Author Topic: Blue Ring project - Space Tug  (Read 22713 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!

Offline 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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Offline 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.

Online 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?

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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/

Quote
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.

Offline 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?

Online 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?

Online 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

Quote
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.

Offline deadman1204

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #20 on: 10/16/2023 07:14 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.
True but blue is a special case. They join literally EVERY space project, and never complete one.
They also never officially drop out of any either, they just let it whimper and fade.

No company has the people/money to do every project. This just waters everything down. Blue has been cutting people, so adding another project means something else is losing alot of staff.

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #21 on: 10/16/2023 07:24 pm »
If you guys really can't help but bash Blue Origin, there is a general discussion thread where you can do that all day. This thread actually has a specific topic.
Wait, ∆V? This site will accept the ∆ symbol? How many times have I written out the word "delta" for no reason?

Offline Robert_the_Doll

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #22 on: 10/16/2023 07:25 pm »
From the article which credits Blue Origin for the image:

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #23 on: 10/16/2023 07:35 pm »
https://twitter.com/blueorigin/status/1714001753467719728

Quote
What’s new at Blue? Our vision to build a road to space now includes a new, multi-orbit spacecraft platform called Blue Ring. Check it out here:

https://www.blueorigin.com/news/blue-origin-unveils-space-mobility-platform

Quote
OCT 16, 2023
Blue Origin Unveils Multi-Mission, Multi-Orbit Space Mobility Platform

Expanding upon its mission to build a road to space for the benefit of Earth, Blue Origin has unveiled Blue Ring, a spacecraft platform focused on providing in-space logistics and delivery.

Blue Ring serves commercial and government customers and can support a variety of missions in medium Earth orbit out to the cislunar region and beyond. The platform provides end-to-end services that span hosting, transportation, refueling, data relay, and logistics, including an “in-space” cloud computing capability. Blue Ring can host payloads of more than 3,000 kg and provides unprecedented delta-V capabilities and mission flexibility.

“Blue Ring addresses two of the most difficult challenges in spaceflight today: growing space infrastructure and increasing mobility on-orbit,” said Paul Ebertz, Senior Vice President of Blue Origin’s In-Space Systems. “We're offering our customers the ability to easily access and maneuver through a variety of orbits cost-effectively while having access to critical data to ensure a successful mission,” Ebertz added.

Blue Ring is part of a newly formed Blue Origin business unit called In-Space Systems.
« Last Edit: 10/16/2023 07:35 pm by FutureSpaceTourist »

Offline ThatOldJanxSpirit

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Offline seb21051

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #25 on: 10/16/2023 08:35 pm »
Wouldn't it be nice if Dave limp, on his first day said:

"New Glenn is the priority. Everything else is on the back burner, especially the truck. We launch a year from now. No excuses."
« Last Edit: 10/16/2023 08:37 pm by seb21051 »

Offline DanClemmensen

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #26 on: 10/16/2023 08:40 pm »
Wouldn't it be nice if Dave limp, on his first day said:

"New Glenn is the priority. Everything else is on the back burner, especially the truck. We launch a year from now. No excuses."
Nice try, but see Brooks' Law:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks%27s_law
Basically, adding resources to a late project makes it later.

Offline seb21051

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #27 on: 10/16/2023 08:42 pm »
Wouldn't it be nice if Dave limp, on his first day said:

"New Glenn is the priority. Everything else is on the back burner, especially the truck. We launch a year from now. No excuses."
Nice try, but see Brooks' Law:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooks%27s_law
Basically, adding resources to a late project makes it later.

I hate to say it, but I know you're right. Maybe the Bermuda Plan could be brought to bear.
« Last Edit: 10/16/2023 08:45 pm by seb21051 »

Offline Tywin

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #28 on: 10/16/2023 10:56 pm »
Could this ion engine have something similar to the Kuiper sat?

The chemical engine, is maybe a BE-5 or BE-6?
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Offline Tywin

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #29 on: 10/16/2023 10:57 pm »
Other question, is this the biggest space tug currently in the market?
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Online meekGee

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #30 on: 10/16/2023 11:40 pm »
Other question, is this the biggest space tug currently in the market?
In the same sense maybe that Blue Reef is the largest space station currently in the market.

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Offline Asteroza

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #31 on: 10/17/2023 01:14 am »
Is it just me or does the bus look suspiciously like some constellation deployer that was repurposed?

I mean, if you are really in the condo-sat business that doesn't seem ideal. Straight up rideshare OTV deployer though, that's fine.

As a high power hosted platform though, it's an interesting competitor to Photon in the high end.
Might be attractive to some SAR outfits due to power consumption.
Combo setups would be interesting, top slot pointed nadir for a SAR, and a bunch of gymbaled EO telescopes in the ESPA slots for realtime targeted observations along with some lasercomm turrets.

Offline Jrcraft

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #32 on: 10/17/2023 05:44 pm »
Is it just me or does the bus look suspiciously like some constellation deployer that was repurposed?

I mean, if you are really in the condo-sat business that doesn't seem ideal. Straight up rideshare OTV deployer though, that's fine.

As a high power hosted platform though, it's an interesting competitor to Photon in the high end.
Might be attractive to some SAR outfits due to power consumption.
Combo setups would be interesting, top slot pointed nadir for a SAR, and a bunch of gymbaled EO telescopes in the ESPA slots for realtime targeted observations along with some lasercomm turrets.

I definitely see the resemblance. My first though was how similar it looked (by coincidence) to the Soviet 4MV interplanetary bus (Mars-3, Astron, Granat, Venera-9).
« Last Edit: 10/17/2023 05:44 pm by Jrcraft »
AE/ME
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Offline deadman1204

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #33 on: 10/18/2023 02:23 pm »
If you guys really can't help but bash Blue Origin, there is a general discussion thread where you can do that all day. This thread actually has a specific topic.
Your gatekeeping.
We have legitimate doubts about this project and how it affects the company. Thats very germaine to the thread.

Offline whitelancer64

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #34 on: 10/18/2023 05:03 pm »
Is it just me or does the bus look suspiciously like some constellation deployer that was repurposed?

I mean, if you are really in the condo-sat business that doesn't seem ideal. Straight up rideshare OTV deployer though, that's fine.

As a high power hosted platform though, it's an interesting competitor to Photon in the high end.
Might be attractive to some SAR outfits due to power consumption.
Combo setups would be interesting, top slot pointed nadir for a SAR, and a bunch of gymbaled EO telescopes in the ESPA slots for realtime targeted observations along with some lasercomm turrets.

Interesting thought, I suppose it might have been designed to haul Kuiper satellites to their final orbits, but may as well open it up to the general market.
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Online JCRM

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #35 on: 10/26/2023 12:18 am »
If you guys really can't help but bash Blue Origin, there is a general discussion thread where you can do that all day. This thread actually has a specific topic.
Your gatekeeping.
We have legitimate doubts about this project and how it affects the company. Thats very germaine to the thread.

Regardless of the purported legitimacy, the effect on the company is about the company not the tug, ipso facto not relevant to this thread.
« Last Edit: 10/26/2023 12:20 am by JCRM »

Offline deadman1204

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #36 on: 10/26/2023 02:44 pm »
If you guys really can't help but bash Blue Origin, there is a general discussion thread where you can do that all day. This thread actually has a specific topic.
Your gatekeeping.
We have legitimate doubts about this project and how it affects the company. Thats very germaine to the thread.

Regardless of the purported legitimacy, the effect on the company is about the company not the tug, ipso facto not relevant to this thread.
These threads are for discussion, not stanning. Which means doubt and criticism belong here.

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #37 on: 10/26/2023 05:50 pm »
If you guys really can't help but bash Blue Origin, there is a general discussion thread where you can do that all day. This thread actually has a specific topic.
Your gatekeeping.
We have legitimate doubts about this project and how it affects the company. Thats very germaine to the thread.

If you think that saying that posts in the Blue Ring thread should be about Blue ring is gatekeeping, then yes, I am gatekeeping.

You do have legitimate doubts. But if they are doubts about the company rather than doubts about the tug, then there are better places to express them.

This-
No company has the people/money to do every project. This just waters everything down. Blue has been cutting people, so adding another project means something else is losing alot of staff.
-is a good point. I agree with it. But while this point was prompted by the announcement of this tug, it is not a point about this tug. If this was the first such post, I wouldn't mind, but it's like the 4th.
« Last Edit: 10/26/2023 06:00 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?

Offline Tywin

Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #38 on: 01/23/2024 01:25 am »
Great partner for Blue Ring...quality products...

https://twitter.com/RedwireSpace/status/1749416696434057505
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Offline Tywin

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Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #40 on: 02/03/2024 03:39 am »
Specifications.

Number of ports: 12
Payload mass per port: 500 kg
Top deck payload mass: 2500 kg
Delta-V: 3 km/s
Robotic arm: Optional
Hosted payloads: Yes
Design life: 3 to 5 years
Refuelable: Yes
Refuel other spacecraft: Yes
Propellant: Top Secret!
« Last Edit: 02/03/2024 03:40 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #41 on: 02/04/2024 09:29 pm »
Specifications.

Number of ports: 12
Payload mass per port: 500 kg
Top deck payload mass: 2500 kg
Delta-V: 3 km/s
Robotic arm: Optional
Hosted payloads: Yes
Design life: 3 to 5 years
Refuelable: Yes
Refuel other spacecraft: Yes
Propellant: Top Secret!

Arm available is a nice option for any on-orbit structure 3D printing startups, especially if it can eat some of the structure of the tug like Orbweaver was proposed to do.

But keeping the propellant secret kinda makes the refuelability bit kinda suspect. Most sane people don't like to imbibe unknown liquids...

Offline catdlr

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Re: Blue Ring project - Space Tug
« Reply #42 on: 02/08/2024 03:06 am »
An Update from Jeff Foust

Blue Origin touts capabilities of Blue Ring transfer vehicle

Quote
Blue Ring, he said, has 12 docking ports, each able to accommodate payloads weighing up to 500 kilograms.

Quote
The “core mission” of Blue Ring is to deploy satellites in their desired orbits, but the spacecraft can also be used as a bus for hosted payloads. “We can serve as a very capable bus,” Hoffman said, with a design life of three to five years initially.

Quote
...Blue Ring is both refuelable and able to refuel other spacecraft...
« Last Edit: 02/08/2024 03:10 am by catdlr »
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