Author Topic: SLS Version of SRB-X with Orbital/ATK Dark Knights Advanced Boosters  (Read 12935 times)

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5479
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 580
  • Likes Given: 677
In mid-2012 the Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction (ABEDRR) procurement selections were made.
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/jul/HQ_12-234_SLS_Advanced_Booster_NRA.html

Then in early 2013 Chris wrote up a great summary of the "Dark Knights" proposal:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/01/the-dark-knights-atks-advanced-booster-revealed-for-sls/

Some water has passed under the bridge since then. We don't hear much these days about new "advanced" boosters for SLS. Instead we hear a lot about the incredibly low flight rate anticipated for SLS. Indeed we hear that rate is almost unsupportably low. Apparently we have a "need" to keep the SLS workforce busy.

Enter the Dark Knights version of SRB-X! Here's how it would work. Orbital/ATK develops and gets a chance to flight test Dark Knights on an "X" vehicle (i.e. one where higher risk of LOM can be tolerated). They also get to develop the three-segment Dark Knight Junior. Boeing gets to build and fly an Exploration Upper Stage. Aerojet/Rocketdyne would be tasked with providing propulsion for that, plus someone (probably AJR) gets to design an in-space storable propellant payload stage. Gaining some flight test heritage for a stage like that would be critical for e.g. the "Minimal Architecture for Human Journeys to Mars" proposed by Hoppy Price, John Baker & Firouz Nader. See:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=37925.msg1584857#msg1584857

Earlier discussion of SRB-X was here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12690.0
On that thread Jim makes the very good point that NASA "can't" develop this vehicle. It might compete with commercially available capabilities. So help from Congress would be needed. Luckily this proposal keeps all the proper SLS workforces employed, so it could sail smoothly though the political seas....

Oh, and it almost goes without saying: SRB-X or anything like it would clearly be a Frankenrocket! ;)
-- sdsds --

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32425
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11164
  • Likes Given: 331
Congress can't help, it would mean two conflicting laws.

It also would not be smooth sailing, it would have more opponents in Congress because the non NASA states would be against it.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2016 02:05 AM by Jim »

Offline joek

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2945
  • Liked: 703
  • Likes Given: 374
Need to be clear... There is nothing legally stopping NASA or Congress from directing funds for such development.  Whether NASA could actually employ it is another matter.

Offline TomH

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2204
  • Vancouver, WA
  • Liked: 904
  • Likes Given: 318
Ares I or Liberty on steroids.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32425
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11164
  • Likes Given: 331
Need to be clear... There is nothing legally stopping NASA or Congress from directing funds for such development.  Whether NASA could actually employ it is another matter.

Developing is the same as employing. 

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5479
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 580
  • Likes Given: 677
Ares I or Liberty on steroids.

Yes, it is essentially that. The Europeans call launch vehicles with this type of architecture "PPH" (poudre-poudre-hydrogène, i.e. solid, solid hydrogen). It's probably the Ariane 6 architecture that made the most sense, though not the one eventually selected. Ariane would have used three P135 solid rocket motors as a first stage and a single P135 motor as a second stage. That 3:1 ratio is fiarly close to the SRB-X 8:3 ratio (where for SRB-X the count is of segments rather than boosters).

It is for me a WAG that EUS would be close to the right size to go atop a Dark Knights SRB-X. Four RL10 engines on EUS would provide about 440 kN of thrust. The equivalent stage in the original SRB-X proposal would have used an LR-91-AJ11 with about 467 kN, so at least it doesn't appear to be badly mis-sized.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2016 03:50 AM by sdsds »
-- sdsds --

Offline joek

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2945
  • Liked: 703
  • Likes Given: 374
Developing is the same as employing.
Not it is not.  NASA can direct funds to develop whatever it wants (subject to very broad constraints and Congressional concurrence)  Whether NASA can employ the result of such labors e.g., to compete with commercial, falls under a different set of laws and regulations.

Offline sdsds

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5479
  • "With peace and hope for all mankind."
  • Seattle
  • Liked: 580
  • Likes Given: 677
I think it's a difference that makes a difference. The principal justification for this SRB-X would be massive risk reduction it offers SLS with advanced boosters, because it provides a way for the boosters to get flight history without risking the entire SLS mission stack. That's something no commercial launcher can offer. (And that's nothing like the justification for the original SRB-X.)

Indeed the same could be said for SRB-X use of EUS. No commercial launcher can offer to flight-test that. And by doing these test flights we allow the precious few RS-25 engines to be expended (by the SLS core stage) only when needed.
-- sdsds --

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32425
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11164
  • Likes Given: 331
I think it's a difference that makes a difference. The principal justification for this SRB-X would be massive risk reduction it offers SLS with advanced boosters, because it provides a way for the boosters to get flight history without risking the entire SLS mission stack. That's something no commercial launcher can offer. (And that's nothing like the justification for the original SRB-X.)

Indeed the same could be said for SRB-X use of EUS. No commercial launcher can offer to flight-test that. And by doing these test flights we allow the precious few RS-25 engines to be expended (by the SLS core stage) only when needed.

No, the justification is not relevant for many reasons.
a.  Different flight conditions.
b.  Unneeded capability
c.  commercial lobby will beat HSF lobby on this matter.
d.  NASA isn't going to spend the money on another MLP and VAB high bay outfitting.   NASA would rather use the money for SLS capabilities.

Also, there is no way of flying the EUS on such a vehicle, it needs the basic SLS to fly.


Just drop it, it will not happen, there are no good reasons for it.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2016 04:32 AM by Jim »

Offline TrevorMonty

The SRB -X is on drawing board, Orbital/ATK call it NGLV. The difference is Blue supplied BE3 US.

Offline Sam Ho

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 559
  • Liked: 222
  • Likes Given: 66
The SRB -X is on drawing board, Orbital/ATK call it NGLV. The difference is Blue supplied BE3 US.

And there was quite a bit of discussion about it in the OA section when it was announced.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39322.msg1499163#msg1499163

Offline MATTBLAK

  • Elite Veteran & 'J.A.F.A'
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4420
  • 'Space Cadets' Let us; UNITE!! (crickets chirping)
  • New Zealand
  • Liked: 1175
  • Likes Given: 2256
I've always thought the SRB-X is one of the most ridiculous kludges I've ever seen - far worse than Ares 1 or Liberty. Therefore? Highly unlikely to ever happen. But I defend your right to speculate, as I've done before in other threads... ;)
"Those who can't, Blog".   'Space Cadets' of the World - Let us UNITE!! (crickets chirping)

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12877
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3934
  • Likes Given: 752
The SRB -X is on drawing board, Orbital/ATK call it NGLV. The difference is Blue supplied BE3 US.
Much different designs.  Not even close.  NGLV is entirely in-line.  But yes it could share the SLS launch pad, etc.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 09/19/2016 04:07 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline russianhalo117

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4696
  • AR USA / Berlin, DE / Moscow, RF
  • Liked: 1195
  • Likes Given: 594
The SRB -X is on drawing board, Orbital/ATK call it NGLV. The difference is Blue supplied BE3 US.
NOPE. SRB-X was a proposal by USAF to NASA and industry to develop a STS/Titan-III/later Titan-IV hybrid. SRB-X has no relation at all to the OA NGLV EELV Proposal. SRB-X's sole purpose was to get Military STS payloads in to orbit by using SLC-39 and SLC-6 pads so that military payloads would not have to rideshare with other civil/commercial payloads. Date of first proposal was in 1984 and would have flown in 1988. The proposal would reoccur several times over the following decades. Its latest reviving was in the beginning second decade of the 2000's as a post shuttle replacement

http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/srb-x.htm

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32425
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11164
  • Likes Given: 331

NOPE. SRB-X was a proposal by USAF to NASA and industry to develop a STS/Titan-III/later Titan-IV hybrid. SRB-X has no relation at all to the OA NGLV EELV Proposal. SRB-X's sole purpose was to get Military STS payloads in to orbit by using SLC-39 and SLC-6 pads so that military payloads would not have to rideshare with other civil/commercial payloads. Date of first proposal was in 1984 and would have flown in 1988. The proposal would reoccur several times over the following decades. Its latest reviving was in the beginning second decade of the 2000's as a post shuttle replacement

http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/srb-x.htm

No, SRB-X was NASA and MSFC's unsolicited response to the CELV (what became the Titan IV) program.  The USAF had no role in it.  They didn't ask for it and they didn't want it   NASA didn't want to lose the 10 DOD payloads from the shuttle.  NASA wanted to maintain some of the synergy with the shuttle system for economics.  They eliminated the orbiter and SSMEs, which were thought to be the weak link of the system.
« Last Edit: 09/19/2016 07:02 PM by Jim »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12877
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3934
  • Likes Given: 752
I hesitate to add to this, but it's a slow day so here goes.  Don't ask why, because there is no why.

I'm going to start with two five-segment steel case SLS boosters.  They're going to be around for awhile, given the lengthy development effort, the launch infrastructure, etc. 

With these we must lift something heavy, thanks to 2,900 metric tons of thrust.    The SLS core plus upper stage plus payload will weigh in at 1,300 tonnes or so, but the core will also be adding its own 758 tonnes of thrust.  That leaves the possibility of a 500-800 tonne core that does not add liftoff thrust but rather serves as a serial burn stage.  The OATK NGL Heavy (Castor 1200 + Castor 300 + BE-3 upper stage) might just about fit here.  The resulting essentially four-stage rocket would be able to lift probably more than 20 tonnes to GTO and more than 50 tonnes to LEO - roughly Falcon Heavy/New Glenn performance (while only needing to use one of those fussy liquid rocket engines).  Meanwhile, the NGL Heavy itself would have more like EELV Heavy performance.

I suppose I'll have to draw a picture  ...

 - Ed Kyle



« Last Edit: 09/21/2016 01:20 PM by edkyle99 »

Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12877
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 3934
  • Likes Given: 752
Here's a side-by-side comparison of NGLV-X next to the other planned heavy lifters.

Please, someone, stop me.   :)

 - Ed Kyle

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28474
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8339
  • Likes Given: 5482
I'm crying right now.
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 Dante80

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 886
  • Athens : Greece
  • Liked: 810
  • Likes Given: 503
Here's a side-by-side comparison of NGLV-X next to the other planned heavy lifters.

Please, someone, stop me.   :)

 - Ed Kyle

Please, don't stop!!

Here is a theoretical question. Now that we have some stats about the design goals for the Raptor engine, how would an SLS with two Raptor based liquid boosters look and work?

Offline mike robel

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2173
  • Merritt Island, FL
  • Liked: 229
  • Likes Given: 42
ED:

PLEASE!


DON"T!


STOP!

Tags: