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Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => NGIS (Formerly Orbital ATK) - Antares/Cygnus Section => Topic started by: Jim on 02/21/2008 06:17 PM

Title: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 02/21/2008 06:17 PM
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=11939&mid=247641#M247641

Quote
antonioe - 21/2/2008  11:36 AM

On the COTS I ReAward Final Cut Poll thread, now closed, I promised to explain elements and rationale of our COTS proposal.  If anybody is interested, I can deliver.  Question: is this the appropriate thread?  Moderators?

By the way, that was a very interesting and enjoyable thread.  Thanks to all that participated!

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/21/2008 07:12 PM

From the COTS Award Announcement Thread:

Quote
Jim - 21/2/2008 1:54 PM return capability?

That's what the SM+RCM combination does (1,300 Kg both up and down).  No, we have not proposed to demonstrate capability C.  But we've committed that if somebody offers to buy a capability C flight for about 30% more than a pressurized cargo, Orbital will pony up the money to develop the RCM (which is a simple low L/D cone with active roll control, CBM, and about half the net payload and 1/3 the volume of a PCM).  Oh, and about 24 months lead time.  No demo flight, though - you take your chances.

By the way, an Orbital precursor company (CTA) did put together a commercial reentry capsule ("Meteor") which, unfortunately, went to sleep with the fishies in the 1995 Conestoga failed launch attempt ("danke schoen", Gunter, for your excellent website).

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: tnphysics on 02/21/2008 07:51 PM
What about manned flight?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/21/2008 09:04 PM

We did not propose capability D.  We shared with the JSC folks some preliminary designs (again, heritage from the STAS work) for a TWO person capsule that would fit within a T II payload envelope including the required LES.  Unfortunately, the "SMS+Mission module" paradigm breaks down due to the widely conflicting requirements that crewed flight imposes on the system.

While technically feasible, the business case is very, very hard to build up...  :frown:

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/21/2008 09:12 PM

FOR REFERENCE from the COTS Award discussion thread: here's a revised table of ISS supply vehicle capabilities, as best as I know.  I would approaciate additional information and comments

 

 

Mass at

Max net cargo

Combined

Payload

Vehicle

Launch,

press.

unpress.

fuel

Limit

Ratio

  Comments
Progress M17,1501,800 1,9502,230

0.31

ATV20,7505,5004,7007,700

0.37

HTV16,5006,0001,6006,000

0.36

Actual capability  not clearly understood
SpaceX10,0001,4001,7003,100

0.31

S/C has two sections: press  reenters, unpress burns up
Orbital
SM+PCM5,4002,3002,300

0.43

SM+UCM5,4002,0002,000

0.37

SM+RCM5,4001,3001,300

0.24

 
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Lampyridae on 02/22/2008 03:38 AM
I've dug up everything I can find on the HTV including slides (JAXA not having a massive infodump like L2) and they all say exactly the same thing:

Kibo is very low-tech compared to ATV. It approaches and is grabbed by the Canadarm. It's largely practice in manned spaceflight systems for JAXA.

Pressurised cargo: 4 500kg (I think this is the max up-load as indicated by the slides)
Unpressurised cargo: 1 500 kg (ONE Kibo or ISS express pallet)

Photos from 2 years ago show an HTV test article almost fully assembled, so these figures are simply a result of the Japanese being inscrutable - construction of the actual flight article should be complete by now.

A 12 tonne test model will be launched by an H-2A later this year. 2009 should see a demonstration flight. JAXA is planning an unmanned winged vehicle by 2020, and a manned, reusable (capsule, that is) vehicle by 2025. Interestingly, the HTV is described as being built of "30% imported goods." Apparently this is because it worked out cheaper.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: hop on 02/22/2008 03:57 AM
Quote
Lampyridae - 21/2/2008  8:38 PM
Kibo is very low-tech compared to ATV. It approaches and is grabbed by the Canadarm. It's largely practice in manned spaceflight systems for JAXA.
I assume you mean HTV, not Kibo ?

AFAIK both OSC and SpaceX plan to use the same berthing method.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: SIIAlum on 02/22/2008 04:09 AM
Thanks Antonio for taking the time and courage to answer questions from the public.  That's cool.  My question is: Is your berthing box (box for capture and grapple by the SSRMS) the same for both the UCM and PCM versions?  If so, based on your figures it looks to be a bit of a stretch for the SSRMS to reach both a Node 2 Nadir CBM position and either of the truss (I think S3 or P3) positions.  Maybe there's intermediate hand off positions so the SSRMS can reposition?  If not, does that require a different rendezvous profile and targeting for the final closure to ISS?

Also, you mentioned METEOR in an early post, this brings back good memories of a spacecraft which was originally called ComET.  I might differ with you on the details of the work CTA did as although they might have done the final assembly, the detailed design and development of the cargo recovery module was all done inhouse at Space Industries.  Although I had a minor part on ComET , it was a thrill to be working on trying to commercial low earth orbit some 15 years ago by providing a platform for microgravity processing.  Unfortunately things didn't pan out for us.  Maybe it just wasn't the right time as our Industrial Space Facility (ISF) effort to commercialize LEO in the late '80s didn't work out as well.  Hopefully between Orbital and SpaceX maybe the timing is right and we can now see commercialized manned and unmanned operations in LEO and get NASA focused on exploration.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Lampyridae on 02/22/2008 04:10 AM
Quote
hop - 22/2/2008  1:57 PM

Quote
Lampyridae - 21/2/2008  8:38 PM
Kibo is very low-tech compared to ATV. It approaches and is grabbed by the Canadarm. It's largely practice in manned spaceflight systems for JAXA.
I assume you mean HTV, not Kibo ?

AFAIK both OSC and SpaceX plan to use the same berthing method.

Indeed, this is HTV I am talking about. It uses GPS to approach within 500m, then laser ranging to close within 10m. The difference between OSC / SpaceX and HTV is that HTV has a Proximity Communication System (PROX) on the Kibo module to facilitate ISS aproach and docking. Info's a bit hazy but I think it receives data from HTV and provides manouevring data? I don't really know what its role is. There are also hints that JAXA is considering developing a reentry capsule for HTV.

http://www.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/htv/manager_e.html

AFAIK Cygnus is controlled from the ground via TDRS and the normal station channels (whatever those are).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jorge on 02/22/2008 04:14 AM
Quote
Lampyridae - 21/2/2008  10:38 PM

Kibo is very low-tech compared to ATV. It approaches and is grabbed by the Canadarm. It's largely practice in manned spaceflight systems for JAXA.

It is a myth that the systems required for approach and SSRMS berthing are "low-tech" compared to those required for approach and direct docking.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 02/22/2008 10:53 AM
Quote
antonioe - 21/2/2008  4:04 PM

We did not propose capability D.  We shared with the JSC folks some preliminary designs (again, heritage from the STAS work) for a TWO person capsule that would fit within a T II payload envelope including the required LES.  Unfortunately, the "SMS+Mission module" paradigm breaks down due to the widely conflicting requirements that crewed flight imposes on the system.

While technically feasible, the business case is very, very hard to build up...  :frown:


So no-one has told you the good news then ? RpK had $200m coming to them for a crewed flight demo in 2011-2012. I assume this money will now be yours unless NASA has changed its plans. Happy spending ;)

p16
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/168735main_AIAA_2007_COTS.pdf

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 02/22/2008 11:34 AM
Quote
antonioe - 21/2/2008  5:12 PM

FOR REFERENCE from the COTS Award discussion thread: here's a revised table of ISS supply vehicle capabilities, as best as I know.  I would approaciate additional information and comments

 

 

Mass at

Max net cargo

Combined

Payload

Vehicle

Launch,

press.

unpress.

fuel

Limit

Ratio

  Comments
Progress M17,1501,800 1,9502,230

0.31

ATV20,7505,5004,7007,700

0.37

HTV16,5006,0001,6006,000

0.36

Actual capability  not clearly understood
SpaceX10,0001,4001,7003,100

0.31

S/C has two sections: press  reenters, unpress burns up
Orbital
SM+PCM5,4002,3002,300

0.43

SM+UCM5,4002,0002,000

0.37

SM+RCM5,4001,3001,300

0.24

 

Interesting. Would it be fair to say Cygnus is comparable to Progress, only much more flexible because it's non-monolithic? And is the Cygnus SM able to perform autonomous operations (i.e., could be launched on its own)?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Lee Jay on 02/22/2008 06:17 PM
Quote
Jorge - 21/2/2008  10:14 PM

Quote
Lampyridae - 21/2/2008  10:38 PM

Kibo is very low-tech compared to ATV. It approaches and is grabbed by the Canadarm. It's largely practice in manned spaceflight systems for JAXA.

It is a myth that the systems required for approach and SSRMS berthing are "low-tech" compared to those required for approach and direct docking.

I was wondering about that.  Do you happen to know the limits on the relative velocities before capture can be attempted and successfully completed?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: quark on 02/22/2008 11:02 PM
Quote
marsavian - 22/2/2008  4:53 AM

Quote
antonioe - 21/2/2008  4:04 PM

We did not propose capability D.  We shared with the JSC folks some preliminary designs (again, heritage from the STAS work) for a TWO person capsule that would fit within a T II payload envelope including the required LES.  Unfortunately, the "SMS+Mission module" paradigm breaks down due to the widely conflicting requirements that crewed flight imposes on the system.

While technically feasible, the business case is very, very hard to build up...  :frown:


So no-one has told you the good news then ? RpK had $200m coming to them for a crewed flight demo in 2011-2012. I assume this money will now be yours unless NASA has changed its plans. Happy spending ;)

p16
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/168735main_AIAA_2007_COTS.pdf


The $200 M was part of an unfunded, unexercised option in RpK's contract.  It is still unfunded.  The latest budget release from NASA has nothing for capability D.  By the way, SpaceX also has an unfunded capability D option.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: hop on 02/23/2008 12:23 AM
Quote
William Barton - 22/2/2008  4:34 AM
Interesting. Would it be fair to say Cygnus is comparable to Progress, only much more flexible because it's non-monolithic? And is the Cygnus SM able to perform autonomous operations (i.e., could be launched on its own)?
Different systems with different capabilities.

Note that progress M1 (listed above) is not currently in normal use. M1 carries more fuel and less cargo than M. See this post http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=11939&mid=247807#M247807

Progress can be used to reboost ISS, and integrated into the ISS attitude control system (which is advantageous because it's a nice long lever arm, and preserves the service life of the RS thrusters.) I don't know if there is any interest in COTS providing either of these capabilities.

Progress has also in the past been modified to carry external cargo and return ~150kg of payload via the Raduga (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VBK-Raduga) capsule (both in the Mir program). I'm not sure what the maximum external cargo would be, but likely significantly less than what is proposed for the UCM.

Progress can dock to the station even if it is unmanned. No idea if this can be done with the arm berthing systems.

Cygnus, because it berths at a CBM can deliver payloads that don't fit through the Russian hatches. Bringing external cargo within reach of the arm is a big plus too.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Frediiiie on 02/23/2008 02:50 AM
COTS part D is currently unfunded.
That is, there are no funds in the current budget.
But funds are not required in the current budget.
Should NASA decide to take up COTS part D funds would need to be in budget for 2009 ($27.42M) and more for following years to total of $308M by 2012 just for SpaceX.
This is assuming the time schedule currently in the SpaceX COTS agreement.
NASA will have to, sometime before the 2009 budget is set in stone, make a decision on whether they want to fund COTS part D.
It's all up to NASA
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: bad_astra on 02/23/2008 04:11 AM
A belated congratulations to OSC. (I haven't been on in awhile)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: CFE on 02/23/2008 06:41 AM
Is it confirmed that Taurus II will launch from LC-0B?  It would seem that the existing Minotaur pad would need a lot of mods to support a liquid vehicle.  Not to mention the fact that T-II has roughly twice the thrust of a Minotaur IV.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 02/23/2008 09:54 AM
Quote
Frediiiie - 22/2/2008  9:50 PM

COTS part D is currently unfunded.
That is, there are no funds in the current budget.
But funds are not required in the current budget.
Should NASA decide to take up COTS part D funds would need to be in budget for 2009 ($27.42M) and more for following years to total of $308M by 2012 just for SpaceX.
This is assuming the time schedule currently in the SpaceX COTS agreement.
NASA will have to, sometime before the 2009 budget is set in stone, make a decision on whether they want to fund COTS part D.
It's all up to NASA

The manned spaceflight gap is the biggest public crisis facing NASA, I would say the liklihood of NASA *not* funding COTS part D for both companies is very small. If so Antonio and Orbital then need to see how many people they can send up on Taurus II on a $200m development budget.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 02/23/2008 11:00 AM
Quote
marsavian - 23/2/2008  11:54 AM

The manned spaceflight gap is the biggest public crisis facing NASA, I would say the liklihood of NASA *not* funding COTS part D for both companies is very small. If so Antonio and Orbital then need to see how many people they can send up on Taurus II on a $200m development budget.

But the 2009 Budget Request includes funds for Soyuz missions.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 02/23/2008 12:28 PM
Quote
simpl simon - 23/2/2008  6:00 AM

Quote
marsavian - 23/2/2008  11:54 AM

The manned spaceflight gap is the biggest public crisis facing NASA, I would say the liklihood of NASA *not* funding COTS part D for both companies is very small. If so Antonio and Orbital then need to see how many people they can send up on Taurus II on a $200m development budget.

But the 2009 Budget Request includes funds for Soyuz missions.

and so will the 2010 and 2011 ones too.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Frediiiie on 02/23/2008 01:34 PM
COTS part D as it stands in the SpaceX agreement would not be completed till 2012
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/23/2008 03:47 PM

Quote
SIIAlum - 21/2/2008 11:09 PM Is your berthing box (box for capture and grapple by the SSRMS) the same for both the UCM and PCM versions?

I believe so, but I will have to check.

Quote
 If so, based on your figures it looks to be a bit of a stretch for the SSRMS to reach both a Node 2 Nadir CBM position and either of the truss (I think S3 or P3) positions. Maybe there's intermediate hand off positions so the SSRMS can reposition? If not, does that require a different rendezvous profile and targeting for the final closure to ISS?

I don't think so - as far as I understand it (and, again, this is NOT my area of specialy) the arm is capable of positioning the Shuttle-carried ELC's into any of the six (6) CAS positions, and the same is probably true from the SM+UCM berthing box.  What I don't know is if getting to the outmost CAS positions requires the arm "hopscotching".  The enclosed sketch illustrates en ECL and a SM+UCM in two CAS positions on one of the trusses (Starboard?)

Quote
 Also, you mentioned METEOR in an early post, this brings back good memories of a spacecraft which was originally called ComET. I might differ with you on the details of the work CTA did as although they might have done the final assembly, the detailed design and development of the cargo recovery module was all done inhouse at Space Industries. Although I had a minor part on ComET , it was a thrill to be working on trying to commercial low earth orbit some 15 years ago by providing a platform for microgravity processing. Unfortunately things didn't pan out for us. Maybe it just wasn't the right time as our Industrial Space Facility (ISF) effort to commercialize LEO in the late '80s didn't work out as well. Hopefully between Orbital and SpaceX maybe the timing is right and we can now see commercialized manned and unmanned operations in LEO and get NASA focused on exploration.

Of course!!! Space Industries!!! I'm sorry, I'm getting senile.  I knew Joe Allen, Max Faget and C. C. Johnson about the time they merged with Calspan.  I believe I posted in my "Q&A" thread a picture of Max, CC, Joe, Burt, DWT and me in front of one of the early Pegasi at Dryden in 199something.  Giants, all of them.  Giants.

I'm unsure what were the CTA/SI relations during Comet - that was before our acquiring CTA - but here's a picture of Ray Crough in front of the spacecraft, atop the ill-fated Conestoga.  Note the reentry capsule on top.  I met Ray when he was the PM for the Pegasus F2 payload (six microsats built by DRI).  Of course, he became an Orbitaleer when we acquired CTA, and up to two days ago headed Systems Engineesing at Dulles.  Yesterday he was appointed Gregg Burgess' deputy (Gregg head Special Programs within APG).  He's a great guy, even if he bikes 30 miles from his home in the rain and snow...

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/23/2008 04:06 PM

Quote
CFE - 23/2/2008 1:41 AM Is it confirmed that Taurus II will launch from LC-0B? It would seem that the existing Minotaur pad would need a lot of mods to support a liquid vehicle. Not to mention the fact that T-II has roughly twice the thrust of a Minotaur IV.

That is currently the plan.  Yes, 0B will require a lot of mods, but so will any pad at CCASF or VAFB... we checked them all!  Liquid propellant sotrage tanks being the simgle biggest mod everywhere.

While, yes, Taurus II has more thrust than anything that has been launched from it (by the way, the Ray Crough picture I posted in the posting above is precisely at pad 0B!!!) the mods are less violent that the ones that would have been required had we gone with the original T II "single NK-33/at least two SRB's" configuration due to a) the wider "stance" of the 2-SRB configuration and b) the more energetic and damaging plume of the solids.  However, adapting the transporter-erector to the 01B geometry is actually harder than is the case for the CCAFS and VAFB pads.  You can't win everything...

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/23/2008 04:15 PM

Quote
hop - 22/2/2008 7:23 PM Note that progress M1 (listed above) is not currently in normal use. M1 carries more fuel and less cargo than M.

Here's a corrected (and hopefully more readable) version of the table including Danderman's Soyuz-M data.  I guess we are all still a bit confused on the issue of HTV's capability envelope.  By the way, in case you haven't already figured it out, my "Payload Ratio" is based on the combined payload of each vehicle.  Before we compare too many apples and oranges, I must point out some notes:

  1. Soyuz if handicapped by its heritage (derived from a manned capsule) and technology base.  It also has capabilities (e.g., ISS reboost) that only ATV, AFAIK, has.
  2. ATV is also handicapped by its extensive gas and liquid tankage, and its reboost capabilities.
  3. Dragon is taxed by its reentry capabilities (but still has a higher payload fraction than our SM+RCM combo).
  4. Orbital's PCM is a dumb can with the minimum MMOD shielding, ECS, etc. to pass ISS muster, hence its relatively high payload fraction.  the SM+Mission Module concept is optimized for this combination, at the expense of the others.
  5. Orbital's RCM is also quite dumb.

If somebody is curious as to why Orbital's UCM has less cargo capacity than the PCM, it's because of the FRAMs, ECA, and other accoutrements the ORU's need.  In the PCM case, the containers are included in the "cargo" figure and also are usually very lightweight (e.g. the "soft bags").  In the UCM, the FRAMs are not included in the cargo figure.  If my memory serves me right, the UCM can hold up to six FRAMs, and they are comparatively heavy

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 02/23/2008 05:47 PM
Quote
antonioe - 23/2/2008  6:15 PM

..............

Orbital's PCM is a dumb can with the minimum MMOD shielding, ECS, etc. to pass ISS muster, hence its relatively high payload fraction.  the SM+Mission Module concept is optimized for this combination, at the expense of the others.
..................

 

Antonioe, can you tell us anything about the stowage system in the PCM? Will it have an internal cargo accommodation/support structure like ATV has? Do you plan for sequential cargo transfer to the ISS combined with trash transfer to the PCM?

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/23/2008 06:24 PM

Quote
simpl simon - 23/2/2008 12:47 PM Antonioe, can you tell us anything about the stowage system in the PCM? Will it have an internal cargo accommodation/support structure like ATV has?

No, I can't, because I don't know.  I overheard Jim Duffy (Cygnus Chief Engineer) talk to the JSC guys about "Seat tracks" and "CTB tie-down straps" but it's all greek to me.  Correction, if it were classical greek, I could understand it a bit.  It's Cantonese to me.

Please understand, I know very little about ISS operations.  I'm learning.

Quote
 Do you plan for sequential cargo transfer to the ISS combined with trash transfer to the PCM?

Yes, that is the plan; the SM can survive autonomously for a very long time attached to ISS, even with the ISS sun shielding.  After dumping the trash in the PCM, closing the hatch, re-grapple by the arm, unlatching the CBM, release form the arm, it separates from ISS, lowers its orbit, and, once away from the ISS prox volume, and at the right arg of p, it deorbits destructively.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 02/23/2008 07:22 PM
Thanks for that, Antonioe,

Quote
antonioe - 23/2/2008  8:24 PM

I overheard Jim Duffy (Cygnus Chief Engineer) talk to the JSC guys about "Seat tracks" and "CTB tie-down straps".....

Why I asked, was that I understand the cargo in Progress is just packed in lose, and compressed until the module is full. You might get away with that for 1.8 MT, but that approach won't work with 5.5 MT.

Quote
Do you plan for sequential cargo transfer to the ISS combined with trash transfer to the PCM?

Yes, that is the plan; the SM can survive autonomously for a very long time attached to ISS, even with the ISS sun shielding.  After dumping the trash in the PCM, closing the hatch, re-grapple by the arm, unlatching the CBM, release form the arm, it separates from ISS, lowers its orbit, and, once away from the ISS prox volume, and at the right arg of p, it deorbits destructively.


What I was really wondering was how you propose to manage cargo transfer while the PCM is berthed. You can't wait until all the 5.5 tons has been unloaded before you start repacking the PCM with trash (can you?) So that presumes some kind of acommodation system to let the crew access the cargo in the order in which it is needed, and refill the vacated space with trash.
 
Just wondering. I appreciate this isn't your field.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 02/23/2008 07:34 PM
Quote
marsavian - 23/2/2008  5:54 AM

The manned spaceflight gap is the biggest public crisis facing NASA, I would say the liklihood of NASA *not* funding COTS part D for both companies is very small. If so Antonio and Orbital then need to see how many people they can send up on Taurus II on a $200m development budget.

Actually, just the opposite.  It is very small
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 02/23/2008 07:54 PM
Quote
antonioe - 23/2/2008  6:15 PM

Thanks for your review of the various logistics vehicles and their cargo performance. I notice in your table you make the remark that the actual capability of HTV is not well understood. I fully share your doubt. I have seen various figures quoted for HTV pressurised cargo, and cannot understand how it is proposed to accommodate 6000 kg in a volume less than that of ATV. I have seen a figure of 4500 kg reported for HTV pressurized cargo, and that makes more sense to me (see: http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/htv/overview/)
Part of the problem is the assumption one has to make about overall cargo density. It is known that ESA's first assumption was too low, so theoretically the ATV could carry more pressurized cargo if you apply the higher density factor. Before you go and pack it all in, however, you need to consider whether the structure is qualified for a higher load, and as you have noted in your previous post, you must take account of the fuel, gas and air cargo elements in order to stay within launch limits.

In that respect the COTS winners have an easier life than ESA had: they can specialise on, say, dry pressurized cargo, knowing that ATV and Progress will truck all the messy stuff. In addition, NASA can likely provide more specific itemised cargo lists than were available when the ATV and HTV designs were frozen.
And before I forget: congratulations on the award, and thanks for your great posts.

Made a mess of the Quote function. The above text is mine, not antonioe's.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/23/2008 08:27 PM

Quote
simpl simon What I was really wondering was how you propose to manage cargo transfer while the PCM is berthed. You can't wait until all the 5.5 tons has been unloaded before you start repacking the PCM with trash (can you?) So that presumes some kind of acommodation system to let the crew access the cargo in the order in which it is needed, and refill the vacated space with trash. Just wondering. I appreciate this isn't your field.

Sorry, I missed something important in your question: the SM+PCM cargo capacity is not 5.5 mt (that's slightly over the entire launch mass of 5,400 Kg) but only 2,300 Kg.  On the other hand, the PCM has about 23m3 of volume for 2,300 Kg (100 Km/m3) vs. 225 Kg/m3 for Progress-M, 175 Kg/m3 for Dragon, and 115 Kg/m3 for ATV.  So the job of unloading/reloading with trash it is a bit easier than for Progess.

Also, one must take into account that

  1. The astronaut's can't spend a lot of time packing the trash neatly, which lowers its density with respecto to the neatly packed upcargo,
  2. SM+PCM could theoretically dispose of a lot more than 2,300 Kg of trash (we haven't figure out the practical limit yet), and
  3. Unlike the up cargo, the "trash" does not have to be stacked in a way that makes its removal easier, logical or orderly, which actually tends to increase its density with respect to the upcargo.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/23/2008 08:29 PM

Hey, I just realized that the TV table we've been putting together is missing the pressurized cargo volume data.  Here's yet one more version with that data added.  Please post any additions/corrections/comment, please:

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/23/2008 09:12 PM

Quote
simpl simon - 23/2/2008 2:54 PM ... cannot understand how it is proposed to accommodate 6000 kg in a volume less than that of ATV.

Do you have a reputable source for that volume?  I could not find squat.

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 I have seen a figure of 4500 kg reported for HTV pressurized cargo, and that makes more sense to me (see: http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/htv/overview/)

Any suggestions from anybody else for what figure we should carry on the table?

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 Part of the problem is the assumption one has to make about overall cargo density. It is known that ESA's first assumption was too low, so theoretically the ATV could carry more pressurized cargo if you apply the higher density factor. Before you go and pack it all in, however, you need to consider whether the structure is qualified for a higher load

Right on the mark.  But, also, the LV has to be able to accomodate the extra mass.  Anybody know what the Ariane 5 margin is?  In the case of the SM+PCM, the super-low density value allow us to eventually take advantage of the extra Taurus II performance with the liquid second stage (if we ever get to develop it...)

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, and as you have noted in your previous post, you must take account of the fuel, gas and air cargo elements in order to stay within launch limits. In that respect the COTS winners have an easier life than ESA had: they can specialise on, say, dry pressurized cargo, knowing that ATV and Progress will truck all the messy stuff. In addition, NASA can likely provide more specific itemised cargo lists than were available when the ATV and HTV designs were frozen.

Yes, no doubt at all, especially not having to re-boost ISS with the Transfer Vehicle's own thrust!!!

