What If we just used the money from Constellation to buy more launches?

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BrianSlee

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I have heard figures on the order of 250 billion dollars to bring the Ares system on-line.&nbsp; What would be the effect of just taking that money and spending it on the shuttle system or some other existing EELV to put payloads in space. i.e. Why don't we just use the money to increase launches with existing systems? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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nimbus

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You've heard figures of <strong>250 Billion</strong>? &nbsp; <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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BrianSlee

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>You've heard figures of 250 Billion? &nbsp; <br />Posted by nimbus</DIV><br /><br />Just a number&nbsp;I recall for total program costs.&nbsp; Not necessarily accurate.&nbsp; Anyone with better info please correct me ;O) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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nimbus

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Just a number&nbsp;I recall for total program costs.&nbsp; Not necessarily accurate.&nbsp; Anyone with better info please correct me ;O) <br /> Posted by BrianSlee</DIV>I'm nowhere near being a professional on this matter, but it sounds at least one order of magnitude too big! :)<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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DrRocket

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>You've heard figures of 250 Billion? &nbsp; <br />Posted by nimbus</DIV></p><p>That is what, about 15 times the total annual NASA budget ?&nbsp; <br /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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BrianSlee

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I'm nowhere near being a professional on this matter, but it sounds at least one order of magnitude too big! :) <br />Posted by nimbus</DIV><br /><br />Nimbus,</p><p>&nbsp; Pretty close.&nbsp; The info I have come across shows a budget request for 5 to 7 Billion a year but only goes out 3 years.&nbsp; Assuming a steady spend rate through the end of the development cycle to 2018 which is reported in the Multi-Integrated Program Milestones chart that would put it at 50 to 70 billion over the next 10 years.&nbsp; Lets assume the low number and say 50 billion.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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BrianSlee

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As an example Wikpedia reports that the DeltaIV heavy is capable of lifting 25,800 kilos to LEO.&nbsp; How many launches could be purchased for the 50 Billion being spent on Ares?<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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samkent

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If you heard "program cost" that would mean the actual landings on the Moon etc. Would you want to give that up for a few more launchings of the old rattle traps?<BR/><BR/>Myself I would rather have the newer system with the bugs worked out.
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Nimbus,&nbsp; Pretty close.&nbsp; The info I have come across shows a budget request for 5 to 7 Billion a year but only goes out 3 years.&nbsp; Assuming a steady spend rate through the end of the development cycle to 2018 which is reported in the Multi-Integrated Program Milestones chart that would put it at 50 to 70 billion over the next 10 years.&nbsp; Lets assume the low number and say 50 billion. <br /> Posted by BrianSlee</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>That is the Constellation program and not just Ares.&nbsp; That number includes Ares I & %, Orion, LSAM, EVA suits, Experiments, etc </p>
 
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BrianSlee

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<p>http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/delheavy.htm</p><p>According to the web site Delta 4 heavy launch costs work out to about $10,000 a *Kilo*.&nbsp; So for the&nbsp;$50,000,000,000 that will be spent on the Constellation program we could put 5,000,000 *Kilos* in orbit</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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BrianSlee

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>If you heard "program cost" that would mean the actual landings on the Moon etc. Would you want to give that up for a few more launchings of the old rattle traps? Myself I would rather have the newer system with the bugs worked out. <br />Posted by samkent</DIV><br /><br />What is better,&nbsp; One or two new toys or 5 million&nbsp;*Kilos* in LEO? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>What is better,&nbsp; One or two new toys or 5 million pounds in LEO? <br /> Posted by BrianSlee</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>5 million pounds of what?&nbsp; The shuttle only supports the ISS.&nbsp; It no longer delivers other spacecraft to orbit. </p>
 
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BrianSlee

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;5 million pounds of what?&nbsp; The shuttle only supports the ISS.&nbsp; It no longer delivers other spacecraft to orbit. <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV><br /><br />How about components for a manned mars mission.&nbsp; I think the shuttle would be excluded as the launch system since the money is coming from shuttle retirement.&nbsp; Also the total would have to be adjusted down based on how much would be spent in some of the other areas that you mentioned.&nbsp; So lets say for arguments sake that half of the money is used for other development areas (including man-rating the Delta IV or maintaining 1 shuttle for manned flight).&nbsp; That would reduce the LEO payload to 2.5 million&nbsp;*Kilos* based on the Delta IV numbers. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>How about components for a manned mars mission.&nbsp; <br /> Posted by BrianSlee</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>That is the point of constellation, it is to build components for Lunar and Mars exploration.&nbsp; Ares V would be the launcher for mars missions.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>read the ESAS </p>
 
