Author Topic: SLS Flexibility: Exploration roadmap focus taking center stage  (Read 53611 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Big update on SLS (and a useful baseline overview of where things stand on the missions) via L2 (and a bit of public stuff).

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/10/sls-flexibility-roadmap-focus-center-stage/

Offline scienceguy

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That's cool. I like how they mentioned a propellant depot at the Earth-Moon L1 point.
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Offline clongton

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Great write-up Chris. Thanks
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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From the update

The reference to fueling provides a potential marriage between SLS and propellent depots, something which would partially appease some critics, given the remaining anti-SLS activists are now focusing on the use of the popular prop depot architecture as a full alternative to the HLV.

Ironically, some Prop Depot designers along with several NASA HLV presentations over recent years have advocated the use of both strengths in tandem. This was also a major element of what remains the most expansive HLV overview in recent times


The problem isn't technical.  The problem has not ever been technical. 

The problem is financial.  There isn't money for both.  There isn't even enough money for having large payloads on SLS.  And there isn't going to be for a long time to come.
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Stardust9906

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 Nice article Chris.
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Offline RanulfC

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Chris;
I may be mis-reading the article but I got the feeling that the "in-line" design was NOT a 'sure-thing' at this point and there might still be a version of the side-mount in consideration. Did I get that wrong or is the design actually "finalized" as far as the basic configuration goes?

Randy
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Offline Rocket Science

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Great update Chris! Im really liking that Block 1A-liquids. Looking forward to the day we see some metal being bent.

Robert
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Online Chris Bergin

Thanks guys! :)

Chris;
I may be mis-reading the article but I got the feeling that the "in-line" design was NOT a 'sure-thing' at this point and there might still be a version of the side-mount in consideration. Did I get that wrong or is the design actually "finalized" as far as the basic configuration goes?

Randy

The In-line is the chosen config. The sidemount references are related to the 726 page presentation which included prop depots. That presentation was created by SSP, and post-Augustine, at which they were tasked with evaluating SD HLV, especially sidemount.

Sidemount died not long after. Didn't even make it into the RACs if memory served. SLS is confirmed as the in-line SD HLV.

Offline Khadgars

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Great Article Chris!  Lunar First is really intriguing as part of a larger, flexible BEO path.  Does Lunar First require additional funding or can it fit within current budgets?

Offline BrightLight

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This article is a tribute to the hard work of our NASA bothers and you! - outstanding. The idea of a depot to support lunar operations makes enormous sense and the merger of SLS and depots is clearly a rational approach to long duration BEO programs.

Online Chris Bergin

Great Article Chris!  Lunar First is really intriguing as part of a larger, flexible BEO path.  Does Lunar First require additional funding or can it fit within current budgets?

Thanks! :)

I really do not know. I've always "avoided" dollar amounts, partly because the documentation we gain doesn't contain numbers (if it did, it might be heavily restricted too - so it's always interesting when some sites say there's no money, meaning they either have content they shouldn't or are assuming it), but they have a projection of funding and they can mix and match the best roadmap from that - as is being done right now.

You did see a potential future get-well added to the article, which sounded a bit op-ed, but was actually mentioned to me, which was to forget about the 130mt. SLS Block 1 and 1A brings a lot of capability to the table, and one needs to consider if having that extra 25mt is really worth what it'd cost to have 130mt with all its whistles and bells - especially IF it's stretching the schedule for the flagship BEO missions.

Offline cro-magnon gramps

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Great Article Chris!  Lunar First is really intriguing as part of a larger, flexible BEO path.  Does Lunar First require additional funding or can it fit within current budgets?

Thanks! :)

I really do not know. I've always "avoided" dollar amounts, partly because the documentation we gain doesn't contain numbers (if it did, it might be heavily restricted too - so it's always interesting when some sites say there's no money, meaning they either have content they shouldn't or are assuming it), but they have a projection of funding and they can mix and match the best roadmap from that - as is being done right now.

You did see a potential future get-well added to the article, which sounded a bit op-ed, but was actually mentioned to me, which was to forget about the 130mt. SLS Block 1 and 1A brings a lot of capability to the table, and one needs to consider if having that extra 25mt is really worth what it'd cost to have 130mt with all its whistles and bells - especially IF it's stretching the schedule for the flagship BEO missions.

Chris, to my mind, 70mt to 100mt has always been the main goal, with 130mt 25 to 30 years out, if at all; with Prop Depots, dry mass up hill will be equivalent to 130 wet mass, so it only makes sense to drop the 130mt in favour of Prop Depots, that can do more; if at some time a 130mt is needed it will be developed in better times, for over the top payloads that we can't envisage today; but they will still be dry weight 130mt, with the Prop Depots out there;

BTW great article, well worth the wait
« Last Edit: 10/25/2011 11:24 PM by cro-magnon gramps »
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Offline Longhorn John

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Great article. Superior to all these op-eds on blog sites by a long way. Thanks!

Offline clongton

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Postponing the 130 tonne vehicle for a decade or 2 is, in my opinion, a really good idea. And if they do that then they:

(1) don't have to stretch the tank,
(2) don't need the 5th center SSME and
(3) can leave out the center segment of the 5-segment booster and fly it with just 4 segments and 3 SSME's.

Leave the TS configured for 4 SSME's but when flying without the upper stage and only 3 SSME's it will easily lift 70 tonnes to LEO - (*plus*  ;) ) - and will easily go to 100 tons by adding an upper stage and the 4th SSME or the center segment and an SSME. Keep the stretched tank, bigger SRB and extra SSME for when we really need to lift 130 tonnes from the ground, which, if the depots are brought on line, could be decades. This would save a *lot* of money that could be redirected to payload development, or maybe even a (gasp) "lander".
« Last Edit: 10/25/2011 11:54 PM by clongton »
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Offline Jason1701

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Postponing the 130 tonne vehicle for a decade or 2 is, in my opinion, a really good idea. And if they do that then they:

(1) don't have to stretch the tank,
(2) don't need the 5th center SSME and
(3) can leave out the center segment of the 5-segment booster and fly it with just 4 segments and 3 SSME's.

Leave the TS configured for 4 SSME's but when flying without the upper stage and only 3 SSME's it will easily lift 70 tonnes to LEO - (*plus*  ;) ) - and will easily go to 100 tons by adding an upper stage and the 4th SSME or the center segment and an SSME. Keep the stretched tank, bigger SRB and extra SSME for when we really need to lift 130 tonnes from the ground, which, if the depots are brought on line, could be decades. This would save a *lot* of money that could be redirected to payload development, or maybe even a (gasp) "lander".

So you want the SLS to be a J-130. Reasonable, but everything I've seen shows that all configurations will be stretched.
« Last Edit: 10/26/2011 12:07 AM by Jason1701 »

Offline hydra9

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The NASA's poster related to the article can be found at:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/594163main_2011-SLS_Industry_Day_Final_Public1-1_rev2.pdf

Offline STS Tony

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I love the tweet Chris posted on @nasaspaceflight.com before the article went on.

"Will have an update on SLS next. This monster rocket will make you wait until she's ready, then empty your wallet...reminds me of an ex ;-)"

HAHAHA!

Offline clongton

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So you want the SLS to be a J-130. Reasonable, but everything I've seen shows that all configurations will be stretched.

Trying not to hijack the thread by avoiding that specific mention. Just wanted to "describe" what's logical *if* the 130 tonne capability is significantly delayed :)
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Hodapp

 :D
I'm just excited that the program seems to be coming together, and the slides out to future acknowledge the moon and the moon seems to be the first real destination of SLS and its exploitation for the greater good of mankind.  I like the fuel depots...conquer cislunar space!

Cannot wait to hopefully soon hear of plans for a lunar lander...bring back Altair or some derivative!

Cannot wait to see the moon is HD 3D!  ;D
NASA should set the goals...
Lunar Manned fly-by 2018!
Lunar Landing 2019!

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Offline sdsds

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The NASA's poster related to the article can be found at:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/594163main_2011-SLS_Industry_Day_Final_Public1-1_rev2.pdf
.
I liked the size comparison chart contained therein, but some of the vehicles shown seemed little more than distractions.  I cut it down to the key vehicles.
Rather than keeping the small/medium/heavy labeling it was tempting to label the spectrum end-points "realistic" and "grandiose."  ;-)
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