NASA, White House

White House and NASA, speaking in harmony

On Thursday the White House issued a statement by the president on NASA’s Day of Remembrance, the agency’s recognition of those who lost their lives in space exploration. An excerpt from the president’s statement:

Fifty years ago, a young President facing mounting pressure at home propelled a fledgling space agency on a bold, new course that would push the frontiers of exploration to new heights. Today, on this Day of Remembrance when NASA reflects on the mighty sacrifices made to push those frontiers, America’s space agency is working to achieve even greater goals. NASA’s new 21st Century course will foster new industries that create jobs, pioneer technology innovation, and inspire a new generation of explorers through education – all while continuing its fundamental missions of exploring our home planet and the cosmos.

If that language looks familiar, it should: compare it to a blog post by NASA administrator Charles Bolden on Tuesday expressing his thoughts about the State of the Union address:

Fifty years ago, another young President propelled a fledgling space agency on a bold, new course that would push the frontiers of exploration to new heights. The 21st Century course that President Obama has set our agency on will foster new industries that create jobs, pioneer technology innovation, and inspire a new generation of explorers through education – all while continuing our fundamental mission of exploring our home planet and the cosmos.

86 comments to White House and NASA, speaking in harmony

  • Robert G. Oler

    Wonderful statements, useless but wonderful

    Meanwhile some people are thinking outside the box

    Mark Holderman is a smart thoughtful person (I dont know the other person)…

    http://www.spacetransportnews.com/

    this is something that has some interest. Its incremental (ie makes use of ISS)…works up nice and slow in terms of re usability and has enormous potential for things like Lagrange or GEO point access…

    someone has really put their thinking caps on here.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Vladislaw

    Now that’s what I am talking about
    http://www.spacetransportnews.com/

    That is what NASA should be building and not screwing around trying to build rockets.

  • amightywind

    The Whitehouse and NASA have spoken in harmony for the last 2 years. That isn’t surprising. NASA is run by Obama’s sycophants. It is their feckless policies that have led to discord with everyone else.

  • Last night I went to an Apollo 1 memorial ceremony at LC-34. Not many people know about this ceremony, in part because it’s within the secure CCAFS.

    Click here to read my blog article, which includes a scan of the memorial program.

    Betty Grissom and her family were there, as was a member of the Chaffee family.

  • Bennett

    Vladislaw wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 8:11 am

    100% agree! Wouldn’t it be nice if this was put on the short list?

  • James T

    Gotta love the centrifuge. The sooner we could be testing one the better. We want to find out what minimum amount of g-force is needed to prevent bone and muscle degradation. Specifically, is Martian surface gravity enough? Once we figure out the minimum we can then design the systems for long term missions to meet that specification… thinking along minimalist lines.

  • Aremis Asling

    “NASA is run by Obama’s sycophants. It is their feckless policies that have led to discord with everyone else.”

    Use of unnecessarily big words (yes, I know what they mean) is a poor disguise for contentless rhetoric, especially on a forum about politics where we’re all pretty experienced in parsing out the BS.

  • Here is the permalink to that piece at Space Transport News.

  • common sense

    Re: http://www.spacetransportnews.com/

    Yep. Now compare this to HEFT… NASA has talents, lots of them. They should be able to express themselves.

  • Vladislaw

    As if global competition isn’t enough, now we have to compete with aliens?

    World business leaders told flying saucers are real & extraterrestrials exist

    “At five thousand dollars a ticket, some business leaders got more than they bargained for when they attended the first day of the Global Competitiveness Forum (GCF) being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They were told flying saucers are real, and they had better start thinking about the business implications of extraterrestrial life and technologies. Convened each year by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority, the GCF brings together business and political leaders to discuss ways of promoting business competitiveness. For the first time at its annual conference, the GCF held a panel discussing UFOs and extraterrestrial life. Titled “Learning from Outer Space” the panel comprised five speakers who all endorsed the view that extraterrestrial life is real, and has many implications for the world as we know it.

    The panel was held on January 23, and was a “main plenary” session meaning all GCF participants were able to attend and hear what the experts had to say about UFOs and extraterrestrial life. Up to 1000 participants included business and political elites such as former British and Canadian Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Jean Chretien; Jim Albaugh, President and CEO of Boeing; Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International; Jared Cohen, Director of Google ideas, and many others. The advice they got was that the issue of extraterrestrial life is real, and they better start paying attention to the business implications. Here’s how the GCF summarized the panel presentations on its website” “ http://www.gcftalk.com/

  • common sense

    “British and Canadian Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Jean Chretien; Jim Albaugh, President and CEO of Boeing; Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International; Jared Cohen, Director of Google ideas,”

    Could that explain something? Or, actually, does it explain everything when Walt Disney meets Tony Blair? Just askin’…

  • common sense

    @ VirgilSamms wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Wow, finally real engineering for sidemount. I was afraid it’d always be confined to powerpoints! It’d be nice though that all of this be supported with analysis or at the very least references.

  • Coastal Ron

    VirgilSamms wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    http://spacepropulsion.us/Documents/2010AIAA-JPC-Rothschild.pdf

    Pretty pictures, and an architecture that is as doable as DIRECT or even Ares V, but the question has never been whether we could build an HLV, it’s Do We Need One? Or more specifically, do we need to build one now.

    Besides the concerns about cost, one of the overlooked issues with utilizing larger launch vehicles is that new transportation systems and factories would need to be built for HLV payloads greater than 5m in diameter.

    As of today you can fit these payloads in the belly of many transport aircraft, but as we build ever wider payloads you will need to transport them by ship. That also means the factories that produce them have to be located close to the points of transportation, with no road obstructions like power lines and overpasses in the way.

    Because HLV’s initially reduce the amount of choice for who can build the payloads (because of transportation issues), and even which launcher to use (just U.S. government), costs will likely be far higher $/kg than people realize.

    And there is still that little problem of not having a congressionally funded payload for an HLV yet…

  • DCSCA

    “White House and NASA, speaking in harmony”

    They’re tone-deaf.

  • NASA Fan

    Today we remember the crew of Challenger, Feb 1st, the crew of Columbia, and earlier this week, the crew of Apollo 1. All American hero’s who gave their lives in the pursuit of exploration.

    And, my question is: what impact did these accidents have on NASA’s HSF programs ability wrt technical performance? What was the impact on cost? Schedule performance?

  • Robert G. Oler

    This plan is a thoughtful effort at mapping out a role for NASA in the new reality.

    I’ll have more on it today after some sleep (grin its past midnight here but readingsome stuff on what is happening in Egypt)…but it is a good stab at something that has growth potential and can be done in a non traditional nasa manner and involves helping nascent space industries.

    but really what we need is a debate on the role of the Federal government in a space future. WE need the people like Palin who dont know what they are talking about to be quiet…but to have a good debate on the role of federal infrastructure…

    because federal infrastructure is one of the things that has turned The Republic into a superpower and it has a role to play in the future of human spaceflight.

    The experiments with artificial gravity. We need those answers and this plan incrementally provides them and works toward a solution. This is a role for the federal government.

    more to come

    Long Live The REpublic our ideas are winning…see Egypt.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Joe

    common sense wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 5:02 pm
    “@ VirgilSamms wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 4:46 pm
    Wow, finally real engineering for sidemount. I was afraid it’d always be confined to powerpoints! It’d be nice though that all of this be supported with analysis or at the very least references.”

    Actually this report is an update of many that go back literally decades. The analysis, references and even testing exist. You do not know about them because you do not want to know about them. But, then what else is new.

  • Vladislaw

    Thanks for the link Virgil.

    I am a little confused by the numbers presented. The cost is a projected 8 billion and a 5 year time line for first launch. It will launch 72 metric tonnes to LEO at $2100 per pound. (page 14) if it is commercially operated. On the same page it shows cost per launch is 500mil with a minimum flight rate of 6 per year.

    72Mt x 2200 = 158,400 pounds.

    158,400 x 2100 = 332,640,000 mil/flight.

    $500,000,000 / 158,400 = $3156/pound

    There are examples of various payloads that could be launched. Not every payload is exactly 72 Mt, some range in the 10 ton to 40ton range. So some one those launches are going to be a lot more costly per pound.

