Author Topic: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II  (Read 16680 times)

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #40 on: 07/26/2017 07:00 AM »
You're a stubborn dude... ;) And you know the subject matter. You're reading from the same book we are; but you're on a different page. We are nearly at the end of the story - with only the epilogue and/or the sequel to come. We know how this story ends! Read again what I and others wrote in previous posts, because it's clearly not sinking in...

(Time passes)

...No? Okay... There are true aerospace and Space Politics veterans on this forum. People like Jim and Chuck Longton. I can't and wont speak for them - nor will I urge them to chip in. There are also PhD's who are clearly more clued up than I. I'm going to leave any further discussion or arguments up to them.

Have fun.
« Last Edit: 07/26/2017 07:01 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline spacenut

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #41 on: 07/26/2017 08:28 PM »
Propylox, If you are going to design a paper rocket, a much better rocket was designed by DownX several years ago also.  It used a common core of 8.4m and strapped on from 2 to 8 Atlas V boosters.  It had various loads to LEO depending on how many Atlas V cores were used.  I think it only used 2-3 RS-25s or SSME's as they were called.  It didn't need an upper stage unless you wanted more payload or for a deep space probe. 

No new 5 seg solid would have had to be developed (a couple of billion spent). The RD-180 engine was already being imported and we had no problems with Russia so a large stockpile could have been bought OR we could have built it here per the contract we had with Russia.  Existing SSME's could be used and later upgraded to the RS-25's.  It could have been built sooner.  It could go from 70 to about 150 tons or more to LEO depending on how many Atlas V's were strapped on.  It was called AJAX.  Look through the files to find it. 

This rocket could have helped lower costs for Atlas V and the only engine development to pay for would have been domestic production of the RD-180. 

Another was an Atlas V phase II heavy, a 5 to 5.5m core with two RD-180 engines.  This would have been the Orion booster (the 1/2 launch) while the big AJAX could launch a huge amount of cargo.  The ACES upper stage could have been used on the Atlas V phase II heavy, while the same stage could have been used as an upper stage for AJAX for deep space probes or travel.  This or Direct would have been a lot better and cheaper to develop than the mess we now have. 

Also, I'm not sure if the RS-68 is still in production.  Once Vulcan is built, production of RS-68 will stop anyway, as it is an expensive engine. 
« Last Edit: 07/26/2017 08:32 PM by spacenut »

Offline spacenut

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #42 on: 07/26/2017 08:41 PM »
This is the thread on the AJAX launcher:

>http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22266.0<

« Last Edit: 07/26/2017 08:41 PM by spacenut »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #43 on: 07/28/2017 05:55 AM »
Here is the mission poster. A big thankyou to Michel for getting this done. There are still a number of things that are not correct, but Michel has other projects to do and I didn't want to take up more of his time. I'll let the NSF reader pick all the errors out!
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline RocketmanUS

Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #44 on: 07/28/2017 07:48 PM »
Here is the mission poster. A big thankyou to Michel for getting this done. There are still a number of things that are not correct, but Michel has other projects to do and I didn't want to take up more of his time. I'll let the NSF reader pick all the errors out!
Nice work on the art work Michel.

I like the lander, far better than Altar, just not a fan of the crasher stage but OK for a few exploration type missions.

Steven, nice work done. I know you put a lot of effort into your presentation.
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Online redliox

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #45 on: 08/01/2017 10:06 PM »
Here is the mission poster. A big thankyou to Michel for getting this done. There are still a number of things that are not correct, but Michel has other projects to do and I didn't want to take up more of his time. I'll let the NSF reader pick all the errors out!

It honestly looks like a 21st century re-imagining of Apollo, utilizing a crasher-stage but nonetheless.  I don't know whether to say it's a good or bad strategy, but on the positive I will say it looks feasible at a glance while on the negative easily as wasteful as Apollo.  All the same I wouldn't mind seeing this become a reality barring better ideas materializing.

I'd wish for some context on this to make a better call.  For example: what kind of orbit will Orion and the lander initially brake into?  We already know the Orion can just barely brake into high orbit (and all the weird variants of it); does this imply the crasher-stage, much like Altair's planned descent stage, will be doing much of the inbound work?  A second example would be knowing whether or not if either half of the lander can be reused or given some long-term function.

The laws of physics allowing, a tweak I'd like to see would be returning the already-small-looking lander back to orbit in one piece (sans the crasher-stage).  That would open the options to reusing it and refueling it between flights, which would be at least one slight improvement over Apollo methodology.

Otherwise for further constructive criticism I'd like to see some robust cargo landers complement these small crew landers.
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Online redliox

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #46 on: 08/01/2017 10:10 PM »
I like the lander, far better than Altar, just not a fan of the crasher stage but OK for a few exploration type missions.

Oh I agree.  This lander looks like it could even be adapted from the SEV concepts.  I'd like to see a version that's one-piece (sans crasher) and reusable.
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #47 on: 08/02/2017 07:51 AM »
It honestly looks like a 21st century re-imagining of Apollo, utilizing a crasher-stage but nonetheless. I don't know whether to say it's a good or bad strategy, but on the positive I will say it looks feasible at a glance while on the negative easily as wasteful as Apollo.  All the same I wouldn't mind seeing this become a reality barring better ideas materializing.

Its like somehow, we can't do it like Apollo, because that is old hat and expensive, even though it worked! We're still launching astronauts into low Earth orbit (LEO) the same way that was done in the sixties, with expendable launch vehicles and capsules that don't get reused. That's not to say that reusability is the future, which I believe it is.

Quote
I'd wish for some context on this to make a better call.  For example: what kind of orbit will Orion and the lander initially brake into?  We already know the Orion can just barely brake into high orbit (and all the weird variants of it); does this imply the crasher-stage, much like Altair's planned descent stage, will be doing much of the inbound work?  A second example would be knowing whether or not if either half of the lander can be reused or given some long-term function.

The cryogenic propulsion stage (CPS) performs Lunar orbit insertion (LOI) into low Lunar orbit (LLO). Orion has enough delta-V for a small plane change and trans Earth injection (TEI).

Trying to reuse the lander in an expendable architecture is I believe a false economy which makes the whole exercise a lot more difficult, which translates to being more expensive. You need to work out how to transfer the propellant and cargo to the lander, you need to launch into the orbital plane of the lander and you need to work out how to maintain the lander. Its a big headache. Solutions like having a Deep space gateway in high Lunar orbit just adds more complexity and cost.

If you want a reusable Lunar architecture, you need to think completely differently. The first step to reusability is to make the largest and most expensive part reusable. That is, replace the core and boosters with a reusable kerolox first stage. Next, replace the LUS and CPS with a reusable hydrolox second stage. The second stage performs LEO insertion, carrying a reusable crew capsule and reusable methalox LM (say 120 t propellant for a 22 t reusable LM, 8 t reusable capsule and 30 t dry mass for the second stage, for about 5 km/s delta-V). Four tanking flights of 30 t each fills up the second stage, which then performs TLI and LOI. The crew transfers to the LM which land on the Moon and returns to LLO, docking with the second stage and capsule. The whole shebang then returns back to Earth where the LM, second stage and capsule can be serviced for their next flight. As an added bonus, a single launch can be used for crewed missions to LEO and sending commercial satellites to GTO. All reusable!
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Propylox

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #48 on: 08/02/2017 04:02 PM »
... I'd like to see a version that's one-piece (sans crasher) and reusable.
That was my conclusion as well, so I worked a design similar to Curiosity's skycrane: The propulsion module attached to the top of a reusable habitat module or any downmass. That payload had its own landing legs specific to its mass. Three propellant tanks sat atop the propulsion module with multiple combustion chambers/nozzles on opposing sides.

It was designed for LLO-Surface sorties, transport to a downmassed permanent hab and infrastructure landings by replacing (not refilling) propellant tanks prior to each mission and occasionally replacing the engine/s as necessary. Specifically, it was designed for Rozhdestvenskiy crater.
- Reusable sortie habitat module weighed 2980kg including two 'nauts, consumables, equipment, etc
- Propulsion module weighed 1570kg including hypergolic thrusters and RTGs
- Propylox tanks (C3H6 + LOX) filled weighed 13320kg with two tanks left on the surface each flight.

Though I didn't use an SLS Block II to get to the LLO DSG and back, but an improved variant  ;)

Offline spacenut

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #49 on: 08/02/2017 04:37 PM »
That is what Saturn V proposals were working up to.  They were going to upgrade F-1 from 1.5 million lbs thrust to 1.8 million getting to 9 million lbs. and have a heat shield on the top of the stage, and parachute it back into the ocean for retrieval. 

Next the J-2 engine was to be upgraded from 200k lbs thrust to 250k lbs thrust.  Second stage was not to be reusable at this time. 

They were considering using the J-2 pump system and actually built a plug nozzle engine for the third stage, which would have made it reusable by using the engine as the heat shield and able to be a SSTO stage in itself. 

All this was to build a moon colony or outpost with heavier payloads or launching 10m core upper stages coupled 3 together for a Mars transport craft or a 10m NERVA nuclear powered rocket for Mars.  The cape could handle it, the tooling machinery and infrastructure was in place, just the will of congress, the president, and the American people. 

Maybe Block II or even a Block II could evolve SLS into a cheaper launcher to be used more often to get things done faster. 
« Last Edit: 08/02/2017 04:38 PM by spacenut »

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #50 on: 08/03/2017 07:07 AM »
Here's a three view of the LM. Thanks again to Michel Lamontagne.
« Last Edit: 08/03/2017 07:07 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline spacenut

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #51 on: 08/03/2017 12:16 PM »
Sad, but that is no bigger than Apollo.  To get anything real done on the moon, they will need a lot of cargo. 

Block II of SLS should at least ditch the solids for two 5.5 Kerolox boosters using AR-1's at the very least.  This alone would increase payload.  Then add a 5th engine on the core with a J2X upper stage.  Then we are talking real cargo and equipment. 

IF, big if, the AR-1 is developed, built, and tested.  NASA should seriously consider this.  They have already developed the J2X, and the extra plumbing for another engine shouldn't be that big a problem for them.  They could also recover the engines, like Vulcan, on the AR-1's. 

Offline RocketmanUS

Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #52 on: 08/03/2017 04:18 PM »
Sad, but that is no bigger than Apollo.  To get anything real done on the moon, they will need a lot of cargo. 

Block II of SLS should at least ditch the solids for two 5.5 Kerolox boosters using AR-1's at the very least.  This alone would increase payload.  Then add a 5th engine on the core with a J2X upper stage.  Then we are talking real cargo and equipment. 

IF, big if, the AR-1 is developed, built, and tested.  NASA should seriously consider this.  They have already developed the J2X, and the extra plumbing for another engine shouldn't be that big a problem for them.  They could also recover the engines, like Vulcan, on the AR-1's.
A cargo only version could be made of the lander.By only sending the cargo lander and no crew ( Orion ) this could deliver a greater payload mass and volume to the Lunar surface.
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #53 on: 08/04/2017 06:59 AM »
Sad, but that is no bigger than Apollo.  To get anything real done on the moon, they will need a lot of cargo. 

Block II of SLS should at least ditch the solids for two 5.5 Kerolox boosters using AR-1's at the very least.  This alone would increase payload.  Then add a 5th engine on the core with a J2X upper stage.  Then we are talking real cargo and equipment. 

IF, big if, the AR-1 is developed, built, and tested.  NASA should seriously consider this.  They have already developed the J2X, and the extra plumbing for another engine shouldn't be that big a problem for them.  They could also recover the engines, like Vulcan, on the AR-1's.
A cargo only version could be made of the lander.By only sending the cargo lander and no crew ( Orion ) this could deliver a greater payload mass and volume to the Lunar surface.

ULA's design for its large Xeus lander involves adding horizontal handling engines to the upper stage of the Vulcan launch vehicle. Could such engines be added to the SLS's Exploration Upper Stage?

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #54 on: 08/06/2017 09:16 AM »
Only real difference, other than layout, is landing legs and I was wondering if you could explain why canting and travel aren't necessary.

That leg design was created by the artist, which I thought was OK. You could have a canted design for greater stability. The drawing shows the legs in their extended position which will absorb any landing shock.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline lamontagne

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #55 on: 08/06/2017 02:27 PM »
Here's a three view of the LM. Thanks again to Michel Lamontagne.
Real impressive work, SP.
The math doesn't change, though it's still surprising how similar your design is to the conclusions I and others have reached. For example; If the main tankage mass was excluded, your lander is only a couple hundred kg heavier than my Propulsion+Habitat mass, easily accounted for by your docking ring or third ascent engine. I also planned a 3.25m x 2.8m (L x W) hab compared to your 3.25m x 2.4m (?) when measurements exclude your protective suit cover and leaning viewport. Only real difference, other than layout, is landing legs and I was wondering if you could explain why canting and travel aren't necessary.
The legs have about 600mm of vertical travel.  I expect some kind of self leveling system will be included. The tube diameter is very large and the walls quite thin, so I felt canting was not necessary, they should be quite rigid.  I was also inspired by the very stumpy short legs that have been proposed for Dragon2.  We now know the vehicle will not sink very deep into the moon surface (compared to LM design), and modern controls should provide for a perfectly vertical landing.  That being said I didn't actually calculate them, so I might be wrong.

Offline Propylox

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #56 on: 08/08/2017 04:25 AM »
The legs have about 600mm of vertical travel.  I expect some kind of self leveling system will be included. ... That being said I didn't actually calculate them, so I might be wrong.
Personally, I'd plan for irregular terrain and hard landings so more suspension is more better.
FYI; In my lander design the propulsion module sat above and connected to the habitat, or any downmass, at four corners. The landing struts, part and specific to the hab/downmass, also had its upper mounts at these connectors so the hab/downmass wouldn't bare the propulsion module and propellant weight upon landing. The struts lower A-arms attached to the hab/downmass' base. These design necessities meant the landing legs could have incredible extension if equal to the strut/hab's 2m height, though travel could be reduced in the name of weight savings.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #57 on: 08/11/2017 10:32 AM »
Didn't Boeing have a staged planetary exploration program using SLS that included having a slightly-modified lunar module (essentially identical to this one) as the Mars ascent stage?

IIRC, I believe it was a short-stay 'excursion' type Mars mission using something basically identical to the Gateway station as a 'quick and dirty' in-flight habitat and used an Orion's electronics for flight control. It was a two-launch plan at the most, staging out of EML-2 halo using SEP as the main propulsion.
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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #58 on: 08/29/2017 02:46 AM »
Here's the final version of the paper. If you find any errors, please let me know, as I can submit corrected versions up until my presentation on Friday morning, 29 September.

I've updated the paper with some very minor corrections in the tables. There were 31 downloads for the previous version.
« Last Edit: 08/31/2017 03:09 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Fly Me to the Moon on an SLS Block II
« Reply #59 on: 08/31/2017 03:08 AM »
Hear are the overheads for my presentation. We're limited to 15 pages. Again, any corrections welcome!
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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