Author Topic: Low Cost Launch Vehicles  (Read 7391 times)

Offline Graham2001

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Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« on: 08/08/2007 01:46 PM »
I've found on the NTRS, a rather interesting article dealing with replacing the Saturn Ib and V with a series of 'modular' low cost launch vehicles, some of which would use the S-IVb stage as an upper stage.

They were to feature a simplified guidance system and be made from cheaper (& possibly) heavier materials.

For more details see:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19700001545_1970001545.pdf

The file is about 16mb in size so hopefully you'll have a fast connection.

Offline HarryM

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #1 on: 08/08/2007 04:43 PM »
That sure is a honking big nozzle. Should call it the "bigfoot" family of launch vehicles.

Offline kevin-rf

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #2 on: 08/08/2007 05:21 PM »
Pressure fed I assume...
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Offline Graham2001

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #3 on: 08/09/2007 01:54 AM »
Quote
kevin-rf - 8/8/2007  1:21 AM

Pressure fed I assume...

Correct, and they were going to use Nitrogen Tetroxide/UDMH instead of Liquid Oxygen/Hydrogen for the fuel.

Offline Ratliff

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #4 on: 08/09/2007 04:11 AM »
Quote
Graham2001 - 8/8/2007  8:54 PM

Quote
kevin-rf - 8/8/2007  1:21 AM

Pressure fed I assume...

Correct, and they were going to use Nitrogen Tetroxide/UDMH instead of Liquid Oxygen/Hydrogen for the fuel.

I'd go for white fuming nitric acid and diesel fuel.

Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #5 on: 08/09/2007 05:07 AM »
Speaking of low cost launch vehicles, someone posted a video about this old Loral proposal...





(I like the HO scale Union Pacific train in the second video!   :) )

Offline pippin

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RE: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #6 on: 08/09/2007 12:04 PM »
Quote
vt_hokie - 9/8/2007  7:07 AM

Speaking of low cost launch vehicles, someone posted a video about this old Loral proposal...





(I like the HO scale Union Pacific train in the second video!   :) )

Wow. They want to send 1 mT of duct tape to ISS. Does this tell something about the maintenanc concepts they envision for spacecraft?

Offline sandrot

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RE: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #7 on: 08/09/2007 12:51 PM »
There has been some discussion about Aquarius here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=9007&start=1

We need to see what low cost means. I have seen two different approaches:
1) Falcon: low cost because COTS components, no top technology;
2) Aquarius: low cost because of lower reliability, lower component quality.

My problem with #2 is: 1 ton payload is not a lot, I need multiple launches to my space station/fuel depot. Since the failure rate is 1/3, how many of those failures will be caused by failure of guidance system, failure of RCS, rupture of tanks, failure of docking ring... in proximity of my precious space station? Is this #2 concept viable at all?
"Paper planes do fly much better than paper spacecrafts."

Offline sandrot

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RE: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #8 on: 08/09/2007 12:53 PM »
Quote
pippin - 9/8/2007  8:04 AM

Wow. They want to send 1 mT of duct tape to ISS. Does this tell something about the maintenanc concepts they envision for spacecraft?

Didn't they once use duct tape and the back cover of a manual to fix a fender of a lunar rover?
"Paper planes do fly much better than paper spacecrafts."

Offline pippin

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #9 on: 08/09/2007 01:09 PM »
They used duct tape to fix an ailing Apollo capsule ;-)
Does duct tabe work in vacuum? I thought I heard otherwise during STS 117 tile repair activities.
Regarding the guidance: they showed a tug to carry stuff to the target.
And I think 1t of duct tape is a lot. Will be difficult to find many other low value payloads that you would accept a 1/3 failure rate for...

Offline sandrot

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #10 on: 08/09/2007 01:16 PM »
Quote
pippin - 9/8/2007  9:09 AM

[...] Does duct tabe work in vacuum? [...]

That surprised me too, but believe me, I have seen the picture. Chemical bond instead of suction effect?
"Paper planes do fly much better than paper spacecrafts."

Offline sandrot

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #11 on: 08/09/2007 01:20 PM »
From Wikipedia (while I find the picture...):

The LRVs did experience some minor problems, however. The rear fender extension on the Apollo 16 LRV was lost during EVA2 at station 8 when Young bumped into it while going to assist Duke. The dust thrown up from the wheel covered the crew, the console and the communications equipment. High battery temperatures and resulting high power consumption ensued. No repair attempt was mentioned. The fender extension on the Apollo 17 LRV broke when accidentally bumped by Eugene Cernan with a hammer handle. The crew taped the extension back in place, but due to the dusty surfaces, the tape did not adhere and the extension was lost after about 1 hour of driving, causing the astronauts to be covered with dust. For the second EVA, a replacement "fender" was made with some EVA maps, duct tape, and a pair of clamps from inside the Lunar Module - nominally used for the moveable overhead light. This repair was later undone so that the clamps could be brought back inside for launch. The maps were brought back and are now on display at the National Air and Space Museum. The abrasion from the dust is evident on some portions of the makeshift fender.
"Paper planes do fly much better than paper spacecrafts."

Offline pippin

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #12 on: 08/09/2007 01:21 PM »
Quote
sandrot - 9/8/2007  3:16 PM

Quote
pippin - 9/8/2007  9:09 AM

[...] Does duct tabe work in vacuum? [...]

That surprised me too, but believe me, I have seen the picture. Chemical bond instead of suction effect?
I think it's van der Waals' forces so kinda physical bond but has nothing to do with air pressure. I was more surprised it should not work in vacuum.

Online edkyle99

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RE: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #13 on: 08/09/2007 03:02 PM »
Quote
Graham2001 - 8/8/2007  8:46 AM

I've found on the NTRS, a rather interesting article dealing with replacing the Saturn Ib and V with a series of 'modular' low cost launch vehicles, some of which would use the S-IVb stage as an upper stage.

They were to feature a simplified guidance system and be made from cheaper (& possibly) heavier materials.

For more details see:

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19700001545_1970001545.pdf

The file is about 16mb in size so hopefully you'll have a fast connection.

This was part of a series of studies that were triggered by the original 1966 Aerospace Corporation study of the "Big Dumb Booster" concept ("Design for Minimum Cost").  

These efforts were quashed by the big-bad aerospace industry during the early 1970s, if Gregg Easterbrook's “Big Dumb Rockets" article for Newsweek (Aug. 17, 1987, p. 48) is to be believed.  The real reason may have simply been that the 1972 decision to build Shuttle eliminated money for anything else.

BTW, the Easterbrook story help trigger an OTA investigation that produced the following report in 1989.  

http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ota/Ota_2/DATA/1989/8904.PDF

This paper contains the following, terrific quote.  

"One workshop participant, whose company examined the idea in the late 1960s, said, “We were one of the earliest supporters of the ‘low-cost’ approach, but the more we studied it the more it cost.""

 - Ed Kyle

Offline sandrot

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RE: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #14 on: 08/09/2007 05:48 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 9/8/2007  11:02 AM

[...]

http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ota/Ota_2/DATA/1989/8904.PDF

This paper contains the following, terrific quote.  

"One workshop participant, whose company examined the idea in the late 1960s, said, “We were one of the earliest supporters of the ‘low-cost’ approach, but the more we studied it the more it cost.""

 - Ed Kyle

It would be interesting to hear what Elon will say in... three years?
"Paper planes do fly much better than paper spacecrafts."

Offline sandrot

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RE: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #15 on: 08/09/2007 06:02 PM »
I might be again OT, but here's why we need low cost launchers to deliver duct tape.
"Paper planes do fly much better than paper spacecrafts."

Offline meiza

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #16 on: 08/09/2007 06:19 PM »
And cardboard, scissors and clips/crimps.
 :bleh:

Offline sandrot

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #17 on: 08/09/2007 06:43 PM »
With the nowadays operating costs of RLV's and the much better performance of EELV's I'm pretty sure that every Shuttle flight carries a box full of throw-away scissors... :)
"Paper planes do fly much better than paper spacecrafts."

Offline meiza

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Re: Low Cost Launch Vehicles
« Reply #18 on: 08/09/2007 08:26 PM »
You got me. :)

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