Author Topic: NASA releases Request For Information for new Orion Service Module engine  (Read 25336 times)

Online Chris Bergin

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Offline Rocket Science

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Thanks for the great article and renders ChrisG and Nathan! :) Now, I wonder who might have a lot of recent experience with a hypergolic engine as of late...? ;)
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator

Offline whitelancer64

Good article, though one thing I thought was missing was some background on the AJ10-910 engine, like a brief paragraph on it's history / heritage as the Apollo SM's engine.
"One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree -- make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to." - Elon Musk
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Offline K-P

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Interesting article.

However... I still have a feeling we do not need to speculate about the engine options for EM-6 because there will not be EM-6 flight ever...

Online Eric Hedman

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Interesting article.

However... I still have a feeling we do not need to speculate about the engine options for EM-6 because there will not be EM-6 flight ever...
If and until when SLS gets canceled or not canceled, there will be work going forward on this; so why not speculate?

Offline Kansan52

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IMO, this implies another restart of old STS engines.

Offline spacetraveler

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IMO, this implies another restart of old STS engines.

The specific design requirements stated would seem to preclude most other options.

Offline Basto

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Quote
“The specific objective of this RFI is to solicit information that may potentially enhance NASA’s planned approach for an OMS engine replacement, including engine subassembly, nozzle extension, and heat shield assembly, and assist in developing the acquisition strategy,” notes the RFI document.

Moreover, NASA’s RFI also states that “This RFI is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government nor will the Government pay for information solicited.  NASA will use the information obtained as a result of this RFI on a non-attribution basis.  The information received may be used in developing the best approach for fulfilling these requirements, and therefore, may be recognizable to the interested party.”


It’s like the meeting to plan the planning meeting.

So much red tape...

Offline hydra9

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NASA should replace the hypergolic Service Module with the ULA's ACES 68 (something the ULA has already contemplated). Since the LOX/LH2 fueled ACES 68 could be reusable, the Orion could be converted into a reusable vehicle that remains in orbit while being refueled at LEO and possibly EML1 or EML2 by solar powered propellant producing water depots.

That would allow access to the-- reusable-- Orion/ACES 68   from Commercial Crew launches to LEO.

Supplying water to the LEO and EML1 or EML2 propellant producing water depots would also come from private commercial launches until water can be reliably extracted from the lunar poles.

Marcel

Offline Patchouli

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An obvious choice might be the  AJ10-118K which I think was still in production recently though bringing back the TR-201 might be more useful.
I don't think the Super Draco or RS-88 would be up to the task.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2018 01:43 am by Patchouli »

Offline the_other_Doug

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NASA should replace the hypergolic Service Module with the ULA's ACES 68 (something the ULA has already contemplated). Since the LOX/LH2 fueled ACES 68 could be reusable, the Orion could be converted into a reusable vehicle that remains in orbit while being refueled at LEO and possibly EML1 or EML2 by solar powered propellant producing water depots.

That would allow access to the-- reusable-- Orion/ACES 68   from Commercial Crew launches to LEO.

Supplying water to the LEO and EML1 or EML2 propellant producing water depots would also come from private commercial launches until water can be reliably extracted from the lunar poles.

Marcel

Very unlikely.  Converting to hydrolox means you have to address the boil-off issue like *right now*, and in the hardest possible form of needing to prevent LH2 boil-off.

I don't see NASA spending lots and lots and LOTS of money solving the LH2 boil-off problem for a notional series of Orion missions that will be hanging on the edge as it is. Making them extraordinarily more expensive won't get you a re-usable Orion SM, it will get you a canceled Orion program.

The first time anyone is going to address the LH2 boil-off issue in actual flight hardware will be when someone puts together LH2 fuel depots.  Which is rather obviously not in the funding scope for Orion, SLS or the entire program generally.

When the technology for LH2 fuel depots is developed, then and only then will you see a lot of hydrolox engines on spacecraft designed to maintain propulsion for more than a few hours after fueling.
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline redliox

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Interesting article.

However... I still have a feeling we do not need to speculate about the engine options for EM-6 because there will not be EM-6 flight ever...

Well, if anyone wishes to speculate about how many flights Orion will make...5 apparently will be the starting number.  I'm no fan of Orion, so this adds fuel to the fire against it.  Still though...

Is there anything around akin to a STS OMT?

NASA should replace the hypergolic Service Module with the ULA's ACES 68 (something the ULA has already contemplated). Since the LOX/LH2 fueled ACES 68 could be reusable, the Orion could be converted into a reusable vehicle that remains in orbit while being refueled at LEO and possibly EML1 or EML2 by solar powered propellant producing water depots.

That would allow access to the-- reusable-- Orion/ACES 68   from Commercial Crew launches to LEO.

Supplying water to the LEO and EML1 or EML2 propellant producing water depots would also come from private commercial launches until water can be reliably extracted from the lunar poles.

Marcel

Very unlikely.  Converting to hydrolox means you have to address the boil-off issue like *right now*, and in the hardest possible form of needing to prevent LH2 boil-off.

I don't see NASA spending lots and lots and LOTS of money solving the LH2 boil-off problem for a notional series of Orion missions that will be hanging on the edge as it is. Making them extraordinarily more expensive won't get you a re-usable Orion SM, it will get you a canceled Orion program.

I at least agree regarding hydrogen, which is a pity since those systems are common but short-lived and expendable.

Although a long shot, what about kerosene akin to SpaceX's Falcon rockets?
"Let the trails lead where they may, I will follow."
-Tigatron

Offline ulm_atms

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Am I the only one that read that as:

"We are asking for information to see who wants to start building the OMS engine again."

The specifics are so specific that the only engine that could replace the OMS is the OMS.

I'm curious about what you all think could be different and still meet that huge list of specs because they basically printed out the full spec list for the OMS as requirements.  Materials selection (3D print, different alloy, etc...) is my only guess but I would still consider that the same engine.

Offline WindnWar

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If you can 3d print the majority of a super draco I don't see why you couldn't do the same with this engine. AR will have to dust off the plans and modernize it for 3d printing.

As specific as it is I can't see how any other design would work and I do not see SpaceX bothering to build something to spec for it. Super Draco as is wouldn't work as it lacks the isp and gimbal parameters among other things.

Offline brickmack

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Sounds like the total engine length is not a hard requirement, only the head to gimbal length. Meaning it could support a wider nozzle, like the CEV-era OME concept. That alone would give a nice performance gain (a couple seconds ISP?). Whats the maximum diameter that could be supported without interfering with the plumes of the auxiliary engines, presuming those can't be relocated or removed?

Offline Hauerg

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This whole SLS/Orion program keeps reminding us what an incredible mess it is.
Not due to incompetence (a lot of fine people in this program) but due to design (of program).

Offline tea monster

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Like nobody thought "Hmmm, we have a finite number of these engines, we'll someday run out of them if we keep shooting them out into space and not bringing them back. Do you think that once the program starts, we'll need to redesign replacements for all this legacy stuff? - Nahhhh!"

The thought that this was all sold as being cheaper and faster because you would be using 'off-the-shelf' components is just mind-boggling. 

Offline woods170

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Am I the only one that read that as:

"We are asking for information to see who wants to start building the OMS engine again."

The specifics are so specific that the only engine that could replace the OMS is the OMS.

I'm curious about what you all think could be different and still meet that huge list of specs because they basically printed out the full spec list for the OMS as requirements.  Materials selection (3D print, different alloy, etc...) is my only guess but I would still consider that the same engine.

More specifically, thru this RFI NASA is looking for a drop-in replacement for the current OMS engine. But given the supplied requirements it would not surprise me that the best fitting proposal is simply the same engine.

IMO only two valid options:
1. Restart of production of the old STS OMS engine.
2. Re-issue of the original OME proposal (Aerojet), from several years back, for the original 606/607 configuration of the Orion Service Module.

For additional information on the second option, follow the links below:
http://www.rocket.com/article/aerojets-successful-main-engine-injector-tests-provide-milestone-nasas-orion-crew
http://spacenews.com/aerojet-tests-orion-main-engine-injector/

As well as information on page 18 of the attached PDF (from here: https://spaceodyssey.dmns.org/media/66273/human_space_exploration.pdf)
« Last Edit: 02/16/2018 06:58 am by woods170 »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Just out of curiosity who besides AJR and SX can build a hypergolic OMS engine in the US?


Offline saundby

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I would hope that AJR takes the opportunity to bid the Uprated OMS that was accepted, built, but never integrated into the Orbiters. I believe four shipsets of these were built then left on the shelf. They're lighter, higher Isp, and were made as drop in replacements for the OME.

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