Author Topic: New Glenn with fuel depot  (Read 1586 times)

Offline Eric Hedman

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New Glenn with fuel depot
« on: 10/06/2017 06:05 AM »
With all the talk of what SpaceX can do with tankers and refueling, I'm curious what kind of payload a two stage New Glenn rocket from Blue Origin could send to TLI if the second stage could be refueled in LEO.  Does anyone have a guess on how much mass it could push?  Would refueling eliminate the need for a three stage version?

Offline jpo234

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Re: New Glenn with fuel depot
« Reply #1 on: 10/06/2017 10:04 AM »
My first thought: You need a reusable second stage to refuel a second stage in orbit.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: New Glenn with fuel depot
« Reply #2 on: 10/06/2017 11:07 AM »
Fuel "depot" somewhat implies dedicated stationary storage, SpaceX will only do refueling. Maybe filled tankers will be capable of spending a few weeks or months in orbit?

My first thought: You need a reusable second stage to refuel a second stage in orbit.
You don't absolutely need reusability but it makes the case for refueling far more better because the marginal cost of a tanker launch is much lower compared to using a bigger rocket for your mission.

A lot of people have pointed out that BFR is too large. A reusable hydrolox second-stage on top of New Glenn using a similar architecture would be a much better fit for the commercial market. It would also be better for current manned exploration plans because hydrolox could be generated on the moon.

The New Glenn first stage is very clearly inspired by Falcon, so if SpaceX proves they found a good way to reuse S2 then Blue Origin might copy it.

Online spacenut

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Re: New Glenn with fuel depot
« Reply #3 on: 10/06/2017 01:29 PM »
Liquid hydrogen requires more expensive cooling equipment and shading for long term storage or space use.  Methane being close to the same temperature as LOX, is easier for long term storage.  We still really don't know how much hydrogen is actually on the moon also.  LOX is 80% of the weight, so the moon could be used for LOX production while methane could be brought from earth. 

Isn't NG's second stage metholox also?  Only their proposed 3rd stage was or is to be hydrolox for deep space probes and expendable.  We shall see.  Seems like Bezos isn't spending as much effort in BO's rocket development as SpaceX did or is.  Sure $1 billion a year, but seems like they are working like the old school rocket companies, slow. 

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: New Glenn with fuel depot
« Reply #4 on: 10/07/2017 02:10 PM »
Removed.
« Last Edit: 10/07/2017 02:12 PM by TrevorMonty »

Online envy887

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Re: New Glenn with fuel depot
« Reply #5 on: 10/09/2017 05:58 PM »
With all the talk of what SpaceX can do with tankers and refueling, I'm curious what kind of payload a two stage New Glenn rocket from Blue Origin could send to TLI if the second stage could be refueled in LEO.  Does anyone have a guess on how much mass it could push? 
My estimates:
2nd stage dry mass: 20t.
2nd stage prop mass: 270t.
max LEO payload: 45t.
Total refueled mass in LEO: 335t.
Delta-v available with 365s BE-4U: 5870 m/s.
Refueling launches required: 6.
Total launches required: 7.

So it could send to TLI as much as it could lift to LEO, and then some. In fact, it could get about 44 tonnes to TLI with just 2 fueling launches. So 3x New Glenn 2-stage > 1x SLS 1B to TLI.

Quote
Would refueling eliminate the need for a three stage version?
Expending 2nd stages to avoid expending 3rd stages is usually a bad idea, since 3rd stages are much smaller and cheaper. However, if you need 40+ tonnes to TLI, or they could figure out how to reuse the 2nd stage without a serious payload hit, then the 3 stage isn't as useful.

Online Patchouli

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Re: New Glenn with fuel depot
« Reply #6 on: 10/10/2017 06:23 AM »
I wonder could Lockheed MDAV be used as a starting point on designing a reusable upper stage for New Glenn?

As for moving payloads to higher orbits maybe a hybrid tug using chemical and SEP engines.
« Last Edit: 10/10/2017 06:25 AM by Patchouli »

Online AncientU

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Re: New Glenn with fuel depot
« Reply #7 on: 10/10/2017 01:03 PM »
With all the talk of what SpaceX can do with tankers and refueling, I'm curious what kind of payload a two stage New Glenn rocket from Blue Origin could send to TLI if the second stage could be refueled in LEO.  Does anyone have a guess on how much mass it could push? 
My estimates:
2nd stage dry mass: 20t.
2nd stage prop mass: 270t.
max LEO payload: 45t.
Total refueled mass in LEO: 335t.
Delta-v available with 365s BE-4U: 5870 m/s.
Refueling launches required: 6.
Total launches required: 7.

So it could send to TLI as much as it could lift to LEO, and then some. In fact, it could get about 44 tonnes to TLI with just 2 fueling launches. So 3x New Glenn 2-stage > 1x SLS 1B to TLI.

Quote
Would refueling eliminate the need for a three stage version?
Expending 2nd stages to avoid expending 3rd stages is usually a bad idea, since 3rd stages are much smaller and cheaper. However, if you need 40+ tonnes to TLI, or they could figure out how to reuse the 2nd stage without a serious payload hit, then the 3 stage isn't as useful.

Maybe they could hire someone else to deliver the fuel... their second stage is methlox.
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Online GWH

Re: New Glenn with fuel depot
« Reply #8 on: 10/18/2017 02:26 AM »
Since New Glenn was first announced with the 3 stage variant I've been thinking the best path forward would be an ACES 3rd stage.  That way the 3rd stage stays in space for reuse (except for escape velocity missions outside cis-lunar space).  The benefits of a high ISP tug being reused increase the total mass that can be delivered on average.

A single New Glenn can do 45mt to LEO with booster reuse, allowing fully for the drop tank and boil off loses ULA describes in their distributed launch paper of a total of 4.4mt that leaves 40.6 mt of prop, enough for an ACES to push a 33mt payload one way out to TLI.  If you want the ACES back in LEO then the payload drops down to 22mt.

Or if instead the New Glenn were loaded up with 20.6mt of prop and a 18mt payload that reused ACES could then transfer that to GTO and have enough left in the tank to return to LEO.

With a fully reusable New Glenn 2nd stage refueling cycling ACES's the entirety of cislunar space could effectively be accessed cheaply before any ISRU derived propellant needs to enter in.