Author Topic: What would a better CxP have looked like?  (Read 58029 times)

Offline newpylong

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #60 on: 05/20/2013 08:31 PM »
Why write a whole page for something that can be simplified into 3 lines?


Orion CM/SM Mass to LEO - 22 tons
Delta IV Heavy lift capacity to LEO - 22 tons

Ares I lift capacity to LEO - 25 tons

No margin on DIV for Orion
« Last Edit: 05/20/2013 08:32 PM by newpylong »

Offline Lobo

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #61 on: 05/20/2013 10:29 PM »
Why write a whole page for something that can be simplified into 3 lines?


Orion CM/SM Mass to LEO - 22 tons
Delta IV Heavy lift capacity to LEO - 22 tons

Ares I lift capacity to LEO - 25 tons

No margin on DIV for Orion


Ummm...did you look at the ESAS report?

With existing upper stages:

D4H:  20.3mt net payload to 51.6 deg. orbit (ISS).
D4H:  23.9mt net paylod to 28.5 deg. orbit (EOR lunar mission)

A5H:  17.9mt net payload to 51.6 deg. orbit (ISS).
A5H:  23.7mt net payload to 28.5 deg. orbit (EOR lunar mission).
(Which is odd, as ULA claims 29mt to A5H with existing upper stage.

So if Orion CSM is 22mt, that's almost 2mt of margin by NASA's own report, vs just 3mt of margin for Ares 1.

But NASA looked at a new 5m EELV upper stage"

D4H:  23mt to 51.6 deg, 28mt to 28.5deg
A5H:  27mt to 51.6 deg, 30mt to 28.5 deg.

These ones need a new upper stage...but so does Ares 1.  And a new air-startable RS-25, where the 5m EELV upper stage uses RL-10.  Plus ULA's been wanting a new 5m common upper stage for some time, so that upper stage would be cost shared with the entire EELV line for all other launches besides NASA crew.

So, existing upper stages actually look like they could get the full Orion CSM to 28.5 deg, and could get a short fueled Orions CSM to the ISS.  The service module doesn't need a full prop load (actual, it might not need any prop load). 
Seems like that would have been a pretty good first step to getting Orion to the ISS, which is the main first goal by the time STS was retired.

If we wanted more margin for a lunar mission, a new 5m upper stage as a good 2nd step that doens't need to be ready until the HLV was ready and we were doing a lunar mission.

That's even by NASA's ESAS numbers.

But all of that aside...NASA chose to develop a a new rocket in Ares 1, with two new stages, vs. a new 6m RD-180 powered core?
They looked at an 8m core powered by five RD-180's, and a 5m core powerd by 2 RD-180's.  Neither really worked as a single and tri-core version for a 1.5 architecture.  But a 6m core powerd by 3-4 RD-180's would have.
Why nibble around the edges, without hitting the sweet spot?
« Last Edit: 05/20/2013 10:37 PM by Lobo »

Online TomH

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #62 on: 05/20/2013 10:35 PM »
I am starting to believe that there never has been any justification for Orion under any scenario. It's designed for a Mars direct return trajectory. Dragon or a beefed up CST-100 could handle lunar return. I think hauling an Orion to Mars and back is too much mass. Have a DS hab at EL1/2. Ride to rendezvous in Dragon or CST-100. Transfer. Go to Mars and return to EM L1/2 in hab, transfer to a Dragon or Boeing capsule for reentry. Leave the hab parked for next mission. Or use an Aldrin cycler and rendezvous as it swings by. Orion only has a 21 day active use capacity, so its use as a lifeboat is very limited. I'd rather expend Delta V on decelerating the hab for reuse than sending Orion's great mass all the way to Mars and back when it really isn't necessary.

A better CxP would not have included such a massive capsule. It would have used a less massive capsule that would go to LLO or EM L-1/2 and back, but not to Mars.

A lighter capsule would have prevented Ares I performance from ever becoming an issue.
« Last Edit: 05/20/2013 10:45 PM by TomH »

Offline Lobo

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #63 on: 05/21/2013 12:33 AM »
I am starting to believe that there never has been any justification for Orion under any scenario. It's designed for a Mars direct return trajectory. Dragon or a beefed up CST-100 could handle lunar return. I think hauling an Orion to Mars and back is too much mass. Have a DS hab at EL1/2. Ride to rendezvous in Dragon or CST-100. Transfer. Go to Mars and return to EM L1/2 in hab, transfer to a Dragon or Boeing capsule for reentry. Leave the hab parked for next mission. Or use an Aldrin cycler and rendezvous as it swings by. Orion only has a 21 day active use capacity, so its use as a lifeboat is very limited. I'd rather expend Delta V on decelerating the hab for reuse than sending Orion's great mass all the way to Mars and back when it really isn't necessary.

A better CxP would not have included such a massive capsule. It would have used a less massive capsule that would go to LLO or EM L-1/2 and back, but not to Mars.

A lighter capsule would have prevented Ares I performance from ever becoming an issue.

Possibly.  There were other CEV concepts submitted by contractors before it seems NASA decided they like this scaled up Apollo.
I think some of them would have been lighter.

However, the full up Orion CM is supposed to be a bit shy of 9mt.
Apollo was about 6mt, and Dragon is a bit under 5mt.  not sure about CST-100, but probably about what Dragon is.

So it doesn't seem like the CM itself is really the lead balloon, but more the fact the CSM was planned to be able to do it's own TEI burn from LLO.  I don't know that those few extra mt are really the kludge.  But maybe it is.

I think a BLEO capable Dragon or CST-100 would be a few mt heavier anyway.

But a Gateway station for lunar and/or Mars architecture, like proposed by Boeing with SEP MTV at EMLP 2 could have meant a much lighter SM for Orion.
If Orion only needs to get back to Earth from EMLP 2, then I don't think it needs more than it's CM RCS system.  A much smaller SM, like one that would also be good for launching Orion to the ISS on a smaller LV, might be all that's needed.  It might only need some RCS thrusters to supply enough delta V to break halo orbit and swing by the moon heading back to Earth. 
It'd just be a EMLP 2 Taxi, with missions being staged to the moon and Mars from there.

Interesting concept.  As the SM's not designed yet, maybe the design could be changed to that?  I don't think there's much to be done with the CM at this point.

Offline newpylong

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #64 on: 05/21/2013 01:04 AM »


Interesting concept.  As the SM's not designed yet, maybe the design could be changed to that?  I don't think there's much to be done with the CM at this point.

It's not?

Offline Lobo

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #65 on: 05/21/2013 03:18 PM »


Interesting concept.  As the SM's not designed yet, maybe the design could be changed to that?  I don't think there's much to be done with the CM at this point.

It's not?

Well, they are still considering going with the original design, or an ATV derived one, so I'm assuming it's at least not far enough enough that it can't still be changed.

Offline RanulfC

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #66 on: 05/21/2013 09:31 PM »
I am starting to believe that there never has been any justification for Orion under any scenario. It's designed for a Mars direct return trajectory. Dragon or a beefed up CST-100 could handle lunar return. I think hauling an Orion to Mars and back is too much mass. Have a DS hab at EL1/2. Ride to rendezvous in Dragon or CST-100. Transfer. Go to Mars and return to EM L1/2 in hab, transfer to a Dragon or Boeing capsule for reentry. Leave the hab parked for next mission. Or use an Aldrin cycler and rendezvous as it swings by. Orion only has a 21 day active use capacity, so its use as a lifeboat is very limited. I'd rather expend Delta V on decelerating the hab for reuse than sending Orion's great mass all the way to Mars and back when it really isn't necessary.

A better CxP would not have included such a massive capsule. It would have used a less massive capsule that would go to LLO or EM L-1/2 and back, but not to Mars.

A lighter capsule would have prevented Ares I performance from ever becoming an issue.
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Offline luke strawwalker

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #67 on: 05/22/2013 07:08 PM »
Iím bumping this with a bit of an addition parameter.

First, does anyone know in particular why McDonnel Douglas went with a hydrolox booster on Delta IV for the EELV competition?  Especially when it needed a new engine developed?  (Iím assuming Jim probably knows, :-) )
I mean, hydrolox isnít the best 1st stage booster.  It required a much larger booster core than Atlas V or any similar performing kerolox booster. 
Delta II used the kerolox RS-27 engine.  There wasnít a US made kerolox engine other than RS-27 that I know of, but there wasnít a US made hydrolox booster engine either.  RS-25 is a sustainer engine, not really a booster engine.
So, if MD was going to evolved Delta II for EELV, why didnít they stick with the RS-27, and grow the core to 5m, and put maybe five of them on there?  Or maybe four with GEM-60 SRB to get it off the pad?  Four of them had more thrust than the first RS-68, and not much less than RD-180. 
What was the thought process to switch to a brand new engine development, and a propellant that isnít the best booster propellant, not to mention being one of the most temperamental propellants.   I see why the Russians and SpaceX use kerolox for the upper stage for commonality and because itís a really easy propellant to handle and I think rockets that use kerolox are cheaper overall than hydrolox.  LH2 is the most difficult and so they wanted to make the whole rocket use it?
Hopefully someone can enlighten me on that.  Especially when the Delta II already used a 200klbs kerolox engine that probably could have been upgraded to get to around 250klbs without much trouble.

Ok, so I set this up for a bit of alternative history going back to the EELV program for this thread.
So, MD wants to create new 5m wide rocket core tooling, and a new engine, and a new upper stage using RL-10 engine for Delta IV?
What if instead, they went with a  5m wide kerolox booster, which either used 4-5 RS-27Aís (or upgraded versions with more thrust), or, instead of having PWR create the RS-68 new, have them dust off the F-1, and create maybe an ďF-1SĒ version of the F-1A.  I guess the F-1B is going to be like this, but like the J2S, make the F-1S with a specific eye for being simple and cheap.  A big Merlin 1D in effect maybe?  Maybe a larger upper stage (because the GG F-1 wonít be as efficient as a stage combustion kerolox engine like the RD-180) and maybe RL-60ís on it.  They were 90% developed by 2003 anyway.
So, you have something similar to an Atlas V-phase 2, but with probably less first stage burn and more 2nd stage burn.  This LV should probably put somewhere between 20-25mt to LEO, which would fulfill the upper end of the EELV requirements I believe.  No need for a tri-core heavy version.  And while it would seem overpowered for the bulk of the EELV payloads that Atlas V and Delta IV Medium handle, would it be any more money than Delta IV?  It might be more money than Atlas V, because the US-made F-1B would be more expensive each than the RD-180ís.  But You have an LV that would be be shorter than a Delta IV medium, cost about the same, but put up D4H payloads.   GEM-60ís should bump that up easily if ever needed.  I mean, itíd basically be the same hardware as a Delta IV medium.

So, letís say MD developed that, and letís say Boeing buys them.  And even if Boeing is caught stealing info from LM and ULA is formed, This version of Delta IV would exist.

So, during the ESAS evaluation, where NASA evaluated Atlas Phase 2, as well as an 8m wide Atlas X, they could evaluate this LV.  The single stick version should get Orion to LEO.  But it could be stretched, and have another F-1 added, and you basically have the Dynetics booster.  Now you have a crew launcher with direct synergy with EELV, and a cargo launcher with much synergy with EELV, except NASA could launch it from their pads at KSC (as Boeing would have had no reason to build the ability to launch a tri-core heavy from LC-37, since the single-stick would handle up to Delta IV-heavy roughly).
So the tri-core heavy would be only used by NASA.  And they could build the larger upper stage/EDS for it.  It only has two boosters, which was another requirement they seemed to fixate on in ESAS.  This cargo launcher would have six F-1 engines, and with a larger EDS, it should throw easily what Ares V was supposed to, to LEO.  NASA could have PWR develop the J2S (not the J2X) as was originally envisioned in ESAS on the cargo launchers.  It was mostly developed already, and should have been a relatively cheap and easy development, rather than the J2X which I understand was a very different engine than J2S.  And I donít know if they could fit enough RL-60ís on it.  But it should be able to fit a couple of J2S under there. 

So, putting aside for a moment the politics of the time probably made SDHLV inevitable, this EELV derivative seems like it would have met all of what seemed to be NASAís ESAS criteria.  No more than two boosters, 25mt crew launcher, 125mt cargo launcher, 1.5 architecture, etc.  And with a famous US-built engine. 
NASA evaluated Atlas Phase 2 heavy, but seemed to reject it as youíd need two of them for their planned architecture, and they wanted 1.5 architecture.  Atlas Phase 3A would have probably worked, but it had more than two boosters, and they said it wouldnít even fit on any existing pad, which I think was because the four boosters were placed at 90 degrees to each other, making it just over 15m in depth as well as width, which I think is a problem to fit it on a ML with tower.

Could this have been the better CxP?  While having a lot of synergy with EELVís? 
The only new developments over a Delta IV with single F-1 engine, would have been the stretched 5m core, making the tri-core heavy, man-rating it, and a new wide upper stage with J2S engines)
Compare that with CxP in developing a new 8.4m core (using existing tooling) a new Ares V upper stage, a new Ares 1 upper stage, J2S for Ares V anyway, air-startable SSME for Ares 1, and 5-seg booster. 

I've been saying something like this for a LONG time... it just makes too much sense...

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Offline Lobo

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #68 on: 05/28/2013 07:42 PM »
They danced around this a lot, and had no problem looking at a new diameter core in their concepts.  KSC can't handle an 8 or 8.4m tri-core LV, but the 5-5.4m wide hydrolox LV is a little to small.  And they didn't seem to like the 5-5.4m wide kerolox Atlas Phase 2 because it needed 2-launches of tri-core LV, or a 5-core AVP3a and NASA didn't like that many boosters and the depth dimension.
But no one thought to look at maybe a 6-6.5m kerolox core with 3-4 RD-180's?
It's over powered but workable for a crew launcher, and a tri-core version is as capabile as the LV 27.3 they chose.

One new core, and one new upper stage (it would need J2S but so did LV27.3), and NASA has both a new crew launcher, and cargo launcher.  And the crew launcher could probably use Delta's existing DCSS like I said, for a little more synergy with EELV.
The cores could be produced at a reasonable clip at MAF, along with the new HLV upper stage (when needed, down the road). 

Seems like such an obvious option, what am I not seeing?  Why wasn't it even looked at, even if they opted for Ares 1/5 anyway. 

In this same vein, I saw a Boeing/ULA paper noodling around the internet.  I can't find it again now, although I wished I'd saved it.  It was a Delta IV growth charge kind of like this one.

http://ninfinger.org/models/vault2004/delta_iv_heavy_lift.jpg

Except it showed at the upper end a tri-core super heavy instead of this two-core super heavy.  I'd not seen the concept before, but basically a 7m diameter Delta IV, with two RS-68's each.  A tri-core heavy would put over 100mt to LEO (according to the chart). 

With a tapered MPS and adequate spacing between the engines, it should allow enough air flow to prevent hot gas buildup...I'm assuming since Boeing/ULA seemed to think it would work.

It got me thinking about soemthing like that as an alternate to CxP.  I don't know how hard it would be to change the tooling at MAF to produce cores of narrower diameter than 8.4m, but I'll assume is easier than making wider diameter cores?

7m diameter would be a bit too wide to fit through the VAB doors in a tri-core heavy I think, as that limitation is like 19.6m?  But if NASA could make the cores like 6.5m wide.

But that could make for an interesting configuration.  A single core with 5m DCSS upper stage should put Orion to LEO, and this tri-core heavy should put a lander and EDS up...If you wanted to man-rate RS-68.  Otherwise launch Orion on an Atlas Phase 1-55x and just use this LV as a heavy cargo launcher and don't man-rate it.

If Boeing is the contractor for it at MAF like they are for the SLS core, it'd be closer to Delta IV than a SDHLV, and that knowledge could be more easily rolled into it.
It would use the Delta IV engine and engine mount. (A completely US designed and built engine)
RS-25 can be retired.  Shuttle SRB's could be retired before money was spent on 5-seg.  J2X would never have been.  Although NASA's upper stage for it could have used a J2S if RL-10's wouldn't work.  But I'd think a cluster of them would work given the burn time of the central core of a tri-core heavy.

Some GEM-60's could be used as well to boost the performance to over 100mt, espcially if it were used only as the cargo launcher.  For more Synergy with EELV.  Although NASA seemed pretty adverse to anything more than just two boosters on any HLV during the ESAS study.  Still, that could have been looked at to boost the LEO capability to maybe around 125mt, which is what NASA wanted out of their cargo launcher.

Might have been cheaper and easier to develop and build this, than try a 7-core Delta IV super heavy?  More mass-efficient for sure.  And it'd have benefitted from the use of AL2195 at MAF which was already used for the ET, but is not used for Delta IV.

Not sure if it'd have been better than an Atlas Phase 2 style kerolox, but it would have US-engines, which I could see being desirable.  The Boeing paper put performance at 100mt to LEO vs. 70mt for Atlas Phase 2-heavy.  But that sounds about right of a 7-core Delta IV super heavy can get 100mt with an extra engine but much higher dry mass.

Not sure if crossfeeding was assumed or not. 




Offline Lobo

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #69 on: 04/28/2014 10:53 PM »
Bumping this thread enlight of the recent questions about the use of RD-180's for DoD payloads.  As well as the always looming possibility Russia could cut off the supply of RD-180's.

So many have said that going with existing EELV's and using depots would have been a much better CxP, and there's a lot of merit to that.
Many have always advocated using evolved EELV's, like Atlas Phase 2, and there's a lot of merit to that too.  NASA looked at such concepts during ESAS obviously.

And it's always good to not have to develop new enignes.  So either using variants of existing EELV's or going with bigger EELV's using more RD-180's or RS-68's seems like a good idea, like ESAS looked at.

But how would that all have -really- played out, had NASA opted to join in on EELV's with USAF?
Here's some issues with that, that I am curious about some insight in to.

1)  A wide core with RS-68's would likely need engines upgraded to regen nozzles to tolerate the base heat load, even though it's much less than the SRB's.  A 10m core with a cluster of RS-68's would still have a lot of heating.  Would USAF go along with that if NASA paid for the upgrade?  Wouldn't that make the RS-68 more expensive per unit?  Would USAF just tell NASA not to screw with the engine they already like?

2)  A wider core Atlas with RD-180's.  That's easier, as RD-180 can handle the heating, and is closer to man-rating.  But it's a Russian supplied engine.  For reasons we are seeing play out today, NASA probably would want to get PWR to produce a US-built version before committing their HSF program to and LV that used it.  But would USAF shut that down too?, as a US built one that's man rated would likely be more expensive for their Atlas flights?  Would they shoot that down and tell NASA not to screw with their cheap Russian engine??

So, would USAF have worked with NASA, if it meant the chance they might have to pay more for their launches after EELV hardware is upgraded to accommodate NASA's needs?
Or would going this route actually caused so many problems, NASA would have been better off going with their own hardware as they did? (even if they did a more feasible new LV than Ares 1/5).

