Author Topic: Launching Orion on SH with Disposable S2  (Read 40056 times)

Offline TomH

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Launching Orion on SH with Disposable S2
« on: 03/15/2021 02:09 am »
(Note of Edit): This is two threads that were merged into one. Both involve launching Orion on Super Heavy for the Artemis Program. The original thread involved using the EUS as a disposable S2. The second thread involved using an SN5-like stripped down disposable Starship (plus R-vacs) as the S2. The premise of the second thread was reminiscent of several post I had made earlier in yet a third thread. After the stripped down Starship as S2 thread appeared, I mistakenly asked the moderators to merge the threads based on my late night confused thinking regarding the EUS thread and my SS/S2 posts. I have re-titled this thread. Posts 1-31 were from the EUS/S2 thread. Posts 32-66 were from the SS/S2 thread. Posts 67 and beyond were made after the merge. My apologies to the OP of the SS/S2 thread and to the moderators. This thread will now address the concept of Orion launching on Super Heavy with a disposable S2, but the consensus as of the merge is that said S2 would be a SS.(End of Edit.)

Disclaimer: I am not calling for this to happen. I am only interested in the feasibility, engineering practicality, political practicality, and cost of this happening.

From some sides, there is political pressure to keep funds flowing to Boeing and Michoud. From other sides, there is a desire to kill SLS for its high costs. At the same time, there is a lot of resistance to launching astronauts from Earth, as well as manned EDL, on SS due to perceived safety concerns; thus there are significant pressures to keep Orion as part of Artemis for Earth launch and Earth EDL. EUS has now completed PDR and it appears that it eventually will be built.

I know the topic I am broaching would be a kludge, nevertheless, I have to wonder how possible and practical it might be. It also could keep funds flowing to Boeing and Michoud if SLS' costs are too objectionable. It would keep them and Orion in the game. It satisfies calls for using Orion for safety reasons. It (I believe) may hold the potential to reduce costs. If EUS is already extant, there are little to no new R&D costs, other than integration.

The questions are these: How feasible would it be, once EUS is operational, to cancel the SLS core and boosters, and put EUS/Orion atop a Super Heavy booster? I know you wind up with an LV made by more  than one manufacturer, but remember, Saturn V/Apollo was built by six or seven different companies. Cooperative projects are possible, although resistance is always present. Could NASA induce SX and Boeing to cooperate under NASA contract or not? Would it be practical from a political perspective? Would it be practical from an engineering perspective (SH stages low, while the SLS core goes almost to LEO)? Would it reduce costs, and how much?

Again, this is a thought experiment, not a call to action.
« Last Edit: 05/13/2021 06:19 am by TomH »

Offline Jim

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #1 on: 03/15/2021 02:14 am »
Put a SH on the mobile launcher?


BTW, the point about the rocket made by the same manufacturer is not applicable SLS.  Boeing does not make the SRBs.  Plus Boeing is not involved with SLS hands on launch ops.  NASA has TOSC performing all the processing and launch ops for SLS and Orion.

Offline Jim

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #2 on: 03/15/2021 02:15 am »
Could NASA induce SX and Boeing to cooperate under NASA contract or not? Would it be practical from a political perspective? Would it be practical from an engineering perspective (SH stages low, while the SLS core goes almost to LEO)? Would it reduce costs, and how much?

Again, this is a thought experiment, not a call to action.

SpaceX doesn't have to cooperate and won't

And it is not viable

Offline Oersted

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #3 on: 03/15/2021 02:16 am »
Why would SpaceX want to do this?

Offline Nomadd

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #4 on: 03/15/2021 02:25 am »
 I wonder if someone has already done a good chart of SHB lifting various payloads with different engine counts and fuel loads, using both Starship tank section/engine 2nd stages and other 2nd stages, with and without 3rd stages.
  At 70 tons or so, EUS/Orion might make a good third stage.
 It wouldn't make sense, but viable isn't really a requirement to think about it.
« Last Edit: 03/15/2021 02:27 am by Nomadd »
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Offline ncb1397

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #5 on: 03/15/2021 02:28 am »

  At 70 tons or so, EUS/Orion might make a good third stage.


EUS + Orion is more like 150-200 t.

Offline su27k

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #6 on: 03/15/2021 02:30 am »
EUS doesn't exist, the first step of killing SLS is cancelling EUS, since it serves no purpose, so I don't think this plan is a good idea. I do agree we should keep Orion for now, focusing on getting rid of SLS first. Orion can be launched to TLI on Vulcan using distributed launch, or on a SH + expendable Starship upper stage.

Engineering wise, I'm not sure it can work anyway. Assuming EUS dry mass 15t, prop load 129t, Orion 26t, Isp 460, this only gives a delta-v of 6.4km, no where near enough to finish 2nd stage burn on top of SH and do a TLI.
« Last Edit: 03/15/2021 02:34 am by su27k »

Offline vaporcobra

Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #7 on: 03/15/2021 03:00 am »
EUS doesn't exist, the first step of killing SLS is cancelling EUS, since it serves no purpose

Development and procurement contracts for at least one EUS (and up to nine) are already in place, which means EUS is effectively as unkillable as SLS Block 1 short of some kind of wholly unprecedented Congressional action.

