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#26 2006-08-11 21:08:18

RedStreak
Member
From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

It doesn't sound completely unnerving.  The CEV diameter is being maintained and if they can minimize the size of something while maintaining priorities then there's no problems.

Looking at the picture the whole spacecraft looks a little 'dumpier' but hey, size isn't everything.  The CEV is meant first and foremost to carry crew safely to and from the Earth - anything else is secondary.

A bonus of a smaller SM would be to the LSAM, which is already tasked to perform the trans lunar burn with the EDS, leaving more room for exclusively lunar equiptment and propellant.

So again this doesn't mean any inherent problems right away.

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#27 2006-08-11 21:30:18

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

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

The reason it is smaller is very simple, hypergolics fuels are much more dense than liquid oxygen or methane, so the fuel tanks can be smaller. Hence, the service module  need not be as big. Nothing surprising, special, nor indicitive of a downward spiral of doom.


"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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#28 2006-08-11 21:38:19

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Nothing surprising, special, nor indicitive of a downward spiral of doom.

*someone at a NASA center blows a part favor for the support*  tongue

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#29 2006-08-12 09:38:48

Yang Liwei Rocket
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Registered: 2004-03-03
Posts: 993

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

NASA makes major design changes to CEV

NASA has made a number of major changes to their baseline CEV (Crew Exploration Vehicle) in a weight saving operation. Most striking is the shrinking of the Service Module (SM), which been reduced in length by around 50 percent, accommodating a Delta II engine (AJ10-118K).

Have you seen this one ?

by Jeff Bell
Scrap The Stick Now
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Scrap … k_Now.html
There seems to be general agreement that the Vision for Space Exploration is in deep trouble. Recently both the staid number-crunchers at Government Accountability Office (GAO)and the wild-eyed libertarians at the Space Frontier Foundation have issued reports questioning the viability of the program.


'first steps are not for cheap, think about it...
did China build a great Wall in a day ?' ( Y L R newmars forum member )

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#30 2006-08-12 14:15:38

GCNRevenger
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From: Earth
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Posts: 6,056

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Oh bah humbug, the GAO has never liked any NASA project, and neither Jeffy or the SFF will be happy no matter what NASA comes up with.

Bell whines and thrashes about as if he were a real rocket scientist or NASA manager, like how the four-segment test SRBs will be bad since they have less thrust even though they will have no payload, or simply how engineering is all important and political support for the program is not. Also swell how "engineers hate the Stick" without naming them. And hand-waving about how "NASA's numbers are fantasy" without saying why.

And his $5Bn scare figure is stupid, it can't possibly cost that much to build and use the hardware: where this number came from is obvious, that if you take the whole manned flight budget (aprox $10Bn) and devide by two missions anually, they appear to cost $5Bn apice. This is obviously wrong, since so long as the rocket men have time to do and build other things, whenever they do something else it magically costs lots less than $5Bn. Like build Mars ships.

Bell's "Stick bad!" ignores the simple fact that the Ares-V is about as big of a vehicle you can reasonably build for NASA's budget, but it is not big enough for direct flight! To make it so would reduce its useful payload from the already tight to less than zero or build two Ares-V's per mission, which would cost more.

He instead shovels the responsability of side-stepping this obvious problem with his idea with a "future column" that may never be written, but by golly he's Jeffery Bell so you better believe him anyway. And what of the difficulty of modifying the EELVs to launch the CEV? Are they really safe enough? Only the big (more dangerous, more expensive) Delta-IV HLV can lift the present CEV design too... would using EELV really be lots better than Ares-I? If not, why?

He says finally that nothing could be worse than going ahead with the Ares-I, but he's wrong, you could go back to the Moon without enough payload to accomplish anything! That would be worse than not going at all.


"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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#31 2006-08-12 14:39:29

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

I agree G.  Its not an unreasonable architecture that is simply getting the minor details filled in is all.  Again its better to build something than not to go at all as you said.

