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NASA Space Launch System (SLS)

Flyaway

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I noticed you didn’t even bother actually answering any of the points I raised such as Space X wouldn’t be where they are now without NASA. Instead you just went off on some tedious political rant. Trying to use the SLS program as a stick to beat NASA with shows both a lack of understanding of how NASA works and the fact SLS is more of a case of something imposed on NASA than of NASA. It’s also absolutely politically disingenuous to use it as a stick to beat NASA with in these circumstances and it’s certainly no excuse for trying to completely reorganise NASA because of it.

As an aside it’s no secret that one program alone from someone like the NRO is probably greater than the total annual budget of NASA. As an example the total cost of each KH-11 satellite in the last generation was equivalent in cost of that of an aircraft carrier. And that doesn’t include the launch cost just the build cost.


Yes I did. Spacex exists as a COTS project which was politically imposed on NASA. SLS exists as NASA pork which wouldn't be viable without the NASA lobbying presence in various states and congressional districts. Today, I suspect NASA would kill all COTS projects if they could. The political appointees at the head currently stand in the way. Within congress, COTS has marginally even support (and I suspect less without administration backing).

The reason to abolish NASA stands on their past record of around 40 years. All good things come to an end. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for bad and NASA persists on that side.

I find your cost estimate for KH-11 to be suspect. Please provide a reliable reference.

If you like NASA so much and are not on the tab to pick up their bills, you can send your personal checks directly to them. I doubt they will have trouble cashing them.

Do you just post everything that is the opposite of reality? Especially as you don’t seem to have an idea what the current NASA Administrator is doing, to say they would happily get rid of all COTS projects is just pure rubbish. You also seem incapable of telling that what certain politicians want is not necessarily what NASA wants, and also you seem to think they are one and the same which they aren’t.

And don’t try and argue with me over the cost of a project like the KH-11 when you clearly don’t have appear to have the first clue of what such projects cost.

According to Senator Kit Bond initial budget estimates for each of the two legacy KH-11 satellites ordered from Lockheed in 2005 were higher than for the latest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier (CVN-77)[14] with its projected procurement cost of US$6.35 billion as of May 2005.[71] In 2011, after the launch of USA-224, DNRO Bruce Carlson announced that the procurement cost for the satellite had been US$2 billion under the initial budget estimate, which would put it at about US$4.4 billion (inflation adjusted US$4.61 billion in 2017).[15]

In April 2014, the NRO assigned a "(...) worth more than $5 billion (...)" to the final two legacy KH-11 satellites.[72]

 
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fredymac

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Do you just post everything that is the opposite of reality?

And don’t try and argue with me over the cost of a project like the KH-11 when you clearly don’t have the first clue of what such projects cost.

According to Senator Kit Bond initial budget estimates for each of the two legacy KH-11 satellites ordered from Lockheed in 2005 were higher than for the latest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier (CVN-77)[14] with its projected procurement cost of US$6.35 billion as of May 2005.[71] In 2011, after the launch of USA-224, DNRO Bruce Carlson announced that the procurement cost for the satellite had been US$2 billion under the initial budget estimate, which would put it at about US$4.4 billion (inflation adjusted US$4.61 billion in 2017).[15]

In April 2014, the NRO assigned a "(...) worth more than $5 billion (...)" to the final two legacy KH-11 satellites.[72]



I find your reality suspect.

And as for your cost, you negleced this quote from your own link just above the one you included:

Estimated unit costs, including launch and in 1990 dollars, range from US$1.25 to 1.75 billion (inflation adjusted US$2.26 to 3.16 billion in 2017) . The April 2014 quote works out to $2.5B each. My reality says that is a lot lower than $22Billion (current NASA annual budget).
 

quellish

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the last time I looked at KH-11 costs from primary sources in 2016 it came out to about 1.3b for the spacecraft itself, iirc
 

Flyaway

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the last time I looked at KH-11 costs from primary sources in 2016 it came out to about 1.3b for the spacecraft itself, iirc
I think that’s a couple of generations back. The more recent figures are the ones posted above. Mind you we have no idea how much the current generation are.
 

Flyaway

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Do you just post everything that is the opposite of reality?

And don’t try and argue with me over the cost of a project like the KH-11 when you clearly don’t have the first clue of what such projects cost.

According to Senator Kit Bond initial budget estimates for each of the two legacy KH-11 satellites ordered from Lockheed in 2005 were higher than for the latest Nimitz-class aircraft carrier (CVN-77)[14] with its projected procurement cost of US$6.35 billion as of May 2005.[71] In 2011, after the launch of USA-224, DNRO Bruce Carlson announced that the procurement cost for the satellite had been US$2 billion under the initial budget estimate, which would put it at about US$4.4 billion (inflation adjusted US$4.61 billion in 2017).[15]

In April 2014, the NRO assigned a "(...) worth more than $5 billion (...)" to the final two legacy KH-11 satellites.[72]



I find your reality suspect.

And as for your cost, you negleced this quote from your own link just above the one you included:

Estimated unit costs, including launch and in 1990 dollars, range from US$1.25 to 1.75 billion (inflation adjusted US$2.26 to 3.16 billion in 2017) . The April 2014 quote works out to $2.5B each. My reality says that is a lot lower than $22Billion (current NASA annual budget).
The NRO operate multiple programs I very much doubt many of them cost less. The advanced Orion satellites I suspect are far from cheap considering the size and complexity of them.
 

fredymac

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I don't have any insight into who does what in the intelligence community but I thought SIGINT (including satellites) was controlled by NSA and not NRO. The NSA in turn probably has a lot of money going into decryption and cyber so you can't tell how much is devoted to actual satellites and radio interecept ground stations.
 

quellish

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the last time I looked at KH-11 costs from primary sources in 2016 it came out to about 1.3b for the spacecraft itself, iirc
I think that’s a couple of generations back. The more recent figures are the ones posted above. Mind you we have no idea how much the current generation are.

Again, from memory, this would have been the one launched a year or so ago and the next one to be launched. So not several generations back.
 

Byeman

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It seems SLS core stage has issue with leakage

NASA took three Company for Artemis landers
SpaceX Starship launch on Super Heavy and with refuel in orbit to Moon surface
Blue Origin/Lockheed-Martin launch by New Glenn / Vulcan to Moon orbit
Dynetics want to use commercial Launcher to get there lander to Moon orbit

means SLS loose more payloads

is Boeing now in panic mode ?


