Campaign '08, Congress, NASA

Nelson: NASA doesn’t want to “stir up the people” at KSC

On Monday several members of Congress, including Sen. Bill Nelson and Congressmen Tom Feeney and Dave Weldon, held a “workshop” on space issues Monday in Brevard County, Florida, where people are understandably concerned about life after the space shuttle. According to Florida Today, Nelson said that his subcommittee had proposed holding a field hearing this summer to review the future of KSC but that NASA was opposed: “I’m sad to tell you, NASA has asked me not to have a meeting, because they don’t want to stir up the people.” A NASA spokesman later contacted by the paper said that the agency would support any hearing the committee held.

The Orlando Sentinel focused on another claim made by Nelson: that space could, in effect, be a key issue in the general election because of the pivotal role of Florida, and within the state, the “I-4 corridor”, including the Space Coast. “The next president is going to decide a lot [about the space program],” Nelson said. “And East-Central Florida has an opportunity to influence the next president because, at the end of the day, Florida is going to be important this November.” However, as the Republican primary this January showed, space may not nearly be as critical issue in the state or region as some supporters hope.

118 comments to Nelson: NASA doesn’t want to “stir up the people” at KSC

  • Amy

    I’ve been lurking a bit and just wanted to add that because of the job cuts set to occur at KSC in 2010, Brevard County is also intending on laying off teachers as well. They’ve just made this announcement a few days ago so the space program job cuts aren’t effecting only NASA employees but other employees of the state in the area. It’s a bad time to live around Kennedy.

  • Anon

    Amy,

    I am sure they will be able to find urban teaching jobs under Obama’s Shuttles to Social Welfare space policy.

  • anonymousspace

    “I am sure they will be able to find urban teaching jobs under Obama’s Shuttles to Social Welfare space policy.”

    The Bush II Administration that set the Shuttle retirement date, not the next White House (Obama or not).

    FWIW…

  • anonymousspace

    It’s dismaying that the best (only?) political strategy for the Shuttle workforce transition that a multi-term Florida senator like Nelson can come up with is to have constituents “work’em over” when the Presidential candidates come to Florida. Sigh…

    The one eyebrow-raising excerpt from the Orlando Sentinel article was:

    “Former congressman Bob Walker, now a lobbyist working for Brevard County, told the workshop that all the candidates were starting to question whether NASA’s choice of vehicles to go back to the moon — especially the Ares rocket that has been dogged by political and technical difficulties — was a mistake.”

    Thank heavens someone is paying attention. The Ares I upper stage and interstage alone are already overweight by over 3,500 lbs. and that’s before thrust oscillation countermeasures are accounted for. See (add http://www.)

    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5413

    Oy vey…

  • Vladislaw

    “I’m sad to tell you, NASA has asked me not to have a meeting, because they don’t want to stir up the people.”

    Who does Nelson work for? NASA or the people who elected him. It should not matter what Nasa says Nelson should be fighting for HIS constituents interests, not NASA. If it means raising some hell and getting some media attention then he should do it.

  • Anon

    But Obama is the one that plans to delay the Shuttle replacement, turning a short gap into an American retreat from human spaceflight.

  • Zeus

    Delay Ares, Orion, Constellation and the VSE?

    Nonsense. We intend to kill it entirely.

  • “Former congressman Bob Walker, now a lobbyist working for Brevard County, told the workshop that all the candidates were starting to question whether NASA’s choice of vehicles to go back to the moon — especially the Ares rocket that has been dogged by political and technical difficulties — was a mistake.”

    That’s the Space advocacy community I know and love–let’s fight a battle over Ares I that sets back what progress we have. That way, the enemies of manned Space can sit back and wait til we’ve bloodied each other up, disinterested our now-former supporters, and confused the public before they move in for the coup de grace and use Constellation money for one of their pet projects.

    Let’s try some facts:
    There is no launcher on the screen that can get Orion into LEO other than the Ares I. Yes, LockMart will argue loudly that the Atlas V is up for the job. What LockMart doesn’t say is that they need a few Billion to make the Atlas V man-rated, increase its thrust significantly, and do the many other things needed to make a square peg fit a round hole. What a wonderful debate to have while the real issue, that being money to close the Shuttle-Orion, is neglected?

    Haven’t read or heard anywhere that the Ares I second stage is over weight or that the inter-stage between the second stage and the SM is over weight. Whoever wrote that, unless you work on that hardware or at MSFC, are you sure you know what you’re writing is correct? If so, sources?

    Obama has said he would allow Orion to become operational, but not include any funding increases, and delay Constellation for 5 years to raid NASA’s budget of $3 Billion for his Education initiative.

    Clinton is the only one who has stated that she’d close the gap to as little as 3 years, which would require NASA to get $2 Billion very early in 2009. Closing the gap any more would require very large amounts of additional funding.

    McCain has said he would cut all non-Defense spending by 1%, which means the Shuttle-Orion gap would increase.

    Bush’s original VSE plans called for a 1-2 year gap between Shuttle retirement and Orion launching, a gap that has increased to nearly 6 years due to a lack of promised funding by the President. And when Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison (R. TX) and Sen. Mikulsky (D. MD) tried to get $1 Billion in additional money appropriated in 2007 for NASA to at least keep the gap down to 5 years, the Bush Admin. threatened to veto the Bill including such funding.

    There is only one debate to have, and it isn’t about to Ares I or not. It’s about money to close the growing gap between Shuttle and Orion. I hope the Space Advocacy community can focus long enough to work on that real issue, rather than chasing ones made by others, so that the number and length of time KSC, JSC, MSFC and other NASA center employees are furloughed is kept to a minimum.

  • Thor

    There is no launcher on the screen that can get Orion into LEO other than the Ares I.

    You people just don’t get it, do you. Ares I is a joke. Orion is a joke. Constellation is a joke. Ergo, Nasa is a joke. America is a joke.

    You are a joke. A really bad joke. The rest of the world is laughing at you.

  • JM

    The Ares I will not close with the current requirements, and gets further away from this as the design matures. But that’s not the main problem with this whole escapade. The real issue is that it pits a government bureaucracy against private industry. If we want to go toe-to-toe with the Europeans and Chinese in the launch vehicle market, we need to be fostering private, independent launch development and operations, not competing with it.

    NASA’s current direction harkens to the Design Bureau culture of the Soviet era.

  • Me

    Hillhouse, there are no facts in your post..

    “There is no launcher on the screen that can get Orion into LEO other than the Ares I.”

    That is not a fact and even so currently the Ares I can’t do it. Your statements about Atlas are all incorrect. Atlas can do it for less that the cost of either the Ares upperstage, the 5 segment FSB or complex 39 mods. Pick one. Manrating the Atlas is not an issue and actually would be easier than the stick.

    As for a square peg in a round hole, that is the perfect description of the stick. The SRB was never meant to be a standalone first stage. Atlas has a perfect solution for Orion that is cheaper and safer than the stick

    “Haven’t read or heard anywhere that the Ares I second stage is over weight or that the inter-stage between the second stage and the SM is over weight”

    You aren’t in the loop. See L2 at Nasaspaceflight.com

  • anonymousspace

    “That’s the Space advocacy community I know and love”

    That quote is not from a member of the “space advocacy community” (however that’s defined). It’s from a former Republican congressman who was chair of the House Science Committee and who has since chaired or served on a variety of White House and National Research Council panels on space sector issues. NASA has awarded Walker its Distinguished Service Medal and Distinguished Public Service Medal.

    The fact that someone of Walker’s stature and proximity to NASA is questioning Ares I and Orion arguably speaks volumes about the trouble those projects are in.

    “let’s fight a battle over Ares I that sets back what progress we have”

    There’s been no progress. Griffin rolled out ESAS in the fall of 2005, promising an Ares I/Orion IOC seven years later in 2012. It’s now the spring of 2008, almost three years later, and Ares I/Orion IOC is still more than seven years away in late 2015 (at a minimum).

    “That way, the enemies of manned Space can sit back and wait til we’ve bloodied each other up, disinterested our now-former supporters, and confused the public before they move in for the coup de grace and use Constellation money for one of their pet projects.”

    The Constellation budget, especially for the human lunar elements (Ares V/EDS/Altair), is in jeopardy because the funding for those elements has been pushed well into the term of the next President by Ares I/Orion costs. NASA had a golden opportunity to lock in the development of actual human space exploration hardware under a friendly Bush II Administration and VSE policy, and Griffin/ESAS/Constellation wasted that opportunity developing a duplicative LEO launcher instead.

    This situation has nothing to do with the internal arguments of any group of space cadets (myself included).

    “What LockMart doesn’t say is that they need a few Billion to make the Atlas V man-rated, increase its thrust significantly, and do the many other things needed to make a square peg fit a round hole.”

    A few billion dollars to order a human-rated version of the Atlas V heavy would be a bargain in comparison to the $14 billion cost of developing the Ares I.

    Moreover, there’s nothing that dictates that Orion must be as big, heavy, and expensive as it is. LockMart/Bigelow’s CTV would also carry six crew to LEO but can launch on an Atlas V 402. Similarly, Space-X’s Dragon also carries six crew but would be a smaller and lighter crew capsule.

    “Haven’t read or heard anywhere that the Ares I second stage is over weight or that the inter-stage between the second stage and the SM is over weight.”

    Here’s the link again. Please follow and read it (add http://www.):

    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5413

    If you add up the differences between the allocated and estimated figures for the Ares I upper stage, interstage, and residual propellant mass, the estimated mass for the Ares 1 second stage is 3,541 lbs. over its allocated mass.

    “Whoever wrote that, unless you work on that hardware or at MSFC, are you sure you know what you’re writing is correct? If so, sources?”

    The numbers in the article are taken directly from NASA presentations, available in the Level 2 section of the nasaspaceflight.com website. Moreover, they’re consistent with the long list of threats and issues from two GAO reports on Ares I, one from last December and one released just this month. See (add http://):

    science.house.gov/publications/requested_reports_detail.aspx?NewsID=2044

    and

    democrats.science.house.gov/Media/File/Commdocs/hearings/2008/Space/3apr/Chaplain_Testimony.pdf

    “Clinton is the only one who has stated that she’d close the gap to as little as 3 years, which would require NASA to get $2 Billion very early in 2009.”

    Clinton has only stated that she favors a “robust” human space flight program and that she will “speed” development of next-generation vehicles to replace the Space Shuttle. Clinton has not referenced Constellation, Ares I, or Orion by name, nevertheless stated that she would close the gap to three years or add $2 billion to the Constellation budget. (I’m not knocking Clinton’s position — just correcting inaccurate statements about what Clinton has actually said and not said.)

    “Bush’s original VSE plans called for a 1-2 year gap between Shuttle retirement and Orion launching,”

    Incorrect. The VSE directed Shuttle retirement in 2010 and the first flight of the Crew Exploration Vehicle in 2014 — a “gap” of four years, not one or two years. With an Ares I/Orion IOC of 2015, Constellation is now at least one year behind that schedule and slipping (and three years behind the ESAS schedule, which called for an Ares I/Orion IOC in 2012).

    “a gap that has increased to nearly 6 years due to a lack of promised funding by the President.”

    Congress is equally guilty of not passing NASA budgets commensurate with the budget projections in the VSE (or its own NASA authorization bill).

    But the amount by which the White House and Congress have underfunded the VSE is still smaller than the amount by which Ares I and Orion overran the VSE budget for Crew Exploration Vehicle development from the very start of their development. Griffin had to terminate many billions of dollars worth of ISS research, nuclear power and propulsion development, and other exploration technology development just to get Ares I and Orion started.

    “And when Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison (R. TX) and Sen. Mikulsky (D. MD) tried to get $1 Billion in additional money appropriated in 2007 for NASA to at least keep the gap down to 5 years”

    The “gap” did not increase to six or more years without passage of the Mikulski “miracle”. Even without passage of the Mikulski “miracle”, the “gap” still stands at five years. The Mikulski “miracle” was and is mostly about paying the Shuttle and ISS programs back for Columbia and Katrina recovery costs (and probably funneling dollars to NASA programs in Maryland), and little about Constellation.

    “What a wonderful debate to have while the real issue, that being money to close the Shuttle-Orion, is neglected?… There is only one debate to have, and it isn’t about to Ares I or not. It’s about money to close the growing gap between Shuttle and Orion.”

    As long as the options are limited to Shuttle and Ares I/Orion, the gap arguably can no longer be closed, or even shortened, with any reasonable budget increase.

    Continuing Shuttle operations past 2010 would require upwards of $10 billion for recertification plus $4-5 billion per year for Shuttle operations, or $30-40 billion total to keep Shuttle operating through 2015. That kind of increase to the NASA budget is out of the question.

    The $2 billion that Griffin has quoted for Ares I/Orion acceleration is for FY 2009-10 only. It does not include the low single billions more that would be needed in FY 2010-13 to maintain Ares I/Orion acceleration to 2013. Moreover, in NASA’s FY 2010 budget process, Orion is reportedly busting its budget to the tune of about $3 billion, so more money would only go to preserving the existing schedule, not accelerating it. See (add http://)

    rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2008/04/this-wont-hurt-bit.html

    And more than that, GAO has repeatedly pointed out that the long-pole in Ares I development, the J-2X upper stage engine, will likely not be developed until 2017 based on SSME experience, regardless of how much money is thrown at it. See (add http://):

    science.house.gov/publications/requested_reports_detail.aspx?NewsID=2044

    and

    democrats.science.house.gov/Media/File/Commdocs/hearings/2008/Space/3apr/Chaplain_Testimony.pdf

    Barring another complete redesign of Ares I/Orion, the only options left for reducing the gap are alternative vehicles that can be developed on quicker timeframes at less cost.

    “so that the number and length of time KSC, JSC, MSFC and other NASA center employees are furloughed is kept to a minimum.”

    I hate to sound callous, but there are better policy reasons for reducing the gap than preservation of NASA jobs at taxpayer expense. NASA’s human space flight programs are not welfare-to-work programs — they should produce something of utility to the nation, not simply maintain workforces indefinitely towards no concrete end.

    My 2 cents… FWIW…

  • anonymousspace

    “But Obama is the one that plans to delay the Shuttle replacement,”

    Incorrect. Unlike Clinton or McCain, Obama has referenced Ares I and Orion by name and stated his intention to maintain their development and minimize the gap. See (http://www):

    spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=26647

    With all the problems on Ares I/Orion, I’d argue that an Obama White House would end up eating these words and would be better off staying away from specific references to Ares I/Orion. But the fact remains that the Obama campaign is the only remaining campaign to have made such references.

    “turning a short gap into an American retreat from human spaceflight.”

    In light of the recent Soyuz near-accident and the threat to ISS operations in the absence of a Soyuz alternative after Shuttle retirement, five years is arguably a long gap, not a short gap. And as long as the options are restricted to Shuttle and Ares I/Orion, the gap cannot be reduced. No guarantees, but the Soyuz near-accident may force a reconsideration of Ares I/Orion and/or an expanded number of U.S. options for civil human space flight sooner, rather than later.

    FWIW…

  • OK, Me, here’s some data we can work with along with the acknowledgement that all Orion and Ares numbers are tentative but that those of the Atlas V launcher are not.

    Orion Payload Masses (Wet & kg):
    Orion capsule – 9,525 kg
    Orion service module – 12,000 kg
    LAS – 6,176 kg
    Combined Orion mass is almost 28 mT.

    I negated the adapter shroud (580 kg) that might or might not be required if Orion was mated to a modified Atlas V.

    During a typical Orion/Ares launch, the LAS will be ejected during launch, reducing its effective Orion/Ares launch mass penalty to 760 kg. This brings Orion’s Ares launch mass to around just over 22 mT.

    Launchers–
    Ares I: Ares I is expected to lift 26,308 kg, or 58,000 lbs, into 28.5 degree, and a bit over 23,000 kg, or 52,000 lbs, to 51.6 degree inclined low-Earth orbit.

    Atlas V: The Atlas V 551/552 can launch 20,050/20,540 kg into a 28.5 degree inclined low-Earth orbit. Since this number is substantially below the mass of Orion, I haven’t worried about what the Atlas V can lift to a 51.6 degree inclined orbit.

    Conclusion: With present masses, Ares I has a mass reserve of roughly 1,000 kg. However, the Atlas V very much does not. We can conclude from the above numbers that the Ares I is the only launcher available capable of putting the Orion payload into LEO. The Atlas V cannot.

    I could find no info from NASA or other sources (AvWeek, etc.) that show the Orion mass is expected to exceed the Ares I payload capacity. If anyone has real data otherwise, please let us know.

    As for the SRB not designed as a stand-alone rocket, the IRBM Atlas was not designed to launch Mercury and neither was the Titan designed to launch Gemini, but they were modified to do so, just as the SRB will be modified for its new mission.

    Sources:
    My Orion/Ares sources are NASA and http://images.spaceref.com/news/2007/2007.01.25.esmd.pdf. Info on the Atlas V can be found at Astronautix (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/atlasv.htm) as well as from LockMart. I can email you, or anyone here, the LockMart “Atlas Mission Planner’s Guide” since it’s no longer available online for download from LockMart’s site.