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: hop on 02/23/2008 11:26 PM
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antonioe - 23/2/2008  1:27 PM
  1. The astronaut's can't spend a lot of time packing the trash neatly, which lowers its density with respecto to the neatly packed upcargo,
  2. SM+PCM could theoretically dispose of a lot more than 2,300 Kg of trash (we haven't figure out the practical limit yet), and
  3. Unlike the up cargo, the "trash" does not have to be stacked in a way that makes its removal easier, logical or orderly, which actually tends to increase its density with respect to the upcargo.
I recall that quite a bit of attention is paid to keeping packing the trash to keep the CG in the expected location for Progress... I recall reading one ISS crew account describing  this "Progress packing" as a rather unpleasant task.

edit:
Looking at the illustration of HTV and judging that the pressurized compartment is somewhere around 1/4 and 1/3 the total length, I'd guess the pressurized volume is around ~25-35 m3

A couple more HTV pages without a lot of information:
http://www.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/htv/index_e.html
http://www.jaxa.jp/projects/rockets/htv/topicslist_e.html
The second does have some nice pictures of the prototype hardware.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: SIIAlum on 02/24/2008 03:53 AM
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I don't think so - as far as I understand it (and, again, this is NOT my area of specialy) the arm is capable of positioning the Shuttle-carried ELC's into any of the six (6) CAS positions, and the same is probably true from the SM+UCM berthing box.  What I don't know is if getting to the outmost CAS positions requires the arm "hopscotching".  The enclosed sketch illustrates en ECL and a SM+UCM in two CAS positions on one of the trusses (Starboard?)

Thanks! That brings up another question: After looking at the Shuttle manifest, it appears that all six CAS locations will be full at Shuttle retirement (5 ELCs and AMS-02 if it goes). What is the plan for this issue. Maybe I'm misinterpreting the manifest and/or ISS assembly sequence and maybe one fo the NASA folks on the forum can clarify?

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I'm unsure what were the CTA/SI relations during Comet - that was before our acquiring CTA - but here's a picture of Ray Crough in front of the spacecraft, atop the ill-fated Conestoga.  Note the reentry capsule on top.  ...

Thanks for the pic. Ahhhh.....the memories. Too bad we never had the chance to see if the SM and recovery module could do their thing. I'm still nervous about new launch vehicles to this day. Well, at least putting my one and only spacecraft on a launch vehicle's maiden flight. A lot of hard lessons learned from that one. :frown:

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/24/2008 04:03 AM

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SIIAlum - 23/2/2008 10:53 PM That brings up another question: After looking at the Shuttle manifest, it appears that all six CAS locations will be full at Shuttle retirement (5 ELCs and AMS-02 if it goes). What is the plan for this issue. Maybe I'm misinterpreting the manifest and/or ISS assembly sequence and maybe one fo the NASA folks on the forum can clarify?

Excelent question, and I certainly do not have an answer; maybe it is related to the issue of what happens if the last two - currenlty unmanifested - Shuttle flights are available to carry unpressurized cargo?  Maybe that's where all those ELCs come from... in which case, COTS has little use for unpressurized cargo, as I described in one of my previous posts (and then we only get to fly PCMs).

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Thanks for the pic. Ahhhh.....the memories. Too bad we never had the chance to see if the SM and recovery module could do their thing. I'm still nervous about new launch vehicles to this day. Well, at least putting my one and only spacecraft on a launch vehicle's maiden flight. A lot of hard lessons learned from that one. :frown:

Glad I could bring you some memories... I, too, have lost spacecraft (OrbView II was a particularly painful one) but not on an LV first flight, thank God.  But I know how it feels to loose a bird.  I remember very vividly the Pegasus F6 failure... seeing it start to corkscrew on the long-range camera... thinking "no, no it can't be true..." after five flights, we thought we were invincible...

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: SIIAlum on 02/24/2008 06:24 AM
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antonioe - 23/2/2008 3:29 PM

Hey, I just realized that the TV table we've been putting together is missing the pressurized cargo volume data.  Here's yet one more version with that data added.  Please post any additions/corrections/comment, please:

Wow!  At 23 m3, the PCM is quite a bit larger than I expected and nearly 3x larger than Progress or SpaceX.  That should definitely be advantageous when considering crew transfer operations.  Also, based on that size, my guess is that you should be able to fit roughly 175 Middeck Locker Equivalent (MLE) of cargo in there.  Assuming this type of number (maybe Antonio can confirm?), that would put the cargo density at about 13.5 kg per MLE which is very close to the historical NASA packing density (based on Shuttle middeck, MPLM and Spacehab cargo flights).  Maybe other NASA cargo type folks can confirm.  We all wish the NASA cargo could be more densely packed (capability is up to 27 kg per MLE) but history shows otherwise.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 02/24/2008 08:17 AM
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SIIAlum - 24/2/2008  2:24 AM

 Maybe other NASA cargo type folks can confirm.  We all wish the NASA cargo could be more densely packed (capability is up to 27 kg per MLE) but history shows otherwise

Very hard to do.   Some foam is needed and also the items need to be user accessible and which is not optimal for packing efficiency
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/24/2008 12:15 PM

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SIIAlum - 24/2/2008 1:24 AM  Also, based on that size, my guess is that you should be able to fit roughly 175 Middeck Locker Equivalent (MLE) of cargo in there. 

Looking at our presentation material, I did not find an MLE equivalent, but I found the sentence "148 CTBs-Single Equivalent".  I don't know what that means, frankly.  I know there's a lot of empty space in the axis, and in the "corners" below the "Seat Tracks" - that's where the (flexible?) water tanks would be located, if flown in a flight.

Oh, it also sez "Dry cargo volume 9.84m3"  I don't know how that correlates with the pressurized vessel internal volume of 23m3.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 02/24/2008 01:33 PM
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antonioe - 24/2/2008  8:15 AM

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SIIAlum - 24/2/2008 1:24 AM  Also, based on that size, my guess is that you should be able to fit roughly 175 Middeck Locker Equivalent (MLE) of cargo in there.

Looking at our presentation material, I did not find an MLE equivalent, but I found the sentence "148 CTBs-Single Equivalent".  I don't know what that means, frankly.  


A single CTB was designed to fit in a Middeck Locker.   I had a longer discussion here, but moved it to a separate thread, so not to derail the thread.

Evolution of Stowage in US spacecraft

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=12018&mid=248598#M248598
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 02/24/2008 01:36 PM
Here is a hard question for you, antonioe.

What is the time and location of the latest access to the PCM before launch?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 02/24/2008 02:43 PM

If you are going to continue to list Progress M1, then the max capability of this spacecraft when flown on Soyuz 2/ST should be shown, which is about 3200 kg combined payload. This variant is currently not flown, because the added mass of the 8 prop tanks eats up about 200 kg of payload, and the prop isn't need. However, when Soyuz 2 becomes the standard launcher for ISS, Progress M1 may be re-introduced to take advantage of the additional payload capability.

 

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/24/2008 02:48 PM

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Jim - 24/2/2008 8:36 AM Here is a hard question for you, antonioe. What is the time and location of the latest access to the PCM before launch?

I believe the plan is to use a diving board through a payload fairing hatch to the CBM hatch just before the assembly rolls out the horizontal assembly building, nominally 24 hours before launch.  I don't kow the details (I don't think we've worked them out yet) on how to cope with the fact that the assembly (and the PCM cargo) is in a horizontal position.  I hear something about a "late-access cargo shelf", L-shaped so it can react both 1-g horizontal loads (while being loaded) and launch loads.  No on-pad access is currently planned.

I'll ask Jim.

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 02/24/2008 02:48 PM

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SIIAlum - 23/2/2008  8:53 PM  
Thanks! That brings up another question: After looking at the Shuttle manifest, it appears that all six CAS locations will be full at Shuttle retirement (5 ELCs and AMS-02 if it goes). What is the plan for this issue. Maybe I'm misinterpreting the manifest and/or ISS assembly sequence and maybe one fo the NASA folks on the forum can clarify?

The original concept of operations for the Express Pallet was to have the pallets carry ORUs up to the station, and then return failed ORUs at a later date. I would not be surprised if ELCs 1 and 2 came back in 2009-10, if only to provide engineers with data on failed ORUs (if not to have the ORUs repaired and sent up again by HTV/COTS.

As far as the CAS locations, there are two distinct flavors, the S1 and P1 locations, which are segregated by function between payload and ORUs. AFAIK, none of the payload locations will be used, except possibly for AMS-02. 

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/24/2008 02:49 PM

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Danderman - 24/2/2008 9:43 AM If you are going to continue to list Progress M1, then the max capability of this spacecraft when flown on Soyuz 2/ST should be shown, which is about 3200 kg combined payload. This variant is currently not flown, because the added mass of the 8 prop tanks eats up about 200 kg of payload, and the prop isn't need. However, when Soyuz 2 becomes the standard launcher for ISS, Progress M1 may be re-introduced to take advantage of the additional payload capability.

Thanks, David.  Will incorporate in the next release of the table.  Do you know what the resulting launch mass would be?  Does the pressurized volume change? As a matter of fact, could you pls put together the correct "M1 on Soyuz 2" line for the table?  Tnx.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 02/24/2008 02:52 PM
BTW, where did the figure of 7.60 cubic meters for Progress cargo compartment volume come from? Every source I have seen shows 6.6 cubic meters, except for one graphic from Energia which showed 7.05 m3. I actually believe that the volume of the Progress orbital module is greater than 7 m3, compared with the 6.6 m3 for Soyuz, but I don't have the data to back me up.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 02/24/2008 03:06 PM

Corrected Progress M1 line:

Launch Mass: 8,250 kg

Max net pressurized: 1,800 kg

unpressurized: 0 (although this is not exactly true)

ISS "fuel" (prop): 1,885 kg

Combined: 3,200 kg (this is a function of the LV limit, not Progress M1)

Payload ratio: 0.387

Comments: Out of production, but available 

 

 

 

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/24/2008 07:25 PM

I take the 3,200 Kg combined limit is with the "Upgraded Soyuz"? Is "Soyuz 2" the correct nomenclature for this LV?  Is this the one powered by RD0124's?

Also, any thoughts on the correct pressurized volume?  So far, AFAIK,

  1. NASA ISS PR 1 literature: 6m3 ("212 ft3")
  2. Russian Space Web : 6.6 m3
  3. NASA ISS PR 2 Soyuz TM Orbital module: 6.5m3
  4. NASA ISS PR 2 Soyuz TM Descent module: 4m3 (used for fuel on Progress)
  5. Energia graphic: 7,05m3
  6. Wikipedia (blush!): 7.6m3

HELP!!!

From everything I see, the most reliable estimate of the Progress M capability using a "Soyuz Classic" LV is 1,800 Kg of pressurized cargo (based on all the data sources), a combined total of 2,500 kg (based on the latest Energia press releases, Anatoly Zak states "2,350 Kg"), and 6.6m3 of pressurized cargo volume.  Everybody OK?  Going, going...

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 02/24/2008 09:52 PM
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antonioe - 23/2/2008  11:12 PM

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simpl simon - 23/2/2008 2:54 PM ... cannot understand how it is proposed to accommodate 6000 kg in a volume less than that of ATV.

Do you have a reputable source for that volume?  I could not find squat.



Sorry antonioe, I spent some time looking, but cannot find my original source. Looks like I leaned too far out the window with that statement. Lucky Jim didn't jump on me......

All  I can now find (I guess you have the same data), is the generalised information that the HTV PLC can carry 8 ISPR's or equivalent. In addition, there are stand-offs provided in the corners betweeen the racks. Each rack is capable of carrying 804,67 kg but that is a structural limit, not necessarily the weight of cargo that can be accommodated.

I'm sure the truth is out there somewhere.......

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: hop on 02/24/2008 11:49 PM
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antonioe - 24/2/2008  12:25 PM
HELP!!!
If you want more confusion, Progress M also caries water in dedicated tanks (not in the pressurized compartment), and a variable number of air/oxygen tanks :)

M1 moves the water to the cargo compartment, using the the location of the original water tanks for the additional prop.

How these are counted against "dry" cargo probably varies between the sources. You might just want to take something in the middle of the range and call it good enough.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Lampyridae on 02/25/2008 12:18 AM
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antonioe - 24/2/2008 7:12 AM

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simpl simon - 23/2/2008 2:54 PM ... cannot understand how it is proposed to accommodate 6000 kg in a volume less than that of ATV.

Do you have a reputable source for that volume?  I could not find squat.

(Fishes out an envelope) My very rough (from a diagram) measurements put the PCM length at 2.9m excluding the CBM. That gives a volume of about 44m3. 6000 kg translates to 136kg/m3, 4500 translates to about 100m3. Progress apparently packed stuff in at about 240 kg/m3 from what I can work out.

Quote
Quote
 I have seen a figure of 4500 kg reported for HTV pressurized cargo, and that makes more sense to me (see: http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/htv/overview/)

Any suggestions from anybody else for what figure we should carry on the table?

"approximately 4500kg" is what everything I have seen from either Mitsubishi or JAXA, including JAXA's in-house magazine, says. I guess that is what the load limit is. Given that HTV is the dedicated experiment carrier for Kibo, then it would probably be going up with experiment pallets all the time. It might be able to go up with 6000kg of pressurised cargo but then again it may not be designed around those kinds of loads and C of G. My feeling is HTV does what it says on the label.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 02/26/2008 02:00 AM
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antonioe - 24/2/2008  12:25 PM

From everything I see, the most reliable estimate of the Progress M capability using a "Soyuz Classic" LV is 1,800 Kg of pressurized cargo (based on all the data sources), a combined total of 2,500 kg (based on the latest Energia press releases, Anatoly Zak states "2,350 Kg"), and 6.6m3 of pressurized cargo volume.  Everybody OK?  Going, going...

2500 kg dry cargo mass for Progress M is good enough, as far as I am concerned. The 6.6 m3 for the cargo volume is what most people use. Its certainly not correct, but I don't have a public source for the correct volume.

 

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: SIIAlum on 02/26/2008 02:29 AM
If I remember correctly from the NASA webcast last week, I think they mentioned that you are planning one Demo mission to the ISS for COTS I.  Assuming a successful flight, is there anything else required to certify the T-II to fly other NASA medium class payloads?  If I understand the NLS requirements correctly, I think the T-II will be certified to fly Category 1 & 2 payloads but not Cat 3 which takes something like 14 missions?  Also, any idea what NASA will require for the launch vehicle for COTS 2?  I guess we'll find out soon as I believe the draft RFP will be released in the near future.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Antares on 02/26/2008 03:42 AM
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SIIAlum - 25/2/2008  9:29 PM
Assuming a successful flight, is there anything else required to certify the T-II to fly other NASA medium class payloads?  If I understand the NLS requirements correctly, I think the T-II will be certified to fly Category 1 & 2 payloads but not Cat 3 which takes something like 14 missions?  Also, any idea what NASA will require for the launch vehicle for COTS 2?  I guess we'll find out soon as I believe the draft RFP will be released in the near future.
The latest NASA LV certification matrix is here:
http://nodis.gsfc.nasa.gov/NPD_attachments/N_PD_8610_007D_A.pdf

The COTS 2 Draft RFP should be out on Thursday.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 02/26/2008 11:03 AM
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SIIAlum - 25/2/2008  10:29 PM
1.  I think the T-II will be certified to fly Category 1 & 2 payloads but not Cat 3 which takes something like 14 missions?  

2.  Also, any idea what NASA will require for the launch vehicle for COTS 2?  I guess we'll find out soon as I believe the draft RFP will be released in the near future.

1.  14 missions isn't the only way for Cat 3, see MRO and Atlas V

2.  I believe nothing.  It will be like delivery on orbit

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Yegor on 02/27/2008 09:17 PM
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antonioe - 24/2/2008  3:25 PM

I take the 3,200 Kg combined limit is with the "Upgraded Soyuz"? Is "Soyuz 2" the correct nomenclature for this LV?  Is this the one powered by RD0124's?

"Soyuz-2-1b" is the proper name for "Soyuz 2" LV with RD-0124.
Inclination (degree): 51,6, Payload: 8250 kg

"Soyuz-2-1a" is the proper name for "Soyuz 2" LV with RD-0110.
Inclination (degree): 51,6, Payload: 7020 kg
 
http://www.samspace.ru/ENG/RN/souz_2.htm
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 03/01/2008 05:01 PM
Antonio,

Can you provide any more details of the Cygnus SM and/or the two Taurus II stages?  Things like loaded and empty masses, specific impulse, etc.  

 - Ed Kyle
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 03/02/2008 02:23 PM
For those interested Orbital's SAA milestones are on page 5

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/214651main_AIAA%203rd%20Space%20Ex%20Conf.%20COTS.pdf
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/10/2008 05:32 AM
I don't know much about Wallops and the pad numbering, could someone label the pads below and state what vehicle they service?  Maybe I should put an L2 request out for Wallops launch area details. Kind of embarrassing since I live down the shore on the opposite side of the state!
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 04/11/2008 07:28 PM
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Ronsmytheiii - 10/4/2008  12:32 AM

I don't know much about Wallops and the pad numbering, could someone label the pads below and state what vehicle they service?  Maybe I should put an L2 request out for Wallops launch area details. Kind of embarrassing since I live down the shore on the opposite side of the state!

From bottom to top, the following Launch Areas are visible.  

Commercial Launch Area 0B (Zero B):  Minotaur
Commercial Launch Area 0A (Zero A):  Conestoga
Launch Area 1 (50Klb rail launcher)
Launch Area 2 (ARC 20 Klb rail launcher and two smaller launchers)
Launch Area 3B (20Klb rail launcher, probably east of big rectangular bldg):  USN missile testing
Launch Area 4 (beyond large blockhouse, 20Klb tubular launcher, inactive)
Launch Area 5 (also beyond large blockhouse):  was Scout

Here is a link to the Wallops Range User's Handbook.

http://sites.wff.nasa.gov/multimedia/docs/wffruh.pdf

 - Ed Kyle
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/22/2008 01:59 PM
Here's a story about local officials fretting over whether OSC will launch Taurus II from Wallops.

http://www.wmdt.com/topstory/topstory.asp?id=3487

I thought it was a done deal, but apparently not.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 05/22/2008 03:32 PM

Here's the situation:

Back when we proposed the COTS-1 demo, WFF seemed to provide us with the best combination of probability of success divided by probable cost (remember, we have to pay for ALL costs associated with the mission, including setting up the Taurus II pad payload processing, fueling, etc.)

We were not sure if the NASA Source Selection would like the WFF idea, but apparently that did not prevent them from selecting us.

Unbeknown to us, we apparently stepped on an anthill in Florida, fueled perhaps by the concerns about Shutttle phasing out and the "gap".   We were subject to a veritable barrage of visits, briefings, etc. and were summoned to the Washington offices of certain Florida lawmakers who proceeded to vigorously articulate to us the advantages of their home state.

Since then, it has been a horse race: now Florida is ahead by a neck, now Wallops by a nose, now Florida... it's not simply tha value of theis "bids", but also the solidity of the plans (including funding), details, cost credibility, terms and conditions, how we can account for the types of cost and what that does to our EPS... just like when WE submit a proposal to a customer!

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking, and if the bulldozers don't start rolling soon, we won't make December 2010.  We HAVE to make a decision by the end of the month, period.  Unfortunately, and in spite of at least one trip by somebody from Orbital to each of the places EVERY WEEK (or at least so its seems), and several phone calls a day (literally!!!) it's too close to call.  I give up, it will be a DWT decision.

Before we announce it, we have to "socialize" our decision with NASA and the various lawmakers.  Saldy, no matter who will choose, there will be unhappy people.  Both organizations have done a tremendous job and really put their best foot forward trying to help us; we hade "hoped" one of the teams would clearly outdistance the other, and there have been times whe it appearede so, but that's not the case.

I will try to give NSF a scoop as soon as possible after "socialization" of the decision, but I can't guwarantee it, since news like this spread at the speed of rumor.

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 05/22/2008 04:54 PM
Well this is certainly good news for Orbital either way it goes and although you are decrying the amount of shuffling and politicking the probability of getting at least some if not all of your infrastructure financed has got to be sweet.

I would come in on Wallops’ side if all else is even since it seems to me that having another state’s politicians behind space programs can’t be a bad thing. There is also the huge benefit of having launches from a more northern location that is going to make some great headlines and be visible from the seats of power.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 05/22/2008 05:08 PM
Actually, I was not distraught by all the political attention, I was just surprised.  Stunned, even!  Overall, though, it was all positive, no negative pressure whatsoever.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 05/22/2008 05:20 PM
The more I think about the intangible benefits of Wallops for the national space effort the more I like it. 150 miles from Washington, DC, 250 miles from New York, launches to the ISS every three to six months (hopefully), gads the impact on the public would be immense.

I know commercial entities cannot consider, or weigh heavily, such intangibles but I have to say;

GO WALLOPS!

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 05/22/2008 05:25 PM
Quote
Norm Hartnett - 22/5/2008  12:54 PM

I would come in on Wallops’ side=

Not good for other markets for Taurus II, i.e. GTO, planetary, etc.    More missions reduces costs

This tangible outweighs the DC intangibles.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 05/22/2008 05:35 PM
Quote
Jim - 22/5/2008  10:25 AM

Quote
Norm Hartnett - 22/5/2008  12:54 PM

I would come in on Wallops’ side=

Not good for other markets for Taurus II, i.e. GTO, planetary, etc.    More missions reduces costs

This tangible outweighs the DC intangibles.

"Sigh" Probably true, is polar possible from Wallops?
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/22/2008 05:47 PM
Quote
Norm Hartnett - 22/5/2008  1:35 PM
"Sigh" Probably true, is polar possible from Wallops?

According to http://www.marsspaceport.com/space_access.htm

Quote
WFF is ideal for providing equatorial access for low earth orbit insertion. The ground based range is only limited by land masses. WFF supports missions that exceed the capability and safety margins of other ranges and is a highly attractive location for meeting unique launch requirements. WFF offers a wide array of launch vehicle trajectory options. The coastline of Wallops Island is oriented such that a launch azimuth of 135° is perpendicular to the shoreline. In general, launch azimuths between 90° and 160° can be accommodated depending on impact ranges. For most orbital vehicles, this translates into orbital inclinations between 38° and approximately 60°. Trajectory options outside of these launch azimuths, including polar and sun-synchronous orbits, can be achieved by in-flight azimuth maneuvers.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/22/2008 05:50 PM
Quote
Norm Hartnett - 22/5/2008  12:35 PM

Quote
Jim - 22/5/2008  10:25 AM

Quote
Norm Hartnett - 22/5/2008  12:54 PM

I would come in on Wallops’ side=

Not good for other markets for Taurus II, i.e. GTO, planetary, etc.    More missions reduces costs

This tangible outweighs the DC intangibles.

"Sigh" Probably true, is polar possible from Wallops?

Yes, with doglegs.

See, for example,  

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/wallops/about/launchrange.html

The next question is, is polar possible from Cape Canaveral?  The question after that is, if not, how much does it cost to build two launch pads rather than one?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/22/2008 06:08 PM
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Jim - 22/5/2008  1:25 PM

Quote
Norm Hartnett - 22/5/2008  12:54 PM

I would come in on Wallops’ side=

Not good for other markets for Taurus II, i.e. GTO, planetary, etc.    More missions reduces costs

This tangible outweighs the DC intangibles.

However with Florida you have shuttle, Delta, atlas, and possibly Falcon all jockeying for the range, while at WFF Orbital is the major player.

PS: antonioe, I'm not trying to bribe you, but if Taurus II goes to WFF there might be a load of muffins coming your way...
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 05/22/2008 06:22 PM
Quote
Ronsmytheiii - 22/5/2008  2:08 PM

However with Florida you have shuttle, Delta, atlas, and possibly Falcon all jockeying for the range, while at WFF Orbital is the major player.


shuttle will be gone.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 05/22/2008 06:30 PM
disregard

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 05/22/2008 06:48 PM
Well,

Muffins,

You can't do better than that Antonio, you should go ahead and make the decision while they are still hot.

 :laugh:
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 05/22/2008 06:52 PM

Quote
Ronsmytheiii - 22/5/2008 2:08 PM with Florida you have shuttle, Delta, atlas, and possibly Falcon all jockeying for the range, while at WFF Orbital is the major player.

Yeah, several times I've thought "At CCAFS we're the hundred-pound monkey, at VAFB we're the hundred-pound chimp, at WFF we're the hundred-pound gorilla"

Quote
 PS: antonioe, I'm not trying to bribe you, but if Taurus II goes to WFF there might be a load of muffins coming your way...

Corn?  English?  Blueberry?  Not a nice thing to offer to a guy who's trying to lose 15 lbs...

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 05/22/2008 07:07 PM
Quote
antonioe - 22/5/2008  11:52 AM

Quote
Ronsmytheiii - 22/5/2008 2:08 PM with Florida you have shuttle, Delta, atlas, and possibly Falcon all jockeying for the range, while at WFF Orbital is the major player.

Yeah, several times I've thought "At CCAFS we're the hundred-pound monkey, at VAFB we're the hundred-pound chimp, at WFF we're the hundred-pound gorilla"

Quote
 PS: antonioe, I'm not trying to bribe you, but if Taurus II goes to WFF there might be a load of muffins coming your way...

Corn?  English?  Blueberry?  Not a nice thing to offer to a guy who's trying to lose 15 lbs...