It's always assumed that NASA should have just did the obvious thing and went with the existing EELV's, but how amenable would USAF actually have been to NASA messing around with their rockets and engines, as would have been needed for their HSF program?  Based on posters on other threads the two don't seem very amenable to sharing...

Offline RocketmanUS

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #70 on: 05/01/2014 02:05 AM »
EELV

Human rate Atlas or Delta ( not heavy ).
Convert 1 MLP to launch both Atlas and Delta ( not heavy ) ( similar to USA concept ).
After shuttles last flight then convert one more MLP and retire MLP #1. Launch from LC-39 A/B.

LEO Orion capsule with cargo version and Cygnus like as was originally call for.
Call for shuttle to retire 2010 with extensions till 2013 if needed. ( There was no reason they could not of had a crew and cargo capsule by 2013 at the latest ).

After crew, cargo capsule launching and shuttle retires then launch something similar to Morpheus Lunar lander fore robotic exploration. Develop and send large rover to Mars surface using existing EELV's and in-space assembly along with propellant depot and or tankers.

Later develop Lunar and or Mars Orion. Launch on EELV's  ( pusher escape system ). Add mission propellants to SM in LEO. Attach to EDS for Lunar or Mars transfer craft for Mars. Maximum of six crew. Using a pusher escape system and adding mission propellants in LEO would allow the Atlas V 501 to launch Lunar or Mars versions of Orion to LEO.

This would have focused NASA not on HLV but the needed tech for the exploration missions. Keep in mind with EELV's this would only be exploration missions. Maximum of two crew flights per year to Lunar or one crew flight to Mars about every two years. Would not have locked NASA into BLEO and kept needed crew to LEO infrastructure.

Once NASA had revisited and or visited Mars by crew then they could have look into HLV or other ( possible RLV ) for a more intense crewed  exploration program. Would most likely not seen more than two crew landings on Mars with EELV's. By this time anyway there very well could have been commercial solution(s) launching such as a HLV. EELV's would have been a temporary use to be used to no later than 2030.

Would have meant there could have been much more money for the COTS program back then including crew not just cargo.

If there became of problem with the supply of the RD-180's then NASA could have human Rated the Delta IV ( not heavy ) for LEO crewed flights. BLEO could be delayed till HLV ( or other ) or launched BLEO Orion on Delta IVH ( current Delta IVH pad ) and have crew ride up on the Delta IV from LC-39 A/B. If there were crew already beyond LEO then they would have had extra RD-180's in stock for a rescue mission if needed.

From what I understand there was plenty of extra capacity in Atlas and Delta production line to include NASA LEO needs and possible BLEO without adding another production line. Atlas and Delta provider to keep Air Force and NASA needs separate. NASA use of Atlas and Delta should have helped lower cost of both launchers. With a properly funded COTS program ( including crew ) the possible added competition should have help keep cost down too.

Edit:
Other option:

Atlas V Phase II,

Instead of Ares I/V go with Atlas II to start with.
U.S. manufactured human rated RD-180's for NASA use and make them available for DoD if there is a Russian supply problem for the Atlas V.

Use the new 5m core ( stumpy ) with (1) RD-180 engine for LEO with the crew and cargo LEO Orion versions.
Start of with the two engine Centaur and later go with the upgraded ACES.

Start with the RL-10 and have a competition for a replacement and or modern manufactured RL-10's.

Add in the (2) RD-180 regular length 1st stage version of the Atlas V phase 2.
For higher mass, orbit , and Lunar.

With the the ACES added in Crew Lunar and Mars could be down.

If they needed greater mass to orbit then they could add in Atlas V phase 3A ( 5m core with four 5m boosters ).
Phase 3B could be added in if it were ever needed.

Would have given the U.S. a U.S. back up suppler of the RD-180 for DoD if ever needed.
Less development with greater flexibility.
Taken in logical steps for return to crewed BLEO missions without locking NASA into a supper HLV or unproven launcher.

Money left over for COTS program and a better more flexible Lunar lander.

Left program to work in stages so Lunar or Mars first could have been decided later on in the BLEO program.

Atlas V phase 2 and phase 3A  would have worked well with low budget as we ended up with. Phase 3A would have been great for low flight rates as that is what we are looking at now with SLS . Phase 2 and 3 would have had much in common with Atlas V and Delta IV plus the common upper stage ( ACES ).

MLP # 2 and #3 for Phase 2 stumpy and regular dual engine regular length core, plus tri-core version. MLP #1 would have still been retired. A new MLP would have been needed for phase 3A if it were needed.

With ACES there was the option of in-space propellant transfer and depot(s).

With the U.S. made human rated RD-180 there would have been an option for a nine engine 1st stage Saturn replacement. For 2nd stage a modern J-2S. This could have been instead of Atlas Phase 3B.
« Last Edit: 05/09/2014 03:15 AM by RocketmanUS »

Offline kraisee

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #71 on: 06/10/2014 04:26 AM »
Unfortunately the EELV route(s) never had any support in DC - especially at the Appropriations level.

Without addressing that first, you'll never get NASA's budget allocation to where it needs to be and that's a much bigger problem because, as we all know; no bucks means no Buck Rogers.

Most folk on NSF are focused on the technology -- and that's certainly important -- but without the political support from on high, it don't mean $#!&.

Look at the number of great projects that brought the best engineering and technology to the table, but died because of lack of funding.   F1A, NERVA, Aerospike, DC-X etc. etc.   For every project that actually succeeded there are hundreds that failed.   The main difference:   Getting the political support aligned behind you properly.

The EELV solution was always a good technical one.   Strange to think it, but the fact remains that they (Boeing and LM) utterly failed to get their politics aligned properly for this contest.   Without that, it means they were always going to be DOA in the old CxP fight.

The thing most people here (me included) have a really hard time swallowing is that the politics is sadly 90% of the fight.   Without it, the other 10% doesn't matter at all.   Loathe this truth to your heart's content.   But ignore it at your peril.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 06/10/2014 04:34 AM by kraisee »
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Online MATTBLAK

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #72 on: 06/23/2014 07:11 AM »
When Direct never came to pass, then uprated (Phase 1) EELV  should've been the way to go. And not necessarily because of 'Last Man Standing' syndrome either.
« Last Edit: 06/23/2014 07:17 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline kraisee

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #73 on: 06/23/2014 05:09 PM »
As I explained over on the other thread (in Historical) it doesn't depend on the technology.   It depends on the politics -- and sadly, EELV has never managed to get much political backing behind them.

The issue is more to do with NASA's annual budget process.   If you go for EELV, you lose the political support every state and regional representative that make money from an SDLV-style solution.   And many of those are members on the various committees that authorise and appropriate NASA's top-line budget every year.

There are plenty of other demands for NASA's money out there and without their explicit and sustained support each year you could realistically lose the committee votes that provide NASA with it's full Budget.   That could easily result in at least 3, more likely 5, and maybe even 7 billion off the top of NASA's budget every year.

Saving a billion a year on the launcher, but losing 5 billion a year in NASA's overall budget, would be a very bad trade indeed as the losses would mostly be directed towards the Science directorate.

Though I personally am not a fan of the current direction for SLS, it still represents the backbone of NASA's entire political support structure and without that, NASA could be in a much, much worse position.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 06/23/2014 05:16 PM by kraisee »
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #74 on: 06/23/2014 11:14 PM »
{snip}
Saving a billion a year on the launcher, but losing 5 billion a year in NASA's overall budget, would be a very bad trade indeed as the losses would mostly be directed towards the Science directorate.

Though I personally am not a fan of the current direction for SLS, it still represents the backbone of NASA's entire political support structure and without that, NASA could be in a much, much worse position.

Ross.

A Moon base would have contracts all over the USA.  As well as the launch vehicle there are landers, manned rovers, habitats and consumables.

Their Senator can tell the auto-mobile manufacturing firms to get involved with the electric rovers before the Japanese companies use cheap labour to under cut them.

Offline kraisee

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #75 on: 06/24/2014 07:38 PM »
A_M, Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

There is at least a decade's difference between when NASA's political support mechanism was destroyed, and when there could potentially be a moon base -- it just takes that long to develop all of the systems required.

Throughout that entire time though, NASA would be down billions of dollars each year.    In that financial environment, all of the other centres (and their political reps) would fight tooth-and-nail to retain their slice of the budget.   Aeronautics, Science etc.   It was HSF's fault that caused this mess, so they should bear the brunt of the cuts, no?

The internal fighting would be horrific and without the support for the extremely powerful "big rocket" delegation, there would be far fewer senior committee members fighting for the human spaceflight slice, so they would actually lose an even larger share.

The loss of topline budget would ultimately mean there would be no real money for any human exploration program BEO -- and that means outright cancellation.   Heck, if HSF caused a $5bn topline budget loss we would be damn lucky to retain any sort of human *LEO* program!   Without the robust HSF budget, there would be no Moon base.   If we can't afford the Moon base, where are your Moon base contracts?


Its a sad fact, but the folk who want SLS are *the* most powerful players in NASA's political game.   Ignore them, or turn them away from NASA at the entire agency's peril.

This is the dilemma we face today.   SLS is horrible.   But without the political backing that is actually behind SLS, the whole of NASA would be in a far, far worse position.   Its a situation of one step backwards, hopefully in return for two steps forwards.   You can tell its a government operation, can't ya? ::)

Ross.
« Last Edit: 06/24/2014 07:53 PM by kraisee »
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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #76 on: 06/25/2014 12:00 AM »
A_M, Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

There is at least a decade's difference between when NASA's political support mechanism was destroyed, and when there could potentially be a moon base -- it just takes that long to develop all of the systems required.

{snip}

SLS and Orion are development projects not a manufacturing operation.

The Moon base would be a development project.

The overlap is smaller, particularly since NASA can start development in s few months.

Offline DLR

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #77 on: 06/25/2014 07:21 PM »
I would have gone with a smaller Orion and a large modular Kerolox booster capable of landing Orion directly on the Lunar surface.

A typical Lunar mission would have involved two launches: A cargo launch would have placed a habitation module and other equipment on the Lunar surface, followed by a crew launch with the Orion Direct Ascent lander.

« Last Edit: 06/25/2014 07:22 PM by DLR »

Offline kraisee

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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #78 on: 06/25/2014 07:58 PM »

SLS and Orion are development projects not a manufacturing operation.

The Moon base would be a development project.

The overlap is smaller, particularly since NASA can start development in s few months.

That's true.   The question would probably boil-down to whether any new political supporters would have the courage to get involved in an agency that just took a big hit under the waterline.

A good leader might recognise the opportunity.   Unfortunately, when was the last time you saw any real quality leadership in Congress?

The normal refrain that I have seen is a general support for NASA at the soapbox level, but very sharp knives pointed towards NASA every time someone wants money for some other pet project.   NASA is most often the first name on the list of agencies to absorb cuts.   It would be a very unusual politician to choose to step into those shark-infested waters.

Ross.
« Last Edit: 06/25/2014 08:01 PM by kraisee »
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Re: What would a better CxP have looked like?
« Reply #79 on: 06/26/2014 02:22 PM »
The thing most people here (me included) have a really hard time swallowing is that the politics is sadly 90% of the fight.   Without it, the other 10% doesn't matter at all.   Loathe this truth to your heart's content.   But ignore it at your peril.

Can't recall exactly how the saying goes but in "general":

Any government project has four dimensions, length, width, hight and politics. If you don't get the last one right then the other's can all be perfect but it will still fail...

Randy
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