Author Topic: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2  (Read 53555 times)

Offline Marsman

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Version 2 on page 3: The number of EELV class launches to meet NASA's stated requirements and exceed many has ben reduced to 3-4 by using L1. An expendable/reuseable lander system has also been incorperated.

Further study will include a NEO mission, Mars mission, fully reuseable landers, and evlauating L2.



Over the past few weeks, I have been studying the idea of using EELV’s combined with an L1 staging point as an alternative to Ares should budget (or technical) pressure force the cancellation of the project. This paper is a quick overview of the concept, and can basically be summed up in four key parts:



Orion continues development as planned
A small station is built at Lagrange point 1 to serve as a node for lunar missions
A reusable lunar lander system is built and launched to the L1 station
An international and commercial launch fleet supplies propellant to the station for the reusable lander

The focus of this is not to present a better architecture than Ares, but to create one which can survive in a tight budget. Ares as it is today is in serious trouble with the current political situation. EELV’s can alleviate the budgetary stress by requiring a smaller workforce, little upfront development costs, and a cheaper cost per mission than Ares.


EELV’s can match or exceed the overall lunar performance set by Ares while doing so in a safe manner. According to the latest Ares I LOC (Loss of Crew) numbers, they are within 300 points of a Delta IV with a new upper stage. This lunar scenario requires no new upper stage, and has a performance margin that allows new safety measures to be implemented.


The paper focuses more on the actual architecture as opposed to comparing it to Ares or cost data as the goal is to be brief. As such, it is more of an overview than a technical document.


Offline Nathan

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RE: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #1 on: 12/15/2007 12:41 AM »
I like it - why we aren't developing reusable architectures in this day and age is beyond me!

My main thought in reading this is that there needs to be some consideration of abort senarios. Also - do we really need the station truss element? Can the panels not just be deployed directly from the hab (like Mir and other soviet stations)? Seems you could save weight and thus money by doing this.

Refuelability is definitely the key to cost saving architectures. The main concern i have is with the maintenance of the lunar vehicle. There would have to be spare parts available at the station (for flight computers, life support etc) and these would have to be accounted for in mass and resupply considerations. Even if the station is not permanantly staffed the visiting crews with have to have the ability to tend to their vehicle - especially when it has been used many times. The hab would also ave to provide sufficient radiation protection during solar storms - which may add more mass.

But overall - the idea is valid. NASA should be condidering things like this (it had the OASIS architecture raeady to go the promptly forgot about t!)

Nathan.
Given finite cash, if we want to go to Mars then we should go to Mars.

Offline Marsman

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #2 on: 12/15/2007 01:06 AM »
All abort scenarios from the current Ares program can be applied to this achitecture. Launch abort is easy to implement, while in space return via the Orion SM is well within the delta v budget. The lunar lander in whichever form it takes can use one or both engines to abort a landing anytime, or can use it's RCS in most cases.

The truss is dictated by the need to transfer propellants, i.e. a location to store tanks and the RMS arm track. The reason for the station design as opposed to just a propellant tank are the needs that you outlined above such as providing a storage location for parts, radiation protection, etc.

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #3 on: 12/15/2007 02:17 AM »
David,
We investigated some similar ideas a while back while we worked on the various architectures for DIRECT.   I see some similar issues to the ones we came across then, so let me pose some comments and some initial questions - trying to be constructive.   These are issues we have faced and solved with our system.   I offer them to help identify hurdles which need clearing to get the best possible system out of your concept.


1) Crew abort options during the TLI are very limited with the Orion's main engine facing the wrong way.   LSAM Ascent Stage provides LAS for current plans, but doesn't exist here.   What are your crew abort options during TLI?

2) Similar limitations for Crew abort options during descent to the lunar surface.   Aren't the crew just dead if the RL-10's fail?   Options?

3) What are the cost and schedule deltas for developing a reusable Lander?   The trades I've seen indicate that this is very high (double or more - which is a greater total cost than new LV's bTW), so assuming this architecture came to pass because budget is too tight, a disposable lander seems more likely, no?

4) How does the lander manage 6 month stays?   You have already stated the assumption that this architecture is implemented because the budget is very tight.   NASA isn't currently predicting ISRU until 2025-2030 even with a relatively healthy budget.   Can this system enable long-duration stays without that high cost?

5) Orion mass at 22.4mT is low.   Current Orion mass is 23.6mT at docking to LSAM.

6) Given a program requiring 22 flights from four different launch facilities, what happens when one flight is delayed?   Worse still, what happens to the schedule if one particular vehicle type experiences down-time for one reason or another?   Relying upon so many different elements increases logistics issues multi-fold.   You couldn't just take one payload from Atlas and fly it next week (or even 6 months later) on a Delta.   Contingency planning must be considered at this conceptual stage to ensure program robustness.

7) I'd like to see the dV and mass budgets broken down more for the various phases of the mission because some of the mass numbers look optimistic to me.   Also I'd like to know your methodology for accounting for boiloff and reserves/residuals - especially during transit for the refueling flights and the lander.   NASA is currently baselining a 0.35% boiloff per day for both the LSAM and the EDS during all transits and loiter periods.   The best Lockheed/Boeing seem willing to actually confirm would be about 0.1% (via LM ICES) without a serious investment to develop on-orbit active cooling systems.   But again, the premise of this architecture is that budget is very tight, so a zero-boiloff systems seems a touch too hopeful to me.   I personally think a high-cost requirement like zero-boiloff, upon which the success of the architecture rests upon, is not something you want to baseline at the start.   For all DIRECT work we never assumed better than NASA expects.   You might wish to do the same to add a layer of safety.   This issue caused us endless headaches, but was very worthwhile tackling to get it right.

8) From the title - How exactly does this architecture extend to the "beyond" phase of the VSE?   I don't see it easily extending to the size requirements of a Mars mission.

9) LSAM requires 128mT of propellant.   Including launch, rendezvous and docking, are you sure you've worked out the correct number of propellant delivery flights?   Have you accounted for residuals/reserves which can't be transferred and also losses during transit and transfer?   My numbers indicate you need more flights than currently predicted.   You might want to double-check.

10) 22 flights for NASA will have to fit with DoD EELV schedules.   How do you propose delays and priorities will be handled?   Last time NASA checked DoD was unwilling to allow any of its assets to be deferred for any NASA payloads.   This will cause scheduling issues for any 22-launch program using EELV's.   Solutions?

Just some things to think about if you're interested.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #4 on: 12/15/2007 02:24 AM »
If the report is to go outside the space community it will need a diagram to show where L1 is.  Also a line that ways EML1 is the point between the Earth and the Moon where their gravities cancel each other out.

I suspect it may be possible to save fuel by combining the depot's station keeping burns and the fuel transfer burns.

Reusable spacecraft wear out so every 5 to 10 years a new lunar lander will need launching.  The depot will need spares.  This effects manifest and costs.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #5 on: 12/15/2007 03:06 AM »
With a station mass of 59,080 kg the weight is too big for a single lift using the proposed J-120 but it may be possible using two launches.

One way to handle a missed fuel launch is to have larger fuel tanks in the depot.  This is a one off cost and has a low weight penalty because the tanks are launched empty.  Delay the first Moon mission by a few weeks so the larger tanks can be filled.

Could a second depot be built at EML2 to launch Mars transfer vehicles?
Some sort of dry dock facilities may be needed for the assembly and repair of reusable Mars spacecraft.

Offline Marsman

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #6 on: 12/15/2007 02:22 PM »

Quote
kraisee - 14/12/2007 10:17 PM David, We investigated some similar ideas a while back while we worked on the various architectures for DIRECT. I see some similar issues to the ones we came across then, so let me pose some comments and some initial questions - trying to be constructive. These are issues we have faced and solved with our system. I offer them to help identify hurdles which need clearing to get the best possible system out of your concept. 1) Crew abort options during the TLI are very limited with the Orion's main engine facing the wrong way. LSAM Ascent Stage provides LAS for current plans, but doesn't exist here. What are your crew abort options during TLI? 2) Similar limitations for Crew abort options during descent to the lunar surface. Aren't the crew just dead if the RL-10's fail? Options? 3) What are the cost and schedule deltas for developing a reusable Lander? The trades I've seen indicate that this is very high (double or more - which is a greater total cost than new LV's bTW), so assuming this architecture came to pass because budget is too tight, a disposable lander seems more likely, no? 4) How does the lander manage 6 month stays? You have already stated the assumption that this architecture is implemented because the budget is very tight. NASA isn't currently predicting ISRU until 2025-2030 even with a relatively healthy budget. Can this system enable long-duration stays without that high cost? 5) Orion mass at 22.4mT is low. Current Orion mass is 23.6mT at docking to LSAM. 6) Given a program requiring 22 flights from four different launch facilities, what happens when one flight is delayed? Worse still, what happens to the schedule if one particular vehicle type experiences down-time for one reason or another? Relying upon so many different elements increases logistics issues multi-fold. You couldn't just take one payload from Atlas and fly it next week (or even 6 months later) on a Delta. Contingency planning must be considered at this conceptual stage to ensure program robustness. 7) I'd like to see the dV and mass budgets broken down more for the various phases of the mission because some of the mass numbers look optimistic to me. Also I'd like to know your methodology for accounting for boiloff and reserves/residuals - especially during transit for the refueling flights and the lander. NASA is currently baselining a 0.35% boiloff per day for both the LSAM and the EDS during all transits and loiter periods. The best Lockheed/Boeing seem willing to actually confirm would be about 0.1% (via LM ICES) without a serious investment to develop on-orbit active cooling systems. But again, the premise of this architecture is that budget is very tight, so a zero-boiloff systems seems a touch too hopeful to me. I personally think a high-cost requirement like zero-boiloff, upon which the success of the architecture rests upon, is not something you want to baseline at the start. For all DIRECT work we never assumed better than NASA expects. You might wish to do the same to add a layer of safety. This issue caused us endless headaches, but was very worthwhile tackling to get it right. 8) From the title - How exactly does this architecture extend to the "beyond" phase of the VSE? I don't see it easily extending to the size requirements of a Mars mission. 9) LSAM requires 128mT of propellant. Including launch, rendezvous and docking, are you sure you've worked out the correct number of propellant delivery flights? Have you accounted for residuals/reserves which can't be transferred and also losses during transit and transfer? My numbers indicate you need more flights than currently predicted. You might want to double-check. 10) 22 flights for NASA will have to fit with DoD EELV schedules. How do you propose delays and priorities will be handled? Last time NASA checked DoD was unwilling to allow any of its assets to be deferred for any NASA payloads. This will cause scheduling issues for any 22-launch program using EELV's. Solutions? Just some things to think about if you're interested. Ross.

Thanks for the comments, Ross.

1)      You have me here. What was your DIRECT team planning for your LOR-LOR architectures with Orion directly on the EDS? Theoretically, Orion could be docked tail end first to the EDS, but this adds a more complex docking system and therefore more mass.

2)      Part of the reason for the dual engines is abort capability if one fails. If both fail, propellant can be dumped and the RCS used to stabilize the orbit. Orion can then come rescue the crew.

3)      At this initial stage, I have yet to go into costing heavily. The higher cost of the reusable lander would be offset by the non-recurring cost of launching a new one every flight.

4)      The focus is set on concentrating on the return to the moon. I probably need to look at sotrables or a bigger lander. I will want to take a look at this in more detail. Wait- Your are saying that with 12mt of propellant, they are expecting to loose 7.5 mt over 180 days?

5)      Orion does not need the extra 1.2 mt of propellant in this architecture, so why carry it?

6)      If a propellant flight is delayed, then it is really no big deal as there should be some extra reserve at the station in the near term. If a few flights never get off of the ground, then a lunar mission can be delayed. If all of the propellant canisters are common systems across all LV, and the LV’s are set up to fly them, then why can’t you take one for Atlas and fly it on Delta?

7)       I will try to get these together, and include them in an updated version of the report.

8)      It would be relatively easy to fly an NEO mission from the L1 station. The lunar lander hab module is used as the transfer hab and life support system. Orion should be able to provide enough delta v to get to many NEO’s. Even the lunar lander would be able to fly to a more distant NEO, as the RL-10’s are capable of restart. Mars missions can be staged at the L1 station, reducing the size of the TMI stage. Also, the EELV upgrade options are cheaper than a SDLV HLLV (what an acronym :) ) according to ESAS, which was already biased towards SDLV.

9)      Are you using different numbers for residuals, rendezvous, docking, etc. than I am? What do you use?

10)   The Delta and Atlas plants were sized to produce many more cores than are being flown today. They clearly were anticipating a higher flight rate. If the EELV infrastructure is there, the why not use it?

Why won't the quote tool ever work for me? :frown:

 


Offline rumble

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #7 on: 12/15/2007 03:30 PM »
Quote
Marsman - 15/12/2007  9:22 AM

Why won't the quote tool ever work for me? :frown:
My guess?  It looks like you're using the "rich text" editor (The "Use rich edit box when composing messages?" setting in the Control Panel), which could be trying to add its own flavoring to the text, but in the process screws up the quotes.  

When writing this quoted reply, I noticed tags o' plenty in your message...that's why I'm assuming this.

(not even close to on-topic, I realize...)

Offline Nathan

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #8 on: 12/15/2007 11:49 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 15/12/2007  12:17 PM


6) Given a program requiring 22 flights from four different launch facilities, what happens when one flight is delayed?   Worse still, what happens to the schedule if one particular vehicle type experiences down-time for one reason or another?   Relying upon so many different elements increases logistics issues multi-fold.   You couldn't just take one payload from Atlas and fly it next week (or even 6 months later) on a Delta.   Contingency planning must be considered at this conceptual stage to ensure program robustness.



Ross.

I think this is the great strength of the propellant depot concept in that the main mission elements can wait until the depot has adequate fuel reserves. Indeed - it is the only smart way to do the EELV option (without 4 tonne spacecraft!). That said, in deciding on a schedule, one should have a contingency propellant launch option built in to ensure the facility is topped up should one of the propellant launches fail-thisd is best when reserves are tight.

Which then raises the question - how much propllent should the depot actually hold to ensure continuity of missions? Enough for one mission isn't enough as it is too sensitive to prollent launch schedules (although the continency launch will ease this). Is enough for two missions going to do it? Or should we be looking at holding an entire years worth of proellant (for 4 missions)?

Given finite cash, if we want to go to Mars then we should go to Mars.

Offline kfsorensen

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RE: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #9 on: 12/16/2007 02:08 AM »
You'd save an awful lot of fuel by using EML2 as the staging location vs. EML1.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #10 on: 12/16/2007 03:50 AM »
Delta-v

LEO to EML1 = 3.77
EML1 to Moon = 2.52 (*2)
EML1 to Earth = 0.77

Total return = 9.58



LEO to EML2 = 3.43
EML2 to Moon = 2.52 (*2)
EML2 to Earth = 0.33

Total return = 8.8

Earth to LEO = 9.3 - 10.0
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_budget

Offline Marsman

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RE: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #11 on: 12/16/2007 03:44 PM »
I thought about that, but it would require up to four or five more days of transit both ways. This would drive up the consumeable mass budget, and reduce lander time on the surface due to it needing two to three days from L2 to the surface.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #12 on: 12/16/2007 04:20 PM »
Oxygen 0.8 kg each per day Ref http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/sts_eclss.html
Food 1.83 kg each per day Ref http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/sts_eclss.html
Water 11.4 kg (3 gallons) each per day Ref http://ksnn.larc.nasa.gov/21Century/p9.html

Daily consumables = 14.03 kg each per day

Extra transportation consumables for EML2 is 4 people * 5 days * 2 (return) * 14 kg = 560 kg

Note: long stay lunar base accommodation will need to contain water and air recycling equipment.  Whether the Lunar Lander are such accommodation is an important design question.  So is the mass of machine v consumable break even point.


Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #13 on: 12/16/2007 06:10 PM »
Quote
Marsman - 15/12/2007  10:22 AMThanks for the comments, Ross.

1)      You have me here. What was your DIRECT team planning for your LOR-LOR architectures with Orion directly on the EDS? Theoretically, Orion could be docked tail end first to the EDS, but this adds a more complex docking system and therefore more mass.

For the LOR missions, we never transitioned the Orion.   It stayed on top of the Spacecraft Adapter all the way through TLI - allowing the SM to act as the abort engine the whole time.   We just sucked-up the mass hit of the SCA in the interests of safety.   If you launch the EDS separately this does indeed become a little more tricky with a rear-docking.   Not impossible, just trickier.   You will also have to account for something akin to an SCA in your mass-thru-TLI calculations too.


Quote
2)      Part of the reason for the dual engines is abort capability if one fails. If both fail, propellant can be dumped and the RCS used to stabilize the orbit. Orion can then come rescue the crew.

But there would be a point in the descent curve which would be a 'dead mans curve' again, where the lander is heading for the surface and any engine shutdown would not allow for a stable orbit.   The separate ascent stage is the traditional means to protect a crew during this phase.   A reusable lander needs multiple backup systems to offer the same safety.   This impacts size and number of engines.   Defining the line of acceptable safety vs. acceptable performance is hard.


Quote
3)      At this initial stage, I have yet to go into costing heavily. The higher cost of the reusable lander would be offset by the non-recurring cost of launching a new one every flight.

Costs kills-off more alternative concepts than technical hurdles from what I've seen.

Having gone through a similar concept-to-proposal effort myself recently, this is probably the most critical area you need to get on top of to get any real idea of feasibility.   From where I sit, I think your costs will prove to be the make-or-break issue for the whole concept.

Given that the premise for this architecture assumes the STS infrastructure/workforce issue is irrelevant anyway, this will therefore be your biggest issue.


Quote
4)      The focus is set on concentrating on the return to the moon. I probably need to look at sotrables or a bigger lander. I will want to take a look at this in more detail. Wait- Your are saying that with 12mt of propellant, they are expecting to loose 7.5 mt over 180 days?

By Day 180, at a consistent compound loss rate of 0.35% per day, I would expect 53.4% of the original propellant load to still be in the tanks.   If you're launching with  12,000kg (including reserves & residuals), I would therefore expect 6,408kg to be remaining after 180 days.   Reserves & Residuals are the same amount though, so your percentage of usable proellant is actually slightly lower BTW.   This is the issue which caused NASA to re-calibrate the whole Ares architecture from 90 day EDS loiter to 14 day EDS loiter.   Even after just 14 days they have lost 4.79% of starting TLI propellant.


Quote
5)      Orion does not need the extra 1.2 mt of propellant in this architecture, so why carry it?

You said that Orion must completes the TLI burn as the Centaur can't provide all of the necessary TLI dV.   That means its going to end up roughly the same size as the current architecture.   It just burns a similar amount of 'extra' propellant load at a later point in the process - not Ascent-3, but now TLI-2 burn.   Actually, the launcher will have to place all this extra load in orbit, and push it through most of TLI too.   How does this affect the TLI payload?


Quote
6)      If a propellant flight is delayed, then it is really no big deal as there should be some extra reserve at the station in the near term. If a few flights never get off of the ground, then a lunar mission can be delayed. If all of the propellant canisters are common systems across all LV, and the LV’s are set up to fly them, then why can’t you take one for Atlas and fly it on Delta?

Which system becomes the baseline for the 'standard'?   If it's baselined to a large launcher like Delta-IV Heavy, then it will be operating with a mass penalty on an Atlas or an Ariane.   If it's baselined to the smaller Ariane, then there will be wasted performance on the Delta and Atlas.   How are you calculating the optimum size and how will it precisely affect the capabilities in all the various scenario's?


Quote
7)       I will try to get these together, and include them in an updated version of the report.

I will look forward to seeing that.   My advice would be to make sure you are consistent with NASA's standard GR&A's - unless you have specific rationale otherwise and can provide sufficient evidence to support your position.   But be aware that NASA will want things their way.   Trying to do things differently will only get their heels dug in against you and when they come to analyse your option they will simply put their GR&A's in place and claim your system doesn't work with them.   Thus I strongly recommend that you do things differently *only* if you are 100% secure in your alternative assumptions and have enough evidence to back up the position.   Anything less than comparable real flight hardware will probably be difficult to justify.


Quote
8)      It would be relatively easy to fly an NEO mission from the L1 station. The lunar lander hab module is used as the transfer hab and life support system. Orion should be able to provide enough delta v to get to many NEO’s. Even the lunar lander would be able to fly to a more distant NEO, as the RL-10’s are capable of restart. Mars missions can be staged at the L1 station, reducing the size of the TMI stage. Also, the EELV upgrade options are cheaper than a SDLV HLLV (what an acronym ) according to ESAS, which was already biased towards SDLV.

How do you tackle the propellant size increase for the L1 to NEO mission?   NEO missions require higher dV than Lunar missions from L1.   That means more propellant.   That means larger tanking is required than for the already-optimized Lunar missions.   So do you need to launch another lander customized for the NEO job?   Cost delta?   Re-qualification for manned flight?   Schedule issues?   Production limitations?   Infrastructure impacts?

I agree that there was certainly a general bias towards the final solution in ESAS (CLV and CaLV), but it was against all other options, EELV and also LV-24/25 too.   I have actually seen the data which made up the cost structure and the EELV's aren't the magical solution some seem to suggest.   You need to follow the money.   Per-kg to LEO costs are substantially higher for EELV solutions than for an SDLV HLLV (I prefer HL-SDLV).   A higher flight rate improves things, but is equally true for the SDLV options too.

And the EELV advanced options would still have to be built to NASA standards - and that means they'll cost the same in the end.   There's no magic possible as long as NASA remains the organization in control of the US Human Space Flight Program - and I just don't see anyone else yet trying to set themselves up as a commercial replacement independently.   NASA is still the only real game in town.

The question ultimately comes down to "what point does the SDLV performance:cost ratio balance off the total cost of development?"

If you can get a hold of the costings yourself (you'll have to make friends with people in the various programs like I have), you will be able to work out the numbers for yourself.   I don't personally believe the EELV's are affordable.   You will have to learn the details for yourself to believe me.


Quote
9)      Are you using different numbers for residuals, rendezvous, docking, etc. than I am? What do you use?

We use ESAS Groung Rules & Assumptions throughout DIRECT.   For the Core tank, because of it's direct evolution from the STS ET, we use the highest specific Residuals and Ullage numbers as by ET historic as-flown data.   Additionally, on top of the standard GR&A's, we have also applied an extra 10% payload margin to all our performance numbers to guarantee than we will never face criticizm for being 'too optimistic'.   It's a "fudge factor", but we feel safer with it than without.


Quote
10)   The Delta and Atlas plants were sized to produce many more cores than are being flown today. They clearly were anticipating a higher flight rate. If the EELV infrastructure is there, the why not use it?

I would suggest that this is for the same reason that they are not building F-22 fighters at maximum capacity either.   Nor Airbus A380's.   And specifically related to why the EELV's do cost as much - the reason why the systems aren't achieving their predicted Commercial demand:   Cost.

I've tried to demonstrate EELV/SDLV costs previously, so won't bother again here.   I strongly suggest you begin the hunt for the *real* EELV costs yourself.   Find your own channels, find your own facts.   Although I have them, I don't want you to rely upon me because you probably won't ever fully believe it until you see the data for yourself.   But when you have that, the rest will become self-evident.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #14 on: 12/17/2007 12:06 AM »
The problem with EELV is that NASA likes only 2 kinds of fuels: LH2/LOX and hypergolics. I would look at what kinds of impacts switching to alternative fuels like CH4/LOX or plain old hypergols would do for EDS mass and loiter windows. It's a good idea to have a table of options that you've considered. Tables look nice, they're good for people who skim reports and having a one-line table looks pointless. So, maybe do other tables like for L1, L2 and so on.

And 11.4kg of water is only if you do civilised things like wash =P
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Offline JIS

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #15 on: 12/17/2007 01:28 PM »
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kraisee - 16/12/2007  7:10 PM

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Marsman - 15/12/2007  10:22 AMThanks for the comments, Ross.

1)      You have me here. What was your DIRECT team planning for your LOR-LOR architectures with Orion directly on the EDS? Theoretically, Orion could be docked tail end first to the EDS, but this adds a more complex docking system and therefore more mass.

For the LOR missions, we never transitioned the Orion.   It stayed on top of the Spacecraft Adapter all the way through TLI - allowing the SM to act as the abort engine the whole time.   We just sucked-up the mass hit of the SCA in the interests of safety.   If you launch the EDS separately this does indeed become a little more tricky with a rear-docking.   Not impossible, just trickier.   You will also have to account for something akin to an SCA in your mass-thru-TLI calculations too.


Why abort using Orion SM would be required during TLI burn? Is there any failure scenario when such abort would help?
If anything goes wrong during the TLI burn the J-2X will shutdown and Orion can disconnect using RCS.


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8)      It would be relatively easy to fly an NEO mission from the L1 station.

It's actually an opposite. NEO is easier from LEO using just few launches (one is the best) as timing is quite critical. Also dV will be lower from LEO.
All the current architecture needs is a new mission module instead of LSAM.

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Offline JIS

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #16 on: 12/17/2007 02:03 PM »
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kraisee - 15/12/2007  3:17 AM

5) Orion mass at 22.4mT is low.   Current Orion mass is 23.6mT at docking to LSAM.

Ross.

Was that number ever mentioned in any NASA document? Why it doesn't appear on any Cx document?
Based on CxP ISTIM Outbrief to JSC Engineering Mgmt from end of Nov 2007
The Orion Target 607 Mass (predicted) is 46,263 (20,084 kg) for lunar mission.
And controlled mass including Orion management reserves is 21.9mt
Cx management holds another 1.4mt reserve and Ares 1 holds 1.3mt reserve.
So if architecture and Ares reserve is allocated to Orion it could weight up to 24.5mt at the time of injection (the document still mentions -11x100nmi injection orbit).  

So 24.5mt is absolute maximum hypothetical current weight of Orion. It's including payload adaptor (0.5mt) and propellant required for circularisation to 100nmi orbit where EDS+LSAM is waiting.
However, Orion weighting 24.5mt would expend all managerial reserves which wouldn't be a good practice at this design stage.

It's is quite possible that after some upgrades to Ares and Orion the real Lunar Orion in 2018 will weight 23.6mt at TLI but the current Ares V allocates just 20.2mt.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #17 on: 12/18/2007 09:38 PM »
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kraisee - 16/12/2007  7:10 PM
{snip}
I agree that there was certainly a general bias towards the final solution in ESAS (CLV and CaLV), but it was against all other options, EELV and also LV-24/25 too.   I have actually seen the data which made up the cost structure and the EELV's aren't the magical solution some seem to suggest.   You need to follow the money.   Per-kg to LEO costs are substantially higher for EELV solutions than for an SDLV HLLV (I prefer HL-SDLV).   A higher flight rate improves things, but is equally true for the SDLV options too.

And the EELV advanced options would still have to be built to NASA standards - and that means they'll cost the same in the end.   There's no magic possible as long as NASA remains the organization in control of the US Human Space Flight Program - and I just don't see anyone else yet trying to set themselves up as a commercial replacement independently.   NASA is still the only real game in town.

The question ultimately comes down to "what point does the SDLV performance:cost ratio balance off the total cost of development?"

Cost trade offs depend on your starting point.  Changing to an EELV architecture at the moment would be very expensive.  However if a future president cancels Ares_V and J-232 then using smaller rockets becomes viable/necessary.  Particularly if NASA wants to avoid a 15 year development programme (Constellation is 2005 to 2020).

This architecture would have few problems using Jupiter-120s instead of EELV to lift the people, Landers and propellent.  A drop back to EELV could be triggered by a future US President cancelling the Ares_I and laying off all the Shuttle people.  The president after that may be the person restarting Moon trips.

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #18 on: 12/19/2007 03:06 AM »
Firing all the Shuttle people will not be cheap.  I hope they will get new jobs, possible on other space projects.

As for the human rating rules changing rather than the EELV, I am not surprised.

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #19 on: 12/19/2007 01:55 PM »
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A_M_Swallow - 18/12/2007  11:06 PM

Firing all the Shuttle people will not be cheap. .

It is very cheap.  It doesn't cost anything

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #20 on: 12/19/2007 02:27 PM »
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Jim - 19/12/2007  9:55 AM

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A_M_Swallow - 18/12/2007  11:06 PM

Firing all the Shuttle people will not be cheap. .

It is very cheap.  It doesn't cost anything
It will cost the economy a lot. Shuttle people are not limited to KSC. They are co-located all over the agency, plus there are perhaps as many as 2x the number of Contractor people working some aspect of STS as there are government people. Firing “all” the STS people would not be cheap. It will ripple everywhere. It would be a huge hit to several regional economies all over the country.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline JIS

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #21 on: 12/19/2007 03:28 PM »
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clongton - 19/12/2007  3:27 PM

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Jim - 19/12/2007  9:55 AM

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A_M_Swallow - 18/12/2007  11:06 PM

Firing all the Shuttle people will not be cheap. .

It is very cheap.  It doesn't cost anything
It will cost the economy a lot. Shuttle people are not limited to KSC. They are co-located all over the agency, plus there are perhaps as many as 2x the number of Contractor people working some aspect of STS as there are government people. Firing “all” the STS people would not be cheap. It will ripple everywhere. It would be a huge hit to several regional economies all over the country.

What puzzles me is where NASA is going to spend all that money. After all the money ends up in people's pockets. The money is the same. Will those be different pockets or the same ones? If lot of STS people are retiring NASA would end up with less people or would have to hire new ones. If NASA has less people they can afford to spend more on contractors.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #22 on: 12/20/2007 02:03 AM »
I read somewhere that the DOD launch pads are fully booked so launching a EELV every two weeks will require the NASA launch sites modifying.  That will be a significant cost and so will the wages of the people who build and launch the rockets.

Online MKremer

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #23 on: 12/20/2007 02:19 AM »
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A_M_Swallow - 19/12/2007  9:03 PM

I read somewhere that the DOD launch pads are fully booked so launching a EELV every two weeks will require the NASA launch sites modifying.  That will be a significant cost and so will the wages of the people who build and launch the rockets.

That's because Missile Row is down to only 4 pads, and once Delta II goes away only 2 will be left (1 Atlas-V, 1 D-IV).

(I refuse to count a Space X pad until something is actually launched from it)

Offline Jim

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #24 on: 12/20/2007 02:20 AM »
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A_M_Swallow - 19/12/2007  10:03 PM

I read somewhere that the DOD launch pads are fully booked so launching a EELV every two weeks will require the NASA launch sites modifying.  That will be a significant cost and so will the wages of the people who build and launch the rockets.

Not so.  First thing is that they are not "DOD" pads, they belong to ULA.  NASA doesn't and won't have EELV launch sites

Delta and Atlas are only working 1 shift for 5 days.  The flight rates can be increase with a little increase in personnel.  Also the factories are under utilized.


OSP looked at adding a pad for each vehicle, which came to 500 million each, which cheap vs other options

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #25 on: 12/20/2007 03:16 AM »
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A_M_Swallow - 19/12/2007  10:03 PM

I read somewhere that the DOD launch pads are fully booked so launching a EELV every two weeks will require the NASA launch sites modifying.  That will be a significant cost and so will the wages of the people who build and launch the rockets.

The Pads are fine and can handle quite a few more launches each year.

The problem is fitting a lot of NASA payloads in amongst the DoD Payloads.   The funding for EELV development and operational costs remain primarily funded by DoD.   They thus have first-call on schedule.

As it stands right now, NASA payloads can be 'bumped' to make room for any more important DoD payload.

NASA really wants something a little more 'guaranteed' to base its schedule upon - especially if it will ever be flying many payloads.   ULA have yet to somehow provide anything like this, and they won't ever be considered seriously by NASA until they can provide some assurances.   I doubt DoD will allow their payloads to ever take second-place though, for any reason.

This was the key driving requirement for the extra pads Jim mentioned, although the costs are higher these days.   I'm hearing figures closer to $1.5-2bn for a new pad, not to mention the costs of decommissioning LC-39 on top - and currently any plans to do *that* are being laughed out of the building because of the workforce/politics issues.   OSP could consider it only because it was surplus to Shuttle - not replacing it.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #26 on: 12/20/2007 03:53 PM »
Why would the cost have boomed from 500 million to 2 billion? It's not as if the existing EELV pads were built 40 years ago and all the suppliers were lost... It's only 5 years from the first flights.

The scrapping being so expensive sounds weird too. Are the sites to become some nature reserve and thus require very expensive cleaning? Is this cleaning somehow not required when the pads are still in operation? Sounds like a political problem rather than a real one.

Could it be possible for NASA or USAF to still keep possession of the ground area as reserve for future use? Just remove the buildings and chemicals that could produce additional hazards when left unattended. It would be a lot cheaper to keep the pads that way than to keep them in operation, that much is certain.

All in all the "scrapping the shuttle launch complexes would be so expensive that it means they have to be used in VSE" is a very weird meme.

I mean, if it's so darn expensive, then feel free to keep skeleton launch crews mimicking launches from there if it is supposed to be so much cheaper.

Offline O2H2

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #27 on: 12/20/2007 05:32 PM »
There is a key misunderstanding here that is affecting your thinking.  LC40, the Atlas pad, is a clean pad concept where the launcher only occupies it for a few hours prior to launch.  Vehicle assembly takes place in the Vertical Integration Facility.  Although there is only one VIF presently at LC40 from the outset it was intended that there would be multiple VIF's to support each customer's foibles about having priority etc.  The launch pace for NASA is a very different animal than for DoD.  So NASA can take their time in VIF 2 and it would be very unlikely to affect a DoD launch.  

These VIF's are simple structures that cost only a couple hundred million dollars from GO.  This is chump change compared to the cost of any possible revision to LC39 for two different rockets.  NASA will bear the total maintenance costs for that dedicated facility into the indefinite future.  That alone is a foolish business decision.  We see at present the debacle that NASA finds itself in with respect to Delta II.  With the launch of the final DoD Delta II NASA would be compelled to pay for all maintenance itself without benefit of cost sharing.  This is a surprisingly high cost and represents an overhead that cannot be attacked with technology.  

The key to this architecture ( it is similar to one we proposed several years ago) is that it uses hardware that is used by others.  The present NASA architecture and the proposed Direct options both ignore this fundamental problem.  Solving this problem is MORE IMPORTANT than optimizing delta V budgets.  Custom hardware is almost never a good solution.  You must use what is commercially viable or you will be eaten alive by overheads that are yours alone to bear.  If on the other hand you encourage commercial operations by amping up launch rate you will see an enormous decline in costs.  Right now most suppliers for the Atlas and Delta are at absolutely bare minimum rates.  This means that overheads are minimally diluted and there are disproportionate hardware costs.  

If you make the  ULA launch rate quadruple you will see a total turn-around in cost to orbit.  You will also create a profit motive and that encourages more rapid development of cost savers and greater lift capability.  There are plans for an advanced upper stage that is perfect for lunar and Mars exploration but remains attractive for commercial and DoD satellite launches.  There are similar plans for better boosters- also with strong commercial and DoD applications.  Neither of these can be justified based on present launch rate and missions.

NASA has it in its power to create an atmosphere of commercially driven innovation that will set the stage for space-based activities well beyond their exploration plans.  Or they can retard this growth by funneling all the funding into yet another single-purpose design that has absolutely no use for anyone else.  Sickening as it is this latter path seems to be the preferred one.  Why they think this is the path to maximize jobs is a total mystery to me- growth in the industry and not just NASA is the path to job growth that lasts more than a few months.  

It is important to note that 80% of the stuff you have to move around in space has no inherent value- it consists of LO2 and a little LH2.  With this in mind it is obvious that NASA does not need to be directly involved in these launches- they should simply contract for X tons of LO2 at such and such a place before Y time.  This is perfect for commercial operations as it allows these launches to be timed for economic efficiency.  They are asynchronous to the launch of crews and expensive science hardware.  If there is a failure (increasingly unlikely as launch rates rise) all you lose is some propellant.  Yes you have to determine root cause etc but your other launcher (Delta for example) is still flying.  The likelihood of a total mission wipe-out is in fact smaller because you have dispersed the job over multiple launchers. NASA can also focus its attention on the high-criticality missions with people and irreplaceable hardware.  Isn't this a better division of labor?

Now you may argue that Direct or ARES are superior solutions since they require fewer launches.  That was true of Saturn too.  Saturn was a classic case of a great design with no longevity or significant utility due to its single-minded concept.  This was also the case for Shuttle.  Perhaps this time we will see that the ARES and Direct concepts are not viable due to fundamental ECONOMIC reasons.  Remember that you can FORCE these into reality by pouring in money but that does not solve the problem of their unaffordability- that will persist until you are exhausted and THEN you will be forced to go commercial.  You will just waste tens of billions of dollars and decades doing it.  Without a commercially viable architecture for moving mass at will around the earth-moon system you will NEVER get to Mars and do anything meaningful.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #28 on: 12/20/2007 05:37 PM »
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meiza - 20/12/2007  4:53 PM

I mean, if it's so darn expensive, then feel free to keep skeleton launch crews mimicking launches from there if it is
supposed to be so much cheaper.

Basic politeness - firing one's friends is expensive even if only costs $1.

Replacing Project Constellation by EELV has the cost of getting rid of all the Ares stuff - people, pads and contracts.

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #29 on: 12/20/2007 06:20 PM »
From the document attached to the first post.
page 1 "...  By restocking the station with propellant from international partners three to five lunar missions per year can be performed."

page 7 "{snip}   Only flying 4-5 times per year, the two ventures have been forced to merge into the United Launch Alliance (ULA) to stay in business."

page 7 "With 14 propellant-related launches per year and 8 lunar mission launches per
year Constellation becomes a 22 launch program in a full year.{snip}"


NASA may only be running 5 missions a year but with this proposed architecture 22 rockets are being launched every year.  This is 22 / 5 = 4.4 times the current US launch rate.  An additional launch every 52 / 22 = 2.4 weeks will be keeping someone somewhere busy.

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #30 on: 12/20/2007 06:27 PM »
Quote
A_M_Swallow - 20/12/2007  1:37 PM

Quote
meiza - 20/12/2007  4:53 PM

I mean, if it's so darn expensive, then feel free to keep skeleton launch crews mimicking launches from there if it is
supposed to be so much cheaper.

Basic politeness - firing one's friends is expensive even if only costs $1.
.

Reality is a cold bitch

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #31 on: 12/20/2007 06:28 PM »
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O2H2 - 20/12/2007  6:32 PM

Now you may argue that Direct or ARES are superior solutions since they require fewer launches.{snip}

Larger rockets like the J-120, J-232 and Ares_V allow the delivered payload to be larger.  Looking around the Earth, Lunar accommodation and Mars machines could easy weight 50mT; so could the nuclear reactors.  The current EELV can still lift the fuel.

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #32 on: 12/20/2007 06:30 PM »
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O2H2 - 20/12/2007  6:32 PM

Now you may argue that Direct or ARES are superior solutions since they require fewer launches.{snip}

Larger rockets like the J-120, J-232 and Ares_V allow the delivered payload to be larger.  Looking around the Earth, Lunar accommodation and Mars machines could easy weight 50mT; so could the nuclear reactors.  The current EELV can still lift the fuel.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #33 on: 12/20/2007 06:49 PM »
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A_M_Swallow - 20/12/2007  2:28 PM

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O2H2 - 20/12/2007  6:32 PM

Now you may argue that Direct or ARES are superior solutions since they require fewer launches.{snip}

Larger rockets like the J-120, J-232 and Ares-V allow the delivered payload to be larger.  Looking around the Earth, Lunar accommodation and Mars machines could easy weight 50mT; so could the nuclear reactors.  The current EELV can still lift the fuel.
There are plans for future EELV variants that will lift ~50Mt, but it’s more than just mass – it’s also volume. Some things may not weigh that much but they take up a lot of space. And some things do weigh that much and also need a lot of space. To create a true exploration infrastructure on the lunar or Martian surface, there is just not going to be any way of getting around a needed payload fairing of ~10m more or less. We are going to need cranes, bulldozers, “earth” movers and trucks of all kinds. Nuclear power plants do not lend themselves well to being broken down into little pieces to be ferried aloft on multiple launches. Don’t kid yourself. If exploration is going to actually “be” exploration and not boots and flags, we will need nuclear power plants on the surface, large enough to power an entire base. And eventually there will be many bases that need all this stuff. If all I'm going to do is have a couple of huts and a few Boy Scouts there, then Solar Power will do just fine. But If I'm going to grow to the point where I don't have a campsite but a village or a town, then I am going to need a heavy duty nuclear power station. And you can’t just fill up the payload fairing with them – they will need to be integrated with a lander of some kind designed to handle and deploy them. Those landers will be very large. You just can’t stick that stuff into 5m fairings. No. If the VSE is going to do what it is declared to do, heavy lift with large payload fairings are going to be needed for a very long time into the forseeable future.

Having said all that I would pose the question: Why does it have to be either or? In my view we will need both medium and heavy lift. Because just like some things just do not lend themselves well to medium lift - 5m fairing rockets, there are an equal number of things that also should not be flown on heavy lift - 10m fairing rockets. We have (or will have) both capabilities and in my view that is a good thing because as far as I can tell we will need both. So rather than argue over this system or that system, all or nothing, lets talk instead about healthy ways to integrate the 2 systems into one common goal: populating the solar system.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline barb.space

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #34 on: 12/20/2007 10:25 PM »
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clongton - 20/12/2007  1:49 PM
Having said all that I would pose the question: Why does it have to be either or?

It isn't necessarily either or, it is more a question of timing.  We currently are holding exploration hostage, waiting for NASA to spend >$30B and 13 years developing Ares I & V.  Listen to the presidential debates, there is a reasonable chance that the next president will cancel exploration in favor of robotic exploration or education or health or reducing the deficit.  Even if the next president doesn't, what about the next congress 2 years later, or the president after that.  The current plan doesn't provide a truly concrete milestone until the first Orion to ISS mission in 2015!  The first lunar mission isn't likely until after 2020.

Skip the rocket building exercise, take all the people that would work Ares I & V development and start them on everything else right now.  People keep saying EELV's will gut America's space technical capability, they just don't understand all of the elements required.  Accelerate Orion to 2012, first lunar mission in 2015.  Get exploration rolling & sustainable!  

Eventually, if we find a true need for the 10m PLF (why not 15 or 20m???) and 100+ mT launch need, then we can spend the $10's of billions on a new huge rocket that actually satisfies the need.  We currently have the wagon before the horse, building rockets before the architecture/base details have been developed.  Today's view of going to the moon only includes 2 annual missions (might not even be able to afford that) and doesn't need more than the 5m PLF's and performance currently available on EELV's.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #35 on: 12/21/2007 01:31 AM »
Quote
barb.space - 20/12/2007  6:25 PM

Quote
clongton - 20/12/2007  1:49 PM
Having said all that I would pose the question: Why does it have to be either or?

It isn't necessarily either or, it is more a question of timing.  We currently are holding exploration hostage, waiting for NASA to spend >$30B and 13 years developing Ares I & V.  Listen to the presidential debates, there is a reasonable chance that the next president will cancel exploration in favor of robotic exploration or education or health or reducing the deficit.  Even if the next president doesn't, what about the next congress 2 years later, or the president after that.  The current plan doesn't provide a truly concrete milestone until the first Orion to ISS mission in 2015!  The first lunar mission isn't likely until after 2020.

Skip the rocket building exercise, take all the people that would work Ares I & V development and start them on everything else right now.  People keep saying EELV's will gut America's space technical capability, they just don't understand all of the elements required.  Accelerate Orion to 2012, first lunar mission in 2015.  Get exploration rolling & sustainable!  

Eventually, if we find a true need for the 10m PLF (why not 15 or 20m???) and 100+ mT launch need, then we can spend the $10's of billions on a new huge rocket that actually satisfies the need.  We currently have the wagon before the horse, building rockets before the architecture/base details have been developed.  Today's view of going to the moon only includes 2 annual missions (might not even be able to afford that) and doesn't need more than the 5m PLF's and performance currently available on EELV's.
You seem to be saying that the Ares-I/V architecture is absolutely the wrong way to go and in that I would whole heartedly agree. The Ares architecture is way too expensive, way too wasteful, way too complex, takes WAY too much time to do a pitiful few missions  and most likely wont even work anyway. It's a total waste of national treasure and skill and a complete waste of launch and manufacturing infrastructure. It's a crime*. We are on the same page. The *ONLY* thing the Ares architecture got right was identifying the absolute need for heavy lift if the VSE is ever going to actually amount to anything more than some boots and flags and a couple (if we're lucky) of boy scout campsites on the lunar surface. So we need heavy lift. Well we already have heavy lift but it's configured wrong. It's called shuttle and it wastes 85% of its heavy lift capacity on a *massive* aeroshell called the orbiter. So take that heavy lift and reconfigure it to do what it's actually capable of by making it an in-line launcher for Orion. Throw away the orbiter and let the system do what it is already capable of. It's called a Jupiter-120 and a Jupiter-232. If turned on today, the Jupiter will be flying before Orion is ready to fly. So we could have Orion in the air by 2012-2013, and lunar landings by 2017. And not a mere 2 times a year either. The DIRECT architecture can do 10X the number of flights as Ares for ~1/2 the overall cost. Use that savings to completely integrate the Jupiter heavy lift with the 2 EELV families and divide up the missions based on what each does best and you would have one hell of a space launch capability and manned AND robotic space capability that will absolutely turn every other nation on earth totally green with envy. But if you don't build the Jupiter now (Ares will prove to be a complete failure), then heavy lift will not see the light of day for another 30 years because it will simply be completely unaffordable and the American space program will end up being the envy of absolutely nobody, a once-glorious also ran. We have heavy lift in the palm of our hands right now, and at this point in time we can afford to field it. But this opportunity has a small window, after which it will be yesterdays lost opportunity and tomorrows pipe dream. We build heavy lift now or we won't build it, and no matter how good the EELVs are they will never make up for that lack. The American manned spaceflight program will be *nothin' special*, just like everybody else's (Russians, Chinese and maybe ESA and Indians), small, limited and with nowhere to go. Certainly not any better than theirs, and that would be an unforgivable sin and a slap in the face to all the men and women who built this space program and sent men to the moon. The ones that are still alive will go to bed at night completely sickened at the stupidity and the ones who have passed on will roll over in their graves in shear disbelief.

If we don't do this then we need to quit filling up everyone's heart with a false hope and cancel the VSE right now because the VSE will be a complete failure and will fade into the mist, just like Bush Sr's plan for Mars. How many of us even remember what he called it? Well the future of the VSE will be exactly the same unless we build Jupiter first and then integrate the EELV with it into an overall implementation of VSE. Otherwise all we will do is break everyone's heart - AGAIN. The ONLY way to keep VSE alive is with heavy lift and we can only afford to do that now. We will NOT be able to do it later. That's my rant for the day and I believe everything I said with all my heart.

----------------------------
*That's not a slight on the fine men and women who are tasked to build it, because they do what they are told if they want to keep their jobs.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #36 on: 12/21/2007 01:50 AM »
Using a J-120 and a L1 depot can the Moon landing date be brought forward?

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #37 on: 12/21/2007 01:57 AM »
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A_M_Swallow - 20/12/2007  9:50 PM

Using a J-120 and a L1 depot can the Moon landing date be brought forward?
I think we would still need an upper stage, but if it were Centaur based with RL-10's my gut feeling is that it would be possible. We would have to run the numbers to verify that and identify what the mission would look like and what the tonnage to the surface would be, but my knee-jerk reaction is "yes". This is a perfect example of an "initial" integration of Jupiter/EELV to get things going. L1 and L2 have ALWAYS been better than EOR-LOR anyway, especially if there are propellant depots there.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline barb.space

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #38 on: 12/21/2007 01:27 PM »
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clongton - 20/12/2007  8:31 PM

The *ONLY* thing the Ares architecture got right was identifying the absolute need for heavy lift if the VSE is ever going to actually amount to anything more than some boots and flags and a couple (if we're lucky) of boy scout campsites on the lunar surface. So we need heavy lift.

This is where I will politely disagree.  I haven't seen anything that indicates heavy lift is required.  Somehow major research is accomplished in Antartica, most of the support beyond costal bases is flown in on C-130's with a 19T capability in a 3.3m diameter cabin.  Current LV's at 25T or more and 5m PLF's can already support larger elements than the C-130.  Getting to LEO is the key, beyond that there are numerous architectures on how to proceed, the propellant depot of this thread being 1 idea.

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Well we already have heavy lift ...making it an in-line launcher...It's called a Jupiter-120 and a Jupiter-232.

I agree, shuttle is a heavy lift vehicle.  But I've never heard anyone talk about its costing less than $10B to turn the shuttle stack into an in-line launcher of any form, including Jupiter.  The $10B investment, and then the ~>2B/year infrastructure cost is what I find problematic.  Yes, this is potentially much cheaper than the ARES family, but this is still a lot of cost to require during the next decade as exploration is trying to get on its feet.  $10B is in the ball park of what the EDS and LSAM are likely to cost.  Why not develop those instead, after all, one must have the EDS and LSAM, the HHLV is not manditory.

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And not a mere 2 times a year either. The DIRECT architecture can do 10X the number of flights as Ares for ~1/2 the overall cost.

Even if Direct were free, the rest of the elements are expensive.  Launch costs typically only make up ~1/4 of a programs cost.  I doubt NASA can afford 2 missions/year, even with free launches.  How do we now fund 10???

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...the American space program will end up being the envy of absolutely nobody...The American manned spaceflight program will be *nothin' special*, just like everybody else's (Russians, Chinese and maybe ESA and Indians), small, limited and with nowhere to go.

Once again I'll disagree.  People made the same argument regarding the space shuttle back in the 1970's.  In spite of all the incredible things shuttle can do, it has been a leash around America's space asperations for 30 years.  Because of NASA's ownership, NASA has not managed to let go, or try alternatives.  Why was a COTS type program not started in the early 1990's to support the fledgling ISS?  Why did NASA not seek lower cost alternatives for launching and assembling ISS.  Why have astronauts not gone beyond LEO in over 30 years.

NASA needs to shed its ownership of launch and be willing to take advantage of new opportunities.  If increased launch rate drops EELV cost by a factor of 2, won't that benefit NASA science and the military and commercial com sats?  If SpaceX succeeds at their promised costs, why shouldn't NASA benefit.  What about the next evolution beyond that, or at some point a reusable vehicle maybe.  Could these development enable Bigelow to succeed? The potential of reduced cost for the entire space community is exciting, special, showing leadership.

If NASA builds an HHLV of any flavor, they will then have to justify it, meaning launching it a time or two per year regardless of cost, even if that means cutting development of the lunar base, ISS, Mars, robotic exploration.  Any talk of crewed missions to Mars have already been dropped because of the costs of the NASA's new rockets.   Whenever NASA has problems with shuttle today they go back to congress for more $, failing that they steal from other programs.  Is this the future that we want for the next 30 years???  

America is founded on competition, let competition enable exploration!

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #39 on: 12/21/2007 02:12 PM »
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O2H2 - 20/12/2007  6:32 PM

There is a key misunderstanding here that is affecting your thinking.  LC40, the Atlas pad, is a clean pad concept where the launcher only occupies it for a few hours prior to launch.  Vehicle assembly takes place in the Vertical Integration Facility.  Although there is only one VIF presently at LC40 from the outset it was intended that there would be multiple VIF's to support each customer's foibles about having priority etc.  The launch pace for NASA is a very different animal than for DoD.  So NASA can take their time in VIF 2 and it would be very unlikely to affect a DoD launch.  

These VIF's are simple structures that cost only a couple hundred million dollars from GO.  This is chump change compared to the cost of any possible revision to LC39 for two different rockets.  NASA will bear the total maintenance costs for that dedicated facility into the indefinite future.  That alone is a foolish business decision.  We see at present the debacle that NASA finds itself in with respect to Delta II.  With the launch of the final DoD Delta II NASA would be compelled to pay for all maintenance itself without benefit of cost sharing.  This is a surprisingly high cost and represents an overhead that cannot be attacked with technology.  

The key to this architecture ( it is similar to one we proposed several years ago) is that it uses hardware that is used by others.  The present NASA architecture and the proposed Direct options both ignore this fundamental problem.  Solving this problem is MORE IMPORTANT than optimizing delta V budgets.  Custom hardware is almost never a good solution.  You must use what is commercially viable or you will be eaten alive by overheads that are yours alone to bear.  If on the other hand you encourage commercial operations by amping up launch rate you will see an enormous decline in costs.  Right now most suppliers for the Atlas and Delta are at absolutely bare minimum rates.  This means that overheads are minimally diluted and there are disproportionate hardware costs.  

If you make the  ULA launch rate quadruple you will see a total turn-around in cost to orbit.  You will also create a profit motive and that encourages more rapid development of cost savers and greater lift capability.  There are plans for an advanced upper stage that is perfect for lunar and Mars exploration but remains attractive for commercial and DoD satellite launches.  There are similar plans for better boosters- also with strong commercial and DoD applications.  Neither of these can be justified based on present launch rate and missions.

NASA has it in its power to create an atmosphere of commercially driven innovation that will set the stage for space-based activities well beyond their exploration plans.  Or they can retard this growth by funneling all the funding into yet another single-purpose design that has absolutely no use for anyone else.  Sickening as it is this latter path seems to be the preferred one.  Why they think this is the path to maximize jobs is a total mystery to me- growth in the industry and not just NASA is the path to job growth that lasts more than a few months.  

Excellent writing! I think like that myself.
The savings from additional launch rate would need to be quantified in some ways, even when future prognoses are difficult. ULA could do this by itself (and has probably done?). Of course it can't pitch that offer to NASA but perhaps to DoD anyway...

Heavy lift advocates (Direct) say that a doubling of rate brings costs per unit to 90%, a common rule of thumb. So quadrupling would lower the price to 81%.
They also assume $500 M per year for new EELV fixed costs for NASA if it goes that way.

I realize that all of this stuff is very rough estimates and thrown from almost out of thin air but it seems that numbers tend to give credence in people's eyes.

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It is important to note that 80% of the stuff you have to move around in space has no inherent value- it consists of LO2 and a little LH2.  With this in mind it is obvious that NASA does not need to be directly involved in these launches- they should simply contract for X tons of LO2 at such and such a place before Y time.  This is perfect for commercial operations as it allows these launches to be timed for economic efficiency.  They are asynchronous to the launch of crews and expensive science hardware.  If there is a failure (increasingly unlikely as launch rates rise) all you lose is some propellant.  Yes you have to determine root cause etc but your other launcher (Delta for example) is still flying.  The likelihood of a total mission wipe-out is in fact smaller because you have dispersed the job over multiple launchers. NASA can also focus its attention on the high-criticality missions with people and irreplaceable hardware.  Isn't this a better division of labor?

Now you may argue that Direct or ARES are superior solutions since they require fewer launches.  That was true of Saturn too.  Saturn was a classic case of a great design with no longevity or significant utility due to its single-minded concept.  This was also the case for Shuttle.  Perhaps this time we will see that the ARES and Direct concepts are not viable due to fundamental ECONOMIC reasons.  Remember that you can FORCE these into reality by pouring in money but that does not solve the problem of their unaffordability- that will persist until you are exhausted and THEN you will be forced to go commercial.  You will just waste tens of billions of dollars and decades doing it.  Without a commercially viable architecture for moving mass at will around the earth-moon system you will NEVER get to Mars and do anything meaningful.

It seems to me that people low-ball the cost of heavy lifter, both fixed and per launch (remember these rockets don't exist yet) and also of exploration hardware, and high-ball the number of lunar missions per year.
Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe all goes well and NASA will fly seven or ten lunar missions a year, the pads are busy and costs are somewhat low per launch.

Offline O2H2

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #40 on: 12/21/2007 04:22 PM »
Thank you for the complement.  Let me respond to the heavy or high-volume demands for exploration.  

Several years ago we undertook an in house effort looking at what the actual size and shape of lunar and Mars exploration vehicles should be. We presented some of these concepts in papers which showed how a common thin-gage fully monocoque tank with a new innovative common bulkhead could act as the anchor for an economically viable exploration system.  By this I mean that ALL the launcher hardware was directly useable by DoD and commercial customers.  This vehicle with a propellant capacity of roughly 50 tons( with growth to 70 tons), powered initially by RL-10's, could perform all major propulsive and depot functions required to go to the moon save lunar ascent.  ALL but one.  Think of the number of contraptions that are being proposed in the existing architecture.

This stage performed the role of upper stage to a launcher, executed TLI and TEI burns and did the lunar descent.  It did not need a new engine - in fact the history and background of RL10 was pivotal to the whole concept.  It was designed from day one for long duration cryogenic storage.  Modular construction enabled the mods for each particular role.  Those mods were things like landing gear, ECLSS, habitats, even science instruments etc.  All the proper focus of NASA engineering.  All of these configurations fit within a 7.2m payload fairing.  Easily.

This upper stage was matched with a common-diameter booster which was powered by twin RD-180 engines.  This entire stack could be configured much like the Atlas and Delta today.  You can  join three boosters together for the heaviest lift configuration while preserving the single core for more mundane tasks.  This system was essentially IDENTICAL in most dimensions to the existing Delta IV HLV.  From a distance you could not tell them apart. But due to the effects of LO2/kerosene on system density it would have nearly three times the lift capacity.  What I am saying is that these systems were compatible with existing launch pads with minimal mods and made from subassemblies that are in rate production TODAY.  

Depending on upper stage engine complement these vehicles were capable of up to 80 mT to LEO - which if you pick the right architecture is plenty.  If on the other hand you pick the wrong one you can convince yourself that you need launchers far larger.  We recommended that this 70-80 mT range was commercially optimal from a fabrication, economics and launch system standpoint.  We also showed larger versions that could lift 140 mT but just like Direct or the present NASA architecture they forced non-common solutions, and heavy launch pad mods with associated high costs.  We thought that sensible heads would prevail and choose the economic optimum.  Needless to say we were shocked and disappointed at the present turn of events.

It is quite true that eventually you will need to lift objects that are larger than say 7m in diameter.  However this boundary need not be crossed for years.  And the designs I have described above can be readily adapted to larger payload diameters at the cost of more serious ground system mods.  I have personally done a lot of layout work of habitats and other objects at 7m and I can tell you that 7m makes for a damn big habitat.  As for all the other objects that are being described such as diggers etc I suggest that their function can be readily obtained with a packing envelope of 7m.  In other words the demand for immediate large diameter cargo volumes is spurious.  It just serves people who are in love with External Tank.  

The bottom line is this: there exist vehicle concepts that do not demand new engines, factories or launch pads.  They are innovative rearrangements of existing hardware with new novel capabilities.  When nature does this it is called evolution-we like that approach too.  Who's to argue with a few billion years of success under often trying bio-economic conditions.

 There are matching architectures that engage with all of industry and can get us to the moon years earlier.  All we have to do is make our choices based on the reality on the ground and not what a handful of essential newbies desire.  As engineers this is really our creed and to act otherwise is a betrayal of our profession.  I am reminded of that old saying: "An engineer is someone who can do for a dime what any damn fool can do for a dollar".  Those engineers out there who are worth their salt owe it to the American people to stop acting irrationally, declare the emperor to have no clothes and uphold the public trust.  Keep in mind that the wages of the alternative behavior can be very grave indeed.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #41 on: 12/21/2007 08:02 PM »
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O2H2 - 21/12/2007  12:22 PM

We presented some of these concepts in papers which showed how a common thin-gage fully monocoque tank with a new innovative common bulkhead could act as the anchor for an economically viable exploration system. By this I mean that ALL the launcher hardware was directly useable by DoD and commercial customers.

This is the same approach for the upper stage that the DIRECT architecture follows. It was worked out in conjunction with the Atlas Advanced Systems Group. We essentially adopted the concept and techniques of the Wide Body Centaur (ICES technology) and designed it to initially run with the RL-10s. Only we made it the same diameter as the existing STS ET - 8.4m to provide sufficient volume for lunar infrastructure construction. In addition we made it adaptable to be capable of using the anticipated J-2X engine when (if) it comes on-line. But for all intents and purposes, the Jupiter’s upper stage is a Wide Body Centaur, built on and employing Centaur technology.

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This upper stage was matched with a common-diameter booster which was powered by twin RD-180 engines. This entire stack could be configured much like the Atlas and Delta today. You can join three boosters together for the heaviest lift configuration while preserving the single core for more mundane tasks.

Here we have the identical philosophy, but took different tracks to implement it. You use existing flight articles for your heavy lift variant, and so does DIRECT. The only truly new item in the Jupiter launch vehicle is the common thrust structure, patterned after the Centaur Common Thrust Structure. As for the more “mundane” tasks, your approach appears to leave them to the unaltered Atlas and Delta launch vehicles. DIRECT does exactly the same thing! There are many things in VSE implementation that do not require heavy lift, and we prefer to assign those things to the standard Atlas and Delta families, because those launchers are a much better fit.

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What I am saying is that these systems were compatible with existing launch pads with minimal mods and made from subassemblies that are in rate production TODAY.

This is exactly the same philosophy that drives DIRECT. We do not want to build anything new that does not have to be built. We reuse what is already in use today.

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We also showed larger versions that could lift 140 mT but just like Direct or the present NASA architecture they forced non-common solutions, and heavy launch pad mods with associated high costs.

Here you have made the mistake of lumping DIRECT and Ares into the same pot and blame both based on the multiple and sinful failures of just one, the Ares. DIRECT was designed to negate all those shortcomings and has done so. To your specific statement:

* Ares forces a LOT of non-common solutions; while DIRECT does NOT. DIRECT goes out of its way to make as much use of commonality as is physically possible. DIRECT draws from both the EELV and STS world, making common use of as much as possible from each, to create a launch vehicle family that does not stand apart from existing EELV capability or STS infrastructure and flight articles, but rather maintains commonality to both worlds.
* Ares forces a LOT of heavy launch pad mods; while DIRECT does NOT. DIRECT uses the launch infrastructure “almost” as is, with minimal upgrades to handle the in-line launcher vs. the side-mount orbiter.

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It is quite true that eventually you will need to lift objects that are larger than say 7m in diameter. However this boundary need not be crossed for years. And the designs I have described above can be readily adapted to larger payload diameters at the cost of more serious ground system mods. … {snip} … I have personally done a lot of layout work of habitats and other objects at 7m and I can tell you that 7m makes for a damn big habitat.

You are assuming that years from now the funding to do this will be available. To the contrary I believe that years from now the funding will most likely not be available for this kind of thing. Our children and grandchildren will be busy paying off the huge deficit that was created to fund the Iraq war. The war is being waged on borrowed money, and it is our kids and grandkids that will have to foot the bill, right about at the time you would envision creating this “new” capability. The only time we can be assured of having the funding to even make heavy lift possible is in this short window of opportunity of transition from Shuttle to Constellation. If we don’t take advantage of the funding while it actually IS available, it is unlikely that we will ever be able to get it back. We will end up being stuck with lunar missions that can not do much more than place 7m diameter habitats on the surface here and there. There will be no true infrastructure creation, and the entire lunar “adventure” will go the same way as Apollo. Yes, 7m is a good size camp-out habitat. But it is not big enough for factories, hangers, assembly plants, power plants and ISRU operations on a scale large enough to create anything bigger than a campsite. Something that small is not what I picture as a “permanent” presence on the moon, but that is all we will be capable of without heavy lift.


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As for all the other objects that are being described such as diggers etc I suggest that their function can be readily obtained with a packing envelope of 7m. In other words the demand for immediate large diameter cargo volumes is spurious. It just serves people who are in love with External Tank.

Almost anything can be made to fit inside a 7m aeroshell if you make it complicated enough. Do you really think that things like cranes and tracked trucks, excavators, nuclear power plants and such can be folded up enough to fit there without becoming so complex that maintaining those things one quarter million miles away from the nearest maintenance facility will be easy or inexpensive? No. They must be as simple as possible; otherwise their usable life drops with the square of their use.

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The bottom line is this: there exist vehicle concepts that do not demand new engines, factories or launch pads. They are innovative rearrangements of existing hardware with new novel capabilities. When nature does this it is called evolution-we like that approach too. Who's to argue with a few billion years of success under often trying bio-economic conditions. … {snip} … There are matching architectures that engage with all of industry and can get us to the moon years earlier.

What you have just described "to a tee" with that statement is exactly the DIRECT architecture. It is an innovative rearrangement of existing hardware with new novel capabilities. It does not demand new engines, factories or launch pads because it reuses all existing ones. By following this approach, DIRECT engages all of industry and gets us to the moon years earlier.

Once again, you have looked at the failures of Ares and then declared DIRECT incapable because of them. Please separate Ares from DIRECT, because DIRECT is no more like Ares than an Atlas or Delta is like Ares. It is a completely different concept and architecture. Respectfully I ask you – have you even read the 130 page AIAA paper?


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All we have to do is make our choices based on the reality on the ground and not what a handful of essential newbies desire.

If you as an engineer (I’m assuming you are one) had Double-Day publish a book on fluid dynamics that you wrote for example, how would it make you feel if other engineers refused to accept it because Doubleday personnel were not engineers? Your use of the term “newbies” is somewhat akin to this. The DIRECT architecture is the product of thousands and thousands of hours of intense evaluation, analysis, theorizing, investigations and testing by NASA and NASA contractor engineers. This architecture and launch vehicle design has its genesis at MSFC following the loss of Challenger, and was conceived in the minds of NASA design engineers. Twice in the past NASA attempted to have the Congress fund this concept as a shuttle replacement but Congress would not pony up the cash. The DIRECTLauncher team is somewhat akin to the Double-Day publisher, except that some of us actually ARE engineers who are or have worked on launch vehicle design with or for NASA. I would politely ask you to refrain from the use of a term like that. It is inaccurate, incorrect and somewhat troubling.

The only real difference between the approach you suggest and the approach that DIRECT takes, is that DIRECT creates the heavy lift now, while we can afford it and the funding is available, while you defer creation of the heavy lift until latter, when the funding availability is dubious at best. With your approach we may or may not ever get a heavy lift capability back again because you are advocating doing exactly the same thing NASA did pre-shuttle; dismantling and discarding an existing heavy lift capability. That is a mistake of history that we must not repeat. People in that previous era pre-shuttle might be forgiven for being so shortsighted because we had never been in that situation before, but to do the same thing again, with the benefit of hindsight (which is always 20/20) would be incredibly unforgivable.

The DIRECT architecture deliberately includes the EELV family in VSE implementation for the express purpose of maximizing the investment already made in that capability. We went to extreme pains, in spite of intense pressure to do otherwise, to NOT duplicate what the EELV family is already good at. We could easily have fielded a Jupiter-110 design for example that does exactly what the EELVs currently do; thus cutting the EELVs completely out of the VSE picture. We considered that to be both wasteful and stupid, so we baselined the bottom of the Jupiter launch vehicle performance envelope to begin where the EELV leaves off. EELV technology is built into the core of the Jupiter design and makes extensive use of EELV technology and capability, carefully merged and incorporated with STS infrastructure and hardware to create a launch vehicle family that expresses the best of both worlds, and is common to both worlds, in a deliberate attempt to create as much commonality with the EELV families as possible for the nations medium and heavy lift capability.

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As engineers this is really our creed and to act otherwise is a betrayal of our profession. I am reminded of that old saying: "An engineer is someone who can do for a dime what any damn fool can do for a dollar". Those engineers out there who are worth their salt owe it to the American people to stop acting irrationally, declare the emperor to have no clothes and uphold the public trust. Keep in mind that the wages of the alternative behavior can be very grave indeed.

We publicly declared the emperor to be naked almost 18 months ago. With the architecture we published and the launch vehicle that was designed to support it, we proposed a way to get far more from the public funding that is allocated to NASA for the VSE and at the same time make sure that the EELV capabilities, which are many and manifold, are properly utilized in a combined and correctly sized American space program. We did exactly what you say we should have done. We took what NASA wanted to spend a dollar on and showed how to do the same thing for a dime, just like any good engineer should.

The only real difference between what you suggest and what we suggest is that your approach leaves open the possibility that we will never get heavy lift. Your insistence that we go for everything with the EELV fleet “now” begins a potentially devastating funding spiral downward to the point where the heavy lift launch vehicle, so vital for a healthy and functional VSE, will likely never be built. Your approach potentially kills the VSE altogether. The DIRECT approach on the other hand, guarantees both heavy lift and a proper and vibrant use of EELV launch capabilities in the implementation of the VSE. Heavy lift is going to be a necessary element of VSE, and this is the only guaranteed opportunity we are likely to have for a very, very long time to get it. Without it, VSE will not amount to anything more than a visitation program. Of all the possible architectures that have been proposed, including the current Ares architecture, DIRECT stands alone in ensuring that that necessary element of American lift capacity actually comes to fruition. Without it, the VSE will die.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #42 on: 12/21/2007 08:05 PM »
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O2H2 - 21/12/2007  5:22 PM
Several years ago we undertook an in house effort looking at what the actual size and shape of lunar and Mars exploration vehicles should be. We presented some of these concepts in papers which showed how a common thin-gage fully monocoque tank with a new innovative common bulkhead could act as the anchor for an economically viable exploration system.  By this I mean that ALL the launcher hardware was directly useable by DoD and commercial customers.  This vehicle with a propellant capacity of roughly 50 tons( with growth to 70 tons), powered initially by RL-10's, could perform all major propulsive and depot functions required to go to the moon save lunar ascent.  ALL but one.  Think of the number of contraptions that are being proposed in the existing architecture.

This stage performed the role of upper stage to a launcher, executed TLI and TEI burns and did the lunar descent.  It did not need a new engine - in fact the history and background of RL10 was pivotal to the whole concept.  It was designed from day one for long duration cryogenic storage.  Modular construction enabled the mods for each particular role.  Those mods were things like landing gear, ECLSS, habitats, even science instruments etc.  All the proper focus of NASA engineering.  All of these configurations fit within a 7.2m payload fairing.  Easily.

This upper stage was matched with a common-diameter booster which was powered by twin RD-180 engines.  This entire stack could be configured much like the Atlas and Delta today.  You can  join three boosters together for the heaviest lift configuration while preserving the single core for more mundane tasks.  This system was essentially IDENTICAL in most dimensions to the existing Delta IV HLV.  From a distance you could not tell them apart. But due to the effects of LO2/kerosene on system density it would have nearly three times the lift capacity.  What I am saying is that these systems were compatible with existing launch pads with minimal mods and made from subassemblies that are in rate production TODAY.  

Depending on upper stage engine complement these vehicles were capable of up to 80 mT to LEO - which if you pick the right architecture is plenty.  {snip}

I do not know whether this rocket is an EELV or not.

Are there any documents or webpages that can be linked to for additional information?

Have the cost estimates and time scales been published and where?

Does the proposed rocket have a name?

Offline Free2Think

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #43 on: 12/22/2007 11:26 AM »
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A_M_Swallow - 21/12/2007  11:05 AM
I do not know whether this rocket is an EELV or not.

Are there any documents or webpages that can be linked to for additional information?

Have the cost estimates and time scales been published and where?

Does the proposed rocket have a name?

The following paper provides an overview:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/publications/Atlas/Evolved_Atlas_To_Meet_Space_Transportation_Needs_2005-6815.pdf

Atlas Phase 2; Delta had a similar evolution path.

From previous posts it was clear that development costs would be ~20% of Direct and and ~5% of the current Ares 1 & V, consistent with the Atlas V development costs.  Just as importantly recuring infrastructure costs would be a fraction of the alternatives and further reduced through cost sharing with DoD.

Offline Marsman

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #44 on: 12/22/2007 02:18 PM »

Guys, can we keep this on topic? In response to comments here and from others, I have altered the achitecture to use a partially expendable lander system. The Centaur EDS is used as a "drop stage" for the lunar descent, and the actual lander only takes over with about 600 m/s to go in the descent. This enables lunar missions to be launched at only 3-4 EELV class launches from Earth, while meeting and even exceeding NASA's requirements in many areas.

Further study will include a NEO mission, Mars mission, fully reuseable landers, and evlauating L2. 


Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #45 on: 12/22/2007 05:44 PM »
Marsman,
You need to pin your mass numbers down.   Averaging things out to the nearest ton or half ton (Centaur masses for example) leaves too much margin for error and my preliminary implementation of the architecture just isn't achieving your performance.   If you would send me the detailed mass breakdowns of what you have right now (PM or e-mail), I'd like to pin down the performance of the system using the same tools we've used for DIRECT.   I'm obviously a skeptic, but I'm still an open-minded one! :)

Further, how do you replace the disposable Service Module for the Lander every mission?   I don't see where it has been included in the Earth>EML1 mission payload manifest yet.

On a related issue, what is the mass breakdown for the Crew and Service Modules of the lander?

And how are you proposing to mitigate the larger risk effects of all the extra docking/separation events?      Each one adds about 4% additional risk, and there are a couple of extra ones here compared to the ESAS baseline.   Just sucking-it-up or do you have any options?

Need more data :)

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Marsman

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #46 on: 12/22/2007 05:50 PM »
Ross,
Can you PM me an email to sned to?

Offline Marsman

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #47 on: 12/22/2007 05:53 PM »
Got it.
With the round number mass numbers, that just happens to be the way that it turned out in some cases.

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #48 on: 12/22/2007 11:16 PM »
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clongton - 21/12/2007  9:02 PM
As for the more “mundane” tasks, your approach appears to leave them to the unaltered Atlas and Delta launch vehicles. DIRECT does exactly the same thing! There are many things in VSE implementation that do not require heavy lift, and we prefer to assign those things to the standard Atlas and Delta families, because those launchers are a much better fit.

Emphasis mine.

It's not a requirement, but a choice. Or what do you think requires heavy lifters? I still haven't gotten an answer why some magical limit exists... ESAS hardware is small 25 t or smaller chunks. No heavy lifter needed.


And btw, I don't endorse O2H2:s plan if it ties NASA to yet another custom rocket (50 t to LEO this time) that only flies for VSE, even if some ground facilities and some factory tools with DoD rockets can be shared.

If you go to the logical conclusion of a flexible architecture, you want every launch to be launchable by any rocket that is big enough and you want many choices to be flexible and cost effective.

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #49 on: 12/22/2007 11:39 PM »
The only realistic options IMHO are to use variants of existing hardware.

In the EELV camp that means new upper stages for the existing boosters, and *perhaps* stretches to development of the Atlas Phase 2 instead of the Atlas V Heavy.   I think ULA would be better off proposing this approach with an RS-84 engine though because of technical and political issues surrounding RD-180.

In the SDLV camp I think Ares-I is too difficult a design to get realistic performance out of for the Lunar missions and I thin kAres-V is too big a leap too.   Something much closer to the existing STS can be made for much lower cost and offer all the same benefits, hence the work on DIRECT.

What I fear currently is that NASA is backing itself into a corner and either it develops new vehicles which it can't afford to use them (same key problem as Shuttle) or ends up with half the program (Ares-V) being completely canceled before ever becoming operational.   That would leave NASA in a politically untenable position and with a massive dose of dis-credit.   That would leave us back in LEO for the next 30 years and the Chinese won't ever have to look over their shoulder in their plans to reach the moon, and later Mars.

If either Ares were to be canceled *by Congress* the only possible recourse would be a much smaller scale program using unmodified EELV assets - likely to be two humans for 3 days again, just like Apollo.   That is where this plan seems to fit - but its a very uncomfortable position to find NASA in given the realistic chance of a much more robust program.   I just pray they don't continue to squander the current political good-will to do the VSE.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #50 on: 12/22/2007 11:49 PM »
The ESAS architecture is already launchable by 25 t EELV:s. It just has to be admitted.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #51 on: 12/23/2007 12:02 AM »
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meiza - 22/12/2007  12:16 AM

It's not a requirement, but a choice. Or what do you think requires heavy lifters? I still haven't gotten an answer why some magical limit exists... ESAS hardware is small 25 t or smaller chunks. No heavy lifter needed.

Any lunar pay loads heavier than 22mT need heavy lift.

The EELV can lift ~27mT to LEO but the depot is at Lagrangian point 1.  LEO to L1 needs an additional delta-v  of 3.77 km/s (or 3116m/s).  The Centaur can deliver 2mT to L1.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta-v_budget

The first cargo lunar lander may be limited to 16mT.

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #52 on: 12/23/2007 12:36 AM »
Quote
meiza - 22/12/2007  7:16 PM

Quote
clongton - 21/12/2007  9:02 PM
As for the more “mundane” tasks, your approach appears to leave them to the unaltered Atlas and Delta launch vehicles. DIRECT does exactly the same thing! There are many things in VSE implementation that do not require heavy lift, and we prefer to assign those things to the standard Atlas and Delta families, because those launchers are a much better fit.

Emphasis mine.

It's not a requirement, but a choice.

That's all any "requirement" is though - a choice.   We could "choose" to do a Lunar program or not.   The "requirement" is to do it currently.   We could choose to do such missions in one flight, two flights, 4 flights or 56 flights.   The current choice/requirement is 2 flights.   This is the main "requirement" which drives the "need" for Heavy Lift in the equation - because just two 25 ton launchers don't cut sufficient mustard - by anyone's measure.

Everything in the program is about choices.   We "choose" whether to provide contingency safety equipment for crews or not.   Shuttle currently doesn't offer much in the way of such equipment, but Orion is "required" to offer a whole lot more.   This was because CAIB made the official recommendation to not compromise the crew launch vehicle for any reason; cost, performance, schedule or anything.   NASA currently "chose" that this recommendation would form the backbone of the "requirements" for the new program.   That led them (amongst other thing) to the two-stage, two-engine'd Ares-I - although that particular poor technical "choice" appears to have now, 2 years later, come back to bite them on the butt.

There are many other technical, economic, schedule and political "requirements" too.   Many.   It is a political requirement to keep the Shuttle Workforce as intact as possible.   It is a technical requirement to not send the Orion spacecraft to the Lunar surface.   There is a schedule requirement to service ISS as soon as possible after Shuttle retires - with a Presidential directive to do so within 4 years - by the end of 2014, but which NASA is finding technically and economically difficult to comply with.   All of these are requirements, and choices.


There are three main issues at work in favour of all SDLV solutions which are currently keeping EELV out of the equation...

1) Political.   There is a lot of profit (mostly in terms of employment producing local economic benefit) to be made by many states who currently support the Space Shuttle Program.   Also there are weapon system cost benefits to the DoD through the sharing of costs for Solid propellant systems.    Ditching any of that architecture has lots of job repercussions in many districts and the politicians representing these areas are strongly against any options proposing to do that.   Many of these folk are on the appropriate committees too, so their opinions hold quite a bit of power.

2) "Brain Drain".   NASA and the Contractor base lost a most of the talent after Apollo.   They were unable to get the bulk of the talent back again when Shuttle was eventually ready.   It took the agency more than a decade to rebuild a similar level of skill within the program - though to this day there are still gaping holes with regard to Lunar missions.   NASA is 100% firmly against any similar thing happening now during this transition.   The Contractor networks are also bringing significant pressure to bear to make sure they too don't lose their current funding base provided by Shuttle.   They are also strongly against the idea of having to delete whole departments of knowledgeable staff from their ranks.

2b) Re-creating the Internal Skill-base within NASA.   NASA has, since Mike Griffin took the reins, spent a great deal of effort rebuilding internal capabilities like they had during Apollo - instead of always relying upon the contractors.   Go off and examine for yourself any of NASA's Budget documents from the last few years to get a feel for exactly how seriously the agency is about this.   NASA faced decades of criticism for relying upon the contractors for all of its technical skills.   It has decided to change that, and Congress (and I, for what little it is worth) support this.   Like it or not, there is no mistaking that NASA administration is making *vast* efforts to ensure that the skill set for Constellation is not placed entirely in the contractors hands.   NASA wants the field changed and the skills and knowledge to be retained in-house.

3) Technical.   From a purely technical basis, NASA wants to reduce the number of flights required for the missions to the minimum possible.   The additional launches, additional dockings and additional logistics surrounding missions with 3 or more flights are considered "excessive" with current data in-hand.   Agree or not, the ESAS Report argued its case and NOBODY has ever presented a case against this assessment.   There's lots of "talk", but N*O*T*H*I*N*G in writing to indicate this may be wrong.   NASA still stands by those arguments and has no competing justification against it.

3b) Further, I have been able to confirm independently the cost issues surrounding multi-launch options using EELV's.   Given all the data I have been able to uncover, I feel there *are* critical issues with a "many small flights" vs. any 2-launch solutions.   Some don't wish to believe the cost data I've offered, but there really doesn't appear to be any way to discourage that - the Internet has always had folk like that, its just a fact of life.   If the hard accounts are not enough to convince people, I don't think its my place to try to convince them.


EELV's won't get a look-in until their proponents make clear precisely how they intend to address these three issues.   They can't get political support until they resolve issue #1.   They won't get NASA's support until they address both issues #2 and #3.   Without political and agency support the EELV's get no traction at all.   It's up to their proponents to change this or not.   Right now, they haven't actually tried, so it's no surprise to me that they haven't made any ground.   Burying heads in the sand and ignoring this isn't going to change anything either.


As for Heavy Lift reasoning:   If cost isn't enough, I would suggest that spacecraft footprint and landing stability are major issues for a lunar lander and I have yet to see the slightest evidence that an Apollo-LM style solution is in any way "worse" than Lockheed's concepts - which appear to be the only other game in town at present.   Until I see at least one independent analysis of the Lockheed designs I remain unconvinced of there being any 'advantage' at all over an already-proven concept - especially as their own document says it doesn't represent a good final configuration.   Therefore I believe it very sensible for NASA to issue the current "requirement" to duplicate Apollo's proven success - albeit larger.   There's a long way to go before an LM-style concept arrangement is going to be considered "better".   So with a large Apollo-style lander that means a form factor at least 7.4m diameter, maybe 8.7m.   *That* drives the physical size "requirement" for a launcher too.   I have yet to see any Atlas-V or Delta-IV with a 10m shroud proposal.

And another issue which EELV proponents conveniently ignore is Mars.

500 ton missions will never lend themselves to 25 ton lift architectures.   We can't seriously plan to launch another "ISS" sized spacecraft in order to go to Mars!!!   That's just plain stupidity IMHO and I'm not even factoring in the idea of fully automated assembly (yeah, right) or the CLV flights needed for assembly.

Instead, we have some real political will right now - for the first time in 30 years - to build a new Heavy Lifter which we can use for all future Lunar and Mars missions.   We also have a Heavy Lifter right now - Shuttle - which can be modified to suit the new purpose for not a very vast cost if done correctly (Ares-I + Ares-V is *not* cost effective IMHO though).

If we squander this golden opportunity it will be at the very serious risk of *never* making it to Mars while watching other nations make those moves around us.   It is my personal opinion that ignoring or missing this single opportunity would be the worst mistake in the US space program since abandoning Apollo - even including the Challenger and Columbia mistakes.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Rose

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #53 on: 12/23/2007 11:53 AM »
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kraisee - 22/12/2007  7:36 PM
And another issue which EELV proponents conveniently ignore is Mars.

500 ton missions will never lend themselves to 25 ton lift architectures.   We can't seriously plan to launch another "ISS" sized spacecraft in order to go to Mars!!!   That's just plain stupidity IMHO and I'm not even factoring in the idea of fully automated assembly (yeah, right) or the CLV flights needed for assembly.

Ross.

Even with SDLV one will need 7 or more missions to enable the 500 T number above for a Mars mission.  A propellant depot or similar capability will appear very attractive at that point.  Why not start that capability now for the lunar mission.  It is not at all clear that using SDLV is better suited for Mars missions than competitively bid commercial launches, especially at high launch rates.  

The cost numbers that you keep touting show a possible benefit at higher launch rates for SDLV, but only with a lot of assumption and ignoring the non-recurring.  For example, you assume that if the EELV launch rate over doubles the cost only comes down by 10%.  Others here have argued that this may well be closer to 50%, at which point an EELV architecture is much less expensive than any SDLV.  And what about the possibility of competition, new vehicles coming on line further reducing the cost.  That is to me what is so attractive with competitively bidding out this market, 10 years down the road we have the hope for much better costs.  With SDLV the US will only have finished development of the SDLV rocket, just starting lunar missions and be stuck for another 20 years with an unchanging solution that likely will make Mars unaffordable.

Offline rsp1202

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #54 on: 12/23/2007 05:11 PM »
I haven't heard that the Cape's weather is going to improve much over the next few decades. Multiple launches of time-critical components will be a crap-shoot.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #55 on: 12/23/2007 05:29 PM »
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rsp1202 - 23/12/2007  1:11 PM

I haven't heard that the Cape's weather is going to improve much over the next few decades. Multiple launches of time-critical components will be a crap-shoot.
Ares-I is probably the MOST weather sensitive launch vehicle that we have EVER contemplated flying. It could very easily keep the crew on the ground while the LH2 just boiled away in the EDS and LSAM above them. More "pressure" to launch - just like Challenger.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #56 on: 12/23/2007 11:24 PM »
Quote
Rose - 23/12/2007  7:53 AM

Even with SDLV one will need 7 or more missions to enable the 500 T number above for a Mars mission.  A propellant depot or similar capability will appear very attractive at that point.  Why not start that capability now for the lunar mission.

Agreed.   You won't find any argument from me on this issue at all.   We need a propellant depot architecture if we are serious about going beyond LEO with anything significantly more than sortie missions to the moon.

And we need Heavy Lift.    Although it's actually only 5 launches for a 100mT launcher, that is still asking a lot for *any* single project.   But asking 20 launches for every Mars mission, on top of routine Lunar missions, would be utterly ridiculous IMHO.   You're talking about figuring out a way to launch the whole ISS each time - and assembling it automatically.   I think that's just asking far too much and introducing too many risks into the logistics to make it practical.

Mars missions will never happen with 25mT lift capability as the maximum ceiling.


Quote
It is not at all clear that using SDLV is better suited for Mars missions than competitively bid commercial launches, especially at high launch rates.

It is only unclear to the majority of people because the majority of people have never seen the internal costing numbers for either Shuttle, the SDLV alternatives, existing EELV's nor proposed advanced EELV's.

My extensive work on DIRECT has put me in a position to speak with a LOT of people from across the whole industry and I *DO* have the real numbers.   I have even attempted to present them here in an understandable fashion.   There isn't much I can do if people refuse top believe them though.   All I can say is for people to go chase the numbers for themselves.   It's difficult - but I have proven its not impossible.


Quote
The cost numbers that you keep touting show a possible benefit at higher launch rates for SDLV, but only with a lot of assumption and ignoring the non-recurring.  For example, you assume that if the EELV launch rate over doubles the cost only comes down by 10%.  Others here have argued that this may well be closer to 50%, at which point an EELV architecture is much less expensive than any SDLV.

Forgive me, but in the spirit of the famous card game:   I call "bullsh*t" on anyone claiming they can drop costs by 50% by simply doubling existing production.   No production facility or market in *history* has ever been able to do that.

The biggest drop in cost occurs when you make a *second* item on top of the first each accounting period (financial year) - but even then it isn't *EVER* 50%.   You cut your fixed costs by 50% in this one case, but your materials costs *always* push it to worse than that.

The *third* item in the production line only offers a 33% reduction in fixed costs alone.   Again though, you have to pay for its materials.   So by the time you're producing a third item your only improving the costs now by about 17% compared to two production units.   That's okay, but nowhere near what "some folk" here are trying to BS you with here.

The fourth item in the production line drops fixed costs to 25% per unit.   That's an 8% improvement.

Fifth = 20% - a 5% difference.

Notice the trend?   50% difference, then 17%, 8%, 5%...   It's called a "law of diminishing returns".


Now each EELV program is typically already flying about four units per year.   That means they are already beyond the realm of greatest reduction in cost (which would never be 50% anyway).

I'm sorry, but there isn't an economist in the world who would agree with those folk.   I fell more than comfortable challenging them to present their FACTS.   I have done so already with numbers sourced from the programs themselves.   Believe it or don't, it makes little difference to me.   But I would be real careful about ever putting your faith in unsubstantiated "claims".

If you doubt it, ask yourself what sounds plausible in a somewhat similar market...   If Boeing sells a single 747 in a year, do you believe that the second plane on the production line is going to cost half that of the first?   You'd be nuts to think that.   If they sell 40 units, the cost for each might drop to around half though.   That's fairly logical - but that's 10 times the original number - not double.

If I go to my local car dealer and try to buy two cars instead of one, will I get the second car for half price?   Is anyone stupid enough to believe that?   Even if I were a business in the market to buy 20 cars, and offered to buy 40 instead - do you think I'd get all 40 for the same price as the 20?   Of course not.   If I'm really lucky I might get each of the 40 cars for about half the cost of the single car though...   But again, we're talking 40 times the number, not double.


Quote
And what about the possibility of competition, new vehicles coming on line further reducing the cost.  That is to me what is so attractive with competitively bidding out this market, 10 years down the road we have the hope for much better costs.  With SDLV the US will only have finished development of the SDLV rocket, just starting lunar missions and be stuck for another 20 years with an unchanging solution that likely will make Mars unaffordable.

If NASA persists with the highly expensive pair of Ares systems, I agree with you.   But that's not the only SDLV option.   There are *far* more cost effective SDLV solutions than Ares-I followed by Ares-V.

As for "competitive" solutions, I tend to agree.   But NASA is not about providing commercial interests a money earner.   It's about achieving a goal in the best way it thinks it can be done.

Commercialization of space is for commercial operations to exploit WITHOUT NASA.   If the market doesn't want such services, or that their products are not affordable for the commercial customers to pay for - I'm sorry, but that's not NASA's fault nor problem.

Space-X are trying to open this market up though, because the "big boys" are currently too expensive for most customers.   I hope they succeed, but I'm not willing to wait for them to go back to the moon.   NASA should continue to do it this way until that market is fully established and can offer what the customers actually want.

If Lockheed or Boeing wants to build a 100+mT launcher commercially, it is quite possible NASA would choose to use it instead of Ares-V.   If they don't wish to offer the product though, they can't b*tch that NASA doesn't want to use their 25 ton "mini" rockets - it's simply not the PRODUCT the CUSTOMER wants.   Sorry, but that's real commercialization in a nutshell.   If LM/Boeing don't like it, then need to actually *DO* something to change it or be left out in the cold.

If LM think they can build an Atlas-V Phase 3B to replace Ares-V, or if Boeing think they can do similar with a large variant of Delta for half the cost - they should go off and damn well do so.    Even if it shows NASA up.   If they aren't willing to put their money where their mouth is, they have no recourse for whining.   At that point they need to produce what the customer wants.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #57 on: 12/23/2007 11:55 PM »
Ross brings up a very important and very overlooked (or ignored) KEY point. The only "lunar" customer there is, is NASA. They are the customer and the customer does not want 25mT solutions to a lunar mission. The only "lunar" customer there is wants 100mT solutions to lunar missions.

Contractors have no business trying to tell a customer what they want. It's the other way around. The customer tells the contractor what IT wants. If the contractor wants a piece of the action, then it needs to get off its lazy butt and provide what the customer wants. If it's not willing to do that for whatever reason, then the contractor needs to shut its mouth and get out of the way.

EELV variants of 100mT certainly are possible. So let's see it. That's what this thread is supposed to be about; EELV solutions for the lunar missions. But bear in mind, the customer does not want to see 25mT or even 50mT solutions. It doesn't want fancy architectures which can let the 25mT launchers shoehorn stuff into the VSE. It has bigger fish to fry. It wants an honest-to-God 100mT Heavy Lift and said so right from the beginning.

EELV heavy lift is possible. So let's see it! And when you do, show us your numbers, all your numbers; including all the costs for development, fielding, infrastructure creation or modification and maintainence. Include an IMS with it and show us how you can get us to the moon not later than 2017 and how much that will cost. Show us how many lunar missions per year you can fly with your heavy lift and what the delivered tonnage on the lunar surface is. And make sure that you don't spend one dime more than NASA's budget already is. Less would be better, like DIRECT did.

NASA didn't select SDLV for its lunar missions so much because it's necessarily better; it selected it because shuttle derived was the only Heavy Lift that was offered. And NASA had made it clear from the beginning of ESAS that Heavy lift was a prerequisite. EELV didn't want to play that game. If they had done that we might be seeing different things happening.

I would love to see another (EELV) Heavy Lift (100mT to LEO) solution be offered up for NASA's consideration. So let's see it. The gauntlet is thrown down. Who will pick it up? Who has the brass to pick it up? I'm not looking to pick a fight here. I want to see some real competition. I don't want Shuttle Derived to win by default. If it wins at all, I would much rather it win because it proved itself against the competition. If it looses an honest heavy-lift competition, then we would all be better off for that because a better solution would have proved itself.

I'm all for competing this. But remember - the game is Heavy Lift. Nothing else will do because that is what the customer has specified; 100mT to LEO.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #58 on: 12/24/2007 12:02 AM »
Just my opinion, but the EELV camp would be better off proposing an RS-84 powered Atlas-V Phase 2 as a CLV with an Atlas-V Phase 3B *with Shuttle SRB's* to make a 160-170mT Heavy Lifter to fly out of LC-39.

Add in an upgrade path for Propellant Depot in LEO initially (L1 or L2 to follow later) and that would be a combination I don't think NASA or Congress could ignore - especially if LM put the Phase 2 into production next year and it was ready before Shuttle Retired.   That would put an awful lot of political pressure on NASA to use it.

But the 25mT 'pop guns' just aren't going to convince anyone.   The customer (NASA) just isn't interested and just like Betamax, the customers will decide the shape of the future - not the production company.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #59 on: 12/24/2007 12:30 AM »
Quote
kraisee - 23/12/2007  8:02 PM

{snip} especially if LM put the Phase 2 into production next year and it was ready before Shuttle Retired.   That would put an awful lot of political pressure on NASA to use it. {snip}

Ross.
There is nothing stopping LM from doing this except the decision to do it. The question is: will they?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline ryan mccabe

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #60 on: 12/24/2007 12:59 AM »
Quote
clongton - 23/12/2007  7:30 PM

There is nothing stopping LM from doing this except the decision to do it. The question is: will they?

Of course not. There are no other applications for Atlas Phase 2 except to replace the Stick, so it's too great a risk to field a demonstration without some guarantee NASA would use it. We all know where that leads us.

From my viewpoint, the only way off the ESAS bandwagon is an assault from the other ~390 members of Congress who don't have any STS work in their district.

Offline mike robel

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #61 on: 12/24/2007 12:59 AM »
There is no reason for LM/ULA to bend metal for this option.  1.  As you have made clear, the customer says what he wants and the contractor does that if he wants a piece of the action.  The customer wants Ares I/V and it will take a herculean effort to get them off that dime.  2.  ULA will not unilaterally risk the money without NASA giving it to them. Therefore, no Atlas Heavy, Wide body Centaur, Phase 2, 3, or X.

Just like Northrom or GD would build a submarine for free these days. Those days are gone.

OF course, History does have examples of contractors that get the customer to do something else:

Boeing B-17 Heavy Bomber instead of a 2 engine medium bomber.
Boeing B-52 based on a balsa model carved out over a weekend in a hotel room.

And the customer is not always right and he doesn't always know what he needs.

It is just unlikely.



Quote
clongton - 23/12/2007  8:30 PM

Quote
kraisee - 23/12/2007  8:02 PM

{snip} especially if LM put the Phase 2 into production next year and it was ready before Shuttle Retired.   That would put an awful lot of political pressure on NASA to use it. {snip}

Ross.
There is nothing stopping LM from doing this except the decision to do it. The question is: will they?

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #62 on: 12/24/2007 01:15 AM »
There is nothing stopping LM from putting the proposal on the table. They don't have to bend metal yet. If they would at least display the gonads to do that much, then I would feel better about the whole thing. But if all they are going to do is lay back and roll over like a good doggy, then they deserve what they don't get.

What Ross has suggested above would blow the Ares architecture right out of the water. If NASA is playing chicken with the contractors, then LM needs to call the bluff. They have enough influence in Congress to get a Rand study initiated to independantly have their proposal examined, analyzed and evaluated, and then compared against NASA's Ares architecture. A Rand study would validate LM claims and LM would then be in a position to force NASA to reconsider, because they could have Congress direct NASA to do so based on the Rand study which Congress itself called for.  The current leadership in NASA seems to think that just because they are NASA that nobody else is even capable of having a good idea. It's time to call that lie out for what it is and hold them accountable for what they do with the public trust. The only thing that LM executives need to do to make this happen is grow some gonads. If they are too chicken to do that then they have no business playing the lunar game at all.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #63 on: 12/24/2007 02:15 AM »
Quote
ryan mccabe - 23/12/2007  8:59 PM

Quote
clongton - 23/12/2007  7:30 PM

There is nothing stopping LM from doing this except the decision to do it. The question is: will they?

Of course not. There are no other applications for Atlas Phase 2 except to replace the Stick, so it's too great a risk to field a demonstration without some guarantee NASA would use it. We all know where that leads us.

From my viewpoint, the only way off the ESAS bandwagon is an assault from the other ~390 members of Congress who don't have any STS work in their district.

Given that there are over 1,500 suppliers scattered around the US for Shuttle today, employing over 60,000 people (I'm not talking about civil servant or contractor BTW), there isn't a single state, and very few districts, who don't "benefit" directly from Shuttle right now.   I think you're actually going to hard time finding that 'majority' of representatives who don't have such interests.


And of course there is "an application" for Atlas-V Phase 2 - it's got performance to match Delta-IV Heavy, but uses one less main engine and only a single Core - which means it would cost less too.   Phase 2 could easily "compete" for any of the upcoming heavy DoD (NRO) payloads with instead of developing Atlas-V Heavy.

There appeared to be a serious move towards doing precisely this just after ESAS came out (before ULA).   People inside LM say that NASA told LM they would never win the Orion contract if they embarrassed the agency that way.   LM backed out of the plans and 18 months later did win the Orion contract.   I, for one, don't believe it was a coincidence.   You are always welcome to your own opinion though.

The biggest issue right now which Atlas has against it is political opinion surrounding the Russian RD-180 and this isn't getting better with the cooling in diplomatic relations.   If RD-180 were to be replaced by an all-American engine - say a cheap disposable version of the RS-84 - that would instantly negate a lot of current objections while also offering a performance "upgrade" too.


As for larger independent vehicles, if LM and Boeing really have no interest in providing a truly "commercial" Heavy Lifter when the only existing customer is moving both Heaven and Earth to get their own, we should probably turn an eye on Space-X - they seem to be interested - completely independently of NASA too.   They're already beginning to look at developing F-1 class engines and nobody would develop those for an EELV-class 25mT vehicle - there's little doubts at all that those would be for a Heavy Lifter of some sorts.   I suspect they're aiming for the 75mT range which should enable them to do 1-launch Lunar flyby missions with Dragon.   Assuming such a launcher would cost no more than double as much as a Falcon-9 Heavy, say $200m each at a flight rate of 3 or 4 per year, with infrastructure costs shared by other Falcon models, I think they will have a very solid economical market for that - tourists.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline mike robel

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #64 on: 12/24/2007 12:21 PM »
Chuck,

You know very well proposals themselves cost money.  How much do you think the DIRECT proposal would have cost if you all had charged for your work?  So, why would ULA spend their own money on an unsolicited proposal, for a project that is already underway, in an environment where the customer has apparently paid not the slightest attention to another unsolicited proposal (DIRECT)?

I am also willing to bet that ULA does not have large cash reserves to fund such unlikely concept development.

And, NASA already knows about all those follow on proposals for extended development of Atlas/Delta.  They are not persueing them.

Let the record show, I would rather see DIRECT/Jupiter instead of Ares I/V.  I would rather see Delta IV Heavy or an Atlas variant than Ares I.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #65 on: 12/24/2007 12:22 PM »
Quote
clongton - 23/12/2007  8:30 PM

Quote
kraisee - 23/12/2007  8:02 PM

{snip} especially if LM put the Phase 2 into production next year and it was ready before Shuttle Retired.   That would put an awful lot of political pressure on NASA to use it. {snip}

Ross.
There is nothing stopping LM from doing this except the decision to do it. The question is: will they?
Quote
mike robel - 23/12/2007  8:59 PM

There is no reason for LM/ULA to bend metal for this option.  1.  As you have made clear, the customer says what he wants and the contractor does that if he wants a piece of the action.  The customer wants Ares I/V and it will take a herculean effort to get them off that dime.  2.  ULA will not unilaterally risk the money without NASA giving it to them. Therefore, no Atlas Heavy, Wide body Centaur, Phase 2, 3, or X.

Just like Northrom or GD would build a submarine for free these days. Those days are gone.

OF course, History does have examples of contractors that get the customer to do something else:

Boeing B-17 Heavy Bomber instead of a 2 engine medium bomber.
Boeing B-52 based on a balsa model carved out over a weekend in a hotel room.

And the customer is not always right and he doesn't always know what he needs.

It is just unlikely.
What you forget is that in THIS case the customer definitely knows what he needs and what he wants. Mike Griffin has always considered the dismantling of the Saturn launch capability a national crime and a tragic loss which he is hell bent to restore. He has dreamed about restoring the heavy lift capacity that was lost when Saturn was dismantled for his entire life. It is what drives him. It is what he eats for breakfast.  For him, the name of the game is Heavy Lift. And he defines heavy lift as 100mT to orbit. He has said so time and time again. The reason he is so adamant about the lousy Ares-I is that it buys him the 5-segment SRB and J2X engine for the Ares-V. He is not really interested in the Ares-I except as a stepping stone to the Ares-V It's all about heavy lift and nothing else. Therefore ANY proposal that involves architectures using 25mT launch vehicles, no matter if it does the job or not, will fall on deaf ears. If it's not Heavy Lift it won't even get looked at. Mike Griffin is the customer and the customer has mandated Heavy Lift. If EELV wants to play in the lunar game, it will have to put up a Heavy Lift proposal, which I know it can. Ross has already given you the rough outline of one that will provide excellent CLV capability that leads directly to a 160-170mT lift capacity. That definitely qualifies as Heavy Lift. All LM has to do is what I suggested above - grow some gonads and put the proposal on the table for everybody to see. If Griffin wants to play chicken, then LM needs to call his bluff and make Griffin blink first, because what Ross suggested would blow the Ares right out of the water. The question is, do the LM execs have the gonads to do that or not? Either that or they need to come right out and tell everybody that they are not interested in participating in the lunar program on the terms that the customer has dictated. That at least would settle this issue once and for all.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #66 on: 12/24/2007 12:54 PM »
Quote
mike robel - 24/12/2007  8:21 AM

Chuck,

You know very well proposals themselves cost money.  How much do you think the DIRECT proposal would have cost if you all had charged for your work?  So, why would ULA spend their own money on an unsolicited proposal, for a project that is already underway, in an environment where the customer has apparently paid not the slightest attention to another unsolicited proposal (DIRECT)?

I am also willing to bet that ULA does not have large cash reserves to fund such unlikely concept development.

And, NASA already knows about all those follow on proposals for extended development of Atlas/Delta.  They are not persueing them.

Let the record show, I would rather see DIRECT/Jupiter instead of Ares I/V.  I would rather see Delta IV Heavy or an Atlas variant than Ares I.
Yes Mike, I know what it costs to put together proposals. My company does it all the time for the US Navy. Sometimes it takes a year to put one together and they are not cheap. But that's the cost of doing business. It's what companies have to do if they want to compete because any company that is not actively pursuing new business is going to loose out. That's just the nature of a capitalist economy. LM and Boeing have gotten too used to just being fed by NASA. It's almost as if they have forgotten how to aggressively go after new business. That drives me nuts because the Atlas solution Ross suggested is an awesome solution. It pains me to see LM have such a solution in the palm of their hands and not have the moxie to go after it.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #67 on: 12/24/2007 01:00 PM »
Quote
mike robel - 24/12/2007  8:21 AM

And, NASA already knows about all those follow on proposals for extended development of Atlas/Delta.  They are not persueing them.

