Why does NASA hate the Atlas V and Delta IV?

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edkyle98

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"Partial Failure". Ughhh. I despise that term. Either a launch vehicle does what it is supposed to do, or it doesn't. This was a sizable insurance loss.<br /><br />Delta 228 failed to do what it was supposed to do, leaving Koreasat 1 in a transfer orbit with an apogee 5,700 km short of the planned apogee. The spacecraft had to provide the missing delta-v, which shortened its life to only 3-4 years or so.<br /><br />I liken it to a container ship traveling across the ocean, but stopping an hour or two out of its planned port and dumping the container overboard.<br /><br /> - Ed Kyle
 
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publiusr

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Atlas V can't replace Titan IV, Delta IV has no engine out.<br /><br />They are only for folks who want astronauts killed.
 
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john_316

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I think Delta Heavy will work great as a stand in for Titan IV.<br /><br />Atlas 5 I imagine will do fine as well but i think doesn't have the same GEO weight capacity as Delta-IV/Heavy<br /><br /><br />I still wish there was an option for man-rating them in case the SRB deal falls through....<br /><br /><br /><img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br />
 
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propforce

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Atlas V can't replace Titan IV, Delta IV has no engine out. <br /><br />They are only for folks who want astronauts killed. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Remind me again, where on Ares 1 has engine-out capability? <br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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j05h

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<i>>When's the last time you saw a big SRB go out?</i><br /><br />I seem to remember a Delta 2 exploding right off the pad in the late 90's, because of an SRB hiccup. Ah, I'd never seen video of it before, only pictures. Wow that's a big mess from a cracked SRB.<br /><br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDnkEOKR1BE<br /><br />Josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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docm

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BIG bada-boom!!<br /><br />Almost big enough for Jamie Hyneman <img src="/images/icons/tongue.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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propforce

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>When's the last time you saw a big SRB go out? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />3 words for you: Space Shuttle Challenger<br /><br /><br />7 astronauts did get killed.<br />Enough said. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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josh_simonson

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Yep, engine out on the SRB would have saved them for sure......
 
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lori_e_sims

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Some people who were at NASA hate that the Atlas and Delta rocket designs were replaced by the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle. Since the EELV configuration selection is mission-dependent and may be reconfigured for each subsequent mission, there by making it a more-cost effective solution for miltary and non-miliatary satellite launches, a lot of people were unable to do what they trained to do. It's kind of like "I hate my rocket because your rocket (EELV) took away my chance to continue to do what I want to do."<br />This problem arises too frequently in this industry: where one person comes up with an alternative solution set that matches a problem set -- and it is both a minority-approved solution -- and a reason to layoff the competitors -- people carry grudges for years if the competition resulted in hurting the financial well being the losing team (i..,e some people carry a grudge forever out of fear and jealousy of the winner)<br /><br />
 
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frodo1008

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This so called man rating thing is VERY much over rated! After all, every new system (Redstone for the original sub-orbital flights, Atlas II for the Mercury, Titan II for the Gemini, and even the Saturn systems, and heck even the STS system itself originally flew for the first time each without this man-rating thing)!<br /><br />I certainly like the spunk of Bigelow, and even the venerable LM (or should I say ULA) for their efforts here. NASA also once had this kind of "Right Stuff!", at least back in the 1960's. I would like to see them have it again!<br /><br />So, launching people into space IS dangerous! So what! None of us are going to get out of this existence alive anyway, at least the astronauts are getting to do what most of us only get to dream about!<br /><br />I am NOT Saying that NASA or anybody else should take unnecessary chances, but trying to avoid ALL risk is even worse. Humanity will NEVER get off this ball of dirt unless somebody takes some degree of risk!<br /><br />So forget this man-rating thing, and use the rockets that we already have!
 
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frodo1008

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Boeing is pretty good at building factories! If more are needed (and therefore more profit is to be made) I am more than certain that Boeing (and with the help of LM as they are now together in ULA) will meet ALL challenges!
 
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drwayne

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SG:<br /><br />I think he was saying that STS flew without test flights to prove it "man-rated".<br /><br />General Note:<br /><br />Keep in mind that the last unmanned test flight of the Saturn V was hardly a rousing success.<br /><br />Wayne<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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tomnackid

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"This man rating thing" I'm sure a lot of astronauts are breathing a sigh of relive that you aren't in the front office frodo! The fact is that man rating isn't just about sticking an abort tower on top of any old rocket and calling it a day. Humans are fragile, very very fragile. Vibrations, noise and accelration changes that would barely register to a sattilite could easily kill or injure a human. Also, unlike many (any?) launch vehicles in the past, NASA wants to design one that is capable of doing a half-way safe abourt throughout its entire flight envelope. <br /><br />The Atlas and Delta were designed to launch sattelites as cheaply and reliably as possible. They typically fly flight profiles that could pose serious risks to humans--not to mantion their noise and vibration parameters. That isn't to say they can't be man rated. Would it be easier and cheaper and safer than Ares I? I don't know its not my field. But its not simply a matter of putting a crew capsule on top
 
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frodo1008

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Drwayne is correct. Sorry, I was not as clear as I wanted to be there. The first flight of the shuttle was indeed a manned flight. And all of the other vehicles that I mentioned indeed had at least flown once without being manned. In fact the Atlas that was used for the Mercury program was anything but successful even up to manned flights!<br /><br /><br />And indeed they just fitted a manned capsule on top of the vehicle with an escape tower on the top of that, and then made a manned flight! What else could they possibly do?<br /><br />What was man-rated were not the vehicles but the astronauts themselves! The amount of testing and training that these early pioneers of manned flight went through was incredible! When they climbed into those early capsules it was THEY that were the most prepared component of those manned systems, not necessarily the capsules themselves. This is what is generally known as "The Right Stuff", and I do believe that the astronauts today also have it, if only given the chance to show it!<br /><br />
 
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frodo1008

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Try to read my posts more carefully, please. I did NOT say there should be no effort to prepare the vehicles for manned use at all. I stated that it was an over-rated thing, not that it should be eliminated entirely! There IS a difference, you know.<br /><br />The early vehicles were far worse than the current EELV's as far as accent trajectories were concerned (with the possible exception of the Saturn). <br /><br />They were all originally military. Either Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBM), or Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM). Note, the word ballistic used here, the military only needed the payload to survive at all (after all, if used the pay load was obviously going to end up as constituent atoms).<br /><br />Communication systems satellites are FAR more delicate than that! Bigelow, who unlike NASA, at the first manned failure would probably be shut down forever, is willing to take a chance on the EELV's but NASA that wants to go on to the moon and eventually Mars isn't?<br /><br />NOW, who has the "Right Stuff"?<br /><br />And the astronauts would LOVE me, as my first priority would be to see to it that far more flights were being made than are now made. And if you don't think that is just as important (if not far more important) to the astronauts than their comfort (and possible even their relative safety), then you know nothing at all about the history of the astronaut core!<br /><br />Please understand, I am not attacking you, but you first criticized my information without knowing the facts. And that does have a tendency to upset me just a little!<br /><br />However, I would still wish you a very Good Day!<br /><br />
 
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tomnackid

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I did read your post carefully. The fact that you think man rating is "over rated" shows that you are rather clueless about a) rockets, b) electronics and c) human biology. If you think that electronic components are more fragile than the human body you are sadly mistaken. We have had electronic fuses in cannon shells since WWII. These components--made with 1940s technology no less--can withstand hundreds of g's of accelration and noise and vibration that would turn and astronaut's brain into pudding. That is just one example that jumps to mind. <br /><br />Many people seem to assume man rating is nothing more than adding an abort system--its far more complicated than that. Remember the US didn't even want to lauch astronauts on ICBMs. We thought the idea was stupid and dangerous. We only did it because the soviets (who tend to play fast and loose with people's lives) forced our hand. And yes I know aomething about the astronaut "core" (even the astronaut corps!) and I know they are professionals with a job to do, not daredevil thrill seekers nor lazy comfort seeking cowards. They know that playing "fast and loose" and taking ecessive chances means risking billions of dollars worth of hardware every flight and the loss of personel who's training has cost millions. They are willing to risk their lives, but they definately don't want to throw away missions for nothing. That's what we are really talking about whenever some goes on about NASA being too careful. Over and above human life are you willing to risk multiple mission failures? Can the space program survive many mission failures? Can it survive many losses of trained crew? Safety isn't just a PR issue, its about protecting valuable assets. The military knows this and goes to great lengths (some cynics say too great of lengths) to protect and retrive soldiers. Yes because its the morally right thing to do, but also because a trained soldier is a valuable asset.
 