    The presentation does not go into detail what that 8 billion is paying for by item. NASA has not did the major lay off for the shuttle retirement yet and I believe this is why congress is in such a hurry to get something shuttle derived started before the major layoff occurs.

    As been presented on here shuttle workforce is running about $200 mil a month. The build time is a projected at five years. If the shuttle force takes a 25% reduction you are looking at a 60 month carrying cost of 150 mil per month or 9 billion.

    I just do not see the 8 billion number as being realistic.

  • Coastal Ron

    Joe wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    You do not know about them because you do not want to know about them.

    The truth is even more simple than that – we know about all of the proposals, but they don’t make any more sense today than they did decades ago. Technically we can build them, but financially we can’t support the use of them.

    Delta IV Heavy, which has flown five times, can lift the same payload as the Shuttle, but with the ISS done the only payloads for it are for our military/intelligence services. We have larger launchers available in the near term like Atlas V Heavy (28% more payload to LEO) and even Falcon 9 Heavy (40% more payload to LEO & GTO), but there are no orders for them because there are no payloads.

    Sidemount is a solution looking for a problem. Someday I hope we have a need to put lots more mass into space, but by the time that happens, sidemount will likely be outdated technology. I think it’s time has passed.

  • pathfinder_01

    How on earth does an HLV get a flight rate of 6 a year? There are not enough payloads over 25 tons to justify that flight rate. The ISS at most got about 12MT of supplies from the shuttle. Using an HLV for ISS logistics is over kill. Which leaves the rest.

    How many 10MT lunar probes are going to be landed on the moon a year and how many space power prototypes are expected to be launched a year?

    At least the shuttle could serve as a pseudo space station, an HLV cannot. Not to mention if you need a HLV to launch a prototype, then your prototype is likely very expensive simply due to size. The point of a prototype is to start small…

    My guess is that if Apollo is a guide a realistic flight rate of an HLV is about 2 a year and if HEFT is right perhaps less than that.
    If you go with 2 flights a year then you are at $800 million a flight. Quite expensive and lord help if the flight rate is less than that. HLV by their nature reduce flight rate which makes fixed costs much more important.

  • common sense

    @ Joe wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    “Actually this report is an update of many that go back literally decades. The analysis, references and even testing exist. You do not know about them because you do not want to know about them. But, then what else is new.”

    Funny because I think we already had such a “conversation”. Now I, unlike you, do not pretend to know what you actually know or not. Except for one thing: I seriously doubt you have any experience with LVs and RVs. Granted, I do not know all about Sidemount, Shuttle-C and similar studies. BUT I know that a LAS on a Sidemount will NEVER work. I know that the recoverable engine pod has been around for decades. I do not think that it would work as presented though and therefore I seriously doubt there was ever any analysis to support the reentry of the engine pod.

    But all this does not matter, not one bit. A SD (H)LV will NOT see the light of day. That I know for sure. Then again I may be wrong. Show me how.

    Oh yes, I do not believe the $8B figure and if I had a say between an $8B Sidemount and a $3.7B Nautilus-X then there would be no hesitation in my mind: Nautilus-X. Again, leave the mundane work to LEO to the commercials…

    Do you actually understand my viewpoint?

  • Robert G. Oler

    common sense wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 11:07 pm
    pathfinder_01 wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    there are two problems right now with a NASA HLV.

    The first is that an HLV is really a stalking horse for “yet another NASA HSF program”. and all of these programs since Apollo have really been solutions looking for problems. There is a great deal of hype about what they will do and when they dont do it, then the hype becomes “we already have this we have to use it”…and so the make work projects start to justify the notions that had no justification in the first place.

    The question that really has to be asked, in light of the Challenger accident anniversary is “why we kept flying the darn thing in the first place”…the only answer is “because we had it”.

    With Challenger it was clear that the shuttle was not going to make even 12 flights a year (they were sort of trying for that)…it was pretty clear that the vehicle had a lot of “near misses” in terms of its design…and it was pretty clear that the folks at NASA couldnt fly the thing safely.

    There was a time when there was a lot of debate on Shuttle C and the notion came out that the shuttle flights were “free” because we were going to fly them anyway. That has even been expressed on this forum by some folks…

    The British conservative government has finally figured it out when they simply scrapped the yet to be completed Nimrod upgrade…there is little use in tossing good money after bad…more money wont make bad decisions good.

    The second major problem is that there are no payloads for an HLV that have anything to do with cost/value. An HLV is the B-36 commercial variant of its day…I frankly think that time will win out and that there will eventually be payloads for an heavier lift that have value for cost…but we wont get there until the available lift is pushed on that cycle.

    When Syncom flew it was “just about” the right size in terms of value for cost…now of course Geo coms are much much larger and get larger every year…but thats only because the notion started with something that was affordable.

    Until we get there in HSF nothing is going to start growing.

    Robert G. Oler

  • NASA Fan

    @Pathfinder 01 : “How on earth does an HLV get a flight rate of 6 a year? There are not enough payloads over 25 tons to justify that flight rate”

    You are too logical dear fellow.

    Politicians on the other hand don’t care about logic. Witness our tragic national debt, the yearly outlays servicing that debt, lack of any difference being made to the entitlement programs that are bankrupting our country and sending us to 3rd world status.

    Come on, with political leaders of that ilk, I wouldn’t be surprised if they passed a law for 12 flights a year for HLV!

    Look to commercial/capitalism space to make logic and sound business decisions. Not the US government.

    I know you know all this,,,but I must vent!

  • Today’s Florida Today on yesterday’s Challenger memorial at the KSC Visitor Complex:

    http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20110129/NEWS02/101290310/Challenger-legacy-lives

  • Joe

    common sense wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 11:07 pm
    @ Joe wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 7:43 pm
    “Funny because I think we already had such a “conversation”. “

    Yes we have and once again you claim to know more than the real experts (the authors of the paper, not me). At that time I suggested you go to an AIAA conference and use your “greater knowledge” to expose them instead of trying to get me to engage in a “food fight” with you on the internet.

    If you really think you know so much more than they (not I) do, why not do it?

  • Allen Thomson

    “That also means the factories that produce them have to be located close to the points of transportation, with no road obstructions like power lines and overpasses in the way.”

    Not that I think the PLA is going to seize the Lunar High Ground(tm) anytime soon, but the new rocket production facility in Tianjin and the Wenchang launch center on Hainan Island do answer to the above description if China were to decide it needed a Saturn V.

  • E.P. Grondine

    AW –

    “NASA is run by Obama’s sycophants. It is their feckless policies that have led to discord with everyone else.”

    By “everyone else” do you mean the Utah delegation?

    Let’s all stay on message here: the Utah delegation is killing the US manned spaceflight program.

    They seem to think that If they can only filibuster for another two years…

  • VirgilSamms

    “Radiation mitigation strategies, such as creating safe zones with water and H2-slush tanks, are being investigated.”

    “Most strikingly”, the centrifuge will NOT keep the crew healthy. And “investigating” radiation mitigation has already been done. One earth gravity and a radiation level equal to 18,000 feet above sea level is the basic requirement for human health. 30 years of microgravity and radiation experiments show that human beings are specifically designed for a certain environment; you cannot fool mother nature.

    The Nautilus is just more fantasy advertising. Beyond earth orbit human space flight will require a minimum of 500 tons of shielding to stop heavy nuclei and a tether system with 500 tons of nuclear power systems on the other end to provide gravity and the propulsion. A 1000 ton spaceship is the minimum size vehicle.

    And we are going to need HLV’s to build it. And 12 flights a year for an HLV is completely doable considering with a sidemount cargo vehicle the most time consuming and expensive part of the shuttle system- the orbiter- is no longer a factor.

  • amightywind

    E.P. Grondine wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    By “everyone else” do you mean the Utah delegation?

    Other than 2010 can you recall a President’s NASA budget and strategy that was summarily rejected by a friendly congress? I can’t. That’s why I said everybody.

