Author Topic: NASA Request for Information Synopsis for the Flagship Technology Demonstrations  (Read 37384 times)

Offline Lee Jay

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This is a program with many long term benefits.  I still wish that we'd push for the logical "showoff" mission for it, an Apollo 8 redeux using EELV's.  "What we once needed a super sized, super expensive rocket to do, we can now do with common boosters we fly with every day."

But an Apollo 8 redeux isn't a very useful thing to do.  I'd disagree with Jim on this point - to me, if we are to do anything useful, with humans, beyond LEO, we will need HLVs.  But that's mostly to do with what different people consider "useful".

Offline Downix

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This is a program with many long term benefits.  I still wish that we'd push for the logical "showoff" mission for it, an Apollo 8 redeux using EELV's.  "What we once needed a super sized, super expensive rocket to do, we can now do with common boosters we fly with every day."

But an Apollo 8 redeux isn't a very useful thing to do.  I'd disagree with Jim on this point - to me, if we are to do anything useful, with humans, beyond LEO, we will need HLVs.  But that's mostly to do with what different people consider "useful".
I didn't say useful, I said showoff.  It is useful in getting people excited, in getting people reared up.  It is also useful as a demonstration, to demonstrate the technical capability of deep space travel. 

Right now, we cannot demonstrate any sort of long term capability beyond LEO.  This would serve to kill two birds with a single stone, inspiration and technical know-how.  Never discount the beauty of inspiration.

Of course then the issue is what engines can run on LCH4?

*edit* answered it myself:
http://www.asdnews.com/news/27744/NASA_Completes_Altitude_Testing_of_Aerojet_LOX/LCH4_Rocket_Engine.htm

This new direction of NASA is not as ho hum as it first appears...
« Last Edit: 07/07/2010 02:19 PM by Downix »
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Offline agman25

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The In-Space Propellant Transfer and Storage Demonstration is baselined for LOX/Methane not LOX/H2. Is there a working LOX/Methane engine in existence or is that a part of the Demo.

Offline Downix

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The In-Space Propellant Transfer and Storage Demonstration is baselined for LOX/Methane not LOX/H2. Is there a working LOX/Methane engine in existence or is that a part of the Demo.
Aerojet has one that they are developing.  The Russians also have a few. XCOR have one. 

So, the answer is, yes.
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Offline agman25

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The In-Space Propellant Transfer and Storage Demonstration is baselined for LOX/Methane not LOX/H2. Is there a working LOX/Methane engine in existence or is that a part of the Demo.
Aerojet has one that they are developing.  The Russians also have a few. XCOR have one. 

So, the answer is, yes.

None with the RL-10's record.

Offline KSC Engineer

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http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={980D21C5-AF8F-7252-C1BA-507EA54906BB}&path=closed

Can't believe this was overlooked.  This is what NASA should be doing more of.

There are four missions:
FTD 1-- Advanced In-Space Propulsion Demonstration
FTD 2 -- In-Space Propellant Transfer and Storage Demonstration
FTD 3 -- Inflatable ISS Mission Module Demonstration
FTD 4 -- Aero-Assist Demonstration

Three of them require an AR&D Demonstration Vehicle, known at the FSV.
http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument?cmdocumentid=230989&solicitationId={980D21C5-AF8F-7252-C1BA-507EA54906BB}&viewSolicitationDocument=1

So, tugs and depots are demonstrated here.

Where Node 4 falls into this is TBD.  It may be separate from the FTD's. 

Agree 100%

Offline STS-200

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Best NASA related news I've seen in a long time.

Useful missions with near-term objectives. Let's just hope they are not cancelled in favour of useless programs with no objectives.
"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome."

Offline yg1968

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http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={980D21C5-AF8F-7252-C1BA-507EA54906BB}&path=closed

Can't believe this was overlooked.  This is what NASA should be doing more of.

It wasn't overlooked. There was already a thread on this topic that was started in May:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=21677.0
« Last Edit: 07/07/2010 03:47 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Downix

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The In-Space Propellant Transfer and Storage Demonstration is baselined for LOX/Methane not LOX/H2. Is there a working LOX/Methane engine in existence or is that a part of the Demo.
Aerojet has one that they are developing.  The Russians also have a few. XCOR have one. 

So, the answer is, yes.

None with the RL-10's record.
No engines, period, have the RL-10's record. 

Incidentally, Rocketdyne did do testing with the RL-10 running on LCH4 in the distant pass, so even this is an option.
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Online Chris Bergin

« Last Edit: 07/07/2010 04:03 PM by Chris Bergin »

Offline JDCampbell

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http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/solicitations/summary.do?method=init&solId={980D21C5-AF8F-7252-C1BA-507EA54906BB}&path=closed

Can't believe this was overlooked.  This is what NASA should be doing more of.

There are four missions:
FTD 1-- Advanced In-Space Propulsion Demonstration
FTD 2 -- In-Space Propellant Transfer and Storage Demonstration
FTD 3 -- Inflatable ISS Mission Module Demonstration
FTD 4 -- Aero-Assist Demonstration

Three of them require an AR&D Demonstration Vehicle, known at the FSV.
http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/viewrepositorydocument?cmdocumentid=230989&solicitationId={980D21C5-AF8F-7252-C1BA-507EA54906BB}&viewSolicitationDocument=1

So, tugs and depots are demonstrated here.

Where Node 4 falls into this is TBD.  It may be separate from the FTD's. 

Agree 100%

And a fairly recent news update for VASIMR fans: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=space&id=news/asd/2010/06/16/12.xml

You will notice that they bumped up their testing to mid 2014 for the ISS. Rather disappointing. 



« Last Edit: 07/07/2010 09:31 PM by JDCampbell »

Online Ronsmytheiii

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SO the question now is, with the new funding priorities from the Senate bill, how will it affect the Flagship technologies program?  I can definitely see some programs being developed later rather than earlier, the question is which ones? I would bet VASMIR continues on unabated, the question is which will be a higher priority: the autonomous systems or propellant depots.  I will be willing to bet that inflatable modules and aero-assist will be much lower in priorities.
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Offline jongoff

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SO the question now is, with the new funding priorities from the Senate bill, how will it affect the Flagship technologies program?  I can definitely see some programs being developed later rather than earlier, the question is which ones? I would bet VASMIR continues on unabated, the question is which will be a higher priority: the autonomous systems or propellant depots.  I will be willing to bet that inflatable modules and aero-assist will be much lower in priorities.

I'm *definitely* biased, but I hope it's the propellant depots.  Autonomous rendezvous and docking systems have been done already by several groups in industry.  They're already pretty high TRL.  You have all sorts of projects ranging from Russian ones to Orbital Express, XSS-11, etc, etc.  Groups like MDA are even actively trying to close a business case to build their own operating systems.  The main thing keeping them from being 100% TRL-9 is just the difficulty of getting a toe-hold market, not the technology itself.  This item really seemed like a case of NASA ignoring stuff because it was Not Invented Here.

~Jon

Offline yg1968

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SO the question now is, with the new funding priorities from the Senate bill, how will it affect the Flagship technologies program?  I can definitely see some programs being developed later rather than earlier, the question is which ones? I would bet VASMIR continues on unabated, the question is which will be a higher priority: the autonomous systems or propellant depots.  I will be willing to bet that inflatable modules and aero-assist will be much lower in priorities.

The inflatable modules can be done at the ISS and probably cost less than the rest (especially if you buy them from Bigelow). I can see that continuing.

Offline rjholling

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No mention of nuclear power for in space electric propulsion.  That more than anything else would be the kind of game changing technology the President was looking for.

Online rcoppola

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No mention of nuclear power for in space electric propulsion.  That more than anything else would be the kind of game changing technology the President was looking for.

This may come by default as the only viable way to scale a VASMIR for deep space missions?
« Last Edit: 07/17/2010 04:29 PM by rcoppola »
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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No mention of nuclear power for in space electric propulsion.  That more than anything else would be the kind of game changing technology the President was looking for.

This may come by default as the only viable way to scale a VASMIR for deep space missions?

Since VASIMR trips to Mars and the asteroids can use solar power any nuclear power would have to wait for a trip to Saturn or Jupiter in 20 or 30 years time.

Offline sdsds

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SO the question now is, with the new funding priorities from the Senate bill, how will it affect the Flagship technologies program?

I'm *definitely* biased, but I hope it's the propellant depots. 

Agreed that propellant depots should be high on any priority list, and it will be important that the reasons for this are made explicit.  What I'm hoping is that over the course of the next few months some deep thought will get put into the selection of missions, based on even deeper thought about the implications of the technologies to be demonstrated.

Moreover, each of these missions provides an opportunity to achieve multiple goals.  Demonstrating a particular technology or set of technologies is somewhat interesting; the real "win" would be actually using those technologies to achieve a goal that has value in-and-of itself.
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Agreed that propellant depots should be high on any priority list, and it will be important that the reasons for this are made explicit.  What I'm hoping is that over the course of the next few months some deep thought will get put into the selection of missions, based on even deeper thought about the implications of the technologies to be demonstrated.

Moreover, each of these missions provides an opportunity to achieve multiple goals.  Demonstrating a particular technology or set of technologies is somewhat interesting; the real "win" would be actually using those technologies to achieve a goal that has value in-and-of itself.

The second refuelling at a propellant depot could be used to increase the mass of the probe landed on the Moon.

Offline GClark

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The FTD-1 mission architure appears (according to the presentation) to be fairly well developed and doesn't require anything we don't already have/understand.  Getting an early flight test of NExT thrusters and FASTT arrays would be worthwhile.

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