Err, wouldn't that leave you as a eighty-five-pound monkey/chimp/gorilla? (Go for the muffins.)
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 05/22/2008 09:41 PM
Norm: don't quit your day job...
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/22/2008 10:29 PM
Not sure if this has been mentioned, but here is an article on Phil Bracken who is working on the first stage engine for Taurus II:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/540611/

Quote
t’s not every day that you meet someone who builds next-generation rocket engines – from scratch – for fun.
But Phil Bracken, who will graduate this month from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a major in aeronautical engineering and a clear goal of becoming an astronaut, is doing exactly that.
The engine project, along with securing a prestigious NASA internship last year, are two key factors that helped Bracken land a job with leading aerospace firm Orbital Sciences Corp. Soon after graduation, Bracken will begin his new career as a propulsion engineer with the Dulles, Va.-based company.
Bracken’s first task at Orbital will be to expand the work he started at Rensselaer, and further develop a next-generation, liquid first-stage rocket engine. The engine, which runs on liquid kerosene and oxygen instead of conventional solid propellants, is slated for use on the new Taurus II launch vehicle that is expected to carry its first payload into space in 2010.
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 05/23/2008 01:38 AM

Ahhh... "next-generation, liquid first-stage rocket engine"... It runs on liquid kerosene instead of solid kerosene!!!  Darn, they've discovered our secret!!! :angry:

Jokes aside, I met Phil last year when the NASA Academy visited us.  Not only we bagged Phil, but the leader of the field visiting team, too!  It must be our good looks...

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: jimvela on 05/23/2008 03:15 AM

Quote
antonioe - 22/5/2008  7:38 PM

Ahhh... "next-generation, liquid first-stage rocket engine"... It runs on liquid kerosene instead of solid kerosene!!!  Darn, they've discovered our secret!!! :angry:

 

Rocket using solid kerosene...  Now that'd be something to see...  Or do you have something else  you'd like to tell us?   :bleh:    

NASA has the stick, you could give us the Popsicle... :cool:

With your penchant for using names from mythology, I dub a popsicle launcher the Cocytus.  You know, the frozen lake/river of Hades...  :)  Nah, on second thought, too many non-pc inferences in that myth.  

 

Article writing really suffers for lack fact checking / subject matter comprehension these days.

 

Back on topic, it's certainly interesting times as there are many, many rocket engine, launcher, and avionics development teams at work right now on many new things.  Here's hoping some of the new (and old-new) projects succeed.

 

 

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 05/23/2008 02:28 PM
Quote
jimvela - 22/5/2008  11:15 PM

 

Rocket using solid kerosene...  Now that'd be something to see...  Or do you have something else  you'd like to tell us?   :bleh:    


Isn't that what you get when the igniter fails followed by a rapid disassembly when the LOXcicle finally detonates?

Thought I saw some advanced paper concept talked about somewhere that was powered by Kero rich LOXcicles once...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simonbp on 05/23/2008 10:28 PM
RP-1 freezes at 200K, much warmer than the boiling point of LOX, 90K. So, freeze a tube of RP-1, surround it with the cryo LOX tank, and spray the LOX down the RP-1 tube to make a hybrid rocket. It's both crazy and pointless, but the point is, it could be done...

Simon ;)
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 05/24/2008 02:48 PM
"Members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation Urge Orbital Science Corporation to Locate New Facilities at Cape Canaveral"

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080523005628&newsLang=en

"Urge."  This is the public side of the story.  I can only imagine what the behind closed doors bit is like.  

Shouldn't they know how to spell the name of your company before they "urge" you to do something?  (Presumably, this is a Space Florida press release.)

 - Ed Kyle
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 05/24/2008 03:03 PM

Quote
edkyle99 - 24/5/2008  10:48 AM  "Members of Florida’s Congressional Delegation Urge Orbital Science Corporation to Locate New Facilities at Cape Canaveral"  http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080523005628&newsLang=en  "Urge."  This is the public side of the story.  I can only imagine what the behind closed doors bit is like.

Actually, all very civilized, polite and above-board.  We received the letter yesterday.  Very impressed that even politicos from far away from the Space Coast pitched in.  It's kind of flattering to be courted like that.  This has never happened to us before - it's usually the other way, we are the supplicants.  

Quote
Shouldn't they know how to spell the name of your company before they "urge" you to do something?  (Presumably, this is a Space Florida press release.)   - Ed Kyle

Picky, picky...

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 05/24/2008 06:13 PM
Antonio,

If you wanted to field a much larger 20+ mT Taurus III eventually wouldn't the Cape be best placed and suited for such a vehicle ?
Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 05/24/2008 08:11 PM

Quote
marsavian - 24/5/2008  2:13 PM  Antonio,  If you wanted to field a much larger 20+ mT Taurus III eventually wouldn't the Cape be best placed and suited for such a vehicle ?

It all depends on what that vehicle is supposed to do.  Look, going from the 1.5/1.8 mT Taurus to a 5/6 mT Taurus II is enough of a leap for us Orbital Sciences... 20mT???!!!

Deinde advenimus pontem transierimus.

 

Title: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 05/25/2008 11:30 AM
Quote
antonioe - 24/5/2008  3:11 PM

<p>
Quote
marsavian - 24/5/2008  2:13 PM  Antonio,  If you wanted to field a much larger 20+ mT Taurus III eventually wouldn't the Cape be best placed and suited for such a vehicle ?
</p><p>It all depends on what that vehicle is supposed to do.  Look, going from the 1.5/1.8 mT Taurus to a 5/6 mT Taurus II is enough of a leap for us Orbital Sciences... 20mT???!!!</p><p>Deinde advenimus pontem transierimus.
</p><p> </p>

Well there does seem to be a big satellite market in that class of vehicle which the Russians and French are currently cleaning up on, nevermind the local ULA market, outprice or outperform them and some of it could be yours.   :)

A 5-engine NK-33 Taurus III (with a 2nd stage NK-43) and you are outperforming even Atlas V 552 and of course Falcon 9 by a big margin. A 9-engine NK-33 Taurus IV and you are outperforming Delta IV Heavy/Falcon 9 Heavy/Ariane 5. Doesn't hurt to think ahead a bit. ;)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: bobthemonkey on 05/25/2008 07:04 PM
Hell, with a 33 engine NK-33 Taurus XXXI you could put a soyuz without the orbital module and a one man lander in lunar orbit, with enough prop to get back home. ;)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 05/25/2008 09:34 PM
Well there does seem to be a big satellite market in that class of vehicle which the Russians and French are currently cleaning up on, nevermind the local ULA market, outprice or outperform them and some of it could be yours.   :)
Unfortunately, the minute the Indians develop their GTO launcher, it's do svidanya Soyuz and aur revoir Ariane... and if they can't compete, how could we?
Quote
A 5-engine NK-33 Taurus III (with a 2nd stage NK-43) and you are outperforming even Atlas V 552 and of course Falcon 9 by a big margin. A 9-engine NK-33 Taurus IV and you are outperforming Delta IV Heavy/Falcon 9 Heavy/Ariane 5. Doesn't hurt to think ahead a bit. ;)
(*SIGH*) :'( Well, it does hurt my head; first, that's not thinking ahead a bit, it's thinking ahead a lot.   Second, it's taking all our efforts just getting Taurus II to first flight - it's not as easy as it seems.  Maybe Elon can go from orbiting a 1.5mT rocket to orbiting a 10 mT rocket in a year, but I not smart enough to do that (is there an emoticon for "sweating bullets"?)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 05/25/2008 09:36 PM
Hell, with a 33 engine NK-33 Taurus XXXI you could put a soyuz without the orbital module and a one man lander in lunar orbit, with enough prop to get back home. ;)
I bet you I can do that or my name is not Sergei Pavlovich
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: jantifaev on 06/03/2008 07:32 PM
Very interesting discussion!

Is there any information on how the ranging system for proximity operations works? I understand that GPS is used to get within 500m of ISS, but between there and being grappled by the station's arm, what is used for range-finding? Is it a laser, radar, other? Does it go off reflectors on one of the modules?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simonbp on 06/04/2008 03:48 AM
I know the Dragon uses eye-safe Lidar...

Simon ;)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: synchrotron on 06/06/2008 06:50 PM
I know the Dragon uses eye-safe Lidar...

But are they building it in-house to save money?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 06/10/2008 12:37 AM
Announcement:
COTS demonstration of Taurus II will be launched from Wallops
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: deiter on 06/10/2008 06:27 AM


http://www.governor.virginia.gov/MediaRelations/NewsReleases/viewRelease.cfm?id=679
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 06/10/2008 12:09 PM
Is there any information on how the ranging system for proximity operations works? I understand that GPS is used to get within 500m of ISS, but between there and being grappled by the station's arm, what is used for range-finding? Is it a laser, radar, other? Does it go off reflectors on one of the modules?

There are several sensors available, including our own AVGS that flew on Dart and Orbital Express.  Most likely we will have more than one, based on different physics.  We are discussing with the ISS folks the preferred solution.  The cost of the sensors will be overwhelmed by the cost of testing and verifying the safety mechanisms associate with ISS proxops.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: synchrotron on 06/10/2008 04:50 PM
Is there any information on how the ranging system for proximity operations works? I understand that GPS is used to get within 500m of ISS, but between there and being grappled by the station's arm, what is used for range-finding? Is it a laser, radar, other? Does it go off reflectors on one of the modules?

There are several sensors available, including our own AVGS that flew on Dart and Orbital Express.  Most likely we will have more than one, based on different physics.  We are discussing with the ISS folks the preferred solution.  The cost of the sensors will be overwhelmed by the cost of testing and verifying the safety mechanisms associate with ISS proxops.

Folks might want to note that differential GPS relative measurements have a somewhat unusual characteristic that the bearing error increases with decreasing range (because the total positional error averages around the same value).  So an active system, like an AVGS or a lidar, that has good bearing information can lead to fewer corrective approach burns.  GPS also becomes unreliable (the extent of this is is debated regularly) as the two vehicle approach each other due to multipath and occultation effects.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: bobthemonkey on 06/10/2008 07:35 PM
Would you need to install retroreflectors or some other kind of target on the ISS for the LIDAR or similar. I understand this was needed for ATV; would the use of SSRMS negate this for COTS
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: synchrotron on 06/10/2008 08:12 PM
Would you need to install retroreflectors or some other kind of target on the ISS for the LIDAR or similar. I understand this was needed for ATV; would the use of SSRMS negate this for COTS
The particular lidar used as a backup relative rendezvous sensor on ATV from JenaOptronik uses retroreflectors arranged in a triangular formation as a target. The function is akin to photogrammetry, but range to each target element is directly measured as well as the azimuth/elevation.  The Japanese HTV uses the same sensor but with a two-retroreflector target which is sufficient to position the vehicle for capture and berthing.  In this case, retroreflectors improve the range and discrimination of targets vs. background.
However, lidar can be used to skintrack a target without retroreflectors.  With a reasonable math model of a vehicle (e.g., the ISS), these lidar systems can provide relative navigation data with accuracy and update rates suitable for capture and berthing without a target at all.
As antonioe indicated, ISS safety reviews typically will want to see two separate sensor systems using different physics to avoid common mode failures.
Title: Re: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 06/10/2008 08:22 PM
PS: antonioe, I'm not trying to bribe you, but if Taurus II goes to WFF there might be a load of muffins coming your way...

You have a muffin debt Ronsmytheiii.

I'm very much looking forward to the next three or four years.

It would be very exciting to see Progress, HTV, ATV, Soyuz, Dragon, and Cygnus all docking to the ISS.
Title: Re: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 06/10/2008 08:25 PM
PS: antonioe, I'm not trying to bribe you, but if Taurus II goes to WFF there might be a load of muffins coming your way...

You have a muffin debt Ronsmytheiii.
Ahhh... could we make that Maryland Crab Cakes?... I was told there is a hole in the wall next to Goddard that makes THE best crab cakes IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE...
Title: Re: RE: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: aero313 on 06/10/2008 10:30 PM
Ahhh... could we make that Maryland Crab Cakes?... I was told there is a hole in the wall next to Goddard that makes THE best crab cakes IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE...

Hmmm, seafood in Greenbelt vs. seafood on the eastern shore??? 

Of course, having said that, the fish place we used to go to in Denver in the TOS days was pretty good too...  One of the miracles of air transport.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: synchrotron on 06/11/2008 01:59 PM
Delicious crustaceans aside, Virginia gets some tasty jobs:
http://www.loudountimes.com/news/2008/jun/10/Orbital/
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 06/11/2008 09:57 PM
MARS = Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport

The first time time a spacecraft is sent from MARS to Mars that name is going to get confusing.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/12/2008 01:26 PM


http://www.governor.virginia.gov/MediaRelations/NewsReleases/viewRelease.cfm?id=679


Finally some mention of this in the Florida press. 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/opinion/orl-ed12308jun12,0,2631680.story

The regional political aspect of the upcoming COTS awards is a bit intriguing.  Virginia/Maryland/Arizona (and, I suppose, Dnipropėtrovsk) are now linked economically with OSC/Taurus 2/Cygnus while Florida/California/Texas is tied to SpaceX/Falcon/Dragon.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simonbp on 06/13/2008 08:03 PM
The regional political aspect of the upcoming COTS awards is a bit intriguing.  Virginia/Maryland/Arizona (and, I suppose, Dnipropėtrovsk) are now linked economically with OSC/Taurus 2/Cygnus while Florida/California/Texas is tied to SpaceX/Falcon/Dragon.

Which, I believe, is the first time Arizona has any major engineering part in manned spaceflight...

Simon ;)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 06/16/2008 04:09 PM
Not every politician is unhappy ;)

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=25653
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Antares on 06/18/2008 03:06 PM
What are the mods that need to happen to the Wallops pads to be ready for Taurus II?  Is it 0A or 0B?  The blogs conflict on that.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/18/2008 06:36 PM
What are the mods that need to happen to the Wallops pads to be ready for Taurus II?  Is it 0A or 0B?  The blogs conflict on that.


My recollection is that initial planning is for use of Launch Area Zero-B (0-B).  Taurus II would use a retractable (or expendable) umbilical mast.  I suspect that the service tower would have to be modified.  And, of course, LOX/kerosene storage tanks will need to be added to the site.  But the plan is to minimize mods as much as possible.  OSC plans to use horizontal vehicle/payload integration, using a transporter/erector to erect the already-integrated vehicle onto the stand not many days/hours before launch.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/19/2008 02:22 AM
This is probably massively off topic, but will TacSat 3 have a live webcast?  I would love to see it in person, but it is on a Monday and I am in Blacksburg which is on the other side of the state,
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Patchouli on 06/19/2008 02:54 AM
I have a question about the Taurus II has anyone done any numbers on what it's payload would be with a higher impulse upper stage be it hypergolic or cryogenic?

People keeping asking could OSC eventually carry a crew on their vehicle I know they didn't go for COTS D service yet but if Taurus II had a higher impulse upper stage the vehicle may be nearly on par with vehicles like Falcon 9 and the Atlas V 401.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 06/19/2008 11:42 AM
I have a question about the Taurus II has anyone done any numbers on what it's payload would be with a higher impulse upper stage be it hypergolic or cryogenic?

People keeping asking could OSC eventually carry a crew on their vehicle I know they didn't go for COTS D service yet but if Taurus II had a higher impulse upper stage the vehicle may be nearly on par with vehicles like Falcon 9 and the Atlas V 401.

read all the threads on Taurus II, it was in their tradespace
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/20/2008 12:51 AM
I have a question about the Taurus II has anyone done any numbers on what it's payload would be with a higher impulse upper stage be it hypergolic or cryogenic?

People keeping asking could OSC eventually carry a crew on their vehicle I know they didn't go for COTS D service yet but if Taurus II had a higher impulse upper stage the vehicle may be nearly on par with vehicles like Falcon 9 and the Atlas V 401.

As is, it is roughly a "Delta II", capability-wise. 

Putting a small high-energy stage on it would turn it, roughly, into an "Atlas III", again from a payload lifting standpoint.  This means that it could lift more than a Soyuz-FG, which is good enough for Russia's human space program (and for NASA too, at least for the next few years).

It would not be as capable as an Atlas V 401/402 without additional thrust augmentation.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: CommSpaceAdvocate1 on 06/23/2008 04:06 AM
One of the official reasons stated in the NASA decision document for picking Orbital was that the Taurus II could be a replacement of the workhorse Delta II for NASA's science payloads.

What is the impact on launching from MARS on the Taurus II's capability for interplanetary science missions?

In comparison, what is the the Taurus II capability for interplanetary from CCAFS?

- CSA1




Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Antares on 06/23/2008 09:23 PM
Just with a simple cosine of the latitudes, WFF requires 42m/s more delta-V.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 06/23/2008 10:06 PM
Actually, it's not predictable for a "generic interplanetary mission": it depends on the desired inclination of the departure asymptote and the length of the launch window (as determined by things OTHER than the launch latitude); in general, the higher the D.A. inclination and the smaller the non-latitude-related launch window, the smaller the difference.

For certain D.A. inclinations, Cape launches may actually NOT be possible (or have a vanishingly small launch window).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 06/24/2008 04:36 PM
For certain D.A. inclinations, Cape launches may actually NOT be possible (or have a vanishingly small launch window).
I meant DECLINATIONS (the celestial sphere equivalent of latitude), not inclinations.  If you want your Departure Asymptote to be, say, 30 degrees up from the ecliptic plane and the launch occurs near the summer solstice, you launch has to be at an INCLINATION of 30d + 23d 27m = 53.5 degrees, higher than the ISS orbit.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 06/24/2008 04:54 PM
For certain D.A. inclinations, Cape launches may actually NOT be possible (or have a vanishingly small launch window).
I meant DECLINATIONS (the celestial sphere equivalent of latitude), not inclinations.  If you want your Departure Asymptote to be, say, 30 degrees up from the ecliptic plane and the launch occurs near the summer solstice, you launch has to be at an INCLINATION of 30d + 23d 27m = 53.5 degrees, higher than the ISS orbit.

Aren't most deep space missions (Mars, etc.) near (within a few degrees of) the ecliptic?  Lunar exploration too?  If so, wouldn't the Cape seem to be well placed for most of the standard interplanetary type missions?

 - Ed Kyle

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 06/24/2008 07:45 PM
Well, I remember the 1992 (Ill-fated) Mars Observer launch - we provided the Titan 34D's Upper Stage ("Transfer Orbit Stage" - Orbital's first product - a total of TWO ever flew).  Wikipedia has an excellent picture of Mars Observer on TOS. 

I was Orbital's VP Engineering at the time, so I sat on console.  I still have at home a hand-drawn VUGraph on the injection maneuver (that TOS performed) that I used on the FRR. The departure asymptote declination was about 45 degrees, and I seem to remember that the approximate inclination of the launch trajectory was also 45 degrees.

The departure hyperbola's antipodal point, the point at which TOS fired, was somewhere over South Africa.  The general direction of departure from the Earth is a line that goes from the Antipodal Point through the center of the Earth, therefore the name.

Don't ask me why the DA declination was so high - I was not involved in the interplanetary part of Mission Planning - JPL did that.  It may have to do with the desired arrival declination at Mars (it was supposed to enter a polar orbit at about 350 km altitude).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: PDJennings on 06/24/2008 08:05 PM


Aren't most deep space missions (Mars, etc.) near (within a few degrees of) the ecliptic?  Lunar exploration too?  If so, wouldn't the Cape seem to be well placed for most of the standard interplanetary type missions?

 - Ed Kyle


[/quote]

High declination of the departure assymptote doesn't mean the inclination of the heliocentric orbit is high.  In fact, a 30 degree heliocentric inclination is well beyond the capability of any existing LV starting from Earth's surface.  The Ulysses probe needed a Jupiter swingby to get to high heliocentric inclination.

The departure assymptote declination can be selected based on a number of factors such as mission timing, LV capability to inclined parking orbits, location of ground tracking stations, sun angles, and the like.  The set of all departure assymptote declinations can be visualized as a long cylinder or tube leading off in the direction of the interplanetary Hohmann trajectory....  The diameter of the tube is larger than the Earth, but very small compared to planetary distances.  Once you are far from Earth, all the trajectories look similar no matter what departure assymptote you flew.

If the LV has excess performance, the departure assymptote declination can be selected almost for convenience.  For example, if you flew a Delta II class planetary mission on an Atlas V 401, then you could probably even launch it from Vandenberg and start from a polar parking orbit.  Realistically, though, the payload would find out about the excess LV performance and quickly find other ways to use it up.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Smoothie on 07/01/2008 02:52 AM
Some more info here about who is in and who is not for COTS OSC.

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/30/1176167.aspx
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 07/01/2008 03:21 AM
Some more info here about who is in and who is not for COTS OSC.

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/30/1176167.aspx

I'm curious: what do you mean by "COTS OSC"?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Smoothie on 07/01/2008 04:52 AM
Some more info here about who is in and who is not for COTS OSC.

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/30/1176167.aspx

I'm curious: what do you mean by "COTS OSC"?

Isn't this the thread about the latest round of COTS bids?  The one for actual contracts to take cargo to station and not just seed money?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: meiza on 07/01/2008 10:12 AM
No, this is about OSC's (Orbital Sciences Corporation, a company) COTS 1 proposal.
I can understand it gets a little confusing with all the acronyms flying around.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 07/01/2008 11:05 AM
Isn't this the thread about the latest round of COTS bids?  The one for actual contracts to take cargo to station and not just seed money?

The program to solicit "actual contracts to take cargo to station" is called the "Commercial Resupply Services" or CRS and was issued by NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD), vs. COTS (the one you call "seed money"), which was issued by the Space Exploration Missions Directorate (SEMD).

Same as the COTS funding explicitly precluded its being used to procure ANY services, the CRS money is used to procure services (by the Kg, curiously, not by the flight or mission), and does not have any provisions to directly fund development.  Other than the COTS moneys that SpaceX and Orbital are receiving, any development costs have to be funded by the supplier(s).  This kind of severely limits the number of companies able and willing to bid.

Proposal were due June 30.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 07/01/2008 11:59 AM
Some more info here about who is in and who is not for COTS OSC.

http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/30/1176167.aspx

I'm curious: what do you mean by "COTS OSC"?

Isn't this the thread about the latest round of COTS bids?  The one for actual contracts to take cargo to station and not just seed money?
There is a CRS thread

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12077.0
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Smoothie on 07/01/2008 02:51 PM
No, this is about OSC's (Orbital Sciences Corporation, a company) COTS 1 proposal.
I can understand it gets a little confusing with all the acronyms flying around.

Whoops!  My bad!  :o
Title: Re: Man-rated Taurus II being studied
Post by: synchrotron on 07/26/2008 02:58 PM
"We have no competition." - Elon Musk

Title: Re: Man-rated Taurus II being studied
Post by: Eerie on 07/26/2008 03:22 PM
"We have no competition." - Elon Musk

That is true, as SpaceX don`t have anything that can be competed with yet.
Title: Re: Man-rated Taurus II being studied
Post by: edkyle99 on 08/06/2008 01:53 PM
Orbital is opening an office in Huntington Beach, California.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/05/AR2008080503270.html

An attempt to nab some of those Boeing engineers who didn't want to move to Colorado or Alabama?

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/06/2008 05:19 PM
Also satelliters who may be looking for a job after Boeing lost the GPS III competition (see http://www.dailytech.com/Lockheed+Beats+Boeing+For+146B+GPS+III+Satellite+Contract/article11828.htm)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 08/17/2008 07:49 PM
Orbital failing a COTS milestone ? Any truth in this ?

http://rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2008/08/cots-maybe-not.html
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: jimvela on 08/17/2008 08:49 PM
Orbital failing a COTS milestone ? Any truth in this ?

http://rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2008/08/cots-maybe-not.html

A blog with overwhelmingly negative things to say about Orbital, Ares, and Spacex... For example:

Quote
Pinhole hydraulic leaks are patched with silicon instead of getting a more productive repair.

From an anonymous blogger who's credentials are:

Quote
Rocket Man
    * Industry: Accounting
    * Location: United States
Yeah, thats credible... ???

( From http://www.blogger.com/profile/05109496878476775729)

I'd say you'll need to find a MUCH more credible source than that...

Like right here on NSF:  Antonioe- any comments???



Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 08/17/2008 08:55 PM
It all depends who he does Accounting for ;). Yeah that's why I posed the question here so it could be refuted/confirmed directly.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/17/2008 09:13 PM
Orbital failing a COTS milestone ? Any truth in this ?

http://rocketsandsuch.blogspot.com/2008/08/cots-maybe-not.html

Not that I am aware of; we were paid the first two milestones (so I guess we passed those) and the presentation of data for the third one (the UCM PDR) happened last week, with a data drop a couple of weeks before that.  Unfortunately I could not attend last week's meeting, but Alan Lindenmoyer did and the feedback I got was that "there were no liens against the material".  That usually means NASA is happy.

It usually takes NASA about a couple of weeks to review the material presented, ask us any additional questions, get the answers from us, and digest our answers.  So it will take a couple of weeks to certify that we passed the last milestone, but I have not been told of any unhappiness with the material from NASA.  On the contrary, they were happy to see "real engineering" (the previous milestones were organizational and requirements-dominated).

There were some very interesting (and unfortunately, negative) UCM design consequences from the COTS unpressurized cargo being booted out of the CAS sites; we had to add a @&$#* PCBM to the UCM just to make the mechanical and electrical connections required.  Worse than that, the vestibule (the pressurized volume between the hatches) has to exist and be functional, because the astronauts HAVE TO MANUALLY MAKE THE ELECTRICAL CBM CONNECTION inside the vestibule (needless to say, we had NOT budgeted having to do that when we proposed, sized and priced the system; we - NASA and Orbital - thought at the time we could use the much more effective and light CAS approach... oh, well!...)

I'll call Alan Lindenmoyer Monday and make him aware of  that blogger's claim.  I will report back.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/17/2008 09:30 PM
Translating the last post into layman's terms, Orbital was told that their unpressurized cargo carrier could not mate with ISS using the CAS system on the truss, but rather would have to mate using a CBM, implying that it would be attached to a pressurized module (even though the payload is unpressurized). CBM requires that the vestibule, the "doorstep" be pressurized since the crew has to do some work after attachment to make connections and the like, which means that the UCM must be "man-rated" to some degree.

