Author Topic: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle  (Read 32527 times)

Offline dbooker

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Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« on: 07/23/2010 06:49 PM »
I keep hearing that people are pushing for using Taurus II as a potential launch vehicle for commercial crew.  Can someone explain how using a Russian built first stage for Taurus II is acceptable while it is not acceptable to use an Atlas V because it has a Russian built engine for it's first stage?  Or is this just Congressional logic, meaning it depends on who gives the biggest contributions.

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #1 on: 07/23/2010 11:00 PM »
I thought it was Ukrainian built tanks and pre-Soviet collapse built engines... In other words, no "Russian" parts. Though when aerojet runs out of AJ-26's it is a different story comrade ;)
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Offline Antares

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #2 on: 07/24/2010 12:05 AM »
No one is pushing for Taurus II.  It was Frank Culbertson playing to the crowd at a lunch lecture to a Florida space club near the Cape.  I don't see this class of vehicle being able to lift an adequately sized capsule.
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Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #3 on: 07/24/2010 12:37 AM »
No one is pushing for Taurus II.  It was Frank Culbertson playing to the crowd at a lunch lecture to a Florida space club near the Cape.  I don't see this class of vehicle being able to lift an adequately sized capsule.
The Taurus II first stage is as capable as the Atlas V first stage, it's the upper stage which is the lynch pin.  Substitute a suitable upper stage, it would be more than suitable.

And they have already stated that the AJ26 supply is not a concern, that they can start up production if the need arises.
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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #4 on: 07/24/2010 01:59 AM »
The Taurus II first stage is as capable as the Atlas V first stage

T-II has roughly 3/4 of Atlas V liftoff thrust and Atlas is pretty much maxed out in terms of T/W so it is not as capable. That 3/4 in fact very roughly translates to their stated max LEO performance ratio.

Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #5 on: 07/24/2010 10:44 PM »
I keep hearing that people are pushing for using Taurus II as a potential launch vehicle for commercial crew.  Can someone explain how using a Russian built first stage for Taurus II is acceptable while it is not acceptable to use an Atlas V because it has a Russian built engine for it's first stage?  Or is this just Congressional logic, meaning it depends on who gives the biggest contributions.
Your question is predicated on badly confused geography and geopolitics. Taurus II first stage is designed and built in Ukraine, which is not Russia. Ukraine does not have any designs for geopolitical parity with U.S. Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Russia just put a new ICBM RS-24 on combat alert.

-- Pete

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #6 on: 07/26/2010 04:48 AM »
The Taurus II first stage is as capable as the Atlas V first stage

T-II has roughly 3/4 of Atlas V liftoff thrust and Atlas is pretty much maxed out in terms of T/W so it is not as capable. That 3/4 in fact very roughly translates to their stated max LEO performance ratio.
No.  Check again:

Atlas V has 3.850 MN on takeoff
Taurus II has 3.265 MN on takeoff.

This means the Taurus II has 85% of the thrust of the Atlas V.  Now, let us look at the weight:

Atlas V first stage: 306,914 kg
Taurus II first stage: 261,187 kg

And as you can see, the first stage is also only 85% of the weight.  So my original argument, a better upper stage could bring it to within the same range, fine for crewed operation.
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Offline aquanaut99

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #7 on: 07/26/2010 05:25 AM »
Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons.

There's also South Africa, Kazakstan and Belarus. And Lybia never actually had nukes, only a development program they decided not to pursue any further. Several other countries have done the same in the past; Brazil, Argentina, Sweden and Switzerland come to mind...
« Last Edit: 07/26/2010 05:28 AM by aquanaut99 »

Online edkyle99

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #8 on: 07/26/2010 02:03 PM »
The Taurus II first stage is as capable as the Atlas V first stage

T-II has roughly 3/4 of Atlas V liftoff thrust and Atlas is pretty much maxed out in terms of T/W so it is not as capable. That 3/4 in fact very roughly translates to their stated max LEO performance ratio.
No.  Check again:

Atlas V has 3.850 MN on takeoff
Taurus II has 3.265 MN on takeoff.

This means the Taurus II has 85% of the thrust of the Atlas V.  Now, let us look at the weight:

Atlas V first stage: 306,914 kg
Taurus II first stage: 261,187 kg

And as you can see, the first stage is also only 85% of the weight.  So my original argument, a better upper stage could bring it to within the same range, fine for crewed operation.

I would be interested to know where you got the Taurus 2 first stage mass and thrust.  Both numbers seem high.  Other published data gives 3.0199 MN sea level thrust.  A 261 tonne first stage would be too heavy to lift with that thrust. 

Orbital's user guide says that the first stage burn will last for 235 seconds, but also says that max G-loading will be 6.0.  That implies throttling, which means that propellant load can't be estimated by full mass rate times 235 seconds.  I'm guessing that the first stage weighs something like 235 tonnes loaded.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Salo

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #9 on: 07/26/2010 02:35 PM »
NK-33 had sea-level trust 1.6316 MN during first test firing on March, 6th, 2010  in Samara.
« Last Edit: 07/26/2010 10:17 PM by Salo »

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #10 on: 07/26/2010 04:08 PM »
The Taurus II first stage is as capable as the Atlas V first stage

T-II has roughly 3/4 of Atlas V liftoff thrust and Atlas is pretty much maxed out in terms of T/W so it is not as capable. That 3/4 in fact very roughly translates to their stated max LEO performance ratio.
No.  Check again:

Atlas V has 3.850 MN on takeoff
Taurus II has 3.265 MN on takeoff.

This means the Taurus II has 85% of the thrust of the Atlas V.  Now, let us look at the weight:

Atlas V first stage: 306,914 kg
Taurus II first stage: 261,187 kg

And as you can see, the first stage is also only 85% of the weight.  So my original argument, a better upper stage could bring it to within the same range, fine for crewed operation.

I would be interested to know where you got the Taurus 2 first stage mass and thrust.  Both numbers seem high.  Other published data gives 3.0199 MN sea level thrust.  A 261 tonne first stage would be too heavy to lift with that thrust. 

Orbital's user guide says that the first stage burn will last for 235 seconds, but also says that max G-loading will be 6.0.  That implies throttling, which means that propellant load can't be estimated by full mass rate times 235 seconds.  I'm guessing that the first stage weighs something like 235 tonnes loaded.

 - Ed Kyle
The COTS documentation on NASAs website has the Taurus II weight, I even found it broken down per-stage and even per-load.  65000 kg of LOX, for instance.

The thrust is also in Orbitals documentation.  Aerojet found that the NK-33 was never pushed to its limits, and could actually support more thrust.  The AJ26 can now throttle to 108%.
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Offline Antares

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #11 on: 07/27/2010 12:22 AM »
Dang it!  I was about to argue, but a bigger tragedy has befallen us.  lpre.de seems to be gone.  Time for the Wayback Machine....which links to http://www.novosti-kosmonavtiki.ru/content/numbers/240/25.shtml which shows a graph that the engine was tested by the Russians at ~126%.  And, inductively, no, this work could not have been done by Aerojet and then published by the Russians because eye-tar would preclude it.
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Online edkyle99

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #12 on: 07/27/2010 12:38 AM »
The COTS documentation on NASAs website has the Taurus II weight, I even found it broken down per-stage and even per-load.  65000 kg of LOX, for instance.

The thrust is also in Orbitals documentation.  Aerojet found that the NK-33 was never pushed to its limits, and could actually support more thrust.  The AJ26 can now throttle to 108%.

Super.  Thanks!

Use of RD-0124 as the second stage engine seems to point toward some first stage propellant offloading, unless the NK-33 thrust is increased even more than 108%.  114% (tested in the 1990s) would get Taurus 2e back up to full first stage propellant loading, and easily to the claimed 8.7 tonnes to LEO (perhaps 9 tonnes) from Cape Canaveral. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/27/2010 05:06 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #13 on: 07/27/2010 05:35 PM »
The COTS documentation on NASAs website has the Taurus II weight, I even found it broken down per-stage and even per-load.  65000 kg of LOX, for instance.

The thrust is also in Orbitals documentation.  Aerojet found that the NK-33 was never pushed to its limits, and could actually support more thrust.  The AJ26 can now throttle to 108%.

Super.  Thanks!

Use of RD-0124 as the second stage engine seems to point toward some first stage propellant offloading, unless the NK-33 thrust is increased even more than 108%.  114% (tested in the 1990s) would get Taurus 2e back up to full first stage propellant loading, and easily to the claimed 8.7 tonnes to LEO (perhaps 9 tonnes) from Cape Canaveral. 

 - Ed Kyle
You are reading my mind.  Pity Orbital or Aerojet are not hiring anything I'm qualified for... 8)
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Online edkyle99

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #14 on: 07/27/2010 06:17 PM »

Use of RD-0124 as the second stage engine seems to point toward some first stage propellant offloading, unless the NK-33 thrust is increased even more than 108%.  114% (tested in the 1990s) would get Taurus 2e back up to full first stage propellant loading, and easily to the claimed 8.7 tonnes to LEO (perhaps 9 tonnes) from Cape Canaveral. 

 - Ed Kyle
You are reading my mind.  Pity Orbital or Aerojet are not hiring anything I'm qualified for... 8)

Notice that Taurus 2 does what Soyuz 2 can do, but with only two stages and three engines rather than six propulsion modules/engines.   But here's the kicker.  Being able to restart that second stage RD-0124 would allow the rocket to duplicate Soyuz 2-1b/Fregat capabilities - also with only two stages.  (Of course a restartable RD-0124 could provide the same stage-reducing benefit for Soyuz).

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/27/2010 06:24 PM by edkyle99 »

Online bad_astra

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #15 on: 07/28/2010 02:29 PM »
Why buy Russian vehicles to put passengers on. We can just buy seats on Soyuz, at that point.
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Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #16 on: 07/28/2010 03:39 PM »
Why buy Russian vehicles to put passengers on. We can just buy seats on Soyuz, at that point.
Only 5 Soyuz per year, don't forget.  More options is always good.
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #17 on: 07/28/2010 09:17 PM »
Two questions that you know that the politicians will ask:

1) Can NK-33/AJ-26 be built in the US rather than the Ukraine? Even if it is still a foreign design, construction, testing and integration in the US will make a lot of people happier.

2) Is there a US upper stage alternative?

IMHO at least, for (2), I think that the AJ-10 is an obvious answer.
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Online edkyle99

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #18 on: 07/28/2010 09:25 PM »
Two questions that you know that the politicians will ask:

1) Can NK-33/AJ-26 be built in the US rather than the Ukraine? Even if it is still a foreign design, construction, testing and integration in the US will make a lot of people happier.
NK-33 is a Russian, not Ukrainian, engine.  The first stage itself is Ukrainian, based on Zenit 2/3 tooling, tankage, and structures.  I doubt very much that we will ever see this engine manufactured in the U.S..
Quote
2) Is there a US upper stage alternative?

IMHO at least, for (2), I think that the AJ-10 is an obvious answer.
AJ-10 doesn't develop enough thrust.  It is also a pressure fed engine, which would result in a heavier, less capable upper stage.

For this application, the only reasonable U.S. option would have been RL-10, but that would have added the expense of hydrogen fuel infrastructure. 

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 07/28/2010 09:26 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline alexw

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #19 on: 07/28/2010 09:48 PM »
For this application, the only reasonable U.S. option would have been RL-10, but that would have added the expense of hydrogen fuel infrastructure. 

     It all seems a bit ironic. The US led the way with "Taming liquid hydrogen" -- RL-10, J-2, Centaur all seemed so much more advanced than the Russian multiple-upper-stage kerolox and hypergolic approach, not to mention the deranged magnificence of SSME. Europe was a little better with HM7, but still gas-generator. Russia leaped to catch up with RD-0120, then lost it. They still haven't got an RL-10 -- how primitive!
     
     But it seems that the Russian high-pressure kerolox staged combusion, in multiple thrust classes (and even staged-combustion hypergolics) are not so bad after all. Kerosene -- of all substances! -- is apparently coming back, partly because cost is now more important than performance, and because we can leverage past Russian and Soviet investments. The price of both is that you lose domestic vertical integration.

     What does the internal worldview from Pratt and Aerojet look like?
-Alex

Offline hop

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #20 on: 07/28/2010 10:00 PM »
1) Can NK-33/AJ-26 be built in the US rather than the Ukraine? Even if it is still a foreign design, construction, testing and integration in the US will make a lot of people happier.
Aerojet has the rights to US production, but it's unlikely the economic case would close compared to restarting production in Russia. (As Ed says, it is not and never was Ukrainian. It also hasn't been produced since the Soviets canceled the N1 in the 70s)

If the government were going to pay for US production of a Russian engine, it might be better to bite the bullet and do the RD-180 (for which US production rights also exists.)

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #21 on: 07/28/2010 10:02 PM »
But it seems that the Russian high-pressure kerolox staged combusion, in multiple thrust classes (and even staged-combustion hypergolics) are not so bad after all. Kerosene -- of all substances! -- is apparently coming back, partly because cost is now more important than performance, and because we can leverage past Russian and Soviet investments.

For commercial purposes - LEO and GTO it might be most cost-effective. For really high energy missions I probably wouldn't count LH2 out just yet.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #22 on: 07/28/2010 10:23 PM »
1) Can NK-33/AJ-26 be built in the US rather than the Ukraine? Even if it is still a foreign design, construction, testing and integration in the US will make a lot of people happier.
Aerojet has the rights to US production, but it's unlikely the economic case would close compared to restarting production in Russia. (As Ed says, it is not and never was Ukrainian. It also hasn't been produced since the Soviets canceled the N1 in the 70s)

If the government were going to pay for US production of a Russian engine, it might be better to bite the bullet and do the RD-180 (for which US production rights also exists.)
Not necessarily.  The NK-33 has some advantages over the RD-180, such as being more versitile in fuel uses, better T/W ratio, and I understand that it is cheaper to produce.
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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #23 on: 07/28/2010 10:27 PM »
2 NK-33s also have a disadvantage: two turbopump sets instead of one. Which wouldn't be bad in itself except vehicle controllability depends on both engines running. All other things equal (not that they likely *are*), that would increase chances of a LOM.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #24 on: 07/28/2010 10:58 PM »
2 NK-33s also have a disadvantage: two turbopump sets instead of one. Which wouldn't be bad in itself except vehicle controllability depends on both engines running. All other things equal (not that they likely *are*), that would increase chances of a LOM.
But not all turbopumps are created the same.  The NK-33's, IIRC, use a much simpler turbopump system, for less points of failure, than the RD-180.  If someone knows better, of course, feel free to correct me.

I'd trust two NK-33's more than a single RD-180, and I'd still trust my first borns life to the RD-180, so that's saying something.  8)
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Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #25 on: 07/29/2010 12:17 AM »
They still haven't got an RL-10 -- how primitive!
You are gravely mistaken. KBKhA officially acquired the RL-10 know-how (in the process of collaboration with P&WR) and produced a "Red RL-10" called RD-0146. It sports some improvements and RW&R is marketing it outside of Russia. It is also baselined in the SPKG "Rus-M" (or was until RKKE's Zenit-based alternative was submitted last month). So, although it haven't taken the flight, they've got an RL-10 all right.
-- Pete

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #26 on: 07/29/2010 11:46 AM »
Russia produce staged combustion cryogenic engine KVD-1 for GSLV upper stage.

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #27 on: 08/01/2010 05:44 AM »
They still haven't got an RL-10 -- how primitive!
You are gravely mistaken. KBKhA officially acquired the RL-10 know-how (in the process of collaboration with P&WR) and produced a "Red RL-10" called RD-0146. It sports some improvements and RW&R is marketing it outside of Russia. It is also baselined in the SPKG "Rus-M" (or was until RKKE's Zenit-based alternative was submitted last month). So, although it haven't taken the flight, they've got an RL-10 all right.
   
    I apologize since I realize that my sarcasm may have been rather opaque, especially to any nonnative (Russian?) speakers.

    As for RD-0146, it hasn't flown yet. How would KBKhA ``officially'' acquire the RL-10 technology in light of ITAR?

    If I understand correctly, Russia has never placed into operation a hydrolox upper stage, certainly nothing with both the thrust and isp of RL-10B-2. In that sense, Russian rockets seem "primitive", technologically, compared to the conspicuous US investment in liquid hydrogen. Yet e.g. Proton still has very good performance and low cost, and for non-escape-velocity missions, the Russian choices in kerosene seem to have led to better value across most of the rocket spectrum. SpaceX (and Orbital) seem to be validating that proposition.
    -Alex

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #28 on: 08/01/2010 05:45 AM »
Russia produce staged combustion cryogenic engine KVD-1 for GSLV upper stage.
     Is RD-56 really staged combustion?
        -Alex

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #29 on: 08/01/2010 08:50 PM »
Yes it is.

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #30 on: 08/01/2010 10:47 PM »
Yes it is.
   Wow. Is this among the smallest staged-combustion engine built? Did they choose not to use the expander cycle deliberately for performance? Its isp is no better than RL-10B-2, but it's a lot better than early RL-10's of comparable thrust. Impressive.
    -Alex

Offline hop

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #31 on: 08/01/2010 11:02 PM »
Its isp is no better than RL-10B-2, but it's a lot better than early RL-10's of comparable thrust. Impressive.
    -Alex
Keep in mind it was originally developed in the 60s as an upgrade for the N1 program.  In the intervening years, there were numerous proposals and some development efforts for various LH2 upper stages. Which gets back to your original point... The Soviets developed LH2 technology quite early on, but for whatever reason never flew it (except for Energia)

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #32 on: 08/02/2010 01:04 AM »

AJ-10 doesn't develop enough thrust.  It is also a pressure fed engine, which would result in a heavier, less capable upper stage.

For this application, the only reasonable U.S. option would have been RL-10, but that would have added the expense of hydrogen fuel infrastructure. 

 - Ed Kyle

The AJ10-137 used as the SPS on Apollo might have enough thrust at 21,919lbs thrust but it's still a pressure fed engine.
http://www.astronautix.com/engines/aj10.htm
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 01:09 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Antares

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #33 on: 08/02/2010 01:56 PM »
Did they choose not to use the expander cycle deliberately for performance? Its isp is no better than RL-10B-2, but it's a lot better than early RL-10's of comparable thrust.

Those Isp and thrust results are as expected.  There's no physical reason for Isp to be higher on staged combustion vs expander of the same mixture ratio.  Expander is not good for a high thrust application, due to vehicle mass, but staged is.
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Online edkyle99

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #34 on: 08/02/2010 02:16 PM »
    If I understand correctly, Russia has never placed into operation a hydrolox upper stage, certainly nothing with both the thrust and isp of RL-10B-2. In that sense, Russian rockets seem "primitive", technologically, compared to the conspicuous US investment in liquid hydrogen. Yet e.g. Proton still has very good performance and low cost, and for non-escape-velocity missions, the Russian choices in kerosene seem to have led to better value across most of the rocket spectrum. SpaceX (and Orbital) seem to be validating that proposition.
    -Alex

Taurus 2E would show what a "modern" Russo-Ukrainian rocket would look like.  Note that it would, with only two stages and three engines, do what Soyuz 2 does with 6-7 propulsion units and 6-7 engines. 

Kinda funny that the "U.S." "Russian" rockets (Atlas 5 and Taurus 2) are more "advanced" than Russia's "Russian" rockets.  That, IMO, is because the old Soviet launch systems work so well it is hard to let them go.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 06:12 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline strangequark

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #35 on: 08/02/2010 07:13 PM »

Those Isp and thrust results are as expected.  There's no physical reason for Isp to be higher on staged combustion vs expander of the same mixture ratio.  Expander is not good for a high thrust application, due to vehicle mass, but staged is.

You could derive an Isp benefit for staged upper-stage versus expander, couldn't you?:

Higher chamber pressure -> Smaller throat for same thrust -> Larger expansion ratio for same overall engine size -> Higher Isp within same nozzle length constraint.

They just went with a very conservative chamber pressure on the RD-56.
« Last Edit: 08/02/2010 07:15 PM by strangequark »

Offline Salo

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #36 on: 08/02/2010 08:58 PM »
Wow. Is this among the smallest staged-combustion engine built?

    -Alex
The smallest staged-combustion flown engine is 11D33 with trust 66.7 KN. But several developed russian engines will have a trust for about 50 KN (11D58MF)  and even 20 KN  (RD-161, S5.88, S5.149). 

Offline Dmitry_V_home

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #37 on: 08/08/2010 05:48 PM »
Orbital spaceship ( + 2nd stage with RD-0124) :
« Last Edit: 08/08/2010 05:55 PM by Dmitry_V_home »

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #38 on: 08/08/2010 08:16 PM »
Orbital spaceship ( + 2nd stage with RD-0124) :

Here is Orbitals own proposal for Orion, so a likely starting point:

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/cevbital.htm

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Offline antonioe

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #39 on: 08/14/2010 05:47 PM »
There's no physical reason for Isp to be higher on staged combustion vs expander of the same mixture ratio.  Expander is not good for a high thrust application, due to vehicle mass, but staged is.

Well.... there is no FIRST-ORDER effect of the cycle type on Isp, but there are some small, second-order effects that can add up to 1-2% improvements in Isp.  Expander cycle designs have to cope with the additional design constraint of both starting and maintaining steady-state thermal balance between the enthalpy going INTO the fluid due to expansion and the enthalpy going OUT OF the fluid due to the work in the turbine.

A consequence of this balance is a constrained fluid inlet temperature than then translates into a combustion chamber temperature which in turn affects C* (the total energy produced by combustion of a unit mass of fuel+oxidizer mixture) and (I'm speculating here, those of you that know better please correct me) a higher Carnot efficiency due to the higher "high" cycle temperature (the effective "low" temperature depending on how well-matched the expansion through the nozzle is with the ambient pressure).

A reminder... 2% of 330 seconds is 6.5 seconds!!!
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #40 on: 12/16/2010 11:30 AM »
Your question is predicated on badly confused geography and geopolitics. Taurus II first stage is designed and built in Ukraine, which is not Russia. Ukraine does not have any designs for geopolitical parity with U.S. Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Russia just put a new ICBM RS-24 on combat alert.
-- Pete
Sorry for bumping this old thread for such a small reply, but also Argentina voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. We had the Condor II launcher, too. But the latest uranium enrichment plant that we've built has been designed with an embedded IAEA precesence.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #41 on: 01/18/2011 04:44 AM »
Your question is predicated on badly confused geography and geopolitics. Taurus II first stage is designed and built in Ukraine, which is not Russia. Ukraine does not have any designs for geopolitical parity with U.S. Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Russia just put a new ICBM RS-24 on combat alert.
-- Pete
Sorry for bumping this old thread for such a small reply, but also Argentina voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. We had the Condor II launcher, too. But the latest uranium enrichment plant that we've built has been designed with an embedded IAEA precesence.
So did South Africa.
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #42 on: 01/18/2011 05:46 AM »
Your question is predicated on badly confused geography and geopolitics. Taurus II first stage is designed and built in Ukraine, which is not Russia. Ukraine does not have any designs for geopolitical parity with U.S. Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Russia just put a new ICBM RS-24 on combat alert.
-- Pete
Sorry for bumping this old thread for such a small reply, but also Argentina voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. We had the Condor II launcher, too. But the latest uranium enrichment plant that we've built has been designed with an embedded IAEA precesence.
So did South Africa.

India gave them up in the mid-1970s, although of course it re-acquired them in the 1990s.

Offline alexw

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #43 on: 01/18/2011 10:35 AM »
Your question is predicated on badly confused geography and geopolitics. Taurus II first stage is designed and built in Ukraine, which is not Russia. Ukraine does not have any designs for geopolitical parity with U.S. Ukraine and Lybia are the only two countries that voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Russia just put a new ICBM RS-24 on combat alert.
-- Pete
Sorry for bumping this old thread for such a small reply, but also Argentina voluntarily gave up nuclear weapons. We had the Condor II launcher, too. But the latest uranium enrichment plant that we've built has been designed with an embedded IAEA precesence.
So did South Africa.
India gave them up in the mid-1970s, although of course it re-acquired them in the 1990s.

   AFICT, neither Argentina nor Libya developed nuclear weapons, although they certainly did have programs in that direction (as did a few other countries before either sanity or discreet pressure were applied.) South Africa is the only country known to definitely develop weapons on their own, and then give them up. Both the Ukraine and Kazakhstan inherited weapons from the USSR, which they also voluntarily gave up.
    The Indian and Pakistani situations are more ambiguous I guess. They developed nuclear capability during the 1970s, but whether they had assembled warheads for the next couple of decades before the 1990s revival I don't know. There are many advanced countries that essentially have the ability to rapidly construct a nuclear weapon at will within probably a matter of months -- Japan, probably Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Canada among others, probably also South Korea. Once a country has the nuclear fuel cycle in hand and availability of either HEU or Pu 239, building a crude fission weapon is quite easy. Nowadays, a few good graduate students in physics and mechanical and electrical engineering could pull it off, in secrecy. (Similarly, there are probably a few folks on this board who could do it.)

   Making a missile-sized miniature weapon is much harder (e.g., aspheric implosion), but to bring this back to space launch, consider which countries on the list above have developed multi-mT-class space launch vehicles; that's enough to build an ICBM with a cruder warhead than would otherwise be used by the nuclear powers. Might need GPS navigation rather than guide-star and INS, which is a vulnerability, but which countries have complete development ability for navigating satellite buses?

    Brazil, to take an example, could probably develop a warhead, and with Tsyklon-4 could launch it (although once Brazil broke IAEA seals, presumably the Ukraine would be inhibited from selling the launcher), but do they have the satellite experience to develop a maneuvering reentry vehicle?

  -Alex

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #44 on: 01/18/2011 05:25 PM »
Interestingly OSC has chosen a space plane type vehicle not sure if this would rule out Taurus II as crewed LV since a high energy upper stage is planned.

Offline docmordrid

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #45 on: 01/18/2011 05:27 PM »
The US & USSR developed high precision targeting mainly for military targets; silos, air/sea/army bases, etc. OTOH, if terrorizing your "enemies" civilians, and thereby their leadership, is the point is that level of accuracy really a big issue? Any hit in the general area of a metropolitan area would do. GPS gets you more than close enough for that first strike capability while you work on the rest.
« Last Edit: 01/18/2011 05:28 PM by docmordrid »
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Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #46 on: 01/18/2011 05:32 PM »
Interestingly OSC has chosen a space plane type vehicle not sure if this would rule out Taurus II as crewed LV since a high energy upper stage is planned.
The Taurus II first stage is not an issue for this.  It's the lack of a high-energy upper stage which is.  Not that one cannot be built, Aerojet does supply two such engines, but that the cost is more than Orbital is currently willing to pay for it at the flight rates they are assuming.
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Online Chris Bergin

Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #47 on: 01/18/2011 05:48 PM »
Seems to be back on topic now, but remember to keep it on the topic of the thread guys.

Offline zaitcev

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #48 on: 01/19/2011 01:30 AM »
The Taurus II first stage is not an issue for this.  It's the lack of a high-energy upper stage which is.  Not that one cannot be built, Aerojet does supply two such engines, but that the cost is more than Orbital is currently willing to pay for it at the flight rates they are assuming.
Please remind me what Aerojet engines we are talking about here. By my rough estimate, 6 AJ10-118K engines are necessary to replace one RD-0124 on Taurus II. Not impossible, certainly, but not amazingly sensible either.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #49 on: 01/19/2011 01:53 AM »
The Taurus II first stage is not an issue for this.  It's the lack of a high-energy upper stage which is.  Not that one cannot be built, Aerojet does supply two such engines, but that the cost is more than Orbital is currently willing to pay for it at the flight rates they are assuming.
Please remind me what Aerojet engines we are talking about here. By my rough estimate, 6 AJ10-118K engines are necessary to replace one RD-0124 on Taurus II. Not impossible, certainly, but not amazingly sensible either.
The AJ26-59 is the upper-stage version of the AJ-26 first stage engine, based on the NK-43 instead of the NK-33. More thrust, comparable isp to the RD-0124.

Also, there is the AJ10-137, with twice the performance of the 118K.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2011 02:29 AM by Downix »
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #50 on: 01/19/2011 02:27 AM »
The whole issue is: is there space for a third launcher in the middle category? We have ULA (I'll treat it as a single offer), and SpaceX is very much there, and most importantly, only playing in the launcher+capsule business. Orbital has the smaller size market, the satellite division and the defense division. So I don't see them interested in that market. I think they got an "offer they couldn't refuse" in the COTS program. Besides, the NK-33 has an amazing T/W, but has less than half the thrust and lower ISP than the RD-180. But the worst part is that Aerojet rebuilds them into the A26. So I doubt it's as cheap as a "pure Russian" engine.
I regret that the Taurus II is going to be a one off vehicle. Unless the Soyuz-2.1v is a total success. In that case the NK-33 might get manufactured again. But even there, is Orbital willing to compete with ULA's corporation and SpaceX energy? Not with their other good businesses.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #51 on: 01/19/2011 08:25 PM »
The whole issue is: is there space for a third launcher in the middle category? We have ULA (I'll treat it as a single offer), and SpaceX is very much there, and most importantly, only playing in the launcher+capsule business. Orbital has the smaller size market, the satellite division and the defense division. So I don't see them interested in that market. I think they got an "offer they couldn't refuse" in the COTS program. Besides, the NK-33 has an amazing T/W, but has less than half the thrust and lower ISP than the RD-180. But the worst part is that Aerojet rebuilds them into the A26. So I doubt it's as cheap as a "pure Russian" engine.
I regret that the Taurus II is going to be a one off vehicle. Unless the Soyuz-2.1v is a total success. In that case the NK-33 might get manufactured again. But even there, is Orbital willing to compete with ULA's corporation and SpaceX energy? Not with their other good businesses.
It would, however, work as a backup should a fault be found with the Atlas booster.  If you use the Atlas Centaur US, you could be a "drop-in" replacement in cases of necessity.  ULA is not as likely to agree to SpaceX over Orbital, simply because Orbital works with them on many other projects.
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Offline baldusi

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #52 on: 01/19/2011 08:52 PM »
It would, however, work as a backup should a fault be found with the Atlas booster.  If you use the Atlas Centaur US, you could be a "drop-in" replacement in cases of necessity.  ULA is not as likely to agree to SpaceX over Orbital, simply because Orbital works with them on many other projects.
I don't think any any business men would invest a cent in a bet against the reliability and performance of the Atlas V, arguably, the most reliable LV today. Specially since ULA has the Delta IV as backup. In fact, ULA is already working towards a common US. In fact, the only reason I can think for the Taurus II is the animosity of the previous NASA against EELV.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2011 09:05 PM by baldusi »

Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #53 on: 01/19/2011 08:56 PM »

It would, however, work as a backup should a fault be found with the Atlas booster.  If you use the Atlas Centaur US, you could be a "drop-in" replacement in cases of necessity.  ULA is not as likely to agree to SpaceX over Orbital, simply because Orbital works with them on many other projects.

The fault would be fixed long before the Taurus stage could be adapted.

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #54 on: 01/20/2011 09:11 PM »

It would, however, work as a backup should a fault be found with the Atlas booster.  If you use the Atlas Centaur US, you could be a "drop-in" replacement in cases of necessity.  ULA is not as likely to agree to SpaceX over Orbital, simply because Orbital works with them on many other projects.

The fault would be fixed long before the Taurus stage could be adapted.
I am just saying, in theory.  It is not likely in any case, you know?

Orbital is being quite smart in not developing the high-energy upper stage for now, as it could endanger their standing with ULA.  They have the potential for it, should one be needed, but without it, they remain a Delta II class vehicle.  It's playing smart.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #55 on: 01/20/2011 10:20 PM »

Orbital is being quite smart in not developing the high-energy upper stage for now, as it could endanger their standing with ULA.  They have the potential for it, should one be needed, but without it, they remain a Delta II class vehicle.  It's playing smart.

It already has one in the works and it uses a Russian engine.  The solid is only going to be used a few times.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg622401#msg622401
« Last Edit: 01/20/2011 10:24 PM by Jim »

Offline Downix

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #56 on: 01/20/2011 11:24 PM »

Orbital is being quite smart in not developing the high-energy upper stage for now, as it could endanger their standing with ULA.  They have the potential for it, should one be needed, but without it, they remain a Delta II class vehicle.  It's playing smart.

It already has one in the works and it uses a Russian engine.  The solid is only going to be used a few times.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=15457.msg622401#msg622401
Color me impressed.  The 14D23 is a very solid engine.
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Online ugordan

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Re: Taurus II vs Atlas V for manned launch vehicle
« Reply #57 on: 01/21/2011 08:26 AM »
Color me impressed.  The 14D23 is a very solid engine.

Yes, Orbital likes to have their propulsion units nice and solid.

I'll go get my coat.

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