Author Topic: New Armstrong Speculation and Discussion - Thread 2  (Read 31870 times)

Offline Aeneas

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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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Offline ZachF

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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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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

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.

Offline matthewkantar

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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.

 

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