Author Topic: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.  (Read 47123 times)

Offline Jorge

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #40 on: 03/03/2008 05:53 PM »
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sandrot - 3/3/2008  11:35 AM

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Jorge - 3/3/2008  11:29 AM

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nacnud - 3/3/2008  9:59 AM

I have some vague memory of Griffin saying that for the cost of developing the Shuttle the Saturn V could have been kept going.

He is mistaken. As much as I disagree with Jeffrey Bell on most issues, he wrote a good article refuting Griffin's statements on Saturn affordability.

I believe Jorge is referring to the following article:

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/The_Griffin_Space_Fantasy_999.html
[/quote]

That's the one.
JRF

Offline Sid454

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #41 on: 03/03/2008 06:37 PM »
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ckiki lwai - 21/2/2008  1:37 PM

How would they have repaired the tear in one of the solar arrays on the P6 without the Shuttle's OBSS?
I remember there wasn't an easy way to do that.

I'm not sure they could have you could try and use the CTV and hover over the damaged section but you'll have issues of jet wash from the RCS thrusters.
Maybe you could attempt said repair with something like the MMU but it will be a lot more dangerous then using the OBSS.

As for what would be the workhorse if the shuttle was never built I'd say likely Saturn derived hardware such as the Saturn IB with the SASSTO as the upper stage and the Saturn V-B a stage and a half to orbit Saturn with a 50,000lbs payload along with the closely related Saturn V-C 179,000lbs into LEO.
These would have been small enough to be affordable but not so small as to be useless for station construction the V-C might have offered a very good cost per ton of payload delivered better then anything presently flying.

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/saturnvb.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/saturnvc.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/sassto.htm

Offline Sid454

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #42 on: 03/03/2008 06:57 PM »
I agree version 1.0 of anything complex is always bug ridden ,clunky and expensive.
How many iterations did it take to arrive at the airliners we have today or even arrive at a marketable hybrid car I think the auto companies spent billions.

On the subject of flight rate it seems the bugs in the shuttle were one thing keeping the flight rate so low it was often grounded for months even years on end while the issue was resolved that and orbiter processing taking three months.

Who knows maybe a 2.0 version of the shuttle would deliver many of the promises of the first.

Offline Jim

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #43 on: 03/03/2008 07:17 PM »
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Sid454 - 3/3/2008  2:57 PM.

Who knows maybe a 2.0 version of the shuttle would deliver many of the promises of the first.

That is another point, there shouldn't be a 2.0 of the shuttle.  Any future RLV should not be a swiss army knife

Offline modavis

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #44 on: 03/04/2008 12:04 AM »

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Sid454 - 3/3/2008  2:57 PM  On the subject of flight rate it seems the bugs in the shuttle were one thing keeping the flight rate so low...

They certainly contributed, but even with everything "working as designed" it couldn't get anywhere near a flight rate that would have made economic sense. NASA (seeing the writing on the wall by 1977-78 or so) never created the facilities (or contracted for the SRB or ET production rates) that would have been needed; for that matter, there was no realistic prospect of enough payloads even under "everything goes on STS" rules.

Understand, I'm not defending the Shuttle. I'm saying that the reasons it fell far short of the "affordable space truck" touted c. 1972 were deeper and broader than those usually cited: that given how different a reusable had to be from what we'd done before (and the unavoidable impact on payload of reusability), nothing was going to hit the sweet spot within a decade, on any budget; it would have taken (and will still take now) repeated "non-operational" iterations to even get close.

I know I sound like a broken record on this topic, but I think it's profoundly important. We screwed up with STS because we vastly underestimated how hard it would be, how much it would cost, and how long it would take to get from ELVs to CATS. So when I look around today and see that 90% of what passes for "analysis" boils down to  "we coulda done it with another few billion" or "we coulda done it with this other design" or "we coulda done it if NASA hadn't had a mysterious attack of the stupids after Apollo"... or in the latest version, "private enterprise is just about to do it because it isn't NASA"...

What I see is yet another round of delusion rather than what I want: an honest appraisal of the scope of the challenge, followed by an honest commitment to buckle down and slowly, patiently, incrementally DO IT.


Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #45 on: 03/04/2008 07:43 AM »
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Jim - 3/3/2008  6:29 PM

"shuttle paradigm" for the context of this discuss is not the reusability nor flight rate aspects of the design but the design features wrt to payloads/missions (RMS, airlock, large crew and payload bay i)

I can see the use of the above items, I just do not see why they have to be brought back to Earth each time.

Offline Jim

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #46 on: 03/04/2008 08:43 AM »
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modavis - 3/3/2008  8:04 PM
What I see is yet another round of delusion rather than what I want: an honest appraisal of the scope of the challenge, followed by an honest commitment to buckle down and slowly, patiently, incrementally DO IT.


