NASA Space Launch System (SLS)

Archibald

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At NASAspaceflight I was so baffled by the present Artemis HLS architecture (SLS + Orion + Lunar Starship) I suggested an alternate, more logical architecture preserving the statu quo, since Congress holds NASA purse and is self-obsessed with SD-HLV (= SLS) since 2010.

I suggested (half jokingly, TBH) to use SLS as a backup methalox tanker for LEO Starships, bound for Moon or Mars. Since they will need 4 to 14 tanking flights per BLEO mission; and since SLS at 70 mt to 130 mt has payload comparable to BFR-Starship.

The bottom line: so you created that goddam SLS at insane expense, over 12 years ?
But the flight manifest only has 5 Artemis moonshots until 2030 ?
Needs more flights to build more SLS and thus drop costs through larger production run ?

Well, now I have a crapton of SLS flight opportunities: backup methalox tanker flights for Starship bounds to Moon or Mars.

What I discovered is that SLS has a production & flight rate of two per year, at a cost of $2.5 billion a launch.

This mean that production and flight rates can't even been ramped up to 4, 6, or 8 flight per year even if some kind of "silver bullet payloads" were magically found. For example, the LC-39 launch pad (now single: SpaceX loaned the other) can't sustain higher flight rates.

Even throwing shitloads of billions of dollars at NASA, Artemis or SLS couldn't change that.

End result: flight a lot or fly few or fly none - SLS remains a very bad deal whatever happens.

Another alternate use of SLS would be: fly Mars Direct, you dummy. From 1991 to 2011 all it lacked was a SD-HLV. Now the said SD-HLV exists, called SLS.
And yet nobody is thinking to use if to make Mars Direct happens... at least !

In passing, that SLS-vs-Starship race reminds me of that novel...

We are presently leaving through a ripoff of it. I mean: really.
 
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publiusr

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David Christensen once suggested two RD-180s as a kerolox..IIRC. I want hydrolox for wet workshops and NTRs. If Starship does work-the last SLS should be Block 2 with an NTR upper stage and NEP Interstellar Precursor.
 

Tuna

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There doesn't seem to be any announcements of a test firing, just of a Super Heavy launch in the near future.

Their current environmental permits do not seem to allow 33-engine tests, so there won't be any until their new permits get approved. Once that happens, I imagine they will at least do a few static fires, their launch mount has the hold-downs to support that.
 

Archibald

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So will the SLS. For all it flaws and expenses, when it will flew at least it will make one hell of a light and sound show. And even more if it explodes.
 

FighterJock

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jeffb

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Better being safe than sorry Jeffb. I would hate anything to go catastrophically wrong with the SLS during the Wet Dress Rehearsal especially when it is Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen that we are dealing with, we do not want Artemis 1 exploding on the launch pad and potentially killing people.
Very true, it's just...are we ever going to get there?
 

TomS

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Better not be...err
I hope not because if so that is a disgraceful act of vandalism and whoever ordered it should be dismissed and if possible prosecuted (Definitely should be doxxed).

This is NASA surplus property that they decided to dispose of. They have been trying to find a museum to take it (free, but ~$250,000 for transportation) for at least 3 years. Apparently no takers. I see one report in 2019 that a museum was lined up but it seems to have fallen through.

It's not unique -- there are other Saturn 1 booster stages on display around the country.

"He who defends everything, defends nothing."
 

sferrin

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Better being safe than sorry Jeffb. I would hate anything to go catastrophically wrong with the SLS during the Wet Dress Rehearsal especially when it is Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen that we are dealing with, we do not want Artemis 1 exploding on the launch pad and potentially killing people.
Might be the best thing all around. (Not deaths, obviously.) Maybe they'd cancel it then.
 

jeffb

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Better being safe than sorry Jeffb. I would hate anything to go catastrophically wrong with the SLS during the Wet Dress Rehearsal especially when it is Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen that we are dealing with, we do not want Artemis 1 exploding on the launch pad and potentially killing people.
Might be the best thing all around. (Not deaths, obviously.) Maybe they'd cancel it then.

I know there's a plan to use SLS to build future space infrastructure but I honestly wonder if it won't go the way of Buran, flown once and then the equivalent of being put in a shed.
 

NMaude

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but I honestly wonder if it won't go the way of Buran, flown once and then the equivalent of being put in a shed.
While possible it's doubtful, the reason that the Burn only flew once is that by the time it flew the Soviet Union was in serious economic decline so they didn't have the money for a second flight.
 

FighterJock

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but I honestly wonder if it won't go the way of Buran, flown once and then the equivalent of being put in a shed.
While possible it's doubtful, the reason that the Burn only flew once is that by the time it flew the Soviet Union was in serious economic decline so they didn't have the money for a second flight.

Was the second Buran flight supposed to have been a fully manned flight before the Soviet Union collapsed?
 

NMaude

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Was the second Buran flight supposed to have been a fully manned flight before the Soviet Union collapsed?
I don't know but since it had a successful flight IMO a second flight would've had a crew onboard.
 

jeffb

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Was the second Buran flight supposed to have been a fully manned flight before the Soviet Union collapsed?
I don't know but since it had a successful flight IMO a second flight would've had a crew onboard.
No, it was planned to have an extended 15-20 day autonomous mission sometime before1993 but the Soviet collapse came first.
 

Dilandu

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It now appears that the wet dress rehearsal will now take place on Tuesday April the 12 for call to stations and the tanking on Thursday April 14, I hope that this time it goes ahead as planned.

Make your bets, would it be a -

A - another cancellation

B - sucsessful flight

C - impressive fireball?
 

Michel Van

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According rumors on Twitter
it seems that Valve problem is more serious
and could delay the launch of SLS to 2023.

i hope those are rumors
 

FighterJock

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According rumors on Twitter
it seems that Valve problem is more serious
and could delay the launch of SLS to 2023.

i hope those are rumors

Let's hope so Michel Van, if it was true it could potentially delay the return to the Moon towards 2025.
 

Archibald

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Valve(s) again ? on a Boeing product (SLS core) just like Starliner ?

There is something very wrong between Boeing and valves. And damn, SLS didn't need that.
Meanwhile, Booster 7 and Starship 24...
 

FighterJock

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There is something very wrong between Boeing and valves. And damn, SLS didn't need that.

I know Archibald, I don't like it when things go wrong with Boeing products look at the KC-46 tanker for example. They better get the valves sorted quickly if they are going to meet the deadline of 2023 for the return to the Moon.
 

FighterJock

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sferrin

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According rumors on Twitter
it seems that Valve problem is more serious
and could delay the launch of SLS to 2023.

i hope those are rumors

Let's hope so Michel Van, if it was true it could potentially delay the return to the Moon towards
Not to mention Starship.

Does that mean that Starship also uses Boeing valves as well sferrin?
No. Doubtful they'll let Starship fly before SLS. (Strictly my opinion.)
 
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