Author Topic: HLS Landing in 2023 - What would it take?  (Read 35627 times)

Offline TrueBlueWitt

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HLS Landing in 2023 - What would it take?
« on: 01/18/2023 02:51 pm »
According to Wayne Hale in the NAC, they think SpaceX could even attempt a Moon landing this year??

So, what would that look like?

Assumptions:

1)  Boosters(HLS & Tankers) - Burn to depletion
2)  Ships(HLS & Tankers) - strip the tiles/flaps and basically just launch shells.

How many on orbit refuelings does it take to put enough prop in the HLS to get through TLI, and have enough left to attempt a lunar landing?  Do you skip Lunar orbit altogether and do a direct descent?
« Last Edit: 01/21/2023 09:51 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline jimbresnahan

Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #1 on: 01/18/2023 04:03 pm »
Major milestones required: reach orbit, successful in-orbit refueling, landing engines (maybe can try landing on Raptors), moon-rated, NASA approved landing legs.   I would think it's too much to get through this year, but would love to be wrong.

Online wannamoonbase

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #2 on: 01/18/2023 04:06 pm »
Not possible, this is a silly thread.
Wildly optimistic prediction, Superheavy recovery on IFT-4 or IFT-5

Offline alugobi

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #3 on: 01/18/2023 04:34 pm »
Quote
What would it take?
Multiple divinities intervening.
« Last Edit: 01/18/2023 04:34 pm by alugobi »

Offline RDMM2081

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #4 on: 01/18/2023 05:13 pm »
Step 0: Get a launch license.  No sign yet, NET/ETA 100% guesswork, assume multiple months. Current launch limits 5/year, assume that means calendar 2023.
Step 1: Launch ANY demo.  Assume it will provide no propellant testing/depot because it's a big fat demo. Consumes 1/5 launches for calendar 2023. Also Assuming it works and provides confidence to try next steps for HLS.
Step 2: Launch an (mostly) empty tanker, leave it up there, launch 2/5 for calendar 2023.
Step 3: Launch two refueling tankers and fuel it up, this takes launch 3&4/5 for calendar 2034, leaving one for:
Step 4: Launch the HLS empty, dock it to the tanker from Launch 2, load the prop from Launches 3&4, YOLO Mun.

Unless something changes, that's as many launches as can be done in calendar 2023, and I'm a amazing people, but call me, um, skeptical.

I think our best guess estimates are that an early generation tanker could get lets say max 100t of prop to a depot, you get two, plus I would be generous and guesstimate that you launched 50t of prop inside the "tanker" version, so my best case is that you could add 250t of prop to the HLS once it is in orbit.  Make more assumptions and hand wave that you get 50t of prop inside the HLS when it launches, so you now have a total of 300t of prop inside an HLS in orbit.  Can that get to Mun and land? I kinda really doubt it. Oh, and absolutely nothing can go wrong of course.

Online whitelancer64

Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #5 on: 01/18/2023 05:38 pm »
Step 0: Get a launch license.  No sign yet, NET/ETA 100% guesswork, assume multiple months. Current launch limits 5/year, assume that means calendar 2023.
Step 1: Launch ANY demo.  Assume it will provide no propellant testing/depot because it's a big fat demo. Consumes 1/5 launches for calendar 2023. Also Assuming it works and provides confidence to try next steps for HLS.
Step 2: Launch an (mostly) empty tanker, leave it up there, launch 2/5 for calendar 2023.
Step 3: Launch two refueling tankers and fuel it up, this takes launch 3&4/5 for calendar 2034, leaving one for:
Step 4: Launch the HLS empty, dock it to the tanker from Launch 2, load the prop from Launches 3&4, YOLO Mun.

Unless something changes, that's as many launches as can be done in calendar 2023, and I'm a amazing people, but call me, um, skeptical.

I think our best guess estimates are that an early generation tanker could get lets say max 100t of prop to a depot, you get two, plus I would be generous and guesstimate that you launched 50t of prop inside the "tanker" version, so my best case is that you could add 250t of prop to the HLS once it is in orbit.  Make more assumptions and hand wave that you get 50t of prop inside the HLS when it launches, so you now have a total of 300t of prop inside an HLS in orbit.  Can that get to Mun and land? I kinda really doubt it. Oh, and absolutely nothing can go wrong of course.

The emphasis really needs to be on that last point: Everything you mentioned would need to go perfectly on the first try. We all know how unlikely that is.

Because there are so many variables and unknown unknowns, I personally expect in orbit refueling to take a few attempts before it is fully successful.

I would guess that HLS Demo will be the first launch from the Starship pad at LC-39A while the in orbit propellant transfer demonstration / Tankers launch from Boca Chica.
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Offline TomH

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #6 on: 01/19/2023 05:21 am »
Possible with Herculean effort, but extremely unlikely. Besides, racing towards such an artificial deadline would likely be counterproductive due to design flaws not having time to be ironed out, accidents, RUDs, etc. You do not want to go at BO pace, but you also do not want to be so fast that you are reckless.

Current launch limits 5/year...

That applies to Boca Chica, not to the multiple launch sites being built at and planned for Canaveral.

Offline edzieba

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #7 on: 01/19/2023 12:46 pm »
The 5 a year "limit" is also easily increased if required, just as it has been for every other launch site SpaceX operates (which have flight rates far above those in their initial EAs).

However, Musk has publicly stated a target for 5 full stacks manufactured this year; given how optimistic Elon Time is, the actual number manufactured to completion (given there will be vehicles not completed due to obsolescence, vehicles converted to test articles, non-recovered vehicles, etc) will likely be lower.

Offline Starbeam

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #8 on: 01/19/2023 01:41 pm »
When will Pad 39A be ready?

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #9 on: 01/19/2023 02:14 pm »
Possible with Herculean effort, but extremely unlikely. Besides, racing towards such an artificial deadline would likely be counterproductive due to design flaws not having time to be ironed out, accidents, RUDs, etc. You do not want to go at BO pace, but you also do not want to be so fast that you are reckless.

Current launch limits 5/year...

That applies to Boca Chica, not to the multiple launch sites being built at and planned for Canaveral.

I read a Bloomberg article (paywalled) suggesting that this Twitter nonsense has taken Musk's attention away from SpaceX, allowing breathers and a steady pace of work.

Even so, I can't see anything other than (at most) an orbital rendezvous test taking place, or else an orbital shakedown test of the HLS vehicle and systems ending with a swim in the Pacific.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2023 02:17 pm by Lampyridae »

Online Orbiter

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #10 on: 01/19/2023 02:16 pm »
I'd be impressed if they make it to orbit this year, to be honest. HLS demo in 2025... maybe.
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Offline kevinof

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #11 on: 01/19/2023 03:01 pm »
Not as pessimistic as you - Barring a rud at stage 0 (the launch mount) I think they will make orbit in the 2nd half. As for the HLS demo in 2025 - doable but needs a lot to go right.

I'd be impressed if they make it to orbit this year, to be honest. HLS demo in 2025... maybe.

Online greybeardengineer

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #12 on: 01/19/2023 03:16 pm »
Possible with Herculean effort, but extremely unlikely. Besides, racing towards such an artificial deadline would likely be counterproductive due to design flaws not having time to be ironed out, accidents, RUDs, etc. You do not want to go at BO pace, but you also do not want to be so fast that you are reckless.

Current launch limits 5/year...

That applies to Boca Chica, not to the multiple launch sites being built at and planned for Canaveral.

I read a Bloomberg article (paywalled) suggesting that this Twitter nonsense has taken Musk's attention away from SpaceX, allowing breathers and a steady pace of work.

Even so, I can't see anything other than (at most) an orbital rendezvous test taking place, or else an orbital shakedown test of the HLS vehicle and systems ending with a swim in the Pacific.

Starship is still very much an evolving design with ongoing changes large and small as development progresses. Elon is still very much the design prime and IMO the team leads would be very loathe to make non-trivial changes without Elon reviewing them and signing off. To the extent that he is distracted from SpaceX by his self inflicted problems does not make the Starship program run smoother.
« Last Edit: 01/19/2023 03:17 pm by greybeardengineer »

Offline philw1776

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #13 on: 01/19/2023 04:06 pm »

Starship is still very much an evolving design with ongoing changes large and small as development progresses. Elon is still very much the design prime and IMO the team leads would be very loathe to make non-trivial changes without Elon reviewing them and signing off. To the extent that he is distracted from SpaceX by his self inflicted problems does not make the Starship program run smoother.

We were told that Gwynn had assumed operational control of all things Boca. Starship is in incredibly capable hands.

Online greybeardengineer

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #14 on: 01/19/2023 04:54 pm »

Starship is still very much an evolving design with ongoing changes large and small as development progresses. Elon is still very much the design prime and IMO the team leads would be very loathe to make non-trivial changes without Elon reviewing them and signing off. To the extent that he is distracted from SpaceX by his self inflicted problems does not make the Starship program run smoother.

