Author Topic: Space garage  (Read 24243 times)

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32479
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11255
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: Space garage
« Reply #80 on: 01/31/2011 04:57 PM »

Problem is that the whole issue is chicken and egg. With no idea of what space repair and refueling capabilities might be, there's no way to define a standard for satellite manufacturers to adhere to.

Automobiles and trucks don't even have a standard for repair.  There isn't even a tow truck standard interface.

There are some common spacecraft buses but the payloads on them are too diverse for repair.

NASA tried with standard component spacecraft (look up multi mission spacecraft Fairchild) but it was too constraining.
« Last Edit: 01/31/2011 05:01 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32479
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11255
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: Space garage
« Reply #81 on: 01/31/2011 05:02 PM »
Dang thing is clocking at $3B.

That includes some early development work

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32479
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11255
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: Space garage
« Reply #82 on: 01/31/2011 05:03 PM »
Unfortunately, from what I understand no consideration has been given to its in-space repair -- once it fails, it's dead.

No different than any planetary probe.

Offline jimgagnon

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 610
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: Space garage
« Reply #83 on: 01/31/2011 06:18 PM »
Problem is that the whole issue is chicken and egg. With no idea of what space repair and refueling capabilities might be, there's no way to define a standard for satellite manufacturers to adhere to.
Automobiles and trucks don't even have a standard for repair.  There isn't even a tow truck standard interface.

Here in California with all our fancy cars the emerging standard is the tilt bed truck. Overkill for some, but works for all. Also, we do have a world-wide standard for refueling that's backward compatible to the Model T.

Unfortunately, from what I understand no consideration has been given to its in-space repair -- once it fails, it's dead.
No different than any planetary probe.

Yes, though we all dream of a day where L2 is accessible as LEO. In my opinion that's the role of government, to make that day possible for at least tele-operated craft.

It's just a shame that the Webb's batteries and gyros aren't at least as accessible as Hubble's.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32479
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11255
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: Space garage
« Reply #84 on: 01/31/2011 08:02 PM »

 In my opinion that's the role of government, to make that day possible for at least tele-operated craft.


No, it is the market's place. Yes, it is gov't to provide regulation and spaceports but not the vehicles.  Also, commercial standards rule

Offline BShoe

  • Member
  • Posts: 7
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Space garage
« Reply #85 on: 02/02/2011 03:23 PM »

 In my opinion that's the role of government, to make that day possible for at least tele-operated craft.


No, it is the market's place. Yes, it is gov't to provide regulation and spaceports but not the vehicles.  Also, commercial standards rule

I would have to disagree. It is the role of government historically to provide the expansion of frontiers and the initial infrastructure, either directly or through monetary incentives.  Lewis and Clark didn't do it to make money for a business, they did it because Jefferson ordered them to. The trans continential railroad was only a good business idea because the government subsidized it.

The government both needs to push things and provide a favorable environment for commerial takeover. In my mind that seems to be some of the idea behind a number of proposals the have been discussed, have NASA push outward while commercial fills in behind them.

Whether NASA is actually accomplishing this is a whole different arguement.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32479
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11255
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: Space garage
« Reply #86 on: 02/02/2011 03:48 PM »

 In my opinion that's the role of government, to make that day possible for at least tele-operated craft.


No, it is the market's place. Yes, it is gov't to provide regulation and spaceports but not the vehicles.  Also, commercial standards rule

I would have to disagree. It is the role of government historically to provide the expansion of frontiers and the initial infrastructure, either directly or through monetary incentives.


This isn't infrastructure.  This isn't new territories.  The gov't already provided the "initial infrastructure", there are spaceports, with ranges and launch vehicles.

The gov't did not specify the locomotives or the rail gauge, the marketplace did.

The gov't doesn't specify auto repair shops nor the auto that go in them.

It is not the gov't job to levy spacecraft servicing requirements/specifications nor a vehicle that provides the service.
« Last Edit: 02/02/2011 03:53 PM by Jim »

Offline RanulfC

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4445
  • Heus tu Omnis! Vigilate Hoc!
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: Space garage
« Reply #87 on: 02/02/2011 04:51 PM »

Problem is that the whole issue is chicken and egg. With no idea of what space repair and refueling capabilities might be, there's no way to define a standard for satellite manufacturers to adhere to.

Automobiles and trucks don't even have a standard for repair.  There isn't even a tow truck standard interface.
That's a bit broad and misleading... The majority of cars and trucks DO have "standard" procedures for repairs, though the details differ between makers. There is a large enough "depth" to car and truck spare and replacement parts that the various manufacturers can get away with dealing in specific parts and procedures, but conversly there is just as much a market for more generic parts and services.

