Author Topic: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study  (Read 6376 times)

Offline Graham2001

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Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« on: 08/10/2007 03:01 AM »

Another interesting file from the NTRS, its a Lockheed study that seems to be the first time that the External Tank + SRB concept everyone is familiar with makes its first appearance. The orbiter too looks more like the one that actually flew than some of the more exotic vehicles I've seen in other studies.

But what is really interesting is the development timeline, Lockheed was predicting that it would take until 1980 to get the shuttles up and running (Report is from 1971)...only one year off.

http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19740078603_1974078603.pdf


Offline MKremer

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #1 on: 08/10/2007 03:12 AM »
I'm assuming you're aware of all the historical documents here:

http://www.geocities.com/bobandrepont/shuttlepdf.htm

There's lots of studies along those lines well before 1980.

Offline CFE

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #2 on: 08/10/2007 06:55 AM »
The Lockheed study appears to be from a period when a winged liquid booster was duking it out with twin SRB's.  I believe that 1971 was the same year when SRB's were baselined and the shuttle as we know it took shape.  The orbiter contract was awarded in July '72 to Rockwell, with the expectation that the first flight would take place in 1978-9.  Unforeseen problems with the SSME's and TPS pull testing pushed the first flight back to 1981.

I don't think we should make much of Lockheed's predicted 1980 date, because it probably assumed a winged, liquid first stage.  Such a complex booster would have easily added a few more years to the development schedule.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline publiusr

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #3 on: 08/10/2007 05:29 PM »
I wonder if Jenkins missed any vintage studies/artwork in his books.

Offline CFE

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #4 on: 08/11/2007 01:31 AM »
Quote
publiusr - 10/8/2007  11:29 AM

I wonder if Jenkins missed any vintage studies/artwork in his books.

I'm certain that there was artwork Jenkins couldn't publish, for lack of space in his book.  But I'm certain that all shuttle design studies that were ever worth mentioning were covered in Jenkins's book.  Yeah, he's that good.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline edkyle99

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RE: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #5 on: 08/11/2007 03:50 AM »
Imagine that the Internet, complete with all of its gossipy forums, existed in 1971 and that a proposal like this one had found its way into the download section.  What would the reaction have been?

 - Ed Kyle

Offline wingod

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RE: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #6 on: 08/11/2007 05:19 AM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 10/8/2007  10:50 PM

Imagine that the Internet, complete with all of its gossipy forums, existed in 1971 and that a proposal like this one had found its way into the download section.  What would the reaction have been?

 - Ed Kyle

Probably what was in the official report on the subject that I saw one time; that NASA was sacrificing to lower development costs in a way that would guarantee higher operational costs.  When Cap Weinburger (head of OMB at the time) was briefed on this his reply was that was some future administration's problem, not his.


Offline CFE

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #7 on: 08/11/2007 06:10 AM »
I can easily imagine myself being a snarky malcontent in 1971, complaining about NASA's plans.  Then again, my views on Constellation are shaped by bad memories of the shuttle program.  I suppose that people were optimistic about the shuttle because America was still inebriated by the triumphs of Apollo at the time.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline meiza

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #8 on: 08/11/2007 12:29 PM »
It's true that the internet forums like usenet, smaller news servers, mailing lists or message boards have a strong negative bias to anything presented, it's as if people are trying to get prestige by shooting down things. If there are some positive comments, they often are a bit meaningless uninsightful "great!" comments. Constructive and positive analysis is often hard. I don't say impossible, just that most of the stuff isn't such. Very often "expert" comments are very negative.

There are probably reasons why it is like that, with all the expressions and human interaction being different in the internet than live. I think there is even some research done about it.
One reason is also probably that the structure of discussion goes like this: an inexperienced guy asks a question or has an idea, and the more experienced people shoot it down, and rightly so, the idea probably was unworkable.

Offline JMS

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #9 on: 08/11/2007 04:12 PM »
Well, I'm honest enough to say, as an outsider, I was excited about the shuttle program throughout the 70's. It was portrayed as the "next step". John Young said so from the surface of the moon.
Who was I to question that.

Offline mikeh

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #10 on: 08/11/2007 08:41 PM »
Quote
JMS - 11/8/2007  11:12 AM

Well, I'm honest enough to say, as an outsider, I was excited about the shuttle program throughout the 70's. It was portrayed as the "next step". John Young said so from the surface of the moon.
Who was I to question that.

At the risk of sounding negative, I remember John Young's quote from the moon.  John Young said the "Nation needs the shuttle mighty bad."  What I think he was referring to was the last two Apollo missions (18 and 19) had been cancelled and outside of Apollo Applications there wasn't wasn't going to be a U. S. manned space program.  The hard reality was that funding for the shuttle much less continued US manned presence in space was not a done deal.  The Shuttle program was funded by the slimmest of margins in Congress.  He was reacting to that vote.

The negative part of my comment is that many in the space community oversold the Shuttle concept in order to ensure a manned program.  Was it wrong?  I don't know.  I'll leave that analysis to historians one hundred years from know.  While we can argue on what is right and wrong with our present program, we are all too close to the cause and effect to to render a final judgement on that period of time.  

Consider this, how many compromises were made to the Apollo hardware once the funding started to diminish?  A great many.  Later "we" decided that there was no need for the Saturn vehicles.  What was left?  The last two moonflights to be canceled saved all of $42M for development of the Space Shuttle.  After $10B in development costs the Shuttle still wound up costing more per mission than using a Saturn launch vehicle.  How much more capable would the Saturn vehicles have been or how much of a space station could we have had for that $10B in 1981 dollars?
 
I'm sick and tired of people flaming NASA's approach to getting back to the moon and beyond.  What they are trying to do is to use a concept from the '60's (developed at enormous cost then) and wed it to the funding and political realities of the 21st century.  Will there be compromises?  Yes, without question.  Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Apollo Apps, Shuttle all had dreams tempered and crushed by reality.  As an engineer I've experienced many dreams being treated this way.  Now people are whining that there will be a 4 year gap of U. S. manned launches and that there are better launch vehicles to do it.  Instead of slamming NASA how about hammering the Congress for increased funding?  "No bucks, no Buck Rogers".  Maybe then you will get what you want.  That "better" launch vehicle or spacecraft.  The real enemies of Space Exploration are the bureaucrats in Washington not the people who are developing the system.

Consider this the next time you go "negative".  Everytime you complain that we aren't doing it "right"  and ridicule the people on the front lines you add your voice to all those who say why spend money on the Space Program?  I can find many positive things to say about the current effort.  Would I want some things to be different?  You bet.  I also wish that we had never abandoned the 1.5 launch solution that we already had at the end of 1973, the Saturn 1b and Saturn V.  With modifications we still could have been using them today.  Instead we had to fight for our lives so that the U.S. could maintain its presence in space.  The Nation did need the shuttle "mighty bad",  because without it U. S. manned spaceflight  was finished.  For those of us who are dreamers, we had to compromise just as John Young did when he made that statement from the moon all those years ago.  

I agree with the spirit of one of the posters on this site, moon or mars, let's just go!

Thanks for letting me rant.

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When Nixon cancelled Apollo, I lost my chance to go to the moon.

 

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"You can't BS physics".

Don Arabian-Head of MER during Apollo

Offline Generic Username

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #11 on: 08/12/2007 07:38 AM »
Quote
CFE - 10/8/2007  7:31 PM
I'm certain that all shuttle design studies that were ever worth mentioning were covered in Jenkins's book.

Not even *close.* There were a VAST number of studies, and Dennis simply can't stuff them all into a book like his and make it financially viable. Notice that there were not only additions but *deletions* from one edition of the book to the next... the whole Buran chapter disappeared due to space constraints. He's hoping to be able to re-install the Russian (and other non-US) stuff in for the final edition, but last I heard that was still up in the air.
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Offline CFE

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #12 on: 08/12/2007 05:21 PM »
Final edition?  Does Jenkins hope to publish it after the final shuttle mission in 2010?

I do recall things being dropped between the two editions.  I'll probably pony up the dough and buy his "final" edition, because his work is very good and pretty comprehensive.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Online Jorge

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #13 on: 08/12/2007 06:29 PM »
Quote
CFE - 12/8/2007  12:21 PM

Final edition?  Does Jenkins hope to publish it after the final shuttle mission in 2010?

Yes.

Quote
I do recall things being dropped between the two editions.  I'll probably pony up the dough and buy his "final" edition, because his work is very good and pretty comprehensive.

The reason material was dropped between the second and third editions was that the book had hit the limit of what the publisher could bind into a single volume. He is considering making the fourth edition a multi-volume boxed set to allow inclusion of all the new material he wants while restoring the dropped material from the second. There would need to be a sufficient number of people willing to pay ~$100 for the set, though.

JRF

Offline CFE

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #14 on: 08/13/2007 02:36 AM »
There are few authors who can write a single volume that's worth $100, IMHO, but I think the Jenkins shuttle books would be well worth it.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline Gene DiGennaro

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #15 on: 08/14/2007 05:14 AM »
Jenkins' book is the definitive essay on the technical development of  the space shuttle.  However I read TA Heppenheimer's work first and his political history of the shuttle has left a lasting impression on me.  Frankly I find the benind the scenes stories of shuttle's development more interesting than the well documented and commonly known road to Apollo.


Offline CFE

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Re: Lockheed Space Shuttle Study
« Reply #16 on: 08/14/2007 05:58 AM »
Unfortunately, I've only read select passages from the Heppenheimer book, but it looks like it's very good.  I've read some of Heppenheimer's articles in technical history periodicals, and he does some excellent work.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

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