Author Topic: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H  (Read 4827 times)

Offline arezn

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Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« on: 02/25/2018 06:58 pm »
Is it  possible?

Offline CitabriaFlyer

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #1 on: 02/26/2018 08:52 am »
Anything is possible.  The question is how likely is it given NASA's desire to use SLS for lunar ops and SpaceX's desire to focus its engineering efforts on BFR.

1)  Orion's launch escape system is heavy.  As a result I don't think F9H could lift it and enough fuel for trans lunar injection.

2)  F9H is not man rated and it appears SpaceX no longer has any desire to pursue that.

One option that would require no change to spacecraft, rockets or pads.

1)  Launch Orion to LEO unmanned on F9H from 39A.
2)  Launch crew on Starliner/Atlas V from pad 41.

Offline IRobot

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #2 on: 02/26/2018 09:25 am »
Is it  possible?
Technically yes. But the reason to send Orion around the moon is to justify SLS. If you remove SLS from the mission, there is no reason for Orion to go around the moon.

Online Steven Pietrobon

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #3 on: 03/01/2018 05:30 am »
From

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42363.msg1782831#msg1782831

the delta-Vs they use has GTO is too low and Mars is too high.

Orbit Stage dV  old dV  new dV
LEO   3214      0       0
GTO   5090      2270    2500
Mars  6156      4300    3800
Pluto 9236      8200    8200


This has a best fit of dv = 0.734*dv1 + 3264

dv1 = 3180 m/s (TLI)
dv = 0.734*dv1 + 3264 = 5598.1 m/s (total stage delta-V)
ms = 4 t
mp = 107.5 t
ve = 3383.3 m/s
dv = ve*ln(1+mp/(mc+ms))
mc = mp/(exp(dv/ve)-1)-ms = 21.4 t

That is, FH expendable can send 21.4 t to the Moon. Orion mass after separation with two crew is 25.6 t, so the answer is no, it is not possible to send Orion to the Moon using Falcon Heavy. Orion is simply too heavy, thanks to its large 5 m diameter width. Orion mass from link below.

http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/leag2014/presentations/klaus.pdf
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 06:27 am by Steven Pietrobon »
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Phil Stooke

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #4 on: 03/01/2018 05:46 am »
"If you remove SLS from the mission, there is no reason for Orion to go around the moon."

Yes there is.  We want to go to the Moon (starting with around it).  That's the reason for all of this.

Online MATTBLAK

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #5 on: 03/01/2018 06:01 am »
Orion is too heavy, even for a fully expendable Falcon 9. I'd rather see the 'Lunar Tourist' mission doing the circumlunar flight with 2x Falcon 9, Block 5's - one is partly reusable and one is fully expendable. Expendable places an upper stage with 20 tons or more of propellants left aboard near a previously launched Dragon 2 and crew. If the Dragon had increased propellant supplies, either aboard the main prop systems or as a 'Propulsion Pallet'tm carried in the Trunk, then there should be enough delta-v to proceed to the Moon.

But sadly; probably no one is going to turn the Dragon into a 'Command & Service' module. That task is still the modus-operandi of Orion. Orion will never launch on Falcon 9 or Heavy. It would be better and more plausible to imagine Orion being launched on the ULA Vulcan, for the mission you want to discuss. A dual launch of the Vulcan; one with the 26 ton Orion and the second, a 6x SRM version with the Centaur V stage atop it. The Centaur has a docking port on it - Orion docks with this and the crew endures an 'eyeballs out' Trans-lunar injection burn. Which was, of course, how Constellation was going to do it.

I've been imagining an 8 or 10x solid booster, enhanced Vulcan that could do a lunar mission in 2x launches of such a booster. One Vulcan Enhanced sends up the Orion and a 20+plus ton lander. The Orion does an Apollo-style transposition and docking maneuver that extracts the Lander from the upper stage of the first Vulcan. The second Vulcan Enhanced places the Centaur V/ACES Earth Departure Stage nearby the two spacecraft. The Orion/Lander duo dock with the EDS - Lander's 'tail first' and burn for the Moon. Three days or so later, the rocket stage places the combined spacecraft into lunar orbit.

But the mission masses for the Lunar flights could be relaxed by using 4x launches of the 'standard' 6x solid booster Vulcan. Launch 1 - 25-30 ton Lunar Lander in Earth parking orbit. Launch 2 - Earth Departure Stage. Lander and Departure Stage unite and burn for the Moon. The Departure Stage inserts the Lander into Lunar orbit. The Lander circularizes it's own orbit.

Launch 3 -
Earth Departure Stage launched into LEO. Launch 4 - 26 ton Orion launches and docks with EDS. They depart for the Moon and the Stage inserts the Orion into lunar orbit. The crewed Orion docks with the Lander and the landing mission begins...
« Last Edit: 03/04/2018 01:16 am by MATTBLAK »
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Online Andy Smith

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #6 on: 03/01/2018 11:50 am »
I can’t do the maths right now, but wouldn’t FH expendable put Orion in a high earth orbit, then a second expendable FH with docking ring as a payload have more than enough fuel to dock and take the Orion from heo to tli? -

it costs twice as much but is still relatively cheap


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Offline speedevil

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #7 on: 03/01/2018 12:04 pm »
"If you remove SLS from the mission, there is no reason for Orion to go around the moon."

Yes there is.  We want to go to the Moon (starting with around it).  That's the reason for all of this.

That makes the assumption that Orion is an important step in any plan back to the moon.
This is at least unclear.
There is no planned human lunar lander in the whole SLS/Orion mess in any of all the planned flights including very notional ones that nobody sane really believes will happen.
There is certainly no detailed funded work on a lander that may actually ever land on the moon, with only one exception.

That one exception is BFS/R, which has actual hardware being built (admittedly, right now, it's a factory and engines only being worked on) and a first flight planned for 2020/1 or so. May this be delayed lots - sure.
For the cost of one Orion, never mind the cost to develop a lander, you can outright purchase several BFS, and land many, many hundreds of tons on the moon.

The usual suspects would fight very hard against attempts to launch Orion on FH, at least in the near term when SLS looks like it may launch. It is politically impossible, in addition to technically difficult.
« Last Edit: 03/01/2018 12:09 pm by speedevil »

Offline sevenperforce

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #8 on: 03/02/2018 01:07 pm »
I can’t do the maths right now, but wouldn’t FH expendable put Orion in a high earth orbit, then a second expendable FH with docking ring as a payload have more than enough fuel to dock and take the Orion from heo to tli? -

it costs twice as much but is still relatively cheap
The second FH wouldn't even need to be expendable. You could land the side boosters and expend the core and have plenty of propellant (launching only with an IDA) for the TLI.

No crew, but no matter. If you want to do crew, then use a Falcon 9 RTLS with Dragon 2 to go up and dock with Orion. Crew hops into Orion, Dragon 2 returns for reuse unmanned, and the second FH launch docks the IDA with Orion for the TLI. Simple. At a fraction of the price of EM-1.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #9 on: 03/03/2018 04:14 pm »
Orion is too heavy, even for a fully expendable Falcon 9. I'd rather see the 'Lunar Tourist' mission doing the circumlunar flight with 2x Falcon 9, Block 5's - one is partly reusable and one is fully expendable. Expendable places an upper stage with 20 tons or more of propellants left aboard near a previously launched Dragon 2 and crew. If the Dragon had increased propellant supplies, either aboard the main prop systems or as a 'Propulsion Pallet'tm carried in the Trunk, then there should be enough delta-v to proceed to the Moon.

But sadly; probably no one is going to turn the Dragon into a 'Command & Service' module. That task is still the modus-operandi of Orion. Orion will never launch on Falcon 9 or Heavy. It would be better and more plausible to imagine Orion being launched on the ULA Vulcan, for the mission you want to discuss. A dual launch of the Vulcan; one with the 26 ton Orion and the second, a 6x SRM version with the Centaur V stage atop it. The Centaur has a docking port on it - Orion docks with this and the crew endures an 'eyeballs out' Trans-lunar injection burn. Which was, of course, how Constellation was going to do it.

I've been imagining an 8 or 10x solid booster, enhanced Vulcan that could do a lunar mission in 2x launches of such a booster. One Vulcan Enhanced sends up the Orion and a 20+plus ton lander. The Orion does an Apollo-style transposition and docking maneuver that extracts the Lander from the upper stage of the first Vulcan. The second Vulcan Enhanced places the Centaur V/ACES Earth Departure Stage nearby the two spacecraft. The Orion/Lander duo dock with the EDS - Lander's 'tail first' and burn for the Moon. Three days or so later, the rocket stage places the combined spacecraft into lunar orbit.

But the mission masses for the Lunar flights could be relaxed by using 4x launches of the 'standard' 6x solid booster Vulcan. Launch 1 - 25-30 ton Lunar Lander in Earth parking orbit. Launch 2 - Earth Departure Stage. Lander and Departure Stage unite and burn for the Moon. The Departure Stage inserts the Lander into Lunar orbit. The Lander circularizes it's own orbit.

Launch 3 -
Earth Departure Stage launched into LEO. Launch 4 - 26 ton Orion launches and docks with EDS. They depart for the Moon and the Stage inserts the Orion into lunar orbit. The crewed Orion docks with the Lander and the landing mission begins...

FH could put an Apollo LM sized lander into orbit with a 45,000kg fuel reserves more than enough for TLI with the lander alone but not enough for the LM Orion stack so Lunar orbit or L1 rendezvous may make more sense.

Orion launches on Vulcan and a second FH is launched with a Cygnus derived hab Orion docks with it and the same eyeballs out burn is done.
Some issues the Merlin engine may need to deep throttle farther than normal to keep the gs down.
This is where ACES has a big advantage as it has a lower thrust to weight and you can even shutdown some of the engines towards the end of the burn.
« Last Edit: 03/03/2018 05:03 pm by Patchouli »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #10 on: 03/03/2018 05:16 pm »
Orion is too heavy, even for a fully expendable Falcon 9. I'd rather see the 'Lunar Tourist' mission doing the circumlunar flight with 2x Falcon 9, Block 5's - one is partly reusable and one is fully expendable. Expendable places an upper stage with 20 tons or more of propellants left aboard near a previously launched Dragon 2 and crew. If the Dragon had increased propellant supplies, either aboard the main prop systems or as a 'Propulsion Pallet'tm carried in the Trunk, then there should be enough delta-v to proceed to the Moon.

But sadly; probably no one is going to turn the Dragon into a 'Command & Service' module. That task is still the modus-operandi of Orion. Orion will never launch on Falcon 9 or Heavy. It would be better and more plausible to imagine Orion being launched on the ULA Vulcan, for the mission you want to discuss. A dual launch of the Vulcan; one with the 26 ton Orion and the second, a 6x SRM version with the Centaur V stage atop it. The Centaur has a docking port on it - Orion docks with this and the crew endures an 'eyeballs out' Trans-lunar injection burn. Which was, of course, how Constellation was going to do it.

I've been imagining an 8 or 10x solid booster, enhanced Vulcan that could do a lunar mission in 2x launches of such a booster. One Vulcan Enhanced sends up the Orion and a 20+plus ton lander. The Orion does an Apollo-style transposition and docking maneuver that extracts the Lander from the upper stage of the first Vulcan. The second Vulcan Enhanced places the Centaur V/ACES Earth Departure Stage nearby the two spacecraft. The Orion/Lander duo dock with the EDS - Lander's 'tail first' and burn for the Moon. Three days or so later, the rocket stage places the combined spacecraft into lunar orbit.

But the mission masses for the Lunar flights could be relaxed by using 4x launches of the 'standard' 6x solid booster Vulcan. Launch 1 - 25-30 ton Lunar Lander in Earth parking orbit. Launch 2 - Earth Departure Stage. Lander and Departure Stage unite and burn for the Moon. The Departure Stage inserts the Lander into Lunar orbit. The Lander circularizes it's own orbit.

Launch 3 -
Earth Departure Stage launched into LEO. Launch 4 - 26 ton Orion launches and docks with EDS. They depart for the Moon and the Stage inserts the Orion into lunar orbit. The crewed Orion docks with the Lander and the landing mission begins...
ULA distributed launch eliminates need for separate departure stages. Just refuel ACES  US that Orion is attached to.  With single 30t tanker launch plus residual 5-10t fuel in ACES from Orion launch, TLI is no problem. Add 2nd tanker launch and direct insertion to LLO becomes possible.

Offline kch

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #11 on: 03/03/2018 05:23 pm »
"If you remove SLS from the mission, there is no reason for Orion to go around the moon."

Yes there is.  We want to go to the Moon (starting with around it).  That's the reason for all of this.

That makes the assumption that Orion is an important step in any plan back to the moon.