    Final Word: So Me, unless and until you have valid data showing otherwise, put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  • First AnonymousSpace, I wan’t just talking about Walker when commented about the (here, is a good example) needless debate over Ares. See my previous post. Bottom line is that there is no launcher today that comes close to lifting the Orion payload into LEO. And making the Atlas V capable would effectively result in a new launcher. At least with Ares, we start with a man-rated piece of hardware.

    “…Griffin/ESAS/Constellation wasted that opportunity developing a duplicative LEO launcher instead.” Such as?

    And the J-2X is not going to see work til 2017. Well…someone needs to tell AviationWeek & Space Technology. Because according to it, the J-2X is presently undergoing hot fire testing (J-2X Ignition Sets Stage For Ares I Hot-Fires, Feb 4, 2008). Perhaps the GAO is wrong? I think you meant 2007.

    As for GAO criticism, I’ll let Mike Griffin address that, which he did in a speech at the Space Transportation Association on 22 January, at which he stated, “Praise is tough to come by in Washington, so I was particularly pleased with the comment about our decision on the 5-segment RSRB and J-2X engine in the recent GAO review: ‘NASA has taken steps toward making sound investment decisions for Ares I.’ Just for balance, of course, the GAO also provided some other comments. So, for the record, let me acknowledge on behalf of the entire Constellation team that, yes, we do realize that there remain “challenging knowledge gaps”, as the GAO so quaintly phrased it, between system concepts today and hardware on the pad tomorrow. Really. We do.”

    No progress on Ares? No, there’s progress. Perhaps the problem is that the American people are not seeing that progress. I admit that I would very much like NASA to come out with the videos, like the ones it once released (’64-’69), to update the public on what it going on with Orion and Ares development.

    But to state that Ares development has gone nowhere is inaccurate.

    As for former Rep. Walker, I respect him and the work he did promoting commercial Space access. However, having worked as a volunteer from NH through Super Tuesday on one of the Presidential campaigns, I can tell you that Space didn’t even show up on our candidate’s website til I asked my boss for it during the FL primary battle. And I never, ever heard of any debate about Ares I from anyone, not even in FL when there was an attempt to talk about Space by Romney, Giulliani and Clinton.

    Lastly, “The VSE directed Shuttle retirement in 2010 and the first flight of the Crew Exploration Vehicle in 2014 — a “gap” of four years, not one or two years. With an Ares I/Orion IOC of 2015″ in rebutting my claim that the original gap was 1-2 years.

    Well AS, we’re both wrong. If you go to Bush’s announcement, 2014 was the goal. Oh well…but I do remember that NASA felt that it might squeeze that down to 2013.

    And who cares who is to blame, and yes, it’s both Congress and the President, for not funding NASA sufficiently? That’s a detail that does not fix the problem, which is NASA needs more money to speed up Orion’s roll-out. The Space program may not be a welfare program, but it is a program that deals with activities that are not tolerant of mistakes.

    A gap of 5 years will cause us to permanently loose workers who have experience launching the Shuttle, key word being launch. Those laid-off workers will go and find other jobs and will not return. I’ve seen this before in the oil business after the crash of the 80′s. So when Orion/Ares is ready, we are going to be retraining folks to do something that people already know how to do. But what we cannot train people in is experience. Experience is what you learn from mistakes.

    Even worse, these are skilled workers whose talents are likely to be wasted as they move on.

    I know the private Space advocates want us to go “private”. That’s not happening. So, it’s time to dance with the one who brung ya’. And that means NASA.

    All of this effort here…what if it had been directed at writing our Legislators and the President, extolling them to fund NASA to levels needed for getting Orion out by 2013?

    And with that, I bid you adieu.

  • JM

    Jim Hillhouse: You’re interpretation of published Ares I status is overly optimistic to an extreme. For instance, the J-2X ignition tests to which you refer has been done at the igniter level, a far cry from an actual engine test. The J-2X exists only on paper, and still very much at the powerpoint level.

    The Ares I-X is also merely a stunt and represents no true progress to an actual flight configuration. It’s what we in the business refer to as an “Admiral’s Test,” looks impressive to the uninformed, but adds no value to the final product.

    You’ll find that many of us Ares I naysayers actually work on or have involvement with the project. Ask the troops at MSFC and you’ll get a completely different story than what you’re getting through the NASA propaganda machine.

    A lot of us are concerned with what kind of reputation we’ll be left with when Griffin leaves and this whole Ares I/ESAS debacle is exposed.

  • Me

    hillhouse,
    I. Astronautix is not a valid source.
    2. As for the SRB as a first stage, none of modifications are fixing the basic the problem, it is the wrong size for the application. A proper first stage (of a 2 stage vehicle) would burn longer and provide a larger velocity increment.
    3. Also a first stage does not treat the crew as a can of paint and shake their teeth out.
    5. Never said Atlas V 55x, there is heavy version which does29 Mt to LEO and it is further along than Ares I. It has gone to CDR, the pad is scarred for it and all the components have more than 10 flights under their belts. . Also there are Atlas V phase II variants that can also do the job quicker, cheaper and just as safe as the stick.

    My sources are NASA too. They are all on my desk. So smoke that

  • Me

    hillhouse,
    I. Astronautix is not a valid source.

    2. As for the SRB as a first stage, none of modifications are fixing the basic the problem, it is the wrong size for the application. A proper first stage (of a 2 stage vehicle) would burn longer and provide a larger velocity increment.

    3. Also a first stage does not treat the crew as a can of paint and shake their teeth out.

    4.. Never said Atlas V 55x, there is heavy version which does29 Mt to LEO and it is further along than Ares I. It has gone to CDR, the pad is scarred for it and all the components have more than 10 flights under their belts. . Also there are Atlas V phase II variants that can also do the job quicker, cheaper and just as safe as the stick.

    5. As you said, “Bottom line is that there is no launcher today that comes close to lifting the Orion payload into LEO. And making the Atlas V capable would effectively result in a new launcher. At least with Ares, we start with a man-rated piece of hardware.” The flaw in this statement is that what you said about Atlas is also applicable to Ares I. There are so many changes to the stick that is no longer the same as the shuttle SRB’s and therefore can’t draw up its legacy. The “manrating” of the SRB by virtue of its flight experience is no longer applicable. Hence, the stick is not safer that a liquid booster. Right now, the LOM numbers for the stick are below NASA’s requirements.

    My sources are NASA too. They are all on my desk. So smoke that

  • Anon

    anonymous space

    The so called Obama space document at SpaceRef you linked to as a counter to Obama’s offical position paper on using NASA to fund his social education program has never been confirmed as coming from the Obama campaign. Nor has it appeared on any official Obama websites as would be expected if it was Obama’s actual position. Please some representing hearsay as fact.

  • Anon

    anonymous space

    Correction: Please do some research and stop representing hearsay as fact.

  • Anon

    Jim Hillhouse

    You will find that most of the posters on this discussion are more interested in bashing NASA then supporting it. And many are hoping its manned space flight is killed in the mistaken belief that the money will flow into their New Space pockets. That is why so many are interested in defending Obama and demonizing those who oppose him.

    That is why so many are speaking up in defense of Obama, believing he will kill manned Constellation and as a result force NASA to buy services from the New Spacers.

    That is also why they keep spreading misinformation on Ares I. No matter what evidence you present they will dismiss it and claim your references, like Astronautix which Mike Wade has worked very hard to make a VERY accurate record of the history of space technology, are as bad as Wikipedia.

    So forget this board if you are looking for any support for NASA. Its only good for seeing what the current NASA bashing arguments are from the so called “space advocates”. I am only here to keep the honest.

  • Me

    I support NASA. I support Orion. I work for NASA. But I am against Ares I for many reasons, one being that it is unnecessary and a waste of resources. Additionally, it is a bad design. Most of the bad information on Ares I is true and not misinformation. Ares I is in trouble.

    There are two brands of koolade on this forum, pro Ares and pro nuspace. Both are extreme and equally bad. It is not either/or. There can be a balance and a place for NASA and nuspace. NASA shouldn’t be doing what is commercially available (launch services being one item). NASA buys commercial launch service for the unmanned spacecraft and Mike Giffin has stated that there is no difference in launching a billion dollar unmanned spacecraft and a manned spacecraft. Ohter services NASA buys are: spacecraft processing facilites, zero g aircraft and soon ISS cargo services.

    As for Astronautix:
    1. It can’t be accurate since Wade allows for his opinions to enter in it
    2. There are significant errors in it and therefore it makes all the data suspect.

  • Sometimes…no, often, things look worse on the ground than they really are.

    For a good account of how bad things looked during the development of the F-1 engine, read the chapter, aptly named, “It aged me, I’m sure” in “Apollo” by Murray and Cox, still one of the better historical accounts of Apollo. In that chapter, Jerry Thompson, the man who was responsible for solving the combustion instability issues that were causing F-1′s to explode with a frequency not seen since the early Atlas tests, discusses how close it seemed that NASA would have to develop another engine. Indeed, even one of Kennedy’s Science Advisory Committee members argued that the F-1 was “too big”[145]. By January 1963, Brainerd Holmes was preparing to ask Congress for money for a new, parallel engine program in case the F-1 wouldn’t make it [149]. Webb not only stopped him cold from making that request, but in a meeting with Kennedy, Holmes, and Seamans, Webb essentially fired Holmes, later replacing him with George Mueller.

    On July 13, 1963, the New York Times headlined, “Lunar Program in Crisis” and went on to make the case that Apollo was foundering [152]. In mid-1963, John Disher and Del Tischler, both of NASA’s Advanced Projects Section, were asked by newly appointed George Mueller to produced a report on the status of Apollo independent of any official timetable but based on their experience of Mercury and Gemini. On Sept. 28, 1963, they produced that report and briefed both Mueller and Seamans that it was unlikely that the Moon would be reached before 1971. Their personal guess was that there was a 1:10 chance of getting to the Moon by 1970 [152-153].

    Yet, in January 1965 the F-1 injector for the F-1 rated flight ready [180] and on April 16, 1965 a full complement of 5 F-1′s generated 7.5 million lbs of thrust. And we know when we reached the Moon.

    Sound familiar?

    As for the J-2X, it isn’t being tested full-up because, according to Rocketdyne, the Shuttle program holds the needed test stands captive [GAO-08-186T p.13]. So NASA and Rocketdyne are left with hot fire and component testing such as the powerpack. That component testing will build up to a full-up test scheduled for December 2010. Gosh, the J-2X engine program only started 11 months ago.

    Concerning criticism of “The Stick”, I agree with much of it. But, the SRB’s started with four advantages over either of the EELV’s, those being commonality with the boosters on the Ares V, experience and equipment at KSC, man-rated and a higher lift capacity. The work needed to make the RSRB’s work with Ares is not trivial, but not even the GAO calls this a show-stopper. If anything, just the opposite–the GAO lauds NASA for this decision [GAO-08-186T p.6]. NASA made the decision to go with the SRB because they felt there was less work involved than what would be required to rework the Atlas V. If someone has data to the contrary, please put it up on a website so that others can read it.

    And the vibration issue is no longer–that dog was put to rest last month.

    Look, I would have liked NASA MSFC to develop a new booster for Ares I, to take a clean sheet approach. I hate the SRB’s with a passion. But the choice has been made. Revisiting that decision will cost two things we do not have, time and money. As any engineer will tell you, the choice has to be made and unless and until you have firm evidence that your decision is the wrong one, you stick with that decision.

    If the Atlas Heavy was as far along as, or better yet farther than, Ares I LockMart would be blasting that news from the highest mountains and NASA-MSFC would be reworking the Ares contract. If LockMart has such a project so far along, all I can say is, “Roll it out!” I’ll be cheering the loudest if LockMart has a silver bullet that can get Orion up sooner and allow NASA to use the savings that would have gone into Ares to go elsewhere. But LockMart doesn’t, so let’s just move along from that debate. We’re stuck with “The Stick”.

    I think it’s healthy to keep in mind the issues that the F-1 had and how bad that looked in 1963 while reflecting on the point that things may be as bad as they seem but are not always as bad as they seem.

  • Sorry…J-2X program began in June 2006, not 2007.

  • Wow. I rarely see so much illogic and unsupported nonsense in one post.

    You will find that most of the posters on this discussion are more interested in bashing NASA then supporting it. And many are hoping its manned space flight is killed in the mistaken belief that the money will flow into their New Space pockets.

    Just who is it that believes this? Can you provide a citation? What is the basis for this strange fantasy?

    That is why so many are interested in defending Obama and demonizing those who oppose him.

    For the record, I bash Obama at my web site almost every day, for good reason. I think that he would be a disaster as president, for both space and for the county at large. Who are you talking about?

    That is why so many are speaking up in defense of Obama, believing he will kill manned Constellation and as a result force NASA to buy services from the New Spacers.

    Not that I (or anyone, as far as I know) supports Obama for this reason (or any reason, in my case), but what would be wrong with NASA buying services from New Spacers?

    That is also why they keep spreading misinformation on Ares I. No matter what evidence you present they will dismiss it and claim your references, like Astronautix which Mike Wade has worked very hard to make a VERY accurate record of the history of space technology, are as bad as Wikipedia.

    You can’t even get Mark Wade’s name right, and you want to talk about accuracy? Mark Wade can only work from the information that he has available. What specific “misinformation” is being spread about Ares 1? How do you know that it’s “misinformation”? Citing Astronautix doesn’t cut it when said “misinformation” is coming from program insiders (who are not, as far as I know, fans of neither Obama, or New Space).

    So forget this board if you are looking for any support for NASA. Its only good for seeing what the current NASA bashing arguments are from the so called “space advocates”. I am only here to keep the honest.

    Well, you may be honest, but we’re really not interested in your heartfelt delusions, about us or anything else.

  • anonymousspace

    “This brings Orion’s Ares launch mass to around just over 22 mT”

    Incorrect. Orion is 1,500lbs. or over 680kg overweight, pushing that figure up to 22.7mT. See (add http://www.):

    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5401

    and (add http://):

    rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2008/04/when-abnormal-is-normal.html

    And that figure doesn’t take into account TBD decisions about Orion’s landing mode (water or land), which may further increase Orion’s mass problem.

    “With present masses, Ares I has a mass reserve of roughly 1,000 kg.”

    Incorrect. Ares I’s upper stage and interstage are overweight by at least 3,541lbs. or over 1,600kg, completely erasing that mass reserve and more. Again, see (http://www.):

    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5413

    And that figure doesn’t take into account TBD decisions on options for dealing with the thrust oscillation problem from the first stage, which will further increase Ares I’s mass problem.

    “The Atlas V 551/552 can launch…”

    I’m not trying to be mean, but you’re the only one in this thread trying to fit Orion onto an Atlas V 552. (The 551 delivers payloads to GTO, not LEO, and is therefore not relevant to this discussion.)

    The rest of us would develop a human-rated Atlas V 5H2 for Orion, which would probably cost some few billions of dollars versus the $14 billion development cost of Ares I.

    Or we would pursue a more powerful Shuttle-derived launcher, like DIRECT/Jupiter 120, with massive performance margins for launching Orion.

    Or we would forgo Orion altogether and pursue a smaller, less expensive six-person crew capsule that can fly on an existing or smaller launcher, like the LockMart/Bigelow CTV or the Space-X Dragon.

    There are multiple, easier, smarter, faster, and/or cheaper ways to skin this cat.

    “If anyone has real data otherwise, please let us know.”

    The following articles from April 2008 contain multiple figures drawn directly from NASA documents on Ares I and Orion performance/mass issues. See (add http://www.):

    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5404
    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5401
    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5413

    “As for the SRB not designed as a stand-alone rocket, the IRBM Atlas was not designed to launch Mercury and neither was the Titan designed to launch Gemini, but they were modified to do so, just as the SRB will be modified for its new mission.”

    Again, I’m not trying to be mean, but historical analogies and hope will not solve Ares I’s multiple, major engineering problems.

    “My Orion/Ares sources are NASA and http://images.spaceref.com/news/2007/2007.01.25.esmd.pdf.”

    That presentation is 15 months out of date.

    “Info on the Atlas V can be found at Astronautix (http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/atlasv.htm)”

    Astronautix is a nice resource but rarely accurate or up to date. I’d recommend cross-referencing figures found in Astronautix.

    “So Me, unless and until you have valid data showing otherwise,”

    Again, I’m not trying to be mean, but your data are over a year out of date and do not represent current Ares I/Orion performance/masses accurately. “Me’s” comments are a much more accurate representation of the situation.

    “put that in your pipe and smoke it”

    There’s no reason to tell anyone to go smoke anything. No one has made a personal attack on you.

    “Bottom line is that there is no launcher today that comes close to lifting the Orion payload into LEO. And making the Atlas V capable would effectively result in a new launcher.”

    Both of those statements apply at least equally, if not more so, to Ares I. Both Ares I and Orion are overweight, so Ares I is no more capable of delivering Orion to LEO than any other launcher. And an Atlas V 5H2 would have much more design commonality and heritage with the existing Atlas V 5xx series launchers than the Ares I has with the Shuttle system.