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#32 2006-08-17 10:36:58

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

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Oh bah humbug, the GAO has never liked any NASA project, and neither Jeffy or the SFF will be happy no matter what NASA comes up with.

Perfectly stated.

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#33 2006-08-30 08:50:17

gaetanomarano
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From: Italy
Registered: 2006-05-06
Posts: 701

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

.

Tomorrow NASA will (finally) select the Orion prime contractor and (I hope) will reveal the full details of (both) the Lockheed-Martin and Northrop-Grumman/Boeing designs.

However, I hope the winner will not use the current cone-shaped design for the Orion but use a better "bell-shaped" design like I suggest in my latest article [ EggCEV - The "bell-shaped" Orion ] here: http://www.gaetanomarano.it/articles/012eggCEV.html

.

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#34 2006-08-30 12:40:13

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

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Versatility will be Orion's trademark. It is being designed to fly to the moon, but could also be used to service the International Space Station in low-Earth orbit. "Our intent is to keep the destination focusing the design but we are not excluding the possibility of using Orion for other things, such as de-orbiting the Hubble Space Telescope in the 2020s or making a trek to an asteroid," said Jeff Hanley, who manages the Constellation Program from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. (source)

 
Treking to an asteroid, now that's more like it! A mission should be doable soon after the first test flights and before RTTM.


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

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#35 2006-08-31 09:23:32

gaetanomarano
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From: Italy
Registered: 2006-05-06
Posts: 701

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

.

While the official choice of the Orion's contractor is expected to-day in my "virtual space agency" [ www.ghostNASA.com ] I've already taken "my" decision (that, I'm sure, is the best and most rational possible!) and this is the blog's text:

I think that "competition" is a good word and a better practice (to lower costs and boost efficiency) when applied to "common" private and public contracts like the choice of a computer's manufacturer (for an office hardware contract) from a list of 10+ competitors, but NOT for the choice (from only two competitors) of the Orion contractor!

Orion is the most important part of the entire ESAS plan since it will host the astronauts for half of the moon travel and at the very crucial moon-direct reentry phase.

Then, it's design MUST BE PERFECT to avoid any problem that may result in a mission fail or (worst!) a loss of crew!

Unfortunately, after the Apollo program end in '70s great part of the experience about a moon mission/hardware is LOST and must be recovered.

I've read that NASA has recalled many (retired) "Apollo's Grandfhaters" and takes a look at the original Apollo's hardware in museums...

But this is not sufficient and I think that ALL the experience and knowledge about capsules and spacecrafts must be used to design and build the Orion.

Well, since the two Orion contract competitors (Lockheed-Martin and Northrop-Grumman/Boeing) may (both) develop MANY useful things to make a better Orion, "my" DECISION at ghostNASA is to assign the contract to BOTH (joint) competitors (with the same total amount of funds, of course) since that decision will have (at least) FOUR advantages:

1. join the experience and knowledge of the best brains of both team to have the best design, solutions, performance, reliability and SAFETY for the Orion

2. share the design engineers of the two teams to develop and build a (better!) Orion in less time without any compromise about quality

3. save (or "don't lose") ONE year (or more!) waiting for the choice of the CEV contractor... oooh, sorry... NASA has ALREADY lost it...

4. don't pay the (multimillion$$$) allowance to the company that loses the Orion contract competition.

.

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#36 2006-08-31 10:09:33

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Jefferson County has overseen Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed's 2 1/2-year effort to land the high- stakes contract. Lockheed's own proposal totaled 11,000 pages, excluding the 7,000 pages submitted on behalf of its partners. About 150 Lockheed employees here were involved in the project.

Lockheed Martin Corp and a partnership of Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co are vying for the work, estimated to be worth more than $18 billion over the next decade

By one estimate, the contract could total $20 billion over its life span - although budget and political uncertainties have raised questions about the future of the Orion program

The idea of sending astronauts back to the moon and ultimately to Mars has drawn criticism. NASA chief Michael Griffin has said it would cost $104 billion to return Americans to the moon.

