Author Topic: Missions for Advanced SLS versions  (Read 2511 times)

Offline Hyperion5

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Missions for Advanced SLS versions
« on: 01/29/2013 08:58 PM »
I thought that since we've got a thread dedicated to the missions an SLS Bloc I could pull off, it's about time we had a thread dedicated to what the bigger advanced versions' mission possibilities.  Here's how those versions look like right now:


SLS Bloc IA
Core Stage+advanced boosters (appears to be LRBs)-upper stage
Payload to LEO: 105 mt
BEO Payload: 0 mt
Year available: 2022 (if advanced booster program is funded)

SLS Bloc IB
Core stage+8.4 m CPS (8.4 m stage with four RL-10 engines)
Payload to LEO: 118 mt
BEO Payload: 43 mt
Year available: 2019 (if upper stage is funded)

SLS Bloc II
Core stage+8.4 m CPS (from Bloc IB)+advanced boosters (LRBs)
Payload to LEO: 155 mt
BEO Payload: 61 mt
Year available: 2022 (if boosters+CPS are funded)

SLS Bloc II
Core stage+8.4 m CPS (from Bloc IB)+advanced boosters (solids)
Payload to LEO: approximately 133 mt
BEO Payload: 50 mt?
Year available: 2022 (if boosters+CPS are funded)

SLS Bloc IIA
Core stage+8.4 m J-2X stage+advanced boosters (LRBs)
Payload to LEO: 178 mt
BEO Payload: 58 mt
Year available: 2027 (if boosters+J-2X stage funded)

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Now personally I think if the Congressional mandate for 130 mt to LEO capability holds up, the most likely versions we'll see are the Bloc IB and Bloc II with solids.  I've already thought up a few missions the IB and Bloc II with solids would enable. 

One-launch

Apollo-style lunar surface mission
NEA mission
Launching large space station modules (2 BA-330s to EML-2)
Mission to martian orbit 
orbiter to Pluto or other outer planets
Rover missions on Mars, Europa, Titan and all over

Multiple-launch
Robust lunar surface mission
Assembly of Mars Transfer Vehicle/Martian surface mission

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Does anyone have any suggestions as to what kind of missions a Bloc II with LRBs or a Bloc IIA would enable that the Bloc IB and Bloc II with solids would not be able to do?  Right now I really can't think of any, but perhaps I'm wrong. 

Online llanitedave

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Re: Missions for Advanced SLS versions
« Reply #1 on: 01/30/2013 02:24 AM »
The possibilities are endless.  Of course I'd like to see some vastly capable and advanced craft like a Europa fossil prospector or a Titan blimp.  I'd also like to see a really large telescope in solar orbit, with multiple 5m mirrors on a framework that could hold them rigidly at a great enough distance to do some serious optical interferometry.

And, I'd like to see an industrial-capacity manufacturing facility that can do real work in microgravity instead of just HS science fair experiments.
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Offline Hyperion5

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Re: Missions for Advanced SLS versions
« Reply #2 on: 01/30/2013 04:47 AM »
The possibilities are endless.  Of course I'd like to see some vastly capable and advanced craft like a Europa fossil prospector or a Titan blimp.  I'd also like to see a really large telescope in solar orbit, with multiple 5m mirrors on a framework that could hold them rigidly at a great enough distance to do some serious optical interferometry.

And, I'd like to see an industrial-capacity manufacturing facility that can do real work in microgravity instead of just HS science fair experiments.

As it turns out, to my surprise, not only has a blimp been envisioned (why I didn't think of that with Titan's super-thick atmosphere I don't know), but JPL has envisioned a variable-buoyancy airship setting down and picking up an amphibious rover on Titan.  That sounds like a mission that could use every kilogram an SLS Bloc II has at its disposal.  Diagrams are below. 

Offline CNYMike

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Re: Missions for Advanced SLS versions
« Reply #3 on: 02/06/2013 08:41 PM »
I keep wondering what could be put in LEO by just the boosters (like the F-1 powered ones) and the core stage, as two stages in parallel.  You could launch sizeable modules for a new stages once it comes time to replace ISS.
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