Author Topic: Ares I 1st stage replacement  (Read 101646 times)

Offline cpcjr

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Ares I 1st stage replacement
« on: 07/22/2008 03:35 PM »
Many of Ares I problems seem be a result of using an SRB as a 1st stage. Are there any 1st stages from LV's that are currently in use that could be use instead of the SRB that would give equal or better performance.

If so it would save both devlopment money and time

Would it reduce flight costs as well?

Could it be addaped as a buster for Ares V?

« Last Edit: 07/29/2008 02:27 AM by Chris Bergin »

Offline simonbp

Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #1 on: 07/22/2008 03:52 PM »
Oh boy, been there, done that: :)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=3307

I think the end result was that you could, but you'd probably simultaneously shrink the upper stage to better balance the dV...

Simon ;)

Offline Jim

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #2 on: 07/22/2008 03:58 PM »
Delta-IV, Atlas V, Zenit, etc

Offline gladiator1332

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #3 on: 07/22/2008 04:47 PM »
Oh boy, been there, done that: :)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=3307

I think the end result was that you could, but you'd probably simultaneously shrink the upper stage to better balance the dV...

Simon ;)

Haha, looking through that, I found this:

Quote
edkyle99 - 18/7/2006  4:58 PM
One alternative ESAS option, for example, called for the development of only one, "mid-size" launch vehicle (90-100 tonnes to LEO).  The study found that a lunar mission performed with two such launchers would cost less than the current "1.5 Launch" mission.   

 - Ed Kyle

That option has me curious.

Pure hypothetical:   Two 4-seg SRB's plus three 500,000lb thrust engines (Shuttle) today is enough to launch 116mT to ISS.

Replace the three SSME's with two RS-68's and you'd get very similar performance, but you can do so in a simpler in-line arrangement, and spend less cash.

The Payload would require an OMS system to performa the final circularisation burn, but the ol' space tug idea would seem to suit that role nicely.   The two Shuttle's OMS Pods mass a total of about 20mT, including the integral RCS systems, so my guess would be you could launch 100mT of useful payload on each flight.

NASA wouldn't need to pay for 5-segs (yet, although they'd be nice as an upgrade later), wouldn't need to plan extensive changes to the MLP's or Pad Structures and could retain much of the current infrastructure for both SRB's and ET processing.

Depending on it's expected LOC figures, it might be a realistic, less costly and quicker system to get operational.

Ross.

That's where it all began folks!  ;D

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #4 on: 07/22/2008 05:34 PM »
Oh boy, been there, done that: :)

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=3307

I think the end result was that you could, but you'd probably simultaneously shrink the upper stage to better balance the dV...

Simon ;)

Looking back at this thread, I'm not sure we did a good job defining the alternatives.  I spent far too many messages arguing definitions (I must have been in a grumpy mood) before perhaps accidentally springing the Direct crowd into action. (;))

What could replace an Ares I first stage?  Here are my answers.

1)  Atlas V Heavy with a new upper stage, perhaps powered by a J-2X but smaller than an Ares I upper stage.

2)  Delta IV Heavy with a new upper stage, smaller than Ares I upper stage but still possibly J-2X powered.

3)  New kerosene first stage powered by two RD-180s, loaded with about 355 tonnes of propellant with shrunken Ares I upper stage.  Vehicle liftoff weight about 510 tonnes. 

3.5) New kerosene first stage powered by three NK33 engines, loaded with 450 tonnes of propellant and topped by an Ares I upper stage.  This mini-beast would weigh 700 tonnes at liftoff and would be able to lift 29 tonnes or more to LEO.

4)  New kerosene first stage powered by gas generator engines producing total 800 tonnes of thrust.  Stage loaded with about 390 tonnes of propellant.  This would either have to be a new F-1A type engine, or a pair of two new 400 tonne thrust engines,  or a cluster of nine RS-27A type engines, or 14 Merlin 1C engines, etc..  Full-size Ares I upper stage.  Vehicle liftoff weight about 610 tonnes.   

5)  New hydrogen booster powered by a pair of RS-68A engines and a slightly shortened J-2X upper stage.  First stage propellant loading 300 tonnes.  Vehicle liftoff weight about 500 tonnes.  Payload exceeding 29 tonnes possible.

6)  A final, slightly off-the-wall proposal (actually considered by JSC in 2004) would be a modified External Tank loaded with perhaps 450 tonnes of propellant and fitted with four SSMEs.  This would be topped by a Centaur-size kick stage (heck, lets make it an existing Centaur, though with two RL10-A4 engines) and an Orion/LAS payload.   

Options 3-5 could serve as boosters for a heavy lift launch vehicle, but more than two would be needed to reach Ares V capabilities. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/22/2008 07:05 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline simonbp

Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #5 on: 07/22/2008 06:00 PM »
But that's why I started the thread oh so long ago; if you use the current upper stage, you don't energetically need a full three cores. Rather, to match the dV and thrust of the RSRM-V, you can take a Delta IV core, stretch the tanks a few meters and add an extra engine. It's essentially a new vehicle, but no more delta than RSRM vs RSRM-V...