There are two prime reasons why those aren't getting a look-in:-

1) Political:   They don't protect the workforce and Congress is adamant about that.   SRB's, LC-39 facilities, MAF etc are all big tick boxes which need check-marks in their boxes.

2) Political:   The RD-180 is a "problem" because its produced by a country we are having political "problems" with currently.


As presented for ESAS, the EELV variants failed to check any of those boxes.   Without that in their favour, they never stood a chance against SDLV options which do check them.

Like you, I think DIRECT is the easiest way to check all the boxes and get what we actually need.   I too am very concerned that NASA will be left with the lame-duck Ares-I and n Ares-V, and that Griffin's dream of Heavy Lift will die untill such day as China eventually kicks us in the ass.

But the EELV proponents could still come in with a revitalised push - as long as they recognize that all these things are serious issues which must be dealt with in a positive manner.   Clearly, not having answers for these issues hasn't gotten them anywhere so far.   I'm wondering if they really want another chance, or if the rumors are merely bluster with no real substance.   Time, as always, will tell :)

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline mike robel

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #68 on: 12/24/2007 01:37 PM »
Well Chuck, for what it is worth, I agree with you.  The large defense corporations  Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, Lockheed-Martin, and General Dynamics are very risk averse when it comes to promoting near things or spending their own money.  The business model, from my position,  is to feed at the teat of government largess and not to promote ideas from the bottom up for solutions that may be more cost effective, faster, and more efficient than waiting for the government to decide they want something and send out at RFP.
.
Sadly, proposing such a venture as you advocate appears to be right out.

NASA does not seem to be able to generate any influence to allow the development/execution of more than one manned space program at a time.  Unlike say the USAF, who seems to be able to generate multiple aircraft requirements, studies, and procurements at the same time, NASA sadly has to scrape by with barely enough to do one.  People forget all the money is spent on earth, you know?  Plus they start and stop all the time, which makes poeple loathe to work with them:  LFBB, OSP, X-33, X-38.    And then they want to get all grandiose in their solutions.  Safe, Simple, Soon just does not seem to work with them.

I think it is safe to say that neither ULA, LM, or Boeing is going to be proposing any breakthrough boosters in sufficeint time to have a bearing on anything.  More's the pity.  On the other hand, I find the arrogance of government just as depressing and NASA would resist any such proposals.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #69 on: 12/24/2007 02:00 PM »
Quote
mike robel - 24/12/2007  9:37 AM

Well Chuck, for what it is worth, I agree with you.  The large defense corporations  Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, Lockheed-Martin, and General Dynamics are very risk averse when it comes to promoting near things or spending their own money.  The business model, from my position,  is to feed at the teat of government largess and not to promote ideas from the bottom up for solutions that may be more cost effective, faster, and more efficient than waiting for the government to decide they want something and send out at RFP.
.
Sadly, proposing such a venture as you advocate appears to be right out.

NASA does not seem to be able to generate any influence to allow the development/execution of more than one manned space program at a time.  Unlike say the USAF, who seems to be able to generate multiple aircraft requirements, studies, and procurements at the same time, NASA sadly has to scrape by with barely enough to do one.  People forget all the money is spent on earth, you know?  Plus they start and stop all the time, which makes people loathe to work with them:  LFBB, OSP, X-33, X-38.    And then they want to get all grandiose in their solutions.  Safe, Simple, Soon just does not seem to work with them.

I think it is safe to say that neither ULA, LM, or Boeing is going to be proposing any breakthrough boosters in sufficient time to have a bearing on anything.  More's the pity.  On the other hand, I find the arrogance of government just as depressing and NASA would resist any such proposals.
Thanks Mike. Just one more thing which drives me totally over the top. Using what Ross proposed, LM could have that CLV flying even before Orion was ready to fly on it. It's a sin that LM isn't even considering what that would do for the national interests.

So, even though it's off topic, it seems to me that if LM/Boeing aren't willing to compete the heavy lift, which NASA absolutely insists on, then the only competition that the Ares has is DIRECT. Let's hope that it makes enough of an impact to unseat the costly and wasteful Ares.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #70 on: 12/24/2007 02:43 PM »
Getting back on to the original subject (shock, horror!), I've been running a preliminary analysis for  David using some of the tools we used for DIRECT.

I don't have solid performance numbers yet, but one thing I'm already seeing is that there is what I will term as "a strong trend" towards better performance for this configuration with an LEO 28.5deg Propellant Depot instead of one at EML1.   I believe this is because reducing the total mass of Centaur Stages sent through TLI improves the useful payload fraction.

I'm not confident enough to state actual payload masses to the Lunar Surface yet, but it is looking very much like an Apollo size (2 crew, 3-4days Equatorial/Polar access, mostly any-time return) mission is within reach.   This configuration doesn't work so well (LV costs get particularly high) with ESAS size missions (4 crew, 7 days, Global Access, Any Time Return) though, so I won't suggest it as a new baseline - but from the perspective of the original premise of a "backup plan only using existing hardware just in case VSE totally collapses" it looks like a "definite maybe".

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline sticksux

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #71 on: 12/24/2007 02:48 PM »
Quote
clongton - 24/12/2007  12:55 AM
NASA didn't select SDLV for its lunar missions so much because it's necessarily better; it selected it because shuttle derived was the only Heavy Lift that was offered.

Offered by whom? There is no commercial supplier of Shuttle derived LM, it's basically government-built.

Quote
And NASA had made it clear from the beginning of ESAS that Heavy lift was a prerequisite. EELV didn't want to play that game. If they had done that we might be seeing different things happening.

I would love to see another (EELV) Heavy Lift (100mT to LEO) solution be offered up for NASA's consideration. So let's see it. The gauntlet is thrown down. Who will pick it up?

There are such proposals both from Boeing and LM, but they are not officially on the table.
I expected you to know that. My personal favorites are Atlas phase 2, phase 3 plans.

It was said time and again that NASA wanted Shuttle derived LV from the start and informally let LM know that it does not want to hear any competing proposals. Naturally, LM kept quiet - what's the point in irritating your customer? ESAS was a fake study with result known beforehand. "Accusing" LM in not having proposed an alternative is unfair.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #72 on: 12/24/2007 02:57 PM »
Quote
sticksux - 24/12/2007  10:48 AM

Quote
clongton - 24/12/2007  12:55 AM
NASA didn't select SDLV for its lunar missions so much because it's necessarily better; it selected it because shuttle derived was the only Heavy Lift that was offered.

Offered by whom? There is no commercial supplier of Shuttle derived LM, it's basically government-built.

Quote
And NASA had made it clear from the beginning of ESAS that Heavy lift was a prerequisite. EELV didn't want to play that game. If they had done that we might be seeing different things happening.

I would love to see another (EELV) Heavy Lift (100mT to LEO) solution be offered up for NASA's consideration. So let's see it. The gauntlet is thrown down. Who will pick it up?

There are such proposals both from Boeing and LM, but they are not officially on the table.
I expected you to know that. My personal favorites are Atlas phase 2, phase 3 plans.

It was said time and again that NASA wanted Shuttle derived LV from the start and informally let LM know that it does not want to hear any competing proposals. Naturally, LM kept quiet - what's the point in irritating your customer? ESAS was a fake study with result known beforehand. "Accusing" LM in not having proposed an alternative is unfair.
It's NOT unfair at all. I call it like I see it. The fact remains that they have the ability to out "heavy-lift" the NASA heavy-lift and didn't do it. They were chicken. Not only does the emperor have no clothes, but the execs at LM are also naked as well, clearly showing their lack of gonads. People who won't stand up to a bully deserve what they (don't) get.

The bully said "don't you dare propose a better solution than my personal pet or else I won't let you play with my ball". LM blinked, and didn't even bother to think that by pushing the issue publicly, they may have forced the bully out to be replaced by someone more dedicated to the VSE than their personal pet.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #73 on: 12/24/2007 03:04 PM »
Oh the horror.   Naked executives from the space industry.   That's a mental image I really didn't need!   Chuck, you could have gotten me a better Xmas present than that...

:)


BTW, just for clarification, Atlas-V Phase 2 and versions of 3B are in the ESAS Report.   They are respectively called LV-9 and LV-5.1 (using J-2's on the U/S).   See Section 6, page 396.   Actually the RL-10 U/S version of Atlas Phase 3 is referred to as LV-7.4 - see page 422.

While I agree that they did not get a fair hearing in ESAS, they also didn't attempt to solve the important political STS workforce requirements either - a failure which completely disqualifies them in Congress' opinion anyway.

ESAS was clearly a wash against all option not "Stick & Stack" (including competing SDLV's too I will point out), but there was *never* a solid case for the EELV variants because they only attempted to solve technical issues - suicidally ignoring political ramifications completely.   Both groups share some blame.

One thing I am rather disappointed over, is there has never been any similar Delta evolutions revealed yet.   There's clearly untapped potential.   A wide body D-IV Core (7m or so), with a pair of RS-68's under it and a larger U/S with a pair of RL-10B-2's would make for a very interesting CLV IMHO.   Effectively it would be the Delta equivalent of the Phase 2.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline luke strawwalker

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #74 on: 12/24/2007 04:16 PM »
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O2H2 - 21/12/2007  11:22 AM

Thank you for the complement.  Let me respond to the heavy or high-volume demands for exploration.  

Several years ago we undertook an in house effort looking at what the actual size and shape of lunar and Mars exploration vehicles should be. We presented some of these concepts in papers which showed how a common thin-gage fully monocoque tank with a new innovative common bulkhead could act as the anchor for an economically viable exploration system.  By this I mean that ALL the launcher hardware was directly useable by DoD and commercial customers.  This vehicle with a propellant capacity of roughly 50 tons( with growth to 70 tons), powered initially by RL-10's, could perform all major propulsive and depot functions required to go to the moon save lunar ascent.  ALL but one.  Think of the number of contraptions that are being proposed in the existing architecture.

This stage performed the role of upper stage to a launcher, executed TLI and TEI burns and did the lunar descent.  It did not need a new engine - in fact the history and background of RL10 was pivotal to the whole concept.  It was designed from day one for long duration cryogenic storage.  Modular construction enabled the mods for each particular role.  Those mods were things like landing gear, ECLSS, habitats, even science instruments etc.  All the proper focus of NASA engineering.  All of these configurations fit within a 7.2m payload fairing.  Easily.

This upper stage was matched with a common-diameter booster which was powered by twin RD-180 engines.  This entire stack could be configured much like the Atlas and Delta today.  You can  join three boosters together for the heaviest lift configuration while preserving the single core for more mundane tasks.  This system was essentially IDENTICAL in most dimensions to the existing Delta IV HLV.  From a distance you could not tell them apart. But due to the effects of LO2/kerosene on system density it would have nearly three times the lift capacity.  What I am saying is that these systems were compatible with existing launch pads with minimal mods and made from subassemblies that are in rate production TODAY.  

Depending on upper stage engine complement these vehicles were capable of up to 80 mT to LEO - which if you pick the right architecture is plenty.  If on the other hand you pick the wrong one you can convince yourself that you need launchers far larger.  We recommended that this 70-80 mT range was commercially optimal from a fabrication, economics and launch system standpoint.  We also showed larger versions that could lift 140 mT but just like Direct or the present NASA architecture they forced non-common solutions, and heavy launch pad mods with associated high costs.  We thought that sensible heads would prevail and choose the economic optimum.  Needless to say we were shocked and disappointed at the present turn of events.

It is quite true that eventually you will need to lift objects that are larger than say 7m in diameter.  However this boundary need not be crossed for years.  And the designs I have described above can be readily adapted to larger payload diameters at the cost of more serious ground system mods.  I have personally done a lot of layout work of habitats and other objects at 7m and I can tell you that 7m makes for a damn big habitat.  As for all the other objects that are being described such as diggers etc I suggest that their function can be readily obtained with a packing envelope of 7m.  In other words the demand for immediate large diameter cargo volumes is spurious.  It just serves people who are in love with External Tank.  

The bottom line is this: there exist vehicle concepts that do not demand new engines, factories or launch pads.  They are innovative rearrangements of existing hardware with new novel capabilities.  When nature does this it is called evolution-we like that approach too.  Who's to argue with a few billion years of success under often trying bio-economic conditions.

 There are matching architectures that engage with all of industry and can get us to the moon years earlier.  All we have to do is make our choices based on the reality on the ground and not what a handful of essential newbies desire.  As engineers this is really our creed and to act otherwise is a betrayal of our profession.  I am reminded of that old saying: "An engineer is someone who can do for a dime what any damn fool can do for a dollar".  Those engineers out there who are worth their salt owe it to the American people to stop acting irrationally, declare the emperor to have no clothes and uphold the public trust.  Keep in mind that the wages of the alternative behavior can be very grave indeed.

THANK GOD that common sense isn't as extinct as the dinosaurs...  This is EXACTLY what I've thought NASA should have done since I started learning about ARES.  A single stick LRB first stage lifting a common upper stage for the crew launcher, and then tripled up as a common core booster lifting the common upper stage and payload for the cargo launcher!  It's a simple straightforward idea that makes the best use of commonality and efficiencies of scale.  It reduces development to a pair of programs for a common core liquid booster and common upper stage, and those are the basic building blocks for modification for the EDS, crew launch upper stage, etc. and the descent stage of the LSAM would just be icing on the cake.  The end result would be far more practical and sustainable and give the flexibility to take on a wide variety of missions, including those not thought of yet.  IF a true HLLV ever became necessary, the system would be the perfect basis for upscaling to make it an HLLV, or at least provide the basic systems and technology for inclusion on a new HLLV design.  

But alas it is TOO simple and straightforward and makes TOO MUCH sense, and it doesn't funnel money into the right pockets and preserves the right sacred cows; it endangers the status quo of the system therefore it cannot be allowed to happen.  At least DIRECT would make the optimum use of what we have now, and WITHOUT expensive time wasting [email protected] modifications to everything that make it essentially totally new equipment that can only do a [email protected] job at barely achieveing watered down requirements at horrific and unsustainable expense.  But hey, even that is asking too much, it just isn't being considered because it would upset the status quo and 'the system'.   SO, we'll be stuck with ARES with all the aforementioned faults and when the whole thing implodes in on itself everyone will be standing around scratching their heads wondering how it happened...  SO sad... JMHO!  OL JR :)
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Offline Marsman

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #75 on: 12/24/2007 08:49 PM »
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kraisee - 24/12/2007 10:43 AM Getting back on to the original subject (shock, horror!), I've been running a preliminary analysis for David using some of the tools we used for DIRECT.

I don't have solid performance numbers yet, but one thing I'm already seeing is that there is what I will term as "a strong trend" towards better performance for this configuration with an LEO 28.5deg Propellant Depot instead of one at EML1. I believe this is because reducing the total mass of Centaur Stages sent through TLI improves the useful payload fraction.

I'm not confident enough to state actual payload masses to the Lunar Surface yet, but it is looking very much like an Apollo size (2 crew, 3-4days Equatorial/Polar access, mostly any-time return) mission is within reach. This configuration doesn't work so well (LV costs get particularly high) with ESAS size missions (4 crew, 7 days, Global Access, Any Time Return) though, so I won't suggest it as a new baseline - but from the perspective of the original premise of a "backup plan only using existing hardware just in case VSE totally collapses" it looks like a "definite maybe".

Ross.
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So it appears as though the concept is unfeasible in achieving the objectives of ESAS. My question is why the huge disparity in results when comparing mine to yours?

Offline sticksux

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #76 on: 12/25/2007 01:00 AM »
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kraisee - 24/12/2007  4:04 PM
One thing I am rather disappointed over, is there has never been any similar Delta evolutions revealed yet.   There's clearly untapped potential.   A wide body D-IV Core (7m or so), with a pair of RS-68's under it and a larger U/S with a pair of RL-10B-2's would make for a very interesting CLV IMHO.   Effectively it would be the Delta equivalent of the Phase 2.

Well, now ULA encompasses both Atlas and Delta. What's the point in pushing LH fueled first stage when you can push kerolox? Kerolox first stage is better than same-sized LH+LOX one. When we go into such big, Saturn-V sized vehicles, sheer size creates non-trivial problems, so using geometrically smaller first stage(s) is a win. Also, no pesky liquefying air on your tanks/connectors ;)

Just for gigs, what could be lifted by Jupiter-232 sized vehicle (geometrically, not by mass) with the following parameters:

SRBs replaced with same-sized LRBs with 1 RD-170 or 3 RD-180 (whichever is closer to optimum).
1st LH stage replaced with kerolox stage with 3 or 4 RD-170.

How much such a politically non-viable but technically possible vehicle would lift? I guess it would be 200+ tonner. This would be real heavy lift.

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #77 on: 12/25/2007 01:24 AM »
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Marsman - 24/12/2007  4:49 PM

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kraisee - 24/12/2007 10:43 AM Getting back on to the original subject (shock, horror!), I've been running a preliminary analysis for David using some of the tools we used for DIRECT.

I don't have solid performance numbers yet, but one thing I'm already seeing is that there is what I will term as "a strong trend" towards better performance for this configuration with an LEO 28.5deg Propellant Depot instead of one at EML1. I believe this is because reducing the total mass of Centaur Stages sent through TLI improves the useful payload fraction.

I'm not confident enough to state actual payload masses to the Lunar Surface yet, but it is looking very much like an Apollo size (2 crew, 3-4days Equatorial/Polar access, mostly any-time return) mission is within reach. This configuration doesn't work so well (LV costs get particularly high) with ESAS size missions (4 crew, 7 days, Global Access, Any Time Return) though, so I won't suggest it as a new baseline - but from the perspective of the original premise of a "backup plan only using existing hardware just in case VSE totally collapses" it looks like a "definite maybe".

Ross.

So it appears as though the concept is unfeasible in achieving the objectives of ESAS. My question is why the huge disparity in results when comparing mine to yours?

The concept wasn't supposed to achieve ESAS objectives though, was it?   It was supposed to offer a backup in case ESAS failed, no?

Sorry, but the early calculations don't offer much hope of matching ESAS requirements.   The architecture just doesn't supply the equivalent propellant and hardware to match ESAS - even though there is a performance efficiency in having a reusable lander.   There are too few flights and too little mass lifted to support missions of ESAS' size.   It does look like it will be a good replica of Apollo though - and that's a backup worth having in our pockets if Ares goes to the wall and no other Heavy Lift solution is allowed in to replace it - for whatever reason.

I do still have to put higher fidelity numbers into the calculations, but if DIRECT is a typical indication (it's my only previous experience, so its my only reference point!), my early numbers will only reduce a little as all the numbers are made more accurate.

Ross.
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Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #78 on: 12/25/2007 01:30 AM »
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sticksux - 24/12/2007  9:00 PM

Just for gigs, what could be lifted by Jupiter-232 sized vehicle (geometrically, not by mass) with the following parameters:

SRBs replaced with same-sized LRBs with 1 RD-170 or 3 RD-180 (whichever is closer to optimum).
1st LH stage replaced with kerolox stage with 3 or 4 RD-170.

How much such a politically non-viable but technically possible vehicle would lift? I guess it would be 200+ tonner. This would be real heavy lift.

DIRECT has not attempted to run configurations with RD-180 or RD-170 power for either Core or boosters because we were advised very early on that the Russian engines have been all-but veto'd by Congress.

The closest configuration to what you describe which I ever worked out was a rough version with 'normal' RS-68 powered Core, but with 2xRS-84 powered boosters (all American partially-developed engine, with similar performance to RD-180) designed to burn for 160 seconds.    Early performance numbers suggested ~5mT higher payload than with the 4-seg SRB's.   Some engine-out options became possible too.   Max-Q environment was less harsh too.

Any further DIRECT-only questions really need to go on the correct thread please.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline sticksux

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #79 on: 12/25/2007 01:17 PM »
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kraisee - 25/12/2007  2:30 AM
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sticksux - 24/12/2007  9:00 PM
Just for gigs, what could be lifted by Jupiter-232 sized vehicle (geometrically, not by mass) with the following parameters:
SRBs replaced with same-sized LRBs with 1 RD-170 or 3 RD-180 (whichever is closer to optimum).
1st LH stage replaced with kerolox stage with 3 or 4 RD-170.
How much such a politically non-viable but technically possible vehicle would lift? I guess it would be 200+ tonner. This would be real heavy lift.
DIRECT has not attempted to run configurations with RD-180 or RD-170 power for either Core or boosters because we were advised very early on that the Russian engines have been all-but veto'd by Congress.
The closest configuration to what you describe which I ever worked out was a rough version with 'normal' RS-68 powered Core, but with 2xRS-84 powered boosters (all American partially-developed engine, with similar performance to RD-180) designed to burn for 160 seconds.

Ross, my intention is not to discuss viability of such rocket (I very well realize it is not going to be built). I just want to demonstrate (or be disproved) that Jupiter-sized kerolox rocket can lift much more than LH one. For this I don't really need exact numbers. Let's presume PW duplicated RD-170.

Jupiter-120 is easier to analyze than 232.

Jupiter-120 to LEO: 45 tons

Replacing SRBs with RD-170-powered LRBs -> +5 tons

Replacing LH core stage with kerolox stage:
  2xRS-68 -> 2xRD-170: 5.8 MN -> 15.6 MN (~x2.7 times sea level thrust)
  RS-68 uses 6:1 LOX:LH mass ratio
  Assuming RD-170 uses 2.5-3:1 LOX:RP-1 mass ratio
  Replacing half of LH with same volume of RP-1:
    densities LH: 0.07 RP-1: 0.80-1.00 (11.5+ times denser)
  Replacing half of LH with same volume of LOX:
    densities LH: 0.07 LOX: 1.41 (19.9 times denser)
  Mass and mass ratios: (6 + 0.5*19.9):(0.5*11.5) = 15.95:5.75
  This should have the same volume as Jupiter 1st stage,
  but it weights a bit too much.
  Dropping 1.95 part of LOX and .75 part of RP-1, we end up with:
  14:5 = 2.8:1 (fuel mixture is about right for RD-170)
  Mass growth versus LH 1st stage: 19/7 = 2.71 times

We end up with 1st stage that is slightly smaller by volume than Jupiter-120's and has 2.7 times thrust and 2.7 times mass of that. Can I assume that it will lift more than 2 times heavier payloads? It means at least 100+ mt to LEO.

See? That hydrogen is too damn fluffy to fill 1st stage tanks!

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #80 on: 12/25/2007 10:01 PM »
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kraisee - 23/12/2007  1:36 AM

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meiza - 22/12/2007  7:16 PM

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clongton - 21/12/2007  9:02 PM
As for the more “mundane” tasks, your approach appears to leave them to the unaltered Atlas and Delta launch vehicles. DIRECT does exactly the same thing! There are many things in VSE implementation that do not require heavy lift, and we prefer to assign those things to the standard Atlas and Delta families, because those launchers are a much better fit.

Emphasis mine.

It's not a requirement, but a choice.

That's all any "requirement" is though - a choice.   We could "choose" to do a Lunar program or not.   The "requirement" is to do it currently.   We could choose to do such missions in one flight, two flights, 4 flights or 56 flights.   The current choice/requirement is 2 flights.

If it's the requirement then why bother with anything? Why bother with Direct if Ares I and V is the requirement?
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This is the main "requirement" which drives the "need" for Heavy Lift in the equation - because just two 25 ton launchers don't cut sufficient mustard - by anyone's measure.

Everything in the program is about choices.  

No. The laws of physics is not a choice. You a certain amount of need delta vee for example. That is required if one wants to send anything from earth to the moon.
Of course there are lots of 25 t architectures that don't cut the mustard. But not necessarily all are bad.

Heavy lift is not required for manned missions to the moon. It is a choice that has been done by NASA, at least for so far.

But from the rest of you posts, I guess we differ. I'm looking this like an engineer. The ESAS study tried to look it at that way too. Funny they chose that viewpoint as it's not very relevant I guess.

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We "choose" whether to provide contingency safety equipment for crews or not.   Shuttle currently doesn't offer much in the way of such equipment, but Orion is "required" to offer a whole lot more.   This was because CAIB made the official recommendation to not compromise the crew launch vehicle for any reason; cost, performance, schedule or anything.   NASA currently "chose" that this recommendation would form the backbone of the "requirements" for the new program.   That led them (amongst other thing) to the two-stage, two-engine'd Ares-I - although that particular poor technical "choice" appears to have now, 2 years later, come back to bite them on the butt.

There are many other technical, economic, schedule and political "requirements" too.   Many.   It is a political requirement to keep the Shuttle Workforce as intact as possible.   It is a technical requirement to not send the Orion spacecraft to the Lunar surface.   There is a schedule requirement to service ISS as soon as possible after Shuttle retires - with a Presidential directive to do so within 4 years - by the end of 2014, but which NASA is finding technically and economically difficult to comply with.   All of these are requirements, and choices.


There are three main issues at work in favour of all SDLV solutions which are currently keeping EELV out of the equation...

1) Political.   There is a lot of profit (mostly in terms of employment producing local economic benefit) to be made by many states who currently support the Space Shuttle Program.   Also there are weapon system cost benefits to the DoD through the sharing of costs for Solid propellant systems.    Ditching any of that architecture has lots of job repercussions in many districts and the politicians representing these areas are strongly against any options proposing to do that.   Many of these folk are on the appropriate committees too, so their opinions hold quite a bit of power.

2) "Brain Drain".   NASA and the Contractor base lost a most of the talent after Apollo.   They were unable to get the bulk of the talent back again when Shuttle was eventually ready.   It took the agency more than a decade to rebuild a similar level of skill within the program - though to this day there are still gaping holes with regard to Lunar missions.   NASA is 100% firmly against any similar thing happening now during this transition.   The Contractor networks are also bringing significant pressure to bear to make sure they too don't lose their current funding base provided by Shuttle.   They are also strongly against the idea of having to delete whole departments of knowledgeable staff from their ranks.

2b) Re-creating the Internal Skill-base within NASA.   NASA has, since Mike Griffin took the reins, spent a great deal of effort rebuilding internal capabilities like they had during Apollo - instead of always relying upon the contractors.   Go off and examine for yourself any of NASA's Budget documents from the last few years to get a feel for exactly how seriously the agency is about this.   NASA faced decades of criticism for relying upon the contractors for all of its technical skills.   It has decided to change that, and Congress (and I, for what little it is worth) support this.   Like it or not, there is no mistaking that NASA administration is making *vast* efforts to ensure that the skill set for Constellation is not placed entirely in the contractors hands.   NASA wants the field changed and the skills and knowledge to be retained in-house.

3) Technical.   From a purely technical basis, NASA wants to reduce the number of flights required for the missions to the minimum possible.   The additional launches, additional dockings and additional logistics surrounding missions with 3 or more flights are considered "excessive" with current data in-hand.   Agree or not, the ESAS Report argued its case and NOBODY has ever presented a case against this assessment.   There's lots of "talk", but N*O*T*H*I*N*G in writing to indicate this may be wrong.   NASA still stands by those arguments and has no competing justification against it.

3b) Further, I have been able to confirm independently the cost issues surrounding multi-launch options using EELV's.   Given all the data I have been able to uncover, I feel there *are* critical issues with a "many small flights" vs. any 2-launch solutions.   Some don't wish to believe the cost data I've offered, but there really doesn't appear to be any way to discourage that - the Internet has always had folk like that, its just a fact of life.   If the hard accounts are not enough to convince people, I don't think its my place to try to convince them.


EELV's won't get a look-in until their proponents make clear precisely how they intend to address these three issues.   They can't get political support until they resolve issue #1.   They won't get NASA's support until they address both issues #2 and #3.   Without political and agency support the EELV's get no traction at all.   It's up to their proponents to change this or not.   Right now, they haven't actually tried, so it's no surprise to me that they haven't made any ground.   Burying heads in the sand and ignoring this isn't going to change anything either.


As for Heavy Lift reasoning:   If cost isn't enough, I would suggest that spacecraft footprint and landing stability are major issues for a lunar lander and I have yet to see the slightest evidence that an Apollo-LM style solution is in any way "worse" than Lockheed's concepts - which appear to be the only other game in town at present.   Until I see at least one independent analysis of the Lockheed designs I remain unconvinced of there being any 'advantage' at all over an already-proven concept - especially as their own document says it doesn't represent a good final configuration.   Therefore I believe it very sensible for NASA to issue the current "requirement" to duplicate Apollo's proven success - albeit larger.   There's a long way to go before an LM-style concept arrangement is going to be considered "better".   So with a large Apollo-style lander that means a form factor at least 7.4m diameter, maybe 8.7m.   *That* drives the physical size "requirement" for a launcher too.   I have yet to see any Atlas-V or Delta-IV with a 10m shroud proposal.

And another issue which EELV proponents conveniently ignore is Mars.

500 ton missions will never lend themselves to 25 ton lift architectures.   We can't seriously plan to launch another "ISS" sized spacecraft in order to go to Mars!!!   That's just plain stupidity IMHO and I'm not even factoring in the idea of fully automated assembly (yeah, right) or the CLV flights needed for assembly.

Instead, we have some real political will right now - for the first time in 30 years - to build a new Heavy Lifter which we can use for all future Lunar and Mars missions.   We also have a Heavy Lifter right now - Shuttle - which can be modified to suit the new purpose for not a very vast cost if done correctly (Ares-I + Ares-V is *not* cost effective IMHO though).

If we squander this golden opportunity it will be at the very serious risk of *never* making it to Mars while watching other nations make those moves around us.   It is my personal opinion that ignoring or missing this single opportunity would be the worst mistake in the US space program since abandoning Apollo - even including the Challenger and Columbia mistakes.

Ross.

Yeah, I think we differ on a fundamental level.

I want to create a spacefaring civilization with routine launches by many organizations. Reusable launch vehicles evolving to become ever better, big markets and low cost of space transportation. Lots of tries, inevitable setbacks and unexpected successes. Not a designed glorious future, but a future with lots of opportunities. Mankind will become space faring when launch to LEO is cheap, reliable and flexible enough. Apollo was a false start, a great achievement but too unsustainable in the way it was done. It was fundamentally an impatient architecture (the requirement was a recipe for that of course). As was the shuttle, trying to design something so ambitious right off the bat. It has done great things too, but perhaps those could have been possible with much less cost, and then we could be even further along now.

You feel that this is a critical juncture in history when a single launch system will be created that will be in use for many many decades to come. NASA will be the only organization with any serious business in space. There is no hope for much advances except improving NASA's current designs. NASA will have to go it alone. We have to design almost everything now, just leave some upgrade margins for the future. Apollo was great but it used too little money so it was cut, if only they had kept spending... And shuttle, I don't know what you really think about it.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach
« Reply #81 on: 12/25/2007 10:46 PM »
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meiza - 25/12/2007  6:01 PM

I want to create a spacefaring civilization with routine launches by many organizations. Reusable launch vehicles evolving to become ever better, big markets and low cost of space transportation. Lots of tries, inevitable setbacks and unexpected successes. Not a designed glorious future, but a future with lots of opportunities. Mankind will become space faring when launch to LEO is cheap, reliable and flexible enough. Apollo was a false start, a great achievement but too unsustainable in the way it was done. It was fundamentally an impatient architecture (the requirement was a recipe for that of course). As was the shuttle, trying to design something so ambitious right off the bat. It has done great things too, but perhaps those could have been possible with much less cost, and then we could be even further along now.

You feel that this is a critical juncture in history when a single launch system will be created that will be in use for many many decades to come. NASA will be the only organization with any serious business in space. There is no hope for much advances except improving NASA's current designs. NASA will have to go it alone. We have to design almost everything now, just leave some upgrade margins for the future. Apollo was great but it used too little money so it was cut, if only they had kept spending... And shuttle, I don't know what you really think about it.
Oh I absolutely agree "almost" 100%. Where we part is that you want to skip that single element that will ultimately enable the spacefaring civilization you speak of; the heavy lift. The heavy lift is the horse-drawn wagon that led to the horseless carriage which led to the automobile and the 18-wheel truck and was then abandoned. Heavy lift is the sailing ship that led to the ocean-going steamer that led to the diesel powered ocean-going cargo ships and tankers and was then abandoned. Heavy lift is the hinge on which the genesis of that new civilization will turn; the hinge that will let the door to that future open. Heavy lift will lift the massive infrastructure for those new cities up out of the gravity well of earth and make it possible for those places to grow to the point that they can begin to grow themselves. Once that is accomplished, heavy lift will have done its job and will pass on. Like the horse-drawn carriage and the sailing ship, heavy lift will pass into history as being inefficient compared to what replaces it, but without that temporary inefficiency, that "history" will not become reality. You forget that at this point in time there is nothing there - nothing of any value what-so-ever because the means to exploit what "is" there does not exist there. You forget that the explorers who venture there will not have natural resources to develop unless the infrastructure to exploit those isru resources is brought there, up out of the earth's very deep gravity well. That is the job of heavy lift. It's number 1 job is to put itself out of business. One day there will not be bases and outposts on the moon and on Mars. There will be cities, very large cities with hundreds of thousands of people living and working there, raising families and going about normal daily lives. It is the heavy lift that will make that possible. Once human civilization is established there to the point of self-sufficiency, heavy lift will be only rarely needed and rarely seen. But without it, that future you (and I) envision will never come to be.

Without heavy lift those human settlements will never become self-sufficient. They will forever remain "settlements" and "outposts" and "bases" and will forever depend on a constant supply train from earth for their very survival because they will never be capable of reaching that point, that "critical mass" if you will, that allows them to break the tie that binds, to become self sufficient and able to live and function on their own. Only heavy lift has the ability to make that possible because everything -everything- that is needed to make it possible exists ONLY at the bottom of a very deep gravity well.  Once accomplished, once the infrastructure on those far away places is in place, heavy lift  will go the way of the horseless carriage and the sailing ship, because like those ancient "marvels of their time", they will no longer be needed and will be replaced by far superior means of transport.

I guess I'm asking you to be patient and live with the horseless carriage and the sailing ship for a while while we put the things in place that will make it possible for us to get beyond them.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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RE: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #82 on: 12/25/2007 11:41 PM »
I don't think NASA's heavy lifters can provide that critical mass for self sustenance. They will forever be Antarctica style research bases at most, and probably much much less, habitats like ISS perhaps. Why? Since spaceflight costs so much.

