Author Topic: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV  (Read 16425 times)

Online AndyMc

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A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« on: 12/01/2005 09:54 pm »
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/lunar-05zzy.html
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/oped-apollo-2.doc

Much the same as ever :( Apparently everything will have to be "completely Redesigned" or "Completely New"




Offline Launch Fan

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #1 on: 12/02/2005 12:22 am »
I'm not sure why we should even give that crap a link on here.

Offline Colby

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #2 on: 12/02/2005 02:30 am »

This proves that freedom of speech is like a double-edged sword. In the right (or wrong, in this matter) hands, it's dangerous. Ho hum...

Colby

Offline Dobbins

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #3 on: 12/02/2005 02:56 am »
Quote
In my view, it is exactly this multiple-use design philosophy that make this program unworkable and unaffordable.


In my view Jeffery Bell needs to learn what he's talking about before inserting his foot in his mouth.

Work on Apollo started before JFK's Moon speech, and before anyone even went into space. The Apollo Command Module was already being designed as a multi-purpose space ship that could do orbital missions, go to a space station, and do a Lunar fly by with a possible Moon landing some time in the 1970s. Crew size didn't have a thing to do with a Moon Mission, it was set at 3 so that astronauts could work in 8 hour shifts, 3 times 8 equals 24.

John B. Dobbins

Offline lmike

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #4 on: 12/02/2005 03:31 am »
I know it's a bad form to attack the messenger rather than the message, but this article is coming from a self-admitted "recovering" space cadet/manned  spaceflight advocate (and in some articles an all  robotic exploration zealot) if you read his past articles.  Perhaps, he hasn't "recovered" quite, yet.  He does promise a follow-up with his own "Apollo-like" architecture, so let's see how that fares.  

His main thesis seems to be that the ESAS is not ENOUGH like the Apollo (the critics pound on the "too much similarity").  "Going against the grain" again, Jeffrey?  The "cold equations" thing is that the ESAS/VSE just MUST set out to do more than the Apollo, and must employ some sort of "pork" in the MOST productive matter, or it won't fly, at least politically.  That is talking real life.  Following from that premise are the upped mass, fuel reqs., number of engines on the HLV, increased crew volume, the GLOW of the CLV, etc...  I do concede that the CEV 'Block1' does seem to be overweight for the ISS missions.  But NASA can't affort a multitude of mission tailored spacecraft (which he seemingly asserts is a better thing to do)

Offline Dobbins

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #5 on: 12/02/2005 03:48 am »
There is one point that Bell has made in other columns that I agree with. Far too many space advocates don't have the slightest idea of what they are talking about. They promote schemes that are impossible on budget grounds, on political grounds, on technical grounds. Yet that is exactly what Bell is doing here.

It would be nice to have spaceships designed for the mission. The Military flies fighters, bombers, and cargo aircraft that are optimized for the missions. The Military also has a lot bigger budget than NASA does. If Mr. Bell can figure out how to do something that is politically impossible, convince Congress to give NASA a Budget that is as large as the one the DoD has, then his mission specific spaceships won't be financially impossible.

John B. Dobbins

Offline lmike

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #6 on: 12/02/2005 05:06 am »
True comment with me as well.  The main probelm with some of the advocates is that instead of a feasible plan for NASA to undertake, what they most often present is ... VOID (including closing down NASA altogether).  From whichever what side they do it, they offer no helpful straw to, say, Mike Griffin to hang on to... as *a* decision maker....  What he is doing is not what he would like to do, given some lee-way, IMHO (ISS, STS, ...), yet this is what he must do (I'm a commercial flight zealot btw ;) and he's giving me lots of hope)

Offline kraisee

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #7 on: 12/02/2005 06:32 am »
Quote
Dobbins - 1/12/2005  10:56 PM


In my view Jeffery Bell needs to learn what he's talking about before inserting his foot in his mouth.

Work on Apollo started before JFK's Moon speech, and before anyone even went into space. The Apollo Command Module was already being designed as a multi-purpose space ship that could do orbital missions, go to a space station, and do a Lunar fly by with a possible Moon landing some time in the 1970s. Crew size didn't have a thing to do with a Moon Mission, it was set at 3 so that astronauts could work in 8 hour shifts, 3 times 8 equals 24.[/QUOTE]

I agree wholeheartedly with you on this one Dobbins.

Bell has absolutely no real idea what he's whittering on about.

If you really look at the technical requirements for the two different missions he uses to flesh out his argument, one moon-bound, the other for servicing ISS, you actually find an awful lot of common ground between the two.

Independant of any mission-specific rfequirements, all spacecraft in this discussion must be able to:
* launch from Earth safely,
* provide protection from vacuum and radiation for its crew,
* provide life-support while in space,
* contain food & supplies while in space,
* go where its supposed to go,
* rendezvous and dock with any other craft it needs to,
* be versatile enough to let the crew perform the mission required of it,
* eventually bring the crew safely back home at the end of the mission.

For ISS missions, the specific requirement are:
* rendezvous & dock to the ISS,
* remain there, dormant, for up to six months,
* be capable of emergency-evacuating everyone on the ISS at almost no notice,
* provide sufficient propellant to be moved from hatch 'x' to hatch 'y' when required,
* provide life-support systems to sustain a crew of 6 for at least 5 days (2 days up + 2 down + 1 spare x 6 crew = 30 man-days of life support capacity, bare minimum)
* provide capacity for some limited cargo at the same time.

The moon-bound spacecraft requirements are:
* rendezvous & dock to the LSAM in Earth orbit,
* remain in Lunar orbit dormant for up to 6 months,
* be capable of emergency-evacuating everyone from the moon at almost no notice,
* provide sufficient extra propellant to make changes to its lunar-orbit during a mission,
* provide life support systems to sustain a 4-person crew for 7 days (3 days to + 3 days from + 1 spare x 4 crew = 28 man days of life support, bare minimum)
* provide some limited cargo capacity too - although anything going to the moon will probably travel on the LSAM launched separately on the Magnum SDLV.

Does it strike anyone how similar these two lists of requirements actually are?

The only significant difference between the two requirements is that you require more propellant for returning from the Moon than you do just for LEO operations.

The requirements for both craft are near-identical when it comes to engineering execution.   So what sence is there in having to design and build, at very great expense, two completely different craft when one can so obviously do both tasks?

The CEV is going to be the smallest, lightest, least expensive and most efficient spacecraft NASA could have designed. And they'll only have to spend serious money designing one single craft, not twice as much building two different ones, because this design is versatile enough to fly either mission profile (and quite a few others) quite easily.

It is the *perfect* tool for either job, and a brilliant choice because it will be able to do both.

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

Offline publiusr

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #8 on: 12/02/2005 04:22 pm »
Well said! More and more people are talking about heavy-lift for a change:

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/497/1 Musk
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/500/1 Ariane 6

Even Bell spoke of an HLLV once when (rightfully) going after the lousy Delta IV. Worse was Ed Wright the Know-nothing alt.space fraud who talks up useless rocket-racers while bashing Stricklands nice HLV Mega-Module approach which makes more sense than anything Ed Wright has done. Worse still was the way the 'leader' of Space Access went after his own member Hillhouse for supporting Heavy-Lift.

These HLV-bashing idiots must think we get oil not in tankers but in rowboats. A pox be upon the anti-HLV lie-tellers.  
Griffin is a real engineer--not some fraud up for tax evasion or some wannabe who sues but can't get a single rocket off the pad.

There is sad news in the 2006 Farmer's Almanac. A Harris Interactive poll (page 154 of the Almanac) ranked many vocations according to their prestige power. Here are the percentages:

Scientist........57
Fireman........55
Doctor..........52
Teacher........49
Nurse...........47
Military Officer...46
Police Officer....42
Priest/clergy...38
Member of Congress.....30

And Bringing up the rear
Engineer....28

Even more sad to me is how even the Science Channel treats rocketry. There is a program that comes on 7am Eastern 6am Central called "Rockets Into Space." It has good footage of launches from the past and seldom seen footage of payloads. I guess that is good for kids to wake up to but it come on a bit later--and desrves to be in Prime Time.

I get Charter Cable here in Alabama, where the information given about the program in the TV listing bar is:

"Rockets Into Space: Sports. Non-event"


...Sigh


Misc:
http://www.geocities.com/bobandrepont/spacepdf.htm


Offline Dobbins

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #9 on: 12/02/2005 04:53 pm »
Quote
publiusr - 2/12/2005  12:22 PM

There is sad news in the 2006 Farmer's Almanac. A Harris Interactive poll (page 154 of the Almanac) ranked many vocations according to their prestige power. Here are the percentages:

Scientist........57
Fireman........55
Doctor..........52
Teacher........49
Nurse...........47
Military Officer...46
Police Officer....42
Priest/clergy...38
Member of Congress.....30

And Bringing up the rear
Engineer....28


Most of the respondents probably thought an Engineer is the guy that drives the Choo-Choo train.  :)

John B. Dobbins

Offline Justin Space

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #10 on: 12/02/2005 05:41 pm »
Or someone who fixes a machine that makes bolts.

Getting to work with space ships would get a higher ranking for sure.

Offline Colby

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #11 on: 12/02/2005 07:52 pm »
It has to! Someone in my Algebra 2 class asked what I wanted to be, and I told her I wanted to be an astronautical engineer. The whole class heard it, and it caused quite an uproar (but a good one ;)).
Colby

Offline darkenfast

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #12 on: 12/02/2005 10:39 pm »
That listing of requirements for the CEV is very good.  I wish I could have seen it on that mega-thread over on another forum where the Italian guy spent days repeating the same anti-CEV arguments over and over!

Offline realtime

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #13 on: 12/03/2005 06:04 am »
You've got to love what you do for what it is and what it gives you in personal satisfaction.  If you crave approval do something else.  

Me, I like engineering just fine, no matter what those ignorant boobs think.


Offline lmike

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #14 on: 12/03/2005 10:34 pm »
Quote
kraisee - 2/12/2005  1:32 AM
...
The CEV is going to be the smallest, lightest, least expensive and most efficient spacecraft NASA could have designed. And they'll only have to spend serious money designing one single craft, not twice as much building two different ones, because this design is versatile enough to fly either mission profile (and quite a few others) quite easily.

It is the *perfect* tool for either job, and a brilliant choice because it will be able to do both.

Ross.

Well, not entirely.  As a station's CRV for 6 people the CEV is a gross overkill at 9,062 kg of the return capsule.  Requires none of the radiation protection, that a lunar spacecraft would need, redundancy, etc... And so it should be somewhat cheaper, and lighter.  The old 'Big Gemini' ( http://www.astronautix.com/craft/bigemini.htm ) concept was to be capable of a 9 people crew and weighted 5,227 kg.  The general philosophy is a valid point.  

At what point the generality of a craft becomes a problem with requirements spinning out of control (witness the 'overspecified' and 'overdesigned' shuttle orbiter)  At what point does mission specific become too specific?  A good call to compare to the air force.  A collection of the cheap ground-pounding A-10, the nimble F-16, the rugged naval F-18, and the supporting F-15, or just one superexpensive F-22+some cruise missiles?  I have a feeling drawing the line here is more of an art than science.

Of course, I suspect, the ISS roles for *the* CEV are rather secondary, and it's being built more as a lunar vehicle.  And that is the point, I think -- there is the primary role for *the* CEV that pulls the rest of the requirements in.  We'll all be damned if all *the* CEV ends up doing is flying the ISS re-supply/taxi missions (I would hope it does none of it all, and we get some commercial 'small fry' to do it for NASA)

Offline darkenfast

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #15 on: 12/04/2005 04:24 am »
I believe the requirements are for a Block I (for LEO missions), and a Block II (for Lunar missions).  The Block I space craft will be developed first, and will not have the systems required for flight beyond LEO.  For logistics, an unmanned version will deliver (and return) a fair amount of cargo, and while not as much as the STS, it should do so at a far lower cost (not to mention the safety aspect).  The use of this one common hull, and a launcher developed from STS hardware will result in far lower costs than developing another vehicle solely for CRV purposes.  
I really do believe that the team that came up with this has thought through the requirements (and the costs) and specified a winner.  Time will tell.

Offline kraisee

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #16 on: 12/04/2005 05:48 am »
Quote
lmike - 3/12/2005  6:34 PM

Quote
kraisee - 2/12/2005  1:32 AM
...
The CEV is going to be the smallest, lightest, least expensive and most efficient spacecraft NASA could have designed. And they'll only have to spend serious money designing one single craft, not twice as much building two different ones, because this design is versatile enough to fly either mission profile (and quite a few others) quite easily.

It is the *perfect* tool for either job, and a brilliant choice because it will be able to do both.

Ross.

Well, not entirely.  As a station's CRV for 6 people the CEV is a gross overkill at 9,062 kg of the return capsule.  Requires none of the radiation protection, that a lunar spacecraft would need, redundancy, etc... And so it should be somewhat cheaper, and lighter.  The old 'Big Gemini' ( http://www.astronautix.com/craft/bigemini.htm ) concept was to be capable of a 9 people crew and weighted 5,227 kg.  The general philosophy is a valid point.

I'll grant you the figures for the big Gem.   But its not fair to compare CEV to CRV :)

CRV was only designed to support a crew of 6 for no more than about 6 hours - purely for an emergency evac of the ISS.   And it wasn't ever supposed to do quite a number of the things I listed too.

The biggest difference between both of those craft and CEV though is that  neither of them has anywhere near as much fuel on board compared to CEV.   The ballpark 30MT 'mass' for CEV actually includes about 18MT of fuel required for TEI burns!

A CEV heading only to the ISS in LEO, and not to the moon, will probably only have a single ton or so of propellant on board, which will mean it will tip the scales somewhere about 12-13,000kg - which is still considered pretty 'light' as these things go, especially if it is a reusable craft and it offers maximum radiation shielding for its occupants.


Quote
At what point the generality of a craft becomes a problem with requirements spinning out of control (witness the 'overspecified' and 'overdesigned' shuttle orbiter)  At what point does mission specific become too specific?  A good call to compare to the air force.  A collection of the cheap ground-pounding A-10, the nimble F-16, the rugged naval F-18, and the supporting F-15, or just one superexpensive F-22+some cruise missiles?  I have a feeling drawing the line here is more of an art than science.


An excellent point.   On the scale you have created, I'd say that the CEV is the simple, innexpensive, dedicated tool for doing one basic mission.   In that comparison, I'd say its the A-10 of the fleet.    It'll be tough as nails, hard-wearing, great at its particular job, but isn't necessarily quite as pretty as some of its peers.

While we may be retiring the 'pretty do-it-all fighter' of the bunch in 5 years time, we found it had some very bad flaws and was vastly more expensive (in money and lives) to run than we had ever planned for.


Quote
Of course, I suspect, the ISS roles for *the* CEV are rather secondary, and it's being built more as a lunar vehicle.  And that is the point, I think -- there is the primary role for *the* CEV that pulls the rest of the requirements in.  We'll all be damned if all *the* CEV ends up doing is flying the ISS re-supply/taxi missions (I would hope it does none of it all, and we get some commercial 'small fry' to do it for NASA)

I think ISS could one day be useful.   There are some fields of research worth following up.   But I don't think it will ever pay for itself, and because of that fact, I REALLY don't like ISS.   It is the single thing which is still holding NASA back from getting on with pushing the boundaries of human space exploration and working on the bleeding edge of technology - and the sooner NASA is doing that the better for us all IMHO.

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

Offline lmike

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #17 on: 12/05/2005 04:03 am »
I took the 9,062kg (just the CM module!) from the Block1A from here http://images.spaceref.com/news/2005/nas.esas.16.l.jpg .  As a 6 person* station CRV/taxi it's an underperfomer/bloated, IMO.  A Kludge (software speak here).  Go up a bit and the Block 2 (lunar) is just 200 kilos more.  Coincidence?  I think not.  

The Lunar CEV *is* the point, and it's being squeezed into being an ISS taxi as well.  Also, I note Mr. Horowitz's mention (paraphrased) of "as soon as the private enterprise can do ISS, we are outta here ... on to the Moon"  (I can almost see Griffin et al... cringe "the ISS?  ehm, oh, yeah, sure... we'll do it")  The 2 'separate' blocks is a notional idea, nothing more, IMHO.  NASA is not going to do a fleet of mission specific craft...  Albeit, somewhat modular with respect to the SM and further LSAM, etc...

* oh, doh!  it says 3 person crew!!!!  for a 9tonne return capsule!  wherever I got the 6 people CRV from?

Offline lmike

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #18 on: 12/05/2005 04:43 am »
I agree with you Kraisee, that the CEV Block1 (the ISS crew) is meant to be more than a CRV, but where I differ is that the reason for that is the further Lunar (and Mars) primary goals rather than improving ISS up/down mass capabilities.  In an ideal world I would have CRV/taxi mission split off onto a more simplified/economical (perhaps launcheable by the EELVs/Falcon) craft.

Offline darkenfast

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RE: A Cynical Opinion of the SDLV & CEV
« Reply #19 on: 12/05/2005 09:28 am »
"* oh, doh! it says 3 person crew!!!! for a 9tonne return capsule! wherever I got the 6 people CRV from?"

Flights to the ISS with three crew are also to carry some cargo.  If they want a six-person crew, they will be able to do that as it's in the requirements that the CEV be able to carry at least that number.   The possibilities that I've seen mentioned have been:
1. No people, all cargo.
2. Three people, some cargo
3. Four people on a Lunar mission.
4. Six people ferried to Mars-bound spacecraft.


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