Author Topic: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion  (Read 171182 times)

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4426
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 397
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #300 on: 12/29/2008 12:28 am »

200 tons a year!!!???  Wow! that would warrant development of a Taurus IV, or a Falcon 27!!!  And a x5 scale Cygnus Service Module!!!  (although why would anyone put a fuel depot in LEO, vs. simply assembling already fueled tanks on orbit, I can't fathom).

I guess you could construct a situation where a tug that remains in orbit (but has in-orbit refueling capability) and is refueled by the same tanks it carries to the "rendezvous point" (depot or spacecraft under assembly) may be more efficient than launching a suitably-sized single-use SM (with just enough fuel for the rendezvous) with each tank.

Without going into the Propellant Depot (PD) discussion
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=12338.0
the 200 tons sounds like the fuel for the manned Mars mission.  That spacecraft may prefer to carry a single large fuel tank instead of 10 off 20 tonne fuel tanks with associated plumbing.  The fuel being lifted on EELV and CRS LV.

The PD operator would be looking to fuel the 2 (or with luck 4) Moon missions per year.  That is the Earth Departure Stage LEO to TLI and the Altair lunar lander.  (NASA's willingness to buy the propellant is a different but related matter.)

As for the tug - one idea is to make the tanker rockets as simple and cheap as possible, anything complex being performed by the tug and depot.  Automated docking with the depot counts as complex; this is likely to be the same order of complexity as docking with the ISS.  By using a tug the tankers would not need a RCS for instance.  The LV simply lift the tanks to LEO and the tug comes to collect and dock the tanks.

A cost saving comes from only a single set of navigation rockets on the tug being needed as against a set of rockets per tanker, eliminating say 50 sets of RCS rockets.  The tug could also manoeuvre the Moon/GEO/Mars/beyond spacecraft being fuelled when they dock with the depot.

I wonder if OSC ever plans on recovering the first stage of Taurus II like spacex is going to with Falcon 9?

Doing so might go a long way in bringing up the flight rates.

Also on the tug being reused it also saves a lot on avionics which are not a small cost either esp the rendezvous hardware such as radars and lidars.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32552
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11357
  • Likes Given: 334
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #301 on: 12/29/2008 12:39 am »
1.  I wonder if OSC ever plans on recovering the first stage of Taurus II like spacex is going to with Falcon 9?

2.  Doing so might go a long way in bringing up the flight rates.


1.  No, it has be stated over and over by antonioe that it is not worth the effort for the low flight rates

2.  Reusability does not increase flight rates

Offline nomadd22

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 170
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #302 on: 12/29/2008 01:03 am »
1.  I wonder if OSC ever plans on recovering the first stage of Taurus II like spacex is going to with Falcon 9?

2.  Doing so might go a long way in bringing up the flight rates.


1.  No, it has be stated over and over by antonioe that it is not worth the effort for the low flight rates

2.  Reusability does not increase flight rates
Spacex hopes to cut 50% off the launch price if reusability pans out. I'd expect them to get a few more contracts if that were true, and I'm pretty sure the number of launches you contract has something to do with your flight rate, especially if you can accommodate those extra launches without having to manufacture everything from scratch.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2008 01:10 am by nomadd22 »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32552
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11357
  • Likes Given: 334
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #303 on: 12/29/2008 01:26 am »
I'm pretty sure the number of launches you contract has something to do with your flight rate, especially if you can accommodate those extra launches without having to manufacture everything from scratch.

Incorrect.  Contracted launches and reusability are independent of launch processing and the  flight rate derived from it.

Refurbishment may take longer than production.  Launch processing may be longer than production rate


Offline edkyle99

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13125
    • Space Launch Report
  • Liked: 4379
  • Likes Given: 798
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #304 on: 12/29/2008 01:30 am »
Spacex hopes to cut 50% off the launch price if reusability pans out.

The only way that SpaceX could cut price by 50% is for it to recover and reuse, with very little refurbishment cost, much more than 50% (probably 100%) of the launch vehicle.  This is because hardware (or the creation of the hardware) probably only accounts for half to two-thirds of the total cost per flight.  This assumes that refurbishment won't add much to operations costs, which I have a hard time believing.  Another cost of reusability would be lost payload capacity given up to recovery hardware mass.

 - Ed Kyle
« Last Edit: 12/29/2008 01:35 am by edkyle99 »

Offline nomadd22

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 170
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #305 on: 12/29/2008 06:18 am »
 I have a little trouble myself believing that getting an engine flight ready after sitting in salt water for six hours is as easy as some think.
 I was just pointing out that if they did pull it off and reduced prices that much, they'd likely have more contracts. How Jim can claim that the amount of business you have doesn't affect your flight rate is beyond me.
 And what the amount of time refurbishment takes has to do with anything is a bit of a mystery too. It would obviously not be done at expense of new engine production. Unless they're erecting and launching birds full time at the site more launch contracts would obviously affect how much you launch. It's not rocket science.
 I know Spacex wants to keep everything standard, but if they had a job that required the maximum payload capacity it seems like they could leave the chutes and other recovery hardware out of the rocket. Not everybody will need 100% of the capacity.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2008 06:22 am by nomadd22 »

Offline A_M_Swallow

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8599
  • South coast of England
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 167
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #306 on: 12/29/2008 06:30 am »
And what the amount of time refurbishment takes has to do with anything is a bit of a mystery too. It would obviously not be done at expense of new engine production.{snip}

Time is money.  For reusability to be financial viable the man hours needed to refurbish a machine must be less than the man hours needed to build a new machine.  If it takes more man hours to refurbish it soon becomes cheaper to throw the old machine away and to buy a new one.

Offline Swatch

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 273
  • Official Aerospace Engineer as of June 13th, 2009
  • Cincinnati
    • ProjectApollo/NASSP: Virtual Systems and Flight Simulation of the Apollo Program
  • Liked: 28
  • Likes Given: 16
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #307 on: 12/29/2008 06:39 am »
I agree all that plays into it, and I would wonder if there is a tipping point in this balance.  It would seem to me that refurbishment vs production would have a lot to do with whether or not there are many long-lead time items.  Long-lead time items would increase production time without really increasing the cost all that much, so if these items can be refurbished (within a reasonable time and budget), then flight rate would be increased by the simple fact of having an ever increasing inventory of these long-lead items and not having to wait on them.  Increasing your flight rate would seem to make your man-hours efficiency better (products delivered per man hour of your workforce), thus your overall cost may go up, but cost per flight goes down.

Now, this entire thought exercise is somewhat devoid of numbers and consideration for cost since I have no grasp of that, so I'm thinking in terms of actual time.  I'd be interested to hear thoughts on this.

EDIT:  As one final thought exercise....  even if the hardware is considered to be over 50% unflightworthy after a dunk in the ocean, is there any value in recycling the raw materials of the stage if it is able to be recovered?  Perhaps recouping cost by simply selling them as scrap would be useful, but once again, I haven't a clue the value in a rocket stage.
« Last Edit: 12/29/2008 06:43 am by Swatch »
Ex-Rocket Scientist in Training, now Rocket Scientist!
M-F trying to make the world of the future a smaller place through expanding horizons...

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32552
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11357
  • Likes Given: 334
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #308 on: 12/29/2008 11:34 am »
How Jim can claim that the amount of business you have doesn't affect your flight rate is beyond me.
 And what the amount of time refurbishment takes has to do with anything is a bit of a mystery too.

Obviously you don't understand flight hardware processing.
It doesn't matter how many flights you have on contract because the hardware and facilities have a throughput limit.

Prices affect the number of contracts you get, not the flight rate

Yes, you can increase flight rate by having multiple production lines and multiple launch pads and crews.  But we are not talking about those kind of flight rates
« Last Edit: 12/29/2008 11:39 am by Jim »

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32552
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11357
  • Likes Given: 334
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #309 on: 12/29/2008 11:37 am »
. Not everybody will need 100% of the capacity.

Most will

Offline William Barton

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3487
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #310 on: 12/29/2008 11:53 am »
How Jim can claim that the amount of business you have doesn't affect your flight rate is beyond me.
 And what the amount of time refurbishment takes has to do with anything is a bit of a mystery too.

Obviously you don't understand flight hardware processing.
It doesn't matter how many flights you have on contract because the hardware and facilities have a throughput limit.

Prices affect the number of contracts you get, not the flight rate

Yes, you can increase flight rate by having multiple production lines and multiple launch pads and crews.  But we are not talking about those kind of flight rates

What is the existing maximum flight rate capacity for individual EELV-class launchers? I'm wondering how close it comes to the business-case "gap" for RLV minimum flight-rate justification.

Offline William Barton

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3487
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #311 on: 12/29/2008 12:03 pm »
I'm pretty sure the number of launches you contract has something to do with your flight rate, especially if you can accommodate those extra launches without having to manufacture everything from scratch.

Incorrect.  Contracted launches and reusability are independent of launch processing and the  flight rate derived from it.

Refurbishment may take longer than production.  Launch processing may be longer than production rate



How much of "launch processing" can be attribute to "payload processing," on average? I was wondering if there would ever be any benefit to designing an LV to be handled more like a V-2 (or in more modern terms, a road-mobile ICBM). Integrate everything onto the back of a big truck in a hangar, then send the truck (and trucks of fuel. oxydizer) to an otherwise fairly primitive launch site.

Offline Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32552
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11357
  • Likes Given: 334
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #312 on: 12/29/2008 12:19 pm »

How much of "launch processing" can be attribute to "payload processing," on average? I was wondering if there would ever be any benefit to designing an LV to be handled more like a V-2 (or in more modern terms, a road-mobile ICBM). Integrate everything onto the back of a big truck in a hangar, then send the truck (and trucks of fuel. oxydizer) to an otherwise fairly primitive launch site.

For Atlas V and Delta II, the payload is mated to the LV less than 2 weeks before launch.  Delta IV is a little longer but was be to shorter

What was the success rate of the V-2?
« Last Edit: 12/29/2008 12:21 pm by Jim »

Offline William Barton

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3487
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #313 on: 12/29/2008 12:29 pm »

How much of "launch processing" can be attribute to "payload processing," on average? I was wondering if there would ever be any benefit to designing an LV to be handled more like a V-2 (or in more modern terms, a road-mobile ICBM). Integrate everything onto the back of a big truck in a hangar, then send the truck (and trucks of fuel. oxydizer) to an otherwise fairly primitive launch site.

For Atlas V and Delta II, the payload is mated to the LV less than 2 weeks before launch.  Delta IV is a little longer but was be to shorter

What was the success rate of the V-2?

I'd have to look that up in some old books I have (and will try), but somebody here may know off the top of their head. My recollection is, launch success rate was fairly high (surprisingly high considering it was the first vehicle of its kind, built by slave labor at that). A quick google came up with the following, which comes up with a 50% operational success rate, but I think that includes lots of V2s not landing anywhere near their targets (not surprising considering how they were guided), breaking up on the downward leg of their trajectory, etc.

http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/background/v1v2.htm

Fwiw, Astroautix has this discussion:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/v2.htm

Discounting the 12% rejected by the combat units as "unsuitable for firing," (which one hopes wouldn't happen with a commercial satellit LV manufacturer), that leaves the 10% that failed within sight of the launch team, and another 10% that didn't get where they were supposed to gofor whatever reason. It doesn't sound like the field launch conditions contributed much to the failure rate.

« Last Edit: 12/29/2008 12:38 pm by William Barton »

Offline Swatch

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 273
  • Official Aerospace Engineer as of June 13th, 2009
  • Cincinnati
    • ProjectApollo/NASSP: Virtual Systems and Flight Simulation of the Apollo Program
  • Liked: 28
  • Likes Given: 16
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #314 on: 12/29/2008 01:36 pm »
What was the success rate of the V-2?

I was suprised to see you, of ALL people, try to stand on that sort of number.  They were getting pretty good at launching those things.  Methinks V-2 success rate is a poor comparison point for anything in today's aerospace.  Unskilled workforce + bleeding edge tech + primitive (by todays standards) technology = bad odds for flight, and it still ended up doing pretty well (ignoring guidance issues which were technology limited, not vehicle limited).
Ex-Rocket Scientist in Training, now Rocket Scientist!
M-F trying to make the world of the future a smaller place through expanding horizons...

Offline HMXHMX

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1589
  • Liked: 1570
  • Likes Given: 417
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #315 on: 12/29/2008 10:36 pm »
So, Antonio, do you have any comment on Elon's interview:

http://blogs.discovery.com/news_space/2008/12/spacex-more-nas.html

Specifically his question about flight rate and SpaceX carrying more cargo?

Offline marsavian

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3216
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 3
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #316 on: 12/29/2008 10:47 pm »
While you are waiting for Antonio here's where the confusion lies, Dragon carries more combined (3.1mT vs 2.0-2.3mT) but Cygnus carries 64% more pressurised (2.3mT vs 1.4mT).

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=11980.msg248476#msg248476


Online ugordan

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7666
    • My mainly Cassini image gallery
  • Liked: 1886
  • Likes Given: 425
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #317 on: 12/29/2008 10:49 pm »
Wasn't the discrepancy due to pressurized volume available as cargo is volume-limited?

Offline mlorrey

  • Member
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
  • International Spaceflight Museum
  • Grantham, NH
  • Liked: 11
  • Likes Given: 1
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #318 on: 12/29/2008 11:04 pm »
http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/background/v1v2.htm

Fwiw, Astroautix has this discussion:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/v2.htm

Discounting the 12% rejected by the combat units as "unsuitable for firing," (which one hopes wouldn't happen with a commercial satellit LV manufacturer), that leaves the 10% that failed within sight of the launch team, and another 10% that didn't get where they were supposed to gofor whatever reason. It doesn't sound like the field launch conditions contributed much to the failure rate.



As I understand it, having a slave workforce of Jews whose families were being exterminated may have been a contributing factor to the high failure rate (i.e. intentional sabotage)
VP of International Spaceflight Museum - http://ismuseum.org
Founder, Lorrey Aerospace, B&T Holdings, ACE Exchange, and Hypersonic Systems. Currently I am a venture recruiter for Family Office Venture Capital.

Offline HMXHMX

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1589
  • Liked: 1570
  • Likes Given: 417
Re: OSC COTS I Proposal Discussion
« Reply #319 on: 12/30/2008 12:24 am »
http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/background/v1v2.htm

Fwiw, Astroautix has this discussion:

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/v2.htm

Discounting the 12% rejected by the combat units as "unsuitable for firing," (which one hopes wouldn't happen with a commercial satellit LV manufacturer), that leaves the 10% that failed within sight of the launch team, and another 10% that didn't get where they were supposed to gofor whatever reason. It doesn't sound like the field launch conditions contributed much to the failure rate.



As I understand it, having a slave workforce of Jews whose families were being exterminated may have been a contributing factor to the high failure rate (i.e. intentional sabotage)

One of the most inspiring things I ever saw was an exhibit in the USAF Museum in Dayton OH, that shows a cutaway of an Me163 wing.  Built by slave labor, it had been sabotaged by one of those unfortunates in an very clever manner, using a pointed rock to cause a fuel tank leak while the wing was flexing in flight.

Tags: