Author Topic: A Possible Solution: Leveraging Exisiting Capabilities for Exploration  (Read 11099 times)

Offline FinalFrontier

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@ sdsds

The obvious solution (to a lay-person like me) is to human-rate Atlas-V and use Delta-IVH purely as a cargo hauler to throw mission modules and propulsion modules into LEO.

I remember seeing a NASA graphic during the Augustine hearings of an Ares-I backed up by multiple Delta-IVHs as CaLVs.  I was impressed by that image but immediately turned the Ares-I into an Atlas-VH and put ACES-class common upper stages on the Deltas, turning tem into 50t-class launchers.

* Fully commercial launch services? CHECK
* Multi-vendor compatibility? CHECK (Dragon could be used as a crew launcher if you use aerocapture EOI rather than direct descent)
* Kerolox-core crew launcher? CHECK
* Propellent transfer-ready? CHECK
* BEO exploration capability? CHECK

It is a win-win scenario and I don't get why NASA isn't starting now.  Orion on A-VH could happen by 2014 and ACES by 2016 - We're looking at a lunar orbiter by 2016 and NEO by 2020.

Exactly. The only difference between this and my idea is that I would use SDHLV in place of Delta 4, but Atlas would be handling all the crew launch requirments.
Delta 4 is good vehicle but its expensive. And using it just for crew seems a bit too expensive (remember delta needs more modifications than atlas to be human rated.).

From earlier:
".........It may be that your definition of slow and fy2011's definition of slow are way different......"

They are. My "slow" actually has a development program with set milestones and goals. The only reason it would be "slow" is because in my plan the idea is only to have SDHLV when its really needed, which is when its time for BEO exploration, thus requirng less cash immeadietly and perhaps saving $$$ without losing capability.. Hence it would be at IOC towards the end of ISS. However, if a problem arose with commercial such that SDHLV was needed for ISS support (be it due to delays in the private sector or just a logistics shortfall), the SDHLV program could easily be sped up and the vehicle could be ready much sooner.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2010 06:54 PM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Quote
I don't get why NASA isn't starting now.

1. Why they didn't start "then" (at the beginning of CXP): Micheal Griffin
2. Why they don't start now: Politics and a president who wants NASA off the grid.

Personally, even if Congress approves SDHLV and totally throws out the Obama erm......thingy (since its not really a plan)....., I don't think it will suceed. The reason is because NASA managment, at the upper level, is completley insane. Bolden has turned into Dr. Weepenstein and here we have Garver who is TOTALLY out of touch with reality.

Congress must do more than pass their own plan, they must throw out this lousy managment. Make Bill G. The admin and John Shannon the deputy Admin IMO.
« Last Edit: 04/29/2010 06:54 PM by FinalFrontier »
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Offline mmeijeri

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FinalFrontier, you proposed a solution. What is the problem you are attempting to solve?
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Offline FinalFrontier

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FinalFrontier, you proposed a solution. What is the problem you are attempting to solve?
The situation we are left with in the wake of the Cancellation of CXP and the imment end of STS. 
Any idea, frankly, that could better this mess would be welcome. I don't consider Fy 2011 a fix although I do like the idea of more R&D, I just think that it shouldn't be at the cost of HSF. Also, ISS crew and cargo logistics are a problem that ought to have already been fixed.
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Offline sdsds

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The obvious solution (to a lay-person like me) is to human-rate Atlas-V and use Delta-IVH purely as a cargo hauler
[...] Orion on A-VH could happen by 2014

Delta 4 is good vehicle but its expensive. And using it just for crew seems a bit too expensive (remember delta needs more modifications than atlas to be human rated.).

Either could be made to work.  If only the first three-core EELV to fly had been an AVH.  Then all of this would likely be moot.  But in actuality an AVH has never flown.  What's more, an AVH vehicle has never been assembled, processed in a VIF, nor handled at a pad.  Even given the launch complex facilities are "scarred" for the modifications to support these activities, they still add cost and uncertainty to the first flight.  Plus, even if the existing VIF could be modified to handle AVH, the schedule risk (and impact on the schedule of other missions) almost assures the "requirement" of a second VIF for NASA missions.

It's hard to believe that would be inexpensive.  For cost effectiveness NASA human spaceflight missions need to start using -- as much as possible -- the same launchers and facilities as other users.  The sensible requirement of all-liquid propulsion for the CLV combined with a "No new rockets" philosophy dictates the use of DIVH for that purpose.  Yes, there are modifications to both vehicle and launch complex needed carry crew, and they will make a DIVH CLV even more expensive than an unmanned DIVH.

But keeping that kind of modification to a minimum doesn't just save money.  Making fewer modifications leads to a greater likelihood that the first crewed mission enjoys the same success as all the prior uncrewed missions.

When "Leveraging Existing Capabilities for Exploration", why is it so difficult to "Just Use What Already Exists"?
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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@ sdsds

The obvious solution (to a lay-person like me) is to human-rate Atlas-V and use Delta-IVH purely as a cargo hauler to throw mission modules and propulsion modules into LEO.

Delta 4 is good vehicle but its expensive. And using it just for crew seems a bit too expensive (remember delta needs more modifications than atlas to be human rated.).

Which is the reason that Atlas-V is human-rated (under my suggestion), not Delta-IV.  D-IV cost issues might be partially mitigated by a higher flight rate if NASA were to select it as a cargo launcher.
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Offline Jim

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Plus, even if the existing VIF could be modified to handle AVH,

The VIF is alread modified for the Heavy.  Only the MLP needs to be outfitted.

Offline sdsds

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Plus, even if the existing VIF could be modified to handle AVH,

The VIF is alread modified for the Heavy.  Only the MLP needs to be outfitted.

If you were scheduling the first Heavy through the VIF, how many buffer days would you add for "first time" issues?  For follow-on Heavies, any guess at how many days they would require in the VIF above what a Medium takes?  In the past, how many days has the VIF sat idle between launch campaigns?
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Offline meiza

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Flying a simple capsule on a single stick no solids EELV was obvious around 2005 already.

Offline Jorge

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it would appear the only thing needed to man rate atlas V is that system Jim referenced. Delta 4 I would imagine is a different story.

The only thing needed to human-rate Atlas V is NASA giving ULA the green light to do so.  To human-rate Delta IV-Heavy, NASA needs to first convince ULA to human-rate what would be, in ULA's opinion, the "wrong" launch system.

I suspect (offering no evidence whatsoever) that ULA leadership thinks human-rating Atlas V is optimal because:

1A) Atlas has such stunning human spaceflight lineage.  You just can't buy PR value like, "Atlas launched the first American astronaut into orbit."

Up to Atlas III, sure. Atlas V has far less in common with Mercury-Atlas than Ares I does with the Space Shuttle. (Though I'm sure that won't stop people from making that case for Atlas, but they'd be even more dishonest than those claiming Ares I is safest because of its shuttle heritage).
JRF

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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it would appear the only thing needed to man rate atlas V is that system Jim referenced. Delta 4 I would imagine is a different story.

The only thing needed to human-rate Atlas V is NASA giving ULA the green light to do so.  To human-rate Delta IV-Heavy, NASA needs to first convince ULA to human-rate what would be, in ULA's opinion, the "wrong" launch system.

I suspect (offering no evidence whatsoever) that ULA leadership thinks human-rating Atlas V is optimal because:

1A) Atlas has such stunning human spaceflight lineage.  You just can't buy PR value like, "Atlas launched the first American astronaut into orbit."

Up to Atlas III, sure. Atlas V has far less in common with Mercury-Atlas than Ares I does with the Space Shuttle. (Though I'm sure that won't stop people from making that case for Atlas, but they'd be even more dishonest than those claiming Ares I is safest because of its shuttle heritage).

It didn't stop ULA and NASA from drawing the link during the launch coverage of LRO/LCROSS. ;D

I understand from Jim that there is both Atlas and Titan heritage in the Atlas-V.  However, the point is confidence - if the name is familiar then the lay-person will feel safer with the investment.  That is why CxP kept on banging on about the alleged conceptual links between Ares-I/-V and Saturn-I/-V.
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Offline JasonAW3

