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#1 2005-11-09 20:49:38

BWhite
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2004-06-16
Posts: 2,635

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

This essay is interesting:

According to the NASA press release there will in fact be two prizes “tentatively named the Suborbital Payload Challenge and the Suborbital Lunar Lander Analog Challenge.” Both the space agency and the foundation are expected to work out the details within the next several weeks. It seems that the second part of the competition is oriented towards developing a Lunar Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV).

A Lunar RLV could operate using fuel and oxygen from the Moon itself, either from ice or from the lunar crust. The craft would be capable of reaching orbit around the Moon and of “hopping” from place to place on the surface. Again they want to “…reward the first team to build a vertical take-off/vertical landing suborbital vehicle capable of reaching a speed consistent with the energies required to land and launch from the Moon.”

and this:

According to the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS), the Lunar Surface Access Module (LSAM) will ascend using a new liquid oxygen/methane power engine designed to be “ISRU compatible”.

Methane/LOX makes the vehicle Mars compatible.

Cool!


Give someone a sufficient why and they can endure just about any how

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#2 2005-11-09 21:47:54

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,173

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Yup had seen something simular and had posted this in the moon direct thread.
The descent stage is still H2 Lox which after a 9 month journey could be very marginal without a means to top off the fuel tanks on the Lander. As you noted the ascent stage is powered by Lox and methane. Now if we are smart we would send the lander with empty tanks in the ascent stage to allow for a greater down mass to the surface of Mars. Or if that is not acceptable then make the tanks capable of carrying just lots of H2 in that stage for later processing into methane.


comments are  next on that item which I just noticed was the same link..

I have asked before how soon can we go from the exploration phase to setting up a base.

As part of a new Nasa challenge,
sponsored xcup style contests for prizes are definetly a possibility.

Could the X Prize Cup help NASA develop a Lunar RLV?

When would we need such a Reusuable Lunar lander?

If NASA keeps to its current plan, they will fly the first “Outpost Mission” in 2022 or 2023. These are by far the most important NASA missions of the first half of the 21st century. The goal is to begin work on what will become a permanent base on the Moon. In time this will evolve into the starting point for lunar colonization and development. To accomplish this NASA hopes to show that it can “live off the land” using In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technology, especially to provide the Moon base with a source of rocket fuel.

Of course where is the payoff, then again were should they start looking for design references since we only have the LM?

On the Moon things are different. The ascent stage of the Apollo-era Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) weighed about 4,500 kg and its fuel weighed about 2,300 kg, i.e. a mass fraction of about 50%. This is far more manageable than the 90% needed to escape from Earth’s gravity. The designers of a Lunar RLV will have more available mass for the vehicle’s structure and payload than those working on its terrestrial equivalent.

So we will be using the LSAM for exploration but when it comes to going forward we want the private industry to go it.

Moving from the LSAM to the Lunar RLV will take a positive decision by NASA and by the White House and Congress. The plan, as its stands now, is for the LSAM to be developed between the years 2010 and 2018. It would seem natural that Lunar RLV development begin immediately after the LSAM becomes operational.

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#3 2005-11-10 14:36:31

publiusr
Member
From: Alabama
Registered: 2005-02-24
Posts: 682

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Hire the DC-X team, and tell the alt.space frauds to take a hike.

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#4 2005-11-10 15:14:42

John Creighton
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From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Hire the DC-X team, and tell the alt.space frauds to take a hike.

To me the challenge seems well with in the capabilities of the alt.space people.  Also I am sure there are know rules against the DC-X team competing for the prize if they want to.

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#5 2005-11-28 22:34:16

BWhite
Member
From: Chicago, Illinois
Registered: 2004-06-16
Posts: 2,635

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

As a further thought, might CEV be parked in LEO after return from the Moon, with the crew ferried up and down by t/Space or the SpaceDev HL-20 variant IF either comes on-line?

How difficult would it be to park the CEV and a re-useable propulsion stage / service module and merely ferry up crew and fuel? Might CEV be designed survive 12 or 18 or 24 months on orbit before landing on Earth for refurbishment, then up again?

