Author Topic: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan  (Read 303759 times)

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1000 on: 07/13/2018 02:06 PM »
Estimates lead me down the path of cynicism.

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Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1001 on: 07/13/2018 02:23 PM »
Check out the single-engine Centaur TWR at staging with a max payload. It's not pretty.

I agree that these numbers would be extremely relevant but I can't actually find them.  I had the impression that the Centaur is released at much closer to orbital speed.

Offline ZachF

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1002 on: 07/13/2018 03:13 PM »
It seems like journalist made a mistake but Caleb is space journalist he knows difference between GTO and GSO direct, so should editor.

May well be 13t to GSO with switch to BE3U. To compete for DOD missions it needs to be capable of at least 6.5t direct to GSO.

Caleb has clarified on Twitter, he meant what he said: https://twitter.com/CHenry_SN/status/1017484475360579585?s=19

I remain utterly sceptical that that's even possible. I'll run some numbers in the morning and see what improvements that would need to make to do that.
I'm going to believe Caleb as quote was quite clear 13t GEO.  He would've questioned it if in doubt.

Ok, I believe it's possible, but it is still really aggressive.

By my calculations the design closes if they can get 6.5% dry mass on the booster, 8% dry mass on the upper stage, 442 second specific impulse on BE-3U, and can recover the booster from above Mach 10 - which is going to be the tough part.

They can trade upper stage dry mass for booster entry velocity, but 8% is a very good mass fraction unless they go with balloon construction.

Assuming the second stage has empty weight of 16 tonnes and engines have isp of 460 seconds, 13 payload to GEO would mean 24.4(*) tonnes payload to GTO.

Assuming 2.5 km/s from LEO to GTO (4km/s total from LEO to GTO) this would also mean 54.4 (*) tonnes payload to LEO

This sounds like a reasonable payload for ship landing; The payload/1st stage thrust ratio is about 14% less than saturn V, and NG is using higher-isp fuels in both stages, though saturn V stages earlier to higher-isp engines, making average isp about equal. And NG will probably be stages with better mass fraction than Saturn V.

460 seconds is not happening, since BE-3U is a tapoff cycle engine and only closed cycle engines get that high. I would be quite impressed by 445 seconds.

Mass fractions better than Saturn V are possible, but aggressive. New Glenn is both smaller and partially reuseable, and both of those hurt the mass fractions.

The LH2 upper stage will be about 200 tonnes wet mass, I think.

That would mean a thrust-weight ratio of 0.6 while still only at half of orbital speed.  I'm no rocket scientist but I think that's a bad thing.

Also, where does the extra fuel space go?

Check out the single-engine Centaur TWR at staging with a max payload. It's not pretty.

A TWR of 0.6 is actually not that bad. F9 stages much slower and is only around 0.77, and with a little BE-3U thrust upgrade NG could bump TWR to 0.65 even with a 200 tonne upper stage which is quite reasonable.

The extra fuel space is just a upper stage stretch, which we already know they are doing.

The missing piece might be a more powerful than initially advertised BE-4.

With the current advertised thrust numbers it's likely that Vulcan 50x would need to leave it's tanks partially unfilled to lift off, but if thrust is a little higher then liftoff mass may be so as well.

A 10% thrust increase could push liftoff mass at a 1.2 TWR from ~1,450 tonnes to ~1,600 tonnes.

New Glenn is just a monster... I bet there was a lot of nervous silence at ULA and Arianespace when they heard these numbers. 13 tonnes to GEO with first stage recovery means that any commercial hopes Ariane 6 and Vulcan had are DOA.

« Last Edit: 07/13/2018 03:13 PM by ZachF »
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Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1003 on: 07/13/2018 03:29 PM »
New Glenn is just a monster... I bet there was a lot of nervous silence at ULA and Arianespace when they heard these numbers.

"Hey boss did you see this numbers?  13 tons to GEO."
...
...
...
"So they just announced the same capability they were at a year ago?"
"Yeah."
"Look, stop coming up with distractions, we need to discuss the minifridge situation."

Offline ZachF

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1004 on: 07/13/2018 03:39 PM »
New Glenn is just a monster... I bet there was a lot of nervous silence at ULA and Arianespace when they heard these numbers.

"Hey boss did you see this numbers?  13 tons to GEO."
...
...
...
"So they just announced the same capability they were at a year ago?"
"Yeah."
"Look, stop coming up with distractions, we need to discuss the minifridge situation."

13 tonnes to GEO ≠ 13 tonnes to GTO

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Offline guckyfan

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1005 on: 07/13/2018 04:06 PM »
Check out the single-engine Centaur TWR at staging with a max payload. It's not pretty.
But then the first stage has a very high speed at staging. New Glenn first stage wants to brake down and land so stages a lot earlier. It needs a better T/W.

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1006 on: 07/13/2018 04:45 PM »
Check out the single-engine Centaur TWR at staging with a max payload. It's not pretty.

I agree that these numbers would be extremely relevant but I can't actually find them.  I had the impression that the Centaur is released at much closer to orbital speed.

Centaur TWR ranges from 0.25 to 0.37 and staging velocity from about 5 to 6 km/s.

F9 stages at around 0.77 TWR and 1.5 to 2 km/s.

New Glenn would likely be staging around 3 km/s to get that much payload to GEO, so a TWR of 0.6 to 0.65 would be reasonable.

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1007 on: 07/13/2018 05:00 PM »
But it is equivalent to 45 tons to LEO.  And if two weeks ago I had told you that New Glenn would ONLY do 45 tons to LEO, you would say I'm wrong cuz I'm a hater.  ::)

It's the Great News for John McCain equivalent of rocket science.  In a big complicated process there are always going to be things shifting back and forth.  You switch to higher ISP, you have less density.  You talk about 5 years in the future, everyone else has changed too.  In the long run, most of this stuff is a wash!  You should only see things as big news when you can carefully consider them against what you knew before.  But if you only look at one side of things, you have everything is great news, great news, great news.

They also said the launch rate is 8 a year with reuse and that they wont offer GTO until flight 6.  (Not surprising as they have 8 LEO/MEO flights lined up.)  That flight rate means that the cost is not going to be bargain basement (no point) and the date means that both Vulcan SMART and Ariane 64 will be there to compete at that price point.  And the geostationary launch market is a hell of a lot more conservative then leaping into the arms of whoever offers the lowest price.

The significance of GEO in my mind is that it means this rocket has a reason to exist at all.  It's not that they are going to flood the market (not at 8 launches a year) but if 3 or 4 of those launches are extremely expensive launches to GEO-direct, it actually has a purpose now.

Check out the single-engine Centaur TWR at staging with a max payload. It's not pretty.

I agree that these numbers would be extremely relevant but I can't actually find them.  I had the impression that the Centaur is released at much closer to orbital speed.

Centaur TWR ranges from 0.25 to 0.37 and staging velocity from about 5 to 6 km/s.

F9 stages at around 0.77 TWR and 1.5 to 2 km/s.

New Glenn would likely be staging around 3 km/s to get that much payload to GEO, so a TWR of 0.6 to 0.65 would be reasonable.

Where can one find reading materials on this?

Also, I can't make those centaur numbers add up.  If the thrust is 10 tons, that means you are talking about 40 tons of mass at separation.  That means a 551 with 18 tons cargo.  That has 2.44 km/s of delta-v.  If it separated at 6 km/s, it would be sub-orbital.  How does one reconcile this?

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1008 on: 07/13/2018 05:30 PM »
Check out the single-engine Centaur TWR at staging with a max payload. It's not pretty.

I agree that these numbers would be extremely relevant but I can't actually find them.  I had the impression that the Centaur is released at much closer to orbital speed.

Centaur TWR ranges from 0.25 to 0.37 and staging velocity from about 5 to 6 km/s.

F9 stages at around 0.77 TWR and 1.5 to 2 km/s.

New Glenn would likely be staging around 3 km/s to get that much payload to GEO, so a TWR of 0.6 to 0.65 would be reasonable.

Where can one find reading materials on this?

Also, I can't make those centaur numbers add up.  If the thrust is 10 tons, that means you are talking about 40 tons of mass at separation.  That means a 551 with 18 tons cargo.  That has 2.44 km/s of delta-v.  If it separated at 6 km/s, it would be sub-orbital.  How does one reconcile this?

LEO velocity is ~7.7 km/s (the typically quoted ~9.2 km/s launch delta-v includes drag and gravity losses and is not actual velocity).

