Author Topic: ISS-based cryogenic third stages as expendable Earth-Moon tugs  (Read 21189 times)

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9646
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 465
Now I see, what would be needed would be something like the Orbital Manoeuvering Vehicle imagined for Freedom 25 years ago. The OMV would be based at the ISS and use Kurs (if that save any money).

Getting your hands on Kurs for the OMV would cost you more money than you can ever imagine.

Why not use Progress as a tug?

Offline Archibald

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2594
  • Liked: 477
  • Likes Given: 1096
Ah, I see where it all goes.
Kurs is the only (AFAIK - Shenzhou perhaps ?) automated docking system in the world, and the russians know that, so they sell it at a high price. The usual business of a monopolistic position, Microsoft-style.
In the end it is cheaper to buy a second-hand Soyuz or Progress with an on-board Kurs ! Kind of buying an old car just for a couple of unique spares.
Using Progress as a tug ? why not ? it reminds me of this http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/AIAASpace2008PaperMarkAFoster.pdf

The PBF used a second-hand ATV as a tug.  (ATF/PBF CONOPS)
« Last Edit: 07/27/2011 06:35 am by Archibald »
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline douglas100

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2177
  • Liked: 226
  • Likes Given: 104

In the end it is cheaper to buy a second-hand Soyuz or Progress with an on-board Kurs !

That would be kind of difficult since the Soyuz Kurs antennas are lost when the modules separate for entry. As for a second hand Progress, there ain't no such thing, by definition.  :)
Douglas Clark

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9646
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 465
A "used" Progress in this context means that the function of delivering cargo to ISS has been completed, and the Progress has separated from ISS. At this point, it may be available for use for other customers.


Offline Archibald

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2594
  • Liked: 477
  • Likes Given: 1096
Back to the -astute - CSI scheme.
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/199/1
How does the Soyuz / logistic module docks with the Block D or Breeze ?
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9646
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 465
Back to the -astute - CSI scheme.
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/199/1
How does the Soyuz / logistic module docks with the Block D or Breeze ?


In the CSI "Lunar Express" system, the Soyuz rendezvous with the Blok-DM/Briz-M baselines Kurs-SM, but it may be possible to conduct the operation without Kurs at all, to save some mass; we also considered use of Kurs-MM.

One of the variants of the scheme would have the crew jettison the Kurs active and passive boxes prior to TLI, although that would be a bit of a nightmare, it would save ~ 150 kg of mass.

Offline Jorge

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6184
  • Liked: 37
  • Likes Given: 0
A "used" Progress in this context means that the function of delivering cargo to ISS has been completed, and the Progress has separated from ISS. At this point, it may be available for use for other customers.



Think the Russians are still removing the Kurs boxes from Progress and stowing them on ISS for later return, even though the shuttle is no longer available to return them.
JRF

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9646
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 465
A "used" Progress in this context means that the function of delivering cargo to ISS has been completed, and the Progress has separated from ISS. At this point, it may be available for use for other customers.



Think the Russians are still removing the Kurs boxes from Progress and stowing them on ISS for later return, even though the shuttle is no longer available to return them.

Yes - the Lunar Express bseline requires that a Kurs active box be expended. That is one of the reasons why we were looking at not using Kurs for the rendezvous as an option, or using Kurs-MM.

When Lunar Express was first presented, Roskosmos was only flying 2 Soyuz and 3 - 4 Progress per year, so Kurs boxes were available. Now, with so many additional Kurs boxes needed, there may not be enough for Lunar Express. However, there are options.

« Last Edit: 07/27/2011 06:26 pm by Danderman »

Offline Archibald

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2594
  • Liked: 477
  • Likes Given: 1096
Got to learn about Kurs - any documentation on it is welcome.
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline Danderman

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9646
  • Liked: 375
  • Likes Given: 465
Got to learn about Kurs - any documentation on it is welcome.

http://niitp.ru/eng/

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4425
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 396
Now I see, what would be needed would be something like the Orbital Manoeuvering Vehicle imagined for Freedom 25 years ago. The OMV would be based at the ISS and use Kurs (if that save any money).

Getting your hands on Kurs for the OMV would cost you more money than you can ever imagine.

Why not use Progress as a tug?


Why stick with Kurs when the commercial vehicles are testing more advanced automated rendezvous systems?
Then there's the orbital express mission.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbital_Express

Maybe add an arm to the tug vehicle for greater flexibility as used on Orbital express.

The Russians are no longer the only game in town with automated docking Boeing has a more advanced system you can use.


« Last Edit: 07/28/2011 05:06 pm by Patchouli »

Offline alamo

  • Member
  • Posts: 53
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
Is it true there has never been a rendezvous conducted with a cryogenic stage?  By any space program?  Ever?

most similar

gemini-agena
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_10
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_11
"Gemini 11 used the rocket on its Agena target vehicle to raise its apogee to 850 miles (1,370 km), the highest Earth orbit ever reached by a manned spacecraft. The perigee was 179 miles (288 km), and maximum velocity (at perigee) was 17,967 miles per hour (28,915 km/h).[2] The apogee record stands as of April 2010, even though men have achieved greater distances from Earth by flying to the Moon in the Apollo program."

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28759
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8869
  • Likes Given: 5743
Very interesting... Gemini 11 docked with the Agena upperstage/spacecraft within about one orbit after Gemini launched... and about 3 hours after the Agena launched. That should make it pretty doable to rendezvous with a cryogenic stage before considerable boiloff and running just on batteries.

And this was when we had VERY little experience and a much lower level of computer technology and guidance/nav/control, etc.

EDIT:Should make a trip to EML1/2 relatively easy in a Dragon-sized capsule if it has a 1km/s on-board delta-v capability and a launch mass (including fuel) of 12mT.... If you could launch a Delta IV upper stage with 20 tons of propellant in it...
« Last Edit: 07/29/2011 05:01 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28759
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8869
  • Likes Given: 5743
BTW, does anyone know how much propellant would be left in the upper stage of a Delta IV Heavy upper stage if it flew with basically no payload (other than a docking adapter like LIDS or something) to LEO? (and if this is at all reasonable?) (assume RS-68a, since ULA is moving in that direction)

EDIT: Also, does anyone know how much less propellant is loaded in a Delta IV heavy upper stage when launching to LEO (versus GTO)?

EDIT:And what would it take to have a simple barrel-stretch of the Delta IV Heavy upper stage to carry more propellant? I would think this would end up being easier/cheaper than integrating a separate DIVH upper-as-a-payload on top of the DIVH upper, largely because of the pad modifications needed to support loading a payload with cryogenic propellants.
« Last Edit: 07/29/2011 05:23 pm by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28759
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8869
  • Likes Given: 5743
According to this:
http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/docs/publications/CentaurExtensibilityForLongDuration20067270.pdf

Centaur can go for 8 to 10 hours until its last burn, maybe longer. Agena was docked to within about a third of that.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline alamo

  • Member
  • Posts: 53
  • Liked: 2
  • Likes Given: 0
BTW, does anyone know how much propellant would be left in the upper stage of a Delta IV Heavy upper stage if it flew with basically no payload (other than a docking adapter like LIDS or something) to LEO?

atlas centaur.. lower price..  ::)
Atlas Agena D SLV-3 LEO Payload: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Payload: 700 kg (1,540 lb) to a GEO.
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/atldslv3.htm

Agena D
Gross mass: 6,821 kg (15,037 lb).
Unfuelled mass: 673 kg (1,483 lb).
http://www.astronautix.com/stages/agenad.htm

Gemini Agena Target Vehicle - space tug
Gross mass: 3,260 kg (7,180 lb).  (in LEO circa 50% remaining fuel)
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/gemhicle.htm
...............................
Gemini Centaur "target vehicle"

http://www.astronautix.com/craft/gemntaur.htm
"Such proposals might have been welcomed by the later 'cheaper, better, faster' NASA.
...
The Centaur would be launched atop a Titan II booster. The lunar Gemini spacecraft would have weighed 3,170 kg, an extra 270 kg over the basic rendezvous Gemini. The difference consisted of a backup inertial navigator and additional heat shielding for re-entry at 11 km/sec instead of 8 km/sec. This program was estimated to put an American around the moon for only $ 60 million more than the basic $ 356 million program. An even more aggressive alternative, a nine-flight program, was promised to cost only $ 8.5 million more than the basic program and fly around the moon in May 1964! This first attempt to fly Gemini to the moon was quickly suppressed, and a revision of the plan was issued only a week later, with all mention of lunar flights deleted."
...............................................................
Atlas V 401 payload to LEO 9797kg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_V
Centaur in the LEO estimate remaining fuel 75%

"Should make a trip to EML1/2 relatively easy.."




« Last Edit: 07/30/2011 02:10 pm by alamo »

Offline simonbp

Getting back to the original start of the thread, you could use ISS as a jumping-off point for Lunar or Mars missions, just not directly. Rather, you'd probably inject to a higher Earth orbit (something like GTO, at ISS inclination), do a plane change to correct plane for the transfer orbit (this is much cheaper at high orbit), and then finally inject to the Moon, Mars, etc.

The majority of the DV in this case is actually from the first burn (ISS to high orbit), so that's where the cryo stage comes in handy. After that, you migh be able to get away with storables...

Offline Archibald

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2594
  • Liked: 477
  • Likes Given: 1096

Quote

Getting your hands on Kurs for the OMV would cost you more money than you can ever imagine.


I've been reading Burroughs Dragonfly (the crisis aboard Mir) and found an interesting bit there.
Looks like Kurs was build in Ukraine, and after USSR breakup they made Russia pay a LOT for the system. Before building their own Russian Kurs, the sole solution was to develop a manual docking system, and that's how 1997 ended being a very bad year for Mir...
Looks like the Ukranian "blackmail" also explains why the "Kurs boxes" were brought back to Earth by Shuttles at some point.
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Offline RBSB

  • Member
  • Posts: 37
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
As the (horrible, I know) title says.

We suppose an international company. That company buy bulks of cryogenic third stages from countries willing to sell them
The company evidently also buy a rocket ride to loft these stages into low earth orbit. Evidently no payload is carried; no GEO satellite.

Meanwhile, lunar heavy payloads (15- 20 tons) are launched and dock to the ISS.
The company provide the cryogenic stages with Soyuzautomated rendezvous and docking gear (Kurs + probe-and-drogue).
Then a booster loft the cryogenic third stage near the ISS no fly zone, the payload disengage from the space station, dock to the stage, fire, head to L1 / L2 / LLO.
By using the ISS for a lunar program, we don't have to wait 2028 and the end of its useful life to return beyond LEO...

What are you really trying to do?  Find a way to utilize ISS or enable affordable, near term beyond LEO missions?

As far as I can tell from you description the only thing ISS provides is a place to hold a payload until the cryo stage is in orbit and the stack is ready to depart.  ISS doesn't really appear to offer much of a benefit here.  Station keeping isn't all that hard so why not just let the payload do it.  By passing the ISS avoids a rendezvous event, allows a more beneficial inclination such as 28 deg for US launches, increasing LEO performance by 10% and avoids all of the safety related issues with ISS.

Why not keep the same basic idea but just do it in a convenient LEO orbit, such as described in this presentation by Harley Thronsen.

Offline RBSB

  • Member
  • Posts: 37
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
TRL for cryo storage is too low without extensive development work.

ISS is built for specific and low load paths. A bunch of RL-10s would tear it apart.

Can you be a bit more descriptive regarding what TRL is too low to allow a payload to rendezvous with a cryo stage in a day or so followed by an Earth departure burn of the cryo stage?

Tags: