Alpha Control - 21/3/2008 4:16 PMI guess I'm the first one here! Looking forward to following the continuing discussions.
Michael Bloxham - 22/3/2008 4:25 AMRoss, is there perhaps another issue here: That adopting DIRECT would put the whole Shuttle-era in an even worse light; because DIRECT, by its very nature, is virtually the shuttle system, but with more than triple the capacity, and is also much simpler and cheaper to boot? ;-)
BogoMIPS - 23/3/2008 10:27 AMI'm a huge proponent of a LOX/RP-1 booster stage, but I wholeheartedly agree that DIRECT is not a good application for it in the near future.You can certainly build an 8.4m core stage that burns RP-1 instead of LH2, but aside from the diameter, everything else would be significantly different. Even if you have a politically-viable and immediately-available RP-1 engine right now... if you go with RP-1, it's not DIRECT anymore. It's probably better-classed as an 8.4m Atlas-derivative.DIRECT's biggest advantages over Ares how little it "rocks the boat". Same boosters, similar core tankage, and compared to Ares, dramatically-minimized pad/VAB changes. Despite all of RP-1's thrust advantages as a booster stage, it adds complications that DIRECT intentionally avoids.