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#51 2007-06-25 01:15:21

cIclops
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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Constellation Lunar Lander Project Office - 11 May 2007

This notice is issued by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC), Houston Texas, to provide information regarding the newly established Constellation Lunar Lander Project Office. The Project Office, which is located at JSC, is currently being staffed-up with personnel from across the Agency.

The Project Office plans to develop a preliminary government design and, following an independent, agency-wide review, create draft vehicle design requirements. At that point, the Project Office will actively seek comments and input from industry.

Lunar Lander Initial Implementation - (PDF) 10 May 2007

So LSAM now seems to be called Lunar Lander following the May 2007 announcement. A modification notice 12 Jun 2007 adds:

The Lunar Lander Project Office has completed the "staffing up" process


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#52 2007-07-09 14:14:53

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Northrop Grumman Helps NASA Shape Plans for Affordable Lunar Lander

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 9, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- The lunar lander that will carry NASA astronauts to the moon's surface by the end of the next decade will benefit from more than 50 years of technological change -- and more than 50 years of unique engineering and operational experience from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC - News), the designer and producer of the original Apollo Lunar Module.

Since late 2006, the company has hosted a series of technical interchange meetings (TIM) with officials from NASA's Lunar Lander project office to share lessons learned from Northrop Grumman's "book'' of lander know-how. The intent is to help NASA end up with a robust yet affordable Lunar Lander program.

"NASA knows how to undertake and execute the job of designing, producing and sending a spacecraft to the moon because they've done it before,'' explained Bob Davis, director of business development for space systems for Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "We can help make the learning curve for that undertaking significantly less steep by showing them how they can benefit from what was learned by industry during the original Apollo missions.''

Northrop Grumman's most recent TIM with NASA took place in early May at a company facility in Bethpage, N.Y. -- in the same conference room used for design and development meetings by the builders of the original Lunar Module. The meeting included project managers and engineers from Northrop Grumman and a team of NASA representatives led by Lauri Hanson, the space agency's Lunar Lander project manager.

The TIM focused on how lessons learned from the Apollo Lunar Module could be applied to the design and development of a new Lunar Lander and its mission; and how the last 50 years of advances in technology and business practices could help shape and drive a disciplined, productive and cost-effective program. The discussions included topics that ranged from "big picture'' considerations such as the design, power and structural load requirements of the lander, to details such as battery profiles and pre-launch test processes.

"These meetings provide an ideal way for us to explore with NASA the new technologies, and business and engineering tools that could best be used to ensure a safe, affordable and operationally effective lunar outpost,'' said Carl Meade, a former NASA astronaut and Northrop Grumman's Lunar Lander lead. "The collaboration has been particularly effective for identifying issues that need further research, refinement and understanding before we put humans on the moon for extended periods of time.''

Issues that warrant additional research, he added, include protection against long-term exposure to space radiation; mitigation and control of lunar dust; and protection of humans and space structures against micrometeoroid strikes.


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#53 2007-07-11 09:11:15

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine Demonstrates Propulsion Technologies to Land on the Moon

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., July 5, 2006 – In recent testing, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s (PWR) Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine (CECE) exceeded performance goals and demonstrated propulsion technologies required to land on the moon in support of NASA’s Vision for Space Exploration. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a business unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

In a Phase I Development Program test, the CECE demonstrated an overall “deep throttling” capability of 11.4 to 1, exceeding the test goal of 10 to 1. Deep throttling, or a wide variation of thrust, enables a vehicle to maintain adequate thrust during in-space travel, yet have a controlled descent at its final destination.

The CECE has accumulated a total run time of 900 seconds during testing that began in April at PWR facilities in West Palm Beach, Fla. Review of preliminary test data indicates all primary and secondary test objectives were achieved.

“We are extremely pleased that the performance of the CECE clearly demonstrates the engine is fully capable of supporting NASA’s lunar-landing objectives,” said Graham Webb, General Manager, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne - West Palm Beach.

“The CECE project has achieved an early success for NASA’s exploration program by demonstrating that a cryogenic engine can be throttled over a wide thrust range, which may enable its use in a variety of mission applications,” said Chris Moore, Program Executive for Exploration Technology at NASA Headquarters.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s CECE Program Manager, Victor Giuliano, noted, “The collaborative efforts of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA Glenn Research Center made it possible to begin engine system-level testing for deep-throttling technology advancement only 10 months after program start.”