Why?  there is no need to do it.  Flight rates aren't high enough

Offline modavis

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #47 on: 03/04/2008 10:03 AM »

 

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 Why?  there is no need to do it.  Flight rates are high enough

Because I want the whole nine yards: permanent moon base, men to Mars, SPSats and SPSat-sized telescopes, planetary probes on a much greater scale, ever-increasing ISRU -- and without CATS I don't think they're going to happen. Broadly speaking, I see three courses:

1) Sit back and wait for order-of-magnitude tech breakthroughs to make space much cheaper (or wait for sheer economic growth to make it relatively cheaper)

2) Keep attempting to replicate 1957-1969: make expensive "lunges" at thousands of dollars per kg, find them unsustainable, and then sit around for decades mourning the loss of Vision and wanking over Powerpoint designs

3) Take CATS seriously, accept that neither tax support nor private demand is enough to get us there (i.e. make it self-financing) in less than several decades, and go for it methodically through X-programs while continuing to use (and modestly improve) ELVs for operational purposes.      
   


Offline Jim

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #48 on: 03/04/2008 10:31 AM »
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modavis - 4/3/2008  6:03 AM

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 Why?  there is no need to do it.  Flight rates are high enough

Because I want the whole nine yards: permanent moon base, men to Mars, SPSats and SPSat-sized telescopes, planetary probes on a much greater scale, ever-increasing ISRU -- and without CATS I don't think they're going to happen. Broadly speaking, I see three courses:

1) Sit back and wait for order-of-magnitude tech breakthroughs to make space much cheaper (or wait for sheer economic growth to make it relatively cheaper)

2) Keep attempting to replicate 1957-1969: make expensive "lunges" at thousands of dollars per kg, find them unsustainable, and then sit around for decades mourning the loss of Vision and wanking over Powerpoint designs

3) Take CATS seriously, accept that neither tax support nor private demand is enough to get us there (i.e. make it self-financing) in less than several decades, and go for it methodically through X-programs while continuing to use (and modestly improve) ELVs for operational purposes.      
   


SPS sats are another folly

people want SST's, but that doesn't make them happen

Offline Jim

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #49 on: 03/04/2008 10:32 AM »
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A_M_Swallow - 4/3/2008  3:43 AM

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Jim - 3/3/2008  6:29 PM

"shuttle paradigm" for the context of this discuss is not the reusability nor flight rate aspects of the design but the design features wrt to payloads/missions (RMS, airlock, large crew and payload bay i)

I can see the use of the above items, I just do not see why they have to be brought back to Earth each time.

too expensive

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #50 on: 03/04/2008 11:11 AM »
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Jim - 4/3/2008  11:32 AM

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A_M_Swallow - 4/3/2008  3:43 AM

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Jim - 3/3/2008  6:29 PM

"shuttle paradigm" for the context of this discuss is not the reusability nor flight rate aspects of the design but the design features wrt to payloads/missions (RMS, airlock, large crew and payload bay i)

I can see the use of the above items, I just do not see why they have to be brought back to Earth each time.

too expensive

The fuel for a station keeping ion engine is going to cost a lot less than launching the equipment about 10 times.  The tool box satellite would only be visited when the tools are needed.

Offline neviden

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #51 on: 03/06/2008 06:28 PM »
I am surprised that there actually is discussion if that is possible. Of course it’s possible since the Russians built Mir that way. Put airlock and robotic arm on the first module you launch and you can do just about anything that shuttle can do. You only need to deliver payload close enough that robotic arm can grab it.

I would probably add specialized tug that could go and pick up launched pieces to enable the payloads to be dumber (cheaper), but even that is not really needed.

One thing is certain. It would not take decades to put everything into LEO. You could put them on different rockets (Delta, Atlas, Ariane, Proton, Sea launch, Soyuz,..), launch them and have everything in space within a year. And if something explodes, well.. shuttle can also explode, so that is a non-issue. It’s actually better, since there would be no humans onboard and you are not tied to one launch system. If Delta fails you launch everything on other rockets while you find and fix the problem.

ISS “required” Shuttle to assemble, because it was designed to “need” the Shuttle. It gave the Shuttle something to do, thus created a “need” for US taxpayers to pay for the Shuttle.

Offline Steve G

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #52 on: 03/07/2008 02:40 AM »
One possible way of constructing the station with an Apollo class spacecraft (in the 1980's or 90's had there been no Shuttle) would be to have a "Saturn 1C" (with an F1 type of engine) for basic taxi and unmanned logistics missions, and use a larger Saturn 2, with two F1 type of engines (AKA the Jarvis Rocket).  Assuming an 80,000 lbs payload on the S2, the CM could do a transposition and docking maneuver and take the components to the station, rather than requiring the Russian method of each component having independant maneuvering capasities.  This would also permit single payloads of 80,000 lbs to be parked until a CM docks to it, and ferries it to the station.

The fact that the S1 and the S2 LVs use the same engines and components would have greatly reduced the developement costs of a launch family.

This scenario fits in nicely with the Direct proposal, while the Ares V can practically launch a Skylab type facility in a single launch.

Offline Jim

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #53 on: 03/07/2008 03:06 AM »
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Steve G - 6/3/2008  10:40 PM

One possible way of constructing the station with an Apollo class spacecraft (in the 1980's or 90's had there been no Shuttle) would be to have a "Saturn 1C" (with an F1 type of engine) for basic taxi and unmanned logistics missions, and use a larger Saturn 2, with two F1 type of engines (AKA the Jarvis Rocket).  Assuming an 80,000 lbs payload on the S2, the CM could do a transposition and docking maneuver and take the components to the station, rather than requiring the Russian method of each component having independant maneuvering capasities.

Not a good concept.

1.  the IB flew and IC would fly offloaded CSMs, with less propellants.

2.  The point is not need a manned launch  for every element.  That is the shuttle paradigm which is trying to avoid.  also it requires two launches for every element  

3.  Better yet look at #5 on my list .  The SM tug could be reused a few times

Offline Steve G

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #54 on: 03/07/2008 06:00 AM »
I put myself in a mid 1970's mindset had NASA simply continued on without a Saturn V or Shuttle, but I'll heartily agree with you that not everything has to be manned and that the space station was simply put there to justify the shuttle, especially post Challenger when it was no longer to be used for commercial satellite launches.

Offline Spacenick

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #55 on: 04/06/2009 07:22 PM »
Would it be feasilbe to construct a space station with a combination of a reusable winged LEO taxi for the people (think Kliper or HL-20 launched like DynaSoar) and then using a tug (think Parom or ATV propulsion section with a docking mechanism added to it) to transport modules to the construction side. The idea behind this is that the tug could be reused several times.
This would be achieved by making the manned vehicle very light (it wouldn carry just enough fuel to deorbit itself from the insertion orbit in case of emergency). With a mass of say 12 mt it could be launched on a 24 mt launcher together with an external tank that would refuel the tug on everry manned mission. That way the tug would always carry modules in the 24 mt range just as the LV while the tug could be refueled regularly without additional launches.

EDIT: the tug could be simplyfied by having a seperate cargo docking mechanism from the people transfer docking mechanisms we have to day, it would be similiar to the one used on Athena+Gemini. I'd guess such a docking mechanism would a lot cheaper to build than when there is a requriement for a tunnel and a hatch.
This way the tug could also reboost the station.
« Last Edit: 04/06/2009 07:27 PM by Spacenick »

Offline DerekL

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #56 on: 04/07/2009 10:07 PM »
One thing is certain. It would not take decades to put everything into LEO. You could put them on different rockets (Delta, Atlas, Ariane, Proton, Sea launch, Soyuz,..), launch them and have everything in space within a year. And if something explodes, well.. shuttle can also explode, so that is a non-issue.

Yeah, it is an issue, Shuttle or otherwise - because loss of a module puts a *serious* crimp in your station.

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It’s actually better, since there would be no humans onboard and you are not tied to one launch system. If Delta fails you launch everything on other rockets while you find and fix the problem.

To some extent, yeah.  Assuming all your modules were designed to the worst (vibration, 'G') case and all your modules were designed to fly on an adapter that's universal at the module end and custom designed at the booster end.  It won't be cheap and it'll seriously cramp your design space though.

Offline wubblie

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #57 on: 04/08/2009 12:41 AM »
A big part of having a space station is for "outreach"- making it something that looks neat, that inspires awe. In order for john sixpack taxpayer to want to foot the bill, NASA projects have to have a "cool" factor. I actually have the ISS as my screensaver. The space shuttle allowed for the construction of the truss, which makes the ISS look good. With ELV construction,  we would just have another gross looking MIR - a bunch of cans glued together with solar panels jutting out everywhere. So, I think there is something to be said for the job that has been done with the ISS. Each new amazing picture of the ISS on orbit gives NASA an extra fund raising boost,  and in my opinion, this justifies the shuttle's added expense.
« Last Edit: 04/08/2009 12:43 AM by wubblie »

Offline Jim

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #58 on: 04/08/2009 02:22 AM »
To some extent, yeah.  Assuming all your modules were designed to the worst (vibration, 'G') case and all your modules were designed to fly on an adapter that's universal at the module end and custom designed at the booster end.  It won't be cheap and it'll seriously cramp your design space though.

Incorrect
1.  Environments are not that much different among the same class vehicle

2.  There are already common interfaces among Ariane, Zenit, Delta IV and Atlas V

Offline yinzer

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Re: How the ISS could have been built without the shuttle.
« Reply #59 on: 04/08/2009 04:06 AM »
3.  "neat" looking is not a reason for building something.  It doesn't give NASA a funding boost, much less the shuttle's added expense

Sure it is.  I'd say that "being neat looking", or more generally "being cool" is one of the significant purposes of the ISS.  It's not giving us much useful science.  "Learning how to live in space" is the worst sort of circular reasoning.  Sure, it provides a bunch of jobs in various states.

But in a significant way, it's a piece of art.
« Last Edit: 04/11/2009 05:29 PM by Chris Bergin »
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