Author Topic: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept  (Read 6392 times)

Offline CFE

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The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« on: 10/16/2007 04:37 AM »
In my frenzy to find out as much as possible about the Taurus-II / Cygnus concept, I came across an AIAA conference paper from 1994 talking about an earlier "Taurus II" concept.

The Taurus II of yesteryear was quite different from the modern Taurus II concept.  It used two Castor 120's stacked atop each other, and a cluster of Castor IV's around the base.  The fairing was only 110" in diameter, versus 4m for the current Taurus II design.  Performance was on the low end of the Delta II performance spectrum.

My impression is that Orbital has been eyeing the Delta II class of missions for a long time, but only recently concluded that it would be profitable to move into this market (due to the Air Force's shift to EELV and the increase in Delta II prices to NASA.)  I think the original Taurus II concept would be lower-risk to Orbital, but the new one promises to be more profitable and has higher potential for growth.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline Jim

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Re: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #1 on: 10/16/2007 11:21 AM »
So why isn't this post with the rest of the Taurus II posts

Offline antonioe

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Re: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #2 on: 10/16/2007 09:14 PM »
Is there a Taurus II thread?
ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline antonioe

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RE: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #3 on: 10/16/2007 09:27 PM »

Quote
CFE - 15/10/2007 11:37 PM My impression is that Orbital has been eyeing the Delta II class of missions for a long time

No - only since the COTS announcement (when was that?  Two years ago?)  All previous "paper designs" where in the Minotaur-IV class.  Cygnus is quite a bit beyond "paper design"; it will reach PDR level (per our ISO procedures definition of PDR) late this year (December?).

The Taurus II name was not a good choice for a liguid Stage 1 LV (suggests solid S1); Cygnus is much better.

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline aero313

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RE: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #4 on: 10/16/2007 10:58 PM »
Quote
antonioe - 16/10/2007  5:27 PM

Quote
CFE - 15/10/2007 11:37 PM My impression is that Orbital has been eyeing the Delta II class of missions for a long time

No - only since the COTS announcement (when was that?  Two years ago?)  All previous "paper designs" where in the Minotaur-IV class.  


I beg to differ!  The original Taurus II was absolutely a Delta II class vehicle in the eight strap-on version - 10,100 lb to LEO vs. 10,840 for DII and 3,850 lb to GTO vs 3,850 for DII (what a surprise!).  At the low end (with no strapons) it was intended to be a Titan II competitor - 5,000 lb to LEO vs. 5,400 lb for Titan II.  Of course, the flexibility to fly with 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 strap-ons allowed the vehicle performance and cost to be matched to the payload (stealing a line from the Ariane IV user's manual).  Ironically, I just stumbled across a copy of that AIAA paper last week (94-4657 for those keeping score at home).  

How quickly we forget... (OK, it HAS been 13 years...)

As implied in the paper, this vehicle was mainly intended to counter the Athena II and Athena III threat (which explains why it looks a whole lot like those vehicles).  More importantly, the original TII was intended to service the then-promising LEO constellation market.  Of course, in 1994, there was still a booming ICBM and solid strap-on business going on in Utah, which helped hold down the overhead rates at the solid motor vendors.  That's not the case today, which is why a liquid solution makes more sense.

Offline antonioe

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RE: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #5 on: 10/17/2007 12:47 AM »

Ohh!... the EIGHT strap-on version!... I humbly beg your pardon... what were the strap-ons? C-120's? :laugh:

Seriously, thanks, Joe,  for keeping me honest. 13 years ago I was struggling with APEX and SeaStar, you guys were doing the rocketing...

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Offline CFE

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Re: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #6 on: 10/17/2007 03:52 AM »
Quote
Jim - 16/10/2007  5:21 AM

So why isn't this post with the rest of the Taurus II posts

Because it really has no relation to the current "Taurus II" design.  It's ancient history from 1994.

It's great to hear some commentary on the environment in which the original Taurus II was proposed.  Things have changed greatly since then.
"Black Zones" never stopped NASA from flying the shuttle.

