Author Topic: Man rating EELVs  (Read 53758 times)

Online mmeijeri

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Man rating EELVs
« on: 08/11/2009 07:45 pm »
A new thread for discussing everything related to man rating EELVs: cost, logistics, opposition by NASA, opposition by DoD etc.
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Offline agman25

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #1 on: 08/11/2009 08:07 pm »
Did these problems with the DoD insisting on separate production lines and pads for any modified EELV come up during OSP or the spiral development days or are they a post-ESAS thing?

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #2 on: 08/12/2009 09:29 am »
@ agman25

I'm no expert at the history.  However, you have to look at the different backgrounds of the two times. 

OSP was one of the two designed major customers of the EELVs alongside DoD payloads.  If the program had proceeded then, the EELVs would have been built as human-rated according to NASA's requirements and the pads would have been built to double as crewed launch sites.  The DoD would have used the same machine and pads for their own launches and that would have been that. 

Now, we are in a situation where NASA is the 'johnny-come-lately' and the USAF is (perhaps, justifiably) worried that two perfectly good launchers may end up being ruined by NASA's bureaucratic fumbling or that human-rating work at LC-37 and LC-41 may delay their own launch schedules.  Instead of being one of the two original major customers, NASA HSF is in the position of being a new customer who wants massive changes to the product that the original major customer isn't happy about.
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Online mmeijeri

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #3 on: 08/12/2009 12:13 pm »
The Aerospace study into man-rating Delta-IV-H has been released.
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Offline meiza

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #4 on: 08/13/2009 12:35 pm »
The Aerospace study into man-rating Delta-IV-H has been released.

Thanks! This is interesting.

Man, so much to read, so little time and energy.

Online mmeijeri

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #5 on: 11/03/2009 04:31 pm »
It has been said that man-rating EELVs was considered extremely difficult in the OSP days, including but not limited to problems caused by steep ascent profiles. What has changed since then that would make things easier? Is it the fact RS68A will likely be operational soon?
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Offline Jim

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #6 on: 11/03/2009 04:41 pm »

OSP was one of the two designed major customers of the EELVs alongside DoD payloads.  If the program had proceeded then, the EELVs would have been built as human-rated according to NASA's requirements and the pads would have been built to double as crewed launch sites.  The DoD would have used the same machine and pads for their own launches and that would have been that. 

Incorrect.  OSP requirements were not used in the EELV development and had no influence on EELV design, neither launch vehicle nor pads.     OSP didn't even exist when the first EELV's were built.

Hence OSP and any other manned spacecraft have the same starting point, they needed to modify stock EELV's and pads

Offline Jim

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #7 on: 11/03/2009 04:43 pm »
It has been said that man-rating EELVs was considered extremely difficult in the OSP days, including but not limited to problems caused by steep ascent profiles. What has changed since then that would make things easier?

NASA relaxed the manrating requirements

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #8 on: 11/03/2009 04:46 pm »
Would it be possible to meet the old requirements with RS68A? And is the 1.4 factor of safety still in the new requirements?
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Offline Antares

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #9 on: 11/04/2009 05:28 am »
NASA Standard 8705.2B no longer has strict technical requirements in it, whereas 8705.2A did.  Rev B states that the requirements are levied at the Program level rather than at the Agency level.  So whatever Program would use the hardware would decide what factor of safety to use.

My offer still stands: I'll buy a 6-month L2 subscription for anyone who can definitively prove where 1.4 came from - proof subject to the scrutiny of NSF members.

LV trajectories can be tailored such that major structure can meet the 1.4 requirement.  However, since engines drive their own environments and their operation is pretty set, I doubt an engine could meet a higher safety factor than its original design.  Similarly, if EELV used 1.25 and RS-68 was specifically for EELV, I doubt it would have a higher SF.

Keep in mind, though, that there are other considerations in the design and manufacture of anything such that a relatively small number of locations on any system are at the minimum allowable factor of safety.

Also, as Danny Deger has stated, within 24 hours of learning of the requirement (one of those requirements NASA HSF accidentally forgot to mention initially) Boeing and Lockheed altered the trajectory to eliminate the high-g abort environment.
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Offline Downix

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #10 on: 11/05/2009 01:36 pm »
Well, my concern with man-rating Delta or Atlas is simple, what is the history of either system with people?  Delta, as far as I am aware, has not been used in any human space flight.  Atlas, however, is full of bits that have been used in human space flight.  It is an evolution of the old Mercury lifter.  The engine is derived from a russian human-lift vehicles engine.  It seems a better fit to me, honestly.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #11 on: 11/05/2009 01:43 pm »
Well, my concern with man-rating Delta or Atlas is simple, what is the history of either system with people?

A moot point - what was the history of the Shuttle before Young and Crippen climbed aboard? Lack of such "people" history does not by itself make a vehicle unsuitable, nor does having any such previous history necessarily make it suitable (as Ares I 5-segment SRB proponents would have you believe).

Offline William Barton

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #12 on: 11/05/2009 01:52 pm »
Here's something I've wondered about: How much of the existing Atlas V is Atlas ICBM heritage? For that matter, does the existing Delta IV have any Thor IRBM heritage, or are these things just names?

Offline William Barton

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #13 on: 11/05/2009 01:53 pm »
Well, my concern with man-rating Delta or Atlas is simple, what is the history of either system with people?  Delta, as far as I am aware, has not been used in any human space flight.  Atlas, however, is full of bits that have been used in human space flight.  It is an evolution of the old Mercury lifter.  The engine is derived from a russian human-lift vehicles engine.  It seems a better fit to me, honestly.

Do intentions actually count? Energiya never lifted any actual humans.

Offline Downix

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #14 on: 11/05/2009 02:03 pm »
Well, my concern with man-rating Delta or Atlas is simple, what is the history of either system with people?  Delta, as far as I am aware, has not been used in any human space flight.  Atlas, however, is full of bits that have been used in human space flight.  It is an evolution of the old Mercury lifter.  The engine is derived from a russian human-lift vehicles engine.  It seems a better fit to me, honestly.

Do intentions actually count? Energiya never lifted any actual humans.
Too true, but it was designed to, plus the engine family is being used on the Angara which is being planned for human-lift as well.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #15 on: 11/05/2009 02:48 pm »
Human-triggered Abort

There seems to be an assumption that for a launch vehicle to be "human rated" it must have an automated system that would detect trouble and trigger the abort/escape system.

Why?

For sake of discussion, assume there is no solid propellant; just liquid.  Why isn't it enough to give the pilot an abort button, give the ground controller an abort button, and give range safety an abort button? 
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Offline Downix

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #16 on: 11/05/2009 02:49 pm »
Human-triggered Abort

There seems to be an assumption that for a launch vehicle to be "human rated" it must have an automated system that would detect trouble and trigger the abort/escape system.

Why?

For sake of discussion, assume there is no solid propellant; just liquid.  Why isn't it enough to give the pilot an abort button, give the ground controller an abort button, and give range safety an abort button? 

Letś use Challenger as an example, how fast can you hit that button when breakup takes under a half second?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #17 on: 11/05/2009 03:00 pm »
Human-triggered Abort

There seems to be an assumption that for a launch vehicle to be "human rated" it must have an automated system that would detect trouble and trigger the abort/escape system.

Why?

For sake of discussion, assume there is no solid propellant; just liquid.  Why isn't it enough to give the pilot an abort button, give the ground controller an abort button, and give range safety an abort button? 

Letś use Challenger as an example, how fast can you hit that button when breakup takes under a half second?

The Challenger stack included solids, but let's look at it anyway.  With a launch abort system triggered from the ground and a reasonably robust escape system pulling a reasonably robust capsule away from the stack, would the crew have been alive upon hitting the water?

Evidence indicates that with Challenger, the crew cabin detached and was robust enough that some crew members were alive until impact.

So there's no need for the crew to "hit the button" in under a half second.  That's what the ground controller's button is for!
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Offline Jim

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #18 on: 11/05/2009 03:02 pm »
Here's something I've wondered about: How much of the existing Atlas V is Atlas ICBM heritage? For that matter, does the existing Delta IV have any Thor IRBM heritage, or are these things just names?

Names only.  Delta IV has Delta II avionics and Altas V has some Atlas II & III parts. 

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #19 on: 11/05/2009 03:03 pm »
Human-triggered Abort

There seems to be an assumption that for a launch vehicle to be "human rated" it must have an automated system that would detect trouble and trigger the abort/escape system.

Why?

For sake of discussion, assume there is no solid propellant; just liquid.  Why isn't it enough to give the pilot an abort button, give the ground controller an abort button, and give range safety an abort button? 

Because things can happen faster than human reaction.   See the Titan IV A-20 breakup.

Offline Downix

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #20 on: 11/05/2009 03:04 pm »
Human-triggered Abort

There seems to be an assumption that for a launch vehicle to be "human rated" it must have an automated system that would detect trouble and trigger the abort/escape system.

Why?

For sake of discussion, assume there is no solid propellant; just liquid.  Why isn't it enough to give the pilot an abort button, give the ground controller an abort button, and give range safety an abort button? 

Letś use Challenger as an example, how fast can you hit that button when breakup takes under a half second?

The Challenger stack included solids, but let's look at it anyway.  With a launch abort system triggered from the ground and a reasonably robust escape system pulling a reasonably robust capsule away from the stack, would the crew have been alive upon hitting the water?

Evidence indicates that with Challenger, the crew cabin detached and was robust enough that some crew members were alive until impact.

So there's no need for the crew to "hit the button" in under a half second.  That's what the ground controller's button is for!
Correct, save Challenger lost telemetry upon breakup, which ment that the signal from the ground controller may not have been picked up by the abort system.

Now, you do not need a dramatic automatic system, even the simple accelerometer off of a Wii remote would do.  Just put in a trigger such as left/right motion in excess of 10G, or some # the hardware cannot withstand.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #21 on: 11/05/2009 03:06 pm »

Evidence indicates that with Challenger, the crew cabin detached and was robust enough that some crew members were alive until impact.

So there's no need for the crew to "hit the button" in under a half second.  That's what the ground controller's button is for!

Incorrect,

A. The ground does not active the LAS.  The ground activates the range safety system which activates the LAS.

B.  The break up of the vehicle would have disable commands going from the range safety system to the LAS.


Look up EDS and you will see why it has to be automated.

Offline Jorge

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #22 on: 11/05/2009 03:09 pm »

Evidence indicates that with Challenger, the crew cabin detached and was robust enough that some crew members were alive until impact.

So there's no need for the crew to "hit the button" in under a half second.  That's what the ground controller's button is for!

Incorrect,

A. The ground does not active the LAS.  The ground activates the range safety system which activates the LAS.

B.  The break up of the vehicle would have disable commands going from the range safety system to the LAS.


Look up EDS and you will see why it has to be automated.

Well, not *completely* automated. The Saturn V EDS, to take an example, had only a few automatic triggers, mostly during first stage. Most subsequent aborts would have been crew initiated.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #23 on: 11/05/2009 03:15 pm »
Well, not *completely* automated. The Saturn V EDS, to take an example, had only a few automatic triggers, mostly during first stage. Most subsequent aborts would have been crew initiated.

Well, you don't need as strict requirements during subsequent stages, do you? Stuff like angle of attack limits when you're out of the atmosphere, etc.

Offline Antares

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #24 on: 11/05/2009 04:35 pm »
Well, my concern with man-rating Delta or Atlas is simple, what is the history of either system with people?
what was the history of the Shuttle before Young and Crippen climbed aboard? Lack of such "people" history does not by itself make a vehicle unsuitable, nor does having any such previous history necessarily make it suitable (as Ares I 5-segment SRB proponents would have you believe).

Agree with ugordan and a slightly different take.  The heritage of the hardware doesn't matter at all.  It's
1) whatever the current design margins are
2) the experience and qualifications of the people working on it
3) the policies, practices and procedures of the vehicle's culture

There's no difference in the seriousness of the people and culture launching a $2B spysat, planetary RTG or their fellow man.  Reaching back more than 10-15 years doesn't yield a good comparison.
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Offline Jorge

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #25 on: 11/05/2009 08:41 pm »
Well, not *completely* automated. The Saturn V EDS, to take an example, had only a few automatic triggers, mostly during first stage. Most subsequent aborts would have been crew initiated.

Well, you don't need as strict requirements during subsequent stages, do you? Stuff like angle of attack limits when you're out of the atmosphere, etc.

Correct.
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Offline Robo-Nerd

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #26 on: 11/07/2009 04:44 pm »
Cross-posted here because it is on-topic (and with additional comments):
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=18822.msg486396#msg486396

I believe that there are four (relatively) cheap and (relatively) quick incremental actions that NASA could take soon that would dramatically improve the US human spaceflight posture:

1. Fund United Launch Alliance (ULA) to actually develop and flight-qualify the "strap-on" Emergency Detection System for Atlas V. Based on the statements made in the ULA paper on this topic (http://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/publications/AtlasEmergencyDetectionSystem.pdf), this should be amenable to a firm-fixed-price contract, especially if it was tied to a NASA commitment to routinely purchase this system for use on all NASA Atlas V launches (e.g. unmanned spacecraft launches). I can't estimate the price for this effort, but based on the level of effort assumed in the ULA paper I would guess somewhere between $10-$100 million. Mission Relation: All Atlas V launchers would then be potentially "human rateable" to NASA standards, whether used by NASA or as a commercial "space taxi" launcher.

2. Fund ULA to actually develop and flight qualify the Atlas V Heavy launcher configuration. Statements made on this forum indicate that the Atlas V Heavy has passed it's critical design review, and that ULA has offered to perform this effort firm-fixed-price for around $1 billion. Mission Relation: Atlas V Heavy is designed to launch 25,000 kg to LEO, which should easily cover launch of Orion to ISS, especially as the Orion's launch abort system does not need to be "upsized" to outrun burning solid rocket propellant chunks in the event of a booster failure (Atlas V Heavy is an all-liquid-rocket launcher).

3. Fund ULA and/or Pratt and Whitney (need to check contract requirements) to manufacture under license and flight qualify the RD-180 engine used on the Atlas V first stage. Total price for this effort: Unknown (to me). I will guess that it could be done for approximately $1 billion, but that is a pure WAG. Mission Relation: Congress is likely to demand that US astronauts be launched on US-built launchers, and the current Russian-built RD-180 engines are likely to become a lightning rod for criticism if this is not fixed.

4. Fund development and operational qualification of separate launch complex for manned EELV launchers, particularly focusing on the Atlas V. Total price for this effort: Unknown (to me). I will guess that it could be done starting from scratch for $2 billion, but that is a pure WAG, and it might be a lot less if there was an existing launch complex that could be modified. Mission Relation: DOD is likely to object if the existing EELV launch complex(es?) are taken out of service for modifications to support "NASA-only" missions (e.g. human spaceflight). Therefore, having a dedicated launch complex for this purpose avoids the conflict.

I believe that all four of these actions are relatively cheap and relatively quick, and might be accomplished without a lot of controversy. They could be accomplished incrementally and might go far to solving the "chicken and egg" problem of matching launchers and spacecraft for US human spaceflight.

Additional comments:
It is my understanding that the EELV launchers started out as Department of Defense (DOD) launchers that were deliberately commercialized. The DOD is on record that it favors a “white-tail” approach, where for any given EELV configuration there is only one type of launcher built, not an “Air Force version” and a “NASA version”. Thus, it would be easy for NASA to purchase an existing Atlas V launch (which they do regularly for space probe missions) and configure it with a bolt-on EDS as part of integrating the payload (e.g. human space capsule). However my understanding is that Delta IV would require a launcher redesign (to put in an integrated EDS, because “bolt-on” is not an option), which the DOD does not want to do. Thus, if NASA does decide to use an EELV platform as a human spaceflight launcher it will likely be a variant of the Atlas V. (For what it is worth my understanding is that Mike Griffin, the previous NASA Administrator, stated publicly several times while in that position that if NASA were forced down the EELV path, they would greatly favor Atlas V over Delta IV.)

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Offline sdsds

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #27 on: 11/07/2009 05:14 pm »
Atlas EDS

This logic is somewhat compelling.  Maybe you could expand a bit though on one of the aspects?

1. Fund United Launch Alliance (ULA) to actually develop and flight-qualify the "strap-on" Emergency Detection System for Atlas V [...] tied to a NASA commitment to routinely purchase this system for use on all NASA Atlas V launches (e.g. unmanned spacecraft launches).

What benefit does an EDS provide to an unmanned mission?  Is there any unmanned mission that would also carry an EDS-triggered escape system for the payload?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #28 on: 11/07/2009 05:23 pm »
What benefit does an EDS provide to an unmanned mission?  Is there any unmanned mission that would also carry an EDS-triggered escape system for the payload?

No benefit, the purpose is to test out the EDS in realistic flight conditions and see if the "emergency" detection part is working properly, i.e. not providing false positives etc. Then, once its flight proven it would be committed for crewed flights. One of the great things about testing upgrades in vehicles that also serve unmanned launches - risk reduction for human flights.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #29 on: 11/07/2009 09:58 pm »
Robo-Nerd, This is exactly what is so frustrating watching NASA poor $9B down the Constellation bottom less pit, $4B on Ares 1 alone.  ULA publically told the Augustine Commission that human rating Atlas would cost $400m.  Thus, for a fraction of what has been spent on Ares I NASA could have a world class crew launcher!  And Ares I still has some $15B and 8 years to go.  Even then Ares I will just be entering the "teething" stage, count numerous more years and more billions to get to a truly operational mode.  DoD already encourages EELV use for NASA science and commercial missions, see LRO and Intelsat.  DoD benefits from higher launch rates. 
« Last Edit: 11/08/2009 12:50 am by Hopf »

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #30 on: 11/08/2009 12:59 am »
I agree Hopf, but there's disinformation on these costs (by a factor of 35) spewing from the Northern Alabama Space Agency and its contractors, to the point that some of those contractors are telling their joint venture to cease and desist.

Also note that ATK has told the DoD that ending the Shuttle SRM line will affect DoD costs on ordnance and missiles.  Ergo, the DoD is conflicted about SDLV or EELV.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #31 on: 11/08/2009 01:18 am »
to the point that some of those contractors are telling their joint venture to cease and desist.

Grapevine or publicly available evidence?

Quote
Also note that ATK has told the DoD that ending the Shuttle SRM line will affect DoD costs on ordnance and missiles.  Ergo, the DoD is conflicted about SDLV or EELV.

Wouldn't the DoD prefer the part of the NASA budget that goes to ATK to be transferred to the Defense budget?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #32 on: 11/08/2009 02:40 pm »
It's happened so many times that it's an open secret around NASA and inside the Beltway.  Objective evidence of the latest example should be available soon, but you'll have to know what you're looking for.

The problem would be if that sustaining fund is vaporized rather than transferred.  This is an administration far more likely to add to NASA than to DoD.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #33 on: 11/08/2009 11:00 pm »
It's happened so many times that it's an open secret around NASA and inside the Beltway.  Objective evidence of the latest example should be available soon, but you'll have to know what you're looking for.

You speak in riddles. I'm hoping for another hint if or when that happens.

Quote
The problem would be if that sustaining fund is vaporized rather than transferred.  This is an administration far more likely to add to NASA than to DoD.

Ah, fine by me, but probably not fine by the DoD.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #34 on: 11/08/2009 11:41 pm »
What benefit does an EDS provide to an unmanned mission?  Is there any unmanned mission that would also carry an EDS-triggered escape system for the payload?

No benefit, the purpose is to test out the EDS in realistic flight conditions and see if the "emergency" detection part is working properly, i.e. not providing false positives etc. Then, once its flight proven it would be committed for crewed flights. One of the great things about testing upgrades in vehicles that also serve unmanned launches - risk reduction for human flights.

It will be difficult to convince critics that this kind of testing has much benefit.  Sure, the first successful flight proves the EDS won't always trigger due to a false positive.  But beyond that?  No number of additional flights would prove the EDS will never trigger due to a false positive, and no number of missions that go well will prove the EDS actually would trigger in an abort condition.  So critics would say it's a poorly designed test strategy!
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Offline Hopf

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #35 on: 11/09/2009 01:06 am »
The instrumentation for EDS provides a little more insight into how the rocket is flying than the existing instrumentation.  Added knowledge is useful to all customers if it improves reliability.

NASA should be willing to shell out a few extra million for non-crew flights simply to build up additional insight into the EDS.  This is one of the incredible benefits of sharing crew launch vehicles with everyone else.  The added insight should lead to fewer false aborts.

Commonality to should be advantageous to the rocket builder in the form of reduced costs and increased flexibility.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #36 on: 11/09/2009 01:52 am »
The instrumentation for EDS provides a little more insight into how the rocket is flying than the existing instrumentation.  Added knowledge is useful to all customers if it improves reliability.

NASA should be willing to shell out a few extra million for non-crew flights simply to build up additional insight into the EDS.  This is one of the incredible benefits of sharing crew launch vehicles with everyone else.  The added insight should lead to fewer false aborts.

Commonality to should be advantageous to the rocket builder in the form of reduced costs and increased flexibility.

Your reading of the cited 'Atlas Emergency Detection System' paper must have been more informed than mine.  Here's what I read:

Quote
The Atlas EDS baseline includes a total of 76 parameters to be monitored, 37 on the booster and 39 on the Upper Stage. These are all existing parameters and are summarized below. In all cases, the data will be acquired from the redundant 1553 bus data and will use existing dual or triple redundant sensors.

"These are all existing parameters acquired using existing sensors."

So by my reading your assertion posted above is incorrect.  The proposed EDS will provide no more insight into how the rocket is flying than the existing instrumentation provides. 
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Offline JosephB

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #37 on: 11/16/2009 06:01 pm »
@ agman25

I'm no expert at the history.  However, you have to look at the different backgrounds of the two times. 

OSP was one of the two designed major customers of the EELVs alongside DoD payloads.  If the program had proceeded then, the EELVs would have been built as human-rated according to NASA's requirements and the pads would have been built to double as crewed launch sites.  The DoD would have used the same machine and pads for their own launches and that would have been that. 

Now, we are in a situation where NASA is the 'johnny-come-lately' and the USAF is (perhaps, justifiably) worried that two perfectly good launchers may end up being ruined by NASA's bureaucratic fumbling or that human-rating work at LC-37 and LC-41 may delay their own launch schedules.  Instead of being one of the two original major customers, NASA HSF is in the position of being a new customer who wants massive changes to the product that the original major customer isn't happy about.

This was not the case. EELVs developed in the pre-OSP world and both were flying before OSP was initiated.

DoD did cast a wary eye on the proceedings, but also recognized the value of enhanced reliability that HR mods would bring to the vehicle. Beyond structural and engine mods that would be built into all EELVs, HR would've been accomplished by so-called "mission-unique kits" which would be added to the standard vehicle during production. The kits would've involved sensors, some extra avionics boxes and the requisite harnesses.

Very interesting with the kits. Sounds like most of the design work was completed for these?

Offline Danny Dot

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #38 on: 11/16/2009 08:32 pm »
Emergency Detection Systems are very simple devices and only need a hand full of parameters to work properly.  An EDS can very easily be added to either the Atlas or Delta at very low risk and costs.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #39 on: 02/11/2010 06:02 am »
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Offline clb22

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #40 on: 02/11/2010 07:33 am »
New paper on the ULA website: Atlas and Delta Capabilities to Launch Crew to Low Earth Orbit.

Quote from the article "With a late 2013 initial launch capability for crew on Atlas we believe the commercial crew vehicle development, which has not begun in earnest as of mid 2009, will become the true pacing item with very low risk related to the launch vehicle  development becoming a driver. As such, the Atlas launch vehicle should support the earliest credible commercial ILC."

Ok, I trust them on their schedule for Atlas human rating (don't even want to know their costs...), but what really strikes out is the spacecraft development. They are baselining Orion and as much as LM tries to affirm they can get things done by 2013 on the cheap, they won't. And the above quote is of course true, as of 2009 (and 2010) there hasn't been done any real development of a crew vehicle to be launched on an Atlas (except of course Orion). The spacecraft becomes the pacing item.

Anyway, one option of the likely 3 funded programs under the new commercial crew program will involve an EELV (most likely Atlas). The interesting part will be, which spacecraft will be on top of it and can it be developed for the limited money that will come from NASA (and potentially some private investors)? I somehow doubt LM could finish Orion development for less than a billion... and Dream Chaser is a risky development project, even though they are doing some preliminary work already under CCDev.
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Offline William Barton

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #41 on: 02/11/2010 08:28 am »
New paper on the ULA website: Atlas and Delta Capabilities to Launch Crew to Low Earth Orbit.

LM and Boeing now have the same opportunity as SpaceX, OSC, and anyone else to put up their own money and try for commercial manned spaceflight contracts. ATK too.

Offline mars.is.wet

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #42 on: 02/11/2010 12:01 pm »
New paper on the ULA website: Atlas and Delta Capabilities to Launch Crew to Low Earth Orbit.

I'm generally a skeptic on contractor-provided data, but this is very, very good.  On first look, I would baseline something close to these estimates.

Well done, ULA!

(imagine if we had taken this route in 2005 with a shuttle derived SDLV)

Only issue for me is the trade between the superior safety of Atlas V vs. the need to rely on a foreign-produced RD-180.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #43 on: 02/11/2010 12:36 pm »
Several typos in this paper, seems like they might have cobbled it together from existing papers in a hurry.  I was hoping for a mention of the version of Delta IVH with no upper stage, which is purported to be able to lift the LEO version of Orion.  Oh well.
Scott

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #44 on: 02/11/2010 01:02 pm »
Several typos in this paper, seems like they might have cobbled it together from existing papers in a hurry.

