Author Topic: Battle of the Heavy Lift Launchers – Monster 200mt vehicle noted  (Read 148482 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

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Offline Lee Jay

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Interesting article.  I can't help but feel that the mission is coming second, and the launch vehicle first.

Offline sewand

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200MT launcher - "not driven by the architecture de jour".   When you're talking that size and expense of launcher, you'd better have some mission in mind - and whether or not you can still afford the rest of that mission.   
If you have a legitimate need for that kind of throw weight, and can prove that it's cheaper than two 100MT launchers, then ok.  But just to propose it without a mission architecture is nuts - do they expect to find a money tree on the moon? 

Offline robertross

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Great overview article Chris.

This 200mT monster gets me. Clearly a Kerolox, their statement simply cannot be acccurate:

“Exploration-Class Rocket: A human-rated system with LEO throw-mass on the order of 200 mt, designed purposely for extremely high reliability and minimum operations cost, rather than being sized directly by an architecture that may change later,” noted the presentation. “200 mt, sized by ‘knee in the curve’ of LV economics. Not driven by the architecture de jour.”

Just WHERE are they going to get a domestic Kerolox engine that big, with any proven reliability? Are we going to build the F-1 again?? Or maybe produce the RD-180 domestically? Total nonsense. This would end up being a ~20 year effort with an all-new design.

I know PLF size is very important, but we know we can get it up there (12m easy) as indicated from the Direct team on a Jupiter in the J-246 range (IIRC). Why we need to launch such ridiculus mass is beyond me. A Propellant depot architecture can easily ssatisfy our requirements with a large PLF. It seems NASA is very shy to approach this concept; it boggles my mind.

I also wonder how much this will all mass, since we have to consider the crawlers & crawlerways in all this. Can't be much more than Atlas V, that's for sure.

This is a bad idea.

Offline robertross

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At least there are stirings from within on the ISS logistics problem:

"Only a 2012 extension will be cited in an upcoming bill that is being drawn up by politicians – full details of which are currently embargoed – who are concerned with both the logistical support of the International Space Station (ISS) in the event of an extension of the Station to 2020, and the closing of the “gap”."

Offline Downix

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Just WHERE are they going to get a domestic Kerolox engine that big, with any proven reliability? Are we going to build the F-1 again?? Or maybe produce the RD-180 domestically? Total nonsense. This would end up being a ~20 year effort with an all-new design.
The first thought which crossed my mind was to purchase Zenit from the Ukrane as a stop-gap till we get an F-1A derived engine online/domestic production of the engine for the Zenit.  Yuzhnoye would love to have another source of engines.

Using 8 of them around a central LH2 core would be able to lift ~200mT by my estimates.
chuck - Toilet paper has no real value? Try living with 5 other adults for 6 months in a can with no toilet paper. Man oh man. Toilet paper would be worth it's weight in gold!

Offline gladiator1332

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I think this 200mt vehicle is just MSFC throwing in a design that would be the ideal for them...just like Shannon's team is putting forth the Sidemount design, something obviously ideal for them.


Offline sewand

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The article mentions that the inline block 1 is similar to a Jupiter 244.  But I thought the 244 had an RL-60 engine (which isn't under consideration AFAIK), not an RL10.  Have the numbers been worked up for a four engine RL10?  I hope the performance of the inline design is not getting watered down ...

Online notsorandom

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It is interesting to see four RL-10s as opposed to Jupiter's six. With the Jupiter-246 there would have to be a significant performance hit with only 2/3rds of the trust available in the upper stage. Here is a question for anyone who would know such things. Does the extra performance from the stretched core, and 5 segment boosters make up for the loss of the two RL-10s?

Offline Serafeim

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Quote
Does the extra performance from the stretched core, 
stretched?
Direct rocket with 10m tank?like Ares V? ???

Online notsorandom

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Quote
Does the extra performance from the stretched core, 
stretched?
Direct rocket with 10m tank?like Ares V? ???

Not a 10 meter core. There has been talk of lengthening the core to add propellant. The fourth SSME would be added to make use of this increase. At least that what I can tell from whats been talked about on the forum. I may have got that completely wrong so if anyone has any better knowledge please correct me.

Offline bobthemonkey

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Seems correct.

A core stretch is quite simple in comparison as you can continue to use the same manufacturing equipment, which is governed primarily by barrel diameter.

It's when you look at going from the existing 8.4m diameter core to anything bigger (10m is the figure normally used) is a lot more expensive as it requires almost entirely new tooling and hardware at Michoud.

Offline Analyst

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The way these decisions are structured shows again the lack of reason for HSF. A launch vehicle first and after this we will see what - if anything - we will do with it. And maybe we will construct a lame reason too.

SMD (and ESA for instance) does it the right way:

1) Science goals.
2) Instruments to achieve these goals.
3) Spacecraft to support these instruments.
4) Launch vehicle.

Analyst

PS:

Quote
I know PLF size is very important

It is not very important. It is at best secondary.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2010 12:07 pm by Analyst »

Offline Nathan

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Shuttle extension to 2012 is a smart move. They'll cancel Ares 1 in another smart move. Build a Jupiter style rocket will be the best smart move.

Commiting us to Mars will be the smartest move.
Given finite cash, if we want to go to Mars then we should go to Mars.

Offline Analyst

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What is so special about Mars?

Analyst

Offline Serafeim

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from the article I see ,that Ares I  continuation is is already out of discussion... ???

when we will know the final decision?

Offline simpl simon

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What is so special about Mars?

Analyst
1. Gives space exploration a goal mandated by Congress
2. Use the goal to generate and influence exploration policy
3. Use policy to influence budget

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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What is so special about Mars?

Planet with atmosphere (reducing radiation at the surface) plus raw materials for settlement extractable with some effort.  It is much harder to get to but it might pay off more than the Moon in the long run.

FWIW though, Analyst, I agree with you that building a gigantic LV just because the prevailing power blocs at NASA want a gigantic LV is somewhat foolish.  Unless they are planning to build multi-hundred tonne interplanetary spacecraft, such launch capacity isn't needed and will quickly prove unsustainable.  Fifty to sixty tonnes through TOI should be sufficient for most applications.  The sooner 'Das Marsprojekt' becomes a historical curiosity than the received wisdom, the better for HSF.

from the article I see ,that Ares I  continuation is is already out of discussion... ???

when we will know the final decision?

As soon as someone can be found who is willing to tell some very powerful politicians that they have been backing the wrong horse.

Of course, that is really just the official announcement.  I suspect that, in practice, NASA is working as if the decisions is already made.
« Last Edit: 01/02/2010 02:29 pm by Ben the Space Brit »
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Offline MP99

Chris,

good work there.

Particularly interesting re a non-stretched core for the block I and stretched for block II.

I know this was discussed some time ago as a possible route, do you have any recent reinforcement of those configs for blocks I & II?

cheers, Martin
« Last Edit: 01/02/2010 02:32 pm by MP99 »

Offline theonlyspace

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With this monster Launcher we could lift a few more large modules to
the ISS filled full of equipment and supplies.  Make it a true space station
as a base for interplanetary manned missions!!!!

 

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