Offline wingod

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Re: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #7 on: 10/17/2007 04:43 PM »
Quote
CFE - 16/10/2007  10:52 PM

Quote
Jim - 16/10/2007  5:21 AM

So why isn't this post with the rest of the Taurus II posts

Because it really has no relation to the current "Taurus II" design.  It's ancient history from 1994.

It's great to hear some commentary on the environment in which the original Taurus II was proposed.  Things have changed greatly since then.

Has anyone noticed that the new Taurus II design uses the Kistler NK-33's now owned by Aerojet?


Offline antonioe

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Re: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #8 on: 10/17/2007 05:58 PM »

Quote
wingod - 17/10/2007 11:43 AMHas anyone noticed that the new Taurus II design uses the Kistler NK-33's now owned by Aerojet?

NK-33's were never "Kistler's" - they were designed by Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kuznetsov's design bureau in the 1970's after the N-1 failures, in an attempt to "bullet-proof" the NK-15 design used in the N-1.  The NK-33 test program accumulated something like 200,000 sec of firing time in literally thousands of firings, consuming only about 120 engines in the process (over 1,500 average sec/engine!!!).  By the way, Kuznetzov was an aircraft turbine engine designer and manufacturer; Koroliov turned to him after he got into a row with Valentin Glushko (the RD-107 designer) over the issue of propellants.  Kuznetzov numbered all his designs (airplane and rocket engines alike) serially; for example, the NK-12 is the famous turboprop used in the Tu-95 "Bear", the largest turboprop ever made (15,000 hp in its latest version!!!)

AFAIK Aerojet imported about 30 of them, plus technical data, the right to purchase another set of 30 or so still in Samara, plus the manufacturing rights in the early days of the EELV competition. After they "lost" to the RD-180 and RS-68,  Kistler then took an interest in them for the K-1 in view of their "long life" (although they were never designed to be reusable).

Kistler asked Aerojet to modify them for in-flight restart (which was never considered in the original design), and Aerojet spent some its own money in the mods and subsequent tests.  Apparently they never got their money back.  Kistler once claimed they had some rights over those engines - Aerojet did not think so.

ARS LONGA, VITA BREVIS...

Online edkyle99

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RE: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #9 on: 10/17/2007 09:18 PM »
Quote
aero313 - 16/10/2007  5:58 PM

The original Taurus II was absolutely a Delta II class vehicle in the eight strap-on version - 10,100 lb to LEO vs. 10,840 for DII and 3,850 lb to GTO vs 3,850 for DII (what a surprise!).  At the low end (with no strapons) it was intended to be a Titan II competitor - 5,000 lb to LEO vs. 5,400 lb for Titan II.  Of course, the flexibility to fly with 0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 strap-ons allowed the vehicle performance and cost to be matched to the payload (stealing a line from the Ariane IV user's manual).  Ironically, I just stumbled across a copy of that AIAA paper last week (94-4657 for those keeping score at home).  

How quickly we forget... (OK, it HAS been 13 years...)

As implied in the paper, this vehicle was mainly intended to counter the Athena II and Athena III threat (which explains why it looks a whole lot like those vehicles).  More importantly, the original TII was intended to service the then-promising LEO constellation market.  Of course, in 1994, there was still a booming ICBM and solid strap-on business going on in Utah, which helped hold down the overhead rates at the solid motor vendors.  That's not the case today, which is why a liquid solution makes more sense.

AIAA 94-4657 is a very cool paper indeed.  Taurus II was proposed to be Castor 120s stacked as the first two stages with up to eight Castor IVA strap on boosters on the first stage.  Stage 3 was proposed to be a pressure-fed hypergolic bi-propellant machine powered by what were essentially two Aestus engines developed for the Ariane 5G EPS upper stage.  This stage was going to be developed by Atlantic Research Corporation (ARC) and Deutsche Aerospace (DASA).    Star 37FM or Star 48A kick motors could be added for GTO missions.  The rocket was to be topped by a 120 inch diameter payload fairing, which would have looked neat on top of those 94-ish inch diameter Castor 120s.