The new vehicle, called Orion, is the centerpiece of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's $122 billion effort to return to the moon as early as 2018. Northrop is the leading contender for the award to be announced today, analysts including J.P. Morgan Securities Inc.'s Joseph Nadol said.

NASA declined to give the value of the contract to be announced today, but estimates range from $1.5 billion to $4.2 billion.

Northrop Grumman Corp., maker of the vehicle that landed a man on the moon 37 years ago, may beat out Lockheed Martin Corp. for a $4.5 billion contract to build the next lunar spacecraft.

The contract, to be announced at a 4 p.m. ET news conference in Washington, covers the design, development, production and testing of engineering models and up to four operational vehicles.

The spaceships are slated for test flights within six to eight years. Two versions are planned, one to carry astronauts, the other for cargo.

Well, since the two Orion contract competitors (Lockheed-Martin and Northrop-Grumman/Boeing) may (both) develop MANY useful things to make a better Orion, "my" DECISION at ghostNASA is to assign the contract to BOTH (joint) competitors (with the same total amount of funds, of course) since that decision will have (at least) FOUR advantages:

No for this is the issue that the EELV launchers have for the military. The end result is a higher costing rocket since an idle line costs to keep it functional even if nothing is built...

Only One EELV Needed, Expert Says

The report makes eight key findings and recommendations

The government should maximize its use of EELV rockets by using them to the extent possible for science and space station resupply missions.

If Boeing is chosen for the CEV and the Atlas is used by the military then this problem is solved to some extent.

But then there was the little question on the future availability of the Atlas 5’s Russian-designed RD-180 main engine, thou this was solved by copying it here in the states.

Neither team is building 100% of the ship since the engines and SRB are bought from other contractors.

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#37 2006-08-31 11:42:54

gaetanomarano
Member
From: Italy
Registered: 2006-05-06
Posts: 701

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Lockheed Martin Space Systems...

last hours rumors say the contract may be assigned to Northrop-Grumman
however, "ghostNASA" is only a "virtual space agency" where I can do those (I think) are the best choices (without any political influence...)

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#38 2006-08-31 14:50:25

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

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

156323main_Orion_lunar_orbit_300.jpg
As announced during a NASA TV briefing today the $3.9 Billion contract to design and build two Orion craft has been awarded to Lockheed Martin. A follow on option to produce Orions has been capped at $3 billion together with a sustaining engineering contract for $750 million.

More details here


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

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#39 2006-08-31 15:18:33

Tom Kalbfus
Banned
Registered: 2006-08-16
Posts: 4,401

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

So the Crew Exploration Vehicle is called Orion now? The rocket that launches it is called Ares I. I don't think the Apollo Command Module was ever called anything but an Apollo Command Module. Maybe this stems from the confusion of using Apollo Command Modules for Skylab missions. Does the Moon Lander have a name yet? Maybe they ought to be called Eagles, as in Space 1999, what do you think?

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#40 2006-08-31 19:14:02

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

So what does Lockheed have in store for how it will accomplixh the task of building America's next exploration vehicles...

Bloomberg.com Worldwide

National Aeronautics and Space Administration's $122 billion effort to return to the moon as early as 2018. The contract is valued at about $3.9 billion through September 2013, NASA said.

Lockheed's team includes navigation and guidance-systems maker Honeywell International Inc.; booster-rocket maker Orbital Sciences Corp. and the Hamilton Sundstrand unit of United Technologies Corp., which makes space suits, life support and power management systems.


Hamilton Sundstrand Awarded Systems Work on NASA Crew Exploration Vehicle

Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. , will provide multiple systems on NASA's new Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).

Hamilton Sundstrand will provide 13 key systems to the CEV, including
the fire detection and suppression system, carbon monoxide removal/humidity control system, pressure control system, atmospheric monitoring system, cabin air ventilation and potable/cooling water storage.
    Hamilton Sundstrand will also support Lockheed Martin as a systems
integrator in the development of the CEV, integrating the vehicle's power management and distribution, environmental and life support, actuation, and extra vehicular activity interface systems.


NASA Selects Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle Prime Contractor

design, development, testing, and evaluation (DDT&E)

DDT&E work is estimated to occur from Sept. 8, 2006, through Sept. 7, 2013. The estimated value is $3.9 billion. The contract is structured into separate schedules for DDT&E with options for production of additional spacecraft and sustaining engineering. During DDT&E, NASA will use an end-item cost-plus-award-fee incentive contract. This makes the award fee subject to final determination after the contractor has demonstrated that it meets the technical, cost, and schedule requirements of the contract.

Production and sustaining engineering activities are contract options that will allow NASA to obtain additional vehicles as needed. Delivery orders over and above those in the DDT&E portion will specify the number of spacecraft to be produced and the schedule on which they should be delivered.

Post-development spacecraft delivery orders may begin as early as Sept. 8, 2009, through Sept. 7, 2019, if all options are exercised. The estimated value of these orders is negotiated based on future manifest requirements and knowledge gained through the DDT&E process and is estimated not to exceed $3.5 billion.

Northrop Grumman/Boeing and Lockheed Martin, spent the past 13 months refining concepts, analyzing requirements and sketching designs for Orion.
The first flight with astronauts aboard is planned for no later than 2014. Orion's first flight to the moon is planned for no later than 2020.


http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/156297main_orion_tv_slides.pdf

http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/156298main_orion_handout.pdf

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#41 2006-08-31 22:10:48

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

The X-33 raises a few concerns but Lockheed was as good a choice as Boeing.

I notice the solar pannels ressemble those of the upcoming Phoenix mission to Mars; given Lockheed's connections makes some sense and I suppose such a configuration might save room when folded.

I'm eager for future details.

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#42 2006-09-01 00:33:27

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

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Thanks for the helpful link to the current Orion specification. More details here from LM.

Crew Module configuration summary here:

Diameter 16.5 ft
Ref Hypersonic Lift to Drag Ratio .34 @157°α
Pressurized Volume (Total) 691.8 ft3
Habitable Volume (Net) 361 ft3
Habitable Volume per 4 CM 90.3 ft3
CM Propellant GO2/GCH4
Total CM Delta V 164 ft/s
RCS Engine Thrust 100 lbf
Lunar Return Payload 220 lbs

Mass Properties Summary
Dry Mass 17396.8 lbs
Propellant Mass 385.1 lbs
Oxygen /Nitrogen Mass /Water 282.8 lbs
CM Landing Wt. 16174.3 lbs
GLOW 18706.3 lbs

and the Service Module configuration:

Structural Configuration 3 Rings / 6 Longerons
Propulsion Configuration 2x2 Serial Feed
SM Propellant MMH/N2O4
Total SM ΔV 6086 ft/s
Main Engine Thrust 7500 lbf
RCS Thruster Thrust 100 lbf
Solar Array Area 388 ft2
Solar Array Power 9.15 Kw
Radiator Area 334 ft2
Thermal Dissipation 6.3 Kw

Notes
1  No GLOW given for the service module, total for CM/LAS/Adapter is 15 mT
2 Crew consumables are 128 kg of air and water, so this configuration of Orion will be limited to Lunar missions.


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

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#43 2006-09-01 20:58:20

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

The space agency has spent $178 million over the past two years developing the Orion capsule.

Earlier this year, ATK received a $29 million contract to work on a launch vehicle first stage SRB related to the Orion project.

A month later, NASA intends to award a contract to Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne for development of the J-2X rocket engine to power the second stages of the Ares rockets. NASA has awarded a contract worth $50 million to Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne for the development, testing and evaluation of the J-2X engine.

The contract with the Californian company runs from June 2 through to November 30, surrounding the Systems Requirements Review scheduled for September and a Systems Design Review in October.


So what will we get for the money from Lockheed.
"NASA ultimately wants eight of the vehicles and estimates the total cost at about $7.5 billion. "


Was the selection of Lockheed all about saving jobs for Nasa, one might wonder with the news making these type statements.

"Lockheed spokeswoman Joan Underwood said the Orion project will create about 2,300 new jobs, including about 1,200 in Houston, 600 in Colorado, 300 in Florida and 200 in Louisiana.

All of NASA's 10 centers, including three in California, will provide engineering support on Orion."


NASA - Building NASA's New Spacecraft Constellation Work Assignments

NASA - NASA Ames Reveals Tasks for New Spaceship Development

NASA - NASA Announces Distribution of Constellation Work at Marshall

NASA - NASA Glenn Assigned Vision for Space Exploration Work


Reports that have Glenn responsible for these items.

"Glenn's job will be to ensure that NASA's requirements for the service module mesh with Lockheed's design. The center's long experience developing space power and propulsion equipment should help in that role.

The service module, a cylindrical segment that sits just behind the crew capsule, contains propulsion and maneuvering rockets, fuel and oxygen tanks, solar cells for electric power, batteries and communications gear.

Glenn engineers also will design parts of the upper stage of the rocket that will launch Orion into space. The center will test-fire the upper stage's J-2X engine in a big vacuum chamber at the NASA Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, to simulate space conditions. And Glenn will build a simulated upper stage and service module for an unmanned test flight of Orion."


Team Lockheed is quite large with many contributors.

"Honeywell International's Phoenix-based aerospace division will be a major subcontractor for Lockheed on the Orion project.

Honeywell Aerospace, which has operations in Torrance, will perform work on Orion's avionics software and hardware including command and data handling, displays and controls, system management, navigation, logistics and communications."


There seemed to be some confusion with the escape tower but I think the tower will be built by Orbital while the supplier for the solid engines will be ATK.

"Edina-based ATK will build an abort system for the craft. The system is designed to separate the crew from the capsule in case of emergency. Torres said he cannot yet estimate how much the contract will be worth to ATK, as details still need to be finalized.
The abort system will be built at ATK's facilities in Utah. "


Orbital To Provide Launch Abort System For NASA's Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle

"Company to be Responsible for the Design, Production and Testing of Launch Abort System to Vastly Improve Astronaut Crew Safety
Initial Five-Year Subcontract from Lockheed Martin Valued at Approximately $250 Million."


"Hamilton will supply systems for detecting and fighting fires, controlling pressure and humidity, removing carbon monoxide, storing potable water and ventilating the cabin, among others, the company said.

The multibillion-dollar Lockheed deal guarantees Hamilton, a Windsor Locks-based subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., a piece of the space travel business through at least 2019. It's also worth an estimated $700 million to Hamilton, the company previously said."


While Boeing Northrop failed in this round I am sure that Nasa will not put all of its eggs in one basket for what remains for the future of manned missions to the moon and mars.

"Contracts still open and will be needed to complete some of the exploration initiative will require new technologies, including lunar habitats, power and communications systems, rovers and equipment to look for natural resources on the moon."


NASA'S Exploration Systems Progress Report

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#44 2006-09-04 19:18:48

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 15,793

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

These are the tidbits that I have been able to gather from multiple sources.


NASA's Constellation programme managers have been given the go-ahead to carry out up to two test flights of the Ares I launcher, at a cost of $300 million.

The Ares I-1 test flight, and a repeat launch if the first fails, have been scheduled for April and October 2009, respectively.


Other 2009 tests would include a five-segment motor ground firing, which NASA expects will prove it has 15% more thrust than needed.


An on-pad launch abort test will take place early in 2009, and in November or December of 2008 abort system testing will take place at the US Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.


A full Ares I atmospheric systems demonstration flight test (ADFT) is not expected to take place until mid-2012, because only then would the upper stage and its J-2 engine be "largely finished", says Hatfield.

The ADFTs will be followed by three orbital demonstration flight tests, with the third planned to be a manned flight to take place in September 2014.


Following NASA's announcement, Northrop said its team would now focus on winning the production contract for the Orion launcher Ares I's upper stage. That contract is expected to be placed in 2007.

One typical schedule-buster--the engine--may have been mitigated by Lockheed Martin's selection of a modified space shuttle orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engine generating 7,500 lb. thrust as the main propulsion system for the four-part Orion vehicle.


Just aft of that will be the service module carrying the OMS engine and 100 lb. thrust "non-toxic" reaction-control system jets; tanks for hypergolic propellants and oxygen; the solar arrays and related hardware, and the vehicle's radiators. The contract also covers a 1,281-lb. aluminum adapter that attaches the service module to the Ares I upper stage.

The 16.5-ft.-dia. capsule will be built at the government-owned Michoud Assembly Facility, where Lockheed Martin already builds the big external tanks for the space shuttle fleet. The pressure shell will be made of friction-stir-welded aluminum lithium, enclosing a total pressurized volume of 691.8 cu. ft., of which 361 cu. ft. is habitable by as many as six crewmembers for flights to the ISS.

THE CAPSULE SHAPE PRODUCES a reference hypersonic lift-to-drag ratio of .34 at a 157-deg. angle of attack.

The basic capsule will be protected from micrometeroid and space debris damage by blankets of Nextel and Kevlar, and from the heat of reentry by a throwaway heat shield tentatively baselined as a phenolic impregnated carbon ablator.

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#45 2006-09-05 18:37:48

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

Following NASA's announcement, Northrop said its team would now focus on winning the production contract for the Orion launcher Ares I's upper stage. That contract is expected to be placed in 2007.

One typical schedule-buster--the engine--may have been mitigated by Lockheed Martin's selection of a modified space shuttle orbital maneuvering system (OMS) engine generating 7,500 lb. thrust as the main propulsion system for the four-part Orion vehicle.

After the CEV capsule I'd be rating these two components for the CEV/Ares I as the next-most critical.  If they aren't making use of the overly-complicated SSME and plan to use hypergolic fuels then the OMS engine doesn't sound like a bad choice.  So long as the engine meets thrust, weight, and performance requirements I won't complain. 

I suspect among the CLV elements the upper stage might prove to be the trickiest since it will essentially be a new booster stage.  The lower SRB-derived stage at least has the SRB for a reference (5 or 4 segments or not) - I don't think either the Centaur or the STS ET will compare effectively with this stage.  If Northrop wants to try it I earnestly hope they can do a great job - Boeing would be my next guess but Lockheed again may win out since they have managed the Atlas and Centaurs themselves.

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#46 2006-09-06 00:37:36

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 349

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

crushable zones ???? so much for reusability of the capsule.

The question on the disposable heat shield and air bags was because of the launch aborts over the Atlantic.

CEV crew capsule weight issues? Does this mean that the J2-s or x are not capable enough for use in the second stage of the CLV.

retro-rockets? Would that actually worsen the weight penalty that Nasa appears to think it is having.

National Environmental Policy Act: Development of the Crew Exploration Vehicle.....
Alternatives considered but not evaluated further included extending Space Shuttle service and weighing different CEV concepts. Refurbishing the Space Shuttle for long-term cargo delivery and human access to the International Space Station was considered impractical. Major modifications to the Shuttle's design to improve crew safety significantly (e.g., a crew escape system) cannot be implemented easily. Moreover, the Shuttle was not designed to withstand the Earth re-entry speeds of a Lunar mission. If flights were to be extended beyond the planned retirement in 2010, the fleet would require recertification, a costly and lengthy process. Moreover, the President has decided to curtail Shuttle operations after 2010.
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=21920
Other designs and configurations for the CEV were considered initially by NASA. Winged vehicles, lifting bodies, and slender bodies as well as other approaches were addressed and discarded. In the end, it was determined that the present proposed configuration, a legacy of the Apollo Program, was best suited to the long-term safety and success of the human spaceflight systems needed for exploration of the Moon and Mars. Therefore, none of the other configurations was considered further for the purposes of the Final EA.



The problems with lunar ISRU
In situ resource utilization (ISRU) is a concept for increasing the efficiency of space missions by utilizing indigenous resources on a planet or moon in order to reduce the amount of material that must be brought from Earth. If the savings resulting from reduction of resources brought from Earth outweigh the cost of prospecting, developing, testing, validating in situ, and implementing ISRU in missions, it follows that ISRU will have a favorable benefit/cost ratio. While many ISRU advocates within NASA seem to take it on faith that the benefit/cost ratio is always favorable for ISRU, my analysis indicates that this is not always so. Whereas a stronger case can be made for use of ISRU on human missions to Mars, the case for lunar ISRU in the current ESAS architecture does not stand up to scrutiny.
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/697/1
Nevertheless, the belief in the virtues of ISRU has been proclaimed so many times by NASA that, in an Orwellian sense, it is widely accepted. The recent NASA exploration architecture analysis for lunar exploration (popularly known as the “ESAS Report”) mentions the term “ISRU” 110 times. The ESAS Report repeats the standard mantra: “ISRU: Technologies for ‘living off the land’ are needed to support a long-term strategy for human exploration.” (p. 89) However, NASA’s approach to lunar mission analysis and its connection to ISRU is often disjointed. For example, the ESAS Report says: “The lander’s ascent stage uses LOX/methane propulsion to carry the crew back into lunar orbit to rendezvous with the waiting CEV. The lander’s propulsion system is chosen to make it compatible with ISRU-produced propellants and common with the CEV SM propulsion system.” (p.27) However a later modification of the architecture eliminated use of oxygen propellants for ascent, making the architecture incompatible with ISRU. If NASA does not develop an oxygen-based ascent propulsion system then lunar ISRU would be moot.

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#47 2006-09-06 05:45:02

SpaceNut
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Posts: 15,793

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

However a later modification of the architecture eliminated use of oxygen propellants for ascent, making the architecture incompatible with ISRU. If NASA does not develop an oxygen-based ascent propulsion system then lunar ISRU would be moot.

This can also be looked at from another point though in that the payload to the surface can be increase if the ISRU is change to create breathable air for extended stays.

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#48 2006-09-06 07:54:33

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

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

The main reason to do Lunar ISRU is for [i]future[i] reuseable landers, not today's basic ESAS lander. Though having an unlimited supply of breathable air would be handy.


"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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#49 2006-09-08 10:55:30

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

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

The main reason to do Lunar ISRU is for [i]future[i] reuseable landers, not today's basic ESAS lander. Though having an unlimited supply of breathable air would be handy.

Yep together with a plentiful supply of fuel for rovers and fuel cells for power generation.


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

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#50 2006-09-08 14:56:28

RedStreak
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From: Illinois
Registered: 2006-05-12
Posts: 541

Re: Orion (CEV / SM) - status

It may not be as hard to do Lunar ISRU as thought.

A simpiler idea for extracting LOX I read somewhere is to simply bake the rocks with solar heat...by bake of course we're taking at least a few hundred degrees.  Unlike chemical systems no hydrogen involved whatsoever, no extensively layered "mixing vats", and the rovers may not need to roam too far or extensively since almost every rock lunar or terrestrial has a heavy portion of oxygen.

The "slag" could either be refined into specific metals or more simply just melted into blocks useful for simple construction.  The only real working elements would be a mirror to track the sun and a one-way vent to collect the oxygen vapor.

Given the weeks of constrant sun and the simplicity of extraction, ISRU might prove to be more straightforward on the moon than on Mars.

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