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If we're going to go with existing and proven tech, why not build new Apollo capsules?
     We could easily upgrade the avionics, environmental control systems and TPS with modern tech, go back to using the old J-2 motor for the Service module, again, based on the old 60's design but upgraded with modern tech, and with the mass savings, we should be able to go with lightweight seats, and add a fourth astronaut to the mix.
     As the capsule and service modules would be upgraded to modern specs, we should be able to park them in orbit around the moon for about 2 weeks sending all four astronauts to the lunar surface in a LEM using at least 50% composits, with an asscent stage that could be either mostly composit in structure, or using a Bigalow inflatable as the ascent stage.  By sending up experiment pallets up on an unmanned LEM that could self pilot to a landing site near where the manned lander would arrive, the manned LEM could carry extra fuel, and perhaps a four person version of the lunar rover, to allow easy access and transfer of equipment and supplies from the cargo lander to the manned lander.
     Each craft, the Apollo Command module, (Capsule & Service Module) the Lunar Excursion Module and the Lunar Cargo Module, would be launched on 3 flights using an Atlas V with a pair of 4 segment Shuttle SRBs.  The LCM and LEM could be sent on low energy trajectories, landing the LCM and leaving the LEM in Lunar orbit until the apollo craft would rendevous with it.  The command Module would be put into stand-by mode, (Mostly powered down execpt for communications and basic systems support.  A set of extendable solar panels would extend from the sides of the Service Module to provide electrical power to recharge the Lithium-ion batteries in the capsule.
     The manned craft would require a minimal additional booster to get to the moon, requiring a Centaur stage insted of the Saturn Ib.

     While these launches would be more than the Ares concept, the use of Man Rated proven hardware should allow a low cost and fast turn around for initial landings on the moon and base set up.  (The LCM could carry a Bigalow habitat or two to start the construction of a base, and, should the LEM and Command Module prove able to sustain month long stays on the moon, them upgrades to the Orion or Deep Space version of the Dragon Capsule.

   It should be noted that either a special docking adaptor for the ISS or reconfiguring the LEM and the Apollo Capsule to use the CBM for the ISS would be required for ISS servicing missions.

Jason




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Offline Jim

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If we're going to go with existing and proven tech, why not build new Apollo capsules?


That is Orion.

Offline Jim

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LEM using at least 50% composits, with an asscent stage that could be either mostly composit in structure, or using a Bigalow inflatable as the ascent stage. 


The LM was light for its construction and composites are not always a weight saving.  Bigelow inflatables are not good for active spacecraft.

Online edkyle99

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I propose that we use existing technology and scale it up in phases as needed, both from the government sector and the commercial sector. What I propose can reduce the gap, save us money, do exploration very soon, allow for game changing research and development funding in the immeadiate future, and leave the door open to build new engines or Launch Vehicles if they become needed.
....
I propose to HR the Atlas 5, and direct Lockheed Martin to build a stripped down, Orion Lite leo crew taxi, specifcally designed for ISS to reduce our crew launch capability gap.

Also they should be directed to begin the development of an ACES 41 stage.

In the meant time, I recommend awarding a contract to Spacex to human rate Falcon 9 and to create a crewable dragon as soon as possible, with a target IOC of sometime in 2013.

 On the government side we already have an HLV: Two srbs, 3 SSMES, and a core (external fuel tank). So lets go ahead and simply put the pieces together. Build a SDHLV inline HLV, but not the largest one possible. Start with the j 130 and consider building a 5 diameter second stage. Since funding is limited, the pace will be slow, but the vehicle will not be needed for BEO exploration immeadietly.
...
Sorry, but haven't seen this thread until now.  Here are my thoughts.

You've proposed paying to develop two distinct crew launch spacecraft and launch vehicles *and* a super heavy lifter.  The Constellation cancellation tells me that there's no money for this much development effort.     

I like the idea of using existing launch systems.  Without money, that's clearly a given.  I don't like the idea of doing Orion Lite *and* Dragon or something else.  NASA should have just one commercial human launch competition and be done with it.  Lowest bidder wins.  Winner take all. 

Unfortunately, NASA is being forced to continue Orion via CRV while also opening bidding for another crew spacecraft.  Unless Orion wins the commercial crew launch contract, the Agency will end up wasting money on two spacecraft efforts.  IMO

A super heavy, shuttle derived or otherwise, would be nice, but it isn't going to happen as long as current conditions (i.e. Obama in the White House) prevail.  The only remaining path to heavier lift is to gradually improve existing launch systems.  The Aces 41 stage you mention, for example, would dramatically increase EELV Heavy LEO performance.  But even that would take major bucks not currently available to develop.

