Author Topic: Current Status - Simplification!  (Read 7952 times)

Offline Roo

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Current Status - Simplification!
« on: 11/15/2009 02:39 PM »
Dear all,

Apologies to all those who know what the score is but I've been away for a while and I'm trying to find out what the situation is to date.

Can I therefore ask the following :-

1) I take it that the Augustine Review is about whether or not to continue with the Ares program? I remember hearing on the news before the 1-X launch that the launch was a moot point given that it was going to be/or was thought at the time that it was going to be cancelled. What is the update on this please?

2) If Ares is indeed cancelled, is this the entire Ares program (1 and V etc) or just parts of it  - and does this put the Constellation program out to pasture too - or will it continue to be done just not by Ares?

3) I see there is still talk of Shuttle extension - any more updates on this or is this still being debated?

4) Lastly, when does the Augustine Review make its final decisions - is there a date when this will happen?

Many thanks for your answers - it will give me a chance to get fully updated without having to trawl through post after post!

Roo.

Offline robertross

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #1 on: 11/15/2009 02:49 PM »
Dear all,

Apologies to all those who know what the score is but I've been away for a while and I'm trying to find out what the situation is to date.

Can I therefore ask the following :-

1) I take it that the Augustine Review is about whether or not to continue with the Ares program? I remember hearing on the news before the 1-X launch that the launch was a moot point given that it was going to be/or was thought at the time that it was going to be cancelled. What is the update on this please?

2) If Ares is indeed canceled, is this the entire Ares program (1 and V etc) or just parts of it  - and does this put the Constellation program out to pasture too - or will it continue to be done just not by Ares?

3) I see there is still talk of Shuttle extension - any more updates on this or is this still being debated?

4) Lastly, when does the Augustine Review make its final decisions - is there a date when this will happen?

Many thanks for your answers - it will give me a chance to get fully updated without having to trawl through post after post!

Roo.


1. Yes, it was about the continuation of Ares, and what goals the US should make going forward, and what are some of the pros and cons of each. As an update, we are in a political holding pattern.

2. Your guess is as good as any.

3. Still just talk, but everything seems to be on track to end shuttle ~ 2011. The end time varies depending if they can get all the flights off in a timely and safe manner.

4. That's already done: the final report. It's a political matter now. FYI: it wasn't about decision, but options.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #2 on: 11/15/2009 03:54 PM »
1) I take it that the Augustine Review is about whether or not to continue with the Ares program? I remember hearing on the news before the 1-X launch that the launch was a moot point given that it was going to be/or was thought at the time that it was going to be cancelled. What is the update on this please?

Actually, it was more than just that.  It was about what should be done after the shuttle (and, possibly, also after the ISS depending on specific schedules).  As part of that, it was asked whether the current tools were the right ones or would even work in any useful fashion no matter what mission was selected.

As robertross said, we are currently in the situation where we are waiting for someone to stick their head above the parapet and make a decision where no one option is guaranteed to please most of the people involved.  No politician likes being asked to do such a thing.

Quote
2) If Ares is indeed cancelled, is this the entire Ares program (1 and V etc) or just parts of it  - and does this put the Constellation program out to pasture too - or will it continue to be done just not by Ares?

Indeed no.  One of the options discussed is to dispense with Ares-I (the extremely light crew launch vehicle) and do everything with a slightly down-sized Ares-V (sometimes referred to as Ares-V-Lite). 

I think it is fair to say that most of the options discussed were archetecture rather than strategy options - Are there better tools for the mission of Earth-to-LEO (mostly in support of ISS) and Earth-to-NEO (Moon and nearby asteroids).  So, what we are looking at isn't necessarily an end to Constellation, merely Constellation with a new look.

It's worth noting that Project Constellation's goals have changed several times and are in no way final even now.

Quote
3) I see there is still talk of Shuttle extension - any more updates on this or is this still being debated?

Nothing has been decided yet, even on things where there is a near-consensus such as ISS extension.

Shuttle extension is particularly relevant if Ares-V is cancelled in favour of 'more-directly-derived' shuttle-derived launch vehicles (what I call D-SDLVs).  Because of the commonality in equipment of these with the shuttle, there is the option of extending the shuttle program so that there is US indigenous crew launch capabiltiy until either the D-SDLV is ready or one of the commercial crew launch options is up-and-running.

Quote
4) Lastly, when does the Augustine Review make its final decisions - is there a date when this will happen?

Their final report is already published and the commission has been disbanded.  It is now up to NASA, the President and Congress to decide what, if anything, to do with the information.
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Offline Analyst

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #3 on: 11/15/2009 04:33 PM »
In short: There has been no public decision yet whatsoever. Augustine is done.

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Offline BeanEstimator

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #4 on: 11/16/2009 08:31 PM »
Dear all,

Apologies to all those who know what the score is but I've been away for a while and I'm trying to find out what the situation is to date.

Can I therefore ask the following :-

1) I take it that the Augustine Review is about whether or not to continue with the Ares program? I remember hearing on the news before the 1-X launch that the launch was a moot point given that it was going to be/or was thought at the time that it was going to be cancelled. What is the update on this please?

2) If Ares is indeed cancelled, is this the entire Ares program (1 and V etc) or just parts of it  - and does this put the Constellation program out to pasture too - or will it continue to be done just not by Ares?

3) I see there is still talk of Shuttle extension - any more updates on this or is this still being debated?

4) Lastly, when does the Augustine Review make its final decisions - is there a date when this will happen?

Many thanks for your answers - it will give me a chance to get fully updated without having to trawl through post after post!

Roo.


1 - yes, 1-X flew fine.  Augustine questions the utility of Ares 1 and whether it is matched with the mission.  Schedule assessment puts availability of Ares 1 barely in time for ISS, or not in time at all.

2 - No.  If/when Ares 1 goes, Cx will continue.  Cx accounts for over 80% of all exploration FTEs

3 - Augustine looked at 3 options, no extension - retire in 2010, short extension - flyout manifest retire end '11, and long extension - thru 2015.  short extension will likely win, it is their basic reccomendation.

4 - final report is out, and its over to the WH.  balls in the WH court now.  grapevine suggests holidays and jan/feb will be information release to public on direction.

...and back to my hole, yet again.
Note:  My posts are meant to discuss matters of public concern.  Posts and opinions are entirely my own and do not represent NASA, the government, or anyone else.

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Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #5 on: 11/16/2009 10:12 PM »
I'm still not clear on the difference between DIRECT/Jupiter and "Ares V lite".

Offline robertross

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #6 on: 11/16/2009 10:30 PM »
I'm still not clear on the difference between DIRECT/Jupiter and "Ares V lite".

Biggest differences:

Jupiter: Shuttle 8.4m external tank (with modifications), Shuttle SSMEs, Shuttle 4-segment SRBs.

Ares V lite: new 10m ET, new (man rated) RS-68 engines, Ares-I 5-segment SRBs.
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Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #7 on: 11/16/2009 10:41 PM »
Ah, I see!  Thanks, much appreciated - hadn't been following the proposals that closely.  I had mistakenly thought Ares V lite went back to the shuttle derived elements you list for Jupiter.

Offline robertross

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #8 on: 11/16/2009 10:48 PM »
Ah, I see!  Thanks, much appreciated - hadn't been following the proposals that closely.  I had mistakenly thought Ares V lite went back to the shuttle derived elements you list for Jupiter.

Well you never know...at the moment the Ares V-lite is baselined with RS-68 engines, but if they decided to go with SSMEs, then we start to see some 'grey areas' as to definitions. But predominantly, the Jupiter makes use of essentially existing hardware, with the biggest changes in the ET (by having to accommodate the engines, their thrust, the plumbing, and the upper stage hardware). The Ares V vehicles require the same type of mods, but with a 10m tank, most everything is new on it, and that goes to manufacturing it.

Jupiter truly is as simplistic as you can get with using existing infrastructure & rocket components for an inline HLV.
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Offline MarsInMyLifetime

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #9 on: 11/17/2009 01:59 AM »
Thanks, Roo, for asking questions on my mind, and to others for the helpful replies that even explained some of the acronyms floating around.
Don

Offline ChaseOne

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #10 on: 11/17/2009 05:07 AM »
 Jupiter truly is as simplistic as you can get with using existing infrastructure & rocket components for an inline HLV.
[/quote]

     I bet Jupiter will be renamed Ares (?). This seems like the best bet to me but, we will just all have to sit tight and see. I really don't think Ares 1 will completely disappear. It may end up somewhere in the future for some unmanned cargo or satellites or whatever.
     I really feel sorry for space industry foke right now they must all feel like ???????????
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Offline Downix

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #11 on: 11/17/2009 11:04 AM »
Jupiter truly is as simplistic as you can get with using existing infrastructure & rocket components for an inline HLV.

     I bet Jupiter will be renamed Ares (?). This seems like the best bet to me but, we will just all have to sit tight and see. I really don't think Ares 1 will completely disappear. It may end up somewhere in the future for some unmanned cargo or satellites or whatever.
     I really feel sorry for space industry foke right now they must all feel like ???????????
[/quote]
I imagine a diagram of the Jupiter 130 with J130 x'd out and Ares III spray-painted over it....
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Offline Analyst

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #12 on: 11/17/2009 12:04 PM »
What unmanned satellite would use Ares-I? It can't even reach orbit without Orion SM, and I am not talking about useful orbits ("high" LEO, polar, GTO, escape).

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Offline simonbp

Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #13 on: 11/18/2009 12:00 AM »
Jupiter: Shuttle 8.4m external tank (with modifications), Shuttle SSMEs, Shuttle 4-segment SRBs.

That's a tad bid deceptive. The Direct core stage is 8.4m, and could be built with SWLT toolings, but it is really a new stage with completely new load paths. In comparison, the Sidemount HLV literally uses a Shuttle external tank.

The trade-off, however, is that the inline Direct can handle wider payloads and larger upper stages than Sidemount.

Offline robertross

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #14 on: 11/18/2009 12:42 AM »
Jupiter: Shuttle 8.4m external tank (with modifications), Shuttle SSMEs, Shuttle 4-segment SRBs.

That's a tad bid deceptive. The Direct core stage is 8.4m, and could be built with SWLT toolings, but it is really a new stage with completely new load paths. In comparison, the Sidemount HLV literally uses a Shuttle external tank.

The trade-off, however, is that the inline Direct can handle wider payloads and larger upper stages than Sidemount.

I qualified & explained all, especially as the 'biggest differences', and my last line: "...inline HLV"  ;)

I don't want to re-hash all this out again, but as discussed before, the other problem with side-mount is the increased side load and effect on CoG. So the side-mount has re-design issues of its own. So it's not 'literally' a shuttle ET.
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Offline simonbp

Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #15 on: 11/18/2009 02:52 PM »
But that doesn't change the fact that the Direct core stage is an entirely new design that has heritage, rather than a modified version of an existing design, like the ET for sidemount. This is important, because the core stage is longest tent pole of the Direct proposal, and thus sets the timing of the entire plan.

Robert, I think we can agree that Direct is more capable, but would take longer/more money to develop than sidemount.

Offline robertross

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #16 on: 11/18/2009 03:09 PM »
But that doesn't change the fact that the Direct core stage is an entirely new design that has heritage, rather than a modified version of an existing design, like the ET for sidemount. This is important, because the core stage is longest tent pole of the Direct proposal, and thus sets the timing of the entire plan.
When I see the numbers for that, and how they will go about re-designing the tank, then I can put mopre faith in that. For now, it's questionable.

Quote
Robert, I think we can agree that Direct is more capable, but would take longer/more money to develop than sidemount.
Yes, I can agree with that. Hence, do it right the first time (Jupiter).  :)
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Offline jml

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #17 on: 11/18/2009 03:19 PM »
I'm under the impression that avionics and Orion are the long tent poles of both sidemount and in-line, if existing engines (SSME, 4-seg SRB, no upper stage) are being used.

The conversion of the ET to the core stage would be rather simple in comparison - especially for in-line since the ET to core stage conversion has already passed PDR as part of NLS.

Sidemount requires developing and building a fairly elaborate payload and engine strongback/aero shell, compared to the straightforward fairings for in-line. This cost is higher upfront, and higher for every flight.

The area where sidemount wins is infrastructure costs - less changes to the VAB and pads.

If the upfront costs really are only a few hundred million apart on a multi-billion dollar development project, the operating costs are about the same (actually slightly lower for in-line), the schedules are within months of each other, and the safety factors look better for in-line, then I'd say this trade is an easy one in favor of the more capable vehicle. But this still a reasonable subject for NASA to study before making the final decision.

But that doesn't change the fact that the Direct core stage is an entirely new design that has heritage, rather than a modified version of an existing design, like the ET for sidemount. This is important, because the core stage is longest tent pole of the Direct proposal, and thus sets the timing of the entire plan.

Robert, I think we can agree that Direct is more capable, but would take longer/more money to develop than sidemount.

Offline robertross

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #18 on: 11/18/2009 03:58 PM »
I'm under the impression that avionics and Orion are the long tent poles of both sidemount and in-line, if existing engines (SSME, 4-seg SRB, no upper stage) are being used.


Well the avionics & Orion are certainly the longest poles until 'ready', but the ET core mods are by no means slight. You can get the J-130 (heavy & extremely inefficient compared to the later models) ready sooner, but you still have a bunch of qualification testing to do.

Despite all assurances, I have no illusions it will still be a difficult task no matter which option is chosen, even Ares. it's just what you can save, fly sooner, and upscale down the road that makes Jupiter (Direct) the better choice.
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Offline gospacex

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #19 on: 11/18/2009 05:04 PM »
Jupiter: Shuttle 8.4m external tank (with modifications), Shuttle SSMEs, Shuttle 4-segment SRBs.

That's a tad bid deceptive. The Direct core stage is 8.4m, and could be built with SWLT toolings, but it is really a new stage with completely new load paths. In comparison, the Sidemount HLV literally uses a Shuttle external tank.

Ross says that this isn't actually possible, sidemount has 2x loads or more, and thus the tank will need to be redesigned for it too.

Offline Mogster

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #20 on: 11/19/2009 01:20 PM »
Good thread, answered some questions I was too embarrassed to ask..... :)

Offline William Barton

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #21 on: 11/19/2009 01:26 PM »
Jupiter: Shuttle 8.4m external tank (with modifications), Shuttle SSMEs, Shuttle 4-segment SRBs.

That's a tad bid deceptive. The Direct core stage is 8.4m, and could be built with SWLT toolings, but it is really a new stage with completely new load paths. In comparison, the Sidemount HLV literally uses a Shuttle external tank.

Ross says that this isn't actually possible, sidemount has 2x loads or more, and thus the tank will need to be redesigned for it too.

I think that's specific to the SD-HLV being proposed. If you want something that can be swapped out for the orbiter without redesigning anything else, it will probably look like Shuttle-C, which is basically a wingless, TPS-less, unmanned expendable Orbiter (extra payload comes from what's left off).

Offline robertross

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #22 on: 11/19/2009 01:35 PM »
Jupiter: Shuttle 8.4m external tank (with modifications), Shuttle SSMEs, Shuttle 4-segment SRBs.

That's a tad bid deceptive. The Direct core stage is 8.4m, and could be built with SWLT toolings, but it is really a new stage with completely new load paths. In comparison, the Sidemount HLV literally uses a Shuttle external tank.

Ross says that this isn't actually possible, sidemount has 2x loads or more, and thus the tank will need to be redesigned for it too.

I think that's specific to the SD-HLV being proposed. If you want something that can be swapped out for the orbiter without redesigning anything else, it will probably look like Shuttle-C, which is basically a wingless, TPS-less, unmanned expendable Orbiter (extra payload comes from what's left off).

No it isn't. In a lunar application, the EDS fits into the payload shroud, along with the cargo mass. All that extra mass apparently sits further out than the orbiter does, especially the mass of the shroud, and seriously affects the center of gravity of the unit, effectively requiring a strengthened external tank.

How much this gets affected for a LEO unit only to ISS, it would depend.
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Offline Analyst

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #23 on: 11/19/2009 02:29 PM »
There is no need to enclose the whole EDS in a fairing. It could serve as its own fairing, with the payload on top in a real fairing. There is no need to talk fairing diameters again.

And there is no need to repeat points for DIRECT ad infinitum. It has advantages and disadvantages, like any other solution has.

Analyst

Offline William Barton

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #24 on: 11/19/2009 02:38 PM »
There is no need to enclose the whole EDS in a fairing. It could serve as its own fairing, with the payload on top in a real fairing. There is no need to talk fairing diameters again.

And there is no need to repeat points for DIRECT ad infinitum. It has advantages and disadvantages, like any other solution has.

Analyst

That was my perception as well. In the previous response, I was purely addressing the why's of the weights and stresses, obviously not suggesting launching an EDS inside a Shuttle-C cargo bay. In my 2004 essay, I suggested mounting the EDS in a thrust-frame, above the SSME/OMS pod, similar to the thrust frame that was used in the 1970s to test the stresses placed on the ET by the SSMEs in the first place. I don't know that it could really be made to work that way, since I'm not an engineer, but it's hard to imagine this configuration placing much more stress on the ET than hanging a rocketplane the size of an airliner off its side. The real advantage sidemount has over in-line, when it comes to SDV, is, it looks superficially plausible to the hundreds of lawyers who will be voting whether or not to imbue it with taxpayer money. And why should they listen to advice from rocket scientists about it? That's what they got the first time, and it hasn't exactly worked out well.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Current Status - Simplification!
« Reply #25 on: 11/19/2009 05:00 PM »
If you follow the logic of the Augustine committee, there is no money to operate a HLV before 2020 even if it could be ready before that time. As far as servicing the ISS and LEO, they would rather use the commercial crew option and neither Ares I, sidemount or Direct qualifies as commercial in their mind.   So which one of these options can be ready the fastest is irrelevant.
« Last Edit: 11/19/2009 05:03 PM by yg1968 »

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