Author Topic: NASA releases Request For Information for new Orion Service Module engine  (Read 26411 times)

Offline 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.
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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...

Offline 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.

Online 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?
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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.

Offline koraldon

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Hi,
Is there a link to the actual RFI?
Also I think that moog-isp has some hypergolic experience, but not on that scale...

Online AnalogMan

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Offline speedevil

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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.
Do they actually say it has to use the fuel, and a BFS with an attachment to remove fuel safely from the tanks and provide the thrust wouldn't work?

Once you're this deep in the rabbithole, changing the specs just makes everything explode.
They could at least indicate ranges of adaptability which wouldn't be an issue.
« Last Edit: 02/16/2018 01:50 pm by speedevil »

Offline Hog

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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...
I read it as a clear concise RFI.  We want information, but we wont pay for it, if we use any of "your" supplied info-we wont give your company credit and if you give info-it doesn't mean we will give you the contract, so don't bitch and moan if you see your ideas landing on the Moon. If you cant contain such reactions, please vent them to your lawyers-but remember they will be unable to do anything legally to assuage any perceived tactility to your impending nervous prostration because we told you from the start "I'm just curious, and not looking for anything serious."
Paul

Offline OM72

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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.

I'm glad they accepted the proposal I made to NASA management back in 2011.  :-)

And it does make sense.  Minimize the amount of development dollars needed at one time by using the assets you have first.  And yeah, the engine will essentially be the same because the prop system on the SM is designed to meet the inlet conditions needed for that engine.  But there are some things that could change, namely materials and manufacturing techniques that would reduce the recurring cost of the engine. 

Offline ulm_atms

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And it does make sense.  Minimize the amount of development dollars needed at one time by using the assets you have first.  And yeah, the engine will essentially be the same because the prop system on the SM is designed to meet the inlet conditions needed for that engine.  But there are some things that could change, namely materials and manufacturing techniques that would reduce the recurring cost of the engine. 

It WOULD make sense if they just basically started making the exact same engine again.  But they won't.  There will be some oh so very slight changes, which will require full on development, then full on testing, then full on certification, and then next thing you know....somewhere in the books will be a line item for Orion Service Module engine re-dev with probably 9 numbers to the left of the decimal place.

Where do I get this from?  The RS-25 engines.  They used them for the same exact reason as the OMS (legacy hardware reuse), woops...we are going to run out so we need to make more....we want costs to go down...lets change it to save money...now we have to re-develop/re-test/re-certify the expendable version...and if it only costs a few million less per engine then the original(complete guess...no soild numbers known!!)... and dev/test/cert...costs say 1 billion for easy math....it would take 500 engines to just break even from the changes made.

For using the same design to save costs...they are sure having to dump a lot of money into the develop/test/recertify part which is where they say they are saving the money in the first place!!  I see no reason to believe the OSM re-engine will not follow the path of lots of money to get it going again.

My problem is not with the money they are having to spend to basically restart the production lines...I have no issues with that...it has to be done.  My problem is with them saying "We are reusing to save costs, but then we are modifying things to be cheaper."  That is creating more dev/test/cert costs that I believe outweigh what they are trying to save by reusing existing hardware in the first place.

If Dev+Test+Cert+New Item < Original Item on costs, then yay..saved money.
But if it's >  (which i believe it will be on quite a few parts)...then boo...wasted money

Time will tell....

Offline AncientU

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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.

So, is this just another effort to justify starting up an old AJR line at huge expense like the RS-25E 'justification'?
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Offline speedevil

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So, is this just another effort to justify starting up an old AJR line at huge expense like the RS-25E 'justification'?

On a more serious response.

The SuperDraco, while clearly not fitting, is at least in the ballpark.
I would be very, very surprised if SuperDraco cost $1B to develop, and a third hypergolic engine might be well within their demonstrated capability.

Offline Khadgars

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Ok, this thread has completely de-railed into NASA and SLS/Orion bashing per usual...
Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Thomas Jefferson

Offline joek

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Ok, this thread has completely de-railed into NASA and SLS/Orion bashing per usual...

No.  This is the AJRD-bashing thread.  The NASA and SLS/Orion bashing thread is the next door down on the left.

Offline ulm_atms

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Ok, this thread has completely de-railed into NASA and SLS/Orion bashing per usual...

Ok, I don't usually call something out....but can you explain how this thread has de-railed to NASA/SLS/ORION/ARJ bashing?

I don't really see anyone going "NASA SUCKS!, SLS SUCKS!, ORION'S A WASTE, etc..."

The RFI really reads to me as: "Who wants to make the OMS engine again." as there requirements are basically the OMS spec sheet.  The other part for me was that they want to re-use to save money which is great, but then make changes to cheapen the final product per unit cost. My issue is that they never re-integrate the dev cost back.  Sure, it's cheaper per item...but the older item actually comes out cheaper per unit then the dev+new unit costs do.  Example(made up numbers for easy math):

1 million per engine built exactly like before + 0 since all dev/test/cert should still be valid.  100 engines needed.  100 Million total
500K per engine built new design + 100 million for all dev/test/cert for that new design.  100 engines needed.  150 Million total

In that regard...the new/cheaper engines cost 50 million more technically.

I actually thought the thread was pretty much on target of discussing what the RFI means and projecting that into the future.

Did I miss something somewhere?

Offline envy887

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Ok, this thread has completely de-railed into NASA and SLS/Orion bashing per usual...

No.  This is the AJRD-bashing thread.  The NASA and SLS/Orion bashing thread is the next door down on the left.


I'm sure we can make it multi-purpose thread and fit some of both in.

So, is this just another effort to justify starting up an old AJR line at huge expense like the RS-25E 'justification'?

On a more serious response.

The SuperDraco, while clearly not fitting, is at least in the ballpark.
I would be very, very surprised if SuperDraco cost $1B to develop, and a third hypergolic engine might be well within their demonstrated capability.

Considering that Dragon 2 in it's entirety only cost around $1 billion to develop, that seems most unlikely.

And it does make sense.  Minimize the amount of development dollars needed at one time by using the assets you have first.  And yeah, the engine will essentially be the same because the prop system on the SM is designed to meet the inlet conditions needed for that engine.  But there are some things that could change, namely materials and manufacturing techniques that would reduce the recurring cost of the engine. 

It WOULD make sense if they just basically started making the exact same engine again.  But they won't.  There will be some oh so very slight changes, which will require full on development, then full on testing, then full on certification, and then next thing you know....somewhere in the books will be a line item for Orion Service Module engine re-dev with probably 9 numbers to the left of the decimal place.

Where do I get this from?  The RS-25 engines.  They used them for the same exact reason as the OMS (legacy hardware reuse), woops...we are going to run out so we need to make more....we want costs to go down...lets change it to save money...now we have to re-develop/re-test/re-certify the expendable version...and if it only costs a few million less per engine then the original(complete guess...no soild numbers known!!)... and dev/test/cert...costs say 1 billion for easy math....it would take 500 engines to just break even from the changes made.

For using the same design to save costs...they are sure having to dump a lot of money into the develop/test/recertify part which is where they say they are saving the money in the first place!!  I see no reason to believe the OSM re-engine will not follow the path of lots of money to get it going again.

My problem is not with the money they are having to spend to basically restart the production lines...I have no issues with that...it has to be done.  My problem is with them saying "We are reusing to save costs, but then we are modifying things to be cheaper."  That is creating more dev/test/cert costs that I believe outweigh what they are trying to save by reusing existing hardware in the first place.

If Dev+Test+Cert+New Item < Original Item on costs, then yay..saved money.
But if it's >  (which i believe it will be on quite a few parts)...then boo...wasted money

Time will tell....


The point of using existing hardware was mostly to fly sooner, as well as being cheaper (and various political motivations not worth discussing here).

