Author Topic: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?  (Read 42657 times)

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #160 on: 11/20/2018 07:42 AM »
If I had been in charge post-Columbia, I would have gone for a Biconic with the shuttle-derived Jarvis.

The single SSME Jarvis would have put at least 35 tons into orbit. This gives a nice large mass margin for the Biconic, which should make it possible to include pretty much every feature from the shuttle besides the payload, SSMEs, and wings (lands using a para-wing). If you wanted to launch a 25-ton payload that would normally be launched by the shuttle, you would now launch it unmanned on the Jarvis.

This gives you a system with the satellite servicing, flyable reentry, runway landing, and crew-to-orbit capabilities of the shuttle, and the lift capability, while not launching crew or the expensive vehicle they require on every flight.

It wouldn't have been much cheaper, but it would have increased safety while maintaining capability.

One question; How is this going to do the re-entry ? How is it controlled ?
Body flaps and RCS... This was one of the proposals from the early days of the CEV Program back around 2005:
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1055
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=1057

Was it bullet proof...tested in supersonic wind tunnel for hypersonic speeds etc ?

HL-20 was well researched !

BO version was...
https://www.wired.com/2012/04/commercial-space-shuttle-wind-tunnel-testing/

Did it perform well in the real life testing...models and so forth ?

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #161 on: 11/30/2018 03:15 PM »
I found this in a discussion thread about "perfect spaceship".

I wonder if that is a hoax...looks like a top of a stack of 9 x Falcon 9s.  ;)

205 tons at LEO and "Mars capable" !  :o


Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #162 on: 12/03/2018 09:50 AM »
Grumman seems to have evaluated this kinda shuttles in 1970ies. :)

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #163 on: 12/04/2018 04:41 PM »
I found this interesting.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1880/1

Over the past few decades, there have been many unsuccessful efforts to master continuous powered hypersonic flight. The daunting thermal problem is that sharp, thin leading edges, which are needed to minimize drag, get very hot very fast and there is nowhere for the heat to go. Fortunately, a slowing space vehicle entering the atmosphere doesn’t need to reduce drag to a minimum, so it doesn’t require sharp leading edges (the forward edge of the shuttle orbiter’s wings are broadly rounded.) The orbiter’s delta-shaped wings have a very inefficient lift to drag ratio and poor low-speed lift characteristics, which means it touches down on the runway at a high velocity.

Wing loading (the vehicle’s weight divided by its wing surface area) is a prime parameter affecting flight. The antique aluminum Douglas DC-3 airliner had a big wing with a low loading of about 25 psf (pounds per square foot of wing surface). At the other end of the spectrum, the Space Shuttle orbiter has a high wing loading of about 120 psf. This loading, combined with an inefficient delta-shaped wing, makes the orbiter glide like a brick. A little Cessna 152 private plane features a wing loading of about 11 psf and modern gliders operate down around 7 psf. A space plane with huge lifting surfaces and a very low wing loading might not require any external thermal insulation at all. Building a space plane with a wing loading of, say, 10 psf should not be an impossible proposition. Perhaps some day it will be done.

Offline joema

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #164 on: 12/04/2018 07:40 PM »
I found this interesting.

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1880/1
...This loading, combined with an inefficient delta-shaped wing, makes the orbiter glide like a brick...A space plane with huge lifting surfaces and a very low wing loading might not require any external thermal insulation at all. Building a space plane with a wing loading of, say, 10 psf should not be an impossible proposition...[/i][/b]

That article states several items which historical scholarship has shown are not true. I mentioned several in this post, so I won't re-state them: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=28474.msg1493283#msg1493283

The other points about using a different TPS are also incorrect. Aaron Cohen discussed these design decisions in the 2005 MIT video lecture series 16.885J, which is available on line. The options were a titanium hot structure, using metallic tiles or using silica tiles. Shuttle designers consulted with SR-71 designer Kelly Johnson on this who advised them to not use titanium due to the difficulty of working it, and metallic tiles were subject to burn through from a single scratch which eroded the coating.

The structural and TPS issues were also discussed by structures and materials expert Lawrence Korb in his book "Memories of Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs": http://a.co/d/2ZfPPnM Of the available options silica tiles were the best and maybe only practical choice at that time. Korb discusses how the X-15 and Dyna-Soar TPS were not feasible options for the shuttle.

Given the required mission, payload and available funding, it's unclear there was a dramatically better available design using early 1970s technology. Shuttle program manager Bob Thompson said even if they'd gotten hugely more funding and attempted to develop a gigantic fully-reusable winged booster, the entire program would have possibly failed due to technical risk. To minimize overall vehicle mass, a winged booster must reach about Mach 12 and it would weigh probably 3-4 million pounds. The heaviest winged aircraft to ever fly is the An-225 at 1.4 million pounds. A fully reusable winged booster would weigh several times and fly at Mach 12.

The Space Review article said it should have been possible to develop a low-density orbiter which gently descends through the atmosphere like a badminton shuttlecock. I don't recall seeing that concept on any of the design proposals. A space plane with "huge lifting surfaces and a very low wing loading" sounds like a child's crayon drawing, not reality. You don't want huge lifting surfaces for hypersonic flight. If the answer is it won't be doing hypersonic flight on reentry, how exactly does it avoid hypersonic flight during powered ascent and what happens to the "huge" wings during that period?

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #165 on: 12/04/2018 08:47 PM »
Re-entry vehicle is usually almost empty when landing so the "wing area" stays the same but the weight can be lower, thus the wing loading is lesser.

Also that "clownish" ship seems to have a low wing loading in landing mode...at approx 50 kg/m2.

« Last Edit: 12/05/2018 08:36 AM by spaceman100 »

Online Lars-J

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How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #166 on: 12/05/2018 07:11 AM »
Can we stop discussing that “clownish” ship? It is just a cartoonish drawing that would only be suborbital. (No second stage and insufficient propellant for that ... shuttle thing ... to act as its own 2nd stage) Let’s try to limit the discussion to semi-realistic proposals.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2018 05:03 PM by Lars-J »

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #167 on: 12/05/2018 08:31 AM »
Can we stop discussing that “clownish” ship? It is just a cartoonish drawing that would only be suborbital. (No second stage insufficient propellant for that ... shuttle thing ... to act as its own 2nd stage) Let’s try to limit the discussion to semi-realistic proposals.

Now ya talking !

Could the SpaceX BFR be considered as shuttle too..it is apparently able to reach Mars with 100 passenger !?
« Last Edit: 12/05/2018 03:03 PM by spaceman100 »

Online Lars-J

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #168 on: 12/05/2018 05:03 PM »
Can we stop discussing that “clownish” ship? It is just a cartoonish drawing that would only be suborbital. (No second stage insufficient propellant for that ... shuttle thing ... to act as its own 2nd stage) Let’s try to limit the discussion to semi-realistic proposals.

Now ya talking !

Could the SpaceX BFR be considered as shuttle too..it is apparently able to reach Mars with 100 passenger !?

Certainly. That was argued back in reply #3 in this thread. :)

The BFR/Starship - *IF* it works as advertised - will be a real successor that will fulfill the original ideas of the Shuttle system. (not the semi-expendable Shuttle we ended up with) A craft does not have to have wings to be a Shuttle.

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #169 on: 12/05/2018 06:19 PM »
Yep, spaceX ITS is very close, just may need modification to cargo access.

Orbital refueling could also be dropped as it's not needed when destinations are close to earth.

Even without refueling, ITS could probably reach at least GTO with reasonable payload, which STS could not at all, even with zero payload.


Thought BFS/ITS might be oversized so smaller version of the same concept might be cheaper if the goal is just do what shuttle was originally going to do.

How about making the craft 30-40% bigger ( wider ) to rearch Mars and come back with ease ? Landing on a runway would make it also possibly way safer.

Boxfish could lead the way in aerodynamics;
« Last Edit: 12/05/2018 06:38 PM by spaceman100 »

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #170 on: 12/06/2018 07:43 AM »
Sorry I’m late to the discussion but it’s one I’ve been thinking about as well.

It seems to me that the goal of the Shuttle was to create a reusable launch vehicle.  One that was low-cost and rapidly redeployable.

What we learned from the first shuttle program is:

1. Don’t mount the lander at the bottom of a liquid hydrogen fuel tank. The Challenger disaster was sort of a freak accident but the Columbia disaster was inevitable given the Shuttle’s design. The only reason it was returned to flight was the need for it to finish putting the International space station together.

2.  Always have an escape pod in a manned vehicle.

3. Don’t an on-board crew necessary.

The Shuttle was neither low-cost or rapidly redeployable but we do have a launch vehicle that is cheap, mostly reusable and has launched, as opposed to a lot of the ideas that have been represented here -- The Falcon Heavy. Where the Shuttle expended the external fuel tank, the FH expends it’s upper stage. The question is whether the ET is cheaper or more expensive than the Falcon upper stage. I don’t know but you have to think that a stage consisting of one mass produced engine and an uninsulated fuel tank has to cost less than a foam covered ET.

To be sure a recoverable FH only launches half as much as the Shuttle but most of that mass is the lander itself. If we were mate the FH with a Dream Chaser we would have a manned craft much lighter than the Shuttle lander, would not be mounted the the debris field from the first stage and would serve as an escape pod as well as the lander. Thus answering two of the flaws in the Shuttle. I suggest Dream Chaser because there seems to be a desire for a runaway lander like the shuttle amoung a lot of people.

Today there seems little reason to launch cargo with a crew but if there was the need to the FH would have the excess capacity to do so. Cargo could easily loaded into a cargo Dragon or if a larger piece needed launching a separate cylinder could be quickly built. If you needed down-mass I assume a heat shield nose cone on the cargo cylinder would be enough for re-entry. The cargo module would have to be sized to match the FH’s launch capacity. If there was a need for a mechanical arm to assemble things I assume one could be attached too the cargo module and operated remotely.

The beauty to this idea is that the FH has launched. A manned Dream Chaser would take time and $$$ to create but there’s the Dragon 2 nearly ready for flight and it would be just as easy to fly that as it would Dream Chaser. The cargo module... how are can that be?

The lesson to be learned from the original Shuttle is the next generation shuttle doesn’t have to look like a shuttle ... as long as it does the same job.

Excluding the Musk's Tintin dream the shuttles do have to look a bit like the shuttle..HL-20, Dream Chaser and Mig-105 all resemble each others as they have to perform the same task..re-enter the atmosphere !

For some reason Venture Star did not quite look the same and it did not perform well...as a model at least.
« Last Edit: 12/06/2018 07:45 AM by spaceman100 »

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #171 on: 12/06/2018 07:56 AM »
X-37 has fixed a few of the problems that crippled the Shuttle Orbiter as a reentry vehicle:

- Separate wing and tail surfaces allow much greater variation in CoG during a mission. Delta-wing and lifting-body designs require careful control of CoG. This was a persistent problem with Shuttle and almost every mission flew with lead ballast blocks, over 2 tons in the nose for the first half of the program.

- Eliminated the hydraulic system and the hydrazine APUs which were a constant source of trouble both on X-15 and Shuttle. Control surfaces have electric actuators like modern aircraft.

- Eliminated the human pilots and their big windows, too dangerous in the current space junk environment.

- Switched from naked side-mount position to safe location in standard payload shroud. Unfortunately this makes launch escape very difficult - this is why Dream Chaser has been downgraded to cargo only.

All these improvements should be in Shuttle Mk.2. But some intractable problems still remain:

- toxic and explosive hypergolic propellants, still not replaced with mythical "green" substitutes. Note the elaborate safing procedures after each X-37 landing by a crew in protective suits.

- fragile ceramic thermal protection, difficult to protect from space junk.

- excessive weight. A winged or lifting-body RV is still about 3x the weight of an equivalent ballistic vehicle, and always will be. Having a spacecraft land at an airport makes as much sense as an aircraft landing at a railroad station.

So I don't think a Shuttle 2.0 will exist in the foreseeable future.

You can never go to space if you are afraid of the space debris all the time.

A repair kit would be good to have and an alternate system if something does hit the operative main system ( or a spare system components ).

Checking the old Grumman files you can find that shuttles were originally supposed to have a over 5 glide ratio in space shuttle is was dropped to 2. Possibly 3-4 is ok.


.....and comparing X-37 and shuttle is like apples and oranges...the shuttle had huge engines at the back.
« Last Edit: 12/07/2018 07:00 AM by spaceman100 »

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #172 on: 12/06/2018 02:51 PM »
Was this the last attempt to make new US Shuttle ( 1989 ) by Boeing ?

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #173 on: 12/06/2018 07:43 PM »
{snip}
- toxic and explosive hypergolic propellants, still not replaced with mythical "green" substitutes. Note the elaborate safing procedures after each X-37 landing by a crew in protective suits.
{snip}

The lunar lander program has produced several small engines that burn green fuels:

* Hydrogen peroxide - the Mighty Eagle main engine (2,200-3,100 N) and RCS (44 N).

* Methane/Lox - Morpheus main engine (24,000 N) and RCS (22-67 N).

* LOX/IPA (Isopropyl alcohol) - Masten Space's Katana (18,000 N).

* MXP-351 bipropellant - Masten Space's Machete (4,400 N).

*  AF-M315E - hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) will be used on Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) .

There may be others.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #174 on: 12/06/2018 07:48 PM »
{snip}
- Switched from naked side-mount position to safe location in standard payload shroud. Unfortunately this makes launch escape very difficult - this is why Dream Chaser has been downgraded to cargo only.
{snip}


If a manned Dream Chaser is being launched on our most powerful launch vehicles could the escape system simply take the payload shroud with it?

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #175 on: 12/07/2018 06:58 AM »
{snip}
- Switched from naked side-mount position to safe location in standard payload shroud. Unfortunately this makes launch escape very difficult - this is why Dream Chaser has been downgraded to cargo only.
{snip}


If a manned Dream Chaser is being launched on our most powerful launch vehicles could the escape system simply take the payload shroud with it?


Agree like here the capsule does; https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/spacex-demonstrates-astronaut-escape-system-for-crew-dragon-spacecraft

It could also land safely.

Online Lars-J

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #176 on: 12/07/2018 06:49 PM »
Excluding the Musk's Tintin dream the shuttles do have to look a bit like the shuttle..HL-20, Dream Chaser and Mig-105 all resemble each others as they have to perform the same task..re-enter the atmosphere !

For some reason Venture Star did not quite look the same and it did not perform well...as a model at least.

Why does a "shuttle" need wings? Is it a requirement for being able to go to space? A requirement for re-enter the atmosphere? For landing?

The word "shuttle" simply means a transportation device between two destinations. But there is no wing requirement in that word. But so many of us grew up with the "Space Shuttle", so we have a hard time separating that in out mind.

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #177 on: 12/07/2018 07:32 PM »
Excluding the Musk's Tintin dream the shuttles do have to look a bit like the shuttle..HL-20, Dream Chaser and Mig-105 all resemble each others as they have to perform the same task..re-enter the atmosphere !

For some reason Venture Star did not quite look the same and it did not perform well...as a model at least.

Why does a "shuttle" need wings? Is it a requirement for being able to go to space? A requirement for re-enter the atmosphere? For landing?

The word "shuttle" simply means a transportation device between two destinations. But there is no wing requirement in that word. But so many of us grew up with the "Space Shuttle", so we have a hard time separating that in out mind.

I agree...just emphazising that Musk's idea of a shuttle is different from glide ratio glider/lifting body vehicles.

Offline spaceman100

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #178 on: 12/08/2018 10:48 AM »
{snip}
- Switched from naked side-mount position to safe location in standard payload shroud. Unfortunately this makes launch escape very difficult - this is why Dream Chaser has been downgraded to cargo only.
{snip}


If a manned Dream Chaser is being launched on our most powerful launch vehicles could the escape system simply take the payload shroud with it?

Boeing systems looks way cheaper;

Offline joema

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Re: How would a second generation Space Shuttle look like?
« Reply #179 on: 12/08/2018 11:23 AM »
....

Why does a "shuttle" need wings? Is it a requirement for being able to go to space? A requirement for re-enter the atmosphere? For landing?

A "shuttle" in the broad, generic sense does not need wings. In fact one of the Phase-A proposals was the capsule-like Chrysler SERV which had no wings: http://www.astronautix.com/s/serv.html

However SERV had limited cross-range which was a requirement for both NASA and DOD.

This was reiterated by Charles Donlan, acting director of the shuttle program office, who said "high cross range was 'fundamental to the operation of the orbiter.' It would enhance its maneuverability, greatly broadening the opportunities to abort a mission and perhaps save the lives of astronauts. High cross range would also provide more frequent opportunities to return to Kennedy Space Center in the course of a normal mission..." -- History of Hypersonics

The Chrysler SERV was a paper design, and we can't tell much about the ultimate feasibility from that. VentureStar also looked good on paper before someone had to physically design it, fabricate it and make it work.

However it is obvious the SERV was very complicated and would have entailed extreme technical risk. It required new aerospike engines, sliding protective doors to cover those during reentry, twenty-eight to forty (!!) turbojet lift engines for landing propulsion, JP4 fuel and support systems for those (including yet more sliding intake doors for the jets), and it would have required SSTO performance when no SSTO before or since has ever been demonstrated even on a small scale. It would have also used ablative thermal protection which would have required extensive servicing after each flight. Lack of wings did not mean simplicity, rather it traded one type of complexity for another. For more details see Jenkins' book.

There are two intertwined topics in this thread: 1 - How would a 2nd gen shuttle look, and 2 - What can we learn from the original shuttle. Today there are different technical options which didn't exist in the early 1970s, plus there is less fixation on a specific vehicle planform. If the SpaceX or Blue Origin designs can be evolved upward to full or near-full reusability while maintaining safety and turnaround, those by definition will be "shuttles". But that doesn't mean those were feasible choices in the early 1970s.

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