Author Topic: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?  (Read 60393 times)

Online 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 canít argue your points.  It just seems like a CST-100-type  system could be scaled up enough for Orion.  Yea, more delta-V, but Orionís SMs hold much more propellant, and most of the SMís mass in propellant anyway.  The Orion capsule isnít really much heavier than CST-100.  Most of the mass difference is the service module and itís propellant, when comparing 22mt vs. 10mt.

You make a good point about the SRBís though, although in this thread, although in this thread, we are talking about CxPís 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 SRBís, 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 SRBís, 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 Ėwill- have a single SRB on itís Atlas LV, so if itís ethanol powered abort system is adequate for that, Iíd 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 hadnít thought of that, but thatíd be a possibility.  There wouldnít be a need for that with a 1.5 launch architecture as weíve discussed, and also because there probably wouldnít 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 Boeingís gateway plan is adopted by NASA, then that probably wouldnít 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?

Online 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.
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Offline renclod

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #220 on: 06/16/2013 10:08 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,

My data recorder says different ! Things started to go bad for Ares I, and for the whole Constellation program, when NASA realized that the administration would not fund the program as promised. More, Shuttle return to flight and other contingencies further diminished the available funding.

The solution was to reduce the number of program elements, to eliminate expensive elements, to enforce commonalities between CLV and CaLV, to find commonalities with external programs.

From 3 liquid fuel engine elements (RS-25 air start, RS-25 ground start, J-2S) they went to 2 (RS-68, J-2X).

Quote
[...]
 they could have still made the A1US, but it would be common with the Ares 1 liquid booster then.
This is quite a stretch. An upper stage must be optimized or it would not reach orbit with a significant payload, or at all. 

Quote
[...]
don't worry about the big solid

That would have been a bug, not a feature - wrt politics. The Constellation program was designed such that it would keep the "big solid" in the big picture. CLV was the funded project, not CaLV.

« Last Edit: 06/16/2013 10:10 PM by renclod »

Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #221 on: 06/19/2013 06:01 AM »

My data recorder says different ! Things started to go bad for Ares I, and for the whole Constellation program, when NASA realized that the administration would not fund the program as promised. More, Shuttle return to flight and other contingencies further diminished the available funding.

The solution was to reduce the number of program elements, to eliminate expensive elements, to enforce commonalities between CLV and CaLV, to find commonalities with external programs.

From 3 liquid fuel engine elements (RS-25 air start, RS-25 ground start, J-2S) they went to 2 (RS-68, J-2X).


Well, I don't really have data, that's just what I understood.  When the air startable RS-25 started to look non feasible, then a relatively simple J2S program became a very complex J2X project, then the Ares 1 first stage needed more power to compensate and grew finally to 5.5 seg.  Then they had to start removing features from Orion to lighten it up, etc.

But again, that's just what I picked up from various discussion on these forums.


This is quite a stretch. An upper stage must be optimized or it would not reach orbit with a significant payload, or at all. 


Doesn't the Falcon 9 upper stage share tooling with the Falcon 9 booster?  And the 5m DCSS share tooling with the Delta IV core (the LH2 tank anyway)?
Perhaps my understanding there is mistaken.   But I'm mainly just saying using the same tooling, alloys, tank bulkheads, etc, as the booster and upper stage would be the same diameter.


That would have been a bug, not a feature - wrt politics. The Constellation program was designed such that it would keep the "big solid" in the big picture. CLV was the funded project, not CaLV.


Bummer...   That sort of limits options then for a crew launcher to basically Ares 1.  Not many other ways to get Orion to LEO with a 4 or 5 seg booster, unless you go with a Jupiter -130, but then you are looking 2 launch instead of 1.5 launch.

I'll take one last hail Mary pass at it though.  Given that a big solid was required and an RS-25 couldn't feasible be made to air start.

Maybe take a Delta IV core, modify it with a single RS-25 engine, and side mount it to an SRB with the RS-25 angled outwards like the Shuttle's were.  The SRB's are designed to be side mounted anyway, although obviously it wouldn't quite be the same.  But should be any harder than trying to inline mount it.
Then you remove the air-startable RS-25, and the J2X.  Ares 1 and Ares V both use RS-25 and SRB's.  You remove the extra 5.5m upper stage development too. 
With one RS-25, the Delta IV core should burn to disposable orbit, and then on ISS support missions, Orion does it's own EOI burn to get to the ISS.
For Lunar missions, maybe an EELV upper stage is used, or the Service Module is designed with enough prop to get itself to EOR, and then the TEI burn from LLO.

Put Orion above the top of the SRB So that it's not next to it...which would be undesirable.

Not that it would be a good LV...but perhaps more workable than Ares 1?

Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #222 on: 06/19/2013 06:06 AM »
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.

Is that true?

I'm trying to remember the ESAS report off the top of my head.  They looked at several multi-engine per stage CLV's, and although they rejected them for various reasons, I don't recall one of the reasons was multiple engines per stage.
They looked at Atlas V Phase 2 which had two RD-180's.  And an 8m Atlas V with like 5 RD-180's on the core.  they also looked at D4H and A5H.  They each would have 3 engines on the first stage.  They showed them with existing DCSS and centaur, and with new larger upper stages (ACES-like I think) that I think had multiple RL-10's on them.  But I'd have to go back and look at it when I get time.

They seemed to evaluate a lot of multi engine CLV's and rejected them for various "reliability" and "black zone" and other reasons.  I don't recall engine count being a reason for the rejections though?


Offline renclod

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #223 on: 06/19/2013 08:09 AM »

I'll take one last hail Mary pass at it though.  Given that a big solid was required and an RS-25 couldn't feasible be made to air start.

Maybe take a Delta IV core, modify it with a single RS-25 engine, and side mount it to an SRB with the RS-25 angled outwards like the Shuttle's were.  The SRB's are designed to be side mounted anyway, although obviously it wouldn't quite be the same.  But should be any harder than trying to inline mount it.
Then you remove the air-startable RS-25, and the J2X.  Ares 1 and Ares V both use RS-25 and SRB's.  You remove the extra 5.5m upper stage development too. 
With one RS-25, the Delta IV core should burn to disposable orbit, and then on ISS support missions, Orion does it's own EOI burn to get to the ISS.
For Lunar missions, maybe an EELV upper stage is used, or the Service Module is designed with enough prop to get itself to EOR, and then the TEI burn from LLO.

Put Orion above the top of the SRB So that it's not next to it...which would be undesirable.

Not that it would be a good LV...but perhaps more workable than Ares 1?


He he... great minds think alike LOL !

Lobo, search this forum for
"1 1/2 SD CLV"
and you'll see the same crazy ideea explored 6 years ago.
Or something much like that.

I even toyed with moving the Lox tank out-of-axis wrt. the H2 tank so that the c-of-m would be as close as possible to the SRB axis; and that was because one of the critics said that if the RS-25 quits in the early stage, the rocket goes cartwheel.

But the basic principle still haunts me occasionally !

Yes, with such a stage-and-a-half-to-orbit CLV design,
- you have the great RS-25, ground started and firing all the way to orbit;
- you can adjust the sizing of liquid propellant tanks without growing to monster height, because the LH2 tank lies parallel to the SRB;
- you have Orion on top

Since this is a speculation thread, I will attach some of the graphics that I used to play with at the time, and no one needs to feel offended, OK ?
Just having fun !

« Last Edit: 06/19/2013 08:32 AM by renclod »

Offline Lobo

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Re: Could Ares 1 have Worked if things had been different?
« Reply #224 on: 06/19/2013 07:08 PM »

He he... great minds think alike LOL !

Lobo, search this forum for
"1 1/2 SD CLV"
and you'll see the same crazy ideea explored 6 years ago.
Or something much like that.

I even toyed with moving the Lox tank out-of-axis wrt. the H2 tank so that the c-of-m would be as close as possible to the SRB axis; and that was because one of the critics said that if the RS-25 quits in the early stage, the rocket goes cartwheel.

But the basic principle still haunts me occasionally !

Yes, with such a stage-and-a-half-to-orbit CLV design,
- you have the great RS-25, ground started and firing all the way to orbit;
- you can adjust the sizing of liquid propellant tanks without growing to monster height, because the LH2 tank lies parallel to the SRB;
- you have Orion on top

Since this is a speculation thread, I will attach some of the graphics that I used to play with at the time, and no one needs to feel offended, OK ?
Just having fun !



Heheheh...and here I thought it was a crazy idea.

I think it'd be a kludge (to use Jim's term) but it could be made to work easier than Ares 1 given the flawed criteria they were working under.

The whole situation could have been avoided if a 1.5 architecture using Atlas V and multiple Atlas boosters with an AJAX core were evaluated and chosen in ESAS.  Then you are able to use EELV for both the CLV and CaLV.  Really the only new elements to be developed would be new 5m wide EELV upper stage (ACES-41) for the CLV, and a stretched version for the CaLV, and then the new ET-derived core with multiple CCB boosters mounts.  I'm pretty sure Atlas Phase 1-552 or Atlas V-Heavy w/ 5m upp stage could have been developed far cheap and faster than Ares 1...even this sidemount Ares 1.

But that's for another thread...I just had to vent.

This is about making Ares 1 work....if possible.  ;-)

You have an interesting concept there with the merged adaptor on top.  I'm just wondering if it would be more trouble developing than it'd be worth.
I am thinking the 5m Orion, on a tall 5m spacer, directly over the 5m Delta IV core.  The top SRB attach point could be mounted to mount which would be similar to the ET/Ares V core top SRB mount, but the lifting would be done from the bottom because that's what the D4 core is already designed to be lifted from.  I'm guessing the SRB itself, being basically just a thick steel case, doesn't mind if it's lifting from the top or bottom.  So make the bottom mount the load bearing one, and the top just a stabilizer mount. 

The spacer on top of the D4 core would be to get the Orion CSM above the top of the SRB.  Maybe the SRB gets a sloped nose cone like Ariane 5's boosters to sreamline the air flow.  Even with the spacer this would be much shorter than in-line Ares 1. 

An alternative might have been to have chosen an NK-43/AJ26-59, as it had about 400klbs thrust in vacuum, and it was air-startable.  As it'd be kerolox, the upper stage for it could be much shorter than the hydrolox one.  It wouldn't have the vacuum ISP of J2X or SSME, but Ares 1 is only going to LEO, so I think it could work.  I think the AJ26-59 would have been available enough to have planned around in the mid 2000's?
Anyone know what the performance of that might have been?
Maybe I'm way off on if that could get the Orion CSM to LEO.

A 3rd option might have been to use a modified D4 core with a single RS-25 on it, and two 3-seg boosters on it where the outboard CCB's would be in a D4H.  This would look sort of like an H-IIA/B.  With two fat, short SRB's.  This would require the developent of a new pour for a 3-seg booster...but Ares 1 was going to have a 5.5-seg booster before it was cancelled anyway, so I don't know if a 2-seg would be any more difficult to develop from the base 5-seg than the 5.5-seg.  And using 6-segs total wouldn't be much different than using 5.5-segs for the Ares 1 that almost was.

This option might have been less of a kludge than the side mount configuration

As a side note, I wonder about a single D4 core with a single RS-25, and a cluster of GEM-60's.  Basically like a 5m Delta II/III.  I wonder what that LV would do with like 10 GEM-60's?
That gets away from the big SRB requirement, I know, just curious what such a thing would do.  The RS-25 could handle the heating of that many GEM-60's, although the base of D4 would be modified to mount that many.  And I think it'd be easier to develop than either a side mount, or two 3-seg boosters.  The clustering concept had be used already on Delta II, and to a lesser degree, D4 and Atlas V.  So it doesn't seem like too much of a reach. 





 

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