SLS and Orion: May 2008 Archives

ISDC 2008 - Friday Morning - Constellation panel, Hobbyspace

"Discusses the studies that justify the Constellation architecture that Griffin had decided on long before he came to NASA as director and long before the studies were done."

Editor's note: Whoa ... wait a minute. Mike Griffin loves to go on and on about all of the analysis that went into the decision to go with the Ares 1/V architecture and how those studies (ESAS etc.) arrived at the conclusion that it was the best path to take. Now ESMD's Doug Cooke is admitting in public what many people have long known: that Mike Griffin had already decided on this concept before he even came to NASA. That said, what was the purpose of ESAS and all of the trade studies Griffin refers to if the answer was already known - smoke and mirrors?

Editor's update: Now the editor of this site has changed it to state that this was his comment - (apparently) not what Doug Cooke actually said (sorry Doug). Oh well. So much for relying on that site for accurate liveblogging quotes. FWIW the editor also mangled what I and others said in an event at ISDC yesterday.

Manning Jules Verne

Berlin unveils 'crewed spaceship', BBC

"A model of a proposed European manned spaceship has gone on show at the Berlin Air Show. The design, which has been produced by EADS Astrium, is based on the unmanned "Jules Verne" freighter recently sent to the International Space Station.

Astrium says a crewed version of the truck is a logical evolution, and could fly in the next decade if it received support from European governments. Key states - Germany, France, and Italy - are said to be very interested."

First Ares test launch likely delayed by pad conflict, SpaceflightNow

"Delays in the space shuttle program could force a one-month slip of an early test flight of NASA's next-generation rocket next year due to busy Kennedy Space Center launch facilities, agency officials said Thursday."

Shuttle's Hubble mission incurs 5-week delay, Orlando Sentinel

"The launch scheduled later this summer to service the Hubble Space Telescope will be pushed back four to five weeks because of delays in manufacturing the space shuttle's redesigned external fuel tank, a NASA official said Thursday. The delay in the tank-production schedule also is likely to affect the first test flight of a new rocket that is similar to one intended to take astronauts back to the moon."

Constellation Update

NASA Media Update About Constellation Program Progress

"NASA will host a media teleconference on Thursday, May 15, at 2 p.m. EDT, to provide an overview of progress made in the last few months and work ahead for NASA's Constellation Program. Constellation will build the spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station and return humans to the moon by 2020. Following the update, NASA managers will answer media questions."

The teleconference also will be audiocast live on NASA's Web site at:

Editor's note: When I asked Steve Cook if any of his employees were working on the "Direct" or "Jupiter" project he said that he was not aware of that anyone was. When asked if this would be allowed during or after hours, he said that it would not and that this would be "unapproved" work.

Alas, despite my pointed questions, and Steve Cook's very straightforward and unambiguous answers, the Direct Fan Boy community is now off posting their interpretations and parsing words they did not even hear and distilling alternate messages - messages that Cook clearly was not making.

Live Blog below

SpaceX Claims Crew Transfer Ability By 2011, Aviation Week

"If NASA decides by this summer to proceed with the development of crew transfer capability under the agency's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk says his company could be ready to conduct crew flights to the space station by early 2011. NASA is funding SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corp. to develop cargo capability for the International Space Station (ISS) under COTS, but so far has held off on greenlighting the crew transfer portion of the program, known as "COTS D." Only SpaceX has been actively working on a COTS D concept, with Orbital focused exclusively on cargo at this point."

Editor's note: The following posting was made by someone who posts as "Kraisee" at His real name is Ross Tierney. Tierney is a foreign national (U.K. citizen) and is one of the chief propagandists behind the "Direct" proposal - an alternate launch system some feel would be better than the Ares 1/V rockets NASA is developing. Their "Jupiter" concept was mentioned in a Senate hearing last week.

Have a look at this posting. Not only does Tierney publicly claim that he and his "team" have access to ITAR sensitive information, he proclaims that he has people on his team who actually work at MSFC and MAF who are doing detailed structural analysis for him. If this is true, then NASA civil servants and/or contractors are using their access to NASA resources that they are given by virtue of their jobs to work on a project that directly undermines NASA's official Ares program. Questions for Steve Cook: Who is paying for this? Who approved this freelancing at NASA? Is anyone in charge?

"You ever heard about this funny thing called ITAR? Discussing the size and dimensions of the Stiffening Blades and Membranes on the 3rd barrel section of the LH2 tank would most definitely be covered under that, which is why we won't ever talk about such details on any public forum.

While I have steered myself personally away from such information, there are people in the team - specifically a group at at MSFC & MAF - who do have that specific data already. When we have talked previously about changing setting on the milling machines, I'm not kidding - that team have analyzed the current tanking and manufacturing equipment, and have all the STS load data references, and they have calculated loads for Jupiter using NASA's tools, NLS data references, LV-24/25 references and Ares-I and Ares-V references as well. Then they have taken that data and added appropriate margins as defined by regular NASA standards for GR&A and such things as FS 1.4 and a host of other things I'm admittedly not very familiar with myself. This has determined the loadings which the structure will actually require in the worst-possible-case scenario. We then requested a 20% additional arbitrary load on top for the first (SWT) structure variant. With this, they re-calculated the structural requirements of both the expected (LWT) and the early-flight version (SWT). "

Orion PDR Slip

Editor's note: According to ESMD PAO: "NASA is internally assessing moving Orion's preliminary design review to November. The Orion Project has been doing systems review and key architecture trades based on November's point of departure architecture. NASA believes it may be of value to give the team additional time to mature the products and complete the systems integration in advance of Orion's preliminary design review."

NASA to Update Media About Constellation Program Progress

"NASA will host a media teleconference on Thursday, May 15, at 2 p.m. EDT, to provide an overview of progress made in the last few months and work ahead for NASA's Constellation Program."

Space race over, but some don't want to ask Russians for a ride, The Hill

"With the breakup of the Soviet Union, the concern is less about national security and proving which country's worldview is correct than it is with more terrestrial worries like money and jobs. With some irony, lobbyists note in meetings on Capitol Hill that America's former communist foe would have monopolistic powers to charge what it likes to take astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), a program led by the United States and Russia that is scheduled to be completed in 2010. ... Meanwhile, the United Space Alliance added the Breaux-Lott Leadership Group to its roster of outside lobbyists, which already included Van Scoyoc Associates."



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This page is an archive of entries in the SLS and Orion category from May 2008.

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