Author Topic: Military use of the space shuttle and size of the payload bay  (Read 8199 times)

Online Blackstar

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http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2107/1

Between the darkness and the light
by Dwayne A. Day
Monday, June 25, 2012
 
“The shuttle was in fact sized to launch HEXAGON. The size of the payload bay was determined by HEXAGON.” — Hans Mark

Hans Mark had a distinguished government career. He was director of Ames Research Center in the late 1960s, Secretary of the Air Force from summer 1979 until 1981, and deputy administrator of NASA from July 1981 until September 1984. But it was his service as Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) from August 1977 until October 1979 where he may have left his most lasting impression. There are still a few people within the secretive intelligence agency who cringe, or curse, when they hear his name, for Mark was the person who forced them to use the Space Shuttle.

A newly declassified interview with Mark, performed by NRO Historian Gerald Haines in March 1997, sheds new light on his tenure at the NRO and his decisions about major programs then underway, particularly their relationship with the shuttle. Although some portions of the interview are deleted, it is not difficult to determine what he was speaking about since much of the story has appeared in previous books, notably a 2001 history of the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology written by Jeffrey Richelson, The Wizards of Langley. Mark also wrote a 1987 memoir. At that time he was not allowed to discuss satellite reconnaissance because even the name of the NRO was classified. However, Mark wrote in his book that he was a strong advocate of the shuttle. This new interview makes it clear what that meant.

« Last Edit: 06/25/2012 07:43 PM by Blackstar »

Offline kevin-rf

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The pdf of the Gerald Haines interview with Dr. Hans Mark.

http://www.nro.gov/foia/docs/Hans%20Mark.PDF

I am sure the link will shift over time as the NRO likes to do.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Oh my, there is a very interesting blackout on page 13 of the interview that says what they replaced the KH-9's capability with, something they used in Korea... Very interesting interview.
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Offline JohnFornaro

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There are still a few people within the secretive intelligence agency who cringe, or curse, when they hear his name, for Mark was the person who forced them to use the Space Shuttle.

At that time, were there other options besides the shuttle?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline Jim

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http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2107/1

Between the darkness and the light
by Dwayne A. Day
Monday, June 25, 2012
 
“The shuttle was in fact sized to launch HEXAGON. The size of the payload bay was determined by HEXAGON.” — Hans Mark



So that is where the length requirement came from.  The width was proposed squat upperstages along with a long payload?

Offline Jim

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There are still a few people within the secretive intelligence agency who cringe, or curse, when they hear his name, for Mark was the person who forced them to use the Space Shuttle.

At that time, were there other options besides the shuttle?

Titan

Offline wolfpack

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At that time, were there other options besides the shuttle?

IIRC the Air Force had an inventory of Titans, but had stopped orders in favor of STS.

Online Galactic Penguin SST

At that time, were there other options besides the shuttle?

IIRC the Air Force had an inventory of Titans, but had stopped orders in favor of STS.

Wasn't the Titan-IV(A) ordered BEFORE STS-51-L to serve as a back up to the Shuttle?
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Offline wolfpack

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Wasn't the Titan-IV(A) ordered BEFORE STS-51-L to serve as a back up to the Shuttle?

Have to go back and look at Jenkins, thought there were some years during STS development where the AF did NOT ask Congress for any money for ELVs.

Offline Jim

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Wasn't the Titan-IV(A) ordered BEFORE STS-51-L to serve as a back up to the Shuttle?

Have to go back and look at Jenkins, thought there were some years during STS development where the AF did NOT ask Congress for any money for ELVs.

Complementary ELV which led to the Titan 34D7 which became Titan IV was started in 1984 and first flew in 89.

Titan 34D, the STS transitional vehicle was started between 1976-78, and flew from 82 to 89.

There may have been years without production money for ELV's but there was always money for ELV operations, since there was never a gap.
« Last Edit: 06/26/2012 04:21 PM by Jim »

Offline wolfpack

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Would STS from VAFB have been just deployment of HEXAGON? Film retrieval? Film replacement? Reboost? Seems like would could have built fewer KH-9's if that had happened. In hindsight, of course, it was cheaper to build KH-9's.

Interesting, though, that the 60'x15' dimensions were driven by something the vehicle would never carry.

Offline Jim

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Not film retrieval, the products would be less timely.  Film resupply would have been too complex considering the film path.  Delivery and retrieval would have been most likely.

As for the payload bay dimensions,  KH-9 only maxed out one dimension.

Offline Jim

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Also what makes you think it didn't carry or plan to carry (before challenger) something(s) that didn't max it out

Offline wolfpack

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Also what makes you think it didn't carry or plan to carry (before challenger) something(s) that didn't max it out

Nothing.

Just reflecting on the interviewee's rather definitive assertion that KH-9 set the dimension, and STS never carried KH-9.

Offline Jim

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Interesting, though, that the 60'x15' dimensions were driven by something the vehicle would never carry.

Sorry
Misread "though" as "thought"
« Last Edit: 06/26/2012 06:28 PM by Jim »

Offline kevin-rf

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Dr. Hans Mark did assert that a switch of one program from Titan to Shuttle maxed out the shuttle bays width, allowing a more capable payload. One would have to assume it was some sort of antenna(s), but we can not know because it is blacked out.

Shuttle's almost 5 meter payload bay did start the modern trend of payloads that use 5 meter fairings. Dr. Hans Mark can be thanked for pushing for wider payloads, other wise without it everything would have been sized for a smaller diameter payload. Did the Titan of the period have a fairing larger than 10 feet (~3 meters)? Titan IIIC?

This whole diameter thing in the modern age does seem kinda odd when now giant antennae unfurl to tens or greater meters.
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Offline Jim

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34D with 10.5 ft fairing.

Offline Jim

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IUS and Centaur G were 20 feet long.  Centaur G was 15 feet wide.
Titan IV Centaur had an 86 foot fairing.  20' for the nose cap, 26' for the Centaur G' portion which leaves????  40' payload section.  Same as Shuttle payload bay minus IUS or Centaur G.

Offline kevin-rf

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But Titan IV was a result of the desire by the DOD to move payloads that had been designed for the payload bay off of the shuttle. Prior to that was the largest diameter was 10.5 feet (3 meters)?

Of course something drove shuttles 15' payload bay width. I don't think that nugget was provided us in the interview.
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Offline Jim

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But Titan IV was a result of the desire by the DOD to move payloads that had been designed for the payload bay off of the shuttle. Prior to that was the largest diameter was 10.5 feet (3 meters)?

Of course something drove shuttles 15' payload bay width. I don't think that nugget was provided us in the interview.

That goes back to Heppenheimer, proposed station modules or high energy upperstages.

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