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NASA report slams SLS over budget costs and lagging development timeline

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by ecarfan, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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  2. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    I'm not sure they see cost and schedule overruns as problems. More money flowing into more Congressional districts for longer periods. What's not to like?
     
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  3. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    The part that blew my mind was:
    How? That does not seem too hard to do, what with all of the delays on the whole program. You would think that they could have gotten further ahead with all of the extra time. smh
     
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  4. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

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    For better or worse, space schedules are inexplicably optimistic (including SpaceX, so let's not throw too many stones...), to the point where everyone knows its a bunch of lies but we all still pretend to believe in the dates. Schedule management then becomes an exercise in justifying delays and slips, not manipulating program elements to maintain deadlines. In any other industry it would be a completely unacceptable method of operating, but it just kind of "is" in the space industry. Nobody actually cares. Its kind of crazy.

    So losing 1.5 years in 2 years since kickoff is probably not too alarming to the players. It was no doubt a seriously optimistic bid from the off; at some point you have to cop to the reality of development. They'll get beat up for it, but not really...

    All the above applies to space budgets too, especially on cost-plus programs.

    If I wax a bit I think this phenomenon, like most in the space industry, traces roots back to the Mercury/Gemini/Apollo days (and probably more directly to the fire) where cost and schedule were more or less thrown out the window in favor of safety/success. Those early days basically cemented the way the space industry operates, and even 50+ years later its not easy to fold in progressive concepts that you find in many other industries. The Apollo Method is still a thing, for instance.
     
  5. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    #5 RDoc, Oct 12, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    And yet, NASA went on to enable two complete failures, killing the entire crew in both. They were not unavoidable accidents, they were due to NASA's gross failure to observe their own safety protocols in order to fly. In one case, NASA ignored temperature limits and a history of near burn through of the O rings, in the other, repeated violent hits from falling insulation striking the Shuttle at high speed.

    I'm not so sure I'd describe this as favoring safety/success.
     
  6. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

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    Sure, as time moves on there's always going to be exceptions to the rule and there's always going to be drift from the baseline MO. The underlying point was that the space industry as a whole operates pretty traditionally and is slow to change.
     

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