Author Topic: Discussion/Comparison of the new generation of American heavy lift launchers  (Read 15199 times)

Offline edkyle99

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« Last Edit: 07/31/2017 02:41 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline TomH

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I've been trying to make a list of capabilities for the big rockets under development that everyone is always discussing.

I'm wondering whether New Armstrong is going to be in ITS territory or just SLS/Saturn V.

Online MATTBLAK

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We cannot know right now, but my guess would be SLS Block 1B or better.
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Offline envy887

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I've been trying to make a list of capabilities for the big rockets under development that everyone is always discussing.  Many estimates, which are mine, so feel free to critique.  Here goes. 


=====================================================
Vehicle          1st Launch   TransLunar   TransMars   
=====================================================
Falcon 9 Blk 5     2017?       ~2,500 kg?   ~2,000 kg?
Falcon 9 Blk 5-X   2017?       ~4,000 kg?   ~3,000 kg?
Falcon Heavy       2018?       ~5,500 kg    ~4,900 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018?      ~19,000 kg    16,800 kg
SLS Blk 1          2019?       24,500 kg    19,500 kg
Vulcan Centaur 551 2019?       ~6,500 kg?   ~5,000 kg?
New Glenn 2 Stg    2020?       ~9,000 kg    ~8,000 kg
NGL-5xx            2021?       ~6,000 kg    ~4,700 kg
SLS Blk 1B         2022?       39,000 kg    32,000 kg
Vulcan ACES 56x    2023?      ~10,600 kg?   ~8,400 kg?
NGL-5xx-XL         2023?      ~10,300 kg    ~8,200 kg?
New Glenn 3 Stg    2025?      ~17,000 kg?  ~15,000 kg?
SLS Blk 2          2029?      ~50,000 kg   ~45,000 kg
=====================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version


 - Ed Kyle

Block 5 expendable gets 4020kg to TMI according to SpaceX. That corresponds to ~6150kg to TLI. With ASDS landing about 35% less based on GTO performance, or ~2500 TMI and ~3000 TLI.

Online MATTBLAK

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With both the reusable and expendable F9 - I wonder which would get closest to landing 1 metric ton or better on the Moon?
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Offline envy887

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I think 3-stage New Glenn could end up with higher payload to TLI than SLS Block 1 if fully expended, with ~25000 kg or slightly more. Lots of uncertainty in that one though, particular whether Blue will want to launch any fully expendable.

Online Prettz

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I've been trying to make a list of capabilities for the big rockets under development that everyone is always discussing.  Many estimates, which are mine, so feel free to critique.  Here goes. 


=====================================================
Vehicle          1st Launch   TransLunar   TransMars   
=====================================================
Falcon 9 Blk 5     2017?       ~2,500 kg?   ~2,000 kg?
Falcon 9 Blk 5-X   2017?       ~4,000 kg?   ~3,000 kg?
Falcon Heavy       2018?       ~5,500 kg    ~4,900 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018?      ~19,000 kg    16,800 kg
SLS Blk 1          2019?       24,500 kg    19,500 kg
Vulcan Centaur 551 2019?       ~6,500 kg?   ~5,000 kg?
New Glenn 2 Stg    2020?       ~9,000 kg    ~8,000 kg
NGL-5xx            2021?       ~6,000 kg    ~4,700 kg
SLS Blk 1B         2022?       39,000 kg    32,000 kg
Vulcan ACES 56x    2023?      ~10,600 kg?   ~8,400 kg?
NGL-5xx-XL         2023?      ~10,300 kg    ~8,200 kg?
New Glenn 3 Stg    2025?      ~17,000 kg?  ~15,000 kg?
SLS Blk 2          2029?      ~50,000 kg   ~45,000 kg
=====================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version


 - Ed Kyle
I think you should have 1 more option for FH when it expends just the center core and RTLS the other two. It's something SpaceX might actually do at some point.

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Also; the expended core but the two boosters landing downrange on the barges.
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I've been trying to make a list of capabilities for the big rockets under development that everyone is always discussing.

I'm wondering whether New Armstrong is going to be in ITS territory or just SLS/Saturn V.

I met a guy who has friends who work at Blue Origin a couple of months ago, and he said that it'll definitely be comparable to the ITS.

Offline Lars-J

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Also; the expended core but the two boosters landing downrange on the barges.

There are many theoretical options, but I think Ed wants to concentrate on the practical and more likely options.

Online MATTBLAK

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Also; the expended core but the two boosters landing downrange on the barges.

There are many theoretical options, but I think Ed wants to concentrate on the practical and more likely options.
Just as likely as the others. We may see it on the Lunar Dragon mission.
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Offline spacenut

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How complicated could refueling a FH upper stage be?  Docking, slowly spinning to make the fuel go to the bottom of he tanks, pumping?   There is a lot of moving around just to dock with the space station.  Refueling has to be mastered for going to Mars, why not start with FH upper stage or even a NG upper stage when it comes on line?  Or even Vulcan refueling upper stage?  At some point refueling is going to have to take place to go to Mars.  For SpaceX or for New Glenn for that matter, with reusable first stages, refueling second stages, it still seems it would be cheaper to launch Orion on one of these rockets, refuel, then go to cis-lunar space.  No need for SLS at twice the cost. 

For that matter, why not just launch a complete FH upper stage fully fueled or a stretched upper stage no payload.  Dock Orion to it, then proceed to cis-lunar.  No need for refueling.  Just separate the booster upper stage, and redock with a new upper stage either sent on a F9 or another FH.  Two FH launches are still cheaper than one SLS launch. 

Offline envy887

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The way SpaceX wants to fly it (recovering boosters and first stage) it will barely boost 5.5 tonnes toward the Moon...

Maybe with 3-core RTLS it can only do 5.5t.

But with 3-core downrange landing its payload to TLI is much higher. I get ~10,500 kg assuming 6% reserves to land the booster and 8% to land the core.

Offline Paul451

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Moved from the SLS thread:

So, NASA is supposed to just wait for these proposed launch vehicles to finally appear?  Falcon Heavy was supposed to fly in 2013. [...]   
NASA can't wait for promises when it has the propulsion in hand.
What "propulsion" does NASA have "in hand"? They haven't even figured out how to weld the tanks.
[...] So in what way would NASA be "waiting" for FH, but have SLS "in hand"?
NASA has RS-25 and five-segment booster and RL10 and, for Orion, AJ-10.  In-hand.

Not so. The RS-25's have no core to ride. The core isn't built, NASA is "waiting on" Boeing to build it. The new RS-25s are a different design that NASA is "waiting on", at a cost of $1.15 billion. The AJ-10 has no service module to ride, NASA is "waiting on" the ESA's contractors. And the RL-10C's have no upper-stage to ride on, NASA is "waiting on" Boeing to build that too, and it isn't expected to be ready until 2021 at the earliest, and we all know that date is garbage. Only the ICPS could reasonably be considered "available".

There's no measure that SLS is "in hand" compared to anything else.

[Falcon Heavy] The way SpaceX wants to fly it (recovering boosters and first stage)

That's the kind of artificially forced comparison that got us Ares and SLS in the first place. There's no such restriction. Sx are happy to sell expendable versions to anyone who wants to pay.

And the worst-case price is so much less than the actual spending on SLS development, that the comparisons get silly. (Like being able to buy 100 FH launches for the spending projected for SLS/Orion for the first four SLS launches (even ignoring sunk-costs.))

Even if the entire rocket was thrown away it would not match even SLS Block 1

Other than the Orion+SM+LAS stack, there's no module for any mission proposal that requires more than 25 tonnes. Most less. Everything bigger is actually multiple stand-alone modules that could be launched separately.

SLS isn't capable of performing any proposed HSF mission (other than a lunar orbit) without multiple launches and orbital assembly. And SLS isn't capable of multiple launches at a cadence suitable for such missions.

Nor can an SLS-dominated agency work on any hardware necessary for BEO HSF for at least another decade. By which time we'll have had two decades of lost development and production experience of in-space hardware.

Talking about SLS's capacity is therefore meaningless. It's capacity is zero. If you have SLS, you can't fly missions.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2017 04:37 PM by Paul451 »

Offline Paul451

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How complicated could refueling a FH upper stage be?

Although an obvious long-term goal, refuelling isn't necessary at this stage (no pun intended), for the types of missions proposed by NASA.

DRA 5.0 proposes a modular transfer-stage. LM's being shopping ACES to anyone who stands still long enough. And there's a bunch of other contractors working on new hardware and systems that would be suitable for such a beast.

Since any HSF mission beyond a lunar orbit is beyond the capability of SLS without multiple launches, it seems obvious that a modular transfer-stage is a gating technology for any major NASA mission. But having a modular transfer stage would expand the capacity of any current or future launcher. (Except SLS, because it can't maintain the necessary launch cadence for useful missions.)

Two FH launches are still cheaper than one SLS launch.

Two fully expendable FH launches are cheaper than four months of SLS funding.

Offline envy887

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Also; the expended core but the two boosters landing downrange on the barges.

There are many theoretical options, but I think Ed wants to concentrate on the practical and more likely options.
Just as likely as the others. We may see it on the Lunar Dragon mission.

Precisely. The most practical option is the one that gets the mission done at lowest cost.

Offline envy887

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Two FH launches are still cheaper than one SLS launch.

Two fully expendable FH launches are cheaper than four months of SLS funding.

Since this isn't published by SpaceX, what are your assumptions for these prices? Cost to NASA might be higher if they aren't willing to ride used boosters.

It might be worthwhile adding a cost comparison to the table in the OP of this thread. It would be mostly educated guesses, but the payload estimates are no better...

Offline envy887

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I've been trying to make a list of capabilities for the big rockets under development that everyone is always discussing.  Many estimates, which are mine, so feel free to critique.  Here goes. 


=====================================================
Vehicle          1st Launch   TransLunar   TransMars   
=====================================================
Falcon 9 Blk 5     2017?       ~3,000 kg?   ~2,500 kg?
Falcon 9 Blk 5-X   2017?       ~5,000 kg     4,020 kg
Falcon Heavy       2018?       ~5,500 kg    ~4,900 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018?      ~19,000 kg    16,800 kg
SLS Blk 1          2019?       24,500 kg    19,500 kg
Vulcan Centaur 551 2019?       ~6,500 kg?   ~5,000 kg?
New Glenn 2 Stg    2020?       ~9,000 kg    ~8,000 kg
NGL-5xx            2021?       ~6,000 kg    ~4,700 kg
SLS Blk 1B         2022?       39,000 kg    32,000 kg
Vulcan ACES 56x    2023?      ~10,600 kg?   ~8,400 kg?
NGL-5xx-XL         2023?      ~10,300 kg    ~8,200 kg?
New Glenn 3 Stg    2025?      ~17,000 kg?  ~15,000 kg?
SLS Blk 2          2029?      ~50,000 kg   ~45,000 kg
=====================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version


F9 B5 Expendable GTO payload is 8300 kg per SpaceX. The upper stage is ~4500 kg and the MVac 348s Isp, so total mass inserted to GEO-1800 is 12800 kg. TLI is 725 m/s beyond GEO-1800, so total mass inserted to TLI would be 10300 kg which corresponds to 5800 kg of payload.

MTLI = ((MGTO+MUS)/e725/3414)-MUS

Using the same logic for FH yields 20650 kg translunar payload from its specified GTO payload of 26,600 kg.

Edit: Attempting this for other launchers is somewhat difficult, as we don't have all that information. For New Glenn, we know the GTO payload is expected to be 10-13 tonnes. Based on my RPA calcs, the BE-4U should have an Isp near 365 seconds. The upper stage mass is harder to estimate, but from published pictures it's volume is 3 to 4 times that of the F9 upper stage; and the thrust of the BE-4U is 3x that of the F9 upper stage. So the stage should be around 3.5 x 4500 = ~15750 kg.

Plugging those into the above equation gives a New Glenn reusable TLI payload between 5275 and 7725 kg. Slightly less than what FH can do with downrange landing, but the extra liftoff thrust, additional 1/2 stage and better match between payload mass and stage mass makes a difference for FH.

With those changes bolded:

=====================================================
Vehicle          1st Launch   TransLunar   TransMars   
=====================================================
Falcon 9 Blk 5-X   2017?      ~5,800 kg     4,020 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018?      ~20,650 kg    16,800 kg
New Glenn 2 Stg    2020?       ~7,725 kg    ~8,000 kg
=====================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version
« Last Edit: 06/06/2017 05:21 PM by envy887 »

Offline Paul451

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Two FH launches are still cheaper than one SLS launch.
Two fully expendable FH launches are cheaper than four months of SLS funding.
Since this isn't published by SpaceX, what are your assumptions for these prices?

SpaceX offers the reusable FH at $90m, with a suggested payload of >8t to GTO. They suggest the equivalent expendable payload is >24t to GTO. So I simply tripled the price. Judging by F9 pricing, that's way, way too high, completely unfair to SpaceX. But as you note, and again looking at the F9 prices, the price for NASA tends to be higher; so triple seems a reasonable fudge. And at these prices, even if I'm out by 50%, it doesn't change the result. Hell, even if I'm out by 400% it doesn't change my point.
« Last Edit: 06/06/2017 05:03 PM by Paul451 »

Online GWH

I've been trying to make a list of capabilities for the big rockets under development that everyone is always discussing.  Many estimates, which are mine, so feel free to critique.  Here goes. 


=====================================================
Vehicle          1st Launch   TransLunar   TransMars   
=====================================================
Falcon 9 Blk 5     2017?       ~3,000 kg?   ~2,500 kg?
Falcon 9 Blk 5-X   2017?       ~5,000 kg     4,020 kg
Falcon Heavy       2018?       ~5,500 kg    ~4,900 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018?      ~19,000 kg    16,800 kg
SLS Blk 1          2019?       24,500 kg    19,500 kg
Vulcan Centaur 551 2019?       ~6,500 kg?   ~5,000 kg?
New Glenn 2 Stg    2020?       ~9,000 kg    ~8,000 kg
NGL-5xx            2021?       ~6,000 kg    ~4,700 kg
SLS Blk 1B         2022?       39,000 kg    32,000 kg
Vulcan ACES 56x    2023?      ~10,600 kg?   ~8,400 kg?
NGL-5xx-XL         2023?      ~10,300 kg    ~8,200 kg?
New Glenn 3 Stg    2025?      ~17,000 kg?  ~15,000 kg?
SLS Blk 2          2029?      ~50,000 kg   ~45,000 kg
=====================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version


EDIT:  Updated Falcon 9 Payload
 - Ed Kyle

edit/gongora: moved from SLS thread

I think given the timelines of other vehicles and relative commitment level it would be fair to include Vulcan ACES distributed lift, which should be at least 26,000 kg
http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Published_Papers/Extended_Duration/Distributed-Launch-2015.pdf

Offline joek

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Some numbers seem off; not sure about Block 5, but some estimates seem optimistic for F9v1.2/FT.
The numbers for C3=0, from NASA Launch Services Program shown in attached figure.


Note: The data for F9/FH appears to be discrete; if you attempt to inquire about any data point (regardless of type of orbit), you won't get any data for F9/FH unless data for that specific data point has been entered.  E.g., if you want LEO numbers, use 400km; anything else is unlikely to return a result for any SpaceX vehicle; want C3 numbers, use C3=0; etc.
« Last Edit: 06/07/2017 02:00 AM by joek »

Offline envy887

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The LSP data hasn't been updated in a while. It doesn't match the data SpaceX has on their website, which is presumably for Block 5. They don't have any data at all on New Glenn or any other vehicle bigger than DIVH.

Offline joek

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The LSP data hasn't been updated in a while. It doesn't match the data SpaceX has on their website, which is presumably for Block 5. They don't have any data at all on New Glenn or any other vehicle bigger than DIVH.

Correct, thus my caution about "Block 5" vs. the data on the LSP site.  However, some of the numbers being thrown around in this discussion appear to be more optimistic (or pessimistic) than the LSP numbers.  Pick your poison and stick with it.

Offline envy887

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Which numbers are you referring to?

My estimates are based on the values provided by the launch service providers themselves, not NASA's LSP program. I'm not sure where Ed's numbers are from.

Offline joek

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Which numbers are you referring to?

Numbers quoted by LSP or the provider.  Any other numbers are, AFAICT, estimates by forum members--which do not appear to be consistent with other "official" numbers.

Offline envy887

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Which numbers are you referring to?

Numbers quoted by LSP or the provider.  Any other numbers are, AFAICT, estimates by forum members--which do not appear to be consistent with other "official" numbers.
I was asking which ones specifically you find inconsistent.

Offline Dante80

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For that matter, why not just launch a complete FH upper stage fully fueled or a stretched upper stage no payload.  Dock Orion to it, then proceed to cis-lunar.  No need for refueling.  Just separate the booster upper stage, and redock with a new upper stage either sent on a F9 or another FH.  Two FH launches are still cheaper than one SLS launch.

You cannot insert a fueled Falcon upper stage to Orbit. It weighs something like 120 tons (this regularly gets missed, for some reason) . And has a length of 12m+ thus making fairing encapsulation impossible. 
« Last Edit: 06/07/2017 05:02 AM by Dante80 »

Offline QuantumG

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You cannot insert a fueled Falcon upper stage to Orbit. It weighs something like 120 tons (this regularly gets missed, for some reason) . And has a length of 12m+ thus making fairing encapsulation impossible.

I'm just gunna leave the second part of this alone :)

We don't know much about the Falcon Heavy second stage mass figures. Some reasonable estimates are:

Length: 13.8 m
Diameter: 3.7 m
Empty mass: 3,900 kg
Propellant mass: 92,670 kg
Thrust: 934 kN
ISP: 348 s
Payload to LEO: 63,800 kg

These come from here and here and of course here.

If you apply the rocket equation to these numbers you find that the second stage is only providing about 3 km/s of delta-v to the payload to get it to orbit. That's the idea of the Falcon heavy, the boosters push the core stages hard and it's also why recovering the first stage is so much more difficult than Falcon 9.

Say you just launch an empty fairing, how much fuel will be left in the second stage? Answer: about 39% What does that mean? It means you can throw about 19 tons through TLI.

The dry mass of a Merlin 1D is about 630 kg. I don't know how much the mass the extended nozzle is, and I also haven't tried to account for the fairing mass, which we don't need any more... but whatever. Say the dry mass per meter of the tank is about 234 kg and the propellant per meter of tank is about 6715 kg. Let's stretch the tank by 13.1 meters (the length of the fairing), what's this give us? It gives us about 35 tons through TLI.

Here is my math.
Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline QuantumG

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Oh, and honestly that's the hard way. If you just replace the fairing with a third stage that is identical to the second stage, you'll get 39 tons through TLI. The second stage does 2,230 m/s of the burn to orbit, the third stage does the rest and is 73.4% full when you come to do your TLI burn. Of course, you have to throw away another Merlin, so it's not free, and who knows if the fineness ratio is getting too high here.


Jeff Bezos has billions to spend on rockets and can go at whatever pace he likes! Wow! What pace is he going at? Well... have you heard of Zeno's paradox?

Offline Dante80

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You cannot insert a fueled Falcon upper stage to Orbit. It weighs something like 120 tons (this regularly gets missed, for some reason) . And has a length of 12m+ thus making fairing encapsulation impossible.

I'm just gunna leave the second part of this alone :)

We don't know much about the Falcon Heavy second stage mass figures. Some reasonable estimates are:

Length: 13.8 m
Diameter: 3.7 m
Empty mass: 3,900 kg
Propellant mass: 92,670 kg
Thrust: 934 kN
ISP: 348 s


The sources I used for F9 S2 weight are this and this. I imagine the FH S2 may be a little heavier when realized, if only for structural support reasons.

The quoted numbers from SFI are a little weird though. Without a PAF, fairings and payload the number they give comes short (549,054 kg vs 517,800 kg). Also ,the numbers they give for S2 are exactly the same as those listed here for v1.1. I think that the article was simply not updated properly.

I agree that it is not that easy to ascertain S2 weight, since the public information we have is lacking (and FH has not even flown yet, of course).
« Last Edit: 06/07/2017 08:35 PM by Dante80 »

Offline hkultala

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SLS Blk 1          2019?    24,500 kg    19,500 kg      N/A

Where are these SLS block 1 numbers from?

They seem suspiciously low, I think the payload for these trajectories should be higher

« Last Edit: 06/07/2017 08:36 PM by hkultala »

Offline alexterrell

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Oh, and honestly that's the hard way. If you just replace the fairing with a third stage that is identical to the second stage, you'll get 39 tons through TLI. The second stage does 2,230 m/s of the burn to orbit, the third stage does the rest and is 73.4% full when you come to do your TLI burn. Of course, you have to throw away another Merlin, so it's not free, and who knows if the fineness ratio is getting too high here.

Wouldn't it be easier to use Falcon Heavy (reusable) to launch a number of ~50 ton (fuelled weight) rockets into Low Earth Orbit. Two of these (I can't recall the exact numbers) would dock on to one payload (perhaps 60 tons - expendable Falcon Heavy payload), and launch it through Trans Mars injection.

No fuel transfer needed - just docking.

ACES could be used, but given turn around times, a LOx/Kersone rocket might be better. Given a 2 week turnaround:

Week 0: FH(X) - Launch 1: Launch payload
Week 2: FH - Launch fuel tanker 1
Week 4: FH - Launch fuel tanker 2
Week 6: F9 - Launch crew in Dragon.

Offline Ictogan

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Oh, and honestly that's the hard way. If you just replace the fairing with a third stage that is identical to the second stage, you'll get 39 tons through TLI. The second stage does 2,230 m/s of the burn to orbit, the third stage does the rest and is 73.4% full when you come to do your TLI burn. Of course, you have to throw away another Merlin, so it's not free, and who knows if the fineness ratio is getting too high here.
I'd be surprised if the Falcon 9/heavy upper stage had the structural margins to carry another identical stage and a 39 ton payload.

Offline ncb1397

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Oh, and honestly that's the hard way. If you just replace the fairing with a third stage that is identical to the second stage, you'll get 39 tons through TLI. The second stage does 2,230 m/s of the burn to orbit, the third stage does the rest and is 73.4% full when you come to do your TLI burn. Of course, you have to throw away another Merlin, so it's not free, and who knows if the fineness ratio is getting too high here.
I'd be surprised if the Falcon 9/heavy upper stage had the structural margins to carry another identical stage and a 39 ton payload.

Not to mention that ~6 mT comsats already are almost maxing out the fairing:

« Last Edit: 06/07/2017 09:41 PM by ncb1397 »

Offline spacenut

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So, to get Orion to cis-lunar space with commercial rockets, SpaceX would have to stretch the 2nd stage to accomodate extra fuel, plus have docking ability and launch on FH.  Then launch Orion on FH with rear docking capability.  Then dock, and use the stretched 2nd stage from the first launch to send Orion to cis-lunar space. 

A stretched second stage shouldn't be too hard for SpaceX.  Having the docking capability for both could work out.  This would be similar to the Direct 70 ton craft approach.  Two launches dock and go to moon. 

New Glenn may be able to do the same with two launches. 

Both of these may be more than adequate for a moon program without SLS.  Competition like ISS resupply, with at least two providers.  ULA may get in the game if they can get Vulcan w/ACES. 

Even Mars could be done like NautilusX with several launch providers over time. 

Offline Coastal Ron

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Not to mention that ~6 mT comsats already are almost maxing out the fairing:

That doesn't look like a 5m fairing, and Falcon 9 fairing internal volume looks much bigger (see below with Jason 3 payload):

If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline envy887

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Not to mention that ~6 mT comsats already are almost maxing out the fairing:
That doesn't look like a 5m fairing, and Falcon 9 fairing internal volume looks much bigger (see below with Jason 3 payload):

It is. Jason 3 is just tiny, only 553 kg.

Offline joek

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I was asking which ones specifically you find inconsistent.
All of them.  We have LSP's numbers (pre-Block-5?); then we have SpaceX published estimates (Block-5?); then we have member estimates (all over the map).  Not unexpected that they are inconsistent.

Offline envy887

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SLS Blk 1          2019?    24,500 kg    19,500 kg      N/A

Where are these SLS block 1 numbers from?

They seem suspiciously low, I think the payload for these trajectories should be higher
Ed's numbers for SLS are here: http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/sls0.html

However, you are right that they are a little low. I think Ed calculated the payload that iCPS can push through 3150 m/s TLI from a 200 km staging LEO. However, SLS Block 1 will use a elliptical staging orbit with a 1800 km apogee, which only needs an additional 2725 m/s to reach the same TLI. The additional performance of the core stage gives iCPS a 3 tonne boost.

iCPS can push ~27,500 kg though that TLI, based on the mass numbers published by Boeing (see attached pdf, which cites a 27 tonne payload to TLI).

Gunther has a 28,000 kg payload to escape listed, which I think is out of date: http://space.skyrocket.de/doc_lau/sls.htm

This is the same number that shows up in Wikipedia as the payload mass to EML2, which is even further than escape. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Launch_System#Payload_mass_to_various_orbits

That is sourced from a Boeing PDF, which appears to list the TLI payload as 25 tonnes, then later states payload to EML2 as 28 tonnes http://www.boeing.com/assets/pdf/defense-space/space/sls/docs/sls_mission_booklet_jan_2014.pdf

I think that's a misunderstanding of 28,000 kg to EML2 injection, with the payload doing insertion at EML2, and the actual capacity to TLI is about 28,000 kg.
« Last Edit: 06/08/2017 12:02 AM by envy887 »

Offline envy887

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Working backward from the Trans-Mars values published by SpaceX, I came up
with 5.6 tonnes TLI for F9B5 and 20.9 tonnes TLI for FH.  I'm honestly having
trouble seeing how Falcon Heavy meets its claimed payload goals, let alone the
numbers we've conjured in our guesstimates, unless it incorporates
yet-to-be-revealed improvements.  To be conservative, I'm putting these at
5.5 tonnes and 20.5 tonnes, respectfully.
I'd prefer most accurate estimate over conservative estimate, but those both seem reasonable. Certainly within the margin for error in this exercise.

Quote
I'm certain that New Glenn's TLI number would not be less than its TMI number,
so I'm leaving my original guesses on that rocket unchanged for now.  I'm adding
a GTO column because that is an oft-listed number.

Yes the TMI number would be even lower. Pushing that giant upper stage through 3.8 km/s beyond LEO is not at all efficient. Using the same methods, I get between 3,750 kg and 2,000 kg transMars for 2-stage New Glenn with booster reuse.

If New Glenn is used for these trajectories, I imagine they will use the 3-stage version, which should be substantially better.

Offline envy887

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I was asking which ones specifically you find inconsistent.
All of them.  We have LSP's numbers (pre-Block-5?); then we have SpaceX published estimates (Block-5?); then we have member estimates (all over the map).  Not unexpected that they are inconsistent.
And what are your suggestions for improving this list?

Offline Coastal Ron

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Not to mention that ~6 mT comsats already are almost maxing out the fairing:
That doesn't look like a 5m fairing, and Falcon 9 fairing internal volume looks much bigger (see below with Jason 3 payload):

It is. Jason 3 is just tiny, only 553 kg.

Look at the shape of the fairings in the pictures. The first one is clearly conical, whereas the Falcon 9 one has a long, straight body in the middle.

ncb1397 could help clear this up by telling us what the payload was in the picture he supplied, and what the launcher was.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline envy887

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Look at the shape of the fairings in the pictures. The first one is clearly conical, whereas the Falcon 9 one has a long, straight body in the middle.

ncb1397 could help clear this up by telling us what the payload was in the picture he supplied, and what the launcher was.
That's just the perspective.
The fairing is most definitely SpaceX's. The payload is Inmarsat 5 F4:
https://spaceflightnow.com/2017/05/15/photos-falcon-9-rocket-fourth-inmarsat-5-series-satellite-prepared-for-launch/

Offline Hyperion5

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Working backward from the Trans-Mars values published by SpaceX, I came up
with 5.6 tonnes TLI for F9B5 and 20.9 tonnes TLI for FH.  I'm honestly having
trouble seeing how Falcon Heavy meets its claimed payload goals, let alone the
numbers we've conjured in our guesstimates, unless it incorporates
yet-to-be-revealed improvements.  To be conservative, I'm putting these at
5.5 tonnes and 20.5 tonnes, respectfully.

 - Ed Kyle

Begging your pardon, Ed, but you didn't want to believe that the Falcon 9 v1.1 figures were sandbagged even after Shotwell had mentioned it had a 30% margin.  How else was a rocket with a better mass ratio and 60% more mass only delivering 30% more mass to LEO than a Falcon v1.0?  It didn't add up, which is what our work in L2 Simulation thread showed.  When they came out with new figures for the Falcon 9 v1.2FT & the Falcon Heavy a year ago, you also doubted those.  Now you're doubting the latest upward revision for the Falcon Heavy.  I'm pretty confident that the LV will hit the posted figures.  Why? 

The sims I worked on with Dmitry showed it was topping 62 tonnes to LEO BEFORE Block 5 came around.  The only reason why it was pushing less than 62 tonnes to LEO in our published sim was because Dmitry was purposely limiting the acceleration.  The reason for this astounding performance really comes down to good Isp and a truly outstanding mass ratio.  In fact, the Falcon 9's mass ratios are so good a Falcon 9 v1.2FT will actually deliver a greater percentage of its launch mass to GTO than an Centaur-topped Atlas 5.  The main reason for that loss?  The Atlas 5's main stage has a TERRIBLE mass ratio relative to the Falcon 9.  Steven Pietrobon calculated you could increase the Atlas' payload to GTO by 25% by doing nothing other than simply swapping in a better mass-optimized main stage with the same engine.  In fact I believe he created a thread discussing that discovery.  Lest we think a Falcon Heavy is as off the charts as it can get, consider the possibility of a Raptor upper stage being added.  Our sims showed such a vehicle delivering more than 78 tonnes to LEO, and that was before the recent posted increases in the boosters' & core stage's thrust. 

The one thing I am skeptical of is the posted Falcon Heavy payload to Pluto figure.  So far all work I've been a part of shows that would only be possible via an indirect (gravity slingshot) approach. 

Offline envy887

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Ed, what's your source for the Vulcan numbers? The NASA OIG report on Exploration released a few months ago lists Vulcan-ACES as capable of 14 t to TLI and 10.5 t to TMI.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 02:27 AM by envy887 »

Offline Hyperion5

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Now you're doubting the latest upward revision for the Falcon Heavy. 
I have no basis to believe or to doubt the projected capabilities.  The truth is that no Falcon 9 has yet lifted anything close to the various capability claims made for the various versions through the years, but my problem with Falcon Heavy is that I simply haven't been able to conjure a model of this rocket that makes the LEO, GTO, TMI, etc. numbers converge.  I'm still trying.

 - Ed Kyle

By that standard, Ed, we'd have been scoffing at the Ariane 5's stated performance figures, because they didn't come close to maxing out its capabilities for years.  The G version, which was claimed to be capable of launching 6,950 kg to GTO from Kourou, first launched in 1996.  By the time the last Ariane 5 G flew in 2003, the rocket had never come close to maxing out its stated capability.  A better explanation was that satellite manufacturers have a long manufacturing and design lead time.  Thus they didn't design larger satellites until they were confident in the launcher.  Not too surprisingly, the Ariane 5 didn't start launching near-capacity satellites until the 6505 kg Tha´com-4/iPStar-1 in 2005, some 9 years after its initial launch, and by then they were already flying a more capable version.  We should not conclude that not maxing out a rocket's capabilities is evidence that it is incapable of stated performance figures.  Just ask the folks at Ariane. 

Offline Lars-J

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Now you're doubting the latest upward revision for the Falcon Heavy. 
I have no basis to believe or to doubt the projected capabilities.  The truth is that no Falcon 9 has yet lifted anything close to the various capability claims made for the various versions through the years

As long as you apply that same yardstick to ALL launchers, people would complain far less. It does seem like something you only do for SpaceX, however, which rubs people the wrong way.

Offline envy887

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Ed, what's your source for the Vulcan numbers? The NASA OIG report on Exploration released a few months ago lists Vulcan-ACES as capable of 14 t to TLI and 10.5 t to TMI.
I was extrapolating from the numbers presented on this, and similar, ULA charts.  Perhaps ULA has upgraded its performance estimates since this chart was released.

 - Ed Kyle
At least some of the data on that chart is from 2015 (e.g. F9 v1.2 is a "future vehicle"), so the Vulcan numbers might be out of date.

Offline envy887

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The 2-stage version is claimed to be able to get 13 tonnes to GTO, so the second stage must be pretty efficient and perhaps lighter (smaller) than it appears in the illustrations.  Pretty amazing when you think about it really - more payload than any two-stage rocket in service (and this with first stage recovery).  My guess today for New Glenn 2-stage is 8.5 tonnes TLI and 5 tonnes Trans-Mars based on the following guesstimates.  (Ask me tomorrow and I might guess differently).

S1  1,250 tonnes > 125 tonnes, ISP 329 sec
S2  155 tonnes > 12.37 tonnes, ISP 360 sec
PLF 4 tonnes

PL = 45 tonnes, delta-v = 9200 m/s
PL = 13 tonnes, delta-v = 11720 m/s
PL = 8.5 tonnes, delta-v = 12,350 m/s
PL = 5 tonnes, delta-v = 12,950 m/s

Your 125 tonne upper stage would have to stage at nearly 4,000 m/s, putting the booster through 10x the reentry heat load compared to F9, plus BO is not planning on an entry burn. That's... not happening.

You models derive far too much from EELV. Try modeling it after Falcon 9 - as Blue Origin certainly has. There is no way the upper stage is 1/10 the size of the booster, it's more like 1/5. Measuring the section view Blue has published will confirm this. From multiple analyses including modeling after Falcon 9, measuring the published renderings, optimizing for a staging velocity around 2000 m/s, and assuming a TWR near 1 at staging with a 280 tonne-force BE-4U, I estimate the upper stage will mass 260 to 290 tonnes.

If Blue is targeting not-quite state of the art mass fractions of about 6.5%, a yields a upper stage mass of about 18 tonnes. With a GLOM about 1400 tonnes it can stage at 1,850 m/s and still send 14 tonnes to GEO-1800 from the Cape (I'm assuming 365s Isp for BE-4U).

While it does just fine to GTO, that big upper stage really hurts payload to higher energy trajectories. I get right around 8000 kg translunar, which is still impressive for a 2-stage vehicle with a reusable booster.

But that, of course, is where the 3-stage version comes in.
« Last Edit: 06/09/2017 06:55 PM by envy887 »

Offline envy887

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I wonder if it would be cheaper for Blue to put that 3rd stage directly on the booster to start with... It would still compete with F9R to GTO, and expend a much smaller stage with each launch.

But yes, the 3 stage New Glenn is going to be a beast to high orbits...

Offline Lars-J

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I wonder if it would be cheaper for Blue to put that 3rd stage directly on the booster to start with... It would still compete with F9R to GTO, and expend a much smaller stage with each launch.

But yes, the 3 stage New Glenn is going to be a beast to high orbits...

Yes the 2nd stage does appear oversized.

But my theory is that those 2nd and 3rd stage are completely notional and meant to confuse competitors. I think they are working on a reusable upper stage instead, but that's my conspiracy theory of the day. :)
« Last Edit: 06/10/2017 05:31 AM by Lars-J »

Online GWH

They have already stated intent to reuse 2nd stage as a future upgrade.

Offline TrevorMonty

For BLEO missions with 3rd stage and expendable 2nd stage is likely to maximize performance. So developing simpler expendable 2nd stage first makes sense. Later on develop a reusable version for LEO missions.

Where crew vehicle fits into this development program remains to be seen. I'm picking small 6 person first that could do BLEO missions as well, followed by larger version (20? person) for LEO and maybe BLEO using New Armstrong.

Sent from my SM-G570Y using Tapatalk


Offline envy887

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Some more information on SLS payload capacity released today. Doesn't look like Block 2 will hit 50 tonnes to TLI or 40 tonnes to Mars. SLS Block 2 should be listed as 37,600 kg to TMI and 45,000 kg to TLI. Block 1B estimates appear to be pretty accurate though...
« Last Edit: 06/16/2017 03:15 AM by envy887 »

Offline Paul451

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Some more information on SLS payload capacity released today. Doesn't look like Block 2 will hit 50 tonnes to TLI or 40 tonnes to Mars. Block 1B estimates appear to be pretty accurate though...

From the figures, I can't see the value of Block 2. Other than meeting the technical LEO requirements of the legislation, it doesn't add enough to actual BLEO mission payloads to be worth the money and time.

Offline Khadgars

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Some more information on SLS payload capacity released today. Doesn't look like Block 2 will hit 50 tonnes to TLI or 40 tonnes to Mars. Block 1B estimates appear to be pretty accurate though...

From the figures, I can't see the value of Block 2. Other than meeting the technical LEO requirements of the legislation, it doesn't add enough to actual BLEO mission payloads to be worth the money and time.

Agreed.  I think they will stick with 1B imo.

Offline FinalFrontier

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Just out of curiosity and I might already know the answer but why is ITS not included?

I am assuming because it has no set timeline yet per say.
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Offline TrevorMonty

Here is ULA Distributed Launch info for a comparsion. For outer solar system missions >80km/s DL is better and probably lot cheaper.

http://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/5943030d82c1f/Distributed-Launch-2015.pdf

Offline Eric Hedman

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Just out of curiosity and I might already know the answer but why is ITS not included?

I am assuming because it has no set timeline yet per say.

Here is the latest timeline I was able to find:

http://online.liebertpub.com/na101/home/literatum/publisher/mal/journals/content/space/2017/space.2017.5.issue-2/space.2017.29009.emu/20170602/images/large/figure19.jpeg

It was part of this article that says much more:
 
http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/space.2017.29009.emu

Offline FinalFrontier

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Thanks for the links.

Still even with ITS possibly off the table between Vulcan Falcon and New Glenn there seems to be no point in SLS existing.
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Offline Paul451

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Just out of curiosity and I might already know the answer but why is ITS not included? I am assuming because it has no set timeline yet per say.

Just for pedantry, it's "per se". Latin.

Here is the latest timeline I was able to find:

Even converting Mars Musk years into ordinary Earth years, that would still be pretty extraordinary.

Offline envy887

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Just out of curiosity and I might already know the answer but why is ITS not included?

I am assuming because it has no set timeline yet per say.

This is actually a very good question.

ITS is in about the same stage of development as NG and Vulcan-ACES, with main propulsion testing and structural development, and is currently planned for first flight around the same time.

Ed?

Online gongora

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Just out of curiosity and I might already know the answer but why is ITS not included?

I am assuming because it has no set timeline yet per say.

This is actually a very good question.

ITS is in about the same stage of development as NG and Vulcan-ACES, with main propulsion testing and structural development, and is currently planned for first flight around the same time.

Ed?

Musk has said that the design has been refined and new details would be released in a few months.  Probably not much point in showing the design from last September, better to just wait for the new one. 

Offline watermod

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With the 1.5X increase in T(*) stock price since the beginning of the year Musk should have more money available to plow into ITS development.
 

Offline envy887

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For the record, in it's current design my estimate for ITS is 141,000 kg to TMI and 172,500 kg to TLI per launch including tanker launches.


I'm counting landing fuel and the propulsion section of the ITS ship as useful payload, because, well, it is useful payload (and anything SLS throws at Mars or the Moon will certainly have the same functionality counted as payload).

Offline raketa

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Seriously, Elon Musk worth is 17 billion. With Model 3 production could easily achieve over 50 billion and you are saying ITS is not funded. He is crazy about Mars for 20 years and risked everything that he owned to build Spacex. ITS first wave will cost under ~10 billion, in 10 years with SpaceX yearly profit and Tesla stock, he could easy to achieve first stage build camp and infrastructure to return ITS back to Earth.Why you underestimated him for 20 years.He was and is only hope that I will see Mars landing in my lifetime. Why so much space enthusiast hope he will fail. Do you understand he is beating company in most competitive branch auto industry?Space launch industry is mostly still 60ies.

Online MATTBLAK

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With Vulcan, New Glenn, Falcon Heavy and eventually ITS; I'm failing to see the relevance of SLS more and more - despite it's obvious Shuttle heritage of magnificence :(  I know we constantly refer to the phrase 'Rockets Aren't Legos' so often - it's a phrase that humbly grounds me and irritates me in equal measure!! I prefer to look upon the tradition of upgrades that happens to nearly every rocket launcher - from the original Atlas & Titans, to the Saturn V, even the Shuttle stack to the Delta IV, Ariane V and even the humble Soyuz rocket. All of these incredible machines have had performance and reliability upgrades over their careers.

We don't know yet what upgrades and 'tweaks' Blue Origin will introduce to the New Glenn over time. How would the Falcon Heavy perform with an upgraded upper stage? Will Ariane 6 end up being 'beefed up' over it's career? Will Japan give us an impressive boost to it's beautiful family of H-II rockets? Will ULA end up upgrading Vulcan/ACES by making an 8x GEM-63XL version with upgraded corestage engines and a stretched, higher-thrust ACES upper stage?

I personally think that such a version of Vulcan, using distributed launch could send pretty good-sized payloads to the Moon and Mars. I'd love a qualified person to write a paper/Powerpoint about doing an updated Zubrin's 'Mars Direct' using a launcher like that! Or New Glenn... The possibilities are multitude.
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Seriously, Elon Musk worth is 17 billion. With Model 3 production could easily achieve over 50 billion and you are saying ITS is not funded. He is crazy about Mars for 20 years and risked everything that he owned to build Spacex. ITS first wave will cost under ~10 billion, in 10 years with SpaceX yearly profit and Tesla stock, he could easy to achieve first stage build camp and infrastructure to return ITS back to Earth.Why you underestimated him for 20 years.He was and is only hope that I will see Mars landing in my lifetime. Why so much space enthusiast hope he will fail. Do you understand he is beating company in most competitive branch auto industry?Space launch industry is mostly still 60ies.
If his net worth is mostly tied up in company ownership (i.e. stocks) then that wealth is only useful for funding R&D if he liquidates it, and consequently that leaves him with less ownership and control in said companies. That is a road he doesn't seem interested in traveling down at present for what I think are fairly obvious reasons.

Edit: typo
« Last Edit: 06/16/2017 04:38 AM by cppetrie »

Offline raketa

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Elon major passion is Mars. He sad that major reason for collecting worth is to fund Mars mission.He will depart from Tesla if necessary, to fulfill his dream. He will sell to some company, that ensure future of electric cars.Could be Apple, Google,... But honestly, yearly profit from SpaceX and some little help 1B /yeer from Tesla stock, will be enough to fund the first phase.

Offline hkultala

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Just out of curiosity and I might already know the answer but why is ITS not included?

I am assuming because it has no set timeline yet per say.

This is actually a very good question.

ITS is in about the same stage of development as NG and Vulcan-ACES, with main propulsion testing and structural development, and is currently planned for first flight around the same time.

Ed?

No, it's not.

Elon was talking about the most optimistic possible schedule, not the realistic schedule.

The "raptor" engine being tested is said to be subscale mode, not the actual engine.

And absolutely NOTHING has yet been done for launch, manufacturing or testing sites of BFR/ITS. Manufacturing ITS/BFR at Hawthorne would be very problematic due logistics, and they have no pad that they can use for BRF/ITS in the near future. (LC-39A is not an option for many years even though it's in the video)

BO has LC-36 and a new manufacturing facility is being constructed near it.

Offline su27k

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Just out of curiosity and I might already know the answer but why is ITS not included?

I am assuming because it has no set timeline yet per say.

This is actually a very good question.

ITS is in about the same stage of development as NG and Vulcan-ACES, with main propulsion testing and structural development, and is currently planned for first flight around the same time.

Ed?
ITS was an interesting presentation.  I don't see it as a funded development effort at this point, while the others on my list are serious, funded development efforts as near as I can determine.  Musk himself said that major government funding was needed for the ITS as it was presented.

Personally I have no problem with excluding ITS since as presented it's not really a launch vehicle but a space transportation system that we have no word to describe yet. But your criteria is flawed, for example as far as I know SLS Blk 2 is not funded, and while NGL has some funding, its existence is entirely dependent on guaranteed government missions. Also we have no idea how serious Blue Origin is about 3 stage version of NG, I would be surprised they're doing serious work on it yet.

Offline edkyle99

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Some more information on SLS payload capacity released today. Doesn't look like Block 2 will hit 50 tonnes to TLI or 40 tonnes to Mars. SLS Block 2 should be listed as 37,600 kg to TMI and 45,000 kg to TLI. Block 1B estimates appear to be pretty accurate though...
Note that the Block 2 numbers are given as "minimums".   Actual payload capabilities would likely exceed.


==============================================================
Vehicle          1st Flt   TransLunar   TransMars      GTO   
==============================================================
Falcon 9 Blk 5     2017?    ~3,000 kg?   ~2,500 kg?   5,500 kg
Falcon 9 Blk 5-X   2017?    ~5,500 kg     4,020 kg    8,300 kg
Falcon Heavy       2018?    ~5,500 kg    ~4,900 kg    8,000 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018?   ~20,500 kg    16,800 kg   26,700 kg
SLS Blk 1          2019?    24,500 kg    19,500 kg      N/A
Vulcan Centaur 56x 2019?    ~8,300 kg    ~6,200 kg   10,200 kg
New Glenn 2 Stg    2020?    ~7,500 kg?   ~3,000 kg?  13,000 kg
NGL-5xx            2021?    ~6,000 kg    ~4,700 kg    8,500 kg
SLS Blk 1B         2021?    39,000 kg    32,000 kg      N/A
Vulcan ACES 56x    2023?    14,000 kg    10,500 kg   17,200 kg
NGL-5xx-XL         2023?   ~10,300 kg    ~8,200 kg?  14,700 kg
New Glenn 3 Stg    2025?   ~25,000 kg?  ~20,000 kg? ~30,000 kg?
SLS Blk 2          2028?   >45,000 kg   >37,600 kg      N/A
==============================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version

Updated 06-16-17


 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 06/16/2017 08:19 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline envy887

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ITS was an interesting presentation.  I don't see it as a funded development effort at this point

It's partially funded, to the tune of 5% of SpaceX resources. But only F9, FH, SLS Block 1 and NG 2-stage are fully funded.

Quote
while the others on my list are serious, funded development efforts as near as I can determine.
Vucan isn't fully funded, funds for it are approved quarterly. Neither is ACES, nor NGL, nor SLS Block 1B, or SLS Block 2. NG 3-stage might not be fully funded, Bezos hasn't made a definitive statement on the matter. If you preclude partially funded efforts, half the list is gone.

I don't know how you can doubt that SpaceX is serious about ITS (or something very similar). This is the very goal Musk et al have been struggling towards for the 15 years... They have invested enormous effort and aren't going to stop with this goal already in sight.

Quote
Musk himself said that major government funding was needed for the ITS as it was presented.

No, he did not say that. What he said was:

Quote from: Elon Musk
There are also many people in the private sector who are interested in helping to fund a base on Mars, and perhaps there will be interest on the government sector side to do that too. Ultimately, this is going to be a huge publicľprivate partnership.

The BASE will perhaps be partly or largely government funded; that is the part he needs help with. But the transport system he is willing to build himself. Government funds would be welcomed, but not at all strictly necessary:

Quote from: Elon Musk
I should also add that the main reason I am personally accumulating assets is in order to fund this. I really do not have any other motivation for personally accumulating assets except to be able to make the biggest contribution I can to making life multi-planetary.

Obviously "this" starts with the rocket to get there. Musk's net worth has been pointed out elsewhere, and based on his published statement he is willing to spend every cent he can get his hands on to move this project forward. And if you doubt his veracity, consider he has already done so, spending literally his last cent on it in the early days of SpaceX.

Offline envy887

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Some more information on SLS payload capacity released today. Doesn't look like Block 2 will hit 50 tonnes to TLI or 40 tonnes to Mars. SLS Block 2 should be listed as 37,600 kg to TMI and 45,000 kg to TLI. Block 1B estimates appear to be pretty accurate though...
Note that the Block 2 numbers are given as "minimums".   Actual payload capabilities would likely exceed.
They likely would be higher with liquid boosters; the user guide assumes advanced SRBs (Black Knight?).

Offline envy887

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Elon was talking about the most optimistic possible schedule, not the realistic schedule.

True. And Ed is adjusting schedules in his list to fit likely dates. None of the schedules are set in stone: the closest such thing is SLS, which was supposed to begin operational flights in 2016, but now likely won't until 2023.

Just adjust for Elon time dilation as necessary

Quote
The "raptor" engine being tested is said to be subscale mode, not the actual engine.

Also true. But it was successfully all-up fired 9 months ago, while NG and Vulcan are still waiting on an engine that has only done powerpack testing so far, and is likely at least a year behind the sub-scale Raptor. Full-scale Raptor could easily be only a year behind BE-4 (meaning they would be doing full-scale powerpack testing right now) and on a nominal track to hit a 2020 first flight.

Quote
And absolutely NOTHING has yet been done for launch, manufacturing or testing sites of BFR/ITS. Manufacturing ITS/BFR at Hawthorne would be very problematic due logistics, and they have no pad that they can use for BRF/ITS in the near future.

This is easily the best point to how far out ITS is, though I wouldn't say "nothing". They can obviously build and test components, but assembling and testing whole stages is a major issue, and 39A clearly has other priorities for the next few years. Right now ITS facilities are at least a year behind NG with a growing gap. But NG is still planning a test launch in 2019, so a 2020 ITS test launch isn't entirely impossible.

Quote
(LC-39A is not an option for many years even though it's in the video)

BO has LC-36 and a new manufacturing facility is being constructed near it.

Maybe. People keep saying this about 39A, but

Quote from: Elon Musk
The thrust level is enormous. We are talking about a lift-off thrust of 13,000
tons, so it will be quite tectonic when it takes off. However, it does fit on Pad 39A, which NASA has been kind enough to allow us to use because they oversized the pad in doing Saturn V. As a result, we can use a much larger vehicle on that same launchpad.

I seriously doubt you know more about the subject than he does. And he says it three times in a row, so there's no possible alternative explanation except that he's flat out wrong. Which is certainly possible, but I have yet to see one shred of actual evidence supporting that explanation.

Edit: fix quotes
« Last Edit: 06/17/2017 02:42 AM by envy887 »

Online gongora

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Here's a direct quote for you:
Elon Musk, June 16 2017: "Major changes to the plan coming soon."  Can we please just stop the arguing about whether last September's ITS vehicle belongs on the list until after we hear Elon's update?

Offline envy887

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Here's a direct quote for you:
Elon Musk, June 16 2017: "Major changes to the plan coming soon."  Can we please just stop the arguing about whether last September's ITS vehicle belongs on the list until after we hear Elon's update?

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/875770056323420160

Quote
Mars V2 plan coming soon, which I think addresses the most fundamental flaw in V1: how to pay for development & operation of giant rockets

Considering the "giant rockets" part, I don't see any plausible interpretation of these statement that indicates the plan is anything other than a "new generation of American heavy lift launcher". Even if the details of the ITS implementation change somewhat, its discussion here is still relevant, on topic, and constructive not to mention interesting and generally quite civil. That's more than you can say for most threads around here :D

After all, the exact details of most (all?) these vehicles are still in considerable flux and most are educated guesses at best (notice all the question marks...). I think a set of placeholder values for ITS is appropriate.

Offline rsdavis9

After all, the exact details of most (all?) these vehicles are still in considerable flux and most are educated guesses at best (notice all the question marks...). I think a set of placeholder values for ITS is appropriate.
After SpaceX provides more information in (presumably) September.

 - Ed Kyle
https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/875913504451985411
Tweet says:

Quote
So soon you wont believe it
With ELV best efficiency was the paradigm. The new paradigm is reusable, good enough, and commonality of design.
Same engines. Design once. Same vehicle. Design once. Reusable. Build once.

Offline edkyle99

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Updated with BFR added, based on the attached chart from Elon's September 29, 2017 presentation.

==============================================================
Vehicle          1st Flt   TransLunar   TransMars      GTO   
==============================================================
Falcon 9 Blk 5     2017?    ~3,000 kg?   ~2,500 kg?   5,500 kg
Falcon 9 Blk 5-X   2017?    ~5,500 kg     4,020 kg    8,300 kg
Falcon Heavy       2018?    ~5,500 kg    ~4,900 kg    8,000 kg
Falcon Heavy-X     2018?   ~20,500 kg    16,800 kg   26,700 kg
SLS Blk 1          2019?    24,500 kg    19,500 kg      N/A
Vulcan Centaur 56x 2019?    ~8,300 kg    ~6,200 kg   10,200 kg
New Glenn 2 Stg    2020?    ~7,500 kg?   ~3,000 kg?  13,000 kg
NGL-5xx            2021?    ~6,000 kg    ~4,700 kg    8,500 kg
SLS Blk 1B         2021?    39,000 kg    32,000 kg      N/A
BFR                2022?         0 kg         0 kg  ~20,000 kg
Vulcan ACES 56x    2023?    14,000 kg    10,500 kg   17,200 kg
NGL-5xx-XL         2023?   ~10,300 kg    ~8,200 kg?  14,700 kg
New Glenn 3 Stg    2025?   ~25,000 kg?  ~20,000 kg? ~30,000 kg?
SLS Blk 2          2028?   >45,000 kg   >37,600 kg      N/A
==============================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version

Updated 10-06-17{/pre]

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 10/06/2017 03:12 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline rockets4life97

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SpaceX broke the table with BFR.  ;)

Offline Paul451

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[...]

BFR's equivalent of "expendable" would be refuelling with 1, 2, 3, or 4 tugs. It shouldn't be hard to work out payload vs delta-v vs amount of refuelling. What delta-v numbers are you using for TLI/TMI/GTO?

Offline DreamyPickle

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Updated with BFR added, based on the attached chart from Elon's September 29, 2017 presentation.

Yes, BFR without refueling is pointless outside LEO. But it's explicitly designed to refuel in orbit so that should be included. Maybe also add distributed launch with ACES?

In theory BFR might be able to do more in expendable mode (like most other entries) but that's obviously silly and not going to happen. The design doesn't even include an option for detachable fairings.

Using a third stage inside the payload bay is also something that should be very seriously considered. The shuttle actually used this architecture and it would be the best way to launch space probes on BFR.

Offline Paul451

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Using a third stage inside the payload bay is also something that should be very seriously considered.

A single Raptor-vac based upper-stage with a total wet mass, including payload, maxing out the 150t to LEO, gives you 75 tonnes total mass to GTO. If the upper-stage is a lazy 10% dry mass╣, that gives you 60 tonnes to GTO.

Same stage gives 35t payload to 4km/s. 23t to 5km/s. 15t to 6km/s. Etc.


╣ In order to compete with the cost of just refuelling the BFS▓, any such expendable upper-stage would have to be cheaply built, trading mass for cost. Or you could spend more once for a reusable/refuellable tug.

▓ Musk's slides gave about 110 tonnes to GTO for a single refuelling.
« Last Edit: 10/07/2017 03:05 PM by Paul451 »

Offline envy887

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I estimate ~73,500 kg per launch to TLI with this architecture (662 tonnes counting lander and ascent stages and propellant over 9 launches). Six tankers stage at 200 km circular LEO, then the last two tankers stage at LEO+550 m/s.
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 05:47 PM by envy887 »

Offline envy887

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I also estimate ~66,000 kg per launch to TMI with 6 LEO refueling launches (462 tonnes injected for 7 total launches, TMI is LEO+3900 m/s).

Offline envy887

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How I'd display it:

==============================================================
Vehicle          1st Flt   TransLunar   TransMars      GTO   
==============================================================
...
BFR                2022?         0 kg         0 kg  ~20,000 kg
BFR-R              2022?   ~73,500 kg   ~66,000 kg      ??? kg
...
==============================================================
"X" Denotes Expendable Version
"R" Denotes LEO Refueling, per launch basis
« Last Edit: 10/09/2017 05:46 PM by envy887 »

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