Author Topic: What would a better CxP have looked like?  (Read 35910 times)

Offline Lobo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6645
  • Spokane, WA
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 302
What would a better CxP have looked like?
« on: 01/04/2013 11:31 PM »
I thought about attaching this to a previous hypothetical thread of mine:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30229.0

But, after reading a little more of the ESAS report when I had some time to kill, I ran across some things I hadn’t read before (over 700 pages, so that’s not too odd).

Now, the original version of CxP doesn’t seem -too- bad in theory really.  Air-started SSME, use of STS 4-seg for Ares 1 to get Oriong flying quickly.  Then a longer development for Ares V which would include the 5-seg with HTPB fuel, then upgrading Ares 1 to a 5-seg at that time for commonality.  But if I am understanding it correctly, the main reason they went with the 1.5 architecture, was because they had a pre-determined lunar architecture requirement, and the 1.5 SRB architecture was the only way they could meet that, and per their numbers, was only marginally more expensive than EELV derived options.  And they had several pages explaining why they didn’t go with EELV’s.

So, my first question for those around here “in the know”, is was NASA’s reasoning for the selection of the original version of Ares 1 and Ares V (LV 13.1 and 27.3) legitimate?  They do explain in length that they did evaluate EELV’s and EELV derived options, and found them to be wanting.  Various issues with T/W ratio at take off and how that effected the ability to carry large upper stages, man-rating RS-68 and RD-180, and infrastructure changes.  I’m no expert, so their explanations seem reasonable to me.  But are their other opinions on that?
Assuming CxP was directly LV 13.1/27.3, rather than what it morphed in to, would that have been viable given budgetary considerations?  Or was that still too expensive?
They mentioned in several places that LV 13.1/27.3 is the only one that gets them the performance they need, but couldn’t they have revised their performance requirements down some to fit into some more feasible options?
The obvious answer for some on this will be “Direct”, and they seem to evaluate Direct-like LV’s.  LV 24 and 25.  A J-130 anyway.  But they seemed fixated on launching the crew on the stick, so the turned the ET-sized core with 4-seg boosters and 3XSSME into one Ares 1 launch plus two J-130 launches if I understand them correctly.  They really don’t seem to evaluate LV24/25 as a two-launch system with no Stick.  Am I missing something?  Or is that correct?





So, I suppose the points of this hypothetical exercise are two fold.
1)   What would have been the best CxP given what ESAS evaluated?
2)   What was the best system not evaluated by ESAS for CxP?

 For #1, assuming NASA could/would have adjusted their lunar mission requirements down some, is there another ESAS option that would have really been a good one?

For #2, Direct would probably be a candidate.  What about others?

As for the options ESAS did consider, I sort of like 6.6.4.5, which is an AVP2 stick for the crew launcher, and Atlas Phase 3A for the cargo launcher.  Sounds like the cargo and crew launcher would need a new upper stage, something like ACES maybe.

I do sort of see their rationale for having a small crew launcher to worry about man rating/egress, etc., and then launch everything else on a big, dumb cargo launcher where you can used non-man rated expendable engines, etc.  So I think I see why NASA seemed to be going that route rather than launching the crew on a HLV.   
I think maybe a good system that never got evaluated (Besides Direct) would be basically AJAX, but with a Delta IV Heavy for the crew launcher with man-rated RS-68’s.…and RS-68’s on the AJAX core for commonality, and RS-25 could retired completely. 
AJAX is the dumb launcher, and D4H is what you make your nice, safe crew launcher. 
ESAS did evaluate D4H as a crew launcher, and it seems it would have been ok for a crew launcher for lunar mission, but would need a “new multi-engine upper stage” for human rating requirements, and some performance deficiencies in ISS servicing.  Doesn’t the DCSS have 2 RL-10’s?  Not sure what they mean there.  I would think a DCSS could be modified for human rating, and perhaps stretched some and flown with two RL-10’s for Crew launch, and that should do it.   Is that LV-4? (Page 396).  And that performance actually would even be better later with the RS-68A engine that was developed anyway, and better if crossfeed was added. (so there’s options for even better ISS cargo servicing to grow into)
It sounds like the upper stage, man-rating RS-68, and a system to clear GH2 from the base of the LV prior to launch were the only concerns NASA had with D4H.  Not really deal breakers considering LV 13.1 needed a whole new upper stage too.  I suppose they figured the man rated 4-seg and SSME could be used for LV 13.1 with little modification, and that seemed faster/cheaper than modifying D4H.  We know better now!  :-)
A new large EDS would be needed for AJAX too, but that would be needed for Ares V or SLS anyway. 
This way the Russian RD-180’s are cargo booster engines only, and NASA’s astronauts are flying on US engines.  D4H was already flying, so that would have been an easy transition for it to launch Orion.  Just a modified DCSS and man-rating of the RS-68 and we would be back in the HSF business.

