Author Topic: Enhanced Cygnus to help Orbital ATK meet CRS contract by 2017  (Read 7473 times)

Online Chris Bergin

Great article by Chris Gebhardt, via quotes taken from his interview with the Orbital ATK managers.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2015/08/enhanced-cygnus-help-orbital-atk-crs-contract-2017/

Offline Peter NASA

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A superb article Chris G. Overviewed, great quotes, technical but easy to read. Superb!

Offline baldusi

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Nice article Chris! Very meaty.

Offline Lee Jay

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So, doesn't this mean they're delivering the originally-contracted upmass with 6 launches (1,2,4,5,6,7), instead of 8 (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)?

Offline arachnitect

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So, doesn't this mean they're delivering the originally-contracted upmass with 6 launches (1,2,4,5,6,7), instead of 8 (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)?

They will not achieve the equivalent of the 8 original missions. They will achieve the equivalent of 7 deliveries in 6 missions. In other words, they will not re-fly the Orb-3 capacity. See here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36035.msg1300554#msg1300554

Here's an interesting thing: when Orbital originally announced their recovery plans, they said Atlas launched Cygnus would have ~35% greater capacity, but the 3500 kg. listed in the NSF article is less than 30% greater capacity.

Offline Lee Jay

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So, doesn't this mean they're delivering the originally-contracted upmass with 6 launches (1,2,4,5,6,7), instead of 8 (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)?

They will not achieve the equivalent of the 8 original missions. They will achieve the equivalent of 7 deliveries in 6 missions. In other words, they will not re-fly the Orb-3 capacity.

Then I don't understand this quote.

In an exclusive interview with NASASpaceflight.com, Frank DeMauro, CRS Program Director for Orbital ATK stated that “with the upgraded Antares 230 and then with the couple of Atlas V [missions], we’re actually going to meet our initial cargo delivery requirement through the OA7 mission.”

Online kdhilliard

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Then I don't understand this quote.

In an exclusive interview with NASASpaceflight.com, Frank DeMauro, CRS Program Director for Orbital ATK stated that “with the upgraded Antares 230 and then with the couple of Atlas V [missions], we’re actually going to meet our initial cargo delivery requirement through the OA7 mission.”


Specifically, what is the cargo delivery requirement of the initial CRS contract, and in order to count toward that, must the cargo be actually delivered to the ISS, or does the ORB/CRS-3 cargo count?

~Kirk

Online Coastal Ron

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I like the Cygnus.  It's an elegant spacecraft that utilizes two existing systems, the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) and the Service Module (SM).

Nothing really special about the PCM, but it's simplicity is a plus, and variants could be created.  The SM though, I see a lot of possibilities with it, and apparently they are still making improvements to it.

I'm not really enamored with the Antares rocket, and that was even before it's flight failure.  But considering that their options were for developing their own rocket, it was, in it's own way, an elegant solution too.  I'm just not sure it has much of a future.

I hope this next flight is uneventful for them...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online Coastal Ron

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Specifically, what is the cargo delivery requirement of the initial CRS contract, and in order to count toward that, must the cargo be actually delivered to the ISS, or does the ORB/CRS-3 cargo count?

The CRS contract calls for 20,000 kg (20MT) of upmass to the ISS.  By that definition, if it's not delivered it doesn't satisfy the requirement, meaning the ORB/CRS-3 cargo does not count towards the 20MT amount.

However there are payment options that apparently do apply if a service provider loses the cargo after liftoff, but I don't have the details on that.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online kdhilliard

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The CRS contract calls for 20,000 kg (20MT) of upmass to the ISS.  By that definition, if it's not delivered it doesn't satisfy the requirement, meaning the ORB/CRS-3 cargo does not count towards the 20MT amount.

However there are payment options that apparently do apply if a service provider loses the cargo after liftoff, but I don't have the details on that.

Thanks Ron.

Quote from: the article
The Standard Cygnus, flying on Orbital’s Antares 110, 120, and 130 series rockets, could carry a maximum payload of approximately 2,000 kg (4,400 lbs) to ISS.

Enhanced Cygnus, on Atlas V, will be capable of lifting a maximum payload of 3,500 kg (7,700 lbs) to the ISS and 3,200 kg (7,100 lbs) of payload to ISS on the Antares 230 series rocket — set to debut early next year as part of Orbital ATK’s return to flight path.

So using those maximum payloads, they should be able to deliver at most 2 x 2,000 kg + 2 x 3,500 kg + 2 x 3,200 kg = 17,400 kg through OA-7.  I don't understand how they can say. "we’re actually going to meet our initial cargo delivery requirement through the OA7 mission.” either.  It doesn't look like they'd quite do it even including the ORB/CRS-3 cargo.

~Kirk

Edit: According to Wikipedia (eek!), the actual cargo carried on Orb-1, Orb-2, & Orb-3 was 1,261 kg,  1,494 kg, & 2,215 kg respectively.
« Last Edit: 09/01/2015 03:22 AM by kdhilliard »

Offline arachnitect

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Specifically, what is the cargo delivery requirement of the initial CRS contract, and in order to count toward that, must the cargo be actually delivered to the ISS, or does the ORB/CRS-3 cargo count?

The CRS contract calls for 20,000 kg (20MT) of upmass to the ISS.  By that definition, if it's not delivered it doesn't satisfy the requirement, meaning the ORB/CRS-3 cargo does not count towards the 20MT amount.

However there are payment options that apparently do apply if a service provider loses the cargo after liftoff, but I don't have the details on that.

NASA pays ~80%. Orbital had the mission assurance balance insured.

Online TrevorMonty

The CRS contract is for tonnage not flights, OA planned on 8 flights OA1-8. With the switch to more powerful LVs ie Atlas and Antares 230 they can now meet that tonnage with less launches.

They can make up for OA3 without any additional launches. Given the insurance pay outs on OA3 and they may not have taken that much of a financial hit.

There are the costs associated with switching to RD181 but at $90M/mt any performance increase pays significant dividends.

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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The CRS contract is for tonnage not flights, OA planned on 8 flights OA1-8. With the switch to more powerful LVs ie Atlas and Antares 230 they can now meet that tonnage with less launches.

Yes, but the numbers do not add up.

CRS-D   700 kg
CRS-1 1261 kg
CRS-2 1494 kg
CRS-3 2215 kg
CRS-4 3500 kg
CRS-5 3500 kg
CRS-6 3200 kg
CRS-7 3200 kg
-------------------
Total 19,070 kg which is less than the 20,000 kg ordered.
« Last Edit: 09/01/2015 06:06 AM by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Online TrevorMonty

The CRS contract is for tonnage not flights, OA planned on 8 flights OA1-8. With the switch to more powerful LVs ie Atlas and Antares 230 they can now meet that tonnage with less launches.

Yes, but the numbers do not add up.

CRS-D   700 kg
CRS-1 1261 kg
CRS-2 1494 kg
CRS-3 2215 kg
CRS-4 3500 kg
CRS-5 3500 kg
CRS-6 3200 kg
CRS-7 3200 kg
-------------------
Total 19,070 kg which is less than the 20,000 kg ordered.

Arachnitect says they are not planning on making up for CRS-3. This would explain some of the short falls people have calculated.

I don't known the ins and outs of contract but I think Orbital are paid for max rated play load per mission eg CRS2 = 2000Kg so that is $180M. NASA pays for 2000kg regardless of how much they actually load into Cygnus.
This does make sense, if you charter a 40t truck you pay same price whether it you load it with 1kg or 40t.
 
Orbital stand to make a significant profit per mission by switching to RD181, 3200Kg x $90K = $288M, compare this to CRS2 at $180M for 2000Kg.
At $315M (3500kg) for Atlas V missions it is not surprising they decided to buy a second one. 


Offline baldusi

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I understand that NASA quotes cargo without counting packaging, but packaging does counts towards the service delivery. That and there was a clause that flights counted at full capability vs actual payload when NASA wasn't able to fill it to the top. That might as well explain the differences.

Offline Prober

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I like the Cygnus.  It's an elegant spacecraft that utilizes two existing systems, the Pressurized Cargo Module (PCM) and the Service Module (SM).

Nothing really special about the PCM, but it's simplicity is a plus, and variants could be created.  The SM though, I see a lot of possibilities with it, and apparently they are still making improvements to it.



Orbital has some good clean ideas for a service that others now are copying.
2017 - Everything Old is New Again.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Offline redliox

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Debating on how useful the now Enhanced Cygnus could be, either for the Moon or Mars.  With a space of 27 cubic meters though, that's roughly a third the size of the ISS Harmony module.  Obviously could serve as part of cargo loading in LEO prior to departure, but something just itches that it may do better than that.
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Offline Jim

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I don't known the ins and outs of contract but I think Orbital are paid for max rated play load per mission eg CRS2 = 2000Kg so that is $180M. NASA pays for 2000kg regardless of how much they actually load into Cygnus.
This does make sense, if you charter a 40t truck you pay same price whether it you load it with 1kg or 40t.


No, NASA pays for mass/volume.

Offline sdsds

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Debating on how useful the now Enhanced Cygnus could be, either for the Moon or Mars.

For missions going farther from Earth, getting a secondary use out of each bit of mass will be a big win. For a space station outside the protection of Earth's magnetic field, converting a Cygnus into a space radiation storm shelter could be extremely important.

From: http://srag-nt.jsc.nasa.gov/spaceradiation/what/what.cfm
Quote
Between the Apollo 16 and 17 missions, one of the largest solar proton events ever recorded occurred, and it produced radiation levels of sufficient energy for the astronauts outside of the Earth's magnetosphere to absorb lethal doses within 10 hours after the start of the event. It is indeed fortunate that the timing of this event did not coincide with one of the Apollo missions. As NASA ponders the feasibility of sending manned spaceflight missions back to the Moon or to other planets, radiation protection for crew members remains one of the key technological issues which must be resolved.

Note that layers of e.g. polyethylene padding could be added incrementally, shipped on several resupply missions but accumulated in just one Cygnus, to make it a better and better storm shelter.

(With the 27 cubic meters of pressurized volume and the PCM exterior dimensions of 3.07 m diameter x 4.86 m length it should be possible to estimate the interior dimensions as well. If I'm doing the arithmetic correctly, its 2.79 x 4.42 m before any padding is added.)
-- sdsds --

Offline baldusi

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I don't known the ins and outs of contract but I think Orbital are paid for max rated play load per mission eg CRS2 = 2000Kg so that is $180M. NASA pays for 2000kg regardless of how much they actually load into Cygnus.
This does make sense, if you charter a 40t truck you pay same price whether it you load it with 1kg or 40t.


No, NASA pays for mass/volume.
There's a minimum price payed per mission on the CRS contract if NASA just fails to fills the spacecraft.

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