Author Topic: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE  (Read 10152 times)

Offline Smatcha

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An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« on: 03/02/2007 05:19 PM »
I’ve recently came across someone that is reviewing our proposed alternative approach towards achieving VSE that we published for AIAA Space 2006.

Found here
http://www.teamvisioninc.com/services-consulting-space-exploration-optimization.htm

I think our recent article in the Space Review caught his interest.

Found here
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/814/1

Given that I don’t know how to directly contact this individual I’ll be writing a review of his review.

Found here
http://chairforceengineer.blogspot.com/

He has wisely broken up the discussion into exploration Eras so I’ll be commenting by Era’s as he does.  We have received a tremendous amount of good feedback on our approach and are currently incorporating that into this year’s paper.  We appreciate his review along with anyone else that may be interested.  We are really looking for all the Good, Bad and Ugly comments we can get.

Unlike the current NASA administration we fully admit that we can occasionally be dead wrong.  In the end our objective is to achieve VSE.  It’s also important to broaden the support base for VSE which necessarily starts with addressing all real issues associated with physics, economics and politics.  We need to get out of a number of us vs. them vicious cycles.
“Do we want to go to the moon or not?”
John C. Houbolt - November 15, 1961
Question posed in Letter to Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, NASA Associate Administrator

Ralph Ellison “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest”




Offline Smatcha

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Era 1 – Manned Exploration Transition
« Reply #1 on: 03/02/2007 05:21 PM »
His review

Found here
http://chairforceengineer.blogspot.com/2007/02/teamvision-part-1.html

Is very good overall.

Changes since the paper, to be expanded upon on Era 3, are to re-size Orion to a nominal four crew volume and 4.5m diameter and 15 degree sidewalls. The capsule would also be set-up for a six man ISS emergency configuration. An Orion with this lower surface area and self-stable reentry could now be lifted by a Med Class ELV. The Single Common Core boosters are both inherently safer and less expensive. We could also now develop synergies with Bigelow and Delta ATV efforts for ISS crew and cargo missions respectively.

The only slight disagreement I have is in his last paragraph “we live in a world where the government will only fund one approach”

First ELV’s have a customer support base that goes well beyond NASA and encompasses both commercial and national security objectives.

NASA is just buying flights, spare me the everyone will die argument with “non-manned rated” ELV’s BTW. Yes we need vehicle health monitoring and an escape system but beyond that ELV’s are fine. Also pad crew escape should be via the LAS. If we are truly in an emergency situation we don’t have time for the roller coaster. For minor problems the elevator not only goes up but goes down as well.

Second the third rail that Sean touched was getting rid of the STS. This system will be with us in some form as well. Our plan, then and now, is to leverage the complimentary strengths of both systems, i.e. ELV’s for ISS and a direct STS derivative for the long term Heavy lift needs of VSE, ie the Jupiter-1 Right now we are reducing the capability of STS Ares-1 to overlap what we can already buy with ELV’s. This by definition makes the current approach the worse proposed by far.
“Do we want to go to the moon or not?”
John C. Houbolt - November 15, 1961
Question posed in Letter to Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, NASA Associate Administrator

Ralph Ellison “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest”




Offline Smatcha

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Era 2 – Lunar Precusor Missions
« Reply #2 on: 03/02/2007 05:22 PM »
I agree with is commentary on this

Found here
http://chairforceengineer.blogspot.com/2007/02/teamvision-part-2-of-5.html

Changes since the paper include detailing other missions for the Jupiter-1, beyond what we described, like missions to the asteroids and unmanned robotic missions now possible with a +60mT lifter and +8m payload volume.  The goal is to recast the STS system as not just a manned lunar vehicle but a heavy lift national asset for a whole host of other missions.  In that way Era 2 broadens Jupiter-1’s support base and we get the launch rate higher than 3 per year.  At this launch rate threshold we get a cost to LEO below the best ELV.
“Do we want to go to the moon or not?”
John C. Houbolt - November 15, 1961
Question posed in Letter to Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, NASA Associate Administrator

Ralph Ellison “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest”




Offline Smatcha

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Era-3 Manned Lunar Return
« Reply #3 on: 03/02/2007 05:25 PM »
I agree with a lot of his commentary on this as well found here.
http://chairforceengineer.blogspot.com/2007/03/team-vision-part-3-of-5.html

The Jupiter-2 was designed in the paper as a pre-cursor to the Jupiter-3. The Jupiter-2 is more of an optimized Ares V at a high level. We were also strongly driving by the desire to get direct ascent/return architecture to work. Since the paper we have re-evaluated both ideas.

