Author Topic: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid  (Read 92755 times)

Offline neilh

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Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« on: 12/13/2010 09:38 PM »
Thought this was newsworthy enough to branch out a new thread for...

Proposals for CDev-2 are due today.

I imagine that we will hear more about certain of the proposals (by the companies themselves) in the next few weeks. For example,  I am curious to find out who Virgin Galactic has teamed up with.   

here is your answer..Orbital
http://www.spacenews.com/civil/101213-orbital-virgin-ccdev2-bid.html

Woah!
« Last Edit: 12/17/2010 02:50 PM by Chris Bergin »
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Offline Space Pete

Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #1 on: 12/13/2010 09:55 PM »
I guess this explains Orbital's recent interest in the X-34.
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #2 on: 12/13/2010 09:57 PM »
Wow, interesting!

Offline mr. mark

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #3 on: 12/13/2010 10:18 PM »
This may be a game changer. Spacex may have to start selling Dragon as not only an LEO but also BEO vehicle to hedge their bets. The field is getting crowded and not everyone will be a winner.  Companies with capsules (Spacex, Boeing, LM) would do best to show BEO capabilty. How this also affects Dreamchaser marketing is interesting. Is there a need for 2 lifting, winged vehicles?

Offline yg1968

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #4 on: 12/13/2010 11:13 PM »
Actually for CCDev-2, there could be a lot of winners. But for the follow-on program (the commercial crew development program  or CCDP), a down-selection will likely have to be made.

I wonder if this means that Orbital is giving up on its crewed capsule proposal.
« Last Edit: 12/13/2010 11:16 PM by yg1968 »

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #5 on: 12/13/2010 11:21 PM »
This may be a game changer. Spacex may have to start selling Dragon as not only an LEO but also BEO vehicle to hedge their bets. The field is getting crowded and not everyone will be a winner.  Companies with capsules (Spacex, Boeing, LM) would do best to show BEO capabilty. How this also affects Dreamchaser marketing is interesting. Is there a need for 2 lifting, winged vehicles?

Development cost is the key issue.  Previously SNC has said DC would cost $800M to develop (from my memory).  Orbital has stated a range of $2.5B and $3B in public remarks in 2009, but presumably that for for a capsule-type spacecraft. 

I don't see this as game-changing from a competitive sense, but perhaps perception-changing.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #6 on: 12/14/2010 12:18 AM »
Very interesting. I wonder what kind of lifting body they are planning - and if it is based on any previous work. It is HL-20-ish, or like the LM lifting body CEV concept, or something more minimal like the Russian Kliper concept?

This will also require a new (or imported) liquid upper stage for the Taurus II, one assumes.

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #7 on: 12/14/2010 12:38 AM »
This will also require a new (or imported) liquid upper stage for the Taurus II, one assumes.
That was going to be my question.  I'm not sure I would want to be riding a a single solid motor on the way to space :)
jb

Offline corrodedNut

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #8 on: 12/14/2010 12:44 AM »
This will also require a new (or imported) liquid upper stage for the Taurus II, one assumes.

It's Atlas V not Taurus II.

Offline Malderi

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #9 on: 12/14/2010 12:50 AM »
I think it's pretty interesting that Orbital is not going for a system that can use some Cygnus heritage and the Taurus II launch vehicle. Presumably, they could've designed some capsule that uses a Cygnus-like SM and Taurus II, but decided that either:

1) It'd be too difficult to man-rate/modify their own systems, or
2) it wouldn't provide a good business case, either due to increased costs on those systems or because they're betting an innovative winged vehicle would be more likely to win the downselects.

Interesting, either way.

Offline mmeijeri

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #10 on: 12/14/2010 12:57 AM »
Who says there is no Cygnus heritage? I would expect them to use Cygnus heritage for propulsion and avionics.
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #11 on: 12/14/2010 01:07 AM »
I have no direct insight into Orbital's thinking with respect to business case but CCDev is not soley about eventual transport to ISS.  If that is all the companies are thinking about - and not working with others such as Bigelow, Virgin, have their own plans, etc -  I would think they will not be likely candidates to actually get money from NASA. 

In doing these proposals, it may make practical sense to diversify their own business capabilities - but build on experience with certain systems - to meet the partners expectations.  It also may make financial sense to not have to provide every element themselves (and instead can be a customer with, for example, the launch vehicle) allowing them to focus limited resources and deliver to market that much quicker.

Remember this is supposed to be partially about building an industry that can exist seperately and in parallel to NASA initiatives. 
« Last Edit: 12/14/2010 01:08 AM by OV-106 »
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #12 on: 12/14/2010 01:30 AM »
I have no direct insight into Orbital's thinking with respect to business case but CCDev is not soley about eventual transport to ISS.  If that is all the companies are thinking about - and not working with others such as Bigelow, Virgin, have their own plans, etc -  I would think they will not be likely candidates to actually get money from NASA. 

In doing these proposals, it may make practical sense to diversify their own business capabilities - but build on experience with certain systems - to meet the partners expectations.  It also may make financial sense to not have to provide every element themselves (and instead can be a customer with, for example, the launch vehicle) allowing them to focus limited resources and deliver to market that much quicker.

Remember this is supposed to be partially about building an industry that can exist seperately and in parallel to NASA initiatives. 

Well put OV.

~Jon

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #13 on: 12/14/2010 01:55 AM »
I have no direct insight into Orbital's thinking with respect to business case but CCDev is not soley about eventual transport to ISS.  If that is all the companies are thinking about - and not working with others such as Bigelow, Virgin, have their own plans, etc -  I would think they will not be likely candidates to actually get money from NASA. 

In doing these proposals, it may make practical sense to diversify their own business capabilities - but build on experience with certain systems - to meet the partners expectations.  It also may make financial sense to not have to provide every element themselves (and instead can be a customer with, for example, the launch vehicle) allowing them to focus limited resources and deliver to market that much quicker.

Remember this is supposed to be partially about building an industry that can exist seperately and in parallel to NASA initiatives. 

Well put OV.

~Jon
Agreed.
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #14 on: 12/14/2010 02:10 AM »
Very interesting. I wonder what kind of lifting body they are planning - and if it is based on any previous work. It is HL-20-ish, or like the LM lifting body CEV concept, or something more minimal like the Russian Kliper concept?

It will be interesting to see.  Recall that Orbital had a conceptual design for a lifting body craft back in the OSP days, though I don't know far along into the design process they were.  It reminded me of the canceled European Hermes spaceplane.  Here it is shown with the Delta IV heavy:

http://www.spacetoday.org/images/SpcShtls/SpacePlane/OrbitalSpacePlaneLaunch600x450.jpg
« Last Edit: 12/14/2010 02:10 AM by vt_hokie »

Offline yg1968

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #15 on: 12/14/2010 02:23 AM »
Very interesting. I wonder what kind of lifting body they are planning - and if it is based on any previous work. It is HL-20-ish, or like the LM lifting body CEV concept, or something more minimal like the Russian Kliper concept?

It will be interesting to see.  Recall that Orbital had a conceptual design for a lifting body craft back in the OSP days, though I don't know far along into the design process they were.  It reminded me of the canceled European Hermes spaceplane.  Here it is shown with the Delta IV heavy:

http://www.spacetoday.org/images/SpcShtls/SpacePlane/OrbitalSpacePlaneLaunch600x450.jpg

Here is the rest of the (2003?) article that goes with the image:
http://www.spacetoday.org/SpcShtls/SpacePlane.html
« Last Edit: 12/14/2010 02:24 AM by yg1968 »

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #16 on: 12/14/2010 03:06 AM »
Very interesting. I wonder what kind of lifting body they are planning - and if it is based on any previous work. It is HL-20-ish, or like the LM lifting body CEV concept, or something more minimal like the Russian Kliper concept?

It will be interesting to see.  Recall that Orbital had a conceptual design for a lifting body craft back in the OSP days, though I don't know far along into the design process they were.  It reminded me of the canceled European Hermes spaceplane.  Here it is shown with the Delta IV heavy:

http://www.spacetoday.org/images/SpcShtls/SpacePlane/OrbitalSpacePlaneLaunch600x450.jpg

Here is the rest of the (2003?) article that goes with the image:
http://www.spacetoday.org/SpcShtls/SpacePlane.html

And to think we could have had that by 2008 if we hadn't scrapped OSP in favor of the Constellation debacle!

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #17 on: 12/14/2010 03:38 AM »
Interesting, yes now that you pointed to that image, I remember seeing it.

This will be very interesting to see develop. And the situation for DreamChaser just got very interesting as well - Both concepts are lifting bodies launched by Atlas V.

I'm guessing there's only room for one of them to succeed. (if any of them will indeed succeed) But it is very exciting now to have 4 serious players in the commercial crew market! :)

Offline MP99

Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #18 on: 12/14/2010 06:08 AM »
Development cost is the key issue.  ...  Orbital has stated a range of $2.5B and $3B in public remarks in 2009, but presumably that for for a capsule-type spacecraft.

ISTR that also included HR'ing Taurus II. As above, Orbital seem to be going with Atlas V launch.

cheers, Martin

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #19 on: 12/14/2010 07:12 AM »
Interesting, yes now that you pointed to that image, I remember seeing it.

This will be very interesting to see develop. And the situation for DreamChaser just got very interesting as well - Both concepts are lifting bodies launched by Atlas V.

I'm guessing there's only room for one of them to succeed. (if any of them will indeed succeed) But it is very exciting now to have 4 serious players in the commercial crew market! :)

I count six.

Offline neilh

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #20 on: 12/14/2010 08:47 AM »
I think this was added in an update to the original article I linked, but apparently Virgin is also expected to announce a separate bid they're doing with Sierra Nevada.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #21 on: 12/14/2010 12:12 PM »

And to think we could have had that by 2008 if we hadn't scrapped OSP in favor of the Constellation debacle!

OSP was a capsule

Offline Alpha Control

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #22 on: 12/14/2010 09:12 PM »
The Space News article has been updated today, to include an image.

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/101214-orbital-unveils-supplier-ccdev2.html

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #25 on: 12/14/2010 09:25 PM »
The Space News article has been updated today, to include an image.

http://www.spacenews.com/civil/101214-orbital-unveils-supplier-ccdev2.html


Looks the same as their old proposal, except the new one doesn't have a vertical stabilizer, and the end of the wing is now a full (nearly) vertical winglet (and probably also has a control surface on the winglet). Also, the docking port is more pronounced in the newer design.
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Offline Malderi

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #26 on: 12/14/2010 09:30 PM »
Either way, quite interesting. I wonder what the extent of the pressure vessel is. Dreamchaser/HL-20 goes all the way to the back, where the docking port is, but the "CCV" probably has a much smaller interior volume.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #27 on: 12/14/2010 09:33 PM »
Either way, quite interesting. I wonder what the extent of the pressure vessel is. Dreamchaser/HL-20 goes all the way to the back, where the docking port is, but the "CCV" probably has a much smaller interior volume.
Agreed... It actually looks like it has cargo doors in the back, allowing it to carry back significant unpressurized cargo, something that we will (otherwise) lose when Shuttle retires.
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #28 on: 12/14/2010 09:40 PM »
Or are they radiators? It's only concept art.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #29 on: 12/14/2010 09:53 PM »
Hmm, I like it!

My only reservation would be this... For most lifting bodies, the use of a rear docking hatch seems to be more space efficient. (as used in Dreamchaser, Kliper, LM's CEV concept)

But with this layout, with the docking hatch just behind the cockpit, it will take up quite a bit of space behind the pilot(s). And won't the docking mechanism also have to be able to be extended/contracted during ascent and reentry?

« Last Edit: 12/14/2010 09:57 PM by Lars_J »

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #30 on: 12/14/2010 09:55 PM »
Either way, quite interesting. I wonder what the extent of the pressure vessel is. Dreamchaser/HL-20 goes all the way to the back, where the docking port is, but the "CCV" probably has a much smaller interior volume.
Agreed... It actually looks like it has cargo doors in the back, allowing it to carry back significant unpressurized cargo, something that we will (otherwise) lose when Shuttle retires.

Unlikely, IMO. If there is no docking hatch in the rear, that's probably where the "OMS" engines and tanks are located. This looks like a crew vehicle, not a unpressurized cargo vehicle.

Offline mmeijeri

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #31 on: 12/14/2010 09:58 PM »
Googling for the term blended lifting body turns up the (non-free) article below, which seems related. An NTRS search indicates the article is not in their database.

Evolution of a Blended Lifting Body for the Orbital Space Plane

Quote
NASA?s Orbital Space Plane (OSP) program incorporated elements of past efforts such as the Space Transportation Architecture Study (STAS), Crew Return Vehicle (CRV), and Space Launch Initiative (SLI). Significant goals of these efforts were to improve safety, reduce the cost of crew transportation to space, and to provide robust crew rescue and crew transfer capability for the International Space Station (ISS). NASA?s requirements for OSP were assessed and evaluated, and several critical design drivers were derived: number of crew, mission duration, launch vehicle throw weight, vehicle lift efficiency, flight rate, reusability, and ascent abort and emergency return capabilities. NASA Langley Research Center?s HL-20 shape was used as an initial reference design to better understand and assess the impact of NASA requirements as they were flowed down to the vehicle subsystem level. Configuration and aerodynamic trades were conducted to optimize the performance of the OSP in response to these requirements. Most importantly, issues of volumetric efficiency, high L/D for cross range, low wing loading for reduced landing speed, and passive stability for all abort conditions were addressed. As the optimization process continued, the HL-20 initial reference shape eventually evolved into the Blended Lifting Body (BLB). The BLB combines volumetric efficiency with superior aerodynamic qualities and was designed to launch vertically and land horizontally. The BLB design offers an optimized configuration with excellent aerodynamic performance and may have many other flight applications. This paper discusses the evolution process, design solutions and features of the configuration used during the development of the BLB for the OSP program.
« Last Edit: 12/14/2010 09:58 PM by mmeijeri »
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Offline Salo

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #32 on: 12/15/2010 06:29 AM »
« Last Edit: 12/15/2010 01:06 PM by Chris Bergin »

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #33 on: 12/15/2010 06:39 AM »
Looks the same as their old proposal, except the new one doesn't have a vertical stabilizer, and the end of the wing is now a full (nearly) vertical winglet (and probably also has a control surface on the winglet).
So it's closer to XCOR Lynx now, which passed wind tunnel just recently. SS2 is like that too. I do realize that wing planform is different between the three, but the point is that wingtip winglets provide the yaw stability. I have a friend who has a (very) subsonic airplane like that, Burt Rutan's LongEZ. The scheme works there. Now we may expect it works for high speeds too. Don't ask me why Shuttle and Buran did not adopt it, I'm wondering myself.

Offline Stephan

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #34 on: 12/15/2010 06:48 AM »
Ho, am I the only one to have thought "Hermes" when seeing that pictures ?
Best regards, Stephan

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #35 on: 12/15/2010 06:53 AM »
A slimmed-down lightweight Hermes, perhaps, I can see the resemblance. Hermes (by the time it was cancelled) had started experiencing quite a bit of weight and feature-creep - almost as if the ESA had shuttle-envy. :) (http://www.capcomespace.net/dossiers/espace_europeen/hermes/1991%2001.jpg)

But I am liking this slimmed down Orbital plane. It looks even lighter (and more affordable) than DreamChaser.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2010 06:54 AM by Lars_J »

Offline yg1968

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #36 on: 12/15/2010 01:54 PM »
http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/release.asp?prid=756

This is interesting:

Quote
ē The proposal baselines using a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, but is flexible enough to accommodate other launch vehicle options.

I wonder if that includes Falcon 9?

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #37 on: 12/15/2010 02:21 PM »

Or Delta IV or Taurus II...

There was a comment a long while back by Antonio about part of the rational behind the Taurus II was when they looked for LV's for the small GEO birds that Orbital makes, the Falcon 9 at that point was not quite real enough to be a Delta II replacement. Meaning they had no aversion at that point to using the Falcon 9 or SpaceX, just they did not think they SpaceX had it's act enough together yet...
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #38 on: 12/15/2010 02:26 PM »
But I am liking this slimmed down Orbital plane. It looks even lighter (and more affordable) than DreamChaser.

How can one honestly even begin to make that conclusion?
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #39 on: 12/15/2010 03:28 PM »
But I am liking this slimmed down Orbital plane. It looks even lighter (and more affordable) than DreamChaser.

How can one honestly even begin to make that conclusion?

Are you just trying to be argumentative today? Note the *looks* part of my sentence. It is not a fact claim, just my impression

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #40 on: 12/15/2010 03:44 PM »
But I am liking this slimmed down Orbital plane. It looks even lighter (and more affordable) than DreamChaser.

How can one honestly even begin to make that conclusion?

Are you just trying to be argumentative today? Note the *looks* part of my sentence. It is not a fact claim, just my impression

Argumentative today?  It was a simple question Lars. 

Sorry to get you in a tizzy I simply asked how one could make that statement from *looking* at a picture where one is CGI and the other is probably plywood.  That's all, nothing else....
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Offline mmeijeri

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #41 on: 12/15/2010 03:47 PM »
How can one honestly even begin to make that conclusion?

Easy, the one picture is CGI and the other is probably plywood. ;)
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #42 on: 12/15/2010 03:56 PM »
Good one! Yes CG is very light. ;) I suppose my guess at mass comes from assuming that both craft have similar lengths, and that Dreamchaser being a lifting body takes up more volume than this spaceplane, being a blended wing design. (and yes, I know volume != mass, but they usually go hand in hand)

But at closer inspection of the 'docking to ISS' image and similar Dreamchaser imagery - That size estimate may be way off. Although the SNC Dreamchaser images are *very* rough, as is all information from them, since they treat it as a black project.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2010 03:58 PM by Lars_J »

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #43 on: 12/15/2010 03:57 PM »
One thing to note from the drawing, the location of the LIDS looks like there would be interference with the other docking/berthing locations, so either a Node 4 has to be launched.  Anyhow because of the interference issues I would guess that it would be more of a taxi and might not be capable of serving in the cRV mode.  If that is the case, might not look as good to the selecting committee or to any further use in other fields like Bigelow. Of course it is just art work, so perhaps I am over analyzing.

But it is now my background.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2010 03:57 PM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Offline Jorge

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #44 on: 12/15/2010 04:53 PM »
One thing to note from the drawing, the location of the LIDS looks like there would be interference with the other docking/berthing locations, so either a Node 4 has to be launched.  Anyhow because of the interference issues I would guess that it would be more of a taxi and might not be capable of serving in the cRV mode.  If that is the case, might not look as good to the selecting committee or to any further use in other fields like Bigelow. Of course it is just art work, so perhaps I am over analyzing.

Yes, you are overanalyzing. That is an Orbital rendering of ISS, not an NASA rendering, and I spotted several inaccuracies in it. I would not take it as gospel regarding ISS configuration.
JRF

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #45 on: 12/15/2010 05:08 PM »
Very interesting. I wonder what kind of lifting body they are planning - and if it is based on any previous work. It is HL-20-ish, or like the LM lifting body CEV concept, or something more minimal like the Russian Kliper concept?

It will be interesting to see.  Recall that Orbital had a conceptual design for a lifting body craft back in the OSP days, though I don't know far along into the design process they were.

Very perceptive; the shape shown in our proposal is a "fifth-generation" one that started with X-34 (whose DNA, by the way, made it into X-37 by the way of Rockwell/Boeing who was our partner on "X-34A"), then proceeded to Kliper/HL-10/HL-20 derivatives, and culminated in the BLB shape shown in the above-mentioned OSP picture.

During the 1997-2003 time period we burned thousands of CFD hours and hundreds of physical wind tunnel hours developing a useable shape.  The main challenge was to acheive reasonable landing speeds (the topic warrants a discussion of its own) at sizes compatible with a 4 to 6 person crew (it is easier with smaller vehicles like X-37 because wing area scales as the square of size but weight more like the cube) AND with a reasonable internal fuselage volume.

Particularily troublesome was the increase in base drag if you wanted the cylindrical fuselage shape to extend all the way to the back for volume and hatch locationpurposes (the current design, like BLB, has two hatches for a number of reasons, including crew emergency egress.)

With large base drag you get a low approach and landing L/D which in turn has all sorts of nasty consequences.  The BLB/5th gen trick was to shape the trailing edge of the delta (not straight, like X-37) wing and the blending of the wing root with the body in order to create interference between the wing airflow and the body airflow at approach and landing conditions that DECRESED the base drag.  Not impossible, but very hard - we checked it in real wind tunnel testing.
« Last Edit: 12/15/2010 05:11 PM by antonioe »
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #46 on: 12/15/2010 05:20 PM »
Very interesting antonioe.  Look forward to seeing this progress. 

Do you still see any use for the X-34 in whatever testing you may have planned and can you share any results that you may know about its "worthiness" after inspections?
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Offline moose103

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #47 on: 12/15/2010 05:37 PM »
the shape shown in our proposal is a "fifth-generation" one

Very very interesting. Can you explicitly say the five generations? It isn't obvious and people will guess and make a mess of it. :(

The CCDev craft are like new generation X-Planes under a different name. Too bad NASA stopped doing this for so long.

I can't wait for someone to make a graphic showing the evolution of these things. I imagine Orbital and SNC are secretly eager to prove their concept against the other. =) =) =)

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #48 on: 12/15/2010 06:17 PM »
Do you still see any use for the X-34 in whatever testing you may have planned and can you share any results that you may know about its "worthiness" after inspections?

The current interest in X-34 (including the "mysterious" move to Mojave) is all focused on reusable LV first stages; NASA Dryden wanted to know to what degree the two old airframes were still airworthy after all these years.  To answer the question we had to open some inspection panels.  There was no available hangar space at DFRC over the next few weeks. The guys at Mojave did.  Quick trip to KMHV for the inspection.  Results not in yet, may be "owned" by DFRC when they do.  That's all.

The X-34 "DNA trace" leading to BLB-2 (and X-37 on the other branch) has simply a hstorical value.  X-34 was not designed as an orbital reentry vehicle (but it had excellent landing characteristics!)
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #49 on: 12/15/2010 06:25 PM »
Do you still see any use for the X-34 in whatever testing you may have planned and can you share any results that you may know about its "worthiness" after inspections?

The current interest in X-34 (including the "mysterious" move to Mojave) is all focused on reusable LV first stages; NASA Dryden wanted to know to what degree the two old airframes were still airworthy after all these years.  To answer the question we had to open some inspection panels.  There was no available hangar space at DFRC over the next few weeks. The guys at Mojave did.  Quick trip to KMHV for the inspection.  Results not in yet, may be "owned" by DFRC when they do.  That's all.

