Author Topic: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?  (Read 66014 times)

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #200 on: 01/21/2013 02:15 PM »
Ed have you looked at the results of the Ares-IX launch? In spite of the transition section being nearly 3x the thickness of design reference it buckled under aerodynamic load.

The SRB casing buckled when it hit the water hard after the parachute failed, but I've never seen or heard any mention of problems with the interstage.  It looks good in the images and movies I've seen.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 01/21/2013 02:16 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #201 on: 01/31/2013 05:06 PM »
Ares 1 - even with the mass of thrust oscillation reduction equipment - might have come close to the promised L.E.O. payload performance if the first stage had been made expendable by deleting the not-insignificant mass of recovery systems and if the J-2X had been redesigned for much more thrust quite early on in its development phase.

For example; getting P&W/R to bring the engine's thrust up to 350k from the 294k design goal.

Could we turn this thread off?  We've talked about this for seven years.  Everybody seems to "know" what killed Ares I, but they're wrong.

 - Ed Kyle

I'd forgotten all about this thread that I started.

If they don't get out of control with bickering, I think threads like this give people an outlet for things that are otherwise rolling around their head.  Sometimes ideas you thought seemed like the -obvioius- answer, are shown to not have worked.  And thus we get better educated over all. 

I think there is merit to the 1.5 launch architechture, especially betofe commercial cargo and crew when NASA's new capsule would be hauling cargo and crews to the ISS, as well as whatever BLEO architecture is chosen.  Even a J-120/130 is a little overkill for routine ISS support, and if new module needs brought up, that’s what you have your HLV for.  For that occasional need.
So making a “0.5” launcher from the booster of the HLV is a pretty good idea really. 

However, when you are building a brand new HLV with brand new boosters, and then the MLV booster really isn’t even the exact booster used by the HLV, and your MLV upper stage is a brand new engine, etc, etc….that’s about the most horribly inefficient way possible to try to implement it.

Instead, if they’d decided to utilize existing assets in the EELV program used for other government launches as your HLV boosters and MLV first stage, now you are introducing triple commonality, instead of 3 different boosters for MLV, HLV, and EELV.  Atlas V could have been that triple common booster.  Two pairs of them (as a base) on a ET-sized inline core with two RS-68’s, with the core designed to take up to 8 of them so the mission can be scaled.  It’s upper stage is RL-10 powered and only used as the final bit of the ascent, and as an EDS (Block 1B upper stage).  For the MLV, either Orion is scaled back some and launched on an Atlas V-552, or AVH is developed, or NASA/USAF pay to have ULA develop ACES/WBC.  That on an Atlas-552 would give D4H performance (according to Jim), as well as giving ULA a common upper stage for the EELV line, which they’ve been kicking around for awhile.   

So yea, basically AJAX + AV-552 with either a smaller Orion or 5m common EELV upper stage.  How much faster/cheaper would that have been to develop?

If that had been minted as CxP after ESAS, how quickly could Orion have been flying on AV-552?  Even with the heavy Orion, the SM wouldn’t need much propellant to get to the ISS and back, so it could have been short-filled like Apollo launching on Saturn 1B.  So, just the Atlas V core and Centaur US and Atlas SRB’s would need to be man-rated, to get NASA flying to the ISS by the time the Shuttle was retired.  WBC/ACES could have been added later and only needed by the time the first lunar mission was to fly so it could loft a fully loaded Orion SM.  Centaur already exists, and so the new A1US never needs developed, and thus J2X never needs developed.  (or the 5-seg booster)
After Orion with short-filled SM is flying to ISS on Atlas-552, Then AJAX and AJAX upper stage (we’ll call it AUS) are developed in earnest, followed by a lunar lander after they are flying.

A1US, J2X, and 5-seg booster are never developed, so no money spent on them.
The Atlas V core and upper stage are already flying, so there’s no money spent trying to get a solid first stage flying, just man-rating it, which I would assume is no more money than trying to figure out how to make a 5-seg booster fly as a first stage.
RS-25 can be retired, and RS-68 shared with EELV’s (and perhaps NASA works with USAF to upgrade it to RS-68A, and maybe RS-68R across the line for better AJAX performance) 
WBC/ACES is developed over time. No rush, it’s not needed until the first lunar mission. 

Seems like a very affordable, sustainable, and doable 1.5 architecture to me.  Atlas-552 with WBC/ACES would be around 23mt to LEO, and I believe per Downix, AJAX would 8 Atlas cores could loft about 130mt to LEO.  Although back in 2005, there was no NAA2010 to mandate 130mt to LEO, still, that version of AJAX along with AV-552/ACES would get north of 150mt to LEO.   Which I think would have met the goals they’d originally hoped for with Ares V and Ares 1?
Plus AJAX can fly with only four Atlas boosters for a medium-heavy lift version.  Which would be great for robotic flagship exploration missions and replacement modules for the ISS if necessary, or other medium-heavy payloads like a large space telescope, without having to launch it in it’s fully heaviest configuration every time if the mission doesn’t need it.

Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #202 on: 01/31/2013 05:18 PM »
As a side note, if there were some reason ULA would want to have scrapped it’s two EELV’s, and went with Ares 1 as a common EELV launcher for all government payloads…then 1.5 with SRB’s probably would have worked fairly well.

Perhaps instead of a 5-seg booster, with the big A1US needing an air-startable SSME or a new J2X, if they developed a 1-seg 2nd stage about of a booster segments.  Sort of like a big Castor 120 or 30XL.  That would give that high-thrust after SRB separation, and thus not needing that high thrust liquid engine right there.  A 1-segment 2nd stage poured for about 300-400klbs thrust.  The Castor 120 is 300Klbs, so making a 1-seg stage to do that shouldn’t be a problem.
Then put an RL-10 powered 3rd stage on it, like an existing DCSS, Centaur, or other common upper stage.  An viola, you have an EELV that should be able to cover the entire current EELV line
The stack wouldn’t be any taller, as a DCSS would be shorter than the A1US, to make up for the 1-seg 2nd stage. 
And, a smaller version could be developed using a 5-1 seg booster, or a 5-2 seg booster, with the 1-seg 2nds tage and DCSS on top for smaller government payloads.

Ed’s “American Araine 6” concept, of EELV made from various segmented solid booster combinations, then that would have probably worked out ok too, again with the triple common components.  Although I think my concept would be more “common” with the HLV boosters than strapping smaller boosters together in parallel.

However…that would all sort of be reinventing the wheel, where there were already liquid EELV’s flying that could have been used for the MLV and HLV, rather than the other way around.  So that seems like by far the more common sense and obvious way to go.  There are already rockets flying safely…why pay a bunch of money to develop a brand new one to put your crew on? (Ares 1).
Ares V is a new LV regardless of if it’s using SRB’s or EELV-CCB’s for LRB’s.  Designing and building AJAX would be no more difficult or costly than Ares V or SLS.  A J-120 might have been a little cheaper than AJAX as it was more common to the Shuttle stack, but the somewhat extra money for AJAX would have been worth the investment in using boosters common to the MLV and EELV’s. 
« Last Edit: 01/31/2013 05:30 PM by Lobo »

Offline spectre9

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #203 on: 01/31/2013 08:15 PM »
NASA wants Orion to weigh so much that only they can launch it.

This is still true today  ::)

Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #204 on: 02/02/2013 06:45 AM »
NASA wants Orion to weigh so much that only they can launch it.

This is still true today  ::)

I'm not sure NASA would -want- to intentionally make Orion so heavy no one else could launch it.  Probably more like it became too heavy to accomodate various political forces in NASA.  Also with NASA wanting to still with a more "conservative" approach of an Apollo Redux rather than trying to be a little creative like SpaceX and Boeing are.
I don't think there's a reason the Orion SM couldn't be a pusher LAS as well.  Then the 0.5 crew launcher wouldn't have to lift the SM's TEI propellant plus the LAS propellant/tower.  And after they abandon the SSME as the 2nd stage, things really started going sideways.  Orion without the LAS would have saved about 7mt liftoff mass.   the SM propellant mass (not the ATV one, the old design) has about 8mt of propellant, and the LAS tower masses a little over 7mt I think.  By having your SM propellant as the LAS propellant, that same mass does double duty.  if it's not used for an abort, then it's used for the TEI burn and maneuvering during the mission.

