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
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
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?
Quote from: Khadgars on 10/25/2011 10:32 pmGreat 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.
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.
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