Author Topic: New Glenn "Early Flight": Mars ESCAPADE updates and discussion  (Read 17394 times)

Online LouScheffer

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Nonetheless, unless they're going to completely change the plan from "launcher puts the payload into elliptical HEO, payload performs TMI burn on its own" to "launcher performs overpowered TMI burn, payload is just along for the ride," it doesn't matter how powerful the launcher is: it can't help overcome suboptimal launch timing, since it isn't contributing to the portion of the mission which cares about timing. And thus missing the appointed launch date isn't something New Glenn can compensate for just because it's much, much larger than this payload needs.
It's not clear to me this is that difficult.  What the payload cares about is the relative velocity with which it arrives at Mars.  This is the kind of calculation trajectory geeks can do in their sleep.  Furthermore, if the payload does not need to do TMI itself, it has that much more delta-V for braking into mars orbit.  Combined, launching a little later, with the corresponding higher Mars arrival velocity, might be a plausible tradeoff.  Looking at the Mars launch windows a few month window extension might be possible.

Offline TrevorMonty

What are you talking about?

Interplanetary transfer trajectories are defined with "porkchop plots" which have contrours for total C3 (velocity beyond escape velocity squared) as a function of departure and arrival dates.  (The  contrours take the approximate shape of pork chops, with a concave side and a big convex side.) 

Going away from the dates for the minimum, the values rise steeply, and C3 is in energy terms, so it's really hard to climb the walls.

But the plan is to launch into a 1.6 day orbit.  I am sure someone here can calculate the difference from escape velocity,  (I don't have the extra half hour to do so.) but given that NG should have signicant mass capacity beyond C3=0 (minimum escape) the amount of capacity being used is fixed and a lot less.  The great advatage of using a vastly oversized rocket is locked out.  So it can't be used to expand the launch window. 

They build a 4X rocket and sell it for 1/4 the nominal price, then put on it the one requirement they stand the least chance of meeting: launch schedule certainty.

And it's not like a mission to the Moon, for which launch opportunities generally happen every month.

And the PI is not insane to be without a backup.  He has no alternative.  The program is an orphan, and a poor orphan at that.  It can't wait for the (energy and reliability) rich parents to adopt it.  If NG doesn't make it, it will go back into storage and beg for extension funding.

PS  What's wih the "Vulcan" in the thread title?
By my calculations the Escapade satellites have 3-3.2km/s of DV. 

Offline Comga

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What are you talking about?

Interplanetary transfer trajectories are defined with "porkchop plots" which have contrours for total C3 (velocity beyond escape velocity squared) as a function of departure and arrival dates.  (The  contrours take the approximate shape of pork chops, with a concave side and a big convex side.) 

Going away from the dates for the minimum, the values rise steeply, and C3 is in energy terms, so it's really hard to climb the walls.

But the plan is to launch into a 1.6 day Earth orbit.  I am sure someone here can calculate the difference from escape velocity,  (I don't have the extra half hour to do so.) but given that NG should have signicant mass capacity beyond C3=0 (minimum escape) the amount of capacity being used is fixed and a lot less.  The great advatage of using a vastly oversized rocket is locked out.  So it can't be used to expand the launch window. 

They build a 4X rocket and sell it for 1/4 the nominal price, then put on it the one requirement they stand the least chance of meeting: launch schedule certainty.

And it's not like a mission to the Moon, for which launch opportunities generally happen every month.

And the PI is not insane to be without a backup.  He has no alternative.  The program is an orphan, and a poor orphan at that.  It can't wait for the (energy and reliability) rich parents to adopt it.  If NG doesn't make it, it will go back into storage and beg for extension funding.

PS  What's wih the "Vulcan" in the thread title?
By my calculations the Escapade satellites have 3-3.2km/s of DV. 

Can someone calculate the deficit of the 1.6 day Earth orbit to C3=0?
What’s the C3 for the optimum trajectory, TMI & MOI?
Any estimate on how much schedule leeway that 3-3.2 km/sec (9.0-10.2 km^2/sec^2) buys ESCAPADE?

(“Engineering is done with numbers.” but numbers without context are not useful)
« Last Edit: 04/14/2023 10:49 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Online LouScheffer

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Can someone calculate the deficit of the 1.6 day Earth orbit to C3=0?
What’s the C3 for the optimum trajectory, TMI & MOI?
Any estimate on how much schedule leeway that 3-3.2 km/sec (9.0-10.2 km^2/sec^2) buys ESCAPADE?
This requires several steps. 

First generate the porkchop plots for Earth-Mars in 2024.   Go to this pork-chop generator  and enter a time span of 1-Jan-2014 to 1-Jan-2015, and transit times of 100-500 days.  You will get plots like below.  This shows that you will need a C3 of about 11.5 km^2/sec^2 (remember this is the square of the dV shown in the legend) and an arrival C3 of about 7 km^2/sec^2.

Next, an elliptical Earth orbit of about 40 hours has a speed at perigee (where the burn will happen) of LEO + 2930 m/s.  An outgoing trajectory with C3=11.5 has a speed at LEO altitude of LEO + 3739 m/s (these do not add linearly because of the Obereth effect, which is the whole point).  So Escapade will need to add about 809 m/s to be on its way to Mars.

Next consider arrival.  ESCAPADE appears to be targeting a 200x7000 km orbit.  At perigee, this is going at about 4207 m/s relative to Mars.  A body falling in from C3=7 will be going about 5552 m/s relative to Mars.  So ESCAPADE will need about 1345 m/s to slow into its desired orbit.

So at the optimum time, ESCAPADE will need about 2350 m/s to leave Earth orbit and arrive in the final orbit at Mars.

How much later can you go?  If you look at the edge between the blue and the green, you have a departure C3 of about 22 km^2/sec^2, or about 500 m/s more needed.  And you arrive with a C3 of about 14.5, needed about 500 m/s more to slow down.  So getting all the way to the edge of the blue region (roughly another month) might be possible, with the cost rising to about 3350 m/s.

What if you switch to a launch vehicle that can do the TMI by itself?    Then you can afford to use all your 3 km/s for slowing at Mars.  So you can arrive with a C3=28, or Vinf = 5.3 km/sec.  That lets you cover the inner 2-3 green regions, which buys you a few more weeks.


Offline deltaV

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https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/10/jeff-bezos-shows-off-new-moon-lander-design-for-nasa/ by Stephen Clarke is mostly about other things but mentions:
Quote
New Glenn rocket, which is not expected to launch until late next year at the earliest.
It's unclear what "late next year" means and what the latest possible launch date for ESCAPADE is. But if I were part of ESCAPADE I would definitely be looking for a backup plan in case New Glenn isn't ready in time.

Offline Comga

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https://arstechnica.com/space/2023/10/jeff-bezos-shows-off-new-moon-lander-design-for-nasa/ by Stephen Clarke is mostly about other things but mentions:
Quote
New Glenn rocket, which is not expected to launch until late next year at the earliest.
It's unclear what "late next year" means and what the latest possible launch date for ESCAPADE is. But if I were part of ESCAPADE I would definitely be looking for a backup plan in case New Glenn isn't ready in time.

The “latest launch date” can be approximated by adding together the values in the two graphs in the post before yours.
Beyond late October (2024.80 = 2024-12*0.8=2024-10-19) at around 340 Days of Flight the total delta-V rises steeply.
By 2024.9=2024-11-26 it has risen from ~7 km^2/sec^2 to ~13.
edit: The minimum looks to be ~6 km^2/sec^2 around 2024.7=2024-09-13, ~3 weeks after 2024-08-25
(Your Eyeballing May Vary)

About the best ESCAPADE could hope for would be getting Blue to honor the $20M maiden launch pricing at the next launch window around the start of 2027.
Even then many issues are apparent.
« Last Edit: 10/29/2023 09:08 pm by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline deltaV

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$20M maiden launch pricing
What's your source for ESCAPADE being New Glenn's maiden launch?

Offline trimeta

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$20M maiden launch pricing
What's your source for ESCAPADE being New Glenn's maiden launch?
If we're already debating whether New Glenn's maiden launch will be early enough to hit the ESCAPADE launch window, it seems even less likely that New Glenn will manage to have two or more launches by the time of said launch window.

Offline deltaV

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If we're already debating whether New Glenn's maiden launch will be early enough to hit the ESCAPADE launch window, it seems even less likely that New Glenn will manage to have two or more launches by the time of said launch window.

True. But I don't think we know enough to rule out ESCAPADE launching on the second flight and within its window. If the critical path for the first flight is construction of something reusable such as the pad, ground infrastructure, booster, software, or procedures then the second flight could happen quickly after the first, especially if ESCAPADE lets Blue do less thorough inspections and data review than one would do if there was more time.

Historically the first orbital launch by a company usually doesn't reach orbit successfully so going on the maiden flight seems like a last resort option that only makes sense if waiting 2.2 years or cutting corners on a second flight won't work.
« Last Edit: 10/29/2023 01:48 am by deltaV »

Offline trimeta

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True. But I don't think we know enough to rule out ESCAPADE launching on the second flight and within its window. If the critical path for the first flight is construction of something reusable such as the pad, ground infrastructure, booster, software, or procedures then the second flight could happen quickly after the first, especially if ESCAPADE lets Blue do less thorough inspections and data review than one would do if there was more time.
I've said it before, and this probably isn't the right thread to begin the discussion anew, but Blue Origin doesn't exactly have a track record of agility and quick turnarounds which suggests they can go from their first New Glenn launch to their second within a three-month (or whatever) period, as would be necessary for a "late 2024" maiden launch to not be their only launch in 2024. And please don't tell me "but clearly they've got like four separate New Glenns already built, so they can roll out one to launch and if the pad isn't damaged they'll just roll out the second one a week later." There will be a mountain of data to review after their first launch, and they'd be fools to launch again before going over it and understanding how to improve the vehicle for its second launch. Especially if the first launch doesn't go 100% perfectly (and that includes successful RTLS as a requirement for perfection, they won't launch a second time without improving recovery systems).

Offline TrevorMonty

If these satellites miss 2024 launch window there should be few more LV options for 2026 window. RL would love to use Neutron for this mission.


Offline Robert_the_Doll

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It will be very problematic that Neutron would be ready by 2026, but New Glenn most likely will be, and have at least two or three flights by then. There would be no reason to switch launchers, and ESCAPADE is is considered a high-risk mission as it stands.

Offline meekGee

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It will be very problematic that Neutron would be ready by 2026, but New Glenn most likely will be, and have at least two or three flights by then. There would be no reason to switch launchers, and ESCAPADE is is considered a high-risk mission as it stands.
NG is an unknown. Less than two months ago, senior BO execs were predicting flights this year.

There's an internal disconnect there, and you have no idea what Mr. Limp will find (or already has found) out when he digs.

I (and others) have said before that a single flight in 2025 would be good and is not at all in the bag. 2026 is very much possible for first flight.

Neutron is a whole 'nother bag of unknowns, but it's coming from a company that has a better record of delivering.

I wouldn't call favorites right now.
« Last Edit: 10/29/2023 10:15 pm by meekGee »
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline Robert_the_Doll

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It will be very problematic that Neutron would be ready by 2026, but New Glenn most likely will be, and have at least two or three flights by then. There would be no reason to switch launchers, and ESCAPADE is is considered a high-risk mission as it stands.
NG is an unknown. Less than two months ago, senior BO execs were predicting flights this year.

That would be incorrect. They were predicting a launch in 2024. Sources place the goal for July of next year, and were hoping to get complete hardware to LC-36 for the start of testing, culminating static test firings.

Offline meekGee

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It will be very problematic that Neutron would be ready by 2026, but New Glenn most likely will be, and have at least two or three flights by then. There would be no reason to switch launchers, and ESCAPADE is is considered a high-risk mission as it stands.
NG is an unknown. Less than two months ago, senior BO execs were predicting flights this year.

That would be incorrect. They were predicting a launch in 2024. Sources place the goal for July of next year, and were hoping to get complete hardware to LC-36 for the start of testing, culminating static test firings.
Yes, you are correct. I got some predictions mixed up, I've been following this for so many years... 
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Online GewoonLukas_

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Quote
Bradley Smith, director of NASA's Launch Services Program, says the agency's Mars-bound ESCAPADE smallsats will fly on an "incredibly ambitious first launch for (Blue Origin's) New Glenn" rocket "around this time next year."

https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/1726684109593010450
Lukas C. H. • Hobbyist Mission Patch Artist 🎨 • Ad Astra Per Aspera ✨️

Offline jstrotha0975

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Bradley Smith, director of NASA's Launch Services Program, says the agency's Mars-bound ESCAPADE smallsats will fly on an "incredibly ambitious first launch for (Blue Origin's) New Glenn" rocket "around this time next year."

https://twitter.com/StephenClark1/status/1726684109593010450

If this is true, why is Blue interested in buying ULA?

Offline trimeta

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Side-note, if this is confirmation that ESCAPADE will launch on the first flight of a heavy-lift vehicle from a company with zero heritage of orbital rocketry, that's more reason to think that the $20M price tag probably isn't representative of what Blue Origin hopes to charge for New Glenn launches in general.

Offline GWH

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Side-note, if this is confirmation that ESCAPADE will launch on the first flight of a heavy-lift vehicle from a company with zero heritage of orbital rocketry, that's more reason to think that the $20M price tag probably isn't representative of what Blue Origin hopes to charge for New Glenn launches in general.

Was there anyone who actually thought it would be?

Offline GWH

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Space News article:

https://spacenews.com/nasa-mars-smallsat-mission-to-be-on-first-new-glenn-launch/

Quote
At a Nov. 20 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council’s human exploration and operations committee, Bradley Smith, director of NASA’s Launch Services Office, said he was “incredibly excited” about the ESCAPADE launch, which he said was scheduled for about one year. His charts, though, and past presentations, listed an August 2024 launch for ESCAPADE.


Quote
The company has not provided recent updates about progress towards a first launch of the rocket, although Jarrett Jones, senior vice president for New Glenn at Blue Origin, said at World Satellite Business Week in September that the first flight vehicle would arrive at a Florida integration facility by the end of the year, with the company planning “multiple” launches of New Glenn in 2024.

1st integration, to full stack, 1st integrated test of ground systems, WDR, static fire, etc in 8 months  ???

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