Author Topic: My reason for this SDLV talk  (Read 11824 times)

Offline kraisee

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10484
  • Liked: 419
  • Likes Given: 19
My reason for this SDLV talk
« on: 11/09/2005 05:48 AM »
I have been asked tonight why I am so strongly in favour of the Accelerated SDLV plan I keep mentioning and what I want to get out of it.

Well, I've personally been a fan of the space program for a while.   A real, dedicated "Love It" fan.   I run my own company producing intricate models of historic launch towers, I've moved 4,000 miles from my family in England to re-settle on the Space Coast of Florida so that I can enjoy watching the roar of every rocket as it magnificantly rides it's plume in to space.   I've spent more money than you'd believe just trying to get Work Visa's and things just to remain here (it really is almost impossible if you can believe that).

My talents have always been identifying problems and solving them.   As a Systems Analyst back in England, that was a very good thing.   For helping run a company now, that is a very valuable asset too.   Its a natural thing, I don't know where it comes from, but I consider it a gift.

I spotted some issues with this Current Plan of using STS to partially finish the ISS, and identified a few alternatives on my own - nothing worth discussing honestly, but enough ideas that I was able to talk at length during a coincidental meeting with one of the real decision makers right at the top of NASA's organization.   We met off-duty around the STS-114 launch celebrations.   We chatted for a while, about lots of things.   Speculated about the program, and found we had similar (although not identical) views.

We continued to chat, and I've been priviledged to follow things along quite closely since then, all on the QT of course.

But recently my friend has been growing increasingly concerned about timings and the political landscape underlying the entire VSE over the coming decades, and he tells me he's not alone at the upper end of the management spectrum there too.

Anyhow, he tipped me the wink a number of weeks ago about a lot of this concern and filled in some details more recently for me.   For some bizarre reason he wasn't in the least bit concerned with me raising it as a topic on a discussion group to get other people's opinions and has been watching what progressed.

I could speculate as to why he did that, and come up with any number of reasons for his actions, but I really don't know why.   All I do know is he's certainly scared that the whole NASA train will get derailed by the next government and everyone's careers are down the pan in three years time, and he says he's not alone in that worry.

Now, when a high-level guy like that starts saying things like that, I start getting worried too.

He told me of one plan which he said is being discussed already which would solve the vast majority of the difficult problems with the current plan, and he said I could talk about it as long as he never gets identified.

So I figured; what harm is there in trying to get as many of the details straight as possible, and then presenting them somewhere publicly for what some of us computer geeks call "peer review"?.   See if they stand up.

And that's what I've done.

I personally don't have anything to get out of the program, other than perhaps a few new models of the new launch towers and hopefully a safe plan which will work out well for the program.

But if anyone at NASA is watching my posts and becomes worried that I "want something" out of this.   If someone wants to know if I have a hidden "price" for this somehow, I'll tell you what:-

Nothing is free they say.   So if I am somehow contributing something, give me and few of my friends a guided tour of the moon-bound CEV and SDLV when they are sitting on the Pad and tickets to watch them both fly and I'll happily call it a deal, OK?   :)

Seriously, anything I've posted about this topic on this forum is already 'out there' in the Public Domain.   And just to clear up any ambiguity: I officially hereby completely make Public Domain everything I've written here.   I do not reserve any rights to it what-so-ever.   Have at it, if it helps you.   But seriously, you already have it in your own organization somewhere right now.

Please just make sure you protect the program.

Ross B Tierney
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline FransonUK

  • Don't ya wish your spaceship was hot like me...don't ya
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 1
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #1 on: 11/09/2005 07:27 AM »
That's quiet a hidden message you have in there. Has someone given you a warning or something?
Don't ya wish your spaceship was hot like me

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #2 on: 11/09/2005 07:44 AM »
I believe he is simply clarifying his position in regards to his posts and route of information - with due diligence.

I'm sure all of us on this site - still not a year old until next Spring - would like to thank Ross for his interesting and insightful views. It can only lead to more quality posters joining the site (of which we've had a lot of quality join lately) in a friendly and un-intimidating environment.

But we are nothing without good, interesting posters. So spread the word and let's see what we can build here.

Offline kraisee

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10484
  • Liked: 419
  • Likes Given: 19
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #3 on: 11/09/2005 07:41 PM »
Quote
FransonUK - 9/11/2005  3:27 AM

That's quiet a hidden message you have in there. Has someone given you a warning or something?

No warnings, just a couple of enquiries, and a few indications that my message is "being heard" where it really counts.

I started to feel people were wondering if I was trying to profit by this somehow.   I'm not, and I wanted to make sure everyone knows that I'm not trying to cause trouble or anything, merely pointing out potential pitfalls and providing alternatives for others far more qualified than I to examine further.

As long as I get to watch various rockets fly from about 20 miles North of my house, I'm gonna be happy :)

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline kraisee

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10484
  • Liked: 419
  • Likes Given: 19
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #4 on: 11/09/2005 07:44 PM »
Quote
Chris Bergin - 9/11/2005  3:44 AM

I believe he is simply clarifying his position in regards to his posts and route of information - with due diligence.

I'm sure all of us on this site - still not a year old until next Spring - would like to thank Ross for his interesting and insightful views. It can only lead to more quality posters joining the site (of which we've had a lot of quality join lately) in a friendly and un-intimidating environment.

But we are nothing without good, interesting posters. So spread the word and let's see what we can build here.

Cheers Chris.

I have to say I am very impressed with the S/N ratio of this board compared to many others.   There are a lot of very knowledgable people here and this board seems to be home to a lot of legitimate "rocket scientists" and that makes for intellectually stimulating conversation - something which is sorely lacking in general around the world today.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline Boris the Space Dog

  • Member
  • Posts: 18
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #5 on: 11/09/2005 10:50 PM »
Well I'm just a space groupie but I understand the posts and can take it in. It would be a bit useless for me to add to the threads but I'm sure there's a lot of people out there that read it and are interested to read it, even if we don't want to pointlessly post a nothing comment when we have read it.
Barking where no dog has barked before.

Offline kraisee

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10484
  • Liked: 419
  • Likes Given: 19
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #6 on: 11/10/2005 03:13 AM »
Quote
Boris the Space Dog - 9/11/2005  6:50 PM

Well I'm just a space groupie but I understand the posts and can take it in. It would be a bit useless for me to add to the threads but I'm sure there's a lot of people out there that read it and are interested to read it, even if we don't want to pointlessly post a nothing comment when we have read it.

Boris, don't ever sell yourself short.   Comment is always welcome.   If you don't know about the "why" of something, comment by asking.

I was in your position five years ago.   Because I asked, I learned more.   And I keep learning every day.

Bark! :)

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline realtime

  • Extreme Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 574
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 13
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #7 on: 11/10/2005 04:07 AM »
Your position appears to be identical to the one espoused by Dr. Robert Zubrin.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  ;)  Do you hope to gain the ear of NASA brass by posting here?



Offline kraisee

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10484
  • Liked: 419
  • Likes Given: 19
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #8 on: 11/10/2005 05:40 AM »
Quote
realtime - 10/11/2005  12:07 AM

Your position appears to be identical to the one espoused by Dr. Robert Zubrin.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.  ;)  Do you hope to gain the ear of NASA brass by posting here?


I wasn't aware of that, but good on Zubrin then.   While some of the Mars Society's concepts have been far-fetched, I do think some of their ideas over the years have been pretty good.   I think some of his stuff has been years ahead of its time in many ways.

I'll go check their site and see if I can't see what he's said.   I'll comment on any similarities - or not - a little later.

I just want some serious discussion about the merits and pitfalls of the different plans with the knowledgable people here.

I do believe NASA's current plan has some very serious flaws in it.   I'm convinced that some of those flaws could really affect the livelihoods of many of my friends in the program.

I sure think pitfalls should be discussed somewhere, and if the concerns prove to be significant and obvious ones, then they must be actively combatted before they cause any real problems.

If there are alternative plans available, I think the merits and flaws of those should be discussed too.

If one plan is ultimately floats to the top which addresses significantly more problems, that is the one which I believe should be used.   That isn't for me to decide.   But that won't stop me from arguing in favour of any significantly better options though.

If the Current Plan does address these concerns, and there is relevant information to show such, I'd like to know what.   But as I sit here, I just haven't see any such information.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline kraisee

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10484
  • Liked: 419
  • Likes Given: 19
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #9 on: 11/10/2005 06:11 AM »
Okay, there's a short piece on the Mars Society website which is broadly similar:

http://www.marssociety.org/news/2005/0926.asp

My contact seems to have more detailed information than they indicate on the MS site.

I'm curious about Mars Society's take that cancelling Shuttle could make the Magnum SDLV fly by 2010.   I know that date is right for CEV/CLV if Shuttle were cancelled now, but not for the Magnum.   My information says mid-2012 is expected, and that date includes some slippage.   I'm guessing that perhaps MS's figure might relate to the first test flight which might very well be as early 2010.

I'd like to know more information about where the MS figure comes from.   Most importantly if it is based on valid data and not just an educated estimate.   If it is accurate, then that could make the Accelerated Plan even better still.   I just don't know precisely.

And I just don't agree that any of NASA's money should be used for Hurricane relief though.   I'm sure everyone here knows that if their budget were to be taken away there is almost no chance of NASA ever getting it back again.

NASA is already doing a lot to aid the people of those areas; Stennis and Michoud are both providing housing for many residents in their local communities and they are keeping tens of thousands of NASA employees in paid jobs right now.   That's something even FEMA can't offer if the money were re-directed.

And before anyone accuses me of being unsympathetic to those victims - I have first hand experience of exactly what they are going through.   Hurricane Frances last year tore up part of my own houses roof in Cape Canaveral, and also completely trashed my business offices and most of my business.   My business has taken the better part of a year to get back, my offices had to be completely abandoned.   And my home still isn't fully repaired yet.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline FransonUK

  • Don't ya wish your spaceship was hot like me...don't ya
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 867
  • Liked: 3
  • Likes Given: 1
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #10 on: 11/10/2005 09:08 AM »
Sorry to hear about your house and offices. I bet insurance prices are very high where you are, but I hope that paid for you to get back on your feet.

As far as money from NASA on non space flight related activities, I think that is and always has been wrong. NASA has a primary function from its conception. I can't remember what that is, but I saw it once and it was nothing to do with solar panels for rich houses in California and it wasn't relative to hurricane relief.
Don't ya wish your spaceship was hot like me

Offline Chris Bergin

RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #11 on: 11/10/2005 11:28 AM »
Quote
FransonUK - 10/11/2005  10:08 AM

NASA has a primary function from its conception. I can't remember what that is, but I saw it once and it was nothing to do with solar panels for rich houses in California and it wasn't relative to hurricane relief.

Well if you are refering to the Act of NASA:

"An act to provide research into the problems of flight, within and outside Earth's atmosphere........and for other purposes."

Offline publiusr

  • Elite Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1540
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 2
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #12 on: 12/07/2005 07:50 PM »
We just need to push for SD/HLLV now.

Offline kraisee

  • Expert
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10484
  • Liked: 419
  • Likes Given: 19
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #13 on: 12/07/2005 09:31 PM »
Quote
publiusr - 7/12/2005  3:50 PM

We just need to push for SD/HLLV now.

I still am.

The SD/HLLV is the key to the entire Vision for Space Exploration.   Without it, CEV will never get beyond LEO.

And there are many unknown factors which could cripple the entire concept between now and when it will be made, let alone before it will be flown.

My biggest gripe right now is that NASA seems to be blinkered into getting Shuttle flying again, so we can do a handful of missions with it, still not finish the ISS, and half-heartedly placate an already disgruntled international space community, while all the time we do that, we are deliberately postponing the development of the Magnum longer and longer, which puts its future in more and more real-world jeopardy because of politics - and we all know how reliable politicians are...

I'm further annoyed that the 5-year mandates given to NASA, which should form the "guiding light" for the entire organisation, by the current government make absolutely no mention of the ISS at all. Yet that project is the one NASA is almost entirely dedicated to follow for the next five years.

It  disturbs me that our eye is deliberately being taken off of the ball right now, when a number of other governments and space agencies world-wide are starting to make serious efforts to put men on the moon.

And I'm really honked that by following this current plan, we totally sacrifice any chance of really completing the full ISS, and we delay our chance of a moon landing by 6 years, AND we risk more jobs at the same time by insisting on continuing to fly a vehicle we all know has some pretty serious weaknesses in the fundamental design.   And as long as it flies, public opinion flies with it.   One more accident and public opinion will wane severely, and NASA then will NEVER get the moon ship.

If America doesn't figure this lot out soon, perhaps it really no longer does deserve the title of being the leading space country in the world.   Perhaps this really is the time China or India could overtake the US for that role.

Ross.
"The meek shall inherit the Earth -- the rest of us will go to the stars"
-Robert A. Heinlein

Offline SRBseparama

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 274
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #14 on: 12/08/2005 04:51 AM »
Quote
kraisee - 7/12/2005  4:31 PM
   And as long as it flies, public opinion flies with it.

Ross.

Can you explain that when the USA Today poll showed the American public fully supports the Space Shuttle. The only ones who don't, seem to be people hung up on continuing their treasured Apollo missions and are bitter because the Space Shuttle took that away from them.


Offline Dobbins

  • Propellerhead
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 688
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #15 on: 12/08/2005 12:20 PM »
Quote
SRBseparama - 8/12/2005  12:51 AM

Quote
kraisee - 7/12/2005  4:31 PM
   And as long as it flies, public opinion flies with it.

Ross.

Can you explain that when the USA Today poll showed the American public fully supports the Space Shuttle. The only ones who don't, seem to be people hung up on continuing their treasured Apollo missions and are bitter because the Space Shuttle took that away from them.


The way the poll question was worded resulted in it mixing support for the Shuttle with support for a maned space program. The poll was done before the ESAS was announced, at a time when the Shuttle was the only firm plan for a means of accessing space. The question was "Do you feel the U.S. should or should not continue the manned space shuttle program?"

I'm really getting tired of Spaceplane advocates insisting on assigning emotional reasons to those of us who want to see this system replaced, like "people hung up on continuing their treasured Apollo missions". The simple fact is the Shuttle is too expensive to operate, has a horrible reliability record of on time launches, and lacks the capabilities for true space exploration.

Space does not suddenly end a few hundred kilometers above the surface of the Earth, it's long past time to move on to other worlds and that requires a vehicle with capabilities that the Shuttle lacks.

John B. Dobbins

Offline Dobbins

  • Propellerhead
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 688
  • Liked: 0
  • Likes Given: 0
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #16 on: 12/08/2005 12:36 PM »
Quote
kraisee - 7/12/2005  5:31 PM

I'm further annoyed that the 5-year mandates given to NASA, which should form the "guiding light" for the entire organisation, by the current government make absolutely no mention of the ISS at all. Yet that project is the one NASA is almost entirely dedicated to follow for the next five years.

Both the House and Senate versions of the NASA Authorization Act require NASA to have a Science program, and the Science community is already screaming bloody murder over the least cuts to the ISS and it's programs. The VSE continues to be NASA's marching orders and compleation of the ISS is part of the VSE.

http://history.nasa.gov/Bush%20SEP.htm

John B. Dobbins

Offline publiusr

  • Elite Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1540
  • Liked: 1
  • Likes Given: 2
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #17 on: 12/08/2005 07:07 PM »
If only the Russians had made the Columbia type STS and we had Energiya Buran flying in 1981--with the "Zenits) being liquid-fueled boosters with two F-1s or so--looking like giant Titan IIs. Those would have been our EELVs, old Atlas and Titan systems would have been phased out--and an all-shuttle NLS would have made sense with that kind of modularity.

I always thought of Energiya as being superior to Saturn due to its modular nature. The strap-ons are EELVs in their own right, the orbiter is a parasite that can be exchanged with payloads on the spot.

With 90-100 ton cargoes, SPACE STATION FREEDOM would have been finished early on, and large scale hypersonic boilerplates released by 747 and then placed in space by Energiya for near full scale tests.

Imagine an alternate universe where WE had Buran.

"We had some problems with some foam strikes on the tiles--thankfully our heads up ascent kept it from hitting the WLE RCC. We will ground the orbiter--but the heavy outer planet probe is ready, correct?"

"Thats right--with Freedom finished and new spaceplane designs tested, all we need now is our capsule for our LFBs to place in orbit--we already have the HLLV in Energiya. Oh, the next moonshot is late this month. We will put cameras on the Energiya to look at foam shedding--but that won't be a problem with the piggyback payload up top and protected by its shroud. That capsule and upper stage can be used atop our LFBs for LEO usage, or for TLI when launched by Energiya.

"So even if Buran stays grounded--no big loss. right?"

"Correct. Oh! Did you hear how the Baikonur hanger collapsed atop that Russian Shuttle, Columbia?"

"Yeah--I'm glad no one was hurt. Their Challenger is out in Gorky Park."

"I always thought they limited themselves putting the mains on the orbiter--and those OMS pods! Our Buran has kerosene and turbo jets can be added for self-ferry!"

If only...

Offline RedSky

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Liked: 60
  • Likes Given: 2
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #18 on: 12/08/2005 08:19 PM »
Regarding the Energia launcher, the more I find out about it, the more incredible it seems.  Just because Buran is gone, its a shame the Russians didn't keep the booster in production.  Basically, it already was close to what the first stage of the SDHLV is... a big tank with boattail engines, but with powerful liquid fueled (reusable) zenit boosters instead of SRBs.  

I never knew the boosters were meant to be recoverable/reusable, but they were!  I found that on this site:

http://www.buran.ru/htm/rocket.htm

I always wondered what those rectangular pod-like appendages were near the top and bottom of each booster.  From the schematic on the right side of the above referenced site... you can see inside of them were unfolding landing legs!  Since the site is in Russian, and I can't  read it, I can't find the page that actually showed the launch and landing profile of the booster any more (perhaps one of our russian speaking members can find it).  The page showed that the boosters were to parachute down and land horizontally, with tripod gear on the front and rear extended.  I don't know if this was actually implemented for the few launches that actually occurred, but talk about  ingenuity!

Offline RedSky

  • Veteran
  • Full Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 493
  • Liked: 60
  • Likes Given: 2
RE: My reason for this SDLV talk
« Reply #19 on: 12/08/2005 08:24 PM »
I finally found that page again showing the proposed recovery of the Energia zenit boosters:

http://www.buran.ru/htm/09-3.htm

Edit:  Also, from the graphic at the bottom of the page of the landed booster, apparently it also had some landing retro rockets (like the Soyuz does a second before touchdown).  You can see the little "crater" there depicted on the ground.  Also, in the small illustration earlier on that page (picture #9), the landing seems to show a "puff" of the landing rockets.

Tags: