Author Topic: NASA and Commercial industry combine to outline FTD Propellant Depot plan  (Read 36037 times)

Online Ben the Space Brit

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Would a LSAM in left to loiter in Lunar orbit for several months not demonstrate the ability to minimize boil-off just as well as a "depot demonstrator?" It seems like possibly a good 2 for 1 deal. 

Boiloff is only half of it. Need to demonstrate propellant transfer as well. Simply parking the LSAM would not demonstrate that.

Hasn't that been proven with the ISS, MIR and on other occasions.

That depends which sort of propellent that you're talking about.  I agree that it is proven with hypergolics.  However, I think that Congress and NASA are a lot more interested in cryogenics storage and transfer because of the better Isp.
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Offline Xplor

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Would a LSAM in left to loiter in Lunar orbit for several months not demonstrate the ability to minimize boil-off just as well as a "depot demonstrator?" It seems like possibly a good 2 for 1 deal. 

Boiloff is only half of it. Need to demonstrate propellant transfer as well. Simply parking the LSAM would not demonstrate that.

Hasn't that been proven with the ISS, MIR and on other occasions.

That depends which sort of propellent that you're talking about.  I agree that it is proven with hypergolics.  However, I think that Congress and NASA are a lot more interested in cryogenics storage and transfer because of the better Isp.

The LSAM or its deep space counter part for a NEO mission are likely to be multi-billion dollar development programs and must be very reliable.  History suggests that proving key technologies ahead of time can help to minimize program cost growth and schedule slips.  A depot flagship technology demonstrator mission would be very useful for not only depots but any long duration cryo stage such as the EDS, LSAM, advanced cryo propulsion module for Orion, etc.  A very simple precursor would be CRYOTE.

Offline clongton

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You know, when we talk about FTD projects, everyone seems to focus on the highly visible, news worthy spectacular stuff like new spaceships, rockets, propellant depots and other splashy stuff, while very few actually think about all the mundane behind the scene dull and boring things it takes to actually live anywhere else besides on the surface of the earth. For example, when we get to the moon, or even if we have large stations at the Earth-Sun L points, or go to Phobos or Mars or anywhere else for example, what are we going to do with our trash, create dumps? Nobody is talking seriously about recycling, something that we *must* do, and do extremely well, if we are ever going to actually make a go of expanding the human presence into the solar system. It's about the stuff we all take for granted everyday in our normal everyday lives. We wash our cloths when they get dirty; we wash our dishes after we eat. Where's the laundry or dish detergent going to come from? Are we going to pay $2,000 a kilogram for Tide or Dawn liquid? That's actually a petroleum product in case you didn't know. AFAIK there's no oil on the moon or Mars. Put 60 people in a settlement on the moon or Mars and they use a lot of toilet paper. Where's the replacement coming from? Clothing eventually either wears out or is outgrown. We need to get replacement clothing. From where? Administration activities use a lot of paper. How are we going to handle the supply needs for paper, pencils, erasers, ink, stuff like that? Equipment all eventually wears out and we have to install new parts. Where's the metal or plastic (a petroleum product) going to come from to make new parts and what do we do with the broken parts? If we're actually going to live there (anywhere) we sure as hell can't be depending on long supply chains from earth for everything we use and use up. We have to replace *everything* we use eventually and it will *all* eventually have to be produced locally or we can forget about human exploration of any meaningful scope.

Essentially what I am saying is that so-called "Green" technology isn't just for efficient living here on earth. We're got to have to start thinking about the difference between "living" elsewhere in the solar system and just "visiting". We are going to have to recycle *EVERYTHING* from waste paper to detergent to air to urine to waste products to broken dishes, to pencils, etc, etc. The list goes on and on and on. I can envision any new settlement on the moon for example devoting a large percentage of its efforts and infrastructure to recycling plants that take *all* the waste products generated by the human presence and turning out raw materials of various kinds; metals, plastics, paper, cotton cloth, air, water etc, suitable for re-manufacture into the things that the settlement needs to continue to exist.

Now I know that *this* thread is about the depot, and I don't want to take *this* thread OT, but I would like to see the FTD topic expanded to include other things that imo are more important to survival than depots.

Does anyone on here have any experience in waste water recycling plants or waste paper recovery facilities or metals reclamation plants for example? If so we could crate a new thread to talk about these things and take all that discussion over there. The last thing we want to do is crate dumps on the surface of other worlds, full of valuable material and not be able to use any of it while our settlements slowly die because we can't afford to send the basics of life decade after decade all the way from New Jersey or Racief, Brazil to Mars for the people who are trying to live there.
« Last Edit: 08/15/2010 04:06 PM by clongton »
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Glass fibre can replace many types of plastics.  Glass fibre is a silicon oxide which is available in large quantities on the Moon.  3D printers can be used to make things like fibre glass plates, equipment cases and insulation for electrical wiring.

3D printers can be tested on the earth and so can TRL 5 ISRU fibre optic refining machines suitable for use on the Moon.  Producing the pre-prototype machines and CAD designs for "household" goods sounds like tasks suitable for competitions.

Offline clongton

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Glass fibre can replace many types of plastics.  Glass fibre is a silicon oxide which is available in large quantities on the Moon.  3D printers can be used to make things like fibre glass plates, equipment cases and insulation for electrical wiring.

3D printers can be tested on the earth and so can TRL 5 ISRU fibre optic refining machines suitable for use on the Moon.  Producing the pre-prototype machines and CAD designs for "household" goods sounds like tasks suitable for competitions.

Now see, that's the kind of thing I would like to see discussed. Glass fibers do indeed make good substitutes for plastics for a lot of things. What about metals? What about recycling cloth for new clothing? What about recycling wood fiber based products to create new paper of various kinds? I would like to talk about creating a recycling infrastructure with trash going in on 1 end and raw usable materials coming out the other, ready to be used to manufacture new, and necessary, items. But perhaps that should go over onto a new thread as this one is pretty specific to the depot.
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Offline Xplor

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Chuck, as you say this really is off topic, but I agree with you very interesting.  This was always one of the problems I saw with Constellation.  NASA's own Constellation numbers showed that only $5B out of $105B through 2020 was going to be spent on surface infrastructure.  And this was for bare bones habitats and buggies not the things that you have listed.  If the moon is to be a spring board for long duration trips to Mars and eventual settlements these things have to be accounted for.  More efficient HLV development (such as Direct or Atlas evolution) or distributed commercial launch with depots provide opportunities to free up the funding to support these" mundane" (no smoke and fire) elements that are what will allow sustained long term settlement not flags and foot prints.

Online KelvinZero

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I think you  guys are talking about the EXPLORATION TECHNOLOGY budget.
http://www.nasa.gov/directorates/esmd/aboutesmd/acd/technology_dev.html

Pretty ironic because I tried to start a thread about that, and I dont think it ever strayed on topic. :p

Last I heard, the senate budget still had left a moderate amount of money here 0.25b for the first year 0.4b in following years (or something like that).. but the house budget had cut it completely I think. (someone please confirm, correct or update)

I do think these are fantastically important and just something to keep plugging away at. pushing them to demonstration level is also very good because I guess it is easy to pour money down a research grant hole if you dont demand working results.

(edit)
If you just glance at those lists you may think it is just the flashy things like robots and so on, but if you go down to the Environmental Control and Life Support and the ISS Research and Operations you will see there are many different not particularly flashy but still important elements being worked on.

ps: not worth resurrecting my thread, but maybe one of you guys would have more luck starting one.
« Last Edit: 08/16/2010 11:17 AM by KelvinZero »

Offline Warren Platts

ISS uses a bladder-based system with a nitrogen pressurant. Finding a bladder material that can remain flexible at liquid hydrogen temperatures will be a challenge. Likewise nitrogen will freeze at liquid hydrogen temperatures; helium must be used. And the transfer lines must be thermally pre-conditioned, while the ISS system can operate at room temperature.

So no, they're going to need to be different. A lot different.

The plan is to rotate the depot along the longitudinal axis in order to separate the liquid from the ullage. This has already been demonstrated in orbit by ULA. No need for bladders or nitrogen.

As for precooling transfer lines, we already know how to do this because it must be done when transfering fuel from the tank to the rocket motor within a spacecraft. Transfering fuel between spacecraft isn't much different in principle.
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Offline sdsds

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Is there any update on the status of this proposal for a single-launch depot?
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Online Chris Bergin

Move and bump to the HLV section (As an alternative. We probably need a better place for prop depots, as they are cooooool :))

Online Robotbeat

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New from Ball Aerospace:
Ball Aerospace Submits Cryogenic Propellant Storage Mission Concept to NASA
http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=30&id=451
Quote
January 10, 2012

BOULDER, Colo. – Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has submitted a mission concept study to NASA for the storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants in space.

Ball Aerospace was one of four companies awarded a six-month contract by NASA to develop a mission concept that demonstrates long duration, in-space storage and transfer of cryogenic propellants. Successful development and in-space demonstration of the technology would advance the state of the art that is required for future exploration elements such as large cryogenic propulsion stages. The Ball concept study proposes solutions to close current gaps in technology to achieve that goal.

“Ball has provided cryogenic storage technology for every human mission beginning with Gemini,” said Cary Ludtke, vice president of Ball’s Civil and Operational Space business unit. “NASA’s future exploration architecture is well aligned with Ball’s heritage for innovative solutions.”
...
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Offline Warren Platts

Is that the same company that makes canning jars?
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Online Robotbeat

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Is that the same company that makes canning jars?
Click the link I posted above and you'll find out. ;)
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline JohnFornaro

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Well, that Ball Aerospace news release was interesting, but I was hoping for a paper on the concept.  Anyhow, note the following disclaimer:

Quote
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Online Robotbeat

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Well, that Ball Aerospace news release was interesting, but I was hoping for a paper on the concept.  Anyhow, note the following disclaimer:

Quote
This release contains "forward-looking" statements concerning future events and financial performance. Words such as "expects," "anticipates," "estimates" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
That disclaimer is in just about every press release ever. Not noteworthy.

I was also hoping for a paper... Anyone?
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline JohnFornaro

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Well, that Ball Aerospace news release was interesting, but I was hoping for a paper on the concept.  Anyhow, note the following disclaimer:

Quote
This release contains "forward-looking" statements ...
That disclaimer is in just about every press release ever. Not noteworthy.

I was also hoping for a paper...

What I was sorta getting at was how often the papers use phrases like "The XYZ concept makes affordable space travel a reality"; "The ABC concept costs only a few hundred million dollars".  I wish the papers would either use the subjunctive tense, or also include disclaimers.

Just a bit of a whine.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Online Robotbeat

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Cheese? ;)
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Offline Warren Platts

They make the jars you can put it all in! ;D
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."--Leonardo Da Vinci

Offline oldAtlas_Eguy

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When looking back through the CRYOTE ULA docs, BALL Aerospace was the technology supplier of the cryo tanks and insulation because they are the ones who hold the rights to the crucial starting tech, not ULA or Boeing. So I don’t find it surprising that Ball has decided to cut out the middle man. If Ball doesn’t get a contract directly they will get subcontracts from either ULA or Boeing.

Cryogenic Orbital Testbed (CRYOTE) Development Status, ULA/BALL, 2011
Quote
2.1 CRYOTE Core: The subsystem for all CRYOTE mission variants is called the CRYOTE Core and is shown in Figure 2. CRYOTE Core employs a custom, 1,000L LH2/LO2 compatible tank. Solenoid latching valves are employed to facilitate propellant transfer and control of multiple experiments, which are under development by Ball Aerospace and United Launch Alliance (ULA). CRYOTE core resides in an ESPA ring. Support of the tank is provided by low conductivity, Ball Aerospace flight heritage cryogenic struts, mounted in a hexapod arrangement. For initial missions, Ball Aerospace high performance cryogenic multi-layer insulation (MLI),
integrated MLI (IMLI), or a combination of the two will be used to provide tank acreage insulation.


The tank design is based on Ball Aerospace heritage design and manufacturing processes. The tank can accommodate multiple internal experiments, and has external mounting provisions for experimental hardware. Provisions to the tank design have been included for the incorporation of multiple propellant management device (PMD) technologies as well as zero-g mass gauging sensors such as the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) radio frequency technologies and the Sierra Lobo CryoTracker.

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