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#1 2002-10-17 05:41:26

Mark S
Member
Registered: 2002-04-11
Posts: 343

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

The word from the World Space Congress says that NASA will fefocus the scope of Space Launch Initiative.  Instead of leading to a new RLV, it will produce a crew rescue & transfer vehicle for the ISS and upgrade the shuttle.

A two-step approach, in my opinion, would ease the transition to a new RLV.  First, the shuttle launched with flyback boosters.  When the shuttle retires, the boosters will form the first stage of a new RLV.


"I'm not much of a 'hands-on' evil scientist."--Dr. Evil, "Goldmember"

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#2 2002-10-23 09:07:16

Mark S
Member
Registered: 2002-04-11
Posts: 343

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

NASA has postponed the down-select of designs for SLI.postponed

It looks like SLI might be re-structured after all.

I think SLI had the wrong idea by trying to build a "one-size fits all" vehicle for both cargo launch and crew launch.  If SLI is restructured, I'd like to see a modular approach.  There could be several different orbiters as part of a "SLI system."  Each one would have common components, but they would be sized for crew transfer missions or different payloads.  A small orbiter would replace Delta-II class rockets, while a larger orbiter would be more likely to compliment or replace the EELV.  Other components, like external tanks and flyback boosters, could be clustered to support the larger orbiter.


"I'm not much of a 'hands-on' evil scientist."--Dr. Evil, "Goldmember"

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#3 2002-10-24 22:51:54

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

The word from the World Space Congress says that NASA will fefocus the scope of Space Launch Initiative.  Instead of leading to a new RLV, it will produce a crew rescue & transfer vehicle for the ISS and upgrade the shuttle.

Instead of pouring money into a new rescue vehicle for the ISS, NASA should just contract with Russia to keep a Soyuz up there.  Even though we'd be paying Russia for such a service it'd probably be cheaper in the long run than having to redesign the wheel.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#4 2002-11-09 11:25:49

Shadow151
Member
Registered: 2002-11-09
Posts: 4

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

I wouldn't trust my life to russian tecnology it's not reliable. How bout rebuilding apollo CM with retro packs? It would be cheap and reliable.

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#5 2002-11-09 18:05:46

Mark S
Member
Registered: 2002-04-11
Posts: 343

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

I wouldn't call Russian technology "unreliable" in general, but I agree with the need for a new "Apollo" capsule, or an Apollo follow-on with a parafoil landing system.  I generally regard Apollo as the best capsule ever built (capable of carrying three astronauts in confort and six in an emergency.)  A lifting body spacecraft like NASA's Orbital Space Plane is neat, but it's too heavy to return humans from a Mars mission.  A modern Apollo CM is the way to go.


"I'm not much of a 'hands-on' evil scientist."--Dr. Evil, "Goldmember"

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#6 2002-12-02 19:27:20

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

we need something fresh to revitalize the industry.  the same stagnation has occured that has occured in the defense aircraft industry.  theres nothing new  look at the raptor (f-21).  its just a remake of the tomcat.  and the whopping 2 planes per year does nothing for the industry.  if something new came out, the industry might experience a boom like ww2's.  atm, its dead.

the spacecraft industry isnt as lifeless, but nothing really new has come out since the 80s.  If something new came out, and jobs were created (especially in this time), a huge case could be made to the public- "Look, you need jobs, we have jobs."  And politicians can make themselves look good on stage, giving jobs to the people, for a patriotic cause.  the ISS was good for business, and people were excited by it.  whenever something new happens in space, people rush to it. 

so, after my long-winded typing, my point is that using old technology isnt going to help us in the long run.  we need a truly new innovation, not just for revitalization, but because the old stuff is so obsolete.

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#7 2002-12-03 01:47:58

RobertDyck
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From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,215
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Re: The death of SLI as we know it

Before getting too romantic about Apollo, remember the command and service module massed 30.329 metric tonnes. The Soyuz-TM spacecraft masses 7.250 metric tonnes. Both carry 3 astronauts.

One reason for the apparent ineffeciency of Apollo was that it was designed for the Moon. The total lunar spacecraft was a command module, service module, and lunar module. The total mass was 45.025 tonnes. The Russian spacecraft in 1969 would have been a Soyuz 7K-LOK, LK lunar module, and block-D booster stage for a total mass of 33.55 tonnes. The Soyuz spacecraft consists of an orbital module, service module, and descent module. The Apollo service module had to do the job of the Soyuz service module as well as the Block-D stage. One reason the total stack massed less for Russia was that a Soyuz 7K-LOK only carried 2 astronauts, and the LK would only carry 1.

It may be more fair to compare re-entry capsules. The descent module of the modern Soyuz-TM spacecraft masses 3.000 metric tonnes and carries 3 astronauts. The command module of Apollo massed 5.806 tonnes. One reason for this is that the Soyuz has been updated, while Apollo has not. There were plans to squeeze more seats into an Apollo capsule in place of lunar samples. A kit was developed to add 2 seats for a total of 5 for a rescue ship for Skylab.

The bottom line is that a 7.250t modern Soyuz-TM is better as a space taxi to service ISS than a 30.329t old Apollo. A launch vehicle to lift Apollo to ISS would have to be more than 4 times as large (and as expensive) as the Soyuz launch vehicle.

I think there is a need for a new, dedicated space taxi for the ISS.

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#8 2002-12-03 11:49:18

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

Before getting too romantic about Apollo, remember the command and service module massed 30.329 metric tonnes. The Soyuz-TM spacecraft masses 7.250 metric tonnes.

*I've been wanting to ask this for a long time, but what's the difference between "tonnes" and "tons" -- ?  I thought Zubrin gave an explanation in _The Case for Mars_, but I cannot find it again.

Please don't anyone feel obligated to give a lengthy explanation; just a brief explanation will suffice...thanks in advance to anyone who might want to answer.

I'd just like to have a better working understanding of what I'm reading.  big_smile

--Cindy

P.S.:  I did a Google search using both the singular and pleural forms of the word...a million links came up which don't appear to have any explanations/definitions in them...many foreign-language web sites.


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#9 2002-12-03 12:45:42

nebob2
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Registered: 2002-10-06
Posts: 67
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Re: The death of SLI as we know it

A ton is usualy a US Short ton equal to 2000 pounds.

A tonne can be a US long ton equal to 2200 pounds, but is usually used to refer to a metric ton equal to 1000 kilograms, or 2202.6 pounds. No one uses long tons anymore.

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#10 2002-12-03 17:59:03

Alexander K. Naylor
Member
Registered: 2002-03-30
Posts: 20

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

The thing that we need is a simple escape vehicle for the ISS, not some over-complex-brimming-with-new-technology Dyna-Soar revival ship.  In my opinion, the best thing would be something like a six-person Voskhod.

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#11 2002-12-03 18:04:21

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

what i was envisioning was a downsize from what we have.  not in payload, but in price and mass.  from all that ive read, you can have a larger capacity ship with less mass and price than current ships, based on current technology.

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#12 2002-12-03 18:23:20

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

The thing that we need is a simple escape vehicle for the ISS, not some over-complex-brimming-with-new-technology Dyna-Soar revival ship.  In my opinion, the best thing would be something like a six-person Voskhod.

I couldn't agree more.  I think we should just buy Soyuz capsules from Russia or buy a license to produce them.  It seems a lot easier and cheaper than totally reinventing the wheel.  I wonder how these new return ships will be lifted to the station.  If we use the space shuttle for the task we could definately save money just hiring Russia to launch Soyuz capsules using their own launchers.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#13 2002-12-04 07:23:38

Mark S
Member
Registered: 2002-04-11
Posts: 343

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

It may be more fair to compare re-entry capsules. The descent module of the modern Soyuz-TM spacecraft masses 3.000 metric tonnes and carries 3 astronauts. The command module of Apollo massed 5.806 tonnes. One reason for this is that the Soyuz has been updated, while Apollo has not. There were plans to squeeze more seats into an Apollo capsule in place of lunar samples. A kit was developed to add 2 seats for a total of 5 for a rescue ship for Skylab.