I'm convinced that in the current budget climate, LEO depot is the only way left to go anywhere but ISS [1].  Unfortunately, NASA is making no such plans.

IMO

 - Ed Kyle

[1] www.spacelaunchreport.com/moonslo.html
« Last Edit: 05/02/2010 12:21 AM by edkyle99 »

Offline FinalFrontier

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I propose that we use existing technology and scale it up in phases as needed, both from the government sector and the commercial sector. What I propose can reduce the gap, save us money, do exploration very soon, allow for game changing research and development funding in the immeadiate future, and leave the door open to build new engines or Launch Vehicles if they become needed.
....
I propose to HR the Atlas 5, and direct Lockheed Martin to build a stripped down, Orion Lite leo crew taxi, specifcally designed for ISS to reduce our crew launch capability gap.

Also they should be directed to begin the development of an ACES 41 stage.

In the meant time, I recommend awarding a contract to Spacex to human rate Falcon 9 and to create a crewable dragon as soon as possible, with a target IOC of sometime in 2013.

 On the government side we already have an HLV: Two srbs, 3 SSMES, and a core (external fuel tank). So lets go ahead and simply put the pieces together. Build a SDHLV inline HLV, but not the largest one possible. Start with the j 130 and consider building a 5 diameter second stage. Since funding is limited, the pace will be slow, but the vehicle will not be needed for BEO exploration immeadietly.
...
Sorry, but haven't seen this thread until now.  Here are my thoughts.

You've proposed paying to develop two distinct crew launch spacecraft and launch vehicles *and* a super heavy lifter.  The Constellation cancellation tells me that there's no money for this much development effort.     

I like the idea of using existing launch systems.  Without money, that's clearly a given.  I don't like the idea of doing Orion Lite *and* Dragon or something else.  NASA should have just one commercial human launch competition and be done with it.  Lowest bidder wins.  Winner take all. 

Unfortunately, NASA is being forced to continue Orion via CRV while also opening bidding for another crew spacecraft.  Unless Orion wins the commercial crew launch contract, the Agency will end up wasting money on two spacecraft efforts.  IMO

A super heavy, shuttle derived or otherwise, would be nice, but it isn't going to happen as long as current conditions (i.e. Obama in the White House) prevail.  The only remaining path to heavier lift is to gradually improve existing launch systems.  The Aces 41 stage you mention, for example, would dramatically increase EELV Heavy LEO performance.  But even that would take major bucks not currently available to develop.

I'm convinced that in the current budget climate, LEO depot is the only way left to go anywhere but ISS [1].  Unfortunately, NASA is making no such plans.

IMO

 - Ed Kyle

[1] www.spacelaunchreport.com/moonslo.html

In my idea not all of these things are done at once, nor are their development efforts funded at once. Efforts are funded in stages (once oine is finsihed the next one starts). Some would be funded at the same time, but not enough that it would break the bank.  Also, at any point in the game the decision remains open to: only build SDHLV and HR that, onr HR atlas 5 and go the EELV exploration route and drop sdhlv.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Also I would like to revise my orginal idea. Instead of building ACES for an upper stage (be it for EELV or SDHLV), if the Ares 1 second stage was not used as an upper stage (and IMHO it shouldn't be), instead I would propose to use the Centaur EDS style upper stage (in various configurations it would fire as a true upper stage and also burn for EDS, in others it would only fire as EDS and thus be "payload" not an upper stgae). I would recommend using this "mini aces" as an upper stage on the J 130, or using it in an EELV based exploration program. Please see the Centaur EDS thread for details on this.
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Offline sdsds

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To be fair, foregoing the ACES technologies means the payload must already be in orbit and capable of prompt rendezvous with the Centaur departure stage.  ACES assumed the stage might be called upon to provide propulsion a few dozen days or a few dozen weeks after launch.  Centaur might only be able to provide propulsion a few dozen hours after launch.  Thus the need for prompt LEO rendezvous, and the need for some other means of providing LOI or lunar flyby propulsion.
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Offline mmeijeri

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The extended duration mission kit would mitigate these issues. IIRC the Centaur would be capable of several days of operation with it.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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The extended duration mission kit would mitigate these issues. IIRC the Centaur would be capable of several days of operation with it.
Exactly.
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