I don't think that the timing worked out in the case of RS-25. A new engine program started in late 2010 would certainly have produced a flight-ready engine by mid 2020 for SLS first flight. In fact, they could have started it as late as mid-2015 and still be ready.

I don't think it worked out on cost either. A new booster engine could most likely have been developed for the billion and a half spend restarting RS-25 production plus the money NASA spent redesigning and qualifying the engine controller for the existing RS-25.

Offline Lars-J

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Ok, this thread has completely de-railed into NASA and SLS/Orion bashing per usual...

Until the SLS/Orion program produces some actual good news (besides "we made a weld!"), what do you expect? If you think this is news that needs a more positive spin, then you can help out by explaining it to us.
« Last Edit: 02/17/2018 04:20 am by Lars-J »

Offline CorvusCorax

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SpaceX could completely troll them by proposing a gimbaled version of the superdraco with a nozzle extension. The specs are so specific that it really says "we don't want this particular engine, only one that looks exactly like it"

If I was working for SpaceX I'd take that as an engineering challenge, and set an intern to it to adapt the superdraco specs to match those requirements until the deadline ;)

It uses the same propellants and has enough thrust, it only needs to match the ISP and housing specs.

Offline calapine

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I knew this discussion was familiar somehow.

After some googling...ta...da:

Quote
Meanwhile, in preparation for the potential ISS 2021-2024 contribution deal, European technical studies this year will assess avionics, habitation modules and life support systems for a cislunar habitat and new propulsion options for the Orion service module.

The study of new propulsion options for the service module is being done because the module uses the space shuttle’s orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engine and its supply is limited. “There are propulsion trade-offs for how to enhance [the propulsion system] for the long-term,” Parker said Feb. 3.

Parker expects the first three service modules to use the OMS, which uses the fuel monomethyl hydrazine and the oxidizer, nitrogen tetroxide and produces 6,000 pounds of thrust. ESA is considering four alternate engines, Dettman told SpaceNews in a Feb. 3 interview, but he declined to say which engines. One possible alternate hydrazine engine is the Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ10-118k. It produces a 9,850-pound thrust at altitude and was used for the second stage of United Launch Alliance’s Delta 2 rocket.

Considering ESA is building the ESM this would make Aestus (II) a quite likely contender as well.



Offline calapine

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Let's speculate. The required specs from the RFI:
Quote
Isp (specific impulse) ~ 310 (minimum), standard inlet conditions
Thrust ~ 6000 lbf, standard inlet conditions
MR (mixture ratio) ~ 1.65
Weight ~ 284 lbf (maximum)


310 s ISP min. Aestus 3178 Ns/kg which is 324 s......CHECK
6000 lbf thrust min = 26,7 kN. Aestus has 28,4 kN...CHECK
MR ~1,65. Aestus uses an MR of 2,05......................MAYBE?
284 lbs max = 128,9 kg. Aestus has 111 kg.............CHECK
« Last Edit: 02/17/2018 08:11 pm by calapine »

Offline envy887

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Aestus II / RS-72 would be a interesting option. It's 138 kg, so a bit heavier, but has much better isp (340 s) and thrust (55.4 kN).

I think the extra engine mass could be more than made up with a lighter prop tank and pressurization system.

Offline Eric Hedman

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If a replacement engine goes ahead, who pays for it for each flight, NASA or ESA?

Offline Coastal Ron

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If a replacement engine goes ahead, who pays for it for each flight, NASA or ESA?

The Orion is a NASA program, and ESA is doing work on the Orion to offset their partner contribution for the ISS. So from that standpoint it would be NASA that pays for the new engines.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Patchouli

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Let's speculate. The required specs from the RFI:


310 s ISP min. Aestus 3178 Ns/kg which is 324 s......CHECK
6000 lbf thrust min = 26,7 kN. Aestus has 28,4 kN...CHECK
MR ~1,65. Aestus uses an MR of 2,05......................MAYBE?
284 lbs max = 128,9 kg. Aestus has 111 kg.............CHECK


Looks like it would be a good choice esp since it's still in production.

The original OME for Orion also would be a logical choice since it was designed for the mission.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Masten Space was working on a LOX/IPA (Isopropyl alcohol) 4000 lbf engine family called Katana. Did they finish? Or just change to other projects?

Offline speedevil

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Masten Space was working on a LOX/IPA (Isopropyl alcohol) 4000 lbf engine family called Katana. Did they finish? Or just change to other projects?

It might be arguable in principle to change to other hypergolic fuels, but changing to cryogenics would require total redesign of everything pretty much.

Offline woods170

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If a replacement engine goes ahead, who pays for it for each flight, NASA or ESA?

The Orion is a NASA program, and ESA is doing work on the Orion to offset their partner contribution for the ISS. So from that standpoint it would be NASA that pays for the new engines.

The ESM is completely supplied by - and paid for - by ESA, EXCEPT the main engine, which is supplied by - and paid for - by NASA. This arrangement goes back to the initial ESM deal from 2012.

Orion ESM status from September 2017: see attachment.
That is why this RFI is issued by NASA, not ESA.
« Last Edit: 02/18/2018 03:07 pm by woods170 »

Offline DreamyPickle

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Since the ESM is build by ESA wouldn't it make more sense to let them deal with finding a replacement when the current hardware runs out? And instead of buying a drop-in replacement ESA can decide to do adjust the rest of the module.

Offline woods170

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Since the ESM is build by ESA wouldn't it make more sense to let them deal with finding a replacement when the current hardware runs out? And instead of buying a drop-in replacement ESA can decide to do adjust the rest of the module.

The actual Orion Main Engine is not the concern of ESA. ESA is only responsible for integrating it into the ESM. And mind you, ESA is supplying the ESM based on a detailed set of requirements from NASA.

NASA basically told ESA: we want a service module capable of doing <long list of requirements>.
ESA than had European industry design the ESM to fit that set of requirements.
But from day 1 ESA and NASA had the agreement that NASA would supply the main propulsion elements:
- Orion Main Engine, and its associated Thrust Vector Control system for large orbital maneuvers such as LOI and TEI.
- Eight ( 8 ) auxilliary thrusters for small orbital maneuvers such as apogee and/or perigee adjustment.
« Last Edit: 02/18/2018 03:14 pm by woods170 »

Offline WindnWar

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Given that AR built both the LAE and the OMAC engines for the CST-100 program and I don't think they spent a billion on dev to do so, one being a 40,000 pound thrust engine and the other being a 1,500 pound thrust engine, I would think they could come up with a replacement for this that doesn't break the bank either. Though I've not been able to find a program cost for those two engines, given the size of the contract for Boeing it couldn't have been too expensive. They certainly have plenty of time to complete the project given the flight rate projected for SLS.


Offline OM72

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Since the ESM is build by ESA wouldn't it make more sense to let them deal with finding a replacement when the current hardware runs out? And instead of buying a drop-in replacement ESA can decide to do adjust the rest of the module.

The SM is built to NASA specs.  The SM was given to ESA because they wanted to stop flying cargo vehicles to the station, but, for all practical purposes, still owed a debt to NASA....so the SM was descoped from LM and the Orion contract and given to ESA, on the assumption that their cargo vehicle could be easily addapted to the requirements of the Orion SM.

LOL, ok, but it's all politics....and kinda why the SM is in the critical path....but details....whatever

Again, the prop system for the main engine (the SM) is designed with an engine in mind.  Another engine could be outfitted, but that would require changes to the SM.  So, it would make sense to give specific specs to the engine needed as opposed to it dovetailing into SM design changes as well

Offline Patchouli

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Masten Space was working on a LOX/IPA (Isopropyl alcohol) 4000 lbf engine family called Katana. Did they finish? Or just change to other projects?

It might be arguable in principle to change to other hypergolic fuels, but changing to cryogenics would require total redesign of everything pretty much.

If you're going to redesign the SM you might as well give Orion the same delta V as Apollo had while you're at it since it's mass is no longer constrained by Ares I.

Offline woods170

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Masten Space was working on a LOX/IPA (Isopropyl alcohol) 4000 lbf engine family called Katana. Did they finish? Or just change to other projects?

It might be arguable in principle to change to other hypergolic fuels, but changing to cryogenics would require total redesign of everything pretty much.

If you're going to redesign the SM you might as well give Orion the same delta V as Apollo had while you're at it since it's mass is no longer constrained by Ares I.
[snark]
Yes, let's do that and wait six additional years for the next Orion mission.
[/snark]

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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Too bad they won’t bring back the original ESAS planned Methane powered service module, would give plenty of Dv (I know, big change but they had it right the first time!)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/RS-18
« Last Edit: 02/19/2018 11:58 am by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline brickmack

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If you're going with as significant a change as moving to methane, you'd be better off just replacing the SM entirely. Take the life support, communications, and structural interface off the ESM, stick it on top of an ACES. ULA presented a few concepts years back for exactly that.

Offline clongton

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Do we actually have a contract for additional ESMs or are they sunsetted after 3 (2 operational & 1 spare)?
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline TomH

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If you're going to redesign the SM you might as well give Orion the same delta V as Apollo had while you're at it since it's mass is no longer constrained by Ares I.

For what purpose? In Apollo architecture, SM provided ΔV for LOI of full stack CSM/LM, as well as ΔV for TEI of CSM. In CxP architecture, Altair's hydrolox descent engine (would have) provided ΔV for full stack for LOI and SM would provide ΔV only for TEI of CSM. Altair's H2 descent engine (would have) had better ISP than Apollo SM engine, but H2 fuel required high volume due to low density, hence the very large descent stage on the Altair.

With no lander design and no defined mission architecture, no one knows what Orion would even be used for. With no defined mission or architecture, it's impossible to define needed ΔV for Orion's SM. Apollo level amount of ΔV assumes Orion SM needs to cover full stack ΔV for LOI and ΔV for TEI of CSM. You need to define the architecture before you assign ΔV capacity of the SM.
« Last Edit: 02/20/2018 11:54 pm by TomH »

Offline envy887

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If you're going to redesign the SM you might as well give Orion the same delta V as Apollo had while you're at it since it's mass is no longer constrained by Ares I.

For what purpose? In Apollo architecture, SM provided ΔV for LOI of full stack CSM/LM, as well as ΔV for TEI of CSM. In CxP architecture, Altair's hydrolox descent engine (would have) provided ΔV for full stack for LOI and SM would provide ΔV only for TEI of CSM. Altair's H2 descent engine (would have) had better ISP than Apollo SM engine, but H2 fuel required high volume due to low density, hence the very large descent stage on the Altair.

With no lander design and no defined mission architecture, no one knows what Orion would even be used for. With no defined mission or architecture, it's impossible to define needed ΔV for Orion's SM. Apollo level amount of ΔV assumes Orion SM needs to cover full stack ΔV for LOI and ΔV for TEI of CSM. You need to define the architecture before you assign ΔV capacity of the SM.

If you stick Orion on ACES you can determine the delta-v capacity by how much fuel you put in it on orbit, to match the mission requirements. Mars injection for a free return flyby with a BA330? Easy. TLI and LOI with a large, medium, or small lander? Sure.

Flexibility of on-orbit fueling means you don't have to determine your mission architecture 10 years ahead of time and design all the components to only work for that mission.

This would work for a hypergol stage as well, and perhaps even better than ACES since duration could be greatly increased. Unfortunately I don't see it happening with Orion.
« Last Edit: 02/21/2018 02:24 am by envy887 »

Offline brickmack

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ULA and Lockheed both seem very confident that ACES can support minimal boiloff for a few weeks at a time (and LM proposes this for their Mars architecture, though curiously retaining the ESM in-between), which is quite sufficient for Orion's requirements. And the benefit of using ACES specifically is that it would already exist and be almost entirely commercially paid for years before Orion is likely to fly. Sure, there are tons of other ways to build a similarly-performant ESM upgrade/replacement (even with cryogenics and/or refueling), but they will all have to be developed from scratch and will never approach the cost or flight heritage of a system already in commercial use at the time.

Offline woods170

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Do we actually have a contract for additional ESMs or are they sunsetted after 3 (2 operational & 1 spare)?

Given that ESA has recently ordered long-lead ESM items for EM-3 and EM-4 I would reckon there is a contract in place for additional ESMs.

Offline envy887

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ULA and Lockheed both seem very confident that ACES can support minimal boiloff for a few weeks at a time (and LM proposes this for their Mars architecture, though curiously retaining the ESM in-between), which is quite sufficient for Orion's requirements. And the benefit of using ACES specifically is that it would already exist and be almost entirely commercially paid for years before Orion is likely to fly. Sure, there are tons of other ways to build a similarly-performant ESM upgrade/replacement (even with cryogenics and/or refueling), but they will all have to be developed from scratch and will never approach the cost or flight heritage of a system already in commercial use at the time.

A hypergol tank with balloon tanks would have slightly lower delta-v but potentially much greater endurance than ACES. It would need a pump-fed engine like Aestus II/RS-72 and solar for power.  The total dry mass should be similar to the Orion SM due to the much more efficient balloon tank construction.

I think this could be available well before ACES, which is unlikely to fly before 2025.

Offline Proponent

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The SM was given to ESA because they wanted to stop flying cargo vehicles to the station....

Why was ESA in a hurry to stop flying cargo to ISS?

I can see why NASA would want ESA out of the cargo business, because that creates more demand for NASA's commercial-cargo program (and also happens to result in some of the ISS budget effectively being siphoned off to Orion/SLS).

Offline Zed_Noir

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The SM was given to ESA because they wanted to stop flying cargo vehicles to the station....

Why was ESA in a hurry to stop flying cargo to ISS?

I can see why NASA would want ESA out of the cargo business, because that creates more demand for NASA's commercial-cargo program (and also happens to result in some of the ISS budget effectively being siphoned off to Orion/SLS).

AIUI ESA ran out of time. The supply chain for the ATV program was gone with hardware no longer being make or supported. So in order to continued doing ISS logistics meant that ESA have to do a new ATV program with new production lines. ESA did the much cheaper service module for the Orion capsule program instead as barter for ISS access.

Offline Ronsmytheiii

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AIUI ESA ran out of time. The supply chain for the ATV program was gone with hardware no longer being make or supported. So in order to continued doing ISS logistics meant that ESA have to do a new ATV program with new production lines. ESA did the much cheaper service module for the Orion capsule program instead as barter for ISS access.

Plus ATV was more of a temporary station service module than a resupply vehicle (in fact, it took over for the SM during its ~six month trip) plus had more pressurized space than the MPLM/PMM/Columbus USOS modules. I think ESA even wanted to add another docking tunnel to the back of ATV and replenish its fuel tanks using Progress visits.

Offline brickmack

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IIRC the master program plan document or whatever it was called explicitly said only 6 ATVs were planned, before the first had even flown. Then that got dropped to 5 later on.

There was a gap in the SM to allow a docking tunnel to be added there in the future with only minimal mods. One of a ton of ATV derivatives proposed

Offline woods170

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IIRC the master program plan document or whatever it was called explicitly said only 6 ATVs were planned, before the first had even flown. Then that got dropped to 5 later on.

There was a gap in the SM to allow a docking tunnel to be added there in the future with only minimal mods. One of a ton of ATV derivatives proposed

ATV was, from the very beginning, conceived as a technology demonstration program. And it did exactly that. It proved that ESA and its contractors had the expertise to independently develop and fly (cargo) spacecraft. And it is correct that, from the onset, only six ATVs were planned. ESA stuck to that plan simply because, at the time, ISS was expected to be de-orbited in the 2019-2020 timeframe. But events overtook this and ISS was extended, first to 2022, and than to 2024. But based on the original estimated ISS lifetime, the ATV production line had been shut down. So, when it became apparent that ISS would continue beyond 2022 ESA needed something different to barter for their continued presence on the station. NASA pitched an idea, based on ATV, and ESA went for it.
You see, development of the Orion ESM fits perfectly as a follow-on to the original technology demonstration program that ATV was.

Offline Archibald

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Something I never quite understood is why Japan kept building HTVs ?
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Offline woods170

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Something I never quite understood is why Japan kept building HTVs ?

Because NASA asked them to and, unlike ESA, JAXA complied with the request.

Offline deruch

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IIRC the master program plan document or whatever it was called explicitly said only 6 ATVs were planned, before the first had even flown. Then that got dropped to 5 later on.

There was a gap in the SM to allow a docking tunnel to be added there in the future with only minimal mods. One of a ton of ATV derivatives proposed

ATV was, from the very beginning, conceived as a technology demonstration program. And it did exactly that. It proved that ESA and its contractors had the expertise to independently develop and fly (cargo) spacecraft. And it is correct that, from the onset, only six ATVs were planned. ESA stuck to that plan simply because, at the time, ISS was expected to be de-orbited in the 2019-2020 timeframe. But events overtook this and ISS was extended, first to 2022, and than to 2024. But based on the original estimated ISS lifetime, the ATV production line had been shut down. So, when it became apparent that ISS would continue beyond 2022 ESA needed something different to barter for their continued presence on the station. NASA pitched an idea, based on ATV, and ESA went for it.
You see, development of the Orion ESM fits perfectly as a follow-on to the original technology demonstration program that ATV was.

ATV also competed as a COTS vehicle in partnership with Boeing as lead and commercial launch provider.
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Offline woods170

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IIRC the master program plan document or whatever it was called explicitly said only 6 ATVs were planned, before the first had even flown. Then that got dropped to 5 later on.

There was a gap in the SM to allow a docking tunnel to be added there in the future with only minimal mods. One of a ton of ATV derivatives proposed

ATV was, from the very beginning, conceived as a technology demonstration program. And it did exactly that. It proved that ESA and its contractors had the expertise to independently develop and fly (cargo) spacecraft. And it is correct that, from the onset, only six ATVs were planned. ESA stuck to that plan simply because, at the time, ISS was expected to be de-orbited in the 2019-2020 timeframe. But events overtook this and ISS was extended, first to 2022, and than to 2024. But based on the original estimated ISS lifetime, the ATV production line had been shut down. So, when it became apparent that ISS would continue beyond 2022 ESA needed something different to barter for their continued presence on the station. NASA pitched an idea, based on ATV, and ESA went for it.
You see, development of the Orion ESM fits perfectly as a follow-on to the original technology demonstration program that ATV was.

ATV also competed as a COTS vehicle in partnership with Boeing as lead and commercial launch provider.

More specifically: Boeing entered round 1 of COTS, in late 2005, with a proposal to launch ATV on a Delta IV Heavy.
So, Boeing would be the COTS contractor. The ATV vehicle would be built by its prime contractor (EADS Astrium) and supplied to Boeing via Arianespace (as a middleman). Prime launch site would be CCAFS. Backup would be ATV on Ariane 5 from CSG.
COTS-use of ATV would be completely separate from ESA-ordered ATV missions.

COTS-use of ATV would see no ESA involvement, but the contractors would have been obliged to reimburse ESA for use of the ATV design.

Mind you, this proposal never survived round 1 of COTS (obviously) and the proposal was entered into the COTS contest two (2) years before the very first (ESA-ordered) ATV was launched.

Offline brickmack

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Bumping. A new RFI was posted for this a few weeks ago https://govtribe.com/opportunity/federal-contract-opportunity/orion-main-engine-80jsc019ome Includes a new quite detailed technical requirements specification (attached). Responses are due by july 22

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