SLS and Orion: July 2006 Archives

Unaffordable and Unsustainable: NASA's Failing Earth-to-orbit Transportation Strategy - A Policy White Paper of the Space Frontier Foundation

"In developing this strategy, NASA has apparently ignored key elements of the White House's Space Exploration Policy and several critical recommendations of the President's Commission on Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy ("President's Commission"). Instead of planning its exploration transportation in a way that maximizes economic (and national security) benefit, NASA is working with its incumbent contractors to develop a series of government-designed and owned space exploration transportation systems to service ISS as well as explore the Moon."

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VSE Costs Climbing?

Editor's update: seems that there is a lot of hallway chatter at MSFC - and elsewhere - about the advisability of switching from RS-68 engines to RD-180s for the CaLV - the prime issue being performance and the smaller booster diameter you could get (back to 27 feet) by going with RD-180s. There is also hallway chatter about the notion of dumping the CLV alltogether and considering an EELV such as the Atlas V. Seems that the current CLV has some difficulties (as designed) in getting the current CEV (as designed) into space.

Editor's note: Word has it that internal studies done by/for Scott Pace's PA&E office show a growth in projected costs to complete the CEV program - by as much as $10-15 billion. In addition, individual lunar missions using one CEV, CLV, CaLV, LSAM, LSAS, etc. are now estimated to cost $5 Billion each. By comparison, Space Shuttle missions cost $0.5 billion each.

NASA News Conference With Mike Griffin: Exploration Systems Architecture Study (Transcript) (Sep 2005)

"As to what it's all going to cost, our estimates are about--that it will cost for the first human lunar return, it will cost about 55 percent measured in constant dollars of what Apollo cost spread out over 13 years. Apollo was done in eight years. So, spreading it out over 13 years, it will cost about 55 percent of what Apollo cost, a specific number in today's dollars, about $104 billion for the first human lunar return along the lines of the architecture you saw today."

Editor's note: That was then, this is now ...

Editor's note: Tanya E. Deason-Sharp called from Boeing. They are all upset about seeing their logo on this LockMart parody and asked that it be removed since this is "an unauthorized use
of the Boeing logo"
. I could get a lawyer and argue that parodies like this are protected by legal precedent but since Boeing is so upset about this, I'll excise the offending logo. Curiously, no one from Lockheed Martin seems to be upset about their Skunk Works logo appearing on spacefighters attacking the Boeing Death Star...

Editor's note: According to sources within the CEV contractor community NASA is now talking about moving CEV contractor selection from September 2006 to early 2007 (January). Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, someone at LockMart has a lot of free time on their hands - and is rather confident that they'll defeat Boeing. I guess they don't see Northrop Grumman as offering any value to the partnership. Gee, I sure hope that the LockMart folks have their English/metric conversions and systems integration process under control, that they lock the bolts on their turn over carts, and that they install the accelerometers in the right direction.

Click on image to enlarge.



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This page is an archive of entries in the SLS and Orion category from July 2006.

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