What are other people’s thoughts?

Offline Lars_J

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6161
  • California
  • Liked: 664
  • Likes Given: 195
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #1 on: 01/05/2013 01:03 AM »
A better CxP would not have used Ares I. The "1.5" architecture was always misleading and the wrong choice. It is two launches - just be honest and deal with it.

A better CxP would just have one launch vehicle - Direct style. (i.e with adjustable performance)

Offline TomH

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1945
  • CA
  • Liked: 645
  • Likes Given: 194
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #2 on: 01/05/2013 04:05 AM »
Assuming that they did still use the 1.5 launch architecture, it would have gone with a big Kerolox booster, much like the Dynetics 2 x F-1A. This would have served as the Ares I first stage as well as the Ares V booster. Ares I would then not have required J-2X, pared down Orion, and underpowered SM. With the LRBs, the Ares V first stage could have stayed with the 8.4m core and RS-68 and they'd never have had the dog chasing its tail insanity of changing engines and core diameter. A common large upper stage (like S-IVB was) could have been developed using J-2S or multiple RL-10 or one of RL-10's various proposed upgrades; this would be 2nd stage on Ares I and 3rd stage on Ares V. The Ares V 2nd stage would use multiple J-2S and would have burned out at a higher velocity than S-II on Saturn V, leaving stage 3 as mainly an EDS. The descent stage of Altair would not have had to be so oversized due to not having LOI requirement. Alternately, had they still wanted to do LOI with Altair, it would have had drop tanks rather than taking the big tanks all the way to the surface.

Ares V would have gone up from one pad placing Altair and EDS into LEO. A robust Orion CSM would have gone to EOR shortly thereafter from the other pad on Ares I. After rendezvous and docking, the Ares V stage 3/EDS would send Orion/Altair into TLI. The SM would have been Apollo like in performing LOI.

The entire cascade of problems stemmed from that SRB derived first stage on Ares I. Had they started with something like the Dynetics booster, it might have all worked. Both stages of Ares I would have been working parts of Ares V, and the resulting 2 rockets would have shared more similarity. Things would not have spiraled out of control and the number of Lunanauts might by now, or a short time from now, have numbered greater than one dozen.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2013 04:36 AM by TomH »

Offline HIP2BSQRE

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Liked: 35
  • Likes Given: 14
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #3 on: 01/05/2013 04:15 AM »
Again how do you do .5 a launch???

Offline TomH

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1945
  • CA
  • Liked: 645
  • Likes Given: 194
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #4 on: 01/05/2013 04:22 AM »
Again how do you do .5 a launch???

Assuming you are not being tongue-in-cheek (I know perhaps you are  :) ), it's more like the show Two and a Half Men, just a metaphor for two full sized men and a third (half grown male) who's not as large. You have two rockets, one really large and the other about 0.5 times the size of the first (though still huge). It's the architecture that is 1.5, not the number of launches. Some might see it like a bad joke: sending up one and a half rockets in two launches.

Following STS-107, Griffin felt strongly (some would say obsessively) about sending up most of the cargo on a mega CLV (cargo launch vehicle), then sending the crew on a smaller LV with as little propellant and as little hardware as possible other than their capsule, so that the crew launch would be as safe as possible. Many felt using a modified SRB for the ride up defeated that purpose and gave a particular irony to the whole notion.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2013 05:19 AM by TomH »

Offline HIP2BSQRE

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 637
  • Liked: 35
  • Likes Given: 14
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #5 on: 01/05/2013 05:28 AM »
Again how do you do .5 a launch???

Assuming you are not being tongue-in-cheek (I know perhaps you are  :) ), it's more like the show Two and a Half Men, just a metaphor for two full sized men and a third (half grown male) who's not as large. You have two rockets, one really large and the other about 0.5 times the size of the first (though still huge). It's the architecture that is 1.5, not the number of launches. Some might see it like a bad joke: sending up one and a half rockets in two launches.

Following STS-107, Griffin felt strongly (some would say obsessively) about sending up most of the cargo on a mega CLV (cargo launch vehicle), then sending the crew on a smaller LV with as little propellant and as little hardware as possible other than their capsule, so that the crew launch would be as safe as possible. Many felt using a modified SRB for the ride up defeated that purpose and gave a particular irony to the whole notion.

And we all know what Griffin cost the US taxpayer...for very little progresss

Offline Lobo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6645
  • Spokane, WA
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #6 on: 01/05/2013 06:28 AM »
Again how do you do .5 a launch???

Assuming you are not being tongue-in-cheek (I know perhaps you are  :) ), it's more like the show Two and a Half Men, just a metaphor for two full sized men and a third (half grown male) who's not as large. You have two rockets, one really large and the other about 0.5 times the size of the first (though still huge). It's the architecture that is 1.5, not the number of launches. Some might see it like a bad joke: sending up one and a half rockets in two launches.

Following STS-107, Griffin felt strongly (some would say obsessively) about sending up most of the cargo on a mega CLV (cargo launch vehicle), then sending the crew on a smaller LV with as little propellant and as little hardware as possible other than their capsule, so that the crew launch would be as safe as possible. Many felt using a modified SRB for the ride up defeated that purpose and gave a particular irony to the whole notion.

Yea, "1.5" is a misnomer obviously.  it's like being a "little" pregnant.  You are pregnant, or you are not...there is no being 0.5 pregnant.

But, I think it's just a convention for saying a small LV and a large LV, vs. two similar sized LV's, which would be a "2 launch" architecture.

For two launches of any size, I can see a bit of an issue with two similar sized launchers.  You have 3 elements for an expendable lunar architecture like CxP or Apollo.  And in LEO, they are all sort of -roughly- the same size.  Not quite, but you know what I'm getting at.  CxP had a 23mt-ish Orion CSM (with LAS), a 45mt lander, and some large 50mt-ish EDS (I think).
But if you have two launches, it's a bit difficult to properly distribute those 3 elements.  I'm going to guess and say this is why NASA seemed to only be considering options that were "1.5" or "2.5", which was always a relatively small crew launcher, and then either one really big cargo launcher for EDS and Lander, or two more medium sized cargo launchers, with the lander on one, and EDS on the other.

So, in theory, I suppose using one of the big cargo launcher's SRB's for the crew launcher seems like a feasible way to go with commonality.  It just didn't work out like that, and NASA seemed to stubbornly forge ahead rather than pause for awhile to re-evaluate when major problems started cropping up.
But even if it seemed like a good idea on paper, the 1.5 launch CxP was still NASA having to develop two new launchers, even if there were some common components.  Plus a new lander...plus a new EDS, plus a new CSM.
That seems like a LOT of new elements, even if there is some commonality. 
Seems like if they could have tried to roll EELV commonality into it, and use Delta IV Heavy as the crew launcher, then you are cutting down the development of one LV.  The big, bad cargo launcher will be new anyway, so putting new EELV derived boosters on it shouldn't be too bad...no matter how "shuttle derived" it is, it will still be a new rocket...as we are seeing with SLS.  So instead of trying to build a new LV out of a new LV's booster, use an existing LV, and make the new [cargo] LV's boosters out of -that-. 
Not only are you not development as much hardware, you are using hardware that's cost shared with USAF.

Atlas Phase 2 could be used too, even with perhaps F-1A powered 5m boosters instead of RD-180's, but I think the only way that beats D4H+AJAX, is if USAF and ULA agree to an accross-the-board change in ULA's LV's.  D4H is replaced with AVP2, and D4 is used for the medium launches.  RD-180 is dropped and 1 or 2 F-1A's used.  So USAF helps pay for, or at least agrees to use, AVP2 for it's heavy lifters instead of D4H or AV-551.  And a common 5m upper stage like ACES replaces DCSS and Centaur.
If NASA, USAF, and ULA agreed to something like that, then I think AVP2+ AJAX (powered by AVP2 boosters) would perhaps an overall better system than D4H+AJAX.

But if not, I think D4H + AJAX (at least 4 AV boosters) gets you the 1.5 architecture with the least amount of new development.  AJAX is big enough to launch two of the three lunar elements, and D4H with a modified DCSS can launch Orion CSM.  AV/RD-180 doesn't need to be man rated, nor does AJAX itself.  Just D4H.

And D4H is used for crew and cargo supply both for the ISS, so commercial crew and cargo is never really needed.  But not saying they couldn't still be developed, as the overall cost of commercial cargo and crew ISS service might be less than Orion and D4H doing it.

Or, going back to Direct, you have two "medium-heavy" launchers.  Direct could almost do the CxP LSAM and orion on a J-130.  Maybe if there was a lander that used a crasher stage instead of a descent module like the CxP LSAM, then one launch could launch the big EDS and the crasher stage on top, with a cradle.  Then the other launch is Orion CSM on top of the smaller lander.  In LEO, Orion flips, docks with the lander, and maneuvers it to dock in the cradle on the crasher stage.
It'd take a little creativity, but I'm sure the lunar architecture could fit on two similar sized LV's.



Offline Lobo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6645
  • Spokane, WA
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #7 on: 01/05/2013 06:42 AM »
Actually, D4H + AJAX concept beggs an idea.

The entire Orion stack can launch on SLS, but...
Instead of a Block 2, develop block 1B, then launch the Orion CSM on a FH, which should be already almost all man-rated with the man rating of commercial crew for ISS.  One of the STS MLP's could be modified to launch a FH from KSC from pad 39A while SLS launches from pad 39B.   Or perhaps easier, would be to launch Orion/FH from wherever Dragonrider launches from (assuming SpaceX gets a commercial crew award).  The crew access and egress systems for Dragon on an F9 going to the ISS will be pretty much the same height as Orion on FH.  The LV isn't any taller.  Whether that's at LC-40 or at KSC.

Block 2 is never needed.  And the crew launching on FH is only when the mission requirements exceed what Block 1B can do. 


Offline MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3640
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 647
  • Likes Given: 1167
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #8 on: 01/05/2013 06:44 AM »
CXP alternates: what Golden Spike wants to do now would have been a fairly plausible, 'bare bones' approach that Griffin might have been able to sell. But he didn't even try to make it future-proof against the U.S. economy getting in trouble. Ares 1 was too small and an expensive, needless duplication of boosters that already existed. Or boosters that could've been modified quickly & fairly cheaply to do the job (despite what Dr Griffin and some of his minions would say - and did say on this very website a few years back).

Ares V was too big, too expensive and too much a departure from Shuttle-derived. The John Shannon team's Side-Mount HLV - and I have to get this point out of the way first: despite being inferior to the Jupiter-Direct family - might have been deployed quicker than Jupiter and would have been adequate for a two-launch Lunar Mission architecture:



If keeping the Shuttle infrastructure up and running was 'The Law', it would have fitted the bill. The Shannon HLV would have been ready quicker than the Orion & Altair manned spacecraft. So as a result, the many more billions that would have gone into Ares 1 & V could have kept Shuttles flying for 3 or 4 more years at a minimal rate to ISS and developed the HLV. A pair of Orbiters flying up to 3 missions total per year, then phase them out when Orion was ready and phase in the HLV & Altair after that. No loss of sovereign American human launch capability in the interim. Also, with minimum infrastructure and vehicle mouldline change the HLV could have gotten 100 metric tons into LEO or sent about 50 metric tons on Trans Lunar Injection.

Or My Preference: A fleet of Atlas V Phase 2 EELVs as the launchers (look it up) --   http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/EELVPhase2_2010.pdf  -- doing a 2x launch Lunar mission architecture. Atlas V Phase 2 triple core HLV's, launched in pairs from modified Pads 39A & B - either rendezvous in LEO for assembly then TLI for the Moon, or send the Altair first directly to Lunar orbit and the Orion rendezvous with it later. Or if staged from Lagrange Point 1, a higher mass and more capable Altair could be used. With a Propellant Depot at L-1 a reusable version of Altair could be developed. Not to mention a Cargo-Only derivative for Lunar Outpost buildup.

Alternatively - and like Golden Spike: if off the shelf or slightly modified EELVs were the launch vehicles, a 4x launch mission architecture could be developed. And later on once an L-1 Propellant Depot had been established, a 3x launch architecture.

It makes me weep for the missed opportunities and wasted money. By the year 2013, NASA could have been well into the development of its lunar outpost goal. But for now, we are still in the Powerpoint and armchair space engineer age...  :'(
« Last Edit: 11/02/2014 08:25 PM by MATTBLAK »
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline Lobo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6645
  • Spokane, WA
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #9 on: 01/05/2013 07:32 PM »
Well, for the purpose of this exercise, we are rolling back time to the ESAS evaluation, and either choosing a different option than CxP, or looking at something that wasn't evaluated.

They did evaluate both an inline and side mount SDHLV, but didn't pick them.  One problem with side mount for a crew launcher is the proximity of the crew to the tank.
Also, they evaluated EELV options, and rejected them for various reasons.  So one of my questions for people is if those reasons they rejected them were "legitimate" or "thumb on the scale" reasons.

Side mount might have technically been a l little faster, but I don't know about cheaper becuase of that big carrier shell design vs, just a standard and well understood interstage adaptor and payload fairing.  Not to mention inline is just a much more efficient vehicle once you have it.  That's all been discussed in older threads.  Sidemount seems faster and easier, but that big aeroshell is the problem to design.  With Direct, all there was to design was a new MPS on the core, and a new 8.4m PLF.
Direct could have used whatever upper stage was shown in that sidemount video (DCSS maybe?) instead of JUS too. 
During Augustine, Shannon showed a two launch sidemount architecture using Orion and a lander more the size of Apollo's LEM, and using two upper stages and LOR.  IT would have been similar to Apollo capacity wise, but he said it would have worked, just been "less capable" than CxP.

Inline could have done the same thing.  A J231/246 could have been put off, and just a J-130 built, as they looked at in LV 24/25 in ESAS. 
And with two DCSS type upper stages like Shannon's sidemount presentation, the same architecture could have been done.  Direct just had a more efficient design with a larger upper stage/EDS on one launch, and the Orion and Lander on the other.  But, it looks like, during ESAS, they'd already set that they wanted a 45mt lander, and so it seems all of these medium-heavy SD vehicles were discarded because they'd need 3 launches for the hardware they wanted.  however, if they just scaled down the lander some, two J130 (or LV 24/25) or two sidemounts could have done it fine, as Shannon said during Augustine.

Anyway, so going back to ESAS, a J130 should have been able to be built and flying by 2010, which was the shuttle retirement date at that time, or very shortly after.

Thinking about it a little more, perhaps another idea would have been for NASA to pay all or part of the development of Atlas Phase 2, using either RD-180's, a US built RD-180, or a single F-1A maybe.  And have it man-rated.  That would be the ISS crew launcher.
If started in 2004, it should have been ready to take crews to the ISS by 2010 or 2011.
Then, after the shuttle is retired and Orion flying to the ISS, develop basically a J-120, but with a pair of Atlas Phase 2 boosters in place of the 4-seg SRB's, and upgraded and man-rated RS-68R's.   The performance of the AVP2 boosters should be pretty close to the 4-segs I'd think, maybe even better.
D4H and AV are both essentially retired, and D4 is used for medium EELV launches with the upgraded RS-68, and AVP2 for heavier ones.  Orion goes to ISS on AVP2 (and could launch from LC-41 perhaps), and it's used for J-130's boosters. 
A new ACES like upper stage could be used accross the line and maybe for the J130's too, perhaps instead of needing a JUS.  A smaller ACES with one or two RL-10's for AVP2 and Delta IV, and a stretched one with four RL-10's for J-120.

Ok, so basically the man-rated RS-68regen is developed in place of the RS-25E.  I figure those costs to be about the same.
J2X and 5-seg boosters are never developed.
The main project from ESAS to 2010 is AVP2 with man-rated engines.
J-120 doesn't need to start until after that.  Ablataive RS-68's could even be used at first until the regen ones were ready, for a performance penalty.
The boosters would already be ready and flying by the time J-120 development started, so only the core itself would need to be designed.
And, if you didn't want to worry about man-rating the J-120 with RS-68's, a 3-launch architecture could be looked at.  AVP2 with Orion launching from LC-40, and the two J-120's launching from pads 39A and 39B.

Either way, now NASA has a launcher that has a lot of commonlity with EELV's, but essentially have thier own HLV, which isn't as huge as Ares V or SLS. 

Just a thought.

Offline Ben the Space Brit

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6872
  • A spaceflight fan
  • London, UK
  • Liked: 489
  • Likes Given: 559
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #10 on: 01/05/2013 07:51 PM »
There are basically three options that, IMO at least, would have been quicker, cheaper and possibly generally better.  I've listed them in order of speed and cost.

1) Something like the EELV Phase-1 proposals - Minimum change on existing launchers has got to be a good thing;

2) Having a DIRECT-style scalable D-SDLV - A single launcher type speeds up development and gives you more money and time to spend on payloads;

3) Build a completely new scalable Kerolox-core 25-100t IMLEO launcher similar to the Atlas-V Phase-2/3A - The most costly as you'll be developing just about new everything.  However, it would actually be a better option if you are wedded to the "1.5-Launch" concept as you won't need a different core for your CaLV heavy lifter, just a cluster of your CLV cores and maybe a wide-body upper stage.


[edit]
Just an additional point - I believe that ESAS assessed that the D-SDLV (similar to what became DIRECT) was the best shuttle-derived option and, because of the political objective of maintaining the shuttle infrastructure, should have been the selected architecture.  IIRC, they had to have a lengthy 'appendix' full of dodgy assumptions to get the Ares Launch System to come out on top.  I believe that this appendix was kept secret for some time.
« Last Edit: 01/05/2013 07:54 PM by Ben the Space Brit »
"Oops! I left the silly thing in reverse!" - Duck Dodgers

~*~*~*~

The Space Shuttle Program - 1981-2011

The time for words has passed; The time has come to put up or shut up!
DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline Thorny

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 616
  • San Angelo, Texas
  • Liked: 99
  • Likes Given: 70
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #11 on: 01/05/2013 08:40 PM »
The descent stage of Altair would not have had to be so oversized due to not having LOI requirement. Alternately, had they still wanted to do LOI with Altair, it would have had drop tanks rather than taking the big tanks all the way to the surface.

Altair performing LOI enables unmanned missions to the Moon, such as moon base logistics support or equipment (big rover) pre-positioning, without requiring another expensive Orion with a crew to fly on the mission. So I'd go with the drop tanks.

Offline Lobo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6645
  • Spokane, WA
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #12 on: 01/06/2013 01:31 AM »

3) Build a completely new scalable Kerolox-core 25-100t IMLEO launcher similar to the Atlas-V Phase-2/3A - The most costly as you'll be developing just about new everything.  However, it would actually be a better option if you are wedded to the "1.5-Launch" concept as you won't need a different core for your CaLV heavy lifter, just a cluster of your CLV cores and maybe a wide-body upper stage.

Good assessment.  I didn't read that appendix you mentioned.

AS to your #3 here, ESAS did look at this and found reasons not to go with them.  But I think if some discussions and cooperation could have been done between NASA and USAF to work together on EELV options that would work for both of them...I sort of think this would have been the most cost effective path in the long run.

Then you are basically only developing one new stick, and scaling it up as needed.

Offline spectre9

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2403
  • Australia
  • Liked: 35
  • Likes Given: 66
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #13 on: 01/06/2013 02:26 AM »
No ATK.

Giant 5-segs and keeping ATK in the money was the biggest problem.

Unfortunately... well  ::)

Offline jeff.findley

  • Member
  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 288
  • Liked: 8
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #14 on: 01/07/2013 06:35 PM »
The best CxP, IMHO, would have been switching to all commercial launches with NASA pushing technology forward (similar to NACA, back in the day) done in parallel with NASA developing a first generation LOX/LH2 orbital fuel depot.  I'd also have kept Orion, Altair, and EDS (launched on a commercial launcher). 

Having NASA focus more on the actual beyond LEO part of CxP should have been emphasized instead of the "1.5 launch" architecture, which only gets you to LEO when you assume the EDS is classified as part of the "beyond LEO" part of the program.

Offline Lobo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6645
  • Spokane, WA
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #15 on: 01/07/2013 07:58 PM »
No ATK.

Giant 5-segs and keeping ATK in the money was the biggest problem.

Unfortunately... well  ::)

YEa, I think something that -should- have been an absolute non-negotiable for ESAS options was to maximize commonality with EELV's, and thus other government launch operations. 
I think NASA discussions with USAF as to where they could compromise in good faith would have been really helpful.
Ideally, that would have been a discussion better done during the EELV competition, if NASA had done an ESAS evaluation then for a replacement for STS, basically a NLS redux combined with EELV, and not waited until after Columbia, a shared infrastructure could have been put into place.

Expanding on that, had NASA and USAF put out RFQ's for say a 5m dia kerolox booster replacement for the Shuttle SRB's, with something around 2Mlb thrust each, they could have gotten something like Atlas Phase 2, with a new F-1A single engine perhaps, instead of a pair of RD-180’s (I think NASA was leery of staged combustion engines for HSF boosters because of a perceived lower reliability of them? So the GG F-1A might have been an appealing option).  Which should have been an adequate LRB replacement for the Shuttle 4-seg SRB while it kept flying while a replacement capsule program was slowly developed and phased in. 
So the winning bidder builds a 5m CCB that can act as both a shuttle booster –AND- a stand alone first stage.  It uses a single modernized F-1 engine.  And they build a new 5m upper stage adequately sized to get payloads to LEO and GTO.  Perhaps something like a longer 5m DCSS with 2-4 RL-10 engines, depending on the mission.  Essentially Atlas Phase 2 with an F-1 derivative engine.  USAF launches their payloads on this EELV, and perhaps using Delta 2 for their smaller payloads.  That EELV, once developed, really shouldn’t cost any more than a Delta IV Medium+ (5,2), but it wouldn’t even need the GEM-60 solids, but it would a maximum performance of a Delta IV or better.  It could actually  cost much less considering STS would be using the booster as well, and no GEM-60’s to buy.
Once Orion was developed, it could be phased in while the Shuttle is retired, and immediately there is a single stick LV capable of taking it to the ISS plus a good deal of cargo, so there’d be no gap.  Then NASA could start work on a new HLV.  That could either be a 3-core “Heavy” version of this LV growing to a  5-core AVP3a with a larger upper stage, or, if politics demanded an 8.4m core built at MAF, they could have basically done a Jupiter-130 continuing to use these LRB’s on an ET-derived core with RS-25E’s, and a new 8.4m upper stage.  But they wouldn’t need that for ISS, just the single booster stick that the USAF was using.


Ironically, something similar could have been done if the USAF had chosen a 4-seg shuttle SRB derived EELV instead of Atlas and Delta back in the late 90’s.  I don’t know if such a concept was ever even considered, but really there was probably no reason it couldn’t have worked.  Especially if an air-startable RS-25 was used, like was the original plan for Ares 1 with 4-seg booster, so that would be shared with NASA too.  As I understand, RS-25 could be air started once, but not twice.  That would have been fine for Ares 1 or an EELV, but not for an Ares V upper stage…which needed two burns…so they scrapped that and went with J2X so both Ares LV used the same upper stage engine? (perhaps I’m wrong in that).
So, the EELV’s are Delta 2 and 4-seg Ares 1 (augmented with a small upper stage when necessary for BLEO)
And once the Shuttle was retired, NASA just switches to basically to Ares 1 for sending Orion to the ISS, and Direct’s Jupiter rocket for BLEO missions (2 Jupiter launches).

And while that would have probably been better than the way we went, I still like doing it with liquids rather than solids.  :-)

However, that would assume rewinding time to the pre-Columbia accident EELV competition with more foresight than there was at that time.  And thus we’ll stick with the ESAS study as the starting point for this hypothetical.

Offline Lobo

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6645
  • Spokane, WA
  • Liked: 492
  • Likes Given: 302
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #16 on: 01/07/2013 08:22 PM »
However, the one configuration that I didn’t see in the ESAS report, would basically be a Jupiter, aka LV 24/25, but with Atlas Phase 2 boosters instead of SRB’s.  Which is funny, because they evaluated an 8.4m hydrolox  core with four RS-68 engines and two Atlas V or two Delta IV boosters for a cargo launcher, and they evaluated Atlas Phase 2 single stick for a crew launcher.  So they were sniffing around the endges, but seemingly missing a more optimal desing.
I’m assuming these options had four RS-68’s because two EELV boosters would be too under powered and have too low of a T/W ratio.  And thus it also needed an upper stage with a whopping four J-2S engines to even get to LEO.  And even then, it didn’t have as much capacity as an Atlas Phase 2 tri-core heavy…which only needed an RL-10 upper stage. 
So of course it’s not a very desirable LV.

But…they missed taking that same 8.4m core and two Atlas Phase 2 boosters, along with using the Atlas Phase 2 single stick for Orion to the ISS missions.
Put two RS-68’s, or three RS-25’s on the core.
Even if they considered that a 3-launch option like they did with LV 24/25, why not look at it if you are evaluating AVP2 options anyway?  It would seem an obvious option, and the Atlas Phase 2 would be roughly equal to the 4-seg SRB.   

Curious it wasn’t looked at.

Offline hyper_snyper

  • Elite Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 730
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 11
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #17 on: 01/07/2013 08:38 PM »
The best CxP, IMHO, would have been switching to all commercial launches with NASA pushing technology forward (similar to NACA, back in the day) done in parallel with NASA developing a first generation LOX/LH2 orbital fuel depot.  I'd also have kept Orion, Altair, and EDS (launched on a commercial launcher). 

Having NASA focus more on the actual beyond LEO part of CxP should have been emphasized instead of the "1.5 launch" architecture, which only gets you to LEO when you assume the EDS is classified as part of the "beyond LEO" part of the program.

I agree with this.  Wasn't this how it was pre-ESAS?

Offline RocketmanUS

Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #18 on: 01/08/2013 02:41 AM »
If shuttle was not to be retired then add side mount with semi expendable engines ( good for several flights on shuttle then used on side mount ).

As shuttle was retiring.
First take care of immediate need.
Build capsules for crew and cargo, disposable type too ( common SM ).
No need for BLEO version of crew capsule.
Launch on Atlas V ( should not need SRB's for crew version of capsule ).

Later after shuttle replacement in place and shuttle retired.
Build CEV for BLEO, LEO to either EML1/2 or LLO and back to LEO for reuse.
CEV would be an in space vehicle, refueled in space, good for 4 to 5 trips BLEO ( do to engine restarts and total burn time ).
CEV for in space only and another with landing legs to be able to land 3 crew ( more crew later ) on the Lunar surface with adding propellants in LLO ( for refuel at EML1/2 would need to be able to add propellants on the Lunar surface as well ).
Use crew capsule to get crew from Earth to CEV in LEO.
Launch tankers from Earth to add propellants to CEV.
There has been more than enough time and money for this. So the tanker and CEV's could have been ready by 2020 for first Lunar missions ( land get samples and return ).
For outpost, base, and better exploration a cargo lander could then be added later.

A Lunar lander CEV would take crew from LEO to LLO to surface and back to LEO.

As shuttle was phasing out start development of the Jupiter 130 ( add J-24X later if needed ).
J-130, one launch to refuel a CEV ( multiple smaller launcher used before J-130 ready ).
J-130 first launch by end of 2013, 2nd 2014, 3rd 2015, 4th 2016 ( out of shuttle SSME's )
Flights after 4th flight to start with new RS-25's or RS-25E's starting in 2017.

There would have been enough funds left for development of the in space and Lunar SEV plus a Lunar outpost.

For viable cargo to Lunar surface a cargo lander with the CECE engine would be added in after crew landing with CEV. A cargo version of the CEV would land on the Lunar surface first to test it out and land small sized probe payloads.

Mars funding to start in 2020 for first landing by late 2029.
Design around J-130, propellant transfer and possible propellant depot.

The CEV would have given us the propellant transfer.
When we would of had the technology then build it.
No need to put pressure on a date as we have seen it slip away.
The main need has and will be for crew and cargo to LEO. With propellant transfer to follow no matter how large anyone builds a single launcher.
Mars and beyond, human exploration
The grass is always greener on the other side. When you stand on top of the hill you see both sides!

Online Archibald

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2009
  • Liked: 187
  • Likes Given: 520
Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #19 on: 01/08/2013 12:51 PM »
In an ideal world the expensive and extensive shuttle infrastructure should have been scrapped in favour of phase 1 EELVs. Phase 1 EELVs should have been cheap for two reasons - a) they derived from existing and reliable rockets and b) they added their numbers to ordinary EELVs mission as flown by the military and NASA scientists.
Unfortunately even in that scenario, the EELVs have become so damn expensive those years that I'm not sure that scenario would have been viable.
Why the hell are EELVs become so expensive ? they are good rockets which work quite well. They have a reasonnable numbers of missions and customers. So what ?

Next best option after EELVs would have been the small DIRECT Jupiter 120 and/or 130 later involving into AJAX.

An interesting question would be, could AJAX or Jupiter 120/130 end cheaper than phase 1 EELVs ?
« Last Edit: 01/08/2013 12:53 PM by Archibald »

Tags: