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Author Topic: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)  (Read 62091 times)

Offline Matej

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2011, 07:58:17 am »
About 46 flight ready SSMEs were built, and there are only three orbiters left, which leaves 37 to dispense to museums with nine left in the orbiters.

This (probably) wont happen, because they are going to use SSME for the SLS rocket. According to the current plan, only SLS-7 and later will have new RS-25E engines in 2026. So the first six missions will use currently available SSME from the Space Shuttle, it means at least 18 examples.

Bizarre aviation expert.

Offline blackstar

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2011, 08:25:03 am »
That's the justification. I'm not really sure that's the plan. I've harbored the suspicion for awhile now that one of the administration's goals has been to eliminate a lot of infrastructure, including facilities and people, because they view that as an impediment to proceeding. I won't argue if that is a good or bad idea, but you can find evidence in various policies.

Offline mz

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2011, 01:45:56 pm »
There's an active thread filled with ranting and raving over on NSF. I actually fail to see the point of getting worked up about this and endlessly debating it. We're at a stalemate and we'll be in stalemate until at least January 2013. Nothing anybody says on the internet is going to change anything about this.
Excellent analysis.
What are the scenarios after 2013?
I guess the economic situation can be quite different compared to today too...
It seems US human spaceflight infrastructure and capability planning has been dysfunctional on a strategic level for decades.

Offline blackstar

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2011, 01:53:41 pm »
What are the scenarios after 2013?

(How do I write the sound a person makes when shrugging their shoulders and exhaling loudly? It's the sound equivalent of "Heck if I know!")

Nobody knows how the election will go. It's unclear if Obama will be reelected, and if not, who will beat him. If we do get a new president, however, expect another blue ribbon commission to address the issue of human spaceflight policy. And it's not easy to figure out what they might say--we could go down a certain path for the next 15 or so months that might really restrict the options they look at. It's unclear what is going to happen in the near-term. (There are certainly people out there who claim that SpaceX could fix everything in a couple of years if just given the money, but that seems really optimistic and based upon little data; a few launches is not the same as a proven launch vehicle and human spacecraft.)

Don't expect things to get any better in the short term. We're stuck where we're stuck. But the same is true about national politics, so nobody should be surprised.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 07:21:45 pm by blackstar »

Offline OM

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2011, 02:55:33 am »
Quote
There's an active thread filled with ranting and raving over on NSF.

...Surprise = Nil.

Online Grey Havoc

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #35 on: September 21, 2011, 05:35:37 am »
NASA Moving Into Contract Mods For SLS (Aviation Week)

Quote
With the confirmation of a design for NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) human exploration rocket, the agency’s hard-pressed spaceflight contractors finally have some information they can use to help them retain space shuttle and Constellation engineers and other workers. The skills of those employees, which come only from many years of experience, will be essential for building and flying the most powerful rocket ever built.

NASA says it will publish its plans for procuring the SLS on Sept. 23, with an industry day on the subject to follow next week. Senators who met with White House Budget Director Jacob Lew on Sept. 13 to vent their frustration at White House delays on starting the SLS program say they will be watching to see how fast NASA moves on modifying existing contracts for the SLS work—as ordered in last year’s NASA reauthorization bill.


A related story: NASA Johnson Faces Competency Challenge (Aviation Week again)

Quote
HOUSTON — The greatest challenge facing NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which marked its 50th anniversary on Sept. 19, is the retention of the installation’s human spaceflight expertise in the face of falling budgets and significant personnel losses, Director Mike Coats says.

In wide-ranging remarks accompanying the anniversary, Coats said last week’s agreement between the White House and Congress over the budget and configuration of the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) provided a welcome boost to morale at the installation, which has lost nearly 4,000 contractors this year in the wake of the July retirement of the space shuttle and the cancellation of the Constellation program.

“Having a Space Launch System architecture that has been approved by the [Obama] administration and Congress is a big deal. We have a plan to go forward,” Coats says.

“Obviously, how fast we go forward and how soon we get to different destinations beyond the Earth depend on what kinds of funding levels we get. As we change administrations and Congresses, the emphasis will probably shift again. But it’s important at this point on what we will work toward.”
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Online Grey Havoc

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #36 on: September 21, 2011, 09:59:29 am »
Via spacedaily.com: The US will conquer deep space with Russian engines (RIA Novosti)
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Offline blackstar

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #37 on: September 21, 2011, 10:22:09 am »
A related story: NASA Johnson Faces Competency Challenge (Aviation Week again)

No surprise to anybody who has worked this issue. A few years ago I ran a congressionally-mandated study on workforce issues for the then-Vision for Space Exploration. The question was how would NASA develop and maintain the required workforce skills so that they could undertake this new effort. Major challenges included anticipated attrition, such as retirements. Now they've got the opposite challenge--they face a lot of people being forced out or leaving out of frustration. They'll lose a lot of unique skills that don't exist anywhere else (and don't exist in the commercial space field).

Online Grey Havoc

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #38 on: October 08, 2011, 03:17:38 am »
From Aviation Week:

Booster Competition For New NASA Heavy Lifter

Oct 7, 2011


 
By Frank Morring, Jr.
 
 
 
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — NASA plans to open a competition in December for multiple, 30-month contracts to study strap-on booster upgrades for the planned heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS), including an upgrade for the five-segment, solid-fuel strap-ons baselined as the initial boosters for the big new rocket.

One challenge for NASA engineers will be to design an interface that can link different booster types to the SLS core stage, according to William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for human exploration and operations. The SLS will be the vehicle NASA uses to send humans beyond low Earth orbit.

“Our vision is we’ll have an interface that’s generic, and we’ll be able to carry potentially different boosters and change them out as needed,” Gerstenmaier told a session of the International Astronautical Congress here Thursday. “So we could go compete in the future, maybe downsize if something’s easier for a mission that requires less thrust. We have some variability there, so if we do our job right, we’ll have the ability to change the boosters that sit on the side. That’s our ultimate goal. We’re not going to pick one.”

NASA plans to build a 70-metric-ton SLS at first, with only the core stage and strap-ons. The vehicle will grow to a 130-metric-ton capability with the addition of an upper stage and upgraded strap-on. The core stage will be powered by surplus RS-25D space shuttle main engines at first, followed by a throwaway version designated the RS25E. The upper stage will be designed to use the same tooling as the core stage, and will be powered by the J-2X engine now in testing at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

“If we don’t need an upper stage for certain missions, we don’t have to fly an upper stage,” he said. “We can just add it in for essentially marginal cost for the upper stage. We don’t have to add a new plant, new facilities and new tooling.”

The booster upgrade can be solid-fuel, liquid oxygen (LOX)/kerosene or LOX/liquid hydrogen, Gerstenmaier said. Only the first two SLS flights will be powered by the five-segment version of the space shuttle boosters that were originally developed for the first stage of the terminated Ares I crew launch vehicle.

“It turns out that to get to the 130 metric tons, we’re going to have to redesign the five-segment booster as well,” Gerstenmaier says. “We have to go to potentially a composite case, away from our steel case to save some weight, and we might need to make a propellant change to use the more energetic propellant that sits in the solid rocket motor. So even if we go continuous solids, we’re going to have to make a pretty significant change to the solid-rocket booster segment.”

The competition for an advanced booster will begin in December with study-contract bidding that is likely to include ATK, manufacturer of the current solid-fuel boosters, and a team that includes Aerojet, which has plans to upgrade the Russian-built AJ26 LOX/kerosene engine it modified for the Taurus II launcher that Orbital Sciences Corp. will use to send cargo to the International Space Station.

“We’re not really ready to step up to the booster activity right away with a full-up competition,” Gerstenmaier says. “We think there’s some technology that needs to get explored and understood as we go forward. We think we also need to define a little bit better the core interface with the solid rocket boosters or the liquid rocket boosters, so we have that as a design condition. So we’re going to have kind of a study phase, with potentially multiple contractors participating in that study phase for a period of about 30 months or so, and then we’ll roll right into the actual competition. But the idea is to have the new booster system available, probably in about the 2019 time frame.”


 
LINK
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Offline sferrin

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2011, 06:11:26 am »
Nothing like wasting money to buy votes for a politician.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline RanulfC

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2011, 08:28:48 am »
Probably the sadest part of this whole affiar is Congress is probably going to come out of this still smelling like a rose for taking "postive-action" on the "Launch-Gap" and "Knowledge-Loss-at-NASA" issues :(
 
But lets look at the "bright-side" that the Shuttle system WAS designed to be "modular-building-block" system and here's what we COULD have/or/had with a little luck :)
 
http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/industry/ShuttleVariationsFinalAIAA.pdf
 
Randy
(Which begs the question from me, what information has anyone found on the "Lenticular" Cargo Carrier Vehicle? :) )

Offline blackstar

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2011, 09:56:27 pm »
Probably the sadest part of this whole affiar is Congress is probably going to come out of this still smelling like a rose for taking "postive-action" on the "Launch-Gap" and "Knowledge-Loss-at-NASA" issues :(
 

Congress could save a bunch of orphans and kittens from a fire and would still be hated by the public.

But I don't accept that the administration is virtuous and Congress is evil in this debate. There was a clear political consensus on what to do--codified by two different Congresses in two NASA authorization bills--and the administration blew that to smithereens, producing the biggest slapfest that I've ever seen in the space policy arena. They tossed a hand grenade in the pumpkin patch and then walked away from the mess.

Offline Triton

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #42 on: November 30, 2011, 04:03:36 pm »


http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/588413main_SLS_Web_final.pdf

Artist's impression of Initial Lift Capability of Space Launch System (SLS).

Source:
http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/sls1.html
« Last Edit: November 30, 2011, 04:20:28 pm by Triton »

Offline Triton

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #43 on: November 30, 2011, 04:30:37 pm »

Offline Triton

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Re: NASA Space Launch System (SLS)
« Reply #44 on: December 03, 2011, 01:40:13 pm »
Will this launch system also be named Ares?