've just seen another Starship prototype fly...
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  27. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas View Post
    I had a bit the same feeling. More of a need to show some smoke & flame rather than an indication of swift progress to flight hardware.

    Mind you that I have lots of respect for the people who design and build this stuff, as it's just as difficult as what the people at SpaceX are doing. My issue is with the whole organisational structure that allows/pushes this kind of overly expensive, overly slow development without a clear goal/mission.

    Ah well, we've just seen another Starship prototype fly...
    You can tell the engineers aren't in charge by the fact that the SRBs were carried over from STS to SLS. At most they should have bee relegated to an actual booster role and only used for lifting heavier payloads as with the likes of the Atlas V.

  28. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
    You can tell the engineers aren't in charge by the fact that the SRBs were carried over from STS to SLS. At most they should have bee relegated to an actual booster role and only used for lifting heavier payloads as with the likes of the Atlas V.
    SLS needs the boosters to lift *ANY* payload off the ground; the core stage's 4 RS-25's put out about 7,440 kN (1,670,000 lbf), which is less than a Falcon 9's 7,607 kN (1,710,000 lbf).

  29. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by docmordrid View Post
    SLS needs the boosters to lift *ANY* payload off the ground; the core stage's 4 RS-25's put out about 7,440 kN (1,670,000 lbf), which is less than a Falcon 9's 7,607 kN (1,710,000 lbf).
    And they can't be air-started, if Garrison was talking about using the core as an upper stage.

    Those solid boosters may turn out to be a fundamental incompatibility with the Europa Clipper. The exact nature of the incompatibility hasn't been described, but is likely to be an issue with the vibration environment, and those boosters are rough enough that the Ares I had to add heavy vibration dampers to keep them from killing the crew.

    https://spacenews.com/compatibility-...cle-selection/

  30. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    And they can't be air-started, if Garrison was talking about using the core as an upper stage.

    Those solid boosters may turn out to be a fundamental incompatibility with the Europa Clipper. The exact nature of the incompatibility hasn't been described, but is likely to be an issue with the vibration environment, and those boosters are rough enough that the Ares I had to add heavy vibration dampers to keep them from killing the crew.

    https://spacenews.com/compatibility-...cle-selection/
    I meant that in a sensible design the core would be able to lift itself a second stage, and a payload without any strap on boosters and said boosters would only exist to increase payload capacity. The deficiency in the design that requires the boosters for the vehicle to get off the ground was carried over from the STS to the SLS for nakedly political reasons.

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