The X-34 "DNA trace" leading to BLB-2 (and X-37 on the other branch) has simply a hstorical value.  X-34 was not designed as an orbital reentry vehicle (but it had excellent landing characteristics!)

Interesting, thanks!  With the various stories about X-34 over the last few weeks and your announcement about CCDev 2 I (and maybe others too) was thinking there may be a link in system development tests or something.  Appreciate the words. 
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #50 on: 12/15/2010 06:25 PM »
Particularily troublesome was the increase in base drag if you wanted the cylindrical fuselage shape to extend all the way to the back for volume and hatch locationpurposes (the current design, like BLB, has two hatches for a number of reasons, including crew emergency egress.)

Thanks for all the information, antonioe.
So does the current design have two hatches, a rear one for docking/berthing, and the top one is for crew ingress/egress - is that correct? (in that case the ISS approach/departure image shows an incorrect orientation of the craft)

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #51 on: 12/15/2010 06:34 PM »
Can you explicitly say the five generations?

Hmm.. I'm not sure I could - I was being a bit poetic and counting on my fingers.  Let me try this stream of consciousness:

1) X-34 in 1997-1998 great landing characteristics but, as noted above, not really a reentry-from-orbit vehicle (LE radii too small)

2) Our first CRV shape, 1999 - runway landing, unlike JSC's X-38 concept, but crew rescue only - insufficient volume for a practical crew transport.  Reasonable landing characteristics, but nothing to write home about.  Very heavily influenced by HL-10/HL-20.

3) Our first (non-BLB) OSP, 1999-2000 (here's where we bumped against the landing speed problem) otherwise good volume, cross-range and rentry characteristics.

4) The first BLB, 2000-2003 (solved the landing speed problem via some sneaky aerodynamics)

5) The revised, vertical-tail-less BLB in 2009-2010.  Addressed some ISS docking interference issues (BTW: I'm surprised at the previous statements stating that there appeared to be said interference - I thought we had checked it rather thoroughly; our recent Cygnus work has given us A LOT of experience in that area, eveh though Cygnus berths, whereas our BLB concept docks using LIDS)
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #52 on: 12/15/2010 06:51 PM »

So does the current design have two hatches, a rear one for docking/berthing, and the top one is for crew ingress/egress - is that correct? (in that case the ISS approach/departure image shows an incorrect orientation of the craft)


According to Frank C. (I was with him on a phone press interview a few minutes ago) you could theoretically dock from both locations, although we currently have a single LIDS (on top, I believe).

BTW according to Frank (I've not followed this work too closely) the docking is autonomous with human monitoring.  Don't ask me for details on how it works 'cause I don't know.
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #53 on: 12/15/2010 06:53 PM »
Any ETA on a snazzy name for this vehicle?
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #54 on: 12/15/2010 07:00 PM »
Any ETA on a snazzy name for this vehicle?

As a good Washingtonian (Washington, D.C., that is), I strictly follow the Schultz Doctrine... ;)
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #55 on: 12/15/2010 07:07 PM »
Hmm, a little googling reveals that there are at least three Schultz doctrines, none of which seem especially appropriate. One is named after a much-beloved and recently retired county judge, another deals with trade in stolen antiquities and the third one concerns "preemptive counter-insurgency"...
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #56 on: 12/15/2010 07:16 PM »
The current interest in X-34 (including the "mysterious" move to Mojave) is all focused on reusable LV first stages; NASA Dryden wanted to know to what degree the two old airframes were still airworthy after all these years.

Also, comparisons between X-33 and X-34 are totally inappropriate: X-33 was meant to demonstrate the feasibility of SSTO (or put a final nail on its coffin - that would have been a very useful result). X-34 was meant to measure the cost of reuseability of a reuseable first stage (in terms of parts to be replaced, labor required for turnaround, degree of inspection and retesting required, etc.)  Vital data to validate the non-mass-fraction costs of reusability for which there is still only ONE data point.

Doesn't that sound familiar, like a certain new AF EELV replacement?

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21369.0

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=5806.15
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Offline corrodedNut

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #57 on: 12/15/2010 07:18 PM »
Hmm, a little googling reveals that there are at least three Schultz doctrines, none of which seem especially appropriate. One is named after a much-beloved and recently retired county judge, another deals with trade in stolen antiquities and the third one concerns "preemptive counter-insurgency"...

Ho-GAN!!! He "noes nut-hing, NUT-HING!!!"

Offline kch

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #58 on: 12/15/2010 07:23 PM »
Hmm, a little googling reveals that there are at least three Schultz doctrines, none of which seem especially appropriate. One is named after a much-beloved and recently retired county judge, another deals with trade in stolen antiquities and the third one concerns "preemptive counter-insurgency"...

Ho-GAN!!! He "noes nut-hing, NUT-HING!!!"

... as articulated starting about 0:27 here:



;)

Offline gladiator1332

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #59 on: 12/15/2010 08:06 PM »
Very interesting concept! I am looking forward to seeing further development, and the best of luck to Orbital!

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #60 on: 12/15/2010 09:01 PM »
Very interesting. I wonder what kind of lifting body they are planning - and if it is based on any previous work. It is HL-20-ish, or like the LM lifting body CEV concept, or something more minimal like the Russian Kliper concept?

It will be interesting to see.  Recall that Orbital had a conceptual design for a lifting body craft back in the OSP days, though I don't know far along into the design process they were.

Very perceptive; the shape shown in our proposal is a "fifth-generation" one that started with X-34 (whose DNA, by the way, made it into X-37 by the way of Rockwell/Boeing who was our partner on "X-34A"), then proceeded to Kliper/HL-10/HL-20 derivatives, and culminated in the BLB shape shown in the above-mentioned OSP picture.

During the 1997-2003 time period we burned thousands of CFD hours and hundreds of physical wind tunnel hours developing a useable shape.  The main challenge was to acheive reasonable landing speeds (the topic warrants a discussion of its own) at sizes compatible with a 4 to 6 person crew (it is easier with smaller vehicles like X-37 because wing area scales as the square of size but weight more like the cube) AND with a reasonable internal fuselage volume.

Particularily troublesome was the increase in base drag if you wanted the cylindrical fuselage shape to extend all the way to the back for volume and hatch locationpurposes (the current design, like BLB, has two hatches for a number of reasons, including crew emergency egress.)

With large base drag you get a low approach and landing L/D which in turn has all sorts of nasty consequences.  The BLB/5th gen trick was to shape the trailing edge of the delta (not straight, like X-37) wing and the blending of the wing root with the body in order to create interference between the wing airflow and the body airflow at approach and landing conditions that DECRESED the base drag.  Not impossible, but very hard - we checked it in real wind tunnel testing.

A further consideration for lifting bodies is Cg.  Putting the LIDS in the tail is not impossible but does complicate that design issue.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #61 on: 12/16/2010 03:49 AM »
Any ETA on a snazzy name for this vehicle?
Yah it needs a snazzy name as that seems very important to sell a concept.

Maybe name it after another mythical creature like Spacex did theirs.
The constellation Phoenix comes to mind which would fit with the names of other OSC projects such as Pegasus,Taurus,and Cygnus.

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #62 on: 12/16/2010 04:40 AM »
Yah it needs a snazzy name as that seems very important to sell a concept.

I am going to go with Bob.

In all seriousness, the concept itself will be the selling point not the name.  After all, the real name for the Space shuttle is the generic sounding space transportation system.
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Offline Space Lizard

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #63 on: 12/16/2010 09:47 AM »
To go with "Cygnus", "Aquila" should do it.
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #64 on: 12/16/2010 03:14 PM »
OMG, they're building Dyna-Soar! :)

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #65 on: 12/16/2010 04:13 PM »


Ho-GAN!!! He "noes nut-hing, NUT-HING!!!"


Actually, it's "I know nothing, I see nothing..."

but, yes, you got the right Schultz...
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Offline M_Puckett

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #66 on: 12/16/2010 10:07 PM »
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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #67 on: 12/17/2010 02:15 AM »
During the 1997-2003 time period we burned thousands of CFD hours and hundreds of physical wind tunnel hours developing a useable shape.  The main challenge was to acheive reasonable landing speeds (the topic warrants a discussion of its own) at sizes compatible with a 4 to 6 person crew (it is easier with smaller vehicles like X-37 because wing area scales as the square of size but weight more like the cube) AND with a reasonable internal fuselage volume.

Particularily troublesome was the increase in base drag if you wanted the cylindrical fuselage shape to extend all the way to the back for volume and hatch locationpurposes (the current design, like BLB, has two hatches for a number of reasons, including crew emergency egress.)

With large base drag you get a low approach and landing L/D which in turn has all sorts of nasty consequences.  The BLB/5th gen trick was to shape the trailing edge of the delta (not straight, like X-37) wing and the blending of the wing root with the body in order to create interference between the wing airflow and the body airflow at approach and landing conditions that DECRESED the base drag.  Not impossible, but very hard - we checked it in real wind tunnel testing.

How does Shuttle deal with this issue? It is even bigger than OSP and has a big blunt rear. Does the bottom flap do anything at landing speeds?

Offline Jorge

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #68 on: 12/17/2010 03:48 AM »
During the 1997-2003 time period we burned thousands of CFD hours and hundreds of physical wind tunnel hours developing a useable shape.  The main challenge was to acheive reasonable landing speeds (the topic warrants a discussion of its own) at sizes compatible with a 4 to 6 person crew (it is easier with smaller vehicles like X-37 because wing area scales as the square of size but weight more like the cube) AND with a reasonable internal fuselage volume.

Particularily troublesome was the increase in base drag if you wanted the cylindrical fuselage shape to extend all the way to the back for volume and hatch locationpurposes (the current design, like BLB, has two hatches for a number of reasons, including crew emergency egress.)

With large base drag you get a low approach and landing L/D which in turn has all sorts of nasty consequences.  The BLB/5th gen trick was to shape the trailing edge of the delta (not straight, like X-37) wing and the blending of the wing root with the body in order to create interference between the wing airflow and the body airflow at approach and landing conditions that DECRESED the base drag.  Not impossible, but very hard - we checked it in real wind tunnel testing.

How does Shuttle deal with this issue? It is even bigger than OSP and has a big blunt rear.

Larger wings, hence higher subsonic L/D. The shuttle isn't a lifting-body.
JRF

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #69 on: 12/17/2010 02:29 PM »

How does Shuttle deal with this issue? It is even bigger than OSP and has a big blunt rear.

Larger wings, hence higher subsonic L/D. The shuttle isn't a lifting-body.

Yeah, more or less - wing loading is not as bad.  Having said that, Orbiter landing is quite hairy.  I remember being a wet-behind-the ears GN&C engineer at Draper in the mid to late 70's (my "claim to fame" was the TAEM guidance algorithm which popped into my mind while pushing a grocery cart at a Cambridge, MA Stop&Shop supermarket).  One day I was waiting patiently for my turn to explaing a Change Request - associated with the TAEM guidance - to the Orbiter Configuration Management panel, than chaired by Arnie Aldrich.

This was during the heat of the orbiter design, so the CM panel met weekly for about 12-14 hours (nonstop!) and heard all sort of change requests from all disciplines.  Two or three presentations before me somebody was justifying the need to add a certain check valve to the hydraulic subsystem because, without it, all hydraulic pressure could be lost from backfrom through the pump of a single failed APU (oops!...)

Upon hearing this, Arnie Aldrich exclaimed indignantly "you mean, if we loose an APU, we loose the bird?"

Before the presenter had a chance to answer, a voice from the back of the room - which to this day will remain anonymous - shouted, in reference to the subsonic L/D of the orbiter:

"What do you mean "bird?"  You must mean "brick"!"
« Last Edit: 12/17/2010 02:31 PM by antonioe »
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Offline yg1968

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #70 on: 12/17/2010 02:40 PM »
Press release by Virgin Galactic concerning its partnership with Orbital:
http://www.virgingalactic.com/news/item/virgin-galactic/

Quote
Mr. Frank Culbertson, Orbital Scienceís Senior Vice President and former NASA astronaut stated: Virgin Galactic is clearly breaking new ground in the commercial space market, and we are now very excited to have them on our team. This partnership for marketing and supporting our innovative and affordable design carries a great deal of promise for achieving the kind of growth in commercial spaceflight that will help to make this a sustainable market in the future.Ē


Offline alexw

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #71 on: 12/17/2010 07:31 PM »
Upon hearing this, Arnie Aldrich exclaimed indignantly "you mean, if we loose an APU, we loose the bird?"
Before the presenter had a chance to answer, a voice from the back of the room - which to this day will remain anonymous - shouted, in reference to the subsonic L/D of the orbiter:
"What do you mean "bird?"  You must mean "brick"!"

    ROFLMAO
    Somewhere it was written that the SR-71, after suffering double engine unstart (before they worked out an effective automatic control system for the inlet cones), "glides about as well as a manhole cover".

     But please share more stories of Draper when you get the chance --- those must have been heady days indeed, designing the incredible/insane/bird/brick!

   -Alex

Offline Seer

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #72 on: 12/17/2010 08:19 PM »
Antonioe, how does your plane compare with the x37b in terms of L/D ratio, heat loads etc? Do you know yet whether you will use the same tps as the x37b?

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #73 on: 12/17/2010 08:34 PM »

    Somewhere it was written that the SR-71, after suffering double engine unstart (before they worked out an effective automatic control system for the inlet cones), "glides about as well as a manhole cover".


Little-known factoid: Bill Weaver, who flies left seat and manages the rest of the contract flight crew for our Pegasus-dropping L-1011, is the only human to have survived ejection at Mach 3.3  Correction, it was not an ejection: the SR-71 disintegrated around him due to "smothing we were doing that we knew was a bit dicey" - I suspect a single-engine unstart was part of the chain of events.

Bill tells his story in one of the SR-71 books, but I've heard him tell the story about two or three times - it's hilarious (well, his RSO died, which is not funny)

If this thread gets cold AND Chris does not hit me over the head with a 2x4 I may write down the story, as told to the author by Bill Weaver.  Problem is: it's probably a page or a page and a half long.
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline mmeijeri

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #74 on: 12/17/2010 08:47 PM »
Here's a link to what looks like the same story:

http://www.916-starfighter.de/SR-71_Waever.htm

More amazing than hilarious in this telling.
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Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #75 on: 12/19/2010 08:13 PM »
I am curious as to why the new proposal integrates all of the service module functions into the reentry vehicle, while Hermes had an expendable one, wont the mass creep still effect the OSC proposal

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=16621.0
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #76 on: 12/19/2010 09:02 PM »
How do you know it "integrates all of the service module functions into the reentry vehicle"? All we have seen is early CG renderings of a landed vehicle.

But even if it does include all of it - isn't that a good thing? It should improve re usability.

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #77 on: 12/19/2010 09:11 PM »
How do you know it "integrates all of the service module functions into the reentry vehicle"? All we have seen is early CG renderings of a landed vehicle.

the attached image shows the artwork for the spacecraft in orbit, without any expendable service module.  Say what you want to about the quality of the ISS model, one would expect an image of one's product to be as accurate about one's product to the fullest extent possible.

Quote
But even if it does include all of it - isn't that a good thing? It should improve re usability.

Reusability is not that big of a deal, what you want is flexibility, a light weight design, and above all an economic design.  For a system that only would fly at best a few times a year (crew rotation), is reusability that much of an issue compared to potential weight creep and complexity involved?

Not that I would not like it, just wondering what the rationale behind the design is.  Hopefully OSC/Virgin have other things in mind besides crew transport for NASA.
« Last Edit: 12/19/2010 09:17 PM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #78 on: 12/19/2010 09:14 PM »
How do you know it "integrates all of the service module functions into the reentry vehicle"? All we have seen is early CG renderings of a landed vehicle.

the attached image shows the artwork for the spacecraft in orbit, without any expendable service module.  Say what you want to about the quality of the ISS model, one would expect an image of one's product to be as accurate about one's product to the fullest extent possible.

Given that there are noticeable differences in the spaceplane between the two released artworks (look at cockpit windows for example), I wouldn't put too much credence in that either. :)
« Last Edit: 12/19/2010 09:14 PM by Lars_J »

Online Ronsmytheiii

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #79 on: 12/20/2010 04:02 AM »
there is a big difference between small things like window configurations versus an expendable service module being missing in artwork, that goes to the central core of the concept
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Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #80 on: 12/20/2010 04:11 AM »
We'll see. I doubt that image is very accurate to how the final spacecraft will be. (assuming it flies)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #81 on: 12/20/2010 04:28 AM »
Of course, having an expendable service module matters a lot less if you are going to stay at LEO and never have to be pushed through TLI, etc. Soyuz and the Apollo CSM and Orion were designed that way because mass is at even more of a premium when you have to push the whole thing through a lot more delta-v.

Not having to throw away a service module every time has some obvious benefits, if you're going for the whole reusability idea.
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Offline simonbp

Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #82 on: 12/20/2010 02:58 PM »
With a runway landing, they're clearly going for reusability; there is no other sufficient motivation for all the extra mass/development effort required over a capsule. And given that we have a pretty good record of what should and should not be done with a fully-reusable, runway-landing orbiter, it makes sense that they would have integrated the SM-type functions.

Heck, even on Dragon, the "Trunk" (which is purposefully not called an SM) just contains the solar arrays and a few batteries. Dragon has full functionality (though foreshortened battery life) without the trunk...

Online kevin-rf

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #83 on: 12/21/2010 05:43 PM »
Can you explicitly say the five generations?

Hmm.. I'm not sure I could - I was being a bit poetic and counting on my fingers.  Let me try this stream of consciousness:

1) X-34 in 1997-1998 great landing characteristics but, as noted above, not really a reentry-from-orbit vehicle (LE radii too small)

2) Our first CRV shape, 1999 - runway landing, unlike JSC's X-38 concept, but crew rescue only - insufficient volume for a practical crew transport.  Reasonable landing characteristics, but nothing to write home about.  Very heavily influenced by HL-10/HL-20.

3) Our first (non-BLB) OSP, 1999-2000 (here's where we bumped against the landing speed problem) otherwise good volume, cross-range and rentry characteristics.

4) The first BLB, 2000-2003 (solved the landing speed problem via some sneaky aerodynamics)

5) The revised, vertical-tail-less BLB in 2009-2010.  Addressed some ISS docking interference issues (BTW: I'm surprised at the previous statements stating that there appeared to be said interference - I thought we had checked it rather thoroughly; our recent Cygnus work has given us A LOT of experience in that area, eveh though Cygnus berths, whereas our BLB concept docks using LIDS)

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/awst/2010/12/20/AW_12_20_2010_p32-277537.xml&headline=Orbital%20Aims%20For%20Station%20With%20Lifting%20Body&channel=awst

The kicker
Quote
The unnamed vehicle will be the fifth generation of a lifting body shape that traces its heritage back to NASAís HL-10/20 testbeds of the 1960s and í70s, and includes work Orbital did on the Orbital Space Plane ISS crew rescue concept early in this decade, according to Antonio L. Elias, executive vice president and general manager for advanced programs.

I wonder where they got the quote from ;)
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Offline agman25

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #84 on: 12/21/2010 08:12 PM »
IIRC there was some concern during OSP about putting a winged vehicle on top of a launcher. Something about aerodynamic loads created by the larger suface area. Have these been resolved? The X-38 and X-40 both used shrouds for launch.

Offline zaitcev

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #85 on: 12/22/2010 05:16 AM »
The aforementioned article says "Orbital selected a lifting body for cross range and softer landings, as well as possible benefits that may be derived from using the flight surfaces to handle atmospheric loads on ascent." So presumably more than resolved.

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #86 on: 12/22/2010 06:32 AM »
The aforementioned article says "Orbital selected a lifting body for cross range and softer landings, as well as possible benefits that may be derived from using the flight surfaces to handle atmospheric loads on ascent." So presumably more than resolved.

The "benefits" that come from using the flight surfaces on ascent have nothing to do with what we might expect as a benefit (i.e., more payload for a given GLOW) unless you are talking about a RASV-style RLV, which we are not.  The "benefit" is that you don't break the back of the launch vehicle from aeroloads generated by winds which create non-nominal instantaneous AoA.  As Shuttle does, you use the flight surfaces to alleviate loads.  Carl Ehrlich had a good paper on this problem recently at AIAA Space 2010.  This solution adds one more failure mode to the ascent, which is why I don't care for the option, and much prefer bodies of revolution for spacecraft.  Properly designed, you can achieve perfectly adequate cross range either propulsively or aerodynamically, or by both methods in combination, without resorting to wings.  You can get soft land landings, too, by methods that I leave as an exercise for the readership.

Let the flame wars begin.  ;)

Offline douglas100

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #87 on: 12/22/2010 08:05 AM »
I have to reluctantly agree with HMXHMX about winged spacecraft vs. capsules. I find the idea of winged spacecraft attractive (as you might expect from someone who read space comics growing up in the 50's) but the head says that capsules are simpler, cheaper and have better abort options. They also don't have to always reach a runway for a safe landing.

Having said that, I wish Orbital every success with their bid. I hope they prove me wrong.
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Offline kkattula

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #88 on: 12/22/2010 11:30 AM »
...
They also don't have to always reach a runway for a safe landing.
...

No reason Spaceplanes can't have landing rockets too.  Thunderbird 1 style, or rotate for a tail landing.

Offline Crispy

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #89 on: 12/22/2010 11:42 AM »
...
They also don't have to always reach a runway for a safe landing.
...

No reason Spaceplanes can't have landing rockets too.  Thunderbird 1 style, or rotate for a tail landing.

Then why have wings at all?

Offline kkattula

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #90 on: 12/22/2010 11:50 AM »
...
They also don't have to always reach a runway for a safe landing.
...

No reason Spaceplanes can't have landing rockets too.  Thunderbird 1 style, or rotate for a tail landing.

Then why have wings at all?

a)  Extended non-propulsive crossrange

b)  You can still land with or without engines at a regular airport

c)  It looks cool

Offline sb

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #91 on: 12/22/2010 11:58 AM »
No reason Spaceplanes can't have landing rockets too.  Thunderbird 1 style, **or rotate for a tail landing**.

Have you got any idea how hard that rotation would be?  Transitions (vertical->horizontal flight or vice versa) for VTOL aircraft are *hard* to make work properly/safely even when they're basically a thrust vector change.  This would be something more like a post-stall manoevering "death swoop" - bad idea.  And having both landing rockets and wings has to trash your mass!

Offline kkattula

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #92 on: 12/22/2010 12:01 PM »
Before landing rockets, I would add a small ram-jet to a spaceplane.

Can be quite efficient at altitude. Almost no moving parts.  Perhaps with deployable side or belly intakes. 

Use it at mid to high sub-sonic speeds to increase cross-range, and at approach speeds for go around.

If it can make use of left-over RCS/OMS fuel, even better.  Ethanol maybe?


Offline kkattula

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #93 on: 12/22/2010 12:10 PM »
No reason Spaceplanes can't have landing rockets too.  Thunderbird 1 style, **or rotate for a tail landing**.

Have you got any idea how hard that rotation would be?  Transitions (vertical->horizontal flight or vice versa) for VTOL aircraft are *hard* to make work properly/safely even when they're basically a thrust vector change.  This would be something more like a post-stall manoevering "death swoop" - bad idea.  And having both landing rockets and wings has to trash your mass!

Where's your sense of style?  :)

You ignite the rocket in a shallow glide, pull up to a very slow vertical climb, unload the aircraft, and from then on you're a vertical landing rocket (with a largish sail area) using engine gimballing for pitch and yaw.

I probably wouldn't let a human pilot do any of it.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2010 12:11 PM by kkattula »

Offline Jim

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #94 on: 12/22/2010 01:02 PM »
See the problems with the XFY-1.  The transition from horizontal to vertical meant the pilot had to back down to land from 1000's of feet.

Offline kkattula

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #95 on: 12/22/2010 01:23 PM »
See the problems with the XFY-1.  The transition from horizontal to vertical meant the pilot had to back down to land from 1000's of feet.

Yep, I've looked at it before.  Although I expect the throttle response of a big prop or a turbo-jet is much slower than a rocket.

Still, it's definitely not the most efficient landing manoeuvre, unless you do an unpowered pull up before igniting the engine, aka, the Death Swoop.


PS.  Can I just mention my initial rocket landing post was somewhat tongue in cheek? Hence the Thunderbirds reference?

Just challenging the assumption that a spaceplane has to land on a runway, with a little lateral thinking.  IIRC, Big Gemini was a capsule that could land on a runway.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2010 01:24 PM by kkattula »

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #96 on: 12/22/2010 05:03 PM »
Geez, kkattula! - This is a thread about Orbital's CCDev-2 bid. Have some decency and stop polluting the thread with your 'tounge in cheek' posts... Can't you just let it go?

Create a thread in 'advanced concepts' if you must. I suggest you delete your posts from this thread.

Offline Hotdog

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #97 on: 12/24/2010 12:04 AM »
Orbital's press release mentions Northrop Grumman as the lead airframe structures designer. I wonder if that could refer to Scaled Composites as it is now owned by them?

Scaled built the fuselage of the drop test vehicle of the X-38. Interesting blog from Wayne Hale on the cancellation of the X-38:

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=32782

Offline NotGncDude

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #98 on: 12/24/2010 10:30 PM »
No reason Spaceplanes can't have landing rockets too.  Thunderbird 1 style, **or rotate for a tail landing**.

Have you got any idea how hard that rotation would be?  Transitions (vertical->horizontal flight or vice versa) for VTOL aircraft are *hard* to make work properly/safely even when they're basically a thrust vector change.  This would be something more like a post-stall manoevering "death swoop" - bad idea.  And having both landing rockets and wings has to trash your mass!

Not hard at all, I can tell you that. DC-X did it and they didn't have wings to help.

Offline NotGncDude

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #99 on: 12/24/2010 10:30 PM »
No reason Spaceplanes can't have landing rockets too.  Thunderbird 1 style, **or rotate for a tail landing**.

Have you got any idea how hard that rotation would be?  Transitions (vertical->horizontal flight or vice versa) for VTOL aircraft are *hard* to make work properly/safely even when they're basically a thrust vector change.  This would be something more like a post-stall manoevering "death swoop" - bad idea.  And having both landing rockets and wings has to trash your mass!

Not hard at all, I can tell you that. DC-X did it and they didn't have wings to help.

Ok, that's not fair to DC-X. It's a great accomplishment, but it has been done.

Offline NotGncDude

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #100 on: 12/24/2010 10:32 PM »
See the problems with the XFY-1.  The transition from horizontal to vertical meant the pilot had to back down to land from 1000's of feet.

This is true though, you don't want to do this close to the ground. In the end definitely not worth it. At all.

Offline simonbp

Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #101 on: 12/27/2010 06:48 AM »
Orbital's press release mentions Northrop Grumman as the lead airframe structures designer. I wonder if that could refer to Scaled Composites as it is now owned by them?

Maybe for an aerodynamic drop test model made with composites (which could be half-scale or so), but the actual spacecraft would likely use traditional Al/Al-Li construction, which is more of a core competency for Northrup Grumman proper.

So, presumably, the processing flow would be to have pressure vessel, avionics, and aerostructure all manufactured separately, and then integrated. Would seem to make sense for NG to take the pressure vessel and avionics and build the aerostructure around them. Then, ship the near-complete spacecraft to Orbital just for final outfitting, before transferring it to ULA for integration on the launch vehicle.
« Last Edit: 12/27/2010 06:49 AM by simonbp »

Offline butters

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #102 on: 12/27/2010 07:17 AM »
Orbital's press release mentions Northrop Grumman as the lead airframe structures designer. I wonder if that could refer to Scaled Composites as it is now owned by them?

Maybe for an aerodynamic drop test model made with composites (which could be half-scale or so), but the actual spacecraft would likely use traditional Al/Al-Li construction, which is more of a core competency for Northrup Grumman proper.

So, presumably, the processing flow would be to have pressure vessel, avionics, and aerostructure all manufactured separately, and then integrated. Would seem to make sense for NG to take the pressure vessel and avionics and build the aerostructure around them. Then, ship the near-complete spacecraft to Orbital just for final outfitting, before transferring it to ULA for integration on the launch vehicle.

Why do you presume the spacecraft would be aluminum rather than composite?

Also, didn't Northrop Grumman build the B-2 Spirit bombers in composite?

Offline simonbp

Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #103 on: 12/27/2010 11:52 AM »
Why do you presume the spacecraft would be aluminum rather than composite?

Because every other manned spacecraft, either flown or in progress, is of aluminum or Al-Li construction, mostly for reasons of compression strength (the weak point of carbon fibre) and heat tolerance. Plus, the Alenia pressure vessel is known to be aluminum, as it's based on their ISS/Cygnus work. Plus plus, OSC is not company that takes unnecessary technological risks, which is precisely what a composite construction would be.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Orbital/Virgin Galactic's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #104 on: 12/27/2010 02:52 PM »
Why do you presume the spacecraft would be aluminum rather than composite?

Because every other manned spacecraft, either flown or in progress, is of aluminum or Al-Li construction, mostly for reasons of compression strength (the weak point of carbon fibre) and heat tolerance. Plus, the Alenia pressure vessel is known to be aluminum, as it's based on their ISS/Cygnus work. Plus plus, OSC is not company that takes unnecessary technological risks, which is precisely what a composite construction would be.
Aluminum isn't exactly wonderful for heat tolerance. And also, see Blue Origin's work (and Spaceship one and two, though suborbital) under CCDev is for a composite pressure vessel for manned spacecraft.

History might hint at the future, but it does not guarantee it.

EDIT:And actually, your original point is wrong. Space Shuttle's payload bay doors are composite, for instance.
« Last Edit: 12/27/2010 02:56 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #105 on: 12/27/2010 03:20 PM »
IIRC Alenia makes the rear barrel & bonnet of the 787 in Italy so they're not inexperienced with composite airframes.
DM

Online kevin-rf

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #106 on: 12/27/2010 03:44 PM »
IIRC Alenia makes the rear barrel & bonnet of the 787 in Italy so they're not inexperienced with composite airframes.

Though Alenia's workmanship on those particular composite parts for the 787-8 has been a real thorn in Boeing's side. Enough so that Boeing has indicated on the 787-9 they will bring the work back in house.
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Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #107 on: 01/31/2011 10:12 PM »

Offline TexasRED

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #108 on: 01/31/2011 10:42 PM »
Hrmmm...I like.  8)

Prometheus stole fire...what makes fire? Dragons :P

Or maybe the stealing fire from Zues to give to the mortals...spaceflight taken from gods and given to mortals?

Chained to a rock for eternity and get your liver eaten every day? Gravity is the rock? Politics?

I got nothin'.

« Last Edit: 01/31/2011 10:46 PM by TexasRED »

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #109 on: 01/31/2011 11:03 PM »
Like the name. 
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline Lars_J

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #110 on: 01/31/2011 11:21 PM »
Thumbs up for the name!

Offline nooneofconsequence

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #111 on: 01/31/2011 11:59 PM »
 :)
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Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #112 on: 02/01/2011 12:10 AM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw



More interestingly, it has a budget.  $3.5-4B, with a B.  That's got to be a budgetary non-starter.  SNC claims <$1B for comparable approach.  And there are other proposals on the table that are even less, with more capability.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #113 on: 02/01/2011 12:24 AM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw



More interestingly, it has a budget.  $3.5-4B, with a B.  That's got to be a budgetary non-starter.  SNC claims <$1B for comparable approach.  And there are other proposals on the table that are even less, with more capability.

Yeah, saw that too.  But the article also says that's the cost for ugrading the Atlas and a couple of test flights.  Obviously not sure if that means "man-rating" the rocket like planned or something else. 
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Offline manboy

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #114 on: 02/01/2011 12:32 AM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw



More interestingly, it has a budget.  $3.5-4B, with a B.  That's got to be a budgetary non-starter.  SNC claims <$1B for comparable approach.  And there are other proposals on the table that are even less, with more capability.

Yeah, saw that too.  But the article also says that's the cost for ugrading the Atlas and a couple of test flights.  Obviously not sure if that means "man-rating" the rocket like planned or something else. 
I don't think the DreamChaser number includes man-rating Atlas-V.
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Offline Downix

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #115 on: 02/01/2011 12:39 AM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw



More interestingly, it has a budget.  $3.5-4B, with a B.  That's got to be a budgetary non-starter.  SNC claims <$1B for comparable approach.  And there are other proposals on the table that are even less, with more capability.

Yeah, saw that too.  But the article also says that's the cost for ugrading the Atlas and a couple of test flights.  Obviously not sure if that means "man-rating" the rocket like planned or something else. 
I don't think the DreamChaser number includes man-rating Atlas-V.
Atlas V is already man-rated in the 401, 402 and HLV configurations.  This may require man-rating the SRB's for a different Atlas configuration, but that is not an expensive show-stopper.

Dream Chaser also has been under development for longer, and is further along in the program.  So comparing them may not be the same, due to costs sunk into each already.
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Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #116 on: 02/01/2011 12:46 AM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw



More interestingly, it has a budget.  $3.5-4B, with a B.  That's got to be a budgetary non-starter.  SNC claims <$1B for comparable approach.  And there are other proposals on the table that are even less, with more capability.

Yeah, saw that too.  But the article also says that's the cost for ugrading the Atlas and a couple of test flights.  Obviously not sure if that means "man-rating" the rocket like planned or something else. 
I don't think the DreamChaser number includes man-rating Atlas-V.

It certainly would include the cost of adapting the DC to the Atlas 5.  I've argued that "man-rating" is essentially cost free.  While I know ULA would like to get a nice contract from NASA to "man-rate" it's not really necessary. 

No less an authority (yes, my tongue is firmly in my cheek) than Griffin stated this in 2003, in his Congressional testimony.  And I have a ROM quote from ULA from several years ago that quotes a commercial "man-rating" price that's a tiny fraction of a single launch.

And even if one takes ULA's statements at the Augustine panel into account, the "man-rating" process is only a few hundred million, depending on what degree of pad infrastructure one wants to bundle into the calculation.  This still yields at least a 2:1 disparity between SNC and OSC estimates, more if you count the ratio in crew size.

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #117 on: 02/01/2011 02:07 AM »
I agree the "man-rating" arguement is a bit overblown.  It's just needs to be something that allows the vehicles on top to trigger the LAS if necessary. 

That said, during Augustine I believe it was Aerospace that suggested it would take something like seven years (whatever).  I also remember seeing something, somewhere (can't find it now) about this costing something on the order of billions.  Anyone remember that or know where I may have seen it?
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #118 on: 02/01/2011 02:14 AM »
I agree the "man-rating" arguement is a bit overblown.  It's just needs to be something that allows the vehicles on top to trigger the LAS if necessary. 

That said, during Augustine I believe it was Aerospace that suggested it would take something like seven years (whatever).  I also remember seeing something, somewhere (can't find it now) about this costing something on the order of billions.  Anyone remember that or know where I may have seen it?
ULA had 5-6 years and a $1.5 billion program, for the Delta IV.  Augustine had 6-7 years and $1.8 billion for the same. 

In both, the Atlas V was listed as being available immediately and without cost penalty.
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #119 on: 02/01/2011 02:18 AM »
I agree the "man-rating" arguement is a bit overblown.  It's just needs to be something that allows the vehicles on top to trigger the LAS if necessary. 

That said, during Augustine I believe it was Aerospace that suggested it would take something like seven years (whatever).  I also remember seeing something, somewhere (can't find it now) about this costing something on the order of billions.  Anyone remember that or know where I may have seen it?
ULA had 5-6 years and a $1.5 billion program, for the Delta IV.  Augustine had 6-7 years and $1.8 billion for the same. 

In both, the Atlas V was listed as being available immediately and without cost penalty.

That makes no sense.  How do you claim the Atlas V is man-rated but the Delta IV is not?
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #120 on: 02/01/2011 02:34 AM »
I agree the "man-rating" arguement is a bit overblown.  It's just needs to be something that allows the vehicles on top to trigger the LAS if necessary. 

That said, during Augustine I believe it was Aerospace that suggested it would take something like seven years (whatever).  I also remember seeing something, somewhere (can't find it now) about this costing something on the order of billions.  Anyone remember that or know where I may have seen it?
ULA had 5-6 years and a $1.5 billion program, for the Delta IV.  Augustine had 6-7 years and $1.8 billion for the same. 

In both, the Atlas V was listed as being available immediately and without cost penalty.

That makes no sense.  How do you claim the Atlas V is man-rated but the Delta IV is not?
Because both Augustine and ULA have stated it that way, that the Atlas just requires the addition of a sensor suite and computer, while Delta requires design changes to the design.  ULA has listed the sensor package for the Atlas as an option for order.  On the flip side, for Delta, ULA is listing a development plan for $1.5 billion, which adds the necessary changes to the design, redundant valves, piping, sensor systems. 

I am only going by what has been published, and ULA lists the time/cost to produce a manned Atlas as being nothing other than the addition of an extra sensor package at time of order, but listing Delta as requiring extensive and time consuming redesign work in dozens of subsystems. 
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #121 on: 02/01/2011 02:39 AM »
I think you're kind of missing the point I was making.  It's not a big deal.
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #122 on: 02/01/2011 02:50 AM »
I think you're kind of missing the point I was making.  It's not a big deal.
I did miss it.  I just was putting out there what ULA has said, you know?

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #123 on: 02/01/2011 03:48 AM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw



Oh, sounds like someone at OSC is a Stargate SG-1 fan.
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #124 on: 02/01/2011 04:07 AM »
I agree the "man-rating" arguement is a bit overblown.  It's just needs to be something that allows the vehicles on top to trigger the LAS if necessary. 

That said, during Augustine I believe it was Aerospace that suggested it would take something like seven years (whatever).  I also remember seeing something, somewhere (can't find it now) about this costing something on the order of billions.  Anyone remember that or know where I may have seen it?
ULA had 5-6 years and a $1.5 billion program, for the Delta IV.  Augustine had 6-7 years and $1.8 billion for the same. 

In both, the Atlas V was listed as being available immediately and without cost penalty.

Not that this thread is the place to ask, but where did ULA give those numbers, because I don't remember hearing numbers in that range before.  Most of the ULA numbers I had heard were for much lower amounts.

Edit: I stand a little bit corrected.  According to their A-com presentation (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/361835main_08%20-%20ULA%20%201.0_Augustine_Public_6_17_09_final_R1.pdf), and this paper (http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/HumanRatingAtlasVandDeltaIV.pdf), I'm seeing more like 5 years and $1.3B, most of which was pad mods for supporting crews.  The vehicle itself only needed $500M for human rating.  Pad mods and "human rating" for Atlas were about $400M.

~Jon
« Last Edit: 02/01/2011 04:18 AM by jongoff »

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #125 on: 02/01/2011 04:29 AM »
I agree the "man-rating" arguement is a bit overblown.  It's just needs to be something that allows the vehicles on top to trigger the LAS if necessary. 

That said, during Augustine I believe it was Aerospace that suggested it would take something like seven years (whatever).  I also remember seeing something, somewhere (can't find it now) about this costing something on the order of billions.  Anyone remember that or know where I may have seen it?
ULA had 5-6 years and a $1.5 billion program, for the Delta IV.  Augustine had 6-7 years and $1.8 billion for the same. 

In both, the Atlas V was listed as being available immediately and without cost penalty.

Not that this thread is the place to ask, but where did ULA give those numbers, because I don't remember hearing numbers in that range before.  Most of the ULA numbers I had heard were for much lower amounts.

~Jon
A report on the man-rating costs for the EELV's.  I have a copy on my other system. 

Here is the Schedule, however:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/HumanRatingAtlasVandDeltaIV.pdf

You can see that the Atlas is a case of developing the EDS and then ordering the vehicle, with an Atlas V Heavy ready for Orion by year 4.  Delta, however, has a much larger R&D segment, which pushes it's first launch till halfway through Year 5.

A slightly older number reference:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/361835main_08-ULA_1.0_Augustine_Public_6_17_09_final_R1.pdf

if you look at the costs, $800m pad mods, $500m launcher mods, $300m launch cost.  The Delta IV program requires two test flights, so $800 + $500 + $300 + $300 = $1.6 bil.  The extra year in R&D time now vs when Augustine was submitted I'd suspect as a result of the RS-68A being so close to completion.  The time/cost factor would give letting the RS-68A come online be a better option.

Lastly, look at the pad options:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/AtlasDeltaCrewLaunch2010.pdf

The LC39 approach looks to be the best bet for it.
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Offline docmordrid

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #126 on: 02/01/2011 05:43 AM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw

Oh, sounds like someone at OSC is a Stargate SG-1 fan.

That or they're Alien fans. Ridley Scott is making an Alien-universe "prequel" called Prometheus
DM

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #127 on: 02/01/2011 05:06 PM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw

Oh, sounds like someone at OSC is a Stargate SG-1 fan.

That or they're Alien fans. Ridley Scott is making an Alien-universe "prequel" called Prometheus

I think the Ares 1/5 architecture might have been better named "Epimetheus".  That's Prometheus's brother.  Prometheus stole fire from the gods and has his liver pecked out every day and regrown every night according to the greeks.  Prometheus means forethought. 
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #128 on: 02/01/2011 05:36 PM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw



More interestingly, it has a budget.  $3.5-4B, with a B.  That's got to be a budgetary non-starter.  ...

Depends where and how that money is spent.  Congress might well prefer to spend a lot more in the 'right' places. They generally do.

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #129 on: 02/01/2011 05:41 PM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw



More interestingly, it has a budget.  $3.5-4B, with a B.  That's got to be a budgetary non-starter.  ...

Depends where and how that money is spent.  Congress might well prefer to spend a lot more in the 'right' places. They generally do.
Do we know which lift vehicle this is aimed for?  If it is Delta, it could include the $1.5 billion to update the Delta for human flight.
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Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #130 on: 02/01/2011 05:52 PM »
Do we know which lift vehicle this is aimed for?  If it is Delta, it could include the $1.5 billion to update the Delta for human flight.

So far the plan is that all commercial crew vechiles will use Atlas 402. Orion it seems will either use Delta IV or SLS. Which makes me suspect that ULA is aiming for an SLS that is Delta IV derived. Human rating the delta IV is another question.

Offline Hauerg

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #131 on: 02/01/2011 06:17 PM »
The spaceplane has a name: Prometheus

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/01/science/space/01private.html?_r=1&hpw


DOA
Elons pricing idea for the Merlin 2 and the HLV suddenly are looking cheap again.


More interestingly, it has a budget.  $3.5-4B, with a B.  That's got to be a budgetary non-starter.  SNC claims <$1B for comparable approach.  And there are other proposals on the table that are even less, with more capability.

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #132 on: 02/01/2011 06:40 PM »
Wrong. Not about sticker shock but what you get for the money.
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #133 on: 02/01/2011 06:41 PM »
Do we know which lift vehicle this is aimed for?  If it is Delta, it could include the $1.5 billion to update the Delta for human flight.

So far the plan is that all commercial crew vechiles will use Atlas 402. Orion it seems will either use Delta IV or SLS. Which makes me suspect that ULA is aiming for an SLS that is Delta IV derived. Human rating the delta IV is another question.
ULA's pretty clear on what needs to be done for getting the Delta IV ready for human spaceflight.  The USAF's signed off on it, so that eliminates that concern.  It's a case of adding in pieces which an unmanned launcher doesn't need, but a manned would.  Flame mitigation, for instance. (like what happened at SLS-6).  Redundant valves, sensors, metering systems, cutoff systems, etc.  It's a ton of minor tweaks. 
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Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #134 on: 02/01/2011 07:01 PM »
ULA's pretty clear on what needs to be done for getting the Delta IV ready for human spaceflight.  The USAF's signed off on it, so that eliminates that concern.  It's a case of adding in pieces which an unmanned launcher doesn't need, but a manned would.  Flame mitigation, for instance. (like what happened at SLS-6).  Redundant valves, sensors, metering systems, cutoff systems, etc.  It's a ton of minor tweaks. 

I agree but the problem is no commitment to launch anything with people on it.

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #135 on: 02/01/2011 07:22 PM »
Do we know which lift vehicle this is aimed for?  If it is Delta, it could include the $1.5 billion to update the Delta for human flight.

So far the plan is that all commercial crew vechiles will use Atlas 402. Orion it seems will either use Delta IV or SLS. Which makes me suspect that ULA is aiming for an SLS that is Delta IV derived. Human rating the delta IV is another question.
ULA's pretty clear on what needs to be done for getting the Delta IV ready for human spaceflight.  The USAF's signed off on it, so that eliminates that concern.  It's a case of adding in pieces which an unmanned launcher doesn't need, but a manned would.  Flame mitigation, for instance. (like what happened at SLS-6).  Redundant valves, sensors, metering systems, cutoff systems, etc.  It's a ton of minor tweaks. 


These "minor tweaks" cost money, drive schedule, etc.  I think you will find many asking (and I believe HMX was also alluding to this) that why can we place multi-billion dollar sats and probes but not people?  It does not make logical sense in today's world of technical capability and experience.

I know better than many on here the commitment, dedication and attention to detail required consistently if launching a crew into space.  Yet there comes a point when you have to ask if we're at the wall of diminishing returns and, for a lack of a better phrase, is "good enough, good enough" right now?

Obviously some mods will be required, such as some sort of system that allows the actual spacecraft to monitor key launch vehicle parameters to trigger the LAS if necessary and an ability to actually get the crew in the ship. 

The majority of the rest, and the likely paper work requirement of traceability all the way to the ore being removed from the ground, I don't believe is necessary in large part. 

« Last Edit: 02/01/2011 07:23 PM by OV-106 »
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #136 on: 02/01/2011 07:23 PM »
ULA's pretty clear on what needs to be done for getting the Delta IV ready for human spaceflight.  The USAF's signed off on it, so that eliminates that concern.  It's a case of adding in pieces which an unmanned launcher doesn't need, but a manned would.  Flame mitigation, for instance. (like what happened at SLS-6).  Redundant valves, sensors, metering systems, cutoff systems, etc.  It's a ton of minor tweaks. 

I agree but the problem is no commitment to launch anything with people on it.
Exactly, until there is a commitment, why waste money doing it? 
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #137 on: 02/01/2011 07:26 PM »
ULA's pretty clear on what needs to be done for getting the Delta IV ready for human spaceflight.  The USAF's signed off on it, so that eliminates that concern.  It's a case of adding in pieces which an unmanned launcher doesn't need, but a manned would.  Flame mitigation, for instance. (like what happened at SLS-6).  Redundant valves, sensors, metering systems, cutoff systems, etc.  It's a ton of minor tweaks. 

I agree but the problem is no commitment to launch anything with people on it.
Exactly, until there is a commitment, why waste money doing it? 

I bet if you didn't have to do it to the detail you are suggesting a lot of people hoping to play in "commerical space" would feel a lot better about their business case.  That's likely to have an impact right there. 
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Offline pathfinder_01

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #138 on: 02/01/2011 09:22 PM »

These "minor tweaks" cost money, drive schedule, etc.  I think you will find many asking (and I believe HMX was also alluding to this) that why can we place multi-billion dollar sats and probes but not people?  It does not make logical sense in today's world of technical capability and experience.

I know better than many on here the commitment, dedication and attention to detail required consistently if launching a crew into space.  Yet there comes a point when you have to ask if we're at the wall of diminishing returns and, for a lack of a better phrase, is "good enough, good enough" right now?

Obviously some mods will be required, such as some sort of system that allows the actual spacecraft to monitor key launch vehicle parameters to trigger the LAS if necessary and an ability to actually get the crew in the ship. 

The majority of the rest, and the likely paper work requirement of traceability all the way to the ore being removed from the ground, I don't believe is necessary in large part. 



OV106, I suspect ULA started angling to get crew launches the moment Ares-1 was clearing going down in flames if not before. ULA knows what needs to be done and with the CCDEV money given last round is producing an EDS system. It might take a year or so longer than ULA thinks it might happen but trust me it will happen faster than NASA could.

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #139 on: 02/01/2011 09:40 PM »
Do we know which lift vehicle this is aimed for?  If it is Delta, it could include the $1.5 billion to update the Delta for human flight.

So far the plan is that all commercial crew vechiles will use Atlas 402. Orion it seems will either use Delta IV or SLS. Which makes me suspect that ULA is aiming for an SLS that is Delta IV derived. Human rating the delta IV is another question.
ULA's pretty clear on what needs to be done for getting the Delta IV ready for human spaceflight.  The USAF's signed off on it, so that eliminates that concern.  It's a case of adding in pieces which an unmanned launcher doesn't need, but a manned would.  Flame mitigation, for instance. (like what happened at SLS-6).  Redundant valves, sensors, metering systems, cutoff systems, etc.  It's a ton of minor tweaks. 


These "minor tweaks" cost money, drive schedule, etc.  I think you will find many asking (and I believe HMX was also alluding to this) that why can we place multi-billion dollar sats and probes but not people?  It does not make logical sense in today's world of technical capability and experience.

I know better than many on here the commitment, dedication and attention to detail required consistently if launching a crew into space.  Yet there comes a point when you have to ask if we're at the wall of diminishing returns and, for a lack of a better phrase, is "good enough, good enough" right now?

Obviously some mods will be required, such as some sort of system that allows the actual spacecraft to monitor key launch vehicle parameters to trigger the LAS if necessary and an ability to actually get the crew in the ship. 

The majority of the rest, and the likely paper work requirement of traceability all the way to the ore being removed from the ground, I don't believe is necessary in large part. 

I wholeheartedly agree with what OV-106 had to say here (and what Griffin said back before he was NASA Admin). 

I probably don't need to add anything to what you said OV, but I can't resist.

While there may be some well-meaning elements that honestly think that all these "tweaks" will make a vehicle the NRO thinks is good enough for $1B spy sats "safer", and while I'm sure ULA wouldn't mind getting paid $1.5B to make all those tweaks and get paid to do some flight tests...that money would be better spent elsewhere than in the pursuit of what may be illusory safety gains.  Especially with how few times Orion is likely to fly on DIV-H.

~Jon

Offline robertross

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #140 on: 02/01/2011 10:27 PM »

While there may be some well-meaning elements that honestly think that all these "tweaks" will make a vehicle the NRO thinks is good enough for $1B spy sats "safer", and while I'm sure ULA wouldn't mind getting paid $1.5B to make all those tweaks and get paid to do some flight tests...that money would be better spent elsewhere than in the pursuit of what may be illusory safety gains.  Especially with how few times Orion is likely to fly on DIV-H.

~Jon

I know this is totally off-topic, and I've touched on it in the past, but when I think of the studies done to evaluate whether or which of the EELVs would capable of (or best at) lifting an Orion (or any other 'crewed' capsule), if there was an investment done way back when, even before CxP, we may not even have been looking at a 'human rated' HLV now, let alone Orbital's proposal.

Yes, it would have involved a risk of capital, but the payoff could have been immense. Hindsight 20:20? Perhaps, but the boards of either LM or Boeing should have realized what would happen if NASA got involved with designing their own launch vehicle, and they could have been well positioned.
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Offline Malderi

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #141 on: 02/03/2011 03:11 AM »
On the cost subject, keep in mind who we're talking about here. Orbital is a well-established systems integrator and satellite/launch vehicle provider. While I personally doubt anyone's cost numbers for a project of this size, complexity, and newness, I would tend to trust OSC's numbers more than Sierra Nevada's. I know SN's been around the block a few times themselves, so that's not a knock against them really, but more that OSC probably has a bit more data behind their cost models, maybe higher reserves, etc.

Do we know if OSC's cost for Prometheus is a total cost, or just cost-to-NASA? My understanding is that CCDev required matching funds. In which case, a $3B estimate means only $1.5B from NASA, which is probably more feasible, although still higher than others.

Offline TexasRED

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #142 on: 02/03/2011 03:42 AM »
On the cost subject, keep in mind who we're talking about here. Orbital is a well-established systems integrator and satellite/launch vehicle provider. While I personally doubt anyone's cost numbers for a project of this size, complexity, and newness, I would tend to trust OSC's numbers more than Sierra Nevada's. I know SN's been around the block a few times themselves, so that's not a knock against them really, but more that OSC probably has a bit more data behind their cost models, maybe higher reserves, etc.

Do we know if OSC's cost for Prometheus is a total cost, or just cost-to-NASA? My understanding is that CCDev required matching funds. In which case, a $3B estimate means only $1.5B from NASA, which is probably more feasible, although still higher than others.

Yep, totally agree with this. They were also "not as quite as optimistic" even back during the hearings.  I see them as a bit more reserved in general, and I respect that. 

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #143 on: 02/03/2011 04:30 AM »
On the cost subject, keep in mind who we're talking about here. Orbital is a well-established systems integrator and satellite/launch vehicle provider. While I personally doubt anyone's cost numbers for a project of this size, complexity, and newness, I would tend to trust OSC's numbers more than Sierra Nevada's. I know SN's been around the block a few times themselves, so that's not a knock against them really, but more that OSC probably has a bit more data behind their cost models, maybe higher reserves, etc.

Do we know if OSC's cost for Prometheus is a total cost, or just cost-to-NASA? My understanding is that CCDev required matching funds. In which case, a $3B estimate means only $1.5B from NASA, which is probably more feasible, although still higher than others.

CCDEV (1 or 2) did not require matching funds.  Neither did COTS.

Offline Malderi

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #144 on: 02/03/2011 05:58 AM »
Huh, I could swear I remembered reading about that, but thank you for that correction. In that case, the chances of NASA giving $3-4B to OSC is very low, since that will be roughly the total funding of the entire CCDev program, and NASA wants more than one provider.

Is it possible OSC would be willing the take the rather massive risk of subsidizing a large portion of the development themselves, essentially only asking NASA for some percentage of the development cost? It seems to me, though, that it would take at least a $1B buy-in (or more!) from OSC to make the price palatable to NASA. For comparison, public data says that their entire 2007 revenue was around $1B, so I consider that extremely unlikely.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #145 on: 02/04/2011 03:51 AM »
Huh, I could swear I remembered reading about that, but thank you for that correction. In that case, the chances of NASA giving $3-4B to OSC is very low, since that will be roughly the total funding of the entire CCDev program, and NASA wants more than one provider.

Is it possible OSC would be willing the take the rather massive risk of subsidizing a large portion of the development themselves, essentially only asking NASA for some percentage of the development cost? It seems to me, though, that it would take at least a $1B buy-in (or more!) from OSC to make the price palatable to NASA. For comparison, public data says that their entire 2007 revenue was around $1B, so I consider that extremely unlikely.

The House was considering adding this as a requirement but their bill didn't pass. As far as COTS is concerned, NASA did ask that the commercial companies put skin in the game. But it wasn't clear ho much of their skin, they had to put.

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #146 on: 02/04/2011 06:04 AM »
Huh, I could swear I remembered reading about that, but thank you for that correction. In that case, the chances of NASA giving $3-4B to OSC is very low, since that will be roughly the total funding of the entire CCDev program, and NASA wants more than one provider.

Is it possible OSC would be willing the take the rather massive risk of subsidizing a large portion of the development themselves, essentially only asking NASA for some percentage of the development cost? It seems to me, though, that it would take at least a $1B buy-in (or more!) from OSC to make the price palatable to NASA. For comparison, public data says that their entire 2007 revenue was around $1B, so I consider that extremely unlikely.

Extremely unlikely indeed.  Quoting the recent NYT article:

"Its space plane design is a refinement of the HL-20. Following in the pattern of tapping Greek mythology for the names of its spacecraft, Orbital calls its plane Prometheus. Orbital says development of Prometheus would cost $3.5 billion to $4 billion, which would include the cost of upgrading the Atlas V rocket and two test flights.

With enough financial support, David W. Thompson, chief executive of Orbital, is sure that his company can build and operate Prometheus. But he is less sure that his industry is at a tipping point for spaceflight to become much more common, driving down prices and opening up space to new businesses.

ďI think it depends on what the demand curve really is,Ē Mr. Thompson said. ďI would say Iím highly skeptical.Ē "

Offline HMXHMX

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #147 on: 02/04/2011 06:08 AM »
Huh, I could swear I remembered reading about that, but thank you for that correction. In that case, the chances of NASA giving $3-4B to OSC is very low, since that will be roughly the total funding of the entire CCDev program, and NASA wants more than one provider.

Is it possible OSC would be willing the take the rather massive risk of subsidizing a large portion of the development themselves, essentially only asking NASA for some percentage of the development cost? It seems to me, though, that it would take at least a $1B buy-in (or more!) from OSC to make the price palatable to NASA. For comparison, public data says that their entire 2007 revenue was around $1B, so I consider that extremely unlikely.

The House was considering adding this as a requirement but their bill didn't pass. As far as COTS is concerned, NASA did ask that the commercial companies put skin in the game. But it wasn't clear ho much of their skin, they had to put.


Exactly.  The operative word in my post above is "matching."  There was no requirement for matching funds.  COTS has a "skin" requirement.  CCDEV1 had one as well.  CCDEV2 was more ambiguous.  I read it as requiring the contractor to complete all proposed work with the funds NASA made available or supplement with contractor dollars.  Others have interpreted the RFP differently.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #148 on: 02/04/2011 07:32 AM »
I agree the "man-rating" arguement is a bit overblown.  It's just needs to be something that allows the vehicles on top to trigger the LAS if necessary. 

That said, during Augustine I believe it was Aerospace that suggested it would take something like seven years (whatever).  I also remember seeing something, somewhere (can't find it now) about this costing something on the order of billions.  Anyone remember that or know where I may have seen it?

I think some of the so called manrating requirements was just baloney just to keep the EELVs from being a viable alternative to Ares.
If either Atlas V or Delta IV had an emergency detection system both vehicles probably would have much higher safety margins then Soyuz and Long March 2F.
« Last Edit: 02/04/2011 07:35 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Downix

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #149 on: 02/04/2011 07:38 AM »
I agree the "man-rating" arguement is a bit overblown.  It's just needs to be something that allows the vehicles on top to trigger the LAS if necessary. 

That said, during Augustine I believe it was Aerospace that suggested it would take something like seven years (whatever).  I also remember seeing something, somewhere (can't find it now) about this costing something on the order of billions.  Anyone remember that or know where I may have seen it?

I think some of the so called manrating requirements was just baloney just to keep the EELVs from being a viable alternative to Ares.
If either Atlas V or Delta IV had an emergency detection system both vehicles probably would have much higher safety margins then Soyuz and Long March 2F.

Atlas V has that as an option upon order.  Delta IV requires more work due to the design lacking key redundancies.  not a show stopper, but it does require more work.
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Online hop

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #150 on: 02/04/2011 04:30 PM »
If either Atlas V or Delta IV had an emergency detection system both vehicles probably would have much higher safety margins then Soyuz and Long March 2F.
Probably ? Based on what ?

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #151 on: 02/08/2011 05:55 PM »
If either Atlas V or Delta IV had an emergency detection system both vehicles probably would have much higher safety margins then Soyuz and Long March 2F.
Probably ? Based on what ?
I would guess Patchouli is basing that off of the fact that both Atlas V nor Delta IV had only a single "partial failure" each, out of 23 and 15 launches, respectively (i.e. orbit was attained, but not intended orbit), while Soyuz-U (most commonly launched Soyuz variant) has had 19 failures out of 727 launches and Long March 2E (the unmanned version of Long March 2F) has had 2 failures out of 7 launches (and one failure lead to many deaths).

I don't know if the EELVs can be considered superior to Soyuz (as far as reliability), but it does seem reasonable to say they are better than Long March 2E.
« Last Edit: 02/08/2011 06:16 PM by Robotbeat »
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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #152 on: 02/08/2011 06:12 PM »
I don't know if the EELVs can be considered superior to Soyuz is

In the sense of demonstrated track record, they have a long way to go to match that, but on paper they cut down the number of propulsion units and staging events down to the practical minimum. Quality control will rule the stats.

Offline Malderi

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #153 on: 04/18/2011 08:23 PM »
Reporting (unofficially) in CCDev-2 announcement thread that Orbital did not win a CCDev award for Prometheus.

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #154 on: 04/18/2011 08:27 PM »
It's not unofficial anymore.

Offline Space Lizard

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #155 on: 04/19/2011 01:30 PM »
Any explanation why?
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Offline Downix

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #156 on: 04/19/2011 01:33 PM »
Any explanation why?
Here's the breakdown.  My guess is that SNC made a better business case, and in this industry, that means a lot.
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Offline MikeAtkinson

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #157 on: 04/19/2011 01:33 PM »
Any explanation why?

Looks like they had an overly optimistic schedule.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #158 on: 04/19/2011 01:56 PM »
Any explanation why?
Here's the breakdown.  My guess is that SNC made a better business case, and in this industry, that means a lot.

Yes. That's exactly what the selection statement says.

Offline AnalogMan

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #159 on: 04/19/2011 02:18 PM »
Any explanation why?
Notes in addition to the above comments:

With Boeing and SpaceX getting the highest rankings, they were quickly selected to be part of the CCDev-2 portfolio.  Both proposed capsules, and with emphasis on diversity it was considered important to include at least one lifting body concept in the portfolio.

This is what the Selection Statement said about the SNC and OSC proposals:

"Both Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and Orbital Sciences Corporation proposed lifting bodies and both were highly rated in terms of their overall color ratings and strengths/weaknesses. However, SNC scored higher in business considerations and demonstrated a strong commitment to the public-private partnership associated with the Commercial Crew Program. Also, SNCís proposal showed more advancement in their CTS concept by reaching an approximately PDR level of maturity at the end of CCDev 2 compared to an SDR level for Orbital Sciences. In addition, SNCís overall CTS concept included a seven crew seat configuration (as opposed to four for Orbital Sciences) which provides flexibility for optimizing crew and cargo up-mass and down- mass by accommodating two to seven crew members and the capability to trade out crew for cargo, increasing confidence in the effectiveness of the technical approach of SNCís CTS concept. Also, Orbitalís proposal featured an Atlas V variant that is one of the more robust Atlas V configurations, limiting the growth potential of the spacecraft. SNCís proposal featured a more modest Atlas V variant allowing for more mass growth, increasing the likelihood of being able to successfully develop their CTS concept.

The SNC proposal had a significant weakness in its abort system risk. There remained significant concern on the part of the PEP with respect to the development of appropriate launch abort systems requirements and launch abort system capabilities. Also, SNC did not appear to adequately recognize the importance NASA placed on this risk. However, I felt this risk could be addressed during the development, and given the advantages associated with the SNC proposal cited above, I more highly rated the SNC proposal than the Orbital Sciences proposal.

However, I felt that the proposed baseline level of investment in SNCís concept at this stage was not the most effective use of the limited funding available for the CCDev 2 effort. As each of the participants in due diligence was requested to do, SNC proposed alternate, prioritized milestones that featured a reduced government investment and maintained significant acceleration of their CTS concept. Thus, I selected this option for award."


http://procurement.ksc.nasa.gov/documents/SelectionStatement-Final_Signed.pdf

Having selected one lifting body concept it seems that OSC did not  figure in the competition for the final place with the remaining  participants.

[Apologies for the long post]

Offline bolun

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #160 on: 04/22/2011 02:51 PM »
Conference call with financial analysts, Orbital Chief Executive David W. Thompson.

http://www.spacenews.com/launch/110421-orbital-launch-failure-review-nears-conclusion.html

Quote
.... Orbitalís losing bid for work on NASAís Commercial Crew Development 2 program, which is intended to nurture commercially operated astronaut-transport systems, will likely lead the company to shut down those operations unless some other opportunity arises.

Offline Downix

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #161 on: 07/05/2011 08:01 PM »
A bit of a surprise in a small segment of Charlie Bolton's online chat today.  In response to one question about the return to Capsules, he included this small bit:

"We expect that for low Earth orbit operations such as transportation to the ISS, at least two of the prospective competitors, Orbital Sciences and Sierra Nevada, have proposed winged vehicles for their designs."

perhaps Promethius is not as dead as I'd thought.
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Offline Jason1701

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #162 on: 07/05/2011 09:31 PM »
A bit of a surprise in a small segment of Charlie Bolton's online chat today.  In response to one question about the return to Capsules, he included this small bit:

"We expect that for low Earth orbit operations such as transportation to the ISS, at least two of the prospective competitors, Orbital Sciences and Sierra Nevada, have proposed winged vehicles for their designs."

perhaps Promethius is not as dead as I'd thought.

Well, Orbital will be able to compete with Prometheus in next year's contest. They're still prospective competitors. I don't see how the quote changes anything we knew.

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #163 on: 07/05/2011 11:06 PM »
A bit of a surprise in a small segment of Charlie Bolton's online chat today.  In response to one question about the return to Capsules, he included this small bit:

"We expect that for low Earth orbit operations such as transportation to the ISS, at least two of the prospective competitors, Orbital Sciences and Sierra Nevada, have proposed winged vehicles for their designs."

perhaps Prometheus is not as dead as I'd thought.

Kind of a similar situation to COTS and CRS.  Planetspace lost the second COTS program but still submitted their design for CRS consideration.  So if Orbital wants to their is not a reason Prometheus would be excluded fromm consideration for CCDev 3/4 and the commercial crew contracts (although their competitors will still have significant advantage with the design maturity offered from previous CCDev projects)

The real question is whether Orbital will modify the Prometheus proposal, throw it out and start again, or forgo offering anything at all (put the order in most likely to happen)
« Last Edit: 07/05/2011 11:07 PM by Ronsmytheiii »
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Offline simonbp

Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #164 on: 07/07/2011 08:24 PM »
Or, for that matter, recall that SpaceX was excluded from CCDEV-1, and Orbital from COTS-1, despite both later receiving funding from those programs.

The selection statement for CRS-2 stated that Prometheus was a better design than DreamChaser, but that SNC had a better business case. Both designs will improve by the time of CRS-3, so it will really be down to (another) non-technical decision...


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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #165 on: 08/17/2011 06:59 PM »
Thinking about the orbital proposal, and think I might have a different idea.  Rather than going with a new space plane design, how about a Cygnus propulsion bus with a TKS capsule on an Atlas V?  Would be more simple as a capsule, and the Cygnus bus and TKS will have already flown. 
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Offline peter-b

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #166 on: 08/17/2011 07:03 PM »
The selection statement for CRS-2 stated that Prometheus was a better design than DreamChaser, but that SNC had a better business case. Both designs will improve by the time of CRS-3, so it will really be down to (another) non-technical decision...
The business case is a really important part of CCDev as far as I can tell. Funds allocated to CCDev are in short supply, and NASA want to make sure that the maximum benefit is obtained from them, both in the short and long term. Investing in a project that displays only technical excellence, only for the company to go bankrupt and for the capability to be abandoned, would not be responsible.  :)
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Offline simonbp

Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #167 on: 08/17/2011 07:51 PM »
Investing in a project that displays only technical excellence, only for the company to go bankrupt and for the capability to be abandoned, would not be responsible.  :)

True, but OSC is not about to go bankrupt, and can point to a much longer record of on-budget complex projects (as opposed to SNC, which has only ever done subcomponents). I've gotta think it was deeper than that...

Offline peter-b

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Re: Orbital's lifting-body CCDev-2 bid
« Reply #168 on: 08/17/2011 09:15 PM »
Investing in a project that displays only technical excellence, only for the company to go bankrupt and for the capability to be abandoned, would not be responsible.  :)

True, but OSC is not about to go bankrupt, and can point to a much longer record of on-budget complex projects (as opposed to SNC, which has only ever done subcomponents). I've gotta think it was deeper than that...
I was giving an extreme example of why business case was an important consideration. If the business case for a project fails, in the commercial world that project will be abandoned, no matter how technically capable or interesting it is.
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