Agreed. You'd have thought at least someone would have made sure not to claim adherence to 8705.2A if they're not, although context does suggest it's a typo and not a genuine claim:-

Quote
Atlas and Delta engineers performed a line-by-line review of NPR 8705.2A requirements and allocated each to the appropriate system responsible for demonstrating compliance (Launch Vehicle and Crew Vehicle, Launch Vehicle only or Crew Vehicle only). Once that was determined, the engineers assessed compliance of their systems to the requirements allocated to the system and the Launch Vehicle. Table 1 shows the results of that assessment.

Table title:- Table 1: Atlas and Delta 8705.2B Requirements Assessment Process


Quote
I was hoping for a mention of the version of Delta IVH with no upper stage, which is purported to be able to lift the LEO version of Orion.  Oh well.

I believe Jim has described this as a major change to the LV's architecture, so I can understand why it's not present.

Still, would have been nice to see.

Martin

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #45 on: 02/11/2010 01:19 pm »
Several typos in this paper, seems like they might have cobbled it together from existing papers in a hurry.  I was hoping for a mention of the version of Delta IVH with no upper stage, which is purported to be able to lift the LEO version of Orion.  Oh well.
What?  typos?  No way!  I honesty thought that the Atlas has been flying since the 12th century:
Development             Year Completed   Time to Complete (Months)
SLC3E Atlas IIAS              1194                        65
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Offline Jim

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #46 on: 02/11/2010 01:29 pm »
I was hoping for a mention of the version of Delta IVH with no upper stage, which is purported to be able to lift the LEO version of Orion.  Oh well.

That wasn't a ULA idea nor do they sanction it.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #47 on: 02/11/2010 01:40 pm »
I was hoping for a mention of the version of Delta IVH with no upper stage, which is purported to be able to lift the LEO version of Orion.  Oh well.

That wasn't a ULA idea nor do they sanction it.

Is it impractical, or just inadvisable? For Atlas, GNC is all/mostly in the Centaur, right? Is it the same case with the Delta IV, or are there other reasons it's a bad idea to fly without 2nd stage? If you would prefer to PM, my intent is not to hijack the thread.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #48 on: 02/11/2010 01:48 pm »

Is it impractical, or just inadvisable? For Atlas, GNC is all/mostly in the Centaur, right? Is it the same case with the Delta IV, or are there other reasons it's a bad idea to fly without 2nd stage?

Same case

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #49 on: 02/11/2010 01:56 pm »
What were the reasons behind the idea for Orion as a second stage? Structural loads on the upper stage?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #50 on: 02/11/2010 02:01 pm »
What were the reasons behind the idea for Orion as a second stage? Structural loads on the upper stage?

Reliability number game.  Reduced part count and systems

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #51 on: 02/11/2010 02:07 pm »
I was hoping for a mention of the version of Delta IVH with no upper stage, which is purported to be able to lift the LEO version of Orion.  Oh well.

That wasn't a ULA idea nor do they sanction it.

Ok, good to know, I didn't know that the idea didn't come from them - I suppose Aerospace Corp. came up with that one?  I can see how it would require extra development work wrt avionics, etc.  Still it's kind of an intriguing almost-SSTO (non-RLV) concept.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #52 on: 02/11/2010 06:28 pm »
ULA's suggestion of completing LC37A took me by surprise. 

All in all, a very concise and thought out proposal.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #53 on: 02/11/2010 07:05 pm »
ULA's suggestion of completing LC37A took me by surprise. 


Then the same LCC and HIF be used.   That was OSP's contention.  Only those that wanted "NASA" control were suggesting LC-39.  Same goes for LC-41, all that is needed is another VIF and MLP

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #54 on: 02/11/2010 07:20 pm »
ULA's suggestion of completing LC37A took me by surprise. 


Then the same LCC and HIF be used.   That was OSP's contention.  Only those that wanted "NASA" control were suggesting LC-39.  Same goes for LC-41, all that is needed is another VIF and MLP
I'm looking at LC37A, I'm not sure how or what can be shared between the two beyond the fuel tank to the back.  Is there a good diagram or video showing how it works?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #55 on: 02/11/2010 07:22 pm »
ULA's suggestion of completing LC37A took me by surprise. 


Then the same LCC and HIF be used.   That was OSP's contention.  Only those that wanted "NASA" control were suggesting LC-39.  Same goes for LC-41, all that is needed is another VIF and MLP
I'm looking at LC37A, I'm not sure how or what can be shared between the two beyond the fuel tank to the back.  Is there a good diagram or video showing how it works?

The tank farm was designed to be shared.  But the real advantage was being close to the existing HIF and LCC.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #56 on: 02/11/2010 07:25 pm »
ULA's suggestion of completing LC37A took me by surprise. 


Then the same LCC and HIF be used.   That was OSP's contention.  Only those that wanted "NASA" control were suggesting LC-39.  Same goes for LC-41, all that is needed is another VIF and MLP
I'm looking at LC37A, I'm not sure how or what can be shared between the two beyond the fuel tank to the back.  Is there a good diagram or video showing how it works?

The tank farm was designed to be shared.  But the real advantage was being close to the existing HIF and LCC.
I'll admit, part of me really likes this idea, as I am someone that does not like inconsistancy, and an LC37B without an LC37A to go with it always bugged me...

Sounds good to me, the unmanned from LC37B, manned (and any unmanned which requires tower-access to the cargo) from LC37A.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #57 on: 02/11/2010 07:39 pm »

Sounds good to me, the unmanned from LC37B, manned (and any unmanned which requires tower-access to the cargo) from LC37A.

37B already provides adequate access for unmanned launches (less than a day before launch), just not late enough for a manned launch (less than T-3 hours)

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #58 on: 02/11/2010 07:44 pm »

Sounds good to me, the unmanned from LC37B, manned (and any unmanned which requires tower-access to the cargo) from LC37A.

37B already provides adequate access for unmanned launches (less than a day before launch), just not late enough for a manned launch (less than T-3 hours)
Just saying... did not mean it was absolutely critical, just saying...
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #59 on: 02/11/2010 07:47 pm »
Did someone mess up by allocating LC-40 to Space-X instead of, say LC-36?  Atlas could have used 40 and 41, Delta 37A and B, and Space-X 36 A and B.  I know there's currently a Space Florida deal for launching Athena III from LC 36, but allocating the old Atlas pad to such a smaller LV just seems like major overkill.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #60 on: 02/11/2010 08:10 pm »
Did someone mess up by allocating LC-40 to Space-X instead of, say LC-36?  Atlas could have used 40 and 41, Delta 37A and B, and Space-X 36 A and B.  I know there's currently a Space Florida deal for launching Athena III from LC 36, but allocating the old Atlas pad to such a smaller LV just seems like major overkill.

A.  Atlas does not need two pads.  It needs two processing facilities.  The vehicle is at the pad for less than a week

B.  36 couldn't handle a F9H.  Spacex was going to go there for the F5  I believe

C.  OSC is finding out it made a big mistake by going to WFF.

Offline mrhuggy

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #61 on: 02/11/2010 08:30 pm »
I dont think the would have any major problems launching from the pad s they have now. Both Atlas and Falcon 9 are designed to be rolled out on pad at last minute and launched, heh spaceX have talked about doing it all in 3 hours.

The main modification needed would be a access tower, basically a lift in a tower which can be moved back at last minute. Dosn't have to be fancy, nor does it need to carry services like LOX and RP etc.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #62 on: 02/11/2010 08:32 pm »
New paper on the ULA website: Atlas and Delta Capabilities to Launch Crew to Low Earth Orbit.

Thanks for the link, Martijn!   Fun reading.  I particularly like how using the same tricks from Ares-I PRAs (and another independent method based on a combination of PRAs and demonstrated flight heritage) they come to a LOC number for commercial crew launches on Atlas V 401 that is competitive with Ares-I...  :-)

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #63 on: 02/11/2010 09:10 pm »
Ok, I trust them on their schedule for Atlas human rating (don't even want to know their costs...), but what really strikes out is the spacecraft development. They are baselining Orion and as much as LM tries to affirm they can get things done by 2013 on the cheap, they won't.

I may have misread it, but my understanding was they were talking about a commercial crew vehicle (much smaller than Orion) baselined as the vehicle to fly on the Atlas V 40x vehicles, and Orion was only baselined for the Delta-IVH.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #64 on: 02/12/2010 11:50 pm »
1) Ok, I trust them on their schedule for Atlas human rating (don't even want to know their costs...)

2) as much as LM tries to affirm they can get things done by 2013 on the cheap, they won't.

3) I somehow doubt LM could finish Orion development for less than a billion

1) Why don't you want to know their costs?  The Atlas group actually developed a vehicle in recent memory (between 1998 and 2002), so they have credible cost models; unlike NASA HSF which has never hit a cost target on a large project.  Not to mention that Atlas V only missed its projected launch date by 3 months, when it was predicted at L-51 months.

2 & 3) Cite evidence please.  No disparaging conjecture allowed.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #65 on: 02/14/2010 10:32 am »
I particularly like how using the same tricks from Ares-I PRAs (and another independent method based on a combination of PRAs and demonstrated flight heritage) they come to a LOC number for commercial crew launches on Atlas V 401 that is competitive with Ares-I...  :-)

There are some more gems in there. Paragraph 5. discusses reliability and it stresses that is was one of four top level requirements for the EELV program. It also takes a subtle dig at Ares PRA by mentioning "true reliability" and stating that their analysis was backed up by Aerospace and the USAF.

Quote
A similar approach for Delta IV is more problematic. The Delta II has enjoyed a long string of success, but the design similarities between Delta IV and Delta II are few. The Delta IV system itself has flown ten times with 100% success in nine operational missions.

This is another brilliant remark. Unlike Ares, I Delta IV has had 100% success in nine operational missions. Ares I has had one partially successful suborbital test flight. Just as there is little commonality between Delta II and Delta IV there is little commonality between the 4 seg boosters and a full Ares I. Whether you put more faith in PRAs, operational history or similarity between systems, Delta comes out on top. And Atlas is even better!
« Last Edit: 02/14/2010 11:15 am by mmeijeri »
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #66 on: 02/14/2010 11:10 am »
A.  Atlas does not need two pads.  It needs two processing facilities.  The vehicle is at the pad for less than a week

Jim, do you know if they would still want an access tower at 41 would they be okay with some type of access off the MLP?

I've always liked the clean pad concept for Atlas V and I think the time and money required for a second VIF and ML would be shorter and cheaper than LC37 and another MST. 

It's been 10 years since the first one so I'm sure they wouldn't just build a copy of the VIF like originally planned, especially for a manned vehicle.  So you would have a design cycle but they are a sharp bunch and know what they are doing.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #67 on: 02/14/2010 11:16 am »
How many VIFs could be reasonably added to an existing pad before you would need a new pad?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #68 on: 02/14/2010 01:29 pm »

Jim, do you know if they would still want an access tower at 41 would they be okay with some type of access off the MLP?


I think they would go with MLP access.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #69 on: 02/14/2010 01:33 pm »
How many VIFs could be reasonably added to an existing pad before you would need a new pad?

Two total.  I think there would be other constraints for more, like LCC or horizontal processing space. 

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #70 on: 02/14/2010 01:36 pm »
Hmm, that's not much. What about Delta? A HIF takes up more space, so that doesn't sound good. Could you have 37A&B + 4 HIFs?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #71 on: 02/14/2010 01:38 pm »
Hmm, that's not much. What about Delta? A HIF takes up more space, so that doesn't sound good. Could you have 37A&B + 4 HIFs?

The one HIF can support 3 heavies.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #72 on: 02/14/2010 01:41 pm »
Wow, that on the other hand is impressive. That presumably means it can also support 3 mediums, or is it more?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #73 on: 02/14/2010 01:53 pm »
Wow, that on the other hand is impressive. That presumably means it can also support 3 mediums, or is it more?

2 or 3 mediums per bay, but the pads are the limiting factor. 

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #74 on: 02/14/2010 01:57 pm »
Does this mean that if there are going to be tens of commercial crew flights a year Delta Medium flying from both 37A&B could be more interesting than Atlas?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #75 on: 02/14/2010 02:39 pm »
The attached page from the Delta IV Payload Planners Guide shows the layout of the HIF.
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Offline qti

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #76 on: 02/18/2010 03:07 pm »
How many VIFs could be reasonably added to an existing pad before you would need a new pad?

Two total.  I think there would be other constraints for more, like LCC or horizontal processing space. 

Hmm, that's not much. What about Delta? A HIF takes up more space, so that doesn't sound good. Could you have 37A&B + 4 HIFs?

There is also the SMARF which is huge.  It could be refurbished to accommodate 6 bays equivalent to an Atlas VIF, each with a dedicated mobile launch platform.  All feeding LC41 for potentially very frequent launches.  Atlas needs less then a day on the pad.  With adequate staffing it would be interesting to see how quickly LC41 could be turned around between launches.  Maybe a week isn’t unreasonable?

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #77 on: 02/18/2010 03:12 pm »
Does the SMARF still exist? Didn't SpaceX tear down all the Titan facilities?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #78 on: 02/18/2010 03:49 pm »
Does the SMARF still exist? Didn't SpaceX tear down all the Titan facilities?

SpaceX only tore down the LC-40 MST and umbilical tower.  LM tore down the LC-41 MST and umbilical tower and as ULA is using the MIS (ASOC), RIS and SRS.  The USAF tore the VIB.  The SMAB and SMARF are still up. 

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #79 on: 02/18/2010 04:10 pm »
Could the third area in the HIF be used as a fully functional bay just like the other two?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #80 on: 02/18/2010 04:17 pm »
There's an aerial photograph showing the locations of the various pieces of Titan infrastructure on Ed Kyle's Space Launch Report. Google Maps shows the VIB being demolished. According to a press release by the company that did the work this happened fairly recently, so Google Maps may give an accurate picture of the state of the rest of the facilities. Moving north from the VIB you get to the SMAB which is very large and going further north you get to the SMARF which looks colossal.
« Last Edit: 02/18/2010 04:46 pm by mmeijeri »
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #81 on: 02/18/2010 04:35 pm »
Could the third area in the HIF be used as a fully functional bay just like the other two?

There is nothing special about each bay in the HIF.  There is no electrical testing done in there.  Only mating of the components, which just requires a level floor.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #82 on: 02/19/2010 10:41 am »
There's an interesting table on page 8 of ULA's recent man-rating paper. It says that an Atlas 402 can lift 11,180kg to ISS orbit without any loss in performance due to eliminating black zones. That is roughly the mass of a Dream Chaser.

Under the heading 'impact point trace' it says the trajectory would avoid the North Atlantic and the Alps. How would they do this? I don't understand how you could avoid the Atlantic altogether, maybe the trajectory is shaped in such a way that the crew could land in warmer waters instead? Could they do that without major performance losses? Or are they depending on the spacecraft to have enough propulsive capability to avoid the North Atlantic?
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #83 on: 02/20/2010 12:08 am »
Well, my concern with man-rating Delta or Atlas is simple, what is the history of either system with people?  Delta, as far as I am aware, has not been used in any human space flight.  Atlas, however, is full of bits that have been used in human space flight.  It is an evolution of the old Mercury lifter.  The engine is derived from a russian human-lift vehicles engine.  It seems a better fit to me, honestly.

Do intentions actually count? Energiya never lifted any actual humans.
I think they do. The Shuttle/STS was intended to be man-rated -as was Buran/Energia - and thus designed and built accordingly. The EELV's were not, because the USAF opted out of manned space altogether post Challenger.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #84 on: 03/07/2010 03:39 am »
It may be time to start synonymizing "man-rated" with "overdesigned" if we're going to start talking about intentions.  That's really what it is.  There's no objective technical basis for any man-rating requirements.  Disagree?  Prove me wrong.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #85 on: 03/07/2010 12:42 pm »
The EELV's were not, because the USAF opted out of manned space altogether post Challenger.

Not true. 
a.  The USAF did not opt of manned space.  Only use of the shuttle as a launch vehicle.
b.  EELV's were to replace Titan, Delta and Atlas.
c,  There were no requirements defining manrating during EELV development.

Offline neilh

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #86 on: 04/09/2010 05:47 pm »
ULA's Jeff Patton gave a talk yesterday at Space Access 2010 describing ULA's work on the Commercial Crew Development program. Clark Lindsay has posted notes from the talk:

(bolding below is mine)

http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=19821
Quote
Jeff Patton (United Launch Alliance) - ULA's Support for NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program
- Shows video of ULA rockets starting back in 60s
- Can tell a bit more of their commercial crew efforts in the public now
- ULA is joint venture L-M and Boeing
- 1300 launches in 50 years
- Atlas V and Delta 4 are relatively new and up to date vehicles.
- Continually improving them
- 100% mission success for ULA
- Human spaceflight:
-- Atlas & Deltat heritage back to Mercury/Atlas and Gemini/Titan
-- In 2002, EELVs chosenby NASA to launch crewed Orbital Space Plane.
-- CCDev contract announced in Feb

- Atlas & Delta human rating history
-- worked with NASA in developing HR
-- After ESAS/Constellation started looking independently into commercial crew
-- Working with Bigelow for 5 years
-- He is comfortable with ULA pricewise
-- Independent review judged them capable of crew capable systems
-- Shows chart of Bigelow flight rate.
--- goes up to 25 per year by 2017

-- Systems-level human rating
- Reliability, emergency detection,
- Black zones for their vehicles are an urban myth
- Non-recuring costs $400M, recurring in $130M range (with Atlas 402)
- Ready in four years.

- LV commonality benefits
- Loss of Mission (LOM)/Loss of Crew (LOC)
-- beat 1 in 100 LOM, LOC est. meets NASA requirements.

- CCDev Emergency Detection System
-- investigate issues involved in designing the system
-- study failure scenarios.
- Working with Sierra Nevada Corp on Dreamchaser launch with Atlas
-- wind-tunnel tests, structural design, mission analysis
- Working with Boeing on a capsule approach
- Several on-going human rating studies

Q&A:
- How dependent on funding is the 4 years?
-- Could speed up with more funding.

- Issues of Atlas vs Delta
--- Will bring the both up to same level of readiness for next study phase.
--- Delta needs a more expensive pad if want to use another site.
-- Key is to use same vehicle for cargo and crew to build up reliability
- What about using Orbital's LAS?
-- Maybe. Haven't committed to any design yet.
- Delta II?
-- Can't find a market for it.
- Can the Cape handle 2 or 3 launches per day with Bigelow plus NASA payloads.
--- Bigelow will use more than one provider at more than one spaceport
- Asymmetric loads with Dreamchaser?
-- Think we can handle it un-shrouded but wind tunnel tests will show for sure.

- Dealing with human rating arguments?
-- NASA was confident in launching the Pluto mission with plutonium on an Atlas using 5 solids.
-- Should be able to work with NASA and agree on a process satisfactory to both sides.
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Offline infocat13

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #87 on: 04/09/2010 06:56 pm »
great post Neilh!
attached is the 44 page PDF from the talk you speak of
I am a member of the side mount fanboy universe however I can get excited over the EELV exploration architecture fanboy universe.Anything else is budgetary hog wash
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #88 on: 04/20/2010 04:52 pm »
ULA's Jeff Patton gave a talk yesterday at Space Access 2010 describing ULA's work on the Commercial Crew Development program. Clark Lindsay has posted notes from the talk:

(bolding below is mine)

http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=19821
Quote
Jeff Patton (United Launch Alliance) - ULA's Support for NASA's Commercial Crew Development Programsatisfactory to both sides.

Just read Monday's Space News (hard copy), there's a revealing interview on the last page with Gary Payton (Dep UNSECAF for Space) on DOD's thoughts on Bigelow and ULA:

Quote
If some commercial company or companies want to use the EELV for human access to the space station, we'd have to look very closely at changes to the rocket's design in order to accomodate people. And any of those changes we'd have to manage very closely so that they don't ripple in to the Air Force design, which has been very successful with 31 successes out of 31 attempts. My view is, if it works, don't fix it . . . One way to safely use these rockets is to build "white tail" EELVs that are the same for everybody. After you assemble them, then you add different things. . . What I don't want to see is too separate assembly lines . . . That doesn't help anybody because their RS-68 engine is different from our RS-68 engine, and their RL-10 is different from our RL-10 engine.
[on concern about ending the shuttle SRB line and the military solids lines] . . . We've come to find out that it has a trivial impact . . . because we don't use the big three and a half meter solids, we use the one-and-a-half meter . . ."

Anyway, thought it gives an interesting perspective from the DoD EELV side.

Offline cuddihy

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #89 on: 04/26/2010 10:37 am »
ULA's Jeff Patton gave a talk yesterday at Space Access 2010 describing ULA's work on the Commercial Crew Development program. Clark Lindsay has posted notes from the talk:

(bolding below is mine)

http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=19821
Quote
Jeff Patton (United Launch Alliance) - ULA's Support for NASA's Commercial Crew Development Programsatisfactory to both sides.

Just read Monday's Space News (hard copy), there's a revealing interview on the last page with Gary Payton (Dep UNSECAF for Space) on DOD's thoughts on Bigelow and ULA:

Quote
If some commercial company or companies want to use the EELV for human access to the space station, we'd have to look very closely at changes to the rocket's design in order to accomodate people. And any of those changes we'd have to manage very closely so that they don't ripple in to the Air Force design, which has been very successful with 31 successes out of 31 attempts. My view is, if it works, don't fix it . . . One way to safely use these rockets is to build "white tail" EELVs that are the same for everybody. After you assemble them, then you add different things. . . What I don't want to see is too separate assembly lines . . . That doesn't help anybody because their RS-68 engine is different from our RS-68 engine, and their RL-10 is different from our RL-10 engine.
[on concern about ending the shuttle SRB line and the military solids lines] . . . We've come to find out that it has a trivial impact . . . because we don't use the big three and a half meter solids, we use the one-and-a-half meter . . ."

Anyway, thought it gives an interesting perspective from the DoD EELV side.
Ok, since this is being quoted out of context in non EELV threads, here's the full quote on the SRB / military solid impact:
(Editor asks) Are you concerned about the Constellation decision's impact on the solid-rocket motor industrial base? (The Honorable Mr. Payton answers) We've come to find out that it has a trivial impact on space launch because we don't use the big three-and-a-half meter segmented solids on our EELVs; we use solids that are about one-and-a-half meters in diameter. There is a small ripple effect into space launch, but the dominant industrial base concern according to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy is on the ballistic missile side for the Navy and Air Force. We duild build 30 to 40 stages for the Trident D5 submarine-launched missile every year, and there are about a dozen motors built each year to sustain the Minuteman 3 industrial base. We already know these sustainment costs will go up, but we don't yet know by how much.
  When we understand the ramifications, we'll have to adjust to it. It may mean buying fewer stages per year. It might mean using these stages for other applications. Right now we pull solid-rocket segments out of storage for use in Minotaur launch vehicles, and that's been a very successful program for years. We may have to change that.


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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #90 on: 04/26/2010 11:05 am »
ULA's Jeff Patton gave a talk yesterday at Space Access 2010 describing ULA's work on the Commercial Crew Development program. Clark Lindsay has posted notes from the talk:

(bolding below is mine)

http://www.hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=19821
Quote
Jeff Patton (United Launch Alliance) - ULA's Support for NASA's Commercial Crew Development Programsatisfactory to both sides.

Just read Monday's Space News (hard copy), there's a revealing interview on the last page with Gary Payton (Dep UNSECAF for Space) on DOD's thoughts on Bigelow and ULA:

Quote
If some commercial company or companies want to use the EELV for human access to the space station, we'd have to look very closely at changes to the rocket's design in order to accomodate people. And any of those changes we'd have to manage very closely so that they don't ripple in to the Air Force design, which has been very successful with 31 successes out of 31 attempts. My view is, if it works, don't fix it . . . One way to safely use these rockets is to build "white tail" EELVs that are the same for everybody. After you assemble them, then you add different things. . . What I don't want to see is too separate assembly lines . . . That doesn't help anybody because their RS-68 engine is different from our RS-68 engine, and their RL-10 is different from our RL-10 engine.
[on concern about ending the shuttle SRB line and the military solids lines] . . . We've come to find out that it has a trivial impact . . . because we don't use the big three and a half meter solids, we use the one-and-a-half meter . . ."

Anyway, thought it gives an interesting perspective from the DoD EELV side.
Ok, since this is being quoted out of context in non EELV threads, here's the full quote on the SRB / military solid impact:
(Editor asks) Are you concerned about the Constellation decision's impact on the solid-rocket motor industrial base? (The Honorable Mr. Payton answers) We've come to find out that it has a trivial impact on space launch because we don't use the big three-and-a-half meter segmented solids on our EELVs; we use solids that are about one-and-a-half meters in diameter. There is a small ripple effect into space launch, but the dominant industrial base concern according to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy is on the ballistic missile side for the Navy and Air Force. We duild build 30 to 40 stages for the Trident D5 submarine-launched missile every year, and there are about a dozen motors built each year to sustain the Minuteman 3 industrial base. We already know these sustainment costs will go up, but we don't yet know by how much.
  When we understand the ramifications, we'll have to adjust to it. It may mean buying fewer stages per year. It might mean using these stages for other applications. Right now we pull solid-rocket segments out of storage for use in Minotaur launch vehicles, and that's been a very successful program for years. We may have to change that.



It is not being quoted out of context.  The SRB impact is only a cost issue and not a technology issue.  This is OK, NASA should not be subsiding the DOD solid motor industrial base, if NASA doesn't need SRM's.
« Last Edit: 04/26/2010 11:06 am by Jim »

Offline Arthur

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #91 on: 04/29/2010 06:27 pm »
It is not being quoted out of context.  The SRB impact is only a cost issue and not a technology issue.  This is OK, NASA should not be subsiding the DOD solid motor industrial base, if NASA doesn't need SRM's.

The 2007 figures that I read said that the SRBs accounted for 55% of ATKs solid propellant production market and the loss of that market would increase solid fuel costs by 200% to 300%.

I agree with Jim on this one, that is not a National Security issue or NASA's problem.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #92 on: 04/29/2010 06:34 pm »
On another EELV issue, I have seen the program, development and kg to LEO costs for a SDHLV debated multiple times across multiple threads, but my Search-karma has failed to produce any comparable numbers for ULA's EELVs (or existing Atlas/Delta vehicles).

Does anybody know where some EELV cost data can be found?
Did ULA publish anything?
Did anything get published in the Augustine Commission Documents?
Is there a Topic on this site that talks about it?

The ULA website had lots of data on what needed to be done, but seemed light on what it would cost.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #93 on: 04/29/2010 06:44 pm »

Does anybody know where some EELV cost data can be found?
Did ULA publish anything?


No where in the open.  It is propriety

Offline Arthur

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #94 on: 04/29/2010 07:36 pm »

Does anybody know where some EELV cost data can be found?
Did ULA publish anything?


No where in the open.  It is propriety

I can understand that, but the 'public support' issue this raises is the debate (over and over) that says "a SDHLV will cost $x billion per year and $y billion over 4 years to produce a J130 to launch the Orion" followed by "that costs too much and a [Delta/Atlas/EELV-IV/V/HVY/Phase2] will cost less". One side has numbers and the other side has opinions.

How can an interested outsider rally behind a 'better-cheaper' plan that offers no indication that it is actually cheaper?

The only hard metric is that a J130 should be able to launch the weight of the loaded orbiter to LEO (since the components already do) and the current and future Atlas/Delta/EELVs will launch less than that (per ULA data).

I offer a hypothesis:
1. the launch pad modifications for an EELV Phase 2 will cost more than the Launch Pad modifications for a J130
2. the development cost for an EELV Phase 2 will cost more than the development cost for a J130
3. the standing army for an EELV Phase 2 will cost more than the standing army for the STS [and a J130].
4. the total program cost for an EELV Phase 2 will be more than the Constellation POR and will bankrupt NASA.

All of these are completely unfounded, but what makes these unsupported opinions less valid than unsupported opinions that Atlas/Delta/EELVs are the best path forward for BEO HSF?

As it stands now, the debate seems to center on 'since the per launch cost of an Atlas V or Delta IV is less than the per launch cost of the STS, therefore any vehicle derrived from an Atlas/Delta will cost less ($/kg to LEO) than any vehicle derrived from the STS' and its cousin 'since the STS carries people and the Atlas/Delta don't, therefore any vehicle derrived from the STS will be safer for manned flight than any vehicle derrived from the Atlas/Delta'. Both Jim and ULA have done a great deal to dispel the man-rating opinion, but very little to support the cost claims.

Are EELVs just another version of the PoR?  Unaffordable.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #95 on: 04/29/2010 07:44 pm »
Both Jim and ULA have done a great deal to dispel the man-rating opinion, but very little to support the cost claims.

Are EELVs just another version of the PoR?  Unaffordable.

ULA employment levels are enough to support cost claims

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #96 on: 04/29/2010 07:52 pm »

1. the launch pad modifications for an EELV Phase 2 will cost more than the Launch Pad modifications for a J130
2. the development cost for an EELV Phase 2 will cost more than the development cost for a J130
3. the standing army for an EELV Phase 2 will cost more than the standing army for the STS [and a J130].
4. the total program cost for an EELV Phase 2 will be more than the Constellation POR and will bankrupt NASA.


1.  nope.  only VIF platform mods and new MLP are required.
2.  nope, Atlas V itself was around a 1 billion.  phase II is just bigger diameter vehicle.  No new avionics.
3.  Huh?  The existing manpower would be used.
4.  unfounded.  2 EELV families with 2 pads on two coasts cost less than the 9 billion the POR has spent  to date.

Offline Arthur

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #97 on: 04/29/2010 08:25 pm »

1. the launch pad modifications for an EELV Phase 2 will cost more than the Launch Pad modifications for a J130
2. the development cost for an EELV Phase 2 will cost more than the development cost for a J130
3. the standing army for an EELV Phase 2 will cost more than the standing army for the STS [and a J130].
4. the total program cost for an EELV Phase 2 will be more than the Constellation POR and will bankrupt NASA.


1.  nope.  only VIF platform mods and new MLP are required.
2.  nope, Atlas V itself was around a 1 billion.  phase II is just bigger diameter vehicle.  No new avionics.
3.  Huh?  The existing manpower would be used.
4.  unfounded.  2 EELV families with 2 pads on two coasts cost less than the 9 billion the POR has spent  to date.

Technically, they were all unfounded and probably false. :)
The point was that one proposed path forward for BEO HSF is a rocket throwing 75-100+ ton spacecraft into LEO (cost detailed by Direct and its critics). Another reasonable path forward for BEO HSF is multiple rockets throwing 50 ton chuncks of spacecraft into LEO.

Clearly the FY2011 plan could not be carried out by ULA with (1) no changes to launch facilities, (2) no changes to existing craft,  (3) no new ULA/NASA personnel beyond those already employed for existing ULA cargo launches, and (4) for just the cost of the new spacecraft - ULA will launch it for free.

If ULA thinks that its rockets would be a good candidate for the job, those advocating the '50 ton chunk' approach would be well served by a 'plan' and 'budget' that fills in rough numbers to my unfounded assertions listed above. There is no public data to refute my assertions. The plan needs a rallying point for public support.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #98 on: 04/29/2010 09:01 pm »
You don't even need 50mT chunks, current launch vehicles are enough. There are two recent articles in Acta Astronautica and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets detailing possible architectures, using Lagrange points and propellant transfer. It's not just a "New Space idea".
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #99 on: 04/29/2010 10:08 pm »
Does anybody know where some EELV cost data can be found

No where in the open.

It is tough to grapple with the costs of human-rating an EELV system.  Do we want to know the fixed cost to human-rate a system to ULA's satisfaction, or to meet NASA's standards, or to win ASAP's approval?  Do we want to guess at the price NASA might pay for the first human-rated launch, or the price for a "buy" of a dozen such launches?

Setting aside the human-rating aspect, current USAF contracts provide some visibility into EELV system costs.  Unfortunately the terms of those contracts have approximately the same clarity as mud.  There's a (somewhat dated) historical summary of 1994 through 2005 at http://www.globalsecurity.org/space/systems/eelv.htm.

Also, the 2007 press releases for the MUOS launch (discussed here http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12523.0)
seem to imply the marginal cost for an Atlas V 551 launch might have been as low as $124.1 million.  But maybe that didn't include the cost of the vehicle itself?

Has NASA paid prices like that for the launches of uncrewed science missions on EELV?
-- sdsds --

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #100 on: 04/30/2010 11:28 am »
You don't even need 50mT chunks, current launch vehicles are enough. There are two recent articles in Acta Astronautica and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets detailing possible architectures, using Lagrange points and propellant transfer. It's not just a "New Space idea".

Every time you add a rendezvous or transfer event to the mission plan, you add another possible failure event.  It's time that you came to accept that multiple small launchers, though possible, is simply too high a risk for a multi-billion dollar human exploration mission that could have been a decade or more in preparation.
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Offline Arthur

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #102 on: 04/30/2010 12:37 pm »
You don't even need 50mT chunks, current launch vehicles are enough. There are two recent articles in Acta Astronautica and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets detailing possible architectures, using Lagrange points and propellant transfer. It's not just a "New Space idea".

I found "An Overview of Advanced Concepts for Space Access" from the Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets.

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA484431

What was the name of the article in Acta Astronautica?

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #103 on: 04/30/2010 01:38 pm »
You don't even need 50mT chunks, current launch vehicles are enough. There are two recent articles in Acta Astronautica and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets detailing possible architectures, using Lagrange points and propellant transfer. It's not just a "New Space idea".

Every time you add a rendezvous or transfer event to the mission plan, you add another possible failure event.  It's time that you came to accept that multiple small launchers, though possible, is simply too high a risk for a multi-billion dollar human exploration mission that could have been a decade or more in preparation.
I suppose then having a space station supported by around a dozen spacecreaft dockings a year is stupid and should be cancelled as soon as possible...
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #104 on: 04/30/2010 01:41 pm »
What was the name of the article in Acta Astronautica?

Exploration missions in the Sun–Earth–Moon system: A detailed view on selected transfer problems

The Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets article I meant is this one:
Orbital Propellant Depots Enabling Lunar Architectures Without Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicles

I don't have a subscription to JSR, so I've only read the first page. I was pleased to see they considered a hypergolic lander optimal, perhaps because they consider using slow trajectories for cargo and propellant. Such trajectories are certainly considered in detail in the first article.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2010 01:51 pm by mmeijeri »
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #105 on: 04/30/2010 02:07 pm »
Every time you add a rendezvous or transfer event to the mission plan, you add another possible failure event.  It's time that you came to accept that multiple small launchers, though possible, is simply too high a risk for a multi-billion dollar human exploration mission that could have been a decade or more in preparation.

That does not apply to propellant supply flights and you know it, please stop spreading misinformation. As you must know DIRECT phase two (or is it three) relies on the same principle. The only high stakes dockings are between the capsule and its EDS, between the lander and its EDS, and twice between capsule and lander. With the reusable architecture I have in mind that's three such dockings, the same number as DIRECT or Constellation. And the first of these is even lower risk than with DIRECT or Constellation since there is no risk of losing the lander at that stage.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2010 02:17 pm by mmeijeri »
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #106 on: 04/30/2010 02:11 pm »
You don't even need 50mT chunks, current launch vehicles are enough. There are two recent articles in Acta Astronautica and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets detailing possible architectures, using Lagrange points and propellant transfer. It's not just a "New Space idea".

Every time you add a rendezvous or transfer event to the mission plan, you add another possible failure event.  It's time that you came to accept that multiple small launchers, though possible, is simply too high a risk for a multi-billion dollar human exploration mission that could have been a decade or more in preparation.

Or find ways to improve the reliability of rendezvous and transfer.  If those two are really so risky that adding some extra events greatly increases the hazards of a mission...they're already too risky.  Personally, I would prefer the approach of making rendezvous and transfer such a non-event that nobody in their right mind wants to use vehicles much bigger than 1000lb to orbit for launching propellants.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #107 on: 04/30/2010 02:17 pm »
The Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets article I meant is this one:
Orbital Propellant Depots Enabling Lunar Architectures Without Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicles

I don't have a subscription to JSR, so I've only read the first page. I was pleased to see they considered a hypergolic lander optimal, perhaps because they consider using slow trajectories for cargo and propellant. Such trajectories are certainly considered in detail in the first article.

Unfortunately the JSR article was based on using Ares-I as the launch vehicle, so I sort of gagged, and haven't sat down to read the thing through in detail yet.  Other than the stick fetish, the rest of the article looked promising though.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #108 on: 04/30/2010 02:21 pm »
You don't even need 50mT chunks, current launch vehicles are enough. There are two recent articles in Acta Astronautica and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets detailing possible architectures, using Lagrange points and propellant transfer. It's not just a "New Space idea".

Every time you add a rendezvous or transfer event to the mission plan, you add another possible failure event.  It's time that you came to accept that multiple small launchers, though possible, is simply too high a risk for a multi-billion dollar human exploration mission that could have been a decade or more in preparation.

I suppose then having a space station supported by around a dozen spacecreaft dockings a year is stupid and should be cancelled as soon as possible...

Strawman noted and rejected.  I'm not talking about the ISS, that needs resupply for continuing operations of an indefinate lifespan.  I'm talking about an interplanetary spacecraft that needs multiple resupplies because it isn't big enough to carry enough consumables for a mission of finite and known length.

That does not apply to propellant supply flights and you know it

It does apply.  A rendezvous and a transfer is a rendezvous and a transfer, no matter what the cargo.
« Last Edit: 04/30/2010 02:24 pm by Ben the Space Brit »
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #109 on: 04/30/2010 02:25 pm »
Unfortunately the JSR article was based on using Ares-I as the launch vehicle, so I sort of gagged, and haven't sat down to read the thing through in detail yet.  Other than the stick fetish, the rest of the article looked promising though.

Heheh, glad I missed that part. Maybe that's just to make the thing politically acceptable. Still, if you're looking at it purely from the perspective of exploration using Ares I wouldn't be a bad idea. An EELV sized launcher is more than enough and once they got it to work Ares I would be as good as any launcher, at least for propellant. From the point of commercial development of space it would be bad of course, since you want both competition and RLVs or some other way to cheap and reliable access to space as soon as possible. And commercial development of space of course is my own main concern.

Anyway, good discussion, wrong thread...
« Last Edit: 04/30/2010 02:31 pm by mmeijeri »
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #110 on: 04/30/2010 02:47 pm »
You don't even need 50mT chunks, current launch vehicles are enough. There are two recent articles in Acta Astronautica and Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets detailing possible architectures, using Lagrange points and propellant transfer. It's not just a "New Space idea".

Every time you add a rendezvous or transfer event to the mission plan, you add another possible failure event.  It's time that you came to accept that multiple small launchers, though possible, is simply too high a risk for a multi-billion dollar human exploration mission that could have been a decade or more in preparation.

I suppose then having a space station supported by around a dozen spacecreaft dockings a year is stupid and should be cancelled as soon as possible...

Strawman noted and rejected.  I'm not talking about the ISS, that needs resupply for continuing operations of an indefinate lifespan.  I'm talking about an interplanetary spacecraft that needs multiple resupplies because it isn't big enough to carry enough consumables for a mission of finite and known length....

How is it a strawman? The whole point is that docking and rendezvous is safe and common, far more than it was in 1962 (which caused, at first, the selection of a direct ascent architecture). Doesn't mean you get to be careless, but it seems really silly to me to argue that a finite number of dockings is unsafe, but an unlimited number of dockings is fine...
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #111 on: 04/30/2010 02:47 pm »
It does apply.  A rendezvous and a transfer is a rendezvous and a transfer, no matter what the cargo.

Replied in a more appropriate thread.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #112 on: 04/30/2010 02:49 pm »
This thread is about man-rating EELVs, not use of EELVs for manned spaceflight and exploration in general. Good discussion about propellant transfer, what would be needed to support it and what good things could come of it, all subjects near and dear to my heart. But let's stay on topic. Thanks!
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Offline alexw

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #113 on: 05/01/2010 12:36 am »
Has NASA paid prices like that for the launches of uncrewed science missions on EELV?
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=20506
http://www.marsdaily.com/reports/NASA_Awards_Mars_Science_Lab_Launch_Contract.html
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2007/oct/HQ_C07051_Juno_Launch_Services.html
http://landsat.gsfc.nasa.gov/news/news-archive/news_0104.html
http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2009/mar/HQ_C09-011_Launch_Services.html

This is great; gives some window into real Atlas V marginal prices. I extract the numbers here:

ModelPricePayload Awarded
AV 551$190 million Juno 2007
AV 551$124 millionMUOS-1 2008
AV 541$195MSL 2006
multiple$600 million total 2009
    AV 421Magnetospheric Multiscale
    AV 401TDRS-K
    AV 401TDRS-L
    AV 401Radiation Belt Storm Probes
AV 401$136 millionLRO 2006
AV 401$124 millionLandsat Data Continuity 2007

 At first glance, looks like some of the added payload processing costs make it a little difficult to find the trends in the launcher costs. MUOS-1 looks anomalous. Does the 2009 multiple-buy suggest that recent costs have risen considerably?
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #114 on: 05/01/2010 01:26 am »
If you compare the multi-buy of $150 million per 4x1 to the Atlas V 401 in 2007 at $136 million, that's only a 10% increase, or 5% a year, not much above inflation (and consistent with the "aerospace inflation" which is just the same thing as saying prices go up slowly for the aerospace same goods... This trend must reverse or we're staying on this rock). It doesn't seem too dramatic to me, especially since one of those had two extra solids.
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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #115 on: 05/01/2010 02:17 pm »

 At first glance, looks like some of the added payload processing costs make it a little difficult to find the trends in the launcher costs. MUOS-1 looks anomalous. Does the 2009 multiple-buy suggest that recent costs have risen considerably?


Those numbers are not just what ULA receives.  They are the total cost to launch the spacecraft.  The numbers include payload processing facility costs (Astrotech, SSI, KSC, etc), downrange telemetry receiving, support contractors, spacecraft propellants, comm, and many other costs, like ESC mods for MSL.
« Last Edit: 05/01/2010 02:18 pm by Jim »

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #116 on: 05/01/2010 02:54 pm »

 At first glance, looks like some of the added payload processing costs make it a little difficult to find the trends in the launcher costs. MUOS-1 looks anomalous. Does the 2009 multiple-buy suggest that recent costs have risen considerably?


Those numbers are not just what ULA receives.  They are the total cost to launch the spacecraft.  The numbers include payload processing facility costs (Astrotech, SSI, KSC, etc), downrange telemetry receiving, support contractors, spacecraft propellants, comm, and many other costs, like ESC mods for MSL.

Do these numbers account for Launch Capability Contract costs to the government (a USAF contract)?

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #117 on: 05/01/2010 03:00 pm »

Do these numbers account for Launch Capability Contract costs to the government (a USAF contract)?


there is some accounting, exchanging of money or reduction.  I don't know exactly what is done.

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Re: Man rating EELVs
« Reply #118 on: 05/04/2010 12:41 pm »
Says to me at the current launch rate, and through any launch rates that don't require additional pads, we're looking at a baseline of ~$125 Million for an Atlas V 401/ I would guesstimate $140 M for a 402.

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