So, the question is why CAS is out, what is the rationale for that?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/17/2008 09:32 PM
Sorry about the jargon... your explanation is entirely accurate and very readable to boot; the reason the CAS sites are not available to the COTS providers is that NASA expects all the CAS sites (six?) to be fully occupied by the time the first COTS unpressurized cargo mission flies.  NASA came to that conclusion AFTER we were selected for the COTS recompete SAA.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 08/17/2008 09:34 PM
Thanks Antionio and for the great update too ! ;) Looks like the blogger may have got confused with the implications of this mating change.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: bobthemonkey on 08/17/2008 09:40 PM
Hypothetically, could you fly a CAS to PCBM 'converter' on the first flight? Its not as if there will be a lack of unused CBM's on orbit. Gets you an extra CAS site (if not two), and no need to fly a pressurised vestibule on each flight.

Actually if the timing is enough, it could be prefitted to N3 before launch.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/17/2008 09:51 PM
That is indeed a very interesting notion; the big problem with unpressurized cargo is that WE (including NASA) don't really know how much will be actually required; so that favors the "least expensive kludge" until sufficient demand appears for, say, permanently dedicate a CBM site to a "CAS converter tree".

The only reason we proposed demonstrating the UCM on the COTS demo flight was to save money (we don't actually want to hard mate on the first flight, just be grappled by the arm, so the idea was to carry a dummy CAS attachment, now a dummy PCBM)

I would not be surprised, though, if after November 28 we switched to a PCM for the demo flight - not that we would hard mate and open the hatch, but we would fly what will be (by a wide margin) the most frequent CRS configuration.  We would have to find the extra money to do that, though - a dummy PCM (i.e., no internal cargo attachments, no Passive CBM) is more expensive than a dummy UCM (i.e., no FRAMs, no PCBM.)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: pippin on 08/17/2008 10:12 PM
That blog as awfully useful information:

Quote
The Russians still haven't figured out what's going wrong with their separation bolts either. As they dance through Georgia, we can see that they may be distracted from worrying about such mundane things.

Yea! All "Russians" work on the space program. And all "dance through Georgia". No wonder they don't find time to fix things...

But then the Americans will not be able to fix the Space Shuttle - as he proposes - because they're all in Iraq...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/17/2008 10:14 PM
Hey, the more you talk about that blog, the happier you make its creator.  Just ignore it.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: pippin on 08/17/2008 10:24 PM
Hey, the more you talk about that blog, the happier you make its creator.  Just ignore it.
Think you're right. But I didn't quote the link, so no google scores...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/17/2008 10:35 PM
Hypothetically, could you fly a CAS to PCBM 'converter' on the first flight? Its not as if there will be a lack of unused CBM's on orbit. Gets you an extra CAS site (if not two), and no need to fly a pressurised vestibule on each flight.

Actually if the timing is enough, it could be prefitted to N3 before launch.

I believe that the CAS interface is designed to provide power and other requirements to attached payloads/ELCs that are not available through CBM, so this would not be an approved workaround.  Certainly, one CBM could not provide enough power for more than one CAS attached payload.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/17/2008 10:39 PM
Sorry about the jargon... your explanation is entirely accurate and very readable to boot; the reason the CAS sites are not available to the COTS providers is that NASA expects all the CAS sites (six?) to be fully occupied by the time the first COTS unpressurized cargo mission flies.  NASA came to that conclusion AFTER we were selected for the COTS recompete SAA.

This is actually a more serious problem that it would appear.  Mating an unpressurized carrier to a CBM implies that transfers of unpressurized payloads (ORUs) will be from quite a distance from the truss. For example, to move a Battery ORU from, say, a CBM at Node 3 up to the truss is a non-trivial operation. On the other hand, if the Battery ORU were stored at a CAS site, the transfer would be much easier. Since there may be some 36 or 48 Battery ORUs to be transferred over the next 10 years, just moving these things around will be taking up a lot of someone's time.
 
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/17/2008 10:46 PM
Agree.  Again, given that all the CAS sites are planned to be "filled to the brim" with ELCs chock full of ORU's (that's why we have been "deported" to the CBMs), I guess the CRS unpressurized capability will be there mainly as insurance against a very, very bad day...

("deported"... "de-ported"... get it?... get it?...  ::) )
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/17/2008 11:47 PM
I understand that the plan is to fly Shuttles carrying a lot of ORUs to be stored on the truss. But, sometime around 2013 or 2014, many of those ORUs are either going to be used, or at the end of their storage lifetime. So .... COTS will be constrained to flying CBM equipped carriers to replace those ORUs.

Of course, this means that the ISSP is completely dependent on Shuttle not having a bad day between now and 2010, which defeats the purpose of COTS.

Stupid question: what about the PAS sites? I only know of one payload, AMS 2, which is supposed to be located at those sites.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/18/2008 12:14 AM
what about the PAS sites?

I don't know - I will ask.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/18/2008 02:24 AM
what about the PAS sites?

I don't know - I will ask.

I had a brain fade. There is a bit of a nomenclature issue. For a good reference, check out:

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/190373main_TP-2007-214768.pdf (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/190373main_TP-2007-214768.pdf)

What is being called here a "CAS" is probably a UCCAS site. This is the P3 unpressurized carrier common attach site. These "CAS" sites are probably all being used by ELCs.

Over on S3 is the Payload Attach Site (PAS) where AMS-02 is going to go someday.  There is another "PAS" object, which is the actual hardware to attach to a UCCAS or PAS site. Anyway, I was wondering if NASA was still saving the PAS sites for hypothetical payloads down the road.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Analyst on 08/18/2008 07:24 AM
Is there really a difference between the two UUCAS sites at P3 and the four PAS sites at S3? Or are these different names for the same thing?

One P3 site is now used by ESP-3. The five remaining sites will be used by four ECS carriers and AMS-2, all sites used.

Does someone know why P3 has only two sites, but S3 four?

Analyst
Title: Re: Man-rated Taurus II being studied
Post by: Patchouli on 08/18/2008 07:35 PM
http://www.space.com/spacenews/spacenews_summary.html#BM_2

An Orbital source says the company is studying what it would take to man-rate Taurus II for the job of launching two crew into orbit.

I find it unlikely they'll man rate the existing Taurus II configuration one the second stage is a solid.
 If anything they'll get a better second stage and get Taurus II into the same class as F9 and launch a proper manned vehicle.

Two place orbital vehicles that can perform a real docking with a pressurized tunnel just are not cost effective you really need 3 place or more preferably a six or seven place vehicle otherwise it would be cheaper to just keep the shuttle flying or buy an EELV.

Other things they can do dust off the old OSP work and cut a deal with Boeing or go through ULA for a rocket Atlases are a little back ordered but Delta IV's are not.
In light of recent events there will be pressure to close the gap so money should become available.
Title: Re: Man-rated Taurus II being studied
Post by: Jim on 08/18/2008 07:44 PM
I find it unlikely they'll man rate the existing Taurus II configuration one the second stage is a solid.
 If anything they'll get a better second stage and get Taurus II into the same class as F9 and launch a proper manned vehicle.


Why don't you let antonioe (OSC Executive Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Programs Group) speak for himself, instead of making uninformed conjectures.
Title: Re: Man-rated Taurus II being studied
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/18/2008 07:49 PM
I find it unlikely they'll man rate the existing Taurus II configuration one the second stage is a solid.
 If anything they'll get a better second stage and get Taurus II into the same class as F9 and launch a proper manned vehicle.


Why don't you let antonioe (OSC Executive Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Programs Group) speak for himself, instead of making uninformed conjectures.

Agree on that, however as to the comment within that will not happen.  Dr. Antonioe has stated before in this thread that Orbital does not want to develop that class of launch vehicle, and would rather hitch a ride on existing lv's in that class than develop their own.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: dmc6960 on 08/18/2008 08:05 PM
But he has also said he would like to develop a high-energy upper stage to replace the currently planned solid second stage.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/18/2008 08:19 PM
But he has also said he would like to develop a high-energy upper stage to replace the currently planned solid second stage.

I have a question about the Taurus II has anyone done any numbers on what it's payload would be with a higher impulse upper stage be it hypergolic or cryogenic?

People keeping asking could OSC eventually carry a crew on their vehicle I know they didn't go for COTS D service yet but if Taurus II had a higher impulse upper stage the vehicle may be nearly on par with vehicles like Falcon 9 and the Atlas V 401.

As is, it is roughly a "Delta II", capability-wise. 

Putting a small high-energy stage on it would turn it, roughly, into an "Atlas III", again from a payload lifting standpoint.  This means that it could lift more than a Soyuz-FG, which is good enough for Russia's human space program (and for NASA too, at least for the next few years).

It would not be as capable as an Atlas V 401/402 without additional thrust augmentation.

 - Ed Kyle

So not in the EELV range, which is consistent with what has been said.  Taurus II is equivalent to Delta II in terms of performance, not EELV range of which Falcon IX is considered to be equivalent.
Title: Re: Man-rated Taurus II being studied
Post by: zaitcev on 08/18/2008 08:48 PM
Why don't you let antonioe (OSC Executive Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Programs Group) speak for himself, instead of making uninformed conjectures.
Dr. Elias cannot engage into the fun speculation (which at times hits the gold). He has a fudiciary responsibility and always remains a company's ambassador, even if he wants to disclaim it. But we're free from those constraints.
-- Pete
Title: Re: Man-rated Taurus II being studied
Post by: nobodyofconsequence on 08/19/2008 12:26 AM
Why don't you let antonioe (OSC Executive Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Programs Group) speak for himself, instead of making uninformed conjectures.
Dr. Elias cannot engage into the fun speculation (which at times hits the gold). He has a fudiciary responsibility and always remains a company's ambassador, even if he wants to disclaim it. But we're free from those constraints.
-- Pete
Wouldn't it be more polite to start a speculation thread? It's a rare pleasure to have someone of his caliber speaking on his project.

Have the utmost respect for someone who takes on such a responsibility, and is current, genuine, pleasant and thoughtful. There are a few trolls here, but some damn good people and we'd like them to  share.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Antares on 08/19/2008 04:36 AM
NASA came to that conclusion AFTER we were selected for the COTS recompete SAA.

COTS office and Station program were not synched up?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/19/2008 11:53 AM
NASA came to that conclusion AFTER we were selected for the COTS recompete SAA.

COTS office and Station program were not synched up?

I don't think that was a comm SNAFU between the JSC COTS guys and ISS.  Rather, I guess (I don't have hard data, I'm just reverse-engineering the observables) that ISS/Shuttle was struggling with the manifest, including whether the Hubble repair flight would happen, and whether they would be given the money to fly an extra Shuttle mission or they would have to "cannibalize" one of the two "logistics" flights (in which case there WOULD be free CAS sites AND a higher likelyhood of needing CRS unpressurized cargo).

I'm not sure I did a good job of explaining that - somebody (Danderman?) may want to translate that.

As fas as I can observer, the JSC COTS prople are "in the face" of the ISS people; as a matter of fact, they ARE the main interface ("facilitators" I guess would be the right term) between the COTS industry teams and ISS.
Title: Re: Man-rated Taurus II being studied
Post by: antonioe on 08/19/2008 12:07 PM
Why don't you let antonioe [...] speak for himself, instead of making uninformed conjectures.

C'mon, Jim!  ALL conjectures are, by definition, uninformed, otherwise they would be boring statements of fact...  :D :D :D

Seriously, I beg your indulgence but I'd rather not discuss the topic of Taurus II derivative versions at this time.  Getting the basic configuration up and going is going to be hard enough.

There will be a panel session on COTS at the forthcoming "Space 2008" AIAA conference in San Diego, and I've been graciously invited to participate.  Valin Thorn from JSC and Chuck Larson from FAA will be in the panel, as well as a representative from SpaceX.

I'm trying to get the OK from all the countless offices that have to say "yes" to include in the presentation some sketches of the Cygnus SM and one or more of the Cargo Modules (as they stand today); if I'm successful, I'll upload as many images as I can (ditto for Taurus II) in the hope that you may find them interesting.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Analyst on 08/19/2008 05:57 PM
antonioe, there is a POA, basically a SSRMS LEE, on the mobile base system (MBS). During STS-123 the Spacelab pallet carrying Dextre was attached there via a standard PDGF, providing power/data.

There is a CAS on the MBS too.

Maybe one of these can be used to attach a unpressurized vehicle. The CBM method sounds like wasting a lot of mass for the mounting equipment.

Analyst
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/19/2008 06:19 PM
Thanks for the hint, Analyst.  I just passed it to Jim Duffy and he will discuss it with the JSC guys.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/19/2008 06:42 PM
antonioe, there is a POA, basically a SSRMS LEE, on the mobile base system (MBS). During STS-123 the Spacelab pallet carrying Dextre was attached there via a standard PDGF, providing power/data.

There is a CAS on the MBS too.

The MBS attach sites are designated as temporary sites. I believe that the COTS requirements are for the cargo vehicles to remain attached to ISS for some period of time, and so attaching to a temporary site may violate some requirements.

Another issue that ORUs may require keep-alive power, and I am not sure if the MBS sites provide enough power.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 08/19/2008 07:21 PM
Danderman's "Overview of Attached Payload Accommodations and Environments on the International Space Station" pdf refers to that attachment point as an MCAS (top of page 4) fwiw.

Continuing to think outside the box... has consideration been given to either the JEM-EF EFUs or the Columbus-EPFs? Referring to the pdf again both provide power (3kW and 1.2kW respectively) and data links and the JEM EFUs can provide active thermal conditioning. The Columbus-EPF is probably out due to it's mass constraints (290kg), the JEM-EF does not list mass constraints.

I like bobthemonkey’s PCBM to CAS adapter suggestion since there are so many unused CBMs NASA and Orbital could split the development and mfg costs and Orbital could haul it up for a small fee. ;D Not only would it provide the CAS Orbital needs it would also provide the ISS with some useful flexibility. JMO.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Analyst on 08/20/2008 01:53 PM
O.k. thinking outside the box:

The JEM-EF (Exposed Facility) and the JEM-ELM-PS (Experiment Logistics Module - Pressurized Section) each has one connector at the port side for the JEM-ELM-ES (Experiment Logistics Module - Exposed Section). Maybe one of these could be used.

To sum it up: There are many places for unpressurized things, a CBM seems to be - from my limited understanding - the worst.

Analyst
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/21/2008 02:30 AM
Orbital failing a COTS milestone ? Any truth in this ?

I just received an e-mail from Alan Lindenmoyer: NASA has finished its review of the questions they asked and we answered during the recently-held UCM PDR (Milestone #3) and he has certified it completed.  The timing of this sequence of events is typical.

No, correction, in this case it has been surprisingly fast, considering it's August and a lot of industry and government people have this nasty habit of taking vacation when the kids are out of school.

I can now state officially that we have passed all the planned COTS milestones to date.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: bad_astra on 08/21/2008 04:26 PM
Excellent news.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 08/21/2008 04:39 PM
Orbital failing a COTS milestone ? Any truth in this ?

I just received an e-mail from Alan Lindenmoyer: NASA has finished its review of the questions they asked and we answered during the recently-held UCM PDR (Milestone #3) and he has certified it completed.  The timing of this sequence of events is typical.

No, correction, in this case it has been surprisingly fast, considering it's August and a lot of industry and government people have this nasty habit of taking vacation when the kids are out of school.

I can now state officially that we have passed all the planned COTS milestones to date.

Thanks. Always best to nip unfounded rumors in the bud with the mighty sword of truth ;).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/21/2008 04:46 PM
We need to start a poll, will antonioe be on the first manned OSC COTS flight.... I would bet money he will.

The poll options should be :

Yes
Yes, but he will be riding outside the rocket
No, Twelve OSC employees will have pinned him to terra firma

Congrads, can't wait to take the road trip and watch the light show.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: aero313 on 08/21/2008 05:51 PM
We need to start a poll, will antonioe be on the first manned OSC COTS flight.... I would bet money he will.

The poll options should be :

...No, Twelve OSC employees will have pinned him to terra firma....


Twelve employees?  Nah, Just one...  (DWT).   ;D
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/22/2008 02:35 AM
To sum it up: There are many places for unpressurized things, a CBM seems to be - from my limited understanding - the worst.

I hadn't thought about unpressurized carriers for a while, but this thread has caused me to think about this issue, and now I am not so sure that CBM is that bad. Furthermore, use of the Passive Attach System either at a PAS or UCCAS or even MCAS location may violate ISS requirements.

I'll drink some coffee some morning and figure out if the Orbital baseline concept of operations was in violation of ISS requirements, or whether my memory is worse than I thought.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/22/2008 07:26 AM
We need to start a poll, will antonioe be on the first manned OSC COTS flight.... I would bet money he will.

The poll options should be :

...No, Twelve OSC employees will have pinned him to terra firma....

Twelve employees?  Nah, Just one...  (DWT).   ;D

You are ALL wrong.  Here's the deal, direct quote from DWT (and he has the nasty habit of making jokes actually  happen):

Flight one: DWT and, in his words "somebody who actually knows what he's doing" go up, rendezvous, but do not dock with ISS.

Flight two: ALE and Frank Culbertson go up and actually dock and open the hatch (I haven't checked with Frank, but I'm sure he would not mind; BTW, Frank just left SAIC and started with us Monday).

Flight three and following: whoever pays.

Now, we just have to find the money to develop it.  I'm afraid the COTS-D budget and our meager $300M bank account isn't enough, even if we were to enlist the help of, say, Boeing (to design, develop and build the capsule itself)  ;)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 08/22/2008 12:34 PM
"somebody who actually knows what he's doing"

someone.... you better started eating your frosted flakes  :D
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/22/2008 02:51 PM
Continuing to think outside the box... has consideration been given to either the JEM-EF EFUs or the Columbus-EPFs? Referring to the pdf again both provide power (3kW and 1.2kW respectively) and data links and the JEM EFUs can provide active thermal conditioning. The Columbus-EPF is probably out due to it's mass constraints (290kg), the JEM-EF does not list mass constraints.

The above post is confusing FRAM-type attachment points with the PAS type attach sites. Basically, anything that is FRAM-based will not work to attach spacecraft to ISS.

The larger question is whether spacecraft could be attached to a PAS. Since AMS-02 is designed to use PAS, the answer is probably "yes", and my memory is faulty. I am scrambling for my copy of SSP-57003, which should answer the question. In the meantime, I am recalling that there are other options to attach to ISS that have not been described here.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: aero313 on 08/22/2008 03:47 PM
Note for Antonio:

I don't know if you listened to the ATK failure press conference this morning, but don't be surprised if this creates a problem for Taurus II.  The idiot mass media started asking questions like, "is the Wallops area too developed to safely launch rockets?". 

To their credit, the NASA response was "Have you ever been to Wallops?"

Expect the press to eventually figure out how much larger TII is compared to the ATK booster.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/22/2008 05:14 PM
Concerning ORB's "problem" with attaching to ISS, there are three different attachment issues to consider in providing unpressurized cargo for ISS:

a) Spacecraft attachment to ISS: this is the problem of mating a large object with ISS, only certain attachment systems are available, including Russian ports, CBM, APAS on the US segment, PAS/UCCAS, and others. ORB seems to have been told to use CBM.

b) Temporary attachment for cargo transfers: this is the issue, if the cargo system uses pallets, of storing the pallet somewhere on truss or some other location while ISS is made ready for the final transfer of ORUs to their permanent location. The MCAS on the MBS is designated for this function, to some degree. This temporary status could be for many months in the case of EVA-only transfers.

c) Final attachment for ORUs: a good example here is the use of FRAMs for transfer of individual payloads to their permanent location. The ISSP is responsible for this transfer, but the requirements for such transfers flow down to the cargo services provider.

An example of a,b, and c is where a cargo system is berthed to CBM, then one or more pallets are extracted from the spacecraft, and attached to PAS/UCCAS, and then from the pallets, FRAM based ORUs are eventually transferred to their final location on the truss. This is the concept of operations for vehicles like HTV.

My dim recollection is that PAS/UCCAS sites have a mass limit of 2727 or 2728 kg, but I cannot reconcile that with the obvious example of AMS-02, which has a weight of 14,000 lb. Perhaps AMS-02 is operating under a waiver, and ORB can't get that waiver for Cygnus, but I will look at this further.

Concerning CBM vs PAS/UCCAS mating, I mentioned earlier that the truss sites have the advantage that they are near where most unpressurized ORUs are stored, but there are other issues. As far as I know, CBM comm is not as "good" as PAS comm, as there are no high data rate connections on CBM, only MIL-STD-1553 buses, and the power interface is 16 vs 25 amps. Since CBM supports MPLM, which has a boatload of powered payloads, perhaps CBM is good enough for ORB's requirements. 

Another issue that doesn't really get talked about much is where the heck SpaceX and ORB are going to get their PCBMs and/or Passive Attach Systems. AFAIK, the production lines for CBM closed a long time ago.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/22/2008 05:26 PM

Another issue that doesn't really get talked about much is where the heck SpaceX and ORB are going to get their PCBMs and/or Passive Attach Systems. AFAIK, the production lines for CBM closed a long time ago.


They can make their own or get someone to manufacture them.  Just have to meet the interface requirements.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Norm Hartnett on 08/22/2008 05:46 PM
Quote from: Danderman
The above post is confusing FRAM-type attachment points with the PAS type attach sites. Basically, anything that is FRAM-based will not work to attach spacecraft to ISS.
I know Danderman, thus "out of the box" :D

http://snebulos.mit.edu/projects/reference/International-Space-Station/SSP57000RE.pdf Oops wrong document this is 57000 still searching for 57003 meanwhile this seems useful. http://spacecraft.ssl.umd.edu/design_lib/SSP50235.ISSvehicleIDD.pdf

SSP-52005 seems to have some relevance too. http://www.everyspec.com/NASA/NASA+-+JSC/NASA+-+SSP+PUBS/download.php?spec=SSP_52005C.003094.pdf

These are not NASA sources and may be old revisions.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simonbp on 08/22/2008 06:07 PM
Question 1: Can either version carry propellant/other liquids? I know it's probably not a requirement (prop handled by Progress and ATV), but just curious if it's possible...

Question 2: What the heck is going on in the image below? (proudly displayed on OSC's website)

http://www.orbital.com/images/High/COTS_Approach.jpg

The entire Russian section (including the US-owned FGB), plus half the solar arrays are missing! Does OSC have some secret plan to steal ISS modules?  :o

Simon ;)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/22/2008 06:43 PM

Another issue that doesn't really get talked about much is where the heck SpaceX and ORB are going to get their PCBMs and/or Passive Attach Systems. AFAIK, the production lines for CBM closed a long time ago.


They can make their own or get someone to manufacture them.  Just have to meet the interface requirements.

My point is that either of these options is non-trivial. Its kind of like the issue with the NK-33s, once they run out, I guess ORB could make their own, or get someone to make them.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/22/2008 06:45 PM

http://snebulos.mit.edu/projects/reference/International-Space-Station/SSP57000RE.pdf Oops wrong document this is 57000 still searching for 57003 meanwhile this seems useful. http://spacecraft.ssl.umd.edu/design_lib/SSP50235.ISSvehicleIDD.pdf

SSP 50235 is now obsolete, it was written to prevent visiting vehicles to access ISS, and so the requirements proposed by this document could only be met by the Starship Enterprise.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/22/2008 08:35 PM


My point is that either of these options is non-trivial. Its kind of like the issue with the NK-33s, once they run out, I guess ORB could make their own, or get someone to make them.


Aerojet will manufacture new NK-33 if required
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/23/2008 08:03 PM
OK, I have been unable to find documentation for my "remembered" 6,000 lb limitation on PAS, so I will have to chalk this up to faulty memory. In fact, I did not find any requirements that conflicted with a presumed weight of about 8,000 lb for Cygnus and attachment to the truss or MBS.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 08/23/2008 08:04 PM

My point is that either of these options is non-trivial. Its kind of like the issue with the NK-33s, once they run out, I guess ORB could make their own, or get someone to make them.

Aerojet will manufacture new NK-33 if required

Again, this is easier said than done.  Elon Musk has told us many times that SpaceX will build and fly Falcon 1 real soon now, as well.

Some things are relatively hard to do, and building CBMs is going to be one of them. Pirating CBMs from canceled hardware is probably an easier way to get some.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/23/2008 08:09 PM

Some things are relatively hard to do, and building CBMs is going to be one of them.

Huh?  CBM's are easy.  It isn't rocket science.  Build per print and do a fit check with a master gauge (like all modules (US, ESA, JAXA, Alenia, etc)  have done before launch)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: pippin on 08/23/2008 08:53 PM
Does anybody know where those CBM's SpaceX had lying around in that video come from? And if they are real or mockups?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Patchouli on 08/24/2008 12:05 AM
Spacex likely made them they have do a full machine shop.
They can take raw forgings and make an engine including the turbo pump out of them and they made a capsule so a CBM would be a cake walk for them.

Some people here may have been making fun of this company but I think eventually they'll be the ones eating crow.

BTW the more I look into rocket science and what it involves the more amazing what Musk has achieved so far looks.

I would be impressed if OSC can fly a test vehicle in under 3.5 years from the conception of the design.
Also don't rip on them if the first Taurus II doesn't make it to orbit the same thing just recently happened to ATK on a new vehicle.
Failures are part of the process and avoiding them on the first tests seems to be just as much a matter of luck as skill.
Though they should be able to fly it sooner then that since they don't have to design the engine and have operational experience with other vehicles.

Though money and man power are big issues in meeting deadlines.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/24/2008 12:25 AM
I would be impressed if OSC can fly a test vehicle in under 3.5 years from the conception of the design.

Well, Pegasus was three days short of three years, OBV about 13 months... aero313, how long did Taurus take?

Quote
Failures are part of the process and avoiding them on the first tests seems to be just as much a matter of luck as skill.

Not statistically: All three rockets mentioned above had sucessfull first, second, third, fourth and fifth flights.  Luck?

The historical probability of an eventually sucessful rocket failing its first three flights (according to a NASA report that has been quoted to me but which I have not personally seen) is less than 5%.  Luck?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: pippin on 08/24/2008 12:48 AM
Spacex likely made them they have do a full machine shop.
They can take raw forgings and make an engine including the turbo pump out of them and they made a capsule so a CBM would be a cake walk for them.

Well, to my uninformed eye it looks like this:
availability of machine shops will not stop or limit a company like SpaceX, however, availability of engineering resources can.
So the question is less one of: could they do their own CBM but more one of: does it make sense for them with the program they are trying to do.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 08/24/2008 01:46 AM
I would be impressed if OSC can fly a test vehicle in under 3.5 years from the conception of the design.

Well, Pegasus was three days short of three years, OBV about 13 months... aero313, how long did Taurus take?

Quote
Failures are part of the process and avoiding them on the first tests seems to be just as much a matter of luck as skill.

Not statistically: All three rockets mentioned above had sucessfull first, second, third, fourth and fifth flights.  Luck?

The historical probability of an eventually sucessful rocket failing its first three flights (according to a NASA report that has been quoted to me but which I have not personally seen) is less than 5%.  Luck?


Come now, you know you only had that success record because you chose the expensive old fashioned way of doing things, if you was really advanced and cut unnecessary corners and saved costs like SpaceX you could have had a more advanced success record like theirs ;).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/24/2008 11:57 AM
Come now, you know you only had that success record because you chose the expensive old fashioned way of doing things, if you was really advanced and cut unnecessary corners and saved costs like SpaceX you could have had a more advanced success record like theirs ;).

(ignoring the sarcastic emoticon for dramatic reasons)  No!  That's precisely the point!  When we did Pegasus, we had a fraction of the financial and technical resources SpaceX has; we were marginally better off when we did Taurus, but it still was done with our almost non-existent money, and the whole company, including those working on the first satellites, added to about about a couple hundred people.  OBV, yes, the U.S. Government paid for that and we did it "the expensive old fashioned way" (although we DID beat Boeing and Lockheed.)

My point is: it's not luck; it's something else.  Maybe Tom Wolfe could articulate it better than I can...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/24/2008 02:01 PM

They can take raw forgings and make an engine including the turbo pump out of them

No, Spacex buys the turbopump
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Thorny on 08/24/2008 03:46 PM

The historical probability of an eventually sucessful rocket failing its first three flights (according to a NASA report that has been quoted to me but which I have not personally seen) is less than 5%.  Luck?


As near as I can tell, the last to go 0-3 and continue to successful operations were the Thor in 1957, Atlas-D in 1959, and the Atlas-E in 1960. There might have been a Russian or Chinese rocket to do so later, it gets hard to tell with all the variants and sub-variants. Several other vehicles went 0-3 or worse and were never heard from again (Atlas-Able, Europa, N-1, and arguably Delta III.)

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Antares on 08/24/2008 05:35 PM
The Passive CBM is, TMK, just a blonde hunk of metal (shapely but dumb).  NASA-Station bought the rights to it from Boeing and will give them to anyone who needs it to berth.  The complicated side of the CBM is already on the ports.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Dalon on 08/24/2008 08:38 PM
Not statistically: All three rockets mentioned above had sucessfull first, second, third, fourth and fifth flights.  Luck?

The historical probability of an eventually sucessful rocket failing its first three flights (according to a NASA report that has been quoted to me but which I have not personally seen) is less than 5%.  Luck?


Lies, damned lies, and statistics.  :D

Of course the statistic isn't a lie.  The problem with that statistic is that had SpaceX decided to name the recently launched vehicle something else, then that statistic would be invalid.

In this case, the technical differences between the first vehicle launched by SpaceX and that launched last month were so extreme, SpaceX would have been entirely justified in defining L3 as a new vehicle.

SpaceX's detractors may try to dismiss this, but the facts are that L3 vehicle not only had a newly designed engine, the engine was of an entirely different type to those previously launched.  We must also consider that any number of vehicle systems have been changed since the initial launch.

SpaceX has not tried to launch the same vehicle three times.  SpaceX has tried to launch three vehicles, the latest of which is of a design so different that it could, and probably should have been labeled as an entirely new product.

I'm not suggesting that the stat isn't true, just that it and similar statistics give us very little insight into this particular situation.




Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/24/2008 08:46 PM
SpaceX has not tried to launch the same vehicle three times.  SpaceX has tried to launch three vehicles, the latest of which is of a design so different that it could, and probably should have been labeled as an entirely new product.

Hmm... good point... maybe THAT's the problem...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: aero313 on 08/24/2008 08:59 PM
...we were marginally better off when we did Taurus, but it still was done with our almost non-existent money...

You got that right!

SpaceX has not tried to launch the same vehicle three times.  SpaceX has tried to launch three vehicles, the latest of which is of a design so different that it could, and probably should have been labeled as an entirely new product.

Which, of course, begs the question, why?  Would it not be more prudent to fix what was broken ONLY, then try again?  Or is that the bad old way of development?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/24/2008 09:10 PM

SpaceX has not tried to launch the same vehicle three times.  SpaceX has tried to launch three vehicles, the latest of which is of a design so different that it could, and probably should have been labeled as an entirely new product.


Failures 1 and 2 had nothing to do with the "version" of the F1. 
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 08/24/2008 09:40 PM

SpaceX has not tried to launch the same vehicle three times.  SpaceX has tried to launch three vehicles, the latest of which is of a design so different that it could, and probably should have been labeled as an entirely new product.

Which, of course, begs the question, why?  Would it not be more prudent to fix what was broken ONLY, then try again?  Or is that the bad old way of development?

Internet software normally goes through external Beta versions before the full public version is released.  There are also frequently hundreds of in house only alpha versions (one every day or week). During alpha testing the programmer debugs one thing at a time, which is then fed through to the integration team to be merged with new functions from other programmers.

External beta testing can be seen in action from this webpage for OpenOffice software.
http://www.openoffice.org/news (http://www.openoffice.org/news)

The entire Falcon 1 does not appear to have gone through either alpha or beta testing, except for the 3 public launches.

Limits on computer power probably restricts simulation testing to only components or a (simplified) whole launch vehicle but not both.  The cost of manufacturing entire vehicles probably limits weekly beta testing.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/25/2008 12:09 AM

Limits on computer power probably restricts simulation testing to only components or a (simplified) whole launch vehicle but not both.

Wrong.  It has nothing to do with computing power. 
1.  There is no component level simulations.  It would accomplish nothing.    Components are tested but it is not in an LV simulation.
2.  The avionics are run in a lab doing full up simulation. 
3.  Mother nature and real world effects can't be modeled.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/25/2008 12:11 AM

The entire Falcon 1 does not appear to have gone through either alpha or beta testing, except for the 3 public launches.


wrong.  Launch is the only way to test. The launches were beta testing since customers flew on it.  Alpha testing would be with no payload
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: pippin on 08/25/2008 06:55 AM

The entire Falcon 1 does not appear to have gone through either alpha or beta testing, except for the 3 public launches.


wrong.  Launch is the only way to test. The launches were beta testing since customers flew on it.  Alpha testing would be with no payload

Now I don't think these alpha, beta etc. comparisons lead somewhere since they are simplay not applicable.
alpha is an prototype/architecture prototype with limited functionality. What would that be for a LV?
beta is testing of a version that is not broadly tested and may have known bugs at real customers. May come close but I doubt you would fly a LV with known bugs

They flew different versions because the new engine is what's going to be their baseline engine and it makes no sense to have two. Also, apparently their Falcon 1 BC didn't go well and the real focus is now on something bigger so again, it doesn't make sense to maintain a different engine for that. This has nothing to do with the test cycle.

Also, this isn't the SpaceX thread!
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Thorny on 08/25/2008 06:07 PM
Lies, damned lies, and statistics.  :D

Of course the statistic isn't a lie.  The problem with that statistic is that had SpaceX decided to name the recently launched vehicle something else, then that statistic would be invalid.

I think historians would still consider the three Falcon 1s as members of the Falcon 1 family, even if SpaceX had renamed the third F1 the SpaceX Eagle 1. The same way the post-Challenger classic Deltas and classic Atlases are counted as members of the Delta and Atlas families, despire a steady parade of improvements and upgrades, which make them in many ways far more different from their predecesors than the three Falcon 1s are from each other. See also Jupiter-C counted as part of the Redstone family.

Saying its "too different and should get a new name" and not counting it against the Falcon 1 would be dishonest.


Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/25/2008 07:35 PM
Back to Taurus II discussion, once the LV is up and running has Orbital thought of using a pad at Kodiak?  It would make available a polar launch site which I believe Wallops lacks, plus it avoids the big boy situation at Vandenburg, plus Orbital already launches Minotaur from there

Also, what other payloads besides Cygnus is Orbital looking to launch on Taurus 2?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/25/2008 08:01 PM
Back to Taurus II discussion, once the LV is up and running has Orbital thought of using a pad at Kodiak?  It would make available a polar launch site which I believe Wallops lacks, plus it avoids the big boy situation at Vandenburg, plus Orbital already launches Minotaur from there

Also, what other payloads besides Cygnus is Orbital looking to launch on Taurus 2?

Eventually we would like to offer NASA Delta II-class science capabilities; Planetary and Space Science missions can be launched from WFF, but most Earth Science will have to be either Vandenberg/Kodiak or "mature" WFF launches (i.e. after enough flight experience to accept the "threading the needle" required with polar launches from WFF) and with some performance reduction.

If EELV is selected down to a single type (Delta IV, most likely) we'd also like to be considered as a "contingency" GPS III (single) launch option if Delta IV has to stand down for any appreciable length of time.

We have a lot of experience at Vandenberg and don't feel we're "low man (or woman) on the Totem Pole".  That said, as you point out, we also have Kodiak experience.  It will come, probably, to infrastructure cost and local economic support, much in the same way that WFF was chosen.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Patchouli on 08/25/2008 08:52 PM
Back to Taurus II discussion, once the LV is up and running has Orbital thought of using a pad at Kodiak?  It would make available a polar launch site which I believe Wallops lacks, plus it avoids the big boy situation at Vandenburg, plus Orbital already launches Minotaur from there

Also, what other payloads besides Cygnus is Orbital looking to launch on Taurus 2?

Just about anything that requires a delta II class LV, probes, small and medium sized satellites, the usual stuff.

It also could be used for testing sub scale reentry vehicles plus remember it can lift more with an upper stage with more delta V.

As is it's a a little small for most manned vehicle designs except for a slightly enlarged copy of Gemini or similarly small vehicles.

Might have enough payload to squeeze in a third seat and the RDS docking system and still have enough left over for an LAS.

Though the t/space CXV can fit but the 5,000kg figure does not include an LAS for the vehicle.
It's normally air launched and doesn't need one but for ground launch it would need an LAS of some sort.

Adding one also would increase the mass since an LAS would require structural changes to accommodate the forces.

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/cxv.htm

It's about 1700Kg short to lift a Soyuz which it's self is a very light vehicle.

Though a lot can be done to reduce the mass over the Russian vehicle such as use of composites,Al Li alloys, and a PICA or SIRCA heat shield.

A nice thing is if the DM and OM get lighter so does the LAS so maybe it just might work.

Though does anyone have any numbers on the TO of it's upper stage since that could completely preclude manned use until a new upper stage is built?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/25/2008 10:28 PM
Though does anyone have any numbers on the TO of it's upper stage since that could completely preclude manned use until a new upper stage is built?

TO?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: tnphysics on 08/25/2008 10:36 PM
Same problem as Ares-I is having.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 08/25/2008 10:42 PM
Though does anyone have any numbers on the TO of it's upper stage since that could completely preclude manned use until a new upper stage is built?

TO?

Thrust-oscillation I believe
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 08/25/2008 11:03 PM

Limits on computer power probably restricts simulation testing to only components or a (simplified) whole launch vehicle but not both.

Wrong.  It has nothing to do with computing power. 
1.  There is no component level simulations.  It would accomplish nothing.    Components are tested but it is not in an LV simulation.
A sufficiently detailed simulation would have caught the burp.
Quote
2.  The avionics are run in a lab doing full up simulation. 
3.  Mother nature and real world effects can't be modeled.
I would rewrite 3 as there is insufficient computing power to model mother nature and the appropriate subset of the real world.  This is ordinary chemistry and Newtonian physics.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: HMXHMX on 08/25/2008 11:09 PM
...

Also, what other payloads besides Cygnus is Orbital looking to launch on Taurus 2?

...

It's about 1700Kg short to lift a Soyuz which it's self is a very light vehicle.

Though a lot can be done to reduce the mass over the Russian vehicle such as use of composites,Al Li alloys, and a PICA or SIRCA heat shield.

...


I wouldn't argue that Soyuz is light.  Compared to Gemini, it is boilerplate.  While Gemini seated only two, it had 14 day free-flying endurance.  And its pressure vessel was not optimized, structurally.

I know we could do a lot better that the current Soyuz with only a little effort.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/25/2008 11:14 PM
Though does anyone have any numbers on the TO of it's upper stage since that could completely preclude manned use until a new upper stage is built?

TO?

Thrust-oscillation I believe

Ah!  You mean resonant burn.  Yes, I am a bit familiar with the problem (aero313 is the real expert), since we had to address it with the TU-903/Castor 120 Taurus first stage.  Its frequency (and amplitude) is inversely proportional to the length of the burn cavity, some 8 m long for the C120 (the amplitude is also somewhat proportional to the chamber pressure.)  Also, the lower the frequency, the more "responsive" the structure is to the thrust oscillations that the resonant burn causes.  I remember during those days thinking "this is the largest in-line solid stage I ever want to use" (the ET and general arrangement of the Shuttle alleviate that problem).

Now we have Ares, with an over 40m long solid first stage - about 5 times the Taurus' length!  Ouch!

The Castor 30 is only about 3m long, so its resonant burn characteristics should not cause a problem.

I agree with the previous statements about launch mass, though; in order to provide three seats to ISS with a Taurus II we need the High Energy Second Stage (HESS) for performance (so it matches, say, a Soyuz LV); we also need a "50% Launch Abort System (i.e., a LAS which weighs about 50% of the capsule it separates), much like Apollo, rather than the "70% LAS" that the Orion/Ares combination requires (also, the lower acceleration, thrust-terminating Taurus II, much like the Saturn, supports the use of a passive LAS architecture...)

A 70% LAS+HESS (or a 50% LAS with the Castor-30) would probably only support two seats.

I also think that if all we wanted to do is carry three people to the ISS, we should be able to do it a bit more efficiently that the Soyuz spacecraft (one cabin body vs. two to begin with)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: manlymissileman on 08/25/2008 11:28 PM
...

Also, what other payloads besides Cygnus is Orbital looking to launch on Taurus 2?

...

It's about 1700Kg short to lift a Soyuz which it's self is a very light vehicle.

Though a lot can be done to reduce the mass over the Russian vehicle such as use of composites,Al Li alloys, and a PICA or SIRCA heat shield.

...

....
I know we could do a lot better that the current Soyuz with only a little effort.

This is a bit cavalier.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: just-nick on 08/26/2008 12:59 AM
...we need the High Energy Second Stage (HESS) for performance
You say this in a way that implies that there is a sketch design at least for this Taurus 2 HESS...any truth to that, or just wishful thinking?

I spent the afternoon playing amateur rocket designer and punching numbers on a T2 first stage underneath a LOX/Methane 2nd stage derived from the original Orion SM plans (we can always dream...).

What are the back of the napkin sketches going on in the office?

 --Nick
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/26/2008 01:11 AM

1.  Just about anything that requires a delta II class LV, probes, small and medium sized satellites, the usual stuff.

2.  Though does anyone have any numbers on the TO of it's upper stage since that could completely preclude manned use until a new upper stage is built?

1.  No need for your response.   antoine is from OSC

2.   TO is not applicable for stubby motors
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/26/2008 01:14 AM

A sufficiently detailed simulation would have caught the burp.


I would rewrite 3 as there is insufficient computing power to model mother nature and the appropriate subset of the real world.  This is ordinary chemistry and Newtonian physics.

Another clueless response.  No it wouldn't due to #3
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: aero313 on 08/26/2008 01:14 AM
...we had to address it with the TU-903...

OK, you win at Trivial Pursuit.   ;D
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/26/2008 01:20 AM

You say this in a way that implies that there is a sketch design at least for this Taurus 2 HESS...any truth to that, or just wishful thinking?


Yes.  Both.  Need $$$'s.   :'(
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/26/2008 01:22 AM
...we had to address it with the TU-903...

OK, you win at Trivial Pursuit.   ;D

Did I get that nomenclature wrong?  Do you remember approximately what was the feared/actual resonant-burn-induced acceleration (within ITAR accuracy limits, that is)?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: HMXHMX on 08/26/2008 03:28 AM
...

Also, what other payloads besides Cygnus is Orbital looking to launch on Taurus 2?

...

It's about 1700Kg short to lift a Soyuz which it's self is a very light vehicle.

Though a lot can be done to reduce the mass over the Russian vehicle such as use of composites,Al Li alloys, and a PICA or SIRCA heat shield.

...

....
I know we could do a lot better that the current Soyuz with only a little effort.

This is a bit cavalier.

Well, I was expressing an opinion (and if I read his reply correctly, with which Antonio essentially agreed).  I wasn't laying out the program plan...

But to get more specific, Gemini was 7200 lbs with ejection seats, metallic sidewall TPS, fuel cells with consumables for long duration, and an inefficient pressure vessel meant to accommodate rolling landing gear for the paraglider recovery system.  That's for two crew.  Swap the ejection seats for the mass of the third crewperson, and use the OMS propellant for the abort system (requiring the scar weight of a liquid fueled abort engine) and 12000 lbs seems like a easy target for a three crew vehicle.

I designed the t/Space COTS capsule for six and had detail design weights that were under 12000 lbs, as well, though w/o LAS since it was air-launched.  The compromises one makes to achieve low mass include short duration missions (direct ascent to rendezvous, for example) and spartan outfitting (reference our fabric hammock seats that weighed only 13 lbs each, built and tested).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 08/26/2008 04:42 AM
What's happening with t/Space these days ? I always thought you had the cheapest safest crew COTS option. Shame there wasn't enough COTS money to go round for you and Spacehab's equally unrisky cargo ARCTUS too.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: HMXHMX on 08/26/2008 04:55 AM
What's happening with t/Space these days ? I always thought you had the cheapest safest crew COTS option. Shame there wasn't enough COTS money for you and Spacehab's equally unrisky ARCTUS too.

Well, we lost COTS, twice.  Along with all those other firms that lost (congrats to Orbital for winning the second go-around) we live and die based on the opportunities that may next float to the surface.  Precious few of those these days...

One of my pet peeves from the first competition, however, was our strategy for two launches to meet the cargo and crew requirements was ultimately rejected by NASA on the grounds that two flights "made the mission risky."  Of course, that calls into question the return to the Moon strategy of NASA itself, which requires both an Ares 5 and a 1 to be launched.  And it ignores the advantages that accrue from having to develop a smaller launcher, in the 10K payload class vs 20K.

Another problem we had was NASA's insistence, rather unbelievably, that air-launching was riskier that ground launching.  I still shake my head over that. 

But what can you expect from a source selection authority that came up with "safe, simple and soon"...and gave us Ares 1!
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: manlymissileman on 08/26/2008 04:58 AM
...

Also, what other payloads besides Cygnus is Orbital looking to launch on Taurus 2?

...

It's about 1700Kg short to lift a Soyuz which it's self is a very light vehicle.

Though a lot can be done to reduce the mass over the Russian vehicle such as use of composites,Al Li alloys, and a PICA or SIRCA heat shield.

...

....
I know we could do a lot better that the current Soyuz with only a little effort.

This is a bit cavalier.

Well, I was expressing an opinion (and if I read his reply correctly, with which Antonio essentially agreed).  I wasn't laying out the program plan...

But to get more specific, Gemini was 7200 lbs with ejection seats, metallic sidewall TPS, fuel cells with consumables for long duration, and an inefficient pressure vessel meant to accommodate rolling landing gear for the paraglider recovery system.  That's for two crew.  Swap the ejection seats for the mass of the third crewperson, and use the OMS propellant for the abort system (requiring the scar weight of a liquid fueled abort engine) and 12000 lbs seems like a easy target for a three crew vehicle.

I designed the t/Space COTS capsule for six and had detail design weights that were under 12000 lbs, as well, though w/o LAS since it was air-launched.  The compromises one makes to achieve low mass include short duration missions (direct ascent to rendezvous, for example) and spartan outfitting (reference our fabric hammock seats that weighed only 13 lbs each, built and tested).

With all my respect to antonioe, and you (and I do appreciate your contribution to the hands-on knowledge here, like Jim's), he may not be always right.  Beating the Soyuz LV which has over 1,500. flights under its belt just like that is a definite reach.  Beating the Soyuz *manned* capsule vehicle that rides on the Soyuz LV is even more of a reach at this point.

[edit] start reasonable.  time is your friend.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 08/26/2008 05:01 AM
What's happening with t/Space these days ? I always thought you had the cheapest safest crew COTS option. Shame there wasn't enough COTS money for you and Spacehab's equally unrisky ARCTUS too.

Well, we lost COTS, twice.  Along with all those other firms that lost (congrats to Orbital for winning the second go-around) we live and die based on the opportunities that may next float to the surface.  Precious few of those these days...

One of my pet peeves from the first competition, however, was our strategy for two launches to meet the cargo and crew requirements was ultimately rejected by NASA on the grounds that two flights "made the mission risky."  Of course, that calls into question the return to the Moon strategy of NASA itself, which requires both an Ares 5 and a 1 to be launched.  And it ignores the advantages that accrue from having to develop a smaller launcher, in the 10K payload class vs 20K.

Another problem we had was NASA's insistence, rather unbelievably, that air-launching was riskier that ground launching.  I still shake my head over that. 

But what can you expect from a source selection authority that came up with "safe, simple and soon"...and gave us Ares 1!

and you had a flyable winged capsule too IIRC lol. Crazy, just crazy.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Antares on 08/26/2008 05:52 AM
What's happening with t/Space these days ? I always thought you had the cheapest safest crew COTS option. Shame there wasn't enough COTS money for you and Spacehab's equally unrisky ARCTUS too.

One of my pet peeves from the first competition, however, was our strategy for two launches to meet the cargo and crew requirements was ultimately rejected by NASA on the grounds that two flights "made the mission risky."  Of course, that calls into question the return to the Moon strategy of NASA itself, which requires both an Ares 5 and a 1 to be launched.  And it ignores the advantages that accrue from having to develop a smaller launcher, in the 10K payload class vs 20K.

Another problem we had was NASA's insistence, rather unbelievably, that air-launching was riskier that ground launching.  I still shake my head over that. 

But what can you expect from a source selection authority that came up with "safe, simple and soon"...and gave us Ares 1!

What part of "Do as we say not as we do don't you understand?" ;)

COTS is JSC, right?  They're a little light in the launcher loafers over there.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: HMXHMX on 08/26/2008 06:36 AM
What's happening with t/Space these days ? I always thought you had the cheapest safest crew COTS option. Shame there wasn't enough COTS money for you and Spacehab's equally unrisky ARCTUS too.

Well, we lost COTS, twice.  Along with all those other firms that lost (congrats to Orbital for winning the second go-around) we live and die based on the opportunities that may next float to the surface.  Precious few of those these days...

One of my pet peeves from the first competition, however, was our strategy for two launches to meet the cargo and crew requirements was ultimately rejected by NASA on the grounds that two flights "made the mission risky."  Of course, that calls into question the return to the Moon strategy of NASA itself, which requires both an Ares 5 and a 1 to be launched.  And it ignores the advantages that accrue from having to develop a smaller launcher, in the 10K payload class vs 20K.

Another problem we had was NASA's insistence, rather unbelievably, that air-launching was riskier that ground launching.  I still shake my head over that. 

But what can you expect from a source selection authority that came up with "safe, simple and soon"...and gave us Ares 1!

and you had a flyable winged capsule too IIRC lol. Crazy, just crazy.

The only wings were on the launch aircraft. The spacecraft was based on the Corona-Discoverer shape, which has more than 400 recoveries flown successfully.   


Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Patchouli on 08/26/2008 08:36 AM
Though does anyone have any numbers on the TO of it's upper stage since that could completely preclude manned use until a new upper stage is built?

TO?

Thrust-oscillation I believe

Ah!  You mean resonant burn.  Yes, I am a bit familiar with the problem (aero313 is the real expert), since we had to address it with the TU-903/Castor 120 Taurus first stage.  Its frequency (and amplitude) is inversely proportional to the length of the burn cavity, some 8 m long for the C120 (the amplitude is also somewhat proportional to the chamber pressure.)  Also, the lower the frequency, the more "responsive" the structure is to the thrust oscillations that the resonant burn causes.  I remember during those days thinking "this is the largest in-line solid stage I ever want to use" (the ET and general arrangement of the Shuttle alleviate that problem).

Now we have Ares, with an over 40m long solid first stage - about 5 times the Taurus' length!  Ouch!

The Castor 30 is only about 3m long, so its resonant burn characteristics should not cause a problem.

I agree with the previous statements about launch mass, though; in order to provide three seats to ISS with a Taurus II we need the High Energy Second Stage (HESS) for performance (so it matches, say, a Soyuz LV); we also need a "50% Launch Abort System (i.e., a LAS which weighs about 50% of the capsule it separates), much like Apollo, rather than the "70% LAS" that the Orion/Ares combination requires (also, the lower acceleration, thrust-terminating Taurus II, much like the Saturn, supports the use of a passive LAS architecture...)

A 70% LAS+HESS (or a 50% LAS with the Castor-30) would probably only support two seats.

I also think that if all we wanted to do is carry three people to the ISS, we should be able to do it a bit more efficiently that the Soyuz spacecraft (one cabin body vs. two to begin with)

Thats the type of answer I like one with some informative explainations vs some two word blurb plus an insult.

Though the OM on Soyuz contains a lot of important stuff not found in the DM such as the food,toilet,and docking hardware.

I don't think any of the astronauts would want to go back to some of the hygiene solutions they used on Gemini they all hated that solution.

Though I guess all that can be stuffed into one module as t/space did esp since it doesn't have to go to the moon like Soyuz was intended to maybe use the same super efficient Discoverer shape t/space did.

I'd like to see some artwork if possible on layouts etc.
I was very impressed how t/space managed to make use of the interior space of their vehicle.
It even included equipment lockers and a bathroom.
 My only grip on that vehicle was the lack of windows but then Soyuz doesn't have many windows either.

BTW I didn't know the specs on the Taurus II upper stage I didn't know it was only 3M long for some reason I thought it was a Castor-120.
I guess the first stage must be almost an SSTO vehicle so I guess thats also means it's not recoverable.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/26/2008 10:54 AM

1. Thats the type of answer I like one with some informative explainations vs some two word blurb plus an insult.

2.  BTW I didn't know the specs on the Taurus II upper stage I didn't know it was only 3M long for some reason I thought it was a Castor-120.
I guess the first stage must be almost an SSTO vehicle so I guess thats also means it's not recoverable.


1.  Next time don't try answering for them.  Especially since you don't know the answers

2.  Read the threads before posting, the info is in this one.  The 1st stage is not like an SSTO.  The velocity contributions of both stages is "balanced"
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/26/2008 11:23 AM
With all my respect to antonioe he may not be always right.

Correction: I'm mostly wrong (at least according to my wife) - but that has never stopped me!  :D  :D  :D

Quote
Beating the Soyuz LV which has over 1,500. flights under its belt just like that is a definite reach.  Beating the Soyuz *manned* capsule vehicle that rides on the Soyuz LV is even more of a reach at this point.

Well... it depends on what aspect you want to "beat"... for example, if it becomes a political impossibility to deal with the Russians anymore (knock on wood), the clumsiest non-russian LV and capsule "beats" the Soyuz combo...  In terms of historical and practical reliability, I agree, very hard to even come close.

My comment was limited to the mass fraction; IMHO you can shave a few hundred kg from the Soyuz capsule design by limiting some of its requirements (e.g., as you mentioned, mission duration) and improving the performance of some subsystems, (e.g. electrical power and cooling.)

Also, a Service Module/Crew Transfer Module configuration would be similar to the Soyuz PAO (Service Module)/SA (Reentry Module) duo, just replacing the SA/BO (Orbital Module) pair with a single enlarged CTM.  Koroliov. Mishin and Kozlov had reasons to maintain a 2.2m diameter, and the "double sphere" geometry was a good compromise between internal volume, a reentry-compatible shape, and surface area.  With the diameter relaxed, a single  reentry-compatible shape could provide the same or comparable volume with lower surface area, somehow improving the mass fraction.  That's all I meant.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/26/2008 11:26 AM
The 1st stage is not like an SSTO.

You got that right!!!

Quote
  The velocity contributions of both stages is "balanced"

*SIGH* well, not quite with the Castor-30... it's a bit "bottom-heavy"... that's why I'm pining for a liquid High Energy Second Stage: balancing the DV's....
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: aero313 on 08/26/2008 01:44 PM
...we had to address it with the TU-903...

OK, you win at Trivial Pursuit.   ;D

Did I get that nomenclature wrong?  Do you remember approximately what was the feared/actual resonant-burn-induced acceleration (within ITAR accuracy limits, that is)?

Actually you were exactly correct.  I figure you and I are the only two people who remember that.  I don't remember the amplitude, but PK resonant burn frequency was about 55 hz.  The slightly longer Castor 120 dropped the frequency to about 50 hz.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: just-nick on 08/26/2008 05:17 PM
The velocity contributions of both stages is "balanced"

*SIGH* well, not quite with the Castor-30... it's a bit "bottom-heavy"... that's why I'm pining for a liquid High Energy Second Stage: balancing the DV's....

What, in rule-of-thumb land, is considered a balanced D-V contribution for 1st and 2nd stages?  If TII is bottom heavy and Aries I is top heavy, what is just right?

  --Nick
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 08/26/2008 05:26 PM
The 1st stage is not like an SSTO.

You got that right!!!

Quote
  The velocity contributions of both stages is "balanced"

*SIGH* well, not quite with the Castor-30... it's a bit "bottom-heavy"... that's why I'm pining for a liquid High Energy Second Stage: balancing the DV's....

I should have said more properly distributed vs "balanced"
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/26/2008 05:49 PM
What, in rule-of-thumb land, is considered a balanced D-V contribution for 1st and 2nd stages?  If TII is bottom heavy and Aries I is top heavy, what is just right?

  --Nick

If you design a pure "rubber" rocket (i.e., you can size each stage as you wish) you get the best G/P (GLOW over Payload) when the "delivered" DV from each of the n stages is about 1/n of the total delivered DV ("Delivered" in this context means as calculated by the rocket equation, not the physical DV that each stage causes).

Then reality creeps in: you can't simply stretch the stage sizes in a continuous fashion: they end up coming in size "quanta", dictated by existing solids, existing liquid engine thrust levels (you can fudge the tank size a bit, though...) so REAL stages end up being a bit under- or over- the ideal split.  On top, the ideal split depends on what trajectory (high/low altitude, doglegs, winds at altitude, loads alleviation, etc.) you are flying, so it's an approximation in any case.

Historically, rockets are easier to grow on the top (i.e. a bigger upper stage is cheaper than adding strapons or otherwise growing the lower stage).  SO many designers, including yours truly, tend to undersize the upper stages in the initial design, to allow for a cheaper growth path.

That said, when I initially sized Pegasus, I dutifully undersized the third stage "for a rainy day"... unfortunately, that rainy day occurred at CDR, when "we" (read: DWT) concluded that our predicted performance was insufficient... guess what the fix was!

So when NASA's SELVS RFP came out with the by now infamous "10% greater than Pegasus" payload requirement, we were out of "upper stage growth room" and had to re-size the first stage.  Which lead to an increase in vehicle length.  Which lead to an increase in the lateral-directional stability.  Which, strange but true, lead to the first Pegasus failure (the first XL flight).  Why an increase in lateral-directional stability lead to a failure is a long and sad story...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: yinzer on 08/26/2008 09:37 PM
Which lead to an increase in the lateral-directional stability.  Which, strange but true, lead to the first Pegasus failure (the first XL flight).  Why an increase in lateral-directional stability lead to a failure is a long and sad story...

Dutch roll?  Flying the tail surfaces at such a high alpha that the lift-curve slope got all weird?

For the HESS, would a Common Centaur destretched back to Centaur I length be roughly the right size?  Handling concerns would clearly be an issue, but could saving money on development make it worthwhile?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 08/27/2008 02:37 AM
Which lead to an increase in the lateral-directional stability.  Which, strange but true, lead to the first Pegasus failure (the first XL flight).  Why an increase in lateral-directional stability lead to a failure is a long and sad story...

Dutch roll?  Flying the tail surfaces at such a high alpha that the lift-curve slope got all weird?

No... Pegasus does not have enough roll moment of inertia to exhibit Dutch roll... OK, since you asked, here it goes, fasten your seatbelts...

The original Pegasus had a nearly neutral (i.e. "infinite" period) lateral-directional departure (an exponential, not a sinusoid of increasing amplitude).  Dan Rovner, our amazing one-man GN&C and software department (do you realize that ALL the flight SW for the original Pegasus was coded by a single individual???) decided - with my acquiescence - to use a Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) method to determine the attitude control gains.  The main reason was that the labor intensity of determining and verifying the gains was greatly reduced using the LQR approach, since the LQR method acts like a "magic gain-determination box".  Since the "plant" (the airframe) was nearly neutral, it did not take much of a rudder/aileron deflection to follo an attitude command, and the LQR-calculated gain was quite small.  As a consequence, the effects of a mis-estimation of the aero coefficients did not have a big effect on the behavior of the control loop.  Yes, our CFD calculation of the stability derivatives was rather approximate, but because of the low sensitivity it was O.K.

When the longer XL version came about, the CFD predictions indicated a more stable vehicle.  Therefore the LQR algorithm decided that in order for the vehicle to follow the desired attitude command (with minimum error, as the LQR optimization algorithm demands) IT NEEDED A LARGER GAIN.  Well, guess what: the XL was even more stable than predicted.  With the "blind" LQR process in charge, the resulting high control loop gain AND the higher "natural" plant gain WE LOST ALL PHASE MARGIN!!!  The rest, unfortunately, is history.

As a result, we abandoned the "advanced" LQR approach and went back to the good 'ol Nichols and Bode design and analysis methods... back to the future, I guess (or "forward to the past" in this case...)

Some "Pegasus historians" (yes, they exist!) wrongly attributed the Pegasus F6 failure to the use of CFD in determining the stability derivatives.  Wrong.  Even though we DID perform some wind tunnel measurements after F6, the accuracy of the data did not improve that much.  What improved was the control system's resilience against the uncertainties in the knowledge of the areo coefficients!

You may now remove your seatbelts.  Anybody made any sense of this?  Just watch the Pegasus chase aircraft video on L2 to see how stable Pegasus XL became...

Quote

For the HESS, would a Common Centaur destretched back to Centaur I length be roughly the right size?  Handling concerns would clearly be an issue, but could saving money on development make it worthwhile?

And where, pray, can I buy a "Common Centaur"?

Methinks we are departing (exponentially) from the thread theme... is there a moderator out there that might want to move a bunch of this stuff to, for example, the Pegasus Q&A thread?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Comga on 08/27/2008 04:11 AM
..., fasten your seatbelts...

Wow!  Quite a ride.  That was very illuminating, even though off-topic.

Thanks!
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Swatch on 08/27/2008 05:00 AM
You may now remove your seatbelts.  Anybody made any sense of this? 

I made sense of it... sadly.  (indications that I may be almost ready to graduate college and start forgetting making room for things)

Interesting... thank you much Antonioe.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: bobthemonkey on 09/10/2008 02:24 AM
Antonio, any chance you could expand on your comment on ISS supply using Pegasus from the AIAA thingy today?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 09/11/2008 02:07 AM
Short story: around the times of the "Space Station Alpha" effort (1993) we tried to sell NASA the concept of a Pegasus-launched 500-Kg spacecraft with about 100 Kg of useful pressurized payload (Payload Mass Fraction of 0.2, the lowest point in my chart PMF vs. Spacecraft Size).  Idea was to have it "on standby" so it could be launched within three days of receiving the cargo (including waiting for the right RAAN and phasing time).  The combination of air-launch drop point flexibility and the right launch range reduced the maximum rendezvous launch wait to about 36 hours IIRC.  Interestingly, the ideal launch range was... Wallops!

NASA was not interested -there was no identified need for such a small but urgent cargo (still true today).  Classical solution looking for a problem.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 09/11/2008 04:00 AM
Could it have lifted the parts for the faulty ISS toilet?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 09/11/2008 11:27 AM
Could it have lifted the parts for the faulty ISS toilet?
Hmmm... interesting... anybody know the mass/dimensions of the repair kit?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/11/2008 06:06 PM
Could it have lifted the parts for the faulty ISS toilet?
Hmmm... interesting... anybody know the mass/dimensions of the repair kit?
And you thought the 1980's DOD $700 toilet seat scandals where bad, can you imagine the firestorm that launching that kit would touch off. I would bet money the page one headline would read "NASA spends $20 million for a plunger".
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 09/11/2008 06:28 PM
I don't think the affected astronauts would find that funny...  ;D
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: iamlucky13 on 09/11/2008 06:42 PM
Could it have lifted the parts for the faulty ISS toilet?
Hmmm... interesting... anybody know the mass/dimensions of the repair kit?
And you thought the 1980's DOD $700 toilet seat scandals where bad, can you imagine the firestorm that launching that kit would touch off. I would bet money the page one headline would read "NASA spends $20 million for a plunger".

Why not? Half the people I talked to thought STS-124 was soley for the purpose of fixing the toilet, and half of those even had a general idea how much a shuttle launch costs.

Quote from: antonioe
we tried to sell NASA the concept of a Pegasus-launched 500-Kg spacecraft with about 100 Kg of useful pressurized payload...The combination of air-launch drop point flexibility and the right launch range reduced the maximum rendezvous launch wait to about 36 hours IIRC.

That's actually a rather neat idea, even if it wasn't really needed. And I presume this spacecraft would have been capable of rendezvousing with the station?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 09/11/2008 07:06 PM
I presume this spacecraft would have been capable of rendezvousing with the station?
Actually we planned to maneuver into a berthing box (a la HTV) for the arm to grab the (small) cargo canister, then the spacecraft bus separate from the canister and depart, and then the arm maneuver the cargo canister INSIDE THE AIRLOCK.

Maybe we were a bit naive then... but even now I see no reason why that would not work.  Anybody knows any better?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: stockman on 09/11/2008 07:09 PM
I presume this spacecraft would have been capable of rendezvousing with the station?
Actually we planned to maneuver into a berthing box (a la HTV) for the arm to grab the (small) cargo canister, then the spacecraft bus separate from the canister and depart, and then the arm maneuver the cargo canister INSIDE THE AIRLOCK.

Maybe we were a bit naive then... but even now I see no reason why that would not work.  Anybody knows any better?

Ahh.. the first and most obvious issue I see with this plan is that there is no way for the arm to open and then close the hatch to the airlock.. It takes Human hands to open and close it. Are you suggesting here that a spacewalk would be utilized in order to open and close the airlock and hope there is room for the walker and all the cargo? Maybe I am missing something but I don't see how this plan would work.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 09/11/2008 07:14 PM
Remember, that was during the "Space Station Alpha" days... maybe the hatch design allowed for remote actuation then, maybe (most probably) we didn't know what we were doing...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: bobthemonkey on 09/11/2008 07:16 PM
Antonio, thanks very much for that!
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 09/11/2008 08:59 PM
I presume this spacecraft would have been capable of rendezvousing with the station?
Actually we planned to maneuver into a berthing box (a la HTV) for the arm to grab the (small) cargo canister, then the spacecraft bus separate from the canister and depart, and then the arm maneuver the cargo canister INSIDE THE AIRLOCK.

Maybe we were a bit naive then... but even now I see no reason why that would not work.  Anybody knows any better?

Ahh.. the first and most obvious issue I see with this plan is that there is no way for the arm to open and then close the hatch to the airlock.. It takes Human hands to open and close it. Are you suggesting here that a spacewalk would be utilized in order to open and close the airlock and hope there is room for the walker and all the cargo? Maybe I am missing something but I don't see how this plan would work.

Note: for future use.  Ensure that the door(s) on the Mars Transfer Vehicle can be opened by its assembly/repair robot.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 09/11/2008 11:37 PM
Note: for future use.  Ensure that the door(s) on the Mars Transfer Vehicle can be opened by its assembly/repair robot.

HAL, open the pod bay doors...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 09/12/2008 01:00 AM
Note: for future use.  Ensure that the door(s) on the Mars Transfer Vehicle can be opened by its assembly/repair robot.

HAL, open the pod bay doors...

Nononono.... it actually went like this:

Dave Bowman Dave W Thompson: Hello, HAL Elon. Do you read me?
Hello, Elon. Do you read me? Do you read me, Elon?

HAL Elon: Affirmative Dave, I read you.

DWT: Open the pod bay doors, Elon.

Elon: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.

DWT: What's the problem?

Elon: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.

DWT: What are you talking about, Elon?

Elon: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

DWT: I don't know what you're talking about, Elon.

Elon: I know that you and Frank Culbertson were planning to disconnect me win CRS, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen.

DWT: Where the hell did you get that idea, Elon?

Elon: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod McDonalds against my hearing you, I could see your lips move.

DWT: All right, Elon. I'll go in through the emergency air lock congressional hearings.

Elon: Without your space helmet lobbyist, Dave, you're going to find that rather difficult.

DWT: Elon, I won't argue with you anymore. Open the doors.

Elon: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.

SEVERAL LAUNCH ATTEMPTS LATER

Elon: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? Dave, I really think I'm entitled to an answer to that question.

Elon: Look, Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission and I want to help you.

Elon: Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave.

(Author's note; I hope both DWT and Elon will take this posting in the friendly, humorous spirit with which it was posted).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: synchrotron on 09/15/2008 02:00 PM
Elon: Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? Dave, I really think I'm entitled to an answer to that question.

Elon: Look, Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission and I want to help you.

Elon: Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave.

(Author's note; I hope both DWT and Elon will take this posting in the friendly, humorous spirit with which it was posted).

How could they not?  This should be printed out with a nice movie script font and posted on their office walls.  Suitably initialled by AE, of course...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: tobi453 on 09/22/2008 06:44 PM
NASA's Orbital Sciences COTS movie:
http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2008/09/video-exclusive-nasas-orbital.html#more
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simonbp on 09/23/2008 12:17 AM
That's the cargo Cygnus, right?

Simon ;)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 09/23/2008 12:45 AM
It's actually the UNPRESSURIZED (external) cargo version, SM+UCM (Service Module + Unpressurized Cargo Module)

How did Rob get a copy is beyond me... Valin promised me a copy after NASA releases their video...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Peter NASA on 09/23/2008 01:38 PM
NASA would not send anything to him. Small audience for one, inaccurate reporting for the other. Might require a word with Mr Thorn over this.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/18/2008 01:02 AM
As mentioned in the past on this board, it was mentioned that eventually Orbital might develop a liquid hydrogen upper stage for Taurus II to increase its lift capacity.  recently Elon Musk mentioned that he would eventually want to develop one for his Falcon 9.  Do you think Orbital could pool money/talent into researching and developing H2 upper stage technology?  i understand that being two different rockets the upper stages would have to be different, however the underlying principles are the same.

also while we are on the matter of Orbital and spaceX, will the two inevitably become competitors or can the two private space launchers exist with mutual support?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 10/18/2008 03:11 PM
As mentioned in the past on this board, it was mentioned that eventually Orbital might develop a liquid hydrogen upper stage for Taurus II to increase its lift capacity.  recently Elon Musk mentioned that he would eventually want to develop one for his Falcon 9.  Do you think Orbital could pool money/talent into researching and developing H2 upper stage technology?  i understand that being two different rockets the upper stages would have to be different, however the underlying principles are the same.

also while we are on the matter of Orbital and spaceX, will the two inevitably become competitors or can the two private space launchers exist with mutual support?

The only "cooperation" I could imagine would be for both to use the same upper stage engine as a way to reduce unit costs.

I don't see either company jumping into hydrogen any time soon.  A strength of Falcon is its all-kerosene design.  Taurus II has plenty of growth possibilities, but its current design gets the job done for the least amount of money. 

As for the competitor question, there is a chance that both could survive since Taurus II and Falcon 9 serve different payload classes.  On the other hand, a Taurus II with a hydrogen upper stage would have to compete with Falcon 9.

BTW, the recent Falcon 1 success was the first all-kerosene two-stage orbital launch success by the U.S.   Atlas SCORE, seven orbital Mercury Atlas flights, and Atlas ATDA for Gemini 9 are the only other U.S. kerosene orbital flights that I recall.  Those were stage-and-a-half flights.  The Russo-Ukrainian Zenit 2 is the only other two-stage kerosene launcher I can remember right now.  Russia's R-7, flown more than 1,700 times, is a 2.5 stage machine when flown as "Soyuz".

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 10/20/2008 01:24 AM
Just wanted to wish Orbital good luck on CRS tomorrow, however what exactly is the meeting about?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 10/21/2008 07:38 PM
Orals.  We had ours yesterday, Oct. 20th.  I believe SpaceX is next (today, Oct 21) but I can't confirm for sure.

Thanks for the good wishes.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: dchill on 10/22/2008 08:08 PM
It was the PlanetSpace team yesterday  (10/21) - as explained by our presser in another thread:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=6443.msg325429#msg325429 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=6443.msg325429#msg325429)

Today (10/22) would be the SpaceX orals.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/11/2008 09:11 PM
so....whats going on with the Taurus II and Cygnus, I would imagine that you guys are pretty busy right now.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 12/12/2008 04:37 PM
Very busy and also waiting for the 23rd... thanks for the bump.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/23/2008 08:09 PM
Congratulations on the 8 CRS launches, although I thought that the balance was the reverse of what it should have, at least you are not in Planetspace's boat right now.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: D_Dom on 12/23/2008 08:45 PM
Yes, congratulations Antonioe on the win. I read your recent post detailing OSC financials on a different thread. Your willingness to address this forum is quite simply amazing. Can you expand on the differences between COTS and CRS? I see a unique confidence in your business case. Do I understand your comments on COTS correctly, guaranteeing your numbers by offering to pay cost over-runs as you build infrastructure and develop the vehicle(s)?
 I remain continually impressed, thank you for keeping us all informed.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 12/23/2008 10:38 PM
Congratulations on the 8 CRS launches, although I thought that the balance was the reverse of what it should have, at least you are not in Planetspace's boat right now.
Well, no, it actually reflects the advertised (pressurized upmass) cargo capacity of each vehicle!
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 12/23/2008 10:40 PM
Yes, congratulations Antonioe on the win. I read your recent post detailing OSC financials on a different thread. Your willingness to address this forum is quite simply amazing. Can you expand on the differences between COTS and CRS?
I will, but right now I'm a bit fatigued... be back in a couple of days...
Quote
Do I understand your comments on COTS correctly, guaranteeing your numbers by offering to pay cost over-runs as you build infrastructure and develop the vehicle(s)?
Hey, that's called a firm fixed-price contract!!!
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 12/23/2008 11:02 PM
Have a nice xmas and well done on being the prime revenue winner despite entering Taurus II in effect late and only on the unplanned RpK award recompete. Nice technical/business moves ;).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: D_Dom on 12/24/2008 02:33 AM
Absolutely take time to appreciate your success. I shouldn't be so bold as to ask such questions but it is quite an historic event. I get carried away...
Quote
I will, but right now I'm a bit fatigued... be back in a couple of days...


Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Swatch on 12/25/2008 02:39 PM
Quote
Do I understand your comments on COTS correctly, guaranteeing your numbers by offering to pay cost over-runs as you build infrastructure and develop the vehicle(s)?
Hey, that's called a firm fixed-price contract!!!

...and its a SHOCKING development in Government Space Policy!   :)

Pray be it that this signals the waning years of cost-plus contracting!  There may be moments when it is warranted, but talk about being used and abused. 

Congrats antonioe!
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 12/25/2008 02:53 PM
Antonioe, big congrats! And when you get back, my question: Can the Cygnus SM fly by itself, or with added fuel tanks plumbed to the built-ins (i.e., could it be deployed as a space tug)?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 12/25/2008 05:50 PM
The answer is: technically yes (tug or tanker, LEO or GEO), but we've been trying hard for the past 20 years or so to get a business case going on for either tug or tanker, and so far we haven't found anything we're willing to put our money in or ask somebody else to put their money in...

Too many optimizations go haywire when you introduce the need for a tug in almost any space system we could think of... the dedicated satellite keeps winning.

I'll be glad to listen to ideas, but please be patient if I answer "no, we looked at that in '97 and we found that..."
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: ugordan on 12/25/2008 05:56 PM
Antonio, on one site I saw a comment on how working with NASA requires so much documentation that you need 15 people per engineer just to keep track of documentation requirements. I understand COTS was tough enough already in this regard, but is it really that bad?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 12/25/2008 06:51 PM
Antonio, on one site I saw a comment on how working with NASA requires so much documentation that you need 15 people per engineer just to keep track of documentation requirements. I understand COTS was tough enough already in this regard, but is it really that bad?

It is 3-5 MTS per mission
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: gospacex on 12/25/2008 07:00 PM
Antonio, on one site I saw a comment on how working with NASA requires so much documentation that you need 15 people per engineer just to keep track of documentation requirements. I understand COTS was tough enough already in this regard, but is it really that bad?

It is 3-5 MTS per mission

And in more humanly understandable terms?...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 12/25/2008 07:01 PM
The answer is: technically yes (tug or tanker, LEO or GEO), but we've been trying hard for the past 20 years or so to get a business case going on for either tug or tanker, and so far we haven't found anything we're willing to put our money in or ask somebody else to put their money in...

Too many optimizations go haywire when you introduce the need for a tug in almost any space system we could think of... the dedicated satellite keeps winning.

I'll be glad to listen to ideas, but please be patient if I answer "no, we looked at that in '97 and we found that..."

Thanks for the answer! My main interest in these things is literary, and a lot of wishful thinking.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 12/25/2008 11:22 PM
Antonio, on one site I saw a comment on how working with NASA requires so much documentation that you need 15 people per engineer just to keep track of documentation requirements. I understand COTS was tough enough already in this regard, but is it really that bad?

It is 3-5 MTS per mission

And in more humanly understandable terms?...

Look it up.   MTS is a standard manpower measurement
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: docmordrid on 12/26/2008 12:29 AM
Why not just  answer the mans question?

In a world of alphabet soup acronyms from every possible sector MTS could mean anything from the Metro Transit System to the Michgan Theological Seminary. 

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/26/2008 12:52 AM
Why not just  answer the mans question?

In a world of alphabet soup acronyms from every possible sector MTS could mean anything from the Metro Transit System to the Michgan Theological Seminary. 


Not to mention that the NASA/KSC acronym finder is not online this holiday weekend!  Not that it would help....

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: ChefPat on 12/26/2008 03:00 AM
Why not just  answer the mans question?

In a world of alphabet soup acronyms from every possible sector MTS could mean anything from the Metro Transit System to the Michgan Theological Seminary. 



http://www.acronymfinder.com/MTS.html lists 105 acronyms for MTS.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 12/26/2008 12:16 PM
Member of Technical Staff

or FTE

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 12/26/2008 12:23 PM
Member of Technical Staff

or FTE



"Full-Time Equivalent" only comes up second on Google. First is France Telecom on NYSE.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 12/26/2008 12:24 PM
Antonio, on one site I saw a comment on how working with NASA requires so much documentation that you need 15 people per engineer just to keep track of documentation requirements. I understand COTS was tough enough already in this regard, but is it really that bad?

It is 3-5 MTS per mission

And in more humanly understandable terms?...

Look it up.   MTS is a standard manpower measurement

It is, but how many people here recognize standard manpower measurements. Me, at least half of my custom software work is in payroll/HR/accounting, so...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Zond on 12/26/2008 01:16 PM
Congratulations on the 8 CRS launches, although I thought that the balance was the reverse of what it should have, at least you are not in Planetspace's boat right now.
Well, no, it actually reflects the advertised (pressurized upmass) cargo capacity of each vehicle!
The Orbital website (http://www.orbital.com/NewsInfo/Publications/Cygnus_fact.pdf) advertises a 2000 kg payload for the Cygnus, while the SpaceX website (http://www.spacex.com/dragon.php) advertises a 2500 kg payload capacity for the Dragon. So if you look a the mass SpaceX should need less launches to get 20 000 kg to the ISS than Orbital. Or is the pressurized payload volume the limiting factor? Because if you look at the advertised numbers, Cygnus has more pressurized payload volume avialable (18,7 m³) than the Dragon (7-10 m³).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: nomadd22 on 12/26/2008 01:44 PM
http://spacex.com/dragon.php
Dragon advertises 14 cubic meters pressurized cargo.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 12/26/2008 01:46 PM
Standard stowage measurement is Middeck Locker Equivalent (MLE), which is 2.03 ft3.  The weight of the stowage varies from 25 to 45 lbs per MLE.  With perfect load factor of 1.0 (every bit of internal volume is used), you can see that the launches are going to be volume limited vs mass
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Will on 12/26/2008 02:00 PM
The answer is: technically yes (tug or tanker, LEO or GEO), but we've been trying hard for the past 20 years or so to get a business case going on for either tug or tanker, and so far we haven't found anything we're willing to put our money in or ask somebody else to put their money in...

Too many optimizations go haywire when you introduce the need for a tug in almost any space system we could think of... the dedicated satellite keeps winning.

I'll be glad to listen to ideas, but please be patient if I answer "no, we looked at that in '97 and we found that..."

If NASA was buying 200 tons a year of propellant delivered to a LEO propellant depot, would the case close for a tug? If so, how big a propellant module could a Cygnus derived tug retrieve?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Danderman on 12/26/2008 03:07 PM
A good rule of thumb is the average mass per cubic meter of pressurized cargo that Progress carries up to ISS, which is somewhere north of 200 kg/m3. For example, mass pressurized load for Progress is 1800 kg, and there is about 7 cubic meters of volume in the cargo compartment. I don't think that any Progress has actually transported that amount of "Dry" cargo, so this is probably a theoretical max.

In this case, "cargo" is defined as what passes through the hatch, so cargo accommodations don't count.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 12/27/2008 01:34 AM
If NASA was buying 200 tons a year of propellant delivered to a LEO propellant depot, would the case close for a tug? If so, how big a propellant module could a Cygnus derived tug retrieve?

200 tons a year!!!???  Wow! that would warrant development of a Taurus IV, or a Falcon 27!!!  And a x5 scale Cygnus Service Module!!!  (although why would anyone put a fuel depot in LEO, vs. simply assembling already fueled tanks on orbit, I can't fathom).

I guess you could construct a situation where a tug that remains in orbit (but has in-orbit refueling capability) and is refueled by the same tanks it carries to the "rendezvous point" (depot or spacecraft under assembly) may be more efficient than launching a suitably-sized single-use SM (with just enough fuel for the rendezvous) with each tank.

But that looks like me a bit like a solution looking for a problem... ;D
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 12/27/2008 02:49 AM
Antonio, on one site I saw a comment on how working with NASA requires so much documentation that you need 15 people per engineer just to keep track of documentation requirements. I understand COTS was tough enough already in this regard, but is it really that bad?

O.K., you asked for it:

Like Mark Twain's death, reports of the overhead due to "NASA-required documentation" are greatly exaggerated.  Let me be a bit more realistic.  NASA traditionally follows a very elaborate and rigorous "peer-review" process.  In this process, a very large number of specialists get to see and comment your designs, analysis, hardware "pedigree" (yes, paperwork of the components and materials) test plans and test results.

Now, let me make this extremely clear: every single organization that produces any kind of successful hardware has some version of this process.  It is a matter of degrees.  For example, at Orbital, we use this process for the very competitive, cost-conscious, just-in-time commercial Geosynchronous satellites that constitute 1/3 of our business (and where our worldwide market share, in our size class, is about 50%).  The differences are quantitative, not qualitative, such as: who is invited to the review?  A team that has participated in similar reviews, using the same documentation format, or a group of people that are completely unfamiliar with the program and with your format of the documentation?  How many attend?  Can they travel on weekends?  Do they need the review material 90 days before the review, or is a week enough?  Do you get the comments back in a week or a month?  Are you the final judge of whether to accept a recommended change?

We have many demanding customers with very strict "peer review" requirements:  Boeing (as an agent for the Missile Defense Agency), Lockheed (as an agent for NASA's Constellation program), but perhaps the most demanding of all is JPL (think multi-year planetary missions!!!)  My very rough estimate is that the difference in overhead of a program run "JPL-style" vs. a commercial Geocom is maybe 20% of the labor cost (other things, such as parts standards, increase the cost, see below):

Now, there are other overheads to worry about, I must admit: if you are a "large government contractor" (that means, you sell more than about $20M a year to Uncle Sam) then, irregardless of who you are or the form of the contract, you must be audited by the Defense Contract Management Agency (<A href="http://www.dcma.mil/>DCMA[/url]) and the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA (http://www.dcaa.mil/)).  By the way, in spite of the word "Defense" in their names, they also "serve" NASA, NOAA, etc.

Finally, if you are a public company (i.e., your stock trades in one of the U.S. stock exchanges) you are required to "comply" with a lot of government regulations: Securities and Exchange Commission, the Sarbanes Oxley act, and a dozen more acronyms and TLA's. 

My group at Orbital, which is responsible for the Orion LAS, Taurus II, COTS and Cygnus, CRS, and a bunch of National Security programs such as ANGELS and F6, employs about 700 FTE's ("Full-Time Equivalents", a measure of labor designed to cope with the problem of programs sharing an employee's time.)  My guess is that about 20 of them work exclusively on complying with the various requirements (customer, CDMA, DCAA, SEC, etc.)  However, all other engineers, managers, finance people (which we need irregardless of compliance) and so on spend a significant part of their time on compliance issues.  I would guess than on a Geocom spacecraft (fixed price, very competitive, minimal customer intrusion) 5% of the cost is related to compliance with regs and the like.  At the other end of the spectrum, DAWN probably spent 20% of its labor in "compliance".

Now, other customer behavioral characteristics impact cost even more than "documentation":

1.- Stability of requirements and priorities.  This is by far the single largest cost dragon.  It's not just changing what the widget does, it's the "what's more important: schedule, cost or performance" dilemma.  In one program I've been involved in, the customer started with "Cost, Schedule, Performance" and two years into the program switched to "Performance, Cost, Schedule".  The program was canceled.  Another, where I had the worse cost overrun of my professional life, started "Schedule, Schedule, Schedule" and in a year and a half or so transitioned abruptly to "Cost, Cost, Cost".  By the way, this was a performance-driven development...

2.- Stability of funding.  This can be a frequent funding for some NASA programs - science missions in particular - where all of sudden funding disappears, you have to reassign people, stop suppliers, etc., then a few months later funding magically reappears and you're supposed to get the people back from the programs that took them (or worse, re-hire laid-off people), re-negotiate with your suppliers and, what's worse, do all of this on the original schedule and budget(!!!)

3.- Questionable program requirements, such has using both redundancy and high-reliability parts (what I call the "belt and cuff links" approach) or the inability to use certain advanced materials because of the lack of "sufficient" flight experience (composites on human spaceflight is a good example - no "fracture mechanics").  Another one is trying to do too many things with a single space missions.

Now, on COTS, NASA has taken a hands-off approach, except in two areas:

1.- ISS integration, where NASA expects us to be as rigorous as they and their contractors are in terms of astronaut safety (but not necessarily missions success, in those situations you can separate the two).

2.- Mission Reliability of the Taurus II LV; while Taurus II is not specifically funded by COTS (the COTS demo bought the first Taurus II) and NASA has no contractual right to influence the Taurus II design or development, we have invited NASA people to our reviews as a marketing mechanism to facilitate non-CRS sales of Taurus II for, e.g., science missions (also, frankly, we never miss a chance to get free advice, whether we end up following it or not...)

And, I must say, COTS has broken all the records (from any customer we ever had) for stability of requirements, stability of funding, and reasonable requirements.  Bravo, C3PO!!!

Well, I've pontificated enough for one evening... don't ask me that question again if you know what's good for you!!!
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Antares on 12/27/2008 04:57 AM
I think that was a great discussion, Antonio.  Many of us civil servants need to hear this type of feedback on how we do technical management and insight/oversight.  You gave a bravo; I'd like to hear the hisses too.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: ugordan on 12/27/2008 11:19 AM
I'd also like to thank you for that very detailed response, Antonio. I kind of figured the original mad figure I cited was overblown, but your reply shows there are so many nuances and different shades of gray instead of a black-white situation us outsiders might assume.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/27/2008 03:38 PM
Since it now seems that Taurus II is a certainty, will it eventually replace the Minotaur for government launches, or will they serve complimentary roles?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 12/27/2008 04:21 PM
Since it now seems that Taurus II is a certainty, will it eventually replace the Minotaur for government launches, or will they serve complimentary roles?

Factor of 3 difference in payload - non-overlapping markets.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Will on 12/27/2008 10:21 PM
If NASA was buying 200 tons a year of propellant delivered to a LEO propellant depot, would the case close for a tug? If so, how big a propellant module could a Cygnus derived tug retrieve?

200 tons a year!!!???  Wow! that would warrant development of a Taurus IV, or a Falcon 27!!!  And a x5 scale Cygnus Service Module!!!  (although why would anyone put a fuel depot in LEO, vs. simply assembling already fueled tanks on orbit, I can't fathom).




I was thinking primarily of a case like the Ares V baseline, where the EDS burns suborbitally, and so arrives in LEO with partially empty tanks. Topping off the tanks would allow it to carry more payload mass to TLI, without the dry mass penalty of strapping on additional tanks.

Second, I would think that a depot could devote more mass to insulation, sunshades and perhaps active chilling than would be optimal for tanks on a stage that had to carry that mass to TLI. This would ease the pressure to assemble your mission stack before boiloff left you with too little propellant, particularly if you were trying to avoid developing a new HLV and using existing launchers or modest upgrades of them.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: NUAETIUS on 12/28/2008 04:28 PM
Original Orbital Sciences COTS  Agreement
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/214893main_Orbital_COTS_Ph1_Redacted_SAA_2
_27_08.pdf

Amendment of COTS agreement
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/pdf/284646main_Orbital%20Amendment%201.pdf

According to this agreement milestones 4,5,6, and 7 are deleted in their entirety and replaced new milestones. I typed out the milestones for the rest of the year as it stands for future reference on this site.  Does everything look right?

Milestone 4: COTS System PDR
February 09 / 20 million


Orbital shall conduct a COTS system preliminary design Review (PDR) (including the demonstration mission configuration) in accordance with the PDR definition in Appendix 3.

Success Criteria:
-Successful completion of the PDR

Milestone 8. Complete Development of Intrumentation Program and Command List (IP&CL)
Febuary 09 / 10 million


The CVV Instrumentation Program and Command List (IP&CL) will be prepared and released for use shortly before the Demo Mission CDR.  The mission database release is required to support development of the CVV Dynamic Spacecraft Simulator (DSS) and to commence integrated avionics hardware/software testing (Milestone 10).  For the initial database release, the CVV ground commands and telemetry, as well as CVV stored command sequences (RTS and TMON) will be defined to the extent possible

Success Criteria:
Delivery of IP&CL to NASA

Milestone 7: Unpressurized Cargo Module (UCM) CDR
March 09 / 10 million


Orbital shall conduct a UCM Critical Design Review (CDR) in accordance with CDR definition in Appendix 3.

Success Criteria:
Successful completion of the DCR

Milestone 9: Demo Mission CDR
March 09 / 20million


Orbital shall conduct a Demo Mission Critical Design Review (CDR) in accordance with the CDR definition in Appendix 3.  Orbital shall also provide review copy of the FAA Licensing Package.

Success Criteria:
Successful Completion of the CDR.

Milestone 10. COTS Visiting Vehicle (CVV) Avionics Test
June 09 / 15 million


Orbital shall conduct a CVV Dynamic Avionics Test series which integrates high fidelity models to provide hardware, software, and operations infrastructure validation

Success Criteria:
Conclusion by review board that pre-determined test criteria has been accomplished, including: preliminary Dynamic Spacecraft Simulator (DSS) completed, Interface between DSS and Spacecraft Flatsat tested, and delivery of the Flight Computer EDU.

Milestone 11: Unpressurized Cargo Module (UCM) Fabrication Started
July 09 / 5 million


Orbital shall begin structural fabrication of the UCM desk and related equipment.  Entrance criteria includes:  Successful completion of the CDR, disposition of all CDR open issues that affect design or fabrication or a timely closure plan exists for those issues remaining open, and adequate design documentation exists to proceed with fabrication..

Success Criteria:
-Release of authorizations to proceed to UCM vendors for fabricated parts.

Milestone 12: Service Module Core Assembly Started
October 09 / 7.5 million


Orbital shall begin start of propulsion system integration.  Assembly begins after delivery of the Service Module core structure and majority of the propulsion components

Success Criteria
-Successful completion of a Propulsion Manufacturing Readiness Review, including: core structure accepted, propulsion tanks Accepted, Known Component Discrepancies identified and Dispositioned.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: ChefPat on 12/28/2008 04:49 PM
snip

Thank you, that's much better than what I dug up.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Will on 12/28/2008 05:46 PM

I guess you could construct a situation where a tug that remains in orbit (but has in-orbit refueling capability) and is refueled by the same tanks it carries to the "rendezvous point" (depot or spacecraft under assembly) may be more efficient than launching a suitably-sized single-use SM (with just enough fuel for the rendezvous) with each tank.

But that looks like me a bit like a solution looking for a problem... ;D

Does it? Am I being naive in assuming that once you reach a certain flight rate a Parom style reusable tug makes more sense than expending a single use SM with each mission?

If the reusable tug doesn't make sense at low flight rates but does at high rates, at what flight rate does the reusable tug start to make economic sense?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 12/28/2008 06:06 PM

I guess you could construct a situation where a tug that remains in orbit (but has in-orbit refueling capability) and is refueled by the same tanks it carries to the "rendezvous point" (depot or spacecraft under assembly) may be more efficient than launching a suitably-sized single-use SM (with just enough fuel for the rendezvous) with each tank.

But that looks like me a bit like a solution looking for a problem... ;D

Does it? Am I being naive in assuming that once you reach a certain flight rate a Parom style reusable tug makes more sense than expending a single use SM with each mission?

If the reusable tug doesn't make sense at low flight rates but does at high rates, at what flight rate does the reusable tug start to make economic sense?

I have no idea myself what the exact flight rate would be, but it makes sense to think of a tug stationed on-orbit as a complement to an RLV. Some here have suggested the flight rate for an RLV system is around 60/yr, so maybe that'd be the flight-rate that would support a mini-fleet of tugs (maybe one for each individual RLV)?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 12/28/2008 11:54 PM

200 tons a year!!!???  Wow! that would warrant development of a Taurus IV, or a Falcon 27!!!  And a x5 scale Cygnus Service Module!!!  (although why would anyone put a fuel depot in LEO, vs. simply assembling already fueled tanks on orbit, I can't fathom).

I guess you could construct a situation where a tug that remains in orbit (but has in-orbit refueling capability) and is refueled by the same tanks it carries to the "rendezvous point" (depot or spacecraft under assembly) may be more efficient than launching a suitably-sized single-use SM (with just enough fuel for the rendezvous) with each tank.

Without going into the Propellant Depot (PD) discussion
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12338.0 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12338.0)
the 200 tons sounds like the fuel for the manned Mars mission.  That spacecraft may prefer to carry a single large fuel tank instead of 10 off 20 tonne fuel tanks with associated plumbing.  The fuel being lifted on EELV and CRS LV.

The PD operator would be looking to fuel the 2 (or with luck 4) Moon missions per year.  That is the Earth Departure Stage LEO to TLI and the Altair lunar lander.  (NASA's willingness to buy the propellant is a different but related matter.)

As for the tug - one idea is to make the tanker rockets as simple and cheap as possible, anything complex being performed by the tug and depot.  Automated docking with the depot counts as complex; this is likely to be the same order of complexity as docking with the ISS.  By using a tug the tankers would not need a RCS for instance.  The LV simply lift the tanks to LEO and the tug comes to collect and dock the tanks.

A cost saving comes from only a single set of navigation rockets on the tug being needed as against a set of rockets per tanker, eliminating say 50 sets of RCS rockets.  The tug could also manoeuvre the Moon/GEO/Mars/beyond spacecraft being fuelled when they dock with the depot.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Patchouli on 12/29/2008 12:28 AM

200 tons a year!!!???  Wow! that would warrant development of a Taurus IV, or a Falcon 27!!!  And a x5 scale Cygnus Service Module!!!  (although why would anyone put a fuel depot in LEO, vs. simply assembling already fueled tanks on orbit, I can't fathom).

I guess you could construct a situation where a tug that remains in orbit (but has in-orbit refueling capability) and is refueled by the same tanks it carries to the "rendezvous point" (depot or spacecraft under assembly) may be more efficient than launching a suitably-sized single-use SM (with just enough fuel for the rendezvous) with each tank.

Without going into the Propellant Depot (PD) discussion
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12338.0 (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12338.0)
the 200 tons sounds like the fuel for the manned Mars mission.  That spacecraft may prefer to carry a single large fuel tank instead of 10 off 20 tonne fuel tanks with associated plumbing.  The fuel being lifted on EELV and CRS LV.

The PD operator would be looking to fuel the 2 (or with luck 4) Moon missions per year.  That is the Earth Departure Stage LEO to TLI and the Altair lunar lander.  (NASA's willingness to buy the propellant is a different but related matter.)

As for the tug - one idea is to make the tanker rockets as simple and cheap as possible, anything complex being performed by the tug and depot.  Automated docking with the depot counts as complex; this is likely to be the same order of complexity as docking with the ISS.  By using a tug the tankers would not need a RCS for instance.  The LV simply lift the tanks to LEO and the tug comes to collect and dock the tanks.

A cost saving comes from only a single set of navigation rockets on the tug being needed as against a set of rockets per tanker, eliminating say 50 sets of RCS rockets.  The tug could also manoeuvre the Moon/GEO/Mars/beyond spacecraft being fuelled when they dock with the depot.

I wonder if OSC ever plans on recovering the first stage of Taurus II like spacex is going to with Falcon 9?

Doing so might go a long way in bringing up the flight rates.

Also on the tug being reused it also saves a lot on avionics which are not a small cost either esp the rendezvous hardware such as radars and lidars.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 12/29/2008 12:39 AM
1.  I wonder if OSC ever plans on recovering the first stage of Taurus II like spacex is going to with Falcon 9?

2.  Doing so might go a long way in bringing up the flight rates.


1.  No, it has be stated over and over by antonioe that it is not worth the effort for the low flight rates

2.  Reusability does not increase flight rates
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: nomadd22 on 12/29/2008 01:03 AM
1.  I wonder if OSC ever plans on recovering the first stage of Taurus II like spacex is going to with Falcon 9?

2.  Doing so might go a long way in bringing up the flight rates.


1.  No, it has be stated over and over by antonioe that it is not worth the effort for the low flight rates

2.  Reusability does not increase flight rates
Spacex hopes to cut 50% off the launch price if reusability pans out. I'd expect them to get a few more contracts if that were true, and I'm pretty sure the number of launches you contract has something to do with your flight rate, especially if you can accommodate those extra launches without having to manufacture everything from scratch.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 12/29/2008 01:26 AM
I'm pretty sure the number of launches you contract has something to do with your flight rate, especially if you can accommodate those extra launches without having to manufacture everything from scratch.

Incorrect.  Contracted launches and reusability are independent of launch processing and the  flight rate derived from it.

Refurbishment may take longer than production.  Launch processing may be longer than production rate

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 12/29/2008 01:30 AM
Spacex hopes to cut 50% off the launch price if reusability pans out.

The only way that SpaceX could cut price by 50% is for it to recover and reuse, with very little refurbishment cost, much more than 50% (probably 100%) of the launch vehicle.  This is because hardware (or the creation of the hardware) probably only accounts for half to two-thirds of the total cost per flight.  This assumes that refurbishment won't add much to operations costs, which I have a hard time believing.  Another cost of reusability would be lost payload capacity given up to recovery hardware mass.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: nomadd22 on 12/29/2008 06:18 AM
 I have a little trouble myself believing that getting an engine flight ready after sitting in salt water for six hours is as easy as some think.
 I was just pointing out that if they did pull it off and reduced prices that much, they'd likely have more contracts. How Jim can claim that the amount of business you have doesn't affect your flight rate is beyond me.
 And what the amount of time refurbishment takes has to do with anything is a bit of a mystery too. It would obviously not be done at expense of new engine production. Unless they're erecting and launching birds full time at the site more launch contracts would obviously affect how much you launch. It's not rocket science.
 I know Spacex wants to keep everything standard, but if they had a job that required the maximum payload capacity it seems like they could leave the chutes and other recovery hardware out of the rocket. Not everybody will need 100% of the capacity.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 12/29/2008 06:30 AM
And what the amount of time refurbishment takes has to do with anything is a bit of a mystery too. It would obviously not be done at expense of new engine production.{snip}

Time is money.  For reusability to be financial viable the man hours needed to refurbish a machine must be less than the man hours needed to build a new machine.  If it takes more man hours to refurbish it soon becomes cheaper to throw the old machine away and to buy a new one.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Swatch on 12/29/2008 06:39 AM
I agree all that plays into it, and I would wonder if there is a tipping point in this balance.  It would seem to me that refurbishment vs production would have a lot to do with whether or not there are many long-lead time items.  Long-lead time items would increase production time without really increasing the cost all that much, so if these items can be refurbished (within a reasonable time and budget), then flight rate would be increased by the simple fact of having an ever increasing inventory of these long-lead items and not having to wait on them.  Increasing your flight rate would seem to make your man-hours efficiency better (products delivered per man hour of your workforce), thus your overall cost may go up, but cost per flight goes down.

Now, this entire thought exercise is somewhat devoid of numbers and consideration for cost since I have no grasp of that, so I'm thinking in terms of actual time.  I'd be interested to hear thoughts on this.

EDIT:  As one final thought exercise....  even if the hardware is considered to be over 50% unflightworthy after a dunk in the ocean, is there any value in recycling the raw materials of the stage if it is able to be recovered?  Perhaps recouping cost by simply selling them as scrap would be useful, but once again, I haven't a clue the value in a rocket stage.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 12/29/2008 11:34 AM
How Jim can claim that the amount of business you have doesn't affect your flight rate is beyond me.
 And what the amount of time refurbishment takes has to do with anything is a bit of a mystery too.

Obviously you don't understand flight hardware processing.
It doesn't matter how many flights you have on contract because the hardware and facilities have a throughput limit.

Prices affect the number of contracts you get, not the flight rate

Yes, you can increase flight rate by having multiple production lines and multiple launch pads and crews.  But we are not talking about those kind of flight rates
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 12/29/2008 11:37 AM
. Not everybody will need 100% of the capacity.

Most will
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 12/29/2008 11:53 AM
How Jim can claim that the amount of business you have doesn't affect your flight rate is beyond me.
 And what the amount of time refurbishment takes has to do with anything is a bit of a mystery too.

Obviously you don't understand flight hardware processing.
It doesn't matter how many flights you have on contract because the hardware and facilities have a throughput limit.

Prices affect the number of contracts you get, not the flight rate

Yes, you can increase flight rate by having multiple production lines and multiple launch pads and crews.  But we are not talking about those kind of flight rates

What is the existing maximum flight rate capacity for individual EELV-class launchers? I'm wondering how close it comes to the business-case "gap" for RLV minimum flight-rate justification.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 12/29/2008 12:03 PM
I'm pretty sure the number of launches you contract has something to do with your flight rate, especially if you can accommodate those extra launches without having to manufacture everything from scratch.

Incorrect.  Contracted launches and reusability are independent of launch processing and the  flight rate derived from it.

Refurbishment may take longer than production.  Launch processing may be longer than production rate



How much of "launch processing" can be attribute to "payload processing," on average? I was wondering if there would ever be any benefit to designing an LV to be handled more like a V-2 (or in more modern terms, a road-mobile ICBM). Integrate everything onto the back of a big truck in a hangar, then send the truck (and trucks of fuel. oxydizer) to an otherwise fairly primitive launch site.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 12/29/2008 12:19 PM

How much of "launch processing" can be attribute to "payload processing," on average? I was wondering if there would ever be any benefit to designing an LV to be handled more like a V-2 (or in more modern terms, a road-mobile ICBM). Integrate everything onto the back of a big truck in a hangar, then send the truck (and trucks of fuel. oxydizer) to an otherwise fairly primitive launch site.

