They can't just cancel the whole project - it's mostly developed and built - testing and other less intensive work is all that's left right?
That would be a sunk cost fallacy. What we've spent to date is irrelevant. If we don't need Orion or SLS to accomplish our manned spaceflight objectives, then it's irrational to spend another dollar on them.
Now whether we need them is a separate question. NASA's recently announced Deep Space Gateway mission concept makes good use of the SLS booster. Both Orion and SLS appear safe from cancellation at this time.
This is bull****. First Project Constellation was cancelled now maybe Orion. They are definitely not going forward in NASA.
For the record: Project Constellation was a gross display of government waste. The details would shock and insult you. NASA would be far worse today had Constellation not
been cancelled. Direct your scorn at those damned fools who conceived that misbegotten program in the first place. I'm still embarrassed to admit that - for time - I entertained the idea Constellation would work.
I'm sure SpaceX, Boeing, and Blue Origin could easily adapt their commercial crewed vehicles to do what Orion was supposed to do...
I wouldn't be so sure about that. The Dragon vehicle is rather small compared to Orion, and doesn't have the service module that can support astronauts up to 30 days in space.
Any capsule is just a taxi to transport the crew to a mission module. Specifying a huge capsule volume just increases the mass of the heat shield, landing system, abort system, etc. The capsule should just be kept to a minimum volume necessary to reach the mission module. In practical terms, that means a free-flight of 7 days each way to the various staging points in the Earth-Moon system.
AFAIR force transfer for the shuttle from booster to main tank was done at the lowest segment..
It's the upper segment that transmits force from the SRB into the External Tank (or booster core with SLS). There's a big cross-beam between the LOX and LH2 tank that carries the load. It's much more stress-efficient to "lift" from the middle of the stack.
So at this point we ain't going to the moon, the asteroid project is cancelled and the mission to Mars is too damn expensive. And the SLS rocket is a massive white elephant that will be horrendously expensive to operate. So what is the future of NASA ?
The current plan is to construct a Deep Space Gateway and Deep Space Transport vehicle:https://www.nasa.gov/feature/deep-space ... stinations
The Deep Space Gateway would be a minimalist space station located near the Earth-Moon L2 point. This is a special gravitational point that is basically a stone's throw to anywhere in the inner solar system. It only takes another 1 km/s delta-V to leave EML2 for Mars. This makes an ideal staging ground for the solar-electric powered Deep Space Transport. Solar-electric propulsion is very mass efficient, but accelerates very slowly.
I think it's actually a pretty ingenious plan. It's flexible for many different mission types. It mitigates technology risk by reusing proven elements from the ISS. It's mass efficient. It accommodates international partners. It has lots of opportunities for commercial contracting. It's a nice, incremental, not-radical way to explore the inner solar system.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.