The CECE is a deep-throttling, 15,000-pound-thrust-class engine fueled by a mixture of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. The engine will validate key component technologies required by high energy, in-space propulsion systems for future space exploration such as the Lunar Surface Access Module, the Crew Exploration Vehicle and in-space transfer systems.

NASA awarded Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne a $6 million contract in June 2005 to begin development of the Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine. The two-phase technology development program includes two separate design, manufacturing and engine system-level demonstration tests.

The CECE is built upon Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s extensive experience in cryogenic propulsion. The engine benefits from the fundamental design of the RL10, which has earned a reputation of being one of the most reliable, safe and high performing cryogenic upper-stage engines ever developed. The RL10 is currently in production for service on the Atlas and Delta launch vehicles.


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#54 2007-07-11 10:29:57

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

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#55 2007-07-24 02:55:27

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

throttling_tall.jpg
CECE engine (RL10) firing at different throttle levels

Throttling Back to the Moon - 16 Jul 2007 (article & audio)

Accelerating from 0 to 60 then slowing down for a stop light is no problem for an ordinary automobile. But if you were piloting a rocketship, it wouldn't be so easy. Most rocket engines are designed to burn full-on (liftoff!) or full-off (coasting through space) with no in-between. And that can be a problem--namely, how do you land this thing?

Throttling is crucial for a planetary lander. Descending from orbit is a unique balancing act, cutting engine power as the lander losses mass through the engine exhaust that slows it, until landing pads just kiss the surface. For a lunar landing, velocity drops from almost 4,000 mph to 0 in about one hour.

The Apollo Lunar Module (LM) descent engine, the all-time throttling champ, did it perfectly on six landings in 1969-72. It could throttle from 10,125 lbs down to 1,250 lbs. It was also a simple engine, burning corrosive fuel and oxidizer that ignited on contact, and fed by pressurized tanks, eliminating the need for pumps.

NASA is heading back to the Moon in the next decade, and "we want to put more mass down on the lunar surface than Apollo did. That means we need a higher-performing engine," says engineer Tony Kim of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. "The Apollo Lunar Module descent engine was very good, very reliable, but it doesn't have the performance we need for future exploration."

To investigate technologies for a next-generation lunar lander, engineers at two NASA centers--the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and the Glenn Research Center in Ohio--are supporting Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in developing the Common Extensible Cryogenic Engine--"CECE" for short.

At CECE's core is the RL10 engine that boosted seven Surveyor robot landers to the Moon in 1966-68, then flew dozens of other missions for more than 2.2 million seconds of operations (almost 26 days) and 718 in-space firings. The RL10 is a far more powerful and complex beast than the Apollo LM engine. It burns hydrogen and oxygen that are stored as supercold liquids in insulated tanks. These are not only high-energy propellants, but also environmentally friendly compared to the corrosive fuel of the original LM.

Now the engine is being asked to demonstrate something new: throttle from 100 percent of its 13,800-lb thrust to 10 percent on command for a human-rated spacecraft. But making it throttle is not as simple as pushing the gas pedal in and out. Like most rocket engines, the RL10 was designed for full power. Almost like a living organism, changes in one area are felt through the entire body. For example, at low power, liquid hydrogen can slow and vaporize in the coolant lines, possibly stalling the engine.

In Phase 1 Demo 1 tests, "we were able to get the engine modified and show that throttling is possible, though cautiously," Kim says. CECE racked up 932 seconds of firing time in eight tests, though some were cut short "because we are experimenting."

The principal challenge was "chugging." Something was causing the engine to vibrate 100 times per second. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne conducted a "Demo 1.5" to investigate and isolate the problem: It turns out oxygen vapors were forming on the injector plate and inhibiting normal flow at lower throttle levels.

"We're considering modifications to the injector and valves to improve performance," Kim says. Already, CECE has demonstrated stable combustion (no chugging) down to 5-to-1 and operability (some chugging) at 11-to-1 throttle ratios.

CECE's not ready for space, Kim emphasizes, but it is an important testbed to develop technology. "This work has the potential to influence design of the next lunar lander."


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#56 2007-09-15 05:28:57

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

gsfcllbjy1.jpg
Goddard Lunar-Lander Concepts - ripped from Goddard Tech trends (PDF) - Feb 2007

Although the Goddard Space Flight Center is better known for developing and managing science missions, a handful of employees recently received Headquarters funding to develop a concept for landing astronauts and cargo on the lunar surface.