Cars and Trucks though they may not use the same FUEL can invariably use the same FUELING stations due to common standards.

Since satellites and spacecraft have NEVER been designed for re-fueling and/or repair there is no repair or refueling possible by de-fault.

Added to this is the assumption that on-orbit refueling will never be done or be practical and the situation never changes. The Air Force for one is no longer assuming that on-orbit servicing of "some-type" will not be available and current satellite building contracts include details for systems (specifically thrusters and propellant supplies) that WILL include the ability to be replenished after launch.
(Mostly this will be removing pyrotechnic valve assemblies and replacing them with reusable powered valve assemblies, and the inclusion of one-way-valve assemblies within the propellant supply lines)

There IS in fact a "common" tow-truck interface and has been for a very long time. Point of fact the "interface" was and is designed as broadly as possible in order to allow the truck to tow as many different vehicles as possible. (More so now that the majority have gone to lift-bed type trucks)
The "hint" here (as applicable as it is :) ) is the need for a very broad capability "attachment" system for any space-tug design. It will have to handle not only systems DESIGNED to be interfaced with, but also those that were never expected to be interfaced with. Difficult but not impossible.

Quote
There are some common spacecraft buses but the payloads on them are too diverse for repair.

NASA tried with standard component spacecraft (look up multi mission spacecraft Fairchild) but it was too constraining.
Of course the design of ANY "common" or "standardized" component is going to be "constraining" by their nature they DEMAND standardization of components that interface with them! However, we already know quite well that in the end "standerization," "modular-architecture," and a depth of available components, especially if designed for repair and replacement ends up being the most cost-effective and capable way to industrialize a market.

The cost of launching a satellite currently isn't even a major factor in the overall cost of the satellite itself! But the finanical insentive to get the most use out of, and longest service life-time from the satellite itself is the major driving factor. So massive numbers of back-ups, work-arounds, and other added systems end up getting added to the satellite to give the best possible chance that once "out-there" where it can no longer be serviced or repaired it will operate for as long as possible.

The majority of the "added" systems will never be utilized or even needed, yet if they are NOT included and they ARE needed then the whole cost of the satellite is wasted.

Once there is a "choice" between requiring all that added complexity and cost initially, or less "up-front" costs but access to on-orbit service and repair on a timely and regular schedule, the current "expendable" nature of the market itself undergoes a change.

But since there is no satellites that CAN be serviced or repaired "on-orbit" there is no incentive (nor market) for such services.... And since there are no services there is no incentive for satellite makers/buyers to change their operations as they are...

Quote
No different than any planetary probe.
Which pretty much sums up the current attittude very nicely; Once "it" is off the ground it is gone forever... And as long as there is no change in that attitude or the capability available that is the ONLY possible outlook to have.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8534
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 360
  • Likes Given: 157
Re: Space garage
« Reply #88 on: 02/02/2011 04:56 PM »

Well, there is the extreme of the James Webb: it's hard to imagine that once a space repair capability existed, that repairing the Webb would cost more than replacing it. Dang thing is clocking at $3B. Unfortunately, from what I understand no consideration has been given to its in-space repair -- once it fails, it's dead.

Problem is that the whole issue is chicken and egg. With no idea of what space repair and refueling capabilities might be, there's no way to define a standard for satellite manufacturers to adhere to. One could start with how the Hubble was built, but we don't know if tele-operated repair would work with it.

The starting point will be the manned spacecraft.  Anything that can be repaired using the same tools will have a significant head-start.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32479
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11255
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: Space garage
« Reply #89 on: 02/02/2011 06:08 PM »


1. The cost of launching a satellite currently isn't even a major factor in the overall cost of the satellite itself! But the finanical insentive to get the most use out of, and longest service life-time from the satellite itself is the major driving factor. So massive numbers of back-ups, work-arounds, and other added systems end up getting added to the satellite to give the best possible chance that once "out-there" where it can no longer be serviced or repaired it will operate for as long as possible.

2. The majority of the "added" systems will never be utilized or even needed, yet if they are NOT included and they ARE needed then the whole cost of the satellite is wasted.

.....

3.  But since there is no satellites that CAN be serviced or repaired "on-orbit" there is no incentive (nor market) for such services.... And since there are no services there is no incentive for satellite makers/buyers to change their operations as they are...



1 &2.  That is not going to change with repair.  Backup systems will be there so there is no lost of control or loss of revenue while waiting for repair.

3.  Here is where you are wrong.  There is nothing preventing the satellite makers/buyers to develop the repair service themselves and build the spacecraft for repair at the same time. 

This is not a place for the gov't step in.  It is a place for the market to determine a"..... change in that attitude or the capability available"
« Last Edit: 02/02/2011 06:09 PM by Jim »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32479
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11255
  • Likes Given: 333
Re: Space garage
« Reply #90 on: 02/02/2011 06:10 PM »

That's a bit broad and misleading... The majority of cars and trucks DO have "standard" procedures for repairs, though the details differ between makers. There is a large enough "depth" to car and truck spare and replacement parts that the various manufacturers can get away with dealing in specific parts and procedures, but conversly there is just as much a market for more generic parts and services.

Cars and Trucks though they may not use the same FUEL can invariably use the same FUELING stations due to common standards.


The gov't had no role in setting these up or determining the processes or standards.

Offline RanulfC

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4445
  • Heus tu Omnis! Vigilate Hoc!
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: Space garage
« Reply #91 on: 02/02/2011 06:20 PM »

That's a bit broad and misleading... The majority of cars and trucks DO have "standard" procedures for repairs, though the details differ between makers. There is a large enough "depth" to car and truck spare and replacement parts that the various manufacturers can get away with dealing in specific parts and procedures, but conversly there is just as much a market for more generic parts and services.

Cars and Trucks though they may not use the same FUEL can invariably use the same FUELING stations due to common standards.


The gov't had no role in setting these up or determining the processes or standards.
I specifically DIDN'T get into that part of the discussion so don't go trying to drag me in! :)
(I'm still waiting on you to comment on why you don't consider "magnetic-space-boots" piratical? :) )

I WILL however point out that the government already HAS done work on the concept by funding and carrying out a series of automated rendevous and transfer exercises on-orbit, so the IDEA has been proven practical. Now the need if for an economic incentive for private development.

Government-wise this could be carried out under a tech-demonstration contract or one of the NASA prize competitions. Or it could happen with someone testing a prototype "space-tug" using only private funding.

The BIG need however remains convincing a would-be-satellite user to forgo a full-up, full cost "standard" satellite for a cheaper "bare-bones" satellite and a "service-plan" with an on-orbit tug/service vehicle.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline jee_c2

  • Member
  • Posts: 81
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Liked: 7
  • Likes Given: 8
Re: Space garage
« Reply #92 on: 02/03/2011 08:52 AM »
There are already some news about on orbit repair/refuel initiations:
http://www.dailytech.com/Space+Recycling+Startup+Aims+to+Recharge+Refuel+Satellites/article19128.htm

I remember, I've read news about a robotic repair satellite (to be developed) about a month ago of a better known space company.

Offline tnphysics

  • Regular
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1073
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Space garage
« Reply #93 on: 02/03/2011 12:42 PM »
What about a spaceborne shipyard?

It would be much larger than this garage and be intended to build spacecraft from simple parts. The raw materials could be brought from asteroids or Luna. Microchips would need to be brought from Earth, but they weigh next to nothing.

For either this or the garage, a large airlock could be used for entry and exit. Fill the pressurized area with air-use the same safety procedures for props as used back home.

Offline RanulfC

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4445
  • Heus tu Omnis! Vigilate Hoc!
  • Liked: 806
  • Likes Given: 32
Re: Space garage
« Reply #94 on: 02/03/2011 01:33 PM »
Nice as the MDA concept sounds they have already run head-on-into the very problem I mentioned: No customers
http://www.spacenews.com/satellite_telecom/mda-struggling-find-customer-for-satellite-servicing-business.html

However there apperantly there has been a LOT of serious discussion on the subject over the last few years:
http://www.isunet.edu/index.php/.../370-ssp07tp-reporton-orbit-servicing-doctor
http://www.georing.biz/OTHER/GEORING56926.pdf
http://www.on-orbit-servicing.com/pdf/GSV_1.PDF
http://web.mit.edu/mgr/www/Portfolio/On-Orbit%20Servicing%20-%20A%20New%20Value%20Proposition%20for%20Satellite%20Design%20and%20Operation.pdf
http://smartech.gatech.edu/bitstream/handle/1853/28082/Dutta_Atri_200905_phd.pdf?sequence=1

Which are just a few out there on google :)

While a garage or shipyard will eventually come, the first steps have to be moving between satellites and orbits in a manner that is economical, practical, and relativly quickly.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Tags: