Author Topic: Impulse Space  (Read 30662 times)

Offline harrystranger

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #60 on: 11/17/2023 10:38 am »
A wonderful hour long interview/chat with Tom Mueller with some great info about the company and how things are going with the first vehicle in orbit.

edit/gongora: tweaked URL

« Last Edit: 11/22/2023 01:05 am by gongora »

Offline Reynold

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #61 on: 11/29/2023 01:10 pm »
Just listened to this, and there are some nice early SpaceX anecdotes sprinkled in there as well. 

Does anyone know the status of the test tug they launched on the recent transporter mission?  Mueller mentions in the interview that they were having communications difficulties with it, though the hardware was performing fine, and they expected to get the radio working properly soon, but the podcast was a couple of weeks ago. 

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #62 on: 12/03/2023 02:18 am »
https://twitter.com/gotoimpulse/status/1731105246611755512

Quote
Our vehicle Mira has successfully deployed our payload! Thank you @TrustPointGPS for flying on LEO Express-1 💫

Mira still has secondary missions to complete— stay tuned for more!

#MiraFirstFlight #ImpulseSpace

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #63 on: 12/21/2023 12:11 am »
A wonderful hour long interview/chat with Tom Mueller with some great info about the company and how things are going with the first vehicle in orbit.

edit/gongora: tweaked URL



https://twitter.com/lrocket/status/1737641033834606740

Quote
Proud to have joined Jake and Anthony on the Off-Nominal Podcast!
We got into my work in space propulsion, my time at SpaceX, and how I have learned to embrace trying new things; you have to be optimistic when faced with new challenges.
When we recorded the podcast, Impulse had just launched our new craft, Mira. Since then, we made successful contact and can communicate with the craft!
Give the podcast a listen and let me know what you think!

offnom.com/episodes/132

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #64 on: 12/21/2023 06:30 pm »
twitter.com/gotoimpulse/status/1737908810335850839

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🔥 LEO Express-1 mission update: Mira has #Impulse! Yesterday marked a major milestone as we executed a flawless first-time firing of all eight 5lb (22N) Saiph thrusters on our orbital transfer vehicle, Mira. 
Hats off to our team for their engineering preparation and a well-tested system.

https://twitter.com/gotoimpulse/status/1737908812449825203

Quote
Here's a snapshot of LEO Express-1 achievements so far:
🕔 From a blank-sheet design to an operational spacecraft in-space in under 15 months
⭐️ Our in-house developed thrusters, valves, ignitors, pressure transducers, star trackers, cameras, core avionics, and lightweight composite overwrapped pressure vessel (COPV) tanks all hit TRL 9
🌈 Ground-up builds of new flight software (FSW) and guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) capabilities.
🌱 Rapid propellant loading using green propellants from a domestic supply chain
☀️ Autonomous sun pointing and system checkouts post-deployment
⚡️Power positive operations
✚ Attitude control through 16x reaction control thrusters
🛰️ Successful deployment of a customer's 3U CubeSat
🔥 First-try ignition of all eight bi-propellant Saiph thrusters
👨‍🚀 All operated from our sparkly-new Mission Control center

Online gongora

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #65 on: 01/17/2024 03:57 pm »
Impulse has announced their kick stage (Helios):
https://www.impulsespace.com/helios



IMPULSE SPACE UNVEILS DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS FOR NEW HIGH PERFORMANCE KICK STAGE, HELIOS

JAN 17, 2024 _ PRESS RELEASE

With a powerful new engine developed by veterans of the Merlin team, Helios is designed to transport 5+ tons from LEO to GEO in less than 24 hours.

Impulse Space, an innovator of in-space transportation services for the inner solar system, today unveiled design specifications for its latest vehicle: Helios, a high performance kick stage. Using a medium-lift launch vehicle, Helios is designed to take payloads of over 5 tons directly from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geostationary Orbit (GEO) in less than 24 hours. Paired with affordable launches to LEO, Helios aims to dramatically cut the costs of accessing MEO, GEO, and beyond by many tens of millions of dollars.

“The work done by SpaceX and others to open access to LEO has transformed existing industries and created countless new opportunities for businesses, scientists, and governments,” said Impulse CEO and founder Tom Mueller. “We firmly believe that extending affordable and reliable access to orbits beyond LEO with Helios will have a similar impact and create new markets.”

Compatible with medium-lift and super-heavy launchers and using standard payload interfaces, Helios is designed to serve customers in the communications, imaging, defense, and scientific communities. Today, the status quo for many satellites launched to LEO is to use electric propulsion to slowly arrive at their target orbit over a period of months; the alternatives are to either include extra propulsion in the satellite itself, complicating the design and increasing mass and cost, or to pay for a much more expensive launch directly to MEO or GEO.

“The Helios vehicle unlocks the capability to move from LEO to MEO or GEO in a matter of hours—not days or months, as is currently the norm using conventional orbit raising methods,” said Martin Halliwell, former CTO of SES Satellites. “This changes the mission value proposition significantly in several ways, including decreasing the time to reach operational status, limiting potential radiation exposure, and reducing the overall payload mass by decreasing the size of thrusters and amount of fuel required. Helios will open new opportunities for MEO and GEO operators beyond today's limited mission choice criteria."

Helios is powered by a new 15,000 lbf (67 kN) engine, Deneb, which would burn up to 14,000 kg of propellant across each mission. The design and development team includes many veterans of the SpaceX Merlin engine, the most reliable rocket engine in history. Using the nontoxic, high-performance propellant combination of liquid oxygen and liquid methane, the same as Starship and Relativity’s Terran R, Deneb is future-proofed for on-pad operations. Deneb's first engine test-fires are scheduled for mid-2024, and the first demo launch of Helios is targeted for early 2026.

Helios joins Mira as the second vehicle in Impulse’s fleet—the “long-haul” complement to Mira’s “last-mile delivery” services. Having recently taken Mira from a blank-sheet design to successful operations in space in just 15 months, Impulse has rapidly emerged as a reliable and trusted partner for in-space transportation.

Missions set to benefit from Helios’s high delta-v capabilities include the insertion of GPS satellites into MEO, transferring telecom satellites from LEO to GEO, and placing scientific satellites (like the James Webb Telescope) into solar orbits. Customers will be able to choose their altitude, inclination, and plane with confidence that Impulse will deliver the payload with precision and timeliness.

See the Helios page for more information.
« Last Edit: 01/17/2024 03:58 pm by gongora »

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #66 on: 01/17/2024 04:34 pm »
Animation on this tweet:

https://twitter.com/gotoimpulse/status/1747646045549744318

Quote
Introducing #Helios, our new high-performance kick stage.

Helios is designed to transfer 5+ tons from LEO to GEO in under 24 hours, dramatically cutting customer launch costs and time to operations.

Check the design specs 👉 impulsespace.com/updates/impuls…

Offline Teppich

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #67 on: 01/17/2024 04:53 pm »
An interesting comment in this Ars article on Helios:

Quote
The fuel choice is partly a nod to the reusable future of spaceflight that Impulse Space hopes to tap into. "SpaceX needs 1,000 [metric] tons to refuel Starship," he said. "Just give us a sip. We'll take our 14 tons, and we'll be glad to pay for it. And we can continue to reuse these."

So this would seem to imply that they plan to have these refuel on orbit in the long run, probably from preexisting propellant depots?

So their overall strategy here could be to enter the market as quickly as possible with what's de facto a third stage for existing medium/heavy launch vehicles, and later transition that system to a proper in space tug.

I really do wonder what the market for a tug of that size would be though (the value of it as a third stage is much clearer in comparison to me). If regulations make it profitable, it could be an interesting starting point for an active debris (defunct sat) removal system?

https://arstechnica.com/space/2024/01/meet-helios-a-new-class-of-space-tug-with-some-real-muscle/

Online catdlr

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #68 on: 01/17/2024 05:07 pm »
Impulse has announced their kick stage (Helios):
https://www.impulsespace.com/helios



If the kickstage is hidden inside the faring and somewhat tucked into the interstage, why bother constructing it with a skin, could they save some weight without it?  Would look ugly but it works for the Soyuz-2 Fregat.
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Offline Teppich

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #69 on: 01/17/2024 05:12 pm »
I'g guess it's *highly* likely they're using cylindrical tanks with a common dome here. So there's no excess skin to remove anywhere




If the kickstage is hidden inside the faring and somewhat tucked into the interstage, why bother constructing it with a skin, could they save some weight without it?  Would look ugly but it works for the Soyuz-2 Fregat.

Offline RedLineTrain

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #70 on: 01/17/2024 05:27 pm »
It will be interesting to see if SpaceX itself introduces something like this.  They may have their own methane thrusters ready to go as part of the HLS landing method.

I would have thought a smaller thruster would be preferable to a single thruster.  You could gang them together for engine-out capability.
« Last Edit: 01/17/2024 05:31 pm by RedLineTrain »

Online catdlr

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #71 on: 01/17/2024 05:39 pm »
It will be interesting to see if SpaceX itself introduces something like this.  They may have their own methane thrusters ready to go as part of the HLS landing method.

I would have thought a smaller thruster would be preferable to a single thruster.  You could gang them together for engine-out capability.

Their sales brochure indicates that it was compatible to fly with F9.
« Last Edit: 01/17/2024 05:41 pm by catdlr »
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Offline TheKutKu

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #72 on: 01/17/2024 07:50 pm »
Impulse has announced their kick stage (Helios):
https://www.impulsespace.com/helios



IMPULSE SPACE UNVEILS DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS FOR NEW HIGH PERFORMANCE KICK STAGE, HELIOS

JAN 17, 2024 _ PRESS RELEASE


What is "F9-5500", why the 5500 after Falcon 9?

Offline TrueBlueWitt

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #73 on: 01/17/2024 07:57 pm »
Anyone done the math on what mission profiles you could throw with this to the outer planets on a FH yet?

Online gongora

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #74 on: 01/17/2024 08:02 pm »
What is "F9-5500", why the 5500 after Falcon 9?

The only thing I can come up with is that SpaceX lists their reusable GTO capacity as 5.5t

Offline StraumliBlight

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #75 on: 01/17/2024 08:07 pm »
What is "F9-5500", why the 5500 after Falcon 9?

Internal SpaceX serial number for Block 5?

Offline TheKutKu

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #76 on: 01/17/2024 08:10 pm »
What is "F9-5500", why the 5500 after Falcon 9?

The only thing I can come up with is that SpaceX lists their reusable GTO capacity as 5.5t

Thanks, probably it, tho F9 can launch a bit more nowadays (5.8 tons at least, if not close to 6)

Offline TrueBlueWitt

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #77 on: 01/17/2024 08:19 pm »
Anyone done the math on what mission profiles you could throw with this to the outer planets on a FH yet?

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Back of envelope suggests that getting Dragonfly direct to Saturn is possible via Falcon-Heavy + Helios - remember that uses an RTG and time is wasted money.</p>&mdash; Scott Manley (@DJSnM) January 17, 2024 <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #78 on: 01/17/2024 10:00 pm »
Anyone done the math on what mission profiles you could throw with this to the outer planets on a FH yet?
This variant of the Helios will not likely be use for outer system missions on the Falcon Heavy. More likely a stretched variant with 100% to 200% (14 to 28 tonnes) more propellants on a Falcon Heavy with the stretched payload fairing.

It gets even more interesting for a variant that is optimized for staging from the one of the Lagrange points or high elliptical Earth orbit with really gigantic propellant tanks.


Offline Kaputnik

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Re: Impulse Space
« Reply #79 on: 01/17/2024 11:33 pm »
What do we think the Deneb engine is likely to be like? I'm assuming an expander cycle would be a great fit, but electric pumped might work too.
Knowing Tom Mueller's background, what do we think is the most likely?
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