We were told that Gwynn had assumed operational control of all things Boca. Starship is in incredibly capable hands.
Operations and design are very distinct divisions in every company I have worked for. And I have worked for a lot of very different companies.

Offline philw1776

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #15 on: 01/19/2023 08:32 pm »

Starship is still very much an evolving design with ongoing changes large and small as development progresses. Elon is still very much the design prime and IMO the team leads would be very loathe to make non-trivial changes without Elon reviewing them and signing off. To the extent that he is distracted from SpaceX by his self inflicted problems does not make the Starship program run smoother.

We were told that Gwynn had assumed operational control of all things Boca. Starship is in incredibly capable hands.
Operations and design are very distinct divisions in every company I have worked for. And I have worked for a lot of very different companies.

Not saying they aren't as a design guy. But the issue is and has been getting the existing Starship and booster ready to fly. 
We here know that these vehicles are already incompatible with their newer designed successors already in fabrication.
GSE approach has been decided and design flaws are being beaten out via operational testing. :)
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Offline alastairmayer

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #16 on: 01/19/2023 10:45 pm »

Starship is still very much an evolving design with ongoing changes large and small as development progresses. Elon is still very much the design prime and IMO the team leads would be very loathe to make non-trivial changes without Elon reviewing them and signing off. To the extent that he is distracted from SpaceX by his self inflicted problems does not make the Starship program run smoother.

We were told that Gwynn had assumed operational control of all things Boca. Starship is in incredibly capable hands.
Operations and design are very distinct divisions in every company I have worked for. And I have worked for a lot of very different companies.

Not saying they aren't as a design guy. But the issue is and has been getting the existing Starship and booster ready to fly. 
We here know that these vehicles are already incompatible with their newer designed successors already in fabrication.
GSE approach has been decided and design flaws are being beaten out via operational testing. :)

DevOps, it's not just for software anymore. ;)

Offline jcliving

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #17 on: 01/20/2023 12:34 pm »
It is not going to happen during 2023.  A HLS landing can only happen after the following 5 are completed.

* Achieve an orbital launch by starship.
* Mature the fuel transfer technology including depot creation and launch, tanker design, multiple tankers created, and demonstrate orbital fuel transfer.
* Upgrade Florida facility and achieve a launch rate from there of 10 launches within 3 month period.
* Mature HLS design and receive go for launch.
* Mature the starship reuse case - not going to launch and throw away 11 boosters and 10 tankers for the HLS landing mission.

I have serious doubts all of that will be completed by the end of 2024, so no chance for 2023.

Offline volker2020

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #18 on: 01/20/2023 01:12 pm »
It is not going to happen during 2023.  A HLS landing can only happen after the following 5 are completed.

* Achieve an orbital launch by starship.
* Mature the fuel transfer technology including depot creation and launch, tanker design, multiple tankers created, and demonstrate orbital fuel transfer.
* Upgrade Florida facility and achieve a launch rate from there of 10 launches within 3 month period.
* Mature HLS design and receive go for launch.
* Mature the starship reuse case - not going to launch and throw away 11 boosters and 10 tankers for the HLS landing mission.

I have serious doubts all of that will be completed by the end of 2024, so no chance for 2023.
I think the last point not correct. As long as they land the booster, a throw away starship is conceivable. Not even trying to land it, means they can almost double the load, which would reduce the number of throw away tankers to <= 5 and only having a bare ship without heat shield, elerons, header tanks, ... should reduce the production costs.

Offline CorvusCorax

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Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?
« Reply #19 on: 01/20/2023 01:22 pm »
Re: HLS Landing - this year(2023) -What would it take?


It would take a big enough RUD for some debris to accidentally impact the moon.

The chances for Starship to explode in such a way that debris end up both with sufficiently high velocities and hurled unto the right vector for lunar impact are very low. Even though a RUD late in first stage ascend - above the majority of the atmosphere - could significantly improve them to the point of being feasible, the chances of actually hitting the moon are still not good.

The odds would get significantly higher if you consider that debris on earth escape trajectories orbiting the sun have a decent chance of eventually getting recaptured and impacting the far side of the moon, but this would take thousands of years and wouldn't count if the actual "landing" has to happen 2023, not just the launch, so probably only direct impact trajectories count.

Still, however low the chances of such a lunar impact is higher than an actual planned HLS landing this year, considering

1. High likelihood of a Starship test launch this year
2. High likelihood of RUD on a rocket's first orbital launch in general
3. Propellant energy on board Starship being sufficient to launch debris into trans-lunar-intercept trajectories.

Versus the near impossibility for a planned moon landing in the same timespan.

Tags: Starship HLS Artemis 
 

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