Orbital Sciences COTS update?

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Skyskimmer

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mj1":2nfl6jxl said:
docm":2nfl6jxl said:
Orbital PDF....

First stage static fire: Q2 2011
Test flight Taurus II: Q3 2011
Cygnus COTS Demo: Q4 2011
Cygnus CRS1 flight: Q1 2012

Lots of room in there for slippage, not to mention their last attempt with automated docking (DART) didn't go that well.
TY for the info Docm. Let's hope they can meet this schedule, though I'd bet money that they don't. The whole thing looks shaky, rushed, and overly aggresive to me. Also, why does Orbital only need to do one COTS demo launch and the flight proven SpaceX Falcon 9 has to do three? It seems to me that with subcontractors and all, there is much more room for error with these guys than with SpaceX. The thing that you also have to like about SpaceX is that they TOOK THEIR TIME, made sure they got it right, and had contingencies in place for when they did not.
One thing that can't be done in rockertry if you wanna get things done cheap is rush things. Costly mistakes get maid, innovations don't, you need a smooth plan that gives the proper amount of time to develop each part right. This is why I laugh when people talk about spacex being behind scedhule. Your doing things for a greatly reduced rate you can't just waste money on a project by throwing more people at it.
 
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pathfinder_01

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mj1":da779r54 said:
docm":da779r54 said:
Orbital PDF....

First stage static fire: Q2 2011
Test flight Taurus II: Q3 2011
Cygnus COTS Demo: Q4 2011
Cygnus CRS1 flight: Q1 2012

Lots of room in there for slippage, not to mention their last attempt with automated docking (DART) didn't go that well.
TY for the info Docm. Let's hope they can meet this schedule, though I'd bet money that they don't. The whole thing looks shaky, rushed, and overly aggresive to me. Also, why does Orbital only need to do one COTS demo launch and the flight proven SpaceX Falcon 9 has to do three? It seems to me that with subcontractors and all, there is much more room for error with these guys than with SpaceX. The thing that you also have to like about SpaceX is that they TOOK THEIR TIME, made sure they got it right, and had contingencies in place for when they did not.

Other way around. Orbital is more experienced than Space x in terms of payloads. Space X signed on to three test flights while Orbital did not (i.e. their first flight will be the only test flight.). Musk has complained about this unequal requirement and so depending on how well the upcoming flight goes Space X cots demo 2 and 3 may be combined(i.e. Space X’s 2nd flight will both approach and dock with the station).
 
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Skyskimmer

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Good to know, is Orbsci set up to be cost competitive or are they just relying on their experience to get contracts. As experience is a double edge sword on the one hand you know how to get things done, on the other it's harder to get things done at appropiate cost.
 
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mj1

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pathfinder_01":6chvi8hh said:
mj1":6chvi8hh said:
docm":6chvi8hh said:
Orbital PDF....

First stage static fire: Q2 2011
Test flight Taurus II: Q3 2011
Cygnus COTS Demo: Q4 2011
Cygnus CRS1 flight: Q1 2012

Lots of room in there for slippage, not to mention their last attempt with automated docking (DART) didn't go that well.
TY for the info Docm. Let's hope they can meet this schedule, though I'd bet money that they don't. The whole thing looks shaky, rushed, and overly aggresive to me. Also, why does Orbital only need to do one COTS demo launch and the flight proven SpaceX Falcon 9 has to do three? It seems to me that with subcontractors and all, there is much more room for error with these guys than with SpaceX. The thing that you also have to like about SpaceX is that they TOOK THEIR TIME, made sure they got it right, and had contingencies in place for when they did not.

Other way around. Orbital is more experienced than Space x in terms of payloads. Space X signed on to three test flights while Orbital did not (i.e. their first flight will be the only test flight.). Musk has complained about this unequal requirement and so depending on how well the upcoming flight goes Space X cots demo 2 and 3 may be combined(i.e. Space X’s 2nd flight will both approach and dock with the station).
Dude, it looks to me from where I see things that SpaceX is the one with all the experience. THEY built a real rocket. THEY launched a real rocket. THEY have a cargo capsule ready to roll out to a launchpad (which THEY also built, BTW). And, they have the next launch and the next launch and so on already in the pipeline. Orbital may have experience in whatever it is they do, but we all saw how smoothly SpaceX handled their own launch and how deliberate they are being with every step of the COTS program. Training NASA astronauts to service the Dragon, installing and testing Dragon docking telemetry on the ISS, and integrating with NASA to move forward with ISS servicing. We have seen none of this from Orbital. How the hell are they going to be ready by Q1 2012? No effin way, unless a WHOLE lot happens between then and now. In addition, from what we are seeing from Orbital so far, no way one test flight should be enough. Especially with all of the subcontractor hands in their proposed rocket. If SpaceX gets to combine COTS demo 2/3, it will be because they PROVED that it is safe to do so. Orbital should also be required to show what they can do also. No private company has EVER done this, so there is no such thing as experience right now.
 
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pathfinder_01

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mj1":34y0dsmm said:
Dude, it looks to me from where I see things that SpaceX is the one with all the experience. THEY built a real rocket. THEY launched a real rocket. THEY have a cargo capsule ready to roll out to a launchpad (which THEY also built, BTW). And, they have the next launch and the next launch and so on already in the pipeline. Orbital may have experience in whatever it is they do, but we all saw how smoothly SpaceX handled their own launch and how deliberate they are being with every step of the COTS program. Training NASA astronauts to service the Dragon, installing and testing Dragon docking telemetry on the ISS, and integrating with NASA to move forward with ISS servicing. We have seen none of this from Orbital. How the hell are they going to be ready by Q1 2012? No effin way, unless a WHOLE lot happens between then and now. In addition, from what we are seeing from Orbital so far, no way one test flight should be enough. Especially with all of the subcontractor hands in their proposed rocket. If SpaceX gets to combine COTS demo 2/3, it will be because they PROVED that it is safe to do so. Orbital should also be required to show what they can do also. No private company has EVER done this, so there is no such thing as experience right now.
Orbital builds and launches the Pegasus, Minotaur, and Taurus rockets. They are currently building the Taurus II for the COTS contract. They have also built payloads. Orbital got the contract 1 year after Space X and I suspect Space X was doing work on Falcon and Dragon long before COTS was announced. Another slow down is if they get more money, they plan to test the Taurus II alone rather than as the first COTS flight.

I think Cygnus is going to use HTV's equipment for approaching the ISS so there might not be anyhing more to install at the ISS. Training will probably start next year since they are not expecting the first flight till 2012.

Check out :http://www.orbital.com/CargoResupplyServices/index.shtml
 
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stevekk

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mj1":2zx0x3ca said:
docm":2zx0x3ca said:
Orbital PDF....

First stage static fire: Q2 2011
Test flight Taurus II: Q3 2011
Cygnus COTS Demo: Q4 2011
Cygnus CRS1 flight: Q1 2012

Lots of room in there for slippage, not to mention their last attempt with automated docking (DART) didn't go that well.
TY for the info Docm. Let's hope they can meet this schedule, though I'd bet money that they don't. The whole thing looks shaky, rushed, and overly aggresive to me. Also, why does Orbital only need to do one COTS demo launch and the flight proven SpaceX Falcon 9 has to do three? It seems to me that with subcontractors and all, there is much more room for error with these guys than with SpaceX. The thing that you also have to like about SpaceX is that they TOOK THEIR TIME, made sure they got it right, and had contingencies in place for when they did not.
Orbital has been doing a fairly honest job of updating the GANNT chart on their website that shows their progress on the COTS contract. These are fairly new dates, and already reflect about a 6 month delay from their original schedule. Since there already has been some slippage, I don't anticipate that first CRS1 flight beling delayed more than 1 additional quarter. It does look like a significant number of modules are starting to arrive in VA for that first flight.
 
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