Author Topic: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions  (Read 51509 times)

Offline Jim

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #80 on: 01/12/2014 04:58 PM »
You have something against LEGOs?
OK, I get it, if DC has not been designed to use an add-on propulsion unit, there can be a lot of issues trying to add one, then, what is the use case? It's just that extended uses beyond transport to ISS are being discussed, so it's pertinent.

No, just spaceflight hardware being treated as LEGOs.
If you want extended uses beyond transport to ISS then use purpose designed hardware and not kludging together pieces because they exist.

Online Lar

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #81 on: 01/12/2014 06:33 PM »
You have something against LEGOs?
OK, I get it, if DC has not been designed to use an add-on propulsion unit, there can be a lot of issues trying to add one, then, what is the use case? It's just that extended uses beyond transport to ISS are being discussed, so it's pertinent.

No, just spaceflight hardware being treated as LEGOs.
If you want extended uses beyond transport to ISS then use purpose designed hardware and not kludging together pieces because they exist.
Purpose designed hardware is the best way to do anything. If cost is no object.  In the real world cost is always an object.

I'm not sure I see the use case for DC beyond LEO, but figuring out what exactly would have to be provided and how it would work would be part of costing out and doing trade studies. So I don't think it's bad to (in a fannish forum) explore what it would take.

Also, it's LEGO (as in "LEGO something"[1]) not LEGOs.. LEGO, like all brand names, is an adjective not a noun. The LEGO Group prefer that it always be rendered in ALL CAPS as that is how they do it. It's their brand. :)

1 - LEGO elements. LEGO sets. Building with my LEGO pieces. LEGO style rockets. But NEVER "LEGOs" :)  Unless you're a descriptivist... http://www.quora.com/Grammar/Whats-the-plural-of-LEGO :)
« Last Edit: 01/12/2014 06:34 PM by Lar »
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Offline M129K

Could a separate propulsion module be adapted to DC? Such as the ATV SM is being adapted to Orion?
That would be more European tech content.
A propulsion module, as in a small rocket stage? Sure. The SM is very different from that, however, as it provides life support and power as well as propulsion.

People doing that Lego thing again.

I see no reason why Dream Chaser couldn't be used with a small rocket stage specifically designed to fit on Dream Chaser, including an adapter if that's necessary. I'm not proposing playing rocket lego with existing parts, especially not using the Orion SM on Dream Chaser. I know rockets aren't legos.

I think a propulsion module on DC would be kind of pointless as it likely can't reenter from BLEO anyway.

Offline woods170

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #83 on: 01/12/2014 06:50 PM »
Lot's of wishful thinking, dreaming and rocket-LEGO in this thread.

What Sierra Nevada, ESA and DLR have just agreed to do is STUDY possible synergies between euro-tech and DreamChaser.

Now, all I need to add is that (at last count) 98 percent of all ESA studies led to exactly nothing (other than a very substantial collection of nice looking final study reports gathering dust in ESA archives all over Europe).

Offline HIP2BSQRE

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #84 on: 01/12/2014 06:50 PM »
Does anyone realistically think that DC is ever going to space?  They will probably not win the NASA contract, so where is all this development money coming from?  Yes there is a deal with the europeans  - but do you see them putting a whole lot of money into DC?  If Europeans want to go to space in the next 3-7 years- Spacex/Boeing or Soyult.

Offline woods170

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #85 on: 01/12/2014 06:54 PM »
Does anyone realistically think that DC is ever going to space?  They will probably not win the NASA contract, so where is all this development money coming from?  Yes there is a deal with the europeans  - but do you see them putting a whole lot of money into DC?  If Europeans want to go to space in the next 3-7 years- Spacex/Boeing or Soyult.
ESA is not exactly a huge cash-cow right now. Not with the financial crisis having hit Europe particularly hard. And it never was a cash-cow to begin with; with only a quarter of the annual budget of NASA. Chances of ESA/DLR inputting substantial amounts of money into DC (think 10's to 100's of millions of Euro's) are very slim.
The current studies into synergies are dirt-cheap. Getting into anything serious beyond that is not.

Offline Jim

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #86 on: 01/12/2014 07:09 PM »

Also, it's LEGO (as in "LEGO something"[1]) not LEGOs.. LEGO, like all brand names, is an adjective not a noun. The LEGO Group prefer that it always be rendered in ALL CAPS as that is how they do it. It's their brand. :)


Been calling it LEGOs since I was a kid and will continue to do so.  It has been noun in my family for 4 generations

Offline Jim

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #87 on: 01/12/2014 07:10 PM »

Purpose designed hardware is the best way to do anything. If cost is no object.  In the real world cost is always an object.


Kludging is sometimes just as or even more expensive than purpose built

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #88 on: 01/12/2014 07:37 PM »

I see no reason why Dream Chaser couldn't be used with a small rocket stage specifically designed to fit on Dream Chaser, including an adapter if that's necessary. I'm not proposing playing rocket lego with existing parts, especially not using the Orion SM on Dream Chaser. I know rockets aren't legos.

I think a propulsion module on DC would be kind of pointless as it likely can't reenter from BLEO anyway.

The shape it's self is supposedly usable for BLEO reentry.

I read somewhere they'd need to add something like 80kg of ablative to the hottest parts for a lunar return.

Keep in mind one of the competing designs for the CEV early on was a lifting body.

As for the ESA using DC I think they might just be buying flights launched from the US an Atlas V vs launching it on one of their own LVs.

This would probably be the cheapest solution as it probably would take a lot of wind tunnel testing and modeling to adapt it to another LV.

On speculation of a ESA LV being used I do wonder could the heavy version of Ariane 6 lift it.
That vehicle might be better able to handle higher bending stresses though DC would be very close to the estimated max LEO payload.

« Last Edit: 01/12/2014 07:47 PM by Patchouli »

Offline baldusi

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #89 on: 01/12/2014 08:21 PM »
Does anyone realistically think that DC is ever going to space?  They will probably not win the NASA contract, so where is all this development money coming from?  Yes there is a deal with the europeans  - but do you see them putting a whole lot of money into DC?  If Europeans want to go to space in the next 3-7 years- Spacex/Boeing or Soyult.
ESA is not exactly a huge cash-cow right now. Not with the financial crisis having hit Europe particularly hard. And it never was a cash-cow to begin with; with only a quarter of the annual budget of NASA. Chances of ESA/DLR inputting substantial amounts of money into DC (think 10's to 100's of millions of Euro's) are very slim.
The current studies into synergies are dirt-cheap. Getting into anything serious beyond that is not.
Yet, I was surpised at the amount of study money. Do I remember correctly and the last study for evolving the ATV into a return capsule was like 80M Euro? Those study contracts are hefty.

Offline Lurker Steve

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #90 on: 01/12/2014 08:41 PM »
Does anyone realistically think that DC is ever going to space?  They will probably not win the NASA contract, so where is all this development money coming from?  Yes there is a deal with the europeans  - but do you see them putting a whole lot of money into DC?  If Europeans want to go to space in the next 3-7 years- Spacex/Boeing or Soyult.

I totally agree with you.

Tricky one there.

I do believe Dream Chaser, or at least the OTV that Lockheed is building for them, is going to space in 2016.
It's uncertain what the future is beyond that.

Offline woods170

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #91 on: 01/13/2014 07:01 AM »
Does anyone realistically think that DC is ever going to space?  They will probably not win the NASA contract, so where is all this development money coming from?  Yes there is a deal with the europeans  - but do you see them putting a whole lot of money into DC?  If Europeans want to go to space in the next 3-7 years- Spacex/Boeing or Soyult.

I totally agree with you.
Forgot to switch accounts?
Looks like it. Hilarious...

Offline Todd Martin

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #92 on: 01/13/2014 09:04 PM »
The Europeans currently fly astronauts to the ISS via Soyuz.  If Boeing or Sierra Nevada win the Commercial Crew contract, the Atlas V 402 rocket would be used as the launch vehicle.  Note that NASA just paid $187 Million dollars for an Atlas 401 rocket to launch MAVEN, and that wasn't man-rated.

From a cost perspective, launching Europeans to ISS may be cheaper for ESA with DC on an Ariane 5 than paying NASA with Commercial Crew.  Ariane 5 costs are $200 Million, but the money stays in Europe and helps them with fixed costs & flight rate.  Ideally, there would be some way to take along some cargo on each flight as well, to take advantage of the launch vehicle's performance.

Offline Jim

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #93 on: 01/13/2014 09:08 PM »

From a cost perspective, launching Europeans to ISS may be cheaper for ESA with DC on an Ariane


That isnt going to happen

Offline Go4TLI

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #94 on: 01/13/2014 09:15 PM »
The Europeans currently fly astronauts to the ISS via Soyuz.  If Boeing or Sierra Nevada win the Commercial Crew contract, the Atlas V 402 rocket would be used as the launch vehicle.  Note that NASA just paid $187 Million dollars for an Atlas 401 rocket to launch MAVEN, and that wasn't man-rated.

From a cost perspective, launching Europeans to ISS may be cheaper for ESA with DC on an Ariane 5 than paying NASA with Commercial Crew.  Ariane 5 costs are $200 Million, but the money stays in Europe and helps them with fixed costs & flight rate.  Ideally, there would be some way to take along some cargo on each flight as well, to take advantage of the launch vehicle's performance.

The Europeans do not pay at all for their astronauts to be launched to the ISS.  It is the US that pays for all USOS crews (i.e. Americans, Europeans, Canadians and Japanese).  It was a barter agreement that the US would take that role, however, with retirement of the shuttle fleet that barter remained in place and now that money is diverted to the Russians via the US govt. 

Offline baldusi

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #95 on: 01/13/2014 09:16 PM »
that is not the cost of an Atlas.  That is the launch service cost of MAVEN.  There are many other costs rolled up in that number.  Also, manrating only going to have a minor cost impact limited to the extra avionics involved.
Isn't that extra RL10 going to cost a significant amount? Is a 402 going to cost around the same as an 421?

Offline Todd Martin

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #96 on: 01/14/2014 06:41 PM »
Commercial crew launches on Atlas will not be immune to the price increases.

"The last Atlas launcher chosen by NASA was for the MAVEN mission to Mars scheduled to lift off in November 2013. The $187 million contract was announced in October and provides for launch on an Atlas 5-401 booster, the rocket's most basic configuration with no solid rocket boosters, a 4-meter payload fairing and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.

Three years before NASA announced the MAVEN launch contract, the space agency signed a deal to lift the next Landsat remote sensing satellite on the same version of the Atlas 5 rocket for $124 million.

Lynn Cline, deputy associate administrator for NASA's space operations mission directorate, told an agency advisory panel last month the cost of the Atlas 5-401 is expected to rise by 17 percent over MAVEN's $187 million contract value for launches in 2016 and 30 percent for missions in 2018" per Spaceflight Now.

The Atlas V has 9 flights scheduled for 2014.  All of them are US Government launches.  Ariane V has 13 launches, including many commercial satellites.  Clearly, Ariane V is cheaper or the market would be putting commercial launches on Atlas instead.  Arianespace is also in the midst of cost reductions, lowering the cost of the vehicle with faster turnaround and fewer staff.

I don't think it is unreasonable for ESA to conduct a study to see if Ariane V is cheaper than Atlas with DC.  I also believe that the barter agreement is neither "free money" nor will it necessarily last through the operational life of ISS.   



Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #97 on: 01/14/2014 06:49 PM »
ULA is doing a lot to control costs right now, more than they've done in the recent past.
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Offline Jim

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #98 on: 01/14/2014 06:55 PM »

I don't think it is unreasonable for ESA to conduct a study to see if Ariane V is cheaper than Atlas with DC.   


What says SNC is going to allow DC to fly on Ariane?  SNC may not want to sell DC's but just seats on DC.

Offline woods170

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Re: Dream Chaser's European deal points to multi-role ambitions
« Reply #99 on: 01/14/2014 08:04 PM »

I don't think it is unreasonable for ESA to conduct a study to see if Ariane V is cheaper than Atlas with DC.   


What says SNC is going to allow DC to fly on Ariane?  SNC may not want to sell DC's but just seats on DC.
That is very likely the exact business model that will be applied if and when ESA decides to fly crew on DC. ESA is not all that much in the business of buying spacecraft from non-European third parties. They do buy services though.

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