If alt-space fails to perform and deliver crew and fuel deliveries, then use CEV as originally designed, landing it on Earth and launching it again.


Give someone a sufficient why and they can endure just about any how

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#6 2005-11-28 23:14:29

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

As a further thought, might CEV be parked in LEO after return from the Moon, with the crew ferried up and down by t/Space or the SpaceDev HL-20 variant IF either comes on-line?

How difficult would it be to park the CEV and a re-useable propulsion stage / service module and merely ferry up crew and fuel? Might CEV be designed survive 12 or 18 or 24 months on orbit before landing on Earth for refurbishment, then up again?

If alt-space fails to perform and deliver crew and fuel deliveries, then use CEV as originally designed, landing it on Earth and launching it again.

The CEV is only designed to survive one reentry. I am not sure if aero breaking would put the same load on the heat shield as direct reentry but my intuition tells me it would be comparable. However, if the CEV was refueled with lunar fuel, then it should have enough fuell not to need to aero break.

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#7 2006-05-05 20:27:54

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,173

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Lots of update articles.
X PRIZE Foundation and NASA offer $2.5 million Lunar Lander Challenge; Competition to take place at the 2006 X PRIZE Cup in Las Cruces, New Mexico


The competition is divided into two levels. Level 1 requires a vehicle to take off from a designated launch area, rocket up to 150 feet (50 meters) altitude, then hover for 90 seconds while landing precisely on a landing pad 100 meters away.

The more difficult course, level 2, requires a vehicle to take off from a designated launch area, rocket up to 150 feet (50 meters) altitude, then hover for 180 seconds before landing precisely on a simulated, rocky, lunar surface 100 meters away. For both level 1 and level 2, the vehicle has the option to refuel before conducting the required return level to the original starting point.

The $2.5 million is the total prize purse for the competition. Level 1 will offer $350,000 for first place and $150,000 for second place. Because of its increased difficulty, Level 2 will offer $1.25 million to the winner, $500,000 for second place and $250,000 for third place. If any prize is not won at the 2006 X PRIZE CUP, the leftover purse will can be won the following year.

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#8 2006-05-15 04:37:35

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

challengeVehicle.jpg

Carmack gets closer to a working vehicle, his latest  update has some nice video of the new engine firing


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#9 2006-06-08 14:39:57

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Quad_flight.jpg

Armadillo do have a great artist, this is the vision of their Lunar Lander Challenge vehicle, the "Quad"

Read all about it here


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#10 2006-10-05 13:24:42

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

FOFflight.jpg
And now this is the real thing! - Armadillo's quad vehicle during a test flight recently.

All seems set for their entry to the NASA vertical rocket challenge at the X-Prize cup this month, latest update here


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#11 2006-10-20 01:50:27

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Lunar lander prototype passes test

The rocket-powered, remote-control Quad lander did what it was supposed to do during a test at Las Cruces International Airport: It blasted off, moved over in the air and touched down without hurting anybody.

It kicked up huge clouds of dust and tipped over when it set down. But no damage was done, and hours afterward, FAA officials said they cleared the Quad for Friday's initial round of competition at the Wirefly X Prize Cup.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#12 2006-10-20 09:22:30

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

xpccarmackquadxq2.jpg
Carmack supervising Quad vehicle preparation at the X Prize cup (three minutes ago)


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#13 2006-10-20 12:00:29

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

armadilloquadfuelingnf1.jpg
Fueling the Quad vehicle for the level one challenge


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#14 2006-10-20 13:33:37

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

armadillquadinflightul8.jpg
Quad in flight at about 50m during first part of the level 1 challenge


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#15 2006-10-20 15:44:01

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,173

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Great images cIclops and thanks for posting them  lol , sure wish I could be there to see things up close but alas I have to put up with the last few days of rain again.  :cry:

I wonder if this would be more spectacular if they did a robotic refueler since most likely a reusuable on the moon would probably be done in that manner.