I'm not sure if ARC, a descendant of Bell Aircraft Corporation, even exists anymore.  ATK sold off its remnants a few years ago.  DASA, as I understand it, is now part of EADS.

The paper says that the upper stage was "currently under development" by an ARC/DASA joint venture.  I wonder how far that development proceeded?

I've added my attempt at an outline sketch of a "Taurus II-4" with four strap-on motors.  My guess is that this thing would have stood more than 36 meters tall.

 - Ed Kyle

Online Chris Bergin

Re: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #10 on: 10/17/2007 10:01 PM »
Quote
CFE - 17/10/2007  4:52 AM

Quote
Jim - 16/10/2007  5:21 AM

So why isn't this post with the rest of the Taurus II posts

Because it really has no relation to the current "Taurus II" design.  It's ancient history from 1994.

It's great to hear some commentary on the environment in which the original Taurus II was proposed.  Things have changed greatly since then.

I agree with it being in historical. Anyone can simply provide a URL to this thread in the 'current' TII thread.

It's all good.

Offline aero313

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RE: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #11 on: 10/18/2007 03:20 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 17/10/2007  5:18 PM

I'm not sure if ARC, a descendant of Bell Aircraft Corporation, even exists anymore.  ATK sold off its remnants a few years ago.  DASA, as I understand it, is now part of EADS.

The paper says that the upper stage was "currently under development" by an ARC/DASA joint venture.  I wonder how far that development proceeded?

I've added my attempt at an outline sketch of a "Taurus II-4" with four strap-on motors.  My guess is that this thing would have stood more than 36 meters tall.

 - Ed Kyle

ARC was bought by Aerojet.

The original TII was about 97 feet tall (this is 'Merica, we don't use no steenkeen metric system...).  I think these are the pictures you're looking for.  And lest there be any question about Orbital looking at the DII market, that's a 7925 for comparison.  And in case there's any concern, these all came from a briefing package presented to potential customers that was NOT marked proprietary.


Online edkyle99

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RE: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #12 on: 10/18/2007 05:08 PM »
Quote
aero313 - 18/10/2007  10:20 AM

Thanks for the drawings!  A compact little monster, that Taurus II would have been.

Quote
ARC was bought by Aerojet.


And according to the following release, Aerojet (ATK) then proceeded to sell the in-space propulsion part of ARC in 2004 - for only $3.5 million (!) to American Pacific Corporation http://www.ampacisp.com/  

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=15208

$3.5 million for crying out loud.  This was the company that built all of those Agena engines, not to mention the X-1 and many other things.

 - Ed Kyle

Offline aero313

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RE: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #13 on: 10/18/2007 07:17 PM »
Quote
edkyle99 - 18/10/2007  1:08 PM
And according to the following release, Aerojet (ATK)...

Contrary to popular belief, ATK doesn't yet own ALL the solid propulsion business in the US... :laugh:

Quote
...then proceeded to sell the in-space propulsion part of ARC in 2004 - for only $3.5 million (!) to American Pacific Corporation http://www.ampacisp.com/  

http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=15208

$3.5 million for crying out loud.  This was the company that built all of those Agena engines, not to mention the X-1 and many other things.

 - Ed Kyle
 

I'm pretty sure that was an anti-trust move, but you're right, that seems very low.

Online edkyle99

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RE: The ORIGINAL Taurus-II Concept
« Reply #14 on: 10/18/2007 07:35 PM »
Quote
aero313 - 18/10/2007  2:17 PM

Quote
edkyle99 - 18/10/2007  1:08 PM
And according to the following release, Aerojet (ATK)...

Contrary to popular belief, ATK doesn't yet own ALL the solid propulsion business in the US... :laugh:


Aerojet.  Right.  Thanks.  Hard to keep 'em all straight these days.

 - Ed Kyle

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