Author Topic: Blue Origin project Jarvis/Clipper - reusable NG 2nd stage  (Read 158096 times)

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #40 on: 07/28/2021 06:27 am »
A key aspect of Starship is orbital refueling for Mars missions, so it has to have full and rapid reusability for tanker operations.

New Glenn is for putting payloads into orbit. Blue needs reusability, but it doesn't have to be rapid.

Elon recently said Starship development would have been easier if it was a little smaller than its 9 m diameter. New Glenn is 7 m. Jarvis just might be the right size for its job.

“Rapid” is a crucial part of cheap. It means more uses over a given time period, meaning fixed costs get split across a higher number of launches. See SLS for the opposite extreme, where fixed costs have a very low number of launches to be allocated to per year.

Elon’s measure of performance is something along the lines of “tonnage to orbit per vehicle per time period”.
« Last Edit: 07/28/2021 06:28 am by M.E.T. »

Offline gin455res

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #41 on: 07/28/2021 06:52 am »
Any advantages for a reusable new-glenn with a shortened booster that stages earlier to enable more rapid reuse?

Offline joek

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #42 on: 07/28/2021 07:05 am »
“Rapid” is a crucial part of cheap. It means more uses over a given time period, meaning fixed costs get split across a higher number of launches. See SLS for the opposite extreme, where fixed costs have a very low number of launches to be allocated to per year.

Elon’s measure of performance is something along the lines of “tonnage to orbit per vehicle per time period”.

Depends on definition of "rapid". F9 seems to have done a good job of lowering costs with turnaround in weeks. Of course, the higher the flight cadence, the more important it becomes. Just like commercial aircraft, an airplane sitting on the ground s not making money.

Offline joek

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #43 on: 07/28/2021 07:20 am »
Any advantages for a reusable new-glenn with a shortened booster that stages earlier to enable more rapid reuse?

Don't see any benefit; more disadvantages. If you are thinking it will reduce down-range landing distance, and thus recycle time, that is unlikely to make a significant difference. Or just use the propellant available in the larger booster to reduce the down-range distance (likely better than having two different boosters).

Return to launch site (RTLS) would make a more significant difference, but that argues for more propellant and thus a larger booster--or consequent payload reduction--not a smaller booster. For a given payload-orbit, if the booster stages lower-slower, the second stage will have to make it up. No free lunch here.

Or are you thinking along different lines?

Offline libra

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #44 on: 07/28/2021 07:56 am »
Wasn't there already a rocket called Jarvis?

Yes. It was an Air Force/NASA launch vehicle concept in the ‘80s named after Greg Jarvis.

It was to be a kludge, cheap and dirty mix of Shuttle and Saturn hardware and engines, to try and carry the GEO comsat market that was being steamrolled by Ariane in the wake of STS-51L

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarvis_(rocket)

http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/sdv.html

That very one. My understanding is that they called it Jarvis related to the STS-51L astronaut that worked for Hughes comsats (he was to deploy a Hughes satellite from the Shuttle but ended dying on that flight without a satellite, bumped out of his original flight by either Garn or Nelson "space congressmen flights" - can't remember which one of the two).

It is not the same Jarvis, however: seems here it is related to a Marvel character called Jarvis (don't ask more: Superheroes movies I hate them, 50 movies in 15 years is total overkill).
« Last Edit: 07/28/2021 02:54 pm by libra »

Offline libra

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #45 on: 07/28/2021 08:01 am »
As for reusing the second stage... how about a big inflatable heatshield also acting as an airbag for landing or splashdown.

Then loan a huuuge and powerful Sikorsky CH-54 flying crane to pick the stage and return it where needed.

Heck, no worse than fleets of recovery boats !

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sikorsky_CH-54_Tarhe#Variants

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erickson_Inc.

Offline gin455res

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #46 on: 07/28/2021 08:47 am »
Any advantages for a reusable new-glenn with a shortened booster that stages earlier to enable more rapid reuse?

Don't see any benefit; more disadvantages. If you are thinking it will reduce down-range landing distance, and thus recycle time, that is unlikely to make a significant difference. Or just use the propellant available in the larger booster to reduce the down-range distance (likely better than having two different boosters).

Return to launch site (RTLS) would make a more significant difference, but that argues for more propellant and thus a larger booster--or consequent payload reduction--not a smaller booster. For a given payload-orbit, if the booster stages lower-slower, the second stage will have to make it up. No free lunch here.

Or are you thinking along different lines?

No, I was thinking landing closer for better recycle time but RTLS and smaller upperstage is also a thought. It eliminates the ships. Not sure if a smaller upper stage and RTLS might reduce development costs.

Didn't Bezos visit relativity space, do/could they print in stainless? 

Offline Stan-1967

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #47 on: 07/28/2021 08:50 am »
Any advantages for a reusable new-glenn with a shortened booster that stages earlier to enable more rapid reuse?

Blue is already planning on downrange landing, so unlikely they would want to change the existing design for RTLS.  it is not even clear that Blue's mission for NG requires rapid re-use on the order of days.  Weeks or months may be fine for what they think the market will be.  The key is to design the vehicle for the mission you want if for.  For SS/SH it is for sending hundreds or thousands of ships to Mars.  Blue has a chance to show what a re-usable rocket for LEO & GTO could look like.  Everyone seems to take if for granted that SS/SH is some overlapping VENN diagram of an optimum rocket for all missions.  It is not.  There could be very interesting low cost re-usable designs that are less ambitious than SS/SH.

I think Blues challenge will be that the redesigned stage 2 will be have some significant weight growth, so stage one will have to either shrink in size to keep the same T/W at liftoff, or they will have to increase the thrust of BE-4.  Blue may have more to do than execute a reusable second stage.  Redesign of S1 & uprating thrust of BE-4 is not trivial.

Offline high road

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #48 on: 07/28/2021 08:53 am »
A key aspect of Starship is orbital refueling for Mars missions, so it has to have full and rapid reusability for tanker operations.

New Glenn is for putting payloads into orbit. Blue needs reusability, but it doesn't have to be rapid.

Elon recently said Starship development would have been easier if it was a little smaller than its 9 m diameter. New Glenn is 7 m. Jarvis just might be the right size for its job.

“Rapid” is a crucial part of cheap. It means more uses over a given time period, meaning fixed costs get split across a higher number of launches. See SLS for the opposite extreme, where fixed costs have a very low number of launches to be allocated to per year.

Elon’s measure of performance is something along the lines of “tonnage to orbit per vehicle per time period”.

Additionally, a system that takes more time to prepare for the next launch, also has more variable costs.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #49 on: 07/28/2021 12:32 pm »
[...] this sounds like a knee jerk, disjointed attempt to shoehorn a reusable upper stage onto a pre-existing rocket designed for only partial reusability.
This looks like knee-jerk criticism to me, from someone who is sour on the company for other reasons.  Want to make a rocket that's fully re-usable?  Start with a rocket whose first stage is already re-usable, and is big enough for a useful payload even after the second stage re-usability is factored in (that's one of the main reasons SpaceX did not pursue re-usability of the F9 second stage).

The job of the first stage is to deliver the appropriate mass to the right speed, altitude, and angle. These need to be decided very early in a project anyway, even if the design is an integrated effort.  And once the are decided, the second stage can be designed.  It's no more shoehorning in one case than the other.

Using an existing component is good engineering.  SpaceX was forced to design a new first stage to pursue full re-usability, because they did not have a first stage big enough.  They may well have over-done it (Musk has stated that maybe 9 meters was too big, as it makes development more difficult).  Blue has an existing first stage of the right size - it makes sense to use it.

Finally, suppose you wanted to design, from scratch, a fully re-usable rocket of 7 meter diameter (as Musk himself has suggested might be better than what SpaceX is doing).  What design decisions would you make that differ from what Blue is doing?  You could argue for common materials, common engines, or common fuels, but none of these are slam dunks.  Each involves sacrificing some optimization for the sake of commonality.  Rockets have traditionally gone in the other direction, so it's not an obvious engineering error.

Blue (as you point out) has a number of other challenges.  This approach is not one of them.

Offline M.E.T.

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #50 on: 07/28/2021 01:49 pm »
[...] this sounds like a knee jerk, disjointed attempt to shoehorn a reusable upper stage onto a pre-existing rocket designed for only partial reusability.
This looks like knee-jerk criticism to me, from someone who is sour on the company for other reasons.  Want to make a rocket that's fully re-usable?  Start with a rocket whose first stage is already re-usable, and is big enough for a useful payload even after the second stage re-usability is factored in (that's one of the main reasons SpaceX did not pursue re-usability of the F9 second stage).

The job of the first stage is to deliver the appropriate mass to the right speed, altitude, and angle. These need to be decided very early in a project anyway, even if the design is an integrated effort.  And once the are decided, the second stage can be designed.  It's no more shoehorning in one case than the other.

Using an existing component is good engineering.  SpaceX was forced to design a new first stage to pursue full re-usability, because they did not have a first stage big enough.  They may well have over-done it (Musk has stated that maybe 9 meters was too big, as it makes development more difficult).  Blue has an existing first stage of the right size - it makes sense to use it.

Finally, suppose you wanted to design, from scratch, a fully re-usable rocket of 7 meter diameter (as Musk himself has suggested might be better than what SpaceX is doing).  What design decisions would you make that differ from what Blue is doing?  You could argue for common materials, common engines, or common fuels, but none of these are slam dunks.  Each involves sacrificing some optimization for the sake of commonality.  Rockets have traditionally gone in the other direction, so it's not an obvious engineering error.

Blue (as you point out) has a number of other challenges.  This approach is not one of them.


Well jeez, you dismiss common materials, common engines and common fuels. Guess that doesn’t leave much of the rocket to discuss, does it🤷‍♂️

Offline AU1.52

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #51 on: 07/28/2021 02:07 pm »
[...] this sounds like a knee jerk, disjointed attempt to shoehorn a reusable upper stage onto a pre-existing rocket designed for only partial reusability.
This looks like knee-jerk criticism to me, from someone who is sour on the company for other reasons.  Want to make a rocket that's fully re-usable?  Start with a rocket whose first stage is already re-usable, and is big enough for a useful payload even after the second stage re-usability is factored in (that's one of the main reasons SpaceX did not pursue re-usability of the F9 second stage).

The job of the first stage is to deliver the appropriate mass to the right speed, altitude, and angle. These need to be decided very early in a project anyway, even if the design is an integrated effort.  And once the are decided, the second stage can be designed.  It's no more shoehorning in one case than the other.

Using an existing component is good engineering.  SpaceX was forced to design a new first stage to pursue full re-usability, because they did not have a first stage big enough.  They may well have over-done it (Musk has stated that maybe 9 meters was too big, as it makes development more difficult).  Blue has an existing first stage of the right size - it makes sense to use it.

Finally, suppose you wanted to design, from scratch, a fully re-usable rocket of 7 meter diameter (as Musk himself has suggested might be better than what SpaceX is doing).  What design decisions would you make that differ from what Blue is doing?  You could argue for common materials, common engines, or common fuels, but none of these are slam dunks.  Each involves sacrificing some optimization for the sake of commonality.  Rockets have traditionally gone in the other direction, so it's not an obvious engineering error.

Blue (as you point out) has a number of other challenges.  This approach is not one of them.


Of Course we have to continuously reminder ourselves that NG is still only a paper rocket. It has not flown yet. The way they are going will they ever get off the drawing board?

Offline notsostrong

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #52 on: 07/28/2021 02:52 pm »
[...] The job of the first stage is to deliver the appropriate mass to the right speed, altitude, and angle. [...]

Exactly. And the "right" values of speed, altitude, and angle are likely different for a system that is designed for full reusability than first stage only reusability. When a rocket is designed from scratch, it's not like the first stage is designed first and then the engineers move on to designing the second stage. Rather, it's a iterative process of designing the whole rocket at once slowly changing parameters as you work towards a configuration that meets your goals. Sure, you can design an upper stage based around an existing first stage; it has been done. But the result is unlikely to be as optimal of a solution as if the two stages were designed concurrently to meet a common goal.

So I think saying that second stage reusability is being shoehorned into New Glenn is not completely inappropriate.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #53 on: 07/28/2021 02:53 pm »
Finally, suppose you wanted to design, from scratch, a fully re-usable rocket of 7 meter diameter (as Musk himself has suggested might be better than what SpaceX is doing).  What design decisions would you make that differ from what Blue is doing?  You could argue for common materials, common engines, or common fuels, but none of these are slam dunks.  Each involves sacrificing some optimization for the sake of commonality.  Rockets have traditionally gone in the other direction, so it's not an obvious engineering error.

Blue (as you point out) has a number of other challenges.  This approach is not one of them.

Well jeez, you dismiss common materials, common engines and common fuels. Guess that doesn’t leave much of the rocket to discuss, does it🤷‍♂️
By "common", I meant the same in the two stages, not the "common" as found in everyday life.  Do the two stages have to have the same fuels?  No, many rockets use different fuels for different stages.  Must the stages be built of the same materials?  No, Atlas and Vulcan use aluminum for the first and steel for the second.  Do the stages need to use common engines?  No, only SpaceX does this, and they are not common, just closely related.  And each of these choices has corresponding advantages/disadvantages

My point is that these are things you *could* do if you design as a unit.  But it's far from obvious they are needed, or even optimum, as many successful rockets have chosen differently.

Offline Redclaws

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #54 on: 07/28/2021 03:02 pm »
Finally, suppose you wanted to design, from scratch, a fully re-usable rocket of 7 meter diameter (as Musk himself has suggested might be better than what SpaceX is doing).  What design decisions would you make that differ from what Blue is doing?  You could argue for common materials, common engines, or common fuels, but none of these are slam dunks.  Each involves sacrificing some optimization for the sake of commonality.  Rockets have traditionally gone in the other direction, so it's not an obvious engineering error.

Blue (as you point out) has a number of other challenges.  This approach is not one of them.

Well jeez, you dismiss common materials, common engines and common fuels. Guess that doesn’t leave much of the rocket to discuss, does it🤷‍♂️
By "common", I meant the same in the two stages, not the "common" as found in everyday life.  Do the two stages have to have the same fuels?  No, many rockets use different fuels for different stages.  Must the stages be built of the same materials?  No, Atlas and Vulcan use aluminum for the first and steel for the second.  Do the stages need to use common engines?  No, only SpaceX does this, and they are not common, just closely related.  And each of these choices has corresponding advantages/disadvantages

My point is that these are things you *could* do if you design as a unit.  But it's far from obvious they are needed, or even optimum, as many successful rockets have chosen differently.

It depends on whether you do or do not buy into the idea of a new paradigm, where rockets are no longer specialized exotica with parts and stages carefully custom designed for their task in a very specific envelope, but instead work horses intended to be designed for production and generality.  If you buy in to that idea, then those past choices are errors now, despite the successes, because those past successes were relative to a different paradigm.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #55 on: 07/28/2021 03:15 pm »
Not a rocket engineer, nor a material specialist, but the 1st and 2nd stages of a reusable rocket would certainly have different operating environments that they need to survive and operate in, so while SpaceX has chosen to make both of their Starship stages from the same materials, and use the same family of engines, I can see where that would not be mandatory for all reusable two-stage transportation systems.

My $0.02
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 su27k

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #56 on: 07/28/2021 03:18 pm »
By "common", I meant the same in the two stages, not the "common" as found in everyday life.  Do the two stages have to have the same fuels?  No, many rockets use different fuels for different stages.  Must the stages be built of the same materials?  No, Atlas and Vulcan use aluminum for the first and steel for the second.  Do the stages need to use common engines?  No, only SpaceX does this, and they are not common, just closely related.  And each of these choices has corresponding advantages/disadvantages

My point is that these are things you *could* do if you design as a unit.  But it's far from obvious they are needed, or even optimum, as many successful rockets have chosen differently.

