Author Topic: SpaceX paper on precision landing - and landing technology Thread  (Read 20582 times)

Offline spacenut

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1934
  • East Alabama
  • Liked: 243
  • Likes Given: 175
I have a book called "Frontiers of Space" by Kenneth Gatland, published in 1969.  In it he shows where Boeing did a study to put a heat shield on top of a Saturn V first stage and parachute it into the ocean, to be tugged back to the cape.  It would land nose down with the engines up out of the water.  So reuse was studied.  Also replacing the J-2 engine on the third stage with a plug nozzle engine for use as a heat shield to land the third stage.  Third stage could have also been used as a SSTO vehicle for small satellite launcher. 

So, landing and reuse was studied, but NO MONEY was appropriated by congress to make Saturn reusable.  To me this would have been a cheaper upgrade than going to shuttle, and sooner.  Heavier payloads, and more in space construction, earlier. 

Now SpaceX is doing it, hopefully they will fly one of the landed stages soon. 

Offline meekGee

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7413
  • N. California
  • Liked: 3749
  • Likes Given: 791
I have a book called "Frontiers of Space" by Kenneth Gatland, published in 1969.  In it he shows where Boeing did a study to put a heat shield on top of a Saturn V first stage and parachute it into the ocean, to be tugged back to the cape.  It would land nose down with the engines up out of the water.  So reuse was studied.  Also replacing the J-2 engine on the third stage with a plug nozzle engine for use as a heat shield to land the third stage.  Third stage could have also been used as a SSTO vehicle for small satellite launcher. 

So, landing and reuse was studied, but NO MONEY was appropriated by congress to make Saturn reusable.  To me this would have been a cheaper upgrade than going to shuttle, and sooner.  Heavier payloads, and more in space construction, earlier. 

Now SpaceX is doing it, hopefully they will fly one of the landed stages soon.
SpaceX didn't invent the idea of reuse.

They "merely" a) decided to do it without waiting for a gov.  check, b) made a long string of right decisions, and c) had the agility to change course when they made bad ones. d) nailed everything else..


ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline john smith 19

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5394
  • Everyplaceelse
  • Liked: 661
  • Likes Given: 3749
I have a book called "Frontiers of Space" by Kenneth Gatland, published in 1969.  In it he shows where Boeing did a study to put a heat shield on top of a Saturn V first stage and parachute it into the ocean, to be tugged back to the cape.  It would land nose down with the engines up out of the water.  So reuse was studied.  Also replacing the J-2 engine on the third stage with a plug nozzle engine for use as a heat shield to land the third stage.  Third stage could have also been used as a SSTO vehicle for small satellite launcher. 
Indeed. However the fact that SX needed grid fins on the 1st stage to make it possible suggests that all such studies were very shallow and did not realize the true complexity of the task.

Likewise I think the experience with the Shuttle SRB's showed it was simpler to float them nose up. Getting something that's nose light to land nose down is difficult.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.

Offline tdperk

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 105
  • Liked: 22
  • Likes Given: 6
SpaceX didn't invent the idea of reuse.

They "merely" a) decided to do it without waiting for a gov.  check, b) made a long string of right decisions, and c) had the agility to change course when they made bad ones. d) nailed everything else..

And they have invented the hardware which (or an approach to hardware which) at least potentially permits refueling and reuse as opposed to remanufacturing and reuse.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3118
  • UK
    • Plan 28
  • Liked: 2071
  • Likes Given: 698
As background to the CRS-10 landing success, Quartz has just posted an article talking about Lars Blackmore's work on precision landing from JPL 10 years ago to SpaceX today:

Quote
SpaceXís self-landing rocket is a flying robot thatís great at math

https://qz.com/915702/the-spacex-falcon-9-rocket-you-see-landing-on-earth-is-really-a-sophisticated-flying-robot/

Tags: