Author Topic: The National Team (Blue Origin etc) lunar lander for HLS SLD (App P)  (Read 33424 times)

Offline su27k

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I think he's talking about National Team, although the principle applies to other projects such as SLS as well:

https://twitter.com/SpaceAbhi/status/1601270513019387905

Quote
My personal observation having worked on more than one large (>$1B) successful aerospace program and large failures: The bigger your "team" of companies when tackling a contract, the more likely you are to fail to achieve the technical objectives of the program.



A system where the customer (NASA) owns the requirements and are the sole arbiters of whether/how they can be modified, just doesn't lend itself well (in our times) to multiple partners and subcontractors.  It fosters an unworkable bureaucracy and culture of infighting.



Overcoming these forces requires near "limitless" money and focused national will. Minimizing subcontracts and interface requirement documents between companies maximizes your chance for technical success. Key metric: How many weeks does it take to modify a requirement

Offline GWH

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The use of New Glenn for prop transport and the AE/DE/TE triumvirate can both be true.  But it requires betting the farm on New Glenn.  Maybe that's a good reason for Blue to be the prime; if things go pear-shaped, they're on the hook to pay their subs.

Betting the farm on New Glenn? No disrespect but if they cant execute on New Glenn by 2028+ then BO has no business bidding on any kind of contract like this.

They should be betting the farm, they seem to need the motivation.

This sounds a bit like somebody has stealth-cancelled the BE-7, or at least back-burnered it.

God I hope not. BE-7 may be the best project Blue had; building an actually useful/needed engine in a field they have experience.
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline jdon759

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[Replying to methalox delivery discussions upthread - couldn't seem to quote on mobile]

Alternatively, if Dynetics wins, their architecture (as of Humans to Mars summit 2022) already includes starship as a refuelling option alongside Vulcan.
That eliminates monopoly; provides redundancy; and increases commonality: both landers use methalox, and if ALPACA can be refilled from either SS or Centaur, then there is (probably) a standardised refuelling interface on each of them - allowing vastly increased flexibility for both ALPACA and Starship (and anyone else).
Where would we be today if our forefathers hadn't dreamt of where they'd be tomorrow?  (For better and worse)

Online TheRadicalModerate

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The use of New Glenn for prop transport and the AE/DE/TE triumvirate can both be true.  But it requires betting the farm on New Glenn.  Maybe that's a good reason for Blue to be the prime; if things go pear-shaped, they're on the hook to pay their subs.

Betting the farm on New Glenn? No disrespect but if they cant execute on New Glenn by 2028+ then BO has no business bidding on any kind of contract like this.

They should be betting the farm, they seem to need the motivation.

There's a difference between depending on NG eventually, and making its smooth operation a condition of convincing NASA that your source selection scores shouldn't be dinged because you have to build a rocket.¹

Of course, SpaceX bid something where they had to build a rocket, but they had the advantage of having built three orbital-class rockets before, and a pretty hefty head start on building the fourth.  Blue, not so much.

___________
¹Akin's Law #39: Any exploration program which "just happens" to include a new launch vehicle is, de facto, a launch vehicle program.


Online TheRadicalModerate

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[Replying to methalox delivery discussions upthread - couldn't seem to quote on mobile]

Alternatively, if Dynetics wins, their architecture (as of Humans to Mars summit 2022) already includes starship as a refuelling option alongside Vulcan.
That eliminates monopoly; provides redundancy; and increases commonality: both landers use methalox, and if ALPACA can be refilled from either SS or Centaur, then there is (probably) a standardised refuelling interface on each of them - allowing vastly increased flexibility for both ALPACA and Starship (and anyone else).

Interesting--didn't know that.  This is a big chunk of what I was driving at.

However, there's still a remaining question:  Because the likely crop of medium-to-heavy, non-refuelable launchers will give you 12-15t of prop to NRHO, and a Starship tanker might give you as much as 530t with full refueling,¹ do you bias your design for higher performance and assume a large prop load, or do you design for the lowest common denominator?  If you bet big and win, you clean up.  But if you bet big and Starship has a problem or is more expensive than you thought, the extra launch costs may kill you.

___________
¹But that takes a whole bunch of tanker launches to LEO, and you don't know how much a Starship tanker launch is going to cost.  Just for reference, three tanker launches will give you about 60t of usable prop in NRHO, if you want to send the tanker that carries it back to EDL.

Online DanClemmensen

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[Replying to methalox delivery discussions upthread - couldn't seem to quote on mobile]

Alternatively, if Dynetics wins, their architecture (as of Humans to Mars summit 2022) already includes starship as a refuelling option alongside Vulcan.
That eliminates monopoly; provides redundancy; and increases commonality: both landers use methalox, and if ALPACA can be refilled from either SS or Centaur, then there is (probably) a standardised refuelling interface on each of them - allowing vastly increased flexibility for both ALPACA and Starship (and anyone else).
We have a very long thread (97 pages) dedicated to in-orbit refuelling:
   https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=50157.0
After following this thread, I conclude that it's hard. A "standardized refuelling interface" comprises a whole lot more than connectors that transfer fuel. This may be the most complex part of the HLS mission.

Offline sdsds

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[Replying to methalox delivery discussions upthread - couldn't seem to quote on mobile]

Alternatively, if Dynetics wins, their architecture (as of Humans to Mars summit 2022) already includes starship as a refuelling option alongside Vulcan.

That potentially mis-characterizes what Andy Crocker (Dynetics Human Landing Systems Program Manager) said and showed at the H2M presentation. He said Vulcan or Starship could launch the Dynetics propellant tankers. He did not say A Dynetics vehicle could transfer propellant from (or to) a SpaceX vehicle. This is mentioned at 27 min 58 sec into

Could a Blue Origin lander accept propellant transferred from a SpaceX vehicle? It seems ... unlikely.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2022 04:25 am by sdsds »
— 𝐬𝐝𝐒𝐝𝐬 —

Offline jdon759

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[Replying to methalox delivery discussions upthread - couldn't seem to quote on mobile]

Alternatively, if Dynetics wins, their architecture (as of Humans to Mars summit 2022) already includes starship as a refuelling option alongside Vulcan.

That potentially mis-characterizes what Andy Crocker (Dynetics Human Landing Systems Program Manager) said and showed at the H2M presentation. He said Vulcan or Starship could launch the Dynetics propellant tankers. He did not say A Dynetics vehicle could transfer propellant from (or to) a SpaceX vehicle.

Thanks, I misremembered.

However, there's still a remaining question:  Because the likely crop of medium-to-heavy, non-refuelable launchers will give you 12-15t of prop to NRHO, and a Starship tanker might give you as much as 530t with full refueling, do you bias your design for higher performance and assume a large prop load, or do you design for the lowest common denominator?  If you bet big and win, you clean up.  But if you bet big and Starship has a problem or is more expensive than you thought, the extra launch costs may kill you.

What I'd do is attach some very large tanks to Gateway, and then have NASA pay anyone who can to deliver fuel to those tanks.  If they do it for cheap/kg, they get more profit, otherwise, they get less profit.  Landers can refuel at Gateway (logical, but NASA would have to sell them fuel), and the amount of fuel delivered per tanker is no longer a relevant part of the lander's design nor operations.  It also makes it easier to evntually *siphon* lunar or other extraterrestrial fuel into the system.
« Last Edit: 12/12/2022 11:53 pm by jdon759 »
Where would we be today if our forefathers hadn't dreamt of where they'd be tomorrow?  (For better and worse)

Online TheRadicalModerate

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However, there's still a remaining question:  Because the likely crop of medium-to-heavy, non-refuelable launchers will give you 12-15t of prop to NRHO, and a Starship tanker might give you as much as 530t with full refueling, do you bias your design for higher performance and assume a large prop load, or do you design for the lowest common denominator?  If you bet big and win, you clean up.  But if you bet big and Starship has a problem or is more expensive than you thought, the extra launch costs may kill you.

What I'd do is attach some very large tanks to Gateway, and then have NASA pay anyone who can to deliver fuel to those tanks.  If they do it for cheap/kg, they get more profit, otherwise, they get less profit.  Landers can refuel at Gateway (logical, but NASA would have to sell them fuel), and the amount of fuel delivered per tanker is no longer a relevant part of the lander's design nor operations.  It also makes it easier to evntually *siphon* lunar or other extraterrestrial fuel into the system.

I don't want NASA in the business of selling prop, and that's certainly not how the HLS contracts are set up currently.  NASA wants the HLS provider to take the risk on the cost of prop to NRHO.  If they can only count on VC6/FH/NG-sized systems, prop is really expensive, but likely low risk.  But if they count on Starship, prop is much, much cheaper--but there's a redundancy risk that could take both HLS designs out simultaneously if there's a problem with Starship.

There are actuarial solutions to managing between those two possible risk profiles.  The solution almost certainly results in substantially lower prop costs, which can be rolled into substantially larger HLS systems.

Online TheRadicalModerate

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I keep asking this question on other threads, but maybe de-zombifying this one is closer to on-topic:

What the hell is Boeing doing on National Team Mark II?

Some possible hypotheses:

1) The flippant answer:  They're just there for their lobbying power.  However amusing this might be, I doubt it's the only reason.

2) They're not really contributing anything other than being joint owner of ULA with LockMart, and ULA is going to repurpose a second stage (possibly the DCSS 5 but more likely a Centaur III or 5) as a TE.¹  This hypothesis seems wrong, given that ULA is supposedly now up for sale.

3) Boeing is the buyer for all of ULA, and they plan to create a variant of either Centaur 5 or Centaur III to be the TE.

4) Boeing plans to buy only the DCSS/ICPS intellectual property, tooling, and enough staff to reconstruct the (now mostly dismantled) line from ULA, and turn the DCSS into a TE. It's a lot of work to reconstruct the line and DCSS would need to be heavily modified to have the mission life needed for a TE, but nobody else will want this tech and they could get it for cheap.  It's also a nice hedge in case either EUS or ML2 goes sideways and they need another ICPS to create an Artemis III.5 Block 1 mission.

5) Boeing has something tricky planned with the EUS.  I find this extremely unlikely, but we always have to remember that a lot of what Boeing does in human spaceflight is oriented around protecting SLS.

None of these hypotheses make sense if the new architecture is only an AE/DE or DAE, but that seems unlikely to me.  I'm still betting that it's a reusable AE (from LockMart, based on some Orion tech), an expendable DE (Blue Moon), and an expendable TE.²

And an expendable TE with a lot of delta-v has some real advantages.  Chief among them is that it can be a "crasher," which takes the stack not only to LLO but does some portion of the descent orbit insertion and powered descent.  This would allow a fixed-size expendable Blue Moon to carry a heavier payload, which would be the AE for SLD/SLT flights.  The bigger the AE can be, the more capable it is in handling crews of 4 for longer lunar surface missions, which is what SLD/SLT is all about.

I don't know if any of the hypotheses is correct.  Can anybody else think of something useful that Boeing could be doing on the Nat Team?

______________
¹As a refresher:

AE = Ascent Element (likely reusable)
DE = Descent Element (likely expendable)
TE = Transfer Element, which gets the stack from NRHO to LLO--or even lower.
DAE = Descent/Ascent Element (likely reusable, but very big).

²The Nat Team Mark I architecture ostensibly had a reusable TE, likely based on NorGrumm Cygnus, but that was nonsense.  To reuse a TE, you'd have to get it back to NRHO to refuel.  And what would you use to refuel it?  Another Cygnus, which would have to be expended.  Makes more sense just to throw the old one away and use the new one.

Offline Hug

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What the hell is Boeing doing on National Team Mark II?
Quote
larger tanks using a new manufacturing technique

Above quote is from Option A source selection and while the design there is probably a fair bit different from they have now, the principle of needing lighter tanks remains. Now large hydrolox composite tanks is something Boeing has a fair bit of experience with and is something Blue presumably needs. So in the best world I imagine that's what they're doing. Maybe a couple extra systems associated with that as well. Please don't give them an element Blue.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2022/03/boeing-all-composite-cryo-tank/

I'm still hoping my architecture prediction is close to accurate.

Online Coastal Ron

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What the hell is Boeing doing on National Team Mark II?
Quote
larger tanks using a new manufacturing technique

...Now large hydrolox composite tanks is something Boeing has a fair bit of experience with and is something Blue presumably needs...

OK, but why are they are singled out as being part of the "team", and not just being a contractor?

I would imagine that everyone on the team is sharing the risk of the program (and any reward), but if you are a contractor then you get paid for whatever you do, regardless if the end result is successful or not.

Not sure we still understand...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Hug

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OK, but why are they are singled out as being part of the "team", and not just being a contractor?

Draper, Astrobotic and Honeybee are also all identified as major contractors. Drapers doing avionics, Astrobotic will probably just demo hardware like sensors on their landings and Honeybee idk. I feel like tanks + maybe a couple other associated systems would be good enough to justify a mention. In addition, the page is still just a supplier map, providing additional attention to a company like Boeing would fit in.

Online TheRadicalModerate

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Above quote is from Option A source selection and while the design there is probably a fair bit different from they have now, the principle of needing lighter tanks remains. Now large hydrolox composite tanks is something Boeing has a fair bit of experience with and is something Blue presumably needs. So in the best world I imagine that's what they're doing. Maybe a couple extra systems associated with that as well. Please don't give them an element Blue.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2022/03/boeing-all-composite-cryo-tank/

I'm still hoping my architecture prediction is close to accurate.

Your architecture has a TE and a DAE.  Blue wants a Blue Moon lander--their business is predicated on its existence.  Blue has no experience with crew-rating deep space systems, so they need LockMart to do build the crew module.  But LockMart wants to leverage a bunch of Orion tech.  Neither is going to be happy with a DAE.¹

So, just from the corporate politics, you're back to an AE/DE/TE architecture, and the question still remains:  Who's building the TE?

_____________
¹You can certainly do a fully reusable DAE/TE architecture.  But it's a lot heavier than an AE/DE/TE architecture with the DE and TE expendable.  I've attached a couple of examples below, assuming that the crew module needs to be 7.0t to handle 4 people for 5 days. 

Note how aggressive the DAE/TE structural coefficients are (I doubt composite tanks alone will get you this kind of ε) vs. the AE/DE/TE ones.  And everything here assumes hydrolox with zero boil-off, which... probably isn't realistic.

For reference, I've also attached what the NASA launch services program thinks various launchers can deliver to C3=-1.5km²/s², which is roughly what you need for a BLT to NRHO.  Note that New Glenn only has a reusable version here.  I'm guessing that it might take 16t to NRHO if it's expended.

NOTE:  The spreadsheet has the wrong delta-v for the DAE/TE architecture.  I posted a version with this fixed down-thread.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2023 06:04 pm by TheRadicalModerate »

Offline Hug

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I believe you made an error in the ΔV values for the DAE LLO to LS and LS to LLO. 2,855 and 2,810 I think are your values for NRHO to LS and LS to NRHO, whereas it should be 2,060 and 2,015 because TE does NRHO to LLO. Although when I did it I got roughly similar propellant mass to NRHO (40 tons), but that was with 6 tons of propulsion stage masses instead of 0.88 and 2.97 tons. If you want to see my math and be baffled check out (and hopefully not find errors)  . (please ignore the fact that it's a graphing software)

This brings up the question of subLLO trajectory vs docking in LLO, because if you don't do either (like in the diagram); TE uses like 1/3 of the propellant the DAE does. SubLLO means that if DAE has issues starting engines you only have maybe an hour to solve before the rapid breaking manoeuvre occurs. Docking introduces LLO mission critical docking. I naturally lean towards subLLO because that's the first one I thought of, but docking could easily be safer (and better mass wise). alt math

It is certainly more mass to NRHO. But if you have a fully reusable launch solution; more dumb propellant mass to NRHO is probably cheaper than the expendable hardware. The ultimate question here is how much do Blue believe in themselves? Because that's what dictates what's acceptable.

This is the most mentally simulated I've been for a while so cheers for replying
« Last Edit: 03/06/2023 10:39 pm by Hug »

Online chopsticks

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What the hell is Boeing doing on National Team Mark II?
Quote
larger tanks using a new manufacturing technique

Above quote is from Option A source selection and while the design there is probably a fair bit different from they have now, the principle of needing lighter tanks remains. Now large hydrolox composite tanks is something Boeing has a fair bit of experience with and is something Blue presumably needs. So in the best world I imagine that's what they're doing. Maybe a couple extra systems associated with that as well. Please don't give them an element Blue.
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2022/03/boeing-all-composite-cryo-tank/

I'm still hoping my architecture prediction is close to accurate.

That architecture looks immensely complicated and high risk.

Online TheRadicalModerate

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I believe you made an error in the ΔV values for the DAE LLO to LS and LS to LLO. 2,855 and 2,810 I think are your values for NRHO to LS and LS to NRHO, whereas it should be 2,060 and 2,015 because TE does NRHO to LLO. Although when I did it I got roughly similar propellant mass to NRHO (40 tons), but that was with 6 tons of propulsion stage masses instead of 0.88 and 2.97 tons. If you want to see my math and be baffled check out (and hopefully not find errors)  . (please ignore the fact that it's a graphing software)

This brings up the question of subLLO trajectory vs docking in LLO, because if you don't do either (like in the diagram); TE uses like 1/3 of the propellant the DAE does. SubLLO means that if DAE has issues starting engines you only have maybe an hour to solve before the rapid breaking manoeuvre occurs. Docking introduces LLO mission critical docking. I naturally lean towards subLLO because that's the first one I thought of, but docking could easily be safer (and better mass wise). alt math

It is certainly more mass to NRHO. But if you have a fully reusable launch solution; more dumb propellant mass to NRHO is probably cheaper than the expendable hardware. The ultimate question here is how much do Blue believe in themselves? Because that's what dictates what's acceptable.

This is the most mentally simulated I've been for a while so cheers for replying

Yup, you're right, that was a big error.  Corrected in the attached.

However, while I was at it, I changed the epsilons to be consistent across the two different architectures:  14% for DAEs and DEs, and 10% for TEs.  I also switched over to your "ascend straight to NRHO" conops for the DAE, with the TE coming back empty--I'd misread your chart.

The DAE/TE architecture prop requirements are now a bit above what you could carry with two VC6es.  It might be worth doing the exercise to get them down to exactly two.  It would likely necessitate reducing the size of the crew module a bit.

PS:  Here's a link to the model.
« Last Edit: 03/06/2023 12:45 pm by TheRadicalModerate »

Offline Phil Stooke

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"That architecture looks immensely complicated and high risk."

It does, and frankly the SpaceX version is also troublingly complex and high risk, it seems to me.  How it makes one long for Apollo's one-shot approach.  What Apollo couldn't (or rather didn't) do was to pre-land equipment and supplies, which could be done now with the larger CLPS landers.  It would be really good to see a plan using one of our big sparkly new launchers to fly a one-shot mission augmented with pre-landed payloads.

Online Robotbeat

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A dozen launches for one mission sounds insane if your launcher can only do like 1 launch per year (even Saturn V only did 4 during its peak year 1969). But… if you’re already doing 61 launches the previous year and are shooting for 100 this year… 12 launches just isn’t so crazy any more.

High launch rate is enabling for reuse. It’s a logistical nightmare for expendable. People keep trying to apply the latter lessons to the former. It’s just not the same thing.
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

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