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BrianSlee

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;That is the point of constellation, it is to build components for Lunar and Mars exploration.&nbsp; Ares V would be the launcher for mars missions.&nbsp;read the ESAS <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV></p><p>I understand that, what I am saying is, couldn't we could get more bang for the buck by not re-inventing the launch system.&nbsp; We already have heavy launch systems that could be used to fulfill that need.&nbsp; Yes it would take more launches but based on the math (Unless all of the Ares development costs are lower by at least several orders of magnitude than $25B) you get 100 launches for the same price of re-inventing the wheel (or rocket in this case).&nbsp; I would see this as a plus since one or two&nbsp;launch failures out of&nbsp;a hundred&nbsp;or two would have much less impact than one out&nbsp;of four or one out of five.&nbsp; You would probably have to do&nbsp;more assembly in space in which case&nbsp;the use&nbsp;of ISS as&nbsp;a supporting element for the program might be needed but wouldn't that make ISS that much more value added as an investment.&nbsp;&nbsp;I know that Ares I, and Ares V&nbsp;have larger throw weights than existing systems but it seems in this instance that existing systems can do the job more cost effectively and in a faster time frame&nbsp;while providing&nbsp;greater capabilities at the end of ten years.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>I understand that, what I am saying is, couldn't we could get more bang for the buck by not re-inventing the launch system.&nbsp; We already have heavy launch systems that could be used to fulfill that need.&nbsp; Yes it would take more launches but based on the math (Unless all of the Ares development costs are lower by at least several orders of magnitude than $25B) you get 100 launches for the same price of re-inventing the wheel (or rocket in this case).&nbsp; I would see this as a plus since one or two&nbsp;launch failures out of&nbsp;a hundred&nbsp;or two would have much less impact than one out&nbsp;of four or one out of five.&nbsp; You would probably have to do&nbsp;more assembly in space in which case&nbsp;the use&nbsp;of ISS as&nbsp;a supporting element for the program might be needed but wouldn't that make ISS that much more value added as an investment.&nbsp;&nbsp;I know that Ares I, and Ares V&nbsp;have larger throw weights than existing systems but it seems in this instance that existing systems can do the job more cost effectively and in a faster time frame&nbsp;while providing&nbsp;greater capabilities at the end of ten years. <br /> Posted by BrianSlee</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>The current systems and infrastructure can't support those high of flight rates. </p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
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BrianSlee

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;The current systems and infrastructure can't support those high of flight rates. &nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV><br /><br />Why?&nbsp; What is the current production capacity for Delta and Atlas systems? What would it take to increase production rates of current launch vehicles and upgrade facilities to accommodate launching&nbsp;approximately 1 a month for the next 10 years?&nbsp; How would it be more expensive than fielding the new systems considering the tooling and manufacturing capability are already there?&nbsp; would the increase in production bring the prices down to what the estimates were for launch costs prior to the crash of the commercial launch market (which was 67% of current launch cost) or even lower given the significant increase allowing for even more payload for the same cost? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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vulture4

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Why?&nbsp; What is the current production capacity for Delta and Atlas systems? What would it take to increase production rates of current launch vehicles and upgrade facilities to accommodate launching&nbsp;approximately 1 a month for the next 10 years?&nbsp; How would it be more expensive than fielding the new systems considering the tooling and manufacturing capability are already there?&nbsp; would the increase in production bring the prices down to what the estimates were for launch costs prior to the crash of the commercial launch market (which was 67% of current launch cost) or even lower given the significant increase allowing for even more payload for the same cost? <br /> Posted by BrianSlee</DIV></p><p>The Atlas V and Delta IV are currently vastly underutilized. Each EELV has multiple assembly bays and rapid pad turnaraound, and they could certainly accomodate one launch per month of each with the current infrastructure, or 24 launches per year, though of course it would be necessary to increase manpower it would still be much less than the Ares reuires. While its hard to see why both types were built, its a shame to see such efficient processing flows and such immense capacity going to waste.</p>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'> Each EELV has multiple assembly bays and rapid pad turnaraound, and they could certainly accomodate one launch per month of each with the current infrastructure, or 24 launches per year, t<br /> Posted by vulture4</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Incorrect.&nbsp; Atlas only has only VIF and MLP.&nbsp; Delta-IV&nbsp; only has one pad and it can't do any electrical testing in the HIF.&nbsp; The pad times have yet to be reduced to allow even 4 missions a years&nbsp;</p>
 
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BrianSlee

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;Incorrect.&nbsp; Atlas only has only VIF and MLP.&nbsp; Delta-IV&nbsp; only has one pad and it can't do any electrical testing in the HIF.&nbsp; The pad times have yet to be reduced to allow even 4 missions a years&nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV><br /><br />Is that 4 each or 4 total? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Is that 4 each or 4 total? <br /> Posted by BrianSlee</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>4 each.&nbsp; Atlas maybe 5-6 per year. &nbsp; Another issue, is there isn't enough processing facilities to handle the flight rates you mentioned. And the Atlas Heavy has only gone to CDR and stopped.&nbsp;</p>
 
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BrianSlee

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;4 each.&nbsp; Atlas maybe 5-6 per year. &nbsp; Another issue, is there isn't enough processing facilities to handle the flight rates you mentioned. And the Atlas Heavy has only gone to CDR and stopped.&nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV><br /><br />Ok seems like we are at least in the same ballpark. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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BrianSlee

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Ok seems like we are at least in the same ballpark. <br />Posted by BrianSlee</DIV><br /><br />Now what if we multiply our capabilities by building a coalition with ESA the Russians and the Chinese similar to ISS? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Now what if we multiply our capabilities by building a coalition with ESA the Russians and the Chinese similar to ISS? <br /> Posted by BrianSlee</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>It is a US only program.&nbsp; That is one of its tenets.&nbsp; </p>
 
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BrianSlee

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Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;It is a US only program.&nbsp; That is one of its tenets.&nbsp; <br />Posted by Cygnus_2112</DIV><br /><br />So change it.&nbsp; I think the benefits would justify the change in this case.&nbsp; I am also not talking about giving the money to anyone, they would have to bring something to the table to play. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p>"I am therefore I think" </p><p>"The only thing "I HAVE TO DO!!" is die, in everything else I have freewill" Brian P. Slee</p> </div>
 
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