Author Topic: HLS Option B and the Sustaining Lunar Development Phase (Appendix P)  (Read 231116 times)

Online DanClemmensen

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5681
  • Earth (currently)
  • Liked: 4453
  • Likes Given: 1851

Lunar Starship may develop major technical issues/delays.  That doesn’t change the fact that NASA/Congress had an insane approach to civil human space exploration that funded a heavy lifter and capsule for years with nothing for landers or other necessary elements of an actual exploration architecture.  That’s fundamentally why we’re going to spend $4B to $5B+ a year for Orion/SLS for years to come with no human lunar landing.  Any SpaceX issues would be added to that already lengthy and elongated timeline, not the original cause of it.
Yep, the Artemis program schedule is crazy. If SpaceX had not existed the HLS would have been something similar to the NASA reference design, the BO/"National team" ILS, or the Dynetics ALPACA. Given contract award in Q1 2021, I do not think that any of these designs could have been implemented in time for an uncrewed demo in 2023 and a crewed Artemis III landing in 2024. All of the designs called for multiple major subsystems to be delivered to NRHO somehow. Starship HLS is complex and therefore risky but not necessarily more complex than any of the alternatives. The technical risks are different, but not necessarily worse in aggregate.

Starship HLS requires that the basic Starship architecture must work, and this is a big unknown. Economically, I think SpaceX must at a minimum be able to recover the boosters. HLS itself and the Depot are already expended, and expendable tankers can be used for the demo and for Artemis III. The major remaining tech risk is in-orbit propellant transfer.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37635
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21709
  • Likes Given: 429

snip That doesn’t change the fact that NASA/Congress had an insane approach to civil human space exploration that funded a heavy lifter and capsule for years with nothing for landers or other necessary elements of an actual exploration architecture.  That’s fundamentally why we’re going to spend $4B to $5B+ a year for Orion/SLS for years to come with no human lunar landing.  snip


That is why ARRM existed

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 37635
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 21709
  • Likes Given: 429

I know it's unlikely but just the thought of having someone there to greet the astronauts as they transfer from the relatively cramped Orion to the roomy LSS, makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.


What makes you LSS will be roomy?

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39283
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25276
  • Likes Given: 12124

I know it's unlikely but just the thought of having someone there to greet the astronauts as they transfer from the relatively cramped Orion to the roomy LSS, makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.


What makes you LSS will be roomy?
We’ve seen mock ups of the airlocks, and each is about 3m tall by 3m in diameter, meaning each of the two airlocks alone have more volume than the habitable volume of Orion. And there will only be 2 people on HLS (at first).

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20220003725/downloads/22%203%207%20Kent%20IEEE%20paper.pdf
« Last Edit: 12/21/2022 05:13 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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 deadman1204

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1829
  • USA
  • Liked: 1496
  • Likes Given: 2592
We’ve seen mock ups of the airlocks, and each is about 3m tall by 3m in diameter, meaning each of the two airlocks alone have more volume than the habitable volume of Orion. And there will only be 2 people on HLS (at first).
I would take mockups of any of the crew space in HLS with a grain of salt right now. Major design things like propellant transfer have not been worked out yet. These could eat into what space is available.

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39283
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25276
  • Likes Given: 12124
We’ve seen mock ups of the airlocks, and each is about 3m tall by 3m in diameter, meaning each of the two airlocks alone have more volume than the habitable volume of Orion. And there will only be 2 people on HLS (at first).
I would take mockups of any of the crew space in HLS with a grain of salt right now. Major design things like propellant transfer have not been worked out yet. These could eat into what space is available.
Not as big of a grain of salt as I would to take for those implying that LSS, which is built on a platform that nominally has ~1000m^3 volume for cargo (and which is designed for that internal volume to be pressurized during flight for stiffness), will be less roomy than Orion which has a habitable volume of less than 10m^3.
« Last Edit: 12/21/2022 05:17 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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

Online DanClemmensen

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5681
  • Earth (currently)
  • Liked: 4453
  • Likes Given: 1851

I know it's unlikely but just the thought of having someone there to greet the astronauts as they transfer from the relatively cramped Orion to the roomy LSS, makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.


What makes you LSS will be roomy?
We’ve seen mock ups of the airlocks, and each is about 3m tall by 3m in diameter, meaning each of the two airlocks alone have more volume than the habitable volume of Orion. And there will only be 2 people on HLS (at first).

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/api/citations/20220003725/downloads/22%203%207%20Kent%20IEEE%20paper.pdf
That's about 21 m3. I assume they will have a clever way to avoid exhausting all that gas to the outside every time they use it. Maybe pump it down to a lower pressure or use inflatable bladders or both?

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39283
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25276
  • Likes Given: 12124
Yes. Pump it down, just like on ISS.

(BTW, that’s why “space smells like bacon”… that’s the smell of the oil in the vacuum pumps used to pump down the airlocks into ISS, IIRC)
« Last Edit: 12/21/2022 05:31 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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

Online Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 39283
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 25276
  • Likes Given: 12124
Note also that in the Starship HLS source selection document, SpaceX got attaboys for having large volume capabilities, actually satisfying the surface habitable volume requirements for even sustaining missions without a dedicated surface habitat. If that’s not an implication of roominess, then what is??
« Last Edit: 12/21/2022 05:36 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

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 Ben Baley

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 284
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Liked: 314
  • Likes Given: 305
The HLS may not end up being roomy compared to a house but considering the volume they're starting from I find it hard to believe it won't feel roomier than any spacecraft/station preceding it.

Offline punder

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1244
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1443
Not really sure what your point was, but it kinda seemed like you said everyone else sux but spaceX got big brain power?
LOL! Wish I could have said it as succinctly as you just did! ;)

How soon we forget. Every week we watch SpaceX land a Saturn 1B-size booster on a barge in the ocean, and forget how a few years ago the mighty and wise industry watchers (including execs at my own company, for what it’s worth) assured us that doing such a thing *once* is impossible.

We forget how Boeing was going to hand newbie SpaceX its butt in the Commercial Crew program.

We forget the abysmal US share of the global commercial launch market in the 2000s. I wonder what percentage of the now humongous US share belongs to SpaceX?

Does past performance guarantee future results? Of course not. I’m just amused that, despite all its accomplishments, SpaceX, we are reminded by those all-knowing industry watchers, is doomed to fail. Any minute now.

If this thread is about Appendix P, then isn't it explicitly NOT about Starship?
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Online DanClemmensen

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5681
  • Earth (currently)
  • Liked: 4453
  • Likes Given: 1851
If this thread is about Appendix P, then isn't it explicitly NOT about Starship?
HLS Option B is the sole-source extension of the SpaceX HLS contract. It is explicitly mentioned in the thread title. It has the same technical requirements as the Appendix P HLS.

Offline TheRadicalModerate

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4516
  • Tampa, FL
  • Liked: 3369
  • Likes Given: 647
The HLS may not end up being roomy compared to a house but considering the volume they're starting from I find it hard to believe it won't feel roomier than any spacecraft/station preceding it.

If you put the main part of the crew pressure vessel in the ogive portion of the payload bay, that's about 300m³, excluding the airlocks. 

The airlocks will have to go down on the same deck as any unpressurized cargo, the hatch, and the stowed elevator, all of which are probably just above the LCH4 dome.

I still think that the LSS will have the LCH4 dome and inter-tank bulkhead re-jiggered to hold 1500t of prop.  If that's the case, then the cylindrical portion of the payload bay will only be 2.3m high.  If the airlocks turn out to be that height and 2.5m in diameter (I think the 3m-ish diameter in the simulator is way too wide for two airlocks), then the airlocks would another 23m³ or so.

If I'm wrong and they stick with 1200t, then putting in the crew module just in the ogive makes for an 8m climb down into the airlocks.  That's not a problem in shirtsleeves, but it's a little more challenging structurally, and you probably want a contingency to haul an injured crewmember, in an EVA suit, up into the main space for medical attention.  Then maybe it's better to put some or all of the main crew volume in the cylindrical portion.

Offline punder

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1244
  • Liked: 1839
  • Likes Given: 1443
(BTW, that’s why “space smells like bacon”… that’s the smell of the oil in the vacuum pumps used to pump down the airlocks into ISS, IIRC)
Thank you, I finally understand why I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut!

Online clongton

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12067
  • Connecticut
    • Direct Launcher
  • Liked: 7394
  • Likes Given: 3774
If this thread is about Appendix P, then isn't it explicitly NOT about Starship?

Check the thread title. It's about HLS Option B *AND* Appendix P.
Starship is the origin of both and therefore on topic.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2022 03:39 pm by clongton »
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17350
  • Liked: 7176
  • Likes Given: 3077
Blue has been selected as the second provider:

https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-blue-origin-as-second-artemis-lunar-lander-provider

Quote
May 19, 2023
RELEASE 23-056

NASA Selects Blue Origin as Second Artemis Lunar Lander Provider

To develop a human landing system for the agency’s Artemis V mission to the Moon, NASA has selected Blue Origin of Kent, Washington. Through Artemis, NASA will explore more of the Moon than ever before, uncovering more scientific discoveries, and preparing for future astronaut missions to Mars.

