Author Topic: Liberty Launch Vehicle and the former Ares ML  (Read 9739 times)

Offline Jason1701

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Liberty Launch Vehicle and the former Ares ML
« on: 11/02/2011 10:20 pm »
Split thread.

Reference:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/11/sls-mobile-launcher-debut-trip-pad-39b-november/

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=27203.0

I asked this in the mobile launcher thread, but I think it's more appropriate for this one.

Just how big a blow to Liberty is the allocation of the ML to SLS?
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 06:45 pm by Chris Bergin »

Offline sdsds

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« Reply #1 on: 11/02/2011 10:57 pm »
$129,834,000.  $263,735,000.  That was the cost to build the first one.  Although perhaps the contractor would build a second for ATK at a slightly lower price?

[EDIT:  Oops, sorry!  That might have been the price for two.  The press release said, "The contract includes an option for an additional Ares I mobile launcher. It is a firm fixed-price contract with a value of $263,735,000, if all options are exercised."  http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/may/HQ_C08025_Ares_MLP_contract.html]

[MORE:
Contract Award Date: May 8, 2008
Contract Award Number: NNK08EB10C
Contract Award Dollar Amount: 129834000
Contract Line Item Number: 0001 1st ML ]
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 12:11 am by sdsds »
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Offline Downix

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« Reply #2 on: 11/02/2011 11:56 pm »
Of course if the SLS modifications are done properly, the same ML could be used for both vehicles, along with Atlas and Delta.
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Offline Jim

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« Reply #3 on: 11/03/2011 12:10 am »
Of course if the SLS modifications are done properly, the same ML could be used for both vehicles, along with Atlas and Delta.

Not possible without making a unweldy kludge that meets no ones requirements.

The clean pad concept uses vehicle unique MLP's on a common pad.  It isn't a common MLP.

Offline Jason1701

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« Reply #4 on: 11/03/2011 12:53 am »
$129,834,000.  $263,735,000.  That was the cost to build the first one.  Although perhaps the contractor would build a second for ATK at a slightly lower price?

[EDIT:  Oops, sorry!  That might have been the price for two.  The press release said, "The contract includes an option for an additional Ares I mobile launcher. It is a firm fixed-price contract with a value of $263,735,000, if all options are exercised."  http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/may/HQ_C08025_Ares_MLP_contract.html]

[MORE:
Contract Award Date: May 8, 2008
Contract Award Number: NNK08EB10C
Contract Award Dollar Amount: 129834000
Contract Line Item Number: 0001 1st ML ]

I thought it was $500 million.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44601423/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/million-launch-platform-may-find-new-life/#.TrHz_7Jwi8A

Would Liberty survive having to build a new ML?

Offline Namechange User

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« Reply #5 on: 11/03/2011 01:14 am »
The clean pad concept uses vehicle unique MLP's on a common pad.  It isn't a common MLP.

That does not have to be the case.  In fact there are concepts and designs in work right now for otherwise. 
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Offline Lars_J

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« Reply #6 on: 11/03/2011 02:54 am »
While it is theoretically possible to build a one-size-fits-all, it would seem to more cost effective to have custom built MLPs - which will also give you more operational flexibility.

Offline Namechange User

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« Reply #7 on: 11/03/2011 03:08 am »
While it is theoretically possible to build a one-size-fits-all, it would seem to more cost effective to have custom built MLPs - which will also give you more operational flexibility.

I have no idea where and how you arrive at that insight

http://www.unitedspacealliance.com/universal-launch-complex.cfm
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Offline sdsds

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« Reply #8 on: 11/03/2011 03:29 am »
$129,834,000.  $263,735,000.  That was the cost to build the first one.  [...]

Contract Award Date: May 8, 2008
Contract Award Number: NNK08EB10C
Contract Award Dollar Amount: 129834000
Contract Line Item Number: 0001 1st ML

I thought it was $500 million.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44601423/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/million-launch-platform-may-find-new-life/#.TrHz_7Jwi8A

My source is https://www.fbo.gov/index?id=cae42c0363f7151e731fb86630dd2abc

That's for the ML structure, i.e. the thing that's complete.  According to NASA, "Ground support equipment, such as umbilicals, propellant and gases, instrumentation, controls and communications, necessary to support the Ares I rocket will be provided and installed under a separate contract or contracts." Maybe space.com/msnbc.com writer Mike Wall was reporting a price tag for the entire project?

Quote
Would Liberty survive having to build a new ML?

Of course it would.  Having survived everything it has faced so far, why would a paltry few hundred million dollars of added expense kill it?  :)
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 03:30 am by sdsds »
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Offline Comga

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« Reply #9 on: 11/03/2011 03:32 am »
While it is theoretically possible to build a one-size-fits-all, it would seem to more cost effective to have custom built MLPs - which will also give you more operational flexibility.

I have no idea where and how you arrive at that insight

http://www.unitedspacealliance.com/universal-launch-complex.cfm

Fascinating

All the complexity of the Shuttle launch pad with the RSS, yet they are supposed to haul it out from the VAB to the "clean" pad for every launch, then recycle it for a different launch vehicle?

Wouldn't each of these vehicles be limited to a very low flight rate to avoid running into each others' schedules?  Wouldn't this defeat the idea of economically sharing the platform and launch pad?  If they need more than one for the launch rate, why not customize and do away with the adjustable platforms?  And does anyone expect SpaceX to make use of this?

edit:  I guess that's what Lars_J said.
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 03:35 am by Comga »
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Lars_J

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« Reply #10 on: 11/03/2011 04:12 am »
While it is theoretically possible to build a one-size-fits-all, it would seem to more cost effective to have custom built MLPs - which will also give you more operational flexibility.

I have no idea where and how you arrive at that insight

http://www.unitedspacealliance.com/universal-launch-complex.cfm

Common sense 101?  ;) If you are happy with a LC-39 with a low flight rate, combined with cascading delays impacting all LC-39 users... Then go ahead and build that single kludge. If your answer is "build more than one"... Then you are just wasting $$$. Custom build MLPs for each launcher will again be cheaper.

All the complexity of the Shuttle launch pad with the RSS, yet they are supposed to haul it out from the VAB to the "clean" pad for every launch, then recycle it for a different launch vehicle?

Wouldn't each of these vehicles be limited to a very low flight rate to avoid running into each others' schedules?  Wouldn't this defeat the idea of economically sharing the platform and launch pad?  If they need more than one for the launch rate, why not customize and do away with the adjustable platforms?  And does anyone expect SpaceX to make use of this?

Indeed, you spelled it out much more clearly than I did.
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 04:13 am by Lars_J »

Offline Jim

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« Reply #11 on: 11/03/2011 12:13 pm »
Think how much time it would take to convert between launches of two different vehicles and my description holds true.

The existing Atlas MLP is very simple and does not rely on umbilical arms.
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 06:47 pm by Chris Bergin »

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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« Reply #12 on: 11/03/2011 12:29 pm »
Whatever Jim. 

Think how much time it would take to convert between launches of two different vehicles and my description holds true.

The existing Atlas MLP is very simple and does not rely on umbilical arms.

I suppose one way to get around it would be to have a pad that supplied all fuel types (RP-1, LH2, LOX and various breeds of hypergol).  The supply lines would come up in the pad base and would normally be closed by inward-folding pressure caps.

The MLP for a specific launcher would have 'male' sockets only for the types of prop needed for that specific LV.  These would deploy downward to open the caps and connect to the supply ports in the pad base whilst the other ports, which didn't have nozzles, would remain closed by the pressure below the caps.
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Online ugordan

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« Reply #13 on: 11/03/2011 12:45 pm »
The MLP for a specific launcher would have 'male' sockets only for the types of prop needed for that specific LV.

So you're basically arguing for custom MLPs for each vehicle. NOT what is being proposed for this ULC. Notice that the launch mount itself would need to be switched every time a new vehicle type flew. This is a recipe for delays and low flight rate.

Offline Jim

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« Reply #14 on: 11/03/2011 12:49 pm »
Propellents are not the only issue, there is electrical interfaces for power, data and commanding.  This varies greatly between vehicles in location and types.

Offline docmordrid

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« Reply #15 on: 11/03/2011 01:03 pm »
Propellents are not the only issue, there is electrical interfaces for power, data and commanding.  This varies greatly between vehicles in location and types.
Time for at least national, if not international, standards? It's been done in so many other spheres it's hard to believe it's not been done here.
« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 01:03 pm by docmordrid »
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Offline Comga

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« Reply #16 on: 11/03/2011 01:52 pm »
Propellents are not the only issue, there is electrical interfaces for power, data and commanding.  This varies greatly between vehicles in location and types.
Time for at least national, if not international, standards? It's been done in so many other spheres it's hard to believe it's not been done here.

To what end?  Which rocket builder is going to move their connections and modify their plumbing to "take advantage" of a hypothetical "Universal Launch Platform" that some other rocket might occupy while they fix their technical issues?  And "international standards"?  Give us a break.  Who? Why?  How? 

Compare this idea to the new Russian Soyuz launch pad in French Guiana. Did they standardize with Ariane? Not a bit.
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Jim

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« Reply #17 on: 11/03/2011 01:53 pm »
Propellents are not the only issue, there is electrical interfaces for power, data and commanding.  This varies greatly between vehicles in location and types.
Time for at least national, if not international, standards? It's been done in so many other spheres it's hard to believe it's not been done here.

Why?  Still too early for it.  There is no driver for it and hence no benefit.  It is unique to each vehicle and its payloads. Each launch vehicle has a different avionics architecture and different data buses.

One launch vehicle may have its data and commanding on one umbilical and power on another and they may be 10's of feet apart and clocked many 10's of degrees apart.     Each stage may have different power.
Vehicles have instrumentation systems independent of the guidance systems.


Also, some of the umbilicals are for instrumentation for the liftoff environment.

Offline Namechange User

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« Reply #18 on: 11/03/2011 02:21 pm »
Propellents are not the only issue, there is electrical interfaces for power, data and commanding.  This varies greatly between vehicles in location and types.

Of course.  You don't think that has been considered?

It really is rather funny in my opinion how people go on about innovation and commercial and all these great idealistic things.  Then someone shows something that could help and it is immediately met with cries on how it won't work, it's a bad idea, recipe for disaster and low flight rate, etc just because it did not come from the internet "chosen ones". 
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Online woods170

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« Reply #19 on: 11/03/2011 02:59 pm »
Propellents are not the only issue, there is electrical interfaces for power, data and commanding.  This varies greatly between vehicles in location and types.

Of course.  You don't think that has been considered?

It really is rather funny in my opinion how people go on about innovation and commercial and all these great idealistic things.  Then someone shows something that could help and it is immediately met with cries on how it won't work, it's a bad idea, recipe for disaster and low flight rate, etc just because it did not come from the internet "chosen ones". 

Speak for yourself please. Not a single person on this thread decried the ULA USA idea because it didn't come from the internet "chosen ones".
However...several people did decry the ULA USA idea for the unavoidable technical hurdles that will be associated with it. Several of those hurdles have already been discussed, some of them in detail. More will likely come. That's unavoidable.

Edit: UnitedSpaceAlliance (USA) instead of ULA.


« Last Edit: 11/03/2011 03:08 pm by woods170 »

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