  • pathfinder_01

    Virgil, a 1000 ton space craft is not practical with current technology. It would be like the Romans tryng to build the QEII. Not going to happen. Would be too costly in labor and R/D for them to build.

    Anyway the humans on board don’t need to be kept healthy for 30 years just healty enough to get to and from their desitnation and keep the radation exposure low enough that they don’t develop health problems en route and low enough that they don’t have problems latter in life.

    Anyway the centrifuge is to test out how much gravity is needed and would be done at the ISS. Rather than try to build a 1000 ton spacecraft that at 500 million a launch(Which would take 13 launches and cost 7 billion just to launch it on your HLV). Let’s try to build something affordable.

    If it can be shone that 2/3g is health enough that is a huge savings, Like wise if exposure to 2/3g is found more harmful than zero g then you have found a problem that needs to be addressed before going to mars.

  • Rhyolite

    common sense wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    “I know that the recoverable engine pod has been around for decades. I do not think that it would work as presented though and therefore I seriously doubt there was ever any analysis to support the reentry of the engine pod.”

    Heritage Boeing did a lot of work on a recoverable engine pod for their EELV bid including drop testing a full scale pod with an SSME, recovering it, and refiring it. The rumor at the time was they would have gotten one of the EELV contracts had they not merged with McDonnell-Douglas around the same time. The Air Force didn’t want two EELV contracts going to one company so Lockheed ended up with the second EELV contract. It is a pretty thoroughly developed concept if someone ever wants to pursue it.

  • Vladislaw

    VirgilSamms wrote:

    “Beyond earth orbit human space flight will require a minimum of 500 tons of shielding to stop heavy nuclei and a tether system with 500 tons of nuclear power systems on the other end to provide gravity and the propulsion. A 1000 ton spaceship is the minimum size vehicle.”

    For the sake of this proposition, let’s assume that Earth’s moon, Luna, is beyond earth orbit. How did the Apollo program manage to travel to the moon without a 1000 ton vehicle?

    As for using the side mount with a max payload of 72Mt if would take closer to 20 flights not 12 because every single payload would not max out at 72 mts.

  • Vladislaw

    pathfinder_01 wrote:

    “Anyway the humans on board don’t need to be kept healthy for 30 years just healty enough to get to and from their desitnation and keep the radation exposure low enough that they don’t develop health problems en route and low enough that they don’t have problems latter in life.”

    If traveling to Mars increases your chances of getting cancer by 10% – 20% do you honestly believe NASA would have a hard time getting astronauts to make that flight?

    The whole idea of making it so safe it is like a stay at the Hilton is silly. As you say, as long as they can do the mission, return, and still live a fairly productive life there will never be a shortage of people willing to take the risk.

    The whole arguement is moot as long as there are people willing to do a one way trip and there is no shortage of people willing to try it.

  • VirgilSamms

    “1000 ton space craft is not practical with current technology.”

    Who says? Completely practical and doable. Just requires money and space jobs instead of DOD toys and wars overseas.

    What is not practical is exposing people to radiation and low g debilitation. If you want to play you gotta pay; and flying in deep space is not like going around in circles at hi-altitude protected by the magnetosphere. It is real space flight.

  • Robert G. Oler

    VirgilSamms wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    the number of taxpayers that would pay to support 12 heavy lift launches a year or build your 1000 ton spacecraft…wont even fill the Cotton bowl.

    no one wants to play so no one is going to pay

    end of ride Robert

  • Joe

    ” Rhyolite wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 3:12 pm
    common sense wrote @ January 28th, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    “I know that the recoverable engine pod has been around for decades. I do not think that it would work as presented though and therefore I seriously doubt there was ever any analysis to support the reentry of the engine pod.”

    Heritage Boeing did a lot of work on a recoverable engine pod for their EELV bid including drop testing a full scale pod with an SSME, recovering it, and refiring it. The rumor at the time was they would have gotten one of the EELV contracts had they not merged with McDonnell-Douglas around the same time. The Air Force didn’t want two EELV contracts going to one company so Lockheed ended up with the second EELV contract. It is a pretty thoroughly developed concept if someone ever wants to pursue it.”

    Excellent additional information Rhyolite, Thank you.

  • common sense

    @ Joe wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 10:54 am

    “Yes we have and once again you claim to know more than the real experts (the authors of the paper, not me).At that time I suggested you go to an AIAA conference and use your “greater knowledge” to expose them instead of trying to get me to engage in a “food fight” with you on the internet.”

    Hm. I tried to engage you in a food fight? I did not ask you anything, you did. Go back to the thread herein and the other. I cannot care less about you BUT I will correct anytime you come up with nonsense if I see it. Such is life.

    I am not in the business of “exposing” people. Maybe I am not a real expert, so why do you care so much? But I say it again if you don’t mind. The LAS will NEVER work on the Sidemount. But since you like statements from JSCso much here is one for you, by Shanon himself :
    http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/bolden-review-hlv-friday-sidemount-doubt-in-linessme-boost/
    “HLV study summary from (Mr) Hanley – Sidemount doesn’t buy anything and takes hit on safety. .”
    Does he know what he is talking about? What do you think? Expert…

    I don’t remember talking about my greater knowledge. You do. You are the one complaining about people here what they say you say blahblahblah but in the end you are the one putting words in other’s mouths. All the time. Whining and complaining. Again think of me as a “bully” right? That’s the way you deal with people. Name calling, cynisim, sarcasm. As I said before time is achanging and you and others like you with PowerPoints will have to start justifying all those great numbers of yours including budget.

    “If you really think you know so much more than they (not I) do, why not do it?”

    I did not know I was your servant. I am supposed to do as you suggest now? What are you going after?

    Now for you to review and chew on, AGAIN:
    http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/bolden-review-hlv-friday-sidemount-doubt-in-linessme-boost/
    “HLV study summary from (Mr) Hanley – Sidemount doesn’t buy anything and takes hit on safety. .”

  • common sense

    @Rhyolite wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    “Heritage Boeing did a lot of work on a recoverable engine pod for their EELV bid including drop testing a full scale pod with an SSME, recovering it, and refiring it.”

    All right. Here. They did drop testing. Right? Do you know the difference in entry flow physics between a drop test and the advertised Mach 24 staging in the slides? I don’t want to be rude but if you don’t know then you just don’t know. So I am going to help a little. At Mach 24 there will be a strong bow shock in front of the “nose” of the pod. The flow behind the bow shock has very little energy which makes the flaps pretty much unusable until pretty low down. The CG of the pods has to be very very close to the nose in order to assure a nose down attitude, swhich does not CLEARLY appear to be the case in the concept shown. At very little angle of attack you would lose your nozzles. You might impinge at the back.

    Try this for example http://www.dlr.de/as/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-190/391_read-13603/ The top left figure shows you the very low Mach number (hence velocity) at the apex of the capsule.Blue is high frestream Mach number, red and white low Mach numbers. Low velocity implies low energy and therefore ineffective flaps.

    I am happy to explain things if necessary BUT don’t tell me what I know or not know (you Rhyolite did not but Joe’s yet other absurd coment below after yours about nice addition shows how little he understands).

    Again a drop test does not, absolutely not, represent a Mach 24 reentry.

    Clear enough this time?

  • Coastal Ron

    VirgilSamms wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Beyond earth orbit human space flight will require a minimum of 500 tons of shielding to stop heavy nuclei and a tether system with 500 tons of nuclear power systems on the other end to provide gravity and the propulsion.

    Some day maybe, and maybe your figures are in the ballpark. But Congress doesn’t want to build such a structure, especially in the middle of all the economic belt-tightening. So in a way you could call this “fantasy advertising” too.

    And we are going to need HLV’s to build it.

    Why? We don’t even know what the design is, and you’re already mandating the delivery vehicles. For such a massive project, you want to keep your transportation costs as low as possible, and so far that is not HLV’s. So far the only job HLV’s can do for less money is to put over-sized mass into space (larger or heavier than available launchers are capable of). Otherwise using commercial launchers is more cost effective, which means less burdensome on the American Taxpayer (i.e. you and me). This is one of the most important lessons to be learned from the failed Constellation program.

    And 12 flights a year for an HLV is completely doable considering with a sidemount cargo vehicle the most time consuming and expensive part of the shuttle system- the orbiter- is no longer a factor.

    Just as a reference point, the Ares I program was estimating that their sustaining costs would be about 1/3 that of the $200M/month Shuttle program, so a SD-HLV would likely be higher than Ares I. It’s still not cheap, especially because of the transportation and safety issues related to the SRB’s.

  • DCSCA

    @Robert G. Oler wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 6:44 am
    “With Challenger it was clear that the shuttle was not going to make even 12 flights a year (they were sort of trying for that)…”

    Indeed. ‘Sort of’ is an understatement. News reports the morning of the Challenger accident stated NASA had scheduled 15 space shuttle missions for 1986, including the ill-fated 51L, with two per year mandated as DoD missions– the DoD then already wary of the schedule slippages and already transferring payloads for launch atop ELVs. Seems a ludicrous launch schedule from the 2011 perspective; as if they were going to loft orbiters akin to Gemini or Soyuz launch schedules. However, reports noted NASA was under marketplace pressures to maintain that kind of scheduling to meet commercial customer demands. (This on top of the then still unpublicized problems w/O-rings and internal management flaws.) The ugly poison of Reaganomics only added to the problem.

  • common sense

    @ Robert G. Oler wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I think VirgilSamms is yet another name of our former friend who supported Sidemount and wanted to see the DoD budget turned to NASA etc… Can’t remember his name right now. Maybe he thinks by using different names he shows there are a lot of people thinking the same thing? I don’t know.

    Then there are the other supporters who come for the ride…

    1000 tons spacecraft launched by Sidemount with nukes… I don’t know Robert about this whole HSF thing. Maybe we ought to just cancel the darn thing altogether. What do you think?

    How’s the country your in doing? Y’know Africa? ;)

  • Joe

    common sense wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 6:00 pm
    “I think VirgilSamms is yet another name of our former friend who supported Sidemount and wanted to see the DoD budget turned to NASA etc… Can’t remember his name right now. Maybe he thinks by using different names he shows there are a lot of people thinking the same thing? I don’t know.”

    Yes, and now the final stages open paranoia. Are the “little men under your bed” stealing your bubble bum also?

  • VirgilSamms = our old pal Gary Church methinks.

    Sidemount, old Project Orion nukes, megaton spaceships with heavy water shielding are dead give aways. Also less DoD and more NASA funding are tells.

    Nice dreams actually, but not politically real.

    Just MHO y’see.

    As to Mr. Obama’s and Gen. Bolden’s identical speeches; rhetorical BS pablum for the plebes, nothing more.

  • Fred Willett

    VirgilSamms wrote
    “30 years of microgravity and radiation experiments show that human beings are specifically designed for a certain environment; you cannot fool mother nature.”

    In fact we have only 2 data points 1G, here on the ground and 0G on ISS.
    This is not enough to make any sort of definitive statement. Hence the need for something like the proposed Nautilus X gravity module which can deliver a range of intermediate gravities. You may be right. You may not. Lets find out.

    “Beyond earth orbit human space flight will require a minimum of 500 tons of shielding … A 1000 ton spaceship is the minimum size vehicle. ”

    There are proposed technologies that have been demonstrated in the lab that totally remove this shielding requirement.
    see
    http://spacefellowship.com/News/?p=7265
    for an example.
    If something like this can be made to work – and the work to date suggests it can – then nothing more than a Nautilus X like craft assembled from <20t modules plus fuel depots would be all that's needed to get us to Mars, or anywhere else in the inner solar system.
    Don't you think that it would be a good idea to check this sort of thing out? Something like nautilus X would be a great testbed for a lot of things.

  • Fred Willett

    Another Point about Nautilus X.
    It’s great asset is its flexibility.
    It’s a lego spacecraft that can be adapted to a whole range of missions.
    A simple core. A range of engines that plug on the back and the ability to add modules to size the ship to your mission requirements.
    You can start small with a core, one BA330 and a converted centaur upper stage for small missions and grow from there.
    Change to bigger engines for longer missions.
    Add modules and capabilities
    Change to a SEP engine to preposition supplies and equipment (and fuel depots) at your destination.
    This last is a great way to build a Mars orbital base. You preposition a BA330 with supplies and when you arrive with your big exploration version of Nautilus X you can detach a few of the Bigelow BA330′s who’s supplies you’ve used up and attach them to your pre-positioned Mars base and you have a new BA330 full of supplies to add to your Nautilus X for the return journey.

  • common sense

    @ dad2059 wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    “VirgilSamms = our old pal Gary Church methinks.”

    Yeah, that’s the name I was looking for, thanks. Old age, bad memory…

  • pathfinder_01

    I agree about flexability. It would allow future adminstrations to add to or modify it. Send it on a lunar mission or an NEO mission upgrade and send to mars orbit and so on. This is one of the great strenghts of the shuttle. You could do DOD missions in the 80ies, spacelab missions, dock with MIR in the 90ies, build the ISS ect…

  • Byeman

    “The rumor at the time was they would have gotten one of the EELV contracts had they not merged with McDonnell-Douglas”

    Wrong. Boeing lost out much earlier in the process.

  • Robert G. Oler

    common sense wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    “1000 tons spacecraft launched by Sidemount with nukes… I don’t know Robert about this whole HSF thing. Maybe we ought to just cancel the darn thing altogether. What do you think?

    How’s the country your in doing? Y’know Africa? ;)

    The problem with any sort of SDV is that it is a dead end…all it is is one last attempt to preserve a direction that has not worked out all that well to start with on the vain hope that something different will occur…what is the definition of insanity?

    You see this almost everywhere. I am sort of surprised Stephen Of DIRECT fame hasnt leaped in here and tried to explain how the stars are really aligning for “Direct” Or this or that variant…when clearly the economics of it as well as the poltiics of it have simply killed any sort of NASA rocket program.

    What I have hope for is that at some point the sound and fury of a SDV will die down (as the death panels finish their work) and at some point the thunderheads who run the Shuttle and Cx and everything else can be shunted aside and we start to get some notion of running Ex programs (experimental) that are geared to doing the technology work to make something like Nautilus affordable and doable.

    A really good first step is the notion of deploying the “node” that is a structural test article to the station on an uncrewed launcher. That is useful in itself And breaks the notion that all vehicles have to come up like the other parts did…on the shuttle. It also pushes the development of a “tug” sort of system which is useful.

    Then there is the stationary Bigelow module…then you can start to look at the centerfuge…then that leads the way for fuel depots and before long the notion of modifying some hardware (Dragon/Bigelow module etc) to take some runs up to GEO or somewhere start to make some sense both from a planning stage and dollar wise.

    The trick is to figure out (and I am still working on this) what is a viable notion of federal infrastructure in human spaceflight.

    Things are great where I am. I am here for another week (at least)…we had to take another trip to Juba…things are moving all around where I am. the “countrY” is pretty active.

    Robert G. Oler

  • VirgilSamms

    “There are proposed technologies that have been demonstrated in the lab that totally remove this shielding requirement.”

    This is the same smokescreen that has been thrown up for years to confuse the poorly informed. Let me state the facts one…more…time;

    The heavy nuclei component of galactic cosmic radiation, over 300 times more damaging than lighter particles, is the prime radiation hazard and showstopper for long duration missions. Not solar events, not the other types of radiation or the lighter particles in GCR; heavy nuclei.

    Heavy nuclei
    Heavy nuclei
    Heavy nuclei

    Got it?

    Nothing in the way of an active shield will stop this stuff except maybe a magnetic field so powerful it will collapse steel and require hundreds of megawatts of power; totally impractical.

    Light shielding rich in hydrogen mitigates the secondary radiation caused when the heavy nuclei hit shielding and spray even more harmful radiation; but to completely stop the heavy nuclei takes about 500 tons of shielding- enough to simulate the earths air column, which works out to about 14 feet of water. In addition to radiation is zero G debilitation, which will cause so many problems on long missions besides just permanent damage to the human body that artificial gravity is a must have. And a tether is by far the most practical engineering solution- a “centrifuge” is probably the worst.