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/617408main_fs_2011-12-058-jsc_orion_quickfacts.pdf

That's one way the Orion CSM could have been trimmed down. It would require a new engine be designed and built (unless there's an existing one that could do it?) But SpaceX designed the superdraco in a reasonable amount of time, so I'm sure one could be had.
Make them deep throttling hypergolic like superdraco.  They can do full throttle for abort, and throttled back for main propulsion. 

That would trim the Orion CSM down to around 22mt or less depending on the mass of the engines.
That puts it in the range of D4H, or Atlas-552 with WBC/ACES.
If another 1.5mt was trimmed off of it, Then normal Atlas-552 could have been the crew launcher.

So, I think the mass of Orion was more the result of too conservative and traditional thinking, rather than creative thinking using advances in tech since Apollo.  They were going for the "brute force" method, rather thinking a little outside the box.
The same goes for Altair.  They went with a big LEM Redux rather than with a crasher stage (using an existing EELV stage), or horizontal lander using EELV upper stage tech (DTAL), etc.

So not too surprising they just made Orion a BFA (Big F**king Apollo).

;-)



Offline Proponent

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #205 on: 02/02/2013 10:08 AM »
I do not think low-altitude abort with the SM would be practical:  the mass to be accelerated would be huge.  Dragon can do it, because the abort engines and propellant are contained within Dragon itself, not within something akin to an SM.

Offline tnphysics

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #206 on: 02/02/2013 08:07 PM »
Dragon does not have an SM - the entire vehicle (except for the trunk) lands and, in later versions, will be reused.

Offline spectre9

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #207 on: 02/03/2013 12:32 AM »
If 3 people could go to the moon in an Apollo sized capsule 40 years ago I'm not sure why things are different now.

The laws of physics didn't change. The politics of NASA did.

Who cares how big the SM is. The whole thing is bloated.

The shape was fine and so was the SIZE. I still haven't seen any rationalisation for needing a capsule of Orion's diameter.

Either cancel MPCV or allow commercial providers to launch it to LEO.

Delta IV only needs a few SRBs.

Changing to a pusher abort would change the whole design. It would be extremely costly to move the load bearing segments of the structure to the aft.

I really think BFA (I like that  ;D ) is doomed when commercial companies start showing off their non-bloated capsule designs.

Dragon does not have an SM - the entire vehicle (except for the trunk) lands and, in later versions, will be reused.

The Dragon SM is squeezed into the bottom below the pressure vessel and above the heat shield. That's where the Draco nozzles are and there's also a compartment for the parachutes.

Fitting all that into a manned version with the extra stuff needed for the LAS is only theory at this point. I have doubts that it will become an engineering reality but we'll see how SpaceX goes, it's gonna be a tight squeeze with nozzles ringing the whole capsule.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #208 on: 02/03/2013 04:26 AM »
If 3 people could go to the moon in an Apollo sized capsule 40 years ago I'm not sure why things are different now.

Bigger is better, in America :)

The argument from the Constellation days is that they were planning longer duration missions than Apollo, so you needed more space. Whether or not you considered this a retroactive justification for a decision already made depended upon your default level of cynicism.
When someone is wishing for a pony, there's little to be gained by suggesting a unicorn would be ever better.. ya know, unless it's sarcasm.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #209 on: 02/03/2013 05:24 AM »
If 3 people could go to the moon in an Apollo sized capsule 40 years ago I'm not sure why things are different now.

The laws of physics didn't change. The politics of NASA did.

Who cares how big the SM is. The whole thing is bloated. tight squeeze with nozzles ringing the whole capsule.
NASA, and Orion, aren't going to the Moon.  That's not the mission.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #210 on: 02/03/2013 05:37 AM »
NASA, and Orion, aren't going to the Moon.  That's not the mission.

It was when Orion was designed.

When someone is wishing for a pony, there's little to be gained by suggesting a unicorn would be ever better.. ya know, unless it's sarcasm.

Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #211 on: 02/03/2013 05:38 AM »
If 3 people could go to the moon in an Apollo sized capsule 40 years ago I'm not sure why things are different now.

The laws of physics didn't change. The politics of NASA did.

Who cares how big the SM is. The whole thing is bloated.

The shape was fine and so was the SIZE. I still haven't seen any rationalisation for needing a capsule of Orion's diameter.


Apollo was a fine size, if you only wanted to launch 3 astronauts maxiumu, period.

However, Orion as originally envisioned as I understand, was to have a LEO taxi to the ISS to hold 7 people, and then a long duration BLEO mission of 4 people.  An Apollo sized capsule couldn't do that.

CST-100 is based on Boeing initial design for the Orion competition, and is very similar in size to Orion.  It's lighter, but not hugely lighter than the Orion CM.  like 2mt or something lighter?  And a lot of that are things that relate to the long duration BLEO missions Orion will be doing that CST-100 will not.  (as it was redesigned after Boeing's Orion concept was not chosen for CxP) 
The Orion CM vs. CST-100 or Dragon or Apollo CM is only a few mt heavier.  it's the service module that's around 13mt fully fueled, with a 7mt LAS tower.
The CM is not that big mass drag.  And in fact, the Apollo CSM was about 8mt heavier than Orion CSM.  Obviously because of the larger propellant load.

Dragon and CST-100 don't need to keep a crew alive for a long time, and they don't need to perform a TEI burn.

Besides, it reality, the Orion CSM might not even be lighter than NASA was planning on with CxP.   I believe Boeing's alternative lunar architecture plan states that Orion doesn't need to be fully fueled to do the TEI burn from EMLP instead of from low lunar orbit like Apollo or CxP.  So the existing tractor tower might be overdesigned for the lunar missions it actually does...although it might need more fuel for other missions like a NEO or Venus flyby or Mars mission, than it does for coming home from EMLP.  So the extra capacity isn't necessarily a bad option to have.

Anyway, in short, Orion is a product of an original variety of missions it's not longer going to be doing since commercial crew will take care of the ISS taxi service.  But, I think Orion was probably too far along at that point to redesign down to shave off what would amount to just a metric tonne or two for only a long duration support of up to 4 crew.




Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #212 on: 02/03/2013 06:01 AM »
I do not think low-altitude abort with the SM would be practical:  the mass to be accelerated would be huge.  Dragon can do it, because the abort engines and propellant are contained within Dragon itself, not within something akin to an SM.

the mass would be more than CST-100.  CST-100 CSM is about 10mt I believe, and Orion CSM is more like 22mt or so.  so yea, about double. 
But the LAS tower is already doing it.  I merely propose using storables in the SM as pusher LAS so that that mass does double duty.  It's either aborting, or doing the TEI burn and acting as the OMS system.  It is just scaled up accordingly.  The SM gains some mass by having more engine power than it needs for non-abort operations, but it looses a lot more mass by not having the single-purpose LAS tower.
If CST-100 can abort the command AND Service module with LOX and ethanol, and Dragon can abort the command module with hypergolics, and Dreamchaser can abort the whole lifting body with whatever the heck it will use....then I'd think that Orion can abort the whole CSM with the right engines and proper propellant sizing.  And whatever is necessary for an abort will probably be more than adequate for TEI burn and OMS burns. 

CST-100 (which is the closest analogous sytem to what I'm speculating about) will have four RS-88 engines which produce about 50klbs each.  so 200klbs will be enough to about about 10mt.
So an Orion CSM would need a little over double that thrust at around 22mt.
420Klbs?

I'm no expert on rocket engines, but the Titan LR-87 hypergolic engines on the core of the Titan III put out over 500Klbs per pair.  They were about 0.8mt each. 
Not sure if they could be lit fast enough to get the CSM away in case of a problem, and I don't think they could be throttled, which they'd need to be in case of a successful launch, they'd need to throttle deeply to give proper thrust for OMS burns.
but you get the idea.  Put a single large 420+lbs hypergolic engine, or a pair of 210+klbs, or a quad of 110+klbs engines on the base of the SM, and just throttle it down (or use a single throttling engine of multi engine cluster) and I don't know why it couldn't be done.
it's already being done, just on a smaller scale.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #213 on: 02/04/2013 12:09 PM »
Dragon does not have an SM - the entire vehicle (except for the trunk) lands and, in later versions, will be reused.

That's what I meant to say, though I put it unclearly:  it's much easier for Dragon to do a high-G abort, because it doesn't have to drag an SM along.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #214 on: 02/04/2013 12:30 PM »
I do not think low-altitude abort with the SM would be practical:  the mass to be accelerated would be huge.  Dragon can do it, because the abort engines and propellant are contained within Dragon itself, not within something akin to an SM.

the mass would be more than CST-100.  CST-100 CSM is about 10mt I believe, and Orion CSM is more like 22mt or so.  so yea, about double. 
But the LAS tower is already doing it.  I merely propose using storables in the SM as pusher LAS so that that mass does double duty.  It's either aborting, or doing the TEI burn and acting as the OMS system.  It is just scaled up accordingly.  The SM gains some mass by having more engine power than it needs for non-abort operations, but it looses a lot more mass by not having the single-purpose LAS tower.
If CST-100 can abort the command AND Service module with LOX and ethanol, and Dragon can abort the command module with hypergolics, and Dreamchaser can abort the whole lifting body with whatever the heck it will use....then I'd think that Orion can abort the whole CSM with the right engines and proper propellant sizing.  And whatever is necessary for an abort will probably be more than adequate for TEI burn and OMS burns.

The Orion CSM has a much larger delta-V than Dragon, CST-100 or Dream Chaser.  I don't have the exact numbers, but we're talking well over a kilometer per second rather than a few hundred meters per second.  Therefore, it's going to be quite heavy.  On top of that, because Orion rides on a rocket where most of the thrust comes from SRBs that can't be shut down in an abort, it needs higher abort abort acceleration than do the other craft.  Add all of that up, and I think it's going to turn out that using SM propulsion for low-altitude aborts is very tough.

I think the better approach would be to launch Orion without a crew and send the crew up commercially.  Then the LAS isn't needed and Orion can be simplified and lightened.  It would still need to be capable of re-entry, since aerobraking into LEO on return from a BEO mission is presently still a technology yet to be developed.
« Last Edit: 02/04/2013 12:31 PM by Proponent »

Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #215 on: 02/04/2013 05:35 PM »

The Orion CSM has a much larger delta-V than Dragon, CST-100 or Dream Chaser.  I don't have the exact numbers, but we're talking well over a kilometer per second rather than a few hundred meters per second.  Therefore, it's going to be quite heavy.  On top of that, because Orion rides on a rocket where most of the thrust comes from SRBs that can't be shut down in an abort, it needs higher abort abort acceleration than do the other craft.  Add all of that up, and I think it's going to turn out that using SM propulsion for low-altitude aborts is very tough.

I think the better approach would be to launch Orion without a crew and send the crew up commercially.  Then the LAS isn't needed and Orion can be simplified and lightened.  It would still need to be capable of re-entry, since aerobraking into LEO on return from a BEO mission is presently still a technology yet to be developed.

Well, this is above my knowledge base enough that I can’t argue your points.  It just seems like a CST-100-type  system could be scaled up enough for Orion.  Yea, more delta-V, but Orion’s SMs hold much more propellant, and most of the SM’s mass in propellant anyway.  The Orion capsule isn’t really much heavier than CST-100.  Most of the mass difference is the service module and it’s propellant, when comparing 22mt vs. 10mt.

You make a good point about the SRB’s though, although in this thread, although in this thread, we are talking about CxP’s 1.5 launch architecture, and theorizing that Orion would ride up on a smaller rocket, which may or may not be Ares 1.  My post further up was talking about using an AJAX + EELV 1.5 architecture for CxP, instead of the solids.  And if Orion could have been lighted up about 1.5mt, then is could fly on Atlas-552 with a pusher combo SM/LAS system.  Although an Atlas-552 has 5 SRB’s, so perhaps form an LAS standpoint, that would have similar problems to Ares 1 or current SLS.
Hypergolic abort motors might not be adequate to escape burning SRB’s, whether they are a 5-seg SRB, or an Atlas SRB.  Someone with more knowledge than I would need to comment on that.  Although CST-100 –will- have a single SRB on it’s Atlas LV, so if it’s ethanol powered abort system is adequate for that, I’d assume a MMH/N2O4 powered abort system would be adequate too.

You make an interesting idea about launching a NASA crew on a commercial LV with LEO rendezvous, with current SLS.   I hadn’t thought of that, but that’d be a possibility.  There wouldn’t be a need for that with a 1.5 launch architecture as we’ve discussed, and also because there probably wouldn’t be a commercial crew program if CxP has used something like AJAX + EELV, as Orion would have likely been launching on schedule on something like an Atlas-552, or Atlas-55x with WBC upper stage (which could get even the current 22-23mt Orion to LEO) and would be servicing the ISS when STS was retired. 
But for current SLS, that is a possibility.  The LAS tower could be omitted completely, allowing more capacity from SLS.   The commercial crew vehicle could dock with Orion at the top of the stack and transfer the crew, then the vehicle could autonomously return to earth for possible reuse.  The crew in Orion could translate Orion if necessary (depending on the stack configuration) for the TLI burn. 
But if Boeing’s gateway plan is adopted by NASA, then that probably wouldn’t gain much, other than the expense of another launch, as Block 1B can launch Orion with tractor tower, and a fully fueled in-space stage to the gateway station for a mission.  The tractor tower is already designed, etc. etc.

Still, an interesting idea.

Offline Avron

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #216 on: 04/27/2013 01:24 PM »
It did work.. 100% success.. Ares 1 was a great success, so much of a success that its been covered as an option years later when there is no assured access to space, other than via the Russian's and maybe the Chinese.. in fact its still been applauded, what else do you need?

Offline newpylong

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #217 on: 05/03/2013 06:12 PM »
It did work.. 100% success.. Ares 1 was a great success, so much of a success that its been covered as an option years later when there is no assured access to space, other than via the Russian's and maybe the Chinese.. in fact its still been applauded, what else do you need?

Do you mean the one test that was basically nothing like the final vehicle?

Successful? Sure... a home run and still being considered? not really...

Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #218 on: 06/11/2013 07:18 PM »
I just had a odd thought.

Things started to go bad for Ares 1 once they ran into problem with the air startable SSME, which then meant instead of Ares V using just a simple updated J2S, they needed the completely redesinged J2X and all of that cost.  And they ran into performance problems with the lower thrust J2X, and problems snowballed from there for Ares 1 and Orion.

But, what if, at that point, they just decided to make the Ares 1 5.5m upper stage longer, and make a booster stage out of it?  They were plannning to design and build that element anyway, making it longer should have been a pretty minor thing, especially when all the problems of stacking the stage on a 4 and then 5 and then 5.5 seg SRB started to really get out of control.
You make it about the length of a Delta IV core, put four RS-25E's on the bottom (which will be shared with Ares V) and a man-rated DCSS on top (iCPS), and I'd think you could get Orion to LEO.
I think it'd have quite a bit better perfomrance than Delta IV, because I believe the A1US was to be made out of AL2195, and have a common bulkhead.  Both of those same things would go into this, just the stage is longer, with an EELV upper stage.  And it'd have the high performance RS-25's rather than the lower performning RS-68's. 

You don't have to develop the air-lit SSME, you can then develop just the more simple J2S for Ares V, you are using the same engine as Ares V and it's already man rated, and you remove solids from the equation completely for crews.

Or you could make the core shorter, use maybe 2 RS-25's, and then a cluster of GEM-60's or Atlas SRB's to augment the performance to get it where NASA wanted it.  That way more SRB's mean Orion could be fatter for BLEO missions later.  The crew launcher would be adjustable to what it needed to be then, to account for Orion mass creep.
You have SRB's then, but heh...Ares 1 was going to use a really big solid anyway.

And if they didn't want to use an EELV upper stage, they could have still made the A1US, but it would be common with the Ares 1 liquid booster then.  It could then use the J2S that Ares V would use for more commonality if they wanted to go that route instead of fostering EELV synergy.

It's still far from ideal compared to just using EELV's directly, but it seems much more desirable than trying to make Ares 1 work for so long, and in effect, creating the gap by not having an LV in time to fly after STS was retired.
THey were making a new liquid 5.5m core anyway to make an upper stage out of it...which was to have no synergy with anything else....so why not just make the LV out of that and don't worry about the big solid or the upper stage engine at all?  And they could have still had "their" rocket, which seems to probably be the major reason the more obvious choices of using EELV's were discarded in the ESAS study.

Could this have worked and been developed in time to establish ISS service after STS retired?


 

Offline Downix

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #219 on: 06/15/2013 05:38 PM »
I just had a odd thought.

Things started to go bad for Ares 1 once they ran into problem with the air startable SSME, which then meant instead of Ares V using just a simple updated J2S, they needed the completely redesinged J2X and all of that cost.  And they ran into performance problems with the lower thrust J2X, and problems snowballed from there for Ares 1 and Orion.

But, what if, at that point, they just decided to make the Ares 1 5.5m upper stage longer, and make a booster stage out of it?  They were plannning to design and build that element anyway, making it longer should have been a pretty minor thing, especially when all the problems of stacking the stage on a 4 and then 5 and then 5.5 seg SRB started to really get out of control.
You make it about the length of a Delta IV core, put four RS-25E's on the bottom (which will be shared with Ares V) and a man-rated DCSS on top (iCPS), and I'd think you could get Orion to LEO.
I think it'd have quite a bit better perfomrance than Delta IV, because I believe the A1US was to be made out of AL2195, and have a common bulkhead.  Both of those same things would go into this, just the stage is longer, with an EELV upper stage.  And it'd have the high performance RS-25's rather than the lower performning RS-68's. 

You don't have to develop the air-lit SSME, you can then develop just the more simple J2S for Ares V, you are using the same engine as Ares V and it's already man rated, and you remove solids from the equation completely for crews.

Or you could make the core shorter, use maybe 2 RS-25's, and then a cluster of GEM-60's or Atlas SRB's to augment the performance to get it where NASA wanted it.  That way more SRB's mean Orion could be fatter for BLEO missions later.  The crew launcher would be adjustable to what it needed to be then, to account for Orion mass creep.
You have SRB's then, but heh...Ares 1 was going to use a really big solid anyway.

And if they didn't want to use an EELV upper stage, they could have still made the A1US, but it would be common with the Ares 1 liquid booster then.  It could then use the J2S that Ares V would use for more commonality if they wanted to go that route instead of fostering EELV synergy.

It's still far from ideal compared to just using EELV's directly, but it seems much more desirable than trying to make Ares 1 work for so long, and in effect, creating the gap by not having an LV in time to fly after STS was retired.
THey were making a new liquid 5.5m core anyway to make an upper stage out of it...which was to have no synergy with anything else....so why not just make the LV out of that and don't worry about the big solid or the upper stage engine at all?  And they could have still had "their" rocket, which seems to probably be the major reason the more obvious choices of using EELV's were discarded in the ESAS study.

Could this have worked and been developed in time to establish ISS service after STS retired?

In theory, yes, but it would have failed in the ESAS guidelines they put down, namely "one engine per stage."

Anything more than that, then the ESAS would have been shown to have been in error, and could have opened up the entire thing to lawsuits by the losers of the competition.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

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