Ye Olde Rocket Forum

Go Back   Ye Olde Rocket Forum > Weather-Cocked > FreeForAll
User Name
Password
Auctions Register FAQ Members List Calendar Today's Posts Search Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-18-2020, 04:09 PM
Earl's Avatar
Earl Earl is offline
Apollo Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,141
Default Manned Spaceflight From US Soil: May, 2020

The latest on the return to spaceflight from US soil is currently scheduled for May 27th from KSC, Pad 39A, aboard the Crew Dragon capsule powered by the Falcon 9 booster. Crew of two, both males (REALLY hard to believe NASA has not required at least a 50-50 gender blend on the crew, if not ALL female, such as seems to be one of their over-riding aims these days on being PC-everything, but I digress).

Here is a link to the NASA web article. One could suspect the current national challenges could affect the final launch date. Link: https://www.nasa.gov/specials/dm2/

In any event, it will be very good to break the practically nine year hiatus of manned launches from US soil (dating back to the last shuttle flight in July, 2011).


Earl
__________________
Earl L. Cagle, Jr.
NAR# 29523
TRA# 962
SAM# 73
Owner/Producer
Point 39 Productions

Rocket-Brained Since 1970
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04-18-2020, 05:07 PM
ghrocketman's Avatar
ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
President, MAYHEM AGITATORS, Inc.
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 9,908
Default

Whether Male or Female, I would like to see NASA return to Astronauts having to be fully-QUALIFIED fighter pilots. At least for Mission Commander/Pilot roles.
__________________
When in doubt, WHACK the GAS and DITCH the brake !!!
No DIRECT and MEASURABLE Harm=NO Foul advocate

If you are NOT FLYING LOW in the left lane, you need to GET THE #$&@ OUT of it !

Yes, there is such a thing as NORMAL
, if you have to ask, you probably aren't
!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-18-2020, 07:24 PM
Earl's Avatar
Earl Earl is offline
Apollo Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,141
Default

I could agree with that.

And, I don’t have any problem whatsoever with female astronauts either. I’d much rather be on a long duration space flight with a female than a male, all things equal.

What is an issue though is all the Artemis Program (NASA return to moon stuff) articles, web material, press releases, etc., that ALL contain the boilerplate line which states, in effect, “Artemis, the program to send the first woman...and next man, to the moon”.

Now, do you think ANY current male astronaut has ANY reason to believe that THEY can be the next person (well, US person) to set foot on the moon? To quote a line out of the Wizard of Oz: “Not no how, not no way!”. The next American to set foot on the moon WILL be a female, make no doubt about it. A male may very well follow right after her, but he won’t be first.

I guess the biggest question(s) NASA is struggling with right now is, will she be a single mother? Handicapped?? Mixed race??? Transgendered???? Or, how about the grand prize...a mix of all the above! The female Astro closest to that description has probably ALREADY punched her ticket.

Rant mode: off.

Earl
__________________
Earl L. Cagle, Jr.
NAR# 29523
TRA# 962
SAM# 73
Owner/Producer
Point 39 Productions

Rocket-Brained Since 1970
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-18-2020, 11:35 PM
tbzep's Avatar
tbzep tbzep is offline
Dazed and Confused
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: TN
Posts: 9,588
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
I could agree with that.

And, I don’t have any problem whatsoever with female astronauts either. I’d much rather be on a long duration space flight with a female than a male, all things equal.

What is an issue though is all the Artemis Program (NASA return to moon stuff) articles, web material, press releases, etc., that ALL contain the boilerplate line which states, in effect, “Artemis, the program to send the first woman...and next man, to the moon”.

Now, do you think ANY current male astronaut has ANY reason to believe that THEY can be the next person (well, US person) to set foot on the moon? To quote a line out of the Wizard of Oz: “Not no how, not no way!”. The next American to set foot on the moon WILL be a female, make no doubt about it. A male may very well follow right after her, but he won’t be first.

I guess the biggest question(s) NASA is struggling with right now is, will she be a single mother? Handicapped?? Mixed race??? Transgendered???? Or, how about the grand prize...a mix of all the above! The female Astro closest to that description has probably ALREADY punched her ticket.

Rant mode: off.

Earl

There is always the possibility that the NASA program will get canceled (yet again) before getting to the moon. It will then be left to SpaceX or possibly another private company to pick up the pieces and do the job. Hopefully, they will actually put the most qualified individual's feet on the moon next, instead of bowing to PC BS. If the most qualified is female, that's awesome. If the most qualified is the whitest dude ever to walk the earth, that's awesome too, cause we finally got back to the moon!
__________________
I love sanding.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-19-2020, 10:00 AM
Earl's Avatar
Earl Earl is offline
Apollo Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,141
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
There is always the possibility that the NASA program will get canceled (yet again) before getting to the moon. It will then be left to SpaceX or possibly another private company to pick up the pieces and do the job. Hopefully, they will actually put the most qualified individual's feet on the moon next, instead of bowing to PC BS. If the most qualified is female, that's awesome. If the most qualified is the whitest dude ever to walk the earth, that's awesome too, cause we finally got back to the moon!


Very true. The chances of the current program making it all the way to the moon without getting canceled are probably 50-50 at best.

And I have *NO* problem with a woman being the next person on the moon; no problem at all IF, like you say, she is the most qualified. BUT, I *DO* have a problem turning a primarily scientific and engineering undertaking into a 'social' experiment. And the way it reads right now, the deck seems certainly to be stacked in the social experiment direction.

But, I'll be pullin' for the program regardless because, as you mentioned, I want to see astronauts back on the moon before I make a permanent change of residence from planet Earth myself. But I'm hopin' that is still a good handful of years away!

Earl
__________________
Earl L. Cagle, Jr.
NAR# 29523
TRA# 962
SAM# 73
Owner/Producer
Point 39 Productions

Rocket-Brained Since 1970
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-10-2020, 08:14 PM
Earl's Avatar
Earl Earl is offline
Apollo Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,141
Default

According to the NASA website, the mission is still set for a May 27 launch date at 4:32PM eastern.

Earl
__________________
Earl L. Cagle, Jr.
NAR# 29523
TRA# 962
SAM# 73
Owner/Producer
Point 39 Productions

Rocket-Brained Since 1970
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-10-2020, 10:30 PM
luke strawwalker's Avatar
luke strawwalker luke strawwalker is offline
BAR
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Needville and Shiner, TX
Posts: 5,909
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
The latest on the return to spaceflight from US soil is currently scheduled for May 27th from KSC, Pad 39A, aboard the Crew Dragon capsule powered by the Falcon 9 booster. Crew of two, both males (REALLY hard to believe NASA has not required at least a 50-50 gender blend on the crew, if not ALL female, such as seems to be one of their over-riding aims these days on being PC-everything, but I digress).

Here is a link to the NASA web article. One could suspect the current national challenges could affect the final launch date. Link: https://www.nasa.gov/specials/dm2/

In any event, it will be very good to break the practically nine year hiatus of manned launches from US soil (dating back to the last shuttle flight in July, 2011).


Earl


Sunita Williams (IIRC) is on the commercial crew roster for the first Boeing Starliner mission, can't recall who her male copilot is.

Maybe I'm cynical, but I'd bet cash money that NASA put her on the Starliner crew because they figured that their darling Boeing would get there first, long before SpaceX... Of course they never figured that SpaceX would actually be hitting home runs while Boeing has been batting 0 for 10 on most everything the past few years... Even with Starliner basically having a head start, as it grew out of the contract NASA gave Boeing to build a composite pressure vessel/structure for Orion, before they decided against it and decided to go with a metallic pressure hull/structure. The fact that Boeing, even with a HUGE gubmint contract and a "freebie" head start, couldn't pull Starliner together and are still faltering with it, speaks volumes as to how far they've fallen... Course they're still the darling of the NASA management/space state elite in gubmint, and SpaceX is still the red-headed stepchild...

Course at some point that's going to have to change...

Later! OL J R
__________________
The X-87B Cruise Basselope-- THE Ultimate Weapon in the arsenal of Homeland Security and only $52 million per round!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-10-2020, 11:03 PM
luke strawwalker's Avatar
luke strawwalker luke strawwalker is offline
BAR
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Needville and Shiner, TX
Posts: 5,909
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
There is always the possibility that the NASA program will get canceled (yet again) before getting to the moon. It will then be left to SpaceX or possibly another private company to pick up the pieces and do the job. Hopefully, they will actually put the most qualified individual's feet on the moon next, instead of bowing to PC BS. If the most qualified is female, that's awesome. If the most qualified is the whitest dude ever to walk the earth, that's awesome too, cause we finally got back to the moon!