Our new approach is as follows. First the Jupiter-2 is now a Jupiter-1 with a true second stage. This makes the Jupiter-2 a direct derivate of the Jupiter-1 as opposed to a precursor of the Jupiter-3. The Jupiter-3 is still two Jupiter-1’s but a new 10m core will need to be developed since the Jupiter-2 no longer has one. Since Mars is still far away in this Era we think this is best balance all things considered.

The lower LEO capacity of the Jupiter-2 in turn requires us to rethink or lunar architecture to a two launch Jupiter-1/2 scenario or to get the mission mass requirement down to the one launch Jupiter-2 direct ascent/return approach detailed in the paper needs. It turns out if you switch out the Methane/LOX Orion SM with a LH2/LOX and reduce the final Earth return weight, after the TEI burn, to below 12mT you can do a 2 man lunar mission with one Jupiter-2 in a direct ascent/return mode. This final Lunar Orion mass is also very close to the ISS Orion mission mass that works with a Med ELV. This is the other reason we suggest getting the Orion mass down to a four man configuration. Last time I check the ISS crew is not all US based. A rotation of four US crew members will be more than enough.

I also think that landing the Orion on the moon won’t take a direct visual approach. As long as we can line up the inner ear of the pilot with the electronic visualization of the landing site I think we can do one better than the last time we landed on the moon. He correctly identifies how the four crew “requirement” is driving a lot of the architecture requirements which in turn will delays our return and produces operational expenses unsustainable within the NASA’s longer term budget.
“Do we want to go to the moon or not?”
John C. Houbolt - November 15, 1961
Question posed in Letter to Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, NASA Associate Administrator

Ralph Ellison “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest”




Offline Smatcha

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RE: Era-4 Mars Precusor
« Reply #4 on: 03/03/2007 04:55 PM »
http://chairforceengineer.blogspot.com/2007/03/teamvision-part-4-of-5.html

We didn’t have time in the paper to fully describe/diagram the Jupiter 3.  There are number of mis-understandings due to this lack of detail.  First major misconception is that the central core is not a third stage but a second stage.  The Jupiter 3 is also not the lynch pin of Era 4 just another growth possibility of the Jupiter family.  If it doesn’t pencil out from an economic stand point than multiple launches of the Jupiter II and I’s well be utilized.  

One of our objectives of showing the Jupiter III was to demonstrate the mT to orbit range possible by using the Jupiter I as a common core booster.  Bottomline, unlike the one size fits all Ares V we can choose from a range of lift vehicles and also completely overwhelm the best that the Ares V could ever do if the need exists.

At a fundamental level the side mounted Jupiter 1’s are loaded and transfer their fuel the same way the STS works now with one difference.  Because we drain the side tanks much faster the axial loads are considerable lower than they are now.  With very slight throttle adjustments we could almost take out all axial loads between the central and side tanks.  It would almost be as if we have three rockets going up in close formation.  This is one reason behind why this design is so mass fractionally efficient.  Unlike a stacked configuration of this mT class the first stage doesn’t need to lift everything above it.  The center tank, second stage, is the only new element of the configuration not found in the Jupiter 1 and 2 variants.  From a lift off mass, not counting the RS-100’s, this vehicle is 80% by weight complete at the Jupiter-1 configuration.