The 25-member Goddard-led team, which included some members from Glenn Research Center and Johnson Space Center, presented their ideas to a panel of former and current NASA officials, including former astronauts John Young and Joe Engle, and Owen Morris, who headed the Apollo Lunar Lander program in the 1960s.

“For many of the Goddard team members, the most rewarding part of this study effort was the deeper exposure it provided to the concepts, accomplishments, and — most importantly — some of the still active veterans of the Apollo program,” said Lloyd Purves, a system engineer on the concept study. “What made the lunar lander particularly interesting is that, in some ways, it can be seen as the supreme engineering challenge on Apollo. The Apollo lander module had no precedent. Nothing before had taken humans to and from the lunar surface and nothing has since.”

The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is expected to use and refine some of the ideas in further studies. The images — some created by intern students who participated in Goddard’s “skunkworks” effort — show a few of the ideas that the Goddard team presented.

Unlike previous concepts that combined an ascent vehicle with a habitat, the Goddard team proposed a vehicle for only transporting crew and cargo to the surface. This way, the crew could ferry more cargo. The proposed vehicle would weigh 3,300 kg (2,315-lb.) and contain 11.1 cubic meters (392 feet) of pressurized volume, capable of taxiing up to four astronauts wearing Mark III spacesuits. It also would feature an external cargo area, inside storage space, windows, multiple exit points, including a fullsize door, and a dust-collection system. Lunar samples and avionic and life-support equipment would be stored beneath the floor.

To keep astronauts from descending directly into the lunar dust, which can be as sharp as razor blades, the Goddard team created an elevator or “EVAtor” system that would lower two astronauts and equipment from the top of the 6-meter-tall (20 feet) module to the surface. Equipped with a control panel, platform, fixed rails, cable supports, and handrails, the EVAtor also would include a set of steps that would deploy directly to the surface. The team considered a range of options, including a scissors lift, a rappelling device, and even a Ferris Wheel-like rotary lift, but settled on the elevator system after consulting with astronauts who preferred the elevator system.

To offload up to 21 metric tons (46,000 lbs.) of cargo to the lunar surface, the Goddard team examined a single crane and a direct-to-surface (D2S) method. Although the team determined that both would meet NASA requirements, it found that the D2S system was more efficient and less risky under certain conditions. The system would work simply by tilting the cargo and allowing the cushioned shipping containers to fall directly onto the surface. Due to the Moon’s low gravitational pull, the impact would be no more severe than if someone pushed a padded container off a kitchen table.


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#57 2007-09-17 04:47:00

cIclops
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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Almost missed this news from NESC:

All composite lander? - 2 May 2007

"Jeff Hanley [head of the Constellation program, which is developing exploration vehicles at NASA] said ideally they would envision looking at a nearly all-composite lunar lander if it were the case that composites bear themselves out as meeting all of the specifications that would be imposed on them, and then having a cost payoff," Davis says.

The payoff would include lower life-cycle costs, less mass and perhaps radiation protection afforded by the composites against the sort of solar radiation astronauts can expect to encounter on the Moon.

(Composites are also being considered for Orion instead of Al-Li 2195)


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#58 2007-10-13 15:52:16

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Liquid Oxygen Liquid Methane Lunar ascent main engine technology development - solicitation 12 Oct 2007

NASA/GRC plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the advanced technology development of an expendable, high-performance LOX/LCH4 Main Engine. Technology from this engine design will be considered for application to the Lunar Lander ascent main propulsion system. The engine will perform a nominal ascent from the lunar surface, as well as the capability of managing an abort function during the lunar descent. This engine will be pressure-fed with an inlet pressure of approximately 325 psia and will have fixed vacuum thrust of 6,000 lbf and a vacuum specific impulse equal or greater than 355 seconds. The design should be amiable to scaling +/- 1500 lbf to account for the immaturity of the current lunar lander design. During nominal operations the engine will be capable of performing up to two engine starts with total burn duration of 450 seconds. To meet the abort function, the design of the development engine(s) shall be capable of 90 percent thrust in approximately 500 milliseconds.

This looks like the 7500 lbf engine ATK are developing ... another small step to Mars!


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#59 2007-10-13 20:59:36

SpaceNut
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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

yes I recall we talked about it in the orion sm thread.

cIclops I am glad that ATK and Xcor have continued on the research for methane powered engines.

Note that this engine has exactly the thrust required by the Orion SM propulsion system (7500 lbs)

Not to mention it would be able to be used on the LSAM for moon missions and later for Mars...

Your link at the time.

http://www.xcor.com/press-releases/2007 … sting.html

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#60 2007-10-31 15:42:44

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

IPP FY07 Seed Fund - 31 Oct 2007

Project: Flight Demonstration Of A Lander Using Lox/Methane
Mission Directorate: Earth Science Mission Directorate  (sic)
Lead Center: Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX 77058-3696
Partners: Glenn Research Center, 21000 Brookpark Rd, Cleveland, OH 44135-3191; and Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812-0001; and Armadillo Aerospace 18601 LBJ Fwy Ste 460 Mesquite, TX 75160

Project: High Temperature Materials For Lunar Lander Engine
Mission Directorate: Earth Science Mission Directorate
Lead Center: Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812-0001
Partners: Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, 6633 Canoga Avenue, P.O. Box 7922, Canoga Park, CA 91309-7922; and ATK, Launch Systems Group, P.O. Box 707, M/S 280, Brigham City, UT 84302-0707


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#61 2007-11-05 02:27:37

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Constellation work assignments - 30 Oct 2007

Cx management have allocated work on these parts of the Lander to various NASA centers:

Project management and integration (JSC)
Crew module/ascent stage (JSC)
Descent stage and propulsion (MSFC)
Ascent stage propulsion; and ascent and descent stage power generation, management and energy storage systems (GRC)
Structures and mechanisms including ascent and descent stages (LRC)
Crew habitation and environmental control and life support subsystems (JSC)
Avionics (GSFC)
Integrated health management (AMES)
Environmental testing at Plum Brook (GRC)
Final assembly of and ground processing support (KSC)


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#62 2007-11-08 07:45:40

SpaceNut
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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

A blast from the past fromWirefly X PRIZE Cup 2007 and the Lunar Lander Centennial Challenge

193916main_lunar_lander_330.jpg

This 1964 photograph shows the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) Number 1 in flight at the Edwards Air Force Base. When Apollo planning was underway in 1960, NASA was looking for a simulator to profile the descent to the moon's surface, and of the three prototypes, the LLRV became the most important

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#63 2007-11-08 12:42:13

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Neil Armstrong almost died when he was forced to eject from this vehicle (LLVR #1) at low altitude in May 1968, his parachute just opening before he hit the ground. LLRV #1 was destroyed in a fireball. Armstrong said this type of vehicle helped him the most to prepare to fly the LEM. Houston grounded the other LLRVs for six months but the Apollo pilots insisted on flying them. Armstrong flew eight more times in a modified vehicle called LLTV, his last flight was just one month before landing on the Moon. Gutsy huh.

(story from "First Man" by James Hansen)


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#64 2007-11-14 11:47:19

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Interesting news about new way to store hydrogen:

http://newmars.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=102776#102776

Check the posted link there.

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#65 2007-11-15 18:41:36

SpaceNut
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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Best part of all is that the contractors are still working on mars related hardware still. It was back in May of 2007 that the 7,500 lb Alliant Techsystems/XCOR engine was test fired and now we have another in Northrop Grumman Demonstrates New Rocket Engine Design Using Oxygen and Methane Propellants

successfully hot-fire tested a radically new type of rocket engine specifically designed to use oxygen and methane propellants that range from all-gas to all-liquid at the inlet to the thruster. More than 50 separate tests demonstrated high performance, operating stability and ample design margin of this 100 lbf-thrust rocket, designated the TR408.


The successful tests validate the robust capabilities and high performance of the integrated engine design. "The demonstration test results are impressive considering the broad range of conditions and operational modes tested. The engine far exceeded performance requirements and is on track to deliver a steady-state specific impulse of 340 seconds," stated Mark Trinidad, Northrop Grumman's program manager for the TR408. The TR408 is a simple design that uses only two propellant valves, no moving parts other than valves, and contains a built-in spark igniter to initiate combustion of injected propellants. The reaction control engine operates under short pulse and steady-state modes.

This engine is unique in its capability to fully vaporize both the oxidizer (liquid oxygen) and fuel (liquid methane) by passing these propellants through cooling passages located in the thrust chamber wall before injecting them into the chamber for combustion. If gaseous instead of cryogenic liquid propellants are fed to the engine, the gases still provide cooling and will enter the injector at a higher temperature. A design that ensures gas-gas injection results in consistent performance and combustion stability. Previous rocket engine designs using propellant to cool the chamber do not vaporize any of the propellant or may only vaporize one of the propellants, typically the fuel.


Lunar lander rocket passes milestone test

A rocket thruster based on an engine designed to power a lunar lander on an expedition to the Moon has been successfully tested by the Northrop Grumman aerospace company in the US.

Methane requires cooling to -161.6 °C, close to the temperature of LOX, but well above the -252.9 degrees C needed for liquid hydrogen, reducing the mass of insulation and cooling equipment.

It was fired more than 50 times, a key capability for thrusters, which are used repeatedly.

Meanwhile other teams are also working on more powerful methane/LOX engines suitable for lunar liftoff. Last year, NASA engineers fired a methane-LOX engine for 103 seconds and XCOR Aerospace test-fired a methane-LOX engine that generated 33,400 newtons (7500 pounds) of thrust in shorter bursts lasting about one second.

The XCOR engine is soon to be test-fired in a vacuum – a necessary test for space use. The company is developing another lower-powered methane/LOX engine for the MarsFlyer aircraft being developed by Aurora Flight Systems, which may one day take to the skies over the red planet.

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#66 2007-11-17 01:58:49

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

ATK Successfully Completes First Test Series for NASA's 7,500 Pounds-Force Thrust Liquid Oxygen/Methane Workhorse Engine

Potential Propulsion Option for NASA's Lunar Lander Ascent Engine

Work led from ATK facility in Ronkonkoma, New York

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) completed NASA's first test series for a 7,500 pounds-force (lbf) thrust Liquid Oxygen (LOX)/Methane Workhorse Engine. The test series provided valuable insights into LOX/Methane engine ignition, startup, shutdown, nominal operation, off-nominal operation, and dynamic combustion stability. This project is a collaboration between three NASA Centers and industry. Funded by NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program at Langley, Va., this work is conducted under the direction of the Propulsion and Cryogenics Advanced Development Project based at Glenn Research Center in Ohio. The Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. is managing the contract. ATK and its subcontractor, XCOR Aerospace, designed, fabricated, and tested the regeneratively cooled LOX/Methane engine. The engine design and test data are incorporated into ATK's new design for a flight-like prototype engine that will further mature the LOX/Methane regeneratively cooled technology for NASA. ATK will continue to support NASA's activity in this engine development activity and is focused on providing a propulsion option for the Lunar Lander ascent stage.

"ATK is pleased to be working with NASA on the development of this key propulsion subsystem for future space exploration missions," said Bart Olson, vice president and general manager of ATK's Tactical Propulsion and Controls Division, based in Baltimore, Md. "The workhorse engine may lead to higher performing and lower-cost solutions for expanding our missions into deep space. This new engine could support the Lunar Lander Ascent mission in the near term and other deep space applications in the long term," Olson added.

When combined with liquid oxygen, a liquid methane engine offers higher performance relative to other storable propellants, better long-term storage potential relative to liquid hydrogen, and lower cost handling characteristics due to its environmentally safe nature. Methane-fueled rocket engines are being considered for Mars exploration because of the possibility of producing these propellants by utilizing in-situ resources.

Tests to date have been conducted at sea level static conditions. Recognizing that ignition in deep space is a primary concern for any space propulsion system; ATK will conduct a series of follow-on tests at its vacuum test facility in Ronkonkoma, NY. These tests will allow evaluation of various ignition concepts and demonstrate repeatable ignition characteristics in vacuum.


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#67 2007-11-17 12:30:55

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

That sounds like fantastic news cIclops - with these results NASA might finally look toward LOX/Methane as the ideal propellant.

For now, obviuously, it'd be limited to LSAM's ascent stage but that sounds like a perfect test application.  Future variants or successors to Orion might very well utilize the same technology too, especially when Mars missions become a real possibility.  smile

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#68 2007-11-17 12:50:31

cIclops
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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Indeed it is very encouraging. Developing a completely new propellant technology takes a lot of time and a lot of tests to fully understand it. The Lander's ascent engine must work without fail. Methane/LOX has better performance than Hypergolics which means less weight, and weight is critical for ascent vehicles. Now that NASA is orientated towards Mars, this type of engine will have much more chance of development. Once human rated and proven for Lunar use, the technology and engine will be available for Mars.


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#69 2007-11-29 08:51:50

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Aerojet Develops Innovative Reaction Control Engine Technology

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aerojet, a
GenCorp Inc. (NYSE: GY) company, recently completed developmental testing of an innovative cryogenic oxygen/methane Reaction Control Engine (RCE) critical to ongoing lunar lander architectural decision making. Aerojet completed over 135 tests of the reaction control engine for NASA's
Propulsion Cryogenic Advanced Development (PCAD) project of the Exploration Technology Development Program. The Exploration Technology Development Program, based at Langley Research Center, strives to mature technology to support future human and robotic exploration missions for the Exploration Mission Systems Directorate at NASA Headquarters. The results exceeded project goals.

The NASA PCAD project, managed by NASA Glenn Research Center and supported by the NASA Johnson Space Center, was created to explore cryogenic propulsion technologies that potentially enable higher performing   space vehicles through weight reduction and provide simplified ground operations by virtue of non-toxic propellants. Aerojet's recent fast-paced design, build and test program has provided valuable risk reduction for the  RCE, which is widely recognized as a key challenge in fielding non-toxic propulsion systems.

    The cutting-edge engine technology integrates an injector-igniter assembly with two propellant valves resulting in an engine weight that is comparable to an earth-storable reaction control engine. The igniter further achieved 100% reliable ignition. "Aerojet's injector and igniter sea level testing exceeded operational pulsing requirements set by the project and provided extensive test data in support of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program," said Mark Klem, PCAD Project Manager.

The most challenging requirement for any cryogenic reaction control engine is to produce repeatable thrust impulses. Aerojet achieved very small thrust impulses which enable fine in-space maneuvering operations and provide higher performance through efficient consumption of on-board
propellants -- exceeding NASA's original objectives. "Aerojet took on significant technical challenges in this RCE development program," said Julie Van Kleeck, Aerojet's vice president of Space Programs. Van Kleeck noted that "Aerojet's testing demonstrates that performance and perability issues associated with non-toxic propulsion technologies can be vercome."

    Aerojet's successful test program provides the hot fire data needed to update the existing design and fabricate additional reaction control engines for delivery to NASA's White Sands Test facility and the NASA Glenn Research Center in early 2008 to support a full-propulsion module system test as well as extensive altitude engine testing.


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#70 2007-11-29 09:28:32

Commodore
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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Clearly they haven't tested it enough.  big_smile

Or is it like one of those lifetime agreements that say it will work every time until it doesn't. lol


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#71 2007-12-03 11:45:57

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Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

606LunarTrain-lo.gif
Orion 606 design stack concept image from Lockheed

High resolution version


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

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#72 2007-12-13 18:48:49

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

Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

NASA names next-gen lunar lander Altair

December 13, 2007 — Move over Eagle, the Altair has landed.

NASA today introduced a new name and logo for its next generation lunar lander, which was previously referred to as the Lunar Surface Access Module, or LSAM for short.

"That's the name they chose," said Jeff Hanley, NASA's Constellation Program manager, under which Altair falls. "We can stop calling it LSAM or esoteric things like that."

Hanley revealed the new name at a meeting with industry representatives held at Johnson Space Center to provide a general background to the lunar lander preceding NASA soliciting ideas for its development from contractors.


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

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#73 2007-12-14 13:56:40

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

Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Not a bad choice and complements' the "A"-theme with Ares.  The Eagle reference is a nice bit of heritage since it's well-associated with Apollo 11 now.

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#74 2007-12-15 00:09:02

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

Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

Work is going ahead on a LOX/LCH4 ascent engine - see this new report (PDF) dated 10 Dec 2007 - interestingly it says:

The LSAM Ascent Vehicle shall have the capability of being fueled on the surface with fuel (TBR) and oxygen derived from in-situ lunar resources.

Also note this brief section on page 27:

WBS 5.0 – Mars Propulsion

The objective will be to demonstrate/validate engine performance levels for engines on the Mars Transfer Stage and Lander descent stage, and ascent stage.

Activity will include a combination of experimental and analytical tasks. System and engine performance models will be developed, preliminary engine designs developed, individual risk reduction activities conducted and a first generation prototype engine developed.

FY12 Start - Detailed planning to start in FY10

This may be the first mention of planning for the MTV and Mars Lander!


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

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#75 2007-12-15 22:20:17

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,545

Re: Altair - Lunar Lander (LSAM) - status

ATK and XCOR Successfully Complete Test Series; for NASA's 7,500 lbf-thrust LOX/Methane Workhorse Engine

The engine work was funded by NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program at Langley, as part of the Propulsion and Cryogenics Advanced Development Project based at Glenn Research Center.

07-05-01_XR-5M15_final.jpg

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