Of course, this opens the whole "man-rating the RS-68" can of worms, which I'll leave to the Direct threads...

Simon ;)

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #6 on: 07/22/2008 06:45 PM »
But that's why I started the thread oh so long ago; if you use the current upper stage, you don't energetically need a full three cores. Rather, to match the dV and thrust of the RSRM-V, you can take a Delta IV core, stretch the tanks a few meters and add an extra engine. It's essentially a new vehicle, but no more delta than RSRM vs RSRM-V...
Simon ;)

A Delta IV CBC-based first stage would have to be stretched nearly 30%, or by about 10 meters, to carry enough propellant for this job, as near as I can tell.  When JAXA was confronted with this problem (H-IIA to H-IIB), it decided to go with a fatter tank.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #7 on: 07/22/2008 09:01 PM »
But that's why I started the thread oh so long ago; if you use the current upper stage, you don't energetically need a full three cores. Rather, to match the dV and thrust of the RSRM-V, you can take a Delta IV core, stretch the tanks a few meters and add an extra engine. It's essentially a new vehicle, but no more delta than RSRM vs RSRM-V...
Simon ;)

A Delta IV CBC-based first stage would have to be stretched nearly 30%, or by about 10 meters, to carry enough propellant for this job, as near as I can tell.  When JAXA was confronted with this problem (H-IIA to H-IIB), it decided to go with a fatter tank.

 - Ed Kyle

It might look something like this.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/22/2008 09:21 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline EE Scott

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #8 on: 07/23/2008 12:34 AM »
Ed, thanks for the visual comparison!  MSFC could design, test and certify (yes including man-rating) the 1st stage in their sleep if it's just a couple of RS-68s with enlarged tankage (compared to the D-IV).  It would save soooo much time and money that could be better spent on the J-2X, which I'm sure will throw us some curves in due time (if the program doesn't get cancelled before the real work begins).  Choosing to stick with the SRB 1st stage is rather masochistic at this point.  Full speed ahead on ARES IB - let's limit the gap first and foremost.
Scott

Offline simonbp

Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #9 on: 07/23/2008 04:54 AM »
IIRC, the upper stage currently provides something like 80% of the delta V; if you reduce that to closer to 60%, the GLOW should go down. Indeed, you might be able to get the upper stage light enough to not need that that second J-2X. Presumably this could be done by shortening the stage by taking out the cylindrical part of the LOX tank and scaling the LH2 tank accordingly...

The "Ares IB" name is good; it has good connotations both historically and in relation to being a "better Ares I"...

Simon ;)

Offline Capt. Nemo

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #10 on: 07/23/2008 05:36 AM »
If you're going to imagine a launch vehicle for the Orion based on Delta IV, then how about a D-IV core booster with 2 4 segment RSRM's and a J-2S upper stage? (something that looks similar to what the Titan looked like) The solids would give more than enough thrust to get a 25mT Orion into Orbit, wouldn't it? The J-2S development would probably be cheaper than J-2X which is basically a whole new engine.

(Unrelated question - Does anyone here know if the solid rockets used for ICBM's are segmented? I ask because they are, as far as i know, extremely reliable LV's.)
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Online MATTBLAK

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #11 on: 07/23/2008 06:49 AM »
The Ares 1B idea is so sensible it almost hurts...  ;) A bit like Atlas V Phase 2, only with all-American engines. It could even be a way for NASA to save face if (when?) Ares 1 T.O. and payload issues become insurmountable: By using "off-the-shelf" engines and tooling, but keeping the original Ares 1 J-2X powered upper stage to avoid scrapping all the Stage and J-2X contracts, work done and money spent.

Even 'stretched' to accommodate the propellant needed for 2x RS-68B (I'm assuming the uprated versions, but with nozzles optimized for the lower atmosphere), this "Ares 1B" vehicle would be shorter than Ares 1 with its 5 or 5.5 Segment SRM. Also, unlike Ares 1, it would have upgrade capability built in -- it would be difficult to add "Strap-ons" to Ares 1, but adding small solid (GEM-60) or liquid (NK-33 or RD-180 LOX/Kero) strap-ons to Ares 1B would make this attractive if Ares V is cancelled outright.

My reasoning? Although I'm personally unsure what Ares 1B can lift with this single-stick concept -- some say 29 tons --, by using a "Triple-Barrel" Ares 1B (C or D?) OR with 2x Atlas V corestages as strap-ons should put you in the 50-55 ton payload arena. With 3x launches and L-1 or L-2 staging used, this would be a useful booster for a Lunar mission architecture.

But what about Ares V and ATK in particular? Well, with Ares 1 and it's problems deep-sixed, the money saved would allow Shuttle flights to continue perhaps until 2012 and Orion would not have to be so stripped-down to match the anaemic Ares 1 performance. But also, ATK gets to keep people on the payroll with more Shuttle flights, then Ares V development continues to a more sensible size -- back to 5x RS-68, not 6, a more VAB-friendly height, and with cheaper, lighter 4-Segment SRBs  AND 2x Ares 1B corestages adapted as strap-ons. Having RS-68 Strap-ons has been a concept lurking in the background for Ares V upgrade anyway (Ares V-MAX?).

SO: With the Ares 1B concept, most of Ares 1's and by association, Orions problems go away, Mike Griffin and others can't complain that like Jupiter 120(!!?) "Ares 1B is too big for ISS" because Ares 1B would be "just right". And, ATK gets to keep most of its work and contracts and Ares V could shrink back to a more sensible size, because even with 2X Ares 1Bs as additional strap-ons, losing 2x 1.5 SRB segments, 1x RS-68 and some associated corestage tankage mass would drastically cut the weight of Ares V on the crawler, roadway and Pad and still give it most or all the payload to LEO and beyond needed.

Can anyone with the tools and math confirm my above assertions?

Or is all the above just, er, "Fanboy Flailings" or "Noise" and we should "Stay The Course?"  :(
« Last Edit: 07/23/2008 11:41 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline cpcjr

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #12 on: 07/23/2008 12:22 PM »

It might look something like this.

 - Ed Kyle


That's basicaly what I had in mind. Like the Ares 1B lable.

Offline cpcjr

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #13 on: 07/23/2008 12:43 PM »
The Ares 1B idea is so sensible it almost hurts...  ;) A bit like Atlas V Phase 2, only with all-American engines. It could even be a way for NASA to save face if (when?) Ares 1 T.O. and payload issues become insurmountable: By using "off-the-shelf" engines and tooling, but keeping the original Ares 1 J-2X powered upper stage to avoid scrapping all the Stage and J-2X contracts, work done and money spent.

The Ares 1B dose make sence. It solves all of Ares 1's problems in the least expensive way possible and no one needs to loose face, after all It's just an upgrade. As you stated it also has the benefit of having built in upgrade capability, that could make the Moon available even with out Ares V.

So how do we sell it to NASA?
« Last Edit: 07/23/2008 12:53 PM by cpcjr »

Offline rsp1202

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #14 on: 07/23/2008 01:17 PM »
Does anyone here know if the solid rockets used for ICBM's are segmented? I ask because they are, as far as i know, extremely reliable LV's.)


Minuteman and Trident are not segmented.

Offline William Barton

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #15 on: 07/23/2008 02:06 PM »
How about if we take that Ares 1B, add two RSRMs and forget the upper stage? That way the solids and two RS-68s can be ground lit and... Oh. Wait a minute. That's...

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #16 on: 07/23/2008 02:25 PM »
IIRC, the upper stage currently provides something like 80% of the delta V; if you reduce that to closer to 60%, the GLOW should go down. Indeed, you might be able to get the upper stage light enough to not need that that second J-2X. Presumably this could be done by shortening the stage by taking out the cylindrical part of the LOX tank and scaling the LH2 tank accordingly...

The "Ares IB" name is good; it has good connotations both historically and in relation to being a "better Ares I"...

Simon ;)

Yes, a smaller upper stage would improve performance.  The "Ares IB" shown above assumes that the Ares I upper stage is kept virtually unchanged, though some propellant offloading might be possible.  This design could meet the Ares I specs (25-ish tonnes).  An optimized vehicle with a smaller upper stage and a slightly larger first stage would not only weigh less at liftoff, but would also be able to lift more payload mass - something in the neighborhood of 29 tonnes, perhaps.  The upper stage would still be heavy enough to use a J-2X.

Now I'm wondering what a 2xRS68 first stage would be able to do with an even smaller upper stage optimized for EELV-type GTO/GEO missions. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/23/2008 02:26 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #17 on: 07/23/2008 04:58 PM »

Now I'm wondering what a 2xRS68 first stage would be able to do with an even smaller upper stage optimized for EELV-type GTO/GEO missions. 

 - Ed Kyle

Here's an answer.  Optimizing this vehicle for Orion gives an upper stage with about 95 tonnes of propellant atop a first stage with about 280 tonnes of propellant.  It can orbit 25 tonnes with a liftoff thrust to weight ratio of 1.4. 

Replacing the J-2X upper stage with an unmodified 5-meter diameter Delta IVH upper stage creates an interesting vehicle capable of boosting nearly 7 tonnes to GTO, better than any of the Delta IV Medium+ variants but less than Delta IVH. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/23/2008 05:21 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline cpcjr

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #18 on: 07/23/2008 05:31 PM »
How about if we take that Ares 1B, add two RSRMs and forget the upper stage? That way the solids and two RS-68s can be ground lit and... Oh. Wait a minute. That's...
No its not, the 1st stage is smaller than DIRECT's core.

But this Ares 1B concept would be a perfect solution to the Ares I problems and Orions related problems. That was the point of the idea

Offline Jim

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Re: Ares I 1st stage replacment.
« Reply #19 on: 07/23/2008 05:51 PM »
So would Atlas V Phase 2

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