Ares-1-X: failed load test?

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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">One could expect some failures on any major LV development program.</font>/i><br /><br />But the problem is that this was <b><i><font color="yellow">not</font>/i></i></b> supposed to be a major development effort.</i>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">I think you will like the concept proposed by a few guys over at NSF website called the DIRECT</font>/i><br /><br />My concern is that NASA will have too much ego invested in its current approach to admit failure and adopt someone else's approach. They will keep tweaking their approach, downsizing capability, and pushing back schedules and increasing budgets until they can claim victory.</i>
 
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docm

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That about sums it up.<br /><br />Meanwhile down in the trenches I'd be willing to bet there is a large sentiment in favor of Direct. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>But the problem is that this was not supposed to be a major development effort.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Murphy's Law reigns supreme. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>At this point it looks far less expensive for NASA to use the Delta IV (or the Atlas V, if congress can be made to buy Russian engines, but I doubt it). The beauty of the Delta IV is not only that it is NOW available without the enormous expense of a learning curve for NASA, and already basically paid for by the American taxpayer when the EELV was developed by the Air Force (at FAR less cost for the ENTIRE vehicle than NASA proposes for just the propulsion units!).<br /><p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />I'm tending to agree with you. Plus weight would be less of an issue with Delta IV being a more powerful lifter than Ares I. <br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I am relatively infuriated<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Very interesting statement. Restraint intended but anger never the less. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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dragon04

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<font color="yellow">Otherwise whether or not the next president and congress is a democrat one or a Republican one: CONGRESS WILL CUT OFF ALL FUNDING TO NASA IF THEY THINK NASA IS SPENDING TOO MUCH ON THESE PROGRAMS!!!!!!!</font><br /><br />I share your concerns, and for some of the reasons you stated in your post. I think yours is a very valid concern.<br /><br />I'm a far more "casual" manned space enthusiast than most of you folks who have either worked in the aerospace industry, or have a strong educational background or inclinations.<br /><br />IOW, I think I'm closer to the perception that "the Average Joe" has for manned spaceflight in general. The Public (that even cares enough to <b>loosely</b> follow the Constellation Program will be turned off by all these problems, delays, and bureaucracy.<br /><br />Personally, but admittedly from a layperson's perspective, it's hard to accept so much money, time, and resources being spent to "reinvent the wheel" especially considering that SpaceX is moving along with their Falcon 9 launch vehicles.<br /><br />I should think that by the time that NASA contractors produce the operational version of the CEV and Lunar Lander, the Falcons will be ready to fly.<br /><br />Obviously, that's neither a short nor easy road, but if I were in charge of NASA, I don't know that I could abide by spending money, time, and resources on what's turning out to be a very large White Elephant, meaning the Ares Program.<br /><br />I think that NASA would be better served by encouraging and aiding SpaceX in bringing the Falcon 9 to the launch pad from a financial standpoint if nothing else.<br /><br /><br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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nuaetius

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The question really is, if tomorrow they decided that the "stick" approach is not viable because it vibrates like a piano string, snaps in half on the pad, and even if you coated the astronauts in foam rubber and duck taped it together it would not reach the 350k height designated as the new ISS orbit with more than a bulimic Russian with a bottle of cheap vodka. ATK has a cost + contract signed to develop this bassolope. So now we are stuck with its development costs at least through the 2008 fiscal year. <br /><br />As far as NASA figuring out that it is barking up the wrong tree and changing direction to a DIRECT or EELV approach, it isn’t gonna happen. The Shuttle was not supposed to have foam on the tank, hundred of individual heat tiles that must be individually inspected, a fight rate of twice a year, or the most complicated pump ever created by man, but unfortunately NASA has never figured out how to build within it’s post Apollo budget. I firmly believe that NASA will spend what ever it takes to make the stick working, no matter how little sense it makes, until they have their flying death trap completed and declare mission accomplished.<br />
 
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dragon04

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<b>IF</b> SpaceX can prove the Falcon 9 to be a reliable, man-rated launch vehicle within the next 3 or so years, it will be difficult to convince me <b>why</b> NASA is throwing tens of billions of dollars at Ares.<br /><br />That's why I suggest NASA developing a posture of developing all the other aspects of the Constellation Program first. I know that probably sounds "backwards" and counterintuitive, but if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.............. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <em>"2012.. Year of the Dragon!! Get on the Dragon Wagon!".</em> </div>
 
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vulture2

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The Ares can be made to fly with enough testing, but not at a cost that will make it feasible to establish a base on the moon. <br />
 
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Swampcat

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<font color="yellow">"I think that NASA would be better served by encouraging and aiding SpaceX in bringing the Falcon 9 to the launch pad from a financial standpoint if nothing else."</font><br /><br />SpaceX would be a good choice to get more support from NASA as they seem to be pretty far along, but it wouldn't hurt to encourage (IOW, throw some money at) others, like maybe LockMart, and let private enterprise handle space transportation...at least to LEO for starters.<br /><br />As much as I would like to see SpaceX succeed, let's face it, LockMart (through ULA) already has a vehicle and a design for a crewed spacecraft. They just might need some extra incentive to build it. My guess (and it's just a guess) is that LockMart could probably get something working faster than SpaceX with the proper motivation. It will likely cost more than a SpaceX product, but that's another story. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="3" color="#ff9900"><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>------------------------------------------------------------------- </em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong><em>"I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government."</em></strong></font></p><p><font size="1" color="#993300"><strong>Thomas Jefferson</strong></font></p></font> </div>
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>So, should we wish for the worst and wish Obama or anybody else elected will cut funding for this? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />If the future president will tend to want to cut the space program, the recourse we have is to knead and work Congressmen/women (is it Congresspeeps now?). <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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nuaetius

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>If the future president will tend to want to cut the space program, the recourse we have is to knead and work Congressmen/women (is it Congresspeeps now?).<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />The problem is that NASA is under the Executive branch. If the President is not gung ho for NASA, it doesn’t matter what Congress thinks. Only when Congress, Senate, and Executive all agree on NASA funding do any real moneys get sent their way.<br /><br />It’s really sort of funny that Kennedy was gung ho for space and fought from the bully pulpit for it and got the Apollo and Gemini projects. Nixon was luke warm on space and got us the Space Shuttle, and now Bush is basically dismissive of space (he is too busy with the war and scandal) and we are going to get Ares. Von Braun and Kennedy would ready to shot someone at this point.<br />
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>The problem is that NASA is under the Executive branch. If the President is not gung ho for NASA, it doesn’t matter what Congress thinks.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Well, this may be of little consolation. But no president yet has cut back the space program initiated by a previous president. I would think it would be a bad political move for a president to do so.<br /><br />Anyway, Congress holds the purse. <br /><br />But I suspect that space lobbying groups could play an important role in keeping NASA moneys coming. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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thereiwas

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NASA getting money does not seem to be the problem. How they choose to spend that money (Ares, etc) is the problem. Congress's demand for pork is ruining the entire program. If <i>that</i> can not be fixed, then I would be all for scrapping it.
 
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nuaetius

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p> NASA getting money does not seem to be the problem. How they choose to spend that money (Ares, etc) is the problem. Congress's demand for pork is ruining the entire program. If that can not be fixed, then I would be all for scrapping it.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Remember NASA has never been anything but a giant “pork†machine. If the 16th amendment didn’t exist, NASA wouldn’t exist (Outside of Military issues).<br />
 
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vulture2

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>>Remember NASA has never been anything but a giant “pork†machine. <br /><br />To say "never" may overstate the case. Although the name "NASA" is recent, NASA as an organization was founded in 1917, only 14 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight. From then until the beginning of the moon race every study undertaken by NACA, as it was then called, was intended to be of practical value to aviation, and NACA advances produced savings to aviation that more than paid for its entire budget. More recently NASA has had valuable programs in aeronautics, environmental observation, and astronomical research, although the first two have been seriously limited in recent years. <br /><br />We live in a democracy. If we as the space enthusiast community want to see NASA supported, it is incumbent on us to persuade the public to support it. If we believe NASA is on the wrong course, it is our duty to make this plain to both our political leaders and those of NASA. How we can do so in a way that might actually influence events is a more difficult question; perhaps we can persuade some of the people running for president that NASA is on the wrong course.
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">IF SpaceX can prove the Falcon 9 to be a reliable, man-rated launch vehicle within the next 3 or so years, it will be difficult to convince me why NASA is throwing tens of billions of dollars at Ares.</font>/i><br /><br />I wonder if there is a risk to NASA's funding level if SpaceX succeeds at a much lower cost to tax payers than Ares I. SpaceX success may call into question NASA's overall competence to deliver on manned space programs.</i>
 
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kyle_baron

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<font color="yellow"><br />The problem is that NASA is under the Executive branch. If the President is not gung ho for NASA, it doesn’t matter what Congress thinks.</font><br /><br />I thought the vice president (politically) ran NASA. This is from a movie I saw (Space Cowboys). NOTE: I could be wrong on this point. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="4"><strong></strong></font></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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propforce:<br />As far as issuing requirements go, pardon me if I sound condescending since I don't know your background, it was compiled as result of these "studies" -- again, most likely with significant input from contractors since they most likely performed the detail studies and submit results to NASA.<br /><br />Me:<br />Using the shuttle as an example...NASA requirements were for a shuttle with a 20,000 lb to LEO capability. The USAF wanted a 65,000 lb LEO capability. The AF requirement won out. these requirements are decided upon before contract selection. If NASA left the total design and manufacturing to contractors, considering contractors do get lucrative contracts that some say are ripping the taxpayers off, imagine if contractors decided for NASA, what NASA needed. If this were the case, we would not need NASA.<br /><br />To cite another example. OI once had a similar discussion with an engineer I knew over Shuttle "C". I was writing an article and used the phrase "NASA is designing shuttle "C"...to which the engineer balked at the phrase. I had to tell him that I actually used those words which were the exact verbage found in the 1989 NASA shuttle "C" fact sheet.<br /><br />NASA also performs a lot of pre contract award conceptualizing at MSFC. I have a book on the shuttle. Probably the best written. It covered virtually every design aspect that MSFC did regarding shuttle concepts in the pre contract award phase "A" and "B" STS studies.<br /><br />I do agree contractors are heavily involved and the only NASA manufacturing I'm aware of is the folks at JPL and even they rely on contractors to a point. I would also agree that the bulk of expertise does lie with contractors but I would still say NASA does do design work through MSFC in order to establish concepts and I'm sure contractors are involved even at that stage because they are after all, competing for contracts and have to show why they should be awarded those lucrative contracts.<br /><br />I can think of t <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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vulture2:<br />We live in a democracy. If we as the space enthusiast community want to see NASA supported, it is incumbent on us to persuade the public to support it. If we believe NASA is on the wrong course, it is our duty to make this plain to both our political leaders and those of NASA.<br /><br />Me:<br />On this I agree but from what I have seen here...the first task is to get folks here at SDC to be on the same page. When you have folks who see NASA as a giant pork machine...its hard to get support when the space community itself is this divided. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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nuaetius:<br />Remember NASA has never been anything but a giant “pork†machine. If the 16th amendment didn’t exist, NASA wouldn’t exist (Outside of Military issues).<br /><br />Me:<br />The 16th Amendment was around long before NASA. NASA exists because of the Eisenhower Administrations belief that there should be a separate civilian space agency which seems to me to contradict the idea NASA wouldn't exist outside of military issues. For a government agency and despite the fact that NASA has from time to time, wasted money...NASA has provided more bang for the buck than any other agency in gov except possibly DOD. And DOD is a lot more bucks...and bang.<br /><br />I'd rather see $17B dollars annually go to NASA than $100 plus B dollars go to the fiasco in Iraq or $250 plus B dollars or more go to yet another year of deficit spending. And before you say Iraq and deficits are separate issues...their budgets/deficits come from the same group of taxpayers. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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docm

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Your deficit numbers are off.<br /><br />On December 3, Bloomberg financial news service said a growing number of strategists are saying the stage is being set for a U.S. dollar rally in 2008. They've noted the simultaneous narrowing of the U.S. budget and trade deficits for the first time since 1995. Morgan Stanley recently supported the idea in an interview with them;<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><b><font color="yellow">Stephen Jen, the London-based head of currency research at Morgan Stanley, told Bloomberg, “I am confident that the dollar will have a significant rally next year, especially against the Euro and the pound… The deficits are shrinking fast.â€</font></b>p><hr /></p></blockquote><br />How much has the federal deficit shrunk? Down from $249b to $162b in less than a year and still dropping like a rock.<br /><br />The reason is that while some parts of the US economy are having problems, notably housing (the faux mortgage mini-crisis) and energy costs, the rest of the economy is going gangbusters increasing tax revenues. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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propforce

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<font color="yellow">Using the shuttle as an example...NASA requirements were for a shuttle with a 20,000 lb to LEO capability. The USAF wanted a 65,000 lb LEO capability. The AF requirement won out. these requirements are decided upon before contract selection. </font><br /><br />qso1,<br /><br />I appreciate your feedback. Your post reflects a well thought out process of your logical thinking. As you can see from your own statement above, defining "requirements", e.g. what you want/ need, is not a simple, nor a straightforward process. Technically, it's an iterative process at best. Everything is a trade off. First question is, is it technically feasible? Can I do it in a single stage reusable vehicle? If not, can I do it in two stages? Can my vehicle survive the reentry heating? WHAT are the reentry heat loads? (this answer alone depends on how heavy the vehicle is and the reentry trajectory --- which sets off a whole set of different analysis, or a whole set of research programs, etc.). Then you have another subset of requirements just on the Shuttle Orbiter TPS alone. How heavy can they be before it gets to be too heavy? How hot do they need to withstand on one side, then on the back side? Can they get wet? What technologies do I need to develop <i>before</i> I can deploy this "concept of operation"? How long will that take? etc.<br /><br />Then there's always the issue of money & politics. As you've stated, NASA think a 20K payload class was adequate for its Space Shuttle program, but in order to get the USAF's support (evidently a must before the Congress would approve its fundings), it has to increase the size of vehicle and thrust of its boosters to handle AF's 65K payload class requirement. <br /><br />So as you can imagine, NASA would need to input from contractors during its each "iteration" of defining requirements. You can't just say, okay we'll do it this way without first finding out if that way can be done or not. Contractors <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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qso1

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When I use a term like $250B dollars plus and I didn't specify the year. Its because I do not have an accurate final figure for deficits since 2003. Using the plus makes it intentionally vague. I know its a deficit and its high.<br /><br />The last final figure for a deficit I have is for 2003 which was posted at $374 billion dollars and if I'd wanted to be extreme, I could have used that figure but I gave the benefit of a doubt and used the $250 plus because the 250 was a figure I'd recently seen but could not confirm.<br /><br />This till does not change the fact that the deficit alone is far higher than NASA annual budgets...lets say the deficit is $170B dollars...that would still be the equivalent of funding ten NASAs. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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shuttle_guy:<br />No, those were concepts. The contractors, not NASA, did the design work.<br /><br />Me:<br />So what pray tell, is the difference? The B-52 bomber was said to have been originally sketched out on the back of an envelope...if you sit down and conceptualize something, you are designing by definition. You are not accidently just somehow coming up with a concept. Detail design is left to contractors, on this I wholeheartedly agree. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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