@ Archibald. I suppose that it is possible to be wise in retrospect when looking back at these things. IIRC, the ESAS study was done in about 2008. Would the EELVs have been seen as super-reliable and a no-brainer then, especially in relation to the shuttle stack?
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 ?
What are other people’s thoughts?
And, with L2 rendezvous, the lander and CEV would be of near-equal mass. That neatly allows a two-launch profile with two nearly-identical vehicles. The launch vehicle itself would have been significantly smaller than Ares V/SLS, and closer to Direct's Jupiter-120 or three-core Atlas Phase II.
Quote from: jeff.findley on 01/07/2013 06:35 PMThe 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?
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 think a better CxP would have looked like of the ELA and LANTR concepts of the 90s.One thing they really got wrong was giving the shuttle a set in stone retirement date.Instead they should have worked on getting OSP finished as quickly as possible on an existing rocket.While this is taking place slowly transition the shuttle to shuttle-C.
In the interests of absolute crew safety, my pet idea was a modified DIVH with an RS25 on the core, RS68A on each booster, and no upper stage. I reckon that would make for an impressively reliable vehicle.
The shuttle shouldn't have been cancelled.It was a scam.The money goes to SLS which does nothing because of various reasons that are outlined in many of my other posts.
Cancel the Shuttle program immediately after Columbia.Eat the Gap immediately. Soyuz and Progress to incomplete ISS in the interim. It worked well enough for MIR.Develop two competing crew capsules for EELV launch.Develop something like the ULA Payload Bay concept for the remaining ISS modules. I think this assembly method was workable with Soyuz, so some assembly could be accomplished prior to the crew vehicles coming online.Some type of domestic cargo ship program.For the moon, some type of storable propellant medium lift based architecture.
Quote from: spectre9 on 02/17/2013 12:49 AMThe shuttle shouldn't have been cancelled.It was a scam.The money goes to SLS which does nothing because of various reasons that are outlined in many of my other posts.The shuttle, as it existed, -should- have been cancelled. It was inherrently overly costly and complicated and dangerous. It was very cool, but not particuarly practical. At least at the flight rate and cost that it ended up having.By the time of the Columbia accident, that was abundantly clear. It just took that to break the beurocratic inertia of an established program. I don't agree it should have been cancelled right away, but that it was replaced was a good thing.Now, if the Shuttle was was launched on top of an INT-21 stack, and perhaps had a break away cabin with an LAS system, then that'd be another story. That would have solved the safety issues. Etc. etc. But I don't know that would have solved all of it's high expense and plethera of man-hours t process between flights.SLS was a political decision, but it doesn't change the problems inherrent to the Shuttle.
LOC numbers were fine and getting better all the time.
Sitting on the ground is safer than anything.
SLS will be more likely to face LOM on early flights because it will not be tested many times.
Overly costly? What by allowing usage of Al-Li ETs and reuse of SSME? I'm not so sure about that in hindsight. I think that was talked up a bit.
It can't be a good thing that it was replaced because that never happened. That might happen some day but don't count your chickens before they hatch. Everybody is riding on Soyuz which costs big dollars.
Rubbishing the shuttle because of a lack of LAS is a poor argument and I don't buy it. If I did at some point I was wrong.Shuttle would've kept 4-seg solids around at least. ATK couldn't complain too much.