Author Topic: Blue Ring project - Space Tug  (Read 22745 times)

Offline su27k

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Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« on: 10/27/2021 03:34 am »
https://twitter.com/Free_Space/status/1452935777638289410

Quote
Tug has been under development at @blueorigin for some time. Primary purpose is to retrieve cargo/prop vessels, for example, that have been deposited into orbit & ferry them to @OrbitalReef, sr VP adv dev program Brent Sherwood tells @AviationWeek
 #iac2021



The reason for @blueorigin space tug for @OrbitalReef becomes clearer: salvaging usable equipment from @Space_Station after it is decommissioned. #IAC2021


Offline trimeta

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #1 on: 10/27/2021 04:57 am »
Wasn't Axiom planning on directly docking with the ISS for the first part of its life, which would make salvaging usable components trivial? In particular, I feel like I've seen pictures of Canadarm2 walking over to Axiom before the two separate. Is there some sort of agreement on which commercial provider would get which USOS hardware?

Offline Craftyatom

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #2 on: 10/27/2021 05:18 pm »
Wasn't Axiom planning on directly docking with the ISS for the first part of its life, which would make salvaging usable components trivial? In particular, I feel like I've seen pictures of Canadarm2 walking over to Axiom before the two separate. Is there some sort of agreement on which commercial provider would get which USOS hardware?
Indeed, one of the strengths of Axiom's proposal is the ease with which it could repurpose existing USOS modules, at NASA's discretion.  As to an agreement for who gets what hardware, my guess is that it will be NASA's choice right up to the last moment - CLD awards might be a good early indicator, but in the end, they'll just pick someone.

My guess is that this is Blue's offer to match Axiom.  If NASA decides that they really want to keep those modules running, then Blue can put their station at 40 degrees or so and eat the ∆v with their tug.  However, if it turns out not to be a big deal, they can put the station at 28.5 and benefit from increased launch mass.  Just comes down to covering your bases for CLD.

That said, I think the tug's main goal, in the long term, is to simplify module delivery.  For a station built with expansion in mind, it might make sense to move the burden of propulsion and docking off of your modules and onto a standardized propulsion element (as opposed to building it into each module, as Axiom is doing, I believe).  Plus, if you use such an element for stationkeeping, you can swap it out anytime, like how Progress does most of the ISS's boosts nowadays.  But there are probably whole threads discussing that concept.
All aboard the HSF hype train!  Choo Choo!

Online TrevorMonty

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #3 on: 10/27/2021 06:10 pm »
I'm assuming it is hydrolox with BE7 as main engine.

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Online Asteroza

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #4 on: 10/29/2021 04:48 am »
Is this also implying a commitment to propellant depots in some form? The tug needs propellant at the very least.

Offline JCRM

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #5 on: 10/29/2021 11:28 am »
Is this also implying a commitment to propellant depots in some form? The tug needs propellant at the very least.
could be satisfied with on orbit refuelling, but that provides an obviouspathway to depots.

Offline DrHeywoodFloyd

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #6 on: 11/24/2021 01:54 am »
Could this space tug be used to move hardwares from the Orbital Reef to the Moon, and back?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #7 on: 01/06/2023 07:10 pm »
https://arstechnica.com/science/2023/01/blue-origin-is-developing-a-space-tug-for-its-new-glenn-rocket/

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Some details have emerged about Blue Origin’s “Blue Ring” project
"There is a critical need for rideshare and hosting solutions for small satellites."

ERIC BERGER - 1/6/2023, 7:43 PM

On Wednesday, the Washington-based space company Blue Origin posted a job opening for a position titled "Blue Ring Senior Program Manager." However, the posting to the company's Workday "Careers" page was taken down less than 24 hours later

[…]

The Blue Ring project combines two basic features: an EELV Secondary Payload Adapter, or ESPA ring, and a space tug.

Offline Comga

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #8 on: 01/06/2023 08:09 pm »
How typical of Blue!
They announce yet another project.
It duplicates existing offerings.
Quote
Such "orbital transfer vehicle" services are increasingly common.
It will enable “bigger” rideshares, but that need is questionable.  Just last month SpaceX satisfied another customer with a dedicated launch of a single sub-one-ton payload.
And of course it is dependent on New Glenn “which may launch in 2024”.
What was I saying about the wait for Blue to shorten their list of promises by actually achieving some of them?

And then they retract the notice because it’s a secret! ::)
« Last Edit: 01/06/2023 08:10 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline su27k

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #9 on: 01/07/2023 02:02 am »
Should be merged with Blue Origin Space Tug thread.

Online Asteroza

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #10 on: 01/07/2023 02:08 am »
Will this be a "pure" ESPA ring tug similar to Spaceflight Inc's Sherpa, or a larger diameter ring tug with ESPA compatible side ports, given the larger diameter available within the payload fairing, plus the general interface between NG and payload? I seem to remember EELV payload compatibility was part of NG, which would suggest ESPA ring size top and bottom, but that might not be a hard requirement?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #11 on: 01/07/2023 06:22 am »

Offline DrHeywoodFloyd

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #12 on: 01/07/2023 06:57 am »
I had been predicting this for a while, and ultimately my prediction is they will have a space tug that can shift payloads from Orbital Reef to the moon and back.... it can also be used to move and retrieve satellites to and from the Clark Orbit... either to repair them, renovate them, or retire them.... I understand Blue is investigating nuclear propulsion, which would be ideal for a space tug as I seem that was one of the original business cases for nuclear propulsion back in the mid to late 1960s....

Offline deadman1204

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #13 on: 01/09/2023 02:30 pm »
I'm concerned that this is yet another disctraction. Blue seems to flit between and join literally every space project.
They only have so much wo(man) power. People power?
Orbital rockets, LEO space stations, lunar landers, orbital tugs, amazon satellites, plus random other stuff I'm missing.
All of this at the same time? Adding more stuff onto the pile means everything else slows down. There are only so many engineers out there to hire, so available human power is not infinite (or even adequate).

Offline GWH

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #14 on: 01/10/2023 02:45 pm »
I'm concerned that this is yet another disctraction. Blue seems to flit between and join literally every space project.
They only have so much wo(man) power. People power?
Orbital rockets, LEO space stations, lunar landers, orbital tugs, amazon satellites, plus random other stuff I'm missing.
All of this at the same time? Adding more stuff onto the pile means everything else slows down. There are only so many engineers out there to hire, so available human power is not infinite (or even adequate).

I would think it depends on how it fits into the rest of their plans.

New Glenn has a significant volume of capacity, hard to sell dual manifested payloads if one customer has to expend additional propellant to get to their orbit (or just 2 F9's but I digress).

Do all the station modules have (or need) their own propulsion?

Their last lunar lander proposal required a transfer stage (a very large one). Refuelling for reuse will ultimately need a tug.

If they build up a system of hardware that's scalable and adapatable and could service all the above.

Of course they could have also started on this years ago to enter the market at the same scale so many others are already offering a product. That there points to this as being as you say another distributor.  There's no Blue hardware of any kind in space. No demonstrated and direct experience of doing a thing by starting small and entering into the commercial market place.

« Last Edit: 01/10/2023 02:51 pm by GWH »

Offline Tywin

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #15 on: 03/09/2023 05:30 pm »
Could the Blue bid, the Ring space tug, de-orbit the ISS for NASA?
« Last Edit: 03/09/2023 05:32 pm by Tywin »
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Offline deadman1204

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #16 on: 03/09/2023 06:03 pm »
Could the Blue bid, the Ring space tug, de-orbit the ISS for NASA?
I'm not aware of any usable specs being available for thier tug. Does anyone else know if there are any public?

Offline Comga

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #17 on: 03/10/2023 07:37 pm »
Could the Blue bid, the Ring space tug, de-orbit the ISS for NASA?

I'm not aware of any usable specs being available for thier tug. Does anyone else know if there are any public?

No, Tywin
It doesn’t matter what the predicted specs are.
There is no Announcement of Opportunity or the like from NASA on which to bid.
Ditto for formally proposing it because there is no RFP.
Blue can try to discuss it with NASA, but NASA can’t rely on it for such a critical task until it’s proven to a good degree.
Like everything else from Blue, it doesn’t exist for practical purposes until they show flight hardware.
Maybe Bezos has already lost interest in it, too.
« Last Edit: 03/11/2023 06:10 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #18 on: 10/16/2023 04:29 pm »
https://twitter.com/free_space/status/1713945248940826759

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Exclusive: Blue Origin to unveil beefy, reconfigurable, multi-mission , 5-yr platform called Blue Ring to fly, deploy, refuel, host, process data & provide other services for payloads in earth orbit, cislunar space & beyond . Can launch on @spacex, @ulalaunch, @blueorigin & other rockets.

https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/space/blue-origin-unveils-multi-use-platform-earth-orbit-beyond

Article says being unveiled today

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #19 on: 10/16/2023 04:34 pm »
Like everything else from Blue, it doesn’t exist for practical purposes until they show flight hardware.
Blue is perhaps an extreme example, but by now I feel that this is true for the entire Space industry. Sadly this is true even when there is an actual contract in place with specific dates and deliverables.

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