Author Topic: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA  (Read 10609 times)

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« on: 08/09/2007 04:55 PM »
Would anyone with the knowledge like to run with this comparison?

Assumption: Ares I/Orion meets all the ESAS requirements and it performs like NASA hopes.

Some ground rule assumptions on Costing:
Since Soyuz TMA only carries 3 versus Orion’s 6 it would be fair to assume 2 Soyuz flights to 1 Ares. Alternatively give the costs as man delivered to orbit. E.G. one third of the total cost on the Soyuz and one sixth of the cost on the Ares.
Development costs: there are a couple of ways to handle this, 1. Ignore it or 2. Make some assumption of the Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA development costs and factor that across some reasonable time length and do the same for Ares I/Orion. 3. Factor the Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA development costs across its entire lifetime versus Ares I/Orion at some fixed length, perhaps 20 years.

My gut is telling me that Soyuz is going to be much cheaper to operate than Ares but I am not really sure.

Safety: Are two Soyuz missions safer than one Orion mission or not?

Alternative missions: There are several ways to compare this. 1. What are the capabilities of the two launch vehicles? 2. What are the capabilities of the two space ships? 3. Within the “Lunar Mission” what are the capabilities of the Russian system Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA/Proton LV versus the Ares I/Orion/Ares V?

I’ll be interested to see what you Rocket Scientists come up with.

“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold

Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #1 on: 08/09/2007 05:34 PM »
Good question. I'm not in a position to answer fully, but I can add this:
Soyuz has a demonstrated safety record of about 98% (I think Ed Kyle is the man to go into more detail on this one). This compares unfavourably to the expected safety record (LOC) of 1/1200 or so for Ares/Orion. However, the Ares/Orion number is conjecture and the Soyuz one is demonstrated reliability.
Second, the Soyuz re-entry capsule is good for LEO missions but not as well equipped for lunar re-entry. It is designed to survive lunar re-entry, but requires a double-dip manoeuvre to reduce heat loading; this adds complication and reduces safety.
On cost, even the most expensive estimates for Soyuz are around $65m per flight; this is far below the Ares/Orion figures.
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Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #2 on: 08/09/2007 05:55 PM »
So you are saying that two missions at 98% safety would not compare well with one mission with a LOC of 1/1200 and that two Soyuz missions would be about $130m or about $21.7m per person?

On the lunar return it was my understanding that Orion was also planned to do a skip manuver to allow precision landing. Would that be equivalent to the Soyuz TMA heat loading manuver?
“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold

Offline brihath

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #3 on: 08/09/2007 06:00 PM »
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Kaputnik - 9/8/2007  1:34 PM

Good question. I'm not in a position to answer fully, but I can add this:
Soyuz has a demonstrated safety record of about 98% (I think Ed Kyle is the man to go into more detail on this one). This compares unfavourably to the expected safety record (LOC) of 1/1200 or so for Ares/Orion. However, the Ares/Orion number is conjecture and the Soyuz one is demonstrated reliability.
Second, the Soyuz re-entry capsule is good for LEO missions but not as well equipped for lunar re-entry. It is designed to survive lunar re-entry, but requires a double-dip manoeuvre to reduce heat loading; this adds complication and reduces safety.
On cost, even the most expensive estimates for Soyuz are around $65m per flight; this is far below the Ares/Orion figures.

It might be a difficult comparison to make regarding costs, as the Soyuz launch vehicle has been operational in one form or another since 1957- R-7, Vostok, Voshkod, Soyuz, Molniya, Soyuz-Fregat, etc.  Thus the development and infrastructure costs have been spread over a lot of launches (over 1000 for the R-7 and variants, I think).  Plus, historical labor costs in Soviet era Russia would be very difficult to capture, which is when a lot of the development and infrastructure costs occurred.

Interesting idea, but just difficult to quantify.

Offline Jorge

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #4 on: 08/09/2007 06:08 PM »
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Kaputnik - 9/8/2007  12:34 PM

Good question. I'm not in a position to answer fully, but I can add this:
Soyuz has a demonstrated safety record of about 98% (I think Ed Kyle is the man to go into more detail on this one).

Just a hair under 98%, but the exact number depends on how you count Soyuz flights. Under the broadest possible definition (counting Soyuz 32, 34, and T-10-1, and not counting the TMA currently docked to ISS), you get 2 fatal accidents in 96 flights, or 0.979.

For all statistical intents and purposes, the shuttle's record is identical with two fatal accidents in 118 flights (again, not counting STS-118), or 0.983.

No other manned spacecraft even has enough flights to statistically compare them with Soyuz or shuttle.

Fatality rates for the two vehicles are also statistically equal. For Soyuz, 4 fatalities in 231 person-trips (1:57.8) and for shuttle, 14 fatalities in 705 person-trips (1:50.4).

Quote
This compares unfavourably to the expected safety record (LOC) of 1/1200 or so for Ares/Orion. However, the Ares/Orion number is conjecture and the Soyuz one is demonstrated reliability.

Pretty wild conjecture at that. These kinds of PRA estimates are derived from fault trees that only account for the hazards of the vehicle, and not the overall system, which includes both the vehicle and the (quite fallible) people who build and operate it. I've been looking for a sucker willing to bet that Orion will fly at least its first 59 flights with no fatal accidents, which would make its LOC rate match the shuttle's. The only reasons I won't actually bet against that are 1) blatant conflict-of-interest and 2) Orion's flight rate will be so low, I probably won't live long enough to collect.
JRF

Offline sandrot

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #5 on: 08/09/2007 06:08 PM »
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Norm Hartnett - 9/8/2007  1:55 PM

So you are saying that two missions at 98% safety would not compare well with one mission with a LOC of 1/1200 and that two Soyuz missions would be about $130m or about $21.7m per person? [...]

I would not assume that since one seat on a Soyuz is marketed at 21.7 M$ that 21.7M$ represents 1/3 of a Soyuz mission cost.
"Paper planes do fly much better than paper spacecrafts."

Offline HarryM

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #6 on: 08/09/2007 06:10 PM »
The Zond flights which tested Soyuz lunar flybys were pretty horrible in success rate, hardly reassuring.

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #7 on: 08/09/2007 06:14 PM »
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sandrot - 9/8/2007  11:08 AM

Quote
Norm Hartnett - 9/8/2007  1:55 PM

So you are saying that two missions at 98% safety would not compare well with one mission with a LOC of 1/1200 and that two Soyuz missions would be about $130m or about $21.7m per person? [...]

I would not assume that since one seat on a Soyuz is marketed at 21.7 M$ that 21.7M$ represents 1/3 of a Soyuz mission cost.

I based the $21.7m figure on Kaputnik's estimated cost of $65m not the other way around. Currently I believe a seat on the Soyuz is going for $25m.

“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold

Offline meiza

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #8 on: 08/09/2007 06:22 PM »
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HarryM - 9/8/2007  7:10 PM

The Zond flights which tested Soyuz lunar flybys were pretty horrible in success rate, hardly reassuring.

On the other hand, Soyuz is now well "broken in", and has also been upgraded in many ways during the last decade. They could probably come up with a lunar flyby version with not that much extra money. Also the automation technology in the sixties was pretty primitive, which was one big reason of the failures (they didn't carry crews on the tests).
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Offline brihath

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #9 on: 08/09/2007 06:25 PM »
Quote
HarryM - 9/8/2007  2:10 PM

The Zond flights which tested Soyuz lunar flybys were pretty horrible in success rate, hardly reassuring.

May not be a good comparison.  Zond missions were launched by Protons- different launch vehicle, safety record, costs, etc.  At the time of the Zond missions, I think there were still a lot of reliability issues with the Proton launcher.

Offline Jorge

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #10 on: 08/09/2007 06:39 PM »
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brihath - 9/8/2007  1:25 PM

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HarryM - 9/8/2007  2:10 PM

The Zond flights which tested Soyuz lunar flybys were pretty horrible in success rate, hardly reassuring.

May not be a good comparison.  Zond missions were launched by Protons- different launch vehicle, safety record, costs, etc.  At the time of the Zond missions, I think there were still a lot of reliability issues with the Proton launcher.

I think Harry's referring to the Zond re-entry problems. The launcher had nothing to do with that.
JRF

Offline HarryM

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #11 on: 08/09/2007 06:42 PM »
I can understand cost validation for ISS missions, just not sure how a Soyuz would fit into a Lunar architecture in terms of "replacing" the Orion. I would guess crew would be in full Orlan type EVA suits not a pressure suit, so 2 not 3 crew, so you would need 2 Soyuz for a 4 crew Lunar mission.

Offline gladiator1332

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #12 on: 08/09/2007 06:57 PM »
On another note...the Soyuz spacecraft was the problem for the two fatal missions...Soyuz 1 and Soyuz 11. The launch vehicle (tank and SRB) caused the two Shuttle fatal missions.

It is tough to compare Ares I to Soyuz in terms of safety as Ares I hasn't flown yet. We have already seen with Shuttle how LOC projections can be way off.


Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #13 on: 08/09/2007 06:59 PM »
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HarryM - 9/8/2007  11:42 AM

I can understand cost validation for ISS missions, just not sure how a Soyuz would fit into a Lunar architecture in terms of "replacing" the Orion. I would guess crew would be in full Orlan type EVA suits not a pressure suit, so 2 not 3 crew, so you would need 2 Soyuz for a 4 crew Lunar mission.

I wasn't so much interested in "replacing" the Orion, I was wondering more about compatibility. E.G. Orion/LSAM get a working base running could a Proton launched Soyuz and a Proton launched Russian/ESA lunar lander deliver crew to the base? Would there be the possibility of a Progress style resupply capability? What I was really trying to get at was whether either the Soyuz TMA or the Orion was versatile enough to consider other missions besides ISS.
“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold

Offline edkyle99

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Re: Ares I/Orion versus Soyuz LV/Soyuz TMA
« Reply #14 on: 08/09/2007 08:40 PM »
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sandrot - 9/8/2007  1:08 PM

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Norm Hartnett - 9/8/2007  1:55 PM

So you are saying that two missions at 98% safety would not compare well with one mission with a LOC of 1/1200 and that two Soyuz missions would be about $130m or about $21.7m per person? [...]

I would not assume that since one seat on a Soyuz is marketed at 21.7 M$ that 21.7M$ represents 1/3 of a Soyuz mission cost.

The price is going up fast, partly due to the falling dollar versus the ruble and partly due to Russia just wanting more money.  According to this recent report, a Soyuz seat now costs $30 million, and will cost $40 million beginning next year.    

http://www.usatoday.com/travel/destinations/2007-07-18-space-tourism-costs_N.htm

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