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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:Poltics of harping (67 comments)

The White House proposes a budget. Congress then decides whether to approve it or not. If they don't approve it, the White House can work with Congress to reach a budget that will pass.

It's not rocket science.

more than 4 years ago
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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:Unfair? Maybe. Overdue? Definitely. (67 comments)

That's cool! I appreciate your concerns about Constellation. There's a lot of bad press and unfortunate misinformation floating around, yet despite that it's extremely important to listen to the criticism.

Ares may be a polished turd, but it's the best turd ever built to date. It has the most thorough fault detection, caution and warning and abort systems of any human rated launch vehicle. First stage is reusable, just like Shuttle solid rocket motors. Hypergol and cryogenic handling is safer and more efficient than legacy systems. Block II first stages may even eliminate hydrazine completely in favor of electromechanial thrust vector control actuators. If first stage leaks, at a case or nozzle joint, the resulting side thrust can be easily countered until the end of first stage burn. Since it's not a side-mount, the escaping gas won't harm anything. We've got fault detection in both the forward and aft skirt in case of leaks on either end of the case.

1. "Black zones": In the event of an uncontained failure, the launch abort system can escape cleanly even near max Q. Ares has no "black zones", despite what the tinfoil crew may claim. Escaping from an uncontained failure is not just a requirement for solid boosters; liquid engines can blow up, too.

2. Thermal Protection Systems (TPS): Orion has sufficient thermal protection to make a worst case straight in ballistic re-entry at any point during ascent, and the capsule floats well enough and has enough life support on board to safely come down anywhere on the planet. The competing lightweight commercial capsules, launched on EELV's, do not have TPS scaled for re-entry from a lunar mission, and it's unknown if they'd even survive the heat of a ballstic North Atlantic re-entry.

3. Failsafe insertion: Ares inserts Orion in an elliptical orbit with a negative perigee altitude. If something goes horribly wrong on Orion, they come down safely in half a rev. Contrast this with the CCTS approach, naively copied from commercial satellite launching - they put their capsule (and upper stage) into a long lifetime circular orbit. If the capsule has a failure, they're stuck up there. Depending on which version you look at, the commercial crew aren't even wearing launch and entry suits.

Ares I is the safest rocket ever built. I'm proud to be a part of it. Regardless what goes on at the executive level, Constellation remains the Program of Record and it will literally take an act of Congress to kill it. Until then, Obama's proposed budget is just that: proposed.

more than 4 years ago
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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:Unfair? Maybe. Overdue? Definitely. (67 comments)

no possibility of practical stage re-use.

The solid rocket motors are reusable. I'm sorry, but you're wrong.

Once the rocket segments have been poured and cured they're effectively "loaded" and have to be handled with great care to make sure there's no possibility of accidental ignition -- something totally avoided with liquid fuel rockets where the oxidiser and fuel are kept completely separately

Red herring argument. Cryogenic liquid oxygen is way more dangerous and expensive to handle than loaded solid propellant.

I'm just glad that the Ares-I got cancelled before it killed yet more astronauts.

It isn't canceled. Constellation won't be canceled unless congress approves the Obama budget. Unless that happens, NASA is required by law to continue working the program of record. Just curious: which space industry do you work in? Your British spelling makes me curious :)

more than 4 years ago
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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:Poltics of harping (67 comments)

Checks and balances. This is what Congress does when the White House tries to overstep its Constitutional authority.

more than 4 years ago
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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:Unfair? Maybe. Overdue? Definitely. (67 comments)

CxP takes Shuttle and other legacy technology and tries to make it safer than any of the previous systems ever were. Apollo and Shuttle were developed without any idea what the reliability would be or what the risks were. Constellation was given the go-ahead with the understanding that it would be made much MUCH safer. Unfortunately, we actually tried to make it that much safer and the peanut gallery wondered why it was costing so much.

more than 4 years ago
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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:That must be that other kind of cutting funding (67 comments)

True! Problem is, nobody knows what all that extra money can be used for. The NASA centers are trying to figure out how to invent new projects to fit into the programs dictated by that budget.

more than 4 years ago
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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:Constellation was a joke (67 comments)

errr.... directly into a circular orbit that does not decay

more than 4 years ago
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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:Constellation was a joke (67 comments)

Funny thing is, the baselined CCDev trajectories are standard commercial satellite trajectories. The EELV upper stage inserts the crew capsule directly into a circular decay for at least a week. This was rationalized away by requiring scale up RCS on the crew capsule with enough delta-V to deorbit the capsule in the event of a service module engine failure. To their credit, Boeing's commercial capsule does this. Can't say for sure about Lockmart or Space-X.

more than 4 years ago
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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:Constellation was a joke (67 comments)

ULA has no idea what they're getting into, trying to man-rate Delta and Atlas. Yet even as an Ares I engineer I'm helping them to get there. As for Space-X, they're the Moller Skycar of the spaceflight business. In the past, even mentioning Direct would have gotten you dismissed as a tinfoil hatter yourself, but actually, one of the proposed HLV's to come out of Hanley's study last week had 4 segment solids with an SSME or RS-68 core. Very Direct-like, but without the woo.

more than 4 years ago
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Senators Question Removal of NASA Program Manager

Kartoffel Re:Not to sound like a tinfoil hat... (67 comments)

Obama *is* a darn politician. NASA's charter is not to buy off-the-shelf hardware, but rather to R&D low technology readiness level (TRL) projects and to and operate missions that no commercial entity would consider. I work in a small section of CxP, and coincidentally have also been an advisor to some CCTS work. I can assure you, NASA (and our contractors, of course) have our human spaceflight shit together way more than ULA/Boeing/Space-X et. al. In fact, ULA would even be attempting to human-rate their launch vehicles if it wasn't for NASA funding them to do the work! Private (that is, commercial) industry is not anywhere near ready for human spaceflight. Oh, and you know those

more than 4 years ago
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Change In Experiment Will Delay Shuttle Launch

Kartoffel Re:Seriously? (64 comments)

Yep. I was a payloads integration engineer TEN YEARS AGO, and wrote one of the early ops baselines for this shuttle flight.

more than 4 years ago
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China Warns Google To Obey Or Leave

Kartoffel Re:Oh really? (533 comments)

If you don't relax, that means the terrrists win!

more than 4 years ago
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China Warns Google To Obey Or Leave

Kartoffel Re:Oh really? (533 comments)

I'd love to brighten the lives of regular Chinese people, but what can you do when their government insists on doing the very opposite? It's not like the Berlin Airlift where you can just drop uncensored internet from the sky like candy.

more than 4 years ago
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China Warns Google To Obey Or Leave

Kartoffel Re:Oh really? (533 comments)

Agreed! As long as China remains a closed dictatorship, they have no business getting ahead. It's not that I dislike the people of China; on the contrary I wish them the very best. Their evil government simply has to go.

more than 4 years ago
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China Warns Google To Obey Or Leave

Kartoffel Re:Game of Chicken (533 comments)

It would be so great (famous last words, I know) if MS and Google together agreed to pull out of China. Send the Chinese government a unified FUCK YOU from the western centers of technology.

more than 4 years ago
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Facebook Founder Accused of Hacking Into Rivals' Email

Kartoffel Re:And what will the Register say? (261 comments)

If at all possible, they'll use the word "boffin" in there somewhere, too.

more than 4 years ago
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Facebook Founder Accused of Hacking Into Rivals' Email

Kartoffel Not Really Surprised (261 comments)

When you look at Facebook's dismal history of privacy policies and changes, it's really not that surprising. A person with flawed ethical standards tends to do unethical things.

more than 4 years ago
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Officials Sue Couple Who Removed Their Lawn

Kartoffel electrolytes (819 comments)

They should have watered their lawn with Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.

more than 4 years ago
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NASA Estimates 600 Million Metric Tons of Water Ice At Moon's North Pole

Kartoffel Re:It's ice, you clod! (271 comments)

It's equivalent to 31,700,646,200 ten-gallon Gatorade coolers. If you stacked them on top of one another, it would be enough to go to the moon and back 12 and a half times.

more than 4 years ago

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