Author Topic: Battle of the Heavyweight Rockets - SLS could face Exploration Class rival  (Read 173104 times)

Offline Coastal Ron

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Actually NASA still does drive innovation at least they did as recently as the early 2000s.
A good example Spacex's Merlin engine is based on work done on the Fastrac and the LCPE that was developed for SLI.

The SpaceX Merlin engine is based on the pintle style engines used for the Apollo LEM.  And yes Fastrac built on that knowledge.

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NASA also provides a lot of testing facilities and expertise the private sector often makes use of.

So far all you've shown is that there is some economic payoff down the road from spending gobs of taxpayer money.  Which is OK if it's spent on valid technology bets, but it's not a sign of your original claim, which is that NASA's "economic multiplier is massively positive".  The U.S. Taxpayer funds lots of research across many government agencies.

In order to back that up you would have to show that the ROI for every dollar spent on NASA is multiplied "massively" in ultimate GDP return to the economy.  Can you show any examples of that?

And I'm not saying spending money on NASA isn't in our national interest, just that we need to make sure we understand where the payoff is, and for the NASA of the past few decades it's been more of a "soft" payoff, not a definitive one that I can tell.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Online jpo234

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http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2014/08/battle-heavyweight-rockets-sls-exploration-rival/

Yeah, it had to be done.

Now this starts with a brief HLV history, including the run up to SLS, and then into SLS. Also covered BFR, with a bit more info and then intimated they could face off with each other.

As such, this is more a feature than a news article - as much as the latter is more my style. It's not going to please everyone and some of it is open for debate, but this is what I've come up with - along with having it checked by a few people involved.

Should be a fun thread!  :-X

Oh and I pumped in a few more of the amazing BFR renderings the L2 members have been creating via the envisioning work in L2 SpaceX. Special hat tip to Okan as I've been mainly using his beauties in the articles.

Time for an update? Including New Armstrong?
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Zucal

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We don't know nearly enough about New Armstrong yet.

Online jpo234

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We don't know nearly enough about New Armstrong yet.

At the time of the original article we didn't know enough about BFR either. I just thought that a followup that includes FH, SLS progress and New Armstrong as a new contestant would be nice.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline Lars-J

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We don't know nearly enough about New Armstrong yet.

At the time of the original article we didn't know enough about BFR either. I just thought that a followup that includes FH, SLS progress and New Armstrong as a new contestant would be nice.

We need to know more than the name to make that useful. The name is all we know about it.

Online jpo234

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We don't know nearly enough about New Armstrong yet.

At the time of the original article we didn't know enough about BFR either. I just thought that a followup that includes FH, SLS progress and New Armstrong as a new contestant would be nice.

We need to know more than the name to make that useful. The name is all we know about it.

We know that Blue is in talks with Space Florida for a NA pad at the Cape.
You want to be inspired by things. You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great. That's what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It's about believing in the future and believing the future will be better than the past. And I can't think of anything more exciting than being out there among the stars.

Offline AncientU

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We don't know nearly enough about New Armstrong yet.

At the time of the original article we didn't know enough about BFR either. I just thought that a followup that includes FH, SLS progress and New Armstrong as a new contestant would be nice.

We need to know more than the name to make that useful. The name is all we know about it.

We know that Blue is in talks with Space Florida for a NA pad at the Cape.

And that they originally asked to share LC-39B.  Since NG times three is about 12Mlbf, and that is the maximum that could fly off of 39B, that seems to be a reasonable guesstimate of NA's lift-off thrust.  At 3-4% PMF expendable and 125% lift-off T/W, that's 130-175t to LEO.  Reusable would lower this to 100-125t to LEO.
« Last Edit: 02/15/2018 02:20 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
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Offline envy887

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We don't know nearly enough about New Armstrong yet.

At the time of the original article we didn't know enough about BFR either. I just thought that a followup that includes FH, SLS progress and New Armstrong as a new contestant would be nice.

We need to know more than the name to make that useful. The name is all we know about it.

We know that Blue is in talks with Space Florida for a NA pad at the Cape.

And that they originally asked to share LC-39B.  Since NG times three is about 12Mlbf, and that is the maximum that could fly off of 39B, that seems to be a reasonable guesstimate of NA's lift-off thrust.  At 3-4% PMF expendable and 125% lift-off T/W, that's 130-175t to LEO.  Reusable would lower this to 100-125t to LEO.

Blue also wanted to share 39A with SpaceX, and protested NASA giving SpaceX an exclusive lease. That was well before NG was announced, so I'm not sure if they were thinking of using it for NG or NA.

Offline AncientU

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The recent request for 39B access was specifically for New Armstrong; New Glenn is headed for LC-36.
Remember the famous dancing unicorns dust-up four years ago?  (EM calling the bluff was correct call by many years apparently)

Quote
"From a SpaceX standpoint, we view [Blue Origin] and [United Launch Alliance’s] action as a phony blocking tactic and an obvious one at that. BO has not yet succeeded in creating a reliable suborbital spacecraft, despite spending over 10 years in development. It is therefore unlikely that they will succeed in developing an orbital vehicle that will meet NASA’s exacting standards in the next 5 years, which is the length of the lease. That said, I can’t say for sure whether [Blue Origin’s] action stems from malice. No such doubt exists about ULA’s motivation.

However, rather than fight this issue, there is an easy way to determine the truth, which is simply to call their bluff. If they do somehow show up in the next 5 years with a vehicle qualified to NASA’s human rating standards that can dock with the Space Station, which is what Pad 39A is meant to do, we will gladly accommodate their needs. Frankly, I think we are more likely to discover unicorns dancing in the flame duct."

« Last Edit: 02/15/2018 10:01 PM by AncientU »
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline rayleighscatter

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The recent request for 39B access was specifically for New Armstrong; New Glenn is headed for LC-36.
Remember the famous dancing unicorns dust-up four years ago?  (EM calling the bluff was correct call by many years apparently)

Quote
"From a SpaceX standpoint, we view [Blue Origin] and [United Launch Alliance’s] action as a phony blocking tactic and an obvious one at that. BO has not yet succeeded in creating a reliable suborbital spacecraft, despite spending over 10 years in development. It is therefore unlikely that they will succeed in developing an orbital vehicle that will meet NASA’s exacting standards in the next 5 years, which is the length of the lease. That said, I can’t say for sure whether [Blue Origin’s] action stems from malice. No such doubt exists about ULA’s motivation.

However, rather than fight this issue, there is an easy way to determine the truth, which is simply to call their bluff. If they do somehow show up in the next 5 years with a vehicle qualified to NASA’s human rating standards that can dock with the Space Station, which is what Pad 39A is meant to do, we will gladly accommodate their needs. Frankly, I think we are more likely to discover unicorns dancing in the flame duct."

5 year lease?

Presumably offering to let others use the pad and then putting a building right in the middle of the crawlerway was a (literal) blocking tactic as well? I wonder if that actions stems from malice?

Offline AncientU

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The recent request for 39B access was specifically for New Armstrong; New Glenn is headed for LC-36.
Remember the famous dancing unicorns dust-up four years ago?  (EM calling the bluff was correct call by many years apparently)

Quote
"From a SpaceX standpoint, we view [Blue Origin] and [United Launch Alliance’s] action as a phony blocking tactic and an obvious one at that. BO has not yet succeeded in creating a reliable suborbital spacecraft, despite spending over 10 years in development. It is therefore unlikely that they will succeed in developing an orbital vehicle that will meet NASA’s exacting standards in the next 5 years, which is the length of the lease. That said, I can’t say for sure whether [Blue Origin’s] action stems from malice. No such doubt exists about ULA’s motivation.

However, rather than fight this issue, there is an easy way to determine the truth, which is simply to call their bluff. If they do somehow show up in the next 5 years with a vehicle qualified to NASA’s human rating standards that can dock with the Space Station, which is what Pad 39A is meant to do, we will gladly accommodate their needs. Frankly, I think we are more likely to discover unicorns dancing in the flame duct."

5 year lease?

Presumably offering to let others use the pad and then putting a building right in the middle of the crawlerway was a (literal) blocking tactic as well? I wonder if that actions stems from malice?

Confidence.
"If we shared everything [we are working on] people would think we are insane!"
-- SpaceX friend of mlindner

Offline Robotbeat

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Other spots would’ve required disturbing wetlands for a foundation, I believe.
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 TomH

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Other spots would’ve required disturbing wetlands for a foundation, I believe.

That's my understanding as well. FWIU, nothing to the side of the crawlerway was allowable; they had to build right in the middle of it.

The location for Pad 39C was recently developed, but for small launchers. The original map even had spots for 39D and 39E, but those could well be locations considered buildable in the 1960s, but considered too ecologically sensitive today. Maybe someone who works at the cape can comment. In any case, 39A already had the pad. Even if 39D&E were allowable, far more development costs would be involved.

Offline Proponent

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The location for Pad 39C was recently developed, but for small launchers.

Do you mean that the original site for 39C, as defined in the 60s, has been developed? If so, which pad is it and what's it being used for?  Or are we talking about OATK's proposal to launch its NGL from within 39B?

Offline rayleighscatter

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The location for Pad 39C was recently developed, but for small launchers.

Do you mean that the original site for 39C, as defined in the 60s, has been developed? If so, which pad is it and what's it being used for?  Or are we talking about OATK's proposal to launch its NGL from within 39B?

39C was redefined for small launchers and exists within the perimeter of 39B. The original 60's-era 39C site is still available.

Offline DJPledger

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The location for Pad 39C was recently developed, but for small launchers.

Do you mean that the original site for 39C, as defined in the 60s, has been developed? If so, which pad is it and what's it being used for?  Or are we talking about OATK's proposal to launch its NGL from within 39B?

39C was redefined for small launchers and exists within the perimeter of 39B. The original 60's-era 39C site is still available.
LC-49 for NA is planned to be built on the site of the original LC-39C. Brand new launchpad will allow BO to size NA to be significantly more capable than SLS even with full reuse.

Offline Lars-J

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LC-49 for NA is planned to be built on the site of the original LC-39C. Brand new launchpad will allow BO to size NA to be significantly more capable than SLS even with full reuse.

Citation/source??

Offline rayleighscatter

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LC-49 for NA is planned to be built on the site of the original LC-39C. Brand new launchpad will allow BO to size NA to be significantly more capable than SLS even with full reuse.

Citation/source??
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/kennedy-cape-brownsville-launch-pads-schedules/

Reliable source?   :)
« Last Edit: 02/18/2018 08:44 PM by rayleighscatter »

Offline TomH

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The location for Pad 39C was recently developed, but for small launchers.

Do you mean that the original site for 39C, as defined in the 60s, has been developed? If so, which pad is it and what's it being used for?  Or are we talking about OATK's proposal to launch its NGL from within 39B?

39C was redefined for small launchers and exists within the perimeter of 39B. The original 60's-era 39C site is still available.
LC-49 for NA is planned to be built on the site of the original LC-39C. Brand new launchpad will allow BO to size NA to be significantly more capable than SLS even with full reuse.

Thanks for the clarification.

Regarding that 1960s map and the sites that were tentively labeled as LC-39D and LC-39E, are those areas possible sites for future development, already relabeled as something else, environmentally restricted, some other status?

Offline su27k

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Regarding that 1960s map and the sites that were tentively labeled as LC-39D and LC-39E, are those areas possible sites for future development, already relabeled as something else, environmentally restricted, some other status?

This site has details: https://masterplan.ksc.nasa.gov/

From https://masterplan.ksc.nasa.gov/Future-State/Future-Land-Use/Vertical-Launch:

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Future Development - In keeping with previous recommendations from the 1966, ‘72 and ‘77 KSC Master Plan’s, when the market demands an expansion of vertical launch capacity this Plan recommends an additional vertical launch pad, Launch Complex 49 (LC-49), to be sited to the north of existing 39B.  As part of the EIS process, this area was consolidated from two pads (formerly designated as 39-C and 39-D) to one that provides greater separation from LC-39B.  The area was expanded to accommodate a wider variety of launch azimuths, helping protect against potential overflight concerns of LC-39B.  LC-49 could accommodate medium to large class launch vehicles.

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