Author Topic: Trident as satellite launch vehicle  (Read 8341 times)

Offline Skyrocket

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2133
  • Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 80
Trident as satellite launch vehicle
« on: 02/12/2007 10:01 AM »
This article http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2510895&C=america mentions, that a modified Trident missile is considered as launch vehicle for TacSat-5. Has anyone info on this modification? Which kind of Trident (C4 or D5) is considered?




Offline MySDCUserID

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 328
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Trident as satellite launch vehicle
« Reply #1 on: 02/13/2007 12:25 AM »
TRIDENT I would have the least programatic impact since the fleet is nearing completion of the transition to TRIDENT II.  MDA is currently using C4s for targets.  The majority of the remaining C4s are disassembled and in storage, awaiting shippment to the Utah desert for disposal.

Online kevin-rf

  • Elite Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8639
  • Overlooking the path Mary's little Lamb took..
  • Liked: 1111
  • Likes Given: 241
Re: Trident as satellite launch vehicle
« Reply #2 on: 02/13/2007 02:03 AM »
Actually there was a mini discussion on using the C4 last june... It was burried in one of the stick threads... http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=2305&posts=545&mid=42486&highlight=trident&highlightmode=1&action=search#M42486

For those that don't want skim...

1.  630 where built with 165 flights leaving 465 vehicles
2. It was thought it would would have payload of less than half of Athena I, maybe even less than Pegasus (~400kg???)
3. Demand for small sats is small
4. Minotaur program does a similar thing and can loft more to LEO
5. Unknown how much it would cost to convert to a space launcher

I would love to see it converted and used, much as the Atlas and Thor where and not scrapped like the Titan I. But the need for small sats must be there.

A while back while scanning the net I did see something that indicated the Trident propellant was more touchy than the propellant in the Minute Man or RSRM. They kinda implied it was an accident waiting to happen, similar to the titan II silo accident. Just replace silo with we just lost a boomer. Of course this was something on the net and mileage will vary.
If you're happy and you know it,
It's your med's!

Offline aero313

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Trident as satellite launch vehicle
« Reply #3 on: 02/13/2007 02:06 AM »
Quote
Skyrocket - 12/2/2007  6:01 AM

This article http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2510895&C=america mentions, that a modified Trident missile is considered as launch vehicle for TacSat-5. Has anyone info on this modification? Which kind of Trident (C4 or D5) is considered?




Lockheed has been pushing this for at least two decades.  I have in my files a professionally done, spiral bound booklet that they put out in 1987 that decribes a space launch conversion of a C3.  The real question is, how much does it REALLY cost.  Does anyone here remember the Martin Marietta papers from the early 1990s that touted their space launch version of the MSLS based on Minuteman II?  I don't know how many AIAA meetings I attended where the MSLS program manager stood up and with a straight face claimed that they could launch for $4.4 million a mission.  Martin manged to convince Sen. Ted Stevens to fund the program by promising to launch from Kodiak.   Needless to say, the space launch version of never came to be due to overly optimistic performance claims and the target version of MSLS (which DIDN'T have the extra cost upper stage or bisector fairing) ended up costing over $9 million a flight.

Offline aero313

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Trident as satellite launch vehicle
« Reply #4 on: 02/13/2007 02:22 AM »
Quote
kevin-rf - 12/2/2007  10:03 PM
A while back while scanning the net I did see something that indicated the Trident propellant was more touchy than the propellant in the Minute Man or RSRM.

Correct.  Minuteman uses Class 1.3, a relatively insensitive propellant.  The FBMs use Class 1.1, which is higher engergy but also shock sensitive.  More difficult to work with, more restrictions on transportation, etc, etc.  By the way, the third stage of the Peacekeeper, which is used in Orbital's Minotaur IV, is also Class 1.1.

Offline MySDCUserID

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 328
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
Re: Trident as satellite launch vehicle
« Reply #5 on: 02/13/2007 02:46 AM »
Quote
kevin-rf - 12/2/2007  9:03 PM

Actually there was a mini discussion on using the C4 last june... It was burried in one of the stick threads... http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=2305&posts=545&mid=42486&highlight=trident&highlightmode=1&action=search#M42486

For those that don't want skim...

1.  630 where built with 165 flights leaving 465 vehicles

A while back while scanning the net I did see something that indicated the Trident propellant was more touchy than the propellant in the Minute Man or RSRM. They kinda implied it was an accident waiting to happen, similar to the titan II silo accident. Just replace silo with we just lost a boomer. Of course this was something on the net and mileage will vary.

Your numbers do not include disposal numbers or numbers of missiles already reserved for MDA.  However, even with those factors taken into account, there are plenty available for use.  Of course, the number will decrease as the disposal program continues.

The "touchyness" of propellant  would be a non-issue for satellite launching given the proven reliability of the system along with the fact that it was safe enough to place 24 missiles on an SSBN with crew and nuclear warheads for extended periods.  TRIDENT II (the current FBM generation) is rated as 1.1 as well.  It's a moot point.  The infrastructure and process exists to deal with this at the MDA and Strategic Weapons Facilities.

Modification costs could be reduced by leveraging off of some of the modifications made by MDA to the front-end to support their tests.

Offline Skyrocket

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2133
  • Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 80
RE: Trident as satellite launch vehicle
« Reply #6 on: 02/13/2007 09:45 AM »
Quote
MySDCUserID - 13/2/2007  2:25 AM

MDA is currently using C4s for targets.  The majority of the remaining C4s are disassembled and in storage, awaiting shippment to the Utah desert for disposal.

I have not seen any hint, that C4s are used as targets. Currently the MDA uses STARS (modified Polaris-A3 with an Orbus-1 upper stage) as a target launch vehicle.


Offline aero313

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: Trident as satellite launch vehicle
« Reply #7 on: 02/13/2007 04:22 PM »
Quote
Skyrocket - 13/2/2007  5:45 AM
I have not seen any hint, that C4s are used as targets. Currently the MDA uses STARS (modified Polaris-A3 with an Orbus-1 upper stage) as a target launch vehicle.

It's part of the Flexible Target Family (FTF) and the vehicle is currently in development.  There's some controversy as to whether the converted C4 is really necessary or not.  It was not even being considered as a target until LockMart won the Targets and Countermeasures Prime contract.  Now, surprise, surprise, as T&C Prime LockMart has convinced MDA that the converted C4 targets are needed.

Offline Skyrocket

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2133
  • Frankfurt am Main, Germany
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 80
Re: Trident as satellite launch vehicle
« Reply #8 on: 02/14/2007 11:16 AM »
Do you have a list of vehicles, which are part of the Flexible Target Family (FTF)?


Tags: