Author Topic: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program  (Read 278490 times)

Offline Star One

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DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #600 on: 05/24/2017 04:18 PM »
I'm disappointed they picked Boeing (and AR), but not surprised.

But if they wanted some results? How can you expect better food with the same chefs in the kitchen? (or however the saying goes) :)  But perhaps they will actually deliver something this time.

You do know Boeing make the X-37B and that apparently has worked very well for the AF so far.

Quote
Jeff Foust @jeff_foust

Replying to @thehighfrontier
The DARPA release includes the 10 flights/10 days test requirement in phase 3.
4:55 pm 24 May 2017

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/867408696833343489
« Last Edit: 05/24/2017 04:24 PM by Star One »

Offline Kansan52

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #601 on: 05/24/2017 04:32 PM »
Didn't the SSMEs have several close calls and were a bear concerning refurbishment?

Offline GWH

Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #602 on: 05/24/2017 04:35 PM »
Would be really nice to see some more info on the designs not selected.

I am very skeptical of this partnership actually being able to deliver a low cost low refurb solutions, however if one chooses to look at the rumors of a Boeing & Apple satellite constellation Boeing may have sufficient motivation to go after this project aggressively.
« Last Edit: 05/24/2017 04:43 PM by GWH »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #603 on: 05/24/2017 04:35 PM »
I'm disappointed they picked Boeing (and AR), but not surprised.

But if they wanted some results? How can you expect better food with the same chefs in the kitchen? (or however the saying goes) :)  But perhaps they will actually deliver something this time.

You do know Boeing make the X-37B and that apparently has worked very well for the AF so far.

X-37B is a payload (not a launch vehicle) and almost 20 years old, but sure. Boeing is competent when they are properly motivated, but I question whether developing such a rapid launch system is in their current DNA. Prove me wrong, Boeing! :)

Offline Star One

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DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #604 on: 05/24/2017 04:37 PM »
I'm disappointed they picked Boeing (and AR), but not surprised.

But if they wanted some results? How can you expect better food with the same chefs in the kitchen? (or however the saying goes) :)  But perhaps they will actually deliver something this time.

You do know Boeing make the X-37B and that apparently has worked very well for the AF so far.

X-37B is a payload (not a launch vehicle) and almost 20 years old, but sure. Boeing is competent when they are properly motivated, but I question whether developing such a rapid launch system is in their current DNA. Prove me wrong, Boeing! :)

I am more concerned about their engine partners plans to build engines out of spare parts found left around their workshops.
« Last Edit: 05/24/2017 04:38 PM by Star One »

Offline AncientU

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #605 on: 05/24/2017 05:04 PM »
Hydrolox seems to be a strange choice for this vehicle as does using a poor mass-to-weight engine that is not re-startable.  Would love to hear more about why this technology was selected versus the other candidates.  There could be a protest that would help to illuminate this decision.

Does DARPA usually release public information about its selections?
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Kansan52

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #606 on: 05/24/2017 05:14 PM »
It is reminiscent of the original booster/orbiter proposal for the STS. Wonder how hard it would be to put a 37b on there.

Offline Lars-J

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #607 on: 05/24/2017 05:17 PM »
It is reminiscent of the original booster/orbiter proposal for the STS. Wonder how hard it would be to put a 37b on there.

But X-37B is not a stage, it is a spacecraft with limited maneuvering capability. Whatever is used as a 2nd stage will need 5-6(?) km/s of delta-v to achieve orbit.
« Last Edit: 05/24/2017 05:17 PM by Lars-J »

Offline yg1968

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #608 on: 05/24/2017 05:20 PM »
This looks like a suborbital X-37B.

Do we know anything about the second stage?
« Last Edit: 05/24/2017 05:38 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Kansan52

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #609 on: 05/24/2017 05:20 PM »
It is reminiscent of the original booster/orbiter proposal for the STS. Wonder how hard it would be to put a 37b on there.

But X-37B is not a stage, it is a spacecraft with limited maneuvering capability. Whatever is used as a 2nd stage will need 5-6(?) km/s of delta-v to achieve orbit.

Drats!

Offline meberbs

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #610 on: 05/24/2017 05:22 PM »
I am more concerned about their engine partners plans to build engines out of spare parts found left around their workshops.
I saw this comment before going back to see that the contract was awarded, and thought this was some kind of joke about them using the suppliers from Kerbal space program. (For those who haven't played it, many of the rocket components were "found by the side of the road" or other similar origins.)

For the actual announcement, I was not surprised that Boeing won, they probably have the best chance at successfully executing, as much as I would have liked to see Masten win a contract like this. The switch from Blue Origin to Aerojet as their partner does have me concerned, especially since that comment about building an engine out of spare parts is literal.

... I question whether developing such a rapid launch system is in their current DNA. Prove me wrong, Boeing! :)
This is my main concern with Boeing, especially considering where they are getting their engines from, but if they handle this program correctly, they should be able to do it. I am sure they have groups in the company that operate more like Lockheed skunk works, and since this is a DARPA program I would expect them to know to assign a (relatively) small, strong team, which seems to be necessary for this kind of high risk program to make something truly new and different.

Offline envy887

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #611 on: 05/24/2017 05:28 PM »
Hydrolox seems to be a strange choice for this vehicle as does using a poor mass-to-weight engine that is not re-startable.  Would love to hear more about why this technology was selected versus the other candidates.  There could be a protest that would help to illuminate this decision.

Does DARPA usually release public information about its selections?

Hydrolox isn't surprising as it's proven to be rapid reuse-friendly (DC-X, New Shepard). But I'm surprised they didn't go with BE-3.

AJRD must have told Boeing that the SSME can do 10 flights with nothing more than daily inspections.

Offline Star One

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #612 on: 05/24/2017 05:41 PM »
Hydrolox seems to be a strange choice for this vehicle as does using a poor mass-to-weight engine that is not re-startable.  Would love to hear more about why this technology was selected versus the other candidates.  There could be a protest that would help to illuminate this decision.

Does DARPA usually release public information about its selections?

Hydrolox isn't surprising as it's proven to be rapid reuse-friendly (DC-X, New Shepard). But I'm surprised they didn't go with BE-3.

AJRD must have told Boeing that the SSME can do 10 flights with nothing more than daily inspections.

I really worry about AJRD's involvement in this. They aren't in a good position especially if they lose the Vulcan contract, so who knows what promises they've made to get the job.

Offline yg1968

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #613 on: 05/24/2017 05:44 PM »
Here is an article on this announcement:

http://www.space.com/36985-darpa-xs-1-spaceplane-boeing-phantom-express.html

It will be called the Phantom Express.
« Last Edit: 05/24/2017 05:45 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Lars-J

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #614 on: 05/24/2017 05:44 PM »
I really worry about AJRD's involvement in this. They aren't in a good position especially if they lose the Vulcan contract, so who knows what promises they've made to get the job.

Why worry? They have 35 year old parts (early versions of SSME) to build this thing from. What could possibly go wrong?  :P

Offline Star One

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #615 on: 05/24/2017 05:47 PM »
I really worry about AJRD's involvement in this. They aren't in a good position especially if they lose the Vulcan contract, so who knows what promises they've made to get the job.

Why worry? They have 35 year old parts (early versions of SSME) to build this thing from. What could possibly go wrong?  :P

Tell me again who in DARPA thought this would be a good idea?

Offline Hauerg

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #616 on: 05/24/2017 05:49 PM »
10 flights in 10 days with an SSME variant cobbled together from leftovers.

Will.not.happen.

Offline yg1968

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #617 on: 05/24/2017 05:50 PM »
Here is an article on this announcement:

http://www.space.com/36985-darpa-xs-1-spaceplane-boeing-phantom-express.html

It will be called the Phantom Express.

From the article:

Quote from: Space.com
A ground-based engine test will be included, to show the feasibility of firing the engine 10 times in 10 days, DARPA officials said.
« Last Edit: 05/24/2017 05:51 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Hauerg

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #618 on: 05/24/2017 06:00 PM »
I really worry about AJRD's involvement in this. They aren't in a good position especially if they lose the Vulcan contract, so who knows what promises they've made to get the job.

Why worry? They have 35 year old parts (early versions of SSME) to build this thing from. What could possibly go wrong?  :P

Tell me again who in DARPA thought this would be a good idea?

Boeing.

Offline edkyle99

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Re: DARPA Experimental Spaceplane 1 (XS-1) Program
« Reply #619 on: 05/24/2017 06:07 PM »
AJR Presser:
Quote
Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AJRD), was selected to provide the main propulsion for the Boeing and the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) reusable Experimental Spaceplane (XS-1). Aerojet Rocketdyne is a member of the Boeing team that recently announced an agreement to collaborate with DARPA to design, build and test a technology demonstrator for the agency's XS-1 program.

The reusable experimental spaceplane is designed to deliver small satellites into orbit with high launch responsiveness. The main propulsion is based on the legacy space shuttle main engines (SSME).

"As one of the world's most reliable rocket engines, the SSME is a smart choice to power the XS-1 launch vehicle," said Aerojet Rocketdyne CEO and President Eileen Drake. "This engine has a demonstrated track record of solid performance and proven reusability."

For the XS-1 program, Aerojet Rocketdyne is providing two engines with legacy shuttle flight experience to demonstrate reusability, a wide operating range and rapid turnarounds. These engines will be designated as AR-22 engines and will be assembled from parts that remained in both Aerojet Rocketdyne and NASA inventories from early versions of the SSME engines. Assembly and ground testing will take place at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.
http://spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=50920

How can this be a good idea?
This seems to be a technology demonstration program, not a propulsion development program.  That explains the "used" engine.  The key elements aren't the engine, but the "Advanced, lightweight (reusable) composite cryogenic propellant tanks to hold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen propellants", the "hybrid composite-metallic wings and control surfaces able to withstand the physical stresses of suborbital hypersonic flight", and the "automated flight-termination and other technologies for autonomous flight and operations".

 - Ed Kyle

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