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  [Discuss] NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) (Page 4)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] NASA's Space Launch System (SLS)
SpaceAngel
Member

Posts: 263
From: Maryland
Registered: May 2010

posted 11-21-2017 12:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAngel   Click Here to Email SpaceAngel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In case no one heard, the SLS launch has been slipped until 2020; what a setback and I can concede that safety is a BIG priority.

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1476
From: Bethpage, N.Y.
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 11-21-2017 12:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know the delays are for a good reason but it get discouraging not only for this launch but to hear that there will be a delay of about two years for the next flight. That's the difference between the Saturn V and the SLS.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 40304
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-21-2017 01:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The two years (22 months) between EM-1 and EM-2 is primary driven by the time needed to modify the mobile launcher to support the taller Exploration Upper Stage (EUS) equipped Space Launch System that will launch on EM-2 for the first time.
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAngel:
...slipped until 2020
Officially, NASA is targeting December 2019 for EM-1:
While the review of the possible manufacturing and production schedule risks indicate a launch date of June 2020, the agency is managing to December 2019," said acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot. "Since several of the key risks identified have not been actually realized, we are able to put in place mitigation strategies for those risks to protect the December 2019 date."

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 40304
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-15-2018 08:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In an editorial for Politico, Harrison Schmitt lays out the case for the Space Launch System.
Since the test flight of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy launch vehicle a few short months ago, many have questioned why we need SLS when commercial vehicles boast "bargain" prices. Their arguments center on the price-per-pound to orbit of commercial vehicles compared to SLS. However a price-per-pound comparison is practically meaningless in the context of real deep space mission requirements.

We need to launch crew along with the systems and supplies needed to support human life for longer than a couple of days in order to begin building our next "home away from home" in deep space. Depending upon location we will also need to launch a lot of infrastructure. For example, if lunar resources are to be used to support terrestrial fusion power, lunar settlement, and Mars exploration, large scale production and refining equipment and habitat and power facilities will be required.

SLS is designed to evolve to meet these needs. For purposes of comparison, let's assess just the current capabilities of SLS and SpaceX's Falcon Heavy in the context of each of deep space mission requirements...

cspg
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Posts: 6008
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 06-15-2018 10:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Why do we need to launch crew and cargo together? As for fusion, it doesn't work as of now so I fail to see what the SLS has anything to do with it.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 40304
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-15-2018 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Schmitt has long advocated that helium-3 resources on the moon could be the driving force for a return, so while it is not a NASA priority, it is understandable why he included it.
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Why do we need to launch crew and cargo together?
We don't, and SLS is not envisioned to launch with a crew on every flight, but Orion has been built to fly on SLS and Schmitt lays out his reasons for why he thinks Orion is the vehicle of choice.

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 783
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 06-15-2018 09:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For purposes of comparison, let's assess just the current capabilities of SLS and SpaceX's Falcon Heavy in the context of each of deep space mission requirements...
Last I heard the "current capabilities" of the SLS are zero, and both the major variants of it still need many billions of dollars of development funding.

Fra Mauro
Member

Posts: 1476
From: Bethpage, N.Y.
Registered: Jul 2002

posted 07-30-2018 12:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will there be any test firings of the liquid stages of the SLS before the actual launch?

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 40304
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-30-2018 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A "green run" test slated for 2019 will fire the entire SLS EM-1 core stage with its four RS-25 engines on the B-2 test stand at Stennis Space Center.

The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) is already at the Cape awaiting launch. It is directly based on the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage, which has a long flight history.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 40304
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 10-10-2018 07:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Office of Inspector General assessed NASA's management of the Boeing contract developing the Space Launch System's core stages and Exploration Upper Stage, key parts of the new heavy-lift rocket.

oly
Member

Posts: 543
From: Perth, Western Australia
Registered: Apr 2015

posted 10-10-2018 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for oly   Click Here to Email oly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay, this is only my opinion, for what it may be worth.

It seems lessons learnt during previous systems developments do not get picked up by follow up programs. The logistics of the SLS is by no means something new to NASA or many contractors, and Boeing have vast experience with large scale complexed programs.

The SLS basic design is nothing revolutionary or something never tried before, the tank designs, thrust structure, engines and thermal protection designs are all evolution or carry over items.

Based on this, it seems strange NASA, with ongoing budget constraints, allow contracts to overrun like this without A) knowing about it, B) having some control over it, C) wanting to get best value for money return.

This is the reason commercial programs were pushed by governments, to get better value for their dollar (your dollar), and yet overruns and delays have no perceivable penalty, other than some bad press for a while. If the previous generation successfully achieved the goal of putting a man on the moon by the end of the decade, putting a launch vehicle into service, using legacy items, within a budget and timeframe surely must be within some achievable realm.

There should be some kind of penalty for failure to meet milestones, and a failure to deliver. Perhaps if a failure to deliver resulted in a requirement for the next 3 launch vehicles to be delivered at no cost to government, tighter control of the programs would be undertaken at earlier stages.

There must be a point in time when somebody considers looking at the Orion spacecraft being mated to a Falcon Heavy or another launch vehicle so that the Orion program can continue forward and let SLS fortunes be self fulfilling. That way, if Boeing have confidence in the SLS, they will find a way to bring it online, and the Orion program becomes stand alone as well. This also does what the commercial space partnership idea originally intended, by giving players capable of achieving what is required a chance.

If Blue Origin or someone else can take on the launch requirements that SLS spruiked, this may be the nail in the coffin SLS detractors have been seeking.

I hope SLS becomes a reality, if only so that the past few years have not been in vain. I myself have failed to find an enthusiasm for SLS because it always seemed to be going backward from the direction a NASA driven program should, I believe, be done. NASA driven programs should be cutting edge, ingenious ideas to achieve goals. SLS seemed to be a means to an end or a way of keeping someone busy until a better idea comes along. Taking the left over items from a 30 year old program, reinventing the wheel to build a heavy lift rocket, trashing assets in the ocean while researching environmental and climate science, at the cost of billions in development dollars, without the expectation that some new and exciting innovation will come out of it seems like madness on a drug fueled rampage. I have sometimes wondered how the discussions of such ideas play out.

If it fails, I at least hope the SSME units assigned to SLS find a better purpose. There must be a long list of people who could use just some of the money SLS needs to be completed for an idea or program within the aerospace or space arena that have been previously rejected due to lack of funds, or a former space shuttle program employee that now feel slightly more annoyed.


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