With the promise of spring warmth finally headed for a cold-weary east coast, the Orion and Ares programs are making steady progress towards the major events of the year.
The ESMD (Exploration Systems Mission Directorate) top priorities remain selection of prime contractors for the Ares 1 second stage and the launcher’s instrument unit. A number of meetings marked the March and early April calendars at several different NASA facilities.
Huge amounts of VSE related insider news and presentations – THE most comprehensive place to follow Ares/Orion development – are available for download on L2. See list at the end of this article.
Among the highlights were a large number of events related to several SRRs (Systems Requirements Reviews) in work for Orion. For Ares, it was a period where improvements were made in documentation trees for various levels of program requirements documents.
Mission operations completed its support for the Orion Systems Requirements Review in March, convening the Orion SRR board. The MOP (Multiple Output Program) was in work of over 1,000 RIDs (Review Item Disposition System) generated from the SRR, coming out of the programâ€™s document tree. These included the System Requirements Document, Project Plan, Configuration Management Plan, and Master Integrated Verification Plan.
The SRR review team’s first complete analysis of these publications is nearly finished. KSC Ground Operations and EVA Projects are about to begin their own SRRs.
The Constellation Program is in the process of developing a Integration Roadmap for the execution of a plan that would satisfy the NPR 7120.5D (NASA Spaceflight Program and Project Management Requirements). Details contained in this roadmap, over the next 40 months of the program, is to contain a list of deliverables and other products needed to support the KDPs (KSC Documented Processes) before the briefings for the Directorate Program Management Council.
The MOP also conducted the SRR preboard and board meetings during March. MOD endorsed the meeting of key criteria and existing set of requirements and other specific element designations for the program’s current progress. There were no significant issues to be worked.
When all of these SRRs are completed, feedback will be cycled back into a set of single unified program-wide requirements.
An Ares First Stage Range Safety Technical Interchange meeting was held at KSC the week of March 19th. Folks represented included NASA KSC, USAF/45th Space Wing, LaRC, USA, and ATK. The focus of the meeting was tailoring of the Ares I-X and Ares 1 flight vehicle range safety requirements.
The Exploration Launch Projects Office is continuing to review options for the full-size Upper Stage Qual Tests, or SQ02 and SQ04. Options under consideration include using MSFC Test Stand 4699 (which would require elevating part of the stand), possible elimination of the Common Bulkhead Structural Qualification test (or SQ03) if 4699 is used. An Upper Stage Element review of these options was planned for the last week of March.
An analysis of the floor plan of the Michoud Assembly Facility by the Austin Company has been presented to the transition team. The plan looked at possible manufacturing flows associated with production of the Ares 1 Upper Stage, Ares V Core Stage, Ares V Earth Departure Stage, with other floor space to be used to the Orion CEV and COTS vehicle assembly.
Ares Vehicle Integration Office held a technical interchange meeting with ATK over integrated aborts environment modeling for the Ares 1 DAC-2 and other needs identified by the First Stage Office and ATK.
ARES V team conducted an RS-68 design review the week of March 20-27. The Ares 1 -X roll control system test readiness review was held at White Sands Test Facility in preparation for the engine test now set for April 10th.
The Ares First Stage Element Integrated Process Team identified five options for the Ares 1 thermal curtain, with a review to select the best two candidates.
First stage element verification statements have been approved for the Ares 1 System Requirements Document.
A review is underway for the Ares 1 Upper Stage Structural Test Program Plan. The topics of the review included structural test requirements, test schedules, and locations for the tests.
A Risk Management Training Session was held March 9th for the Ares 1 First Stage Element at MSFC. Attendees included the ESMD Exploration Launch Office, Safety and Mission Assurance, MSFC Engineering and ATK.
The Ares Pilot Drop Test #3 Failure Report was completed and briefed to First Stage Element (FSE) and MSFC Engineering. The FSE will now conduct a comprehensive test configuration review in May, with a repeat of the test (designated 3R) on June 25th.
The acquisition strategy for the Ares 1 Upper Stage Instrument Unit Avionics has been approved by NASA HQ.
The Constellation program also approved and/or participated in two symposia The Integration Office and the Constellation Program office supported participation in the USA’s Space Shuttle Supplier’s Conference in Washington March 5-8th.
The Integration Office is also working with ESMD to support the Space foundation’s National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs beginning Monday April 9th. Support included the preparation of vehicle information and exhibits, including a 1:25 scale Ares 1 cutaway model display.
-Frank Sietzen, a published writer and author on spaceflight for more than 25 years, operates a technical writing and communications services small business in Arlington, Virginia for the aerospace and electronics industries. You can contact him at [email protected].
Selection of L2 Resources For Ares I, V and Constellation: SIX Part Series of Ares I Upper Stage Graphical Overviews. DAC-1C DDD Vast Slides on Vehicle Design. ATK First Stage Presentation. 39B Lightning Towers Slides. DAC-1C Departure points to DAC-2 Upper Stage Graphcs (Many Changes).
Orion/CEV Display Layout Presentation (40 pages) – Feb 5. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV – Feb 2. Weather Shield (Rain Shield) for Orion on the pad – Feb 1. New Super hi-res images of Ares I – Feb 1. ATK Cutaway graphics of Ares I – perspective and axonometric – Feb 1. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. CEV Paracute Assembly System (CPAS) Presentation.
Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) overview presentation – Jan 16. Major changes to Ares I Upper Stage – expansive details and data. Ares I/Orion CxP 72031 Requirements Validation Matrix Information. Saturn Twang Test Video for use with Ares I-1R. CLV Umbilical Trade Matrix XLS.
Vehicle interfaces for the DAC 1C version of Orion Ares – Jan 3. Ares I-1R Test Flight Plan (full outline) Presentation. Ares I-1 timeline and modification expanded info. Ares I troubleshooting latest. Ares I Reference Trajectory. Boeing’s STS to Ares – Lessons Learned Presentation. Latest Ares I and Ares V baseline Configuration image and data. CLV DAC-1C (Changes to CLV Upper Stage).
Ares I-1: Four Seg+Dummy ‘Tuna Can’ stage. Ascent Developmental Flight Test Presentation. CLV Pad 39B Handover Info and Latest. New images of CLV on top of new MLP and LUT. Lockheed Martin CEV/Orion Updates. Constellation news updates. ATK figures on the 5-Seg Booster weight for CLV.
90 Minute Video of Constellation all hands meeting. CLV TIM Meeting Information. CLV/CaLV Infrastructure, Timelines and Information. Escape System Trade Study Presentation.
CEV-CLV Design Analysis Cycle Review (DAC-2) Presentation. Constellation SRR updates. CLV Stick – Troubleshooting/Alternatives/Updates. New CEV Images (include abort mode). Flight Design and Dynamics Division CEV update. CLV Mono-propellant RCS system. CEV pressurisation system review. CLV/CEV Configuration Images. The 2×3 Seg SRB Crew Launch Vehicle Option Presentation…plus more.