And Mars - I don't think there will be a Mars colony living off the land built with Directs or Areses (however the plural is said). Some missions perhaps.

So you say let's build the heavy lifters with billions and billions of dev and fixed costs and lots of work and big standing armies, just to scrap them and then hope to go with lighter cheaper reusable future launchers anyway!

The whole necessity argument of heavy lift is ever dwindling. Now it's an initial base builder for the space settlements that will eventually rely on light launchers anyway. But why couldn't you build the initial bases with light launchers as well? There's been no fundamental reason demonstrated for that. Think logically and you end up to one conclusion - heavy lift just is not necessary. It can be a choice and there can possibly be many good sides to it. But absolutely is not a necessity.

How big LSAM designs have been brandied? I think NASA intends to land only 20 t payloads max to the lunar surface at one time. It costs a lot to design an LSAM too... once you have put in the billions, it makes sense to fly the design quite many times, perhaps do just some reasonable upgrades on the way.

Well, that whole "build a base with an unsustainable architecture so a market for a sustainable architecture is created" is a new kind of justification. I wonder how much NASA has resources to act as customer for these light vehicles if it keeps operating the heavies at the same time.

And simply, NASA could help develop the lightie cheapie flexie reliable launchers now, if it just went with a depot. Then launch a much more massive lunar colonization when it actually could do it sustainably and was not wasting all the budget money on launch.

20 billion per year, one could expect something with it.

Why defer the development of sustainable architectures until there is a base? It can be in the plan from day one. We get it sooner, and if the budget is constant, more exploration, more settlement, more resources.

You like to use colonization analogies. I think they can be used almost any way one wants, and are ultimately pretty darn useless.  Example:
Columbus used regular coastal ships for his exploration, because they were affordable and available. Ships were probably improved a lot in the subseqquent centuries, yet most colonists arrived to the new world with a huge amount of basic no-frills sail ships. They didn't wait for the Great Eastern to be built before they could travel over. Of course, one can live off the land relatively easy since the Americas are just another land mass very similar to the place where the colonists left from, where they had evolved and lived for thousands of years with very little technologies and even skills.
The Moon is very different. You need a lot of supplies, hardware and technology to sustain. I don't think Americas / North American west colonization is a very useful analogy here. Still, even the wagons can be seen as the light independent flexible launchers and the railroad as the one NASA heavy solution, if one wants to somehow make a case, not that the analogies make much sense either way.

Offline SirThoreth

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RE: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #83 on: 12/26/2007 12:02 AM »
"Light" reusable launchers aren't going to give you a sustainable infrastructure in space, any more than using Cessna 172s and Ford Ranger pickups will allow the kind of infrastructure and transportation that jumbo jets and semi tractor-trailers do.

Throwing away a heavy lift vehicle may not seem to make much sense at first, either, but, then, there's a key difference:  jumbo jets and semi trucks move cargo two ways.  Launch vehicles don't.

Offline meiza

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RE: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #84 on: 12/26/2007 12:11 AM »
Quote
SirThoreth - 26/12/2007  1:02 AM

"Light" reusable launchers aren't going to give you a sustainable infrastructure in space, any more than using Cessna 172s and Ford Ranger pickups will allow the kind of infrastructure and transportation that jumbo jets and semi tractor-trailers do.

Throwing away a heavy lift vehicle may not seem to make much sense at first, either, but, then, there's a key difference:  jumbo jets and semi trucks move cargo two ways.  Launch vehicles don't.

We've been through this analogy about ten times, it's plain wrong.

You don't build a custom vehicle for every shipment of goods, you use the existing fleet and either 1) procure transport services 2) lease a vehicle for the transport 3) buy a vehicle from a manufacturer.
Usually in that preferred order, depending on availability.

Also, launch vehicles can be reused economically, if the flight rate is high enough.

Offline mike robel

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #85 on: 12/26/2007 01:32 AM »
I have a couple - three observations, that may or may not be relevant.

First is, I have become a sort of convert to Direct Ascent to the moon or mars.  It seems to me that, at least with unmanned vehicles, there could be more mass delivered to the lunar surface than with the other architectures.  Depots and orbital assembly add unnecessary complexity and risk to the mission, given the current technology.  Many of these risks are reduced with direct ascent and robotic landing of their payloads on the moon.  After the precursor payloads are in place, you can follow up with manner spacecraft followiong a variety of mission modes.  We are, after all, sending unmanned probes to every planet without the need for orbital assembly, fuel depots, and direct injection by relatively low capability boosters such as the Delta II.

Second, as Stalin said, "Quantity has a quality all its own."  Using a series of launchers to send many payloads to the moon or mars gives us some savings on total program costs.  So, using EELVs to deliver standard payloads to the lunar surface at monthly intervals would give us some economy lf scale - somewhat analgous to the barges and covered wagons of the American West, which were not generally used on two way journeys, but were broken down for other uses once they reached their destinations.  These smaller craft would be supplemented by Heavy lift payloads used to land manned habitats.  The pioneers/colonists had a different environment in that they could live off the land (as opposed to space pioneers - at least initially) and the ships/railroads were the analogies of Heavy Lift able to deliver great quantities of material to the colonists.

Third, I was hopeful that the VSE would help us overcome what I (borrowed from Martin Caidan) call the Viking Syndrome.  This is based on the observation that the Vikings had the technology to send some initial voyages to the New World, but lacked the logistical follow through to ultimately sustain them, there is evidence that the onset of the Little Ice Age caused them to abandon their outposts and perhaps this exagerated the shortcomings of their logistical train.

What we clearly need is a plan that utilizes manned and unmanned systems of various capabilities, delivering sustainable amounts of supplies to the target worlds, until such time that those colonies can become self-sustaining through ISRU.  I believe that HLVs are an integral part of this plan, but they need to be supplemented by the very capable EELV fleet.  Just as the USAF does not rely on a single type of bomber, fighter, or transport, neither should the nation be committed to a course of action that only uses one type of booster and spacecraft.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #86 on: 12/26/2007 02:02 AM »
Quote
mike robel - 25/12/2007  9:32 PM

I have a couple - three observations, that may or may not be relevant.

First is, I have become a sort of convert to Direct Ascent to the moon or mars.  It seems to me that, at least with unmanned vehicles, there could be more mass delivered to the lunar surface than with the other architectures.  Depots and orbital assembly add unnecessary complexity and risk to the mission, given the current technology.  Many of these risks are reduced with direct ascent and robotic landing of their payloads on the moon.  After the precursor payloads are in place, you can follow up with manner spacecraft followiong a variety of mission modes.  We are, after all, sending unmanned probes to every planet without the need for orbital assembly, fuel depots, and direct injection by relatively low capability boosters such as the Delta II.

Second, as Stalin said, "Quantity has a quality all its own."  Using a series of launchers to send many payloads to the moon or mars gives us some savings on total program costs.  So, using EELVs to deliver standard payloads to the lunar surface at monthly intervals would give us some economy lf scale - somewhat analgous to the barges and covered wagons of the American West, which were not generally used on two way journeys, but were broken down for other uses once they reached their destinations.  These smaller craft would be supplemented by Heavy lift payloads used to land manned habitats.  The pioneers/colonists had a different environment in that they could live off the land (as opposed to space pioneers - at least initially) and the ships/railroads were the analogies of Heavy Lift able to deliver great quantities of material to the colonists.

Third, I was hopeful that the VSE would help us overcome what I (borrowed from Martin Caidan) call the Viking Syndrome.  This is based on the observation that the Vikings had the technology to send some initial voyages to the New World, but lacked the logistical follow through to ultimately sustain them, there is evidence that the onset of the Little Ice Age caused them to abandon their outposts and perhaps this exagerated the shortcomings of their logistical train.

What we clearly need is a plan that utilizes manned and unmanned systems of various capabilities, delivering sustainable amounts of supplies to the target worlds, until such time that those colonies can become self-sustaining through ISRU.  I believe that HLVs are an integral part of this plan, but they need to be supplemented by the very capable EELV fleet.  Just as the USAF does not rely on a single type of bomber, fighter, or transport, neither should the nation be committed to a course of action that only uses one type of booster and spacecraft.
Perfect!
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #87 on: 12/26/2007 12:48 PM »
And more to the point with analogies (that still are prone to wrong use), the USAF doesn't design or build the transports itself. It even uses modified off the shelf hardware when it can fill the needs. KC-10 tankers are based on DC-10 aircraft for example.

Polar bases are probably nowadays mostly supplied by Twin Otter and Hercules aircraft, fitted with skis, not a custom designed solution that can drop off a complete base all at once... And most of these aircraft probably have other duties when not flying to Antarctica. There are also ships that land heavy non-time-critical stuff like construction materials to the shore and a convoy of wide-tracked vehicles moves these inland.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #88 on: 12/26/2007 01:49 PM »
More to Mike Robel's comment:

Perfect. An intelligent mixing and matching of the needs to the capabilities. Heavy lift can but should not do it all. It just doesn't make sense. EELV can but should not do it all. It just doesn't make sense either. To force either to carry the entire burden would cost us time and money in unacceptable quantities. Each has a role to play, carefully matched to what is required on the surface.  Paired together, these 2 capabilities will allow us to get the most bang for the buck. Initially we would see heavy lift doing the lion's share of the work with supplemental flights by EELVs. They would land the largest and/or the heaviest items needed to create the infrastructure. Note that the largest items may or may not always be the heaviest. Some things just require a huge volume aeroshell. But gradually we would see a shift in dynamics as the needs on the surface evolved and changed, so that the EELV class launcher would be doing the lion's share of the work, with the occasional supplemental flight of the heavy lift. In a carefully planned push outward into the solar system you would see this same pattern repeated over and over again as new destinations were contemplated for settlement and/or exploitation. Once self-sustainable infrastructure is established at any given location, the heavy lift would be rarely needed and EELV class launchers would become the transportation mode of choice. This is very much like the small, lightweight truck vs. the 18-wheel tractor trailer. Both can do the job of supplying the American economy all by themselves, but that just doesn't make sense. An intelligent mixing of the 2 capabilities does the job quite nicely. I envision the same complementary rolls for the 2 different class of launchers.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #89 on: 12/26/2007 02:40 PM »
Here's more about the mixing and matching that I believe is sorely missing from Mike Griffin's personal plan for our future in space. I bring this specific example back to the LEO region of space and a more immediate problem for us all.

For example, I believe the Atlas should be the CLV for every mission whose destination is LEO with no other delivery requirement except the spacecraft itself. The only reason the Atlas can't be used as the CLV to LEO in Mike's plan is because of the dumb requirement that there shall exist only one-sized SM - lunar. On an Ares, Orion has to complete the ascent to orbit by itself because Ares-I can't get the fully fueled lunar-capable spacecraft into LEO on its own. That means a lot of additional propellant in the SM, which weighs a lot. Because of the dynamics of an Ares launch, off-loading propellant to lighten the load for a LEO mission is not an option. The whole thing would go away if an Atlas were used instead, but without the need to complete the orbital insertion by itself by flying a LEO-sized SM. We are wasting $billions on a launch vehicle (Ares-I) whose sole purpose is to get us to the heavy lift launcher of Mike's personal choice. I'm not trying to draw anyone into an Ares vs. Jupiter mix here, just pointing out the fallacy of bad decisions based on the desire for heavy lift to do everything.* The Atlas and Delta plus their Heavy versions  compliment the Jupiter-120 perfectly, and together these three launch vehicle families provide total coverage of the non-heavy lift realm, while the Jupiter-232 puts the required heavy lift into NASA’s hands to be used whenever required by just adding the upper stage and center engine to the J-120. That's the kind of thinking I'm talking about. I see the Jupiter-120 as the STS equivalent of the EELV Heavy with slightly more capability, but still an EELV-class launcher, rounding out that capability at the top end and complimenting the Atlas and Delta. It is the most economic link between the medium and heavy lift requirements, because it comes from and lives in both worlds. It puts 50mT into LEO and is the foundation for the heavy lift when needed. I hate the infighting that's going on between the 2 camps because everyone wants the whole pie. That is just so dumb. Orion should be launched on an Atlas for EVERY flight whose destination is LEO, and launched on a Jupiter for lunar flights with a larger, lunar capable SM. The CM is really light and the SM only makes the spacecraft heavier. So size the SM to the mission and select the launcher based on that, instead of the "requirement" that it must be flown by one specific launch vehicle at all times. The Atlas and Delta Heavies are perfect for all manned LEO flights, lunar and interplanetary precursor flights and normal resupply flights to any manned lunar outpost, similar to what Progress does for the ISS today. That would not be a difficult capability to be developed and would keep those 2 launch families very busy, much busier than they are now, as the human population on the lunar surface grew, all while having the heavy lift supply the heaviest and largest items needed for infrastructure creation and expansion. Again - sharing the pie intelligently.

Why can't people follow the logic of that? This is just a single example of how we are hurting ourselves by not being willing to share the pie intelligently with each other. It is the kind of thing that will hamper us all as we move into the cosmos if we aren't willing to make maximum use of all the capabilities at our disposal. That means sharing the launch capabilities between EELVs and Heavy Lift based on the mission requirements, NOT boardroom needs to maximize profit margins for shareholders.  

This kind of infighting and self-serving greediness could very well kill the VSE entirely and doom us all to another 30-40 years in LEO. It has to stop and some people in both camps need to get their heads out of their butts and start thinking about what's best for all of us instead of their respective camps. And btw - that is not a snipe at anyone in particular, rather a general observation of camp polarizing.

Sigh!

*    It would be a similar dynamic if it were EELV doing everything.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline rsp1202

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #90 on: 12/26/2007 03:09 PM »
Not to put too fine a point on what's been said above, but if heavy lift is the key to expanding human presence into space, then I think finishing the development of and fielding the RS-84 is the key to heavy lift. We need to have our own Big Kero engine, along with the RS-68, so that HL and EELV both benefit. I hope the next NASA administrator sees the necessity for this and can find the funds for it. Maybe a Direct-style campaign pushing for it would grease the skids.

Offline Jim

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #91 on: 12/26/2007 03:49 PM »
bump

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #92 on: 12/26/2007 04:34 PM »
There can be no realistic technical and enlightened discussion of architectures as long as the heavy lift camp maintains that the heavy lift is absolutely necessary as an axiom and will not discuss technical ways to solve the problem of lunar exploration and infrastructure development.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #93 on: 12/26/2007 04:43 PM »
Quote
meiza - 26/12/2007  12:34 PM

There can be no realistic technical and enlightened discussion of architectures as long as the heavy lift camp maintains that the heavy lift is absolutely necessary as an axiom and will not discuss technical ways to solve the problem of lunar exploration and infrastructure development.
Heavy lift already solves the infrastructure development part of that and does it more economically than any other known - existing - method. There are technical solutions to using less capable launch vehicles, but at the cost of complexity, expense and usable life of the delivered payload. Numbers don't lie, and that's what the numbers tell us.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline sticksux

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #94 on: 12/26/2007 06:27 PM »
Quote
clongton - 26/12/2007  5:43 PM
Quote
meiza - 26/12/2007  12:34 PM
There can be no realistic technical and enlightened discussion of architectures as long as the heavy lift camp maintains that the heavy lift is absolutely necessary as an axiom and will not discuss technical ways to solve the problem of lunar exploration and infrastructure development.
Heavy lift already solves the infrastructure development part of that and does it more economically than any other known - existing - method. There are technical solutions to using less capable launch vehicles, but at the cost of complexity, expense and usable life of the delivered payload. Numbers don't lie, and that's what the numbers tell us.

Unfortunately, in government space program not a lot of people listen to numbers.
Numbers tell me that hydrogen in first stage is somewhat stupid. Numbers tell me that Ares I is mega-stupid. So what? Not only NASA is totally against using kerolox launchers which *we already have* (Atlas), it doesn't even want to build LH stage properly (Direct)!

I like EELVs. If needed, future EELVs *can* be developed into heavy-lift variants (like Atlas growthoptions) which will be economical, unlike NASA contraptions.
History has shown time and again that NASA designed vehicles are not economical. I'm afraid we will witness it again.

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #95 on: 12/26/2007 06:44 PM »
Numbers lie all the time. It doesn't make stuff automatically true if one throws a number from the hat.

But thanks for acknowledging that other methods besides heavy lift are possible too. (No sarcasm.)

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #96 on: 12/26/2007 08:18 PM »
Quote
meiza - 26/12/2007  2:44 PM

Numbers lie all the time. It doesn't make stuff automatically true if one throws a number from the hat.

But thanks for acknowledging that other methods besides heavy lift are possible too. (No sarcasm.)
First, the numbers aren't drawn from a hat, they are drawn from industry, from LM and Boeing, from inside the EELV organization itself and from the Shuttle program. They have all been completely validated by the financial people inside NASA. This literally took many, many months.

Second, If you will search on my postings, you will see that I have *always* acknowledged that other solutions are possible. My positions are developed, not on absolutes, but on known realities. Most of the time those realities do not reflect what is the absolute best, but what is the best that is possible. The trick is to try to get as much of what is best without leaving the field of the possible. That's how we ended up with DIRECT. After working the numbers for months at a time, we just couldn't get either an all EELV or an all heavy lift solution to close the realm of the possible in any sustainable way. So the STS solution became the model of the next generation launch vehicle because it was adaptable to the existing infrastructure, but we departed from the Ares, which is wasteful in the extreme and tried to bring as much of the EELV technology into the family as we could. We stayed with the STS infrastructure and the ET for the lower stage because that infrastructure was already in place and would need precious little modification; saving tons of money and gobs of time. We brought over the RS-68 from the Delta for the MPS because it was already flying and would eliminate the need for engine development. But we borrowed from the Centaur and created a common thrust structure that would accommodate the heavy lift version, but left out one engine for the initial launcher. From that came the Jupiter-120. In parallel with the main stage development we turned to the Atlas Advanced Systems group to help us design the upper stage. Centaur technology is impressive in the extreme and NASA ignores it at its peril. Several variations of the Wide Body Centaur, or ICES upper stage are easily adaptable to the Jupiter, both RL-10 and even RL-60 powered. The only nod we gave to NASA for the upper stage was to employ the J-2 engine for the lunar missions, but not their super-dooper advanced one. We stayed with the lower performance J-2XD variant, much easier to produce, and more compatible with Centaur technology. In essence we developed the heavy lift J-232 in such a way that by leaving out certain capabilities we create the J-120 as the initial EELV heavy class launcher to bridge the transition from Shuttle to Constellation, and from the EELV to the heavy lift. With the advent of the Jupiter-232, and the basic family was complete. We had found a way to merge as much of EELV technology as we could with the standing STS infrastructure to create a launch system that would bridge the gap between mid and heavy lift with a launch vehicle that could function efficiently in both worlds, and at the same time check off the all-important political boxes.

And so we presented the Jupiter launch vehicle - a launcher that comes from and lives in both worlds. Not the perfect answer, by any means, and not the only answer either. But the only one that closes all the requirements, checks off all the political necessities and will serve the launch needs of the nation "reasonably" efficiently for decades to come. And, most importantly to us, one that did not go out of its way to negate the excellent capability of the EELV fleet, but rather which merges with it intelligently into a coherent capability for the many and varied needs of the VSE. It's not an all-heavy lift solution and neither is it an all-EELV solution, but takes from both worlds and creates a synergy of capability which is better than the sum of its parts. EELV together with Heavy Lift, intelligently - to the benefit of us all and the preservation of the VSE.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #97 on: 12/26/2007 10:13 PM »
So, you looked at propellant depots with EELV:s and found them infeasible?

And you applied the 90% of costs when production rate is doubled paradigm, which surely is just a general rough rule of thumb for some manufacturing industry and could even be just a myth. I don't think you used any insight from inside the EELV organizations, at least according to the EELV people over here on this forum.

And you slapped some 500 million of fixed costs and a few billion of STS infra demolition costs... All the while estimating very low costs for Direct.

And then you pretend as if your numbers are somehow so very exact.

I just don't have the time or even motivation for such efforts of obvious fluff. I'm an engineer, not a sales person drawing pretty pictures and weaving tables with decimals of *very rough estimates*.

In essence, assuming a near constant per-unit price for EELV:s (or any future launcher) no matter the flight rate, and a fabulously low price for Direct (no future changes) of course makes Direct look the best alternative.

The tables and graphs can be useful as drafts and estimates but saying that "look at this, numbers don't lie" is, well, lousy.

Eh, if you are a believer in paper rocket marketing presentations, then use the cheap magical Falcon 9 heavies (was a regular F9 35 million?) and the solar system starts to open up a little better... Add in stage refurbishment at, say, 2 million (from the hat) cost per flight for 10 reuses and you get further big drops. (If anyone is in doubt, I don't really believe in those numbers.)

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #98 on: 12/26/2007 11:10 PM »
Quote
meiza - 26/12/2007  6:13 PM

So, you looked at propellant depots with EELV:s and found them infeasible?
We looked at propellant depots and found them very feasible. We love propellant depots. If you had actually read the AIAA paper you would have seen that we very strongly advocated for their use. They are extremely feasible.

But feasibility is not the same as likely. It was made *excruciatingly* clear to us that any architecture of any kind with any launch vehicle what-so-ever that needed propellant depots to work would be dismissed out-of-hand and never see anything but the inside of a trash can. That's a very painful political reality we were forced to accept. Propellant depots will become the order of the day, but not under this administrators watch for sure! It was made totally clear to us that propellant depots are one of those things that "ain't happening" while Mike Griffin is administrator. Again, following the principle of getting the best you can but never loosing sight of what is actually possible. But just to clear the air, we are and always have been ardent supporters of the use of propellant depots. If propellant depots were available, the Jupiters would absolutely kick-butt all over the solar system.

Quote
And you applied the 90% of costs when production rate is doubled paradigm, which surely is just a general rough rule of thumb for some manufacturing industry and could even be just a myth. I don't think you used any insight from inside the EELV organizations, at least according to the EELV people over here on this forum.

And you slapped some 500 million of fixed costs and a few billion of STS infra demolition costs... All the while estimating very low costs for Direct.

And then you pretend as if your numbers are somehow so very exact.

I just don't have the time or even motivation for such efforts of obvious fluff. I'm an engineer, not a sales person drawing pretty pictures and weaving tables with decimals of *very rough estimates*.

In essence, assuming a near constant per-unit price for EELV:s (or any future launcher) no matter the flight rate, and a fabulously low price for Direct (no future changes) of course makes Direct look the best alternative.

The tables and graphs can be useful as drafts and estimates but saying that "look at this, numbers don't lie" is, well, lousy.
We have addressed the issue of the finances before, in extreme detail. We did the work to pull out the real numbers. We actually talked to the real people doing the financing and funding. We looked at and in some cases obtained copies of the actual financial reports in use by LM and Boeing, and we were privileged to be able to get confirmation of all that by some of the same people who were actually involved in generating them. Our financial numbers are beyond reproach, but there is no way for us to prove that to you short of you actually doing for yourself what we did for months at a time. Are you willing to actually do that? We did. Your numbers are faith-based on reports "for public consumption" releases, while ours are based in reality on the actual day to day cost of operations figures and cost projections used by the people who actually pay the bills. It doesn't get any more real that that.

Quote
Eh, if you are a believer in paper rocket marketing presentations, then use the cheap magical Falcon 9 heavies (was a regular F9 35 million?) and the solar system starts to open up a little better... Add in stage refurbishment at, say, 2 million (from the hat) cost per flight for 10 reuses and you get further big drops. (If anyone is in doubt, I don't really believe in those numbers.)

I don't understand your throwing Falcon 9 into this conversation as it makes no sense. It's not related and brings nothing to the conversation. It's like comparing reality to a fiction novel. It is not now, never has been and never will be germain to this conversation. That rocket doesn't exist, and won't exist, if ever, for many years. What possible connection does it have to what we are talking about? As far as I am concerned, Falcon 9 is in the same league as Puff the Magic Dragon. For the record, I expect Falcon 9 to run into a lot of trouble, let alone a Falcon 9 Heavy. Elon is going to be messing with that one for a very long time. Unless I miss my guess, the Falcon 9 won't be operational as a viable and dependable player in the lunar phase until long after the Jupiters, Atlas and Deltas have an absolute lock on the whole program. If he's lucky, he'll get to compete with the smaller EELV's for some commercial work, but I don't see him getting any part of the lunar action. It will be too late. Assuming, of course, that he pulls it off at all, which is why I don't understand you even mentioning him.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #99 on: 12/27/2007 07:34 PM »
Falcon 9 relevance:
If you have an architecture where the launchers are interchangeable, a new low cost launcher changes a lot of stuff. That's why Falcon 9 is potentially relevant. And many other launchers that come after it. And the development of cheaper (as well as more reliable, more operable etc...) launchers is encouraged, strongly, since there is a market.

If you have a NASA heavy lifter then new cheaper launchers won't make that much of a difference and are less likely to even come to existence in the first place.

Finance models and charts: well, the problem is I find them not much based on real world technological choices and they are also fundamentally very uncertain and prone to "tweaking". So I take all of them with a big grain of salt.

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #100 on: 12/27/2007 08:06 PM »
Meiza,
This is where I completely disagree with your premise.

What you are talking about are typical market forces, where you have a range of customers and a range of suppliers all bidding for market share.

But that isn't the situation we have here.   Sure, there's a range of Contractors all bidding for market share - but right now there is only one single customer.   In that situation market forces break down completely and the "market" must be precisely attuned to what the customer demands or the contractors will take a flying jump.

As an aside, what you describe also completely ignores the massive political maneuvering which goes on in the halls of power surrounding every program NASA tries to do.   In this respect NASA is *nowhere* close to the same organization as a commercial satellite TV company looking for launch services.   Ignoring these issues doesn't make them go away though.


It is up to the contractors to either make the product the customer demands, or offer a BETTER one   ***WHICH DOES WHAT THEY WANT***.   Right now NASA couldn't give a flying hoot for anything which doesn't benefit their goal of a 100mT+ launch system (Ares-I even is a stepping stone to that goal).

Promoting anything else is just a waste of time.   If the contractors really want to create a "market" then they need to step up and build something the customer actually wants.   If there were actually products to choose from "off the shelf" which did the same job for a lot less money, I don't think Ares-V would last.

But right now, promoting 25mT lift to NASA is like trying to sell a Dodge Neon to somebody shopping for a Mack Truck.   Its a promotion effort which is simply wasted because the customer has completely different requirements.   Feel free to keep bashing away at it, but the customer gave up listening a while back.

So instead of trying to make NASA's plans fit EELV's, I suggest the best bet is to make the EELV's fit NASA's plans.   ULA and its parent companies (Boeing and Lockheed) are in the *perfect* position to create a new system based on EELV, but offering the large payload lift capabilities which NASA actually wants.

With EELV experience I'd bet they could put something together in half the time NASA is planning too and for significantly lower development outlay.   What would happen if they did so?

Once Griffin has gone, there should be no more Administrative "pet project" objections.   As long as the workforce is protected somehow (needs a specific effort on the part of ULA/B/LM) then neither NASA nor the political masters, would have no objection to switching to a *better* Mack Truck.

But you need to give up the "moon in a Neon" approach.

Just as Griffin needs to give up the Ares-I approach - its an approach which just doesn't stand up to hard data and careful scrutiny.


Please don't get me wrong, there *is* a place for EELV in the human space flight program - I actually think Delta-IV Heavy and Atlas Phase 2 would make great CLV's for crew rotation missions to ISS where no additional cargo is required.   I have said so all along, that I would like a human-rated launcher in each of the 25mT, 50mT and 100mT ranges - because it would give us the maximum flexibility of all.   I just don't see much place for 25mT maximum lift capability as a useful goal for any program needing to launch "bulk" cargo's of 175 to 500mT to accomplish its mission - such as Lunar and Martian human exploration programs or even ISS v2 at some point in the future.


As for choosing not to believe economic comparisons - please feel free to research the issue for yourself - I am proof that it can be done if you're determined enough (it took me over a year to get the contacts) and I STRONGLY recommend everyone to dig under the surface for the real costs of all our tax-payer funded space programs - it *should* be a lot more transparent than it is IMHO and I'm convinced the real cost is only kept hidden because its higher than people think.

But until you do, can I please ask you to refrain from trying to discredit the numbers we have worked our asses off digging for.   Believe it or not, we have presented the unvarnished truth in this matter.   If you locate the real numbers you will see that for yourself.

I just don't appreciate being called-out by anyone who hasn't bothered to research any numbers of their own and is just arguing claims based on nothing more than "rumors" and "faith" in their own chosen system - that was ESAS' approach which we all complain about so vociferously.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline libs0n

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #101 on: 12/28/2007 01:01 AM »
I'm pretty sure the gist of Meiza's remarks were that the numbers you put forth are themselves projections, as the vehicles have yet to fly, and yet you bandy them about with the same regard as if they were the hard numbers of an operational vehicle available for purchase.  SpaceX also has their own projections, but they will only be taken seriously when the Falcon 9 flies at whatever price it does so at.

Basically, from my perspective and perhaps Meiza's, the EELV numbers are hard ones, and can only fall with increased usage, or be replaced with lesser priced vehicles in the future if those vehicles should arise and should the architecture allow. Whereas the Direct numbers are a series of projections based upon assumptions.  Those assumptions may be correct and your projections may pan out, but time and time again we have been told that a certain thing will cost X when, in the end, it ends up costing Y and that is why Direct cannot be given by us the same credence as what one can buy right now if one had the money.

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #102 on: 12/28/2007 07:03 AM »
To a degree, I might agree with you libs0n.   But for the fact that most of what is proposed by DIRECT is deliberately based upon flight hardware in production right now.   That takes an awful lot of ambiguity out of the equation.

For example, the 4-seg SRB's are a completely documented element.   ET production is well understood and evaluated.   The SLWT program provides lots of real-world cost data helping to accurately analyse the costs of alterations to ET.   The RS-68 is in production right now.   LC-39 processes almost identical vehicles right now (though with the Orbiter element too) so those costs are well understood.   The infrastructure at KSC and MAF are virtually ready to start production tomorrow if so directed, so cost deltas are very small indeed there.   The only major infrastructure cost required is at the Pads and the MLP's - and the trade studies for Ares-I are in already and provide a lot of data for such analysis.   The only major remaining "uncertainty" revolves around qualification for the new Thrust Structure for the Core - but even that is a fairly well-understood development concern, so shouldn't throw up all that many unexpected hurdles.

I can't think of many cost areas which I would consider as "unknown black-holes" for getting Jupiter-120 operational for ISS missions.   Orion has the majority of the new and previously untried development work - we're reusing tried and tested hardware and not opting for anything new, radical or technologically challenging in the design of Jupiter - as rockets go it's pretty straight-forward actually - completely unlike Ares-I!

The cost:performance target for the Upper Stage is the biggest issue WRT cost for DIRECT (just like like Ares-I and Ares-V U/S elements).

We have opted to propose the lowest performance variant of the U/S because it reduces costs to the minimum.   But to cover our collective a$$e$, we have chosen to use the higher performance costings from our high-performance studies - to give DIRECT an extra degree of cost margins (we learned very acutely how we mustn't be at-all "optimistic" with any of our numbers thanks to Doug Stanley's FUD from this time last year, so we have always erred on the worst-case numbers).   In short, we have official trades in-hand saying we could develop our U/S for approx $3bn (a figure sourced directly from Lockheed Martin I might add), but we've used $6bn in all our published accounting - 200% of assessment.   And we've done the exactly the same WRT unit production costs also.   This should see us in very safe territory indeed and able to absorb virtually any and all cost overruns.   I'd like to know what anyone could expect us to do *more* than that - and exactly why people are still trying to accuse us of being too optimistic with 200% margins?   What more do we have to do?

I also would make the point that the EELV's, as they are right now, are not currently acceptable to NASA for crewed flight.   To be acceptable, NASA has already stated that they will require a degree of new development work - the 1.4 structure issue is the first one which comes to mind.   Any such new development work, while based on existing heritage systems - just like DIRECT - will also incur additional "uncertain" costs too.   EELV's aren't immune from this same issue.   Taking all that into account, I don't consider the comparisons to be unfair at all.   YMMV of course.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline libs0n

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #103 on: 12/28/2007 05:42 PM »
I respect the degree of effort that has gone into your cost estimates, and I'm definitely not saying that they are wrong, I'm simply saying that they have yet to be paid for, brought online, and be produced, by the organization in question.  Until then they are not as certain as what is currently available.

Your last paragraph is a good point, but that can be mitigated with decisions made as to what roles the individual launchers will take up. The crewed portion of any launch architecture is a minor one, a command module in essence, that if it were chosen to launch that alone on one booster, it would leave the others to be used unmodified to take up cargo elements.

Off topic question: the Service Module is only 15 mt and launches the 10mt Command module and itself from the moon to the earth, using a Hohmann trajectory, I presume.  Does that mean that the reverse is true, that the 15 mt SM could launch a 10mt payload from the Earth to the Moon, albeit having to use a free return trajectory?  Or do trajectories from the moon also take less energy than when going to the moon?

edit: forgot about the LOI burn.  So, LOI burn + free return trajectory to get there, Hohmann trajectory to get back, I'm assuming.  Does anyone know what would the service module would be capable of placing into lunar orbit?

Offline libs0n

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #104 on: 12/28/2007 09:57 PM »
Allow me to rephrase on the second point: yes, it can be considered that the EELV vehicles must be modified to support NASA human spaceflight operations, but these modifications are a considerable magnitude less than what is proposed in the Direct concept, that being redesigning the eternal tank to accommodate a new engine configuration and support loads, and developing the aforementioned upper stage.  Previously raised issues with respect to EELVs carrying human beings turned out to be rhetorical canards, such as the "black zone" issue, and even NASA themselves seriously considered EELVs as a human spaceflight solution prior to the significant change in direction to the Ares system.   In fact, an architecture that utilized the Atlas 5 401 as a crew transporter would indeed meet NASA's human rating requirements:

"According to a Lockheed Martin paper unveiled this week at the Space 2006 conference, the basic Atlas V 401 can meet FAA and NASA man-rating requirements with little modification with a much smaller capsule mass of 20,000 lbs.

At 20,000 lbs, there is enough margin in the Atlas V 401's flight envelope to allow the crew to safely abort at any time during launch, closing all unsafe 'black-zones'. Also, at 20,000 lbs structural loads on the vehicle are decreased enough so that a detailed Lockheed analysis indicates that all primary structures meet NASA 1.4 Factor of Safety margins."

from http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=4823

So I would not put the level of modification on the same level as what is required to enable Direct.  Again, utilizing the 401 in such a configuration as the sole crew launcher would enable the other EELVs, or any future vehicles, to be used unmodified in cargo launching roles.

Offline Jorge

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #105 on: 12/28/2007 11:22 PM »
Quote
libs0n - 28/12/2007  4:57 PM

Allow me to rephrase on the second point: yes, it can be considered that the EELV vehicles must be modified to support NASA human spaceflight operations, but these modifications are a considerable magnitude less than what is proposed in the Direct concept, that being redesigning the eternal tank to accommodate a new engine configuration and support loads, and developing the aforementioned upper stage.  Previously raised issues with respect to EELVs carrying human beings turned out to be rhetorical canards, such as the "black zone" issue, and even NASA themselves seriously considered EELVs as a human spaceflight solution prior to the significant change in direction to the Ares system.   In fact, an architecture that utilized the Atlas 5 401 as a crew transporter would indeed meet NASA's human rating requirements:

"According to a Lockheed Martin paper unveiled this week at the Space 2006 conference, the basic Atlas V 401 can meet FAA and NASA man-rating requirements with little modification with a much smaller capsule mass of 20,000 lbs.

Not relevant; Orion weighs more than twice that.
JRF

Offline Jim

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #106 on: 12/28/2007 11:52 PM »
BUMP

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #107 on: 12/29/2007 12:01 AM »
Quote
Jorge - 28/12/2007  7:22 PM

Quote
libs0n - 28/12/2007  4:57 PM

Allow me to rephrase on the second point: yes, it can be considered that the EELV vehicles must be modified to support NASA human spaceflight operations, but these modifications are a considerable magnitude less than what is proposed in the Direct concept, that being redesigning the eternal tank to accommodate a new engine configuration and support loads, and developing the aforementioned upper stage.  Previously raised issues with respect to EELVs carrying human beings turned out to be rhetorical canards, such as the "black zone" issue, and even NASA themselves seriously considered EELVs as a human spaceflight solution prior to the significant change in direction to the Ares system.   In fact, an architecture that utilized the Atlas 5 401 as a crew transporter would indeed meet NASA's human rating requirements:

"According to a Lockheed Martin paper unveiled this week at the Space 2006 conference, the basic Atlas V 401 can meet FAA and NASA man-rating requirements with little modification with a much smaller capsule mass of 20,000 lbs.

Not relevant; Orion weighs more than twice that.
Yea, but I agree with John Young; it’s too big. Too much living space is included in it that should be in the mission module (LSAM). The CM by itself is just a taxi, or should be, and should be smaller and lighter. That allows the LSAM to be used as living space and Orion to fly on an Atlas. But I don’t think they will reconsider that now, at this point. It's funny now, but if they hadn't made it so damn big trying to keep it off the Atlas, Ares-I wouldn't be having all its mass issues. It's what we refer to as poetic justice  :)
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #108 on: 12/29/2007 12:37 AM »
Quote
libs0n - 28/12/2007  5:57 PM

Allow me to rephrase on the second point: yes, it can be considered that the EELV vehicles must be modified to support NASA human spaceflight operations, but these modifications are a considerable magnitude less than what is proposed in the Direct concept, that being redesigning the eternal tank to accommodate a new engine configuration and support loads, and developing the aforementioned upper stage.  Previously raised issues with respect to EELVs carrying human beings turned out to be rhetorical canards, such as the "black zone" issue, and even NASA themselves seriously considered EELVs as a human spaceflight solution prior to the significant change in direction to the Ares system.   In fact, an architecture that utilized the Atlas 5 401 as a crew transporter would indeed meet NASA's human rating requirements:

"According to a Lockheed Martin paper unveiled this week at the Space 2006 conference, the basic Atlas V 401 can meet FAA and NASA man-rating requirements with little modification with a much smaller capsule mass of 20,000 lbs.

At 20,000 lbs, there is enough margin in the Atlas V 401's flight envelope to allow the crew to safely abort at any time during launch, closing all unsafe 'black-zones'. Also, at 20,000 lbs structural loads on the vehicle are decreased enough so that a detailed Lockheed analysis indicates that all primary structures meet NASA 1.4 Factor of Safety margins."

from http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=4823

So I would not put the level of modification on the same level as what is required to enable Direct.  Again, utilizing the 401 in such a configuration as the sole crew launcher would enable the other EELVs, or any future vehicles, to be used unmodified in cargo launching roles.

Other than reducing Orion's already "dieted" mass from ~23mT now down to just 9mT, requiring all-new pads which won't interfere with the DoD payload operations (EELV's raison d'etre), qualifying the RD-180 for human use, qualifying the RL-10 for human use, building a new Centaur and shutting down LC-39 - yeah, it's easy.

Yup, I am being sarcastic.   :)

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline libs0n

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #109 on: 12/29/2007 06:14 AM »
I do not propose slimming the CEV/Orion down to 9mt.  Rather, I propose splitting the functions of the CEV into two separate parts, an independant Command Module capable of being launched on an Atlas 5 400 series booster, and a Trans Earth Injection stage that is prepositioned in lunar orbit to be rendezvoused with when the time comes.


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kraisee - 28/12/2007  7:37 PM

...qualifying the RD-180 for human use, qualifying the RL-10 for human use, building a new Centaur...

Ross.

Expand upon these three, especially the last.


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kraisee - 28/12/2007  7:37 PM
...requiring all-new pads which won't interfere with the DoD payload operations (EELV's raison d'etre)...shutting down LC-39...

Perhaps one solves the other. ;)

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #110 on: 12/29/2007 11:08 AM »
kraisee, your response basically boils down to "heavy lift is a necessity because NASA wants it". There is no further discussion possible in regards to that argument.

NASA just affects the future of space launch a lot with its decisions and I find this a weird way of looking at things.

And there was that John Houbolt guy who also thought a bit differently, he just looked at what is the best way to achieve some end goal and campaigned for that, even when his bosses had opposite and wrong ideas.

Well, administrators change and old projects are scrapped... The True Best Way Ever and the Absolute Necessity of Heavy Lift might be different again after some time.

And we get the Dodge Neon vs Mack Truck false analogy too. It fails on so many levels. I should start copy-pasting a standard response every time you put this up.

If you can buy an off the shelf Mack truck and you have enough demand to keep it on the road for most of the year, then it makes sense buying it. You should not try designing and building a new custom five Mack sized mega-mover, if all of your stuff fits on the truck trailer anyway, you just have to make more trips. Especially if you mostly move water around, you can do that with a tank truck of any size. You can even contract for having it delivered, it's probably cheaper that way. Concentrate on building your transportable stuff, not the trucks.

Offline Jim

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #111 on: 12/29/2007 11:53 AM »
Quote
libs0n - 29/12/2007  2:14 AM

I do not propose slimming the CEV/Orion down to 9mt.  Rather, I propose splitting the functions of the CEV into two separate parts, an independant Command Module capable of being launched on an Atlas 5 400 series booster,


Not possible.  The SM contains more than just propellant

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #112 on: 12/29/2007 02:15 PM »
Quote
meiza - 29/12/2007  7:08 AM

kraisee, your response basically boils down to "heavy lift is a necessity because NASA wants it". There is no further discussion possible in regards to that argument.
Meiza, you make it sound like the used car salesman who is desperate to sell the customer what they have on their lot instead of selling the customer what they want to buy.

Quote
NASA just affects the future of space launch a lot with its decisions and I find this a weird way of looking at things.
Why is it weird? It’s the way the entire economy of most nations work. Companies stay in business and make lots of money by selling the customer what they want to buy; not by convincing the customer to buy an inferior product just so they can make a sale. In this case NASA is smart enough to spot the desperate used car salesman and go somewhere else.

Look. NASA is the only customer here and they made it clear a very long time ago that they were NOT interested in 25 or even 50mT launchers. The only customer there is has made it clear they want heavy lift.

Quote
And there was that John Houbolt guy who also thought a bit differently, he just looked at what is the best way to achieve some end goal and campaigned for that, even when his bosses had opposite and wrong ideas.

Your reference to John Houbolt is out of context because he was advocating a procedure, not a launch vehicle. Please note that he never disputed the need for the heavy lift launch vehicle. They already had the heavy lift. It was called a Saturn-V and even with that heavy lift, they could not get it done. That’s where John came in with his LOR “procedure”.

Quote
Well, administrators change and old projects are scrapped... The True Best Way Ever and the Absolute Necessity of Heavy Lift might be different again after some time.
Sure. And so we are just supposed to do nothing and sit on our laurels while the rest of the world laughs at us and *wait* for an administrator who is more to our liking?

Quote
And we get the Dodge Neon vs. Mack truck false analogy too. It fails on so many levels. I should start copy-pasting a standard response every time you put this up.
It is not a false analogy; it is a correct analogy - from the customers perspective.  The customer wants a Mack truck. You want to sell the customer a Dodge Neon. Is there anything wrong with the Neon? No, there isn’t. It's a perfectly good car with limited functionality. But it’s not what the customer wants. The customer wants a Mack truck. If you want to sell the customer, but don’t have a “Mack” truck, then get an equivalent. Sell the customer on similar performance. Get a Silverado, or a Dakota, or something similar. Sell the customer a “truck” with similar performance to the “Mack” truck he wanted. That’s how you make your sale, not by cheating the customer into thinking he can do the same thing with inferior vehicles, if he will just fire lots more of them.

If all we want to do is to be more the less the same as everybody else, with nothing special going on, them maybe the EELV pop-gun launcher is the way to go, because that’s all it will ever be – nothing special. Because other nations have or will have the same capability soon and only funding keeps them off the lunar surface. And don’t think for one minute that funding won’t be a problem for us soon either, because it will. Then we’ll be no better than the Russians, the Europeans, the Chinese, the Indians and even the Brazilians. Name some more – they’ll all be there sooner or later. Do we want to lead the world or not? Or do we just want to be happy in the middle of the pack - nothing special?

Ross outlined an EELV Heavy Lift a little ways above that was better than the Ares. It beats the Ares hands down - more powerful, less costly and fielded much sooner. And most important - sustainable. On top of that, the Orion would fit on the unenhansed core of that launcher and get the US back into manned space within 2 years of Shuttle retirement. What's not to love? LM and Boeing are perfectly capable of proposing this launch vehicle and then they could do what I suggested above; sell the customer the “equivalent” of the “Mack” truck. But apparently, the EELV company CEO’s do not want to play. They don’t have the balls to compete. Oh well. Then let them stew in it. That is a sad commentary from my perspective. I would “LOVE” to see that competition against STS. I am for STS because it's the only heavy lift option offered. If LM & Boeing would get off their scardy-cat lazy butts and compete - well it could be a totally different ball game and I'm not so sure STS would win a fair competition like that. But apparently they are too cheap to spend the cash to put the proposal in place. They have been feeding at the government cow's teet for too long. It's time to wean them and make them earn their business, just like everyone else. They could produce such an awesome launch vehicle family for this nation if only their leaders would grow a little hair. I know that the designers and engineers that work for them are just itching to do this because they know beyond a doubt that they can. Those employees have more faith in themselves, their abilities and their companies than their leaders do and that is just plain sick. It turns my stomach. So I guess as far as EELV is concerned, it's 25mT pop-guns or nothing.

And everyone here advocating for the 25mT EELV approach STILL have NOT responded to Ross’s question: What about Mars? The VSE is NOT about going back to the moon – it’s about going out into the solar system – to MARS and Beyond. The moon is a weigh station along the way. That’s it. The goal is human settlement of  Mars. The goal is human stations on Ganymede and Titan. The goal is outpost on Ceres. The goal is manned space stations in orbit around Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and eventually Uranus and Neptune. The goal is to be able to actually mine the Asteroid belt and return cargo to earth, or the moon, from there. Or if water is found, to Mars and the moon, where permanent human settlements exist. You don't seriously think we can do that in a Volkswagen, do you? But let’s limit ourselves, for the moment to Mars. Every serious study of a Mars mission puts that spacecraft at ~500mT in mass. At 25mT a pop, it would take 20 EELV launches just to put the assembly modules into orbit. PLUS an equal number of logistic and crewed assembly flights. How many years are you willing to spend to assemble ONE Mars mission? It's like trying to assemble a mobile ISS. How many years have we been screwing around with that (and it's still not done)? It’s entirely possible that by the time you got the last piece into orbit and assembled, the first few elements would be rapidly approaching the end of their lifetime. You’d be sending a crew to Mars for a 2-3 year mission depending on “old” stuff. And that's just for ONE mission.

No. The customer has chosen to do this with Heavy Lift for good reason. LM and Boeing are perfectly capable of proposing an EELV Heavy Lift If They Wanted To, but apparently they are not interested. So the question becomes, in my mind, why do you insist on an EELV VSE approach when the companies that build the rockets have no intention of participating? Unless there are other players out there that you are depending on? SpaceX for example? You have already mentioned them. Are you depending on the Falcon rocket to take us to the moon? Because Boeing and Lockheed Martin are obviously not interested.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline libs0n

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #113 on: 12/29/2007 03:51 PM »
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Jim - 29/12/2007  6:53 AM

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libs0n - 29/12/2007  2:14 AM

I do not propose slimming the CEV/Orion down to 9mt.  Rather, I propose splitting the functions of the CEV into two separate parts, an independant Command Module capable of being launched on an Atlas 5 400 series booster,


Not possible.  The SM contains more than just propellant

I had in mind a Soyuz like redesign of the functions of the command module into a re-entry craft and a logistics module that contains the necessary equipment.  Alternatively, one can imagine a smaller SM with the TEI functions removed, enabling the combination to be fitted onto a larger Atlas.  Also alternatively, the mating of a separately launcher SM similar to the current design to be immediately rendezvoused with in LEO .  My goal in mind is to limit the size of the crewed vehicle to a minimum that would be launched on its own EDS using a free return trajectory toward the moon.

My burning question is: what is the amount an EDS using the propellant and engine choices of the current service module can place in a lunar orbit, when sized to take advantage of the largest EELV?  Or a design, again with Delta 4 Heavy in mind, that utilized LH/LOX?  My hypothetical alternative should that not pan out is an idea on Jon Goff's blog to utilize a Centaur second stage launched on an Atlas 5 400 series that would rendezvous with previously launched oxidizer, obviously being kitted out for such a mission.

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #114 on: 12/29/2007 04:44 PM »
Chuck, you're really limping with semantics.
You're trying to present NASA's decision about Heavy Lift as something that can not be questioned or even talked about.
Yet you propose direct that questions NASA's decision about Ares I and V.

We are talking about NASA's decisions here. You keep missing the point. We are not talking about making maximum profit in selling crazy customers something they don't need, but about guiding NASA to make the best decisions for the future of humankind.

John Houbolt is relevant too. A propellant depot with multiple launchers is a procedure and an idea and a general architecture. It actually is quite close to the choice of direct vs LOR lunar mission. NASA did NOT have the heavy lifter needed to do a direct mission. It was contemplating Nova at the time, since Saturn would have been iffy at best for the great mass needed. LOR enabled a smaller launch vehicle to do the mission. Most results in the least time.
This all is much closer to the question than Direct vs Ares which is just arguing which type of heavy lifter is going to be used.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #115 on: 12/29/2007 05:34 PM »
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meiza - 29/12/2007  12:44 PM

Chuck, you're really limping with semantics.
You're trying to present NASA's decision about Heavy Lift as something that can not be questioned or even talked about. Yet you propose direct that questions NASA's decision about Ares I and V.
It was questioned and talked about - extensively. And the customer made his decision. He decided that the architecture would be based on heavy lift. And yes, DIRECT questions the Ares approach, because once heavy lift was decided, then it became a question of how to best implement that decision. At that point it was no longer EELV vs. Heavy Lift. It was how to get the most bang for the buck out of Heavy Lift because EELV had been taken off the table.

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We are talking about NASA's decisions here. You keep missing the point. We are not talking about making maximum profit in selling crazy customers something they don't need, but about guiding NASA to make the best decisions for the future of humankind.
No I don't miss the point - you do. NASA considered how best to go about it and considered the EELV approach very seriously. At that point the EELV 25mT launch architecture was still on the table. Somebody, EELV or Heavy Lift, had to win and somebody had to loose. Unfortunately for Boeing and LM, it was the EELV 25mT launch architecture that lost out. NASA chose Heavy Lift as the way forward - for its own reasons after considering all the options. The decision was made and is final. It's over and has been for some time. You can't keep beating a dead horse and expect it to be resurrected and pull the cart. Once the dye is cast you either get with the program and get what you can from it or you get out of the game. Apparently, EELV decided to get out of the game. Shame on them because they could have gotten with the program and proposed their own Heavy Lift architecture instead. No balls I guess.

I did not vote for Bush in either election, but he won. That makes him my President, like him or not. I did not go off somewhere and try to form a shadow government in exile or come up with ways put Gore or Kerry into office in his place. No. I did not like the election results but the election was over. Time to get with the program and get behind the President. It was time to do my personal best to make HIS plans work for the betterment of the nation. So why don't you get with the program? The companies you are depending on to "guide" NASA into a better solution do not want to play. The election is over. Time to get with the program or else we get nowhere.

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John Houbolt is relevant too. A propellant depot with multiple launchers is a procedure and an idea and a general architecture. It actually is quite close to the choice of direct vs LOR lunar mission. NASA did NOT have the heavy lifter needed to do a direct mission. It was contemplating Nova at the time, since Saturn would have been iffy at best for the great mass needed. LOR enabled a smaller launch vehicle to do the mission. Most results in the least time.

Houbolt was not talking about a propellant depot. His architecture involved using the version of Heavy Lift NASA had decided to go with, but using a different procedure to implement it. Nova would have been preferable but the powers that be had decided to NOT build it. Dye is cast. Election is over. So just like after the election, he got with the program and worked with the powers that be to come up with the best way to implement the decision they had made. That's all I'm asking you to do. The decision (EELV vs. Heavy Lift) has already been made. It's time to get with the program and do the best we can to make it work, just like Holbolt did for Apollo, just like DIRECT does for Constellation. Heavy Lift is the architecture. What can you contribute to make Heavy Lift work more efficiently? We proposed DIRECT vs. Ares. I would love to see you put together a comprehensive EELV Heavy Lift proposal along the lines of what Ross outlined. Like him or not, Bush IS the President. And like it or not, Heavy Lift IS the architecture. DIRECT is our contribution to the program. Your contribution can be the EELV equivalent. Then there would be three (3) ways to go. Out of that would come the best way to implement the decision, in the spirit of John Houlbolt.

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{snip} - Direct vs Ares which is just arguing which type of heavy lifter is going to be used.
That is correct. DIRECT is all about which Heavy Lift to use, not whether or not to use Heavy Lift. We created DIRECT (with considerable NASA and Contractor support) as a way to contribute to the best way to implement NASA's decision to field Heavy Lift, in the spirit of John Houbolt. DIRECT conforms to NASA's final decision to proceed with a Heavy Lift architecture. 25mT EELV solutions had been taken off the table and would not be considered again. It was clear to us that the decision had been made and the dye was cast. It was time to either get with the program and do the best we knew how to make it work, or to get out of the game. We chose to participate.

This thread is about using EELV to implement the VSE to take us to the moon, Mars and beyond. It is NOT about EELV vs. Heavy Lift. That decision has been made and the way forward is Heavy Lift. With that in mind, if we are going to stay on topic, then the context of EELV involvement needs to be either limited to the supporting roles it can play or include its own version of Heavy Lift, but preferably both. There are several ways to do that. The Atlas and Delta fleets with their planned upgrades present some truly awesome possibilities for Heavy Lift. That's your challenge. Put together an EELV Heavy Lift architecture so that EELV can participate in the VSE properly. As it stands, EELV (25mT variety) already will play a supporting role, but if they (you) come up with their own Heavy Lift, it could be elevated to the star role. It can be done - I've seen the possibilities. Can you do that? Your challenge - Your choice.

If you will do that, perhaps with a small core team like we did, then maybe you could convince the executives at Boeing and LM to put some clothes on and stand up to the bully. They have the hardware. They have the capability. And they have the team members (employees, designers, engineer, etc) who are more than capable of making it work. Trust me. Those people are just itching to get permission to do it. All they have to do is reconfigure their existing hardware, just like we did with STS hardware to create DIRECT.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #116 on: 12/29/2007 06:10 PM »
You're trying to just poison the discussion by saying NASA's decision about the need of heavy lift should not be questioned. Yet in the next sentence you say that Ares should be questioned. Why so vastly different standards? You don't make sense.
ESAS produced Ares I and V. You can't criticize the heavy lift need part of ESAS but you can criticize the Ares part?
The best reason stated has been short term politics. Nothing technical. Why is the "sweet spot" at 70 t and not at 25 t or anywhere else? Never got an answer for that, and I'd bet it'd be "because Direct is in that range" - circular logic...

And even looking at all of that, if the decision is already made, it can *still* be wrong.

I don't understand why I should put together an EELV heavy lift proposal. It's not the way forward towards a space faring humanity. It will not bring down the cost of spaceflight. I'm not an EELV lover. I don't get money from them either.
If one wants to rank possible heavy lifters, then maybe ditch the solids and use 7 RS-68 engines on an ET derived launcher, the way Ed Kyle proposed. You get rid of all the solid production, transfer, stacking, heavy moving, fishing...
Direct comes after that and then Ares.

I've put together a proposal for a flexible architecture where the launchers are interchangeable, got people saying that Ares will be the only way, that NASA should not be questioned, that heavy lift is a necessity and that they don't want to build an ISS on every flight to the moon and of course the speed boats vs tankers and neons vs macks fallacious analogies and then finally silence. There were some very kind souls who had good technical and otherwise constructive comments too.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #117 on: 12/29/2007 06:37 PM »
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meiza - 29/12/2007  2:10 PM

You're trying to just poison the discussion by saying NASA's decision about the need of heavy lift should not be questioned. Yet in the next sentence you say that Ares should be questioned. Why so vastly different standards? You don't make sense.
No, I’m saying that like it or not, the decision to use Heavy Lift over EELV has been made, and now it comes down to what is the best way to implement that decision. We (DIRECT Team) do not believe Ares is the best way and we proposed DIRECT as an alternative. There is no ambiguity here.

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ESAS produced Ares I and V. You can't criticize the heavy lift need part of ESAS but you can criticize the Ares part?
Yes I can, because I’m not criticizing Heavy Lift at this point (that election is over). I’m criticizing how they chose to implement it (Ares). BTW, ESAS also produces LV 24/25 (DIRECT) and also produced LV-9/5.1, which are Atlas-V Phase 2 and versions of 3B using J-2’s on the upper stage (see Section 6, page 396. Actually the RL-10 U/S version of Atlas Phase 3 is referred to as LV-7.4 - see page 422).
 
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Why is the "sweet spot" at 70 t and not at 25 t or anywhere else? Never got an answer for that, and I'd bet it'd be "because Direct is in that range" - circular logic...
The decision was made, for better or worse, that 25mT packets were insufficient for a truly sustainable major effort. Griffin declared the threshold to be ~100mT. The decision had nothing to do with DIRECT, as the proposal didn’t even exist yet except in the archives at MSFC. As to why he picked that threshold - you would need to ask him. I have no idea. We just tried to provide the best solution we knew how that remained with the defined parameters.

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And even looking at all of that, if the decision is already made, it can *still* be wrong.
That is true enough, but it doesn’t mean the decision that was made can’t work. It simply may not work the way you envisioned it should. At some point you declare the horse to be dead and stop beating it. Then the only decision is “do I want to continue to play or not”?

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I don't understand why I should put together an EELV heavy lift proposal. It's not the way forward towards a space faring humanity.
That’s an opinion. You are assuming that there is only one way forward, and that is clearly not correct. It is correct to say that in your opinion it is not the way forward, but that’s as far as that can go.

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It will not bring down the cost of spaceflight. I'm not an EELV lover. I don't get money from them either. If one wants to rank possible heavy lifters, then maybe ditch the solids and use 7 RS-68 engines on an ET derived launcher, the way Ed Kyle proposed. You get rid of all the solid production, transfer, stacking, heavy moving, fishing... Direct comes after that and then Ares.

I've put together a proposal for a flexible architecture where the launchers are interchangeable, …
Where? Please provide the link. I don’t recall seeing it and would be very interested in doing so.

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… got people saying that Ares will be the only way, that NASA should not be questioned, that heavy lift is a necessity and that they don't want to build an ISS on every flight to the moon and of course the speed boats vs tankers and neons vs macks fallacious analogies and then finally silence. There were some very kind souls who had good technical and otherwise constructive comments too.
Welcome to my (our – DIRECT’s) world. Bucking the tide is not easy and is often its own reward.

More to the point – please provide me the link to what you have done. I want to see it. Seriously.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #118 on: 12/29/2007 07:36 PM »
You don't provide any basis for your arguments: you just say heavy lift is settled (the president is elected), you say Mike G won't settle for anything but 100 t (the president is elected) but you say Ares is not yet settled (the president is not elected, I mean, NASA is clearly showing so much doubts and indecision about Ares, it's constantly asking tiger teams and contractors for input about new heavy lift architectures, yeah, right). You just draw arbitrary lines here and there and try to dictate what others should and should not talk about.

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clongton - 29/12/2007  7:37 PM

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I've put together a proposal for a flexible architecture where the launchers are interchangeable, …
Where? Please provide the link. I don’t recall seeing it and would be very interested in doing so.

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… got people saying that Ares will be the only way, that NASA should not be questioned, that heavy lift is a necessity and that they don't want to build an ISS on every flight to the moon and of course the speed boats vs tankers and neons vs macks fallacious analogies and then finally silence. There were some very kind souls who had good technical and otherwise constructive comments too.
Welcome to my (our – DIRECT’s) world. Bucking the tide is not easy and is often its own reward.

More to the point – please provide me the link to what you have done. I want to see it. Seriously.

Well, it doesn't matter since it has been settled anyway. Why would anyone be interested in technical matters anyway? Or the big picture? With the track record, nothing useful can be produced to the thread by Direct proponents.
Btw it was done before Direct even existed and Ross was an ardent Ares defender. And even then it was claimed by many that Ares is the settled way and there's no way to change anything, so talking should have been stopped.

I won't discuss this anymore unless the tone changes, it's fruitless as you keep repeating your arbitrary arguments about why some architecture changes can be talked about but others can't with all "the president is elected" soundbites. Clinging to these invented program-political arguments is just showing the technical weakness of Direct and the "Heavy Lift is Necessary" (to launch liquid oxygen) paradigm.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #119 on: 12/29/2007 08:14 PM »
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meiza - 29/12/2007  3:36 PM

You don't provide any basis for your arguments: you just say heavy lift is settled (the president is elected), you say Mike G won't settle for anything but 100 t (the president is elected) but you say Ares is not yet settled (the president is not elected, I mean, NASA is clearly showing so much doubts and indecision about Ares, it's constantly asking tiger teams and contractors for input about new heavy lift architectures, yeah, right). You just draw arbitrary lines here and there and try to dictate what others should and should not talk about.
Heavy lift is settled –by Mike Griffin- as the “Big Picture”. Ares is just a “tool” used in that big picture and we believe it is the wrong tool. So we proposed another “tool”; DIRECT. The fact that they are having so much trouble with the Ares “tool” only bears out our initial concerns as to why we considered it to be the wrong tool. Ares, DIRECT, HL-EELV or Falcon on steroids are all just tools. NASA could switch launch vehicles several times a year until they find one that they like and it would still be Heavy Lift because the one guy who has the power to dictate that has declared the question closed. I didn’t do that. Ross didn’t do that. Steven, Antonio and Philip didn’t do that. Mike Griffin did that. As to the “details” that went into that decision you would have to ask him because no one else can answer that question. He set the rules and gave everyone the choice to play by his rules or not. We chose to play.

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Well, it doesn't matter since it has been settled anyway. Why would anyone be interested in technical matters anyway? Or the big picture? With the track record, nothing useful can be produced to the thread by Direct proponents.
That’s just mean spirited. Nobody on the DIRECT team is willing to take a stand that DIRECT is the best there is. Every one of us knows that is not true. It is the best that “we” could come up with while playing by Mike’s rules. Every one of us would be “extremely” interested in ANY other solution besides ours that also played by Mike’s rules. Why Mike’s rules? Because anyone who won’t play by his rules doesn’t get to play – that’s why. All we did here was clarify what NASA's rules of engagement are. We never declared that DIRECT is the only way to close that. We have asked for others to provide alternative solutions, that we know are possible but so far nobody but Ed has stepped up to the plate. Remember, when we FIRST launched DIRECT almost a year and a half ago, we threw it open to the entire NSF membership to comment. From that we got a lot of good feedback which did 2 things (1) gave us some good ideas which we implemented, and (2) caused us to abandon what we had previously thought might be good ideas. DIRECT is as much a product of the conversations on this forum as anything that came out of the archives at MSFC. All we have asked for is for others to be willing to do the same thing. Just don't expect the forum to bless everything because they won't, just like they didn't ours. You can't have a thin skin in this business. One has got to be willing to accept criticism and build on it. We have asked repeatedly for others to participate. There are other solutions possible but folks need to step up and play - but if they want to have any hope of their solutions being considered by NASA, then they have to play by their rules, not tell NASA that they have to change the rules if they want the others to play. That won't happen.

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Btw it was done before Direct even existed and Ross was an ardent Ares defender. And even then it was claimed by many that Ares is the settled way and there's no way to change anything, so talking should have been stopped.
I was also an Ares supporter when it first came out because it made sense the way it was configured. It was not the configuration I would have liked to see, but it worked. As for your earlier work, I’m still interested in seeing it. I want to see it. I’m asking to see it. Please provide me a link to it.

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I won't discuss this anymore unless the tone changes, it's fruitless as you keep repeating your arbitrary arguments about why some architecture changes can be talked about but others can't with all "the president is elected" sound bites. Clinging to these invented program-political arguments is just showing the technical weakness of Direct and the "Heavy Lift is Necessary" (to launch liquid oxygen) paradigm.
1. Heavy Lift is Mike’s choice. The rest of us play by his rules or we don’t get to play.
2. Technical weakness of DIRECT? Please be specific. Anyone can make generalized statements without backing them up. Name them please and give us the opportunity to address them for you. But I would ask that when you do, that you post them on the DIRECT thread with perhaps a small post here that you have done that. That way we stay on topic.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #120 on: 12/29/2007 08:36 PM »
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Heavy lift is settled –by Mike Griffin- as the “Big Picture”. Ares is just a “tool” used in that big picture and we believe it is the wrong tool. So we proposed another “tool”; DIRECT.

It's telling that you don't consider the moon the goal and heavy lift just a tool. No, heavy lift is a goal in itself for you.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #121 on: 12/29/2007 09:05 PM »
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meiza - 29/12/2007  4:36 PM

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Heavy lift is settled –by Mike Griffin- as the “Big Picture”. Ares is just a “tool” used in that big picture and we believe it is the wrong tool. So we proposed another “tool”; DIRECT.

It's telling that you don't consider the moon the goal and heavy lift just a tool. No, heavy lift is a goal in itself for you.
Incorrect. Heavy lift is not the goal. The VSE is the goal. Heavy lift is the architecture Mike Griffin has chosen to implement the VSE. Heavy Lift is not my choice.  It is the rules I have to play by if I want to play. That's the choice. I get to play by Mike Griffin's rules -or- I don't get to play.

I am not willing to sacrifice my dream of human settlement of the solar system as a protest against the rules. I choose to participate. Life is not a spectator sport. You either play or you wither and die.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #122 on: 12/29/2007 09:25 PM »
Okay guys, I know I didn't start this thread, but this is now getting so far off-topic that it needs to move to a new thread if its going to continue.   Don't take it to the DIRECT thread either.

Meiza has his own belief in the EELV's, the group of guys involved in the DIRECT Team has a different belief.   But neither has anything that actually relates to this particular thread.

This thread is specifically about how to make a smaller Lunar architecture work with the existing EELV's in the case that VSE money is pulled because Ares-I/V fails.   Its an interesting topic in its own right.

Lets stop boring the majority of the readership and keep to the topic at hand here by moving the DIRECT vs. EELV discussion to a more suitable thread please.   It doesn't belong here.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Nathan

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #123 on: 12/29/2007 11:02 PM »
Okay folk - lets assume that either th SpaceX COTS vehicle Dragon will be available for the Command module and that this command module can connect to a reuelable Earth departure stage.

Other options for the comand module include Interorbital sysems CM-1 or a clean sheet design.

Also assume that NASA decides to go the EELV ruoute, regardless of one's opinion on that, so that NASA is an eager customer.
There is no real reason that the EELV-L1 architecture, based on an L1 propellant depot won't work. Is there?
(indeed, LOR-LOR will also work).
Given finite cash, if we want to go to Mars then we should go to Mars.

Online MKremer

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #124 on: 12/30/2007 12:39 AM »
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Nathan - 29/12/2007  6:02 PM
There is no real reason that the EELV-L1 architecture, based on an L1 propellant depot won't work. Is there?
You mean, other than costs and development time (which are pretty intimately interrelated)?

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #125 on: 12/30/2007 03:31 AM »
I'm not sure who else has been able to crunch any numbers on this, but I'm not getting great performance from the L1 Depot architecture.

I'm getting better results from an LOR Depot architecture because fewer Centaur Stage have to be pushed through TLI.   It results in greater mass in Lunar Orbit in the end.

It should also be noted that I'm not talking about a 23mT CEV, nor a 45mT LSAM - I'm talking about , at best, a 40-42mT of combined CEV and LSAM - which would result in a lander more closely resembling Apollo's 2-person one than ESAS'.

Ross.
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Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #126 on: 12/30/2007 03:33 AM »
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Nathan - 29/12/2007  7:02 PM

Okay folk - lets assume that either th SpaceX COTS vehicle Dragon will be available for the Command module and that this command module can connect to a reuselable Earth departure stage.

Other options for the command module include Interorbital systems CM-1 or a clean sheet design.

Also assume that NASA decides to go the EELV route, regardless of one's opinion on that, so that NASA is an eager customer.
There is no real reason that the EELV-L1 architecture, based on an L1 propellant depot won't work. Is there?
(indeed, LOR-LOR will also work).
If we're going to assume that everything NASA has done to date has been thrown out, I think that would also include Orion "as designed". It was deliberately made too big for the Atlas in the first place so I think the first thing to do is to redesign it and create a spacecraft that the Atlas can fly. Begin by redesigning the Orion. This time the CM should be just a taxi, and not include "living space". It should be a 3-module spacecraft, similar to Soyuz, with a mission module and a properly designed SM. SM and MM are expendable, CM is reusable. And don't worry about carrying enough LOX in the SM to get to the moon at launch time, just the LH2 with enough LOX for initial maneuvering to the depot. Fill up in LEO at the depot before departing. For LEO missions, the SM is fully fueled with its LH2 and LOX and the MM is launched with the CSM and the whole stack shouldn't exceed 18mT. For lunar missions, the SM would be lunar sized (larger) with only a partial LOX load and the LSAM is the MM and would be launched separately, with LOX propellant tank empty. They would all meet up at the depot, fill up and go.

Just a note. The depot is a LOX depot. The LH2 required for the mission is very light and would be carried up at launch time in both the SM and the LSAM. That way we don't worry about boiloff issues for the LH2.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline Marsman

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #127 on: 12/30/2007 04:45 PM »
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kraisee - 29/12/2007  11:31 PM I'm not sure who else has been able to crunch any numbers on this, but I'm not getting great performance from the L1 Depot architecture.

I'm getting better results from an LOR Depot architecture because fewer Centaur Stage have to be pushed through TLI. It results in greater mass in Lunar Orbit in the end.

It should also be noted that I'm not talking about a 23mT CEV, nor a 45mT LSAM - I'm talking about , at best, a 40-42mT of combined CEV and LSAM - which would result in a lander more closely resembling Apollo's 2-person one than ESAS'.

Ross.

Wait. The premisis of the archtecture is to refuel on Centaur based stage all of the way through. It is launch full, docks to Orion, flies to L1, is refuled and docked to the lander, and is used as a drop stage for the lander. There should only be one Centaur based stage per flight. The only other ones are the three for propellant transfer...

What are you assuming?


Offline tnphysics

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #128 on: 12/30/2007 07:15 PM »
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clongton - 29/12/2007  11:33 PM

Quote
Nathan - 29/12/2007  7:02 PM

Okay folk - lets assume that either th SpaceX COTS vehicle Dragon will be available for the Command module and that this command module can connect to a reuselable Earth departure stage.

Other options for the command module include Interorbital systems CM-1 or a clean sheet design.

Also assume that NASA decides to go the EELV route, regardless of one's opinion on that, so that NASA is an eager customer.
There is no real reason that the EELV-L1 architecture, based on an L1 propellant depot won't work. Is there?
(indeed, LOR-LOR will also work).
If we're going to assume that everything NASA has done to date has been thrown out, I think that would also include Orion "as designed". It was deliberately made too big for the Atlas in the first place so I think the first thing to do is to redesign it and create a spacecraft that the Atlas can fly. Begin by redesigning the Orion. This time the CM should be just a taxi, and not include "living space". It should be a 3-module spacecraft, similar to Soyuz, with a mission module and a properly designed SM. SM and MM are expendable, CM is reusable. And don't worry about carrying enough LOX in the SM to get to the moon at launch time, just the LH2 with enough LOX for initial maneuvering to the depot. Fill up in LEO at the depot before departing. For LEO missions, the SM is fully fueled with its LH2 and LOX and the MM is launched with the CSM and the whole stack shouldn't exceed 18mT. For lunar missions, the SM would be lunar sized (larger) with only a partial LOX load and the LSAM is the MM and would be launched separately, with LOX propellant tank empty. They would all meet up at the depot, fill up and go.

Just a note. The depot is a LOX depot. The LH2 required for the mission is very light and would be carried up at launch time in both the SM and the LSAM. That way we don't worry about boiloff issues for the LH2.

I assume that all expensive systems (life support, guidance, etc.) would be in the reusable CM.

The LSAM should be a reusable, single stage lander, which would not be available for the translunar and trans-Earth coasts. Even if you launch a new LSAM for each mission, you still need an MM for the trans-Earth coast, since I doubt that you will want to push the LSAM's ascent stage through TEI.

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #129 on: 12/30/2007 07:16 PM »
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Marsman - 30/12/2007  12:45 PM
What are you assuming?

All of the propellant deliveries still have to be pushed through TLI even when heading just for EML1 - albeit marginally smaller dV (about 3100m/s as opposed to 3150m/s).

This means every flight you are having to boost ~2.5mT of Centaur Stage (actually closer to 3mT at burnout when you account for residuals and such) for every propellant delivery flight to EML1.   That additional mass then requires a similar amount of propellant to be used for each flight, so you end up with ~6mT of "non-usable" performance on each flight - and that stacks up pretty fast with so many missions being flown.

If you can arrange to send only a single Centaur through TLI (using an LEO Depot) you can get better performance overall.   I have been using a WBC design for this BTW and the results aren't bad.

I'm also working out performance for two Lander options.   Given the premise of the thread - budget cuts forcing a smaller mission - I'm working out performance for both a very expensive reusable lander (waiting in LLO) and also a disposable lander (brought for each mission) which would be a lot less costly to develop.   I feel the latter is the more likely option given the overall premise, but I'm working numbers for both anyway.   Performance is only marginally better with the reusable unit.   It seems to be inefficient because it has to lift the entire deadweight during lunar ascent - which hurts many of its benefits.

One side-note regarding reusable landers is that production costs would be pretty high with only one unit every few years - thus fixed costs can not be shared across many units.   Thus, assuming a very favourable $2bn per year of fixed costs for a lander (ESAS lander is closer to $3.5bn/year fixed costs!), if a new one is used every 4 years (3 missions per year, 12 descents & ascents per unit), each lander would cost $8bn plus the actual cost of production and processing - probably $10bn in total and not including maintenance/repair yet.   I'm personally sitting on the fence as to whether that's workable.

I am not currently accounting for ISRU because of its very high cost and currently extremely long expected schedule (I hear 8-10 years from first return landing).   I am also not accounting for on-orbit or on-surface maintenance/repair of a reusable lander - that's an area I don't even know where to begin working out the full scale of the implications, but it doesn't look at all 'easy' to me.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #130 on: 12/30/2007 08:09 PM »
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tnphysics - 30/12/2007  3:15 PM

I assume that all expensive systems (life support, guidance, etc.) would be in the reusable CM.
Yes, all the expensive things would be in the reusable CM.

You bring up an interesting point about the ascent stage. We'd need to run the numbers, but I wonder if this would work.

Basically, the MM serves a dual purpose: (1) MM for both legs of Orion’s trip and (2) “home” for the LSAM during the lunar phase on the lunar surface. It is designed to dock at both ends – one end to the CM and the other end to the Descent stage.

1. The only part of the LSAM that was reusable is the descent stage, the only part of the LSAM with an engine.
2. The Ascent stage (remember - no engine) functions as the MM for the trip out to L1.
3. At L1, the entire stack docks to the Descent stage.
4. LOX is transferred to the Descent Stage –AND- the SM from the L1 depot.
5. The LH2 for the Descent stage is brought along with Orion and transferred to the Descent stage.
6. The LSAM undocks from Orion and drops to the lunar surface.
7. On the surface, the MM/Ascent stage is “home”.
8. At the end of the mission, the LSAM returns to L1 & re-docks with Orion.
9. The MM/Ascent stage undocks from the Descent stage and now is Orion’s MM for the return trip.
10. Orion does the TEI burn and heads home.
11. Just before re-entry, the MM and SM would both be jettisoned for atmospheric disposal as the CM prepared for re-entry.

LOX is delivered by scheduled EELV flights to the depot, but the LH2 for each mission is brought along each time.

What do you think?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #131 on: 12/30/2007 08:36 PM »
Chuck,
Its an interesting idea, but I have absolutely no idea how to accurately calculate the mass breakouts for that, so somebody else is going to have to work that out.


Another idea entirely...   Perhaps this is all wrong.   Perhaps we need a different approach entirely.   Think N**lear Lightbulb powered reusable LEO>LLO taxi module.   Always refuelled in LEO.   Crew Module is the *only* thing launched with crew (on something like an Atlas 401 perhaps?), and the only thing disposed of is the lander (early generation architecture), but even it is replaced ultimately with a reusable unit.

Yes, there is a considerable cost for development of the Prometheus tech, but it does simplify things massively overall with the limited lift capacity.

Prometheus Module performs TLI, MMC, Plane Change & LOI.   Then loiters in LLO for the duration of the mission.   Lander undocks, descends, performs surface mission then later ascends & docks.   Prometheus then performs Plane Change, TEI, MCC and EOI and loiters in 220nm LEO for the next mission.   CM undocks and crew immediately re-enters.

Next mission starts by launching new lander to Prometheus Module, then using Centaur-style stages to perform automated dockings to refuel both Prometheus and Lander with suitable propellant.   They use the same docking adapter as the CM ultimately will.

"Life Support" (a la Apollo 13) for Crew is provided by LSAM habitat.

This basic approach scales up to Mars quite nicely too IMHO.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #132 on: 12/30/2007 09:32 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 30/12/2007  4:36 PM

Chuck,
Its an interesting idea, but I have absolutely no idea how to accurately calculate the mass breakouts for that, so somebody else is going to have to work that out.


Another idea entirely...   Perhaps this is all wrong.   Perhaps we need a different approach entirely.   Think N**lear Lightbulb powered reusable LEO>LLO taxi module.   Always refuelled in LEO.   Crew Module is the *only* thing launched with crew (on something like an Atlas 401 perhaps?), and the only thing disposed of is the lander (early generation architecture), but even it is replaced ultimately with a reusable unit.

Yes, there is a considerable cost for development of the Prometheus tech, but it does simplify things massively overall with the limited lift capacity.

Prometheus Module performs TLI, MMC, Plane Change & LOI.   Then loiters in LLO for the duration of the mission.   Lander undocks, descends, performs surface mission then later ascends & docks.   Prometheus then performs Plane Change, TEI, MCC and EOI and loiters in 220nm LEO for the next mission.   CM undocks and crew immediately re-enters.

Next mission starts by launching new lander to Prometheus Module, then using Centaur-style stages to perform automated dockings to refuel both Prometheus and Lander with suitable propellant.   They use the same docking adapter as the CM ultimately will.

"Life Support" (a la Apollo 13) for Crew is provided by LSAM habitat.

This basic approach scales up to Mars quite nicely too IMHO.

Ross.
Oh Ross
You're pushing ALL my buttons at once!
I had this conversation with vanilla on another thread, and we used a NERVA-style engine for the spacecraft's propulsion.
Basically though, we flew Orion to and from HEO, not LEO, because everyone who participated in the conversation said too many people would be nervous about a nuclear engine approaching the earth after the TEI burn.

But my thought was this:
1. Orion lifts off on an Atlas V 401 and meets a completely reusable NERVA powered, single stage LANDER in HEO which is docked at a propellant depot.
2. Crew transfers to the Lander, fills up Lander for the mission from depot supplies and departs for the lunar surface in the lander, leaving Orion docked at the HEO depot.
3. Lander goes from HEO directly to the lunar surface.
4. At the conclusion of the surface mission, Lander lifts off and departs for HEO.
5. Upon arrival at HEO, crew redocks reusable lander with the HEO depot station, transfers to Orion and departs for re-entry.
6. Lander remains docked at HEO depot for servicing as needed, ready for the next mission.

The question is can we do this with an EELV-only architecture?
It would certainly be easier to keep the depot serviced in HEO rather than L1. The HEO depot would be serviceable by many more launchers from several different counties, plus more alt.space companies as they come on-line. If we are serious about enabling startup commercial launch companies, we could mandate some minimum percentage of supplies to come from them once they become available and prove reliable.

Vanilla's conclusion, after going thru the rocket equations, was that this would certainly work, but that economically (cost of delta-V) the NERVA didn't offer any advantages. My response was that it didn't need to be advantages at this point, because it was just the "beginning" of nuclear use. Basically, by recreating and fielding an updated NERVA, we were committing ourselves to "picking up where we left off", sort of like Griffin is doing with "Apollo on Steroids". Basically, we would be committing to using nuclear power in space for transportation, rather than chemical. We all know that NERVA would represent only the bottom tier of what is possible, but it is a design that was already created, successfully fired many, many times, and was being prepared for actual manned flight test when Apollo was canceled.

My thoughts were that the updated NERVA would only be the precursor of better, more efficient engines that would be gradually developed and fielded as we gained more experience working with nuclear engines. NERVA would simply be opening the door with something that we already know how to do and that we know already works.

I continue to believe that we will never do anything really serious in space until we leave off the irrational fear of all things nuclear. Yes, it is dangerous. So is the gasoline in the tank of the family car. It's all about proper risk mitigation. We've had nuclear powered ships at sea for over 50 years and we have never had a nuclear accident, because the risk mitigation is proper. It is the power source of the future that will open the solar system to us. At some point we are just going to have to get on with it and stop hiding behind the rocks at the opening to our caves.

I'll search out where that thread is and come back and edit this post to provide the link, for anyone who is interested.

Ok, I'll put my soapbox away now. Sorry.

Edit: Adding the Promised Link:
Nuclear Rockets Could Cut the Cost of a Moon Base
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=8605&start=1

An additional thread discussion:
What about a Nuclear Upper Stage?
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=9905&start=1

Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #133 on: 12/30/2007 10:24 PM »
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clongton - 30/12/2007  5:32 PM
Oh Ross
You're pushing ALL my buttons at once!
I had this conversation with vanilla on another thread, and we used a NERVA-style engine for the spacecraft's propulsion.
Basically though, we flew Orion to and from HEO, not LEO, because everyone who participated in the conversation said too many people would be nervous about a nuclear engine approaching the earth after the TEI burn.

I don't have the same fear.   I'm more concerned about suns radiation effects in HEO.   Approaching Earth you're always in a Hohmann Transfer orbit - a highly eliptical one of course, but the low-point of the orbit (periapsis) would never be targetted below 200-400nm LEO.

An non-catastrophic engine failure would leave the spacecraft in a highly eliptical orbit.

If the engine were to fail spectacularly, you will still never end up lower than that.   The worst case scenario is some fragments of an exploded engine might degrade down towards the atmosphere, but they are going to have to re-enter without protection.   I wouldn't expect anything to reach the surface.

But I would personally want a such an engine to be built to a much higher safety margin than normal engines.   If normal hardware has a 1.4 safety factor, then this thing needs to be 2.0 or better - and designed to handle catestrophic failure in a fashion which does not risk the atmosphere.


As for making the lander go all the way from Earth to the Lunar Surface - I don't think thats workable myself because it makes the Lander awfully big and heavy carrying all that propellant.   It also offers zero lifeboat capability during transit, so I don't think its the right approach myself.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
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Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #134 on: 12/30/2007 10:27 PM »
nukes could be useful for Mars, not the moon.

Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #135 on: 12/30/2007 10:44 PM »
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meiza - 30/12/2007  6:27 PM

nukes could be useful for Mars, not the moon.

With such high Isp, they're useful anywhere.   NERVA was the next step in Apollo and would have been fielded within two years of Apollo 17 if that program had not been cancelled prematurely.

The only real limitations are the development cost and the schedule impacts.   If they prove not to be a problem, then it is a very good way to go.   That and getting around the general bad public opinion of nuclear.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #136 on: 12/30/2007 11:11 PM »
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kraisee - 30/12/2007  6:24 PM

I don't have the same fear.   I'm more concerned about suns radiation effects in HEO.   Approaching Earth you're always in a Hohmann Transfer orbit - a highly elliptical one of course, but the low-point of the orbit (periapsis) would never be targeted below 200-400nm LEO. A non-catastrophic engine failure would leave the spacecraft in a highly elliptical orbit.

If the engine were to fail spectacularly, you will still never end up lower than that.   The worst-case scenario is some fragments of an exploded engine might degrade down towards the atmosphere, but they are going to have to re-enter without protection.   I wouldn't expect anything to reach the surface.
I feel the same way. I allowed my original posts to change to HEO however so that I wouldn’t have to argue what was to me a peripheral argument.

Quote
But I would personally want such an engine to be built to a much higher safety margin than normal engines.   If normal hardware has a 1.4 safety factor, then this thing needs to be 2.0 or better - and designed to handle catastrophic failure in a fashion, which does not risk the atmosphere.

As for making the lander go all the way from Earth to the Lunar Surface - I don't think that’s workable myself because it makes the Lander awfully big and heavy carrying all that propellant.   It also offers zero lifeboat capability during transit, so I don't think its the right approach myself.

Ross.
Remember, the amount of fissile material in the engine is extremely small. There is not enough for the mass to go critical enough for an explosion, only enough to get extremely hot. KEY POINT: It cannot explode! It would NOT be difficult to create a fuel container designed to survive re-entry without a tps, intact. That is what I would consider to be a minimum requirement of safety. Nuclear material would never be allowed to contaminate the atmosphere, even in the worst possible case of spacecraft destruction (which btw, could never be caused by the presence of nuclear fuel).

Any nuclear powered reusable spacecraft would be built to such higher standards that the need for a lifeboat would be “unlikely” to say the least. Using throwaway modules, like Apollo did, require that everything be minimized. Switching to the nuclear powered reusable spacecraft is a paradigm shift in attitude toward spacecraft design. It’s like switching from “manufacturing” the mass-produced Dodge Neon to “building” the hand-crafted Lotus Elan. It’s just a different vehicle altogether. It would most likely have “at least” three-fault tolerant systems, if not better, be stronger built, be much more durable and designed from the beginning to recover from almost any conceivable space-based event that would cripple a throw-away module like the Apollo SM. Such an approach opens a world of possibilities. The Orion spacecraft no longer needs to be the be-all, do-all spacecraft. It can be what it always should have been; a taxi that takes its crew up to meet the “real” spaceship. Orion would never be required to leave earth orbit, because that’s where it is designed to go. All the space-based activities would be with real spacecraft that are designed to never taste an atmosphere, so their designs are optimized for space. Orion isn’t optimized for space at all. It’s not even remotely possible. It’s a compromise designed to survive an atmospheric re-entry. Going this route removes that constraint from Orion. It no longer needs to compromise it’s design. It can be made much lighter and more suited to it’s actual role; transport the crew into space where they will transfer to their respective spacecraft, or return them safely and comfortable to their “point of origin” on the earth’s surface. Kinda like taking your car to the train station, parking it there and riding the train across the country to the other side, then riding it back again, right to your car, which takes you right back home again. Each vehicle does what it does best, without compromising it’s real function.

The rocket equations showed that this would actually work. With a NERVA design, it didn’t give us an advantage – it was a wash. But that’s ok because all it does is get us started on the path that would end up paving the way for a true space-faring civilization – powered by nuclear energy. NERVA is the bottom of the nuclear barrel in terms of potential. Even at the bottom it was a wash. It can only get better, whereas we are just about maxed out as far as what we can do with chemicals.

So our best chemicals are a wash with the worst nuclear. I’d say that’s a good transition point.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #137 on: 12/30/2007 11:35 PM »
"It cannot explode"
So how about a failure causing a temperature excursion and core disintegration sending a big portion of the core to free space?

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #138 on: 12/30/2007 11:39 PM »
Quote
meiza - 30/12/2007  7:35 PM

"It cannot explode"
So how about a failure causing a temperature excursion and core disintegration sending a big portion of the core to free space?
Not enough fissile material on board for that to happen. It would be the way it is designed. If you took all the fissile material out of their jackets and put it all together in a pile, all mixed in real good, all it would do is get extremely hot. It takes a minimum amount to go critical, and that minimum amount would not be on board.

Meiza, that would be the design parameter. That core safety feature would be the very basis of the design and be inviable. Built in to the basic design. Non-explodable. Core non disintegratable. Safety first, middle and last. Basic design feature. Everything else goes from that immutable design point.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #139 on: 12/30/2007 11:56 PM »
I'm not a nuclear engineer, but if there is so little material (or it's in a sparse matrix) that it can't even melt itself when made to a pile, (I assume it reaches a steady state where it radiates as much heat as it generates, glowing white hot) what will the hydrogen temperature actually be when it flows through the core. I mean, these seem as pretty opposite design parameters. You want a hot core to make hot hydrogen for high ISP and high thrust but you want a cool core for failure safety. The power is the same in both cases, for an engine that can not explode.

Someone could easily calculate the loss of coolant accident temperature for various size cores with various power ratings with the Beer-Lambert law....

As far as I know, the nerva designs were not safe in this regard (and not in many other regards either). But I could be wrong.

Offline Marsman

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #140 on: 12/31/2007 12:18 AM »
Perhaps you could use a nuclear stage to go from Earth orbit to Lunar orbit, and a dedicated chemical (or nuclear) lander. I could see a three launch architecture with existing EELVs-
 
1. Small Orion on Atlas 401
2. LSAM Descent on DIV-H or Atlas H or 551
3. LSAM Ascent (possibly with descent hydrogen) on DIV-H or Atlas H or 551

40-50 mt EELV's could do a two launch architecture

A big question that I have is why are people so afraid of nuclear in space? There is no danger of pieces falling back from a transfer back to Earth as previously explained, and the engine wouldn't even have enough material to go critical in the first place. The only danger that I can see is a nuclear upper stage ignited on a suborbital trajectory - if it doesn’t ignite, then it is coming back. But if it is ignited in orbit, there is no danger.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #141 on: 12/31/2007 12:25 AM »
Quote
meiza - 30/12/2007  7:56 PM

I'm not a nuclear engineer, but if there is so little material (or it's in a sparse matrix) that it can't even melt itself when made to a pile, (I assume it reaches a steady state where it radiates as much heat as it generates, glowing white hot) what will the hydrogen temperature actually be when it flows through the core. I mean, these seem as pretty opposite design parameters. You want a hot core to make hot hydrogen for high ISP and high thrust but you want a cool core for failure safety. The power is the same in both cases, for an engine that can not explode.

Someone could easily calculate the loss of coolant accident temperature for various size cores with various power ratings with the Beer-Lambert law....
There is a medium point at which the steady state reaction is self sustaining, producing enough heat to provide useful thrust, yet cannot produce any more heat based on the amount of fissile material that is (not) available. The NERVA engineers identified and built to that point.

Quote
As far as I know, the nerva designs were not safe in this regard (and not in many other regards either). But I could be wrong.
In the beginning, the early NERVA designs would shake themselves apart and break. That stopped the reaction and the engine was destroyed in the process; physically, not explosively. There was never an explosion. There was one "rapid disassembly" event, but that was not accidental. It was deliberately induced to help the engineers identify several break points. The engineers were basically learning as they went. But by the time they were getting ready to flight test the engine, they had had several "very long" runs with the engines with no problems of any kind. The selected materials could withstand extreme temperatures, enough to allow the nuclear reactions to occur and be sustained for considerable lengths of time before the engineers simply shut down the engine because it was well, "just running". They had found that point where they could sustain the engine at maximum power, at the extreme temperature that all the fuel would provide, without damaging the engine. That's the engine they were planning to fly post-Apollo 17. The picture I posted is, I believe, that engine. Everything in engineering is a balance. Design the "widget" to get the maximum performance from the least input and design it so that it can't exceed its safety limits. Ultimately, that's what the NERVA engineers did. They did good. I would like to see us pick up where they left off and move the development forward, to even more powerful, and safer, engines. After all, we have years of materials development under our belts now, that they did not have the benefit of. We can use that knowledge to make the engines safer first, then increase the power afterward as engine development continues.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #142 on: 12/31/2007 12:31 AM »
Quote
Marsman - 30/12/2007  8:18 PM

Perhaps you could use a nuclear stage to go from Earth orbit to Lunar orbit, and a dedicated chemical (or nuclear) lander. I could see a three launch architecture with existing EELVs-
 
1. Small Orion on Atlas 401
2. LSAM Descent on DIV-H or Atlas H or 551
3. LSAM Ascent (possibly with descent hydrogen) on DIV-H or Atlas H or 551

40-50 mt EELV's could do a two launch architecture

A big question that I have is why are people so afraid of nuclear in space? There is no danger of pieces falling back from a transfer back to Earth as previously explained, and the engine wouldn't even have enough material to go critical in the first place. The only danger that I can see is a nuclear upper stage ignited on a suborbital trajectory - if it doesn’t ignite, then it is coming back. But if it is ignited in orbit, there is no danger.
"Ignition" of a nuclear engine is a lot simpler than a chemical engine. In the simplest terms, it's just venting gas across a hot pile to heat the gas and letting it exhaust out the nozzle. Obviously the devil is in the details, but with nuclear engines, there are a LOT fewer details.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #143 on: 12/31/2007 01:01 AM »
Let's calculate a bit.
If we want a nuclear J-2 equivalent, that's 100 tons or 1000 kN of thrust and and ISP of perhaps 1000 s meaning v_ex 10 km/s.
That means a kinetic power of 5 GW for the exhaust jet.  I think the biggest state of the art stationary nuclear reactors are that size in thermal power.
The hydrogen flow rate would be 100 kg/s. Heated from cryogenic to about 2600-2700 K or 2300-2400 degrees C. The core glows white hot.

Now, what happens when this hydrogen flow is for some reason discontinued? Where does all the power go? Stay tuned for the next episode, aired in 2008... ;)

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #144 on: 12/31/2007 01:08 AM »
Crap, when I edit, it sticks the whole post into a single paragraph.  How can I fix that?

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #145 on: 12/31/2007 01:15 AM »
Buzz Aldrin has an interesting proposal out there for 3 constantly cycling "Mars Cyclers". Essentially, they are 3 identical spacecraft that continually cycle between the orbits of Mars and the Earth. If you want to go to Mars, you fly up to meet the incoming cycler and ride it to Mars, getting off the cycler to enter Mars orbit while the cycler continues on its way. Coming home is exactly the opposite. Catch the next cycler and ride it home.

I wonder - is something similar possible with the moon? Could we have 2 or 3 spacecraft constantly "cycling" back and forth to/from the moon that we could just "catch a ride on" to take us to/from the moon?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #146 on: 12/31/2007 01:25 AM »
Quote
meiza - 30/12/2007  9:01 PM

Let's calculate a bit.
If we want a nuclear J-2 equivalent, that's 100 tons or 1000 kN of thrust and and ISP of perhaps 1000 s meaning v_ex 10 km/s.
That means a kinetic power of 5 GW for the exhaust jet.  I think the biggest state of the art stationary nuclear reactors are that size in thermal power.
The hydrogen flow rate would be 100 kg/s. Heated from cryogenic to about 2600-2700 K or 2300-2400 degrees C. The core glows white hot.

Now, what happens when this hydrogen flow is for some reason discontinued? Where does all the power go? Stay tuned for the next episode, aired in 2008... ;)
Meiza;
This entire subject is near and dear to me and I could easily let myself get off topic here and take this thread way out from where it should be. Let's you and me, and Ross as well, put a hold on the details of this particular discussion regarding nuclear powered spacecraft for now and perhaps pick it up later in a different thread. We could perhaps also get vanilla and a few others to join in I think. I'd like that. I appreciate your comments and thoughts, both here and on the thorium energy forum, so I think we could really get deep in to this, and I would like that very much. But we're getting OT again on this thread.

I would suggest, that for purposes of "this" thread, that we just agree for the time being that a nuclear tug or spacecraft of "some" sort is possible but there are things to be worked out before that becomes practical, and then let it go at that, at least here in this thread. What do you think?
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #147 on: 12/31/2007 01:28 AM »
Quote
mike robel - 30/12/2007  9:08 PM

Crap, when I edit, it sticks the whole post into a single paragraph.  How can I fix that?
Try hitting a return 2x at each point where you want the sentence to break. Alternatively, cut and paste the quote you want to reply to into Word, do your word engineering there (including spell check), and then paste it back into the reply window. That's "usually" what I do, because I really need the spell checker :)
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline mike robel

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #148 on: 12/31/2007 01:42 AM »
reformated and posted again from above.

I think you guys are thinking too far in advance and such things would turn off both the public and the congress. I would go a little slower.


First get back to the moon. If necessary, with a three launch campaign. Launch 1 CEV, Launch 2 LSAM, Launch 3 EDS. With this we would need another EELV Pad, the CEV could launch on an Atlas 502, the LSAM on a Delta IV Heavy, and the EDS on whatever booster we choose to use. All that would be required is for the 3 payloads to rendezvous and dock. Maybe Launch 1 would be the EDS. One orbit later, the CEV would launch and dock, and 2 orbits later, the LSAM would launch and the EDS/CEV stack would dock with it. No extended loiter. Maybe, except for the EDS, do it with hypergolics. LSAM ascent stage is retained for MM and return to earth. CEV may only need a small SM to dock with the EDS and perhaps to serve as a part of a lifeboat function.


Could the EDS carry enough fuel for TLI, LOI, and ELI if it a Centaur class stage? Could we chain 2 together to get the same effect?


What about longer Earth to Moon cycle times of 7 days vice 3, which would require less energy/propellent.


We have previously demonstrated the ability to launch multiple spacecraft and dock them within 2 orbits.


Phase II. Propellent depot with a lunar taxi. The CEV and LSAM launch as before, but the EDS cycles between Earth and the moon. Nuke development begins.


Phase III. Direct deliver of payloads to the lunar surface to extend surface time. Perhaps small habitats. This would be the time to introdce a larger launch vehicle, if possible, to enable larger payloads. Nuke stage testing.


 Phase IV. Nuke operational, takes the place of the cycling EDS. Larger payloads to lunar surface. Start Mars Mission module development.


Each phase should take no more than 8 -10 years, preferably a little less, so as to be accomplished within the terms of a single president, 4 house elections and 2 senatorial election cycles. Political attention usually does not last that long and public attention could be even less.  This approach also gives us a fully operational capability in each cycle, in case political support is lost for future expandability.  It might also offer a safe way for partner nations to join in the effort.

Finally, it avoids the Viking syndrome, which I discussed earlier in the thread.


Each phase should have different "flag and footprint" missions/objectives to keep public interest up:

1.  Return to the Moon.

2.   Polar Landing

3. Far Side Landing/establish communication satellite network around the moon.

3a. Establishment of automated optical/radar observatory on far side of moon.

4. Long duration stays - 2 - 6 weeks. At the same time, send mars probes to accurately determine radiation exposure for a two years mars expedition, so we can develop counters to it, if required. Mars sample returns.

5. Semi-permanent base camps, stays up to 6 months, resupplied by direct deliver of payloads to lunar surface. Expansion of the fuel depot to a manned space operations center

6. Introduce the nuke, long duration orbital missions (up to 6 months ) cycling between earth and moon as test for 6 month voyage to mars. Crew than does 1 year surface stay on Moon. Long duration - 6 month orbital mission before return to earth, rehearsing everything except the actual Martian voyage. Orbits would likely go out 500 - 750,000 miles. Maybe include rendezvous with an NEO, if we know where any are.


The point of the phases is, as I stated, (1) to tie them to electoral cycles to maximize political support, (2) they provide building blocks that are incremental and do not accomplish too much at once, (3) are designed to keep public support through more complicated missions, and (4 ) provide building block to Mars missions, which can conveniently be tied to taking place 20 or 30 years into the future.


I would think the public would go nuts over the spectacle of 3 or 4 launches within 8 hours. Pad construction, increased booster construction, need for perhaps 4 firing rooms would also help economics.


Such an approach could be compared to the opening of the West with first scouts going (Lewis and Clark), the first homesteaders, the development of routes and wagon trains to the west (cycling stages) and the establishment of army garrisons (semi-permanent base camps) , the coming of the railroad (nukes), and then the digging of the Panama Canal or Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world (voyage to Mars ).At the same time, it would be useful to tie it into Manifest Destiny except tie it to the whole planet, West to Mars: Manifest Destiny and planetary migration in the 21st Century.


Offline kkattula2

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #149 on: 12/31/2007 03:21 AM »

I think everyone (NASA included) is still missing the point of "Return to the Moon" as part of VSE. It's supposed to be practice and a learning experience for "Mars Exploration". There's just no point in developing a Moon architecture that won't apply to Mars.

Key point: A Mars mission is going to require a big, extended duration, habitat module. Including things like personal space, emergency radiation shelter, water & air recycling and probably some sort of centifugal, artificial gravity. This is NOT going to land on Mars. Ideally, it should return to Earth orbit or L1/L2 for servicing, resupply & reuse.

The Moon architecture should incorporate this module so as to test it over shorter durations, and much closer to home. i.e. If something breaks, like air or water recycling, it's only a few days to home, not six months or more.

Similarly, TLI and TMI injection are of approximate size. A Mars Ascender has similar delta v to a Moon Lander/Ascender.

Design your Mars architecture, and test as much as possible by going to the moon.

 


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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #150 on: 12/31/2007 04:27 AM »
One way of side stepping the political (public paranoia) problems of Nuclear Thermal Rockets, may be Solar Thermal Rockets.
Basically using mirrors to concentrate sunlight on a heat exchanger, then pass propellant (probably LH2) through it.  

These should give Isp close to NTR, around 900 for simple, indirect LH2 heat exchange. However, thrust to weight ratio would be much lower than NTR, so no good for landers. But for a TMI or TLI type, in-space application, who cares if acceleration lasts 5 minutes or 50? In fact lower thrust means lower loads on structures, especially docking ports.

Assuming LH2 boil off can be managed, a mass ratio of less than 4 would get you from LEO to LM(ars)O and back.

Offline libs0n

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #151 on: 12/31/2007 05:17 AM »
Quote
kkattula2 - 30/12/2007  11:21 PM

I think everyone (NASA included) is still missing the point of "Return to the Moon" as part of VSE. It's supposed to be practice and a learning experience for "Mars Exploration". There's just no point in developing a Moon architecture that won't apply to Mars.

Key point: A Mars mission is going to require a big, extended duration, habitat module. Including things like personal space, emergency radiation shelter, water & air recycling and probably some sort of centifugal, artificial gravity. This is NOT going to land on Mars. Ideally, it should return to Earth orbit or L1/L2 for servicing, resupply & reuse.

The Moon architecture should incorporate this module so as to test it over shorter durations, and much closer to home. i.e. If something breaks, like air or water recycling, it's only a few days to home, not six months or more.

Similarly, TLI and TMI injection are of approximate size. A Mars Ascender has similar delta v to a Moon Lander/Ascender.

Design your Mars architecture, and test as much as possible by going to the moon.


I have a different point of view.  I believe that a moon mission should be designed solely around getting to the moon.  A Mars mission is not going to happen for another 20 years, and the lunar profile can be significantly different than a Mars profile that to confine the execution of one with the constraints of the other does not make a lot of sense to me.  When it comes time for a Mars mission, then wipe the slate clean and use some of the ideas and tools we'll have had 20 years to come up with.  I would have never described myself as a lunatic, but the moon is an interesting destination in its own right that is deserving of the same kind of consideration martians seem to insist should be reserved for Mars.

What you're describing, save for the artificial gravity and the rad shelter, is a space station.  There was a book I read a few months ago called Leaving Earth that detailed the Soviet space program and the later Mir/ISS efforts, and it's clear that that is what the Russian program was testing out incrementally with their space station modules.  Some figures in the book had the same thought concept, with one even going so far as to attempt a long duration mission of the same timeframe a transit to Mars would take.  I would also really like to see a program involving what you have in mind; perhaps Bigelow's stuff will take up along these lines, or maybe after the ISS NASA might get their act together.

