Author Topic: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2  (Read 31906 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Thread 2.

Thread 1:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=41160.0

Please post useful comments and be civil to each other - and be on topic.

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Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #1 on: 07/01/2020 03:12 am »
I'm going to use the opportunity to speculate: NA will be very similar to SS but a bit larger.
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Offline jstrotha0975

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #2 on: 07/01/2020 01:45 pm »
I'm going to use the opportunity to speculate: NA will be very similar to SS but a bit larger.

And made of different materials.

Offline envy887

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #3 on: 07/01/2020 01:57 pm »
I'm going to use the opportunity to speculate: NA will be very similar to SS but a bit larger.

IMO it will share some features of Starship:
2-stage to LEO
support refueling in orbit
methalox booster
booster primarily RTLS
both stages VTVL

But will differ from Starship with:
fewer larger engines on each stage
different fuels and engines between stages (LH2 upper)
use of horizontal integration of the stages

Offline GWH

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #4 on: 07/01/2020 02:01 pm »
I will speculate that whatever New Armstrong was planned to be has already changed.

Offline spacenut

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #5 on: 07/01/2020 02:07 pm »
If/when they get experience with New Glenn, I think it will be a larger version of New Glenn, except return to launch site because of it's size. 

It will probably be larger than SH/SS in a 12-14m range.  They could use multiple BE-4 engines without having to develop a larger engine. 

They may develop a BE-4U for an upper stage for a LEO super heavy lifter. 

For deep space probes they have BE-3U.  Now they may try to use multiple BE-3U's with some BE-3's on a second stage with the standard BE-3's used to land the upper stage.  Take the BE-3's off and strip off the heat shielding and you have a large deep space upper stage. 

All speculation.  If SS/SH gets going as Musk hopes.  I think they may develop New Armstrong quicker to compete.  However they are taking their sweet time to get New Glenn operational, as F9 has been around for 10 years already. 

Offline rakaydos

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #6 on: 07/02/2020 08:59 pm »
Bezos and Musk have different visions for the future, different directions they want to take their respective companies.

Starship is designed for mars. There are certain efficiencies made possible by having an atmosphere on both ends of the trip, that starship is designed to take advantage of.

New Armstrong will be designed for the Moon and for asteroid resources. Bezos sees the goal as "people living and working in space", and the moon and asteroids are the easiest sources of bulk materials for the kinds of habitats popularized by the L5 society, of which Bezos is a member.

If New Glen can handle a reasonably priced reusable upper stage tanker, New Armstrong might not even be designed to land back on earth at all, instead focusing on landing  heavy equipment and lifting bulk resources from the moon

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #7 on: 07/02/2020 09:47 pm »
Bezos and Musk have different visions for the future, different directions they want to take their respective companies.

I think this is an important point, meaning we shouldn't being thinking that Blue Origin will exactly follow in the footsteps of SpaceX. In fact New Shepard and New Glenn are not copies of what SpaceX has been doing, they have their own path they are taking.

Quote
Starship is designed for mars. There are certain efficiencies made possible by having an atmosphere on both ends of the trip, that starship is designed to take advantage of.

Again, another important point! SpaceX has a specific use case that the Starship addresses, and that starts with Mars. Jeff Bezos has other plans.

Quote
New Armstrong will be designed for the Moon and for asteroid resources. Bezos sees the goal as "people living and working in space", and the moon and asteroids are the easiest sources of bulk materials for the kinds of habitats popularized by the L5 society, of which Bezos is a member.

If New Glen can handle a reasonably priced reusable upper stage tanker, New Armstrong might not even be designed to land back on earth at all, instead focusing on landing  heavy equipment and lifting bulk resources from the moon

At this point we can only guess, and my guess is that Blue Origin has its hands full with New Glenn, and they are keeping a close eye on Starship to see how easy or hard that will be to make operational. Then, based on what the use case is once both of those launch systems are operational, that is when I think Jeff Bezos will start defining what New Armstrong should be.

And if Bezos wants to support living and working in space, then he should focus on a bulk transporter, since lowering the cost to move "stuff" to space is the limitation to expanding humanity out into space. Musk is shooting for $10/kg for a fully loaded Starship, so if Bezos can meet or beat that number, and offer a large payload capacity, that to me would be a worthy system to build.
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 Steve G

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #8 on: 07/03/2020 05:20 pm »
What was the last update Blue Origin gave for New Armstrong? Is it possible they have quietly given up on it?

Offline Pipcard

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #9 on: 07/03/2020 05:49 pm »
What was the last update Blue Origin gave for New Armstrong? Is it possible they have quietly given up on it?
When they first announced New Glenn in 2016, and only as a brief mention. They probably still have to launch that first before making an announcement on its successor.
« Last Edit: 07/03/2020 05:50 pm by Pipcard »

Offline Steve G

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #10 on: 07/03/2020 10:27 pm »
I grew up during the space race, and I don't think the Soviets were as secretive as Blue Origin is. We'll see about New Armstrong, but there's a lot of speculation based on a single mention.
« Last Edit: 07/03/2020 10:28 pm by Steve G »

Offline rakaydos

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #11 on: 07/03/2020 10:39 pm »
I grew up during the space race, and I don't think the Soviets were as secretive as Blue Origin is. We'll see about New Armstrong, but there's a lot of speculation based on a single mention.
The soviets were getting things DONE during the space race. Blue is in an awkward place where their first rocket is ready but not flying due to the pandemic, so there's nothing to announce there, and their next rocket is under development behind closed doors, with nothing ready to be announced.

As for the scarcity of information on New Armstrong, compare it to "18m Starship" which is also the only thing we know about that vehical, but I've seen speculative renders comparing a fatter starship with starship, the shuttle, Orion, and even the ISS.

Offline Seamurda

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #12 on: 07/06/2020 07:23 pm »
I grew up during the space race, and I don't think the Soviets were as secretive as Blue Origin is. We'll see about New Armstrong, but there's a lot of speculation based on a single mention.

The N1 wasn't known about for decades!


Offline John Santos

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #13 on: 07/06/2020 07:31 pm »
I grew up during the space race, and I don't think the Soviets were as secretive as Blue Origin is. We'll see about New Armstrong, but there's a lot of speculation based on a single mention.

The N1 wasn't known about for decades!

Technical details weren't known (by the public) for a long time after, but the US definitely knew about the rocket, its capabilities, and most of its difficulties at the time (in early 1969.)

Offline Steve G

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #14 on: 07/07/2020 05:51 am »
I distinctly recall the N1 was well known. It was called the G-1-E back in the day, and there were also crude drawings of it back in 1969. The pad explosion in July 1969 was also reported at the time. I distinctly recall reading an article back then that the Soyuz 6, 7, & 8 troika mission, that they speculated that there was a missing element that was to have been launched on the ill-fated N1. I believe it may have been a Flight International magazine article written about 1974 that detailed the four N1 launch failures, and stated that they were waiting for the next test flight. All based on ancient memory, but the N1 was not an unknown commodity.

As for the New Armstrong? Not a known commodity. We'll have to be patient.
 

Offline Lemurion

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #15 on: 07/16/2020 08:13 pm »
We know precisely two things about New Armstrong and one is a logical inference. All thatís been officially said is the name and that New Glenn is the smallest orbital launcher Blue ever intends to build. The latter implies New Armstrong will be larger, but thatís as far as it goes.

I think itís likely that Blue will continue with a single-stick methalox booster with hydrolox upper stage design but beyond that basic architecture I donít even think they know. Truth is, it doesnít really make sense to make decisions until they are sure what they want to do.

Starship has a huge advantage in that everyone knows what itís supposed to do and thatís driven a lot of design decisions. Once Blue settles on a mission and business case for New Armstrong, then they can work on closing the design.

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #16 on: 07/16/2020 09:45 pm »
We know precisely two things about New Armstrong and one is a logical inference. All thatís been officially said is the name and that New Glenn is the smallest orbital launcher Blue ever intends to build. The latter implies New Armstrong will be larger, but thatís as far as it goes.

I think itís likely that Blue will continue with a single-stick methalox booster with hydrolox upper stage design but beyond that basic architecture I donít even think they know. Truth is, it doesnít really make sense to make decisions until they are sure what they want to do.

Starship has a huge advantage in that everyone knows what itís supposed to do and thatís driven a lot of design decisions. Once Blue settles on a mission and business case for New Armstrong, then they can work on closing the design.
Well StarShip does a lot of things, right?  You take a basic architecture that's brilliant, and turns out that with variants it's good for anything from p2p to colonizing Mars.

With variants, it's also good for cis-lunar industry.

IMO BO should move ASAP to a rapidly and fully reusable launcher, and that should be the definition of NA. The business case may change later, but once in-orbit fueling is matter-of-course, you gain flexibility to do anything you want.

They're trying to be a fast follower and they have infinite funding.  They should always aim ahead of the company they're following.
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Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #17 on: 07/16/2020 10:56 pm »
We know precisely two things about New Armstrong and one is a logical inference. All thatís been officially said is the name and that New Glenn is the smallest orbital launcher Blue ever intends to build. The latter implies New Armstrong will be larger, but thatís as far as it goes.

I think itís likely that Blue will continue with a single-stick methalox booster with hydrolox upper stage design but beyond that basic architecture I donít even think they know. Truth is, it doesnít really make sense to make decisions until they are sure what they want to do.

Starship has a huge advantage in that everyone knows what itís supposed to do and thatís driven a lot of design decisions. Once Blue settles on a mission and business case for New Armstrong, then they can work on closing the design.
Well StarShip does a lot of things, right?  You take a basic architecture that's brilliant, and turns out that with variants it's good for anything from p2p to colonizing Mars.

With variants, it's also good for cis-lunar industry.

IMO BO should move ASAP to a rapidly and fully reusable launcher, and that should be the definition of NA. The business case may change later, but once in-orbit fueling is matter-of-course, you gain flexibility to do anything you want.

They're trying to be a fast follower and they have infinite funding.  They should always aim ahead of the company they're following.
Do you really think SpaceX could have jumped from Falcon 1 to Starship with out building and launching Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy first?

Blue might have a lot of money.  But they haven't built up the team with design and operational experience that SpaceX has.  Even with an unlimited supply of money, they need to go through the learning curve New Glenn is going to give them.

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #18 on: 07/16/2020 11:08 pm »
We know precisely two things about New Armstrong and one is a logical inference. All thatís been officially said is the name and that New Glenn is the smallest orbital launcher Blue ever intends to build. The latter implies New Armstrong will be larger, but thatís as far as it goes.

I think itís likely that Blue will continue with a single-stick methalox booster with hydrolox upper stage design but beyond that basic architecture I donít even think they know. Truth is, it doesnít really make sense to make decisions until they are sure what they want to do.

Starship has a huge advantage in that everyone knows what itís supposed to do and thatís driven a lot of design decisions. Once Blue settles on a mission and business case for New Armstrong, then they can work on closing the design.
Well StarShip does a lot of things, right?  You take a basic architecture that's brilliant, and turns out that with variants it's good for anything from p2p to colonizing Mars.

With variants, it's also good for cis-lunar industry.

IMO BO should move ASAP to a rapidly and fully reusable launcher, and that should be the definition of NA. The business case may change later, but once in-orbit fueling is matter-of-course, you gain flexibility to do anything you want.

They're trying to be a fast follower and they have infinite funding.  They should always aim ahead of the company they're following.
Do you really think SpaceX could have jumped from Falcon 1 to Starship with out building and launching Falcon 9 and Falcon 9 Heavy first?

Blue might have a lot of money.  But they haven't built up the team with design and operational experience that SpaceX has.  Even with an unlimited supply of money, they need to go through the learning curve New Glenn is going to give them.
They should finish NG, but only as a stepping stone, and then immediately move on..  IMO..
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Offline GWH

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #19 on: 11/29/2020 02:48 pm »
According to this ex-employee on reddit New Armstrong wasn't ever a real thing.

https://www.reddit.com/r/BlueOrigin/comments/k23bih/comment/gdt5v6t

Quote
New Armstrong is not actually a thing

Quote
I used to work for Blue Origin. It's not a thing. The name was floated internally by employees but it is completely not a thing. 

Quote
No.

Here was the idea: Alan Shepard flew suborbital. Therefore the suborbital rocket was New Shepard. John Glen flew orbital. Therefore the orbital rocket is New Glenn. So logically the lunar vehicle would be New Armstrong, right?

Except with 2 and 3 stages, New Glenn can power a moon landing. Also there will be other iterations of New Shepard. Developing an entirely new vehicle to do the same thing as New Glenn would be a waste of resources.

Furthermore, Blue Origin teamed up with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper Labs for the Project Artemis Human Landing System to return to the moon, and there is no New Armstrong that is part of that.

I repeat, New Armstrong is not a thing, but if that delusion makes you happy, have at it.


Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #20 on: 11/30/2020 01:30 am »
According to this ex-employee on reddit New Armstrong wasn't ever a real thing.

https://www.reddit.com/r/BlueOrigin/comments/k23bih/comment/gdt5v6t

Quote
New Armstrong is not actually a thing

Quote
I used to work for Blue Origin. It's not a thing. The name was floated internally by employees but it is completely not a thing. 

Quote
No.

Here was the idea: Alan Shepard flew suborbital. Therefore the suborbital rocket was New Shepard. John Glen flew orbital. Therefore the orbital rocket is New Glenn. So logically the lunar vehicle would be New Armstrong, right?

Except with 2 and 3 stages, New Glenn can power a moon landing. Also there will be other iterations of New Shepard. Developing an entirely new vehicle to do the same thing as New Glenn would be a waste of resources.

Furthermore, Blue Origin teamed up with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Draper Labs for the Project Artemis Human Landing System to return to the moon, and there is no New Armstrong that is part of that.

I repeat, New Armstrong is not a thing, but if that delusion makes you happy, have at it.
This, if true, is not a shock.  I'm a little surprised.  They can focus on New Glenn and improve it over time.  With a third stage, it should be big enough for the foreseeable future.  Maybe this New Armstrong speculation will just go away.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #21 on: 11/30/2020 01:34 am »
According to this ex-employee on reddit New Armstrong wasn't ever a real thing.

Quote
Here was the idea: Alan Shepard flew suborbital. Therefore the suborbital rocket was New Shepard. John Glen flew orbital. Therefore the orbital rocket is New Glenn. So logically the lunar vehicle would be New Armstrong, right?
You can't always extrapolate from the name.   The US government ran a test of the effects a nuclear explosion, using a huge heap (4,700,000 kg) of conventional explosives, the largest non-nuclear blast ever.  The code name for this test was "Minor Scale".  In their press release they said that there were no plans for bigger blasts, and in particular there would be no test "Major Scale".

Offline DJPledger

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #22 on: 11/30/2020 08:27 am »
Perhaps the thread title should be changed to Future LV's after New Glenn Speculation and Discussion.

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #23 on: 11/30/2020 12:29 pm »
Yeah, but the purpose of a new LV would not be to go to the moon. It would be to be fully reusable.

They can't keep aiming at beating Falcon. Starship is coming.

So call it what you call it, they absolutely need to be working on a beyond-NG system.

If this guy has the full picture, that's not good news for BO.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2020 01:07 pm by meekGee »
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Offline spacenut

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #24 on: 11/30/2020 01:09 pm »
They could do a 3 core New Glenn and do a larger reusable upper stage.  They wouldn't have to develop another booster, just the mods needed like Falcon Heavy. 

Or,

They could develop a 10m-12m core using more BE-4's to compete with Starship/Superheavy, and develop a new reusable upper stage. 

Either would take them 3-5 years minimum after New Glenn becomes operational without crashes or explosions.  We don't have New Glenn operational.  So, I would say if New Armstrong comes along, it will be in the 2030's at least. 

Online TrevorMonty

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #25 on: 11/30/2020 01:50 pm »
Why do they need a bigger LV?. NG is fine for commercial market even little actually to big. Can do lunar missions as is with initial missions needing few launches.  Lunar and asteriod propellant in LEO should reduce that to single launch.

Way to open up space is developing technology to extract space resources, large RLVs aren't needed for that.

Offline DreamyPickle

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #26 on: 11/30/2020 01:56 pm »
Starship is already too big and the obsession with "big" vehicles seems counterproductive when cost is more important. If Blue Origin managed to add orbital refueling and eventually reusability to their second stage then the result would be very competitive against Starship.

And unless you're aiming for Mars hydrolox might be a better fuel choice.
« Last Edit: 11/30/2020 02:03 pm by DreamyPickle »

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #27 on: 11/30/2020 05:23 pm »
Why do they need a bigger LV?. NG is fine for commercial market even little actually to big. Can do lunar missions as is with initial missions needing few launches.  Lunar and asteriod propellant in LEO should reduce that to single launch.

Way to open up space is developing technology to extract space resources, large RLVs aren't needed for that.

Well if you want to recovered the upper stage. The New Glenn is too small.

BO have to switch to a fully reusable launcher from the New Glenn as soon as possible to compete with Starship.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #28 on: 11/30/2020 05:46 pm »
Why do they need a bigger LV?. NG is fine for commercial market even little actually to big. Can do lunar missions as is with initial missions needing few launches.  Lunar and asteriod propellant in LEO should reduce that to single launch.

Way to open up space is developing technology to extract space resources, large RLVs aren't needed for that.

Well if you want to recovered the upper stage. The New Glenn is too small.

BO have to switch to a fully reusable launcher from the New Glenn as soon as possible to compete with Starship.
Why is New Glenn too small for a reusable upper stage?  What is the minimum size required?

Online TrevorMonty

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #29 on: 11/30/2020 06:22 pm »
Why do they need a bigger LV?. NG is fine for commercial market even little actually to big. Can do lunar missions as is with initial missions needing few launches.  Lunar and asteriod propellant in LEO should reduce that to single launch.

Way to open up space is developing technology to extract space resources, large RLVs aren't needed for that.

Well if you want to recovered the upper stage. The New Glenn is too small.

BO have to switch to a fully reusable launcher from the New Glenn as soon as possible to compete with Starship.
Why is New Glenn too small for a reusable upper stage?  What is the minimum size required?
At guess reuseable 2nd stage would bring down to 30t. Can use expendable BE7 3rd stage for BLEO missions eg GEO satellites.


Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #30 on: 11/30/2020 06:37 pm »
Starship is already too big and the obsession with "big" vehicles seems counterproductive when cost is more important. If Blue Origin managed to add orbital refueling and eventually reusability to their second stage then the result would be very competitive against Starship.

And unless you're aiming for Mars hydrolox might be a better fuel choice.

LH2 is not very good for a 1st stage, and if you are building a reusable vehicle then LH2 is not a good choice either due to a number of reasons (i.e. brittleness, handling, etc.).

Environmental concerns aside, RP-1 and methane hit the sweet spot on a number of important technical issues for a 1st stage.
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 meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #31 on: 11/30/2020 10:50 pm »
Why do they need a bigger LV?. NG is fine for commercial market even little actually to big. Can do lunar missions as is with initial missions needing few launches.  Lunar and asteriod propellant in LEO should reduce that to single launch.

Way to open up space is developing technology to extract space resources, large RLVs aren't needed for that.

Because otherwise what SpaceX will do is take advantage of SS to outpace the market, and that's exactly what JB doesn't want.

For example, experts were telling us that the market doesn't support the launch rate afforded by reusability, so what's the point.  What happened is that it allowed StarLink, so the market was changed because of the rocket.

In the same manner, StarLink will be a success and then will migrate to much larger satellites, in such a way that nobody else can compete since nobody will have SS capabilities.  Again - the rocket will define the market.

Similarly, with a reusable manned launcher, BO will not have the kind of manned presence in orbit that SpaceX will.

So if BO doesn't match SS's capabilities, JB will not have influence in cis-lunar space.
« Last Edit: 12/01/2020 02:16 am by meekGee »
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Offline Seamurda

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #32 on: 12/01/2020 08:42 pm »
Why do they need a bigger LV?. NG is fine for commercial market even little actually to big. Can do lunar missions as is with initial missions needing few launches.  Lunar and asteriod propellant in LEO should reduce that to single launch.

Way to open up space is developing technology to extract space resources, large RLVs aren't needed for that.

Because otherwise what SpaceX will do is take advantage of SS to outpace the market, and that's exactly what JB doesn't want.

For example, experts were telling us that the market doesn't support the launch rate afforded by reusability, so what's the point.  What happened is that it allowed StarLink, so the market was changed because of the rocket.

In the same manner, StarLink will be a success and then will migrate to much larger satellites, in such a way that nobody else can compete since nobody will have SS capabilities.  Again - the rocket will define the market.

Similarly, with a reusable manned launcher, BO will not have the kind of manned presence in orbit that SpaceX will.

So if BO doesn't match SS's capabilities, JB will not have influence in cis-lunar space.

Yes and no:

Currently a Starlink sat is about $250,000 to make and $350,000 to launch, Starship V1 might get that down to more like $35,000.  The cost of launch would now be dominated by the cost of the satellite and the ground terminal and internet band width. BO/Amazon may be able to compete with a partially reusable New Glenn if they can make the satellite lighter or cheaper, or simply if they can make their ground terminal a hundred $ cheaper.

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #33 on: 12/01/2020 09:17 pm »
BO/Amazon may be able to compete with a partially reusable New Glenn if they can make the satellite lighter or cheaper, or simply if they can make their ground terminal a hundred $ cheaper.

Rajeev Badyal and team were fired off Starlink and before joining Kuiper.  It seems like a longshot that they'd deliver better/cheaper hardware just because they have extra time.  Starlink will be on its umpteenth version before they even launch their first satellite.

Having to eat extra cost because Blue aren't completing with Starship isn't trivial, even for Amazon. They'd want cheaper launch eventually and Blue apparently have nothing on the table.

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #34 on: 12/01/2020 09:32 pm »
Why do they need a bigger LV?. NG is fine for commercial market even little actually to big. Can do lunar missions as is with initial missions needing few launches.  Lunar and asteriod propellant in LEO should reduce that to single launch.

Way to open up space is developing technology to extract space resources, large RLVs aren't needed for that.

Because otherwise what SpaceX will do is take advantage of SS to outpace the market, and that's exactly what JB doesn't want.

For example, experts were telling us that the market doesn't support the launch rate afforded by reusability, so what's the point.  What happened is that it allowed StarLink, so the market was changed because of the rocket.

In the same manner, StarLink will be a success and then will migrate to much larger satellites, in such a way that nobody else can compete since nobody will have SS capabilities.  Again - the rocket will define the market.

Similarly, with a reusable manned launcher, BO will not have the kind of manned presence in orbit that SpaceX will.

So if BO doesn't match SS's capabilities, JB will not have influence in cis-lunar space.

Yes and no:

Currently a Starlink sat is about $250,000 to make and $350,000 to launch, Starship V1 might get that down to more like $35,000.  The cost of launch would now be dominated by the cost of the satellite and the ground terminal and internet band width. BO/Amazon may be able to compete with a partially reusable New Glenn if they can make the satellite lighter or cheaper, or simply if they can make their ground terminal a hundred $ cheaper.
It goes beyond cost.

If Starlink droves demand to LEO constellations, the size of the satellites will grow to the point where NG won't be practical - too small a payload, and not fully reusable.

The market will respond to the capabilities offered by the rocket.

So saying "NF is big enough for today's market" is technically true and yet spells exactly how BO fails.
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Offline butters

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #35 on: 12/01/2020 10:03 pm »
Starship is potentially vulnerable to competition from a medium RLV capable of 25-30mT to LEO or ideally 5-7mT to GTO. The New Glenn booster is in the ballpark for that if Blue Origin develops a "mini starship" to stack on top. It could be particularly competitive for lighter LEO missions where the booster could potentially RTLS instead of landing on the downrange ship. Yeah, Starship could initially be a great value even for one-ton payloads, but a smaller fully-reusable launch system should be even less expensive to operate for missions within its performance envelope.

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #36 on: 12/01/2020 10:29 pm »
Starship is potentially vulnerable to competition from a medium RLV capable of 25-30mT to LEO or ideally 5-7mT to GTO. The New Glenn booster is in the ballpark for that if Blue Origin develops a "mini starship" to stack on top. It could be particularly competitive for lighter LEO missions where the booster could potentially RTLS instead of landing on the downrange ship. Yeah, Starship could initially be a great value even for one-ton payloads, but a smaller fully-reusable launch system should be even less expensive to operate for missions within its performance envelope.

Presuming someone have non-governmental development budget to build a small RLV. However the time needed to developed the smaller RLV, essentially ceded most of the market to the Starship.

Think the operating cost of the smaller RLV will not be much cheaper than the Starship. Since both have about the same fixed overhead costs except for propellants.

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #37 on: 12/01/2020 11:09 pm »
Starship is potentially vulnerable to competition from a medium RLV capable of 25-30mT to LEO or ideally 5-7mT to GTO. The New Glenn booster is in the ballpark for that if Blue Origin develops a "mini starship" to stack on top. It could be particularly competitive for lighter LEO missions where the booster could potentially RTLS instead of landing on the downrange ship. Yeah, Starship could initially be a great value even for one-ton payloads, but a smaller fully-reusable launch system should be even less expensive to operate for missions within its performance envelope.

When reuse enters into the rocket lexicon, I think we need to recalibrate common understanding of what words like "medium RLV" mean, as the word "medium" carries some baggage from the world of expendable rockets.  Consider the current primary data point, i.e F9 single stick.  As a partially re-usable F9 vehicle, it drops in class comparable to a Soyuz when doing RTLS, however as an expendable, it compares well against Proton, Ariane V, & Atlas/Delta in heavier configurations.  If F9 single stick was somehow developed into a fully reusable vehicle, it would likely be comparable to Rocketlab Electron on its best day.  If NG was made fully re-usable, it would not be competitive against FH ( lack of capability) & would be competing against F9 reusable/Soyuz/Vega/Firefly Alpha type vehicles.

Point being, we should consider that SS/SH is possibly what a "Medium or Small RLV" looks like.  Performance to GTO is pretty poor, & I don't think SS/SH will be successful if they do not solve propellant transfer & obtain quick turn/high flight rates. SS/SH is exciting in capability because it combines re-use with refueling.  I think it may represent the bare minimum scale that is workable for full re-use of a TSTO vehicle. 

As to the fictional New Armstrong, or any emerging re-use scheme, expect it to have to solve the same issues as SS/SH & end up being comparable in scale. 

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #38 on: 12/02/2020 03:44 am »
...If F9 single stick was somehow developed into a fully reusable vehicle, it would likely be comparable to Rocketlab Electron on its best day.  ...
Your estimate is not even close! Off by over an order of magnitude!
F9 droneship payload is 16 tons IMLEO. The upper stage dry mass is 4.5 tons. Even if recovery hardware doubled the mass of the upper stage (which is questionable), it'd still have 11.5 tons payload. That's nearly double Delta II's payload to LEO, and it's greater IMLEO than the variant of Atlas V that accounted for most of its launches (the version without any SRBs).


And Starship will be successful even if all it does is send Starlink to LEO fully reusably.
« Last Edit: 12/02/2020 03:45 am by Robotbeat »
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Offline Stan-1967

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #39 on: 12/02/2020 07:19 am »
...If F9 single stick was somehow developed into a fully reusable vehicle, it would likely be comparable to Rocketlab Electron on its best day.  ...
Your estimate is not even close! Off by over an order of magnitude!
F9 droneship payload is 16 tons IMLEO. The upper stage dry mass is 4.5 tons. Even if recovery hardware doubled the mass of the upper stage (which is questionable), it'd still have 11.5 tons payload. That's nearly double Delta II's payload to LEO, and it's greater IMLEO than the variant of Atlas V that accounted for most of its launches (the version without any SRBs).


And Starship will be successful even if all it does is send Starlink to LEO fully reusably.

I'll emphasize the main point of my post was to reset the thinking that something like SS/SH or the imaginary New Armstrong ( 12m core) is not necessarily a large re-usable rocket.  The SS/SH is probably at the lower end, size wise, of what is economically viable for a fully re-usable rocket, & even that depends on flight rate goals & prop transfer.

I don't think I'm off by an order of magnitude, but I should have been more precise in my metrics.   By saying it would be comparable, I more specifically think in terms of cost per kg, payload to GTO, &  not just mass to LEO.  I am also recalling E.Musk abandoned the idea precisely due to severe loss of performance & needing to go the bigger BFR for full re-use.

It all comes down to what is ultimately needed to enable reuse of a second stage.  It is much more complicated than just a heatshield.  How will it maneuver & land?  Using the notional propulsive landing technique you need at least the following:
Add another 4.5 ton for heat shield is not unreasonable IMO. (F9-S2 is amazingly light)
*** the second you add a 4.5t heatshield, GTO is no longer a viable destination for a F9 fully reusable. 
Add another ton for aero surfaces
Add another ton for landing legs
Need something to power it all, so maybe .2 ton of batteries, hydraulics, COPV's etc.?  IDK
Can you land it using M-Vac?  Probably not ( too overpowered) so you slap on three Superdraco's with a SL ISP of 235s and that adds maybe another .3 tons.
Dry weight now looks more like 11.5 tons (show me a better guess if you want, I admit this is back of envelope stuff)
This would need to have propellant for around 300m/s DV, which adds another 1.6 tons, & drives the total mass to just over 13 tons. 
So mass to LEO is maybe 3 tons +- whatever errors I made or omitted to add.
LEO mass is maybe around 1 order of magnitude greater than Electron, you were more correct on this, however...

Electron can still get 40 kg Interplanetary or GTO, I don't think an F9 sized rocket fully reusable can get anything much beyond the inner Van Allen belts.
Cost per kg to LEO is probably still likely more favorable to an F9 sized rocket, but I think that calculation gets very fuzzy.  What is the market for 3ton payloads to LEO that would give you an ROI on the cost of enabling S2 re-use?  How would you launch a constellation like Starlink 3tons at a time?  How many launch pads & drone ships are needed & what is the launch frequency you would have to scale to?







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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #40 on: 01/23/2021 06:50 pm »
If New Armstrong isn't a thing. It should be made a thing. 45 t to LEO is ridiculous. Sure, the current market doesn't ask for >25 t to LEO but we're not talking about the current market here. If the costs are down by some orders of magnitude, suddenly all sorts of fundings for large things in orbit and beyond come around. Already current satellite building would profit a lot. At the moment, they're trying to build one as tender as possible. If you can build much more robust, you can build much cheaper. Adding some larger hypergolic maneuvering system to this and interplanetary missions are much easier. If that is enable by larger rockets, that's a huge market.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #41 on: 01/24/2021 04:18 am »
...If F9 single stick was somehow developed into a fully reusable vehicle, it would likely be comparable to Rocketlab Electron on its best day.  ...
Your estimate is not even close! Off by over an order of magnitude!
F9 droneship payload is 16 tons IMLEO. The upper stage dry mass is 4.5 tons. Even if recovery hardware doubled the mass of the upper stage (which is questionable), it'd still have 11.5 tons payload. That's nearly double Delta II's payload to LEO, and it's greater IMLEO than the variant of Atlas V that accounted for most of its launches (the version without any SRBs).


And Starship will be successful even if all it does is send Starlink to LEO fully reusably.

I'll emphasize the main point of my post was to reset the thinking that something like SS/SH or the imaginary New Armstrong ( 12m core) is not necessarily a large re-usable rocket.  The SS/SH is probably at the lower end, size wise, of what is economically viable for a fully re-usable rocket, & even that depends on flight rate goals & prop transfer....
I don't agree. Smaller fully reusable rockets are viable, and someone will build one. Probably within the next 10 years.
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Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #42 on: 01/24/2021 01:40 pm »
...If F9 single stick was somehow developed into a fully reusable vehicle, it would likely be comparable to Rocketlab Electron on its best day.  ...
Your estimate is not even close! Off by over an order of magnitude!
F9 droneship payload is 16 tons IMLEO. The upper stage dry mass is 4.5 tons. Even if recovery hardware doubled the mass of the upper stage (which is questionable), it'd still have 11.5 tons payload. That's nearly double Delta II's payload to LEO, and it's greater IMLEO than the variant of Atlas V that accounted for most of its launches (the version without any SRBs).


And Starship will be successful even if all it does is send Starlink to LEO fully reusably.

I'll emphasize the main point of my post was to reset the thinking that something like SS/SH or the imaginary New Armstrong ( 12m core) is not necessarily a large re-usable rocket.  The SS/SH is probably at the lower end, size wise, of what is economically viable for a fully re-usable rocket, & even that depends on flight rate goals & prop transfer....
I don't agree. Smaller fully reusable rockets are viable, and someone will build one. Probably within the next 10 years.
BO's stated goals are well beyond just being "viable"

« Last Edit: 01/25/2021 02:33 am by meekGee »
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #43 on: 01/24/2021 10:39 pm »
If I were to guess, I'd bet that looking back 10 years from now we'll say that while SpaceX going with full reuse on Starship was the right move, Blue Origin got the size right on New Glenn.

Which I guess is to say that I expect we won't see New Armstrong within the next 10 years.
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline spacenut

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #44 on: 01/25/2021 01:06 am »
You know, they could always make a New Glenn heavy with 3 cores.  The 7m diameter is large enough to have a 9-10m fairing on top of the upper stage.  All without developing a new rocket or engines.  Since New Glenn can do 40-45 tons to LEO in a single stick.  A heavy version should at least double that with reuseable cores. 

I know it took a while for SpaceX to develop the Falcon Heavy, maybe 2-3 years, but that is not really than long considering a new rocket would take longer.  SpaceX waited until they got the Falcon 9 version 1.2 or "Full Thrust" version first.  Blue Origin may not try to improve the thrust on BE-4 and let it be.  This could get them going faster on a 3 core version. 

My idea would be a 12m version with about 21 engines.  1 circled by 8 circled by 12.  Maybe more if they could fit them in.  This would make it in the Saturn V range of thrust or greater. 

Don't really know how they are going to work it out.  They have taken a long time to develop BE-3, BE-3U, and BE-4 as well as New Glenn, which hasn't flown yet. 

Offline su27k

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #45 on: 01/25/2021 04:42 am »
If New Armstrong is not a thing, it's a bit sad. New Glenn and Blue Moon is fine if they just want to be the next ULA, but for a company backed by the richest man on Earth and hoping to industrialize cislunar space, it's no where near ambitious enough. Remember SpaceX was talking about Raptor, Merlin 2, Falcon X/XX before Falcon 9 even took flight, you need to think about your next project while you're finishing the current one.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #46 on: 01/25/2021 12:53 pm »
To be honest, New Glenn is big enough even for very expansive development of space... PROVIDED they have a very high flight rate and are fully reusable. Thousands of launches per year.
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #47 on: 01/25/2021 03:31 pm »
but for a company backed by the richest man on Earth and hoping to industrialize cislunar space.

Elon is now actually the richest man on Earth
artist, so take opinions expressed above with a well-rendered grain of salt...
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #48 on: 01/25/2021 04:42 pm »
but for a company backed by the richest man on Earth and hoping to industrialize cislunar space.

Elon is now actually the richest man on Earth
As of right now, Bezos has him by about 2%. It fluctuates as this is based on stock price. It's not likely we have literal piles of gold expanding or shrinking, it's just what "the market" thinks at any one time. https://www.forbes.com/real-time-billionaires/#597298263d78

Heh, actually, I suspect if SN9 is successful, Musk might overtake Bezos this afternoon again.
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Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #49 on: 01/25/2021 10:25 pm »
To be honest, New Glenn is big enough even for very expansive development of space... PROVIDED they have a very high flight rate and are fully reusable. Thousands of launches per year.

Honesty aside, I disagree.
If NG operates at "thousands of launches per year", then it has to RTLS and have US reusability, and then how much payload can it have?

NG has a takeoff thrust of 17 MN.  SS has 65 MN.  So roughly speaking, if they have the same mass efficiency, NG will lift 20 tons or so to Starships's 100 tons.  (accounting for Raptor's higher ISP).  Give or take.

20 tons of payload is not bad, but I don't think you can do "expansive development of space" with it.  Even with 100+ tons, SpaceX is talking about a thousand ships...   And we both know that they consider 9 m to be just the beginning - Musk was mentioning 18 m at some point.

NG only looks large when compared with Vulcan or with existing EELVs.  That's not a super high bar.

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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #50 on: 01/25/2021 10:36 pm »
More like 30 tons payload. Maybe 40-45 if they incrementally upgrade like F9.
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Offline matthewkantar

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #51 on: 01/25/2021 10:43 pm »
New Glenn with a reusable upper stage could do nearly any mission currently being flown. It would totally dominate today's market.  It is not sized to revolutionize space travel or allow humanity to "expand into space."

With a reusable second stage it would be the most capable rocket in the world. That will be awesome for BO if Starship doesn't work out. Hoping for SpaceX to blow it has not been a great strategy for others, even with massive head starts.

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #52 on: 01/25/2021 10:49 pm »
More like 30 tons payload. Maybe 40-45 if they incrementally upgrade like F9.

You can say the same about SS... 

The ratio in liftoff thrust doesn't lie though.  Nor does the ISP.

When looking at payload, SS's numbers already account for extra propellant, aerodynamic surfaces and heat shielding.  NG's hypothetical reusable US is building on numbers for expendable technology - there's a giant penalty hiding in there if they want to do a mini-reusable.

I'll bet that when all is said and done, Starship will only increase the performance gap - simply because it'll fly more and mature faster...  And by the time NG will have a chance to improve, SS will be at 12 m or larger.

"Expansive space development" means more than another ISS or some such.  You want to talk about large habitats..  There's another factor of 6-7 (IIRC) from LEO mass to Lunar downmass..    So NG will be able to transport (in reusable mode) only a few tons at a time.  That's just not enough.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #53 on: 01/26/2021 01:04 am »
More like 30 tons payload. Maybe 40-45 if they incrementally upgrade like F9.

You can say the same about SS... 

The ratio in liftoff thrust doesn't lie though.  Nor does the ISP.

When looking at payload, SS's numbers already account for extra propellant, aerodynamic surfaces and heat shielding.  NG's hypothetical reusable US is building on numbers for expendable technology - there's a giant penalty hiding in there if they want to do a mini-reusable.

I'll bet that when all is said and done, Starship will only increase the performance gap - simply because it'll fly more and mature faster...  And by the time NG will have a chance to improve, SS will be at 12 m or larger.

"Expansive space development" means more than another ISS or some such.  You want to talk about large habitats..  There's another factor of 6-7 (IIRC) from LEO mass to Lunar downmass..    So NG will be able to transport (in reusable mode) only a few tons at a time.  That's just not enough.
Blue Origin has had reuse in their cross hairs before SpaceX existed. They’re super slow. But full reuse has always been the goal.

And I don’t get where the heck you’re only getting “a few tons at a time” from. New Glenn is like 45 tons to LEO with first stage recovery. Upper stage reuse is not a massive penalty. Usually only considered a fraction of the upper stage dry mass. New Glenn has an upper stage dry mass of about 12 tons, roughly. Even if we were to conservatively double that, that’s still a fully reusable payload of 33 tons to LEO. That’s an order of magnitude more than “a few tons at a time.”
« Last Edit: 01/26/2021 01:22 am by Robotbeat »
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Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #54 on: 01/26/2021 02:12 am »
More like 30 tons payload. Maybe 40-45 if they incrementally upgrade like F9.

You can say the same about SS... 

The ratio in liftoff thrust doesn't lie though.  Nor does the ISP.

When looking at payload, SS's numbers already account for extra propellant, aerodynamic surfaces and heat shielding.  NG's hypothetical reusable US is building on numbers for expendable technology - there's a giant penalty hiding in there if they want to do a mini-reusable.

I'll bet that when all is said and done, Starship will only increase the performance gap - simply because it'll fly more and mature faster...  And by the time NG will have a chance to improve, SS will be at 12 m or larger.

"Expansive space development" means more than another ISS or some such.  You want to talk about large habitats..  There's another factor of 6-7 (IIRC) from LEO mass to Lunar downmass..    So NG will be able to transport (in reusable mode) only a few tons at a time.  That's just not enough.
Blue Origin has had reuse in their cross hairs before SpaceX existed. They’re super slow. But full reuse has always been the goal.

And I don’t get where the heck you’re only getting “a few tons at a time” from. New Glenn is like 45 tons to LEO with first stage recovery. Upper stage reuse is not a massive penalty. Usually only considered a fraction of the upper stage dry mass. New Glenn has an upper stage dry mass of about 12 tons, roughly. Even if we were to conservatively double that, that’s still a fully reusable payload of 33 tons to LEO. That’s an order of magnitude more than “a few tons at a time.”

Of course they have, but they are not magicians.

You have two similar rockets, with similar propellants.  One starts off with about 4x the thrust, and better ISP on the first stage.  The other has better ISP on the second.

Give or take, the first rocket will have 4x the payload.

There's another catch and that is that the first rocket has engines with a much higher thrust/area ratio.  This explains how it is taller, and therefore carrying more propellant.

Initially, the first rocket is built as fully and rapidly reusable with RTLS whereas the second is built as partially reusable and downrange recovery, so the initial payload  performance gap appears smaller.

But once the second rocket tries to do

This is assuming BO goes the distance and does a rapidly reusable system that flies, as you say, thousands of times a year.  Right now, they've never even set that as a goal.

With down-range recovery, they're aiming far far lower...  Which means they may retain the 40-50 ton payload, but at quite a cost.

To do, on your words, "expansive" space habitation, they're off by at least an order of magnitude.  I think SpaceX doesn't consider today's SS as quite sufficient even.

As for lunar capacity, without in-orbit refuling ability, why would they be able to deliver more than about half of what Saturn V could?
« Last Edit: 01/26/2021 02:25 am by meekGee »
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Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #55 on: 01/26/2021 03:55 am »
I know it took a while for SpaceX to develop the Falcon Heavy, maybe 2-3 years,...

Falcon Heavy was announced in 2011 and flew seven years later.

Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #56 on: 01/26/2021 04:45 am »
I know it took a while for SpaceX to develop the Falcon Heavy, maybe 2-3 years,...

Falcon Heavy was announced in 2011 and flew seven years later.



The length of time is correct, but the situations are totally different. During those 7 years SpaceX had a product that was increasing its launches every year while greatly expanding the vehicle's performance. BO is doing semiannual hops with a toy.

Offline spacenut

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #57 on: 01/26/2021 05:39 am »
I know it took a while for SpaceX to develop the Falcon Heavy, maybe 2-3 years,...

Falcon Heavy was announced in 2011 and flew seven years later.



Yes, but did they actually get started on it then or after they got the Full Thrust version of F9 so they could deliver more payload?  Since the version they have now had to wait until they got the full thrust and the landings down. 

Offline envy887

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #58 on: 01/27/2021 11:52 pm »
More like 30 tons payload. Maybe 40-45 if they incrementally upgrade like F9.

NG would probably be pushing 50 t to LEO if they go straight to full reuse, especially since they would likely do it by stretching the upper stage a bit and adding a SL BE-3 in the middle for VTVL landing. The added thrust and prop for ascent would help replace some performance lost to recovery hardware.

NG's hydrolox upper stage means it has a higher staging velocity and further downrange landing for the booster, which is toasty for booster entry, but improves payload per liftoff mass. Further uprating to BE-4 would allow more performance from there through stretches to the booster and upper stage.
« Last Edit: 01/27/2021 11:56 pm by envy887 »

Offline Redclaws

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #59 on: 01/27/2021 11:58 pm »
Quote
Yes, but did they actually get started on it then or after they got the Full Thrust version of F9 so they could deliver more payload?  Since the version they have now had to wait until they got the full thrust and the landings down.

I think we know the answer is ďitís complicatedĒ.  They did a lot of work on it at various points but clearly didnít push it to completion until the F9 changes were mostly done, partly because the F9 kept changing.

So... itís complicated.  But I do not think it is a particularly apt comparison either.

Offline spacenut

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #60 on: 01/28/2021 02:48 am »
Blue is not likely to make many improvements once New Glenn is operational.  They really don't seem to want to push the envelope.  So, I would think leaving it as is for current satellites and launches to be competitive, then working on a 3 core heavy version with reusable upper stage could get them in the 100 ton category without development of an entirely new rocket.  The rocket is already 7m wide which is large.  Making the upper stage stretch wouldn't be hard.  They could even develop cross feed to get the core further down range before the upper stage kicks in.  This may add about 10 tons to the payload. 

Falcon 9 can get about 23 tons to LEO expendable, probably about 18 tons with down range drone ship landing.  FH can get 63 tons to LEO expendable, and around 40-45 tons reusable. 

So New Glenn can get 40-45 tons with first stage reusability with down range landing.  A 3 core version with down range landing should get 100-110 tons to LEO.  I may be wrong, but just making comparisons. 

This would be without developing an entirely new rocket like a New Armstrong. 

One thing holding back Blue is their engine (BE-4) is fairly large in comparison to the Raptor.  They can only get so many under a given diameter.  They are putting 7 engines under the New Glenn with it's 7m core.  I don't think they can fit 9 of them under there. 

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #61 on: 01/28/2021 04:35 am »
I know it took a while for SpaceX to develop the Falcon Heavy, maybe 2-3 years,...

Falcon Heavy was announced in 2011 and flew seven years later.



Yes, but did they actually get started on it then or after they got the Full Thrust version of F9 so they could deliver more payload?  Since the version they have now had to wait until they got the full thrust and the landings down.
Yeah, exactly, it's a bad comparison, always used out of context.  FH development was slowed down on purpose until F9 1.2 was ready.   
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Offline DJPledger

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #62 on: 01/28/2021 08:42 am »
Blue is not likely to make many improvements once New Glenn is operational.  They really don't seem to want to push the envelope.  So, I would think leaving it as is for current satellites and launches to be competitive, then working on a 3 core heavy version with reusable upper stage could get them in the 100 ton category without development of an entirely new rocket.  The rocket is already 7m wide which is large.  Making the upper stage stretch wouldn't be hard.  They could even develop cross feed to get the core further down range before the upper stage kicks in.  This may add about 10 tons to the payload. 

Falcon 9 can get about 23 tons to LEO expendable, probably about 18 tons with down range drone ship landing.  FH can get 63 tons to LEO expendable, and around 40-45 tons reusable. 

So New Glenn can get 40-45 tons with first stage reusability with down range landing.  A 3 core version with down range landing should get 100-110 tons to LEO.  I may be wrong, but just making comparisons. 

This would be without developing an entirely new rocket like a New Armstrong. 

One thing holding back Blue is their engine (BE-4) is fairly large in comparison to the Raptor.  They can only get so many under a given diameter.  They are putting 7 engines under the New Glenn with it's 7m core.  I don't think they can fit 9 of them under there. 
BO will have learnt the lesson from protracted FH dev. of that you just can't simply strap 3 cores together without difficulty so any successor to NG will be a larger dia. single core fully reusable LV.

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #63 on: 01/29/2021 04:45 am »
Yeah, I also doubt BO will go for multicore.
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #64 on: 01/29/2021 05:07 am »
I think it's reasonable to assume that 'New Armstrong' will be in the 10-to-12 meter diameter range, with a matching wider upper stage. The engines will be just X-more of the existing BE-4 and BE-7 family.
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #65 on: 01/29/2021 06:37 am »
I think it's reasonable to assume that 'New Armstrong' will be in the 10-to-12 meter diameter range, with a matching wider upper stage. The engines will be just X-more of the existing BE-4 and BE-7 family.

Since Blue sell their engines, there's nothing to stop another company make a 10m+ BE4 vehicle either.  Other than having a reason to do so of course.  :)

Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #66 on: 01/29/2021 07:15 am »
I think it's reasonable to assume that 'New Armstrong' will be in the 10-to-12 meter diameter range, with a matching wider upper stage. The engines will be just X-more of the existing BE-4 and BE-7 family.

Since Blue sell their engines, there's nothing to stop another company make a 10m+ BE4 vehicle either.  Other than having a reason to do so of course.  :)

Think that the New Glenn might be too small to be fully reusable. So anyone using BE-4 engines from Blue will likely be making 9 to 12 meter diameter cores for their launcher in the future.

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #67 on: 01/29/2021 06:13 pm »
I think it's reasonable to assume that 'New Armstrong' will be in the 10-to-12 meter diameter range, with a matching wider upper stage. The engines will be just X-more of the existing BE-4 and BE-7 family.

Since Blue sell their engines, there's nothing to stop another company make a 10m+ BE4 vehicle either.  Other than having a reason to do so of course.  :)

Think that the New Glenn might be too small to be fully reusable....
No. Where the heck did this magical thinking come from that You somehow need a 100ton SHLV to get to full reuse??

Heck... You could make RocketLab's Electron fully reusable if you wanted. Helicopter/drone recovery of both stages (upper stage would use a small HIAD-like device).
« Last Edit: 01/29/2021 06:13 pm by Robotbeat »
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Offline Zed_Noir

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #68 on: 01/30/2021 06:19 am »
I think it's reasonable to assume that 'New Armstrong' will be in the 10-to-12 meter diameter range, with a matching wider upper stage. The engines will be just X-more of the existing BE-4 and BE-7 family.

Since Blue sell their engines, there's nothing to stop another company make a 10m+ BE4 vehicle either.  Other than having a reason to do so of course.  :)

Think that the New Glenn might be too small to be fully reusable. So anyone using BE-4 engines from Blue will likely be making 9 to 12 meter diameter cores for their launcher in the future.
No. Where the heck did this magical thinking come from that You somehow need a 100ton SHLV to get to full reuse??

Heck... You could make RocketLab's Electron fully reusable if you wanted. Helicopter/drone recovery of both stages (upper stage would use a small HIAD-like device).

@Robotbeat, you edited out my post text in orange. That anyone using BE-4 engines will likely be making 9 to 12 meter diameter cores for their launcher in the future.

Somehow I don't see a BE-4 powered launcher any time soon that can use the Corona mid-air recovery method.

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #69 on: 01/30/2021 06:50 pm »
I think it's reasonable to assume that 'New Armstrong' will be in the 10-to-12 meter diameter range, with a matching wider upper stage. The engines will be just X-more of the existing BE-4 and BE-7 family.

Since Blue sell their engines, there's nothing to stop another company make a 10m+ BE4 vehicle either.  Other than having a reason to do so of course.  :)

Think that the New Glenn might be too small to be fully reusable....
No. Where the heck did this magical thinking come from that You somehow need a 100ton SHLV to get to full reuse??

Heck... You could make RocketLab's Electron fully reusable if you wanted. Helicopter/drone recovery of both stages (upper stage would use a small HIAD-like device).
"Practically reusable".  Reusable in the context of what you termed an "expansive" space program, which to me means lots of people BEO, as opposed to comm sats in LEO or GEO.

So to have thousands (forget millions) of people somewhere, in a habitat that at least has basic ISRU (forget self sufficiency) - you need much larger rockets.

SS is in the ballpark, though clearly is a down-compromise, and likely will grow in the future.

NG is sized to compete with FH. Simply not large enough, nor even designed for rapid reuse.

Electron can be made fully reusable, for colonies of ants :) (ref Zoolander)
« Last Edit: 01/30/2021 08:55 pm by meekGee »
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #70 on: 08/04/2022 01:45 pm »
They talking about something bigger than the New Glenn, in the New Shepard direct...
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #71 on: 08/04/2022 01:57 pm »
They talking about something bigger than the New Glenn, in the New Shepard direct...
do you have direct quotes and a link?

Vague allusions to a livestream do a poor job of preserving my for posterity.
« Last Edit: 08/04/2022 01:58 pm by Robotbeat »
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #72 on: 08/04/2022 02:12 pm »
When they finish the Livestream I put the minute...
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #73 on: 08/04/2022 02:31 pm »


Minute 23:45 start...
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The Turtle continues at a steady pace ...

Offline whitelancer64

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #74 on: 08/04/2022 03:57 pm »
Mention of a larger rocket is just after the 27:55 minute mark. Very brief remark. "New Glenn will be the smallest orbital class launch vehicle that we build"
« Last Edit: 08/04/2022 04:01 pm by whitelancer64 »
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #75 on: 08/04/2022 04:33 pm »
That was always their intention though.

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #76 on: 08/04/2022 04:37 pm »
Mention of a larger rocket is just after the 27:55 minute mark. Very brief remark. "New Glenn will be the smallest orbital class launch vehicle that we build"
That quote goes back to the beginning of NG, lost in the fog of time...

And strictly speaking it doesn't even mean they'll build something larger...  It was originally more of a "we don't intend to build something smaller on the way from NS to NG".

Awright BO.  It's been a while and everyone's ready.  You almost have an engine, let's see a rocket!
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Offline DrHeywoodFloyd

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #77 on: 08/04/2022 07:11 pm »
My take on this...

To make space a profitable business, there will be need for a re-launcher and usable re-entry vehicle larger than any current launcher currently in development.

This may be what "New Armstrong"will be.. this will be to space, what bulk ore carriers are to shipping... moving high margin rare earths and other minerals from mining on the moon back to Earth. This thing would need to be BIG, VERY, VERY BIG, FAAARKING HUGE!

It would be launched from the ocean, and re-enter back to the ocean.....

Right now, New Glenn is what Blue Origin needs, but from this, there is a whole architecture that they know that they are not fully sharing, but dropping bread crumbs for....

Online TrevorMonty

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #78 on: 08/04/2022 11:00 pm »
My take on this...

To make space a profitable business, there will be need for a re-launcher and usable re-entry vehicle larger than any current launcher currently in development.

This may be what "New Armstrong"will be.. this will be to space, what bulk ore carriers are to shipping... moving high margin rare earths and other minerals from mining on the moon back to Earth. This thing would need to be BIG, VERY, VERY BIG, FAAARKING HUGE!

It would be launched from the ocean, and re-enter back to the ocean.....

Right now, New Glenn is what Blue Origin needs, but from this, there is a whole architecture that they know that they are not fully sharing, but dropping bread crumbs for....
Don't need large LV to return large quantities of raw materials from space. Only a heatshield and fuel both of which come from ISRU, also propulsion but this can be small high performance engines eg BE7. The BE7 power spacetug can stay space and reused multiple times.
« Last Edit: 08/05/2022 09:18 am by zubenelgenubi »

Offline DrHeywoodFloyd

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #79 on: 08/06/2022 12:54 am »
My take on this...

To make space a profitable business, there will be need for a re-launcher and usable re-entry vehicle larger than any current launcher currently in development.

This may be what "New Armstrong"will be.. this will be to space, what bulk ore carriers are to shipping... moving high margin rare earths and other minerals from mining on the moon back to Earth. This thing would need to be BIG, VERY, VERY BIG, FAAARKING HUGE!

It would be launched from the ocean, and re-enter back to the ocean.....

Right now, New Glenn is what Blue Origin needs, but from this, there is a whole architecture that they know that they are not fully sharing, but dropping bread crumbs for....
Don't need large LV to return large quantities of raw materials from space. Only a heatshield and fuel both of which come from ISRU, also propulsion but this can be small high performance engines eg BE7. The BE7 power spacetug can stay space and reused multiple times.

Evolving my thoughts ... Using the Blue Origin LV naming convention as a guide... I suspect New Armstrong will be as a earth based launch vehicle ... whereas New Glenn is about shifting cargo to low earth orbit, New Armstrong will be about shifting cargo to the moon, and so as a guide the Nova Family of rockets would be a good starting point for New Armstrong...

http://www.astronautix.com/n/nova.html

Being a business, I am sure Blue Origin are thinking of how they can make the Moon a profitable business for itself and supporting the businesses in orbital around earth rather than just being a trucking company on government hand-outs from Nasa... so I posit that the business case for this LV will not be justified for at least 10-20 years ...

I suspect New Armstrong would use evolved BE-4 engines equal in performance to the Aerojet M-1 or even bigger, rather than the Russian N-1 30+ engine approach that Space X are using....

It would be big, and re-usable, but re-entering and landing into the ocean, and so handled like a ship.... It depends on the size of the cargo ...

Yet I do posit in order to make an enterprise on the Moon profitable it would be mining that would be the business case. I am not including Helium 3, as this just conjecture at present, and I do not see Fusion energy becoming practical in the next 1-20 years [as much I would like !]. It would have to be extremely rare elements such as Iridium and others that are extremely rate, but have a high value; so mining them on the moon would be economic. There would need to be processes on the moon to refine the ore, and there would be some kind of "bulk carrier" that would return the mined product back to earth ..... "Ladies you are not in Kansas! "

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #80 on: 08/06/2022 07:20 am »
Mining rare metals on the Moon for profit is a very old idea.

Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline DrHeywoodFloyd

Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #81 on: 08/06/2022 03:09 pm »
Mining rare metals on the Moon for profit is a very old idea.



So what...going to the Moon was thought out by Jules Verne's "From Earth to Moon" in 1865 ... the proved to be prophetic in many aspects of the later Apollo 11 mission....

Moving away from the Gee Wiz of Space and coming to the realities...for a private enterprise business operation such as Blue Origin, there is gotta be away to make a buck more than being a trucking company living from govt contract to govt contract....

If the moon is going to make a buck, mining high margin metals that are rare on earth [and for all those jokers, I am not including unobtanium, or any MCU equivalent.... so lets be real!].... certainly we can put a couple large radio telescopes on the far side from earth, but I posit it is mining that has the greatest potential to make a return on investment....

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #82 on: 08/06/2022 05:21 pm »



If the moon is going to make a buck, mining high margin metals that are rare on earth [and for all those jokers, I am not including unobtanium, or any MCU equivalent.... so lets be real!].... certainly we can put a couple large radio telescopes on the far side from earth, but I posit it is mining that has the greatest potential to make a return on investment....

Unless they can find precious metals in unusual high concentrations compared to Earth, still going need to shift through tonnes of material for few grams. Most precious metals well be from meteorites and just like on earth material is scattered over km2 after impact. . How many craters will need to be surveying before a winner is found.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2022 09:46 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Vahe231991

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #83 on: 08/07/2022 02:18 am »
My take on this...

To make space a profitable business, there will be need for a re-launcher and usable re-entry vehicle larger than any current launcher currently in development.

This may be what "New Armstrong"will be.. this will be to space, what bulk ore carriers are to shipping... moving high margin rare earths and other minerals from mining on the moon back to Earth. This thing would need to be BIG, VERY, VERY BIG, FAAARKING HUGE!

It would be launched from the ocean, and re-enter back to the ocean.....

Right now, New Glenn is what Blue Origin needs, but from this, there is a whole architecture that they know that they are not fully sharing, but dropping bread crumbs for....
Don't need large LV to return large quantities of raw materials from space. Only a heatshield and fuel both of which come from ISRU, also propulsion but this can be small high performance engines eg BE7. The BE7 power spacetug can stay space and reused multiple times.

Evolving my thoughts ... Using the Blue Origin LV naming convention as a guide... I suspect New Armstrong will be as a earth based launch vehicle ... whereas New Glenn is about shifting cargo to low earth orbit, New Armstrong will be about shifting cargo to the moon, and so as a guide the Nova Family of rockets would be a good starting point for New Armstrong...

http://www.astronautix.com/n/nova.html

Being a business, I am sure Blue Origin are thinking of how they can make the Moon a profitable business for itself and supporting the businesses in orbital around earth rather than just being a trucking company on government hand-outs from Nasa... so I posit that the business case for this LV will not be justified for at least 10-20 years ...

I suspect New Armstrong would use evolved BE-4 engines equal in performance to the Aerojet M-1 or even bigger, rather than the Russian N-1 30+ engine approach that Space X are using....

It would be big, and re-usable, but re-entering and landing into the ocean, and so handled like a ship.... It depends on the size of the cargo ...

Yet I do posit in order to make an enterprise on the Moon profitable it would be mining that would be the business case. I am not including Helium 3, as this just conjecture at present, and I do not see Fusion energy becoming practical in the next 1-20 years [as much I would like !]. It would have to be extremely rare elements such as Iridium and others that are extremely rate, but have a high value; so mining them on the moon would be economic. There would need to be processes on the moon to refine the ore, and there would be some kind of "bulk carrier" that would return the mined product back to earth ..... "Ladies you are not in Kansas! "
Assuming that the New Glenn rocket makes its maiden launch next year, it is possible that Blue Origin could market New Armstrong as a launch vehicle to carry nuclear-powered interplanetary and interstellar space probes into outer space.

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #84 on: 08/07/2022 01:13 pm »

Assuming that the New Glenn rocket makes its maiden launch next year, it is possible that Blue Origin could market New Armstrong as a launch vehicle to carry nuclear-powered interplanetary and interstellar space probes into outer space.

It is possible now.  There is no need to wait. It can market New Glenn for that now.   And New Glenn flying doesn't make New Armstrong anymore viable.

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #85 on: 08/07/2022 07:19 pm »
Still don't see case for NA. For BLEO missions most of payload is fuel to get beyond LEO. The $Bs spent on NA development could be spent on Lunar ISRU fuel production.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2022 09:46 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #86 on: 08/08/2022 03:49 pm »
Still don't see case for NA. For BLEO missions most of payload is fuel to get beyond LEO. The $Bs spent on NA development could be spent on Lunar ISRU fuel production.

Fully reusable NA would be cheaper per kg than lunar propellant. Also, Bezos has enough money for both.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2022 09:46 pm by zubenelgenubi »
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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #87 on: 08/08/2022 05:22 pm »
Still don't see case for NA. For BLEO missions most of payload is fuel to get beyond LEO. The $Bs spent on NA development could be spent on Lunar ISRU fuel production.

Fully reusable NA would be cheaper per kg than lunar propellant. Also, Bezos has enough money for both.

Why would it be cheaper. The labour cost in robotically mined lunar ISRU is few mission control staff. Compare that to NA ground crew and all launch infrastructure that requires continuous maintenance.

R&D, build and delivery costs for ISRU equipment would be similar to getting NA working reliably.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2022 09:47 pm by zubenelgenubi »

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #88 on: 08/08/2022 06:07 pm »
Still don't see case for NA. For BLEO missions most of payload is fuel to get beyond LEO. The $Bs spent on NA development could be spent on Lunar ISRU fuel production.


The only application for NA is to generate threads on message boards. Like starship, it can be whatever anyone wants it to be.
« Last Edit: 08/08/2022 09:47 pm by zubenelgenubi »

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Re: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2
« Reply #89 on: 08/09/2022 01:55 pm »
Until we know why Blue Origin will need New Armstrong, there is no basis to speculate on its size and configuration. Just as the Saturn V was designed around the Apollo moon landings, so will New Armstrong be designed and sized for whatever goal Blue Origin has in mind. Whatever that goal is remains the mystery to be revealed.

 

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