Author Topic: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?  (Read 97517 times)

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #240 on: 02/22/2014 01:36 PM »
But then it would have not been a legacy design and all the talks they had had been in vain. ...

Unfortunately, it is no longer a "legacy" LV.  It is a clean sheet LV with a legacy diameter core.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #241 on: 02/22/2014 05:35 PM »
I wonder if the mass of the Orion was the root of all the Ares-1's woes.
Shortly before it was cancelled, Ares I had a 15% margin over the Orion mass requirement.  I think the woes were budget related.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline clongton

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #242 on: 02/22/2014 07:40 PM »
I wonder if the mass of the Orion was the root of all the Ares-1's woes.
Shortly before it was cancelled, Ares I had a 15% margin over the Orion mass requirement.  I think the woes were budget related.

 - Ed Kyle

NASA leadership held completely unrealistic expectations about what they could get the Congress to give them. Leadership was in denial right up to the end. CxP could have been completely different if that leadership had operated from the beginning with realistic expectations.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #243 on: 02/22/2014 09:58 PM »
Would that be an "expectation" of accomplishment?  Or am I missing the whole "intent to not accomplish" meme?

I know.  Depends on how you define "accomplishment".
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline beb

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #244 on: 02/23/2014 01:53 AM »
The title of this thread is "Could Ares I have Worked if Things have been different?"  It seems, from having read NASA Flight over the last decade that  the chief problem was Ares I was always the weight of Orion. And best solution there would have been to radically rethink the purpose of Orion. Does it need to be a "Commnd" module or could be, like with the Russian Soyuz, just a re-entry module. Making Orion into a tiny 4-man BEO re-entry vehicle and leaving mission life-support and propulsion as part of the hardware launched on the Ares 5/SLS would have made it a lot easier for Ares I to carry it into orbit. The trouble with that idea is that if you get the Orion capsule down to 10-12 mT than you ca launch it on an existing Atlas or Delta and not need the Ares I at all.
   But Ares 1 and 5 were supposed to leverage the commonality of shuttle technology. Dropping Ares 1 for an existing EELV leaves the Ares 5 development costs all on Ares 5's shoulders. And that would have been non-viable. (As if Ares 1 and 5 were ever viable)
   Putting the Ares I service module on the Ares 5 stack would have had on advantage, it would have been possible to use the service module to do the Lunar Orbital Insertion instead of using the Lander's engine. That would have eliminated the need for either a crasher stage on the lander or massively over building the lander's tanks so it could do the LOI as well as descend to the surface. A smaller lander would not have stood so high off the ground causing logistical problems in descending to the surface or having the lander tip over.  Lofting the Service Module on Ares 5 would have increased its payload by maybe 10-15 mT, but I don't think that would have been that much of a problem.
   So I guess the answer to the question comes down to -- no. The only way to have made Ares I work would have been to make Orion small wnough/light enough that an existing EELV could have done the job as well. Ares I simply didn't have enough difference from Atlas and Delta to justify its seperate existence.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #245 on: 02/23/2014 02:17 AM »
Delta IV-H or Atlas V-H would have been perfectly adequate as the full-featured 'heavy' Orion launchers, particularly if the Delta IV-H had an uprated upper stage - RL-60/MB-60 or regenerative RS-68 for the first stages. The RS-68 Regen would have been a good development for sharing with Ares V and would have solved the base-heating problem as well and the RL-60/MB-60s used for the upper stage. I know this thread is a retrospective 'what if', so I hope no one gets grumpy and says something like "this is old news", water-under-the-bridge, pointless rehash" etc. But I also think threads like this serve as useful reference/antidote for 'those who don't pay attention to history are doomed to repeat it', etc.

Other in-a-nutshell look backs included keeping the Ares V stages to the 8.4 meter Shuttle diameters, keeping the 4 segment SRBs and using clusters of existing upper stage engines (RL-10s or finishing the RL-60) instead of pouring billions into J-2X and 5 segment boosters - all this was suggested by our DIRECT friends. Finally, the 'overweight' Orion problem could largely have been solved by reducing the Command Module diameter to 4.5 meters - as suggested by Boeing (becomes the CST-100) - and making the capsule all composites (though this would not be strictly necessary). A Boeing engineer I once spoke to said if they had won the Orion contract, they would have pushed for changing Orion to 4.5 meters, as this would have reduced it's mass by at least 1 metric ton - 1.8 if all-composite - and still leave plenty of pressurized volume for 4x Astronauts: about the same per-Astronaut as Apollo had for 3x persons.
« Last Edit: 02/23/2014 03:05 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #246 on: 02/23/2014 02:41 AM »
The title of this thread is "Could Ares I have Worked if Things have been different?"  It seems, from having read NASA Flight over the last decade that  the chief problem was Ares I was always the weight of Orion. And best solution there would have been to radically rethink the purpose of Orion...