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#16 2006-10-21 09:56:47

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

aramdilloflight2rz7.jpg
------------- In flight ------------- onboard cam shot of landing pad ------ tipped over on landing --

Here's a composite of three frames from the second attempt sad


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#17 2006-10-21 13:21:07

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

flight3fj1.jpg
-------------- on pad ------------------------ dusty take off --------------------------- in flight ------------------------ dusty landing ------------
Third flight attempt - first leg


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#18 2006-10-23 08:39:54

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,173

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

20,0000 visit space without ever leaving NM

Can you say cult following

XPrize Cup: Inspiration Before Exploration

While the Armodillo team made its though the the end of the first leg of the course it landed rather hard due to what appears to be the oxygen line freezing.
The lessons learned from the attempts will go a long ways towards the future efforts of there team.

Have noticed more rocket toys in the stores as of late, from rockets to fly to a fishing rod hook launcher.

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#19 2006-10-25 00:02:25

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Carmack does an excellent job of recording the events around the Armadillo entry at the X Prize Cup in his October 23, 2006 notes

The five hour drives each way to Oklahoma for flight testing on Saturday were really wearing on us, so we went ahead and did some fairly long hover tests right at the shop. Our immediate neighbors know all about what we do, and don’t mind – we started taking a radio over to the night watchman to alert him before we did something really loud. This time, we did manage to get someone else to lodge a complaint against us, causing our landlord to give us a formal cease-and-desist letter, and sending the fire marshal out to our shop.

Perhaps a book about Armadillo's adventures is also under development :>

ps YouTube video of Pixel's qualification flight


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#20 2006-10-27 12:32:54

publiusr
Member
From: Alabama
Registered: 2005-02-24
Posts: 682

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

I must say I am surprised.

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#21 2006-10-27 12:51:59

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

All the media you ever dreamed of! Armadillo releases loads of video and images of their terrific show at the X Prize Cup.

Tip: don't miss the big bang (10MB) or the smooth flight with two onboard cams (17MB)


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#22 2006-11-10 05:04:42

cIclops
Member
Registered: 2005-06-16
Posts: 3,230

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Interview with John Carmack

Armadillo has a plan:

Can you describe your next-generation rocket?

Carmack: What we've got right now are the current quad vehicles, Pixel and Texel. They have four spherical propellant tanks and one engine in the center.

What we're going to be doing is reconfiguring the same basic systems, the same basic tank and engine, but making modules out of them. So you have two tanks and one engine as a discrete unit, and then you'll be able to bolt them together in any configuration you want, where you could start with four modules, which would look sort of like two quads stacked on top of each other with more engines on the bottom. That would be enough to take one person to 100 kilometers.

We'll mass-produce these modules and apply them in lots of different configurations. That's our focus in the coming year.

Armadillo's new game:

Would the rocket be like Pixel with an open-air chair?

Carmack: We were just going over this on Saturday and after a little bit of joking, the first thought was that (the seat) would be a saddle. That would be a very Texas and Armadillo. But then we decided that a racing motorcycle seat is probably the best thing on the current generation vehicle, mounted on a frame above the current computer.

We will probably wind up doing this for next year's X Prize Cup. Before that, we'll fly a dummy on the vehicle as our payload ballast.


Let's go to Mars and far beyond -  triple NASA's budget !   #space channel !!    - videos !!!

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#23 2006-11-10 06:08:51

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Fool, didn't anybody learn anything from the Soviet N-1 experience? Or the plain, simple, easy-to-understand truth that stacking lots of little tanks together is less efficient and reliable? Oh please.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#24 2006-11-10 07:55:31

C M Edwards
Member
From: Lake Charles LA USA
Registered: 2002-04-29
Posts: 1,011

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

Fool, didn't anybody learn anything from the Soviet N-1 experience? Or the plain, simple, easy-to-understand truth that stacking lots of little tanks together is less efficient and reliable? Oh please.

Nope, sorry, I'm not seeing the connection between N-1 and Armadillo's new crotch rocket.  You'll need to explain this one.


"We go big, or we don't go."  - GCNRevenger

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#25 2006-11-10 18:29:42

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-14
Posts: 6,056

Re: Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge

The N-1 was a disaster because it clustered literally dozens of engines to make up for the lack of Soviet large engine technology, but large numbers of engines simply isn't reliable enough.


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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