A max payload 551 will stage somewhere around 5.5 km/s and get to orbit with the ~2.4 km/s provided by Centaur (the difference is some gravity losses). A max payload 401 will actually stage slower since it has no SRBs to give it a kick, but because its payload is smaller that means Centaur gives it more delta-v, around 4 km/s. So it's probably staging at closer to 4 km/s than 5. And despite the higher TWR its lower velocity results in more gravity losses (unless the booster lofts it, which means even lower downrange velocity).

Ed Kyle ran some numbers for 401 here and got about 5 km/s staging for a 401 with GTO payload of 4 t.
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=6479.msg169920#msg169920

And
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=6479.msg182816#msg182816

Also the Juno launch stream video shows staging at 110 by -1781 nautical miles, which corresponds to a 6.2 km/s downrange velocity. That was a 551 with a 3.7 t payload, so that's about the fastest you will ever see a CCB go.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wirQULH7sM?t=528

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1009 on: 07/13/2018 07:51 PM »
But that's 37% thrust to weight ratio and for a vehicle that has already had a lot more delta-v.  Splitting it up into gravity losses and velocity doesn't change the fact that it's a lot more delta-v.   Yes, the Atlas 401 has an even lower thrust to weight ratio for LEO but the Atlas 401 is not mass optimized for LEO!  It's in fact really inefficient for that from a mass standpoint.  And the Atlas isn't trying to recover the first stage.
 
You are talking about staging way lower so the gravity losses are going to increase.  With that much weight and the reserve fuel for the landing you are separating down at the same height as the falcon 9.  (At least that solves the problem of needing to land so far downrange that the Taliban steal your rocket.)  The Falcon 9 is already past the efficient design point because chilling the tanks allowed them to put more fuel in.  Your suggestion would have a lower thrust-weight ratio and a higher ISP, meaning you are losing even more delta-v to fighting gravity then the non-optimized Falcon 9.  But you are suggesting doing it on purpose, from the get go.

It makes sense to have a design compromise if the hardware already exists and you are just tweaking it.  Chilling the RP-1 costs them very little.  Launching any GEMs saves money if the launch doesn't need them.  But you aren't talking about a tweak after the fact, you are talking about designing it to be inefficient from the get go.

I very much appreciate the information you have brought to the table.  This is very interesting stuff, just piecing through this is making me consider things that aren't usually discussed at all.
« Last Edit: 07/13/2018 07:53 PM by johnfwhitesell »

Offline su27k

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1010 on: 07/14/2018 01:07 AM »
The plot thickens: https://twitter.com/WeHaveMECO/status/1017761377711198208

Quote
Main Engine Cut Off
@WeHaveMECO

Replying to @Nehkara
Misspoke may be the wrong word for it, but 13 tons is GTO. And I’m sure of that.

Offline vapour_nudge

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1011 on: 07/14/2018 02:06 AM »
The Space News article has been updated to GTO so what is all the fuss about?
« Last Edit: 07/14/2018 02:23 AM by vapour_nudge »

Offline johnfwhitesell

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1012 on: 07/14/2018 02:44 AM »
The Spave News article has been updated to GTO so whst is  all the fuss about?

Well it's the only actual payload figure since the engine switch.

I have put together a chart of numbers.  Credit for good numbers belongs to Ed for his website, blame for bad numbers belongs to me for bad interpretations.  There are two different versions that seem plausible to me:
1) Efficient landing; if they only need 50 tons to land but the second stage is 120 tons, that would give a 13 ton to GEO figure.  This would imply about 30 tons to LEO
2) Inefficient landing; if they need 100 tons to land but the second stage is a 200 ton vehicle, that would also give a 13 ton to GEO figure.

I think that the first one is more likely.  First of all, it matches the dimensions they were already planning around.  Secondly, the alternative just seems weird to me.  The first stage delta v is low enough that a thrust to weight ratio below 1 is premature.  Yet the decision to go with two engines, as opposed to 3, was made recently.  If they were going to enlarge the second stage, why wouldn't they have gone with three engines?  That way they could have still made 40 tons to LEO.

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1013 on: 07/15/2018 04:53 PM »
The plot thickens: https://twitter.com/WeHaveMECO/status/1017761377711198208

Quote
Main Engine Cut Off
@WeHaveMECO

Replying to @Nehkara
Misspoke may be the wrong word for it, but 13 tons is GTO. And I’m sure of that.

Or rather, the plot has deflated to its original thickness...
ABCD - Always Be Counting Down

Offline envy887

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1014 on: 07/15/2018 07:30 PM »
The plot thickens: https://twitter.com/WeHaveMECO/status/1017761377711198208

Quote
Main Engine Cut Off
@WeHaveMECO

Replying to @Nehkara
Misspoke may be the wrong word for it, but 13 tons is GTO. And I’m sure of that.

Or rather, the plot has deflated to its original thickness...

Almost back to it, anyway. Blue previously claimed "10 to 13" tonnes to GTO. Now they seem to be standing firm on 13.

Offline meekGee

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1015 on: 07/15/2018 07:41 PM »
The plot thickens: https://twitter.com/WeHaveMECO/status/1017761377711198208

Quote
Main Engine Cut Off
@WeHaveMECO

Replying to @Nehkara
Misspoke may be the wrong word for it, but 13 tons is GTO. And I’m sure of that.

Or rather, the plot has deflated to its original thickness...

Almost back to it, anyway. Blue previously claimed "10 to 13" tonnes to GTO. Now they seem to be standing firm on 13.
Firm-ish. 

A reporter said he was told 13.  Was he told 13 or "up to 13"?

I think official numbers from BO will be more reliable, at least until the rocket exists.

-----
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Online niwax

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1016 on: 07/18/2018 07:01 PM »
In terms of flight regime, NS is much closer to Grasshopper than to F9.

That is incorrect. Grasshopper and F9R-Dev1 never left and reentered the atmosphere, never flew either up or down with any notable speed, never used active aerodynamic controls, and never restarted an engine in flight.

You are correct on everything, except the bolded parts:

Steered grid fins are very much active aerodynamic controls.

Hmm, I didn't know they added them. Most photos of F9R-Dev1 clearly show it flying without fins.

Either way, it wasn't flying fast enough for the aerosurfaces to do much.

After just watching the last New Shepard launch, maybe I'll try to be more specific about why I think they are still closer to Grasshopper/F9R-Dev than F9:

New Shepard falls from zero velocity just around the Karman line, not unlike a parachutist except slightly higher up. Since it's only accelerated by gravity and enters the atmosphere pretty quickly, it skirts around terminal velocity starting from 1000m/s. F9 slams into it at hypersonic speed either from 1900+ m/s (ASDS) or about 160km altitude (RTLS), both resulting in about another 1000m/s higher reentry over NS. The requirements in terms of heat shielding are massively different. New Shepard-style reentry is not too far from what a human can survive in a light space suit whereas it took SpaceX until Block 5 to find a truly reusable shielding solution - even reused Block 4s hat ablative cork replaced around the engines:



The difference becomes even bigger when looking at engine relights. NS bleeds off speed at around terminal velocity with the engine relight occurring at comfortably subsonic speeds down in the atmosphere. F9 doesn't have that luxury with it's higher reentry velocity. There's a reason SpaceX touts hypersonic retropropulsion. They've slammed a lot of rockets into various objects trying to figure out how to relight the engine reliably and keep it lit all the way down. They still destroyed the FH center core after 13 successful reflights just from misjudging the amount of TEA/TEB needed on its more demanding flight.

I'm happy to be wrong on any of this, looking forward to another reusable launch provider :)
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1017 on: 08/03/2018 01:43 PM »
Various claims about difficulty of New Glenn being ready for 2020:

Quote
BUSINESS NEWS   AUGUST 3, 2018 / 2:08 PM / UPDATED 17 MINUTES AGO
Bezos throws cash, engineers at rocket program as space race accelerates
Eric M. Johnson

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos is racing to pull his private space company out of start-up mode and move into production amid signals that his firm’s heavy rocket set for lift-off in 2020 may slip behind schedule, according to people familiar with the project.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-blueorigin/bezos-throws-cash-engineers-at-rocket-program-as-space-race-accelerates-idUSKBN1KO0HN

Offline Chasm

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Re: New Glenn: Blue Origin Announcement of Orbital Rocket Plan
« Reply #1018 on: 08/03/2018 04:53 PM »
How much of it is the deadline and how much is the completion of the factory?

Offline TrevorMonty

This is space, schedule slippage is the norm. Their customers would've taken this into account when booking flights.

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