Incidentally, I've been turning over Moon mission architecture elements in my head for the past few weeks, and one of my ideas featured something similar, a refuelable EDS with a habitat module that would take on a crew in Earth orbit, drop them off to a Lunar Lander come the Moon, and do the reverse on the way back.  In my mind it would have been a true spaceship cycling between the Earth and the Moon, but I did not have the required expertise to figure out if it was feasible, and was most likely barking up a smaller tree than I had thought.

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #152 on: 12/31/2007 03:33 PM »
Quote
kkattula2 - 30/12/2007  11:21 PM

Ideally, it should return to Earth orbit or L1/L2 for servicing, resupply & reuse.
I suspect that isn't going to happen until there is enough traffic to Mars to make it economical to retain the MM. Remember, to retain a Mars MM you have to brake it into Earth orbit, which means you have to take the fuel for that all the way to Mars and back, which puts you on the up-spiral in weight for the entire system. If you're going to Mars to support a colony (in some far-off and to-be-desired future) then retaining the MM is probably the way to go. Along with high efficiency nuke propulsion, fuel depots at either end and a buncha other "colony level" stuff I hope we have at some point. But that won't be in my lifetime or in yours. :)

At the "boots & footprints" stage, cheap is the way to go and providing for the fuel to brake the hab module isn't at all cheap. Making more hab modules, at the rate of one every 2-4 years (based on what the mission rate will be) would make a lot more sense. Once you have put the money into the design & building of one, then building more for the low mission rate wouldn't be enomously more expensive.

Paul
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Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #153 on: 12/31/2007 03:39 PM »
Quote
tankmodeler - 31/12/2007  11:33 AM

I suspect that isn't going to happen until there is enough traffic to Mars to make it economical to retain the MM. Remember, to retain a Mars MM you have to brake it into Earth orbit, which means you have to take the fuel for that all the way to Mars and back, which puts you on the up-spiral in weight for the entire system. Paul
If the spacecraft is NEP or SEP powered and the start/return point is EML2, then the returning spacecraft would be thrusting almost all the way home. By the time they arrive in the vicinity of EML2, they could probably be captured there with simple thruster maneuvers. -Reusable interplanetary spacecraft!
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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #154 on: 01/01/2008 06:48 PM »
Quote
clongton - 31/12/2007  11:39 AM

Quote
tankmodeler - 31/12/2007  11:33 AM

I suspect that isn't going to happen until there is enough traffic to Mars to make it economical to retain the MM. Remember, to retain a Mars MM you have to brake it into Earth orbit, which means you have to take the fuel for that all the way to Mars and back, which puts you on the up-spiral in weight for the entire system. Paul
If the spacecraft is NEP or SEP powered and the start/return point is EML2, then the returning spacecraft would be thrusting almost all the way home. By the time they arrive in the vicinity of EML2, they could probably be captured there with simple thruster maneuvers. -Reusable interplanetary spacecraft!
Yes, that's true, but you're still carrying the fuel all the way there & back. A reuseable vehicle will also be heavier due to the longer service life expectations. Being heavier always carries a committment to fund the infrastructure to support that additional weight. Nuke engines may reduce the point where reusability becomes economically viable, but I suspect that until there is some sort of colony or at least a frequently repeating mission rate (and, as much as I'd like to see it, I don't think that it's going to be that way from the beginning) there just won't be the committment to building into the program the ability to expand that way right from the beginning.

NASA has _never_ built for the long term or for possible additional capability. They have always built just to the limits of the requirements mainly for cost reasons. I don't see that changing and I don't see the guaranteed mission rates being supported to drive to re-useable anything (whether for moon, mars or even LEO CEVs).

Commercial exploitation will provide the impetus to do things over and over bringing with it the requirements of reusability to reduce overall sustainability costs. NASA just doesn't work in that envelope.

Paul
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Offline kfsorensen

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #155 on: 01/01/2008 07:18 PM »
Quote
tankmodeler - 1/1/2008  1:48 PM

Yes, that's true, but you're still carrying the fuel all the way there & back.

The fuel load isn't nearly as bad as with a chemical rocket.

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #156 on: 01/02/2008 12:06 AM »
Quote
vanilla - 1/1/2008  3:18 PM

Quote
tankmodeler - 1/1/2008  1:48 PM

Yes, that's true, but you're still carrying the fuel all the way there & back.

The fuel load isn't nearly as bad as with a chemical rocket.
True, but that is what I mean about it changing the point where it become viable. It still doesn't do anything for the first missions where NASA would have to choose to build-in more weight. And they _never_ do that. They would have to have been given a requirement to make the system re-useable and that's not going to come without a higher level directive (like congress or at least the Administrator).

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Offline kkattula2

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #157 on: 01/02/2008 07:11 AM »
Quote
libs0n - 31/12/2007  5:17 PM

I have a different point of view.  I believe that a moon mission should be designed solely around getting to the moon.  ...

I agree that the moon is worth going to for its own sake, and for long term occupation you would want an optimized transportation system.  But that's not the clearly stated objective in the VSE. Mars is the goal. The Moon is just practice. Until & unless that changes, ESAS is not implementing the VSE.  Whether it should change is another question.

I would like to see NASA gradually develop more and more capability. It needn't be all in one go:

1)  Develop a crew launcher to LEO
2)  Put a long duration habitat (HM) in LEO (no propulsion, but designed to handle interplanetery injection stresses), test with crew
3)  Put a propellant depot (PD) in LEO, and start filling it
4)  Put a propulsion module (PM) in LEO (similar to an EDS), practice filling at depot
5)  Test PM on loop around the Moon, Lunar Orbit insertion, LEO return
6)  Use PM to send PD 's to Mars Orbit, Lunar orbit, L1 etc,
7)  Use PM to send crewed HM on various Lunar, NEAR & Mars tests
8)  Put Moon or Mars specific landers in LEO, dock with HM, test
9)  Use PM to send HM and lander to Moon, Mars etc

Almost all of this could be done with EELV's, with minimal "assembly", but quite a few dockings.
Heavier lift would make it a bit simpler though.

Things like docking and propellant transfer will have to become routine one day. Now is the time they should be developed.

"...we choose (to do these things) not because they are easy, but because they are hard." anyone?


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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #158 on: 01/02/2008 08:28 AM »
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clongton - 29/12/2007  3:15 PM
{snip}
Ross outlined an EELV Heavy Lift a little ways above that was better than the Ares. It beats the Ares hands down - more powerful, less costly and fielded much sooner. And most important - sustainable. On top of that, the Orion would fit on the unenhansed core of that launcher and get the US back into manned space within 2 years of Shuttle retirement. What's not to love? LM and Boeing are perfectly capable of proposing this launch vehicle and then they could do what I suggested above; sell the customer the “equivalent” of the “Mack” truck. But apparently, the EELV company CEO’s do not want to play. They don’t have the balls to compete. Oh well. Then let them stew in it. That is a sad commentary from my perspective. I would “LOVE” to see that competition against STS. I am for STS because it's the only heavy lift option offered. If LM & Boeing would get off their scardy-cat lazy butts and compete - well it could be a totally different ball game and I'm not so sure STS would win a fair competition like that. But apparently they are too cheap to spend the cash to put the proposal in place. They have been feeding at the government cow's teet for too long. It's time to wean them and make them earn their business, just like everyone else. They could produce such an awesome launch vehicle family for this nation if only their leaders would grow a little hair. I know that the designers and engineers that work for them are just itching to do this because they know beyond a doubt that they can. Those employees have more faith in themselves, their abilities and their companies than their leaders do and that is just plain sick. It turns my stomach. So I guess as far as EELV is concerned, it's 25mT pop-guns or nothing.

The man-rated extra heavy EELV design specification does not have to come from LH or Boeing.  It could come from a 'retired' employee.

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #159 on: 01/02/2008 11:41 AM »
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kkattula2 - 2/1/2008  8:11 AM

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libs0n - 31/12/2007  5:17 PM

I have a different point of view.  I believe that a moon mission should be designed solely around getting to the moon.  ...

I agree that the moon is worth going to for its own sake, and for long term occupation you would want an optimized transportation system.  But that's not the clearly stated objective in the VSE. Mars is the goal. The Moon is just practice. Until & unless that changes, ESAS is not implementing the VSE.  Whether it should change is another question.

I would like to see NASA gradually develop more and more capability. It needn't be all in one go:

1)  Develop a crew launcher to LEO
2)  Put a long duration habitat (HM) in LEO (no propulsion, but designed to handle interplanetery injection stresses), test with crew
3)  Put a propellant depot (PD) in LEO, and start filling it
4)  Put a propulsion module (PM) in LEO (similar to an EDS), practice filling at depot
5)  Test PM on loop around the Moon, Lunar Orbit insertion, LEO return
6)  Use PM to send PD 's to Mars Orbit, Lunar orbit, L1 etc,
7)  Use PM to send crewed HM on various Lunar, NEAR & Mars tests
8)  Put Moon or Mars specific landers in LEO, dock with HM, test
9)  Use PM to send HM and lander to Moon, Mars etc

Almost all of this could be done with EELV's, with minimal "assembly", but quite a few dockings.
Heavier lift would make it a bit simpler though.

Things like docking and propellant transfer will have to become routine one day. Now is the time they should be developed.

"...we choose (to do these things) not because they are easy, but because they are hard." anyone?


Yeah there are some good ideas in this post. Doing incremental development, testing, no need for new launchers for every phase...

Quote
minimal "assembly", but quite a few dockings.
- that's a pretty good way to boil down what can be achieved with 25 t launchers. Berthing or even just attaching some propellant lines with a robotic arm too, which could be much easier for a supply craft than docking.

Offline Jim

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #160 on: 01/02/2008 12:15 PM »
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A_M_Swallow - 2/1/2008  4:28 AM
The man-rated extra heavy EELV design specification does not have to come from LH or Boeing.  It could come from a 'retired' employee.

That is useless.  It doesn't mean that ULA (LM or Boeing) will buy into it

Offline luke strawwalker

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #161 on: 01/02/2008 11:11 PM »
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meiza - 29/12/2007  11:44 AM

Chuck, you're really limping with semantics.
You're trying to present NASA's decision about Heavy Lift as something that can not be questioned or even talked about.
Yet you propose direct that questions NASA's decision about Ares I and V.

We are talking about NASA's decisions here. You keep missing the point. We are not talking about making maximum profit in selling crazy customers something they don't need, but about guiding NASA to make the best decisions for the future of humankind.

John Houbolt is relevant too. A propellant depot with multiple launchers is a procedure and an idea and a general architecture. It actually is quite close to the choice of direct vs LOR lunar mission. NASA did NOT have the heavy lifter needed to do a direct mission. It was contemplating Nova at the time, since Saturn would have been iffy at best for the great mass needed. LOR enabled a smaller launch vehicle to do the mission. Most results in the least time.
This all is much closer to the question than Direct vs Ares which is just arguing which type of heavy lifter is going to be used.

The analogy makes perfect sense to me... lemme put it in redneckese...

A customer walks into the dealership and says to the salesman, "I want a twin stick Mack truck to pull a forty foot float hauling a dozer between jobsites."  

Now the salesman doesn't have a twin stick Mack on the lot, but he does have a used 3/4 ton pickup from the power company and a heavy-duty tiltdeck trailer that came with it.  He tries desperately to convince the buyer that the 3/4 ton pickup and trailer is the way to go, though it is clearly too small for the dozer and 10 foot brush blade the customer wants to haul.  The customer laughs and walks out, to a used truck dealer down the street.  

Now, IF the salesman had made a few calls around, he could have gotten a nice Peterbuilt truck to pull the 40 foot float and dozer for the customer, and could EASILY have argued the point that the Peterbuilt tractor is a far superior truck to the old Mack twin stick.  He could have even looked around for a good Kenworth and argued the pros/cons of the Kenworth over the old Mack, but he didn't do anything but argue that his 3/4 ton Ford was the only way to go.  So he lost the sale.  Big surprise...  

THAT is the argument that's being made... the difference between a 3/4 ton truck, be it Ford, Dodge, or Chevy, or an 80,000 pound class "A" CDL highway semi tractor truck, be it Mack, Kenworth, or Peterbuilt.  The customer has already said he wants the class A truck, so don't keep trying to convince him he needs a 3/4 ton pickup.... A dealer up the street already is trying to sell him a Kenworth to do the job, even though his heart is set on a Mack; can you get a line on a Peterbuilt and convince him it's the best semi for the job and make the sale???

Good luck!  OL JR :)
NO plan IS the plan...

"His plan had no goals, no timeline, and no budgetary guidelines. Just maybe's, pretty speeches, and smokescreens."

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #162 on: 01/03/2008 12:06 AM »
No, the guy lives on an island and wants to move some furniture over the course of a few months to his new summer cottage that's a few tens of kilometers away from his home. He would probably be best off by renting a moving service company (they have employees too who can help), or if that won't do, a van from a company and getting friends to help and doing a few trips with the van. Note that none of the furniture items is so big that it doesn't fit in a van. (None of the ESAS craft are so big they don't fit on an EELV.) A van that is existing on the island and rentable or even buyable.
If he's trying to buy a truck that would have to be transported from the mainland, it would take a year because one would need to build a deeper port and all, and it'd cost a huge amount of money. He should get some advice from smarter friends to get rid of that idea, or even seek psychological help for his delusions of grandeur. He would have to sell the truck after the one trip anyway, and he'd make a big loss in that.

Offline tankmodeler

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #163 on: 01/03/2008 02:52 AM »
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meiza - 2/1/2008  8:06 PM

No, the guy lives on an island and wants to move some furniture over the course of a few months to his new summer cottage that's a few tens of kilometers away from his home. He would probably be best off by renting a moving service company (they have employees too who can help), or if that won't do, a van from a company and getting friends to help and doing a few trips with the van. Note that none of the furniture items is so big that it doesn't fit in a van. (None of the ESAS craft are so big they don't fit on an EELV.) A van that is existing on the island and rentable or even buyable.
If he's trying to buy a truck that would have to be transported from the mainland, it would take a year because one would need to build a deeper port and all, and it'd cost a huge amount of money. He should get some advice from smarter friends to get rid of that idea, or even seek psychological help for his delusions of grandeur. He would have to sell the truck after the one trip anyway, and he'd make a big loss in that.
You know, I suspect you may be right. The only problem is, the guy moving his crap from one place to another is either too dumb or too stubborn to see the wisdom in moving his crap in smaller loads. He insists on moving it in two loads and "that's final!"

Whattaya gonna do? He's a schmuck! Kinda like my Uncle Joe. :)

Paul
Sr. Mech. Engineer
MDA

Offline JIS

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #164 on: 01/03/2008 07:32 AM »
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meiza - 3/1/2008  1:06 AM

No, the guy lives on an island and wants to move some furniture over the course of a few months to his new summer cottage that's a few tens of kilometers away from his home. He would probably be best off by renting a moving service company (they have employees too who can help), or if that won't do, a van from a company and getting friends to help and doing a few trips with the van. Note that none of the furniture items is so big that it doesn't fit in a van. (None of the ESAS craft are so big they don't fit on an EELV.) A van that is existing on the island and rentable or even buyable.
If he's trying to buy a truck that would have to be transported from the mainland, it would take a year because one would need to build a deeper port and all, and it'd cost a huge amount of money. He should get some advice from smarter friends to get rid of that idea, or even seek psychological help for his delusions of grandeur. He would have to sell the truck after the one trip anyway, and he'd make a big loss in that.

It's more like the guy owns a pick-up and want to relocate 1000km away. His car (after some mods and repairs) can carry petrol just for that 1000km trip and just small part of his furniture.
Unfortunatelly there is no petrol station on the way. He can also buy expensive truck which can carry all his furniture all the way there.
What stratgy will he use? What if he knows he is relocating there and back every 6 months?
1. buy the truck to do everything in one trip, use pick-up just for moving few remaining boxes.
2. repair pick-up, build a petrol station at the half way and make a lot of traveling between here and there every six months.
'Old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill' - Old Greek experience

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #165 on: 01/03/2008 04:18 PM »
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Jim - 2/1/2008  1:15 PM

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A_M_Swallow - 2/1/2008  4:28 AM
The man-rated extra heavy EELV design specification does not have to come from LH or Boeing.  It could come from a 'retired' employee.

That is useless.  It doesn't mean that ULA (LM or Boeing) will buy into it

This is a political problem.  Think why I put retired in quotes.

Offline luke strawwalker

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #166 on: 01/03/2008 05:05 PM »
Quote
JIS - 3/1/2008  2:32 AM

It's more like the guy owns a pick-up and want to relocate 1000km away. His car (after some mods and repairs) can carry petrol just for that 1000km trip and just small part of his furniture.
Unfortunatelly there is no petrol station on the way. He can also buy expensive truck which can carry all his furniture all the way there.
What stratgy will he use? What if he knows he is relocating there and back every 6 months?
1. buy the truck to do everything in one trip, use pick-up just for moving few remaining boxes.
2. repair pick-up, build a petrol station at the half way and make a lot of traveling between here and there every six months.

For once I agree with JIS. (grin)  I face the same type of decision in my business and I see yall's side of the coin.  I have to haul round bales of hay from my farm here near Houston to my other farm 100 miles west.  I haul three 1500 pound bales at a time behind my half ton pickup on a tandem axle lowboy trailer.  That's about 9,000 pounds all together, which is about all a half ton pickup can properly handle without seriously overloading it.  When Bill Clinton first got elected, he was pushing for raising the fuel economy standards on pickups, and the auto industry started scaring farmers and general contractors with talk of "not being able to buy a pickup larger than a 1/4 ton Ford Ranger/Chevy S-10 size pickup."  Now, I COULD haul hay with a Ford Ranger, but it would require 2 trips, and I'd have to buy a new, smaller trailer to get the job done because the old trailer would be too heavy.  I'd have to split the cargo between the two trips, which is a simple matter since it's in 1500 pound packages.  SURE the Ranger gets say 20 miles/gallon pulling a trailer, where the half ton pickup I currently use only gets about 16 loaded, but I have to make TWO TRIPS with the Ranger, which means DOUBLE the miles travelled, DOUBLE the time to travel them, and DOUBLE the wear and tear on the truck, so it will wear out a LOT faster than the half ton pickup.  It also means effectively HALVING the gas mileage of the smaller truck because it's travelling twice as far to do the same job, doing it in two loads instead of one.  So, the Ranger ends up burning 20 gallons of gas to do the job, while the half ton pickup burns 12.5 gallons, and the smaller truck takes twice the time and twice the wear and tear.  Not a smart trade.  

Now, I COULD go the other way, and haul say 30 bales at a time on a semi-tractor trailer truck.  It would end up getting about 6 miles/gallon or burn about 33 gallons of fuel to move ten times the hay.  That is a LOT more efficient in terms of fuel per bale, BUT I don't own a semi-truck.  I would have to hire somebody to do it, and with the higher costs of diesel fuel and insurance, maintenance, licenses, and the driver's salary and profit on top, it has proven CHEAPER to simply haul it myself with the small truck and trailer I already own rather than hire a hauling company to do it for me.  I don't pay as much for the extra fuel as I would for the trucking company to haul it with their profit, overhead, salaries, and expenses added to the cost of the fuel.  NOW as fuel prices rise above $3.00 per gallon here in the US, at some point it WILL be cheaper to hire the trucking company, because of the greater cargo hauling capability even at lower fuel efficiency.  After all, it would only take the semi 33 gallons of fuel to haul the same load it would take me 125 gallons to haul in my pickup, ignoring for the moment the fact that diesel fuel costs about 10% more for the semi than gasoline does for my pickup, which actually works in the pickup's favor.  I have to have a pickup either way for other chores, so I'm not going to save money getting rid of the pickup and getting a Yugo or something in it's place, either.  I already own the pickup and trailer as well, and maintenance is a lot cheaper on a pickup than a semi-tractor, in terms of absolute costs, though on terms of actual loaded miles travelled I'd bet the semi would win.  

SO there are compelling reasons on both sides of the fence for doing things one way or the other.  We already own TWO vehicles capable of hauling the individual chunks (LSAM, CEV, EDS, PROPELLANT) where they need to go SEPERATELY but it will require more trips and more operational cost, but we save the development costs.  We CAN build a Heavy vehicle capable of hauling all (or most) of the individual chunks in ONE trip, which means less trips, less risk of 'breaking down' on any one of those individual trips (statistically) but would require MAJOR development expenses and operating costs.  It all depends on what the customer wants, and so far the customer has said, "I want the semi-truck".   Others (us) can disagree but it's up to the guy paying his bills what he wants to do.  When I grew grain, I hauled it with a 1966 Chevy two ton truck that was nearly worn out.  I had a Mexican trucker pull in behind me at the grain elevator one day, driving a brand new Volvo semi-tractor and pulling a brand new hopper bottom grain trailer, who became irate that he had to wait in line behind an old jalopy hauling 1/4 the grain his new rig could haul.  He popped off something about,"why didn't I just hire a trucker like him to haul my grain".  I politely informed him I could do it myself with my old jalopy a lot cheaper (and I could; I'd already looked into the possibility) than hiring him to do it, pay his salary, and help make the notes on his brand new $200,000 semi tractor trailer.   He got more irate and stewed, but oh well; he's not paying MY bills... and agree or disagree, THAT'S whose opinion ULTIMATELY counts.... JMHO!  OL JR :)
NO plan IS the plan...

"His plan had no goals, no timeline, and no budgetary guidelines. Just maybe's, pretty speeches, and smokescreens."

Offline Jim

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #167 on: 01/03/2008 05:06 PM »
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A_M_Swallow - 3/1/2008  12:18 PM

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Jim - 2/1/2008  1:15 PM

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A_M_Swallow - 2/1/2008  4:28 AM
The man-rated extra heavy EELV design specification does not have to come from LH or Boeing.  It could come from a 'retired' employee.

That is useless.  It doesn't mean that ULA (LM or Boeing) will buy into it

This is a political problem.  Think why I put retired in quotes.

still not applicable.  NO 'retired' employee is going to have a say in what NASA astronauts fly.  NASA has no say in commercial astronauts

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #168 on: 01/03/2008 05:18 PM »
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Jim - 2/1/2008  1:15 PM

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A_M_Swallow - 2/1/2008  4:28 AM
The man-rated extra heavy EELV design specification does not have to come from LH or Boeing.  It could come from a 'retired' employee.

That is useless.  It doesn't mean that ULA (LM or Boeing) will buy into it

The first problem is getting NASA to buy into it.

The managers at Government Contractors tend to fall into line when civil servants start waving billion dollar contracts under their nose.  The companies will have to believe that they have a reasonable chance of making a profit.

If ULA is not interested in a COTS type contract then try something similar to the Private Finance Initiative used by the British Government when it wants a new hospital built.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_Finance_Initiative

Say a contract to launch n off man-rated 100mT payload LV for 15 (or 20) years.  ULA can find its own bank to lend it the money.

Offline Jim

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #169 on: 01/03/2008 06:12 PM »
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A_M_Swallow - 3/1/2008  1:18 PM

If ULA is not interested in a COTS type contract then try something similar to the Private Finance Initiative used by the British Government when it wants a new hospital built.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_Finance_Initiative

Say a contract to launch n off man-rated 100mT payload LV for 15 (or 20) years.  ULA can find its own bank to lend it the money.

Not viable.  The US gov't can't guarantee such a contract and therefore the risk is still on ULA.

And again, ULA does not build spacecraft, so it by itself can not compete for a COTS contract.

Also, NASA does not have requirements for 100 mT manrated payloads

Offline Jim

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #170 on: 01/03/2008 06:14 PM »
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A_M_Swallow - 3/1/2008  1:18 PM
The managers at Government Contractors tend to fall into line when civil servants start waving billion dollar contracts under their nose.  The companies will have to believe that they have a reasonable chance of making a profit..

That is not the issue.  the issue is gov't isn't waving contracts

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #171 on: 01/03/2008 07:31 PM »
It's the American taxpayers who pay NASA, it's not as if it's some quirky person's own money. One can question the customer's desires. Why is everyone so bent on this analogy of "the customer is always right". It breaks down really quickly. NASA has been wrong in it's ideas countless times before too.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #172 on: 01/03/2008 08:22 PM »
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meiza - 3/1/2008  3:31 PM

It's the American taxpayers who pay NASA, it's not as if it's some quirky person's own money. One can question the customer's desires. Why is everyone so bent on this analogy of "the customer is always right". It breaks down really quickly. NASA has been wrong in it's ideas countless times before too.
True, it’s the taxpayer’s money, but the vast majority of the American public has no idea what NASA does with its money, and in fact most don’t care. That’s a sad commentary, but true. NASA has been wrong before, many times, and will be wrong again in the future – for sure. But the fact remains that right or wrong, they have decided to spend ‘X’ amount of $billions of dollars on a “heavy lift” launch system. Do they need it? Probably not, but that’s not the point. They are spending the money, come hell or high water. And to rub salt into the wound, they are spending it on heavy lift. The time to try to change NASA’s mind is past – they are way beyond reasoning with. They are going to do what they are going to do, and they have decided they are going to do heavy lift. So the question for the contractors becomes not “how do I convince them they need to do something else”, but “do I want a piece if this action or not”.

NASA isn’t waiting for independent corroboration – they are spending the money now. Anyone who waits for another chance to change the customers mind is going to miss the boat because the boat is sailing and they won’t turn back for latecomers.

I’m not saying heavy lift is the only way to go – I never said that. What I have said is that heavy lift is the way they ARE going. Once that dye was cast, then the challenge became how to get the best use out of that. I suggested 2 solutions: (1) propose an EELV Heavy Lift to replace the Ares and (2) create a mixed launch stable by examining the payloads and split them up. Utilize the EELV as much as possible while still getting as much value from the heavy lift as you can. Because barring the resignation or firing of Griffin (which could happen), NASA is moving forward with a heavy lift architecture. If ULA wants a piece of that action, there is still time, in my opinion, for them to put their own EELV heavy lift proposal on the table (option 1). NASA is not so far down the line that it couldn’t switch to it if it proves better. That’s what the DIRECT people are hoping for as well, because the Jupiter is obviously a better launch vehicle than Ares (different topic).

Conversely, ULA could also create their own version of the IMS which manifested EELV flights in support of the heavy lift. Then they’d be running with option (2) above and they would surely get some of the pie. But it’s up to them. Right now they are loosing everything by default - by choosing not to play.

Whatever they do, I hope that whoever ultimately replaces Griffin will not be so dogmatically opposed as he is to a propellant depot. That's what is killing the EELV hope. He adamantly refuses to even consider it. That was made crystal clear to us. But once the architecture is place, even the Heavy Lift could benefit from the depot. Then the EELV/Heavy Lift combination would be the envy of every nation on earth. Unfortunately however, not on Griffin’s watch.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline meiza

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #173 on: 01/03/2008 11:00 PM »
You're performing your "the dye is cast so don't discuss" speech again.
It's not about car sales for ULA, it's the future of human spaceflight and spacefaring and the timetable of that.

Offline yinzer

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #174 on: 01/04/2008 12:30 AM »
What money are they spending on "heavy lift"?  As near as I can tell they are spending money on the five-segment SRB, on J-2X development, and on designing the Orion.  None of those are useful only in a heavy-lift architecture.

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They are spending the money, come hell or high water. And to rub salt into the wound, they are spending it on heavy lift.

Come hell, high water, or a change in congress or the administration.  See the history of the ISS.
California 2008 - taking rights from people and giving rights to chickens.

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #175 on: 01/04/2008 01:01 AM »
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meiza - 3/1/2008  7:00 PM

You're performing your "the dye is cast so don't discuss" speech again.
It's not about car sales for ULA, it's the future of human spaceflight and spacefaring and the timetable of that.
One can only think about what might be possible with different people in the drivers seat.
ULA doesn't seem very interested in the future of human spaceflight, spacefaring and an appropriate timetable. I wish they were, but alas, there are no great minds at the top anymore.
Unfortunately for us all, we have leadership that (in my opinion) isn't very interested in what's best, but only in how to get what "they" want. I wish it were not so.
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline clongton

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #176 on: 01/04/2008 01:08 AM »
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yinzer - 3/1/2008  8:30 PM

What money are they spending on "heavy lift"?  As near as I can tell they are spending money on the five-segment SRB, on J-2X development, and on designing the Orion.  None of those are useful only in a heavy-lift architecture.

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They are spending the money, come hell or high water. And to rub salt into the wound, they are spending it on heavy lift.

Come hell, high water, or a change in congress or the administration.  See the history of the ISS.
Their version of heavy lift is the Ares-V. The Ares-I is a setup. They are using it to build the Ares-V.
The 5-segment SRB is an Ares-V necessity.
The J-2X is an Ares-V necessity.
They are building the Ares-I for the sole purpose of building the Ares-V.
They are spending the money to get the heavy lift.
Once they have it, Ares-I will be retired.
After ISS is retired Griffin has no plans to do anything at all in LEO, so Ares-I won't be needed.
Orion will fly on the Ares-V.
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Offline yinzer

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #177 on: 01/04/2008 04:04 AM »
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clongton - 3/1/2008  6:08 PM
Their version of heavy lift is the Ares-V. The Ares-I is a setup. They are using it to build the Ares-V.
The 5-segment SRB is an Ares-V necessity.
The J-2X is an Ares-V necessity.
They are building the Ares-I for the sole purpose of building the Ares-V.
They are spending the money to get the heavy lift.
Once they have it, Ares-I will be retired.
After ISS is retired Griffin has no plans to do anything at all in LEO, so Ares-I won't be needed.
Orion will fly on the Ares-V.

Griffin may have those plans, but he doesn't get to decide.  The Ares V needs the J-2X and the 5-segment SRB, but it also needs many billions of dollars appropriated by the congresses of the mid-2010s.  If they think that the Ares V is too expensive and demand that NASA go back and come up with something that fits within existing budgets or else not go to the moon at all, then there's no Ares V.  Simple as that.
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Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #178 on: 01/04/2008 11:23 AM »
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Jim - 3/1/2008  1:06 PM

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A_M_Swallow - 3/1/2008  12:18 PM

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Jim - 2/1/2008  1:15 PM

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A_M_Swallow - 2/1/2008  4:28 AM
The man-rated extra heavy EELV design specification does not have to come from LH or Boeing.  It could come from a 'retired' employee.

That is useless.  It doesn't mean that ULA (LM or Boeing) will buy into it

This is a political problem.  Think why I put retired in quotes.

still not applicable.  NO 'retired' employee is going to have a say in what NASA astronauts fly.  NASA has no say in commercial astronauts

Oh I dunno Jim, I think Horowitz might have fitted that description while he was still at ATK, and look at the mess he's gotten us into...

Ross.
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Offline kraisee

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #179 on: 01/04/2008 11:29 AM »
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yinzer - 3/1/2008  12:04 AM

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clongton - 3/1/2008  6:08 PM
Their version of heavy lift is the Ares-V. The Ares-I is a setup. They are using it to build the Ares-V.
The 5-segment SRB is an Ares-V necessity.
The J-2X is an Ares-V necessity.
They are building the Ares-I for the sole purpose of building the Ares-V.
They are spending the money to get the heavy lift.
Once they have it, Ares-I will be retired.
After ISS is retired Griffin has no plans to do anything at all in LEO, so Ares-I won't be needed.
Orion will fly on the Ares-V.

Griffin may have those plans, but he doesn't get to decide.  The Ares V needs the J-2X and the 5-segment SRB, but it also needs many billions of dollars appropriated by the congresses of the mid-2010s.  If they think that the Ares V is too expensive and demand that NASA go back and come up with something that fits within existing budgets or else not go to the moon at all, then there's no Ares V.  Simple as that.

Correct.   That's where I think Griffin's plans all go to hell in a hand-basket.   I don't think he's made any backup plans for the situation you describe - even though it is a situation with a VERY high probability.   That path is a total dead-end with no options available.

If we lose Ares-V, having spent billions on the mediocre performance of the Ares-I, I don't see any chance of Congress supporting NASA any further in ANY of its plans.

I feel that losing Ares-V will simply signal the end to the whole VSE.

I don't even think the EELV camp would get an opportunity to try to plea the case in that situation.   History demonstrates that it will be another 10-15 years before any future President/Congress gets serious about the moon or Mars again, and China will just walk their lunar program in the mean-time.

I think Griffin has made a very serious mis-calculation and is leading the VSE straight towards a brick wall.   His first "shiny new launcher" can't possibly get us anywhere except LEO - and if that's all we get, that's really all we will get.

I think we'd be in a far stronger position if the first "shiny new launcher" is actually capable of doing lunar missions.   But that would have to be very different from Ares-I.

At this point I'm not sure if he knows it but is too scared to publicly acknowledge it, or if he's so blinded by his own genius that he doesn't believe such an event is possible.   His political naiveté has bitten him on the ass a number of times before though so I'm not expecting miracles.

Time will certainly tell, but I sure wish we were not all on the same train as he's driving...   I wanna get off.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline ChrisInAStrangeLand

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #180 on: 01/09/2008 12:11 AM »
And precisely why do we care about China's lunar program? Unless they are thinking of deploying mass drivers, there is absolutely nothing economic or militarily useful on that rock. We've been there, we've beat them those evil capitalists.

Offline luke strawwalker

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Re: To the Moon and Beyond–Examining the EELV-L1 Approach v2
« Reply #181 on: 01/09/2008 03:56 AM »
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meiza - 3/1/2008  2:31 PM

It's the American taxpayers who pay NASA, it's not as if it's some quirky person's own money. One can question the customer's desires. Why is everyone so bent on this analogy of "the customer is always right". It breaks down really quickly. NASA has been wrong in it's ideas countless times before too.

YES QUITE CORRECT!!!  I heartily agree!  BUT the American people elected (then REelected) an idiot who appointed hacks and yes men and who wholeheartedly believes it's better to pretend everything is just peachy and fiddle while Rome burns rather than admit a mistake and make changes to correct it, and who has enshrined that pretext throughout government as a dogma.  Therefore the foregone conclusions drawn and the slanted pretexts and 'facts' used to justify them ARE the ONLY solution, and physics, reality, or anything else that flies in the face of that simply is ignored, and anyone who questions the sanity of it all or points out the glaringly obvious shortcomings of the preferred dogma is simply an unpatriotic obstructionist crank to be dismissed out of hand....  

How did we ever get to this level... (sigh)  OL JR :)
NO plan IS the plan...

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