Author Topic: Cygnus return capability  (Read 29979 times)

Online Skyrocket

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Re: Cygnus return capability
« Reply #40 on: 01/21/2017 04:32 PM »
On the NASA LaRC website, THOR is listed under "cancelled missions"

https://fpd.larc.nasa.gov/completed-projects.html

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Cygnus return capability
« Reply #41 on: 01/22/2017 08:07 PM »
Interesting cancellation.

Likely not due to lack of budget / over budget. Because mostly reuse of IRVE-3. It is the logical next step.

It also is a necessary next step for Mars sample return, upping the "land-able mass" for a escape/return vehicle. If you were to up it to the level of returning a US on Earth, on Mars it would mean scaling up to a capability for direct return to earth instead of just LMO of sample craft - reducing the mission to a single launch instead of two/three.

For America, this would mean outcompeting the rest of the world, taking that unique EDL advantage one step further.

Who would want to miss such an obviously fantastic return ... for so little risk?

Offline baldusi

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Re: Cygnus return capability
« Reply #42 on: 01/22/2017 09:15 PM »
Interesting cancellation.

Likely not due to lack of budget / over budget. Because mostly reuse of IRVE-3. It is the logical next step.

It also is a necessary next step for Mars sample return, upping the "land-able mass" for a escape/return vehicle. If you were to up it to the level of returning a US on Earth, on Mars it would mean scaling up to a capability for direct return to earth instead of just LMO of sample craft - reducing the mission to a single launch instead of two/three.

For America, this would mean outcompeting the rest of the world, taking that unique EDL advantage one step further.

Who would want to miss such an obviously fantastic return ... for so little risk?
The sort of aerodynamic extension of HIAD only scaled to 2tonnes of payload, tops. SpaceX has reliably demonstrated the retropropulsive EDL, which is the only one to scale to the 20~40tonne range needed for a crewed mission. That might have been an issue.

Offline Space Ghost 1962

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Re: Cygnus return capability
« Reply #43 on: 01/23/2017 01:49 AM »
Interesting cancellation.

Likely not due to lack of budget / over budget. Because mostly reuse of IRVE-3. It is the logical next step.

It also is a necessary next step for Mars sample return, upping the "land-able mass" for a escape/return vehicle. If you were to up it to the level of returning a US on Earth, on Mars it would mean scaling up to a capability for direct return to earth instead of just LMO of sample craft - reducing the mission to a single launch instead of two/three.

For America, this would mean outcompeting the rest of the world, taking that unique EDL advantage one step further.

Who would want to miss such an obviously fantastic return ... for so little risk?
The sort of aerodynamic extension of HIAD only scaled to 2tonnes of payload, tops.
FWIW MSL rover is about a ton.

Quote
SpaceX has reliably demonstrated the retropropulsive EDL, which is the only one to scale to the 20~40tonne range needed for a crewed mission. That might have been an issue.
Was talking only about sample return. Which China is starting to talk about too.

And yes, RD as a sample return, and BFS/tanker as a HSF are in the retropropulsive EDL category, but also in a greater scale of R&D expense thus much higher risk too.

So I still maintain that the risk/reward/time for THOR is more than justified independent of retropropulsive EDL which is far bigger in all three.

Suggest that for Mars, where you'd still need a parachute for non-propulsive EDL, that failures to scale on that front may also limit interest in HIAD.

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