Author Topic: VentureStar - back on!?!  (Read 21701 times)

Online Chris Bergin

VentureStar - back on!?!
« on: 04/30/2005 04:27 PM »
Nothing I can do a story out of, but speaking to random peeps at Lockheed Martin and reminised about one of my favourite ships (X-33/VentureStar). I got this back via e-mail:

"There's sure-fire movement on re-looking at the project. Not CEV-related."

Asked for an expansion on this, but so far nothing back.

Anyone heard anything? She was before her time with the tank issues, maybe something had moved on.

Not sure - still to find out - if the X-33 which was being built is still at the Skunk Works.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #1 on: 04/30/2005 04:43 PM »

Offline NASA_LaRC_SP

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #2 on: 04/30/2005 04:48 PM »
She is a LOVELY ship. Is this about the interest from the USAF?

Offline NASA_Twix_JSC

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #3 on: 04/30/2005 04:55 PM »
This is the USAF interest, has to be. I know the Heavy Lift issues had a review last October and VentureStar got a "If only" mention. McCloud found some new material ways around the tank (IT - internal - rather than ET folks, this lady is a flying fuel tank!) issues.  The Aerospikes are awesome. The ATD had 410,000lbs of thrust and that was literally with just two engines. The VentureStar has up to 12 if memory serves. Over 5m lbs thrust?

Offline SimonShuttle

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #4 on: 04/30/2005 04:57 PM »
5m pounds out of the back, you've got to be shitting me? :o

Offline JamesSpaceFlight

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #5 on: 04/30/2005 04:59 PM »
This was one ship British Aerospace said was a brilliant concept. It would be great if this is back in with a chance.


Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #7 on: 04/30/2005 05:06 PM »
Seems this is about the Air Force as I've been told to talk to the US Air Force Research Laboratory....wonder what they're like with media people  ;)

Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #8 on: 04/30/2005 05:07 PM »
Adding another load of images to the above album of pictures. Note there was a redesign at one point to the more 'hump back like' version.

Offline JamesSpaceFlight

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #9 on: 04/30/2005 05:19 PM »
What infrastruture remains by way of materials and facilities?

Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #10 on: 04/30/2005 05:33 PM »
They built the launch facility at Edwards. Was totally constructed and ready. No idea if it's still there.

Offline blehrman

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #11 on: 04/30/2005 07:31 PM »
I would love to see X-33 devlopement resumed.  As I understand it the prototype was ~95% percent complete when development work was halted.  

Three major problems forced the cancelation.  The first of these was that the RS-2200s from Boeing Rocketdyne encounter some developmental delays that caused a timeslip.  The second problem was that the accounting on the project was a little shaky and cast a bad light on the program.  What killed it though was the composite hydrogen tank delamination following a cyrogenic test.  The usuage of cyrogenic liquids with composites was not very mature in 2001 when the failure occured.  A good history of the X-33 is available here: http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/x-33/menu_time.htm

Post failure NASA gave a developmental contract to Northrop Grumman to prove the validity of composite hydrogen tanks which resulted in a successful test in December of 2003 on a 15ft long by 6ft diameter test article. Here is the press release for the test: http://www.is.northropgrumman.com/media_news/2003_data/mn03_cryogenic_fuel_tank_test.pdf  For compasison, the X-33 tanks were 29 feet long.

The RS-2200s were ready to go as well as a lot of other major component on the X-33 back in 2001.  I believe the past four years have been sufficient to overcome the composite tank problems that plagued the X-33.  It should be viable to build the X-33 demonstrater today given sufficient funds.  Those funds are not going to come from NASA though.  ISS/Space Shuttle/CEV have their budget maxed out to the point where the aeronautics is getting killed.  They are not going to throw more money into RLVs for a while.  If the X-33 is revived it would be under a DARPA program like FALCON or by the USAF.

Brian

Offline NASA_Twix_JSC

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #12 on: 04/30/2005 11:35 PM »
Excellent opening post.

Offline NASA_LaRC_SP

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #13 on: 05/01/2005 12:49 AM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 30/4/2005  12:33 PM

They built the launch facility at Edwards. Was totally constructed and ready. No idea if it's still there.

Yes, it's still with the Dryden folks.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #14 on: 05/01/2005 02:37 PM »
Working on finding out what happened to the JS-2 Linear Aerospike Engines

So far I've been told that they put two on to a test bed and successfully fired them in test one of nine....before the funding stopped (although this is interesting):

"The program didn't stop, the funding from NASA did (about $912m) We were already up to $320-plus. Well over a 100m more than we'd intended to that point."

So the question is, what did LockMart do after NASA said they weren't going to put any more cash in.

The above quote is from a second person, so this is pretty interesting, but both won't go on the record, so no story (you've got to be bang on if using sources on question on anominty) at the moment. It'll stay as 'just passing it on' via the two threads at the moment.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #15 on: 05/01/2005 02:38 PM »

Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #16 on: 05/02/2005 06:48 PM »
I now have enough for a story, source quotes - would like to have someone on the record, but USAF types don't speak. Working on it not just being a rumour story as such.

Offline NASA_Twix_JSC

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #17 on: 05/02/2005 10:35 PM »
Go for it Chris. Your ECO fault story was bang on. Track record is allowing for this to go on as it's been a transparent process for the story being produced

Offline blehrman

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #18 on: 05/04/2005 02:19 PM »
I am not sure exactly what happened to the RS 2200s.  Rocketdyne's product page is still up on the boeing site.  http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/space/propul/XRS2200.html  It is pretty dated.  

I also found an interesting page on aerospaceweb.org detailing the proposed developmental engine firings. http://www.aerospaceweb.org/design/aerospike/development.shtml  In 2000 they completed at least 14 static firings of the engine.  http://www.space-launcher.com/News2000-10.html

Given the long production gap between the Saturn V J-2 engines and the RS 2200 intial production phase (the RS 2200 uses the J-2s powerhead), it seems likely that returning the RS 2200s to production would not take major amounts of time.

Brian

Offline SRBseparama

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #19 on: 05/05/2005 05:06 AM »
Compared to a new engine, the Aerospikes have an advantage of already been fired up on a test. So is it fair to say this engine has use?

Offline FransonUK

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #20 on: 05/05/2005 05:14 AM »
I do love the pictures in the album section, while I also note this ship does look a lot like a fat version of the new CEV picutes from Lockheed Martin.

One wonders if the X-33 is pretty much a possible for the LEO specific end of the CEV needs, the workhorse for non-man rated missions like heavy lifts that Delta's can't deal with. I think this gets more interesting by the day.

Also, the Linear Aerospike Engines. How to they compare to the SSMEs?
Don't ya wish your spaceship was hot like me

Offline jurgen

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #21 on: 05/06/2005 10:18 AM »
...

Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #22 on: 05/06/2005 04:10 PM »
Just to update, I'm still - the journalist in me says to do this - holding till I get someone on quote. It's the only way to do this story.

Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #23 on: 09/13/2005 12:26 AM »
Some comments on this thread, http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=439&start=1

Now moved back on to this thread for continuing to talk about the VentureStar.

Offline Bruce H

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #24 on: 09/13/2005 01:29 AM »
Nice pictures! I hadn't noticed the album area.

Offline realtime

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #25 on: 09/13/2005 04:00 PM »
It may happen, and it would be nice to see aerospikes made to work -- they offer great theoretical potential.  Don't know the weight penalty for Al/Li tanks, though.

The jury's still out on whether the vehicle can be made economically viable.  I think small companies like SpaceX are going to eat VentureStar's lunch with expendables and partially recoverable vehicles.

Full size VentureStar produces 1,435,000 lbs thrust from 7 RS-2200s.  Payload spec: 22,500 kg. (with composite tanks)

It is remarkably difficult to find any hard numbers for the VentureStar on the web.  Trade secrets, I suppose.


Offline publiusr

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #26 on: 09/16/2005 08:03 PM »
An Ameicanized Energiya Buran would have cost as much as Venture Star--and would have given you an HLLV at least. I never did like the VentureStar concept.

Online nacnud

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #27 on: 10/01/2005 03:11 PM »
I just found this on Defense Tech, Marines in Spaaaaaaaaace!

Could be one of the things that the X-33 could be used for.

Also see the presentation form xprizenews.org.


Offline FransonUK

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #28 on: 10/01/2005 03:30 PM »
Awww, they look cute!
Don't ya wish your spaceship was hot like me

Offline SimonShuttle

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #29 on: 10/01/2005 03:34 PM »
Quote
FransonUK - 1/10/2005  10:30 AM

Awww, they look cute!

Women!  ;)

Offline Flightstar

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #30 on: 10/01/2005 03:45 PM »
Quote
nacnud - 1/10/2005  10:11 AM

I just found this on Defense Tech, Marines in Spaaaaaaaaace!

Could be one of the things that the X-33 could be used for.

Also see the presentation form xprizenews.org.


This looks interesting. I can't seem to make the second link work? I maybe making a mistake. Any help?

Online nacnud

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #31 on: 10/01/2005 03:48 PM »
http://www.xprizenews.org/Downloads/USAFSUSTAINBrief(Archive).ppt try that, the links in the defense tech articel aswell called 'Hot Eagle'

Humm, the board doesn't like links with brackets in them. Try typeing the whole thing or going to the article and then on from there.

Offline Flightstar

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #32 on: 10/01/2005 03:52 PM »
Ah yes, the brackets messed up the URL. I've copied the whole thing and it's working now, will look. I'm getting good at this new fangled internet thing! :)

Offline Flightstar

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #33 on: 10/01/2005 04:04 PM »
Very interesting. Lots of reading there. Noticed the super large X-43!

In concept of the VentureStar (X-33 demonstrator) I believe this concept would be not workable bar the lifting body design given the heavy influence on SSTO. The VentureStar has very little in the way of payload capacity in regards to the ratio total mass required for propellant. However, with a booster, that could change, but why would it. The VentureStar has strength in the ability of the Linear Aerospikes and those are capable of the stage to orbit. Maybe Bruce can talk more given he's a VentureStar guy.

Online nacnud

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #34 on: 10/01/2005 04:14 PM »

I was thinking in terms of using X-33 techfor the RTLS booster stage, rather than developing the Venture Star as part ofthis architecture.

The X-43 and X-33 would be tech demonstrators as originally envisaged.

Still that a lot of money to get people there a few hours earlier...


Offline Flightstar

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #35 on: 10/01/2005 04:18 PM »
That would be one very expensive booster, but at least it would be one fuel tank that could then fly itself back home to be resused, but is interesting.

Online nacnud

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #36 on: 10/01/2005 04:23 PM »
Yeah interesting, I think thats as far as this idea will get :)

Offline Flightstar

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #37 on: 10/01/2005 04:28 PM »
Bruce is here!

Offline Bruce H

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #38 on: 10/01/2005 04:29 PM »
I don't think it would work as a booster with a sidemounted transport. The capability of the Aerospikes has a lot to do with the ability for manuvorbility and the lift off wieght will call for a couple of SSMEs on the transport (and then you need to have propellant for the SSME with the Aerospikes needing EVERYTHING the LOX and LH2 tanks have in the current capacity. Seperation would be similar to the STS and I know I don't like that for resuability issues given its design added to the resulting loss of the aero additions of the design (fins etc.) on a side mount. However, I'm thinking in reference to a good capacity troop carrier. The only side mount (top mount) design came from increase propellant capacity on a model I will post soon. I might need some coffee for this, but I'm happy to talk more.

Don't like it though!

Offline gladiator1332

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #39 on: 10/01/2005 04:29 PM »
Quote
nacnud - 1/10/2005  11:11 AM

I just found this on Defense Tech, Marines in Spaaaaaaaaace!

Could be one of the things that the X-33 could be used for.

Also see the presentation form xprizenews.org.


Hmm, those launchers are rather interesting...they look very much like the deisgn that McDonnel Douglas proposed for their X-33:

http://members.aol.com/Nathan2go/X33trio.jpg
http://aerospacescholars.jsc.nasa.gov/HAS/cirr/Images/Mcddx33.jpg
http://www.hitechweb.szm.sk/x33.files/X-33proposals1.jpg
http://www.hitechweb.szm.sk/x33.files/X-33proposals2.jpg








Offline Bruce H

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #40 on: 10/01/2005 04:31 PM »
This isn't really public (the information, not the picture) but this was actually a much larger VentureStar than the version one (natural progression from X-33). You can see we changed the design (fins moved) to enable the side/top mount. However, capacity and manned rated, I'm thinking that is a far cry.

Offline Bruce H

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #41 on: 10/01/2005 04:33 PM »
And my personal thought on USAF requirements?

A bomber.

Offline Bruce H

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #42 on: 10/01/2005 04:36 PM »
"McDonnel Douglas"

I thought profanities were not allowed around these parts ;)

Offline Flightstar

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #43 on: 10/01/2005 04:40 PM »
Quote
Bruce H - 1/10/2005  11:33 AM

And my personal thought on USAF requirements?

A bomber.

I agree. VentureStar and man rated don't mix as far as I am concerned. Very simple avionics and processing. It would make a very expensive but very dangerous military tool by way of delivery. Diverse enough for some military payloads to LEO to try and increase viability. Can be launched by 10 per cent the crew the STS requires (I understand). Very in-house which the USAF really have yearned for.

Offline JamesSpaceFlight

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #44 on: 10/01/2005 04:49 PM »
Far too fanciful for my liking.

Offline Bruce H

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #45 on: 10/03/2005 01:02 AM »
Quote
JamesSpaceFlight - 1/10/2005  11:49 AM

Far too fanciful for my liking.

A bit like the comment Dick Cheney had to say about a project with Al Gore as the figurehead.

Offline Flightstar

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #46 on: 10/26/2005 01:11 PM »
Is there ever going to be a viable SSTO?

Online Chris Bergin

RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #47 on: 10/26/2005 01:14 PM »
That's a bit rhetorical of you Flight! Or is there a hidden reason why you've bumped this old thread?

Online nacnud

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RE: VentureStar - back on!?!
« Reply #48 on: 10/26/2005 02:56 PM »
Quote
Is there ever going to be a viable SSTO?

Not if a comparably sophisticated TSTO wouldgive a much better payload

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