Author Topic: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion  (Read 15188 times)

Online Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #40 on: 09/18/2016 04:13 AM »
If New Armstrong comes with a Lunar Colonial Transport would that be hydrogen/LOX? If it was optimized for Lunar vs Mars ISRU the relative difficulty of finding carbon to make Methane might suggest that.
Maybe Methalox first stage (for Earth launches) but Hydrolox everything else (the first stage doesn't go to Luna and doesn't need to be refueled there) ???
There might be plenty of carbon there.
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Online Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #41 on: 09/18/2016 04:15 AM »
Not millions.

Bezos wants millions, so price has to be cheaper.

Which means I bet New Armstrong will be fully reusable. Otherwise, no real point.
A direct competitor in price and payload to the MCT. A 12-15m diameter payload of 100+mt for <$100M per flight.

$500/kg<[NA $/kg to LEO]<$1,000/kg

He's one generation behind with New Glenn coming out about the same time as BFR/MCT and New Armstrong after BFR has been launching for several years. He's the tortoise that has plenty of capital without catering to commercial markets he doesn't care for....
Not sure I agree with this take.

New Glenn is a generation "behind," but it's actually perfectly placed as a vehicle capable of giving Falcon Heavy, Proton, Ariane 5, Ariane 6, etc a run for their money since it's single-core and all-cryogenic with a reusable VTVL first stage and enough performance for an eventual reusable upper stage (if they so desire). In other words, it'd be very competitive in the commercial market.
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Online AncientU

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #42 on: 09/18/2016 01:18 PM »
Well-placed, yes, but still a generation behind. 

Challenge will be testing orbital launch and recovery with such a large vehicle.  Maybe rockets want to be bigger, but bigger is also more expensive to develop and test.

The competition will have a generation (or several) of experience before NG flies -- this can obviously be overcome, but not automatic no matter how well-placed the vehicle.
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Offline Impaler

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #43 on: 09/18/2016 10:24 PM »
I would expect a future Lunar oriented rocket to consist of a reusable LNG/LOX 1st and 2nd stage of MCT size.  A Lunar lander is likely be be a large bi-conic 12 or more m diameter, powered by Hydro-LOX per the Clipper heritage that many of BO's people carry.  Cargo hold either mid vehicle or in the base to allow unloading on the lunar surface. 

I see a dual launch with the lander on one launch and the other being a giant propellant tank to fill a propellant depot or the lunar vehicle directly.  Once refilled the lander make TMI and direct lands on the moon, then makes a direct Earth return, basically an EOR modality.  Initially all return propellant will be brought from Earth but local propellants may be added to boost outbound cargo mass.

This type of direct single vehicle architecture is one I have been very critical of for Mars and MCT, but it makes sense on the moon due to the lower total DeltaV and most importantly the transit time to the moon is so radically short compared to mars, a 1 week round trip is possible if a vehicle is gas-and-go, even at 2 weeks the vehicle can be amortized 55 times faster then a mars vehicle.

Offline wannamoonbase

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #44 on: 09/19/2016 03:39 PM »
New Shepard - Sub Orbital
New Glenn - Orbital
New Armstrong - My 2 cents, likely lunar transfer and landing

BO is different than SpaceX.  SpaceX is comfortable doing many iterations to evolve a vehicle, and that's working for them.  I don't see BO thinking the same way.

BO could use the New Glenn booster (in reusable mode) to build up lunar capability with many smaller flights. 

And if they establish the capability to make Oxygen on the moon then they have a sellable commodity and reduce their earth based launch needs.


Excited to be finally into the first Falcon Heavy flow, we are getting so close!

Offline Chasm

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #45 on: 09/19/2016 05:40 PM »
My take is the moon / cis-lunar. Certainly a big enough playground.
Hopefully NOT just a bigger rocket.

In several interviews about Blue Origin Jeff said that Amazon was only possible because infrastructure was already in place and that space exploration is missing such infrastructure. I postulate that his goal is to build it.

One side is launching the big stuff, aka infrastructure. The other is transporting people into space, and back.
For a long time one of the infrastructure ideas has been wet workshop. What happens if you commit to it, at scale?

New Glenn 2nd stage has 7m tanks, already in orbit. They are almost big enough that you could stick a Bigalow 330 as a liner into it. (6.7m diameter, inflated) That should help quite a bit with the micrometorite concerns. And why not, clean walls instead of isogrid should help for some uses. Need heaps of hardpoints to mount gear? Use another tank with "tank interior" for that. No way to mount exernal handholds is not longer a problem.


Maybe that is also a solution to the landing the center stage problem if it's a 3 stick configuration. Don't land it! Orbit it. More of an sustainer configuration like Ariane 5. Landing 2 booster should be simpler than 3.

Since the tanks just got promoted to payload, crank the concept another turn and respin the rocket layout?

Hmm....

Offline b0objunior

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #46 on: 09/19/2016 05:55 PM »
Well-placed, yes, but still a generation behind. 

Challenge will be testing orbital launch and recovery with such a large vehicle.  Maybe rockets want to be bigger, but bigger is also more expensive to develop and test.

The competition will have a generation (or several) of experience before NG flies -- this can obviously be overcome, but not automatic no matter how well-placed the vehicle.

You are talking about SpaceX, right?

Offline Ludus

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #47 on: 09/20/2016 08:01 PM »
Well-placed, yes, but still a generation behind. 

Challenge will be testing orbital launch and recovery with such a large vehicle.  Maybe rockets want to be bigger, but bigger is also more expensive to develop and test.

The competition will have a generation (or several) of experience before NG flies -- this can obviously be overcome, but not automatic no matter how well-placed the vehicle.

You are talking about SpaceX, right?
As the competition. There isn't anyone else. ULA and Ariane have plans for rockets that will at best be available after NG, with lower performance and less reusability. Russia, China and the rest have no announced plans to compete.

Online bad_astra

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #48 on: 09/20/2016 08:19 PM »

Also, a SpaceX booster would have no problem reaching orbit by itself and payload. SSTO, though expendable.

SSTO has no point unless you are reusable or really love being inefficient.


Or you convert the innards to a orbital habitat.
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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #49 on: 09/22/2016 04:27 PM »
As far as habitats go see this thread http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40454.0 about reusing "containers" that are filled with 100mt of stuff that once removed leaves a habitat that only requires installation "snap in" to the provided fittings (if the items are not already installed). Remember that most of such launches in support of an expanding in-space effort will be bulk cargo [equipment, supplies, etc]. This cargo has to have some way of being packaged for launch. Some of this cargo must be maintained in an Earth like atmosphere and not exposed to vacuum.

Although the thread is in the SpaceX Mars section the concept is not limited to SpaceX or Mars but to having large SHLVs that can lift the containers cheaply. NG and NA fit this category. Unfortunately SLS does not (too expensive per flight).

If NA launches a container to LEO that is then transported via reusable tug to L2 where it then is transported to the Lunar surface base via a large reusable lander, the container becomes an easy dual use item for the supply and expansion of the Lunar Base. These containers would also be usable at L2 for the same purpose as both a supply and as an expansion.

The modification of a prop tank into a habitat would require a lot of equipment (probably shipped in a container) to make it possible. So although it  is a possibility for the future use of assets that would otherwise be discarded it is not something that would be easily supported early on.

Offline Chasm

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #50 on: 09/26/2016 08:23 PM »
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. :D 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.]

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #51 on: 10/01/2016 07:34 PM »
NG should enable Blue to do lunar missions without waiting for NA.

My preferred method is via NASA DSH (I'm assuming it is going to happen). No performance info on NG but 35-40t with expendable 2nd stage seems realistic.
I'm assuming BE3 3rd stage can survive 3-4day and has multiple restart ie ACES capability.

 The 3rd stage plus crew capsule goes direct to DSH, crew board a reusable lander eg ULA/Masten Xeus or Blue equivalent and proceed to moon. A 2nd NG launch with BE3 tanker is used to fill lander at DSH.

For return stage  lander returns to DSH, crew transfer to capsule which uses 3rd stage to provide 700m/s burn back to earth. NB While at DSH 3rd stage surplus/return fuel is offloaded to depot to keep it cool.

For lunar cargo missions the 3rd stage would be an expendable BE3 powered lander. This could deliver >5t direct to moon.

Having second spare lander at DSH as rescue vehicle, would allow crew to be rescued any where in the journey.

Besides ferry lunar passengers to moon, this transport system can also supply DSH.

Once ISRU is up and running, lander can be refuelled on surface, enabling it to go direct between LEO and surface, bypassing DSH.

I think $50m a seat for 6-7 to moon would be realistic.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #52 on: 10/01/2016 07:41 PM »
To deliver large payloads eg  BA330 to surface, the cargo lander would be launched empty and refuelled in LEO and again at DSH.

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