Author Topic: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....  (Read 6040 times)

Offline briguy700

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Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« on: 09/05/2007 11:25 PM »
I have heard and seen all the different threads about the shortcomings and complaints regarding the Ares I and Ares V launch systems and the potential that they may never come to fruition or live up to expectations.

I however have a different problem, does anyone besides myself not feel the same level of pride or potential pride in the new launch system as they feel now in the STS program ?? To me, the Shuttle was revolutionary. It showed that the United States was continuing to expand the envelope and lead the world in Space Exploration technology. Sure, it didn't meet all expectations and hopes and was way more expensive than envisioned, but to this day, 26 years after STS-1, I still feel a swell of pride with each launch and landing and successful mission. I feel I "know" the orbiters as I have lived during their history and accomplishments, successes and failures. Can I ever really get to know a CEV ??

With Ares, we are saying, "here we go again", as far as the Apollo-like nature. It's like we are too lazy to expand the envelope further. It's not the space plane/rocket thing, it's just that it so feels like a re-hash and that we are stepping backward instead of forward. So many revolutions, correct me if I am wrong, won't even be present with Ares-Constellation such as, robotics (Canadarm), cargo/payload capability, satellite retrieval, etc.

Am I making any sense ?? I am really not here to be simply another Ares basher. I do hope the program is a huge success, but I just can't see myself really caring about another little capsule going back and forth to ISS ala Soyuz/ATV, until I see that the CLV is actually going to expand our role in space and lead to lunar outposts and eventually on to Mars. I just feel like we could be focusing on constructing other types on craft on-orbit with the cargo carrying capacity of the shuttle or some new derivative. These on-orbit constructed craft could have so much more capability and flexibility using knowledge gained from ISS construction, etc. I guess I am just impatient and ready to see us moving on into space rather than hanging in LEO and waiting until 2020 just to get back where we already were in 1969. Sorry for groaning, just can't see myself as excited over "Liftoff of the stick !!" as I am over "Liftoff of Discovery, expanding the ISS, etc".
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Offline Jim

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Offline Jim

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RE: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #2 on: 09/05/2007 11:46 PM »
Quote
briguy700 - 5/9/2007  7:25 PM

1.   robotics (Canadarm),

2. cargo/payload capability,

3.  satellite retrieval, etc.


1.  not needed

2 superceded by Atlas V and Delta V and then Ares V

3,  Not needed

4.  Too costly and crew is not needed for most missions

The shuttle paradigm was found to be wrong.  Read the other thread

Offline briguy700

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RE: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #3 on: 09/05/2007 11:52 PM »
Sorry bout that, I did a search to check for a duplicate thread and just missed that one. I guess you're right Jim, but I just think that this whole approach to expanding our overall VSE just doesn't seem like a step ahead. Like I said before, I will support whatever we do as a nation and in the VSE 100%, but I just wanna see something that excites us again, you know ??
"The greatest failure is in not even trying."

Offline Dana

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #4 on: 09/05/2007 11:59 PM »
I for one am not a fan of the happy-puffy little PR blurbs you get with launches these days: "Liftoff of Discovery with the hopes and dreams of yadda yadda...." Somehow the Apollo launches usually managed to be compelling without some eyeball-rolling little "inspirational" blurb.

Back on the main topic-"Revolutionary" usually equals "expensive" and often "unreliable." At this stage in space exploration the reliability and safety needs to be perfected and economic viability established before we start taking great, expensive, chancey leaps in technological progress again.

Every week or so I fly a supposedly "new" (relatively-like 10 years old; by General Aviation standards that counts as "new") airplane that is in fact powered by 1920s technology-an air-cooled, large-displacement flat-6 gasoline piston engine with magneto ignition. Even its fuel-injection system (there are still plenty of carburetted aircraft on the flightline) would look almost quaint to somebody familiar with modern automotive FI systems. Technologically it's a knuckle-dragger, dumber than a bag of hammers. That doesn't bother me in the slightest, because when I'm flying over the deserts and mountains and forests of the Northwest I can be pretty sure the dang thing will always work as advertised, that it is as tough as an anvil, and simple enough that not many things can go wrong with it. That's the value of mature, proven technology. Might not be sexy to the eye of a technophile, but you can be pretty confident that it'll actually WORK.

Consequently I have no problem at all with the Ares/Orion approach. Sure, I'd love to see the Next Big Thing as much as the next guy, but I'll take "proven" over "cutting edge" anytime I'm entrusting my life to a piece of technology. And the fact that it should be capable of landing American astronauts back on the Moon seems like a piece of machinery to be proud of.
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Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #5 on: 09/06/2007 12:02 AM »
One thing I'd like to know is this:  If politics were not a big factor in the design of our next launch vehicle, and rather than trying to use existing hardware to create some sort of kludge we instead started with a completely clean sheet of paper, would solids even be considered for a man-rated first stage?

Maybe the answer is yes - I honestly don't know.  I'm not a big fan of Ares, but I'd still take it over a Long March!  ;)

Offline briguy700

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #6 on: 09/06/2007 01:21 AM »
Dana, you do have a point about the blurbs......"Liftoff of Endeavour, growing zero-g sesame seeds to cover the next generation of Big Macs."
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Offline Andrewwski

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #7 on: 09/06/2007 02:00 AM »
I'm not necessarily bothered by the blurbs themselves, it's when they're put in.  I'd be happy with "Liftoff of space shuttle Endeavour.  The vehicle has cleared the tower.  Now moving at x miles per hour."

To me, putting that in right after liftoff is not the correct place...the ascent has just begun.  Putting that in at the end of the commentary would be more fitting.
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Offline mike robel

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #8 on: 09/06/2007 02:23 AM »
I see no reason to be less proud of Ares than of anything else we have done in space.  We are at least making use of existing technology to move forward to the next phase of the program:  reuse of solid booster design, RS-68, J-2, RL-10 engines, etc.  Unlike every other space program where the end of one program begats an entirely new program.  There was considerable lessons learned from Mercury as applied to Gemini, especially since McDonald built both spacecraft.  But there were, I beleive, virtually no lessons learned from Gemini that affected Apollo Design.  Ditto for the Space Shuttle.  Each program had a unique booster, with virtually no reuse - Gemini did make use of the Atlas-Agena and Saturn I did have some elements of Redstone/Jupiter in it, but nothing particularly significant.  Of cousre, the shuttle was a whole new ball of wax.

Contrast this with the Russian Development where the same booster has been in use with modifications for the whole time and teh sapce craft is clearly evolutionary in nature.  In antoher thread, the Soyuz Booster is garnering points as the best designed booster.  It wouldn t be there if it was superceded every time.

While the quality of our boosters may be very good - arguable better than Soviet/Russian design, Quantity, as STalin is alledged to have said, has a quality all its own.

I remember when I was a kid reading about rocketry and flying model rockets that dumping of staages and not taking anymore than you had to all the way to orbit was a virtue.  Now we have debates about whether we should drag wings, engines, and a bunch of other stuff to orbit adn to the moon just because we think the shuttle is more elegant than the capsule. They both have thier uses, but I would venture that development and continued production of teh Saturn and/or Titan in conjuction with Apollo variants would have been at least as cost effective as Shuttle and been able to do many of the same missions.

Hmm.  llooking aroudn embarressed and getting off teh soap box.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #9 on: 09/06/2007 03:00 AM »
Constellation is to be just that.  A "constellation" of various projects that allow and enable the United States to pursue exploration.  If, we started with a new sheet of paper and through away everything, then what would everyone be saying?  Perhaps something like, "NASA is not taking advantage of existing hardware and redesigning the wheel."  So, Constellation is instead using proven hardware or design where possible to minimize cost.  I have said this multiple times but I will say it again.  So what if Orion looks similar to Apollo, looks are only skin deep.  The designs, beyond the outer mold line of the command module, are not similar.  I will again use the comparison of a Boeing 707 and a Boeing 787.  They look similar on the outside but are no where near the same on the inside.  Same with Apollo and Orion.  So take pride that we are using proven and existing technology where available and attempting to maximize the investment this nation has made over the last 30 years.  Hopefully that will mean more money to do all the other things that Constellation is meant to do.  

As for the shuttle, I worked on this program my entire professional career.  I do know this fleet and I can let them go and allow them to take their place in history.  Were they revolutionary for their time?  Absolutely.  Are they still impressive?  Absolutely and I take pride in my work every day and am proud to tell others what I do.  However, when you say "space exploration technology" the problem is this fleet cannot explore anything beyond LEO.  For that, we need a different platform and this next program is meant to return the United States to the bigger adventure we started - and ended - before I was born.  

If all goes according to plan, there will be much more to be excited about out there and what we will be able to do their and just because the vehicle does not have a robot arm will not even be a thought.  



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Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #10 on: 09/06/2007 03:12 AM »
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OV-106 - 5/9/2007  9:00 PM
If, we started with a new sheet of paper and through away everything, then what would everyone be saying?  Perhaps something like, "NASA is not taking advantage of existing hardware and redesigning the wheel."  So, Constellation is instead using proven hardware or design where possible to minimize cost.

No they're not.  From what I understand, they're both essentially new designs - modified RS-68s, brand new J2X, new 5-segment SRB, new recovery systems, new avionics, new abort hardware, new core, new upper stages (two of them), new spacecraft, new crawlers, new MLPs, new service structures, and new VAB infrastructure.  The only thing they're keeping is some of the RS-68, the SRB casings, and the materials the tank is made from (but not the tooling).  That's one of the problems and one of the reasons it's going to take so long to get going.

Offline briguy700

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #11 on: 09/06/2007 03:22 AM »
Good points and I appreciate all the input. I have just found myself frustrated by facing such a big gap without manned spaceflight. I may very well love Orion and Ares when they come to fruition and I have no doubt that the engineers and personnell working on these craft have the goal of making the best and most successful program possible. It's just that so much has been cut already (land touchdown, total size, possibly number of crew, etc) that it feels like we are taking steps away from advancement rather than working to make a better program. I am no "rocket scientist" but it seems to me that we should find ways to accomodate new systems rather than just saying, "Oh the logistics of that are too hard, or the weight is too much so let's cut that out." I don't know, keep telling what you think. By the way, I am in no way criticizing the people working on Constellation, you guys are working hard and doing your job to push us farther into space, I just wish you weren't faced with so many setbacks and delays.
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #12 on: 09/06/2007 03:24 AM »
Well, I'm not going to get into that tired debate.  Yes, some of it is new but some of it has to be new.  Do not try to say direct version whatever is the answer because you need new hardware there too.
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Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #13 on: 09/06/2007 03:28 AM »
My greatest concern is that we will compromise too much capability on Orion in order to stick with an underperforming, ill-suited solid propellant Ares I first stage.  Already look at what has been cut from the original promises at this early stage in development.

Offline briguy700

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #14 on: 09/06/2007 03:32 AM »
That's what frustrates me too vt hokie. Rather than compromise Orion and it's abilities, change the first stage/booster.
"The greatest failure is in not even trying."

Online Chris Bergin

RE: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #15 on: 09/06/2007 03:34 AM »
Do I smell a possible "Ares Sucks" thread in the making? Hope not. Remember, I don't sleep, and when I do, I keep the "delete thread" under my pillow ;)

Offline briguy700

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #16 on: 09/06/2007 03:38 AM »
Good point Chris, I did start this thread with the intent of it being about your feelings of pride between the STS program and what we know so far about what Ares will be. Sorry if it got off topic.
"The greatest failure is in not even trying."

Online Chris Bergin

RE: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #17 on: 09/06/2007 03:42 AM »
Not a problem sir. We'll keep it going, our moderators can keep an eye on it, and we can also merge it with the other thread linked in here, if needs be.

Offline Dana

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #18 on: 09/06/2007 05:36 AM »
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briguy700 - 5/9/2007  8:22 PM

Good points and I appreciate all the input. I have just found myself frustrated by facing such a big gap without manned spaceflight.

There has been such a gap before (1975-81) and we got through it ok. And back then we didn't even have the option of hitching Soyuz rides in the interim, nor the prospect of watching unmanned test launches. Although seeing Enterprise fly off the back of a 747 on TV was pretty cool. But the ALT was over and done in just a couple of months in 1977.
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Offline brihath

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #19 on: 09/06/2007 12:48 PM »
I know it has been stated on other threads, but an evolutionary design would make use of the best aspects of the STS design in building an SDLV.  The ancillary arguments about reducing cost and using current infrastructure have already been stated in several threads, particularly Direct.

The Russians followed such a path with the R7 family, and are able to maintain a robust launch capability at low cost.  NASA should encourage such a capability and then turn it over to contractors to operate it to LEO and purchase payload to orbit capability.  It should then focus on new technology to push the manned exploration envelope beyond LEO.  With the right balance between evolution and revolution we could do wonders.

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