Author Topic: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style  (Read 10403 times)

Offline yoram

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #20 on: 03/03/2018 09:16 PM »
Quote
Second, as others have mentioned, GPS did not exist, making autonomous water platform landings likely out of the question. 

There was radio navigation, back to ww2. Was that not good enough?


Offline speedevil

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #21 on: 03/03/2018 09:48 PM »
Quote
Second, as others have mentioned, GPS did not exist, making autonomous water platform landings likely out of the question. 

There was radio navigation, back to ww2. Was that not good enough?

Radio global navigation - no.
However, this isn't required.
The aim is presumably to locate a stage at line-of-sight, which can be done a number of ways, from purely optically on, and then transmit this to an INS stage to remove errors before the reentry or landing burn.

- for example.

The position of the boosters is - with several of this class of image, driven from a scope around 12" with an automated position readout, and a couple of guys with cross-hairs at different locations, findable to well under a hundred meters or so - quite adequate for the reentry burn planning.

The reentry burn then proceeds at parameters telemetered to the stage.

This is all rather easier than trying to enter fully automatically as in the shuttle.
The stage stays in line of sight all the time (or line of sight from a handful of sites), there is no ionisation envelope at any time.
The velocity is enormously lower, and the stage is ballistic for long periods of time letting you refine and adjust the solutions.

Actually finding the landing ship requires another system, and control down to the landing ship may require a computer on the stage to run the INS, and possibly another on the ground to work out the position solutions and talk to it, at least in the 60s, if for no other reason than weight.

By the time the 80s have rolled around, it's plausible to do it all on the rocket.


Offline Archibald

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #22 on: 03/04/2018 06:49 AM »
What an amazing video.
... that ackward moment when you realize that Jeff Bezos personal fortune is far above NASA annual budget... 115 billion to 18 billion...

Offline Michel Van

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #23 on: 03/04/2018 10:49 AM »
just a idea

What about Rogallo Wing ?
NASA were study the use of Rogallo Wing on Saturn I booster in begin 1960s
but never try it   >:(



it would not manage to return to Launch site by just gliding.
either give it small jet engine that fly the stage to Kennedy space center (KSC)
or install airbag (serve also as swimmer ) and land the stage in Ocean and tug back to KSC.

Offline Matt the Czar

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #24 on: 03/05/2018 04:56 AM »
I feel the idea could work, but the political will for it is doubtful.  For one, it's not very sexy.  Second, there is little new work created by the program, when the work for the Shuttle arguably saved many companies during the 70s depression.  Third, there was no figure that seems to be a likely champion for it, especially since it was the Air Force that so influenced the real life shuttle. 

I can see it being authorized only if it was part of a larger plan.  Perhaps the Space Station option proposed to President Nixion is modified, arguing for the immense size of the planned space station with the cost savings this cheap booster would give. 

PS:  It's nice to see two of the big space people from AH.com, Archibald and Micheal Van, here.
« Last Edit: 03/05/2018 04:58 AM by Matt the Czar »

Offline Archibald

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #25 on: 03/05/2018 05:46 AM »
Well... I'm not anymore :( 
... that ackward moment when you realize that Jeff Bezos personal fortune is far above NASA annual budget... 115 billion to 18 billion...

Offline john smith 19

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #26 on: 03/05/2018 07:10 AM »
just a idea

What about Rogallo Wing ?
NASA were study the use of Rogallo Wing on Saturn I booster in begin 1960s
but never try it   >:(



it would not manage to return to Launch site by just gliding.
either give it small jet engine that fly the stage to Kennedy space center (KSC)
or install airbag (serve also as swimmer ) and land the stage in Ocean and tug back to KSC.
This is extraordinary. All the stuff I've ever seen with a Rogallo Wing shows it with a Gemini capsule underneath, despite claims its original goal was booster recovery.

The issue with such plans is not the weight of the chutes, it's the weight of the stiffening to resist all the additional stresses in the "wrong" direction on the structure.

As for "precision landing" the X10 demonstrated it in the late 50's. Aircraft demonstrated "Autoland" in 1968 in thick fog using INS and radar altimeters. No GPS in sight (nor would there be for most of the next 20 years).
So in principal the sensors (either on board or radioing data to it) are possible.

Computing is trickier, but it depends what you mean. The AGC (SoA for space avionics at the time) was 96KB of code, 1KW of 14bit RAM and about 64KIPS of processing. OTOH you could wire an analog computer (or several) as single task systems to evaluate a function representing the stage at different points in flight and steer it to other different points in flight, eventually to the ground.

But you're going to need either a multiple engine cluster or really good throttling as others have noted.
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP structured booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Archibald

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #27 on: 03/05/2018 05:41 PM »
First aircraft with Autoland was the BAC Trident (the british 727 trijet lookalike)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoland
... that ackward moment when you realize that Jeff Bezos personal fortune is far above NASA annual budget... 115 billion to 18 billion...

Offline Lobo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #28 on: 03/05/2018 09:32 PM »
I feel the idea could work, but the political will for it is doubtful.  For one, it's not very sexy.  Second, there is little new work created by the program, when the work for the Shuttle arguably saved many companies during the 70s depression.  Third, there was no figure that seems to be a likely champion for it, especially since it was the Air Force that so influenced the real life shuttle. 

I can see it being authorized only if it was part of a larger plan.  Perhaps the Space Station option proposed to President Nixion is modified, arguing for the immense size of the planned space station with the cost savings this cheap booster would give. 


In any of these "Alternate History" threads, one has to assume that history takes a divergent course at some point in time, for history to unfold in any other way than it actually did.  If nothing changed, then history would unfold just as it actually did.

So one has to assume something different.  A champion for it that wasn't there originally, for example.  Someone who had the President's ear.  A different NASA Administrator or spokesman to the President/Congress, etc.

In this case, or in my other thread here:

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=36711.0

One must assume some sort of change creating the divergent history.  The smaller of a change that can accomplish this, the more plausible the alternate scenario would seem.

Myself, I don't think going something like continuing/evolving Saturn 1B would have been too hard of a sell to the USAF.  Especially if however it was structured, they'd have control of "their" LV's.  The big issue with STS was that it would have to fly manned, and it was really a NASA operated system, and could only launch from NASA pads at KSC (and later would have from VAFB, with more USAF control) USAF needed to have a big say in it's design to get on board with that.  Which really contorted the Shuttle and KSC.  On-pad change out was necessary with vertical payload integration, requiring the MLP's to be completely different from the Saturn's they were designed for, with the FSS and the a RSS, etc.
So in this alternate history, you approach the USAF and say, "We want you to get on board with an evolved and future reusable Saturn 1B that will give you better performance than the Titan IIIC, and that you will be able procure on your own as you need it, and launch from your own pads whenver you need to, and it won't need to launch manned", I think they'd probably have been an easier sale than the Shuttle actually was. USAF didn't really care about "sexy" or "reusable" like NASA and some politicians did for NASA's next system.
Then with USAF on board to share costs and promote it, the system is sold to Nixon/Congress as a far more affordable system which uses much more existing technology, and would be ready sooner, and could launch space station modules.
And HL-20 type small reusable shuttle for NASA crews could sexy them up and look "evolved" and "futuristic".  It'd launch atop this evolving Saturn 1B.  The Apollo CSM would be flown until this was ready, so the "gap" could have been reduced or eliminated.

The Saturn's H-1 engines would be replaced by the RS-27's, which then could evolve to throttleable versions for propulsive landing in a future version, once the technology caught up to it.  The clustered tank would probably be replaced by a 6.6m mono-tank to help with performance, perhaps a 9th engine added with some extra propellant capacity on the booster, for more performance plus a central landing engine (look familiar?)  J2S upgrade on the S-IVB, etc. 

For USAF, an optional Centaur 3rd stage could be added for their high energy sat needs.  The very expensive Titan IV is never needed, and they transition from Titan IIIC to this evolving Saturn 1B instead as their needs require it.

This all would have resulted in HUGE cost savings for NASA, and I think would have made for a powerful case to Congress in the post Apollo era of shrinking budgets.  Especially with USAF on board. 


Offline Lobo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #29 on: 03/05/2018 09:46 PM »

First, as others have mentioned, H-1 was not throttleable or restartable, so NASA would had to have spent money to develop such an engine.  Perhaps it could have been derived from H-1, perhaps it would have had to have been new.   Would the Agency have had the guts to take the risks that SpaceX took to perfect the very high thrust to weight Merlin through its several iterations (i.e., face-start, etc.?). 


Compared to what NASA spent on developing the bleeding edge RS-25 and the big SRB's, seems like an evolved H-1/RS-27 to throttleable and restartable would have been a drop in the bucket in comparison.  Even if it ended up being a new engine in the end that replaced the H-1/RS-27 on the S-1B.   If still a kerolox gas generator engine developed by Rocketdyne, I'd think it'd be related to H-1/RS-27 in some way.
Since the other landing tech probably wouldn't be ready for another decade or so, there'd have been a lot of time to evolve the H-1 into that Merlin 1 type engine.  Not something they would have needed from day 1.  They could have flown Saturn 1B expendibly and worked on evolving the S-1B to be lighter (monocore) have greater performance (a 9th engine added to the center to land on, perhaps, giving better booster performance), and added landing legs to it.  Once all of that was ready down the road, then they could have worked on having it come back and land like Falcon. 
Or if not on land, maybe at least do a deceleration and rentry burn, and then land in the ocean like the SRB's under parachute.  The H-1 were tested in the ocean and the results were pretty good if I recall.  Then they'd really only need to be upgraded to restart, and not so much throttle to a point they could land.  Maybe throttle could be added later, along with ground landings.




Offline mike robel

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #30 on: 03/06/2018 12:58 AM »
and for those really heavy loads, you could have slapped two or four UA 1205 solids on it.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #31 on: 03/06/2018 05:01 AM »
and for those really heavy loads, you could have slapped two or four UA 1205 solids on it.

The Saturn IB-D which is what that configuration was called plus a more modern spacecraft maybe something similar to the HL-42 could have done most of the missions flown by STS.
With the existing S-IB and S-IVB stages the Saturn IB-D it could lift up to 33 metric tons but with a few upgrades such as a J-2S and RS-27s it probably could lift much more.
http://www.astronautix.com/s/saturnib-d.html
« Last Edit: 03/06/2018 05:09 AM by Patchouli »

Offline Archibald

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #32 on: 03/06/2018 09:11 AM »
Quote
Compared to what NASA spent on developing the bleeding edge RS-25 and the big SRB's, seems like an evolved H-1/RS-27 to throttleable and restartable would have been a drop in the bucket in comparison.  Even if it ended up being a new engine in the end that replaced the H-1/RS-27 on the S-1B.   If still a kerolox gas generator engine developed by Rocketdyne, I'd think it'd be related to H-1/RS-27 in some way.

To me there is a possible path toward a "Merlin like engine". That is, the LM descent engine. I think it was of the "pintle injector" type, and from memory SpaceX Merlin also uses that technology.

Of course the LM engine uses hypergols, and it is very small. That's a couple of issues.

But I think a cross between a LM engine and a H-1 should be reasonably doable, for a fraction of the cost and trouble spent in the SSME, which was an extremely advanced engine that used a tricky fuel with the name of LH2...  IMHO of course.

bingo !

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=9958.2230;wap2
« Last Edit: 03/08/2018 09:16 AM by Archibald »
... that ackward moment when you realize that Jeff Bezos personal fortune is far above NASA annual budget... 115 billion to 18 billion...

Offline the_other_Doug

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #33 on: 03/06/2018 04:38 PM »
Quote
Compared to what NASA spent on developing the bleeding edge RS-25 and the big SRB's, seems like an evolved H-1/RS-27 to throttleable and restartable would have been a drop in the bucket in comparison.  Even if it ended up being a new engine in the end that replaced the H-1/RS-27 on the S-1B.   If still a kerolox gas generator engine developed by Rocketdyne, I'd think it'd be related to H-1/RS-27 in some way.

To me there is a possible path toward a "Merlin like engine". That is, the LM descent engine. I think it was of the "pintle injector" type, and from memory SpaceX Merlin also uses that technology.

Of course the LM engine uses hypergols, and it is very small. That's a couple of issues.

But I think a cross between a LM engine and a H-1 should be reasonably doable, for a fraction of the cost and trouble spent in the SSME, which was an extremely advanced engine that used a tricky fuel with the name of LH2...  IMHO of course.

bingo !

8

The LM DPS was also pressure-fed, not pump-fed.  Too many differences to make the DPS a good model for a large, pump-fed kerolox system.

Besides, the DPS wasn't the first rocket engine to use a pintle system for throttling, I don't think.  IIRC, the XLR-99 used in the X-15 also used a pintle system to throttle.

The only two modes of rocket throttling known at the time (early 60's) were pintle control over fuel flow, and injection of a non-flammable buffer gas to reduce combustion.  And the latter nearly won out in the DPS design, changed to a pintle system during a final design review before the throttling mode decision was made.
« Last Edit: 03/07/2018 07:16 PM by Chris Bergin »
-Doug  (With my shield, not yet upon it)

Offline Lobo

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #34 on: 03/07/2018 12:02 AM »
and for those really heavy loads, you could have slapped two or four UA 1205 solids on it.

Good point.  At least while the USAF was using the UA 1205 solids for Titan IIIC.   Could have used that to launch 30mt Space station modules to LEO, than the SRB-less version for an HL-20/42 type small crew spaceplane (properly sized for the standard Saturn 1B's capability)

Also, in a history where there was no STS, USAF would have looked at upgrading Titan as their needs outgrew Titan IIIC as there was no Shuttle program to do that.   But right next door NASA would have been flying that Saturn 1B, which would have had about 5mt more LEO capacity than Titan IIIC just just stock (18.6mt vs. 13.1mt).  With some upgraded engines, and maybe a new monocore booster stage (with possible Falcon like landing future potential), It probably could have gotten up over the Titan 4's 21.6mt to LEO capacity.   And that would have really fit their needs pretty well.
And the ability to mount the existing UA 1205 Titan IIIC SRB's when necessary for even more performance, maybe they would have considered purchasing them for their own needs and had cost sharing with NASA, rather than pursue the Titan family that was being phased out of ICBM's?  And modified their Titan IIIC pads for it so they could have their own launch and control authority, which I'm sure they'd have much, much preferred over how it would planned to work out with STS, where they had to launch with NASA's facilities only.

There was a lot of meat on that Saturn 1B bone to upgrade to, had it stayed around.  Great potential for incremental evolution, like there was for Falcon.   Along with a Falcon like landing possibility (down the road) with a 6.6m monocore booster upgrade with more propellant capacity, and a 9th central engine added...there was certainly room for it on a 6.6m wide MTS.  Upgraded engines, a nice wide 6.6m payload diameter, etc.

Offline mike robel

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #35 on: 03/07/2018 10:32 AM »
On the other hand, I think a Saturn IB was more expensive than a Titan IIIC...

Offline e of pi

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #36 on: 03/07/2018 12:25 PM »
A lot of that cost was tied up in the S-IVB and in system-wide low production volumes--after all, they only built a total of about two dozen of them under conditions that were more focused on getting something in the size class flying than optimizing for production cost. There were extensive studies that pointed out ways to significantly reduce the production cost for both stages (though particularly the S-IVB) to reach costs which would have been much more competitive with Titan in volume production.

Offline mheney

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #37 on: 03/07/2018 06:17 PM »
Oh, lord - I originally misread this thread, and though it was talking about landing an S-1C (Saturn V first stage.)  The visions running through my brain were mind-blowing.  (I wonder if the F1 was throttlable?)

Offline e of pi

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #38 on: 03/07/2018 06:40 PM »
Oh, lord - I originally misread this thread, and though it was talking about landing an S-1C (Saturn V first stage.)  The visions running through my brain were mind-blowing.  (I wonder if the F1 was throttlable?)
I don't recall about the F-1, but the improved (up-thrusted, higher-ISp) F-1A that was ready for introduction on Block II Saturns was capable of 70-100% throttle. A single F1-A would thus give an S-IC stage a minimum T/W of about 4.3, compared to about 3 for the Falcon 9R as I understand it, which might be a bit sporty. On the other hand, that calculation doesn't account for landing gear, any required increased stiffness of the S-IC stage for landing it, and any tank stretch you might do to take advantage of the thrust improvement from the F-1 to the F-1A (about a 20% improvement).

Seeing an S-IC come down and landing like that would be pretty astounding...
« Last Edit: 03/07/2018 06:40 PM by e of pi »

Offline Arch Admiral

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Re: Landing a Saturn S-IB, Falcon 9 style
« Reply #39 on: 03/07/2018 08:52 PM »
I really don't understand this obsession with Saturn IB as an alternative to STS. This idea crops up over and over again on this site (more frequently lately as more people accept that STS was a mistake and failure).

The bad points of the first stage already mentioned (high dry weight, high cost) are inherent  in Saturn I's origin as a quick-fix temporary solution to three temporary problems:

-- launching heavier payloads than the Soviet R-7 for propaganda purposes (Yes, the press and public actually kept track of this and the greater mass of Soviet payloads was a big element of the Sputnik Panic. When Saturn I launched a record-setting payload of lead blocks it was treated as a major technical victory).

-- launching Apollo test missions into LEO before Saturn V was ready (before the Apollo I disaster many such missions were planned)

-- gaining some medium-booster experience before attempting the big boosters (Saturn V, Nova)

The quick fix for these problems was to weld together a bunch of Redstone & Jupiter tanks, bolt on some slightly modified Thor/Jupiter engines, and connect them with a rat's nest of pipes and wires. There was no thought that Saturn I would become a permanent part of the space program, and so no thought was given to efficiency or cost-effectiveness. The result was a booster stage that not only looked obsolete by 1969, but actually was obsolete (by comparison with Titan III and Proton).

Politically, S-IB was a non-starter because it was built by the Chrysler Corporation, which in those days was very healthy and not threatened with bankruptcy like the traditional aerospace firms. Those same aerospace firms were also determined to drive Chrysler out of the space business.

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