This thread explicitly makes that assumption (as well as assuming the use of F9 and FH) from the outset -- see thread subject.  ;)

Online MATTBLAK

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #12 on: 03/04/2018 01:22 am »
Yes; but we've got through saying in several posts that the Orion is too heavy for the Falcon 9, Block 5 - even in expendable mode and the F.H. could lift the Orion into LEO, but wouldn't have enough delta-v to send the Orion TLI in one launch. Unless Falcon Heavy had a major upper stage upgrade - then it could. But that's unlikely to happen.

And Orion is highly unlikely to ever launch on Falcon rockets because of politics and 'not invented here' syndrome. That pretty much sums up this thread, really...
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Online MATTBLAK

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #13 on: 03/04/2018 01:26 am »
...This thread's scenario would dovetail nicely(?) with another thread that discusses a Falcon Heavy upper stage upgrade; such as widening the stage to 5.2 meters to match the payload fairing, and converting it to use subchilled LOX/CH4 and a single Raptor engine. That would give Falcon Heavy a kick-ass capability. A fallback compromise would be to merely stretch the stage's propellant tanks again and upgrade the Merlin 1D Vacuum some more. I doubt that'd be enough, though.

*Isn't there a thread discussing all this round here, somewhere?!  :o

A Falcon Heavy with the methane-fueled Raptor upper stage might push more than 30 tons to TLI. Or am I overestimating that figure? The LOX/RP1 stretched version with Merlin upgrade might reach 26 tons to TLI. Or am I underestimating that figure?
« Last Edit: 03/04/2018 04:56 am by MATTBLAK »
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Offline sevenperforce

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #14 on: 03/06/2018 05:10 pm »
...This thread's scenario would dovetail nicely(?) with another thread that discusses a Falcon Heavy upper stage upgrade; such as widening the stage to 5.2 meters to match the payload fairing, and converting it to use subchilled LOX/CH4 and a single Raptor engine. That would give Falcon Heavy a kick-ass capability. A fallback compromise would be to merely stretch the stage's propellant tanks again and upgrade the Merlin 1D Vacuum some more. I doubt that'd be enough, though.

*Isn't there a thread discussing all this round here, somewhere?!  :o

A Falcon Heavy with the methane-fueled Raptor upper stage might push more than 30 tons to TLI. Or am I overestimating that figure? The LOX/RP1 stretched version with Merlin upgrade might reach 26 tons to TLI. Or am I underestimating that figure?
A Raptor upper stage for Falcon Heavy would be tremendously capable but will never happen.

Offline arezn

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #15 on: 03/06/2018 06:17 pm »
1. Does anybogy knows how much F9 block5 can launch to LEO?
I could not find ...
2. Let us launch F9H to LEO with NO Paylod. To that F9H upper stage on LEO docks some spacecraft ... what maximum mass can that stage launch towards the Moon?

Offline sevenperforce

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #16 on: 03/06/2018 09:11 pm »
1. Does anybogy knows how much F9 block5 can launch to LEO?
I could not find ...
2. Let us launch F9H to LEO with NO Paylod. To that F9H upper stage on LEO docks some spacecraft ... what maximum mass can that stage launch towards the Moon?
If you launch F9B5, expendable, with no payload, it will reach orbit with around 25 tonnes of propellant residuals. This will be able to send a separately-launched payload of up to 15.6 tonnes to TLI.

If you launch Falcon Heavy, expendable, with no payload, it will reach orbit with over 90 tonnes of residuals and I estimate it can deliver up to 65 tonnes to TLI.

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #17 on: 03/07/2018 03:43 am »
I doubt those Falcon Heavy on-orbit delivery figures. The official figure is 63,800 kg to orbit - the mass of the stage combined with it's residual propellant should get to be a little more than that; since it would not be pushing against payload gravity losses, still...
« Last Edit: 03/07/2018 05:33 am by MATTBLAK »
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Offline speedevil

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #18 on: 03/07/2018 11:14 am »
I doubt those Falcon Heavy on-orbit delivery figures. The official figure is 63,800 kg to orbit - the mass of the stage combined with it's residual propellant should get to be a little more than that; since it would not be pushing against payload gravity losses, still...
Lack of fairing and maybe slightly higher max Q might also help.
But I'm not believing 30 tons of help.

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Re: Orion to the moon using F9 and F9H
« Reply #19 on: 03/07/2018 11:37 am »
Yes - figure should be closer to, but still less than 70 metric tons all up.
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