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drwayne

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I think there is a tendency to overrate "man rating" in that some look at it as making a statement about overall safety that is not really there.<br /><br />The Saturn 5 was man rated when its last un-manned flight had a number of significant failures that could have caused loss of flight or loss of crew in a real flight.<br /><br />We flew Apollo 13 without a POGO fix that had been applied to the 14 stack - and we came very near to losing the flight in second stage operation.<br /><br />Bringing loads and variations within human tolerance is not a given - see the man rating issues with the Titan - and must be done in a difficult and expensive process - but we do in fact overrate the process when we make the connection between man-rated and "safe".<br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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"The fact that you think man rating is "over rated" shows that you are rather clueless about a) rockets, b) electronics and c) human biology. "<br /><br />Actually, just the opposite. You are the clueless one. Comsats are more fragile than humans. It makes no sense to use hardened electronics like in a shell. Current ELV's have a "smoother" (noise and vibration) ride than the shuttle.Most ELV's can carry humans as is (with slight traj mods). Atlas V and Delta IV were going to be used for OSP and all that would be added was a escape tower with an LV health monitoring system<br /><br /> The over rated part about manrating is the following"<br />1. 1.4 vs 1.25 factor of safety<br />2. Dual redundant avionics<br />3. spacecraft guidance as backup to the LV<br /><br />As Griffin himself has said, the reliability needed to launch a several hundred million dollar national security payload is the same as what is needed for a manned payload
 
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drwayne

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General message to the thread:<br /><br />Let's avoid the personal terms here folks. <br /><br />On the flip side of man rating, weapons systems that flew fine on Titan 2's were flying with acceleration loads that were problematic for people.<br /><br />The history of trying to correct POGO issues with that system are fascinating - "fixes" that made things worse - sounds like some of my homework sets. <img src="/images/icons/smile.gif" /><br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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frodo1008

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I am NOT the one calling others clueless! And jimfromnsf is merely responding.<br /><br />I had some 37.5 years of aerospace experience dating from 1062 till 2000 working on both military and NASA projects, and I am supposed to be clueless! <br /><br />And I did NOT say that ALL man-rating activities were useless. However, placing that up as a barrier to NASA possibly using the EELV's as some have done here makes such a process "Over-rated". By the way, if this process stops NASA from using the EELV's, it will also stop them from using the Falcon 9. Not a very good thing for the alt.space crowd!<br /><br /><br /><br />
 
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drwayne

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True SG. Simulation and analysis have become an accepted means of showing safety and reliability - along with component history.<br /><br />A humorous aside - I remember going to a pre-flight review for a program that was stupid enough to have me working on it.<br /><br />After lunch - the reliability guy showed his numbers. Seemed like everything was like 5 9's or something like that - the Colonel in charge of the program asked a pointed question - "If everything in this program is so damned reliable - why have we had in-flight failures the last 5 flights?"<br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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drwayne

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If it makes anyone feel better, you can call me clueless. I mess up Euler angles and Quaternians with amazing regularity - and - here is the kicker - all I have ever flown is a desk, a terminal, and the odd simulator. (Unless you count flying over the odd car hood as the result of bike wreck)<br /><br />I also occasionally screw up and leave something red in a load of whites.<br /><br />Yep - pretty clueless..... <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br />Wayne <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>"1) Give no quarter; 2) Take no prisoners; 3) Sink everything."  Admiral Jackie Fisher</p> </div>
 
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jimfromnsf

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"The Falcon 9 design is man rated."<br /><br />Not per NASA standards. That is the issue. Atlas V is "manrated" for the Dreamchaser
 
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