I think that some form of dual use is mandatory, at least for the big stuff.
Maybe using tanks works out, maybe not. Maybe it is not worth the effort, maybe it needs more work or very different conditions. I basically hope that someone finally gets moving and tries it. Take the half a century of planning and studies and find out if they align with reality.
Back to New Armstrong.
New Glenn is basically half a Saturn V. Half the tank area, half the thrust on the stages. Very roughly reuse means a third of the payload.
Lets say New Armstrong is full Saturn V payload. Same or more reusability of course.
Many ways to do it, and with each design requirement and design choice things change.
Starting with fundamental things like: Will there be a new engine or just many of them? Doing another N1 is still frowned upon. OTOH 23 is a choice answer in the Lego rocket game.
So adding another ring of engines could work. (Meh. Another BFR, how original...)
Then there are also various practical considerations. How large can you go on a single stage without being to unwieldy to manufacture and transport? I can think of all kinds of handeling issues, esp. after landing. (A stubby stage like NS might help with that particular aspect.)
7m class now seems to be normal. 10m has been done. Some of the community generated SpaceX BFR designs had much more massive diameters, even in excess the of N1 base. Hopefully we'll get some actual info on that one within the week. Both companies seem to find similar results to their questions. Can't have a spacerace without a STS/Buran repeat.
Above all is probably the question when to stage, or rather how fast can you go and still sucessfully recover the stage. From the environmental permit that someone has digged up it looks like NG will be late with recovery far downrange. (I read that as no boostback, balistic profile.)
The later/faster the better I think. Which is one of the reasons I'd like to finally see a HIAD test. If it works it should(tm) scale and perhaps it is adaptable to slow stages down reducing the need for a reentry burn. Less fuel needed, less cycles on the engines. (Stuff one of them into the top part of the NG skirt?)
One of the more whacky ideas.
Faring reuse, a different take.
They are expensive and heavy, esp. when the rocket gets bigger. With New Shepard Jeff financed and build a Buck Rogers rocket, why not also something from James Bond? Thinking about You Only Live Twice
, Moonraker is more of a destination.
A gigantonormus Black Arrow
style fairing on stage 1, encapsulating the rest of the stack.
Very mad approach, but looks are important. Since Jeff seems to be cast as the villian in the Blue vs. SpaceX fight this certainly is a way to gain points on Elon.
Why do it?
- Reuse the fairing obviously
- Fairing loads only on 1st stage, both static and dynamic.
- leading to more fragile upper stages, or rather to stick more fragile insulation (ACES long endurance style) and various unareodynamic and fiddly bits on their exterior for wet workshop ideas. (Handholds, hardpoints, solar, thermal control...)
- Say tri or quad sector fairing. Why so many? Secondary use as drag device. Turning the stage into a really big lawndart. Perhaps something like this
to slow down. (But actively held open.) perhaps add in kind of Spaceship One feathering tips.
Well, there I had concers about stack height an now I try to land something real tall...
Hm, actually, not that
bad, doing this to NG comes out roughly like F9 fist stage. [Cue one of Bezos laughs.]