Author Topic: How would Russia go to the moon?  (Read 172909 times)

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #20 on: 12/01/2012 10:52 AM »
PPTS/PTK-NP development during 2012
At: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/ptk_2012.html


Sodruzhestvo heavy-lifting rocket
At: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/sodruzhestvo.html


Prospective Piloted Transport System
At: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prospective_Piloted_Transport_System
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Hyperion5

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #21 on: 12/02/2012 04:55 AM »
PPTS/PTK-NP development during 2012
At: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/ptk_2012.html

"Despite an apparent effort to "diet" the ship to 9.1 tons, designers had to eventually compromise at 9.5 tons in 2012. As a result, a fully fueled Moon-bound spacecraft would have a mass of 23 tons - a huge increase from 16.4 tons projected for such a vehicle in 2008. For missions limited to the low Earth orbit, the spacecrft would be launched only partially fueled, thus reducing its mass to 17 tons."

This capsule is going to weigh some 17 mt with a service module that has just enough fuel to work in low earth orbit?  Now that is a weight increase over the Soyuz!  17 mt is too much for a Zenit to handle, so that leaves the launch vehicle of choice, the Angara A5P, and also the Proton M.  I suppose if the launch is unmanned Roskosmos would tolerate the Proton M for a launch.  If this new spaceship is going to weigh 23 mt just for arriving at the moon, this is going to necessitate multiple launches of an Angara A7V. 

If we're limited to the Angara A7V as our maximum size launcher, that'd necessitate some serious re-think on Russia's approach with a spaceship this heavy.  My strategy would be to send up a 40 mt extra-large KVRB stage 4 meters in diameter and mounting 4 RD-0146 engines.  That might just be enough to get the new PTK-NP/PPTS into lunar orbit with some margin to spare. 

Sodruzhestvo heavy-lifting rocket
At: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/sodruzhestvo.html

There's a bit of irony.  I propose a 5-core Zenit Super Heavy for lunar missions and that's basically what's been proposed by RKK Energia.  It's obvious what the limiting factor in this design is; just like with the Falcon Heavy rocket, it's the upper stage that limits it the most.  I can't help but wonder about the thrust:weight ratio of this Sodruzhestvo at liftoff.  A Zenit is very nearly 1.6:1 at liftoff, so the Sodruzhestvo rocket could be an extraordinary accelerator unless it is lengthened significantly from the Zenit.  With cross-feed you could probably easily add another 10-15% to the initial payload numbers judging by the numbers for Falcon Heavy. 

It might actually be able to attract a few customers away from the Falcon Heavy given its payload numbers.  If Falcon Heavy proves successful, I expect Sodruzhestvo might be nearly as successful.  It would certainly have no lack of lifting power, given its astonishing liftoff thrust of 8.5 million lbf.  To put that in context, that's 7.5% more thrust at liftoff than the Energia, 11% more  than a Saturn V, and 25% more than the Space Shuttle.  If this launched by 2020, the only thing with more thrust at liftoff would be SLS (8.87 million lbf). 

If Russia sticks to its plan for lunar missions, I'd have to say such a rocket would make a lot of sense.  Given 70 mt of payload lift, you could launch manned lunar missions with a 45 mt TLI and a 23 mt manned spaceship.  It should also enable Russia to build a space station in lunar orbit.  Commercially it would be the ultimate GTO satellite launcher out there if you wanted to launch huge communications satellites.  The question I have is, would you have to a TLI stage with RD-0146 engines to get to the moon or could you use something with lower Isp and more flight experience? 
« Last Edit: 12/02/2012 05:01 AM by Hyperion5 »

Offline fregate

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #22 on: 12/03/2012 05:54 AM »
LV Sodruzhestvo - Ukrainian path and no hydrogen.   
"Selene, the Moon. Selenginsk, an old town in Siberia: moon-rocket  town" Vladimir Nabokov

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #23 on: 12/04/2012 11:59 AM »
....

It might actually be able to attract a few customers away from the Falcon Heavy given its payload numbers.  If Falcon Heavy proves successful, I expect Sodruzhestvo might be nearly as successful.  It would certainly have no lack of lifting power, given its astonishing liftoff thrust of 8.5 million lbf.  To put that in context, that's 7.5% more thrust at liftoff than the Energia, 11% more  than a Saturn V, and 25% more than the Space Shuttle.  If this launched by 2020, the only thing with more thrust at liftoff would be SLS (8.87 million lbf). 

If Russia sticks to its plan for lunar missions, I'd have to say such a rocket would make a lot of sense.  Given 70 mt of payload lift, you could launch manned lunar missions with a 45 mt TLI and a 23 mt manned spaceship.  It should also enable Russia to build a space station in lunar orbit.  Commercially it would be the ultimate GTO satellite launcher out there if you wanted to launch huge communications satellites.  The question I have is, would you have to a TLI stage with RD-0146 engines to get to the moon or could you use something with lower Isp and more flight experience? 



Note:

"The new Long March 9 details were revealed by Liang Xiaohong, the Communist Party Chief at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT),  China’s largest rocket  contractor. Vick at Global Security did an extensive review of Liang’s revelations."

"Liang outlined several new Long March versions, virtually all of them testing elements that would eventually find their way into the Long March 9 that has 4 million lb. more of liftoff thrust than the 7.5 million lb. thrust NASA Saturn V."

From: First Look: China’s Big New Rockets   By Craig Covault
At: http://www.americaspace.org/?p=22881



Consider a Moon ISRU Partnership with Russia initially supplying the PPTS/PTK-NP spaceship, China the super heavy launcher, and another nation, such as India, the lander.

Bring in other countries, Europe, and/or companies for money, habitats, garages, spaceship hangers, mining equipment, electric power units, and ISRU facilities. It would be a stone soup approach to gaining access to Lunar ISRU benefits and scientific knowledge. Many current large business and science projects have international participation that makes them doable. 

Eventually Russia would have its own super heavy launcher and a Lander but those high costs are not really desirable for the initial stages of How Russia would go to the Moon.

The USA would be stuck with the heavy costs of building, expanding, and maintaining its space station in an L2 orbit. The President has made it very clear that he has no interest in having NASA astronauts and scientists going to the Moon. 

Many European, Asian, and American international companies that already do business in Russia might want to participate in such a Moon ISRU Partnership.


Cheers!
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Archibald

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #24 on: 12/04/2012 12:32 PM »
Quote
The USA would be stuck with the heavy costs of building, expanding, and maintaining its space station in an L2 orbit. The President has made it very clear that he has no interest in having NASA astronauts and scientists going to the Moon. 

You really sounds like a broken record

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30039.msg975982#msg975982

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30179.msg976770#msg976770

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28380.msg978168#msg978168

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29162.msg964394#msg964394

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28141.msg975947#msg975947

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30360.msg983136#msg983136

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30357.0

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30081.msg978159#msg978159

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29918.msg961758#msg961758

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=19491.msg932988#msg932988

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30043.msg981055#msg981055

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29846.msg951383#msg951383

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29529.msg935265#msg935265

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=30465.msg987380#msg987380

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=26218.msg791759#msg791759

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27471.msg934780#msg934780

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=25846.msg780147#msg780147

No ?
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #25 on: 12/04/2012 01:28 PM »
Now, if anyone can clearly show us where that 'no NASA astronauts on the Moon plan' has been officially changed to an 'affordable plan to get astronauts on the Moon', please do so. It would certainly make that post a great one!

I love Mars, but NASA hyping Mars and not planning for international human missions to the Lunar surface seems downright silly.

NASA's ignoring human missions to the Moon leads to considering how private companies or Russia or China or some combination of entities might get us back on the Moon. America and Russia, and as many international space exploration partners as possible, working as a team would be able to devise efficient, affordable, and low risk ways to get us permanently back to the Moon.
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Moe Grills

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #26 on: 12/04/2012 08:37 PM »
  I hate to bring up any hint of politics in this discussion, but
here goes...
Russia needs to approach "Space Adventures Ltd" and offer to
pay to have two of its own cosmonauts accompany that anonymous
billionaire who has promised to pay 150 million dollars to become
the first lunar 'tourist' to flyby the Moon onboard an updated Soyuz/Zond.
If the Russian taxpayers get excited about such a mission, they might be
willing to cough up further funds for more ambitious lunar missions.
Example: (first) Flyby of the Moon > (then) orbiting the Moon > (next) landing on the Moon > (finally) a Russian encampment on the Moon.
All this will involve making the Russian public/taxpayer interested and
patient, since the entire plan will span over a decade.

Apollo 8 had to happen before Apollo 11.

Metaphor: "If we want to run, we have to learn how to crawl and then walk first as infants before becoming children."
« Last Edit: 12/04/2012 08:38 PM by Moe Grills »

Offline Hyperion5

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #27 on: 12/04/2012 10:26 PM »
....

It might actually be able to attract a few customers away from the Falcon Heavy given its payload numbers.  If Falcon Heavy proves successful, I expect Sodruzhestvo might be nearly as successful.  It would certainly have no lack of lifting power, given its astonishing liftoff thrust of 8.5 million lbf.  To put that in context, that's 7.5% more thrust at liftoff than the Energia, 11% more  than a Saturn V, and 25% more than the Space Shuttle.  If this launched by 2020, the only thing with more thrust at liftoff would be SLS (8.87 million lbf).   

Note:

"The new Long March 9 details were revealed by Liang Xiaohong, the Communist Party Chief at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT),  China’s largest rocket  contractor. Vick at Global Security did an extensive review of Liang’s revelations."

"Liang outlined several new Long March versions, virtually all of them testing elements that would eventually find their way into the Long March 9 that has 4 million lb. more of liftoff thrust than the 7.5 million lb. thrust NASA Saturn V."

From: First Look: China’s Big New Rockets   By Craig Covault
At: http://www.americaspace.org/?p=22881

I did say 2020, did I not?  Even if Russia were to only sign off on the Sodruzhestvo "Super Zenit" HLV at the same time (supposedly 2015), I'd put long odds on the Russians finishing theirs first due to already having the basic core and all of the needed engines.  China still has to create quite a few of those engines and build a much larger vehicle.  If Putin gives Roskosmos the go-ahead at the same time or a bit earlier, the Sodruzhestvo is flying first.

Anyone know what the payload mass fraction/percentage is likely to be on a Sodruzhestvo?  The Long March 9 must not have a particularly good one, because that Saturn V with 4 million lbf less thrust puts up only 10 mt less into LEO (130 mt vs 120 mt) and only 5 mt less for TLI (50 mt vs 45 mt).  Obviously, with its much higher payload mass percentage, it wouldn't take much to make Saturn V's payload heavier than a CZ 9's.  Coincidentally one of the few rockets I've found that rivals a Saturn V in both payload and payload mass fraction is the one Russia can't afford to make anew, the Energia.  It's too bad, as the Energia would have made a great Russian moon rocket.  Partly for reasons of enabling single-flight moon missions, I'm advocating a four RD-0146 engine XL KVRB TLI stage for the Sodruzhestvo. 


Consider a Moon ISRU Partnership with Russia initially supplying the PPTS/PTK-NP spaceship, China the super heavy launcher, and another nation, such as India, the lander.

Big fan of the China-Russia approach eh?  Well given how much a PTK-NP/PPTS capsule is likely to be an advantage for such missions I don't blame you.  It'd be a huge improvement on the Soyuz or Shenzhou.  Russia saves China the hassle of an all-new capsule while Russia gets access to a Chinese heavy-lifter.  I'm not sure I'd want the Indians handling the lander, as they're not exactly known for great space tech.  If the US had the money or political will, I'd advocate a partnership with the same agency that originally landed men on the moon.  As it is I think China would be better off doing their own lunar lander.


Eventually Russia would have its own super heavy launcher and a Lander but those high costs are not really desirable for the initial stages of How Russia would go to the Moon.

The USA would be stuck with the heavy costs of building, expanding, and maintaining its space station in an L2 orbit. The President has made it very clear that he has no interest in having NASA astronauts and scientists going to the Moon. 

Cheers!

You do realize that in 2016 we're going to get a new President-elect?  When the new President takes office in 2017, they'll find a NASA that once again can launch astronauts into LEO and also is about to launch the massive SLS.  It'll be the first time since 1973 that we've had a rocket capable of single-flight moon missions of any kind.  I expect you'll see some significant tweaks to US space policy, but I don't think NASA is going to be stuck in low earth orbit for another 40 years.  I think a push towards lunar missions will be hard to avoid due to China's plans. 

Given plans in the US and China, the Russian people may start wondering, "why can't we do that?" A Sodruzhestvo would be an easy initial answer to that and would kill off any chances of the Energia-M.  I think if they want to go any heavier than that, the easiest way to up payload further would be to upgrade the Sodruzhestvo's upper stage and the 5 booster engines.  Beyond that (say 90 mt?) Russia would be crazy not to simply revive the Energia if they have the money in the future.  If Russia really put some serious cash into it, they could crush a Long March 9 when they unveiled the Vulkan Herkules version pushing up 200 mt to LEO with nearly 15 million lbf of thrust. 

LV Sodruzhestvo - Ukrainian path and no hydrogen.   

Well I've got to agree with you on the Sodruzhestvo.  That makes a ton of sense.  However, could you really send a 23 mt PTK-NP around the moon with a TLI stage weighing under 50 mt if it doesn't use hydrogen? 
« Last Edit: 12/05/2012 04:36 PM by Hyperion5 »

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #28 on: 12/05/2012 10:44 PM »
....

Well I've got to agree with you on the Sodruzhestvo.  That makes a ton of sense.  However, could you really send a 23 mt PTK-NP around the moon with a TLI stage weighing under 50 mt if it doesn't use hydrogen? 



Going to the Moon with international partners is more politically useful and economically doable than doing it alone. International partners also add essential stability and continuity to long-term Lunar exploration, ISRU, and  development.

Using hydrolox for the Earth Departure Stage, the insertion into Lunar orbit, the departure from Lunar orbit, and for the reusable Lander prepares Russia for the near future when hydrolox will be commercially available on the Lunar surface. Russia needs high Isp hydrolox propellant to minimize costs. Russia needs hydrolox ISRU to minimize costs. Reusable rockets, sustainability, and the rapid expansion of the Lunar options are enhanced by hydrolox ISRU.

International high tech partnerships, strategic geopolitical location influence or control, tourism, research, and resource exploitation are the doable soft and hard power expanding goals. 

Russia would go to the Moon with as many partners as possible.
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Hyperion5

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #29 on: 12/06/2012 04:09 AM »
....

Well I've got to agree with you on the Sodruzhestvo.  That makes a ton of sense.  However, could you really send a 23 mt PTK-NP around the moon with a TLI stage weighing under 50 mt if it doesn't use hydrogen? 

Going to the Moon with international partners is more politically useful and economically doable than doing it alone. International partners also add essential stability and continuity to long-term Lunar exploration, ISRU, and  development.

Using hydrolox for the Earth Departure Stage, the insertion into Lunar orbit, the departure from Lunar orbit, and for the reusable Lander prepares Russia for the near future when hydrolox will be commercially available on the Lunar surface. Russia needs high Isp hydrolox propellant to minimize costs. Russia needs hydrolox ISRU to minimize costs. Reusable rockets, sustainability, and the rapid expansion of the Lunar options are enhanced by hydrolox ISRU.

International high tech partnerships, strategic geopolitical location influence or control, tourism, research, and resource exploitation are the doable soft and hard power expanding goals. 

Russia would go to the Moon with as many partners as possible.

I'm not saying they wouldn't go with many partners, just that they'd probably want to have some independent capability to launch lunar missions as well.  One of the reasons why the ISS is still operational is because it relied on both Russia and the US to send up crew.  Lunar missions would be more sustainable if they have two countries that can carry them out on some level.  For that you need a Sodruzhestvo with real lunar capability. 

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #30 on: 12/06/2012 09:34 AM »
....

I'm not saying they wouldn't go with many partners, just that they'd probably want to have some independent capability to launch lunar missions as well.  One of the reasons why the ISS is still operational is because it relied on both Russia and the US to send up crew.  Lunar missions would be more sustainable if they have two countries that can carry them out on some level.  For that you need a Sodruzhestvo with real lunar capability. 



Yep. Redundant means of transporting humans and equipment to the Lunar ISRU facility would be wise. Systems that work to enable backup access to the Lunar surface would be needed in order to ensure sustainability.

It would be great to see a permanent human presence on the Moon. Currently NASA isn't making any serious plans to land humans on the Moon. Russians and some other folks may have to carry the Lunar ISRU planning and preparation work forward.

NASA needs to change its asteroid and Mars focus to a more local Lunar focus if it wants to work with Russia on Moon missions. Such a change in NASA's focus is possible.


See:

NRC: No National Consensus on NASA Strategic Plans; Asteroid-First Mission Not Deemed Compelling  By Laura M. Delgado  December 5, 2012
From: http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nrc-no-national-consensus-on-nasa-strategic-plans-asteroid-first-mission-not-deemed-compelling

"An ambitious congressionally-mandated study of NASA’s strategic plans and ability to achieve them, released today, describes a grim state of affairs that, if not corrected, threaten U.S. continued leadership in space."



Space Foundation Recommends NASA Adopt Pioneering Purpose
12/04/2012
http://www.spacefoundation.org/programs/research-and-analysis/pioneering/media/space-foundation-recommends-nasa-adopt-pioneering

"Commenting on the report findings, the Space Foundation Chief Executive Officer Elliot Pulham said, 'Our research revealed that NASA is struggling to find its way as a result of years of circumstance and mixed signals from political leadership. But, the fundamental issue is the muddled -- or non-existent -- understanding of why NASA exists and what it should be doing.'"



If the President and NASA's leadership continue to refuse to provide international leadership in doing ISRU on the Lunar surface, Russia may decide to lead in such an effort. Russia has the experience with building and using much of the hardware that would be needed for cislunar transportation systems and for humans to live and work on the Moon. For Russia, it really comes down to a willingness to spend the money and lead.

If America and Russia really don't want to lead in tapping Lunar resources, China or eventually India could decide to provide such international leadership.


Cheers!
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline fregate

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #31 on: 12/06/2012 11:20 AM »
LV Sodruzhestvo - Ukrainian path and no hydrogen.   
Well I've got to agree with you on the Sodruzhestvo.  That makes a ton of sense.  However, could you really send a 23 mt PTK-NP around the moon with a TLI stage weighing under 50 mt if it doesn't use hydrogen? 
1. Where on Earth did you get 50 mt TLI stage for Manned Lunar mission?

According to RKK Energia's president Vitaly Lopota, the rocket (LV Sodruzhestvo) could deliver between 60 and 70 tons to the low Earth orbit. Let's assume 65 mt.

2. It's not around the moon (Zond-style) mission. PTK-NP objective is a LLO.

3. PTK-L and EDS are launched by two separate LVs with EOR docking.

 
 
"Selene, the Moon. Selenginsk, an old town in Siberia: moon-rocket  town" Vladimir Nabokov

Offline Archibald

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #32 on: 12/06/2012 12:21 PM »
Quote
If the President and NASA's leadership continue to refuse to provide international leadership in doing ISRU on the Lunar surface

aaand... 18th time I read this.
Naughty President Obama that don't want astronauts on the lunar surface. I'm quite sure he killed that poor Neil Armstrong for that reason. Evil Obama, booh 

Quote
could you really send a 23 mt PTK-NP around the moon with a TLI stage weighing under 50 mt if it doesn't use hydrogen? 

Nope. The approximate rule of thumb is that a LOX/LH2 stage can throw its own mass through TLI (read, a 15 ton Centaur throws a 15 ton payload, and on)
For the sake of comparison, a 20 tons Block D barely throws a 7 tons Soyuz in TLI - a mere 1/3 of its own mass.
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #33 on: 12/06/2012 01:24 PM »
Yep. Hydrolox is the way for Russia go to the Moon for several good reasons.

Oh, and it may surprise one poster, but I have defended the President on this website when several posters were attacking his leadership. Come to think about it I also defended the previous President when he was under attack by a poster or two.

Of course, the current President continues to follow poor advise on L2, asteroid missions, and Mars and has publicly expressed a strong disinterest in getting us permanently back on the Moon to do ISRU.

The current President's well known lack of interest in the Moon is partly the reason why we are posting and thinking about How would Russia go to the moon


And I really didn't have anything to do with the comments in either:

NRC: No National Consensus on NASA Strategic Plans; Asteroid-First Mission Not Deemed Compelling  By Laura M. Delgado  December 5, 2012
From: http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nrc-no-national-consensus-on-nasa-strategic-plans-asteroid-first-mission-not-deemed-compelling

Or,

"The official NASA plan does not include a return to the surface of the Moon, distancing itself from the cancelled Constellation Program (CxP) approach of Moon, Mars and Beyond, first cited in the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE)."
From: Exploration Alternatives: From Propellant Depots to Commercial Lunar Base  November 15th, 2012 by Chris Bergin
At: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2012/11/exploration-alternatives-propellant-depots-commercial-lunar-base/


Sometimes a poster wants to blame and attack the messenger and ignore the root cause of the message. It is convenient and easy to do that. Such is life.


Cheers! 
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline Hyperion5

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #34 on: 12/07/2012 12:23 AM »
LV Sodruzhestvo - Ukrainian path and no hydrogen.   
Well I've got to agree with you on the Sodruzhestvo.  That makes a ton of sense.  However, could you really send a 23 mt PTK-NP around the moon with a TLI stage weighing under 50 mt if it doesn't use hydrogen? 
1. Where on Earth did you get 50 mt TLI stage for Manned Lunar mission?

According to RKK Energia's president Vitaly Lopota, the rocket (LV Sodruzhestvo) could deliver between 60 and 70 tons to the low Earth orbit. Let's assume 65 mt.

2. It's not around the moon (Zond-style) mission. PTK-NP objective is a LLO.

3. PTK-L and EDS are launched by two separate LVs with EOR docking.



Nope. The approximate rule of thumb is that a LOX/LH2 stage can throw its own mass through TLI (read, a 15 ton Centaur throws a 15 ton payload, and on)
For the sake of comparison, a 20 tons Block D barely throws a 7 tons Soyuz in TLI - a mere 1/3 of its own mass.

I don't mean a Zond style mission, I mean a full-on LLO mission capability in one flight.  Archibald is right about LH2 being a good way to go.  The rocket's got limited payload and can't be upgraded much.  A TLI stage other than LH2 would have to be enormous (except perhaps CH4) to send a 23 mt PTK-NP into LLO.  So enormous it'd be dangerously close to the maximum the Sodruzhestvo could lift to low-earth orbit.  Cutting weight from the PTK-NP would be a costly endeavor if it came to that. 

Russia already has an excellent and recently developed RD-0146 LH2 engine that they'll be using on some versions of the Angara.  There's even talk of using it for an enlarged Soyuz-3 based off the 2.1v: http://www.russianspaceweb.com/soyuz3_lv.html

Given they have the engine and will be using it, why not use it to eliminate the hassles of earth-orbit rendezvous?  Besides, if your TLI stage only weighs roughly 25 mt, you've still go around 15-20 mt of additional payload lift to use.    With all that extra payload, you might even consider enlarging your KVRB stage, perhaps adding a 5th RD-0146, and sending along a small space station module while you're at it.  Or perhaps a propellant module to keep the station fully-fueled.  The point is with LH2 a Sodruzhestvo is a very useful rocket that can do LLO missions in one flight.  Without a KVRB stage we start having the costly possibility of the rocket being inadequate even for EOR missions to LLO. 

Offline Archibald

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #35 on: 12/07/2012 06:55 AM »
Facts are so easy to distort; it's easy to makes oneself the victim.

Let's say I'm a victim, too, just a little angry to read 18 times the same rant - a) China is heading for manned lunar missions (red herring: it is not)
b) CGR will force astronauts to the lunar surface, or under it (how Apollo astronauts survived, no idea)

c) naughty Obama don't want astronauts on the Moon, blah blah blah again and again, over and over, as I pointed.

This is just annoying to read, and one can't skip it because it spreads to too many threads all across the forum, a bit like a contagious plague.

Quote
I don't mean a Zond style mission

For lunar orbit you add 1 km/s after TLI (4 km/s) and of course 1 km/s for the trans Earth injection.

With the approximate rule of thumb, to send the 23 tons ship into TLI (thus not in and out of LLO) you'll need a stage massing 70 tons or more - at the upper limit of the rocket payload range.
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline HappyMartian

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #36 on: 12/07/2012 10:16 AM »
Facts are so easy to distort; it's easy to makes oneself the victim.

Let's say I'm a victim, too, just a little angry to read 18 times the same rant - a) China is heading for manned lunar missions (red herring: it is not)
b) CGR will force astronauts to the lunar surface, or under it (how Apollo astronauts survived, no idea)

c) naughty Obama don't want astronauts on the Moon, blah blah blah again and again, over and over, as I pointed.
....


As to GCRs... We now have a thread for that topic. For the purposes of this thread, Apollo missions were very short. If Russia leads the international effort to establish ISRU propellant production on the Moon, mission durations of six months to a year or more may be the norm and that means they will most likely use lots of regolith for GCR shielding. And they probably won't want to hang around at L2 without any effective GCR shielding.

Right. The President's leadership of NASA has been stunningly brilliant. And my endlessly repeating that thought is why you should never read any of my 1,750 posts.

Yep, it might have been Santa Claus that made that wildly trust building speech on  April 15, 2010 at the John F. Kennedy Space Center Merritt Island, Florida. You know the one that goes, "Now, I understand that some believe that we should attempt a return to the surface of the Moon first, as previously planned. But I just have to say pretty bluntly here: We’ve been there before."
At: http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/trans/obama_ksc_trans.html


No one is responsible for NASA not having any official plan to return Americans to the Moon and for it not having a doable, fiscally sensible, and widely supported plan for its astronauts to work with astronauts from the space agencies of other countries to do beyond low Earth orbit exploration missions. Doesn't that make sense? It is the way great things get done today. No accountability is the new and popular mantra. 

Of course, having no one actually responsible for leading NASA doesn't create a whole lot of trust in NASA's planning abilities to do anything that involves BLEO human spaceflight, does it?

Unfortunately, Russia may view America as a not completely trustworthy potential partner for exploring the Moon.



Experts Outline Plethora of Issues Facing the Second Obama Administration   By Laura M. Delgado    Dec 4, 2012
At: http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/nrc-no-national-consensus-on-nasa-strategic-plans-asteroid-first-mission-not-deemed-compelling

"Yet, Smith emphasized that in order to be successful in addressing any of these, there is a need to improve on an underlying aspect of the relationship between key stakeholders: trust."

And, "Not only features of what has been a turbulent relationship between the Executive Branch and Congress during the first Obama Administration, mistrust and unease permeate on a larger scale between the United States and its international partners."

And, "The U.S. decision to pull out of the joint U.S.-European  robotic Mars mission called ExoMars is a perfect example, Smith explained. Even though Europe remains interested in cooperating with the United States – something which 'amazes me,' she said – rebuilding U.S. credibility as a reliable partner will be key moving forward."



Yep. And the first step in "rebuilding U.S. credibility as a reliable partner" might be for the President to show up in Florida and declare, 'It is an American priority to send NASA and international space exploration partner astronauts to the polar regions of the Moon to do ISRU.'

Would that simple statement build some international trust?

Could we then go to the Moon with Russia and a lot of other countries? 

Wouldn't that be a good answer for How would Russia go to the moon?
"The Moon is the most accessible destination for realizing commercial, exploration and scientific objectives beyond low Earth orbit." - LEAG

Offline asmi

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #37 on: 12/07/2012 12:36 PM »
Yep. And the first step in "rebuilding U.S. credibility as a reliable partner" might be for the President to show up in Florida and declare, 'It is an American priority to send NASA and international space exploration partner astronauts to the polar regions of the Moon to do ISRU.'

Would that simple statement build some international trust?
Actually it wouldn't. As far as I know, current NASA's reputation outside US is sort of like a one of a politician - they talk a lot, but do much less (if any at all) and often not what they've promised to. So even if Obama et al will show up tomorrow in Moscow and offer start building stuff to go to Moon, RSA will likely refuse at least until they will get their own hardware able to achieve LLO and Lunar surface. There are a bunch of reasons for that, mainly because NASA is known for its ability to back out in the middle of the project due to shifts of political winds in Washington. Russians generally try to not waste resources, so if they've started anything (and put money in it) they are going to finish it off.

On a topic - I've heard a year ago or so that Russia has restarted their program to develop nuclear-based engines. Maybe that's what they are gonna use for TLI - so pushing hydrolox tech into a history books and museums :) Will see.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2012 12:36 PM by asmi »

Offline Hyperion5

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #38 on: 12/08/2012 01:55 AM »
Facts are so easy to distort; it's easy to makes oneself the victim.

Let's say I'm a victim, too, just a little angry to read 18 times the same rant - a) China is heading for manned lunar missions (red herring: it is not)

I don't mean to anger you, it's just there is a possibility that might happen.  People in my profession, international relations, have to make predictions all the time.  What we find is that the further out those predictions are, the less accurate they tend to be.  This gets to the point that even the most-lauded IR experts produce predictions no better than flipping a coin.  The same is often true in space.  Many of us could be wrong about China's eventual intentions.  It certainly doesn't help that the program is run almost like the old Soviet program. 

One thing I can say is about China's capabilities.  The Shenzhou capsule could be slung around the moon by the heaviest Long March 5 about to fly around 2014-2015.  That's something that certainly would suggests a glimmer of possibilities.  We'll know one way or another for sure if the Long March 9 gets approved.  I can see only one reason for building a rocket that large, and it's got nothing to do with national security or building enormous space stations. 


For lunar orbit you add 1 km/s after TLI (4 km/s) and of course 1 km/s for the trans Earth injection.

With the approximate rule of thumb, to send the 23 tons ship into TLI (thus not in and out of LLO) you'll need a stage massing 70 tons or more - at the upper limit of the rocket payload range.

So basically that eliminates a non-hydrolox method for sending the NPT-PK/PPTS to the moon via earth-orbit rendezvous.  Thanks for pointing that out.  I suppose if need be you could always upgrade the rocket's RD-171 engines and the upper stage to provide you some margin.  You could probably push the payload to around 80-90 mt, which should be more than enough.  Sorry if anything I post bothered you. 


Offline kkattula

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Re: How would Russia go to the moon?
« Reply #39 on: 12/08/2012 08:31 AM »
To the OP.  On a rocket.  Couldn't resist.

Buy a ticket with Golden Spike?


But seriously, Russia wouldn't need to build a mega launcher, or develop a hydrolox EDS.

They could just use muliple storable propulsion stages. Launched on current LV's to LEO, each one an autonomous space tug. They would rendezvous and wait for the lander and crew capsule. Assemble, then do TLI, dropping off stages. The final stage does LOI and TEI.

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