Author Topic: Next Gen Shuttle-Capable vehicle interest as secret effort to save orbiters ends  (Read 139612 times)

Offline Namechange User

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So this wasn't all about ISS access? Amazing article by the way :)

Not at all.  Again, this was not meant to compete against CRS, CCP, etc. 
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Offline OpsAnalyst

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The upcoming proposal is still from the private sector, so no impact on NASA funding.
Wow, I really didn't understand. I wonder how that business plan worked and where the profit came from to cover the infrastructure costs.

Also, I had thought it was implied that both the upcoming proposal (meaning the entirely new vehicle, not the shuttle reboot) is to be funded by both NASA and commercial investors.

If it really is completely commercially funded I just don't understand the point in proposing it to NASA, unless it is simply to ensure support through ensured utilization. But either way, that would be very very good news!

It really was/is commercially funded.  As for "proposing" to NASA, I think there is confusion about the word.  It was about working with NASA to determine if a reboot of the Space Shuttles was possible.

Offline Robert Thompson

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I am heartened to see financial tigers pacing the cage.

Offline AdamH

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It really was/is commercially funded.  As for "proposing" to NASA, I think there is confusion about the word.  It was about working with NASA to determine if a reboot of the Space Shuttles was possible.
Yeah, sorry about that, I hope I didn't mislead anyone but myself.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2011 02:31 PM by AdamH »

Offline Rocket Science

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Well this certainly sheds some light on when I asked about the USA proposal going silent and the possibility of the Commercial Shuttle. Chris was giving me a little wink at the time, little buggers…
You too Mary Lynne! ;D
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline SimonShuttle

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Love the photos in the article, especially the rainbow shot of Atlantis and Endeavour for the next gen part.

Somewhere over the rainbow!

Offline Diagoras

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Quote
secure billions of dollars of investment

To be fair, there's securing investment and "securing investment", but either is impressive in an industry as famed for busts as the space industry. Best of luck to this project, and I'll be looking for more details on it in the next year.
"It’s the typical binary world of 'NASA is great' or 'cancel the space program,' with no nuance or understanding of the underlying issues and pathologies of the space industrial complex."

Offline kkattula

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Well I for one simply cannot wait for further details! (Now I just wish I had L2. Oh the joys of being a student..)

Christmas is 6 days away.  Start hinting L2 subsrcription would make a handy stocking filler...

Offline mrhuggy

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With this news, i was wondering if it would be viable to build a shuttle like reusable vehicle that would use the SLS first stage and SRB. Essentially a shuttle on top of the stack with some RL10 instead of OMS/SSME to place it in orbit.

Online Robotbeat

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If you're going to make a new, better Shuttle, why be limited by the Shuttle propulsion systems? SSME is a pretty sweet engine, but has high maintenance (we can do better with knowledge gained from Shuttle). Big huge SRBs like Shuttle and SLS used/use are probably too expensive for a new commercial shuttle.

The only thing that concerns me is that a lot of the capabilities of Shuttle that we're losing with the transition to commercial crew and cargo are things that are very expensive to reproduce... A really big payload bay capable of returning large satellites while having simultaneous crew access. That kind of automatically means a huge amount of mass (~100 tons) that needs to be put into orbit any time you want any of the capabilities, and thus you practically need an HLV for every launch. I'll be interested to see what sort of trades they do for that and how they can get the business case to close.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2011 03:05 PM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline OpsAnalyst

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Well this certainly sheds some light on when I asked about the USA proposal going silent and the possibility of the Commercial Shuttle. Chris was giving me a little wink at the time, little buggers…
You too Mary Lynne! ;D


We aim to please.  :)

Offline Jester

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Great story Chris, had my fingers and toes crossed, didn't work out for Shuttle, curious to see where this will go, serious enough people behind this!

Offline Jim

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That, and the ability to bring oversized cargo that not only doesn't fit in a capsule, it also doesn't goes past a 1 m CBM / APAS diameter hatch - instead, that oversized cargo needs a wide and long payload bay, with clamshell doors.
An example: the Kurs black boxes. Man, those things are big.


there is nothing onboard the ISS that can't pass thru an CBM.  As for Kurs boxes, they are in a Progress/Soyuz, they can fit thru an APAS. 
The shuttle did not provide any additional capability in this case.

Offline Jamie Young

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This is an amazing story. Wish we could have brought back the orbiters, but I hope we get the new one. Will be the most exciting vehicle since.....since shuttle!

Offline HIP2BSQRE

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Ok so my understanding here, is that this is a privately funded new launch vehicle, something similar to the shuttle but a completely new vehicle?  Are they suggesting another vehicle for carrying astronauts?  I'm just kind of confused.   What is the business case for all these new rockets?  It seems like commercial crew is still a very small market, only space tourists and the ISS.  Yet we have Boeing, SpaceX, SNC, Blue Origin, Stratolaunch, and now this yet-unnamed new Shuttle.  Something doesn't add up here.

You missed a vital element. NONE of those vehicles above are "Shuttle Capable". The missions the orbiters, or this next vehicle, will conduct are proprietary, but forget your little capsules. They can't cut it.

That's another reason to get pee'd off with some companies using "Shuttle replacement" in their pressers.

Shuttle capable??  I wonder what that means??  Take up--most things will fit in Delta or FH.  The only thing that was truely useful was the amount of stuff that it could take down.  What large stuff would people want to take down on a regular schedule that could not fit in capsule???

Offline Dappa

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Ok so my understanding here, is that this is a privately funded new launch vehicle, something similar to the shuttle but a completely new vehicle?  Are they suggesting another vehicle for carrying astronauts?  I'm just kind of confused.   What is the business case for all these new rockets?  It seems like commercial crew is still a very small market, only space tourists and the ISS.  Yet we have Boeing, SpaceX, SNC, Blue Origin, Stratolaunch, and now this yet-unnamed new Shuttle.  Something doesn't add up here.

You missed a vital element. NONE of those vehicles above are "Shuttle Capable". The missions the orbiters, or this next vehicle, will conduct are proprietary, but forget your little capsules. They can't cut it.

That's another reason to get pee'd off with some companies using "Shuttle replacement" in their pressers.
Now a new Shuttle-Capable vehicle is certainly a wonderful headline, but there's a problem in the meaning of "Shuttle capable". These ladies had so many capabilities unique to them!

Would this new vehicle be an STS replacement, having all capabilities of the STS fleet? Or does Shuttle-capable just mean that is has a large return capability? Does shuttle capability imply the need for a crew? Can we even launch crew with it, or would it be cargo only? Or does it refer to the RMS, maybe with it's big payload bay? I don't know what Shuttle-capable is!

The article says that details are to be announced next year, but the lack of detail in the current article means that I really don't know what kind of vehicle we're talking about. Therefore I didn't consider this very newsworthy, and hope to hear more of it very soon.

I did enjoy the article past the first paragraph though!

Online Chris Bergin

Ok so my understanding here, is that this is a privately funded new launch vehicle, something similar to the shuttle but a completely new vehicle?  Are they suggesting another vehicle for carrying astronauts?  I'm just kind of confused.   What is the business case for all these new rockets?  It seems like commercial crew is still a very small market, only space tourists and the ISS.  Yet we have Boeing, SpaceX, SNC, Blue Origin, Stratolaunch, and now this yet-unnamed new Shuttle.  Something doesn't add up here.

You missed a vital element. NONE of those vehicles above are "Shuttle Capable". The missions the orbiters, or this next vehicle, will conduct are proprietary, but forget your little capsules. They can't cut it.

That's another reason to get pee'd off with some companies using "Shuttle replacement" in their pressers.

Shuttle capable??  I wonder what that means??  Take up--most things will fit in Delta or FH. 

You just answered your own question :)


Deltas and FHs don't launch with orbiter payload bay parameters, arms, a large crew, airlocks, and all that jazz. This isn't a game of upmass.

Bottom line is you can't compare the capability difference, because nothing can compete with shuttle on its variety of capabilty.

Offline jgoldader

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Just an amateur here, but if we were talking about an STS-sized payload bay, I'd try to find a way to pull a Buran.  Main goals would be reducing refurb times and costs.  Not having big engines on the orbiter would reduce the weight, making reentries easier on the TPS and perhaps enabling a next-gen TPS with lower maintenance timescales and costs.  Also, not having to refurb the engines would save time and money. 

No hypergolics for the same reasons, as well as safety.  I know Boeing was looking at replacing the APUs with an all-electric system at one point.  Dennis Jenkins' book has a chapter on many other such upgrades.

Though it sounds possible to do such a thing, given that SLS has so much STS commonality, I have a very difficult time seeing a business case.  And we're talking 10-15 years, I suppose.

Jeff
Recovering astronomer

Online Robotbeat

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Ok so my understanding here, is that this is a privately funded new launch vehicle, something similar to the shuttle but a completely new vehicle?  Are they suggesting another vehicle for carrying astronauts?  I'm just kind of confused.   What is the business case for all these new rockets?  It seems like commercial crew is still a very small market, only space tourists and the ISS.  Yet we have Boeing, SpaceX, SNC, Blue Origin, Stratolaunch, and now this yet-unnamed new Shuttle.  Something doesn't add up here.

You missed a vital element. NONE of those vehicles above are "Shuttle Capable". The missions the orbiters, or this next vehicle, will conduct are proprietary, but forget your little capsules. They can't cut it.

That's another reason to get pee'd off with some companies using "Shuttle replacement" in their pressers.

Shuttle capable??  I wonder what that means??  Take up--most things will fit in Delta or FH. 

You just answered your own question :)


Deltas and FHs don't launch with orbiter payload bay parameters, arms, a large crew, airlocks, and all that jazz. This isn't a game of upmass.

Bottom line is you can't compare the capability difference, because nothing can compete with shuttle on its variety of capabilty.
...which is why Shuttle needs an HLV-class propulsion system to just get into orbit. As I said, it'll be very interesting to see how they can get the business case to close.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Namechange User

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Would this new vehicle be an STS replacement, having all capabilities of the STS fleet? Or does Shuttle-capable just mean that is has a large return capability? Does shuttle capability imply the need for a crew? Can we even launch crew with it, or would it be cargo only? Or does it refer to the RMS, maybe with it's big payload bay? I don't know what Shuttle-capable is!


All TBD but in my opinion I think it is safe to say some number of crew would be onboard.  So stay tuned.....
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

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