The Lunar Lander cycler is fully LH2/LOX based.  As we discussed in our new thinking in Era 3 all our fuel systems will now be based on this as well, methane is gone at least until the Mars campaign.  Its important to recognize that using the EML1 station and ISRU, trips to the moon surface for six astronauts could now be accomplished with one launch of an ELV-Heavy.  The analysis drove us this way because chucking spacecraft left and right like the current NASA approach will blow the entire budget in just operations.
“Do we want to go to the moon or not?”
John C. Houbolt - November 15, 1961
Question posed in Letter to Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, NASA Associate Administrator

Ralph Ellison “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest”




Offline Smatcha

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RE: Era-5/6 Mars and Beyond
« Reply #5 on: 03/11/2007 04:40 PM »
http://chairforceengineer.blogspot.com/2007/03/teamvision-part-5-of-5.html


Some quick comments.  We were unsure of the required gravity level required to maintain the astronaut’s physical fitness levels for Mars.  One of the most important experiments on the ISS is determining/mitigating the effects of micro gravity on human body.  What we need to achieve from an engineering standpoint 1 to 0 g is an area of important research for ISS and VSE.  The other area is the radiation exposure.  Both of these issues drive a lot of the Mars architecture and mass requirements.

The advantages of the Jupiter III become stronger during the Mars campaign.  Again, given that the Jupiter I/II are helping to keep up the launch rate of the core booster it’s not a big leap to the Jupiter III vs. other alternatives.  Sometimes brute force gets things done easier than more complicated approaches (solar electric tugs, Lunar ISRU, 100 ELV launches etc).

One of the interesting big picture trends we found as well is that the value of Lunar ISRU is interrelated with the amount of aero-braking we can assume at Mars.  The landing site precision capability is a big concern, especially for the manned landing.  The other issue is the surface area to mass ratio vs. our current experience is off the charts.

Another important concept was using manned Mars orbital missions (real time rovers) in advance of and during the manned surface missions.  This expanded both the science return and safety level of both missions.

I also agree that nuclear power (required) and the related nuclear propulsion would be of great utility.  I would suggest that Lunar ISRU, nuclear propulsion, insert technology here need to all be cross compared to brute force of the 2 Jupiter III EOR launch Arch’s.  Its not as elegant but it gets the IMLEO up to required levels for chemical based approach using a direct extension of what we will have already have in place for other reasons.  At some point hopefully the economics of all options will play an important role in all of this.

Concerning Era 6 “and beyond” portion of VSE.  Many times people get so focused on solving the problems associated with something that they forget to ask the most important question of all.  Assuming you are successful then what?

Right now utility of space is defined by curiosity, satellites and nationalism.  As a nation we spend more on pet clothing than STS launches.  Pet food spend is way above NASA budget along with Barbie dolls.  Our primary focus in the Space Review article was to increase the efficiency of what we have not commiserating over what could be pets and Barbie dolls aside.  The majority will always be with us.

In Era 6 we showed some “potential” scenarios that would increase the utilization of space by 10-100x of today’s level.  When you look at core human activities, food production, transportation, energy production etc finding something within these domains that space could provide even 1% of at a profit would change the entire space use dynamic we are currently under.

Other ideas on how to do this are welcome.  BTW Billionaires in space is not going to do it.

Back to the Lunar Mission, crew size is a critical parameter particularly in the early phases.  We move to crew of four as well once we have Lunar Hab units and/or the EML1 station.  Once again establishing a discipline of technology/capability sequencing is critical to success.  Ironically we are using a NASA developed tool to do this.  Why they are not using it widely is another good question but one beyond the scope of this write-up.

I thank Mr.X for doing this review.  His concerns/comments were well received and are being addressed in re-tooling/re-focus of our next paper.  Unlike NASA current plan our plan will be living document that will evolve using what ever good ideas we can get our hands on.  If anyone wants to help and potentially be a part of history feel free to contact me.
“Do we want to go to the moon or not?”
John C. Houbolt - November 15, 1961
Question posed in Letter to Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, NASA Associate Administrator

Ralph Ellison “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest”




Offline JIS

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RE: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« Reply #6 on: 03/12/2007 11:26 AM »
Quote
SMetch - 2/3/2007  6:19 PM

http://www.teamvisioninc.com/services-consulting-space-exploration-optimization.htm


IMHO Ross with DIRECT did better job and was unsuccessful. How could they succeed where he failed?
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline CFE

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RE: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« Reply #7 on: 03/13/2007 02:53 AM »
Quote
JIS - 12/3/2007  6:26 AM

Quote
SMetch - 2/3/2007  6:19 PM

http://www.teamvisioninc.com/services-consulting-space-exploration-optimization.htm


IMHO Ross with DIRECT did better job and was unsuccessful. How could they succeed where he failed?

I don't think that it's a good comparison between the Direct Launcher proposal and the TeamVision plan.  Direct Launcher was far more focused in scope, addressed only a single launch vehicle, and presented it in an easily-accessible way with lots of pretty pictures.  The TeamVision paper was written as a submission to an AIAA conference (I think) and it's clearly for an audience at a higher level of technical understanding.  It's also a lot broader than Direct Launcher because it covers a whole range of spacecraft, launchers, and activities over the next several decades of space exploration.

Nobody should be naive enough to think that Michael Griffin and Scott Horowitz will be swayed by all of the "voices in the wilderness."  The promoters of alternative plans should instead be talking to Congress.  If Congress can be convinced that these alternatives are better, they'll cut NASA's funding and force NASA to reconsider.  In a worst-case scenario, NASA will see the cancellation of its lunar mission, and the private sector will turn to Direct Launcher and TeamVision for inspiratrion.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline publiusr

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Re: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« Reply #8 on: 05/21/2007 10:32 PM »
No, I think the private sector will reject Direct and Jupiters for the same reason they hate Ares V.

Alt.spacers want tiny useless LVs, small winged contraptions, and other such feldercarb.
Support VSE, and Team Vision will have a chance with Ares V being just a step in the direction of larger LVs Team Vision wants down the road.

Its time to back HLLVs. Undermine Griffin, and we will NEVER have them.

Offline Jim

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Re: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« Reply #9 on: 05/21/2007 10:42 PM »
Quote
publiusr - 21/5/2007  6:32 PM

Its time to back HLLVs. Undermine Griffin, and we will NEVER have them.

Why?

Offline publiusr

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Re: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« Reply #10 on: 05/21/2007 11:43 PM »
I see another war coming down the road. The anti HLLV mindset of faster, smaller still has adherants. I want Ares V, Direct, SOMETHING to fly. I just see spaceflight on a downhill slide. We lost the Saturns, we will lose the shuttle. If we cannot get institutional inertia to switch to some sort of HLLV, I fear will will be stuck with capsules in LEO.

I see maned spaceflight and the ability to utilize space sliding away, can't you?

Offline Jim

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Re: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« Reply #11 on: 05/21/2007 11:47 PM »
manned spaceflight and the ability to utilize space are not tied to an HLLV.   We can do a lot without one.  When the time is right, there will be one.

Offline publiusr

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Re: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« Reply #12 on: 05/21/2007 11:54 PM »
I wish I could share your optimism. I have to disagree. An HLLV already in place and flying might not be as 'cancel-able' to Congress during a major disaster as opposed to one only on the drawing boards as is the case now.

It's like pushing a rock---lose your momentum and you will never get it moving again. That's my opinion anyway.

Offline jongoff

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Re: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« Reply #13 on: 05/22/2007 12:11 AM »
Quote
Jim - 21/5/2007  4:47 PM

manned spaceflight and the ability to utilize space are not tied to an HLLV.   We can do a lot without one.  When the time is right, there will be one.

I agree with Jim on this one.  I can see some potential market niche for HLLVs at some point, but once we have orbital propellant transfer/depots, HLLVs are no long that useful.

~Jon

Offline Smatcha

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RE: An Alternate Approach Towards Achieving VSE
« Reply #14 on: 05/24/2007 04:23 PM »
Quote
JIS - 12/3/2007  5:26 AM

Quote
SMetch - 2/3/2007  6:19 PM

http://www.teamvisioninc.com/services-consulting-space-exploration-optimization.htm


IMHO Ross with DIRECT did better job and was unsuccessful. How could they succeed where he failed?

You speak to quickly.
“Do we want to go to the moon or not?”
John C. Houbolt - November 15, 1961
Question posed in Letter to Dr. Robert C. Seamans Jr, NASA Associate Administrator

Ralph Ellison “I was never more hated than when I tried to be honest”




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