Author Topic: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now  (Read 28651 times)

Offline go4mars

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3754
  • Earth
  • Liked: 152
  • Likes Given: 3184
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #20 on: 12/17/2011 04:58 pm »
Might it be flown as a drone instead? 
We can only comment on what was presented which shows a crewed carrier aircraft.  If is to be then ethically they need to be protected with means of escape in some form... It could be remote piloted or programmed with waypoints as a drone as well. We need to minimize risk to crew as much as possible and eliminated when not needed at all.
  Maybe it would only be crewed at certain phases: use 2 crews to eliminate the risk.  Get airborne, hit the remote control button, then crew 1 parachutes out of there.  If in-flight re-fuelling is possible, then perhaps so is mid-flight re-crewing. 

After launch, a couple guys essentially wearing space-suits drop down along a wire from a different craft into a hatch on stratolauncher.  Sounds a bit too James Bond, but it might be less expensive than developing unmanned systems for takeoff and landing.  Also, it's arguable whether this would decrease risk to crew or increase it. 

If it must be manned, it would be a nifty gig for the pilots!   
« Last Edit: 12/17/2011 04:59 pm by go4mars »
Elasmotherium; hurlyburly Doggerlandic Jentilak steeds insouciantly gallop in viridescent taiga, eluding deluginal Burckle's abyssal excavation.

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9222
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3069
  • Likes Given: 8360
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #21 on: 12/17/2011 05:06 pm »
Might it be flown as a drone instead? 
We can only comment on what was presented which shows a crewed carrier aircraft.  If is to be then ethically they need to be protected with means of escape in some form... It could be remote piloted or programmed with waypoints as a drone as well. We need to minimize risk to crew as much as possible and eliminated when not needed at all.
  Maybe it would only be crewed at certain phases: use 2 crews to eliminate the risk.  Get airborne, hit the remote control button, then crew 1 parachutes out of there.  If in-flight re-fuelling is possible, then perhaps so is mid-flight re-crewing. 

After launch, a couple guys essentially wearing space-suits drop down along a wire from a different craft into a hatch on stratolauncher.  Sounds a bit too James Bond, but it might be less expensive than developing unmanned systems for takeoff and landing.  Also, it's arguable whether this would decrease risk to crew or increase it. 

If it must be manned, it would be a nifty gig for the pilots!   
Being a pilot I would like to fly anything I could get my hands on. But bailing out of a perfectly good airplane? I would not consider that normal ops. Some pilots need to get over the fact that they are not needed all the time for all operations with modern computer and robotic technology… The Shuttle was hand flown around the HAC and even then it was designed to land itself going back to the 1970’s.
« Last Edit: 12/17/2011 05:07 pm by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Zed_Noir

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2647
  • Canada
  • Liked: 431
  • Likes Given: 651
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #22 on: 12/17/2011 05:15 pm »
If you are really going to have "a bad day", then we will need it for the carrier aircraft crew as well. This is another one of the complexities with this system, LOV and possible LOC for two systems.
So do think stratolaunch aircraft will have a thermally protective crew ejection system?   Might it be flown as a drone instead? 

You could have encapsulated ejection seat like on the B58 Hustler or a crew ejection capule like on the F111/FB111 Aardvark. Think you can fly the Stratolaunch Carrier with 2 persons.

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9222
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3069
  • Likes Given: 8360
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #23 on: 12/17/2011 05:32 pm »
If you are really going to have "a bad day", then we will need it for the carrier aircraft crew as well. This is another one of the complexities with this system, LOV and possible LOC for two systems.
So do think stratolaunch aircraft will have a thermally protective crew ejection system?   Might it be flown as a drone instead? 

You could have encapsulated ejection seat like on the B58 Hustler or a crew ejection capule like on the F111/FB111 Aardvark. Think you can fly the Stratolaunch Carrier with 2 persons.
Sure you can, but that again adds weight and complexity and the capsule is like having to design another plane within a plane. Anything can be made to work with enough time and money, just look at the ISS.
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4426
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 397
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #24 on: 12/17/2011 05:37 pm »

If you look at the video, it is almost within seconds of launch. My worst case senarion is while still mated, now that would be a bad day...

Since it is air launched crashing on the launch pad which is one of the the primary causes of a an LV exploding is eliminated.

The other instances are usually the range safety system destructing the vehicle and this could be dealt with by having a delay in arming it which I believe most LV's already have to make sure it clears the pad before being blown up.
Since it's air launched the range safety system could possibly even be eliminated and the vehicle just make use of thrust termination like Russian rockets do.
« Last Edit: 12/17/2011 05:40 pm by Patchouli »

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9222
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3069
  • Likes Given: 8360
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #25 on: 12/17/2011 05:45 pm »

If you look at the video, it is almost within seconds of launch. My worst case senarion is while still mated, now that would be a bad day...

Since it is air launched crashing on the launch pad which is one of the the primary causes of a an LV exploding is eliminated.

The other instances are usually the range safety system destructing the vehicle and this could be dealt with by having a delay in arming it which I believe most LV's already have to make sure it clears the pad before being blown up.
Since it's air launched the range safety system could possibly even be eliminated and the vehicle just make use of thrust termination like Russian rockets do.
I tend to look at this operation more along the lines of the X-1, X-2 and X-15. If your look back at their problems during their flight history you can see my concerns. From in-flight fires and explosions and this will be at a much larger scale.  Just things to consider while still mated…
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Patchouli

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4426
  • Liked: 195
  • Likes Given: 397
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #26 on: 12/17/2011 05:51 pm »

If you look at the video, it is almost within seconds of launch. My worst case senarion is while still mated, now that would be a bad day...

Since it is air launched crashing on the launch pad which is one of the the primary causes of a an LV exploding is eliminated.

The other instances are usually the range safety system destructing the vehicle and this could be dealt with by having a delay in arming it which I believe most LV's already have to make sure it clears the pad before being blown up.
Since it's air launched the range safety system could possibly even be eliminated and the vehicle just make use of thrust termination like Russian rockets do.
I tend to look at this operation more along the lines of the X-1, X-2 and X-15. If your look back at their problems during their flight history you can see my concerns. From in-flight fires and explosions and this will be at a much larger scale.  Just things to consider while still mated…

I figure the most dangerous time would be during take off as the carrier is heavy.

I don't know the specs of this system such as is the rocket fueled on ground or in flight from tanks inside the plane.

It still should be much safer then the first 5 seconds of a conventional rocket's flight.

Offline Rocket Science

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9222
  • NASA Educator Astronaut Candidate Applicant 2002
  • Liked: 3069
  • Likes Given: 8360
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #27 on: 12/17/2011 06:00 pm »

If you look at the video, it is almost within seconds of launch. My worst case senarion is while still mated, now that would be a bad day...

Since it is air launched crashing on the launch pad which is one of the the primary causes of a an LV exploding is eliminated.

The other instances are usually the range safety system destructing the vehicle and this could be dealt with by having a delay in arming it which I believe most LV's already have to make sure it clears the pad before being blown up.
Since it's air launched the range safety system could possibly even be eliminated and the vehicle just make use of thrust termination like Russian rockets do.
I tend to look at this operation more along the lines of the X-1, X-2 and X-15. If your look back at their problems during their flight history you can see my concerns. From in-flight fires and explosions and this will be at a much larger scale.  Just things to consider while still mated…

I figure the most dangerous time would be during take off as the carrier is heavy.

I don't know the specs of this system such as is the rocket fueled on ground or in flight from tanks inside the plane.

It still should be much safer then the first 5 seconds of a conventional rocket's flight.
As I wrote in a prior post it could happened while still on the ground on the ramp or during take-off roll. Remember the Apollo 1 fire and how a safe and simple plugs-out test turned tragic… Never take anything for granted. Like I tell my students “the laws of physics are unforgiving”…
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline douglas100

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2177
  • Liked: 226
  • Likes Given: 104
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #28 on: 12/17/2011 09:42 pm »
Sidestepping the technical and safety aspects of Stratolaunch for a moment, I want to comment on the demand for the system.

Rather than looking at the impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand, I want to look at the impact of competition on Stratolaunch demand. If the Stratolaunch payload is in the Delta II class, then two of its competitors would be Antares and Soyuz.

Stratolaunch's advantage is claimed to be in its flexibility to reach "any orbit, any time." This is especially useful in rendezvous missions to ISS where the carrier aircraft can alter its launch point at short notice to extend the launch window available. But for the launch of most commercial payloads this flexibility seems less necessary.

Stratolaunch's flexibility may give it an advantage over a launch vehicle like Antares (even if Antares gets a West Coast launch site), but it's less obvious that it has much advantage over Soyuz. A Soyuz launched from Kourou can reach any inclination from almost equatorial to sun-synchronous.

As far as cost of Stratolaunch compared with the competition is concerned, that's a black area. It's difficult to imagine it being spectacularly cheaper.
Douglas Clark

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28766
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8881
  • Likes Given: 5746
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #29 on: 12/17/2011 10:10 pm »
Falcon 9 would also be a competitor. As would Indian and Chinese launchers.
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 Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32552
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11357
  • Likes Given: 335
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #30 on: 12/17/2011 10:16 pm »

Stratolaunch's advantage is claimed to be in its flexibility to reach "any orbit, any time." This is especially useful in rendezvous missions to ISS where the carrier aircraft can alter its launch point at short notice to extend the launch window available. But for the launch of most commercial payloads this flexibility seems less necessary.


There are 3 competitors (F9). 

The extended launch window is not really necessary, see STS and Delta launch on times.

Offline JohnFornaro

  • Not an expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9176
  • Delta-t is the salient metric.
  • Planet Eaarth
    • Design / Program Associates
  • Liked: 623
  • Likes Given: 339
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #31 on: 12/18/2011 01:51 pm »
Meanwhile, many of the payloads listed on its early backlogs have disappeared or been launched by others.

I did not know that.  Do you have some examples?

Also, wouldn't that sucker require a helluva long runway?
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline sammie

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 553
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #32 on: 12/18/2011 02:56 pm »
HYLAS 2 was on the F9 manifest, but will be launched by Arianespace now
"The dreams ain't broken downhere, they're just walking with a limp"

Offline douglas100

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2177
  • Liked: 226
  • Likes Given: 104
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #33 on: 12/18/2011 04:16 pm »
@Jim & Robotbeat:

Agree.
Douglas Clark

Offline ArbitraryConstant

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1769
  • Liked: 439
  • Likes Given: 253
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #34 on: 12/19/2011 03:27 am »
Stratolaunch's advantage is claimed to be in its flexibility to reach "any orbit, any time." This is especially useful in rendezvous missions to ISS where the carrier aircraft can alter its launch point at short notice to extend the launch window available. But for the launch of most commercial payloads this flexibility seems less necessary.
Would there be any demand from the DoD for a just-in-time launch service?

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28766
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8881
  • Likes Given: 5746
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #35 on: 12/19/2011 04:05 am »
Stratolaunch's advantage is claimed to be in its flexibility to reach "any orbit, any time." This is especially useful in rendezvous missions to ISS where the carrier aircraft can alter its launch point at short notice to extend the launch window available. But for the launch of most commercial payloads this flexibility seems less necessary.
Would there be any demand from the DoD for a just-in-time launch service?
Yes, I would imagine there would be. Another previous air launch concept (called QuickReach by Airlaunch LLC) received funding from DARPA's FALCON program which had a requirement to launch within 24 hours of notice. The larger (manned) variant (QuickReach II) of this also proposed using something remarkably similar to the Stratolaunch carrier aircraft. It was supposed to be about as big and also built by Scaled Composites. There's lots of inbreeding in the aerospace sector.
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 Jim

  • Night Gator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 32552
  • Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Liked: 11357
  • Likes Given: 335
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #36 on: 12/19/2011 07:40 am »
Stratolaunch's advantage is claimed to be in its flexibility to reach "any orbit, any time." This is especially useful in rendezvous missions to ISS where the carrier aircraft can alter its launch point at short notice to extend the launch window available. But for the launch of most commercial payloads this flexibility seems less necessary.
Would there be any demand from the DoD for a just-in-time launch service?
Yes, I would imagine there would be. Another previous air launch concept (called QuickReach by Airlaunch LLC) received funding from DARPA's FALCON program which had a requirement to launch within 24 hours of notice. The larger (manned) variant (QuickReach II) of this also proposed using something remarkably similar to the Stratolaunch carrier aircraft. It was supposed to be about as big and also built by Scaled Composites. There's lots of inbreeding in the aerospace sector.

What DARPA does doesn't always mean the rest of the DOD wants it or is ready for it.

Offline Robotbeat

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 28766
  • Minnesota
  • Liked: 8881
  • Likes Given: 5746
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #37 on: 12/19/2011 12:21 pm »
Stratolaunch's advantage is claimed to be in its flexibility to reach "any orbit, any time." This is especially useful in rendezvous missions to ISS where the carrier aircraft can alter its launch point at short notice to extend the launch window available. But for the launch of most commercial payloads this flexibility seems less necessary.
Would there be any demand from the DoD for a just-in-time launch service?
Yes, I would imagine there would be. Another previous air launch concept (called QuickReach by Airlaunch LLC) received funding from DARPA's FALCON program which had a requirement to launch within 24 hours of notice. The larger (manned) variant (QuickReach II) of this also proposed using something remarkably similar to the Stratolaunch carrier aircraft. It was supposed to be about as big and also built by Scaled Composites. There's lots of inbreeding in the aerospace sector.

What DARPA does doesn't always mean the rest of the DOD wants it or is ready for it.
True. But there's a potential desire for such a capability.
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 ArbitraryConstant

  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1769
  • Liked: 439
  • Likes Given: 253
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #38 on: 12/19/2011 02:20 pm »
What DARPA does doesn't always mean the rest of the DOD wants it or is ready for it.
Not guaranteed, but I think it's safe to assume they've considered this as part of their business plan and put out feelers.

Offline baldusi

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7438
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Liked: 1459
  • Likes Given: 4518
Re: Impact of Stratolaunch on F9 demand 5-10 years from now
« Reply #39 on: 12/19/2011 02:45 pm »
What DARPA does doesn't always mean the rest of the DOD wants it or is ready for it.
True. But there's a potential desire for such a capability.
Does DoD have payloads for launch on 24hs notice? Are they developing them? I'm truly intrigued (though I would be highly surprised if any of the answers was yes).

Tags: