Author Topic: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures  (Read 53626 times)

Offline BogoMIPS

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #20 on: 04/18/2006 05:16 PM »
Hi all.

kraisee, one other cost change you aresn't taking into account with 4 SRBs is that the existing pad infrastructure can no longer support the design.  As long as the launcher is in the same form factor as STS, the existing launch pads, flame trenches, etc. can be used.  If we strap on two more SRBs, you'll have to revamp the pads as well as the launchers, which will incor even more costs.

I'm not saying it's a bad plan, but it certainly is another cost to consider in the system design.

Offline kraisee

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #21 on: 04/18/2006 08:16 PM »
Quote
BogoMIPS - 18/4/2006  1:16 PM

Hi all.

kraisee, one other cost change you aresn't taking into account with 4 SRBs is that the existing pad infrastructure can no longer support the design.  As long as the launcher is in the same form factor as STS, the existing launch pads, flame trenches, etc. can be used.  If we strap on two more SRBs, you'll have to revamp the pads as well as the launchers, which will incor even more costs.

I'm not saying it's a bad plan, but it certainly is another cost to consider in the system design.

The form factor for the MLP has to change anyway.   On STS, the main engines are not between the SRB's, they are offset by quite a large amount.

The MLP's are going to have to be thoroughly re-built in order to allow the main core engines to fire straight down between the SRB's.

If you're doing that change anyway, the holes through the MLP for SRB's today are actually long enough to support quad-SRB's right now.   Two extra SRB's is actually relatively simple and offers very little infrastructure cost differences.   All you really have to do is upgrade the water deluge system, and just another full set of SRB hold downs.   But neither of those are show-stoppers.

Here's an image demostrating the different locations...

http://65.33.118.71/Public/MLP_Locations2.jpg">

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

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #22 on: 04/18/2006 08:22 PM »
Actually, I just realised something...

If they are changing to a 33ft wide core for the CaLV, that arrangement is going to change things even more radically than just changing to quad-SRB's.

Actually, changing to quad-SRB's would also seem to allow the overall width of the vehicle to remain about the same as at present...

I'll re-work that diargam for y'all...

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

Offline kraisee

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #23 on: 04/18/2006 08:32 PM »
Ok, revised now...

http://65.33.118.71/Public/MLP_Locations3.jpg">

-R.
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Offline gladiator1332

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #24 on: 04/19/2006 12:07 AM »
It really seems that they have nothing to lose. The only hurdle this plan has to clear is that fact that operating costs may go up. However, it seems that the only changes to the facilities already have to happen, this plan would just cause us to take them one step further at some points.

Offline BarryKirk

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #25 on: 04/19/2006 12:52 AM »
Don't you see... I can't let them off the hook... Sure we upgraded to 4 SRB, but that isn't an excuse to get lazy and just use hypergols on the LSAM....

RP1 and LOX would be substantially better.

Offline BarryKirk

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #26 on: 04/19/2006 12:57 AM »
Actually, I'm liking what I'm hearing.  A super heavy launch vehicle will have margin.  Margin to lift more than we need.  People will get creative with the using the extra
capability.... Mars anyone?

Offline gladiator1332

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #27 on: 04/19/2006 01:14 AM »
I agree, extra is always good, that way we won't trap ourself into launching one type of mission. The current CaLV just barely gets two men on the Moon for an Apollo repeat. If we upgrade to 4 SRBs we can finally explore the Moon in detail. Astronauts can stay on the Moon for longer than we ever thought possible and truly train for a Mars mission. In the current plan they can stay for one week. How is that preparing us for long stays on another world?

Offline BogoMIPS

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #28 on: 04/19/2006 02:18 AM »
kraisee, good point about having to re-do the pad for the CaLV footprint anyways... Hadn't thought about that enough, I guess.

Assuming the pad logistics are thought about appropriately from the outset, I can now see a 4-SRB, "Block-II" CaLV as a reasonably possible scaling of the design.  That would be a nice payload margin to be able to keep in the pocket for moon and mars launches.

I'd also love to see a 200 metric ton "Skylab on Steroids"... :) :) :)

Offline kraisee

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #29 on: 04/19/2006 08:53 AM »
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BogoMIPS - 18/4/2006  10:18 PM

I'd also love to see a 200 metric ton "Skylab on Steroids"... :) :) :)

Yeah, with something like this available NASA could have launched two or three really huge modules into LEO and made a bigger, better space station for everyone.   Too late now of course...   But it opens up new options for the future.

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

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #30 on: 04/19/2006 09:42 AM »
It all looks really nice, and big, but the thing about an HLV based architecture is, at some point we say "this is big enough" and we just build it.  Period.  

