Author Topic: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion  (Read 13570 times)

Offline GreenShrike

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #20 on: 09/14/2016 09:25 PM »
Going FFSC is the logical next step for BO for a very large engine for New Armstrong.

FFSC mostly just improves your ISP. SpaceX are going that route because Raptor will be used as their in-space stage and they're going to squeeze every second of ISP out of its methalox design that they can to reduce their propellant usage.

Blue, on the other hand, looks to only be using the methalox BE-4 for booster stages (New Glenn 3-stage), and for heavy LEO launches where they need a high thrust orbital stage (New Glenn 2-stage) so gravity losses don't eat them alive. (Though I believe it's said that the 3-stage version would get even more payload to LEO than the 2-stage, so the 2-stage variant is likely being used solely for cost reasons -- i.e. not enough performance gain to justify the expense of the additional stage.)

Anyway, while boosters are relatively insensitive to their engines' ISP -- witness the success of the Merlin, for example -- in-space stages are another matter. There ISP is most definitely a concern and thrust much less so -- and Blue already has a high ISP solution: their BE-3 hydrolox engine.


Since going to a larger FFSC engine for their boost stage will gain them very little expect much higher R&D and manufacturing costs, I'd expect Blue to tune the BE-4 to its ultimate limit, as SpaceX has done with Merlin 1, glue a crap ton of them onto the bottom of New Armstrong, and then call it a day.


You only invest $1B+ in designing and setting up a manufacturing plant for an F1-class engine if you really need to -- and I don't think Blue does. I've seen no indication that Blue squanders money needlessly, even if Jeff Bezos is almost literally made of money. ;-)


Besides, the more BE-4s they make, the lower their costs will be, and the more proficient they will be at its manufacture. In addition, the BE-4s will have a reams of flight time logged from all the New Glenn missions, so when New Armstrong launches for the first time, the engines at least will be an extremely well known quantity.

I think that BO is more likely to dev. a new larger engine for New Armstrong than use the BE-4 as I don't think that Bezos wants to dev. his version of the N-1.

And about having many engines on a rocket, since you cannot guarantee manufacturing and/or operational perfection, tolerating failure -- and preferably multiple failures -- is really the right way to achieve reliability. Comparing the N1 to any modern rocket is very much a misnomer; no one sane these days would design a rocket engine that you couldn't test fire before integrating it on a stage, nor a stage that you couldn't test fire before launching. Those poor NK-15s were really a relic of their time, and even then their inadequacy was recognized as they were due to be replaced by NK-33s prior to the program's cancellation.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #21 on: 09/15/2016 02:57 AM »
...Blue has the amazingly great option of two methalox boosters strapped to the side of a hydrolox sustainer core that might itself come darn awful close to -- or even reach -- orbit. And that's just with their engines that we know about! :)
Single-core is a central advantage of New Glenn over Falcon Heavy, an trait I don't think they'll abandon with New Armstrong.

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

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #22 on: 09/15/2016 04:33 AM »
The simplest solution would be to permanently strap three NG first stages together, on top of which you strap three NG second stages. KISS. Gets you 150 to 210 t to LEO! The pad can also be used for dual core or single core versions. Extreme case would be to strap seven NGs together for 350 to 490 t!!! That's enough to do a Mars mission in a single launch. :-)
« Last Edit: 09/15/2016 04:34 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #23 on: 09/15/2016 05:28 AM »
Quote
Bezos: Blue has reserved New Armstrong name for future rocket. "As you can imagine it's very large. There will always be a next step."

https://twitter.com/gruss_sn/status/776220487789740032

Offline leaflion

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #24 on: 09/15/2016 06:48 AM »

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.

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #25 on: 09/15/2016 07:13 AM »
Since the New Glenn's are going to be 7 meters in diameter, I noticed that the Vulcan is going to be 5.4 meters and can use in it's most capable configuration 6x GEM-63XL solid boosters. Depending on the external structures and plumbing, I've reasoned that if required to and slightly redesigned that way; New Glenn could accommodate 12x GEM-63XL boosters. That is; from the point of view of being able to fit there. Then, I imagined a stretched third stage powered by 2x BE-3 cryogenic engines.

Someone as smart as Steve Pietrobon might be able to work out what such a rocket - in expendable mode - could place into Low Earth Orbit and send beyond L.E.O.  Such a booster would have about 8.3 million pounds thrust at sea level and about 9.4 million if the BE-4s were uprated. Just saying..... ;)
« Last Edit: 09/15/2016 07:18 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline hkultala

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #26 on: 09/16/2016 02:44 PM »
Going FFSC is the logical next step for BO for a very large engine for New Armstrong.

FFSC mostly just improves your ISP. SpaceX are going that route because Raptor will be used as their in-space stage and they're going to squeeze every second of ISP out of its methalox design that they can to reduce their propellant usage.

umm, how does FFSC improve isp over ORSC or FRSC?

AFAIK FFSC allows running turbines with much lower pressures and temperatures and allows totallys eparate pumps for oxygen and fuel, not needing sel between them.
These are mostly reliability and reusability improvements, not isp improvements.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #27 on: 09/16/2016 03:17 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.
Please don't edit out context when you post a "gotcha."
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Offline baldusi

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #28 on: 09/16/2016 04:33 PM »
Going FFSC is the logical next step for BO for a very large engine for New Armstrong.

FFSC mostly just improves your ISP. SpaceX are going that route because Raptor will be used as their in-space stage and they're going to squeeze every second of ISP out of its methalox design that they can to reduce their propellant usage.

umm, how does FFSC improve isp over ORSC or FRSC?

AFAIK FFSC allows running turbines with much lower pressures and temperatures and allows totallys eparate pumps for oxygen and fuel, not needing sel between them.
These are mostly reliability and reusability improvements, not isp improvements.

FFSC gives you the option either to increase isp or reusability. FFSC, particularly in the CH4/LOX case, means having almost 80% more available power at the turbines, if you keep the same turbine inlet temperature. Due to material limitations, that is currently the main constraint for performance. If you go any hotter in the turbines, you risk melting them.
So, for the same temperature, you can get 80% more power. And thus you can increase outlet pressure (not 80% because of inefficiencies, but a lot). A higher pump pressure translates to higher Pc pressure and that translates to higher isp. Also helps in making the engine smaller for the same thrust.
But you can chose and go in the other direction and reduce the turbine inlet temperature, which increases exponentially your turbine life. So you can do either.

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #29 on: 09/17/2016 02:07 AM »
An item that could give some thought into the sizing of NA.

If an NG large LEO capsule of ~40mt loaded able to transport 30-40 persons is developed then that same capsule adapted as a BEO capsule of same loaded weight ~40mt but with fewer passengers ~20 for transport all the way to L2 or LLO.

Basically the same capsule with 2 configurations a BEO version with more radiation shielding but both when fully loaded about the same weight. So that the NG would still launch the LEO version for the LEO trips and the NA for the BEO trips. There would at that time no longer be reason for a smaller capsule.

240 people to the moon per year. If it cost the same to get the Lunar surface as it will hopefully soon via CC to the ISS ~$20M/person. How many will be going?

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #30 on: 09/17/2016 02:09 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.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #31 on: 09/17/2016 02:19 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

Offline notsorandom

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #32 on: 09/17/2016 04:37 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.
In that case they should call it the New Crippen.

Online dror

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #33 on: 09/17/2016 06:27 AM »
Quote
...
Our vision is millions of people living and working in space, and New Glenn is a very important step. It won't be the last of course. Up next on our drawing board: New Armstrong. But that's a story for the future.

Gradatim Ferociter!

Jeff Bezos

So if there can be speculative discussion on the as-yet-unseen MCT, then there can likewise be speculative discussion on New Armstrong, the next rocket on Blue Origin's drawing board as tipped by Jeff Bezos himself.

...


MCT is SpaceX' next generation rocket (FH being same generation and family of F9) .
New Glen is Blue's next generation system.
New Armstrong is their  next next generation system and as such it will be totally different - fully reusable, maybe different engines, may be air breathing, magneto-shell, we don't know. But it probably won't be just more of the same engines\cores
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Offline sanman

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #34 on: 09/17/2016 07:02 AM »
Bezos believes in creating the "infrastructure" for outer space on the premise that the existence of this facilitative infrastructure will invite people to create and partake in all sorts of applications that we can't even foresee. His analogy was that when AT&T/Bell created phone telecommunication lines, they had no idea that this would one day become the backbone for the internet, and for all its ancilliary applications with all the revenue they generate.

So it stands to reason that he would try to make New Armstrong as big and as payload-capable as possible - even if it required investing extraordinary amounts of capital to develop it (capital which he does indeed have) - because of the idea of economies of scale.

One would assume that an Airbus A380 ticket is cheaper than a ticket for a Boeing 737, with all other things being equal, because of the former's greater capacity.

So I don't think he'll necessarily try to economize on the tooling by doing a 3-core using New Glenn's core size, because he's got the money to spend, and he wants the lowest ticket price in order to enable a flood of new participants who will create the follow-on "space economy" with all the various applications that neither he nor we can envision. If he has to build the Queen Mary of launch vehicles, then he'll likely do it.

I think that once Bezos really gets the ball rolling, then not only will he be able to outprice Musk's Falcon Heavy, but probably every other launcher in the marketplace. Imagine how many satellites to LEO a single New Armstrong could deliver. Every major city will have their own dedicated geostationary satellite to serve them, never mind just every country.

I don't expect SpaceX to take things lying down, of course - it'll be interesting to see how they respond - and whether MCT somehow gets roped into serving conventional commercial satellite launching.

Offline Ludus

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #35 on: 09/17/2016 07:22 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.

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.

Online Hotblack Desiato

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #36 on: 09/17/2016 08:15 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.

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.

Yet, if he wants to be the only tortoise who has a big rocket, he has to do something. And a simple step would be spending some money on the market the competitor is relying on.

SX offers launches on F9 for $60-100 million (depending on the situation) and if BO can offer launches at a fraction of that price, SX is suddenly in deep troubles. Of course, there will be more satellites to launch, but it will not compensate the income loss.

Yet, having a competitor sometimes is a good thing, just look at Microsoft and Apple in the 90ties. Microsoft had to safe Apple in order to be not split up into several companies, as it once happened to AT&T.

Offline sanman

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #37 on: 09/17/2016 08:31 AM »
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.

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.

I wonder if there will be any race by Bezos & Co to try and claim larger or more accessible water ice deposits on the Moon, in order to facilitate ISRU there. Whoever gets dibs first might become the "lunar water baron" and hold the upper hand on lunar operations.

Offline sdsds

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #38 on: 09/17/2016 08:43 AM »
So I'm selling my house. Suddenly I have two choices for what to do with the proceeds. Buy a SpaceX ticket to Mars. Or buy a  Blue ticket to the Moon.

Either way I'm happy, because the free market has given me a choice! ;)
« Last Edit: 09/17/2016 08:43 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline Lar

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion
« Reply #39 on: 09/17/2016 10:20 PM »
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) ???
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