Blue Origin will design, develop, test, and verify its Blue Moon lander to meet NASA’s human landing system requirements for recurring astronaut expeditions to the lunar surface, including docking with Gateway, a space station where crew transfer in lunar orbit. In addition to design and development work, the contract includes one uncrewed demonstration mission to the lunar surface before a crewed demo on the Artemis V mission in 2029. The total award value of the firm-fixed price contract is $3.4 billion.

“Today we are excited to announce Blue Origin will build a human landing system as NASA’s second provider to deliver Artemis astronauts to the lunar surface,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “We are in a golden age of human spaceflight, which is made possible by NASA’s commercial and international partnerships. Together, we are making an investment in the infrastructure that will pave the way to land the first astronauts on Mars.”

For the Artemis V mission, NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket will launch four astronauts to lunar orbit aboard the Orion spacecraft. Once Orion docks with Gateway, two astronauts will transfer to Blue Origin’s human landing system for about a weeklong trip to the Moon’s South Pole region where they will conduct science and exploration activities. Artemis V is at the intersection of demonstrating NASA’s initial lunar exploration capabilities and establishing the foundational systems to support recurring complex missions in lunar orbit and on the surface as part of the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration approach.

Adding another human landing system partner to NASA’s Artemis program will increase competition, reduce costs to taxpayers, support a regular cadence of lunar landings, further invest in the lunar economy, and help NASA achieve its goals on and around the Moon in preparation for future astronaut missions to Mars.

The agency previously contracted SpaceX to demonstrate an initial human landing system for the Artemis III mission. Under that contract, the agency also directed SpaceX to evolve its design to meet the agency’s requirements for sustainable exploration and to demonstrate the lander on Artemis IV. As a result of the contract with Blue Origin to demonstrate on Artemis V a lander that meets these same sustainable lander requirements, including capabilities for increased crew size, longer mission duration, and delivery of more mass to the Moon, multiple providers will be available to compete for future opportunities to fulfill NASA’s lunar surface access needs for Artemis missions.

By supporting industry’s development of innovative human landing system concepts and designs, NASA will help increase access to space for the benefit of all.

“Having two distinct lunar lander designs, with different approaches to how they meet NASA's mission needs, provides more robustness and ensures a regular cadence of Moon landings,” said Lisa Watson-Morgan, manager, Human Landing System Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “This competitive approach drives innovation, brings down costs, and invests in commercial capabilities to grow the business opportunities that can serve other customers and foster a lunar economy.”

NASA issued the solicitation, known as Appendix P, of its second Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships Broad Agency Announcement (Next-STEP2 BAA), in September 2022 as part of the ongoing development of advanced space exploration technologies, capabilities, and concepts.

Through Artemis, NASA will send astronauts – including the first woman and first person of color – to explore the Moon for scientific discovery, economic benefits, and to build the foundation for crewed missions to Mars. Together, the SLS rocket, Orion, Gateway, advanced spacesuits, and human landing systems are NASA’s foundation for deep space exploration.

For more information about the human landing system, visit:

https://go.nasa.gov/45fK6qY

-end-

Online AnalogMan

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3438
  • Cambridge, UK
  • Liked: 1615
  • Likes Given: 52

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17350
  • Liked: 7176
  • Likes Given: 3077
NASA contract selection statement has been posted:

https://sam.gov/opp/f8bd8dc0d4d346cc853b2185bde0a27d/view

(copy attached)

Some of the highlights from the source selection statement:

Quote from: page 3
On April 10, 2023, I determined that it would be in the Agency’s best interests to make an award without conducting discussions or post-selection negotiations. This decision was based on my assessment that Blue Origin’s proposal is the one that is the most advantageous to the Agency across all evaluation factors, and that best aligns with the objectives set forth in this solicitation.

Quote from: pages 5 and 6
A. Blue Origin [...]

Blue Origin plans to fund and execute pathfinder lander missions in 2024 and 2025, to land on the Moon to mature several critical, low TRL technologies three years before the Sustaining Lunar Development (SLD) uncrewed demonstration mission by demonstrating lunar lander components, subsystem designs, and system behaviors.

Another unique and highly advantageous aspect that I note in Blue Origin’s technical approach is the plan to burn down risk associated with the crewed demonstration mission by using a fully integrated flight configuration of all systems for the Uncrewed Flight Test (UFT), which is conducted before the crewed demonstration mission. The success criteria for the UFT that are identified in the Statement of Work (SOW) only include a landing test to the lunar surface with a demonstration of precision landing capabilities. However, the UFT being proposed by Blue Origin will also demonstrate critical lander systems that will be at play during the crewed demonstration mission (i.e., thermal and fluid characterization of cryogenics, lunar surface storage, Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), reignition of the engines after surface stay, and the autonomous ascent burn and Non-Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) return). Early demonstration of the crewed lander, through all mission phases, allows lander systems to be exercised in the environments they are expected to operate in during the crewed demonstration mission. Thus, I find that using a fully matured crewed lander configuration for the UFT is another compelling aspect of the technical proposal — it is a significant strength that is highly advantageous to NASA because it will decrease risk to the crewed demonstration mission.

Quote from: pages 7 and 8
Blue Origin’s management proposal discusses a corporate support and business approach that I consider to be of particular importance in helping NASA further its interests in the future commercialization of space. It is a significant strength of the proposal. Blue Origin’s architecture supports market expansions above and beyond the Appendix P mission of the Lunar Cargo Delivery Service, In-Space Transportation services, and Refueling markets by expanding the space economy through Blue Origin’s availability of its commercial lander capabilities to international agencies, other Government customers, and private astronauts. I also find that reusability is a promising key future characteristic within Blue Origin’s architecture and business approach, which will greatly benefit the Government in the future by enabling long-term affordability, reducing crew safety risks by having multiple landers available, and/or delivering multiple cargo missions without disposal. When coupled with Blue Origin’s plans for a reusable New Glenn launch vehicle, the proposal demonstrates a strong commitment to future cost reductions and increasing the customer base with emerging markets. A path to sustainability is also addressed within Blue Origin’s business approach and it shows NASA that up-front design considerations are being studied and acted upon. Examples include the plan to launch duplicate landers for the 2027 uncrewed flight test and 2028 crewed demonstration missions and their ability to loiter in Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) exceeding NASA’s requirements. This approach provides additional avenues for potential reuse and/or as a backup capability to protect against the unknown. Blue Origin’s proposed corporate contributions demonstrate a significant investment in the SLD development efforts and future business capabilities to mature emerging space economies. This public-private partnership investment will greatly benefit the Government by reducing overall prices and enabling other segments of the Artemis Program.

Quote from: page 8
Price Assessment

[...] the SEP calculated the Total Evaluated Price for Blue Origin as $3,419,345,052.35, and the evaluation concluded that this amount was reasonable and balanced.


Quote from: pages 8 and 9
B. Dynetics [...]

Reusability is incorporated incrementally in future missions, which may minimize future mission costs. Also, offering design considerations for reuse capability shows an integrated and effective approach to meet future requirements and functionality. Overall, Dynetics’ Business Approach is a strength to the proposal and increases the potential for cost-effective recurring lunar transportation services for Artemis missions, as well as non-NASA missions that will allow commercial opportunities to continue to develop.

Dynetics’ technical approach presents uncertainty whether it meets the 4-crew Appendix P requirements for NASA DRM-H-002 (Polar Excursion Sortie), stating that it did not account for Appendix P utilization cargo and the Exploration Extravehicular Activity (xEVA) suit, and further stating that revisions to the current design or the necessity for a different CM design for NASA DRM-H-002 could result in cost and schedule impacts. I am highly concerned with this aspect of the proposal and consider it to be a significant weakness because it is unclear whether the proposed CM design meets the requirements of the solicitation.

Quote from: page 10
Price Assessment

[...] it was substantially higher in amount than the competing proposal.

Quote from: pages 10 and 11
VI. Selection Determination [...]

This analysis leads me to the conclusion that Blue Origin’s proposal is the most advantageous to the Agency across all evaluation factors, and it aligns with the objectives of the solicitation. Specifically, after duly considering the merits and drawbacks of all findings for the proposals, I conclude that the Blue Origin proposal provides abundant value for NASA at its Total Evaluated Price. Also, it provides the least risky and most advantageous technical and management approaches for meeting NASA’s HLS SLD requirements and schedule, and these features are offered at a substantially lower price. Dynetics’ proposal does not provide the same value for NASA due to the increased risk associated with its technical approach and less advantageous management approach and price. Therefore, I select Blue Origin’s proposal for a single Appendix P, HLS SLD contract.

This Appendix P selection represents a critical step in our return to the Moon. The Moon is uniquely suited to prepare us, and propel us, to Mars and beyond. The next chapter in human spaceflight exploration is upon us. With this award, we take another step closer in going to the Moon, and we go to stay.
« Last Edit: 08/09/2023 04:02 am by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 17350
  • Liked: 7176
  • Likes Given: 3077
Appendix P award press conference:


Tags:
 

Advertisement NovaTech
Advertisement Northrop Grumman
Advertisement
Advertisement Margaritaville Beach Resort South Padre Island
Advertisement Brady Kenniston
Advertisement NextSpaceflight
Advertisement Nathan Barker Photography
1