    This nonsense about solar storms and solar energetic particles being the big problem has got to stop; the real problem is the heavy stuff and if you protect against that it completely protects against everything else.

    As for Gary Church; listen to the message and don’t worry about the messenger. You can check my facts and that is all you need to do unless you want to play the ad hominem junior high name calling game that is so popular on this site with its so many space industry “experts.”

  • VirgilSamms

    “Sidemount, old Project Orion nukes, megaton spaceships with heavy water shielding are dead give aways. Also less DoD and more NASA funding are tells.
    Nice dreams actually, but not politically real.”

    Dreams? No, the only way to get into space actually. If you think politics are only what determine the future then you have no future at all. Politicians are puppets and the strings get pulled in so many unpredictable ways that politicians are about as useful as economists in shaping the future. It is you and me that make the future. You can drag someone kicking and screaming to the right solution but if they just turn their back on it then there is nothing else to be done.

  • common sense

    @ Robert G. Oler wrote @ January 30th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    “The trick is to figure out (and I am still working on this) what is a viable notion of federal infrastructure in human spaceflight.”

    Yeah I think something of the sort will have to happen. And I have thought about something like this for sometime.

    I am wondering if we could have say NASA, much smaller, research only type agency. NASA becomes a lab for innovative ideas and research, a la DARPA? But an agency that has say 3 branches: Science, Application, Policy. Yes policy. A place where knowledgeable people would think future with the support of science and application.

    And then something separate like the Merchant Marine Academy (http://www.usmma.edu/about/History.shtml). Call it the “Starfleet Academy” if you will. The Academy would train the people necessary for human space flight. At the end of the curriculum, they would have a choice to join for example government run programs (e.g. Mars Exploration by the Starfleet) or private endeavors (e.g. ISS resupply).

    The Starfleet would be akin to one of the military branches and run by the government (exact mission TBD). An operator of “space” vehicles. There may be space ports disseminated in the US that would help alleviate some issues with the budget battles. They would run programs from sub-orbital to LEO to BEO.

    Now I think that for something like that to happen, save for more Margaritas, we would need a clear change of the Space Act. So I am not going to hold my breath.

    How’s that?

  • pathfinder_01

    Virgil there is a thing called systems enegineering and useing it you determine which action is better.

    Suppose you could lift 500 tons. If you lift water you will need to lift propellant to move the water and the amount fo propellant needed to move said water will mass more than the water.

    Or you could lift 500 tons of propellant and be at your desination long before heavy nuclie have an health effect. In addition a Moon or Mars base could easily be built with enough sheilding to handle this problem.
    And better yet your teather does not need to be strong enough to handle 500 tons of radation shileding.

    Anyway current thinking on radation is block the easy stuff(solar particles) and get to your desination quickly for the heavy stuff that isn’t so easily blocked. Which is what most sane practical plans do.

  • Coastal Ron

    VirgilSamms wrote @ January 30th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Dreams? No, the only way to get into space actually.

    Maybe you haven’t noticed, but we’re already going into space without all of the things you say are mandatory. So much for that theory… ;-)

  • Fred Willett

    VirgilSamms wrote @ January 30th, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    said
    “Heavy nuclei
    Got it?
    Nothing in the way of an active shield will stop this stuff except maybe a magnetic field so powerful it will collapse steel and require hundreds of megawatts of power; totally impractical.”

    Actuallly no.
    Read this link.
    http://www.stfc.ac.uk/RALSpace/resources/PDF/14.pdf
    Not saying its the set-in-concrete answer to all our
    problems, but isn’t it worth investigating?
    Wouldn’t a potential technology that could reduce your
    1000t (minimum) vehicle to something on the low side
    of 100t worth checking out?
    To quote from the above PDF
    “However, the thinking at the time (and unenlightened thinking today) was that such a shield could only be produced by using massive super-conducting magnets to create a very intense magnetic field.
    What we have now shown is that there are local charge-separation effects at the boundary of the magnetic field and the interplanetary plasma, that form an effective shield at a fraction of the power originally envisaged.”
    They have demonstrated this in the lab.
    That’s a start.
    If it can be proven on orbit it opens the solar system without 1000t battlestars.
    Again I ask: Isn’t this worth investigating?

  • Ben Russell-Gough

    @ VirgilSamms,

    There is one thing that I don’t understand about this supposed heavy relativistic nuclei threat; maybe you could help me. If these things are such an immense threat to the safety of astronauts on long-duration space voyages, why do we never see the mitigation of this threat treated as a priority in published MTV designs?

    As far as I can tell, there are basically two answers that fit the facts:

    1) All the other astronautical engineers and space scientists designing and proposing deep space missions are either (a) incompetent or (b) are part of a malign, cynical conspiracy that is willing to ruin the health of astronauts, maybe kill them, so long as deep space flight happens sooner and with lighter LVs;

    2) All the serious astronautical engineers and space scientists think that the heavy GCR threat is no where near as serious as you posit and certainly not worth the enormous delays required to build your beloved megaton nuclear spacecraft.

  • Robert G. Oler

    common sense wrote @ January 30th, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    thats a good start and I saved your post and put it in my file on the issue.

    “Infrastructure” as a working definition is “things which the government provides which enable access by private citizens and business to a particular venue”.

    So for instance the interstate highway system allows access of citizens and business in motor vehicles to interstate commerce by motor vehicle. a similar definition would by had for the air traffic control system, the weather service etc.

    At an airport the government doesnt provide everything. Airlines build their own gates and infrastructure that relates to “them”, FBO’s do the same thing for private and corporate airplanes…but the runways which are common are federal and so is the airtraffic control system, and navigation system, common operating laws and authorities….etc.

    I I look upon single payer health care as infrastructure but that is another debate for another forum of course).

    ONe can see some “infrastructure” taking hold in space travel in general and human spaceflight in specific. For instance the Kennedy space center/Patrick airforce base. The TDRS system is becoming the communications system dejure to some extent at least so far…although who knows.

    What is ISS, what is some of the centers of NASA which really without an Apollo “mold line” type project are probably useless? Not all federal infrastructure looks alike…and yet I am pretty sure without some notion of what the federal government is going to do in human spaceflight, it is unlikely we will have a lot of it…thats the nature of things now (and was for instance in passenger airplanes at the early part of the last century)..

    The answers to this question are in my view vital because they are the “new mold lines” for spending federal dollars in spaceflight (or HSF).

    I think we have run out of the era of “Apollo mold line like” projects. The neo right keeps beating the drums for them, but even among the “evangelist” of things like DIRECT you can sort of see the lights fading out. There is not a single Republican even who has put a dollar figure on how much they are willing to spend on a SDV or a HLV for that matter…much less one who is influencing politics and policy…

    Robert G. Oler

  • The neo right keeps beating the drums for them

    Please stop using ignorant and idiotic terms that have nothing to do with space policy. Are Bill Nelson, Ralph Hall and Kay Bailey Hutchison members of your fantasy “neo right”?

  • Vladislaw

    Robert wrote:

    “There is not a single Republican even who has put a dollar figure on how much they are willing to spend on a SDV or a HLV”

    I thought they were willing to pay 9 billion and it had to be done by 2016? isn’t that what they authorized for the new HLV?

  • Robert G. Oler

    http://www.spacenews.com/civil/110128-mars-rover-need-cash.html

    maybe it is time to pick a program or two, a couple of ones that year after year cannot even come close to meeting their budget…and just kill the thing(s).

    the mars rover and Webb are probaby the two that just need to be tossed…none of them are occurring for anything like the numbers that were offered in terms of cost…other projects are coming in “on cost” or close to it…these two are not even close.

    The British bit the bullet and parked the new Nimrods…maybe its time to try it here

    Robert G. Oler

  • common sense

    @ Rand Simberg wrote @ January 31st, 2011 at 9:46 am

    “Are Bill Nelson, Ralph Hall and Kay Bailey Hutchison members of your fantasy “neo right”?”

