Author Topic: NASA releases Request For Information for new Orion Service Module engine  (Read 26456 times)

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)?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
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).

Online 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.

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