Author Topic: Taurus II and availability of the NK33  (Read 77276 times)

Offline Sid454

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Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« on: 01/25/2008 04:14 AM »
Seem more info has gotten out on Taurus II and it looks to be a much better vehicle then originally
expected it's first stage engine is man rated and it offers delta II performance in it's base form no strap on SRBs so getting it to lift 8000kg capsules or even small space planes like the X34 is not out of the question.

Supposedly the NK 33 engines on it are man rated the upper stage at this point remains a mystery.
 
It seems a much better vehicle then the ATK Athena III which really can't be man rated easily and you might not want to either.

 But one issue with it's engine is future availability they say aerojet has a license to produce more of them in the US.

The real issue is can production be ramped up before the 50 remaining NK-33s are used up?


Offline meiza

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #1 on: 01/25/2008 07:56 AM »
I don't think there's much hope of manufacturing an NK-33 in USA. It's a staged combustion engine - the US have produced only a single one ever, the SSME.

Offline Jim

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RE: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #2 on: 01/25/2008 11:52 AM »
Quote
Sid454 - 24/1/2008  12:14 AM


The real issue is can production be ramped up before the 50 remaining NK-33s are used up?


All depends on the flight rate and you are forgetting the 40 that are in the US.
45 flights or so, that is many years, 5 minimum

Offline Danderman

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #3 on: 01/25/2008 06:18 PM »
The numbers of NK-33 engines available from Aerojet, and the number available from Russia today, and in the future, are not described here accurately.  FWIW.

Offline TrueGrit

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #4 on: 01/25/2008 08:52 PM »
Far from the solid motor expert here...  But the final stages of the Taurus II and Athena III look to be powered by an identical motor.  It's supposed to be a "shortened" version of the Castor 120 (30 or maybe 35?).  Ed Kyle has done some work on both and some of it can be read from the Space Launch Report (http://geocities.com/launchreport/slr.html)

Offline TrueGrit

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #5 on: 01/25/2008 08:54 PM »
Question would be...  What would Taurus II with a Delta II upperstage instead of the Castor be capable of?

Offline aero313

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #6 on: 01/26/2008 12:04 AM »
Quote
TrueGrit - 25/1/2008  4:54 PM

Question would be...  What would Taurus II with a Delta II upperstage instead of the Castor be capable of?

Using the Delta II upper stage would likely make the Taurus II capable of costing a lot more... ;)

Offline Sid454

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #7 on: 01/26/2008 12:47 AM »
I'd go with a centaur resized for use on the Taurus II that or have spacedev make a hybrid stage if they don't get selected for COTS this would offer more flexibility then the castor allow you to launch live cargo ie people  and should have a little  higher ISP or the second stage RCS would then be a gimme since it can just use some of the cold N2O gas thats already under pressure.

Every company likely has a plan B if they can't be a prime contractor they can still e a sub contractor o a winner.

A related story can Taurus II scale up enough to lift something like dream chaser or even something lighter like the t/space CXV?
Though orbital likely has their own solution maybe based off the X34.

As for manufacturing the MK-33 it is a lot easier to manufacture then the SSME so I say it very possible to have it made in the US.

If Rocket dyne really does follow though and shut down the SSME production line those people will be available for aerojet to hire.

A real irony is the USA may be a better bet then the former soviet union for producing these engines because of the recent experience with the SSME.

Also there is a market for a big lox kerosene engine on the open market beyond the Taurus II since the RS27 is out of production but many startup companies have interest in perusing lox kero fueled RLVs but don't have the capital like spacex has to develop an engine from scratch.

Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #8 on: 01/26/2008 12:59 AM »
Quote
Sid454 - 25/1/2008  8:47 PM

1.   I'd go with a centaur resized for use on the Taurus II that or have spacedev make a hybrid stage if they don't get selected for COTS this would offer more flexibility then the castor allow you to launch live cargo ie people  and should have a little  higher ISP or the second stage RCS would then be a gimme since it can just use some of the cold N2O gas thats already under pressure.

2.  Every company likely has a plan B if they can't be a prime contractor they can still e a sub contractor o a winner.

3.  A related story can Taurus II scale up enough to lift something like dream chaser or even something lighter like the t/space CXV?
Though orbital likely has their own solution maybe based off the X34.

4.  If Rocket dyne really does follow though and shut down the SSME production line those people will be available for aerojet to hire.

5.  A real irony is the USA may be a better bet then the former soviet union for producing these engines because of the recent experience with the SSME.


1.  Using other upperstages doesn't make a business case. Especially another contractors

2.  No. Not for a launch vehicle

3.  Again, there is no business case.  There is a glut of LVs in that lift range.  Again X-34 is not a orbital entry vehicle.  

4.  The line has been shut down.  Those people are working on RS-68

5. Not applicable.  LH2 vs RP-1

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #9 on: 01/26/2008 06:01 AM »
Quote
TrueGrit - 25/1/2008  3:54 PM

Question would be...  What would Taurus II with a Delta II upperstage instead of the Castor be capable of?

Less.  Quite a bit less.  By my figuring, you would loose about one metric ton of LEO payload capability using the Delta II second stage rather than the Castor 30 second stage.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline TrueGrit

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #10 on: 01/26/2008 09:08 PM »
That much lost is a little surprising?  How much less impulse does the Taurus II first stage have in comparision to the Delta II combined first stage and SRMs?  It would have to be quite significant...  I wondered if the mass reduction with the Delta II stage would have overcome some loss in impulse.  But not nearly enough:

  Castor 120 (Taurus): GLOW 53.171 t - Thrust 164.665 t - Isp 282 sec - Burn Time 82.5 sec - Total Impulse 135684 t-sec
  Castor 30 (My Guess): GLOW 13.292 t - Thrust 41.163 t - Isp 282 sec - Burn Time 82.5 sec - Total Impulse 3395 t-sec
  Delta II Upperstage: GLOW 6.95 t - Thrust 4.45 t - Isp 319 sec - Burn Time 431.6 sec - Total Impulse 1920.6 t-sec

   Note: doesn't account for removing the HAPS trim stage

Basical reasoning behind my question was trying to think about furture growth potential in this configuration.  To try and compare it to the ATK proposal, which claims growth potential thru lighter weight cases and different propellant mixes.  Since there was talk in the Orbital Q&A about a LOx/LH2 upperstage it made sence to go along the new upperstage route of thinking.  I'd think a LOx/LH2 stage would likely be at least 5x more expensive than the Castor 35, so was thinking a pressure fed Hypergol could be near equivelent.  Delta II like upperstage was the starting point because it is simple and cost effective: consisting of only a simple steel tank, pressure fed engine, bi-propellant valve, and mechanically regulated tank press system.  Wonder how much larger the Delta II stage would have to grow to make it equivelent?  Of course Hypergols likely isn't the perfered approach overall due to the environmental concerns.

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #11 on: 01/27/2008 02:59 AM »

Quote
TrueGrit - 26/1/2008 4:08 PM How much less impulse does the Taurus II first stage have in comparision to the Delta II combined first stage and SRMs? It would have to be quite significant...

Actually, the Taurus II first stage has more impulse than both Delta II's first stage/SRM combinations.  Here 's the comparison (all numbers vacuum):

A single GEM-40: Thrust: 50.2 t, Burn time: 64 sec, total impulse: 3213 t-sec

Delta II core: Thrust: 107.5 t, Burn time: 265 sec, total impulse: 28487 t-sec

Taurus II: Thrust: 387.8 t, Burn time: 171 sec (approx., assumes 200 t of propellant) 

Therefore,

Delta II 73XX core + 3 SRB's total impulse: 38127 t-sec

Delta II 79XX core + 9 SRB's total impulse: 57408 t-sec

Taurus II Stage 1 total impulse: 66313 t-sec

Delta benefits from the additional staging event (two additional events for the 79XX) and the smaller thus lighter fairing.  The larger core diameter makes the AJ-10's long nozzle airframe structural penalty (interstage mass) larger on T-II than on D-II, thus favoring the Castor-30.  On the other hand, D-II (esp. the 79XX) is a bit draggier than T-II.

T-II with the Castor-30 and ORK is "bottom heavy", as typically LV's are at the beginning of their life cycle.  As more performance is required of them, they get bigger and bigger upper stages, and more and more SRB's.  Who knows, T-II thirty years from now may look just like a Delta 79XX on steroids!

Delta is an amazing rocket, more so when considering its evolution.  Unfortunately, it is at the end of its product cycle life, its components have become (they weren't!) very expensive to manufacture, and requires a complex and expensive to maintain vertical assembly/launch pad complex.

The Delta II core costs about as much in parts and assembly/test labor as the Taurus II stage 1 (well, at least I hope that's how it ends up), yet is provides less than half the impulse.  And the price of GEM-40's and other SRB's seems to increase each day we ask.

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #12 on: 01/27/2008 03:08 AM »
Quote
TrueGrit - 26/1/2008  4:08 PM

Wonder how much larger the Delta II stage would have to grow to make it equivelent?  

My guess is that it would have to grow to about 10.5 tonnes gross mass from its current 6.954 tonnes.  This might require the addition of a second AJ10 engine, which would produce something along the lines of the old Titan III Transtage.  
http://space.skyrocket.de/index_frame.htm?http://www.skyrocket.de/space/doc_stage/transtage.htm

 - Ed Kyle

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #13 on: 01/27/2008 03:19 AM »
You are right: the AJ-10 is ablatively cooled, and I understand Delta II operates it close to its max burn length time.  Two engines solves this problem.
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Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #14 on: 01/27/2008 01:12 PM »
The Delta II heavy uses 9 GEM-46's at 4805 t-sec impulse each; thus, at 71734 t-sec the D-IIH core+SRB's has actually more total impulse than a T-II stage 1. SO the T-II Stage 1 is, impulse-wise, somewhere between the D-II 79XX and the D-IIH core+SRB combinations.
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Offline tnphysics

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #15 on: 01/28/2008 12:56 AM »
But the D-IIH core+SRB combination is heavier and thus uses a greater fraction of that impulse lifting its own weight.

So does the Taurus-II Stage 1 provides a larger delta-V?

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #16 on: 01/28/2008 01:22 AM »

Quote
edkyle99 - 26/1/2008 1:01 AM
Quote
TrueGrit - 25/1/2008 3:54 PM Question would be... What would Taurus II with a Delta II upperstage instead of the Castor be capable of?
Less. Quite a bit less. By my figuring, you would loose about one metric ton of LEO payload capability using the Delta II second stage rather than the Castor 30 second stage. - Ed Kyle
Quote
TrueGrit - 26/1/2008 4:08 PM That much lost is a little surprising?

Here's a very rough Excel-and-Solver calculation (all figures approximate, but the relative difference is roughly correct):

                  T-II S1 C-30 S2      T-II S1 D-II S2
Payload        20521     5621        11823    4873     Kg
Jettison        16400     1400        16400      950     Kg
Final            36921     7021         28223    5823     Kg
Propellant   200000   13500       200000    6000     Kg
Initial         236921   20521       228223   11823    Kg


Isp (Vac)         331    282              331       319    s
DV (Ideal)     6034   2966            6785      2215   m/s


Total DVI     Actual Target           Actual    Target
                   9000    9000            9000     9000    m/s

As can be seen, a T-II S1/C-30 combination has about 800 Kg more payload to a 9 Km/s Ideal DV trajectory than a T-II/Delta II S2 combination.  Actually, the difference is closer to edkyle99's 1 ton number due to the higher structural penalty associated with the long AJ-10 nozzle on the larger (3.9m vs. 2.44m) T-II core diameter.

(could somebody teach me how to either enter a table properly or place a figure in the middle of a text without having to store it on some public URL????... I can design rockets, but I can't format squat on this forum...)

(also, can somebody tell me how to use greek letters on the signature line?  I'm getting sick and tired of my pig-greek phonetic spelling)

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline marsavian

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #17 on: 01/28/2008 01:24 AM »
could somebody teach me how to either enter a table properly

< pre >  

table

< /pre >

Click on Use Rich Text Editor button to the bottom left when posting/editing, that has Greek letters (click on Insert custom character => omega symbol) and Image insert.

Offline tnphysics

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #18 on: 01/28/2008 01:59 AM »
What about a larger and/or bipropellant second stage? Or Atlas I style balloon tanks?

Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II and availability of the NK33
« Reply #19 on: 01/28/2008 02:10 AM »

(triple *sigh*) thanks, marsavian.  I knew about the "preformatted text" tag, but somehow, after carefully entering the preformatted text between <pre> and <pre>, I preview the text (pun intended) and someting kills my tags and enters a large number of extraneous and random tags... and reverts the font to proportional... arghhhh!

Also, the Rich Text Editor and gree font options don't appear to be available when entering one's signature line...

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

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