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NASA needs a rocket BIGGER than CaLV for its future missions

Posted by: gaetanomarano - Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:56 pm
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NASA needs a rocket BIGGER than CaLV for its future missions 
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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:32 am
campbelp2002 wrote:
But they should not plan to build the big rocket until they plan to build the big payload.


we are now in "year one" of VSE

they have 15+ years to "plan" and build everything they want

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:39 am
Andy Hill wrote:
...there is no need for one at present and if a need arises then NASA will probably modify the design accordingly. As you have said they have 15 years of development and even a couple of points improvement on the Isp of the engines... applying economic argument to NASA...


to-day NASA don't needs nothing but a Shuttle that fly without crash...

the BIG rocket is not a "to-day need" (of course) but a "2020-up need"

the BIG-CaLV needs the same R&D funds and the same shuttle-derived hardware of the small version, then, NASA don't needs to change so much to build the BIG rocket... NO change in NASA economics, policy, contractors, strategy, etc.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:45 am
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
The Congress wouldn't agree to fund larger rockets unless there is reasonable information about the concrete purposes and wha these purposes can't be achieved by other rockets/vehicles...


again... I don't see where is the problem

the US Congress decides the VSE funds ($125B) and the target (moon) but NOT the details to accomplish the mission with the given funds

the choice of rockets, engines, weights, technologies, mission architecture, payloads, etc. will be 100% a NASA matter!

then, if they think that a BIG-CaLV is better, they CAN DO IT

however, also if Congress want to decide more about the rocket, NASA can (simply) explain the BIG advantages of the BIG rocket to have a 100% Congress support!

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:05 pm
Hello, gaetanomarano,

you are arguing that
Quote:
the US Congress decides the VSE funds ($125B) and the target (moon) but NOT the details to accomplish the mission with the given funds
.

This is an error - the Congress doesn't and mustn't decide the VSE funds of $ 125 bio.

The $ 125 bio is nothing but a projection of costs or/and investments done by NASA. This projection might and should be changed year by year because of experiences, new insights, new situations evolving and so on. Changes year by year simply mean updates in principle.

So the $ 125 bio never can be VSE funds - and never will be such funds. The projection covers more than ten years - but the US Congress can decide the funds of one year only and has to decide each year again. There is no way out of this because the constitution forces this.

The consequence is that the Congress can fund the actual requirements only - the requirements of the work-flow of that year it has to decide the budget for.

From this it follows that the Congress decides about funds for the details. The representatives are responsible to their voters or electors and are forced to have concrete good arguments if the electors or voters inquire them why they agreed to NASA's funds - and so the representatives want informations about reasons, purposes and requirements from NASA.

This all necessaryly links the Congress decision to the concrete details like rockets, weights etc. The articles under www.space.com explicitly report about these links sometimes.

The target is decided by the government - President Kennedy did so and now President Bush does so.

What NASA decides is a plan, a schedule - but the Congress decides if it funds the particular yearly to be done details of the plan, the schedule. If it refuses or if it refuses the amounts called for then NASA has to modify and to rearrange the funds given and to some degree also has to ask the Congress for permission (because of the constittion and the laws) - and if lucky this enables the plan/schedule to go on while if unlucky the plan is necessaryly canceled or broken then.

So in last consequence the Congress has the finally decision regarding the year the budget is to be decided for - may be that only delays occur. Delays simply shift the retrun to the Moon from 2018 to another year - two years later, 5 years later, 10 years later...

NASA has no own money - it allways gets it from the Congress and so the Congress rules NASA and its plans. No way out.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:49 pm
gaetanomarano: Do us a favor, and try to keep multiple posts to a minimum. It makes things much easier to read and understand when there's only one post instead of three of yours in a row. You can quote multiple in a post; it doesn't take any more work than the colorizing you do.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:24 pm
spacecowboy wrote:
gaetanomarano: Do us a favor, and try to keep multiple posts to a minimum. It makes things much easier to read and understand when there's only one post instead of three of yours in a row. You can quote multiple in a post; it doesn't take any more work than the colorizing you do.


I never spilt a reply to many posts, I only write a reply to a single post of a single user

also, I try to post brief replies to avoid the thread become too long

write many replies in a single post needs more time, cut & paste, etc.

(and, about long posts... you've a signature that is three times long your post... why don't write it horizontal instead of vertical?)

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:35 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
...The $ 125 bio is nothing but a projection of costs or/and investments done by NASA. This projection might and should be changed year by year because of experiences, new insights, new situations evolving and so on. Changes year by year simply mean updates in principle...


I know that NASA don't receive a $125B gift next Christmas...

but I think the total VSE funds spent in 2020 will exceed that figure (and, I've read, many agree with me)

however, NASA don't needs extra funds to design a BIG-CaLV but only a few extra funds to build it from 2020

and (again) I think US Congress may give that extra funds if NASA explains the advantages of bigger vehicles and the fact that they will use the same hardware/contractors/political districts of the small CaLV

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:46 pm
That NASA can plan such a big vehicle/rocket is correct - but it's useless and waste of time if it is done today if and since they wouldn't get the money from the Congress to build it. So NASA will concetrate on planning things they will get the money fro from the Congress.

NASA will NOT plan anything required from 2020 because that's afuture 14 years away - it may be possible that that time the possibilities have changed completely regardless if it being the financial situation, access to ressources of space or anything else.

The excess of VSE funds over the figure I am suspecting also - given the prospect from now, end of June 2006. But this might change beginning in 2008. That time the first COTS vehicle may be available and the flight costs of that vehicle may reduce the financial requirements significantly and it also might change the Congress' willingness to agree to the current level of funds NASA needs.



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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:01 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
...but it's useless and waste of time if it is done today if and since they wouldn't get the money from the Congress to build it...


it needs the same time and R&D costs

and the final price of a BIG-CaLV unit will be not twice or 50% or 30% more than a small-CaLV but only $100M of extra engines, $200M per year (with the planned two missions per year) that mean only 1.5% of the STANDARD annual NASA budget... probably, NASA spends more (every year) for pencils and toilets-paper.......

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:21 pm
During the time of a decade or more ways and possibilities may evolve which may allow to avoid bigger CaLVs. SpaceDev or another company already worked out at least one possibility. In that case the $ 100 mio to $ 200 mio already may be too much and the Congress may refuse such funds.

Because of this numbers of the VSE that are future numbers mustn't be applied as if it is sure that they become reality - the farther they are in the future the less the likelyhood that they will become real numbers. This is the reason why the numbers will be update from time to tiem.

Even the excess your are suspecting - which you are correct in - is far from being assured. Today simply nothing is known that will avoid that excess for sure - but this may change and there may be a future update ruling out the excess. This is an essential and important reasons not to call for future bigger vehicles today - today only vehicles for today'S requirements reasonably can be called for. What's reasonable in the future seen from today probably will differ from what's reasonable when the future becomes presence.

There is a nearly non-illustratable difference involved here - the difference between projections, forecasts, plans and guaranteed facts of the future like the position of the Mars within the solar system 28th of June 2020. The VSE is a projection - a projection is weaker than a forecast. A plan is no forecast but a concrete intention. A schedule has to do with work-flow.

The bigger rockets you are calling for depend on the projection called VSE and so on something relatively weak - meaning a high risk and a highe probability of not being required when the future becomes reality. In so far their requirement is virtual but not real...



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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:35 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
...avoid bigger CaLVs. SpaceDev or another company already worked out...


NASA and VSE funds are the REALITY

SpaceDev, SpaceX, Virgin, COTS, etc. are only DREAMS or HOPE

a big plan of a big space agency of a big country CAN'T found its future on "hope" or "dreams"

NASA must found its plan on its own (small or big) vehicles/rockets, then, IF and WHEN some alternative will (REALLY) happen (and works) NASA will evaluate and use them

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:59 pm
gaetanomarano wrote:
VSE funds are the REALITY
Only the first year of funds are a reality.
gaetanomarano wrote:
SpaceDev, SpaceX, Virgin, COTS, etc. are only DREAMS or HOPE
SpaceX is a reality. Their rocket has been built and has been launched. Ok, it didn't go far, but no VSE hardware has even been built much less launched.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:35 pm
campbelp2002 wrote:
gaetanomarano wrote:
VSE funds are the REALITY
Only the first year of funds are a reality.
gaetanomarano wrote:
SpaceDev, SpaceX, Virgin, COTS, etc. are only DREAMS or HOPE
SpaceX is a reality. Their rocket has been built and has been launched. Ok, it didn't go far, but no VSE hardware has even been built much less launched.


I agree with you on both points (now) but... while the US government may have all the funds for the VSE (if they want, of course) SpaceX must have its first succesful launch, then, more launches, then, the R&D funds to build bigger rockets, then, some successful launches of its HLV, then, the R&D funds and technologies to build a reliable orbital cargo-vehicle, then, test it, then, launch some successful cargoX with successful rendezvous/dockings/transfer, then (maybe) some of its cargoX launches will be bought by NASA...

this may become a successful story, but it needs time and money to happen... now it's only an hope

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:14 am
Hello, gaetanomarano,

fund are a reality only when those who need and want the funds have the funds under their own control - the funds must have given to them.

That is the criterion by which to determine if the VSE funds are reality. NASA's present budget is far below the $ 125 bio per year - it is below $ 25 bio if I remember correct. And the budget NASA has is spread over several taks and projects which menas that even the VSE-oriented funds per year are below NASA's total budget.

As the name says the VSE is a Vision - a vision is no project and no mission. A vision is an imagination about something - about the future of Space Exploration in case of the VSE. Such an imagination provides orientation for someone doings etc.. So NASA will or might direct its doings along the VSE - but the VSE itself is no reality but a vision as the term itself expresses.

The Congress also knows that vision and has got an idea this way what claims may be to be expected regarding future budgets. This might help the Congress to incorporate the future into its policy and to anticipate the future - and - most imporatnt - to shape that future itself. Thus there is a non-neclegible likelihood that the future will look different to the VSE -which again means that the VSE is a vision only while reality and the funds for the reality will more look like the compromise between Congress, NASA and government.

What seems to be becoming reality at present is the Earth Departure Stage, the lander, the CEV, the CaLV and the CLV. More is impossible yet - yet the knowledge about lunar water- or hydrogen-ressources is far to small, no protection equipment against particles is available etc.

The reality of other equipments is approaching only - privately developed vehicles to fly from one lunar location to another, mining lunar oxygen etc.

The weights aren't known yet, the location of the lunar station hasn't been decided on yet and so on.

This means that even the the required amount of dollars is still unknown and the weights can't be known at present. And so nothing can't be said about the required capacity of vehicles and rockets at present.

For the already known requirements the 125 mT-CaLV is sufficient - the extra 75 mT aren't required for the return to the Moon in 2018.



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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:37 pm
Ekkehard Augustin wrote:
...the name says the VSE is a Vision - a vision is no project and no mission...


after announcing the VSE, I don't think the US Congress will give only "the Vision" to NASA without the money... they risk to get ridiculous...

the 125 mT may accomplish the mission as planned

the BIG rocket is only a BIG OPPORTUNITY to have results' rich missions without spend big amounts of money

it's only a NASA choice

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