None of these successful rockets can compete with Falcon 9 in terms of cost.

Offline LouScheffer

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #57 on: 07/28/2021 03:45 pm »
By "common", I meant the same in the two stages, not the "common" as found in everyday life.  Do the two stages have to have the same fuels?  No, many rockets use different fuels for different stages.  Must the stages be built of the same materials?  No, Atlas and Vulcan use aluminum for the first and steel for the second.  Do the stages need to use common engines?  No, only SpaceX does this, and they are not common, just closely related.  And each of these choices has corresponding advantages/disadvantages

My point is that these are things you *could* do if you design as a unit.  But it's far from obvious they are needed, or even optimum, as many successful rockets have chosen differently.
None of these successful rockets can compete with Falcon 9 in terms of cost.
True, but I believe most of this is due to re-usability, not common engines or materials.  For example, F9 might be better off with a steel first stage (higher performance for the same or less cost), as it would require less fuel reserved for re-entry since it's more temperature resistant.  Likewise methane engines, since they appear to run cleaner and require less refurbishment, something that does not apply to the second stage.   SpaceX uses carbon fiber for the interstage, even though it's the exact same diameter as the first and second stage and could be produced from aluminum on common tooling.  And vacuum Merlins are quite different, though obviously related.

So until someone else gives reusability a good solid try, it's hard to separate the effect of reusability and common technology.  As of now, there are at least two unknowns and only one measurement.

Offline rakaydos

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Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #58 on: 07/28/2021 03:53 pm »
By "common", I meant the same in the two stages, not the "common" as found in everyday life.  Do the two stages have to have the same fuels?  No, many rockets use different fuels for different stages.  Must the stages be built of the same materials?  No, Atlas and Vulcan use aluminum for the first and steel for the second.  Do the stages need to use common engines?  No, only SpaceX does this, and they are not common, just closely related.  And each of these choices has corresponding advantages/disadvantages

My point is that these are things you *could* do if you design as a unit.  But it's far from obvious they are needed, or even optimum, as many successful rockets have chosen differently.
None of these successful rockets can compete with Falcon 9 in terms of cost.
True, but I believe most of this is due to re-usability, not common engines or materials.  For example, F9 might be better off with a steel first stage (higher performance for the same or less cost), as it would require less fuel reserved for re-entry since it's more temperature resistant.  Likewise methane engines, since they appear to run cleaner and require less refurbishment, something that does not apply to the second stage.   SpaceX uses carbon fiber for the interstage, even though it's the exact same diameter as the first and second stage and could be produced from aluminum on common tooling.  And vacuum Merlins are quite different, though obviously related.

So until someone else gives reusability a good solid try, it's hard to separate the effect of reusability and common technology.  As of now, there are at least two unknowns and only one measurement.
You're missing the fact that Falcon 9 1.0 was cheaper than the competition, well before reuse was first attempted. These "common" parts were the first step of SpaceX's bootstrap to market dominance.

If someone else gets a fully reusable rocket, the exact cost of the booster will matter less, but it will still exist.

Re: Blue Origin project Jarvis - reusable NG 2nd stage
« Reply #59 on: 07/28/2021 03:59 pm »
Well I think it's very impressive that you all have found something to criticize in Blue's design before we even know anything of substance about it. That takes true dedication to pointless pessimism.

A steel reusable upper stage makes sense to me for the same reason it made sense with Starship: heat. So given that steel is probably a necessity on the upper stage, which do you think is gonna be the smarter business decision?

A. Redesigning your entire, almost complete, reusable first stage from scratch using steel, re-incurring all the development costs you went through the first time, and delaying the first launch by years.
B. Just using the first stage you already designed.
« Last Edit: 07/28/2021 04:07 pm by JEF_300 »
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

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