If Apollo were revived as suggested, it would be the re-entry capsule only.  A small de-orbit rocket would be fitted instead of the service module.  Weight of the capsule would be kept down through advances in materials over the last 40 years.

I think that lifting bodies or space planes are better for crew taxi to ISS, but they're too heavy to bring people back from Mars.  Along the same note, you would need two Soyuz to bring a crew of 4-6 back from Mars.  Desite its extra weight, Apollo remains the superior spacecraft for an earth re-entry vehicle.


"I'm not much of a 'hands-on' evil scientist."--Dr. Evil, "Goldmember"

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#14 2002-12-08 17:14:56

John_Frazer
Member
From: Boulder, Co. USA
Registered: 2002-05-29
Posts: 75
Website

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

Mark S Oct. 17 2002
>The word from the World Space Congress says that NASA will refocus the scope of Space Launch Initiative.  Instead of leading to a new RLV, it will produce a crew rescue & transfer vehicle for the ISS and upgrade the shuttle.

Mark S
Oct. 23 2002
> I think SLI had the wrong idea by trying to build a "one-size fits all" vehicle for both cargo launch and crew launch.

Phobos Oct. 25 2002
> Instead of pouring money into a new rescue vehicle for the ISS, NASA should just contract with Russia to keep a Soyuz up there.  Even though we'd be paying Russia for such a service it'd probably be cheaper in the long run than having to redesign the wheel.

Alexander K. Naylor
Dec. 03 2002   
> The thing that we need is a simple escape vehicle for the ISS, not some over-complex-brimming-with-new-technology Dyna-Soar revival ship.  In my opinion, the best thing would be something like a six-person Voskhod.

There were referrences to a new fully reusable 2 stage vehicle, as the "replacement" vehicle, so this is a new wrinkle. The smaller spaceplane, seemingly part of the newer SLI contracts is a different animal.
Don't make the mistake of calling it a "Mini-Shuttle" as the articles do.
Unless they go overboard and make the mistakes of the CNES Hermes spaceplane, it won't be a minishuttle.
The Hermes tried to do too many things at once, and got too big & expensive and was cut. The Shuttle did the same thing, and while it didn't die, it became too big & complex to do anything well. (A camel is described as a beast designed by comittee: smelly, bad tempered, with humps. At least the real camel does some things well.)
The SLI spaceplane is described as "a crew-transfer vehicle instead of a limited-use crew escape pod for the space station... it would be more cost-efficient for NASA to develop a multipurpose ship."
This still doesn't mean a camel. Multipurpose crewed access vehicle covers launch, flight, and re-entry, with assured crew survival in all flight regimes -something the Shuttle has none of.
The Shuttle isn't particularly safe for crewed access: no escape system, since a big cargo hauler is too big for escape rockets. This is where the HL-20 type PLS really helps.
Let's just hope NASA sticks with this small vehicle, and doesn't try to tack on too many extras.

We treally do need this. The Shuttle is a death trap, and it's long past time that we found a safe way to get people up there. The Soyuz isn't old & unreliable, it's just old. It's endured because it's highly reliable. The problem is that it subjects crew to high G loading on re-entry and "thump-down", and unlike a spaceplane, and it's expendable.

Some background on PLS:
The current designs being floated for the spaceplane are strongly reminiscent of then old HL-20 PLS (Personnel Launch System) of the late '80s.
The follow-on evolved version HL-42

Scroll down to the Grumman/OS SLI concepts
http://www.slinews.com/concepts.html
2 that are particularly nice are the simplest:
One is the HL-20 on an ELV, the other is the HL-42 on a RLV
eelv_launch_t.jpg

orbital4_t.jpg

This in turn was derived from the Soviet sub-scale spaceplane rocket tests of the early '80s which were originally to be tests for their UruganSpiral space interceptors.

Note that the Spiral was a competitor to the USAF X-20 Dyna-Soar orbital interceptor/bomber.
http://deepcold.com/

So, NASA's new hope apparently draws on the earliest days of NASA manned spaceflight, and military space projects which never got off the drawing boards (though parts of the X-20 were the first pieces of hardware for manned spaceflight which actually were built).
It is also interesting to note that the insistence by NASA that the idea of a crew spaceplane going up on ELVs is completely new, is bogus. They are apparently ignoring the HL-20 and X-20 work (note the really good work & thought that went into the HL-20 It's not just a modernization of the Dyna-Soar, it's a total crew treatment).

Far from being radically new, this spaceplane goes back to spaceflight history, back to things which made sense then, and still do, things they canceled in favor of continuing to rely on the Shuttle, experimenting with SSTO in the X-33 fiasco, building the seemingly deliberately overly-complex & expensive ISS, and the station lifeboat X-38.

NASA Proposes New Space Plane, More Money for Shuttle
09 November 2002
http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/fl … 21109.html
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA has decided to build a new space plane to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, government officials said Friday.

The proposed orbital space plane, which could be launched from Cape Canaveral aboard an emerging breed of rockets, is part of a sweeping overhaul of the space agency by Administrator Sean O'Keefe.

... In addition to the new vehicle, O'Keefe's plan calls for spending more money to upgrade the current shuttles so they can keep flying through at least 2015.

In keeping with the Bush administration's spending policies, the new space plane must be developed within the confines of NASA's current budget forecast, which is about $14.8 billion a year

The orbital space plane could use launchers already being developed by The Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., which would save money by avoiding the cost of creating an entirely new launch system, as was done for the shuttle fleet. The companies have new launch complexes on NASA and Air Force property at Cape Canaveral.

Boeing and Lockheed executives confirm they have been working with NASA to figure out what it would take to prove the rockets are safe to launch humans.

www.nytimes.com/2002/11/1...7c&ei=5062
NASA announced... it would delay development of a replacement for the space shuttle and instead start work on a new, smaller orbiting space plane — a sort of minishuttle — to take people to and from the ISS.

Under the plan, the four ships in the 20-year-old shuttle program would continue to fly until at least 2015, and perhaps more than five years after that. This strategy delays a decision on a shuttle replacement until the end of this decade, said Sean O'Keefe, the administrator of the space agency, and gives the NASA time to define better what the new vehicle will be.

www.space.com/missionlaunches/fl_021030a.html
If a new ship piggybacks on a rocket, it might fly at the same time shuttles are flying and serve a different function, Boeing and Lockheed Martin officials suggested.

Such a ship could be used to supply the space station or act as an emergency escape vehicle, replacing the Russian Soyuz ships used as escape capsules, Laffitte said. Soyuz production is guaranteed only through 2006, and Russian officials have threatened to stop production early due to lack of funds.

"I think those will be the two areas that we will get started," Laffitte said, before attempting to make the ship a replacement for the shuttle.

Still, he admitted, "man-rating" a rocket so it's considered safe enough for people could be a difficult job.

The rocket concept is just one option under study, Kennedy Space Center Director Roy Bridges said.

"That's the way we got started, so obviously we were able to do that in the earlier days, and of course we have more capable vehicles now," Bridges said.

Boeing's Trafton acknowledged the buzz about the rocket option. "There is increased interest in using expendable launch vehicles to launch a winged vehicle of some kind to space and to space station," Trafton said.

The SLI approach to designing a new ship is different from anything NASA has attempted, Dumbacher said. "In addition to the performance, I have to address cost and reliability/safety, and that's something that hasn't been done before in the rocket business."

which is troubling to hear, since it says they're being paid to do all that good work over again.

Note also, the larger HL-42 spaceplane; That reusable flyback booster would be great on its own. Note that it puts ~30 tons into LEO, and that neatly replaces the Shuttle. (Just don't let NASA hear that! It just shows that the Shuttle is way beyond useful. It's nothing but jobs, and it does nothing we need it for. Somebody should be taken out & shot for cutting the HL-20 back in the '80s, and going back to flying crew only on the Shuttle.)
It's also nice that the boosters and the spaceplane don't rely on each other's development. The plane could go up on expendables, and the boosters can do anything.


Other soviet spaceplane concepts (really, nothing the SLI has looked at is entirely new).
(MiG 105 Sub-sonic and air-drop test plane)
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/mig10511.htm
Yes! for ferry-go-around engines. For my money, lose some cargo, and put an engine on the HL-42.

http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/spil5050.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/bizan.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/lvs/system49.htm
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/maks.htm

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#15 2002-12-08 17:43:38

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

Far from being radically new, this spaceplane goes back to spaceflight history, back to things which made sense then, and still do, things they canceled in favor of continuing to rely on the Shuttle, experimenting with SSTO in the X-33 fiasco, building the seemingly deliberately overly-complex & expensive ISS, and the station lifeboat X-38.

This is the greatest reason why I think we should just stick to Soyuz capsules even though they might not be a very elegant solution.  I don't trust NASA to try to develop anything simple and to the point.  However I do see where developing better escape systems could serve us better since NASA is apparently planning to build stations at the librations points, etc.  If I'm understanding you right I think what your advocating is building something like a "taxi" that just gets you where your going and doesn't try to be everything to everyone.  I support this idea.  We don't need to launch people on the overpriced and complicated Shuttle just to get them to the space station.  Using the shuttle just to get people to the ISS is like using an aircraft carrier just to get across a pond.


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#16 2002-12-11 12:39:07

John_Frazer
Member
From: Boulder, Co. USA
Registered: 2002-05-29
Posts: 75
Website

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

>  I don't trust NASA to try to develop
anything simple and to the point.

I know your feeling very well. they excell at building cash-cows and camels (for animal metaphors...) They say an elephant is a mouse built to government stnadards. I'd say a brontosaur is the NASA version, except it has 6 heads, all of which must agree on any action, so it starves to death.

Nevertheless, look at the HL-20. They were panicked that the Shuttle fleet would be grounded after the Challenger went up, and apparently there weren't too many managers and most importantly no politicians involved in the design process, so it actually was a great ship.
hl20roll.jpg

> If I'm understanding you right I think what your
advocating is building something like a "taxi" that just
gets you where your going and doesn't try to be
everything to everyone.  I support this idea.
> We don't need to launch people on the overpriced
and complicated Shuttle just to get them to the
space station.

This thing is above all else, safe. I think it'll be cheap, if they stick with the HL-20, because (uncharacteristically for NASA) they designed it for ease of maintenance.

hl20hl42.jpg

Lately, I'm overcome with repugnance for the Shuttle. Overgrown camel, deliberately under-capable and overpriced flying cost-overrun.
There's nothing it does which we need. Never was. They killed many good people-carriers in favor of it, when it's manifestly not safe, and they killed many excellent heavy work boosters, too.
The USAF should be told to go fish if they want a fractional orbital bomber. Somebody should be taken out & shot for going back to flying people only on the Shuttle after the Challenger died, when they cut the HL-20.

For all we could do in space by getting out there & doing real work, they decided to concentrate on a tiny overpriced gadget, just to support the contractors factories in congress-critters' political districts, and NASA's ground suport staff.  And then they call it the greatest invention and let people think it's the most advanced thing ever built.
People were so shocked when the Challenger died because of course NASA must be using the very best the US is capable of making, right?

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#17 2002-12-11 15:13:15

Mark S
Member
Registered: 2002-04-11
Posts: 343

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

While we're still on the "shuttle sucks" tangent, I wanted to point out my belief that the cancellation of Buran was a blessing in disguise for the Russians.

Think about this for a minute.  Buran was designed to launch Mir / Mir-2 (now ISS) modules and ferry crews and cargo.  All of these tasks have been accomplished by cheaper Proton and Soyuz rockets.  As wonderful as Buran was, it could not be any cheaper than the shuttle, and may even have been more expensive because the main engines were discarded after the boost.

The shuttle was designed with too large of a payload and too much cross-range for the missions that NASA envisioned.  It might have been successful if its payload bay could be utilized for launching commercial satellites, but safety issues ensured that such a practice would not take off.  When the Russians copied the shuttle configuration, they inherited all of its design flaws.


"I'm not much of a 'hands-on' evil scientist."--Dr. Evil, "Goldmember"

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#18 2002-12-14 17:20:30

John_Frazer
Member
From: Boulder, Co. USA
Registered: 2002-05-29
Posts: 75
Website

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

> The shuttle was designed with too large of a payload and too much cross-range for the missions that NASA envisioned.

Yes, but it was also largely designed for the payload & cross-range the USAF required. For fractional orbital bombardment or recon missions, a plane with a drop tank was best. The beast could carry nearly a hundred tons to suborbital trajectories if most of that were dropped on the way and the airframe were capable of using hypersonic aerodynamic lift to stay aloft to complete the single orbit mission.

If the USAF wants an aerospace interceptor/bomber, then they should have to convince congress to fund it. They screwed up our civilian HLV needs with their strategic weapons platform requirements, and then discovered that they didn't leave enough left over to get their own payloads to orbit.
The thing has carried through on graft & momentum this long.

We need this new PLS plane as much now as in the '60s. We're only 40 years late in having a sensible way to get people to orbit.

Next we need an HLV, and either the STS or Energia stacks are a good start (just get rid of the roman candles).

Shuttle-C near-term HLV
Ares HLV
Sea Dragon HLV
Some other considerations about this
http://web.wt.net/~markgoll/rse10.htm
http://www.spacecityone.com/genastro/leocheap_ch9.htm
More on large HLV design philosophy (good concepts abandoned in favor of the STS)
http://www.abo.fi/~mlindroo/SpaceLVs/Slides/index.htm
http://astronautix.com/lvs/rombus.htm

Note that people could conceivably be sent up on one, if you used enough lift capacity for a PLS or maybe even a dumb capsule, but generally, you don't want to mix crewed launch and heavy cargo.

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#19 2002-12-14 18:46:55

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,215
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Re: The death of SLI as we know it

Ah, arguements about Buran's cost. I can quote price figures. The Energia launch vehicle had a price tag of $120 million US dollars per launch in 1995, with the Energia Upper Stage (EUS) available at no additional cost. Would servicing the Buran orbiter have cost more than building an expendable EUS? However, the Proton 8K82K had a cost of $50 million US dollars in 1994. If you add a 4th stage to boost satellites into GEO the price was $70 million in 1994. The Proton 8K82K could lift 19.76t to 186km orbit. The Proton M could lift 22.5t, but it wasn't available until April 2001 and I don't have prices for it. The Buran could lift 30.0t to 200km orbit, while the Energia with EUS could lift 88t to the same orbit. Although Buran was a little cheaper the the American Space Shuttle, the cost was still significantly higher than Proton. The cost for a commerical company to rent the entire cargo bay of the Space Shuttle was $142 million in 1992, with a lift capacity at that time of 24.4t to 204km orbit. (Shuttle has been upgraded for construction of ISS.) So Mark S is correct, Proton and Soyuz are cheaper rockets.