...then, we find that it cannot accommodate our payload and mission requirements (and this is what I value the most, including costs).  What do we do?  Scrap it and build a bigger rocket?  Or, is our overall architecture (and I do NOT take this (buzz)word lightly), robust to withstand the ripple in up mass?  If we put our eggs, as it were, into this one basket from the onset, do we forgo a more flexible and robust approach?  (i.e. if we decide we want to do orbital assembly, have we wasted time and money?)  I have no fixed attitude based on factual knowledge about the merits of either, but doubts started to creep in after the latest discussion about changes in ESAS)

Offline lmike

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #31 on: 04/19/2006 09:42 AM »
(weird post duplicate deleted)

Offline Tap-Sa

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #32 on: 04/19/2006 12:24 PM »
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lmike - 19/4/2006  1:42 PM
  If we put our eggs, as it were, into this one basket from the onset, do we forgo a more flexible and robust approach?  (i.e. if we decide we want to do orbital assembly, have we wasted time and money?)  

Well, not quite. The ongoing question is where goes NASA's orbital assembly 'pain threshold'. IOW at which point do they bite the bullet and accept it as nominal part of the mission. It is inevitability and in a way it's already part of moon mission anyway. LSAM and CEV has to assemble, twice, for a succesful mission. What's the fundamental difference of that compared to, say launching EDS LOX in multiple tanks using smaller launchers and connecting them in orbit? IMO none, one requires just more launches than the other.

Mars mission would require orbital assembly of several CaLV payloads. I doubt there will be ~500t superheavy vehicle to launch it in one go and not even in two. To develope such for just a couple launches per decade would be extraordinary costly. I don't see manned Mars missions happening at faster rate than that for a very long time.

People (Zubrin being among the most vocal) object orbital assembly and claim it dooms any mission if single failure happens during multiple launches. IMO this reasoning is wrong. Each part launched should have a backup standing by. If EDS LOX tank #4 launch fails, tuff, send another. You ought to have at least one spare already built because AFAIK the idea is to keep going to the moon, not just stick another flag there once or twice.

Above scenario would require such thinking that the failed LOX launch would not ground the launch vehicle for two years to investigate what went wrong. Of course you investigate but while doing that you keep launching because you have to accept the fact that these things aren't perfect. If you use an established EELV class launcher with maybe 100+ successes under belt and then the #4 oxygen tank flight fails, it does NOT denote that the vehicle suddenly became a miserable death trap and next launch without any modifications would fail with 99% certainty. The mission would require only one extra flight.

Propellant transfer/storage is a major issue in true orbital assembly for lunar or Mars mission. Waiting months with LH2 boiling in the tanks is not a good deal. Intermediate solution might be to launch and assemble LOX tanks first, and LH2 in last shot or just before the crew. Proper permanent solution is to have an orbiting garage/fuel depot where you assemble your craft and fill her up when ready.

Offline lmike

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #33 on: 04/19/2006 01:12 PM »
It rings true, but the current ESAS (seemingly?) is in opposition to the old advocated assembly plan.  Multiple launches==bad, as I read it.  One more screw to tighten on orbit is bad, if we can launch it all in one piece.  That's what they gear up for.  "1.5 architecture" and no step back.  If they are establishing the 'pain threshold', why deliberate on the exact amounts?  Do it with it in mind from the beginning.  And that involves additional planning and infrastructure. (bad or good, I don't know)

[edit] just to explain myself, it seems to me this *is* a fundamental point to the 'architecture'  LSAM/EDS to CEV assembly is 'just' a thing they can't avoid, but they'd like to.   Maybe, they shouldn't be afraid of this.

Offline kraisee

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #34 on: 04/20/2006 05:54 AM »
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lmike - 19/4/2006  9:12 AM

It rings true, but the current ESAS (seemingly?) is in opposition to the old advocated assembly plan.  Multiple launches==bad, as I read it.

Not quite.

Minimal amount of assembly=good.

Some assembly required - always, though.

The ESAS was basically trying to make sure that we have a 120+mT lifter available for the future.   That means that when we decide to eventually go to Mars and need a 500mT vehicle in LEO, we don't spend 15 years building it on 400 EELV-sized flights.

They've learned that a station as big as ISS could have been launched on just three Heavy Lifters, instead of the 50-60 flights of Shuttle, Proton, Soyuz and eventually Ariane flights it actually is going to require.

The practical limit is between 100-200mT for a Heavy Lifter.   That's also a good area on the ol' price:performance curve too.   While a super-heavy would be cool, it's just not necessary.   A handful of plain Heavies can loft 500 tons - which is enough to get us truly going 'out there' without additional expense.

But without a heavy of reasonable performance, we're going to languish in LEO forever.

Ross.
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Offline Kayla

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #35 on: 04/20/2006 12:02 PM »
At some point NASA needs to decide if they want affordable access to space.  Having two dedicated NASA only rockets (CLV & CaLV) flying a few times a year is an extremely expensive venture, both recurring and non-recurring.  NASA is planning on spending over $20B through 2018 developing these 2 rockets.  And once they are built they wonít be cheep at $476m for the CLV (price quoted to the RLEP program at MSFC) and around $1B for the CaLV.  

If a lunar mission required 150 mT this would require ~6 Atlas or Delta HLVís (25mT for Delta or 28 mT for Atlas).  For a Mars mission of 500 mT this would require 20 launches, not the 400 Kraisee refers to.  For the $20B non-recurring NASA already has planned one could purchase 100 EELV HLV launches, not including rate discounts.  The combined Atlas/Delta production capability was initially designed around 50 annual launches, plenty of capacity to accommodate a very robust exploration program.  Competing these launches would also open the opportunity to new launch providers.  NASA needs to maintain the flexibility to accommodate future agency needs.  A super heavy, exclusively geared to lunar missions will lock NASA into an infrastructure that canít satisfy its needs.  Iím not convinced that CaLV effectively can support Mars seeing as NASA still hasnít figured out how to use the CaLV to go to the moon and hasnít really started looking at Mars

Beyond the incredible cost savings, Tap-Sa had it right. The Atlas and Delta rockets will have built up dozens of launches by the time the CEV is ready to fly, demonstrating their reliability.  At 1 or 2 launches per year how reliable will either the CLV or CaLV really be? I personally am tired of paper studies on reliability, shuttle was supposed to have only 1 failure in 10,000.  Actually demonstrated reliability is much more meaningful.  Atlas is currently at 78 successful launches in a row, including Atlas II, III and now V.

If there is a failure on one of these launches you still have the other and really the rest of the world (Ariane, HII, Long March, Ö) to fall back to.

Offline BogoMIPS

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #36 on: 04/20/2006 02:20 PM »
Falling back on the rest of the world isn't a viable option.  There no guaranteeing that countries the U.S. has good relations with today will be willing to partner up tomorrow.  

In a perfect world, you are quite correct.  However, geopolitics trumps logic, as usual.  Domestically-building a foreign design might be an option, but won't get past the politicians, either.

The U.S. needs a domestic solution, be it EELVs or SDLVs.  It's beginning to look like neither can do exactly what we want in their current incarnations, so you've got to spend the money somewhere. :)

I lean towards the SDLV solutions (as I'm sure everyone knows by now), but it's certainly a topic that should be debated.

Offline edkyle99

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #37 on: 04/20/2006 02:34 PM »
Quote
Kayla - 20/4/2006  7:02 AM  Atlas is currently at 78 successful launches in a row, including Atlas II, III and now V.

Atlas V, the only currently operational Atlas, has only flown seven times.  
Its RD-180 main propulsion system has only performed 13 missions.
The SRMs are still on a learning curve too.  The program is flawless so
far, benefiting from past Atlas experience, but it is still early.  Flight No. 8
may happen this afternoon.

- Ed Kyle

Online wannamoonbase

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #38 on: 04/20/2006 03:26 PM »
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kraisee - 20/4/2006  12:54 AM
They've learned that a station as big as ISS could have been launched on just three Heavy Lifters, instead of the 50-60 flights of Shuttle, Proton, Soyuz and eventually Ariane flights it actually is going to require.

The practical limit is between 100-200mT for a Heavy Lifter.   That's also a good area on the ol' price:performance curve too.   While a super-heavy would be cool, it's just not necessary.   A handful of plain Heavies can loft 500 tons - which is enough to get us truly going 'out there' without additional expense.

But without a heavy of reasonable performance, we're going to languish in LEO forever.

Ross.

Didn't they stay away from the HLV 2 or 3 launch ISS model because it looked too much like Skylab and it left nothing for the shuttle to do?  I would have launched the empty station in a few pieces and spent some year outfitting the inside with shuttle flights and you would have had an operable station 10 years ago.

A agree that a modest sized HLV (relative term right) used multiple times is far more practical than a 400 mT launcher used once a year or once every two years.  

Would still like a liquid fly back first stage.  a half billion to launch CEV is plain crazy talk.
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Offline R&R

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RE: "Heavy" CaLV performance figures
« Reply #39 on: 04/20/2006 04:05 PM »
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Kayla - 21/4/2006  6:02 AM

If a lunar mission required 150 mT this would require ~6 Atlas or Delta HLVís (25mT for Delta or 28 mT for Atlas).  For a Mars mission of 500 mT this would require 20 launches, not the 400 Kraisee refers to.  

Beyond the incredible cost savings, Tap-Sa had it right. The Atlas and Delta rockets will have built up dozens of launches by the time the CEV is ready to fly, demonstrating their reliability.

Both the Delta IV and Atlas V Heavies can be given minor modifications which can get to 50 mT, that won't cost much and can work with existing Pads (maybe slightly modified) and will have the demonstrated reliability neither of the new NASA vehicles will.  I don't care if CLV and CaLV are derived from Shuttle and Apollo they'll really be very new and untried.

I'd propose that NASA go with the modified EELVs and use both.  This would allow them to launch faster and put up the 3 to 4 pieces needed for whatever it was they were going to put up in one piece at 150 mT.  In fact I'll bet what they end up with weighs barely 100 mT total.  The launches could be accomplished in 3 to 4 months.  The first two could be only days apart.  Delta IV even has an edge in that they can up to 4 Heavies ready to at the same time, 1 on the Pad and 3 in the HIF assembled and ready to go to the Pad.  Atlas can have all the parts ready to stack in the VIF for probably 2 or 3. :)

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