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Re: RE: RE: starship-design: Space Money

In a message dated 11/14/97 9:55:20 PM, you wrote:

>Actually, according to the reference I gave, those budget figures DO
>include money to maintain those facilities (and construct new ones),
>although only for the percentage of the facility that is dedicated to
>Shuttle.  In fact, cash goes to every major NASA center.  Obviously most
>of it goes to JSC and KSC.  And, no, the cost of the missions is not
>included.  For FY1996 this was $323,000,000.  It drops by 1/3 over the
>next two years.  But when we're trying to determine how much a shuttle
>mission costs, you don't include it's cargo.  But let's say we did.  Now
>we're at $9,630 per pound.  This figure does not include actual analysis
>of data, which is in a different allocation (Science) - but I think this
>is really off-limits for consideration in the cost of space-flight.
>Anyway, let's take the -entire- Human Space Flight budget for FY1996,
>which includes Shuttle, Payloads and Utilization, Space Station (my old
>division, recall), and US/Russian.  This is $5.7 billion.  Now we get
>$15,833 per pound of cargo.  This is more in-line with your figures, but
>I wonder how old they are?  Considering I had to throw all of those
>other budgets together...  The budget -can- change drastically from year
>to year.
>Just for general information, NASA's FY1998 estimates show:
>1. Human Space Flight (i.e. Station and Shuttle, including all related
>activities) = 41%
>2. Science (including Education Outreach) = 40%
>3. Communications, Core Infrastructure, Civil Service = 18%
>4. Auditing = 1%
>I also don't doubt that in the past Shuttle took up to 67%, as that
>really is not too different from the current allocations.  It's still
>the biggest (barely).  But I think that NASA's policies have been
>changing over the last couple of years (remember, also, these figures
>are for -1998-).  After all, Dan Goldin's warning was serious...
>Also, I don't disagree with you that the cost of Shuttle is enormous.
>It is indeed staggering.  I think we just disagree on the level of
>David Levine

Yeah ignoring the details my numbers when I worked in shuttle flight planning
were whispered at about $20,000 per pound, yours are about $10,000.  That
would make a fully loaded shuttle at best, be as expensive as a fully loaded
Titan booster.  A hellishly high amount for a reusable system.  

Most of this cost is in labor hours.  It took about 3-4,000 people in KSC
about 3-4 months to prep the shuttles (not including cargo) for launch.
 Thats about 1,000 man years.  Given the old labor hours cost numbers I
remember that would come to $100,000,000 to $300,000,000 in labor/benifits
and overhead.  Add in a few replacement parts (like the external tank) and
you get to a quarter to maybe .4 billion pretty quickly.  (NASA's been
streamlining a lot the last couple years so the lower numbers are probably
better.)  Then you add in the costs of the mission stuff, astronaut training,

All in all its hardly surprizing that the companies offering to build SSTO's
were confident they could cut costs a factor of 10.

I saw an interview with a couple of the old astronauts (Matingly and Conrad)
 They joked that NASA did an excelent job, under bad conditions, to do the
shuttle.  But they did a great job of building the wrong ship.  I.E. a do
anything, reusable cheap to build, uses lots of existing facilities, can act
as a space station or cargo craft, space ship.