Given enough time and money the Ares I and Orion configuration could have been made to work, and work safely.  I have no doubt about that.

The question you raise is whether it would have been worth the time and money in the first place, and though it may be OT, I think that is the better question.  The way I see it is that in our modern age, where we have proven that we can build spacious, complex space stations, capsules are best suited for transporting humans and cargo from space to the surface of Earth.

But they are too small to used as primary living and work spaces for more than a few days, so no matter what they would have to be attached to larger vehicles anyways.  Trying to cram lots of functionality into the Orion is what was/is driving the weight issue (and cost too), and it sure seems to me to be an evolutionary dead end - that capsules should not be evolved beyond being just basic transportation.  And with a lighter capsule the launch vehicle options become more numerous.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline clongton

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #247 on: 02/23/2014 01:29 PM »
Delta IV-H or Atlas V-H would have been perfectly adequate as the full-featured 'heavy' Orion launchers, particularly if the Delta IV-H had an uprated upper stage - RL-60/MB-60 or regenerative RS-68 for the first stages....Other in-a-nutshell look backs included keeping the Ares V stages to the 8.4 meter Shuttle diameters, keeping the 4 segment SRBs and using clusters of existing upper stage engines (RL-10s or finishing the RL-60) instead of pouring billions into J-2X and 5 segment boosters - all this was suggested by our DIRECT friends.

While DIRECT stayed with the 4-segment SRB because that was the Congressional intent, the alternate proposal (AJAX) would have leveraged the Atlas by using its CCB as an LRB for an 8.4m Ares-V and the Atlas-V as the CLV. This would have provided the 1.5 launch architecture that Dr Griffin wanted but would have eliminated the Ares-I and destroyed the launch vehicle development cost benefit of spreading that cost over 2 launch vehicles.

Given enough time and money the Ares I and Orion configuration could have been made to work, and work safely.  I have no doubt about that.

You would have been wrong. Even Dr Griffin himself finally admitted toward the end of CxP that the Ares-I could not have been made to work for its originally intended mission, which was to deliver a lunar-capable Orion to LEO for meeting the LSAM and EDS delivered on an Ares-V. He assigned a short-fueled Orion to LEO ISS support and left the Moon missions for a future Administration to wrestle with.
« Last Edit: 02/23/2014 01:31 PM by clongton »
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Offline beb

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #248 on: 02/23/2014 03:52 PM »
Given enough time and money the Ares I and Orion configuration could have been made to work, and work safely.  I have no doubt about that.

You would have been wrong. Even Dr Griffin himself finally admitted toward the end of CxP that the Ares-I could not have been made to work for its originally intended mission, which was to deliver a lunar-capable Orion to LEO for meeting the LSAM and EDS delivered on an Ares-V. He assigned a short-fueled Orion to LEO ISS support and left the Moon missions for a future Administration to wrestle with.

Just a quick note: That was "Coastal Ron" not me (Beb) speaking.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #249 on: 02/23/2014 07:01 PM »
The title of this thread is "Could Ares I have Worked if Things have been different?"  It seems, from having read NASA Flight over the last decade that  the chief problem was Ares I was always the weight of Orion.
When John Young was famously reported to have said that "Ares I won't work" in May 2007, he quickly corrected his assertion to point out that it was Orion that was too heavy, not Ares I that was falling short of its objectives. 

Long after Constellation was cancelled Orion was still too heavy.  That can't be Ares I's fault.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31670.msg1039792#msg1039792

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 02/23/2014 07:25 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline clongton

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #250 on: 02/23/2014 07:27 PM »
The title of this thread is "Could Ares I have Worked if Things have been different?"  It seems, from having read NASA Flight over the last decade that  the chief problem was Ares I was always the weight of Orion.
When John Young was famously reported to have said that "Ares I won't work" in May 2007, he quickly corrected his assertion to point out that it was Orion that was too heavy, not Ares I that was falling short of its objectives. 

Today, nearly seven years later, Orion is still too heavy.  That can't be Ares I's fault.

 - Ed Kyle

That is correct. Ares-I's problem was the weight of Orion. It always was. But that was a command decision by NASA leadership. They specifically wanted Orion to be too heavy to lift on a man-rated EELV in order to justify a 2-vehicle, 1.5 launch architecture.

Reducing Orion's weight to be manageable on the Ares-I would have put it within the lift capacity of either the Atlas or Delta and Dr Griffin was having none of it.

That's why, Ed, I really appreciated the efforts you made to redesign the Ares-I. I knew NASA would not even consider it, but your work was brilliant nonetheless. It would have worked and Griffin could have salvaged CxP with it.
« Last Edit: 02/23/2014 07:31 PM by clongton »
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #251 on: 02/24/2014 04:26 AM »
Hey Chuck and Ed; my memory fails me about Ed's Ares 1 fixes - or maybe I just haven't read it. Does anyone have a link?
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Offline edkyle99

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #252 on: 02/25/2014 03:44 AM »
Hey Chuck and Ed; my memory fails me about Ed's Ares 1 fixes - or maybe I just haven't read it. Does anyone have a link?
This may be the one.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=13824.msg299946#msg299946

There were several ideas.  I think "Ares IB" was the most "fun" to consider. 

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Archibald

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #253 on: 02/25/2014 05:21 AM »
Which in turn links back to an even earlier thread... that started the DIRECT odyssey.  ;D

Offline -OriCinco

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #254 on: 02/25/2014 06:06 AM »
Unfortunately, it is no longer a "legacy" LV.  It is a clean sheet LV with a legacy diameter core.
The diameter of the SRB has an unbelievable story to it.   With specifications, there is always traceability to original documents.  Since NASA was using specifications since the sixties for control of contractor deliverables, the concept of requirements traceability is only a modern day phenomenon.

If you take the SRB diameter, that was constrained by the railway tunnels from Utah to the Cape.  The standard width of railroad tracks is traced back to Imperial Roman chariots that used two war horses to pull the cart.  The width of the Imperial Roman chariot is obviously traced to the conventional width of two horses' (rear ends).

So the legacy of future spaceflight is  going to be constrained to our limited capabilities.

We really need a bigger railway system to be able to get larger launch vehicles built for Moon/Mars bases.  So then I'm sure you would agree, that what we need to get back into exploring space are a couple of really big .....
« Last Edit: 02/25/2014 06:10 AM by -OriCinco »

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #255 on: 02/25/2014 07:43 AM »
The title of this thread is "Could Ares I have Worked if Things have been different?"  It seems, from having read NASA Flight over the last decade that  the chief problem was Ares I was always the weight of Orion.
When John Young was famously reported to have said that "Ares I won't work" in May 2007, he quickly corrected his assertion to point out that it was Orion that was too heavy, not Ares I that was falling short of its objectives. 

Long after Constellation was cancelled Orion was still too heavy.  That can't be Ares I's fault.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31670.msg1039792#msg1039792

 - Ed Kyle

DOH!! I should have remembered that thread - I had some big postings in it. Then again; I'm wondering these days if my memory is going. I keep having conversations with my Wife that she swears I've already talked about. And twice in the last few days; I typed the wrong address in something - an address I had more than 20 years ago...
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Offline Starlab90

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #256 on: 02/27/2014 01:48 AM »
You would have been wrong. Even Dr Griffin himself finally admitted toward the end of CxP that the Ares-I could not have been made to work for its originally intended mission, which was to deliver a lunar-capable Orion to LEO for meeting the LSAM and EDS delivered on an Ares-V. He assigned a short-fueled Orion to LEO ISS support and left the Moon missions for a future Administration to wrestle with.

If Mike Griffin actually said that, he gave up too soon. As you describe above, there were 2 crewed Orion configurations planned, the ISS Orion with 2 propellant tanks in in the SM, and the lunar Orion with 4 propellant tanks. The lunar Orion was several thousand pounds heavier than the ISS Orion, so ascent performance for ISS missions was never an issue.

Prior to the DM-1 test, the Ares I design held on to at least a couple of percentage points of margin for the lunar launches. But then the DM-1 test results came in about 1% low of the motor's projected performance, and that blew away most of the margin. On top of that there was weight growth because of vibroacoustics, and the upper stage guys decided they needed more ullage. Now, ATK came back with some motor casting improvements that got back several hundred pounds. So at the time of cancellation, the lunar ascent performance was barely holding on to a very slight positive margin, which made all of us engineers very uneasy. One exasperated engineer finally said, "Let's just fly the thing and see how much performance we've really got." Because we knew we could make the ISS mission, and that would give us flight data and several years of operations to improve the vehicle before we were ever going to have to do a lunar launch. And if we needed to, we could have always brought back the 9.3 nozzle, which would have been a big help.

Bottom line is that ascent performance was not a showstopper problem for Ares I, even though it was very serious. The most serious technical issue of Ares I was vibroacoustics, which was causing a lot of expensive subsystem redesign work. That was giving engineers fits. Other so-called problems, like thrust oscillation and post-destruct debris hazards, were just plain overblown.

Ares I did not deserve to be cancelled because of any technical issues. It did deserve to be cancelled because of cost and schedule issues. At least, that was from my vantage point of working in CxP Level 2 SE&I.

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