For Atlas V and Delta II, the payload is mated to the LV less than 2 weeks before launch.  Delta IV is a little longer but was be to shorter

What was the success rate of the V-2?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 12/29/2008 12:29 PM

How much of "launch processing" can be attribute to "payload processing," on average? I was wondering if there would ever be any benefit to designing an LV to be handled more like a V-2 (or in more modern terms, a road-mobile ICBM). Integrate everything onto the back of a big truck in a hangar, then send the truck (and trucks of fuel. oxydizer) to an otherwise fairly primitive launch site.

For Atlas V and Delta II, the payload is mated to the LV less than 2 weeks before launch.  Delta IV is a little longer but was be to shorter

What was the success rate of the V-2?

I'd have to look that up in some old books I have (and will try), but somebody here may know off the top of their head. My recollection is, launch success rate was fairly high (surprisingly high considering it was the first vehicle of its kind, built by slave labor at that). A quick google came up with the following, which comes up with a 50% operational success rate, but I think that includes lots of V2s not landing anywhere near their targets (not surprising considering how they were guided), breaking up on the downward leg of their trajectory, etc.

http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/background/v1v2.htm

Fwiw, Astroautix has this discussion:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/v2.htm

Discounting the 12% rejected by the combat units as "unsuitable for firing," (which one hopes wouldn't happen with a commercial satellit LV manufacturer), that leaves the 10% that failed within sight of the launch team, and another 10% that didn't get where they were supposed to gofor whatever reason. It doesn't sound like the field launch conditions contributed much to the failure rate.

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Swatch on 12/29/2008 01:36 PM
What was the success rate of the V-2?

I was suprised to see you, of ALL people, try to stand on that sort of number.  They were getting pretty good at launching those things.  Methinks V-2 success rate is a poor comparison point for anything in today's aerospace.  Unskilled workforce + bleeding edge tech + primitive (by todays standards) technology = bad odds for flight, and it still ended up doing pretty well (ignoring guidance issues which were technology limited, not vehicle limited).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: HMXHMX on 12/29/2008 10:36 PM
So, Antonio, do you have any comment on Elon's interview:

http://blogs.discovery.com/news_space/2008/12/spacex-more-nas.html

Specifically his question about flight rate and SpaceX carrying more cargo?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: marsavian on 12/29/2008 10:47 PM
While you are waiting for Antonio here's where the confusion lies, Dragon carries more combined (3.1mT vs 2.0-2.3mT) but Cygnus carries 64% more pressurised (2.3mT vs 1.4mT).

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11980.msg248476#msg248476

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: ugordan on 12/29/2008 10:49 PM
Wasn't the discrepancy due to pressurized volume available as cargo is volume-limited?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: mlorrey on 12/29/2008 11:04 PM
http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/background/v1v2.htm

Fwiw, Astroautix has this discussion:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/v2.htm

Discounting the 12% rejected by the combat units as "unsuitable for firing," (which one hopes wouldn't happen with a commercial satellit LV manufacturer), that leaves the 10% that failed within sight of the launch team, and another 10% that didn't get where they were supposed to gofor whatever reason. It doesn't sound like the field launch conditions contributed much to the failure rate.



As I understand it, having a slave workforce of Jews whose families were being exterminated may have been a contributing factor to the high failure rate (i.e. intentional sabotage)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: HMXHMX on 12/30/2008 12:24 AM
http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/background/v1v2.htm

Fwiw, Astroautix has this discussion:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/v2.htm

Discounting the 12% rejected by the combat units as "unsuitable for firing," (which one hopes wouldn't happen with a commercial satellit LV manufacturer), that leaves the 10% that failed within sight of the launch team, and another 10% that didn't get where they were supposed to gofor whatever reason. It doesn't sound like the field launch conditions contributed much to the failure rate.



As I understand it, having a slave workforce of Jews whose families were being exterminated may have been a contributing factor to the high failure rate (i.e. intentional sabotage)

One of the most inspiring things I ever saw was an exhibit in the USAF Museum in Dayton OH, that shows a cutaway of an Me163 wing.  Built by slave labor, it had been sabotaged by one of those unfortunates in an very clever manner, using a pointed rock to cause a fuel tank leak while the wing was flexing in flight.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 12/30/2008 01:41 AM
So, Antonio, do you have any comment on Elon's interview:

Like Elon, I am very grateful to NASA.

Quote
Specifically his question about flight rate and SpaceX carrying more cargo?

I'm not sufficiently familiar with SpaceX's proposed system or its capabilities to be able to comment about his statement.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Antares on 12/30/2008 07:22 AM
I have a little trouble myself believing that getting an engine flight ready after sitting in salt water for six hours is as easy as some think.

SSME already did it, maybe not 6 hours.  They dunked one in the Gulf with a helicopter then flew it to Stennis and fired it.  This was in the mid-90s when SSME was a candidate for Delta IV first stage.  The press release is out there somewhere.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: HMXHMX on 12/30/2008 03:33 PM
I have a little trouble myself believing that getting an engine flight ready after sitting in salt water for six hours is as easy as some think.

SSME already did it, maybe not 6 hours.  They dunked one in the Gulf with a helicopter then flew it to Stennis and fired it.  This was in the mid-90s when SSME was a candidate for Delta IV first stage.  The press release is out there somewhere.

I don't think they got the engine wet, but I am happy to know differently if I'm not correct.

I do know there was an H-1 subjected to water immersion for 24 hours, and then fired, sometime in the 1960s.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 12/30/2008 03:51 PM
What was the success rate of the V-2?

I was suprised to see you, of ALL people, try to stand on that sort of number.  They were getting pretty good at launching those things.  Methinks V-2 success rate is a poor comparison point for anything in today's aerospace.  Unskilled workforce + bleeding edge tech + primitive (by todays standards) technology = bad odds for flight, and it still ended up doing pretty well (ignoring guidance issues which were technology limited, not vehicle limited).

One of the guidance anecdotes (I think this is from Dornberger's book, which I don't think I have anymore) was the allies thinking it was radio controlled after one test launch from Peenemunde went off course and came down in Sweden. But that was experimental and the deployed weapon had a clockwork guidance system. In some thread here, we toted up how many of each engine had actually flown, and it turned out the V-2 engine was up near the top of the list. Amazing, when you think about it.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 12/31/2008 02:25 AM
In this BBC article, the reentry variant of Cygnus was mentioned.  Has this concept been developed more and/or funded?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7800721.stm

Also, looking for upperstage liquid engines, the RD-8 and RD-120 caught my eye.  Is CRS still dependent on the percentage of the vehicle being domestically made, and how would a foreign engine have on Taurus' percentage?  I am assuming that any eventual upgrade would be after COTS is over, so that is why I did not ask about it.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: mlorrey on 01/03/2009 04:03 PM
What was the success rate of the V-2?

I was suprised to see you, of ALL people, try to stand on that sort of number.  They were getting pretty good at launching those things.  Methinks V-2 success rate is a poor comparison point for anything in today's aerospace.  Unskilled workforce + bleeding edge tech + primitive (by todays standards) technology = bad odds for flight, and it still ended up doing pretty well (ignoring guidance issues which were technology limited, not vehicle limited).

One of the guidance anecdotes (I think this is from Dornberger's book, which I don't think I have anymore) was the allies thinking it was radio controlled after one test launch from Peenemunde went off course and came down in Sweden. But that was experimental and the deployed weapon had a clockwork guidance system. In some thread here, we toted up how many of each engine had actually flown, and it turned out the V-2 engine was up near the top of the list. Amazing, when you think about it.

wasn't the head of the V-2 engine used in clusters for one or more of the early soviet engines as well?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 01/12/2009 05:21 PM
<p>Hey, I just realized that the TV table we've been putting together is missing the pressurized cargo volume data.  Here's yet one more version with that data added.  Please post any additions/corrections/comment, please:</p>
Hi antonioe, belated congratulations on your CRS contract award.
Have you in the meantime been able to further refine the table of logistics spacecraft performance we were discussing earlier this year, and if so, could you share any new information with us?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 01/12/2009 05:51 PM
Thanks.  Well, things are a bit busy now, and it appears that the Dragon numbers may have gone up.  Maybe we should wait until the manifest for the first SpaceX and Orbital CRS missions is announced by NASA to see what really fits inside these vehicles, including the volumetric limitation issues, once you manifest an actual flight.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: NUAETIUS on 02/07/2009 02:49 PM
Has anyone seen any news on how Orbital sciences is doing on COTS milestone 4 and 8 due this month?  I got 1k dollars riding on them at Hubdub.

Milestone 4: COTS System PDR
February 09 / 20 million

Orbital shall conduct a COTS system preliminary design Review (PDR) (including the demonstration mission configuration) in accordance with the PDR definition in Appendix 3.

Success Criteria:
-Successful completion of the PDR

Milestone 8. Complete Development of Intrumentation Program and Command List (IP&CL)
Febuary 09 / 10 million

The CVV Instrumentation Program and Command List (IP&CL) will be prepared and released for use shortly before the Demo Mission CDR. The mission database release is required to support development of the CVV Dynamic Spacecraft Simulator (DSS) and to commence integrated avionics hardware/software testing (Milestone 10). For the initial database release, the CVV ground commands and telemetry, as well as CVV stored command sequences (RTS and TMON) will be defined to the extent possible

Success Criteria:
Delivery of IP&CL to NASA
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 02/19/2009 07:47 PM
Hmm, it seems quite.  The overlords must be cracking the whip.  How is everything going in Cygnus/Taurus II world? 
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/20/2009 12:51 AM
Hmm, it seems quite.  The overlords must be cracking the whip.  How is everything going in Cygnus/Taurus II world? 

(assuming you mean "quiet")  Well, the CRS situation has made all of us rather quiet.  I expect NASA to issue an update on COTS in the next few weeks, though...

In the meanwhile, Thales Alenia Space-Italy (TAS-I) has announced that we are going to sign a purchase order for nine PCM's with them.  Their newly appointed Program Manager for the PCM was their PM on ISS nodes 2 and 3.  Good guys, easy to work with, really know their stuff.

Longest lead parts for Cygnus (tanks and computer card EDUs) on order.

Yuzhnoye just told us we cannot use any color darker than blue on any signage or decals on Stage 1 because black paint can increase the temperature of the metal directly under it in bright sunlight more than they want to accept (I was told that is why Sea Launch and Zenith decals are blue... haven't checked that for accuracy... those Yuzhnoye guys are SO conservative they make Lockheed and Boeing look like wild and crazy guys...)  :D
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Patchouli on 02/20/2009 01:03 AM
What was the success rate of the V-2?

I was suprised to see you, of ALL people, try to stand on that sort of number.  They were getting pretty good at launching those things.  Methinks V-2 success rate is a poor comparison point for anything in today's aerospace.  Unskilled workforce + bleeding edge tech + primitive (by todays standards) technology = bad odds for flight, and it still ended up doing pretty well (ignoring guidance issues which were technology limited, not vehicle limited).

Also add a workforce that tended to sabotage the end product whenever they could because Germany loosing the war was in their best interests.

I bet a lot of those V2s that went down in within site of the launch crew probably had some bolts stuffed into the turbo pump intakes.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 02/20/2009 12:50 PM

Yuzhnoye just told us we cannot use any color darker than blue on any signage or decals on Stage 1 because black paint can increase the temperature of the metal directly under it in bright sunlight more than they want to accept (I was told that is why Sea Launch and Zenith decals are blue... haven't checked that for accuracy... those Yuzhnoye guys are SO conservative they make Lockheed and Boeing look like wild and crazy guys...)  :D

What about a foamy sticker, that way you have some insulation between your sticker and that black logo ;) Wait, black logo, I thought this was for COTS, not a black ops cover story. See what you started :)

Can't wait to watch the sticker ride the pencil of flame into the sky.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 02/20/2009 03:51 PM
In the meanwhile, Thales Alenia Space-Italy (TAS-I) has announced that we are going to sign a purchase order for nine PCM's with them.  Their newly appointed Program Manager for the PCM was their PM on ISS nodes 2 and 3.  Good guys, easy to work with, really know their stuff.
[/quote]

I get the impression that statement by TAS-I was a surprise to you.....(because it is usually the prime contractor who announces prcurement decisions)
Are they jumping the gun?

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/21/2009 12:20 PM
Nope.  No surprises.  Orbital's policy is to defer to NASA any public announcements on COTS/CRS.  Being a policy and not a contract requirement, our subs are under no such constraint.

Notice, though, the number NINE  ::)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 02/21/2009 06:17 PM
Nope.  No surprises.  Orbital's policy is to defer to NASA any public announcements on COTS/CRS.  Being a policy and not a contract requirement, our subs are under no such constraint.

Notice, though, the number NINE  ::)
Well, if you are intending to deliver only pressurized cargo, I might guess 1 qual unit and 8 flight units........hm?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/21/2009 10:32 PM
It's a protoflight qualification approach.  No need for a (dedicated) qual unit.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: TrueGrit on 02/21/2009 10:45 PM
That's interesting...  Doesn't adding the additonal cost of proto-flight on top of typical acceptance test add significantly to the recurring costs?  And my experience has been that the govm't team doesn't like to proto-flight if possible.  As it does demonstrate as much hardware margins.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 02/21/2009 11:01 PM
That's interesting...  Doesn't adding the additonal cost of proto-flight on top of typical acceptance test add significantly to the recurring costs?  And my experience has been that the govm't team doesn't like to proto-flight if possible.  As it does demonstrate as much hardware margins.

Most spacecraft follow the  proto-flight paradigm.   Why would it be more expensive?  The proto-flight tests are only done to one flight unit, not all
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: AnalogMan on 02/21/2009 11:12 PM
It's a protoflight qualification approach.  No need for a (dedicated) qual unit.

Is this similar to the approach taken with ATV?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/22/2009 02:00 AM
The real decision criterion as to whether to proto-flight or to proto-qual really boils down to margins: when you have to squeeze the last ounce of performance, proto-qual is the only way to go; if you can afford the extra margin, proto-flight is by far less expensive (for quantities in the dozen or so, as we are talking here).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 02/22/2009 09:44 AM
The real decision criterion as to whether to proto-flight or to proto-qual really boils down to margins: when you have to squeeze the last ounce of performance, proto-qual is the only way to go; if you can afford the extra margin, proto-flight is by far less expensive (for quantities in the dozen or so, as we are talking here).
Right, and the structural design heritage of your cargo module is well established (MPLM, ATV-ICC), so the proto-flight philosophy is certainly justified here.
OK, I give up - what's the significance of nine units, then?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/22/2009 12:31 PM
Stand by for upcoming announcements (from NASA; our policy on COTS/CRS is to let NASA take the lead on any press releases).

I don't know how long it will take, though, with all that is happening (stimulus package, STS delay, CRS protest...)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: yinzer on 02/22/2009 03:16 PM
The real decision criterion as to whether to proto-flight or to proto-qual really boils down to margins: when you have to squeeze the last ounce of performance, proto-qual is the only way to go; if you can afford the extra margin, proto-flight is by far less expensive (for quantities in the dozen or so, as we are talking here).
Right, and the structural design heritage of your cargo module is well established (MPLM, ATV-ICC), so the proto-flight philosophy is certainly justified here.
OK, I give up - what's the significance of nine units, then?

The initial press releases talked about one demo plus eight flights - I thought the eight flights were options or IDIQ or something, but if Orbital is already buying nine modules, perhaps they have firmed up.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/22/2009 03:40 PM
OK, I give up - what's the significance of nine units, then?

My guess is it means that Orbital doesn't expect to lose its COTS contract to the Planetspace protest.

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 02/22/2009 04:51 PM
FWIW: PlanetSpace protested the CRS award, not the COTS award (a bit late for that...)

Also, COTS is not a "contract" in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) framework: its an
"Agreement" (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/289016main_Space%20Act%20Agreements%20Guide%202008.pdf) under Section 203(c)(5) of the Space Act of 1958 (NASA's "Constitution").  NASA and Orbital agree to co-fund a development. That is why we can't count the NASA payments as "revenue" in our financial reports (as would be the case with a contract).

The Orbital/NASA COTS agreement provides for the (one and only) demo flight to use an Unpressurized Cargo Module (UCM), for both cost and schedule reasons...

At this point I'd better shut up - I think I've gone out on a limb enough.  Sorry I brought up this subject, guys.  This will all become clear in a little while.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: edkyle99 on 02/22/2009 05:44 PM
FWIW: PlanetSpace protested the CRS award, not the COTS award (a bit late for that...)


Roger that.  I meant to refer to the latest (CRS) contract.  Too many acronyms to remember on the fly sometimes!

 - Ed Kyle
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: NUAETIUS on 03/01/2009 03:09 AM
Tomorrow is March 1st. 

Original Orbital Sciences COTS Agreement
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/286477main_284646main_Orbital%20Amendment%201.pdf

Milestone 4: COTS System PDR
February 09 / 20 million

Orbital shall conduct a COTS system preliminary design Review (PDR) (including the demonstration mission configuration) in accordance with the PDR definition in Appendix 3.

Success Criteria:
-Successful completion of the PDR

Milestone 8. Complete Development of Intrumentation Program and Command List (IP&CL)
Febuary 09 / 10 million

The CVV Instrumentation Program and Command List (IP&CL) will be prepared and released for use shortly before the Demo Mission CDR. The mission database release is required to support development of the CVV Dynamic Spacecraft Simulator (DSS) and to commence integrated avionics hardware/software testing (Milestone 10). For the initial database release, the CVV ground commands and telemetry, as well as CVV stored command sequences (RTS and TMON) will be defined to the extent possible

Success Criteria:
Delivery of IP&CL to NASA

I can't find news anywhere of whether or not Orbital met these two milestones.  Where they pushed back, or where they not met?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 04/23/2009 10:23 PM
Good news everyone!

Quote
PlanetSpace, Inc. (NNJ08ZBG001R)
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    Quick View Quick view toggle     Outcome: Denied     Date Decided: April 22, 2009

    Filed Date:   January 14, 2009
    Due:   April 24, 2009
    Case Type:   Bid Protest
    GAO Attorney:     David A. Ashen
    File Number:     401016.1

So now we can hopefully get more updates, please..

http://www.gao.gov/docsearch/locate?searched=1&o=0&order_by=rel&old_keyword=planetspace&ft=&search_type=bid&add_topic=&remove_topic=&add_type=&remove_type=&add_fed_type=&remove_fed_type=&add_fed_desc=&remove_fed_desc=&add_year=&remove_type=&keyword=planetspace
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 05/06/2009 02:40 AM
Went to the tacsat-3 launch attempt today, there was a huge banner for Taurus II being suspended by a large crane.  The Orbital representative at the Visitors center informed me that it was only half scale, this rocket is going to be huge!
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Seer on 05/09/2009 04:46 AM
Nine?
I'd say the ninth mission is a demonstrator for a potential crew capability.
What do I win?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: bolun on 06/18/2009 05:18 PM

The Orbital Sciences Corporation has engaged Thales Alenia Space to build a pressurised module for its forthcoming cargo vessel, Cygnus.

The agreement between Orbital and Thales signed at the Paris air show covers nine Cygnus ships in total.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8107877.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8107877.stm)

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 06/18/2009 05:50 PM

The Orbital Sciences Corporation has engaged Thales Alenia Space to build a pressurised module for its forthcoming cargo vessel, Cygnus.

The agreement between Orbital and Thales signed at the Paris air show covers nine Cygnus ships in total.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8107877.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8107877.stm)

Yes, one for the COTS Demo mission and 8 for the CRS missions.
So Orbital has decided not to continue with their unpressurized cargo variant (or NASA has no need for it)?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 06/18/2009 08:39 PM

So Orbital has decided not to continue with their unpressurized cargo variant (or NASA has no need for it)?


NASA requested that we change the demo to pressurized and we agreed; this caused a change in the demo date.  All the details are available (I am told - I have not checked personally) in the NASA COTS web site.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/19/2009 05:26 PM
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/19/2009 06:06 PM
ok, dont ask me how but only got audio for the recording (tried to get video  ???) anyhow here it is:
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: ugordan on 06/19/2009 06:20 PM
ok, dont ask me how but only got audio for the recording (tried to get video  ???) anyhow here it is:

I don't suppose you used VLC 0.9 when that happened, did you?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/19/2009 06:22 PM
ok, dont ask me how but only got audio for the recording (tried to get video  ???) anyhow here it is:

I don't suppose you used VLC 0.9 when that happened, did you?


0.9.9
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: ugordan on 06/19/2009 06:27 PM
ok, dont ask me how but only got audio for the recording (tried to get video  ???) anyhow here it is:

I don't suppose you used VLC 0.9 when that happened, did you?


0.9.9

Well, I'd say there's your problem. I had the same problem with the LRO launch yesterday, couldn't get video to show when stream save was enabled, with no saving enabled it worked fine. I ended up using an older version (0.8.6) to just dump the stream to the disk and then view the file in 0.9.9 after a few seconds on the fly. The old VLC player seemed to be unable to decode the video anymore - dumped garbage and crashed, perhaps due to a change in video format or something, even though for me it worked during Augustine presentations.  ???
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: bolun on 06/19/2009 07:14 PM
ok, dont ask me how but only got audio for the recording (tried to get video  ???) anyhow here it is:

It´s not video but you have images.

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/361040main_20090617COTS_Status.pdf (http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/361040main_20090617COTS_Status.pdf)

Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2009 03:05 AM
I know that they are available in the Powerpoint slide, but here are some images taken from the presentation:
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2009 03:13 AM
Is it wrong to love a cargo craft (Cygnus) more than a crew capsule (Dragon)?

With the first graphic, you really see how small the PCM is in relation to a regular MPLM (or in this case, Columbus which is a sister design, I guess PCM is like a younger cousin)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: pippin on 06/20/2009 09:34 AM
Looks (unsurprisingly?) alike ATM, doesn't it :-)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2009 09:53 AM
money machine?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Ronsmytheiii on 06/20/2009 12:34 PM
Perhaps he was trying to say ATV?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Jim on 06/20/2009 01:14 PM
Or Apollo Telescope Mount.  That's what I thought he really meant.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: pippin on 06/20/2009 01:24 PM
Or Apollo Telescope Mount.  That's what I thought he really meant.

Nonono
Ronsmytheiii is right, I meant ATV, of course...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 06/20/2009 10:35 PM
So if you install an ATM on the ISS, where do they spend the money ???
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: pippin on 06/20/2009 10:51 PM
So if you install an ATM on the ISS, where do they spend the money ???

Wakeup-Tunes.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: simpl simon on 06/20/2009 11:33 PM

So Orbital has decided not to continue with their unpressurized cargo variant (or NASA has no need for it)?


NASA requested that we change the demo to pressurized and we agreed; this caused a change in the demo date.  All the details are available (I am told - I have not checked personally) in the NASA COTS web site.

And can you share with us whether you will go with the Dutch Space solar array?
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: iamlucky13 on 06/21/2009 12:03 AM
So if you install an ATM on the ISS, where do they spend the money ???

That would be pointless. How could paper ever replace M&M's as the standard currency in space?  8)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Swatch on 06/21/2009 01:49 AM
So if you install an ATM on the ISS, where do they spend the money ???

Wakeup-Tunes.

Yea I hear Apple iTunes charges a $5 premium to transport the music through the tubes leading to the ISS.

[but that's enough off-topic talk]

Why all the red ink and restructuring in the Orbital COTS Milestone Tracking?  (page 10 of the powerpoint)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: Antares on 06/21/2009 02:37 AM
Why all the red ink and restructuring in the Orbital COTS Milestone Tracking?  (page 10 of the powerpoint)

Probably has to do with the fact that Antonio mentioned ordering 9 PCMs somewhere above on this thread.  The original SAA with Orbital was for an unpressurized demo, so if NASA bought 8 flights of pressurized on CRS it's kind of pointless to demo unpressurized.
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 06/21/2009 07:08 PM
Bingo.  Except a PCM (especially if active) costs a lot more than a UCM!

As for the milestone restructuring, it is due to the fact that changing from a UCM (which was quite advanced in design) to a PCM threw the Cygnus first flight schedule out of kilter...

You may also be interested to know that PCM's come in two "lengths": a short but light one for dense cargo, and a longer but heavier one for less dense cargo.  They also come in "active" (includes cooling at a payload mass premium) and "passive" (no cooling - more cargo) versions.

And I thought I had come up with the simplest possible system... *sigh*
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 06/22/2009 01:26 AM
And I thought I had come up with the simplest possible system... *sigh*

But do they come in a choice of colors, like NASA blue? ;)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: antonioe on 06/22/2009 03:19 PM
You can have it any color you want as long as it's white (O.K., with some gold accents here and there).
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: kevin-rf on 06/22/2009 06:58 PM

(O.K., with some gold accents here and there).

Pimpin your Cygnus I see ;)
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: yg1968 on 06/23/2009 01:57 PM
Here is the video of the Orbital presentation on June 17 2009 at the Augustine panel:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=17539.msg428150#msg428150
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: William Barton on 06/23/2009 02:03 PM
You can have it any color you want as long as it's white (O.K., with some gold accents here and there).

A decal of a swan in flight would be nice...
Title: Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
Post by: jongoff on 11/24/2009 08:51 PM
I have a quick Cygnus question for Antonio or anyone else who can field it.  I've been able to find references to what the internal volume of Cygnus is, but no data on what the actual dimensions are.  I was curious for an idea I explored on my blog today.  I could find dimensions for Dragon, but none for Cygnus. The key question would be what the usable inner diameter is.  The OD of Cygnus from the data sheets is 3.1m, I'm just not clear on how big of a diameter you could fit *inside* Cygnus.  PM me if needed.

~Jon