No
 

Byeman

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would abolish NASA outright specifically to RIF as much of the culture as possible before taking the individual parts and assigning them to either DOD or to a dedicated DARPA like organizational structure. They would be prohibited from anything other than pure research. All design and build projects would follow the COTS model.

That is delusional.

1. DOD has no interest in doing what NASA doesn
2. DOD has a worse culture than NASA
3. the clueless DARPA does better fallacy. DAPRA has more failures than successes
4. COTS model doesn't work for science missions. There is no commercial use for science spacecraft
 

Byeman

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The reason to abolish NASA stands on their past record of around 40 years. All good things come to an end. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for bad and NASA persists on that side.

Wrong. Past 40 years: Viking, Voyager, HST, Galileo, Magellan, MER, MSL, GRO, AXAF, SIRTF, GLAST, MMS, RBSP, AURA, TERRA, AQUA, MESSENGER, NEAR, DAWN, STARDUST, GENSIS, MRO MGS....
 

Byeman

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I don't have any insight into who does what in the intelligence community but I thought SIGINT (including satellites) was controlled by NSA and not NRO. The NSA in turn probably has a lot of money going into decryption and cyber so you can't tell how much is devoted to actual satellites and radio interecept ground stations.

NRO does all spacecraft
 

fredymac

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NASA was created because Eisenhower wanted a civilian agency to head US space development for political reasons. Von Braun put the US in space while still working for the Army. The X-15 was originally an Air Force program. NASA put a civilian "face" on it.

Your opinion of DARPA differs greatly from what I see from most others including other countries. The main thing I see there is a far leaner management overhead which draws upon temporary directorships filled from the outside. DOD culture does have the usual government problem that arises from the "tenured" mentality of civil service employees and it would be good to address that as well.

None of this would be of interest except for NASA's cost and schedule record. The ISS is a good example of how expensive and how long NASA takes to do something. JWST would be the unmanned counterpart. For the planetary missions, NASA costs has led to outsourcing some programs (New Horizons/Pluto as an example). No planetary mission has ever been managed under a COTS structure. As a costing exercise, it would be interesting to bid a planetary mission to COTS suppliers to compare against a JPL submission.

So I invested 10 minutes to read the usual NSA and NRO info you can find on basic searches. I was under the impression that NSA would never let any other bureaucracy get their hands on SIGINT. For SIGINT, NRO "builds and deploys" but not seem to analyze (as opposed to imagery for which they have a "geospatial intelligence" function). The NRO annual budget is listed as averaging between $8Billion to $10Billion during the early 2000's while currently running at around $18Billion (about 80% of NASA). It seems NRO is a "pooling" center where the various intelligence agencies centralize their space activities and do so using almost entirley contractor personnel.
 

TomS

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For SIGINT, NRO "builds and deploys" but not seem to analyze (as opposed to imagery for which they have a "geospatial intelligence" function).

You missed one key player here. NRO operates the imagery satellites but the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) tasks them and does the exploitation and primary analysis. NRO is no longer (since ~2003) in the analysis business. They're a satellite services provider, basically.
 

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I wonder why SLS carries the escape rocket so long. On the way up you don't see any real technological advancement. It's on the way down and how hardware is reused which makes the difference and where the Falcon Heavy would really stand apart.


 

E-V Bomber

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I wonder why SLS carries the escape rocket so long. On the way up you don't see any real technological advancement. It's on the way down and how hardware is reused which makes the difference and where the Falcon Heavy would really stand apart.



SLS doesn’t actually carry it’s LES that long, in reality it’s jettisoned shortly after the SRBs separate (around T+2:00). It’s just an error on the video’s part.
 

Michel Van

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SLS doesn’t actually carry it’s LES that long, in reality it’s jettisoned shortly after the SRBs separate (around T+2:00). It’s just an error on the video’s part.

the Source material is MSFC
SRB drop 2:00 minute after lift off, the LES jettison after 3:30
 

FighterJock

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SLS doesn’t actually carry it’s LES that long, in reality it’s jettisoned shortly after the SRBs separate (around T+2:00). It’s just an error on the video’s part.

the Source material is MSFC
SRB drop 2:00 minute after lift off, the LES jettison after 3:30

How does that compare with the LES of the Saturn 5 rocket?
 

Byeman

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NASA was created because Eisenhower wanted a civilian agency to head US space development for political reasons. Von Braun put the US in space while still working for the Army. The X-15 was originally an Air Force program. NASA put a civilian "face" on it.

Your opinion of DARPA differs greatly from what I see from most others including other countries. The main thing I see there is a far leaner management overhead which draws upon temporary directorships filled from the outside. DOD culture does have the usual government problem that arises from the "tenured" mentality of civil service employees and it would be good to address that as well.

None of this would be of interest except for NASA's cost and schedule record. The ISS is a good example of how expensive and how long NASA takes to do something. JWST would be the unmanned counterpart. For the planetary missions, NASA costs has led to outsourcing some programs (New Horizons/Pluto as an example). No planetary mission has ever been managed under a COTS structure. As a costing exercise, it would be interesting to bid a planetary mission to COTS suppliers to compare against a JPL submission.

So I invested 10 minutes to read the usual NSA and NRO info you can find on basic searches. I was under the impression that NSA would never let any other bureaucracy get their hands on SIGINT. For SIGINT, NRO "builds and deploys" but not seem to analyze (as opposed to imagery for which they have a "geospatial intelligence" function). The NRO annual budget is listed as averaging between $8Billion to $10Billion during the early 2000's while currently running at around $18Billion (about 80% of NASA). It seems NRO is a "pooling" center where the various intelligence agencies centralize their space activities and do so using almost entirley contractor personnel.

a. No, it was a NACA proposal that became a joint program with the DOD.

b. because they don't know any better. Just buy into the hype of a few and far between successes. DARPA just lets contracts. It has no organic research or oversight. What was the last real DARPA successful space project?


c. JWST is not real issue. Just grossly under estimated the cost. NASA has done no "outsourcing". PNH was done APL which is no different than a program done by JPL.

You really don't understand how NASA missions work. It is not possible to do a planetary mission under "COTS" structure. There are no commercial applications for planetary mission hardware, so there is no reason for a company to cost share because there is no ROI. There are two types of missions directed and PI led. Directed is like Casinni, MRO, MSL, etc. PI led is where a principal investigator comes up with a mission concept and proposes it. Discovery and New Frontiers programs follow this. The PI usually come from a NASA center or FFRDC and either enlists a NASA center or aerospace contractor for spacecraft construction. The instruments still come from NASA centers, FFRDC or contractors funded by NASA. There is no market for planetary instruments.

NRO doesn't analyze the imagery either. And the NRO is DOD and CIA (civilian), it runs its programs no different than how NASA and AIr Force run theirs.
R
 

fredymac

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a. No, it was a NACA proposal that became a joint program with the DOD.

b. because they don't know any better. Just buy into the hype of a few and far between successes. DARPA just lets contracts. It has no organic research or oversight. What was the last real DARPA successful space project?


c. JWST is not real issue. Just grossly under estimated the cost. NASA has done no "outsourcing". PNH was done APL which is no different than a program done by JPL.

You really don't understand how NASA missions work. It is not possible to do a planetary mission under "COTS" structure. There are no commercial applications for planetary mission hardware, so there is no reason for a company to cost share because there is no ROI. There are two types of missions directed and PI led. Directed is like Casinni, MRO, MSL, etc. PI led is where a principal investigator comes up with a mission concept and proposes it. Discovery and New Frontiers programs follow this. The PI usually come from a NASA center or FFRDC and either enlists a NASA center or aerospace contractor for spacecraft construction. The instruments still come from NASA centers, FFRDC or contractors funded by NASA. There is no market for planetary instruments.

NRO doesn't analyze the imagery either. And the NRO is DOD and CIA (civilian), it runs its programs no different than how NASA and AIr Force run theirs.
R


I assume a) refers to the X-15. Yes it was NACA/Air Force/Navy. It was conceived in the early 50's before NASA existed.

Your knowledge of the true worth of DARPA should be required reading for Congress so they could just shut it down. Or maybe they wouldn't accept your views.

JHU/APL managed the New Horizons mission as an alternative to JPL. University of Arizona managed the Phoenix/Mars and Osiris-Rex missions. Not through JPL or for JPL but in lieu of JPL.

COTS procurement simply means NASA would specify the mission requirements but not become involved in the design/build/operate process. A private contractor would have full freedom to design/build a spacecraft that meets the mission requirements and operates the spacecraft through its lifetime. The data would be sent to NASA. No commercial market would be required. It is simply a way to avoid having NASA costs factored into the hardware and operations.

The NRO WIKI says it has almost no federal employees. That is, the personnel are almost entirely contractor. That is very different from DOD/NASA. Contractors work to contracts which specify what they do and are usually subject to re-compete terms every several years so they may find themselves outbid and replaced.
 

Byeman

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I assume a) refers to the X-15. Yes it was NACA/Air Force/Navy. It was conceived in the early 50's before NASA existed.

Your knowledge of the true worth of DARPA should be required reading for Congress so they could just shut it down. Or maybe they wouldn't accept your views.

JHU/APL managed the New Horizons mission as an alternative to JPL. University of Arizona managed the Phoenix/Mars and Osiris-Rex missions. Not through JPL or for JPL but in lieu of JPL.

COTS procurement simply means NASA would specify the mission requirements but not become involved in the design/build/operate process. A private contractor would have full freedom to design/build a spacecraft that meets the mission requirements and operates the spacecraft through its lifetime. The data would be sent to NASA. No commercial market would be required. It is simply a way to avoid having NASA costs factored into the hardware and operations.

The NRO WIKI says it has almost no federal employees. That is, the personnel are almost entirely contractor. That is very different from DOD/NASA. Contractors work to contracts which specify what they do and are usually subject to re-compete terms every several years so they may find themselves outbid and replaced.

You got so much wrong, don't see how you can form a valid opinion. Maybe because you are getting your info from wiki.

1. NACA/NASA same thing

2. Not just my views. It has been proposed to shut it down. It's the clueless that over hype it and think it is a better paradigm than NASA for spaceflight. DARPA has more failures than successes because it can take higher risks. It works on emerging technologies, not earth, space or planetary science. DADRPA doesn't work on the next fighter aircraft or gun, it is looking further out. It doesn't do routine tasks like managing space missions or such. Plus DARPA has a very poor record when it comes to space. Name the last successful DARPA space project (not one partnered with an other organization).

3. Wrong. JPL does not manage all NASA planetary missions. APL is not an alternative to JPL, it is an addition to all the NASA centers and is treated like the 11th center. APL still has oversite by GSFC. University of Arizona did not manage the spacecraft development for those missions. JPL managed the Phoenix spacecraft (http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/mission.php) and Goddard managed Osiris-Rex (https://www.asteroidmission.org/team/team-list/)

4. not feasible. Contractors don't want to take the risks involve. It is not worth it for one off missions. Also, planetary instruments are not commercial products. NASA, universities and labs provide instruments.

5. Wrong. the NRO is no different than NASA. The NRO is staffed by DOD military and civilian employees and CIA civilian employees. Just like NASA. (https://www.nro.gov/About-NRO/The-National-Reconnaissance-Office/Who-We-Are/). Contractors work for the NRO, just like NASA. The work force at NASA centers and NRO sites are mostly contractor. For example, the Kennedy Space Center has 2000 NASA employees but there are over 10,000 contract workers. Goddard has 3200 civil servants and 20000 contractor.
 
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fredymac

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You got so much wrong, don't see how you can form a valid opinion. Maybe because you are getting your info from wiki.

1. NACA/NASA same thing

2. Not just my views. It has been proposed to shut it down. It's the clueless that over hype it and think it is a better paradigm than NASA for spaceflight. DARPA has more failures than successes because it can take higher risks. It works on emerging technologies, not earth, space or planetary science. DADRPA doesn't work on the next fighter aircraft or gun, it is looking further out. It doesn't do routine tasks like managing space missions or such. Plus DARPA has a very poor record when it comes to space. Name the last successful DARPA space project (not one partnered with an other organization).

3. Wrong. JPL does not manage all NASA planetary missions. APL is not an alternative to JPL, it is an addition to all the NASA centers and is treated like the 11th center. APL still has oversite by GSFC. University of Arizona did not manage the spacecraft development for those missions. JPL managed the Phoenix spacecraft (http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/mission.php) and Goddard managed Osiris-Rex (https://www.asteroidmission.org/team/team-list/)

4. not feasible. Contractors don't want to take the risks involve. It is not worth it for one off missions. Also, planetary instruments are not commercial products. NASA, universities and labs provide instruments.

5. Wrong. the NRO is no different than NASA. The NRO is staffed by DOD military and civilian employees and CIA civilian employees. Just like NASA. (https://www.nro.gov/About-NRO/The-National-Reconnaissance-Office/Who-We-Are/). Contractors work for the NRO, just like NASA. The work force at NASA centers and NRO sites are mostly contractor. For example, the Kennedy Space Center has 2000 NASA employees but there are over 10,000 contract workers. Goddard has 3200 civil servants and 20000 contractor.


NASA was created in 1958. How is that possible if NACA is NASA?

I have not seen the equivalent of the Augustine Commission for DARPA or an SLS. I have not heard these other voices apart from yours regarding DARPA. They may be around but they must be few in number. On the other hand, as NASA consistently winds up with ballooning costs and schedules, more people grow dissatisfied.

So when did APL or UA first start doing planetary missions and what led to that. I remember Pioneer being run through Ames. I seem to recall JPL doing everything else up to the 90's. I remember discussions over planetary mission costs and I remember the set up of Discovery/New Horizon/Flagship budget ceilings. JPL still controls all the Flagship missions but not so for the Discovery class.

For whom do you speak when you say COTS is not feasible. What companies did you call and receive this information. So NASA puts out a bid asking for quotes to build/design/operate a planetary space probe and you are able say nobody will respond.

From Wikipedia:
A 1996 bipartisan commission report described the NRO as having by far the largest budget of any intelligence agency, and "virtually no federal workforce", accomplishing most of its work through "tens of thousands" of defense contractor personnel.
 

Byeman

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You got so much wrong, don't see how you can form a valid opinion. Maybe because you are getting your info from wiki.

1. NACA/NASA same thing

2. Not just my views. It has been proposed to shut it down. It's the clueless that over hype it and think it is a better paradigm than NASA for spaceflight. DARPA has more failures than successes because it can take higher risks. It works on emerging technologies, not earth, space or planetary science. DADRPA doesn't work on the next fighter aircraft or gun, it is looking further out. It doesn't do routine tasks like managing space missions or such. Plus DARPA has a very poor record when it comes to space. Name the last successful DARPA space project (not one partnered with an other organization).

3. Wrong. JPL does not manage all NASA planetary missions. APL is not an alternative to JPL, it is an addition to all the NASA centers and is treated like the 11th center. APL still has oversite by GSFC. University of Arizona did not manage the spacecraft development for those missions. JPL managed the Phoenix spacecraft (http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/mission.php) and Goddard managed Osiris-Rex (https://www.asteroidmission.org/team/team-list/)

4. not feasible. Contractors don't want to take the risks involve. It is not worth it for one off missions. Also, planetary instruments are not commercial products. NASA, universities and labs provide instruments.

5. Wrong. the NRO is no different than NASA. The NRO is staffed by DOD military and civilian employees and CIA civilian employees. Just like NASA. (https://www.nro.gov/About-NRO/The-National-Reconnaissance-Office/Who-We-Are/). Contractors work for the NRO, just like NASA. The work force at NASA centers and NRO sites are mostly contractor. For example, the Kennedy Space Center has 2000 NASA employees but there are over 10,000 contract workers. Goddard has 3200 civil servants and 20000 contractor.


NASA was created in 1958. How is that possible if NACA is NASA?

I have not seen the equivalent of the Augustine Commission for DARPA or an SLS. I have not heard these other voices apart from yours regarding DARPA. They may be around but they must be few in number. On the other hand, as NASA consistently winds up with ballooning costs and schedules, more people grow dissatisfied.

So when did APL or UA first start doing planetary missions and what led to that. I remember Pioneer being run through Ames. I seem to recall JPL doing everything else up to the 90's. I remember discussions over planetary mission costs and I remember the set up of Discovery/New Horizon/Flagship budget ceilings. JPL still controls all the Flagship missions but not so for the Discovery class.

For whom do you speak when you say COTS is not feasible. What companies did you call and receive this information. So NASA puts out a bid asking for quotes to build/design/operate a planetary space probe and you are able say nobody will respond.

From Wikipedia:
A 1996 bipartisan commission report described the NRO as having by far the largest budget of any intelligence agency, and "virtually no federal workforce", accomplishing most of its work through "tens of thousands" of defense contractor personnel.

NACA became NASA.

NASA by law has to be more open and all its data open to the public. DARPA has no such rules. And what "more people"? It is just the same keyboard thumpers making the same noise.

Again, UA does not do planetary missions itself. UA "missions" are still managed by JPL or Goddard. UA just does the science and the spacecraft is managed a NASA center. UA does not buy the spacecraft. APL started supporting more NASA missions during FBC because there were more missions than could be handled by the existing NASA centers. It was invited to compete for Discovery and New Frontiers programs. And no, JPL did not control all flagship planetary missions. Langley did Viking.


Have you made the calls? Have you ever worked a planetary space probe? Do you know what is involved? Companies don't have the capabilities. They don't employ planetary scientists, they don't make planetary instruments. They don't have control centers or tracking sites.


You keep quoting wiki, where as I quote the actual organizations websites. The 3000-4000 NRO federal employees is not "virtually no federal workforce". Also, this does not include the Air Force/Space Force personnel that support the NRO. The NRO has no launch teams, satellite tracking crews, launch vehicle procurement personnel, etc. So Patrick, Vandenberg, Los Angeles, and Schriever base personnel need to be included with the core NRO numbers for a relevant comparison.

Also NASA does more and is more diverse than the NRO in its work. And just like the NRO, the NASA workforce is mostly contractors. For example, there are 2000 NASA employees at the Kennedy Space Center, and there are over 7,000 contractors. Goddard has 3200 civil servants and around 20000 contractors. Marshall and Johnson centers are similar.
 

fredymac

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NACA became NASA.

NASA by law has to be more open and all its data open to the public. DARPA has no such rules. And what "more people"? It is just the same keyboard thumpers making the same noise.

Again, UA does not do planetary missions itself. UA "missions" are still managed by JPL or Goddard. UA just does the science and the spacecraft is managed a NASA center. UA does not buy the spacecraft. APL started supporting more NASA missions during FBC because there were more missions than could be handled by the existing NASA centers. It was invited to compete for Discovery and New Frontiers programs. And no, JPL did not control all flagship planetary missions. Langley did Viking.


Have you made the calls? Have you ever worked a planetary space probe? Do you know what is involved? Companies don't have the capabilities. They don't employ planetary scientists, they don't make planetary instruments. They don't have control centers or tracking sites.


You keep quoting wiki, where as I quote the actual organizations websites. The 3000-4000 NRO federal employees is not "virtually no federal workforce". Also, this does not include the Air Force/Space Force personnel that support the NRO. The NRO has no launch teams, satellite tracking crews, launch vehicle procurement personnel, etc. So Patrick, Vandenberg, Los Angeles, and Schriever base personnel need to be included with the core NRO numbers for a relevant comparison.

Also NASA does more and is more diverse than the NRO in its work. And just like the NRO, the NASA workforce is mostly contractors. For example, there are 2000 NASA employees at the Kennedy Space Center, and there are over 7,000 contractors. Goddard has 3200 civil servants and around 20000 contractors. Marshall and Johnson centers are similar.



Whatever NASA does, it does so too expensively and over time periods that drag on far longer than originally planned. This "premium" is the core of the problem and has gotten so bad that is has become financially unsupportable. The COTS projects to date are showing the way out of this mess. The lunar landers (both manned and unmanned) show private companies offering dramatically different solutions. Your argument over nobody responding, having no existing capability in the field, or no commercial market to target all apply here.

Going further, as NASA embraces COTS for more projects (space stations for example), less need exists for NASA field centers to be involved in design/build/operate phase. NASA can have all the planetary scientists they need to analyze data and define requirements for future space probes. But that is all they will do. The actual physical instruments, computers, rockets, spacecraft structures, etc etc can be packaged as a service contract provided through private companies. These contracts provide design/build/management freedom to let the companies achieve lower cost and faster turn around.
 

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I'm, well disappointed I guess that there's so much misinformation and misrepresentation on the history of the US space program and the various organizations and politics that have been involved with it.

NACA was created at the start of WWI with the express mission to help America catch-up with European aeronatutical development which America was woefully behind. It always had a very limited budget mostly for facilities, personnel and organization but not really for research. It got funding for that by partnering with later commercial interests and specifically the US military. It wasn't till WWII broke out that it began getting a modest 'general' research budget for generic research. This made it the 'go-to' group for organization and general control for expensive military aviation research projects such as the post-War XS-1 and the other X-aircraft.

Specifically in the case of the X-15 a joint research project was suggested by NACA or a "hypersonic" (speeds in excess of Mach 5) research aircraft and the military was invited to participate. Since both the Navy and Air Force had already undertaken studies on such aircraft they initially contributed to the more detailed studies with requirements and experiments that would be of interest to them to include in the research program. The Navy soon dropped out due to budget and support issues but the Air Force remained a sponsor of what had become the X-15 program. At no time was it an "Air Force program" and the Air Force role was always support and logistics as well as contributing funding.

NACA was used as the core of NASA because of those organizational skills and ability to coordinate large projects accross the continent, and also because it was a civilian agency well able to work with commercial and military interests.

ARPA/DARPA/ARPA-again was initially created to coordinate and control the (at the time) numerious military space efforts into a more coherent and organized effort. This failed. MIserably. Mostly due to heavy inter-service rivalry and the main ARPA management being bypassed by partisian interests who would directly convinve lower level managers to sabatoge, interfere, transfer funds and support material and delay or cancel projects.

Examples include ARPA finding a need for a more powerful boostere than the available stable of US missiles that could be converted to launch vehicles. ABMA was tasked with a mission to provide a test-stand and then prototype example using off-the-shelf parts and equipment. The Air Force went directly to the program auditors and protested that they had aleady begun a similar project using clustered Titan missiles and a new engine called an F1 and convinced the auditors to freeze the Army funding until a valid comparison study could be made ot determine which booster should be pursued. By this point the prototype Saturn 1 was almost ready for testing and a flight version had been ordred by ARPA but funding and work were stopped while the afore mentioned study was being set up. The Army protested to the project directors who talked to the auditors who'd ordered the study and when both turned to the Air Force they found the 'proposed' launcher had never been more than vague memo and single illustration of the vehic;le. Work was resumed on Saturn 1 but the funding and support remained inconsististant until NASA took over the project. The Navy had instigated a development program for navigation and long=range communications satellites, funding and support for which was constantly cut and redirected to the Air Force for the development of spy and Air Force specific communications satellites.

Eventually ARPA was reorganized and the organizational and coordination duties given to other entities, mostly due to ballooing cost of projects, a chronic issue of lack of traceability of funds, lack of oversight, service mismanagment and slipped timetables and lack of progress on many larger projects. The reorganizatin turned ARPA into a pure research and limited development agency which was available and supported by all the military services with a mission to organize, pursue and research or develop advanced technology and science projects supported by and funded by the various branches of the military.

NASA itself was created out of NACA to not only 'fix' the managment and organizational issues with the previous ARPA system but also to have manned space flight be an obvious "civilian" program by Congress and the President (Johnson and Eisenhower respectivly) mainly for the purpose of tying to prevent "space" from becoming another front in the Cold War. (Spoiler alert: it didn't work) As initially planned by NACA and early NASA the US manned space program would be a slow, and incrimental program that built up capabilty, capacity and infrastructure over time. That changed when Kennedy announced the Moon in less than a decade. This shifted the entire paradigm of NASA and the US space program and lead to the "model" of the "One Big Program" with all else regulated to secondary roles at best. This model is predicated and based on a "big" budget and work spread out among as many centers and contractors as possible, less for technical reasons and more for political reasons. Most often what science and real exploration that gets done is more side, or in between to the 'main' project when budget and political support allows.

I like how COTS is held up as a "way-out" of the current situtation rather un-ironically when COTS has and continues to be a political football more often than not and how all COTS craft are, rather than "off-the-shelf" are specifically designed to NASA critirea by definition and purpose. Any commercial use is secondary to DoD and NASA requirements because the only means to gain missions from those entities is to meet their requirements, hence those requirements are priority. Further the idea that COTS will somehow reduce the "need" for the NASA centers is niave in the extreme as should that appear to be the case then political interess are effected and those forces will step in to remedy the "problem" by ensureing the needed centers still retain control, buget and purpose. I should have to remind no-one that there is a reason that the subject of this thread is called the "Sentate Launch System" after all.

This situation will change eventually if space exploration and manned space flight continue but as long as strictly commercial incentives are limited and marginal the needs and requirements of the government "programs" which provide the bulk of the money to spacefligth will ensure this process is slow and painful. As no nation on Earth has ever actually committed to exploitation or colonization of space government will continue to only 'dabble' and commercial concerns will continue to nibble around the edges and take advantage of the available niches therein. Only when some area of commercial interest is able to provide enough economic incentive to move commercial and economic requirments above those of the government will we see a significant paradigm shift.

Randy
 

Byeman

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1. Whatever NASA does, it does so too expensively and over time periods that drag on far longer than originally planned. This "premium" is the core of the problem and has gotten so bad that is has become financially unsupportable.

2. The COTS projects to date are showing the way out of this mess. The lunar landers (both manned and unmanned) show private companies offering dramatically different solutions. Your argument over nobody responding, having no existing capability in the field, or no commercial market to target all apply here.

3. Going further, as NASA embraces COTS for more projects (space stations for example), less need exists for NASA field centers to be involved in design/build/operate phase. NASA can have all the planetary scientists they need to analyze data and define requirements for future space probes. But that is all they will do. The actual physical instruments, computers, rockets, spacecraft structures, etc etc can be packaged as a service contract provided through private companies. These contracts provide design/build/management freedom to let the companies achieve lower cost and faster turn around.


1. Grossly unsubstantiated characterization and generalization. Has no basis in fact. Shows a clear bias and lack of real knowledge on the subject.

2. lunar lander and cargo spacecraft are not planetary spacecraft They are not equivalent.

3. wrong, Planetary instruments are not COTS hardware. They are developed and manufactured by universities, NASA centers and FFDRCs. Planetary instruments are not commercially available.
 

Byeman

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instrument providers
LUCY - Instruments will be provided by Goddard, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, and Arizona State University.

Psyche - The Multispectral Imager ..... based at Arizona State University. The Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer ... based at the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University. The Psyche Magnetometer... based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Technical University of Denmark


Juno - The Flux Gate Magnetometer was designed and built by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, Md., and the Advanced Stellar Compass was designed and built by the Danish Technical University. Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. provided the Microwave Radiometer subsystem components. The Jupiter Energetic Particle Detector Instrument was designed and built by the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory. The Jovian Auroral Distributions Experiment and the Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrograph instrument were designed and built by Southwest Research Institute.

This goes on and on for and not just for planetary science but for space science and astronomy spacecraft. Instruments for science spacecraft is not a commercial market.
Before NASA selects such a mission for the Discovery or New Frontiers program, a PI (principal investigator) comes up with a mission and puts together a team of instrument providers and NASA center to manage the spacecraft and mission. They put together a proposal for one of the Discovery or New Frontiers mission competitions. Meanwhile the instrument provides are working on bench versions of their instruments or tests in support of developing an instrument.
No money from Discovery or New Frontiers program has gone to anybody yet. So, how is a commercial provider going to do it? When they might not get selected.
 

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The roll call of denial:

ISS final cost: over $100Billion
SLS: $15Billion and growing
JWST: $10Billion

Augustine Commission:
Constellation program is so delayed and over budget that the program is untenable. It is worth noting that Constellation was a moon program. NASA today costs too much to return to the moon using its traditional management methods.

All NASA manned Mars project budget estimates are so high, they have been rendered impossible.

Walls of text and imperious assertions can be judged against objective results and recent history. Every reader on this forum can judge for themselves.

Meanwhile:
Artemis moon return program:
-COTS unmanned lunar lander
-COTS manned lunar lander

Manned space stations:
-COTS modules to ISS
-COTS independent space stations

Manned crew transport to Earth orbit:
-COTS Crew Dragon/CST Starliner


Finally, if Starship works, SLS is dead. Artemis is turned upside down and will need to be totally revised. Mars becomes a financially supportable possibility.

And DARPA? For all its abject failures and incompetence, I predict it will keep going on because too many people are just too stupid to realize how bad it is. After all, Al Gore invented the internet.
 

RanulfC

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Walls of text and imperious assertions can be judged against objective results and recent history. Every reader on this forum can judge for themselves.

That wasn't a "wall-of-text" from me as anyone can tell you :) I simply pointed out your incorrect assertions on the involved history. Objective 'results' and said history, (not just "recent" or in your case 'revised' history) do not bear out your assertions as you claim.

The roll call of denial:
ISS final cost: over $100Billion

On par for an international political project with vague aimes and goals which has been a constant complaint. How much did the 'commercial' version cost, who paid for it and when?

SLS: $15Billion and growing

Hmmm, "SENATE Launch System" with no mission and no payloads, (except the payload MASS requirement was writting into the authorization by Congress) and often limited funding, again by political design. Not helping your case really.

JWST: $10Billion

Several redesigns, two of which were due to changing launch vehicles, and delays due to budget issues. What did the 'commercial' version cost? Who paid for it? When did it launch?

Augustine Commission:
Constellation program is so delayed and over budget that the program is untenable. It is worth noting that Constellation was a moon program. NASA today costs too much to return to the moon using its traditional management methods.

Constellation was a MARS program from the start not just a "Moon" program and frankly Griffen fought that and the Congerssionally mandated ISS support requirments for the rather obvious reason Constellation was supposed to be "Mars Direct". Congress never approved of the Mars goal and didn't support the Lunar goal either the only thing they DID mandate was that the system suppor the ISS. Oddly enough most of Constellations delays were because the money being allocated and spent was NOT for vehicle development or testing and that got delayed over and over again due to allocated money shortfalls.

All NASA manned Mars project budget estimates are so high, they have been rendered impossible.

Oddly enough NASA's Mars mission costs have been pretty stable over time. Where the biggest increases have happened have depended on assumed infrstructure and/or specifica development programs for supplemental options like nuclear or solar propulsion programs. NASA as a general rule will not accept such low-balled, high-risk options like Mars Direct but in general the DRM's that are heavily based on that concept have been the cheapest But also the least sustainable with the lowest return.

Meanwhile:
Artemis moon return program:
-COTS unmanned lunar lander
-COTS manned lunar lander

What I find odd is you seem to delibrtily miss the point this is how Apollo was done. These are going to be built for the government to their requirments

Manned space stations:
-COTS modules to ISS
-COTS independent space stations

The goverment paid for all the research and development into the former before Congress de-funded and trashed the program and Bigelow then got a government contract to build said module to government standards and to mate with the ISS. The government also paid Boeing to build the other US ISS modules and oddly enough when the TransHab and Boding modules were cost compared it was found that they both cost the same to produce and fly! (Admittedly I personally wouldn't have had Boeing as the one to do that comparison but that's what Congress mandated)

Yes and I've always admired who paid for that COTS station and got it into orbit, along with the thousands of customers that keep it in operation. Including the Government which rents space there. Exciting stuff...

Manned crew transport to Earth orbit:
-COTS Crew Dragon/CST Starliner

Well if you shotgun enough stuff out there you'll probably get one right eventually. Though to be accurate these were again designed to government specifications and with government money so...

Finally, if Starship works, SLS is dead.

"If" or course but even so if you think that just because Starship/Super-Heavy works that the government has any obligation to use it you may need to look at reality again. Worse to assume that flying people on Starship would somehow 'negate' a launch system mandated and supported by Congress you'd be very naive to say the least.

Artemis is turned upside down and will need to be totally revised.

Not at all even if SLS isn't used at all, which given who's behind it is unlikely even if Starship is totally successful in the near-term. The SpaceX Artimis lander is litterally a heavily modifed, (to government specifications) Starship which can only go from Earth-orbit to the Moon and back.

Mars becomes a financially supportable possibility.

Not at all a given even if Starship hits every economic and cost goal. "Financially supportable" requires much more than just transportation and that's the ONLY service Starship provides, by design.

And DARPA? For all its abject failures and incompetence, I predict it will keep going on because too many people are just too stupid to realize how bad it is. After all, Al Gore invented the internet.

The funny part here is if you'd even bothered to read the history or knew how ARPA/DARPA came about and changed you'd know that what you're saying is nonsense. DARPA after is was reorganized as ARPA changed the nature and oranization of the agency so that it better fit it's intended role and it has had great success every since. What is can not and has never been able to do is run an operational program. I predict you won't actually read this because it's "a wall of text" (actually more likely because it does not agree with your interpretation of history) but if you do let's be clear that DARPA has been an outstanding success and investment for the US as a research and development project agency. What is was NOT a success at was it's initial mission as a coordinator and organizer of early US military space efforts because it wasn't given the authority or organization to fully encompase the task.

ARPA was stood-up to be a military equivlent of NACA but without the proper organizational structure and experiance of dealing with the military hiarchy. The contridictions and disorganizaton of the short-term rendered it incappable of doing either job it was assigned so when NASA was stood-up as the overall US Space Agency ARPA was re-tasked and re-organized into the form we know today with highly focused, short-term, projects directly related to military needs and desires. By it's nature it has no long term programs or projects and has neither the organization nor infrastructure to run any.

NACA (and by extension early NASA) had on the other hand been set up and working hard since 1914 to do both long and short term projects in research and development. Supporting and supported by both commercial and military interests and requirments. (And that in and of itself is a key difference since neither ARPA nor DARPA were supposed to serve commercial interests or needs btw) it was no real struggle to come to the conclusin that NACA rather than ARPA was a better base to begin from with a US space program and it further allowed DARPA to become a fully focused miitary version of NACA that encompassed all the miiltaries various needs rather than just aeronautically focused.

Where this fell apart for NASA was the sudden change to a short-term, highly focused goal of getting to the Moon in under a decade which threw all the original planning out the window and required a vastly different NASA management and operations than had been planned. NASA has never managed to change it's model back to a more sustainable and stable paradigm and worse Congress has every incentive to resist any such change. So NASA by Congressional design (and cultural inertia) is based on a single "big-project" model that puts a priority on the 'current' project while lowering priority and support of anythng not directly related to the current big-project.

Trying to go any more in-depth on the future of Artimis and SLS and the relations to Congress and the current political situation wlll likely get this post removed so I'll simply state that as the politics changes so to do the priorities and funding of NASA towards any one goal or areas and this is likely to happen in the next year or so so we'll see how things shake out.

Randy
 

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Jeesh that was long. Your history of Darpa is as different from mine as your understanding of engineering. There have been a lot of documentaries on Darpa. Somehow, your narrative doesn't fit any of them.

SLS is NASA pork. NASA willingly took it. The cost of an SLS launch reflects NASA management practice.

If Starship works, I see no chance of SLS surviving. Indeed, I have a proposal:

----------------------------
If Spacex succeeds in achieving a cost of $100/pound to orbit using their new Starship, NASA commits to using it as the baseline for all future manned spaceflight including the moon and Mars. NASA will guarantee $3Billion in flight purchases at $100/pound or $20Million/launch before negotiating for any lower prices based on final Spacex performance data.

In the event a competitive alternative offering a lower price emerges, NASA commits to at least $5Billion in total purchases before holding competitive bids for further flights.
----------------------------

This proposal does not cost a cent unless Starship succeeds. If Starship succeeds, the political support to leverage it for a massive and yet financially supportable increase in human spaceflight activity will be significant.

For example, if manned spaceflight is funded at $2.5Billion per year, that would be 125 Starship launches hauling 25 million pounds to orbit. At $20Million per launch, even NASA could do a lot. All the orbital infrastructure projects that have been dormant would become viable again.
 

robunos

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----------------------------
If Spacex succeeds in achieving a cost of $100/pound to orbit using their new Starship, NASA commits to using it as the baseline for all future manned spaceflight including the moon and Mars. NASA will guarantee $3Billion in flight purchases at $100/pound or $20Million/launch before negotiating for any lower prices based on final Spacex performance data.

In the event a competitive alternative offering a lower price emerges, NASA commits to at least $5Billion in total purchases before holding competitive bids for further flights.
----------------------------

Elon, is that you ??

cheers,
Robin.
 

fredymac

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----------------------------
If Spacex succeeds in achieving a cost of $100/pound to orbit using their new Starship, NASA commits to using it as the baseline for all future manned spaceflight including the moon and Mars. NASA will guarantee $3Billion in flight purchases at $100/pound or $20Million/launch before negotiating for any lower prices based on final Spacex performance data.

In the event a competitive alternative offering a lower price emerges, NASA commits to at least $5Billion in total purchases before holding competitive bids for further flights.
----------------------------

Elon, is that you ??

cheers,
Robin.



Just a US taxpayer. I'd rather pay Musk at $100/pound to orbit vs SLS at $10,000/pound.
 

Byeman

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Jeesh that was long. Your history of Darpa is as different from mine as your understanding of engineering. There have been a lot of documentaries on Darpa. Somehow, your narrative doesn't fit any of them.

Because you don't look for, read or acknowledge anything that disagrees with your bias.

Name 3 or just one successful solo* DARPA space project from the last 30 years. Usually, DARPA just provided the money and the other organizations manage the projects. Also, DARPA also tends to take credit for others work even though all they did was fund it.
.


* no other organization is involved.
 
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fredymac

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Because you don't look for, read or acknowledge anything that disagrees with your bias.

Name 3 or just one successful solo* DARPA space project from the last 30 years. Usually, DARPA just provided the money and the other organizations manage the projects. Also, DARPA also tends to take credit for others work even though all they did was fund it.
.

* no other organization is involved.


".....Usually, DARPA just provided the money and the other organizations manage the projects. Also, DARPA also tends to take credit for others work even though all they did was fund it."


At last. You get it.
 

Byeman

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At last. You get it.

But you don't. It isn't the "COTS" model
Those space projects were either managed by NASA or Air Force groups. So other than another source of funding, DARPA doesn't bring anything to the table. It relies on other government organizations to do the management.
 

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Jeesh that was long. Your history of Darpa is as different from mine as your understanding of engineering. There have been a lot of documentaries on Darpa. Somehow, your narrative doesn't fit any of them.

It was long because it has to be because the situation and history is anything but simple. As you show in a later response you totally miss the point anyway because you seem to think that ARPA/DARPA not being able to do the job they were assigned is somehow a GOOD thing. Lets put it this way, the way ARPA/DARPA actually works had they been given NASA's assingment to get to the Moon in under a decade they would to this day still be doing great work at showing all the neat and various ways we could get to orbit but not actually putting any into operation or use.

SLS is NASA pork. NASA willingly took it. The cost of an SLS launch reflects NASA management practice.

Eh, if I was willing to give you points for being 'close' you'd have some but I'm not because you consistantly miss the 'point' on purpose anyway.

SLS is CONGRESSIONAL pork that it spent through NASA, huge difference

NASA, like any government agency, (including DARPA) "gladly" takes and does the job (nad budget) that it assigned by Congress. No matter what THEY might want or prefer that's not an option they get. That you don't understand this simple fact is pretty telling.

And here's your 'partial' because you are correct in that the overall launch costs are partially reflective of NASA overall managment practices and operations. The same applies to SpaceX and any other firm that uses NASA facilities and/or services which they all do to an extent. Your incorrect that this is a significant addition to the costs of SLS though as that's been determined by the expense of the design, constrution and low-flight rate which are more from Congress than NASA.

You might be interested to know, (as a taxpayer you say) that Congress has made it clear they don't care if SLS EVER flies as that was never the 'point' of the design. Spending taxpayer money in certain districts and to certain companies has always been the main goal and NASA has based the program and design around that requirement. Congress specifically has no interest in "space", the "Moon" or "Mars" and would gladly spend money doing absolutly nothing if they could get away with it. It has never been about HOW the money is spent but the spending of the money itself.

If Starship works, I see no chance of SLS surviving.

That's nice but immaterial since you have no 'say' in how Congress spends taxpayer money. SLS will 'survive' as long as it serves the purpose Congress set forth for it and that includes if it never actually flies at all.

Indeed, I have a proposal:

Indeed you do, the problem is that such a proposal has no incentive for Congress to take it up and every incentive to not do so. You're main problem is that you assume that Congress WANTS to open up space and/or support private companies doing so. They don't. They would have to approve of NASA making such an arrangment and since they historicaly have rejected doing so, (note this is NOT a COTS or CCDEV type proposal either and is likely not even legal under current guidlines, convince Congress it's in their 'interests' of course and that won't matter a bit but I have my doubts you could) it is unlikely that even as a 'taxpayer' you could convince them otherwise. You might do some reading over all the OTHER times such proposals have been made to the PROPER authorites (Congress) and have been rejected.

If Starship succeeds, the political support to leverage it for a massive and yet financially supportable increase in human spaceflight activity will be significant.

Of course the presently silent and invisible mass of "space advocates" being that supposed 'support' I guess? No there's little practical political, financial or public "support' that Starship can tap into nor is it 'significant' in the way you assume. If Starship can prove and maintain a price point of $100 a pound to orbit that's going to cause some ripples but it is unlikley to cause a near-term explosion of demand. And it does little for economics of the Moon and Mars outside very speciific materials (such as Helium 2 and some rare-earths) since it still doesn't bring the costs down to competative with that found on Earth. (The bigger problem is that even with a 'half-full' load of any of those materials being brought back to Earth the price of the goods crashes which means the economics are even worse)

It's great that you as a 'taxpayer' would rather pay Musk $100 rather than NASA $10,000 but as that's not YOUR choice nor do you have a say in the matter, (too bad you can't organize that "significant" politcal and financial group mentioned above eh?) that would be Congress. What you DO have a say and control over is if you would pay $10,000 or $100 per pound to orbit of your own money through standard commercial means. Not that even that matters as YOU can't launch on SLS anyway.

Not to side-track this too much but I don't see either SLS or Starship opening up space for the simple reasons the first is a government only transporation system that is in no way able, (or required) to be cost effective and the second actually offers too much capabilty for the current sitiution which has historically 'crashed' a transportation market with the trasnport going out of business before the market can adjust. That being said I'm rooting for Musk as even if he DOES fail he's made enough changes that the trend is unlikely to be reversed or stopped.

It has nothing to do with SLS however.

Randy
 

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At last. You get it.

But you don't. It isn't the "COTS" model
Those space projects were either managed by NASA or Air Force groups. So other than another source of funding, DARPA doesn't bring anything to the table. It relies on other government organizations to do the management.

Not to get to technical but DARPA isn't actually a 'source' of funding, they get their funding from the DoD and usually the specific branch/organization that is sponsoring the research effort. They may provide the 'seed' concept and proposal but they don't 'fund' anything or, (as you note) organize the project they just provide the researchers, some lab space and possibly coordinate support activivties through the proper DoD organization.

I know he doesn't get it but it's right there in the NAME dang it! "RESEARCH PROJECTS" agency, not 'administration, not organization, certainly not 'mangment.

Randy
 

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.........


We have a choice. The status quo as reflected by SLS or the opportunity to realize a 100 fold cost reduction in launch costs.

To some, that opportunity is worth incentivizing and reward if accomplished. And to others it provokes ridicule.

I see a profound "we know better" attitude not reflected by actual fact or demonstrated by argument. Instead it is the usual shut up and obey attitude typical of bureaucrats (regardless of whether you are or not).

In the end, I will bet that a successful flight of Starship will outweigh the strenuous objections posted by those with strange hostility to inspiring efforts. I will also bet that individuals risking their own money and personal reputations have a far better chance where NASA and bureaucracy have failed.
 

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Not to get to technical but DARPA isn't actually a 'source' of funding, they get their funding from the DoD and usually the specific branch/organization that is sponsoring the research effort. They may provide the 'seed' concept and proposal but they don't 'fund' anything or, (as you note) organize the project they just provide the researchers, some lab space and possibly coordinate support activivties through the proper DoD organization.

I know he doesn't get it but it's right there in the NAME dang it! "RESEARCH PROJECTS" agency, not 'administration, not organization, certainly not 'mangment.

Randy


I can't say anything specific but I have actually worked on DARPA projects (on the contractor side).

What you say versus how the project was run and funded have no overlap.
 

Byeman

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I can't say anything specific but I have actually worked on DARPA projects (on the contractor side).
What you say versus how the project was run and funded have no overlap.

Meaningless if it is not a space project
 
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