    Actually… Sometimes… I do wonder

    ;)

  • common sense

    @ Robert G. Oler wrote @ January 31st, 2011 at 7:38 am

    “thats a good start and I saved your post and put it in my file on the issue.”

    Thanks. I see that as the foundation of the infrastructure.

    “Infrastructure” as a working definition is “things which the government provides which enable access by private citizens and business to a particular venue”.

    So for instance, we have today, an ISS on orbit. This is the beginning of your infrastructure, the part of the early plan that the “Starfleet” would have to work with. As such the government defines the CRS funding to get the commercial to resupply. Then comes the new Bigelow station. This one is now possibly fielded by the government, not built by the government. Some modules may be tested on their own or attached to ISS as suggested by Nautilus-X. Then the USG procures a deep space vehicle. The Nautilus-X. In such a way that the government pays for some of it, call it an X-Plane, but it integrates a lot of privately designed components. Of course it needs a mission. Okay then let’s say circum lunar flight to start. And maybe the long term goal is some Mars moon. If you start developing an infrastructure on, or about, the Moon then it may be applicable to other moons. And so on and so forth. But the first stone of this building remains LEO with a host of new stations, government and private stations. Now when I say private that could apply to some chemical/pharmaceutical industry station. A university station. Another government station that “we” would sell to. Basically you create a more affordable access to LEO to other people. And as the need grows the USG develop new routes, e.g. the Moon and then Mars’ moons. See where I am going?

    “At an airport the government doesnt provide everything. Airlines build their own gates and infrastructure that relates to “them”, FBO’s do the same thing for private and corporate airplanes…but the runways which are common are federal and so is the airtraffic control system, and navigation system, common operating laws and authorities….etc.”

    Yes I did not think of it but the laws, communication, ATC are good ideas too. And I can see a system where STC (Space-Traffic-Control?) would be based in LEO for a start then relayed to Earth’s ATC.

    “I I look upon single payer health care as infrastructure but that is another debate for another forum of course).”

    I agree we need this, and it does not have to be a payer like the canadian or french system or whatever. We can I am sure come up with our very own system that may even benefit the private sector. Just have to think about it really hard.

    “What is ISS, what is some of the centers of NASA which really without an Apollo “mold line” type project are probably useless? Not all federal infrastructure looks alike…and yet I am pretty sure without some notion of what the federal government is going to do in human spaceflight, it is unlikely we will have a lot of it…thats the nature of things now (and was for instance in passenger airplanes at the early part of the last century)..

    That is why we MUST redefine the Space Act. We have to expand it. We have to use Marburger’s definition (for example) of the economic sphere and integrate it in the Space Act. Basically there ought to be a roundtable, a la Augustine, but involving the industry at large – this is why I advocated a new NASC (not necessarily with the same old mission of course!). What does the pharmaceutical industry need, if anything, from a space station? Same for other industry. What is it that if affordable microgravity would help? At some point the size of the space station may become so large that LEO would have to be abandoned for somewhere else (L1?). But you CAN define a path to it. The trick is to not limit the discussion to aerospace people and certainly not to defense people whose needs are better addressed by the DoD.

    “I think we have run out of the era of “Apollo mold line like” projects. The neo right keeps beating the drums for them, but even among the “evangelist” of things like DIRECT you can sort of see the lights fading out. There is not a single Republican even who has put a dollar figure on how much they are willing to spend on a SDV or a HLV for that matter…much less one who is influencing politics and policy…”

    SDV is gone. I think it just is the last temblor of the dying corpse. Still painful in that case but it’s the end. And if not the end then it’ll be the end of HSF first at NASA.

    I think there could be a bright future for HSF. I think the various NASA centers have a role to play. My academy might be a combination of JSC and KSC. An advanced propulsion center might be at Glenn. JPL, well JPL would be attached with the “new” NASA, not the Starfleet. At least at the beginning.

    Dream springs eternal…

  • The old National Aerospace Act of 1994 has got to be on the web somewhere! Time to go searching again.

  • common sense

    @ rich kolker wrote @ January 31st, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    “The old National Aerospace Act of 1994 has got to be on the web somewhere! Time to go searching again.”

    ???
    H.R.4489
    Latest Title: Aeronautics and Space Policy Act of 1994
    Sponsor: Rep Brown, George E., Jr. [CA-42] (introduced 5/25/1994) Cosponsors (None)
    Latest Major Action: 10/5/1994 Passed/agreed to in Senate. Status: Passed Senate with an amendment and an amendment to the Title by Voice Vote.
    Latest Action: 10/6/1994 Message on Senate action sent to the House.

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d103:HR04489:@@@L&summ2=m&amp;

  • VirgilSamms

    “an effective shield at a fraction of the power originally envisaged.”
    They have demonstrated this in the lab.
    That’s a start.”

    “There is one thing that I don’t understand about this supposed heavy relativistic nuclei threat;”

    Fusion has been demonstrated in a lab, but the only places you will ever see fusion work efficiently is either in a bomb or a star. Nothing will stop that heavy nuclei except mass and distance. As for not understanding the problem, that is your personal problem. You are making the mistake of thinking these fantasy advertisements like Nautilus are more than nice digital artwork. They are not.

    1000 ton battlestars? No, a thousand tons is the minimum, the smallest true spaceship that can be built. You can accept the facts about radiation, zero gravity, and propulsion, or you can keep making up your own reality- it’s up to you.

  • Bennett

    Really Gary, er, Virgil, what you are proposing is either some sort of revolution (the kind with gun and riots) and then a dictator who shares your fantasy. Or a cessation of all HSF until the stars align in a way that your plan sees the light of day.

    I don’t think you’ll find many people willing to go down either path. Why don’t you finish school and work your way into politics so that you can directly effect the kind of change you champion?

    The rest of us are realists to various degrees and would prefer to see the resources we have and can expect to have in our lifetimes used to advance our species into a space faring society, however limited it is by the reality of budget and politics.

    Raging at the moon won’t bring it crashing down, and arguing the same unrealistic points over and over again is the mark of a boor.

  • Das Boese

    VirgilSamms wrote @ January 31st, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Fusion has been demonstrated in a lab, but the only places you will ever see fusion work efficiently is either in a bomb or a star.

    “Ever” is a damned long time. Nuclear Fusion isn’t black magic, just tricky physics.

    “1000 ton battlestars? No, a thousand tons is the minimum, the smallest true spaceship that can be built. You can accept the facts about radiation, zero gravity, and propulsion, or you can keep making up your own reality- it’s up to you.”

    Yeah… you really don’t seem to see the bigger picture, do you.
    Your point of view is based on the premise that we don’t know anything about the effects of ionizing radiation or microgravity on organisms or how to mitigate them, which is of course patently silly.
    Our knowledge of these things is increasing, progressively so.

    This is exactly why I’m wary of rigidly defined architectures and schedules for exploration.

    Look past your own nose for a second, at other fields of science, and you’ll see what I mean.
    For example over the last decade we’ve learned more about the human body than perhaps in the last half century. Biology, medical science and technology are making another groundbreaking discovery practically every other week, potential cures for Alzheimer’s, AIDS, cancer, ways to repair severed spinal columns, lost limbs and damaged organs.

    It’s quite possible that by the time we’re ready to send people to Mars, cancer of any form is no longer a problem.
    ISS is giving us valuable data on microgravity effects and can serve as a testbed for mitigation strategies.

    Progress happens, deal with it.

  • VirgilSamms

    Progress has been promised- in fusion and cancer- for decades. And If you read my post you would see that I take into account 30 years of microgravity and radiation experiments. They all prove that human beings evolved to live in one gravity and in radiation conditions under an air column. Maybe you should look past your own nose.

  • Coastal Ron

    VirgilSamms wrote @ February 1st, 2011 at 10:26 am

    And If you read my post you would see that I take into account 30 years of microgravity and radiation experiments.

    You look to the past to leap to the future, skipping what’s going on in between.

    We don’t have a program to go to Mars, or even the Moon right now, so making declarative statements about what is needed is just hubris.

    In any case, so far we have only explored the limits of the body for living in 1G and 0G, but nothing in between. If we’re going to survive on the Moon or Mars for long periods of time, regardless of the radiation, we need to find out what we’re in for.

    We have a long ways to go before building interplanetary spacecraft, so change your “musts” to “mights” to keep from looking irrational.

  • VirgilSamms

    “so change your “musts” to “mights” to keep from looking irrational.”

    I do not recognize your authority, or any of the other space “experts” who ridicule and insult anyone disagreeing with them on this site, to tell me what I “must” say.

    LEO is endless circles going nowhere. If we want to get into deep space the space vacation fantasy crowd and their “smaller cheaper better” philosophy have to be exposed as the irrational voices in the discussion. Radiation, zero G debilitation, nuclear propulsion, HLV’s; they are all prerequisite issues that make most of the people on this site livid and turn them into children throwing tiffy fits.

    Not my problem- I am just telling it like it is. If you do not like it, go somewhere else.

  • Coastal Ron

    VirgilSamms wrote @ February 1st, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Radiation, zero G debilitation, nuclear propulsion, HLV’s; they are all prerequisite issues that make most of the people on this site livid and turn them into children throwing tiffy fits.

    No, I think the ones you are pointing this comment at are just as excited about space exploration, but realize that building big honking launchers without proving out the payload technology is bassackwards.

    You need to understand the issues AND solutions before you commit to a particular course of action, and we’re not there yet.

    But the real problem you don’t seem to understand is that no one in Congress cares about building your 1,000 ton nuclear-powered spaceship that is lofted using government-owned HLV’s. No one.

    So keep on yelling at the wind, and while you’re doing that, most of the rest of us will be advocating for a plan that will build upon affordable and sustainable technologies, and gradually expand our presence into space.

  • VirgilSamms

    “no one in Congress cares about building your 1,000 ton nuclear-powered spaceship that is lofted using government-owned HLV’s. No one.”

    I guess that’s why they are ordering NASA to build an HLV- because they don’t care…..right. I guess that is why they are funding impact studies and planetary protection panels…..yeah.

    No one cares except me? No, the people who you think care, more than anything, do not want a real space program to take the tax dollars they are trying to steal from NASA human spaceflight. That would be your space vacation fantasy club.

    Bassakwards? Ha ha ha.

  • Coastal Ron

    VirgilSamms wrote @ February 1st, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    That would be your space vacation fantasy club.

    I actually don’t see a significant market for tourism in space. I think the commercial sector expansion will happen because of government service contracts (CRS, commercial crew, etc.) and commercial space services that leverage the government service contracts (which is what Bigelow wants to do). Space tourism, when it does get going, will leverage existing infrastructure, not be the driver for it.

    I guess that’s why they are ordering NASA to build an HLV…

    Maybe you think our politicians are brilliant space entrepreneurs for pushing an HLV, but the truth is far more simple – politicians want government money to keep flowing to their districts, regardless the need. That’s why there are NO FUNDED PAYLOAD PROGRAMS from the HLV. None. Especially your 1,000 ton nuclear-powered space station.

    However, commercial crew has a use today (supporting the ISS), as well as future uses for anything we do in space going forward, including your 1,000 ton spacestation.

    We’ll see which one gets funded first.

  • VirgilSamms

    “However, commercial crew has a use today (supporting the ISS),”

    Sure. Endless circles as a tourist destination. Your agenda is so transparent by now. You are not going anywhere. Hopefully the whole commercial crew scam will get exposed for the enron subprime rip-off it is and get killed.
    There is no cheap. It drives the smaller is better crowd crazy but it’s the truth.

  • common sense

    @ VirgilSamms wrote @ February 3rd, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    So can you please let us know how you plan your 1000 ton spacecraft to ever come to be? I am trying to see whether you have a plan and maybe you do so that we can have a more productive debate.

    Is it possible?

  • VirgilSamms

    Let “us” know? No thanks. Played this game before; I might have let “you” know if “you” had asked but the “us” is a dead giveaway of the ridicule that would follow.

    I write this stuff for the people who come here looking for information about space exploration- not for the regulars who have already made their minds up and cannot see any new perspectives. Their completely closed minds and refusal to accept anything that conflicts with their space vacation fantasy are a great sounding board. You make me look good. Why should I do anything you ask and thus validate your lack of imagination? You will not even admit to the most basic facts about space- such as the heavy nuclei radiation problem. I spell it all out exactly- and still someone posts a long comment about how it is not true at all; that active shielding has been tested in a lab that will solve the problem so my point is not valid. After I explicitly stated that this is the same smoke screen people have been throwing into the discussion for years. And you want me to “please” let you know something? It is not possible because you will not let yourself know.

  • common sense

    @ VirgilSamms wrote @ February 4th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    “Why should I do anything you ask and thus validate your lack of imagination? ”

    I will try and not consider all your faintly veiled insults but you don’t have to answer. I believ though I asked in a polite way as neutral as possible. For all I care I was trying to see if there was any thinking behind the 1000 ton spacecraft. And the other people you refer to may very well ask the same question. So basically you told me and them included to go hang dry somewhere. Good thinking.

    “heavy nuclei radiation problem”

    I don’t remember saying anything about radiation. See unlike some I don’t speak of that I don’t know. I may ask or I may research but since I do not have enough info I keep it to myself, even though I do have an opinion.

    “It is not possible because you will not let yourself know.”

    Yeah you know so much about me right? Who knows maybe we hang together at times. How fun would that be?

  • Joe

    common sense wrote @ January 29th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    “Maybe I am not a real expert, so why do you care so much?”

    I don’t care, but sense you keep claiming to be an expert and to know more than the people working HLV studies and that they are wrong (or are lying – Which is it, by the way?), I simply suggest you take your accusations directly to them. Why does that upset you so much?

    “But since you like statements from JSCso much here is one for you, by Shanon himself :
    http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/bolden-review-hlv-friday-sidemount-doubt-in-linessme-boost/
    “HLV study summary from (Mr) Hanley – Sidemount doesn’t buy anything and takes hit on safety. .”
    Does he know what he is talking about? What do you think? Expert…”

    The quote you are using is a truncated (and therefore by deinition out of context) qoute from an MOD (Mission Office Directorate) briefing. Without knowing the full context of the statement it is impossible to access its meaning. More to the point it has nothing to do with “Shanon himself” (He is the Space Shuttle Manager) and it quotes Jeff Hanley (the then Ares project manager). Hanley was removed from the project (by Administrator Bolden) the following May for defending Ares too strongly. A lot of people (Ares I/Ares V supporters) really like Hanley, but are you sure you want to be quoting him?

  • common sense

    @ Joe wrote @ February 5th, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Or should i say “alternate reality Joe”?

    “I don’t care, but sense you keep claiming to be an expert and to know more than the people working HLV studies and that they are wrong (or are lying – Which is it, by the way?), I simply suggest you take your accusations directly to them. Why does that upset you so much?”

    Where did I claim I was an expert? That I knew more than people working HLV? That they were lying? Man you are quite something else. Here again for your perusing: By John Shanon (Do you know who he is?):
    http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/bolden-review-hlv-friday-sidemount-doubt-in-linessme-boost/
    “HLV study summary from (Mr) Hanley – Sidemount doesn’t buy anything and takes hit on safety.

    “The quote you are using is a truncated (and therefore by deinition out of context) qoute from an MOD (Mission Office Directorate) briefing.”

    Yeah out of context for sure: “Sidemount doesn’t buy anything and takes hit on safety.” Do you have the full text? Would you care to enlighten us then?

    “Without knowing the full context of the statement it is impossible to access its meaning.”

    Must be sophistry?

    “More to the point it has nothing to do with “Shanon himself” (He is the Space Shuttle Manager)”

    So what? Shanon presented the concept at the Augustine review. So you indeed are saying that Shanon does not know what he is talking about? So he went to the Augustine Committee but what? Right?
    http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/361842main_15%20-%20Augustine%20Sidemount%20Final.pdf

    ” and it quotes Jeff Hanley (the then Ares project manager). Hanley was removed from the project (by Administrator Bolden) the following May for defending Ares too strongly. A lot of people (Ares I/Ares V supporters) really like Hanley, but are you sure you want to be quoting him?”

    I have to say that I don’t even know what you are trying to say. If Hanley wants to make a statement he’s welcome to do it. So far nothing I know about. And maybe he’s better off saying nothing.

    Substance my friend, try substance. Something that will not make you look like a fool. For once maybe?

  • Joe

    common sense wrote @ February 5th, 2011 at 6:40 pm
    “Here again for your perusing: By John Shanon (Do you know who he is?):
    http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/01/bolden-review-hlv-friday-sidemount-doubt-in-linessme-boost/
    “HLV study summary from (Mr) Hanley – Sidemount doesn’t buy anything and takes hit on safety.”
    OK, one more pass on this and then I am done trying to explain the obvious.

    I know who John Shannon is. He is the manager of the Space Shuttle Program (as he is identified in the article to which you link). I also know who John Shannon is not: (1) He is not the manager of MOD (a completely different division) where (based on the article from which you link) this quote originated. (2) John Shannon is not Jeff Hanley (the former CxP manager). In the article to which you link it is stated that it was reported (in an MOD briefing) that in another meeting (with Bolden) Jeff Hanley (not John Shannon) said the things you are attributing to Shannon (for crying out loud read your own cut and paste – “HLV study summary from (Mr) Hanley – Sidemount doesn’t buy anything and takes hit on safety.” Note (Mr) Hanley, not (Mr) Shannon).

    “I have to say that I don’t even know what you are trying to say. If Hanley wants to make a statement he’s welcome to do it. So far nothing I know about. And maybe he’s better off saying nothing.
    Substance my friend, try substance. Something that will not make you look like a fool. For once maybe?”

    Physician heal thyself. You started off by asserting I live in an alternate reality, it’s certainly true I live in one alternate from yours (where the names Shannon and Hanley are so easily confused) and I am glad of it.

    Any more discussion of this topic with you is pointless and I am now exiting this particular “conversation”.

  • common sense

    @ Joe wrote @ February 5th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    “Any more discussion of this topic with you is pointless and I am now exiting this particular “conversation”.”

    Nah, you’re so much fun to talk with.

    It does not matter whether in the end Shanon or Hanley said this or that. Shanon presented the Sidemount to Augustine, Shanon was in charge of SD-HLV. Hanley’s study show the sidemount takes a hit on safety. The point is not who at NASA said it. The point is that NASA said it. That NASA reported this to its own leadership therefore including the WH.

    More reference: “Space Shuttle Manager (SSP) John Shannon was tasked with setting up a team to evaluate the SD HLLV (Shuttle Derived Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle – or HLV for short) due to the commonality with the existing shuttle stack.” So again Shanon was in charge of the whole thing. Wow big deal you’re making.

    Substance? Still waiting.

  • common sense

    And also you questioned my assessment that Sidemount was dangerous. NASA confirmed this through the quoted memo, at least. The fact you don’t like it does not change the fact Sidemount is dangerous for a crew. And that is that. No matter how much hmm spinning you try.

    But it does not matter, really you should get your mind around this. Sidemount will not, NOT, sea the light of day. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever.

  • Joe

    common sense wrote @ February 6th, 2011 at 1:48 am
    “It does not matter whether in the end Shanon or Hanley said this or that. Shanon presented the Sidemount to Augustine, Shanon was in charge of SD-HLV. Hanley’s study show the sidemount takes a hit on safety. The point is not who at NASA said it. The point is that NASA said it. That NASA reported this to its own leadership therefore including the WH.”

    Other more neutral observers might want to ask why previously you made such a big deal of it being Shannon who supposedly said this, but now (as you concede Shannon did not say it) consider it unimportant.

    “More reference: “Space Shuttle Manager (SSP) John Shannon was tasked with setting up a team to evaluate the SD HLLV (Shuttle Derived Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle – or HLV for short) due to the commonality with the existing shuttle stack.” So again Shanon was in charge of the whole thing. Wow big deal you’re making.”

    Hanley was not ever a part of that team; other more neutral observers might wonder why Hanley would be writing a summary for a study in which he did not participate. Since all there is for “evidence” is a short quote from the minutes of an MOD meeting referencing something presented at some other meeting by Hanley, you do not even know if this is directly related to the “Shannon Study”. Hanley was, at that point, already beleaguered as CxP manager and trying to defend his base line architecture (Ares I/Ares V). It is hardly surprising that he would take an opportunity to say something derogatory about one of the competitor booster designs (Av Week had just printed a favorable article on the Side Mount calling it “NASA’s Plan B”).

    “Substance? Still waiting.”

    You would not recognize substance if it bit on the “arm pit”.

    common sense wrote @ February 6th, 2011 at 1:52 am
    “And also you questioned my assessment that Sidemount was dangerous. NASA confirmed this through the quoted memo, at least. The fact you don’t like it does not change the fact Sidemount is dangerous for a crew. And that is that. No matter how much hmm spinning you try.”

    Second hand quotes derived from meeting minutes referring to an (un-sourced) Study Summary is not a NASA position. There are study summaries out there saying all kinds of things (including that the Side Mount works – you have been provided links to some of them – but reject them out of hand) and they are not an official NASA position either. You are now willing to accept Hanley’s assertion (which you tried so hard to pass off as Shannon’s) as fact because it is what you want to believe. That is not spin, that is simple fact.

    “But it does not matter, really you should get your mind around this. Sidemount will not, NOT, sea the light of day. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever.”

    Let’s see first you were a bigger expert on HLV than the people doing the research, but now you are not. Then it was crucial that Shannon had repudiated the Side Mount, but now it doesn’t matter that the supposed repudiation came from (former CxP Manager) Hanley and not Shannon. Finally, you are now the new Nostradamus and can predict the future into infinity.

    With your arrogant and insulting tone, coupled with your complete lack of knowledge about the very basics of the organization you are attempting to characterize, you managed to get me to respond one more time than intended. But that is it. Babble on to your hearts content.

    The only one making a fool of himself around here is you.

  • common sense

    @ Joe wrote @ February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    I tell you what and hey I am willing to accept I was wrong if I was. Shannon led the SD-HLV group. It looks like Hanley (unlike what I actually said) made the comment on Sidemount safety. Now if Hanley was working for Shannon then Shannon owns what Hanley was saying. That is management. If Hanley was not working for Shannon then I hereby present my apologies to Shannon. Even though it does not change the fact that Sidemount is not safe for crew.

    I told you why I think it is an unsafe vehicle for crew. I’ll repeat it briefly: Unsafe abort on pad, on ascent with adverse pitch and the same issue as Ares-I with still-burning SRBs. Take the LAS away and you change the problem quite a bit. BUT the vehicle I saw did indeed have a LAS. It does not matter in my mind that Shannon or Hanley or anyone said it was unsafe. I will admit to you that it is the only document I had to go by. Is it enough? Maybe not but if NASA one way or another says it is not safe then I think it is enough. Does it agree with my own conclusions? I will probably never know unless they publish the results or if I run the entire analysis. As I said before, it is MY opinion. I also will tell you this: The study you referred to from JSC is far from enough to draw any conclusion on its safety. And NO I am not saying they are lying. I am saying it is not a complete study you can derive any conclusion from. There is a BIG difference. No it is not sophistry.

    “Let’s see first you were a bigger expert on HLV than the people doing the research, but now you are not. Then it was crucial that Shannon had repudiated the Side Mount, but now it doesn’t matter that the supposed repudiation came from (former CxP Manager) Hanley and not Shannon. Finally, you are now the new Nostradamus and can predict the future into infinity.”

    Okay Joe. Point to me where I said I was a bigger expert. Please do and if I did say so then I’ll accept your comments. In the mean time you should try and consider your arrogance and insulting tone.

    “With your arrogant and insulting tone, coupled with your complete lack of knowledge about the very basics of the organization you are attempting to characterize, you managed to get me to respond one more time than intended. But that is it. Babble on to your hearts content.”

    Arrogant and insulting? How did you say? “doctor heal thyself”?

    “The only one making a fool of himself around here is you.”

    We shall see. We shall see. Soon.

  • Jeff Foust

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