Missions To The Moon (HSF) / Re: HLS Option B and the Sustaining Lunar Development Phase (Appendix P)« Last post by TheRadicalModerate on Today at 05:01 am »
What is Boeing going to be doing? No one has said.
Assuming there's no radical departure from the previous ILV design, Northrop was responsible for the transfer stage. I would assume Boeing will be building its replacement. Perhaps based around Centaur/DCSS/ICPS?
Centaur or DCSS sounds like a possibility, but why isn't it a ULA project then? (I'll bet the word "co-manifesting" is somewhere in the explanation.)
I've always had a failure of imagination on the whole AE/DE/TE architecture. I get that the AE is extensively crew-rated, and therefore well worth reusing. The DE has to be expendable in the kind of form factors that ILV would be working with.
The TE was advertised as being reusable, but every time I looked at what it would take to boost it back to NRHO and refuel it, it was just as cheap to send a new one, and a lot easier.
Maybe if you hack the RL10 off of the DCSS or Centaur, their attitude control systems have enough delta-v (60-80m/s) to get from BLT to NRHO? That might make refueling and reusing the TE with the RL10 worthwhile.
Everybody would be sooooooo much better off if they'd just swallow their pride and buy methalox or LOX from SpaceX. They can use some other heavy lifter(s) to send prop 10-15t at a time to a cislunar depot if Starship has some kind of problem. But if it's working, it drops the cost of prop in NRHO by a factor of 10.
In addition to being expensive, the ILV was (and likely still is) tiny. With more prop available, it might stop being a toy.