    “At least with Ares, we start with a man-rated piece of hardware.”

    When it comes to reliability, safety, and human rating, it’s not where a design starts but where it ends that’s important. Due to their performance/mass issues, the Ares I and Orion designs have compromised safety in a number of areas, including Orion redundancy, Ares I upper stage redundancy, Orion abort modes, and Ares I first-stage recoverability for trend analysis.

    Moreover, the five-segment SRB first-stage and J-2X upper stage on the Ares I no longer have much in common with the human-rated four-segment Shuttle SRB or the Apollo-era J-2 engine.

    “And the J-2X is not going to see work til 2017.”

    That’s not what I or the GAO wrote. Based on SSME experience, GAO found that NASA is unlikely to complete (not start) J-2X engine development before 2017. Again, see (add http://):

    science.house.gov/publications/requested_reports_detail.aspx?NewsID=2044

    “As for GAO criticism, I’ll let Mike Griffin address that”

    Griffin didn’t address any of the issues from the GAO report substantively. All the relevant excerpts from the December GAO report that NASA has yet to address can be found here (add http://):

    rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2007/12/yikes-indeed.html

    And because NASA has not addressed these issues, most of them reappeared in an April GAO report that can be found here (add http://www.):

    democrats.science.house.gov/Media/File/Commdocs/hearings/2008/Space/3apr

    “No progress on Ares? No, there’s progress… But to state that Ares development has gone nowhere is inaccurate.”

    You provide no evidence to justify these statements.

    Again, I’m not trying to be mean, but if by progress, you mean that

    – the Ares I and Orion designs are still underperforming and overweight almost three years after ESAS;
    – for every year since ESAS, the Ares I/Orion IOC has moved one year into the future and is still seven years away; and
    – decisions on whether to pursue actual lunar hardware (Ares V/EDS/Altair) have been pushed in the second term of the next President;

    then yes, I guess that’s progress.

    “As for former Rep. Walker, I respect him and the work he did promoting commercial Space access. However, having worked as a volunteer from NH through Super Tuesday on one of the Presidential campaigns, I can tell you that Space didn’t even show up on our candidate’s website til I asked my boss for it during the FL primary battle.”

    I don’t see what the lack of debate about civil space issues in the Presidential campaign has to do with Walker’s credentials.

    “Well AS, we’re both wrong. If you go to Bush’s announcement, 2014 was the goal.”

    I’m not wrong. That’s what I wrote in my earlier post — that the VSE called for the first flight a Crew Exploration Vehicle in 2014.

    “…NASA needs more money to speed up Orion’s roll-out.”

    More money won’t accelerate Orion. The Orion project has submitted a $3 billion overrun as part of NASA’s FY 2010 budget process. More money will only maintain the current schedule, at best. Again, see (add http://)

    rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2008/04/this-wont-hurt-bit.html

    “A gap of 5 years will cause us to permanently loose workers who have experience launching the Shuttle, key word being launch.”

    The key question is whether those workers are needed and have the right skillsets for the new system. Even with Shuttle-derived systems like Ares I and Jupiter 120, there are thousands of Orbiter and SSME jobs that will not be needed — they can be permanently lost with no impact to the new system. And if a decision is made to go with a non-Shuttle system due to Soyuz fallout or a change in Administration, that number will be even larger.

    Again, I’m not saying any of this to be callous. It’s just a reality of the situation, and it will be less painful to deal with it sooner rather than later. Hoping for multi-billion dollar increases to keep thousands of workers employed in jobs that will not be needed when Shuttle retires — when Congress hasn’t been able to pass a one or two billion dollar increase to pay for the aftermath of Columbia and Katrina — needlessly delays and sharpens the inevitable pain.

    “I know the private Space advocates want us to go ‘private’.”

    Commercial solutions, such as Falcon 9/Dragon or Atlas V/CTV, may be an answer. But they’re certainly not the only one. DIRECT/Jupiter 120 would be a NASA-owned and -operated, Shuttle-derived vehicle, for example.

    “That’s not happening.”

    But it is. NASA announced just last week that it will rely on commercial solutions for ISS cargo resupply during the “gap” and will not purchase additional Progress flights from the Russians.

    “So, it’s time to dance with the one who brung ya’. And that means NASA.”

    And what exactly has the NASA Constellation Program brought us besides a needlessly heavy and overly expensive crew capsule; a needlessly duplicative, overweight/underperforming, technically fragile, and overly expensive LEO launcher; the cancellation of many billions of dollars worth of science missions, ISS research, and exploration technology development; and a five-year and growing gap in U.S. civil human space flight capabilities in the face of Soyuz vulnerabilities?

    What exactly is worth saving here?

    “All of this effort here…what if it had been directed at writing our Legislators and the President, extolling them to fund NASA to levels needed for getting Orion out by 2013?”

    There have been only nine separate posters in this thread. If we think nine people can have a multi-billion dollar impact on the Constellation budget by sending letters to our congressmen in support of the program, then we possess a collective delusion of grandeur that require serious medication. ;)

    “And with that, I bid you adieu.”

    Adios.

    FWIW…

  • …and thanks Anon. I concur but guess that I always wanted to be a preacher, so here I am, one with a MSE in Mission Planning no less.

    All of my NASA-JSC and MSFC friends wonder why the heck I spend this time rebutting naysayers when they are telling me that the program is going about as well as any high-risk program can. We’ve never, ever had smooth sailing in the Space program–just the opposite, in fact.

    But I feel compelled to make the case based on data, some of which may originate, unbeknownst to me, in an optimistic light, because so much of what I read concerning Ares is not based on data, but on prejudice.

    As for Obama, he’s Mondale in a better suit.

  • I think it’s healthy to keep in mind the issues that the F-1 had and how bad that looked in 1963 while reflecting on the point that things may be as bad as they seem but are not always as bad as they seem.

    Why?

    Your argument seems to be, “F-1 had development problems, and they overcame them, therefore these development problems will be overcome as well.” Please correct me if I’ve misstated it.

    If so, sorry, that logic doesn’t work. It’s a broken syllogism.

    Unless you can show that every program with development problems overcame them satisfactorily, there is no reason to think that this program will be successful. Citing a single one doesn’t cut the mustard.

    And in fact, there have been many programs in the history of technology that didn’t overcome their development problems, many of them at NASA, and many of them specifically at Marshall (OMV, X-33, X-34, FasTrak, etc.). So why should we think that this one will?

  • anonymouspace

    “The so called Obama space document at SpaceRef you linked to as a counter to Obama’s offical position paper on using NASA to fund his social education program has never been confirmed as coming from the Obama campaign.”

    If you don’t like NASAWatch, then you can read the same campaign document on Popular Mechanics:

    media.popularmechanics.com/documents/obama-space-policy.pdf

    Or take it straight from one of the Obama campaign managers’ mouths, as reported on this very website just back in January:

    spacepolitics.com/2008/01/02/obama-clarifies-his-space-policy/

    Throughout these references, the Obama campaign has made it clear that an Obama Administration would continue developing Ares I/Orion to support ISS. I would criticize the Obama campaign’s specificity regarding Ares I/Orion, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Obama campaign is the only remaining campaign to have supported Ares I/Orion by name. If you’re an Ares I/Orion fan, then logically you should support Obama. (I wouldn’t support Obama on this basis but that’s another thread.)

    Your first statement that an Obama Administration would transfer Shuttle dollars to education is budgetarily impossible unless Shuttle is retired earlier than 2010, which no candidate has proposed. Your second statement that an Obama Administration would transfer Ares I/Orion dollars to education is outdated and factually incorrect according to multiple documents and statements from the Obama campaign.

    “Please do some research”

    You’re telling me to do research when you don’t even bother to search the website you’re posting to or conduct a simple web search to see if the same campaign document appears on other sites?

    Oy vey… pot calling the kettle black and all that…

    “and stop representing hearsay as fact.”

    It’s not hearsay when it’s a campaign document or a direct quote from a campaign manager.

    Sheesh…

  • anonymouspace

    “You will find that most of the posters on this discussion are more interested in bashing NASA then supporting it.”

    There’s a difference between “bashing” using unfounded and illogical attacks and legitimate criticism based on evidence and logical arguments. It’s important to be able to recognize the difference when participating in a discussion or debate.

    And to the extent there is any “bashing” going on, it’s specific to certain NASA programs, not the overall agency. NASA is not a homogenous organization. The management of NASA’s science programs, for example, is much different (and I have argued on this website much better) than the management of its human space flight programs.

    “And many are hoping its manned space flight is killed in the mistaken belief that the money will flow into their New Space pockets.”

    Aside from Mr. Goff, I don’t know of anyone who posts here who actually works for a “newspace” company.

    “That is why so many are interested in defending Obama”

    Who has defended Obama in this thread? Erroneous statements about Obama campaign positions have been corrected, but those doing the correcting (myself included) have also criticized those corrected positions.

    “and demonizing those who oppose him.”

    What’s with the persecution complex? Who has been called the equivalent of a “demon” in this thread and where?

    “That is why so many are speaking up in defense of Obama,”

    Again, erroneous statements about the Obama campaign positions have been corrected, but those doing the correcting (myself included) criticize those corrected positions. Who in this thread has spoken “in defense of Obama” and where?

    “believing he will kill manned Constellation”

    Besides you, who else believes that?

    The actual campaign position papers at NASAWatch, Popular Mechanics, and elsewhere commit Obama to continuing with Ares I/Orion development — something neither Clinton nor McCain have committed to — and those position papers are backed by direct quotes from an Obama campaign manager made in January on this very website.

    “and as a result force NASA to buy services from the New Spacers.”

    None of the remaining campaigns, Obama included, have said anything about the commercial space sector.

    “That is also why they keep spreading misinformation on Ares I.”

    What’s with the conspiracy complex?

    With all due respect to Mr. Hillhouse, the only erroneous information in this thread has come from one of his posts, and that’s only because he made the mistake of working from a presentation that is out of date by 15 months.

    There is hardly a misinformation campaign afoot.

    “No matter what evidence you present they will dismiss it”

    There’s a big difference between correcting erroneous or outdated information and outright dismissal of evidence. Again, it’s important to be able to recognize the difference when participating in a discussion or debate.

    “like Astronautix which Mike Wade”

    It’s _Mark_ Wade, not Mike.

    “has worked very hard to make a VERY accurate record of the history of space technology,”

    The key word being “history”. I would cross-reference technical figures from Astronautix, especially for systems that are still in development or operation. There’s only so much that Mark can do to keep current tabs on all those systems.

    “are as bad as Wikipedia.”

    That’s your statement. No one else in this thread has said that Astronautix is “as bad as Wikipedia”. (And Wikipedia can be surprisingly good, if not authoritative.)

    “So forget this board if you are looking for any support for NASA.”

    Mindless cheerleading without a critical eye does more of a disservice to the nation’s space programs than any amount of well-founded criticism ever could. Games are not won by fans or cheerleaders from the sidelines — they’re won by coaches and players being critical of their own performance and strategy in practice, in the locker room, and on the field.

    “I am only here to keep the [sic] honest.”

    Well then, let’s get specific. If we’re so dishonest, you should be able to quote multiple instances where posters in this thread have been lying and produce countervailing evidence.

    FWIW…

  • Rand, yes, you mistated what I wrote. No syllogisms for me today. :-)

    Here’s what’s wrong with your point. Had I said that since NASA solved the Apollo problems needed to get to the Moon, then necessarily NASA will solve the problems needed to get Orion/Ares up, that would have been a syllogism. But, I did not state that. No creative writing allowed here.

    Then you go on to create your own logical mess when you write, “Unless you can show that every program with development problems overcame them satisfactorily, there is no reason to think that this program will be successful.” So, unless I can show that NASA is 100% successful, we must must conclude that NASA will therefore fail in its Orion/Ares effort? Or, all previous program success is a necessary and sufficient condition for possible program success in the future? 100% Past Success Present Orion/Ares success? Now, that’s a syllogism!

    Conclusion, with any high-risk effort, there’s a chance for failure…and success. Is it 50/50? Who knows. You saw that at Rockwell and I on the oil patch. Apollo success shares company with X-33 failure; Mars Rover success shares company with X-34; ISS success shares company with OMV.

    I think it’s safe to opine that neither of us knows whether NASA is up to the challenge of getting Orion/Ares up. You hope NASA isn’t; I have confidence it is. And Mike Griffin is pretty smart, smarter than either of us, so let’s give the man some credit.

  • AnonymousSpace (AS), you’ve put forward no evidence, material, etc. other than opinion to support what you have written.

    Anon, you’ve stirred up a hornets nest now…

  • Dennis Wingo

    As for the SRB as a first stage, none of modifications are fixing the basic the problem, it is the wrong size for the application. A proper first stage (of a 2 stage vehicle) would burn longer and provide a larger velocity increment.
    3. Also a first stage does not treat the crew as a can of paint and shake their teeth out.

    This is called “The total impulse problem” and was addressed in a letter from Von Braun to LBJ in 1963 when Thiokol was making noises about how their solid rocket motor solution was much superior to this “high risk” liquid propellant vehicle that NASA was building an LBJ was asking about alternatives.

    Sound familiar?

  • Vladislaw

    I support NASA, my tax dollars have been supporting them for about 35 years. As far as bashing NASA, since I am paying for it, I can bash regardless if my opinions are correct or not. whining bitching and moaning about government policy is an american birthright. The question is, does NASA have it right with the ARES I, in my opinion, if NASA had it right, the blogosphere would be a lot more silent on the issue and instead be more singing praises on the absolutely best choices they made leading up to a new system to replace the shuttle.

  • Dennis, excellent point.

    Personally, I wish we had gone liquid rather than solid for Ares.

    And who’s the decider that shrank the diameter of Orion and cost it 30% of its volume?

  • So, unless I can show that NASA is 100% successful, we must must conclude that NASA will therefore fail in its Orion/Ares effort?

    No, that doesn’t follow at all.

    When I say that “there’s no reason to think that the program will be successful,” it is neither semantically or logically equivalent to “there is a reason to think that the program won’t be successful.” I made no claims about NASA’s probability of success on this program, other than that the success of the F-1, over four decades ago, tells us very little about it.

    I think it’s safe to opine that neither of us knows whether NASA is up to the challenge of getting Orion/Ares up. You hope NASA isn’t; I have confidence it is. And Mike Griffin is pretty smart, smarter than either of us, so let’s give the man some credit.

    It has nothing to do with what I “hope.” For the record, I actually hope that NASA is up that challenge, but if so, I wish that it would take that capability and instead apply it to a challenge that makes sense, and provides something of value for the billions of dollars and many years that it will spend on it.

    As for how smart Mike Griffin is, there are lots of different kinds of intelligence. I can’t speak for you, but I think that in fact there are some ways in which I’m smarter than he is. Time will tell.

  • Me

    “SRB’s started with four advantages over either of the EELV’s, those being commonality with the boosters on the Ares V, experience and equipment at KSC, man-rated and a higher lift capacity”

    All four of those are no longer applicable.

    “And the vibration issue is no longer–that dog was put to rest last month.”

    It still is there and has not been mitigated

    “If the Atlas Heavy was as far along as, or better yet farther than, Ares I ”

    It is. It had gone through CDR, the stick just went through SRR.

    “LockMart would be blasting that news”

    It is ULA and they did and were told to shut up, just as NASA’s own ELV program was told to be quiet
    .
    “We’re stuck with “The Stick”.”

    We are not. There are still quicker, cheaper, better and safer solutions out there. One thing is not to let MSFC mess with it

  • Me

    “And who’s the decider that shrank the diameter of Orion and cost it 30% of its volume?”

    The same person who decided the whole architecture long before the ESAS and is acting as the NASA chief engineer vs his job title

  • Vladislaw

    Wasn’t Griffin a part of the FLO concept in the 90′s where he was dead set against SRB’s but went with liquid instead? Why the turn around to solids being the best solution. Doesn’t the new SRB’s cost more than liquid boosters and cause more pollution?

  • Anon

    anonymouspace wrote

    If you don’t like NASAWatch, then you can read the same campaign document on Popular Mechanics:

    media.popularmechanics.com/documents/obama-space-policy.pdf

    And their source is?

    Or take it straight from one of the Obama campaign managers’ mouths, as reported on this very website just back in January:

    spacepolitics.com/2008/01/02/obama-clarifies-his-space-policy/

    A reported email response to an individual from a lower level manager from one of his state organizations, not the national campiagn. This is Offical???

    If it so offical why isn’t it on the Obama website? The ONLY mention of this Obama space plan is as a Jnauary post in one of the discussion boards by a poster.


    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/lennybellisario/gGgRqZ

    Referencing the Spaceref.com post of this “Obama” Policy ….

    So unless you have a reference to a press release on this policy, or a link on the Obama campiagn page with it, it must be regarded as “unoffical” versus the official one below posted on the Obama website.

    http://obama.3cdn.net/a8dfc36246b3dcc3cb_iem6bxpgh.pdf

  • “SRB’s started with four advantages over either of the EELV’s, those being commonality with the boosters on the Ares V, experience and equipment at KSC, man-rated and a higher lift capacity”

    Not to mention the fact that SRBs were never man rated, any more than the Shuttle itself was, or is.

  • anonymouspace

    “For a good account of how bad things looked during the development of the F-1 engine”

    As interesting as historical analogies may be, they don’t solve specific engineering problems. The closest technical element to the F-1 on the Ares I/Orion system is the J-2X upper stage engine. But nothing from the F-1 history is going to change any of the J-2X issues from the December GAO report, quoted here:

    “Although the J-2X is based on the J-2 and J-2S engines used on the Saturn V, and leverages knowledge from the X-33 and RS-68, the extent of planned changes is such that both the ESAS and Ares I standing review boards reported that the effort essentially represents a new engine development. The scope of required changes is so broad, the contractor estimates that it will need nearly 5 million hours to complete design, development, test, and evaluation activities for the J-2X upper stage engine… According to Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne representatives, these design changes will result in the replacement and/or modification of virtually every part derived from the J-2 or J-2S designs.”

    “Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne is also redesigning turbo-pumps from the X-33 program that feed fuel and oxidizer into a newly configured main combustion chamber, to increase engine thrust to 294,000 pounds—the J-2S had 265,000 pounds of thrust. The element also faces significant schedule risks in developing and manufacturing a carbon composite nozzle extension in order to satisfy these thrust requirements. According to contractor officials, the extension is more than 2 feet—i.e., about one-third—wider in diameter than existing nozzles.”

    “The J-2X development effort is accorded less than 7 years from development start to first flight. In comparison, the Space Shuttle main engine, the only other human-rated liquid-fuel engine NASA has successfully flown since the Apollo program, development required 9 years… If the engine does not complete development as scheduled, subsequent flight testing might be delayed. The J-2X development effort represents a critical path for the Ares I project. Subsequently, delays in the J-2X schedule for design, development, test, and evaluation would have a ripple effect throughout the entire Ares I project.”

    See science.house.gov/publications/requested_reports_detail.aspx?NewsID=2044 for the full report.

    To summarize, F-1 history is not going to change the fact that J-2X is a new engine development with practically no heritage components, a significantly higher thrust level than the J-2, a composite nozzle that is of unprecedented size, and an unrealistic schedule that will likely delay Ares I/Orion IOC to 2017.

    “As for the J-2X, it isn’t being tested full-up because, according to Rocketdyne, the Shuttle program holds the needed test stands captive [GAO-08-186T p.13]. So NASA and Rocketdyne are left with hot fire and component testing such as the powerpack. That component testing will build up to a full-up test scheduled for December 2010. Gosh, the J-2X engine program only started 11 months ago.”

    None of that has anything to do with the J-2X development and schedule issues from the GAO reports. The problem is not current testing, but again, the fact that J-2X is a new engine development with practically no heritage components, a significantly higher thrust level than the J-2, a composite nozzle that is of unprecedented size, and an unrealistic schedule that will likely delay Ares I/Orion IOC to 2017.

    “But, the SRB’s started with four advantages over either of the EELV’s, those being commonality with the boosters on the Ares V,”

    The Ares I/V commonality has become a detriment because Ares V’s performance with the five-segment SRBs is not high enough to meet NASA’s lunar mission requirements. The Ares V project (such as it exists) is now looking at six-segment boosters and composite casings, destroying any commonality with Ares I.

    “experience and equipment at KSC”

    Self-licking ice cream cone. Shuttle experience and equipment are not needed if Ares I is replaced with an EELV-derived or other non-Shuttle launch vehicle.

    “man-rated”

    Meaningless in this context. Ares I’s SRBs will be new five segment motors. There’s no man-rated heritage that carries over from the old four-segment Shuttle SRBs to the new five-segment Ares I SRBs.

    “and a higher lift capacity.”

    Also meaningless as long as Ares I and Orion both remain overweight. Again, read the mass issues and figures in the following articles, all from this month:

    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5404
    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5401
    nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5413

    “If anything, just the opposite–the GAO lauds NASA for this decision [GAO-08-186T p.6].”

    There is no such quote on page six of that GAO report. Here’s what GAO actually wrote:

    “To reduce cost and minimize risk in developing these projects, NASA planned to maximize the use of heritage systems and technology. Since 2005, however, NASA has made changes to the basic architecture for the Ares I and Orion designs that have resulted in the diminished use of heritage systems.”

    The GAO does not “laud” NASA’s decisions. Rather, GAO points out that NASA has been unable to realize heritage in the SRBs and other Ares I/Orion subsystems because of its decisions.

    “And the vibration issue is no longer–that dog was put to rest last month.”

    Incorrect. Just yesterday it was reported that NASA is still analyzing three different solutions to the thrust oscillation problem:

    “A trade study has begun on three leading candidates to mitigate Ares I’s Thrust Oscillation problem, as the Tiger Team work through design immaturity and mass constraints.”

    See the full article at nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5413.

    And even after NASA picks a solution, we won’t know if it works for many years because four-segment Ares I-X and Shuttle SRB data cannot be used to verify five-segment Ares I thrust oscillation.

    “AnonymousSpace (AS), you’ve put forward no evidence, material, etc. other than opinion to support what you have written.”

    With all due respect, Mr. Hillhouse, there were over ten links to current, supporting documents in my last response to you, on top of the figures and other evidence in that post and on top of the quotes, links, evidence, and figures in this post.

    The only evidence you’ve provided are Ares I/Orion figures from a NASA presentation that is 15 months out of date, historical analogies that do not bear on the engineering problems at hand, and vague references to non-existent quotes in GAO reports.

    If you think my figures or logic are wrong, then by all means please present alternate arguments backed by existing, current, and relevant evidence.

    But if the only argument that you can muster is a blatant lie that I’ve “put forward no evidence, material, etc. other than opinion” then please don’t waste my time or yours by participating in the discussion.

    Thank you.

  • Vladislaw

    If this is Obama’s position:

    Barack Obama’s Plan For American Leadership in Space

    Develop the Next-Generation of Space Vehicles:
    The retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2010 will leave the United States without manned spaceflight capability until the introduction of the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) carried by the Ares I Launch Vehicle. As president, Obama will support the development of this vital new platform to ensure that the United States’ reliance on foreign space capabilities is limited to the minimum possible time period. The CEV will be the backbone of future missions, and is being designed with technology that is already proven and available

    He states Obama will “support” ares and orion, in most cases don’t politicians support contractors that support them? If Obama was truely supporting this wouldn’t contributions show up from the major contractors?

  • Meaningless in this context. Ares I’s SRBs will be new five segment motors. There’s no man-rated heritage that carries over from the old four-segment Shuttle SRBs to the new five-segment Ares I SRBs.

    Even if it was four segment, as I already pointed out, the Shuttle SRB was never (and is not today) “man rated” (as indeed, the Shuttle is not, and never was). Like the word “fascist,” I find that people who use this phrase the most often are the least familiar with what it means.

    “A trade study has begun on three leading candidates to mitigate Ares I’s Thrust Oscillation problem, as the Tiger Team work through design immaturity and mass constraints.”

    All of which look to be ridiculous kludges.

  • JM

    Wow. I think Mr. Hillhouse got a good dose of REALITY CHECK by our illustrious, Dr. anonymouspace.

  • So Rand, the Shuttle was man-rated. Otherwise, someone needs to put in a call to NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. I shot that statement of yours by a GS-14 I know at JSC and he wrote, in very good engineering prose, “LOL!” and linked to this. Furthermore, Griffin has stated that the SRB’s were man-rated. So, unless you documentation indicating that the SRB’s (Shuttle too) were not man-rated, your point is moot.

    AnonymousSpace, true, story of F-1 is not predictive of J-2X. But such a story does show that, though things may look insurmountable, they are not always so. And I wasn’t trying to solve an engineering problem–if I had that job, I wouldn’t be here.

    Also AS, good GAO reference. Interesting reading and to note that the report is titled, “Agency Has Taken Steps Toward Making Sound Investment Decisions for Ares I but Still Faces Challenging Knowledge Gaps” GAO-08-51 conclude the section on the J-2X by writing, “NASA has taken steps to mitigate J-2X risks by increasing the amount of component-level testing, procuring additional development hardware, and working to make a third test stand available to the contractor earlier than originally planned. That means there is a great deal of what needs to be done for the J-2X, just as was the case with…well, every engine we’ve built but that NASA is aware of the J-2X time issues and is working to address them. So, yes, there’s risk in the J-2X. Welcome to aerospace, where nobody can hear you scream.

    But as GAO-08-186T, “Ares I and Orion Project Risks and Key Indicators to Measure Progress” reports, though there are challenges that the J-2X program faces, Rocketdyne is planning for the J-2X engine to be ready for full-up testing by 2010 with IOC by 2012, not 2017.

    Which leads me to something; you keep saying that the J-2X will not be ready until 2017, but where are you pulling this number from. Not from the GAO reports that have been made public. Are you sitting on something you want to share?

  • For those interested, here are the relevant reports:

    Man-rating Requirements for Space Systems

    GAO-08-51-Agency Has Taken Steps Toward Making Sound Investment Decisions for Ares I but Still Faces Challenging Knowledge Gaps This is the report that AnonymousSpace keeps referring to.

    GAO-08-186T-Ares I and Orion Project Risks and Key Indicators to Measure Progress. This is the latest GAO report and was unfortunately submitted the day after the Ares vibration tiger team had reported to Congress.

  • So Rand, the Shuttle was man-rated.

    It was not.

    Again, you reveal your ignorance of the meaning of that phrase. JSC has a document (JSC-28354) that defines human rating. Shuttle does not now, and never has, met it.

    Does it have zero-zero abort capability?

    Case closed.

    I have, in fact, run into S&MA folks, both at NASA and in industry, who are ignorant on this subject. You apparently found another. Being certified as safe by S&MA is not the same thing as human rating.

    And just because Mike Griffin says it is doesn’t make it so. He is probably as ignorant on the subject as most in the industry. The fact that something was a component of the Shuttle doesn’t make it human rated.

    This is why I’d like to simply purge the phrase from the language.

  • The Shuttle was waived of zero-zero abort capability when it was designed in the 60′s and 70′s, something that we’ve dearly learned never should have been done, because NASA and the country wrongly thought that we could do Space like we do airline travel. Reckless? Yes.

    The new requirements, released in 2005, don’t make that same mistake.

  • anonymouspace

    “So Rand, the Shuttle was man-rated. Otherwise, someone needs to put in a call to NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. I shot that statement of yours by a GS-14 I know at JSC and he wrote, in very good engineering prose, “LOL!” and linked to this.”

    The Space Shuttle does not meet NASA’s own human-rated flight standards and had to be grandfathered in. For example, sections 3.8 and 3.9 in the document you linked to have abort mode and crew escape requirements that the Shuttle does not meet.

    “Which leads me to something; you keep saying that the J-2X will not be ready until 2017, but where are you pulling this number from. Not from the GAO reports that have been made public.”

    No, it’s from the GAO report at (add http://):

    science.house.gov/publications/requested_reports_detail.aspx?NewsID=2044.

    I already provided the reference and quoted the relevant text but here it is again:

    ““Although the J-2X is based on the J-2 and J-2S engines used on the Saturn V, and leverages knowledge from the X-33 and RS-68, the extent of planned changes is such that both the ESAS and Ares I standing review boards reported that the effort essentially represents a new engine development. The scope of required changes is so broad, the contractor estimates that it will need nearly 5 million hours to complete design, development, test, and evaluation activities for the J-2X upper stage engine… According to Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne representatives, these design changes will result in the replacement and/or modification of virtually every part derived from the J-2 or J-2S designs.

    “Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne is also redesigning turbo-pumps from the X-33 program that feed fuel and oxidizer into a newly configured main combustion chamber, to increase engine thrust to 294,000 pounds—the J-2S had 265,000 pounds of thrust. The element also faces significant schedule risks in developing and manufacturing a carbon composite nozzle extension in order to satisfy these thrust requirements. According to contractor officials, the extension is more than 2 feet—i.e., about one-third—wider in diameter than existing nozzles.

    “The J-2X development effort is accorded LESS THAN 7 YEARS [emphasis added] from development start to first flight. In comparison, the Space Shuttle main engine, the only other human-rated liquid-fuel engine NASA has successfully flown since the Apollo program, development REQUIRED 9 YEARS [emphasis added]… If the engine does not complete development as scheduled, subsequent flight testing might be delayed. The J-2X development effort represents a critical path for the Ares I project. Subsequently, delays in the J-2X schedule for design, development, test, and evaluation would have a ripple effect throughout the entire Ares I project.”

    Based on all of the above evidence and the SSME experience, GAO argues that there is a high likelihood that J-2X will require nine, not seven, years to complete development. J-2X is the long pole in Ares I development, which means that for every month that J-2X slips, the whole Ares I schedule slips by a month. That’s a two-year slip that will put Ares I/Orion IOC out in 2017, not 2015.

    “Are you sitting on something you want to share?”

    No, when posting to these boards, I only reference information that’s already out in the public domain. There’s lots of other information that I would love to share, but there’s no point in sharing information from conversations and documents that other posters can’t verify or examine for themselves.

    FWIW…

  • ARES

    And the vibration issue is no longer–that dog was put to rest last month.

    Says who, NASA? ATK?

    Quite simply – they are lying. Blatantly lying. They lied when they did the original ESAS study, and they are lying now to cover up those original lies.

    Ares I is pure folly. We’re Americans. We are no longer going to put up with this kind of sh1t from people just like you. Quite frankly, we’ve had enough.

  • me

    The shuttle doesn’t many of the other requirements in NPR 8705.2A, Subject: Human-Rating Requirements for Space Systems, not just zero-zero abort capability.

    What is even worse is that Ares I/Orion don’t either and there is a draft Rev B out that eliminates those requirements it doesn’t meet. Those same requirements were thrown in the face of EELV’s has reasons that they weren’t acceptable.

    Requirements to be eliminated:
    1.4 Structural Factor of Safety.
    Dual Fault Tolerance.
    Backup Flight Software.

  • me

    “I would have liked NASA MSFC to develop a new booster for Ares I, to take a clean sheet approach.”

    That is the worst thing that could happen. They don’t know how to design launch vehicles. When was the last time MSFC designed a or even managed a successful vehicle. Let the experts design the launch vehicles, they reside in industry and not MSFC

  • For those of you interested in just the human-rating requirements, go here. An even shorter version is found here.

    Rand, JSC-28354, created in June 1998, was last revised in 2003, and has been superseded by NPG: 8705.2, “Human-Rating Requirements and
    Guidelines for Space Flight Systems “
    , which was released in June 2003. This was further modified in February 2005 into NPR 8705.2A, “Human-Rating Requirements for Space Systems”. NPR 8705.2A expires February 2010.

    Bottom line, today’s standard is that no two failures should result in crew loss. That certainly wasn’t the case with Shuttle. What Rand and I need is the man-rating requirement in effect when the Shuttle was “certified” as it must have been. If NASA is nothing, it is very process oriented. If anyone can find that document, please post it.

    Interestingly, the man-rating documents for Apollo were widely scattered all over the place. One I did find was a bit vague. I’m curious if the whole man-rating requirement in one document came as a response to the Apollo 1 fire.

    By Rand’s definition, not NASA’s, Gemini was not man-rated, though we know it was. Pete Conrad once told me that you wouldn’t want to use the ejection seats during late stage 1 on a Titan and that it was the weirdest ascent because you could feel the rocket guidance bobbing around to maintain its trajectory.

  • The Shuttle was waived of zero-zero abort capability when it was designed in the 60’s and 70’s

    i.e., it was not man rated…

    And neither were the SRBs, for other reasons.

  • What Rand and I need is the man-rating requirement in effect when the Shuttle was “certified” as it must have been.

    No, it never was, other than a speech by Reagan in 1984 (for which I was in attendance), after four flights, that declared it “operational.”

    But the man-rating definition has never changed. Man rating is an archaic concept from the sixties, when we were attempting to make munitions safe for human transportation. The phrase has no useful meaning in today’s lexicon, yet many persist in using it. That is why I wish we would stop, and focus on safety, and more importantly, reliability.

  • By Rand’s definition, not NASA’s

    No. Sorry to break it to you, but it was NASA’s.

  • Anonymousspace: Isn’t the SSME a larger and more complex engine, as well as reusable? Doesn’t it stand to reason that it would take longer to develop than the J-2X? I mean this as a serious question.

    – Donald

  • Yes, Donald, it was larger and more complex, and it was…sort of…reusable. (The caveat is based on the fact that at least in the early years it had to be torn down and inspected after each flight, by unwelding and rewelding joints in the plumbing).

    It’s not enough to just look at those factors though. Budget is important, too. That is why it’s ludicrous to complain about how slowly we’re going back to the moon when the budget to do so in the early sixties was essentially unlimited. Unfortunately, the current NASA management, in their enthusiasm (and cargo-cult mentality) to replicate Apollo, have forgotten that the budget spigots are not open for this program in that way…

  • “So Rand, the Shuttle was man-rated. Otherwise, someone needs to put in a call to NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. I shot that statement of yours by a GS-14 I know at JSC and he wrote, in very good engineering prose, “LOL!” and linked to this.”

    The Space Shuttle does not meet NASA’s own human-rated flight standards and had to be grandfathered in. For example, sections 3.8 and 3.9 in the document you linked to have abort mode and crew escape requirements that the Shuttle does not meet.

    As I said, the Shuttle was granted a waiver to some of the requirements. I guess I need to ask the following, is there some Holy Grail of man-rating? If so, let’s have it. And the EELV’s are not man-rated. Even LockMart and Boeing state that.

    However, the SRB’s have worked well on 131 of 132 flights. Yes, that one flight resulted in a loss of crew. But had NASA followed Dr. Hans Mark’s memo of late 1985 requesting that Shuttles not be launched in cold weather due to possible O-ring issues, that Challenger flight would have left a couple of days later and that crew would be with us. But that is what happens when engineers take off their engineering caps. How many successful EELV flights have there been?

    “Which leads me to something; you keep saying that the J-2X will not be ready until 2017, but where are you pulling this number from. Not from the GAO reports that have been made public.”

    No, it’s from the GAO report at this location

    No, it’s not. I just read the whole document, then I searched it, and there’s no reference to 2017. You are talking about GAO-08-51, right?

    I already provided the reference and quoted the relevant text but here it is again.

    No, all you did was cut and paste what the GAO wrote, which was that there are risks in running the J-2X in parallel with the rest of the Ares I program, NASA and Rocketdyne are aware of those risks, and that such risks could delay launch of Ares I.

    Based on all of the above evidence and the SSME experience, GAO argues that there is a high likelihood that J-2X will require nine, not seven, years to complete development. J-2X is the long pole in Ares I development, which means that for every month that J-2X slips, the whole Ares I schedule slips by a month. That’s a two-year slip that will put Ares I/Orion IOC out in 2017, not 2015.

    If the worse case scenario plays out. And as of the GAO April report, there is no evidence that such is the case. Please, AnonymousSpace, read GAO-08-186T before writing that the GAO is saying that it is likely that there will be a two year slip in J-2X because there is a real disagreement about that.

  • Rand, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you think that the EELV’s would do the job that Ares I will never be able to do?

    Here’s what I would like LockMart to do–act like a free-enterprise loving company and, making a bet, actually develop the Ares/Atlas itself. If the Atlas is so much better, if LockMart is so much smarter than NASA-MSFC, then this should be doable.

  • It’s been invigorating to find out the following:

    -The Shuttle was not man-rated and thus NASA busted its own requirements for over 20 years by allowing astronauts to fly on it for 132 times.

    -The GAO doesn’t know whether the J-2X is going to blow the Ares schedule or not, but many here hope it will.

    -MSFC Ares program is doomed to failure, which many here are excited about, though the GAO has yet to discover that Ares is in trouble after several studies.

    -Developing Space launchers and spacecraft is high-risk and prone to failures.

    -Obama is as anti-Space as Mondale and any other silly man could ever be and wants to kill the Moon program but let Orion replace the Shuttle.

    -Like Mondale, Obama will loose in November and real change, whatever that is, will not come causing a mass migration of Dems to…Venezuela.

    -I don’t like people posting anonymously.

    -There’s a reason why NASAWatch.com’s Keith Cowing doesn’t allow comments.

  • Hera

    Not only is your beloved NASA ATK Ares I Lockheed Orion Constellation Visiting Space Expensively an outright fraud and joke, it is a criminal fraud and joke, apparently :

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i-QfF3p20EgsorxbMHNwJa5T2RLgD90CF0605

  • Me

    Atlas is ULA’s

  • Hera, if you read this, and you didn’t now, did you, it’s about Orion, not Ares.

    It always helps to read the thing you’re referencing.

    And yes, somebody screwed up badly and that someone is in deep mierda. Boeing must be licking its chops right now. I would.

  • Rand, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume you think that the EELV’s would do the job that Ares I will never be able to do?

    No, I have no opinion on what EELVs can do.

    Here’s what I would like LockMart to do–act like a free-enterprise loving company and, making a bet, actually develop the Ares/Atlas itself. If the Atlas is so much better, if LockMart is so much smarter than NASA-MSFC, then this should be doable.

    Well, gee, I’d like everyone to get a pony. Sorry, not gonna happen. Lockmart has never been a “free-enterprise company,” let alone acted like one. And they’d be nuts to do so, given NASA’s attitude.

    I guess I need to ask the following, is there some Holy Grail of man-rating? If so, let’s have it.

    Why do you continue to ask for something that has been provided to you multiple times?

    The GAO doesn’t know whether the J-2X is going to blow the Ares schedule or not, but many here hope it will.

    Why do you continue to confuse informed predictions with “hope”?

    Developing Space launchers and spacecraft is high-risk and prone to failures.

    This was a revelation to you? How long have you been in this business?

  • Apollo

    it’s about Orion, not Ares.

    No, it’s about Marsha Ivins, Scotty Horowitz, Michael Griffin, John Marburger, Dick Cheney and George W. Bush. ATK and Lockheed just went along for the free profits and no bid contracts. This entire administration and their programs have been corrupt and fraudulent from day one. The space program in the form of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) and the Exploration Systems Architecture Study and its implementation are not exempt. Henceforth, consider the people ‘stirred up’.

    Heckava job there, Mr. Hillhouse

  • anonymousspace

    “Anonymousspace: Isn’t the SSME a larger and more complex engine, as well as reusable?”

    In terms of engine type and thrust levels — LH2/LOX with multi-hundred thousand pound thrust (300-400K lb. specifically) — the SSME and J-2X are in the same general category. And although they’re returned with each orbiter landing, the SSME is not reusable in any operational sense of the word. Each SSME is stripped down and overhauled after every flight. If anything, J-2X may be a tougher development, as it must be started at altitude during flight.

    FWIW…

  • Gary Spenser

    “Like the word ‘fascist,’ I find that people who use this phrase the most often are the least familiar with what it means.”

    Yeah, yeah, according to your website, liberals are fascists and Obama and Hillary are evil, and yet you continue to insist that you’re neither a Republican nor a conservative…

  • Apollonia

    the SSME is not reusable in any operational sense of the word. Each SSME is stripped down and overhauled after every flight.

    I guess you forgot the part where they are rebuilt, reinstalled on the Orbiter, and flown over and over again. So tell me, what happened to the Donald I used to know and respect? The Donald who used to be honest.

    If you would bother to work through the SSME numbers from program inception, development and operation to the present, you would find that the total cost is within a factor of two of the RS-68, and if they were flown with any flight rate at all, they would trounce it by an order of magnitude.

    The SSME is a reusable engine. Get over it. Any second generation SSME would incorporate channel wall nozzles, and fly without overhaul, and would blow the socks off of anything out there. Yet this administration continues to insist on retiring the 14 remaining SSMEs, when they could easily be flown on RLV development test vehicles. Rather, they continue to insist that we use the SRBs, which have numerous known critical problems.

    Some call it incompetence. I call it insanity.

  • Apollonia

    “the SSME is not reusable in any operational sense of the word. Each SSME is stripped down and overhauled after every flight.”

    I guess you forgot the part where they are rebuilt, reinstalled on the Orbiter, and flown over and over again. If you would bother to work through the SSME numbers from program inception, development and operation to the present, you would find that the total cost is within a factor of two of the RS-68, and if they were flown with any flight rate at all, they would trounce it by an order of magnitude.

    The SSME is a reusable engine. Get over it. Second generation SSMEs are fully expected to be even better. But some very powerful corporate lobbyists and a couple of renegade astronauts have taken it upon themselves to determine that America shouldn’t take that route – ground started to orbit.

  • Yeah, yeah, according to your website, liberals are fascists and Obama and Hillary are evil, and yet you continue to insist that you’re neither a Republican nor a conservative.

    I’ve never said that either Hillary! or Obama are evil. But yes, modern “liberals” are fascists, by any reasonable historical definition of that word. Not there’s anything wrong with that.

    And no, I’m neither a Republican or a conservative. If you can’t get your myopic head around that, it’s your problem, not mine.

  • anonymousspace

    “No, it’s not. I just read the whole document, then I searched it, and there’s no reference to 2017. You are talking about GAO-08-51, right?”

    I don’t know why this is so hard to understand. The GAO report argues that J-2X development will take nine years, not seven years, based on multiple technical risks and SSME experience. That’s a difference of two years.

    J-2X is the pacing item for Ares I development. No other Ares I subsystem will take longer to develop. Every day added to the J-2X development schedule adds a day to the overall Ares I development schedule.

    Therefore, if the GAO is right (and they usually are) and J-2X take two more years to develop, then the current 2015 delivery date for the Ares I initial operating capability (IOC) will be pushed two years into the future, to 2017.

    So, based on the best, independent, non-advocate analysis out there, Ares I/Orion will not be available to support the ISS until 2017, based on the J-2X schedule risks alone.

    There are other Ares I risks identified in the GAO report that would result in similar schedule delays, independent of J-2X.

    “‘I already provided the reference and quoted the relevant text but here it is again.’

    No, all you did was cut and paste what the GAO wrote,”

    C’mon, you can’t be that dense. When I “quoted the relevant text”, I “cut and paste what GAO wrote”.

    “which was that there are risks in running the J-2X in parallel with the rest of the Ares I program”

    The key J-2X schedule threats in the GAO report have nothing to do with parallel development — that’s true of practically every aerospace system. The key schedule threats are that, contrary to how NASA sold J-2X, the J-2X design: has no J-2 component heritage to build on; must achieve a substantially higher thrust level than the J-2; requires an unprecedented breakthrough in composite nozzle size; and has an unrealistic schedule based on comparable large cryogenic engine development programs.

    “If the worse case scenario plays out. And as of the GAO April report, there is no evidence that such is the case. Please, AnonymousSpace, read GAO-08-186T before writing that the GAO is saying that it is likely that there will be a two year slip in J-2X because there is a real disagreement about that.”

    You must not have read the April GAO report very carefully. It states on page 9:

    “Additionally, the J-2X engine represents a new engine development effort that, both NASA and Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne recognize, is likely to experience failures during development. Addressing these failures is likely to lead to design changes that could impact the project’s cost and schedule.”

    The April GAO report also states on page 10:

    “Although the J-2X is based on the J-2 and J-2S engines used on the Saturn V and leverages knowledge from the X-33 and RS-68, the number of planned changes is such that, according to NASA review boards, the effort essentially represents a new engine development. NASA and Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne recognize that some level of developmental problems are inherent in all new engine development programs. As such, the project has predicted that the J-2X development will require 29 rework cycles. In addition, the J-2X faces extensive redesign to incorporate modern controls, achieve increased performance requirements, and meet human rating standards. The J-2X developers also face significant schedule risks in developing and manufacturing a carbon composite nozzle extension needed to satisfy thrust requirements. According to contractor officials, the extension is more than 2 feet—i.e., about one-third—wider in diameter than existing nozzle extensions.”

    And on page 12, the April GAO report states:

    “The development schedule for the J-2X is aggressive, allowing less than 7 years from development start to first flight, and highly concurrent. Due to the tight schedule and long-lead nature of engine development, the J-2X project was required to start out earlier in its development than the other elements on the Ares I vehicle. This approach has introduced a high degree of concurrency between the setting of overall Ares I requirements and the development of the J-2X design and hardware. Consequently, the engine development is out of sync with the first stage and upper stage in the flow-down and decomposition of requirements, an approach our past work has shown to be fraught with risk. NASA acknowledges that the engine development is proceeding with an accepted risk that future requirements changes may affect the engine design and that the engine may not complete development as scheduled in December 2012. The J-2X development effort represents a critical path for the Ares I project. Subsequently, delays in the J-2X schedule for design, development, test, and evaluation would have a ripple effect of cost and schedule impacts throughout the entire Ares I project.”

    I don’t know how the GAO could make the multiple technical issues and schedule threats to J-2X development any more clear.

    “-The GAO doesn’t know whether the J-2X is going to blow the Ares schedule or not, but many here hope it will.”

    We’ll never see a 100-percent certain, absolutely will or will not statement in any GAO (or any other independent, non-advocate) report. But it doesn’t take a genius to read what the GAO has written and realize that J-2X is going to take considerably longer to develop than what NASA has scheduled and multi-year slips in J-2X availability will delay Ares I and Orion operations by the same number of years.

    “-MSFC Ares program is doomed to failure, which many here are excited about”

    That may be true, but to the extent that emotions are being expressed on this forum, they seem to reflect anger and outrage more than happy excitement.

    “though the GAO has yet to discover that Ares is in trouble after several studies.”

    A totally false statement. Even setting aside all the aforementioned J-2X issues, the December GAO report alone found the following Ares I problems:

    “NASA has not yet established firm requirements or developed mature technologies, a preliminary design, or realistic cost estimates, or determined the ultimate time and money needed to complete the program [Ares I] and so is not in a position to make informed investment decisions.”

    “While NASA still has 10 months to close [the aforementioned] gaps in knowledge, it will be challenged to do so.”

    “For the Ares I program, 14 of the project’s self-identified risk factors are tied to unstable requirements—many of which are interrelated between Ares I and Orion projects.”

    “Both the Orion and Ares I vehicles have a history of weight and mass growth, and NASA is still defining the mass, loads, and weight requirements for both vehicles.”

    “a design analysis cycle completed in May 2007 revealed an unexpected increase in ascent loads (the physical strain on the spacecraft during launch) that could result in increases to the weight of the Orion vehicle and both stages of the Ares I.”

    “Requirements instability is also increasing risk for the individual elements of the Ares I.”

    “NASA has not yet matured guidance, navigation, and control requirements for the upper stage subsystems. According to an agency official, these requirements cannot be finalized until mass, loads and weight requirements are finalized. Since these requirements are not expected to be provided until just 2 ½ months prior to the upper stage preliminary design review process start, there is a possibility that the system requirements review design concepts will be highly affected once requirements are received.”

    “Requirements instability also contributed to NASA’s inability to definitize design, development, and test and evaluation contracts for both the first stage and upper stage engine until August and July 2007 respectively—more than a year after the contracts were awarded.”

    “Adding the fifth segment and the frustum has increased the length and flexibility of the reusable solid rocket booster. It is currently unclear how the modification will affect the flight characteristics of the reusable solid rocket booster. Failure to completely understand the flight characteristic of the modified booster could create a risk of hardware failure and loss of vehicle control.”

    “there is also a possibility that the reusable solid rocket booster heritage hardware may not meet qualification requirements given the new ascent and re-entry loads and vibration and acoustic environments associated with the Ares I. This could result in cost and schedule impacts due to redesign and requalification efforts.”

    “the added weight of the fifth segment to the boosters is forcing the contractor to push the state of the art in developing a parachute recovery system.”

    “In January 2007, an independent review of the first stage development questioned the cost-effectiveness of continuing with a reusable booster design… NASA may need to consider expendable first stage options given the weight issues associated with both the Ares I and Orion vehicles. If NASA opts to pursue an expendable solution for the first stage, the overall Ares I design and requirements could change dramatically.”

    “NASA’s development effort for the Ares I upper stage has resulted in the redesign of its propellant tanks from two completely separate tanks to two tanks with one shared, or common, bulkhead. While the prior two-tank configuration was a simpler design with a lower manufacturing cost, it did not meet mass requirements. The current common bulkhead design involves a complex and problematic manufacturing process that plagued earlier development efforts on the Apollo program. In fact, IRMA indicates that one of the lessons learned from the Apollo program was to not use common bulkheads because they are complex and difficult to manufacture.”

    “there is a possibility that upper stage subsystems will not meet the Constellation program’s requirements for human rating unless the Constellation program grants waivers to failure tolerance requirements. NASA’s human rating directive generally requires that human spaceflight hardware be “two-failure tolerant,” that is, the system should be designed to tolerate two component failures or inadvertent actions without resulting in permanent disability or loss of life. According to Ares I project officials, NASA’s directive allows the use of ascent abort in response to a second failure during launch; however, Constellation program requirements do not allow abort and require Ares I to reach orbit even if there are two failures.”

    The April GAO report reiterates these problems and issues and identifies more.

    “-Developing Space launchers and spacecraft is high-risk and prone to failures.”

    I don’t mean this as a personal attack, but you claim to have a master’s degree that is relevant to this field but find this statement to be an invigorating discovery?

    Weird…

    “-Obama is as anti-Space as Mondale”

    Obama is not “anti-space”. Obama questions the utility of NASA’s human space flight programs and may call for a major review of those programs if he becomes President. But that doesn’t mean that Obama opposes all space activities from military to commercial to science. In fact, Obama appears to be quite supportive of robotic space exploration. Heck, Obama might even end up supporting NASA’s human space flight programs if they became well justified, designed, and managed as a result of a White House review.

    “and any other silly man could ever be”

    McCain has also effectively called for NASA’s human space flight programs to undergo scrutiny as part of his proposed FY 2010 budget freeze and review of all federal discretionary programs.

    “-I don’t like people posting anonymously.”

    Mr. Foust has repeatedly stated that he welcomes anonymous comments in this forum and that posters should not be criticized for posting anonymously.

    No one is forcing you to spend time here. If you’re uncomfortable with anonymous posters, then don’t respond to their posts or simply take your discussion elsewhere.

    FWIW…

  • anonymousspace

    “‘the SSME is not reusable in any operational sense of the word. Each SSME is stripped down and overhauled after every flight.’

    I guess you forgot the part where they are rebuilt, reinstalled on the Orbiter”

    I think we’re saying the same thing, Mr. Elifritz — that the SSMEs require extensive maintenance after every flight. For example, about 7,000 of the SSME’s 50,000 components must be taken apart, inspected, and potentially replaced after every flight. A 35,000 ft. facility (the imaginatively named SSME Processing Facility) is dedicated to this task. See (add http://):

    www-pao.ksc.nasa.gov/kscpao/nasafact/pdf/SSMEPF.pdf

    FWIW…

  • Bill White

    Has Congress ever formally inquired about the 2017 date for J-2X availability? Such as at a sub-committee hearing?

    To stick with Ares 1 and then wait until 2017 strikes me as being an unmitigated disaster.

  • anonymousspace

    “Has Congress ever formally inquired about the 2017 date for J-2X availability? Such as at a sub-committee hearing?”

    It’s important to note that the two additional years that GAO predicts the J-2X development to require will delay overall Ares I availability to 2017, not J-2X availability.

    That said, to my knowledge, no questions on this issue have been asked verbally in any congressional hearings. I hope congressional staff have sent written requests to NASA on this issue, too, but I would have no knowledge of such correspondence.

    “To stick with Ares 1 and then wait until 2017 strikes me as being an unmitigated disaster.”

    It’s ridiculous that the political discussion revolves around adding money to Ares I/Orion when these projects are riddled with crippling technical and schedule issues, and Orion is overrunning its budget to boot. It’s even more ridiculous when multiple easier, smarter, simpler, faster, cheaper, and/or safer alternatives for developing a LEO crew transport capability go unpursued.

    My 2 cents… FWIW…

  • But it doesn’t take a genius to read what the GAO has written and realize that J-2X is going to take considerably longer to develop than what NASA has scheduled and multi-year slips in J-2X availability will delay Ares I and Orion operations by the same number of years.

    Well shucks! I guess I guess I’m just too dense and you’re the genius…so that settles that.

    From what you have written, I reasonably assumed you’ve never been associated aviation, aerospace, or any work that entails risk mitigation. You keep writing that since GAO, in this case, has reported that a project might slip, then it will slip, and that it will slip the maximum amount because it is going to slip no matter than it hasn’t yet slipped.

    Do you really operate assuming something that may be, is? Where?

    I mean, there may not be oil, in fact there’s likely not, but I still drilled the bloody wells I did and will continue to. Why? Because there also may be oil.

    Tell me this AS. What was the risk probabilities of a J-2X slip to 2017 in either GAO report? No number was given. Not even the GAO knows.

  • Bill, exactly, there hasn’t been a hue and cry from Congress about a slip in Ares I to 2017 because it hasn’t happened. What little I know, I do know that such news would be headlined by the NY Times.

    The two GAO reports AS and I are not agreeing on both say that the J-2X parallel development with Ares I is risky, that any slips in the J-2X program will result in a to-one slip in Ares I, and that the J-2X program has a large amount of risk, but that NASA and Rocketdyne seem to be mitigating that risk by testing their way up from the component level to full-up by (hopefully) 2012.

    AS assumes that the slip of 5 years has already occurred (Why? Heck if I know) and that Ares will not launch before 2017. I assume the slip, though it will occur, will be much less, guessing around a year or so.

    We’re both rubbing our lucky pennies furiously hoping the other is an unlucky sod. And we’re both full of opinions about things we are not working on too.

  • anonymousspace

    “Well shucks! I guess I guess I’m just too dense and you’re the genius…so that settles that.”

    I never said that you are dense. In fact, I said “C’mon, you can’t be that dense” in another exchange. Please don’t accuse me of insults that I never hurled.

    “From what you have written, I reasonably assumed you’ve never been associated aviation, aerospace, or any work that entails risk mitigation.”

    That would be an incorrect assumption.

    “You keep writing that since GAO, in this case, has reported that a project might slip, then it will slip, and that it will slip the maximum amount because it is going to slip no matter than it hasn’t yet slipped.”

    I never wrote that. I wrote that given all of GAO’s findings — that J-2X has no component heritage with J-2, that J-2X has to achieve a substantially higher thrust level than J-2, that J-2X requires an unprecedented breakthrough in composite nozzle size, that NASA’s schedule for J-2X is unrealistic based on past cryogenic engine development experience — that a multi-year schedule slip in the J-2X schedule is highly likely.

    GAO further identified two additional years for J-2X development based on SSME experience for that likely case. Based on case they laid out, their past record, and my own experience and insights (for what little they’re worth), GAO is probably about right.

    And because it’s the long pole in the tent, a slip in the J-2X schedule is going to slip the overall Ares I schedule day-for-day.

    And again, J-2X is not the only schedule threat for Ares I. GAO identified plenty of other, likely, multi-year threats to the Ares I schedule.

    “Do you really operate assuming something that may be, is? Where?”

    I don’t operate on assumptions. I weigh the evidence and go with the more likely case. For Ares I, the evidence in the GAO reports weighs very, very heavily in favor of a multi-year delay to J-2X development and Ares I availability.

    “I mean, there may not be oil, in fact there’s likely not, but I still drilled the bloody wells I did and will continue to. Why? Because there also may be oil.”

    Huh? So the nation’s civil human space flight programs should be run like a desperate oil speculator’s business? Now that’s wise management of taxpayer dollars…

    Weird…

    “Tell me this AS. What was the risk probabilities of a J-2X slip to 2017 in either GAO report? No number was given. Not even the GAO knows.”

    NASA admits that Ares I has only a 66% chance of meeting its 2015 IOC based on the budget alone. GAO’s findings with regard to J-2X problems and all the other technical issues on Ares I and Orion easily tip that probability well into the less likely case. No specific percentage has to be assigned to figure that out.

    Put another way, if you were a betting man and were betting your house (or life savings, loved one, or life), would you really bet that Ares I/Orion is going to meet its 2015 IOC after reading about all the crippling technical and schedule threats in those GAO reports?

    Any honest, calculated answer to that question — one not based on hope or faith — is going to be “no, I wouldn’t make that bet after reading the GAO reports”.

    It’s just that simple.

    FWIW…

  • anonymousspace

    “but that NASA and Rocketdyne seem to be mitigating that risk by testing their way up from the component level to full-up by (hopefully) 2012.”

    The GAO reports say no such thing. In fact,

    “AS assumes that the slip of 5 years has already occurred (Why? Heck if I know)”

    Please don’t tell other posters what I assume or don’t assume. Unless you have magical mind-reading powers, you don’t know.

    I have never assumed that J-2X will experience a five-year slip.

    What I have _written_ is that based on GAO’s findings, a multi-year slip in the J-2X schedule is highly likely. GAO identified a two-year likely slip based on prior cryogenic engine development experience. Because J-2X drives the Ares I schedule, that would delay Ares I availability from 2015 to 2017.

    “I assume the slip, though it will occur, will be much less, guessing around a year or so.”

    Because J-2X is the long pole in the tent, that would still delay Ares I availability from 2015 to 2016 or so. You’re practically agreeing with the two-year delay in the GAO report.

    “We’re both rubbing our lucky pennies furiously hoping the other is an unlucky sod.”

    You may rely on luck when analyzing a situation, but I prefer data, evidence, and logic.

    And even if I was relying on luck, what would I have to gain by betting against Ares I?

    “And we’re both full of opinions about things we are not working on too.”

    That would be another incorrect assumption.

    FWIW…

  • AnonymousSpace, first there is nobody today in the oil business that is desperate. Why, we’re getting a windfall profits tax if Obama or Clinton get to the White House. But ain’t it funny that we never got a windfall profits credit when oil was $7 a barrel, when I saw friends go out of business? But I digress…

    Our ways of risk mitigation may seem weird, but if you look at them as an experienced engineer, they are not so strange. One way is to drill several wells hoping that one comes through. I’ve had 4 1/2 dry ones and 2 good ones. That makes me lucky. We accept that most will not work out but know from past experience one will.

    And you find a lucky geologist, i.e. project manager. He/she may be called lucky, but what that term really means is that you look for a someone who puts in 12-hour days, views weekends as a great opportunity to get real work done, and has an almost intuitive feel for what’s there and how to get it. You’ve run into those people–I know I have–who are just good at what they do and seem to be a force multiplier.

    Concerning facing, and mitigating risk, NASA and Rocketdyne at least concede that they are facing developmental issues and have incorporated 29 reworks in the course of the J-2X program. Also, by starting J-2X 2 1/2 years ahead, they are trying to dilute the effect of any delays in Ares caused by J-2X. To me, seeing NASA acknowledge this risk is a shock.

    I remember when in 1997 or 1998 a high-up JSC guy gave a presentation to us graduate students and Dr. Hans Mark at UT about how NASA was going to put people on Mars using Delta IV’s and possibly Delta II’s, just to make it cheap. Mark looked like he was asleep through the presentation while we, the younglings, were entranced. At the end, the lights came on and Dr. Mark quickly looked up and said, “Bull shit!”. And then he ripped the design apart, starting with the fact that the risks of what NASA didn’t know, and their ramifications, were not factored in.

    At least NASA is doing that now. And 66% chance of making a deadline on a complicated project is pretty good odds. I’m actually surprised it’s that high.

    As for hard workers, if NASA and Rocketdyne attack the Ares development on a 40-hour week intensity, then I have to say you’re making a persuasive case that the date is later than 2015. But, with so many layoff’s coming, motivating people to work hard and get the job done will not be tough.

    But I’ll concede this. We’ve established that you’ve worked on engines while I haven’t. And that means a lot to me.

    Still, I also have experience in what happens when you change mid-course on a program and have seen the costs explode and, in our case, turn the economics of a deal. I wonder if we’ve reached the point of no-return for Ares and need to focus on getting it done? That question hasn’t been addressed yet.

  • …and in closing, I’m glad we agree that there is only a probability of a multi-year slip. Your experience lends your opinion weight.

    But also important is that the GAO is crediting NASA with risk awareness and mitigation [GAO-08-51, p.20] as well as using a knowledge-based approach [13], things that NASA of past did not do. We’ll have to wait and see if this keep Ares from being X-33: The Return. One hopeful note is that if NASA screws this up, it knows it just handed the keys to the office and should pack up. Griffin has mentioned this more than once.

    Which leads me to why I have confidence that NASA will be successful with Ares. Because Mike Griffin is the smartest and most technically talented person to ever run NASA. Leaders make a great difference and Griffin will be proven right, though I doubt very much his critics will give credit where credit is due.

  • Me

    “Because Mike Griffin is the smartest and most technically talented person to ever run NASA.”

    But he is the most socially and politically inept one, which are requirementsf or the job of the NASA Administrator, He is not the NASA Chief Engineer.

    “We’ll have to wait and see if this keep Ares from being X-33: The Return.”

    It is already there and Griffin is to arrogant to cancel it. He will be the downfall of NASA and do more harm that any other administrator or president.

    “I wonder if we’ve reached the point of no-return for Ares and need to focus on getting it done?

    There is no such point. A bad program should be and can be canceled at anytime. WRT to the “gap”, there are other options that can beat Ares.

  • Vladislaw

    Of all the projects in manned flight NASA has undertaken since 1972 how many of those projects have came in, on time, and on budget? How about all NASA projects. How many times has headlines read “NASA builds new space craft for 6 billion dollars less then predicted and started flying it 2 years faster then predicted”

    I mean doesn’t the law of averages say that NASA should have SOME success in actually doing ANYTHING faster and cheaper then what they say? 30 years of senate and house committee meetings with a new parade of NASA administrators saying how they need more money and more time. Either they are incompetent in actually making a realistic estimate on time and cost, by using historical data, or they are flat out lying on the time and cost.

    I would have prefered NASA saying it will take 30 years to build Ares I, Ares V, Orion, Altair and cost 90 billion. So just ONCE I could see NASA doing it for less money and less time. But then, it they would have announced this cost and build schedule, we know they would have somehow managed to have cost plus overruns and delays of schedules.

    I remember how scotty on star trek would always tell the captain it would take twice as long to do something, so he would look like a miracle worker getting it done faster then expected. Nasa should tear a page out of his playbook and stop making estimates that as soon as they are made, they are already at 50% risk of not being accurate.

  • JM

    “I wonder if we’ve reached the point of no-return for Ares and need to focus on getting it done?”

    Come on. The entire project is still in the midst of paper. As several have mentioned before, the Ares I-X is an Admiral’s Test, and has minimal relevance to the final Ares I configuration.

    The fact that program is marching to a 2016 operational capability says a lot. There would be plenty of time, starting in early 2009, to do a re-evaluation of the Shuttle replacement infrastructure. However, this should be done by an independent review, and would almost certainly require a new NASA administrator with no vested interest in a particular approach.

    If such a review deemed the Stick as the most viable approach, then so be it. Full steam ahead!

    The Shuttle replacement has too great an impact on future NASA budgets to just go blithely forward with what could be a tragically flawed concept. Basing the next 30 years of U.S. government-funded crewed space transportation on a 3-4 month ESAS study is short-sighted and amateurish.

  • Me

    “As for hard workers, if NASA and Rocketdyne attack the Ares development on a 40-hour week intensity, then I have to say you’re making a persuasive case that the date is later than 2015. But, with so many layoff’s coming, motivating people to work hard and get the job done will not be tough.”

    This is false. This assumes that they are the same skill set, which they aren’t. It is the operations people will be laid off and not development people. Few operations people can do development jobs (especially hands on technicians types).

  • Me

    I take use with the following:
    ” Man rating is an archaic concept from the sixties, when we were attempting to make munitions safe for human transportation. The phrase has no useful meaning in today’s lexicon, yet many persist in using it. That is why I wish we would stop, and focus on safety, and more importantly, reliability”

    It is very applicable. The very act of “manrating” a vehicle is focusing on safety, and reliability. It is includes adding health monitoring and escape systems. Current most ELV’s (EELV’s) don’t have these systems.

  • Bill White

    When is the point of no return on Ares 1?

    Based on my by-stander’s reading of the DIRECT materials, it seems to me that as long as the orbiters are still flying, Jupiter 120 remains a viable option and that adopting DIRECT remains on the table.

    Indeed, as long as we retain the industrial base needed for Ares V, we can build the Jupiter series, given the substantial commonality.

    Switching to DIRECT in late 2009 or 2010 or even later would not “throw away” Ares1 development money already spent since the J-2X is needed for the Jupiter 232 or Ares V anyway and while a 5 segment RSRM offers more performance than DIRECT proposes it can be incorporated into the Jupiter line very easily.

    My reading of the DIRECT proposal suggests that that developing the 5 segment RSRM is not a prudent short term use of development money but if a 5 segment already exists, it can be used.

    = = =

    Politically, I am deeply troubled by Hillhouse’s assertion that the decisions have all been made and his apparent suggestion that what we need to do is simply shut up and march.

    Related, I am greatly troubled by any plan that does not see Ares1 & Ares V as a package deal. To the extent Ares 1 development makes any sense whatsoever (mileage varies on whether Ares 1 makes any sense at all) whatever sense there may be to Ares 1 can only be found in the context of the prompt development of Ares V.

    Unless Clinton, Obama or McCain (and Congress) commit to adequate Ares V funding upfront, to stick with the Stick strikes me as being just about the worst route NASA can follow. If there is reasonable doubt whether we can or will fund Ares V, we need a new direction, now!

  • The very act of “manrating” a vehicle is focusing on safety, and reliability. It is includes adding health monitoring and escape systems. Current most ELV’s (EELV’s) don’t have these systems.

    One can have such a focus without calling it “manrating.” “Man rating” means different things to different people, and NASA has attempted to define it, but they’ve never built a vehicle that meets the standards. Thus, it would be better to simply stop using the phrase. It is particularly senseless with reusable vehicles, because the cost of the vehicle itself is such that you can’t afford to lose it, regardless of whether it carries people or not (which is why there’s no such thing as “man rating” an aircraft).

    EELVs are already reliable, or as reliable as low-production-quantity expendable vehicles are likely to get. All they needs is FOSD and the ability to fly trajectories that close abort blackout zones.

  • Me, there will also be layoff’s at JSC which are not merely technicians, though I certainly do not mean to belittle their value–far from it. I think what is about to happen to the Space Coast is amazing. Nelson and the rest of the FL delegation should be working as one to cushion those changes. They did it for Bear Sterns, they can do it for Joe Space worker.

    Couldn’t agree with you more Me, Mike Griffin’s talent is not politics. OTOH, his honesty when before Congress stands in stark contrast to that of Goldin and O’Keefe, and really, most of the Bush Administration. I’ve been told that Mike Griffin starts off by assuming he’s right and you’re wrong, that he’s smarter than you. If you are smart enough to convince him otherwise, he’ll listen. Is that arrogance? Yup. Has he earned that? Well, let’s just say that I’m sure most of us would like to have a resume like his.

    And Me, if Goldin didn’t destroy NASA, nobody can. That man…waste of perfectly good Oxygen.

    Bill, thank you for mentioning DIRECT 2.0 (D2). This is what those who believe The Stick is not the best option need to be focusing on. Forget the EELV’s–so much work needs to be done to get them ready for Orion that we might as well stick with The Stick. But D2 is another matter all-together. And I hope that its proponents make enough progress that it can be a viable alternative to The Stick soon.

    I don’t like the idea of stifling initiative but do like stifling distractions. The D2 folks–they work, present, listen to critique, and respond with a revised design. OTOH, the EELV proponents are a study in contrast. How many D2 level quality proposals for using the Atlas V for launching Orion have we seen? Without that sort of effort, all the EELV talk slamming NASA is simply a distraction. I think it is the work and effort of the D2 proposal that will turn heads in industry and Congress and holds the hope of a change in Constellation.

    I used to hang out at Martin Marrietta’s Advanced Projects Office at Michoud in 1983–I was there as a student working on some design proposals. The things Martin wanted to do with the Shuttle stack, sans the Shuttle, were impressive. DIRECT 2.0 inherits from that and might just be the thing that causes Griffin, or whomever follows him, to reconsider the Ares architecture.

    Bill, the two GAO reports (GAO-80-50 and GAO-80-186T) both do compliment NASA for working to share technology between Ares I and V [GAO-80-50, p.9]. But then, GM is knowledge-based and uses common parts too.

    I believe that one of the motivators for going with the J-2X was to re-invigorate our propulsion technical base, based on comments made by Griffin and others in the late-90′s and early 2000′s. Congress is aware of this rationale and has signed off on it. It’s about preserving our technical base. That’s a strategic, not tactical, decision and we may have to live with the consequences.

  • Apellonia: what happened to the Donald I used to know and respect? The Donald who used to be honest.

    Well, thanks for the complement. I’m still here. I meant the question quite seriously and I wanted to hear Anonymous’ opinion. Part of “honesty” is to listen to what others have to say.

    Jim Hillhouse: I also have experience in what happens when you change mid-course on a program and have seen the costs explode and, in our case, turn the economics of a deal. I wonder if we’ve reached the point of no-return for Ares and need to focus on getting it done? That question hasn’t been addressed yet.

    My personal solution to this conundrum is to hope that NASA pulls a miracle out of the hat before the next Administration changes course, while expecting that Ares / Orion will turn out to be the complete disaster it appears to be. A miracle is looking increasingly unlikely. Nonetheless, I still do hope that all of us are wrong, Dr. Griffin is correct, and that in 2020 we land again on the moon. But, no, Anonymous, I would not bet any money, let alone my home and loved ones (even the cats), on that outcome.

    Also, even if the project is shut down, some of the component development may be useful in a new and better project. The heat shield tests, Aerojet’s methane rocket, and even the J-2X come to mind, though I expect the technology being developed for and used on the ISS (e.g., the new water recycling cabinet) will prove far more valuable.

    – Donald

  • GoNasa

    In an attempt to get this discussion BACK on subject and away from the techno-babble on engine performance – Remember this is SpacePolitics.com, not SpaceEngineering,com

    6 billion wasted on federal education program…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/01/AR2008050101399.html?hpid=topnews

    Imagine what NASA could have done with that money – not only close the spaceflight by accelerating Constellation but also have a some left over for a few robotics missions.

    Instead of raiding NASA for budget for what will be another failed social welfare education program the arrow should go the other and some of the money wasted on education should go to NASA.

    If nothing else this should be shoved in the face of Obama supporters here who think killing Ares for education is a good idea.

  • GoNasa

    Correct version – We need a preview button.

    In an attempt to get this discussion BACK on subject and away from the techno-babble on engine performance – Remember this is SpacePolitics.com, not SpaceEngineering,com

    6 billion wasted on federal education program…

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/05/01/AR2008050101399.html?hpid=topnews

    Imagine what NASA could have done with that money – not only close the Spaceflight Gap by accelerating Constellation but also have some left over for a few robotics missions.

    Instead of raiding NASA for budget for what will be another failed social welfare education program the arrow should go the other way and some of the money being wasted on education should go to NASA.

    If nothing else this should be shoved in the face of the Obama supporters here who think killing Ares for education is a good idea.

  • anonymouspace

    “Our ways of risk mitigation may seem weird, but if you look at them as an experienced engineer, they are not so strange. One way is to drill several wells hoping that one comes through. I’ve had 4 1/2 dry ones and 2 good ones.”

    The aerospace equivalent of drilling multiple wells — pursuing multiple vehicles and downselecting to the most promising — would be a fine strategy for developing post-Shuttle crew transport capabilities. That’s a reasonable risk mitigation strategy in any complex and uncertain program, industry, or sector and that’s what NASA was doing before Griffin came on board.

    But picking only one well (after only 60-90 days of study) and spending years drilling deeper and deeper into that dry well in the hope that we’ll get lucky and strike oil someday is a deeply flawed strategy, especially when other wells look more promising. That’s what NASA has done with Ares I/Orion since Griffin came on board.

    “And you find a lucky geologist, i.e. project manager. He/she may be called lucky, but what that term really means is that you look for a someone who puts in 12-hour days, views weekends as a great opportunity to get real work done, and has an almost intuitive feel for what’s there and how to get it. You’ve run into those people–I know I have–who are just good at what they do and seem to be a force multiplier.”

    Unfortunately, as other folks in this thread have pointed out, MSFC does not have a good track record when it comes to launch vehicle development and even program management in general (witness massive budget overruns on the GP-B and Chandra science missions). Assuming all the problems pointed out by GAO could be solved just by smart people working hard (and I don’t think they could — a breakthrough in composite nozzle size is either technically possible or not, regardless of how much overtime we put into it), it’s far from clear that we have such an A-team managing Ares I.

    “Concerning facing, and mitigating risk, NASA and Rocketdyne at least concede that they are facing developmental issues and have incorporated 29 reworks in the course of the J-2X program.”

    If they’ve really incorporated these reworks into the schedule in a logical and serial fashion, it’s possibly a good thing. But in the absence of any other information, 29 reworks is a largely meaningless figure. We can’t judge if there is adequate time for each rework cycle, how well the reworks are integrated with the testing schedule, whether too many activities are going on in parallel, etc.

    “Also, by starting J-2X 2 1/2 years ahead, they are trying to dilute the effect of any delays in Ares caused by J-2X.”

    NASA has no choice but to start J-2X early if they’re going to have a shot in hell of meeting the 2015 IOC for Ares I. But as the GAO reports warn, the early start puts the J-2X schedule out of sync with the requirements flow-down from other Ares I elements. They’re running a very high risk of making design decisions on J-2X only to find out that those decisions are not consistent with the needs of the rest of the system (e.g., too little thrust, too much mass, some wrong dimension, etc.). If that happens and J-2X has to undergo a major redesign midstream, we can kiss even a 2017 IOC for Ares I goodbye.

    The smart thing to do would have been to pick a vehicle that didn’t require a new engine development (e.g., EELV and DIRECT options) or at least an engine development that wouldn’t take so long to finish (e.g., Falcon 9). We’re no longer in the early Apollo era where there were few to no existing launch vehicle options, and NASA had no choice but to put difficult new engine developments (like F-1) in the critical path. Today NASA has lots of options available for crew launch, and there’s no good reason to subject the nation’s civil human space access (not to mention ISS) to the costs, difficulty, and risks of two completely new rocket engine developments (J-2X and the 5-segment SRB).

    “To me, seeing NASA acknowledge this risk… the risks of what NASA didn’t know, and their ramifications, were not factored in… at least NASA is doing that now.”

    There’s a huge difference between acknowledging a risk at the subsystem level (e.g., 29 rework cycles) and adjusting to a risk in the critical path at the system level (e.g., realizing that there’s a high probability that J-2X, among other things, will delay Ares I IOC to 2017 and pursuing alternatives to Ares I for crew transport). NASA may be doing the former, but is ignoring the latter.

    “And 66% chance of making a deadline on a complicated project is pretty good odds.”

    No, it’s awful. The industry standard is 80%, meaning that there’s only a 1-in-5 chance that your budget won’t match the work content. At 66%, there’s a 1-in-3 chance that the Ares I/Orion budget won’t match the Ares I/Orion work content. That’s as close as NASA could pack the budget with work content without turning the Ares I/Orion schedule into a total coin toss.

    The smart thing to do would have been to pick a set of requirements and vehicles that didn’t bust the VSE budget to the extent that ESAS and Ares I/Orion did and force NASA to run the Constellation budget so close to the razor’s edge. With ISS crew access on the line, NASA should have pursued requirements and an option (or two) that could be afforded at the 80% level, not the 66% level.

    “As for hard workers, if NASA and Rocketdyne attack the Ares development on a 40-hour week intensity, then I have to say you’re making a persuasive case that the date is later than 2015. But, with so many layoff’s coming, motivating people to work hard and get the job done will not be tough.”

    Actually, a lot of the Rocketdyne workforce will roll off SSME and onto J-2X. But outside of that, they’re not the same workforces. Developing a new vehicle like Ares I requires a fundamentally different workforce than operating a vehicle like the Shuttle orbiter. The former have plenty of motivation because their jobs are needed well into the next decade. The latter do not because their jobs end in a few years.

    “But I’ll concede this. We’ve established that you’ve worked on engines while I haven’t. And that means a lot to me.”

    Honestly, it shouldn’t. Those GAO documents are written for congressional staff, not rocket engineers. Practically anyone should be able to read them, count up the Ares I risks, take note of their severity, and make an emotionless judgement about whether Ares I stands a shot in hell at coming in anywhere close to on time, budget, and spec.

    I apologize for the soapbox, but too often value judgements about NASA (e.g., as long as GAO doesn’t explicitely say that Ares I is broken beyond repair, then we should give good ‘ole NASA the benefit of the doubt) are used in these arguments that have nothing to do with the actual evidence and problems at hand. We should use common sense and logic to reason through the options, not our hearts. Reasonable skepticism, especially when backed by evidence, is a good, not bad, thing.

    And it shouldn’t matter what my background is. I could be the village idiot, but if my arguments are well thought out and properly justified, that should be enough to sway the debate. This is the comments section of a blog, not a job application.

    “Still, I also have experience in what happens when you change mid-course on a program and have seen the costs explode and, in our case, turn the economics of a deal. I wonder if we’ve reached the point of no-return for Ares and need to focus on getting it done? That question hasn’t been addressed yet.”

    If and when NASA is forced to change gears, there will be some penalties associated with terminating various Ares I and/or Orion contracts. But those amounts will be small compared to the $24 billion plus estimated cost of developing these vehicles and the savings that would come from pursuing a different path.

    Setting aside contracts and budget, technically, we’re very far from the point of no return on Ares I/Orion. After almost three years of work and endless redesigns, no useful progress has been made. The system still doesn’t close, in terms of mass, performance, acoustics, safety systems, etc. The preliminary design review is still slipping to the right. It’s better to stop spinning our wheels and try some alternate paths that at least promise to close, get off the drawing board, and into real hardware.

    “…and in closing, I’m glad we agree that there is only a probability of a multi-year slip.”

    A very, very high probability of a multi-year slip.

    “We’ll have to wait and see if this keep Ares from being X-33: The Return.”

    The proximate cause of X-33′s termination — an advanced technology propellant tank test failure — is very different from what’s happening to Ares I. The X-33 failure happened after metal (composites) were being bent and was unforeseen to a certain degree. Ares I, however, can’t even get off the drawing board with a design that closes technically. We see the problems and we keep trying to redesign around them, but the design still doesn’t close. We’re still very, very far from bending metal and real tests on Ares I.

    I’d also argue that there are some deeper causes of failure in common between X-33 and Ares I. In both cases, NASA chose needlessly complex and technically difficult vehicles. NASA’s culture needs to learn that the path of least resistance is often the best path.

    But in terms of the proximate cause of program failure, X-33 and Ares I are very different.

    “Which leads me to why I have confidence that NASA will be successful with Ares. Because Mike Griffin is the smartest and most technically talented person to ever run NASA.”

    Based on what track record? Griffin ran NASA’s exploration office when SEI failed. Griffin was a chief technology officer in BMDO, which has always been a technically controversial concept. Griffin had a similar post at OSC, but was not responsible for managing any specific development programs or projects. Griffin was also the head of APL, but again did not manage any specific development programs or projects.

    He has a great list of academic degrees, and nominally has CEO and CTO experience at the helm of large technical organizations. But in terms of actual development program management experience and execution, Griffin’s record is arguably checkered or non-existent.

    And, as others have already pointed out in this thread, Griffin’s grasp of politics is a tenuous one, especially as it affects program formulation and support.

    FWIW…

  • If nothing else this should be shoved in the face of the Obama supporters here who think killing Ares for education is a good idea.

    Well, certainly, of the myriad reasons to kill Ares, that has to be the dumbest one.

  • anonymouspace

    “6 billion wasted on federal education program…

    If nothing else this should be shoved in the face of the Obama supporters here who think killing Ares for education is a good idea.”

    Not that I necessarily support transferring money from NASA to the Dept. of Education, but the failed federal education program in the article is a Bush II “No Child Left Behind” program that focuses too highly on phonics and testing instead of deeper learning and understanding. I think all three campaigns have blasted “No Child Left Behind”, and no matter who occupies the White House, federal education programs will be very different from those of Bush II. We shouldn’t fault Obama or another candidate for a Bush II failure, especially when they have explicitely said that they are not going to follow the policies of the Bush II Administration in that area.

    Moreover, Obama does not plan to terminate Ares I. In fact, he is the only remaining candidate to have supported Ares I by name (to his detriment, IMO). See earlier posts in this thread.

    FWIW…

  • Anon

    anonymouspace

    So did you find a link to the location on the Obama wesbite that confirms what is posted on Spaceref.com (and linked to by your other cites) is Obama’s space policy?

    Or is this still the operation document on it from the Obama website?


    http://obama.3cdn.net/a8dfc36246b3dcc3cb_iem6bxpgh.pdf

    I suspect not as nothing has been said about by the Obama campaign about that document since it “just” appeared just before NH.

    And the 6 billion wasted on this program is only the most recent example of the hundreds of billions wasted on federal welfare programs for education over the last 20-30 years. Just as “no Child Left Behind” was an attempt to reverse this record, Obama’s educational welfare program is simply another attempt of the federal government to fix something that is best left to the local districts.

  • anonymouspace

    “Couldn’t agree with you more Me, Mike Griffin’s talent is not politics. OTOH, his honesty when before Congress stands in stark contrast to that of Goldin and O’Keefe”

    Not that Goldin and O’Keefe didn’t have their problems, but when were they dishonest with Congress and on what?

    “Is that arrogance? Yup. Has he earned that? Well, let’s just say that I’m sure most of us would like to have a resume like his.”

    Per my earlier comments, when you look at the details, Griffin’s resume is not as impressive as it might seem, especially in terms of actual program formulation, execution, management, and leadership experience. Griffin has lots of academic credentials and lots of experience as CEO or CTO of large technical organizations. He has checkered or little experience actually building and running specific technical projects.

    Moreover, the aerospace business is inherently collaborative. Even with the perfect resume, extreme arrogance or other potentially crippling personality defects are to be avoided, not respected.

    “Forget the EELV’s–so much work needs to be done to get them ready for Orion that we might as well stick with The Stick.”

    That’s simply not true. Just looking at the engine work alone, Ares I requires two completely new engines (5-segment SRB and J-2X) while an Atlas 5H2 (for example) requires none. And man-rating an Atlas 5H2 will require nothing that doesn’t also have to be done for Ares I (i.e., abort system, redundancy, and failure detection).

    Heck, even Wikipedia tells us that 95% of the hardware for an Atlas 5H2 has already flown on earlier Atlas V launches. The schedule for developing the Atlas 5H2 is less than three years, while the schedule for developing Ares I is a decade long, at least.

    And there’s no good reason not to employ a smaller crew capsule than Orion that can fit on an existing EELV and doesn’t even require the development of a new variant.

    “Bill, the two GAO reports (GAO-80-50 and GAO-80-186T) both do compliment NASA for working to share technology between Ares I and V [GAO-80-50, p.9].”

    While it was a good idea in theory, in practice, Ares I/V commonality is rapidly disappearing. Ares V doesn’t have enough power to meet NASA’s lunar requirements (partly due to Ares I shortfalls), so the Ares V team (such as they exist) is now looking at six-segment SRBs and composite SRB casings (for example). See (add http://www.):

    flightglobal.com/articles/2008/02/27/221870/nasa-adds-power-and-height-to-ares-v-rocket.html

    “I believe that one of the motivators for going with the J-2X was to re-invigorate our propulsion technical base, based on comments made by Griffin and others in the late-90’s and early 2000’s.”

    It’s a worthwhile goal, but it’s an incredibly dumb idea to put it in the critical path of providing a domestic source of civil human space transport after Shuttle’s retirement. We don’t educate automobile engineers by having them work on next year’s model or develop new automotive technologies by testing them at the dealership. Dumb, dumb, dumb…

    FWIW…

  • anonymouspace

    “So did you find a link to the location on the Obama wesbite that confirms what is posted on Spaceref.com (and linked to by your other cites) is Obama’s space policy?”

    Huh?

    First you accuse me of not doing my research.

    Then I show that you didn’t even bother to search this website or conduct a basic internet search.

    And now you’re asking me to do your research?

    Are you barred from the Google website or something?

    If multiple references to the same campaign document, backed up by quotes straight from a campaign manager’s mouth, are not good enough for you, then you need to do the research to disprove those documents and statements. It’s not my responsibility to prove your arguments.

    Oy vey…

  • Vladislaw

    What would be the fallout for NASA if the shuttle is retired in 2010 and the Ares I & V did not get the support in the next administration? Just an overall downsizing?

    Would the general public demand we still have some kind of governmental vehicle, even if it’s a smaller three man capsule on an atlas or delta or would “the gap” just get passed onto the next adminstration?

    Congress did show relative support for the VSE, do you believe that the “moon mars and beyond” could be easily slipped out of NASA’s mission by the next adminstration or would they only beable to push back the time lines?

    What do you think the political ramifications for NASA would be if SpaceX flys a manned dragon mission 3/2/1 year(s) ahead of the Ares I rollout?

  • Anonymous: NASA’s culture needs to learn that the path of least resistance is often the best path.

    These are the most important words that have been written in this blog in a long time. I would add that this applies to the entire space advocacy community. It is worth noting that the VSE started out as an attempt to do just that.

    We’ve invented a whole lot of spaceflight technology and developed a whole lot of hardware over the last sixty years. Why do we have to keep re-inventing the wheel? The EELVs were perfectly capable of handling this job. Using them, on top of their current markets, would have provided economies of scale that would have benefited everyone needing rides to orbit, not just us lunar advocates. They (particularly, as I understand it, the Delta-IV) were designed for high launch rates. Higher launch rates might have reduced costs enough to make them globally competative and given us an export industry.

    Instead, we gave up the aerospace plane sandbox only to leap into the new giant rocket sandbox, neither of which get us any closer to a lunar base or any of our other goals.

    – Donald

  • The EELVs were perfectly capable of handling this job. Using them, on top of their current markets, would have provided economies of scale that would have benefited everyone needing rides to orbit, not just us lunar advocates. They (particularly, as I understand it, the Delta-IV) were designed for high launch rates. Higher launch rates might have reduced costs enough to make them globally competative and given us an export industry.

    If there were some nefarious plot to come up with ways keep us from progressing in space, it would be hard to beat our own blundering policies for the past half century.

  • Keith Cowing

    “anonymouspace

    So did you find a link to the location on the Obama wesbite that confirms what is posted on Spaceref.com (and linked to by your other cites) is Obama’s space policy?”

    I love it when people who are afraid to use their own name post things like this. The document I recieved was on Obama letterhead in a PDF file. I posted the text on SpaceRef because that is what people want to read on their browsers. It was created by the campaign. I even spoke with the author. And no I am not going to take the time to post it just so some troll can get his/her jollies.

  • Vladislaw

    “Using them, on top of their current markets, would have provided economies of scale that would have benefited everyone needing rides to orbit, ”

    Two Lunar crew launches per year and two ISS crew swap outs per year would be enough to create economies of scale? Or would the same contractor get all the cargo launches also? If one contracting monopoly got most of the military, most of NASA science missions, all ISS crew and cargo, plus the lunar crew. Would that monopoly pass on the economies of scale since it is still all cost plus from the government?

  • Two Lunar crew launches per year and two ISS crew swap outs per year would be enough to create economies of scale?

    If they weren’t wasting so much money developing unneeded launch systems, they might have enough left over for more lunar crew launches per year, particularly with lower launch costs from the volume buy.

  • Vadislaw: Two Lunar crew launches per year and two ISS crew swap outs per year would be enough to create economies of scale?

    Well, yes, since that would essentially double their current launch rate.

    I was not suggesting a monopoly. The one piece of good news in this is that humanity (and even just the United States) has no shortage of medium-class launch vehicles, with or without Ares-1, which remains a near-total waste of money and time that NASA did not have.

    – Donald

  • anon

    anonymouspace

    Nope. The burden is on YOU to show its the actual position of the Obama campaign. Especially since its NOT linked to on the official Obama website.

    And its doesn’t take a google search, just a quick trip to the Obama website.

    http://www.barackobama.com/index.php

    You WILL find his plan for taking money from NASA for education, under Issues, Education. You WON”T find the alleged space policy document. In fact the only mention of Space is in the PDF of his education plan.

    So if is Obama’s official space policy why isn’t there a link? Why does it appear in NONE of the official positions UNLIKE the McCain and Clinton Space Policy which is easily found on their campaign sites?

    And the third hand email your referenced on this website only originated from a New Hampshire STATE campaign official, NOT someone with the national campaign. In short a state level volunteer, not a someone in real authority.

    So again – Do YOUR Research on YOUR Sources. Or don’t call them facts. After all YOU are the one defending Obama’s alleged position on space, one NOT supported by the campaign website.

  • anon

    Keith

    I love it when people who are afraid to use their own name post things like this. The document I recieved was on Obama letterhead in a PDF file. I posted the text on SpaceRef because that is what people want to read on their browsers. It was created by the campaign. I even spoke with the author. And no I am not going to take the time to post it just so some troll can get his/her jollies.

    So why isn’t it on the Obama website like ALL the other Obama position papers? You might ask your contact that question. Perhaps they could provide an independent link to you share.

  • Keith Cowing

    No “Anon”, I don’t take requests from people who have no name. Indeed, how do we even know that you exist?

    My source was extraordinarily legitimate. I think you will find many things that are not online at campaign websites that are authentic.

  • anon

    Keith,

    It is Jeff’s choice to allow people to contribute to this website without posting their names.

    And I am not questioning your story. I just find it curious that Obama’s space plan in not on his website, not even under technology issues.

    Is it because space is Not that important to him to waste the bandwidth?

    Or that this was just a trial ballon?

    or just something whipped up for the NH election to disteact the blogsphere critics on Obama raiding NASA for education?

    So perhaps your source could clarify why its not on their website with the rest of Obama plans. It just might make an interesting story for your website.

  • anonymousspace

    “The burden is on YOU to show its the actual position of the Obama campaign.”

    I have. Three times.

    Here’s three more, different citations from different sources.

    At a different Popular Mechanics website, eight points from “Barack Obama’s Plan for American Leadership in Space” were “provided to PM [Popular Mechanics] by Barack Obama’s campaign”:

    popularmechanics.com/science/research/4237347.html?page=2

    The Mars Society excerpted sections of “Barack Obama’s Plan for American Leadership in Space”, citing their source as “Barack Obama 2008″:

    marssociety.org/portal%2522/mars-news-from-the-san-diego-chapter/TMSSD_News_33480

    And a paragraph from “Barack Obama’s Plan for American Leadership in Space” appears on the Physics Today website:

    blogs.physicstoday.org/politics08/2008/01/

    These sources are in addition to the three aforementioned sources.

    A PDF of “Barack Obama’s Plan for American Leadership in Space” is found on the Popular Mechanics website:

    media.popularmechanics.com/documents/obama-space-policy.pdf

    Another copy of “Barack Obama’s Plan for American Leadership in Space” is found on the SpaceRef site:

    spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=26647

    And there are direct quotes from Obama’s senior policy associate, Lisa Ellman, on this very website supporting those documents. Here’s the full excerpt:

    “In the message, Lisa Ellman, Obama’s policy director in New Hampshire, said Obama ‘will work to strengthen American leadership in space’ and that he ‘believes that the United States needs a strong space program to help it maintain its superiority not only in space, but here on earth in the realms of education, technology, and national security.’

    “Most importantly, Ellman clarifies what Obama meant by delaying Constellation by five years:

    “‘Obama believes we should continue developing the next generation of space vehicles, and complete the international space station. While Obama would delay plans to return to moon and push on to mars, Obama would continue unmanned missions, and use NASA to monitor the forces and effects of climate change, support scientific research, and maintain surveillance to strengthen national security. Obama also believes we need to keep weapons out of space.’”

    See spacepolitics.com/2008/01/02/obama-clarifies-his-space-policy/

    That’s five citations for the same Obama campaign document spread across four reliable sources, all backed by direct quotes from an Obama policy official. If that’s not the “actual position” of the Obama campaign, I don’t know what is.

    “Nope. The burden is on YOU”

    No it’s not.

    You’re the one in denial about five citations for the same Obama campaign document spread across four reliable sources.

    Not me.

    You’re the one in denial about direct quotes from a senior Obama policy associate.

    Not me.

    If you want to deny reality, it’s your job to produce the evidence proving that reality is wrong.

    Not me.

    The burden for proving your delusions is on YOU.

    Ugh…

    “Why does it appear in NONE of the official positions UNLIKE the McCain and Clinton Space Policy”

    There is no “McCain and Clinton Space Policy”.

    You do at least understand that McCain and Clinton are not running on the same ticket, right?

    Or for the same party, right?

    You are an American citizen and have at least a grade school understanding of how our political parties work and how our President is elected, right?

    Sheesh…

    “which is easily found on their campaign sites?”

    The Clinton space policy statement does _not_ appear in the official “ISSUES” section of the Clinton campaign website:

    http://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/

    So why aren’t you whining about that, too?

    Why are you holding the Obama campaign to a different standard than the Clinton campaign?

    What’s with the double standards?

    Bleah…

    “And the third hand email your referenced on this website only originated from a New Hampshire STATE campaign official, NOT someone with the national campaign. In short a state level volunteer, not a someone in real authority.”

    Your repeated inability to conduct even basic research is laughable.

    Lisa Ellman is a senior policy associate on the payroll of the Obama campaign. Ellman’s bio, pix, and interview are here:

    harrisschool.uchicago.edu/alumni/profiles/ellman.asp

    Ellman went to the U. of Chicago and still lives there (not New Hampshire). Her address and campaign contributions can be found in the list here:

    fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=emp&employer=Obama+for+America

    Ellman worked the Obama campaign in states other than New Hampshite, like North Carolina:

    godanriver.com/gdr/news/local/rockingham_news/article/democrats_gather_for_convention_in_wentworth/2993/

    For the umpteenth time, learn how to work a web search for gawd sakes.

    Lordy…

    “So again – Do YOUR Research on YOUR Sources.”

    I did.

    Where are YOUR references?

    Oh right, you have none.

    What are YOUR sources?

    Oh right, you have none.

    Where is YOUR research?

    Oh right, it’s a bunch of failed web searches.

    “Or don’t call them facts.”

    It’s a fact that the Obama campaign has released a document and excerpts of a document titled “Barack Obam’s Plan for American Leadership in Space” to multiple press, science, and popular space websites.

    It’s a fact that a paid senior policy associate from the Obama campaign has provided direct quotes consistent with the content of that document.

    Where are YOUR facts?

    Oh right, you have none.

    “one NOT supported by the campaign website.”

    Prove it.

    Prove that the document is NOT supported on the campaign website.

    Oy vey…

  • anonymousspace

    “It is Jeff’s choice to allow people to contribute to this website without posting their names.”

    Mr. Cowing never objected to your anonymous posting on Mr. Foust’s website.

    Mr. Cowing is choosing not to respond to your anonymous request to him, which is his choice, not Mr. Foust’s.

    Sheesh…

  • anon

    BINGO – So this traces to Lisa Ellman, at least based on this Blog on the Obama website and the comments by Anonymousspace.

    http://my.barackobama.com/page/community/post/FerrisValyn/CVp2

    which refers readers not to a posting of the policy on the Obama website, but to the posting on the Spaceref.com website.

    As for Lisa Ellman being Senior Policy Associate, she is (Good start anonymousspace, I will give you a “C” on your research skills), but her specialization is in Education, NOT space, which you fail to note.

    http://www.career.org/iMISPublic/AM/TemplateRedirect.cfm?template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&Section=Newsletters1&ContentID=16052

    The Legislative Advisory Conference call this week featured remarks from two members of Sen. Barak Obama’s presidential campaign staff, Deputy Policy Director Danielle Gray and Senior Associate specializing in education Lisa Ellman.

    Very interesting that the individual who specializes in Education Policy, and likely wrote the education plan, would release this document and not the policy associate leading Obama’s technology team, Julius Genachowski as you would expect for a policy on space exploration.

    http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:vntIfptgwwwJ:my.barackobama.com/page/community/person/CJ3L+%22Julius+Genachowski%22+site:Barackobama.com&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

    So why is Obama’s educational policy advisor taking the lead on releasing space policy papers and not his advisor on technology policy?

    is it because NASA in the realm of education and not technology in the eyes of Obama? (It would of course explain why nearly half of the paper talks about strengthening science and math education….)

    And again, why is this position paper, alone of all the position papers issued, NOT posted on the Obama website?

    And finally its interesting to note that even after this policy paper was released Obama himself two weeks later (Jan. 24) was still talking about taking money from NASA for education.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18384932

    “And we’ve identified a range of ways that we can save money in terms of how we purchase goods by the federal government. There are some programs related to NASA, for example, that we would not eliminate — but defer — so that the spending is spread out over a longer period of time.”

    Interesting, eh?

    But I will bow out as everyone prefers to talk about how beautiful the Emperor’s clothes are….

  • anonymouspace

    “Good start anonymousspace, I will give you a “C” on your research skills”

    Sure beats your F-.

    “Very interesting that the individual who specializes in Education Policy, and likely wrote the education plan, would release this document ”

    We have no evidence that Ellman released (or prepared) the document. We only know that she provided verbal remarks that are consistent with that document.

    Can you please stop with these idiotic Obama conspiracy theories long enough to get at least one fact right?

    “and not the policy associate leading Obama’s technology team, Julius Genachowski as you would expect for a policy on space exploration.”

    And your proof that Genachowski (or someone else) wasn’t the author or point of release for this document is?

    Did you check with him?

    “And again, why is this position paper, alone of all the position papers issued,”

    How do you know that there are not other Obama position papers that do not appear on the Obama website?

    Have you been keeping a comprehensive list of all Obama position papers?

    “And finally its interesting to note that even after this policy paper was released Obama himself two weeks later (Jan. 24) was still talking about taking money from NASA for education.”

    No one has denied that. But contrary to your earlier, erroneous statements, the money is not coming from Shuttle (duh) or Ares I/Orion. It’s coming from the deferment the lunar hardware (Ares V/EDS/LSAM).

    Ugh… buy a clue.

    “NOT posted on the Obama website?”

    You keep claiming that but you have yet to prove it.

    Geez, Louise…

  • PolicyGeek

    Anon

    You know, if Obama’s space position paper was written by Obama’s Educational Policy specialist, Lisa Ellman, it would explain a lot about it.

    For example the uninformed statements on the Ares I using proven technology.

    The lack of any statements on COTS or other New Space issues.

    The vague statement about Obama’s commitment to a bold array of robotic missions without specifying which ones.

    The lack of knowledge on the limitations of space surveillance in accessing threats involving nuclear systems.

    The paragraph on keeping weapons out of space.

    And, in stark contrast to the vague nature of the rest of the document, the long and very detailed discussion of NASA’s being used to drive science and math education.

    In short, just what you would expect from someone very knowledgeable about educational policy while lacking any knowledge of science/technology policy, let alone space.

    Also, if this was written by the educational policy advisor without involvement of the technology/science policy advisors it could explain why it seems to have become an orphan document not posted on the Obama website.

    It also implies that there will be major changes in Obama’s space policy if he’s nominated.

    Anon – GREAT job in providing some insight behind the Obama space policy. This is the kind of research that should have been done when it was released.

    And ignore anonymouspace.

    “NOT posted on the Obama website?”

    You keep claiming that but you have yet to prove it.

    He knows full well you can’t prove a negative.

    How are you able to provide a link to prove a paper is not posted on a website?

  • anonymouspace

    “Also, if this was written by the educational policy advisor without involvement of the technology/science policy advisors it could explain why it seems to have become an orphan document not posted on the Obama website.”

    Pure speculation on your part.

    Where’s the evidence that Ellman wrote this document?

    “GREAT job in providing some insight behind the Obama space policy.”

    I’m not trying to be mean, but what insight is that?

    That Ellman knew enough about the policies of her candidate that she was able to speak to them when asked?

    Whoop-dee-doo.

    “This is the kind of research that should have been done”

    What research did Anon do?

    He/she read Ellman’s bio (only after I started pointing them out to him/her) and then made up stories about connections between Ellman and the document for which their is no evidence.

    That may be storytelling or conspiracy mongering, but it ain’t research.

    “He knows full well you can’t prove a negative.

    How are you able to provide a link to prove a paper is not posted on a website?”

    That’s my point.

    The only piece of evidence that Anon keeps waving is something that he/she can’t prove.

    Great way to support one’s side in a debate.

  • GoNASA

    Good going Anon!

    And Kudos for standing up to anonymousspace, his bullying have driven enough good people from this forum.

    He knows full well you can’t prove a negative. He’s like those UFO nuts that keep challenging NASA scientists to prove UFO’s aren’t real.