Author Topic: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50  (Read 9149 times)

Online luinil

I just read an article in a Japanese newspaper that the governmental commission on space want's a reusable launcher for 2040-50. Get prices down is the main reason.

source  (japanese) : http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/s/article/2013121901002338.html

Online savuporo

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #1 on: 12/20/2013 06:54 PM »
Maybe they need to call up Dr. Yoshifumi Inatani from ISAS then and they can have it a wee bit sooner, perhaps

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reusable_Vehicle_Testing
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Online Pipcard

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #2 on: 12/21/2013 06:28 AM »
What about the hypersonic launch system?

http://youtube.com/watch?v=dkCQ5WJLhMM

Offline Danderman

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #3 on: 12/21/2013 03:57 PM »
2040-50 = not now.

There have been prior stories about how "the Japanese are planning some great space project", which is invariably 40 years in the future.  It used to be 2020, now its 2040.

http://phys.org/news176879161.html



« Last Edit: 12/25/2013 06:08 PM by Danderman »

Offline Prober

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #4 on: 12/26/2013 01:54 PM »
2040-50 = not now.

There have been prior stories about how "the Japanese are planning some great space project", which is invariably 40 years in the future.  It used to be 2020, now its 2040.

http://phys.org/news176879161.html

Interesting.... "The challenge -- including transporting the components to space -- may appear gigantic, but Japan has been pursuing the project since 1998, with some 130 researchers studying it under JAXA's oversight."

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #5 on: 01/08/2016 06:25 PM »
The link in the first post seems to be gone now, but I did some digging around in the ISTS (International Symposium on Space Technology and Science) archives, and found this 2008 paper study describing orbital RLV concepts, which used LOX/LH2 propellant.

The first was a two-stage-to-orbit launcher consisting of a winged, vertically launched first stage with an side-mounted expendable second stage. It would deliver a 1-tonne payload to LEO. They determined that "The production cost of the expendable second stage accounts for the majority of the total cost. We again recognized it is essential to minimize expendable hardware for drastic reductions in the launch cost." They had also looked at the lessons learned from the Space Shuttle, and "concluded that the target vehicle should be a fully reusable system with a dry mass ratio minimized to the limit."

They then decided to do a study on an VTHL SSTO similar to Venturestar, an SSTO being "suitable for the target vehicle meeting the first condition mentioned above, because ultimate reduction in dry mass ratio is necessary for SSTO vehicles to be feasible." The design goal was a 10-tonne payload to LEO, with 2 day turnaround time for the RLV. A major difference from the Venturestar was that the payload was in an external pod instead of an internal payload bay. They also "put emphasis on developing and maturing required key technologies rather than vehicle development in order not to repeat the same mistake as the X-33/VentureStar program."

Another study from 2009 shows an updated SSTO RLV design that is a "blended lifting body" as a compromise between stability (due to the CoG shifting as propellant is consumed) and low mass.
« Last Edit: 01/08/2016 06:40 PM by Pipcard »

Offline Danderman

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #6 on: 01/14/2016 03:54 PM »
Whatever new area NASA is involved in, the Japanese want to study. If NASA subsequently drops the concept, then the JAXA studies go nowhere.

If NASA (or a US contractor) move the new technology to the operational phase, then JAXA will build a demonstrator, and the time frame for actual operational implementation moves from 30 years to 10 years or less.

Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

I still remember the Japanese goal of a "fifth generation artificial intelligence system by 1970". Yeah, that was a thing once.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #7 on: 01/14/2016 04:00 PM »
Japan should start paying attention.  They obviously have missed the lesson of SpaceX: you don't have to wait decades to develop something new.  You can try something and rapidly iterate until you get something that works.  And simple and cheap matters.  And recovering fairly conventional first stages works.

Japan seems to have totally missed all those lessons if they're talking about 2040-2050 as a target for a reusable launch vehicle.

Offline Galactic Penguin SST

Japan should start paying attention.  They obviously have missed the lesson of SpaceX: you don't have to wait decades to develop something new.  You can try something and rapidly iterate until you get something that works.  And simple and cheap matters.  And recovering fairly conventional first stages works.

Japan seems to have totally missed all those lessons if they're talking about 2040-2050 as a target for a reusable launch vehicle.

I follow quite a few Japanese spaceflight followers on Twitter, including several who actually write articles for newspapers and magazines. Many of them actually agrees with your view.

I really think they are a dark horse in the race - of the kind that either they sit down and do nothing or blast off before people know it. Time will tell which is the case....  ;)
« Last Edit: 01/14/2016 04:09 PM by Galactic Penguin SST »
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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #9 on: 01/15/2016 04:05 AM »
Robotbeat likes to cite a study by Lockheed Martin about how 6-8 flights per year are needed to amortize first-stage reusability (although he seems to forget the link to the actual study), which is nice and all, except that Japan has never reached that flight rate yet; the most launches they had for the same launch vehicle in a year was 4 H-IIA rockets in 2006 and in 2014 (of course, the pre-2010 fishing lobby restriction didn't help matters). Maybe launch activity will ramp up in the future? By the 2040s, when we are supposed be living in the world of fully reusable launch systems? (the real step to this future is SpaceX finally proving to the naysayers that reuse is economical by announcing that their launch prices have significantly dropped)

And a question I would like to ask again, will it ever be worth it to transition all their launch infrastructure to methane or LNG because "hydrogen is hard to handle"? Right now, it's looking highly unlikely that they would ever do that. But there was that cancelled GX rocket with the Atlas CCB and Japanese LNG second stage. And what would they call a methane/LNG rocket anyway? They called it H because of hydrogen but surely they can't call it M because of the M (actually Mu) rocket series. (But maybe it can happen in an alternate universe?)

RLVs would definitely be needed for large space-based solar power, which, while Musk is outspoken in his skepticism, Japanese scientists are currently researching.
« Last Edit: 01/15/2016 02:56 PM by Pipcard »

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #10 on: 04/06/2016 05:23 AM »
In 1996, NASDA (one of the precursors to JAXA) considered an evolution for the H-IIA that would involve reusable boosters that would vertically land downrange on a "floating landing facility."

(source: https://repository.exst.jaxa.jp/dspace/handle/a-is/26821)



« Last Edit: 04/06/2016 05:25 AM by Pipcard »

Online savuporo

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #11 on: 04/06/2016 05:33 AM »
These guys might just get there before 2040 or so.

http://www.istellartech.com/

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Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #12 on: 04/06/2016 08:58 AM »
Good idea and all, but by the mid century? There'll be totally new ways of keeping costs down by that time we can't even conceive of yet.
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Online RonM

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #13 on: 04/06/2016 12:00 PM »
Good idea and all, but by the mid century? There'll be totally new ways of keeping costs down by that time we can't even conceive of yet.

Agreed.

Planning to let the next generation handle it is not a plan.

Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #14 on: 04/06/2016 01:07 PM »
Maybe they figure that by then SpaceX will have moved on far enough to license the F9 and Merlin to them?
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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #15 on: 04/06/2016 09:22 PM »
Japanese CG artist "ansur_nied" has made a recreation of a 1995 NASDA RLV concept that at first, looks like a Delta Clipper-style SSTO.

But it is in fact a two-stage-to-orbit vehicle. After the first stage has burned most of its propellant, it turns retrograde to deploy the second stage. The first stage re-enters nose-first then lands propulsively.

The concept can be found here in the JAXA repository along with another strange concept involving asymmetrically arranged reusable booster clusters.
« Last Edit: 04/06/2016 09:26 PM by Pipcard »

Offline The Amazing Catstronaut

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #16 on: 04/06/2016 09:23 PM »
Maybe they figure that by then SpaceX will have moved on far enough to license the F9 and Merlin to them?

If SpaceX is still producing F9 and merlin by 2040 then I'm a turkey ham and pickle sandwich. I believe different rockets will fill their roles by then.
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #17 on: 04/06/2016 09:42 PM »
In 1996, NASDA (one of the precursors to JAXA) considered an evolution for the H-IIA that would involve reusable boosters that would vertically land downrange on a "floating landing facility."

(source: https://repository.exst.jaxa.jp/dspace/handle/a-is/26821)

Japanese CG artist "ansur_nied" has made a recreation of a 1995 NASDA RLV concept that at first, looks like a Delta Clipper-style SSTO.

But it is in fact a two-stage-to-orbit vehicle. After the first stage has burned most of its propellant, it turns retrograde to deploy the second stage. The first stage re-enters nose-first then lands propulsively.

The concept can be found here in the JAXA repository along with another strange concept involving asymmetrically arranged reusable booster clusters.

Like most national space programs, Japan didn't lack good ideas.  What they lacked was top-level decision making to go for the right idea and the ability to do it for a reasonable cost.

Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: Japanese Government want's a reusable rocket for 2040-50
« Reply #18 on: 04/06/2016 10:45 PM »
Maybe they figure that by then SpaceX will have moved on far enough to license the F9 and Merlin to them?

If SpaceX is still producing F9 and merlin by 2040 then I'm a turkey ham and pickle sandwich. I believe different rockets will fill their roles by then.

Which is why they'd be willing to license it to someone else... they'd have gone on to bigger and better things.  Wring one last profit out of the design... Like SAAB selling the tooling and design for the 9-5 to that Chinese company several years ago.
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Offline Galactic Penguin SST

In 1996, NASDA (one of the precursors to JAXA) considered an evolution for the H-IIA that would involve reusable boosters that would vertically land downrange on a "floating landing facility."

(source: https://repository.exst.jaxa.jp/dspace/handle/a-is/26821)

Japanese CG artist "ansur_nied" has made a recreation of a 1995 NASDA RLV concept that at first, looks like a Delta Clipper-style SSTO.

But it is in fact a two-stage-to-orbit vehicle. After the first stage has burned most of its propellant, it turns retrograde to deploy the second stage. The first stage re-enters nose-first then lands propulsively.

The concept can be found here in the JAXA repository along with another strange concept involving asymmetrically arranged reusable booster clusters.

Like most national space programs, Japan didn't lack good ideas.  What they lacked was top-level decision making to go for the right idea and the ability to do it for a reasonable cost.

From my impression, this is exactly what Japanese spaceflight fans have been lamenting for years.
Maybe the best hope for them would be from somewhere outside the government. After all, the best managing talent of Japan are found in corporations, not their government.  ;)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

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