Given NASA's glacial pace, cost overruns and delays on SLS, SLS operating costs now estimated at TWO BILLION DOLLARS PER LAUNCH (even the wildest-eyed "radical" was only saying a billion per launch a few years ago and were laughed at as being 'totally unrealistic", and now turn out to be too conservative in cost estimates!) and the fact NASA has "interim everything" plugged into the program just to do the test flights, after over 16 years of development and evolution of the plan to "return to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond", I think that's a given...

Heck even SLS will require the Block 2 mods to actually do lunar missions, "as planned" anyway, with the new disposable spiral filament wound ASRB's and a new ascent upper stage, deep space propulsion stage, and a real (not interim) service module. That's to say nothing of actually developing a lunar lander. Plus we have this Gateway station in the plans now, which isn't a bad thing mission-wise, as it will allow anytime return from the lunar surface as well as landing at any point on the lunar surface, near or farside, including the polar regions, which was a major limitation in the Constellation Program architecture of Ares I and V launching Orion and Altair lunar landers in a hybrid EOR/LOR type mission plan... Altair couldn't launch from the lunar surface at just "any time" due to the requirements of orbital mechanics, in order to rendezvous with Orion in LLO, and return to Earth. Equatorial launches from Earth (KSC) and the required lunar trajectory places you basically into an equatorial lunar orbit, meaning you can't access high-latitude polar landing sites on the Moon very easily without costly plane-change maneuvers... a lunar gateway station eliminates all that, as basically you can do a direct-ascent from the lunar surface to the gateway station without even entering lunar orbit at all if you don't want to, and of course lunar descents as well from the gateway station. Since it will be at a point beyond the Moon's orbit (Lagrange point) it is in a perfect position to act as a communication relay for lunar farside missions from the surface back to Earth via the Gateway station. Nearside missions will have to relay through Earth to communicate directly to the Gateway station, if required, since it will be behind the Moon from the Earth-facing lunar surface. Polar missions, at least if they're at a high enough latitude near the actual lunar north or south poles, should be able to communicate directly with both Earth and the Gateway station.

The problem is, it adds another layer of development and cost, which means years or another decade or so of time to lunar surface return plans... It's great that it enables so many different lunar missions that Constellation didn't, but it's going to take a long time to do. Granted, the Gateway station should be a lot simpler station that the massive/bloated ISS, but "mission creep" tends to inflate the cost/complexity of *ALL* NASA's plans, so you can expect the Gateway station to fall into the same old trap, taking a lot longer and costing a lot more than the rosy estimates NASA has already been putting out about it.

Personally I think it's time for a sort of "reset" at NASA, anyway... NASA should be building spacecraft, landers, and station modules for things like Gateway, and designing missions like Mars Sample Return, and other more ambitious missions, and get out of the rocket design business... SLS is basically the most expensive reusable parts of shuttle carried over into a totally expendable and basically horribly outdated launch vehicle design that will be underutilized and enormously expensive to support and procure and sustain... and basically as-is there's nothing it can do that Falcon Heavy cannot do... The simple addition of a hydrogen powered upper stage to Falcon Heavy would allow Falcon Heavy to FAR outstrip the current iteration of SLS anyway, at a TINY FRACTION of the cost, and with reusability of the core stages thrown in! SLS tosses EVERYTHING into the drink just to get to orbit for pity's sake! Commercial companies have demonstrated their ability to design, build, test, and operate launch vehicles, so WHY is NASA still operating in the outdated mode that *they* have to build the launch vehicle?? It's not like it's 1964 and the heaviest "commercially" produced launch vehicle available is Titan II... (IIRC). (Yeah I know Saturn I/IB was far outclassing it, but that was a NASA-developed project later built by Chrysler and Douglas at Michoud and Seal Beach, respectively). NASA should be developing hardware and letting commercial companies build the launch vehicles... Instead of spending billions and now nearly 2 decades to reuse old shuttle parts in an outdated and super-expensive low flight rate launch vehicle like SLS, which basically has NO payloads developed to fly on it other than the Orion itself, which is basically only capable of performing a quasi-Apollo 8 type mission by itself anyway...

"No plan survives first contact with the enemy intact" and I don't think we've even BEGUN to see the economic fallout of this covid disaster... it's going to be HUGE, and like a lot of these precautionary measures, the cure is in many cases going to be worse than the disease... I'll be VERY surprised if we're not in a full fledged depression a year from now, and if some of the more extreme "stimulus" measures are actually undertaken, we may well be in a hyperinflationary death spiral similar to Venezuela... (you can't just print money willy nilly and toss it into the economy without causing hyperinflation-- it's just a natural side effect or a basic law of reality... it's never worked ANYWHERE it's been tried, from the Weimar Republic of Depression-Era Germany to Brazil to Venezuela, in the latest case...) In short, economic reality may well kill any lunar return plans, or at the very least, cause super-expensive "bad jokes" like SLS to be torpedoed and replaced with more economically sensible solutions...

Later! OL J R
__________________
The X-87B Cruise Basselope-- THE Ultimate Weapon in the arsenal of Homeland Security and only $52 million per round!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-10-2020, 11:54 PM
tdracer's Avatar
tdracer tdracer is offline
Scale Modeler Extrodinare
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 76
Default

It's worth remembering that it took less time between Alan Shepard's suborbital flight and Neil Armstong's "Small Step" then it's been since the last manned Space Shuttle flight and whenever the next manned NASA mission to space actually happens.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
And don't get me started on how much were spending on SLS to simply get back the heavy lift capability that we had 50 years ago with the Saturn V and simply discarded...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-14-2020, 12:10 AM
luke strawwalker's Avatar
luke strawwalker luke strawwalker is offline
BAR
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Needville and Shiner, TX
Posts: 5,909
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdracer
It's worth remembering that it took less time between Alan Shepard's suborbital flight and Neil Armstong's "Small Step" then it's been since the last manned Space Shuttle flight and whenever the next manned NASA mission to space actually happens.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
And don't get me started on how much were spending on SLS to simply get back the heavy lift capability that we had 50 years ago with the Saturn V and simply discarded...


Absolutely! This glacial pace and glacial flightrates for SLS will be its undoing...

Shuttle at least had a flight rate, even in the post-Columbia period, that it was performing at least a couple flights per year (it did dwindle down to two flights a year the last couple years or so, and the most times a shuttle ever flew in a single 12 month period is, IIRC, 9 times, just prior to the Challenger disaster in early 1986). Shuttle's "standing army" of technicians and specialists and experts and engineers required to prepare it for flight and perform operations to sustain the capability to launch shuttle was entirely too big, which is what made it SUCH an expensive vehicle to operate, BUT, AT LEAST that standing army and huge amount of facility's costs were AMORTIZED over several flights per year... that kept the per-flight prices at least *somewhat* reasonable...

SLS, on the other hand, is DESIGNED to ONLY fly once about every other year, or maybe as much as 3 times in two years... or perhaps only once in about three years... Either way, it's a PATHETICALLY small flight rate, and while SLS has trimmed back the "standing army" *REQUIRED* to maintain the capability to build, integrate, test, and launch it, it will have to pay for MULTIPLE YEARS of the overhead of keeping all those people "on the job" and the "factory lights on" even for the years that SLS doesn't fly... SO EVERY SLS FLIGHT is now estimated at over $2 BILLION dollars!!! Saturn V wasn't cheap, though it was cheaper than shuttle. Shuttle missions were "officially estimated" at $400 million each, BUT when you take the "final drive-out price" of the shuttle program and divide it by the number of launches, it comes out to about a billion dollars per flight. Shuttle was ridiculously expensive... but SLS is going to be just STUPID expensive for what it does... And those costs are NOT going to go down-- it's not like Chevy's, where you can build a mess of them and put them in a warehouse and use them as you need them, and furlough all the factory workers, then call them back when and if you need them. No, with space vehicles, you have PROGRAM SUSTAINMENT COSTS-- you have to keep the people that actually designed the vehicle, who know how to build it, test it, integrate it, move it to the pad, and launch it, and do the million things involved in doing all that, and make the million parts required for all that, ON THE PAYROLL, whether you're flying and they're building rockets, or whether your NOT FLYING and they're all just sitting around "polishing wrenches"... The hardware and equipment to build, move, test, and maintain the rockets all have to be kept "operable"-- all the facilities and machinery, etc... you have to "keep the lights on" in the factory-- you can't just "shutter" it and let it rot til you need it again-- like with the workers, you can't just call the local union hall and have them round up a crew of UAW guys to gear up for another production run... It's all SO specialized you MUST keep the essential workers and tooling and facilities "on line" no matter what the cost, because once the expertise and tooling and facilities are gone, the rocket is basically extinct... trying to "restart" it is basically about like have to start at square one all over again...

When you consider those costs and the alternatives already "in hand" (like Falcon Heavy) and being worked on (ULA's Vulcan, Blue Origin's "New Glenn", Spacex's "Starship", etc) then basically SLS is an anachronism... it's the right rocket, 20-25 years too late! SLS would have been a great addition to operate hand in hand with shuttle, using similar layouts and sharing boosters, engines, tooling, etc. But NOW, it's basically just taking the MOST EXPENSIVE BITS of the shuttle that were designed for REUSE, and using them in expendable mode! SLS was "justified" on the grounds that it was "shuttle derived", so would be "easy to do"-- the core stage was just a rework of the existing Shuttle External Tank, and thus would only require slight rework of the load paths, and constructing a cylindrical O2 tank with ellipsoidal upper bulkheads instead of the ogive nosecone O2 tank, which was all seen as "quick and easy" to do. Here we are 9 years later and the thing STILL hasn't flown, and basically the whole thing is a COMPLETE REWORK of ALL the shuttle-derived parts into new ones that had to be completely requalified... PLUS the reengineered parts are the most expensive parts of the shuttle system-- the SRB's with their high sustainment costs, which were *slightly* amortized by reusing the cases, and the super complicated and super-expensive RS-25 SSME engines, which again, were justified in their cost and complexity since they were designed for reuse... BUT SLS is an expendable rocket, and will dump ALL these expensive bits into the bottom of the ocean on EACH FLIGHT... It's nuts.

Meanwhile, for the cost of ONE SLS, you could buy a whole FLEET of Falcon Heavy launches capable of lofting the same mass to orbit, or darn close to it! Just designing and building a hydrogen upper stage for the Falcon Heavy would give it ENORMOUS lifting power to orbit, due to the greater efficiency over the kerosene upper stage, and at a TINY fraction of the cost of SLS.

Nevermind there's no PAYLOADS for SLS... Well, other than an Orion which, with it's INTERIM upper stage, can perform a quasi-Apollo 8 mission, in a high looping orbit around the Moon that basically spends a few minutes down close to the low lunar orbit Apollo was in, and most of the rest of a day looping out in a highly elliptical orbit a couple thousand miles above the Moon... it's crazy. The Altair lunar lander was axed over a decade ago, and the Gateway station, as well as any "Artemis" lunar lander still exists only on paper, as do the necessary upper stages, service modules, etc. required for SLS and Orion to do basically ANYTHING beyond an anemic and extremely expensive test program that's already years behind schedule and will be drawn out over a number of years as well, with years between missions! We'd do well to remember, Apollo 8 orbited the Moon at Christmas 1968 on the FIRST manned Saturn V flight, and first flight beyond Earth orbit, and it was followed just seven months later by the first manned lunar landing, and the rest of the Moon missions basically took place every 4-6 months after that, ending in December of 72, just four years after Apollo 8.

Here we are, 50 years later, with technological capabilities that were UNDREAMED OF in the Apollo days, with the benefit of 50 years of advances in computers, flight experience, materials, processes, procedures, instrumentation, metrology, and every other form of technology and testing known to man, and this is the best we can do??? It's pathetic...

The Apollo guys were doing EVERYTHING for pretty much the *FIRST TIME*... EVERYTHING was basically breaking new ground, inventing new technology as they went along, or using existing technology in a TOTALLY new way on scales that had never been attempted, and they succeeded BRILLIANTLY in absolute record time... and now with 50 years of experience, hindsight, and technological advances to draw upon, *THIS* is what we get... truly sad!

Later! OL J R
__________________
The X-87B Cruise Basselope-- THE Ultimate Weapon in the arsenal of Homeland Security and only $52 million per round!
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:23 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Ye Olde Rocket Shoppe © 1998-2020