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#20 2002-12-14 22:29:11

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

People were so shocked when the Challenger died because of course NASA must be using the very best the US is capable of making, right?

*Only if those people were/are [to cite one example] ignorant of the history of the Apollo program, particularly in its mid-60s phase, which climaxed with the Apollo 204 fire that killed Grissom, Chaffee, and White.  And for nearly 1-1/2 years after that tragedy in 1/67, Apollo was "on the shelf."

NASA actually doesn't have that bright and shining of a track record.  It really is surprising the Russians didn't get to the moon first; for a long time, their space program was superior to the USA's.  It's also surprising more US astronauts haven't been killed, owing to rush jobs, defective parts, oversights in maintenance, etc., etc.  Ever read _Lost Moon_ by Jim Lovell?  It's an eye opener in more ways than one.  sad

Carl Sagan published a comparison "laundry list" of USSR and USA achievements in the intro to _Pale Blue Dot_.  Pretty impressive, those Commies.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#21 2002-12-14 22:31:04

soph
Member
Registered: 2002-11-24
Posts: 1,492

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

please.  the soviets hid so many accidents its sickening.  they had their share of accidents, but they were swept under the rug.

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#22 2002-12-14 22:39:21

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

please.  the soviets hid so many accidents its sickening.  they had their share of accidents, but they were swept under the rug.

*I didn't say the Soviets didn't have any accidents; of course they did. 

The records for each nation are there, in black and white; they speak for themselves. 

This isn't about patriotism, it's about facts.

And the Soviets weren't the only ones who knew how to sweep things under the rug...

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#23 2002-12-14 22:46:56

Phobos
Member
Registered: 2002-01-02
Posts: 1,103

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

NASA actually doesn't have that bright and shining of a track record.  It really is surprising the Russians didn't get to the moon first; for a long time, their space program was superior to the USA's.

I'm a little surprised myself that the Soviets screwed up their attempt to get to the Moon so bad.  Not only did they rush their rockets into service without static testing them thoroughly they went with putting something like 30 engines on the first stage of the N-1 as compared to the five engines on the Saturn V.  What the hell was Korolev thinking when he gave the green light for the 30 engine design?  The engines they used were reliable but they all had to work flawlessy or the rocket just self-destructed.  You would think that they'd first try to develop engines more suitable for that particular rocket than dealing with the complexity of using a bunch of little ones.  Oh well, that's Murphy's law for you.

please.  the soviets hid so many accidents its sickening.  they had their share of accidents, but they were swept under the rug.

It's interesting how the Soviets covered up some of their mishaps.  My favorite is how they sent one probe to actually impact on the Moon but when it missed and instead just flew into interplanetary space they changed the goal of the mission from an impact on the moon to a flyby. smile


To achieve the impossible you must attempt the absurd

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#24 2015-08-05 20:00:04

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,872

Re: The death of SLI as we know it

Another fixed shifting topic.
Reading through the posts brought back some memories and the time line of the full scale tet and down selection via competition to a winner that would have been flying man to orbit and beyond by 2008.....

The Space Launch Initiative: Technology to pioneer the space frontier

http://www.aeronautics.nasa.gov/events/ … sld001.htm

Nasa was looking towards reuseable vehicles but by 2002 it was all but killed along with many other projects that were felt as not the way to go....

http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Space_Launch_Initiative

This program was ended with the cancellation of the X-33 and X-34 and the conclusion of the X-43 programs. NASA changed its focus to Constellation Program.

The Space Launch Initiative Propulsion Office—managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., -- sought to advance technologies and explore new avenues of space propulsion to develop safer, more reliable and affordable propulsion solutions. Four main engine candidates for a second generation reusable launch vehicle emerged, including two hydrogen-fueled (COBRA, RS-83, TR-106) and two kerosene-fueled (RS-84, TR-107) staged combustion engines.

And then NASA Constellation Program. was cancelled as well......

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