What's in the wings.....
November 8, 2005

NG/Boeing is building a CEV engineering model at MSFC.  From what we
understand, If your interested in seeing it have a look in Bldg 4708.

LM has conducted airbag landing tests at MSFC.

A throwaway version of the SSME may have to deal with unsynchronised whirl if a
cheaper version of the fuel turbopump is developed.
Who Stay at NASA...
August 30, 2005

When NASA speaks of transferring people from center to center in an effort to reduce the
coming RIFs one part is never discussed. The CS people displaced need to be able to do
the new exploration jobs. It is estimate that 2500-3000 can not.
Changes at NASA
August 19, 2005
Replacements for the Directors of NASA MSFC, JSC,  and KCS should be announced by the
end of August.

Editors Note* 1 in 3 is not to bad.
No 3rd Crew for ISS Until US Flagged Soyuz
or CEV Fly
August 19, 2005
With engineering issues continuing to impact the shuttle program  
NASA is strongly considering not supporting or agreeing to a 3rd ISS
crew member until the CEV is operational or NASA can acquire Soyuz
spacecraft, launch, and recovery services from the RSA.

This would involve a direct ownership of the Soyuz spacecraft and a
contract for launch and recovery services.  The US Soyuz would
remain docked to ISS for the duration of its operational life serving as
an assured crew return capability for US Astronauts and replaced as
needed regardless of the condition or number of RSA Soyuz docked
to ISS.

NASA will not have to pay for docking the Soyuz to ISS. The US owns
both FGB docking ports
Sharing Assets
August 18, 2005

Sources have told US Space News that T-Space
(Transformational Space Corporation) and Virgin
Galactic may end up sharing the same carrier
aircraft design (developed by Scaled Composites)
for the CXV and Spaceship 2
No 3rd Crew for ISS
August 15, 2005

NASA may not leave a third crew member on the
Station. European Space Agency Astronaut Thomas
Reiter may return with Atlantis and not become a  
member of Expedition 11.
US Elements for ISS
NASA is doing a study to see what hardware can be
left on the ground and the impact of the decision on
ISS. Options under consideration include not
launching the S6 Truss, eliminating one or more ULF
flights, and has previous indicated launching the JAXA
and ESA Laboratories by ATV and HIIA spacecraft.
ET Hints From MSFC

Inside word from MSFC is the largest piece of foam that came off
Discovery's ET is the result of work conducted in the forward end of
the area that failed and may not be an issue requiring redesign.

Revised maintenance and close out standards may take care of the
Update! Aug 10, 2005! Even the Washington Post agrees
with us!
ESA Wants a Better Deal

If ESA must launch the Columbus Lab to ISS attached to an ATV and
by an Ariane V rocket they want 100% use of research time and space
in the Columbus Lab. Right now the US owns 50% of all time, space
and power in Columbus as payment for launching the ESA Lab on the
Space Shuttle, sharing technology and transporting ESA astronauts
and cargo to ISS.

NASA Shuttle Derived Vehicle Design Refined

Current discussion are revolving around how to make use of the existing Shuttle
infrastructure. Right now it is estimated that 1 billion dollars can be saved by not
launching an in-line shuttle derived heavy lift launch vehicle. If a side-mounted carrier is
selected that utilized the maximum amount of existing facilities (including limited impacts to
OPF's. Two OPF's would become CEV/payload processing facilities) very limited impacts
to cost, existing ET design and work force would occur.

The one key concern is the impact of launch debris on a side mounted launch
canister/propulsion system.  While a side-mounted launch canister can be armored to
withstand impacts, damage to critical elements of a payload are still possible (the in-line
system eliminates this risk).

In addition, studies are looking at launching a CEV STS SRB launch vehicle from the
existing  STS launch platforms or if construction of a new facility would be required.  Two
launch pads may not be able to service CEV needs for ISS, expolration and heavy lift
Orbiter Swap....

If the launch of Discovery is delayed until September Atlantis may go 1st.
Atlantis is moving to the VAB for mating to its ET and SRB stack.
No software changes are required. Movement of payloads and related equiptment
would take 7-8 days.
Moving Missions.....

NASA will move control and management all Mars and Lunar exploration robotic
missions to the new Exploration program, away from Space Science at GSFC and JPL
If a Hubble Servicing mission is approved...

Discussions are underway for cancelling the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)
if a Hubble Servicing mission is approved. If a mission to Hubble is approved JWST
would be cancelled and a follow-on spacecraft built on JWST technology and
instruments would be funded in FY 2007 or FY 2008. A maximum funding cap would
be enforced and launch on an Atlas V or Delta IV would be used. Currently JWST is
scheduled to be launched on an Ariane V
FAA Requirements for Commercial Astronauts

FAA may release  training requirements for commercial Astronauts (private pilot, co-pilot and flight
support crew Astronauts who crew sub-orbital and orbital flights) later this year.  
A shuttle derived heavy lift vehicle

A shuttle derived heavy lift vehiclewill not use existing Space Shuttle Main Engines
(SSMEs). Under review are existing US and Russian engines.  Reliability, cost and the
ability to restart are key factors.  NASA will not pay for development of a new propulsion
capability and is unwilling to build an open ended number of SSMEs.

Also under review is the cost Vs. benefit of a recoverable propulsion system to be
mounted on the modified heavy lift ET.  Similar studies where conducted in the
1980's-1990's as part of the Shuttle C concept
Discovery to be retired in 2009

With the Discovery getting ready to fly on July 13th it interesting
to note current planning calls for the Discovery to be retired in
FY 2009.  This is about 1 year before retirement of the whole
orbiter fleet.  Discovery would become a hanger queen giving
parts to the other orbiters as needed. Depending on  conditions
or unplanned events Endeavour or Atlantis could be retired 1st.  
Regardless one orbiter will leave the fleet in FY 2009.
Enterprise at Smithsonian
What NASA is looking for in the CEV

Taken from an email writen by some working CEV design back in Sept. 04

1.2        CEV Subsystem
The initial CEV system will be supported by the following subsystems:
Guidance Navigation and Control CSCI
Sensor Processing
Sensor/Effector FDIR
Mode Control
Rendezvous and Proximity Ops CSCI
Auto Nav
Auto Guide
Docking Hardware Control
Vehicle System Management CSCI
Mission Manager
Vehicle Level Redundancy Management
Vehicle Health and Status
Command Manager
Mated Management
Subsystems Management CSCI
Rotary Joint
ECLSS Propulsion Mechanisms
Subsystem Health/Status
Subsystem FDIR & Control
Health Management CSCI
Data Acquisition
Symptom Detection
Diagnostic Reasoning
Results Distribution
Application Support CSCI
File Store
Data Store
Current Valve Table Startup
1553 Bus Comm
1394 Bus Comm
Crew-Vehicle Interface CSCI (also referred to as Cockpit Interface)
Crew Controls
Executive Service CSCI
Command an Data Handling CSCI
Command Handling
Flight Abort CSCI
Monitor LV
Abort Commanding
Abort Subsystems
Abort GN&C

and some more on what was broken down back in Sept. 04:

The CEV Flight software architecture differs from current US crewed spacecraft
(Space Shuttle and International Space Station) by including a Flight Abort,
Rendezvous and Proximity Operations and advanced Vehicle System
Management capabilities.

In general:
The CEV Flight Abort CSCI is similar to the capability developed for the Apollo
Command Module (and the Russian Soyuz TM). The Flight Abort CSCI will include
sensors to monitor the launch vehicle (LV) health from prior to launch (zero-zero
escape) to CEV separation from the LV upper stage.  The Flight Abort CSCI will be
automatically initiated under specific predefined conditions or by crew command.
The Launch Escape Rocket to fire and the CEV will separate from the LV upper
stage. The Flight Abort capability will separate the launch escape motor (and
shroud?) after the CEV has reached safe attitude.  Using the Abort GN&C
capability fire attitude control thrusters to eliminate CEV aerodynamic tumbling
and deploy the CEV recovery system (parachutes or parafoil).

The CEV Guidance Navigation and Control CSCI is similar to capabilities developed
for the US Space Shuttle and to a degree for the International Space Station (also
NASDA ATV). In general the GN&C capability controls vehicle attitude and position.
It will be used to keep control of the CEV during flight and each specific
operational mode (launch, orbit (free flight), docking, docked operations,
escape/undocking and reentry.

The CEV Vehicle System Management CSCI is a new capability for s US crewed
spacecraft, similar to one being developed for the Space Shuttle. This capability
acts as a system level governor of CEV systems. Redundancy Management is
control by this CSCI (failing to a back up capability) and it is assumed the CEV will
be two fault tolerant for each subsystem. Mated Management control inputs from
the ISS or other spacecraft and is used to monitor, receive and pass data
between vehicles.  The Mission Management capability is utilized to monitor and
govern a CEV mission based or preset limits and rules. Vehicle System
Management is used to monitor the current state of each subsystem and in
conjunction with redundancy management monitor and control the fault protect

The CEV Subsystem Management CSCI is similar to capabilities developed for the
Space Shuttle and International Space Station.  This capability runs the hardware
and supports life support (ECLSS), thermal control (passive and active), power via
solar arrays (this is more likely than fuel cells as they call for a rotary joint
controller and life of a fuel cell is limited by reactions carried on the CEV.
Subsystem health and status and FDIR control does the initial checking of
potential errors in the hardware and software.  Video control allows the ground to
control onboard video and is similar to the capability currently on the Space
Shuttle and International Space Station The CEV Health Management CSCI is
similar to manned spacecraft Fault Protection subsystems. This capability will
utilize expert systems capabilities to diagnose problems and take corrective
action. Working as a 4-part subsystem it will monitor and acquire data, detect
symptoms of potential problems, use existing rule and scripts to diagnose the
problem and take corrective action followed by reporting this action to the crew
and ground.

The CEV Rendezvous and Proximity Operations CSCI support auto navigation,
docking or station keeping with a spacecraft. This capability will build on the SLI
DART Mission to be launched in 2004.The ability to automatically rendezvous and
dock/station keep with a second spacecraft is a capability the US does not
currently have.  The CEV may rendezvous with the International Space Station
keep and await capture by SSRMS The CEV Application Support CSCI is similar to
existing spacecraft capabilities.

The CEV Crew-Vehicle Interface is similar to the Glass Cockpit developed to the
Space Shuttle and possibly crew laptops similar to the type used on the
International Space Station.

The CEV Command and Data Handling Capability is similar to other flown
spacecraft capabilities.
ISS Assembly Complete May Be Less Complete Than Before

Looks like US Node 3 will not fly to the International Space Station.
The Russian Science Power Platform Photovoltaic Arrays are also

The end result is the following elements should fly:
US Node 2
Remaining truss and solar power segments
Columbus Laboratory
Kibo Laboratory and External Exposure facility
US Navy Reactors Will Lead Nuclear
Space Power For NASA

The US Navy will lead and develop space
based nuclear power (now shifted to
Lunar/Mars surface operations  and in
space power - non propulsion).  The US
Navy is the world leader in nuclear power
with an unmatched safety record.

Think what can be done with 5-10
megawatts of power on the surface of
The Payloads Operation Center (POC)
at MSFC May Close in FY 2007

Assessments are being made to see if
moving the ISS POC to JSC can reduce
cost and support better consolation of
human space flight operations in the
coming years.

ESA Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV)
could be used to bring the Columbus
Laboratory to the International Space
Station (ISS)

Work is underway to see if the European
Space Agency  ATV or a variant could be used
to bring the Columbus Lab and US Node 3 to
the ISS.

A similar effort was done by the Russian Space
Agency (RSA) when it used a modified
Progress spacecraft to bring the Russian
Docking Compartment/Airlock, named Pirs (the
Russian word for pier) to the ISS
Russian Docking Compartment, named
Pirs attached to modified Progress
A Crew Exploration Vehicle  (CEV) Space
Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) Based
Launch Vehicle  Would be Worlds 1st RLV

If selected for use with the CEV a Shuttle SRB
based launch vehicle would provide NASA with
a quick, crew rated and reusable launch
vehicle. NASA and contractor are weighing the
pros and cons of this option.  If selected it would
signal the 1st extension and reuse of existing
Shuttle system components after the orbiters
are retired in FY 2010. A CEV SRB LV is
considered by many to be sufficiently robust to
meet the initial needs of project Constellation
and with a sufficiently designed crew escape
system (with a zero - zero capability)can meet
NASA safety requirements.
NASA May Leave Two Multi-Purpose
Logistics Modules (MPLM) Attached to
the International Space Station

NASA is evaluating leaving two MPLMs
attached to ISS before the Space Shuttle
Orbiters are decommissioned in FY 2010.
This could provide significant storage space
and utilize current docking births reserved for
US Node 3 and US HAB.
Copyright 2005
Big Blue Communications
All Rights Reserved

Touchstone Pictures
Centaur upperstage could fly with the CEV

Analysis is underway to see if the Centaur could be used as an
upperstage for a CEV launch vehicle.  Compatibility between STS Single
SRB LV, Atlas V and Delta IV are in work.
China is Seeking Approval to Dock with the
International Space Station

China has approached the Russian Space Agency seeking initial talks that could
lead to a Chinese Shenzhou crewed spacecraft docking to ISS in 2007 at one of
the docking ports on the  Russian ISS segments.  Complicating this is US ownership
of the FGB docking ports (The FGB was paid for by NASA).  A Chinese flight to ISS
would complicate the already strained relationship between the international
partners.  China has requested to purchase Russian docking hardware and
The Following Missions Have Been Cancelled

Tough Day for Space Science

Mars Telecommunications Orbiter

Mars Surface Laboratory

Global Precipitation Measurement

SIM Planet Quest