I'll say that EUS on Super Heavy is obviously an insane and unlikely idea but in terms of ways to sate Boeing's thirst for cost-plus jobs programs, it's unequivocally more likely to produce some kind of beneficial impact than SLS left to its own devices. It's not gonna happen, of course, but it's entertaining to think about!

Offline su27k

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #8 on: 03/15/2021 03:41 am »
EUS doesn't exist, the first step of killing SLS is cancelling EUS, since it serves no purpose

Development and procurement contracts for at least one EUS (and up to nine) are already in place, which means EUS is effectively as unkillable as SLS Block 1 short of some kind of wholly unprecedented Congressional action.

I wouldn't be so sure given this rumor:

https://twitter.com/DutchSatellites/status/1370494842309070849

The simple fact is Congress has shown that they have no intention of increasing NASA budget significantly, so it's a zero sum game between National Team/Dynetics HLS and SLS/EUS, Congress can either fund a useless upper stage using their favorite contractor whose name has been in the mud lately, or they can fund a useful lunar lander using their other favorite contractors whose names haven't been tarnished, should be an easy choice.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #9 on: 03/15/2021 04:14 am »
If EUS is canned; Centaur V could be a decent substitute; approximately halfway between the Block 1 and Block 1B's upper stage designs in capability. Plus: it is already mostly developed and funded.
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Offline xvel

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #10 on: 03/15/2021 04:48 am »
I didn't do the math but even if possible SH won't be able to return and wasting 28 raptors is just idiotic, it's not even because of cost, it's wasting time needed to produce them, time which is clearly critical for Elon and spacex and you can't really buy it.
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Offline Aeneas

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #11 on: 03/15/2021 12:39 pm »
EUS doesn't exist, the first step of killing SLS is cancelling EUS, since it serves no purpose, so I don't think this plan is a good idea. I do agree we should keep Orion for now, focusing on getting rid of SLS first. Orion can be launched to TLI on Vulcan using distributed launch, or on a SH + expendable Starship upper stage.

Engineering wise, I'm not sure it can work anyway. Assuming EUS dry mass 15t, prop load 129t, Orion 26t, Isp 460, this only gives a delta-v of 6.4km, no where near enough to finish 2nd stage burn on top of SH and do a TLI.

Well, 6.4 km/s + >7.5 km/s from SH (given it's expendable).

Offline jstrotha0975

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #12 on: 03/15/2021 02:08 pm »
An expendable stainless/methalox US would be cheaper to produce and wouldn't need to add hydrogen infrastructure to the launch site. Just my $.02.

Offline _MECO

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #13 on: 03/18/2021 04:56 pm »
Can we get a #cursed photshop of this concept in action? It'd be kind of sick, seeing Orion/Exploration Stage atop a Super Heavy. Like a serial killer wearing the face of his victim or something.

Offline LDLB

Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #14 on: 03/18/2021 05:03 pm »
If EUS is canned; Centaur V could be a decent substitute; approximately halfway between the Block 1 and Block 1B's upper stage designs in capability. Plus: it is already mostly developed and funded.

Has this ever been officially considered?

Offline Barnalby

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #15 on: 03/18/2021 05:07 pm »
Can we get a #cursed photshop of this concept in action? It'd be kind of sick, seeing Orion/Exploration Stage atop a Super Heavy. Like a serial killer wearing the face of his victim or something.

Someone should go even further beyond and try to "evolve" this concept into BIG ORION with a 9m diameter capsule and seating for two dozen people.  Since SH will stage so early a la F9, you could use a truncated SLS core for the 2nd stage to put BIG ORION into orbit for maximum cursedness.

Offline FishInferno

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #16 on: 03/18/2021 05:17 pm »
Can we get a #cursed photshop of this concept in action? It'd be kind of sick, seeing Orion/Exploration Stage atop a Super Heavy. Like a serial killer wearing the face of his victim or something.

Very crude PS job, but cursed nonetheless:
Comparing SpaceX and SLS is like comparing paying people to plant fruit trees with merely digging holes and filling them.  - Robotbeat

Offline ncb1397

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #17 on: 03/18/2021 05:20 pm »
Can we get a #cursed photshop of this concept in action? It'd be kind of sick, seeing Orion/Exploration Stage atop a Super Heavy. Like a serial killer wearing the face of his victim or something.

Very crude PS job, but cursed nonetheless:

Did you use the Tank stretcher to get the 8.4 meter EUS to fit so nicely on top of the 9 meter BFR?

Offline Barnalby

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #18 on: 03/18/2021 05:43 pm »
Can we get a #cursed photshop of this concept in action? It'd be kind of sick, seeing Orion/Exploration Stage atop a Super Heavy. Like a serial killer wearing the face of his victim or something.

Very crude PS job, but cursed nonetheless:

Here's my shot at it, using the aforementioned BIG ORION concept

Offline FishInferno

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Re: Orion/EUS atop SH for Artemis
« Reply #19 on: 03/18/2021 05:46 pm »
Can we get a #cursed photshop of this concept in action? It'd be kind of sick, seeing Orion/Exploration Stage atop a Super Heavy. Like a serial killer wearing the face of his victim or something.

Very crude PS job, but cursed nonetheless:

Here's my shot at it, using the aforementioned BIG ORION concept

Hmm, looks kind of... New Shepard-y  ;)
Comparing SpaceX and SLS is like comparing paying people to plant fruit trees with merely digging holes and filling them.  - Robotbeat

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